New Music Your Whole Family Will Enjoy from Manic Drive {giveaway}

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification

manic drive

We spend a lot of time in the van, driving to and from soccer practice, to the store, and running errands.  The boys are pretty good travelers, but one thing we can all agree on is we all like to listen to good music on the radio.  I prefer that we listen to Christian music so I am not hurrying to change the station when a questionable song comes on the radio. When I had the opportunity to review the new CD from Manic Drive, VIP, I was excited to have some new music to share with the boys!


The first song that we listened to was the title track, "VIP."  The boys absolutely loved it and so did Hubby and I.  It is a very catchy song with a positive feel. The lyrics talk about how we are all V.I.P.s in God's eyes. My favorite line is "He already paid your cover, it's about time that you live life bigger than before."  Such a great message set to a catchy tune!
The positive message, well written lyrics, and dance music continues throughout the whole album.  The Canadian born trio has a great sound and great voices. 
Reading the bio of Manic Drive is truly inspiring. These men, all in their early twenties, have dedicated their lives to Christ and spreading His message to the world. Rarely do you find young men who have such maturity both in their music and their focus in pursuing God's call on their lives. 
We love jammin' out to Manic Drive and I love knowing that he boys can sing these lyrics all day long and I have nothing to worry about. In fact, the boys are already asking questions about what they are saying and what it means, which is fabulous for opening up that communication and taking about God and spreading the gospel.  I'm so, so happy to find talented musicians like Manic Drive that we can enjoy as a family!


Catch up with Manic Drive:

We are giving away a copy of this fabulous CD to one reader. This would be a great gift for anyone who loves music!  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Awesome Dallas Blogs (and the Bloggers Behind Them!)

dallas blogs and bloggers

When we moved to the Dallas area 3 1/2 years ago, I was a brand new blogger.  I began making connections and soon found a group of wonderful bloggers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  I have learned so much from these wonderful bloggers, and I have even gotten the opportunity to meet a few in person.

I love following these blogs because I always learn something new. I have learned so much about the DFW metroplex and all the fun events, opportunities, stores, and other fun things that I would've never known about had I not read these blogs.
I encourage you to take the time to check out these blogs, follow on social media, and hopefully get as much out of them as I have!

BDallas Bloggers Bare Feet on the Dashboardare Feet on the Dashboard

Becca Short Eby Bare Feet on the Dashboard evokes a life of freedom through frugal living, travel, faith, crafts, creative pursuits, activities for families and kids, and so much more. Share in the adventure on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.  

BDallas Bloggers Baby Boomer Rantsaby Boomer Rants

Dian Farmer Dian is a Dallas Mom and Blogger who is passionate about sharing her tips with women of all ages. As a Baby Boomer she has years of experience to share to help others succeed in life. Growth of spirit, family and impact in her community are important pieces of Dian's life and she is excited to share her tips with you!  

Dallas Bloggers Carrie ElleCarrie Elle

Carrie Lindsey Carrie Lindsey is a Dallas mom who blogs about parenting, “mom life,” and family-friendly activities in the Dallas area at Carrie Elle. From simple crafts to easy recipes to meal planning (and everything in between!), Carrie blogs for the busy mom. She also offers blog coaching for new bloggers and sells Meal Planners in her Etsy shop.  

CDallas Bloggers Coupon Crazy Mommyoupon Crazy Mommy

Natalie Emmert Reid Digging through all the deals to find the BEST ways to help you save money online, in the grocery stores, drug stores and more! The Coupon Crazy Mommy has been teaching couponing classes around the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex for nearly 10 years and is a regular guest on WFAA's “Good Morning Texas.”  

DDallas Bloggers Digital Mom Blogigital Mom Blog

Molly Thornberg Digital Mom Blog is your online hub for technology, parenting and geekery. From tech reviews of the latest gadgets to the woes of raising toddlers: Digital Mom, Molly Thornberg delivers real-life with this blog for the modern mom. Follow Digital Mom Blog on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  

EEasy Green Momasy Green Mom

Amber Sorrells Amber is a Fort Worth wife and mom of 3 boys. She is passionate about sharing how her family lives green and hopes to inspire others to take little steps to being more Eco-friendly. On Easy Green Mom she shares tips for living green, gluten free recipes, cloth diaper tips, DIY crafts, and new Eco-friendly products. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  

FDallas Bloggers Family eGuideamily eGuide

Valerie Preston Family eGuide is an online guide to affordable family-friendly events, activities, and services in the northern suburbs of Dallas/Fort Worth. Winner of "Best Publication" in Denton County 2014! Contact us about promoting your event or business. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram!  

