7 layer bars

we make these all the time. way too much. then we devour them… 1 sweet little piece at a time.

// my kids love to measure, dump, spread & take small tastes along the way.

<<< start off with some simple ingredients >>>

7 layer bars

combine 1 cup of crushed graham crackers with 1/2 cup of sugar & 1/2 cup of melted butter

// press into the bottom of a 8×8 baking dish

sprinkle with 1 cup each of chocolate chips, butterscotch and coconut

open the can of sweetened condensed milk and drip all over the top of the pan.. should look like this:

<<< set the over to 350 and bake until the condensed milk begins to bubble; about 20 minutes or so >>

i co-host this sweet little link party – stop by & link up or just pin some new recipes!

linked up with Flamingo Toes!

30 has arrived.

it’s the eve of my 30th birthday and i’m reflecting tonight.
with eager anticipation, i have waited for this birthday since i was in middle school.

// i suppose i always assumed that turning 30 would make me an insta-adult. mature. i have never been shy to admit my age and according to my 53 year old dad, “age is just a number.” so tonight, on the last day of my 29th year i am choosing to embrace. enjoy. rally some ideas & set foot into my 30th year with intention.

// so, here’s some lists –>> type A, overly organized, kinda bragging!

10 accomplishments

1 / making it to 30!
2 / graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration & small business management
3 / was a successful fortune 500 recruiter in Southern California & Washington, DC
4 / purchased a BMW with 3 months of income. her name is Lily. she is 5.5 years old & drives brand new!!
5 / bought a gorgeous Southern home in Virginia
6 / had my first child. jack. an amazing boy following after Jesus.
7 / quit my job –>> I CHOSE JACK!
8 / had a second child. abigail. a dreamer. a doer. a lover.
9 / started Anchored Design.
10 / launched a successful woman’s blog.

10 things to accomplish during my 30th year

my list is short. my desires are small.
1 / perform 52 intentional acts of kindness
2 / be in the Word more. pray more.
3 / take a professional photography class
4 / spend more quality time with my sweet children
5 / be bold again.
6 / 1 novel + 1 business-growth book each month
7 / participate in a century bike ride
8 / get lean.
9 / take the kids to a theme park.
10 / run a 10k, perhaps a half

10 places to travel

1 / go hiking in Big Sur
2 / spend a week at a beach cottage flipping through magazines, building sand castles with the kids & relaxing [wish me luck, for those of you that really know me well]
3 / attend a thursday nite SLO farmer’s market & fries from firestone grill
4 / meet my girlfriends in chicago
5 / take a private plane ride
6 / spend a month in NY
7 / take a train to a new city
8 / a weekend in NYC with my mom
9 / a long weekend getaway; something luxurious
10 / a roadtrip

cheers to 30! thanks for following along.



7 gifts for men

there are no cuff links, golf gear or ties on our list. just a quick guide to give you some ideas as you begin searching for Christmas gifts for the men in your life. this list has been approved by my dad & 2 adult brothers that enjoy receiving gifts they will ACTUALLY use!

BUY HERE // the ultimate man tool. it grinds, smooths, cuts, makes noise.

BUY HERE // this little kit will make that man smile from ear-to-ear. it did for mine!

BUY HERE // these cozy slippers will keep those toes warm while he takes out the garbage in the snow or walks around on the hardwood floors this winter.

BUY HERE // for records. for collections. you cannot go wrong with a 1-of-a-kind reclaimed crate.

BUY HERE // sure beats your favorite chevron-printed or pink leather case! let him be man-ly.

BUY HERE // perhaps it’s the place of first kiss, first date or weekend in a cabin. memorialize it with this little keychain!

BUY HERE // all men need men-watches.

so, what you are you getting your husband this Christmas??

{no affiliate links are used — these are just great gift ideas!}

pumpkin dip date.

i love being in the kitchen with my kids. both of them have step stools & several aprons and have always asked to join us in the kitchen. spending time teaching them how to crack eggs, hold onto the bowl while using an electric mixer, measuring out flour, testing the batter ;) & watching the oven while our favorite cookies bake.

// i especially love fall. pumpkin, streusel toppings, peeling apples for pies, a toasty oven warming up the kitchen.

a pumpkin dip date.

gather a friend, a son, a daughter or husband and head to the kitchen to make pumpkin pie dip!! this past week we made a classic pumpkin dip using the following ingredients:

// a can of pumpkin, a box of vanilla instant pudding, a tub of cool whip & some 1 T of pumpkin pie spice.

// step 1: mix all of the pumpkin all of the instant pudding and the 1 T of spice

// step 2: fold in the coop whip

// step 3: enjoy!

disclaimer: this is not my recipe. i thought it was a cool whip recipe but, nope. someone told me about it &, well, it must have morphed over the years into this delicious concoction. enjoy.

// this friday we’ll be launching a twice monthly link party with sweet friends –>> Amy & Ashley. come back with a recipe to share and maybe a story about being “Together in the Kitchen”.

20 Mom and Son Date Ideas

>> UPDATE: after more than 195,000 repins on Pinterest and thousands of visitors each week, be sure to check the comments for some additional ideas!!

