Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

German Chocolate Cake

I was inspired by Monica over at The homespun Heart. She did a post on her mothers favorite cake recipe. I decided to give it try. It was such a hit. My mom even requested it for her anniversary. It is so delicious! Enjoy the recipe!! This recipe is from the inside of the Baker's German Sweet Chocolate box:

1 pkg. German Sweet Chocolate (I always buy Baker's as it is what I can always find)
1/2 c. water
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk

~ Place chocolate and water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high until melted. Stirring in between.

~ Place remaining ingredients except for the four egg whites into an electric mixing bowl and combine.

~ In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form and then gently fold into batter.

Divide batter between three 0-inch round cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting

4 egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter or margarine
1 pkg (7 oz.) coconut (about 2 2/3 cups)
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in a large saucepan. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add coconut and nuts. Mix well.

Cool and frost your cakes! YUM!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods:
Still really hot!

Things that make me happy:
Starting School today! I am now their teacher! Ahhh!

Book I'm reading:
nothing right now. I decided to take a break, while I figure out homeschool

What I'm enjoying on TV:
White Collar Season 1
Ugly Betty Season 3

Thanks mom for letting me borrow those:>

On the menu for dinner:
Crockpot Flank Steak with rice and veggies

On my To Do List:
do 1 load of laundry

put baskets of laundry (3 total) in my bedroom all away
Make some bread

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Bread Machine Cinnamon rolls....just looking for a real good recipe

In the craft basket:
I want to make this Proverbs growth chart from here.

Looking forward to this week:
Having a whole week of Home school under my belt :>

Tips and Tricks:
When putting sprinkles on cupcakes it is easiest to frost the cupcake and then dip it into a bowl of sprinkles, rather then trying to just sprinkle it on the top of each cupcake.

My favorite blog post this week:
My friend Stevie just started a blog whith is pretty cool Marzapan Zombies

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
Scatter Sunshine

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

On my mind:
Everything I still need to get done around the house today

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
I have been thinking a lot of the story of Samuel the Lamanite. He was such a brave & courageous prophet. Samuel began preaching in the land of Zarahemla. He preached repentance for many days, but he was thrown out of the city. He was about to go home, but then God told him to return and prophesy to the people. He returned to Zarahemla, but the people would not let him into the city. So he climbed up on a wall and prophesied. Samuel said that within 400 years heavy destruction will come upon the people in the form of the sword, famine, and pestilence unless they repent and have faith in Jesus Christ. What an amazing person to know what God wanted you to do and even when faced with arrows he stood on that wall and shouted Gods word. Oh how I wish I can be more like Samuel each and every day. I found this picture while googling and it absolutely displays his act of absolutely faith in the Lord.

 and on that note...may we be courageous today and have faith in Heavenly Father to provide for us. Happy Monday Everyone!

Back to School

Back to school Pictures, Images and Photos

We are back to school today and I couldn't be more excited! This will be my first year of official home school for Keagan. He will be entering Kindergarten this year and he is so excited. He is itching to learn to read and learn to add and subtract. Hopefully this excitement for learning will sustain itself all year round. Libby is also just as excited to begin another year of preschool. For the past few weeks they have been asking when school will start and finally it is here. I wanted things to be extra special on our first day of school, but I wanted to keep it simple and cheap. I have decided to make a special breakfast of cheesy eggs and pancakes to get our morning started off right. We will then begin our day. Our theme this week is just "back to school". Here are some books we are going to read this week:

 David Goes To School
How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?
If You Take a Mouse to School
 What Teachers Can't Do
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition

We will also start looking at some Paul Zelinsky  picture books. We will be doing these for our homeschool group activity next week.

I got some crafts and felt board ideas to go along with our reading list from Make Learning Fun.

I also got a fun time capsule activity sheet from The Homespun Heart we will do on our first day.

So we are just keeping it simple. singing, playing, doing some math games, and reading. I am looking forward to all this week will bring and all that we will learn. I pray this week will go well and kind of set the tone for our upcoming year of exploring and fun. I will post pictures later of our first day of school. Hope everyone else is having an awesome first day back to school here in Nevada!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Family Home Evening: Scatter Sunshine

For FHE this week I chose to do a lesson I found at It is titled Look, Feel, and Help. We then decided to go out as a family and "Scatter Some Sunshine". I bought some jugs of Sunny D and had the kids color pictures of a sun I found online. We then delivered them to two of our sweet neighbors. The kids had a lot of fun and we shared some yummy cup cakes afterwards.

Can you tell that she wasn't ready the first time?

and here was our treat. Sunshine cupcakes!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bread-machine Dinner Rolls

1 cup + 1 tbl water
1 egg
4 1/2 tsp oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3 tbl gluten (optional)

Put ingredients in this order and place into your bread-machine. Put on dough setting. When finished punch down dough and make round balls and place in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Makes about 15-18 rolls.

Enjoy & Have a Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Welcome Basket...

My sweet sister-in-law made up this basket for us whenever we moved into our new apartment. It was seriously so cute and creative I knew I wanted to share it. Each item has a cute tag, with an even cuter blessing. Here is what she included in my cute welcome basket:

1 loaf of homemade bread- May there always be friends and family to share with

1 bag of orange slices- May sweetness touch even your worst days

1 bottle of creole seasonings- May their always be a little spice in your lives.

1 package of noodles- May there always be food in your home.

1 bottle of apple cider (my favorite)- May there always be reasons to celebrate

2 flame less candles- May you always find your way home

She put these all in a plastic tub. She told me she got it from the dollar store and then just fancied it up with some ribbon and fake flowers. I am now currently using this tub to hold all my bread items. I love it!

