Wednesday, September 30, 2015

DIY Picture Display

My daughter and I collaborated on this cute picture display for her college apartment - she bought most of the supplies and I did the handiwork.  She found this open back frame in the clearance bin at Michael's. It had a few dings in it, but since it was going to be spray painted, we didn't let that stop us. It was both the perfect size and the perfect price. :-)

I had left over white spray paint from another project, so we went with white.

Here are the supplies you will need if you want to give it a try also, which I highly recommend. (It's pretty easy.)

String, small staple gun, decorative clothes pins, and a measuring tape. 

I'm not sure how I ended up with it, but the measuring tape pictured is my granddaddy's. No telling how old it is - maybe even thirty years.

After painting the frame and giving it time to dry, flip it over and use your measuring tape to decide where you want your picture lines to go. Remember to start high so the last line of pictures isn't hanging off the frame. This took me a few tries - thus all the marks. (Math and I don't get along.)

Staple the first line of string, pull taut across, and staple on the other side.

And, because I don't do math, I didn't really secure the string until I was sure I had measured correctly and they were in the right spots. Then I went back and secured them.

That's the entire process.

Then, just add your clips in the spots you want them...

...and add your snap shots. She has already filled it up with pictures and it looks cute! It's a fun alternative to the traditional picture frame.

It's homecoming week at my high school. It's always great fun for the students, and really the teachers, too, but it wears us out!

Hope you are having a good week!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pumpkin Roll

Years ago (about seventeen), in the early days of my teaching career, one of the kindest students I've taught brought me a few slices of a pumpkin roll. It was my first time to try it, and needless to say, I was a fan. And, a few days later (after I bragged about how good it was), she brought me the recipe. :-) But, for some reason I never made it. I think I thought it sounded too hard. The recipe is written on yellow index cards, so I see it all the time in my recipe pile. 

The hint of fall reminded me of it. So here it is!


3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of pumpkin
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt


1 - 8 oz bar of cream cheese
1 stick of margarine
2 cups of powdered sugar

Not pictured - flour!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray or grease and then flour a jelly roll pan. I used Crisco.

Beat eggs at high speed for 5 minutes (I know, that sounds like a long time). Gradually beat in the sugar and stir in the pumpkin. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.

Fold into the pumpkin mixture. Mix well.

Spread onto the jelly roll pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Turn out on a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Roll it up in the towel and let it cool. I was terrified it would crack, but it didn't. The next time I make it, I may even roll it a little tighter.

Mix all the filling ingredients together. After the roll has cooled, unroll it and spread the filling. There is a lot of filling. Don't be alarmed when it is oozing off the edge. Next time, I may not use it all.

Roll it back up and let it chill in the refrigerator.

This is where I messed up. I let it chill for about thirty minutes and sliced it. It was a mess, but I was impatient and wanted to try it. I covered it in foil and let it chill over night. When I finally got home from school, and tried again, it sliced perfectly and tasted great. I'm not really a big pumpkin fan, but this I like!

CHILL, slice, serve, and enjoy!
Happy Fall Y'all,

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A book suggestion...

So, this is what's on my bedside table right now.

I wish I had nothing better to do than pour a ridiculously sized cup of coffee, put on my pajamas, hunker down under the covers, and read it. But, then again, I should probably pace myself. It's one of those books that will come to an end entirely too soon.

If you are a woman, friend, mother, daughter, wife, sister, cousin, neighbor - you get the picture - if you are breathing, you will enjoy this! I ordered mine from Amazon.

Are you familiar with Jen Hatmaker? Get familiar with her here and read her latest blog post here.

By the way, I'm getting my ingredients ready for a fabulous fall recipe. I'll be trying it for the first time when I share it with you. :-) It was given to me by a student seventeen years ago. Can't wait!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Sunday thought... Use It All Up

Our realtor friend Alice here in town who has sold us a thing or two and sold a few things for us, posted this on Facebook a couple of weeks ago:

When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left,
and could say, 
"I used everything you gave me."

Erma Bombeck

It was her thought for the day on September 8th. I've thought about it with conviction and motivation every day since I read it. Often there are days when I feel like I have nothing to offer, but I know better. We were created by the master of creation. We are all gifted and can give, even on days when it feels like we can only offer a drop. My prayer after reading this thought - may I not waste even a drop.

1 Peter 4:10

Have a great week,

Friday, September 18, 2015

A recipe of a different sort...

You know what this picture means, right? School is in session...

Project numero uno for high school. My youngest son's Pre-AP Biology class had to make an edible cell, plant or animal. He decided on a plant cell. 


1 package of Twizzlers
1 banana
1 avocado
3 - 4 grapes
1 tablespoon of mini or regular size chocolate chips
1 cookie cake with icing trimmed

First, we trimmed the part of the cookie with decorative icing and set it aside. We affixed the Twizzlers to the outside of the cookie to serve as the cell's wall. Using my favorite Pampered Chef spreader, we added some of the yellow icing to create the cell membrane. 

Who knew an avocado made the perfect nucleus and nucleolus?

Then he added the chloroplast (grapes), the mitochondria (mandarin oranges), and the vacuole (banana). The chocolate chips are the ribosomes.

And there you have it - the edible plant cell. Be sure and pin this "recipe", especially if you'll have a high schooler in biology one day. :-) May all of your students have a Mr. McDonald in their future. The kids know their biology when they leave his room.

Have any of your children had unique assignments during their school years? Comment below and tell us about one.

Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Want a fresh look? Shop your house...

Saturdays around here are probably a lot like other working mother's Saturdays. Coffee, laundry, cooking, (Kathryn's Cafe opens about 9:00), cleaning, and college football. And, if you're a teacher, you have to throw in grading papers.

In the midst of all that, it never fails - I get side tracked. I find myself rearranging - something. Last Saturday a spot on my kitchen counter top got a refresh. I really didn't mean to deviate from the cleaning and cooking plan, but it's much more fun to try things in different groupings for completely new looks. And, who doesn't appreciate a new look that's free! (My husband, that's who. He often asks me if I'll ever get things situated and leave them be. Of course the answer is NO.)

I've had this tray on my kitchen counter full of things like creamer and vitamins, but sometimes pretty wins over functional. So, I went "shopping" in my house. I had apples from a previous arrangement waiting to come back out and this rarely used vegetable serving bowl resting high up in a cabinet. I went to work.

Here's my kitchen counter top refresh...

The red adds a hint of fall and white's good any time.
Go look in your cabinets. No telling what you'll find to freshen up your space :-)


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Initial thoughts...

I'm sure you've all tried to do something at some point that you saw on Pinterest. Me too! And with a little help from a friend, one of my "I'm going to copy that thing I saw on Pinterest" projects turned out pretty cute. This is a pre-blog project from a couple of summers ago, so I don't have it photographed in steps. But I think I can explain it easily enough that you can try it as well with a little help from one of your friends. It was fairly easy and inexpensive.

Monograms of any shape or size are a thing right now (and always are in the South).
On a wall...

Spinters Wood Creations
On pillows...

On bedding...
HGTV has gorgeous monogrammed inspiration for bedding here.

HGTV via Ann Lowengart
The two pictures I saw on Pinterest that served as my inspiration are here and here.

I started with a basic black frame from Hobby Lobby. I bought it when they had their frames 50% off. I think it was $18 (1/2 of 36). My daughter's friend Nicolas made the initials for me, but there are vendors on Etsy making them if you don't know someone who does it.

Now, just looking at this, one might think it would be easy to simply put a sticker on a piece of glass. One would be wrong. We had to start in the center and work our way out. Hard is probably not the right adjective to describe this project, but time-consuming and patience-trying are. To make sure we were centering the sticker, we measured and put a dot with a Sharpie in the center of the frame. We did the same with the initials and lined up the dots. Slowly, we pulled the backing from the sticker and began pressing it on the glass, smoothing it with this Pampered Chef scrapper as we went. There's probably one in your kitchen drawer, too.

Once we finished, there were only a few air bubbles we missed. But overall, I think it turned out great! D for Doug, K for Kathryn, and W for us :-)

What's your latest project to copy from Pinterest?

Enjoy your Saturday! And as always, Roll Tide!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hole-y Lemon Cake

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. It was nice to have a little down time after the Friday night game, the Saturday night game, the trips for groceries, and the trips to my mom's to dry our clothes. We're saying goodbye to our front loading washer and dryer today. I've never been so ready to get rid of something. They've each been repaired two or three times, and although you can wash lots of clothes with each load, they will not be missed. But, that's a post for another day! On to something sweet...

Lemon Cake


1 lemon cake mix
1 small box of lemon instant pudding mix
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of water
4 eggs

2 cups of powdered sugar
1/3 cup of orange juice
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the cake mix, the pudding mix, the oil and the water. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spray a 13 X 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

About 10 minutes before it's time for the cake to come out, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice, oil, and water to make the glaze. Blend until smooth.

Pierce holes in the hot cake with a fork.

Pour the glaze over the top of the hot cake. Let it stand until cooled.

This was my first time to make this and I loved it! It was really moist and cut nicely at serving time. The best part - it was super easy!

And, a big Happy Birthday to my daddy, who I know never misses a post :-)


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A summer review...

I don't know about you guys, but August wears me out. But, I survived. The laundry is caught up, the house is clean, and there's food in the pantry. I expect it to stay that way exactly, oh, twenty-four hours - if I'm lucky! My oldest son is settled into his senior year of college, my daughter has moved in with him as she starts her sophomore year of college, and finally, #3 has made the transition from middle school to high school.

That's the review of us, and here is a quick glance at some of the happenings around Woodbank Lane this summer.

Tried some new recipes and revisited some familiar favorites...

Summer Review

Experimented with homemade chalk paint...

Summer Review

And shared a few ideas...

Summer Review

That's a wrap of summer. Thank you again for reading along and all your kind words of encouragement about Woodbank Lane. :-) I hope you have a great week and a restful, fun holiday weekend. And, may your favorite college team win - as long as they aren't playing Alabama! Roll Tide!

I'll be back next week after the break ~