The one with the 7-year-old interview (a touch late)

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1. What makes you happy?

Playing with Legos and electronics

2. What makes you sad?

Daddy spanking me.

3. What makes you laugh?

When Sophie begs for something and gives poor puppy eyes.

4. What is your favorite thing to do?

Play with my new 3DS.

5. What are you really good at?

School.

6. What are you not very good at?

Being good.

7. What is your favorite food and drink?

Pineapple and ham pizza and Sprite

8. What’s your favorite color?

Green

9. Where is your favorite place to go?

Red Robin (yummmmmmmm)

10. Who are your best friends?

Aiden, Mason, Kyron

11. What are your favorite movies or TV shows?

Movie- Megamind, TV Show- House of Anubis

12. What are your favorite books?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

13. If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

Batman

14. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?

Goes on Facebook

15. What do you do when Mommy isn’t around?

Go upstairs and play video games

16. What is something Mommy always says to you?

“Be quiet” and “I love you to the moon and back.

17. What do you and Mommy do together?

Cuddle

18. How are you and Mommy the same?

We both have big butts.

19. How are you and Mommy different?

Glasses

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?

Because you buy stuff for me. Like candy. And books.

21. Who are your favorite people?

You and Daddy and Sophie

22. What is your favorite toy?

My 3DS

23. If I gave you $100 what would you do with it?

Buy 100 toys.

The one with caramel. And cupcakes.

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ImageI love these. All butter-y and buttermilk-y and caramel-y and fabulous.

I started out with Add a Pinch’s Southern Caramel Cake recipe. Because I was making cupcakes, I baked them at 350 for 20 minutes in lined cupcake pans, filled halfway. If you fill cupcake liners more than halfway, they will bake over the top, like a muffin.

For the icing, I used the suggested icing recipe, doubled, with a touch of vanilla at the end.

However, while the icing was getting to 235 degrees, I dipped the tops of the cupcakes in the icing and amazing things happened.

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And, of course, I had to try them…to make sure, y’know, they weren’t poisonous or anything. Yeah, that’s it.

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Also, I’m going to tell you a secret to this icing.

If, while reading the recipe, you balk at the idea of stirring this by hand, fear not, just break out the KItchenaid mixer. Slap that 235 degree caramel in your mixing bowl, turn it on, like, 8 (not the highest setting, a couple below) and let it do it’s thing. This takes a while, though: mine went for over 25 minutes.

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It will start off a nice dark color and by the end, it will be a light-colored peanut butter-type color. To tell of it’s done, turn the mixer off, stick your (CLEAN) finger in the bowl and press down. If you can see where your finger was, it’s done.

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Mine was technically done, but, honestly, I could have let mine go a few minutes more- this is still a touch soft. However, I was on call for work and I was at the mercy of my constantly ringing phone. My phone stopped ringing and I took the chance. I loaded up my new toy (picked it u at Target the day after Christmas- great investment) and got to decorating. I’m surprised how well it worked. My cupcakes look halfway decent.

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The one with the perfect Christmas cake.

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First, apologies for the crappy Instagram photos. I got caught up in what I was doing forgot to break out the real camera.

Second, apologies for giving you this recipe right after Christmas.

Is there anything that tastes more Christmasy than peppermint? I like to think not, except perhaps peppermint with chocolate. This cake is the perfect Christmas cake. Two layers of chocolate cake with a secret ingredient that gives it an extra something, a layer of peppermint cheesecake, and cover it all in peppermint buttercream. It’s like the perfect Christmas cake.

First you’re going to need all this:

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Kidding. That’s a photo of my kitchen counter in the midst of Christmas baking.

I started off with a recipe from Shugary Sweets and tweaked it a bit to satisfy my tastes- her recipe is like peppermint overload to me. I like peppermint and all, but damn. I made the cake over 3 nights, freezing each layer. I also made the icing the night before I used it, put it in the fridge and used my mixer to soften it back up. It worked out beautifully, but the anticipation almost killed me.

