Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Favorites

Well it is that time of the week again.  These are a few more of my favorite things.

Since Friday's in our house have become homemade pizza night, I couldn't have mine the way I want it without the first Friday Favorite this week and that is my Big Green Egg.  I know just an expensive grill, you say?  Not really, nothing cooks like a Big Green Egg.  It just does it all better.

Big Green Egg!!!

My next Friday Favorite (sticking with the kitchen theme) is my Keurig!!!  I love it!!!

Used daily....perfect cup of coffee every time without waste!!
 Keurig Signature Brewer with My K-Cup and 36 K-Cups - Father's (Google Affiliate Ad)

That leads me to a tool that always makes an afternoon/evening drink better and that is my lime squeezer.  As you may or may not know, I am a Diet Coke with a Lime kind of drinker.  And that many times means a fresh squeezed Lime in my Diet Coke!  Yummy.  My favorite tool is from William Sonoma and works great every time!!!

William Sonoma Lime Juicer

My last Friday Favorite from my Kitchen this week would probably have to be another tool and it is our Alaskan made Ulu.  It's a great chopper for all fine chopping, especially when cutting herbs for recipes.  

Alaska made Ulu

Well that is all for this Friday.  Again I wish everyone a great weekend.  I hope yours is filled with lots of Family, Friends and FUN!!!  Enjoy!!!

Homemade Honey Mustard

Honey mustard is a staple in our house.  Everyone likes it, but I have one son that absolutely LOVES it.  We are always trying to find the best tasting honey mustard available.  So we have begun experimenting with making our own.  Here is the best we have made so far.


  • 3/4 cup of Real Mayo 
  • 2 tbsp of yellow mustard
  • 3 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Chill & serve!  

So you can't beat easy for this one.  It is creamy, sweet and yummy!!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guest Room ready for company

For anyone wondering, my guest room is officially ready.  Our first company arrives tomorrow, and I am so excited.  Here is a peek at the updated bedding and room!

We stuck with the Lime Green that Cami has had, and added a splash of color to it. 

The blanket at the foot is a great Navy Blue and came home from Afghanistan with Dave.  (Nice and warm blanket for my FL friends and family!!!)

Here is a close up of the print.  I loved the splashes of color it gives to the lime green & navy blue!

The only thing missing for this room is the new headboard that I am making myself.  It should be finished in a week or so....I'll post updated photos when we get it in the room!!!

So who is ready to visit?  Fall colors are starting to show, hurry up and book your trip now!  :O)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New house photos

So as of today we have been here in the house for 6 weeks....boy time flies when you are unpacking boxes and setting up a house!!!  As we begin to really get settled the weather is slowly starting to change for us to the fall.  So I have also added a few outside the house photos to show the color that is yet to come!!!  :O)  Here are some of my latest photos of the house inside and out.  Just a few views of how we are settling in.

Here is the house, taken today... love the beautiful blue sky today!!!

This is our back yard view of the trees.  Fall colors are going to start pushing through all that green!!!  I can't wait to see it.

Looking into the woods behind our house.

View from our driveway, looking at the cul-de-sac.

A male turkey that was just hanging out in the yard.

Hanging pictures in the house has been my mission this last week.  

Trying hard to put our touch on the house!

One of my favorite views, in the house.  This is my kitchen window that overlooks the backyard.   Doing dishes with a view! :O)

Starting to make our mantle have that Fall feel! 

I love the amount of windows in this house!!!

This is a little cluttered, but I had to add it for my is a lot of wonderful 159th memories in my home office!  :O)

Here is the sun room....again with a view.
Of course, I snuck in a little of my Mickey into the kitchen as usual. 
Our favorite all time grill!!!

Well that is all for now.  Hope you enjoyed!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homemade Applesauce

The fall apples up north are everywhere and priced great, so we have been testing out homemade Applesauce recipes and tweaking just to our liking.  I wanted to share our version we love so far!!!  (I am sure we will continue testing new ways to make this better, so don't be surprised if an update comes out soon!)

My oldest son, Andy, absolutely LOVES applesauce, so the idea of making it homemade was a huge hit for him!!!

Here is what we did.


