it was

On our way to the Pioneer Woman’s place… kinda out in the middle of nowheresville.

At one point, Colleen and I both needed to use the little girls room. We passed one truck (that’s during the entire time we were on this stretch of road) and they stopped when they saw us. The blue Odyssey must have been a dead give away that we weren’t from around there. The very nice ladies rolled down their window, somehow sensing our need for help. Colleen blurted out, “We’re on our way to see Ree… you know, the Pioneer Woman?” Blank stares in return. I don’ think these two ladies spend a heckuvalotta time on the internet. She quickly added, “Is there a town around here anywhere? Some place we could find a bathroom?” The ladies looked at each other and smiled. No, no such place anywhere near by. They suggested we just pull over on the side of the road and relieve ourselves cowboy-style. Which we, indeed, did not do. Not in Pioneer Woman’s neck of the woods.

This is what greeted us when we arrived. Ree gracefully greeted all of the stalkers guests, as we poured into her stunning lodge, bug eyed and silly with excitement. She had just pulled this beautiful tenderloin out of the oven. Yes, she does do all that cooking she writes about on her site…

and she had created the most beautiful salad I’d ever laid eyes on.

This was dessert, an amazingly yummy yogurt dessert. It’s on her site, you’ve got to try it. Four ingredients and completely out of this world.

Ree spilled something on the floor and just look at her. Only a skilled hostess can clean up a mess and look like that doing it. One more crazy skill to add to her growing list. Amazingly, she does not like to be photographed for some reason, even though she’s clearly very beautiful and quite photogenic. Whatsupwitdat??

Here’s the infamous Charlie. He’d been skunked and couldn’t join us ladies for lunch. But he sure was cute, sitting at the door with those eyes. Those eyes. He sure was hard to resist.

We had the pleasure of meeting Ree’s daughters, too. Both of them were so adorable, er, I mean quite lovely and mature. They clearly felt very comfortable around us and it was really cute to see them goofing off with their mama. They sang the most beautiful song for us… honestly, if I hadn’t been busy taking pictures, I might have teared up a little.

Word is that Ree’s daughters got their amazing singing voices from their mama. Geesh, is there anything this lady can’t do?

The stunning fondant cupcakes that Bakerella and Ree had made the day before. See the one that says PW + MM? How sweet is that? We did actually get to meet Marlboro Man, too, which completely surprised me. He’s an incredibly nice guy, and it was so cool to see him so involved in his family’s life. And I’ve gotta say, I can see why PW is so in love with her man. ‘Nuff said.

Onto the cake pops!! Colleen, since she is quite the baker, was our duo’s official cake pop maker. Here she had red velvet cake + frosting all over her hands. Lookin’ good, girl!

Bakerella was a wonderful teacher. Did you know she was on Martha Stewart? After seeing what she can do with some cake, a stick and some sprinkles, I can see why. She’s got some crazy skills in the kitchen.

Ree took a quick blogging break while we watched the demonstration. Can you say “multi-multi-task”?

Cake balls ala Bakerella. YUM!

Ree’s camera. THE camera. Not gonna lie… I had total camera envy. Actually, I have camera-user envy. I honestly think that she could use a disposable camera and still get some incredible pictures, way beyond anything I could ever hope to capture. And when I asked Ree what lenses she loved for her Nikon, she popped one of hers onto my camera to let me give it a whirl. She’s the real deal.

Here I am… with the Pioneer Woman! You can see by all my mouth crinkles how stinkin’ happy I am. It really was an awesome day.

The completed cupcake pops. Don’t you just wanna gobble them up? That is, after you take a picture…

Here’s Colleen, still blown away that she’s actually in PW’s house. Her pantry was amazing. So was the rest of the house… simple, rustic, sumptuous, amazing.

Ree’s daughters came up with the most creative cake pop creations. And how beautiful are they?? They clearly take after their mama.

Bakerella, showing us how to make a cake pop even more creative… with a little taggie. How cute! Still not gonna make ’em at home, though. I’d be setting the bar WAY too high in this house.

The two kitchen goddesses. Together. I think for those few hours, the world stopped spinning.

A perfect ending to a perfect day. Honestly, Colleen and I giggled all the way home, we had the best time. Whatever we thought the day might be like, it way surpassed that. And then some. So if you’ve been following PW and wonder, “Is she as cool in person as she is on the site? As talented? As funny?” you can wonder no longer. She is. And then add a heaping pile of “really kind” and “incredibly humble” and you’ve got a place to start.

Anytime you want some crazy company out there at your place, Ree, just give a shout! We’ll be there. With bells on.



  1. Starwoodgal says:

    Love, love, love your photos of our day with PW!

    I've posted some of mine @
    and on my BLOG.

    Feel free to download any of them.

    aka Starwoodgal

  2. I gotta tell ya Stefanie…I think you are WAY more like PW than you realize! I totally enjoyed your post about your visit…you are so talented in putting together such a lovely story telling of your day.

    And I’m super excited about the tshirts!! I had to limit myself to just one for now until I make sure I chose the right size, then I’m orderin’ a bunch more!

