Monday, August 31, 2015

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Hi Everyone!

I have a sweet and sour chicken recipe to share with you today. I will confess, however that I used a store bought sauce for this to save a bit of time. Still, I did go through the process of battering and flouring the chicken and frying it. This is an easy recipe to do; but it take a little time to do. I intend to try this recipe for chicken with a honey sesame sauce as well soon.


-- 2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces and seasoned to taste
-- 1/2 cup flour, 
-- 1/2 cup cornstarch
-- 1 tsp baking powder
-- 1 tsp salt
-- 3/4 to 1 cup water
-- extra flour for extra dredging.
-- Vegetable oil for frying. (I use Smart Balance Oil)
-- 1 jar sweet and sour sauce (store bought or home made)
-- 1 can pineapple chunks drained (optional)


-- To make the batter, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl
-- Add the water and whisk together. Start with the smaller amount and add to it as necessary. You don't     want a "soupy" batter; but you don't want a clumpy thick batter either.
-- Put some extra flour on a plate for dredging 
-- Heat 2-3 inches of oil over medium heat in a deep skillet
-- Take small amounts of chicken and coat them in the flour on the plate and then put them in the bowl of batter 
-- Take the chicken out of the batter and re-dredge through the flour.
-- Add the chicken to the hot oil and cook on each side until crispy and brown. (Approximately 5-7 minutes on each side)
-- Remove the chicken from the oil and put on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat the process until all the chicken is done.
-- Heat a second skillet (or drain and wash the one you are using...which is what I did) over medium low heat.
-- Add the sweet and source sauce to the pan with 2 Tsp of cornstarch 
-- Slowly stir in 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water to thin the sauce to a nice consistency
-- Bring mixture to a boil and then lower the heat
-- Add the chicken back to the pan and the pineapple if using.
-- Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. 
-- Serve over Jasmine Rice.

That's all for me today. Enjoy your day and I'll see you tomorrow!

Linky Parties:

Not participating in as many as I normally do this week, because I have a busy day. I always hop around and leave some comments in the blogs that are participating. I mean isn't that what you're supposed to do?! Would appreciate a little comment love here if you have some time!

1. Mix it Up Monday
2. Munching Mondays 106
3. Marvelous Monday 69
4. What'd you do this Weekend?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe

Good Morning Everyone!

Welcome to this week's Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe. I hope you all had a good week. Ours was busy with the first full week of school and the end of lazy summer days. Lots of great recipes and fun stuff around the webiverse this week. Grab your coffee and let's see what's been happening.


--So many delicious recipes that people shared this week! These were my favorites. Stop by and visit these talented people and if you can give a recipe a try!

1. Pizza Stuffed Chicken: By Stacie at Simply Stacie
2. Turkey and Cheddar Pinwheels: by Kim at Today's Creative Life
3. Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo: by Leanne at Urban Girl Bakes
4. 12 chocolate desserts: by Summer at Summer Scraps
5. Cupcake Brownie with Funnel Cake and Caramel Sauce: found at "A Worthey Read"


--Wow! What a busy news week! Another shooting in Ferguson, MO...this time a 9 year old girl. (So sad!) The tragedy of the reporters killed in Virginia during a LIVE broadcast. An Airshow disaster in West Sussex England, Heroes on the train in Amsterdam. Greece gets a new female PM. The stock market was up and down and all around and will Joe Biden put his hat in the Presidential Campaign ring or not?

A few other interesting news stories to share as well:

-- This nurse was in a car accident and then set all the bones in her broken leg: BY. HERSELF!! So, she pretty much wins the "Totally Incredible" award for the week.
-- Another awesome medical story is this one about the little boy who received two brand new hands through a transplant.  Seriously? The things medicine can accomplish these days...WORD!
-- This article about What Every Successful Person Knows  featuring "This American's Life's" Ira Glass is a fantastic read and so very true! I've included the sound clip here for you as well.

Pinterest Favorites:

--New to the Coffee Cafe this week is "Pinterest Favorites" this will take the place of  "Blogs and Cards" for right now.  These are things that have caught my eye through my strolls down "Pinterest Lane" this week:

Even though summer is coming to an end, I love this casual little summer outfit for my teenage daughter!

