Blogger Confessions Week 1: The real story behind those photos

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A couple fellow blogger friends came up with this fun idea to share weekly #BloggerConfessions to help each other realize that we all have hidden struggles when blogging and that a lot goes on behind those pretty pictures and eloquent words. Isn’t that fun? It also lets our readers see a bit of behind-the-scenes and who doesn’t like that? Each week, my friend Jenna will post a themed Blogger Confession on her blog and we all write on that topic if it pertains and link our blog to hers. Kinda like right here.

So, the first Blogger Confession week prompt is the photo behind the photo. As bloggers, we try to get interesting and pretty photos and sometimes that happens in not so pretty ways!  Continue Reading →

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When your husband loves blueberry, you love it when you find recipes like this smokey grilled blueberry crunch

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Most people who know me know I like sweets but because of health reasons, I only eat them in small amounts. My favorite is chocolate (especially chocolate with mint or toffee). My husband, though? Not so much. He’s developed more of a sweet tooth since marrying me but I swear he would have had steak as his groom’s cake instead of actual cake at our wedding if I had agreed to it.

The one exception seems to be blueberries. Not just anything flavored blueberry, either. I am always buying him blueberry flavored stuff and sometimes it hits the mark and sometimes it’s out in left field of dessert land.

So last year when he found a blueberry dessert on Facebook, we of course made it. And we both loved it. A lot. It’s a blueberry crunch dessert that you make on the grill, which means two things: no heating up the oven and it gets a rich, almost smokey flavor from the charcoal. Another aspect of this blueberry crunch that I like is that it uses pineapple to blend with the blueberry instead of the traditional lemon. John really doesn’t like lemon-flavored anything and I’m not a big fan of blueberry and lemon together.

I honestly don’t know where the original came from except for “Facebook” but I was able to find it in a couple of places like here. We used almost identical ingredients with some variations for taste or, if I’m being honest, because I got the wrong stuff. Continue Reading →

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Our first fireworks show in pictures

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As a kid, I was never a fan of fireworks. Sure, they were kinda pretty but the noise they made always bothered my shunt (the reverberations) and quite frankly, they just scared me. The exception were sparklers. Those were just pretty! So of course yesterday when my husband and I experienced a first in our relationship together-we bought fireworks together for the first time-I told my husband I had to have sparklers! He thought I was nuts because all they do is ..sparkle but he bought me two different kinds.

John grew up with fireworks and loves them. That’s why we’re both a little surprised that we’ve been together for more than seven years and this is the first time we’ve never bought fireworks together. I guess time and finances (and me not being totally into them) played a role?

At any rate, we got a small but really enjoyable mix.  Continue Reading →

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Pin & Spin: Making our squash croquette recipe a bit corny

Squash Corn Fix

 

 

It’s been a while since I did a “Pin & Spin” blog, which is where you find something you love on Pinterest and do your own take on it (in other words, you don’t follow the recipe but we’re going to say it nicer than that!).

John discovered this Squash Croquette recipe and we just loved it. Yes, it’s fried but if you use olive oil it’s still quite tasty and pretty healthy (it’s pan fried, not deep fat fried). We started discussing how we wanted to change the recipe just for fun and decided it would be delicious with corn. So, I figured out how to make these croquettes with corn, squash and onion. There was a bit of trial and error, but the final result was just as delicious! Definitely different, but still amazing.  Continue Reading →

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To brace or not to brace? That is not the only question…or, Jamie’s life in braces

Technically I wouldn't call this a brace, but it represents the beginning of that life for me. It's a stand I would be placed in to help my muscles start being able to bear weight (I think).

Technically I wouldn’t call this a brace, but it represents the beginning of that life for me. It’s a stand I would be placed in to help my muscles start being able to bear weight (I think).

 

When most kids get new braces, it involves a trip to the orthodontist. I did experience that, but in my world braces always meant contraptions on my legs to help me walk.

When I went to being a full-time wheelchair user in my late teens/early 20s, I stopped wearing leg braces. To be perfectly truthful, it was in part because I gained so much weight in college that my braces didn’t fit anymore. But at the same time, they weren’t needed because I wasn’t walking. Or so I thought.

I still don’t know if a brace early on would have helped my bad knee situation, but I have a feeling it might have. While my bad knee is really just becoming public, it’s been a painful problem for years. Every time I had to stand up to transfer or have my chair folded and pulled through a narrow doorway or climb up stairs or climb up into my chair from the floor…the experience was excruciating. Even standing up to get dressed is uncomfortable at best. I’ve just grown used to it and limit my trips to homes where I have to get on the floor or stand up to get into places where my wheelchair doesn’t fit or crawl up stairs.

I’m less and less comfortable putting pressure on my bad knee because I can now visualize exactly what is happening. Instead of being worried that I’ll snap my ligaments, I now know the ligament has been so damaged for years (possibly dating back to my knee injury in high school-we just don’t know) that the ligament is considered not even there. There’s also the factor that it’s become increasingly painful and even daily activities like driving can be difficult sometimes.  Continue Reading →

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Nestle Girl Scout Crunch bars bring back lots of memories, inspire new recipes

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Nestle ice cream fixed

So, remember about this time last year when I wrote about my memories of selling Girl Scout Cookies and how cool it was that Walmart featured limited edition versions of Girl Scout Cookie-inspired Nestle bars? Well, the bars are back. Those of us who tried them last year have been asked by #CollectiveBias to reshare our blogs and bring them back to your attention (check out the hashtag #Cookies2Crunch on social media to see what others are saying about these bars).