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You will need:

For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, cold
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup of salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs

For the cheesecake:

  • 2 x 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 x 10oz bag of Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips

For the buttercream (double this):

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 x 10oz bag of Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips

Special supplies:

  • Springform pan
  • Wide foil to cover springform pan

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You will:

For the cake:

  • Mix together dry ingredients (expect sugar) in a small bowl (flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder.
  • Mix together heavy cream and coffee.
  • Grease baking pans.
  • Using your mixer, beat together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes (until very smooth). Add eggs, one at a time and slowly add in dry ingredients and coffee mixture, alternating.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Remove from pans, cool on wire rack, and wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.
For the Cheesecake Layer:
  • Preheat oven to 350. Place a large pan in the lower part of your oven (large enough to place your foil-wrapped springform pan in without issue)
  • Prepare your springform pan by double-wrapping in a layer of foil. When I made this cake, the first time I made the cheesecake, I used too-small foil and water got in my cheesecake and I had to remake it. Expensive mistake. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES. BUY WIDE FOIL.
  • Also, spray or parchment the inside ring of your pan.
  • Boil water for later use (~4 cups).
  • Using your mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add in salt and eggs one at a time. Beat in sour cream and heavy cream. Remove mixing bowl and fold in peppermint chips.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan and place pan in the pan inside the oven. Pour water in until your cheesecake is sitting in about an inch of water.
  • Bake 45 minutes, but DO NOT REMOVE YOUR CHEESECAKE. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and cool.
  • Wrap springform pan in plastic wrap and freeze.
For the frosting:
  • Beat butter for 3 minutes
  • Add powdered sugar and heavy cream and beat an additional 3-5 minutes until fluffy.
  • Add baking chips.

To assemble the cake:

  • Lay one frozen layer of chocolate cake on cake plate.
  • Add thin layer of frosting
  • Top with frozen cheesecake and second layer of chocolate cake (with a thin layer of frosting between layers).
  • Frost sides and top with a thin layer of frosting, refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Remove from refrigerator and frost remaining cake.
  • Keep the cake covered in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Remove and allow to sit about 15 minutes before slicing.

Notes:

  • I prefer my 8″ cake pans and my springform pan is 10″. I simply cut down the cheesecake to fit the cake pans. You can either toss the excess cheesecake or put it in a container and eat it. Your choice, but I know what I would do.

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You’re welcome. This cake is amazing. The coffee gives the cake a certain something that meshes beautifully with the cheesecake. It also goes great with a cup of coffee.

Happy baking and enjoy!

And, because we need this now because people are tacky:

© Shanna Trim and http://www.shannatheshedevil.com and shannatheshedevil.wordpress.com, 2013-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shanna Trim and http://www.shannatheshedevil.com and shannatheshedevil.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The One With the State of the Trims

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So, it’s been a year since we got out now (as of Dec 20). It’s been a long, hard adjustment for all of us, but we’re all doing well.

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1. What we’re all doing:

Mike and Seamus are in school and both doing extremely well. Seamus is in second grade and is currently enjoying thinking he is completely grown. He likes his teacher (and so do I) and is making great grades. Mike is in his 4th quarter of school and has about a year left before he’ll have his NSA degree. He is maintaining a 4.0 and I am quite proud of him. I am working full-time as a tow truck dispatcher, bookkeeper, and all-around office slave at a small business here in town. It’s quite the change from my years as a housewife, but it’s what we need to do right now to get to where we want to be in life. I miss having the time to knit and bake that I used to, but I just keep reminding myself this won’t be forever.

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2. Home life:

After 8 months of living with Mike’s mother and grandmother (in two bedrooms), we are in a place of our own- a small townhouse that allowed us to keep Seamus in the same school district and is situated between Mike’s school and my work. Our original plan was for us to stay with Mike’s mother and grandmother until he graduated, but the situation there deteriorated and we had to make a change (and quickly). This isn’t what we planned and it is’t what we intended, but it has worked out for the best. We are all less stressed and generally happier (if perpetually broke!).

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I can cook what I want to again, without having to worry about what this person doesn’t like ot that person can’t have, which is always nice. I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed with suddenly having so much room after having confined our family to two small bedrooms for so long, but usually Seamus or Sophie takes a dive onto me and I get over it pretty quickly. My first night back in my king-sized bed was bliss. I love my huge, comfy furniture. :D

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We added a couch recently. We got rid of our old couch before we moved and for a while after moving here, we could not afford to replace it. When we got this couch, I didn’t realize how huge it was (big furniture store, high ceilings, poor vision, what can I say?), but, honestly, it’s great. It eats up over half the living room, but it’s great. Super-comfy and just the type of couch you want to curl up and stay on forever.

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3. Home news:

Shortly after we moved out, we lost Mike’s grandmother. She was 93. We enjoyed spending the last few months of her life with her and we all learned a lot of things from and about her. She is dearly missed. I had known Wammaw since I was 16, so she was part of my life for 15 years. Losing her was like losing my own grandmother all over again.

4. What’s to come:

As I mentioned before, Mike has about a year of school left, so we will be here in Mobile for another year or so. So, until he graduates, I suppose we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.

