Cinnamon Popcorn & How I Flunked out of Poetry School

cinnamon popcorn


So just yesterday I announced how I was taking on a two-week poetry challenge for the WordPress Daily Post…  Right?

Today’s assignment was the topic of Trust using an Acrostic Poem and using Internal Rhyme…….. YIKES!

It is 10 pm.

I’ve worked all day, spent the evening at a fun card class with Colleen (and Katie :)).

I’m sipping a G&T, and… WTH!

Too much to deal with…  too many rules…

I like poetry and all, but….

Can I just share a recipe instead?  🙂

How about some yummy and SUPER easy Cinnamon Popcorn?!

At first try, I was so-so on this, but after my G&T (and skipping dinner), I think I might have to throw the rest of this stuff away before I eat it all!!

Some of you may recall my super-addictive, super-delicious, super-amazing Homemade Caramel Corn.  It is so crazy delish – seriously!  A MUST Make recipe.  DO NOT HESITATE!

Well – when I saw recipes circulating for cinnamon popcorn, like Rachael Ray’s, I envisioned a kicked up version using Hulless Butter Popcorn.

I happened to have a bag of  Cinnamon Red Hot Imperials on hand.  Isn’t this an item in everyone’s pantry?!?!  🙂

cinnamon popcorn red hots

I also happened to have a bag of Snyder’s of Berlin Hulless Butter Popcorn.

cinnamon popcorn 1

So I adapted and created this Kicked-Up Version of Cinnamon Popcorn that I think you will like.

Give it a go…. or NOT if you are on a DIET! 🙂

cinnamon popcorn 2

This is how simple this stuff is:

Jodi’s Kicked Up Cinnamon Popcorn

1 bag (approximately 8 cups) Snyder’s Hulless Butter Popcorn (or you can pop 8 cups of popcorn)
1 cup Cinnamon Red Hot Imperials (or any other type of cinnamon candy)
1/2 cup water


Spread popcorn out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Melt cinnamon candy and water in a saucepan until completely melted.
Pour cinnamon candy over popcorn.
Bake in 250 degree F oven for approximately 20 minutes.
Let cool completely.



Cheers & Hugs,



Laugh, Smile, Giggle, Snort

giraffe naples zoo

Giraffe – Naples Zoo – Feb 2015

Laugh, smile, giggle, snort

This journey called life is much too short

To frown or grumble or sigh

Oh my

Let joy be your purpose, your passion, your port


In an effort to expand and evolve in my writing, I am participating in The WordPress Daily Post Writing 201 Two-Week Poetry Challenge.  Poetry is definitely a challenge for me.   Today’s assignment consists of three parts: 

  1. The word prompt is Journey:  Write a poem about anything that word evokes for you.
  2. The form is Limerick:  The traditional rhyming scheme of a limerick is a a b b a — the first two lines rhyme, then the next two, and the final verse rhymes with the first couplet.
  3. The device is Alliteration:  Using the same consonant multiple times in close proximity.

To me, the greatest journey of all is life and letting joy be our purpose and passion is the ultimate goal.  This is what inspired my limerick for today’s challenge.

Wishing you laughs and smiles and giggles and snorts!

Cheers & Hugs,

Discovering Sanibel Island

sanibel lighthouse beach bikes

Another highlight of my trip to Florida last week was a day spent with my dear friend Janet on Sanibel Island.  We started the day with a walk and some lounging at Lighthouse Beach.

sanibel lighthouse

The 120 year old lighthouse sits on a wildlife refuge and is at the southern most point of Sanibel Island.  It was a great opportunity to capture some more pictures of the beautiful birds and wildlife that make their home here.

sanibel bird

sanibel bird 5

sanibel bird 4 sea gull

sanibel bird 3

sanibel bird 2

The beaches of Sanibel Island are known for being great places for sea shell gathering, and I loved the natural flora and fauna of this particular beach.  The driftwood created natural sculptures along the shoreline.

sanibel driftwood

sanibel driftwood 2

and of course – palm trees!

sanibel palm tree

Fishing is also a past time that is enjoyed here whether on the fishing pier or right in the water.

sanibel lighthouse beach pier

sanibel fisherman

People of all ages enjoy the beach.

sanibel little girl

sanibel sand castle

sanibel jogger

sanibel baby beach

including us crazy 52 year-old BF beach bums. 🙂

sanibel jodi and janet

After a warm and sunny morning and afternoon at the beach, we found a cute little restaurant, the Island Cow, where we sipped on White Mango Sangria while dining alfresco where I enjoyed an amazing paella and Janet a crab-stuffed grouper.

sanibel island cow white mango sangria

It was a great place to hang out with colorful adirondaks…

sanibel island cow adirondaks

And even beach-themed corn hole.

sanibel island cow corn hole

Today is Janet’s birthday.  We celebrated for an entire week.  The trip was a birthday gift for me from Marty and a celebration of a lifelong friendship.  Happy Birthday my dear friend Janet!

I love you, and I sure am missing you and that beautiful 70+ F degree weather!

Our high was 0 (yep – that is ZERO) degrees F yesterday in Mars, and most of the day was in the negative category!

Only makes me appreciate it all more.  I am smiling while snuggling in with my hoodie and sweats sitting by a warm fire fondly missing and reminiscing…

at Life in Between.

Cheers & Hugs,


Discovering Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

boardwalk 1

Weekly Photo Challenge – Symmetry

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Fort Myers, Florida last week was an afternoon spent wandering around the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve.

In 1976, a group of Lee County, Florida students studying the role of forested wetland in Florida’s ecology became alarmed at how fast these environmental treasures were disappearing to private interests.  The students, known simply as “the Monday Group,” envisioned a place where visitors could stroll amongst majestic cypress trees and catch the whisper of Florida’s primordial past.  They sought an oasis where guests could observe the vast array of plants and animals that can live in a place which is sometimes land, sometimes water, sometimes both.  In such pristine surroundings, they hoped that people could begin to learn how wetlands provide priceless, but often hidden benefits such as water purification and storage, natural flood control, and wildlife habitat.  Knowing the Six Mile Cypress Slough (pronounced slew) was under imminent threat from logging in the channeling away of its water, the Monday Group launched a daring campaign to save it for future generations.  Lee County, Florida voters responded overwhelmingly by increasing their own taxes to purchase and convert the Slough into a preserve.*

quote 5

Along the beautiful 1.2 mile elevated and fully handicapped-accessible boardwalk, there are a number of observation decks that shoot off the beaten path with benches for sitting still, relaxing, reflecting, communing with nature, photographing and contemplating the thought-provoking quotes posted along the way.

tree water reflection

I hope I captured even a snippet of the beauty and grandeur of this 3,400 acre, 11-mile long wetland to share with you here,  and it encourages you to visit if you are ever in the area.

gator in water

This gator was enchanting to see swimming nearby…

croc 1

…but this 12-footer across the lake was really something to see!

croc 2

There were dozens of species of songbirds, wading birds, and birds of prey – including many which are threatened or endangered.  The Slough also serves as a resting spot for many migrating birds.

bird and turtle


I watched this snowy egret successfully fish for lunch,

snowy egret


and turtles sunning and warming themselves.

turtles 2

There was no way to take it all in, and I am certain that one could walk it every day of the year and experience something new each time.

tree up


The Slough offers guided tours if you like.  I chose to take it at my own pace, meeting and chatting with others along the way, including an avid unofficial tour guide, who showed me tracks and rubbings and explained much of the plant and wildlife.

quote 2

What a wonderful way to spend a Tuesday afternoon in February… with a great friend… in the warmth of sunny Florida away from the wintry, snowy weather of home… and enjoying nature – at Life in Between.

Cheers & Hugs,


*from pg 23 of Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve Explorer’s Companion – History of the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

**Boardwalk Photo:  Weekly Photo Challenge – Symmetry

Feeling with the Heart

quote 3

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am sharing a beautiful sign I saw along a walk I took this week at Six Mile Cyprus Slough Preserve in Fort Myers, Florida.

I am on my way home to my valentine, and I am leaving behind a dear friend – both who fill my heart to overflowing.

Look forward to sharing more soon.

Cheers & Heartfelt Valentine Hugs,



Discover – Reaching for a Better View

As some of you may recall, my “One Little Word” this year is Discover.

This is the year for me to Discover… more about myself… and more about the world around me.

I am honored and privileged to share a very special piece of artwork with you today from my friend Jo Freehand at Daily Record 365. 

Jo created #Two Hundred Two: Discover just for me and my word!

I have been slowly taking it in since Jo kindly created and posted it several weeks ago; and every time I look it, I discover something new.

Here is how I first saw it:

The microscope is mammoth and massive and complex (like life), and it is examining the hole in the record (the “in between” part – the part where we have the freedom to do and be what we want). The lady is REACHING – almost as if for the stars and then embraces and takes in that light. And the microscope reminds me of the Discovery Satellite too – exploring the universe – and that is what the lady is seeing and feeling and it is filling her heart, and she is happy and excited and fascinated. And it is saying that what you see with your eyes (or at least on the surface or at first glance), might not be the “be all /end all.” You have to look closer, you have to feel it, you have to let it fill you, and it will bring you joy. There is a better view if you reach, stretch to look closer or look at a different way, and you need to look “in between.”

