August 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Plum and Rum Cocktail


I was thinking with the three day weekend coming up there are few things that are better than a three day weekend, but I’ve decided this cocktail is almost as good.


To me, the unofficial end to summer means a few things: festivals, relaxing, last visit to the splash pad, one last bon fire with the kids, and stone fruit. This time of year we are buying up plums, nectarines, peaches and cherries and eating them up any way we can before they are officially out of season.


I thought something with plums would be delicious. So, I came up with a little something.

Plum and Rum Cocktail
1 medium sized ripe plum sliced
1 Tbs extra fine sugar
2 oz of light lemon rum (I used Bacardi Limon)
5 oz tonic water or club soda

Fill a cocktail glass with ice and set aside.Then, in a shaker muddle together sugar and plum until plum is completely mashed. Then add the rum and ice and shake for about 1 minute until well incorporated.


Strain into cocktail glass.


Finish with tonic water.


Enjoy the end of summer with this wonderful cocktail!


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Decadent Chocolate Chip and Doughnut Bread Pudding

In the past few weeks my sister, her husband and kids have been extremely helpful with a few babysitting needs that we have had. Also, my sister is starting her third year as principal and as you can imagine the beginning of the school year can be quite stressful.
As a thank you for the help, and a special treat for the beginning of the year, I made this awesome bread pudding.

Let’s face it nothing says comfort like a warm bread pudding.


I have seen recipes for bread pudding with cake, brioche and all other sorts of things. However, when I saw plain Entenmann’s doughnuts at the store, I thought, hmmm…


Entenmann’s doughnuts have been a favorite since childhood. The chocolate ones were a favorite of my Dad, and I kind of handed the tradition down to my kids. In fact, my kids love them so much you may remember this post of yore. Can you believe how little they were then?

I looked up a few recipes for bread pudding, and then put together this recipe. It is completely decadent and if you are dieting you might want to save this for a special day. I have decided that I am making this for Christmas!

Chocolate Chip and Doughnut Bread Pudding

12 Entenmann’s plain cake doughnuts
6 Tbs. softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. pur vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

6 Tbs. melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbs milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease at 9 x 13 baking sheet. Cut doughnuts into bite sized chunks and put in the pan and set aside.

In a mixer with a whisk attachment,  blend together butter and sugar until creamed together. Add eggs, cream cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and mix on medium speed for a few minutes until well incorporated.


Pour the mixture over the doughnuts and let the doughnuts soak up the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the doughnuts.


Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes until set. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.


While the pudding is baking for the last 10 minutes, make the glaze. Mix together the melted butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until a glaze like texture is formed.


Pour over the finished bread pudding and let the dish set for about 15 minutes to cool down and let the glaze soak in before serving.


Everyone loved it, but I have to say because I knew what was in it, I felt like I should run a few miles after eating it.

If you like this recipe and would like to read more about DIY, gardening, cooking, baking or all other things domestic, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write follow Home Everyday on Facebook here.

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Thirsty Thursday: Nectarine Green Iced Tea

End of summer is upon us, so this installment of THIRSTY THURSDAY will feature one of mine and the kids favorite fruits: nectarines.


I have mentioned before that I am a tea drinker, but in the summer I don’t do hot beverages. I can often be see with an Arnold Palmer in my hand in the summer, but instead of mixing iced tea with lemonade  I thought it might be fun to add a different fruit. Also, I instead of black tea, I used my favorite Green Tea.


This recipe is great because the tea is decaffeinated so the kids can have a few sips. Also, it is refreshing and is a great way to celebrate the end of summer.


Nectarine Green Iced Tea
4 Green Tea Bags
4 cups hot water
2 cups cold water
1 cup simple syrup (1 cup sugar and 1 cup water simmered on stove until sugar dissolves then cooled)
1 large or 2 medium nectarines pureed

In a large pitcher add ice and nectarine puree. Then, in a separate container steep tea bags in the hot water for about 4 or 5 minutes.


