Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How I Spend My “Free” Time

Hello.  Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  We sure did.  There’s no doubt that Christmas is my favorite day of the year, but when it comes down to it, Thanksgiving yields that same special time with family minus all of the stress.  I’m beginning to appreciate this fact more and more every year.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we’ve been working on getting the house ready for Christmas.  This weekend I managed to set up the tree, and it’s about 90% decorated (there are still a few more ornaments left to unpack and hang.) Ty also got a full-sized tree in his room this year.  Here’s how he reached the top branches.  Very resourceful!

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School is also back in session this week, much to Ty’s disappointment.  But I tried to make him (and me) feel better about this by pointing out that we’ve only got three weeks until we’re out again for Christmas. Whoop whoop!

Ok.  Now time to get to why I’m here today…

Sharing about my favorite pastime.


Oh, the hours I could spend “fetching more pins.”  If you’re on Pinterest, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  My creative side absolutely loves browsing through photos gathering inspiration for my next crafting, decorating, or cooking adventure.  Pinterest is the main reason why my blog has been feeling a bit neglected lately.  If I’m not actually on the site, I’m making something I’ve seen on the site.  Which brings me to the point of this post…

Sharing a few of the things that I’ve made with inspiration gathered from Pinterest.

Waffle Hashbrowns

Waffle Iron Hash Browns.  I made these for the Tool Man one morning last week.  They turned out really good!  So crunchy, which is exactly what I like but can never seem to achieve.  Next time I want hash browns, I’ll definitely cook them like this.

Turkey Tube

Turkey Tube.  This was Ty’s inspiration.  He woke up early one morning and crafted his own version of a turkey while I was still asleep.

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What do you think?  Ty couldn’t find an empty cardboard tube, so he made his own with construction paper. Also, as you can see, he is a firm believer in scotch tape!

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup.  This was a delicious and super easy recipe.  I tweaked my version a little bit, adding a few extra ingredients like fresh onions and peppers and some seasonings. Also, I served my soup over a bed of hot, steamy rice.  We enjoyed this soup so much so that I made a big pot of it to sell at the restaurant this week.

Window Frame

Window Frame Display.  (I pinned this photo myself, and I have no idea where I first found it.)  I’ve been saving a old window for the past 7 or 8 years, just waiting for the right project to present itself.  This week I finally decided it was time to do something with it.  Here’s my version.

Lucy's Window Frame

I made this for Lucy’s, using some family heirlooms and things I picked up at flea markets.  I love how it turned out!  The blue card was given to my parents when I was born.  The bib is Lucy’s, and the baby bootie was given to a great aunt of mine about 70 years ago.  I think this project is a perfect shabby chic element for Lucy’s room.

Chicken Burritos

Crispy Chicken Wraps.  Yummy much!!!  I made these this weekend, and the Tool Man and I gobbled them up during the LSU-Ark game.  (Maybe that’s why they tasted so good!)  Shredded chicken, rice, beans, and cheese all rolled up in a tortilla and grilled in a pan.  The secret to making them crispy is to spray the outside of the tortillas with Pam before cooking.  So good!  My stomach is growling just thinking about these.  The recipe calls for black beans, but I didn’t have any on hand.  I did have a can of refried beans, so I used that instead.  Also, you were supposed to use chopped red bell pepper.  Didn’t have that either.  Instead, I just added a couple of spoons of picante sauce.  Mmm mmm good!!!  I can’t tell you how much the Tool Man loved these.  Definitely a recipe to remember.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this seemingly random post today.  If you are not following me on Pinterest I invite you to check out the link on my sidebar.  And if you are not a member of Pinterest, I would certainly recommend starting an account of your own. The inspiration is endless.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

Hope all of you have a wonderful day this Thanksgiving.  Our celebrations actually began last night with a Louisiana-inspired gumbo meal with the Tool Man’s family. Yumm-O!  Today we’ll have Thanksgiving lunch at my parents’ house, feasting on the traditional turkey, dressing, and my favorite, sweet potato casserole (with pecan praline topping, not marshmallows.)

I don’t know who’s been more “thankful” for our Thanksgiving break from school, the pupil or the teacher.  I bet I know who needs it more.  That’d be me!  I’m just plain tired.  Plus, there are so many things around here that I want to do but just don’t have time for when we’re doing school.  This was going to be the week for me to catch up on crafts.  Unfortunately, with all of the cooking I’ve had to do, all of my “fun” activities have been pushed to the back burner once again.Sad smileNow maybe with the cooking out of the way, I can squeeze in a craft or two before the new week begins. I want to tackle a project or two for Lucy’s room, and I have a few Christmas gifts to sew.  As soon as these projects are done, I hope to share them with y’all.

In the meantime though, here’s what’s I’ve been cooking up this week:

First, a birthday cake for 6 year old Zack. Yea, LSU! Beat Arkansas!!

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Besides the birthday cake, I had a few orders for some Thanksgiving desserts…

Carrot Cake

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

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I was so proud of the way this pie turned out.  It looked (and smelled) amazing!  Just wish I could have taken a big ol’ bite of it.

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Last, but not least…

Gooey Butter Cake

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With a name like that, you know it’s gotta be good.

And rich.

Very rich.

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Besides all of these glorious treats, I also whipped up a gi-normous pan of dressing.  Huge!  When it was all said and done, there was a grand total of 27 eggs in it!!  Whew!  I can’t wait to dive in.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Unique Cake

I just realized that I never officially shared my latest cake creation with y’all.  This cake might be the most unique cake I’ve done so far…

It’s a tuba!

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The birthday boy plays a tuba in his high school’s marching band, and he requested a cake shaped like his instrument of choice.  Not being very familiar with tubas, I had to do a little research to see exactly what they looked like.  Let me tell you, there are a lot of tubes on a tuba!  (Maybe that’s where it got its name. Ha ha.)  I opted to streamline this cake version of a tuba and included only a few pipes and tubes, but I think you still get the idea.

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To give the tuba a 3-dimensional effect, I carved the larger, wider portions of the horn out of cake and covered those parts with fondant.  For the smaller tubes, I rolled fondant “snakes” and laid them into place.  When I had the shape of the tuba like I wanted it, I painted the whole thing with edible gold dust.

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Then I added a few symbols to emphasize the musical theme.

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So what’s cooking next week?  Well, I have a chocolate pecan pie and an “LSU” cake to make for a customer.  Also, as the C.E.D.M. (Chief Executive Dressing Maker) for my family, I’ll be turning out a big ol’ pot of everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving dish.  And just in case there are any yankees reading this post, “dressing” is the correct term for “stuffing.” Ha ha.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Baking Just for Fun

Well this past week marks the first week in a couple of months that I have not had to bake a cake.  (Unless, of course, you count the sweets I made for the restaurant, which included a heavenly Coco-Cola Cake – Yummmmmmm!)

Never the less, I found myself in the kitchen, whipping out treats purely for the fun of it.  I’m not gonna lie to y’all, though.  Not all of my baking endeavors turned out for the good.  My Dad requested a pecan pie to share with his brother who was visiting from out of town.  But unfortunately, with all the distractions of two little monkeys, who shall remain nameless, I managed to add twice as much butter as called for in the recipe.  Bummer.  I realized this about 30 seconds after I popped the pie in the oven, and I did my best to salvage the filling.  In the end the pie actually tasted fairly good, but it looked like it had been beaten with an ugly stick.  When it comes to cooking I believe at least half the appeal is in the way a dish looks, so I was none too happy with this little pie.

So the next night, I decided to redeem myself by turning out a recipe of Paula Deen’s Lemon Blossoms.  I think I succeeded!

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These little bites of goodness are so petite and cute that it wouldn’t be hard to make oneself sick eating them.  You could very easily down a dozen before you even knew what you were doing.

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This is a glorious little recipe that begins with a boxed cake mix.  Take it from me, there is no shame in taking a little help from a cake mix now and then.  Especially when you doll it up with some extra ingredients.  And certainly when you are a mother to two little monkeys!

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I’m sure you could find this recipe elsewhere online, but if you’re interested, I decided to save you the trouble and post the recipe here.  It comes from the book Paula Deen & Friends.

Lemon Blossoms (Makes approx. 5 dozen)

  • One 18.25 oz. package yellow cake mix
  • One 3.5 oz. package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil


  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray miniature muffin tins with cooking oil spray.
  2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, and oil and blend well with electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Pour a small amount (about 1 Tbsp.) batter into each cup of the prepared tins.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Turn out onto a tea towel.
  3. To make the glaze:  Sift the sugar into a mixing bowl.  Add the lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 Tbsp. water.  Mix with a spoon until smooth.  With fingers, dip the cupcakes into the glaze while they are still warm, covering as much as the cake as possible.  Place on wire wracks over wax paper to catch any drips.  Let glaze set thoroughly (this may take an hour) before storing in containers with tight-fitting lids.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

No Tricks, Just Treats

I realize this post comes roughly a week late, but I wanted to take a minute to share my monkeys’ Halloween costumes with y’all.  Unless you are new to my blog, you probably know that I always make the kids’ costumes.  I just can’t bring myself to buy one from the store.  I have too much fun crafting them myself.

This year I decided to make a ladybug costume for Lucy.  Yes, I admit, I took some creative liberties when crafting this outfit.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a ladybug in a tutu.

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Lucy absolutely loved wearing her costume, so I decided to take her out for a mini photo shoot.

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Lucy’s “antenna” are just pipe cleaners and pom poms wired onto a headband.  I used a freezer paper stencil to paint the spots on her shirt.

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And here’s Mummy’s Little Boy.  Ty had a difficult time deciding what he was gonna be this year.  He just couldn’t make up his mind.  He finally settled on a mummy.  I used cheese cloth, cut into strips and stained with coffee, to wrap him up.  This picture was taken at the end of the night, and by this time, most of his wrapping was slipping off.

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Here comes Lucy!  Running to see what sort of goodies await her at Papa’s and Sandy’s house.

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These two have eaten waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than their fair share of candy over the past seven days.  I think I’m gonna start forwarding dentist bills.

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Ok, if you didn’t get scared enough on Halloween, here’s a really frightening image….

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Now that Halloween is over I’m looking forward to turkey and dressing!

Let the Holidays begin!