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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Religious Freedom Day


An annual observance to celebrate religious freedoms occurs on January 16th. By presidential declaration January 16th s the day for all Americans to "observe the day through appropriate activities in homes, schools, and places of worship. January 16th is the date that commences the passage of the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom passed by the Virginia's Assembly on January 16, 1786

Jefferson drafted the Religious Freedom declaration which intended to limit public religious xpressions of students, teachers, coaches, chaplains, schools, organizations an communities.

” Almighty God hath created the mind free, and…all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments…tend only to begat habits of hypocrisy and meanness,and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone.”

cheeseburger cupcakes

I love finding and sharing creative recipes. These super cute cheeseburger cupcakes fit the bill for me. Perfect for snacks and don't forget the upcoming football games These should definitely be a big hit.

Cheeseburger "Cupcakes" (recipe adapted from Emily Bites)

¼ c onion, finely chopped
1  lb 95% lean ground turkey meat
2 tablespoons McCormick Hamburger Seasoning
8oz mushrooms, chopped
8 Laughing Cow Queso Fresco & Chipotle wedges, chopped
6 Tablespoon ketchup
2 Tablespoon mustard

1 tsp garlic powder
1 package of wonton wrappers (typically found in the produce section)

1 c tomatoes, chopped
8  oz (1 cup) reduced fat 2% shredded cheddar cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly mist 16 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Mist a large skillet with cooking spray and bring to medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until cooked. Add ground beef and Hamburger seasoning and cook until meat is browned. Add mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until mushrooms are browned as well. In a microwavable bowl, combine meat/mushroom mixture, cheese wedges, ketchup and mustard and stir. Microwave for one minute on high. Stir to combine until meat mixture is fully coated. Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the eight sprayed cups in the muffin tin. Using about half of the meat mixture, spoon evenly into the wonton wrappers. Follow by sprinkling some of the chopped tomatoes into each cup (using about half the total tomatoes). Sprinkle about half the cheddar cheese evenly over the top of each cup. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Crockpot Chicken and Dumpling

Chicken and Dumpling

1 (3 lb. size) chicken, cut up
1/2 cupchicken broth
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 stalks celery, cut in 1 inch pieces
3 small carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups packaged biscuit mix
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon parsley flakes

Wash chicken pieces; cut away excess fat. Place raw chicken pieces in crock with largest bony pieces on bottom. Add bouillon broth; sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning. Add celery and carrots on top. Cover. Place crock into outer shell; cook. Cook on Low setting, 8 to 10 hours or High setting 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

Combine biscuit mix, milk, parsley flakes; stir until just moistened. Drop dumpling mixture by spoonfuls (about 8) over steaming chicken; cover, cook on High setting 30 minutes in 3 1/2 quart. (Do not remove the cover during the steaming of the dumplings). Serve immediately - when dumplings are at their best.

Friday, January 15, 2016

National Blood Donor Month

Did you know…
  • …donating one pint of blood can help save the lives of up to three people.
  • …blood cannot be manufactured – it only becomes available through the generosity of donors.
  • …the number one reason that people give blood is they “want to help others”.
For more Blood Facts and Statistics, visit the American Red Cross Website Here

Fresh Squeeze Juice

Today salutes fresh squeeze juice. Normally around this time of year we are all sharing germs with each other. Colds and flu start going rampant and we are all looking for a good way to feel better. One way I have always heard is to drink some fresh squeeze juice.

So celebrate today with some fresh squeezed juice

Stawberry Ice Cream Dessert

Strawberry Ice Cream Dessert
1 package Golden Oreos
4 T softened butter
1 cup strawberry preserves
2 quarts strawberry ice cream
8 oz Cool Whip
Pulse the Oreos with the softened butter in the food processor until combined and crumbly. Press the crumbs in a 9 x 13 glass pan to create the crust. 

Next, slather on the strawberry preserves.

Let the ice cream sit out on the counter while you work on the rest of the dessert so it can soften a little. Then scoop, spread to the edges, and lick the spatula

Top with the Cool Whip And just like before…scoop, spread to the edges, lick the spatula.