GDallas Bloggers Geek Glameek Glam

Stephanie Drenka Geek Glam is a personal style blog authored by Stephanie Drenka. Created to eliminate the misconception that geek and chic are mutually exclusive attributes, Geek Glam combines Stephanie's love of gaming, fashion, beauty, and pop culture.  

GGiggles Galoreiggles Galore

Mariah Leeson With a passion for celebrating Mariah created Giggles Galore,, a lifestyle blog that focuses on creative parties, DIY crafts, recipes and tip and hints for making the ordinary extraordinary one creative project at a time. Mariah loves collaborating with brands and can be reached at or follow her onFacebook,Instagram,Twitter and Pinterest.  

GDallas Bloggers Grocery Shop for Free at the Martrocery Shop for FREE at The Mart

Aarn Farmer Aarn is a husband, father of 4, and grandfather of 3, with one on the way. He is also the author of a coupon & deal blog all about shopping and saving at Walmart. If you’re looking to save money at Walmart, this is the place you want to be. From weekly $1 and under deals to a searchable coupon database, he has it all. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest so you don’t miss a deal.  

JDallas Bloggers Jenns RAQenn's RAQ

Jennifer Land Jenn is a homeschooling mother to many in Fort Worth, Texas. Whether she’s blogging about her kids, their favorite toys and curriculum, food, or about local Dallas / Fort Worth events, she’s keeping it Real And Quirky! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  

JDallas Bloggers Julie is Coco and Cocoaulie is Coco and Cocoa

Julie Julie is a Mom, knitter, crafter, and food enthusiast. She is is married to the love of her life and together they have three boys, twin teenagers and a pre-schooler. Julie is passionate about everything handmade is proud to call Fort Worth home. Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.  

LDallas Bloggers LifeatFortyife at Forty

Angela Williamson Join sisters, Angela and Brady Lee, as they share two completely different lifestyles at 40. Although both were born and raised in MN, Angela now resides in TX. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  

LDallas Bloggers Life with Captain Fussybucketsife With Captain Fussybuckets

Gena Gena is a thirty something mother of three young boys and a youth minister’s wife. She is a homeschooler and home gardener who loves to blog about parenting, cooking, going green, and the occasional crafts for kids and DIY. Follow Life With Captain Fussybuckets on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  

MDallas Bloggers MamaChallengeamaChallenge

Autumn Rose Reo Texas blogger,TV contributor, PR pro, and mother of two (including a son with aCongenital Heart Defect), Autumn Rose Reo is always on the search for REAL SOLUTIONS for REAL MOMS. From things to do, eat, wear and buy, she’s always cookin’ up something fun, resourceful and good to know! See what challenge she is taking on today on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or email her at autumn (@)  

MDallas Bloggers Milk and Cuddlesilk and Cuddles

Shannon Schmid Shannon, traded in her sensible NYC Television producer shoes (they were best for taking the subway), for a pair of Texas Cowboy boots! Shannon blogs about many subjects including Travel, Recipes, Technology & Events. Shannon is PR friendly, and also the author of American and Irish. Find her: Twitter, Facebook, & YouTube among other places. Milkandcuddles (@)  

MDallas Bloggers Mommie Again Plusommie… Again PLUS

Kim Croisant Kim, a 50+Influencer and a Mommie "Again" to her youngest grandchild, is an advocate for healthy living. Follow her journey on eating organic, growing a garden for the first time, ridding her cupboards of all GMO foods and trying to survive menopause!  

MDallas Bloggers My Crazy SavingsyCRAZYSavings

Courtney Solstad Mommy to three little princesses, I love the flexible schedule that blogging has allotted me. I live in North Dallas and proudly serve as a Deal Pro with, Pampers Baby Board Member, Collective Bias Advisory Team, and Sea World Wildside Blogger. I love connecting with brands and sharing ways to live well for less with my readers. I am passionate about being debt free and enriching the lives around me.  

PDallas Bloggers Pounds 4 Penniesounds4Pennies

Amy Greene Amy Greene lives in the Dallas area with her husband and three children. She enjoys teaching people how to make DIY crafts, homemade recipes and parties on a budget at Pounds4Pennies. Amy writes about how easy it can be to have a simple, healthy and greener lifestyle. She provides easy tips and trick for everyone to save money to be healthy and green.  

