Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stop and smell the roses...

No matter how busy life gets, always take the time to stop and smell the roses...and thank the Lord for sharing that beautiful blessing!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Tuesday

Once I became a Chaffin, my husband introduced me to, "Happy Tuesday". It's not a particular day, or every Tuesday...just random Tuesday's where you give or get a surprise to make it a HAPPY one. Tuesday's often get lost in the mix...just one of those days, between your typical "case of the Monday's" and "Thank Goodness It's Friday". Previous Happy Tuesday gifts have included (given and received):
  • cards
  • candy
  • flowers
  • glow sticks
  • Coach purses (That was a REALLY HAPPY Tuesday!)
And many other fun things...I must say my Mattie's love language is giving, and he is very fluent in this love language. Well, today I was the recipient of a Happy Tuesday gift from my Ma'am (mother-in-law), and what a FUN one it is!

How awesome is this? First, I love ANY and ALL cookbooks...and one of my passions is baking. This is full of fun stuff! So many tasty treats! I can't wait to make them all! Heather has a blog, I just went to check it out, and the top post is  Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Icing, yummy! Needless to say, I now follow her blog!

Here are a few images from her book...


Very Informative...

I see these everywhere...I guess I'll have to try them to see what the rave is about!

I just immediately think these with Red Velvet Cupcakes for a Fun & Festive Fourth of July!

And for the grand finale...I had to save the best for last:

Yes, it does in fact say, "Banana Pudding Cake". These could very easily be my favorite three words in the world, well right after I LOVE YOU...which could be a new sentiment I feel towards this cake! I definitely can't wait to try this out!

Just thought I would share my little "Happy Tuesday" with you...and urge you to treat yourself to a happy Tuesday and get this book also! You can get it here.

So, once again I will say, "THANKS MA'AM!!!" Hope you all have a Happy Tuesday! =)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Flower Bed (...still to be continued)

When I started the first post about my flower bed, I had no idea it would be a series! That is how life goes, so I thank you for your patience!! Last Thursday was a busy day, but I had "buying plants" on my To Do List while I was in town and I was going to get it done! I made the mistake of getting my allergy shots first, ha! So, I went to Lowe's and got the amount of plants, the lack of knowledge I had on plants, and allergies. I was so close to going back to my car and leaving...but I persevered! I finally found the plants with the orange tag (Morning Sun only). Why is it that all the bright pretty fun flowers are full time sun? Oh well...I still found some good ones! I had some interesting conversations with the lady who worked at Lowe's, she coached me some and pointed me in the right direction. Then while looking at Gardenia's a lady showed me a picture of hers on her phone. Her exact words, "Darlin, here's my baby's in a pot because I live in an apartment, and yes it's gangsta crooked but I like it that way." She was a hoot! She offered to be my gardening buddy and come help me, but when she found out where I "stayed" she said took back that offer..said it was too far! I was then in better spirits and made up my mind to be decisive! I bought paper to put down to block out my weeds and stakes to keep it in the ground. The flowers I purchased were: 3 rose bushes, 3 gardenias, and 7 begonias. I'm happy with my choices.

So, I came home and weeded the plot again, put down the paper to keep weeds out and set the plants in place to make sure I liked the arrangement. Matt said it looked good, and I got Daddy-O's approval also. So, this was, 5 days later, the plants made it in the ground. It was a busy weekend! But, I did keep the plants watered! I still have plants to purchase, I'm thinking hydrangeas, and also monkey grass to edge the sidewalk. Once I get those in, I will mulch and this project will finally be complete! (might be Fall before this happens...hehe!) I'll try my best to get it done this week.

So, here are pictures I took this morning after I planted:

Still work to be done...but here's a progress update!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where I Belong

You know how there are epic songs? Like for instance:

Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Friends in Low Places - Garth Brooks
I Can Only Imagine - Mercy Me

....those might not be on your list of epic, but they are songs of different genres that I'm sure you all have heard before. Well, you need to listen to this song: Where I Belong by Building can listen here. I had heard this song a couple of times and my mom also told me about it (that it was one of her favorites). Well, every time I hear it I turn it up and just jam, then the goosebumps come and tears just flow. I am AMAZED by this song, and in awe! I can't describe it, you just have to listen. I wanted to know more, and what was behind the song and I found this:

