Friday, January 31, 2014

Weekend Happenings, Blog Linkage, Pinterest Stuff (Valentine Ideas Under $5)

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Even if you do not reside in the State of Alabama, I feel sure you have heard about Snowmageddon 2014. A snow/ice storm which was supposed to hit Tuesday morning a little bit below the Birmingham area, hit us directly... and caused a great amount of havoc.

Our family fared very well, I am thankful to report.

Roxie and I were at home... safe. Austin was in Jacksonville... safe. Melia was at Samford... safe. Josh was in Hanceville... safe. Mike stayed at his office until yesterday afternoon... safe.

My nephew, Brad, and his fiance', Stephanie, were both stranded trying to get home. They found each other on the same road trying to figure out what to do when a friend of Brad's Dad picked them up and took them home with her for an extended stay.

Southern hospitality at it's best!

While there are some horror stories to be told, there are also stories aplenty about people and businesses helping others in a very difficult and dangerous situation.

Back at home, once I knew The Brothers, Mikie, Melia and extended family were going to be okay, I began looking forward to a couple of days and nights of one-on-one time with The Chick.

Unbeknownst to me, The Chick was NOT looking forward to the same thing.

When Roxie was small, I envisioned her being a little "Mini Me." We would scrapbook together, enjoy watching the same movies and television shows, shop the same exact way, have manis and pedis together whenever the mood hit us, etc., etc.

Fast forward 17 years, and somehow Roxie has become her own person.

I don't know how I let that happen.

I am good with being "snowed in." Especially with electricity, food and all the creature comforts.

Roxie is not good with being "snowed in." It gives her headaches.

I could sit beside Roxie on the couch watching sappy movies from now until she is 70 and I am 105.

Roxie could not.

If Roxie and I were stranded together on a deserted island, I could learn to be content and thankful for the time I had been given with my beautiful, fiesty, firecracker of a daughter.

Roxie would spend most of her days trying to swim to another shore far, far away.

That isn't to say she's not crazy about me.

She is.

She is absolutely, positively crazy about her Maternal Unit.

How could she not be... Crazy, I mean.

Anyway, we had a good time walking the pups in the snow, and since Roxie was having a magnificent hair day, we had fun taking pictures, too.

Isn't she lovely?

NOTE - After Roxie read the above (and gave it her stamp of approval), she did want me to tell everyone she loved me very much... but the above story was VERY accurate.

RANDOMNESS #2 - The puppies were excellent. Since the puppies are technically in their 80s, they had no problem going outside for a bathroom break before heading back downstairs to their heated little room in the basement with the soft, warm beds.

They were also very photogenic this week.

Sparkle and Roxie.

Copper decided to turned on a dime.

His body didn't exactly follow his train of thought.

Sparkle is what is known as a "snow eater." She couldn't get enough, and once Roxie set her down, she continued plunging her head into snow banks and licking her lips.

Blog Linkage - Go to Nesting Place under My Blog List. Scroll down the right side of today's post until you come to the heading "Find Stuff by Category." Type "Uganda and Compassion." When you hit Enter, you will see today's post, but scroll down. There are four more posts listed. Start with "Grace. At Home." and read ALL of them.

The Nester is with a group of bloggers in Uganda writing about her experiences in the mission field for Compassion. She is posting every day she is in Uganda... and it is well worth the read.

Pinterest Stuff

Valentine Ideas Under $5

1. Matchbox Cars - Valentine, I "Wheelie" like you.

2. Crush Soda - Valentine, I've got a "Crush" on you.

3. Flower Seed Packet - Valentine, let's watch our friendship "Grow."

4. Word Search Books - You won't have to "Search" anymore. I'll be your Valentine!

5. Silly Bands - Nothing "Silly" about me wanting to be your Valentine!

6. Chapstick - Read my lips, Valentine. I belong to you!

7. Bookmark - Mark my words, Valentine. You're mine!

8. Roll of Coins (Pennies, Nickels, Dimes) - Don't ever "Change," Valentine!

Weekend Happenings

Ahhh. The weekend.

Since Roxie and I have had pretty much a whole week off from any and all activities outside the home, we're well rested and ready for a very ACTIVE weekend.

