Black Forest Birthday Cake

New Year’s Eve tends to be a night where everyone is ringing in the New Year. And don’t worry, we brought in the new year. In fact, I brought in the new year baking a cake… but not this one. I made this one the day before…

Our friend Doug has a birthday on New Year’s Eve. Yup, his momma got to ring in the new year in the hospital, but it wasn’t a bad accident. Nope, it brought my friend Doug into the world… 50 years ago in fact. And I have to admit, I met him in 2013 and didn’t realize he was in his 40’s at the time.

Wow, I’ve known him 5 years… CRAZY. I just thought about that. Just a thought… but back to the cake.


Top 10 Food Posts 2017

Here we are at the end of the year. I thought it might be fun to take a look back at this past year and find the top 10 Food recipes. And since I did the research, I’m sharing with you too because that’s how I roll!

  1. Buncha Crunch Oatmeal Cookies
  2. Gus’s Mac and Cheeseburger
  3. Lunchroom Lady Brownies
  4. Eat like a Gilmore: Luke’s Meatloaf
  5. How to Can Tomatoes
  6. Cupcake Diaries
  7. Root Beer Float Cupcakes
  8. Sugar Cookie Challenge
  9. Checkerboard Cake
  10. Milk and Cookies Cupcakes

I just want to say thank you for sticking around. 2017 was an interesting year, not only for me but for a lot of people. I hear that 2018 is just around the corner and it brings a whole new clean slate chapter to write the best you possible. We’ll see. Bring on 2018!

Our New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve I woke up thinking about the Beer Cheese Fondue we had the year before. We didn’t have any plans so I asked hubby if he’d be interested in doing that. He said sure. I also asked my parents, grandma, and mother-in-law. Low key and good food. We had to get up early the next morning so it was perfect for us. (and yes, I was in bed by like 10:30… I’m in my 30’s 😉)

I also saw this on facebook and laughed. It’s probably true…


New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day the last couple years has been spent diving. I have yet to dive on New Years but that’s besides the point! I seriously debated it this year, but in the end, I didn’t. I’m a chicken I guess or maybe I’m smart… you decide.

I’m not the best passenger in a vehicle. I sat near the middle of the bus and decided sleeping was best for me. Deb has been sick and Rachele I guess was tired? I didn’t ask :).

Pete decided he wasn’t staying home. They tried to get him off the bus, but he wasn’t having it. This was really the maiden voyage of the bus since it’s been in our possession (except the trip to the gas station…) and Pete wasn’t about to miss out on the opportunity to ride on the bus and go to the lake.

When we stopped for breakfast, he curled up in the drivers seat. He was just keeping it warm for Jared.

After the December flooding, this is what the lake looked like. Hubs said it had about 2-3 foot visibility if that.


Ringing in 2016 Fondue Style {Plus 2 recipes!!}

Right around New Years, I kept seeing different funny signs going through the Facebook world about how people ring in the New Year in their teens, their 20’s, their 30’s, and so on. I have to say, we had a very low key New Years but it was awesome and that’s all that matters.

Karen and Jared invited us over to their house for Fondue. We did an appetizer of Cheese Fondue, then a broth to cook chicken, beef, onions, mushrooms, and potatoes. Now… New Year’s Day we were going to the New Years Day Dive and after dinner, we decided we should have brought our stuff to stay the night at Karen and Jared’s house instead of driving home after midnight and coming back over at 7 am. So hubby and I left the girls with them and ran to our house, grabbed a quick shower and our clothes, and then went back to Karen and Jared’s house.

Now we had plans to do a chocolate fondue for dessert and dip blueberries, bananas, rice Krispie treats, and brownies in. We got the brownies made but that was the extent of it. So we ate brownies for dessert.

While we were getting the appetizer cheese fondue done, we noticed this really long curly hair on hubby’s back. We gave him such grief about that. Yes, it was mine, but it was fun to tease him!


Bringing in 2014

According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than on any other holiday throughout the year.
The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started around 600 B.C by the ancient Greeks, who at the start of a year would carry a baby around in a basket. The purpose of it was to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.
In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year’s Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.
In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block to ensure traveling at greater distances.  (Alrighty then – guess I better get my suitcase ready and head around the block)
In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year’s Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual.  (We could modify this tradition with wine…after all, it’s made from grapes)
The people in China believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits. The doors and windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. This is to keep the evil demons out.