When the tea is done, add the tea, cold water and simple syrup to the ice and puree mixture and mix thoroughly.


Garnish with slices of nectarine and serve.

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One Small Step for Him, One Giant Leap for Mom & Dad

Its pretty late at night, and I just got finished packing my first school lunch as a parent.

I know this is only the first of thousands that will be packed by me or my kids over the next several years.

Sandwiches and snacks, juice boxes and pretzels, carrot sticks and grapes all packed up in  lunch pails and boxes, coolers and brown bags.


This is the start of the school years and kind of the beginning of the end of the baby years. While I am so excited for these years and know that my kids will love this time, it is still change.

My kids haven’t been babies for awhile, (I am practically done with diapers), but there is something about packing up a real lunch for a full day of school that says BIG KID.


As I was packing, I got a big blob of jelly on my shirt and I laughed/ugly cried. I didn’t cry because of the jelly. I certainly know this won’t be the last blob of jelly I get on my shirt. I cried because I am feeling such a mix of emotions.

I am happy and sentimental. Excited and nostalgic.

With his one small step on that school bus, Brian and I are taking a leap into the realm of BIG KID.

Why did I laugh? Because let’s be real, this will probably be the last time I have my act together enough to make his lunch the night before.


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Thirsty Thursday: Cherry Rum and Coke


Today is the best day of the week! Let me tell you, this week has been a teensy bit stressful trying to get ready for next week, and as I have shared with you earlier this week, I am in the middle of an organizational freak out, that I am sure will continue through the weekend (I just said week a lot).

However, I’m having gal pals over tonight, and I have planned to make my favorite cocktails for them. Cherry Rum and Cokes.


I love cherry pop. It is my pop of choice. I prefer it over regular pop, and I try to have it in the house. I like cherry Coke, cherry Pepsi, anything. In fact, last year at this time I shared a recipe for cherry pop brownies.

A few months ago, my sister showed me this:


She knows my affinity for cherry pop, and thought I would like some rum and cokes made with this awesome rum.

She was right!

Cherry Rum and Cokes
2 oz. Cruzan Black Cherry Rum
12 oz. Cola
Lots of Ice
Maraschino Cherries for garnish

Fill a large glass to the brim with ice. Add rum and then slowly add pop. Stir gently. Add cherries for garnish.


This cocktail is easy, delicious, and a great way to relax with my girlfriends.

If you like this week’s Thirsty Thursday recipe and would like to read more about DIY, gardening, cooking, baking or all other things domestic, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write follow Home Everyday on Facebook here.

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Vinegar Berry Wash Works, Thanks Again Pinterest

I’m a pinner. I have been pinning on Pinterest for over a year, and I am always amazed at the wonderful things on there. If you’d like to see all the wonderful things I pin, you can follow me HERE.

One of the things I pinned awhile back was the vinegar berry wash that has been going around, and I am happy to report it really does work. Supposedly, the vinegar helps to kill any existing mold spores to help keep fruit fresh longer.

The berries that are in season right now definitely stay fresh longer after I do this trick. I think I am going to start doing it with all the fruit I buy instead of just rinsing in water.


I have never been one of those people that preps my fruits and veggies when I get home from the store. By the time I meal plan, make a list, get the kids ready, go to the store, come home, unload it all I typically collapse and I want to call for take out.
However, my kids are of the age where they can get into the crisper in the fridge or reach the fruit bowl on the counter for a snack, but not old enough to wash anything themselves without adult supervision. Therefore, the next day when I have sufficiently rested from the previous day’s excursion, I am ready to be in the kitchen again and wash some fruits and veggies.
To wash berries (and any other fruit really). Fill up a large bowl or your sink with a combination of 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water. Put the berries or other fruit in the mixture and swish it around for a few minutes.
Drain the the fruit.
Then, make sure to let it dry completely. Also, for strawberries I hull them or cut off their green tops.
Then I put everything in containers and back in the fridge ready to eat.
If you like this recipe and would like to read more about DIY, gardening, cooking, baking or all other things domestic, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write follow Home Everyday on Facebook here.

