Monday, February 21, 2011

Better-Than-Almost-Anything Cake

This is the Betty Crocker family friendly internet approved name for this cake.  At our house we have a different name for it, but I didn’t think it was appropriate for my nice innocent blog. 

Today your life will change.  Ok, not today, but the day that you make this cake.  Cake1


  • 1 Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk  (Fat Free is ok)
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Cool Whip
  • 2 King Size Heath Bars (Now really if you’re making a smaller cake, you probably will only need one, but you tell your husband to bring home two so that you can can pretend to be surprised and confused and then eat the extra one.)


{To Make}

Bake cake according to the directions on the box.  A few minutes after it’s come out of the oven, take a knife to it.  Stab the heck out of it.  No, I have not gone crazy, you need those holes so the gooey caramel and Sweetened Condensed Milk will seep into the cake. 


After you have stabbed a million holes in your cake, pop open your Sweetened Condensed Milk poor it all over the cake.  Next, poor the Caramel Sauce all over.  (I only used about half the can of milk and half of the caramel, but if you’re making a 9 x 13, you might want to use it all.)  Doesn’t have to look pretty, duh you just poked holes all over it.  Now step back.  Lick your fingers.  Let the cake cool.  Let it cool very well. 


If it does not cool well, your Cool Whip will slide off the cake and look funny.  But chances are if you are the only person to bring a dessert to your Ward Party people will still eat it if it looks funny, because it still tastes the same. . . Just sayin’.


After it has cooled well (see above).  Spread Cool Whip on top.  While you are doing that have your 2 year-old or other kitchen helper crush up your Heath Bar.  “But, Ashlie, you can just by the Heath Bits now.”  I like the crushed up bars better.  You get bigger chunks.  But you can do what you want . . .


The last and final step, sprinkle crushed Heath on top of cake.  This was our Valentine’s dessert, so I tried to make it more Valentiney by making a heart out of the Heath pieces. 


Cut yourself a piece and en-joy! 

Note:  Really this cake tastes better the next day or a few hours after you make it, the caramel and milk soak in and make it oh so gooey and good!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I {Heart} The Quick Unpick

Just found this new blog and had to share it with you: 


“The Spangler” shares lots of fun sewing projects, many of them made from refashioning old clothing.  She has great tutorials with lots of pictures and great explanations.  I haven’t had a serious sewing project probably since Christmas {gasp!} but now I am so excited to try my hand at one of her projects.  Seriously did not see a project that I did not adore!

Here were a few of my favs:


Seriously wish these boots came in my size!



This skirt would go perfect with the boots!



This adorable dress was refashioned from a woman’s skirt.  I must find a skirt exactly like it, so I can make this exact same dress.  So cute!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paint Stick Swords



I am a double dipper.  Not in the gross George kind of way (you know George from Seinfeld?).  But I think, why reinvent the wheel?  I made these wonderfully awesome easy cheap swords and shields for kiddo family and friends for Christmas.  And I whipped them out again for Valentine’s Day, but of course gave them to different people. 

I also believe in taking things nice and slow.  So today I am showing how to make the Paint Stick Swords, and tomorrow I’ll show you how to make the Pizza Tray Shields.   



Supplies for making your own Paint Stick Sword (in case the picture was not self explanatory enough):

  • JUMBO Paint Sticks.  I get my from Lowe’s.  They give me a few for free, but when I’ve asked for more than five they charge like 25 cents a pop.
  • Something to sand with.  I love me some power tools. 
  • Spray Paint.  I used primer first.  Splurged on some serious metallic paint. 
  • Electrical tape.  Not in the picture, but still very important. 
  • 2 Jumbo Popsicle Sticks per sword.  Also not pictured, but very important if you want to make a sword, not just  a shiny paint stick. 
  • Those Papa Murphy’s pizza baking trays are for next time, so ignore those for now. 

Got everything?  Ok we are ready to roll.


{Step One}

Sand paint sticks.  Round the corners off.  Get rid of all those pointy corners. 




{Step Two}

Spray paint a primer base coat.  Let dry.  Paint with your metallic paint.  Let dry.


