New venture!

Since I’ve known Ryan, he’s always wanted to be the owner of a company. He’s talked about it, thought about it, researched options, calculated fees, and thought about it some more. We’ve bounced back and forth about when the “right” time would be to have Ryan go on his own, and we finally came to the conclusion that now is the time. With that being said, I’m happy to announce that as of last month, Ryan is the proud owner of SilverNail Carpentry!





SilverNail Carpentry focuses on new construction, remodeling, decks, windows, flooring, shingling, trim, and handyman services. As of now, the plan is to have Ryan working on his own for a year or two. That means that I’ll get to work with him on some projects, which I actually don’t mind. Ryan tells people that the times I help him with work are dates, so I guess I’ll take what I can get! Sometimes I get a meal out of the deal! It’s actually really nice to be able to work side by side and learn how to do some of the tasks Ryan does on a day-to-day basis. I’ve been told I’m quite the shingler! 🙂

Below are just a few projects Ryan has worked on/completed. If you’re looking for a hard-working, loyal, skilled, (not to mention good lookin’!) carpenter, please consider SilverNail Carpentry for your next project.  If you’d like a bid, or would like to discuss a future project you have in mind, feel free to shoot me a comment, and I can provide you with Ryan’s contact information. (Sorry for the advertising, but he’s my husband!)

Gazebo off a Trex deck





























Trex deck








New front entrance








Floor tiling


Chocolate Chip Bars

Growing up,  I used to be a huge fan of bars/brownies. My mom always made, and I believe still does, bars for my dad to take to work. Sunday would arrive and the question of “What kind of bars do you want this week?” would always be asked. Most of the time, my dad didn’t really care what kind of bars he got, so my mom had the task of finding recipes so my dad wasn’t eating the same ones week after week.

From a young age, I knew that I used to be the one who snuck into the bars. My mom would say I did it, and there was always proof to back up her story. Unlucky for me, I’ve always had an appetite for sweets! When I thought about starting my blog, the pictures of me sneaking in the bars were images I knew I would want to share at some point. Would can resist seeing a picture of a toddler with chubby cheeks eating bars?!  I was able to find the following two pictures in old photo albums my mom has.













The bars I remember the most growing up were Chocolate Chip Bars. They are easy and quick to make, which is one reason why I think my mom would make them. Everything can be prepared in one pot, and then poured into your pan. Minimal dishes? Yes, please!  If you’re looking for a chewy, light, and delicious bar recipe, this is the one to try!

Chocolate Chip Bars

1/3 c. margarine

1/3 c. shortening

2 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 c. flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 c. chocolate chips


In a large kettle, melt margarine and shortening together.








Remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla.








Stir in eggs. Mix in flour, baking soda, and baking powder.








Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.








Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

Let me tell ya, last week was hectic! Between work, appointments, and softball games, I barely had time to catch my breath. Not to mention, my failed blog recipe for last week! Ryan saw a recipe in a magazine for a banana berry pie, and it sounded easy enough, so I thought I’d give it a try. Both times, my filling did not set (Jell-O based), and the second time I said the heck with it and put the pudding portion on the pie. Ryan took a few bites, gave me a weird look, and I ended up throwing away the whole thing. Recipes that fail don’t happen too often to me, so I’m a bit angry at this fiasco!

On Friday and Saturday, we had our church softball tournament. We kicked some sweaty butt, and went 4-1 for the games. Due to a weird set-up, we ended up taking 5th, even though we only lost one game (to the #1 team we beat Friday night). I believe the mutual consensus among our team is that we actually just flat-out won the darn tournament! As you can see below, due to the weather, everybody was sweaty. You just couldn’t escape it.








For the past few years, Ryan has coached the team, and I’ve been the faithful manager/score keeper/ additional player/ assistant coach, etc. Last year, we hosted a BBQ to conclude our year, and this year we did as well. We had 21 people over for lawn games, food, Nerf gun fights, and conversations about everything under the sun. It was great to have so many people over! It’s certainly a blessing that we were all able to become a team of Christian friends who can play softball for the glory of God, and have a ton of fun doing so!

