Shannanigans Blog

Everyday Shannanigans

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So like I mentioned last week, John whisked me away this past weekend to celebrate Mother’s days past and future. Up until this weekend, I had no idea where we’d end up. Honestly, I didn’t care where we went either. I was promised to sleep in, relaxing, napping, you know, generally non-toddler-toting activities. My mom came to spend the weekend with Gabe and off we went…

Luckily my husband knows me better than anyone…and brought me here. Here being about 4 hours away from us, in central Pennsylvania, at Old Charm Bed & Breakfast. What was that? Sounds familiar? Well, it should because it’s where Michael lives!!!

Yep, my buddy Michael, who was up until this weekend, just my online blog bff. But, now we’re totes real life bffs too. Isn’t he adorable? More on him later…

So anyway, John did good…really good. He somehow managed to combine romantic getaway with blog buddy meet-up. And guys, if you follow Michael anywhere on the internet (and I bet you do), you’ll know that his bed and breakfast is oozing charm. It’s literally spilling out of every corner. I spazzed out big time for about an hour, walking around, taking in every corner of his house that is so amazingly decorated. And ya know what? Pictures just don’t do it justice. I knew it looked good online, but man, in person that place is so freaking happy. It just makes you happy being there.

He put us up in this charmer, complete with a little balcony and it’s own sitting room. And the best part (ok maybe not best part but the really good part)? Each guest room has its own bathroom. I had never stayed in a B&B before, mostly because people are weird and you don’t always get your own loo. Here, people are awesome and you get your own loo. Amazingness.

So once I stopped squealing and most likely making Michael uncomfortable, we decided to head out into St. Marys and see what she had to offer. I had been out in this general area of the state before so I knew how these little towns worked. No Targets aka Slightly Depressing. Well, St Marys isn’t that way. Sure, they’ve got no Target.

But they do have a nice Walmart (srsly, it’s been remodeled) and when we stopped in, there were girls in zebra print prom dresses snapping pictures of each other while their limo waited outside by the fresh bait machine. I literally had my camera primed and ready to catch their photo but even I have some semblance of shame. Just a sliver though. So you’ll just have to believe me.

We grabbed some dinner and delightfully strong margaritas at a local joint and headed back to Michael’s. Now, don’t go expecting that he does this with everybody, but he made promises of sangria on the porch for us when we got home. And it totally happened. We stayed up late, drinking sangria through stripey straws on the cutest covered porch ever. Once again, with most of my blog friends, we jumped right into the chit chat without any “we’re basically strangers” awkwardness. Sangria helps with that.

The next morning, we slept in as only parents of young kids can do…until 8am. But we wouldn’t have been able to sleep much longer because the smells drifting upstairs were enough to make you cry. You just knew without even seeing it that there were pastries baking and bacon sizzling.

Here’s the part where I direct you to Michael’s blog to go look at the breakfasts he makes. I was too overwhelmed with the masterpiece that was sitting in front of me (not John, although he’s a looker with his bed head) but the carrot cake waffles with cream cheese icing. What the what? Yeah, add some apple turnovers, scrambled eggs, some sausage, why not? I wasn’t planning on buttoning my pants today.

So yeah, if you follow Michael, you see the rooms in his house quite a bit, but after much consideration, I think this dining room is my fave. And lucky me, I got a sneak peek at his new arrangement…the one that’s going to be in a magazine. So keep it on the dl, would ya?

So here’s the best part. No, no, Michael’s the best part. Have I made that clear? Next best part, Michael’s gift shop. I literally wandered this shop for about an hour every day I was there. Then I made a huge pile of stuff to buy. Then added more. This place is just inspiration overload. Amazing vignettes everywhere you look. Gorgeous little things you have to have. I told Michael to just pack up the whole green and yellow section. Including the cloches. Every single cloche. Put a cloche on it.

His ability to style not only his home but this shop is just awe inspiring. He’s just so effing talented, I can’t stand it. I pumped him for all the design advice I could before he gets completely famous on us and charges for that kind of thing…which I’m pretty sure will be happening any second.  Oh and speaking of famous, while we were there, guess who hit and surpassed one million Pinterest followers?

This guy. Isn’t that crazy? And why does he look like a model when I literally snuck around the corner and yelled “Smile!”. Famousness is coming, I know it.

So anyway, after another night of hysterics and sangria on the porch, we woke to another amazing breakfast. This time, it was eggs in a hole, potatoes, brown sugared bacon (I can now die happy) and his famous Nutella rolls. Yeah, he knows what he’s doing. Afterwards, we headed out to do some antiquing. For a small town, there’s a good selection of stuff! I scored some blue mason jars from a dude that had hundreds. I may be sending Michael back for more. They’re hard to come by around these parts.

All in all, the weather was gorgeous, the company was stupendous and the weekend was one of the best. High fives to John for making it happen.

Oh and the last pictures I took as we left Old Charm…isn’t this place just too much?

Many many drunken hugs and thank yous to Michael, who made our stay just incredible. Besides us leaving our plates on the table when we were done eating (I didn’t really want to), I felt like we were staying with friends. And I can’t wait to do it again. Anybody coming with me?

Nobody Bakes a Cake as Tasty as a Tastykake

Ok, so I’m sure this sort of thing is frowned upon in the blog world but meh to that. I’m going to post the contents of a guest post that I did over a year ago at Domestic Adventure. Why would I do such a thing? Well, it’s a banging recipe and I want to not only have it readily available on my own blog, but I want to remind you to make it. It’s a little gem called a Peanut Butter Tandy Kake aka KandyKake (no one knows why it’s changed).

See, the Tastykake Baking Co. was (until recently, they were bought by a GA company) a Philadelphia company that makes the most delicious treats around.  If you grew up here, you grew up with Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets, Cherry Pies or Cream Filled Coffee Cakes in your lunchbox. And even as an adult, they’re popular snacks for any time of day.

They are famous around these parts because they’re simply darn good.  One of their most popular snacks is the Peanut Butter Kandy Kake.  A dense white cake, topped with peanut butter and covered in chocolate…it can do no wrong.  So when a former co-worker shared her recipe with me years ago for duplicating the famous snack, I was sold.  And now you can get a little taste of Philly…without all the greasy cheesesteak guilt.


  • 4 eggs,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1 small jar of creamy peanut butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter & flour a 11 x 13 dish.  In a small saucepan, bring milk and butter to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, hand-mix together the eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and salt until combined.
  3. Pour the milk & butter mix into the large bowl and stir until smooth.
  4. Pour cake mix into the floured dish and bake for 25 – 27 minutes.   Test it with a toothpick to make sure the cake is done.  If the toothpick comes out clean, immediately spread the peanut butter onto the cake.  Spread until smooth then place cake into the refrigerator until peanut butter is hard.
  5. Melt chocolate using a double boiler or by microwave and spread on top of hardened peanut butter.  Once smooth, place the cake back into the refrigerator until the chocolate is hard.
  6. Remove cake 30 to 40 minutes before serving to let topping thaw a bit.  If you try to cut it while it’s cold and hard, the chocolate will crack. Still delicious, just not as pretty.  So once it is thawed, cut into pieces. Or take it into the corner with a fork and go to town.

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