Appetizers, casseroles, and delicious desserts all your guests will enjoy.

Party Themes

Looking to invite your friends over for a night of fun, these themed parties will entertain them till the party is over.


Creative ideas for instilling your children with memories to cherish for a lifetime.


Looking to redecorate or need some inspiration. These are my favorite looks.

Gifts from the heart

Nothing is more personal than when you make a gift and share it with your loved ones. Here are some creative ideas.

Look for love

My thoughts on love and why you should always look for it. You never know when or where it will show up.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

CONTEST inspired by A Christmas Card Tradition

My holiday season begins when the first Christmas cards arrive in the mail.  I place them in the center of our dinner table and we enjoy opening them together and seeing how our family and friends have grown in the past year. Some friends get creative with photoshop tricks while others still send the "annual" letter sharing ALL the highlights of their year.  Overall we receive the traditional photo cards from, Kodak Gallery and (the most popular this year).  The highest quality cards always come from Tiny Prints which is where I bought custom made embossers for a few new homeowners.

When the season ends, I can't bear to throw the cards away so I file them in a Flip-its© Photo Frame (pictured above). After 10 years of filing, you can pull out a sleeve and see how the family has grown and the lives have changed.  It is a great way to reflect upon the people who mean the most to you in your life.  

As I was inserting 2011 pictures above the past years, I was inspired to have a photo contest. UPLOAD your Christmas Card to the 30daysof...fanpage and the card with the most votes will win a DIGITAL PICTURE FRAME. 

Begins: January 1st, 2012
Last day to enter: January 15th, 2012 at midnight
First Day to vote: January 16th - (like only count on 30daysof...fanpage)
Ends: January 31st at midnight

Be sure to follow my Captured Moments Board on Pinterest.
There is some amazing inspiration for your cards for 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pear, Brie and Pecan Bites

See the love shaped like a pear...see all the other ways I found love.
This recipe was begging me to make it.  First I purchased a box of pilsbury crescent rolls from Costco thinking I would be using them to bake over the holidays.  Instead I made Bacon Wrapped Dates - delish. Then I purchased a block of the Rondele double créme Baby Brie but I ate that as my snack for the entire week with some crackers and raspberries. So I had to get another one.  I am always trying to do something with pecans, so when I found this recipe on the back of the Pilsbury Crescent Roll box, it was an absolute necessity that I bake them. All I needed were the pears.  Luckily we received a box of Harry and David Pears on Christmas Day. 

*If you are trying to save calories and don't want to use the crescent rolls, place the pear filling in a bowl and serve with Karr's Crackers.

1 can of crescent dinner rolls rolled out then cut into squares
1 pear peeled or 1 1/2 cups diced small (Harry and David preferably)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
8 oz of Brie Cheese (Rondele is a great brand to try)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Separate the dough into two long rows and cut into squares. Gently press i square into a muffin cup (it will not completely cover the inside of cup)
Cube the cheese and Place one cube of the brie cheese on the bottom of each cup
Mix the pear, brown sugar, honey, and cayenne pepper and spoon 1 teaspoon on top of the brie cube.
Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the pear mixture.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and serve warm.

Looking for other BITE SIZE GOODIES?
Follow the 30days of Blog on Facebook for free printables, inspiration and contest news.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This year my favorite expression is, "that is BANANAS." So why not make the moistest banana bread for my neighbors and friends?  The recipe I used is on the back of the Chiquita Banana Box. 
You will need 2 super ripe bananas, 1 egg, water, and small tins to bake them in.  One box will fill three of the small tins. Cook for 30 minutes and let cool before wrapping.  Tie this FREE PRINTABLE (below) to each package and have fun sharing this delicious treat.  

Totally bananas, right? 

