Better Than Sex Cake!

Last Friday I called my mom after work for a chat.  These happen often, but this time around we started to talk recipes such as my batch of Pumpkin Bars that I use to make.  Turns out she recently made them herself, and added in my secret ingredient.

She then started talking about, “Better than Sex Cake.”  I remember when she made this as a teenager.  I quickly had her run down the ingredients, and on my way home, I stopped into the store, and by the time I walked in the door, I was determined to make this cake by nights end:


Tadah!  Not bad for my first attempt.  The cake pan I had was in shape of an Easter Bunny.  It is the season, right?

Ingredients needed:

1 German Chocolate Cake Mix

1 Tub Cool Whip

1/2 jar of Caramel Ice Cream Topping (I used Mrs. Richardson’s)

1 Ghiradelli Dark Caramel Chocolate Bar

Health/Toffee Bits for topping or crushed cookies for topping

1/2 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk


Bake cake according to instructions on back of Cake Box.  While cake is baking, heat together 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 jar of caramel ice cream topping together.  Once the cake comes out of the oven, pour this blend over the cake.  Let cool.

Cover with cool whip then top with Ghiradelli Chocolate Bar chopped up, Health Toffee/Crushed Cookies Bits, splashes of caramel topping.  Then enjoy!

It really is that EASY!!

Categories: Cooking, Desserts | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Spend a Day Wine Tasting in Downtown Lodi!

When I visited Lodi this past October, one place that truly left an impression on me was their downtown area.  From fun tasting rooms to boutique shops to fun restaurants, it makes for the perfect afternoon to congregate with friends, family, or even by yourself.

Of course, I can’t mention the Downtown Area without showcasing the beautiful arch that adorns it:

The arch was built in 1907 for the first Lodi Tokay Carnival (now the Lodi Grape Festival), which is still an annually occurring event (every September!)

The thing I love the most is you choose where to park your car then you can enjoy the tasting rooms, grab dinner, and still take in a show making for a fun day or afternoon.

A few Tasting Rooms to Mention: (I didn’t get to them all!)

Jeremy Wine Co.


The name caught my attention.  With an older brother named Jeremy, it made me go inside, and once there, it was PACKED.  But the people behind the bar were so welcoming and made room for me.  Jeremy was also there pouring wine, laughing with his guests, and making everyone have a great time.  He even signed my bottle I bought to take home with me.


It was the atmosphere that got me.  There’s a full separate room to go in, relax, and enjoy your wine, but truthfully, I had so much fun at the bar area I didn’t go any further.  They also have Growlers that guests can purchase and bring back to refill for a small fee.  A great addition for a Tasting room, not to mention, how awesome the wine was.

Wine Social:

After my fully packed tasting experience at Jeremy Wine Co, I was ready for something a little more low key.  When I walked into Wine Social, I was the ONLY one present at the time (how’s that for low key?)

I quickly browsed their menu and decided to do a Wine Flight with a Cheese plate to pair alongside it. They also h ave Wine Slushies available for purchase.


Dancing Fox Winery, Bakery and Cafe:

If YOU want a GREAT Sunday Brunch Spot, this is your place.  With an Make Your Own Omelette bar amongst pastries, juices, and many other offerings, it’s a great spot.


Starting with breakfast at the Dancing Fox #visitlodi

A photo posted by Jamie Gall (@jamiegall1930) on

But later in the day it also makes for a fun spot to come in for some wine tasting.

There are a variety of Tasting Rooms in the Downtown Area right now including: CellarDoor, Fields Family Wines, Riaza Wines (highly recommended by others in the area), Grands Amis, Toasted Toad Cellars, Weibel Vineyards, Six Hands Winery, One Way Winery, Lodi Wine Cellars, and not to mention the ones named above.

I can’t wait to get back to the Downtown Area of Lodi to try out a few other tasting rooms in the area.  The movie theater is right downtown too so you could even grab a movie after.

Some recommended Eating Spots include:

Dancing Fox Winery and Bakery for Breakfast

Crush Kitchen & Bar

School Street Bistro

Pietro’s Italian Restaurant

For a more completed list be sure to Visit Lodi.








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DIY Santa Fe Kicks Off this March!


Photo Credit: Douglas Merriam: Canyon Road Gallery

Santa Fe, a city that is known for its Romance, Food, Spas, Trails, and History is also a city that dedicates so much to the arts.  This March (March 1-31) the 5th Annual DIY Santa Fe kicks off.

What exactly is DIY Santa Fe? 

Do It Yourself—month is sponsored by Santa Fe Creative Tourism, a program of the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, and features creative workshops and events hosted by some of the nation’s most experienced artists and artisans. DIY Santa Fe offers travelers learning experiences based around the local arts scene. Workshops include classes on image transfer, drawing, spinning wool, bead making, printmaking, hand-building and wheel-throwing pottery techniques, photography, and filmmaking, among hundreds more.


   Native American Potter: Photo Credit: Seth Roffman

Tons of workshops and events take place throughout the entire month of March.  Just check out some of the awesome taking place:


Take an abstract painting class, Learn to Watercolor, or learn to Paint with Texture.  They have a class for every level, and most likely, every painting technique available.

Some classes that caught my eye included:

Encaustic Painting (Hot Wax Painting!)

Abstract Painting

Oil Painting

Watercolor Designed for You


If Photography is more your thing, professional photographers will also be on hand offering one of a kind classes.  Learn about the encaustic photography process or a more intense photography class. Photo tours are also taking place throughout the month, or learn how to make your very own Photography Book.


Another art form comes down to Dancing, and if you want to move your body a little bit while visiting Santa Fe, there are classes throughout the month that have you covered including:

Swing Dancing

Belly Dancing

African Dance Classes

and many more….


Santa Fe has a love of the arts, and it shows in its creations found all over town.  Some classes that help get your hands a little more dirty include:

Beginner/Intermediate/Advance Stoneware Classes

Ceramics Classes

Beginning Wheel-Throwing

Family Clay Play

and many more offerings….

Other Art Experiences:

Curious about what it takes when Glass Blowing? Guess what, there’s a class for that.

Want to try your hand at Bead Making?  There’s one for that too.

There’s EVEN Group Painting Classes (Bring your Office Team out for a day of Painting!)

Learn to make Glass Paperweights!


For a complete listing of Class offerings be sure to visit DIY Santa Fe.



Categories: Around the US, Art, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment