Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Week..

I have been really enjoying my new camera lately. I literally carry it around the house and take pictures. Testing out my different modes and lenses. I have made sure to relax to the max this week. The holidays seem to get the best of me more and more each year. By the end of the hustle and bustle, I'm ready to flop on the couch and zone out.
We started watching Portlandia, via the Netflix. Totally hilarious. I can't stop singing the Portlandia song over in my head. I love the way they characterize the different types of people, so funny.
Love this, I feel like this at times.

I have been reading another book by Lisa See, actually a continuation of "Shanghai Girs", this one is called "Dreams of Joy." I love how the story line followed into the next one so perfectly. If you enjoy different cultures and delving into the personal lives of the characters, you will enjoy her writing.
I took some various pics around the house I'll share.



I have been wanting to take pictures of the wonderful paper dolls that my father-in-law gave me. They are very old and in remarkable condition. I can't get over the colors. My fave is the monkey and the bear!



I also have a Blondie one as well. I definitly plan on framing them.
Have a great week!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Giftees



Enjoying my new gifts. My husband surprised me with a new camera, a Canon Rebel T3, and a new house, the Neville house from CB2. Score!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. We are all recovering from a flu, but are enjoying all of our fun gifts. There were muppet puppets, barbie pools, barbie tents, legos, playmobil, and all kinds a goodies. We woke up way to early, 4 a.m. for the kids. They couldn't make us get out of bed until about 5:30. Nuts, but the squeals and anticipation forced us to roll out of bed.
Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wow, long time

This season has been busy busy. In between family visits, colds, a whole mess a baking, I've been too pooped to post. I have been doing a whole mess of baking, which I love having an excuse to do. I could bake all day if my kids didn't need to eat and be cleaned ;)
This week has officially started our winter break. Yeah! I am trying to figure out the specs for a snoopy dog house for our gingerbread house. Just need to do some measuring and such. I felt like I was getting a cavity just looking at the candy in the shopping cart that I bought to decorate with. Candy canes, skittles, dots, pull and peel licrorce, oh my!
I have some cranberry scones that I'm wanting to make this week. After I tackle this gingerbread house.
I have been having fun with my little unfinished apartment. I was thrilled to hear that the "I'm a giant" dollhouse challenge was postponed. I had high hopes to participate, but got very busy this season. I may and try and attemp finishing up my apartment now that I have a month to kick in gear. Knock on wood!
Here's some pics I've taken lately.



Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Brownies



When in doubt, make brownies. I needed chocolate, and I wasn't going to take no for an answer. Just be prepared for the most intensely delectable taste explosion.
I used this recipe.

1 cup butter, melted
3 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
2.Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.
3.Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.
4.Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting.

Enjoy them with a big ol' cup of milk.
When you bite into one of those chocolate chips, you will be even more excited!
I finished up my christmas ornmaments, and I'm pretty pleased with them. I am really feelin' the sequins this year. I have many memories of all the ornaments my grandmother had when I was a child.

Sequin Angel Set. They love to bat their eyelashes while wearing blue eyeshadow.

Retro Cat Set

Mr. Turtle

I love toy soldiers. Especially happy little soldiers to happy up your tree.
I wanted to go with happy cheery colors for this year.

I almost cannot believe that next week is Thanksgiving. How is this possible? I have a pumpkin cream cheese roll on the list of desserts. And I'm really planning on some sweet potato pie of some sort.
Go make some brownies!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Don't be Blue


I have had blueberry muffins waiting to be made. I decided this morning, a rainy morning would be perfect to wash away those rainy day blues.
I have actually been rolling out of bed at a decent time this week, with the time change tricking my body. I usually like to get up a few minutes after 8, but now I get up a bit after 7, so needless to say, I had time to make some muffins!
Here's what you'll need, But, Double it, if you want them for a couple days, I Would!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Get oven going on 400 degrees. Put your muffin liners in or butter a muffin pan.

Mix flour thru baking powder in a big bowl.

Mix oil, egg, and milk together, then put into the flour mixture. Fold in your blueberries last. Pour into muffin pan. (It will be thick, so more like scoop)

When finished, mix sugar, cinnamon, flour and cold cubed butter in seperate bowl.
Get the mixture nice and crumbly, you don't want big chunks of butter on top. Top your muffins evenly with the crumbly mix.

Bake for 20 minutes depending on your oven. I think I might do mine for less time next time.
Now wash those rainy day blues away with that blueberry muffin.

I almost couldn't believed how expensive the blueberries were at the store, but I really needed to make these. Really almost 5 bucks for a bag, anyways.
So I used this recipe.
I tweeked a bit with a lower fat milk, and doubled the recipe.