Casual Summer Look found at Polyvore

I created a card that I will be sharing on Tuesday using this fabulous color palette! 

Great blog about letting go of sentimental objects to help cut down on clutter in your home. 

Finally, my favorite card for the week is this uniquely designed card by Jackie at "Just Stamp It" 


-- Finally, I leave you with a few random thoughts and stories: 

I read this book "The Art of Racing in the Rain" and then I read this story about a dog with terminal cancer seeing the ocean for the first time.  and then basically I was a hot ugly crying mess for about 30 minutes!!

-- This PTA Fundraiser Slip is quite possibly the BEST. THING. EVER!!  I understand it costs money to keep schools going...but I stopped making my kids participate in fundraising a long time ago. I don't ask for money from other people and I don't give money either. This, however? This I would TOTALLY do!!

--Some lawmaker in Montana wants to make Yoga Pants Illegal! Saying that they fall under the "indecent exposure" category. Are you rolling your eyes yet?!
This article highlights things that should be made illegal long before yoga pants! My opinion? Whatever, Mr. Montana Lawmaker--go birth a baby (or two or three) and then come back and talk to me about yoga pants. I've EARNED my right to wear yoga pants! 


That is all for me this week! Until next time...

Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Ways to Encourage Success in School

Hi Everyone!

Summer has officially come to an end with the start of a new school year. Each year as my kids return to the hallowed halls of academia, I have great hope and determination to see them have a great year in all aspects: educationally, socially, and developmentally. I recognize each year, however, that the onus of that expectation does not solely lie in their hands. As their mother, I feel as though I have an obligation and responsibility to give them the tools they need and to guide them down that road to success in school.
Every family is different; and every family views education and success in school differently. Some parents don't equate success in school with grades and don't establish grade requirements. I think they are beneficial, so we do have grade requirements; but they don't begin until 8th grade (which is a "grace" year.)

Other ways I have found that help me encourage success in my children include:

1. Reading: 20-30 Minutes Every Night.  This is a habit that is best to start early--Kindergarten, if possible. In the early years, reading to your child is very important; but encourage them to read to you as well. Praise their successes. As a four or five year old, reading the sentence "Sam sat on the mat" for the first time all by yourself is a BIG deal!! Guide them through their failures and frustrations as well.
Reading and reading comprehension are vital to a child's growth and success, not only in school; but also in life. Like most parents, my first child is often the test study when it comes to many things. I will confess that I failed miserably. I just assumed that my daughter would reach 12 years old, and follow in my once young footsteps, and read "Are you there, God? It' s me Margeret." and her insatiable need to read everything journey would begin....yeah...not so much. Don't get me wrong, she will read; but it has to be a book she REALLY likes; and then she'll read it non-stop.
With my boys, I just didn't give them a 8:30-9pm is reading time every night.

2. Routine: Important at Home and School.  There is a reason most teachers follow a schedule in their classroom. Children thrive on structure and rhythm in a day, they need that structure and guidance. They often find comfort in knowing what to expect throughout the day. However, most teachers find a way to balance routine with spontaneity. Following a routine doesn't have to mean boring.
Establishing a routine at home can also helpthem succeed. Of course, there will always be soccer games, doctor's appointments, band practice and the like. Still, there is a way to incorporate routine into a crazy day. Try to establish a consistent time for reading and for bed time each night. Also, a regular waking up time and morning routine before school is important too.
Routine doesn't have to always revolve around time management. Simple habits like packing their backpacks at night before going to bed and making their beds in the morning are effective routines to establish. Routines help children focus on their responsibilities; and fulfilling those responsibilities is an accomplishment which ultimately helps lead to success.

3. Independence: Give Them a Chance to Shine. It can feel very tempting to just give the answer to the math problem you've been watching your child struggle to do for 10 minutes. After all, there's dinner to cook, the dog to be fed, laundry folded and your life would be SO much easier if we could just move on to the next problem and get this homework done, right?! WRONG! Guess what? It is NOT about is about your child and their ability to apply what (hopefully) they learned in school that day. That being said, there's nothing wrong with guiding and asking questions to help show them the way; but let them get to the answer on their own.
Once my children reached 2nd grade, I stopped sitting at the table watching them do every single piece of homework. Every day after school, I ask them, "Do you have homework?" If they say yes, then they sit at the table (or at the desk in their room) and do it. I tell them I am available to help if they need anything; but then I pretty much let them steer their own ship. I also don't check their homework--unless I know it's an area with which they've been struggling or needed help. It isn't that I think it's the teacher's "job", I just choose to believe in my child's ability; and that they know the right answers to the questions they've been asked.
Children need to feel as though they're learning and accomplishing through their own hard work. Their teachers are working hard at school to help them build the ladders they need to climb to academic success. Catch them if they fall; but encourage them to climb, nevertheless.

4. Failure: It isn't Personal. Failure is a part of learning. Rare is the child who can make it through an entire high school career without failing a test, or a quiz or a homework assigment. When your child fails, however, it is important that they don't personalize it. They should never feel as though failing an Algebra test makes them stupid or incompetent or unable to learn the material. As parents, we must be careful to not allow our own frustrations and sometimes disappointment in our children's academic performances to manifest as personal attacks against them. There can be a wide variety of reasons your child fails a test or a homework assignment. Find out what those reasons are by opening a line of communication with your child and his teacher. Many times a parent's frustration about failure is a result of not understanding what the teacher expected from the student. Develop a plan to help get your child back on track and try to encourage him in positive ways to improve.

5. Learning: It's a Process. There is a reason why school lasts 13 years (more if continued through college) and that is because learning is a process. It takes time...plain and simple. What is easy for you as a parent at 35 years old can be difficult and frustrating for a 6 year old who hasn't done it yet. Just because you still remember the "Order of Operations" for math class all these years later doesn't mean your 8th grader has it memorized yet. Our lives these days are so advanced with technology and research and "expert studies" about education and children that sometimes I believe we expect our children to come home at the end of kindergarten with a master's degree. Learning is an evolution. It is not something that you check off as though it's part of a "to-do" list. Be patient with your child as he travels down the path of academia; and try to remember that most of it is new to him and that his brain is still developing. Help him and encourage him to WANT to continue to learn. Ask questions that promote thinking and understanding of the material and know that two days from now, he probably won't remember what you've talked about...and then ask the questions again, talk about it again. Have faith in them and teach them to have faith in themselves.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday

Good Morning Everyone!

With the start of school over the past couple of weeks for everyone, I thought this poem by Dorothy Law Nolte was perfect for this week's "Thoughtful Thursday"

It is a long one; but I hope you take time to read through it. Have a great day and I'll see you tomorrow for this week's parenting post: 5 Ways to Encourage Success in School. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

CAS Happy Birthday

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are all having a good start to your week. I have a CAS birthday card to share with you this week.

I hope you like it! That's it for me today. Have a great afternoon and I'll see you tomorrow!


Little Patch of Crafty Friends: Anything Goes (2nd Entry)
Crafty Friends: CAS
Scrapper's Delight: Anything Goes
Artistic Inspirations: Anything Goes
Crafting From the Heart: Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes
Crafty Cardmakers: No Patterned Paper
Get Creative Challenges: No Patterned Paper
Incy Wincy Designs: Birthday Wishes

Monday, August 24, 2015

Peanut Butter Pecan Caramel Bars

Hi Everyone!

First day of school today for my kiddos! I am both sad and excited, they are all getting so big waaayyy too fast!

Anyhow, enough about me. Let's get to this week's recipe. I was having a hard time this week coming up with a recipe, I gotta tell ya. I had two criteria when trying to decide what to make:

1) I wanted to do something original...not just copied from Pinterest or the webiverse. Now, I don't doubt that there are probably similar recipes out there; but this one came right from my own little head.
2) I didn't want to go to the store. I had to use what I already had in the cupboards.

So, in the end, this is what I came up with. You could cut these into squares, which I did at first; but as a word of warning, the are very rich. I felt like a little bit went a long way, so I cut them in half. I sprinkled half with pecans on top and left half plain. I have one child that likes them and one who doesn't....I'm here to try to please everyone!

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-- 1 Cup Peanut Butter. (Crunchy or creamy your choice...I used a little bit of both)
-- 1/2 cup white sugar
--1/2 cup brown sugar
-- 1/8 to 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
-- 2 eggs
-- 1/2 cup flour
-- 1 tsp baking powder
-- 1 tsp salt
-- Chocolate chips. (optional...I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate allergy friendly)
-- Chopped Pecans (optional)
-- 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar (for caramel)


-- Preheat oven to 350
-- Put peanut butter and sugars into a mixing bowl and cream together.
-- Add the Coconut Oil. Start with 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) and add more if you need to get that "creamy texture"
-- Stop mixer and scrape the bowl.
-- Add eggs one at a time mix until incorporated.
-- Add vanilla
-- Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
-- Slowly add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture until all incorporated. Don't over mix
-- Stir in chocolate chips if using.
-- Spread batter into 11x7 pan ( I used my Pampered Chef medium bar pan)
-- Bake for 15 mins
-- While they are baking, melt the butter and the brown sugar in a small pan and stir together to make the caramel sauce. Watch it carefully and don't let it burn.
-- After 15 minutes take the pan out of the oven and pour the warm caramel sauce over the warm bars and top with pecans if using.
-- Return pan to the oven for 3 or 4 minutes.
-- Cool completely before cutting.

Adding this recipe to the following linky parties:

1. Bowl Me Over: Try a Bite Tuesday *
2. Flour Me With Love: Mix it Up Monday
3. Joy Love Food: What'd you do this Weekend? 
4. Nibbles by Nic: Munching Mondays 105
6. Table For Seven: Inspire Me Mondays 
7. Smart Party Planning: Marvelous Monday 68
8. Skip to My Lou: Made by You Monday

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe

Hi Everyone!

I have a bit of an abbreviated version of Coffee Cafe this week, for you. It's been a busy week and in order to have this posted and ready for you on Saturday morning, I actually do all the prep work for it between Thursday and Friday. With the start of school on Monday, I just have a lot going on this week. But for now, grab your coffee and let's see what's been happening this week! 

**On a side note...I know the font and typeset of this week's post is all whacky! I'm sorry about that...I'm not sure why that is. Hopefully it won't be this way next week.**


There were so many yummy recipes out there this week, I just HAD to choose FIVE instead of the normal three! Click the links in the caption and they will take you to the wonderful blogs featuring each of these delicious items!

1. Feta&Strawberry Chicken Salad by Linda at With a Blast
  2.Shrimp Fried Rice (by Amanda at Chunky Chef)
3. Mini Ranch Chicken Rolls (by Tanya at Lulu for Lemons)
4. Dessert Bar Recipes (by Clare at Super Mommy Club)
5. Sausage and Tortellini Alfredo Salad (by Lolli at Better in Bulk)


--The news was dominated this week by explosion in Bangkok with other stories about continued violence in the South Sudan. Isis beheaded someone else in Syria...(it's a bit sad that this is no longer surprising and it is just barely shocking anymore); and more confusion and doubts about the future of Greece as the PM resigns and calls for new elections.

-- A few other interesting stories:

1. Wildfires continue to rage in the Northwest of the United States
2. A second man has been charged in the death of Cecil the Lion
3. There is a renewed push by California Lawmakers to pass a Right to Die Bill. 

Blogs and Crafts:

--Two beautiful cards to share this week:

 "Birthday Greetings" by Irene at All Occasions and 
 "Peace Dove" by Asha at Sunny Summer Crafts

Blog you should go visit and read this week:

-- Parent Communication Journal. I LOVE this idea by Kristi at "I should be mopping floors" and totally plan to do with my 6th grader this year. He's my "quiet, doesn't share feelings often" child. I think this will be a valuable tool for he and I as we begin our middle school journey this year!

-- This post about Not So Perfect Moments and Family Memories by Shellie at The Fabulous Journey is delightful read and rings surprisingly true in many ways. 

That is all for this week, kids! I'll be back next week with proper version of Coffee Cafe. Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday

Hi Everyone!

Starting a new feature this week on the blog: "Thoughtful Thursday." There seems to be quotes everywhere these days. You see them on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc. I love to read them; and often times I find that one will come along that is perfect for how I"m feeling at that moment.
So, "Thoughtful Thursday" is just a simple post highlighting a quote I've found and has given me reason to pause. Maybe it will give you something to think about as well. Maybe it will help you understand something in your life that you're struggling with at the moment. Maybe it will make you laugh out loud while you're getting your latte at Starbucks. Whatever the effect is, I hope you enjoy them.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Thinking of You

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are all having a good morning. If you missed it yesterday, I posted a recipe for a Greek Pasta Salad perfect for an end of summer potluck. Go check it out...let me know what you think!

Here is my card for this week. Fairly simple design and easy to make. I found the sketch on Pinterest. I have a board of "Card Sketches" Are you following me on Pinterest? No...why ever not?!! It's OK, I forgive you. You can find me here: Dori Shelton. You can also click the bar over there on the side---> for the PCC Pinterest board.

Anyhow, as you can see, just a neutral base, some patterned paper and bit of edging with some distress ink (Vintage Photo and Antique Linen) A few flowers and a simple statement (from Clearly Besotted)

Have a great day, everyone! I will not be posting a parenting post this week, as my son has a doctor's appointment in the morning. I'll be back Thursday though with a new feature for the blog. I hope you come to visit again!

Challenges: Links found on

1. 613 Avenue Create: Anything Goes 137
2. Little Patch of Crafty Friends: Anything Goes 16

1. Artistic Inspirations: Anything Goes
2. Crafting from the heart: Anything Goes 73
3. Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes 275
4. Loves to Scrap: Anything Goes 60

Monday, August 17, 2015

Grilled Chicken Greek Pasta Salad

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend. We are getting ready for a busy week in preparation for back to school next week. Have your kids started back to school yet?!
This week's recipe is something I've been wanting to try for a while. Occasionally, I get inspired to try to just make something on my own...without the aid of Google or Pinterest! So, I thought an easy thing to make would be a Greek inspired pasta salad. So, after a bit of thinking and a trip to the grocery store, this is what I came up with:

Now, I will say that this makes a BIG bowl of pasta salad! I probably should have waited until I had a pot luck of some kind to attend, because as of now, it's just me eating it...which I'll probably be doing until Christmas! (Kidding...I'm kidding...)

It was super easy to make, however and completely customizable. You can add or leave out any of the ingredients you want, really. I try to think of things to add that fit the Greek theme, since that is the point of the salad, after all.

So here we go:

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-- 1 12oz bag of tri-colored pasta 
-- 1/2- 3/4 cup of Kraft Greek Vinaigrette Dressing
-- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata Olives halved
-- 1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts. (you may not need the whole jar)
-- 1 Roma Tomato seeded and diced
-- Crumbled Feta Cheese to taste
-- 1 Tbsp honey (optional)
-- Black Pepper to taste
-- 1 cup diced cooked chicken (Optional)


-- Cook pasta according to directions, drain.
-- While pasta is warm add the Vinaigrette dressing. Start with the 1/2 cup and toss. Taste test and add more if desired. Set aside to cool for about 5-10 mins
-- Add the remaining ingredients (except the honey) and toss well.
-- Taste Test.
-- There are a lot of salty items in this recipe, so here is where you can decide if you want to add the honey. I did...I found it was just enough (don't add more than a Tbsp) to balance out the saltiness.

This pasta salad is delicious served immediately while it's still a little warm or is also fantastic served cold the next day! 

Linky parties: (Some of these weren't posted yet at the time I posted this, so I will go back throughout the day and set the links)

1. Bowl Me Over: Try a Bite Tuesday 
2. Flour Me with Love: Mix it up Monday 
3. Joy Love Food: What'd do this weekend? 

What'd You Do This Weekend
4. Nibbles by Nic: Munching Mondays #104
5. Lou Lou Girls: Fabulous Monday 
6. Table For Seven: Inspire Me Mondays 
7.Smart Party Planning: Marvelous Monday 67
8. Skip to My Lou: Made by you Monday 

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a great week. Mine was good; but definitely starting to get busier with the upcoming start of a new school year. Ok, grab your coffee and let's see what's been happening this week!


-- I have to admit, when I first heard the term "Fish Taco", I was both intrigued and slightly dumbfounded. After all in my limited culinary world, the two options for anything in a taco were simply beef and chicken, period. I tried my first fish tacos recently at Buffalo Wild Wings and I will say that I was pleasantly surprised.  Diane's recipe for Quick Fish Tacos looks so yummy. Since I'm the only one in my house eating fish at the moment, I like the fact that I could just make an individual serving for me for either a quick lunch or an easy dinner.

-- This week's sweet treat link (you knew there'd be one!) is this yummy recipe from Anjanette for S'more's Chocolate Cookie Cups. I really like the idea of these little mini cup dessert bites I've been seeing lately. I like to have a little bite of something sweet right after dinner; but I hate the idea of eating a whole cupcake or piece of cake. Desserts and treats like this are perfectly satisfying!

-- Finally, we'll close out these week's recipe roundup with a great blog post from Erlene with 30+make ahead recipes for great back to school breakfast recipes. There are a TON of recipes and links here...Go click a few, or all of won't be disappointed! 


-- More violence in Ferguson, (is it ever going to stop?!) as well as in Turkey. Explosions in China, Stress and upheaval in Greece. An 11 year old girl gave birth in Paraguay...yes you read that correctly. I'll wait a moment while you recover....and a murder at an IKEA store in Sweden?!?! Never a dull moment in this world, that's for sure. A few other items of interest for you this week:

                -- The young archaeologist in you may find this story about the tomb of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti quite interesting. Apparently her final resting place may have been blocked by King Tut's tomb. The history and exact "occupation" (for lack of a better word) of  Queen Nefertiti is very intriguing.

              -- Former President Jimmy Carter has cancer. *Sigh* it's always the good guys isn't it?!

              -- As parents, we need to all get it together and stop making our children nervous about math. Apparently, their abilities to do well in math are often hindered by our own lack of confidence and assumed inabilities in math. So, foot forward from now on, ok?!  Even if you have to fake understanding, which I have...quite often!

Cards and Crafts:

-- Two beautiful cards to share with you this week:

Hey There Cupcake by Nancy
at Creative Palette

by Isha Gupta at Hobbies and Ideas

--This Stained Glass art by Sara over at Bitz and Giggles looks like a fun craft to do with the kids!


A few random thoughts and links for you before I go:

--If you are a single lady going to a wedding this summer, you should watch these videos on the 11 Bouquet Toss Failures so you'll know what not to do! On a side note, if you're a soon to be bride, PLEASE do NOT smile like the girl in this picture...EVER!

--This list of reasons why elephants may be the best moms in the animal kingdom will make your day! This picture alone...I mean...COME. ON! I can barely stand the cuteness!!

--"LOL" is dead. Kicked to the curb by "haha", "hehe" and emoji


--Your picture of the week:

Assateague Island National Seashore. A 37 mile long island along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia

photo courtesy of Bob Farrelli

Until next time....

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Five Lies I've Told My Children

Hi Everyone!

I don't know about you; but for me, as a mother, one of the biggest lessons I try to teach my children is that of honesty. Lessons of "always tell the matter what", are taught from an early age in our house.


I may not have always followed my own advice when it comes to honesty with my children. You know what I mean, don't you? Sometimes for the sake of your own sanity; and quite often for their own well being, you just HAVE to tell, an "untruth" (this is where you play the imaginary "Dun Dun Dun" sound in your head)  Now, to be clear, I've never lied about important things to them: family matters, health questions etc.

So what lies or "untruths" have I dared to tell my children?

1. I have Santa's Phone Number!  (and you have to be 25 before I'll tell you what it is) The discussion of whether or not Santa is real has never come up in our house. "In order to receive, you must believe" is the general rule around here. However, when my oldest son was about 5 years old, he went through a slight "misbehaving" phase shortly before Christmas. I told him if he didn't behave, I would call Santa and tell him not to come to our house with presents for him this year. He promptly responded with "you can't call don't know his phone number!"

Well...BRING. IT. ON. little boy!!!

"Yes, I do have Santa's phone number!"

"Well, I want to know Santa's phone number!"

"No, you're not old enough"

"How old do I have to be?"


"I have to wait THAT long?!"

"Yes...yes you do."

The Santa's phone number story continues to be brought up today....even though he's now 11 years old, and well...I think the Santa conversation is now more for my benefit than his!

2. It doesn't REALLY hurt...THAT much. 

"No...that shot you're getting ready to have isn't going to hurt you at all"

"This medicine that we have to put on to that cut on your knee isn't going to sting...well maybe for a moment."

3. No, the roller coaster doesn't go VERY fast.

It actually goes faster than your young mind can fathom; but's a right of passage for everyone; and who am I to deny you this moment in life?!

4. No, it doesn't have any vegetables in it at all.

At least none that you can see! We'll not discuss the celery, carrots, onion and peppers that I blended up and dissolved into the sauce.

We also won't discuss the fact that that bread you're eating has carrots AND zucchini in it *GASP*

5. No, I have never ever done that....

*Sigh* but I probably really have; and I know one day, you probably will too.

Lies are a necessary evil of parenting sometimes. As parents, I don't believe we tell lies from a place of malice. I think we sometimes lie to our children with the intentions of protecting them or for their well being. Sometimes we lie to our children because there are times in which life just needs to be experienced without a preview.  Always be honest when and where you have to be with your children; but don't beat yourself up over a few little white lies. After all, they will probably grow up and tell their own children the very same ones!

Have a great day, and I'll see you again tomorrow!

Linky parties:

1. Not So Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hope and Flowers

Hi Everyone!

Here with this week's card to share. I decided to play along with this week's Mojo Monday sketch, which I haven't done in a very long time!
I'm still toiling and tweaking with photo spots in the house. I think I found a good spot, now I just need to find good time. 
This will do for today, however!
Have a great day, everyone! I'll see you tomorrow for this week's parenting post: "Five Lies I've Told My Children"

Crafting when we can: Ribbon,twine or washi
Glitter n Sparkle: Add some flowers
Crafty Calendar: Bingo: I chose Kraft, Ribbon and faux stitching
Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes

Monday, August 10, 2015

A "Snack Day" Birthday Celebration!

Hi Everyone!

I have a very special post to share this week with links to  lots of great recipes. My beautiful and amazing daughter turned 15 on Saturday! To celebrate, she decided she didn't want to go out anywhere, she just wanted to have a "snack day" birthday celebration at home. She loves "Snack Day"! Snack day is a day where I make lots of yummy food and treats and I just leave things on the table and we snack all day, watch TV and just hang out.
Since this was a special snack day, I made more than I normally do as you can see here by the picture I took of everything once I got it all on the table!

Here are some more pictures of a few of the items I made.

Chicken, bacon and cheese crescent squares adapted and modified from the Pampered Chef Clubhouse Chicken Squares recipe. I always leave out the cucumber and tomatoes on top because my kids just don't like them.

Next was this Cheesy Artichoke and Spinach Dip recipe that I tweaked a little by adding a little less sour cream (mainly because I didn't have quite enough; but it was ok) I also added some paprika and garlic powder.

These Ham and Swiss Sweet Roll Sliders are always a popular party appetizer. No tweaks or modifications. I just followed the recipe and it came out great as always!

Finally, the centerpiece and star of the show:
Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream Frosting 

Now, full disclosure, I used a box mix for the cupcakes. (Hey...I was making all the food by myself! I took shortcuts where I could!)  I did, however follow the recipe for the mint buttercream frosting. OH.MY.WORD the yumminess was unreal, people...Mind Blown!! I added extra mint to mine and more green food coloring to get the result I wanted. I was extra proud of myself for piping the frosting myself for the first time. Not too bad, if I do say so myself!

It was a fabulous day and all our bellies were full with enough leftovers to enjoy Sunday as well.

I hope this inspires you to try a snack day with your family one weekend!

Have a great day ad I'll see you tomorrow.

Sharing with these great linky parties:

1. Mix It Up Mondays

2. Marvelous Monday Linky Party 66

3. Small Victories Sunday Linkup 62

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe. If you are new to the blog, this is a weekly round up of things that have caught my attention around the web-i-verse during this past week. There's no rhyme or reason to what I choose. We'll talk about some food and recipes, some back page and front page news items, blogs I've enjoyed reading, amazing crafts and finally we'll end with a picture of the week. (If you are a return visitor to the blog, this used to be called "Saturday Morning Coffee Thoughts" Just a minor little title change.)

Ok, so grab your coffee or warm beverage of choice and let's see what's been going on this week.

One of my favorite salads when I go to Panera Bread for lunch is the Greek Salad. I just love the tanginess and saltiness of the olives, tomatoes and feta cheese with the vinaigrette. So when I saw this recipe for Greek Inspired Chicken Nachos I knew it would go on my "party appetizers" list as well as to possibly a great idea for a simple lunch or dinner.

I may have actually drooled just a little when I saw these Salted Caramel Cookie Bites. It pretty much has two of my favorite things: saltiness, and sweetness wrapped up in one "almost" guilt free tiny bite. You should totally make these this weekend. Your kids will think YOU. ARE. AMAZING!!

This Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole looks like a great and easy weeknight dinner. I am always looking for recipes that are "in the oven" and done. I love the idea of the potato cakes on top. Will definitely be putting this on my menu next week.

As always it's been a busy week in the news. Lots of chatter about President Obama's new climate plan, discovery of parts of the MH370 plane, and the wildfires in California. Flooding in India and another typhoon in the Pacific. Oh, and I guess this "Donald Trump for President" is a thing.... seriously?!
I dug around a little deeper, as I always do and found a few more stories that you might enjoy:

I will fully admit that I've never seen "The Daily Show." I know....I know...this is tantamount to personal failure on an epic level. Still, even I know that Jon Stewart's Retirement from that show is HUGE! So for those who watched and enjoyed him on a regular basis, I offer big hugs and wishes for fond farewells.

It's been 70 years since the Bombing of Hiroshima. The debate as to whether it was the right decision to end the war or just senseless murder of thousands of innocent people will continue, I suspect, for another 70 years. It is important, however to take a moment and recognize its place in history.

I'm not sure the world will ever get over the tragic death of Cecil the Lion. Isn't it funny, though how mankind can mourn the death of creature that could just as easily have killed a human...and never thought twice about it? Compassion is a human's single greatest and most unique quality. There are so many endangered animals in the world and I applaud the Empire State Building's Pictorial Display of all of them.

I blog and I love to share what I've created, my thoughts and recipes. I also love to see what other people are blogging about. I found great comfort and inspiration in this beautiful post by Britni: What is My Purpose Today?

Mari shared a wonderful blog about how we all  Live with Worry in our daily lives and that it is ok to accept that worry because it can motivate us to make changes and push forward to solutions needed to make our lives better. This post spoke to me on a very personal level this week, and I'm so happy I found it.

A new school year is fast approaching. If you have a child entering a new school this year, you should read this wonderful post Raki wrote about Preparing for a New School. She has some practical, easy and useful ideas to make this scary transition for kids a more pleasant process.

I found two beautiful cards this week in my travels through "card challenge" land. Fellow crafters will understand what this means.

"For You" by Barbara Bruder at
Art and Soul Creations

"Coral Butterfly" by Andrea at
Savvy Handmade Cards

A couple of last random thoughts before I go.

I found this article connecting picky eaters with warning signs of mental health problems informative, and kinda terrifying at the same time

You knew it was coming...another iPhone. Supposedly in September. Remember when that used to be exciting? I don't know about you; but now I kinda feel like it's become a bit predictable and trite, you know...another day...another iPhone. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone. My 5c works great and does every thing I need. I don't feel the need to chase the "Apple Train"

For all you mystery buffs out there, apparently there is a formula to crack Agatha Christie Murder Mysteries

Finally, your picture of the week, which is actually a Gif I found on Pinterest. Click the caption to visit the blog to see some more amazing moon photography.

Blue Moon found on Aspundir Blog

Until next time....