Here’s what I said originally (with a few minor edits):

Don’t you just love the phrase “It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time!?” Once a year, for about a month, people can order these delicious sweet confections from cute kids (or their parents). A new partnership with Nestle Crunch bars mean that it’s Girl Scout Cookie Time all the time, or at least for a little bit.

Girl Scout memories

I was a Brownie Girl Scout for about a year, just long enough to sell the cookies. The year I sold them, we had a blizzard but my dad helped me go door-to-door anyways. I found a picture of that time in one of my scrapbooks. The closest I could get to a digital photo for this was to take a picture of the scrapbook with my cell phone. Girl Scouts ended up not being a great fit for me, but I loved selling the cookies. I remember trying to get sponsorships for some healthy sports competition at the same time and not surprisingly, people were way more interested in getting Girl Scout cookies!

This picture of me, my dad and the family dog is from the 1980s when I was a Girl Scout Brownie. A blizzard wasn't going to stop me from selling those cookies! Thankfully we can get the same great flavor at Walmart now.

This picture of me, my dad and the family dog is from the 1980s when I was a Girl Scout Brownie. A blizzard wasn’t going to stop me from selling those cookies! Thankfully we can get the same great flavor at Walmart now.

A while back, I came across a new kind of cookie bar from Nestle that brought back a flood of memories from that year that I sold Girl Scout cookies (and let’s be honest, all the times in the not so distant past when I’ve bought cookies from cute kids!). Nestle Crunch bars were united with three popular Girl Scout cookie flavors to create a recipe for yummy success. The Crunch bars have the thin wafers in them with the cookie flavor in between. They came in three flavors:

  • Thin Mint
  • Caramel and Coconut (based on what I called Caramel DeLites and what many in my area now call Samoas)
  • Peanut Butter Creme

Continue Reading →

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Some cool summer fun made even better with Lipton tea

 I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. Everything I say here is my opinion and my experience! #TEArifficPairs #CollectiveBias #BeMoreTea

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It’s officially summer. The kids are finally out of school and my various social media feeds are filled with fun pictures of trips to the lake, swimming pools, and many other summertime destination spots. You know what else I see a lot of? The best summer drinks, including my favorite: iced tea. No sugar, no lemon. Just wonderful Lipton iced tea with maybe a bit of strawberry flavoring added when I’m in the mood.

So far this summer I’ve had the opportunity to share my love for iced tea at two parties of very different sort. Check these out! Continue Reading →

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A girl’s day: Farm Fresh at The Junk Ranch (and a chance to try out the new camera!)

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post in any way however I was not charged admission to Farm Fresh at The Junk Ranch because my wheelchair would not go into all parts of the event. I did not ask for this concession but it was very much appreciated! JunkRanchBigBarnFront

A couple of weeks ago, some friends, John and I went to Vintage Market Days of NWA and I had so much fun I was thrilled to learn that a larger but similar event would be held in June. Farm Fresh at The Junk Ranch was last weekend in Prairie Grove. This time, it was a girl’s afternoon with some friends from the Captivating Heart Retreat ministry.

Man, was there a lot to see! I think there were more than 60 vendor booths stretched over an old cow pasture, an old barn and the main house. To explain, this kind of sale is a “junk” sale in that many of the vendors sell upcycled items that are vintage or somehow not in regular use. This could be rings made from spoons to old furniture refurbished to be shabby chic. Continue Reading →

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Did you know that community involvement can end hunger?

 

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

 

#ad End hunger for kids through Walmart, Tyson and Champions for Kids #SummerofGiving   Anyone who has read my blog in the last year knows I’m a big advocate for local charities that work with women and children, and one of those is Champions for Kids. I also live in an area where some of the world’s most prominent companies call home so I get to see first hand how these corporations are companies that give back. For example, Tyson is active in the efforts to end hunger through its KNOW Hunger program. I was thrilled to be selected by #CollectiveBias for the #SummerofGiving Campaign, which teams up Walmart, Tyson and Champions for Kids. Walmart has pledged to feed 5 million meals to kids just this summer! Keep reading to find out how you can make a difference through community involvement. Continue Reading →

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Notes at Night: Downtown Bentonville’s Thursday nights filled with music

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Music is an important part of life, don’t you think? It’s the soundtrack to life, as cheesy as that sounds. We all have songs that remind us of the saddest and happiest times of our lives. Music can soothe a soul and in that way, I see it as a gift from God.

If you’re anything like me, there’s some types of music that you would buy every album but might not pay for a concert ticket to hear it live. Then there’s the opposite kind, which is the music that you may not have any albums (or downloads) from that genre, but you could listen to it live for hours on end. I’m that way with jazz music. I don’t own any jazz music but when I’m in a restaurant or a park where it’s being played, my soul is usually at rest. Even the livelier songs give me a sense of happiness that calms me.

I think my favorite part about jazz is watching the musicians really enjoy the music. Their facial expressions and overall body language is part of the art. So it should be no surprise that as soon as I heard about Notes at Night in Downtown Bentonville, I had to go.  Continue Reading →

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