21 January 2018


Day 12: Lady and the Tramp

Now, I love this movie.. but my absolute favorite quote or scene from this movie are the Siamese cats!! They are just so devious!!!!



20 January 2018


Day 11: Jungle Book



19 January 2018


Day 10:Hercules



18 January 2018


Day 9: Frozen

I know the most famous quote from this movie is really played out, plus I don't like it so much anyway!!



17 January 2018


Day 8: Dumbo




16 January 2018


Day 7: Cinderella




15 January 2018


Day 6: Brother Bear...



14 January 2018


Day 5 already!! Beauty and the Beast is up!!

There are so many quotes from this movie, I couldn't pick just one, so here are my top 3.





What are your favorite Beauty and the Beast quotes??

13 January 2018


So as everyone can see I am doing the 101 in 1001 Days, basically you make a list of 101 things and you have 1001 days to complete them. I started my new list on December 27. 2017. So far there are a few in progress and I hope to finish most of the list this time around.

 I have 93 on my list so I just need 8 more and the list is complete. I have a few that I have been working on and I know they are going to take some time, but I had to get started on this one because I really want to improve my photography skills. My digital camera is on the fritz, and I am waiting on my new one, but for now I am going to be taking my photos with my cellphone, so hopefully they aren't to bad!!

Here is the list, I won't be going in complete order, but I won't move onto the next list of 100 until I finish this one!


We've created a list of 100 words.
You're to interpret them any way you like,
And take a photo to represent each.

1. Safety
2. Stale
3. Feathered
4. Hot
5. Open
6. Forever
7. Love
8. Touch
9. Colorless
10. Blue
11. Smell
12. Growth
13. Irony
14. Wrong
15. More
16. Feel
17. Muse
18. Child
19. Within
20. Pale
21. Earth
22. Torn
23. Scars
24. Stray
25. Drops
26. Against
27. Dry
28. Fresh
29. Covered
30. Bold
31. High
32. Shadow
33. Concrete
34. Vein
35. Rush
36. Yellow
37. Empty
38. Cliché
39. Central
40. Loss
41. Wonder
42. Sweet
43. Poetry
44. Heavy
45. Fall
46. Chair
47. Statue
48. Kool-Aid
49. Dark
50. Breath
51. Garbage
52. Silk
53. Teacher
54. Cream
55. Wash
56. Corner
57. Rose
58. Field
59. Two
60. Red
61. Music
62. Rope
63. Decrepit
64. Chase
65. Dream
66. Dance
67. Smile
68. Smirk
69. Reflection
70. Soul
71. Lock
72. Key
73. Rust
74. Find
75. Lose
76. Drag
77. Wind
78. Rest
79. Swing
80. Meeting
81. Vacant
82. Hazy
83. Release
84. Gather
85. Swarm
86. Road
87. Wait
88. Stand
89. Distance
90. Trapped
91. Desk
92. Detach
93. Shatter
94. Home
95. Shy
96. Tackle
97. Begin
98. End
99. Time
100. Life 

Day 4: Bambi

I remember when I first watched this as a kid. I cried for  2 days!! Even as an adult I cry whenever I watch it.



12 January 2018


Day 3: Aristocats.
I really miss old Disney movies!! 



11 January 2018


Here we are on Day 2, Alice In Wonderland

I like a lot of the quotes from this movie. But my all time favorite is:

You used to be much more... "Muchier." You've lost your muchness.

Do you have a favorite Alice in Wonderland quote? If so feel free to share it in the comments!

10 January 2018


Welcome everyone!! Hope your Christmas and New Year was a great one! We are in the process of trying to find a new house as the one we are in is being sold :( But I am keeping my head up and ready for this new adventure!

I have searched all over pinterest, tumblr, and instagram for the original post for this challenge, but have been unsuccessful. So, I am going to post one quote from each movie listed for 31 days. Of course the quote will be my favorite one and hopefully you all join in!

So for Day 1 it's Aladdin!!

There are so many great quotes, but my favorite is:

Sometimes we only see how people are different from us. But if you look hard enough, you can see how much we're all alike.

Found this cute graphic with the quote on it on pinterest!

