peppermint mocha coffee creamer | iCoffee review + video

Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer |

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of iCoffee. 

It’s no secret that I’m fairly caffeine dependent. I like my coffee and I like it in a steady stream throughout the day. Typically I start with caffeinated coffee and then switch myself to decaf after about 3pm. It takes serious willpower to do so, but otherwise I’m up until the wee hours of morning and that’s not good for anyone.

I come from a long line of coffee drinkers and having a designated and decked out coffee station in my kitchen is a necessity. Whether it’s our everyday kitchen or a holiday gathering, my coffee counter is fully stocked and ready to roll at any given moment. Continue reading

cranberry ginger cocktail

Cranberry Ginger Cocktail |

My husband and I have a terribly annoying habit. Well, it’s not annoying to us, but I assume to any one trying to follow our train of thought, it can get tedious. We have always loved watching TV together. Romantic, huh?

I think it is. Anyway, for years and years we have watched crazy shows together, and for some weird reason we both have a brain that latches on to goofy quotes from shows. I’m a Friends fiend and can pretty much quote any episode. Seriously, try me. Continue reading

advent activities | thursday thoughts

Snow Branches

This is what it’s been looking like around Ohio this week /\ /\ /\. Not that I’m complaining, it just caught me off guard. Our screens were still in the doors, our patio furniture was still out and I didn’t have properly fitting snow boots for my kids. It’s all been remedied, just in time for the weather to go up to the mid 50’s this weekend. Of course.

Speaking of the weekend, this is the last weekend before Advent starts. I thought it would be fun to share some of the great ideas that I’ve come across. This year, I’m wanting to turn some more focus to spending time with family during Advent. The last couple months have been consumed with stressful work projects for both my husband and myself and it’s been everything we could do to just get by day to day and not forget to pack a lunch or show up at a piano lesson. We’ve been eating endless frittatas for dinner and I will admit to whipping up a box of mac and cheese a time or two. You gotta do what you gotta do. Continue reading

mini cranberry apple tarts

Mini Cranberry Apple Tarts |

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Produce for Kids. All opinions are, as always, 100% my own.

Being a mom, I hope that I am successful in passing down my passions. My passionate distaste for folding laundry can stop with me, but when my kiddos get interested in cooking and photography, it flat out lights me up. They both love taking pictures on their iPods and getting into the kitchen whenever they can. I can’t make a piece of toast without them wanting to be completely involved with the whole process. Continue reading

thanksgiving marshmallow roundup + a twitter party


I am a proud Campfire® Marshmallows ambassador and this post is part of that partnership.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m boycotting stressful holiday cooking this year. So many years, I will get overwhelmed with recipes and what to make and how much to make and blah blah blah. Well, I’m calling an end to all that nonsense. For Thanksgiving (and all the holiday celebrations, really) I’m going to make what I want to make and just have fun. Because in the end, for as much as I love food, the conversation and closeness with my family is what sticks in my head. Not the fact that the mashed potatoes turned out a little too dry.

Not that they’re ever too dry.

Anyway, my point is, I’m going to make time for conversation and fun. And with that desire to chat and visit, I want to invite you to join me at the #sweetholidays twitter party sponsored by Campfire® Marshmallows. I’ll be there along with Jamie, Julie, Katie and Rachel chatting about our favorite holiday cooking and baking memories, food and stories.

That’s not even the best part! Two participants will be picked to win $50 VISA gift cards and marshmallow prize packs curtesy of Campfire® Marshmallows. So be sure to stop over to Twitter tomorrow night November 19th ant 8pm ET, follow Campfire® and use the #sweetholidays hashtag to participate in the fun, and possibly win a prize!

In addition to the Twitter party tomorrow night, Campfire® Marshmallows is also hosting Sweet Holiday recipe contest where you can submit your favorite holiday recipe using Campfire® Marshmallows for a chance to win a $500 grand prize. Find out more information about the contest on the Campfire® Marshmallows Facebook page.

