Friday, July 31, 2015

Five on Friday:Still loving Summer

I know this is the last 5 on Friday for the summer, as Amy is going to take a break from it for August. So that means it will be Fall when we link up for it again! So I wanted to share a few more summer loves.


Summer sunsets on the bay. These were all taken from our pontoon boat on 3 separate trips.


Watching the bees and dragon flies buzz among the lilies and other flowers. I was having fun with the slow motion on my camera again.


Summer sports. I do get tired of a rink now and then with hockey year round. Lol! But I love seeing my kiddos enjoy their sports and cheering them on. The top photos are from my son's team. My hubby is a great coach and they gave him a signed photo and a nice framed team jersey with a nice plaque on the bottom for his office. The bottom photo is my daughter ready for action!


I'm having fun with all the family reunions in the summer. I've had a dear girlfriend come visit and an aunt and cousins come visit. Before summer is over we have another family reunion as well. I thought I would share this video of my cousin singing karaoke when a group of us relatives were out one night. She's so talented! She has loved singing and performing since she was young and I went to all the school performances she was in during her youth, as well as community theater. She's now a married young woman with a master's degree in music from New York and still lives there. Here she is just singing basic karaoke, but you should hear her sing something from an opera in Italian. She has a beautiful 4 octave range. My dream is to go watch her on Broadway one day! 


I love having fun outside with Ruby. Whether we go for a walk or play in the yard, on a nice day playing with Ruby is where it's at! One more slow-mo movie for you. Guess I've had lots of fun with that feature this summer. Lol!

I'm linking with Amy from Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Banana Split Frozen Dessert

I must warn you - this dessert is not for the faint of heart, so if you're squeamish please turn away. This recipe is filled with a LOT of naughty ingredients!! But it's very yummy. 

This is an old Paula Deen dessert, which probably explains a lot. Lol! I think I just jotted down the ingredients at the time so I don't really have any specific amounts of anything, but quite honestly it doesn't matter. You can't really screw it up.

I started taking photos after partly making it - so I'll catch you up to this photo. First of all, I took a 9x13 pan and lined it with aluminum foil. Then I took 9 ice cream sandwiches and did 2 rows of 4 the long way and one horizontal at the foot of the pan to make the bottom "crust".  Then I cut up about 4 big bananas into slices all over the ice cream sandwiches. Then I heated up a jar of hot fudge and poured that over the bananas. Next, I sprinkled toffee bits and cut up maraschino cherries all over the hot fudge.

The next layer involved heating up a jar of butterscotch topping and poured that over all. Are you still with me or did you pass out from sugar shock already?

We're almost there! Then I added another 9 more ice cream sandwiches.... well to "sandwich" all of the ingredients inside. 

The final step is to spread a tub of cool whip all over the top and sprinkle a few more toffee bits over all. Then put in your freezer for several hours to set. I usually just put it in like it is for at least an hour or so and once it starts getting pretty "set" I then place more foil over the top. 

This is one of those "I only make once a year" kind of desserts and you can see why. I made this when I had my cousins and aunt here for a visit as it's great for a crowd! It's so rich that you can only handle a small piece with all of those layers in it. It's great for summertime as it's usually pretty frozen. So take a very sharp knife and dunk it in a glass of hot water for each time you cut to make it easier. Then serve outside on a hot day as then it starts melting and getting just the right ooey gooey as you eat. 

And you might want to keep an insulin shot nearby! I might only be kind of kidding. But you only live once right? So enjoy!! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday Wonder


The folks who lived here before us planted many lilies in the back of our home. Hundreds of lilies. All of the lilies by the lake edge and path of our property are orange day lilies. And surrounding our deck are red and yellow day lilies. But among those along the deck there a just a couple of these peach lilies. Like a hidden gem, just so special with their soft different color...but also in their rarity. I love that.

“Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.” 
― Deepak Chopra

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fun Title/Cover Pages

When I start a new scrapbook I always begin with a title or cover page. I keep track of the order of my albums by labeling them by volumes on this page. I have several "series" of albums. I have family albums, vacation and travel albums, and the kiddos' school years albums. I will probably only end up with maybe 2 albums each for the kiddos' school years. But I'm on volume 7 in my family albums and I've done 3 vacation albums so far! 

Here's a few photos of some of my cover/title pages from some of my albums I had handy:

soft natural look with pretty floral backdrop paper & neat "coil" sun

pretty sunflower back drop paper with big yellow heart cut out and matching sunflower die cut tag

gardening summery 4x6 cards with tree stickers

current family album - used one background paper then cut out heart from different top paper & used family stickers

The pages above are all from different books out of my family album series of scrapbooks.

