From the time we found out we were having a little boy, my husband and I were well aware of the fact that we would soon be spending our weekends at various sports fields and participating in games/practices/fundraisers. We both grew up in families that loved and actively participated in sports. My mom, dad, brother, and I spent many a cold morning at a soccer field with hot chocolate, and I think I will always remember sitting with my mom on Monday mornings counting up wins on fundraiser football pools for my brother’s travel soccer team. My husband is irritatingly good at any sport he tries, and I have a long history of ice skating and running track and cross-country. Our kid was sort of doomed from the start.

Thankfully, our little guy LOVES sports. Already, he’s proven pretty impressive with a soccer ball, and he can hit a mean baseball off the tee too. I was super excited when I found a league that had a team for 3-year-olds, and after a quick sign up and decision on jersey size, we were officially a sports family. Wee Ball began in full earnest in late March, and we have been enjoying some sunshine and exercise every Saturday morning since. My husband is the coach, my little guy loves his “baseball friends”, and yup, you guessed it, I’m the team mom.

Now before you judge me too harshly, know that I did not intend to become team mom. It just sort of…happened. Two weeks ago, I got an email from the league mom telling me that our team mom (not me) could no longer fulfill her duties. And so I became team mom. Mostly because I’m a control freak and was too busy to hunt down all of the other moms on the team and get a new team mom,  but also because I thought it would be easy and fun.

The timing for this switch of team mom duties was really unfortunate. I got the email on a Thursday and headed out of town for a work conference where I was presenting that Saturday. That Saturday also happened to be Wee Ball picture day, the day that fundraisers were due, and one week before the league’s opening day. As you can imagine, I was cool as a cucumber. HA. I was slightly psychotic as I attempted to prep my husband to be team mom for Saturday’s practice while also getting ready for the presentation, prepping to be out of the office for several days, and meeting a non-negotiable writing deadline. All while figuring out a Wee Ball snack schedule. But it all got done, the conference went great, the hungry toddlers were fed, and we’ll see in another couple weeks if my little guy smiled for his pictures.

With opening day less than a week away, I had to get started on our team’s banner. YES – a banner. Right up my alley, except I would never have willingly left it until the last minute if I had known I was team mom all along. Crafts are far less fun when they have to get crammed in between 1200 other things. But off the little guy and I went to Joann’s for fabric, felt, and glitter glue. He may have also found some fleece that he liked, so we got that to make him a no sew blanket (clearly I looked bored to him).

IMG_7887 4

For the banner, I was equal parts inspired and overwhelmed by what I saw when I looked up baseball banners on Pinterest. I cursed myself for only the 2940735375386538th time for still not knowing how to sew. Even with my inability to sew, I feel fairly confident than I could have sewn two squares together, but I seriously did not have the time to try. I broke out the tacky and hot glues and got to work. I had to maneuver things around over the next couple of days, but on opening day, my little guy and his team were proudly introduced following this banner:



Not to shabby, eh? I was pretty proud of myself.


  • 1.5 yards fleece Orioles fabric for the backing (cut down slightly)
  • 1.5 yards stiff orange fabric for the banner (cut down slightly)
  • black tension rod (straight from my laundry room window)
  • black stiff felt with adhesive on one side
  • large letter stickers that I used as stencils for the black felt
  • precut foam stars
  • one piece of white felt (and a red sharpie) for the baseball in the top corner
  • glitter glue to write each player’s number on a star and the year on the baseball
  • foam baseball stickers for decoration

This was surprisingly easy to make, and would have been even easier if I hadn’t been running around two days before trying to get players’ numbers. It also would have been easier if I had the time to sew, rather than staple, the backing around the tension rod, and if I hadn’t been panicked that my non-fabric glue wasn’t going to hold the orange and fleece fabrics together for the duration of the parade (it did).

I started worrying that maybe I had gone a little too overboard for Wee Ball until I got to the parade and saw that most of the banners were similarly, painstakingly assembled. Ours was the biggest, but there were some impressive banners out there. This  made me feel pretty confident that this bunch of overachieving moms and I would be good friends.

As for the rest of the day? It was cold and long and great. And with that, my life as a sports mom began.





