Saturday, March 30, 2024

Easter Leftover Ham Casserole

Are you having ham with your Easter dinner? One meal my family looks forward to every year is Leftover Ham Casserole.  We almost always have plenty of ham leftover after Easter dinner so this is a great way to use it in another form. 

To make this casserole you will need 

2 cups uncooked rice

1 can cream of mushroom soup 

1/4 c miracle whip 

2 cups milk 

about 6 ozs of cubed ham 

frozen broccoli or peas 

shredded cheese 

Preheat oven to 425  

Mix together the rice, mushroom soup, milk, and miracle whip 

Add in the ham, and either the  broccoli or peas. I make the casserole both ways. We like, I usually use whichever vegetable I have on hand. 

Once the ingredients are mixed together, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  

After 20 minutes cover the casserole with 2 to 3 handfuls of cheese and put back in the over uncovered.  

When it comes out of the oven it looks like this.  This picture is making me hungry.  

This casserole disappears fast! If you do have some left over, it tastes good warmed up as leftovers the next day.  


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Friday, March 29, 2024

It's Party Time! Let's Dare to Share!

It's Friday night, and you know what that means..
It is time to Dare to Share! 

*this post contains affiliate links 

This week on the blog I posted one of my favorite holiday recipes, Make Ahead French Toast. It's a great recipe for guests, brunches, or just because.  You put everything together the night before, and then pop it in the oven the next morning.  My favorite recipe for that leftover Easter ham will be up tomorrow.  It is another one of our family favorites.  

Over on Etsy this week,  I recently shared a Solar Eclipse Activity Bundle.  Living in Ohio, I am lucky enough to be in the path of totality.  We are preparing for huge crowds heading our way for the big day. Until it actually happens, I am not really sure what to expect, but I am excited to experience this.  The last eclipse I experienced in 2017 was only partial where I lived.  Are you excited about the eclipse? 

If you have ever thought of creating and selling printables yourself, the course I took to get started is currently open to new students. It is by Gold City Ventures . I loved this course, and the support I received from the Facebook group for the last few years.  It is some of the best money I ever spent on a course. I learned a lot, and now I am doing what I love while also making money in my own small business.  If you do want to join the course, open enrollment is only open until Monday at midnight.  

Well it looks like it is time to get the party started.   You have seen what I have been up to this week, I would love to see what you have been up to.   Link up and HAVE FUN! 


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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Easter Make Ahead French Toast

Here we are just a few days before Easter.  While I love that it is already Spring, I'm not sure how I feel about having Easter in March this year. I feel I have so much more time to get ready, when there is more than two weeks between St. Patrick's Day and Easter.  

This week I am going to share two of my favorite Easter recipes that are both easy to make, and some of my families favorites.  The first recipe is Make Ahead French Toast.  It is such a great holiday recipe, because you put everything together the night before, and then pop it in the oven Easter morning while you are celebrating with family.  

You will need 

a loaf of your favorite bread (we love cinnamon raisin) 
4 to 6 eggs
1/2 cup milk 
cinnamon sugar (if desired) 
cream cheese (your preferred flavor) 

If you are making this for more than 6 people, double the recipe. 

You will need two slices of your chosen bread per person.  I have made this recipe is so many different ways over the years.  I will be sharing pictures from some of the different variations. 

On this particular day we did not have cinnamon raisin bread on hand, so I used Aunt Millie's Country Buttermilk bread.  My cream cheese of choice that day was strawberry, and added it to each of the bottom pieces of bread. 

On the top pieces of bread I added some cinnamon sugar.  

This picture was from a different day, but at the same step.  I wanted to fit more bread into my pan, so instead of using full pieces of bread, I squeezed in 12 half pieces.  Mix the eggs and the milk together in a bowl, and then pour it over the bread.  Cover the casserole dish with foil, and put it in the fridge overnight. 

In the morning, let the pan sit out for a few minutes so the casserole dish is not too cold when you put it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Once in the oven, bake for 30 minutes. I removed the foil the last 5 to 10 minutes.  I would put this in the oven before my kids looked for their Easter eggs, and when they were done  breakfast would be ready. 

I made this variation just a few years ago. I added cinnamon sugar and used regular cream cheese.

I think this year might have been my favorite version. I used cinnamon raisin toast, regular cream cheese, and then covered the toast with strawberries and syrup. 

I believe we had guests this particular year, which is why it looks a bit fancier.  I used thick bread, strawberry cream cheese, sliced strawberries, and Redi-whip.  

No matter how you decide to put together your make ahead french toast, it is always a great dish to serve for Easter morning.  


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Saturday, March 23, 2024

It's Time to Dare to Share!

