Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas revisited

Christmas started off this year with the kids and I delivering tins of goodies to neighbors and friends
Once we had done that I allowed the kids to decorate the tree on their own this year, it was one less job for me and something they really enjoyed doing, so what if some of the branches were bare and some were completely laden down, I did however make sure a couple of my favorites were on there
Ben and Reagan couldn't wait to get their new pj's on,on Christmas Eve, who knew something so simple could turn into such a well loved tradition

Victoria didn't want to get left out and so hobbled out to the living room for the first time since her surgery to get her PJ pic taken too, as you can tell she was in a whole world of hurt.

She managed to hobble out again Christmas day and spent a good part of the day in the big green chair

Due to Victoria's surgery we didn't travel anywhere for Christmas and so Marc invited a couple of 'Orphan' families over for Christmas dinner, Reagan loves to set a pretty table and so I left the table setting down to her, she got minimal help from me, she did a pretty good job huh ?
The kids table

We served up the usual traditional turkey dinner and I made an awesome chocolate mousse cake for dessert

The kids received the gifts they really wanted, a guitar and microphone for Reagan, a snare drum for Ben and money that was spent on a new cell phone for Victoria, us adults did ok too, a much requested drill for Marc, in fact he asked so many people he ended up with 2, LOL and cozy UGG slippers for me.
All in all it was a good day and we all felt very blessed, I hope that you all enjoyed a day as full of good cheer as we did.
Now onto the New Year, anyone else looking forward to getting back to normal again next week ? ;-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

So what do you do when life hands you stress ?

Maybe you do the same as me and ignore all that needs doing and go into heavy duty baking mode.
Up until this year I've never been known as the neighbor who dons a Santa hat and goes door to door delivering cookies, this year I'm that neighbor.
Victoria has some major knee surgery happening tomorrow just in time for Christmas, all week I've been stressing over cleaning the house, finishing up the Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, mailing out cards and getting the downstairs ready for her, she'll have to 'live' in our den for a couple of weeks and wondering how she's going to do, between not being able to get around very well and being doped up on pain meds it could be interesting.
So what do I do instead ? I go into freak out mode and don't know which way to turn first and that's where wonderful husband comes to the rescue, for me to decompress from the insanity he took me away for a very mini break to a wonderful hotel about 1hr from here and it was fantabulous, whilst I was gone the house cleaning got taken care of, all 3 kids pitched in and cleaned from top to bottom, what an awesome surprise it was to see it all done when I walked in the door yesterday afternoon.
This morning I gritted my teeth and took off fighting the hoards of shoppers and I believe I finished up my shopping, if I haven't whatever was missed the recipient is getting cold hard cash, I'm done shopping and sewing for a while.
When I got home I knew there was a ton more to do around here, but nope couldn't handle so I baked and made up goodie tins and bags filled w/ Swedish cookies, peppermint bark and cookie bark and bags of homemade marshmallows for neighbors. Some will be oh so happy and some will think I've tainted them with poison, but that's all the fun of the holidays right ? Doing the unexpected.

Sooo I am going to sign off now for what will probably be about a week and tend to the needs around here, celebrate Christmas, visit with friends and spend some quality family time with the folks I love.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, if you don't celebrate Christmas then have a wonderful time celebrating just being you and enjoy the wonderful people around you.

Much love and see you in 2009. oxoxxo

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Little Miss Kitty cat just came home after a week on the lamb, no idea where she went or what she got up to in the last week, she's now pacing and meowing wanting to go back out again, I don't think so. I have to admit though I'm watching her like a hawk, she's a temperamental cat and one that shows her distaste by peeing on everything,with everything going on right now, I really don't have the time or patience for anyone or thing acting out... just ask my kids and husband *OOPS*

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh where oh where could our little cat be ?

Oh where, oh where has she gone ?

Wednesday Ben's cat decided she needed to go air her lungs for a while and so as soon as I opened the sliding door for the dog she took off too. Usually she just hangs out in the back yard with the dog, hops the fence, checks out the front yard, hops the fence into the back yard again and then comes up to the back door meowing to be let in, but not this time, she's been gone ever since and now I'm worried and sad.
The weather here has been horrid, the rains came in Wednesday night and didn't let up until last night, today has been cold and blustery, tonight is just frigid and she's nowhere to be seen.
I'm hoping she ran in somewhere to get out of the rain and got locked in for a day and that tomorrow she'll be let out and come home.
Ben and Reagan haven't noticed her missing yet, thank God Victoria's cat has been sleeping w/ Ben the last couple of nights. Ben is a cat person and loves to snuggle w/ a cat at night, I just hope Sox comes home before he notices, she's his friend and hangs out with him in the big green chair while he reads, he'll be devastated if she never comes home and I don't want to have to be the one to tell either of the little kids that she's gone missing, especially with Christmas just around the corner.

If you believe in the power of prayer, would you send one up to the Big Guy for us and ask him to return Sox home safely ?

We love her and it'll be a sad christmas without her.

Need a quick and easy Christmas treat ?

Then look no further. I have the perfect recipe for you, and the best part is it takes no time to make and if you are in a pinch for time you can go shower while it's setting, no hanging around waiting for the timer and then waiting for cookies to cool.
My friend Tracey made this for our Moms cookie swap last week and I think everyone agreed how yummy it was, too good not to share, that's for sure.


