Friday Favorites

T.G.I.F!! I hope that everyone had a great week, and is ready the weekend. If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that we’ve been fighting colds all week, and are finally on the mend. Thank goodness!

Here’s another edition of “Friday Favorites” for you! A little shopping, the best pumpkin crisp recipe (From Southern Living, of course) & more!

We hosted my parents for dinner last Sunday, and I decided to make Southern Living’s “Pumpkin Crisp” recipe. It was so easy to make, and it was delicious!

J.Crew Elsie Bow Pumps

Elise Bow PumpsHow gorgeous are these heels? I think I might have to ask Santa for these this year.

Mini Boden Cozy Animal Jacket
teddy bear jacket
Since we have two boys, we are able to hand down a lot of clothes to our youngest (thankfully); however, I still like to add a few pieces that are purely his own. This jacket is the absolute cutest, and is definitely being added to his closest! They’re only little once!

Pompom Canvas Storage Baskets
pompom baskets
Trust me, I absolutely love seeing the boys having fun, playing & using their imaginations with their toys all over the house; however, I also love to tidy it all up every.single.night. It actually relaxes me, I know, I’m totally weird. I am sort of a neat freak, and that’s why these little baskets are a dream. Baskets that are cute & functional, two of my favorite qualities!

kate spade quote
image via

Have a happy weekend!

Easy Smoothie Recipe

I try to make this smoothie for my husband and I almost every weekday morning in the Summer. It’s so fresh, healthy, and an added bonus, it fills you up until lunch. I do add a tiny bit of peanut butter or almond butter for protein. It’s also easy to sneak this into our toddler’s juice cup to get lots of great fruits & veggies in him at the beginning of the day. I will admit, some days we just can’t sneak that spinach past him. As our pediatrician says, “just keep trying,” so we do!


1 banana
5 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
3/4 cup pre-washed spinach
1/2 cup Horizon 2% milk
2 tbsp organic vanilla yogurt
2 tsp almond butter or peanut butter
(depending on your mood, ha!)

Blend it up, and you’re done! Now, I also have my 2-3 cups of coffee alongside this healthy start, but this Momma needs her coffee.


Blackberry Crisp

I’ve fallen even more in love with blackberries this Summer, especially if I can pick them up at the local farmers’ market. Blackberries eaten alone or in a recipe are divine in our household. I’ve blogged awhile ago about my “Apple Crisp” recipe (given to me from a dear friend of mine); however, I decided to cut that recipe in half and make a few changes for the blackberry crisp.  My husband LOVES blackberries, so I surprised him one night with it on a whim, and now it’s his most requested dessert. It literally takes less me than 5 minutes to prepare, and you can still keep a close eye on your kids while making it! That’s my kind of recipe with an active toddler under my feet all day. It’s also a great dessert to bring to any gathering. It’s delicious, and gives you more “getting ready” time, too.



1/2 Gallon fresh blackberries
(I feel like the local farmer’s market has the best flavor, but store bought works, too!)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, then grab your favorite 8×8 pan, no greasing necessary.
2. Wash all of the blackberries
3. Toss them into the bottom of your 8×8 pan
4. Add 2 teaspoons of water
5. Next, mix up the “crisp” topping

1 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup butter ( 1 full stick)

5. To save time, unwrap your stick of butter, place in a microwave safe bowl
(microwave for about 30 seconds, or until completely melted)
6. Next, add your flour and sugar to the melted butter in the same bowl.
7. Stir together until flour & sugar are completely coated in the melted butter.
8. Pour the crisp evenly over the blackberries

Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown (like the photo above). Your kitchen will smell heavenly, and your family will love this treat!

Sometimes, we serve it with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Now, depending on what fruits are in season, I’ve made this with granny smith apples (just add cinnamon), peaches and I want to make it with blueberries next! If you have a bigger crowd to feed, you can double the fruit and crisp, and make it in an 11×13 dish, just bake it for about 45 minutes.


