the olive tree

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

buttermilk chocolate cake + chocolate butter cream frostings + sparkling cherry lemonade brought to you by Hiland Dairy.

This post is sponsored by Hiland Dairy but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

The birds are chirping, the weather is warming up, my flowers are in bloon, it's so close to being summer! I can almost taste it!! I love everything that summer engulfs, lazy days at the pool, no schedules, backyard gatherings, visits to our favorite amusement park, and my personal cream.

Today, thanks to Hiland Dairy sponsoring this post, I'm going to share THREE recipes with homemade buttermilk chocolate cake recipe, a divine chocolate buttercream frosting, and a thirst quenching sparkling cherry lemonade.

First up, the cake. 

You'll need: 

parchment paper or flour + butter for the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Hiland Dairy buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

You know the drill. Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the wet ingredients. Mix them both together. Pour batter into pans and bake @350 for 30-35 minutes. You may have to adjust cook time based on your oven. I have a gas oven and I noticed that while baking two cakes at once I needed to cook them about 10 minutes longer. 

Next up, the frosting.

You'll need:

1 cup of softened Hiland Dairy butter 

1/2 cup of cocoa powder (sifted) 

5 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla 

3-4 tablespoons of milk 

Cream butter + cocoa powder, then add powdered sugar, vanilla, milk. Then try not to eat all the icing before putting it on the cake. 

Once your cake is made, cooled, and iced, be sure to serve it up with your favorite scoop of Hiland Dairy ice cream! My family's current go to flavor is HIland Dairy Outlaw Run. It's loaded with huge chunks and swirls of caramel! My seven year old looooooves caramel. She literally squealed...OMG LOOK AT ALL THE CARAMEL! GIVE ME!!!

Speaking of Outlaw Run, it's a new roller coaster at Silver Dollar City? Have you ever been to Silver Dollar City??? My family has season passes to SDC because we enjoy it so much! Silver Dollar City is such a unique theme park, I've never experienced anything like it. It offers a strong family atmosphere, something for ALL AGES (literally all ages) , and don't get me started on the food!

Hiland Dairy is offering ONE of you a chance to win a prize package to Silver Dollar City.

4 Multiple Admission Trailblazer and Show Lover’s Passes to Silver Dollar City, hotel accommodations, a $150 prepaid gas card for the road trip, a $50 coupon pack for Hiland Dairy products, and a cooler to keep your farm-fresh Hiland Dairy snacks cool on the ride!

Now, with all that divine richness from the cake + ice cream you'll need something to wash it down with!

Enter, lemonade.

I like to go the extra mile with my lemonade.

You'll need:

Hiland dairy lemonade

jarred cherries

sparkling water

ice - good ice, crushed ice, ice from you favorite 50's style fast food get the point.

Now depending on your level of sweetness preference...that will determine your sparkling water to lemonade ratio. I like a more tart lemonade so I put a little more sparkling water in mine. It's not science...just adjust to your taste buds.

Ahhhh....refreshing. And, peaceful. I love setting our backyard table and unplugging, and just spending a little quality time with my family on summer nights!

Would you ever try this cake?

Have you ever had sparkling lemonade?

Have you ever been to Silver Dollar City?

Don't forget to ENTER HERE for a chance to win a trip to Silver Dollar City from Hiland Dairy! 

I'm slowly but surely catching up on my blog post. I think I can, I think I can. We had a crazy winter. We had a beautiful winter. We missed a lot of school, a lot. This was one of our many snow day + winter walks. I couldn't tell you the date because all the days blend together. It was sometime in February, that I know. Want to know a secret? I like snow days. I love being gathered around the fire, the movies, the hot chocolate, the baked goods...theres something about a snowy day that makes you want bake! These are the days I'm going to miss when my babies are all gone. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Ice skating.



This winter we accumulated so much snow, and we had  so brutally low temps...that we had an ice skating rink form in the field behind our house. 

We spent many days hiking up the road past our fence to enjoy the slipping and sliding nature had to offer us. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Goldfish® Epic Crunch™ + a tea party

This post is sponsored by Goldfish® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

New! Goldfish Epic Crunch! It’s everything your kids love about Goldfish crackers, now with a bold, big crunch your kids ask for.

Oh, and I must mention they are so gooooood!

Goldfish Epic Crunch comes in three delicious flavors. Nacho, Ranch, and Honey BBQ.

Nacho Goldfish Epic Crunch is a super cheesy, zesty flavor. They are made with Whole Grain, always baked, never fried and never have artificial flavor or preservatives.

My Mimi gifted my family with one of her precious tea sets! My children love to pull this tea set out after school, during play date, or on lazy Sunday afternoons. They love to fill the plates with their favorite snacks!

They currently can't get enough of Goldfish Epic Crunch! Especially my older two children, ages 12 and 9. The older kids appreciate the crunchy texture! My littles girls also loved this new product too!

As a mom, I love that a simple tea set and Goldfish Epic Crunch can bring family and friends together for a little quality time.

Be sure to pick up your Goldfish Epic Crunch today!

Friday, March 29, 2019



Have you ever heard of this brand?

I hadn't either, before this review.

I was very excited to learn and hear about FORMULATE when a member of the FORMULATE team reached out to me. She was so incredibly easy to work with, she answered all my questions, and was patient with me during a sickness, in my house, which delayed this post a bit.

The process to order my shampoo + conditioner was so unique! I took a quiz that asked me intense questions about my hair, style, and what I was wanting to achieve.

My biggest concern was oily hair. I'm an everyday hair washer. I CAN'T do the dry shampoo me I've tried. My goal was to cut back the oil with out losing the shine + sleekness my hair naturally has.

I also spent a little time fretting over the smell of the shampoo! I'm super smell I was VERY close to just making this product with no fragrance at all. I ended up going with did not disappoint...I literally smell like fresh flowers....mmmmmm.

This shampoo is sulfate I was a bit concerned...about how this would lather and if my hair would feel clean! I've tried other sulfate shampoos in the past and I've quickly changed backed due to lack of clean feeling.

THIS WAS NOT THE CASE WITH FORMULATE!! The shampoo lathered up greatly! I have thick I need a shampoo that can handle scrubbing in between layers of hair.

I will say this, by day 3 of using the shampoo my hair felt a tad greasy. BUT according to usage per FORMULATE you need to give this shampoo at least a 6 day use in a row. This was the case for me. After I got over the hump of not using sulfate on my hair got in line!

Guess what?? I don't have to wash my hair every day! I went almost two full days (baby steps) in between washes...I've never been able to do that before! 

I'm sure you're wondering...what if I purchase this product and it doesn't work well with my hair??? FORMULATE lets you know that it can take 2-3 tries to get the right formula for you!

Would you like the chance to win your very own FORMULATE shampoo + conditioner?