“Where I Belong” was written out of the thought process of “where is our home”? If there was a theme to my life over the last year it would be “this place is not our home”.
Why would I say that? Well, because in the last couple of years I’ve watched a lot of people I respect make major mistakes that had a huge impact on their lives.  
Why would people who have everything choose to do things that destroy the blessing they live under? The more I think about it, the more I realize that the “good life” just doesn’t exist here on earth. Nothing we have, earn, are given, or could buy will ever keep us from desiring something more. This is proven by the people who have it all but give it all away in an effort to get more.
It was echoed in my own life as I began to realize that I wasn’t so different from the people who had made such huge mistakes. We’re always in a fight to remember why we exist and where we belong. It’s an all out war to stay on the path. If you and I think we’re above the BIG mistakes, we’re kidding ourselves.
This song reminds me that some day the work that God began in me will be completed. In the meantime it reminds me to say “take this world and give me Jesus”. When I live by that phrase, everything is different and suddenly the things I think I need become worthless. The coolest thing about this song is the comfort that it has brought to a lot of people as they’ve had to face our greatest fear in life: death. A song that I wrote about how to live has also become a song of assurance for many people close to us. We hope it serves as a reminder to all. This world is not our home. In the arms of our Creator is where we belong.
Wow! So it made me think, the "Case of the Monday's" we get or the not so happy Tuesday, the hard day at work...we are promised trials and tribulations while on this world, why? Because this is NOT OUR HOME! What an AMAZING God we serve! This song just ignites something in me and makes me weep for Christ! You know that feeling you get when you've been gone on a trip and all you want is to be in the comfort of your own home? When you finally get there it just makes everything better? Imagine the comfort we will receive when we get to our home in Heaven? Our final destination! Man oh man...I can only imagine! A song that ignites a spark this strong and a passion and longing, I decided deserves the term "epic", and needs to be shared. I hope you enjoy it and it ignites that spark in you also! Be blessed and remember, this is not our home!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Peanut Butter Brownies

Nothin says lovin like somethin from the oven!

I saw a recipe for peanut butter brownies on a website this morning and thought...YUMMY! What better way to tell my peanut butter loving husband "Happy Tuesday!"? So...I checked the list of ingredients and I just happened to have every last thing, then I knew it was going to be a good day! =)

So, here goes:

First, combine your flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl with a wire whisk.
In your mixing bowl, cream butter and peanut butter together until smooth.
Add sugars and mix until combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each. Add vanilla, mix well.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased 9x9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting and serving.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies
(recipe from Bakerella)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 X 8 pan.
  • In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder and salt together with a wire whisk and set aside.
  • In a mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugars and mix until combined.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Spread in the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.
Hope you enjoy this recipe!! I might be tempted to call Matt at work and tell him to go look at my blog to see what is waiting for him at home...
or I'll be a patient wife and just enjoy the smell until he gets here!
The smell is just increasing my desire to taste one, I'm going outside to weed the flowerbeds!
(out of sight, out of mind)
Happy Tuesday!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Flower Bed (Update...still to be continued)

If you remember, I posted back in march about our new flower bed, and how it would be a swimming pool for flowers if we planted then. Well...guess what? We now have gutters!! Yay!

Jack is proud of our gutters too!
On Tuesday afternoon, I went to the barn and helped Daddy-O put the gutters together: the long section on the left and the corner joint, the end caps, and pretty much as much as we could so it would be fast and easy the next day. Of course, I forgot my camera at I don't have any pictures to show. Sorry! =(  But, we used rivets to attach all the pieces together, and I tell you what...that's addicting! Rivets are a new fascination of mine! Daddy-O gave me a new nik name...can you guess?

Rosie the Riveter!
Ahh...what an iconic lady, huh? I tell you what...I have always loved Rosie! When I lived in Austin, my bathroom was decorated to match this poster. Yellow walls, red bath mats and accessories, this huge poster hanging on the wall and of course, this book resting on the back of the toilet (just because it's all about the little details).

Just what every girl needs on the back of the toilet, right?
Well, needless to say...I enjoyed being associated with good 'ole Rosie! Then yesterday, the hubster and Daddy-O put up the gutters! I was working at the quilt shop, so I asked Matt to take a few photos for me...he did a great job!

Ready for installation.

About to go up...Gus is supervising!

