Friday, February 26, 2016

Funny Friday: Shopping Lessons

Today’s post is February’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.
Funny Friday | | #MyGraphics

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by The Bergham Chronicles

Funny Friday, a humorous monthly challenge. One picture, five captions. Picture by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles | Brought to you by | #humor #funny

1. Shopper to her mom: Now you're sure this package says donuts, right?

2. Shopper to her mom: I'm going to need to speak to the manager. Something needs to be done, this market is not set up for the vertically challenged.

3. Shopper to her mom: For the last time, mom, we cannot visit the wine aisle, can't you see I'm busy here?

4. Shopper to her mom: Now watch what I'm doing very carefully, next week I'm going to let you try this yourself.

5. Shopper to her mom: Since I'm doing all the work here, I think it's only fair if you pay . .  .

And now for something yummy:

Crockpot Creamy Chicken, an easy hearty comfort food. Mix the sauce, add the chicken, cook in just 4 hours in the crockpot. Serve over wide noodles for a full dinner. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #crockpot #dinner

Crockpot Creamy Chicken

Baking In A Tornado | | #MyGraphics

Crockpot Creamy Chicken
Printable Recipe
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
garlic powder, salt, pepper
3/4 cup frozen chopped onion
2 green onions, chopped
1 TBSP chopped chives
1 can condensed GOLDEN mushroom soup
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup bacon bits
1 1/2 cups par cooked broccoli florettes
6 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
16 oz wide noodles

*In a greased crockpot, mix together the chopped onion, green onions, chives, golden mushroom soup, chicken bouillon, white wine, water, cream cheese and sour cream. Turn crockpot on to high, heat and mix until smooth. Turn the crockpot down to low.
*Cut the chicken breasts into 3 to 4 pieces each. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place into the sauce in the crockpot.
*Cook for 2 hours, stirring now and then. Turn the chicken over and cook another hour.
*Add the bacon bits, broccoli and mushrooms. Cook one more hour.
*In the last half hour, cook the wide noodles according to package directions for al dente. Serve the creamy chicken over the noodles.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Be My Guest: Confessions of a part time working mom

I'm able again today to introduce you to another friend and fellow blogger who has agreed to Be My Guest. In the 6th of my Guest Post series I'm introducing Tamara of the blog Confessions of a part time working mom

Tamara is another international friend I met through blogging. Although you can't tell from her amazing grasp of English, she's from Switzerland. She's one of these people who can do it all, she works part time, raises her son, cooks, bakes, crafts, plans theme parties . . .  How can you possibly do it all? Well, I'll let her tell you.

Be My Guest: A series of Guest Posts on | #blogging #bloggers #MyGraphics

Today it's my honorable turn to guest blog for my dear friend Karen!

We met almost three years ago. Actually, her husband introduced us. This is how it went down:

I was groceries shopping and almost ran over her hubby with my brimful cart. He was crouching in front of the bottom of the baking aisle, scratching his head.

Oohps, I am sorry, I almost didn't see you! Are you OK?"

"Yeah, don't worry. I was just trying to remember what it was that I was supposed to take home."

"Well, what do you want to make?

"Haha, not me. I don't bake. It's for my wife.She wants to bake some bread."

"Hm, not many ingredients needed to make bread. Flour, water, salt, yeast, done!"

"Ohhh, noooo, she doesn't do yeast! It's definitely something else."

"Really? Is it something for St. Patrick's Day maybe? Irish Soda Bread? 'Cause that's a bread that doesn't require yeast!"

Looking relieved, he dumped about a dozen packs of baking soda into his cart and told me his wife blogas about what she bakes. I stood there, rooted to the spot, my mouth probably open. When I regained my composure I asked if by any chance his wife was the famous Karen @Baking In A Tornado?

That's when we were done with shopping and went to their home for some Bay Leaf Coffee and yummy baked goods . . .

Wouldn't that have been a fun way to meet? Instead I can't even remember through which common acquaintance I came to read my first post of hers, but I do know it was the Fly on the Wall about garage door openers.

So today I want to talk about life balance. Just life. No work - OK with you?

Adjust the scales, a thoughtful meme about life and balance | Made by www.BakingInATornado for Confessions of a part time working mom | #MyGraphics

What do I enjoy doing?

