I can’t believe I had never had these delicious left-over alternatives before meeting my husband. This was a staple leftover meal made from mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving and Christmas for him and his family. I tried out my own rendition after this last Thanksgiving and got a delicious seal of approval by the hubbs. Enjoy!

image

 

Recipe for potato pancakes (this recipe uses the leftover mashed potatoes, from here):

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup real bacon bits
4 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, or Colby Jack
4 to 6 Tablespoons flour (add slowly and increase by 1/2 Tbls. increments, if needed)
2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
Cooking spray
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Mix the mashed potatoes, eggs, onion powder, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl.
  2. Stir in the crumbled bacon and cheese.
  3. Mix in flour – start with 3 Tbls and then add more, as needed to yield a firmer texture.
  4. Form the mixture into 8 balls. If it sticks to your hands and you can’t roll it into a ball, add more flour.
  5. Start heating the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Put 2 of the balls into skillet.
  6. Spray bottom of spatula well with non-stick cooking spray. Press each ball flat with spatula into patties.
  7. Pan-fry the patties until crisp on each side,4 to 6 minutes per side. Resist the temptation to turn until after 4 minutes, or patties will fall apart.
  8. Cook until crispy brown. Repeat with remaining potato balls. Serve hot. {We like them with ketchup!}
 
Yield:  8 patties

 

Throughout the last couple of years, from random ornament purchasing, the adornment to hang the ornament to the tree with has had many looks.  I’ve purchased wire ornament hooks that didn’t seem to last, and have even gone as classy as using paper clips to hang from the tree – not cute.  This year, I decided to get more uniform and actually make my tree look more put together! {I’m trying} I purchased a roll of garden twine to make ornament holders with!  Super simple and easy {& cheap!}
image

I cut a 5 to 6 inch stand from the twine and folded it in half.  I slipped the loop through the ornament top and did a simple single loop (put the untied ends through the loop) and tied a knot at the top.  Voila!

christmasornupdate

Alright folks – here it is, the mother of all day-of-event master planner templates! I created this detailed itinerary for my wedding in May 2010 and {although people thought I was a little nuts awesome} it made the day go very smoothly – and I was able to be totally hands-off so that I could focus on enjoying all the little details of my wedding day!

weddtimeline

This template is a Word document, and is geared towards the details of a wedding, but you can edit it as needed to use it as it fits your timeline needs for any event. I also have an area for any pre-event day details and also for clean up/tear down. {I got you covered}.

Please enjoy this template {Day-of Event Timeline Template – free for the love of your sanity} and pass it along to anyone planning an event! Please leave a comment below letting me know how it helped you and if you would rather see anything changed! Also comment below letting me know if other event planning tools would be useful!

Wow – we just passed the 6 month mark with our beautiful baby girl Madison, and there is so much to reflect on. For some reason, the 6 month mark was a really big deal to me. I almost wanted to throw a party! {I refrained for the big “One”} 6moAlthough there are million things to reflect on, one thing that has been troubling me, is how to prioritize and give the best of me to each section in my current life. Not only am I a new momma, but I’m now a working-outside the home-full-time-momma. And then there is that whole being a wife thing – kinda important. And then the house? And pets?? I start to spiral…

How do you give 100% to everyone? How do you divvy up your time and energy in a way that is the most healthy and productive for all? I haven’t been able to figure this out, and as time FLIES by, I am left reeling going “oh my gosh I haven’t figured anything out!”

Now I know, nobody is perfect. I’m not striving for perfection here, I know that it is not attainable and I’m OK with being imperfect. It’s honest, reality and just what needs to be done. But how do I go about organizing my time to benefit everyone {including little ‘ol me?!}

I never give myself enough, I never give my daughter enough, I never give my husband enough, I never give our pets enough, I never give our house enough, I never give GOD enough {a small prayer before dinner and before bed – WAY too little}. What is the best remedy? I need to give myself more {I would love to find time to exercise!}, I need to give my husband more, and before all things, I really need to give God more.

 

Location – the perfect setting, the great view of the mountains, the sea-breeze and epic sunset, the farm in the background…whatever setting you are envisioning to make your event perfect, there are going to be a few key things to consider before you book your dream location.

event1p

Since at this point, you should have already narrowed down your total number of guests, you should have a rough total estimate of the amount of people that you want to invite. This is essential when picking a location. You don’t want to have invites out to 100 people, if you have picked a location that only holds 50 people comfortably!

It’s good to think of a few key factors to ask or research about a location:

  1. How many people can the location hold?
  2. Do they allow outside catering and alcohol?
  3. Are you able to come in early to decorate?
  4. What are the time or noise restraints?
  5. What are the busiest seasons, blocked dates, or no availability?
  6. Do they offer cheaper rates for a Friday event, vs a Saturday event?
  7. Do they include tables, chairs, linens, anything else?

These questions will get you started in the right direction to narrow down your results for picking a location. It is a great idea to visit the location, if you are able to, so that you can see details that weren’t captured in pictures. This will also help you in planning your decor, figuring out the layout of tables and chairs, and other visual details that you need to plan.

The location sets the stage to give you and your guests the most memorable time, and wherever you choose will always have a special place in your heart.