The image below was inspired by this istockphoto image  
For more great last minute and creative gift giving ideas, follow my board on pinterest.
Banana Bread Labels

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramal SeaSalt Buttercream Frosting

Thanksgiving Bunko is an annual tradition of ours.  Instead of playing Bunko, we give the winnings to a longtime friend to help her with her kids disease. The hostess places numbered index cards with questions under each plate as we eat the following dinner.  This year the hostess sent us home with homemade table runners.  (A true blessing since mine was ruined last year from a gravy boat spill.) Each lady prepares her recipe from the list below. The hostess makes the turkey and gravy as well as providing the drinks for the evening.

1. Casserole Green (Bean Casserole or Macaroni and Cheese)
2. Summit House Cream Corn
3. Salad (Mozzarella, tomato and basil salad or a cranberry spinach salad)
4. Cranberry Sauce
5. Rolls
6. Creamed Spinach
7. Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
8. Sweet Potatoes
9. 2 appetizers (Pumkin dip, Bacon wrapped Stuffed Dates, Stuffed Mushrooms)
10. Turkey
11. Fruit Dessert (Ambrosia Salad or Fresh Fruit)
12. A Pumpkin Dessert

This year I brought the pumpkin dessert in the form of Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramal SeaSalt Buttercream Frosting and toasted pecans.  They were delicious.  Here is how I made them.

Pumpkin Cupcakes 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (costplus world market)
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, set aside.
Combine the  brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined.  Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.

Fill cupcake liners. Bake until the center comes out clean - 20 to 25 minutes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream
1/2 cup of your favorite Caramel Sauce
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Warm the caramel sauce to loosen but let cool before adding to the following mixture. 
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  

Candied Pecans

1 egg white
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups pecans
1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon mixture
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Spray the wax paper with cooking spray.
Beat egg white until stiff. Add brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Mix in pecans and stir until coated. Pour the nuts onto the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake until browned, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  Toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Dice into small pieces and let cool before sprinkling over the frosting.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Duct Tape Zebra Party Theme

Last month we redecorated a room from toddler to tween. The look was inspired by a zebra blanket. So when the birthday party approached the decor was easy: turquoise and zebra and a little Duct Tape.
Next we had to find a place for over 60 people to be entertained (translation - not get bored if the party didn't go as planned.) The answer - A roller skate rink (THE RINKS) would be the perfect place.

(must be easy, black, white, blue, or silver)
-Birthday girls favorite candy to match color scheme - Hershey kisses, cookies and cream kisses, almond joys and York peppermint patties
-Zebra cupcakes (very time consuming but well worth the end result - See tutorial below)

Since my 12 year old is into making everything with duct tape these days, why not decorate a birthday party with duct tape? We made the words on the banner with duct tape, the flowers on the manzanita branch out of duct tape and even gave rolls of duct tape to the winners of the games. The duct tape came in most handy when the birthdays girls grandpa broke his ankle from skating. Of course only the pink polka dot pattern was left. 

The birthday girl donated a portion of her gifts to a charity of her choice - Christian Arts Theatre.
All in all it was a fun party she will remember forever. 

Want to host a turquoise zebra duct tape party theme of your own? Download these free printables to get started. (coming soon)

1. To make zebra cupcakes it is best to have a helping hand.  Otherwise give yourself alot of time and stock up on extra patience. 
2. Prepare white cake mix according to box
3. Split batter in half - add black Wilton Food Coloring to half the batter.
4. Dollop one white spoonful of batter in bottom
5. Dollop one black spoonful of batter directly on top of white dollop
6. Repeat the dolloping until the cupcake tin in half-way full.
7. Do NOT spread the batter out. When you continue to dollop the batter in the top circle the batter will continue to spread.  
8. Bake according to box directions and serve.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fitness - Just Own It

My computer broke so I had no other choice than to create a new habit.  I started cleaning out areas of my home and office that I haven't dealt with in over five years (cupboards, filing cabinets, storage baskets.) I was shocked to see all the fitness items I have purchased and NEVER used.
This provided me the inspiration for get fit using all the stuff I've ever been sold.  The challenge, use one thing everyday for 30days straight. 
My diet will remain the same, which is eat anything - but just control portions (serving size) and stay around 1300 calories/day. So this means NO SECONDS, NO GRAZING, and NO LATE NIGHT SNACKS.

On the first day headed to my Boogie Box Class I started to dread this challenge.  (Notice it is only day 1)  I thought of Nike's slogan JUST DO I did.  I felt great when I was done.  Then I got home and found some peanut MnM's in our candy dish. I thought of Nike's slogan again and realized if I would JUST DO IT then at least two handfuls of MnM's would have been in my belly.  
Hence this proposition: Nike changes their famous slogan to JUST OWN IT. 

Just think about how powerful JUST OWN IT is.  You are accepting responsibility for all your choices in YOUR life - Fitness, finances, food, family relationships, friendships, and failures.  (Funny those words all start with F's.)

Here's how I see it:

Fitness - Every fit person I know works for it...they follow a routine and stick to it.  They OWN their body and how it will look.

Finances - This is big one for every individual...don't spend more than you bring in or OWN - don't borrow.  The JUST OWN IT mentality would improve our accountability issues in government and the mismanagement of corporations.  

Food - You are what you eat and if you eat it, then JUST OWN IT. Do a work out or watch your next meal.  

Family Relationships - We can't choose our family but we can control how we interact with them.  If you have upset a family member than JUST OWN IT and move on.  Don't do the same thing again.

Friendships - It takes two to make a thing go right  - so when you have hurt a friend, spouse, lover, then JUST OWN IT and say sorry.  Instead of wondering what they have done for you something for them instead.

Failures - Yeah, so you messed up, you didn't finish, you hurt someone, you FAILED.  You are not dead though.  So use your time and JUST OWN IT learning from your mistakes and helping others learn too.

The only time you should NOT JUST OWN IT is when you are using other people's hard work as your own.  That means any pictures, recipes, ideas, etc. that you take off the internet or from anyone's site is illegal.  This is called copyright infringement and is punishable by law and or lawsuit. At least link to them and give them the credit they OWN.

I will be tweeting my routine and progress everyday on twitter.  Become a Fan which inspires me to keep it up. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Spinach - Egg Noodle Casserole (inspired by Rachel Ray)

This dish was inspired by Rachel Ray's Spinach and Egg Casserole. What's the difference?  I just used nonfat milk instead of whole milk, Jack Cheese instead of Gruyere, and Japanese Panko instead of whole wheat.  Oh yeah,  and 5 cloves of garlic! I'm not sure what Rachel Ray's dish tastes like but this imitation is fabulous.  Add diced chicken to it or serve it as a side dish to any meal. The best part is -  if you get in the habit of making a casserole every Monday night, you won't have to cook the next day.

Here are 30 casseroles to make for dinner, dessert, or simply as side dishes. 

What's your favorite casserole to make for dinner?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Redecorating Inspiration from Toddler to Tween

No more little girl mural. 
See the LOVE?

Everyone said it would happen.  I just didn't think it would happen to MY little girl.  But she is growing up and I don't know how to control (er I mean stop) it.  The first part of this transition came when we went clothes shopping.  Her eyes would roll every time I showed her the matchy-match outfits off the racks. 
But then she wanted me to redo her room.  The room I did when she was 4 1/2 years old with the painted horse and rainbow mural she loved,  along with the poorly painted ceramic class projects, stuffed animals and pictures of her in cute costumes hanging on all her walls.  "Mom, these are so babyish.  I don't want them in my room anymore!"  (A tear just dropped as I typed that comment.) 

Hesitantly I agreed to change her room.  When I asked her what she wanted she exclaimed, "ZEBRA and turquoise!" ...then my eyes rolled to the back of my head.    The inspiration came from the zebra sheet set in the Pottery Barn Teen Catalog. However, I ended getting the bedding at HomeGoods for a third of the cost.  Here is the new bedding. 
We did over thirty things to upgrade her room from a toddler to a tween's room.  You can view the transformation and some ideas in the 30daysof facebook fan page album.  
I did manage to paint over the horse mural above.  It was the last thing I did and I cried like a baby.  Luckily I remembered to take a picture and incorporated it into the new room as a screen saver on her computer. 

Here's how you can get started with your room transformation
1. Find the inspiration from a magazine
2. Pack up all baby things in boxes 
3. Choose your bedding (this will set the tone for the room) Be prepared to be BOLD and stick with the color.
4. Choose paint swatches and samples.  Test out on walls to make sure it looks good in light.
5. Prepare the room for painting.  Use Blue Tape for the edges and ceilings and plastic for floors.
6. Paint walls with the first coat.
7. Build new furniture.  We added a board in the nook of her corner for a desk.  ($60 vs. $300 for something we didn't really like)
8. Add painting textures - We painted a chalkboard tree and zebra stripes using different sheens of paint. She can write whatever she wants on the branches as she grows. (see album with ideas)
9. Add decals - we used Owl Mirrored Decals from Target
10. Find new furniture - Be patient with this one and use the Craigs List app for great deals. We found an armoire, side table and giant mirror for under $200.
11. Find Posters of their favorite celebrities, shows, causes, bands, etc.
12. Get Pillows, Blankets, Rugs
13. Make custom artwork - Blow up big pics, make collages, or jewel some wooden letters to spell out their name.
14, 15, 16  Reorganize Collections - Repainted the keychain holder and displayed the trophies above on a shelf in a graphic design shape. Also redid the shadow box of all her baby stuff and replaced it with her favorite shells instead. (cried)
17. Organize the desk area - get bookshelves, storage containers, filing cabinets
18. Lighting - choose a desk lamp and or ceiling lamp.  I say keep these neutral at the base to go with any decor.
19. Electronics - alarm clocks, computer, keyboard, stereo (NO TV though)
20. Paint Old Furniture or replace hardware to make more modern
21. Organize a Clothing System 
22. Mirror - Every girl needs a full length mirror.  
23. Retreat Area - Find a corner of the room to place a chair so she can read and relax.
24. Jewelry Station - I used a bulletin board to hang her necklaces and found a cute jewelry box for everything else.

25. Calendars - have some kind of calendar scheduler in the room.  These MTWTHF dots are adorable.
26. Drapery - Hang blinds, drapes, or beads to accentuate the windows
27. Ceilings - Don't forget to look up.  Write messages in invisible glow in the dark ink for when she goes to sleep at night. 
28. Add a Pet - Birds, Lizards, Hamsters, Snakes are a way to add life to any bedroom.  
30. Floral Arrangements - plants, trees and flowers look great in any room.  Real is always best but you can also get creative with artificial manazanita branches and eliminate #24 - jewelry station.

This will be a room she will be in until she graduates from school.  I believe every child deserves his/her own space and it should be a reflection as to who they are and inspire them to dream about who they want to become.   

Did this inspire you?  How many times do you redo your kids rooms.  Don't forget to check out the album for the details and inspiration.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Puzzled in America - A CONTEST!

This photo was created with my new favorite app Wordfoto.

CONTEST (ends July 31st)
Upload a picture of what 4th of July means to you to the 30daysof fanpage. All ages can enter and any medium can be used. The picture with the MOST LIKES (not comments) WINS.   The winning picture will be made into a puzzle. 

The "what the 4th of July contest means to me" drawing contest is a tradition we have done for over 40 years.  Every 4th of July we lay a big role of Butcher paper on the ground for the kids to color.  The adults choose the winner and the winning picture is turned into a puzzle (see below) to be put together at a family get together and or the following Fourth of July.  

Italians aren't the only ones to have passion for their country.  We Americans celebrate our country on the 4th of July with classic American food and festivities.  (see our traditional
4th of July Party Details)

This year, a new tradition will occur.  The winning picture of the drawing contest, "what 4th of July means to me" was transformed into a puzzle.  On New Years Day, the first piece of the puzzle is put together by the family and transported from gathering to gathering until complete.  (hopefully by the 4th of July)

I scanned the drawing into my computer and saved it as a .jpeg.  Then I uploaded it to KodakGallery and transformed it into a puzzle.  It came shipped in this adorable tin with the pieces broken inside.
Start a new tradition with your family by making your own puzzle and bringing it to a cabin for you all to complete.  

Bite-Size Goodies
4th of July Crafts for Kids

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Perfect 10 Pasta Salad Recipe

My cousin makes the BEST pasta salad consisting of lots of vegetables and seasonings.  I created this pasta version based on her ingredients and kept the measurements to a total of 1.  Does that make sense?  Read the recipe and then it will.

1 16 oz bag of spiral pasta (cooked per package)
1 cup of Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half)
1 cup of Pepperocinis (sliced)
1 cup of Red Onion (diced)
1 Green Bell Pepper (diced)
1 Yellow Bell Pepper (diced)
1 can of Black Olives (sliced) 
1 bunch of fresh chopped basil
1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing (prepare as directed.  Need red wine vinegar and olive oil)
And last but NOT least - 
10 pinches of McCormicks Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme Seasoning.

Become a fan of facebook for new contests, recipes and inspiration for creators, writers, designers and moms.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza

Here is a great dessert to serve at a summer bbq.  I brought this one over for a memorial party in the color scheme of red, white, and blue.  It was gone within 5 minutes. 

Here's how to make:

3/4 cup of butter, softened (must be softened, not melted in the microwave)
1 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I USE Pure Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste from SurLaTable)
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Roll out dough evenly on a clay cookie stone.
Bake 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.  Trim the uneven edges with a pizza tool after the cookie has cooled.
Mix 1 pack of cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar (white or powdered) until creamy. Spread on the cooled cookie. 
Use your favorite seasonal fruits on top.

slice with the pizza cutter of a large knife as pizza slices.
The above sugar cookie recipe can be used for Shamrocking, egging, booing your neighbors and friends.  Learn how to here:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Tradition - CONTEST

Today is Mothers Day - a day when our yearlong sacrifices are rewarded with gifts the kids make in their classrooms.  Macaroni necklaces, colored pictures and cards saying I LOVE YOU MOM scribbled in crayon and edged up along side of the paper.
Mothers day necklace 2011 -
goes great with the macaroni necklace from 2004.

So to honor all the thoughtful gifts my child has made for me...I am going to start a tradition. I will actually wear all the stuff she has made and wear it on this day.  This idea was inspired by one of my favorite moms, Claire from Modern Family in last weeks episode.

So the contest is:  upload a picture of yourself wearing the gifts your child(ren) have made for you to the 30daysof...facebook fan page.  Or you can upload it to Twitter and use hashtag #30daysofmothersday.
On May 30th, we will vote!  The mom who gets the most votes will win a $25 gift certificate to Brighton.

What are some of your traditions you do with your mom every mothers day?  One recent tradition I just learned was from Jill Biden....she plant flowers with her kids every year.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Inspired by Craig Strong's Asian Pulled Pork Sandwich - see his recipe
The month of April, I am inspired to think ASIAN, mostly because I am deeply affected by the situation in Japan.  I can not imagine what they are going through. 
So while doing research "of all things Japanese,"  I have learned what a beautiful culture they have.  The food, decor and traditions.  A post will soon follow with 30 of my favorite Japanese - (Asian) inspired items but until then,  here is the first - Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches.  I served these at a New Years Eve party and they were a big hit!


