Monday, August 31, 2009

The BEST Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe I Have Ever Found

I have never been able to find a great peanut butter cookie recipe. In fact, I have been using a bagged mix for years. Every "from scratch" recipe I try comes out dry and un-peanut butterish.

In a recent Woman's Day magazine, I found a recipe that looked pretty good, and it was so simple. In fact, there were only 5 ingredients in the cookie itself...peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, baking soda, and peanuts. That's it.

I tried making them today, and...I don't even have the words to describe how good they are. The recipe said to make a chocolate ganache, but I didn't have heavy cream or chocolate. I did, however, have some meltable white chocolate and cocoa powder, so I made my own chocolate sauce.

Oh, it was like a mouthful of heaven, I'm not kidding.

Here's the recipes:

2 cups peanut butter
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped peanuts

Throw it all in a bowl and mix until combined. Mine never really combined until I got my hands in the and started making balls, but it didn't matter. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on the pan before moving them to a cooling rack. You can add chocolate on top, or leave them plain. They are delicious either way!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Started Christmas Shopping

Kasi is at that age where she wants to own nice jewelry. I think I was about her age when I got my first "real" piece of jewelry, so I have been on the lookout for something nice, but not too expensive, just in case she looses it.

So, I was so excited when I found this ring in rogersearthworksetsy shop . It is totally girly and also elegant. I thought it would be perfect for Kasi. I was ready to cringe as I looked for the price, and couldn't believe my eyes! Are you ready?

$1.50 + $2.50 s&h = $4 total!

Holy crap! I was so excited! It's silver plated, which is perfect for her. I ordered it, and can't wait to get it. I think she is going to love it. I wish my nieces were older, because they had all different types for the same price. I could have knocked out a bunch of shopping.


I have a problem with computer games. Like many people, once I start playing a game, I can't stop. It has happened many times, especially with Facebook games. They are the worst!

There is one game that I have been wanting to play, but I am afraid to start, because I have heard of people losing entire days playing. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating, but I do know several people who play this game day and night. It's called World of Warcraft. Have you heard of it?

Just kidding. I know everyone has heard of this game. Did you know you could skip all the boring parts and just Buy WoW Gold? I had no idea, but then I have no idea how the game itself works. I am going to try it out, though. I just need to wait until I have a weekend with nothing else to do.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Casey Lea Creations Etsy Shop

I thought I would take a break from all the elephants and share with you a beautiful pair of earrings.

As most of you know, purple is my favorite color, along with black. These earrings are copper and purple, and dangle 3 3/4 inches. I love the accents on the purple beads, all swirly and pretty.

Casey Lea Creations also has necklaces and earrings that show off intricate bead work. This jewelry maker is quite talented, and I would be honored to own these earrings, which are very reasonably priced.

On a side note, I have been finding some really cute jewelry, but I refuse to post about them because their shipping costs are so high. Can someone please tell me how mailing a simple pair of earrings cost $6 or $7? I don't get it.


We have two televisions in our house. We used to have three, but Ryan's decided to become possessed or something, so he needs a new one. We also have two VCR's, a DVD player, two stereos, two cable boxes, and a portable DVD player. Each of these electronics come with their own remote. It can get pretty confusing if you don't know which remote works which thing. There have been plenty of times when the kids have messed up the television accidentally while trying to play a movie. I think it would be so much easier if we had one remote that worked everything. Luckily, there is such a thing.

It's the Yamaha neoHD. This is a super cool all in one remote control. You can program it easily to control all of your electronics, and then use the onscreen interface. The remote is super simple looking too, with just a few buttons. I know that some of our remotes have so many buttons, and I have no idea what half of them do. If I accidentally hit one, it takes me a while to figure out how to "undo" what I did. I really need to simplify things, and I think this remote system is just what I need to do so.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kimari Jewelry Etsy Shop

Can you say elephants????

I have never seen anything like this, and I love it. I love the different elephant pictures, and the dangley elephant charm. This bracelet really want to be worn on my wrist. :)

You can find this bracelet, and other funky, unusual jewelry at KIMARI JEWELRY etsy shop. The prices are very reasonable, but still a little too rich for my blood.

