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Books, Charlotte, Entertaining, Gift Giving, Recipes, Shopping, TalesOfAPeanut


Currently Tales of a Peanut

Reading: I’m picking up Amy Poehler’s new book, Yes Please, at the library today and can’t wait to start reading it. I’m reading You’re Already Amazing by Holly Gerth as well. And books on my to be purchased with hopeful birthday money include: Nobody’s Cuter Than You, The Art of Work, Keep It Shut, The Forgotten Seamstress, and The Rosie Project.

Currently Reading Tales of a Peanut

Watching: Madame Secretary. I am loving Tea Leoni’s new show with her as Secretary of State. I feel like it’s very similar to The West Wing only with a female lead.

Working on: Getting all my products listed in my own shop! If you read this in a reader you probably haven’t seen the redesign of our site. Katrina Martin at Riot Customs worked with me to implement my vision for Tales of a Peanut and the result is better than anything I could have hoped for. I haven’t talked about the redesign though because I’m still working on getting my shop set up. I’ve got some products listed and I wanted to share it with you now even though it’s still a work in progress. I’ll do a more in depth post on all the changes soon but come check out the new look and the new shop (I’m still on Etsy as well) if you haven’t seen it yet!

Tales of a Peanut Children's Plates

Planning: Hadley’s first birthday party. It’s hard to believe it’s that time but I sent her invitations to the printer yesterday. I’m doing a strawberry theme and now that I say that remember that I’ve got to get on ordering her cake! Here’s a sneak peek of her invite.

Strawberry Birthday Invitation Sneak Peek - Tales of a Peanut

Looking back and reflecting on: Charlotte at 11 months since Hadley will turn 11 months tomorrow. These girls look almost identical.

Charlotte 11 months

Cooking: Strawberry Oatmeal Bars from The Pioneer Woman. Red put this recipe in the back of her book, Charlie Goes to School, and so the kids and I have been saying that we were going to make them for months. We finally got around to them this week and they are fantastic. The kids love them plain for a small dessert but Jason and I might have been adding some vanilla ice cream and heating them for dessert after the kids go to bed. Very tasty!

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Wishing for: Courtney DeFeo’s Conversation Cups, a gift card for Athleta so I can by some new swimsuits and cover ups, some new slippers, and some new flip flops!

Conversation Cups Lil Light O Mine

Eating: Raisin Bran Crunch. It’s really good y’all and my choice for breakfast these days.

Raisin Bran Crunch

So, what are you currently doing, loving, reading, eating… these days? I’d love to know and check it out!


Entertaining, Family, Recipes

Setting the Perfect Brunch

Setting the Perfect Brunch | Tales of a Peanut


Last Sunday we hosted our families for brunch after Hadley was Christened at church. Our families are large and so there was a crowd, plus we were feeding a wide variety of ages — from Hadley to her great-grandparents. I wanted a menu that would be low key and easy to fix but would also provide everyone with something that they would like. Enter what I believe to be the perfect brunch menu. It received rave reviews from everyone and it was fairly easy to prepare.


We served orange juice and grapefruit juice as well as ice water. If your family has a lot of coffee or tea drinkers those would be good options as well.


Our menu included some ready-mades like Chocolate Chip Banana Bread and Cranberry Walnut bread from the local Gluten Free Bakery as well as a few varieties of muffins that Mom made for me. In addition to those we supplemented with some homemade recipes.

Vanilla Almond Granola from Sally’s Baking Addiction – I made two recipes of this and, I think, because I made two recipes at once I didn’t have enough liquid ingredients to make mine clump. Or maybe it couldn’t bake perfectly correctly? But even though might was more of itty bitty granola, it still tasted great. I set out of a bowl of greek yogurt and little cups and spoons and our guests made themselves little yogurt parfaits so that they could at least feel like some of the brunch was healthy!

Bacon and Cheddar Quiche from How To This and That – I’ve used other recipes for quiche but this one was very yummy. I, again, prepped it the night before and actually cooked it on Saturday as well before reheating in the oven on Sunday when we got home from church. It was finished by the end of brunch so I thought that was a good sign.

Bacon, Cheddar, and Scallion Scones from Fifteen Spatulas – Before I decided to add a quiche to the menu, I thought we needed something savory to balance out all of the sweet so I made these scones. They weren’t incredibly easy to make but they tasted great, especially right out of the oven. I made these on Saturday and re-heated them on Sunday (covered with foil) which I think made them even drier than they were originally, but scones are dry so I think I made them correctly.

Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread from Averie Cooks – Family members reading this might wonder where this was because they didn’t see it at my house on Sunday but that was because I got a little distracted with all my pre-event cooking. I accidentally set the oven to 450 instead of 350 which resulted in a very, very done outer layer but a perfect inner layer. I couldn’t serve it like that so Jason and I just taste-tested the inside for dessert on Saturday night. Let me tell you, it was fantastic. I’m waiting on some banana’s to ripen right now so that I can make it again. It was fantastic!

Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake from Chelsea’s Messy Apron – This recipe was the trickiest because it needed to be cooked once we got home from church. But unless you’ve got a late service and are in a hurry to eat, it’s perfect. I prepped the whole recipe the night before and sat it in the fridge overnight and popped it in the oven as soon as we got home. I cooked it on 400 degrees to shorten the cooking time and it turned out perfectly. Jason and I might have eaten the leftovers for dessert on Sunday night.


And, lest you think we didn’t have enough sweets already, we topped the meal off with a vanilla cake with vanilla icing. Hadley was very jealous of the cake and we tried to reassure her that in two short months it would be her turn to indulge!


I’d love to hear your favorite brunch foods or recipes! Is there something that I’m missing? If so, let me know in the comments!




Entertaining, Family

All Aboard!

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James’ birthday party went through lots of iterations of theme before he finally settled on a dinosaur train themed party combining two of his favorite things. Of course, as guests were arriving he told me he actually wanted a golf party but he seemed to accept that it was too late to change it.57F51 Front 57F51 Back

I went pretty low key for the party, simply decorating with the trains and dinosaurs that we had around the house. James requested cupcakes instead of a cake but couldn’t decide on a combination for cake and icing so I just got multiple kinds.

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The birthday boy wouldn’t pose for a picture the entire party. Therefore, this is one of the best that I got of him from his party. I’m sure he’ll regret that decision when he’s fourteen. Or, maybe not, who knows.

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Sissy posed with me though and looks way too cute in her party outfit!

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James was excited that it was finally his party despite the fact that all morning he said that he didn’t want a party. If you can’t tell, he is in a state of continual flux of opinions these days. But by the time guests started arriving he was bouncing off the walls in excitement.

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We enjoyed spending some time with our family and a lifelong friends. It was the first time that lots of our family had seen Hadley since she was born so she got passed around a lot before she went back down for a nap.

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James was excited to open all of his wonderful presents although he wasn’t too keen to continue opening new presents instead of getting out each gift and playing with it as it came out of the package.

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After opening presents James took a very short break to blow out a candle and enjoy a cupcake. He only conceded to a cupcake since it was taking Memma and Papa some time to unpack age his new toys to play with.

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I tried a picture with the birthday boy again but, still, this was all I got. Maybe next year.

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James couldn’t wait to get his hands on his new toys and recruited cousin Josh to play with him and, later, read him some new books.

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We’re so thankful for all of our family and friends who joined us to celebrate James turning three. It’s hard to believe that he is growing into such a big boy and we love watching him learn new things each and every day!


Crafts, Entertaining, Kid Activities

A Snowy Spring Day – Frozen Birthday Party Crafts

We had planned Charlotte’s birthday party to be held at the local botanical garden so I just had a few crafts ready for the girls to do before playing.  But due to our change in venue due to the rain, we added other crafts to keep the girls occupied.  I’m glad that we ended up doing it at our house, otherwise there wouldn’t have been time to do the crafts that Charlotte had picked out plus played in the garden!

Place Setting - Detail

When the girls arrived they had printed Frozen coloring pages and crayons at their seat.  They colored while we waited on everyone to arrive.  Their seat also had a bottle of water and a party straw and the supplies for our next craft (ice bracelets) were also set out.

After everyone arrived we started to create Ice Bracelets!

web Tales of a Peanut - Ice Bracelets_2014 06 11_0011 copy

To create the ice bracelets, I purchased Sparkle elastic and faux clear and blue beads at Hobby Lobby.


I cut a piece of elastic about 15″ long and placed a piece of masking tape on the end of it to hold the beads on while the girls were stringing their bracelets.  I then stuck this piece of elastic and an assortment of beads in a small plastic cup at each place as well as placed extra beads around the table.


After the girls strung their beads and we estimated their length I triple knotted the elastic per the instructions on the back and stuck a dot of glue on the knot after cutting the extra string.  The girls loved their fancy new bracelets!

Between crafts we cut the Elsa Cake and had our Snowman Snacks!

Elsa Cake

As the girls were finishing their snacks and cake, we started working on Queen crowns.  I ordered purple glitter crowns from It’s Twinkle Time.  The crowns came in two pieces and with jewels for the girls to adorn their crowns.  I added some sparkly glitter glue from Hobby Lobby and the girls started making their own crowns!


Crown Supplies

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Note: Lots of ideas originally came from Paging Supermom and these are just my interpretations of them!

Crafts, Entertaining, Kid Activities, TalesOfAPeanut

A Snowy Spring Day – Frozen Birthday Party Paper Goods

I had so much fun planning and preparing for Charlotte’s fifth birthday party.  I showed her lots of different ideas and only committed to the ones that she was really excited about.  I am excited to share all of our ideas from the party today!

(I was to preface all the details by saying that I did these things because Charlotte wanted to and I wanted to make this day special for her.  I am all about not overdoing things for your kids, especially birthday parties, although this post might make it seem like that wasn’t the case.  There’s a lot that we don’t do that other families do but, in this case, I enjoy crafting and making things and Charlotte and I were able to do a lot of the preparations together which made it even more fun.)

I’m going to start by sharing all of the paper goods that we used for the party.

