Please Help Beau!

Imagine this scenario. You live in a trailer in Dyersburg, Tennessee. You leave your dog leashed outside the trailer while you are away. Two young children unleash him, and later claimed he killed a duck. Cops are called and they take your dog without your knowledge. Shortly thereafter a Judge declares he is to be euthanized for allegedly acting in an aggressive manner and killing a duck.

This happened in September. Four months later, he is still at the shelter and if not for the efforts of thousands, would have been killed in October. 

Here is the clincher: Beau is not aggressive, and he did not kill a duck. [Read more…]

Guest Post from Silo Hill Farm!

I think most of you know Danni from Silo Hill Farm, so you can understand why I’m so happy to be sharing one of her fabulously irresistible recipes today! Cinnamon Bread is truly one of my favorites things to eat, and this one looks exceptional! I can smell it from here :).

 
 
I’m Danni from Silo Hill Farm blog and I’m happy to be here at HouseHoneys today filling in for Doreen.  Although my blog is mostly about making my own home decor, sometimes I share a recipe or two because I do love to cook and I especially love to bake.I’m here today to provide you with something yummy, just for you because you made it through the holidays without losin it.  Yep, you cooked, you cleaned, you shopped, you wrapped, you stayed up late, you got up early, you entertained, you washed a mountain of dishes and maybe, just maybe, you deserve a little peace and quiet.  Maybe you should have a cup of coffee or tea and a slice or two of this wonderful Cinnamon Bread.  All to yourself.
 
 
 

This is not a complicated recipe.  I think it is one of the first things we made in Home Economics in 8th grade.  Remember when they called it that?  Now they call it Family and Consumer Science.  (Hmmm…as a teenage girl, those were not things that were on my mind. LOL!)  But I do remember that when we made this bread, the halls of the school smelled heavenly and the boys were particularly nice that day, hoping to get a slice.

This recipe is like any quick-bread recipe, goes together fast (because Jr. High girls have the attention span of a gnat) and no yeast, which means no kneading.

                                 Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Cup butter, softened

2 eggs

2 Cups of Buttermilk (or 2 C. milk plus 2 Tblsp. vinegar)

4 Cups of flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

Topping:

2/3 Cups sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Cream butter, sugar and eggs.  Add milk,flour and baking soda and mix thoroughly.  Put 1/2 of the batter (1/4 in each) in bottom of pans.  Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.  Add remaining batter to pans and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar mixture.  Stick a knife in and swirl the batter around a little.  Bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 20 minutes and invert onto a plate.  Cool completely before slicing.  Enjoy!



Here are links to a few other recipes I’ve shared that are particularly yummy, in case you wake up feeling all Consumer Science-y.

Magic Cake
Thai Peanut Chicken Salad



Thank you Doreen for letting me guest post here on your wonderful blog today.  Your “Trio of Christmas Bark” post was just awesome!

 

 

And thank YOU Danni for filling in for me while I’m having fun in the sun!  xxx 


Our Digs In Lake Worth

I’m sitting in the living room of our rental, alternating typing and watching the street out front and the occasional biker or walker who, unlike us, has decided to get an early start to what has shaped up to be a beautiful, sunny day.

frontofhouse

Yesterday we went to the beach, and tomorrow I have an appointment for a massage and facial while I’m sure Fisherman will go, you guessed it, fishing. At night we will most likely go to one of the many area restaurants for Trivia Night. First prize is $25. I told Fisherman it’s high time his extensive knowledge of useless information be put to good use. For today, while I was typing this post we have decided to bike along Rt. A1A and maybe use the GoPro camera. With any luck we might get some good shots of the jaw-droppingly beautiful homes along that road.

Now about our rental…

[Read more…]

How I Organized Our Kitchen

ORGANIZING THE KITCHEN

 

If you missed my post on ‘How I Organized Our Bathroom’, you can get to that right here. Now, are you ready for round two?

