Monday, March 13, 2017

Blog With Friends: March 2017 Green Graduation Cake

Welcome to Blog With Friends March 2017 "Green" Edition!!

Last month Clone of Bob passed his High School Equivalency Exam and we decided to have a small party for him. It's hard to do a graduation party this time of year because it just isn't the season for it. DH and I didn't even find a graduation card!

Clone of Bob isn't big on cake. He'll eat a cupcake every now and then, but not regular cake, so I decided to make him an ice cream cake in his favorite color shaped like a graduation cap. 

I found that making an ice cream cake isn't that difficult, but it can get expensive. The items I purchased to make this thing.

  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream
  • 5 Reese's cups
  • 1 Large Kit Kat bar
  • 1 Oreo Cookie crust, or crushed oreo cookies.
  • Ingredients for Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping 
    • 1/3 C water
    • 1/3 C sugar
    • 2/3 C peanut butter
  • Ingredient for Dream Whip Frosting
  • Hot fudge

I made the vanilla layer first:

  1. Scoop about 4 scoops of ice cream into a bowl and then using my mixer to blend it to the consistency of frosting.
  2. Line a round 8" cake pan with plastic wrap, leaving extra hanging over the edge. 
  3. Spread the ice cream into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add your choice of stuff: I layered 1/2 of the crushed cookies, broken Kit Kat Bars, and hot fudge over top. 
  5. Scoop more ice cream into the mixing bowl and blend as before. 
  6. Spread over top, cover with plastic wrap and get it into the freezer.
I made the chocolate layer the same as above, except:
  • I used a 9" square pan
  • I put a layer of Peanut butter Ice Cream Sauce, broken Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and the other half crushed cookies in the middle.

Peanut Butter Sauce Directions:
  • Mix together water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Stir until smooth.

I froze both pans overnight before moving on to frosting the cake.

  • I removed the round cake from the pan, using the plastic wrap, and flipped it onto a cake pan.
  • Then I put the square cake on top using the same method. 
  • I made the frosting linked above and added green food coloring. 
  • I learned that you have to work fast and keep putting it back into the freezer. The frosting actually smoothed out better when it was frozen.
  • I drew the tassel and lettering on with a gel frosting.
  • It will last for a week in the freezer, but would probably be better if eaten sooner.
It was so good that I forgot to take a pic of it after it was sliced into!

Now for our other projects!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado made Green, Egg, and HamA fun breakfast for St. Patrick’s Day or any day.

Lydia at Cluttered Genius gives us ideas on what to do with all those old crayons.

Melissa at My Heartfelt Sentiments made a DIY- A Nugget of Fun! Handmade gifts are best when filled with chocolate! This cute box and greeting card make for fun gifts during the holidays, for end-of-the-year teacher gifts, or any other special occasion.

Kia at Think in English tells us what Green really means in English.

Kristin Novotny at Little Mama Jama made Mint Mocha Cupcakes using a simple recipe.

Tamara at Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom made a Leprechaun Craft: Tutorial on how to make a bunch of cute little leprechauns using toilet paper rolls

Dawn at Spatulas on Parade made Green Bunny Poop?!?!

Rabia at the Lieber Family shows you 10 ways to add more Green to your Pot of Gold

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fly on the Wall February 2017

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

The past month has been interesting...

Clone of Bob finished high school!! I have been homeschooling him since fourth grade. It's been a long and tiring journey. We fought a lot; mainly because he's lazy. There were times when I wondered if I did him any favors by pulling him out of public school, then I see how well-behaved he is, for the most part, and remember why I did it. 

Anyway, I had always planned on having them both take their High School Equivalency Exams, mainly to give them a state-issued diploma. Back in December, I had had enough fighting with him to get him to do his work and called the college where they do the test prep locally. They took him on, and upon pre-testing declared that he was nearly ready to take his tests. Despite all the fighting with him, he still learned something, which was a relief! 

He took his last two exams last week and passed them both. We're just waiting for the diploma in the mail. Now he plans to start college in the fall, learning auto mechanics (he loves older muscle cars and would love to learn how to fix them up). 

One down, one to go!


Bob built me an office!! I've been job searching again and found a work-from-home opportunity that required that I have a private space to work in along with some other requirements. My computer was set up in the kitchen, which doesn't allow any privacy. 

Our bathroom is huge, especially since we pulled the tub out of the room (it was never used). And, our walk-in closet was a pretty good size. Bob is building a nice, big closet in our bathroom and turned our walk-in closet into my office. I also use it for craft storage, but I can shut the door if I need privacy and no one will bother me in there. 

Yes, it's messy... I'm still trying to organize it all.

Did I get the job? Not yet. As a matter of fact, every time I look, they've changed the job requirements and I don't even qualify anymore. What kind of company keeps changing their job description? I don't think I even want to work for a company like that. 


Until I find a regular, better paying job, I am working for Rev, which is a transcription company. I get paid by the audio minute, and most times don't even average minimum wage. However, it's experience and extra income until my dream job comes along.


We broke down and bought new furniture. Our recliners weren't comfortable any more and the couch and love seat were a bad purchase right from the beginning. All our black lab had to do was look at the furniture and it was covered in fur. It was never fully clean and drove me absolutely crazy.

Do not buy furniture this light when you have dark colored animals, especially microfiber...

We bought pleather (fake leather) furniture. Is it a good idea in the South where the humidity levels alone will make book pages wavy? Maybe not, but I can wipe it off with a cloth! We bought the cats a really cool cat tree in hopes of keeping them from clawing at my new furniture. We also bought a Feliway diffuser...we'll see if it works. If it doesn't, the next step will be "Soft Paws" for the cats claws. No way would I ever de-claw them. 


We also bought the cats a slow-feed dish. Two of them would eat so fast that they'd throw it back up, and the third one is overweight (we joke and call her a "cowlico" cat). 

I think, Tony, our big guy was going to lose his mind. He hates change, and really hated the idea that he'd have to go through a maze to eat his food. I think he'll be okay, though. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Fly on the Wall-January 2017

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

2016 ended in a good way for us, which takes the sting out of the bad. 

I graduated from college again. Maybe with two associate's degrees I can find my dream job. 


Bob and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary with a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean aboard the Carnival Magic! This trip was wonderful! We went with another family (who have cruised before, so we weren't completely clueless) and plan to go again in 2020; that's how much we enjoyed ourselves!

This particular cruise left Port Canaveral and went to Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, USVI; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. 

The scenery was breathtaking!

Rough seas the first few days, but made for nice pictures (even if I was feeling very green).
From the aft (back) of the ship.

From the top of Paradise Point in St. Thomas, USVI. It was a scary gondola ride, but it was totally worth the view!
We all fell in love with Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos. Unfortunately, we didn't stay off the ship for very long because I had a terrible headache that day and wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed for a while. 

 The kids did NOT want to get out of the water in Grand Turk. We are keeping our eye on future cruises, hoping to book one that goes back to Grand Turk so that we can enjoy it more fully.


Bob and I finished part of our latest project:

That wall was plain, and we had a lot of wood left over (still do, despite all we put on the wall), so Bob decided to cover a wall in the den (you can tell by the mess that this is the kids' hang out) with wood before we build the wall-to-wall shelving he has planned for it. I'm happy with it, but I would have preferred a reddish color and I got outvoted. So, guess what? That wall-to-wall shelving unit is going a reddish color! Take that Bob and kiddos!

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Blog With Friends-January 2017-Easy Fleece Hat

Welcome to Blog with Friends, January Edition!! I don't like frost and don't have fun in it, but if I have to be outside when it is frosty, my head HAS to be warm. If my head is cold, my whole body is cold!

Boo has had this had for a long time; it's her favorite. I've borrowed it a time or two and can understand why it is her favorite: it's so warm!

Anyway, it's starting to show it's age and I have already had to fix it once, so I decided to make her a new one and one for myself while I was at it.

I bought one of those cheap fleece blanket throws from Walmart for around $4. I will get approximately 5 hats out of it. Not bad for $4!

Anyway, it's really simple if you have a sewing machine and some fleece:

Pieces to cut:
A: One 8-inch diameter circle.
B: One 4 1/2" by 24" rectangle
C: One 6 1/2" by 24" rectangle

1. With right sides together, sew piece B to piece A (circle).

2. Sew back seam of piece B; if necessary, close gap at seam of pieces A and B.

3. Fold piece C in half, long direction, and sew ends together.

4. With the hat still inside out, place piece C over edge of hat (B) with the end seam edge facing up (right side facing wrong side) and sew around.

5. If necessary, trim edges of seams and then turn right side out. Finished!! (Can add trim or decoration at this point if you choose to)

You can print a copy of this pattern here, along with an 8-inch circle you can use for a pattern. Make sure that you print the actual size; do NOT scale to size, otherwise, your circle will be too small.

Now for some other great blog posts!!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado made Angel Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream and Berries. YUM!

Melissa Robinson at My Heartfelt Sentiments made DIY Frosted Fun Cards so you can sprinkle fun greetings for those special occasions with these handmade cards.

Kia at Think in English will show you how to Listen, Speak, Read and Write in the Language of Winter with some language learning activities focused on winter and fun. 

Dawn at Spatulas on Parade made a Frosty Fun Double Chocolate Cherry cheesecake filled bundt cake

Lydia at Cluttered Genius give us ideas on what to do inside when you can't go outside

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hurricane Matthew: Keeping informed during a storm

We live in Eastern North Carolina. Originally, we were under a tropical storm warning, but Matthew didn't do what it was expected to do and things were worse than I expected them to be. It was rough, but I've learned a few things this go around (the last one was Irene) that I'll share in a series of posts.

Today is about keeping informed. I really like to know what is going on around me. Before we lost power we watched the local news quite a bit. After that, it was a little more challenging to get information.

Facebook and my cell phone were my best friends. We lost power right after dinner on Saturday night. We don't have a generator, nor a battery-operated radio (should probably get one). We used the car to charge our cell phones and tablets (which is way slower than the outlet in your house).

Here is a list of apps and Facebook pages that have helped tremendously to keep us informed:

Facebook can be tricky because they don't show you everything in your feed, even if you select "most recent". At least it doesn't for me. So, even though information is being repeated, I'd rather "Like" the pages of multiple sources than just one.

  • Your local power company (which I didn't find until the day after our power was restored; it's found for the next time)
  • City/town public services page, even if you don't live in the city/town, but in the county.
  • County emergency services page (my favorite page!)
  • Local news stations' pages
  • Local newspaper's page
*Note: I found that clicking the pages feed helps a lot! You don't have to wade through so many posts to find the information you need.*

Phone Apps (I have an Android phone, so all of my apps came from the Play Store):

  • Local news station's apps. 
  • Weather channel
  • ReadyNC (or whatever you might have in your state): It gives information on road closures and emergency measures. 
  • Local radio station
  • NextRadio- I can turn my cell phone into a radio!
  • Facebook

Yes, this all eats data, but if you are like me and cannot stand not knowing what is going on, you bite the bullet and deal with the data issue later.

We weren't without power as long as some people--only 2 1/2 days--but it seems a lot longer while you're living it. Everything in our home is electric, so we couldn't cook or take showers. There are times when I wish some of that was gas, but not enough to switch.

My next post will be the "Power Outage Survival Kit" that I am putting together. There are things that we bought this time around that worked out great for us and I'll show you what they are. 

And below is a terrible picture of the flash flooding around our storage building. We had about 1 1/2 to 2 feet of water inside of it during the worst of the flash flooding. We've got a few things in there that might be ruined. We won't know until we get them fully dried out and try to run them. 

Flash Flooding around our storage building.
Do you have any apps or Facebook pages that you rely on in an emergency?

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Great TV Debacle-Fly on the Wall August 2016

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 10 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Spatulas onParade                                          
Searching forSanity                                         
Never Ever Give UpHope                                   
Dinosaur SuperheroMommy                          
Southern BelleCharm                   
Go Mama O                          

On July 3, we found a nice (we thought) Samsung 4K TV on clearance at Walmart for $500. We were preparing to "cut the cord" and drop our cable and wanted a smart TV, or at least one that would be easier to switch over to our Roku since we expected to be streaming more. Anyhow, we brought the TV home and set it up and had to immediately take it back to the store.

Can you see what it was doing? Something was seriously broken. So, since Bob had already bought a TV for $500, we set out to find another for around that price and headed to Sam's Club. They had a TCL Roku TV on sale for $489! We immediately bought one since the reviews looked good. We had it exactly one month and this showed up on the screen:

Really?!?! Again? I called TCL since the TV was supposed to have a one year warranty on it. They asked me to email them a picture of what it was doing. The response I got made me see red! "Unfortunately, cracked screens are not covered by the warranty." They went on to suggest that we contact the store we bought it from and see what they would do. Thankfully, Sam's Club has a 90-day return policy; we didn't exchange it for another TV of any kind. We went to our local furniture store and bought one from there with a 3-year warranty. 

Now, I have to ask you: How in the world does a TV screen crack after sitting on a TV stand for a month and no one had touched it? (No, I hadn't even cleaned it).

We are now cable-free! We already paid for Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime while we had cable. We got a 3-month Trial of CBS All-Access, and we decided to try Sling TV so we can get TNT (can't miss The Last Ship!). I am so happy with our set-up at this point. Most of the time, we can choose what we want to watch instead of flipping through channels. Paying for Sling TV brings our monthly savings to $85/month. That's more than what I spend in gas every month.


I am starting my last semester of school this month. I'm excited! I thought I was ready to go back to school, but I realized that I was still burned out almost immediately after starting in January. 

Clone of Bob should graduate this year. This is a relief to me because I have to admit that I am so sick of homeschooling that my "give a darn" is losing it's energy. Boo is easy and pretty much works independently, so she won't be so hard. Even she only has 2 years to go. 


Bob's grandmother passed away last week. While the reason for going "home" wasn't a good one, we got to see family that we hadn't seen in years and finally got the meet the new babies in the family and see how much the others have grown. Below is a pic of Boo with my great-niece.

Don't forget to scroll up and buzz around the other bloggers' homes!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Blog With Friends-School Color Cookies

Wow, it's been a while since I participated in a BWF group post! It's nice to be back!

Since we homeschool, we choose our own school colors. Boo love turquoise and teal and Clone of Bob has always loved green.

I made cookies a while back using sugar cookie mix, black cherry Kool-Aid and cherry chips. They were so good! So I decided to see what other flavor combinations I could come up with using Kool-Aid to flavor the cookies.

For this one, since we're talking about school spirit, I've decided that our school colors are teal and green, As a matter of fact, even thought the kids aren't going to have a traditional graduation ceremony, they should still get a tassel. I can order them online in any color combination that I want to, so they will be green/teal with the year they graduate on them (2017 & 2018).

I made these cookies two ways and I much prefer the second method, but I'll walk you through both and let you decide.

The first method involved rolling out the dough, stacking the two flavors and rolling them together, and then slicing and baking them. It turned out nice, but with the colors I used, it didn't give me the swirl pattern I was hoping for.

The second method was just taking some of each color/flavor and rolling them together by hand into a ball, flattening, and baking. The second was much easier and faster.

  • Two packages of sugar cookie mix (any brand)
  • 2 eggs and two sticks of butter/margarine for the cookie mix
  • Two different flavors/colors of Kool-Aid dry mix. 

You will make two separate dough mixes. Repeat step 1 for each. Continue with the rest of the steps for the first method of baking.
  1. Mix egg, butter, and Kool-Aid in a bowl with a mixer. Slowly mix in cookie mix.  

    1. Add 1 Tbsp. flour to thicken a little bit for rolling (do this during mixing).
    2. Cut in half, wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for about 30 minutes. Mix the second batch and do the same.
    3. Roll each dough ball separately. (I roll my dough between two pieces of wax paper. It is so much cleaner than using flour and my rolling pin doesn't get dirty.)
    4. Stack one on top of the other and then roll them together. Wrap with wax paper or plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
    5. Carefully slice, each slice about 1/4" thick. 
    6. Place on baking pan and bake approximately 9-10 minutes. Allow to cool on pan for about 2 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack, paper towels, or paper bags, whatever you prefer.

    1. Take a small piece from each type of dough and roll them together (you want your balls to be about 1 inch in diameter). Place on cookie sheet in a position where you will see both colors and then flatten with the back of a spoon or your fingers. 
    2. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Allow to cool for about 2 minutes before removing to your choice of final cooling spot. 

Makes approximately 72 cookies.

What I love about this is that there are so many flavor and color combinations you could go with. If one of your school colors is white, just skip adding Kool-Aid to one of the batches of cookies. If they're black, well, you might have to get creative there.

Now for the other posts!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado made School Spirit Mini Cupcakes: Mini cupcakes you can make in your school colors. Perfect for back to school treats, parties, bake sales. Yum!

Minette at Southern Belle Charm made and easy School Color Bracelet. I love the color on this one!

Melissa at Home on Deranged gives us tips on How to Choose the Right Elementary School.

Dawn at Spatulas on Parade gives us Crazy Hat Days and More. Looks fun!

The Lieber Family gives us a neat way to Organize Your Desk with School Spirit.

Lydia at Cluttered Genius gives us 9 Tips for Chaos Control Before School Starts. Even homeschoolers can use this...maybe especially homeschoolers.