Monday, December 2, 2013

{chocolate} gingerbread bars

My littles love gingerbread -almost to a fault. On more than one occasion I have caught one of them nibbling on the annual gingerbread houses we make and decorate at Christmastime. Lots of times, the houses are created from my mother-in-laws yummy homemade gingerbread, but other rushed years, we have relied on the store bought kit-in-a-box. That's where the 'almost to a fault' incidents come into play -nibbling on the gross, cement like ginger grossness.


So that's why I was so happy to discover these chocolate gingerbread bars. The littles can nibble on these gingerbread bars, sparing the store-bought manufactured house variety.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

f family

This fun family asked to take their family pictures this fall. This is a family that loves to have fun together, so it wasn't hard to capture their cute smiles.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

12 Organizing Ideas for the Holidays

I recently taught a class for my Church's women's group. Since the holidays are almost here, I focused on strategies to help make the holidays easier.

Here's the 12 organizing ideas for getting through the holidays in one piece.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

my favorite DIY tools

Everybody knows that having the right tool for the job makes the job easier.

Here's a run down of the tools that have made our DIYing much easier, and are versatile enough to make our favorite DIY Must Haves:

Top Four DIY Must Have Tools

Monday, September 9, 2013

seasonal snickerdoodles

Alright, these are in honor of my newest sister-in-law, Jen, the Jenerator. She loves snickerdoodles. According to her, she could eat the whole batch! She loves 'em.

One of my favorite things to do is to take a well-loved classic and adapt it up for the season. That's exactly what these seasonal snickerdoodles provide -a taste of the holidays.

With just a simple swap of cinnamon to pumpkin pie spice, these cookies are ready to hold their own against any fall and winter treat. . .

and leave you wondering why you never thought of this tiny tweak before.

Monday, September 2, 2013

chewy caramel butter bars

My mother-in-law understands my long-standing love of baking. A few years back she gave me this  recipe book which is wholly dedicated to baking ooey-gooey, yummy treats -and this little guy's number finally came up.

If you don't like caramel, shortbread, or nuts, this butter bar is not for you.

I love these  Gooey Chewy Caramel Butter Bars. They were easy to make and man, they were good!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

top five {august}

I can't believe August is over already! It seems like summer just started. And with our late out of school date, it kinda did. But we managed to squeeze in lots of fun before we have to slip back into our school schedule!

Just in case you missed one, here are my top five posts from August:
1) Broccoli Salad
this make ahead side dish is yummy, easy, and perfect for fall while broccoli is in season!

2) Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes
these cheesecake cupcakes are dangerously good!

3) Why I Got My Kids a Pet
learn about some of the benefits of pet ownership for children.

4) DIY Must Have Reference Books
have a home repair or improvement question? these books have you covered!

5) Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
this cheater's ice cream cake uses ice cream sandwiches, a gooey layer of chocolate fudge, and your choice of nuts or candy!

A special thank you to my readers! Thank you for stopping and reading my blog. I appreciate all your comments and for joining me on this journey as we take baby steps towards updating, renovating, and decorating our little yellow cape.

Thanks for reading,

What was your favorite post?

Friday, August 30, 2013

tween birthday party essentials

We just hosted a birthday party for my daughter and her friend. I already posted the easy to make ice cream sandwich cake that we served. Here are the rest of the fun details from the party.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

hinged countertop

Ever wish you had more counter space in your kitchen? I do, everyday!  Well, we came up with a way to have additional surface space (just when we want it) with this hinged countertop.

This is such a simple and easy way to add surface space.

Monday, August 26, 2013

ice cream cake

I recently threw my daughter a birthday party, and this was the cake she requested -which I was pretty happy about because. . .

This seriously has to be the easiest cake to make, ever!

Monday, August 19, 2013


Hi Friends,

I'm on vacation this week with my family.

Before we leave, I'm hosting a double birthday pool party for my daughter and her cute friend. (Can you say twice the fun, half the work!) The girls requested this ice cream cake.

