#LorimarSleepover Wine Tasting Trip to Temecula

Wine Tasting Trip to Lorimar Winery. #LorimarSleepoverOn my previous trip to Temecula, I fell in love with Lorimar Winery. Not only are the grounds gorgeous, but the people are also my favorite. So when the marketing department said I should bring a group of bloggers to visit, I was SUPER excited.  They also invited us to stay in a rental home behind the property for the night. We worked with VisitTemeculaValley.com to put together a really fun wine tasting adventure. The visit was a blast! Read on to find out why I’ve fallen in love with the Temecula Valley!  [Read more…]


Sunbutter Cookie Recipe

Holiday Cookie Exchange Blog Hop with @paperandcake.Hey hey! I’m part of a cookie exchange blog hop today! My pal, Abigail, over at Paper and Cake, set this fun blog hop up and so today I’m sharing this yummy Sunbutter Cookie Recipe. We’ve got a nut allergy in my family and one of the things I’ve missed the most is peanut butter cookies. But when I realized that using Sunbutter tastes so super similar, I figured out how to fill my cookie void.

Sunbutter cookie recipe. A great peanut butter alternative for food allergies. They are just as sweet and rich and nutty tasting (without the death peanuts) as regular peanut butter cookies. Mmmmmmm.

Sunbutter cookie recipe. A great peanut butter alternative for food allergies. Nothing special. Just normal cookie making ingredients. And delicious, delightful Sunbutter. There aren’t any special steps. It’s basic cookie making. And a little bit of prayer since my oven runs hot and I, more often than not, burn EVERYTHING.

Sunbutter cookie recipe. A great peanut butter alternative for food allergies. And to me, these cookies are not complete without being rolled in sugar and pressed down with a fork. It really is what sets them apart.

Sunbutter cookie recipe. A great peanut butter alternative for food allergies. Turns out my nut allergic sun doesn’t really care for these cookies all that much. But at least I know that when I’m craving a peanut butter cookie, I can make these and make sure that he is safe. And can you imagine these dipped in a nice dark chocolate? Oh yeah!

Sunbutter Cookie Recipe
These are the perfect replacement for peanut butter cookies when you have a nut allergy.
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 1 cup Sunbutter
  • 1 cup butter, melted (you can substitute margarine if you have other allergies)
  • 2 eggs (you can use egg replacer if needed for your allergies)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2½ cups flour
  • extra sugar to roll dough in
  1. In a stand mixer, mix Sunbutter and butter until creamy.
  2. Add sugars and eggs and mix well.
  3. Add baking soda, vanilla and salt and mix well.
  4. Add flour slowly while mixing.
  5. Shape dough in to balls.
  6. In a bowl full of sugar, toss balls to coat.
  7. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  8. Flatten balls with a fork.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe via: http://www.sunbutter.com/recipes-SunButter-Cookies-Lorene-Wallner.php

Bacon and Sage Dip Recipe

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeSo there is this dip. And I love it. I love it so much that I decided to add bacon and sage to it and make it even better. Because why not. The dip is super easy and tasty. To eat this the right way, you must eat it with Ruffles. (Not sponsored.) Ruffles are the perfect saltiness and the perfect crunch. I didn’t have them on the day I shot this and I was super disappointed. The chips I had on hand were too crunchy and hard which does not provide optimum enjoyment for the dip experience. But I am sure that even with just a spoon to shovel it in your pie hole you will love this Bacon and Sage Dip Recipe.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeMayo. Gross. While I can’t eat this on its own I still use it in recipes. As soon as the other ingredients mask the smell I’m totally fine. When you have fresh sage and bacon bits around, well, that’s all you smell. Thank goodness. The cream cheese helps to make it super creamy and the one clove of garlic provides the right amount of flavor and heat.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeAnd the wooster sauce adds a nice depth of flavor and meatiness. Ain’t no body able to spell Worcestershire.  Wait, did I do it? Did I spell it right?

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeWith a hand mixer you just beat all the ingredients together and once creamy, mix in the sage and bacon.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeAnd then eat it. Eat it all up.  And then play around with it. Add in other ingredients. Make it your own. All I know is that I love it and the sage makes it perfect for holiday entertaining.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeSee. These chips are all kinds of wrong. That is not the color of Ruffles.

Bacon and Sage Dip RecipeBut don’t worry. I powered through and ate the chips and dips anyway. I’m not generally going to turn away a snack food unless it is truly horrid. What is your favorite dip recipe?

