Mother’s Day Give-away with Author Cindy Dagnan

Welcome to Mother’s Day week—the time when moms receive an assortment of lovely gifts from their dear offspring– you know–perfumes, coffee gift cards, lotions and potions. Okay, and if a dad is involved in the selection, perhaps an iron or vacuum or another such usefull, yet romantic present! Well, our family has a few other practical presents to give out to deserving moms this week.

A few years back, when speaking at a Hearts at Home National conference, I met a delightful speaker named Cindy Dagnan. She writes and speaks on the many of the same topics I do—organization, hospitality, marriage, etc… and just being around her for a few hours made me know we were kindred spirits. We’d love to be next door neighbors and chat daily while we were each hanging out laundry to dry. Alas, we can only keep in touch through cyber-space, see each other a few times a year at speaking engagements and use the US mail to deliver a handwritten note now and then. We have decided that, since I live in Michigan and she dwells in Missouri, at least we might be able to choose the same nursing home someday so we can finally be neighbors!!!

Cindy’s book Who Got Peanut Butter on my Daily Planner is a useful tool for any mom trying to get her act together. She has graciously offered to give away copies of it this week to three moms who leave a comment here on my site. Below is an interview with Cindy showcasing just what the book is all about. You’ll have to read to the end to see just what kind of comment we are looking for, because there is a slight catch to it!

In addition, I served as project creator on the Hearts at Home Just For Moms Planner, a tool designed for moms, not for professionals in the business world.  My sweet friend and national award winning graphic designer Amber Fuller did the wonderful design on the project. It is whimsical in contemparary shades of brown and teal. It is the size of a normal planner, yet has sections to record grocery lists, menus plans, your family medical information and other such details important to a mom. There are week and month-at-a-glance sections and an address book. Hearts at Home is allowing me to give away two of these resources this week too!

So, enjoy the interview with my friend Cindy. Check out her book. Take a peek at the planner. Then read about the rules for leaving a comment and leave one!! Don’t feel rushed…this post will be left up all week and the winners announced Sunday.

This is a crazy, busy week for us. Kenzie has her play performance at the homeschool academy, we have out of town relatives coming for two days, more out of town company coming for one more day and then our garage sale is Saturday and Sunday!!!! No, I am not trying to kill myself with busyness. We had to hold our garage sale this week since we live in the sticks and no one usually comes. This coming weekend, however, a great apple cider mill by us holds a huge Mother’s Day craft sale drawing thousands of people. We won’t even need to take an ad out in the paper. We’ll get lots of lookers! This all adds up to lots of activity around here. Thus…the reason I’ll only post once this week!! Now….for the interview…… 

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Cindy, Tell us a little bit about your real life, outside of being an author and speaker.

I am a preacher’s daughter, a wife, mother of four girls and a recovering Type A personality.   When I have to drive into town twice a week for errands, my highlight is stopping at Starbucks for a grande non-fat hot chocolate with whip and a regular blueberry muffin.  It’s the simple things, really.

What prompted you to write Who Got Peanut Butter on my Daily Planner?

When I began staying at home, there were only a few books out there specifically for stay-at-home moms.  Many of them seemed too lofty and unattainable, or to “expert-y” for me.  I wanted to share some humor and practical things that women could use that I have learned along the way.  I wanted it to feel more like curling up for a visit with your girlfriend.

What areas of a busy mom’s life does your book address?

5 main areas:  1) Your time and home; 2) Your marriage; 3) Your children; 4) Your self [yep, you!] and 5) Your God.

What is the most difficult aspect for you of juggling all the many tasks a mom must do?

Guilt.  Hands down.  I know I’m not a perfect mother, but I have waaay high expectations of myself and when we run into a crazy-busy week and I’m cranky, or haven’t had the amount of face time with each girl individually, guilt climbs on my shoulders and has a hey day!  I know I’m not alone in this, because I hear it from women all over the country.

What advice can you give to those moms who are trying to “do it all?” Should we even attempt to do it all?

