31.10.12

Whoopie Pie Wednesday:Pumpkin Cheesecake

yum, people, yum.  Pumpkin, yes, please. cheesecake? Always...combined, even. better! That's pretty much all I can say about these. And there are a few different ways you can make these, so pay attention and make accordingly...



Ingredients
version 1
pumpkin cookie mix
and whatever ingredients the package calls for, make cookies and cool.
version 2
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
filling
version 1
cheesecake pudding
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup whipping cream
version 2
1 packet cheesecake pudding
1 cup milk
1 tub cool whip

If you use version 2 to make cookies, here are directions. Preheat oven to 350'
Mix together cake mix, pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and spice. Place by heaping tbsp on lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8/9 min and cool on rack.

filling
version 1
beat softened cream cheese until fluffy, add half the dry packet of pudding(or the whole one, your taste here) and about a tbsp of whipping cream, beat on low till completely combined. Add the rest of the whipping cream and beat on high till stiff peaks form. Place in fridge for an hour to set up. 

version 2
make pudding with one cup of cold milk, place in fridge for about 10 min to set up. then mix w/cool whip. Place in Fridge for about an hour.

To make the pies, take one cookie and place a big dollop(ummm. I will use ANY excuse to use the word dollop. Hello, how fun is that word. If you don't think so, please reevaluate your idea of word fun;) then place other cookie on top. 

Notes*** basically you could make this so many ways. Per yesterdays post, you could make this cheesecake pudding any flavor you love...caramel or even pumpkin spice would be delish. Not sure where you are, but if you could find either the cinnamon or french vanilla cool whips to use instead of regular...can only imagine that also being fantastical!

have a fabulous Halloween! The hubs and I will be passing out candy and then heading out to our 3rd party of the season. and to think I thought my 20's were fun. meh. I'll take 30's any day!!!

30.10.12

my best friends

in the world  my kitchen are these simple little goodies:


Some of you think I'm joking...how can a woman with an innate abhorrence of coffee fiend for these babies? Easily. I promise. and nope, I never rarely use them in conjunction with coffee.
I do, however, use them in fun recipes that involve pudding...that's right, never have plain vanilla pudding again. Want Irish cream pudding, voila. simple. I make puddings and mix it w/cream cheese and/or cool whip to make a frosting.

I also use it to change up the flavor combinations when I whip up a version of this; french toast casserole. The pumpkin spice creamer is amazing with brown sugar and butterscotch chips in the Fall...and ummmm. Caramel creamer w/shredded apples. The possibilities are endless.

Just think outside the normal realm and you can prepare just about anything!


and my phone went to the dark place, it was a piece of absolute *$@# well overdue.  and b/c of such, my pictures are in purgatory  Really, really hoping that when I get my new one they can transfer! Fingers crossed. Cross your fingers too, I mean, I have super fabulous pictures and recipes to share.

25.10.12

Ooey Gooey Bars: Fluffernutter & a Lil Retro

In case you hadn't guessed from this post, I love me some fluffernutter. In all forms. I mean, let's all get serious for a second. Unless you have a peanut allergy(and poor Blakey, this always makes me think how hard that is for my friend trying to make sure he's safe) how can you not love this. like I believe people should throw down in line to get to anything that combines marshmallows and peanut butter. 


Anyways, we had the party this past weekend and I had been wanting to make some ooey gooey bars for everyone and I was skimming over ideas and remembered I had seen a peanut butter one once before and then decided to make it my favorite way. You're welcome. In advance.



Here's all you will need to make this treat a reality, super simple and fast!


Ingredients:
Cake:
1 box chocolate cake mix
8 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg


Center:

1 pkge of minature marshmallows
1 pkge of mini reeses cups


Filling:

1 8 oz pkge of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
8 tbsp butter, melted
16 oz powdered sugar
3 tbsp peanut butter
3 tbsp marshmallow fluff

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer.  Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
 Sprinkle on the marshmallows and reese's, there's no rhyme or reason. Do it as you want. As much or as little of either.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the eggs and butter and beat together.  melt the pb & fluff in the microwave for 10 seconds and add to filling, beat until incorporated.
Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.
Go getcha some!

and just a teaser from the party....


