Homemade Oreos

My sisters have been so disgruntled with me because I haven't posted anything yet, but I told them that I was waiting for something really good to post and I finally found it, Homemade Oreos!! I can't emphasize enough how excited I was about these. I love oreos!! It started this morning when Luke, my nephew, asked if we could make cookies. I wanted to try something new so I started looking at a few blogs to get some ideas. ( I have to add that when I found myself doing that I was shocked. It's taken a lot of work for Christine to get me into blogging.) The first blog I went to was Smitten Kitchen and there I found this recipe.
I don't know what she was doing that I didn't but my cookies did not turn out how they were supposed to the first time so I made them again with a few minor adjustments. My dough never came together so I added a dash of milk, just enough to make the dough hold together.

Chocolate Wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar *
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
*if you want the cookies to be less sweet and more like the original then reduce the sugar to 1 cup.

Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Then the milk as needed. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.

The cookies only need to bake for 9 minutes. They will look slightly undercooked when you take them out.

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix butter and shortening on low speed and gradually add the sugar and vanilla.

I have to admit I was a little shocked when I saw the vegtable shortening. It's not something even I would use, especially in icing. Naturally Christine doesn't keep it on hand, and I wasn't about to take two overly hyper boys and a baby into the store just for that so I used butter and it worked just fine.
Here is where I really began to tweak the recipe. When I was done making the filling we all had to have a taste and none of us, even baby Mac who's one, was overly impressed. So I decided to turn it into the mint filling. I added roughly 2 teaspoons of mint extract and a few drops of green food color to make it pretty. Then I got really ambitious and wanted to try peanut butter. I don't know about you but I think everything is better with a little peanut butter. Also the boys absolutely love the stuff so it was a unanimous decision. I mixed peanut butter, powered sugar, and vanilla. Sorry but I didn't measure anything for this part so it's up to your discretion.
Now I'm really not trying to brag about my baking abilities because I know that I'm not quite as good as my sisters, BUT I know these cookies were good becasue Christine was very impressed! And let me tell you that doesn't happen very often. Pair these with a glass of milk and you have a totally scrumptous treat that everyone will enjoy.


My Art Wall

FINALLY, the day has arrived to reveal my art wall. I don't know why I'm making such a big deal about it, because it's not near as nice as some I have seen lately. But, my husband is VERY proud of me because I only spent about $6 for the letters and paint. Everything else is recycled from other rooms in the house. So, without further ado I will show you the completed picture and then go on to explain everything.

Oh , by the way, we're in the process of replacing all the doors in the house.
This one hasn't gotten done.

Usually, I just start pounding nails into the wall when I want to hang something. So, this time I was going to be more professional about it. I didn't have any big pieces of paper to use as the wall and mark off the picture frames. So, I laid it out on the floor. After a little arranging, I found the format I wanted.

I then found the center of the wall and hung the big picture and then continued with the smaller ones around it. I tried to keep it from being to matchy matchy. So, it's not spaced quite evenly between some, but I like it like that. I didn't have any more frames to use and needed something in the middle at the bottom. So, I went outside cut off a frozen branch, let it thaw out and then spray painted it. The letters turned out pretty well also, I think at least.

Kids can be so useful at times. Of course I had to explain about 10
times why I broke the tree. He sounds just like his Dad.


Now to talk about some of the pictures. This one is of my Mom who died 9 years ago. This is one of the last good ones we have of her. There is also a small one of my Mom and I when I was three on the bottom left hand side. 

This snowman was built in a front yard here in Anchorage a couple of years ago.

My "art wall". It has really changed the look of the living room. If you can it is definitely something you should do in your home.

Also, keep checking back because I am starting my Valentine baking. I can't wait to show you some of the ideas I have come up with for this special day. Want a hint? Homemade Marshmallows. Sooo good.



Aged Letters

As I said in the welcome picture post, I’m still working on my art wall. I'm one step closer to showing you all. I wanted to incorporate some letters into it. At first, I was just going to use an R for our last name. But, then got the bright idea to use the first letter of each of the kids name. So, I got an r, l, and m. I then  paintedthem in a silver. I had pictured them a little darker in my mind, but I took the kids with me to Michaels.

