Paula Deen and Pumpkin…need I say more?

Once upon a time I didn’t really know anything about cooking.  While Blake and I were dating, he would come pick me up at my house each night to hang out at his house and then bring me back for my 10:00 curfew.  (We were actually really strict about that curfew)  While I would wait for him to pick me up I started watching a little girl named Rachel Ray.  Now this was in 2003ish so she was not the big name celebrity she is today.  I credit Rachel Ray for teaching me how to cut things up and to modify a recipe to work for you.  The only downside is that I don’t like most of what Rachel Ray cooks…

Bring on Paula Deen.  Now Paula and I could be good friends.  I knew I needed to learn more so for my 30th birthday, I went to visit her.

After spending some time with Paula and her brother…

That picture is real, by the way…

So it was no surprise to me that when I was looking for a great dessert to take to Thanksgiving dinner, I turned to my old friend, Paula.

I give you…drumroll please…

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle

  • 2 (14 oz) packages of gingerbread cookie mix
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional


Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.

This trifle is AWESOME!!!  You have to try it!



Thankful November–Day 27

Today I am thankful for a website I found a little over a month.  It is FlyLady.  You can check it out here.  Basically it is common sense about keeping your house clean and your house organized.  The stuff on this website is not rocket science but it helps to have it all in one place and it just makes sense.  There are steps to making your morning routine run smoothly.  There are monthly goals to work on.  If you sign up they send you a lot of emails but I can run through those pretty quick to get to the meat of what I want to see.

I started doing FlyLady’s routine about a month and a half ago.  A little over a week into it, Blake was wondering what had gotten in to me because he could see the changes in my housekeeping.  I definitely have a long way to go but at least I have some goals in mind now.

Lots of Thankful Days in November

So I got a little busy with life…This is going to be a long one!!

November 18–I’m thankful for friends.  I’m thankful for people who have been a great friend in every season of my life.  It’s funny how God puts the right people in your way for them to bless you and for you to bless them.  So whether you were my good friend when we were little, in high school, college or last year…I’m thankful for you and what you have brought to my life.  I hope I’ve added as much joy.

November 19–I’m thankful for modern technology.  I am a gadget girl and I love how handy my life has become because of this technology.  I remember when the first computer was brought into our elementary school.  We have come  along way since then.  I am also thankful that I have almost saved enough money to get an iPad, I’m just saying.

November 20–I’m thankful for chocolate.  On a bad day, chocolate can make it so much better!  I’ve never met a chocolate I didn’t like except for german chocolate cake and that 90% junk that my school nurse tricked me in to eating once.

November 21–Today I am thankful for the great examples of marriage that I have in my family and in Blake’s family.  Today my parents celebrate 35 years together.  They are a great example of a marriage where divorce has never been an option.  Every day is not full of roses and love but through thick and thin my parents have supported each other and I think they have a pretty great marriage.

November 22–I am thankful that my grandma started playing Words with Friends.  I love playing with her.  It’s just nice to know that she is thinking of me even if that means thinking about how to beat me or thinking how smart I am because I can beat her  🙂  Love you Grandma!

November 23–I am thankful for a job where we get Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, summer break, etc.  Don’t be jealous.  We all made our choices in life.

November 24–I am thankful that we have finally figured out a holiday plan that works for us.  We get to spend a fair share of time with both sides of our family without feeling like someone gets the short end of the stick.

November 25–I am thankful that Parker is learning how to sleep in…enough said

November 26–I am thankful today for a day spent with family.  We had a great day today at the movies and taking my parents out to eat for their anniversary.  It was nice to get to spend time with my family and not feel rushed.  I am thankful that we all enjoy each other’s company and have fun together.  No one can make me laugh til I cry as fast as those crazy Appleberry’s.

I fell behind on this week’s thankful posts but it is definitely not because I don’t feel blessed.  I am one lucky girl and I try each day to appreciate that.  I hope you have just as many blessings in your life.  And the month isn’t over yet!!

Thankful November–Day 16 & 17

Whoops!  I missed yesterday!  Frankly, I’m surprised that is the first day I missed.

Yesterday I was thankful to live in a place where I can enjoy all the seasons.  We got our first minor snow of the season.  You could hear kids all over the school yelling that it was snowing.  That made me start the ole “you think we will have school tomorrow?”  rumor.

The chill in the air brings the excitement of the holidays.  The snow brings the fact that we might get a day off…A girl can dream.  Then we will be so ready for spring and warmer weather.  I don’t like the bitter cold but I don’t know what it would be like to always have the same temperature and weather all year long.

Today I’m thankful for my small town.  I enjoy going to the grocery store and stopping to say hi to people. I enjoy knowing the kids who are checking people out at the grocery store.

It is comfortable to be able to run to the local jewelry store’s Ladies Night Out and visit with coworkers, board members and friends all in one place.  It’s even better when you win a Fossil change purse in a drawing!

I’ve never lived in a “real town” except in college and I was too poor to enjoy it then.  I don’t know what it’s like to just run to a department store and pick up something I need.  Until I moved to Nevada, I didn’t even know what it was like to live in a town with a movie theater.  There are definitely some disadvantages to living in a small town but I think the perks outweigh the negatives.

Everybody might know my business but that just means they might also have my back.

Thankful November–Day 15

Today I’m thankful for a variety of things…

Sonic in general but especially the mushroom Swiss burger
People with manners
Mindless TV
chocolate anything
Kids who will take suggestions on things to read
A great assistant at work
Comfy beds

Thankful November–day 14

Today I am thankful for my grandparents. I grew up over 900 miles away from them but they did a great job of staying close to me and involved in my life. I am thankful my grandparents have been around to see my accomplishments and to get to know my kids.
I am thankful that I can call them and talk about whatever.
I’m thankful my grandma got a new iPhone so I can beat her in Words with Friends.
I’m a lucky girl to get to hang out with my grandparents for 33+ years and counting. I don’t take it for granted.