Hey Y'all! - 10 Cookie Bar recipes that save MAJOR time with holiday baking


No scooping, no eye-balling and no manning the oven to rotate pans.

Why we should never let comparison take away our joy (and why am I wearing baseball socks?!)

Things that made me ugly-laugh or otherwise occupied my attention, mind or heart this week.

Recipes (not my own) I came across this week that REALLY caught my eye.

My weeknight meal plan for feeding my busy family. Because we all need ideas.
And yes, we eat fish sticks too.


Great day in the morning, I’ve been busy! And I’ve hardly done a thing to get ready for Christmas! I don’t know how in the world I’m going to get it all done! One thing I won’t be doing this year is holing up in my kitchen for a whole weekend to bake 40-leven dozen different kinds of cookies. Uh-uh, sister. It ain’t happening this year.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I would LOVE to spend two whole days baking with my girls, with my favorite Christmas tunes playing and a fire crackling away in the fireplace but I’m not too sure when I’m even going to get my shopping done this year so a weekend bake-off is out of the question.

But what I can do it whip up a few pans of these BARS in no time flat! No scooping, no eye-balling and no manning the oven to rotate pans. Done and done, baby! That’s what’s up this year!

10 Cookie Bar recipes that save MAJOR time with holiday baking

Fudge Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Salted Caramel Turtle Bars
Lemon Crumb Bars
Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 
Man Bars
Chex Scotcheroo Bars
No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Bars (make these with Christmas colored M&Ms!)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars


Things that made me ugly-laugh or otherwise occupied my attention, mind or heart this week.

  • Some of my friends got a kick out of this so I thought I would share it with you. Some of them think I’m a terrible mother now too so I hope we can still be friends once you’ve read this. OK, here goes… my kids once asked me why we didn’t have an Elf on the Shelf. I’d been expecting this question and had given it some thought so I was fully prepared with my answer. I looked them square in the eyes and told them the Elf on the Shelf was only for the bad kids. Don't get me wrong, I think EOTS is precious and surely makes for a ton of great memories but if there's one thing I know, it's that I would fail miserably at it. I consider each day a victory when I manage to check the mail and brush my teeth twice so doing the elf thing would be close to impossible to pull off.
  • I came across this on FB last week. I’ve listened to it a dozen times and still get chills listening to Jennifer Hudson. Oof. And this was LIVE. My goodness, gracious. 

  • We’re having an Ugly Christmas Sweater party this weekend. I bought Husband a Grinch onsie. I cannot wait to see this awesomeness. If I manage to get some good pics I'll post them here next week! But don't tell him!! 
  • I have no idea if I’ll be able to get another newsletter out before Christmas. Seriously, y’all, I am burning it at both ends right now. In case I’m not, here’s one of my favorite Christmas movies. We usually watch it every year! I love so many things about this movie. I really want to think that when our kids are grown they will all come home for Christmas like this. I’d also like to think I might have a super cool house like this by that time too. This movie is funny and sad and romantic and silly and all the things a good holiday movie should be but I especially love how different all of the characters are – and how they all love each other anyway. 


Why we should never let comparison take away our joy. 

Have you ever heard the quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”? Well, let me tell you, that is some truth right there. And as much as I know it’s the truth, I still get sucked into the black hole of doing it myself. I get on Facebook sometimes and wonder what in the world my friends do for a living to afford these monster houses and secret service looking SUVs.

But I got to thinking the other day that maybe people look at me and think that too. People tell me all the time that I always look so well put together, that I’m so stylish. PAH!!! That’s INSANE!! I was a teenager in the late 80’s and early 90’s so it is physically painful for me to leave my house without lipstick and earrings so I’m sure that half of my stylish façade comes from those two simple facts alone. So, if you’ve ever looked at me at thought even for one second that I have my stuff together in the fashion-slash-beauty department, I’ve got to tell you what my latest crisis is.

Every single pair of jeans and black pants I own are Faded Glory pull-on jeggings from Wal-Mart. That’s right, honey... with the elastic waist-band and all. They are AWESOME. Not the knit ones. I mean the stretchy, hold-you-in-like-a-girdle ones that don’t fade and totally keep their shape. Every so often, when I’m in Wal-Mart, I swing through and pick up a couple pair and keep on moving. They don’t last forever but they only cost like eleven bucks so who cares. They’re the best things EVER.

Well, for the last six months or so, when I would stroll through, they didn’t have any. I even went to a few other stores to look and couldn’t find them. I went online to order some and it appears they’ve quit making them 😲


Why, Wal-Mart??


Since I’ve been searching I have worn giant holes on the inseam or back pocket of every single pair I own. I HAVE NO PANTS! I literally have no pants. I have been disguising lay-around-the-house black leggings (I think other people use them for exercise) as dress pants at work by pairing them with nice tunics and I have been wearing capri jeggings with tall boots!! I was walking through the kitchen this morning with a pair of capris and Brutus’ baseball socks on. AB looked at me and said, “Mama! Are you wearing that? Like, to go outside??”

So, the moral of my story is this… at a glance, you may see me today and think, well, look at her all stylish and put together with her hair all fixed and her makeup just so. You may let that glimpse make you feel somehow inferior or underdressed or self-conscious. So, you need to know a few things… I color my own hair. I use drugstore makeup and Suave haircare products. My shirt came from the clearance rack at Belk, my poncho sweater from Ross, under my tall boots are hidden one pair of hideous yellow baseball socks and a pair of Wal-Mart jegging capris. The underwire has busted through on one side of my bra and is currently gouging my left boob fat and my draws have a hole in them where my thumb went through this morning pulling them up.