Well, Roxie is ready.

1. Originally, we had a basketball game planned for this evening.

Now... Not so much.

I have no idea what Mike, Roxie and I will be doing. Austin and Josh will be working at their respective places of employment.

2. Originally, all five of The Faulkner Five would be going in different directions.

That hasn't changed a bit.

Roxie will have some sort of plans, I am sure.

Austin will be producing a basketball game for JSU.

Josh will be making the fries for 5 Guys in Cullman. (Stop by and say "HI" if you're in the area!)

Mike and I are in the midst of some furniture shopping, and I hope we have everything resolved by sunset tomorrow.

3. CHURCH! We're all going to church Sunday to hear Rick Burgess speak. It's going to be an amazing service... because it always is when Rick comes to Gardendale. Always!

After church, we're heading to Grandmother's house to have Sunday Dinner with my sister, brother-in-law, niece, soon-to-be niece (Stephanie), nephews and The Lovely Melia. We're having breakfast for Sunday Dinner, and I am in charge of the muffins.

The "muffin" sentence probably falls into the category of Too Much Info, but since I'll be posting pictures of various and sundry muffins Monday, I thought I would go ahead and warn you.

And Sunday night... Well, Sunday night is Super Bowl Sunday! It may be a big crowd or it may be a small crowd. Either way, there will be several meat dishes, dips and chips and sweets available.

I promise.

Have a much needed ice-free weekend. I'll be back Monday with pics from whatever events take place between now and then.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the first of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mindless Monday, Pioneer Woman's Braised Beef Brisket, Engagement Countdown, Quotable Quotes

Good Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Basketball continues until mid-February. It's a pretty long season, and I'm thankful I love watching basketball.

If Roxie was into curling, I would be in trouble.

No offense to any curlers reading A Simple Life today!

Good luck at the Olympics!

But here in Basketball Land, it's a three-point thang!




And then it's a hip thang!




I had EIGHT ponytail shots, but Joy's was the best.

Any guesses who won Friday night's game?



RANDOMNESS #2 - The Chick wants to go on a mission trip to Guatemala this Summer with our church.

I don't know if you are aware, but even though Guatemala is a country located in the same hemisphere and on the same continent as Gardendale, Alabama, it is still very, very far away.

I don't know if you remember, but The Boy got on an airplane when he was 20 and flew to a different country. This was also known as his Marching Southerners' London trip.

I don't know if I told you at the time, but I, the Maternal Unit, did not care for the long distance travel then (when The Boy was 20), and I'm having more than a little trouble with it now (when The Chick is only 17).

In reality, Mike and I are very excited for her, and we know God will be with her while she is doing His business in Guatemala.

Also, in reality, I'm having a little trouble breathing right now... So I'm going to move on to other, less worrisome topics.

Quotable Quotes

"Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one's life with pomp and blare... perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways." Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)

Oh, how I love this quote.

Pioneer Woman's Braised Beef Brisket


I did it.

I made my first EVER brisket.

And it was good.


You will need the following:

2 cans beef consomme'
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cup soy sauce
5 cloves chopped garlic
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
10 pounds beef brisket

1. Combine first five ingredients in large roasting pan (disposable is fine). Place brisket in the marinade, fat side up. Cover tightly with foil. Marinate in refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.

2. When ready to cook, place pan covered in foil into a 300 degree oven. Cook brisket for approximately 40 minutes per pound.

3. When fork-tender, transfer whole brisket to a cutting board. Slice against the grain and place slices back into the cooking liquid. Serve immediately, spooning juice over the slices.

4. You may store pan in fridge for up to two days or freeze for use at a later date. If fat collects and hardens at the top, remove and discard.

5. Brisket is great with mashed potatoes, with the juice spooned over the top. It’s also great on a sandwich with melted cheese.

And as promised last Friday, a picture of meat!

Engagement Countdown

I have a very sweet friend named Cam. Cam has four children. Luckily for me, two of her kids are a little older than Austin (my oldest).

I have watched and learned a great many things from Cam, and I've been able to put several of those things into practice.

