Friday, February 19, 2016


Now that my kids are older (7th grade and 4th grade) book choices are SO MUCH more enjoyable for me!  I volunteered at Mary Fowler's book fair and bought several that looked yummy, planning to read them to the kids. Davis, especially, loves to be read to.  It is really a quality time activity for us.  Right now we are reading Counting by 7s which is about a fabulously-interesting 6th grade girl who was adopted as a baby and then suddenly, tragically loses both her parents on the same day.

The story is about how she deals with this great loss and the motley crew of people she surrounds herself with.  We were about halfway through the other night and I just had to finish it myself after Davis went to bed.  Oh how I cried!!!!!  I mean, sobbing.  And it has a good ending, I just think it touched on one of my all-time greatest worries in life... how kids make it when they don't have the family network so many of us do.  It really touched a chord with me.

Mary Fowler and I are reading I Am Malala- the young adult version (for my sake:).  We are only a couple of chapters in because she has less free time available in the evening.  I am hoping that the book will show Mary Fowler that to some children education is a privilege.  I am SO proud of how she is doing in middle school but it never hurts to get a little world-perspective:).

I have found that my favorite place to volunteer in the kids' schools is the LIBRARY!  I love it!  I love being around all those books and I love discussing books with the librarians!  And I love how the teachers at our elementary school read so many books in class to the kids.  For example, I've always felt that a book (fiction or non-fiction) written from one child's perspective during the Depression can teach so much more than just remembering facts of the Depression.

And for me, I am loving The War of Art!  I heard about it from one of my scrapbooking blogs and it is SO good!  I usually try to get books from the library but I'm so happy I bought this one because I'm going to need it!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Most Comfortable Walking Shoes Touring Europe

Mary Fowler and I have some amazing trips coming up over Spring Break and Summer.  First we are headed with her school to ITALY.  I have never been but always wanted to go.  Then in the summer, we are going with my parents (and her school) to England, Ireland, and Scotland.  So excited!

Everything is pretty much all organized and set up, which is wonderful, except I'm starting to stress out about packing light and finding comfortable everyday shoes.

When I chaired our Jr. League shopping extravaganza for so many years, I had to be on my feet for a week straight.  I quickly learned that Danskos were the only shoe that could provide the extended comfort I needed.  For this trip, though, I am planning to wear dark skinny jeans each day and I think the Danskos look pretty funky.

I found these on Zappos (about $100) with good reviews but I'm not sure??  Advice please???

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Best Hershey Cake!

Man o man!  This cake!

Over Christmas we were at the lake visiting family and my grandmother brought a chocolate cake that I could not get enough of!  It's what I call an old church lady recipe that is nothing fancy but oh-so-good.  Tasting it will probably remind you of your childhood... I have had it before but it was a long time ago.

Many times I can resist dessert, but this cake is WORTH it!  It is so good that I kind of moan a little while taking bites :)  That good.  I think it's the not too thick cake layer which is soft and moist, plus the old-fashioned chocolate kind of granulated "fudgy"icing.  It also meets my criteria of EASY and fast to prepare.

Since Christmas, I have made it almost every weekend for small dinner parties and everyone has asked for the recipe.

My grandmother made it in a 9x13 pan but I like using my round springform pan because it looks a little more festive.  Here, I made it for a little dinner we had to celebrate Adam's birthday.  Not a great picture of Adam and not the prettiest cake you've ever seen but just focus on the taste.  I bought the candles from Jenny at Everyday Occasions.  They can make any cake look like a party!

The BEST Hershey chocolate cake

  • 12cup  butter
  • cup  sugar
  • eggs
  • cup  flour
  • teaspoon  baking powder
  • 14teaspoon  salt
  • 1(16 ounce) can hershey chocolate syrup
  • Icing

  • 12cup  butter
  • cup  sugar
  • 13cup  evaporated milk or regular milk
  • 12cup  semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. For cake: Cream margarine and sugar; then add eggs one at a time and beat well, after each.
  2. Sift dry ingredients and add to above mixture.
  3. Add syrup and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes in 13x9 inch pan.
  4. Do not over bake. After cake is baked, immediately prepare icing because you will ice cake while hot.
  5. For icing: Boil margarine, milk and sugar together for two to three minutes.
  6. Add chocolate chips, beat until smooth.
  7. Pour on cake.
  8. Enjoy!!