Signing off ( + giveaway )

Who has time for sad goodbyes when there’s a giveaway to enter????

Now, head over to Three 31 and enter the giveaway!!!!!!


This is what I did in 2011 ……..

This will be the final post from 27 & Counting …. due to circumstances beyond my comprehension with, I have to move to a new location. Please ~ pretty please! ~ subscribe to Three-31. I look forward to sharing more stories from our simple life in the country.

I made a Bucket List at the beginning of 2011 with goals and resolutions, things I’d like to do, things I’d like to own, etc. Here’s a recap of everything I did (and didn’t do) in 2011:

Things accomplished

  • Husband bought me a DSLR camera (Nikon D5000) with two lenses. I went to a photography class and also a Photoshop tutorial session.
  • I learned to use chopsticks ….without the “cheaters”
  • I met a Jan, a blogger and my friend, from The Diamond E, in person (at the Photoshop session!!!)
  • I passed the PPR exam and earned my Texas Educator’s Certificate
  • I went to Port-au-Prince, Haiti for my first international mission trip
  • With the help of a great contractor team, our master bath was completely remodeled
  • We hosted several dinner parties with friends and family
  • I won a giveaway (Babycakes Cupcake Maker) from Love From The Oven
  • I created a book club and we’re still meeting the first Saturday of the month
  • I traveled to Kentucky FOUR times
  • I mailed 65 Christmas cards


Things not accomplished

  • I did not make sushi at home
  • I did not open a Roth IRA
  • We did not replace the carpet in the bedrooms or install new kitchen countertops …….. or purchase a new couch


What are your goals for 2012?


Please visit my new blog, Three 31, to read my bucket list of resolutions for 2012. It will be posted soon.


Christmas …… the Hutchison way!!!!

Two years ago, I began decorating for Christmas a week prior to Halloween and took it all down one week after St. Patrick’s Day. I won’t even waste my time trying to count how many days that is ….. but one thing’s for sure: it’s way too long for a holiday’s decorations to grace one’s house!!!!!!!

Fast forward to 2011 and you get a very merry, very cheery, very cute, and very Charlie-Brownish Christmas:



Ain’t it purr-tey?!

Several weeks ago I mentioned to a friend that the only Christmas decorations in our house were an oven mitt embroidered with “Merry Christmas, Y’all,” a custom wreath (thank you Mendi Mitchell in Clay, Kentucky!) on the side entry door, and a snowman nightlight in the hallway because I nearly broke a toe finding my way to the bathroom in a Benadryl-drunken slumber last week in the middle of the night and it was the only source of plug-in light I could find. (Apologies for that extreme run-on sentence, oops.) All of that nonsense to say, she was not impressed with my holiday cheer in the decor department. Her solution: loan me a miniature, Charlie Brown-sized, faux evergreen stuffed into a burlap sack. It’s the cutest lil’ Christmas tree ever ever ever!

Husband and I do not exchange gifts for Christmas, birthdays, or even our anniversary. (GASP!)

Thanks to our families, we had presents under our itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny Christmas tree. We received goodies from my family in Kentucky (containing birthday presents for me and Christmas gifts for “us”) and Husband’s family gave us our presents at Christmas Day dinner. Now don’t get me wrong, if we see something we like or something we want (that’s reasonable, of course), we’ll get it. FOr instance, Husband said he wanted ropes, so he bought some. Earlier this year, I had my eye on a DSLR and, after some research, we bought my Nikon camera. Husband’s offered to buy me other goodies (such as an e-reader and iPad) but I’ve declined them.

Christmas, to me, is not about stuff found in crowded shopping malls or purchased with gift cards.

My favorite holiday memories this year include spending Thanksgiving with my family in Kentucky, adopting two young children from the Angel Tree, hosting a dinner party for friends, providing dessert for the youth’s progressive dinner, and getting chills listening to “Ave Maria” at my church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service. It’s been a beautiful Christmas season, but I don’t believe it stops here. Rather, it’s only the beginning.

I challenge you to keep this joyous season in your heart long after the holiday decorations have been stowed away.

Don’t forget …….


Beginning January 1, you can find me at my new blog, Three 31.


I think I’m going to decorate this itsy-bitsy tree for Valentine’s Day and take it back to its owner.





a get-together for Jesus’s birthday

Aside from nursing an upper respiratory infection (cough cough), I’ve been planning a small get-together for Christmas Eve with friends and their kiddos. What better way to celebrate Christmas than through the eyes of children?

Before heading off to church for the early Christmas Eve service and Jesus’s Birthday Party, complete with cake (that’s how we Methodists roll), I made a little buffet of finger foods:

  • Spinach dip in cucumber cups
  • Avocado hummus with pita chips
  • Stuffed portabello mushrooms (vegetarian)
  • Pork medallion sandwiches
  • Mini cupcakes with chocolate frosting

It wasn’t exactly the most traditional holiday menu, but that’s what we ate. Neama said he began fasting a week ago in preparation for spinach dip. He lies. I made the avocado hummus because it’s incredibly delicious, creamy, and simple to make with a food processor. When Cara (who’s vegetarian) and her family agreed to come, I knew I had to serve lots of veggies, including a heartier option alongside the roasted pork sandwiches consumed by the carnivores in attendance. I opted for portabellos stuffed with artichoke, red bell pepper, cream cheese (dairy free, of course!), and manchego (sheep’s milk) cheese. For an added crunch, I topped each mushroom with whole wheat bread crumbs soaked in butter. That’ll make your skirt fly up!

Those mushrooms were sooooooooo tasty that I didn’t even have time to snap a photo before they were gone ….. no joke. Definitely making these again soon. Very soon.

While singing “Hark! The herald angels sing” it occured to me that our worship leaders (Rev. Lara, Rev. Clint, Shannon, and Kristen), wouldn’t have time for a meal between services at 5:00, 7:00 and 11:00 pm. My solution: deliver plates of food to them! They were such happy creatures.

Cameron enjoyed the birthday party for Jesus (notice the icing on his cheek, chin, and nose). He and several other kids even stood in front of the congregation and sang “Happy Birthday” after a few carols. It was so sweet. Afterwards, everyone continued the celebration with a special birthday cake.

And finally, as if Jesus’s birthday cake would satisfy this crowd’s sweet tooth, I baked up a whole slew of mini yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting. According to Reece (6), Lilli (4), Cameron (3), Maddie (9 months) and Husband (35), I am on the Awesome List.

My job here is done.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanukkah!

Joyous Kwanza!

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all enjoy this season with your friends and family.



Beginning January 1, you can find us at Three 31.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!!

I found this on Pinterest (whodathunk?!) and had to share.


  • If you are Jewish, tell me “Happy Hanukkah.”
  • If you are Christian, tell me “Merry Christmas.”
  • If you are African American, tell me “Joyous Kwanzaa.”
  • If you don’t prefer those, tell me “Happy Holidays.”

I will not be offended.

I will be thankful that you took the time to say something nice to me.

However you wish to express the meaning of this season, I hope you will share a smile and polite words to a friend, family member, neighbor, and the stranger on the sidewalk.

From our home on the range, we wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and blessed new year.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, 27 & Counting will not continue into 2012 ….. beginning January 1, you can follow our adventures at Three 31. Please subscribe and stay in touch!

ABC’s of Me

I saw this post on conchsaladesque and thought I’d share my own version ….. enjoy!

A= Alarm set for – 6:15 am. Generally, I hit “snooze” at least twice. It annoys Husband to death.

B= Bedtime – Varies. We’re usually in bed some time between 10:30 and 11:00pm.

C= Cake or pie – Cake, preferably cupcakes. But pie is OK too.

D= Drink of choice – Sweet tea.

E= Essential item you use everyday – Toothbrush.

F= Favorite color – Blue

G= Goals – Start my new blog, read more books, and accomplished lots of resolutions on my 2012 bucket list.

H= Hometown – Sebree, Kentucky

I= Indulgences – Sushi, books, and spontaneous trips to Kentucky.

J= January or February – January

K= Kids and Names – Don’t have any.

L= Life is incomplete without? – Love

M= Marriage date – March 31, 2007

N= Number of siblings – None.

O= Oranges or apples – I don’t really care either way.

P= Pet Peeves – Doors being left open – HUSBAND!!!!!

Q= Quantity or Quality – depends, but I’ll go with quality

R= Reason to smile – Husband’s touch

S= Saying – “Sweet baby, Jesus!”

T= Teams – Kentucky Wildcats

U= Unknown fact about me – I don’t have as many friendships as I would like.

V= Vegetable you don’t like – Turnips.

W= Winter memory – Two years ago, I got to experience with Husband his very FIRST white Christmas in Texas. It was the coolest thing to witness.

X= X-rays – Hand and Knee. I broke a finger and sprained a knee.

Y= Your favorite food – I love food. There’s not a lot of food that I won’t eat. Period.

Z= Zodiac Sign – Sagittarius (did I spell that correctly?)

honey & cinnamon (a cold remedy)

Of all days to wake up with a congested head, stuffy nose, and annoying cough, today was a bad choice.

I went to bed last night feeling like my allergies were acting up (watery eyes, sniffles here and there) so I took some Bendaryl and called it a night. This morning, I wake up and my head feels like it’s been run over by a freight train, a Mack truck, AND a tugboat. (I used to work in transportation consulting, I had to include multiple modes in my scenerio.) This is NOT how I envisioned spending my holiday break.

Besides being off from school for two weeks, I have something really important to do at noon today that requires me to verbally communicate and I really don’t want to send negative vibes because I sound like I’m speaking through a bull horn. This is not going according to my perfectly laid out plan. (I’d share more details about this very important conversation, but I don’t want to jinx myself.)