2012 is a Clean Slate

Careful how you write it! 🙂

I ran across a bunch of these handy tips and thought, what better way than to start the New Year off with some helpful hints, right?

Not sure if they all work or not, I haven’t had a chance to try them, but hey, we’re well on our way to a new year so why not make a new start and try something new.

Sorry I haven’t hit my quota of the word “New” yet today… New New New New New New New.

Ok so that reminded me of the, “I’m not touching you,” bit that kids say to each other while antagonizing each other.  Anyway, moving on 🙂

 1.  Hull strawberries easily using a straw

Mmmm Strawberries, would someone do this for me stat please!?!?

 2. Rubbing a Walnut over scratches in your furniture will disguise dings and scrapes.

So need to try this….

 3. Remove crayon masterpieces from your TV or computer screen with WD40.

So hope I never have to try this, although Mr Clean Magic Eraser helps get crayon out of a car dash…

 4.  Stop cut apples browning in your child’s lunch box by securing with a rubber band.

Could be interesting!

 5. Overhaul your linen cupboard, store bed linen sets inside one of their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match.

Or you could try our way… just sleep with mismatched pillow cases.  Wait… I mean… we don’t do that!

 6. Pump up the volume by placing your iPhone or iPod in a bowl.  The concave shape amplifies the music.

Pump up the jam!

 7.  Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.


 8. Add this item to your beach bag.  Baby powder gets sand off your skin easily, who knew?

Not me….

 9. Attach a Velcro strip to the wall to store soft toys.

Hmm… what can you do with little plastic Polly Pocket pieces?

 10. Use wire to make a space to store gift wrap rolls against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the floor.

If it isn’t on the floor, what will I step on now?  Oh wait, the Polly Pocket pieces that won’t stick to the velcro, OK proceed 🙂

 11. Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a hose over the vacuum end.

Don’t use fishnet stockings, I doubt they’d work 🙂

 12.  Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting crosses into a box lid.

Do you expect me to share?

 13. For those who can’t stand the scrunching and bunching: How to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.

Can someone come do this for me please!  And while you’re at it, locate my matching pillow cases please.  Thankyouverymuch.

 14. Forever losing your bathroom essentials?  Use magnetic strips to store bobby pins, tweezers, clippers, behind a vanity door.

Now, that’s a lot of bobby pins!

 15. Store shoes inside showercaps to stop dirty soles rubbing on your clothes.  You can find them in just about every hotel.

I’m not sure my 2 shoes would fit in one cap that nicely.

 16. A muffin pan becomes a craft caddy.  Magnets hold the plastic cups to make them tip-resistant.

Um… then what are we to bake our cupcakes in?

 17. Bread tags make the perfect cord labels.

They do but my bread usually comes with a twist tie.  Anyone have extras they’d share?

 18. Bake cupcakes directly in ice-cream cones, so much more fun and easier for kids to eat.

Oh good, cupcake baking crisis solved!  Whew!

 19. Microwave your own popcorn in a plain brown paper bag.  Much healthier and cheaper than the packet stuff.

You don’t have to have oil?  Really?  When you do it on the stove you do… I may have to look into this!

 20. Install a tension rod to hang your spray bottles.

Think it’ll work?

 21. Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie dough over the top and voila, you have cookie bowls for fruit or ice cream.

Oh good, now we know how to eat the ice-cream since we used our cones for cupcakes.

 22. Freeze Aloe Vera in ice-cube trays for soothing sunburn relief.

boy, wouldn’t that be cold on your burn?

 23.  Create a window-box veggie patch using guttering.

handy but my house roof only sits a couple feet off the ground, mine would be covered by eave overhang and would never get sunlight.  Ok back to the drawing board for me!

 24. Use egg cartons to separate & store Christmas Decorations.

Well I obviously won’t use them for my homegrown eggs!

And there you have it… 24 helpful and handy tips to start out the new year right :).  Hope you all had a safe and happy New Year!