Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Whadda We Eatin'' Wednesday? Cinnamon Coffee Without the Cinnamon "Clumps"!!!

Are you a coffee fan?  I am....I'm actually a coffee fanATIC!!!   I definitely love a good cup of coffee in the morning!   I like my coffee strong yet doctored up....and one of my favorite things is CINNAMON coffee!

Cinnamon is a wonderful spice on so many levels...not only is it yummy, it's a great anti-inflamatory spice, it helps to regulate blood sugar, and it is also has disinfecting properties! 

I love cinnamon coffee, but I do NOT love the clumps that come from putting cinnamon into my cup of coffee!

Sooooo.....Here's a tip to get the wonderful flavor of Cinnamon Coffee but without the clumps!

PUT THE CINNAMON IN WITH THE COFFEE GROUNDS  when you put your coffee into the coffee maker!!!

The water filters through the coffee grounds AND the cinnamon, infusing that great cinnamon flavor in with the coffee flavor for a rich, delicious brew!

We like our cinnamon in our coffee so we put in 2-3 TBSP in with our coffee grounds...because we like STRONG coffee.  It cuts out a lot of the bitterness of the coffee as well and gives a great cinnamon coffee taste every time!

I use Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer from Aldi as well (even though I had to buy from Walmart this week due to convenience), and my Cinnamon Hazelnut Coffee is a delicous start to my busy day!  

Hope you enjoy this tip!  If you try this, let me know what YOU think!   Thanks again for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you soon!  =D

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Tablescape Tuesday - "Apple Of My Eye" Tablescape

Hi everyone!  

Happy TABLESCAPE TUESDAY!!!!  I hope you're having a wonderful week so far!

For this past "Sunday Family Dinner" I decided to continue on with the cheerful and bright theme that comes along with Spring, and even provide a little bit different St. Patrick's Day theme, if you're looking for a little St. Patty's Inspiration.

For those of you who who are new to my blog, Here is the info on our "Sunday Family Dinner"...  (if you've seen my blog a know this story...feel free to skip this part...haha!)
We started a new family tradition last month that I hope continues even after the kids are grown.


We pretty much have dinner together as a family every night, but on Sundays, we have a special dinner in the dining room as opposed to the kitchen table, where we normally eat.

I get out the fine china and candles and make a special meal and so far, it has been something we look forward to each week.
Then once a month, we invite some of our extended family to join us for a Sunday family dinner.
It's also been giving me a chance to do lots of new TABLESCAPES..haha!

To see my previous tablescapes from other Sunday Family Dinners, you can click here:

Sunday Family Dinner #1 - Red and Blue Toile
S.F.D.#2 - Black, White and Silver
S.F.D.#3 - Winter Woods With White
S.F.D.#4 - The "Royal Treatment"
S.F.D.#5 - Super Bowl Table
S.F.D. #6 - Mardi Gras Table
S.F.D #7 - Spring is Springing Up

Soooo...for this week's "Sunday Family Dinner"  I present to you our "Apple of My Eye" Tablescape!

 The colors for this table are Lime Green (or GRANNY SMITH APPLE green) and Royal Blue!

I used my plain white tablecloth and found some great runner fabric, which is 2 half-yards of fabric from Joann's Fabric.  This was on sale for $3 per yard, so the 2 half-yards together made $3....some great inexpensive table runners!

For the napkins, I found these great lime green napkins at a thrift store for 25 cents each!  I bought 6!   They were in good condition, so I thought that was a great bargain!

Now for the "plate breakdown"    These lime green chargers are from Michaels.  They often have sales where they're $1.50...but if you can't wait for the sale, you can print out a coupon daily for 40% off any one item, and go get one a day until you have what you need.  This takes some discipline and planning, but it can be done!  It's a great way to save some money.

On top of that plate, I put a blue and white plate that I've had for YEARS!  I almost got rid of these plates, but decided not to at the last minute...and now I'm SO glad I didn't.  These plates worked perfectly with this theme!  The texture of these plates is great as well!

