14 Fun Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

March 7, 2015 in Family Room


St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for pinching your friends who forgot to wear green anymore. Now it’s the perfect excuse for a fun celebration. I love to keep things simple, so I gathered 14 simple celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day for a festive, easy holiday.

These  St. Patrick’s Day printables from Forty Eighteen are all ready for you to print and attach to your treats.


Jane from xo, lauren & jane does something fabulous with mint chocolate chips to make a green treat that is perfect for anyone who loves mint and chocolate. (And really… who doesn’t love mint and chocolate??)


Hoping to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? How about inside the rainbow… if that rainbow is a cookie. These Rainbow Treasure Cookies from Stuffed Suitcase scream St. Patrick’s Day!


So colorful and so tasty, my kiddos would LOVE these! They wouldn’t even need to find the pot of gold with Rainbow Pudding Pops from Saving Cent by Cent as the tasty rainbow.


This is perfect! I love this St. Patrick’s Day printable from Occasionally Crafty.


If you love sprinkles and tasty surprises, these Pot of Gold Cookies from A Sparkle of Genius are the perfect treat for you. I especially love the gold center… because it’s caramel. yummo!


Hahaha, Blushing Leprechauns. I love these great cookies from For What It’s Worth


Cute, cute decor makes any holiday better. That’s why I love this St. Patrick’s Day Canvas Art from Shambray.


And this great Lucky St. Patrick’s day Printable from The Happy Scraps. I just love how a great printable makes an area instantly festive.


Learn how to make a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner: How to Make Corned Beef Dinner from Mirlandra’s Kitchen.


This Lucky Leprechaun Parfait from Jessica Weible Blogs is such an adorable treat! What more can you ask of a dessert than cute on the table and absolutely delicious in your mouth!

I love the idea of spreading some luck to a friend like this Bucket of Luck from Maybe I Will. Love her list of what to put in the basket and the free printable to attach to it.

Make a great dessert with this template and directions for a St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Cake from The Things I Love Most.


We always have a green dinner, and this Green Deviled Eggs and Broccoli Ham Ring from Forty Eighteen is in the running this year.


How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Cinnamon Roll Bread {fail}

July 3, 2014 in Kitchen

Once upon a time I was going to be the coolest mom ever with a special treat ready for the kids when they got home from school. Naturally I turned to Pinterest and found a fabulous picture of a recipe that sounded amazing.

Cinnamon Roll Bread… is that a thing? I love cinnamon rolls. I love bread. I happened to have all of the ingredients. Bingo!

I whipped it together, and in no time it was in the oven. Suddenly my house smelled like heaven.

I mean, I’ve never actually been there, but I’m pretty sure heaven will smell something like Cinnamon Roll Bread. Oh. my.

I pulled it out of the oven, made the glaze, (cinnamon rolls need to be glazed, of course, even in bread form) and found a serving tray for it. It’s supposed to be a special treat, after all, so it needs a special presentation.

The girls got home from school and did that thing where you sniff really hard, trying to figure out what that ah.may.zing. smell is. Their faces lit up when they saw the special treat on the table. We sat down to enjoy it together and talk about the day. It was just like an after-school special.

One by one, we each tried the treat and our faces fell. You know that look where you really want to enjoy something — and you’re trying, but it’s just not good??? Well, imagine that times six and you know exactly what this scene looked like.

My girls are great at trying whatever I serve and thanking me for the effort even when it’s disgusting. They all loved this whole after-school special moment and were trying to not ruin it, but eventually we all busted out laughing. This heavenly-smelling bread had to be the most horrible thing we had eaten in awhile.

I was so bummed. My after-school special moment was ruined by a tricky treat that sounded perfect, smelled amazing, and tasted awful.

My very own Pinterest FAIL.

Cinnamon Roll Bread: smells like heaven, tastes like dirty socks


Have you had a Pinterest FAIL?

Pinspiration: International Waffle Day

March 25, 2014 in Kitchen


Happy International Waffle Day! I am a huge fan of days dedicated to celebrating waffles. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to celebrating waffles. I sing songs about waffles and write poetry about waffles.

Ok, not really, but I could. They’re just that good.

The day I had my first WaffleLuv waffle will forever be a day I remember with fondness.

But seriously, waffles are awesome, and I really do have a whole pinterest board dedicated to all things waffles.

In honor of Waffle Day, I wanted to share some waffle love of my own – a few “I have GOT to try that!” waffles from my board. These are a few waffles that may be a little different than what we’re used to… Each image is linked to the pin on my board, and each pin will take you to the original source.