Jo elaborated:

Discovery is an individual experience. However this image speaks to you is right for you.  For me, the microscope is focused on a watch, an everyday object. Or perhaps it represents time or a moment.  She’s “reaching for a better view.”  Does she realize the view right there beneath her skin? The entire universe right there? (Or has she been focused outwardly, watching hands move around the clock.) Can anyone else interpret her universe?

Deep stuff – eh??!!  🙂

What do you see when you look at it?  What does it say to you?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

And I urge you to discover Jo’s blog.  It is always fun to see each Daily Record and interpret what it speaks to you.  Comments are usually as diverse as the people sharing them, which make it that much more fun and interesting.

I hope you are discovering more about yourself and the world around you – every day – because there is a lot of “good stuff” in and out there!

Cheers & Hugs,



Moon Lake Thoreau What You See

Today is my brother’s birthday, and this is the card I made and sent to him.  He is a purist and likes simple and uncomplicated things.  He is also a deep thinker, so though this card may not be a “stunner” in the creative artistic sense, I think it is perfect for him.

The StampinUp Moon Lake stamp is stamped onto white paper.  I then overlaid it with vellum that I stamped the sentiment on and stitched it to the white (so you can lift it to see the boat and tree clearer – kinda symbolic of the message if you get my drift).  I added a few clear star stickers to embellish just a bit, framed it up with black and then blue card stock and adhered to a white card base.

I’m thinking of my brother today and wishing him a year full of simple, uncomplicated pleasures and happiness.  I love him dearly.

What do you see today?

Cheers & Hugs,

Chocolate Sprinkle Cherry Kiss Cookies

chocolate sprinkle cherry kiss cookie 5

Chocolate Cookies…  Sprinkles…. Hershey’s Kisses…. How can you go wrong?!?!

chocolate sprinkle cherry kiss cookie 1

Before heading away for a week, I had to make a special sweet treat for the guys.

chocolate sprinkle cherry kiss cookie 2

I had some Hershey’s Cherry Cordial Kisses in the pantry and thought it was time I used them.  PLUS I was dying to eat one or two or ten or twenty.

chocolate sprinkle cherry kiss cookie 4

I found a recipe for a Chocolate Valentine Kiss Cookies on The Kitchen is My Playground that sounded good, but since I didn’t have “Valentine” sprinkles, I just used some fun colorful ones and some chocolate ones.  Tracey’s are really cute with Valentine sprinkles though, so check the out here if you want to see.

chocolate sprinkle cherry kiss cookie 3

They are really chocolatey fudgy inside, a little crispy on the outside with the sprinkles and just the right amount of creamy chocolate cherry cordial in the center for a bite or two!

chocolate sprinkle cherry kiss cookie 6


Chocolate Sprinkle Cherry Kiss Cookies

  • Servings: 25-30 cookies
  • Print

Ingredients chocolate sprinkle cherry kiss cookie 4

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 T. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 to 1 c. assorted  sprinkles
  • 25 to 30 Hershey’s Cherry Cordial Kisses (or your own favorite flavor)


  1. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla; mix until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture until just combined.
  3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in sprinkles completely covering the dough ball with sprinkles. Place balls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Gently press down into the center of each ball slightly to make a very small indentation.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes.
  6. After removing cookies from the oven, immediately place a Hershey’s Kiss in the center of each cookie. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, remove to a cooling rack to cool.
Original recipe found at The Kitchen is My Playground – please check out Tracey’s yummy blog.
Cheers & Hugs,


Winter Morning Moon over Mars

winter morning moon over mars

Dawn yesterday morning brought a fresh dusting of snow, single digit temperatures, and the brightest beautiful full moon.  I threw a coat on over my pajamas, slipped my feet into my rubber crocs, and set my tripod up on the side porch to capture the scene (and oh what a scene it would have been if you would have seen me!).

When my dad called for our daily chat at approximately 7:05ish (he’s a school bus driver in his retirement, and we are making up for lost time, so we talk every morning between his high school and middle school run), he commented on the beautiful moon he was looking at while we were talking.

It made me smile to think we were chatting and sharing the same moon together, if even for only a few moments.  Our morning chats are so special.  Sometimes I talk the whole time, and sometimes he does.  Sometimes we have lots to stay, and sometimes not so much, but it always makes me smile and is such a wonderful way to start my day.

Dad reads my blog every day, but since he gets up at 4:30am and is on the road before my blog posts each day at 6am, he always comments about the post from the day before.  I think it’s sweet that he always reads it (and sometimes finds typos for me to fix).  But it makes me smile, because he reads every single word – even every ingredient in my recipes (wondering if he would like it as he’s a pretty picky pop).  I’m so fortunate to have him in my life as one of my guys.

Hopefully he is smiling reading this (and hopefully there are no typos).  🙂

Happy Friday everyone!

Cheers & Hugs,

PS Look for a yummy cookie recipe post tomorrow: Chocolate Sprinkle Cherry Kiss Cookies!