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March Madness.

14 Mar

It’s March Madness.  No, not basketball related (although I realize that is going on right now) but it’s my schedule.  Pure Madness.  I feel like we have been running around non-stop lately.  “Doing what?” you might ask…even if you didn’t ask, I am going to tell you.


Duddley got his first haircut of the year!  I just absolutely LOVE him with short hair. 1) He doesn’t shed as much which makes my house, clothes, and life in general less dog-hairy, 2) He is SO soft that I just want to snuggle him all the time, & 3) He looks and acts like he is 7 years younger (he’s 9 btw).

And since he was such a good boy for the groomer, Duddley got a nice, big bone as a reward.  I came home and found it like this…

How does that even happen?  In what situation did this bone drop out of his mouth and end up like this in my kitchen?  I need a nanny-cam to watch what he does all day.  I am sure the footage would be fascinating.

Banana Pancakes

Have you ever made banana pancakes?  What about pancakes literally made from only bananas and eggs?  Yep.  When I first heard the recipe, I was like “There’s no way that will cook like pancakes, much less taste like anything I want to eat.”  I was so wrong.  They cook EXACTLY like regular pancakes and are absolutely delicious.  The most simple ingredients ever : 2 bananas, 2 eggs. period. the end.  that’s it!  And that makes a serving about like this one on the right…

Joseph typically eats two servings and I have one but it has become a bit of a staple treat for us ever since we discovered their tasty glory.


You ever have those days where you think, “I just need to go back to bed and try this day again later”?  I definitely had one of those days recently.  I was already running late (which seems to be a common occurrence for me lately which is strange because I used to be early to everything) and just filled up my big YETI cup with water because I take it with me everywhere.  I picked up some stuff to leave, reached for my YETI and made the awful mistake of grabbing it by the top with my tiny little leprechaun hands and this happened…

That void you see up there to the top right?  That was my purse…WIDE OPEN.  So not only was I running late already, I just gave the inside of my purse and all of its contents a nice bath.  Thank goodness it was just water!  And anyone that knows me well would be happy to know that I refrained from having a “Neeley siezure” (what my family likes to call my temper-tantrums/extremely short fuse that goes off all the time and comes directly from my dad) and actually just laughed because at this point, what else can you do about it??  At least it forced me to mop up my dirty floors…

Sign Battle

So I was walking in TJ Maxx and saw a delightful little message in the random block-signs section.  You know the one I’m talking about.  I chuckled and added one that said, “Follow your dreams” above it.

I came back down the aisle a few minutes later for something different and noticed it had been changed.  Then I thought to myself, “Great.  Someone thinks that this 28-year old girl with her Starbucks and a sense of humor put up the whole thing, ‘JACKAS’ and all.”  Ah crap.  Someone is judging me but I didn’t even start it.

Then I thought to myself…”Wait a sec…you thought the sign was bad and needed Jesus but the part you replaced was my addition of ‘Follow your Dreams’?!”  Makes perfect sense.  If anything it kinda seems like you are calling our Lord and Savior a ‘Jackas’ which is WAY more offensive than anything that was already up there.  I thought about going into a full on signage battle but then figured it’s best to leave this one be…

Street Tacos

There’s a place that popped up a little while back close to our house in an old gas station parking lot selling fresh street tacos.  There was ALWAYS a line there when Joseph and I drove by and we kept saying how we needed to try them.  We waited for a night that if we did happen to get deathly ill, we wouldn’t miss anything important.

And boy were they totally worth it!  We immediately knew exactly why their line is always so long.  They were only $1 each and were SO delicious.  And bonus points – we didn’t get sick!  So I totally recommend trying the closest street food around you…you just might be pleasantly surprised!

Flower Beds

I hate working in my flower beds.  But I also hate not having flowers/having an ugly flower bed and I hate spending money on things I am able to do myself.  So I work in my flower beds.  I cut back my rose bushes and it killed me a little inside because they were already blooming!  This crazy weather has all of my plants so confused.  But since I didn’t want my rose bushes to be out of control by the end of the year, I trimmed them back anyways and just stuck the blooms in a vase to enjoy.

They were so pretty and actually lasted a decent amount of time.

Baby Ducks

WE HAVE BABY DUCKS!  They are so dang cute!  and EVERYWHERE in our neighborhood!  I have found two sets so far – one with 12 babies and one with 13!

Aren’t they adorable?!


Speaking of adorable…Did I show you our dog? Maybe a few times?  But how can you resist bragging about a cute, little face like his?? This is how cute and snuggly he is in the morning.

He even tucked himself in!  Y’all.  This dog LOVES pillows so much.  It is hilarious.  All of the extra throw pillows we have on our bed are stacked in the corner of our room at night and he will knock them over so he can lay his head on one.  Sometimes I look at him and love him so much that my heart hurts.  I mean, look at that sweet face!

