Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pineapple Better Than Sex Cake

I don't really like the name of this cake, but that's the name it had when I found it and I can't think of a better one.  So it sticks.
It is really good though!  Better than sex? Hubby says it's a super delicious cake, but the name goes a little too far. :)
I actually made a dessert last summer called Hawaiian Dessert that is similar to this.  However, I think this one is easier and tastes better.
It's made in much the same way as the original Better Than Sex cake that you might be familiar with.  I found the recipe on Mom's Who Think.  I followed it pretty closely, and WOOHOO was it good!!!!!

Pineapple Better Than Sex Cake


1 Package yellow cake mix (and ingredients it calls for)
2/3 C sugar
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 (6 oz) package vanilla pudding mix (and milk to mix)
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip
flaked or shredded coconut


1. Grease and flour 9x13 cake pan and bake cake according to package directions.
2. Let cake cool slightly and poke holes in the top using handle of a wooden spoon.
3. Mix pineapple and sugar, pour over cake.
4. Mix pudding and pour over cake.
5. Chill cake in refrigerator.
6. Spread Cool Whip on cake and top with coconut.
7. Keep refrigerated.

Pretty easy and YUMMMYYYYY!  I used the handle of a wooden spoon to make the holes in the cake though so the pudding could really get down in there.   Also, the recipe says "cook" the pudding, but I used instant and it was just fine.  I didn't allow the pudding much time to totally set up so it poured easily over the cake.  I poured the pineapple/sugar mixture and the pudding over the cake while it was still a little warm. Then I refrigerated it until it was completely cooled.  After cooling, you can put the Cool Whip on top.
This cake is fairly light and not extremely rich or filling.  That means you can eat a rather large slice if you are so inclined! :)

Oh my goodness this is making me hungry!!!!  Try this the next time you're in the mood for a lighter dessert (and I don't mean lighter on calories!).  



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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cleaning Outdoor Cushions

If you have been following my blog since it began last year, you may remember when I ambitiously decided to sew my own replacement cushions for my backyard swing.  I actually did a pretty good job and had an entire season with beautiful new cushions.  Here they are all shiny and new:

I was especially impressed that I managed to get the stripes to match up! 

However, in one short year, they turned completely disgusting!

This picture doesn't even do it justice. They were gray with dirt and looked moldy.  I wasn't really thinking about how hard the white color would be to keep clean when I purchased the fabric, obviously.  I was going to just through them out but decided I had to try to save them.  After spending so much time and energy on making them I couldn't stand to just through them in the trash yet.  So, I turned to my go to source for everything these days...Pinterest.  

I found some tips over at Bee Interiors that looked easy enough.  She used Clorox Cleanup with bleach to clean her cushions.  As she says on her blog, it does contain bleach which could potentially ruin the colors in my cushions, but what did I have to lose?  I followed her directions pretty closely with one exception. She uses a pressure washer to rinse hers, but honestly, I was just too damn lazy to drag that thing out so I simply used our garden hose with the nozzle set on the highest pressure.  I spread the cushion out flat on the picnic table, hosed it down until it was completely soaked, sprayed the Clorox Cleanup generously over the entire cushion and walked away.  I came back in about 5 minutes and rinsed it well.  It wasn't totally clean, but I could see an improvement so I tried it again.  After the second rinsing, it was even cleaner and I was getting excited so I thought, "What if I used a scrub brush on this?!!!"  After applying some more Clorox and scrubbing the fabric a little, it looked great!!!!!! I probably ended up doing about 4 applications and using the scrub brush on all sides of the cushions and pillows.  Sometimes I did let the Clorox sit for up to 15 minutes and it didn't harm the fabric at all (I would recommend testing your own cushions first though!).  Want to see how clean they are now?

Here's the before again so you can see the difference:

Again, these pictures don't even do this project justice.  It's not perfect, but it's sooooo much better!  The difference is much more impressive in person.  If you have some dirty outdoor cushions, give it a try.  The bleach doesn't seem to fade the colors at all in the fabric and does wonders on the lighter colors!