Bacon and Sage Dip Recipe
I took my favorite dip and jazzed it up with bacon and sage. You're welcome.
Recipe type: Snacks/ Appetizers
  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 TBSP mayo
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Season salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Enough cream or milk to make desired dip consistency. (for me it's approx. 3 TBSP)
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh sage
  • 2 TBSP bacon bits
  • Serve with Ruffles chips.
  1. Add all ingredients (except milk, bacon and sage) in to a medium bowl.
  2. Using a hand mixer, beat all ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Add milk or cream, a TBSP at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Add bacon and sage and stir in to the mixture.
  5. Season to taste.
  6. Enjoy with Ruffles.


Things I Love : November, 2014

Take time to stop and bake mini donuts with your kids. Random things that I loved this month…

I usually work on blog stuff in the mornings. Even the weekend. So it was a really nice change of pace when my son found our mini donut baker in the garage and all but demanded we make them immediately. So we did.  And they loved them. And it was really fun to make something for breakfast and take a little more time with them instead of being on the computer. I guess sometimes you have to stop and smell the mini donuts.

The styling in Bon Appetit Magazine is the best. They get me. I die for food magazines. I rarely make anything from them, but I have to read them each month. Over the last year or so I’ve been falling in love with Bon Appetit and their styling. They just get me. It’s all I can do to wait patiently for the new issue to arrive each month. The creative direction is SO GOOD. Like, I want to rip out these pages and decoupage them on my dresser like I did with bands in high school.

Celebrating a friend who is following her dream. This didn’t happen in October but I didn’t download the photo until now so it missed last month’s ‘Things I Love.” My dear friend, Erika, was an extra on Brooklyn 99, one of my fave shows. So of course we had to have a viewing party at her house and experience it together. It was the Halloween episode. She nailed it. I love watching her explore this new path in her life and think she is awesome. See her on Cougar Town here.

My favorite Erin Wasson for RVCA shirt and vintage necklace. You guys. I’ve only been wine tasting twice now but both times I really felt like I needed to wear this vintage grape necklace that my grandma gave me. Do you really need to have a good luck charm for wine tasting? Because I think this is mine. My grandma wasn’t in to wine per se although she always ordered a Chablis when we ate at the pizzeria. One of the funniest conversations I ever had with my grandparents was them making fun of pretentious wine tasters and the adjectives they use to describe the wine. I will never forget it. I love this necklace. And this shirt. I will die if anything happens to it. It’s Erin Wasson for RVCA and it is my all time fave. If we’ve hung out in person you have certainly seen me in it. And I love my new necklace from Shop Serene Sky. I won it at a blogger event and it’s totally my style! So glad I didn’t win the free month of exercise.

Fried Green Beans from The Habit. Dearest fried green bean, how did I not know about you until now? I saw someone post about these on their instagram account and later that day went to try them. I adore green beans. It’s the world’s best vegetable. And fried?! Yum. This was my first time at The Habit, although it is in the same parking lot as my Joann’s so you know I’ve passed it and smelled it like a gazillion times. The burger was also amazing! Can’t wait to go back and try out more things! I also love that they put a gummy hamburger in the kids meals! Nice touch.

Nerds against bullying! You know I love Nerds, right? They are my fave. But if Nerds and green beans got in to a fight, I’m not sure whose earrings I would hold. That’s not true. I would mean mug the green beans and back my Nerds. And then eat the green beans and then the Nerds.  So when Geeky Hostess posted this it made my heart sing. Candy against bullying. Now that is a cause I can get behind. Well done Wonka.

High waisted jeans changed my life. YOU GUYS! I’m sorry to shout at you but these pants changed my life. So I’m pretty cheap about my denim. I used to buy pricey pants, and they really did fit and wear well. But it just isn’t the right time for me to spend a lot on good denim. So I’ve been hitting the cheapy stores for my pants. These stores usually go for a younger audience so the pants are all low-rise and terrible whiskering. Well, I finally came across that was high-waisted (but not in a Jessica Simpson high-waisted pants debacle, high waist) jeans and they are awesome! The whiskering and details are still not something I would typically go for, but the fact that my muffin top is fully ensconced in these pants is amazing! I instantly felt pounds lighter. Shirts lay nicer. And I don’t constantly have to hitch them up. Because they sit above my hip bones, they don’t slip down much to create saggy butt. Life changing. So now I wear them every day. I apologize in advance.

Kids on the red carpet. This one is also from last month. My husband has a friend who is an artist and he created some custom pieces for a show at the Long Beach Museum of Art. One of the pieces is a sort of team photo from a made up sport and my husband is one of the players. So of course we had to go see my husband hanging on a museum wall.  We took the kids and they were so much fun to have there. My oldest dressed like he was going for an art heist (here he is missing the beanie and hood up). And my youngest was super in to the receptions happening outside including dancing like a spaz to the band and sucking down Sprite from the bar. And, of course, we had to get them on the red carpet. The docents only had to talk to the boys a dozen times to remind them not to touch anything.

