Wednesday, November 30, 2011

a recipe - sweet potato casserole

this is one of my favorite holiday dishes of all time! say goodbye to the yams with marshmellows on top.

you can see some of my other favorite recipes here.


i couldnt find a fitting post title.

it was a bittersweet holiday.
you will be missed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

cheers giveaway - 100 followers!

thanks to kassi at truly lovely for selling the awesome scentsy circles 
 to kerri at bohemian backbone for donating the beautiful coral earrings 
for this wonderful giveaway.

entering is simple!!
mainly because of the awesome rafflecopter,
but you have several ways to win!

most importantly, you must be a follower via GFC to win.
you have until December 7 to enter!  
winners will be announced once December 8.
Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

gobble your little hearts out.

if anyone knows me, they know i love food.  so it wouldn't be surprising for me to absolutely love the holidays for that reason alone. that excuse to eat more than the food pyramid is comprised of or what all the foodie, know it all, dieticians recommend for a daily, weekly or possibly monthly intake. thankgiving is also about giving thanks, which i started here, but this post is an ode to some of my thanksgiving and/or holiday favorites.  i mean christmas is only a few weeks away, where i will happily repeat this cycle of overeating in an order to please the inner over eating fool thats aching to get out.

below is one of my favorite recipes for the holidays - which i usually end up making and taking to our family meals.

the next four days of mine are going to be jammed packed of holiday meals, family visits, black friday shopping (heck yeas!) & just some nice relaxtion.  i will be back next monday with a recipe for yummy sweet potato casserole!

from the husband and i, we hope you have an extremely blessed & loving Thanksgiving with the ones you love. eat lots, drink some, watch some terrific turkey day football, sleep plenty, shop your hearts out & enjoy the holiday!

love you all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

we are all thankful for something


thanksgiving is two days away! yikes! but i'm ready. for turkey & cranberry relish & sweet potato casserole & all the other amazing deliciousness the day brings.  but more importantly, i have so many things to be thankful for this year. this life. and here's some of them, both serious & a little quirky.

my cozy little apartment
christmas music
the clean kroger store containing all my favorite foods
a job that offers amazing benefits, including health insurance
twinkling christmas lights and yard decor
clearance books at half price - i mean $1 for a book people!
sleeping in on the weekend
the smell of coffee brewing while finishing my morning routine
personalized mail besides bills
cool fall breezes
being able to get out of bed every morning even when i dont want to
talks with mom on the way home from a long day
dollar menus
a full fridge & pantry
my kitties
being free & having my own mind
hugs & kisses
being married to the man i chose
spontaneous evenings full of laughter
being able to see the world in color
cable tv
clean clothes every day
bruce my car
all things peppermint
font type - homeade apple

Monday, November 21, 2011

i still can't believe its the monday before thanksgiving

seriously, where did november go?! it seems as i blinked & now its time to consume ridiculous amount of tryptophan & catch up on gossip while the boys watch turkey day football.

but while i still have a few days before the ovens crank on & the kitchen mixers begin their chores of whipping a million pounds of potatoes, i figured i would fashionize the blog some, post a little fun find & share some hollywood gossip.  because thats all we need, right?

i'm gradually working on adding a few fun items to the blog, like headers and such. and if you can't already tell, i've gone back to my single sidebar days to allow for a wider sidebar.  i'm still working on it, but i'm liking the way things are turning out. maybe even lure in a few sponsors for december?  you still have a little more than a week left to email me if you are interested in becoming a sponsor.  i would love to have you.

okay is this nail art just not the cutest??  but then i love everything snowflake, winter, etc., so its not too hard to please.  i'm going to have to go on a hunt for something like this, because this is just the thing i need right now for alittle extra added holiday cheer. 

and holiday cheer is what i'm all about. seeing that black friday is this friday! (say what!) i've made it a point to turn my radio dial to the christmas music station and really get this holiday thing going.  have you auto tuned to you city's christmas station yet?

totally random, but i must put my two cents into some hollywood gossip. do people seriously think by going on the bachelor that they will find their true love? yea, i don't think so.  another case in point.  but then i really dont follow the bachelor too much, i just find it rather amusing how many people out there think that this show is really the answer to finding their soulmates.  sad. pathetic. and i kind of feel sorry for those that do.

besides everything else, i hope everyone is having a terrific, productive start to their thanksgiving weeks.  i will be back before thanksgiving to share another recipe or two & a thanksgiving post.  stayed tuned loves.

Friday, November 18, 2011

happy friday + the muppets are coming!

i can't believe it is already friday!  this week totally got away from me and seemed to zoom by faster than ever.  maybe because thanksgiving is next week? i'm not sure.  but i'm definitely not complaining that tomorrow is saturday, which means i can stay up a little later tonight and sleep a little longer tomorrow. which i think nobody minds that.  not much going on this weekend for us except a few things to look foward to.

i must say i'm so excited for this cinema feature. only if next wednesday would get here!

lots of eating is to be done in the next week or so, but i've always wanted to try this out just once.

decorating, decorating, decorating.  almost finished with the living room, just need a few more of these & a bunch of these. & a bag of these.  its gonna be awesome! will post pictures of my creation.

do some visiting. some reading. and relaxing. and maybe a little shopping. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

sponsorship this december.

more information can also be found here

96 followers and growing.
estimated 1000 page views per month.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a recipe - sweetheart cherry cheese danish

so i promised a few days ago that i would start sharing some of my favorite holiday recipes with everyone. 

here's one of my absolute favorites!
its perfect for any holiday, but we love it for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
i dont like cherry that much, but this treat is sure to be a hit around the dinner table, even with non-cherry lovers like me. and the best part, its super simple & can even be eaten for breakfast!
Sweetheart Cherry Cheese Danish
  • 2 8-ounce tubes refrigerated crescent roll sheets or dinner rolls
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 21-ounce can LUCKY LEAF Regular or Premium Cherry Pie Filling
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Unroll 1 package of crescent rolls and fit into the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13" baking dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes
  3. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar & vanilla. Spread mixture over hot dough in baking dish.
  4. Next, spread a layer of LUCKY LEAF cherry pie filling over the cream cheese mixture. Unroll remaining crescent roll dough & lay on top of the pie filling.
  5. Combine 1Tbsp sugar, almonds and melted butter. Sprinkle over top of dough.
  6. Bake 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 12 servings.

Few tips

- they say not to grease the pan, but I experienced extreme frustration when I didn't, so I suggest lightly greasing it.
- i actually make a little more topping (sugar, butter, almonds) so we have lots of nutty crunchiness on top.
- you can experiment with our pie fillings, like blueberry.. its pretty awesome too!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

paperchains & party rock!

so you know how i told you yesterday about my glorious plans of christmas decor?? well last night i started cutting my paper strips and the assembling of my paper chains.  i managed to get one chain done (i ran out of staples). and even got the okay from the dear mister to hang it up.  can i say it looks totally christmasy and wonderful! i got more staples and tonight it is on! our apartment is going to be all kinds of festive in no time. it might even resemble this or the apartment buddy the elf decorated.  this guy has to be someone's hero. and he's mine.  who doesnt love a jillion christmas things everywhere, singing everything and love sugar? well most people, but i'm the exception to the rule.

the toy store

& if anyone has a spare $120.00 they want to let me have so i can get these for myself for christmas, i would love you forever! seriously, $120?! i mean i know they have authentic Swarovski crystals and all. but they are shoes.. deck shoes for that matter. but i'm sure someone cool out there has a pair. if so, i would like to meet you. maybe i can get all sorts of crafty and martha stewart and make my own pair.

party rock!

i've also added a few fun new items to my left sidebar - what i'm currently reading & formspring. formspring is probably old school to most folks, but i figured i would add this fun feature to the blog so people can ask questions if they have them. and my books. i love reading, but only if the book is a good attention grabber. i may or may not review the books, but i figured its something fun to let people know what i'm up to.

til then, i hope everyone is having a terrific tuesday! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

its never too early for christmas.

i feel a little like lily from HIMYM during the holiday.. well actually all the time.  but particularly during christmas.  she goes above and beyond to christmas everything.  and yes i just used christmas as a verb.  in my book to christmas, is to put the holiday spirit into everything you see & do.  if you've seen the "how lily stole christmas" episode, you know exactly what i'm talking about.

their apartment looks like christmas vomited all over it.  and thats what i strive for my apartment to feel like at the holidays.  and this year is no different.  actually this year is even better, because now i'm married and i've got the mister in the holiday spirit extra early this year! and i'm currently trying to convince him why we should get a headstart on the holiday decorating.  this has proved to be a little harder than originally expected.  but its a work in progress. 

i even caught myself checking out new holiday cds while at target over the weekend and thinking where i had put the ones i currently have in my possession.  i need to find them soon, because i can always use a good christmas tune on the way to and from work.

but i thought in light of the fact i can't run home and throw up the tree or tinsel, i could preplan my christmas decorating right here!  i hope to make this years decor better than years past, with more tinsel, paper chains, snowflakes and fun. 

this year i want a classic, fun christmas.  no crazy colors or themes.  your basics.  greens, reds, whites & a little sparkle. and of course, snowflakes, snowmen, penguins and SANTA CLAUS!

*side note* i realize i misspelled affordable...  ehh but i'm too lazy to go back to fix it.


a note from the editor..

last week was a crazy, crazy whirlwind of rollercoaster moments.  from emotions like those of a tilt-a-whirl to the mental anquish of the wild mouse, i needed a time out from the social world, including the blog & twitter.

for those that don't know, the misters step dad, was diagnosed with cancer the week we got married. and its gradually taken its toll on his health.  right now we are all dealing with many, many things and decisions, all of which no person ever wants to be in a situation to make.  we are literally taking it day by day, hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

and this post isnt meant to put people in a damper mood. its just to update. to inform.  to let you all know where i am & a little of what is going on with me so if i'm not here for a few days or fall off the map for a week, thats where i probably am.

in more exciting news:

- peppermint mochas are the shiznit! and did i just say shiznit? um yea, i did.  i think over the last week, i've consumed more peppermint mochas than a person should probably consume in the christmas season. but hey, we all have flaws.  and if you haven't had the amazing pleasure of indulging in this little treat, do so and fast! you're missing out!

- i'm at something like 96 followers.  and i've mentioned several times before, that when i reach 100, this blog is having some pretty awesome giveaways.  actually at this point there are 4 chances to win.  so lets get to 100 friends, so we can all enjoy the fun giveaways. 

- christmas is in 40 days! and i can't wait.  i'm ready to put up the tree, hang my decor and start wrapping presents.   and baking! over the next couple of weeks i will be sharing a few of my favorite holiday treat recipes for you all to enjoy.

thats all i've got for now. 
i hope everyone is doing amazing
& can't wait to get updated on all your posts!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

and we have a winner.. real simple magazine subscription


the real simple giveaway is now closed.
and we have a winner.

and she is:


congrats Nancy!

please contact/email me for details to receive your winnings.

thanks again to everyone who entered.

don't forget - once I get to 100 followers, we will have a few more giveaways in honor of the milestone.

other news, i've got a few things going on in my personal life right now, so i'm not blogging much.  not much to say in way of blog posts at the moment.  i'm reading yours, but i hope to be back in a few days or so. twitter is also off for my own sanity, but if you need to contact me, feel free to email.
 thanks for your understanding.

Monday, November 7, 2011

ode to peppermint + a recipe

this past weekend was full of whirlwind excitement.  not really, but when i say it, sometimes it feels that way.  it was busy to say the least, but we definitely took advantage of the extra hour and got a few things accomplished.

the step father in law is now on the extended stay program at the hospital where he can receive much love and TLC.

we ate some super terrific pizza here, while playing in downtown fort worth. can i recommend the mediterranean thin crust pizza?  

after stuffing our faces, we continued our fat kid marathon with some amazing cupcakes.

we also tickled our funny bones with this cinema feature.  you've got to see it in 3D for full effect.  can i say i want a waffle bot for christmas?

i went on a small ode to peppermint craze, where i managed to find these. but it was actually Nabisco brand Oreos! and they were heavenly!

finalized our weekend with grocery shopping & football.  oh and taco soup! (recipe below)

Taco Soup

1.5 lbs extra lean ground beef - (I actually used ground turkey and it turned out amazing!)
1 can ranch style beans
1 can pinto beans with jalapenos
1 can hominy - (I didn't add this - neither of us are huge fans)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel mild (use extra hot for a really spicy soup - that's what I did)
1 can whole kernel corn
1 package dry taco seasoning mix
1 package dry hidden valley ranch dressing mix


Brown ground beef (or turkey).  Drain.
Combine meat with remaining ingredients in a large pot.  (I used my crock pot for this)
*I also filled up the diced tomato can twice with water and poured in for more broth.

Simmer until flavors are well blended & hot.
Top with cheese and enjoy with tortilla chips.

Recipe can be doubled easily. 
Also freezes well!

The mister and I really love this soup.  I actually have another variation of taco soup, but I prefer the one above more because it was soupier than the previous. The previous one is actually a stoup, so if you want something stewier, then thats perfect for you.

What did you and your loved ones do this past weekend??

Only three days left in the Real Simple Magazine Subscription Giveaway! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Fancies #4

hey everyone! and happy friday!   this week's friday fancies theme is something i'm totally excited about. {av} hooked up with the ever so awesome, lilly pulitzer (yea not joking!) for this week's jungle glam theme. we had one rule, but nothing too difficult.  using lilly's resort line, create a look using atleast two pieces.  and from there anything goes. 

i loved pretty much all of the items from the line, so full of rich color and options.  but i'm a creature of habit. always have been.  maybe the folks over at What Not To Wear could help me get out of this funk.  so i stuck to what i know and love.  BLACK!  plus a pop of color to keep anything from getting too boring. this takes little black dress on a fun evening out to a whole new level.

who ever said jungle glam couldnt be chic and fabulous?

1. The Caroline Cardigan was one of my choices from Lilly.  Its a fun piece with that right pop, that will pair nicely into several different outfits, but gives this little black dress a whole new meaning.  Plus it will keep you extra warm when the northern winds start to blow.
2. Lilly's Julianna Dress takes your typically LBD and adds a cute thin black bow belt around the waist for an outfit that is great for work or play. 
3. Since its getting cooler out (finally!,) its the perfect opportunity to add fun, cute tights to an outfit to keep the legs warm while frolicing out and about in your daily actititvies. And these polka dot tights are the perfect example.
4. What better what to strut your stuff than these heel pumps by Friis? The peep toe adds an extra level of fun an flirtiness.
5 / 6. The jewelry adds a nice little something extra to any outfit as we all know. With this outfit already having enough umph with the pops of pink, a nice simple ball bracelet and earrings are a nice finish.


Thanks again to {av} and lilly pulitzer for this fun jungle glam theme!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

its ok thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

amber over at a complete waste of makeup hosts "Its Ok, Thursdays"
and today i decided to participate for a little change of pace.
so here goes nothin'.

ITS OK....

to play christmas music loudly in the car even though its November 3

to have no desire to get out of bed on sundays.  i eventually do, but its a push.

to have a totally unorganized bathroom drawer.

to feel like i've been totally beaten up by my computer after a long day

to get totally excited about getting rice krispie treats in my lunch

to drink more soda than i probably should. 

to have no urge or desire to train new people knowing they will eventually find something else

to keep the holiday in my dvr so i can watch it over and over again

to be slightly annoyed everytime the phone rings.  why cant we go to a text/email only system at work?

to counting down til christmas.  totally excited for the holidays. and slightly ready for them to be over already.

to making lists and checking them twice. better safe than sorry.

to wonder where all the planes flying in are coming from and if any interesting people are on board

p.s. dont forgot about the awesome real simple giveaway. have you entered? you have til wednesday 11/9
p.p.s. once i reach 100 followers, i have some super awesome giveaways lined up then too. keep your eyes peeled :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

a snowy hideaway

whimsy at its finest
 a cold front is supposed to move in this afternoon. the winds are supposed to pick up and we could even possibly see a chance of rain.  its nothing like the northeast, who has seen piles of snow, but we are dipping down to the 40s & maybe even 30's tonight. which means extra cuddling while i sleep.

when it gets chilly out, i think of places like the cottage in the holiday. so whimsy and perfect. all its beauty tucked away in the backwoods of surrey.  the tiny bedroom up top with the small kitchen connected to the perfect living room downstairs.  sipping hot coffee or chocolate (with marshmellows of course!) while listening to the radio, watching out the old pane windows as the snow piles up outside.

days when the sun rises and melts the snow enough to venture out, the nearby town awaits the arrival of the locals, dressed in shiny snow boots and sparkly scarves. the grocer with the finest of wines, breads & cheeses.  the pub with their pints and snacks for the regulars who visit on a night when there isnt much else to do.  music in the background, they gab over recent events and laugh at the small things.
as the pints disappear and the neon light goes to black, residents make their way back to their cottages, to soak in hot baths with the perfect amount of bubbles, the ideal cure for a cold winter's day. and when the skin proves it has soaked long enough, fingers and toes all shriveled like a sun baked raisin, its finally time to retire to the tiny bedroom upstairs. furnished with an iron-framed bed dressed with a goose-down comforter and perfectly broken in pillows.  drifting away into a deep sleep full of dreams comprised of love, laughter and whimsy.

cheers giveaway: real simple magazine

i dont know if i have told any of the blog world, but i'm a magazine phene.  when standing in line at the grocery store, i browse all the options, from hollywood gossip to food to far out stories in the national enquirer.

but out of all the magazines, i think real simple is my favorite.  by far.  it has a little bit of everything. well except hollywood gossip. but that category is whole magazines on their own.  it has recipes. home organization tips. money management. craft ideas. real life stories. remedies. produce of the month. etc.  i pick it up pretty much every month.  and love thumbing through it getting ideas and taking in the wealth of knowledge that it has to offer. i finally decided to save myself the hassle and subscribe to the magazine.

thats where you all come in.. i'm having a giveaway!
you heard me right.  i'm offering one lucky reader a one year subscription to real simple. so they can enjoy all the yumminess that i get to enjoy. thats 12 issues. free!

entering is simple!

mandatory entry:
must be a follower (not one? you should become one) on GFC - leave a comment letting me know you are
for extra entries (1 entry each):
leave me comment about your favorite part of a magazine and why
follow me on twitter - leave a comment with your twitter name
post a blog about this giveaway - leave the link to the post
tweet about the giveaway & comment that you have done so - must have @cheersbethani & @real_simple in the tweet

you have until wednesday november 9 by midnight to enter to the giveaway.
winner will be chosen thursday november 10.

good luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

little notes #2

dear november,
i can't believe you are already here. but i'm not complaining, because that means thanksgiving is just around the corner and after that its CHRISTMAS! and who doesn't love Christmas?!

dear amazing popcorn mix,
you are so addicting.. why did my coworker have to make you?  i will have to share the recipe with all my blog friends in a later post.  they will be thrilled.

dear texas rangers,
i'm sorry you lost the world series. you're still my favorite. we will try again next year.

dear dexter,
why must you start meowing at 5 in the morning? and sometimes earlier than that? the alarm doesn't go off til 5:30 and i promise you aren't starving to death.

dear gaylord texan,
ice is in 10 days! last year was so much fun, i can hardly wait for this year. shrek the halls! who doesn't love shrek?!