HELLO Sweet FRIDAY!! Who's ready for a cool down?? It has been scorching. Today is Auction Day for our son's 2nd place Steer and 2nd Place pig, then Mr. Nine and I, country folk that we are, will be out on a little get away to the Big City. Oh we finished up the 81 episodes of "Prison Break" and I won't lie, shed some tears and I am so anticipating the show's return in the Fall of 2017, that I almost want to skip this Fall just to get there quicker. It's THAT GOOD!! Hope you all get swept away in one fine and dandy lots of things you love!!

1. SWEET Feature: Amanda
Oh am I ever tickled to be posting at  The Blended Blog to feature on my dearest Amanda
 from A Brownie World. This Carolina beach and rum loving friend of mine is as genuine as they come. Her voice sings sass, truth and humor and always leaves me with a big ole' grin on my face!!
Look at this sweetness!! 
Go see her Today at The Blended Blog
and the ever Awesome A Brownie World

2. My Favorite Brownie Recipe
This recipe from The Recipe Critic is called Caramel brownies but I remember making them on a Saturday night in my mom's kitchen back in 1992 and we called this exact recipe "TURTLE BROWNIES!" Sad to think it was with family we no longer have contact with but this memory and brownie goodness from my time with them lives on. Gotta love anything that uses Kraft Caramels!!
And Don't forget when I did the  BUCKEYE BROWNIE COOKIES and 

3. Week's Attire
Only worked two days this week, yeehaw-ing it at the Fair!!
Saturday Birthday Party Dress from TJ Maxx

Kohl's duster cardigan and pants, Wal-Mart sandals and tank

Kohl's top, Fashion Bella necklace, Michael Kors pants and shoes

4. Hello Friday Softness
Yeah, pretty tickled to get one of my Nordstrom's purchases last week and fall in head over heels love with it. This Hello Friday lounge sweater is so stinking' soft and I may even wear it out in public with some distressed black skinnies and a plaid or chambray shirt underneath. It comes in plus sizes too.

5. FAIR Snippets
Considering most of my week was spent on our County Fairgrounds, thought I better include snippets of 2 of my favorites things about it: The Food And Our Animal Showing 4-Her
I had been doing so good staying fairly clear of sugar and all things bad for me but it's Fair week come on, so I threw up my hands and said bring on all things fried!! And of course since I had some time to kill on the morning before Swine Show, had to sit on a Fair Building porch rocker, people watch and share a giant cinnamon roll with mom and drink an iced caramel latte.
I think you can see the heat coming off my forehead in this pic!! The fried tenderloin was my favorite this year, may even get another at auction tonight. Next week I am back in check, ...Farmers Market here I come!

Linking up with  Amanda // Friday Favorites  // Oh Hey, Friday  // High 5 For Friday // 5 on Friday 


You know how much I love Key Lime! Particularly in the martini form, LOL! My mom makes her Key Lime Pie with the incredible Nellie and Joe's lime juice and since I had some left after making the Mini Key Lime Mousse Cups, I had to think of something else to make that was light and fluffy and refreshing for summer. 

The Pineapple Pretzel Fluff Dessert I made back in January was such a huge hit that I wanted to do something along those lines. I love anything with a shortbread crust so that was a given and without doing the exact key lime filling as my moms pie, I went for a cooked custard style pudding. Put that in the middle of a luscious cream cheese layer and creamy whipped topping and your all set!! Get ready for fluffy yumminess!!
What a great dessert to serve after a savory summertime meal. I think this would be kind of pretty at Christmas time too, maybe served on red plates?

What you'll need

1 cup flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter-melted
1/2 cup pecans or macadamia nuts –chopped very finely 
Cream Layer
8 oz. cream cheese- softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cool whip
1 teaspoon vanilla
Key Lime Pudding Layer
2 Tablespoon cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup key lime juice
4 egg yolks-slightly beaten
4 Tablespoon butter
green food coloring-optional
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 1/2 cup cool whip
1 1/2 cup cool whip
Optional-Macadamia or pecan nuts-chopped or
Optional-Pecan crunch ~ Recipe HERE

Preheat the oven and spray a 11x7 baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl combine crust ingredients with a fork and press in baking dish, baking for 18 min. Let cool. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla and and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in the 1 cup cool whip and spread over cooled crust. Refrigerate. In a medium saucepan stir the cornstarch and sugar together. Add key lime juice, egg yolks and butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, cover with plastic and refrigerate about an hour. Remove pan and pudding mixture from refrigerator. To pudding mixture, add a few drops of green food coloring and mix well, then stir in the lime zest.  Fold in 1 1/2 cups cool whip and spread over cream layer. Spread last 1 1/2 cups of cool whip over pudding layer. Sprinkle with nuts or crunch and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. 

The shortbread layer after it's baked before you layer the cream goodness.

I have yet to ask, what are your favorite summer desserts? Do you usually take a dessert or salad or app to get togethers? I'd love to know!

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LET'S TALK: 29 things I Wish I'd Known in High School

The minute I saw Andrea and Erika's were doing their monthly Let's Talk and Show and Tell Tuesday's topic on School Days and advice to your younger self..I knew I had to re-run my post from this time last year about all the Things I wish I'd known in High School, especially or those of you who haven't read it and as a reminder that Life is Now, not in the Past.....
I also Had to Link  up with Spiel The Beans
With our two boys off to college, it was even more important for me to address this topic again.
Gonna be hard to not see those sweet, smiling faces everyday

HERE GOES with what I wish I'd Known waaaay back then:

High School was ok, heck, it was often FUN as can be. I faced many of the issues kids do today. Yet, today it's magnified and social media has created a whole new existence. Kids say the cruelest things. There is so much more pressure, deadlines, and stereotypes and the bullying is horrendous. Our boys are pretty good about going with the flow but definitely have been hurt. I know it is especially difficult for girls. I want them to know that by NO means does High School define you. It is a tiny chapter in your life that you have to make the most of. Today is my life and the one I love and while I look back on some things with fondness, others I don't even have much of a memory today and I truly only miss a handful of people. The true people who care are the ones sitting across the dinner table from you, working down the hall, taking the time to catch up with you or giving you a hug. 
I practiced many on this list, others I wish I had and I certainly hope kids today can look at a list like this and realize to not sweat the small stuff!
1. It won't matter later on that he was on a high school football, basketball or wrestling team or she was a cheerleader or you had a 4.525 GPA
2. Chill with the eyeliner.
3. Don't tell your mom you hate her; you will regret it.
4. Innocence is beautiful.
5. Call your grandma just because.
6. Some people will never like you; don't let it bother you. Kill them with kindness anyway.
7. You were beautiful before he told you.
8. Don't believe stereotypes. Get to know people personally instead of judging them.
9. Don't let one mistake define you. But learn from your mistakes. 
10. Eat home-cooked meals. You will miss it one day.
11. Your mom can see a fake friend before you can.
12. Your dad can see a crappy boy before you can.
13. Enjoy your metabolism while it lasts and eat the dang doughnut. 
14. There is more to life than Friday night.
15. If your parents buy you something, whether it's a Hamburger or a phone, say thank you.
16. Try hard to keep your best friend. While you'll make other friends later on, she probably is the "BEST" best friend you'll ever have. 
17. Prom is not the "best night of your life," but go anyway.
18. High school years are not the best years of your life, However, enjoy high school while it lasts, you will miss some of it.
19. Stop comparing yourself to others; that will never do any good.
20. Learn to forgive. Also learn that not everyone deserves your trust.
21. Learn to apologize.
22. He most likely isn't the love of your life. 
23. Stop pretending to be someone you are not to impress people.
24. Keep a journal. Seriously, you will love reading it one day. 
25. Take your studies and SAT prep classes seriously. Knowledge is power! 
26. Write thank you notes for everything.
27. Tell your favorite high school teacher she (or he) Rocks. Teaching is tough.
28. Nothing good happens past midnight. My parents always said this and it is so true.
29. His plan is greater than yours (Romans 8:28).
To all of the high school girls (and boys) reading this--I hope you never forget that even though life sometimes stinks, you will have plenty of moments that make you forget about the hard times. You will have moments of laughter, joy, and thankfulness that compensate for the time you failed your math test or the "one" broke your heart. Be willing to adventure through life, and go through the bad with a smile knowing the best is yet to come. Embrace your innocence and stop trying to grow up. You only get to be a kid once; so enjoy the end of the beginning while you can.