We have gutters!
They also did a great job on the gutters! Thanks guys! As you can see I need to weed the flower bed again! Then I will fertilize and add Epsom salt (recommendations from the pro's), lay down black paper to keep the weeds out...plant my flowers and then add the mulch! I'm so excited and ready to start. First, we have a quick trip to Oklahoma City Friday for a wedding, then to stay the night with Spence. Up Saturday morning and to Dallas for some shopping, birthdays, graduations, etc.. Home for church on Sunday, yard clean up day after church and hopefully planting on Monday...although the weather is calling for 60% chance of maybe Tuesday. However, rest assured that once it is planted, you will get the full update! I'm just so excited!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

French Toast

Monday night, I made braided bread for dinner and had a left over loaf of bread. I didn't want to waste it, so I put it in my loaf pan and baked it and stored it for another day. Tuesday morning, I saw that loaf of bread sitting on the counter and my tummy said, "French Toast, please". Can I say delicious? I tried a new variation and loved it, so I'm sharing it with you! You can substitute many things in this recipe, but I just used ingredients I had on hand!

You will need:
  • 6 slices of Bread
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup of Milk
  • Butter (for pan)
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Powdered Sugar (for dusting)
You can use any bread, I had a loaf of Bridgeford bread left, so that is what I used:
Slice bread into about 1" slices.
Next, whisk your eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla together in a small bowl.  
Here's where you can get creative (only if you want to):
  • Substitute the milk for Half-and-Half.
  • Try egg yolks only.
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar, or brown sugar. 
I used the ingredients listed at the top (only because that is what I had).
 Once that is mixed well, soak your bread in the mixture on each side, allowing it to absorb the mixture.

Soaking in the good stuff.
Remove them from the dish and set them aside. Melt plenty of butter in a skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Place the bread in and cook the French toast until it's golden brown and slightly crispy. Then flip it and cook the other side.

My tummy was really excited at this point!
Ready for consumption!
Once you remove the French toast from the pan, dust it with powdered sugar, drown it with syrup, or fix it however you please!'s time to enjoy it! The nutmeg really gives it a boost of flavor, and I personally think it's delicious! So much so that I'm heating up the left overs as I type for day two of the yummy breakfast! ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Easter

I apologize, I know this is a few days late, but...

Happy Easter from the Chaffin's!

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And now for the laughs...our photo shoot pictures that didn't quite make the cut for finalist:

It was super bright outside! =)

That awkward prom pose...on top of the fact Matt was doing the Captain Morgan stance! Ha!

That boy...he's a pincher!

He does have the nickname "Big Goofy".
And that's all folks! Hope you had a great Easter weekend...we sure did enjoy spending time with all of our family and loved ones!

Friday, April 6, 2012

DIY: Easter Cake Pops

In the spirit of being festive, I decided to make some cake pops for Easter. These are not difficult at all, just a little time consuming...but I'll share some tips, tricks, and short cuts I've learned along the way.

Easter Egg Cake Pops
You will need:
  • Cake Mix
  • Icing
  • Lollipop Sticks 
  • Candy Melts
  • Decorations (sanding sugar, confetti sprinkles, etc.)
  • Karo Syrup
Here is a short cut...use a box cake mix and pre-made icing. I'm all about cakes from scratch and not using box mixes, but for cake pops it is just easier to get the right consistency, and it's faster! So your creativity is your only limit to what flavor cake pops. I decided on lemon for these, it sounded "Easter-y"! So I just got a lemon cake mix and white icing.

Step 1: Bake your cake, according to the directions and set aside to cool. Once it is completely cooled, crumble it completely in a large bowl.

Crumbled cake.

 Step 2: Once your cake is crumbled, add your icing to the bowl and mix thoroughly!
**TIP: Only add 2/3 of the container of icing, it makes the cake balls a better consistency, and not too mushy.**

Cake and icing mixed together.
 Step 3: Form your cake pops. I chose to do eggs, for Easter, but you can do any shape or form you would like. Get the amount in your hands and roll it around until it has reached the desired shape.

Don't get too much, you don't want your cake pops to be too large. About a golf ball size.

Roll it around in your hands until you have your desired shape.
**Tip: Wash your hands occasionally while forming the cake pops, it will be easier to shape them. **

Once you have your desired shape, place the cake pops on wax paper and put in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, until firm and cool.

Formed Cake balls, about to go in freezer.
Step 4: Once your cake balls have been in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, melt your candy melts (according to directions on package).

Step 5: Dip each lollipop stick into the candy melts about 1/2 " - 1" and then insert into the bottom of your cake ball. Let set until candy melt is firm.

