Sunday, October 28, 2012

Grammy's Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Food is pretty powerful, don't you think?

For example, the second I bite into these cookies, I close my eyes and am transported into my grandmother's kitchen on Christmas Eve. Even though they aren't red and green or shaped like a reindeer, these cookies mean Christmas to me.

On Christmas Eve, we would be sure to find them greeting us on her kitchen table on a snowman cookie plate. Sometimes she would have them out even before we ate dinner! Cookies as an appetizer? Don't mind if I do.Thanks Grammy  :-)

The pinwheels are such a gentle blend of chocolate and vanilla flavors, perfect with your cup of coffee, tea, or milk.

  • 1  3/4 cup sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 square semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • wax paper
  • rolling pin


Cream butter and sugar


Add vanilla and egg, beat well.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder.

Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the butter/sugar/egg mixture.

Blend well.

Place half the dough on a sheet of wax paper. Then place in the refrigerator.

Melt one square of the baking chocolate in the microwave.


Once melted, blend it in to the remaining dough still in your mixer.

(I LOVE watching the dough change colors! My Grammy likes to use UNsweetened chocolate for this part, which makes it even darker. I like the bit of sweetness the semi-sweet adds. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.)

Place the chocolate dough on wax paper, wrap up, then place in the refrigerator.

Chill both doughs for 1 hour.

After an hour take out the dough. 

Roll out the vanilla dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper, aiming to make about a 10x8 rectangle.

Separately roll out the chocolate in the same way.

Peel back the top layer of both the vanilla and chocolate dough. Carefully flip the vanilla rectangle on top of the chocolate one, trying your best to line them up.  Do your best!  It will all look good in the end.
Carefully roll the doughs together.

Wrap up the log in wax paper and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.


Once it is done chilling, take out the log and slice it into about 1/4 inch pieces and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.


Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

One batch makes about 35 cookies. Since 35 cookies last about 3 days in my house, I usually double this recipe ... or triple.... it is the holidays after all!

PS - Santa loves these cookies, so be sure to leave some out on Christmas Eve.

 Have a great day and give your Grammy a great big hug next time you see her.

 Love you, Grammy!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Look At Those Studs

Ever since our building permit came a few days ago, Jared has been hard at work getting our soon to be master bathroom ready for our first inspection. Since the permit took about a month to obtain (2 weeks more than we thought) we were itching to get this bathroom a movin'.

Just to remind everyone, when Jared pulled up the carpet a few weeks ago, he found the holes where plumbing once was. Yep, the builders had already started to put a bathroom in, and then stopped for some reason. So we ended up changing our layout a bit to follow what was already laid out, just to save a bunch of plumbing time.

Now on to the the dirty part.

Jared removed most of the drywall.

Then started framing the shower wall and room wall.


He then framed the door and put in a header.

It's really starting to look like a bathroom!!

A word about my Jared.....

My hunky husband wasn't always a carpenter. Jared went to college for accounting. After two years working as an accountant, he discovered that it was not for him. He didn't like sitting at a desk all day, and shortly after we got engaged, made the decision to start a new career. My father and brother own a family construction business (it's filled with my uncles and cousins) and offered Jared a chance to come and work for them.

Jared made the risky move (took a pay cut!) and joined the business. He got zero "special treatment" and started out as a laborer. That means he basically ran for materials, cleaned up sawdust, and did all the crappy jobs no one else wanted to do. He never complained.  Over the years he was placed with the company's carpenters ( all of whom are so talented and truly amazing) and little by little learned the trade. He's a perfectionist and would studiously watch them work and ask questions to better his skill and understanding.

That was almost 6 years ago.

He is now a carpenter who gets sent to his own jobs. He not only knows carpentry, but is also great with electrical, plumbing, and masonry.  He amazes me. I am beyond proud of him... like tears in my eyes, proud. He has spent countless hours improving not only our house, but also helps his family when they need repairs or work done. The best part is, he LOVES what he does. How many people can honestly say that?!  He LOVES being a carpenter. I am so, very thankful for that.

The fact that I am able to have a carpenter at my disposal is just icing on the cake for this DIY loving wife   :-)

                                            Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, October 22, 2012

Wooden Letter Nursery Decoration

Pinterest strikes again!

