Vanilla Cake Squares with Orange Glazed Fruit

This recipe for Vanilla Cake Squares takes me back to my Advanced Foods class at Orleans High School. I loved that class. We studied the cuisines of different countries. For one particular assignment, one of my best friends and I interviewed a wonderful local German woman about some of her favorite recipes. I was particularly taken with her recipe for Vanilla Sticks. Hers WERE sticks. She had a special pan that made them long and narrow. I would later make them at home with a similar pan that my momma had, but they taste fantastic in any shape! They are not overly sweet, and I would say that the texture is somewhat less dense than pound cake. The best part….they only have SIX ingredients!

A Fun Gift Wrapping Idea…..Think Outside the “Drink Carrier” Box!

Shhhhh. Don’t tell Miss Hattie. I am completely spoiling her birthday gift right now, but I had SO MUCH FUN putting it together that I just had to share it. (Plus…she is only two, so I am pretty confident that she won’t read this.) 🙂 Her gift all started with a drink carrier box and one CUTE pair of shorts.

A Corn and Black Bean Salsa Recipe and a Fun Little Pottery Collection

It is sweet corn time in Nebraska!!! Yay!!! Yippee!!! For a few short weeks local farmers sell their bountiful crop from overflowing pickup trucks all over town. It doesn’t last long, so I try to take advantage of this delicious season. I want to share one of my sister’s recipes that has become a family favorite! You can make it any time of the year with canned corn, but fresh corn from the cob definitely takes it up a notch. 🙂

A Mini Cabin Tour and Why I LOVE Ships!

I have always found myself drawn to pieces of art portraying ships at sea, particularly the ones sailing in a “happy” sea as opposed to those in turmoil. I recently discovered that my maternal grandmother (Grandma Soffia) always wanted a “ship in every room” of her house. Pretty cool. It completely makes sense for her considering she was transported from Iceland to the landlocked Midwest as a young bride. She literally grew up about a block from the Atlantic Ocean. Is it possible that a little piece of the sea came down through her DNA? Maybe so. My momma tells this little story about ships, the sea and love. <3

5 Perfectly Totable and Super Fun Outdoor Games

The calendar says that it is officially summer!!! Does your family enjoy playing outdoor games? We had so much fun with a couple of them this past weekend at the lake that I wanted to share our current top 5 with you (in no particular order.) 🙂 These are all small enough to throw in the car when you head to your next reunion or get together with friends. They are also all reasonably priced and readily available at either sporting good or department stores. My husband has always been known as “the entertainment coordinator” in our family. You can be sure he has something packed for fun!

Create an Attractive Wall Filing System

Does anyone else have one of “those baskets?” You know…the one where you throw all incoming mail, school papers, receipts, etc. Let me show you how I created a great filing system on a wall in my kitchen. This is only for short-term filing….bills needing to be paid, recent receipts, tax info for the next return…you get the idea. Long-term filing goes in file boxes at our house. Honestly, those are quite organized, but I struggle to keep on top of the daily paperwork. Here’s my plan:

Learning How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

Today was a fun day. I needed to make homemade ice cream for a baseball event, so I called my momma (who the kids call GB…short for Grandma Betty) and asked her if she could teach my daughter and me how to make her go-to recipe for vanilla ice cream. Remember my post about Grammy’s Peanut Buster Ice Cream Dessert? Well, this homemade ice cream recipe that we made today actually came from Grammy’s sister Mildred. (I promise that we do not live on sugar, even though you might think so after reading some of my posts.!)

Create Simple, Personalized Art With Sentimental Items

How many of you have small, sentimental objects tucked away in drawers or closets? Maybe you have saved your grandfather’s pocket watch, a bowtie from a special occasion, a baby bracelet, your child’s favorite toy….the possibilities are endless. It’s time to pull those out! You can create simple, personalized art that will make you smile each time you glance at it. I mentioned in my last post that I think it is important to fill your home with accessories that are meaningful to you. It is extra special when those accessories tell a story, and I have a story to share with you.

How to Hide That Ugly Breaker Box in a Beautiful Way

How many of you have a breaker box in an unfortunate place? We have been in our home for 15 years, and I have tried different ways to disguise ours which landed right on a main wall in our basement. I finally found a great solution last year. Our wall has never looked better! Check it out.

Grammy’s Peanut Buster Ice Cream Dessert

A Labor of Love

I have to be honest. My Grammy did not like spending time in the kitchen. She would be the first one to tell you that. She did, however, hit some home runs! After all, she had a hubby and two hungry boys who really liked to eat. 🙂 This peanut buster ice cream dessert was and still is one of my all-time favorite recipes. My Papa LOVES peanuts (and ice cream and chocolate)….no doubt Grammy picked this for him. Those two have been married 71 years, and they still have that special something. Theirs is a pretty spectacular love story, full of sacrifice and devotion; so this blog post is a little tribute to them.

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