By far my favorite food network star is Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman (check out her blog here). She has the best recipes! She doesn’t use weird ingredients like some and her food actually sounds good. We have made a good number of her recipes and never need disappointed. I click to her pretty frequently to try something new.

On her show Saturday morning, she made something called “spreads” mainly because you spread the cookie dough out on a baking sheet, then spread chocolate over that. I thought I would share her recipe with you all. (she has really good step-by-step pictures, so I thought I would give some two so you can compare how real her food actually looks)


  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Margarine
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 6 ounces, weight ( To 8 Ounces) Chocolate Chips

Mix brown sugar and margarine together until creamy. Then mix in egg. Slowly mix in flour, salt, then vanilla. Remove from mixing bowl to ungreased pan.


Steal a bite of cookie dough.


Spread cookie dough across pan shooting for about 1/4 inch think. I needed to use my fingers and a rolling pin to get it to spread out.


Stare longingly at your empty cookie jar wishing it was full.


Bake at 350 degrees for 14-15 minutes.


Do not turn off oven. While cookie is still hot, pour chocolate chips over the top.


Place back in the oven for a minute or two until the chocolate chips have melted.


Spread the melted chocolate chips evenly over the top of the cookie.


Place in the refrigerator. If you try to cut it while the chocolate is still warm, you will make a mess. I went to a friends house for about 3 hours before I came home and cut it. It probably only needs 30 minutes or so.


Ours needed to sit out of the frig for about 20 minutes before they were really easy to cut. I used a pizza cutter.

Fill up your cookie jar!


Here is Ree’s original recipe. Her show is great! Catch it on at 9:00AM Saturday morning!


My Hometown

I saw this picture on Facebook this morning, and it really got me thinking how great my hometown of Parkville is.


My family likes to believe that the lady in the red coat and the little boy in the green outfit are my great-grandma and great uncle. According to my grandma, they used to walk through downtown Parkville quite often, and they wore those outfits frequently. Whether they are actually my family, we will never know! According to my grandma, this picture also hung in the White House (I think while Truman was president, but she may correct me on that one).


The one on the right is little boy in green and the woman is the lady in the red coat. The little cutie in front is my grandma!

Parkville really is a great town to call home! Some of my favorite things about Parkville are the Fourth of July celebration, Christmas on the River, Stone Canyon pizza, walking in English Landing Park ( and watching it flood every few years), Parkville Presbyterian Church, and of course the Hawthorne House where Travis and I got married.



Another fun fact: my great-grandpa built the funeral home and was the original business owner! Even though it has changed owners multiple times since, it is still a beautiful building in downtown Parkville that I’m proud to be related to.


Main street is also iconic Parkville. The place where I get my hair done is on the left side of this picture. The place were Stone Canyon pizza now lays is on the right.


Park college (now Park University) is also an important part of Parkville. This is my favorite “old” picture of Parkville, boys practicing football with the college in the background. Has anything really changed? Not at all.


The neat, old pictures are all curtsy of my grandma’s Facebook. I’m sure she’ll let me know if I’ve labeled anything or anyone incorrectly. Speaking of grandma, she celebrated her birthday on Monday!


Not a thing has changed! Just as beautiful as always!


Weekend of Trying New Things

With a wonderful three day weekend, Travis and I did some fun, new things.

Travis and I really enjoy making breakfast on weekend mornings, but we normally just make monkey bread, cinnamon rolls, pancakes/waffles, or bacon and eggs. We thought we would combine this and try cinnamon roll waffles! They are super easy. First, heat up your waffle iron, spray with cooking spray, and open your favorite canned cinnamon rolls. Then place a cinnamon roll on the griddle.


Then close waffle iron. Ours only cooked for about two minutes.


If you want, you can push more than one cinnamon roll together to make a bigger waffle, but this is just one!


Then spread the waffle with the frosting in the can. Ours was cream cheese 🙂


Eat and enjoy! Gotta have morning coffee! Panera hazelnut, yum


Travis and I also tried a new restaurant called Chuy’s on the plaza. So tasty! We started with a frozen margarita swirl and queso dip. They have incredible salsa too!


I got the vegetarian combo. It can with a chili relleno and a veggie enchilada (squash, onion, peppers, corn, chilis, and cheese).


We also tried a new movie theater over the weekend. We went to the theater in the Ameristar and saw The Book Thief. Great book, and pretty good movie! The tickets were only six dollars on Sunday and if was not very busy at all.

Travis and I also tried a new church this weekend called Vineyard, off of 169, close to 435. Travis and I really enjoy it! Great atmosphere and the pastor seemed very relatable. One of our friends works on the staff and deals with media and communication.

Weekends are a great time to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. Any new things we should try? We take suggestions 🙂

A Few of My Favorite Things – January Edition

It’s Friday!! So I thought I would share some of my recent favorite things.

1. The BBC series Sherlock. It’s very entertaining and quite addicting if you are into Sherlock Holmes stories (or even if you’re not). We have been watching them over the past few weeks. Check them out at your local library!

2. Metro North Mall, get your walk on! Travis and I have been going a few times a week, not only to walk but to spend some uninterrupted time together.

3. Snapchat. I only snapchat a few friends but they are pretty hilarious. I would NEVER screenshot one of my friends snapchats, but I have saved a few of my own:



4. Veggies. Okay, I lie a little. Veggies aren’t my favorite, but I have been holding strong on my New Years resolution. And I have been feeling more energized! Green smoothie in the morning and veggies with my lunch!

5. Jimmy Fallon’s #hashtags. If you need a pick me up, look them up on YouTube. My favorite is probably #sharkrap. Actually just about anything from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is worthwhile (Jimmy and Justin Timberlake singing Africa by ToTo at summer camp is another classic).

6. The Piano Guys pandora station. They play popular music, only all instrumental. It’s a great station to use a school! The kids like it, but it’s not über distracting or using inappropriate language.

7. Chocolate ice cream with a shot of Kahlua. I got the idea from Penny on The Big Bang Theory. I think she really is the smart one…

What are your January favorites?

Best Chicken Marinade

For those of you that know my eating habits, know I’m not a big meat eater. I could make a meal out of apps and side dishes (and I often do!) however, Travis and I made the best chicken tonight in the yummiest marinade. Here it is:

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 apple cider vinegar
1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken

Mix the first four ingredients together. Pour into a big ziplock bag. Cut chicken into strips and place into ziplock bag with marinade. Zip the bag and shake the marinade all over the chicken. Place in frig over night. Travis went out and fired up the grill, but this would be yummy baked too.


Ignore the bite, I got a little excited to try it. We had more than just one strip a piece

We served ours with green giant roasted vegetables and bisquick 3-cheese drop biscuits. This is the first time I actually ate more meat than sides!

I also finished The Boom Thief last night and would highly recommend it (especially if you like historical fiction or World War II based books). It’s a young adult book, so it’s a pretty quick read, heavy content though. Now onto the next book in the Pretty Little liars series (reminder: I spend 40 hours a week with 14 and 15 year olds, don’t judged me!)

My Wardrobe Obbession

I think I may have mentioned in previous posts, that I have a bit of an Old Navy obsession. I joke that 90% of my wardrobe is from Old Navy. On an average day, I am wearing at least one piece of clothing from them (currently it is my jeans). Being the math teacher that I am, I decided to actually figure out the percentage of clothing in my closet from Old Navy. 




I didn’t include shoes in my count. Since I use to work at Shoe Carnival, I’m still a pretty loyal Carny. My shoes were just really begging to have their picture taken too.

I discovered that 48% of the clothes in my closet were Old Navy. Still a pretty high percentage. I also included high school sweatshirts, college clothing, workout clothes, and Benton High School shirts that are in my closet. So the percentage of clothes I actually wear on a regular basis may be higher percentage Old Navy.


Other clothing stores I like to shop at are New York and Company, Target, and other online stores.


While conducting this experiment, I also learned that I have over 300 articles of clothing just in my closet, yikes! I try to go at least a month without repeating tops and/or dresses/skirts (I normally repeat pants), but 300 pieces! My new New Year’s Resolution, donate some clothes! It is entirely too selfish of me to have that much clothing. I also don’t have any of my t-shirts, shorts, tank tops, sweatpants, or PJs in the closet. In my defense, I hardly ever buy clothes full price. (For those of you that are bargain shoppers and like Old Navy like me, great clearance sale going on right now!)


Happy Sunday everyone! Looking forward to a full week back to school…

Movies, TV shows, and books OH MY!

