Monday, December 28, 2015

corn casserole recipe

Like corn bread isn't delicious enough, add a stick of melted butter, cheese and corn and bake it into a casserole.

I can not stop eating it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook: Christmas Eve Eve (Wednesday, Dec. 23)

I am linked here with the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window:
Rain, grey skies and warm temperatures have me downright a grump. The first year I have a working fireplace and the weather is not letting me use it. Is a sunny 40 degree day too much to ask? It is December after all.... Seriously. Christmas. Where are you?

In the kitchen:

I have a friend who is recuperating from surgery, and I've been cooking for her. I made Vegan Apricot Bars (because I still LOVE them) and Energy Balls (she specifically requested these). I also made a meatloaf and this weekend, I'm making Chicken Pot Pie Soup.

I am looking forward to:  
Pittling around the house during my four day Christmas break. I'll be changing out the blue shears to white shears (These from JC Penny) in the upstairs guest room. UPS tracker says they will be here before Christmas. I'll also continue fighting with/yelling at/pleading with/crying over the wallpaper in the master bath.

I am Reading:
This weekly column in the NY Times on the internet.
So we read on  on Audible. A book about the classic book, The Great Gatsby, and it feels like I am taking a Master Level Literature Class, and not in a good way.... Its interesting but..... its in depth and takes all your attention. I can only read a little at a time.
Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg On Audible.  Its another deep thinking serious book., that I've tried to read for the last month. I just can not get into it. I am still trying.
Audacious by Beth Moore, the actual paper book. I think this is the best Beth Moore book she has ever written.

I am planning:
My end of the year work activities, which will include some very late office arrivals and very early office departures, planning a day sitting in a coffee shop (or more probably, the Law Library) to review 2015 goals and make some 2016 goals, and taking advantage of the after Christmas 50% off decoration shopping (staring with this white tree). 

I am a little irritated at:
A little list of the irritating things:
  • The grey, rainy, warm Christmas weather.
  • Starbucks. I heard you can order Vietnamese iced coffee even though its not on the menu, and every time I've tried, no one seems to know what it is. (Its ice coffee with sweetened condensed milk and it makes me gain  a lot of weight, so that's one up side to not having any)
  • I've gained Christmas weight and don't feel good about it. I have no one to blame but myself, and the chocolate covered pecans in the office kitchen, and the white chocolate and peppermint Hershey kisses
Listening to:
24 hour Christmas music here

Favorite Quote for the day:
Fate whispers to the warrior, "you cant withstand the storm," and the warrior whispers back, "I am the storm."

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BBW candle sale 2015 edition

The candle sale was the earliest I have seen it. This year it was Dec.4 and arrived on a Saturday, which I have also never seen. The price increased to $8.50 a candle.  But just like every year, when it is all over, I wish I would have bought more.

I got 13 candles and two body products and had two coupons. The body products were free and the candles were $6 each. (WHY didn't I get more?!) The limit is 15 candles, and I think my bag was just too full and heavy and I was too tired to wrestle with getting two more in my hands.

This year, unlike last year, I was able to actually pick out just exactly the ones I wanted because they had plenty of stock. The store was packed and I did have to wait in line for 40 minutes, but everyone was friendly and chatting the whole time and talking about the different coupons and the deals to be made by combining coupons and so forth. So I felt like I was surrounded by my people the whole time.

After all is said and done, my candle supplies are restocked, and I feel strangely comforted by having a full supply, and I am quite pleased with myself.

P.S... Had the annual Church Chirstmas party at my house this weekend and burned the "Joy" candle (peppermint marshmallow) and everyone raved (raved!) about how good my house smelled. Had a few people threaten to smuggle some candles out, but I think my stash is still safe.

Monday, December 14, 2015

a very little black friday shopping

The outcome of too much food/wine at an office Thanksgiving party on Wednesday and an entire day of feeling rotten and sleeping a lot on Thursday combined with so many online with free shipping sales and accepting a date for Friday made Black Friday shopping rather slim this year.  

Typically, Black Friday is an important day in my life. This year it was not. It was very low key. I just did not feeeeeeeeellll  like going out to the Outlet Mall or the regular Mall or anywhere else really. It was a slow day, and not a typical Black Friday for me.

I did get a few things at the Sephora $10 sale. A few of the items I snagged (or thought I snagged) disappeared from my online cart before I could check out, which I thought as really rude.  I ended up with the things below: A set of three Sephora Masks, a set of three Living Proof hair care items and Tarte blush and illuminizer. I had about three other items that apparently sold out before I could complete my order. The three items I did manage to get, I absolutely love all of them. I made good choices.

I tried to shop on line at ULTA but the things I wanted were already gone.

