My Birthday Cake

Normally I would post a recipe on my recipe blog, but I am just going to post a link to the blogspot that the recipe originated instead.

For my birthday, I made MYSELF a 4 layer Chocolate Malt Chocolate Cake…all from scratch and WONDERFUL!!! I have wanted to try this cake for over a month and FINALLY my tastebuds were NOT disappointed! The only things I did different from the recipe were to bake in 10 inch pans and instead of using whoppers, I decorated with the leftover semi-sweet chocolate chips because I bought a 24 oz bag. By using the 10 inch pans, I was able to use ALL the frosting! It was JUST ENOUGH.

This is quite possibly the best chocolate cake I have ever made and I used to make cakes on a somewhat professional level! There is just something about the different chocolates…dutch cocoa…semi-sweet chocolate…all the rich chocolates that I LOVE!

ANYWAY, I obviously enjoyed my birthday cake. This year felt like I had several weeks of birthday celebration, as though I were a child again instead of a 37 year old. Life is getting back to normal, except with leftover cake! YUM

Little tidbits of my life!



My 37th Birthday Dinner

WOW I had a fun day!

I got all gussied up today in preparation for my 37th birthday dinner at my sis Lavonda’s house. Homemade pizza and two different kinds of trifles for dessert were underway while I was still sleeping!

Ready to go!

When I arrived, preparations to get the pizza dough spread were well underway, so I decided to blog the pizzas.

First, my oldest sis Tina is seen here trying to make an action shot of spreading on hot sausage over pepperoni. Later garlic was added to one side along with a few different cheeses. Additionally, onions were also added to the other half as well as all other toppings mentioned. This pizza was WONDERFUL. Low fat cheeses were used and my sis Tina used a napkin and literally wiped each pepperoni as she went. She is the sis who was recently in the hospital with pancreatitis. I believe the sausage was turkey sausage.

Next, my mother was diligently working on a barbeque chicken pizza. I did not ever get around to trying this one as there were so many options. It smelled wonderful, though and only 4 pieces were left when all was over.

Next, is a beef and italian sausage pizza with onions that my middle sis Lavonda, the hostess, was throwing together. These are her manicured nails in the next pic.

These are my two sisters and my sis Lavonda’s hubby Tim being silly.

This is my mom kicking dad out of the kitchen as he tends to stir folks up!

This is my mother and my brother-in-law (and host) Tim below.

My sis Tina suggested a few pics of me, so here are a very few pics of me:

In my sis’s Dining Room

In honor of Pizza, pose by Tuscan Painting

my hubby Jamey and myself

I said I think I’m getting crow’s feet for my 37th birthday…but it’s just because I laugh so much. I don’t think we will have to worry about my hubby getting crow’s feet! He refuses to smile, even for a pic! Maybe he should be tickled.

my oldest sis Tina and myself

My father-in-law James


Mom’s Salad

Triple Berry Trifle

Irish Creme Trifle

Let me tell you a quick story. The day I got married, the best man asked my sister to be his lookout…to call him when my in-laws left the wedding. He planned to roll my father-in-law’s bass boat and needed to make sure he and his dad did not get caught. She did as instructed. WELL, once all was said and done, somehow, word got to my father-in-law that she made the call. SO I will be married for 9 years this November and my father-in-law has told her for 9 years that revenge is COMING. He got his revenge today. My sister makes sure it is known that she is a democrat, no doubt about it. SO my father-in-law and I discussed his revenge and I made an off-white pillow for him to give to her that said I (red satin heart) George W. Link can be found below (or click the picture) on my youtube page of her finding it laying on her bed and her surprise reaction. His card per his instructions read “Paybacks are hell”, but it was on a Disney’s Bambi background. I think the main reason he came to the dinner was for the pillow!

Lavonda and pillow “I HEART George W.”

my FIL James and my sis Lavonda


My sis Tina has already taken me shopping as I mentioned in a previous blog entry. On the trip, she told me she reads with an LED book light. I just cannot imagine a book light that lasts more than a book! Alas, I now own one, too! She gave me more presents! I love it and love this photo I took with it on!


Tina also bought corn skewers for me. I thought I had written a funny story about my childhood involving corn skewers for corn on the cob, but I did not see it, so I guess I have another entry to write for that blog. Once I do, you will understand why my sis included them in my birthday presents bag this year.

