Category Archives: Family

Parenting, Living, Family.

Classic Sugar Cookie Cake

classic sugar cookie cake

I adapted this from the Dixie Crystals pure white sugar package- yep. Sometimes the best recipes are from the back of the box, if you know what I mean? This is no exception! I love Dixie sugar, and last year was lucky enough to receive a crap-ton of it for Brunch Week– like 12 bags!

So now that my kids are getting off the bus after their first day of school…I am welcoming them home with this beauty!

Classic Sugar Cookie Cake

Isn’t it cute? My kids made so much fun of my writing…”Does that say, Happy 1st Dan?”, “What is that, Play Doh?” No…no it is not. brats. No….just kidding. {sigh}

Okay, so I wrote a little welcome with my butter cream recipe, that isn’t super pretty but you know they did fight over the icing, so I over-did it a bit! They had seconds too- cuz that’s the nice-mom I felt like today.

I adapted it to use canola oil instead of butter. The recipe calls for a cup of butter, and that is two whole sticks. I don’t really want all that saturated fat with my old lady arteries, so I typically substitute 3/4 cups of canola oil for every 1 cup of butter. This has worked great for me most times with cookies only. Here’s the recipe as I made it:

Classic Sugar Cookies made into a Cookie Cake

Ingredients

3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 375*. Spray a 9″ cake pan with non-stick spray or rub with butter (or margarine) completely.
  • In a large bowl, add the oil and sugar. Stir to combine.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla and mix.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add to the sugar mixture and stir until combined.
  • Add the sprinkles and mix completely.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the cake pan, using your knuckles to evenly spread it.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes at 375* until the edges are just lightly browned.

Classic Sugar Cookie Cake

For the optional butter-cream frosting:

In a large bowl, add:

  • 3 TBSP. softened butter
  • 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp.vanilla
  • 1 TBSP. milk

Mix with an electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Add to a plastic bag, cut the tip off, and pipe your letters. That’s it!

Classic Sugar Cookie Cake


I have a non-chocolate eater in my world, so I opted for sugar cookie flavor. I added some jimmies (sprinkles for you non North-easterners) and frosted the letters with my easy butter cream frosting, but you could also use ready made frosting or even just stick a little hand lettered-sign in the middle with a tooth-pick! Let’s make this easy shall we?

It pops out super easily after it cools too, so it’s better to slice up into sections:

 

classic sugar cookie cake

Well it is super easy and kind of a nice little welcome home at the end of their day. I am sure it was hard work having to NOT be on a screen, and NOT lay around in your PJs all day! I feel their pain and so I hope this helps ease it a little bit~

classic sugar cookie cake


Classic Sugar Cookie Cake

The 3-R’s of Summer: Running, Reading & Relaxing!

3 R's of SummerIf you have been visiting this blog for any length of time, you know that I am a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I have come to the conclusion in my many wise years, and as I enter my mid 40’s (erg!) that I am a jack of all trades, master of not much! {Ouch}

Well, I am a master of picking up kids’ crap and changing diapers and cuddling at length, and breaking up fights, and all those mommy-type tasks, but the rest of my life is a work in progress! Summer is no exception.  I like to do a lot of things to be productive and get things done, but we all need some downtime, AKA: “self-care- especially us parents.

Can I get an “Amen!”? Yes, y’all!

My summer needs for self-care call for the 3-R’s:

Running

Not a long list of races, or a long social media selfie-showoffie of my miles on end. No. Just running without a watch, no ear-buds, and sort of meditating on life runs. This is my summer jam. I am getting my mojo back to do some races for the fall. I am not a hot-weather runner so this summer thing is mixed with PIYO, the gym, and fun-runs.  In these bad boys:

Brooks Ravenna 7 Running | Hardly A Goddess

And when I say bad, I mean OLD! I have loved these sneaks- they are new in this picture!- for lots of loved miles. My knees are hurting so I know I need to shop *birthday hint!*! Suggestions are welcomed here too- I am leaning toward New Balance for my wide toe box, so if any of you have this too, I am all ears!

