Thursday, January 26, 2012


(Wooden heart trio from

I have a girlfriend (I'll call her "M" here, to protect her identity--you'll soon see why!) in the Midwest who is just about one of the coolest people I know. M works for the Department of Homeland Security, has two kids of her own AND has successfully raised a few foster children with her husband over the years. But that's not why she's my hero--here's why : M seriously has all of her Christmas decorations in and around her home (including the ROOF!) PUT AWAY BY EARLY AFTERNOON ON CHRISTMAS DAY--every single year! She needs to do this for her sanity, I do believe. And while I'm not quite that on top of it, I, too, want all of the holiday stuff GONE by around the 28th of December.

But here's where I get really strange.........

I've always, always loved romance, and I've always adored St. Valentine's Day, even as a small girl. I fondly remember making homemade Valentines out of doilies and crayons and stickers and such, and always eagerly awaited receiving pretty cards and conversation hearts in return from kids in my grade school classes.......

Now I have a wonderful sweetheart of my own who spoils me rotten each and every St. Valentine's Day, and I try to do the same back. Usually by baking something--Mr. Badass has one hell of a sweet tooth! (and then there's my annual trip to Victoria's Secret, but that's just T.M.I. !.........)

Well anyways, after I've boxed up all of our holiday decor, I start putting up my ever-growing collection of Valentine's decorations--and it's usually not even January yet.......see--told you I'm a little whacked!

I mean, doesn't everyone decorate not ONE, but FOUR Valentine trees?........

I like to use vintage Valentine cards as ornaments, tied on the trees with pretty ribbons....

On my kitchen table, I like to have fun with the centerpiece...found these darling faux chocolate dipped strawberries at Pier One recently......

Are you in the mood yet?......

Our foxy snow guy sure is......

Little hearts stuck here, there and everywhere......

Found these little wooden letters at Etsy ( BEST source for handcrafted home decor.....

See? I told you I'm a freak! And at my age, who even cares? Bring it on!


In my last post, I promised to share the recipe for this "creation"...well, what's UNDERNEATH all of the crazy cake decorations, anyways.....the cake was a huge hit, by the way, eaten mostly by the teenage girls who were hanging about at Psychic Night. Us middle aged girls just nibbled--always on a diet, we are!...............anyways, remember this fabulosity?......

Underneath it all lies an Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Decadent Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, with the easiest, and BEST Buttercream Frosting, EVAHHHHHH!

Here's what I love about this cake--you can either make the cake itself in a bundt pan OR two 9 inch rounds, and you don't even need to use your mixer! It's one of those great "dump" recipies that come together in just one bowl. And the FROSTING--well!!!!!!.........

 Did you know that frosting is my daughter Abbie's and my favorite food of all time? We could SO live on it--for reals.

This particular frosting is great because it firms up quickly and is fabulous for decorating--amazing for cupcakes, too. So here's both recipies...enjoy!


1 box Devil's Food chocolate cake mix
1 package (small box) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream (not low fat)
1 / 2 cup water
1 / 2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 12 oz. bag miniature chocolate chips

Lightly spray a bundt pan or 2, 9"round pans. Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl--do not use mixer. Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool, then invert onto a cake plate.


1 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1 / 4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 / 3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a mixing bowl (I used a stand mixer), cream shortening until fluffy. Add sugar and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla and whipping cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.


***Friends that I can call and always feel better after talking with all are my lifeline, some days!

***That our daughter is loving life in Paris, and is busy checking out fabulous bakeries, creperies, restaurants and museums to share with her Mama and Daddy soon!

***That the site that powers this little blog, Blogger, has gotten its act together this week and fixed their photo uploading issues---whew! I thought I was going to have a stroke yesterday, what with the difficulties I was having....


  1. Love the photos and I can't wait to try this recipe..

  2. Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday! Love all your decorations! We have the Link version going on here, too. Makes me happy.