Growing up, my grandmother and I loved to shop together and eat lunch. Several of our favorite lunch spots served this Festive Cranberry Salad as a side dish. It was always my favorite. It was the perfect compliment to chicken salad or a pimento cheese sandwich or a bowl of soup. But, you know what I discovered several years ago? This Festive Cranberry Salad is the perfect side dish for the holidays. It goes great with dressing and turkey and green beans and deviled eggs and all things good. And wouldn’t you know it…my grandmother had the recipe. It’s so simple, you’ll make it all the time!
When I was a teenager my dad asked me to mow the yard. I had never worked outside in the yard, much less operated a mower. To say that I was appalled would be an understatement. (I was a delightful teenager. Ha!) Apparently, I did such a horrible job my dad NEVER asked me to mow again. Did I do this on purpose? Perhaps. What my parents thought was just a horrible job mowing the yard may have been the most ingenious thing I’ve ever done. Perhaps I should have applied this philosophy to my adult life:
- Oh, I’m terrible at folding laundry. Don’t believe me? Watch this.
- Oh, cook supper? No no, I’m terrible in the kitchen. Try this.
- Clean a bathroom? It’s just not a skill I possess.
- Wake up with a baby during the night? Oh, I don’t hear them. (Wait. My sweet husband claimed this. Maybe all these years he was just messing with me…hmmm…)
I don’t know about you, but the “Age of Social Media” has really ushered in a new form of perfectionism and competition. From snacks that we take to school to how our homes look to the recipes that we make. It all has to be…perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. In fact, this blog exists, in large part, due to the traffic that it receives through Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Have you ever looked on Pinterest and thought, “Well, that’s nice, but does anyone actually live like that?” If so, you are not alone. I don’t know about you, but 5 people live in my house, eat around my table, and congregate in my bathroom (which by the way does not look like it’s from Fixer Upper and that’s okay). So, I’m here to offer a simple and practical guide to cleaning out your closet. Simple and practical for those of us who live in the real world…not some filtered, manufactured, picture perfect world. [Read more…]
Man, I love November. The weather has finally cooled down a bit…finally!…and at the end of this month we will celebrate Thanksgiving, which is my favorite of all holidays. I mean, Thanksgiving is really the best. There is no pressure for gifts or extra gatherings. It’s just family and friends around a table enjoying each other and being reflective and thankful. Does anyone else feel this way about Thanksgiving? I will go into December with my heels in the ground.
There is a restaurant in Franklin, Tennessee that my brother introduced me to years ago called Bishop’s. My brother travels a lot for his job, so he knows every hole-in-the-wall restaurant from here to Timbuktu. So when he called me and told me to meet him at Bishop’s (I happened to be in the Nashville area.), he didn’t have to twist my arm or tell me twice. Once I met him there he told me I HAD to get the carrot souffle. Had to. Boy, it did not disappoint. The carrot souffle at Bishop’s is the stuff dreams are made of. [Read more…]
It’s been a little while since I’ve posted about my favorite things, so I thought I’d bring it back. I don’t know about you, but anytime I hear the words “my favorite things” I think about Julie Andrews and the Sound of Music. So, now I’m singing:
“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with string”…
“These are a few of my favorite things!!”
So now that that song is stuck in my head…and probably yours…here are some of my favorite things these days.
1. My House
When we moved into our house there were shelves in the garage. They were nice, but they were at the front of the garage and my van had to get right next to them to fit into the garage. I’ve wanted to remove them since we moved in, but just haven’t quite known what to do for storage. I finally came up with a plan and bought these shelves, a few other things at Lowes, and moved some things around. Viola. Garage makeover complete.
Who wants to pull in to your garage and be greeted with this?!? Bleh.
We have a few bikes. Grin. We hung my husband’s bikes and then bought these bike stands for the boy’s bikes.
- Pumice Stone
The pumice stone is a new cleaning phenomenon for me. Do you ever get a ring in your toilet?? Use this pumice stone and it will come right up. It sounds like it is scratching, but it’s not. It’s the best cleaning product I’ve found in a while.
- Magic Eraser
Glass shower doors are THE WORST to keep clean. A Magic Eraser and a little elbow grease will take that soap scum off and make it beautiful again though.
2. My Nightstand
If you are interested in making disciples who make disciples, I’d encourage you to pick this book up. It is a super easy read with very practical applications to making disciples.
After reading Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word, (If you haven’t read this book, add it to the top of your que!) I now study the Bible using the method she teaches. So right now I’m studying Joshua. She has free resources on her website and she has a podcast so you can listen to her teach on what you are studying. If you have ever wanted to study the Bible…really study the Bible… this is the way to go!
3. My People
- Running with my Man in the Middle
Our middle son has basketball almost every day. The other day I was heading out on a run and he happened not to have practice that particular day. As I was heading out he asked if he could go with me. Go with me?!? Of course!! We had the best 3 miler together and just talked. His encouraging personality came through and I will not soon forget our time together.
- My husband got the all clear from the doctor
Remember the bikes hanging in my garage? My husband is a cyclist. Several weeks ago he had a pretty serious cycling wreck in which he broke his collarbone. Surgery was required, but as of last Friday, he has no more sling and he can drive again! WooHoo! He still has a few more weeks before he can resume all physical activity, but he is definitely on the up and up.
4. My Kitchen
- Freezer Cooking
We are on fall break around my house (Hallelujah and Amen!) and I’ve used some of the time to cook ahead for my freezer club. I made the meatballs for Healthy Meatball Sandwiches from Thriving Home Blog and stuck them in the freezer for when we meet again and swap everything up. If you are new to freezer cooking, I’d recommend the cookbook, From Freezer to Table.
- All things fall, but especially anything pumpkin
Man, I LOVE fall. It’s my favorite season. I love anything pumpkin, but this Pumpkin Snack Cake is becoming a quick favorite.
5. My Plans
- Shopping with my Mom
My mother and I take a annual shopping trip. We typically hit thrift stores, eat at good restaurants and do whatever we want to do for the weekend. This year I’m adding in a stop at Nordstrom Rack because it just opened here in Memphis and I’m excited about going!
- Going to Denver with Fred
Through a crazy series of events and some really cheap airline tickets, Fred and I are getting away for a few days in Denver, specifically Estes Park. We are so excited! If you’ve ever been to this area, I’d love any travel tips.
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I first had this cake at a friend’s son’s birthday party. I don’t remember how old he was at the birthday, but I remember that this cake was THE BEST CAKE I HAD EVER EATEN! My friend, Melanie, gave me the recipe that night. I may or may not have had two servings of said cake that night. The details are fuzzy…okay, they details are not fuzzy. I just don’t want to admit that I ate two pieces of cake. Oh…and said child…he started college this fall. Gulp. [Read more…]