Easter Deviled Eggs: So Cute and Easy!

easter deviled eggs


My friend Wilmari made these cute Easter Deviled Eggs.  As soon as I saw her picture, I asked if I could share with y’all.  I thought the idea was so cute, she said that she made them with her 5 year old daughter and they were super easy.  If you don’t already know the secret to boiling the perfect hard boiled egg, you can find Jamie’s post here (although she hates deviled eggs). [Read more...]

24-Day AdvoCare Challenge: Our Decision to Make a Change and Start Eating Healthy!


Photo credit: Marsmet491 via Flickr

Our Decision to change our eating habits and start the 24-Day AdvoCare Challenge

We’ve eaten terribly unhealthy lately.  I don’t know when it happened exactly.  I think partly due to convenience and our schedules. Probably a result of a series of compromises over a long period of time.  Maybe even purchasing items that I wouldn’t normally because they were free or cheap.  Nonetheless, no matter how we got here we made a decision that it was time for a change.  At the same time, aknowleding that we needed to make a change and actually doing something about it are two very different things.  I kept telling myself that next week would be the week we would start eating healthier.  Lets get through Christmas first, then Valentine’s Day, then a weekend getaway…….I realized unless we made a commitment it wasn’t going to happen. [Read more...]

25 Days of Christmas Fun: Make Memories to Pass Along…..


We’ve been filling up the days leading to Christmas with crafts and recipes – but tonight’s post is a little different…

(Jamie here)  This Christmas season has been a bittersweet one for me.  My Papaw died this week, and I travelled back to Kentucky to be with my mom, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the whole cast of characters that set the stage of our other, happier, family gatherings for so many years.  After the funeral, we congregated at Nanny & Papaw’s house to share food and memories and comforting words together – which brings me to tonight’s topic: Making memories to pass along.

As the grownups (Yes, I still refer to my aunts and uncles as the “grown-ups” at the ripe old age of 31) sat around the table talking, we “kids” made our way to the musty old basement to look around.  We group of cousins, ranging in age from 18 – 31, remember the glory days of Nanny & Papaw’s house gatherings with varying degrees of clarity.  I was the oldest – so I held the clearest picture of those happy Christmases and New Years Eves – the many Thanksgivings and Easters spent playing croquet in the front yard, the dark wood-paneled closet that held the same toys year after year to be pulled, wound-up, built and chewed-upon by an increasing line of toddlers and adolescents.

We pulled out the whistling choo-choo train, the ancient dusty See-n-Say, the Tinker Toys and dollhouse.  Each cousin claimed a small bit of nostalgia for their own, to take home and tuck away – but I hadn’t found my special something yet.  Finally, on a metal shelf behind an ice bucket, I found it – the nutcracker bowl.  It was nothing of value, a simple wooden bowl with a large screw affixed to the top for cracking nuts – and yet it instantly yanked me back to dozens of Christmases spent standing at Nanny & Papaw’s table cracking the shells of walnuts and pecans.  I held it up like a prize, remembering my uncle Steve or my uncle Kenny (both now deceased) placing the nut in it’s cradle just so and teaching me how to use the contraption.  It brought back the happy hubbub of a large family gathered around me, the hugs and laughter, the excitement of the holiday and the sleepy contentment of being packed back into our station wagon at the end of the night.

Now accutely aware of the loss of that halcyon time, I tucked the nutcracker into my car to bring back to my home in Tennessee.  I will fill it with nuts this year, and teach the kids how to turn the screw until they crack open.  I will undoubtedly reminisce about Christmases gone by, and the family gone by, bright lights that illuminated my path from childhood to adulthood.

These little things – these insignificant decorations that are brought out for special family occasions – are touchstones of memories.  This week reminded me of that, and I wanted to remind you as well.  When faces and voices of the past begin to fade, little treasures like this can evoke them as clearly and brightly as ever.  Hand them down to your children, give them the gift of a family heirloom (be it ever so humble) so that one day they too can dig it out of a basement smelling so comfortingly of damp earth, cigarettes, and laundry soap, and hold onto it forever…

Yummy Easter Carrot Cake Recipe!


This recipe comes (Just in the nick of time!) from Laurie over at PassionatePennyPincher.  It looks so GOOOD!

I’m not sure that I knew that I even liked carrot cake, but after watching Paula making this last week (while I was suffering on the treadmill. . . ) I just had to try it. (Do you think she’d adopt me? And did you know she uses Publix brand powdered sugar?)

Sorry to ramble . . . but oh my goodness, this is some heaven-sent cake! Just one little warning though: this is a three-layer cake. Do not try to stuff it into two layers like I did because it won’t work! (Well, it will, but you’ll have to give it a little extra tlc in the end!)

Here’s how to make this divine Carrot Cake . . . if you try it, you have to come back and tell me about it because I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Paula Deen’s Grandma Hier’s Carrot Cake

Recipe from Paula Deen at Food Network. If you need a little more menu inspiration, check out the Recipe Index. Join Passionate Penny Pincher on Facebook to keep up with all the meals & deals.

Impromptu Date Night: Lunar Eclipse TONIGHT!

If you’re a Twilight fan – let me start by telling you that NO – this post is not about a date night with Jacob or Edward (of Twilight Eclipse), so you might be in the wrong place here :)

We’ve all been rushing around a bit getting ready for Christmas – so here’s a nice idea to take a moment to step back, breathe, and enjoy a moment by yourself or with the one you love.

Tonight – around 1:41 AM Easter Time – there will be a FULL Lunar Eclipse on the winter solstice!  This is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – so it would be such a cool for an impromptu date night.  Set up a few chairs ahead of time, make some hot cocoa, grab some blankets – and then surprise your sweetie with a little special time outside tonight.  Even if you are early-to-bed folks, you could maybe wake him up for this one :)

It will take about an hour for the dark-red color to cover the entire moon. According to NASA, the last lunar eclipse that happened on the winter solstice was in 1638 and the next one won’t happen until 2094.