Monday, April 30, 2012

Liebster Award Nominations!

I was nominated for a blog award named the Liester Award. It is an award that started in Germany to give smaller bloggers recognition for all their hard work. "Liebster" means "Beloved".

You receive this award from a fellow Blogger that feels your blog is important and special to them.

If you receive this award, there are three rules.

1. You must award 3-5 other bloggers with the award. In this case, it is five. You must leave a comment on the blogs you nominate letting them know they have been nominated.

2. The bloggers awarded must have less than 200 followers.

3. You must thank the blogger that nominated you on your blog with a link to their blog.

Participation is completely voluntary and is not limited to any genre or writing for that matter. Basically, the blog can be about anything and simply has to be one that you feel is worthy and that you would like to give recognition to by passing it on.

I am completely flattered to have been nominated by Lin at Little Millerisms.

My nominations are

1. Give Oh Giveaway! (she is just over 200 followers, but I think that just happened recently and I love her blog!)

2. Mistique Uniques

3. Walking By Faith

4. What The Foo

5. Grandma's Cookie Jar

Sunday, April 29, 2012

LA Dream Center..I need sponsors!

My Church is going to the LA Dream Center in September and since God has laid it on my heart to do ministry for months now, I feel I have to go with them! I want to go with them! Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps and makes my tummy flip.

The Dream Center in LA is a hospital that has been converted to a huge ministry center. They help over 40,000 people per month with anything from food, clothing, detox, helping those in the prostitution industry get out and many many more ways.

You can read more on their facebook page as well.

The only problem is money. My church has put together trip bundles and has reduced the price for each member to go. It would be a week long trip with all expenses included for around $900 a person. My husband also wants to go, so we need $1,800 dollars all together.

I believe God will find the money for us to go, but I need to put this out there. I need to make it known that I need the money and I need to ask for help.

At the present time, we do not have any extra after bills. In fact, we barely pay those. My husband works full time and I am on disability. We barely keep our head above water.

But I do believe in God's power to make things happen. All I need is your help. If you can sponsor my and my husband's trip, please make a donation. Even a small one helps. Even if all you can provide is gift-cards to fast food restaurants so we can eat while we are there, that helps.

God will make this happen. I know he will. Nothing is too big for him.

I would love a company to sponsor this. If a company sponsors, it will be well know on my blog and various social media outlets that you sponsored and I would be willing to offer free ad space in exchange as well.

Please e-mail for more info and to be a sponsor.

God Bless you!

Bed and Breakfasts and Country Inns book review and GIVEAWAY! Win a free nights stay at a B&B!

Have you ever stayed at a bed and breakfast? I may have as a child, I don't remember, but they have always been an interest of mine.

I was given the chance to check out the book "Bed and Breakfasts and Country Inns" from and American Historic Inns Incorporated.

This is a wonderful resource for the vacationer. If you are even just looking to take a long weekend with your spouse, this is the book to get.

What is excellent about this book is the easy layout. It is alphabetical in order of the states and you even get a FREE night stay (when you buy one night stay consecutively at the same Inn) certificate inside the book for all the participating locations featured. You can check out reviews for the inns at

The book tells you in wonderful detail about every location featured. It gives you contact info, website info, history of the location, average cost of a stay, amenities and things to do in the area. You could virtually plan your next getaway with just this book.

The website, even lists Inns that are for sale if you are interested in investing in one of these often historic locations.

This book is Amazon's Number 1 selling Bed and Breakfast book! You can purchase it on the ILoveInns website for $24.95 or Win a FREE copy here! If you buy your copy of the book on the ILoveInns website, you get an ADDITIONAL one night stay certificate now through May 13th, 2012! That's almost $300 dollars in savings off your next trip!

If you have an IPhone, can also download the FREE InnTouch app.

I am partnering with to give ONE lucky reader of my blog a copy of this book and the FREE one night stay at one of the participating inns (Average savings $142!!) To have a chance to win, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form and do the mandatory entries. When you have done the mandatory entries, more chances to enter will open up! Good luck and make sure you visit and drool over all the beautiful places you could visit!

Click "read more" to see rafflecopter form!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

World's Best Cat Litter review and GIVEAWAY!

If you are tired of smelling that cat box and tired of spending tons of money on cat litter, World's Best Cat litter has a solution.

I was given a full seven pound bag of their Multiple Cat Clumping litter (scented) to try. Thankfully, my cat is not picky about litter, so he adapted to it easily.