I’m going to show you the lions share of how I organized our kitchen, but let me tell you this process didn’t happen overnight. The biggest change we implemented, and the one that made a world of difference, was adding pull out drawers wherever possible. Once we knew we were going to make the cabin our full time home, we added them in every cabinet possible.  They make such a huge difference in the functionality of the kitchen! [Read more…]

How I Organized Our Bathroom

HOW I-2

 

It’s here. The beginning of a brand spanking New Year. The time when so many of us turn our thoughts to getting organized, because let’s face it, January and organizing go together like Lucy and Ethel.

This month is a busy one in blogland, full of fabulous organizing tips that kinda made me wonder if I have anything new to add to the conversation. Then I realized that yup, I do, simply because I’m NOT a professional organizer, but just a regular person like you who has gone through two moves in as many years and most recently combined two households into one. Oh, and the one we are in now is more than 700 sq. ft. smaller than our previous home, so I’ve learned a few things along the way. [Read more…]

2014 – A Year In Review

Happy New Year my friends! Hope you had a safe and happy evening ringing in 2015! 

Can you stand another recap post? Hope so! There have been so many lately, and for good reason. Recaps really gives us all the opportunity to take a look at what we accomplished because let’s face it, sometimes we sell ourselves short and think we didn’t do much at all, when in truth we did. For us, 2014 was a life changing year. We sold our business, moved to Massachusetts, and our daughter got married. I know many of you who are reading have been doing so for a while, but I’m pretty sure you still might have missed a few posts these last few months, and I simply just can’t let that happen! And to those of you who are relatively new here, some of these posts will give you a better idea of who I am (but in spite of that I hope you’ll stick around).

Here we go!

[Read more…]

A Diva Dinner

Some of my friends in our community have started a fun tradition we’ve called, albeit somewhat tongue in cheek, ‘Diva Dinner’. Several months ago one of our friends started an etiquette business and had a few of us over to her house to practice her schtick and it was then we decided to continue with the idea of getting together with just ‘the girls’ every few months. I missed the second dinner because we were at the Cape but lucky for me I made the next one at Penny’s. Penny has my favorite house on the lake which I gave you a glimpse of a while ago in this post, plus she used to own a floral shop so suffice it to say she knows her way around a tablescape.

 

elegant table

[Read more…]

Bright Nights and Kringle

It’s been a super busy week my friends, but something tells me I don’t have to tell YOU that ;). 

In addition to the usual hubbub this time of year brings, we’re packing and getting things ready for our two month stay down South, but recently I had the opportunity to attend some fun holiday events so here goes. (I pumped this post out at warp speed so please excuse the unedited pictures taken with my phone.)

We had the grandkids last weekend, and we took them to one of our favorite events called Bright Nights, i.e., where Liberace goes to throw up. It’s rated one of the top 10 holiday events in the country, and with good reason. This was our third time there, but Maddox, who is 4, had never been so we were excited for him to see it.

Unlike our prior visits, this time we waited nearly 2 hours to get in! It was 9:30 and by then Mikey, who is 11, feel asleep, but luckily Maddox stayed awake and was totally into it.

I’m only including two pictures because this post is super photo heavy and I just want to give you a snippet. You’ll have to come to Massachusetts to see the rest ;).

 

BRIGHT NIGHTS

Isn’t this beautiful?? There is a long road leading up to it, and from afar Maddox said it looked like a castle, and he was right. It takes about an hour to drive through the entire park, and you can tune your radio to a designated station and hear Santa guiding you through from the North Pole. It’s a really fun thing to do with kids and for anyone who is a kid at heart.

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Thursday I went with some friends to a candle store called Kringle, but it’s so much more than that. I have a weakness for gingerbread houses, so I’m showing those first, but truly there was tons of inspiration to look at.

CHRISTMAS DECOR

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S

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I also have a weakness for all white displays and angels. There’s something about them that’s so elegant and sophisticated.

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And we all know no house is complete without an upside down tree for a chandelier!

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bright nights

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After shopping, we went to a beautiful Farm to Table restaurant that was located next door called Farm Table (seriously), decorated like it was right out of a Ralph Lauren showroom. It was a lovely day but now I’m looking forward to spending Christmas in Charleston and warmer weather!

 

In other news…

 

I plan on getting one more post in before the big day. If you like pretty tablescapes, you won’t want to miss it!

 

Sharing At

Metamorphosis Monday

Take A ‘Peek’ (A Fun Blogging Tool)

Hello Friends! With Hanukkah and Christmas fast approaching, I’m guessing most of you are pretty busy right about now! But I hope you’re not too busy for this. I came across a web site a couple of weeks ago that I’ve been chompin’ at the bit to share with you! It’s called Peek and I love it, and you’re gonna love me for sharing it! Not only that, it can really help you gain some valuable insight into your website. Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a rut with my blog, but when someone else points something out that could use a little tweaking, it kinda gets my rear in gear, kwim?

 

Test Your Website

 

Here’s how it works: Once on their site (link below) simply put in your URL, the email address you want the results sent to, and you’re done. Just go about your business of saving the world, and in less than 24 hours, you’ll receive a video of someone ‘critiquing’ your website…yup, the good, the bad, and all the rest. So you need to put on your big girl panties and be brave, ’cause whoever is checking out your site isn’t going to like everything. 

As for me, a comment was made about the color of my MadMimi subscribe option in my sidebar. It was bright red and I have to admit I didn’t like it either, but hearing someone else articulate that (he specifically said it looked too ’90’s’) motivated me to change it. Another HUGE issue, at least for me, is that my site is not mobile friendly. You DO know that a big portion of users are viewing our sites on mobile devices, right? (Don’t worry, I’m not. I’m lucky I can read on the iPad version).

So…want to know if your site is responsive? That’s really easy to do also. Just click here and enter your URL and you’ll get your results in seconds. There’s also a link once you’re there to help you if you want to get your site up to snuff. It doesn’t always involve code, so don’t get nervous! Sometimes a plug in will do the trick, like Jetpack if you’re on WP for example, and I’m sure Blogger has a few as well.

Ready? Just click here for a look at the Peek website and an easy way to try this yourself. Feeling nosey and want to see the results of my mobile test? Click here. If you decide to do this, remember to have your site tested on a desktop and a mobile device as well. (Peek makes it easy because once you’re there they will ask, and they’ll also send you a follow up email reminding you.)

Oh, and did I mention it’s free? You get to request a test up to three times a month and a really cool feature is it doesn’t even have to be your site! You can test any website out there. So go ahead. Test out that blog’s website you love (or hate).

One caveat: the people who are testing are random people, so they may or may not fit your target market. If you have a Mom blog and a 75 year old retired lumberjack is checking out your site, chances are he may not get what you’re trying to do so take the critique with a grain of salt. In my case, I didn’t really change anything that wasn’t bothering me in the first place. I still have a few things to work on but I’ll get to them in due time. There’s also a paid version which gives you more options and you can even select your target market to check out your site, and there’s lots of other cool features. 

Give it a try and I’d love to know what you think!

 

In other news…

 

We had the grandkids this weekend for one last visit before we leave for two months. We took them to see A Christmas Carol at a cute little local theatre Friday night, and last night we went to a holiday light show called Bright Nights. I’ll share some pics soon, but suffice it to say it’s spectacular and most likely unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

In honor of our possible upcoming RV purchase, my friend picked this up for me, totally tongue in cheek ;).

 

gingerbread house

 

In year’s past, I made some very cute gingerbread houses with our oldest grandson which you can check out here, and this weekend we had fun today assembling this one. Thanks Elaine! 

A Trio of ‘Christmas’ Bark

chocolate christmas bark

 

Call the blogging police. I cheated a bit with the title of this post. There’s none of these in these barks,

candy

and there’s none of these,

candy

and there’s definitely none of these.

candy

 

*Note* This post has been updated on December 14th. I learned I wasn’t supposed to include the Salted Caramel Recipe here on the blog but I could link you to it.

There’s just gooey caramel, good quality chocolate and lots of other yummy goodness that will be sure to bring a smile, and a few pounds, to the teachers or co-workers, or anyone else, on your holiday gift list.