Do you have a favorite Aladdin quote? If so feel free to share it in the comments!



27 December 2017

Long time no see everyone! I've been a lot MIA this last year. There were some major health issues involved and a LOT of working!! All is better now health wise and I am finally in the position I want at work, so things are easing up for me there.

 I have not been reading books with the intent to review them, nor have I been actively seeking products to review in a little over 2 years, so I have come to the conclusion that the focus of the blog needs to shift. I love the blog and sharing things with all of you, but it honestly became a chore to get on the computer every single day to write up a review or hunt down a new product and go through that process with the company. I may still do a "sponsored" review from time to time, and of course if I end up buying a product that I absolutely love I will share it with you all.

 But the blog will focus more on everyday things now, I am part of the Day Zero Project and plan to continue posting my goals here on the blog. I am also going to try my hand at printables for everyday life; yes I know there are a ton out there already, but nothing that fits my style, so I will make what I need and share with everyone.

 Don't be surprised if over the next week or so you notice posts start to disappear and the blog looking different. I am just going to be doing some routine maintenance and general clean up.


 For those of you that have stuck around, thank you!! And I hope to see you all in the new year!!

13 November 2016


Dear Ex,
 Thank you for leaving me! I never thought I could do this all on my own, but you leaving ha shown me that no matter what I have control of this. I hate that our daughter is suffering because of you, but I will continue to be there for her and try to get you to see what an amazing young adult she is growing up to be. 
I pray that you eventually find happiness and that our daughter can eventually be a part of your life without me "forcing" the issue. 
 Also, thank you for not helping us in any way, I never knew just how great it would be to know that I have supplied everything that the kids would ever need and want. Watching them grow up and become these amazing children has been a blessing, and I really can't thank you enough.

Melissa

12 November 2016


Dear Stranger,

I have no clue as to the struggles or triumphs you face everyday, keep your head up! Things are always changing and while today may not be the greatest day for you, it can only get better from here!

Melissa

11 November 2016

Dear Dreams for the future,
I am slowly working on accomplishing everything we have planned! I thought where we were was a great place at first, but I am glad that we have moved on from there! I can see us really getting things done now, and I can't wait to see where we end up!

Dear night Dreams,
While I appreciate that my sleeping hours are not blank and boring, please stop bringing all of my past relationships into them! I don't know if I can stand another dream starring an ex I will always be better off without!

Melissa

10 November 2016


Dear Brothers,

I can't understand the way you treat mom, She has always been there for both of you no matter what, yet you continue to put yourself and everyone else above her. unless of course YOU need something. 
How many times has she cried over you? Worried about how you were doing? Or gone out of her way to make sure YOU had something you wanted while she went without? Of course you don't know, but I do! 
I wish that you both would see how the tings you do or don't do as the case may be affect her. Her love for you both is unconditional and I now that even after everything she will continue to be there for you. even if you wouldn't be there for her.
I hope one day you both realize just how amazing she really is.

Melissa

09 November 2016


Dear Mom,

Thank you for never giving up on me! I know we have had our ups and downs, but your love has truly been unconditional. 
 I am honored to call you mom and I know my kids are proud to call you grandma. We may have been farther apart at times than either of us liked, but we have always found our way back to each other. I don't know what I would ever do without you, you have been my rock these last few years and I know we can get through anything as long as we have each other. 
Thank you for showing me the love that HE couldn't be bothered to show. Thank you for going to every school function even when I had a very tiny part. 

Melissa

Dear Sperm-Donor (Dad),
Thank you for not being around. It may have taken me a few years to realize that I didn't need you, but once I did; I realized that Mom was there and would never leave. So again, thank you for choosing to be selfish and only caring about yourself, you showed me exactly what not to look for in a man and father for my children.

Melissa

08 November 2016

With this challenge I am hoping to get some things off my chest, even though I know all of these will never be read by the person they are written for.


Dear Crush,
I first noticed you in middle school, and we were almost inseparable until I moved. I loved hanging out doing absolutely nothing with you. Sitting in your grandmother's yard with you was the highlight of many summer nights back in the day. I know we don't see each other as much as we used to, but I still have this schoolgirl crush. 
 I see you out with your girls and I am so proud of the father you have become. You went through so much just to be where you are today and I can't help but smile and know that I had some small part in helping you realize your goals. 
Thank you for never taking our friendship further even though you knew I had my "small" crush back then, and thank you for being such a great friend all these years. I can't wait to see you next week when we take all the kids to the park.

Melissa


07 November 2016

Saw this on pinterest, figured I would try it out! 


Dear Best Friend,
I'm sorry that we don't talk anywhere near as much as we used to. I want to thank you for being there for me through everything. I know I leaned on you more than I should have through a lot of things, and I want you to know that I wouldn't have ever made it to where I am now if it wasn't for your unwavering support and encouragement. 
I love you to the end of the earth and back, and I will always be there for you; even if we don't talk every day like we used to just know that I always think about you and wonder how you are.
I know things are rough for you right now, and that nothing seems to be going the way you want it to. but you are a strong individual and I have every faith that you will come through this just like I have. 
I miss my Pacey!

Melissa

06 November 2016

I don't know about you, but I get tired of tying not only my shoes but the kids' as well! I've seen these no tie laces online and maybe once on TV.




Turn any pair of shoes into custom-fitted slip-ons with HICKIES lacing system. Perfect gift for any age from kids to adults. 

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15 July 2016

The Many Health Benefits Of Going For A Walk 



There are a lot of good reasons to go for a walk. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and most important it’s good for your health. But what exactly are the health benefits of walking? I hope this article convinces you that heading out for a walk each day is a great idea and that it motivates you to stick to your walking schedule until you start to see results.

Walking Gets You Outside In The Fresh Air and Sunshine 

No matter how fast or slow you walk, walking gets you outside and in the fresh air. This alone will make you feel better as your body absorbs the oxygen and sunshine. Both are important for your health and well-being.

You will find the air quality outside, particularly if you go for a walk on the beach or in a park, will be much better than the air inside your house. Of course, the sunshine outside will help your body product all the Vitamin D it needs.

Walking Can Help You Get To And Maintain A Healthy Weight 

Walking particularly at a quick pace and doing it regularly can help you get to and then maintain a healthy weight. Yes, you still need to watch what you eat and aim for a healthy diet, but walking can be another tool to help you drop those extra pounds.

The nice thing about walking when you’re overweight is that you burn a lot of calories, even on short and slow walks, simply because you’re carrying so much weight around with you. As you start to lose the weight, your overall strength and endurance increases, allowing you to walk longer, further, and faster.

Walking Improves Your Sense Of Balance And Coordination 

As you walk, particularly when walking over rougher terrain, you’re also working on your sense of balance and coordination. Just getting in the habit of going for a daily walk will help. But you can work even more on your sense of balance by moving your head around. Turn your head to the right and left as you walk for a count of 30. Then move your head up and down for a count of 30. If you do these simple exercises once or twice as you walk each day you'll get even more benefit.

Walking Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles

Even though walking is a low impact form of exercise it helps to strengthen and tone your body. If you’re just starting out, it is all you need to start to get into better shape. As you get more fit, consider adding weight lifting exercises in addition to your daily walks to continue to get stronger and help develop strong muscles and bones.

Walking Will Boost Your Mood and Fight Depression 

Last but not least, the exercise of walking releases endorphins that will help lift your mood and can even reduce depression. Give it a try. The next time you’re feeling tired or are in a bad mood, lace up your sneakers and go for a brisk walk. It works like a charm.

14 July 2016

How To Get In The Habit Of Walking More 



We were designed to walk for miles and miles to hunt and gather our food. Yet, in modern society, we spend most of our time sitting down.  That is not good for our bodies leading to a host of health problems. This is probably one of the most important reasons to make an effort to move around and go for a walk each day. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Most of us sit for our work, we eat sitting down, and to be honest all we want to do when we come home from work is plop down on the couch for a Netflix marathon until bedtime.

In other words, getting and staying in the habit of going for a walk each day can be a bit of a challenge. But that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to get in the habit of going for that walk just like we’re in the habit of brushing our teeth twice a day or taking out the trash on Tuesdays. Once it’s a well ingrained habit, it won’t be as much of a challenge to make sure we go for a walk each day.

