Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Heeeerrrrreeee!

I am so excited to share one of my new loves with you...the Our Best Bites cookbook.  I have followed the Our Best Bites site for a long time and I was excited to hear the ladies were coming out with a cookbook.

It's kind of a fun story of how I was able to get it.  I tried to win it through giveaways, but was not successful.  Then one day I saw on Facebook that there was a coupon where you could get 50% off the cookbook at Barnes and Noble (and I just so happened to have had plans on going there that same evening).  SCORE!!  Well, I didn't read the fine print and it was actually that you could get up to 50% off.  Basically it was a random scan at the check out and whatever discount came up is the one you received.  Well, I checked out and as she was scanning my order (I had to order the book because it was not in stock) I said a little prayer and BAM...50% off.  It doesn't get any better than that!

This cookbook is's filled with wonderful, easy recipes, lots of pictures, tutorials and it also includes a little bookmark with measuring information.  Take a look...

It has a hard cover and is spiral bound.  Don't those cupcakes look delicious?!

A lot of the recipes come with an attached picture to give you an idea of how it's supposed to look.  I really want to try these dinner rolls.
Another feature that I really like is how they have side notes about freezing, making ahead and serving suggestions.  They also include what's called "Rollovers" where it features an item than can be used in multiple recipes.

Here's the index of the basically you could see that you have basil that you need to use up and go here to see what you can make with basil.  This could also really help with meal planning, using the same ingredients for different recipes.

They have quite a few tutorials (sorry for the fuzzy picture)

So my suggestion is that you run (don't walk) to get this cookbook and that you check out the OBB site as well...and the wonderful ladies at OBB is not pay me to say this :)

I recently made their Overnight Caramel Sticky Buns...oh they are divine (recipe to follow)!

Here's what it looks like once you let the dough rise overnight.

Here's how mine turned out...and here's the recipe for you to try:

Overnight Caramel Sticky Buns
  • 18 Rhodes frozen dinner rolls
  • 1 (4.6 oz) box cook-and-serve pudding mix in either vanilla or butterscotch (I used vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecans, optional (I did not use them)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
Spray a bundt pan with non-stick spray. Make sure to get your pan completely covered! 

Place the frozen rolls evenly around the pan.

Sprinkle the pudding mix, brown sugar and cinnamon all over your rolls. Make sure to evenly coat! Pour melted butter all over the rolls.

Cover with a clean dry towel and leave at room temperature over night (I also did this once in the morning and let them rise while I was at work and then baked it when I got home)!

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and then invert on a plate or platter.

**Make sure to be careful when inverting so as not to spill the caramel you might want to make sure you have a plate large enough to cover the entire bundt pan.

Enjoy :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1.  Comments...on other blogs.  For some reason the computer that I use the most to check blogs does not allow me to comment on blog posts where the comment section is at the end of the blog.  The box does not pop up for me to comment.  So, if your comments are set up this way and you don't hear from me it's not because I'm not reading or don't love you (because everyone needs a little Kelli love), I just have to wait until I get to my laptop.

2.  Sorry we're's Easter.  Yesterday my mom and I had plans to meet at Target after I got out of church.  When I pulled up to the parking lot it was completely empty.  I pulled to the front of the store and there was a sign that said they were closed for Easter.  Wow.  Then I realized other places that were closed...Best Buy, Sam's Club, Verizon and we realized the place we were going to have for lunch was also closed after Rondell drove all the way there.  

While these things stopped my plans I was given a feeling of joy.  Joy that these establishments also stopped to Be Still.

I went home and did the same :)

3.  To etsy or not to etsy...that is the question.  Technically I have already opened an etsy shop but it's empty.  I have been debating about whether or not to start up a shop to sell my cards (and maybe a few bookmarks).

Here's where you come in.  If you have an etsy shop, please let me know any tips you have for having a successful shop.  Do you use Paypal, is it relatively easy, is there a cost to upgrade, and how do I go about connecting my checking account to it???  Do you charge for shipping?  How often to you have to update your shop?

For those of you who shop etsy...what attracts you to a shop?  What kind of packaging caught your attention when you received your item(s)?  What kind of cards would you like to see in my shop?

I would really appreciate your feedback :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Resurrection
 1(A) Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and(B) the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake, for(C) an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3(D) His appearance was like lightning, and(E) his clothing white as snow. 4And for fear of him the guards trembled and(F) became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen,(G) as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold,(H) he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you." 8So they departed quickly from the tomb(I) with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9And behold, Jesus(J) met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and(K) took hold of his feet and(L) worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid;(M) go and tell(N) my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."