I found that the litter lasts a lot longer than other litters and absorbs more odors and liquid. The scented formula has a wonderful Lavender scent. It is naturally scented with lavender oil.

To show you the texture, I put a little in a bowl because I figured my readers didn't want a picture of my cat box :)

World's Best Cat Litter is a clumping litter that is made of corn. It is a renewable resource and so it is great for the environment. It has no added chemicals.

World's Best Cat Litter lasts longer because the material absorbs faster, leaving the rest of the litter dry, so you have less waste.

You can buy World's Best Cat Litter either from their online store in 7 lb, 17 lb and 34 lb bags, or from retailers such as Target, Petsmart and PetCo. Many local animal supply stores carry it as well.

Now, if only I could teach Mac to cover his poo when he is done.

World's Best Cat Litter also would like to give THREE of my readers a chance to try it out as well! Just enter on the rafflecopter form below!

Two Kitchen appliances you need to consider buying

This post is a bit different from other reviews. I was not given these products to test and try out. This is simply me telling you about two small appliances I have had for years that have been surprisingly very helpful around my home.

I was skeptical when I bought both. I didn't think they were worth it at the time I bought them. I didn't think we would use them enough. I figured they would just go into storage after a few uses and be forgotten to collect dust. My husband was the one who convinced me.

The first one is a popcorn popper. I personally have The Presto PopLite popper.

I used to always make microwave popcorn, but I honestly do not think I have made any of that in years. We have owned our machine for over 5 years. It is still running great after this time and I use it at least on a weekly basis. It is great for living frugally and living a healthy lifestyle. It pops with hot air, so you do not need to add oils. You can top it with anything you can think of!

Cost-wise, it is much cheaper than buying bags of microwave popcorn. We get probably 10-12 bowls of popcorn out of a standard bag of kernels that only costs 2-3 dollars.

The second appliance that we use more than I thought we would is the rice cooker. We have the Black and Decker 16 cup rice cooker.

This cooker came with a steam basket and scoop. What is so great about it is it allows you to simply fill the cooker and turn it on and forget it. It does all the work. No more watching water boil, adding rice, stirring etc. Withe the steam basket, you can steam your fresh veggies along with your rice taking you less time and less space in the kitchen.

I used to always buy rice mixes from the store and do rice that way. Those are loaded with sodium and preservatives. Now, I just add rice and instead of water, I add chicken or beef broth and some seasonings. Rice is so much cheaper (especially if you buy it in bulk!) than rice mixes and just like with the popcorn popper, you can make any flavor rice you want.

Kitchen aid Mania Giveaway!

We are giving away a white KitchenAid KSM150PSWH Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer to one lucky reader! This is a perfect Mother's Day gift to every one who loves baking or simply just being in the kitchen! This was made possible by Bay Area Mommy, American Family and a whole bunch of AWESOME bloggers!
KitchenAid KSM150PSWH Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer
Retail Value: $349.99
- Color: White
- 325-watt mixer with 10 speeds; 5-quart stainless steel bowl
- Tilt-back head for easy access to mixture
- 1 piece pouring shield with large chute for adding ingredients
- Includes flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip
- Measures 14 by 8-2/3 inches by 14 inches; 1-year warranty

Giveaway will run from April 29 at 12AM EST to May 9 at 11:59PM EST. Open to the US only. Must be at least 18 years old to be eligible. Good luck!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Secret Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe will be a bit different. I will not completely give away my secret, but I will tell you what is in it. Test it out for yourself and adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Chrissie's Secret Spaghetti Sauce

Tomato Puree

Canned or fresh diced tomatoes

Fresh mushrooms, sliced

Italian seasonings

Brown Sugar

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Shredded cheese

Browned ground beef or turkey

I will give you a hint..add a little then adjust.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Peak Hydrate

When I was approached to try Peak Hydrate, the first thing I thought about was my Couch 2 5K commitment and how a re-hydrating product would be great for helping me achieve my goal. (By the way, I am now on week three!)

Peak Hydrate is a sugar free re-hydrating supplement for amateur athletes, military and those that need a supplement but can't have the sugar. I, myself, am diabetic so this was perfect for me to test out.

It comes in a neat little bottle with a scoop inside. The bottle is not much bigger than a large aspirin bottle.

You add one level scoop to 8 oz of water and stir or shake.

I found Peak hydrate the help me feel better after a run than I did with just plain water, but I am not really a fan of the lemon-lime flavor I was given to try. While I think it tasted better than other lemon lime drinks, it still wouldn't be my first choice. I am told they are working on some other flavors. I would be very interested in trying them!