I seriously do love brunch. What a fun meal – is it breakfast? Is it lunch? Anything goes. Last weekend was the second annual Myrick Easter Egg Hunt and brunch, and I have to admit, I wasn’t sure that it was all going to come together. Work has been keeping me so busy that I really didn’t have a lot of time to plan this out. I think it all came together beautifully though and got me super excited for spring. Plus, I got to see my little guy in a bow tie which always makes my day.


I kept decor simple (more out of necessity than actual planning, but hey), with some beautiful flowers…




and artwork by my little guy (these little potted plants and “fork tulips” doubled as decor during brunch and gifts for some of the guests to take home).

This awesome velvet, embroidered banner from Target ($6.99!!!)…




And these adorable egg candles (Source: Punchbowl)


I went even simpler than the original instructions by cracking the egg into uneven halves and placing the larger half into the egg cups (which I got on Amazon). Then, because I simply didn’t have the extra 5-10 minutes it would have taken me to melt and pour the wax and arrange the wick, I bough round (we think floating) votives that fit perfectly into the egg. These babies burned for close to 7 hours , and they looked absolutely beautiful on the tables.

For food, we did some great breakfast dishes, such as Chicken Sausage Egg “Nests” (omitting the bacon to save a few calories), Blueberry Muffin Tops (they tasted great, but turned out more blue and not as pretty as the picture on the website),



and Whole Wheat Pancake Kabobs (sans Nutella because I don’t like it and wheat pancakes because they are delicious).


For the lunch portion, we had some great options too. Zucchini noodles are my new favorite, thanks to my purchase of a spiralizer (seriously, it makes anything into noodles – how much cooler of an appliance can you get?!), so naturally, we had some Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Tomatoes tossed in Lemon-Garlic Sauce. I made a Slow Cooker Honey Glazed Ham, my mother-in-law made some delicious roasted asparagus, and Parmesan Potato “Bunny Tails” (how cute are these?!).



My cousin made these fantastic “Hatching Chicks”.


All in all, the spread looked great. The tablecloth ($5 on clearance at Target) looked beautiful and springy. And can we talk about the adorable little bunny place card holders that you can see in the pictures above? $3 each at Target, and then I made my own Easter Menu Items using the business card template on Word. Feel free to edit and use it🙂


I got some great assists for dessert. In addition to these super cute chocolate dishes with fruit from my mom and this awesome coconut bunny cake from my other mother-in-law,

IMG_7860 IMG_7864

we also had delicious carrot cake cupcakes and adorable flower pretzels made by my aunt Cindy.

IMG_7865 IMG_7859

I added in some chocolate dipped Peep Pops,


and my favorite Chai Tea Cookies which I cut into flower shapes (adapted from the kitchn):


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chai tea mix, from several chai tea bags
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter


  1. In a standing mixer, add the flour, sugar, powdered sugar, tea mix, and salt.
  2. Add the vanilla and butter. Mix together just until a rough dough is formed. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and form into a log on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Wrap the paper around and roll the log smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Slice the chilled log of dough into 1/3-inch-thick pieces. Place on the baking sheet and bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

We ate and had a great time watching our little guys hunt for Easter eggs. I can’t wait to watch my niece chase them around next year! And then, because I got up at 6:15 on Easter morning to put the ham in the crockpot, dip Peer pops, and finish decorating, I crashed. HARD. At 9pm.

As I shared last year, I have committed myself to getting cute Valentines out of my son every year. Because why wouldn’t I add something else to my plate? I really question my understanding of reality sometimes.

At least with this being our fourth year of super adorable Heart Day photo shoots, I have learned to plan ahead, keep it simple, and go with whatever we get. No second chances, no redos. This is helped along by the fact that my son will now tell me, “NO MORE PICTURES” when he is finished for the day. Talk about a temperamental model.

I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that I came up with the inspiration for this photo shoot in October. Yes, you read that correctly. I was trying to decide what to do for his 3rd birthday photo shoot/Christmas card shoot and was suddenly struck by the idea of using a USPS mailbox as our Valentine’s Day prop. I was not entirely sure about the legality of taking pictures at a federal post office, but hey, you only live once right?