 Absorbing today all that He is, all that He did and all that He does.

Happy Resurrection Day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Favorites

friday favorite things | finding joy

Today is Good Friday...when Jesus paid the Ultimate sacrifice for you and for me.  On this day (and everyday) I am working on absorbing what that means for me and how that brings Him Glory.  As I stop to Be Still today I take the time to be thankful...

** Images are from my church's Passover Seder last night

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Spontaneous kisses from my two favorite little people
Seder plate at our table

Bill Cosby (Rondell just told me that he was in town yesterday) him

Sleeping in

Friends who come to pick me up and take me to work (thanks Lyndsey!)
The unleavened bread...pierced, striped, without yeast (sin)...representative of Christ

Holding hands with Rondell


Jewish Seder plate
Being able to reserve library books

Jamison's excitement about sleeping over at a friend's house

Foot washing...serving as Jesus served

Google (what did we do before Google)

Fish sandwiches on Good Friday with my mom (we've been doing it for years)

Rabbi Silverman (he did a great job)

Saturdays with no plans

Handmade cards (I need to send mine out more often)


Main Table

Sunshine (even if it's still cool outside)


and again...

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Home Management Binder Update

I recently added some pages to my Home Management Binder and I thought I'd share them with you.  This binder really does come in handy, allowing us to have important information all in one place.  Slowly but surely I'm adding to it and making it very fitting to our family.

The following pages are printables that I received during iHeart Organizing's Household Binder Monthly Challenge.

 I added this sheet to our Family Information Section.  I just need to sit down and gather all of the information to add to this sheet.  It will be nice to have my neighbors' numbers in a central place in case I need sugar ;) as well as go-to people for services needed for our home.
 I already have a home maintenance sheet in my binder but I feel like you can never have too many resources, especially while I sort out what system works best for our family.  Plus, Jen's is much cuter than the one I created :)
I have a budget spreadsheet (that I'm in the middle of finalizing), but this sheet will be a good quick glance reference and I can use it to check off and date when bills are paid.
 I love this sheet!!!  Right now all of the information about service to my car is in my glovebox and this way I'll have it all mapped out in one place.  Sweet!

And lastly I just have to share that I {heart} sheet protectors :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daily Devotion

I thought I'd share with you how I try and stay connected with God on a daily devotional...Jesus Calling.  I first heard about it on Darby's blog and as soon as I purchased it I was in love.  The format of each devotion is set up as though Jesus is speaking directly to you...calling you to Himself.

My goal is to read the devotion each morning before I start my kick me into gear and to focus on what truly matters.  So often the words that are "spoken" are just what I need to hear on that particular day.  Jesus really does "speak" to me through these devotions.

It's compact so it fits right into my purse.
A verse is referenced with each devotion and I often go to my Bible to underline the verse(s) and maybe write a few notes.

It is definitely a great way to start each day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

miscellany monday

 Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

 1.  1000 channels and nothing to watch...does this happen to you?  The other night I was home, the kids were asleep and Rondell was at work.  I was trying to find something to watch and there was nothing interesting on at all...nothing.  I'm always amazed by that.

2.  The hunt is my backyard.  Yesterday I hosted an Easter egg hunt for my neighbors.  My church provided all of the materials needed for the hunt, including bags to decorate, candy, and information on how to put together a successful hunt.  After the kids were done hunting for eggs I gave them cookies and juice and then I read the story of Jesus' death and resurrection.  Overall it was a fun time.  Next year Jamison said she'd like to have a skit...she's adorable.

The kids getting ready to head out and find eggs.

3.  We've got a winner for dinner...taco bake.  The other night I made a taco bake and it was such a hit I made it again last night (this time doubling the recipe).  I thought I'd share it with you.  The pictures show the doubled version but I'll post the recipe for just a single dish.

I brown 1lb of hamburger and prepare it as taco meat according to the seasoning packet.  Then I add about 4 oz of Velveeta and 1/2 a can of (drained) Rotel.  Stir until all of the cheese (ha, ha...if we can call it that, but I do love it) is melted and the mixture has thickened a bit.

Break up flour tortillas and line the bottom of an 8x8 dish. 

Pour 1/2 of the meat mixture on top and then top with desired cheese (I like mild/Monterey jack).  Repeat...tortillas, meat, cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Enjoy :)

4.  Holy Week.  This week is Holy Week leading up to Easter...the resurrection of Christ.  Our church is having a wonderful celebration that actually started yesterday with our Palm Sunday service.  It was a worship only service which is so fitting for what Palm Sunday represents...worshiping the King entering Jerusalem.  Our church is also having a Passover Seder meal on Thursday to walk through Jesus' last meal.  On Friday the church is having what's called Stations of the Cross, taking us through the trial and crucifixion of Christ.  Lastly, we'll have Easter Service and celebrate the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate gift.  I can't wait :)   

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Favorites - I Am Thankful!

friday favorite things | finding joy

Taking this time to be thankful for a few of my favorite things...

Text messages (good thing I have unlimited texts!)

Blue skies

My ESV Study Bible
My camera (though I need to use it more)

Pandora Radio
Sharpie Pens (I can use them to write in my Bible and they won't bleed through!)

Caleb asking me about my day

Tuesday dinners with my mom and then watching NCIS with her
This week's 10 on 10 post

Movie Night with the family
Chicken salad on croissant (anyone have a good recipe?)

Yahoo instant messaging to chat with Rondell during the day

Sleeping in on Saturday mornings!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Dear Shawn from the Residence Inn hotel in TN:

Thank you for being a breath of fresh air during our phone call the other day.  In the days where good customer service is rare, you give me hope that there are still genuinely nice people in the world.  Thank you for your warm greeting and your welcoming attitude, making me excited to stay in your hotel during my upcoming trip.  Thank you for the detailed directions and the tip on a good BBQ place to try while we are there.

See You Soon (and yes, I look forward to it too!),

A Grateful Plan-Ahead Customer

Dear Caleb:



Your Mom Who Had a Close Call

PS...Thank you for asking about my day yesterday...I needed that :)

Dear Sunshine:

Thank you for making an appearance.  Don't feel like you have to go away this weekend...stay so that I can get some yard work done.  Really...we enjoy having you around.  Please!


In Need of Some Good Old Vitamin D

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Conversations With My Caleb

Caleb goes to my in-laws Mondays and Tuesdays.  This week before he left we had an interesting conversation:
Caleb:  Mommy, I need you to do four things for me while I'm gone.

Me:  What's that Caleb?

Caleb:  First, I need you to protect my trains (I had to laugh at that because it was not was I was expecting).
Second, I need you to play with my trains.
Third, I need you to take a picture of my trains.
Fourth,...(I don't remember the fourth thing...see, I've already failed the assignment!).
That kid cracks me up with his love of trains.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

10 on 10 - April

ten on ten button

I have followed the 10 on 10 link party for a while, but since I work during the day I'm not usually ever able to participate.  When I saw that April 10 fell on a weekend I decided that this was my chance to jump in on the action.

Here's my 10 on 10...

 Off to church...

 Every 2nd Sunday I volunteer in the church office during service.  Today I was catching up on my BSF homework before the sermon started.

 Here's how I listen to the sermon while in the office...via TV.  Our Lead Pastor is in Uganda so one of our Associate Pastors gave the message this morning.

 Small Group time...I love diving into God's Word with this group of people.

 Time for a trim...

 Craving pizza big time.  This place is on the list as one of my favorite pizza places, but Rondell and I decided not to eat out this month so I was unable to stop.  It sure did smell good though :)

 The kids were SO tired this morning (perhaps too much Spring Break partying) so Rondell stayed home with them while I went to church.  I surprised them by bringing a donut home for each of them (and I know I just said no eating out, a donut for my sweets doesn't count!).

 She did it...she learned to ride a two-wheeler this weekend.  We had a beautiful day so she was able to practice a lot!

 Getting excited about my plants making an appearance...enjoying the outdoors!

Making dinner for two.  My friend Lyndsey and I are exchanging meals this week to save on time during the week.  I just divided up this baked spaghetti dish (that I got from my friend Angie) and TA DA...dinner for two families!

Hope you enjoyed :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Favorite Things Friday!!!

friday favorite things | finding joy

Garden tips from a co-worker (one day I will have a garden!)

God's answer to prayer that doesn't at first look like an answer and the BAM it hits you that He is totally in control




Colored Sharpie pens

Bibles that are written in, highlighted and worn (if you have one show me!)

