Thursday, September 1, 2011

{Bye Bye Birdies}

Bird_s_Nest-Empty_NestGuess what BIG changes have happened in our house?

Yep, you guessed it…BOTH of our babies flew the coop and left for college. TWO days apart mind you…so, to say I have been suffering from “Empty Nest Syndrome” is an understatement!! 

I have to admit, I am doing a little better than I originally thought I would…but it is still very hard. It’s only been a few weeks and I am down to crying only once a day…HA!!

Are any of you empty nesters? And if so, how are you (or did you) handle the change?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fall Favorites

photos_eckerts I don’t know about all of you, but I am so ready for Fall. Of course, the main reason is it is my favorite season.

I l♥ve EVERYTHING about it …the crisp air, the  beautiful changing leaves, going to our local pumpkin patch and cooking all of my family’s favorite comfort foods.

So, I thought that I would share a YUMMY Fall dessert.


  • 1 1/2 cup(s) of Sugar
  • 4 tsp. of Water
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 6 Apples
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup(s) of Flour
  • 8 ounce(s) of Melted Butter
  • 4 ounce(s) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 3 Optional Ingredients
  • 8 ounce(s) of Nuts and Honey Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup(s) of Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 cup(s) of Powdered Sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Prepare a caramel: heat 3/4 cup sugar with 4 teaspoons water. when the sugar becomes light brown add the juice of 1/2 lemon and remove from heat
  3. Coat the bottom and sides of a spring form pan with the caramel.
  4. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples and arrange in an attractive circular overlapping overlaping pattern on the caramel.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with 3/4 cup sugar.
  6. Add the flour, butter and Philadelphia Cream Cheese and continue beating until you have a creamy batter.
  7. Pour over apples and caramel and bake for 35 minutes
  8. Let cool slightly prior to turning over onto a decorative cake plate.
  9. Optional: While cake is baking beat Nuts and Honey Philadelphia Cream Cheese until fluffy. Beat whipping cream until fluffy and then add 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Gently fold the whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese into the Whipped Cream and chill well using the freezer if necessary. Top the warm cake slices with a spoonfull of Philadelphia Cream Cheese/whipped Cream mixture and enjoy!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

{Simplicity Is The Nature Of Great Souls}


Simplicity Is The Nature Of Great Souls!!

Isn’t it funny how sometimes the simpliest of things are so appealing to us. This morning as I was just flippin’ thru my current issue of ‘Country Sampler’ I came acrossed this picture.

Not only am I loving the simplicity of this country kitchen but immediately when I saw the cabinet full of sweet canned goodness, I immediately had a warm flashback of my Grandma’s kitchen and the sudden urge to learn how to can.

You see, canning is one of those things that I wish I would of taken the time to have my sweet Grandma teach me how to do before she passed away. I remember being a little girl sitting on the counter being Grandma’s ‘special helper’.

Granted, I am sure I was probably more in the way than anything else…but did my Grandma ever make me feel that way. HECK NO!! I think she enjoyed having me in the kitchen with her as much as I enjoyed being there!!

As my title states…my Grandma was the simplest woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing but yet the GREATEST soul.

♥ Miss and Love you Grandma!! ♥

So, how about all of you…do any of you can!?!?!? If so, what re some of your favorite canning recipes?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It’s the ‘little’ things…

Isn’t it funny how it is the ‘little’ things in life that make us the happiest, sometimes. Well, for Christmas my parents generally try to throw in a few ‘little’ gifts amongst our larger ones…and this year one of those ‘little’ gifts in particular made me SUPER excited. And I can’t wait to use it.

B000BNRU2W_01-APKCMXSV67IYL__AA280_SCLZZZZZZZ_%5B1%5D I can already see all of the bright and colorful cupcakes I can fill this baby up with at Easter time…449547711_1c76124704

or birthdays…


or our Son’s High School Graduation party…


see the possibilities are endless.

Awww…like I said, it is the ‘little’ things.

So, what is something ‘little’ that made you a little happier today!?!?!?

Til Next Time…BIG Hugs!! Carrie♥

Saturday, January 8, 2011

{Are You Up For A Dare!?!?!?}


Do you have a tendency to procrastinate? Well, as much as I hate to admit it…I DO!!! 

So, you can only imagine what I was thinking when I saw the “Dare” that Stephanie over @ The Whispering Creek House (please clink to link up)was challenging.

Maybe I need to go back a couple of weeks…you see “Papa Bear” and I are beginning a new season of our lives. In the Fall, both of our kids are going to be leaving to go away to college. So, to help prepare us…I thought I would purchase this book to help.

But being the procrastinator that I am, I read the first couple of pages was full of excitement to get started, threw it in my nightstand drawer and it has been in there ever since.

Fast forward to tonight…when I came across Stephanie’s post. I knew that it was meant to be…so, starting Monday, January 10th I will joining Stephanie and others in her 40 DAY {until Valentine’s Day} “Love Dare” challenge.

So, if you feel like you may be up for a CHALLENGE…please visit Stephanie and join us. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YA!! ♥

Until next time…

Big Hugs!! Carrie

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thank You Donna @ One Simple Country Girl

Thank you Donna @ One Simple Country Girl for your recommendation for our Gatlinburg trip!! It is funny that you had mentioned The Eight Gable Inn…that was one of the spots that I was contemplating. I have ALWAYS wanted to stay at a B and B. But “Papa Bear” really wanted to stay in a cabin. So, we opted for that route. But next time…The Eight Gable Inn, it is!! HA!!