When Cam's oldest son, Jordan, became engaged, his wedding date was over a year away from the engagement date.

That's a long time in Engagement World.

Cam bought Jordan and Sarah a gift each and every month before their actual wedding with a countdown message on a card on top of the gift. ("Six more months to go!" You get the idea!)

It was fun and sweet and it made a really long engagement go by a little quicker.

I copied her idea when Austin and Melia got engaged. Since they are getting married October 25, I have given them a wrapped "engagement" gift on the 25th of November, December and January (so far).

This weekend, the note read," Nine more months to go!"

Oh... my... goodness! We are already in single digits!

The gifts aren't elaborate or super expensive. (So far they have included kitchen towels, an engagement Christmas ornament and a covered Pyrex baking dish.)

It's a wedding thang, you know.

Have a terrific day. I'll be back Friday with... Well, I'll be back Friday.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, January 24, 2014

Weekend Happenings, Restaurant Review, Pinterest Stuff (19 Things We Should Say to Our Children)

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - The following is a post from two years ago. I know I've mentioned it on A Simple Life before, but I wanted to do it... one more time!

Roxie and I watched the Season Premiere of Dance Moms last night. You can sum up this reality show with one word... DRAMA! Over and over and over throughout the show last night, Roxie and I asked ourselves, "Why don't they just leave her studio? Why do they continue to stay?" But we also knew the answer.

They are on a really popular reality television show, and whether or not their daughters make it to Broadway one day, they'll already be rich and famous... which seems to be the ultimate goal.

My goal for Roxie was chosen when she was born.

When I was pregnant with Roxie, an older lady at church walked up to me and asked if I knew what I was having. I replied, "A little girl."

"You know what you need to do, don't you?" she asked.

I listened attentively for more "New Mom of Girl" advice, but this was a little different.

"When I was born, my Mama gave me my Proverbs 31 verse. If your little girl is born on the 11th through the 30th day of any month, that's her verse."

"I don't understand. What do you mean?" I asked, trying to process this new info.

My birthday is May 12. My verse is Proverbs 31:12. 'She brings her husband good, not harm, all the days of her life.' I'm a good wife."

"Oh. I see." And then I started trying to figure out how to totally skip labor days one through ten of September so Roxie could be born somewhere between the 11th and the 31st. Somehow, we did it!

Roxie's Proverbs 31 verse is Proverbs 31:25. "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."

It's not Broadway, but it is a noble goal, I think.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Last night was a sad, sad night in our Basketball 2013-2014 career. While we arguably played our very best game ever Tuesday night, it could also be said we played our worst game ever Thursday night.

Sad, but true.

It was a very frustrating night, but I think we can overcome and win tonight's game.

I just feel it!

RANDOMNESS #3 - Roxie is going to the Prom this year, and in order to avoid the "EIGHT-DAYS-TO-FIND-A-GOWN-FOR-HOMECOMING" Debacle of 2013, we have already found the dress.

Two months before we actually need the dress.

I feel like one of the most accomplished Mothers on the planet, I tell you.

And guess what?

I've already scheduled hair, make-up, pedicure AND manicure.

All that is left... Shoes and earrings.

Let me just say that one more time.

Shoes and earrings, Folks.

And I'll let you in on a little secret. When we go back to the dress shop in two weeks for our fitting, I'm going to let an expert pick out the shoes and earrings.

I am.

And when Roxie and I leave that little shop in two weeks, we're going to eat at All Steak before coming home. A celebratory "WE'RE-FINISHED-WITH-PROM-PREP-ONE-MONTH-AND-ONE-WEEK-AHEAD-OF-TIME," if you will.

Don't hate us because we are going to be ready for Prom ahead of time.

Because I am so certain many, many, MANY things are going to go terribly, terribly, TERRIBLY wrong before the actual night.

Before we started actually looking for The Dress, Roxie said she wanted a flowy, blueish gown with pretty straps and a killer back. (Killer backs are a must in Roxie-World.)

Needless to say, Roxie is not wearing a flowy, blueish gown with pretty straps and a killer back.


Let's go through the process, shall we?

Ahh. A very attractive flowy, blueish gown with pretty straps and a killer back. Could the first dress we try on actually be THE ONE?

Uh... No.

Here we have the second dress which fit the description of flow, straps and killer back.

However, the color changed.

And then, The Chick just went nuts.

We went back to blue.

Only half flowy.

Great straps.

Killer back.

Rust, not blue.

Blingy, not flowy.

Not so great straps.

Not so great back.

But definitely a beautiful color.

I kept thinking maybe, just maybe, the Chick could rock the giant polka dot look...

But she nixed that idea quickly.

We ended the day with cupcakes at Frostings in Cullman with our friend, Taylor.

Where is THE dress? Are you not going to show us THE dress?


Not yet.

I will tell you it is NOT blue.

It is NOT flowy.

It has great straps.

It has a killer back.

Don't worry. You'll get to see 1,032 pictures of it very, very soon!

Restaurant Review

Dixie Fish Co. - Mike and I ate at this restaurant last Saturday night, and can I just say, it was great!

It is a large, large restaurant on Highway 280. We arrived at 7:00, but we had called ahead to see if they would take reservations. They did, and although our original reservation was at 7:30, they took us 30 minutes early and we walked straight to our table.

There was a large crowd waiting, and the people I was standing next to while Mike was checking on our table did not get seated until almost an hour later.

I highly recommend the reservation route!

The restaurant is big, bright, family-friendly, date-friendly and warm. On a cold winter's night, it was so nice and warm.

I know a lot of people do not care for seafood, but there is a large menu with a huge variety of different meals. (Not huge like Cheesecake Factory huge, but plenty big.)

Here are a few of the items we liked on the menu...

Dixie Chicken - Half a chicken marinated in sweet tea then fried crispy and tossed in house made pepper jelly. Served with gratinéed mac and cheese topped with chilled buttermilk whipped cream and green tomato coleslaw. **We fry our chicken to order. Please allow a few extra minutes for cooking. Good things come to those who wait.

I almost ordered the Dixie Chicken. If the South starts marinating everything in sweet tea... Well, let's just say it is going to get crowded down here with all the Northern transplants!

But then the Trout caught my eye.

Trout Pecan - Baked and topped with crispy baked pecans. Served with farmed pea popcorn rice and brown butter meuniere sauce.

I'm a sucker for fish covered in "crispy" baked nuts.

Not "soggy" baked nuts.


And the Trout Pecan did not disappoint. It was wonderful.

Redfish Maque Choux - Redfish fillet lightly breaded, pan sauteed and topped with Good People Sweet Brown Ale BBQ shrimp. Served with maque choux and green onion pilaf.

Mike ordered the Redfish. He likes Cajun cookin' and there are at least two Cajun chefs working at Dixie Fish Co.

And they obviously know what they are doing in the kitchen.

The desserts were great (Mississippi Mud Pie and Country Style Lemon Ice Box Pie).

Most of the dinner meals are between $15 and $20. There are a few priced higher.

We will definitely go back.

Mainly because I have to try the Dixie Chicken.

Pinterest Stuff

19 Things We Should Say to Our Children

1. I love you! There is nothing that will make me stop loving you. Nothing you could do or say or think will ever change that.

2. You are amazing! I look at you with wonder! Not just at what you can do, but who you are. There is no one like you. No one!

3. It’s all right to cry. People cry for all kinds of reasons: when they are hurt, sad, glad or worried; when they are angry, afraid or lonely. Big people cry, too. I do.

4. You’ve made a mistake. That was wrong. People make mistakes. I do. Is it something we can fix? What can we do? It’s all over. You can start fresh. I know you are sorry. I forgive you.

5. You did the right thing. That was scary or hard. Even though it wasn’t easy, you did it. I am proud of you; you should be, too.

6. I’m sorry. Forgive me. I made a mistake.

7. You can change your mind. It’s good to decide, but it is also fine to change.

8. What a great idea! You were really thinking! How did you come up with that? Tell me more. Your mind is clever!

9. That was kind. You did something helpful and thoughtful for that person. That must make you feel good inside. Thank you!

10. I have a surprise for you. It’s not your birthday. It’s for no reason at all. Just a surprise, a little one, but a surprise.