  • Sleeping
  • Eating
  • Having coffee and wine, not at the same time, though and PLEASE no bay leaves!
  • Spending time with my son
  • Blogging
  • Browsing at the mall
  • Meeting with a friend
  • Purchasing a purse
  • Watching movies
  • Baking
  • Arranging parties for St. Patrick's Day or Halloween.
What do I spend my time doing? 
  • Being awake in the middle of the #$@&%*ing night.
  • Doing laundry
  • Shopping for groceries and cleaning supplies
  • Cooking, sometimes as many as three times a day
  • (Un)loading dishwasher
  • Cleaning up other people's messes
  • Working at the office
  • Going to the dentist
  • Recycling
  • Telling my son to brush his teeth, to hurry up and put on his shoes
Now I wish I could tell you "scr** your to do list, life is short, do as you please" because that wouold bit you (and as a result, me) in the butt. I do have a suggestion, though:

Make your to do list more enjoyable!


Grocery runs don't have to be as stressful and annoying if you shop during quiet hours whern there's no war out there in the parking lot.

Bring a list! Sounds like a no-brainer, but how many times did I go to the market because I literally just needed milk, eggs and apples, however I ended up buying milk, crushed tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, ham, pizza dough, Italian herbs mix, olives and more because, oh my goodness, we haven't had pizza night in at least 10 days!! 

If you can, order online and pick it up. Saves so much time you can spend doing things you like.

With a little positive attitude (and this is really the key word for it all) I even found things I like about going to the dentist:

  • They play a radio station with music mostly from the 80s
  • My hygienist is a really nice girl, unlike the know-all bitch who was treating me before
  • All I have to do is lie back, open wide and relax (haha, who can relax at the dentist?)
  • Once it's over, I don't have to worry about it for another year
Laundry? It needs to be done, and you can call yourself lucky if you have access to appliances that do it for you! Remember, your grandmother would have killed for a utility room like this:

Keeping that in mind, stuffing your laundry in your machine and pushing a button isn't really hard, and afterwards you may have coffee and do something from your wish list! Time permitting, take the items out of the dryer while they're still warm and not wrinkled. It's kind of nice to fold and put away. What an achievement, you're done! Coffee?

The day job. Hmmm. If you are not passionate about what you earn your money doing, that's a bit of a toughie. Still there are plenty of things that may be quite nice about that job, I'm sure. coworkers, the coffee maker, a nice pen, the fact that you are indoors where it's warm and dry (or would you rather collect other people's trash while it's raining cats and dogs? I didn't think so), plus you can squeeze in some Facebook time here and there.

If you feel the scale pan that contains the chores, worries and annoying things is weighing you down, please take a step back and think about how you can remove one item! Just one! Can a family member do it? Will the world end if nobody did it at all? How much happier will you be once you're released from it? What will you do with the time you've just won?

Visualize it!

Are you smiling?

Tell me about your simple change you're going to make!

Don't wait for the right time, a thoughtful meme about making the time to do the things you want to do | Made by www.BakingInATornado for Confessions of a part time working mom | #MyGraphics

About the author:
Tamara has been blogging as part-time working mom since summer 2012. When she isn't working, parenting or writing, she likes to bake and craft, and she has a bit of a reputation for taking on one too many projects.
You can find her posts here: 
 Confessions of a part time working mom
Follow her on social media here:
 Google +

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fly on the Wall: Naturally Fuzzy

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 11 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

You may be aware that it was Valentin.e's Day last weekend. Hope you had a nice one. Mine kinda got mixed reviews. Hubs, as always, did well. The boys? Not so much.

College Boy: Mom, Valentine's Day is a bullshit holiday thought up by companies just to get our money.
Me: So I guess you're saying I shouldn't be expecting a card?
College Boy: I forgot the card but I bought you some chocolates. They're in the Walmart bag on the kitchen counter.
Me: And a very lovely Valentine's Day to you too.

~ and ~

Me (on phone with PurDude): It was Valentine's Day a few days ago, I thought I might hear from you.
PurDude: Yeah, you know, I've been so busy with classes I didn't even know it was Valentine's Day.
Me: Did you get my card?
PurDude: Yes, thank you, Mom.
Me: Well, that might have been a hint . . .