1 12oz bag of milk chocolate chips

1 12oz bag of white chocolate chips

15 Oreo cookies

1) Break up the Oreo cookies

2) Melt the chocolate chips in 2 seperate bowls

3) Add 1/2 the crushed cookies to the melted milk chocolate and stir together add the other 1/2 to the melted white chocolate and stir together

4)Spread the melted chocolate over wax paper layed on a cookie sheet, with a knife or a spoon swirl the 2 together.

5) Place in a refrigerator for 20 mins or until set

6) Break the bark into pieces and ENJOY !!

See how simple that is ? No more slaving in the kitchen for hours baking cookies ... gotta love that ;-)

To all you pattern makers out there

Please tell me why you don't make patterns for tween / teen boys.
I just sat and cut out PJ patterns for the girls and Marc and then it was time to cut out Bens and no can do, the patterns don't go up to his size.
The Father / son patterns are apparently only designed for boys up to 8, after that, maybe they're too cool for PJs and remain that way until their waist hits 34inches ?? My mind is fuddled I don't get it. Even while looking in the pattern books at the fabric store I was only seeing patterns for boys going up to a 27 inch waist, now maybe I'll luck out and when I measure Ben tomorrow I'll see that Ben is in fact only a size 8 in Butterick, Simplicity and McCalls terms, afterall their size 5 girls swamp Reagan and she's a size 6 in manufactued clothing sizes.

Ah well, off to bed, it's super late, it's windy and stormy outside and my lights are flickering inside so I think it's time for bed before I get left in total darkness.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Somebody caught this Gingerbread Man

Looking around for projects to do while I am sitting down watching TV I came across this poor half eaten Gingerbread Man ornament and fell in love with him, he looks to be saying "Oh my"
If you would like to try your hand at making one too go check out this site, where a tutorial has been graciously posted for your enjoyment.

I'd have hung mine on the Christmas tree to show you, but alas ours is still up in the attic and it's too rainy to take pics of him on the Christmas trees outside.

Come back tomorrow, I'll have the yummiest Christmas cookie recipe ready for you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Well maybe not a lot, just a little, so far.
One of my favorite things about hosting a Giveaway is that some of the people that enter may have blogs that I haven't found before and there are some pretty cool ones out there. A couple had cute tutorials for Christmas decorations, some of which I have had to try my hand at, I'll be posting some of those in the upcoming days.
My first homemade decoration this year was the gumdrop wreath, the tutorial for it can be found here
Here are a couple of little tips I think are worthy to pass on. I had decided that I wanted ours big enough to hang on the front door, therefore it went from a 10 inch wreath to a 15 inch wreath which equals 8 pounds of gumdrops *EEK* which in turn makes a very heavy wreath, it was a bear to hang from the door, but I like the finished look of it, so in my little world it was worth it. BUT every time the door is closed, or in this household slammed one or more of the gumdrops works loose and a couple have gotten trod on, making a gum droppy mess.I have to keep reminding everyone to close the door and take a look on the step before they leave.
Who knows by the end of the Winter my children may have actually learnt that you don't have to slam a door to close it properly... a lesson learnt by the sugary wreath on the door.

And the winner is

Deb please contact me A.S.A.P w/ your mailing address and size S,M,L or XL.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Giveaway #2

In the spirit of Christmas and due to a little glitch over at Sew Mama Sew I'm hosting another giveaway for another apron just like the last one.

To enter just leave a comment and tell me what your favorite Christmas song is.

Good luck and have fun. This contest is open until midnight on Tuesday December 9th. I'll post the winner first thing Wednesday morning

And to those of you at S.M.S ... thanks for the post ;-)

What more does a girl need...

When she has friends like these ?

I feel so very, very blessed to be part of this awesome group of women, they truly are what everyone looks for in a best friend, the best part is I have 40 of them.
Never have I been part of a group of women where everyone is truly there for one another, when one of us hurts the others do too, when one of us needs help w/ something we have 40 pairs of helping hands, when we need a shoulder to cry on we have our pick of the crop, when we need a reality check we can take our pick and when we need a night on the town there is always a willingness to oblige.
I love you gals. It was a wonderful night tonight, those of you who couldn't make it were sorely missed.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The winner is......

Belen Rodriguez.

Many thanks to all of you who entered. I loved reading some of your favorite memories, the one that has really stuck in my brain is the one from Cateling, I don't know that I would ever be able to look at jello again after that experience.... Gaggle.

I'll be doing another Giveaway in January, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Holiday season with all of your loved ones making fresh memories.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Give Away Day

Had you noticed the button over on the left and wondered what it was ? Well today is the big reveal day.
Sew Mama Sew is sponsoring a Giveaway Day and today is the day, go on over there and see the whole list of wonderful crafters who have some wonderful giveaways for you today.

I'm giving away this cute little Christmas apron.

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me your favorite Christmas memory, a favorite tradition or what you like the best about this time of year. Be sure to leave your size, S,M,L this apron will be made just for you, no one size fits all here ;-) Be sure to leave me an email address or a link as to how I can contact you and tell you "You're a winner"
This giveaway is open to ALL of you, yes if you live overseas I'll mail to you too, just be aware that I'm not the postal service and it may not arrive in time for Christmas, though fingers crossed it will.
This is a quick turnaround contest and will close tomorrow (Thursday) at midnight west coast time.
Good luck, have fun and go check out all the other crafters.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas countdown

Advent is possibly my most favorite time during the year. It seems that as soon as December 1st hits there's a whole new excitement in the air, everything smells better, the general feeling all around is for lack of a better word "different" but good different, everyone (for the most part) is in better spirits, there is a feeling of goodwill t'ward all men in the air and I like it that way.

Advent this year started off a little different than expected, yes the kids were each given their chocolate advent calenders as soon as the last bite of their breakfast was devoured and that was about the only routine thing that happened around here.
Right after the breakfast dishes were put away I received a call from the high school asking me to please go get Victoria, she was complaining of a sore throat, blah,blah,blah. Not being the most sympathetic mother, my first question was "Does she have a fever ? " I was told no, so I'm thinking "Bah, humbug she needs to suck it up." but I went and got her anyway. All the way home she's telling me no it's not a normal cold, there's something else going on would I please make an appt for her to see the Dr, all I'm thinking is $10 for a sick note, I don't think so, but let me look at your throat any way." So equipped w/ flashlight I peered in to the caverns of her mouth and GROSS, her tonsils are as big as Christmas baubles, so a call was indeed made to the Dr, the whole town is sick so she will be going later today and I'm sure we will be given the verdict that, yes Virginia she does have Tonsillitis, here is a prescription to make it go away.

Once phone calls were made and appointments locked in, I took Reagan to school, ran errands, picked Reagan up, came home and EEK, no power, nothing new around here, if the winds hit 10 miles an hour our power will go out, so not thinking much about it I went on w/ my routine until at 5pm I noticed the neighbors porch lights were coming on yet alas we were still in darkness, with no heat and no water. After a trip to the neighbor it was apparent that we were in fact the only house with this affliction and so a call to the power company was made, 4 1/2 hrs later, our power was restored. During this time we broke out the camping stove and made burgers which were eaten in the living room under a blanket *EEK*, milk was warmed on said stove to make hot cocoa as we were all freezing and had nothing else to drink, the kids played board games and read by candlelight and we froze our tails off because I'd turned the heat all the way down to 60 before leaving earlier in the day, to conserve power. HA, the irony.
During that time though, we also spoke about the season and what it meant to each of us, as we (I) was complaining about being so cold we thought about the homeless and how they are cold like this every night and vowed that by the end of the week a package will go out to Bean for her hat and glove drive for the homeless, as I was whining about how freaking hard it was flipping a burger while holding a flashlight and not splashing myself with grease, Marc reminded me that at least we were able to feed our kids a hot meal, so stop complaining. The kids were upset that they weren't going to get to watch the Shrek Christmas movie, but again we were reminded how there are kids in other parts of the world that don't even know what a T.V is, the best they get in the way of entertainment is a stick and some rocks and yet still they are happy.
A lot of reflection was done and I don't think it could have come at a better time. So many of us get caught up in the commercialism of the season that we forget what it is really all about.
So today as you go about your business take some time to smell the holly and think about what this holiday season really means to you. Hopefully it'll be more than the plastic underneath the tree.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Remeber this from last Saturday ?

This Saturday we have this, we had our first snowfall of the year yesterday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Does she look like a piggy bank ?

Reagan apparently thinks she is. TWICE, yes you read that correctly TWICE she has deliberately swallowed money tonight. I don't even know what to think or say.
The first time surprised me as she was never a toddler who put things in her mouth. She came out to me crying asking if swallowing a penny would kill her, I told her no and asked her why the question and she went on to tell me she had just done that very thing. Huh ? why ? She wanted to see if it was clean... and if it wasn't ?
I explained that no it wouldn't kill her, that it wasn't a smart thing to do and if she was that hungry she should have asked for a snack. I explained that just like corn, it will probably make it's appearnace in the next day or so and that was that.
Well I just got in from the garage and she looked at me, all smiles and said "I swallowed another penny " WTH ??? WHY ?? She's the prankster child so I thought she was going to yell "Psych" but she never did, instead she dissolved into tears because I started "Yelling " at her, not really,I raised my voice a little asking why she would do it again, then the thought hit me, what if it wasn't a penny, what if it were a quarter, so I spread coins out on the table and asked her to point to the coins she swallowed... 2 dimes. So in the next 24 hours or so my kid won't be shitting roses, it'll be 20 cents.

Purses, fabric and celebrities

What do you get when you morph all 3 of those together ? A fabulous contest hosted by Lila Tueller Designs

First one to email her with all 12 correct morphs receives one of her awesome purses made w/ her yummy fabrics.

So go on over, have some fun and see how many of those morphs you recognise.
Personally I'm going to wish on my lucky star tonight, I've been lusting her purses for a while now, it would be pretty sweet to find one of those under my tree Christmas morning.

So in the spirit of good sportsmanship, I wish you good luck,and will keep my fingers crossed that one of you will be a Runner Up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Do you have a smelly dog ?

Yes ? Then go get his anal glands checked out. Not even kidding.
We have a large black lab and the one thing we have said on more than one occasion is how he has never had that 'doggie odor' and for that I've been very thankful. Well all of that changed 2 weeks ago, I noticed he'd started to stink, so I had Marc take him to the groomers and get him bathed, he came home looking shinier than ever but he still stank, last week it got so bad, the whole house was smelling, I could tell if he was in a room or not because I could smell him,it was the nastiest thing ever. It got so bad I couldn't be in the same room as him and at one point was tempted to go check into a hotel, Marc thought I was over reacting... no not at all.
Last Friday I couldn't take anymore and told Marc to take the dog to the vet, that I couldn't believe it was just a regular doggie odor that there had to be more to the smell than that.
Sure enough, I wasn't being over dramatic, his anal glands were full, freaking gross, I'd never heard of such a thing.
Anyway I'm not going to go into detail because it will truly make you lose your Wheaties, but the vet drained them, gave him some meds and as every day passes the smell is less and less.
So be warned, got a smelly dog ? Get him checked out.
If you really want to learn more about it then go here

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

When it's cold and rainy outside

Is there anything better than lounging in your favorite chair w/ a good book and a furry friend ?
Ben thinks not.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

As Christmas approaches I know several of you are out there scratching your heads wondering what to give loved ones for Christmas gifts, so I thought I'd make up my own little gift guide and show off a couple of my favorite things from some fellow Etsy sellers.

For a special teacher:
How about the card that keeps on giving from AMomentAMemory28 a personalised card mounted on seeded paper.The teacher can peel off the special photograph and keep it as a keepsake,then plant the paper and before s/he knows it they'll have a display of wildflowers, clover or catnip, your choice. How cool is that ? It's a nice inexpensive gift that won't break the bank and it beats another coffee mug.

For a special friend:
Go visit dpholkdesigns she sells the most beautiful glasswork, everything from ornaments to serving dishes, personally I'm salivating over the wall pocket pictured below. This is also a seller who will go out of her way for you,she will ship your item directly to the gift recipient, even overseas if that's what you want.

For the avid bookreader:
How about a really cool bookmark, again another seller who will go over and above for you don't see what you want ? Convo her and if she has the charms she'll custom make you one. Ben LOVES the bookmark I gave him for his Birthday, he claims they are much better than the traditional ones

For the special teen:
Jeweledblossoms makes some of the prettiest jewellery, I personally purchased the necklace below, Victoria had seen it and went gaga over it, so she'll be receiving it in her stocking this year. This is a beautiful piece of jewellery and something she can treasure for a very long time, the craftsmanship is outstanding.

For the hard to buy for or the perfect stocking stuffer:
Go visit Karin over at Awindowintowhimsy she has some of the prettiest keyfobs you'll find on Etsy,

For the tween, college student or young at heart:
Go visit Shauneil these racks are the coolest. Shhhh Ben will be getting one of these under the tree.

For the little people:
Go visit Mountainsidecrochet she has some sweet little characters, but this has to be my favorite, how cute is that little mouse ? What a great giftset, 2 plushies and a book. The perfect combination.

Of course you are also more than welcome to come visit me over at my store, if you don't see what you want convo me, customs are a big deal this year. Pillows, aprons and ovenmitts are keeping my machine whirring.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just to clarify

Several people have asked and wondered why I don't write very much about my older 2 children, plain and simple they have asked me not to and I respect that.
There have being times when they have asked me to post something about them, i.e the post about Victoria's love for Michael Phelps and so I did and that's the way it will continue. It's not that I love them any less, or play favorites, it's that I respect them as young people and take those types of requests seriously.
Reagan on the other hand at this point in time really doesn't give a hoot when I post something cute or silly about her, but when that day comes and she ask that I stop posting about her goofy behavior then I'll quit that too.

She's a dreamer

Reagan must be having some pretty vivid dreams lately. Last night after sleeping on the couch for a good 30 mins, she sat up looked over at her brother and said in the most disgusted voice ever "It's just a lion, Ben." Ok then. This morning she came and snuggled in bed with me for a little and fell asleep almost immediately, when she woke up she looked me square in the eye and asked "Can I chop the cheese ?" I asked her why she needed to chop cheese, she replied "For the Macaroni and cheese" then rolled over and slept for another 30 mins.
She has no recollection of either conversation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Guy Fawkes Day

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Guy Fawkes & the Gunpowder Plot
Words of "Remember Remember" refer to Guy Fawkes with origins in 17th century English history. On the 5th November 1605 Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with several dozen barrels of gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was subsequently tried as a traitor with his co-conspirators for plotting against the government. He was tried by Judge Popham who came to London specifically for the trial from his country manor Littlecote House in Hungerford, Gloucestershire. Fawkes was sentenced to death and the form of the execution was one of the most horrendous ever practised (hung ,drawn and quartered) which reflected the serious nature of the crime of treason.

The Tradition begins...
The following year in 1606 it became an annual custom for the King and Parliament to commission a sermon to commemorate the event. Lancelot Andrewes delivered the first of many Gunpowder Plot Sermons. This practice, together with the nursery rhyme, ensured that this crime would never be forgotten! Hence the words " Remember , remember the 5th of November" The poem is sometimes referred to as 'Please to remember the fifth of November'. It serves as a warning to each new generation that treason will never be forgotten. In England the 5th of November is still commemorated each year with fireworks and bonfires culminating with the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes (the guy). The 'guys' are made by children by filling old clothes with crumpled newspapers to look like a man. Tradition allows British children to display their 'guys' to passers-by and asking for " A penny for the guy".