I also found that you need to not only shake or stir, but let the product sit a bit or it is somewhat grainy in texture.

I do like the convenience of the bottle and the scoop. It made it easy to make without a bunch of measuring.

I like how even though it is sugar-free, it is not filled with aspartame. Instead it has stevia, the same thing that is in Truvia.

Peak Hydrate can be purchased at their website where you will also find nutrition information and other testimonials as well.

Peak Hydrate also has a fundraising program for sports teams, scouts and other groups looking to raise some funds. Their program is generous. It is a 50/50 split. For more info on this fundraising opportunity, contact or call
918-852-2334 (direct line) OR
800-316-6850 and select "Accounting"


GlitzSee Purse Light

How many times have you been digging around in your purse and gotten irritated, so you just dumped it contents looking for your keys? I know I do that quite a lot.

There is a solution, Ladies and it's called the GlitzSee!

The Glitzsee is wonderful because it is a small light that is motion activated, so all you have to do is shake your purse a bit and it turns on, lighting your way inside your purse.

My purse before:


The GlitzSee even has a switch, so you can turn it off and on to save the battery. It also features a loop to hook it onto a clip to keep it somewhere. I thought about putting mine on my keys (if hubby and I didn't share the car haha) so I could have a light to find a lock in the dark.

The GlitzSee really lights things up. This little "gem" is super bright.

The GlitzSee comes in 3 colors: Amethyst, Aquamarine and Topaz. It retails for $15.95 and can be bought on GlitzSee's website or by calling 1-888-553-0188


Weekly Blog Featured blogger interview! This week: Parsimonious Pash!

I want to add a weekly feature to my blog. I have made some wonderful Bloggy friends and I want to feature one of them a week. This gives them a chance to be spot-lighted on my blog and gives my readers a chance to discover other blogs!

This week I am interviewing "Parsimonious Pash"

1) Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I wanted something to do. It was a way for me to start expressing myself. I found that it started to relieve tensions and helped me to relax. I was at first doing it for couponing, but have expanded.

2) How did you come up with the name for your blog?

It took a long time to come up with the name of the blog. I wasn’t happy with anything. I talked the idea out with my boyfriend. I was originally blogging about coupons so I wanted something about being frugal, but that word is overused in the blogging world so I picked parsimonious which means that and pash is my nick name thus I came up with ‘Parsimonious Pash’.

3) What is your blog about?

Well, as I said I used to only blog about coupons. Now it’s more just about me. I blog coupons, deals, about things I find important as well as product reviews and giveaways.

4) What is one thing in your life you are most proud of?
I think I am the proudest of the fact that I have managed to get through a lot of hard times and yet I am still here. I am also proud that I managed to keep things strong with my boyfriend through lots of hardships for us as well.

5) What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation is overseas. I would love to go to Ireland and to Poland. I am not sure how I would fit them both into one trip, but that would make my day!

6) Tell me about your favorite food.
This is hard. Growing up I would say that it was potato and cheese perogi, but now I think it would be Kobe Tempre. I really hope I spelled that right. It is a Korean dish that is mad with a rice and ground beef stir fry and deep fried pork. To say the least it is delicious.

7) What are you looking forward to?

I am looking forward to graduating from College with a Bachelor’s in Health Care Administration real soon. I also am looking forward to starting a family in the upcoming years.

8) If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?

This is my least favorite question ever. Now that I have gotten that out of the way I am not sure what to say. I would love to be that strong woman who says that I like me the way I am, but I know that is not true. I believe that I would like it if I didn’t have my disability. I know many people who would look down at me for that, but it’s the truth. Life would be a lot easier and I would be able to do so much more.

No, go read Parsimonious Pash and "like" her fanpage! I am sure she would love it!

If you would like to be featured, please email me with the subject "weekly featured blogger" to

Book Review and GIVEAWAY! Journaling with Jesus by Carol Round

I was given the opportunity to read and review Carol Round's book, "Journaling with Jesus".

The book is a great tool to draw nearer to God. It is about how to start prayer journal.

The book is not long, but its instruction is very important.

Carol Round is an inspirational speaker, author and self syndicated columnist. She has been keeping a prayer journal of her own for over 10 years.

What I find so wonderful about this title is the author's ability to speak to you as if she were a friend. She speaks as if you are right there with her, kindly and compassionately.
I also find the idea of keeping a prayer journal a wonderful tool to seek a closer relationship with the Heavenly Father.