24.10.12

Whoopie Pie Wednesday: Oatmeal Butterscotch

One of my all time favorite cookies it the "scotchie" it's basically an oatmeal cookie w/butterscotch chips all throughout. Whenever I have one it makes me think of my dad. He loves them and it's where my adoration was born, So, when I needed to come up with a whoopie pie for a Halloween party last weekend, I wanted to reinvent this decadent treat and here is what I came up with. Kinda tasty, so if you like some yummy goodness(let's hope you do, if not, you're in the wrong place;)





Ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup veggie oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 cup Quaker Oatmeal (not instant)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 packet butterscotch pudding
1 cup whipping cream
4-6 oz cream cheese softened
(see notes below if you want cool whip version instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine cake mix, oil, eggs, water, oatmeal and brown sugar in bowl.   
Drop by 2 tablespoons onto lined cookie sheet (leave about an inch between each cookie)

Bake 8-9 minutes

Cool on pan 5 minutes, move to wire rack and cool 15 more minutes

Beat softened cream cheese on low for a min or until fluffy, add dry pudding packet & two tbsp of whipping cream, beat on low till pudding is fully incorporated into cream cheese and add remaining whipping cream, turn speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Let set in fridge for at least an hour before frosting. 

Take one cookie and place a tablespoon or so of frosting in the center.  Press another cookie on top (this will spread the icing out to the edge).

Notes*** the second time I made these, I couldn't find real oats so I used 2 packets of the quakers instant maple & brown sugar, I omitted the extra brown sugar. Both versions were pretty good, but the real oats give it more...depth(can a cookie have depth? haha)
and if you want the quick frosting version, just make the pudding w/1 cup cold milk and after about 20 min in the fridge, mix it with cool whip. Both are good. if I say so myself. and I do;)


18.10.12

Weekly Addiction: Dunkachino

Seriously. I have a problem. What can I say, when I like something, I love it to the full extent. I am mainly a hot tea girl. I'm half British, that explains everything. I cannot, no matter how hard I try and be a big girl mature adult, I abhor coffee. Wiki is half Italian, half Lebanese. Cafe flows in his veins, he tries, to no avail, to make me adore it. One day he'll grasp it, it's not happening. Ergo, his attempts will continue to be flops. It is not that I don't like coffee flavor, I actually do. Coffee ice cream is my constant companion(look people, I am a woman, it is my duty to not make sense) just gross, coffee is just. Yeah, I don't know, it's too watery. haha Only tea should be that way!!!



But, alas, the point of my addiction. For a little added caffeine, I decided a few years ago to try a dunkachino from Dunkin Donuts, it's half coffee/half hot chocolate. and thus was born an unending love affair. It's ok, Wiki knows about it, he's cool with it. so there is a DD right adjacent to our neighborhood, and basically they know me. really.really.well. I get it almost the same way, every day. "I would like a large Dunkichino w/a little extra coffee in the bottom, caramel and whip cream" 
During the Fall it becomes pumpkin caramel and the winter, mint.

But they know me so well that I sent Wiki to get it one morning, and as I was explaining the directions(wondering if I should just go myself) and then made him repeat it back to me, I endured the famous "eye roll", you know the one ladies, when they think we aren't looking. Wrong. we.see.everything. and 10 minutes later he waltzed back in, looks at me and declares "You have an addiction" (duh) I was like "your point?" He went through the drive thru and said he had only spoken the words, "I need a large dunkachino and I need it made slightly weird"(weird? how rude) and before he could specify the order the response was "do you want it w/a little coffee in the bottom, caramel and whip cream?" He said he paused, completely incredulous, and responded "yes, that way please"

Haha, now that's customer service. and it's led to a slight embarrassment at another, rather popular Coffee chain that you may be familiar with...last year I was in auto pilot mode and heading to get my drink, the drive thru was wrapped around so I decided to run in quickly, my mind was elsewhere. I finally am ready to order, give my usual dunkachino spiel, and as I get my money, hear this slightly snotty retort "Dunkachinio? excuse me, what's that? Do you mean a frappachino?" this is when I slowly start to take in my surrounding and realize that, yep, I'm at Starbucks, not DD. The 16 year old barista is looking at me like I am a complete idiot and the man next to me is laughing. I quickly changed my order to a Venti zen tea, hot...and ran out of there mortified and then, the second I got in my car...started laughing hysterically. 

Like I said, I love what I love;) Just remember, America runs on Dunkin!
PS(I may or may not be drinking a zen tea as I type this, the irony isn't lost on me;)

and can I say how sorry I am for those of you that don't have an Elizabeth at yours? She is the epitome of what every owner ever should want working for them. She is sweet and funny and is always excited to gab with me.

17.10.12

Pumpkin Butterscotch No Bake Cheesecake

Nom. Nom. Nom. These were rather tasty. and just the right size. and the best part? oh.so.simple! I love the collision of these two flavors. So gooooood.  and it was the perfect occasion to use those candy corn pumpkins as decorations on actual food instead of the house projects that pesky pinterest has put me up to.(and no, I didn't eat mine. ech. haha I just offended half my friends)

Ingredients
4 oz pumpkin cream cheese(softened)
2 oz cream cheese(softened)
1 pkge cheesecake pudding(dry)
1/3 cup butterscotch ice cream sauce
butterscotch sauce to pour over top( you'll decide how much)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
mini graham cracker crusts
1 bag mini candy corn pumpkins

Directions
beat the cream cheese on low for 1 min till fluffy, add the pudding packet and roughly 2 tbsp of the whipping cream and continue beating on low to incorporate the dry pudding into the cream cheese. Then slowly add the 1/3 cup butterscotch and continue till thoroughly mixed, add the whipping cream a little at a time and slowly build the speed up to high, whipping till fluffy peaks form.
Pour into the crusts(I actually used piping bags, but you can do either) drizzle tops w/butterscotch sauce and top w/mini pumpkin candy. Place in freezer for at least 2 hrs.

Notes***you could use all pumpkin cream cheese. I just am not an overly huge pumpkin fan(gasp) and if you can't find pumpkin cream cheese, you could add 1 or 2 tbsp of the pumpkin pie filling on the first step of making cream cheese fluffy. 

and I've received your texts/messages, I'm still writing the ptsd posts, just been contemplating what to say. Plus, I'll include some pics from the actual walk, which was ah...mazing!


Whoopie Pie Wednesday: Create Your Own

This past weekend I had the pleasure of keeping Chase, the little boy I previously nannied for and his three cousins. At first I wondered what I would do for 4 hours to keep 4 children ranging in age from 2 to 9 busy and not whining crying for momma to come back. Then it hit me...food project. and the the genius hit again  whoopie pie madness. That's right, I unleashed 4 children in the kitchen. and it was a blast.

Since this is a kiddie project, there really are no rules. I will give you what I used to "create" their masterpieces  but you can adapt this any and every way possible.

1 box white yellow cake mix(I wanted Halloween Funfetti, but they were out)
2 eggs
1/3 cup veggie oil
1/4 cup water
1 jar of Halloween sprinkles
filling
1 jar cream cheese frosting
Halloween sprinkles



Preheat oven to 350'
Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs and water, then add whatever amount of sprinkles you want. 
I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes


Top with the frosting and then line the kiddies up and let them decorate these however they'd like! the kids loved doing this and enjoyed eating them even more!

12.10.12

Fluffernutter Cheesecake Dip

so simple. so good. and it made me slightly nostalgic for my childhood. Can I tell you something? I only ate one cold sandwich growing up(actually room temp, but let's not muse over details) and it wasn't a PB & J, nope, it was the delectable treat known as a fluffernutter. Oh, be still my heart. Goodness in a little girls life. So I've tried adapting the treat to a few of my favorite things, so far I've made whoopie pies, ooey gooey bars and then finally, this super simple dip.


Ingredients
4-6 oz cream cheese(softened)
2 tbsp peanut butter(melted)
2 tbsp marshmallow fluff(melted)
1 packet cheesecake pudding
1 cup heavy whipping cream
(or cool whip & milk to make pudding, I'll give those directions also)

place pb & fluff in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 5-10 seconds(be sure to watch carefully, there's nothing more gagifying than burned pb.trust me) then add to softened cream cheese and beat on low for roughly a minute, till the mixture is fluffy. Add half the packet of pudding and 2 tbsp of whipping cream. Beat to fully incorporate and then add remainder of whipping cream and beat till stiff peaks form. Place in fridge for at least an hour or until ready to serve. if you wanted to use cool whip, mix the pudding packet with 1 cup cold milk and after it sets up, mix with cool whip, then whisk together w/the cream cheese, pb and fluff.

