Tuesday, November 29, 2011

{Egg, Dairy Free cookie dough recipe}

I Love baking cookies at the holidays. I especially Love sugar cookies and breaking out the cookie cutters and decorations. I can't wait to get my lil man involved this year and let him have at it, but he has so many allergies it is a bit more of a challenge. So to the web I went......

I found this recipe here at Art of Dessert and altered it to fit our extra allergy needs. This is one of the reasons I love blogs, finding great recipes I can easily alter to suit our family needs. I will be making and freezing these to bake through out the season. Also noted- safe to eat the raw cookie dough because there is NO egg so no risk of salmonella. Enjoy!

Don't they look Yummy!
photo from Art of Dessert

Egg-Free Sugar Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
Allergy Note: contains wheat and soy ingredients

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter alternative, softened to room temperature (we use the smart balance OO version)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk (we use soymilk)

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bow. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract and milk.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Divide the cookie dough in half, form them into discs and wrap them in wax paper or plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until slightly firm.   

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, take out one of the discs and roll it to about 1/4 inches thick. Cut into shapes and transfer onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. This dough can get a little too soft to handle at room temperature so you may have to return it to the refrigerator after rolling and cutting your first batch of cookies. You can bring out the second disc when you're ready to roll and cut the second batch for baking.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the golden brown around the edges. Cool completely before decorating.

Monday, November 28, 2011

{Some holiday decorating}

Well Holiday decorating is always the day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday. Its a tradition sort-a from my family. We always decorated the weekend of Thanksgiving except for one year that my brother was a baby and he and my mom were at the hospital for months until Christmas Eve. We decorated Christmas Eve that year. Otherwise its up for about a whole month- usually comes down the weekend or day after Christmas. So naturally- I have to share with you some Thanksgiving pictures too.

I had my talented friend Shannon from Mary Ellen's Closet make some shirts for us.

My husband did all his Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving night from the computer. He says he just might like Black Friday shopping after all :-)

Tree Decorating Begins!
The boy was already asleep but my daughter is used to doing it herself. She even broke out her Christmas tutu, even though it didn't match what she already had on. We went with our plastic Target decorations and a few family ones as I am not sure how glass ones will survive with the 1year old.
Putting the Star on top is her favorite part!
Then its on to her tree in her room. The star on top has already changed out to an angel she found in another box. These are usually small kid-friendly ornaments or ones she has made herself.

I loved watching the kids play with the nativity set. This is a Fisher Price one we bought.

I also try to have a few pictures taken by the tree. Its a bit harder with 2 kids going 2 directions right now. But it does show what stage in life we are currently in.

But I have to say these ones are my favorite. I have one similar to this every year and it just melts my heart- Truly the magic of Christmas! 

So this is part of what I got accomplished over the Holiday. How about you?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It is time....

Christmas is now upon us......I Love it. I loved it as a child. I enjoyed it as a young adult, but I tell ya, there is nothing like being a parent at Christmas!

Decorating the Christmas tree with my children and watching them play with the plastic decorations, and the fisher price nativity set, and I just Smile!

There is nothing like hearing the giggling of my children among sparkling multi-colored lights.

MyMemories is doing an upgrade to version 3. I am getting to try it out to tell you about the differences. I still will be doing the weekly giveaway for Free patterns and digital papers, and will still be Freebie Friday though I am behind on the Friday part lol, I was a bit sleepy after shopping all night. :-)

This is the current Freebie- I love the heart pattern on the background. I am gearing up to celebrate our anniversary, and I certainly think LOVE is exactly what Christmas is really about.

Click here to get the freebie for yourself.

Here is one question that is asked a lot:

 can I use non-MyMemories kits and graphics in the software. The answer is "Most Definitely, YES"!!

This Freebie contains the 2 Quick Pages shown and all the pieces (papers and elements) used to create those Quick Pages!
(The elements and QuickPages are.png and the papers are .jpg format. so you can use these in Non MyMemories Suite projects as well)

Remember, I will be sharing a new freebie every week.

If you have not purchased the software yet, you can do so here:

Use my code for a discount:

(I do get compensated if you use this)

They have a great social media presence and support group:

Tutorials on how to use the software and tips can be found here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Don't forget the freebie!

