This post is sponsored by JORD Watches. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. Remix your style--whether it is classic or trendy--with a JORD wood watch. I am in love with my new watch and am so psyched to offer you the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to apply to the purchase of your own. Enter here now! All entries actually receive a 10% off coupon, so you've got nothing to lose!  
Reviews

JORD Wood Watches Review + Giveaway

This post is sponsored by JORD Watches. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

Remix your style–whether it is classic or trendy–with a JORD wood watch. I am in love with my new watch and am so psyched to offer you the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to apply to the purchase of your own. Enter here now! All entries actually receive a 10% off coupon, so you’ve got nothing to lose!  

This post is sponsored by JORD Watches. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. Remix your style--whether it is classic or trendy--with a JORD wood watch. I am in love with my new watch and am so psyched to offer you the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to apply to the purchase of your own. Enter here now! All entries actually receive a 10% off coupon, so you've got nothing to lose!  

So, while I am definitely a girl who loves comfy clothes (see the title of my blog after all!!), I don’t think it would come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that I looove jewelry and wear it basically everyday, even when I’m just hanging out at home. Earrings, rings, necklaces, watches… I love it all. (Except bracelets. #annoying) It helps me feel more put together, I suppose. My ears feel weird without earrings and I feel disconnected from time and the world when I don’t wear a watch (even though there are clocks all over my house). This is especially important when I’m in the kitchen–an essential element of cooking a good meal is paying attention to the time in the recipe, right?!

This post is sponsored by JORD Watches. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. Remix your style--whether it is classic or trendy--with a JORD wood watch. I am in love with my new watch and am so psyched to offer you the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to apply to the purchase of your own. Enter here now! All entries actually receive a 10% off coupon, so you've got nothing to lose!  

This obsession with jewelry started young. For Christmas in second grade, I received a red Minnie Mouse watch with a red leather band. I wore that thing all over creation–including to Disney World the following summer–until it stopped working. The following year, when my family moved, I met a friend who introduced me to the joys of making my own jewelry. Our beading party sleepovers were the stuff of LEGENDS, folks. As I grew up, my style evolved from Minnie and homemade to include elements that were classic, trendy, and reflective of my love of travel.

This post is sponsored by JORD Watches. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. Remix your style--whether it is classic or trendy--with a JORD wood watch. I am in love with my new watch and am so psyched to offer you the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to apply to the purchase of your own. Enter here now! All entries actually receive a 10% off coupon, so you've got nothing to lose!  

I come into this jewelry obsession naturally–both of my grandmothers amassed fantastic jewelry collections over the course of their lives, and I’ve been fortunate to inherit some lovely pieces. Some of my favorite pieces include my grandma’s delicate, dangly gold and opal earrings and my other grandma’s silver and turquoise ring from her travels in Mexico. I try to wear these pieces, as well as others that I’ve been gifted from my mom, on a regular basis interspersed with jewelry pieces I’ve picked out for myself. A few years ago, my mom passed on the watch she was given by her grandmother for her college graduation, and I love wearing that timepiece! I love combining pieces that are currently trendy with more classic pieces I’ve had for years. With that history, you can imagine my excitement when JORD reached out to me recently to share about their new Cora Polaris watches. They were kind enough to send me a Koa & Rose Gold Cora Polaris watch. Since it arrived, I haven’t wanted to take it off!

This post is sponsored by JORD Watches. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. Remix your style--whether it is classic or trendy--with a JORD wood watch. I am in love with my new watch and am so psyched to offer you the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to apply to the purchase of your own. Enter here now! All entries actually receive a 10% off coupon, so you've got nothing to lose!  

JORD, (pronounced “yode”) is based out of St. Louis, a city I absolutely love! Their aim is to make beautiful watches for both men and women using a sophisticated mix of natural and (largely) reclaimed materials. The watch movement and components themselves are made up of quality materials. The Cora Polaris watch series is unique in that they are self-winding automatic watches, requiring no battery! The watch my mom passed on to me is like that too–and it is SO nice to not have to visit a jewelry store periodically to replace a watch battery. Errands like that can be such a drag!!