In honor of the day off school today due to the incredibly low temperature and wind chill, I thought I would update you all on what I did over winter break. Travis and I went to the movies a lot (thanks to our AMC gift cards for Christmas), we watched a lot of TV series, and spent hours reading.


Anchorman 2


We saw this one in Maryville where Travis claims is home to the best movie popcorn ever. The team gets back together to work for a 24 hour news station. I thought it was pretty funny, but a lot of the jokes were very similar to the first one. Brick (Steve Carell) stole the show in my opinion. Its worth a redbox, but you probably don’t need to rush out and see it in theater.

Saving Mr. Banks


BEST MOVIE! This one wins my favorite movie over Christmas break and one of my favorite movies of the year. Its the story of how Disney and the writer of the Mary Poppins books came to bring the story to the big screen. It makes you look at Mary Poppins with a whole new perspective.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


Also a very inspirational one. Its about a man who works for Life Magazine as they are producing their last print issue. He loses the picture for the front cover and goes abroad to find it. WARNING: This movie really makes you want to travel to Iceland. You might also starting taking Ben Stiller a little more seriously.

American Hustle


This is about a pair of con artists that get forced into working with the FBI to bring down some major power brokers, politicians, and the mafia. I thought the actors did an incredible job (Jennifer Lawerence in particular) but the story dragged a little bit around the 90 minute marker. You will definitely want to go out and buy some hot rollers after this because Amy Adams hair always looked fantastic.


The Big Bang Theory – Season 6


The Big Bang Theory at its best! This season starts with Howard in space after his recent marriage to Bernadette. Sheldon and Amy continue to figure out their “relationship” as Penny and Leonard progress in theirs. Sheldon hires an assistant to help him and begins his “Fun with Flags” web show. Raj meets a girl at a Valentine’s Day party. We also get to hear how talented Howard’s character is when he does impressions of famous people. I think my favorite episode is when the girls go to Disneyland and get princess makeovers.

American Horror Story (Season 1)


All of the American Horror Story seasons are independent of the others, so if one season sounds good, but the others don’t, no need to watch them all! This one is set in present time at a haunted house. A new family moves into the house and once you move in, you never move out. You get to meet all the interesting characters that also remain in the house while also watching the family deal with their normal family problems. Can get gory, scary, and sexual at times. Not something to watch with small children.

American Horror Story Asylum (Season 2)


This season is mostly set in the 60s. Its about an asylum that houses the criminally insane. This season has a lot of different elements to it, including crazy nuns, insane doctors, the devil, a serial killer, aliens, zombie-like people, and former Nazis. There is more sexual content in this season too. The makeup artists for this show are incredible! WARNING: these shows can give you some weird nightmares. Try to watch them as quickly as you can to avoid sleepless nights if you’re a wimp like me.




This is the second book in the Divergent trilogy. If you like The Hunger Games, this is one for you. Its a dystopian society based in Chicago in the distant future. I won’t tell you too much about this book in particular, since you should read the first book before this one. At age 16, each member of society must pick one faction to enter. Each faction holds a different value, and most people fit only into one. However, the lead character Beatrice Prior fits into more than one, making her a divergent.



I grew up with a major Stephen King fan (my dad), but never really got into his books. This story, however, is my favorite Stephen King novel. Its a coming-of-age story about a college student dealing with his first heartbreak while working at a summer amusement park called Joyland. Joyland holds a few of its own secrets including a murder story. This is not nearly as scary or gory as some of his other books. Great if you want to read a book by a legend writer without the nightmares!

Girls in White Dresses


A cute story about a group of female friends during their 20s. The book is written in episodes, so its important to read them all and in order, but each chapter is a single story fitting into the larger picture. The girls graduate college, move to different cities, get new jobs, live in new apartments, date different boys, get married, get divorced, travel, and drink through it all. Its a really great story if you are a 20-30 year old female with a group of really close girl friends. Its also a very quick read.

The Book Thief


I am only 1/4 of the way through this book, but so far its wonderful! Its about a poor German girl during World War II. After her brother dies and her mother gives her away, she is forced to live with a foster family. With the help of her new papa, she slowly learns to read. She learns to fall in love with books. I’m not there yet, but I believe the foster family will take in a Jew to keep safe as well.

That’s my winter break in a nutshell! Travis and I are spending our unexpected last day of break sleeping, watching Monsters Inc, and throwing boiling water into the air to watch it steam away! Stay warm today and maybe enjoy a good book, TV show, or movie!