Pumpkin Dump Cake

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I haven’t been baking much lately. And by “lately” I mean “in months”. Not that I’m a huge baker by ANY means, but I do usually whp something dessert-y up for family dinner on Sundays. Two weeks ago I chose a fun recipe for the kids to help me with and it reminded me how much THEY love baking, and I thought I need to get back into this, even if it’s just for the kids.

So! I found a Pumpkin Dump Cake recipe! Dump cakes are super-easy because – you know – the idea is just dumping a bunch of ingredients in a dish and baking it. This is not as easy as previous dump cakes that don’t even require a mixing bowl, but it was still easy enough for the kids to do most of it!

Ingredients

1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
1 20 oz can Evaporated Milk
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs slightly beaten
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup (2 sticks) butter melted
1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers (about 5 “sheets” of crackers)
1 cup of Heath Bar Toffee Bits

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking/baking spray
  3. In a large bowl combine the eggs, pumpkin, milk, sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Stir
  5. Pour mixture into pan
  6. Sprinkle your entire box of cake mix on top
  7. Pour melted butter over the top
  8. Sprinkle graham crackers and toffee chips over the top
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes until tester clean and edges are brown.

Notes

  • The mixture in the pan is very fluid, if you have a deep pan, it might be better. Mine was a shallow baking pan and just putting it in the oven caused the mixture to almost “splash” out of the pan.
  • The pieces come out more like a cobbler than a cake. There were pictures on Pinterest of the recipe in perfect square segments. Those people must be magicians, because I’ve never seen a dump cake come out like that. This one was actual more “cake like” than others I’ve done, but still…don’t imagine perfect square pieces.

Speaking Of Bullets…BULLET JOURNAL FTW!

I mentioned recently about falling in love with a new organizational idea. THE BULLET JOURNAL.

Basically, if you are a list-writer? This is for you. It’s just a method to organize all of your lists into one book so that you’ll always have them with you. It’s so simple, it’s genius.

For starters – I didn’t jump in and buy a moleskine. I started the first week with a generic journal I had at the ready. I didn’t want to spend $15 on a moleskine if I wasn’t going to stick with the method. One week in? And I was sold. I bought the standard hard-cover moleskine with pocket, bookmark, and band to close it. It fits in my purse PERFECTLY and therefore goes EVERYWHERE with me.

Now, to me? The key is in the index.

index

All of the pages you’ll need to reference more than one day, basically, goes in the Index. This is the So Simple It’s Genius part. Because now, all of those lists you keep around in 19 different places in your house? Are easy to find and always with you. Birthday lists. Wishlists. Blog ideas. Training plans. Soccer schedules. Snack days. It’s all RIGHT HERE for you. This index is basically why I’m sticking with the system.

Here is a snapshot of a few of my pages.

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The first block is my general “To Do” list for the week. I don’t use the boxes like the guy did in the video just because I prefer the bullet/cross out method for list making. I also don’t switch days. Basically, I start a new page when the old one becomes full or indecipherable. So, this page I started on Monday but will probably end after today. I didn’t like rewriting stuff when often my “To Do” stuff is more WEEKLY than DAILY.

I also put the weekly BIG HUGE DON’T FORGET! items out bigger and in the margin so that they jump out at me.

The next shot is of my “month” list. I’m basically only putting things on that list that may cause scheduling problems for the day. Or things I might not remember. I don’t put soccer games on that list because those are standard days so I don’t forget them. I don’t put every training run on the list because those are weekly things I already consider when making plans. I put my 20-miler on it because that will take a big chunk out of the day, but that’s it.

I started “October” as soon as I started scheduling things for the month. That was some time last week. I did put it a few pages out because I knew I wouldn’t need it at the ready yet, but as soon as I had my first “calendar” item for the month? I made the page.

The rest of the shots are examples of other lists I keep with me now. My training plans, soccer/snack schedules, wish lists for birthday or for myself. I also keep blog ideas, and school information. I even have a page about TV Shows I’d like to keep up with and what seasons I’m on so when they come out with new seasons on Netflix I’ll know I need to watch it.

Now, with work stuff? I basically make “To Do” work pages too, but I do keep those separate from the general life To Do. But that’s just me.

I’m not using any rhyme or reason with ink color, I just pick the color that makes me happy on that page in that moment. I don’t like one color on an entire page. I like to keep things bright and cheerful.

I also rarely use the backs of pages. One? Because no matter the quality of paper (and moleskin is high quality) you’re still going to get a little bit of Show-Through. Now, I do use the backs for quick lists sometimes, like grocery lists, but most of my pages are one-side only.

I’ve always been a list-maker, so for me? This system is perfection on every level. If you’re not someone who needs to write things down perpetually? It’s not for you. But if you have post-its and index cards and pieces of paper in every bag, and pocket, and every surface of your house? Give it a try!