 On top of that plate is a plate I got at Goodwill for 50 cents each.  They had 4 of them, and I got all 4.  You can see they have more of a sage green leaf pattern in the middle, but that's fine, because there will be another plate on top of all you will see are the edges...and I loved the shape of these edges!  =D

On top of that plate is the plate that was the inspiration for this color scheme!  This was another one of those great 50 cent plate/saucer finds.  They had 5 and I got all 5 of them.  I really like this color combo! 

On top of that saucer was a $1.50 ruffle bowl from Pier 1.  I love these little bowls because they are so versatile!

And to top it all off, each place setting had a nice green Granny Smith Apple in the bowls.  I loved how this looked at each place setting and this was their fruit for the evening, so it saved me some prep time making a fruit dish too! 

 I took these before I realized I forgot to put out the flatware...I have not found a great set of flatware yet, so it was just our general flatware...nothing fabulous...haha!

The Centerpiece is this lovely soup tureen that I found at Goodwill recently for just 10 dollars.   I just took off the lid and took out the ladle, and it makes a great place to hold green apples, lime green ornaments and little key limes!  =)

On either side are some blue tulip candeholders and on the sides of those are two cupcake domes filled with lime green ornaments and Key Limes.    A blue beaded garland ran across the table as well.

I kind of wish I would have done a little more right around the centerpiece, but oh well...shoulda, woulda, coulda....

We had some DELICIOUS  "Olive Garden" style Chicken Fetuccini Alfredo  (the recipe for the sauce is on the Olive Garden website) for the dinner and it was so tasty!

All in all, everyone had a great time!  

Thanks so much for joining me today and I hope to see you again real soon!!  Have a great Day!

This post is being added to...

Tabletop Tuesday
Centerpiece Wednesday
Open House Party
Tablescape Thursday
Thrifty Things Friday
Seasonal Sunday
Masterpiece Monday

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Unbelievably Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake or Muffins

Hi everyone!

Have you ever come across a recipe so easy that you wonder how good it could REALLY be with so few ingredients and such a short prep time?

This was my thinking when my mother shared her recipe for

"Pumpkin Spice Cake"!  

I really wondered how good this could be.  Then I tried it!  YUMMMMMMM!

Make sure to pin this recipe if you're on're gonna want to have this one handy!!!  =D

These are perfect with your morning coffee or for a nice breakfast food to bring for a breakfast party or wedding/baby shower. 

It's also a great dessert for get-togethers when you need to whip up something yummy really fast!  Add a little cream cheese frosting and WOW!

So, for a recent prayer breakfast, I decided to make these in muffin form.  I am truly all about easy, but I also want things to be tasty, so I thought this would be a great recipe to make for my friends who came to join me.

This recipe consists of only 3 INGREDIENTS!!!

1 Box of Spice Cake Mix
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1 bag of Hershey's Cinnamon Chips


Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix with a hand mixer....

Until the mixture looks like this....

Then....scoop large spoonfuls of the batter into a greased 9x13 cake pan, or into greased muffin tins (which is what I did)

And bake according to the cake mix directions.
One thing you will definitely want to do (which I didn't do) is make sure that the dough is smoothed out going into the oven.  The dough doesn't rise a whole lot (since you don't have eggs) and kind of retains the shape you had when you put the dough if you're making it as a cake, make sure to smooth out the top...for muffins, just kind of making sure that the dough is smoothed out at the top should help.

This makes a very moist muffin or cake, that stays good for quite a while if well covered.  

Here is how the mini muffins turned out.  

I only needed a few for the ladies, and since I'm low carbing, I can't eat them...even though I would LOVE TO,  (and my daughter isn't crazy about breads so she wasn't interested in having any), so the remainder were available for my husband and my son....and they LOVE THEM! 

They've gobbled up so many since I made them, just a few days ago....haha!   My husband told me that I can't make these very often if I want him to stay thin...haha!   He just can't get enough! 

Hope you enjoy this recipe!  If  you make it, I'd love to hear what YOU think!

Thanks again for visiting and I hope to see you again soon!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ladies Prayer Breakfast Tablescape

Hi everyone!

I hope you're doing well and having a great weekend!

I have a new tablescape I wanted to share with you today!  

I recently hosted my very first Homeschool Mom's Prayer Breakfast!   It was just me and 3 other girls who are also Homeschool Moms.  I thought it would be a nice thing to have some "girl time" and really spend some time praying for eachother and for the remainder of the homeschool year.  

I really wanted to make this a special time for the ladies, as these girls are such a blessing to me!  So, my goal was to create a really pretty setting and some yummy food and just have a nice peaceful environment to open up and share with eachother and pray for one another.

And nothing speaks "peaceful" to me like BLUE AND WHITE TOILE with a cheerful sunny yellow!

I have been wanting to put this table together ever since I saw Yvonne from Stone Gable's Harbingers of Spring tablescape!  I just fell in love with it, and knew I wanted to create something similar for this wonderful breakfast!

I love the sunny feel of the blue and white toile with the yellow. 

Here is what I came up with!

I decided to host this in our patio room since it is such a sunny and peaceful place.  I moved some of the furniture around to make some room for the table (not too much, just a big ottoman, an end table, and a desk chair)  and I brought in our round patio table from outsdie.  It seemed like it might be just the right size for an intimate gathering of friends! 

On it, I put a long white round tablecloth that reaches to the floor. (to hide"outdoor" look of this patio table) 
Then I put one of my great Goodwill Finds, this pretty lacy tablecloth, over it to make it less stark white and more ivory in color.  On top of that is a pretty April Cornell Table Runner I found at Homegoods.  Not super cheap ($10), but worth it!  I love this pretty pattern!

Ok, ready for the plate breakdown???

 My base is just my lovely Dollar Store "White Workhorse" plate (are you getting sick of seeing these yet? I know they're on almost all my tablescapes, but that's the beauty of these plates! I love how they provide some texture while being versatile enough to go from casual to fancy! I ALSO love that they were only $1 EACH at Dollar Tree!!!)

On top of that are these beautiful new Johnson Brothers plates I found at TJ Maxx recently for a steal!  $2.99 each, I believe!!!   I found 4 of them, and bought them all!   They were just perfect!

On top of that are my Dollar Tree yellow bowls!   These are not nearly as gorgeous as Yvonne from Stone Gable's Daffodil bowls, but I couldn't find those anywhere, and these were only $1 and kind of did the job of adding that gorgeous yellow color right where I wanted it! 

Then, on top of that are these adorable blue and white toile porcelain containers!  I found these just a few days before the breakfast at the Dollar Tree (of all places!), and thought they'd make the perfect little gifts for my guests! 

Then, right behind the containers, I put a small Place card with each guest's name, the event, and a great scripture from the Bible that I learned a long time ago, but felt like it would be great with this event. 

It's Malachi 3:16 and it says "Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name."

I love this verse and I loved how we were able to get together, get to know one another, and enjoy a great time of helping eachother and praying for one another!  I just love these ladies!   =D

I am also excited to say that I feel like I was able to really sit down and spend some good time with them this time as well!  Instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off!   I was able to do a lot of preparing ahead of time, and that made all the difference!!!  

I had the entire table set and everything but the food and drinks out on the buffet by the night before.  Then, in the morning, I got up early and got right to work making the food and such.   

When my first friend arrived, I was just about done, and didn't have much left to do, so I was able to sit down and talk with my friends once everything was out!   It was so nice not to be stressing out over everything!  

Thanks so much for joining me today!  It means so much that you stopped by!  Have a great rest of your weekend!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thrift Addiciton Thursday - Homegoods, Goodwill and Dollar Tree!

Hi All!

Welcome to this week's THRIFT ADDICITON THURSDAY!