But for those keeping track for Christmas, consider this another hint!

Ironman In Branson

My husband loves to watch the Ironman competition on television. It's one of the few things he will sit and watch, so I know he enjoys it. I just found out that on September 19, 2010, the inaugural race will take place in Branson, Missouri. I would love to be able to be there so Junior can watch the competition.

We could stay at the Hilton Branson Convention Center, and be right across the street from the Fountains of Branson Landing, which is the finish line for the competition, as well as where the awards ceremony will take place. The competition will begin with a 1.2 mile swim in Table Rock Lake, which is one of the beautiful lakes in the area. Then the competitors will bike 56 miles through the Ozark Mountains, and finish with a spectator friendly 13.1 mile run. Just thinking about this makes me tired.

I know Ryan would be right there with Junior, soaking in the competition, but it is not something the girls and I would enjoy. We would probably check out the shops and restaurants, and maybe take a trip to an amusement park. That's the best part of vacationing in Branson; there is something for everyone.

Monica E, Jewelry Etsy Shop




Three words that describe these earrings perfectly. I love how it's the hoop and the elephant. Nothing fancy or colorful. They are reasonably priced, too, at just $10. Shipping is a little high, I think, for a pair of earrings, but I am tempted to buy them anyway. I think they would look perfect on me. I just love hoops!

You can find these earrings and other beautiful jewelry in monicaejewelry's etsy shop.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Protecting My Blog, And My Identity

More and more of the blogs I read on a daily basis are switching to their own domain names. I know in the last year, I did this with two of my blogs; this one and my kids one. I thought long and hard about choosing the right web host when I changed over, but in the end decided to stay with blogger. I knew that I needed to do more research before deciding, so I started asking all my friends who they use, and I also found a great site that compares all the webhosting sites out there, and puts the results side by side. This made is easier to make the right decision.

I was also reading an article about protecting your site, and it was really interesting. The part of the article that struck home with me was about creating strong passwords. My brother is a computer guy, and he tells me all the time that I have weak passwords. I don't use the same one for everything, which is good, but the ones I use are kind of predictable if you know we well.

I really do need to go around and change some of them, to protect myself, and my identity.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

DesignsByLluna Etsy Shop

I was browsing through etsy shops, which, by the way, has become an enjoyable past time for me, and found this cute little elephant pendant. The elephant, and dragonflies, are secured onto a blue background. I am really loving silver these days, so this necklace is right up my alley. I wanted to see what other kinds of jewelry was available in the DesignsByLluna shop, so I clicked her "shop" button. I found all kinds of cute little necklaces, with birds, flowers, and even one with a violin.

I was not expecting to find anything cuter than that elephant pendant, but I did. I found this cute pinkish purple elephant pendant! You all know I am more of a purple girl, and I love, love, love the way green looks on purple, or in this case, pinkish purple. This one also has dragonflies.

At $35 each, plus $5 s&h, I can only dream of owning one. I might, however, send out some hints for Christmas. I mean, there's only four months left to shop.

So, hint, hint!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sony Discounts

I want a new computer. Did you notice how I said want, and not need? That is because there is nothing wrong with the computer I have. In fact, I love my computer. It has been very good to me. I guess it would be better to say that I want a new monitor for this computer. I have been drooling over those nice flat screen monitors, and hopefully I can get my hands on one soon. I also want a laptop. We were going to get one last February, but other things needed attention first. This coming February, I am getting one for myself. I will consider it my birthday present to myself.

I found some coupons for Sony discounts, so now I can save some money on the things I am wanting. I was surprised to discover all the coupon codes that can found online. We don't buy big purchases often, but when we do, I want to get the best deal possible. Using coupons is an easy way to get the things I want for less.

The next time you need to buy something, big or small, check online for coupons. You may be able to save a bunch of money.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Brandi's Ponies

Brandi painted these a couple of weeks ago, and I forgot to post a picture. She likes to see her things on my blog, so who am I to say no? I think they came out beautiful. She is one talented seven year old. I think she gets it from me. :)

Bling Bling

What do you think of this bracelet? It comes in a bunch of different colors, like blue, red, yellow, and the black I have shown. I prefer the black. I think it looks more elegant.

