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…… 


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!!!


 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. 


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,


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  • 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!)

    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

    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

    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.


  • 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!