These are great with graham crackers or apples and pretzels w/salt gives it a nice twist. I also use this as an "instant cheesecake" and pour mixture over pre made crust and put in fridge for 2 hours. It's also quite tasty rolled up in crescent rolls and baked for 10 minutes, maybe add some mini reese's. The ideas are endless.

I drank the water...

and it still hasn't worked. I wish I had a dollar for every time I am hanging out with a group of ladies and there are numerous ones who are preggers and inevitably someone tells me "it's in the water here, drink some".  I apparently have some unfortunate immunity to it. As I stated in this previous post, I having been struggling with infertility for the past 7 and 1/2  years. That is a long a$$ time.  The point of today will be to explain how infertility and my bipolar have merged to be a major stressor for me.

There are the women who know early on they want to have babies, there are the girls who think that one day, probably, but no rush, there are the ladies who think they don't really want them and suddenly life is catching up, the clock is ticking and they're reevaluating and then...the ones who know being a mom isn't in their cards. I was the girl who never questioned I would be a mom, it would be my biggest job, the question was always when.

The struggles with my bipolar and the traumas I endured  led to a life of confusion, waking up day to day and wondering my purpose. I always knew that once I had a baby, my purpose would be so apparent. This added to my pain when it didn't happen so readily. They make it look so easy in the movies, as if  you look at each other and a baby grows there by osmosis. Not so much, although it did for my mother, she got pregnant even after she had her tubes tied..this is one thing we don't have in common. Rude.

Wiki and I have been married for over 9 years, I am almost 34 and I can tell you unequivocally that I never thought I'd be in this position  I am from the South and the country at that, people get married early here and have 3.5 kids by the time they are 25. I figured I'd be a little later, maybe wait till 26...but alas, I married me a Boston boy and well, there's that.

I have had surgery for endometriosis 3 times now and I have numerous cysts and fibroid tumors, this is not my body screaming it's ready to make a baby. I knew there would be difficulties, but not to this extent. I. was. wrong. We were at a wedding in Dec of 06, it was the first of my husbands high school friends to be married(3 1/2 yrs after us) the next couples were getting married in the next 8 months, there was a discussion as to what the next "couple milestone" amongst the friends would be...everyone agreed it would be Wiki and I having the first baby. It is 6 years later and we are the only couple left who doesn't have a baby, Jinx much?

I wish I could say I was above tears, that I hadn't cried over friends/families pregnancies. but I'm just not that strong and with that has come guilt,  guilt that I shed tears for the happiness of people that I love. Luckily I have always been able to keep it to myself and muster smiles and congrats for my friends. and I am incredibly happy for each of them, that is something I am actually good at, I have the ability to feel joy and excitement for the people I love while feeling pain for myself and what I'm missing.

This last year was one discovering myself, of getting healthy. I had to spend last year debating with God. I had to ask a lot of questions of myself and my faith, of what I believe and am willing to accept. in my life I have seen tragedies and experienced terrible things, but I have also seen joyous events and I have been a prayer warrior for people who needed it. I was the woman who could quote a verse for someone in need. and I had a conundrum, I had to wonder if God's plans for my life and mine were the same. what if having a baby wasn't what He wanted for me. Is my faith and everything I have proclaimed to believe my whole life, is it real? If it isn't in the cards for me, can I accept that. Right now, I'd like to say yes, but I'm not perfect. I truly hope God's plan for me involves a sweet baby(maybe 2) I mean, hello with Wiki's olive skin and black hair and my blue eyes, give it up...our kid is gorgeous already;)

there are those that say people with mental illness should never have kids. basically I am contemptuous towards those people. There are many things I have failed at, that I am not good at, and while I won't be perfect(ummm, who is?) and I know there are times it will be overwhelming, it's the one thing in my life I know I am meant to do, whether I have my own or am blessed to raise someone else's as mine.