You can find all kinds of Bling Bling at Hip Hop Bling. They have been around for years, and are responsible for starting some of the trends you see in the hip hop industry.

I may not be into the hip hop scene, but that doesn't mean I don't know a pretty piece of jewelry when I see it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Maggie’s Sweet Nothings Etsy Shop

This little guy is absolutely adorable. He is a bead, about as big as a dime. I love all the detail on him. I love how expressive his eyes are. I love his big, floppy ears.

I just love him!

This bead can be found in Maggie's Sweet Nothings Etsy shop, along with other adorable little characters. I love all the holiday offerings they have too, from ghosts to snowmen. I also love the little handmade buttons.

I can see myself spending some money here, and I can get a lot for a little. This elephant bead is only $3.25, and the other guys are also reasonably priced.

You have to go see for yourself how talented this Esty shop owner is!

Make Money Online

I have people ask me all the time how I make money online. I don't really know what to tell them, because in all honestly, I don't know very much about all the possibilities out there. I know what works for me, but I also know that there are many ways of generating income that I am unaware of. I would love to be able to make enough money to pay off some bills, and maybe even put some money into a savings account.

I found this blog that explains how to make money online. It goes into detail about all the different ways you can make money, and the things you should look for in the companies you decide to work with. There is so much information, and I can not wait to read it all.

I just had to come share the site with you first.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Um, Okay

Lately, I have been doing posts about the great things I have found in etsy shops that I really, really want.

This is not one of those posts.

I look at this necklace, and immediately think of Harper from Wizards of Waverly Place. She's the character who wears the oddest clothes, like the fruit roll up dress.

I just can't see a grown person wearing something like this. I admire the designers creativity, but...well...I don't know.

That said, I would probably buy it because of the elephant :).

Justina McCaffrey Wedding Gowns

What do you think of this wedding dress?

It's a Justina Inc. dress. I have never heard of this company before, but president and creative director Justina McCaffrey has some beautiful gowns. I love the flow of this dress, and how it screams of femininity. If there is one day in a girls life where she wants to be all girly, it's her wedding day. If I ever have a real wedding, I hope I am thin enough to wear something like this.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

GreenFamilyTreeDSG's Etsy Shop

I am trying to be more girly. I have gotten into the habit of wearing earrings when we leave the house, but I only have one pair that I really love. I have been trying to find different styles, but am always drawn to the purples. It's a good thing I wear a lot of black.

These Alexandrite Star - Alexandrite Swarovski Crystal earrings are $8, with free shipping. They dangle about an inch and a half, and I am thinking danglers are in style right now. I seem to see that everywhere I look. I am not sure, however, how they would look on me, because I have such a round, fat face.

I might just have to get them and see.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stouffer's Giveaway

The kids go back to school in less than a week. There are so many reasons why this makes me happy, the main one being that I will save money on groceries. For the past few years, my kids have qualified for free lunch. This means that they can eat breakfast and lunch at school, and it won't cost me anything. Brandi likes to bring a salad for lunch every day, but that is simple and cheap.

Since I no longer have to feed three kids two meals every day, I can start buying my favorite lunches again, which are Lean Cuisines. My favorite is the spinach and mushroom pizza, but I am always willing to try their newest varieties. Stouffers has recently put out four new varieties of their panini's, and I can honestly say that they look and sound delicious. I have eaten their panini's in the past, but not how I should. Instead of putting the two pieces of bread together, making a sandwich, I eat each piece by itself. Talk about yummy!

To celebrate the new Stouffers-panini varieties, they are having an awesome giveaway. You could win one of the three Grand Prizes, which is the choice of an India, Greece, Italy or France destinations ($10, 000 Gift Card), one of twelve second place prizes, which is a Sony Digital Camcorder ($500 value), or you could win a daily prize of free Stouffer's products coupons. You can register here for a free entry, and then use a unique UPC code every day to enter again. The only downside is that the contest is only open to Canadian residents. I happen to have a few Canadian friends, so I wish them all the best of luck.

