Easter Weekend! | and a Grand Opening!

Due to this being Easter weekend, there will be no A+A post tomorrow.  I can, however, give you a heads up as to some soon-to-come posts:  Overland Update!!! (LONG overdue. . .), Kool-Aid Pie recipe, a post on some Rated, Not Reviewed books, and some more author-ly posts.  Aaaaannnnnddddd possibly a GIVEAWAY!

For now, I wish you all a lovely Easter weekend.  May we never forget the reason our King came to us from Heaven's throne - What He endured and Why.  No matter your circumstances or situation in life, God is in control - and will always be.  Oh, what hope we have in that fact!  

Easter is not about candy and eggs and chocolate and cute little bunnies, whether furry or edible.  It's about an extraordinary Man, His path on earth, a battle with Death, and VICTORY.

There in the Night,
Before the Cross,
Before the Nails.
Overwhelmed, alone You prayed,
You met us in our suffering
and bore our Shame. 

Abide with me.
Abide with me!
Don't let me fall,
And don't let go!
Walk with me,
And never leave.
Ever close,
God, abide with me!
- Matt Maher -

Happy Easter!
May your life be a light for Him.


Hello again! and welcome to the
Grand Opening
of my Etsy shop!

Introducing, Penmaiden's Wordshoppe - where you will find original pieces of free-handed word art, hand-painted water-colors and acrylic canvases, with the addition of a wee bit of random jewelry.  

Swing by, if you've a mind to! and browse the [rather] small selection.  Within the next few months, I hope to offer custom orders, so spread the word!

Thank you for your encouragement and support, my bloggy friends.  (You know who you are!!) 

As mentioned above, I am throwing around the idea of a giveaway.  What do you think?  Did you check out my shop?  While there are still a few more items to post, including those adorable little cacti paintings and their mini easels, which item do you like the most, if any?  It's not a huge selection to be sure, so it shouldn't take you too long to find out. . . *wink wink*

Anyway, I thank you kindly for stopping in.  And again, I wish you a Happy Easter!  It's almost Friday, but Sunday's comin'!


A + A Friday!

  • Home alone AND in the shower when you hear hard knocking. . . (Turns out it's only your hubby and bro-in-law wanting a chocolate cookie bite and he forgot his house key.  Haha!  You can laugh now, but it was almost scary then.)  
  • Jeans that have No. POCKETS.  What is this???  Useless.
  • Watching your man swing around a big plastic sword whilst slaying borer bees.
  • Arm pit farts late at night.  O_o  And I do mean late. . . we might possibly most likely have been a little too tired and loopy. . .
  • When you randomly say that you'll dress as Rey for "Halloween" (we never do all the haunty stuff, but I do like dressing up!) and Evan says he'll be Chewbacca, but you blurt out: "You're not tall enough!" (when in reality he's at least six inches taller than my 5 foot 5. . . just not Chewie size. . .) 
  • Trying to a stamp and ink and the ink somehow splatters on you, your nose, and the wall.  "Yep.  Can't do this." *tosses stamp kit into Goodwill pile*
  • Stuck behind a flatbed truck hauling manure. . . 
  • Updating name and address at the DMV and you accidentally check a "yes" on a criminal question. . . O_O  "NOOO!! I'm not criminal, honest!" you immediately think worst-case scenario in that your license will not go through due to all this crazy stuff and background checks and etc. etc. etc. . . But, really all you had to do was circle the correct answer, "no," and initial it.  :]
  • My shop is now open!!!!  Click here to visit Penmaiden's Wordshoppe on Etsy.  (I'm still working out the kinks, so a nice jaw-dropping header is missing to draw you in and there's a few more items yet to list.  But it's open!)
  • Hosting dinners at your home--fancy or casual.  :]
  • Prepping and pulling off a sweet wedding shower for a sister--decor and everything!
  • The sweetest Disney TV show: Elena of Avalor.  Seriously, it's great!
  • This quote:

  • Trying new recipes and they become great hits in the family.  (i.e. Kool-Aid Pie)
  • Date nights with your man at home, eating homemade chicken quesadillas and watching Stargate: SG1, Season 2.

Thanks for reading! Gotta run!

Dark Chocolate Cookie Bites

Read on to the ingredients and see NOTE.

Hullo, dear friends, and Happy Thursday!
It's nearly the weekend!!!

I know I've not been present in the blogging world of late, and I'm SO behind on catching up with my favorite blogs. . . But I have a new recipe for you.  So read on! (if you please)

Anybody here like chocolate?  What about dark chocolate??  And nuts?  Seeds?  Trail mix?

I recently discovered this amazing snack that includes all of the above.  Pinterest, of course!  But I tweaked it a wee bit, in that I used a nutty trail mix (from Aldi) instead of purchasing separate bags of nuts and dried fruit.  The result was quite delicious and a big hit with my man, my siblings, and my brother-in-law.  :]

Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnddddd. . . IT'S SUPER EASY.

What you'll need:
  • A medium-sized pot filled with an inch or two of water
  • A small glass bowl
  • A mixing spoon
  • A small spoon to ladle melted chocolate
  • Wax paper
  • One bag of dark chocolate chips
  • One bag of trail mix of your choosing

Below I will mention putting these little cookie bites into the fridge to harden more quickly, but if you do not temper (links here & here) the chocolate beforehand, the cookies will turn all dry and spotty and seem kinda grainy to eat (believe me - EXPERIENCE!).  The first time I made these, I left them to harden on their own on the counter-top for a couple hours and then placed them in the fridge to harden more fully.  The second time, I stuck them into the fridge right away.  I believe that's what made a difference between the first and second times I made them. 
So, read the links! 


Seriously.  That's it!
Now on to the steps.  I even have pictures for you.  How nice of me. ;D

On medium heat, melt chocolate chips until they are nicely smooth and creamy.
Meanwhile, as the chocolate melts, pour your trail mix into a bowl or onto a small plate and set aside.

With your silverware spoon, carefully dip out small cookie-sized circles of melted chocolate.  Start with a few at a time, and place your nuts and fruit on top of each--but don't press down too hard!
I began with the larger pieces, then added the smaller ones (like sunflower seeds) last.

Repeat and continue.

Here's where you see lovely photos of gorgeous chocolate and nutty goodness. . .

Once your chocolate bowl is scraped clean and every piece of trail mix in it's place, allow the cookie bites to set.  If you wish to proceed this process more quickly, start with lining baking sheets with the wax paper instead of simply putting it on the counter-top.  By doing that, it's easy to place baking sheets in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour.  

And voila!


An inexpensive and healthful snack.

The best thing about making these liddle beauties is that you usually have PLENTY of trail mix left over for the next time.  And a bag of chocolate chips isn't too expensive.  They would be great for tea parties, picnics, or just an afternoon snack.

Blessings, y'all.