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I was in the bathroom having just gotten out of the shower and was getting dressed.
College Boy (comes over to the door of my bedroom): Are you OK?
Me: Yes, I'm fine.
College Boy: What happened?
Me: Nothing. I don't want to tell you, you'll just roll your eyes.
College Boy: You're hurt, I won't roll my eyes.
Me: I was putting on my sock and lost my balance, I grabbed the counter but caught it at the corner. I grabbed it so tight I put a divot in my palm.


I look out of my bathroom and College Boy is walking away shaking his head.

Me: You said you wouldn't do that.
College Boy: I'm not rolling my eyes, I'm shaking my head . . . {{and under his breath}} AND rolling my eyes.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I am NOT a horrible picture taker.

Fly on the Wall: picture taking may need some work | | #funny #humor

PurDude is just naturally this fuzzy . . .

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

We were having a snow day and I decided in the afternoon to sit in my big comfy chair in my room and read for a while.

I got myself situated and comfortable and pulled out my electronics. Tap, tap. Nothing. Tap, tap. Nothing. That's weird, why won't it turn on. Tap, tap. Nothing.

I look up and there's College Boy rolling his eyes.
College Boy: Mom, you do know that's how you turn on your phone. And you're holding your Kindle.

Damn. I hate when he's right.

 Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I was texting with PurDude trying, as always, to get him to come home.

Me: I miss you. I'm going to email you a pic of the cookies I just made to entice you to come home.
PurDude: Just mail me the cookies.
Me: You're a really smart kid, but you seem to have a problem understanding the concept of enticing you to come home.

Broccoli and Loaded Potato Crockpot Soup: A creamy soup made easily in the crockpot. All the flavors of a loaded baked potato with the addition of broccoli. | Recipe by | #dinner #soup #crockpot

Broccoli and Loaded Potato Crockpot Soup
Broccoli and Loaded Potato Crockpot Soup: A creamy soup made easily in the crockpot. All the flavors of a loaded baked potato with the addition of broccoli. | Recipe by | #dinner #soup #crockpot

College Boy asked to borrow my car one night. He was going to work, then out to dinner with friends and wanted to take my car. I agreed but went through all of the instructions I always do: no drinking and driving, watch your speed, no texting and driving, don't listen to the music too loud to stay aware of what's going on around you. I know he's a grown adult, but I also know I'm still a bit traumatized from the time he and his friends lit my car on fire.

At about 8:30pm, I hear a text come into my cell. The conversation went like this:

College Boy texts: Hi I'm texting and driving to let you know I really like your car stereo.
I text back: You're trying to kill me, right?
College Boy texts back: You're onto me.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Purdue basketball has been having a good season. It's been a lot of fun watching the games. Although they didn't maintain the ranking, at one point they were even in the top ten.

We were watching on TV when Purdue lost to Iowa. Hubs looked down at the Purdue sweatshirt he was wearing and commented that he was disappointed that his lucky sweatshirt had not worked.

Last month they were playing Iowa again on a Sunday afternoon. Hubs came down wearing his "lucky" sweatshirt. I took one look at him, shook my head and said "no." He knew exactly what I meant, went upstairs and came down wearing a Purdue t-shirt. Purdue lost again. I stood up, grabbed one of those long fireplace matches and started walking upstairs.

Hubs: What are you doing?
Me: Going upstairs to set fire to all your clothes, of course.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

If College Boy is going out locally and we know he's going to be drinking, we ask him not to drive and just call us for a ride home. He was going out on Friday night and was going to call us for a ride. I wasn't feeling well and was going to bed early so we told him to call his dad's cell. 

Of course he called mine. Since Hubs was 2 floors down in the man-cave, I called him on his cell and told him College Boy was ready.

The next morning we were talking and Hubs said something about College Boy calling him the night before.

Me: He didn't call you, he called me.
Hubs: No, he called me.
Me: No, I called you.
Hubs: Well, someone called me.
Me: {{blink, blink}}.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

A fly on the wall this month would have seen me make some of my own memes. 
Farting Reduces Calories meme | | #funny #MyGraphics

Wet cell phone meme | | #MyGraphics
Someone said on FB meme | | #MyGraphics

Well done? Or "don't quit your day job"?