Chocolate bark is one of my favorite ‘I’m feeling lazy but want to make something’ things to make. It’s unbelievably easy and takes less than 30 minutes to put together. It’s super versatile too. Go ahead and put your favorite ingredients in, or use whatever you have on hand, (which is exactly what I did with the ‘Tropical Christmas Bark’).

I came across the Salted Caramel recipe over on MissInformation’s blog and couldn’t resist giving it a try. While I was at it, I gathered some ingredients and made the ‘Tropical Christmas Bark’ which I adore since I’m a coconut freak (hey, it has cranberries so that kinda counts as Christmasy), and as luck would have it, I came across another recipe in today’s local paper which sounds awesome, but I haven’t tried it so proceed at your own risk. ;) I’m just including it so I get to say ‘A Trio of Christmas Bark’ in the post title. Sounds better than ‘A duo’, right?

 

Tropical Christmas Bark
Yields 20
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. Approximately 16 oz of dark, good quality chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
  2. Approximately 8 oz of good quality milk chocolate
  3. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  4. 1 cup flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened. I used unsweetened. It's a matter of personal preference).
  5. 1 cup of chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. 1. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on a cookie sheet (see tip below)
  2. 2. Place both packages of chocolate chips in a separate bowl and melt in the microwave (or over a double boiler). If using the micro, set it for 2 minutes on high then stir. If you still have lumps, continue microwaving it in 30 second intervals.
  3. 3. Spread the melted chocolate with a spatula on the parchment, making sure the chocolate goes all the way to the edges.
  4. 4. Place the cranberries, coconut and pecans on top, distributing them accordingly
  5. 5. Place your cookie sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes
  6. 6. Take it out of the freezer and break the bark into pieces. The best way to do this is turn it over while attached to the paper and use a mallet to break it apart.
  7. 7.Pull off the paper and layer in a food safe container with parchment separating the pieces. Will keep for up to one week if refrigerated.
Notes
  1. Tip: use a damp sponge to lightly wipe the cookie sheet before you place the paper on it to prevent it from moving while spreading the chocolate.
  2. When melting chocolate, I like to take it to the point where there are still some lumps and then stir until the lumps disappear. I find this yields a creamier, glossier end product.
HouseHoneys.com http://www.househoneys.com/

chocolate bark

 

christmasbark1

 

Now here’s the recipe I mentioned that was in today’s paper:

Grown Up Crackle Bark
Serves 18
A satisfying sweet treat laden with peanut butter and honey
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon coffee beans, finely crushed (see notes below)
  2. 3 tablespoons barley malt syrup
  3. 6 tablespoons honey
  4. 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  5. 2 cups crushed Shreadded Wheat breakfast cereal
  6. 1/2 cup Grape-Nuts breakfast cereal
  7. 1/2 cup dark chocolate bits
  8. Coarse Sea Salt
  9. 1/2 cup chopped lightly salted peanuts
Instructions
  1. Have 2 sheets of parchment or waxed paper the size of baking sheets nearby.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coffee beans, malt syrup, honey and peanut butter. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in both cereals until everything is evenly coated. Spoon the mixture onto 1 sheet of waxed paper, then top it with the second sheet.
  3. Working quickly, use the back of a large spoon or a rolling pin to flatten and squash the mixture into a thin sheet about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the top sheet and top with the chocolate bits. Allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes so the chocolate can melt.
  4. Use a butter knife or offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the top of the bark. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and peanuts.
  5. Allow to fully cook, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for us to a week.
HouseHoneys.com http://www.househoneys.com/
Just in case you haven’t had enough Chocolate Bark for one day, take a look at my Trader Joe’s Copycat Chocolate Bark. OH.MY.GAWD. It’s awesome!

 

In other news…

 

Are you completely bored yet with hearing about my Birth Certificate fiasco? I know I am. Here’s the latest: I sent my Confirmation Certificate last Wednesday certified mail to them. As of today, they are saying they don’t have it, although the post office indicates it was received Monday at 9 a.m. ARRRGGGGHHHHHHH!

 

 

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