January 31, 2011


It always amazes me at how fast our days go by. One moment your planning and setting goals for the new year the next moment that first month is over. I have to say though that this year's goals are still hanging around. One of these being to simple BE with my family. That they can have all of my attention whenever we're together. The dishes can wait, the floors don't have to be vacuumed right now, the clean laundry can sit on my bed a few hours longer, because simply being with my family has to be more important. This has always been a thought in my head but I seem to have a hard time putting it into practice. Now that I've made it a conscious decision I find it easier and easier to follow through.
Another thing that's keeping me on track is the Project Life album that I'm putting together. Looking for the images that capture our everyday is inspiring. I'll be posting pictures of each week so you can follow along.

Ali Edwards One Little Word has inspired me to find my own little word for 2011. While thinking about what my word should be, love seemed to stick. I questioned whether this really was my word for the year but every time I tried to put another word in there it just didn't feel right. So, love it is. I think it's likely that I needed this word because it is something I feel I need to work on. Loving life. Loving the everyday moments that seem so dull sometimes. Loving my family more and going out of the way to show it. Loving people. Just simply love. What's your word for this year?

January 27, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Ok, so it seems that I'm just full of recipes this month. I guess there's nothing wrong with that! *wink,wink*
I wanted to share with you one of the easiest chocolate cake recipes I've ever made. My family has been making this cake for as long as I can remember, it's so yummy! It's also one of those cakes whos ingredients are all things you would normally have in your kitchen. I love those quick "whip it together" recipes!

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. cold water

Pour into one 8x8 pan or two 8 inch round cake pans lightly greased. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 for the 8x8 pan or about 20 minutes for the two 8 inch round cake pans. Cool on wire racks before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

1/3 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream all ingredients together until smooth. Frost top of 8x8 cake or spread a small portion of frosting between the two round layers, then frost the top and sides with the rest. Enjoy!

January 25, 2011

Right now.....

Right now the twins are obsessed with the book "5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed".

Right now we have to read this book at least 10 times a day.

Right now they both throw a fit when the story is over and they want it to go on and on.

Right now F is saying "read", "again" & signing "please"

Right now I'm feeling grateful for these moments we have together.

Right now I'm thankful my boys love to read books, look through books, love them to pieces.

Right now I simply love everything we have going on in our daily lives. (even the tantrums)

January 14, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

Many people have said how great sweet potato fries are but until today I had never tried them.
The rumors are true.......they're AMAZING!
Here's what I did to make my own.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice a sweet potato into thin strips and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle 2 T. olive oil over strips then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Toss to coat, spread out into a single layer.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until crispy. Enjoy!

January 11, 2011

"Hot Cocoa Cake"

Last year I discovered this recipe from a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook. I've added a few extras to this delightful little cake that I think take it over the top. One of the things I love the most about this cake recipe is that all the ingredients I need to make it, are things that are normally hanging around in my kitchen. It's wonderful with a cup of coffee.

"Hot Cocoa Cake"

1/2 c. shortening
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
1 envelope instant hot cocoa mix
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Beat shortening, sugar and eggs until mixture is fluffy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Spoon half of the batter into a well greased 6 c. Bundt pan. Sprinkle the envelope of hot cocoa mix evenly over the batter, then sprinkle chocolate chips. Pour the rest of the batter on top, spreading around to cover.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Optional: Powdered sugar drizzle. In a small bowl combine enough powdered sugar and milk to get a good, thick, drizzle type frosting. Using a fork, drizzle the frosting over the sides of the cake.
Slice & enjoy!
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