Salisa's Accessories Etsy Shop

I love dangly earrings, and these are gorgeous! They are called purple dice earrings, and they can be found at Salisa's Accessories.

This shop has earrings, bracelets, and key chains. The only thing better than the creations are the prices. I can get these earrings for $6, and that includes shipping. I am seriously considering buying them once I get some extra money.

I love the silver and purple together. I used to be a gold girl, but lately my eye has been drawn to things that are silver. I think it's the extra sparkle that silver has.

Make sure you check out this etsy shop, and feel free to let me know which shop is your favorite.

Why I Love Playing Jak

I love playing video games. I know it's a little odd that a 37 year old woman can spend hours in front of the television, trying to find precursor orbs and fighting crimson guards. Yup, I'm talking about Jak. It all started years ago when my mother gave Ryan Jak and Daxter for Christmas. Two minutes in, and I was hooked. When the second installment came out, Jak II, I wanted it immediately, but it's price tag prevented me from buying it right away. As soon as the price dropped, I was playing, and I have to say, it is my favorite of the three. When the third one came out, I said screw the price, and bought it immediately. They rounded out the series with JakX, a racing game that is fun, but not very challenging.

Like I said, Jak II is my favorite. It took me a while to figure out how to pass some of the levels, but I never lost interest. There is this one board where you are strapped into a car on rails, and you have to shoot and kill all these flying bad guys. It took me days to pass this level the first time, but now I can do it quite easily. My son even asks me to pass it for him when he plays. In fact, there are quite a few levels I have to do for him. I don't mind, though. It's fun.

The thing I like most about the Jak trilogy is that it tells a story. The characters start out young, and by the third game, the are more mature, and the story comes to an end, answering questions you didn't know you wanted answered. The challenges get harder, and much more frustrating, with each installment. I have completed each game, but have yet to find all the orbs on Jak 3. There are just too many! I would love to find a cheat that tells me where each orb is located.

My review of the games does not do them justice. You can check out better reviews of these games, and tons of others, at X-Play.Unknown-2
I am now ready to get a Playstation 3, because while looking for these pictures of the games, I found that there is a Jak IV for PS3. I have got to get my hands on that game!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Sea Creatures

These are the two little sea creatures I painted with Brandi.

I love the little turtle.
I love buying these little creatures. Walmart sells sets of six for about $2.50.
I like having some on hand for days when the kids are bored and need something to do.
I am going to start saving the ones the kids paint for them to give to the grandparents for Christmas. It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas...

Spas In Atlanta

It feels so good to be home from our vacation. Four days playing in the lake have left me in need of some pampering. I would enjoy visiting spas in atlanta, and having someone make me feel beautiful. I have bugs bites all over my legs and feet, sunburn in places the sun has never seen before, and my lips feel like sandpaper. I am not exactly feeling attractive right now, except for the awesome tan I am sporting. But, with my tan comes wrinkles and damaged skin, and that is not a good thing. M Medical Spa uses non-surgical procedures that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help your skin look fuller and revitalized. They also remover unwanted body hair, which is something I could have used before our vacation. Having to shave in a camp shower was difficult and painful on the backs of my sun burned thighs. In the end, though, it was a wonderful way to spend some time with my little family, and I look forward to going again next year.

Bored Without Her Sister

Last week, while Kasi was with my mom babysitting, Brandi didn't know what to do with herself. I felt bad for her, so we sat down together and painted a little bit. These are the four sea creatures she painted.
This is her octopus.

Her purple fish.

Her pink mermaid.

Her "Nemo" fish.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Get Campus Ready

This post was sponsored by Sears. All the opinions are mine.