This post is sponsored by JORD Watches. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. Remix your style--whether it is classic or trendy--with a JORD wood watch. I am in love with my new watch and am so psyched to offer you the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to apply to the purchase of your own. Enter here now! All entries actually receive a 10% off coupon, so you've got nothing to lose!  

This watch is so beautiful, if I do say so myself. I love the koa wood–it’s Hawaiian wood, which puts me in a vacation mood. I think we all know that rose gold is so on trend these days, and I think the color combo together is just fabulous. But my favorite aspect of the watch’s aesthetic is the little Swarovski crystal detail–that’s the Little Dipper! After my college graduation, I was able to visit a gorgeous Swarovski store in Austria with my mom. (Originally, my dad was supposed to go on that trip but he was unable to so I got to go instead. So fun!) So those crystals hold a special little place in my heart. And my husband is an astronomy buff so seeing the stars on my watch make me think of him too! #aww Though this is a watch company that has nothing to do with my family, I can’t help think of them whenever I check the time. There are a few other color combos if Koa & Rose Gold isn’t your thing.

This post is sponsored by JORD Watches. All thoughts and opinions remain my own. Remix your style--whether it is classic or trendy--with a JORD wood watch. I am in love with my new watch and am so psyched to offer you the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to apply to the purchase of your own. Enter here now! All entries actually receive a 10% off coupon, so you've got nothing to lose!  

Are you curious now? I hope you will check out all the lovely feminine (and masculine!) watches JORD has to offer. They also offer engraving! I think a JORD wood watch be a fantastic gift for a special someone in your life.

Please enter the easy giveaway here now! Giveaway ends 3/20/19.


Wooden Wrist Watch
//www.jordwatches.com/widget-article/pajamachef|

Advertisements
This sweet picture book written by singer-songwriter and mama Ellie Holcomb is sure to become a family favorite!
Reviews

Book Review: Who Sang the First Song

This sweet picture book written by singer-songwriter and mama Ellie Holcomb is sure to become a family favorite!

This sweet picture book written by singer-songwriter and mama Ellie Holcomb is sure to become a family favorite!

description of the book from the publisher:

In this engaging board book with whimsical art, singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb asks a childlike question and answers with a lovely lyrical tale that shows young readers that God our Maker sang the first song, and He created us all with a song to sing.

As usual, my five point review:

  • If you’ve ever heard Ellie Holcomb’s music, you know that her lyrics absolutely point to God and her voice is beautiful. That is clearly true of her writing as well! This sweet story–the result of a mother’s desire to answer her child’s question of “who sang the first song?” is full of God’s truth and His love, simply shared to connect with children.
  • In addition to the wonderful writing, the illustrations by Kayla Harren, are fantastic! They’re full of intricate detail–a variety of animals, children of every color of the rainbow, and gorgeous scenery enhance this book. There’s even a mama wearing her baby in a wrap! (Swoon.) As we read the book together, my son loves to point out his favorite whale or the cute little girl’s ponytail swinging as she runs.
  • Reviews for children’s books usually center on the story and illustrations, but Ellie has a little something extra special for her audience. She wrote and recorded an album to correspond with the book!! Sing: Creation Songs is the perfect addition to this sweet book. My little boy is a tough cookie when listening to music, but when I put the album on the other day, he smiled up at me and said, “Mama, Iike this song.” *insert heart eye emoji here*
  • The message of this book is just what I want to instill in my son–that the Father loves him and that he is His. I am just so in love with this book!! It’s not another “celebrity writes a book” but a truly wonderful story that resonates with children and parents alike.
  • If you are looking for a gift for the under six crowd… this is it! From baby showers to holidays to birthdays, this is a lovely, well made book with a great message. Highly recommend for girls and boys alike!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H/Lifeway Bloggers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to B&H/Lifeway for the chance to read this great book!

This beautiful book is for you. Even if you don't think it is. Definitely worth the read, no matter how dissimilar your life/experiences are from Jackie Hill Perry's.  Book review of Gay Girl, Good God on thepajamachef.com
Reviews

Book Review:  Gay Girl, Good God

This beautiful book is for you. Even if you don’t think it is. Definitely worth the read, no matter how dissimilar your life/experiences are from Jackie Hill Perry’s. 