11. I can wait. We have time. You don’t have to hurry this time.

12. What would you like to do? It’s your turn to pick. You have great ideas. It’s important to follow your special interests.

13. Tell me about it. I’d like to hear more. And then what happened? I’ll listen.

14. I’m right here. I won’t leave without saying good-bye. I am watching you. I am listening to you.

15. Please and Thank You. These are important words. If I forget to use them, will you remind me?

16. I missed you. I think about you when we are not together!

17. Just try. A little bit. One taste, one step. You might like it. Let’s see. I’ll help you if you need it. I think you can do it.

18. I’ll help you. I heard you call me, here I am. How can I help you? If we both work together, we can get this done. I know you can do it by yourself, but I’m glad to help since you asked.

19. What do you wish for? Even if it’s not yet time for birthday candles and we don’t have a wishbone, it’s still fun to hear about what you wish for, hope for and dream about.

The Enchanting Belinda says - Of course, this was written with small children in mind. While I like this list very much, if I was starting out, I would re-write the list adding Bible verses... Not because it is wrong to say the above without Bible verses, but when you're taking the time for teachable moments, you want your children to know that pleasing you (the parent) isn't the main objective. Pleasing, respecting and honoring God, our Heavenly Father, is the most important.

I think you could definitely do that with this list.

And if I had to do it all over again, I would use No. 11 so much more. The hurrying was rarely as important as I thought it was at the time.

Weekend Happenings

What can I say that hasn't been said before? Basketball, work and church.

There are only two things that will be different this weekend...

1. Roxie is going to the Circus Saturday with Hunter and family. She's going to have a ball.

2. And I'm cooking The Pioneer Woman's Brisket for Sunday dinner.

If you are looking for an action/adventure blog to follow, can I just say, "This ain't it!"

Have a fabulous weekend. I'll be back Monday to let you know how my very FIRST brisket tasted. (I'm a lover of FIRSTS... all kinds.) I'll also have some miscellaneous pictures of things other than meat.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mindless Monday, Pinterest Stuff (Some New-to-Me Date Ideas)

Good Monday morning!

Let us go ahead and get it out of the way, shall we?

RANDOMNESS #1 - Basketball.

Look! Run, Kam. Run!

See Roxie catch the ball. Catch, Roxie. Catch!

See Kelci smile! Smile, Kelci. Smile!

Grandma and Grandpa (and Aunt Becky) came to the Pell City game Friday night, and I'm proud to report Roxie had her three-point shot down pat.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Mike and I celebrated our 26th anniversary a little early this year. Although we married January 23, 1988, we will be right smack dab in the middle of Tournament Week (BASKETBALL) on January 23, 2014... so we decided to do our "spend the night away at a local hotel" thang this past weekend.

And we decided instead of one night, at this particular time in our lives we DESERVED two nights.

And we stayed at a nice hotel on Highway 280.

And we ate at two NEW-TO-US restaurants. (I'm going to have two Restaurant Reviews for you Friday morning!)

And we shopped at a NEW-TO-US antique/junk store.

You will notice a HUGE amount of old windows, shutters and doors lined up along the front of the store. There are plenty more inside. It is a Pinterest Fanatic's dream come true.

Every square inch of space is covered by something. EVERY... SQUARE... INCH.

I'll be honest. For a few minutes, I wanted the shake machine.

Well, a few minutes in the store...

And now. I really want it now.

Mike walked around with his hands in his pockets. It is the only way to make sure you don't break something.

This sign spoke to me. I thought it would be fun to stake it in our front yard.

Mikie also spoke to me.

He said, "No."

A box of WWF action figures.

I'm telling you.

This place had everything...

Small rooms with even smaller doorways.

This fellow greets you when you walk into the front door.

A little creepy, but interesting.

Very interesting.

We also saw a new-to-us movie.

Saving Mr. Banks is a wonderful movie. I rarely say this, but I want to own it. (The last movie I "had to have" was Julie and Julia, and that has been awhile.)

I'm a sucker for "story" movies.

I like unique.

I like Tom Hanks.

I like Disney.