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Anyone hear me hang up the phone then sit down and let out a scream while pulling at my hair this past month?

Many of you know that PurDude came home in December without his brand new luggage. It took me two days but I actually tracked it down in Chicago and got the airline to send it to us. It arrived destroyed. The airline would do nothing about it unless we drove the luggage back to them at the airport, which we eventually had to do.

I literally spent PurDude's entire vacation fighting with the airline. First to find the luggage, then to get it to us, then to reimburse him for the charge. While it was missing, their Customer Service Agent told me they would pay for a few days clothes. He bought them and I sent in the claim. 

I sent email after email, made phone call after phone call and tweeted daily. They finally told me (via twitter) that the claim would take up to 14 weeks to process. All I was asking was for them to acknowledge they had received the claim so I knew it was in the queue. Long after PurDude was back at school I was still making daily efforts to get someone at the airline to respond.

On day 38 they called my house. The conversation went like this:

Rep: I want to talk to you about the damaged luggage, we don't have a claim for it.
Me: You forced us to drive it to the airport and either exchange it for a bag we didn't want or let you "assess" it for 3 months while we send him back to school packed in paper bags. What I need now is for you to acknowledge that you received the claim for the clothes we purchased.
Rep: Those claims are backed up. They can take up to 20 weeks to process.
Me: I just need to know that you received it.
Rep: Sorry, that's not my department.

Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado | | #MyGraphics

Broccoli and Loaded Potato Crockpot Soup
Printable Recipe

3 medium baking potatoes
1 can (14 oz) vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup French onion dip
1 TBSP chives
1/3 cup bacon bits
1 cup broccoli florettes, par cooked
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

*Wash and pierce potatoes. Place on microwave safe dish and microwave 5 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and microwave 5 minutes more.
*Allow to cool until you can safely touch them (can do this part a day in advance and just put potatoes in the fridge), then peel and chop into about 1 inch cubes.
*Put potatoes, broth, half and half, green onion, red pepper, salt and pepper into crockpot. Cook on low for 4 hours, stirring now and then.
*Stir in the onion dip, chives, bacon bits, broccoli and cheese. Cook 1 more hour, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Be My Guest: Not That Sarah Michelle

I'm fortunate today to present the next post in my Be My Guest series. If you've been following along you know that I lost my dad, and as I struggle with all that entails, a number of blog friends agreed to help keep my blog going by providing me with guest posts.

I've known Sarah of Not That Sarah Michelle through blogging for so long that I can't even remember how we met any more. I can tell you this, any time I have ever needed anything she's been there for me. She and I have supported each other as we've grown our blogs and as we've honed our writing and as we've struggled personally. I love not only what she wrote today, but that she wrote it for me. Even while she was sick. She's that kind of friend.

Be My Guest: A series of Guest Posts on | #blogging #bloggers #MyGraphics


What is loss? Why do people say that we "lost" someone? We didn't LOSE them, we know what happened. Maybe it's because we feel like WE are lost without that person there. I know that, for me, when my grandma died, I felt like a piece of me was missing. Twenty three years later, I STILL feel this way.

My heart has many pieces missing that are shaped like those I love. When someone passes, a part of us passes with them. We long for a moment in time where we can speak to this person, just to tell them one final time that we love them. But if we are honest with ourselves, that is never really enough.

I've experiences a lot of loss in my life. Both of my dad's parents are gone and I miss them more than I can explain. I lost a cousin and it hit me harder than I thought it would. My maternal grandfather passed and, honestly, I felt nothing. My uncle passed and it really didn't impact me. Daily, I find myself withing for just a sign of my grandparents or my cousin, to know they are around me. Sometimes I catch a hint of familiar perfume or a passing smell of cigarettes. But is that really them?

As a follower of Christ (sorry, not a fan of the work Christian), I believe that if you live life as good as you can, you're good. I don't know what Heaven or Hell looks like. I think it's everyone's own interpretation, if that makes sense. I like to think that one day I'll be reunited with the family I loved and lost. it brings me peace. If I will or not . . . well, there is only one way to find out and I'm not quite ready for that yet. 

What I DO know is that when we experience a loss, we feel like we literally can't go on. We feel like that part that went with the person who passed was so vital to our existence, we just can't live anymore. That's not what they would want though. They would want us to live, to go on and experience our life and make them proud. They would want us to prove ourselves wrong.

We CAN go on.

About the author:
Sarah is the owner of the blog Not That Sarah Michelle, where she talks about her life, as uninteresting as it may be. She is a wife and mom with a tiny zoo of animals (okay, only 3) who lives in a small town in Kentucky. When she's not blogging, she's surfing Facebook or avoiding school work. You can find her at:
her Not That Sarah Michelle blog,
her Facebook Community
and on Twitter. 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Friday, February 12, 2016

Use Your Words: And a Black Eye

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words | | #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I’m using: card ~ love ~ flowers ~ wine ~ yelling ~ black eye

They were submitted by: Not That Sarah Michelle.

I love Google.Well, we're two days from Valentine's Day so what better time to announce your love, right?

But the truth is, I have no idea how I made it through day to day life before there was such a thing as Google. How I found out all those little bits of information I needed or wanted or even just plain never knew existed. 

Like today. I got these words and I thought " card, love, flowers, wine, I can do that, especially two days before V. D." I even thought "yelling, that could work too, after all, yelling doesn't have to be in anger. There's that whole shouting-from-the-rooftops thing". And then I got to black eye. All I could think of is "huh? how the hell am I going to work that into a Valentine's Day post? I got a black eye when I fell from the aforementioned rooftops following a love proclaiming yell-fest?"

Enter my good friend Google. Saved my ass this time. Because guess what that know-it-all Google told me today? That there is a winery called Black Eye. Don't believe me? Google it. HA!

Red Hot Cocoa: Delicious hot chocolate infused with a bit of cinnamon spicyness and a kick of liqueur. Perfect for Valentine's Day | Recipe developed by | #recipe #drink #ValentinesDay

Red Hot Cocoa
Red Hot Cocoa: Delicious hot chocolate infused with a bit of cinnamon spicyness and a kick of liqueur. Perfect for Valentine's Day | Recipe developed by | #recipe #drink #ValentinesDay

I know that many people don't believe in celebrating Valentine's Day. I'm not one of them. I am a full participant in the celebration of V.D., love it in fact. The holiday, of course, not the disease. Although many people believe that the holiday was created by greeting card companies or chocolatiers, it's not really so. Valentine's Day seems to have its roots both in a fertility festival celebrated in ancient Rome and as a way to honor up to three early saints named Valentine in three different parts of the world but all of whom were supposedly martyred on February 14th. I'm fairly certain I know why no one names their kids Valentine any more.

Even in terms of the connection between the holiday and romance I'm pretty sure Hallmark has plausible deniability. Valentine's Day was first associated with love back in the Middle Ages. It seems most likely that the first correlation between the two was in a poem by Chaucer dating back to the 1300s and references St. Valentine's Day as a day for lovers.

How do I know all this? Yeah, I Googled it.

The truth is, whether it's become completely commercialized or not (doesn't take Google to attest to the fact that it has), I just see no problem at all with setting aside a day when we all are reminded to stop and take some time to express our love, make or pick out a mushy card, brighten up someone's winter day with some pretty flowers and chocolates, share a romantic dinner and a bottle of wine, put aside any anger and yelling, and, whatever you do, refrain from giving any one a black eye

Unless, of course, it's the wine.

Links to the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Red Hot Cocoa
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (4 servings):
1/2cup heavy cream
1 TBSP Cinnamon Schnapps (such as Goldschlager)
3 TBSP powdered sugar

1/4 cup water
1 TBSP chocolate syrup
3 TBSP Red Hot Candies
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
dash of salt
4 cups milk
OPT: 4 oz Cinnamon Whiskey (such as Fireball)

*Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the cinnamon schnapps and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Place in the refrigerator while making the cocoa.
*Crush the Red Hot Candies. Set aside 1 TBSP for the garnish.
*OPT: Place 1 ounce of Cinnamon Whiskey into each of four mugs.
*Whisk the water, chocolate syrup, 2 TBSP crushed candies, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Lower the heat and whisk in the milk.
*Heat, whisking now and then, until the mixture is hot but do not allow to boil.
*Divide the hot cocoa evenly into the mugs.
*Top with a dollop of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed candies.