So, the next time you see something on Facebook that takes away your joy, you just think about me with me with my baseball socks and busted bra and carry on!

p.s... I have spent a ridiculous amount of time and shipping/return charges trying to find a replacement to my beloved jeggings and have gotten nowhere. Trying to find any without a button is hard. I don't want a button! If I wanted a button sticking through shirt, I'd just buy a dang pair of jeans! My last hope is the Hue jean leggings on the way from Macy's... wish me luck!


Recipes (not my own) I came across this week that REALLY caught my eye.

Simple Shrimp Dip by PB Fingers
I love that this recipe has pimento cheese in it! You can totally make this your own too (use fresh shrimp, add Cajun spices, use less cream cheese, etc.). I think this will be making a debut at my Christmas party tomorrow night!

Sticky Toffee Pudding by Sweet Sugar Bean
I’ve been wanting to try Sticky Toffee Pudding since I first heard of it years ago searching for a boiled raisin cake recipe (which I still haven’t found one I love so if you have one, I’d love to have it!!). This one looks absolutely divine.

Mary’s Best-Ever Salad from Sweet Little Bluebird 
I know this isn’t the time of year to be wanting salad but I have been craving them lately so when my pal, Mary shared this one it jumped at me! LOOK at all the goodness in this salad… gorgonzola cheese, apples, cherries, pecans and bacon… oh yeah, this is happening!


My weeknight meal plan for feeding my busy family. Because we all need ideas.
And yes, we eat fish sticks too. 

Hash & Eggs
Hot buttered Toast

Grilled Chicken Breasts
Walk Away Noodles
Green Beans

Spicy Pork
White Rice
Steamed broccoli
Spicy Pork
White Chicken Chili (from my stash in the freezer)
Cornbread muffins

Swedish Meatballs

Thanks for catching up with me this week! Don't forget to like, share and pin the stuff you enjoy from South Your Mouth - it's what keeps the wheels a' turning!

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“Don’t compare your Chapter One to someone else’s Chapter Twenty.” - Unknown


  1. I could have written your whole pants thing... well, minus the baseball socks part. Give these a try and see if they work for you. I've been pretty happy with them. They're more of a twill than actual denim, but they have front and back pockets, just like regular 5-pocket jeans, a nice wide elastic waistband and no dingdang button or zipper. I'd prefer them not to have pockets, but they're working for me, for now. I'm happy to report that there have been no inseam blowouts, either. I suffer from the same affliction.


    1. HOW did I miss these?? I've been all over Belk's website (it's where I get the majority of my tops - they have wicked good deals online and send me amazing discount emails). I bought something verrrrrry similar from Kohls - Levi's Perfectly SHAPING Pull-On Leggings - but had to send them back. I might have kept them if they fit but I went by the reviews and ordered a size up and shouldn't have. They were very short-waisted so I just sent them back instead of exchanging them. I will definitely try these. THANK YOU!!!

    2. You are VERY welcome!! These are a little on the short-waisted side, too... but, I got used to them. Definitely order your regular size. Thank you for posting about the Hue pants from Macy's. I'm gonna try them, too. Good luck to both of us! I hate pants shopping!!!!! lol

      P.S. I made your Cajun beans and rice, the other night. Excellent!! I've made several of your recipes and there hasn't been a dud in the bunch. THANK YOU!!!

    3. Hi again Mandy,

      Have you gotten your Hue leggings, yet? Mine came today and the jury is still out. They're comfy, but they're... odd. I think that if I could combine all 3 of my latest attempts at having pants, and mush them all into one, I might have something that I actually love. Somewhere along the line, the definition of the word "denim" has changed and I'm not happy about it.

    4. I have, I'm actually wearing them right now! They're good. They're not great but they're the best of my attempts so far. They're a little big... I noticed on the tag, they size them different than most. I'm in Plus sizes and wear an 18/20 or 2X. I ordered the 2X but see on their tag the sizes go 1X is 16/18, a 2X is 20/22 and so on anc so forth. I think I'll get some 1X and see if I like them better. I wish they were "silkier", I think they're a little coarse feeling. But they'll work for now.

    5. Yes, I agree. They do feel coarse. I've worn them all night and decided that they're acceptable. Those Levis are super soft. I bet you'll like them. They're also not as skinny at the ankle. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!!

  2. Great newsletter. One question...the shrimp dip sounds amazing, but I'm from the north (Canada), where we don't have pimento cheese. Is there any substitute for this? Couldn't find one online.

    1. It's just shredded cheddar, mayo and pimentos (diced roasted red peppers). To make this recipe, I'd just mix a cup of shredded cheese and mayo together until it's about the consistency it is in her picture. Here's my recipe if you want to make some! I made this last time we were up with "new cheese" I picked up on my daily curd run :) http://www.southyourmouth.com/2013/09/pimento-cheese.html

  3. I really like Woman With Control from QVC. I like the line.

    1. I'll check them out! Thanks!!

    2. Yes to the Women With Control line, I love QVC. I also wear a lot of Denim & Co from them.

  4. I absolutely adore you **Girl Crush**. Not sure what you excel at more, cooking or story-telling. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and I pray you find The Pants.

  5. I love your "jeggins" story and can totally relate. Just wanted to let you know that J.Jill has leggings in black and dark denim. They are not cheap but they will last a lot longer than Walmarts. Good luck


Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy