April was a busy, busy month for me. I’m still adjusting to life without my dad and have poured all of my energy into outdoor gardening. Last month I started with a shopping trip to The Home Depot where I picked up all of the supplies to make a pair of whiskey barrel planters for my driveway. It was an incredibly easy project that didn’t take much time at all. By the end of the afternoon we were all outside watching the kids blow bubbles and admiring the beautiful flowers.
After a nice dose of rain I went back out to The Home Depot with my mom to help her find the supplies to make her own Flower Tower and picked up a wooden trellis so I could make a vertical garden full of sun-loving flowers to lean up against my boring fence.
It’s a really easy project that saves you space since flowers are growing up rather than out around your yard. We just got some “s” hooks to hang the pots on the trellis and filled them up with Marigolds and Primroses. Then I handed over the watering duties to my kids who love to pull out their watering cans and help me around the yard.
After seeing the Flower Tower my mom put together I decided to try one out myself. This project looked a lot easier than it actually was. There’s quite a bit of work involved getting the fencing tied together and then of course filling in all the space with flowers. Despite the cuts and scrapes this one gave me, I think it turned out absolutely beautiful.
And of course our whiskey barrel planters look as beautiful as ever. The kids never forget to water them (unlike me) and the decorative butterflies are actually still hanging out in the pots. Usually one of the kids carts off with anything decorative like that.
If all that wasn’t enough, this month my husband has decided he’s going to take on an outdoor project of his own and build a fire pit in the back yard.
DIY Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Mason Jar Money Banks for Your Next Disney World Vacation
DIY Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden In The Kitchen
When it comes to summer desserts, the only requirement I have is that it doesn’t involve turning on the oven. I absolutely dread the thought of heating the house up anymore than it already is. So I start looking for ways to make sweet treats that can be refrigerated. Even better if I can make them ahead of time to enjoy later.
That’s exactly what makes these mason jar cheesecakes so perfect. You get all of the rich deliciousness of a cheesecake without all the work, baking or mess. Mason jars are perfect for stacking up the perfect dessert and even better for taking dessert on-the-go. For a 4th of July picnic you can pack these red, white and blue-berry mason jar cheesecakes in a cooler to enjoy before the fireworks.
What makes these mason jar cheesecakes so pretty and colorful is Lucky Leaf pie filling. It’s not just for pies y’all! These colorful fillings make sweet toppings for cheesecakes. The raspberry (or cherry) and blueberry filling adds layers of red and blue while the cheesecake (flavored with Lucky Leaf lemon pie filling) adds a white layer. There’s also a layer of cubed pound cake and cinnamon graham cracker streusel.
Red White & Blueberry Cheesecake Jars
- 1- 10.75 ounce frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 can Lucky Leaf raspberry pie filling
- 1 can Lucky Leaf blueberry pie filling
- 9 cinnamon graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP, thawed
- 1 cup Lucky Leaf lemon pie filling
- To make the streusel, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter. Use a fork the incorporate the ingredients.
- To make the cheesecake, in an electric mixer, whisk together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add COOL WHIP and pie filling, mix just until incorporated.
- In mason jars, create layers in the following order. Streusel, blueberry pie filling, cheesecake mixture, pound cake, streusel, raspberry pie filling, cheesecake mixture.
- Put the lid on the jars and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Now that you know my favorite summer dessert, I’d love to hear what yours is!
Easter Bunny Dirt Cake
Cherry Heart Cutout Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day
For years I’ve been collecting Veg Kitchen spices. As of this moment, I have around 50 spice bottles and I truly use every single one of them. The problem is I can never find the right one in the exact moment that I need it.
Just this week I was cooking dinner and quickly needed to find my bottle of ground ginger. I opened up those cabinet doors you see below and was greeted with a mass of red lidded bottles. They were stacked, they were falling over, hidden among cookie toppers and I literally had to pull every single bottle out just to find the one little jar I needed.
A regular spice rack just isn’t an option for me because my counter space is completely full and I didn’t want to screw holes into my cabinets. Fortunately, there’s a really great and easy to use alternative for spice hoarders like myself.
This do-it-yourself spice rack can be placed just about anywhere, even on the exterior of cabinets for easy access. All you need is some plastic spice bottle organizers that I found on Amazon.
Each plastic strip holds 4 bottles and gives you the option to stick it to the surface or screw it in for something a little more permanent. The bottles just snap right into the hooks for easy access.
DIY Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden In Kitchen
DIY Mickey And Minnie Mouse Mason Jars
I know it seems a little soon to think about Valentine’s Day but I can’t help myself. Ever since I had daughters, I just became obsessed with the color pink and Valentine’s Day is the one time of the year that you just can’t go overboard on pink. I found several really awesome recipes on Yelp, so be sure to check these out too!
Since our kids are still young and responsible babysitters are hard to come by, my husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense. While other couples are out enjoying a quiet steak dinner, we’re at home making the holiday fun with our children. That fun typically begins with breakfast and whatever pink food I can put on the table. This year it’s going to be these oh-so-pretty pink pancakes made with a cherry chip cake mix batter and a sweet pink cheesecake pudding topping. Plus this recipe gave me a chance to pull out my electric griddle which I LOVE cooking on.
Valentine’s Day Cherry Chip Pancakes with Cheesecake Sauce Recipe
- 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup Betty Crocker cherry chip cake mix
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 1-3.4 oz box of JELL-O cheesecake instant pudding mix
- 2-1/2 cups milk
- pink or red food coloring
- Preheat electric griddle to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cake mix, sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. Add eggs, extract and mix, whisking just until combined.
- Pour ¼ cup of the batter on the griddle for each pancake and cook until the top has bubbles and the edges appear dry. Flip pancakes and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes until light brown on the bottom.
- Set pancakes aside.
- In bowl, whisk together pudding mix, milk and food coloring. Mix for 5 minutes until thickened and smooth.
- Spoon topping over warm pancakes and top with sprinkles.
Awesome OREO Stuffed Cupcakes
Banana Cream Pie Ice Box Cake Recipe