Then we're off to play in the pretty White Mountains. Handyman was just up a few weeks ago hiking Mt Adams and Mt Washington. I'll be back next week.
White Mountains, image source

In the meantime, you can stay in touch with me through InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Have a good week,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

reference books for DIY

Ever wonder how some people seem to know to DIY everything? Well, maybe they don't. . .or didn't.

Before we bought our current house our DIY experience was limited to cosmetic fixes, additions to our previous new construction home, and experience working alongside our dads.

Reference Books for DIY

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

print funtion button

Hi Readers,

I'm so excited to let you know that I've added a print function button to the blog. I wanted to make it easier for you to print out recipes, like these cookies and cream cheesecakes from yesterday.

Now there is a PRINT button on the bottom of each post. Here's a photo of what it now looks like on the blog page:

Print Button Location on Blog

This button will allow you to:
  • print the post without any ads
  • choose if you want to include the photo
  • change the text size, that way you can fit it in your own recipe collection anyway you choose
  • delete sections of text (I often linked up my recipes to other blogs, so this will allow you to print only the recipe part)
  • email the post to anyone
  • save as a PDF file
So many options now with this one simple button!

Let me know if you have any questions.

Happy Printing,

Monday, August 12, 2013

cookies and cream cheesecakes

It was my babysitter's birthday this week and we wanted to let her know how much we appreciate her. Seriously, she's the best babysitter! The kids are always in bed when we get back and the house is spotless. And she's spills the scoop on everything that happened while I was away. She's the best! So, the kids and I made and delivered these little treats for her.

These little cupcakes are for Oreo and cheesecake lovers only!

I love how you can read the Oreo imprint right through the paper cupcake liner of these cookies and cream cheesecakes.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

broccoli salad

Want your kids to eat their veggies? Serve this slightly sweet broccoli salad with your next dinner.

I'm pretty lucky. . .my kids like broccoli! But I know lots of kids, and, ahem, some adults don't.

This raw broccoli salad could not be easier to make.

It's the perfect make ahead side dish.
sweet broccoli salad

Thursday, August 1, 2013

top five {july}

I can't believe July is over already! It seems like summer just started, and there are too many fun things to do before it ends.

Just in case you missed one, here are my top five posts from July:

white nylon lanterns and globe string lights draped outdoors
This is  another photo of the nylon lanterns I bought for our outdoor party last month. I haven't taken them down -they're just too cute bobbing in the breeze, and it keeps my yard party ready all summer. Love 'em!

1) Camping with Kids
easy activities to pack and meals to prepare

2) No Bake Cheesecake
the perfect summer cheesecake that setups in the fridge

3) Danish Apple Pie
the alternative to once a year apple pie

4) Nylon Lanterns
the Chinese style lanterns that can withstand a rainstorm

5) Summer Pinch Bowls
a thrift store find perfect for organizing all your little things

A special thank you to my readers! Thank you for stopping and reading my blog. I appreciate all your comments and for joining me on this journey as we take baby steps towards updating, renovating, and decorating our little yellow cape.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

diy printer shelf

Sometimes things just need to be functional, like this shelf we built for our printer. We don't have a dedicated office space, just a corner in our cozy kitchen. In fact, we bought a different computer, a monitor/computer combination, because of our lack of space.

DIY Printer Shelf built in closet

Monday, July 29, 2013

lemon bars

Ok, I've been making these for years. They are that good! and I know its not just me -they've had the endorsement of my professional baking buddies.

secret- it's the salt that makes these so good!

lemon bars, lemon squares, course salt, fresh lemon juice desserts, homemade lemon dessert, one bowl dessert
Lemon Bar Cookies

Friday, July 26, 2013

another camping tip

This must be the summer to go camping.

In response to questions I've gotten regarding my camp post (here), I'm including this little tip -how to transport your eggs.

This is my favorite way to pack for recipes that call for beaten eggs.

packing eggs for travel

Just lightly beat them ahead of time at home, then pack them in a recyclable water bottle using a kitchen funnel.