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Commence My Yearly Organizational Freak Out Oh and I Made Mason Jar Salads

If this post seems a bit spastic, I want to apologize. This is the time of year that I start organizing drawers, cabinets, and closets. I also try to purge what we are no longer using and start making list upon list of things that need to be bought and organized.
Why all the craziness? School is starting soon. I have always treated the beginning of the academic year as my own personal January 1st. I will sometimes still make New Year’s Resolutions in January, but I have always felt that September is a great time of year to start with new routines.
Last day of school last year.
Last year, I panicked a little bit about our entry storage. I knew that with kids starting school and sports they would be bringing home all kinds of things that would need to be storied. I did some major organization in our front hall with converting our closet to one with hooks and a bench and baskets for the kids to easily put away their things. I also created like a command center by using an old dresser.
This year, I started to panic about the kitchen.
I was filling out the calendar with some upcoming events and schedules, and I realized there are going to be a lot of nights that we will be eating dinner in a hurry. Then, I looked at the pick up schedule for the day, and I realized that there will be a lot of running around in the middle of the day too.
That is when I decided it was time I organize every kitchen cabinet, clean out the fridge and freezer and start some batch cooking.


I scoured the internet looking for lunch ideas and I of course found the crazy popular phenomenon of Mason Jar Salads.
They are EVERYWHERE, and now they are in my fridge too!
I decided to try my hand at these delicious looking and healthy lunches (and in a pinch dinner).
I was able to find Mason jars pretty easily. This is a great time to buy them as people are harvesting from their gardens and pickling all kinds of veggies. I got a box twelve 32oz jars at Target for ten bucks.
I washed them thoroughly and made sure they were COMPLETELY dry. Nothing wilts a salad faster than added moisture.
Next, I prepped all of my veggies. I wash, dried, sliced and chopped everything I would need.
Then, I poured about one or two tablespoons of my favorite dressings in the bottom of the jars.
Next, I started stacking. I hunted around the internet looking for the best way to stack, and here is what I found:
– Hearty veggies first. Carrots, cucumbers, unsliced grape tomatoes, or peppers. These veggies will hold up in the dressing, also will taste delicious as they have been marinating in it for awhile.
– Next comes proteins, grains or cheeses. These will help to create a barrier for the lettuce to keep it dry.
– Last is the lettuce or in my case spinach.
– Last put a tiny piece of paper towel on top of the lettuce and close up the jar. The paper towel will help to draw out any extra moisture, but don’t forget to remove it before you shake up your salad to eat it.
I made a few of my favorite salads for the week. I made Mexican quinoa salad, which didn’t really need to be stacked as it contains no lettuce and hearty veggies.
Then, I put together a basic garden salad with balsamic dressing.
Next, up was strawberry vinaigrette, chicken, goat cheese, cucumbers, whole strawberries and spinach.
Finally, I made a more elaborate Caprese salad with extra veggies and fresh mozzarella and mixed in some basil with the spinach.
Put the jars in your fridge. The next time you are hungry, grab a jar and a fork, shake up the salad with the dressing and have a delicious and healthy lunch.
This is a routine I can get used to!
Anyone else freaking out about the start of school?