All I needed for this photo shoot was a cute kid outfit (all from Gap – my favorite place to build his wardrobe), some valentines in red envelopes, a big construction paper heart, and a sunny day when the post office was closed. Ahh the simplicity.

I let my little guy seal all of his envelopes with a kiss first before we were off to the “big blue mailbox”.

IMG_7690 IMG_7691 IMG_7692

Once we were there, I just let him go have some fun mailing our letters. (NOTE: we stamped them and just mailed them to a couple friends and ourselves. Toddlers don’t really understand the instruction, “No go ahead and pretend to mail the letter. Put it in there, but not so much that it actually gets mailed.” These bad boys were getting mailed, whether I liked it or not.).

The pictures turned out even better than I could have hoped.

IMG_7702 IMG_7685 IMG_7686 IMG_7689


I even got this super cute “winter scene” shot before he gave me the, “No more pictures.” line. He’s a trooper.


We made a great card on Shutterfly during one of their crazy good sales. Great gift idea for less than $25. WAHOO.

As Valentine’s Day got closer, we kept with our mail theme. To be more accurate, I got really excited when I walked past the dollar section at Target and saw these. To be completely precise, I think I was smiling like an idiot for the rest of my shopping trip after finding them.


We filled these little mailboxes of love with homemade, chocolate dipped pretzels. These really couldn’t be easier to make, and my little sous chef had a blast helping me.

All you need:

  • different colored candy melts (Michael’s)
  • pretzels
  • a variety of sprinkles
  • bags tied with ribbon to keep them fresh

IMG_7698 IMG_7693 IMG_7694 IMG_7696

And of course, a good taste tester.


Add in festive wrapping paper with a variety of ribbons (thanks again, Target dollar section!), and we assured ourselves some pretty great Xs and Os from all the people we sent love to this year.




I was all set to give you the highlights from our Super Bowl party which, for the second time in a row, involved my husband’s beloved Seahawks. I was ready to show food and decor and celebrate the win. And then…well…you saw it. I’m still not ready to talk about it.

So now you get to see the transformation of my third office (yes I said third – that’s what happens when you work everywhere). In my next life, I think I could be a decorator (or a party planner, or a professional organizer). I’m not actually sure that I have the talent to be a decorator that anyone would hire…so maybe I would just be filthy rich and spend all of my time buying and decorating houses for my own enjoyment. Yes, that sounds good. Until then, I am stuck working in a field that I love and respect (I know, it’s a tough life). Being a counselor is undoubtedly what I was meant to do. I’ve been with my agency for a little over four years now, and recently, we decided to expand to serve a new group of youth. Being the (modest) team player that I am, I agreed to help by spending a couple days a week at another site doing screens and offering counseling to the teens there.

To my delight and surprise, I was given a nice office with a sweet little window that lets in lots of sunshine. It had previously been a rarely used tutoring space, so it didn’t really feel quite cozy enough for a counseling space. Enter me. Naturally, since I am slightly crazy and love a good challenge, I took some pictures and was off to the races. I thought I’d share some of the fun I had, so here is the room I started with (after I took down the posters):

IMG_7542 IMG_7543 IMG_7545


And here is the space, AFTER.

IMG_7569 IMG_7572


Super cozy, right?! Here are the highlights:

