Friday, January 20, 2017

five on friday


Hooray for Friday! We've had a rainy but warm week here. And tomorrow we're looking at 70*. Landon is excited to get outside and on his skateboard. And any time I can wear flip flops in January, I'm a happy girl. I'm joining up with Five on Friday again this week. Let's jump right in...
I've been seeing this Volcano candle a lot on Instagram, so I decided to get one for myself. I love a lightly scented candle flickering; it makes the house seem so cozy.  Mine arrived on Wednesday and I'm looking forward to lighting it this evening. 


I know we're far from spring, but this unseasonably warm weather has my mind thinking ahead to nice days on the porch. I need some new wind chimes, so when someone was talking about these the other day, I looked them up. I'd love to have a set. The sound/melody is supposed to be reminiscent of Amazing Grace.  My grandma would have loved these. Sitting on the porch with her is one of my favorite memories.


Mike and I are having movie night tonight once Landon is in bed. We're going to watch Annabelle. We love a good scary movie and this one has been recommended by a few friends. I can't believe we haven't watched it before.

 
I don't have a special recipe today, but I do want to share a product I love. It's  Better Than Bouillon Premium Roasted Beef Base. I use it in my pepper steak, vegetable soup, to thin out Beef Stroganoff leftovers, green beans...just so many different things. It really is so much better than bouillon. I keep one in the refrigerator, along with the chicken base. Definitely 5 stars!  I get mine at Kroger, but it's available at all grocery stores and online. 

 

And for book news... I was able to get an advance copy of Banana CreamPie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery), the latest in the series by Joanne Fluke. That's what I'll be reading this weekend. I also have two copies to give away, so follow me on Instagram for details on how to win. I'm ToniaTHC. 


Have a great weekend!
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Friday, January 13, 2017

five on friday

Happy Friday! I can't believe we're almost half way through January. And it's Friday the 13th (don't be scared!). I'm linking up with Five on Friday again this week. Let's jump right in! 

 

We're having date night tonight with my sister and her husband. We're looking forward to a night out with good food, conversation and laughter.  One restaurant we can always all agree on is Fujiyama. I'm hungry just thinking about it. And here's a fun fact for any new readers today - my sister and I married brothers. It took me a while to get Amy and Greg together, but I finally succeeded.
 

I can't let Friday the 13th pass without sharing this picture of Landon at the Hollywood Wax Museum last summer. His expression is priceless.
 


I hosted an online Tupperware party for a friend last year. One of my rewards was a Jell-O mold. I'm finally going to put it to use this weekend with a fluffy lime Jell-O salad. I'll share the recipe next week.


 

Mike got me a few Nancy Drew items for Christmas. I'm wearing this scarf today.  I'm usually not a scarf person as I can't stand having something around my neck, but I love this.  It may just be my favorite new accessory. And how sweet is Mike to know how much it would mean to me? He's the best!

 

Lastly, how cute is the hat that one of my best friends just made for me? It's a messy bun hat with a bow!  I know I will wear this everywhere. And you guys...Robin is ridiculously talented. She can look at a picture of something and recreate it in minutes, possibly seconds. I don't know how she does it.  Star Wars fans - she also does sets of cup cozies. 

Have a great weekend! 

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

blueberry muffins

 
Landon loves helping me in the kitchen, especially if cracking eggs are involved. Sunday morning we were up early (like 5:45), so we had plenty of time for a leisure morning of making muffins. Blueberry is his favorite and we had some fresh blueberries, so that's what we made. 
 
I've tried lots of blueberry muffin recipes over the past few years, and this one from Little Sweet Baker is my absolute favorite. The muffins are moist, have a nice texture and just the right amount of sweetness. Plus that crumb topping...  Landon devoured four of these in one day. They are seriously that good! 
 
 
 
Blueberry Muffins
 
Ingredients

    2 & ½ cups (310g) all-purpose flour
    1 tbsp (13g) baking powder
    1 tsp (5g) baking soda
    ½ tsp (2g) salt
    ½ cup (114g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    1 cup (200g) sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 cup (250ml) milk (any kind, whole or buttermilk is best)
    1 tbsp (15ml) vanilla extract
    1 & ½ cups (230g) blueberries

    For the streusel topping
    ¼ cup (50g) sugar
    1 tbsp (8g) all-purpose flour
    2 tsp (10ml) unsalted butter, melted
    ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425F and spray or line a 12 cup muffin baking pan. Prepare the streusel topping by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
 
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
 
In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar, add the eggs, mix, then add the milk and vanilla, mix again.
 
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently combine using a rubber spatula until moistened. Fold in the blueberries until just incorporated.
 
Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups, top with streusel and bake for 5 minutes at 425F, then keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the heat to 375F and bake for another 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
 
 
Enjoy!
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Friday, December 30, 2016

five on friday

I can't believe 2016 is almost over. I know lots of people have said they will be glad to see it go, but I really can't say it's been a bad year for us. Of course we've had ups and downs, but that's just how life goes.  I am looking forward to 2017 though, and hope it's a fantastic year for us all. I'm linking up with Five on Friday for the last time this year. Here we go!

 
I can't believe Christmas has come and gone. Here's my favorite picture of me and Landon this year. We had such a nice and relaxed holiday. 


We always go to my mom's house for a New Year's Eve party/sleep-over. This year we've decided to do our low country boil and I cannot wait! We'll eat, play games (Win, Lose or Draw; Scattergories; Yahtzee, Uno), and laugh til we cry.  My sister's birthday is New Year's Day, so we'll have a family dinner (meatloaf & cabbage) and finish it all off with birthday cake. See why I don't make resolutions?!


We're getting a new washer and dryer next month, so I'm taking advantage of the chance to clean and organize our laundry room. I ordered this storage rack from Target (5% off plus free shipping HOORAY) to help me out. It should be just the right size for everything I need it to hold.  Another thing I'm doing in 2017 to stay organized is taking advantage of our garbage pickup. We are allowed six bags and usually just have 2 or 3.  From now on I'll have the full six. I'll talk more about that and how I hope to clear out ALL THE CLUTTER later next month. 




Do you have a word of the year? My word for 2017 is SAVOR. You can read all about that here.  I also found the perfect art print to accompany that word. This print by Heather Stillufsen just makes my heart melt. 


And now in book news...


Banana Cream Pie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery), the latest in the series by Joanne Fluke,  is due out in February. I can't wait to read it and  hope to have a few copies to give away. Be sure to  check back later next month here and on Instagram (I'm ToniaTHC) for a chance to win. 

Best wishes for a wonderful 2017!
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Thursday, December 29, 2016

savor

  ~ SAVOR ~  
to delight in :  enjoy <savoring the moment>  
 
Art Print by Heather Stillufsen

I start thinking about my word for the new year sometime in December.  I don't really like to make resolutions, because why set yourself up for disappointment? But I do like to have a word that kind of wraps itself around our life at the moment. This year I've decided that my word will be SAVOR. The transitive verb definition defines savor as to delight in, enjoy, savor the moment.  But so many times I'm guilty of doing the exact opposite of savoring.  I'm a planner/follow-the-schedule type girl, always thinking ahead to the next thing on my list and it's really hard for me to go with the flow and just relax in the moment.  Instead of enjoying the quiet and cozy stillness late Christmas evening, I was pinning Valentine ideas.  Instead of playing UNO one more time yesterday,  I needed to mop the kitchen floor.  Not exactly savoring...  But days are going by in a hurry and I don't want to miss out on anything because I couldn't slow down and just enjoy the moment.  I have to learn to do just that, or I will miss out.  

So in 2017, I intend to savor the people I love and the time I have to spend with them.  That means letting some things go and making some changes to my "to-do" list and daily routine, but I'm OK with that.  I'm looking forward to it.  

Hoping your 2017 is everything you hope for. Savor it!!

Cheers!
 
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

christmas decor

Are you busy decking the halls? Here's a little peek at my Christmas style board.  The bird print is from a vintage post card I had enlarged for a canvas. I got it last year and I just love it. 

Here's our tree minus the star which I had to have my mom help me with. Even with a step stool, I'm too short for that. Hmmm... I wanted to use a tree collar this year (specifically THIS one), but found out too late that they must be in place before you put up the tree. Next year I'll plan ahead. It would be nice if they made one that has an open back. I'm still thinking about ordering this one and cutting an opening in it. You don't see the back anyway. I'll keep you updated on that.


For our piano, I like a simple, classic look. Two mercury trees, a glittery reindeer, some lights and garland. And this fabulous Bethlehem print. I still have a few finishing touches for our vintage utility cart turned bar cart. 


Are you finished decorating or just starting?


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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

thanksgiving recipes


Today I'm sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving posts and recipes. I am a true to tradition and haven't changed much over the years. I do like to experiment with desserts sometimes, but the turkey and stuffing remain the same.  I hope they will be a special addition to your holiday table.

:: Turkey 

:: Stuffing

:: Cranberry Salad 

:: Cranberry Upside Down Cake  

I'll share some easy appetizers and drinks tomorrow. 


Have a great day!  
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