In the last month I have helped my son move and my daughter get her house ready to sell. Being involved in these kinds of activities helps me realize the importance of staying organized. Me and my husband have lived in our home since 2001 and are empty-nesters. No kids, no mess, right? That’s correct, but only when the grandkids aren’t here. I try to keep clutter to a minimum and schedule each January as a “clean out the closet” month. These intentions allow me to stay fairly organized, but not as much I as would like. Since helping my children with their “upgrades” to their lifestyles, I look at my own way of living and find that I still save too much stuff. Too many things that I promise will come in handy sometime in the future. Too many things I think hold sentimental value. Too many clothes I know I’ll wear when I lose 10 pounds (what a dreamer I am).
In our many years of living in Idaho we’ve discovered that Idaho is never short on surprises. You could call southern Idaho a poster child for the effect of volcanoes on the landscape. Oh, how true this is…
Who can eat just one peanut? They are the annoyance who keeps calling you back for more, and won’t let you go until there are none left to eat. However, when combined with chocolate, the whole world comes into focus and you are at peace. There are some happy things in life you can achieve by just eating a brownie. Here is a recipe that incorporates fudgy brownies, crisp rice cereal treats and above all, peanuts and peanut butter.
Strawberries and cream…the best of friends, and nothing is more delectable than layering them on some pound cake. To me, strawberry desserts are delightful reminders of Spring, outdoor barbeques and family gatherings.
This project is what you would call a barbed wire craft without the “barbies”. It’s all about the twisted wire, and to my surprise, twisting the wires together really doesn’t take that long and you can form them into the most unusual objects. I formed my twisted wire into a look-alike bedspring to display shabby hearts from this post and this post.
I guess you could call this trifle recipe a most luscious version of “That Special Dessert” recipe I posted here. If you make brownies in bulk like I do, you already have the most important ingredient of the trifle (bulk brownie recipe here). I use the same cream cheese custard recipe and the same chocolate pudding recipe from “That Special Dessert” post. The only difference is I add 1 cup of cool whip to the custard and pudding after the mixtures are cooled, and right before I assemble the trifle.
Our family loves brownies. In fact, we are practicing chocolate lovers and always have some form of chocolate displayed openly in our home. I need to tell you how I bake brownies. I bake them in bulk. I use 1 commercially packaged brownie mix and 1 “made from scratch” brownie recipe. I combine them and bake them in a jelly role pan. I then divide the baked brownies in half and freeze 1/2 for later. If you look into my fridge you will see that I always have a container of vanilla buttercream frosting just waiting to spread over the perfect treat. Most of the time that treat is brownies. With the stored buttercream frosting I can add whatever flavor I want…mint, orange, extra vanilla and such.
I’ve lived in Idaho for over 39 years and I am still amazed at the beauty she has to offer. So, once the spring temperatures were warm enough to be comfortable outside without a coat, I was ready to venture out into nature. A family member recommended to my husband and I that we should make a visit to Jump Creek Falls just outside of Marsing, Idaho, and not far from home. Once at the site you’ll find there is an easy 1/4 mile hike to the falls. The trail follows Jump Creek and is lined with plenty of “flora and fauna” (you know…pretty trees and shrubbery).
The sun is shinning, the days are longer, most of my seeds have spouted and I am happy. I grew up with two parents who loved to garden. My mother was all about the flowers and my father would plan our vegetable garden months in advance. I can understand. Once the seed catalogs are delivered and I’ve spent hours combing through each one of them, choosing new and unique plants and flowers, I am ready for Spring. I have a little herb garden right out my back door and I find that cooking with fresh herbs has a magical effect on my recipes. Basil, thyme, rosemary, chives, oregano and parsley bring a wonderful and soothing aroma to our back patio. It’s a gathering place where all my flowers, hanging baskets and container plants are nearby. Sometimes it’s the best place to be.
In January when the weather is intolerably cold, I clean-out and organize at least one closet, cupboard or storage shelf. This year it was my sewing closet (that’s why I created this post and this one too.) I don’t own bunches and bunches of fabrics like good sewers do, but I have fabric that has been stored for at least 8 to 10 years. Most of them scraps from other projects and still useful, but taking up too much space. When I came across some denim I knew what I wanted to do…more shabby hearts like the ones posted here, but with a “patriotic flair”.