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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to make a box cake taste homemade with two simple steps!

Who doesn't love a nice big slice of Chocolate Cake!?!?  If you say you don't like cake, you're straight up lying!  That would be un-American!

But, really who has time to slave away in the kitchen and make a 29-step, homemade, from scratch, cake anyways???

Not this girl!

That's why I begged and begged for my Great-Grandma (Ingie, as we like to call her) to let me in on her secret of making a box cake taste like it came straight from a high-end bakery.  I was beyond surprised when she quickly rattled off two very simple steps, like it was no big deal.

What? Two steps? Are you kiddin' me???

Coffee and room-temp eggs.  That's the big secret, folks.

Make sure your eggs are room temp, NOT STRAIGHT FROM THE FRIDGE.
And, add a teaspoon of INSTANT Coffee.

These two mind-blowing steps take a box cake from dry and blah, to moist and amazing!

Here's a little other hint.  My Great-Grandma must endorse Duncan Hines or something because she swears by ONLY their cake and icing...

So, start with your boxed cake mix.

Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix 16.5 oz

And, follow the directions as directed on the box.  REMEMBERING TO USE EGGS AT ROOM TEMP!!!

Then, before you mix everything together, add one teaspoon of instant coffee.
Then mix and bake as directed.

I did two separate round cakes and layered them with frosting in between. :)
Because more frosting doesn't add anymore calories, right?

Again, my Great-Grandma will only use the Duncan Hines frosting...
She prefers the Whipped Chocolate so I follow her lead (always).

This is by far the best cake EVER. And, no one will ever know it's a box cake mix!

The eggs are supposed to make it extra moist and homemade-like.  And, the coffee just gives it an added touch of flavor and richness that it needs!

Now if only we could make this fat, calorie and carb free....

Linking Up:

Someday Crafts
Not Just a Housewife
Today's Creative Blog
Crafty Scrappy Happy
Love of Family & Home
The Shabby Nest

Friday, May 24, 2013

Finally Friday {Take 8}

Didn't we just write a FINALLY FRIDAY post!?!?  This week has flown by!


1.  Paisley falling down is no new thing.  She's only been walking a few weeks now so she's still a little unsteady.  But yesterday, she took a fall.  A big fall.  To say she has a goose egg on her forehead is an understatement.  I mean she has a GOOSE EGG, people!  Then later in the night she fell again and bit her lip.  Bloody lip and a goose egg.  Not a good day for P.J.  

2.  Ummmm.....Oh. My. Goodness. Nashville!  Do y'all watch it?  Holy cliffhanger!  I cannot wait until next the fall when it comes back on.  It's one of my favorite shows! 

3.  We had a really great couple of days this past weekend.  Friday night our friends came over and we had a little "patio party" where Paisley had a blast hanging out with all of her little friends.  She also got a car ride from her new little boyfriend. :) 

Melt. My. Heart.  (right, Jessie???!!!)

Then, Saturday we had a birthday party for a sweet little 3 year old.  Sunday we went to church.  Paisley apparently ate everyone else's Cheerios during kid's Church.  Then, Pais spent her afternoon relaxing by the pool...

4.  Charlie's building a chicken coop.   Yep, a chicken coop.  Enough said.

5.  Ok, I will admit it.  I really want a pool, too.  Paisley's little palm tree version of a pool didn't cut it for me!  


1. Emily and I are going to a Junk/Antique open barn sale this weekend.  Not sure what to expect but I'm guessing my wife will find all kids of stuff....and by stuff I mean "stuff" that she can buy and have me fix up for her.

2.  If you haven't seen it on Facebook yet, you need to look up Zack Sobiech.  It's about a young teen who has a rare form of cancer who makes a video, not about dying but about living.  Very Inspirational.

3. Ok, so when my chickens start having eggs, guess who's not going to enjoy getting to eat them.  Emily

4. Another round of physical therapy tomorrow.  Amazing how 45 minutes of therapy can feel so good and hurt at the same time.  