<<<     >>>

my firstborn & son Jack is the sweetest, most generous, most caring, most creative & the smartest boy i know {i am partial, for sure!}. his smile lights up a room, his love for others is inspiring, his sharing attitude is contagious. i just love spending quality time with him. here’s a list of 20 things we love to do together and hopefully they offer some fresh ideas for you too!

i am reminded daily how quickly these sweet children of mine are growing up. these ideas will create some fantastic memories. so grab a few ideas and spend some time with your son.

20 mom and son date ideas

1 / get outside. my son loves digging, picking leaves, collecting rocks & digging dirt.

2 / go on an exploration. we always take a bag to collect garbage + another bag for collecting cool finds. walking around the neighborhood or around a local park always makes for interesting conversation.

3 / go to barnes & nobles. sometimes for the books but mostly to play at the wicked cool train table set up in the children’s section.

4 / story time at the library. the women at our library are amazing storytellers.

5 / throw rocks into water. living close to the beach, this is a regular activity for us.

6 / share a slurpie. yes, at 7-11. this is the only time i will advocate entering a 7-11!! this is perhaps my son’s favorite drink. & it’s special because we rarely buy one. makes mouths happy.

7 /enjoy a baseball game. find a local minor league, or if you’re lucky you might live close to a major league park.

8 / putt-putt golfing. now that jack is 5, this makes for an hour-long fun event.

9 / bake cookies. he has his own stool, knows how to crack eggs (& how to use the cracked shell to scoop out the small shell pieces!) we love spending time in the kitchen together!

10 / DIY project. this boy loves nothing more than pulling out our art supplies & making something. he is so creative.

11 /dinner date. there’s something about sitting at the counter of a diner with your son. ordering a burger & fries & sharing an over-sized milkshake {sometimes we just hit chick-fil-a!}

12 /fly a kite. we love sitting together and chatting while our kite’s mingle in the sky (especially easy if you live close to the beach!)

13 /kids building workshop at Lowe’s or Home Depot. perhaps the best way to spend a Saturday morning.

14 /floor time – build with legos or blocks.

15 / a day at the zoo or aquarium. give him the map & let him lead. he always has a list of animals or events he wants to see. empowers them with independence & decision-making.

16 / go canoeing or fishing. spending time near water is always exciting.

17 / plant a garden. we have sets of shovels & rakes so he can help dig holes and plant seeds… & he LOVES watching the plants grow.

18 / build a puzzle. jack loves puzzles and sometimes we get out the really big Disney puzzles and help each other separate, organize and build the puzzle. great bonding time!

19 /take a horse ride. find a local equestrian center. ours offers accompanied rides for young children.

20 / go bowling. there’s something about heading to the bowling ally, trading your shoes in for those rad 1970′s clown-looking shoes and taking turns rolling the ball down the lane.


do you have some ideas to add to this list? we’re always looking for new things to do together!!


have a daughter that likes to DIY? check out this new post: DIY-mom-daughter

Creme de Menthe Brownies

i love baking. cooking. trying out new recipes. i love my seriously-glazed pampered chef stones. i love the sweet little fingers of my 5 & 3 year old sweeties that are eager to pull up their stools and mix, blend, stir, melt, crack and taste!! creating in the kitchen is a family event around here.


// INGREDIENTS: 1/2 c. roughly chopped walnuts, 1 c. creme de menthe mint pieces, 1 t. mint extract + a box of brownie mix

// QUICK GUIDE: follow instructions on the back of the brownie box (preheat oven), adds the walnuts, mint pieces & extract. mix & pour into a baking dish. bake & enjoy.

// we use J.R. Watkins mint extract. you can buy some here!

// my family ADORES mint & every last little bit of these brownies hit the spot i hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

next FRIDAY we’ll be co-hosting a sweet little link party called “Together in the Kitchen” with Amy from Evy’s Tree & Ashley from Bow + Arrow Art —>> an encouragement to hang out in your kitchen while making good food with —>> your kids, or your spouse, or your best friend, or your mom.. someone! throw a date to be in the kitchen, make something lovely, post it & share it right here. next Friday.

—>>> new here? go ahead and subscribe by email in the sidebar so our fresh little posts land in your inbox!

// i linked up at Flamingo Toes Think Pink Sunday, Nifty Thrify Things, I Heart Naptime, & It’s Overflowing

5 little things

i LOVE nautical. i’m sure you’ve noticed {yes, i am saying this with a little smirk because, well, look around…}.
i adore all things red, white, blue, green. nautical-inspired. complete with anchors & stripes & structure.
i saw these darling bow bracelets today and took my chance at winning one in the giveaway!

today i am sharing 5 of my favorite things right now and then adding this post to the Back to the Basics Blog where my sweet friend Julie hosts a monthly link up & with Friday Finds & Favorites.

// Kiel James Patrick at the Classy Girls Wear Pearls Giveaway


// Striped Leather Card Case by LEIF

//One Sweet Slice Sailing Cake for a Nautical Party


// SAIL tote by Nube Green

// Sail Saying


with my birthday month here & my birthdate fast approaching {in 22 days!} i will be adding some of these items to my wishlist.