{Step Three}

Attach pommel, I think this is the correct technical term, nope Googled it, it’s called a guard.  Use two Jumbo Popsicle Sticks for each sword.  Use a little bit of hot glue.  Glue one stick on the top and one on the bottom. 



{Step Four}

Get your Electrical Tape.  Wrap  it all around the guard/hilt/pommel (I {heart} Google).  Give it a good couple layers.  Cover it all over. 



{Step Five}

Have an awesome sword fight. 



Stayed tuned for the instructions on how to make the shield.  You simply cannot have a good sword fight without a sword.  “The most important piece of equipment is your shield! If you must make a choice between a sword and a shield, take the shield!”  (Name that movie!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Read With Me Wednesday: President’s Day Edition

President’s Day is coming up.  To celebrate I thought I’d share with you my favorite “President-ish” books. 


imageSo You Want to be President?
Written by Judith St. George

Illustrated by David Small

“That's a big job, and getting bigger. But why not? Presidents have come in just about every variety. They've been generals like George Washington and actors like Ronald Reagan; big like William Howard Taft and small like James Madison; handsome like Franklin Pierce and homely like Abraham Lincoln. They've been born in log cabins like Andrew Jackson and mansions like William Harrison.

From the embarrassment of skinny-dipping John Quincy Adams, to the escapades of Theodore Roosevelt's children, to the heroic recovery of John Kennedy's crew, Judith St. George shares the backroom facts, the spit-fire comments, and the comical anecdotes that have been part and parcel of America's White House.

Hilariously illustrated by Caldecott honor-winning artist David Small in the cherished tradition of political commentary, this rip-roaring celebration of forty-one Presidents shows us the foibles, the quirks, and — most of all — the humanity of those men who have risen to one of the most powerful positions in the world.”  (



imageMr. Lincoln's Whiskers
Written and Illustrated by Karen B. Winnick

"The story is presented simply and with authenticity. Children will identify with this independent young girl. . . Containing a wonderful piece of history beautifully and succinctly presented, this story can be read in groups or individually to entertain and to teach." (School Library Journal)



imageLincoln: A Photobiography
Written by Russell Freedman
160 pages

“This work is perhaps the most complete and enjoyable children's book ever written about one of the nation's most fascinating and important figures, Abraham Lincoln. Russell Freedman covers Lincoln's life and career in a balanced treatment that is enhanced by period photographs and drawings. The book won the Newbery Medal, the Jefferson Cup Award and the Golden Kite Honor Book Award, and earned a citation as School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.”  ( Review)



imageGeorge Washington's Breakfast
Written by Jean Fritz

48 pages

“George Washington Allen, a boy who never gives up until he finds out what he wants to know, is determined to learn all there is to know about his namesake--including what the first president ate for breakfast.”  (

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hoo Are You?

Joining in the fun today at Night Owl Crafting

1. What did you get/give for Valentine's Day?


My husband got me a new camera, which was really partly a present for himself too.  Gave some other silly little things. 


2. Do you have a vacation planned in the next couple of months or in the summer?


We are going away for the weekend to a gorgeous inn near Bear Lake.  Without the kiddo.  For the first time ever.  And we hope to do some light camping this summer. 


3. What is one thing you do to pamper yourself?


I drink Diet Mt. Dew.  Like there’s no tomorrow.  I love to go get a fresh one from the gas station. 


4. What sparks your interest to other people's blogs?

Fabulous original ideas.  Neatly organized.  Good writing.



5. What kind of a mood are you in today?


Pretty good  mood.  The kid was wonderful.  We enjoyed the warmth and sunshine.  My dad brought us Chinese for dinner on his way home.  I will stop there, the rest is mostly negative, I’m trying to get over it.  Night ended great with lots of goodnight kisses from the Little Miss. 

Valentines Crafts

Better late than never.  I strongly believe that ALL holidays should be at the end of the month, like Halloween.  I always need more time!