I'm brave I know, but what else are you supposed to do? The other day someone posted on facebook that they don't take their kids shopping. Please tell me how in the world do you get away with this? I've never been able to get away with doing that. The kids go every where I go. Rhiannon lays down in the back of the double stroller, Mac sits in the front and Luke holds my hand. Have you ever tried to steer a double stroller with a two year old hanging on though Peir One? Let me tell you it's quite an accomplishment, if I do say so my self. I was one HAPPY mother when I left there. After that shopping trip believe me ANYTHING is possible. Anyway, I think Luke thought that the little paint bottles were soap, because he kept taking the lids off and trying to smell them. For some reason, I still have yet to figure out he can get the lids off with no problem, but putting them back on is a whole different story. Then Mac kept trying to climb into the back of the stroller and get the pacifier from Rhiannon. She loves her brother, but not when he’s stealing the pacifier from her. Needless to say, selecting the paint color could not be a long process.

After putting two coats of silver on the letters I got from Jo-Ann Fabrics (which I applied by rubbing on with an old rag) they still needed something else.

I then rubbed a little orange paint in different spots with the rag to make them look aged. To be honest I got a little scared after the R. I had put to much on. But after using a little more silver than on the other letters it came out ok.I let that dry completely. Mainly though because I got sidetracked with the kids. :)

I then rubbed a little silver over the whole letter. The result was an older looking metal letter. Much better. I should be posting my art wall in a day or two. I’m almost done with it.

Let me know if you make any of these. I would love to see how you incorporate them into your home.



~I LOVE When I Have Moments of Brilliance~

This one is for Mary..our Indiana sister....I have never seen anyone with as many pairs of boots as her....I was organizing my closet, you know, getting ready for that imaginary new wardrobe...well, maybe one day. Anyhow...I have always hated my boots being on the floor of the closet..all my shoes are in shoe racks and I just prefer for things to be off the floor as much as possible....well, all of the sudden it HIT me how I can store my boots! I LOVE moments like these! I had a few extra multiple type skirt hangers that I wasn't using and I thought that would be perfect to hang my boots from...not only does it keep them off the floor but it keeps them from always having that crease in them....hope this helps you as you start your spring organizing..oh, wait unless you live in Alaska or Indiana...ya'll are just settling in for winter..It was in the high 60s today here in south Georgia...I won't be needing boots much longer, glad I have such a great place to store them! :)

Issabella and Max Blog Giveaway

You have to go visit the Issabella and Max blog. This is one of my favorite blogs. She is starting an e-zine called House of Fifty. In honor of that she is giving away a set of Ikat Mini Bowls. So, head on over there and enter for a chance to win these super cute bowls.
Follow this link http://isabellaandmaxrooms.blogspot.com/
Let her know who told you about the giveaway.  Good luck.




I love to refinish furniture...It is always such a challenge because you just never know what is underneath that paint or stain or how it is going to take the new paint or stain!! I love being able to completely change the look of something with just a little spray paint ( and the occasional stain )! My most recent "re-do" projects I don't have good before pictures, unfortunately...but here are the after pictures. They could not have come out more perfect!

I love these bar stools! I was wondering around my mother-in-laws basement one night looking for the cherry pepsi and I stumbled on these beautiful stools! They weren't really beautiful when I brought them home, but they are now ! They are oak stools and just had a very basic, dull finish. 2 coats of spray paint later and a little distressing and they look like they have always belonged! And we can now use them at our bar for dinner!!! YAY!!!

This table was a wedding gift 5 years ago. Cant believe I can say I have been married for 5 years!!! It was a garage sale find that a family friend bought for next to nothing and refinished it for us. She actually made the benches for it too since it didn't come with anything!! It was our main kitchen/dining table we had for the first 3 yrs! It, like the stools, is oak and had a natural finish on it when we got it. Last summer I decided it was time to "re-do".... It cost me nothing because I had the paint, stain and sand paper and a saturday afternoon with nothing better to do! I could not be happier with how it turned out, it looks even better in person! Seriously, I LOVE it!!!!

This was my old stainless steal paper towel holder. I haven's used it since we moved into our new house because all of my new stuff is the oil rubbed bronze....needless to say, it didn't really match! I don't know why I didn't think of painting this sooner. I first used a dark bronze/brown paint ( because thats what I had ) but I wasn't a fan so I did another coat with black. Looks so much better now! I don't have it sitting out ( I don't like my counter tops to be cluttered ) so it still sits in my pantry in all its bronze glory but at least I no longer cringe when I see that ugly steel holder sitting on my shelf! What a difference a coat of spray paint can make!