My New Year’s Resolution (of sorts) is to start blogging again. I like sharing my recipes (when people don’t take advantage of my hard work) and, while I cannot produce things at the same rate I used to, I still enjoy the creative process. Part of the creative process for me is sharing my work.

So, expect a cake post in the next few days.

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A cake like this.

The one with our lives, three months later.

It’s been three months since we ended our relationship with the Army. I never know how to say what happened. I suppose, in an official capacity, we ended our time in service. How everything happened, though, it feels more like we were dumped. In Army terminology, we “separated” from the military. I suppose that works. First we had the merging of our things, then they kicked us out and we had the dividing of our things. Sounds like a divorce to me.

Three months later, though, we’re all doing pretty well. Seamus has finally found his groove and has made a lot of friends at school. He’s doing great in his studies. It’s nice to see him blossom. He has a girlfriend named Marybeth (Mary Beth?) who comes of in the afternoons from the regional school for the deaf and blind next door to his school. She’s hard-of-hearing and he is quite taken with her. I need to ask him if he wants to take her an Easter gift.

Mike seems happier, which I love. He’s been miserable in his work for a long time and to see him smiling and happy again is wonderful. It’s nice to have him back. I missed the old Mike. He says it’s still a bit odd not to be responsible for anyone else (in a leadership capacity), but it’s great not to have the phone ring every weekend with something stupid some soldier of his has done. He started school last week and is enjoying it. :)

I’m doing pretty well. I’m still getting used to not being a military wife. It was a label I tried very, very hard to keep off of myself, but it was always there for so many years that I have to stop and remind myself that I am not one anymore. After mourning the loss of the life I knew, I didn’t realize quite how freeing it would be not to have to worry that my husband would be going off to war ever again. Even if they started recalling people tomorrow, we’re done. Not only has he served 8 years past his initial enlistment, he’s damaged goods. They don’t want him.

I’m still looking for a job and trying to make sales on my Etsy store. If I could just get it running, I wouldn’t have to worry about the looking for a job bit. I applied for a cottage license to sell patterns knit by one of my favorite designers, but until that comes through, I suppose I can’t sell the things I’ve knit from her patterns.

All in all, though, we’re all muddling through and doing well, though.

 

The one where you handle me at my worst. Or not. That’s cool.

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Hello, blog, it has been a while. Nearly 3 months ago, I wrote about us getting out of the military and how my emotions ranged from excitement to despair. Since this could get rather long and wordy, I’ll knock this out in bullets.

In the past few months, we have:

  • Moved to Florida (and in with my parents)
  • Had Christmas
  • Realized Florida wasn’t right for our future wants.
  • Rented a u-Haul
  • Relocated to Alabama (and in with my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law)
  • Registered Mike and Seamus for school
  • Paid off our car (yay!)
  • Went to Mardi Gras.
  • Bought Mike a motorcycle (with proper gear and classes) to free up the car more so I could get a job.
  • Took care of my husband’s grandmother.
  • Got myself a job with The Deathstar, AT&T
  • With the support of my husband, quit that job two days later when I realized I was never going to see my child and that I could not handle it.
  • Got judged by a lot of people for a lot of my decisions.
  • Did what I felt was right, anyway.
  • Breathed.
  • Kept looking for a job. (rinse and repeat x ∞)
  • Kept trudging along.
  • Breathed some more.
  • Tried to smile my way through all this.
  • Probably failed at that last bullet, but kept trying, anyway.

Let me tell you something about the economy out here: it is HARD. I look terrible on paper. I haven’t had a job in 10 years and I never finished college. The former makes me an undesirable candidate for most jobs, the latter means I’m going straight to the trash bin. I have received exactly 2 callbacks. I interviewed for one and got a thanks, but no thanks email 2 weeks later and the other I interviewed for, felt confident about, and never got called back. Very disappointing. I got a job with The Deathstar only because I had the perquisite year of telephone customer service experience (and they were desperate). After I started working there, I started having panic attacks about not seeing my child- and I mean that literally. I worked from 3pm until 11:30pm. By the time he got home, I was gone and when he got up, I was dead asleep. I couldn’t handle it. I tried to change shifts, but when push came to shove, I walked away. Mike was fully supportive. I’m still looking for a new job.

I wrote a few months back about the people who surprise you during a crisis- how some people you would expect to be there completely pack up and leave and how others you wouldn’t expect are the ones who are really there. I’m in the midst of my own personal crisis and the people who have sat back and listened to me have truly shocked me. And to the ones who abandoned me or judged me: shame on you. I have always tried to be there for the people I love when their life was going badly. But to completely ignore me or, worse, judge me? That just plain hurts. Shame on you for kicking me when I’m down.