As a blogger, I often run into "writer's block". I think this is one of the reasons I have never been able to keep a diary or journal, myself. I never know where to start or where to go with my writing.

"Journaling with Jesus" makes it easy. The book helps you get over your anxieties you may have about journaling and helps you draw closer to God in a way you never thought possible. I think this book is wonderful for the believer who is wanting that deeper relationship, who yearns to learn more about themselves and their Savior and feels the need to make a deeper commitment to their Father in Heaven.

"Journaling with Jesus" has scripture and a resource list at the end with wonderful websites to take your journaling further.

You can buy "Journaling with Jesus" on Amazon or at the book's website.

Carol Round is a wonderful and generous Author. She offered a copy of her book, "Journaling with Jesus" PLUS a blank journal as a gift to one of my readers to get you started on your path. Please click "read more" to see the rafflecopter form and enter to win!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Anniversary is just around the corner!

My anniversary is just around the corner. Anniversaries are always a time I reflect on my marriage, naturally.

I am so proud to say that this year is our third anniversary. May not seem like a lot, but we beat the odds as far as I am concerned.

Our first year was the hardest and it almost ended there. We fought all the time. Very bad fights. The kind that tear your heart apart and the kind that usually end in divorce.I won't go into detail, because frankly, its too personal, but we did work things out and I am so happy neither of us gave up. God truly worked a miracle in both of us.

Its crazy to look back on that and see where we are now. Marriage is truly work, but very rewarding work. I cannot imagine my life without my Husband.

I feel so blessed to have been given a good man.

I feel even more blessed that I asked God for his help when times were hard and the human part of me just wanted to walk away and end it all. It would have been so much easier to do that some days. But, as they say,"Anything worth having is hard work". Boy, oh boy, it is seriously hard work, but, wow, is it worth it.

My husband is my best friend in the entire world.

Now, I have the task of trying to figure out what to do for our anniversary that doesn't cost and arm and a leg. I would really like a creative thing that is far from the usual.

Anyone have any ideas?

In the spirit of remembering, here is a couple pictures of us on our wedding, May 2nd,2009

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oh! So Pretty Giveaway hop!

Whether you call it getting dolled up, putting your face on, warpaint, or anything else, we all love it!  It being makeup and beauty products! 

How Was Your Day and Saved By Grace are co-hosting an awesome giveaway hop - “Oh! So pretty!"

The theme is beauty and we would like to invite all bloggers to join us!

This hop will run May 18-24th, 2012, and all prize packages will have a minimum value of $25!

By joining, you agree to the following:

1) Give us your link to your blog and CURRENT, often checked email address


2)Post a prize worth at LEAST $25 dollars sticking to the theme of "Oh! So Pretty!" (beauty + cosmetics type products) either sponsored or self-sponsored.

3) The html code will be emailed to you a couple days before the hop.  You are agreeing to have your post up and running by 12 noon, EST on May 18th.

4) Promote the hop

This hop is free to sign up for but you are REQUIRED to provide a prize worth at least $25 dollars to participate. 
We're not requiring you to post the button or a blog post, either.  But if you wanted to, we'd love ya forever!

Come join us!


Our Favorite Hide-away

My husband and I have found a favorite place to "get away from it all". I am lucky enough to live in Montana and the weather here is getting absolutely gorgeous!

Just a short drive away from our home is a little place next to the river. We like to hike through there and hope to one day go fishing there as well as soon as we get enough funds to get a license.

It is reminiscent of the river that is spoken about in the 1992 movie starring Brad Pitt, "A river runs through it."

That movie is about my hometown and every time I watch it, it gives me chills and takes me to a happy place.

This little hide-away we have is so peaceful. Although it is just off the freeway and you can still hear the cars go by, it feels so secluded. It has a sandy river beach and a forest of trees along with some interesting rocks washed up on shore. Across the way is a wall of rocks with moss growing on them. It must have taken centuries to grow that much.

When we need a break, we always come here. I wish I could take my readers there, but the best I can do is show you photos. I hope you enjoyed them.

My husband, enjoying a beautiful Montana day:

Country Bob's All-purpose Sauce

I tried Country Bob's All-purpose Sauce on my dinner tonight. My husband makes a mean fried chicken (Recipe to follow another day!) and one of our favorite things to do is coat it in BBQ sauce.

It was a bit different than the typical sauce I usually buy. I usually go for sweet sauces (much to my husband's dismay, who prefers a more tangy variety). This sauce may just be a favorite in our house. Even I liked it and would use it again. My husband on the other hand, LOVED it. He said it was right up his alley.