Snort!  I’m dyin’ laughing here.  We absolutely CANNOT do it all at any one given time.  Trust me, I know.  I tried and fell down hard.  I used to be the President of the “I Hate the Proverbs 31 Woman Fan Club”.  I would read that chapter and freak out!  When I studied further though, I realized it’s more a seasonal thing.  The quote I fell in love with from your new book, Karen, was that if we approach mothering like we approached our outside jobs, we will lose our minds!  We won’t always plow through our to-do lists, but we will always, always be doing something eternal.

What is your prayer when it comes to the readers who will view this book? How do you hope it helps them in their daily life?

I know that every mom’s time is precious.  Valuable.  When I read, I’m looking for two things: entertainment and take away value – something I can use; I assume my readers are the same.  I hope the women who read anything I’ve written will laugh, cry, get inspired, feel less alone and have a tangible something they can truly use in their world.  Precious moms, seize this day – it may be the only one you’ve got.  Cherish, savor, treasure.  Know that no one else can do what you do like you do it.  God sees you, every exasperated, exhilarating moment.

Do you have a favorite peanut butter recipe or memory to share with us too?

My very favorite peanut butter thing to eat is the old-fashioned homemade Buck-eye candies.  Someone always brought them to church for the fellowship linger-longer after Christmas Caroling.  I, um, don’t exactly make them very well.  My friend Vickie, however, has a fabulous recipe which I’d gladly e-mail to anyone who asks – she says mine don’t turn out because I won’t use the paraffin wax.  I must also confess to having wildly jealous feelings when my youngest 3 were all under the age of 5 and my husband would tell me about his working lunches at big people restaurants – “Well,” I’d reply, sometimes huffily, “I’m at home having PBJ and Goldfish crackers – again!  Not to worry though, today I cut them in triangles instead of squares!”

Thanks Cindy for taking the time to chat with us and give away these copies of your fabulous book!!

You are more than welcome!!!

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 Okay ladies, now for the give-away. Simply post a comment any day this week in order to be entered in the give-away. The only catch is this: you must do one of two things when you leave your comment. Tell us your best mommy moment memory that has to do with peanut butter or share with all of us your favorite peanut butter recipe. You have until Saturday night at midnight Eastern Standard Time to do so. Then, on Mother’s Day, my three peanut-butter crazed kids will each select one winner of a copy of Cindy’s book. 

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The winners of the two moms planners will be chosen at random. I do ask that if you are interested in winning the planner, you make sure to leave that info with your comment. These Hearts at Home Just for Moms Planners are the biggest gift we’ve given away so far and we want to make sure they are going to someone who will use them.

Have a great Mother’s Day week!

Peanut Butter Blessings,

Karen

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  • I would love to win the planner or the book, but especially the planner! I am in the process of trying to better re-organize my time as I work part-time at home, have three children, and am starting to homeschool next year.

    My recipe has already been listed–I love Peanut Blossom Cookies!

    My favorite peanut butter story is this: The church where my husband is a youth pastor has a tradition of “pounding the pastor” each time a new pastor comes to the church. This basically means they bring in “pounds” of non-perishable foods to give the family to help them out in their new home. When we came to the church, our senior pastor asked if our food was all good. Not sure what he meant, we said yes. It turns out that the youth pastor before us had received a jar of peanut butter in his collection. When he went to open it, he discovered that the person who had donated had accidentally taken a jar their family was already used! The jar was half gone, and had a spoon in it! Fortunately, all ours was still sealed!

  • I love Cindy Dagnan’s book–I bought it at the Hearts at Home conference, and have been putting it to great use since! I’d be happy to receive another copy to pass on to a friend, though.

    At the Hearts conference, I had my eye on the planner but decided to save up to buy it next year. It would be awesome to win one on Mother’s Day!

    Here’s my peanut butter recipe:

    Deluxe Chocolate Marshamallow Bars (these are a huge hit everywhere they go!)

