Thursday, March 31, 2016

PB & J Pound Cake

Happy Thursday my Friends!  

I had planned to make this dessert already and then share the steps with you. However, life took over and my daughter had a presentation at school yesterday that I attended and I didn't get to groceries as I had planned. So later today I'll be grabbing groceries. But I wanted to share this yummy recipe I found anyway - as Thursday's tend to be "cooking Thursday" around the blog here. ;)  

This was a recipe I found online through Good Housekeeping. The article shared how to take either your favorite pound cake recipe, or an easy pound cake mix and doctor it up 4 different ways with different flavors. This is the one I thought my kiddos would really love!

PB&J pound cake
Stir 1 c. peanut butter chips into batter. Spread two-thirds batter in pan, dollop ½ c. raspberry jam over it, and top with remaining batter. Run butter knife through batter to swirl jam.
photo: better homes and gardens

Doesn't that just look yummy? I don't have a favorite pound cake recipe - so I will be making mine from a mix. Then here are the rest of the steps:

Stir one cup of peanut butter chips into batter. Spread two-thirds batter in pan, dollop 1/2 cup raspberry jam over it, and top with remaining batter. Run butter knife through batter to swirl jam.

Some other flavors they mentioned were coffee-cinnamon swirl, lemon almond crunch and triple chocolate. They all sound heavenly, don't they? You can see the full article and recipes here.  Have a "sweet" day!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday


Hello there my dear Friends. Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Did you have a lovely Easter holiday? We had a wonderful one here. Good times with Friends on Saturday. Yesterday we did wake up to a winter wonderland again. Pretty snow, but looked more like Christmas. However, it didn't last and go sunnier later in the day and melted most of it. And then a lovely mass, yesterday morning, where our newly appointed Bishop performed our service. The choir did an especially beautiful job and the music was so beautiful. Then back to our house for a lovely ham dinner feast with family. Then just fun togetherness all day (& I even snuck in a much needed nap late in the afternoon!) Lol Now the house seems so quiet today after a week of Spring break with my daughter at home last week. Time to jump into this Monday, though, so here goes!


Blue skies with some sunshine and clouds. In the low 40's today. Looks like tomorrow may be a warmer day. Then rain predicted for later in the week and back to cold by next weekend! Maybe even more snow. Yuck!!


Pineapple greek style yogurt with cinnamon almond curry granola on top. 1/2 cup of coffee.


Pretty sun out right now. I'm watching a city work truck cut down some unsafe trees on the road up from our driveway. They're also trimming some of the branches on the evergreens that are getting too close to the power lines. Ruby loves laying on my son's bed and looking out his big picture window to watch them work. Sometimes she'll give out a bark at them - thinking they can hear her. Lol


Listening to some praise and worship music and typing away here in my office. Started a list for today and the things I need to accomplish!


Already did lots of tidying up after family left yesterday. Made the dining room table smaller (back to normal) already. Still some jobs to accomplish today, but kind of nice to have things quiet and calm so I can be more productive.


Devotional time and work out. Need to do some work for my daughter's school as I'm heading a committee for an event coming up the end of the year, but it always requires months of planning. I have more laundry to catch up on and one more load of dishes leftover from yesterday to get in dishwasher.  I'm also looking ahead at schedule for the week. Need to caregive and take my MIL one day for my FIL to go to MD appointment. Need to take Ruby in for her haircut and have a presentation to watch in my daughter's classroom on another day this week.  Yep, holidays are over and it's back to business around here!


Spent lots of time with my Girl last week and haven't read much. Need to get back to my book and catch up on some new magazines I received recently.


I caught up on a lot of  The Voice. I have Good Wife taped and didn't watch it yet. I did watch Grantchester last night which is back for its 2nd season on PBS.  I have some cooking shows and Grey's Anatomy to catch up on too. 



MONDAY: Easter leftovers

TUESDAY: think I'll grill something (burgers? chicken?) and do a veggie pasta salad and corn on the cob (summery food!) 

WEDNESDAY: if some ham still left will use up either in scalloped potatoes or ham and cheese omelets

THURSDAY: sweet and sour pork chops & veggies over rice

FRIDAY: spaghetti and meatballs - might do slow cooker version?, salad, garlic bread

*Planning to bake new recipe I found for peanut butter & jelly pound cake (my kids will LOVE this). Will bake some banana bread (to give some to in-law's when I bring meals this week).  Would like to make some homemade granola too.


Continue to work on my gift baby album for my cousin. I need to work on my recipe projects too. Also, want to start back to work on the heritage album I'm doing for my Mom's side of the family as there's a family reunion planned this summer and I'd love to bring it to share - even if it's only partially done.  (yep, these same crafts in the works - nothing new)


PB & J pound cake will be new. Maybe new granola recipe too.


I keep thinking Spring thoughts and i saw this idea on pinterest and thought it sounded so smart:  If you have a lot of herbs growing in your garden and you want to preserve some - freeze them in an ice cube tray using olive oil instead of water. Then you can throw them in any future soups or dishes easily!