I do admit, I am a little nervous to be going in the Winter for the fear that there will not be a lot to do. Or that some of the attractions will be shut down due to it being the “off-season”. But the receptionist that we booked our cabin with assured us that there will be plenty of things to do and see. I sure hope so!!

Have any of you been to the Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg area during the Winter months? And if so, what tourist attractions would you recommend?

Like “Papa Bear” told me the other night…I am really over thinking this one. Like that is anything new for me…HA!! And I know that I am…but I guess I am feeling a little guilty.

You see, this trip is supposed to be for our 20th Wedding Anniversary…so, a pretty BIG one!! But since I have a fear of flying, we are kind of limited to where we can go.

So, I think in my mind, I am just really worried that this trip isn’t going to be as memorable as it could be if we could go anywhere we wanted. Does that make sense!?!?!?

Ok, I am just rambling now, and I really need to leave for work…it is 6:34am and I should of left at 6:30…OOPPPSSSS!!

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL day!! And until next time!!

Big hugs!! Carrie  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Need Your Help ASAP

Evening Ladies (and Gents), I was just hoping that I could get your help. “Papa Bear” and I are getting ready to take a Romantic Get-A-Way for our upcoming Anniversary. And one of the places we were thinking about going was  Gatlinburg, TN.

Have any of you visited here? And if so, where did you stay? We were hoping to rent a luxury cabin…any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!!

I have looked at so many already…and I am starting to drive “Papa Bear” (and myself, I might add) absolutely CRAZY with my OCD tendencies. HA!!

I really like the Elk Springs Resort…but UGGHHH, I JUST DON’T KNOW!! See, what I mean…LOL!!

BIG Hugs!! Carrie

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Supper ~ Spinach Artichoke Casserole

I don’t know about all of you…but there is just something about this time of year that speaks “Comfort Food” to me.

So, since Sunday is the one day of the week that we all are off school and work, that is the day that I generally try to plan a good ol’ family dinner.

And since I am always looking for new ideas, I thought I would share some of mine with all of you…and hope that you all would feel comfortable doing the same.

Spinach Artichoke Casserole




One Package of Frozen Chopped Spinach

crem ches

One 8oz Package of Cream Cheese


One Can of Artichoke Hearts


One Stick of Butter


3/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese

1) In microwave safe bowl…cook Spinach accordingly, then drain.

2) In another microwave safe bowl, soften stick of butter and package of cream cheese in microwave…this will usually take about 1 minute or so.

3) Meanwhile, chopped artichoke hearts to bite-size pieces.

4) Then mix cooked spinach with the butter, cream cheese, artichoke hearts and 1/2 cup of the 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese.

5) Place mixture in a casserole dish, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 of parmesan cheese over top.

6) Bake @ 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. 

Hope you enjoy!!

Big Hugs!! Carrie




Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!

happy-new-year-2011-wallpaper-set-3 Welcome 2011!!

I hope you all had a safe and wonderful start to the New Year, so far!! How did you all “Ring In The New Year”?!?!? Did attend a friend’s party? Or did you all cuddle at home with family and watch a movie?

Since it was yearend at work, I ended up having to work late. So, “Papa Bear” and I just had a quick dinner (which BTW, thanks for making pumpkin!), ran to Target and then come home cuddled up and watched a movie.  Unfortunately, I think I was sleeping by 9:30…HA!!

At work, we did have a “Snack Day” to welcome in the New Year. And possibly for the fear that we were going to have to pull an all-nighter. HA!! So, I decided to bring my ‘Sausage Enchilada Dip’. 


Speaking of welcoming in the New Year…I am SO ready for 2011!! Like many of you, our family has experienced both good and bad in the year 2010. But since trying to maintain a positive and upbeat attitude is one of my 2011 Resolutions, my hopes for the New Year are nothing but good.

Speaking of New Years Resolutions…mine for this year are based around the FIVE F’s :





and lastly FITNESS…

 ~FAITH~ In 2010 my family and I starting going to church. This has to be one of my favorite things that has happened to our family in this past year. And in 2011, I can’t wait to see how our journey in our faith will grow. Not only do I want to try to make sure we attend church regularly, I would also like to get involved more in church activities/committees, etc.

~FAMILY~ As some of you may know from reading my last few posts,  in the month of December our family lost TWO precious loved ones. So, this has put so many things into prospective in the past few weeks. Not that family hasn’t always been important to me…but in 2011, I am going to make a more conscience effort to spend more QT with my loved ones…and start treating them with the “Golden Rules”.

~FRIENDS~ This resolution kinda goes hand in hand with my previous resolution. As many of you know, good friends are hard to come by. And whenever you find one, you generally love them like they are family. So, in my opinion…the same “rules” should imply. And with that being said, Blogging is going to be a bigger part of my life this year. I truly do enjoy it. I love getting a peak into so many of your lives. I love finding new recipes and decorating ideas. And like many of you, I have made some wonderful friends thru my blog.

~FINANCES~ I think this one is pretty self-explanatory…I think we all have been hit hard in these trying times. And it has made me realize how desperately I would love to be out of debt.

~FITNESS~ I know this resolution is usually this first resolution that is broken….well at least in this house. HA!! I would really like to try to stick with this one this year. As “Papa Bear” and I FASTLY approach the age of 40, I would love to see us take our health a little bit more seriously. Both our physical and emotional health… 

So, in saying all of this…I hope that 2010 was good to you all. And I hope that 2011 is EVERYTHING you want it to be….GOD BLESS!!

BIG Hugs!! Carrie