Friday, October 30, 2015

A Ghost of a Cake

Look what I found in the October issue of Family Circle. 


1 Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil's Food cake mix
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
3 eggs
10 Oreo cookies
10 mini Oreo cookies
20 brown M&M's (mini, regular, mega sizes)


2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 box (1 lb) confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons of milk

Cut parchment  to fit in the bottom of 2, 8-inch cake baking pans.

 Spray well with nonstick cooking spray.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake mix, buttermilk, eggs, and oil. Mix well. Pour batter into pans and bake for 34-38 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I took mine out at 32 minutes. Cool in pans on baking racks for 15 minutes. Then, remove the cakes from pans, remove parchment, and cool completely.

Prepare the frosting. Combine butter, confectioners' sugar, and milk. Beat on low until just combined, then on high for 3 to 5 minutes, until fluffy. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the frosting. Carefully take apart mini and regular Oreo cookies, making sure the frosting sticks completely to one of the halves. Place non-frosted halves in a resealable plastic bag and crush.

 Trim cake layers to make each of them flat. Place one cake on stand. 

Spread 3/4 cup of the frosting evenly over the top and sprinkle with crumbled cookies, pressing them slightly into the frosting.

Place the second cake on top, then spread the remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

With a bit of the reserved frosting, secure one of the M&M's to each of the 20 Oreo halves. I only used the standard size M&M's. Arrange them on the cake so they look like pairs of eyeballs. :-)

So, how cute is that? Not a quick project, but definitely a fun one.

Have a safe, fun Halloween!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A candy buffet...

It's Halloween week! In honor of the best excuse to eat a little candy, I have a cute idea to show you - a friend's candy buffet.

The buffet is positioned right by the back door in the kitchen. The perfect place to grab a mint before walking out and talking to the world.

Don't let the goblins get to you this week...


Monday, October 26, 2015

A little progress in my son's room...

Ok, so before I begin, here are all the reasons I haven't gotten very far in redoing and updating my son's room:

1. Summer ended.
2. Summer ended.
3. Summer ended.

You get the picture. I shared a little about my plans here. Once I'm back in the classroom full time, the updating, doing, and redoing tends to take a back seat. But, I have managed to get a few things done. And, after all, a little progress is better than no progress. Don't you agree?

I've hung the United States picture that I ordered from Smallwoods. A little more about the picture here. (The cost has gone up slightly.)

I found a shade at Lowe's for the cute lamp I picked up from the Salvation Army thrift store.

I ordered two of the Kallax shelving units from Ikea. (The first thing I've ordered from them - very pleased.)

And, I found a navy striped clothes hamper that I love at Sam's for less than $20.00. Mr. Teenager said it was girlie, but it's staying.

I'm hoping to pick up the pace in the next few weeks. With Thanksgiving break (we get the whole week off this year. Yay!) and Christmas break coming up, I'll have a dab more free time.

That hamper's not girlie, is it?

Have a great week! And thanks for reading along. Don't forget you can also follow us on Instagram, and keep up on Facebook, too.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Game Day Chili

I've been making this chili for years and I had to look no further than the back of the Chili-O seasoning mix for the recipe. I'm not really all that crazy about chili, but I do like this version and everyone who shares it with us likes it, too!


1 -  1 1/2 lbs of lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 can of light or dark kidney beans
1 can of Del Monte Zesty Chili Style tomatoes
1 package of French's Chili-O seasoning mix
2 cups of water (more or less to taste)

While the ground beef is browning, mix all the other ingredients and let them simmer on low.

Be sure to get the Zesty Chili Style tomatoes.

Add the ground beef and enough water to get it to the consistency you like. Simmer about 30 minutes on low. I turn mine off and let it sit for another 30 minutes. Warm it back up and serve. Expecting a crowd for the game, double the recipe!

Have a great Saturday and, as always, Roll Tide!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Luca + Danni...

"Let this compass navigate you through life's twist and turns and guide you to fortune and love." 

A couple of weekends ago I traveled to Nashville to hang out with two special people. They've been in my life since the seventh grade. (I will not be disclosing how long ago that was...) We did the normal girl stuff: ate great food, talked without ceasing, and did a little shopping. Our favorite girls' weekend purchase hangs on our arms in the picture - our compass bracelets. 

We found the bracelets at a boutique called Pieces. We were hunting for a trinket to remind us of our getaway and our friendship. The bracelets fit the bill perfectly.

They were created by Lucca + Danni, a family owned company "born out of the simple yet powerful belief that dreams can come true."

Read their story here and look through their other designs here. They have beautiful, original work at really reasonable prices. You can view the compass bracelet here. I think you will like Lucca + Danni as much as we do.

Thankful for the gift of friendship on this Thursday...


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Do you have a busy week ahead? Grab these six ingredients for a quick, tasty meal. It only takes about 20 minutes start to finish.

Tyson Buffalo Chicken Strips
Large flour tortilla shells
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced Roma tomatoes
Ranch dressing

Bake the chicken strips according to the directions. I cut each strip in half with my pizza cutter and place both halves in the shell. Add more chicken for a thicker wrap.

These are the shells I use. They are large enough to hold the ingredients and soft enough to fold easily.

Prepare the other ingredients while the chicken is baking. Slice the tomatoes and chop the lettuce.

Layer the ingredients once the chicken is ready.

Wrap and serve.

These are pretty filling and depending on the dressing you use, have between 450-500 calories in each wrap. To reduce the calories, use light dressing and lower calorie cheese. You'll be making these frequently after they are served for the first time! They are good... :-)


Friday, October 16, 2015

Break out the booties...

Earlier in the week I introduced you to two of my favorite fashion bloggers. I decided to stay with the fashion theme today.

I've rounded up some cute booties for us to check out, assuming fall is going to eventually stop by. Links below...

Lots of tassels in the shoe world these days. My students are rocking them on everything!

 Tassels // Black // Zipper // Gray // Tan  // Belted

Now, if we'll just get some cooler weather!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fashion to follow...

I have two fashion blogs to tell you about. Do you like to read fashion blogs? I don't have much time for them during the school year, but I do enjoy a quick picture on Instagram. I love the creativity the bloggers employ putting their outfits together, usually in an economical way. It looks so effortless. I thought I would introduce you to two of my favorites.

The first one is Cassie Sugarplum, her stage name.

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Pinterest Told Me To is another entertaining favorite. Her fun posts make me laugh. She blogs a lot about The Bachelor and Bachelorette. She and Mix and Match Momma went to a taping of the show. Her post about that experience is definitely a great read.
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If you can't add anything else to your reading plate right now, at least follow them on Instagram. Lots of age appropriate fashion inspiration from these two :-)

@cassiesugarplum and @pinteresttoldmeto


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thrifty Thursday...

I love thrift store scores, and I bet you do, too. Honestly, I like them better than buying new. 1 - I'm always curious to know how the previous owner used the goodies, and 2 - saving a little money is always a good thing.

Pillows freshen up or update any space, so I knew these would be coming home with me. I'm not exactly sure where they will end up, but they'll add a little character where ever they land.

It's hard to tell in the picture, but the pattern is navy.

My other bargains of late are baskets. I don't know why, but both times I've treasure hunted lately, I came home with pillows and baskets. These two still had the tags on them. They were originally from Pier 1 Imports.

The perfect size for hidden storage.

And finally, a round basket.

Tune in later to see where they all end up. :-)