Friday, October 20, 2017

One BIG Birthday Party, Blog Linkage AND Pinterest Stuff (Ten Things To Do Instead of Just Saying the Words, “I’ll Pray For You”)

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - One BIG Birthday Party - Courtney and Roxie's birthdays are at the end of September and Josh's birthday is at the beginning of October, so for the past two years, we have combined the three for one BIG Birthday Party. It works out pretty well for the most part...

There are just a lot of desserts left over!

This was Courtney's cake. She is a Dr. Pepper nut, so this is a Chocolate Dr. Pepper Cake...

And you would be right in your observation...

There is a large crack down the middle of the cake.

I could give you a very long-winded story about how that happened, but simply put, I messed up, but it still tasted good.

This is Josh's Pumpkin Bread Birthday Loaf.

It will forever be known as the one cake that didn't need help in the "Looks Department."

And this is Roxie's Southern Caramel Cake.

We kept it simple this year, and our theme was FALL.

I made party favor bags for all of the adults which included Witt's Market homemade peanut brittle, Halloween Snowball Cakes and gum.

As you can tell, I am really into healthy, nutritious party favor bags.

However, for the kids (Judith, RT and Sawyer), I bought Halloween books. Sawyer and RT were appreciative, but Judith insisted on having two readings in the middle of the party festivities.

And I liked that very much.

Courtney loves dressing up for the 4th of July. She had already picked this shirt out for the 2018 celebration, and was about to buy it when I offered to purchase it instead as her birthday present from me. She was excited about the buying part, but she wasn't excited about me keeping the shirt, wrapping it up and not giving it to her until October.

Life can be hard sometimes.

Roxie likes gifts, but she really gets into the cards...

Especially the sentimental ones.

For some unknown reason, there is always a puppy butt on one (or two) of Josh's cards.

I guess that could be next year's theme.

You cannot beat the "Pinterest Kleenex Box full of money" gift...



Katie and Stephanie.

The birthday trio.


Melia and RT.

Uncle Tommy and RT.

More family shots...

And I think my favorite pic from the party.

Blog Linkage

1. Go to Nesting Place under My Blog List and read the post entitled, "My Cozy Fall Home." So pretty, and there are other blogs you can click on at the bottom of her page to look at MORE cozy fall homes.

2. Go to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman under My Blog List and read the post entitled, "The Boarding House." For all of us wanting to visit Pawhuska, Oklahoma to shop and eat at The Mercantile, it looks like there will be somewhere special to stay overnight while we are in town!

That's definitely on my Bucket List!

NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - My Bucket List is so big, it is a bit discouraging. I may need to concentrate on "doing" the list, and not "adding to" the list for a year or two...

Or ten.

Pinterest Stuff

Ten Things To Do Instead of Just Saying the Words, “I’ll Pray For You”

1. Provide rides to doctors’ appointments. If your friend is ill, take her to her doctor appointments. Wait with her, and comfort her. Don’t turn away from her discomfort.

2. Go grocery shopping. Provide food and necessities to someone who isn’t able to make it to the grocery store or who can’t afford it at the moment.

3. Cleaning house. This one is for all the new moms out there. People tend to want to come over and hold our babies. What would be super helpful instead would be for people to come over and wash dishes or do laundry so that we can take a nap with our little ones.

4. Cooking. Make regular meals for someone who is ill, just had a baby or is otherwise unable to cook for herself.

5. Babysitting. If you know a couple whose marriage is in a difficult place, offer to watch their children so they can have some time together, just the two of them. Or maybe you know a mom who just needs an hour or two on her own to regain her sanity.

6. One-on-one Bible study. If you have a friend who is struggling in her faith or wants to build a deeper relationship with the Lord, meet with her weekly. Disciple her. Live out Titus 2.

7. Regular phone calls or video chats. If you’re far away and can’t be there to physically help, commit to spending time weekly to pour into your hurting friend.

8. Go for walks together. Simply spend time together. Sometimes just being there and being willing to listen is more than enough.

9. Share about yourself. Be willing to open up. Let go of the “perfect Christian” fa├žade and be willing to share your struggles and faults. Let your friend know she’s not alone.

10. Possibly the most important one... Ask your friend what she needs! How can I help? Be ready and willing to follow through.

If you feel like whatever you have to offer is inadequate or that you have no idea how to help, just do something! God will equip you. He will multiply whatever small offering you have for someone in need. He will use you to bless many, you need only be willing.

Have a great Fall weekend! I'll be back sooner or later. (Hopefully, sooner.)


The Enchanting Belinda

Upcoming Posts...

Tate Farms Pumpkin Patch.

Zoo Day with Pop.

And we're heading to Boo at the Zoo this weekend with RT and his fam. Pictures forthcoming!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Auburn Weekend, Tuesdays with Judith, Spending Time with RT AND Southern Caramel Cake

Good Monday afternoon!