**They’re After Me Lucky Charms!**

** denotes that line must be pronounced using Irish accent either in your head or spoken aloud

Since this week is St. Patrick’s Day, I randomly thought about Lucky Charms…you know because of stereotypical leprechaun things and I like food.  So we had our potluck dinner with our bible study last night and I thought I would make something with Lucky Charms.  And because my mom is clearly the baker of the family with her snazzy delicious cakeballs, I decided I would go the easy route and just make sugar cookies.  I added white chocolate chips (because why not?) and the marshmallows from Lucky Charms (because who eats the actual cereal pieces?).

And they were SOOO tasty!  We were in a rush to get to bible study on time so I cut the baking time probably a minute or two early but the ooey gooey goodness that resulted was everything I’ve ever wanted.  So if you are looking for a St. Patty’s Day treat that has a minimal time and effort to crowd-pleasing ratio, get a tube (or two) of the Pillsbury sugar cookie dough in the fridge section, a bag of white chocolate chips, and pick the marshmallows out of the box of Lucky Charms then put the cookie dough and a handful (or two…I literally just dumped the chips in until it looked like a good amount) in a bowl and mix.  Then roll a cookie size amount of dough in a ball and turn 5-6ish marshmallows in the dough then bake the cookies as usual.  Mine baked for about 10 mins at 350 degrees to this deliciousness.

The one thing you shouldn’t do?  Pull the hot cookie sheet out and hold it near your face while trying to shut the oven door.  Why? Because the corner could hit you in the chin and you look (and feel) like an idiot for the next few days, possibly forever.

Hopefully your Lucky Charms will bring you better luck!  Either way, they were worth it!

Crawfish Boil

26 Mar

Every year my family has a crawfish boil where we invite a few family members and friends over to kick off the Spring/Summer and enjoy crawfish.

This year we had last-minute planning take place because originally my parents, me, Joseph, Trey, and Leeann were all going to be out of town fishing but due to the weather change, our fishing guide decided to reschedule.  This left an open weekend when we would all be off work and in town so we decided to throw a last-minute party together for this past weekend.

Also, Leeann’s 21st birthday was Sunday and Joseph’s 25th birthday is this Thursday so we thought we would combine their celebration with crawfish and make a party out of it!

I baked each of them a cake.  Joseph’s favorite is strawberry with strawberry icing so that’s what I made him and Leeann’s was a funfetti cake with funfetti icing.  Something inspired me to make the cakes double decker…why? I don’t know because I had never done it before so I’m not sure why I decided this would be the time to try it but I did…and it kinda worked fine.  I added fresh strawberries to the center layer and on top of Joseph’s but I didn’t put any fruit with Leeann’s because funfetti doesn’t need any help being delicious! 🙂

Cake - Joseph & Leeann

(yes Joseph’s cake was pink but that’s what happens with strawberry things)

I also thought I would be funny and buy some of those relight candles for them both.  We chuckled about it but eventually they were frustrated because those babies wouldn’t stop relighting!  They even licked their fingers to sizzle them out and some still came back to life!!  Definitely worth the whopping $1.50 for those candles!

Everyone played washers, ate crawfish and BBQ, and just hung out all afternoon/evening.


Crawfish boil

It actually turned out to be a pretty good party for such last-minute planning.  We had a great time and I am already craving crawfish again!! I don’t think I can wait a full year until we do it again!  Who’s in for round two??

Brown Bears by the Campfire

11 Dec

How many times have you sat by a campfire and thought, “I want to make S’mores!”  Then you do and realize S’mores really aren’t very tasty?  Happens to me every time.  I think I like the thought of S’mores WAY better than actual S’mores…

Thanksgiving weekend was no different.  We made a campfire and of course we all thought, “Let’s make S’mores!” But then Lori (Joseph’s sister-in-law) mentioned these things called Brown Bears.  None of us knew what she was talking about but the way she described them convinced us that we needed them.  So the three girls (me, Lori, & Jeremy’s girlfriend Ashley) made a trip to the store to get the supplies/ingredients.

Step 1:  Start off with the following supplies/ingredients:

Cans of the big Grands Biscuits (each biscuit makes 1 brown bear so get the amount you need **WARNING: You will eat more than you expect because they are so delicious so buy extras)

Sticks of Butter (2 should be plenty)



Several 5/8″ Wooden Dowels (one for each person)

Wooden Dowels

Dowels – about 3ft long (these can be found at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, etc.)

