Friday, April 22, 2011

{Will's b-day & MJ is 6 month??}

Yesterday my lovely and handsome hubby turned 34 years old!! I made him a cake (from scratch) and he loved it and said it was better then the cakes we get from Albertsons (which is a huge compliment since we adore their cakes).

Easy 3 layer Chocolate Cake w/Cream & strawberry Filling
topped w/Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for cake:
3 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cup sugar or other sweetener
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking soda
 1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. Cinnamon 
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce. I used oil)
2 tablespoon vinegar
2 cups cold coffee (I used instant de-caf coffee)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat 3 - 9" cake pans with oil (or butter) then dust with flour. I like to cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pans for easy removal.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a bowl and stir with a fork until mixed. Make a well in the center and add the vanilla, oil, vinegar, and coffee. Stir with a fork until well mixed. (you can use your mixer for this too, I did).

Evenly divide the mixture between the 3 cake pans. Place in pre-heated oven for 15-20 min until toothpick comes out clean. (I can tell when it's done by touching the tops and they spring back up and the house smells like chocolate)

Let set in pan for 3-5 min before removing and placing cakes on cooling rack. Cakes must cool completely before stacking.

Ingredients for Cream filled center:

8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
2 - 3.4 oz. vanilla instant pudding
3/4 cup of milk
12 oz whip cream (you can make from scratch or you can just get cool whip)

Directions: Mix together cream cheese and dry pudding mix until combined and smooth. Slowly beat in the Milk. Then fold in the whip cream. Put in the fridge for 3-5 min until set.

Ingredients for Strawberry topping:

1 - 16 oz container of strawberries (sliced)
1/4 cup sugar or other sweetener

Directions: place the sliced strawberries in a bowl, add the sugar, mix sugar until dissolved and let set for 10 min (longer you let it set the more sweetness and thicker the syrup will become)

Ingredients for Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/4 cup of butter (1/2 a stick - room temp)
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 lb confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
4 tbsp. coco powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth, slowly add the sugar, coco powder & vanilla extract until fluffy and smooth.

directions for putting the cake together: place the bottom layer onto desired plate, add some cream filling, place 2-3 scoops of strawberries making sure it's a flat layer and repete with next layer topping with the 3rd cake layer. Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting, starting with sides first then add a quick border around the top to hold the rest of the strawberry mixture and viola DONE! Slice and enjoy!!

My dad and his wife came out to help us celebrate the day and it was great visiting with them and might I just say how I love my new little point 'n' shoot camera! It may not take the bestest picture but it sure does do a great job and I am so happy with the ease of it!! Below are some captures of the day. William just loved the beautiful knife that my dad and step mom got for him.

I can't believe MJ is 6 months TODAY! When did that happen?? She's such a character and yes she looks like the others and alot like Ruth but she has her own personality and quirkiness that is so amazing and lovable!

In another 6 months she will be ONE YEAR OLD!!! Why is it time flies by now but dragged on when I was younger?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

{OWOH winner}

You can find out more HERE

I finally got the last of the OWOH (one world One heart) door prizes. It had a long way to go and because of the tsunami in Japan it took a little longer then expected but this afternoon it was sitting on my doorstep just waiting for me to open it.

It's from Lelanie who lives in a beautiful and far off land and you can check out her blog here. I had Ruth wear and hold the lovely items Lelanie sent. Ruth of course ran off with the headband and ring but I got to hold onto the broach and owl (I collect owls and she wasn't going to get away with it, this time). Excuse the mess behind her, I am working on folding laundry...


Last night I got to watch my husband baptize both of our boys. Most baptisms there is only one dunk, everything stays under and then it's over, not with my boys. Aaron was first and between his toe, hand and head coming up it took three dunks to get him baptized. Next it was Sam's turn and his feet just kept popping up so he ended up getting dunked four times! I heard someone in the crowd whisper (not so quietly) that "they may have needed extra cleansing", which made me giggle.

If you read my blog on a regular basis you may know my struggles with finding a good ward, and you know what, our current ward is quite awesome! So not only did we find a great house but it came with a great ward.

Below are a few quick snaps before the boys got baptized or "bap-IZed-tized" as Sam kept saying. By the way now that Sam is baptized he keeps saying to everyone that he's now "A member of the church, call me brother Isaac". Mind you he wants to be called brother Isaac because Aaron is now known as brother Wiese and he doesn't want to be called the same thing so he is going to use his middle name and his children will all have the middle name of Isaac. Gotta love Sam's logic.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I am just sharing video's today...sometime this week I will have actual pictures up that I have taken but wanted to share some video of the moments I was able to capture. Enjoy!

This is MJ rolling over and playing with her big sis! (first time caught on Video! She finally rolled from her tummy to her back and then back to her tummy for the first time the middle of last week!)

This is of Sam and Ruth "ballroom" dancing. I was looking out my unopened window and now seeing this I realize they need a good cleaning!

At the end of this one Sam gives Ruth a flower from his pocket and then kisses her hand.

And this is MJ giggling up a storm while we play together.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

{Man Cave Done}

William's "Man Cave" was a hideous yellow color and if you know my hubby, you know he hates the color yellow.  Well I went out and found some neutral paint (sorta a soft grey and then a slightly darker shade of grey).

We have been having the missionaries come over for some time and they have been asking to help us and as soon as they heard we were going to paint the "cave" they wouldn't take no for an answer and I have to admit I was grateful they wouldn't let me say no.

So they came over and I know they don't wear their suits when doing service work but it still surprised me that they weren't in their suits. I was really happy they wanted to help.

As you can tell in the pictures below there was a border of wallpaper and NO I didn't take it down but painted over it because I just didn't want to mess with it.

The next week I added shelves and then put up William's display items and then the finishing touches were the pictures & posters hanging on the wall. I also put up some book cases in his closet and next month we will get a mini fridge for his beverages. I really think the room turned out great!!

The below images don't show the other pictures I put up but it gives you an idea of how his room now looks like versus what it looked like before.

Have a seat and let's play a game.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

{Point 'n' Shoot}

I have been searching for a point and shoot for some time now because even though I love my Nikon D200 I find it limiting when I just want to capture the family at the zoo because when you have a baby in your arms and wrangling a bulky camera just to capture a moment can be quite daunting.

Don't get me wrong, if I am looking to do professional pictures for clients, family pictures for my wall or just plain landscape images I am going to reach for my Nikon D200 but for the everyday, random images in my life I want to just reach for a basic point and shoot, no fuss, no muss.

I searched and researched many different kinds and found what I like and don't like and finally settled on a Canon Elph 300 HS powershot. It's fast, has great images in low light, has image stabilization and takes video (in HD even). It's going to take some getting use to but I think it's going to be just what I need and best of all it fits in the pocket of my jeans, diaper bag or shirt pocket and there is no fuss or muss and it won't take up hardly any room.

Below are some quick images taken with it some by me and others by Ruth...just a quick few to share and there is no color editing or sharpening - I only cropped the image to 5x7 with a resolution of 72 for the blog. (excuse the messy house...please)

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