  • About 3lbs of apples.  (Our favorite "so far" have been the Gala apples, but we like Macintosh too.  We also added in one or two Granny Smith apples into our Gala recipe to add just a touch of tartness to it.)
  • 3 TBSP of Lemon juice (now all the recipes we tried asked for real lemon or lemon zest....we kept with our own touches and have used both the Real Lemon from the concentrate, and also a squeezed lemon....both worked equally as well!)
  • 1/2 cp of Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp of Cinnamon


  1. Peel and core the apples (Here is our newest secret, we save the apple peelings in a ziplock with another 2 tbsp of Lemon and then the kids eat them as Apple Chips)
  2. Chop apple into small nickel size chunks.  Place into a Crock Pot.
  3. Add Lemon Juice and stir.  (I add lemon juice as I go, so the apples don't turn brown!)
  4. Add 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar and mix well
  5. Turn on Crock pot on low and cook for 6-8 hours.  (The apples need to become applesauce like....and if you find you want your applesauce thinner, place in a bullet or food processor to puree.  We like ours just a little chunky so we keep it as is!)
  6. Add the cinnamon to taste.  Depending on the batch of Apples, I have also added a tbsp of sugar, if needed.  The McIntosh needed it, but the Gala did not.  

A few other helpful hints....we like to cook this all day and then have it become ready around dessert time.  We LOVE to make a crisp to put on top of a little bit of hot apples and serve with ice cream!  Can't beat it to get a dessert out of your applesauce too.  

Crisp Ingredients:
  • 1/2cup of Bisquick
  • 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter softened (not melted)
Stir all the ingredients together until it forms a chunky topping for your apples.  Serve apples, crisp, then ice cream on top!!!  Yummy!!!  Enjoy :O)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Favorites

Once again it is time for my Friday Favorites!!!

This is two of my favorite things...I use it daily and it is always with me.  Yes that would be my iPhone 4 (until I upgrade to a 5!!!) and my PINK Otterbox case.  I really don't think I could own a phone without any issues as long as I have without the Otterbox.  I truly swear by this case!!!

Keeping with the trend of today's release of the new iPhone5, which I plan to get are a few of my VERY favorite, use everyday, must have apps!!!

The Daily is the news magazine that I read EVERY single day.  I'm addicted to it, like my Mom was always addicted to reading the daily newspaper.  It has all the latest in world wide news, entertainment, financial, technology, and sports.  There is a cost involved with this...$39 a year, but if you figure what a newspaper subscription costs, it's comparable!  If I had to find a negative in it, I would have to tell you that the Sports section could be so much more.  They are working on it.  I think it would be amazing if they did a Wednesday Fantasy Football feature, but I guess I am just a sports freak (girl at that, haha)....and I have to go to ESPN for that!!!  

Weather Bug is my next VERY favorite, most used app.  I definitely love to know what the weather is daily.  I grew up in FL where the weather changes and can change pretty quickly to really bad storms.  I love Weather Bug's map, it seems to be the best of all the weather apps (and I do believe I have tried them all.)  I also like it for the severe weather threats.  Came in handy while living in KY/TN for a few years.  You never knew when the next Tornado might be in the area!  (Oh wait, with Weather Bug I did!!!)

Zillow is a real estate app that I have been addicted to for the last 6-7 months.  We began house hunting in CT back in Feb, and Zillow was how we found our current house.  Being a military family and constantly moving, this site was a huge help with it's notifications in a particular search area, when something became available.  I know I will use it again, whether it is to buy or to rent it is definitely the best app of it's kind.  We found our current rental home on it ourselves and called our real estate agent to check it out for us.  She did and the rest is history.  Now that we are all moved in, I haven't yet given up my addiction to my notifications on Zillow, I still look almost weekly at what's new for sale and rent in our area.  Just curious, I guess!!!

Key Ring has been an app that allowed both my wallet of cards and my key ring of all those silly store cards to go away.  You can take any store shopper card, and take a picture of the bar code, it then will recognize and save your barcode.  It then within on app stores all of your frequent shopper cards for you.  It means that on my one device (my iPhone), I can now carry all those cards without really carrying anything but my phone.  AND it will also notify me of a store coupon for that store, or allow me to access the weekly store circular for like Stop & Shop, and etc.  Now as much as I LOVE this app and plan to continue to use it, I do foresee Apple getting smarter and maybe Apple's new Passbook, might replace this for me.  Currently it hasn't as it stands, but maybe Apple will improve on it and I will then switchover.  

