Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rum Cake

My neighbor Lori gave me a piece of this rum cake about 7 years ago. I'm not a cake person, I prefer pie. I had never had cake that was so damn yummy. I love this cake. I begged for the recipe and she gave it to me. Not only did Lori give me the recipe, she baked me another cake just for me and left it on my doorstep with the recipe. I love Lori. She is such a good neighbor!!

Anyways, I've made this cake sooo many times I don't need the recipe anymore, but I thought I would share it with you because it is that good and it is easy! The Pioneer Woman has helped me learn how to bake from scratch, but this cake is sooo easy, why bother?

Please excuse the quality of these pictures, I will be getting a new camera soon!

Start with a bundt pan and spray it heavy with PAM baking spray

Cake mix: 1 box super moist yellow cake, 1 small package of jell-o chocolate pudding mix (do not make, just pour into bowl) 1/2 cup oil, 1 cup water and 3 eggs

1/2 cup of chopped nuts (your choice) + 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, mix nuts and chocolate chips in bowl and spread on bottom of bundt pan

The bottom of pan should look like this after putting nuts and chips in!

Mix the batter and pour over the nuts and chips, bake at 325 for 1 hour

This is the magic for the inside of the cake: 1 cup of butter (yes 2 sticks), 3 oz of rum and 1 cup of sugar

When the cake has only had 5 minutes left, go ahead and put ingredients on stove top and melt until it is a nice syrup. Do not cook too hot or too fast, it will turn into candy

Pour butter/rum/sugar mixture into large measuring cup

Using a chopstick, poke holes into the bottom of the cake, just poke away!!

Pour the mixture into the cake, don't go too fast, let the cake absorb the syrup. Let the cake cool for about 25 minutes and then flip the cake onto its serving plate

All done! It is ready to enjoy!! Yummy!!

Rum Cake
1 box super moist yellow cake
1 small package choc pudding (Just pour into bowl, do not make!)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
3 eggs

Spray bundt pan with PAM baking spray
Chop up 1/2 cup of pecans and use 1/2 cup of mini choc chips, mix nuts and chips and pour into bundt pan, this creates the top of your yummy cake. Pour cake mixture over nuts and chips

Bake at 325 for 1 hour

Rum Glaze
1 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
3 oz of rum

When cake is almost done, put ingredients on stove top and melt into glaze. Do not get too hot to fast or cook to long or you will make candy! Take off heat once it is all melted.

Poke holes into bottom of cake using a chopstick. Pour glaze into cake, slowly letting cake absorb all of it. Let cake cool for about 25 minutes and flip cake onto serving plate.

 Make it for someone you love today!

Congratulations, Auntie Jane Steele

One week ago we celebrated our Aunt Jane's retirement. She had a beautiful party at the Northridge Country Club. Jane worked for over 36-years for the Arcade Creek Recreation and Park District. Not counting the countless projects and hours she gave to the District, we learned that Jane raised over $6 million dollars in her career that the District was able to use towards several important projects. She worked tirelessly on so many projects and created so many beautiful relationships. She made it happen!! Pedar and I were touched by many of the speeches given to Jane at her party, but her brother's speech brought us both to tears. He is so proud of her. We are so proud of her. The best moment of the night was when they unveiled the banner that announced that they were changing the name of "Hamilton" park to the Jane Steele Park. Jane deserves this sweet recognition so much!

What a great retirement gift!!

Who is Jane and how do we know her you ask? Jane is Pedar's parents neighbor. Pedar, Leif and Dagny have know Jane since they were all very little. Ever since I started dating Pedar, Jane has been so supportive and loving to me. She is as loving to our adorable boys. She has celebrated every milestone in our married life, which makes celebrating one of her biggest milestones so sweet. It is about time we celebrate and toast Jane. Thank you Jane, for your love and support. We hope you have a super fun retirement and we look forward to helping plan your backyard remodel! We love you so much!

Pedar, Dagny, Jane, Nora and Karen celebrating Jane's retirement!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

LOVE is all you need

This kind of love makes me cry like a baby. I know love takes all kinds of forms, but this mans devotion to his woman, brings me to my knees.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Make it fun!

Make it fun, and people will do it!

"There is a set of stairs, with a moving escalator next to it .... both of which lead to the same spot on the floor of the upper level. At first no one took the stairs, almost 97% of the people took the escalator. Okay. I think that could be a normal expected result. Then a group of engineers got together, and decided they wanted to change the percentage around. Notice what these scientists did. Clever huh. And now they have reversed the percentages, as a whopping 66% more people take the stairs, than ride the escalator."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Retail Therapy

I just wanted to thank you all for your sweet notes to me. I feel so loved and supported. I am so grateful to you. This week is going to go so much better. I have faith that everything is going to be OK!

In an attempt to feel better, my Mom and I went and got pedicures on Saturday and enjoyed a bit of retail therapy out at The Fountains in Roseville. I love this shopping center. It is absolutely gorgeous and the stores are wonderful. I took my Mom into my FAVORITE store, Anthropologie

My Mom found an adorable jean jacket with ruffles and really cute navy pants. I just window shopped, our credit card is still sore from the workout we gave it around Christmas. Until we can feel better about our finances, creating a Wish List on the Anthropologie website and drooling over their clothes inside the store will have to do for now.

Just look at these adorable items!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


"The best way to keep relationships happy, healthy, and supportive can be summed up in one word: appreciation. What you appreciate, appreciates. When we demonstrate our appreciation for the support we receive from others, it reinforces that behavior and deepens our connection to them."

Marci Shimoff

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kick in the gut

I got a swift kick in the gut on Monday and it has taken me till now to start feeling stronger and calmer. I don't really want to talk about it, because I am praying everything will be fine and this will pass and life will be sure again. So, if you have a moment, just think/pray a nice thought for me will you please?

I have found that being angry or scared just sucks the energy right on out of me. I like action. I like making lists and getting started. I don't strive for perfection, I strive for getting it done. I think perfection slows us down, sometimes it creates a complete standstill. Nothing is perfect. Nothing. If I waited for the perfect house, job, man or friend, I would still be waiting. I would be houseless, jobless, manless and friendless. Good enough is good enough. Good enough is great.

So, I've been praying for peace and doing things I have control over, like laundry, blogging, eating, sleeping, snuggling and watching TV.  I'm really good at all those things. When you're self-esteem has been compromised, it is wise to get back to basics, like eating and sleeping.

I'm going to do what Dory says from The Little Mermaid. I'm going to "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What brings a smile to your face?

I wanna know, so drop me a line and tell me, OK? What makes you smile? What brings you joy? What fills your "love tank"? What gives you more energy? What memories do you go back to you that make you feel loved and special?

In no particular order, these are a my smile makers:

~ Spending time with Pedar
~ Erik and Casey
~ A clean house
~ Gardening
~ Dancing
~ A long walk
~ Cooking
~ Baking
~ Writing
~ Taking pictures
~ Laughing (Isn't Tosh.0 funny?
~ Spending time with family and friends
~ Shopping and finding clothes that make me feel pretty
~ Yoga
~ Being organized

Making a cool toy for my Ava makes me happy

My bro-in-law Leif has a nice smile

Kids with bedhead make me smile

My parents make me smile

This guy wearing Mor-Mor's shoes makes me smile

These folks make me smile!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Teeth & Baby & Stroller

Casey lost another tooth last week. I think that was number five. He lost two teeth in a week, his mouth is looking a little empty.

Erik got a baby for Christmas. He loves his baby! Recently he picked out a baby stroller at Toys R Us, he carried the stroller all over the store. He was determined. Erik pushes his stroller and several of his babies all over the neighborhood. He pushes his stroller all the way to El Camino to watch Daddy fly his planes. He is so adorable and such a good little Daddy to his babies!

Taking his babies to El Camino

Erik is probably yelling, "Plane! Airplane!"

Erik looks concerned, I think he wishes he had brought a blanket for his babies!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Laughter + Sunshine = Good Times

 So many of our best times have been spent outside. I am missing the sunshine and the warm weather!!

 Casey has always had a GREAT laugh! This is him at a little older than six-months in Nana's pool!

 This is Casey's first kite flying experience in Cannon Beach.

Casey's first beach experience at Muir Beach.

Casey and the hose!

 More hose fun!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I am trying something new. Once a day, for about five minutes, I am turning off my car, turning off the radio, closing my eyes and visualizing myself doing something I really want. The key for me is to be in a happy place when I do this new habit. I can't be in a grumpy or overwhelmed mood. I have to try and actually feel the happy feelings while visualizing what I want. So, what normally gets me in a happy place is to think of my babes, Pedar included. I think of them laughing and playing and smiling. I close my eyes and I take myself back to a place where I was doing something that made me really happy. Then I work on imagining what I really want and visualizing it as already happened.
When Margery, my twin sister, moved to Long Island in 2001, I didn't get to see her for six months. She moved in May and I didn't see her until October of 2001. I missed her terribly. September 11th happened and she was just blocks from the towers and I couldn't go to her, I couldn't hug her and that was terrible. I finally flew to her in October and for some reason out of all my trips, I remember so many small details, like walking from her car to her new place. After that week, I flew home and continued missing her, but what helped most was closing my eyes and imaging the walk from her car, up her steps and going inside her apartment. I could imagine sitting at her kitchen table, drinking coffee. I could visualize her in her apartment and it made me feel so much closer to her.

Margery is once again in New York and has been there since November. I miss her, but what is really hard is not knowing what her place and her new life is like. Margery hasn't sent pictures so I don't know what her reality is and that makes her feel farther away. I am going to imagine her in a cozy place with her sweet Art, they are cooking and laughing and smiling. I am also going to imagine her calling me more often!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


" I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at."  ~ Maya Angelo

"Hi Mom!"

Doesn't it look like they're thinking, "You're cool! I love you!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow time

Janet skiing at Alpine Meadows.
We went up to the cabin this weekend to play in the snow with Mor-Mor, Pop-Pop and our cousins Janet and Bob.  Mor-Mor, Janet and Pedar went skiing on Saturday. They met up with Dagny and Dean at Alpine Meadows. The boys and I stayed at the cabin and played in the snow. We had a nice time relaxing and visiting and soaking up some sunshine.

On Sunday morning Casey let me pull out a really loose bottom tooth! I believe that is his fourth tooth to come out, I can't believe I am losing count. He is so brave, he lets me pull his teeth out with a napkin. The tooth fairy came last night and left Casey treats!

We didn't get to Tahoe till late Friday night because Pedar had to work late, but the drive to the snow was worth it! We got home yesterday in time to wash our filthy car, go grocery shopping and unpack and prepare for the week! Pedar was even able to get a little flight time in with Lou. Life is good.
Bob enjoyed snow-shoeing!

Bob and Janet snowshoeing!

Karen enjoyed snowshoeing too!

Pedar, Erik and Casey playing in the snow.

Yes, I played in the snow too! Erik hated the wind!

Erik wasn't too fond of the cold!

Don't you just love the look on Casey and my face? The sun was just too bright for us!

Erik would bury his head in Mor-Mor's shoulder when the wind blew!

Happy Erik on Daddy's lap.

Snow buddies!

Pedar and Casey built this cool snow fort!

Casey worked really hard on the forts walls!