TDallas Bloggers Tales of Beauty for Ashesales of Beauty for Ashes

Becky Becky traded in her teaching degree for diapers and dishes. Her blog, Tales of Beauty for Ashes, has tricks for anything from how to have a better marriage, to a better way to organize measuring cups. When not writing, you might find her reading a book, playing in the kitchen or loving on her family. Find her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.  

TDallas Bloggers The Nerds Wifehe Nerd's Wife

Arena Blake Arena is the wife of a Nerd and mom of a toddler who loves his Star Wars blankie a little too much. She is passionate about showcasing brands through creative crafts, recipes, and tutorials on her Dallas mom blog. She lives in the suburbs north of Dallas with her family. You can email her at or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  

TDallas Bloggers Three Different Directionshree Different Directions

Tammy Litke Three Different Directions, is a lifestyle blog about home & family, recipes, travel, electronics & other things we enjoy in life. Tammy likes to hear from PR and companies to collaborate with brands and can be reached at, Find her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  

WDallas Bloggers White Boxeekends Count

Jennifer and Tony A PR friendly, Texas #millennialfamily #travel & activity blog. We are located in the Fort Worth, TX area focused on making the MOST out of the weekend! After working HARD in the week as busy professors and we always seek to enjoy a great work-life balance. We also love to travel with our family to visit hotels and museums, researching new vacations, reading, shopping online, eating healthy foods, taking pictures on our iPhones, and gardening! Remember to follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook.  

This is certainly not an extensive list.  Do you follow or write an awesome Dallas blog?  Leave the link in the comments.  I'd love to check it out!

31 Hearty -Real Food- Soups, Chowders, and Stews

This real food recipe has been brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

PicMonkey Collaged

The nights are becoming cooler and that means it's soup season!  I have made a collection of 31 hearty and filling soups, chowders, and stews made with real food!   No condensed soups, processed foods (that you can't omit or substitute,) just real, delicious food ingredients. 

Enjoy finding the perfect recipe for a chilly night. 

Check out Soups

by Gena at

What is your favorite cold weather recipe?

Prepare For Dry Winter Skin and Soothe Irritating Eczema

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for #AveenoEczemaTherapy. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

aveeno #AveenoEczemaTherapyOctober is National Eczema Awareness Month and with good reason.  When the temperatures start getting cooler, I know now that I need to be prepared with an arsenal to combat our eczema.  It seems that the dry, cold winter weather is awful on our skin. The Captain has suffered with eczema many winters, and Baby Brother is following in his footsteps.  

What Is Eczema ?

Eczema is a chronic skin disorder that affects approximately 35 million infants, children, and adults in the United States.  Inflammation causes the skin to become itchy, red, and dry.  Extreme cases can cause the skin to become leathery, cracked, and bleeding.  Eczema can be caused by stress, heat and sweat, temperature changes, extreme cold and dry climates, heredity, allergens, or irritants.  In our case, heredity plays a huge factor. We haven't been able to isolate any known cause of our eczema, but we do know that the dry winter weather causes flareups.
I have bad hand eczema, even though I use fragrance free products or products with natural oils and scents.  I think it's just part of being a mom with sensitive skin and frequently washing my hands. The Aveeno eczema hand therapy cream really helps!  If I remember to moisturize my hands throughout the day when I feel them begin to get dry, they feel awesome. 


It was recommended to us by a dermatologist recently that we should limit the boys baths to once or twice a week.  I feel better about giving the boys a bath now that we have Eczema Therapy soothing bath treatment from Aveeno.  This bath additive is fragrance free, tear-free, and provides relief for our dry, itchy, irritated eczema skin.  

photo 1 (2)

After the bath, we follow up with Aveeno Eczema Therapy moisturizing cream.  It is thick and really seals in the moisture!  Our skin feels so soft afterwards and our dry skin is soothed!

eczema dos and don'ts

Dermatologist Kenneth Beer M.D. has provided some dos and don'ts for eczema that were helpful:
  • DO use hydrating cleansers and barrier creams with soothing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal daily to maintain the integrity of the skins barrier.
  • DO look for products with ceramide – an essential lipid naturally found within the skin that plays a key role in enhancing and restoring the skin's protective function.
  • DO you use fragrance free laundry detergent to wash clothing, sheets and towels and avoid dryer sheets.
  • DON'T  use body lotions with irritants which can aggravate skin and cause eczema to flare.
  • DON'T  use products with fragrances or harsh dyes.
Also, remember to look for products with the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.
We have tried so many different products and I know that all of these suggestions, plus a combination of high quality eczema products like Aveeno helps with the horrible eczema symptoms we have had!  If we stay on top of it and keep our skin moisturizer throughout the winter, I think we will have healthier skin. 
To learn more about eczema, visit
For more information about Aveeno eczema therapy products, visit and

How do you prevent and treat eczema?