I also ended up at TJ Maxx to finally buy this little Coach pouch for my purse. I've been eyeing it for weeks and told myself if it was still there, I was going to buy it. It was $24, which I think is really expensive, but it is a real Coach (my ONLY Coach product) and I rationalized it by telling myself it would costs three times that much if it weren't at TJ Maxx and I'd probably have it for the next 20 years.  Both of which are true.

I also had a leisurely stroll through Lowes with a guy, getting some needed small house project type things, that had nothing to do with Black Friday, then had an equally slow lunch and Starbucks trip with the same guy, both not Black Friday related, but none the less, was my Black Friday activities. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ipsy and Walmart boxes

Walmart beauty box:

Its $5 and has 10 to 12 samples in it, so for those two reasons alone, I like this box a lot, and I like that its a lot of drug store type things that, if I like them, I can find them pretty easy (and cheap).

This month box included: Act mouthwash, Dove bodywash, Neutrogena mascara, and some are smaller one-time-only samples like Jennifer Aniston perfume and Loreal facial oil. It also has 3 or 4 coupons in the box. 

This box, although a good value, was kind of lackluster. I was not over the moon to see any of it. Nothing jumped out at me. But it was good. Not great, but good.


I had cancelled this one about 10 months ago, but thought I missed it, so just re-ordered. This was my first box and I was happy to see it return in my mailbox....  I like the nail polish, a deep navy. Its currently on my toes. and I like Dr. Brandt's  exfoliation A LOT . It was my favorite thing out of both boxes. In fact, it might make it into my monthly favorite things.  I was happy to see the balm's matte lipgloss, but once I used it, I did not like it (so dry). The other two samples, the bb cream and the body lotion were not exciting.

Monday, November 2, 2015

no bake vegan apricot cookies

Obsessed with these no bake vegan apricot cookies. I've made them three times in six days.

They are so good!  Original recipe here

Mix 3/4 cup cashews and 3/4 cup oatmeal in a food processor until fine.

Add a handful ( 6 to 8) of dried apricots and give it another whirl. 



Add two tablespoons of coconut oil and bend some more. 

Don't trip over the dog who will not move from the kitchen.

Spray a muffin tin with some vegetable oil and press  3/4 of the crumb mixture into the pan. Put the other crumbs aside.
In the empty food processor, put about 25 dried apricots and  1/2 cup of water and blend until smooth.
Add the mixture on top of the crumb mixture in the muffin tins.

Press the rest of the crumb mixture onto the top of each.
Put it in the freezer for a few hours.
Get out of tins with a knife and put in a freezer bag. 

Eat frozen.
SO delicious!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

TJ Maxx haul (and how I used some things)

TJ Maxx.....latest damage.

Two pumpkin spice candles and one oakmoss sage.
$ 6.99 and $7.99. Two were birthday gifts, one was for me (the oakmoss sage one was quickly called into use). I've come to accept that TJ is the best place to find expensive and seasonal candles cheap. I bought one for myself, but (sorry Bath and Body Works) I am a big fan of the DW home candle. I am also a fan of the price, (they are usually expensive)  

Three pumpkin spice soaps
$3.99 each. Again, two presents and one for me. (see how this works?) Along with great candles, TJ is the best for nice soap. I am a big fan.

Large gift bag
$1.99 on clearance.

White cake patter
$9.99. For use in the bathroom, of course. For wrangling the growing multitude of soap, face wash, shaving cream and the like at the side of the tub.

Nude bra
I lost my nice expensive one on this California trip. Its a long story that involves being sucked under by strong waves at Laguna Beach, drowning my I-phone and walking around all day in totally wet and smelly clothes with sand everywhere. I couldn't stomach spending a lot for another one right now. This $14.99 one does the trick.

Michael Kors sunglasses
On my list of nice things I want to own but wont pay a lot for are sunglasses. These were $12.99.

Insulated lunch bag
Free. I stumbled into a free brunch party at the store and these were being offered, which I gladly accepted with an apple, a banana, a water and a yogurt.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal: Pinterest tested recipe

Two thumbs way up.

Highly recommend and will be making again. I find these are best after they have sat overnight in the fridge.

Original pin here

Monday, October 12, 2015

A little sephora haul


Its ridiculous. Picking a new Sephora Formula X nail polish takes me an incredible amount of time and it feels like I'm making a major investment.  Its my favorite polish, its $10.50 and Sephora is not convenient for me to just pop in.... its still ridiculous. But, I feel like I committed to Push the Limits .

Josie Maran Argan Oil. heavy sigh. its expensive too. But I love it, and I only buy the smallest bottle, $16. Its the best thing I've ever found to use on my fingernails and cuticles. I mix a little with foot lotion at night and use some around my eyes before bed.  Whether true or not, I feel hydration is the enemy of wrinkles. I really love this stuff.