Infertility is a struggle, miscarriages damage you, make you feel like something is wrong with you. For 8 years, each month I have been reminded I am a failure, that my body isn't cooperating. It is hard to explain. I don't know how to tell you how desperately I want to be somebody's "mommy" to wipe tears, to change diapers, to shake my head in exasperation when they're having a melt down. I long for it all...

the ache and yearning you have for someone who has yet to exist except in the depths of your heart, isn't something words can adequately express.

Perhaps, soon. Perhaps not. But I'm mentally getting to a place where I can accept it, but it would be disingenuous to say it's easy.

Tomorrow I'll discuss PTSD, then that's it. back to food and drinks and bargains.





10.10.12

Whoopie Pie Wednesday: Pumpkin Caramel

What says Fall better than pumpkin and caramel? Not much, just ask Bath & Body Works, this must be why a majority of their Fall candles involve the confluence of these two scents. Pure goodness. And they just so happen to taste good as well!!! These have been requested no less than 6 times in the last 2 weeks, I think that is a good sign;)

Ingredients
cookies
1 box caramel cake
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup water
filling
4-6 oz pumpkin flavored cream cheese(softened)
1 cup heavy whipping cream(cold)
1 packet cheesecake flavor pudding packet

Preheat oven to 350'
Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs and water
I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes

For the filling
Cream softened cream cheese on low for 1 minute to get fluffy, add half the pudding packet, and 2 tbsp whipping cream, beat until fully incorporated and slowly add the remaining whipping cream and beat until peaks begin to form. Set in fridge for an hour to firm up.


Once the cookies have cooled, lay one cookie flat, top it w/the filling and then place it's partner on top. 


***Notes
the only place I have seen the caramel cake mix is The Gates of Hell Walmart, so if you can't find it anywhere, you should be able to add 2/3 tbsp of caramel ice cream topping to a yellow cake mix to get the caramel flavoring. and the pudding packet is optional, you don't have to use it. and if you can't find the pumpkin cream cheese(this is everywhere here) you could add 2 tbsp of pumpkin pie filling to regular cream cheese and get same effect.

All I know is this is like Fall, jumping all around in your mouth. Get on it, people, get on it. and you should probably burn the pumpkin caramel latte candle while you're at it, just to fully immerse yourself in all things Fall.

And thank you to everyone who wrote the kind words, messages and texts. Each one was special to me. Yesterday's post wasn't easy to write, but the reactions made me gad I did it.

9.10.12

I so cray cray...

ummm. in the literal sense people. and so today here's part of my story. This weekend is the 24th annual Walk For Hope to support the struggle with mental illness, which is a cause that's close to my heart er, head, if we're being specific;) I'm sitting here at my dining room table listening to music, candles burning all around and trying to ascertain how to properly parlay my jumbled thoughts to words in order to formulate cohesive sentiments. Here is where you wish me luck(or perhaps, as you're the one reading this, you throw some luck your way too) 

First off, prepare...this will be rather in depth and long and very personal(gulp) it may be jumbled and rambling at times, but that is how my mind works, I do, after all, have bipolar,  Welcome to my madness. I am more nervous than you can fathom, I am setting myself up for speculation and negative at that, in a time in my life that can be destructive...but if I can bring hope to one person or information to another...this will be worth it.

So, with trembling hands, here I go.

If you have ever met me you probably know(or possibly noticed) these things. I have a raging country accent(that gets worse when I'm tired or had a drink and I start saying things like "I suwannee") I love purses. and jackets. oh, and boots. and if you ever compliment me on them, I will delve into a ten minute spiel as to how they were "originally $200 or so and I got them for $28" yada yada, I read around 10-12 books a week, I watch sportscenter 3/4 times a day, I am a terrible driver(hello, I am a woman, so I'm faultless here) I quote the most random facts( I am often times blissfully unaware of how "factless" my quotes are), I snort when I laugh, I talk with my hands, I forget I tell a story and I tell it again(haha lots) I am easy to please, I love the South and my heart is in the country, but my free flowing spirit was meant for the city, I adore my nephews, My husband holds my heart, Jesus stole my soul, I am such a terrible singer that I lip sync in church, don't judge, Jesus knows the words of my heart!!! My main vice is I have a foul mouth, I turn my heat to 80' when my husband leaves the house(in the summer, yes, Aimers, we all know I'm weird) I have insane and ridiculous food allergies, and ummm, yeah...I don't eat green, leafy things. I am uncoordinated. I love compliments, giving and receiving. If I'm wrong, I'll say it. I think cowboy boots are rad, I am a mean dancer...like Shakira says, my hips don't lie. I was a born dancing in rthymatic motion(let's not count that time when I was uber fat and I "got low" and had to stay low cause I needed help to get back up. shhhh people. shhh) I often get loud when I get excited. I hate UNC so much that I intermittently don't like a blue sky(but I do love my Crompton) I will out brag you on bargains. don't try. If I hurt someone's feelings, I cry. unless, you messed w/my mamma or something. My Yankee husband has evened me out.I love to cook, and I hate to clean...

but this is about the things you may not know. I was sexually abused by the son of a babysitter for 2 years when I was 3, I broke my leg in 6th grade, had to be home schooled and got fat(not in the p.h.a.t. way, more so the l.a.r.d.) when I was 14 I was brutally sexually assaulted, in 1994 at age 15, my mind was spinning out of control, the turmoil of my heart making no sense and I took hundreds and hundreds of pills, my two younger brothers found my in a grand mal seizure, I was rushed to a hospital, I suffered cardiac arrest and congestive heart failure, I survived but was left w/frontal lobe epilepsy. I spent a week in intensive care and was then put in a hospital, you know the kind, "mental ward, crazy unit, institution  think girl interrupted  I was diagnosed with bipolar and severe depression...thus would begin my 18 year battle w/hospitals, over medications  different diagnosis and all out hell. I was anorexic, I spent the next three years in and out of hospitals(11 to be exact) I became involved in a very abusive relationship, I worked jobs and attended college and pulled off being "normal" for periods of time before the hell would begin to reign down again. I then became very ill b/c of my bulimia and was rushed from one hospital to another to treat what was considered the more "critical" illness at the time.  It was one of the most hellish experiences of my life, my mom had to get a court order to have me released against dr.;s orders. I called 911 from this place, at the time, not funny, now, my mother and I laugh about it. I had tried roughly 25 medicine combinations at this point, I had dr.'s saying I had one thing, then another saying I didn't...I was 19 and I decided that this was my burden in life and since I sucked at successfully killing myself(I tried 4 times) that I would pretend to be happy, I would be the girl I was supposed to be. 

I met my husband when I was 22. He was(and is) better than I deserve, even in my heartbreaks, my anger, my illness having such a hold over me, even when he loves me in a way I need but can't see at the time...the Lord gave him to me, I survived b/c of him and in spite of myself. He knew my ugly past(although not the true depths of how ugly, remember I wear a mighty fine mask) and he saw past my flaws and loved me anyways. And I thought I could beat my illness, I thought I had a hold of it. I didn't need medicine to be "normal" and oh, how wrong I was, it slowly but surely began to have me in the depths of it's grips again. and the thing with mental illness is that we're often the last to see, it hides in our inner workings...it is the enemy within. I pulled it off for a while, then infertility happened, and after a 7 year struggle w/endometriosis and fibroid tumors that led to a miscarriage, my ability to pretend had forsaken me. The hole in your heart when you so desperately yearn for a baby is indescribable, if someone has never encountered it for themselves, you won't get it. and it is enough to send a person who has never suffered from any form of mental illness to their knees. for me, I skipped my knees and went straight to the floor.and I wept to Jesus, over and over. at the time I thought he wasn't fulfilling Jeremiah 29:11, it wasn't till later I realized he was saving me from myself(you know, that whole, "he knows what he's doing thing")

Last year is when the out of control spiral of my life finally caught up, I was barely coherent, the simplest, most mundane tasks such as washing my hair was enough to leave me in a heap on the floor, bawling. I had no control over my thoughts  I never cleaned, I left my house unkempt; flip flops, yoga pants and stained t shirts. I began isolating myself from everyone. And a lot more that was far from the woman of character I believe myself to be. and I knew that if I didn't get help that I would try to end my life once again, b/c once your illness is full on, it's not a choice you make, your illness makes it for you, every thought you have is illogical. 

and so for 8 days, I went back to where I swore I would never go again.."the crazy pad" and it started off the same, so drugged up I fell asleep when my husband visited me, vomiting and shaking uncontrollably from the side effects. I remember thinking that was it, it would always be this way. There was no way out...then this strange thing happened, the dr.'s actually listened to me, they took me off the medicines that I reacted to in a negative manner and kept me there till I was stabilized. and then, the Dr.'s at Duke led to the one person who would show me that I could in fact shape my future and let go of my past, one Colleen Sloan. The 28 year old intern who would change my life, a little at a time. I was diagnosed w/PTSD from the traumas of my childhood and for the last 14 months I have been treated for that, alongside my bipolar. PTSD treatment is the inner depths of Hell, and later this week I will delve into the topic, I'll be more specific, but for right now, it's giving me on one thing that my entire life always evaded me...hope. So you see, Jer 29:11 was there the whole time, I just couldn't grasp it.

The next few days I will write entries that are more in depth about ptsd treatment, hospitalizations  and infertility. I will also write a few food blogs, as that is the purpose of my blog, this week is just an anomaly,  but one that is important to me...

I would love to hear your thoughts or comments, feel free to leave one or to email me if you have a more in depth sentiment. It would mean a lot. my email is thewhimsy1@gmail.com


and if you would consider giving to the walk this weekend, my friend Jeremy is walking again this year, last year he did it soon after I got out of the hospital and only later did I learn he walked in my honor...to date it is one of the most meaningful "gifts" anyone has given me. if you can't give a monetary gift, your thoughts are appreciated!  if you are able to give, here is the link to his donation page:walk for hope donation link

Feel free to forward this along to anyone who may want to read it...

and the next time you call somebody crazy, just remember, this is what it actually looks like...    
                                                         Pretty awesome, I know;) duh.







and just remember tomorrow is time time to make some whoopie!, that's right, whoopie pie Wednesday and it's pumpkin caramel.

7.10.12

Pinterest Project: Candy Corn Candle Holder

This was a rather tasking project. I had to buy a vase and some candy corns, then I had to open the bags and pour them in and set the candle atop the candy corns. and then to make it even more daunting, I had to take some candy corns out and situate them in a more purposeful manner. It cost me $3 whole dollars and a tiring 12 minutes to complete. So...you have to be prepared to do this, it's mentally exhausting. haha

Small to medium vase
2 small bags of candy corn(or 1 large)
1 small candle(in some candle safe container)

fill vase a little more than half way

make certain that candy corns are even/flat

lay candle in center

I may have had 87 a few bath & body works mini candles laying around

throw remaining candy corns around candle and light.

One of my favorite pinterest projects to date, despite the time and effort I spent;) I think for Christmas time I may do peppermints. Yum!

I want to do a similar one with the pumpkin shaped candy corns. We'll see.

As always, Happy Fall!


sausage throw in...

Yeah, you like that title? Well...someone asked me what this was and my mind blanked and I finally said it was sausage and what else I had to throw in, so there you go. Uber fancy, huh? I know. haha  However, this is super simple and pretty healthy. And this can easily be adapted to fit your needs/taste.

Ingredients
1 lb turkey sausage(brat style)
1 pkge cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb okra(fresh or frozen)
1 packet ranch seasoning
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup beer

slice the sausage into small pieces and brown in a skillet, add the tomatoes and okra. Sprinkle the ranch season over the ingredients(I only used about 1/2 the packet) then add chicken stock and beer. Stir to dissolve the ranch seasoning and turn heat to simmer and cover for about 15 minutes.

***Notes, obviously you can use just your preferred liquid. You can just use chicken stock and omit the beer or vice versa, or you could always simply just use water. And I feel that this is a "preference" recipe and what I mean by this is some of you may like this much liquid, some may want more...Try and eye ball it as your pouring to see where you may be with it. and obviously you could use any meat (or even tofu) that you have on hand, and I think that next time I may add sliced onions. the second time I made this I didn't use the ranch, I just used a smorgasbord of spices we had on hand.

I would love to tell you how delightful I found this to be, but I didn't eat any. I am allergic to sausage(I know, gasp) and this was a quick "Wiki friendly"(ie:sans carbs) meal. He really enjoyed it, hope you do too!