Friday, October 11, 2013

Photo Friday

For today's photo Friday, I give butt. Happy Columbus Day weekend (yay for Monday's off!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

...because it needs to be said.

I’ve been fighting the urge to write this post for what is probably years now…mostly because I don’t want to come off as a huge jerk.  However, I just feel like some things need to be said, and no matter how much I try to hold them back, maybe it will be heard by just one person…which is enough for me, at this point.

Are any of the rest of you startled about the constant posts on Facebook and Twitter, linking up to blog articles that are about any/all of the following subject matters?
“Don’t Judge Me Because I’m a Stay at Home Mom”
“Don’t Judge Me Because I’m a Career Woman”
“Don’t Judge Me Because I’m A Single and Childless Woman”
“Don’t Judge Me Because I’m Happily Married
My question is this: why do we feel as if we are being judged?  Is it because we feel like we aren’t living up to everyone else’s standards of what they think your life should look like?  Is it because of well-meaning comments that friends and loved ones can make about your current station in life, not knowing that it makes you question where you are and what you’re doing?  Is it because we allow society to let us know that the only thing that really matters is how many people “like” your Facebook statuses, or “favorite” your Twitter posts?  Are we living to please other people, or are we living the lives that we think that we should be?
I rarely get very “deep” in terms of thoughts and beliefs in this blog, and that’s basically because I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re not welcome here.  But I will say this:  I am a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan for me.  Is the plan that God has different than what my plans are/were?  Sure.  When I was in high school, I thought that I would be married with at least one kid by now.  But I’m not.  I’m single, I live in an apartment, I work 60 hours a week, and I am responsible for my own well-being and existence on this planet.  Often, people that are friends of mine have made comments about my life status – well-meaning comments, but comments that cause me to question what I’m doing with my life.  Here are some examples:
“Find a job that you love and that fulfills you – why aren’t you doing something you love that pays more?” – paraphrase of an actual conversation had with a friend while sharing my fears of being laid off
“See, this is why I think you should have kids!” – said to me while holding someone else’s baby
“Your sister is married…that has to be weird for you” – said to me on the phone shortly after my younger sister got hitched
You get the gist of what I’m saying, right?  But here’s where I’m going to divert away from where MOST of these articles that I’ve been reading lately are going.
WHY WOULD THESE QUESTIONS BOTHER ME?  They shouldn’t!  The plan God has for me doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else’s.  And that’s okay!  Not being married, being married, having children, and not having children do not make anyone better or worse than anyone else.  I shouldn’t have let these comments get to me, but they made me think – do these people pity me?  Is my life really not as great as I think it is?  Am I really to the point where I need to justify where I'm at in life to other people?
My life is perfect…for ME.  Why are we trying to fit into molds that we perceive to be “right” for our lives?  I’m single, I live in an apartment (with a wonderful roommate), I pay for my own things, and I am responsible for my own life.  I have two jobs in an economy where people are lucky to have one.  Am I rolling in money?  No.  Am I raising the next generation of young Americans?  No.  But that doesn’t make me and my life any less (or any more) important than anyone else’s.  I think it’s really arrogant to actually state “being married is the most fulfilling thing you can experience” or “being a mother is the most important job of all time” or “having the best career ever is the most amazing thing” or “being single totally outweighs being married and chained to someone else.”  Come on! 
The point of this post is this – instead of begging other people to not look down on whatever and whoever you are, QUIT WORRYING ABOUT WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS AND BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF.  I’m challenging myself to be the best version of Jenny that I can be.  I’m focusing on being a blessing in my relationships as a daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, etc.  I’m trying harder to use my gifts to the best of my abilities.  I’m challenging myself to be better at my devotions, and to pray about things instead of worry so much. 
I don’t have to be the best at everything…in life, sometimes you lose when you try things…and that’s okay.  In life, we aren’t entitled to have everyone think that we are the best at everything.  To be honest, that’s a LOT of pressure we are putting on ourselves.  I can’t decorate like Martha Stewart, I’m not as giving as Mother Teresa, I don’t have a job like Katie Couric, I can’t sing like Celine Dion, and I sure as heck don’t look like Adriana Lima in a bra and underpants.  But I’m pretty good at being me…so that’s what I’m going to stick with.  And the people who love me won’t care if I can’t do everything perfectly, no matter where I am in life.
How about you?



Monday, September 23, 2013

Cinnamon Pumpkin Cupcakes

What better way to kick off the first official day of fall than with delicious cinnamon pumpkin goodness. I baked these yesterday and they were gone by last night. The icing is so light and pairs so perfectly with the dense pumpkin cake that these are guaranteed to be an instant favorite.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and grease your cupcake tins (or just line them).