I don't have a pastry cutter to dice up the butter. But I have found that if you use a whisk and keep your butter nice and cold you can chop it up fine with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon mixture.

Wha La, the crumbly delite on top is amazing.


I have heard of Kate Nash, but I had not really realized how much I love her voice!
I love the song Merry Happy. It is so darn catchy.

I am totally buy her album on itunes.
I've been working my little fingers off on Christmas ornaments. I am almost done with my collection. I have been sketching since the summer on ideas, then I have totallys scratched things several times. But I finally settled on the theme. They remind me of my childhood and the types of ornaments I loved the most.
I should be done by the end of the week. I can't believe how close Christmas really is. Cuurazzy!
Enough talking, go make some muffins!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Snickerdoodles are for Fridays


So I haven't been able to get Snickerdoodles off the brain lately. What are these you ask? Surely you have had one. You may think they are similar to a sugar cookie, but let me tell you , they are oh so much more. I have not been graced with one of these since college, and well, that's been about 10 years, yikes.
Thats too long to go without a snickerdoodle folks.
So I went in search for the most well-loved snickerdoodle recipe. And this one did not disappoint. I usually never cook with vegetable shortening, I'm usually a butter purist. But for these, I felt that I must enter over. And I am glad I did.
I used this recipe.

When I came across this recipe by "Joy the Baker" I could not resist.
I a potato in many forms is good, but I had never made a Hasselback potato. Not to be confused with a Hasselhoff potato. They might get drunk and eat a cheeseburger. and we wouldn't want any of that here ;)
This potato has it all. Garlic, butter, salt, and olive oil. You can probably find all of these in your kitchen. Uhhmazing.

We had them with breaded pork chops, french style green beans, and apricot jam. I works at the perfect side, or on it's own!

I can't believe Halloween is on Monday. The kids wanted specific costumes this year so , I let them do just that. We have Mario from mario brothers game, Thomas the tank engine, and Batgirl.
I think on the list is pumpkin carving and apple turnovers for the weekend.
Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The "Great Pumpkin"



We went in search of the "Great Pumpkin" on Saturday. We made our annual trip to the patch. We went towards the end of the season so the search took a bit longer, but that's all the fun, right? We love taking the tractor ride out to the patch. We could leave either without some apple cider, mini pumpkins (gourds), and my first white pumpkin (gourd, i've wanted one forever), and the most delicious jalapeno cheese bread on the planet ( I just ate some!).
Next on the fall baking list, before october ends are apple turnovers. My husband has been demanding, I mean asking ;) for these for weeks. He is not a dessert bar person, as I am, so these are his fall fave.
We have been watching our share of Halloween movies this season. The kids are watching "Monster House" right now. This is a great semi-creepy kid halloween movie. I love it. It was made my Steven Spielburg, so you really can't go wrong.
My husband and I watched Rosemary's Baby the other night, and have Children of the Corn coming. I hope to watch "Corpse Bride" too. I love getting creeped out. Oh and we watching, via Netflix, Paranormal Activity2, super creepy. I love the haunted movies. I've heard the third is quite spectacular.

What have you been watching? Any yummy treats on the list to make?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Bars and What's Been Up So Far's (okay nerdy I know)

So the blog has really been on the back burner lately. But all is good around these parts. Life takes unexpected twists and turns. Time is alot more scarce these days. I have been enjoying the fall so much this year. I have been discovering so many more pumpkin recipes. The newest in baking adventures is "Pumpkin Bars" adapted from my new fave cooking blog, "Joy the Baker." I added chocolate chips, omitted the nuts (allergies), and added coconut. They are oh so yummy. They stay moist, like a lemon bar, so don't worry if they come out soft, that's how they are to be.


I have been also slowing making progress on my submission to the "I'm A Giant" Challenge with Emily Henderson of Hgtv's Design Star. I so totally pumped for this. I been planning out what furniture needs to be made, and some touches that I will need to bring it all together. I knew I couldn't go big scale, I would never get it done by the deadline, December 15. The theme of my submission is a twenty something couple living in the city in their first apartment living a very eclectic lifestyle. I can't wait to get going on the furniture pieces. Assembling the rooms takes so long, with painting , sanding, and gluing. I finally got the pieces glued after several nights of painting. I now plan on sanding, touching up, working on window seals, flooring this week. I hope to get to work on the furniture this weekend. Knock on wood. I have been working on some new embroidery pieces that I sell locally, as well as planning for the holidays. Whew.
I love it all though. These things get me excited.
Here is the progress so far.


As you can see, there is very limited space. I am going to have a tiny kitchen area, small bedroom with a shower, and toilet, and well a small city apartment. I will take some work, but I think I can make it happen.
Well, off to the library we go. Have a great day!

Pumpkin Bars and What'

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall into Fall

The weather has been heavenly lately. I've been trying to enjoy it in between teaching, sewing christmas items for my shop, embroidering, cooking, and being a mommy and wife. We plan on a pumpkin field trip this friday with our friends.

We had a really fun weekend, in which we started on Friday by traveling to Indi to visit the Carter's Toy Musuem. Really alot of fun for the kids, complete with a carousel, bumper cars, and tons and tons of coin rides.
The kids had a blast checking out all the cases and cases of toys.





We also did a bit of shopping. We needed to gear up for the season's changing.

Okay, half my post was deleted, bummer!
I will re-write it, some of it ;(
I was sharing how I came across the most amazing food blog the other day called "Joy the Baker." The recipes are endless, and her humor I love as well

I have cheddar broccoli soup on the menu this week. I have to say dinner is one of my fave meals of the day. I tend to splurge as far as calories and fat go. I am not a breakfast eater, just coffee. Lunch is my least fave meal of the day. I tend to eat tuna or deli chicken with hummus and veggies. Snacks usually consist of cheese, sunflower seeds, and a few pretzels here and there. Then my time to shine is dinner time.
Over the past year my husband and I have successfully weaned ourselves off of sugary drinks. I used to drink full sugar soda, juice, and eek I hate to say it, Kool-Aid (one of my childhood faves). And now I have worked my way off of diet sodas and drinks. I am now simply doing a lemon flavored stevia drink. It took us a little over a year to do it, but we are proud they we have slowly done it.
Next on the list is to grind my own grains for bread. I want to have the organic grains freshly ground for each loaf. I planning on hunting for a grinder near the holidays.
I have been trying to simplify the look of my blog today. I need to do some work on my header. I want just a simple font. Still trying to decide on it.

Okay now that I wrote this twice :0 I plan on crawling under a blanket and watching some Netflix. The added Wonder Years! One of my fave shows as a teen!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm still here

I am so excited that fall is here. We have been going full swing lately. We had marked off apple picking on our list of to-do's for the fall, next will be pumpkin picking. We have really been having some nice cool weather. Perfect for boots, jackets, and leggings. Love it.
I have been cooking up a storm. Last week I made garlic naan bread for the first time. I almost couldn't believe how simple it could be.

I used this recipe. You have to use a cast iron skillet!
The week before last I made my fave Chicken Pot Pie. You can't go wrong with making your own crust. Simple and fast. I use the Betty Crocker cookbook for both the pie and the crust. Total comfort food!

As a miniature enthusiast I was really thrilled when I heard about the wonderful contest by Emily Henderson from "Secrets from a Stylist." It is a contest to design the most amazing dollhouse. You are the giant in a miniature world. I have already started building what I call a flea market enthusiast, city living couple. They live the city live in a small two room apartment. I have been sketching out what I have invisioned. I hope to build most of it myself. Except for some few minor detail I will have to buy. I can't wait.
I am on the hunt for a bunch of low-carb dinners this week. One of the list is some homeade Tomato Soup. Now don't get me wrong, I love me some campbell's soup, but fresh sounds even better to me!
I hope to make some carmel apples this week as well. We have to skip on the nuts due to allergies, but I may try something out with sunflower seeds.
I have been getting the itch to get working again on cross-stitch and embroidery again. I needed to take a break for a bit to just adjust to the school year and such. It has been nice to think about things that don't have pressure associated, like orders that have to go out. I want to make some holiday items, so that is on the list, but I also have some ideas for embroidery that I would love to try.
Have a great day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Birthday Weekend

I've had a nice relaxing weekend. This weekend was my birthday. We had a nice lunch, followed by some shoe shopping, and then I had some fun with my new desk and cabinet I made for my house.
I came across these booties last week and I couldn't stop thinking about them.

They are Blowfish, I have owned several pairs from them, and have never been disappointed. These are the "hatfield bootie."

I also wanted to try my hand at making whoopie pies. So I decided I wanted "carrot cake whoopie pies" for my birthday cake. They are super yummy. Now I'm dying to try them in chocolate!


I worked on a desk and cabinet based on an ikea style. I had wanted to make an accompanying cabinet with drawers but unfortunatly my neck got tweeked and I was pretty much crooked neck all week. I'm happy to say this weekend it felt light years better, right in time for my birthday. Here's some pics of the work in progress.


I started on working on a couch too! I can't wait to finish it. I just need to get some upholstery tape and I'll be on my way to finishing it up. It was actually alot easier than what I had expected. It takes time but well worth it. Thanks to MitchyMooMiniatures Tutorial!

We went apple picking for the first time last week. It was a family owned orchard. We went with our local homeschool group and had lunch, played tag, and fed ponies. Now I need to do some apple baking this week.


I have a roast in the oven with carrots and potatoes. A perfect end to the weekend!
Have a nice Sunday!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Busy Bee

Well we kicked off our first week back to 'the ole' grind' as my son says. I am learning how to teach two kiddos now. It is actually going pretty well. I'm not going to say we don't get a bit fussy with each other at times, no worries though.
It will be nice to a three day weekend!
Tuesday night the husband and I had a date night to see "Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings." It was pretty awesome. They did not disappoint, and came out two more times for several more songs. If you have never listened to gillian welch, your missing out!

Her guitarist Dave Rawlings is pretty amazing as well!
I made some time this week to take some mini picks. I found these amazingly detailed guitars on ebay a couple of weeks ago and I was very pleasantly surprised when I got them in the mail. The detail is amazing!
I got an ovation and a gretsch guitar. I took a little studio shot the other day.


The other day while on Flickr I came across a link to a blog called "My Milk Toof." I was pleasantly surprised by the amazingness of the pictures and the little adventures of the milk toofs. Even more excited, they were made into a book.
The pictures are just too adorable. Seriously check it out!

I am planning on relaxing with a capitol R this weekend. I might work on some dollhouse related things but other than that, relaxing is on the agenda!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Schedule/Orange Chicken Lo Mein/ Etsy Likes

As our summer winds to an end, I've decided a new schedule must get in order. This summer I have been quite lazy as far as getting out of bed before all the critters converge on my room. I am just not an early bird. But I want to change this. The new schedule must start out at 7:00 a.m. No more 8:00. I officially started this today. Wake at 7:00, excercise for about 40 minutes, get a cup a', start the dishes (if not done the night before), kids are playing, make breakfast, vacuum, make beds, let the dog out, start school by 9:30.
I already feel better, and more awake to take on the day. We still have this week to finish out summer. I've ordered all of our new workbooks and wrote out some projected lesson plans. We start Latin this year, which I'm pretty excited to learn myself.
I made orange chicken lo mein last night. It was quick and easy. One reason being, I used La Choy orange chicken stir fry sauce. I didn't make it myself.
I used about 1 pound and 1/2 of chicken cooked in a few cloves of garlic. Chopped red pepper and onion. I cooked some frozen brocoli. Whilst I started boiling lo mein noodle, key to give the chinese taste. Once the chicken is cooked almost all the way , toss in your chopped red pepper and onion. After that cooks a bit about 5-6 minutes put a cup of the La Choy orange and ginger stir fry sauce. Let that stew for a few minutes and thickens up. Once it has thickened throw in your drained brocoli and your cooked noodles and toss. I have to say, it was quick, easy, and delicious. I am trying to come up with healthy yet fast meals for the school year.
I know I'm weird, but I really do love to slave in the kitchen. It's fun to learn new techniques, and try new meals.

I love Etsy for all the amazing artists of all sorts.
Love these earrings! I haven't worn earrings in about 2 years, yikes, but these colors by Toshisworld

I can't get over how amazing these necklace are by megjroberts

I absolutley love these espresso cups by jimbobart!

I love anything in mini form so when I saw this mini viking ship in a bottle by "tiny world in a bottle" I couldnt' believe my eyes!


Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Closed, Until Further Notice

Well I have had to make the decision. The decision about my Etsy shop. With the school year starting next week, I have decided it's time to take a break. It was hard making this decision, but if I'm going to be truthful with myself, it would be far too stressful. I have in recent months been a ball of stress. I hate how it makes me feel and act. I think this will be one less thing to harbor this feeling. Now, I can't imagine myself not making things, it's relaxing. and how my brain works. I hope maybe this time will renew me and maybe ever bring back an even more creative side. I plan on still selling locally, but on a nice slow paced scale. Ahhh, and can take deep breath now. I had originally started my shop to make some extra money for the family, and after talks with my husband, he was not at all opposed to it.
With this all said, I'm excited! I kind of want to start making stuff for fun again. I haven't done that in ages. I want to get a new craft book and work my way through some projects. I want to not have pressure or be on any time restraints. I want to make crafting fun again. Woo hoo! I said it.
I have been watching "Project Runway", and I am getting the itch to get clothes making again. I love making clothes. I know I have some requesting costume making coming up her soon, so I'm putting that on the sewing machine agenda. I was really excited when I saw these patterns from simplicity the other day "Lisette."