Don't forget to grab up the freebie posted here. This can be used on Any digital scrapbook software or any other use you have for it. It is not limited to the MyMemories software!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

{Coupons to Print}

Great Coupons available for Thanksgiving and Holiday baking!


HARIBO - $0.30 off any one 4 oz. or larger HARIBO product 

Similac - $1.00 off on Similac large sized powder

Paramount Home Entertainment - $5.00 off SUPER 8 Blu-ray™ or DVD

Kodak Picture Kiosk - $5.00 off 12-month KODAK Calendar

Thanksgiving Coupons
Kentucky Legend - $2.00 off Any Kentucky Legend Whole, Half, or Quarter Ham or Turkey Breast, or our NEW Premium Bacon

Gold & Silver - $1.00 off 3 Gold or Silver Line Frozen Vegetables

Pillsbury - $0.30 off 2 Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits

Pillsbury - $0.50 off 2 Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls

Pillsbury - $0.40 off any TWO Pillsbury® Sweet Rolls OR Grands!® Sweet Rolls

Pillsbury - $0.50 off TWO Pillsbury Pie Crusts

Pillsbury - $0.40 off any TWO Pillsbury® Refrigerated Pizza Crust, Breadsticks, Loaves or Dinner Rolls

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! - $1.50 off any ONE ICBINB! All Purpose Sticks

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! - $1.50 off TWO ICBINB! Tub products

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! - $1.00 off ONE ICBINB! Tub product

Reser's Sensational Sides - $1.00 off ONE (1) Reser's Sensational Sides item

Delizza Patisserie - $0.75 off any one (1) package of any Delizza Patisserie Products

Bridgford - $0.50 off Any One (1) Bridgford Foods Monkey Bread

Diamond Crystal Sea Salt - $0.40 off Diamond Crystal Sea Salt

Diamond Crystal Salt Sense - $0.35 off Diamond Crystal Salt Sense

Seattle's Best Coffee® - $1.50 off ON ANY Seattle's Best Coffee®

Dunkin' Donuts® Coffee - $1.00 off any 11oz or larger bag of Dunkin' Donuts® Coffee

Stash Tea - $1.00 off on any two (2) boxes of Stash Tea

Smart Balance® Milks - $0.75 off any one (1) Smart Balance® Milks

Welch's - $1.00 off any 4-Pack of Welch's Fruit Fizz

Vanity Fair® - $1.00 off any TWO (2) packages of Vanity Fair® Napkins

Friday, November 18, 2011

{Freebie Friday}

This week's Freebie from Share the Memories:

I like that this is a little more neutral. It would be great for boy stuff, friends, and could still be used for girl stuff. These are some color combinations that I enjoy. They make me happy. Have you picked up any of their freebies yet? What have you made with them?

Well anyway, Be sure to grab it up while you can. You will have one week to download this freebie.

You can download this weeks freebie by clicking here.

This Freebie contains the 2 Quick Pages shown and all the pieces (papers and elements) used to create those Quick Pages!
(The elements and QuickPages are.png and the papers are .jpg format.)

Remember, I will be sharing a new freebie every week.

If you have not purchased the software yet, you can do so here:

Use my code for a discount:

(I do get compensated if you use this)

They have a great social media presence and support group:

Tutorials on how to use the software and tips can be found here.

Here is one question that is asked a lot:

 can I use non-MyMemories kits and graphics in the software. The answer is "Most Definitely, YES"!!
Here is a tutorial to show  how easy it is!!
 See it here!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

{Absolutely Cute} Kids Clothing Store

Now if you have been here before, it was probably at their uptown Charlotte locations. Candace's lovely store is now located in the Cornelius area of Charlotte Metro. Address is now: 

19905 Catawba Ave. Suite 106, Cornelius, NC 28031
Candace sells some of the most adorable outfits. Like the outfits below. They are cute, colorful and playful. These are soft fabrics and very durable. My daughter loves her clothes and picks them out to wear a lot. We are a busy outdoorsy family with a mini farm. S is our little Farm Princess- she loves to dress up, but will be out there with the animals, and these outfits last, they clean up well and are still gorgeous.