A 16 oz water bottle will hold approximately 8-9 extra large eggs. If camping for several days, just pack in separate water bottles and label by day or dish. This eliminates any measuring on site.

If you need whole eggs, I would transport them in a sealed sturdy container.

I know this is just such a simple tip, but when camping with kids, anything I can do ahead of time makes our trip easier and is worth doing. Plus, it eliminates the need to pack a separate bowl and whisk and leaves less dishes to wash.

Happy camping!

Sunday: |I Heart Naptime|Nifty Thrifty Things|It's Overflowing| MopItUp| Monday: | C.R.A.F.T.|Sumo'sSweetStuff | diy home sweet home| KeepingItSimple | MadSkills |thededicatedhouse  | BNOTP | Tuesday: Coastal Charm |  SugarBeeCrafts | My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Get Your Craft On | diydreamer | Wednesday:| Savvy Southern Style | NYMelroseFamily | Gingersnap Crafts | LifeWithTheCrustOff | LiveLaughRowe Thursday: The Shabby Creek Cottage| Made in a Day | House of Hepworths | the 36th Avenue | 52 Mantels Friday: Blissful and Domestic | Serenity Now| The Shabby Nest |Thirty Handmade Days |  Financial Friday | Classy Clutter| Show&Tell

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

summer pinch bowls

I found this cute yellow striped pinch bowl set at my local thrift store recently. For less than a dollar, I knew I could find some use for them. Plus, I love their summery vibe with the yellow and white stripes.

top 10 pinch bowl uses

yellow and white striped summer pinch bowls

Monday, July 22, 2013

cooking {how to} videos

Have you seen these fun little Martha Stewart How To Cook videos yet?

I was looking up a recipe the other day and discovered them. They are a great resource.

Forgot how to cut a mango? No problem. Want to know how to prep an artichoke? Easy.

cooking how-to videos

Monday, July 15, 2013

{no-bake} cheesecake

I have to thank my wonderful professional baking buddy Angie for this one -she lent her spring form pan last minute. And I'm so glad she did, because this cheesecake was super yummy. My daughter spotted it in my latest issue of Everyday Food, and insisted we try it.

Unlike the baked variety, this cheesecake chills in the fridge to set up, giving it a light, mousse-like consistency perfect for summer!

no bake cheesecake

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

redesign {M}

I've been helping my friend M redesign her big and beautiful home. She has a wonderful combination of classic and playful fashion style that I want to help her translate into her own home. Seriously, this girl can pull off this fun outfits. But her home doesn't reflect this seem sense of style. She asked me for some input.

First, we needed to start with some images to help her define how the juxtaposition of classic and playful can be interpreted.


Friday, July 5, 2013

camping {with kids}

Last summer, I took off a few day to take my kiddos camping. Unfortunately, Handyman had to work. I've never gone camping without him before, and our last trip was cut short by an unhappy camper -this little guy-so even though we went with friends, I was still a little bit nervous.

don't be scared, go camping!

camping with kids: easy meals and activities

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

nylon lanterns

I have a bunch of these -ten to be exact- hanging over my yard right now. They are nylon lanterns. And they are the best outdoor party decoration invention yet!
white nylon Chinese style lanterns

Monday, July 1, 2013

danish apple pie

While my sweet mother-in-law was visiting last month, she was reading Susan Wigg's The Apple Orchard. At the beginning of the book was the following recipe for aeble kage or Danish Apple Pie. My mother-in-law, who loves to cook and to bake, whipped this up for us one night. It was so good! And you know I love a good apple pie. This would be a great week night alternative to my classic apple pie, posted here.

A great week night alternative to classic apple pie!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

six with a hook

While we had family in town this week, we went to Bearskin Neck for a little sightseeing and lunch. There were so many cute shops. I came across this darling little shop. I wanted to take some photos, but after asking in my nicest voice, the answer was no. (I always like to ask first -photography etiquette?) Her response was something like photos of her shop showing up on blogs. Hmmm. What's so terrible about that? But I did snap a photo of her shop sign. And although I can't share the cuteness of her store, I can show you what I did pick up for my family room.