In A Hurry For Dinner? Can Frozen Foods Be Delicious?

This frozen foods post has been brought to you by Jimmy Dean®. All opinions are mine.

How often do you have nights where dinner falls through, you come home late from work and your family needs to be somewhere in ten minutes, or when you just have hungry little (and big!) people to feed and nothing to serve? As much as I plan, those days happen to everyone, I am sure. I used to think that nothing that tastes good could come from the freezer section. Of course there is always frozen pizza, but that gets old and sometimes we just are not in the mood for pizza.

Last night was one of those nights. We had been running errands all day, the younger boys had a late nap, and it was already 4:30 when I got to thinking about dinner. (We eat at 5 here!) I went to the freezer and saw some frozen chicken breasts and frozen hamburger meat, but there were also some Jimmy Dean® frozen lunch or dinner entrées that I had picked up at Walmart for nights just like this. I felt a huge sense of relief because I know that my family would love these meals. (You can find these in the frozen meal section at Walmart.)

We have always loved Jimmy Dean sausage. I make delicious sausage balls for appetizers and it is always the New Year's Eve party staple. Jimmy Dean's breakfast sandwiches are delicious, too, and Jimmy Dean® frozen entrées are no different? They're hearty and delicious, as you would expect from the Jimmy Dean brand. I knew that my family would love the Smoked Bacon Mac & Cheese because well, who doesn't like Mac & Cheese? I also picked up the Grilled Steak with potatoes and bell peppers and a Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast sandwich because the men in my family are sandwich fanatics!

The Jimmy Dean frozen entrees were a huge hit! They tasted fresh and delicious. It was so, so nice to grab these out of the fridge, warm them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and serve them to my family. They don't taste like a frozen meal, or at least like no frozen meal that I have had.

The all-around favorite was the Smoked Bacon Mac & Cheese, just as I suspected! Before cooking the bowl, I could see the chunks of cheese that melted and made this meal exceptional. And ……..bacon. Need I say more?

This mac and cheese is more than your average mac and cheese. For starters, this bowl has 23 grams of protein! Imagine being able to cook a hot bowl of mac and cheese with that much protein in less than the amount of time you would spend making a box of mac and cheese. The Bacon Mac & Cheese tasted like gourmet mac & cheese. Real ingredients, real flavor, and so good!

I plan to purchase more of these frozen meals and sandwiches the next time I am at Walmart. They're filling, priced right, and perfect for chaotic nights when all we really want is a quick, hearty meal. Check out the other available options from Jimmy Dean that go beyond breakfast.

Follow Jimmy Dean on social media:

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Walmart: Jimmy Dean . The opinions and text are all mine.


What Is A Healthy Snack for Babies and Toddlers On The Go?

This non-GMO snack post was brought to you by Mum-Mum.  All opinions are mine.

As much as we try to always have healthy, fresh foods available for Baby Brother to eat, the need for healthy packaged snacks is always present.  When we go to the store, church, or to his brothers' soccer games, I know now that I need to have something easily accessible and portable in my diaper bag for him to munch on. He is all about self feeding, as we never did traditional baby food with him.  And at ten months, he has already found what textures and flavors he prefers.  His favorite foods are blueberries, grapes (cut up, of course,) bananas, peas, sweet potatoes, cheese, and carrots.  Do you know how hard it is to serve a bowl of squished up blueberries to an energetic ten month old at a soccer game, though?  Yeah, not easy!  

non-gmo snack

Baby Brother has been snacking on Baby Mum-Mum rice rusks for a few months now, and still gets excited when I offer one to him.  They're not messy and are made with non-GMO Japonica rice.  There are many options available, like Original, Vegetable, Banana, Apple, and Organic Carrot.  