I typed a very lengthy, particularly fascinating post, and was just adding one more pic when I accidentally hit a button...

Or two...

Or three...

And everything disappeared.

I kid you not.

Since it has been a very long time since I last posted (13 days), I am going to leave you with a very abbreviated blog post today, and work very hard the rest of this week to get some vital Fall information to you!

Do not worry.

I am all over this!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Weekend in Auburn - In the original post, I told you about going to Auburn for Parent's Weekend, sweating a lot during the football game, eating at a new-to-me Irish restaurant in Opelika and heading home the next day.

Today, you just get a few pics...

RANDOMNESS #2 - Tuesdays with Judith - I told all kinds of precious stories about Judith.

Really, really hilarious stories about picking out pumpkins at a local Farmer's Market and playing at a nearby park.

But now you just get the pics.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Visiting with RT - Alas and alack...

One from me...

And a beautiful Pumpkin Patch picture taken by Boss (Melia's Dad) for his nine-month pics.

This is one of so, so many that I loved.

Southern Caramel Cake

This was a cake I made this past weekend for a birthday party celebrating three of my family members.

I told you ALL ABOUT IT...

But then erased it.

Southern Caramel Cake

You will need the following for the Cake:

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup milk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will need the following for the Caramel Icing:

One box light brown sugar (1-pound)
1/2 cup butter
7 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans.

2. In a small saucepan, cook the butter and milk over low heat until the butter melts. Stir well and let cool to room temperature.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

4. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until light yellow and smooth.

5. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until combined.

6. Add the cooled milk mixture and vanilla and stir well.

7. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the middle.

8. Place pans on a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on racks.

9. Make icing. In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, combine the brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk and vanilla extract. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Stir well and turn heat down so mixture boils gently. Cook for 7 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

10. Beat the icing with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken.

11. Place bottom layer on a platter or cake stand. Working quickly before icing sets up, spread icing on top. Place second layer on top. Ice the top and sides. A knife dipped in hot water can help smooth the icing out.

Recipe Notes

If icing becomes too hard while you are spreading it, place it over low heat and whisk in another tablespoon or two of evaporated milk until smooth.

If you think you need extra, add another 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, and 3 1/2 tablespoons evaporated milk. Plus a little extra vanilla if you desire.

NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - She wasn't kidding about "working quickly before icing sets up." Be ready to ice this cake and ice it fast! I wasn't able to do a good job around the cake, so it was an accidental "naked cake" with smooth, delicious caramel icing on top and in the middle.

Also, that is why there are many store-bought pumpkin sugar cookies surrounding it.

I'm going to have another go at it before too long, and see if I can master the icing around the sides.

Have a great week, and I'll be back in a few days with a REAL post!


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Here are a few pics of the birthday party we had for Courtney, Roxie and Josh held this past weekend. I'll have more pics and EVERYTHING in between in a few days!


Melia and RT talking to Aunt Courtney!

Sweet Judith!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Birthday Chick, A Dead Mouse Story, Tuesdays with Judith, Spending Time with RT, My Favorite Things RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, Quotable Quotes and Pinterest Stuff (Ten Ways to Keep the Fun in Marriage)

Good Tuesday evening!

RANDOMNESS #1 - The Birthday Chick - The Chick turned 21 yesterday.

I am without words...

Except to say the last 21 years have been an adventure.

Not always easy...

Rarely predictable...

But always, ALWAYS, an adventure.

I am liking the young woman Roxie has become.

A lot.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25

This has been "her" verse for the past 21 years, and while it might not have fit her perfectly as a wee babe, I am happy to report, she is growing into "her" verse quite nicely.

Quite nicely, indeed.

RANDOMNESS #2 - A Dead Mouse Story - I bet I know what you are thinking.

"Belinda walked up into another pair of flowy pants, fell and landed on a mouse... thus, killing him... making him dead."

And you would be wrong!

I was at my grandmother's house one day last week, and I walked out onto her carport sometime during the visit and noticed a little mouse. He didn't look dead. In fact, he looked very much alive and he was in a runner's pose.

However, being very intuitive about such things...

And stomping, clapping and yelling, "HEY, HEY, LITTLE MOUSE! I NEED TO GET TO MY CAR AND YOU ARE BLOCKING THE ENTIRE PATH!" for several (nay, many) minutes, I correctly deduced he was, in fact, no longer a living rodent.

Fun fact for you...

I don't DO dead mice. It is not something I am known for, and it is certainly nothing I want to "overcome."

I am quite happy with my "I don't DO dead mice" status.

Proud, even.

Throughout the day, I went out onto the carport maybe three more times, and each and every time, the dead little mouse was still there.

That's when I went into Plan B mode and started yelling, "HEY, HEY, LITTLE KITTY! I GOTTA YUMMY SNACK FOR YA!" for several more (nay, many) minutes.

There is never a cat around when you need one.

As it was starting to get late in the day, I felt a good granddaughter would get rid of a dead mouse for her 96 year-old grandmother...

So I called my sister and my cousin.

We hang from the same family tree, but they are made of much stronger stock than The Enchanting Belinda...

And I am okay with that. It bothers me little, to not at all.

With no help forthcoming (I really didn't call Bev and Amy, by the way), I grabbed an old dustpan from the closet and scooped up the dead little fellow.


Double yuck.

My simple plan was to toss him out into the backyard, but because I failed to walk closer to the edge of the carport, my toss just threw him into the carport ceiling...

And back down onto the carport...

I went back inside MamMa's house to get a hit of caffeine (Pepsi, Baby) before trying again.

The second time was the charm...


I walked closer to the edge of the carport, but I still threw the dead mouse straight up into the carport ceiling.

I was certain he was going to land on my head, and I was just going to have a good ol'-fashioned come apart right then and there, but he fell at an angle about one foot in front of me...

Half on and half off the carport.

I realize, most people would have just kicked him off with the toe of their shoe, but I opted for the "knock-the-bowling-pins-down-by-throwing-the-bowling-ball-and-jumping-up-and-down-really-hard-to-try-and-make-the-floor-move" technique.

It has never worked in the bowling alley, but I kid you not, after 20 or so hard jumps on the concrete carport, the little dead mouse rolled off into the grass.

Once again, I know what you're thinking.

I could not possibly have jumped hard enough to shake a dead mouse off of a concrete carport.

Which means the mouse was probably not dead at all.

At the beginning of the story, he was quite possibly a very hard-sleeping little mouse...

And toward the middle and end of the story (where I launched him into the carport ceiling not once, but twice), he was a stunned and/or concussed little mouse.

I may never know...

And just between you and me...

I'm okay with that.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Tuesdays with Judith - There was only one pic of Judith this week, and Aunt Ro happened to be home.


I liked it, too.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Spending Time with RT

This is RT right before lunch. He was his usual super-cheerful self.

And then I put a spoonful of green peas in his little mouth.


Allow me to help you with the narrative.

"But Nana B. I thought you said you loved me."

"I thought we had a deal. Only bananas and sweet potatoes at your house. I feel so betrayed."

After three bites, I gave him the rest of his bottle...

And I let him lose the shirt for the rest of the day.

A naked baby is a happy baby.

I read that on a pillow once.

I think he forgave me!

RANDOMNESS #5 - My Favorite Things RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE - I just have a couple of things to add to my ever-growing list, so bear with me, please.

1. I am loving the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. My cousin told me about it, and I passed over it again and again and again. Little did I know, this is one of the greatest shows ever from PBS. In my mind, I have to put it in the same category as Sherlock Holmes AND the ever-popular Downton Abbey.

That comparison may be a little bit of a stretch, but not too much.

At the end of each and every show, I have an incredibly strong urge to whip up a batch of crisp biscuits OR a dessert which ends with spun sugar OR play with flavors like blackberry/chocolate, rhubarb/peach, vanilla/cardamom...

And raspberries!

Oh... my... goodness.

The Brits do love their raspberries.

And now, so do I!

2. Have you seen The Pioneer Woman magazine?

Have you?

The second one recently "dropped," and it is a feast for the eyes, I tell you.

And it has user-friendly info, too.

I mean, recipes and tasks the average person can actually make and do without having to sign up for a college course.

It isn't British, but it is absolutely lovely!

Quotable Quotes - In honor of The Chick and her birthday, today's quotes all have something to do with ADVENTURE.

"Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure.”

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

"As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was about to happen.” Winnie the Pooh

Pinterest Stuff

Ten Ways to Keep Fun in Marriage

1. Never stop experiencing new things together.

When you go on that cruise, sign up for dance lessons. When you go on that beach vacation, rent some jet skis and take off.

2. Flirt. You know how to flirt, so do it.

3. Go on dates. Another one of my favorites. I love going to a quiet restaurant where we can talk. This is usually when we really catch up on what’s going on in each of our worlds.

4. If possible, go on mini vacations together. If your husband travels, and it’s feasible, go with him. We’re just now able to do that because our girls are older.

5. Go to a concert and dance. Get up and move yo’ body. This is so fun!

6. Go on a bike ride.

7. Watch a funny movie together. Laugh together!

8. Enroll for dance lessons together in your town.

9. Go on walks or long car rides together, especially when it’s nice outside.

10. Find some favorite shows on TV and watch them together. I love doing this with John. It’s kind of our thing, and we make a big deal out of watching them “together.”

NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - You have probably seen this list many times before. If it doesn't inspire you to do anything else, at least let it inspire you to make your own list!

I'll be back in a few days with some 89-degree Autumnal Fun.


It doesn't sound like much "fun" to me either...

But we'll make the most of it!


The Enchanting Belinda
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