  3. I am just oozing jealousy from every pore. What an exciting day for you all, and how nice it is to hear that she is the nice and sincere person that comes across in her blog. So happy y’all had such a fantastic day, and from the looks of it, your new business started off with a BANG, so congrats on that too!!

  4. Fabulous recap of your day, Stef, and awesome photos to help tell the story!! What fun. :) My mouth was watering looking at that amazing salad & tenderloin. And those delicious sweets!!

    So glad you were able to have this experience – completely unforgettable, I'm sure. :)


  5. adoptionroad says:

    I left you a comment, but Blogger ate it again. What a day at the ranch! You did a great job documenting the fun. Please have Colleen tell me where she got that super cute sweater she was wearing. And if you ever want to visit a place where you will not be envious of the food or photography, you are welcome to stalk the secret life of Adoption Road. šŸ˜‰ You will probably trip over the smelly flight boots at the door and be asked to hit the 5 minute button to “cook” a Steamfresh dinner for the family. And if you want singing, I’m sure we can get the girls to do a round of Navy Blue and Gold! Was PW a Home Ec teacher in her previous life?


  6. I am green green GREEN with envy! I can’t BELIEVE you got to meet Pioneer WOMAN!!!!!!! Love the pics. You have to make cake pops for those all those kidlets of yours at least once Momma! Thank you for sharing your day with us. I can’t believe you drove all the way there!

  7. thanks for posting details! so glad you had such an incredible time! i must say that i have been reading PW’s blog since you first posted about your big win…and i’m ready to close down my blog and spend all of the time i would be blogging about my mundane,non-cake pops life instead living vicariously through her. gotta go find a good deal on some chaps now….

  8. Oh, I’m so jealous! You got to meet PW AND MM! Too cool!!!

    So glad you had such an awesome day!

    (And love the new t-shirts!)

  9. Patricia/NYC says:

    Wow! What a FUN time!! Thanks for giving us the lowdown with such great photos too! So glad you got to have such a wonderful experience! And the FOOD!!! WOWZA!!

    I actually made PW's pasta & eggplant dish last night…the reaction? Frank said: "Are we at a restaurant?" Kiara said: "Momma, you are the best cook ever!" šŸ˜‰
    So…hats off the PW for sharing her mad skillz! šŸ˜‰

    You know what struck me? There is a very strong parallel between YOU & PW…two VERY AMAZING & INSPIRING women!!

  10. cottage girl says:

    My blog worlds collide! PW live-and-in-person?!! How cool. So nice to hear she is just as lovely in person. And your pictures are so beautiful!

  11. Michelle says:

    OMW, what a day!! And to think all that AND she threw quite the launch party for Wild Olive Tees. How’s that for a day?!?

    Loved your recap of the day and all the wonderful photos.


  12. One Happy Momma says:

    Oh Stefanie –

    It looks like you had such a fantastic awesome day!!

    Wow if only I could bake and cook like that! :)

    Loved the photos and even the one of the dog. I’m partial to Basset’s, I have two of them. :)

    So glad you had a great time!



  13. living4him5 says:

    Love it all!!! What a fabulous day Stef!

    Thanks for sharing!


  14. Ummm wow! How totally and completely awesome! You recap of everything was way cool…right along with your pictures too!

  15. It looks like you had so much fun! You totally deserved it too. I love your pictures and your wonderful descriptions of the day. Welcome home.


  16. What a FUN day! I love the way you tell the story too!!! You have the gift my friend!

    I am trying that salad tonight for dinner with some friends!

    I am guessing you and Colleen sold some tees while you were there!?


  17. I found your blog through PW’s, thanks to your adventure. I am totally in awe of you and the things you do, the mama that you are, your dedication and passion!

    Your pics look amazing… and it is so fun to see Ree!!

  18. I read her site for the first time last night. I love her story of how she started homeschooling. How cool that you got to spend some time with her.

  19. Dear Stefanie…
    I must tell you that I have sat crying and laughing at my computer far longer than I ought with 5 kids left to put to bed on a school night. Here’s the deal: I read thepioneerwoman daily…and I LOVE her! I’m a PW stalker – I admit. When I saw that you and several other lucky bugs got to hang out at the ranch, I had to read on. Then I followed the link to your website…and was simply taken in. I read Sophie’s adoption story and a little bit about your family. It is a beautiful story and I can’t wait to learn much more about your amazing story!

  20. Joe and Jane says:

    Wow, what a completely fun time! And now I’m craving those sweets too!

  21. babystepstoChina says:

    She is one incredible woman and I loved reading about your day with her! Simply amazing.

  22. Ohhh…….wish I could have been there it looked like so much fun!!

    Great pictures!!


  23. Love all the pictures and the post!!! Stefanie I’m so happy for you and Colleen!!! You guys looked like you had the time of your life and so well deserved my friend.

  24. SO COOL!
    I know you had a great time.
    Don’t ya just love a cowboy?????
    Now you see why I smile all the time.


  25. Mark, Rebecca and Sophia says:

    Fighting raging envy…

    Good for you!

