Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I have a gazillion of things that I could share with you.

Recipes are piled up in front of my computer. 

Projects are getting forgotten about as the days pass.

However, it is hard to keep up with a blog if I feel like there is no genuine interest. 
And I can only assume that there is no interest because no one EVER (and I really mean NEVER) comments. 

You see I am a "words of affirmation" gal.  And without the affirmation, there is no will to continue what has become a daunting task.

And believe you me, I have a gazillion things I could be doing at any minute of the day.....straight down to just sitting on the couch and watching Dora the Explorer.

Where I used to blog before washing dishes or folding clothes....I am now choosing those tasks over making time to write or upload photos.  Even alphabetizing my canned goods is higher on the list.

So here I am giving you a non-update.  Or rather telling you that there will be no more updates unless I feel like I have to share something with you. 

Until then, I hope you enjoy the wonderful fall weather!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coconut Cake With Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Since I have been busy organizing, I get to SEE what I actually have. 
In organizing my "baking" cabinet in the kitchen, I discovered that I had coconut. 
Now, I knew I had coconut, but I could never really SEE it....hidden behind the flour and the sugar. 

So I certainly wouldn't know that I had one bag that would expire in THREE days! 

I was intent on finding THE perfect coconut cake. 

So I turned to my Southern roots, after skimming several food sites. 

I used the recipe for a Coconut Sheet Cake - with a few modifications, listed below....

3 large eggs
1 (8 oz) container of low-fat sour cream
1/3 cup water
1 (15 0z) can of cream of coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 package of white cake mix

Beat the eggs at high speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes.  Add sour cream, water, cream of coconut and vanilla, beating well after each addition.  Add cake mix, beating at low until blended.  Beat at high for 2 minutes.  Pour batter into greased and floured pan. 
Bake at 425* for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cake on wire rack.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 30 minutes.  Remove from freezer. 

Spread Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting on cake.  Store in the refrigerator. 

The cake is super-dooper moist and yummy.
And I promise it tastes better after being in the fridge!


Ooops, here is the recipe for the frosting!

Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (16 0z) package powdered sugar
1 (7 oz) package of flaked coconut

Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy  Add milk and vanilla.  Beat well.  Add sugar slowly, beating until smooth.  Stir in coconut. 
Spread over cake.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Preschool Painting

My kiddos LOVE to paint. 
LOVE it!
Painting is the only activity that will hold their attention longer than 15 minutes. 

And painting may seem daunting to you. 
The supplies to drag out.  The mess to clean up.

But if you do it right, painting can be a great creative outlet for your kids.
Have supplies on hand and easy to grab so you can entertain your kids while you make dinner.

In my craft closet, I have a basket that I fill with items we are currently working on.  
You can see more about the craft closet here

I have a small tin to hold brushes.
I purchased it at Michael's from the $1 bin.

I have paint. 
Washable paint.

I used to let the kids dip from these big jars of paint....but I learned quickly...

I refill these little painting pods with the paint.
Each child can use an aray of colors without me monitoring how much paint they take out.
I just grab these out of the basket with the brush tin.

We wear old T-shirts as "painting shirts" just in case,
so we don't have to worry with paint getting on clothes and getting on furniture.

And just like that, my kiddos are happy and distracted so I can create our dinner!

Are there any quick tips that you have to making life easier with your kiddos?
Do you let your kids paint?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A bed for a boy

Toward the end of August, my husband and I built my 3-year-old a bed for his new twin mattress!

We found a plan off the Knock-off Wood site, where I found the plans for the Toddler sized picnic table that I built.

Her site is now:

We chose Ana's Brookstone Storage Bed and Headboard

I began to post the process on my family's blog, where you can see the details!

I have posted final photos HERE.

The process of building the frame HERE.

The process of building the headboard HERE.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Elevated Dog Bowl

Our first "child" joined our family six years ago this month.
Dixie was actually our test child.   

She doesn't get as much attention as she used to, but we still try to include her in family activities.

Unfortunately, we have neglected her in other ways.
 She has been eating out of this elevated bowl since she was a little puppy.

For a dog her size, the elevation should be a lot taller!

When bending over to to eat, dogs tend to ingest a lot of air with their food...and we all know what excess air leads to!  Besides that, having their bowls elevated eases strain on muscles and joints.

In order to determine the proper elevation for your dog, in a standing position,
measure to the shoulder of the dog and subtract 6 inches. 

Both my husband and I did an extensive search for the feeder size that we needed. 
Richard's jaw dropped at how expensive they were! 
$100 dollars or more, plus shipping.

So we took matters into our own hands and drew up a blueprint to a wooden feeder for Dixie!
I am going to share the loose instructions with you, so you can modify them to your own specifications.

We needed a feeder 18 inches high.  (24" shoulder height minus 6 inches).

When making this measurement, include any additional height added from the bowls
if they do not lay flush in the wood.

Our bowls were 6" square across the top.
We wanted 2" between the two bowls and around all sides.
We decided a 5" square in the wood would hold the bowl properly
( 1" of the bowl is showing above the wood).

The same calculations can be made using the diameter of a circular bowl.
 With all that considered, we needed a 1x10x6 piece of wood.

The top board was 17" across.

We drew the squares for the bowls in the proper location.

Then drilled holes in all corners and in the center of each line to prepare the for the jigsaw.

I have no photos of the jigsawing, but once the holes were removed, the legs were attached.

We let Dixie try it out, and it seemed TOO HIGH for her.
After remeasuring, we didn't account for the height added by the bowls, or the wood with the legs
(ie. my husband cut the legs to the height we needed)

So my husband took his saw and cut 2" off the bottom to take it to the proper 18" measurement.
He also added a cross support along the bottom.

Dixie is much happier with the feeder now!

I stained the feeder with one coat of Minwax English Chestnut.

And the entire project was about $7!   

If you have any questions, please let me know! 


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