Friday, September 23, 2016

five on friday

Hooray for Friday! We're off to Amish Country tomorrow for a weekend getaway. It's so beautiful there in the fall. Cooler temps are expected while we're there, so I'm super excited.  I'm linking up with Five on Friday again today. Here we go! 

We're taking my mom along to Amish Country with us. When several of us go, we like to stay at the  Dutch Host Inn. It's nice and quiet and there's the sweetest gazebos to swing in. It's the perfect spot for coffee and conversation. We're going to do a bit of shopping and eating and then we'll take Landon to the petting zoo and pumpkin patch.  (Note - when Mike and I go for a couples getaway, we like staying here).

I ordered this vintage Cosco utility cart from a seller on Etsy. I can't wait to show you all what I'm going to do with it. It's in perfect condition.  It is a bit smaller than I'd imagined, so it doesn't fill the space I had picked out for it like I thought. I'll make it work though. Stay tuned...

I finally shared my cinnamon roll recipe yesterday. I still can't believe I've been using the same recipe for over 20 years. You can read about it here... 

I got this fun phone at Target on Tuesday to add to our Halloween decor. It actually rings like a real phone and speaks spooky, eerie phrases. It's motion-activated, so I have it tucked away until I put our decorations out on Monday. Landon will be so surprised. 

We love the Noosa yogurt. We've been eating a lot of the pumpkin flavor. I like to add a handful of pumpkin spice Cheerios to mine just to add some crunch. It's great for breakfast or an evening snack. 

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

cinnamon rolls

Last weekend I made cinnamon rolls to go along with a pot of chili. I love that combination - it's just so cozy and delicious. Landon helped me with the cinnamon rolls. He is seriously the best little kitchen helper. Talking to him while we rolled up the dough, I realized that I've been using the same recipe for over 20 years. What?! I'm not sure how that's even possible. I obviously started baking at a VERY early age. Ha! 

Anyway, sometimes it's best to stick with what works, so that's what I've done. The original recipe does give the option of butter, margarine or shortening for the dough, but I've only listed butter here. I've also included an additional cream cheese frosting recipe. We prefer that over the traditional glaze.

To get the best rise on your dough, heat your oven for a few minutes to 200 degrees and then turn it off.  I used to just turn my oven light on during raising, but that just heated oven really does make a difference.  I hope you'll give these a try! Be sure to let me know.

Cinnamon Rolls

1 package regular or quick-acting active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115)
1/2 lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour


3 tablespoons softened butter (I use salted)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon


1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2 quart bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased 2 1/2 quart bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched). Punch down dough.

Flatten dough with hands or rolling pin into rectangle, 15x12 inches, on lightly floured surface. Spread with softened butter. Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture over rectangle. Roll up tightly. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Stretch roll to make even. Cut into 12 even slices. Place into greased 9x13 pan. Let rise until double, about 40 minutes.

Heat oven to 375. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Spread rolls with glaze while warm. 

If using the cream cheese frosting, prepare it while the rolls are baking. Spread on still warm rolls (but not right from oven or the frosting will just melt).


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016


There's so much going on in this world, so much despair, sorrow and evil.  I have truly felt the heaviness of it lately in a way that I'm not really used to. The older Landon gets and the worse the world becomes, it's hard not to worry about what he's growing up in. 

That said, I'm so thankful that Jesus can take away that heaviness. Our only hope truly is in Him. I know I shared this print before when I first created it, but just in case you too need a gentle daily reminder, I wanted to share it again. You can print it out, frame it and always know there's hope.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

five on friday

Hooray for Friday. We're finally expecting some rain this weekend and I couldn't be more excited. Hopefully some cooler temps will follow. It's hard to celebrate all things fall when it's 100 degrees outside. But don't despair;  I'm still enjoying all things pumpkin. I'm linking up with Five on Friday again this week. Let's get right to it.

I've been looking for a particular cookbook for a while now. It's one my mom had when I was younger. You guys, I spent so much time looking through that book back in my younger days. It's the book I got my cinnamon roll and baked spaghetti recipes from. Anyway, that book has been gone for quite some time now, but I've always remained on the lookout for it.  I thought it was by Pillsbury, but earlier this week I looked on ebay under Better Homes & Gardens and there it was. It's now on its way to me. I can't wait to show you some of the fun pictures inside. It's definitely retro!  I'll share my cinnamon roll recipe next week too!


I know where I'll be Wednesday evening. I'm so excited for the season premier of Law & Order: SVU. Eighteen seasons later and that show is still going strong. Who else is watching?  

I love all things pumpkin-flavored...except for my coffee. My sister loves the pumpkin spice coffee drinks and creamer, but it's not for me. I do, however, LOVE this pumpkin spice chai latte. You can also get the tea bags, but I prefer the concentrate. I get mine at Target. It's so good with a bit of whipped cream on top. It's like autumn in a mug!  