God Bless

Mary Elizabeth


My baby girl

I just had to post this picture for you all to see.  My baby girl, Rhiannon is growing up so fast.  I put her in the highchair yesterday. She loved it. Not sure if it was because she was up and could see everything or if the boys couldn't get to her as well.  I think it was the later.  Poor Mac though didn't like it at all. He keep trying to take the tray off so she could get out.


Welcome Picture

I am in the process of making an art wall. Actually, it's almost done. I want to wait a day or two before I post the completed project. I'm not quite sure about one of the pictures. I'm not sure if I want to paint the frame, get a new one, or leave it. Till then, I'll show you how I made the Welcome picture.

I started with a picture frame that I bought from Target.. I didn't have a picture for it, but I wanted to use it. Then, I thought well when I make my new curtains and pillows, I'll use some material in it. But, I didn't want to wait that long. THEN, I got this EXTREMELY bright idea. I'll make a welcome sign from the chalkboard paint I had let over from a project for the boys room. (Side note -- I need to make a post about that. I forgot all about that project.)

I painted the glass from the frame with the paint.  I had to do several coats. 
Now we just need to invite some people over.

Put the frame back together and wrote Welcome.  Just so you know, I LOVE this frame on the art wall. Can't wait to show you the completed project.  Hope you all enjoy and make a welcome sign for you home as well. If you do make one let me know. I would love to see your welcome signs as well.



~Best Garage Sale Find~

I have to admit that I am a novice at garage sales....I think I have been to 3 in my lifetime but, that is all changing very quickly, especially after this great coffee table find! My sister in law and I headed out a little late for garage salers one Saturday morning last fall and were happy to find on our first stop this GREAT coffee table! The only reason I think it was still there was because the people selling it had stuff all over it...and it didn't catch your eye right away. I looked and looked and then looked again and saw the price tag....a whopping $7 for a solid oak Lane table......I didn't hesitate...but, quickly asked to take everything off to get a better look...and regardless of the fact that I already have a coffee table I was quick to say "I'll take it!" My thought process was even if I give it away it was too good to pass up....but, I knew I wasn't going to give it away because the honest truth is that my beautiful coffee table is up in the attic for the simple reason that it is too large for our living room..and this one was the PERFECT size....My wonderful sister in law drove back to pick it up for me since it wouldn't fit in my car, and then I had the fun of calling my handsome hubby to let him know that I had bought it and would he please, pick it up for me from my sister in law's house?!? :) Of course, he did it for me and even helped me refinish it....he is such a great husband. So, here are the before and after pictures of my $7 garage sale find....hopefully, it will encourage you to get out and look for cheap treasures that need a loving hand to bring out their true beauty! :) (I am having the worst luck at uploading pictures and moving them around, so please, bear with me as I learn how to be a blogger....the After pic is first because I can't get it anywhere else...grrrrrrr!)


Really, there has got to be an easier way to get my pictures up!!! Any help would be appreciated!




A Cozy Dinner

When it comes to January in northern Indiana winter is just getting started.....At times I think I will never see another warm sunny day again!!! This weather is perfect for making soup. Sometimes nothing is better on a cold winters evening than a hot bowl of soup! And this soup has made it onto my favorites list!

I owe the inspiration for this post to The Frugal Girl. She does a recipe post every wednesday and when I saw this recipe I decided to give it a try. Start to finish it only took about 30min. not including baking time for the potato's. My husband said it was the best potato soup I had ever made and quite honestly I agree with him! I ate the entire bowl!!! Paired with homemade fresh from the oven bread with a little bit of butter....It was the perfect winters night dinner. It was cozy!! You can find the recipe here and the homemade bread was from the cookbook A Passion for Baking......which I absolutely love! It has the best recipes in it. I must say for me the bread was icing on the cake....I love good bread!! And it was soo pretty!
Unfortunately I cant get the picture of the bread up......so sad because it was soo pretty!!
Let me know if you try the recipe, I know you will love it if you do! Have a great evening!

