Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!

This year our 4th of July was packed with lots of fun activities. So here is just a little recap of today's festivities:

[My 2-year old daughter and I decided we were going to make an American flag to celebrate the holiday. And I was very surprised how well she followed instructions and placed each piece of paper neatly where I told her to put it. I'm a proud mom!]

[Then it was off to the kitchen to whip up these patriotic strawberries! Such fun and super easy to make!]

[To cool off, we all decided it was about time to hop in the pool. My daughter was so excited to swim!]

[Once it was dark enough outside, my husband set up the projector and screen to have a little movie night outside. I placed some blankets on the ground, brought some fruit to munch on, and we all enjoyed watching "Tangled". I love that movie!]

So that about sums up my Independence Day. How was your 4th of July?


Friday, June 24, 2011

[Foodie Friday: Carrot Cake]

Since part of my Summer To-Do List is to try 5 new recipes, I thought I start off by making a classic dessert: carrot cake. Now I think I may have made a version of carrot cake in the past, but I remember it not tasting very good. (which completely opposite from my delicious Carrot Cake Pancakes) But after trying out this fool-proof Carrot Cake (technically called "Grandma Hiers' Carrot Cake") recipe by Paula Deen, I will never go back to making any other carrot cake again! It is so moist and full of yummy flavors. Completely irresistable.

When I saw this recipe was by Paula Deen, I knew it was going to be anything but lowfat. But it's always nice to splurge, right? So here's the recipe. Enjoy! :0)

Butter, for pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional


2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and pecans, if using.
  • Pour into pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:

Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. Stir in the nuts, if desired. Spread frosting on top of each cake layer. Stack the cakes on a serving plate and serve.

Linking this recipe up to these parties.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer To-Do List

Since summer has officially began, I thought I might compile a list of things I want to accomplish before the summer is over. I am sure I will continue to add more activities to this list, but here is a rough overview:

  • Find 5 new healthy recipes to make (especially ones for my picky 2-year old!)
  • Finish up projects around the house
  • Go on a date with my hubby
  • Take a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood every Saturday morning

  • Schedule a family photo shoot
  • Pick peaches, berries, etc. at our local farm
  • Get involved in summer church events
  • Take a road trip to go visit my 87-year old grandfather
So what's on your Summer To-Do List?


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father's Day Recap: Envelope Surprise

Hi everyone! Wow, a lot has been going on lately that haven't even had time to sit down at my computer to blog! I was planning on at least blogging on Monday, but little girl decided not to take a nap that day. No nap = no blogging for mama. :0

Anyways, I just wanted to give you an update on last weekend. On Saturday, I hosted a 30th Birthday Party for my husband (more about that in later posts!). And on Father's Day, I officially became a Godmother to my 2 week old Goddaughter Scarlett! Isn't she adorable in her Baptism dress?!

Also, to celebrate Father's Day, I did this little "Envelope Surprise" that I was first inspired to create from Oh Happy Day [here]. Since my husband's birthday was the day before Father's Day, I didn't want to do anything to too big to overshadow that. So starting on Tuesday, June 14th I made an envelope for each day that had a little "surprise" waiting for him inside. So there were 6 days of surprises.

These envelopes were hung next to my husband's desk in his office. He was so excited to wake up every morning to open up his envelope for the day. It was so cute! And to make these, I just used some large envelopes that I have been hanging onto for years and covered just the portion you see with colored scrapbook paper. Then I used white foam number stickers to place on the envelopes.

The 6th Day was of course Father's Day, so I put little stars next to that number. And inside that envelope was his Father's Day card that I ordered from Tiny Prints for FREE (such a steal!).

The other envelopes had other little surprises such as a "free lunch", his favorite candy bar, and coffee that I made for him that morning. It's the little things that can do wonders to brighten his day. :0)

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! And stay tuned for posts about my husband's 30th Birthday Party! It was a "mustache theme" party! Here's a little preview:

Linking up to [these] parties!