  • Lighting: I am sort of lucky that I get migraines with overhead lighting because it has taught me that I don’t have to use it. So now, I count on a simple floor lamp, desk lamp, and window in each of my offices. It makes for a cozy feel and keeps me from being sick with a headache. Double win. These lamps are both from Ikea (Floor, Desk), so I spent less than $50 for both. And I have to admit, I’m pretty obsessed with the desk lamp.
  • Speaking of Ikea, I also got the great grey cart that is behind my desk chair for my miscellaneous art supplies and files. It also nicely hides the cords that attach power and internet to my laptop. I didn’t think to take a better picture of that, so here is the website’s. I’m not even bitter that the price has dropped $20 since I bought it. It’s fine, really.                                          raskog-utility-cart-gray__0154992_PE313176_S4
  • Chairs: Chairs on wheels are just NOT going to work when you are seeing anyone under the age of 75 for therapy. It’s like we can’t help but roll around. That, and they were nearly broken. My coworker actually told me to warn people before they sat in the chairs. They had to go. I replaced them with some beautiful, simple light teal dinner chairs from Home Goods. I realized I really didn’t take good pictures of these either…it’s hard to be the new kid on campus and not look like a weirdo taking pictures of your new office, so I had to be quick.
  • Plants: Nothing says, “Please come in and tell me all of your troubles” like a couple of pretty plants. I went with Jade, a cactus, and ivy, three plants that are pretty and apparently pretty hardy. This last part is important since I’ve been known to kill all but the strongest willed plants.
  • Artwork: I smiled when I saw this chairs print at Ikea. It’s so quirky and reminded me of all of the chairs and couches that inhabit therapists’ offices. I’ve never bought so many forms of seating as I have decorating my many offices. So naturally, I had to have the print, and it went perfectly next to my window. BJÄLBO Picture IKEA Motif created by Sasha Blake.</t><t>Mounted picture - ready to hang.I got the canvas prints from Home Goods too (only $12.99!) and framed the miscellaneous prints using random cardstock and $1.99 frames from Ikea. I found some free printables on Pinterest and also made one of my own.         IMG_7573

Mandalas (top left and bottom right)

Andy Warhol quote (top middle): “I like boring things.”

Steve Jobs quote (middle): “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Arrows (top right)

I created the printable for one of my favorite quotes from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – here you go!  The world was hers for the reading

So there you have it! After Valentine’s Day is over, my son’s next craft is going to be a canvas painting for me to hang on one last wall. All in all, not too shabby for a “shrink”.

Happy New Year! I hope you have all had a great start to 2015. I can’t believe that only a few days in, we had our first messy snow day of the year.

In honor of the snow, I thought I’d share a great, easy craft with you. My little guy made these for family, so they are kid-friendly as well as easy and inexpensive for adults.

Macaroni Snowflakes (thanks for the inspiration, Katy Elliott!)


  • Mini and regular size wagon wheel pasta
  • Tacky craft glue
  • White, glossy spray paint (or regular paint if you’d rather paint it on)
  • Loose glitter
  • Ribbon for hanging
  • Foam paintbrush


  1. Assemble your macaroni snowflakes. Since my little guy was helping, we kept these pretty simple. IMG_7277
  2. Glue your snowflakes together. IMG_7278
  3. As they are drying, move them around a little so that they don’t get stuck to whatever you have them resting on (a piece of cardboard, in my case).
  4. Once dry, spray several, light coats of white spray paint on the snowflakes. Let them dry for about 10-20 minutes in between coats, and flip them over so that you get them as white as possible. NOTE: remember to do this outdoors, with proper face gear so that you don’t get dizzy (or so I’ve heard).  Move them around so that they don’t stick. IMG_7294
  5. Using your paintbrush, apply a mixture of glue and a few drops of water to your snowflakes. Don’t forget to get the sides as well as the tops!
  6. Sprinkle a generous amount of glitter on each snowflake. Let them dry, being sure to move them around so, again, they don’t stick.
  7. Tie on a ribbon and hang them up! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like the real stuff, these can be a little messy, and they may leave some glitter in their wake. Still better than the cold, snowy snow, in my opinion.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! We did lots of travelling, eating, and opening presents. I’m thoroughly exhausted, but in the best possible way. Thank you so much to everyone who helped make our Christmas so memorable.

Before I start the fun posts about Christmas crafts, however, I have to tie up the loose end of my second week as Martha. If you recall from my last post, I hosted Thanksgiving for 25 people and my son’s third birthday party (40 people) within a week of each other. It gave me a great respect for party planners, whose lives are one big event after the next…and made me realize that my mental health can not withstand another big gathering for some months.

That being said, my little guy’s party was an absolute blast to plan. He is obsessed with Disney Cars and Planes, and for months before his birthday, he requested a “Dusty” (Planes) party, complete with a Dusty cake. Here are some of my favorite parts of his day:





I had been eyeing up the felt cloud garland from Land of Nod for months, and it did not disappoint. How cute! Wants and Wishes Design had an awesome Planes party package. I chose this banner and big sign, along with some tags, and I printed it all on shimmery cardstock paper. I didn’t end up using the tags like I thought I would, so I let Pete the Elf use one.


