food, home, journey, list, marriage, music, paper, parties

Perhaps a bacon wrapped pillow would be more appropriate…

4ALUVYYlQLC004zkGhd9_Sunset at WindermereGood morning, sunshine…

It is minutes til 2 a.m. and I’m so body tired and mind revved up that many states may classify me as a train wreck. (if this is true, please don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.) It’s a sad think to know of tragedy touching the lives of people you care about. There are things in this world I just do not understand… And rather than dwell on them, or try to figure them out (thank God it’s smart enough to know it can’t) my brain is just consumed with thinking about every other thing on the planet. Seriously, everything. All at once.

At any rate, it’s Monday, and that means it’s time for my Hi-Five!

Song– You had to see it coming… I’m not that unpredictable. :)

Share– If you like classic literature, this looks really fun! I’m super excited!

Something I’m loving– Last week, in Chicago, we had bacon wrapped dates at a lovely little restaurant in Algonquin. They were incredible, so this week it’s my quest to find a recipe for them that we love equally.

Something I’m into– oh my gosh. We are very casually house hunting. I say casually because who knows what will happen and we are pretty open to whatever. We’re enjoying the process though (maybe a little too much.) We’re really getting a kick out of house listing photos. What are some of these people thinking? We’ve seen sinks of dirty dishes, mounds of laundry, close-ups of candles (and nothing else.) it’s flat-out nutty! (but so fun!)

Something new (to me)– This one is really tough for me, both to admit and to adapt to. I’m a paper girl. I still use a paper planner and REFUSE to store agenda dates in my iPhone. So, when the reality came up that I would have to loosely organize a bridal shower for my older daughter Amanda (which my youngest daughter Gen is technically throwing, In Idaho, without me) from 2000 miles away and with VERY SHORT notice, I had no choice but to do it electronically. I decided to use Paperless Post and honestly, it’s made things easy to keep track of and the invitations were elegant and cute. Would I make this my preferred method? No. But, it’s not horrible, either.

Are you into anything you’d like to share?

Are you looking forward to anything this week? I feel like I am, but it’s now 2:07 and my fuzzy brain can’t recall anything other than the fact that tomorrow is full of meetings and appointments. I have one bright and early, (so basically, in a few hours) up until evening… I should try to force my brain to bed perhaps…

confession, creative, food, holiday, home, paper

Challenge completed, but…

I mentioned earlier this month, that I was accepting a Pinterest challenge to attempt 10 projects and 5 recipes that I had found on Christmas, between December 1st and the 24th… 
Here are the Pinspirations I chose, and my feelings on them… 

 1}

 It’s a little complicated to see, I know. this project was really complicated, as there was a lack of specific instructions. My husband and i both worked on it, but as cool as it seemed (using a gift box and a milk carton, as shown), it wasn’t. Real issues didn’t develop until we started trying to apply the fabric. Cool idea, poor way to do it. We plan on retrying it, in the future, but using foam board instead.

2}

 Nail polish painting bobby pins.
Yeah.
Seemed like a GREAT project for kids. Gen was beyond excited to try it. Even with high quality nailpolish, it’s a gummy, sticky mess.

3}

 I made several ferments. I was really excited to try them, but we resulted in issues when the items kept rising to the top. (which takes them from super healthy to severely dangerous.) We eventually dumped them and decided to save up and invest in actual fermenting jars.

4}

 Adorable project! We loved them! Gen and i made a bunch of these little trees, for cards to pass out to neighbors when we delivered cookies…
WIN!

5}

 I know this hardly counts as a project… But I loved it. We did do this, only using snowflakes, over stars.
It’s a win, regardless of how “like cheating” it seems.

6}

Another win! I loved the envelope book I made, as a gift.

7}

GREAT project! Really adorable, BUT (BUT!!!) Don’t use Stampin up paper, (or any other paper with water based ink. HUGE mistake.)

8}

 Adorable.
It doesn’t work.
But, it’s adorable.

9}

 What do you make for the guy who has everything? (made of paper anyway, which seems to be the only skill you have at making anything.)
You make him this jar. And it’s awesome.

