In Real Life, January 30

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Hello, friends! Lately, my life has been filled with sparkle and shine!

John and I were thrilled that our 4-year-old granddaughter’s parents allowed her to travel back to Knoxville from Nashville to spend the week with us — and she is ALL ABOUT anything that sparkles!

Our family had gathered in Nashville to celebrate Jyothika’s new baby brother (due in March) and since everyone planned to be in Knoxville the next weekend, it just made sense to Nana that she should come for a visit. 😉

We had a fun-filled week, but I’ve got to admit by the end of it I was exhausted!

pink baby shower collage.

Celebrating a baby — again!

Cue up baby shower number 2! We had back-to-back weekends celebrating our daughters who are both due in March — a day apart, in fact!

The celebration in Knoxville was absolutely lovely. A Little Snowflake is on the Way was the party theme, and Lindsay’s friends really outdid themselves with all the decorations and party details.

To Jyothika’s glee, there was plenty of sparkle at Aunt Lindsay’s baby shower — she was the perfect little gift helper although she confiscated all the shiny ribbons and tissue paper for herself!

I made my “famous” chicken salad to serve on croissants and Lindsay’s sweet mother-in-law made cupcakes (we used my galvanized tiered serving tray to display them) and decorated my vanilla snowflake cookies as the party favors.

It was definitely a team effort and so much fun!! In about 6 weeks, we will be welcoming our new grandson and granddaughter! Of course, we are elated!

What I’ve been cooking lately

Cooler weather means comforting and cozy meals are in order — these recipes are guaranteed to warm up your soul!

Gruyere cheese toast floating on top of French onion soup in a white bowl.

French Onion Soup

Carefully caramelized onions are the secret to delicious Soupe à L’oignon Gratinée — better known on this side of the pond as French Onion Soup! With each bite, the cheesy bread soaks up the broth and onions. It’s almost like au jus, only much, much tastier and much quicker to prepare! 

a bowl of jasmine rice on a table with an instant pot in the background.

Jalapeño Popper Dip

This how-to recipe is one all Instant Pot owners should learn — perfectly tender Instant Pot Jasmine Rice with a nutty and sweet aroma. Jasmine Rice is a staple food that serves as an excellent side to add to your favorite stir fry meals.

sweet and sour pork garnished with sesame seeds in a white bowl on a table.

The Best Sweet and Sour Pork

I promise this stir-fried pork is better than takeout! What makes this sweet and sour pork so unique — besides tender bites of pork, crunchy veggies, and sweet pineapple — is adding fresh pineapple juice to the sauce!

Valentine’s sweet treats!

Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away, so if you’re thinking about making something special for your loved ones, here are a couple of really easy ideas!

3-ingredient strawberry cake mix cookies on a valentine plate on a table.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than biting into sugary-sweet and chewy Easy 3-Ingredient Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies? This adorable holiday dessert already sounds delicious, but how easy they are to make with only three ingredients sounds even better!

white chocolate covered strawberries in paper wrappers on a glass pedestal plate.

White Chocolate Strawberries

This elegant dessert makes a beautiful and tasty gift! Just one bite and your sweetie will swoon over these heavenly white chocolate strawberries! Sweet, juicy berries covered in a cloud of creamy chocolate look so classy on a dessert tray and taste even better!

And, if you want to get a little more industrious, try these delicious options!

A chocolate cream puff on a plate with more cream puffs in the background on a wire rack.

Cream Puffs with Chocolate Custard

Today, we’re getting pretty fancy by making a decadent French pâte à choux—which translates to “pastry shaped like a cabbage.” But you may know them better as Cream Puffs with Chocolate Custard — light and airy pastry with a decadent chocolate filling.

chocolate marshmallow cookies in a pink heart shaped box

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Marshmallow and chocolate lovers everywhere will flip over these tasty, pretty little Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies. A gooey marshmallow covered in a dark chocolate shell sits on top of a bite-size crisp graham-flavored cookie. Crunchy, gooey, chocolatey goodness!

Reader review

I love hearing from readers when they find a recipe they love! 💕 Be sure to rate and comment below any recipe you try and let us know what you think — curious minds want to know!

Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

Your recipe looked good, so I walked to the kitchen and made it. I determined it’s not just good, but delicious! I plan to make another batch to store.” — Scott


I’m already missing our sweet Jyothika — especially her infectious smile and exuberance. Here’s to shining a light and spreading joy!

I love this song by Kari Jobe and hope it will be an inspiration to you today, my friend. ♥️

We are the light of the world
We are the city on the hill
We are the light of the world
We gotta, we gotta
We gotta let the light shine.

Kari Jobe

Thank you for being a faithful reader and supporter of Life Love and Good Food — it really means so much to me as a small business!

Have a blessed week, my friends!

Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. I’m tired reading all that you did! What a beautiful shower for daughter #2, so excited for you and all that is going to change this year! And drooling over your French Onion soup! Yes, I am! So grateful to call you friend! Love that song too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *