Thursday, August 13, 2015

Honey Bun Cake

My mother-in-law makes the most delicious cake - She's made this cake for us several times, but last night was the first time I attempted to make it myself. I was surprised by how easy the recipe is. I love the fact that I usually have all the ingredients on hand, making it the perfect, last-minute dessert. It would also be a delicious addition to a breakfast or brunch.

Last night, some friends stopped by, and I was happy to offer them a piece of this yummy cake.

Fix one box of yellow cake mix as directed. Pour into a greased, 9x13 baking dish. Preheat oven according to box directions.

In a separate bowl, mix together until crumbly: 

  • 1 stick of butter/margarine (softened)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
Sprinkle crumbly mixture over cake batter. Bake as directed on box. 

Mix one cup of powder sugar with a couple table spoons of water to make the icing. Keep adding small amounts of water until you reach a pour-able consistency. Drizzle over the top of the warm cake. 


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

No-Sew Glider Cushion Cover

I've had Hudson's glider in Nora's room for several months, but I am finally able to say that it matches her decor.

I had originally purchased this glider for $25 from a local thrift store before Hudson was born. It looked as if it had never been used. My talented mother-in-law covered the ugly 90's blue cushions to match Hudson's room. I loved it.

But it didn't match my green theme in Nora's room.

I have a sewing machine and I can sew straight lines, if forced to. However, I usually end up frustrated and ready to throw the entire machine off the back deck. In order to avoid another battle with the sewing machine, I've had a blanket draped over the cushion for the last several months. It looked lumpy and would just be a mess after one middle-of-the-night rocking.

While I was putting away some laundry yesterday, I had an idea. I had purchased a green dotted crib sheet at a yard sale for $1 because it matched Nora's room.

Since her bedding already has lots of patterns, the sheet has just been sitting in her drawers. I'd figured I could make a pillow out of it some day.

I didn't have to cut it or sew it or manipulate the sheet in any way. I simply stretched it over the cushions and tucked it around the edges firmly. The elastic around the edges held it in place magically. Nora thinks it fits nicely.

And, it looks like I sewed a new cover...but I didn't. This will also be super easy to wash in the event of a spit up or some other kind of mess.

I'm still loving the changing table being in the closet. It leaves her room feeling open and spacious. And, I can close the closet doors for an even cleaner look. (PS. Is anyone else obsessed with those green IKEA laundry baskets? I love leaving one on the bottom shelf of her changing table for her dirty clothes.)

All other aspects of her room are still pretty much the same. Her crib is sitting quite a ways away from the wall, though. She likes to beat on or scratch the wall when she wakes up.

And she's also pulled off a few of my gold bulbs on her marquee letter. I've just got to hot glue those back in place.

I love that she is growing into a little lady. She loves to cross her ankles when sitting. She is on the move these days, pulling up and getting into everything.

Since she moved out of the baby nursery on Sunday, I transitioned her to "Big Girl Bag." I love seeing it hanging on her little hook by the door.

I can't believe that she is already 11 months old.

Guess it's about time I got her glider cushions covered. I just wish I had thought of this simple solution sooner!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A friendship in the making...

There's a little transformation happening in our household.

With each little adventure, it seems that these two little Cooks are becoming best friends.

I don't really know when it started. But as I watched my laundry basket become a boat this morning...

I realized that two siblings had become playmates.

He celebrates her victories..."Look, Mom, Baby Girl is standing up!!! Just like me!!!"

 He loves on her.

And likes to baby her...even though she is pretty much his size.

He hugs her too tightly.

And she finds ways to show him who's really the boss.

She wants to do everything just like him.

Which includes playing with his toys and reading his books.

As I listen to their conversations, my eyes mist over a little bit...

Because I pray that this friendship that is starting right now...

... will be a friendship that will last for a lifetime.

Siblings make the best of friends. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Read with Me

I actually read The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God in one evening. I fell in love with this couple's honesty as they told their testimonies. They don't pretend to be perfect, but they do boast of God's goodness and forgiveness.

Jess and Jep take turns telling their side of their story. It's an easy but encouraging read. I love seeing couples who are striving to please the Lord in their walk with Him and their relationship with each other. It was also warming to hear of the love that their family has shown in the midst of every difficulty or trial. What an example of a Christian family - being ready to help a brother/sister in Christ get back on track.

I loved as Jep told that he finally realized he had been "living off his dad's faith."  It's a great telling of His journey to know Christ himself. And as Jess told of her struggles in their marriage, I was challenged by her desire to pray constantly for her husband. As she prayed, it "became more about God than about me or Jep. We finally put God at the center of our marriage, and He not only restored our love for each other, but He made that love deeper and stronger than ever.

I received this book from in exchange for an honest review.

I was challenged in my spiritual walk the first time that I read Tozer's Pursuit of God. This second time through the book, more than ten years later, I felt myself drawing closer the the Lord, once again. Although this is an old book, the truths are still convicting and practical. The chapters are short and the updated edition is easy to understand. It is a small book, but full of so much truth. It's a classic, and one that I will read over and over again.

And the Kindle edition of this book is currently free!

I received this book from in exchange for an honest review.

Twenty Dinners was a beautiful hardback book filled with descriptive menu ideas and gorgeous pictures. Although the recipes look a little tricky at times, I am anxious to give a few new ideas a try. I love that the author laid out the recipes in 21 meals...each including an appetizer, main course, sides, salads and desserts. The book is also divided into seasons: Fall, Winter, Summer, Spring. It's a pretty book, but not super practical for me.

I received this book from in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our Vacations Have Changed...

I really wasn't prepared for the changes that would occur to our normal vacation trips. Adding two children to the mix made for some exciting adventures and different experiences.

I packed for two more people, packed more "equipment" (pack-n-plays, high chair, walker, strollers, water wings, etc.), and packed for more "worst-case-scenario" moments (blow-outs, spit ups, hunger, thirst, boredom, etc).

We played on the beach, swam, went to Disney, explored Gatlinburg, saw an aquarium, ate out, took lots of pictures and rode a historic train.


We soaked up as much family time as possible, playing from sun up to sun down.

We traded easy meals out at nice restaurants for entertaining two kids with veggie straws and crayons.

I traded laying out in the sun for swimming with an excited little boy and covering up little toes and feet in the sand.

We traded sleeping in for 6 am wake-up-calls from this little girl.

And we did a lot of stroller pushing.

But I will continue to trade those easy vacations of the past...because none of it compares to those open-mouthed, in-awe faces that our children made.

I love when Hudson looks up at us and says, "This is fun, Mom!" or "Do it again, Dad!"

I love watching Hudson copy us and Nora copy Hudson.

I will never tire of looking at our vacation pictures and hearing Hudson's giggles as remembers his adventures.

I'll trade those easy days of packing for one...because I love hearing my kids talk of these fun days with their grandparents.

We are making memories to hold onto because these crazy days won't last forever.