Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday Snack {Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts}

A few weeks ago I made these bacon wrapped water chestnuts for Bunco and they were a big hit! They were so delicious and crunchy  and super easy to make.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts 
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups ketchup
1 pound bacon
2 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup.

Cut bacon in half. Wrap one slice of bacon around each chestnut. Secure the bacon with a toothpick. Arrange the water chestnut wraps in a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bake the water chestnut wraps for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from water chestnut wraps from the oven and drain some of the grease out of the pan. Pour the sauce over the wraps.

Bake for 30 to 35 more minutes.

For this recipe one pound of bacon wraps perfectly around two cans of water chestnuts (make sure you drain them good) 

 Secure your bacon with toothpicks.

I prepped them before work and then put them in a Tupperware container in the fridge. Then after work I made the sauce and cooked them in the oven so they would be ready for Bunco night.

They were delicious and I’ll definitely make the again.  Make these if you need a quick appetizer for any occasion.  The Bunco girls loved them.  

Happy Saturday!


Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday Favorites

We had a great Christmas and I can’t believe it’s over already.   December just flew by 😫.
 Today I’m linking up to ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.

Our favorite this week was definitely be in Arizona with our son Brock.  We had a great 10 days with him and it was hard to leave him and the sunshine of Arizona.  He loved showing us around and we spent a lot of time laughing, talking and having fun.  His spring semester classes at ASU start on Jan.

We got home on Tuesday and this is how I’ve felt all week. We’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing and that feels really good. However, I’m still not ready to take down my Christmas decorations yet.  I just love them!  

In Arizona I re-read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I just love her and all of her books.  This book follows her year long happiness journey.  Because of this book I am inspired to create my own Happiness Project for 2018.  

I created a collage of my favorite 12 pictures of 2017 and put it on my instagram last night.  I have so many good memories from this year.  Many I forgot until I went back and looked at all my pictures from the year.  

In December I got four new books and I can’t wait to start reading them!  I’m going to make some time during this long weekend to read.  I just love buying books and getting them as presents.  My sister read A Simplified Life and she loved it and I have heard great things about The Love, Welcome, Serve cookbook. 

I hope you have a fabulous New Years!


Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Year in Review {Jan-June}

I can’t believe 2017 is almost over!  I love looking back over the year and thinking about happy times and memories we’ve had as a family and fun things I’ve done with my family and friends.  2017 was a good year for us-our daughter Ava is on a year long exchange in the Czech Republic and our son Brock is a sophomore at Arizona State.

I’m going to do a recap of our year.  I’m splitting this into two posts because I have so much to share from 2017.  You can see my post from 2016 here.


I celebrated my 41st birthday.  Every year I have a joint party with my friend Jenni.  In 2017 we went snow tubing it was so fun! 

I also celebrated with a lunch out with friends.  I just love celebrating birthdays!

Anne a foreign exchange student from Denmark moved  in with us for 3 months in January.  Anne was a great addition to our family and we still keep in touch with her.


We got our first huge snowfall of the year in February.  The girls were out of school for two days in a row.  We love snow days!

Anne was a cheerleader while she was in the US for a year and she was honored at senior night at the high school. 

Ava and I went to a girls brunch with Grandma Jan and my sister in law Anne.

I hosted an impromptu Oscar party for my friends.  I love watching all the movies that have been nominated and then watching the Oscars.  Usually my friend V has a party but she couldn’t host this year so I did.  It was a great night!

We celebrated Mardi Gras with a homemade King Cake made with Rice Krispies.  It’s a fun little tradition we have. 


March was a busy month!!

I was on the committee that planned the first annual Mardi Gras gala to support the Boys and Girls Club.  The event was a huge success!  We have already started planning for the 2018 event.  

Our niece and nephew came to visit from Colorado.  Ava loves hanging out with her baby cousins. 

For Branch and Bloom we had a terrarium craft class.  I love terrariums and I love teaching people about plants.  The class was also a fundraiser for a local women’s community service organization and we were able to raise $300 at our class for the organization.  

Brock and I met my Dad and sister at Disney for a week.  We had a great time hanging out with them.  I love my family so much ❤️

My friend Rachael and I met our two Florida BFF’s for a girls weekend on Treasure Island in Florida.  I miss Melany and Sara so much and it was so great to be with them for a weekend of fun in the sun!

Ava had her end of the year banquet for basketball.  She loves basketball and adores her team so the basketball banquet was a special night for her ❤️🏀

My friend Jenn and I went to the famous Philadelphia flower show.  We loved it and are planning on going again this year!

We got the biggest snowstorm ever in our town. The College where I work was closed for two days.  We got over 30 inches of snow.  It was insane!  It happened the day after I got back from Florida-so crazy!  

We celebrated Ava’s 15th birthday ❤️❤️❤️


In April I hosted a spring brunch in our summer house.  It was so fun to have my friends over so they could see our new (little!) house ❤️

My dear friend Sabrina and I took our girls to Washington DC for spring break.  We took our exchange student Anne and we spent three days exploring DC and had a blast together! 

I coordinated our end of the year awards dinner for my work.  I work with great students and it was so fun to be able to honor and recognize them.  


I went to Cape Cod to my friend Amy’s family home to celebrate the beginning of summer.  We went during the Kentucky Derby weekend so we had a Derby party.  I got everyone monogrammed mint julep cups.

We also made our way to the beach.  It was freezing cold but it was so beautiful!  

Ava met her host sister from the Czech Republic that spent the last school year in the US.  She lived with a family an hour away from us so we were able to get together for lunch.  I’m so glad Ava got to meet her before she went to Czech. 

For our business Branch and Bloom Rachael and I held  a Farm Retreat at our friend Jenn’s Farm.  Jenn led a yoga class, Rachael and I led a class on making a windowsill herb gardens and we all enjoyed a healthy lunch.  It was a fabulous day!

My friend Amy had her annual Memorial Day Party.  It’s a great kick-off to summer ☀️


Every year my friend Sabrina and I go to the country Living Fair.  It’s always a great day!   There  are so many beautiful vendors and displays.  We look forward to it each and every year.  

Graig and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on June 7. ❤️

My friend Jenn taught Goat Yoga so I went to a class to support her.

I went to see Dirty Dancing with my BFF’s.

My friend V’s nephew Cody plays for the LA Dodgers so we went to Cleveland to watch him play.  He hit two home runs during he game we watched.   

My friend Sabrina and I took our girls to Ausable Chasm.  It was beautiful and I want to go back there and explore some more. 

Thursday nights the baseball camp in our town shoots off fireworks.  You can see them from the Country Club by our house so we go there a few times a summer to watch the fireworks with friends.  

I went with some friends to the Finger Lakes for a wine tour.  The Finger Lakes are so beautiful and I love visiting wineries to learn about wine.  It was a fabulous trip!

Later I’ll have part 2 of our year. 

Happy New Year’s Eve!