As most of you know, I have been camping for the past few days. We are home now, and getting ready to get the kids back in school. I can not believe they only have ten days left until their first day back. Brandi will still be in the elementary school, and Ryan and Kasi will both be in the Junior High this year. I can not believe they are that old! In a few short years they will be going away to college, and I'm not too sure that I am ready for that. Graduates who are heading there this September can find all kinds of help with getting CampusReady at Sears. The neatest thing about the website, in my opinion, was the checklists they provide. Granted, some things on there are common sense items, but some things are things you may not think you need, or things you never would have thought to bring. Here is a sample of the "sleeping" checklist:They have all kinds of other lists, too. You can find lists for cleaning, eating, studying, and even a "getting dressed" list. I find it amusing that they suggest twenty one pairs of socks and underwear. I don't even own that many! I think it just goes to show that some college students can't find time to do their laundry. I never went away to school, so I can't offer my kids first hand knowledge about dorm life. Thankfully, Sears is here to help me with that.

Don't forget to check out CampusReady on Facebook.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Funky Recycling Etsy Shop

Two of my favorite pepsi and elephants! I am loving this magnet.

I love the concept of Funky Recycling. They take soda cans, and make the cutest things. I am a magnet freak, so I was drawn to this, but they also make earrings and necklaces. This is a creative way to help make the world a little more green.

You can't beat this prices, either!


Ryan has been staying up all night. I don't know how he does it, but when I get up at 3:20 every morning to get Junior up, he is still sitting here at the computer. He says he goes to bed right after Junior leaves the house, at around 4:30. The biggest problem with this is that he will sleep until the late afternoon, which just sets him up for another night of staying up late. It's a horrible cycle, and I hope he is back on track before school starts.

The funny thing is that when I get up in the mornings, there are all kinds of new things on my computer. Ryan loves youtube, and I usually find a bunch of videos downloaded on my computer. I never really go on youtube, because most times when I do, I will find something I want to post on my blog, and it won't let me download the video. It's very frustrating. I heard about this flash video downloader that can Download Youtube Video that can't be downloaded normally. All you do is put the URL of the page the video is on into their search box, and it will download the video to your computer. It sounds easy enough, and I think I might try it the next time I want to download a Sugarland video, and I can't.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bren's Handcrafted Gemstone Jewelry On Etsy

I was looking at jewelry the other day on etsy, with Kasi looking over my shoulder. We happened upon this ring, and she said she wanted it. (I made a mental note for Christmas!) It's pink cubic zirconia and sterling silver, and it's only $6. It's pretty enough that she loves it, and cheap enough where I won't get mad if it gets lost. That is my biggest issue with buying the girls "real" jewelry...they have a tendency to lose things.

Anyway, you can find this ring, and other beautiful jewelry, at Bren's Handcrafted Gemstone Jewelry shop on etsy.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


My son, who is 13, has started staying up all night. He has become addicted to a computer game, and during the day, he doesn't get a chance to play because I am usually online. I trust him not to go anywhere he shouldn't, but he is a 13 year old boy, so I sometimes wonder if he searches for things he shouldn't. I know there are programs available, like Keylogger, where I can check up on him. This program can show me every single thing he types, but I am not sure that is the kind of mom I want to be. I think, for now, I will just trust that I raised him right, and trust him.

AlishaTodd's Etsy Shop

I warned you there might be elephants, and I didn't want to disappoint. How cute is this little guy? And by little, I mean little. He is only as big as that penny, and I want him sooo bad! I wish I knew how to work with polymer clay.

I found this little guy here, in AlishaTodd's etsy shop. She has a nice variety of miniature animals to choose from, and they are reasonably priced. She has an adorable little giraffe, and a precious little bunny. All these animals have such intricate detail, and you can see the love that went into creating each one.

South Carolina Realtors

My mother is still looking for a house to buy. I am beginning to believe she needs to find new Real Estate Agents who might work a little harder for her. My mother likes to look online herself, and when she finds a house she likes, she asks her agent to find out the details. I am thinking my mom needs to find a South Carolina Realtor who will do the looking for her, and find her the perfect house. I know she wants something older that has some history. I just want her to find something that's not too big, and in a good neighborhood. Most importantly, though, is that I want her to find a house that will make her happy.

Thanks To July's Top Dropprs

Thanks to all these great blogs who dropped on me consistently during July. I don't drop as much as I should with this blog. I need to do a little better this month.
I also need to post more often, and I am working on that. I have been spending a lot of time on etsy, and I think I might start posting my favorite finds.
Who knows, you might just see a few elephants! lol!