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Picked From the Tree: Brenda’s Creamy Tropical Fruit Salad

I come from a long line of divine cooks.  Their recipes were written on hundreds of little cards and shared. Eventually some of those cards were passed on to me.  Every once in a while I like to pull one of those recipes from my ‘family tree’ and get all nostalgic.  ’Picked from the Tree’ is a series where I document those recipes from my family tree and maybe share a memory or two.


This recipe is also a fairly recent addition to our family tree.  It joined up about 7 years ago when my step-mom joined the family.  She’s not sure where the recipe started, but she remembers her mom making it frequently while she was growing up.

The salad is so creamy and tangy.  I love it’s use of tropical fruit as well.  You don’t see that very often.  We have it for almost every holiday or family get together now.  It’s definitely a crowd pleaser.   And you know the best part?  It’s basically a “dump” salad.  Just open some cans and add a little bit of cut up fruit and the sauce and you’ve got a deceptively “homemade” creamy tropical fruit salad.


Brenda’s Tropical Fruit Salad


  • 1 can pineapple tidbits
  • 2 cans Dole tropical fruit cocktail (it really does work best with Dole brand)
  • 2 smal cans Mandarin oranges
  • 1 large box Cook & Serve Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 large apple
  • 1-2 bananas


  1. Drain the pineapple tidbits, but reserve the liquid.
  2. Drain the rest of the fruit. You can save the liquid for another recipe (such as jello) but you will not need it for this recipe.
  3. Cut up the apple and banana(s).
  4. Mix all fruit in a large bowl.
  5. Put reserved pineapple juice in a saucepan with the pudding mix. Stir constantly until thick and "clear". It will actually be pretty yellow, but you'll know when you've hit it.
  6. Pour sauce over fruit and mix until well coated.
  7. Enjoy!


{Prego} Fashion Friday: Simple Spring Outfit

Has it finally started to warm up where you are?  It had been for awhile here, and then we got hit with another icy rain storm yesterday resulting in out 8th snow day of the year.  Oy vey.  Hopefully now it will start to warm up for good because this is not the North Carolina that was advertised to me :)

You know me and my love for simple outfits.  I truly am a t-shirt and jeans type girl as much as I wish otherwise.  This laid back and simple spring outfit hits it all for me.  Great jeans, a comfy sweatshirt, simple necklace and rain boots for those inevitable spring showers.  And as always, nothing is over $50!

Sweatshirt // Jeans // Necklace // Boots // Umbrella (similar)

DIY Felt Circle Bunting Tutorial // Giveaway {closed}

Felt Circle Bunting DIY tutorial

I have always wanted to make a little bunting made of felt circles for Abi’s room.  The only thing standing in my way is the fact that I would need to speed FOREVER cutting out a billion little circles.  No thanks.

But just recently WeR Memory Keepers released a new line of cutting dies.  They’re called Punch Dies and they are awesome.  Instead of it being one circle cut out at once, it’s multiples with a single run through the die cutter.  In the case of these circles I could get 7 large circle and 10 small ones in a single pass.

Life.  Changer.

So here is the (now) quick and easy project.

Felt circle bunting supplies

First you need to gather your supplies:

Evolution (or any die cut machine you have access to)
Felt in desired colors (my fellow Lifestyle Studio team member, Benzie Design, has some great wool blend in fantastic color ways that I highly recommend – that’s where I got mine)
Circle Punch Die
Sewing Machine

Felt circle bunting cut strips

The first step you’ll need to do is cut your felt sheets into strips.  I found that a 3 inch wide strip was perfect.  With the size of sheet I was using I was able to get three strips of each color.  However, I only ended up using 2 of each and that gave me a TON of circles.

felt circle bunting cut layers

Now just sandwich the stuff up on the cutting platform.  I did the Genius platform, the circle punch die, the felt then cutting mat ‘A’.  I’ve also heard that if you put a cardboard shim between the platform and the die you can get a cleaner cut.  I think I’m going to try that next time.

Then just run them through the machine.

felt bunting cut circles

Viola!  Now you should have TON of little circles that look so cute all stacked up that you’ll have a hard time actually using them.

felt circle bunting placement

Now you just need to decide on a length and the placement order of the circles.  Using two of those felt strips of each color I was able to get enough circle to make 6 buntings; 4 were every other large and small, and 2 were one large then 4 small.  

As for color order I decided to do my first one in the ombre effect and liked it so much I just did that for all of them.

Felt circle bunting feeding

Next just feed them through your machine.  I decided to leave a little bit of stitching (about an half inch) between each circle so that it would get some twisty movement when hung.

felt circle bunting sewing

I loved watching my little pile of colorful happiness appear out the back of my sewing machine.

Felt circle bunting

All that’s left now is to hang them up and admire your handy work!

And thanks so much to Made Shop in Cary, NC for letting me use their shop to take my finished product photos.  We’re moving into an apartment this weekend so there was no place of order for me to get good pictures.  If you’re ever in the area check them out (and let me know so we can hang out :) ).

And remember, you’re more than welcome to use my discount code for any purchases made through the WeR online shop.

