Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 52-Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

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Today’s post marks the 52nd Pinterest project I’ve completed! Yahoo! I made it a whole year posting a new Pinterest craft or food item I’ve made on a weekly basis! Today’s post is two in one. I kept seeing a peanut butter sheet cake all over Pinterest and Facebook and wanted to try it. I have made a Texas sheet cake before (chocolate cake with delicious chocolate icing) but hadn’t made a peanut butter cake before now. However, all the recipes I found called for buttermilk and I wasn’t going to get a quart of buttermilk just to use a small amount of it. I googled how to make buttermilk and came up with all sorts of ways to make it, including adding vinegar, lemon juice, or cream of tarter to milk. I happened to have some sour cream that needed used up, so I mixed together sour cream and milk to make buttermilk. It seemed to work well-it was super easy and I loved that I didn’t have to go to the store, ha!IMG_6814I just mixed the milk right into the sour cream container.

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For the peanut butter sheet cake, I used this recipe. I highly recommend making this cake for a large gathering-it makes a huge amount (you bake it in a 10×15 jelly roll pan)!

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IMG_6822I thought the cake was good (I prefer chocolate though) but the peanut butter icing was really good! I made the icing on the stove by boiling butter, peanut butter, and milk and added powdered sugar and vanilla to the mixture. It was almost like eating peanut butter fudge!

Yum!
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A full recap of my year of Pinterest projects will be on the blog later this week!

Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 46-Magic Shell

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Hello! I have a tasty summer treat for you today! Magic shell! I never had this stuff growing up, but I had it recently at a grade level ice cream party at school.  That night, I came home and got on Pinterest in search of a homemade magic shell recipe.  I remember seeing one a while back and wanted to try it.

This magic shell is so, so easy! All you do is melt one cup of chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips) and two tablespoons of coconut oil together.  Melt for short increments (30 seconds), stir, and repeat until it’s completely melted.  You can use any kind of chocolate chips, including white chocolate.

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This was my first time using coconut oil…any suggestions on what to do with the rest of it?

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Our neighbor happened to make homemade vanilla ice cream so we tried out the magic shell with it.  Since the homemade ice cream was melting fast, it worked best to stir in the chocolate.  This way, there were hardened chunks of dark chocolate…so yummy!

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I bought some small mason jars and made some magic shell for a friend of mine. I decorated the jar with a cupcake wrapper, some ribbon, and a wooden spoon with washi tape.  20140608-204400-74640964.jpgYou should try this easy and super yummy ice cream topping! I plan on trying it with different types of chocolate chips:)

5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! Today is my last Friday work day until August! Yay! I’m so glad school is almost out! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday!

{one} I went to a friend’s baby shower last weekend and had a great time! I love going to baby showers…they’re so much fun! For this particular shower, they requested a book instead of a card. I love this idea! I chose Corduroy, one of my kiddos’ favorite books. It was so fun to see the great collection of books she has for her soon to arrive newborn son.

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{two} Lemonade pie! I love this refreshing summer pie! We were invited to our friends’ last week for dinner and to celebrate their daughter’s college graduation.  I love to make desserts any time we are invited to a friend’s home, so I gave the new graduate a choice of desserts. She chose this yummy lemonade pie! Here’s the recipe: blend together 3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate, 8 ounces softened cream cheese, and one can of sweetened condensed milk.  Fold in 8 ounces whipped topping and put in a graham cracker crust (which I made from scratch-really easy).  Refrigerate for several hours before enjoying.  My husband suggested that I make this pie next time with a raspberry lemonade concentrate.  I’m going to have to try that…it sounds really good!20140603-204003-74403344.jpg

{three} I’m loving these beverage dispensers from Target! They seem to be really popular this summer. I think I may have to get one…right now, I use a pitcher for iced tea and lemonade when we have parties, but these are really nice! 20140603-204003-74403024.jpg

{four} My little gardeners! My mom gave us some tomato and pepper plants (she has a greenhouse and grows lots of vegetables and flowers) a few weeks ago and the kiddos have been helping me water them.  We finally planted them earlier this week and hope to grow some nice vegetables. 20140603-204206-74526879.jpg

{five} Our friend who graduated from college made this beautiful crocheted blanket for Harper’s 2nd birthday.  She told us a while back that she was in the process of making a gift for Harper but hadn’t finished it yet. When we celebrated her graduation last week, she gave this blanket to Harper.  I love it! So pretty and meaningful! She also made a pretty yellow blanket for Will when he was born.  20140603-210720-76040200.jpgI hope you have a wonderful weekend!