    Ingredients:
    3/4 cup butter or margarine
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons baking cocoa powder
    4 cups miniature marshmallows

    Topping:
    1 1/3 cups chocolate chips
    3 tablespoons butter or margarine
    1 cup peanut butter (I use chunky for this recipe)
    2 cups crisp rice cereal

    Directions
    Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and vanilla, beating until fluffy. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Spread in a greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle marshmallows evenly over the base; return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Spread melted marshmallows evenly with knife dipped in warm water; cool.

    For topping, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and well mixed. Remove from heat, stir in cereal, and spread over cooled bars. Chill in refrigerator until cool and ready to cut.

  • My mommy peanut butter story starts when I was pregnant, as all great mommy stories do. I was 7 months pregnant (that time when one unashamedly walks to the buffet table for seconds (okay thirds) knowing that no one will ask questions because it’s written all over your body why you NEED another helping of pie.) It was my husband’s birthday and since I couldn’t cook, I recruited my mom to help me make a chocolate peanut butter cake for me, I mean for him. We made him meatloaf and cheesy potatoes and salad and we were cooking all day so naturally the kitchen looked hit. We were trying to stagger the things that we cooked so it would all get done in time. Well, we had made the batter for the cake and put them in the cake tins way ahead of time. We thought we were doing great. So the batter sat and sat and sat until right before dinner when we put it in the oven. When it came out, it had sunk in the middle. No biggie, we’d just pile the frosting on extra high in that spot to make up for it. The frosting was some evil concoction of cream cheese and peanut butter that would probably send you straight to diet jail on a count of trans fat misdemeanors. So we got the cake to look symmetrical. Upon singing happy birthday and slicing the cake we noticed the most excellent of baking catastrophes. Not only was the exterior of the cake rich and scrumptious, but there was a gooey center. Not gooey like a bad gooey, but a gooey like that of chocolate peanut butter lava. The inside was so badly sunken in that the chocolate cake and the frosting had just combined to create a well of chocolate peanut butter bliss. We renamed the cake to call it the “molten lava chocolate peanut butter cake”. I like to follow God’s command to do unto others as you would have done unto yourself, which is why I will not give that recipe out. Would I want someone giving me a recipe like that with swimsuit season right around the corner? Besides, the reason the recipe turned out as it did was because of our lack of baking know-how. I would love either the planner or the book as most of my mothering thus far has been similar to the lava cake; unexpectedly sweet, very educational and has yielded a messy kitchen. Thank you Karen and Cindy for your wisdom and encouragement. Mom’s rock!

  • I have a funny peanut butter story, but it is not a Mommy story. When my husband and I were dating, we were at my (parents) house one evening and he decided to eat some Pnut butter and crackers. Well, he’d eaten a few already, when I looked into the peanut butter jar and saw BUGS..ALIVE! It was the most disgusting thing!! My mom began storing her peanut butter in the fridge after that!

    Now, I have a wonderful recipe for Peanut Butter Cheese Fudge. This comes from Paula Deen and its the creamiest, yummiest fudge! Don’t judge it till ya try it.
    Peanut Butter Cheese Fudge
    1/2 pound Velveeta cheese, sliced
    1 cup butter
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    2 16oz. boxes confectioners’ sugar
    1 cup creamy peanut butter

    Spray lightly bottom of a 9 x 2 inch square pan w/ nonstick spray. Over medium heat, in a saucepan, melt cheese and butter together, stirring constantly until smooth. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and nuts. In a large bowl, sift sugar then pour cheese mixture into sugar, stirring until completely mixed. Candy will be very stiff. Using hands, remove from bowl and press evenly and firmly into pan. Pat the top with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares.

    Blessings~
    Alyce
    http://www.potsonthestove.blogspot.com

  • We love peanut butter here! My 3 boys love PB & Honey and my youngest loves PB & J too.