Besides all the wonderful food, my sis Lavonda and brother-in-law Tim gave me this necklace. I had picked it out months ago at the Premier Jewelry party she hosted, but it is so much prettier in person!

I already blogged an entry that my parents gave me a food processor this week, but my dad brought me something he MADE for me! It is a foot rest that is a replica of the one his foot doctor sent him to buy for himself. He also padded and covered it for my comfort so I would not have to! Mom helped him, too. I LOVE IT! When I got home, I had a CAT SCAN done on it and the test result was normal so I can keep it. (see pics for explanation)

Buster and Ash doing CAT SCAN

Pumpkin doing CAT scan

I hope you have a blessed birthday this year just as I have! My birthday is still not even here! It is the 22nd!

Little tidbits of my life!


A WEEK of presents!

In a few days (10 to be exact) I will have a birthday. My family has been giving me presents all week long! I feel like a kid…except most kids are not excited to get a food processor for their laundry soap. My parents have been at my house on several occasions canning and always have to bring their food processor. They know how much I love my homemade detergent, but also how much it aggrevates my thumbs because of the psoriasis (the rubbing to grate by hand causes them to crack open and bleed). SO while I was at their house for 3 days this week for dr visits, my mother surprised me with a new food processor. I thought at first it was a blender and I was like ummm…thanks. Then it hit me as I looked more closely! She saw my smile become genuine and then she showed me her laundry detergent! She and dad had bought one to do their detergent with as well because I suggested they try the homemade recipe. SO NOW instead of an hour or so for two or three batches, it took about 3 minutes!

In addition to this present, my oldest sis Tina (papercat1 on homestead’s blogsite) took me to Fashion Bug and I picked out two shirts. I had planned to buy one of them, but she grabbed it from me and said she was buying both. THEN she bought my lunch at a wonderful restaurant I had not been to in years in Cleveland, TN called Jenkins. Local folks will know what I am talking about. I won’t post pics of the shirts yet because we still have a birthday supper soon and I am sure we will have cameras there. I will wait until then.

The last day I was at my mother’s house, I had one dr’s appointment late in the day, so she suggested we go see a movie, her treat. I knew she had wanted to see the new Shrek movie ever since we saw the preview on American Idol. So I checked online and it was playing for $1 a person at the Regal Cinema! We saw it for $2 total!!! Great deal $1 all day wednesdays at Regal 10-17 behind Hamilton Place Mall for somewhat local Chattanooga folks.

My middle sis has plans underway, too. I shall tell more about them when I have pics to go along with them. She’s an awesome cook and is hosting the dinner this year. We always have dinners for each family member’s birthday. I picked my present out months ago at her Premier Jewelry Party, but will still be surprised because I have such a short memory! I ┬áremember it is rusty red colored, but cannot remember what it looked like!

Health Update: As far as doctor visits, I had quite a bit of edema again wednesday while at my internist’s office and he wanted to order tests anyway and that made him add more to it. We shall see what that shows before too long. I think it is because I have been too active lately and need to rest and get off my feet more than anything. He wants to make sure the HUMERA is not causing it. The oncologist visit was monday and I was told great news there. The lump that I had the biopsy on a year ago has not grown any, but due to the fact it is there plus family history, I have to continue to have it checked once a year now. At least it is not 4 months this time! I may have mentioned having trouble with some meds again where I am having dizzy, weak spells. I stopped taking my muscle relaxer flexeril and the spells have significantly decreased, but my back pain has increased significantly, too. I am glad to know it was that simple to get it under control, but I wish there was an easy fix to help my back pain.

I manage and God always, always blesses me so much. I feel very blessed. I do not mean because my family gives me stuff. I mean because of my family’s love and support. They try to help ease the burdens that they can control. I would like to be able to do more for my family. I used to do alot more than I do now, but I know that I have to limit myself and what I do. As I say that, I have been in a marathon of sorts this week because my cousin who I mentioned had a baby shower last saturday and I had posted pics of the baby stocking I made her…well she had her baby the very next day!

