29 November 2016


Just the words Red Velvet make me so happy! I was so excited about this comfort food progressive meal blog hop with three of my fellow Blended Blog sisters Katie, Christy, and Leslie. Katie has drinks, Christy, a yummy spinach salad and Leslie; Chicken pot pie!!I was most happy that my category was desserts so I could share this beautiful and festive sweet sensation with you all! 

You may have heard of the Lush desserts before, with the pudding and creamy cream cheese layers on top of delicious short bread? I've had and chocolate and lemon, but after I saw they now make red velvet Jell-O pudding mixes I decided to make it holiday inspired and create a red velvet lush dessert!
Boy am I happy I did! I created this as one of the desserts for our Thanksgiving meal primarily so I had lots of guinea pigs to try it out. It was an on for a while mean success and one that I will definitely be making again.
what you'll need

1 cup flour
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
1 (8 oz) brick of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (16) oz tub of Cool Whip, divided
2 (3.4 oz) packages red velvet pudding mix
3 cups of milk
Shaved white chocolate or other desired garnishes

Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt butter in a medium microwave safe bowl. Stir in the flour and pecans. Press mixture in a 9 x 13 pan and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. Next, beat together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla until smooth and fold in 1 cup of the Cool Whip. Spread over the cooled crust. For the next layer, mix together the pudding mix, milk and then fold in another cup of Cool Whip. Spread over the cream cheese layer then spread the remaining Cool Whip. Garnish with white chocolate or any other garnish desired. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

If you haven't already, make sure you hop over to Katie's blog for the beginning of our Progressive Meal Blog hop with her yummy drinks.


28 November 2016


This Month's "Let's Talk" Theme is Christmas Tradition with with Momfessionals Andrea and Erika! Last Year I told you all about our 9 Family Christmas Traditions.
Today, I'm excited to update and throw in a few more. Traditions mean so much to me and our boys are even becoming deep rooted in tradition and often talk about our rituals. When and if we deviate, we often hear about it. Case in point , our first "Un-tradition" of the season

Every year the day after Thanksgiving, we go chop down our Fraser Fir Christmas tree. Mr. Nine and I made a decision to buy a fake Fraser Fir from Balsam Hill and we could not be not be happier! However, when we asked one of them what he thought about it, he said "It's nice, but we don't have the memory of the chop down." Just insert the knife in my heart. The way I look at it though, they have the memories growing up doing it and as new chapters have started, sometimes so do traditions.  
Tree Lot photos of the past

However, these boys still have tons that stick including putting up the outdoor and ledge decorations and self done family pics the day after Thanksgiving. 

Family Photo of the past

Family Photo of the past

Family Photo of last year

This year...actually will be using a summer family photo for our Christmas card.

Grandma and her boys

The Toast! We are big "toasters" and Every Birthday gets toasted with Sparkling Grape Juice, a tradition since they were little. 2 of them have Birthdays around the Holidays so one always happens Thanksgiving weekend!

The Santa Purse comes out about now and stays til December 25th. I love this thing with it's fluffy balls. The balls have gotten dingy over the years since I first got this filled with Bath and Body products about 15 years ago. I get oodles of complements on it where ever I go.

Finally, it was sooo nice having the 2 on the right home from college with us this weekend. Tradition is now sending them back with some goodies to study up for finals. They will be home in 2 1/2 weeks for a nice long Christmas break and I cannot wait!!

I'm excited to bring various Christmas posts the whole month of December including recipes, holiday cozy fashion and you can get excited with me about A gift idea of Christmas Money Jars on Monday, December 5th, My Christmas home tour on Monday, December 12, and Holiday Nails and how I do mine on Monday, December 19th. It's going to be a great Holiday Season!

And make sure you come back tomorrow when 3 of The Blended Blog ladies and myself showcase a Progresive Holiday Meal Blog Hop!! I've got dessert! It's going to be Yummy!!



25 November 2016


Whew, it's one month til Christmas peeps. Let the warmth and fun of the season begin which will include lots of good leftovers, sweet treats and shopping!! No Black Friday in stores for me today but instead eating and chilling with my beautiful family!! Here's to all you wonderful friends, may your weekend be grand and full of deals and all things that make you smile!!! 

1. Shopping ONLINE and Free Shipping
One of my favorite things to do is shop but around this crazy insane packed and line filled times in stores, my preference is online shopping. You cannot beat some of the sales right now and free shipping is a MUST! Whatever retailers don't offer free shipping are making a huge marketing mistake.

2. Christmas Tablescape
I showed you my Fall tablescape Here. Boy do I Love a  good Tablescape and I found the perfect mixture for the place settings at Pier One. Aren't these going to be so cute!! Deer Antlers Napkin Ring Holders HERE.

3. Week's Attire
Thank heavens for a 3 day week!
T.J. Maxx Dress, Steve Madden boots, Nordstrom Cardigan

Macy's cardigan, Eddie Bauer Dress

The Loft cardigan, target gingham shirt, Charming Charlie beads

4. Vince Gill Concert
My mom and I love older country music and Vince Gill was huge in the 90's. He is an amazing entertainer and married to Amy Grant, who I also love. He played for 3 hours!

Such a cute couple!

Incredible guitar player.

5. Decoration Helpers
Today, these boys will be climbing up ladders again to help mom get my outside decorations and high up ones. They are the bet helper and I appreciate it so much! Decoration House Tour on the blog set for December 12th.

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

22 November 2016


My mom used to make a scrumptious cranberry fluff for the holidays. Her birthday was the beginning of the month and I wanted to surprise her with a beautiful fluff as she is not a big birthday cake eater. For Mother's day, I made her my famous Orange Fluff and it was a big hit here on the blog too. Frosted Cranberry Fluff; a pretty and "just right" dessert to add to the Holiday repertoire. Plus cranberries are super good for you! Yum  

I really wanted it to be pretty so I frosted some cranberries, basically moist cranberries dipped in sugar, and added mint to the garnish. The pomegranate blueberry flavor jello is delicious with the pomegranate being the predominate flavor so it was a perfect mix with the crushed cranberry/sugar blend.

I cannot think of a better light, fluffy, slightly sweet treat than this festive fluff at your Thanksgiving or Christmas meals. It's so refreshing and the mix of fruit feels like your eating a fluffy Holiday Fruit salad in little mounds of heaven! 

What you'll need

1 1/2 cups whole cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 small package Pomegranate/Blueberry Jello
1 small package Cook-n-Serve Vanilla Pudding
2 cups Water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 small can Pineapple in it's own juice
1 cup sliced red grapes
1 8oz tub Cool Whip (I use light)

The night to 2 hours before, mix the whole cranberries and sugar together and blend in the food processor. Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate over night or a couple hours before making fluff. Mix together pudding, Jell-O, and water over medium heat until it boils. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Refrigerate until mixture has thickened (about an hour). Add vanilla extract and Beat until creamy. Fold in Cool Whip. Add marshmallows, pineapple  grapes and cranberry mixture. Chill about an hour before serving. Garnish with whole cranberries frost with sugar and mint leaves.

What the cranberries and sugar look like grinder/blended

the HOLIDAYS Have Officially Arrived and so have my Holiday Recipes!!!


21 November 2016


My babies come home tomorrow for Thanksgiving week, tattoos and all! Yep, that's right, our two college boys each have a tattoo and before you judge or gasp or say, "Why in the world is Andrea ok with that?", let me explain a thing or two. 

You probably already know this from the blog, but our boys are pretty darn good! Yes, they are not perfect, and their antics can drive me crazy at times, but they are sweet, respectful and ambitious boys who usually have a pretty good head on their shoulders and if they don't, they're quick to ask us all the right questions.

It all started with the sweet guy! 

A few months before his 18th birthday last January, he started expressing how bad he wanted a tattoo for his birthday. In fact, he said it was the only thing he wanted and he thought long and hard about it for a long time. At first we were like whoa whoa whoa no way. But when he told us what he wanted, why he wanted it, and answered all our questions including that it would be hidden under his clothes and not hampering him from getting a good job in the business world someday, we thought about it and decided ok we are good with it.

Just read here about the symbol and you'll see why it is so important to him and his faith.

This next college boy, I never really thought would want a tattoo. 

However, about two months into the semester, I got a call asking our permission for one. Again, at first I was like no no no no. He assured me, it was going to be on his wrist and always hidden under a watch, which he has a vast collection of. It was when he told me what it was going to be, that my heart melted. A couple weeks into his college career, he was really homesick and he saved all my voice messages where at the end I always say "I love you." He edited it down to that portion and this is the sound waves of my voice.

The morning after he got it, this is the tweet he posted.

How Precious is this??

They are legally adults yet they still ask permission, they have valid reasons for their actions and we are so very proud of them for thinking through their decisions, learning about choices and consulting us on aspects of life that mean something to them. Cannot wait to HUG them so tight tomorrow!!!! My whole family together again...Thanksgiving indeed!! 

How funny are these tattoo memes!