A great place to start is to find a walking route you enjoy. It helps to make it as easy as possible. Your favorite walk may offer beautiful vistas, but if it’s a 30 minute drive there and back, you’ll be less likely to do it every single day. Instead, save that walk for the weekends and come up with something convenient and pleasant for your everyday walking routine. If you can, find a route in your own neighborhood so you can leave right from your front door. Just lace up your shoes and start walking.

Taking the same route every day helps form that habit. It’s also encouraging to notice that you can walk the same loop faster or with less effort over time. It proves that you're making a difference and are getting stronger and increasingly fitter.

Listening to your favorite music, podcast or audio books is also helpful. It will make the time go by faster and give you something else to look forward to. You can even use your favorite media as a way to bribe yourself to go for your daily walk. Let’s say you have a couple of podcasts you enjoy. Save them for your walks and only let yourself listen to them while you’re walking. It’s a great incentive to get out there even on days when you’re not feeling it.

Last but not least consider walking with other people. Find a walking group in your area, or talk a friend or neighbor into becoming your walking buddy. Not only is it more fun to walk when you have someone to talk to, it also has some built in accountability. It’s much easier to skip a walking workout when you know that other people are waiting for you and relying on you to join them.

Give these tips a try and see if they help you make walking a daily habit and an integral part of your health, your fitness, and your life.

12 July 2016

Do You Have A Financial Safety Net? (And How To Build One) 



Do you have a financial safety net? It’s something worth thinking about and setting up. What will happen to you and your loved ones if you lose your job for a few months? What if you get into an accident that may prevent you from earning a living? Or what if some unexpected expenses come up. Do you have anything in place to make sure the bills continue to get paid and your family is taken care of?

If not, now is the time to get started. But where do you actually start? Having three to six months’ worth of living expenses tucked away in an interests-bearing account is a good beginning. Figure out what your family needs to comfortably live on if all income stops. Then start saving as much money as you can until you have built up this safety net.

Put the money you usually spend on going out to eat, going to the movies, buying the newest TV and Tech gadget and the likes into your savings account until you’ve saved enough to have a comfortable cushion. Take make this step go even faster, add any bonuses, tax refunds etc. as well.

Don’t just stop there. Make it a goal to add to your safety cushion as you can and come back and revise your numbers from time to time. Your living expenses may go up or down over time and you can adjust how much you need to set aside in quickly accessible money accordingly.

Life and disability insurance are another important part of your financial safety net, as is your retirement money. Do you have a plan in place to continue to cover your living expenses (or those of your family) when you can no longer work? Call up your insurance agent and go over your current coverage. Make sure the insurance you’re paying for will pay out what you need and if not, make adjustments.

Once you have those two parts of your safety net firmly in place, consider investing any additional savings into higher interest bearing accounts. While you may not be able to access any money invested here right away, it will come in handy when you’re dealing with a long term financial emergency or are ready to retire. The plus side is that there are plenty of investment vehicles out there that will get you a much better return than your plain savings account at the bank. Talk to your financial adviser and come up with a plan that’s right for you, your family and whatever the future may hold.

11 July 2016

How To Plan For Unexpected Expenses 



It’s just a matter of time before it happens. The transmission blows on your car right around the time your daughter needs braces and your washing machine decides to call it quits. All of these are unexpected expenses and something we need to deal with throughout life.

Being prepared as much as you can is your best bet when live throws you a financial curve ball.
Do your best to anticipate upcoming expenses. If you’re driving an older car, or your dishwasher has seen its better days, start saving up to replace the item. You may also want to start keeping an eye out for good deals on the replacement.

An even better strategy is to have an emergency savings fund. Set up a savings account and add to it monthly. Use it only for completely unexpected expenses. Make sure you know what’s in the account. And once you have to take money out of it replace it as quickly as possible.

This brings us to a good point. Here’s how to recover quickly after that purchase. Go over your budget (you have one of those, right?) and look if you can temporarily cut back on some things. Stop ordering Pizza every Friday night and make your own at home. Skip a night out on the town and watch a couple of movies on Netflix instead of going to the theater.