We decided that next time we use it, it will be ribs.

I really do think this may be the first sauce dubbed "All purpose" that really would compliment anything.

Country Bob's not only makes an All-Purpose Sauce, but also a spicy version of the All Purpose, a BBQ sauce and seasoning salt. They also produce their own plastic bottles.

One of the main purposes I wanted to work with Country Bob's on this review is because of the first thing I noticed on their website. A simple, "Christ is our CEO". I love when a fellow Christian makes their dreams come true by following God's plan for them. According to the website, They follow Proverbs 16:3 which reads, " Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."

Country Bob's was nice enough to provide my readers with a chance to win a bottle of their All-Purpose sauce. One lucky winner will receive a 13 oz bottle. Just click "read more" to enter the rafflecopter form!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thank God for his answered prayers!

This week I was pretty blessed.

I had been praying to God to give us a means to get a bed for my husband and I. Our bed is simply a mattress on the floor that is old, hard and unfortunately, I discovered a mold section underneath it as well, recently. My husband also has terrible asthma and our old mattress is not a good fit for it.

God says to "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and I have spent many times in prayer about this issue.

God led me to a website that helps people with just thins thing. It is called Sleep 4 All and a regional mattress retailer runs it. The idea is for people to donate their gently used mattresses for the program. The mattresses need to be clean, in good repair and in good shape. The Sleep 4 All program then takes them and cleans and refurbishes them and gives them to family's that need help. They have donated to children's shelters and those with medical needs.

I signed up a couple months ago, thinking I would give it a shot and see if I could receive some assistance. Well, a couple days ago, I got a call from them and they told me we were picked to get a mattress and box-springs. I cried tears of joy right there on the phone. It was like God's loving hand reached out and held me.

I can't even tell you what this means to us. We are truly feeling blessed.

If you know anyone in the Washington (state), Montana or Idaho area that needs help like this or would like to donate, please see Sleep City's website for more info and click on "Sleep 4 All".

Wilbur the cat (sleeping)
Photo from flickr by

Here's to a good night sleep coming my way! Thank you God!

Great Mother's day gift!

Maggie's Direct is a great site to find gifts for any occasion, but they have an awesome special price on their Stonewall Kitchen Blueberry Batter Bowl Gift Set.

It's just $49.95 and you get all you see here:

*Maine Blueberry Jam

*Maine Blueberry Syrup

*Farmhouse Pancake Mix

*Stonewall Batter Bowl and Spatula

And you can get a special deal if you order now-You get 25 "Social Bucks"! Social Bucks are like money to spend on the Maggie's direct website, so its like getting it half off!

What a great deal for Mother's Day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Studio Oh! Mini- Box of Cupcake Recipes review and giveaway

Studio Oh! has some great products. I already have a couple of them that I won on another blog, but I really wanted to review something else of theirs'.

I was lucky enough to be given the chance to review their mini box of cupcake recipes. I have their mini-box of chocolate recipes as well.

I was very happy to see that the recipe box included recipes for icings and frosting as well.

What I really love about the mini box of recipes is the vintage-y, whimsical designs on the product.

The recipes seem easy and I was practically drooling after flipping through them. They come in a really neat box with gold-tone designs.

Each recipe card is easy to follow and folds so they fit nicely in the box. They are printed on high quality card-stock. The recipes are unique and far from boring!

You can make anything from Peanut butter frosting or Luscious Lemonade Cupcakes!

Studio Oh! was GENEROUS enough to offer a chance for one of my readers to win a min-box of cupcake recipes as well! This would make a GREAT mother's day gift!
Please click "read more" to enter on the Rafflecopter form!

Help support Shelter cats

So to those that know me personally, you know I LOVE my cat. He is a therapy cat, or technically called, an emotional support animal. I deal with major anxiety and I have actually been amazed at how much my cat has helped with this. I used to feel worried and be very anxiety ridden when my husband would go to work and in the time I have had my kitty, that has greatly reduced.

In any case, I wanted to talk about a company that is helping shelter kitties. You may have seen the commercials for World's Best Cat litter. Well, they are offering a way to help shelter kitties have FREE litter. It's called the GiveLitter Charity.

It works on a voting system and they will give one pound of litter for each vote to participating shelters.

You can even submit a shelter/charity for voting.

You can vote for one shelter a day, so come back every day to vote.

Also, soon, Saved By Grace Blog will be having a review and giveaway for World's Best Cat litter, so come check it out!