My favorite wines from @lorimarwinery/.I have new favorite wines! I fell in love with Trio from Lorimar Winery on my first visit (a red with notes of coconut, yum). But this last visit I was lucky enough to get to taste even more of their wines. Their sparkling wine is my fave sparkling! SO delicious!  And the Grenache Blanc is where it’s at. I can’t wait to crack that baby open! Looks like I’ve got my holiday drinking game plan set.

Tillamook Chef event with Haven Gastro Pub at Provisions Market in Orange. I was invited to attend a Tillamook cheese event a few weeks ago and it was amazing. Tillamook partners with chefs from all over the country and has them create sensational dishes using Tillamook product. This event was in conjunction with the Chef’s of Haven Gastro Pub and Provisions Market in Orange. The servers strolled around with platters of beer and cheese beignets and other delightful cheesey dishes. There was a fantastic cheese tasting spread set out complete with beer pairings and then there was this Mac and Cheese. Best. Ever. For this recipe they used the Extra Sharp White Cheddar and added bacon and other yummy goodness.  The event was awesome but my favorite part is that they are sharing all the recipes! I want to make everything!  Here is the White Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese.  I fell in love with the Black Pepper White Cheddar and can’t wait to find that again in a grocery store. Mmmmmm.

Best Pencil Sharpener Ever

White desk with bright office supplies.Ok. You guys might think this post is crazy. Like, Sharon, you can’t possibly love a pencil sharpener this much. But it’s legit. My love is real. So much so that I want to share my love of an inanimate object with you. So much so that I sought Classroom Friendly Supplies out to do a review for them, at my request. They sent me a sleek, chic black pencil sharpener so my photos would be cuter but I have had a blue one for about 6 months. It’s kind of like part of the family now. And it’s the best pencil sharpener ever.

White and bright office space.With school starting and homework routines being set, my mom decided that my boys needed a really good pencil sharpener. I give her all the credit. She researched online, read reviews and spent time on this. It seems a good, manual pencil sharpener is hard to find. But then she came across this one by Classroom Friendly Supplies. It showed up at our house and the boys immediately started sharpening all of their pencils. I had no idea they would take to the sharpener the way I did.

Best manual pencil sharpener ever. I use only pencil for my editorial calendar and blog planning. The first time I used the pencil sharpener my world changed. I usually grab whatever dull pencil is lying around, left out by the boys. But a nice sharp pencil really does something for my productivity. We don’t have an office area set up at the house (thank you to Lauren for letting me borrow her workspace for these photos!) so the pencil sharpener sits on one of the counters in our kitchen where we keep the homework supplies. I couldn’t take a picture of it here because it is literally sitting next to a jar of mayo (unopened but still, ew gross – a result of pantry cabinet overflow) and a big jug of cranberry juice. No one wants to see that. This pencil sharpener needs to shine!

Best pencil sharpener. Ever. The pencil sharpener comes with a clamp so that it stays put when you are using it but we just hold it steady with our hands since we move it all around the house to where ever we need it. It comes in other colors as well, and they also have a discount if you buy 3 of them. And you should totally buy these for your kids teachers. They will totally want one.

Best pencil sharpener. Ever. Isn’t she pretty?

Best pencil sharpener. Ever. Recently I thought we killed ours. My kids sharpen far more pencils with it than they really need to. I was devastated. The price is not outrageous (they are $25 each) but I really didn’t want to spend another chunk of money on a pencil sharpener around the holidays). But as I was looking at the site, I came across their videos to troubleshoot problems. You guys!  It turns out that there was just lead stuck in the sharpener! I was able to take it apart, following their instructions on the video, and fix it!  World saved! This is a hearty little machine. It’s going to last you a nice, long time.

Best pencil sharpener. Ever. You see how the front part of the pencil sharpener, the metal part, is away from the body? Well, that holds the pencil and feeds it in to the blade for you as you crank. It’s so smooth and makes the nicest point. Yes, I’m a nerd and love this pencil sharpener.

The best pencil sharpener ever. For real. It's manual and it's perfect. And yes, I think it's odd that I love a pencil sharpener this much also...The shavings go right in to this little drawer that you can empty right in to the trashcan. It. is. the. best. ever. I am sure that the people on your holiday gift list don’t realize that they want this pencil sharpener. But they totally do! Or surprise them with it as a back to school present. This is THE only pencil sharpener you should ever have.

*I asked Classroom Friendly Supplies to send me a black pencil sharpener for my photos because I need you to know about this amazing product. And they did. Because they are awesome. And they are available for all your pencil sharpener needs.