Use the money you’re not spending for the next few months to refill your emergency fund. For an extra boost, work a few hours of overtime, do a few freelance projects or temporarily pick up a part time job to get back on track fast.

But what do you do when the expense comes up before you had a chance to set up the emergency fund? Take a deep breath and assess the situation. Can you make do without the item for a little while? Just long enough to scrape together the funds to repair or replace it. If it’s the dishwasher, that’s easy. You can wash dishes by hand for a little while. If it’s the fridge or the car you rely on to get you to work each day, that’s a different story.

If you need the item that broke, evaluate if it would be less expensive to repair than replace. Even if it isn’t the perfect solution, it may get you to work until you can safe up for a different car. Shuffle your money around and if there is no other option charge it to the credit card and get to work. Your one and only goal right now is to pay off that expense. If you stick every penny of discretional income in, it won’t take you long.

One your bills and credit cards are paid off, do what you can to get that emergency fund set up. Because you know something else will break down the road.

10 July 2016

Put Your Savings On Autopilot 




Putting a little money away for a rainy day isn’t always easy. You may have some good intentions, but at the end of the day, there just isn’t any money left. Somehow whatever you make is spend before you make it to the next paycheck.

Start by making a personal budget. Take a look at what you bring in each month. Next, write down your fixed expenses. These are things like rent, car payments, utilities etc. Figure out how much you need each month for groceries and other essentials. This is your bare bones budget. It’s good to know what you need to get by each month.

Next it’s time for a little bit of math. Start with what you bring in each month and subtract all your core expenses. What you’re left with is your discretional income. This will pay for entertainment, clothes, getting your nails done etc. And from here on out, part of that discretional income will go into a savings account.

Pick a number you’re comfortable with. Maybe that’s just $20 per month, maybe it’s $500. Put it in your budget and treat it like any other bill. It won’t take you long to get into the habit of setting aside that money for savings.

To make it even more hands-off, talk to your bank about setting up a separate savings account. Then set up an auto-deposit to have the savings transferred to the new account as soon as your pay check comes in each month. If you don’t see it, you’ll never miss it and your savings will run on autopilot.

Don’t forget to audit your savings from time to time. Take another look at your budget. Can you increase your savings a little more? Another great way to boost that savings account is to take any extra money – thinks like birthday cash, tax return, bonuses etc. – and put them straight into the savings account. Again, you won’t even miss the money, but it will help you build up your savings quickly.

Make sure your savings are sitting in an interest bearing account. Since you won’t be touching this money unless it’s a dire emergency, you should be able to earn at least a little interest. Talk to your banker about your best options and start putting your savings on autopilot.

One last tip: Talk to your employer about matching 401K funds. You may be able to get a contribution from the company you work for towards your retirement savings account.

09 July 2016


Why You Need To Keep A Household Budget 



We work hard to earn a living. We should make sure we spend the money we bring home wisely. That’s where a household budget comes in. It’s a good tool to see at a glance what we have coming in, what’s going out (and what that money is paying for) and if there’s anything left at the end of the month to put into savings.

Before we dive into exactly what a budget can do for us, let’s consider for a minute what will happen if we’re not tracking income and expenses. We may end up spending more than we’re making in a given month (or two, or three). Over time that can put us into some pretty hot water financially. We may also spend a lot more than we’d like to believe on things like eating out, going to the movies or new clothes.

Having a budget gives us more control over where we want to really spend our hard earned cash. Maybe that’s dinner and a movie, but maybe it isn’t. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an actual choice?

It Tracks Where Your Money Is Going 


A budget simply tracks your money. You record where the money comes from each month (your income) and then write out everything you spend it on, starting with your regular monthly bills like mortgage or rent, car payments, utility bills etc. What’s left after all the bills are paid is your discretional income.

Helps You Identify Things You Waste Money On 


Having it all in front of you in black and white helps you identify things you’re wasting your money on.

It makes you reconsider if you really want to spend well over $200 a month on Cable TV or $150 on your large cell phone plan. Or how about that yearly magazine subscription to something you no longer read? Go through your expenses and reevaluate if this is REALLY how you want to spend your pay check.