Click HERE to participate in GiveLitter!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Koma-the anti-energy drink

I was given the opportunity to review KOMA.

You have heard of energy drinks, but what about drinks and "shots" that help you relax and sleep well?!

KOMA has you covered!

KOMA is made by BeBevCo.

KOMA is wonderful. What can I say? It tastes great and it ACTUALLY works! The wonderful part about KOMA is it's designed to help you relax and sleep without the use of drugs designed to help you sleep. I was skeptical, but after trying it and after my husband tried it, we are convinced-it really helps you relax!

The secret is the natural supplements. It contains Melatonin, Milk thistle, Rose hips, and Valerian root. It is fizzy like a soda. The taste is like a mixed berry. I found that it tasted just like grape soda. Unlike some drinks with supplements (like energy drinks), it does not taste funny. You taste nothing but the great berry flavor and it has no goofy aftertaste.

It works fast as well. I drank it and was relaxed and ready for bed in about 15 minuets. I normally have trouble falling asleep and I had no problem after drinking KOMA. I also suffer from anxiety and at night, it kicks into full gear. I was so relaxed after drinking KOMA I didn't even have a bit of anxiety. It really does work the way it's supposed to!

My husband slept like a rock that night! He went to bed before me and when I went to bed, I had to shake him to make sure he was alive haha! He was sleeping so deep, he wasn't doing his usual snoring!

When we both woke up the next day, we felt refreshed. I have to say, it was a really good night of sleep.

I also tried the shots. They are flavored in orange. It worked about the same, but quicker.

KOMA unwind also makes a sugar free (sweetened with Splenda) version of their relaxation drink.

You can buy KOMA unwind and other BeBevCo products on their website. They hope to have them available for retail purchase in stores nationwide soon!

You can also sign up to win 2 free Energy shots in orange flavor right here on my blog! Just click "read more" to go to the rafflecopter form!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cj's Mystery bars

Today, I have a guest poster. She is a fellow Montana blogger and wanted to share her recipe with my readers. Please show her some love by visiting her blog and by leaving some comments here.

Please also vote for Cj's Recipe!

All you have to do is LIKE the Cook'n fan page and Like Give oh Giveaway's recipe for mystery bars. She'd really appreciate your help! Thanks! If she wins, she wants to give it away on her blog! Remember, just like the comment made by Give oh Giveaway!

Without further adieu here is my bloggy friend, Cj, from Give Oh Giveaway :)

Hello! I am Cj from Give oh Giveaway. I am a stay at home Mommy of 3 little girls under the age of 5. I love to coupon, do reviews & giveaways and LOVE to bake! My hubby always jokes, "Don’t eat a cookie Cj makes!", because honestly I can’t make cookies even if it was to save my life…but I have developed a talent for baking pies and bars.

The recipe below is called Mystery Bars, as a child growing up in Las Vegas my family of 10 would make the 1200 mile drive to middle-of-no-where Montana to my Grandparents farm house for Christmas. Grandma Santa (yep, that is her real name, not a nickname) would be prepared with dozens of these awesome bars. They were our favorite Christmas treat! Every time I asked her what they were made of she would always answer….”It is a mystery” and wink at me! She would send some home with us every year, but they never made it Idaho border. We eventually moved to Montana and I luckily got to spend many hours in the kitchen with Grandma Santa baking mystery bars and learning all her secrets! I want to share with you my family’s favorite tradition and I hope you love them as much as we do!

Mystery Bars


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Butter (margarine won't work)
1 bag of Chocolate chips (or 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
40 saltine crackers


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray well with PAM (easy clean-up). Line crackers side by side on cookie sheet until it covers the whole pan. Boil brown sugar and real butter over medium heat (stir often) until it reaches rolling boil. After it reaches a rolling boil, time for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour and spread over crackers. Place in oven for 8 minutes. Turn off oven, remove from cookie sheet from oven. Let rest for 30 seconds. Press crackers back into place with wooden spoon as best you can. Sprinkle choc. chips over top and place in TURNED OFF oven for 2 minutes. Take out and spread melted chocolate chips. Sprinkle with nuts (optional)

Let cool and break up (with hands or wood spoon) into pieces. DO NOT CUT with knife; you will get foil pieces in your bars. For quick cooling, place on hot pads in freezer of fridge until hard. Store in airtight container in fridge or freezer. This recipe is a great make ahead of time, freeze and thaw later dessert! Will last up to 3 months if stored in airtight container with wax paper between layers of cookies. So yummy too! Blow your quests away with this inexpensive but tasty treat!

You can visit Cj's blog, Give Oh Giveaway here:

Also, please make sure to stop by her Facebook Fanpage and "Like" it!

You can also follow Cj on twitter!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Magical Mashed Potatoes

Ok, so they aren't technically magical, but they are pretty darn good and always get eaten up in my house. Feel privileged. I am sharing my secret! (My husband calls them "love potatoes" because he says the reason they are so good is because of the amount of love I put into them-goof.)

picture from flickr by Nisha A

Chrissie's Magical Mashed Potatoes

(Makes a huge post of mashed potatoes-I never really paid attention to how many servings, but my best guess is 10-12)

10-12 Medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half

Onion powder

Garlic Powder

about a cup of ranch dressing

1/2 cup milk

2 cups shredded cheese

2 Tbsp dried chives


white pepper

Pretty simple:

1. Boil potatoes until soft, but not super mushy and drain. Put back into pot.

2. Hand mash (not with a mixer) to break up larger chunks. Add cheese and mash together.

3. Add milk and ranch

4. hand mash or use a mixer (I always hand mash-I like a chunkier texture with my mashed potatoes, not a puree)

5. Add a dash of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and add chives. Mix well and adjust to your tastes.

My family thinks these are so good they don't even need gravy, but you are welcome to eat with gravy :)

God's little reminders

I am always amazed at how God works. It is always so much more than I can ever begin to imagine and so much bigger. I mean, I know He is God, so He does big things.

What I am saying is, is He is always there loving me, even when I don't deserve it. His grace is so unchanging and so huge and it really inspires me.

Yesterday, my daughter was bit by a dog. We were out for a jog since I am doing this Couch 2 5K thing, and this house we usually pass that has this intimidating dog was where it happened. We had barely gotten past the halfway point in the gate when I saw the dog jump the fence out of the corner of my eye and suddenly she just bit down on my daughter's calf. Terrified, we both started running as this dog chased us, baring teeth and snarling.

My daughter was hysterical. She was hard to calm down and when she finally let me look at her leg, I realized it had not broken skin, but was very bruised and you could see teeth marks. I took her to the urgent care that is open on the weekends. They cleaned it and told me she would be fine (which I figured, but I wanted documented medical proof).

I was so angry all day. Just stinkin' mad. The urgent care had reported to Animal Control and the Animal Control officer and I had a couple heated conversations. We could not communicate because I was so angry that not much could be done at this point and they could not make contact with the owner of the dog. Plus, my "mommy instinct" was on high alert. I was honestly pretty cantankerous with her, shamefully. She talked me through it and I was more calm soon, but I was still not very happy.

I went to church yesterday evening and when I came home, there was a message in my voicemail. I checked it and it was the Animal Control officer. Instead of checking my email, I accidentally pushed "send" and my phone started calling her. I realized and hung up. It was nearly 9 at night and I hoped I had not disturbed her.

Well, she called me back in about 5 minuets. She re-iterated what she had said on voicemail, and for some reason mentioned she was busy trying to read the bible when I called. Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head and I realized this was a test. (Not the whole thing, but this single conversation). I suddenly felt the need to apologize to this woman for my horrible attitude earlier and we had a lovely conversation after that. I told her I was a Christian as well and told her I was sorry for my UN-christlike attitude with her earlier on the phone. She told me she forgives me. She told me she respected my apology. We carried on and then talked about breeds of Dogs and our shortcomings as humans and how God has grace. She also admitted she had. had a bad day and was a bit too short with me as well. We are all human!

I then decided to extend that grace to the owner of the dog, whom by the way was very,very sorry (and honestly mortified) his dog had bitten my daughter, and had agreed to cooperate with Animal Control and also agreed to pay for the trip to urgent care as well as build an enclosed dog run in his yard.

I am always amazed by these moments in my life. I believe they are God's little reminders that his grace is so unending for us, and he expects us to extend the same grace to others. Thanks God. I needed that yesterday.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dress Up Time!

I was given the opportunity to try a costume from a wonderful online costume retailer, Wholesale Costume Club.

I fell in love with the infant costumes and asked my friend, Jenna, if I could "borrow" her baby girl, McKenna, 14 months.

We both loved the Ladybug infant costume and eagerly awaited to have it in person.

I was very impressed by the quick shipping and many affordable costumes on the website. There are so many costumes to choose from for every holiday or just dress up. This in NOT just a place to check out at Halloween.