 If you notice the picture above is from Fall 09. S modeled this outfit for them at a fashion show. I was surprised she did so well at 2.5 years old. You will also notice the picture below is the same outfit, she just didn't use the pants since it was summer time- she used it as a dress at my sister's baby shower in 2010! yes over a year later and it still is standing up well. She still can wear this outfit. Which makes the price tag even better since it lasts So long. and Yes we will still be wearing this outfit a while longer.
 They are some of the sweetest age-appropriate clothes. I highly recommend you check out the store.

They do regular fashion shows to highlight the new designs out. This is a great, fun, no-pressure way to introduce your child to being confident. You can see my daughter above just getting to have fun. She was not all made up, we got a super discount on the outfit she wore, and she got to be herself. You can see me standing behind her off to the side ready to be there and walk with her if I needed to, they encourage that too, but she did just fine.

If this is something you might be interested in trying your child in one of the Fashion Shows, here are the details:
Peek-A-Boo Couture Fashion Show coming up on Dec. 4th is our Winter Wonderland Fashion Show and we are still accepting kids and teens to participate!

To sign up for our Fashion Show...simply visit our on-line
registration site:  www.peekaboocouture.weebly.com
And be sure to check out the store. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

{Great Stocking Stuffer Idea}

Every year I get a set of these for my kids with their name on it and a design. We use it to label things like ballet shoes, sippy cups, jackets, etc.

This is a great deal!!!


Vistaprint - Free Labels - Two Days Only
140 FREE Return Address Labels!
The labels are free - just pay shipping and processing!

(This is an affiliate link. I will be compensated if you order)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{ Book Preview- Money Saving Mom's Budget}

Pre-order it here
$10.99 paperback
$9.99 ebook
I am not being compensated for this, but if you share it on your blog, FB, Twitter, etc, you can get a Free ebook about Freezer Cooking. Go here to find out how.

Crystal writes an amazing blog titled Money Saving Mom (moneysavingmom.com) that I have been following for over a year now. I found her when I started my Dave Ramsey journey and was looking for inspiration and motivation to become debt free. FYI- We are debt free except for our home- which is our next project. I have been inspired by her recipes, frugal living, and her honest ways of saving and earning money. I like her simplicity- you should check out her post on her personal wardrobe- you will probably be shocked like I was, but I have found that when I cleaned out what I didn't wear regularly and didn't love, I have less laundry to do and my closet looks more organized!

I am sure you will not be disappointed in her book, or her blog!

Monday, November 14, 2011


I am so tickled this Monday morning. I have had an amazing weekend. I have met up with a great group of blogger moms that I happened to already know most of them. They have been so helpful in sharing information and tips and in sharing my blog. That is one of the things I love about blog world. People are SO very helpful. I feel like I have really only started on this journey, though I have been blogging since about 2008, I only got serious about it the end of last year. Blessed, purely blessed!

So I have had a lot of firsts, finding out about Twitter- yes I knew about it, but just didn't "get it" kwim? Triberr, Klout, and so many other forms of social media. I am already a TMN, FB and Google + girl, so its just learning to keep up with these other outlets. Blog Conferences- hoping to attend my first next year. Blog parties highlighting products- I attended my first hosted by Mommy B Knows Best, where I met a lot of other awesome local bloggers!

I am sorry if this is a bit rambly, but as a blogger just kinda starting out and starting to figure things out I wanted to be sure to pass on knowledge to others. One thing about bloggy moms is that someone helped them, and they will pass it on to help another! Who says our generation is only out for ourselves! I have met some of the nicest, most creative, wonderful people online. I think the internet has just expanded our availability to reach out to meet and learn from people!

Ok so the other thing I am So excited about- I just was awarded my first blog award! I have to say that I have envied those blogs with awards and secretly hoping to one day win one of my own lol. That sounds so silly right?! but I am about honesty.

So a Big Thank You to We Made That Blog
for the Sunshine Award:

The Sunshine Blog Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogosphere. To some it may not be a big deal, but well I am excited and proud.  Thank you so much for your support, it really does mean a lot!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the following questions below.
3. And pass the award to 10~12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them. 