This is another you-tube (this one) made me buy it situation. The Sephora mask in rose.  It was $6. Its suppose to be... surprise... hydrating. I think it was and it smelled divine.  I like it so much I'll pick up another one when I'm there.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Guest room

It took a little longer than I expected, but the 2015 goals of house projects via the guest room is officially finished and about $75 was spent.  The unexpected time was partially due to really wanting to use yard sale items where I could, both because I wanted this to done cheap, and also because it is just fun to hunt down items at yard sales, and also delayed because, sometimes life just got in the way and diverted my attention.

It all started with the new quilt set I found somewhat on a whim at TJ Maxx for $39. I bought it with a vague plan for re-doing the room, but didn't really commit to it for about two months.  It eventually led to a bed skirt at Tuesday Morning for $16, then a rug from Home Goods for $19. I also bought one bed pillow from Wal-Mart for $2.88. That's the extent of the money I spent for the guest room.

Everything else was moved from another room or found cheap at yard sales. The light blue sheers were once in the master bedroom,  the nightstand is an old sewing machine that belonged to my aunt, the tissue cover was crocheted for me about 20 years ago, I've had the dolls and the dresser for at least that long. The yard sale items were:  big white mirror was $3 at a yard sales about 10 years ago. The two light blue shams were $1 each, the three white pillow cases were $.50 each (two pillows are hiding behind the shams), and the standing lamp was $5. And I painted the light switch instead of replacing it.

All finally coming together was greatly assisted with a visit from my cousin and neighbor who has a lot more energy than I do, and basically whipped it all in shape. Thank God for family members who don't work, so they have free time in the day, and interest in decorating rooms, even when they are not in their own house.

An added little surprise bonus is the guest bathroom is done too. It took two trips to TJ Maxx and one evening after work. 2015 goals getting accomplished.

PS.... the top is from my last Stitch Fix

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Weight Watcher quick and delicious steak taco

I modified a very quick and very delicious Weight Watcher's recipe for a very busy Tuesday night.

Tuesday's are one of my busiest nights, when I have Bible Study (this one) and little time in the evening for anything else.

The original recipe calls for flank steak, but I used a ribeye.  I seasoned it with taco seasoning mix and started it cooking. (One day I am going to make my own taco seasoning. really, its on my list).

While it was cooking, I:
  • chopped some cherry tomatoes, purple onion and cilantro and mixed it all together. 
  • heated a wheat tortilla and spread it with some sour cream and half an avocado.  
  • heavily salted and peppered. 

By the time the steak was cooked, everything else was ready to be piled on top of it.

It was really delicious and I even surprised myself how quick this was.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Saturday yard sale finds:
Black Metal standing lamp with white shade $5
I'm a big fan of a floor lamp. I have them all over my house and they are not cheap.  This was $5 and I could not pass it up. Its intended spot is in the guest bedroom as part of its little re-doing.
Small brown lamp with brown shade $2
My thoughts are starting to turn to the next item on my list after the guest room is done and the guest bath is going to get a little sprucing up. Again, just like the guest room, not doing enough to say its redecorating, just a little refreshing while not spending much at all and thinking this lamp will be part of that. 
Six white pillowcases and a matching flat sheet $4
 There were some pretty specific things I've been looking for to use in the guest room, and three white pillow cases were on the top of the list. I hit the yard sale jackpot with these. They are very heavy 100% cotton and were $.50 each. I bought six of them and the matching flat sheet. I needed three for the guest room.  What am I going to do with the others?  I told myself that having quality white pillow cases is never a bad idea. I plan to  buy a plain, high quality white fitted sheet to make a set.
Scissors $1
 I like to keep some in multiple rooms.
Two metal cake pans $2
It was only a few weeks ago when making four cakes for the food ministry at church that I realized that I only had one set of cake pans. That means, only making one cake at a time.  That's when the hunt official began. Since then, looking for heavy duty like new matching cake pans. This is my newest set.
Wire picture hanger $.10
I collect French toile trays and hang them over my buffet in the kitchen area. I am forever in need of these little hangers.
I'm linked here and here

Brand Logo HMLP 2015 © 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mani Monday- Essie Gel Setter

Does anyone else think Essie polish chips easily and just in general does not last?  They have the nicest colors and so shiny, but I find it is not long lasting polish.

I was excited to see the  new gel setter top coat.  So much so, I tried it out two weeks in a row.

I find, I can get through a work week with it a lot better than with the old standard top coat and it does extend the life of the polish to a good 4-5 days now.

Essie roarronge and Essie ladylike

I'm linked here

I'm linked here