Now in the Recipe Box: Caramel Apple Cake

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When it comes to birthdays, sometimes you just gotta go full boar. Or fully decadent, I should say. As in, Paula Deen-style decadence with not a whit of worry about calories, sugar, fat, and so forth. This Caramel Apple Cake I made for my eldest daughter’s birthday goes beyond simply being Paula Deen style; it’s an authentic Paula Deen creation—which she calls Caramel Apple Spice Cake—culled from a recent issue of Cooking With Paula Deen magazine and slightly altered by me. So delicious, so decadent… as birthday cakes should be.

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Baby shower, with Pinterest upgrades! Plus, GRAND Social No. 320 link party for grandparents

Baby shower, with Pinterest upgrades! Plus, GRAND Social No. 320 link party for grandparents

Baby shower… with Pinterest upgrades!

In the preamble to last week’s GRAND Social link party, I noted that I’d had a busy day the day before. The reason for the busy-ness was Brianna’s baby shower! It turned out to be a lovely baby shower—thanks in large part to all the pinning Brianna (and I, admittedly) had done pre-party planning.

I hosted Megan’s baby shower more than 10 years ago—long before Pinterest appeared and upped the ante on entertaining. Megan’s shower was nice. But, gee whiz, thanks to Pinterest, the bar has been raised since those long-gone days of simply serving up punch, cake, shower decor, and a few silly shower games.

Here are a few of the Pinterest-inspired creations I (with help from Andrea and Megan, who flew in for the weekend) managed to pull off for Brianna’s fall-themed affair…

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Flashback Friday: Bacon, eggs, and Bubby

Flashback Friday: Bacon, eggs, and Bubby

Dear readers: This flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs September 6, 2011—back when Brayden was called Bubby, Camden was but a babe, and Declan wouldn’t arrive for three more years. Thank you for reading my rerun.

When I visited Bubby and Camden last month, one of the things Bubby wanted us to do together was make cookies. Because it was so darn hot in the desert—even in the house—I convinced Bubby that it would be so much more fun to make and eat...well...bacon and eggs!

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GRAND Social No. 319 link party for grandparents

GRAND Social No. 319 link party for grandparents

No pre-link party chatter today, friends. Yesterday (the day I actually wrote this post as I write posts a day in advance) was long and exhausting... yet fabulous and memorable. I'll share more in the next few days.

For now, let's get the show, er, the party on the road! Thank you for for being here!

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Too soon for snow?

Too soon for snow?

With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, who's ready for snow?

Too soon?

It's not too soon in the Pikes Peak Region!

On Sunday (which, admittedly, was before Labor Day, not after), Jim and I headed to the park bright and early for the annual Labor Day Lift Off hot-air balloon festival in Colorado Springs (which is where I captured these colorful shots in 2015). We set up our …

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Declan and the dastardly deed

Declan and the dastardly deed

I was chatting on the phone with my daughter Megan one day last week when out of the blue she exclaims, "Whoa! There's a tarantula in the fridge!"

What?

"Yeah, I just opened the fridge and forgot I had put it there!"

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Must-see magic... for humans! Plus, GRAND Social No. 317 link party for grandparents

Must-see magic... for humans! Plus, GRAND Social No. 317 link party for grandparents

Must-see magic... for humans!

One night last week, Jim and I had some time to kill and nothing in the DVR queue. So we searched Netflix for a little something to pass the 30 minutes or so before we planned to head to bed.

What we found dazzled and baffled and entranced us so much we ended up watching nearly an entire season of a new series in one sitting... and didn't even regret it when the 5:45 alarm woke us the next morning and we rolled our weary bones …

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Now in the Recipe Box: Berry Snack Cake

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This Berry Snack Cake is a sweet way to close out the summer. Or for serving during any season. The choice of berry is up to you—and what's in season. I've made it with strawberries and blueberries; blackberries are on tap for next time. It's good soon after cooling or cold from the fridge, with whipped cream, ice cream, or no cream at all. Bottom line: It's berry, berry delicious... and versatile.

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Grand spinners from Krokotak! Plus GRAND Social No. 316 link party for grandparents

Grand spinners from Krokotak! Plus GRAND Social No. 316 link party for grandparents

Grand spinners from Krokotak!

I'm always on the lookout for cool and creative crafts for kids. My grandkids in particular. Because the majority of my grandkiddos live more than 800 miles away, I rarely execute said crafts with my grandsons, but I do love to collect ideas for "one day." (Much like I collect cookbooks and recipes... yet make the same standards again and again.)

Anyway, if you like Grandma's Briefs on Facebook, you may already know one of my favorite sources for clever activities for kids is Krokotak. I'm not sure what the name means or who's behind the magic, but I…

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Wherein I review the DOZZI Natural White Noise Machine by WITTI Design

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My newest grandson will soon arrive, and the baby shower for his mama — my eldest daughter — is on the calendar. With Brianna's shower scheduled, all things baby have been on my brain lately. She'll receive a nursery glider from her dad and me (not a secret, so no spoiler here) but I plan to present her with a few other little goodies, too, as grandmas do.

Yet as I peruse the possibilities, everything seems so, well, generic, typical, common. All that's on Brianna's registry is adorable, yes, but I'm looking for something a little different, useful gifts versus...

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Happy hummers! Plus, GRAND Social No. 315 link party for grandparents

Happy hummers! Plus, GRAND Social No. 315 link party for grandparents

Happy hummers!

The hummingbirds have been more active in my yard than ever before. It's been a joy to follow them—and photograph and film them—as they enjoy our feeders and flowers on the deck. Especially my brilliant purple torenia!

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