This beautiful book is for you. Even if you don't think it is. Definitely worth the read, no matter how dissimilar your life/experiences are from Jackie Hill Perry's.  Book review of Gay Girl, Good God on thepajamachef.com

description of the book from the publisher:

“I used to be a lesbian.”

In Gay Girl, Good God, author Jackie Hill Perry shares her own story, offering practical tools that helped her in the process of finding wholeness. Jackie grew up fatherless and experienced gender confusion. She abused marijuana, loved pornography, and embraced both masculinity and homosexuality with every fiber of her being. She knew that Christians had a lot to say about all of the above. But was she supposed to change herself? How was she supposed to stop loving women, when homosexuality felt more natural to her than heterosexuality ever could?

At age 19, Jackie came face-to-face with what it meant to be made new. And not in a church, or through contact with Christians—God broke in and turned her heart towards Him right in her own bedroom in light of His gospel.

Read in order to understand. Read in order to hope. Or read in order, like Jackie, to be made new.

As usual, my five point review:

  • This beautiful book is for you. Even if you don’t think it is. Jackie Hill Perry has a way with words (she is a spoken word artist, after all!) so the writing is absolutely wonderful. I first heard Jackie on a podcast (or six) sometime in the past year. Though her story and background are not really similar to mine, she is captivating. Every word in this book radiates truth, love, and the Gospel–just as is it does when she’s being interviewed on a podcast. She is nothing but genuine. That is why I wanted to read and review this book… even though I was (and am) scared of what others might think. I know not everyone will agree with me for liking this book, whether they’re Christians or not, but that’s okay.
  • The best part of this book is Jackie’s high regard for scripture and for the truth of Gospel. Each page, each chapter, and each part of her story indicate that God is calling himself to us, no matter what our struggles are (with sexuality or anything else). I found myself analyzing my own life and how I fall short of God’s commands frequently throughout Jackie’s story because she made a memoir about leaving a lesbian lifestyle and gravitating to Jesus about so much more than sexuality. She made it about Jesus and His call to follow Him. And what more can you ask for? It’s unbelief that’s the problem, not a specific sin.
  • Jackie’s memoir is written and filled with so much love. She doesn’t seek to shame anyone, not even herself, for their attractions and sins–no matter what they are. Practically speaking, this book provides lots of helpful tips for understanding and responding to Christians specifically struggling with homosexuality. These tips are woven into her story as well as clearly laid out in the last section of the book.
  • Also, this may be small… but this memoir reads like fiction. Though I read it over my lunch break for a couple weeks at work, this is totally a book I could see reading in an afternoon with a cup of cocoa. It’s a fast read, but one I’m sure I will return to time and time again to savor.
  • All in all, this is a great book. I’m sure this book is controversial in some circles and is probably getting some negative feedback, because things related to this sort of thing, written from a Christian point of view, typically do. But I really think everyone should read this book, regardless of their sexuality and faith. It will challenge you and make you think. I’m so glad I got to read it!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H/Lifeway Bloggers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to B&H/Lifeway for the chance to read this great book!

Roasted parsnips make a great soup... with white chocolate as an accent flavor! This soup is surprising and delicious, thanks to the rich, quality chocolates from Forte Artisan Chocolates, a sponsor for this year's #Choctoberfest.
Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups

#Choctoberfest: White Chocolate Parsnip Soup

Roasted parsnips make a great soup… with white chocolate as an amazing accent flavor! This soup is surprising and delicious, thanks to the rich, quality chocolates from Forte Artisan Chocolates, a sponsor for this year’s #Choctoberfest. 

Roasted parsnips make a great soup... with white chocolate as an accent flavor! This soup is surprising and delicious, thanks to the rich, quality chocolates from Forte Artisan Chocolates, a sponsor for this year's #Choctoberfest.

Announcement, announcement, announcement! Guess what!? Today is the last day of #Choctoberfest 2018… but you can still enter the giveaway (over $400 of prizes!) so get to it! 🙂 And then get back here for a yummy SAVORY chocolate recipe! Today’s recipe was inspired by the amazing and versatile chocolates made by Forte Artisan Chocolates, another one of our generous #Choctoberfest sponsors. I was fortunate enough to receive some samples of their chocolates–two varieties of white chocolate that I used in this recipe, one classic White Chocolate Cloud and the other an interesting Balsamic Vinegar in White Chocolate, as well as some amazingly rich 71% Dark Chocolate Brute. While all of them were incredible on their own, it was so fun using both varieties of white chocolate in a savory dish.

Roasted parsnips make a great soup... with white chocolate as an accent flavor! This soup is surprising and delicious, thanks to the rich, quality chocolates from Forte Artisan Chocolates, a sponsor for this year's #Choctoberfest.

Truth be told, on my own I probably wouldn’t take the initiative to make something savory with chocolate. But Forte challenged us to at least try it… so try it I did! And this soup is the amazing result. It’s hard to describe this savory White Chocolate Parsnip Soup without having you over for a bowl, but it is very similar to a good butternut squash bisque or pumpkin soup. A little sweet, but not too overpowering. The white chocolate is a perfect compliment to the veggie goodness of this soup.

Roasted parsnips make a great soup... with white chocolate as an accent flavor! This soup is surprising and delicious, thanks to the rich, quality chocolates from Forte Artisan Chocolates, a sponsor for this year's #Choctoberfest.

One of the most surprising things about making this soup was the fact that it definitely did not need any herbs or spices for flavor. The parsnips, when roasted, almost have a spiced flavor profile. I swear I smelled cinnamon! But alas, I just roasted them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It was crazytown, but turned out to be the perfect compliment to sweet, rich white chocolate when they were blended with chicken broth, cream, garlic, and onion. This is a must try soup, especially if you can get your hands on some Forte Artisan Chocolate. This is the best white chocolate I have ever had, and lucky for you, you can use the code “CHOCTOBERFEST2018” on their website now to get a special buy 3 get 1 free sale. They have so many unique flavors… and a whole line of savory chocolate bars in their Gusto line. I can’t wait to try them all!

Roasted parsnips make a great soup... with white chocolate as an accent flavor! This soup is surprising and delicious, thanks to the rich, quality chocolates from Forte Artisan Chocolates, a sponsor for this year's #Choctoberfest.

All in all, I love this White Chocolate Parsnip Soup, even though it was a total experiment. My family enjoyed it too. It’s great with crusty bread and a side salad, but I can also envision it being a great first or second course for a fancy meal with some filet mignon. Or maybe at Thanksgiving! Yesss! How fun would it be to surprise your guests with soup, that includes white chocolate? Yes, please! Enjoy, friends!

one year ago: Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites
two years ago: Pumpkin & Sausage Pizza

four years ago: Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
five years ago: Funfetti Cookies
six years ago: Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce
seven years ago: Roasted Vegetable Soup
eight years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Please check out more chocolate recipes here!!

White Chocolate Parsnip Soup

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

adapted from Chocolate for Dinner, An Italian Tradition by Francine Segan

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds parsnips (about 4-5 large parsnips)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt
  • 45 gram White Chocolate Cloud bar by Forte Artisan Chocolates, chopped
  • 45 gram Balsamic Vinegar in White Chocolate bar by Forte Artisan Chocolates, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • minced fresh rosemary or dill

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Peel and cut parsnips into one inch slices, then toss with olive oil. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, tossing halfway through, until softened.

When parsnips are almost done, melt butter in a large dutch oven or stockpot. Add onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds until fragrant.

Pour in chicken stock, vanilla, and roasted parsnips. Season with pepper and a little salt, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add chopped white chocolate, then stir until melted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add in heavy cream and lemon juice, then use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Serve with a touch of fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Disclosure: I received free product from Forte Artisan Chocolates to use in this recipe for #Choctoberfest. I was not required to review them or provide positive feedback. All opinions are my own. You can learn more about Forte Artisan Chocolates and get great recipe ideas from them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Bars, Desserts, Recipes

#Choctoberfest: Pumpkin Chocolate Cereal Treats

Chocolate. Sprinkles. Pumpkin. Marshmallows. What’s not to love?? These yummy cereal treats are made with Sprinkle Pop sprinkles for #Choctoberfest and are oh-so-fun!