Tales of a Peanut Frozen Invitation Front

Single Photo Etsy

I started my paper goods shop back when Charlotte was turning one and I designed her first birthday invitation.  Since then I’ve continued the tradition and this year was no different.  I like to include a picture of the birthday child on their invitation so that everyone can have a current picture of them also.  Charlotte worked with me to design this invitation just how she wanted it!

Melted Snowman - Single

I made water bottle labels with Olaf on them that said “Melted Snowmen”.  I set out a water bottle at each girls place but had the extras in a dough bowl on my kitchen island.

Melted Snowmen - Grouped

To make sure that everyone noticed the snow day connection, I created 3×3″ cards with Olaf on them that coordinated with the rest of the decor and wrote what each item was on it.  In addition to the “Melted Snowmen” water bottles we had “Snow Dip” (ranch dressing), “Snowman arms” (pretzels), “Snowman Noses” (carrots), and “Snowman Buttons” (grapes).

Tales of a Peanut Snow Dip

Tales of a Peanut Snowman Arms

Tales of a Peanut Snowman Buttons

Tales of a Peanut Snowman Noses

I sat the cards in a “snowball” made from styrofoam balls that I got from Hobby Lobby.  They were very easy to make (cut off one end to make it flat and then cut a slice in the top to stick the card).

Snowball Place Card Holder

For favors for the girls Charlotte and I made Olaf bags and attached a thank you card. (Directions and a template for the Olaf bag is coming next week.)

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And after the party was over, Charlotte filled out her fill in the blank thank you notes and sent them to her friends!

Tales of a Peanut Frozen Thank You

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these items (all the text is fully customizable) you can check out my shop or see the links below for the individual listings.

Snow Queen invitations

Snow Queen Water Bottle Labels

Snow Queen Gift Tags/Place Card Holders

Snow Queen Plates (in stock, non customizable item)

Snow Queen Plates (customizable)

Snow Queen t-shirt

Snow Queen Thank You Notes

Note: Lots of ideas originally came from Paging Supermom and these are just my interpretations of them!

Charlotte, Entertaining, Family


Over the years since starting this blog it’s morphed into a few different things.  I now use it to promote my shop, Tales of a Peanut, as well as share products and reviews of things that I love.  But my main purpose in starting the blog, and still my primary goal, is to retain the memories of our lives.  I have created blog books in the past (and plan to catch back up one of these days) and our whole family loves looking through them and remembering the details of our day to day life.

Now that I’m adjusting to the scant amount of sleep that I’m getting each night I’m using some of my extremely limited down time to try and catch the blog up.  And I would be remiss if I failed to talk about my 30th birthday!

The weekend started off with a bang when Kelly arrived from Mississippi!  She drove all the way up to go to dinner and spend the night to celebrate my day.  It meant so much to me that she took so much time out of her very busy life to make my weekend special!  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Commerce Kitchen on Friday night and greatly enjoyed catching up!


On Saturday, Kelly had the privilege of getting to wait to purchase Showcase tickets with me at the civic center.  It ended up being a nice chance to catch up on what’s going on in our lives without the kids around.  After we got back with the tickets we all headed to lunch at Taziki’s where the kids wanted to sit by Miss Kelly.  Hopefully helping my two kids was more relaxing than helping her three and she still got a break!  We were sad to see her go after lunch but I was so blessed by her visit.  It was a wonderful gift and a great start to my birthday weekend!



(PS In this picture James is screaming because I wanted to be in the picture and came over to sit next to him.  You can see that Mommy is chopped liver when Miss Kelly is around!)

Friday also included a beautiful floral delivery of 30 purple tulips from Jason, Charlotte, and James!  They were gorgeous but there was a little drama surrounding them.  Jason and Charlotte had been plotting and scheming for weeks about my birthday and apparently Charlotte wanted three different colors of tulips in the arrangement — 10 in one color for Jason, 10 in another color for Charlotte, and 10 in a third color for James.  So there were some tears from her when the flowers didn’t arrive how she and Daddy had requested they arrive but they were still gorgeous and I loved them all the same!


On Sunday we got up and went to church.  I love this picture of the three of us from before church.  These kiddos are so sweet and they (along with the rest of my family) went above and beyond to make my birthday so special!


Mom and Dad spirited the kids away after church to give Jason and I a break.  We enjoyed our afternoon of reading and being lazy before we headed over to my parents for the birthday party.  I’m really mad that I didn’t take any pictures of the decorations because Charlotte pretty much bought out Party City for the party!  She had the front and back doors covered with gold and silver streamers along with pom pom flowers, crepe paper, a birthday banner, lots of shiny dangling spirals, and more.  Of course, she got the girls birthday princess crowns too!



I wanted a family picture but James couldn’t be persuaded to leave his golf club for two second for one.  Oh well, maybe next year!


I did manage to convince (bribe) him to take a picture with me later!


Overall is was a spectacular day.  My Mom always made a huge deal out of birthday’s growing up so they’ve always been really special to me.  It was so much fun this year to watch how excited Charlotte was to make my day extra special.  I greatly appreciate all of the effort that Mom, Dad, and Jason expended to follow all of Charlotte’s detailed instructions to make my day wonderful!