LSS Coupon Code

Giveaway Closed

Punch dies winner

Now for the great part right?  The promised giveaway.  We R Memory Keepers and Lifestyle Crafts have made it a great one too. It’s retail value is $50 (!!) and includes:

giveaway prize

1 Circle Punch Die (same as the one used in the above project)
1 Pennant Punch Die

It’s so easy to win and there are options (cuz who doesn’t like options?) or do all  3 for more chances to win!

1 – Like We R Memory Keepers on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know.
2 - Like MissyDear on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know.
3 – Tweet about the giveaway and comment with a link to the tweet. Here’s a sample tweet you can use:
Awesome punch dies giveaway from @weronthenet on @missy_dear this week! Makes multiple cuts so easy!

The giveaway will be open until March 12, 2013 at 10 pm eastern time and the winner will be announced on the 14th. So enter soon and let all your friends know to enter too!

If you’d rather just purchase the Circle or Pennant (or both!) Punch Dies and not try your luck remember to use the discount code MISSYDEAR for 20% off your purchase at

My Name is Missy & I’m a Bibliophile

Well, apparently this month I had a thing for books with girls on the cover.  Also, I have a feeling that my reading will be slowing down a bit.  I have run out of Amazon gift cards to get books for my Kindle and the library has horrible wait times for all the books/ebooks that I would like to read.  But that’s probably a good thing.  I’m already at 11 for the year (probably 12 by tomorrow night) so I can slow down a little :)

On the Nightstand

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen – I’m a sucker for Regency Era romances and nobody does them better than Julie Klassen.  So well written and very clean.  Love it.  This one was really good. Olivia has to flee from home after thinking she committed a major crime.  After a series or unfortunate events she ends up being coerced into working as an under nurse at a manor house with the condition that she is not allowed to speak.  I especially liked this one because there is a little bit of mystery involved in the story line too.

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen – When the elite Miss Macy runs away from home to escape marrying a horrible person she ends up as a servant in disguise at the home of a man that she once refused to marry in favor of his older brother (who never actually ends up proposing).  She gradually realizes she may have had her sights on the wrong brother.  It was pretty entertaining the whole way through.  Highly recommend it.

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger – This one was surprisingly good.  I got it not knowing anything about it.  I didn’t even read the summary.  The reason it made it onto my Kindle was because the books I wanted to check out from the library had a long waiting list but this was available.  It’s about a 14 year old girl that’s always getting into awkward situations, but has a knack at getting herself out of them.  She finds herself being send to a finishing school that’s more than meets the eye.  It was a really fun read (it’s in a steam punk setting which was new to me) and had some great one liners throughout.

The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson – Give me a fairy tale retelling and I’ll be a happy girl.  I’ve loved all of them that I’ve read by Melanie Dickerson and this one was no exception.  It was the story of Cinderella and told in a very realistic, believable way.  There were no magic carriages or fairy godmothers and I kind of liked that.  I bet everyone will love it just as much as I did so give it a try.

So what have you been reading lately?

Whelp, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned

I had a great post planned for today. I was so excited so I got a start on it over a week ago (I like to try and have my posts done a week or so in advance). They were going to be the most delicious, quickest way to eat brownies ever.

“I’ll bake them in the waffle iron.” I thought. “I’ll only have to wait like what, 3 minutes until I get to enjoy the deliciousness instead of the 25ish I would normally have to wait. And I can style it so cute!”

Then this happened.


Epic disaster. It didn’t work AT ALL, like not even a little.  And it made the waffle iron so messy I still haven’t cleaned it out (don’t tell my sister…I used hers :) ).

So I kinda lost my steam.  It was the first project from a long list I had planned to work on, but I was so discouraged that I didn’t even try the rest. Hence, the radio silence the last week or so.

Well, if I’m being completely honest it also had a little to do with the fact that 2 ebooks I had reserved from the library weeks ago both became available at the same time and they only loan them for a ridiculously short period of time.  I got a little caught up in finishing them in time.

I wasn’t even going to post anything about the brownies but then I thought, “Why not?  Not everything goes according to plan but that’s no reason to hide it. Here’s a perfect opportunity to ‘be real.’”  So I let myself wallow for a bit, took a break to get lost in some good stories, regrouped then got back in there to try again.

And this sure did help too :)


Picked From The Tree: Lorie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

I come from a long line of divine cooks.  Their recipes were written on hundreds of little cards and shared. Eventually some of those cards were passed on to me.  Every once in a while I like to pull one of those recipes from my ‘family tree’ and get all nostalgic.  ’Picked from the Tree’ is a series where I document those recipes from my family tree and maybe share a memory or two.

Lorie's Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

A few Christmases ago we were visiting my sister.  One night my sister wanted to make some chocolate chip cookies but wasn’t too keen on her current go to recipe.  So we called my husbands mom who has, in my opinion, the best recipe out there and got the recipe from her.

Since then my sisters family have made them so often the original paper they wrote the recipe on has become unusable and they’ve moved onto their second photocopy of it.  It really is that good.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lorie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cup flour
oatmeal; 1 cup if used butter or 1/2 cup if used shortening
16 oz Chocolate Chips

Mix first 5 ingredients.  Blend in salt & baking soda.  Then add flour, oatmeal and finally chocolate chips.

Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes.

Lorie's Cookies

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