Allows You To Be Proactive About Savings 


Saving money without a budget is hard. We go in with the best of intentions at the beginning of the month, but somehow there isn’t anything left at the end of the month.

A budget gives you a chance to be a bit more proactive. Set aside some money for savings at the beginning of the month, even if it’s just $20. Put it in the budget as a regular expense, just like you do with your other urgent bills. If you need to, open a separate savings account so you’re not tempted to spend it.

Ensures You’re Not Spending More Than You’re Making 


Most importantly, your budget will keep you on track and help you make sure you’re not spending more than you’re making. And I don’t have to tell you that that’s pretty important for your financial wellbeing.


08 July 2016

A high-quality extra virgin olive oil is a must-have staple in many kitchens, partly because its delicious flavor and versatile nature allow it to be used in countless ways. For starters, extra virgin olive oil is perfect in homemade salad dressings, on roasted vegetables and as a key ingredient in a wide range of recipes.

In addition to tasting great, olive oil is also good for you. Naturally low in saturated fat, it is a healthy alternative to butter, margarine and many other oils. Versatility, great taste and a healthy profile make it easy to see why many cooks and chefs always have a bottle close at hand.

What many people do not realize about olive oil, however, is that it is actually a perishable fruit juice with some finicky preferences. This mean proper care and precautions must be taken in order to keep your olive tasting and smelling the way it should.

07 July 2016

Keep Your Grocery Spending Under Control 



Aside from your mortgage, your biggest monthly expense is likely groceries. And unlike your mortgage, your car payment and most of the rest of your bills you actually have some control over how much you spend at the grocery store. 

Make A Grocery Budget 


Start by tracking how much you’re spending on groceries for a few weeks. From there, come up with a weekly or monthly budget. Allot that money for groceries and whatever you do don’t go over. 

Next, try cutting back your budget by $20 per month. Keep going and see how low you can go. The remaining tips will help you do that without feeling like you’re depriving yourself. 

Keep A Price Book 


Who doesn’t love a bargain or a good deal? They are all over the store, but do you know if what they advertise as a good deal is actually saving you money? 

Keep a little notebook in your purse or keep a text document on your phone with the regular prices of the items you buy most often. Not only can you see if that “deal” really is a deal, you can also determine what kitchen staple is cheapest where and adjust your shopping accordingly. Your price book will also come in handy when you browse through weekly grocery flyers. You can decide if a loss leader deal is worth driving to the store long before you ever set a foot out the door. 

Come Up With A Few Frugal Dishes 


You don’t have to make drastic changes and eat nothing but rice and beans all week. Instead think of a few inexpensive dishes your family enjoys. They may be rice and beans. Or how about a big pot of soup or chili. Often meatless dishes will be your best frugal bet, or use meat in small portions on frugal dish days. 

Enjoying frugal meals even just a handful of days during the month combined with using up any and all leftovers will make a big difference in your grocery budget. 

Cut Out The Extras 


Make a list before you head to the store and stick to it. All those little extras like the fancy bread from the bakery or the candy you grabbed at checkout start to add up. Get in the habit of skipping those extras unless there’s a good reason to buy them. Stick to your list and you’ll cut your grocery bill by quite a bit each week. It’s amazing how all those little extras add up.  

Give these tips a try and see if you don’t start to see big savings on a weekly basis. What you do with all the extra money each month is up to you. Save up for a fun summer vacation, pay off those credit cards or start building your financial safety net. 

Oh-So-Delicious Seven Layer Dip


2 cans refried beans
3 medium avocados, seeds removed and chopped
1.5 cups sour cream mixed with 1 packet taco seasoning mix*
3 bunches chopped green onions, green parts only 
3 medium diced tomatoes, seeds and juicy pulp removed
2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
1 can (8 oz) black olives, drained and sliced

To assemble, add ingredients in distinct layers, starting with the refried beans and continue down the list. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.  

*Instead of using pre-packaged taco seasoning mix, you can also make your own version using the Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix recipe.