Freeze until ready to enjoy. (Stick the pan in the freezer for awhile before you put the lid on. That way you don’t lose half of the Cool Whip on the lid. That would be very disappointing!) Run the knife under hot water to make it easy to slice

Sicilian Meatball Cookies

Sicilian Meatball Cookies


(Original recipe from Favorite Italian Recipes, 2nd Edition St. Anthony’s Parish, Watertown, NY; recipe submitted by Annie Cumoletti – 1973.
6 cups Flour
¼ tsp salt
1 cup shortening
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cloves
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa
2 cups milk
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
Put all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Blend in the shortening and lastly the milk. You will have to use your hands to mix this as it is a sticky dough.
Put a little shortening on your hands when you roll this dough into little balls (use a teaspoon to measure). Do not make these balls large, as they rise quite a bit. Leave space between them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
Make a thin chocolate frosting and cover the baked cookies by rolling them in a large bowl of frosting. Lay out on a large pan or rack until they are dry.
Alternatively, just before serving, you can dust these cookies with some confectioners sugar.
Note: You can divide the dough and put nuts in some, raisins in some and coconut in some.

Celebrate Life

I once had someone tell me that we should celebrate each day of our life. We woke up so we should thank God that we are up and blessed with another day. No matter what that day may bring good or bad at least we have another day. For that we should be thankful and celebrate.

While the storms of life may come and go it is the raindrops that we learn to dance between. As we learn to choose the battles of life to fight so do we endure the storms of life. It is between the storms and while we are dancing with the raindrops that we can take time enjoy life and make memories.

Take some time to make some new memories so when the storms of life come up it is those memories that can keep you afloat.

Hat Day

This ole' boy is not a mountain man. I am not even sure if he has even went hunting. He is a great friend of mine with a good heart but nearly always cold. I love this picture of him with his hat and thought I might just share it with all of you. After all it is hat day

Happy National Hat Day

A hat is any head covering that is worn for any reason. Reasons may include but are not limited to protection against the elements, ceremonial reasons, religious reasons, safety, or as  fashion statement. Hats have been used as social status, nationality, branch or rank of service, community service, Some workers wear protective hard hats to help guard against injury. Sun hats help protect the individual face from the sun. A fur hat will help add needed help. A mortarboard style hat is wore by graduates.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Bath Safety Mont


Love this idea that uses suction cups and elastic hair ties. They places all your shower supplies within reach when you are in the shower.

There are several different peel and stick treads for your tub. The variety from shapes and colors to simple ones are available and they all help offer support and safety against slipping.

One thing that my grandmother kept in her bathroom that I still keep in mine is a night light. It offers a bit of security and safety when you travel to the bathroom at night. Like the safety treads there are many styles of night light available.
Safety grips and bars can also help if you need extra support.  I feel that they would help give an extra hand when needed

Do you have any safety tips you would want to share?? Share them here

Valentine Meringue Cookies (low fat)

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup superfine sugar
Red food coloring
Red sprinkles

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy.
Add cream of tartar and continue beating egg whites until the soft peak stage.
Gradually add sugar, a tablespoon or two at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix until all the sugar has been added and the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
Add a few drops of red food coloring and stir to make the egg whites pink
Drop by the tablespoon onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, or, with the help of a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, make heart shape meringues -- spoon the meringue inside the cookie cutter, and push down with the spoon as you lift the cookie cutter, then repeat for each cookie.
Bake for 1 hour. Switch off oven, and leave in the oven for 2-3 hours
Makes about 24-30 cookies
Per cookie: Calories 26, Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 8mg, Carbohydrate 6.2g, Fiber 0g, Protein 0.4g

recipe source

Mexican Stew

We have been able to enjoy a fairly mild winter. Yes we had snow the other day but today was mild with temperatures in the 50s. In a few days though they predict that the high temp will be down to single digits. So with that in mind I went on search of a recipe that will stick to my ribs and warm me as well. I found this recipe for Mexican stew.
Mole de Olla

I had to do research on one of the ingredients found in the stew. Epazote is a herb that is found in many dishes in Mexico It offers a unique flavor to dishes and controls intestinal gas. It is best to debone the meat before serving as well.

Mole de Olla

  • 1 lb beef short ribs
  • 1 lb lean beef, cut into small chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10-12 cilantro stems, tied with butchers twine
  • 2 teaspoons dried epazote
  • 2 corn cobs
  • ½ white onion
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 1/2 lb. green beans
  • 6 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 large carrots sliced quarters
  • 5 chiles pasillas
  • salt to taste
  1. Cook the all the beef in about 3 quarts of water, along the onion, the garlic, salt, bay leaf, and cilantro stems on low heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the corn cobs into 1 inch slices, wash the potatoes and quarter them. Slice each of the green beans in half, then quarter the carrots.
  3. Once the meat is cooked, add the corn and potatoes.
  4. About five minutes later, add the carrots, the beans, and the epazote.
  5. While this is all simmering away, toast the chiles on a comal, then soak them in water for about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the seeds and veins, then add the chiles to the blender with about ½ cup of the stock, a slice of white onion, and a clove of garlic.
  7. Blend this to a nice puree, then strain into the pot through a medium mesh sieve.
  8. Simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about another 30 minutes.
  9. Remove the beef short ribs and de-bone the beef and put the beef back into the pot.
  10. Serve in large bowls with lime slices and fresh corn tortillas

Organize Your Home:: Living Room

Do you have a goal to organize your home??? You may just want a change or you may need to clean up and get rid of items you no longer need. Lets start with the living room which in my house is the room the front door is located in.

First step should be to get rid of the clutter Grab a basket for things you need to put up and a trashcan to throw away things that are no longer needed. Don't put to much thought into it you know the difference between what you want to keep and what you no longer need or want.

You may want to make  new floor plan for your living room. Moving furniture around offers the room a different look and may even open up space. If you have a piece of furniture in your living room that does not fit or you need then decide what to do with it and move it out of the room.

I have a large family and many pictures that I want to display. If you are like me then you may want to rotate your pictures. You may want to make your living room look new and changing out throw pillows and small decorations will help you get this done.

To keep your room looking neat and organized assign places where things are to go. Videos, books , etc... should all have their own set space.

Have any tips on organizing your living room?? Share I would love to hear how you do things

Ratification Day

This date in history January 14
January 14, 1784
Congressional Proclamation of Ratification of Treaty of Paris

Known as Ratification Day in the U.S. The Treat of Paris was signed at the Maryland State House in Annapolis Maryland. It was signed by the Confederation Congress and ended the American Revolutionary War.

salad Kabobs

Iceberg lettuce
Cherry tomatoes
Mini English cucumbers
Hard boiled eggs
Wooden skewers
Salad dressing

Chop all ingredients to bite size pieces, about the size of the cherry tomatoes. Pierce ingredients onto wooden skewers in any way you want. Serve with favorite salad dressing for dipping. Enjoy!

Tips: These are the ingredients that we like to use at my house, be creative and omit anything and add your family’s favorites as well! A couple other suggestions would be avocados and bell peppers.

Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day

January 14 is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day. Many people celebrate the hot pastrami sandwich in the United States. Hot pastrami sandwiches are eaten by people everyday. A pastrami sandwich is usually served on warm bread such as rye, French bread or plain white sandwich bread, with deli mustard, cheese, and sometimes Russian dressing.The origins of National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day are unknown, but the pastrami sandwich has been around since the late 1800s. To celebrate National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day, restaurants and delis may have a special on pastrami sandwiches by selling them for a low price or handing out free samples.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Painting with a Twist and discount

Painting with a Twist brings guests together in a unique 'getaway' The getaway includes friends, paint and music. For those who enjoy a alcoholic drink you can do that as well if you choose to. Local art instructors lead guests to paint on canvas using paint and brushes provided by the studio. The art instructors share 5,000 original pieces of copyrighted artwork. Painting with a Twist is a great time for friends to gather for an evening of laughs, creativity and talent. Painting with a twist offer scheduled classes as well as private parties for team buildings, bachelorettes, bridal, corporate, birthday, sororities or whatever group get-together.

Painting with a Twist started in 2007 when two enterprising women , Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney, joined in a campaign to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Since that time it has grown to the biggest paint studio franchise with over 250 studios and counting and over 2 million customers. Painting with a Twist offers more than just a fun night it offers a hand on, relaxing activity where guests connect on an emotional level

Guests create their own beautiful painting and after they have great self esteem and feel as if they have accomplished something. Great place to connect with your kids and / or be a kid your self. Painting with a twist has over 1,000 kid friendly paintings to challenge kids to be creative and appreciate art. There are kids camps available as well where kids learn about art, artists, and paint mediums. They will create their own acrylic on canvas masterpiece to take home and keep. Classes for kids are 1 1/2 hour long and cost $25 per canvas.

Annies Home readers can get great savings as well with $5 off your second scheduled visit. Painting with a twist is located in Evansville Indiana.

Hollywood Wax Museum and discount code

The Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center in Branson is a stop that you will not want to miss. The building on highway 76 that is currently being climbed by a giant Great Ape. Want to get up close and personal with some of your favorite stars then this is the place for you. Perfect place for selfies or for the whole group to pose with. The Hollywood Wax Museum will give you a chance to not only stare at the stars but to learn more about their pets, pet peeves and accomplishments.

Next door you will find a place to have more fun. The Shoot for the Stars Mini Golf is another great place to visit. Put through palm trees and paparazzi to move through the 18 steps to becoming one of Hollywood's elite. So much fun in one place but there is so much more there as well

Don't forget to see what paranormal activity may be present. Lurking inside the Castle of Chaos, the world's first 5D adventure. It will be like you are in a different place as you see, hear, feel and smell the chaos and shoot for the highest score. The fun is not over yet as next comes the Maze of Mirrors. That's right, Princess Hannah of Savannah is waiting for you to rescue her. Fight your way through 288 potential turns among hundreds of mirrored walls and archways. Don't get lost as the mirrored walls have infinite reflections in every direction.

Annies Home readers can get $2 off all access pass
Please visit for more information.
  Tickets link:

Simple Loose Leaf + discount code

Simple Loose Leaf tea a box of wonderful and unique loose leaf teas are sent to the receiver. This is to ensure that at least once a month you will be able to enjoy that perfect cup of tea. The best part is it comes right out of the box just when you need it. In addition to receiving tea you will also be sent a discount code to be used at
Simple Loose Leaf Tea Subscription Box
Your membership warrants you surprise box that will have at least 4 loose leaf teas, 2 reusable tea bags for easy brewing, a black, green, herbal and a few surprises as well. You will be well on your way to being soothed by a delicious cup of tea.           

 As the new year changes come about and take place Simple Loose Leaf offers you a personal Tea Somalia. For just $17 a month a box of savory loose leaf teas is shipped right to your door each month. With 4 to 5 loose leaf teas and a card detailing your tea selections as well as 2 re-usable muslin tea bags it not only makes a great gift for your self or for a tea lover you know. The tea gives you a sample of what is available at their store where as a member you will save 50%. Currently you can get a 25% discount off your membership at Simple Loose Leaf. Visit and use the code 25HOLIDAY

Cowboy Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 can corn (do not drain)
1 medium zucchini, chopped 
1 (16oz) package elbow noodles

In a large skillet cook the ground beef over medium high heat until brown and crumbly. Drain. Meanwhile add tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn including the liquid and chopped zucchini to a crock-pot. Add browned ground beef. Let cook on high for a few hours. About 30 minutes before serving add the elbow noodles. You may need to add water if there isn’t enough liquid to cook the pasta. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Pastrami sandwich

Slow Cooker Pastrami Sandwiches

 Servings: 6 hoagies

2 lbs pastrami meat, deli thin slices
1 cup beef broth, low sodium
1 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
6 hoagie rolls
Place pastrami, broth and seasonings in your crock-pot slow cooker, cook on high for 1 hour or low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Assemble sandwiches by placing cheese, mustard and pickles in hoagie roll, top with hot pastrami meat and a little broth, wrap in foil and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes and/or eat untoasted. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Coffee Cake

1 (15 ounce) package yellow cake mix by Gluten Free Pantry
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix by Jello
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix by Jello
4 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup fine chopped pecans

 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan, or a 10 inch Bundt cake pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, and butterscotch pudding mix.
3. Add the eggs, oil and water, mix until well blended.
4. In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts.
5. Pour half of the nut mixture in the top of the Bundt pan (so the topping will come out on the top)
6. Pour half of the batter into the pan, on top of the nut mixture.
7. Cover the "middle" section with the remaining nut mixture.
8. Pour in the rest of the cake mix over the nuts.
9. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the oven down to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.

Make sure that you check the ingredients to confirm that they don't include gluten.

I find that this cake keeps well in the refridgerator for several days and freezes well, too.

celebrate life

Celebrate your life today. In fact we should all celebrate our lives. Today is the day to celebrate and believe that a change for the better is ready and waiting for us to grab hold of. Today is the day for all of us to come together and celebrate life, how to preserve it, enjoy it, and share it with love.
Today is a day to triumphant over your achievements in the past, feelings of the present and dreams that you plan in the future. Appreciate everything that you have now and present in our lives. Tomorrow is another day whether we have all we have then or we lose it all we must celebrate what we have today. For this moment in life is what we celebrate and we know that changes happen sometimes good and sometimes bad but they happen.
Tomorrow is just a day away but we never know the possibility of it coming or not, what will happe today is what we need to take time to celebrate. Today, those that we have in our lives, what we have now is precious and priceless. You may not believe that to be true but tomorrow is never promised and while you may not have the best circumstances right now you are alive, you have those you love and the ability to tell them right now. Be thankful and continue to believe. Take whatever life gives you the precious time you are giving and the love you share through any forms and mean and those that are in your lifeline.