Just a few bargains to show you today since I'm totally overextended on my budget for the month and really shouldn't be buying any more until March!  UGH!  haha!

I did find a few little beauties that I would love to share this week, though!  Some of these are things that may be at local stores in your area!

First up, on the way home from dropping my kids off at one of their co-op classes (a class with other homeschooler kids)  I go right by my local HomeGoods!   I CAN'T just drive by and not go in and check out what they have each week.  Haha! 

On my most recent trip, I got a couple of goodies!   I'm a HUGE fan of blue and white toile.  When I saw these Johnson Brothers' bowls for just $2.99 each, I knew they had to be mine!

I just LOVE the pattern on beautiful!

 I bought 4 of them, and I'm so happy I found them! 

Speaking of great blue and white toile things..... 


I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw these adorable things!

I had gone into Dollar Tree looking for something else, but when I saw these I couldn't help myself.  

At Goodwill this week, I found this GORGEOUS Soup Tureen with no blemishes or chips for just $10. 

I'm not sure how much they usually cost, but I have a feeling they're usually a bit more than $10!    I've seen them on some gorgeous tables and have wanted one for a while now, but hadn't seen one until this last trip!  I think it's beautiful. 

Sorry, the lighting is not great, but this beauty is a lovely ivory color, and the detailing is very pretty too...not too fancy, but not plain by any means!  It's also a really nice size so I can put a family soup in here and it will look great and hold enough soup for a larger gathering!  =D  You will definitely see this in a future tablescape...more likely sooner than later!

Thanks so much for joining me for this week's THRIFT ADDICTION THURSDAY!  Hope you have a great week!

This post is being added to...
Thrifty Things Friday
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Happy Wednesday, All!

Is it just me, or do the days just seem to go faster and faster lately?!?  I can't believe we're already at the middle of the week!   I can't believe we're almost at the end of February!!! 

On today's WHADDA WE EATIN' WEDNESDAY, I will be sharing an easy, YUMMY recipe for....


I made this for our family for our last Sunday Family Dinner since our colors were ORANGE and Turquoise just made sense to me....haha  (to see that tablescape, click HERE)!

This is a super simple recipe and very easy to make!

I modified this recipe from the original recipe, found here.

Here's what you will need:

• 1/2 package of breaded chicken nuggets (because I'm all about easy...the original recipe called for 6-8 boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks and breaded in flour and cooked in olive oil.  I decided to "skip that step with all that prep" and just use already breaded chicken nuggets)
• 1 T salt
• 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar  (I actually used raspberry blush vinegar...yummy!)
• 6 T ketchup
• 1 12 oz. can of frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds)
• 8 T brown sugar
AND, my special added ingredient!  2 tsp ALLSPICE

 Mix everything but the chicken together in a bowl...

Then add the "PIECE DE RESISTANCE"....the Allspice!  This added such a great flavor to this dish! 

Place the chicken nuggets into the crock pot and pour the mixture over them.  Then cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.  If you are putting this in before going to work for the day, I'd just keep it on warm, and it should be great when you get home!  =D 
When they were almost finished cooking, I cut the nuggets in half and mixed them around in the mixture.  I also added a little water close to the end to give it more sauce.  I started with about 1/2 cup and then as you like, you can thin it out even more.  Or if you prefer a thicker sauce, but less of it, you can leave it as is. 
Here is the finished product.
We served this over white rice and it was delicious!

 My husband, my son and I liked it a lot.  My daughter was not as thrilled with it, mostly because there was breading on the chicken nuggets, which she's not fond of.  If it would have been just plain skinless boneless chicken, she may have liked it a lot better....but then my son probably wouldn't have liked it as well..haha! 
But they are trying new things, and that's good
I had a "cheat day" from the low carbing, since this is not really a low-carb dish, so it gave me license to eat it...and it was delicious!   My husband gobbled up the leftovers fairly quickly the next day and said they were still yummy, even as leftovers!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and let me know what you think if you try it.  Have a great week!
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Tablescape Tuesday - Spring is Springing Up!