    There really is nothing better than peanut butter and chocolate, in my opinion. :o)

    Here’s our simple recipe that makes a good breakfast: Mix desired amount of peanut butter with a small amount of honey in a bowl. Serve with pretzels to dip and a big glass of cold milk!

    I would love the book, but I have had my eye on the H@H planner for years now! Thanks, Karen and Cindy!

    – Marcia

  • I don’t have a funny peanut butter story, but I do have a deep appreciation for it, since a bagel with peanut butter is the ONLY thing my 8-year-old will take for school lunch! You’d think he’d get tired of it, but apparently not….
    I would love, love, love to win the planner. Currently my organizational “method” is carrying around a manilla folder bursting with papers – I think that could be improved!
    I appreciate your ministry and the help you give to us moms!

  • I have been wanting to read Cindy’s book for quite awhile…and the planner would be awesome (and put to good use) as well!
    My favorite peanut butter memory has to do with my mama and cornflakes. Yes, maybe it’s a southern thing, but my mother always put peanut butter in her cornflakes…so…I did too. I always thought it was normal and that everyone else did this too! LOL But then again, even cardboard would taste good if it was covered in peanut butter…chunky of course! I still love peanut butter, and occasionally I do put it my cereal…yummy!
    My 4yo (our 5th child out of 6) LOVES peanut butter as well. I tell him he’s going to turn into a peanut ’cause he eats it so often! He even wants it for breakfast–on whole wheat bread of course! LOL
    Great interview..thanks for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Amy O.
    picketfencemom

  • My favorite peanut butter Mommy story is this:
    When my children see my husband and I hugging, they always want to be included. When we had one child, it was a “peanut butter sandwich.” Hubby and I were the “bread,” Madison was the “peanut butter.” When we had another child, our family hugs turned into “peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” Our third child is 6 months old, so I’m already brainstorming for the name of our third ingredient in the family sandwich, as surely he will want to be included soon. What goes well with PB&J? I will keep on thinking…

    P.S. Don’t worry about including me in the planner give-away. I’m not able to be a stay-at-home mom yet, but I keep praying for it!

  • I love peanut butter but my husband can’t stand it! My 18 month old daughter is still working on her taste for it … Here’s one of my favorite recipes that I just recently came across! It’s a great energy snack and is super easy to make!!!
    Wake-Up Breakfast Bars (or snack bars)
    1/3 C packed brown sugar
    1 1/2 C peanut butter
    5 C bran-flakes cereal
    1/3 C honey
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1 pkg (6oz) dried cranberries
    *line a 9x9x2 baking pan with foil; set aside. In a large sauce pan, stir together brown sugar and honey. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in PB and cinnamon until smooth. Stir in cereal and 1/2 C cranberries until coated.
    *Pat mixture in prepared pan, pressing firmly. Press remaining cranberries on top. Cover and chill until set or up to 24 hours.
    *To serve, use foil to lift mixture from pan. Cut in squares. Will keep in fridge for 3 days. Makes 12-16 squares.

    Enjoy :)

  • One of the funniest things we ever did with peanut butter involved our Youth Group kids, before they went on a Missions trip. They each smeared creamy peanut butter on their face and then got paired up with a partner from another church. You know how you try and catch marshmallows or popcorn in your mouth? Well, the kids had to catch cheerios on their face!! It was so much fun! The pictures are halirious! It was a great ice-breaker for the weeks work ahead of them.

    I also have the EASIEST, YUMMIEST peanut butter pie recipe.

    1 small carton of cool whip – thawed
    1 c. peanut butter
    3/4 c. powdered sugar
    1 box instant chocolate pudding
    1 pie crust (graham cracker or other)

    Make pudding according to directions on package. Mix peanut butter with powdered sugar. Put 2/3 of the peanut butter/powdered sugar mixture in the bottom of the crust. Put pudding on top. Layer the cool whip on top of the pudding. Sprinkle the rest of the peanut butter/powdered sugar mixture on top.

    I love both Hearts at Home and Cindy so I’m up for anything! : )

  • I am a peanut butter lover as well, have been since I was a kid. A favorite peanut butter memory I like to share with my three kids is when my Mom made me an open-face peanut butter sandwich. My brother and I used to like to call it a peanut butter pizza. One day I decided to eat my “pizza” out on the picnic table. I went in to get my cup of milk and came back only to find a squirrel up on the table, eating my sandwich!

    Here is a yummy peanut butter chocolate dessert, and it includes, not just peanut butter, but peanut butter cups, because what is better than peanut butter and chocolate!!

    20 Oreos, divided
    2 Tbls. butter, melted
    1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, divided
    1 carton (16 oz) Cool Whip, thawed, divided
    15 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
    1 cup cold milk
    1 pkg. (3.9 oz) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
    Crush 16 cookies, toss with butter. Press onto bottom of ungreased 9 in. square dish.
    In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and 1 cup confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of Cool Whip. Spread over crust.
    Sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups.
    In another mixing bowl, beat milk, pudding mix, and remaining confectioner’s sugar on low speed for 2 minutes. Fold in remaining Cool Whip. Spread over peanut butter cups.
    Crush remaining cookies. Sprinkle over the top.
    Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Cut and serve.

    Enjoy!

  • The first time I gave my son peanut butter(1 1/2yrs old) he decided to share it with the our 4 year old yellow labrador. They each had a spoonful in their mouthes, neither one of them could chew it very well because it was sticking to the roof of their mouths. My husband and I died laughing because they both sat for about 20 minutes just licking their lips trying to get their mouths open!!!

    I would also like to be entered into your Hearts at Home planner as well, please!!! I went to Hearts at Home for the first time this year and it has done amazing things in my life since!

  • Best PB mommy memory? It happened today! I was all decked out in my best t-shirt and skirt to go to a luncheon at our grade school when my 4-year-old decided to give me a big peanut butter smooch goodbye…right smack in the middle of my shirt. So I walked into the luncheon with a damp spot reminiscent of the ones I sported often during the baby years, the kind that scream “yep, I’m a mom!”

    I really, really enjoyed sitting in on one of Cindy’s workshops at the Hearts at Home conference this year. She is a great speaker (and so are you, Karen)! So I’d be thrilled to win a copy of her book.

  • Both the book and the planner would be awesome. We are a PB&J family. I’m going to share my recipe for peanut butter fudge – it is so good and easy to make. Turns out great every time!

    3 cups sugar
    3/4 cup margarine
    2/3 cup evaporated milk (small can)
    1 cup peanut butter
    7 oz. jar marshmellow cream
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Combine sugar, milk and margarine in a saucepan. Bring to a full boil and stir constantly for exactly 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until melted. Add marshmellow and vanilla. Beat until mixed. Spread in a buttered 9 x 13 pan. Set until cool, then place in fridge.

  • bananas with a skim of pb on them are the best…often the bedtime snack for my kids! i love organization and this book looks like great inspiration! would love to enter the drawing, but dont want to be “hogging” the books =) we just received the meghan rose book in the mail today…my girls were so excited! it is great! we have lots of little girls in my fam and are gonna pass the word along about these great kid’s books! thanks so much!

  • We love PB&J sandwiches at my house, but we also love fluffer nutter sandwiches. You need two slices of bread (the fresher the better), put peanut butter on one slice and marshmellow cream (fluff) on the other slice. Sandwich them together and you have a fluffer nutter sandwich! I know it does not sound very good, but believe me when you try it you will love it. The sandwich reminds me potato candy that my grandmother use to make.

    Just last week I resigned as a full-time accountant to be a stay at home mom. I would love the book or the planner. Thanks!

  • Well, since my son is only 19 months old & only recently started eating peanut butter, I don’t really have any PB memories…. yet. I’m not sure if this really counts as a “recipe” but I’ve always enjoyed celery with peanut butter spread on it. Yum!

    I’d love to receive a copy of the planner, I sure could use it!