God Bless

Mary Elizabeth

A Winter Centerpiece

( This one's for you Christine )

Up to this point I have always enjoyed my winter dining room centerpieces but never LOVED them! They were always your typical garland.....some sort of christmas-y thing, but never something that I wanted to keep up all winter long. Well, I have finally found a centerpiece that I LOVE! I had seen all over blogland things that people were doing with coffee filters, so i decided to give it a try.......and it came out perfect! I will tell you though, this is not a quick project.

I used 3 different sized styrofoam trees from Michaels. Starting from the bottom and working my way up I hot glued the filters to the tree.....

To do all 3 trees I think it took be about 4hrs total...like I said its not a quick project!!

Once I was finished with them they needed a little something so I made another trip to Michaels and found a light gold ( almost clear ) glittery spray paint and just gave them all a light coat. It is hard to see in the pictures but when the candles are lit the trees sparkle just a little.....BEAUTIFUL!!!

God Bless,

Mary Elizabeth


Well..I told you I was computer illiterate on my "About Me" page and so, you now know why it has taken me so long to post my first project for you.....Talk about a blank canvas to work with....that is exactly what I had when we moved into our home as you can see in this first picture...stay with me and I will show you the changes I made but...this post is strictly about the BED...King size and monstrous...so why did I decide to refinish it? See the finished project and I think you will see that it was worth all the heartache.....



The process was not so simple because originally I had envisioned an antiqued white finish....but once we got started it was so evident that it was not a good choice, so I resorted to my favorite distressed black look..and I love it. We cut the post off the bottom to open up the room and it has made a big difference....the only time we miss them is when my husband needs to hang his suite somewhere on Sunday for his afternoon nap...otherwise, it makes the room seem much larger. What a difference it has made, "cozy" is the word I like to use......



Stuffing Balls

The credit for the stuffing ball idea goes to my sister Jennifer.  Hopefully one day soon you will be seeing some posts from her.  She is quite busy these days.  She watches my 3 kids for me while I'm at work and then works at a resturant a couple nights a week and on the weekends. 

I made these balls for Thanksgiving this year. It was nice to do something different with stuffing then just having it in another bowl.  I made my own stuffing by sauteing diced onions, garlic, and green peppers. Then added some chicken broth and brought that to a boil. Poured it over my dried out bread crumbs. Added some sage and mixed well. Then made balls and but into a cupcake pan and baked for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Feather Lamp Shade

I am in the process of putting things together for my daughters room.  The colors I have chosen for her room are gray, pink and white. Though finding things in the gray color has not been easy. So, I have to make or repaint a lot of things. I bought this cute little lamp at Target (on sale), but couldn't find a cute lampshade. 
I decided to spruce up the shade that came with it with some pink feathers. 

I want Rhiannon's room to have more of a glamour look to it then a baby nursery look. Hopefully, I will be able to achieve that look. I got 2 packages of pink feather trim. I them cut the trim into pieces that would fit around the shade and hot glued them into place. I like how it turned out.

More pictures will be coming of things that I have already done and are planning to do.  It might be awhile before you see the finished room.  My sister is staying with us and she is using that room right now.


I am so excited to add my first post to our blog.  I do apologize though for it being so short, but I am a mother of 3 and work outside the home.  In fact, yesterday was my first day back to work following maternity leave for my little girl.  So, anyway, I want to share a dessert that I made a couple of weeks ago.  My husband wanted an apple pie and well I didn't really feel like going to all that trouble. Not that it's hard. It's  just that it sounded like a mess and having a 2 month old, 1 year, and 2 year, I've been trying to keep anything that sounds like a mess to a minimum. I decided to cheat a little bit.  Sorry in advance for the lack of pictures.  Didn't have blogs on my mind back then so I only took one at the end to show my sisters.

I made my pie crust (my favorite comes from Martha Stewart's website).  Wrapped it around a peeled apple (sorry don't remember what kind I used), filled the cored middle with cinnamon, sugar and a little nutmeg. Drizzled melted butter over it and baked it till the apple was tender. I would say about 45 minutes to an hour.  Took it out of the oven and drizzled with a home made caramel sauce (also from Martha Stewart, sorry but she is my favorite)

And there is the finished product. They were extremely good. My husband ate 2 before I even got the glaze on all of them.  The next time I made them though I doubled it. If you try them I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.



Welcome....my sisters and I are just getting started with our new blog! We have so much to share and we are looking forward to sharing with each other and you!



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