About Wendy

SAHM of 1 school age kid, two adult kids (my 24 yr old daughter & 18 year old son) and one middle-age kid (the hubby). Avid animal lover who cares daily for our dogs, cats, fish, rat and chickens. My MIL says I need a cow for fresh milk; I say No Way!!! (LOL) Hobbies include listening to music, reading, writing, blogging (a new passion), watching TV (Castle Rock and Sharp Objects are current faves) baking, cooking, crafting, crocheting, and cross-stitching. I'm a laid-back mama who prefers not to micro-manage the lives of my family (though I feel sometimes like they micro-manage mine as my schedule mainly consists of coordinating all of their schedules). But, I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.

The Best Banana Bread Recipe I’ve Ever Tried

The Best Banana Bread Recipe I've Ever Tried--SImply Mudita Premium Stainless Steel 13 piece set measuring cups and spoons and equivalent chart

 

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

Many years ago, when I got married, one of the gifts my grandmother gave me was a spiral bound recipe book (like the ones that churches are famous for creating). This one was from her own personal church and was filled with many different kinds of recipes contributed by her and other members.

 

My Stock Photos-Cookbooks

Some of my favorite cookbooks. We subscribed to Blue Apron for awhile and I created a binder with page protectors to save all the recipes so I could make them again. Rachael Ray and Ree Drummond are ones I consult for dinner ideas often. That coverless one in the front is the church cookbook my grandmother gifted to us for our wedding. It’s coverless now and pretty well loved and used, as you can see.

 

I no longer remember what the cover of that church cookbook looked like because over the years I’ve made so many recipes from it that the cover long ago fell off and got lost. Quite a few of the inside pages bear the marks of food splatters that fell onto it while prepping the recipes within the pages or handwritten stars or comments about recipes we loved or didn’t love so much.

But, the most used page (hands down) is the one on which a banana bread recipe is found. I used only that one banana bread recipe exclusively for many years … quite happily.

Then, a magical thing happened. The internet. Yes, I’m old. I pre-date the internet. I make no apologies. #SorryNotSorry #AndImNotReallyThatOld

Pre-internet women actually used cookbooks on a much more regular basis than we do today. They maintained shelves of them in their homes or stored them in kitchen drawers. They tore pages out of magazines to save recipes to make for their families. Or they exchanged hand-written (or typed, if you were fancy) recipe cards with ingredient lists and instructions with friends and family.

It was a different time. Cooking and baking was an art to be mastered by trial and error with each woman putting her own personal style and flair and skill into every dish. Many women had a certain dish that became their trademark specialty. It was PTA or women’s group conversation fodder. Need a pretty cake for a wedding or party, Beth is your best bet. Cookies for the school bake sale, Sarah makes the best ones. You get the idea.

But, time marches on and change comes to all areas of life, this one included. And one can debate the positives and negatives when it comes to the internet opening up such a wide and expansive new resource for culinary inspiration. I often find myself debating them for my own personal amusement. While there are an endless sea of recipes available at the click of a button, there seems to be relatively few personal community recipe exchanges anymore in comparison. Cookbooks are a dime a dozen, you can buy one of thousands of them either in a store or online. It makes me wonder whether they are handed down through families anymore or if they are cherished for the memory of whoever gifted it to a person.

Just some sentimentality there. Sorry.

Back to the banana bread. As I’ve said, I’ve tried dozens of recipes, though none was ever better than the one in the cookbook from my grandmother’s church. Until now. Sorry, Grandma! [read more]

Best Gifts For Gamers

Best Gifts For Gamers--ROCCAT: Horde AIMO Gaming Keyboard

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

Everyone knows a gamer. Many of our readers are probably gamers of one kind or another. I, personally, prefer fun little games I can play on my phone or iPad like word-themed games, or those where you build up a little town and trade gifts and help other players, solitaire-type games, mystery games, or coloring apps. Pretty basic and mundane, I suppose.

But, my husband and children are much more prolific gamers than I ever will be. They love all the popular games for the PC, Nintendo DS, Switch, Xbox and Playstation platforms like Left 4 Dead, Far Cry, Resident Evil, Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, Zak & Wiki, Rock Band, The Sims, Grand Theft Auto, Assassins Creed, Halo, Metal Gear Solid, Battlefield, Red Dead Redemption, Uncharted, The Last of Us, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Gears of War, Metroid, inFAMOUS, Call of Duty……

I mean, pick your favorite game of all time and they’ve probably played it at some point. I can’t keep up with it all. I know I sound like a total noob.

Since they’re all gamers, any time birthdays or Christmas come around I always kind of delve into this part of their world just a bit (enough to become thoroughly dazed and confused!) in search of gift ideas that they’ll love.

Over the years I’ve found some nice little gems and started something of a tradition in gifting to the gamers in my own family as well as outside friends and family that is pretty successful. Here are some of my ideas for the best gifts for gamers. Some of this stuff you already know if you have a gamer in your life. [read more]

Overhaul Your Snack Cupboard

Overhaul Your Snack Cupboard--Mrs. Renfro's Salsa-Eat Your Coffee Energy Bars

 

 

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

Snacks. It’s an all-important segment of every shopper’s grocery list and a constantly evolving one for me. We love snacks at my house, but get bored with the same old ones every week. So, it’s essential to rotate what I buy to keep everyone happy and satisfied. I think my family appreciates the effort I make to find new and interesting items to nosh on while engaging in various home or on-the-go activities.