10}

 We reserve the right to try this project again. I was REALLY excited about this project but $30 in online paint investments later- they were never the right paint. Majorly bummed.

11}

 Yep. See? Paper… If it’s paper, I’ve got it covered.

12}

Yeah. Maybe it can be done, with more patience. this project was a mess and i realized i did not have time for it… 
13}

 Maybe i am just really naive. The idea of homemade marshmellows just seemed so BIG. The whole process, in reality, was a bit like magic and i LOVED it. super fun!
(And delicious)

14}

 My favorite project of them all. It’s almost the same color too, though a LOT smaller because I don’t have near that much jewelry. BUT- i love it…

15}

The worst project of them all. this project was complete hell. My engineer husband, who can figure pretty much everything out AND is blessed with the patience for anything- got fed up and frustrated. We tried for hours, to perfect it. 
EVIL project. 
So I did 15 projects instead of 10. Here’s how the recipes went: 
1}

 YUM!

2}

 Good, but a bit soupier and more “fall apart” than the picture would indicate.
Probably wouldn’t do it again.

3}

 YUM!

4}

 I ended up making a ton of alterations to the recipe, so much so that you may say it ended up completely different… BUT the ones I made were AMAZING!

5}

 BEST THING EVER. Oh my gosh. In hot cocoa. In cupcakes. By itself.

6}

So delicious!!!! serious yum!

7}

Good… Not nearly as amazing as the photo though.

8}

 What else do you give the man who has everything? these.
and he will thank you.

9}

ok. It was good. It wasn’t the best steak we’d ever had. It wasn’t easier than grilling. It was kind of the messiest way we’ve ever made steak and we might try it again, and tweek some things, though I doubt it. 
So there you go! the challenge was really fun, and as always- it’s nice to use Pinterest for more than a pretty set of things to drool over. 
For the exact pins and the direct links for each pin, you can go here
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creative, home, paper

I’ve packed my suitcase…

Pinterest inspires all kinds of crazy projects, for many of us. Sometimes they don’t work out… Sometimes they do… 
Sometimes I fall head over heals in love with them… 
And sometimes, while spending a few hours getting one just right, my dog decides to stare at herself the entire time, because she is just so pretty. 
Also, at those times, my sill iPhone takes a crummy photo. 
Even so… 

Moving on…
Vintage suitcase craft storage = MAJOR love!

What do you think???? 
It’s amazing HOW MANY basket’s of supplies fit in this one suitcase. 
AWESOME accomplishment, for sure…
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beautiful, family, paper, parenting

On missing someone…

I have this really cool, fabric covered, storage box that I love. 
I bought it a long time ago (paid way too much!) because I loved it and knew it would hold something special. 
Then, my son went to basic, and I sorted through my boxes of cards/letters and put everything my kids had ever given me into this lovely box. 
Well, time has passed. There have been birthdays and mother’s days. Plus, as you can surely imagine, having a son deployed and a daughter away for AIT, paper letters are arriving in full force. Just last week Genny pointed out that it’s hinged lid would no longer close. 
So, begrudgingly I sat three separate storage boxes on the floor in front of me and proceeded to go through a decade + of notes, photos, coloring pages, small art projects and letters from all over the globe. 
One box for Genny, one box for Lucas, one box for Amanda. 
It really made me miss my kids. 
Granted, even though she is currently in Texas, Amanda’s stuff (and therefore her presence) is still all over the house. I could take a nap on her bed, I could go sit in her car. And again, she’s in Texas. I can text her. I can call her. 
But Lucas, not so much. 
And so I sorted and read, remembered and cried. My heart melted to slush and then put itself back together again. 
And then I thought, in an effort to work through the mom-missing moments, I would share a few Lucas facts with you… 
– The boy LOVES Fruity Pebbles. Know HOW he loves them? you poor a ton into a gigantic bowl, then fill it with milk and walk away. FOR LITERAL MINUTES, the easily soggy cereal mixes with the milk. I sit here gagging even writing it out. But he loves it. 
– Not hungry for breakfast you ask? How about he makes you a burrito for lunch? to do this he would cook up a package of Shrimp Ramen noodles. When they’re done he’ll scramble and egg. Then, mix them together, wrap in a tortilla and “ta da”. (GROSS) 
– His favorite pizza topping is Shrimp. He could be Bubba Gump. 
– He cried in The Vow. (it’s true.) In fact, his dates to see it (on Valentines weekend) was my friend K and I. How sweet is that? (and we went to dinner first, where there was no shrimp.) 
– He likes to play Monopoly. A lot. On the wii. On a game board. It doesn’t matter. Already finished a 12 hour game of it? Doesn’t matter. He loves it. 
– He gets scared in scary movies… (But watches them anyway) 
– he kept a GREAT circle journal with me for about 3 years, until his dog ate it. He still has it though, (what was left)
– he is my FAVORITE person to cook with, especially big holiday meals. (we do not cook burritos.) He’s actually an amazing cook. 
– He is the best older brother, ever. He will take Genny shopping for girly things (which he pays for), he will play girly video games (like hannah montana) with her, he will wrestle and beat her up and then is all to happy to just cuddle her a moment later. He never loses patience with her. Ever. (also… he has been known to try on Amanda’s clothes, though I have no proof of this.) 
I will stop, for now, before I get even more sad. Just needed to share him for a bit. 
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food, holiday, paper

