Saturday, January 12, 2013

Birthday Party? Check!

So I officially have a "Tween" in my house. The Punk turned 12 this week and last night we hosted 10 (holy-cow-what-was-I-thinking) girls for a movie themed party.

We had pizza and soda and buttered popcorn in cute little popcorn boxes. But the highlight of the night was the "buttered popcorn" cupcakes.

Making them is simple: bake Devil's Food cupcakes according to the directions on the box. You can make your own frosting, and normally I would, but for the sake of time, I used frosting from the grocery store and piped it on with a BIG tip. To make the "buttered popcorn," all you need is a big jar of yellow sanding sugar and a bag of mini marshmallows. Grab a handful of marshmallows, quickly run them under running water (yes, running water - like from the kitchen sink) and dump them in a bowl. Liberally sprinkle them with sanding sugar and toss until all are coated. Grab a frosted cupcake and dunk it, frosting side down, into the marshmallows. You might have to reposition a few marshmallows to get them like you want them. Repeat the process - wet, sugar, toss, dunk - until all the cupcakes are finished.

They are so yummy! Each bite is like getting a little cupcake and a little marshmallow Peep. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I'm just glad that birthday parties are only once a year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

I've been crafting feverishly since Thanksgiving:

My friend Elizabeth and I hosted a Christmas Pinterest party where we made adorable ornaments - snowmen made from fingerprints, quite the cute and personal gift for grandparents.

However, the hit of the day was the travertine coasters, hand-stamped with the monogram of the recipient. These turned into my "go to" gift of the season for friends and family. I think, in all, I stamped about 40 sets of four.

As if that weren't enough, I posted a pic to Facebook of a pair of fingerless gloves I knitted for the Punk. Next thing I know, I have orders for 20 (!) pairs! Hello extra Christmas money! Finally I'm down to my last pair and a half before I've filled all the orders. Maybe I'll actually get to make something for myself soon.

Or maybe now's the time I should look into that Etsy store? :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On an Afghan Kick

I've been on an afghan making kick lately. Here are some of my latest exploits:

A sweet pink crochet afghan for baby Reese.

The Lion Brand "Sunshine Day" afghan. I made two of these - one for a baby gift for someone who works with my aunt and one for me. I currently have another one (different color way) on the needles now. It's a great way to use up leftover yarn from other projects.

Lastly, I've been making versions of this stinkin cute toddler hat with interchangeable flowers. I just wish my toddler would wear it!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Into Each Life a Little Rain Must Fall

I recently completed an online photo class called Find Your Eye. As part of that class, we had to create an inspiration file of our photos that "spoke" to us.

I took this picture this summer on our trip to Panama City Beach. I thought it was so cool to look out from my balcony and see a storm rolling in - lightning, thunder, rain.

I've thought about this pic over the past few days since I found out that one of the Navy SEALs killed in Afghanistan was the husband of a high school classmate. Though she and I were by no means "close," we were (and still are) on friendly terms and I keep up with her through Facebook.

Right now, I feel as though I'm standing again on that balcony in PCB, watching a storm roll in to someone else's life. I'm a safe distance away but I can see see the lightning and hear the thunder and watch the peals of rain as they pelt this sweet family. Like all storms, this one will pass and her sun will come out again but unlike a normal rain, this storm will leave behind visible damage in it's wake.

I've spent the last few days thinking about her and her children and all the things they'll never be able to do again with their husband and father. And that breaks my heart. Watching the storms in other people's lives certainly makes you take stock in your own. I have to admit that on Saturday night I hugged my husband a little tighter, and the snoring bothered me a little less and I was a bit more patient with my children.

My prayer for her family is that the God who heals will wrap His arms around her heart (and the hearts of her children) and protect them as they recover from this tragedy and move on. I pray that her boys will always have fond memories of their father and that they will work hard to cement those memories so that they never fade. My prayer for myself is that I will love my family a little more and remember that our next breaths are not promised and that we should live each moment to the fullest.