5.  Birthday weekend coming up!!! I can be excited because its the last one before I turn 30.....not looking forward to 30.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Patio Inspiration

I don't know about y'all, but as soon as we get some nice weather, the only place you'll find us is outside.  We love to hang out on our patio with family and friends and just relax {most of the time anyways ...I think half the time we end up working on a project of some sort!}.

One of those projects we seem to find ourselves working on, just so happens to be our patio setup right now!  Charlie built an AMAZING, one-of-a-kind patio table {don't worry we'll show you soon!} and now we're on a mission to create an outdoor space we will NEVER want to leave!  We find ourselves with a full house more times than not.  I have our weekly girls night at our house every other week and most weekends we spend hanging out with our family and friends on the patio or around the bonfire.  So after he designed my dream patio table, I knew I had to make the rest of the space follow suit.

That's where I am now...

Searching {Pinterest, of course} for inspiration.  <<<------  {I may or may not do this daily anyways. You with me?}

So here's what's catching my eye right now in the world of never-ending pins...

I love the natural colors here with little pops of green.  And, of course that white-wash had me at hello!

I would have never thought to use these colors or patterns, but I just love how it all flows..
Outdoor Decorating Ideas: The setting for an outdoor soiree

Need to replicate this sign.... like yesterday!

I will definitely figure out how to incorporate some monograms in our space!  
Where do I find a big funky letter like this!?!?

This is sooooo happening!  We use our window like a drive thru!  Our grill sits right next to the kitchen window so the screen is out all spring/summer/fall and we just pass food in and out!

Ok, really!?!? Are you kidding me right now!!!  BRILLIANT!

Charlie just scored a great deal (good thing we know the auctioneer..hehe!) on some flagstone at an auction last weekend.  I just love how they used it here.  And, hello. That fire pit.  Yes, please! (Charlie...ahem!)

Same as above.  This needs to happen.  Bottom line.

Just a little hint.  Our one-of-a-kind table has some of these same characteristics!

I have definitely got my work cut out for me!  So many inspiring ideas here and I can't wait to get started!  We're heading out on Saturday to see what we can come up with, so stay tuned!

Make sure you're following along!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Girls Night / Pinterest Party - Wine Bottle Tiki Torch {tutorial}

Hey y'all.  I want to start by saying how deeply saddened we are after watching all the news coverage on the tornado that swept through Oklahoma yesterday.  The photos and footage of the damage are unimaginable.  I'm completely terrified of storms.  A few years back, I got trapped in my car while an "Inland Hurricane" tore through Southern Illinois.  I've never been the same since and I didn't go through half of what these people are going through.  I can't imagine the pain and suffering that community is experiencing right now and our hearts are breaking for them.  Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy.


If you read Finally Friday from last week, you know that us girls got to have a "Mama's Only" girls night this past week!  We had soooo much fun relaxing and crafting without chasing the kids!  

This week, my friend Chelsi organized our AMAZING Pinterest Party craft.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you got to see a sneak peek!

Chelsi had pinned the tutorial on how to make your own wine bottle tiki torch so we followed their lead and got our craft on!  It was very easy and quick to make!

Here's what we used:

Empty Wine Bottle
Teflon Tape 1/2”
1/2” x 3/8” Copper Coupling -(we accidentally bought the wrong ones and had to get creative to make it work. Make sure you get this exact size!)
1/2” Copper Cap
Tiki Replacement Wick
Torch Fuel 


This is what your copper should look like! ^^^^^^

Use the Teflon Tape to wrap the larger end of the copper making it fit snug in the top of your wine bottle. 

Now take your pretty empty wine bottle...

Fill it with your torch fuel and anything else shiny and pretty!  My friend Erin even added a little flare to the outside of her bottle (as seen in the Instagram / Facebook sneak peek!)

Put your Tiki Wick into the copper and place the tape-wrapped copper into the wine bottle.  

Now, light it and admire your beautiful handiwork!!! 