Breakfast will never be the same again.

I love how creative people get with their waffles! So many fun ideas for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

Breakfast Pizza is one of my favorites for breakfast or dinner. This version could become my new favorite.

I love how creative people get with their waffles! So many fun ideas for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

Egg and cheese waffle sandwich… breakfast of champions right there.

I love how creative people get with their waffles! So many fun ideas for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

These breakfast sandwiches look amazing.

I love how creative people get with their waffles! So many fun ideas for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

Who wants a sandwich on boring old bread when waffles exist?

I love how creative people get with their waffles! So many fun ideas for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

Grilled cheese sandwich waffles… Chuck asks for “girl cheese” almost every day for lunch. I definitely need to try this method.

I love how creative people get with their waffles! So many fun ideas for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

Fried chicken and waffle sandwiches with bacon cheddar and green onion waffles. Oh man.

I love how creative people get with their waffles! So many fun ideas for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

This twist on a breakfast sandwich looks amazing! Spicy chicken chorizo and avocado… yes, please.

I love how creative people get with their waffles! So many fun ideas for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

Mashed Potato waffles – as if mashed potatoes could get any better!!! – with cheddar and chives

I’m kind of feeling like eating waffles every day this week after looking through all of these. Which one do you want to try first


January 29, 2014 in Great Room, Kitchen

I’ve had to make a few desserts lately, so I went searching for a fabulous pie for a pie social and a chocolate cake for National Chocolate Cake Day (January 27). We could call this Pinspiration: The Chocolate Dessert Edition.


We couldn’t let National Chocolate Cake Day pass without an appropriate celebration, so I went searching for a chocolate cake recipe fit for a party. We have a favorite chocolate sheet cake recipe that is fast and easy and loved by everyone (even Beth, who doesn’t like cake), but I wanted something different. I found this chocolate layer cake at Taste of Home and fell in love. My family ALWAYS requests the sheet cake for every event that requires cake, so I never get to do fancy cakes with big layers and lots of frosting anymore. This was a definite MUST pin and MUST try.

Chocolate desserts including this Sour Cream Chocolate Cake at Forty Eighteen

The cake was fabulous. Moist and delicious, dense enough to stack well, but not heavy or dry. One of the cakes stuck to the cooling rack and ripped apart when I tried to pick it up a little less carefully than I should. You can see that my middle layer is WAY smaller than the other two. hahaha The vultures descended and inhaled the unusable part until the counter was cleaner than when I started cooking. That little taste made us even more excited for dessert time.

I should probably make a little note here about my love of frosting. I LOVE frosting. I kept a can of frosting in my dorm room fridge just to sneak a spoonful when I needed a sugar high to make it through a late-night cram session. Oh, who am I kidding. I ate it with my bare hands whenever I wanted just because I could.

This chocolate frosting somehow managed to be unbelievably sour and sickeningly sweet at the same time. I made the colossal mistake of assuming it would work with the cake and proceeded to completely ruin this fabulous cake with this horrible frosting. So sad.

So I would definitely recommend the cake and I plan to make it again, but I will be searching for a much better chocolate frosting recipe that will complement this delicious cake. Click on an image to take you to the pin.

Chocolate desserts including this Sour Cream Chocolate Cake at Forty Eighteen

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

  • 1 c baking cocoa
  • 1 c boiling water
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 c sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c ( 8 oz) sour cream

Dissolve the cocoa powder in the boiling water and set aside to cool. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Add the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and gradually add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the sour cream. Beat well with each addition. Finally, add the cocoa mixture and mix well.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes (don’t overcook or it will dry out) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pans before removing to cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

For the pie social, I knew everyone would be bringing a pie so there would be lots of flavors to try. I decided early on that I wanted to make something chocolatey and then headed to Pinterest to investigate. This Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake Pie from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe was the winner… and I chose wisely.

Chocolate desserts including this Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake Pie at Forty Eighteen

Full disclosure: This pie is not a quick fix. It takes a lot of time to put it together, but it is totally worth the effort. You start with an Oreo crust and add creamy cheesecake. Spread on a layer of fluffy chocolate mousse and top with rich, decadent ganache.

oh. my. yumminess.

Seriously. This pie is a. ma. zing.

It’s incredibly rich, so you only need a small piece. Make it even more amazing by slicing up a strawberry and having a bit of strawberry with each bite.

Pure heaven.

Honestly, I’m not a huge Oreo fan, so I would make a different crust next time. Maybe Pecan Sandies or something with nuts, butter, and flour. Either way, I WILL DEFINITELY be making this again.