Holly also included some vinyl, with a favorite quote of mine. It now sits over our temple picture in our living room.

Thank you Holly for your thoughtful gift. You are such a wonderful bestie and sisinlaw.

Fizzy Strawberry Lemon Punch

This is a quick and easy drink to make for either a party or just a family dinner. It is also a great food storage recipe. Here is what it calls for:

1 bottle of sprite, 7-up, or in my case I use the generic.
1 can of Strawberry Lemon Punch concentrate
1 small bag of frozen strawberries (optional)

Mix together in a gallon jug or pitcher. Add the strawberries last and chill. My kids love the strawberries because then they get to each have one in their drink with dinner. It is like a special treat.

My bubba loves this drink and even offered to help me make it last week. I really think he just loves it because it is soda and wanted to sneak a taste before dinner, but I was glad all the same that he offered to help me.

Hope you guys enjoy this simple recipe and have a chance to try it out. Our family certainly loves it :> Have a good Day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Brave Bubba

I am so proud of my bubba. This summer he has come so far with his swimming. He can not really swim yet, but he is now jumping off the steps and going under the water. This is a HUGE step for him. Last summer he wouldn't leave the steps at all. I am so proud of him..

Miss Priss's First Sleepover

Miss Priss had her first sleepover in July. We had Miss Makenze (cousin) over on a Friday to stay the night. This was a first for both the girls, so both myself and my sisterinlaw Andrea were a little nervous. We knew the girls would have fun, but worried a little bit about bedtime. It turned out so well. The girls were so excited. They'd been asking for a sleepover since the beginning of the summer. We had my sisterinlaw over for dinner and then afterwards it was just me and the kids.

I had to share this picture I snapped of my cute little nephew Eastenn. 
He didn't stay for the sleep over, just for dinner.

The girls immediately had to get out all the dress up stuff 
and had to prepare for a fancy tea party.

The girls tried to get bubba to play tea party with them and dress up. He basically ate the treats they put out, but played video games most of the time with daddy.
The girls even at one point chased him through the apartment saying "kiss me Prince, kiss me!". My poor son didn't know what to do. He tried to stay away and even took up coloring so they would leave him alone, but these girls were pretty sneaky. They tip toed and then attacked him with kisses. His reaction was so hilarious. He could not believe they would do that to him. He was a good sport about it all.

To settle down we watched a little bit of The Princess and the Frog, but by this time it was around 9pm and the kids were getting pretty tired. The girls didn't actually fall asleep till 10:30pm. Ned time took a while, but seeing the fun they had made ti all worth it. Miss Priss can't wait to have another sleepover with her bestie Makenze: >

Oh and thank you Andrea for the treats. They were a huge hit during the tea party!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wonderful Neighbors

Lately I have been praying for help to get me out of my own comfort zone and reach out to those around me. I so wanted to meet my neighbors, but I am shy by nature. I know some may not believe this, but I am. I find that walking up to people and introducing myself takes me to far out of my own comfort zone. Well an interesting thing happened on Saturday. I was coming home and all my neighbors were out side their apartments. They came over and introduced themselves and we chatted. It was nice getting to meet new people. I am thankful for the neighbors we have. They are all different, but so sweet. Now I just have to think of a way to reach out. I really would love to have the kids bake some cookies and deliver them or something like that. I now just have to wait for an opportunity or creative idea to come to mind. I will let you know when that happens:>


Throughout this summer Keagan has been asking a lot of questions about numbers and adding and subtracting. I know he is ready to move on with school. I am so excited that we will be homeschooling him this year. He will be starting Kindergarten and both him and Miss Priss can not wait for Monday. Monday is when we officially start school. Much planning and preparing has been taking place in our home and I feel ready for Monday. I pray that this upcoming school year will be one full of learning and fun memories. I pray that as my children learn new things and absorb the world around them, that I will be able to do the same. I am thankful for this opportunity my Heavenly Father has given me and pray I can be the teacher he would want me to be.

           "And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom,
and the grace of God was upon Him."

                                                    -Luke 2:40

XO Danielle

A Promise...

We saw this beautiful rainbow when leaving my parents house one day. My bubba couldn't believe that an actually rainbow was in the sky. I love seeing rainbows. I love the promise that rainbows hold. Keagan and Libby immediately thought of Noah and told me the story of Noah and the ark. These special moments just brighten my day. It makes all the arguing between siblings and whining worth it. I know that some how the lessons we learn each day are making it into their hearts. I am thankful for these moments that God Blesses me with.

Best Ranch Dressing EVER!

Semi-Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

I  follow the directions on the pack of the Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing packet, which are:

1 cup of buttermilk
1cup of mayo
1 Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch seasoning packet

Mix all together in a bowl. I like to use my big measuring cup, since it makes for an easy storage container for my dressing as well. Once you mis it all together put it in the fridge and let it chill for about 30 minutes and then you have delicious dressing to use with fresh veggies, salads, or chicken strips. I just made some a little while ago and am itching to try it with some breaded chicken strips. Oh man I can't wait for lunch time.

Thank you Holly for turning me onto fresh ranch I no longer can use the bottle stuff :>

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Family Night: Bowling and Cold Stone

Last week we had a fun family night with Jason's brothers. We all went out bowling and then to cold stone for some yummy ice cream. Can I just tell you that Cold Stone is the best ice cream! If you have one near you, you totally need to go. My husband doesn't care for it, which blows my mind. They have this Birthday Cake Remix, which has cake batter ice cream. It is worth every single calorie and gram of fat. Totally worth it. Anyways, we had a fun time and can't wait to hangout with everyone again:>

The girls

The kids definitely enjoyed bowling and having fun

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