It's Saturday morning, and you know what that means..
It's time to Dare to Share! 

Well you may have noticed that I missed posting the Friday night party link last night.  I have a pretty good excuse though.  I am currently in Missouri for my niece's wedding. She had a beautiful wedding last night in the Branson area.   It was a 90 minute drive from my mom's house, so we got home pretty late.  She had a DJ that played some great music, so we were dancing most of the night.  

Have you ever attended a wedding in a greenhouse?  I can now say I have. The venue is designed for weddings with a building for the service, and one for the reception. If you are looking for a venue and in the Branson area check out Two Rivers Greenhouse. 

Early this week, I shared part two of my Gatlinburg trip with my our trip to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  While we did not come face to face with an elk on this day, it was still a pretty exciting day.  

Over in my Etsy Shop, it's almost time for Easter.  If you are thinking about an Easter treasure hunt, I may have something you are looking for.  :) 

If you are Dollar Tree fan, over on Instagram one of my latest reels is has all of the latest new Dollar Tree finds this week. I will be stopping by some local Dollar Trees here in Missouri so I hope I find some item I have not seen yet in Ohio.  

Now that you know what I have been up to this week, I would love to see what you have been up to.  Link up and HAVE FUN!  


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Monday, March 18, 2024

Our Trip to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Two weeks ago we spent a few days in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  If you missed the first part of our trip  can see it here.  On the second day of our trip we knew we wanted to go back to do one more thing in downtown Gatlinburg before heading to Pigeon Forge, and that was to visit the Sky Park Bridge.  On the way to the bridge we saw a lot of fun signs like this one in front of on of their restaurants. 

Right next to the Sky Park is this spooky building, the Mysterious Mansion.  It is supposedly one of the oldest "haunted houses" in the area that you are able to walk around on your own self tour.  I personally do not like haunted houses, so I was not to upset that it was closed on this day.  I did think the outside looked pretty cool though. 

To get to the Sky Park Bridge you have to ride a ski lift. While on the lift, it was not that far off the ground.  

I found another giant chair! 

Pretty much every where you look around Gatlinburg you will see black bear statues in various shapes and sizes.  I think this one with a mama bear and her two cubs was my favorite.  This was an area on one side of bridge that had pretty views of the main street below.  A lot of this attraction was destroyed in the 2016 Gatlinburg fires. They had to replace the ski lift, and the upper terminal.  They had plans to rebuild/upgrade the bridge, and it was supposed to be completed in October 2016, one month before the fires.  They were not able to start it when planned though, so the timing worked out in their favor. They rebuilt everything after the fires.

The bridge is 680 feet long, and the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America.  While you could feel it moving a little bit, it was secured with giant cables and felt very safe.   

This was the view near where the bear statues were located.  Since we were there in early March, it was still early in the season for all the green grass and leaves to come back. 

After a quick lunch, and a stop at a nearby Buc-ees, we drove around Pigeon Forge to check out the sites.  Dollywood was a few days from opening, so most places were not very busy.  While we were not ready to eat yet, we stopped by the Hard Rock Cafe to see the memorabilia.  They had some fun items at this location, including a dress worn by a certain blond superstar who had the biggest tour in the world this year. :) 

We drove by the Titanic Museum.  I know there is also one in Branson, Mo which is not that far from where some of my family lives.  It was already pretty late in the day, so we did not stop there on this trip.  

Another cool place to visit is the Hollywood Wax Museum.  We did not stop at this location this time, because we recently saw the one in Branson which you can read about here.


We did see a familiar face on the side of a building and decided to check it out.   At Downtown Flavortown, you can play games in the arcade, bowl in a small bowling alley, and eat at Guy Fieri's Tiki Bar. 

This giant Guy Fieri rubber duck is over 5 ft tall.  

You can also see his red convertible from Diners, Drive Ins and Dives up close. 

Downtown Flavortown is located in a cute little shopping area. We found a great gift shop there with affordable souvenirs.  I bought a few T-shirts and sweatshirts for only $9.99 each. There was an area with a fire pit where you can sit and rest.  While we were sitting there, a man was giving kids' rides on a colorful train around the shopping area.  It looked like fun, but it was not big enough to grownups to ride.  LOL  

At this point it had started to rain, so we headed back to Gatlinburg a few miles away.   We were starting to get hungry so we decided to eat a late dinner.  It was already almost 8 pm, so we stopped by Jason Aldeen's Kitchen and Roof Top Bar. 

We decided to eat salads, and have one of their signature drinks.  Since it was raining we did not eat on the rooftop, but on the middle floor.  It had open windows and a nice view of the street below.   The food was yummy, and the service was great.  It was then time to walk back to our hotel while we finished up another great day in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. 