Mostly, I choose snacks with other family members in mind in terms of their tastes and what they might enjoy. Sometimes, I see a snack option while shopping that I just can’t resist buying for myself regardless of whether anyone else might also like it. Few and far between, to be sure, but I do succumb to my own personal snack desires on occasion.

I want to share two of the newest snacks to have occupied a space in my cupboard recently, Mrs. Renfro’s Gourmet Salsa and Eat Your Coffee Bars.

[read more]

Fun Stories Personalized For Your Pet

Fun Stories Personalized For Your Pet - Petlandia Book

 

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

 

Here’s a unique gift idea for the animal lover in your life. Who wouldn’t find it fascinating and fun to receive a storybook personalized for their beloved pet?

My daughter is as big an animal lover as I am. And her cats are her life. She’s a young adult, not married or a mother, yet. So, her kitties are her babies. I thought it would be fun to include in her birthday gifts a fun little storybook from Petlandia, personalized for one of her furbabies, Gypsy.

 

Fun Stories Personalized For Your Pet - Petlandia Book

 

This is an item that will be great for anyone, regardless of age, I think. Or even for yourself. The colors and construction of the book are really very nicely done. And it’s not just a short story with no plot, either. It’s more than thirty pages long with a nice amount of text which reads with a good flow. The story is full of fun details alongside beautiful illustrations. [read more]

Easy Smart Home Hack For Older Appliances

Easy Smart Home Hack For Older Appliances -- The Bond

 

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

Remote- (or voice-) controlled devices make moving through my day a little easier. It’s an unnecessary luxury, but a welcomed one, all the same. Especially since I’m often on my feet flitting from one task to the next and stopping to flip a switch or find a remote control for pretty much anything is an aggravation that I just don’t need. Check out this new little home technology gem that I’ve found to make that super easy! [read more]

Get Your Clean On

Get Your Clean On--Vacmaster Wet Dry Shop Vac-Shabby Chick Natural Products

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

 

One of the great constants of life is that there will always, always be something that needs cleaning. It’s just the way of the universe.

To that end, I am constantly looking for new products to try to find the best and most efficient ways to get things done. The two newest are pretty basic cleaning tools but no home can really be run with any success without them, in my opinion. [read more]

National Dress Up Your Pet Day

National Dress Up Your Pet Day - Zoo Snoods

 

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

Today is National Dress Up Your Pet Day. It’s the perfect time to share some really awesome new pet accessories with our readers. I swear, you are gonna love these. They are so stinkin’ cute!!!

They’re called Zoo Snoods. They are the most adorable hand-knitted hats/hoods for your favorite canine and feline friends to wear to keep their heads and ears warm while outdoors on cold winter days.

Being a crocheter and knitter myself, the appeal of this items perhaps needs no explanation. I have always wanted to try my hand at whipping up a handmade coat or ear warmer for our cats and dogs. But, it’s one of those things that is on my perpetual to-do list and never seems to get done.

Zoo Snoods-Giraffe

Zoo Snoods come in quite a few cute animal variations. I chose a giraffe for our Golden Retriever, Charles, and a unicorn for our Beagle/Jack Russell mix, Jaci. I ordered a size small in the unicorn because she seems like such a small dog next to Charles, but it was readily apparent upon opening the packaging that she is in fact NOT a small dog! [read more]

Powerful Pain Relief Without A Prescription

Powerful Pain Relief Without A Prescription-CBD For Life Pain Relief and Beauty Products

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

I keep hearing about so many new products hitting the market that contain CBD extract to address a multitude of issues people face. It’s increasingly getting more press time in the media and the industry is growing. I have been interested to learn more for a while. So, here it is, my very first experience using a Cannabidio (CBD) infused pain management product, and my thoughts about it…. [read more]

Change Up Your Beauty Routine

Change Up Your Beauty Routine--Yes To-BROO Moods-WEN Hair Care-Character Skin Care

Beauty Brite Disclosure

I love when a new season hits and there are new beauty finds to discover. There’s something invigorating about new products to try for beautiful hair and skin. Some new ones I’m using this fall are from Yes To, Broo, Character Skin Care, and WEN. [read more]

Super Sleek (And Easy To Use) Home Monitoring

Panasonic HomeHawk™ Front Door Home Monitoring Camera

Beauty Brite Disclosure

 

We’ve all seen the awful videos online and heard news reports about people’s packages being stolen right from their front steps. We’ve heard about burglaries while we are away from home at work, school, or on vacation. Also, on the rise are instances of home invasions when one or more family members are in the home, often in the middle of the night while we are sleeping.

In response, many companies are introducing home security products to help provide protection and a sense of security for consumers. The Panasonic HomeHawk™ Front Door Home Monitoring Camera provides plenty of awesome features to help you do just that.

  • – Color recording, even at night
  • – High-definition, weather resistant cameras perfect for outdoor and indoor use
  • – Wide-angle view up to 172 degrees
  • – Built-in, long-life rechargeable battery
  • – 100% wire-free
  • – Exclusive package monitoring mode
  • – Sync up to 15 additional cameras for more home monitoring
  • – Google Home and Amazon Echo compatible

This system is sleek, unobtrusive, and easy to install and manage. I’m not very tech-savvy, those tasks are ones that my husband and son take care of for the family. My husband’s been really busy with work, but my son was happy to play around with the camera units and see what they could do. [read more]