I have to admit that despite all the hoopla over here in the States over the newly elected President, it wasn't him that I woke up thinking about this morning. It was childhood memories of Guy Fawkes Day. By and far that was one of my favorite days of the year. My Dad would help me make an Effigy of guy Fawkes, I would then put him in either the wheel barrow or my doll stroller and together with a friend we'd wheel him down to the corner shops and pan handle... OMG, we really did that and people really gave us money. At the end of the day we would take the money into the corner shop and buy the biggest box of fireworks we could afford. That night dinner would be done around the bonfire, generally baked potatoes cooked in the fire. The Guy would burn on top of the fire and Dad would let off all the fireworks, I think Catherine Wheels were my favorite
One year I was too sick to participate in the outdoor activities and so sat in the kitchen window watching as my Dad let all of the fireworks off.
Another year as we were all standing about in the garden my Dad let off a traffic light and for whatever reason it started following my friend Lian, as she ran from it, it kept jumping in her direction, why it did that nobody knows but it certainly gave us all a laugh, except of course Lian.
If you live in England I hope you had a wonderful fun time tonight, eating your baked potatoe and drinking your hot chocolate

Monday, November 3, 2008

Maybe she'll become a Dr

Reagan ran out to the kitchen to me tonight and asked "Mom, will you please come in and watch that show where people go to the hospital and the doctors have to find out what is wrong with them ? "

For the next hour she sat engrossed while watching Discovery Health's 'Mystery ER'.
Beats watching Sponge Bob ;-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Secret family recipes

Not sure why I was thinking about this today, but I was thinking about all of those secret recipes that people keep locked away in the caverns of their mind never to share with anybody, but just to keep everyone guessing what it could possibly be that makes that dish so special and then I got to thinking about how incredibly narcissistic and selfish that is, I mean really, do people really think the only thing they will be remembered for is their cake ? I guess if you are Mr Cocoa Cola then it makes sense but to the everyday Joe... HELLO !!
My 'good' Grandmother was one of those women, she made an awesome fruit cake, but it tasted totally different from any other fruit cake I'd ever eaten, at church bake sales her cakes were always the first to sell, she was famous for them, but when she died her recipe went with her, never again will "Grandma's Fruitcake " be replicated, never again will one of her Grandchildren or Great Grandchildren ever eat such a moreish delight, I find that quite sad.

Marc's Grandma on the other hand was more than happy to share her recipes with me and for that I am very grateful, especially when Marc's Birthday comes around and all he wants is "Grandma's Black cake" and Pinuche icing.
I have carried on the tradition for Marc and bake him his favorite cake every year, this year Reagan decided that she wanted to bake it for him and I let her, she did an awesome job.
This cake is so good and so moist that I'm going to share it with you, so without further ado.... GRANDMA'S BLACK CAKE (As written by Grandma)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt together 4Tbs butter and 2 squares bitter chocolate. Let cool

Beat 1 egg, add 1 cup of sugar and beat together

Add 1/2 cup of buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk you can mix together a little under 1/2 Cup of milk together with 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar and let sit for 5 mins)

Add buttermilk mix to the butter and chocolate and mix together

Set aside

In a separate bowl mix together 1 Cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp of baking powder

Add gradually to the buttermilk and chocolate mix.

Lastly add 1/2 Cup boiling water to mixture and stir together

Bake in 8" square pan for 25 - 30 mins (I baked Marcs this year in a round pan and then sliced it in 1/2 to make a layered cake, it worked just as well)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I need some help from you crafty bloggers

I was Blog surfing and came across a tutorial for making a tote bag from fabric that a child had drawn on with crayons, the mother did something w/ the fabric, newspaper and an iron to 'set' the design and made a cute tote bag for the childs Grandmother.
Reagan wants to make one like it for her G'ma and Aunts for Christmas and I'm darned if I can find that post.
Anybody out there know where that Tutorial is ?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sticks and stones

May break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

We've all heard that 'nursery' rhyme, we've all had it quoted to us at least once in our lifetime when a playground bully has let loose his tongue lashing and we've had our feelings hurt and gone to a grown up for comfort.

Have you ever sat back and thought about those words and come to realise what total nonsense that is ?

Words do hurt, sometimes hurtful words stay with us a lot longer than the bumps and bruises that would have been caused by those sticks and stones.

As a child I grew up in a household w/ a verbally abusive Grandmother, time after time she would tell me to shut up because nobody wanted to hear what I had to say, my parents never came to my defense and so I thought she was right, nobody was telling me any different, so as a child I became painfully shy, as a teen I was more reserved, as an adult even when I have strong feelings about something I am often very wary as to who I say those things around for fear of dealing with their verbal onslaught, as I get older it is getting easier but I still hear that voice in my head telling me that nobody wants to hear what I have to say.

I was told that I was unworthy of love,that I was Devils spawn, my parents never told me they loved me as a child, I was 23 when I heard those words come from my mother's mouth, by then I'd already moved 3,000 miles away from my family, what I would have given to have heard those words come from her face to face and not down the telephone line.
My father died almost 5 years ago, never did I hear those words uttered from his mouth, I would tell him "Dad I love you" In response I'd get "Uh huh" Deep down I know he loved me. After the 9/11 attacks all phonelines in the U.S were tied up for days, my father in the UK spent 3 days trying to contact me, on the 4th day when he finally did, he broke down with relief at the sound of my voice, that's when I knew he loved me, but up until then I'd always wondered.

Words can be used to make a person feel loved and respected, they can also tear a person down and rip them of any self love and respect that they may have.

Verbal abuse can be every bit as hurtful, sometimes moreso than physical abuse.
Words used to hurt another person in any way shape or form is a form of violence. Often verbal abuse can be a precursor to physical abuse, my Grandmother started off with words and then went to using me as target practice with her walking cane, I would walk by and she would either trip me with it or come up behind me and hit me in the back with it, once coming up behind me at the top of the stairs and hitting me so hard that I fell down the stairs hitting my back. I now have disc damage because of that.
If you are in a relationship where you are constantly being put down, and hurt by somebody elses words please seek help and try to find a way out.
You are worthy of love and respect and totally non deserving of somebody elses abusive verbage despite what they may be telling you... It's NOT your fault.

There are crisis lines out there equipped w/ counsellors who can give you the help you need to break away from it, one of which is Life Crisis Center, they have a 24 hr Hotline, 1-800-422-0009
If you or a loved one is going through any form of abuse be it verbal or physical please make that call today and change your life around. You are worthy of so much more.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New in the shop

Newly listed items in the shop to benefit Domestic Violence


Reagan: I know how to spell energy

Me: You do, how ?

Reagan: N.O.G... Energy, (pronounced Enogy in Reaganesque)

Monday, October 13, 2008


Ben had his party on Saturday,never in a million years did I believe a party full of boys could be so chaotic and so different than a party for girls.
Those boys were CRAZY !!
Check out the gross eye cake. It didn't turn out as expected but Ben's face makes me laugh.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The month for detours

Forgive me, I apparently have Blog ADD, and can't stay focused on one thing for more than a couple of days.
What has distracted me today, you may wonder. Well this post on my friend Bean's blog has.

As someone who hates the cold, I can't even begin to imagine being left homeless out on the streets with nothing to keep me warm.
As you'll see in that post the men are in dire need for gloves and mittens. If you or if you know of someone that knits or crochets, please think about making a pair or 2 to donate to this worthy cause or maybe check out your local homeless shelter and find out what the homeless people in your area are in need of.

Remember, many people are only one or two paychecks away from being homeless.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Do you know what those 4 little words mean ? Responde S'il Vous Plait, in English, PLEASE RESPOND. It's what you do when you are invited to a party, if the Invitee has a contact number along with R.S.V.P it means s/he would like a response as to whether or not you will be attending their shin dig. They need a response in order to plan minor details such as FOOD and DRINK,if it's a kids Birthday we need to know how many of the dreaded Goodie Bags we need to make up.
If your kid has been to my kids party the last 2 years and is invited again this year, despite what you may think it's not going to be assumed that s/he is going to be able to attend this year, things come up, we may have planned that party on a day you have plans, remember that saying "Assume makes an ass of U and ME" ?

As you may be able to tell I am throwing a party. It's tomorrow and it's a party for Ben. 23 individuals were invited out of those 23, 10 have responded to tell me they will be here, 1 is a no, 4 are maybes and the other 8 ? Who knows.
Soooo do I plan for 10, 14 or 22.
Do you see the dilemma ? I don't want to be left with a ton of food and a ton of kids goodie bags, but I don't want to have not enough food and not enough goodie bags.

Guess we could eat Monster Crunch, Mummy fingers, and mud pie washed down with Ghoulish Punch for the next week too. As for the Goodie bags... What goodie bags ?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Taking a small detour

To wish my favorite boy a very Happy Birthday. It's a day late in coming because yesterday was full of celebration, just the way it should be.

Happy 11th Birthday Ben !!! I'm so glad you had such an awesome day and that it was everything you envisioned and more, you are so deserving of it.

For those of you that don't know Ben or know him but have never heard his "Story" I would like to take a few minutes and share it with you, it's a very uplifting story about faith, love and perseverance.

In July 1992, we had one child, Victoria, she was 5 months old, her Dad and I dreamt of having a house full of kids and wanted them all close together, so we started trying for #2 thinking that it would be a piece of cake, the other 2 times (1 ended in M/C) Marc only had to look at me and I got pregnant, this time was not meant to be that easy, after 6 months I went to my OBGYN and voiced concerns, he had us doing the temping thing and everything seemed 0k, after 3 months of that and no luck he had a lot of bloodwork drawn and my levels came back so so, he diagnosed me with PCOS, though reading about it and knowing people who have it, I have to question that diagnosis. I was given meds to take and given another 3 months, again nothing, after 1 year of absolutely no luck we were referred to a Fertility specialist, he couldn't find any reason whatsoever as to why I wasn't conceiving, I was young, healthy and prime baby making material but it just wasn't happening. We then spent the next 3 1/2 years doing one fertility treatment after another, all with the same outcome, one time I did get pregnant but again that ended in M/C, it just didn't seem like we were supposed to have more.
During this time we had become best friends with some neighbors, they became Foster parents and their first Foster child won our hearts quickly, we spent many, many hours with them all, after several failed attempts of that little girl being adopted out, Marc and I started talking about it and decided that we wanted her to be a part of our family. We started the ball rolling and were extremely excited at the prospect of having 2 girls, things were going well and then suddenly out of the blue in January 1997 I started to feel not so good and realised my AF was late, I knew I couldn't be pregnant, but figured what the heck and took a pregnancy test anyway. That test turned from a - to a + within seconds, I was in total shock.
I made all the phone calls and then had to call the adoption agency, we told them we still wanted Alyssa, but they wouldn't let us continue the process, we were heartbroken, yet at the same time celebrating the fact that we would be having another child. A couple of days after that + test I started bleeding, it scared me to death, I went to my OB, he told me things were too early to do anything about and basically sent me on my way, telling me to come back the next week and they would check for a heart beat. The following week I went back and sure enough there was no heartbeat, I tried to tell the OB that I wasn't as far along as he kept saying and all he told me was "Mrs S, we will give it one more week, if there is no heartbeat we will go ahead and do a D&C." I was totally horrified and told him no way and all he told me was "If there is no heartbeat next week, we will know that it is a non viable fetus." I looked at him square in the eye told him he was wrong and that I would not allow him to abort my baby. As scared as I was I knew that I hadn't come this far only for God to take that baby from me again. I knew that Dr was wrong and made an appt to see another Dr at a totally different practice. We went the following week and sure enough no heartbeat, and why ? Because it was too early, I was told to wait one more week, we should probably see something then, and sure enough we did. Thank God I went with my gut and changed Drs.
The following 5 months were full of all day morning sickness, it was wretched but knowing the final outcome made it all worth it.
On October 8th, 12:33pm he was born. It wasn't the easiest labor that ever was, he got stuck and they had to vacuum him out, he had a bowel movement on the way down the birth canal and swallowed some meconium, it was touch and go for a while and he had to spend some time in the NICU but after 3 days he was ok to come home.
For some reason that first night home I decided that I would sleep in the nursery with him and thank God I did, in the early hours of the morning I was awoken to a horrible gurgly gasping sound coming from the bassinet, when I turned the light on and got to him he had already turned blue, and had foam coming from his mouth, I smacked him between his shoulder blades and he let out an almighty wail, pinked right up and nursed like nothing had ever happened. The following day I took him to the Ped and sure enough he had some fluid in his lungs.
After that set back things went on as normal for the next 11 months, things seemed normal, we went about our days like any other family, Ben was doing great, other than he couldn't pull himself up, standing seemed to hurt his legs and he'd crumple to the floor, he couldn't get himself from a lying to a sitting position and wasn't even attempting to crawl. The day after his first Birthday he was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia... A form of Cerebral Palsey. We were told that best case scenario he would have to have extensive PT the first 5 years of his life and walk with leg braces, the worst case scenario was that he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
As in typical Ben fashion 1 week after this diagnosis he pulled himself up on his walker and took off like a champ. I called the Ped who called the Neurologist and they were both completely shocked and couldn't believe it.
At 2 1/2 years old we were referred to a speech therapist as he wasn't making any intelligible sounds, we had him checked for hearing problems etc and everything came back normal, he just had a speech delay and so he started Speech Therapy. Things just plodded along as normal, we noted that he was always the slowest in his class when it came to running and his gross motor skills just seemed off. By this time we had moved to a town in the middle of nowhere, the Ped there was horrible and treated me as some neurotic mother.
It wasn't until his Kindergarten graduation concert that I noticed when the kids were singing that Ben didn't move his mouth the same way other kids did, it was the wildest thing to see.
I reported this to his Speech Therapist the following day, after several sessions with her, she told me that he needed another complete neuro and OT assessment as something was definitely off. He had also started falling for no apparent reason and his speech was slurred. The fear was that he had had a minor stroke and it had gone undiagnosed. CAT scans came back negative for that thankgoodness, but she did note a very very small area in the brain indicitive of CP, again we were looking at this, finally it was put down in his charts that he does have CP and it's about as minor as you can get it.
He will never be the fastest kid on the block, he will never be the most co ordinated but that's ok the fact remains that he is an amazing kid who has a love for life, he shrugs off most things that most people would fall apart at, I think because of what he has dealt with it has made him a lot more compassionate for others. He's a true humanitarian and I am so proud of him.
Last week when I asked him where he thought he would be in 20 years he looked at me like I was crazy and then said "I'm just a kid Mom, I don't need to worry about that yet." But we did go on to talk about life and his dreams, he wants to be a pro skateboarder, LOL, he knows the reality of that happening, but he can dream, I asked if ever thought he would want kids and his face just crumpled, he's always loved little kids, he just melts when he's in their presence and he said "Yes, I want lots of kids." He then went on to tell me he wants to work with young children, probably those with special needs. Really it didn't suprise me, I've always said when Ben gets married it'll have to be to someone that wants a whole slew of kids, one or two won't be enough for him.

Ben, Im so very proud of you, I love you so much it almost hurts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Need some more inspiration ?

I love, love love this purse, if I had the extra $s I'd be purchasing it for myself

This is just flat out pretty

Cute and pretty ear rings

Want to throw something ? Go right ahead

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Want to go shopping ?

