Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bacon Bourbon Apple Fritters

Super excited to have Kerry over here guest posting for you guys while I am away! She is not only one of my best blogger buds but one of my favorite people in real life. and she is bringing you guys a few of my favorite things. if you know me, I always say my favorite things in the world are Jesus, bacon and bourbon. She's covering two out of three today.

I am excited to share Maddie's space with you today. Not only did I connect with Maddie through our blogs, mine being over at Till Then Smile Often, we also became good friends.  We share a love of bacon, and books. She has family up in Massachusetts and I took a road trip to her house to visit. You can read about my trip here and here.

When Maddie told me she was going on vacation to Italy and wanted me to guest post, my first thought was to ask her to squeeze me into her suitcase.  The second thought was to create a recipe incorporating all her special things, like bacon, bourbon and being southern. After giving it some thought I came up with this recipe for Bacon Bourbon Apple Fritters with a Bourbon Sugar glaze. It had all the requirements so I got to taste testing. Sometimes the life of a food blogger can be so hard! ;)


Batter: 2 cups flour ~ 2 TBSP Sugar ~ 2 TSP Baking Powder ~ 1/2 TSP Salt ~ 1/2 TSP Ground Cinnamon ~ 1/2 cup Bacon, pre-cooked and chopped (approx. 6 slices) ~ 2/3 cup milk ~ 2 eggs ~ 1 cup water ~ 2 TBSP Bourbon (I used Evan Williams) ~ 2 cups Apples, diced (approx. 2 medium sized apples)

Bourbon Sugar Glaze: 1/2 cup brown sugar (pack it down tight) ~ 1 TBSP melted Butter ~ 1/4 cup milk ~ 1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar ~ 1 TBSP Bourbon

Bacon Bourbon Apple Fritters-1
Directions: In a mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and bacon. In a smaller bowl mix the eggs, milk water and bourbon. Add to the dry ingredients and add the apples. Stir until fully incorporated.

NOTE: If you find the mix too runny add more flour by the tablespoon, until the desired consistency is reached. If it is too thick add water by the tablespoon. You want it to look similar to a pancake batter.

In a skillet or saute pan heating oil to 375 degrees. Place batter into the oil using a tablespoon. You don't want them to be too big or they won't cook throughout. These cook up fast so have a metal slotted spoon handy to flip them.

Mix up the glaze and serve.



Bloglovin: Till Then Smile Often

Friday, August 29, 2014

Bella Italia

After two months, tonight is finally the night! We fly out for two weeks in Italy and a short stop over in Switzerland. I am too excited to really even try to formulate cohesive sentences so I will throw out a few pictures of the 5 places I am really looking forward to.

Burano ( an island near Venice)
Lake Como


Cinque Terre




and all of the small villages that we will be going to and most specifically, Gassano. It is the village that my husband's grandparents grew up in and most of the family still lives. Our family has an inn on a Vineyard and we are staying there the second week. I mean...a vineyard in Tuscany? If I have to;)

See you guys in a little over two weeks!

linking up with FF, Hey Friday and Friday Favorites

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bands4Good Challenge

I was so excited to hear about the Bands4Good Challenge and all it is doing to keep music alive in our schools. This event is an amazing opportunity for unsigned artists from all over the country to showcase their talents while simultaneously helping a great cause

There are two divisions; school aged (6th though 12th grade) and an adult division (18 and over). Over the next few months, I will be bringing you interviews and a more behind the scenes tour, but for now...below is everything you need to know to sign up or encourage your talented friends to participate. 

You have until Sept 30th to apply!

Innovative Virtual Platform Changes the Paradigm of Fundraising with Bands4Good Challenge, Combining Musical Talent Competition and Donation-Based Voting Opportunities

Applications Now Being Accepted for the 2014 Bands4Good Challenge Benefiting Music Education

Raleigh, North Carolina – Aug. 15, 2014 – The 2014 Bands4Good Challenge™, presented by Doing Good Network™, is accepting applications today through Sept. 30 for its online music talent competition. It uses a proprietary virtual program to help propel aspiring artists while aiming to keep music in our schools through support of nonprofits benefiting music education. Contestants – solo artists and bands in any genre – will compete to earn both fan votes and professional judges’ scores for the chance to win prizes, such as career development, vocal/instrumental coaching, recording studio sessions, performance opportunities and introductions to industry professionals.

Following the application process, people across the United States will have two opportunities to support their favorite participating musicians. First, fans can vote once per day without cost. Second, fans can purchase additional donation votes in package bundles in which the more money donated to support the cause, the more votes granted to the musician of their choice. Professional judges will also score each contestant’s performance looking for exceptional talent.

“The Bands4Good Challenge is an opportunity for up-and-coming artists to compete on a national scale, having their songs judged by industry experts and voted on by people nationwide – all while raising money for charity,” said Fred Fletcher Jr., Doing Good Network CEO and president and Bands4Good co-founder. “It’s a chance to garner huge exposure, invaluable industry access and all while knowing you’re ‘doing good’ for charity.”