This is the cover page from one of my travel/vacation albums and gives an idea of how I did the title pages for that series. This one has a vacation saying kind of back drop paper and then I used gold foil letter stickers and  a camera die cut.

This is the title page in Annie's school years album. I tore some pink paper for the title stickers and used some school stickers that "move" when you move the page - so the scissors below "move" forward visually when you tilt the page.  Also the "way to" sticker at the top says "go" once you tilt the page. And I used a long kids holding hands sticker for the bottom of the page.

I like to do a page like this at the start of the album because there's only one page when you first open the scrapbook - and I like 2 pages for most of my full layouts. So this is a nice solution for dealing with that first single page, plus it helps me keep track of the number of albums. 

**Addendum: part of what I had written to end this post, I must have accidentally deleted. But I wanted to end by saying that these cover pages also serve as a sweet or pretty or fun way to begin the entrance into the precious pages that are to come in that album. It sets the "tone" so to speak for the wonderful pages of memories to be poured over and hopefully treasured. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Here we are already at another Monday! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I had another busy one with relatives in town visiting. An Aunt and some cousins and we had such fun!! A family reunion is coming up next - so life is BUSY!! Trying to cram everything in during our fast short summer. I was able to come visit some of you over the weekend but I know I'm behind to visit everyone yet. I should have more time tomorrow to finish catching up.


It's WARM! It's been warm here lately - in the 80's and 90's most days! Today is supposed to hit 88* I think. Whew! We consider it hot - especially since our heat is pretty muggy and humid. It looks like it will rain tomorrow but then be in the 80's the whole rest of the week! Getting in that summer weather for sure!


English muffin with pb & j, slice apple and iced coffee was on our menu this AM.


Lots of sunshine and blue skies!! I've needed to give my flowers lots of water with all this heat and no rain lately.  


Enjoying the air conditioning! It's been a busy morning and that's why I'm late to get this post up. I had a work fellow here measuring for some new doors this AM.  I made some of my sugared pecans for Annie's piano teacher so she can bring them to him today. It was his birthday and he always requests them! Lol  I was outside earlier watering the flowers and visiting with my MIL while I clipped her toenails for her. She really needed it and it's so sad to me that she has no concept of any of that anymore. She use to be a nurse's aide in a nursing home and helped care for folks like herself and now she's come full circle. Annie has been running around with one of her friends - I'm going to make lunch soon. The teenager stayed over at a friend's cabin for a couple of nights so he's not home yet.


I also finished some laundry and loaded the dishes! Like a's been a busy morning!!


We're going to run some errands in a bit. I need some things for the house and we may even grab a few things off of the school list for Annie! They already have the list out for her supplies needed. Tick is right around the corner!! 


I have such piles stacked up waiting for me - books, magazines, even our local paper to catch up on!! Too busy with company I guess, but hope to catch up a bit this week. 


I don't think I have too much taped. I think we have a deadliest catch from last week (hubby likes that one) and we already caught up on America's Got Talent. 


I realized the roast I bought needed to get cooked up yesterday so I threw it in the slow cooker late in the afternoon and let it cook until late last night. So I have pot roast all ready to go (with potatoes & carrots cooked with it too). I'll bring it for  the in-law's for tonight along with a gravy on side and some blueberry muffins. I'm thinking I may make them some BBQ meatballs with sides a different night this week if I get time. I also need to get some items to make a few things for our family reunion trip this weekend. Some kind of dessert along with gluten free 7 layer bars - as I have an Aunt that can't eat gluten.  I'll share the frozen banana split dessert recipe later this week! 


I was terrible all last week - didn't even color! Lol Again busy either getting ready for relatives or hanging out with relatives.  


Nothing new in mind for this week, but may add something to the grocery list so stay tuned!  


I'm blank for this for this week. 


Some fun photos from our relative visit. We live in Wisconsin but if we cross a bridge, not far from our home, right over Lake Superior - we're in Minnesota and they have a beautiful area there with a canal and lift bridge. Big ships come through  to get filled up at big grain elevators and carry their shipments along the great lakes.  We went to lunch over there and we were able to catch a big ship come through and the kids thought it was great!

by the bottom of the big lift bridge


big ship coming through!

yummy lunch with onion rings almost as big as your head!

On our pontoon ride my cousin took this photo of our daughters (who look eerily alike - Lol) in the back of the boat and caught Ruby in the foreground. We thought it was so funny and looks like Ruby is driving the boat!


I'm linking with Sandra from Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five on Friday: Summer Days

Just popping in quickly for my 5 things for Friday. Heading out with visiting relatives soon for more fun time! I'll get around to visit everyone over the next couple of days when I have more time. 

For my 5 I just wanted to share some of my favorite things about these wonderful summer days...