Hi everyone!

Welcome to today's TABLESCAPE TUESDAY!

Today I'm showing what I did for our most recent Sunday Family Dinner, this past Sunday!

For those of you new to my blog...We started a new family tradition last month that I hope continues even after the kids are grown.


We pretty much have dinner together as a family every night, but on Sundays, we have a special dinner in the dining room as opposed to the kitchen table, where we normally eat.

I get out the fine china and candles and make a special meal and so far, it has been something we look forward to each week.

Then once a month, we invite some of our extended family to join us for a Sunday family dinner.

It's also been giving me a chance to do lots of new TABLESCAPES..haha!

To see my previous tablescapes from other Sunday Family Dinners, you can click here:

Sunday Family Dinner #1 - Red and Blue Toile
S.F.D.#2 - Black, White and Silver
S.F.D.#3 - Winter Woods With White
S.F.D.#4 - The "Royal Treatment"
S.F.D.#5 - Super Bowl Table
S.F.D. #6 - Mardi Gras Table

This Sunday I was all excited about putting out some more springy colors.  I was ready to put away the golds and purples and reds and those darker colors that reminded me more of those winter months, and get out something more cheerful and sunny!

This past Sunday was quite chilly for our area.  I live in Florida so we don't get a whole lot of chilly weather, but it actually dipped down into the 30's on Saturday night and was in the 50's for most of the day.  (I know, cry me a river, right?)

But the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day!  It sure LOOKED like Spring!  =D

I had seen a pretty turquoise and orange colored tablescape on Pinterest recently and decided that was the first "spring table" I was going to do.  I love this color combo!  

The fabrics on the table were just a half yard of fabric each from Walmart. $7.98 for both pieces. My son helped me pick these out on a recent mother-son shopping trip we took! He has a great eye!

Here's a "plate breakdown" for you.   The turquoise charger is from Michaels.  They had a sale on them recently so I picked a few up in numerous colors for about $1.50 each. 

On top of that is a "French White" Corningware plate.  I got this plate years ago, but I believe they're still available at Walmart and online.   

On top of that is a pretty orange/coral color melamine plate from Target.  I got these just a few weeks ago, so they still may have some available.  I loved the scalloped edges of this plate. 

On top of  that is a royal blue plate that I got at the thrift store for $1 each.  Gotta love those dollar plates!!!  I had some of this color blue in each of the fabrics so I thought I'd throw it in there to give it just a little more pop of color.

On top of the royal blue plate are two of my white workhorse plates..making their appearance yet again.  The Gibson Dollar plate from Goodwill, and a Gibson saucer from Goodwill (50 cents each)

Then, on top of the saucer is our ivory napkin with a turquoise rhinestone napkin ring (Ebay).  I was wanting to tone this table down just a little from some of my more elaborate previous tables, but I still wanted to have a LITTLE bling! haha!

The centerpiece is a Gibson pitcher I found at our church's local thrift store for just $5.50.   It is sitting on top of a french white Corningware Casserole dish, for a little height.  (I know, I wasn't sure how else to prop it up, and this seemed like it would work...haha!) 

The pitcher is holding a bouquet of orange and ivory flowers from the dollar store.  I also put some turquoise sparke icicle ornaments in there to give it a pop of turquoise color and sparkle.  I thought this turned out pretty neat!  

The large glass candleholders are housing some turquoise glass rounds from the dollar store and orange/coral candles from Big Lots.

At the buffet, I put another small table runner, which is actually a 1/2 yard of fabric from Joanne's....this one was $2.99 a yard so this runner was just $1.50!  Love that!

Some orange pompons, some orange candles (Homegoods on clearance) and my new cloche with an ivory candle and some mandarin oranges add that extra orange to offset the turquoise!

Hope you enjoyed today's Tablescape Tuesday!  Have a great week and come back soon!

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