Lollipop stick dipped in candy melts.

Lollipop stick placed into the cake ball - making it now a Cake Pop! =)

Step 6: Once the stick is securely in the cake ball, dip the cake ball into the candy melts, until well coated. Let the cake pops sit until candy melts are firm. You can speed this process up by placing them back in the freezer for a few minutes.

Chocolate coated cake pops.
**Tip: Styrofoam is a wonderful way to display cake pops and also a way to hold them while drying. **

Now, it's time to decorate your eggs! If using sanding sugar to make strips, dots, etc, Karo syrup is wonderful to use. Just brush it on with a paint brush or with a tooth pick and then sprinkle sanding sugar over the syrup. Remember to sprinkle your sugar on over a bowl so you can catch and reuse the sprinkles. If using confetti sprinkles, just use a toothpick to dab a little of the candy melt on the egg to secure the confetti.

Decorated Eggs.
Once the cake pops dried, I placed them in Easter baskets with shred and little "Happy Easter" tags I made. My mom always taught me....and I'll share her **Tip: It's all about the PRESENTATION!**

Easter egg cake pops!

Hope you enjoy your Easter weekend...and remember the reason for this Special season!

Hop on over here for a professional cake pop makers tips, tricks and techniques. I strongly suggest her book, I received it for Christmas year before last and absolutely LOVE it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jug Fishing

This past weekend was a BLAST!! My dad, my Matt and I went jug fishing on Richland Chambers and it was so fun! We went Friday afternoon and set out our jug lines, and we ran them a few times. We hand fished and ran our little "noodle" jugs a couple of times also. It was a successful trip! Here's what we caught:

Dad with a 'lil guy.

Matt with another 'lil guy.
Dad weighing our 23 lb. Op, caught on a jug...what a thrill!
Friday nights catch...13 fish!
That's not bad for going up there to set jugs out to prepare for the next day! We came back to town, stopped for a pizza and spent the night at Lake Mary with Mom and Dad. We got up early Saturday morning and were headed out of the driveway before 5 a.m. Of course, we had to stop by Kim's Box Car Deli for a Big Daddy Burrito, YUMMY! Then we were on our way. We were the first ones to the boat ramp, got our gear ready and the crowd started appearing. Hank, my brother-in-law and Craig showed up with a boat and Steve, Hank's dad showed up with his boat and crew. We all went our own ways, but it was fun knowing people on the lake with you. We decided first to run our jugs. It was still dark, but we slowly made our way across the lake to the first jug, we had some nice fish that run, and one jug that started tugging was this guy:

Love me some catfish slime!
You can't keep blue's between 30"-45", so he got to go back in the water...until we meet again! We baited the lines again as we checked them and then went to our shallow area to pole fish and set out our little jugs...there were a few boats there already, so we decided to try another little cove that dad's friend Joe had told him he had luck with. So, we set out our little noodle jugs and went to the shallow area to see if we could see some carp or gar, that we could shoot with our bow fishing rig.
You could see them flipping and swirling near the banks.
I got close enough to one flippin' and swirlin' and took a shot!

I actually hit it!!! WOO HOO!
I've been bow fishing a handful of times, but don't have much luck with hitting the sights, the water, there are a lot of variables. BUT, not this time! I shot and the arrow stayed for a second, and then started swimming off! I was like a little girl at Christmas, squealing and just giddy! I reeled him in and this is my trophy:
Can you tell I was excited?
That was so much fun, I'll always remember that...I'm pretty sure my guys got a kick out of my actions! Haha! After that, it was time to check our jugs again, and then it was back to the cove. We were checking our little jugs and one of them started to go under the water:
Sorry, you can't read the text - the green circle is normal....the blue circle is the one going under water.
We circled around and tried to get it again and what did we find...a 14" blue catfish, that was being eaten by this guy:
A 42 lb. Op! Pure excitement!
Here's the video of it, pardon my was exciting!

How do you top that high? Wow! We caught a lot more fish on the jugs, but that was seriously the catch of the day!
A 21 lb. blue we had to put back because it was over 30".

Our total catch for day 2.
59 fish total, minus the 2 we had to put back...I call that a successful fishing trip! The memories made will last a lifetime, and we're all hooked and ready to go back!
Me 'n my guys! =) Love them both!

For giggles!
P.S: Those fish tasted YUMMY!