My cousin Brandi’s baby Haden Lee was born Sunday, August 8th! He needs a comforter for his cradle that his Nanny and Nana bought for him because they could not find the right size. I got the measurements and cut out a design for it. I managed to sew it together while at my parents’ house this week. I machine quilted (yes, I hate to machine quilt a baby quilt, but I did it for the first time INSTEAD of hand quilting) it last night and all that is left is finishing the binding on it. I am so glad I was able to get it done! That is one reason my back hurts so bad I am sure, sitting at the sewing machine, but it brought me great pleasure to be able to make her a handmade comforter that FITS. She was so disappointed when none of the blankets fit it at the shower. This is her first baby and I just wanted it to be extra special for her. I love the feeling of finishing a project and being able to BREATHE and RELAX again…not far now!

My 35th Birthday Today

Posted August 22, 2008

Well, that’s right! I turned 35 years old today!

FIRST OF ALL, guess what had opened a bloom today on my birthday! YES, that same peace lily I had blogged about here: click here. This was the first time it has bloomed since I posted that blog! What a special birthday treat for me!

GUESS WHAT I DID TODAY? I threw myself a birthday party for my sisters/brothers-in-laws and parents/parents-in-laws and hubby’s grandmothers. No, I do not normally throw parties for myself, but this was a special occassion indeed. As I have blogged about previously, my family heard that my rheumatologist said I need to do water aerobics to help my fibromyalgia. my family all pitched in and helped me to buy a nice above-ground pool!!!

SO I threw this party as thanks to them for doing something so SPECIAL for me! They turned this FM problem into something wonderful! I LOVE exercising in the pool. As a matter of fact, it is really the only time I feel VERY good. I am still exhausted when I am in the pool, so I do not do anything major, but just to be able to move my arms and legs around freely is SO WONDERFUL! I had purchased a hammock float (which I had never heard of before researching for pools) and it is PERFECT to fit all my needs in the pool!

We had BBQ pizza delivered by a local restaurant and I decorated my dining room and back deck with a tropical theme. I had purchased two games to play: pineapple bowling and ALOHA bingo, but we ended up just sitting around and eating and talking and generally enjoying each others’ company.

I had originally planned on this being a pool party, but because everyones’ allergies have been so bad this week, we just stayed inside in the air conditioning.

NOW, on to the PICTURES! Do you ever host something like this and take pics of the decorations before everyone gets there, and THEN forget to take a single picture while all the guests are there??? WELL that is exactly what I did today. SO the following pics are just decorations. I will explain each one as we go.

This is the centerpiece…too funny, huh???

This is the entrance to the back deck

This is the back deck

This is the back deck

This is the back deck table centerpiece. I made the ducks, lily pads and flower out of play-doh.

This is a close-up of the centerpiece. I had made a mama duck, too, but I dried her too long and she cracked and lost a wing!!! SO I felt she was not up to a party in her condition. LOL

My dad built these steps because the ladder that came with the pool was WAY too unstable.

My sister Lavonda and her husband were the first to arrive and they brought these CUTE Tiki monkeys for me, so I added them to the dining room centerpiece

This was the punch we had. I will share the recipe below it because it was SUPER easy and VERY GOOD.

Both my parents are diabetics, so I was trying to come up with something they could drink, too. SO I bought Diet Sunkist (orange) and Bryer’s NO SUGAR ADDED vanilla ice cream. We put the ice cream in the punch bowl and poured Sunkist on top of it. It tasted much like creamsicles, which we ALL LOVED. I had forgotten to refrigerate the Sunkist, so it melted the ice cream too quickly, so if you use the same recipe, be sure to refrigerate the Sunkist first!

NOW, I had also had prizes ready in case we played the games I mentioned above. They were just silly prizes, but cute. Below is a pic of the prize bag.

NOW, the bag holding the prizes was actually a beach bag I had made my mother-in-law last year for her vacation to Orange Beach. I used machine embroidery and I had purchased the embroidery design online…I think I got it at, but can’t remember for sure. I designed the bag myself and also put my MIL’s name on the front. I thought it turned out so CUTE. I will include pic of back, and the inside pocket that is deep enough for suntan lotion on one side and shallow enough for keys, change, whatever in the other section…and it zipped. I wish I’d made me one! LOL

Thank you for visiting! Have a great weekend!