I LOVED Saving Mr. Banks.

It was delightful, I tell you.

Just delightful.

And to top off a perfectly sweet anniversary, Mikie served me breakfast in bed.

For any of you naysayers out there who believe "breakfast in bed" must be prepared by hand, let me tell you, the hotel staff did a fine job!

And the fact Mike knew exactly which items to pick off the Complimentary Continental Breakfast Buffet for The Enchanting Belinda speaks volumes of our 26 years together as husband and wife.

He totally gets me!

RANDOMNESS #3 - Katie turned 20 January 14, and we all got together to celebrate (and give her money) this past Sunday.

Needless to say, she was happy with her gifts.

Katie with all her cash.

Lady Bug and Roxie.

Roxie and Zac.

Roxie and Katie.

Josh, Katie, Austin and Melia.

Stephanie, Katie and Brad.

Pinterest Stuff

Some New-to-Me Date Ideas

1. Country dancing.

2. Try a new restaurant. (This is one of my favorites.)

3. Cliff jumping. (I don't understand why a couple would do this, but I'm always looking for something new and interesting to keep the romance alive.)

4. Swing dancing.

5. Mud run. (I don't run, but I will participate in a walk for a good cause. And the mud would certainly make it different!)

6. Cooking class. (I just asked Mike about this last week. I think it would be a fun thing to do together.)

Have a beautiful January Monday. I'll be back Friday with more of A Simple Life. The Chick and I are going Prom Dress shopping this afternoon and since we do not have a very tight time constraint, I think we're going to enjoy the day and not freak out. For "freak out" posts, you can look in the October 2013 Archives. Remember when we had nine days to find two dresses for Homecoming... AND have them altered... AND find matching shoes?

I'm starting to get that rash again just thinking about it.

We're going to have to change the subject.

I'll be back Friday with some prom dress pics.

How about that?

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. I bought a new polka dot blouse to wear Saturday of our anniversary weekend.

After seeing this picture, I may have been mistaken about my ability to pull off the large polka dot pattern.

It is too late to return it, so I'll be wearing it every other day for the next five or six years or so...

But I do wish it photographed better.

Mindless Monday NIGHT!

Good Monday morning!

I'm going prom dress shopping with The Chick today.

I'm almost finished with the regular post, but not quite.

Would you mind ever so much coming back around 7:00 tonight?

I would be forever beholden to you!

I'll have pics, weekend news and some new dates for you and yours to try. It will be worth the wait (I hope).

Talk to you this evening.


The Enchanting Belinda

Just a little "prom dress tease."

Friday, January 17, 2014

Weekend Happenings, Old-Fashioned Applesauce Spice Cake, Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies, Pinterest Stuff (107 Gifts for Men Who Have Everything, Root Beer Float Basket, Candy Valentine's in the Mail)

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Basketball... Does this season ever end?


No, it doesn't.

At least, not until February 13!

And aren't you glad!


And then the Chick on the other team makes a run for it.

And Roxie runs alongside tying to anticipate her every move.

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

I love to watch Claire catch a ball. She kind of catches it to the side.

It's hard to explain, but neat to watch.

Kesley has it covered.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Mike, Austin, Grandmother and I visited The Irondale Cafe this past week. I would give you a Restaurant Review, but I did not partake of the food. (I had a huge breakfast that morning with Roxie, and I didn't feel the need to eat again around the noontime hour.)

I will tell you The Irondale Cafe has three dining rooms, black and white checked tablecloths and fairly newly-renovated floors and ceilings.

Very nice atmosphere.

And from what I could tell from Austin, Mike and Grandmother, the food was plenty good!

Austin and Mike... and a little red caboose.

I love restaurants with photo ops in front.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

As you know, I enjoy any recipe that begins with a boxed cake mix... and these cookies are no exception.

You will need the following:

6 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 Duncan Hines® Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter and set aside to cool.

2. Place powdered sugar and cornstarch in shallow dish. Mix with a fork to blend.

3. Place cake mix, cooled butter, eggs and lemon zest in large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended and a dough forms.

4. Form dough into 1" balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on cool, ungreased baking sheets about 2" apart.

5. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in center of oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

6. Store in airtight container with wax paper or parchment separating layers.

This isn't a terribly sweet cookie, but it is pretty, light and tasty.

Old-Fashioned Applesauce Spice Cake

You will need the following:

1 Duncan Hines Signature Spice Cake Mix
3 large eggs
1 21-ounce jar of apple pie filling
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped nuts
1 container Creamy Home-Style Classic Vanilla Frosting
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13" x 9" pan.

2. Empty into separate bowl and dice apple pie filling.

3. Combine cake mix, eggs, apple pie filling and oil in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in nuts. Pour into bake pan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack. Turn right-side up. Cool completely.

5. For frosting, combine frosting and cinnamon. Stir until blended. Spread over cooled cake.

NOTE - I did not add the nuts to the cake. I sprinkled them on top of the icing.

ANOTHER NOTE - I used Cream Cheese Icing... because I like it better, you see.

ONE MORE NOTE - This cake is incredibly moist. One of Roxie's friends had a bite from her lunch this week, and now I am scheduled to make an Old-Fashioned Applesauce Spice Cake for her 17th birthday in August.

I would appreciate it if someone out there would remind me when the time draws near!

Pinterest Stuff

I found this list of "107 Gifts for Men Who Have Everything" on Pinterest. (I'm only going to share my favorite dozen.)

1. Learn to Fly Experience - One airplane lesson does not a pilot make!

2. Personal Submarine ($2,000,000) - It's bright yellow. I didn't know if that would influence your decision... or not.

3. Killer Whale Submarine ($100,000) - Super cool... and much more affordable than the aforementioned yellow one.

4. Bonsai Tree - I don't think Mikie would truly appreciate a Bonsai Tree.

5. Hot Tub Boat ($42,000) - I am SO starting an envelope for this today!

6. Fighter Pilot for a Day ($999 and UP) - I don't think so.

7. Zoltar Machine ($9,000) - Remember the Tom Hanks movie, Big? Yep. It's the same fortune telling machine.

8. Jellyfish Tank - Don't laugh. This is a great gift. So relaxing.

9. Original Bacon Spread - One of the most affordable gifts on the list... and I'm thinking it would be one of the most appreciated.

10. Power Nap Capsule ($25,000) - Inspired by NASA studies, it ramps up concentration and reaction time by providing a semi-enclosed. yet comfortably spacious napping environment, creating an ideal setting for the most therapeutic naps he has ever experienced. (Forget Mikie. I'm the one who would be using this item.)

11. A Genuine PT Boat ($1,000,000) - Remember McHale's Navy? The restored boat carries over 60 years of history with it... along with several of his friends as he takes his new prized possession out into the water.

12. Flying Hovercraft ($190,000) - Looks fun, but I'm going to have to pass.

In all fairness to ME, Mikie has already received two of the 107 gifts. He has participated in the Race Car Driving Experience AND Whitewater Rafting.

Only 105 to go!

Valentine's Day Gifts

Root Beer Float Kit Basket

You will need the following:

A Basket
Root Beer
Vanilla Ice Cream
Ice Cream Scoop
Fun Straws
Card - Valentine... You float my boat!

I would add a fun movie to the basket, too.

Candy Valentine's in the Mail

Send boxes of candy through the mail. If they are under 13 ounces you can slap a stamp on them and put them in the mailbox.

NOTE - I haven't tried this personally, but I want to this year. (I'm going to check with my Post Office before I put a bunch of boxes of candy in my mailbox!)

Weekend Happenings

1. Roxie, Mike and I are heading to Pell City for a basketball game tonight.

2. We'll be finishing up and heading home while Josh goes to the movies with a couple of friends.

3. And Austin will be working at The Chick.

4. I'll give you a play-by-play of our Saturday activities on Monday. Big, BIG plans. I don't want to jinx anything.

5. Sunday, we'll be celebrating Katie's 20th Birthday after church, so expect some pics from that event Monday morning, too!

Have a great January weekend. I'll be back Monday with a few more basketball pics, details from our "surprise" weekend, NO new recipes (I am NOT cooking this weekend) and more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda
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