When I got the costume, I excitedly called my fellow Momma friend, Jenna and she brought over the baby. She was excited to put it on her and we were both impressed with how high quality the costume was. It was not a cheaply made costume made of mostly plastic and was well put together. I loved the taffeta/lace on the bottom of the ladybug costume and how it made the dress puff out. It looked like a boutique style dress!

The great part was the wings were detachable so this could easily turn from a costume into a boutique outfit for pictures. The detachable wings made it easy for an infant to wear because if baby was bothered by the wings, momma could easily detach them, although McKenna didn't seem to mind. She was all smiles! Great for transport in a baby car seat to a fun outing as well.

Baby ladybug:

The costume came with the dress and detachable wings. Jenna added a hair clip and black leggings. It was simple to put on baby and simple to adjust for weather. Jenna and I talked about adding a black turtleneck for the fall for trick or treating. The costume came in a one size fits all in ages size newborn to 24 months.

Uh oh! This ladybug is outta here! Isn't she adorable?

You can find all sorts of costumes at Wholesale Costume Club. From infants to toddlers to kids, tweens, teens and adults. There are even men's and women's plus size costumes available. Dress up the whole family!

Please browse Wholesale Costume Club to check out their awesome selection for the whole family or look through their adorable infant and toddler costumes to find one for your little one ! There are plenty of great costumes for your next theme party, school play or dress up time!


Friday, April 13, 2012

"Empty Promises"

I read the book, Empty Promises, by Pete Wilson

Pete Wilson is a pastor who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. This is his second book. I have not had a chance to read his first book, "Plan B".

"Empty Promises" is about how we create idols in our own lives and how we fail to ever meet what these idols promise. It is also about how we can stop centering our lives around these idols and instead focus on the ONE who deserves our worship, God alone.

The book is an easy to understand, frank discussion on looking for ways to expose our heart and the truth about the human condition. The first commandment says, Thou shalt not have any other Gods before me, but we often find ourselves convinced that if we were only a little more beautiful/handsome, a little richer, more successful, had a better home ect we would be "truly happy" and thus we create these things as idols in our life, often without even realizing it.

This book really opened my eyes to what I was doing in my own life. It made me realize that if I spent half the time focusing on God's will for me than I do I these empty promises, I would find the true happiness I am looking for.

I love Pete Wilson's style of writing. He is open, frank and loving. This is an excellent book for new and more seasoned Christians alike.

From the moment I picked up this book I knew I was in for a ride. I got into it right away and started examining my own idols. I really could relate to what he was saying about having the perfect home. I am a stay at home wife/mom and I often feel like I really fall short on that because I try so hard to be submissive and the kind of wife God wants me to be and I am so overly critical about things that do not even matter to God. It made me realize what matters to God is my willingness to do his will and my time I spend asking for his guidance as well as my using my gifts to do his will are far more important to Him than how perfect my home looks and how dust free it is.

I think just about any Christian, at any point in their relationship, could get something wonderful from this book. There is always room for improvement.

"Empty Promises" was released in 2012 and is available online at and and many bookstores.

I was given this book free to write a review. The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookSneeze®. Although I was given this copy for free, the opinions and experiences expressed on the book are my own.

I never had a honeymoon

There. I said it. I have been married almost 3 years (on May 2) and we never had a honeymoon.

Now, I know this will probably be seen as a whiny post, but its just something that has been on my mind.

I am not really a super high maintenance type, but a small honeymoon would have been nice. Ok, so technically my father paid for my husband and I to stay at a nice hotel here in town for the night on the night of our wedding. We did stay in the jacuzzi suite and had waffles the next morning, and I am grateful for that, but I wish we could do a getaway.

I am lucky to live in Montana. There are so many fun places here to go and the beauty is all around me. So, even just a getaway in Montana would be nice.

The problem is, we are broke. Beyond broke, actually. I try to save money, but it just gets used on something like gas, groceries, the

Normally, I am resourceful when it comes to making things happen, but this is one of the things I can't seem to make happen.

I am open to suggestions. :) I figure for us to be able to make it work, at minimum, we need 1000 dollars and go!... :)

Blogs I love!

I wanted to make a blog roll page so I could add to it and put my favorite blogs on it and help spread the bloggy love :) If you would like to be featured, please link me to your blog and a button I can add.

Some of my favorite blogs!


Addicted Reviews

The Mystic Kitchen

Mikis Hope

Frugal Mommie of 2

WithOurBest button

A Little Bit of Everything

The MamaZone Button

Happy Green Mama Blog

Made By Renee



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