Cushions saved for another year!


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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bedroom Redecorating

I'm so excited! This is my 100th post!!!!!!!!!!!!  And probably within a couple of weeks I will reach my 50,000th pageview!  Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading my little blog.  I do enjoy it and hope to keep it up.  I know I didn't blog as much this summer as I planned, but there were so many things calling my name that it was hard to work everything in.  Hopefully I will get back to a more regular routine soon.

One of the things I did accomplish this summer was to redecorate my bedroom.  It was just in need of a little spruce up.  I didn't do anything too extreme, just some fresh paint, new curtains and bedspread, a little rearranging and other minor fixes.  Here are a few before pictures:

Bathroom first...this is our master bath in our bedroom.

On to the bedroom... 

I have entirely too much stuff in my bedroom!  Unfortunately, there isn't a lot I can do about it.  I have no other place for the treadmill, we each have a dresser, nightstand, etc.  As you will see later though, I did a little rearranging and I think it helps.  I also have such a hodge podge of different woods and furniture colors!  Unfortunately, I don't have the money to replace everything so it all stays.  Our two dressers are both family heirlooms, so they stay.  I know I could paint other furniture, but that wasn't in the plan this time.  I just wanted a quick redecorate and I think I accomplished that.

Bathroom first...It was a green color, and I painted it a darker blue.  Same color swatch as the bedroom, just 2 shades darker.  The curtains that frame the shower are actually the curtains that match my bedspread (curtains and bedspread were purchased at Bergner's).  I installed an actual curtain rod above the shower for the curtains and valance.  The white shower curtain liner in the center is hanging on a shower rod.  Lance now calls the shower "The Shrine."  :)  If you are planning a bathroom remodel, here's some advice...put in a white toilet and tub!  When we did this about 13 years ago, the off white stuff was in.  However, it doesn't go with much of anything!  White pretty much matches everything.  Lesson learned.  

I haven't put anything on the wall above the toilet yet until I figure out what I want.  I could use more storage so I thought about a cabinet, but I don't know.  I want to think on it some more before making a decision.  

Also, I considered either painting or adding a darker stain to the vanity.  In the end, I got lazy and changed my mind.  However it still needed some attention.  To spruce up the vanity a bit (because it was getting faded and worn), I mixed a similar colored wood stain with water in approximately a 2:1 ration (stain:water) and brushed it on.  After it sat for a few minutes, I rubbed it down with a rag.  I did two coats over the entire vanity.  I also added one coat of a polyurethane sealer and let it all dry.  It stayed a little tacky for a few days, but it eventually completely dried. I tried to take comparison pictures of the before and after but none really showed the difference very well.  It did, however, make quite a bit of difference.  The vanity looks like new wood again!  

You didn't get a good look at this wall below in the before pictures.  If you had, you would have noticed that the towel bar was black (it actually matches the toilet paper holder in the before pictures).  I didn't want to purchase all new hardware for the bathroom, so I just bought a can of brushed nickel spray paint instead.  I repainted this towel bar, the toilet paper holder, the light bar, and the knobs on the vanity and medicine cabinet.  

I plan to purchase a new faucet sometime this fall in the same brushed nickel style.  For now though, it's still brass.  I thought about painting it, but I didn't really want to take it all apart.  Another lesson learned.  Brass is so outdated!!!!! Yuck! :(

I do love how the light fixture turned out though!

And now on to the bedroom!!!!!!  I painted it a shade of blue called Rain by Sherwin Williams.  It is supposed to look more blue green, but it mostly looks blue.  It depends on the time of day.  It's not exactly perfect, but it's close enough.  Someday I'll learn to paint on a sample first like all the experts say.  I don't have the patience for that.  When I'm ready to paint, I'm ready to paint!  I bought the tan curtains at Shopko. I couldn't find the exact link for which style the curtains are.  They're basically just a tan, sheer fabric.  

You might notice the absence of a dog bed in the first pictures.  There's my new dog Lucy making her first appearance on the blog!  I should do a post about her soon!!!!  This is where she sleeps every night.  She loves her bed!

I got the 3 pieces of art above the bed at Shopko, too.  I think they were about $50 for the set.  I just loved how they incorporated all the colors in the, tan, brown, green.

As you can tell, I rearranged a little bit.  By moving the large brown dresser to the corner, it really opened up the space on my side of the bed!

I moved the treadmill over to the side which also gives me, and Lucy, a lot more room on that side of the bed.  


See that picture frame above my dresser in the last picture?  It does double duty...

Yep, it's a jewelry box inside.  

Unfortunately, it has become a mess because I have so much stinkin' jewelry!  It's a sickness, I know.  So, I decided to fix that problem.  It occurred to me that there is a lot of wasted space on the inside of my dresser door.


Tadaaaaa!  I put some small Command hooks inside and hung the longer necklaces in there.  The bad part is that it made a lot of noise when I opened the door so I had to come up with another genius solution.  I added two pieces of white craft foam to muffle the noise.  I adhered it with double sided tape.  It worked like a charm!

Here's a close up of the hooks.  

Did you notice the outdated ceiling fan in the before pictures?  The ugly glass and brass combo?  I'm going to do an entire post on the fan redo sometime, but here's an after shot...

I took it all apart, painted the brass with brushed nickel spray paint and covered the blades with fabric.  I'll show you how I did it all in a later post.  

That's about it.  It really only took a few days work and I think I spent around $300-$400.  Most of that was the bedspread and curtains.  I really like how it turned out.  It's nothing too fancy, but I think it looks better.  

Have you tackled any redecorating projects this summer?


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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cucumber Salad

Summer is just flying by!  It's going so fast that I realized the other day that I haven't done a blog post for about 3 weeks!  I hope you all haven't forgotten about me.  :(
It's been a laid back and relaxing summer break for me.  I have been taking two grad classes, but I have managed to work in plenty of R and R, too!  I also got to watch the President of the United States fly over my house last week on his way to make a speech in my town!  It's a pretty cool day when the President visits...even if you don't always agree with thim. :)
Yep, that's him in Marine 1 right over my house!

Today is my mom's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!  I LOVE YOU!) and yesterday we were able to get some family together for a cookout.  Mom even got a 4 wheeler ride for her birthday!

I thought this would be the perfect time to try out a new recipe for Cucumber Salad that I pinned ages ago and have been waiting to try.  The original recipe credit goes to the Jo and Sue blog

Cucumber Salad


1 large cucumber
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp light sour cream
1 tsp finely chopped onion
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
If you go to the orignal recipe on the Jo and Sue blog, you will see that the directions call for you to slice the cucumber, salt it and let it sit to draw the moisture out.  However, I found this method to leave the cucumbers a little soft.  I like them much crunchier!  So, the next time I make this, I would mix together the sour cream, onion, dill, vinegar and sugar and let it chill for a couple of hours in the frig.  Then, I would wait and slice the cucumber until right before I want to serve it.  It doesn't take long to slice if you have a slicer.  If not, you can slice it ahead of time, as the original recipe suggests, but just know that the cucumber will get soft.  When you are ready to serve the salad, just toss the cucumber in the dressing and it's ready to go.  It's really very easy!
When I peel the cucumbers (I trippled the recipe for the cookout), I don't take all the skin off.  I like to leave some for color. 
The dressing is so simple to whip up!  I used regular sour cream instead of light, but stick with the light if you want to cut calories.  

You can tell the cucumbers look a little soft already in this picture.  I definitely want to try this again without letting the cucumbers sit to see if they turn out crispier.  It still tasted delicioius!  I really think if the cucumbers had been crispier, I would have absolutely loved this salad!  And if you use the light sour cream, it really wouldn't have that many calories.  

Give it a try and let me know what you think!
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