Deck life has been dreamy! Whether it be during a lovely summer day where I am sitting out at the patio table sipping my iced tea, or watching my daughter and her friends jump on the trampoline and play with squirt guns. Throwing the ball for Ruby to chase. Quiet solitary moments to journal and listen to the breeze and the chimes swinging in it. Or gorgeous evenings with beautiful sunsets and walking down the hill and looking up at my home lights all aglow.


Watching my lilies and potted flowers thrive! I love watering them and caring for them. Must be the Mama & caregiver in me - love to nurture something and watch it grow.


Wonderful times with family and friends! My girlfriend from California recently here for a visit and some of my relatives here this weekend. A family reunion coming up soon and even a school year reunion by later this summer. Something extra special about connecting in the summertime.


Summer food!! Wonderfully fresh veggies and fruits are the best!! Like this wild berry pie I've made a few times now that is made with 4 different berries and it's SO good. It's a wonderful recipe from my friend Billie Jo and she blogs at Afternoon Coffee and Evening Tea and you can click here to read her post with this recipe. I URGE you to make it- it's absolute summertime in a dish. The only thing I've changed is I like to brush a little milk on the top crust and sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on it before baking. 


And getting in lots of golf. It's one of my favorite things to do in the summer. The courses are so pretty and it's just some fun grown up time. My hubby and I play in a league with friends and we get to sip some drinks, enjoy golfing on the course, and then often share some dinner afterwards. Just more of those perfect summer nights. I took a fun slow motion video of my hubby hitting a shot that is kind of cool and you can check out below. Have a wonderful weekend and I'll catch up with you all soon!

I'm linking up with Amy from Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gooey S'mores Bars

What is it about s'mores and summer? They just go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Or movie popcorn and raisinets (does anyone else put them in their popcorn?). Ok, maybe I'm just weird. Anyway, there's just something about that flavor combo of graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow that is pure summer bliss!

However, sometimes you don't have the ability to have a campfire to roast your marshmallows so I went looking for some easy bars with those flavors. I have a few different s'mores dessert on my pinterest sweet treats page.  I took some inspiration from a few different recipes and made up this one.

This recipe basically takes its method from making rice krispies bars. I took a 1/4 cup of butter and melted over medium heat on the stove with a standard bag (10 oz I believe) of marshmallows until it melted into gooey goodness. Then I stirred in almost a whole small (12 oz) box of golden graham cereal. Probably left a quarter of the box. And then I took a 1&1/2 to 2 cups of cold chocolate chips (I had them in the fridge) so they wouldn't all melt into the warm mixture. Then I poured it all into a greased 9x13 and once it was set up cut it into bars. They were ooey gooey good and all the perfect flavors of s'mores. Here's a similar recipe from my pinterest page from renee's kitchen adventures:


  • 3 TBS unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 cups mini marshmallows, divided
  • 6 - 7 cups Graham cereal pieces
  • 3 - 1.55 oz. Hershey's® Milk chocolate bars, broken into pips


  1. Spray a 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray. In a large stock pot, melt the butter and salt over medium heat. Once it is melted, add 4 cups of the mini marshmallows and stir until they are completely melted.
  2. Take mixture off heat and add in the cereal and stir. Add in the extra cup of mini marshmallows and stir to just combine.
  3. Working quickly, pour half the mixture into the prepared pan and press down then top with half the Hershey's pips. Pour the rest of the mixture onto the chocolate and press down then top with the rest of the chocolate.
  4. Allow to sit at room temperature for several hours to set up OR place in refrigerator for about an hour.
  5. Remove from pan and cut into bars.

If you can make "real" s'mores over a fire (still the best way to have a s'more) I also recommend these variations: 

*other candy bars instead of hersey's - like peanut butter cup. Yum!

*use nutella instead of hersey's and spread it on and add banana in the middle along with the marshmallow (blow your mind good!)

*use dark chocolate and put sliced strawberry in the middle along with the marshmallow. 

As you can see I have a slight obsession with this dessert in the summer and I am now a master of all things s'mores! Lol  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Wonder

relaxing walks with my MIL and my Ruby

our bay - can you spot our dock way off in the distance with pontoon attached?

cabin style home along our walk

they have pretty wildflowers everywhere

these are the kinds of signs out where I live - we share our homes with the wild

pretty lane along our walk - love the big flower baskets on each light post

These have been some busy summer days - we have family coming in tomorrow for a visit. But we have had such beautiful weather and just have to get out and enjoy these perfect summer days while they last! So taking a nice relaxing walk in has been hitting the spot. Today is a busy one ahead but I will get around to say hi hopefully tonight! Hope you're all enjoying the lovely days of summer too.