Cookbooks for Christmas

Must have cookbooks for the foodie in your life!

I’m pretty sure that I have a cookbook hoarding problem.  When we go to the book store, I always make a bee-line for the cookbook section.  No matter what book store.  I love going to Half Priced Books and finding cookbook gems.  I go through the shelves like I’m searching for dinosaur bones.  Basically, I get all up in the cookbook shelves biz-ness.  Do you have a cookbook hoarder in your life?  Good!  Here are a few of my favorite cookbooks that I keep on hand at all times. 

Must have cookbooks for the foodie in your life!

And ps.. this post contains affiliate links.  That means if you make a purchase, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage for advertisement.  I only recommend products that I trust and believe would be of value to others.  Enjoy!


The Pioneer Woman: A Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond – First, I LOVE Ree!  She’s so down to earth and man, can she cook!  Second, there are STEP BY STEP photos of every recipe!  That’s sort of her thing and its kinda awesome.  [Ok, way awesome.]  I also have Ree’s first book Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl.

Sauce Basics by Keda Black – I think this is my all time favorite cook book.  It is another step by step book that breaks down all kinds of sauces.  Chocolate sauces, cream sauces, pasta sauces, meat sauces.  Anything that can be sauced, they break it down for you.  I love the My Cooking Class series and I also have the Pasta Basics, Cake Basics and Chocolate Basics.  

Bacon Nation by Peter Kaminsky – I won this book in a giveaway hosted by my foodie friend Julie and was so excited!  A whole book about BACON!  I immediately made one of the pasta recipes with bacon in it, because, well I’m Italian.  And a carb-o-holic.  And because bacon rocks my socks. 

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg – I first started reading the Artisan Bread in 5 blog before I found the book.  I would scroll through page after page of delicious bread recipes on their site.  Then my good friend Bobbie gifted me their bread cookbook.  I was in heaven!  I poured over the pages and started trying new recipes.  This is a great one to have on hand for sure.  They also have a gluten free version too!  [Score!]

Grocery Gardening by Jean Ann Van Krevelen – Yall, I seriously LOVE this cookbook!  It’s like a gardening and cookbook combined and is full of so much good information!  And great recipes!  I actually read this book like normal – from start to finish, dog earring the recipes I wanted to try.  It’s in a really cool and easy to read format.  Jean also has a gardening blog too if you want to check her out! 

Taste of Home Slow Cooker: 431 Hot and Hearty Classics – I actually don’t own this cookbook, my mother in law does.  I poured over this book when I was at her house.  I have at least 3 sheets of paper with hand written recipes that I want to try soon.  To say this book is FULL of recipes is an understatement!

Mac & Cheese by Ellen Brown – The ultimate comfort food cookbook!  I think I drooled through this whole cookbook after I bought it.  I love this book because it teaches you how to make the perfect mac and cheese and then gives you a bunch of recipes to recreate.  It will keep you busy in the kitchen for awhile!

One Pot, One Bowl by Kim McCosker – This is literally my motto in the kitchen – one pot!  I grabbed this gem from the used bookstore and have tweaked a few recipes from it.  It’s also a four ingredient cookbook, which is always fun.  Less dishes and delicious recipes are always a winner in my book!

Pickles and Preserves by Parragon Books – Out of all the books mentioned, this may be the cutest one of them all.  It has great recipes, but it also comes with gift tags for your pickles and preserves!  And they are cuuuute!  It’s like a gift with a gift inside so you can make gift for others!  [Makes sense right?!]  I’ve made the vanilla fig jam in the book many times and its amazing. 

I bet you’re wondering – what cookbooks are on your wish list, Kelley?  That’s a great question!  And any [husbands] that are reading should know that I am currently eyeing:

No pressure or anything. 

Oh and be sure to sign up for our emails!  Ill send more foodie recommendations your way! 

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Best Daily Deal Sites

Over 50 Daily Deal Sites that will Save you Money! via

Last week I shared how I never pay full price for anything, even though I love to shop.  One of my tips was to use daily deal sites to score big savings.  Daily deal sites are places that offer big discounts on a limited number of products.  They have sites for everything you can think of.  I love daily deal sites.  I’ve rounded up   of my favorite sites.  [Disclaimer: Some of the sites may be an affiliate link.  This means if you sign up and/or purchase something Ill get a small kickback.  Ill let you know what sites these are with an star (*).]

Over 50 Daily Deal Sites that will Save you Money! via









What is your favorite daily deal site?

Add Some Sparkle to the Holidays! #LB12Days

add some sparkle

My number one rule for outfits is it has to be comfortable.  The more comfortable I am the confident I look and feel.  [Can I get an Amen?]  Of course an outfit that sparkles and is comfortable is the absolute best.  Thank you Lane Bryant for making both comfortable and sparkly happen this holiday season.

Studded leggings // Sequin top // Sequin cardigan // Rhinestone heels // Sequin high lo dress // Glitter ballet flat //Sequin pencil skirt 

Are you on sparkle overload?  Me too.  And I love it!

Each day for the next 12 days Lane Bryant will be having ah-mazing surprise special offers.  So those rhinestone heels and glitter ballet flats up there? Half off!  [Yes, please!]  And if that offer isnt sweet enough – Im giving away TWO $30 Lane Bryant gift cards!  It definitely is the most wonderful timeeeee of the year!  Happy shopping and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Menu Monday + New Sponsor Promotion

Its Monday!  And its the last week of September!  [What?!]  Im not sure where the month went but Im exited its officially fall and hopefully that means cooler temps.  [Im sooo over 95 degrees!]  Im going to share with yall a new sponsor promotion and our menu this week before I go do a happy dance outside.

Anyone who purchases ad space at regular price for October will also get a FREE 20 minute blog consultation with me.  We can go over blog design, blogging tips, best practices, social media, Facebook, twitter, or anything else you want more information on.  The consultation can be a skype chat, email back and forth, twitter, AIM [old school!] or even a phone call.  Its up to you!  Check out my rates and shoot me an email if you have any questions.
Enough business talk, let’s get to the food.. right?!  Oh and then check out my goals for the week.  And then link up your recipes or menu for the week! 
Eggs in a hole 
Breakfast tacos
Baked Mac and Cheese
Date Night!
Taco Salad
Stuffed Peppers

Work out 4 times this week
Eat better [aka leave the sweets alone!]
Take the kids to the park twice
Finish my book 

-[Lovely September Sponsor]-

Homemade chalkboard

I have been surfing around pinterest (a lot) and I think everyone else’s creativeness is rubbing off on me. So, I went to Michaels yesterday with my mom to grab a few things and we got some amazing deals.  Only one of our items wasnt on sale and we had a 50% off coupon for it.  (Yipeee!)  For our first project I created a homemade chalkboard for Ryley.  The total cost?  I cant believe it myself.. $4.05 plus tax!  This is how we did it.. 
You need: 
Chalkboard paint 
Foam brushes
Foam board
Paper plate
Hot glue
Hammer and nails
Decorative paper
(Sonic drink optional..) 
I brushed two coats of chalkboard paint onto my foam board.  It said to wait an hour between each coat but the South Texas heat dried it in 15 minutes!  
After I let it dry most of the day, I attached it to the wall using nails with flat heads.  Pretty simple stuff.

I hot glued scrapbook paper around the edges to hide the nails and to jazz it up a bit.  
And then I let my monster at it!  

Chalkboard paint:  5.99 – 3.00 = $2.99 (used out coupon!)
Foam brushes: 20 for $1.00! = .05 for one
Foam board: $1.00 
Everything else we had on hand.. 
Total = $4.05!
Sigh.  Another project that I am in love with.  It was so easy to make and it took no time at all to have to up on the wall and ready to go.  I want to make one for everyone I know.  (Want a homemade foam chalkboard?! HA!)  So, what do you think?  Love it as much as I do?  Hope so!  :)  Happy crafty all! 

Stride Rite

My mom loves Stride Rite.. I mean LOVES them.  Ryley and my nephew Evan’s first pair of walker shoes HAD to be Stride Rite.  When both the kids started walking she (immediately) took them to the store to get fitted for their ceremonial first pair of shoes.  Here is Ryley bear and (Stride Rite loving) grandma getting her first big girl shoes:
Trying on our first pair!  
Pair number 2
Pair #2 won.. so cute!
Just had to share.. haha! 

Yesterdays Deal

I love Academy!  Every time we go there I find an outstanding bargain.  This time I got great deals on sand toys, travel mugs and some clothes.  The sand toys were .88 cents each!  Even the pack of 4 that’s on the right.  So Ryley got a few new sand toys for her new sand box.  (I love end of season clearances!)  I got the Texas A&M travel mug for $4.88 each.. and I bought five of them.  (This officially starts my Christmas shopping/stashing.)  I got a few tops and pants for the guys of the family for $4.88 too.

Hope you have good luck on your next Academy shopping trip.  Happy shopping!

Weekend Fun


We had a really fun weekend.. I say we but it was Ryley who had a blast.  Grandma bought her a new water sprinkler ($7 on sale at Walgreens..) and sandbox ($35 on sale at Walmart).  While Ryon was at home recovering from his all night fishing trip, Ryley and I were playing in her new sprinkler at grandmas.  Its a really cute ball that has 4 holes for water to spray out.  She tried to catch it with her mouth and hands and then finally decided to fill her beach buckets with it. 
I had to drop Ryon off at the airport Sunday (he has training in Indiana) so we went shopping with grandma.  We bought the turle sanbox from Walmart and set it up at our house.  Ryley played for almost an hour (aka forever in toddler time) while brother Avery watched on the sidelines.  Both nights my litle lady slept 12 hours!  It was a great weekend.. what fun things did yall do?