The Doing Good Network developed this unparalleled fundraising platform to support deserving causes by connecting andbenefiting nonprofits, musicians and the general public. The surprising founders, four guys with a median age of 65, embrace the digital age and believe everyone has the power to change the world with just one good action at a time. They spent the last four years creating and perfecting the competition’s virtual platform and kicked off a beta test with a North Carolina competition last year.

Now on a national stage, the 2014 competition is open to artists who are unsigned by major record labels. Singers, songwriters, duos, groups, bands and musicians of all genres, instrumentation and styles are encouraged to enter. As part of the submission process, applicants must upload audio of a song they feel best represents their musical talent. Further information, the complete rules and the application form are available at www.bands4good.com.

The 2014 Bands4Good Challenge includes two divisions: the School Division is open to individuals or bands in which all members are between sixth and 12 grade. Contestants must be 13 years of age or older. The Adult Open Division is for artists who are age 18 and older. Winners will be recognized in a number of categories for each division, including Fan Favorite, Charity Champion, Judges’ Pick and Best in Genre.

John “JD” Davenport serves as head judge and is also the Bands4Good co-founder and vice president of music and artist development. His career spans three decades of audio engineering for artists such as Madonna, The Rolling Stones, BJ Thomas, Ronnie Spector, Kenny G, Michael Bolton and Bruce Springsteen just to name a few. Today, John runs a state-of-the-art recording and film studio in North Carolina, Deep River Sound Studios. He will share his studio, audio engineering expertise and mentorship with some of the competition’s top winners.

“The Bands4Good Challenge will help take exceptional, unknown musical talents to the next level; it’s a huge opportunity for artists to be discovered,” said Davenport. “The other professional judges and I will all score contestants based on voice quality, musicianship, creativity, originality and overall entertainment value. We’re looking for super talents, but these individuals will also need to know how to rally their fans to generate votes and donations to help keep music in our schools.”

The 2014 Bands4Good Challenge will focus all philanthropic efforts on music education through select nonprofit partnerships. This includes Little Kids Rock, which aims to give every student the opportunity to unlock his or her inner music-maker. Over the past 12 years, it has given more than 300,000 under-served schoolchildren across the U.S. access to fun, engaging, modern band music classes and brand new instruments at no cost to the students, teachers or school districts. Additionally, Bands4Good has partnered with Arts for Life, which builds bridges and makes lasting connections between the art and healthcare communities of North Carolina. Its programs teach visual arts, music, and creative writing to patients and run five to seven days a week, eight to fourteen hours a day in each of our four different hospital sites.

Contestant applications will be accepted through Sept. 30. The 2014 Bands4Good Challenge preliminary round voting will officially start Oct. 3. The final winners will be announced during a live digital streaming performance show on Nov. 22. To apply, learn more or gear up to vote, visit www.bands4good.com.

About the Bands4Good Challenge
The Bands4Good Challenge™, presented by Doing Good Network™, is an online music talent competition that combines an innovative fundraising platform to help propel aspiring artists while supporting a cause and great nonprofits that serve it. The 2014 Bands4Good Challenge™ is raising money to help keep music in schools across the United States, including nonprofit partnerships with Little Kids Rock and Arts For Life. The entire competition is concepted and produced by the Doing Good Network™, a North Carolina-based organization founded to drive awareness for the benefits of embracing social purpose while creating opportunities for people to “do good” as a lifestyle. It aims to change the paradigm of fundraising by bringing an entrepreneurial approach to helping the less fortunate. Learn more and get in on the action at www.bands4good.com andwww.facebook.com/bands4good

Friday, August 22, 2014

Are You Envious

I am really excited about today's Friday Favorites as it pertains to a good friend of mine. Candy and I have known each other for about five years because our husband's used to work together. We became fast friends and usually can be found together eating and drinking wine.

Candy has always had great style and after being a stay at home mom for a while, she has parlayed that into a nice little business for herself in the form of an on line boutique and, even better...if you are local she does mobile parties and brings the goods to you! 

Check out her website, Candy's Closet Envy 

The clothes are fashionable and what you'd expect to find at a boutique...what you wouldn't expect to find at a normal boutique are her prices, you can actually afford to splurge on a few pieces, go ahead...I did!

and while you are at it, grab yourself some adorable (and affordable!) accessories.

So go ahead, have yourself a look and follow her on instagram or facebook and you may get lucky and win a giveaway. 

and keep in mind shipping is $2.99 and $1 each additional.

Linking up with Amanda, Hey Friday and Momfessionals.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Raspberry Rum Pops

Yesterday was national lemonade day, did you know this? I didn't...until it was too late. I didn't even have any yesterday. How sad. 

But that shouldn't stop you from having some today. and I know the perfect way for you to have some, my raspberry green tea rum pops. That's correct...Rum pops. 

I was lucky enough to be able to guest post for one of my good blog friends, Megan at Fashionista Momma. Megan and I met earlier this summer at Blog U and formed a fast friendship. She is one stylish momma who has lots of healthy recipes, exercise tips and great fashion advice.

Click here to check out my easy summer recipe!