Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Obsessions

Abby gets obsessed with Christmas. Every. Single. Year. Out of all my kids, she is the most obsessed with material objects. She always has been. When she was little and bored in the back of the car, she would obsess about something and get stuck on it.

For example.

We would be driving and suddenly hear: "Birthday cake?"

We would ignore her and keep talking or whatever and she would say, "Birthday Cake?"

We would look at each other and start laughing, and she would say, "Birthday Cake?"

Almost as if she asked for it enough times eventually, she would get it.

We finally just made up a song about all of her favorite things and start singing it. "Birthday Cake, Sucklebus (popsicle), Donut, Donut, DONUT! lalalala!"

She would get so stumped that she would finally stop repeating the thing that she wanted.

It was awesome. Peter and I are pretty talented at times.


Abby is obsessed. Once again.

Last year it was a Zhu Zhu pets.
The year before that, it was a Robot Dog.

I wish I could remember what it was before that, because it is ALWAYS something. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR!

This year it is PENBO.

Conicidentally, she had an assignement at school called Persuasive Vocabulary Commercial Project.


Abby was BORN for this.

Her commerical on the back reads:
This robot Penguin is cute, funny, and talkative. It's so cute everyone will be bothering you to play with it! (A number one reason someone should NOT buy something... it will make other people bother you! :) You'll love this cute and fun toy following you around. Everyone should get it and hve it in their house! Buy one soon because Penbo wants a caring friend!

Penbo is a lotta dough. Mommy refuses to buy Penbo. Abby still thinks that if she talks about Penbo enough, she will get it. Mommy refuses to buy Penbo based purely on Abby's obsession with it. Abby will open all of her Christmas presents Christmas morning, and there will be NO PENBO. Mommy has already TOLD Abby that Penbo costs $$ and mommy only spends $$$ on Christmas and so, if mommy bought Penbo, then Abby would only get Penbo and one or two other things. Mommy tried to convince Abby that would NOT be fun for Christmas. Mommy doesn't think it worked, but Mommy will NOT have Penbo under the tree. Abby will NOT be getting Penbo from Mommy.

(buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, she might be getting it from G-pa and K-lo)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another year, another love

Oh. Man. My little blog life has completely gotten away from me! I have blog posts lined up from here to Timbuktu and I don't have the time to post them all. We just got back from a vacay (is there such a thing as vacationing with a 1 1/2 year old? No.) and it was the first one we have had in a LONG time. It was nice, but not very relaxing. (ahem. Kaylie.)

But, before I move on any further, I need to post the latest Jaxon news. There is a new love in his life. MOVE OVER MICHELLE. There is a new girl in town, and it looks like she has the corner on your man.

Before we left for our trip, Jaxon came home with his backpack stuffed with papers. Those papers included a few that were carefully stapled together and gently stuffed in his backpack (others are stuffed not so nicely). At first, I thought his teacher had put some special art work in there, but then I got a closer look. The art work, was more like . . . LOVE work.

Not sure who wrote whom first, but I will tell you right now Rian. Jaxon is an ARTIST. NOT a writer. Sorry. This first pic would be Jaxon's rendition of the lovely couple. Apparently, Rian wears some pretty fine head decor. But each is a lovely shade of blue.
And this right here would be Rian's rendition. Her rendition is a little more realistic. Jaxon, completely blonde in all ways with blue (okay, he has green but who is paying attention) eyes, and Rian, in her natural color with fabulous pig tails. Love. It.
But this is where it gets REALLY good. Rian actually has the wherewithal to profess her affections.

Jaxon my friend. Hold on to this one. Girls who like the "funny boy" are rare in numbers.

Ps- I would like to give a special "thanks" to Rian's mom for not calling the teacher and expressing her concern over Jaxon's affections toward Rian. And kudos to both Rian and her family for loving Jaxon for who he is. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Divine Pumpkin

The pumpkin tasting was a smashing success. Get it? Pumpkin? Smashing? Oh never mind.

A few days ago, my friend Rachel and I decided that we wanted to bake. That baking together was FUN. More fun than baking alone, right?

Actually, Rachel said that baking was NOT fun, so, I told her we just needed to do it together, and I could change her mind. You'll have to ask her if it worked. I am not sure yet. I put a Facebook post out there for any and all of your favorite pumpkin recipes. I got plenty to choose from. They were ALL delicious. Rachel made the Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Bread, Pumpkin Craisin Muffins, and Pumpkin Carmel Cheesecake. . . .

Doesn't this look like the most beautiful cheesecake EVER?

I made these scones. . .and they were completely and totally scrumptious. Doesn't that scone look amazing? It was.
Here is the Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Bread.
And the pumpkin craisin muffins. (Aren't these pictures awesome? Thanks Liz!)

Here is a happy customer. HI ANGEL!
And this would be an amazing Pumpkin Bisque with Mexican Cream.

And this is what my counter would look like after Rachel told me she was frustrated in my kitchen because things were in the WRONG PLACE. Honestly, THE NERVE.

Actually, I agreed. My kitchen wasn't working for me either. It was a combination of moving into a kitchen 1/2 the size of the one I had before, and gaining about 500 new kitchen gadgets ala Pampered Chef. It is tough to find space for all those fabulous tools, I admit.

However, after declaring that I could NOT have three junk drawers in my kitchen (the most organized junk drawers anyone has ever seen mind you) she swiftly re-arranged my kitchen to make it work. And I must admit, I like it.

Except, this pile on the counter.

Of which remnants of this pile are still there. Three days later.

I will be posting the rest of the recipes on my food blog soon!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Making Happiness

I was reading the Costco Magazine the other day (an embarrassing admission for sure). Ina Garten is on the front. Did you know that she is NOT a trained chef? NOT. I mean, no school, no nothin.

Her "original" career was as a nuclear energy policy analyst. Sounds thrilling, no? Basically, she just had a passion. She loved to COOK. I know that must seem like an absolutely insane idea, but she did. It wasn't about the food either, it was about the people.

Ina and I, me and Ina, we think alike. We really do. There is nothing that gives me quite as much satisfaction as re-creating a fabulous recipe to perfection. There is nothing that gives me more joy, than to see the expression on the face of someone who is enjoying it. I love to cook for people. It brings me joy. My favorite person to cook for is my father-in-law. Because he just goes absolutely bananas for anything I cook. He swears he is not going to eat another single, solitary thing, and then, I few minutes later, I will catch him slathering butter on yet ANOTHER roll, or grabbing just one more scone, or picking at the remnants of an amazing dinner. The only thing that brings me more joy is when I see my children choosing the right.

I have a passion. It is for cooking, and baking. I have a friend who told me that she has a total and complete passion for cooking, but hated baking. This, I couldn't understand. Her frustration is with the measuring and exactness that goes into baking, but I insisted that the joy she finds in "creating" with cooking, can be found in baking as well. Once you are comfortable with the basics of baking, you can "alter" your recipes and make them your very own, thus creating.

That is all it took. She just needed to know that she could create when she bakes, and you absolutely can. There is not a recipe on my food blog that I thought up all on my own, but every recipe on there has been manipulated by me at some point. That is the beauty of cooking.

I wish people found more joy in cooking. I love providing my family with a meal that I know was made with REAL ingredients. My husband swears he would be fine with a can of beanie-weanies, but you know what? I, am not. Are my children always appreciative? Definitely NOT. Do my recipes always taste good? Not by a long shot, but I find joy in finding that ONE recipe that will stick with my family for years, that I will make 100 times and finally commit to memory.

I have found, that once you find a good recipe source, you will go back to that source again, and again.

Find it.

The internet has provided an unlimited source for recipes. Here are just a few of my favorite, sure fire recipe suppliers.

and of course you can always find my adaptations or just plain copying of their recipes here:

Friday, November 12, 2010


I don't know what happened, but suddenly I am obsessed with Pumpkin. Pumpkin Waffles, Pumpkin Trifles, Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin!!! I hatched a plan this morning. I want MORE pumpkin recipes, but the thing is, I only want the BEST! So, I gathered a partner in crime. I don't have time to make every pumpkin recipe that comes along, but I still long to look at them, and ooh and ahh over them, and I would like to make WAY more of them than I can do by myself,

So, I am having a PUMPKIN OFF.

Send me your best Pumpkin recipe between now and Sunday night. Your favorite one. I mean the BEST you have EVER had. I want it, and I want to make it and then: Monday morning, I am going to make it. There is going to be a Pumpkin Explosion at my house. I have roped in another famous chef, Rachel Thomas, to help me out that morning, and at 12:00 noon, we are going to feast on our pumpkin explosion, and you can too.

PUMPKIN TASTING PARTY AT 12:00 p.m. I need to have your recipes though, so, e-mail them, message them, post them in the comments. If we decide to make YOUR recipe, then you might win a Pampered Chef item that is a MUST HAVE in the kitchen!




Monday, November 8, 2010


Honestly. Does Holiday shopping stress you out? I try to not let it, but let's face it. It does. The lists are long, the lines are long, money is tight and people should be happy, but most of them are GRUMPY.

Most of the people on my list are getting Pampered Chef. (CAN YOU BLAME ME?) And, in order to save your sanity, I have decided to share some of Pampered Chef's greatest gift ideas. Honestly, there isn't a person I know, cook or non-cook, who wouldn't love a scoop, or a spatula stuffed in their stocking or tied to the top of their box.

I also have a little GIFT for you. For you local peeps. If you are willing to come and pick it up at my house, I am offering FREE SHIPPING. Yup. You heard me. FREE. Because I love ya. And because if you have read this far, I REALLY love ya. If you want some items for yourself, be sure to send me your wishlist, and send your husband my phone number. He will get free shipping too. (Ps- if you don't live by me, you can host your own catalog show and get free shipping to your house! Kara Kelly just got $90 of FREE PRODUCTS for her own catalog show. How is THAT for a Merry Christmas, and cheap shopping? However, I think it was all a present for herself. :) Oh, I guess you can do a catalog show if you DO live by me too. I'm easy like that.

Does anyone else hate shopping for the men in your life? Seriously. Mine are tough, and they have everything already. But guys love grill tools, and ours are awesome. The grill tools aren't even pictured here! But HERE is a link, you're welcome.

Are these classic batter bowls the cutest gift ever? I am sure you sister would LOVE to get these cute bowls, stuffed with a few goodies. I just love the presentation.
I have to admit, these new Bamboo Bowls are seriously beautiful. A total piece of art. I am sure you momma would be grateful to throw that old wooden one in the TRASH!
In my family, Pie is BIG.
Who would have thought an oven mitt could double at as a stocking!
In my family, Pizza night is a Friday night tradition. Maybe it should be in your family too.
Quick and cheap? A scoop. Love 'em. Once you have ONE, you will want them ALL. Need a teacher gift? Give her a scoop with your favorite cookie recipe attached. Perfect.

Beautiful and festive? The Tiered Serving Tray. In the Holiday Catalog, they have it topped with greens on a table. Great idea. I think I will be adopting it.
And these stainless steel bowls will seriously be going to someone in my family, because they really really want them. Your wish is my command.


Friday, November 5, 2010




Thursday, November 4, 2010

Plus or Minus

I had a discussion with a friend the other day. It had been her birthday, and she said that her favorite thing to do on her birthday is stay home and receive all of her birthday calls all day long! She doesn't go to lunch, she doesn't get her nails done, she just sits and waits.

I, on the other hand, love to have a day full of activities and dates including lunch out, any kind of pampering service and a girl's night out. :) Or at least a hot date with my husband.

However, this year. She got 122 Facebook well wishes, and 15 texts and 3 phone calls. THREE.


She was devastated. I would be too.

As a matter of fact. Facebook has been a blessing and a curse to me as well. These past two years have probably been the hardest and most lonely of my life. I have been challenged in every aspect of my life. Between the move, losing our businesses, Peter's job search, and consequent under-employment for the sake of a degree, getting pregnant and having a baby through all of that moving and stress, moving AGAIN because the guy we sued stopped making his payments to us and still has not re-paid us. And so on and so forth. Intertwined with complete and total loneliness. Sure, I had people commenting on my blog (sometimes), and saying hi on Facebook. But I had no support system here. No phone calls, no checking in. No. Nothing. And for those of you who really know me, you would know that not having that connection with people is hard for me. Scratch that. It's excruciating.

My blog, and Facebook are the only things that have made me feel like I still have people who genuinely care about me.

Facebook has gotten me in touch with friends from my past that I love dearly, but wasn't able to keep up with on a regular basis because of my nomadic lifestyle.

However, I also feel as if people use Facebook at times to get out of making the "caring phone call" or stopping by to say hello to someone in person who is struggling, because it is so much easier. Less emotional, and less obligation.

So, my cyber friends.

FACEBOOK: Is it a PLUS? Or a MINUS? How has it impacted your life?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Does anyone else get these?

I got this in my e-mail in box the other day. . . .

Hello mommy how are you. can I go to www. iloverobots.com. to see Penbo. ( a cute penguin robot that has a little egg with a chick that comes in and out of the egg. the mommy plays with it!) P.s its on my Christmas wishlist.

Just wondering. Pretty sure I will be getting a few more e-mails just like it between now in Dec 25th.

We have a winner!

Congratulations goes to Heather for getting the GRILL PRESS! She also got the Grill pan too at 60% off for hosting her show! Great job Heather!

PS- Kara thinks she is a winner too because she got $90 in FREE PRODUCT and 60% off the GRILL PAN, just by sending out a quick e-mail to her friends and passing out some catalogs! Way to go KARA!! :)


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