Senior, Fall 1988

25 years later

The High School "Men" on their first day last year!!
And now a new Chapter will begin and I'll start thinking "29 Things I Wish I'd Known in College!"...

 "One day you’re 17 and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life."


Happy Friday Friends!! Our County Fair kicks off today. 9 glorious days of food, animals, rides, and dust. It's a big deal around here kids. I dedicated a few posts to it last year 
like 9 Reasons You Should Go To The County Fair and Stylin' for Swindle along with my Friday Fair Favorites last year. So, you'll find me there but I also hope to get in some relaxation, sunshine and family time. Hope you can do the same sweet peeps!

AND it's HOT kids, index in the 100's today so I like to keep cool with refreshing drinks besides my cocktail concoctions like the new......

1. Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato
K, say that 5 times but oh how yummy. I first saw this on my sweet mama to be friend Nadine's blog last week and knew it would be my pick for my once a week Starbucks treat. Little did I know this was the actual title of the drink so I say to the barista who looked like death warmed over, mind you, "I'd like a Mocha Macchiato made with Coconut milk." and she replied. "Um, duh it is with coconut milk." Ya know I wanted to b@*#h slap her after the day I'd had but I was nice and laughed. Good thing that drink was Fabulous!!

2. Summer Date Day
Every Summer my Mr. and I pick a Saturday, or 2, or 3 and have a date day to some of our favorite locales. This past Saturday was perfect and started off with a noon time breakfast including he BEST Eggs Benedict evah!!! , coffee and beer (We were at our favorite Brewery complex), a little beach time,  rooftop dinner and a glorious Lake Michigan sunset. LOVE these days!! 
One of best last year I wrote about HERE

3. Week's Attire
Summertime mix for work and play
Target cardigan and top, Old Navy Skirt, Michael Kors flats

The Loft cardigan, JC. Penny dress, Target sandals

TJ Maxx eyelet top, Charming Charlie necklace, The Loft skinny whites and Sam Edelman sandals

4. Ribbon Obsession 
About a decade ago I won a contest at our Fair called Bursting with Blueberries with my Blueberry Crunch Parfait and got this big ole purple ribbon, thus my obsession with winning Fair ribbons began. Here are a few of them. It's been a few years since I've entered anything but come Fair time, I pull out all my ribbons and reminisce. lol
Sorry.. grainy old news photo on a hot Fair day with the 1st place win a decade ago..

Our Country Fair is HUGE Kids, just HUGE. It's the 2nd largest County Fair in the nation. With 2 of our 3 in 4-H and this being the oldest one's last year as a 10 year member, I had to showcase some of my favorite things about it.

The corndog of all corndogs that I only indulge in once a year, my favorite country concert to date, a view of the midway and cotton candy. Mmmm
And this guy!!! 10 years strong showing pigs and steers. My cowboy at heart. Come auction time next Friday, he gets that money towards college, whoohoo. So proud!! Wish him luck in his shows next week.

And a favorite Beef Barn Photo from years ago during one of his first shows

Does your town have a Fair?
Enjoy the Weekend and in Ferris Wheel fashion...ENJOY the View!!

Linking up with  Amanda // Friday Favorites  // Oh Hey, Friday  // High 5 For Friday // 5 on Friday 


Soooo good and leftovers...even better!! With 4 "men" in my household, there are some nights you have to forego your light fish, salad and chicken meals and whip up a hearty, stick to their ribs kind of meal. You now me though, I have to still keep it healthy by using whole grain pasta, ground turkey and healthier soup versions. They honestly never know the difference and I think these substitutes are a way of life for us.

