Monthly Archives: June 2011

Mmmm, Mmmm Good…

Looking for a fantastic, summery dessert to make?!  I’ve got just the thing for you…

Strawberry Jello Poke Cake

words in italics and red are the things you’ll need to make this dessert

Step 1:  Bake a plain white cake as directed, using 2 round cake pans.

Step 2:  After the cake has cooled for about 15 minutes, dip the bottom of the pan into warm water to help loosen the cake for an easy removal.  Remove both cakes, and wash out the cake pans so they are clean and free of crumbs/baking spray.  Put the cakes back into the clean cake pans and poke holes in the cake using a fork….about a half inch apart, and about an inch deep.

Step 3:  Make a box of strawberry Jello (one recipe told me to use the big box, but I had way too much….so you could probably stick with the smaller box).  With a small box of strawberry Jello mix 1 cup of boiling water and 1/2 cup of cold water until Jello powder is dissolved.

Step 4:  Pour mixed Jello (liquid) over the top of the two cakes, equally.  The cakes should be colored red now and look like this…

Step 5:  Refrigerate both round cakes for 3 hours.

Step 6:  Remove cakes from refrigerator and cake pans.  Place one round cake on a plate or cake stand.  Frost the cake with Cool Whip.  Place second round cake on top and frost the top and sides.

Step 7:  Once the whole cake is frosted with Cool Whip, I put back in the fridge for a half hour to let it firm up.  In the meantime, cut a carton of strawberries into halves or fourths.  Take the cake back out, and decorate the top of the cake with the freshly cut strawberries.  Return to fridge until you are ready to serve.

And you have something that looks something like this….


If you are wondering about the Jello and if it’s “that important” of a step….trust me, it is!  The Jello makes the cake super moist and adds a bit of flavor…here’s what it looks like on the inside after we had devoured half of it with our guests…

I’m tellin’ you…..it’s such a great summery treat….you should definitely give it a try!!

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One Word Wednesday

GROW.

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summer travel

Ahhhhh…..the freedom that summer brings.  I can take trips here and there….2 day trips….5 day trips….I love that I get time to travel in the summer…to see people and do fun things.

Yes, I travel with this ridiculously CUTE suitcase!

Some summers have had more trips than others but this summer is one that is going to be jam packed!  Because I am getting ready for one of those TRIPS, this is going to be brief!  Check out my summer travel schedule…

June 24-27Nashville, TN….Will get to be there for a family wedding and then part of our yearly family vacation to TN

July 13-17Los Angeles, CA…Greg has a work trip out that way so we decided to take advantage of him having to be out there.  I’ll join Greg half way through the week and then we’ll spend the weekend out there together.

July 21-24Saline, MI…Going home to visit the fam and to help with my sister-in-law’s Baby Shower!

August 12-14Chicago, IL…Going for a friend’s wedding!

August 19-21 Brainerd, MN…Going for another friend’s wedding!

The last one isn’t in the summer…but it’s probably the best trip planned!

September 29-October 2:  Ann Arbor, MI…Going back home to meet Baby Bear Ventura!!!  Can’t wait for that one!

So lots of going on in the world of travel for us this summer….but I love it, and I’m looking forward to it!  All this talk of travel is reminding me that I must get packing!  Closing shop for the weekend….will be back next Tuesday to rejoin the blog world!

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One Word Wednesday

carefree.

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winner

I’m a winner.  Seriously!  Wanna know how???  Well…..

I read blogs.  Lots of blogs.  Most of the blogs I read fall under the category “Home”….home improvement, home decor, home life, etc.  It’s what intrigues me.  So I’ve found lots to follow and many of these blogs have weekly or monthly “Giveaways”

Giveaways you ask?  It’s just as it sounds.  A contest to give away something.  Many of these blogs of sponsors or people who donate their product or money towards their products to be given away to one lucky winner.  To enter these giveaways you have to do very little.  Usually check out the website of the sponsor, and leave a comment on the blog telling what product you like best….something along those lines.  It’s not hard at all…which is why I have become a little crazy about entering these blog giveaways.  Ok, crazy is a strong word…I’m not crazy…but I do love free stuff, and I do love reading blogs…so a blog giveaway is just grand in my opinion.