I've been seeing these wooden letters "modge- podged" with scrapbook paper ALL over Pinterest and wanted to see how well it worked. Good friends of ours just had a baby girl and since they didn't find out the gender till the birth, I thought they might enjoy something "girly" to hang in her nursery.


I picked out my letter, ribbon and scrapbook paper from JoAnne's. I chose a purple butterfly paper since the mother's favorite color is purple  :-)


If you already have Modge Podge, you can just use that. I have never used it, so I decided to try and make my own (saw the idea on Pinterest also, of course).

 ****To make your own Modge Podge style glue:

Whisk together 1/3 cup sugar and 1 cup flour. Slowly add water till you get a glue like consistency. Heat this in a saucepan for about 10 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon white vinegar.

Using a hand mixer, beat the concoction until smooth (adding water if it's too thick).

Let cool completely before using. Can store in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks.****

Now, on to your letter.

Trace the shape on the back of your scrapbook paper.


Cut the letter out making it about 1/8 inch bigger than your trace line. (This will allow it to wrap down around the wood letter's edge.

Paint your "glue" onto the wood letter and press the paper letter onto it matching it up. Smooth the paper out.


Continue putting layers of glue over the paper (don't forget the edges!) letting them dry for about 30 minutes in between coats. I did about 6 coats.


When completely dry, use a coordinating ribbon to hang it. Or you can mount a picture hanger behind it to hand directly onto the wall.

So adorable for a baby's nursery! Plus you can customize it thanks to the countless options of scrapbook paper and ribbon.

Now what else can I use that "glue" on ..........

                                                      Thanks for stopping by!
Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Crafter's Dream Giveaway!

#ACraftersDream is now Live!!!! 
My Merry Messy Life: A Crafter's Dream Giveaway #ACraftersDream   

Who's ready to win some prizes?
I'm so excited to bring you A Crafter's Dream Christmas Giveaway! This giveaway is hosted by MyMerry Messy Life, Earning-My-Cape and Tutus & Tea Parties and has a Christmas, crafting, and supporting small business theme! Each blogger is offering her/his own giveaway worth $25 or more going on now through Sunday, November 4, 2012.
 Christmas is just around the corner, and the time to start crafting our gifts for friends and family is now! Some of the blogs in the giveaway group will be giving away some awesome crafting supplies! Sometimes we want to give a handmade gift, but just don't have the time or know-how to make them ourselves. This is a great opportunity to support small businesses and shops who offer handmade items!

Remember my directions on how to make a ribbon wreath? I'm giving away an entire set of holiday ribbon, wire ring, and over the door wreath holder. Everything you need to make your own holiday ribbon wreath for your own front door, or for a fantastic gift for someone you love.   
                                                       a Rafflecopter giveaway
See all the links below to over 50 other blogs? They are ALL offering their own giveaways valued at $25 or more! Isn't that amazing?!

     Now you can hop from blog to blog entering as many giveaways as you want!

Good Luck!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bring New Life to an Old Light

Is your house builder basic like mine? When we moved into this house it was filled with brass, honey oak, brass, and honey oak.

Oh no, no, no, no.

Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I give you Exhibit A.

I don't mind the shape of it, just the brassiness. Too shiny, too gold, too 1996.

When I told Jared I wanted to spray paint the fixture he looked at me like I was crazy and asked, "Why don't you just buy a new light?"

The truth dear friends is that we are casually house hunting. So in all the updates/renovations we do, we are keeping in mind cost and resale value.

Now, that's not to say that we are doing things carelessly (we follow all codes). However, it does affect my design choices. Would I love to paint our bedroom a dark grey (YES!) But I'm not going too. That is too bold for most buyers. Would I love to buy an awesome lantern style light for the hallway (YES!) But it wouldn't be a wise use of upgrade money. I want to make smart choices that make the biggest impact.

That light fixture needed to be darker. Our walls are light and airy. The hallway needed some depth to "ground" the room.

Enter Exhibit B:

Spray Paint, my old friend. In oil rubbed bronze color.

Clean off the old fixture with a rag and make sure it is dry and free of dust.


Spray thin and even coats of paint.
Let dry about 48 hours.

Have a hunky carpenter re-connect it. 


Isn't she pretty?  

The oil rubbed broze really updates the entire look of the light. 

Best part was it only cost me $6.00 for the spray paint!  The same light is above our washer and dryer, so I did that one as well.

Two new light fixtures for $6.00?  

That is upgrade dollars well spent.

                                                    Thanks for stopping by!
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mom's Pineapple Filling Recipe

I love Thanksgiving. Want to know what I love the most about it? I'm going to shock you all and tell you that my favorite thing about the holiday is NOT eating (although that is a close second).

My absolute favorite part about Thanksgiving is going up to my parent's house early in the morning to help my mom cook.


We put the parade on, drink our morning coffee, put our aprons on, let the guys watch over the kids, and get to work preparing our lunch time feast. Just typing that out fills me with warmth and joy. I cherish that morning with my mom, who over the years has become my best friend. Her strength and wisdom are exactly what I need when I am having a rough day.


One of my jobs for the morning is peeling the potatoes. I am VERY slow at this, my mom on the other hand can have a whole bag peeled and diced within minutes. One of these days I hope to become a potato peeling ninja like her.

My other job has been to make the pineapple filling. This is very ironic for me because when I was younger I never even tried it! My mom made it EVERY year for Thanksgiving, but childhoold Angela for some reason thought the combination sounded gross. Adult Angela can't get enough of it! I make it as a side dish throughout the year for my family. Everyone who tries it is so amazed at how amazing it is and how good it goes with not only ham, but turkey and beef as well.

Ingredients:   (this makes a side dish for 4 people, if you are serving it to more people, like at Thanksgiving, than I would double it)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (20oz) of crushed pineapple (mostly drained)
  • 5 slices of bread (ripped into pieces) (I use whole grain)
*** For the smaller serving use around an 8x8 size pan,  if you double it use a 9x13 pan.


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter your pan

Cream together butter and sugar

Add eggs one at a time

Stir in pineapple

Fold in bread pieces


Bake for 30-35 minutes

If you double it, you may have to lengthen the cooking time to 40-45 minutes.

Years from now when I make this recipe, it will ALWAYS make me think of Thanksgiving mornings with my wonderful mom, and how blessed and grateful I am to have her.

                                     Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Blog Award, for ME?!


Yes, Sara Beth over at Our Family of Three has been so kind in awarding me the Sunshine Blogger Award! This is an award given by another blogger who enjoys your blog and feels it helps to brighten their day. 


Thank you, thank you, thank you, Sara Beth! This is my very first blog award and my heart is swelling with gratitude.


Include award logo in blog post and thank the blogger who gave it to you & include a link back.
Answer 10 questions about yourself that you have made up yourself.
Nominate 10 bloggers for the award and contact them at their blog site to inform them

So hear are my 10 random questons:

What's your favorite thing to eat?   Peanut Butter

Favorite animal?   Dog

Favorite Designer: Sarah Richardson

Favorite Design Show:  Any one of Sarah's (Sarah's House, Sarah 101, ect.)

Favorite Color to paint a room:  Cream (I like to add color with accessories)

Least Favorite House Chore:  Vacuuming the stairs

How would you describe your Decorating Style: This is hard, I would say part Cottage (70%), part Coastal (10%), part Cozy (10%), with maybe 5% Glam.

Favorite Room of the House to be in:  The Kitchen

Favorite Meal to Make: Cavatappi Rosa

Favorite Movie:  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Now for my nominations. Here are the 10 Blogs that make me smile every day.

1. My Merry, Messy, Life
2. House Tweaking
3.Two in Diapers
4. Hi! It's Jilly
5.Cluck, Cluck Sew
6. Miss Information
7. Earning My Cape
8. The Chirping Moms
9. Kammy's Korner
10. Delighted Momma

Please check out Sara Beth's blog and all other of my 10 nominees.

Have a great day!

                                                 Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Make Pumpkin Roll

Did you know that this past Saturday was a holiday?