  • are made with non-GMO Japonica rice
  • contain minimal sugar and fat
  • contain no artificial colors
  • contain no artificial additives or preservatives
  • dissolve easily in your child's mouth
  • are gluten-free, egg-free, and peanut-free
  • are available in many different flavors
  • are available for different ages
  • have organic options

photo 1 (5) non-gmo snack

I gave Baby Mum-Mums to the Captain and D when they were babies, as well, and honestly, D still loves them!  I have gotten into the habit of putting TWO packages of Baby Mum-Mums in my bag because it's a good, healthy snack for D, as well!  D loves Toddler Mum-Mums, too, which are recommended for kids ages 18 months and up.  They're a little more dense and for babies who chew well.

non-gmo snack

Baby Mum-Mums are also a great option when we are dining out, too.  Whether it be something that is spicy or contains honey, something that I am not sure of the ingredients, or he is just not ready to eat, a Mum-Mum helps him to feel like he is crunching and chewing something just like us and helps keep him satisfied.  Baby Mum-Mums promise to never contain any of the main allergens, as seen in this infographic:

non-GMO snack  Top 10 Food Allergens and Senstivities

We love Mum-Mums and are pretty sure that your baby and children will, too!  Also, check out Mum-Mum Snax for older kids!  Find out more about Mum-Mums and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

27 Satisfying, Creative Skillet Recipes – Start to Finish in One Skillet!

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27 Skillet Recipes


I recently wrote about my new found love for iron skillets.  They’re easy to use, clean, and are healthy to cook in, too.  My iron skillets stay on the stove because I use them all of the time.  Keep them seasoned and they’ll be non-stick and ready to use.  My favorite brand of cast iron is Lodge.  (Check out how to season your cast iron and take care of it so it serves you well.)

I have collected 27 great recipes that require only one cast iron skillet to cook.  You can obviously use another type of pan for these recipes, but cast iron is my favorite.  There are breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes…and even one for dessert!  Check them out and let me know what you think!  Enjoy!


One Skillet Pork Chops and Orange Vegetables (pictured)

Pepperoni, Avocado, & Sun-Dried Tomato Stovetop Frittata – The West Coast Mommy (pictured)

Skillet Ratatouille – An Ordinary Housewife

Tasty Ham Frittata with Asparagus, Grape Tomatoes, Chives, & Brie – lo-wren (pictured)

Salsa Mac & Cheese – Our Piece of Earth

Homemade Skillet Cheeseburger Macaroni – This Simple Home

Garden Vegetable Beef Skillet – Simply Stacie

Weight Watchers Lime Cilantro Chicken – Penny Pincher Jenny

Easy Gluten Free Paella – Fearless Dining (pictured)

Pizza Pork Chops – A Tipical Day

Cowboy Food – Become A Coupon Queen

Shepherd’s Pie – Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs

Rotini Beef Skillet – Thrifty Jinxy

Chicken Pasta Florentine – Thrifty Jinxy

Red Cabbage, Leek, Brat and Beet Skillet Supper - Farm Fresh Feasts

Tamale Pie with Hatch Chiles – Farm Fresh Feasts

Deep Dish Green Tomato & Goat Cheese Pizza – Farm Fresh Feasts

Roasted Garlic & Fennel Focaccia – Farm Fresh Feasts (pictured)

Roast Potatoes in a Cast Iron Skillet – Amanda’s Cookin’ (pictured)

Udon Noodle Stir Fry – Slap Dash Mom

Skillet Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Toss – Table For Seven

Creamy Tortellini Skillet – Table For Seven (pictured)

Easy One Skillet Nachos – Stockpiling Moms (pictured)

Mexican Pie – A Virtuous Woman

Farmer’s Skillet Hash – The Gracious Wife

One Skillet Breakfast – The Thrifty Couple

Brownies In A Cast Iron Skillet – Amanda’s Cookin’ (pictured)

Make Holiday Entertaining a Breeze with Appliances from Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

holiday entertaining

The weather is turning cooler which means one thing for our family…the holiday season is on the way!  It seems like October begins everything…starting with Halloween, Fall Festivals, the Captain’s birthday, Baby Brother’s birthday, Thanksgiving, D’s birthday, Christmas, and ends with New Year’s Eve.  I am excited for this season, but it means a lot of cooking.  I really love holiday cooking, but there have been times when I have tried to do too much with appliances that were not the best or most efficient.  Have you ever tried to fix a Thanksgiving meal with a tiny oven?  Not fun!  You have to have some major organization and planning skills to get that accomplished on time.

Holidays are a hectic time because everyone is running around, trying to buy the perfect gifts, all while still going to work, school, and trying to maintain a calm environment in the home.  Add in a few holiday bake sales, parties, and get togethers, you really need appliances that will get the job done the first time.  No one has time for a batch of burnt cookies!  I have learned the tricks of my little oven, but I definitely wouldn’t and couldn’t depend on it for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

My recommendation is that if you are in need of a new oven, head to Best Buy and see what you need and buy it now.  That way, you will have a great appliance for this busy season, you will feel less stressed out, and you can pay it off now, before the Christmas bills start rolling in.