I made a “Time Flies” banner to display a few pictures of how fast my little guy is growing. He loved telling me that each picture was of him. Meanwhile, I stifled tears each time I passed by the sign.


As I mentioned, a Dusty cake was requested. I am by no means a cake baker or decorator, so thank you to Redners for this adorable (and delicious) cake. I did supply the planes, but I can’t take any more credit than that.





I can, however, take credit for the Fueling Station (resized from View from the Ville). I also resized the In Flight Snacks sign (my mom made the delicious snacks themselves – pretzel and rolo sandwiches! YUM).


These cupcakes (also something I can take credit for) were an absolute hit at the party.






Wrapper template from Shnookers

Finally, the favors might have been my favorite part of the party. I got the “Baggage Claim” sign offline somewhere, and ordered the luggage tags from Bonanza. The suitcases are just animal crackers wrapped in kraft paper. I used black construction paper to make the handles and straps. The foam planes/gliders were by Hallmark (I got them off ebay, but I’ve seen them on lots of sites). These turned out just like I was hoping, and were such a great focal point when people came into the party.


It was a pretty good day, and I took a pretty good rest after all was said and done. I even gave myself a few days of zero creativity and motivation. It was glorious. Then I realized Christmas was only a couple weeks away, panicked, and resumed cutting, gluing, and crafting at record speed. Oh to walk a mile in Martha’s shoes…


Don’t think I don’t notice that my average days between posts is ever-growing. I am well aware. I feel like at this time of the year though, I get a pass. Not only is it the holiday season which is hectic for everyone, but we also get to celebrate this little man’s birthday on December 1st.


(Thank you Stephanie over at Caught Fire Photography!)

Add in that I alternate between hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and for good measure, tack on a new project that I just accepted at work. Ladies and gentlemen, that is how you successfully make a sub-par blogger.

Quite frankly, I’m still too mentally drained from my two weeks of trying to be Martha Stewart, so this blog may lack my usual wit and charm. I’ll try to make up for it with pretty pictures.

So Thanksgiving. This is my fourth round of hosting, and I was determined to do less running around like a crazy person. For the most part, I was relatively successful. At one point, around noon, my husband and I looked at each other and were like, “What should we be doing?” Everything was clean and as ready as it could be at that moment. Seeing as very few events in our lives go that way, I considered that a pretty large Myrick success. How did I manage this? A LOT of prep the night before. I mean like five hours’ worth. In that five hours, I only had one freak out moment, which again, is pretty good for me. Never mind that the freak out resulted in me making rosemary bread from scratch for the first time when I was only planning on making refrigerated biscuits. On the up side, I now know how to make rosemary bread from scratch.



I kept decor simple, opting for my thanksgiving bunting banner (three years old and still love love love it), flameless candles (Target), pinecones (Dollar store), faux eucalyptus leaves which I broke apart and arranged (Michaels), clementines that my nephew later ate for a snack, and little bags for silverware (Michaels). I also created place cards using kraft paper and this template.


im1.shutterfly 1


My little one’s daycare is the absolute best, and they helped my son add some great, homemade decorations.


There is actual popcorn on this corn. So cute.


Festive wreath


What’s Thanksgiving with a little turkey decoration?!

Although my decorations could never compete with these beauties, my contribution was a Thankful Tree that I made using tree branches (Michaels, but I guess you could collect your own if you wanted) and tags made from scrapbook paper using my circle puncher (a great investment, if you are completely incompetent when it comes to using scissors).



Everyone was a good sport and completed a couple circles, which made it look far better than a vase full of dead twigs.

For the menu, I also went for simplicity. Sarah Hearts is the brains behind this elegant menu template, which I printed on shimmer cardstock. Everyone completed one and plates were made ahead of time, a trick I learned from a good family friend who has successfully hosted Thanksgiving for years. It means everyone gets to eat together, and I don’t have to spend extra time putting food in easily passable, pretty dishes.

I also kept the cooking simple, with the exception of two recipes which I’ll include here. My green bean casserole that didn’t include cream of anything and sweet potato/cauliflower fritters were huge hits!