Monday, June 24, 2013

strawberry shortcakes a la mode

OK, I have to post this recipe. Handyman made these for my Mother's Day dessert and I just made them again last night to accompany our Sunday night dinner.

This strawberry shortcake was the perfect combination of yummy to easy-to-make ratio.

Monday, June 17, 2013

no bake birthday cake

I have tell you why the girl who loves to make everything from scratch would even bother with something so simple.

This really is the easiest ice cream cake you will ever make!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

yard work

This year we've finally made some big changes to the front landscaping. When we built our front steps, posted here, we took out four bushes flanking the front door. But we still had five overgrown/outdated shrubs remaining.

With just a morning, a chain, and the tow hitch on our trusty mini-van, they were out. Admittedly, it may have been faster if we hired someone else to do it, or at least rented a bobcat. But the persistent and sweat equity saved a bunch of money.

Monday, June 10, 2013

beach party

School is letting out across the country, which leads to. . .summer birthdays and summer pool parties. Put 'em together and you can have a fun summer birthday beach pool party anywhere -pool or no pool!

summer birthdays + summer pool parties =summer beach pool parties!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

all the fun things you find

We recently finished stripping the wallpaper in our living room and our dining room (you can read about it here and here). Although its a lot of work, it is always fun to peel back the layers and find the little and the larger pieces of our home's history.

For example, I often come across notes:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Easy 3D Star of the Week Poster

It seems like at some point either in kindergarten or preschool my kids are featured as star of the week. This usually requires creating a huge poster all about them to share with the rest of the class.

Well, sometimes we just get short on time and end up hastily throwing something together the night before.

Well, no one needs to know you throw this one together in a flash. Its super easy and looks great.

Using everyday objects that represent your child's love or passions is easy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

{how to} strip wallpaper

After moving into a house with a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and three bedrooms covered in wallpaper, I've learned a thing or two about getting it down.

I tried the gel. I tried the vinegar & water solution. The steamer is the easiest and lest smelliest method.

Monday, May 27, 2013

{new} old fashion oatmeal cookies

Looking for a packable treat for your Memorial day picnic? These fit the bill!

I got this recipe from a friend and I just had to try it. Handyman was out town, the kids in bed, the kitchen clean, and I without any book to read. So what else to do? Bake, of course. And good thing, because the next day one of my friends was sick and this was the perfect dessert to go with the dinner that I took her. Let's face it, I didn't want these sweet little treasures sitting around my house -my kids ate one after lunch and then I packed up the rest.

I love baking for other people!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{essential} wallpaper stripping tools

After moving into a house with a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and three bedrooms covered in wallpaper, I've learned a thing or two about getting it down.

The first step to stripping wallpaper is having the right tools.

Monday, May 20, 2013

clock {birthday} cake

My daughter's birthday is coming up at the end of this month. When I asked her what she wanted for her cake, she replied, "a clock cake!" Admittedly, its a bit of an odd choice, but hey, it's her birthday right?

I made one for her 4th birthday a few years back. It came about after I let her browse my cake decorating book. It's suggested event is New Year Eve, setting the hands on midnight, but since she was turning four, we adapted it to four o'clock.

With some frosting, peppermint patties, and mini chips, you've got an easy birthday cake!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Can you believe I never ate a snickerdoodle until just a few years ago? We had just moved cross-country, and my pared down pantry was vacant of all liquids. I wanted to make to make cookies, but with three little kids at home, I didn't want to run to the grocery store just to purchase vanilla. So after scouring my family cook book, I came across this recipe from my sweet sister-in-law. No vanilla needed! It was perfect. After years of baking them, I've adapted it to the recipe below.

These make perfect little gifts or a post-lunch sweet. Give 'em a try.


Friday, April 12, 2013

it's a love/hate relationship, really

with my house, that is.

Some days, I'm just frustrated.

only weeks away from having these bloom in my yard again!

Friday, February 1, 2013

one year down

I started this blog one year ago.

Thanks to all for reading and commenting.

It's been fun!
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