Ok, not a national holiday or anything, but my friend, Jenna, and I dubbed it "Pumpkin Roll Day" in honor of the fact that this was our day (a tradition we started last year) to get together and make pumpkin rolls in bulk to have for the fall holidays. Jenna is a member of the "We are obsessed with the time from September 1st to January 1st because it means all things holiday" support group  I talked about a few weeks ago. Sadly our other dear friend, Jess, wasn't able to make it because she needed to go into work unexpectedly. Didn't her job know it was a holiday?!

 Last year we made 3 each.

They were gone within 3 weeks of making them.

So this year we decided to up the ante to 4 rolls a piece.

With my house being a mess right now due to the construction in the master bathroom (look for updates later this week!) Jenna graciously offered her kitchen to be our headquarters for the day.

Boy, Jenna and her husband, Nate, sure do know how to make a girl feel welcome. Check out the fabulous spread they made me for lunch.

Whole wheat pumpkin waffles with an apple caramel topping! It was sensational. Such a treat for this tired mommy. I felt like I was at a bed and breakfast and asked if I could sleepover, even if it meant cuddling up on their couch with their labrador, Zoe, whom I fell in love with and baby talked to the entire time I was there.

We made a trip to the grocery store for our ingredients, got sidetracked at Fresh Market because they were offering samples of pumpkin treats (we may have been the creepy girls stalking the sample table trying to wait nonchalantly for new samples to be sliced up). Then Jenna suggested we go next door and grab a bottle of wine. (Does she know the way to my heart or what?!)

BTW we decided that a Riesling was the best complement to pumpkin roll. Your thoughts?


Back at her house we got our supplies in place.

Now I have been making pumpkin rolls for about 7 years. For some reason this time I wanted to try adding wax paper to the bottom of the pan to help with flipping them off onto the towel.  Let me save you some time and aggravation - it did NOT work. It was terrible, stuck to them, and made the rolls burn on the bottom. We had to trash the whole first batch. It broke our little pumpkin loving hearts to do so, but they weren't salvageable. Lesson learned: If it's not broke, don't fix it!!! So please ignore the wax paper you see in some of the pictures.

Roll Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup flour 
Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. softened butter
  • 1 block of softened cream cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup powered sugar


Put on some festive holiday music. Jenna asked me if I wanted Sinatra Christmas, Bing Crosby, or Soft Rock Christmas. "Jenna", I sighed, "You had me at Sinatra."

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (if your oven is usually pretty strong (like Jenna's) you may need to lower the temperature to 360 degrees.

Butter your jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet with edges).

Mix together the roll ingredients.

Pour into the pan and spread evenly. It's going to seem thin, but don't worry it rises and spreads out.


Bake for 12-15 minutes. We were able to make 4 at one time!


With a spatula loosen the edges and do the best you can to be sure the bottom is detached from the pan.

Make a clean (lint free) dish towel wet and squeeze out the extra water. Lay it on the table.

With care, flip the pan so that the cake falls onto the towel.


Roll up the cake into the towel.

Let cool about 20-25 minutes.


Mix up the filling ingredients.


Unwrap the towel and spread filling evenly over the cake.


As tightly as you can, roll the cake (without the towel this time) up.


Place (seam down) into a sheet of tin foil and tightly wrap it.


Cool in refrigerator for at least 8 hours before eating. (It has to bond together)

This recipe makes ONE roll. It is so easy to make multiple rolls at the same time like we did. Just keep one in your refrigerator and the rest in the freezer until you need them. Perfect for the times you have holiday guests or need to bring something to a party!

Make sure your dog doesn't swipe any of your cream cheese blocks like Zoe did!

Look at that face!!! How could you even be mad?
If by chance you have any left over filling, feel free to make creative snacks like Jenna did.


Yep, that's cream cheese icing on top of a graham cracker with chocolate chips on top. This is why she is one of my best friends. Love that girl!!

When I got home at the end of the day Jared kissed me hello and asked "Is that cream cheese in your hair?" 

Yes, yes it was.

It was a great day  :-)                    

                                 Thanks for stopping by! Hope you come back soon :-)


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Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I'm a 28-year-old mommy who loves to bake,cook, decorate,sew,and DIY everything I can get my hands on. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy my adventures!
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