Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Wow...I cannot believe that today is the last day of 2014. It seems that I blinked and in a split second, an entire year passed. It's been a great year filled with lots of blessings, love and laughter, and of course, some tears. And now it's time to ring in 2015.

I've been thinking for a few days on what my word for 2015 should be. After a lot of prayer and a few looks at my list of goals, I've decided that my word will be "SIMPLIFY". From, simplify means  to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier. Doesn't that sound great?! That one word really does encompass all I want for 2015. By simplifying certain areas in my family's life and in our home, I feel like we'll be able to have more quality family time, adventures and fun. So I'm saying goodbye to chaos, complicated ideals and keeping up with anyone or anything. I'm embracing following God and keeping it simple.

Happy New Year. See you in 2015!

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Pumpkin Kahlua Muffins

I love pumpkin treats with my coffee. But I DON'T love pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks. Seriously, no PSL for this girl, thank you.  I do love baked treats that combine the two flavors though, so I decided to experiment with my usual pumpkin muffin recipe by adding some kahlua and espresso powder. Just tasting the batter, I fell in love. If you can't find espresso powder in the store, I buy mine here.   

Pumpkin Kahlua Muffins
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 tablespoons kahlua
1 tablespoon espresso powder

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, pie spice, salt and espresso powder. In another bowl combine eggs, pumpkin, oil, vanilla and kahlua. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full. Bake at 350°  for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

landon goes to school

My baby started school Monday. I'm not sure quite how it happened. Just yesterday he was learning how to walk. And this morning he didn't want to hold my hand as we walked into the school. I cannot believe how fast we got to this point. I remember right before he was born, a friend shared with me the best words she heard before her first child was born ~ The days go by slow, but the years go by fast. So much truth in that statement.

Now that we have the first week of school behind us, I am really enjoying this new phase in our lives. So much to do and look forward to. I actually surprised myself by not crying his first day as we walked him in. But he was so happy and excited, all smiles, so how could I not smile too?
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Friday, August 15, 2014

The State Fair

I'm so excited! We're headed to the WV State Fair tomorrow. It's such a fun day. We'll walk around and look at all the livestock, hold the sweetest baby chicks, see the most beautiful quilts, Landon will sit on lots of John Deere tractors and ride a few rides with my niece.  My mom, sister and I will do some shopping. And we'll eat. Most importantly we'll eat Ben and Ellen's delicious donuts. Seriously, they are amazing good. People will stand in line for an hour (or longer) just to get a taste of this cinnamon-sugar coated deliciousness. And most people order enough to take some home. 

I'll share some pictures from the fair on Monday. Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Chocolate Chip Day

Did you know that Monday was chocolate chip day? I didn't until I received an email last week from Taste of Home.  I decided to surprise Landon with some cookie baking. I got out a package of cookie mix and called him into the kitchen. Holding the mix behind my back, I  told him what day it was. "What could we possibly do to celebrate?" I asked him.  He knew that answer right away and exclaimed "Bake cookies!".  He grabbed a mixing bowl and took his place at the table while I got out a few ingredients.

I don't usually make cookies from a mix, but sometimes simple is best (and easiest).  The Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie mix is convenient and has enough steps to make Landon happy.  The package calls for one stick of softened butter and one egg. I also add a teaspoon of vanilla and two teaspoons of brown sugar to deepen the flavor. Once Landon got everything mixed together and ate a bit a lot of the cookie dough, he went back to the play room and I popped the cookies in the oven. He was so happy to share cookies with daddy when he got home from work. 
We've got pumpkin vines sprouting up in the back yard. I'll share some pictures on Friday. 
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Planting Pumpkins

We planted pumpkins yesterday. It's a bit late in the season, but of the two types we planted, one harvests within 95 days. I have a few plans to help them along (details on one little trick to come). Of course, Landon will be thrilled with even the smallest harvest - just enough to carve a few jack-o-lanterns. When I told him what we'd be planting, his eyes got very big and he exclaimed "You mean we're going to make a pumpkin pie?! Oh boy, yummy for my tummy!"  He's so funny!  I really am hoping to make a pumpkin pie though - this variety that we planted is supposed to be great for cooking. 

I love that he's so excited about this project. He's really taking ownership of it, making sure he's the one to water our plants every night. It's a great way to teach him responsibility and help him experience the wonders of watching a tiny little seed grow into something so big.  It's also a great way for sharing with him how God grows in our hearts. From the tiniest seed planted, big things can happen.

Keep up with our pumpkin growing here and on Instagram. I'm Toniathc

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

countdown to summer

Memorial Day marks the real beginning of summer for us. We always spend the weekend at my mom's  and have lots of family over on Saturday and Sunday. It's always a fun time filled with family, food, fun and lots of laughter. 

If you're like me, you'll spend a lot of time this week getting ready for the fun ahead. If you're planning on having hotdogs on the grill (and who isn't?), here's the perfect chili recipe for you. 
Happy summer! Tomorrow I'll be sharing a few festive ideas for the table. 
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