Friday, June 29, 2012

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

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It's not a party in the south without some good ole banana pudding!
This was another one of the desserts we served for Madison's graduation celebration.
Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding is a Paula Deen recipe, so you know it's going to be good!
Delicious layers of banana pudding, bananas and Pepperidge Farm cookies - oh my.

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

1 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups milk
1 5-ounce box instant French Vanilla pudding
6-8 bananas
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies

Line the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.
Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk and mix until smooth.
Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.  Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.  Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with remaining cookies.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves 12.

Recipe from Paula's Home Cooking/Just Desserts Cookbook Mar/Apr 2006

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Skin care GIVEAWAY with #EclosBeauty

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of éclos Skin Care for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Taking care of my skin has always been a top priority for me. I never, ever go to bed with make-up on and I am always searching for that perfect moisturizer, cleanser, night cream, etc.
Who doesn't want their skin to look it's best...right?!
I'm all for trying out new products, so I was really excited when I received a sample kit of éclos Skin Careéclos Skin Care is a skin care line that is made from plant stem cells extracted from a rare Swiss apple.  It has been shown to have the abiltiy to stimulate skin stem cells, encouraging aging skin to behave like younger skin.  Got to love that!
In addition to the plant stem cell technology, eclos is enriched with phytoplex24, a proprietary complex of plant extracts, vitamins and anti-oxidants known to work in synergy to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and tired skin while delivering a smooth and radiant complexion.

I was sent a kit to try out that included these products:
* Facial cleanser skin prep
* Cellular activator face serum
* Moisture therapy regenerative cream
* Restorative eye cream
* Instant radiance facial scrub
* Skin renewal clay mask
* eclos terry cloth headband
I loved that all of the products worked together to improve my skin.
The cleanser made my skin really feel clean and fresh and the instant radiance facial scrub felt like it was heating up as I used it!  The terry cloth headband was nice too :)
  After using éclos Skin Care for two weeks I defintely noticed my skin did feel more toned and smooth.
Would you like to try out your own sample kit?
All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which product you are most excited to try.
The giveaway will end on Monday, July 2nd at 11:59 EST and a winner will be announced on Tuesday.
The giveaway is open to US residents only.

Giveaway is now closed.
Congrats to Lisa Kanney for winning!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Strawberry Punchbowl Cake

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Strawberry Punchbowl Cake was one of the desserts we served at Madison's graduation party.
It's a fantastic dessert for a party or picnic because it serves alot of people and is tasty too!

You can make it a day in advance of your event, which is a big plus in my book, especially when you are making several different desserts or dishes.

I've owned this punchbowl forever.  I was a wedding gift given to us way back in 1986 :)
I've seen lots of them in thrift stores over the past couple of years, so if you don't have one I'm sure you can find one in no time. 

Now is the perfect time to make this dessert since strawberries are so cheap!

Strawberry Punchbowl Cake

1 box French vanilla cake mix (bake as directed in a 9 x 11 inch pan)
24 oz. container frozen sliced strawberries with sugar added, thawed
5.1 oz. package of vanilla Jell-O instant pudding and pie filling
3 cups of milk for pudding 
16 oz. container of Cool Whip
Fresh strawberries for garnish

Bake cake as directed on box mix.  Cool on a wire rack.
Once cake has completely cooled, cut it in half.
Mix pudding with 3 cups of milk, as directed on the pudding box.  Set aside.
Begin layering by tearing or cubing half of the cake into the bottom of your punchbowl.
Follow with half of the container of thawed strawberries, then half of the pudding and half of the Cool Whip.
Repeat layers and garnish with fresh strawberries.

Linking to:
The 36th Avenue
Fireflies and Jellybeans

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Madison's Graduation Celebration

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Hi there!  Did you miss me?  I sure have missed you all!
Sorry for the delay in new posts, but we have had a lot going on in our family.
I won't go into any details, but I am so glad to have some sense of normalcy back in our life.

I can't wait to share Madison's graduation with you all.
Hold on, this is going to be a long one :)

We are so proud of our girl and all of her accomplishments! 
Graduation day was perfect.  Sunny and warm :)
Here she is receiving her diploma from Mr. Walk, her school principal.

Yay - she did it!

Proud mom and dad :)

We actually held her party the evening before graduation day so she would have time to attend all of her friends parties too.  The party colors were aqua, red and white.  Love that combination!
Thanks to all of my family and friends that helped to pull her party together!  We love you all!!

Of course she had to have a dress to match the party colors :)

Here's the beverage station.  I <3 mason jars!

It's not a party without cupcakes!
A friend and I designed the cupcake toppers.
Thanks Pat :)

Don't you just love my aqua ladder of cupcakes!
I spray painted it with Rustoleum Blue Lagoon from Home Depot.
I was so happy the way it turned out.

We had so much food! 
I will share some of those recipes with you over the next few posts.
Lots of tasty stuff! 
Well, hope you enjoyed the glimpse of Madison's celebration. 
She's moving onto campus at James Madison University in the fall. 
Then we will be empty nesters.  Yikes!

Linking to:
Lil Luna
The D.I.Y. Dreamer
The 36th Avenue
Fireflies and Jellybeans
Serenity Now
Thirty Handmade Days

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hello Monday

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Hello favorite funny pic of the weekend.
I LOVE this!
Thanks Anngela :)
Hello cookbooks.
Oh how I look forward to some down time with you all.

Hello pretty John Deere Gator.

Hello new lunch bag from a special friend.
You are too cute!

Hello Senior Awards Day.
Hello to Senior Superlative awards of Most School Spirit and Worst Case of Senioritis for Madison - HA!

Hello to girlfriends that celebrate birthdays with you <3

Hello favorite snacks.

Hello to a busy, busy week full of out of town relatives, lots of baking, graduation ceremonies, graduation parties, lots of friends and probably a few tears.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Linking up to Hello Monday with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blueberry Cornbread

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Wow how did this week go by so fast?!  I've been so busy I almost forgot to post one of my new favorite recipes. 

We are in full graduation party mode around here - only one week until our baby girl graduates from high school!!  I'm not quite freaking out yet, but I'm sure the tears will be flowing next Saturday morning!

Until then let's talk about blueberries and cornbread.  Not a likely combination, but oh so good.
I first tried it at Whole Foods a couple of months ago and thought it was quite tasty, but I knew a homemade version would be so much better and I was right.  It was the perfect side to go along with my lunch time salad several times last week. 

Wish me luck this week getting ready for this party and all of the emotions that go along with graduation ceremonies.  Not to mention her moving out and going to college in a couple of months.  Oh my.....

Blueberry Cornbread

2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed

Coat an 8 inch bake dish with cooking spray or butter.
In a bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk and butter to blend.  In another bowl, mix flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Stir flour mixture into egg mixture just until evenly moistened.  Gently fold in berries.
Pour mixture into a greased 8 inch bake dish.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until done.
Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then cut into squares.

Recipe slightly adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
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