I was browsing Etsy today and found some shops selling items for either B.C.A or D.V.A, these in particular caught my eye

The Booby Benefit Bot, from IttyBittiesForYou
How cute is she, the perfect little companion to sit upon your monitor and keep you company

This T shirt made me giggle, nice to have a little comic relief about something so serious, you can find it here at CarmelTurtle

Well, there's just a small taste of what I found, I have some others that really caught my eye, but the family is yelling at me to get ready for dinner, so I'll post those tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do this for you

A self breast exam is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Not sure how to do it ? Here's both a video and a pamphlet showing you how.

Self Breast Exam - video powered by Metacafe

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Going pink and purple

For the month of October things will be little different around here.
October is both National Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this blog for one month will be dedicated to both.
I want to take this time to raise awareness for both issues, you will read personal testimonies from women who have dealt with one or both of these issues, there will be invaluable information posted about each cause, along with ways in which you can help as well as be helped.
On October 31st I will be posting a tribute page to all of those who have battled the wars of both these diseases, yes I believe Domestic Violence is also a disease, it is a disease of our society and one that needs to be eradicated.
If you have loved ones that you would like to pay tribute to that day then please over the month post their names in the comment boxes and I will compile a list. For privacy or the security of some an alias will be just fine, you know who it is you are honoring and that's what counts.

My Etsy store is also going Pink and Purple for the month of October.
This month 20% of all proceeds from items sold in the "Pink" section will go to the Susan G Komen Foundation.
20% of all proceeds from items sold in the "Purple" section will go to an Art Therapy programme for recovering women and children of Domestic violence http://www.deniseabloomfield.org/

All U.S residents will receive free shipping on these items, international buyers will receive shipping discounts as already noted in the shipping price.

Together we can help make a difference.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


We have just put our house in MN back up on the market, so if you are looking for ( or know of someone looking for ) a 6
bedroom, 2 bathroom house with a huge backyard that backs up to a bike path,has an awesome sunken entertaining deck, nestled in a quiet neighborhood, that will be receiving a ton of snow in the next couple of months, then look no further.
The inside is all freshly painted, the outside is all newly landscaped. We are selling it for an absolute steal.
If you're not looking to buy a house in MN, then please send us all the good luck vibes / prayers that you can muster that this house sells quickly. 2 mortgages and 3 kids who all need new clothes for the Winter is just about crippling us.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why it rains

Reagan has figured out exactly what it is that makes it pour with rain the way it has been here for the last few days.
It's the Sky Giants. According to Reagan they are walking around and either stub their toes or fall out of bed and then they cry and cry.
When I asked her how she knew about Sky Giants, she just shrugged her shoulders, tipped her head and said "I just know"

Wish those Sky Giants could be a little less clumsy today

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So that didn't work

I tried folks, I tried to prolong Summer as much as I could but first off my wonderful husband came home at lunchtime yesterday with a beautiful planter filled with Mums.Does anything scream Fall any louder than seeing Mums sat on peoples porches ? I think not.
Add to that the weather changed drastically today, it's been rainy and windy and chilly, I had to break out the jeans and a sweater today as well as socks and real shoes, ACK !!!!
Sooo because it was an icky cold day it was time to try out a new recipe that to me sounded like the perfect comfort food needed on a day like this, Chicken with Olives.. YUM, even the kids loved it. In case you are in need of a good recipe for Comfort Food here it is, it chases the chills away.


4 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium onion, sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
1 5.75oz jar of sliced pitted green olives
1 2.25 can of pitted ripe olives, drained
2 Tbsp Capers, drained
2 Tbsp Finely shredded lemon peel
1 tsp, dried Oregano, crushed
3 Tbsp Snipped fresh Parsley

1) In a large skillet brown chicken in hot oil over medium high heat for 5 mins, turning once. Remove chicken from skillet ; Set aside. Add onions to skillet, cook over medium high heat until lightly browned and tender, add garlic during the last minute of cooking
2)Stir tomaotoes, olives, capers, lemon peel and oregano into onion mixture.Place chicken on tomato mixture. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, covered 13 - 15 mins or until chicken is no longerr pink (170 degrees F)

I served this along with buttered egg noodles seasoned w/ lemon pepper.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Welcome to Fall

Well, it's officially the first day of Fall and I have to admit I'm having a hard time getting excited about it, sure the colors and smells of this time of year are wonderful, but it also means colder temps and shorter days are just around the corner. Depsite being born and raised in England I think I was supposed to be a California Girl.
I can't bring myself to change out my planters just yet and I can't go from my lavender and lemon simmer potpourri to apples and cinnamon just yet, so I decided to sew and list a Double oven mitt and kitchen towel set in the shop instead. It's the only way I'm prepared to get into the spirit of Fall right now, for a week or 2 at least.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Anybody else on the Wordle wagon ? I'm finding these rather fun to do. On many blogs I've seen Wordless Wednesday, Fashion Friday, me I'm starting Weekly Wordle.. not going to commit to a day but a Wordle a week might be fun to do for a while
Here's my first attempt
Here it is in it's original size if you want to check it out a little clearer and until I can figure out how to post the picture larger title="Wordle: Blog"> src="http://wordle.net/thumb/wrdl/200369/Blog"
style="padding:4px;border:1px solid #ddd">

Anyway, if you want to play, go check it out here

Google Analytical


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