Now with that said, I do have MANY other favorite apps.  Of course Facebook, and who doesn't LOVE the new IOS6 update where photos can upload directly to Facebook without opening the app, by just sending from my Photos.  I also use my bank's app a few times a week and they do a great job with their app too.  When we travel I have a few other apps that I use, like JetBlue, Delta, Southwestern, Kayak, Where, and more.  But they are NOT ones that I use daily.  Lastly, I also play a game or two when I have to wait somewhere some Spider, Draw it, Scramble, but my all time NEW favorite is....

Fairway Solitaire.  I actually play it on my iPad....but it is my most addicting Solitaire game I have played yet.  I am not one to buy games when they have a free version.  I played this Free one for about 4 weeks, before I gave up and just paid the $2.99 for the entire game, because I was SO hooked.  With that said, definitely don't have to buy it, the free version gives you new courses every day to try!  It is great!!!

Well that wraps up my Friday Favorites....I hope all my friends who are playing with their new iPhone5's LOVE it today!!! 

Enjoy :O)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My favorite French Toast

This recipe is our favorite Sunday morning French Toast.  It is great when served with powdered sugar and whip cream too.

French Toast (I believe we originally found this on, but have since modified the recipe to our liking!)


  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla (we use the clear vanilla, but either will work)
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 6-8 slices of thick bread (this has been hard for us to find, so we have been known to buy a whole uncut loaf from bakery or Panera the day before and cut ourselves to the size we like!
  • 3-4 tbsp of butter

Serve with:
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Whip Cream
  • Syrup
  • Butter

  1. Mix together eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt & cinnamon.
  2. Heat large skillet or griddle on med to low heat
  3. When the skillet is hot, add 1 tbsp of butter.
  4. If the butter smokes, pan is too hot, turn down the heat
  5. Dip each slice into the batter for about 30 secs on each side
  6. Let some of the batter drip off, then place on skillet.
  7. Cook each slice 1 1/2 to 2 minutes each side.  Until it is golden brown.
  8. As you cook, you will need to add more butter to keep skillet from sticking with bread!
  9. To serve, butter & dust with powdered sugar.  Serve with hot syrup or whip cream.  
It's a filling breakfast, makes for a great Sunday morning to hold them off until later afternoon football until lunch!!!  Enjoy!!!  :O)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Basketball at home...hoops we jumped through to make it right for the boys!

Well as parents, we go through many great lengths sometimes for our kids.  I found this to be not only worth it, but very entertaining for the entire family, so I thought I would share.

When we moved into our new house a few weeks ago and the household goods arrived, both of my boys were very excited to see their basketball hoop show up in good condition.  They both love to go outside and just shoot hoops.  Well the first hurdle we had to jump over was placement of the hoop, because although we have a large driveway it is full of hills, slopes and places to lose the basketball itself.  The most logical placement would be at the end of the drive, which the drive itself is nice and flat there and smooth, but just beyond that is a steep hill into the back yard that will lead into the woods.  Not great for our oldest Andy, who is legally blind.

So we decided best placement is near the garage so that if he shoots and misses it wouldn't go far.  Well that meant it would sit at an angle, which bothered Alex (my very black and white son, who says "it just isn't right for the hoop to not be straight.)  So he always wanted now to walk about a 1/2 mile up the street to a park to shoot instead of playing at home.  I don't mind that he does that, but it didn't make sense to me that we wouldn't use what we have right here.  So I began going to the park with him to see what he was liking there.  And we began playing a lot of family Around the World.  Alex just loves to shoot and loves to try and try again from one place until he gets it mastered.

So I thought we can do this at home, it may not be permanent, but at least it will work between rain showers.  (which haven't been all that much up here in CT)  I found online the measurements of a regulation basketball court.

And with a tape measure, a strait line chalk line, and some sidewalk chalk we went to work.

We chalked the measurements of the inside rectangle of the court and then marked all the spots where we would shoot from for the "Around the World" game.

Then we enjoyed a family game of around the world.  Now everyone wants to play at home every day.  Amazing what a few simple additions did for the boys.  They love to play each other and Mom and Dad when they can get us out there.  And great exercise for me.  Believe it or not, I am getting pretty good and can give Alex (my little athletic, competitive one) a run for his money!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Friends...I miss my chicks

As I get settled into our new home in Connecticut, I find that the only thing I really miss is the friendships, battle buddies and close neighbors that I had for the last 8 years at Fort Campbell.  As I sit today on this rainy Tuesday morning and think about it, I probably sat somewhere similar 8 years ago pondering the same thing, as back then I had just left an amazing group of friends from Hawaii to move to Campbell.  In Hawaii we were a very close group and did many things together and although Dave and I were only in Hawaii for 2 years it seemed we knew those folks for years.  As still today, I've kept up with SO many of them, it is amazing (thanks to social media!).

So pondering all this makes me realize that a chapter in my life has just turned a page and it is now time to begin the next chapter.  As in all books, some chapters begin faster than others, and some chapters take time to develop.  I plan on giving this chapter all my attention and know that God has placed us here for the next few years for a good chapter in our life.  And as I plan to embrace the area and community here, I will never forget the last 8 years (8 chapters or maybe one large chapter) from Fort Campbell.  I made amazing life-long friends who I will never forget and continue to keep up with.  (Just as I have with our friends from Hawaii.)

I challenge everyone today to take a look at your chapters in your life, sometimes they run by years, or sometimes they write themselves in phases of your life, but regardless take a look back and see where God has brought you.  It is very encouraging while looking forward!!!

(The front of a "Chick" card that I sent to a 
very dear friend today, that I do miss a lot!)

I salute all my Fort Campbell friends, whether you are still there or have also moved all are near and dear to my heart.  I thank you all for being there for us and placing such a positive impact on our lives.  At Campbell, I had groups of friends that sometimes crossed into one another, sometimes didn't, but regardless they all meant a lot to me.  Whether you were a "Chick" friend, a Harper "Valley" village friend, a Cheer friend, a FCHS friend, a FRSA friend, or whether you crossed all of those, you mean a lot to me.  Love you all!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Family Chili recipe

Oh so many good things cooking this week, but I do believe my favorite has to be the homemade chili. It is SO good and yummy on a brisk fall day.



  • 1lb of Hamburger meat
  • 2 cans of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • Chili seasoning mix of your choice OR 3 tbsp of Chili Powder
  • 4 cans of dark red kidney beans (my favorite by far!!!)
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar


  1. Brown the hamburger meat in a skillet, my preference is a cast iron seasoned well.
  2. Once cooked completely, drain and place back in skillet.
  3. Add Chili seasoning or Chili Powder  (Optional, a little garlic salt or your favorite seasoning can be added at this point too.
  4. Then add the 2 (8oz) cans of Tomato Sauce (I really like to use just 12 ozs....but if you use all 16oz's it doesn't change much except thickness of chili.
  5. Add the 1/4 cup of sugar and mix all of this together in skillet....over a medium to low heat.
  6. While that is simmering enough to get hot, I add my 4 cans of dark red kidney beans to my slow cooker (without draining them) and add the brown sugar to it.  Go ahead and start it on low.
  7. Once the skillet all mixes well and gets hot, I then add it to my slow cooker and stir it together well.  
  8. Cook on low for about 3-4 hours....can cook as long as you like on low, but keep stirring and making sure sides don't burn.  I usually turn mine to warm around the 4-5 hour mark if I am having a party where I want and need to keep it warm.  

I love to serve my chili with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, scallions, and sour cream.  So good and hearty for the fall and winter months.  This chili is a little sweeter than most chili's, but it is a great combination of spicy and sweet.  Give it a try!

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Favorites


Here are a few things that are my favorites:

My Family is definitely my favorite thing in the world.  Love these guys with all my heart!!!

Yes I am a serious Diet Coke with Lime fan....I really LOVE any diet with Lime, but I believe this is my favorite.  Almost as much as I loved my Cruise bartender and how he put a half of a fresh lime squeezed into my diet Coke every time!!!  Yummy!!!

Yes I am in love with my label maker.  I love to be organized (even though I am NOT always) and this little tool makes it so much easier and quicker to be!!!  Great bang for it's buck!!!

Oh yes I am a serious Florida Gator fan.  It will be a fun (hopefully not stressful) Saturday night of football as my Gators play the Tennessee Volunteers.  At least up here in New England, I am not having to deal with the taunting of those Tennessee fans anymore.  Fort Campbell was always a good place for fun football rivalries.

Oh yes, my last Friday Favorite speaks for itself.  Either you already watch it and love the humor or you don't.  But for me it is a favorite that I love to watch at anytime!!!

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend.  I plan to fill my with Family and Favorite way to spend my weekends!!!