The Easter Bunny is always very creative and hides the treats, eggs and little gifts in weird places all over the house! Annie loves the hunt, but the teenager is less participatory these days. ::sigh::

Annie had us all up early in our pj's (meaning shorts) to watch her go on the "hunt". 

Dressed up and ready to head to mass. 

Decorations among the tulips & fruit pizzas ready for dessert.

Table all set and pretty, and my new temptations dishes (matches all of my bakeware) came just in time to be used for the holiday meal!

It was a wonderful Easter meal - my MIL gave it the thumbs up!


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

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy Easter Ideas

Hello and Happy Thursday my Friends! 

Annie and I have been having a busy and fun Spring break week. We had a fun shopping outing and lunch with my Mom (her Nana) yesterday. We found several treasures at the craft store - including this topper to put on my pan of lemon bars this weekend:

And then at one shop this sweet little polka dot eared bunny called out to me - so I brought her home and put her among the teacups.

How could I resist that sweet face?

But I thought since there is no 5 on Friday tomorrow I would share some fun Easter recipes and ideas here today.  Around our home we will be attending mass on Easter Sunday morning and then come back here to greet relatives coming over for ham dinner.

These are photos from last year - but it will be very similar. I will put out a pretty vintage Spring embroidered table cloth. Set the table with pretty china and fresh flowers. Have appetizers (like my deviled eggs) waiting to nibble, as we visit and enjoy each others company before dinner.  It will be a day of rejoicing, good food and lovely family time.

A festive Easter egg sugar cookie fruit "pizza" with strawberry cream cheese frosting. You can make it super simple with a sugar cookie mix or make it from scratch. | Persnickety Plates:
photo from pinterest

I will be making little mini fruit pizzas as one of our desserts - but I love this idea from pinterest for an egg shaped fruit pizza. You can find it here.

Need an easy Easter dessert or spring snack idea? These flower pretzel bites are as delicious as they are pretty. This pretzel snack recipe requires only three ingredients (white candy melts, waffle pretzels and pastel M&Ms) to make the perfect combination of sweet and salty that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds.:

photo from pinterest

I think this idea for little flower pretzel bites is pretty (& look yummy) too! You can find it here.

Easter Chocolate Covered Strawberries Shaped Like Carrots... Pinterest really ups the ante each year!:
photo courtesy of pinterest

And how adorable are these orange dyed chocolate dipped strawberry "carrot" cups? Wouldn't kiddos have fun helping with this one? So fun and creative. Find this recipe here.

Our suncatcher template, tissue paper and transparency cutouts make a fun Easter kids craft. - Everyday Dishes & DIY:
photo: pinterest

There are so many fun craft ideas on pinterest too. Love these Easter suncatchers! So pretty and even nice to keep up for the rest of Spring. Find directions here.

Learn how to make a palm cross for Palm Sunday. Easy instructions for this traditional Christian Easter craft.:
photo: pinterest

I thought these crosses made from the palms received at Palm Sunday mass were really sweet. Find directions here.

photo: pinterest

And I think these yarn eggs would be so fun to make!! Find the directions here.

But most of all I wanted to wish you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter and share what I believe is the heart of this holiday. Jesus suffered, died, and rose again for us. We will be celebrating that He has Risen!!  I will be taking a break from posting for the weekend now. But I will be back here on Monday for Happy Homemaker. Hope to see you here then! xo

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bunnies, eggs, tulips - must be Spring

Good afternoon Friends! 

Easter is approaching so rapidly isn't it? I dug out a few more decorations I had forgotten and I thought I'd share them with you. And after running to the market today I found that some tulips had just jumped right into my cart. So I thought I'd share all the Spring fun going on over here this afternoon - so you can catch the "fever" too..if you haven't already. ;) 

First of all I found this sweet little basket of eggs I'd put away in the cabinet. I picked them up in Poland on my trip to Europe many years ago. They're all different designs that were hand painted in Poland.

Then I found my pretty ceramic bunny I picked up last year - and thought he should be front and center on my table.

Isn't he sweet sitting watch over my dining room?

And then I felt myself dragging - so I had an extra cup of coffee this morning...and what goes better with that then a good Spring magazine? So I gobbled up some more of my Country Living while I sipped.

Annie is home on Spring break, but she was over playing at a friend's house this morning. So I made a mad dash to the store to grab some groceries and, as I said - these lovely tulips decided they wanted to come home with me. So now they sit and look pretty with Mr. Bunny.

I even grabbed enough to make an extra bouquet for the kitchen.

I even picked up some pretty bundles of pussy willow branches all colored up for Spring and Easter in soft pastel colors!

Do you feel Spring fever? 