Raspberry-Almond Shortbread Cookies

Ever since having our little one (19 months ago), I haven’t been baking as much as I used to in the past. I think the main reason is the fact that I spend my days chasing after a busy little bee all day, nor, do I want the temptation around my house. After all, I have worked really hard to lose all of the baby weight. The extra calories are just not worth it in my mind.  And, I love my clothes that much.

However,  I do think about baking during nap time, but then I end up folding laundry or vacuuming instead (I know, oh so glamorous, right?). No, really, I love taking care of my little family.


Enough rambling for now, and back to the baking. I’ve never made thumbprint cookies. Have you? These look and sound delicious. So, I plan on making these this weekend.  Of course, much to my husband’s dismay, I will give most of them away, like I always do. I just love this time of year – the perfect excuse to bake for family and friends!


1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam
sugar for sprinkling
1 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract


1. In a medium bowl beat butter medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the the 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Beat until well combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with electric mixer and then using a wooden spoon stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using your thumb, press an indentation into the center of each ball. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam into each indentation and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.

3. For icing, in a medium bowl combine powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon water and 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract. Add enough of the remaining water to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle cookies with icing.

Creamy Tomato, Basil, Parmesan Soup

With the cooler temperatures coming soon (yay!), I decided it was time to breakout my trusty crockpot and start making more Fall recipes. I found this easy, soup recipe on Pinterest yesterday, and just had to go ahead and make it for the week ahead. We really like the fact that this soup is loaded with vegetables as well. The recipe doesn’t call for an avocado when serving it, but I added an avocado to the top when I served it last night. I hope you like this soup as much as we do!

creamy tomato

Creamy Tomato, Basil, Parmesan Soup
Adapted from Tastes Better From Scratch

Serves 8


  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with the juice
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or Tbsp fresh oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh basil (or 1 Tbsp dry basil)
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ cups half and half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Add diced tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, tomato paste, chicken broth, oregano, and basil to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

About 30 minutes before the soup is ready, prepare a roux. Melt the butter over medium low heat in a skillet and add the flour. Whisk together constantly for about 10 minutes or until the roux is a nice golden brown color. Slowly add 1 cup of the soup from the slow cooker to the roux–it will start to form a thick paste.  Slowly add another 3 cups of warm soup to the roux. Whisk together until smooth. Add the roux mixture to the slow cooker.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese, half and half, and salt and pepper. Add additional oregano and basil if needed, to tastes. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes.

Mumsie’s Hot Chicken Salad

My Mom’s (Mumsie’s) Hot Chicken Salad recipe has always been one of my favorites as a child, and even more so as an adult. It’s SO easy to make, and you probably have 3/4 of the ingredients already on hand. And, at Thanksgiving, you can make it with leftover turkey, instead of chicken – so good!

I have a picky toddler (who also happens to be teething a lot this Summer), so finding healthy dinners can be a real struggle around here, at least ones that will be eaten anyway. Let’s just say, minus my toddler spitting out the celery hidden inside, it was eaten right up the other night.

hot chicken salad

My hope for you is that you make it, and it becomes a family favorite for everyone like it is for ours!

2 Cups cooked chicken (I used the rotisserie chicken)
1 Cup chopped celery
2 T. minced red onion
2 T. lemon juice
1 Cup (scant) real mayo
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

3/4 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 Cup crumbled potato chips (I use ruffles)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread into a 9×9 baking dish. Top with grated sharp cheddar cheese & crushed potato chips. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Cobb Salad Dip

I read Natalie’s blog almost daily, and when I saw this recipe posted on her blog, I just knew I had to try it. I am a huge fan of cobb salads when we go out, so this dip sounded perfect on a hot Summer day. It’s always fun to try something new, and my family absolutely loved it. Every calorie is worth running the extra mile!

cobb salad dip

Adapted from Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers

One 8 oz. package cream cheese
One 8 oz., container of sour cream
One package Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix
2 ears of corn
A handful of cherry tomatoes, diced
One Cup sharp chedder cheese, shredded
One Cup shredded romaine lettuce
Cooked & crumbled bacon
Crumbled blue cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Tortilla chips or ruffles for dipping

Let cream cheese sit out and soften for about an hour. Mix cream cheese, sour cream & ranch packet until smooth. Spread in the bottom of any dish. I bake the corn at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes just to slightly soften it, but you don’t have to do cook it at all. Layer shredded cheese and the rest of the ingredients. I top it off with a little bit of blue cheese and bacon. Serve with chips of your choice. Enjoy!