My friend Jessie took hers a step further...She followed the original tutorial to hang hers from her front deck.  

You can see those steps HERE

We put ours to use for the first time on Friday night when we had friends over.  We loved it!  I plan on making some more very soon!  

Thanks so much for stopping by!  See you again soon!

Make sure you're following along!

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Finally Friday {Take 7}

Hey Y'all Charlie here.....Well it's that time of the week again. It was brought to our attention (by family members) that Emily has been slacking and hasn't done a Finally Friday post in a couple weeks. So as Emily was leaving the house for work this morning I got instructions to write on the blog.


 Insert soapbox

1. Okay, I usually don't like to complain about things I see when it doesn't directly involve me but...It drives me nuts when people on social networks complain/degrade/b*tch etc... about what other people are doing or saying.  Emily had shown me a couple different places on instagram facespace where people were saying nasty things to others for what they were doing, what they said, or even what they were wearing. These are grown adults who, behind a computer seem to act like they are above so many others.  I laugh at these "internet bullies" because to me, they are the true loser. You are spending your own short life on earth to say and do these things.  How about instead of making these comments you go and try to lick your elbow.

2. Wheww...I'm done.  On a better note, our lil girl went to the bathroom on her potty all by herself.  Stealing Emily's thunder...she'll give ya more info.

3. Surgery went well. Now I am on to physical therapy...I think physical therapists are the most sadistic people on earth. *Disclosure - If you are a physical therapist, I am sure you are a wonderful person, but I'm sure, secretly you like to hurt people. Haha.  
Therapist: Show me how far you can bend your knee Charlie. 
Me: Bending knee, oh-so-slowly and carefully. 
Therapist: Very good, let me see your leg. Starts to put my leg in some sort of wrestling move and begins to wrench on it. 
Me: Oh, @%$# .......@(*&^%......!!!!!!!!
Therapist: Oh you did wonderful today, Charlie. See ya next time. 
Me: Yea, uh-huh....I'm gonna go get on a website and write nasty things about you. Refer back to comment 1.

4. My garden is planted and doing good.  Now just to keep the deer, raccoon's  rabbits, skunks, two labs and a weimaraner from eating all my vegetables!  Yea, our "special" dogs eat tomatoes and peppers right off the vine.  awesome..

5. All of you that are in favor of us getting a swimming pool say "I"!!!!.....I look at it as something I would need to help with rehab of my knee.  (Or where I can float on a raft and drink a margarita - because after dealing with comment #3, many Margaritas are needed.)


1.  WOW!  My hubby sure is pleasant this week isn't he!?!? HAHA!  Sounds like I need to get a margarita in him quick!

2.  It's true. Paisley went pee-pee on her potty this week!  Yes, she's only 12 months.  Nope, it hasn't happened again.  I bought it last weekend because it was a bargain and we all know I can't pass up a good deal! :)  Anyways...she found it and started investigating it.  I've always told Charlie that when a kid gets interested in the potty, you act on it.  You put them on it as soon as they show interest and you don't look back!  So, unfortunately, Charlie witnessed Paisley checkin' out her new potty. 

In his most sarcastic voice ever, he looked at me and said "OK, she's showing interest, don't you have to put her on it right away!?!?". 

I rolled my eyes and got up to prove my point, totally assuming I was about to eat my words!  I sat her on the potty and she started peeing instantly!!!! WWHHAATTT????!!!!!  Charlie and I both started screaming and he started snapping pictures with his phone because she was just so darn proud of herself after seeing our reaction! It was quite possibly the cutest thing ever!  She threw her arms up in the air and she had the biggest smile!  Charlie got this picture but she he was so excited, it's all blurry!  Totally a keeper though :)

3.  If you follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you might have seen my Girls Night / Pinterest Party photo.  This week we had a "Mama's only" party and the Dad's were in charge of all our kiddos!  I have to say, we should do that more often! :)  We made dinner, had a glass or two of wine, and made tiki torch wine bottles! (more info in a post to come)  We had so much fun and it was nice to sit and relax instead of worrying about pulling one kid out of the toilet, or counting time outs, or telling the big girls that they can't do cartwheels over the babies.  On a full girls night, with kids, it's really just organized chaos and us Mama's are way outnumbered by kids.  But, we love it...and I know we'll look back and appreciate the stressful chaos one of these days!

4.  Ummmmm hello Charlie...I want a pool too!  Did you find someone to pay for it, yet????  NO? Ok. Let me know when you do! 

5.  I get to shop for wedding stuff tomorrow and I'm kinda excited about it.  I'm helping one of my best friends plan her wedding and we're getting started tomorrow.  Details are surely to come!
You can check out my Pinterest board for some of our inspiration pins!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The ONLY way to cook corn on the cob!

Hey y'all!  How's it going??? 

We're takin' you into the kitchen today!  We're pretty picky eaters, (but we're working on that little by little). One of our favorite go-to side items is, and will always be, sweet corn on the cob!  I don't know about you but, removing the husks is a pain!  Especially when cooking a lot of it! 

Wanna know a secret...???


Yep, you read that right.  Throw it in your microwave!

We had 4 pieces of corn and put it in the microwave for 7 minutes.  The husks and silk practically fell off when it was done!  It doesn't dry out or lose flavor, either!

The second best part about this is that it required no pot of water, which means one less dish to clean!

I seriously won't make corn any other way ever again!

Do you have any time-saving, dish-cleaning secrets to share????  Let us hear them!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  

Make sure you're following along!

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Country Fair Carnival Party

Hey y'all!  Well, I told you last week about how it rained on Paisley's carnival but we made the best of it anyways.  I'm sad to say the majority of the games didn't get played, I had to hand out prizes instead of using the tickets, my signs got all soggy, my cute decorated tables didn't even get used, and I had way too many children under the age of 5 crammed into my house at one time.  That being said, my family and friends never cease to amaze me.  We are beyond blessed to have so many great people in our lives and despite all of my hard work getting completely drenched and un-used, we had a great time!  And, I think it's safe to say, I no longer have a living room.  It's just a big toy box at this point!  

Even though most things didn't go as planned I still snapped some pictures to show you guys!

First let me tell you about this cute little ETSY shop I had the opportunity to work with! Lee at Pear Tree Space is just plain awesome and so is everything she creates!  All of my signs, food labels, invitations, thank you cards and banners are from her shop.  She was so great to work with and her prices are so reasonable!  

Here are the invites I ordered through Lee, and she personalized for Paisley. 

Totally adorable, right???

I worked my butt off for about three weeks before the party to pull off these carnival games for the kids and I don't care if they didn't get used, I'm showing them to you anyways! :)

We used a ladder and a bean bag to create our bean bag toss game.  Each section was worth points.

Formula costs way too much to not find a use for those cute little cans!  A little scrapbook paper and these babies were ready to be knocked down! 

Fish bowls full of real CHEDDAR goldfish made up our goldfish toss game! :)

(I was afraid my friends would get mad if I sent this home with REAL goldfish!!...)

And, I'm no face painter fake tattoos it is! 

Spray painted root beer bottles and a dollar store bangle bracelet made up our ring toss game. 

Now for the decor...

This adorable sign comes in the party kit that you can purchase to match your invitations .  We used dowel rods and made them our centerpieces! 

The mason jar was supposed to be full of popcorn and the little tin bucket was supposed to be full of peanuts!

This was supposed to be the food table...

And, it's not a first birthday party without a smash cake, right!?!?

So there it is...Paisley's Country Fair Carnival (rained out) party! 

Ok, so I know you have a party coming up....

Head on over to Lee's shop and find exactly what you need!!!

Here is the package we used ...

Thank y'all so much for stopping by and checking out Paisley's party!  Before we know it, we'll be planning her 2nd! TIME FLIES!!!

Have an awesome day guys!

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