Reading

You can read all about my short-list for the summer, or you can follow along on my Goodreads updates, but rest assured, I am reading for pleasure and not just doing book reviews or since I am less than employed right now, no professional reading at all. So just fun books. If you have any recommendations, I will take ’em! My current read:

Relaxing

In between all the work of not-working (looking for a job, endless laundry, shuttling kids) I am trying to relax. Stop laughing. I know I am not working but I seem to be crazy busy. I think it’s the lack of schedule that makes me a little bit crazy. I am actually missing my routine of the school year! I caught up on my movies (Boss Baby and Wonder Woman- which by the way is super fun!), visited with friends, and been lucky enough to hit the beach, and have some nice family fun- hiking, eating out, playing games, etc.

Hiking on Block Island

Hiking on Block Island

 

Strawberry Picking in June!

Strawberry Picking in June

Skipping rocks at sunset

Skipping rocks at sunset

Those are my 3-R’s. Running, Reading, & Relaxing.

What’s on your summer must-do list?

Make a Photo Book with Blurb

blurb photo-book
*Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links however, as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own. See full disclosure.

It is about time that I unloaded my photos from my computer and put them into books I think!

I have about three years worth of pictures just sitting in files, and to be totally honest… My kids are like:

“Mommy- why is this book say 2015? Isn’t it 2017?”

blurb photo-book

I want to say:

“Yes. Yes it is my little love-buckets. It says on the photo-book, “2015” and since I had you, I have had no time to myself, let alone, to put pictures of you into cutesy little books. I only could do that for your sisters who were born first (Back when they couldn’t walk and just napped and napped) sigh.”

But I don’t say that. I just sigh again, and start trying to get these pics in order with Blurb!

How I Organized Before I Even Started

      1. I am trying to get all these pics in order first on my computer, so I put all my photos into files first, by year.
      2. After I have year folders made, I create month folders within each year. That way I have a little bit of a sense of what was happening in those folders (birthdays, vacations, or whatever).
      3. I decided what  book I wanted to make: On the website, select the area for making Photo Books- they have some other products. Then they prompt you for choosing the size. Do that. Then choose the cover- you can change this later, but know I did the hardcover with dust jacket, but the photo-wrap is nice too, since dust jackets can get torn or removed.
      4. Next you install BookWright, their software with templates and fonts and all kinds of design fun, to put the book in the order and way that makes it unique to you. I don’t get too fancy, as I have more pictures than space, so I sort of jam them all in there. I loved the various layouts that they offer here. Now I didn’t intend to put ALL the photos in there, but I sort of just decided to put a page (or two) per month. Birthday months and Christmas time had more pictures, so we needed more pages for those months. You upload what photos you want and will fit to your format.
      5. Once your pages are done, you are done and you can proof it and order your book!

I have used lots of other photo book makers before, and I like them a lot in general- I am constantly switching around the companies to get the best deal and the highest quality. Blurb is not very well known I don’t think, and until I started with them, I probably would still be making my same old option without all the customization. But I am not very up to date on photo-apps I guess, I just realized last week that the Blurb app is built into my husband’s phone and I didn’t even know it until I started working with them.

Here’s what I like:

      • The book quality is awesome
      • The options for upgrading are plentiful: hardcover, hardcover with jacket, nice paper or really nice paper. The Blurb concept rewards you for ordering in quantity too, so say you are getting married or having a baby and want to share a book with all your loved ones…that is an awesome idea by the way, and I wish I had done that(!), you can order a bunch, send them out and save some cash. Sweet!
      • They are constantly sending me coupons for great discounts (sometimes up to 50% off!)
      • There are really nice fonts, sizes, and ideas for making your most unique book ever. Mine was boring, but EASY with their online templates but you are more creative than me no doubt and will love the BookWright or InDesign features! My next book is going to rock it! LOL!

Blurb is actually a company for making books of all kinds, not just photo books. If you are a great photographer and say you want to showcase a whole book of pictures (maybe of your favorite island vacation), you can then create a travel photobook with lots of text options- not just a generic text box, and you have your new book ready to go- It might make a great present for a new baby visit or engagement party too! You can even sell your book on Amazon when you’re done. Just saying. Not that I did, but you could. You so could! Make your own book with Blurb!

Have you used Blurb before? What do you use for photo-books if you don’t use them? Are you as bad as I am at getting books made of your pictures?!


*Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links however, as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own. See full disclosure.