  26. Donna Boucher says:

    You know what I noticed…God sent Ree a bunch of Christians to join her on the ranch. I mean, it was totally random…and I’ll bet that fact totally tickled Ree’s sweet heart!

    I’m so happy for you all :o)

  27. mary armstrong says:

    Hi, I’m just a PW fan following the links to all y’all’s posts of your dream come true day!
    My favorite pic is of Colleen climbing the ladder in the pantry!
    I think it captures exactly what we would all want to do if we got to visit the Lodge.
    Mary Armstrong

  28. nancypants says:

    How VERY cool!! (And I love your beautiful T-shirts! What an awesome idea… so talented!) I am so jealous! I actually work for Ree and have not even met her in person (outside of e-mail). But I know her well enough to know that what you say about her is true. She is a sweetheart. Thanks for sharing about your awesome day! Someday I shall actually meet my boss in person! LOL

  29. Robynn's Ravings says:

    Thanks for sharing your fun with all of us!! What a GREAT TRIP and you all looked like you were having such a good time!

    Lovely to hear about your adopted daughters. We have three little girls adopted from China in our friend group. They are 3,5,&8. Darling girls we're all in love with. They also have special needs and each one is missing part of an arm/hand. Some surgeries, some fittings, but none are missing a beat. God is so GOOD!!

    And I'm excited about the T-shirts!! I signed up to follow because I think this is going to explode and I want to watch your meteoric success! (I should also order a few t-shirts huh? lol)

    Blessings to you ALL!!

  30. Stephanie says:

    I cannot believe you got to meet THE PW. I have PW envy.

  31. Anonymous says:


    I am just SO happy for you! You sure deserved this amazing day . . .

    Jennifer K.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Awwww! You’re so lucky! I’m glad you had a great time! Thanks for the pics. They made me feel like I was there too!

  33. CottageGirl says:

    Awesome! I’m so very jealous!

    Thanks for such great pics and taking the time to give all of us outsiders a real insider’s view!

  34. Bumpkin on a Swing says:

    Sick with envy……still 5 days later, Im still not over not being there! Come by the swing sometime!!!
    Check out this post

  35. This has been soooo fun to follow!!! Behind the ranch doors of the PW! Keep the pics a comin! :)

  36. TanyaLea says:

    Wow Stefanie!! What an AMAZING and fun day you had! I’m so jealous…in a very “happy for you!” way!!! :) I hadn’t heard about PW until your website…but boy am I ever hooked now! I just visited her site last night, and I could browse forever…so much interesting stuff in one sight! I already printed off a couple of her yummy recipes, and had to try one for lunch today. I made her “MY Most Favorite Burger Ever!” recipe…and it’s now my most favorite burger ever! The only modifications I made, was smaller burgers…I made them about 1/3 lb… and hers are 1 lb.each…I just couldn’t wrap my mouth around that…and my gutt doesn’t need it either. But I had all of the satisfaction in the smaller burgers and I think my taste buds are still doing the “dance of joy!” šŸ˜‰

    Here’s a link to the burger recipe, incase anyone wants to give them a try. Even my 10 year old son liked them…Tabasco sauce and all! You can copy/paste the following link into your browser:

  37. a Tonggu Momma says:

    And here’s where we are different – I totally would have peed on the side of the road.

    I’m so glad y’all had such an amazing experience. Wow. Truly – wow.

    And just think… while you were having the time of your life with PW, I was sitting here, barely surviving The Dreaded Influenza. But don’t worry about little ole me. Really. Glad you had fun. šŸ˜‰

  38. redmaryjanes says:

    Wow! I have never heard of Pioneer Woman. She looks amazing.

  39. Sounds like a fabulous trip. I must say your blog page is beautiful. I love the background paper. You have a real good eye and must be very creative.

  40. Wes and Tracy says:

    How lucky are you guys?!! Yes, I am a little jealous….since I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the PW! I drool at her site a couple times a week. I have gotten some great recipes (& inspiration) from her site. Her posts are fun and her pictures are so beautiful. Great family!

    Looks like you all had such a nice time. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.


  41. ReminisceHeirlooms says:

    OH it looks like you all just had a fabulous time! I also love your tees and will have to order soon. Thanks for sharing all of the fabulous pictures!

  42. I read PW religiously and nearly had a heart attack when I saw Colleen (I’m a friend from CA.) I am SO ENVIOUS you got to MEET HER. =)

  43. christyc84 says:

    Wow sounds like you ladies had a blast!! I am envious…. šŸ˜‰ I really like your photos- I think you do a great job with them. What kind of camera do you have?

  44. Super B's Mom says:

    WOW. That looks like SO.MUCH.FUN.


  45. elizabeth says:

    Found you through Bakerella’s blog post about your wonderful day! I really am touched by your sweet and humble post. I think all of you chosen were the perfect choice.
    I am so glad to have found your blog, and hear about your fun day!

  46. 3 Peanuts says:

    No way—how did I miss this…you got to go see PW!!! I have envy now and I hear that’s a sin…..I better go pray!

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