Bullets Of Randomness

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  • We are dogsitting this week for Milo. He’s Donnie’s Parent’s Boston Terrier and fills the hole in my heart left behind by our two Bostons. He loves sitting behind me on my desk chair while I work. He also loves looking at the camera for photos which is SO WEIRD.
  • These last two weeks have been insane because I’ve finally started getting back into strength training. I haven’t done anything with weights since I quit boot camp two months ago. I’ve gotten back into Body Pump and it took me FIVE DAYS to recover from the first class back. I was super-discouraged that it took so little time to lose all off the strength I had built up. Well, not all of it, but a lot of it. I’m happy to say I did two class in one day this week though and was only minimally sore. So, maybe I’ll gain it back quickly!
  • I’m also trying to do better with my training program. My goal is to do like last year – two weekly runs of 6-10 miles, and two back-to-back long runs totally 30 or more. I’ve done it two weeks in a row now and I’m feeling good. My marathon is in October and my 50K is in November. I think I’m on track to survive both.
  • I’ll write more about it later, but I think my ablation was a success. I want to wait for another full cycle before I give commentary, but let’s just say that if the next cycle is like my last one? I may get my OBGYN’s name tattooed somewhere on my body as a commemoration for his awesomeness.
  • I’ll write more about this later too, but I’m still sticking with the Bullet Journal. I’ve modified it a bit as I use it more, to fit my style and needs better, but I adore having all of my lists in ONE PLACE. I knew I was a list-maker but I don’t think I realized how much of one I was until I kept them all together. Birthday lists, training programs, soccer schedules, grocery lists, etc. I LOVE THE BULLET JOURNAL! (Or my modification of it.)
  • These last two weeks have been low on posting because I’ve been super busy with stuff going on EVERY SINGLE NIGHT/DAY. It’s a strange life with live, here. We have soccer every week on Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Saturday. We plan everything else on Wednesdays because it’s our only non-soccer night. At least once or twice a week we are double-booked on a week night and have to split things up. And our kids only play ONE SPORT each. I don’t see how you people who let your kids do more than one thing do it. WE WOULD FAIL MORE THAN WE DO NOW!

SO! How are you doing?

Insta-Obsessions

I love instagram with all of my heart. But it does something weird to me. It makes me obsess over things I honestly care nothing about. Because my friends have these amazing pictures of those things and suddenly I’m like, Dude. That’s an awesome picture. I want to do that thing too and take pictures of it! Like yarn! And calendars! And Pyrex! And makeup! Let me show you how it happens:

First there’s Fluid Pudding who periodically posts pictures of her fibre arts. I don’t know the lingo, but she has those contraptions that turns a big wad of, like cotton, or something, into yarn! WHAT KIND OF MAGIC IS THAT? And then she’s MAKES stuff from it. And I get really frustrated because I know she’s making more yarn and socks and shawls than she’s showing us pictures off and I want to SEE THEM ALL and I’m not sure why. All I know is I see the pictures of the yarn and I SWOON. SO LOVELY!

Then there’s AndSoSheBlogs who has Boston Terriers and a MAD CRAZEE Pyrex collection. I find myself totally wanting to go start a Pyrex collection just because of her photos. I’ve never cared about it before but she posts these pictures of stuff she has, and stuff she wants, and suddenly I find myself obsessing over it and I have no control over it. I actually think about her Pyrex all the time, which she would probably find creepy if we hadn’t met in real life.

And then MistiMann is doing some sort of planner challenge where she posts pictures of her planner and all of the lovely ink and tape and tabs and suddenly I want to raid some sort of supply store and do the EXACT SAME THING. I just love her planner pictures so much, which is weird, even for an office supply ho’ like me. Why do I love someone else’s planner so much? It’s basically her calendar and I’m all like, “SHOW ME MORE PICTURES!!!”

And then…my favorite of them all…E’s bestest friend SavingLauren. First of all – I love her because she’s like a daughter to me. But, also? She’s SUCH an amazing makeup artist. And y’all? I couldn’t give two flying shits about makeup. Seriously. I don’t care about it AT ALL. But these pictures she takes of her makeup makes me want her to come over every morning and have her do this amazing art on my face. Because that’s totally what it is – ART. It’s not makeup…it’s too amazing to be makeup. Here’s a instavideo she took before going to see Taylor Swift with E. It’s basically her transformation to get ready for the show and it is AMAZEBALLS.

But even just her eyeshadow pics make me SO HAPPY. Look at what she did to her eyes here! WHY DO I LOVE IT SO MUCH? I don’t even know the first thing about eyeshadow yet I find myself obsessing over her makeup pics!

Of course, she also posts hysterical pictures of E, and that doesn’t hurt at all.

Who do you love on Instagram? Who should I be following because they post something I care nothing about yet will totally obsess over?

Vlogbrothers Teach Syria

I’m breaking in regularly scheduled blog programming to help you a little with current events.

The situation in Syria is VERY complicated and overwhelming and often this makes me want to stick my fingers in my ears and go, “LALALALALALALALALA!”

But! Instead, I’d like to share some helpful educational videos from the Vlogbrothers. They always do a great jot in simplifying global situations so that the average person can understand what’s going on regardless of educational level or historical knowledge. Syria has a complicated history and a complicated political environment, so hopefully these two separate VERY short videos will help you be better informed.

This first one was done by John Green is more historical and was made before the recent use of chemical weapons. It’s very excellent to give you a brief history that gets us to the present day Syria.

Then…chemical weapons happened. And Hank Green did another video doing a brief summary of the history but discussing more about the politics around the UN/US/Global response to the recent chemical weapon attack. My two favorite quotes:

  1. “As we all know, if Congress were on fire, Congress could not pass the Pour Water On Congress Act.”
  2. “Anyone that says that they KNOW what we should do in this situation is either being disingenuous or they don’t know what they’re talking about.”