My answers to the questions:

Favorite color?  blue, I know its usually considered a boy color, but I love the different shades, its calming effect, its coolness. It reminds me of the sky and the ocean, and always makes me smile.

Favorite animal?  hmmm, I am not sure. we have a mini farm with goats, chickens, ducks, and sheep. no dogs or cats, though we used to have a black lab- in-laws have taken her in, but no favorite. They are all so interesting and fun to watch. Its a good stress relief to sit on our porch and watch the animals grazing and the chickens wander the yard- even hearing the roosters crow in the morning.

Favorite number?   I know, typically considered unlucky- but 13 is my favorite number. I was actually born on Friday 13th in October. I love the number 13 and proving how lucky it really is.

Favorite drink?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE a glass bottle coke, 8oz to be specific, Or a fountain coke. Coca-cola, no other brand or imitation comes close to that original taste. And I Love my coffee, I need one cup a day to feel myself, Unless I have a glass or fountain coke. :-)

Facebook or Twitter? Facebook because I am familiar with it and have been on it a while. I am getting used to twitter and it is more helpful for the blog, but for personal I love Facebook, especially since most of my family and friends are spread throughout the country.

Your passion?  being creative! I have always enjoyed sewing, scrapbooking, crafting. I like copying projects or seeing something and imagining a way that I would do it myself. Thats how this blog came to be, most of my posts were sharing what I had done.

Giving or getting presents?  I love the giving. I Love finding the perfect thing for someone, or at least finding something they had not seen before and knowing they would like it.

Favorite day?  Sundays- we all get to sleep in some, bring the kids into bed to wake up daddy, church, extended family breakfast and lunch most days, and football or playing outside. somedays just being lazy together.

Favorite flowers?  The Calla Lilly- any color, or an Iris. They are both so unique and colorful!

Now I can share the love and nominate some of my favorite bloggers.  Here are some blogs that truly inspire me, check them out I am sure you will get inspired too!
My Little Life- a friend of mine who has a smaller blog, but so inspirational, and has great tutorials, go help grow her blog.
The Shabby Shack - my friend has cool ideas. we brainstorm and scout thrift together a lot. smaller blog- but great ideas.
 Looking for Isis
Forever's like a dream
The Rych Life
Mommy B Knows Best
Zen for you
Flying Kitten
Our Life Memories

Be sure to check out these great blogs. AND Thanks again for the award!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

{Southern Christmas show}

I love going to the Southern Christmas Show. I have been going for the last 5 years and am never disappointed. I have gone with an infant, with a toddler while pregnant and due the next week, and again while 6m pregnant. I have taken kids and left the kids at home. I have gone with my mother, my MIL, and with friends. I am never unhappy with being there though some times and days to go are better. Like I shouldn't have gone this past Friday-Veterans day, since this is a banking city and all the schools and banks were closed, meaning PACKED SHOW. I did show up just after 9 when the show didn't open til 10, so it was quieter to begin with. Vendors said the first day of show is usually a ghost town, and that the hours of 2-6 are usually very slow once the buses leave.

Here are a few of my favorite vendors and crafts that I saw and met.

Her mom makes these gorgeous shawls and wraps. she was wonderful to model them for me.
You can see and feel that they are great quality fabrics with lots of fabric choices. This one she is showing is a shawl that has sleeves, so you can just put your arms in the sleeves and not worry about it falling off. You could also put just one arm in and wrap the other sleeve up around to the shoulder and pin it or tuck it. Very versatile.
(Did not catch the shop name. I do have a card and will update later. The cards are in my shopping bag which had to be hidden from the family b/c they contain presents lol. They are in the second building across the back wall.)

 There are lots of ideas for Decor! I love this chandelier that has the ornaments and fuzzy decor- so girlie!


Karen Smith Designs (booth 121)
I am in love with this little bird ornament. I have seen tutorials for making this on various blogs. I think they are such timeless classic ornaments that I remember my grandmother having and making. I also love this little stocking ornament. It is so simple and again something easy to make.

There were lots of vendors that make bows, but I included these ones that I thought were different and original.
 These were flower clips that were on jewelry, used as brooches, hairbows, but the idea of using one or multiple ones of various colors for different outfits on the same necklace.

