Some Simple Tips & Short Cuts

WOW!!! What a response to the giveaway of I Used to Be So Organized by my friend & partner in crime Glynnis Whitwer. (She’s the Director of Writers at Proverbs 31 Ministires. I, the Director of Speakers.)

Since over 500 of you commented hoping for a chance to win the book, she has decided to give away three rather than just one copy. (But alas–just one of those gals will also get the $10 Target card. That gift is from me and….. well, I have my own long shopping list for Target this week!) Note: Glynnis is giving away another copy on her blog today!

Winners, please email your home address to me at: [email protected]. They are:

1st Book & Target card: Penni Gordon

2nd Book: Susan Puckett

3rd Book: Imlovinmyhubby


Summer is slipping away and the busyness of fall is tapping on my fingerprint-smeared, front window. Here are a few short cuts and tips for you during this hectic time.

~Shortcut to a sunny, summery cake:

My friend Michelle’s birthday is today. We have been friends for 24 years ever since the hubster and I moved to our little town and I took an assistant coaching job along side of her at the high school.

Since then, we’ve been through the birth of six kids, planned themed-birthday parties (two Victorian tea parties and a Pirate’s Treasure Hunt stand out in my mind), held three out of six high school graduation parties, judge umpteen dance and cheer tryouts and put on about twenty garage sales!

Even though there are stretches where we don’t connect for months at a time, when we do carve out a little time (usually once a year at a those garage sales), it is like we never missed a beat. The older I get, the more I find I must have low-maintenance friendships. Lots of love. Lots of prayer. But not  a lot of hanging out time (even though I’d love it) due to my stage of life. (Michelle and I joke we’ll get all caught up in the retirement home someday where, no doubt, we’ll be in charge of the bingo and birthday parties!)

Each year for her birthday I want to give her something so I make her one of her favorite desserts, Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake. It is a shortcut, doctored-up cake mix-based, snappy recipe. If you need a yummy and pretty dessert soon. Try it! (Recipe below)

~Simple Tip:

So you don’t forget a friend’s birthday, make a habit of transferring all special occasions onto your new paper calendar (or phone) on New Years Day. I do it while the guys are watching football. Of course, it is an undertaking the first time. Each year after, it is a snap! To insure you don’t miss it, try listing it in a square (I do a Sunday since those are usually not filled) a week or two prior. Mine will say “Michelle’s birthday next week”. That way you will have time to grab a gift or mail a card.

Now for the recipe: (note you can use orange juice and extract too. Can also be made into glazed muffins but you’ll have to shorten the cooking time. To what? I do not know. Google it! :-))

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

1 yellow cake mix

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup water

1 1/3 cups sour cream

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (or frozen Minute Made 100 % lemon juice. Don’t use the bottled that is sold on the shelf. Yuck!)

1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all until well blended and pour in a greased, floured Bundt cake pan. Bake 40 minutes or just until a cake tester comes out clean. Do NOT overbake. Cool 15 minutes and invert onto a cake pedestal. While still warm, pour over glaze.


1 cup powdered sugar

3-4 tablespoons lemon juice

Let cool another 30-45 minutes. Cover. Enjoy!!!


  1. Ok, I found the poppy seed amount listed on this page, but not the page I got as email ~ go figure! So never mind…..

  2. Just a quick question about the recipe you shared for Lemon Poppy Seed Cake : what about the poppy seeds? The amount needed doesn’t seem to be listed anywhere. If you know, please let me know, as I’d like to try the recipe!! Thanks!

  3. My birthday is May 31st in case you want to plug it in your phone a week ahead and bless me with that scrumptious cake haha ; )

    I love poppy seed muffins but have never made the cake. May try to do it this weekend time permitting. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the tip. It makes so much sense to put occasions in a week ahead rather than solely rely on the day-of calendars and not having the time to do much for that particular occasion.


  4. Karen,
    This has not hing to do with the summer short cut but I just want to thank you for your last post. I did not win the book but I got something as well.
    Here is what I posted in Glynnis’ blog and I want to thank you, too.

    “I don’t have a tip but I would like to thank you for the encouragement you provide in getting our lives organized. After I posted here and Karen E’s blog last week, guess what i did over the weekend? Yes, the dreaded desk that was mocking me finally got cleaned off. I was waiting for the “perfect” time to do it and sort through the older statements but realized that what I was doing was…stupid. So I just gathered the most recent statements that are piled up on said desk, took the hanging file folder box I bought from Target and started sorting. It felt so good to be done. Granted there are still a lot of statements to file but most of them can go to the “circular file” and the new mail that comes in have places to go other than my desk.”

    Thank you!

    1. Bravo!!!! So proud of you. You motivate me to organize my tax receipts that are currently all stuffed in a big accordian file with no rhyme or reason to them!

  5. We’re having a block party at church Saturday and I said I’d bring a cake for the cake walk. Last year a recipe appeared on She Cooks just at the right time. This year, this one appears. It’s a God-thing! :-) Thanks Karen!

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