Life is a Mix tape

I love summer time!  I love having the kids home more.  I love having a less crazy schedule.  Sure, we still have lots of activities, including 6 camps and an extended family vacation, but it isn't the school routine.  I love watching the kids swim in the pool, BBQ's, late nights outside and cartoons in the morning.

I especially love how my kids do everything set to music.  Now that they are getting older music is more important to them.  I am one of those people who has music playing constantly - I have a playlist for everything.  I always have, except back in the day they were called mixtapes.  I have a hundred of them in a big box in my closet that I just can't get rid of.  They are the soundtrack to all of my memories and I can gauge where I was in life according to the songs from that time.  It is going to be the same for my kids and I love it.

I made up a printable for my kitchen this summer that I thought I would share.
I hope wonderful memories are made this summer set to your music!

Download the 11x14 here 

Download the 8x10 here


Cake Batter Balls

We had a fun party for my sister - she turned the big 30! It was a great time with family and we had lots of yummy food, which always means it was a success!

I was in charge of helping decorate and making some of the treats. I immediately thought of these cake batter balls I have made a several times in the last couple months ago. They are a HUGE hit every time I make them. In fact, my kids recognized the ingredients and were doing a happy dance while I was making them. I have decided that I can only make them for a specific purpose so they aren't left at my house for me to eat!

We put them in some of my mom's beautiful jars and they looked so festive! Sprinkles always mean a party, right!!


Cake Batter Truffles

Recipe from: The Sweet life
Print here

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup yellow cake mix
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp milk
2 tbsp sprinkles
16 oz (8 squares) white almond bark
4 tbsp yellow cake mix
sprinkles, for decoration

Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until combined. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla, mixing well. Add milk and beat until a dough consistency forms. Stir in sprinkles.

Roll dough into one-inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Chill for 15 minutes in the fridge or freezer. I actually left mine in the freezer overnight, which worked out fine. I just had to dip & put on the sprinkles really fast because the chocolate was hardening quick!

Melt almond bark in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment. When bark is smooth and melted, stir in cake mix until smooth.

Dip cake batter balls in almond bark to coat completely. Remove with a fork and place on wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Decorate immediately with sprinkles. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.



Cinnamon Coffee Cake


I have been seeing so many good things floating around on Pinterest lately. I always find myself gravitating toward the food - no surprise there! I decided that I am going to actually make some of the things that look good to me. And if I like them, then I will share them with you!

I was trying to think of a good dessert the other night & my mind kept going back to this cake. It was perfect because we were all out of ice cream and I knew this would go well with a tall glass of milk. It was really easy to make and had a wonderful texture - the two batters mixed together made it light and dense at the same time. My family LOVED it and kept going back for more! I had to quickly grab a piece to take a picture before it was all gone.

This cake would be really great for breakfast. You could make it ahead of time also and serve it cold or warmed up, either way tastes great! I will definitely be making this again, thank you Pinterest!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
recipe from: Chef in Training
Print here

3 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Sugar
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 cups Milk
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

1 cup (2 sticks) soft butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Flour
1 tablespoon Cinnamon

2 cups Powdered Sugar
5 tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well , slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9×13 baking pan.

To make the topping, combine the 2 sticks of butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy. Drop evenly over the batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.

Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean.

FOR GLAZE: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle evenly over the warm cake.


Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treats


My good friend Raimi gave me this recipe. Well, actually she made them for my daughter at church, I took the last couple bites of her second serving & then begged for the recipe. They are so good.

I have always been a big fan of rice krispy treats. I remember in the dorms at college eating the rice krispy treat and the snickerdoodle everyday after dinner. Seriously, everyday. And they were big, thick gooey treats - not wimpy or dry at all. I can't stand a wimpy rice krispy treat.

This one is a champ. It should be too, with cake batter & all of the sprinkles! Sprinkles make everything good.

Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treats
Printable Recipe here

3 Tbs. butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
1/3 cups yellow or white cake batter dry mix (unprepared)
1 bag - 10 oz. mini marshmallows
1 jar (1.75 oz ) multicolored sprinkles

*optional - I added a jar of the marshmallow fluff to mine to make it really gooey! Just add it to the pan when the marshmallows are almost all melted.

In a large saucepan, heat butter and marshmallows on low until melted.
Slowly, add dry cake mix, one small scoop at a time to the melted marshmallows. Don't dump them all in! It will lump up and won't be as smooth.

In a separate bowl, add 6 cups of Rice Krispies. Fold in the melted marshmallows and half of the jar of sprinkles.

Press them into a well greased baking dish. I like to spray my hand with Pam before I do this step because then I can really press them into the pan well without it sticking to my hand and pulling back up.

This is the fun part! You can make them big & fat like I like them by putting them into a smaller dish or you can make them skinny by putting them in a 9x13 pan. Either way is yummy! Top them off with the rest of the sprinkles. Let them sit and cool off for a little bit before you cut into them. I never wait too long :)



I have received quite a few emails asking about the frame in the corner of my kitchen. I love it. It is a place where I can add a little color, inspiration & fun. I try to change it out every month with a new thought.

This is one of my very favorite quotes & I have actually had it up in my home for years, but I decided to upgrade it to my kitchen. I am trying really hard to live by this quote. It is so simple and so wonderful - I remind myself everyday when I look at it.


I actually had it printed in a 5x7 also so I could glue it to the inside of my list/planner. I honestly believe you can find the joy in everything if you just change the way you think about things. I want my children to see that life, even everyday life, can be fun and we can enjoy anything we choose. I enjoy everything much more when it is set to good music. :)

If you would like a copy of my favorite quote, you can upload it here -

In an 11x14 size (the same size I have on my counter)

In a 5x7 size (the size I put in my planner)




I think I need to start out by saying thank you!

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post in my mind over and over for months now. As you can see, it has been a long time since I have written and I felt like it was just too hard to start again. Wouldn't that be weird to have a one year gap between posts? But the entire year & even now, I continue to receive encouraging messages and emails from all of you. Thank you!

My blog started out just as a place for me to document my favorite recipes and share it with family and friends. Now I have met many new friends and you have helped me to realize that I really did like sharing my recipes and making this little blog!

I guess I should start out by explaining why I stopped posting to begin with.

I would like to introduce you to my reason ...


At the beginning of last year, we found out this little blessing was going to join our family. I can't tell you how excited we all were! I was excited for every part of it, except the pregnancy part. I do not do well being pregnant. Food becomes an aversion for me. I don't like the smell of things, the feel, the taste, etc... and everything makes me sick. So, there wasn't much cooking happening in this house last year.

When she was born last fall, I thought things would start getting a little easier. I didn't really think that through!

I would like to introduce you to the 3 reasons that didn't happen...


My new thought is that if you have older kids and then have a baby in the fall - you obviously didn't plan it! With school starting, 2 in soccer, flag football, volleyball, boy scouts, daisy scouts, church activities and all of the other fun things happening it was hard to find time for much! We made it through, but again without the normal routine & cooking.

Now that my sweet baby is 5 months, we are settling into a little bit better schedule. My number one priority is to enjoy every second with her, I want to remember and love each stage.

My list of things to do is a mile long and I have new ideas all the time that just don't get done. But, it is okay. I will have that time for myself again soon. And I think I am slowly figuring things out!

That being said, I am ready to try my blog again! I want to say thank you again to everyone who has written to me and shared their thoughts, opinions, suggestions, ideas & even stood up for me when I wasn't ready to respond. I am going to do my very best to respond to you quickly, I really do value what you think and your suggestions.

I am very excited to continue documenting my favorites & sharing with all of you!


Buttermilk Pancakes

I made some fun rainbow pancakes for the kids the other day. I have seen pictures of them before and always thought they looked really cool - and they are! The kids loved them. I made them with my favorite from-scratch pancake recipe. It is a version of the IHOP recipe that I found years ago. They are yummy with fresh blueberries added, but almost better plain. My family thinks they are the best!

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour
1 egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup canola oil
pinch of salt

Preheat your skillet over medium heat. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Spoon approximately 1/3 cup of the batter onto the skillet. When the edges appear the harden and the bubbles pop at the edges, flip the pancake. Cook on the other side for the same amount of time. - If you add blueberries, you might have to flip a couple times to cook evenly in the center.

If you want to make the rainbow pancakes, start by doubling the recipe. Then, divide the batter into 6 bowls. Add the correct food coloring to each bowl and then stir to get the shade you like. I used a 1/4 cup to drop the batter instead of a 1/3 cup. It makes a little bit more of a mess - but it is fun!


Black Bean Soup

I saw this recipe a couple weeks ago on Our Best Bites and knew immediately I had to try it. Wow! This soup is so good. Seriously, I licked my bowl. And my spoon. And finished my kids bowls. Then I ate it for breakfast the next morning. I loved it.

Black Bean Soup

1 Tbs. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1, 3.5 oz green chilies
2 cans beef broth
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano leaves
1 bay leaf
tobasco sauce to taste
1 lime

Warm a large soup pot on Medium-High heat and then add the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute the veggies for about 5 minutes.

Add the beans, chilies and broth and then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Add as much tobasco sauce and you would like - I put in about 6 good shakes!

Cook uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until all the veggies are soft. Remove the bay leaf and take the pot off the heat.

Place the soup in a blender and puree the soup until it is smooth. The ladies from Our best Bites, suggested removing the stopper on top of the blender to let the steam escape. I used my smoothie maker, so already had a big opening. I did what they suggested and covered it with a paper towel, it worked great!

Squeeze in some fresh lime juice and mix. Serve with tortilla chips, cilantro, cheese & tomatoes.


Apple Bars

I have been buying a lot of apples lately - partly because they are on sale at Costco & partly because I am loving eating them with peanut butter for lunch. I love the taste of the two together & you don't have the guilt of eating too much bread. Which is my downfall!

I have made this recipe twice in the last week and need to stop now. It is too good to resist & I am trying to put as many into the kids lunches as possible to get them out of the house! These bars are so yummy. They puff up as they cook and the top gets crackly and crisp while the inside is soft and gooey. They have a bit of a fall feel to them, which I always love.

Apple Bars

1 cup melted butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups peeled, cored and diced apples
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 pan.

Mix the butter, sugar and egg until creamy. Add in the flour, soda and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the apples and walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Remember, the outside will be crispy and look done while the middle might still be gooey!



Much Better Now

I am a recipe hoarder. I love to look at cookbooks, magazines and blogs about food. I love to rip out and print all of the recipes that look good to me. And I have a hard time getting rid of them - I might want to try it out soon!

I thought I had a good system down for my recipes, but my printing has gotten a little out of control. I have papers everywhere! I would try some of them out and then stick it into my trusty "binder" but it has become a little bit crowded. This is what my cookbook and recipe cupboard looked like... not good, see all the papers!

I had finally had enough. So while my hubby was out of town this week I started my organizing. I bought a pack of the 1 inch binders at Costco and figured out how I wanted to divide my recipes. I made a super quick cover for the front and one for the spine and then went to work sorting the papers. And I actually threw a bunch away!

I can't ever find any tabs that you can see when you use the page protectors, so I just made my own. I printed out the label on cardstock, cut it out, backed it with the same color page as the divider and then stuck it to the end with packing tape. It looks and works perfect!

I am so happy with how they turned out! They make me want to start baking more and I have so much room for new recipes!

I chose to make 6 binders and divide up my recipes in these categories -

*Bread & Breakfast
*Main Dish
*Cookies & Cakes
*Crockpot & Casseroles
*Soup, Salad & Sides
*To Try

Each of these binders has their own sub-categories also. For example, the Bread & Breakfast binder has a breakfast, quickbread, muffin and bread sections. This is just what works for me!

Much better now, wouldn't you agree?