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 2 T butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
8 oz pumpkin (with pie spices)
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt.
Cream the butter and sugar together then beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla, pumpkin and oil.
Beat in the flour mixture alternating with the milk.

Bake cupcakes 28-30 minutes. Makes 20.

The Best Frosting EVER.

1 (8 oz) cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
2 cups heavy whipping cream

mix everything in a bowl except for cream, then slowly add heavy cream and whip until you have peaks.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chicken and Stuffing Shells

With the colder weather rapidly approaching, nothing makes me happier than true comfort food. I altered a recipe I found for Thanksgiving stuffed shells (using leftovers) that is to die for. It's cheesy and creamy and everything that makes you feel warm and cozy.

1 box of pasta shells
1 large can of chicken
1 box Stove Top stuffing


Friday, September 13, 2013

Photo Friday - Southern Gates

Just a quick post for photo Friday - here are a few of the gorgeous Southern Gates that Charleston is so famous for.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wholly Cow!

Labor Day has come and gone, marking the close to another incredible summer. Jenny planned another fabulous trip to Charleston, SC to end summer with a bang. If you ever happen to be in the area, you MUST take a little detour and go to this wonderful little ice cream shop we went to - Wholly Cow. It's at 159 Church Street (near Cumberland). It was one of the best scoops of ice cream I've ever had - soooo creamy and delicious! We actually had to go back the next day because once just wasn't enough :-) I had the double oreo (cookies and cream),

and Jenny had sea turtle (I think that's what it was called). Her's was adorable! There were little chocolate turtles in it!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Weekend in Charleston, SC

It's Labor Day weekend once again, and as tradition dictates, I'm visiting Jenny in lovely Charlotte, NC. Jenny always thinks of delightful things for us to do on my trips down to visit, and last year she came up with a doozy. We were going to head to Charleston, SC for the weekend. We went on a cemetery ghost tour, shopped til we dropped in the huge open-air market, and spent a day at Isle of Palms swimming in the ocean and catching some rays. We're headed there again today to fill in the gaps of what we didn't get to do last year. Here's a picture of Me, Kelli (Jenny's fabulous roomie) and Jenny in front of the Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park from last year's adventure :-)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Maybelline Color Show Review


I was walking through Target searching for very important things that I absolutely need (or strolling the makeup isles looking for fun things to try) and came upon this nail polish. I put three coats on, and it's so fun! It reminds me of granite or something. It's clear with black and white pieces in it - and unlike a glitter nail polish, it was very easy to remove. Now, clearly, I'm not a professional, and they needed to be cleaned up along the sides, but you get the point. Overall, I give this two thumbs up for the fun factor alone. I got so many compliments on them! This also looks really cool over a color, because with only one coat, you just get some speckles - it looks like you took a paint brush and spattered it around.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

What my dog does all day

Lexie is the great bug hunter. All day everyday, she goes around looking for bugs (and bunnies) to hunt down. She's pretty awesome at it though - no fly stands a chance in our house. I came home the other day to find her intensely staring at the window...
This cracked me up - she tried to get that darn stink bug for about 1/2 hour. I'd love to hear some of your crazy funny pet stories - leave a comment!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mary Lou's Famous Pancakes

I challenge you to find a better pancake recipe ANYWHERE. These are it. The cream of the crop. The best. Numero uno. My mom's pancakes are a widely requested treat in our family and if you make them, you'll quickly see why. The secret to these little buggers is to fry them using bacon fat. If you don't save up your leftover bacon grease, these probably won't be anything special. It gives them perfectly crispy edges with a taste reminiscent of bacon. I like these as silver dollar or just small pancakes (more edges!)

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup of of butter/oil mix (1/8 cup melted butter and 1/8 cup oil mixed together)

Mix together the dry ingredients and in a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Then mix the dry into the wet. Heat up a cast iron skillet with some bacon grease over a medium heat. Pour the batter into little blobs and when most of the bubbles pop on top, flip them. Now go enjoy the best pancakes ever!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Banana "Ice Cream"

We've all seen the Pinterest post that says that you can make ice cream out of one ingredient: bananas.  I have to admit that I was intrigued...partially because of my love of ice cream, and partially because of my hatred of bananas.  Could a food that I loathe turn into a food that I adore?  Is this true, or is this another case of false advertising on Pinterest?  I had to find out.

I have made this twice now.  I will say that no self-respecting ice cream lover could be fooled into thinking that this is actual ice cream.  That being said, it's actually kind of good.  I added a few ingredients in there to jazz it up a bit...and to cover up the taste banana, of course.

You Will Need:
4 very very ripe bananas
1.5 tablespoons natural peanut butter (optional)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (optional)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Slice up the bananas into little discs and throw them in a food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl, and add peanut butter and cocoa powder.  Pulse again.  Scrape down sides and add chocolate chips.  Pulse one more time (or you can stir them in, either way).  Put into a freezer safe container, and freeze overnight.  I used a very shallow one so that they would freeze a bit better.

I actually eat it for breakfast (because I'm a baby and I hate eating fruit, so this is a good way for me to get some fruit and protein in with the peanut butter).   Just wait until it thaws a bit so that you can use an ice cream scoop or spoon.  It's surprisingly rich and creamy.

Go forth and eat your bananas!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pumpkin Applesauce Cake Bars

A few disclaimers before I really dig into this post (and probably one of these yummy bars):

#1.  I am in no way a food photographer.  I know next to nothing about food styling (as you'll see in the pictures below) - this is my first haphazard attempt at the "step by step" recipe picture thing and let me tell was chaotic at best.  So bear with me!

#2.  You know how most people are either a good cook or a good baker, but very rarely will you find a person who is good at both?  I am not a baker.  You do the math.

#3.  This was an experiment - I'm sure there are a million ways to improve upon this, and I hope you let me know how you fared in your comments if you try this recipe!

You will need:
1 13x9 baking pan
1 box of spice cake mix
3 little cups of applesauce (see picture)
1 can pumpkin
pumpkin pie spice
nonstick spray

Spray the baking pan with the nonstick spray so that it is nicely coated - there is no fat (oil, butter, etc) in the cake, so you want to make sure this bad boy doesn't stick.  Next, combine the can of pumpkin and the applesauce in a bowl and mix well.  I used 3 of the little cups of applesauce, but you could probably just use 2 of them.  I chose cinnamon applesauce because I wanted this to bring some spice along with it.  Next, add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the pumpkin/applesauce and mix well so that it's combined throughout.  After that, gradually add a bit of the cake mix at a time, making sure that everything is mixed in well before you add more.  You may need to add a bit of water to the batter at this point as it will be thick - I didn't add more than 1/4 cup of water when making this.

*Sidenote - this was my first time using a Kitchenaid mixer and I have two words:  life changing!

Next, pour the batter (it will be on the thick side) into your baking pan.

Bake at 350 for 33-35 minutes.

The cake is going to come out looking cracky and not very pretty, mostly because of the density I'm sure.  Don't judge a book by it's cover here, folks!  There is a lot of goodness in this not so cute little cake!

Okay, so here is what I learned - while the temptation to immediately dig in is immense, let the cake sit and cool.  This was SO MUCH BETTER on the second day.  The flavors really combine together, and the bottom of the bar becomes even more dense, so that it's cakey on top, but incredibly moist on the bottom (almost like the texture of a really rich brownie.  Except, you know, it's pumpkin).

Let me know if you guys find any other delightful variations, or something that works better...
PS - if you put some butter on top and stick it in the microwave for a few seconds, it makes a really delectable breakfast.  :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Best Thing About Fall... probably the arrival of new candles at Bath & Body Works.  Or is it the food?  I'm not sure, but when I was "window shopping" yesterday at the mall, I was completely sucked into the Bath & Body Works store because of the candle advertisement outside the door.  So, like a moth to a flame, my roommate and I flitted into the store.  

Every year, I get SO EXCITED that fall candles are coming out.  And there are new ones this year!  Allow me to review an old faithful favorite, and two delightful newcomers...

LEAVES - If you haven't had the delight of burning this candle in your home, do so immediately.  This is my favorite fall scent (and Rose's as well)!  It has a scent of apples and cinnamon, but it also has a woodsy quality to it that makes me think of the Cranberry Woods candle of the past (the new one is NOT the same).  It basically smells like fall is supposed to smell.  

PUMPKIN APPLE - This is going to sound strange, but have you ever wandered into a Hallmark store and thought to yourself "why can't my house smell like this?"  Well, I have news for you.  This candle smells like a Hallmark store smells in the fall - warm, cozy, and just perfect.  If you love apple scents, this is for you.

BLUEBERRY PUMPKIN PATCH - So, I was chatting away with the girl at the register, and she said that this is the first blueberry scented candle that she can remember B&BW ever carrying.  It smells like a slightly spicy blueberry muffin, and they said that it smells even better when it's burning.  

You don't have to be like me and become a total candle addict, but do yourself a favor and treat yourself to one of these little guys!  They are amazing!

*I was not paid or even asked for my opinions, I just felt like telling ya'll about these :) 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lexie - the most awesome Rat Terrier on the planet

drum roll please..............
It's my pleasure to introduce you to my baby. This is Lexie. She's hilarious and sweet and my shadow. We got her when she was 12 weeks old and weighed only 3 pounds. She's now 1 year (and some change) old and weighs close to 12 pounds. 

lex baby



lexied big



Review Friday: Moe and Joe's Spinach and Artichoke Dip



This is SO GOOD. It really tastes like you made it yourself (not that anyone here has ever scooped it into a bowl and claimed that). And it should taste like you made it at home, because you could. The ingredients are my favorite part about this dip. They are so simple - it's spinach, artichokes, feta cheese, garlic and a few other things. No crazy whattheheckdoesthatsay and icantpronouceyou crap. It's good honest real food. I reeeeally like this dip with Popcorners. Normally I would serve a spinach type dip with tortilla chips or pita chips, but the extra salt on the Popcorners makes it a perfect combo.

Moe and Joe's has other varieties as well like Chipotle Garlic Salsa, Mexicali Dip, Artichoke and Garlic Salsa, and Spinach Dip. I've only tried the Spinach and Artichoke Dip, but the cashier  where I bought it said the Mexicali Dip is something she can't live without. I imagine that all the varieties are equally as delicious. What are you waiting for? Go find some!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Whipped Cream/ Cream Cheese Frosting



I'm writing this one down because I definitely don't want to forget it! These were GREAT. I got the recipe from I'm sure they are perfect as written, but I didn't have angel food mix, but I did have a box of strawberry cake. Really, I don't think the cake is important. The fruit center was awesome and the icing is one to write home about. Oooh, that icing.

Make these - you won't be disappointed!

We have an overabundance of peaches right now from our neighbor's tree, so I'm going to make these again using those, but adding ginger,cinnamon and nutmeg to the centers...I have a feeling they are going to be out of this world.

Use any cake recipe you'd like - here's the recipe for the filling and icing (mmmm) taken directly from it's original source

Strawberry Filling
1 quart fresh strawberries, diced
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons white cornstarch
3/4 cup water

1. Divide the diced strawberries into two mostly equal piles. Place half aside and place the other half into a medium saucepan.

2. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add to the saucepan.

3. Add 1 cup sugar to the saucepan and stir everything up. (If your strawberries are super sweet, feel free to reduce the quantity of sugar in the sauce.)

4. Heat on medium heat until the strawberries are soft. Use a immersion blender or potato masher to mash the larger pieces of strawberry. It's OK if there are some chunks of strawberry in the end, but you don't want it to be super lumpy.

5. Allow the strawberry sauce to cool. Add the remaining (raw) chopped strawberries to it and mix.

Whip Cream Icing
1-8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream

1. Throw your creamed cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract into a large mixing bowl.

2. Use an electric mixer on low speed to mix everything up. Once the sugar is well dissolved, begin adding the heavy cream a little at a time. Increase to medium speed. Keep mixing and adding heavy cream until you have "peaks" of icing.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mamaw Pie



A lady at work gave me this recipe and it was delish! You have to have a verrrry sweet tooth for this one, but it was super easy to throw together if you have unexpected company coming over.

•2 pie shells
•1/2 stick butter
•1 bag flaked sweethened coconut
•1 1/2 cups pecans (rough chop)
•1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
•1 can sweetened condensed milk
•1 (16 ounce) cool whip
•1 jar of caramel ice cream topping

Toast the pecans and coconut in the butter, then let them cool. Beat the cream cheese and the condensed milk until smooth, then fold in the cool whip. Now put 1/4 of the mixture on the bottom of each pie (1/2 total). Drizzle 1/4 of the caramel sauce on each pie (1/2 the jar total). Sprinkle 1/4 of the pecan/coconut mix on each pie (1/2 total). Lather, rinse, Repeat. You're done! Pop those babies in the freezer so they set up and thaw before serving (I actually preferred it partial frozen).

I made one of the two pies with sugar free caramel and sugar free cool whip and it was equally delicious. For the regular pie, I used butterscotch sauce and it was a bit too sweet for me - stick with caramel.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Look Who's Back...Again!

Hey all,


If any of you still read this blog...thank you!  If you are new to Rosebuds & Buttercups, you made it just in time...because we are back, baby!


Rose and I are at least going to post once a week, in hopes of getting back into the routine of being a part of the blogosphere...we missed you!  And missed blogging in general.  Having an outlet for all of your thoughts (well, maybe not ALL of your thoughts) is a good thing, and I have truly missed this little bloggy.  We have neglected it for far too long!


So, some things to look forward to (no, I still have not lost my love for the almighty LIST):

#1.  New recipes, hopefully with photos as well (have to bust out my photography chops again - they have also been sorely neglected).  Soon to come:  pumpkin applesauce cake, and a totally experimental lemon cake.

#2.  Photography posts...because really, who doesn't love pictures?

#3.  More reviews!  I used to love doing our product reviews...always helpful to know when someone has found a diamond in the rough!


See you back here, later this week...with some REAL posts!




Mamaw Pie