I'm in love with this Sejour cardigan from Nordstrom, especially this soft pink shade.  I might have to have it in the silver pink AND blue cameo colors.  I'd pair it with jeans as shown or a jean skirt.  It definitely works with my capsule wardrobe style. I'm all for having just a few basic pieces that I can mix and match.


And now for book news... I'm so excited to be sharing my love of Laura Ingalls Wilder with Landon. I started reading Farmer Boy to him earlier this week and he is loving it.  We're reading two chapters a night, but last night Landon was enjoying it so much he wanted to read an additional chapter. Of course, I was happy to oblige. I have two sets in paperback, but I'm using this Kindle version right now.  It's easier for bedtime reading and the color illustrations are great.

Have a great weekend!

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Friday, September 2, 2016

five on friday

Happy September! It's officially fall in my world.  I'm spending the weekend doing a bit of cleaning and switching our house over to all things autumn. And I'm sure I'll be in the kitchen whipping up some pumpkin goodness.  I'm linking up with Five on Friday again this week. Let's jump right in.

I love little touches of leopard print, so when Fancy Ashley blogged about these perfect leopard print Uggs from Nordstrom, I knew they would be the perfect fall sneaker for me.  I'm so excited to get them, but they are on back order with a shipment date of Sept. 23rd. Better late than never, right?

My mother-in-law got me a Temp-Tations pumpkin tureen and soup bowls for Christmas last year. I honestly wasn't sure what I'd do with it because I usually just serve soup from the pot. Last week I had a great idea of how to use the complete set as fall centerpiece.  I'll share a picture of that later this week, so I hope it turns out as nice as I'm imagining. The tureen (without the bowls) is on clearance right now.

Now that it's officially fall, I'm already thinking about Halloween decorations. I got a catalog in the mail last week and this Ghostly Bowl caught my eye. I'd never heard of Country Door before, but I think I just might order this. I'm going to look around and see if I can find it cheaper than $34.99 though. I really like these too. 

My mom got me this set of bowls from QVC. They are amazing! The lids lock in place and since they are nesting, you don't have to worry about how to store them. The largest bowl also has a handle. I've been using it for all my summer salads. The set is on sale right now for under $25.

And now for my literary selection for this edition of Five on Friday... Didn't that sound fancy?? Ha. If you're looking for something to get you in the fall/Halloween spirit, pick up Candy Corn Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery) by Leslie Meier. This is the latest in another fun, light mystery series I've been reading since it first came out. The books are set in the fictional town of Tinker's Cove, Maine and are always a really a fun read. There's two earlier Halloween books in the series as well.

Have a great weekend!

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Friday, August 26, 2016

five on friday

Happy Friday!! We're officially back to school and getting settled into our new routine. We've got an exciting birthday-filled weekend  coming up, starting today. And I'm linking up with Five on Friday again. Here we go! 

Today is my mom's birthday. You guys, this woman is my rock. She is nothing short of amazing and I love her to pieces. We're celebrating tonight with a family dinner and cake. My sister is making her famous chocolate raspberry cake with chocolate ganache. Yum!! Goodness, there's lots of cake in my weekend. But I'm not complaining. 

Tomorrow is Landon's birthday. How is he SEVEN?!?!  Time flies by and all week long I've found myself having those "last xyz as a 6-year old" type moments. This morning I held him on my lap while we watched Tom & Jerry before school and I wondered just how many more times he'd want me holding him.  But enough sad thoughts. To celebrate, we're going to Chuck E. Cheese for pizza and games and then it's back home for cake, ice cream and gifts. (see - more cake). We got him this cute little magic kit and I know he's going to love putting on a show. 

If you've read here for a while, you know I can't resist cute pajamas for Landon. Yesterday I got these on Pottery Barn Kids for $16.50 and I had a coupon for 15% off. Hooray for good deals.  And since Christmas is always closer than you think, I love feeling like I'm a step ahead. 

Tastefully Simple just introduced their fall/winter line, including this pumpkin caramel sauce. I am so excited and can't wait til mine gets here. If it's as good as I think, I'm sure I'll be stocking up. They also have the pumpkin bread and pumpkin cheese ball. Hooray for all things pumpkin!! 

And because it wouldn't be Five on Friday if I didn't include a book... I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke. The latest installment in the Hannah Swensen series, it's due to be released on Sept. 27th.  I like this series because it's light and fun without being too fluffy.  I'll be giving away two copies, so check back for details.

Have a great weekend!
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

first grade

Well, our first week of first grade was a success. I was heartbroken that we switched schools, but it seems to be working out well.   We're enjoying our new routine and looking forward to a great year. We have a reading group meeting Monday evening and I'm looking forward to getting involved with a new PTO and being a home room mother. So many fun things to do

We have a busy week ahead of us, celebrating my mom's birthday on Friday and Landon's on Saturday.  I'm also working on getting our house ready for fall. Be ready for all things pumpkin coming up soon. I can't wait!!

Have a great week! 
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