Friday, February 17, 2017

five on friday

Finally it's Friday!! What a week it's been.  I had several appointments this week (school meetings, doctor, etc.) and all of them got cancelled or moved around. For someone who thrives on a set scheduled, it drove me just a little crazy.  I'm definitely ready for a relaxing weekend. Who's with me on that? I'm linking up with Five on Friday again. Let's jump right in. 

Shout out to all my West Virginia girls. There's a few days to order your WV Born and Raised shirt or tank. Get those orders in today! Shop here.

I'm excited about the new 2017 spring/summer Tastefully Simple catalog. I love so many of the TS products and can't to try some of the new items. These Cocktail Pops would be perfect on a hot summer day. 

If you're looking for a good foot lotion to keep your feet soft and smooth between pedis, this is it! My grandma always put Vaseline and thick socks on her feet at night, and this lotion works just as well. Mike wonders why all his socks keep disappearing. Hmmm.... I usually buy two at a time so I don't risk running out. 

I am in love with this wreath for St. Patrick's Day. It's a bit more than I'd usually spend, but so nice. I think you could probably change out the shamrock for other seasonal decorations,  so it could hand around for a while.

And in book news...

It's time for a giveaway. Next week I'll be giving away two copies of Banana Cream Pie Murder, the latest in Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen mystery series. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram (I'm Toniathc) for your chance to win. 

Have a great weekend!
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Friday, February 3, 2017

five on friday

At last it's Friday, it's Friday at last. This week has felt incredibly long. We've all felt a bit under the weather, so that may have something to do with it. But we're still ready for the weekend. I'm linking up with Five on Friday again this week. Let's jump right in.
My biggest news first!! My sister and I have been working on a WV shirt that we launched today. We had so much fun working on this and watching our design take shape and could not be more excited. We're hoping it does really well and have a few more designs in the works. WV friends & family, you can check it out here.

Mike and I talk about a new vehicle every now and then. We don't really want a new payment, but Mike's truck is 1997. Seriously - that Ford Truck is definitely Ford tough. I'd be the one driving the theoretical vehicle the most and I've fallen in love with the Nissan Rogue, especially the dark blue.

:: via ::
I'm trying a new cookie recipe this weekend - orange chocolate shortbread. Shortbread is my mom's absolute favorite and it fits in perfectly with the 14 Days of Love my sister and I do for her each year for Valentine's Day. We don't do anything too extravagant, but it's so much fun surprising her each day.  I'll share the recipe next week.  You can see my recipe for cranberry orange pistachio shortbread here.
I saw this picture online last week while looking for some baskets. It reminded me of days spent on the river with my grandma at our camp in Clay County. She loved everything about the river, fishing and her little rowboat. I might have to save up my pennies for this. It would look great over the dresser in our hallway. 

And this week in book news...

This came up as I was scrolling through Amazon. I'd love to have it and I'm sure the recipes are amazing, but it's a bit pricey for me right now.  I've added it to my book wish list, but I'll wait to see if our local library gets it before I commit to buying.

Have a great weekend!!

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

valentine ideas

We are pretty relaxed when it comes to celebrating Valentine's Day. We don't exchange extravagant gifts or fight the crowds for a fancy dinner.  We usually have a nice meal at home and I make it kid-friendly for Landon with fun snacks and punch. I never EVER miss a chance to have punch.

I do like to try to make the weekend before and Valentine's Day a little special though. Here's a few of my favorite ideas that are fun, easy and free.

1. Eat dinner at home. Make a new dessert. This year I'm doing Baked Alaska. Try my Cherry Cheese Pie if you need something new.

2. Dance in the Living Room. I could never convince Mike to go out dancing, but he doesn't mind so much at home.  It's easy to listen to your old favorites - songs from when you were dating, got engaged, your wedding song. And you know I'll sneak a Deb song in.

3. Take a Walk. Take a walk through town. Talk about the past, dream about the future. Hold hands.

4. Put Away the Phones, iPads, etc. Have an evening free from the distractions of social media. Focus on each other.

5. Be Creative. Write a poem, make a homemade card. Homemade cards and gifts are the best. Have fun writing a romantic or funny poem and grab some craft supplies and make your own card. It doesn't have to be perfect to be fun. 

What do you have planned for Valentine's Day? 

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Friday, January 27, 2017

five on friday

Goodness gracious, it's been a long week!  And I've got a busy weekend of cleaning and organizing ahead of me.  I'm linking up with Five on Friday again this week. Let's get to it!

We got a new washer and dryer! It was delivered yesterday. Never have I been so excited to do laundry. We also had to have some plumbing work done, so it wasn't as simple as out with the old, in with the new. We washed necessities at my mom's, but laundry still piles up like nothing else.  I'll be so glad to have everything caught up.  It was nice to have the  chance to give our laundry room a good and thorough cleaning.  Now I'm in the mood to freshen it up a bit for spring. 

I know I'm a bit old to this, but I have fallen in love with the Rae Dunn collection.  So many pieces I'd love to have and these mugs are at the top of my list. I like the little tea pot too.

I tried a new coffee this week - Maxwell House Intense Bold. I'm usually a Folgers girl (Black Silk), but I'm really enjoying this. It was on sale and I had a coupon so I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I like it since I got two cans. Who else remembers when coffee came in the metal can? My grandma always saved hers and we all got a can full of Chex Mix at during the Christmas season. 

Who else is dreaming of spring? I love looking through catalogs for new bulbs to plant. I fell in love with these salmon ranunculus and hope they turn out well for me. I'm not the best gardener, but I'm hoping to do better this year.  Thankfully, I have a momma to help me out, one that knows all there is to know about flowers and such. She's pretty amazing!

And this week in book news...

I'm still reading my advance copy of Banana Cream Pie Murder (read about that here). I've also been slowly reading my way through my old Nancy Drew books again. I started on them late last summer and have really been enjoying it. It's so nice to revisit childhood favorites and simpler times.

Have a great weekend everyone. I'll be sharing some Valentine favorites next week, so be sure to stop by!

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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

    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

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.
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