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Friday, March 15, 2024

Let's Dare to Share!

It's Friday night, and you know what that means..
It is time to Dare to Share!  

I had planned on writing my post about Pigeon Forge, Tennessee yesterday, but the weather had other plans.  If you watched the news today about all of the tornadoes in Ohio, you will understand why I was not able to be on the computer yesterday.  The bad weather started soon after I got home from work.  Tornadoes did land in the town where I grew up and in the neighboring towns, and there was some damage. We still have family and friends in the area, that we were trying to reach to see if they were okay.   While there was some destruction, power outages, and injuries, those tornadoes were smaller than the ones that were to come about an hour later.  The Lakeview/Indian Lake tornado was about an hour north  of where we are.  Today we heard that tornado was a F3.  All people have been accounted for now, and three people did not make it through the storm. There were a lot of injuries, and a lot of the town was affected  About 10 pm, another tornado hit about 30 minutes away from where we live.  While where I live we did not go end up in a full tornado warning, we were under a severe thunderstorm warning and in the basement for a time.  Finally about 11:30 all the storms had finally left the area, and it was time to get some sleep.   

I will be posting my Pigeon Forge post this weekend.  You can see a small preview in my photo. Does that large rubber ducky look familiar?  It should, it is a famous chef who likes to drive a red convertible. :)

If you missed my post about the first day of our vacation to Gatlinburg you can read about it here.

Are you doing anything fun this weekend for St. Patrick's Day?  I have a Find the Pot of Gold hunt in my Etsy Shop that kids can play.  I love making and participating in Treasure Hunts.  

Over on Instagram this week I have a reel where I give a review of the popular Dollar Tree Flower blocks. While I love how they look, I had an interesting time putting them together.  

Now that you know what I have been up to this week, I would love to see what you have been up to. So let's get this party started.  Link up and HAVE FUN!!  


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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Our Trip to Gatlinburg

    Last week we spend a few days in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. There are several reasons why we loved going this time of year.  We were there a few days before big attractions like Dollywood were open (it opened on March 9th) but the weather the days were there was fantastic.  We went on a Monday- and left on a Wednesday so the crowds were on the lower side.  One downfall from being there on a Monday is there were some shops that close on Monday.  There was still a ton to do and see though.  

There are many quaint little shops in Gatlinburg, and several big chairs. LOL.  This chair was in a little themed shopping area.  

    While we did not eat at this restaurant, the giant skillets outside made a great picture.  There are so many places to take pictures in town. 

    One of the attractions we went on our first day was the Ober Mountain Tramway.  You ride up the mountain in a tram which gives great views of the area below.  Up at the top there are many things to do like indoor ice skating and skiing if weather permits.  There were people skiing on the day we were there because they were just enough snow left. 

     Do you see that light green house on stilts on the left side of the photo?  That house is called the Barbie Destiny Chalet, and it  can be rented out during your visit. The inside is based on Barbie's Dream house. It used to be painted Barbie pink but the current owner decided to paint it a more subtle color.  

    We stopped by the Burg Steakhouse for lunch.  They had some lunch specials like  their unlimited soup, salad and side bar. Everything we tried was delicious! 

    We were given a couple of free dessert coupons, and we were definitely not disappointed.  

    The coupons were good for these amazing brownies with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.  They were so delicious! 

    At the end of the main shopping area is the beginning of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. There you can drive for miles through the mountains, and see some beautiful scenery. 

There are many pull off areas along the road to stop and take pictures. Since it was March, the leaves were just starting to turn green. There are some areas of the park that were burned in the great fire on 2016, but we only saw a little bit of it.  We were hoping to stop by the Cherokee Village about 30 miles in the park, but they didn't open until May.

On the way back to our hotel on the other side of the National Park,  we stopped by a mountain farm in the park.  There were signs that if there were elk present to stay at least 50 feet away, and do not approach them.  When we went into the farm area there were no elk present.  When we came out of a small barn in the exhibit, to our surprise there was an elk eating grass nearby.  We quickly and quietly walked away.  The elk did not seem to mind that we were there, and went right back to eating.  We were a safe distance when we took this picture and zoomed in.  We saw a mom with three kids entering the farm area, we told her about the elk so she could keep her distance and the kids safe.  Running unexpectedly into an elk will definitely be one of our  memories of Gatlinburg. 

After our adventure in the park, we stopped by a Daiquiri bar that was right in from the Margaritaville resort which was near our hotel.

We ate some yummy appetizers, 

and delicious daiquiris!! 

Once we were finished, we called it a night on day on.  There will be more in my next blog post sharing more sights in the Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge area.  

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