What storm are you watching now? Maybe it's one of your own and you're struggling against the wind and rain. Maybe you're watching a storm in a friend's life. Do you need to take your friend an umbrella? You might get a little wet in the process, but everyone appreciates an umbrella in a downpour.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Taking a photo a day can be quite the challenge. Like with most things, life kind of gets in the way. One of the Daily Shoot challenges (can't remember what number challenge it was) was to take a self-portrait. Ta-da!
I would have attempted a more traditional self-portrait, but on this day I had only made it to wardrobe and not to hair and make-up. Some days are like that, you know.

This week at the Punkin's school they had their annual International Night. (Which they're now calling "Heritage Night" - was the old name not inclusive enough? Just asking.) We live in a very diverse community and the premise of the night is to celebrate all the cultures that are represented in the student population. The event is sponsored by the PTA and is the most well attended of all the PTA's events. This year was no exception. When you arrive, the students hand out "passports" that you take from country to country and get stamped.

Each country has a classroom and the classroom is decorated with artifacts from that country; the "hosts" dress in their traditional costumes and most rooms have samples of food from the country. The most popular country was Mexico (my personal favorite). I snapped a quick picture of these tomatillos and jalapenos while were were waiting in line for taquitos and salsa. I liked the different green colors and the way they were arranged.

I wish I could remember what country this amazing carved box was from but I can't. I loved all the colors and bold patterns as well as the hand-carved details of the figures inside.

As part of the 365 Project, I made a list of all the little things that play a role in my day-to-day life. Today I decided to snap a picture of my arch nemesis...

The alarm clock. Oh how I hate this little torture device. I aspire to one day be able to chunk it into the garbage and never have to listen to it beckon me out of my cozy, warm bed and into a day of drudgery at work. Pie in the sky. Unless of course I win the lottery . . . how much is Mega Millions this week? :-)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Raise Your Hand If You Saw This One Coming

Which one? Oh, that would be the one where you knew there was NO way I would ever be able to take a picture EVERY day, without fail, for one year. Three days in and I missed not one, but two days. Oh well, when you fall down you have to get back up, right?

So, tomorrow, I'm back on the photo wagon.

Oh, one more thing... Bill got tired of watching TV with the Punk talking constantly and told her that she wasn't allowed to talk for a whole show. LOL! She's done pretty good so far. She's only written me three notes; it's so quite I don't know what to do with myself. We might have to make more shows "wordless." Wonder how long THAT will last?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Lesson in Being Prepared

I wouldn't have made a good Boy Scout. The most obvious reason is that I'm not a boy. The less obvious reason is I'm just not very prepared. My dear husband will tell you that I'm an "Idea Person." I have great ideas but I'm not very good at implementation.

So, today, I decided to make Aunt Doris' Chocolate Chip Cookies (which could quite possibly be the best chocolate chip cookies ever - just sayin'). I start grabbing my ingredients from the pantry: sugar (almost all gone but enough for cookies), all-purpose flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, etc.

I cream the butter and sugar and get ready to mix in the baking soda and water. Oops. Problem number one - no baking soda. (An aside: Who runs out of baking soda? Doesn't a box of baking soda last for, I don't know, ever?) OK. No problem. I'll just use self-rising flour and leave out the soda and salt. Problem solved.

I continue mixing. Add in the vanilla; go to the fridge to get the chocolate chips. Those who know me best know that I always (always) keep chocolate chips on hand in the refrigerator. However, today, NO chocolate chips. How can you have chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips? Ugh! At this point I could blame someone in my family for eating the last of the chips and not putting them on the grocery list, which incidentally, is RIGHT NEXT TO THE REFRIGERATOR, but I'm not going to lay blame. Not today.

All of a sudden I feel like I'm on the Worst Cooks in America show. If I had just read through the entire recipe first and made sure I had all the ingredients, I wouldn't have ended up with this:

This is what chocolate chip cookies look like without chocolate chips. Not quite as tasty as with the chips. Guess I'll be making a run to Publix . . . in the rain . . . with the baby. Oh joy. In the meantime, here's Aunt Doris' Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in case you happen to have chips at your house and decide to make them for yourself.

Chocolate Chip Cookies - a heritage recipe from my great aunt Doris Olliff

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter or shortening (use butter, trust me)
1 egg
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 package chocolate chips (use mini chips)
1 cup pecans, finely chopped

Cream sugar and butter, add egg and beat well. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to batter. Add flour which has been mixed with salt. Mix well. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees 8-10 minutes until done.