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake Pie


  • 24 Oreos, crushed
  • 5 Tb melted butter


  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c sour cream


  • 1 c heavy cream, divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c powdered sugar (optional for sweetness)


  • 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 Tb butter
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tb powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325. To make the crust, combine the crushed cookies and melted butter. Press on the bottom and up the sides of a deep 9-inch pie plate or a springform pan. Refrigerate while you make the cheesecake filling.

Cream the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until combined. Blend in the sour cream. Spread the filling over the cookie crust and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are set and the center is slightly firm. Mel says a little softness is okay, but you don’t want it to be really jiggly. Let it cool completely before adding the mousse.

To make the mousse, bring 1/2 c cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. With your egg yolks in a small bowl, pour a couple tablespoons of the hot cream into the egg yolks and whisk vigorously until completely combined. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan with the cream. Keep whisking quickly and stir constantly until it bubbles and thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir into the chocolate chips, whisking until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted. Now is the time to add the powdered sugar if you would like a little more sweetness: whisk in up to 1/4 cup. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, mixing occasionally to avoid a skin forming across the top. Beat the rest of the cream (1/2 c) to stiff peaks, and gently fold into the chocolate mixture when it has completely cooled. Spread it over the top of the cheesecake layer and chill.

While it chills, make the ganache by heating the cream and butter over medium heat in a saucepan until simmering. Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and pour the hot cream mixture over. Stir until the chocolate is melted, glossy and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Spread over the mousse and refrigerate until ready to serve (at least an hour up to a day in advance).

 Chocolate desserts including this Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake Pie at Forty Eighteen

Have you made any great – or not so great – desserts lately?

Pinspiration: Chicken Taco Pasta Salad

January 17, 2014 in Kitchen

pinterest_sceneWhen I first discovered Pinterest, I would spent hours and hours pinning delicious-looking food, fun-looking activities, and cute-looking crafts. Pinning and pinning for hours and hours.

Do you know what happens when you spent hours and hours pinning things on Pinterest? You run out of time to actually DO any of the things you pinned!

When I realized I was so busy pinning fun activities I could do with my kids instead of actually doing them, I walked away and didn’t even look at it for months.

Yes, I tend to be a bit extreme…

After shaking the addiction, I went back and rediscovered all of these fabulous ideas I wanted to try. Only this time, I had time to try them!

Balance is a beautiful thing. If only I could remember that all the time…

Now Pinterest has become an incredible tool for me, and I have found some of my favorite ideas there – and some of my very favorite recipes. yum

During soccer season, we tend to live on one soccer field or another. With three soccer players, we usually have games 4 nights a week, almost always at dinner time, for several months. My kids (and Mr. 4018) tend to get awfully cranky when they get hungry, and honestly, they’re not big fans of *watching* soccer games. They love to play, but they would rather not sit around and watch someone else play.

Mostly out of desperation and an attempt to save my sanity and avoid the whining that would inevitably fill every soccer game night, I went in search of great game night meals I could serve on the sidelines. You can only have pizza and burgers so many times, afterall.

I went to my Pinterest boards (you should follow me if you’re not already!) and found this Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad from Butter with a Side of Bread. We love ranch, chicken, tacos, and pasta, so it sounded like a safe bet.

Oh. my. goodness.

I’m not very good at following a recipe exactly, so I did change it up a bit. Now this is one of our favorite go-to meals – even when we’re not at soccer games – and EVERYONE loves it.


Chicken Taco Pasta Salad

  • 1 pkg of pasta (rotini, bowtie, tri-colored, etc)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, boned and cut down to bite-sized pieces (or you can use cooked chicken breasts or any other chicken meat you love)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c frozen corn
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 avocadoes, diced
  • 2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar)

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Add all of the other ingredients and then mix up the dressing. I add the corn frozen and the pasta hot, so the pasta thaws the corn when I mix it up.


  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch dip mix (Walmart has it when no one else does)

Mix dressing well and toss with salad. The taco seasoning was listed with the salad ingredients in the original recipe, but I always mix it in with the dressing. You can use original ranch and add some salsa in place of the rest of the dressing, just be sure to add the taco seasoning.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Add Frito corn chips to individual servings. This salad is great the next day, too, and everyone asks for it for lunch, but it doesn’t last another day after that. The photo above is pre dressing, and the photo below is after the dressing has been added. Honestly, it’s fab either way.


What have you pinned and tried lately???

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