Chocolate. Sprinkles. Pumpkin. Marshmallows. What's not to love?? These yummy cereal treats are made with Sprinkle Pop sprinkles for #Choctoberfest and are oh-so-fun!

Last winter I made some kicked up rice krispie cereal treats and I’ve been thinking of them ever since, dreaming up a bunch of different flavors and add ins. I mean, the classic version is good (my mom made a batch when we were visiting my parents’ house last month)… but it’s also fun to go a little crazy sometimes! I’ve been scheming about making a pumpkin chocolate version but was a little unsure about adding pumpkin puree to a crisp treat. What to do, what to do.

Chocolate. Sprinkles. Pumpkin. Marshmallows. What's not to love?? These yummy cereal treats are made with Sprinkle Pop sprinkles for #Choctoberfest and are oh-so-fun!

Enter SPRINKLE POP and their cute little sprinkles! As soon as I starting browsing their site in preparation for their sponsorship of #Choctoberfest, I knew how I could make pumpkin chocolate cereal treats. WITH PUMPKIN SPRINKLES!!! Sorry for the caps, but I am just SO excited. They have so many fun sprinkle options for each season. Their fall/Halloween section is so much fun, but I also am in loooove with their Christmas/holiday options. So cute. They have a ridiculous amount of beautiful, sparkly sprinkles as well as fun shapes and mixes for all occasions. They can also make custom blends! So fun.

Chocolate. Sprinkles. Pumpkin. Marshmallows. What's not to love?? These yummy cereal treats are made with Sprinkle Pop sprinkles for #Choctoberfest and are oh-so-fun!

To make these Pumpkin Chocolate Cereal Treats extra special, the cute little orange pumpkin sprinkles are pressed into the bottom and top of the pan. Sprinkle Pop’s sprinkles are water based, so the colors could bleed and I didn’t want to that to happen, even if orange and black are seasonally appropriate. 🙂 These cereal treats are filled with two types of chocolate–chocolate chips and cocoa powder, as well as two types of pumpkin flavor–pumpkin oats cereal (Aldi brand, woot!) and pumpkin pie spice. Double the fun, twice! These little treats are so addictive. They would be perfect at a Halloween party. Can you imagine them cut out into little pumpkin shapes?? Gah, why didn’t I think of that before? Now you can try that out and report back to me! You could even do that with your prizes if you win the awesome #Choctoberfest giveaway with lots of chocolate, cooking gear, and sugar for all your baking needs. Enter here if you haven’t yet!! 🙂 And happy Friday, friends!

Chocolate. Sprinkles. Pumpkin. Marshmallows. What's not to love?? These yummy cereal treats are made with Sprinkle Pop sprinkles for #Choctoberfest and are oh-so-fun!

one year ago: Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake
two year ago: Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler
three years ago: Beef Stroganoff 
four years ago: Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
five years ago: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting
six years ago: Apple Peanut Butter Muffins
seven years ago: Pumpkin, Sausage, and Spinach Lasagna
eight years ago: Southwestern Pepperjack Baked Penne

 

Please check out more chocolate recipes here!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cereal Treats

  • Servings: 16
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin Confetti Sprinkles by Sprinkle Pop
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 7 1/2 cups (approximately 12-13 ounces) mini marshmallows, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 3 cups pumpkin flavored toasted oats cereal (like Cheerios–I used the Aldi brand!)

Directions:

Generously spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray, then sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of Pumpkin Confetti Sprinkles into the bottom of the dish.

In a large pot, melt butter with 6 cups of the mini marshmallows over medium heat. When most of the marshmallows are melted, add the cocoa powder and pumpkin spice and stir vigorously to incorporate. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. When melted, quickly fold in cereals and reserved marshmallows.

Using greased hands or a spatula, transfer cereal mixture to prepared pan and evenly press down. Sprinkle generously with Pumpkin Confetti Sprinkles, then gently smooth out. Cover and allow to set (at least two hours is best!) before cutting. Keeps in an air-tight container for about a week.

Disclosure: I received free product from Sprinkle Pop to use in this recipe for #Choctoberfest. I was not required to review them or provide positive feedback. All opinions are my own. You can learn more about Sprinkle Pop and get great recipe ideas from them on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.