And on a side note I finished a few more pages in the baby boy gift scrapbook I'm working on. I took pics of the pages at different times - so due to different lighting the colors look different in some photos than others. But you'll get the idea.  ;)  Here's a peek:

 Both of these page backgrounds are a light periwinkle blue/lavender (more like the left page)

When the layouts are together they're actually the same colors (like the above pages are both a gray background - but the one on the left looks blue). I'm having such fun working on it and I have some really special pages planned ahead that I will share in the future.  

Hope that whatever you're up to that you're having a great day! xo

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday


Good morning and happy Monday Friends! 

Well here we are at another new week - and Easter week at that! Where does the time go? I definitely have some blog catching up to do as this past weekend was another one out-of-town for hockey. However, the good news is now there's a break as it was the last one for the WINTER season. The bad news is the break is very short and practices for SUMMER hockey begins already in April - but no more tourneys until May though. It's where I live folks...and what my kiddos love. What's a Mom to do? Lol ;)  I'm looking forward to the Easter weekend ahead and spending time at my church and with my family - eating yummy goodies and just being together.


Blue skies and sunshine! Still a little cool, but it might hit 40* today. Looks like a week ahead in the 30's for the most part. We also may get a little bit of snow this week- but that's the key word - LITTLE! So it won't last. All of the snow that we had is pretty much gone and I see grass, and some of it even turning green. Yay!!


1/2 a bagel with butter, a cutie orange, and some coconut mocha coffee.


I love seeing the sun shine and making shadows on the ground of the big evergreen trees around my house. When I let Ruby out this morning the birds were singing away just like a summer morning. It just fills the soul to see robins and other birds coming back. True signs of Spring!


I'm in my office going through some crafts I'm working on - planning some pages ahead. Listening to music while the rest of my house is nice and quiet. 


I have laundry going - washing both of my kiddos' hockey gear (the tourney involved both of their teams).  Dishes are done and everything else is pretty tidy. I need to do some dusting and some cleaning in our bedroom to clear the final clothes out of the suitcase and put the rest of the toiletries from the weekend away.


Devotional time and workout time. Annie is home from school this week so we have some fun things planned! She slept over at a friend's house last night, as we were back early enough yesterday. I want to accomplish some tasks before she's back and probably with several friends in tow. Lol!  I need to make out the rest of my grocery list for the week too. We have some fun things planned  while Annie is home this week- so looking forward to time with my Girl! I know one day is going to be all about shopping at the "big Mall" as she calls it. She may like hockey but she's a Gal after my own heart too. ;) 


I've still been catching up on Spring magazines - and I picked up some fun craft ones too. I plan to get back to my book this week and finish it though.


I caught some of The Passion musical on tv but have the rest taped. It looked like it's really cool with pop songs portraying the passion of Jesus. I also have The Good Wife taped and cooking shows yet to catch up on. I think we have some Shark Tank taped too. And I'm way behind on The Voice. 



MONDAY: using up stuff in the fridge - grilled sandwiches and salad bar night

TUESDAY: tacos

WEDNESDAY: BBQ chicken pizza on whole wheat crust that I wasn't able to make the prior week

THURSDAY: homemade chicken and dumplings

FRIDAY: maybe out to eat since we'll actually be around this weekend (fish for me) 

SUNDAY: Easter dinner:  honey baked ham, yummiest cheesy potatoes, spring salad (with spinach, strawberries, mandarin oranges, red onion, homemade sugared pecans, & poppyseed dressing), corn, dinner rolls, and dessert (mini fruit pizza cookies, lemon bars, chocolate truffles)


Continue to work on my gift baby album for my cousin. I need to work on my recipe projects too. Also, want to start back to work on the heritage album I'm doing for my Mom's side of the family as there's a family reunion planned this summer and I'd love to bring it to share - even if it's only partially done.


nothing new - will probably re-share some yummy Spring treat recipes


If you have wonderful produce to use up (like from the farmer's market or the garden) - you can do a salad bar night like I often do. It's a great way to clean out the fridge and my kiddos love building their own. I just cut up or shred everything and set it out. Another great way is to make a yummy vegetable soup - even a big batch and freeze some if needed.



I promise these will be some final hockey photos for a while! But I had to share as Annie had a really big weekend. She scored her first goal and it was so precious she didn't know what to do. A lot of the boys score and celebrate right away on the ice. One of the boy players skated over right away and jumped on her and patted her helmet to congratulate her. The crowd went wild for her. It was pretty adorable. And then she also got her first penalty (for tripping) and had to go to the penalty box. I didn't get a photo of the goal (bummer) but I did get a photo of her in the penalty box. I thought it was so cute because she had to lean over and ask the helper coach (my hubby is head coach) what to do. Lol. The 3rd photo is her going after the puck in the center of the action among all those boys.  I also caught pretty twilight sky out our windows last night.

sitting in the "sin bin" Haha - aka penalty box

hey coach what do I do when my time is up?

go get that puck Annie and show those boys a thing or two!

pretty 1st day of Spring twilight sky


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