pinterest test — chocolate italian cake

I needed a cake recipe for my husband’s birthday.  I was traveling and out of town on the actual date, no surprises there, so I had to make this one special.  I go where I always go….blogs, pinterest, pioneer woman, looking for inspiration to save the day.  I came across this recipe for Chocolate Italian Love cake on Pinterest.  Perfect!

I live in the middle of nowhere and so I have to plan ahead.  There are some ingredients in this cake that one does not just have hanging around.  I was headed to Fairbanks and started a list of ingredients.  I get so excited to make him new recipes.  He loves food.  No really….he LOVES it.  I will make him something new and he will talk about it for weeks.  It does my heart good to know he loves and appreciates it.  I really try to make it special.

This cake certainly did not disappoint.  He loved it.

Go here to get the recipe and try it out.

Her blog is Chew Nibble Nosh and it is full of yummy recipes just waiting for us to try them out.


P.S. Unless I modify the ingredients I always send you to the original source for the recipe.  If I do modify a recipe I will include the recipe and a link to the inspiration.  It helps me sleep at night.

card club catch up

So, I am a little behind so I improvised.  I love shopping for cards and so I bought some, made some, modified some.  It was fun and it feels so good to have a card file full of cards ready to go.

April was baby, Mother’s Day, and female themed.  I ordered a set off of Etsy and bought the other two sets in the dollar bin and Michaels.

Michaels also had these pre-made card bases that you just embellish how ever you want so I grabbed these and they really made the process simple and quick.

 I printed off some word strips that went with May’s theme and attached them to the cards. 

 I also added some washi tape and stickers to complete the look.

July’s theme was kid themed, thinking of you, or blank.  I purchased these in the dollar bin at Michaels.  It was big score for me.  I also grabbed extra cards for gift giving.  I love receiving stationary and office supplies.

I did skip June because I already had so many male themed cards.  I will do better next month…..oops I am vacationing next month so I will do better in September. 

March’s card club

cranberry chicken bacon wraps

My husband has been working a lot lately and decided to stay in the office to catch up on reports so I thought I would make him a special lunch.  Something new anyway. 

Don’t you just love the cranberry sauce pictured upside down and the only part of this picture in focus.  Oh well, moving on.

Cranberry spread
1/3 cup cranberry sauce
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon

Mix together and set aside.

 Spread evenly over a large tortilla

 Layer chicken and bacon in the center tortilla.

Layer spinach, cucumbers, red onion in the center of the tortilla.  Drizzle oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Add dried cranberries and walnuts….optional. 

Cranberry Chicken Bacon Wraps

Cranberry spread
1/3 cup cranberry sauce
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon

Mix together and set aside.

4 tortillas
2 chicken breasts cooked and cut into strips
8 slices of bacon cooked
red onion
salt pepper
dried cranberries and walnuts (optional)

1.  Spread cranberry spread evenly over a large tortilla.
2.  Layer chicken and bacon in the center tortilla.
3.  Layer spinach, cucumbers, red onion in the center of the tortilla.  Drizzle oil and salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Add dried cranberries and walnuts….optional.
5.  Roll up and enjoy.

kitchen zone — the fridge

1. Miscellaneous condiments
2. Water bottles
3. Yogurt
4. Fruit cups
5. Fruit and veggies ready to eat (washed and chopped)
6. Meats and Cheeses
7. Juices
8. Veggies….salad, zucchini, squash, etc.
9. Fruit

 I like using these baskets for easy access to fridge items rather than having to pull items one by one.

I found the basket idea here and here is a great fridge organization and safety tip.

my day in four pics–week one

 Sunday:  Took the dogs out for an adventure, green drinking it, vacuuming, and bike ride on the loop.

 Monday:  Most of Monday was spent helping the ASTAR relay by being a pilot car for bikers. 

Tuesday:  Walked around Glitter Gulch, found a furry thong, ate a veggie sub, took Summit on a run.

Wednesday: Post office run, cleaned the kitchen (this weeks zone), actually was toe to toe with my husband….he has gotten called out every night, started a Candy Chang project on my chalkboard.

 Thursday: Kind of a relaxing day.  Naps, eating with my daughter, shower, and a drive.

Friday:  Bike ride, trip to Glitter Gulch, said goodbye to Sonya and the girls, harvested some spinach….I love doing that.

Saturday:   Cute new earrings, hanging with my kids, Hibachi, bad hair day.

backyard travels — sitka, alaska

I visited friends in Sitka, Alaska this spring.  I had never been anywhere in the Inside Passage and it did not disappoint.  I love the ocean so it was no surprise to see I had a ton of pics of the water, by the water, it was too cold to be in the water thank goodness.

The town was adorable and picturesque.  Little shops lined the main streets and fisheries lined the waters.

I loved hanging out with the girls and Aubree was quite the photographer and was my constant companion on my photowalks. 

Macee had eyes that melted my heart and had this way of commanding and getting your attention whenever she wanted it.

My favorite part of the trip was hanging out with these little ones.  I miss having them around.  Such is the life of a Trooper wife…..we move, friends move, but I always have somewhere to visit.

zone cleaning — kitchen

Everyday I clean 20 – 60 minutes on my current zone.  I keep it simple and easy to conquer otherwise I won’t do it and will wait until I can’t take it any more.  This system has worked wonders for my home.

Monday:  Clean out cupboards, organize and wipe down inside shelves.
Tuesday:  Clean cupboard doors and wipe down kitchen walls.
Wednesday:  Clean and organize the fridge/freezer.
Thursday:  Wipe down appliances and put away anything on the counter that I do not use weekly.
Friday:   Deep clean dining room, wipe down furniture and walls.
Saturday:  Decorate

I try to reward myself a little when I work on my zones……good music, a fun drink, and maybe I will throw in a snack after I am finished.

If I do not get to these each day I just move to the next job on the following day.  This zone will come around every six weeks (I have my schedule set up for six zones).  I really like to keep this simple with no guilt.  

Other zones:
Entryway and closets
Kitchen and dining room
Bathroom and laundry
Living room and home office
Garage and automobiles

bento 101

(Bought this one at Bed Bath and Beyond $17)
 (This one I bought at Target for $10 but I found a similar one at Walmart for $7)

1. Keep it simple
The best advice I read was to not put pressure on yourself to make Japanese style Bento’s.  Make simple fun Bento’s that your family will enjoy.

2. Prepare ahead
I normally make these the night before and everyone can just grab one as the leave the house.  

3. Use fresh ingredients
The point of making Bento’s for my family is that they are eating more healthy and less preservatives…not that I don’t throw in a treat or two sometimes.

4. Be creative
This is my favorite part of making Bento’s is that they allow me to be creative with our food.

5. Love the food you prepare
Make sure you are fixing items that everyone loves to eat.  Nothing is more frustrating than a full Bento making its way home.

6. Buying supplies
I shop Amazon, Japanese markets, and online stores.

7. Buying Bentos
Amazon has a large selection of Bento’s.  I have also found lunch containers in Target, Walmart, and Bed Bath and Beyond. 

8. Follow blogs for inspiration
Happy Little Bento
Just Bento

100 Bento Boxes project


(EcoLunchbox on Amazon for $23.95)