I’ve entered several giveaways in the last few months but haven’t won anything.  But what are the chances that I’d win?  The blogs I read are pretty big blogs….blogs where thousands of people read them a day.  So the chances that I’d win are so slim….but I still have to enter…just in case I do win!

A few days ago I entered a whole bunch of giveaways on Under the Sycamore…and a few days later I said to Greg, “Man….I really wish I could win one of these giveaways…that would be so fun…I never win anything.” I fully expected not to win but thought about how fun it would be if I did….

A few days later I got the following email:

I was actually out of town when I got the email, with people in a car, and I interrupted the conversation with a squeal and a “Oh my gosh….I won the giveaway!!!!”  I realized that was a little rude so I tried to contain myself a bit as I realized not only did I interrupt someone’s story, but no one else is probably nearly as excited I was….I did a little happy dance in my seat and grinned from ear to ear….reading the email over and over again.  You’d think I had won the lottery.

I did.  The blog giveaway lottery.

I finally went to the blog website to check it out for real…and look what I saw…right there for the blog world to see…

The list of winners to all the giveaways….with MY NAME at the top!   Yahoooo.  $50 for me to spend to a quirky and unique little shop, House8810

And that’s the story of how I became a winner!  A real live winner!  YES!!!!

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Color on Color

A few weeks ago we got curtains which added heaps of color to our upper family room.  If you remember, they look like this…

We’ve been waiting to paint the family room/kitchen with one accent wall.  Because of the way the house is designed, and the various walls join, we couldn’t paint the entire room.  So we decided up on the wall that holds the fireplace and our french doors should be the wall to be painted.

As mentioned in my Blue Tape post we had a day that was gloomy and perfect for painting.  We had decided upon a blue/gray color to tie in the color from the curtain and we love the choice we made!  This was the easiest paint job we’ve done yet!  One wall with not too much trim work…what a breeze!

Without further ado, here is our freshly painted family room/kitchen space!

Wahoooo!  So excited about it.  Please know that I plan to hang up a giant mirror and other things on the wall but we just didn’t have time last night…give me a second to breathe, please 🙂

Couldn’t wait to share the updated look!

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not a cat lady…a bath lady…

People get crazy about things…some dudes are crazy about their cars….some kids are crazy about bugs….some women are crazy about cats.  Like the lady in the video clip below…

I’m not a cat lady and I haven’t really taken a great affection towards something to be crazy about.  Until now…

Last week I decided I was going to become a “bath lady”….you know the ladies that make their cup of tea, fill up the bathtub, and read Reader’s Digest to unwind from the day.  Yeah, my plan is for that to be me.

Ok, let me back up a bit…this didn’t just come out of no where.  A few weeks ago I went to get a massage thanks to CrowdCut and the massage therapist told me that I have a messed up back.  This wasn’t really new news to me because I am constantly feeling the knots and the aches in my back [and I’m only 27].  However this massage therapist suggested that I start applying heat to my back more regularly to relax the muscles….why hadn’t I thought of that before?  I figured taking a bath would be an easy way to see if heat helped my back chill out.

So filled the bath tub with water that was probably 100 degrees too hot, but it was amazing….my back actually did feel like it was relaxing a bit, and not just my back but my entire BEING was relaxed.  All day long I am rushing around and my senses are overly stimulated (computer screens, 25 children talking at one time, kids tugging at me for attention, etc.) and when I was in the scolding hot water it was the first time all day it was completely silent and still.  It was glorious.

That’s when I decided to become a bath lady.  I don’t know that I’ll take a bath every night (although that would be fantastic if I could) but it’s the perfect way to unwind and just relax.  I am so excited about being crazy about baths (I know,weird) that I went to Bath and Body Works and snagged a few bottles of Bubble Bath on Clearance…

And if you look closely you can see that I got “Stress Reflief” and “Sleep”….I figured these are the two that would best fit my needs…I need to chill out more and sleep better…and they smell just lovely.

So, while I’m not the crazy cat lady, I am going to become the crazy bath lady…I’ll have my whole cupboard stocked with Bubble Bath in a matter of a few months, I’m sure!

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