5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday! I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend with my family:)

{one} This girl…she cracks me up! I snapped this picture of Harper at Nana’s (her babysitter) last week. She was rocking the big yellow shades, posing on her tractor! She has so much personality..I love her to pieces!

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{two} Lilac blooms! It’s definitely spring here in Virginia! This week, temps got up to 90 degrees! It felt like summer! I can’t wait until summer–I will be off from school and at home with my kiddos. I’m starting to plan activities and and fun summer projects for us:) Check out my toddler boy summer must-haves post!

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{three} Speaking of summer, the kiddos enjoyed popsicles the other evening with our neighbors.  I need to pull out my Zoku quick popsicle maker and use it more this summer.  My husband and I always say that we will grill more in the summer as well, but for some reason we don’t. I love to grill and would like to at least once a week this summer.  Actually, I don’t really grill..my husband does. That could explain why I love it so much-it means I get a night off from cooking dinner! Any good, easy grilling recipes that you would like to share?

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{four} We drove down our road the other evening and spotted this newborn calf.  The cows in the field next to us used to have calves all the time, but a few years ago, the farmer moved those cows closer to the barn for monitoring. It’s been such a long time since I saw a newborn calf in the field near us that I got so excited, ha! I just had to take a picture and text the farmer to let her know!

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{five} Chocolate chip cookie pie! Yum! I found the recipe here and decided to make it after my husband saw someone post it on Facebook.  He is frequently showing me dishes and desserts that people share on Facebook and asks me if I can make them.  This chocolate chip cookie pie is really yummy.  I think I added too many chocolate chips though (they all sunk to the bottom) since it’s really chocolately and not as much cookie.  I highly recommend it heated up for a few seconds in the microwave and topped with some vanilla ice cream!

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I hope you have a fabulous Friday!

Easter Fun!

Happy Easter! We had a wonderful Easter and time off with the kiddos.  My spring break this year was only two days (last Thursday and Friday) due to all the snow days, but it was still lots of fun to be at home with the kiddos.  My husband took off on Friday and we took a trip to Ikea (more about that on another post).  Here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to…

Will and Harper helped me dye Easter eggs with kool-aid (we got the idea from this post).  I love how easy it was and how pretty the eggs turned out!  To dye the eggs with kool-aid, just mix 2/3 cup water with one packet of kool-aid.  Stir and add the eggs.  I left the eggs in the dye about 5 minutes.  That’s it! So simple! I did mess up a little on the eggs by adding vinegar to the water when boiling them. I usually add vinegar to make the eggs easier to peel (which works well), but when dyeing eggs, it made the shell kind of funny.  And yes, we eat the eggs we decorate.  I hate wasting them and the kiddos love hardboiled eggs.  I make them almost once a week to take to Nana’s for them to eat.  Anyway, the kiddos devoured these kool-aid colored ones…the kool-aid actually soaked through to the egg slightly and made them have a fruity flavor.  It was gross but Will and Harper loved them!

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I created an egg carton lunch for Will, inspired from Little Baby Garvin.  I filled up 12 eggs with different foods for Will, including cheese, blueberries, and hardboiled eggs.  Harper wasn’t left out! She had a few plastic eggs filled with fruit! Will loved this lunch and keeps on begging me to make it again.  It’s similar to his muffin tin lunch that I occasionally make.

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On Saturday afternoon while the kiddos were down for a nap, I filled 30 eggs with crackers, goldfish, cheerios, animal crackers, and a few with jelly beans.  I took them outside and hid them all around the house.  Will participated in an Easter egg hunt at preschool and loved it, so I wanted to recreate one at home and have Harper participate.

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Searching for eggs outside!
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Miss Harper looking for eggs.

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Harper’s Easter basket!  For a full recap of their baskets, check out this fun Easter basket blog hop.

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Will’s basket.

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Displaying cards from Mimi and Grandaddy and my aunt.  My aunt always sends Will and Harper cards for each holiday, which I think is such a fun tradition. My grandmother used to send us cards all the time, and my aunt has continued with this. 20140420-140236.jpg

I created a mini Easter basket for my husband using a green Easter dollar pail from Target.  I added a few Lindt truffles, some chapstick, and a Starbucks gift card.  My Easter basket was this fun egg crate from Anthropologie that I had been eyeing for a while.  In the crate were some truffles and EOS lip balm.  Don’t get too excited here…I picked out the egg crate and bought the chocolate and lip balm! Ha!

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Taking a few pics outside with our Easter baskets.

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I attempted to take a few pictures of the kiddos before we headed to church, but it’s almost impossible to get both Will and Harper to look at the camera at the same time:)

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This year, I decided to create a new tradition by making an Easter brunch for us after church.  I made an easy chicken sausage and egg casserole, these green beans, and some delicious, super easy lemon cream bars from one of my favorite go-to cooking blogs, Two Peas and Their Pod. I’ve made numerous recipes from their blog, and all of them have been yummy.

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Lemon cream bars.

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After brunch, we played outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather. After the kiddos woke up from a nap, we played outside more and took a walk to see our favorite horse and donkey, Shadow and Isaac.

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Now it’s back to work tomorrow…I’m counting down the days until summertime!

 

5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Christina and several other bloggers for 5 on Friday:)

{one} Spring is here! I’m loving the beautiful flowers that are popping up outside in our flower gardens. I picked a few daffodils the other day and put them in a pretty blue mason jar.  They  smell wonderful!

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{two} Iced vanilla coffee!  Hmm….I’m seeing a mason jar trend here, ha! It’s just all the mason jars from Harper’s second birthday party.  I only like my coffee with a lot of milk and some sugar (and not much coffee!).  Also leftover from Harper’s birthday are those adorable pink chevron straws. I love how fun they make my iced coffee look (but I don’t like that they eventually get soggy-boo).

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{three} I hate taking pictures of myself (and especially if there are no kids in the picture), but I snapped this last week before heading to work. I’m loving maxi skirts this spring! So comfy and cute! So far, I have this blue and white striped one and a gray one.  I’m looking to add more to my collection.  Any recommendations on where to purchase another one?

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{four} Playing outside in the sand! We’re soaking up all the nice weather this week!

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{five} Last week at school, we had a fun career fair day. As part of it, every teacher contributes food for a yummy lunch for the staff as well as the presenters. I opted to make a super easy chocolate trifle with layers of Ghirardelli brownies, chocolate pudding, and whipped topping.  It was delicious!

Edited-I have had several requests to share this recipe, so here it is!

Chocolate trifle

1 package brownie mix

1 (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix

1/2 c water

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 (1.5 oz) bar chocolate candy (I actually used 3 Heath bars).

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely.  Cut into 1 inch squares.  In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water, and sweetened condensed milk.  Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping.

In a trifle bowl, layer half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture, and half of the 12 ounces frozen whipped topping.  Repeat layers.  Chop candy bar and sprinkle onto top layer.  Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Enjoy!

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I hope y’all have a fabulous Friday and weekend! I’m at school for a half day and then have a reading training in the afternoon.  It should be fun!

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday:)

{one} I made these delicious Valentine’s chocolate chip cookie bars recently.  They were so yummy!  Chocolate chips and M&Ms! A winning combo!  I love making bar cookies since they are so much easier-baking individual cookies takes too long:)

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{two} Meal plan prep and a peek into my fridge! I always love reading posts about what’s in people’s refrigerators.  It’s kind of nosy but I like seeing what other people eat, ha!  Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of food prep on Sundays-I plan out meals for the week and Will and I go grocery shopping.  I have been making two dinners on Sunday (one for Sunday evening and the other, typically a crock pot meal, for Monday since Will has music class). I also take some time on Sunday to chop up fresh fruit and vegetables for the week.  Doing this prep on Sunday saves me some time during the busy work week.  Any suggestions on making meal planning/cooking easier?

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{three} I’m loving this spoon necklace from The Vintage Pearl, another one of my favorite places to buy jewelry!  So pretty! I’m thinking about getting one with my kiddos’ initials.

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{four} I first saw these mason jars from Julie at The Girl in the Red Shoes and knew I had to get one for Will and Harper!  The kiddos and I are on a smoothie kick and I’ve been looking for a cup with a straw and lid for them.  I ordered one for Will with a train in his favorite colors-orange, blue, and green and one for Harper with a purple horse (both personalized).  I can’t wait to use them for our yummy green smoothies! (I plan on doing a Pinterest post about the green smoothies-when I first saw smoothies made with spinach, I thought they would be disgusting. However, they are very yummy!).

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{five} Have you heard of the app, Waterlogue?  I read about it on several blogs this week and decided to download it.  I typically don’t purchase many apps (there are so many good free ones out there) but Waterlogue sounded fun! It takes your pictures and turns them into watercolors.  I have played with it several  times and it’s so much fun!  Here are a few pictures from the app:)

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Have a great Friday!

P.S. I was having some difficulty with my WordPress app last night. I was making some revisions and it accidentally posted this last night.  When I tried to correct it, my post disappeared:( I had to re-type the whole thing, boo:(