Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Patio Cushions!



Hello there, friends!
First off, today is my dad's 75th birthday ... so HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!

I wanted to show you our new super fun patio cushions!
Ours needed replacing, oh really a couple years back, but they had to be replaced this year.
Unfortunately, when I opened the deck box to get them out a month or so ago,
(we store them in a deck box on our patio to keep them dry & from fading in the sun)
there was a big ol' colony of ants that had taken up residence on every single cushion.
I mean, a whole lotta ants!
Never seen anything quite like it & hope to never again!
I sprayed the ants with Raid, bagged up the cushions, & set them out for trash.

And the search for new cushions was on!





We went to our favorite big home store first, Old Time Pottery.
We immediately liked these red quatrefoil patterned ones, but there were only 4.
So we decided to head over to At Home & Walmart.
(I pulled up Walmart's website while we were in Old Time Pottery & saw that their prices were better too.)





There were tons to choose from at At Home, but more pricey & there were only 3 or 4 in each pattern.
Walmart was next up (all these stores are just right around the corner from each other).
There we found these red stripe cushions & yet again, only a few.
It was then & there that James had a bright idea!
Buy the 4 quatrefoil patterned ones & buy 2 of the stripey ones for the chairs on each end of the table!
Genius!






I hadn't planned on sharing these pictures on the blog (I took them to message to our kids),
thus the tablecloth that needs straightened, but I'm so excited about our fun & festive looking
new cushions that I figured why not!
I'm excited to put some table decor together for this.
Right now I'm thinking a vintage Americana look ... just in time for the 4th of July.
I'm still trying to not buy much in the way of home furnishings (trying to live simpler, ya know ... less stuff),
so I'll see what I can round up around here.






The first day of summer rolled around yesterday, so celebrate summer & make the most of it, friends!
It'll be cold & we'll be sharing pictures of our Christmas trees before you know it!





Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.
Monday           Amaze Me Monday     Coastal Charm    The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday        A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style      
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday   Katherines Corner   3D Lessons for Life   A Delightsome Life     Lamberts Lately  
Friday      Rooted in Thyme   Flea Market Friday   Missional Women
 Best of the Nest  Anything Blue Friday   French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Saturday       Simple Saturdays  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Banana Split Trifle


Anyone use the 'bottom of the jar' method when cooking?
You know the one where you prowl through your fridge to see what jars or bottles only have a little
in the bottom that you can finish off in whatever current recipe you're making!
Say like a pot of chili that you can add in some hot sauce or some ketchup ...
whatever needs finishing off & emptying up.
I really like doing this!
(I'm a finisher!)
We like condiments at our house so I'm always glad to finish things off for some more space in the fridge.

Well, I don't know if I've ever incorporated that 'bottom of the jar' method when making a dessert until today!
I needed to come up with a quick dessert for unplanned activity + I needed to use some delicious chocolate chip angel food cake that I bought at our favorite little Amish grocery store.
So, I quickly decided that I'd make up a dessert using the items I had on hand!
(Kinda like the TV show 'Chopped'!)
I got busy looking through the fridge & pantry & here's what I came up with:











Isn't she a pretty little thing?!

 




I knew I'd layer some things with the chocolate chip angel food cake making a trifle of sorts,
and as I was gathering, it started reminding me of a banana split! 
And thus, the name of this made-up dessert!
My 'bottom of the jar' ingredients were a tiny bit of pecans (finished off the bag & moved on to the walnuts), about a fourth a cup of marshmallow ice cream topping, a couple ripe bananas, & of course, the cake.





Oh ... & I forgot to add these into the above pic.
I had 3 little vanilla pudding cups that I added to the ingredient stash.





In the bottom of this little adorable ruffly dish (TJ Maxx $5.99), I placed pieces of cake
that I had just torn into large bite-size pieces.
Unfortunately (& usual), I didn't take pictures as I was layering!
It was a simple process though:  cake, banana slices, raspberries, pudding, whipped topping, & nuts!
And repeat!





When all my ingredients were layered in & I reached the top of the dish, I poured on the marshmallow topping,
a final layer of whipped topping, a sprinkle of nuts, & some raspberries all lined up in rows.





This got rave reviews from all the family!
The little chocolate chips in the cake were the perfect chocolatey touch!




What an easy & gorgeous dessert!
And a very adaptable one.
You could easily use plain cake, any variety of fruit, leave off the nuts & pudding ... or not.
If you are using ingredients you love, I'm not sure you couldn't mess this one up!



1/2 angel food cake, torn into pieces
2 bananas, sliced
6 oz. fresh raspberries
1 cup vanilla pudding (approximately -- I used 3 small pudding cups)
8 oz. whipped topping
1/4 cup marshmallow ice cream topping
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts


In trifle bowl (or any med-lg. serving dish), layer ingredients in this order:
cake, bananas, raspberries, pudding, whipped topping, & nuts
At the top, finish it off with a layer of whipped topping, a sprinkling of nuts, & raspberries.
Refrigerate.


If you like this recipe, here are two more that I think you'll enjoy!

Angel Food Trifle

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins






Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           Amaze Me Monday     Coastal Charm    The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday         Titus Tuesday  A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style      
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch    Katherines Corner3D Lessons for Life
           Hope in Every Season   A Delightsome Life     Lamberts Lately  
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop   Flea Market Friday   Missional Women
 Best of the Nest  Anything Blue Friday   French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things   Simple Saturdays    Sew Many Ways

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mother's Day Brunch || Taking a Look Back



In case you aren't aware, Mother's Day is just around the corner!
Seems like we are full speed ahead on 2016, doesn't it?

I wanted to share with you a wonderful Mother's Day event that we had at our church,
Family Life Assembly, last year.
My sister, Lisa, headed this up & it was a really fun day!

The concept was this:  the ladies from our church were assigned a table & they were to decorate it
in any way they wanted, working together with others from their family (or those that they were partnered with) to set a lovely table to accommodate their group & invited guests.
It was so fun to see the creativity & all around pretty tables!

Before we get to pictures of the individual tables, I'll share a few pictures of the buffet.
What a delicious variety we had!






















We certainly didn't go hungry!

Now, take a look at all these pretty tables!


Each guest at this table enjoyed eating from delicate china 
& got to take home a lovely potted Gerbera Daisy.
Lots of pretty details to take in here.



Aren't the springy yellow plates such a great pop of color?
Love the accents of bunnies, birds, & vintage doilies ... even some pretty pearls on display.




This table had such pretty flowers, fresh cut from the garden & what a gorgeous candelabra! 




How fun was this table:  watermelons!
The watermelon fruit basket, napkins & crocheted napkin holders were perfect accents.




Lastly, this was a garden-themed table!
My sweet daughter-n-law, Abigail, had the vision for our table & I have to say, it came together
just perfectly!
We had great fun shopping & gathering the supplies to make this just right.
 










After we had lunch, each lady got to take home a prize ...
they just had to put it together first!
There was a station set up complete with all the ingredients to make 'cookies in a jar' ...
flour, sugar, chocolate chips, & so on.
Each of the ingredients were layered in a quart jar, topped with the lid & the recipe tied on top.
(Wish I had a picture of the completed jars!)





We had a game & another couple activities ... 
& 2 moms were given a daily survival kit, filled to overflowing with all sorts of goodies.




Here are a few pictures of my sweet momma, my lovely girls, & my sister ...



And our lifelong friend, Ms. Robin.


 God sure blessed our family with these two ladies & I love them like they're mine.







 Thankful for Paula ... a friend to my mom & to me!




 What a beautiful group of ladies!  Such a honor to make a special day for each of them.




Aleisa, in good company ... a Richmond momma & a Greenwood momma ;) 




Abigail & Robin ... lovely x 2.


Robin & Paula ... appreciate their influence in my life.


What a really great day!

I wanted to share this last year right after our event, but time got away from me ...
but here it is now.
It's always fun to look back on good times with family & friends through events like this.
Spending time together & making memories ... priceless.

And if you are looking for something a bit different to do with the ladies at your church, 
whether it's Mother's Day or anytime during the year, this one is lots of fun.
Just takes a bit of planning & arranging ... all of us are creative & this provides a fun outlet for it!


Thanks for stopping in for a visit!
Toodles ~ 




Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           Amaze Me Monday     Coastal Charm    The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday         Titus Tuesday  A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style      
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch    Katherines Corner 3D Lessons for Life
           Hope in Every Season   A Delightsome Life     Lamberts Lately  
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop   Flea Market Friday   Missional Women
 Best of the Nest  Anything Blue Friday   French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things   Simple Saturdays    Sew Many Ways

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Banana Upside Down Cake

MIA much?
Guilty as charge, folks.
Caught red-handed.

I miss blogging so very much, but I just haven't been able to carve out any time to get on here!
I probably should just quit pretending to be a blogger
(which makes me giggle cause I am so not a legit blogger) but just when I think I'm going to pull the plug,
I say to myself:  who makes the rules in the blogosphere anyway!
Right?!
So, here I am again ... rolling at my own speed.


Thought I'd share a new recipe with you today to make up for all the nonsense.
What's life without a yummy new dessert recipe every now & again?


I wish I would've taken time to arrange the bananas all perfect-like, but ... I didn't.  Oops.  Didn't effect the taste one bit ;)  See ... told ya.  Pretend blogger. 


I ran across a Banana Upside Down Cake recipe the other day & within a few hours,
it was in my oven, on my table, & in my belly!
I think you need it in your life too, so here's the 411:


Ingredients:

Toppings (bottom of the pan)
1 cup brown sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 bananas, sliced into 1/4" pieces
Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium sized bananas)
1/2 cup milk
1 tbs vanilla
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. 
Coat a glass baking dish with cooking spray.
(I used a 8x11 baking dish.)
Melt butter & pour into baking dish.
Sprinkle in brown sugar & then banana slices.


In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all dry ingredients.
Add in the wet ingredients and mix until completely combined and no lumps remain, 
being careful not to over mix. 
Pour cake mixture on top of bananas. 
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool for 5 minutes in pan then turn out on a large plate or platter.  

Cake is best served warm out of the oven but will stay moist and fresh stored in an airtight container.  

*Tip:  I made this with gluten free all-purpose flour, 2 cups.

Serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream & you'll be loved for life!
This is a comfort food kind of dessert & I'll definitely make this one again.
Enjoy!







Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           Amaze Me Monday     Coastal Charm    The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday         Titus Tuesday  A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style      
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch    Katherines Corner 3D Lessons for Life
           Hope in Every Season   A Delightsome Life     Lamberts Lately  
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop   Flea Market Friday   Missional Women
 Best of the Nest  Anything Blue Friday   French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things   Simple Saturdays    Sew Many Ways

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Strawberry & Cream Pinwheels






This recipe shows how versatile the flour tortilla is!
When I first saw this recipe, I thought it not only looked adorable, it made my mouth water!
Strawberries, cream cheese, powdered sugar ... I'm licking my lips in anticipation!

I'm here to say, it did not disappoint. 
And if you want something that looks interesting & impressive but is an absolute cinch to pull together,
it's Strawberry & Cream Pinwheels for the WIN!

Here's what you do:
Blend together cream cheese & chopped fresh strawberries.
(Either by hand, with a mixer, or a food processor.)
You can throw in a pinch of cinnamon on this step if you'd like.

Spread the cream cheese mixture onto flour tortillas, as thick or as thin as you prefer.
I ended up making 10 pinwheels altogether.




Roll them up & place into a ziploc bag.
(I placed them back into the tortilla bag.)
You can even pile them on a plate & cover with plastic wrap.
This step helps the tortilla to soften & to stick together, making a tight pinwheel.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing (can be made up to a day ahead of time).




Slice into pieces about 1 inch in size & arrange on a pretty plate/platter.
Place some whole strawberries here & there to look pretty & sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.
Completely over-the-top adorable, right!
 




Be prepared to eat a half dozen or so!
 



These are great for Valentine's Day, date night, or brunch ...
And they also make a great addition to a bridal or baby shower!
Or how about just a late night snack if you get the hankering, right?!





Ingredients
  • 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 5-10 flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. Combine the softened cream cheese, strawberries (& cinnamon) and stir until blended.
  2. Spread cream cheese mixture on each tortilla and roll tortilla up.
  3. Place in ziploc bag & refrigerate for minimum of 1/2 hour.
  4. When ready to serve, cut into slices about 1" thick.




You'll stand out like a strawberry in a bowl of peas.