For the Pork
1 pork shoulder (Costco sells two, freeze one for later)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cups Soy Vay veri veri teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

For the Slaw
2 cups julienned red or green cabbage
¼ cup julienned carrot
¼ cup julienned red onion
½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
¼ cup red bell pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 dashes Tabasco
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

For the Bread
8 Hawaiian rolls, cut in half
and toasted


Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. In a medium saucepan add oil, place on medium-high heat, and brown pork shoulder on all sides. Remove and place in pan with all other ingredients of the pork mixture. Cover and bake in pre-heated 300˚ F oven for 3 hours the 250˚ for 1. Remove pork from liquid. Allow to cool enough to handle and pull into shreds and removing and fat. 
Simmer liquid and reduce by 50%. Strain liquid and mix ½ cup with pork.

In separate bowl, mix all slaw ingredients.
Serve Buffet style so guests can layer themselves.

Please like this post if you think you will ever make these.  Or become a fan of the blog on facebook. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

You've been Egg'd with a Lunchi

This Easter, egg your neighbors to show them you care.  Make them these delicious sugar cookies and decorate them however you like. Then print up our new holiday lunchi's from and surprise your neighbors, teachers, or friends with a sweet surprise at their door.  
Each Lunchi sheet comes with three sayings to choose from.  Two of them are written by me...You've been blessed and You've been egg'd.  100% of your $2 donation will benefit a children's charity listed on the site.  Here is how to make the cookies. Or fill plastic eggs with some goodies to make them smile.
1 1/2 cups butter, softened (must be softened, not melted in the microwave)
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I USE Pure Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste from SurLaTable)
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour. This is MANDATORY (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with the easter egg cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper or a clay cookie stone.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.  
Decorate with your favorite vanilla frosting and green sugar sprinkles.  


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shamrock Sugar Cookies

Cut out the shenanigans! Stop talking blarney and be sweet on St. Patrick's Day.  For it was the Irish who originally wanted us all to GO GREEN...and how can you not like tiny leprechauns?  Or are they now called little "green" people?    

So to honor all little "green" people we started a new tradition this St. Patrick's Day...we "shamrocked" the neighbors and the teacher. 

I baked the same sugar cookie recipe I do every month (great to freeze and cut up when the kids come over). I bought a shamrock cookie cutter and got my green on!  I was literally covered in green sparkle by the time it was over.  

While baking and cooling, I printed out my notecards with the You've Been Shamrocked poem written on it - written by ME.  These are available for a $2 donation at the website All of the money raised at is donated to your support is appreciated.  
Ready for the recipe?  Here is it!  
In the meantime, may the GOOD LORD take a liking to you...but not too soon!

I FOUND LOVE in the cookie dough! See it?
1 1/2 cups butter, softened (must be softened, not melted in the microwave)
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I USE Pure Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste from SurLaTable)
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour. This is MANDATORY (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with the shamrock cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper or a clay cookie stone.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.  
Decorate with your favorite vanilla frosting and green sugar sprinkles.  


And if you like this can you please share!  Or become a fan...Thanks.

Monday, March 14, 2011

30daysof...survival gear

The devastation in Japan is tragic.  Various times throughout my day I stop and think, right now I have the blessing of feeling secure while thousands are without shelter, food, and life.  We know our life can change in an instant but until we see it, this reality doesn't apply.  However this reality does apply today to the citizens of Japan and the victims families.

So if you don't appreciate your current circumstances, please know, they could be one instant.    Due to this fact, I was inspired to put together a survival kit for our family of 3. Below is a list of 30 items (with links) to be included.  

Prayer will be at the top of the list if I actually ever have to use it. 

1. (20) Food Bars
4. (1)   Can Opener

5. (4)  Emergency Blankets or better yet a Bivvy Sack
9. (1)  Roll Duct Tape
11. Out-of-State Contact Card/Drivers License  (see samples to download and complete)


24. Multi-function Utility Tool (include gas shutoff tool and razor blades
27. Rubber Boots

29. Tissue Packs or sanitary wipes or sanitizing gel

30. 5 Gallon Bucket Container or a backpack to carry it all in


There are many survival kits to choose from depending on the size of your family ranging in price from $42.57 - $200.

Did I miss anything on this list?  What would you include?