The styles are very nice and taylored.
I also need to make myself a nice handbag. I have been using a teeny one for awhile, so I thinks its time to make a new one.
That's all for now! Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Oh My, I'm Still Here

Wow, summer is really winding down to an end. I can't believe it's already a couple of weeks into August. We have been enjoying these last couple of weeks before our homeschool begins. I have been planning out what needs to be accomplished this year and buying different books here and there. This year I will be embarking on teaching two kiddos. I'm not too worried about it. That is why I am making sure to write down a lesson plan so I make sure I don't forget anything. I checked out a stack of books to help me with the planning.

We had a crazy storm over the weekend and lost power for about a day and a half. Not too bad. I was very thankful I hadn't gone grocery shopping. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather to not have power. We spent our powerless morning walking alongside the ohio river on our downtown walkway. It was fun.

We are going to the fair this weekend. We haven't been in about three years, and the kids are all old enough to enjoy the games and such. They have been telling us that they want to go on; bumper cars and the ferris wheel. I don't know about anyone else but I'm all for the food. I like all the little acts to watch around the fair as well. Oh, and funny enough, I really do love seeing all the farm animals!

I finished working on a new picture that I plan on putting in the shop. I just need to paint the frame.


Oh my I almost couldn't believe how delicious this recipe sounds "Carrot Cake Whoopies." Are you serious! Bye the way, I really am enjoying "Kit and Nancy." Such a beautiful blog! I found it thanks to "lucy violet vintage."

I was so excited when I heard about the exhibit they are showing at the "Mad Musuem" in New York titled "Small Realities" featuring various minature artists. Thanks to "call of the small" sharing, you can submit your own pictures in the gallery. It was pretty cool seeing mine on their site. Check it our here.
So neat to see other miniaturist that I know in the gallery as well!

The flickr group "Re-ment Addicts" was having a "back to school" themed contest, and I had so much fun trying to come up with a pic. I couldn't get the idea of packing lunches out of my head. As a kid, I looked forward to lunch all day. So I used my little bento box as the main theme of the picture.


Have a great day!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday!

I hate being a debbie downer, I really do, but this week has been exhausting. It's not like I can put my finger on one thing. Just one of those weeks. I think I need to win a vacation to a deserted island. I will lay in the sand and fall asleep. Yeah that sounds more like it.
Maybe I'll share some things that made me happy this week.

I would love to sit on that deck right into the forest.

I love the work of Laura George!

This card sold by Renegade Handmade in Chicago make me giggle this week. By the way, I visited when I was in Chicago and they have such a cute shop in a fun area. Check out some of the houses nearby, they are beautiful!


I love the way Saltwater Sandals look. I especially love the navy blue!


I'm a sucker for documentaries so the other night I was itching to watch one. I had saved "Last Train Home." If you buy things that are made in China, almost all of us do, this will open your eyes to their world. They follow one family and show the difficulites of leaving their children behind to be raised by the grandparents. You feel all the emotions of this family, and the raw emotion of the daughter who has grown to be angry against her parents. Really interesting.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hello! Mini's and Zuchini's

Things have been slow around here. I have been on the go this summer with the kids. I almost can't believe that July is nearing an end.
I have been working on a dresser for my house for a few weeks now. It had been sitting in pieces waiting for me to decide on some colors. Then it hit me the other day, the colors. I got to painting and glueing and finished it last night. I was so excited. I need to take pics of the drawers open too. They really are working drawers, crazy. This little project really did take some time. Mostly with the fitting of the drawers to be able to fit snuggly, yet be able to pull them in and out.



Next on the dollhouse agenda, I need to make a couch or chair of some sort. Also, some wall shelves.

The other week I had some zuchinni in the fridge and my husband has been telling me about fried zuchinni he used to eat as a teenager, so I wanted to give it a whirl, they were yummy.
Super duper easy, and great to do with a surplus of zuchini you may get this summer.
All you need to 2 or 3 zuchinni's, bread crumbs, flour,a couple of eggs, some parmesan in the bread crumbs, and oil.
Dip the zuchini in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, and place in the oil. Let them brown and then flip to the other side. When done, put on paper towel to drain, salt, and then put in the oven to stay crispy, in between batches.
I usually put the stove on 200 degrees and place the batches on a baking sheet while I finish the others to keep them crisp.
My husband insisted on ranch dressing on the dipping sauce, and it was really good. I only ate a few, I pace myself with fried foods, but we had some left over for the next day, and they were good too. I wished I would have taken a pic ;)

I'm so excited for the end of August, we have tickets to see Gillian Welch and David Rawlings here in town. Can't wait!

Okay, I've got some ladies who are waiting to play dolls. Have a great day!!