Having nothing better to do, I logged onto Pinterest and typed in “quick cold remedy.” Let’s be honest, Pinterest is better than any modern medicine ….. and there’s no waiting for an appointment to see the doctor. I really don’t have time for this crap, I need a quick fix. Fast.

What I found was interesting nonetheless and even as I share this post with you, I’m eating a mixture of raw honey and ground cinnamon.

Who knew?!

According to this, both cinnamon and honey are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Since colds are viruses, this concoction sounded perfect to me. I would have opted for a few swigs of good ol’ Kentucky bourbon, but I do have that all-important conversation later and I definitely can’t have whiskey on my breath.

I’ve always known honey to be the miracle drug on the planet and I too easily forget this until I’m desperate and looking for relief. My great-grandmother used to eat one tablespoon of honey every morning before her first cup of coffee. She lived to be ancient and I swear she was never sick. I’m adding honey to my daily regimen. What I need though, is to find a local beekeeper that sells raw honey. I know I could get honey from Kentucky (a family member is a beekeeper) but it’s better to eat honey from your local area. It has something to do with the pollen in your environment and where you live. Don’t ask me, I’m no honey expert.

I just finished my bowl of honey and cinnamon. Perhaps the little bits of waxy honeycomb will speed my recovery. Let’s hope this works because I need to start getting ready.

Have a great Monday, y’all!!!!

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!

I used to look like this.

Then I turned into this creature with a ridiculous sense of humor and wild hair.


Now, I’m enjoying my last couple of years as a Twenty-Something.

Dear Lord, when did I get this old?

Happy birthday to me! 

Don’t forget to enter the current GIVEAWAY … click here to enter.


Casey Dona-who?

For weeks ….. no, make that months ….. I’ve been listening to young ladies (teens) at church SWOON over some country singer named Casey Donahew.


Casey Donahew.

I don’t know who this guy is, so I Google’d him.

Casey is a Burleson, Texas native. Married his high school sweetheart. Went to the University of Texas in Arlington and began his music career by teaching himself to play guitar and write songs. In a nutshell, he’s a trailblazer on the Lonestar music trail in the mix with Pat Green, Canadian Ragweed, as well as the legendary Garth Brooks and George Strait.

With role models like that, I’m liking this Casey guy more and more.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of Casey Donahew. I’ve never heard (that I know of) a single track of his. And, if he were to walk up to me right now, I wouldn’t know him.

But there are many that do …… and I admire their adoration and remember.

I was one of them.

I’m a child of the 80s. I lived – wholeheartedly – in the 90s. I was infatuated with New Kids On The Block, sang every word to Achy Breaky Heart, and believed Celine Dion was the best thing to come from Canada. My cassette tape player (you remember those, don’t you?) was blasting Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi, Reba McEntire, Michael Bolton, Shania Twain, Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams, Garth Brooks, George Strait, and John Cougar (or is it John Mellencamp?).

Those were the days, weren’t they?

But my hat’s off to the staff and students responsible for bringing the Casey Donahew Band to Joshua High School today for a private concert. That’s cool.

Y’all enjoy your Monday evening.

I have the sudden urge to put a compact-disc into my boom box, watch Fresh Prince of Bel-Air re-runs, and play Oregon Trail on the computer, installed with Windows 95 of course.



1st Blog-iversary (giveaway) (*WINNERS ANNOUNCED*)

Congratulations to #26 ……… this set of wonderful gifts and prizes goes to KRIS TAPP. And she thought she was unlucky!!!!!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered. Have a very merry Christmas and stay tuned for BIG news at the end of the month.

Because Christmas is around the corner and I haven’t purchased a single gift …..

Because 27 & Counting is celebrating its one year blog-iversary …..

Because you’ve been patiently waiting for this BIG ANNOUNCEMENT …..

I’m having a blog-iversary giveaway!!!!!!!!

The Stocking Stuffers

The Rules

(required) Comment #1  Will you share these items or keep ’em for yourself?

(required) Comment #2 Subscribe to 27 & Counting for email updates.

 Optional Entries

  • Like 27 & Counting on Facebook and tell me you did in a comment
  • Follow @nmhutch on Twitter and tell me you did in a comment
  • Visit and select your favorite accessory then tell me in a comment
  • Like BootDazzles on Facebook and tell me you did in a comment
  • Like The Diamond E on Facebook and tell me you did in a comment
  • Follow @thediamonde on Twitter and tell me you did in a comment
  • Subscribe to The Diamond E for email updates and tell me you did in a comment
  • Visit The Diamond E on Etsy and tell me you did in a comment


Leave a SEPARATE comment for EACH entry, no more than TEN (10) per person.

Giveaway ends Sunday, December 18 at 10:00 pm (Central).

Open to U.S. residents only.

Winner will be selected by and notified by email.

A portion of this giveaway was provided by Marlene @ BootDazzles and Jan @ The Diamond E. The other items were provided by Yours Truly. Target and Chick-Fil-A don’t know who I am …. except for the cashier at CFA who knows I like Chick-Fil-A sauce on my sandwich.

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