Some Random Stuff

McDaddy and Stevie are two hours away from home at Scout Camp. Alex and I are here at home splitting our time between the ball field and being lazy. We’ve enjoyed lying in bed until 11 AM and eating whatever we choose, whenever we choose. For instance, right now, it’s almost midnight and he’s on the couch watching a Redbox movie and eating Doritos while I am pecking out this post and sipping on a Coca-Cola classic.

As bad as I miss my other two fellas, I’ve enjoyed this week focusing my time and energy on one kid who has clung to me like glue, slept in my bed and told me loves me about 418 times in the past five days. Not to mention, we’ve driven the SKY almost 300 miles this week. HOLLA!

But chances are you didn’t show up at FITP, Inc. to hear about how lazy I’ve been this week. Rather, my loyal readers (all 8 of you!) more than likely showed up here hoping to read about the latest, greatest fashion trends along with my newest kitchen recipe creations. Or something like that, right?

Here are some things that you might find interesting or helpful.

1. For starters, I’m sure you’ve noticed that my blog is wearing a fancy, new party dress. I haven’t mentioned it here yet, because my bloggy designer friend, Heather has been trying to figure out a way to remove the crazy characters (in this latest case, squares!) from past posts and I thought I might wait until after that was done before mentioning my new design, but alas, we are having some difficulty finding a solution. And by we I totally mean her because Lord knows I am WordPress illiterate. If any of you out there in Blogland have any earthly idea how to remove the characters from past posts, please, by all means, let me know immediately in the comments because they are driving me nine kinds of crazy.

A few weeks ago, I saw this pair of flip-flops,

on a gal who was having lunch (with a friend of mine) at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of me doing the totally normal female thing and offering up a compliment about the flip-flops along with a question about where she bought them, I came home, scoured the internet for seemed like hours for the suckers - mostly by searching Google for black- flip- flops-and bling. Do you have any earthly idea how many different pairs of black flip-flops with bling there are available online?

Rest assured, there are A LOT.

My search was pointless. And as is usually the case anytime I see something that I really like, I couldn’t get them off of my mind. After days of unsuccessful shopping online, I texted my friend to ask if she would text her niece to ask where she bought them.

Within minutes, I received the text “She got them at Buckle”.

Which explains why I have never seen them.

The one and only time I ever stepped foot in Buckle was when my sweet, hip, sister-in-law went in there to shop for jeans that were priced so high I almost swallowed my tongue. Not to mention, nothing in that store screamed 40 YEARS OLD  to me. During a recent trip to the mall I popped in there because – like I said - once I get something like black flip flops with bling in my head, I just can’t let it go.

Buckle was sold plum out of the size 10 Sanuk flip flops that I can’t live without, but thankfully, I found them online. I need another pair of shoes like I need a hole drilled right into the side of my head… I am expecting them any day and I’ll be sure and let you know all about them once they are on my sweet, little feet.

Mission accomplished.

Since ordering the flip-flops, they pop up on every website I visit, which is stupid because I’ve already ordered them. Where were those advertisements two weeks ago when I scoured the internet looking for them?

2. Plus, I found this other cute pair of Sanuk black flip-flops with colorful bling.

3. And speaking of feet, check out my pedicure.

I just love being a baseball mom.

Someone on Facebook asked if my feet had been sprayed with Silly String. These cute sandals came from Payless and they are every bit as cute as they look, not to mention comfortable.

4. While hanging out on Facebook recently, one of those “Suggested Pages” showed up on my news feed. It featured an APP called Two Dots. Normally, I click on the the I don’t want to see this button, but in what can only be described as a moment of weakness, I installed the APP. I’m like a kid with a new iPod trying to beat each level before I run out of lives. I mean it’s not like I don’t have 712 adult things to do around here. What is it about a game requiring you to connect two or more like colored dots that fascinates seemingly rational, educated adults like me? It’s absolute craziness, yet, at this moment, I’m counting down the 13 minutes until my lives fill back up to take a stab at level 29.

5. Have I mentioned My Favorite Things board on Pinterest? There are any number of great things on there, including a great new chopper I recently bought in the Amish Country, along with all of the cute black flip flops with bling I found while searching for the ones I ended up buying.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

 

A Sweet Weekend

We had a crazy, busy weekend.