Made these tissue paper hearts.  Found at Crafttown, via Gretchen at The Pike Family



Handprint Owl , inspiration from Meet the Dubiens.  The Little Miss and I made this Valentine’s Day morning for Dad.  When he came home from work we showed it to him, and I asked, “Do ya’ get it?”  “Yeah.  ‘Owl’ love you.”  For a sec I thought, oh yeah, he gets it.  Then I realized it sounded not quite right.  It was really supposed to say “‘Owl’ ALWAYS love you.”  BIG oops!  Instead it’s more like, well, if I have to ‘Owl’ love you.  I tried.


IMG_0632   IMG_0636

Paper Heart Garland, found at The Pike Family.



Plastic Bag Heart Wreath, found at Us and Them, via Tatertots and Jello



Heart Tree, found at my house.  Tin bucket, on hand.  Branches spray painted white.  Red paper hearts, hole punched, hung with ribbon. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I “Mustache” You a Question

Mustache you a question

Fine, I am a total nerd. 

I don’t understand it.  My husband doesn’t understand it.  I don’t expect you to either. 

Not only did we get these Valentine’s from Eighteen25, but I made my own too.  I just had to hop on board the Mustache Valentine Band Wagon.  (They even make T-shirts)  Even though I don’t have a little boy, I subjected my not too thrilled daughter to it.  I just couldn’t help myself.

Ok, thanks for letting me get that off my chest, and for not judging me too harshly . . .

PS I would love to share, just leave me a comment and I’ll send it your way, but without the picture of my kid . . .

Be My Valentine

Wow!  Can I tell you I have the best husband ever!  (For me at least, I know lots of you also have the best husbands ever.)  Last week told me he had my Valentine’s present and was so excited to give it to me.  I was a little shocked we are usually not super big on giving gifts on Valentine’s.  Next he asked if I wanted him to give it to me early.  Honestly this happens most every birthday, holiday, anniversary when my husband knows he has gotten me and awesome gift and CANNOT wait to give it to me!  Once, when he got me my Cricut for my Birthday, did he hold off giving it to me until the day of.  So I said sure, he could give it to me early, if he HAD to.  So he goes downstairs and brings up this huge box. . . I am thinking, what I in the world does he know that I want that could be that big??  I open the box and inside was . . . .




Seriously.  So.  Shocked.  So we have been busy playing and taking LOTS of pictures.  So fun!  Believe it or not I have even been taking pictures of crafts too.  So stayed tuned for those later. 

For now I will leave you with our Valentines that we printed yesterday, yes, we are procrastinators!


Template found {HERE} at Eighteen25

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heart Potato Stamps

Saw this tutorial over at Cap Creations and knew that it was something that my two year-old and I could do together while it is freezing cold outside so we don’t go completely crazy staying inside ALL THE TIME.  They were so easy, you probably have everything on hand. 

Stamp 1

Stamp 2Ready to start stamping . . .

Add paint.

And . . .

Stamp 3

Lots of stamping fun.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine Ice Cream Sandwiches

V Ice Cream Sandwiches

Last night we had a Family Home Evening on loving each other.  These ice cream sandwiches were a perfect treat, they were yummy, super fast to make, and my toddler could help!

We used store bought cookie dough, cooked cookies according to directions.  Right when the cookies came out of the oven I used heart cookie cutters to cut shapes.  Let cookies cool and then placed in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Took out cookies and ice cream.  Piled ice cream on one cookie, pressed cookies together, rolled edges in sprinkles.  Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Heart Pancakes

It’s February!  Is it just me or did January seem like the longest month ever?! 

Today I am excited to share with you a perfect Valentiney meal.  My husband and daughter love pancakes.  We spiced things up a bit the other night when we had them for dinner and had our pancakes heart style.

Pancakes 4

I don’t have a fancy heart pancake thingy, but I did have heart shaped cookie cutters and a clothespin:

Pancake 1

Worked just great for me!


Pancake 3

Added some heart shaped butter.  Just like cutting out sugar cookies, out of a slice of butter, with tiny little heart cookie cutters.  I just couldn’t resist buying them at Michael's the other day!

Pancake 6

Just make sure butter is fairly cold, like straight out of the fridge cold. 


Pancake 5

Even easier just put a little heart butter on regular old pancakes.  Hope you enjoy!  Would love to hear about how you are sharing the love this month!

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