How did it get hot so quickly? The temperature barely crept above 50 degrees most of last week and now, BAM!, it’s almost 90! Craziness I tell you. I was hoping for the cool Spring weather to last just a wee bit longer, but ohs well; no use complaining. I will, however, wax poetic about my latest kitchen creation. Let me start by saying I like to cook, just not desserts. You would think that with my insatiable sweet tooth I’d be a whiz in this department, but alas I am not. So when Easter rolled around and my MIL started planning her big day menu, I offered to make the dessert. Why would I do that when I know I’m not good at this meal category? I blame it on the heat induced delirium.
Now that I had committed myself, I had to figure out what exactly I was going to make. Whatever it was, it had to be light and refreshing since it was the second act to a huge meal. Amidst my pondering inspiration struck: a trifle! I’ve never actually made a trifle before and I didn’t own a trifle bowl, but I wasn’t going to let those minor details stop me.
My first maneuver was to swing by Target to pick-up a trifle bowl. Check. Next step was to find a good and easy trifle recipe. Check (thanks to allrecipes.com). Then I had to buy my ingredients. It calls for strawberries, blueberries, cool whip, vanilla pudding mix/milk, and pound cake. Me being me, I modified this list a bit and ended up replacing the cool whip with real whip cream (homemade of course!) and angel food cake instead of pound cake.
To make the trifle, you start by cutting your cake in half and cutting the half into squares. Place these in your (clean) trifle bowl. Then mix your pudding mix with 2 cups cold milk (I used 2%) with a whisk. Pour ½ of this mixture over the cut up cake in your bowl. Layer on sliced strawberries and blueberries.
Cut up the other half of your cake and repeat the first couple of steps (pour remaining pudding, layer fruits). Then top with your whipped cream. Garnish with remaining blueberries and strawberries and chill for at least 1 hour. And that’s it!
Super easy and it tastes great. I’ll definitely be doing this dessert again!
I drive my husband batty with my frequently changing color palette. In other words, I often want to repaint a room a mere few months after I’ve painted it the first (even second time). I suppose my tastes evolve. or I just like to change a room’s color like I change clothes. My mother-in-law likes to joke that it helps insulated the walls. She’s probably got a point, but as a fellow decorating change-aholic, I know she can relate.
Anyhoo, let’s view my latest victime shall we? It’s the old dining room, slash reinvented home office for Aaron. When I first painted it, I think I was still pining for the coast and hence chose a beachy, dune-like color. In reality, it’s taupe and I am not a taupe person. Please note: the flowers on the wall are just pastel chalks on our chalkboard. I ‘m trying to change out the picture seasonally.
I don’t know how Aaron got any work done in there because I personally found it uninspiring. I finally became agitated/fixated enough on my distaste of the color that I felt compelled to repaint it this weekend. Amongst our other weekend errands, we made a pit stop at Lowe’s for paint and supplies (sorry Sherwin Williams! I’ll come to you next time I promise!). I believe the color I chose was “New Kettle Black”. Yes, black. And I love how it turned out!
Before you see the results, please keep in mind that 1) I need a new rug for this place and 2) I haven’t finished polishing it up with a little decorating finesse.
But without further ado, here it is!
I. Love. It. (at least for now!)
Even Aaron had to admit he was a fan, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Now that leaves only two other rooms I want to repaint…
Shamefully, I have neglected this little blog of mine once again. I have all kinds of super awesome excuses, like “I’m too tired after work to do it”, “I have already overextended myself”, and…other not-so-convincing arguments. Life in general is busy for everyone and excuses for not doing things tend to be lame. In light of that revelation, I’m posting today partly out of guilt and partly because I think my latest project is rather clever.
I’m not sure where I picked up this idea, but I’m sure at some time in my life I’ve seen something similar that inspired me. The whole idea is to take cans (think soup cans, and the cans that kidney beans, stewed tomatos, etc. come in) and make outdoor votives with them. The supplies needed to do this are common household items for most people which makes this project a can-do for the general population. The added benefit is that it requires no special skills other than opposable thumbs. but let’s get to it, shall we?
You start with your can and grab a small nail and a hammer. Using the hammer to hit the nail through the can, you punch a design of your chooosing into the can. Next and final step is to thread, fishing line, twine, whatever to hang the can (or not; I decided I want to hang them randomly in our backyard trees for some cheap ambience). That’s it! Here are my first three cans all lit up. Preetttyyyy…
What I really like is that as the elements take their toll on these cans, they’ll develop a nice rusty patina that will eventually make them look too cool for school.
The merits of this project is that: 1) it totally embraces the “re-use” concept we learned as kids (remember your three R’s!), 2) it’s easy and doesn’t take much time, and 3) did I mention that it’s essentially a 2-fer? The original can contents are usuable (and hopefully nutritious) and then the can becomes useful, too. So save your cans and create some free ambience for yourself!
This past week and weekend were crazy busy. Between the projects at work, social activities, and general life we were blessed with a fun albeit hectic schedule. On Friday, we had Aaron’s parents over for dinner where I made my first homemade Chicken Pot Pie. On Saturday we had Little Man’s soccer game followed by lunch at Sticks N’ Stones (yum!) and then a birthday party for one of Little Man’s school friends at the Children’s Museum. By the time we made it home, it was already after 5:00 pm and just enough time to give our dog a long walk.
When Sunday rolled around, I managed to get a little work done before church, after which we did brunch. By about 1 pm, we were back home, Little Man was down for his nap, and I was itching to get started on some projects. I planted some flowers, moved some monkey grass and then finally moved on to something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Make this area look more tidy:
We have four trash cans that get thrown together after each week’s pick-up on the small brick pad seen in the left of the picture. Then there’s the garden bed next to it where we tried to grow corn last summer. Unfortunately, this area only gets partial sun during the day and the rain spout drains right here making it a not so good bed after all.
I’ve been mulling over how to make this area more functional for some time and then a simple idea occurred to me: just lay gravel in the bed and then line up the trash cans there. While this may sound like a simple idea in theory, in practice it wasn’t. I first had to shovel out 5 full wheelbarrow loads of soil. I did this so that when I laid the gravel down it would be flush with the brick and not spill out on the pathway, into the grass, and eventually into the blades of my lawnmower (in effect becoming painful projectiles/missiles). After the tedious task of soil removal and figuring out where to put all that soil (ugh!), I proceeded to step #2: lay down landscape liner and pin it into place so weeds do not grow through.
With the prep work complete, it was finally time to pour and spread the 11 bags of gravel. Once done, Aaron and cleaned off the brick and, wahlah!, the area was both more functional, tidy, and good-looking. Score 1 for Team Randall!