Also, be sure to check out these delightfully delicious marshmallow Thanksgiving recipes:

Cranberry Fluff from My Baking Addiction

Chocolate Pumpkin S’mores Cupcakes from The Little Kitchen

Mini Sweet Potato Tarts with Gingersnap Pecan Crust and Toasted Marshmallows from Good Life Eats

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Marshmallow Topping from Rachel Cooks

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes from me :)

So, let’s kick stressful cooking to the curb and enjoy some friendship and laid back food instead. Hope to see you tomorrow night!

Happy Tuesday!!

thursday thoughts

Snow Window |

It snowed today. Super light flurries, but still. Snow. In November. Not sure why I’m surprised, but I was actually quite delighted to see the little flakes floating around. It made me feel justified in listening to my new favorite Christmas album: Winter Songs. It’s actually an album from 2008, but the songs are amazing. I’ve had Winter Song stuck in my head for weeks.

I found a coat! I whined a few weeks ago about having a crazy coat situation and I found a great coat that I absolutely love. The hood is comically large, but honestly, it’s awesome. I found it at Kohls, because other than Kohls and Old Navy, I have zero tolerance for clothes shopping. If it can’t be found at either store, I don’t need it. Boring, I know, but I’m not a food blogger for a reason. Also, the girl that is modeling the coat must be a good foot taller than I am, because my coat comes to my knees. Bring it on winter! I’m totally ready for you.

I got my new iPhone 6 a few days ago. The gold one. I love it and am sad that I had to cover the gold with a case. So I found this case that has a bit of gold on it, and I’m pretty happy with it. Other than the small headphone hole in the bottom. Because my 2008 mini van lacks Bluetooth, I have to rely on my AUX cable to hook my phone up to the car to listen to my music and audio books. Well, my current cable is ginormous and doesn’t fit. So, I need to find some sort of sneaky slim cord, otherwise this case might be history. I realize this is all very minor, but it’s the little things, I tell ya.

Onto other news, I decided after 3 years to grow out my pixie cut. Yeah, this is taking the patience of a saint, and frankly I’m worried that I’m going to freak out and chop it all off again. I’m heavy into the awkward stage and just trying to power through. It’s been rough. This blog post I came across was super helpful and if you’re by any chance contemplating growing out a short cut, I recommend giving it a read.

Hallmark Channel is in full Christmas movie mode and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve watched: Snow Bride, A Bride for Christmas, A Holiday Engagement and Catch a Christmas Star. The last one was terrible, but the other three were delightful, although basically identical. I guess the titles make that pretty clear.

I’ve got something exciting (and completely nerve-wracking) to share with you tomorrow, so be sure to check it out. Or not, because I’m going to be a huge, nervous wreck. Ugh. If only I was born without my worrying nature. Anyway, more about that tomorrow.

Happy Thursday!!

oatmeal with milk and granola | My Ohio Dairy Adventure

Oatmeal with Milk and Granola |

I’m a breakfast girl. Although, if you had told me ten years ago that I would claim to be a breakfast girl, I’d have told you that you were nuts. Nuts, I tell ya. My old self was a wake up just in time to scram out the door and not eat until noon. Ok, so I’m still a wake up at the very last moment, but now I make time for a quick bite, if nothing else. Continue reading

stuffed acorn squash #SundaySupper

Stuffed Acorn Squash |

This post is sponsored by Gallo Family Vineyards via the Sunday Supper Movement.

With ghosts and goblins behind us, our attention is now turned to the season of giving  and thanksgiving. The season of comfort and family and hope and love. And while I try to keep that feeling of giving and thankfulness alive all year round, inevitably life gets in the way and before I know it, my feeling of good cheer has been chipped away and in it’s place is business and excuses for all of the important things that I am not making time to do. Continue reading

maple bourbon cocktail

Maple Bourbon Cocktail |

Yesterday was a gray day. dark clouds covered the sky, as far as the eye could see. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of photography done, but it gave me an excuse to kick back, relax and enjoy a little quiet time. Being the food obsessed girl that I am, I got to thinking about season ingredients and how they shape they way we cook. Bright, fresh veggies and fruits in the spring and summer. Warm, hearty squash, soups and roasts in the fall and winter. Nature just knows what we need and crave and gives it to us.

So, perhaps I’m getting a bit sappy. I just love the changes of seasons (even to the dreaded hot summer months) because it shakes up my cooking and puts a fire under me to try new things. Continue reading