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Thirsty Thursday: Orange Cranberry Coolers

We only have a few weeks of summer left, so I know that my carefree mornings with the kids are very soon going to come to a close. Once school starts, I know there will be quick breakfasts and running out the door, so I thought I would try and take advantage of these mornings with fun breakfasts and taking some extra time for a treat.
The kids LOVE slushies. I have to say though I am a little skeptical of store bought slushies. So, I have decided to make my own with juice. I have done all kinds this summer, watermelon juice coolers, orange juice coolers, fruit punch coolers, but I think their favorite is orange cranberry coolers.
This is a simple recipe and a great combination of flavors. In fact, my Mom would often put together orange and cranberry juice for us when we would feel a cold coming on.
Orange Cranberry Coolers
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup cranberry juice (Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice)
Add ice to the blender (about 1 or 2 cups). Next, add juices.
Finally, pule blend until desired consistency.
For an adult version of this drink perhaps a smidge of vodka would be in order.
If you like this recipe and would like to read more about DIY, gardening, cooking, baking or all other things domestic, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write follow Home Everyday on Facebook here.

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Active and Healthy: June and July Wrap Up

June and July have given us (me in particular) a run for my money. The kids are in a bunch of different directions. Just when you think summer is a time of rest, relaxation, lemonade, and kicking your feet up, June and July pull the rug out from underneath you.

The kids have had swimming, ballet, soccer, and t-ball. We have gone to library events, play dates, zoo trips, and movies. We are exhausted.


While all that was going on, I was barely able to manage the day to day. So, one of my top priorities was to make chore charts for the summer. That way the kids would have some more responsibility around the house and help out. I was happy I did this because it has made summer a little smoother which allow more time for fun. I was able to work on a few other things like a small spray paint project, finally using my Martha Stewart stencil and some work out in the vegetable garden as well as put together a small area of brick pavers.


Thank goodness I got us organized, because we also had to make some new home repairs like a new hot water heater and new kitchen faucet. Which added a teeny bit of stress (#firstworldproblems).


Also, with July came the Listen To Your Mother videos. I was so happy to be able to share that experience with those that were unable to make the live show.


Photo Credit Sabrina Persico

In the kitchen, things were not as busy, as let’s face it, who wants to cook when it is hot out? However, I did manage a few healthy recipes like this spicy vegetable stir fry.



I also was able to work with Quaker to bring you an amazing recipe for nut free granola.


Finally, I started up Thirsty Thursdays, which I have decided is my absolute new favorite tradition. So far I have shared recipes for Minty Mojitos, Homemade Lemonade, Peachberry Smoothies, Champagne Punch, and Caramel Iced Coffee.


The plan for August is to lay low and soak in the rest of summer before school starts.

Is anyone else stressing that it is August?

If you would like to read more DIY projects, crafting, cooking, baking, gardening or anything else domestic, become a Home Everyday follower. For updates please follow Home Everyday on Facebook.

Sharing the Blog Love

Last week, I got a wonderful surprise. A friend of mine and fellow Listen To Your Mother cast mate RoiAnn of Are You the Babysitter? nominated me for the Liebster Award.


So, I bet you’re wondering what is a Liebster Award? The Liebster Award is a unique way to discover new blogs to read. My friend, RoiAnn has been reading Home Everyday and thought other’s should know about it too. Thank you, RoiAnn! I knew that I would meet some amazing women being a part of the Listen To Your Mother Cast, but I had know idea just how amazing.

I have found that one of the most wonderful things about blogging has been reading other blogs and finding some amazing writers. The blogspshere is kind of an interesting place in that there are all kind of people and stories. Also, there are blogs that I have been reading for years and there are new ones that pop up all the time. Thus, The Liebster award is a way of sharing with readers and other bloggers the blogs that I read, but otherwise might not have heard of. Who knows, you may just discover your second favorite blog (I’m you’re first favorite, right?).