  • Karen, I just read your newest organizing book on the way home from vacation in Florida. My husband was a captive audience for all the new ideas I want to try! (actually, he asked me why I kept giggling at your stories) I wanted to tell you I really am thankful for the down to earth way you encouraged me and put the priority on organizing so I can do the things God has for me.

    OK, I love peanut butter and I even wrote an entire blog entry on the subject in March.
    One of the things I’m known for here is that I let my girls take peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwiches to school! Really, my girls don’t like jelly and so I let them sprinkle choc chips (they’ve been warned about excessivness) on their sandwiches. All their friends think I’m such a cool mom and that cracks me up! I even had one mom ask me how to make the sandwich!

  • I would love either book. A peanut butter memory has to do with my kids. I was not home and my kids had gotten a kid’s recipe book for Christmas so they talked Dad into making peanut butter balls with them. They were quite messy and then they were not forming balls so then they added more flour to make them stick together. They then dipped them in chocolate.
    They were huge balls(because of course they had to make them mansize which the kids thought was great) and then there were about 40 of them! They were around for awhile! My son still says they were good!

  • Unfortunately, my 4-month old daughter does not yet have any peanut butter experiences. However, I love peanut butter cookies, as long as they are not crunchy. This is my Grandma’s recipe, who always had cookies in her freezer ready hand out to her grandchildren.

    Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

    1 cup veg shortening
    1 tsp vanilla
    3 cups sifted enriched flour
    dash of salt
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup peanut butter
    2 tsp baking soda

    Thoroughly cream shortening, sugars, and vanilla. Add eggs; beat thoroughly. Stir in peanut butter. Sift dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture. Form into tiny balls; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press with back of a fork to make crisscrosses. Dough may also be rolled and cut if desired. Bake in 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Makes 8 dozen cookies.

    I would love either Cindy’s book or the planner. I’m a new mom, so I love any helpful advice I can get!!

  • Peanut butter is a favorite around my home. My grandmother used to make a great hot milk cake with chocolate peanut butter frosting and my mom makes it, too. Its one of those yummy cakes that always reminds me of time with my mom and grandmother. Now my boys love the cake, too. They always request it when my mom asks them what they want for dessert. The funny thing is, they peel the chocolate and peanut butter off of the cake. They only eat it separately.
    We also love pb&j sandwiches, someone has one everyday around our house.

  • I would love one of Cindy’s books. I’m partial to Peanut Butter Blossom cookies. . .especially at Christmas time. Here’s my recipe:

    1 ¾ cups flour
    1 tsp salt
    ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
    ½ cup peanut butter
    2 tbsp milk
    1 pkg Hershey kisses
    1 tsp baking soda
    ½ cup sugar
    ½ cup shortening
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla

    Combine all ingredients except candy in larger mixer bowl. Mix on lowest speed until dough forms. Shape dough into rounded balls. Roll balls in white sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Top each cookie with a candy immediately after taking out of the oven. Press down firmly so the cookie cracks around the edges. Burns easily – watch carefully. Makes four dozen if made small.

    Enjoy!

    Cindy
    http://adopttaiwan.wordpress.com

  • Well, I just have to share a funny peanut butter moment. My 5 year old son got glasses for the first time about 3 months ago. He is so rough on them, and so at least once a week we have to take them back in to the store to get them adjusted.

    A few weeks ago, we went in, and after the employee was done adjusting and cleaning the glasses, he asked my son, “Did you have a peanut butter sandwich for lunch?” My son’s eyes got huge, and he said, “YES! How did you know that?” The man answered, “There was a big peanut butter smudge on your glasses!” We all got a good laugh, and now I’m sure to clean them before we go for adjustments!

    That said, I’d love to have one of the Hearts at Home planners. I already have a copy of “Who Got Peanut Butter on My Planner”, and I love it. Of course, if I won the book, I’d give it to a friend, but I’d really like the planner. ;)

    Thanks for a great interview this morning!