If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

Assholes aside, we’re fine. Our life isn’t settled yet and we’re still struggling from time to time, but it will get better. I know that (even if there are days I don’t really believe it).

Seamus is doing wonderful. Despite Mobile being a huge city, he’s in a surprisingly small school (there are 13 kids in his class!) and doing well. His reading is flourishing and he has made a few friends. He seems to like it, which I am happy about.

Mike starts school March 13 and is majoring in what he has always wanted to do. For now, he’s practicing riding his motorcycle (a lot) and spending time with me before he starts school.

And as for me: I’m doing well, too. I’m glad to be back in the land of too much makeup and too much rain. While I’m still more likely to dodge someone I know in Wal-Mart rather than run up to them, I’m getting used to be being back here.

And that’s it. For now.

The one where too much changes too soon.

I know I haven’t written in almost two months.

Eleven months ago (almost to the day!), I wrote about us getting out of the military, due to no longer being desirable to the military because Mike had the audacity to age. After nearly a year of back-and-forth with the military, quite suddenly, it’s finally over. We’re getting out. There is an end in sight. Seamus and I are moving down to Panama City Beach, Florida the weekend of the 18th (ish, and this is subject to change) and Mike will follow as soon as his ETS date arrives.

I’ve gone through a range of emotions since we got the news (it hasn’t helped that Christmas is quickly approaching).

They’ve ranged from this:

Too Much.

To this:

OMGYAY!!!!!

(We’re watching Elf, bear with me.)

I’m excited…and terrified. Seamus is mostly excited (save for one terrible morning when he thought we would be leaving Sophie- we’re not)- especially about starting a new school. Mike is in the same boat as me for the most part.

It’s a big change, but I’m ready to be done with the military. It has been a good run, but  I am ready to stop being SSG Trim’s wife and start being Mike’s wife and Seamus’ mom. Our future is a little unsure right now, but we’re all in this together.

The one with the 6-year-old interview.

1. What makes you happy?

You being nice to me and saying you love me and that I’m handsome.

2. What makes you sad?

Getting spankings…but I don’t get that many.

3. What makes you laugh?

Gigi saying “chicken butt” when I say “guess what”

4. What is your favorite thing to do?

Cuddle.

5. What are you really good at?

Doing homework and math and being good.

6. What are you not very good at?

Doing a LOT of homework

7. What is your favorite food and drink?

Pizza rolls and lemonade

8. What’s your favorite color?

blue and purple

9. Where is your favorite place to go?

Hershey Park

10. Who are your best friends?

Eddie, Tyler, Jordan, and Will

11. What are your favorite movies or TV shows?

Beyblade and Phineas & Ferb

12. What are your favorite books?

Good Boy, Fergus!

13. If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

Dr. Horrible

14. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?

Probably knits and plays the Wii

15. What do you do when Mommy isn’t around?

Play video games

16. What is something Mommy always says to you?

I love you

17. What do you and Mommy do together?

Laugh and  we say we love each other.

18. How are you and Mommy the same?

We have the same germs and the same hair.

19. How are you and Mommy different?

Glasses

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?

Because she says it all. the. time.

21. Who are your favorite people?

Mommy, Daddy, Sophie, and my whole family and those dogs at Tato’s house.

22. What is your favorite toy?

Legos

23. If I gave you $100 what would you do with it?

I would spend it at the dollar store.

The one with Pintrest guilt.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how much every one loves rainbows on Pintrest. People still love rainbows, but they also love doing crafts with their kids. Now, I consider myself a pretty good homemaker…well, except for the cleaning bit.

Only I'm lying about the "sorry" part.

I’m also not great at the “planning activities” bit. I can help my son do stuff, I have no problem with him helping me with stuff, but I really suck at planning and carrying out activities. I constantly see all these great activity ideas on Pintrest and feel a twinge of guilt, thinking I should be doing them with Seamus. However, every time I plan some meaningful activity that both of us will look back upon fondly years from now, someone ends up screaming and/or in tears. I don’t possess the patience to do it…so I generally just don’t do them*.

Pintrest guilt got to me. Sooooo many cute, memory-inducing activities. So, today, we made caramel apples. Nothing fancy, just apples, sticks, and some caramels melted in a pot. The caramels were by Kraft. They were mass-produced. They were bought at the store. We keep it real. By the end of this seemingly easy activity, we both ended up screaming and I’m pretty sure I cried. It. was. awful.

A couple of hours and a couple of caramel apples later, though, all was forgotten.

Apparently, they smelled good:

Yay apples!

I’m never doing this again.

* Now, I’m not saying we don’t do things together, I’m just saying we don’t do planned arts and crafts very well.

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