Countdown to Valentine’s

I try to plan out fun things for my family to do for most holidays. Sometimes things just don’t work out or things come up and change our plans, but I usually try to get something lined up anyway.

For the days leading up to Valentine’s day, I wanted to have something heart or love related for each day.

Here’s the tentative plan:

February 1: Make Heart Shaped Rock Candy

February 2: Groundhog day craft

February 3: Build toothpick and heart candy shapes

February 4: Make strawberry cookies

February 5: Heart-shaped cinnamon rolls for breakfast

February 6: Charlie Brown Valentine dinner and a movie

February 7: Make Valentine cards for grandparents

February 8: Heart Oreo Truffles

February 9: Make a pie with Maw Maw

February 10: Valentine tic-tac-toe snack

February 11: Make Valentine slime

February 12: Make friend Valentines

February 13: Make Daddy Valentines

February 14: Valentine Dinner and gifts


1920s Murder Mystery Birthday Party

My daughter wanted a 1920s themed murder mystery party. She’s been pinning things for about a year. The biggest concerns were the story line and people being willing to really get into character. I decided to purchase a kit.  I got ours from It comes with everything you need to pull off this murder mystery. If you buy the DIY version, you should buy it a couple of weeks in advance so you can get everything cut out and sent out to your participants. They offer a full service option, but I thought it was a little pricey.


I got a backdrop from Oriental Trading. I got lucky to get it on major sale. It is normally $39 but I got it for $10. I went to Dollar Tree the morning of the party and bought gold, silver, and black balloons. I also got fresh flowers for all the tables and bathroom. There were gold fans sold at Target that we hung in the party room and kitchen. I got bloody cut outs from Amazon to put throughout the house. We used gold fringe from Amazon to put in the doorways. In the foyer, my husband made a police lineup and the birthday girl used the Cricut and our laminating machine to create photo booth props.




Because it was a speakeasy mobster theme, we planned an Italian dinner party. We served olives, peppers and onions with sausage, various meats and cheeses, caprese salad, shrimp with cocktail sauce, grapes, and salad.  We served lasagnas with Italian bread for dinner. For dessert we offered ice cream with various toppings which was a big dessert in the 1920s. I made a tiramisu. The birthday cake was a lemon cake with raspberry filling so it would look bloody when it was cut. We had a table for drinks. We had three mocktail recipes printed out for people to make their own fun drinks.


Everyone was asked whether they were willing to participate or not. Those who were willing were assigned a character which was sent to them. Once the party started, each person received a clue for each portion of the dinner party. We had things we were supposed to say to each other and conceal from one another as well.  Everyone really got into character. It was hilarious! I purposely did not read the clues so I would be able to play along. I accidentally saw who was the victim, but did not know who the murderer was until everyone else.

There was a fact game that was required in the game. I also made a trivia game.


In the kitchen, we had poker and roulette set up for those who wanted to play.

For the goody bags, I included candies that were around in the 1920s. Some of them were Reese’s peanut butter cups, Kit Kat candy bars, Dubble Bubble bubble gum, and Dum Dums. I also included a deck of cards, a gold pencil, handcuffs, a tuxedo box of Hershey kisses, Rice Krispie treats, and Pop Rocks (because everyone loves them).


It was a GREAT party and we had a wonderful time.


Since my oldest is heading to college in the fall, it’s time for college visits. Her number one pick is in Baltimore, Maryland so we are headed there in a few weeks. We will only be there for about 30 hours, so I’m looking to anyone out there for advice. Where should we go? What should be avoid? Are there any places that are “must dos”? What are good places to eat?

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Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!

Low Carb Brownies {Recipe}

I haven’t shared a low carb recipe in awhile. I tried out a few recipes that weren’t share worthy, but finally made one that I just HAVE to share.

I am not the biggest fan of cake but I love cookies and brownies. I feel like a have a good handle on  low carb almond flour cookies but haven’t really been brave enough to try brownies until now.

These brownies truly taste as good as the full sugar, flour version. They are low carb, no sugar, and gluten free. They stayed moist for a full week without having to be tightly wrapped. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe:


Loved in the South’s Low Carb Brownies

3 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup sweetener (I used Splenda)

1 cup Torani sugar-free caramel syrup

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a greased pan. Bake 35-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out dry. It may have a little bit of soft brownie stuck on it, but it should be cake-like, not runny.


A Workout You Can Do At Home

I’ll begin by saying, please check with your own doctor before beginning any exercise program. Please realize that correct form and proper rest are required for best results and in order to prevent injury. Immediately stop any exercise and seek medical attention if you feel pain, dizziness, faint, or can’t catch your breath. You are responsible for yourself and your health.

I have always loved working out. I even have my degree in health and education. As the new year rolls in, I know that many people make it a goal to get fit. Many people will join gyms and begin new routines. That is awesome and I actually love to see people trying to better their lives. One problem that hinders people who are not yet in the habit of regularly exercising is when life events get in the way it becomes easy to quit. When that baby is sick, or the in-laws visit, or the weather gets bad it’s easier to make an excuse because there’s no backup plan.

I want to give anyone out there a plan for those days or even for those who don’t have access to a gym. If you have any questions about any exercise, I would be happy to answer them. I am not, however, a personal trainer. I hold several exercise certifications, but personal trainer is not one.

This is a workout that you can do at home or at the gym. You can choose to do all or part of this workout. If you don’t have stairs, you can jog in place for 30-45 seconds instead.


Remember to rest, drink plenty of water, and stop when you need to.