What you'll need

1 cup dried whole grain rotini Pasta  
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 lb ground turkey or lean ground beef 
1 can Healthy Request Tomato Soup
1 can Healthy Request Mushroom Soup
¼ cup Milk
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Dried Parsley
1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 1/2 -3 quart dish with cooking spray. Cook the Pasta, in a large pot, per box directions Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft - add the meat and cook until done. As soon as the Pasta is done; drain and return to the pot. Add the cooked meat, tomato & mushroom soups and milk to the Pasta, stir well and season to taste with salt & pepper. Transfer to the prepared quart dish and sprinkle with paprika, parsley and cheese. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Before adding the cheese

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Every time we leave our home away from home on Lake Michigan, it gets tougher to leave! I think I know why! Life is tougher, life is changing and none of us are getting any younger. Holding on to precious relaxation and teenaged kids all under one roof for a week is glorious. Life slows down on vacation, we laugh more, we smile more, we engage more and it means the world! I swear my Mr. And I tear up every time we leave....but one day we won't leave and this town will be our part time day.....

The View on my daily walks

While it's no Fiji or The Caribbean, it is truly our favorite place to be. You just cannot beat the west coast on Lake Michigan for oodles of things to do and breath taking scenery.

So as promised, here is a lil vacay recap in numbers...

22 ~ Selfie stick attempts. I have a new bluetooth one but still kinda sucky at it..Tutorials please..
On our way!!!

2 ~ I only cooked twice!! Only lunch but even for a gal who loves to cook, the fact that I only had to twice in one week.....pure happiness. 
Great lunch at The Cove

9 ~ I'll hear your gasps on this one but this is the (low) number of alcoholic beverages I consumed. Ya know, trying to be a good role model and all. 
My Favorite drink of the trip...Strawberry Margarita from "The Roadhouse"

2 ~ The number of parades attended. I am not a huge parade lover, some of the entries scare me like clowns and gorillas......but the one in this beloved town; well, I've never felt more American in all my life!!


I was living the Stars and Strips to the hilt
They throw oodles, and oodles of candy at this parade...Look Mr. Nine got a tootsie roll..his fav!

18 ~ Wakeboard attempts on the lake. Only one of our sons have wake boarded but the other two gave it their all and one got up great. Then it was on to tubing and they had a ball. 

Just look at the smiles

4 ~ Long boards but 3 kids, Mmm

9 ~ Vacation Traditions observed. I've talked before about how our family is big in traditions and our Summer vacation week is no different. These include: fruit dip on the boat, no chain restaurants, our favorite town restaurant on night one, morning French toast, sushi night, date night, family pics on the beach, Friday Night Fresh Fish dinners, Creme Brûlée Frappes on the way outta town.

Date night...and on this night we got to talk to my BFF from High school on the streets of town with her family who also come up to the area this week.
These boys adore their sushi..we let them get 2 orders apiece. 

1 ~ Creme Brûlée Frappe consumed. There is not Starbucks in this area and I was absolutely fine with that and had a fabulous latte or two from the town's magnificent bakery. Mentioned that 5 B's of Summer Friday Favorites last year.

153 ~ Miles spent on our favorite road in the country~ M22. Beautiful, so much so there are even M22 stores along the way. 

Anthro top: Blogger Blame on sweet Shelly

168 ~ Hours spent on the beach. Well, we didn't actually spend 168 hours laying on the beach but our condo is right on it, our deck over looking it, so it counts, right!! We sure have some good times on it!!

IMMEASURABLE ~ The laughs, the smiles, the Shenanigans...Treasure it kids, just treasure!!
Last year's Vacation Shenanigans and THE traditional Baked French Toast Recipe HERE

Happy Monday sweet friends..time to tackle a whole week! Let's do it!

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