For the BBQ, one of the items I made was a Pepperoni Pasta Salad. I received the recipe from my auntie Wendy while helping her out a few years ago with a graduation party. It’s one of Ryan and my favorites! I think we have it every time we have a BBQ. It’s simple, quick, and delicious on a warm summer day!

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

2 c. uncooked spiral pasta

1 c. cubed cheese

1 c. coarsely chopped cucumber

Black olives, sliced

Pepperoni bites (After much research, the pepperoni slices themselves just don’t work as well for this salad!)

Optional: Cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/2 c. or more Zesty Italian dressing

Cook pasta according to box directions; drain and rinse in cold water.

(Don’t mind all the stuff in the background! I had to snap a picture quickly!)







In a large bowl, combine pasta, cheese, cucumber, black olives, tomatoes, and pepperoni.  Add salad dressing, and toss to coat. Make sure to taste a noodle or two to see if you need more dressing! Always put dressing in the salad in small amounts!  Cover the salad and refrigerate until serving.

Mama’s Rhubarb Muffins

MMM…MMM…MMM! Pretty sure this is exactly what I said after making these muffins! I got one of those raised eyebrow looks from Ryan and I think at that moment, he may have thought I loved the muffins more than him. Don’t worry, I love him more, but it was a close race! 🙂 If you make these, you may also contemplate if you love your spouse/significant other/pet more than the muffins!

When I think of rhubarb, I instantly crave rhubarb muffins. My mom made them when I was growing up, and with my appetite as a child, I’m sure I ate my share and then some! Since I’m not a pie fan, rhubarb muffins will most likely always be my “go-to” baked good when trying to use up any rhubarb we can get our hands on. Let me guess, you’re still stuck on the fact that I don’t like pie?! I really don’t know how you pie lovers do it…I just can’t stand the stuff!

Ryan and I were grateful to receive some rhubarb from our friend Beth’s mom while visiting their house this last weekend. I didn’t even notice the rhubarb, so I’m glad Ryan’s eagle eyes did! I never feel like I can find enough to really make anything, so getting more than we needed (hooray for freezers!) makes this girl quite elated! Plus, I can stop looking at the rhubarb offered in little packages for ridiculous prices at the grocery store and not have to think about giving some puppy eyes to Ryan to see if he’ll change his mind about buying any!

This muffin recipe is from my mom, so I named it Mama’s Rhubarb Muffins. I haven’t the slightest idea how she came upon the recipe, and for how long she’s had it, but they are delicious! Light and fluffy, with hints of sweet and tart. Can’t get much better! Well, actually you can. You can follow the recipe, and make a streusel topping instead of just sprinkling cinnamon and sugar on top of the muffins like I did. I’m still angry that I forgot to add the butter to make the streusel! Darn multi-tasking!

Mama’s Rhubarb Muffins

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2/3 cup oil

1 egg

1 cup sour milk (1 tsp vinegar in 1 cup milk)

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2- 2 cups diced rhubarb


1/2 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. butter or margarine melted

1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the first 7 ingredients in a bowl (I used a whisk) until smooth. Add rhubarb, and stir gently until rhubarb is fully incorporated in batter.










Using a muffin tin with paper liners or greasing the tin, drop batter into the cups. I used about 2 tablespoons per muffin and found that to be a nice size.  If you’d rather make a coffee cake, spread batter into a greased 9 x 13 glass pan.

Is anybody else obsessed with muffin/cupcake liners? I LOVE them! So many colors, shapes, and patterns! I used these cute liners for the muffins:








Back to the recipe! Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle streusel over each muffin or entire cake.

Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes, or until done for muffins. For coffee cake, bake for 30-45 minutes. Enjoy!