Green Bean Casserole (altered slightly from Good Dinner Mom)


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded diced
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1½ pounds green beans, with ends snapped off and snapped in half
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 can of fried onions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion, and saute until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook until softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside to cool.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans, and cook until bright green and just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, and plunge into ice bath to stop cooking. When cooled, toss drained beans with onion/pepper mixture; set aside.
  3. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add ¼ cup flour, whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in milk, and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in cayenne, nutmeg, and the remaining teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Pour over beans, and toss to combine.
  4. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking pan. Spread half the green-bean mixture over the bottom. Sprinkle on half the grated Parmesan, and spread with the remaining green beans. Combine the remaining Parmesan and the breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over casserole. Cover with foil, and refrigerate until about 45 minutes prior to serving. (I did all of this the night before)
  5. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Cook casserole covered in the foil, for 25-30 minutes, until heated through. Remove foil. Sprinkle fried onions on top of casserole and cook another 10 minutes.

IMG_7193 IMG_7190

I apologize that I don’t have any pictures of this finished product, but it pretty much looks like a regular green bean casserole. As you can imagine, I was a smidge busy at this point in the Thanksgiving meal.


Me, mashing potatoes, in case you don’t believe I had nothing better to do.

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Fritters (teeny, tiny alterations from Better Homes & Gardens!)

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch chunks (**NOTE: I found cartons of cut sweet potatoes in my produce section and almost cried with joy. I would highly recommend saving yourself this step if you can!)
  • 1 small head cauliflower (about 2lb), cored and broken into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion (1 cup), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chopped sage
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1.5 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes and cauliflower in separate shallow baking pans. Drizzle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until browned and just tender, stirring halfway through. Let stand 10 minutes.
  2. In a food processor combine onion and garlic; pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a very large bowl. Add cauliflower to processor and pulse until chopped; transfer to the bowl with onion. Process sweet potatoes, half at a time, in food processor until coarsely mashed. Add to bowl with cauliflower.
  3. Add sage, rosemary, salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne pepper to bowl with potato mixture. Stir to combine. Add egg and flour and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate potato mixture for 2 hours or up to 2 days. IMG_7182
  4. Add 1-inch of oil to a large skillet; heat over medium heat for 10 minutes or until 350 degrees F. Place panko in a shallow dish. Using a 1/3-cup measure, shape the sweet potato mixture into 16 balls and roll in panko to coat. Add to oil in skillet, 5 or 6 at a time, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until browned and heated through (160 degrees F), turning to brown evenly. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray to drain.                                                          IMG_7195

**NOTE: I actually made these completely (including the bread crumbs) the night before. I took them out with the green bean casserole to start warming up a little and then put them in the oven for about 25 minutes. They were just as yummy as if I had pan fried them as the turkey was being carved.

All in all, everything was delicious and we had minimal leftovers. And it’s a good thing, because a couple days later, this lady moved into full-blown Third Birthday Party mode (more to come)…


So let’s talk about bread. I’ve never been a huge bread person – I’m never going to tell you I’m craving a sandwich, and my husband thinks I’m crazy because I don’t like the pumpernickel bread they give you at restaurants. Every now and again, I’ll have a truly noteworthy roll (Bertucci’s, anyone?!), but that’s about the extent of it. Give my general “eh” approach to bread and my fear of using things like “active yeast” and doing things like “kneading”, a world-class baker I will never be.

BUT, thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest, I have found that there really are simple, fun breads that I am capable of making and capable of making in less than 5 hours. I am far too impatient to let yeast rise three separate times before baking it.

If you are like me, I think you will thoroughly enjoy these three easy bread recipes, all of which can be made on a whim, and none of which require any kneading. I was only slightly disappointed in this last part because I haven’t gotten to use the dough hook on my standing mixer yet. My husband has used it to make pizza dough, so there’s that. He makes some crazy good pizza dough… mmmmmmmm.


Okay, so the first recipe comes from My Kitchen Addiction, but it seems like they might have gotten this recipe from another source with permission. To save myself from a copyright infringement issue, I will allow you to go to the link if you want to make this. I will also permit you to ogle my delicious looking pictures.


What active yeast looks like, hard at work


Yeast and dry materials combined


 Ready for the oven!