Have a happy day!

Chocolate Brownie Bread

While I was browsing on Pinterest a few days ago, I stumbled across this Chocolate Brownie bread recipe. I haven’t made it yet, but I did make the Kentucky Butter Cake this past weekend (mentioned in this post), and it did not disappoint. It was the perfect finish to our Father’s Day brunch.


I have some buttermilk leftover from making the Kentucky butter cake, (who has buttermilk on hand all of the time, unless it’s in a recipe? No one I know.) and of course I don’t want the buttermilk to go to waste, so I’m going to try my hand at making this Chocolate Brownie Bread. I’ll let you know how it turns out, unless of course you make it before me!

It looks absolutely amazing!



The Best “Apple Crisp” Recipe

This is hands down the best apple crisp I’ve ever had in my life. Before I share this recipe with you, I first need to give full credit to my best friend of 27 years. This recipe has been passed down in her family for years. I asked her for her recipe shortly after I got married, and she gave it to me (thankfully). Since then, I have made this for several house warming gifts, dinner parties and just because…it’s that good.

apple crisp

It’s so easy to make with such simple ingredients – that’s my kind of recipe.

6 Large granny smith apples
2 Cups sugar
2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons water

 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start by grabbing your 9 x13 baking dish. Wash and slice the apples into very thin half moon slices. Slice the half moon slices in half. Layer the apple slices in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle your 4 tablespoons of water over the apples evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon over the apples.

Next, get a large mixing bowl ready for the “good stuff” otherwise known as the “crisp” part. Add your 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, then your 2 sticks of melted butter. Stir these 3 ingredients together well with a spoon.

Pour the crisp ingredients onto the apples in your baking dish evenly. Place your apple crisp in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy – and don’t worry, you can thank me later!

 I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

A Twist on the Classic Wedge Salad

If your husband is anything like mine, he’s not a big fan of “salads for dinner.” However, he and I both love wedge salads when we eat out. I think the bacon is what sold him. What guy wouldn’t eat a salad for dinner, if it had bacon on it? One day this past Fall, we decided it would be fun to re-create our favorite salad at home. We made it the traditional way with iceberg lettuce, bacon, blue cheese and cherry tomatoes, and it was good, but since then, we decided to make some minor changes that made a big impact for us, at least. In our opinion, iceberg lettuce is fine, but it’s mainly water, and fewer nutrients than other lettuces, so we substituted baby spinach for the iceberg. We added an avocado, too.

We made this last night, and it was once again, another great “salad for dinner!”

wedge salad

Here’s our twist/recipe of the “Classic Wedge Salad:”

Baby Spinach
4 strips of uncured bacon, cooked
Cherry tomatoes
Crumbled blue cheese
1 Sliced avocado
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Marzetti’s The Ultimate Blue Cheese Dressing

We try to bake our bacon ahead of dinner time, if we remember. It saves you a lot of waiting time when you are ready to eat dinner.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then, spray a nonstick cookie sheet with canola oil. Lay the 4 strips (gives us 2 each) of uncured bacon on the cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until crispy. Take the bacon off of the cookie sheet and lay on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the extra grease. I pat the top of the bacon to get both sides taken care of…

Fill your salad bowls with the washed baby spinach, sliced cherry tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese, sliced avocado, and add your crispy bacon. Last, but not least, add your dressing. We like the Marzetti’s “The Ultimate Blue Cheese” dressing. You can either add it to the top of your salad or have it on the side.

This would be great with rolls, too. We opted to have dessert instead of bread! (You’ve gotta spread those calories out wisely!)