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101 Things To Compost

Since building a compost bin a couple weeks ago, I’ve reading up on the subject a little. It turns out you can compost a lot more than I thought! Here’s a list I compiled that I am going to hang on our refrigerator. Feel free to print out this list and use it in your house too! Happy composting!
Printable Version


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Friday Favorites 3/30

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Between a busy week and a poor teething baby (and a tired, tired Mommy), TGIF! I’m super excited to have some friends over tonight. It will get this weekend off on the right foot!

Here are a few of my favorite finds, enjoy!


Favorite TreatPeep S’mores
Finally a good purpose for those Easter peeps. While I love the outdoors, I have a special place in my heart for s’mores made in the microwave. I don’t know why, but they sure are good!

Favorite CraftTwine Pears 
Easy home accent made with a light bulb and some twine. Genius. 

Favorite DIYWashi Tape Keyboard Makeover
Jazz up your computer with a little washi tape!

Favorite Eggs Flower Printed Easter Eggs

Turns out Kate Middelton isn’t the only one bringing pantyhose back in style. You can use a pair to make these earthy Easter eggs!

Favorite Mason Jar AccessoryCozy
I have a slight obsession for mason jars. I like them so much, we use them as drinking glasses in our house. This goes perfectly with the cuppow from last week’s Friday Favorites!



Favorite light- Moonlight Solar Lanters
I can already picture these in my backyard! They will create a wonderful atmosphere as they hang over the deck. First we just need to build a deck 🙂


Have a great weekend everyone!

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Chocolate Nutter Butter Truffle Ice Cream Cake

What is better than chocolate nutter butter truffle ice cream cake? Pretty much nothing. It is by far the most delicious cake I have ever made. I made this cake for my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday party last week and it was a hit! I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but it was so good that my husband and I fought over the last piece. He’s even requested that I make it again for his birthday next month. I’m already excited to eat a piece (or two) of this cake again!

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 jar hot fudge
1/2 gallon chocolate chip ice cream
1 package nutter butter cookies
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1 bag Wilton chocolate candy melts
2 9″ round silicone baking pans
Cake Layers
We’re going to start in the middle with the ice cream layer, because the ice cream will need the most time to set. Let your ice cream soften for a couple minutes at room temperature and spread it into a 9″ inch round pan. I used silicone because it is very easy to transfer the layers out of the pan and into the cake. For convenience later, place saran wrap in the bottom of your pan, making sure the edges hang over the side of the pan. This makes it easy to take the ice cream out of the pan. The ice cream will take a while to set, at least a couple hours. This step is best done early in the day, or even better, the night before.

After the ice cream is set, or just before it’s done, bake the chocolate cake. I took a 9″ round silicone pan and used almost the entire cake mix. I had enough batter left over to make about 4 cupcakes. This provided a good sized layer for the cake. After the cake is cooled, cut the top off so the cake is level. (And of course eat the leftover cake top while you work!)

To assemble the nutter butter layer, send a package of nutter butter cookies through the food processor or blend them in a blender, until finely chopped.

Mix the chopped nutter butters together with a block of softened cream cheese. 
Then spread it into a 9″ round pan and store in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to assemble your cake. 

Assembly

Pour over about half a jar of hot fudge over the chocolate cake, making sure that the fudge is not too hot. In fact, if you can, don’t even heat up the fudge. It can make things complicated when you add the ice cream. Trust me, I know. Then, working quickly, place the ice cream layer on the cake. Spread over the rest of the jar of hot fudge. Now, add the nutter butter truffle layer. At this point you may need to place the cake in the freezer to firm up a little.

To top it all off, melt your chocolate in the microwave and pour it over the whole cake, again, working quickly for the sake of the ice cream. Place the cake back in the freezer and you’re done!

Perfection! 🙂

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How To Freeze An Avocado

Happy Monday! I hope you are all had a great weekend! We sure did! We didn’t let the lack of bountiful sun get us down, we did a whole lot of Spring cleaning! My husband wasn’t quite as excited as I was, but he was a good sport and helped a ton. We also squeezed in some time for a long 15.75 mile bike ride, (surprisingly I can still walk today) and loads of time hanging out as a family. My favorite!

 I even found some time to write. This time about… avocados! Avocados are such a wonderfully creamy and nutritious fruit! I love adding avocados to my diet whenever I can, but it is hard to keep fresh avocados on hand in the house all the time. Something always seems to happen. They ripen too fast. They ripen too slow. They all ripen at the same time. They’re too ripe. Ahh!

Well not anymore more, because there is a way to freeze avocados, and, get this, they won’t turn brown either!

Start with a ripe avocado. Cut it in half lengthwise and give it a little twist and take the pit out.

Wrap the avocado half tightly in saran wrap.
Place wrapped avocado halves into a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer. 
Then, when you need an avocado, take one out and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Easy as that! You could even say it’s oat so simple! 🙂

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Friday Favorites- 3/23

Ah, Friday is here! I really wanted get a few more posts up this week, but it’s been a go-non-stop kind of week over here, and it just didn’t happen. Next week will be better! Anyway, here’s a few of my favorite finds!

Favorite Tumbler- Cuppow
Turn your canning jar into a sweet traveling cup with the Cuppow!

Favorite Ikea HackExpedit Bookshelf To Wardrobe
Turn your bookshelf into a closet organizer. This is perfect for the huge pile of clothes that always ends up unorganized on the shelf in my closet.

Favorite Cookie Turtle Icebox Cookies
Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t handle the cuteness of these cookies. I was trying to find the recipe for some turtle cookies when I stumbled upon these a couple weeks ago. I was looking for the kind of turtle cookie with chocolate, caramel and pecans, but came across these irresistible little cuties instead.

Favorite Yard Accessory– Hose Clothes
It’s clothes for your hose! Maybe this will help me get excited to work outside in the yard?

Favorite ChairStokke Highchair
For little people to big people alike, this chair is awesome. Don’t let the $330 price tag get you down- enter to win one here until 3/27.  Don’t enter too many times though, I want to win one for myself! 😉

Well that’s it! I’m off to spend the day with my baby boy who is 9 months old today!

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Friday Favorites- 3/16

What a wonderful week it has been! It has been very busy, but fun-filled none the less. We enjoyed our first campfire of the season with friends, spent lots of time outside with our little boy, and now we are enjoying a super fun sleepover with our niece and nephew! Here are some of my favorite finds from around the web.

Favorite Trick Sideways Toaster
What a great idea! Give your toaster a little flip, and you can enjoy delicious cheese toast! Pretty cool retro toaster, too. This site has lots of other neat tricks and tips for around the home.
Favorite Outfit – Summer Fun
So, I discovered polyvore.com this past week. It is a cool site where you can create your own style-boards. Here’s my first creation!
Summer Fun!

Doesn’t this just look good? There is a local winery that makes a pomegranate wine that I love so I think this would be right up my alley for a fresh summer drink!
Favorite Sandwich– Slow Cooker Corned Beef 
I don’t have an Irish bone in my body nor do I really get into St. Patty’s day, but this sure looks yummy. 

Favorite Easter Egg – Edible Markers
For a fun little twist on traditional egg dying, check out these edible markers I found in Parents magazine. These are also great for little hands to help decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more!
With that, I’m off to start the weekend early with a trip to the park with the kids and my husband! Perhaps a cup of coffee is in order first 🙂 Happy Friday! Have a great weekend! 

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DIY Pallet Compost Bin

Thanks to a warm March afternoon, a sleeping baby and motivation to finally complete a few house projects, we have a compost bin. Yay! Now the 5 gallons of compost I´ve been saving has a place to go! This project is very easy to make, and the best part it costs absolutely nothing! 
Look at her, isn´t she a beauty?
We used 3 pallets for this project. Many stores will give them away for free. I snagged a few from the friendly people at Home Depot. We cut off part of the pallet for the back of the composter so that it wouldn´t be too wide. The extra cut off portion came in handy later.