For starters, we kicked off Baseball season with opening day. Between our two boys, we are geared up for 53 ball games over the next 10 weeks. On opening day it was approximately 40 degrees, butthank the good Lord there was NO FRIGGIN’ SNOW, so I’ll take the cold and not complain about it.

Later that day, Alex played in his first game of the season. He played first base the entire game and got eight or nine outs. I was a proud baseball momma.

Unfortunately, Stevie had to miss his first game because our Scout blue/gold banquet and father/son bakeoffwas the same time as his game. Stevie will be crossing over to Boy Scouts in a few weeks, so this was his last father/son bakeoff hoo-rah. With two sons in cub-scouts, the father/son bakeoff is a lot of work for McDaddy.

With McDaddy having Drill all weekend, it was a busy Friday evening trying to get two cakes with two kids baked and ready.

Alex chose to bake the same cake that Stevie won first place with at the father/son bakeoff two years ago.

And he had so much fun working in the kitchen with his Daddy.

HisBest Ever Banana Cakewas delightful!

Stevie decided to bake his Pawpaw K’s fresh apple cake.

I just loved watching them work together in the kitchen.

My dad has made this cake for many years. I was excited that Stevie wanted to bake it with McDaddy.

FRESH APPLE CAKE

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup grated peeled apples
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup confectionary sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease and flour Bundt pan
  3. Sift flour, soda, salt and spices into large measuring cup
  4. Cream sugar, oil and eggs together on medium speed in mixer.
  5. Add all dry ingredients, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly until well blended.
  6. Remove from mixer, add apples and nuts and stir until well blended.
  7. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan
  8. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour

When cake comes out sift confectionary sugar in small bowl and add orange juice. Mix with wire whisk and drizzle over top of cake slowly while still hot and still in pan.

Cool completely before removing from pan.

Slice (heat in microwave for several seconds, if you so desire) and enjoy!

OH, and you might also enjoy afirst-place trophy, just like my fellas did in the father/son bakeoff!

 

 

Crescent Roll Breakfast Casserole That I Made For Dinner

Here in Charleston, we are bracing for yet another snow storm.

Yes, I said, a-n-o-t-h-e-r-s-n-o-w-s-t-o-r-m.

Hearing thosewords make me want to shove toothpicks straight through my eyeballs.

The boys are making some serious snow tunnel plans and I’m just sitting here hoping that school officials make the cancellation call before bedtime so I don’t have to set the alarm on my phone.

My mind is focused on the snow, and the storm (and thetwo boxes of Thin Mintson the kitchen counter which – by the way – I had no business ordering), so I thought this would be a good time toshare a simple recipe that I prepared last week.

It’s a tasty breakfast casserole that I made for dinner.

And, before you ask, you should know that it meets mythree simple requirements for a recipe:

  • fast
  • easy
  • fail proof

For this breakfast casserole, you’ll need these ingredients,

Ingredients

  • 1 can crescent rolls

  • 1 lb. pork sausage

  • 6 eggs

  • 1/2 c milk

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Brown sausage. Drain grease.

3. Spray a 9×13 Longabergerpan with cooking spray (except it doesn’t have to be a Longaberger dish)

4. Unroll crescent rolls and press seams together to cover the bottom of the dish

5. Spread sausage over the crust.

6. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Add a dash of salt and a dash of pepper, or more if you so desire.

7. Pour this mixture over the sausage.

8. It will look gross, but stay with me.

9. Top with cheddar cheese and then mozzarella cheese, or, you can top with mozzarella first, and then cheddar. If you’re feeling frisky, you could use Cheddar Jack instead of just plain ol boring cheddar.

10. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until casserole looks like this.

11. While you’re waiting for the casserole to cook, clean up this nonsense.

** You can substitute the sausage for bacon (though I think that would be nasty), or you could add green peppers and / or onions to the sausage mixture.

This is one of my favorite dishes and I promise your people will love it.

Have a great week, y’all.

Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops

For the past month or so, I have been trying at least one new Pinterest recipe each week.I have more than 250 pins on my “What’s For Dinner?” board,so I haveplenty of options. Tonight, I tried a new pork chop recipe.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of the ingredients before I prepared the dish. Nor did I get a picture of the finished product, but that’s because they smelled yummy and my gang was hungry.

As is normally the case around here, this recipe is a simple one.

Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 pork chops
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Colby-jack cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine the brown sugar and garlic salt and rubboth sides of pork chop with mixture.
  • Place pork chops ina square baking dish
  • Drizzle with melted butter
  • Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper
  • Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes (internal temp should be at least 155 degrees)
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese (Use more if you LOVE cheese!)
  • Return pork chops to oven for 5-7 more minutes.

OPTIONAL: Use barbecue sauce for dipping

We enjoyed these with left over baked beans and dressing.

Enjoy!

Top 10 Posts of 2013

When I first started this blog back in November, 2008, I kept a pretty close eye on the analytics. Now, I just take spells (I’m starting to sound like my granny!) where I’ll check on them every now and again. Yesterday, I received an e-mail from WordPress called “Your 2013 Year In Blogging.” I thought it would be fun to share the results of who’s showing up here, what they are looking for, and where they are coming from.

So, this is what my year in blogging- here at From Inmates To Playdates – looks like.

Top 10 highly trafficked posts for 2013

  1. Bus Trip Games (April, 2010) – If you know me, you know I love to organize games and prizes. The ladies group at my church takes frequent bus trips, mostlyto conferences. I am ALWAYS in charge of planning games and prizes for our trips. My favorite bus-trip game is “Pass the Gift” which is actually a poem I wrote where a door prize (in a gift bag or wrapped) is passed up and back, side to side on the bus several times before it finally lands and is given to a person on the bus.This post is so popular, I often receive e-mails asking if I have more games that I haven’t shared on the blog. The answer? Yes!
  2. Crescent Roll Chicken Casserole (March, 2012) – Y’all, I am no culinary genius, but every once in a blue moon, I find a recipe worth sharing. This one? Definitely worth sharing. It is yummy and EASY! And I guess it never hurts to pin a recipe post on Pinterest, either.
  3. Teacher Survival Kit (August, 2012) – I always say, you can NEVER be too nice to your child’s teacher. (Apparently, there are all kinds of people who feel the same way.) At the beginning of each year, I make a teacher survival kit that includes all kinds of goodies. A few of them include- Orange slices: orange you glad for Fridays? – Stick of gum: to remind your students to STICK TO IT when things get tough- and hand soap: to remind you that I’m here if you need a hand.
  4. Teacher Appreciation Week (May, 2011) – As President of the PTA, it was my job to organize teacher appreciation week at the boy’s school. Did you hear me when I said, “You can NEVER be too nice to your child’s teacher?” Well, I meant it.
  5. What I Learned At The Funeral Home (June, 2009) – Ok. So if you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you know that I am different weird. When I mentioned to a funeral director friend that I have always wanted to watch an embalming, he told me he would call me sometime. I was shocked when he actually DID IT. Watching an embalming was, um,definitely a learning experience. (And according to my site stats there are lots of people out there who are just as crazy as I am!)
  6. The McFamily Christmas Letter(November, 2009) – I have searched for Family Christmas letters on more than one occasion because I am one of those people who write an annual family Christmas letter, but I try really hard to make them fun. The last thing I want to be is a Braggy McBraggerson.
  7. Really Cute Homemade Valentines (February, 2012) – I found a really cute Valentine idea online years ago. It looked complicated so I decided it would be too much work. The next year, I was determined to make them. They turned out really cute! If I can make them, YOU CAN TOO!
  8. Over My Dead Body (November, 2011) – One of my favorite posts of all time! In my quest to be organized to the very end, I have outlined plans for my funeral. Crazy? Yep! But since this post came in at number eight, that tells me that there are lots of people out there researching funeral planning. (Which also explains the casket in the post picture.)
  9. Bag Lady (February, 2011) – One of my best tips ever posted on the blawg. A great, compactway to store dozens of plastic grocery bags. I keep one under my kitchen sink. One under my seat in the car. And one in our camper. (What are you waiting for? Get over there and check it out!)
  10. McFamily Christmas Letter (December, 2011) – Oh look! It’s another Christmas letter post. And apparently a hot topic! Just in case you’re interested in family Christmas letter ideas, you can see most ofthem, here and this year’s letter, here.

Most Commented Post of 2013

So, there you have it. My 2013 From Inmates To Playdates year in review.

Here’s to another year of excitement here at From Inmates To Playdates!