Best Buy #holidayprep #adThe Frigidaire FGIF3061NF plus induction allows you to boil water in less than two minutes and spills don’t burn on, so…..your clean up time is shortened!  (This is where I really struggle…..I hate cleaning my stove top!)  The Frigidaire range also includes a convection oven that circulates the air in the oven for quicker baking time.

Best Buy #holidayprep #ad

And something that I can love and appreciate is the double ovens that allow you to cook two different items at the same time at different temperatures like the Whirlpool WGG555S0BS.  It still fits within the space of a standard range.  Spend more time doing what you love this holiday season instead of slaving over a hot stove or oven and waiting on your food to cook.  Get the job done quickly so you can wrap all of those gifts early, go shopping, and actually enjoy your time with your family this holiday season!

Find these and other great appliances as the Best Buy #HolidayPrep shop!  Check out deals like save 25% off major appliances, 18 month financing or 5% back in rewards plus free delivery.

What new appliance are you wishing for this holiday season?

One Skillet Pork Chops and Orange Vegetables

One Skillet Pork Chops and Orange Vegetables

I recently splurged and bought myself a cast iron set.  I had never used cast iron, but after reading about how awesome it truly is, I just had to try it out.  I found a great deal on a five piece Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron set on (affiliate) Amazon and have really been pleased.  I use this set for just about everything.  Clean-up is simple, too.  I just rinse out the pan, dry it completely on the stove, then season it with a little dab of coconut oil and it’s good to go for the next use.  I also found that if some foods DO stick, all you have to do is soak it (no longer than 10 minutes,) scrub it with a sponge, and sprinkle a little table salt in it to get the tricky bits off.  So easy.  And there are no yucky PFOAs or chemicals that leech into your food, so cast iron is definitely the way to go in my opinion.

I love meals that can be cooked in one skillet, start to finish, so I created this delicious One Skillet Pork Chops and Orange Vegetables recipe.  It’s delicious, has great vegetables that complement the meat, and is easy, of course!


  • 3-4 bone-in pork chops
  • 1 TBSP grapeseed oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into the same size as the sweet potato cubes
  • 1 cup of baby carrots, cut in half
  • 3 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Drizzle the grapeseed oil into the bottom of your skillet.
  2. Brown the pork chops over medium/high heat.
  3. While pork chops are cooking, mix your brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, water, and orange juice together.
  4. Turn pork chops and add vegetables on top.
  5. Drizzle orange juice mixture over the vegetables and pork chops.
  6. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.
  7. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.  Make sure to check every so often to make sure you have enough moisture.  If you do not, you can add water, 1/8 cup at a time.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA




Cake Batter Coconut Chocolate Candy

This post contains affiliate links. However, this post was not sponsored by any company.

Cake Batter Coconut Chocolate



I’m the kind of girl who keeps a Costco sized bag of semisweet chocolate chips in the freezer.  What….you don’t do that?  For one, it saves a lot of money, not only because I buy in bulk, but because it’s the only chocolate I really eat.  I can use it for chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip pumpkin bread, or I can grab a handful and share some with the boys midday.  There’s nothing wrong with that…right?  I mean, it could be worse!  Right?

For awhile I was making my coconut chocolate candy often.  D and I would eat it, but no one else really cared for it.  And then I realized that if I’m the only one really eating it, then perhaps I should not be making it anymore.  Huge sigh.  But then, I discovered something new and different from my regular coconut butter …….  CAKE BATTER coconut butter!!!  This is totally NOT sponsored, but this company, Nikki’s, makes amazing flavors of coconut butter and Vanilla Cake Batter is one of them.  Vanilla Cake Batter, people!  Coconut butter that tastes like cake batter.  Here are the ingredients:  organic unsweetened coconut, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic honey, organic vanilla extract, and sea salt.  It’s so delicious right out of the jar, but I made my chocolate candy with it!  And it’s so, so delicious!



  1. Place all ingredients in a double boiler or in a glass measuring cup in a pot of boiling water on the stove.
  2. Melt ingredients, continually whisking or stirring until smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a silicon candy mold.
  4.  Place molds in fridge and let harden.
  5. Keep any uneaten candy in the fridge or cool place.




cake batter chocolate candy