Painted toe nails

Beer bread

The cool picture of took of my beer bread

The Bourne series (I could watch those movies over and over)

Caleb wanting to sleep with Jamison
This is an older picture, but represents them sleeping together

Caleb not sleeping in our bed because he was in Jamison's bed

The fact that both kids were still asleep when I left for work (this is rare)

Calls from Rondell

Blog comments


Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Little About Me - From A - Z!

My good blog friend Angie posted this on her blog and I thought I'd play along:

 A. Age: 34

B. Bed size: Queen, but I would love to invest in a King one of these days.

C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning bathrooms...yuck!

D. Dogs: Not a fan...I'm so sorry to all of you dog-lovers.

E. Essential start to your day:  A hot shower.  I don't usually step foot out of the house without a shower, even if it's for a quick run.  I always think I'm going to run into someone or get into an accident or something.

F. Favorite color:  Yellow

G. Gold or silver: Silver :)

H. Height: 5′ 8"

I. Instruments you play(ed): Violin.  I still have such a strong love for the instrument too and love when our church has the orchestra play for worship.

J. Job title: Secretary

K. Kids: Jamison, 7 & Caleb, 4.

L. Live for ______: Time in God's Word, time with my family, and bonding time with my girlfriends.  All of these things lift my spirit and bring me joy.

M. Most embarrassing moment:  I can't think of anything recently, but I remember falling on the corner of a major intersection while walking to school.  There were so many people around...pretty embarrassing.

N. Nicknames: Sunshine, Kelli Girl, Kelli Belli, Mommy.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Two for each baby.

P. Pet peeves:  People who ride my bumper in rush hour traffic expecting me to go faster (as though I can drive right through the car in front of me), tapping noises (like when people click their pens over and over...and over), when people add an S to the name of a store (like MeijerS, KrogerS...I even know someone who says Red LobsterS).

Q. Quote from a movie: "You want the truth...YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!" 

S. Siblings: Brother, Evan & Sister, Toshianna.

T. Time you wake up:  During the week I wake up between 6 and 6:30, on Saturday I get up whenever unless we have somewhere to be and on Sunday I get up between 7:30 and 8.

U. University attended: THE Ohio State University!

V. Vegetables: I'm not a huge veggie fan, but I like salad, broccoli, green beans, corn, carrots and greens (though the way my mom cooks them I don't think they would be considered healthy...but man they're good!).

W. What makes you run late:  Rondell and Jamison...they are so slow.  I love them, but come on!

X. X-rays you’ve had: Dental

Y. Yummy food you make:  I make a pretty good lasagna, cheese Danish, potato soup, buffalo chicken dip (thanks Lyndsey!)...

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Now that I know the Indianapolis Zoo has them...dolphins!  I really want to take the kids there this summer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Monday, April 4, 2011

For today...

Outside my window...cloudy...BUT it's almost 70 degrees.  I'll take that any day.

I am thinking...about what I'm going to do with the kids tomorrow.  Jamison is on Spring Break and I don't have anyone to watch her so I'm going to stay home.  It's not going to be as warm tomorrow but we may try and go to the park anyways.

I am thankful for...friends who have offered to include Jamison in their plans this week.  It will be nice for her to be able to get out and do some things instead of being at home all day.
In the kitchen...cheeseburger pie and chicken tetrazzini so far.  I really want to make some cookies but Rondell gave up sweets for Lent and so I think that would be cruel...I'm kinda nice like that :)

I am favorite gray's so comfortable and cute.

I am creating...our Destin To Do and packing list.  I have some tips to share with you this week about planning for a road trip.

I am enjoy my day off with the kids.  Even if we don't do anything outdoors it will be nice to just hang out with them for a day.

I am reading...Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua still.  I'm almost done with it and I'm amazed by the views she has on Western parents.  I'm pretty certain I'm not a Tiger Mother.  

Around the house...I still have more cleaning to do.  I got a lot done in the kitchen this weekend, but I do have more things to do.  Spring Cleaning is more than just cleaning...there's a lot of planning.  Where do I want this to go...what will work best here...etc.  I did a lot of staring at the cabinets trying to figure out the best system.  I can't wait until it's all done.  Next up is the living/dining room.

One of my favorite things...reading with Jamison.  Last night we were reading in her Jesus Storybook Bible and had such a great time and wonderful discussions.

What's in your daybook?