 YUMMY final product

Next up is a White Cheddar Yogurt Cornbread that is so delicious, it made its way onto the Thanksgiving Menu. That is like celebrity status for a bread, in case you weren’t sure. I kind of sucked with the picture taking on this one. As in, there aren’t any. My bad. Luckily, if you click on the link, Emily has some lovely shots.


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp + pinch salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar (or other) cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, corn kernels, baking soda, sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the cayenne pepper.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine Greek yogurt, 2 eggs, almond milk, and butter.
  4. Shred your cheese.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry, and then fold in almost all of the cheese.
  6. Spread the batter into a greased baking pan, and sprinkle the remaining cheese (and the extra pinch of salt) on top.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown and smells heavenly.

Finally, Table for Seven’s Garlic Cheddar Quick Bread. I will warn you ahead of time that this bread has a dense, almost cornbread-like texture to it. It is truly scrumptious, but a little different. We buttered this up and ate it with a buffalo chicken chili that was DE. LICIOUS. To make up for my lack of pictures on the last bread, here are oodles of them, plus the link for the chili. I hope I am forgiven.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your loaf pan.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. IMG_7138
  3. In another bowl, mix milk, egg and canola oil until well combined. IMG_7139
  4. Combine dry and wet ingredients. IMG_7140
  5. Mix until combined, and then fold in cheddar cheese.
  6. Pour into your pan and sprinkle with some more Italian seasoning. IMG_7142
  7. Bake for 1 hour. Dig in. IMG_7143

This buffalo chicken chili will pair nicely with that last bread, or really any of them, now that I think about it.

IMG_7144 IMG_7145 IMG_7146 IMG_7147

See? Bread isn’t so scary. Now go enjoy that carb coma.

I hope everyone had a nice Halloween…despite all of my bad-mouthing of the holiday, I did have a nice time walking around and watching my little guy tell anyone who would ask that he was an astronaut. The aftermath – way too much candy – is another reason why this holiday must go. Who needs to have twix bars, milky ways, and m&ms staring them down every time they go into the kitchen?! Not this girl.

Anywho, it is officially November, which means that I can start sharing some of my cozy recipes again. I have been cooking up a storm, which is pretty standard for this time of year. We put the grill away, our schedule becomes a little more regular, and, as it is dark by 4:30pm, we are in the house and ready for a good meal most nights. Apparently this year is going to be the year of soup in the Myrick house, as I have recently learned that making soup is not nearly as hard as I always assumed. I don’t even know why I always assumed this, but I have proven myself wrong twice in the last two weeks, so I wanted to share those successful recipes with you. Both are easy and go great with salad and bread…I’ve also been trying out some bread recipes since I learned that active yeast is not scary. Another post.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup (altered slightly from Chef-In-Training*)

I was so excited to try this one because I’ve never been big on brothy soups. I end up eating all of the “good stuff” out and leaving a bowl of sad looking broth. This creamy version is absolutely delicious and so hearty. Plan ahead a little for this one – it takes about 90 minutes when all is said and done.

* Note: Chef-in-Training has some amazing recipes. Check her out!


Base of Soup

  • 8 cups water
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • ½ medium sweet onion, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes, ground up into powder (I bought the packs of powdered cubes –  less mess)
  • 1 bag of carrot chips
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 cups thick homestyle egg noodles
Cream Sauce
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • ½ tsp. salt


  1. Fill a large stock pot with 8 cups of water. Place raw chicken breasts in water. Add onion, salt, celery salt, onion powder, powdered chicken bullion cubes, carrots, celery and bay leaf. Stir a little bit just to combine flavors evenly. Cover with lid.
  2. Cook over medium-high (closer to high) heat and let boil for about an hour.
  3. Uncover. Remove bay leaf and discard. Shred chicken (or chop it into small cubes as suggested in the original recipe).
  4. Add noodles and about 1 more cup of water to the stock pot. Bring back to a boil for 20 minutes. (If your water is low, you can add more water if needed, but don’t go overboard. Remember that you have an entire cream sauce to add in there at the end. I probably added another 1/2 cup or so as the noodles cooked)
  5. While noodles are boiling, make cream recipe. In a medium bowl, combine milk and cream and stir to combine the two. Set bowl aside.
  6. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt ½ cup butter completely. Once butter is melted, add flour and stir constantly to form roux. Cook roux for about 1-2 minutes.
  7. Slowly add milk to roux stirring constantly and not adding anymore until each milk addition is thoroughly mixed in.
  8. Once desired thickness has been reached, stir in garlic salt and salt to the white sauce.
  9. Once noodles have boiled for about 20 minutes or until done, add chicken back into the base.
  10. Next pour and stir in white sauce to evenly combine. Stir over medium heat until it reaches desired consistency.


