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Monday, November 12, 2012

Smile Today

They say smiles are contagious... and I firmly believe that is true.  Have you ever been having a bad day and been around someone who can't stop smiling?  Before you know it, their joy has rubbed off on you and you are smiling too.  

Let's take time today to smile, even if we don't feel like it at the moment.  We never know what impact that one smile can have on another person.  

Have a blessed and happy day!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

I come from a family of great cooks.  Only recently have I began to really enjoy cooking for my family though.  I know, it seems a little late... but better late than never I suppose.

My grandmother gave me a pumpkin spice cake recipe while we were talking a few weeks back that I have been dying to try.  I am a self proclaimed pumpkin junkie this time of year and my mouth watered since our conversation.  An added bonus - this is the simplest recipe ever!

All you need is a box of spice cake mix and can of pumpkin.  I had a hard time finding the cake mix, but finally located a box at Walmart.  I chose to make mine in a bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your bundt pan.

First, mix your box of spice cake mix and can of pumpkin.  Do not use any of the extras that the normal cake calls for (eggs, oil, water).  Using an electric mixer gets a smoother consistency since it is so thick.

Next, pour your batter into a the bundt pan. Put into the oven and cook for 30 - 40 minutes (depending on your oven).  I checked to make sure my cake was done using a toothpick - it's done when the toothpick comes out clean.

Here is the finished product - a delicious pumpkin spice cake!

Does anyone have any other great pumpkin recipes to share?  Please leave your favorites in the comments.

Day 1 - Gratitude

I am SO grateful for my precious little girl... Gia.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, gratitude seems to be the buzz word for this month.  I'm a big believer in practicing daily gratitude.  Sometimes I do this by making an actual gratitude list to put a rough day back in perspective, other times just in thought or prayer.  In my experience, this simple act of acknowledging the blessings in my life brightens my day and causes the good things to grow and multiply.  

So, in the spirit of gratitude, I will be doing daily posts on different things I am grateful for... Please feel free to comment with your daily gratitude.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A New Way to Use an Old Book

For those of you who know me, you know that I LOVE my books!  I have shelves and shelves of them - all sizes and kinds.

I found this great idea on how to use the ones I will never read again at Redefine Creativity... by making holiday ornaments.  Alisa Burke has some other great ideas for upcycling your old books too.

Supplies needed:  styrofoam ball, old book pages, glue  (I started with stick glue, but switched to permanent fabric glue halfway through - it seems to hold better), hot glue gun, ribbon.

Start by tearing your book pages into little bits.  Next, apply little dabs of glue onto the styrofoam ball and smear around - doing small sections at a time makes it more manageable and keeps the glue from drying before you get to it.  Once you apply the glue, collage your torn book pages onto the ball.

Set aside to dry.  Once completely dry, attach the ribbon to the styrofoam ball - forming a loop to hang your ornament with.

I love this idea so much!

Making Leaf Prints

My little one and I took advantage of the crisp fall weather this week and set out for the park to collect leaves.  I've recently gotten a creative spark and decided the perfect way to start was with a fall leaf project.

We gathered all different shapes and sizes, and put them in our bucket to take home.  Gia loved this part and was a wonderful leaf collector!

When we got home, we got out our art supplies.  All you need to make great leaf prints is paper, crayons, and a collection of leaves.

First, lay the leaf (veiny side up) under the piece of paper.  Next, using the flat part of the crayon, rub it over the leaf.  Continue this with different leaves and colors until your paper is full.

If your little one is too young to get the hang of it, their own personal artwork will just add to the picture.  Gia colored what she wanted and I used contrasting colors for the leaf prints.

When we finished with our artwork, I found some extra frames that I had laying around and framed our art for fall.  I'm really happy with how it came out... and the best part was the experience of making it with my little one!  

Let me know what you think...