 This was the same vendor (One Unique Way) with another way to make these flowers. These ones were fluffy without an ornamental piece in the center. I loved the patterns of the fabric she used. These two reminded me of calico prints I wore as a child.

         These were more hairbows that I adored. These were little felt flowers. Cut and layered with little embellishments in the middle for a little bling.
 This was one of the coolest booths I saw. I love these ideas for boys and am glad to have options to get nice, long-lasting toys for boys that spark imagination. They are The Compleat Knight (http://thecompleatknight.com/) They are in the main strip when you walk in. The tips of the arrows are erasers. Such a cool idea, right! They were very nice and so many options. These were very affordable! I just love items like this that spark imagination.

 These hairbows were awesome, original and just caught my eye. She had some attached to headbands, some to hats- like a beret or fedora. The color and pattern combinations were gorgeous. I Loved the bottom left one with the feather! How adorable is that. I bought the top right one. They also had ones with initials on them. She is local to the Charlotte area and was making and bringing more in and her husband was running the booth.

The Blueberry Haus
 I Love this idea of the magnet board that has clothespins attached to showcase art projects!
Greg's Toys
 My favorite one is not a store. You can only get these during the show. He does not have internet, no website, no email. I got one of each of the front car, truck, train, and a tractor with a little person in it, so, total of 4 items, these are not small, they are good size toys. I spent $12.80 with tax. You can not beat that. His booth is Greg's Toys. So nice, so awesome. Retired man that has been making toys since I was a kid.

There were other awesome booths- like Duplin winery with their almond champagne- yum, and the food, dips, and spreads, hat and gloves, kids clothes, decorations, Pashminas, socks, Greek Orthodox church with their cookie samples, kitchen gadgets, books, etc. Be sure to check it out. I have to dig out all the cards I picked up, so will likely update this post with more details and contacts if available. But Go check out the show. It runs through this Sunday the 20th.

Friday, November 11, 2011

{It's almost time....}

 Kindle Fire
(sorry but its called Fire, I just had to make it in red)

 EEEK, I am so excited. This is released next week, and I already have one waiting with My name on it! I already loved my Kindle reader, but this one is being compared to the ipad. Here are a few things it is said to do.

 Love the full color for reading to the kids. I am in massive de-clutter mode. Not having so many books on the shelf would be awesome, and it means when they want a certain book read to them I don't have to worry that it is lost, missing a page, or left at home and we are at the beach or in the car.

I like that I can have the apps on it to help keep me and the kids busy waiting somewhere. My 4 yo loves the Angry birds and ant smasher games. We also play some of the sight words and alphabet and number kids apps.

And in case the apps don't keep them entertained enough- it can also play TV shows and movies from Amazon's instant viewing, or using Netflix apps.

I also love that I can check my email and browse the internet on it using the touch screen!

You can find the technical details of it on the site.

Anyone else counting down the days til the release of the Kindle Fire? What are you most excited about?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

{Frans filling station food}

 2410 Park Road
Charlotte, NC 28203

I figured my post about the Tiny Prints event was long enough, and Fran's needed some attention of her own. So I wanted to tell you about the yummy food they had.


Appetizers that I loved- The corn nuggets with a zesty ranch dip, and the famous bacon wrapped tater tots. There are 2 types of the tater tots, one regular and the other sweet potato. They both have different glazes on them, and you can get a appetizer that has both of them or either/or. SO YUMMY!

 This dish was actually an appetizer but I got it for my entree. It was toasted bread slices with sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese slices and olive oil to drizzle. Topped with some basil and other seasonings.It was SO good, I mean really, I ate it for an appetizer and then got more.
Then you Must save room for dessert. The one I wished I had tried was the Lemon Marscapone Cake, but since my son can't have peanut butter, it was a splurge to get the Peanut Butter pie (right) and it did not disappoint. On the left is the bread pudding dessert which was MASSIVE!

Mon - Sat 11:30-2:30pm
Mon-Thurs 5:30-10pm
Fri-Sat 5:30-11pm

So if you are in the Park Road area, stop in and give Fran's a try. There were several other items I would love to try.


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