Sweet Potato Soup (thanks Kathy, for the inspiration!)

I still can’t get over how quickly I made this soup! The other thing that I like is that it’s vegan…I try to do one meatless meal per week, which sometimes goes well and sometimes does not. This one went well.  Kathy also suggested adding blending in canned white beans or adding cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne, lime juice, parsley or chopped spinach served over top for added nutrition and taste. I didn’t do any of that this first time, but might try it in the future.

Ingredients (this recipe only makes 1-2 bowls, so double, triple, or quadruple as necessary)

  • the flesh of two baked sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth (you can add more to thin out)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or soy milk)
  • a pinch of orange zest
  • a few pinches of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of chipotle powder (more if you want a bigger kick)
  • 2 diced avocados (for garnish)
  • crushed tortilla chips (for garnish)


  1. So here’s where I got lazy. Since I knew I didn’t need the skin of the sweet potatoes, I microwaved these to speed up the process. To do that, scrub your potatoes really well, and poke holes in them with your fork. Then put them in the microwave for 2-5 minutes, flip them over, and then for another 5 minutes. If they aren’t soft enough to poke a fork straight through, add another minute until they are ready. (If you want to do it the right way, put your scrubbed potatoes in your over and cook them at 400 degrees until soft.)
  2. Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes. Make sure you get it all!                  IMG_7026
  3. Add the potatoes, broth, and milk into your blender. Blend on low until smooth. Add the salt and spices to taste.
  4. Remove from the blender and stir in the zest.
  5. Warm it over medium heat on the stove until the desired temperature.
  6. Serve with avocado and chips over top. IMG_7027

Don’t these sound easy and delicious?! Go ahead and try them. Looking for an additional challenge? Find a way to work in calling them “souper” to your dinner guests😉

Halloween is Friday, so I figured I’d give you one more spooky craft before returning to warm and cozy recipes and fall foliage crafts. I have to admit, this one is my favorite, probably because once it was set up, my little guy was able to do it without my help at all. He’s becoming quite the independent spirit, so it was great to watch him have so much with this.

Mason Jar Halloween Characters (there are many, many versions of these on Pinterest, so it’s hard to give any one pinner credit this time)


  • 3 mason jars, any size
  • Painters tape
  • Acrylic paint: orange, white, purple
  • Foam paint brushes


  1. Start by taping your mason jars. I just cut out shapes by hand to make jack-o-lantern, ghost, and vampire faces. I also saw cute witches and frankensteins, for which I’d imagine you’d want green paint too.                           IMG_6807 IMG_6749
  2. Remove the lids and get your work space ready. If you are going to let kids do this, I’d suggest only putting one color paint out at a time, like our pumpkin set up above.
  3. Start painting (or let your little one paint). Make sure all of it, including the mouth of the jar, gets painted.                                                               IMG_6750
  4. Let it dry, overnight if you can.                                                                                                                IMG_6754
  5. Remove the painters tape, and with a q-tip, clean up anywhere that the paint might have bled through. For the vampire, I re-positioned the tape a couple times, so the seal wasn’t as good as I would have liked.                                      IMG_6792
  6. Put a tea light (or battery operated light) into each of the mason jars and display them proudly, because they are adorable. IMG_6105

So there you have it. Easy, inexpensive, and cute decorations that can either boost your holiday spirits or provide you with one bright spot during this Halloween season, whichever camp you fall into this year. I (reluctantly) wish you all a Happy Halloween.


30days30dates: PVD

An Experiment in Dating


Unwind one project at a time

Emily's Food

Trying new recipes, one week at a time.

My Blue Couch

Unwind one project at a time

%d bloggers like this: