My Favorite Things 2016

my-favorite-things-bannerHello again!

The months have whizzed by. A whole lot of life has happened between now and my last post. All those details will be for another day and another post. For now, I’m excited that my favorite link up party of the year is here! If you’re looking for a gift for someone or just a new product to try, I’m sharing my favorite things I discovered this year.

Jane’s Original Mixed Up Salt: Great product on anything but really tasty on popcorn!

J.Olive Company Oils and Vinegars: Each month, this company features a new combination. One of my favorites is Blood Orange Olive Oil and Cranberry Pear Balsamic. They offer reasonably priced sample packs to try their products.

Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen Stick: A great product to keep in the backpack or purse if you tend to burn. No mess. Great for moms on the go too!

San Pellegrino Limonata Sparkling Beverage: A refreshing tart lemony drink – If you like sour lemon drops like lemon Zotz, you should like this drink. This company also carries a blood orange, grapefruit, and an orange flavor.

iRobot Roomba: Life changing- Enough said.

Book Darts: I learned about this little helper from blogger Modern Mrs. Darcy. A super product for a book lover or anyone who is trying to keep their place but doesn’t want to deal with bookmarks that fall out or bulk up the pages.

Rimmel Airy Fairy Lipstick: Right shade of nude pink plus it’s creamy and cheap!

Check out everybody else’s favorite things at Melissa’s site: 320 Sycamore. You might find your next new favorite thing!

Blessings

Mimi

My Favorite Things 2015

Hey!

One of my favorite link ups and posts to make all year is Melissa’s My Favorite Things. I love to see what others have shared and get some great recommendations for gift items for Christmas.

#1 Morningstar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Burgers

A favorite at our house and so quick to make! These burgers are great smashed up as burritos too.

#2 Roc Deep Wrinkle Serum

This serum has been a wonderful addition to my beauty regimen.

#3 Liverpool Sienna jean leggings

Super comfortable and when worn with a tunic, and not like the pic above, no one knows they’re not real deal jeans.

#4 Polar: A Photicular Book by Dan Kainen, Carol Kaufmann

Two other photicular books are available: Ocean and Safari. I have a sweet little niece who is going to get one of these for Christmas.

And last but not least …

#5 Off the Shelf.com is a great source for finding new books to read.

My Favorite Things from past years:

  1. 2014

  2. 2013

  3. 2012

Check out other bloggers favorites @320sycamorebog.com!

Blessings,

Mimi

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts …” Colossians 3:15 NIV Bible

A Few Things Learned in 2014

Hey!

To handle the stress of a close New Year’s Day bowl game, I started compiling this list together.  Unfortunately, my team lost but oh, it was so close!  Here’s a few things I learned in 2014.

things learned in 2014 banner

1.  The word, dilemma, does not contain an “n”.  I’m gobsmacked.  I could’ve sworn an “n” lurked inside the spelling of the word.  Since I’ve always been proficient at spelling and an English major ( and perhaps want to live in denial of misspelling this word for years!), my only recourse is to assume that I was taught incorrectly and apparently, others were too. This post summed up the confusion over the spelling error.

2.  This simple DIY post was a life changer over the Christmas holidays and created order to my messy wrapping paper rolls.  Who knew a simple toliet paper roll or a paper towel roll when sliced down the side could act as a clamp securing the paper?!  Genius!  Check it out here.

3. I learned that conscious uncoupling is a fancy way of saying divorce.  Does that mean I’ve consciously coupled for thirty years??  Sounds like racy plumbing talk.

4. I took a risk and shared photos free of charge to a local magazine that promised to give me photo credit and they honored their deal in their magazine.  The FB page doesn’t show the credit so I chalked it up to learning a lesson not to share but the magazine does give credit.  All in all, lesson learned is people are unable to please you to your expectations.

5. Writing is painful, consuming, and thoroughly fun all at the same time. I struggle with finding enough time to do it and have totally blown my deadlines I set but I’m still having fun.  I’m hopeful to complete the draft of the bible study this winter.

6. Don’t go to the pound if you don’t want a dog.  Case in point post here.

7. Cohabitating with your adult children, who have moved back in with you, can provide tasty perks.  My daughter has taken over cooking on numerous occasions and blogged about her adventures on my site.

I’m joining Emily and others talking about what we’ve learned at her lovely site, Chatting at the Sky.  Come join in!

Blessings,

Mimi

“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,”  Proverbs 1:5 ESV Bible

My Favorite Things 2014

Hey!

I love this link up every year.  I like the fact that its regular people recommending the products, so they’re tried and tested and I like that it happens right before Christmas. Usually, someone recommends a favorite of theirs that finishes off my Christmas list.  Thanks Melissa @320 Sycamore for hosting!

My Favorites for 2014

1. Blue Dog Bakery Dog Biscuits

Delta loves her all natural, healthy dog biscuits.  They’re available at big box stores, grocery stores, and Amazon.

2. Boots & Barkley Mylar Cat Toys

Our cats love these crinkly mylar cat toys from Boots & Barkley.  I buy them at Target.

3. The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka

https://i0.wp.com/img1.imagesbn.com/p/9780385345620_p0_v6_s114x166.JPG

My daughter has been cooking for us out of this cookbook.  Every recipe has been wonderful.  Here’s one of my favorites that she made and blogged about on this site.

4. Quinn Microwave Popcorn

We are a family that consumes popcorn and we’re picky about our popcorn.  We prefer using a regular popcorn popper, but we found these microwave flavored corns and they’re delicious.  We really like the Hickory Smoked Cheddar.  A nice change every now and then from regular popcorn.

5. Starbucks Hot Cocoa Salted Caramel

When I can’t get it because they’ve run out of salt, these packets are the next best thing.  A really convenient, tasty hot chocolate.

6. Lemon Squeezer

Lemon Squeezer

One of the best kitchen tools I’ve bought this year.  I like that its sturdy and not made of plastic.  I have arthritis in my hands and this squeezer is so much easier than a glass reamer. I bought mine at HomeGoods but it looks just like this one.

7. Fish Spatula

Another changed my life kitchen tools for the year.  A friend of mine recommended it and I use it more than any other spatula for cooking.  The metal is very thin and flexible so turning anything is so easy.

8. Noonday Collection Multi Beaded Wrap Bracelet

I love the mission of this company and I’ve really loved my bracelet.  The artisan quality is very good.  I actually have one with mostly gray colored beads.  This one was as close as I could get to mine.

9. MacBook Air

I love, love, love my MacBook Air.

10. Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Cracked Heel Treatment

Best foot cream I’ve tried so that I can have pretty feet.

If you had fun reading my list of favorite things, you might check out the others linked up at 320 Sycamore.

Blessings,

Mimi

“A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great.”  Proverbs 18:16 NIV Bible

My Favorite Things Revisited

Good Morning! 

Today’s post is a revisit of My Favorite Things from last year. Coming up on Thursday, I’ll be posting My Favorite Things 2014.  

Mimi

Hey!

Today, I’m joining in with other bloggers for Melissa’s annual Favorite Things Link up Party  @ 320 Sycamore.  This party that she hosts is one of my favorites that I look forward to every year.  This year, I’m sharing some products that are favorites I discovered this year and some that I’ve enjoyed for many years.

1. Pacific Organic Soup: This soup line is delicious.  I just discovered it.  I haven’t tried all of them but the butternut squash and the tomato are yummy.

Organic Creamy Butternut Squash

2. Bookmarks magazine is a wonderful way to find new books and read reviews.  I particularly like the “Have You Read” section where readers send in their lists.

Bookmarks Magazine

3. Musee Bath Balls:  They’re made local and are all natural ingredients.  I particularly love “Man of Constant Sorrow”.  I have arthritis and it’s great for sore muscles and joints.

4. Paddywax Library Candles: This line carries candles named after several famous authors each with their own unique scent.  I like the tobacco flower and vanilla mix found in the Mark Twain candle.  The scent smells like what I would expect his library to smell like.

5. Wet N Wild  Fergie Nail Polish in Going Platinum: All bright and shiny and perfect for the holidays {and later}.

Wet n Wild Fergie Nail Color Going Platinum6. The Good Home Co. Beach Days Hand Soap smells wonderful –just like the beach. A little pricey but on cold winter days –lifts your spirits of warmer days to come.

7. A Lighted Seam Ripper with a magnifier is an awesome thing when you make the number of mistakes I do sewing and have difficulty seeing those tiny stitches clearly.

Mighty Bright - LED Lighted Seam Ripper with Magnifier8. Yoga Mat Sanuk Flip Flops: The bed of the flip flop is made from yoga mats so they’re super cushy.

Yoga Mat9. Popcorn Indiana’s Black and White Kettlecorn: I hesitate to suggest this popcorn treat.  You’ll love it and it’s not calorie free.  I buy mine at Sam’s but I’ve seen it at other locations even Dollar Tree.

Popcorn, Indiana Drizzled Black & White Kettlecorn10. Solar Shield Sunglasses: These glasses wrap around your regular glasses without being wobbly.

What are some of your favorite products?

Click on the favorite things image and you can visit Melissa’s site and the others who are participating.

favorite things 2013Blessings,

Mimi

“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”  Psalm 103:1,5  NIV Bible

 

Autumn Apple Goodness

Hello!

It’s Catie!

Yesterday,to celebrate Veteran’s Day, my family and I decided to go All-American with our dinner. We had hamburgers with chips and dip (though hamburgers are not original to America, they are a staple!) It was all very yummy and Daddy grilled — Bonus! My role did not come in until dessert! (It’s the best part of the meal anyway!)

Keeping with the All-American theme, I was looking for something warm and filled with the flavors of Fall since the temperature outside started dropping. Thus, I turned to the humble apple crumble.

Turning to my favorite go-to cookbook, SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka, I found the perfect recipe. This dessert turned out to be delicious and healthy!

apple pie

One hour later, we were all sitting around the TV watching Agents of Shield enjoying our warm bowls of autumn apple goodness!

Until next time,

Catie

A Nibble or A Choke

Hello!

It’s Catie (I know…I’m still here….but no worries, my Mom will be back soon!)

So recently, I heard this quote and immediately felt that it resonated with my most recent cooking endeavors.

“Someone once told me not to bite off more than I could chew. To which I replied, I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.”–unknown

I’ve already mentioned that I have a flair for the dramatic. (Yes…you should feel for my husband and parents.) So, I attempted to make the very ambitious Chicken Marsala recipe from the cookbook, SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka.

IMG_1952In my defense, I had very noble intentions for being so ambitious. You see, Chicken Marsala is one of my mother’s favorite dishes and as you’ll see, she’s SuperMom–What can I say? I live to please.

For any of you who do not know, Chicken Marsala is an Italian dish that involves a breaded and fried chicken that is covered in a creamy Marsala wine and mushroom sauce. Yum!

Actually, the whole endeavor started off rocky. First, I had never tenderized chicken before nor witnessed chicken tenderized in my life. So I was completely unprepared when I got out the breasts, cut them, and proceeded to attempt to wrap them in plastic wrap. However, all I succeeded in creating was a Salmonella ridden wadded mess. I recovered though with the thoughtful guidance of SuperMom.

Next, came the actual hammering of the chicken or “tendering” of it. Apparently, I’m something of a wuss. According to some, I was using about as much force to pound the chicken breasts as I would’ve used to bat my eyelashes–you could say, I was getting nowhere. All was saved though (again), when SuperMom came in to show me how it’s done, and let’s just say she’s no wuss….<>.

Then, I began the actual cooking and frying up of the chicken breasts which was no sweat because I am Mississippi born and raised after all.  I could probably fry just about anything up in my sleep. It’s in my blood. However, the tricky part came after the frying.  I’m using an iron skillet, ( is there really anything better??), but what I didn’t account for was the fact that an iron skillet takes a little longer to cool back down than other skillets. So, when I started making the marsala sauce, I ended up, not with golden and tender shallots and garlic, but burnt unrecognizable pieces of what use to be shallots and garlic glued to the bottom. Cue SuperMom back with her magical powers to fix it!

She cooled and cleaned down the skillet in enough time for me to re-chop the garlic and shallots. (Bet you wish you had a SuperMom!) In the end, despite the fact that apparently I had bought imitation Marsala wine instead of the real stuff, and used beef broth instead of chicken broth (what? I’m learning…) it ended up pretty good (or so SuperMom said…she could be biased though).

We paired it up with baked sweet potatoes (which I forgot to spear before putting in the oven –almost had some ‘splodin spuds…whoops!) and collard greens. Delizioso! (Delicious! For those of you who don’t speak I-talian)

Until next time,

Catie