Here’s how it works:


  1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answering the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
  3. Nominate 11 small (no more than 200 followers) blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
  4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
  5. No tag backs, meaning you can’t just re-nominate the person who nominated you.
RoiAnn wants to know (and my readers do too):
  1. What did you have for breakfast this morning? I had two breakfasts today, actually. For morning breakfast, I had Cheerios with banana and low fat milk. Then, by popular request, I made breakfast for dinner (also known as brinner in our house). I had: pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, and fruit salad.
  2. Train, Bus, Bicycle, Car, Skateboard, or your Own Two Feet? Two feet. There is less chance of accident that way. Notice how I said, “less chance” Sometimes, I’m clumsy.
  3. Paper or Plastic? Reusable.
  4. If you could retire tomorrow comfortably, would you? I’m not sure, I mean I would probably just paint every room and piece of furniture in my house, cook all the time, and write all day anyway. I am kind of doing my favorite things all the time. However, I do get paid regularly for any of these things (yet), so I would take the retirement package.
  5. If you’ve ever been locked out of your house, how did you get back in? When I was in grammar school, I took the bus home from school, and my Mom was always there to greet me. However, one day, she had to run and pick my brother up front he train and wasn’t back in time when I walked home from the bus. So, I didn’t even try getting back in knowing she would be home soon. I just hung out in the backyard reading a book oh and praying she got back soon, I really had to use the bathroom.
  6. What is the first book you remember reading and really, really liking? I grew up spending many hours reading. I loved all sorts of books, however, the first book that really changed my perspective, made me think, really caused kind of an enlightening was when I read To Kill a Mockingbird. I was in 7th grade, and it was so different from the YA books I had been reading.
  7. What is something you say every day? With three little munchkins running around, I am repeatedly saying things I promised I would never say, things such as: “Go to your room” “Pick that up, do I look like your maid?” “You’ll put someone’s eye out!” However, these things are always followed by “I Love You.” So it evens out.
  8. Have you ever jumped out of an airplane? As my Grandpa Leo would’ve said, “Why would I jump out of a perfectly good airplane?”
  9. How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? My sister hosts my family for appetizers and banging pots and pans at midnight. We love it!
  10. What are the printed words closest to you right now? I’m in the family room surrounded by toys so, Bee Bop Band.
  11. How old were you when you learned to ride a bike? This is one of my most favorite memories. I was 6 and had been practicing all summer, but just couldn’t get the hang of it. Then, I remember it was a Sunday, and my parents went out for the night and my older siblings were in charge of me. My three older siblings finally taught me how to ride my bike to the corner and back by myself. Then, we ate mac and cheese and watched Robin Hood on the Disney Sunday Night Movie.
Now that you know more about me, and honestly these questions gave me some good ideas for blog posts (Thanks again, RoiAnn), let’s get to the really fun part.
Liebster Award Nominations (in no particular order)
1. More for Four – a great blog for crafts, recipes, and design ideas.
2. Prairie Girl to Southern Belle – the recipes are my favorite, but awesome ideas for around the house too.
2. A Grace Full Life – a little bit of this and that, and a lot about life.
3. Quilting! Sewing! Creating!  – I don’t even quilt and I love this blog!
4. Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom – Mothering, cooking, yoga, and life, doesn’t get much better than that.
5.Comedy, Tragedy or Me? – Who doesn’t need a good laugh?
6. The Style Letters – For those that don’t know I love reading about fashion. This blog is PERFECT!
7. Grandbaby Cakes – WARNING! This blog may lead to a few pounds, but it is so worth it.
8. Rue 29 – follow along on this family’s home renovations.
9. Dad All Day – pure hilarity.
10. Social Butterfly Mom – want to know how to be an awesome mom and maintain a social life? This is the blog for you.
11. Windy Poplars – recipes and photography = awesome!
Here are my questions:
1.) Why do you blog?
2.) Where and what time of day to your usually write?
3.) Purger? or Pack Rat?
4.) If you were stranded on an elevator would you rather hear Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” or Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” over and over?
5.) What is your feeing on pets?
6.) What is your favorite part of your home?
7.) Who do you talk to every day?
8.) What was the first thought that popped into your head this morning?
9.) What is your favorite time of year?
10.) Summer is almost over, what are you feelings on this?
11.) Sausage or Bacon?
I hope that you found some new blogs to follow, and if you liked this post and would like to read more, become a Home Everyday follower here. Also, you can follow me on Facebook here.