Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

This is a recipe I got from and modified to be a little lighter in calories and fat. Didn't lose any of its deliciousness...these went FAST!


1 1/3 cups flour (I use Pamela's GF baking mix)

1/4 cup sugar (I sub. 1/8 cup + 1 tbsp Splenda)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I use light)

Bake at 350 in a 13x9 pan for around 12-15 min. The edges should just be starting to brown.


8oz cream cheese (I use fat-free)

1 cup powdered sugar

1 large egg (I use 1/4 cup egg sub.)

1/4 cup sugar (or, again, 1/8 + 1 tbsp Splenda)

1 8oz can of crushed pineapple, drained (I like Dole)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar until lump-free - I prefer to use my big stand mixer for this. Add egg, sugar, pineapple, and vanilla and mix throughly. Add in the nuts and chocolate. Pour over the cookie crust and bake at 350 for an additional 15-20 min. or until batter is set.

Melt and drizzle an addtional 1/4 cup of white chocolate over the bars and sprinkle with 1/4 cup finely chopped mac nuts. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


So I have recently become very infatuated with a free photo editing program called PhotoScape. These are some of my fav pics taken by my mom and I in Maui that I have "tweaked" using their free tools...what do you think? The second and third pics I had printed onto canvases to hang in my house, but I think I may get more made soon!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Living Room

"After" pics of the living room/great room. No before pics because my dog ate them I was too lazy to take any! Obviously I was too busy learning to use Strikethrough font - ha!

This is our entertainment center that my little brother made us over 6 years ago as a wedding present...this is the view looking in from the kitchen.

Looking down the hallway into the living room.

View from the entryway.

I recycled this settee from my in-laws and added a table I bought on clearance at Pier 1 and had my fav vintage Hawaiian poster framed.

Little sitting area I created using some great Target finds.

New pillows I got on clearance at Home Goods and on Ebay.

New storage trunk I found at Pier would not believe how much junk you can hide in it...heehee :)

New curtains and shears from Pier 1.

Framed some pics I took in Hawaii. These are all from a single pic I took and tweaked using PhotoScape, a free Photoshop-esqe program. ( I then had the pics enlarged at Wal-Mart and ta-da, cheap art!

And here is an up close and personal view of our new floors - I LOVE them!

My top five ways to save money on home decorating:
1. Do what you can yourselves. We ripped out our own carpet and baseboards and did all the painting ourselves - even painting the baseboards. We saved ourselves close to $1000 this way!
2. If you see something you really like but cannot afford, check Ebay. I found similar zebra pillows at a home store for $90 apiece and had these made by a lady on Ebay for $20 apiece.
3. Bargain hunt. Try stores with discounted items like Home Goods or shop sales at places like Pier 1 and Target. You can find many of the same items as seen at pricey home stores for half the price!
4. Make what you can. I made my own floral arrangements and artwork saving me some serious bucks.
5. Recycle. I repainted some furniture I already had, giving it a different look and made use of pieces relatives didn't want anymore. Also, look for great finds at garage sales. An old piece of furniture can be transformed with a coat of paint and some fancy glass knobs from or a local hardware store.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

First Look

Here are a couple of "before" pics of our guest bath:

And some afters:
we added wainscoting,

hung some pics,

replaced the mirror,

added some knickknacks on the walls,

and painted the walls a sunny yellow.

More to come on the rest of the house! :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Home Improvement

Day 4 of home improvement and at last tally we have:
1 room finished,
3 rooms to paint,
1 room almost done,
no carpet (getting wood floors Monday - hooray!),
four very confused and fussy pets.
Add to that the amount of paint I am currently wearing, the two electric shocks I received today, and the bruises all over my body and I am VERY READY to be done...hopefully I will have some pics of a lovely home to show soon...