Thursday, March 31, 2011

Friday’s favs…Galvanized pails, plants, and shell topped bottles…


When I saw the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens it gave me a cute, simple, easy idea!


See the cute little plant in the galvanized bucket?

They have similar little buckets in the dollar section at Target,

and they have similar little plants for $2.47 at Home Depot.


I decided I needed to stencil a number on my little dollar bucket.





My second little project was inspired by these little shell topped bottles I’ve seen around online.

Then I saw them at TJ Maxx for between $6-$8.


But free is even better!

I just dug a hole into the top of a cork and filled the hole with hot glue inserting the tip of a shell I had into the hole.



Then I decided to add a vintage French label I downloaded and printed free from the Graphics Fairy.

I simply glued it onto the bottle with Elmer’s glue painted onto the back of the label, then painted glue over the top of the label as well.

The bottle I used had a recessed place on the glass for a label, so it fit perfectly!

I’m lovin’ it!




Friday is almost here so…



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Stuff and Nonsense

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nana’s cookie baker and tester…

Now that baby granddaughter is two, she’s old enough to help Nana in the kitchen.


She was a big help rolling the snickerdoodle cookies in the cinnamon sugar.


She only gave into temptation once, stealing a lick of the sweet sugar off of the ball of dough.


Now just which cookie was it that she did that to???


Baking with baby granddaughter is definitely a simple pleasure.


Still following,


Project Simple Pleasures2

Monday, March 28, 2011

CRAZY Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting…


My firstborn had a birthday this week.

In our family there was one cake that was the most requested recipe for birthdays.

It’s my firstborn’s favorite chocolate cake.

It certainly isn’t a gourmet recipe.

It’s one of those unusual, homestyle cakes that, rumor has it, was “invented” during the depression.

It is called CRAZY CAKE because it contains NO eggs, but does contain VINEGAR!

It produces a dense, moist, dark chocolate cake that never fails.

Crazy Cake

In a bowl whisk together the dry ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder



2 teaspoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons vinegar


1/2 cup vegetable oil (back in the day they used melted shortening)

2 cups cold water

(This time I used 1/2 cup cold coffee and 1 1/2 cups water because the Barefoot Contessa says to add coffee to anything chocolate because it boosts the chocolate-y-ness)

Whisk until all is well combined.


Bake at 350 degrees in a 9x13 cake pan, (greased or sprayed with non-stick spray), for 20-25 minutes until cake tester or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Can also be made into 2-8 or 9 inch rounds, or 24 standard size cupcakes. (adjust baking time accordingly)



Once the cake, or cupcakes, are completely cool frost with Chocolate, Peanut Butter Frosting.

(This is one of those made-up, no precise measurements recipes)

One heaping wooden cooking spoon full of creamy peanut butter


One heaping wooden cooking spoon full of cocoa powder


1 lb. powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla


Blend on low speed with a mixer.  Gradually add small amounts of milk,

(or cold coffee if you want to try out the Barefoot Contessa’s theory…that’s what I did),

until frosting is right consistency for spreading or piping.

(I piped mine onto the cupcakes and ended up having to make more frosting because I applied it pretty generously.  You may want to save yourself the trouble and just start out making a double batch.  The leftover frosting is great on graham crackers…not that I would know anything about that.)






Happy baking!


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The Lettered Cottage

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A thankful heart…


The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! 

~Henry Ward Beecher

For me it’s been a week with some “hard eucharisteo” in it.

When you pray and tell God to correct you in any area that needs correction,

to change you in any area that needs changing,

then you shouldn’t be surprised when the plow goes deep

and you can feel the furrows cut in the soil of your heart,

the removing of hardened rocks of resistance,

the digging up of stubborn old root systems.

It’s a painful process.

Yet, I lift my hands and choose surrender and choose thanksgiving,

believing that after the plowing

comes the planting,

and then the harvest.


my continuing gratitude list #1020-#1030

-the Lord our Provider

-blowing bubbles with baby granddaughter

-blue sky with puffy, white clouds

-robins and bluejays


-delicious soup

-lunch with friends

-good news from missionaries in Japan

-thanking God for my firstborn as she celebrates her birthday

-baby granddaughter accidently calling me as she plays with her daddy’s phone

-good news from son-in-law, daughter, and missions team in Mexico this week


Gratefully yours,


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Friday’s Favs…Camas Antiques, Salvation Army and Dollar Tree…

Friday is the Hub’s day off…it’s been our “date day” for years.

Last Friday we went to our favorite little restaurant in Camas, Washington which just happens to be across the street from my favorite antique store!  So after my fabulous bowl of tomato basil soup, (and several generous bites of the Hub’s calzone stolen off his plate), I shopped while the Hubs read.  (He’s so good to me!  Of course we made an early day of it so he could get back home for college basketball that evening!)

One hour later and twenty dollars poorer I had…

this table runner made from vintage toweling.


There’s really no words to describe the softness of this homespun, time worn fabric…


I love it!


Included in my $20 purchase was this oval ironstone bowl and a unique piece of silverplate to add to the few pieces I already have.


Then a couple days later driving by the Salvation Army I noticed that everything was 1/2 price!

(Insert squeal of brakes and a sharp turn into the parking lot!)

I found this white bowl made by the Meakin company from England and got it for only $1.50!


It looks to me like it probably had a lid at one time, but it’s fine to me without.


My favorite find is the four handle-less cups with matching saucers made by the Syracuse company that I got for 25 cents each!  Right away I knew they’d be perfect little dessert cups.




But the whole time I was at the antique store and the Salvation Army I didn’t find what I was really looking for…

big, heavy white ironstone bowls for soup, stew, or even deep dish cobblers.

Imagine my surprise when I found the perfect ones…at the Dollar Tree!

I bought eight of them.



So, for about $32 I have a whole lot of new white lovelies to play house with!


Happy Friday Everyone!


Pudding recipe found here.  (I substituted one cup of canned pumpkin for the sweet potato)

Tortellini Soup recipe found here.

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