06 July 2016

Fresh salads and healthy lifestyles go hand in hand. After all, what could be better for you than a big plate full of leafy greens, fresh vegetables, fiber-rich legumes and lean proteins? Unfortunately, you could end up negating these delicious and healthy choices if you aren’t careful about the type of salad dressing you use.

Taking a quick look at the list of ingredients on your favorite bottle of store-bought dressing can be a real eye opener. In fact, you may be surprised to see a host of ingredients you weren’t expecting, including high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners, trans fats, MSG, and an assortment of artificial colors and preservatives to make it all seem more fresh and natural.

05 July 2016

Easy Basic Pizza Dough

This versatile recipe is great for pizza, pepperoni rolls or bread sticks for dipping. 

Ingredients:
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups very warm water (110˚F)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:
Add warm water, then yeast and brown sugar to large bowl. Let sit for 10 - 12 minutes. 

Add salt and oil to the bowl, then slowly mix in 2 1/2 cups of flour while stirring constantly with a fork. 

Empty dough onto a well-floured surface and knead in more flour until it no longer sticks to your hands. 
Shape dough into a ball and add to a clean bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover bowl with a towel 
and let sit for approximately one hour in a warm place. 

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 425˚.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your first and reshape into a ball. 

After a couple minutes, roll the dough out on a clean, well-floured surface, Place rolled out dough on a pizza pan or 
stone and brush edges with olive oil. 

Top dough with your favorite pizza toppings and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese and crust are a nice
golden brown. 

04 July 2016

Herbs, spices and other seasonings are a natural and healthy way to add a lot of flavor to your recipes without adding a lot of extra calories. With a little practice, you can create an endless variety of delicious recipes, such as Mediterranean-inspired favorites bursting with the fresh flavors of lemon, garlic and rosemary and spicy Mexican dishes featuring cilantro, cumin and chili powder.

03 July 2016

Broiled Angel Food Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries

1 angel food cake, (store bought, from a mix or homemade)
4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1 container blueberries
1 high-quality dark chocolate bar (optional)
Fresh mint sprigs (option)

Cut angel food cake into evenly sized slices. Do not cut into wedges around the center of the cake as they will not brown evenly under the broiler. 

Using a pastry brush, coat both sides of angel food cake slices with melted butter. Place on a metal baking sheet and place under broiler. Toast until golden brown. (Watch carefully because this will occur quickly). Remove from oven and turn slices to toast other side. Remove from oven. 

In a glass mixing bowl, mix heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract with electric mixer. Beat until soft peaks form. 

To serve, top two slices of toasted angel food cake with homemade whipped cream and fresh berries. Top with shaved dark chocolate and/or sprigs of fresh mint, if desired.


02 July 2016

Best Baked Beans

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 pound center-cut thick bacon, cut into 1" pieces

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon brown mustard

15 oz dark kidney beans, drained

15 oz butter beans, drained

30 oz pork and beans, undrained

Preheat oven to 350°

Sauté onion in olive oil over medium high heat until it starts to soften.
Add 1 pound center-cut bacon and cook until crispy. With a vented spoon, remove bacon and onions from pan and place on folded paper towels. Blot with extra paper towels to remove as excess fat.

Add ketchup, sugar, brown sugar, white vinegar and mustard to a large oven-proof dish. Add drained kidney and butter beans along with undrained pork and beans.

Add bacon and onions to bean mixture. Stir well to combine.

Bake uncovered at 350° for 45 minutes.

01 July 2016


I'm in a group that does "Electronic" swaps. This month I joined in my first group swap which was to send 1 or more of my favorite found photos for the month of June. I have had the following three photos as my desktop background for a few weeks now, and I knew they had to be included in this swap.

First photo is from HERE, 2nd HERE, and 3rd HERE

I have a fascination with seemingly abandoned "trails". I normally have at least one found photo on my desktop each month. This one called to me one night while surfing on tumblr.


I love all things pink! And I love the older bicycle styles, so when I stumbled upon this on flickr I knew it needed to be on the desktop also!


When I do my desktop collages I try to always find a photo that screams out the season to me. And with it being full on summer here in KY, and missing the beaches of FL, this one brought back some great memories of the ocean.

I hope you enjoyed my favorite photos of the month for June!


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