Two small rectangular dishes (we used two 3-cup Pyrex dishes)

Step 2: Soak the ends of the dowels

You will need to soak the ends of the dowels in water for at least 30 minutes but if you can, soak them for a couple of hours.  This can be done by filling a large bucket with water and just standing the dowels in the bucket or by filling your sink, or any other way you can figure out how to get a large amount of water into a collected space to stick in the ends of the dowels.  I’m sure you are a smart person, so get creative.

Soaking them will prevent them from catching on fire when you stick the dowels in the flames.

Step 3:  Let the biscuits warm up

Remove the biscuits from their frightening containers (I jump almost every time I open a can of biscuits) and let them get to room temperature.  We set them on a plate for about 30 minutes.  The closer they are to room temperature, the easier it is to roll the them.

Step D:  Melt the butter

Melt the sticks of butter in one of the rectangular dishes.  We found that 2 sticks of butter in a 3-cup Pyrex dish worked pretty perfectly for about 8-16 brown bears.

Step 5: Make the cinnamon-sugar mixture

You can either spend more money on the pre-made cinnamon-sugar mixture or you can just make your own because it isn’t difficult.  Either way, put it in the other rectangular dish.  We just threw some sugar in the dish and added cinnamon until the mixture was an even light brownish color.  If I had to guess I would say it would be about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon for every 1/2 cup of sugar used.  But just do it to taste…if you like a lot of cinnamon, add a lot of cinnamon.  This is supposed to be fun, not challenging.  Either way you do it, I’m sure the Brown Bears will turn out delicious.  These are pretty fool-proof.

Just ignore the fact that I took these pictures after we had already made a few brown bears...that's why the mixture looks all weird and somewhat wet...

Just ignore the fact that I took these pictures after we had already made a few brown bears…that’s why the mixture looks all weird and somewhat wet…

Step 6:  Remove the dowels from the water

Remove the soaking dowels from the water and dry them off using a paper towel.

Step &: Roll the biscuits

Roll a biscuit into long, stringy, worm-looking thing.  We rolled them until they were about 8 inches long…the longer they are, the thinner your Brown Bear will be aka it will cook better in the center.

Ashley, Joseph, and Jeremy rolling their biscuits

Ashley, Joseph, and Jeremy rolling their biscuits

Step 8:  Wrap the biscuits around the dowel

Take your wormy string of biscuit and wrap it around the soaked end of the dowel starting from the tip.  Wrap it at an angle so that each time around goes right below the previous.  You can have it touching or spaced out a little bit.  We found that the biscuit stays on the dowel better if it is touching itself as you wrap it but it also cooks better in the center if you space it…so do whatever you want.  Mine were always touching.

(see the pictures in the next step for how they are supposed to look)

Step 9:  Cook the biscuit

Hold the dowel and place your biscuit over the fire.  It takes a while for the inside to cook so if you hold it in one spot over the fire for too long, the outside will burn while the inside remains mushy.  I think the best way of cooking it was along the outside of the fire and constantly turning it like a rotisserie chicken.  Plus, turning it gives you something to do while it cooks…

Lori cooking up her Brown Bear

Lori cooking up her Brown Bear

Once the outside starts to get brown, I liked to spread out my biscuit so that there were spaces between the wrapping so it would get more cooked in the middle but would still stay on the stick because the outside was cooked and the shape was formed already.  These will get cooked more than how you would actually want your regular biscuits so don’t worry if they start getting pretty dark.

Step 10:  Butter that biscuit

Once your biscuit is finished cooking (the inside will more than likely not get completely done but I think it’s delicious that way) it should be able to slide down the dowel when you hold it completely vertical.  The more you have to help it off the stick, the more gooey it will be on the inside.  Remove the cooked biscuit from the dowel.  The shape should hold in a spring-like form.  Roll the biscuit in the dish of butter.  (This is why the rectangular dishes are better because the whole biscuit fits in it.)

We would slide the biscuit off the dowel directly into the butter dish

We would slide the biscuit off the dowel directly into the butter dish

Step !!:  Coat the biscuit in the cinnamon-sugar mixture

Once your springy-looking biscuit is all buttered up, roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat it.

Cinnamon Sugar Bears

These pictures were taken with my phone and he was rolling his biscuit pretty violently so sorry for the blurry result…

Step 12:  Enjoy your Brown Bear in all of its buttery, cinnamon-sugary goodness.

Joseph enjoying his Brown Bear

Joseph enjoying his Brown Bear

This is so easy that kids can do it!  Plus, it’s fun and WAY more delicious than stupid S’mores!

Although, I am not quite sure why they are called Brown Bears…they look nothing like bears.  Joseph called them something like Tan Curly Worms and I called them Cinnamon-Sugar Springs but whatever you call them, I am sure you will be happy with the result!

If you decide to make these, let me know how they turn out!

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