We tried screwing the pallets directly together, but that didn´t provide enough support. In order to strengthen the corners, we added a cross brace on the top and bottom cut from left over pallet.

After attaching the brace, we cut off the extra wood hanging over the edge.

Then, we took a piece of scrap wood to make a front so our compost wouldn´t fall out. We cut the wood so it came halfway up and attached it with screws.

The place we were putting our compost bin was on a bit of a hill. We dug a little trench to help it be level in our yard.

Project complete. Ready for compost!

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Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

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Friday Favorites-3/9

It´s that time of the week again…Friday! It´s been a wonderfully refreshing week in Wisconsin as the spring-like temperatures came our way…at least for a little while! Now it´s time for a fun weekend filled  with friends, family and hopefully a few house projects (but we say that every weekend!) Here are some of my favorite finds from the week.

Favorite Mug- Dunk mug
This adorable little mug even has a spot for cookies!

Favorite Outfit – Skinny jeans, boots and layered jacket
Say so long to winter in style! I already have the jeans and the boots, I just need to find the top! 

Favorite Appitizer-
Pepperoni Pizza Bites
Everything looks good when it´s bite size!
Favorite Shoe- Courdory Toms
I really want a pair of Toms. These would be perfect for Spring!

Favorite Dessert: Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes
Vanilla cream filled cupcakes cover with chocolate-ganache glaze!

How ingenious! I could see using this for things other than sugar, too.

Favorite Office Accessory: CableDrop Cable Management System
Never go digging behind your desk for a cord again!

Happy Friday! Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Cake Ball Cake

It´s a cake…it´s a cake ball…it´s a cake ball cake!

Yes, you read that right, a cake ball cake.

It was my friend´s birthday and I was trying to think of a cake she would really like. All I could think about were the red velvet cake balls we made for a superbowl party last year. Once I had cake balls on my mind, I couldn´t get them out. I had to make them. But I didn’t want to take the time to roll out and cover each individual cake ball with with chocolate. Not that my friend isn’t totally worth the effort, but I have an 8 month old. While I like to think I´m still a little Martha Stewart in the kitchen, creating beautiful creations from scratch, I´m not.

So, in order to save a little time, I decided to make a part-cake, part-cake ball creation. This cake starts with a layer of red velvet cake topped with cream cheese frosting. Then, a layer of red velvet cake ball with cream cheese frosting is added. Lastly, the entire cake is covered in chocolate. Yum, right?  Don worry, it´s easier than it sounds.

In case you have never heard of a cake ball, it is basically cake crumbles mixed together with frosting, formed into a ball and covered in chocolate. The cake and frosting combination yields a moist, sweet dough, and the chocolate on top brings everything together. You may have seen these cake pop makers in stores before, but be warned, they are imitators of the real thing, and should be avoided at all cost.

To make the real deal, start by baking a cake according to the directions on the box. I chose to make round cakes so I could easily mix up the layers.

Next, take your mixer and crumble one of your cake layers. Yes, take your beautiful cake and smash it into pieces.

Then, add some frosting. Since I made half the cake into cake balls, I used about half a can of frosting. For a whole cake, you will want about a cans worth of frosting, maybe a little less if your cake is really moist.  Combine the frosting with the cake crumbles. I have found it works best to use your hands for this step. Using the same baking pan you baked the cake in, spread your cake ball mixture, cover, and freeze for at least half an hour.

Once frozen, you can assemble your cake. You can really do this however you want. I started with plain cake on the bottom and the cake ball layer on the top, because I wanted the cake ball layer to be the closet to the chocolate outside.

Finally, grab some chocolate and melt it. I like Wilton Candy Melts. They melt smooth and quickly and are easy to work with. You can melt them on the stove, but I have found the microwave to work nicely. Simply place the bag of chocolate in a corning ware dish and microwave for a minute, give it a little stir, and microwave for another minute.

Cover the cake with chocolate, let it harden, and store in the refrigerator!