Cookies…

So, maybe I had a half a dozen, or so, people disappointed to learn that I’m not technically a food blogger when they became acquainted with me through the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I’m sorry if that’s you… I heard about the swap, initially, on another (non-food) blog and my youngest daughter Genny emphatically felt that we should take on this challenge together. 
Did you read that last word??? 
TOGETHER… 
I am not a big fan of baking. I LOVE to cook, and I hear I do it well. I especially love to have people over and cook for them. Baking though, I don’t know. I can make some beautiful coffee cakes and about 45 different (and equally perfect) cheesecakes. My baking confidence ends there though… i get nervous, and impatient. 
Two things though, about this swap, intrigued me. 
1} spending torturous time in the kitchen, baking a batch of cookies and ending up with three different kinds. 
2} doing it with Gen. 
It was not until after I received my first update email, from the swap, that it even dawned on me that it was a food blogger swap. 
if there is anyway i can clause in as an honorary food blogger for the sheer reason that I subscribe to more food blogs than any other type- that would be swell. 
Moving on… 
Due to many unforeseeable events- our cookie making morning was not only pushed off until the last possible minute- BUT it also became MY cookie making morning. Genny was sick. I became depressed. It was all ugly and sad, but I survived and have lived to tell the tale- complete with photos and the recipe. 
Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies… 
  • 1/2 cup, plus 6 T. unsalted butter, softened. 
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt 
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. white chocolate peppermint morsels
  • 1/4 c. chopped candy canes
Heat the oven to 350. 
in a large bowl/mixer, cream butter and sugars. 
Add eggs, one at a time, beating each until blended. 
Mix in Vanilla.
  
 Gently wisk dry ingredients (except oats and mix ins) together in a seperate bowl and then add to creamed mixture.
{this is when i checked on her and she was pasty, grey and deeply sad that she- who loves to bake- was in bed reading while I slaved away over tasty cookie dough in the kitchen. Life truly is not fair.} 
 Stir in the oats. 
 When the dough is well blended, add in the chocolate and candy pieces. 
Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls on to ungreased cookie sheets. 
Bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden. 
 While they baked and cooled, I made up little Christmas cards to accompany the cookies. 
 Ta da! Not so bad… Actually, this recipe is one of our family’s FAVORITE Christmas cookies. I am not sure how fresh they stayed, or how well they shipped, but we love them here at home… 

Also thought i’d share with you the blogs of the three amazing bakers who sent us DELICIOUS cookies! Kathy Can Cook, Girls Can Tell and My Fiance Likes it…… 
And the three bloggers who I sent to… CakeFYI, Urban Sacred Garden, and Azucar Means Sugar. {and yes, all things considered- I really was intimidated and sure my humble little cookies were far inferior to anything they make!}

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