Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I'm still perplexed as to why baby New Year has a magic wand to go with his plastic hat!

We hope that 2009 brings many wonderful things for each of you! Our celebration was an early and quiet one. I made an early dinner for the kids and then waited for hubby to return from a 12 hour shift. We shared a nice Prosecco and a goat cheese and spinach pizza...

It is off to bed early since there is another 12 hour shift early in the morning!

Happy New Year to all!

You have all touched our lives in some special way and we invite you to continue with us in our journey for years to come!

In Preparation...

Goosie will be turning 5 in a little over a month. It is VERY hard to believe that our little girl is growing so quickly. Little by little... the preparations have been made for the big birthday event.
You see... we made a pact that we would only celebrate the following birthday with big parties:
ages 1, 5, 10, 16, and 21.
I have to be honest... it's hard to stick to that pact. Well... it is for me. Growing up in a family with a catering business means I really don't know how to do it "small." This time, I am handing over all the cooking to someone else. It will take place at a tea house and I get to do all the fun stuff for the "Mommy and Me Cupcake Tea."
That's right... a tea for the Mommies and their little girls (of course, we are sneaking in Daddy, Pop Pop and Boomer).
I remember the day she was born... an ice storm... and the memories of going over the Wilson Bridge in DC praying she wouldn't make an appearance during rush hour!
I am very honored to be her Mommy... I hope it takes a long time to get to the point where I am preparing for her 10th birthday party!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Looking forward to...


It has been a bit crazy here since two days before Christmas. On a personal note on this blog, I had 4 more shots two days before Christmas. These were "trigger point" injections so they weren't quite as bad as the epidural injection I had on December 4th. I had a "cranial block" done, also. The cranial block has helped with the neck pain and back pain and on Monday I start Physical Therapy! This should all lead to great relief and many more posts about crafts/projects, bows and more!

I am sorry that I did not post the Chocolate Marbled Bark recipe but I will in the near future. After Santa delivered all his goodies, our dear Goosie caught the flu... only added to all the other crazy stuff!

In addition, I am sneaking some time on the computer... Our NOAA radio has not stopped sounding it's alarm throughout the house... we are under a Tornado Watch and Severe Thunderstorm Warning, currently... my parents got out of here just in time this morning. So much for my thinking that we were clear this year for the tornado season. Of course, everytime the warning signal alarms... I jump. I am so glad that we purchased this radio!!!! We don't have the TV on much and this allows us to get the LATEST weather alerts. And crank flashlights are awesome, too :).

So... we wish you all a wonderful New Year and I will be posting more very soon! As ALWAYS, thank you so much for reading and sharing this blog! We loved all the great holiday cards and emails that you sent!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas... Pop Art Style


I have been playing with Pop Art... it is so much fun to play with different photos!

These are sleds that my brother and I rode when we were kids.

I love these sleds because they bring back such great memories for me...

One time, a kid in our neighborhood lived at the top of the hill and he took his Dad's garden hose and let the water run down parts of the hill and it iced up REAL well.

We all brought our sleds to the hill and my Dad got a running start and we all piled on top of him on the big sled. Dad "mis" steered and we ended up in a field of bushes... all flying in different directions. No one cared... we just climbed to the top of the hill and did it again... minus my Dad... I think we gave him a hernia :)

or... at least...

a horrible back ache!

No hills here in Illinois... and plastic sleds are now the thing... I miss the old days :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Where have I been?

Leo's Work Christmas Party cake

Well... I have been a little busy... as I am sure YOU ALL have been as well! What a crazy season!

Leo and I had volunteered to make many things for his work Christmas Party so we have been running around like crazy people.

AND... Goosie had her school Christmas party, Nana and Pop Pop arrived, we had dinner at a friend's house last night... it was sooo nice not to cook!

This was the cake I made for Leo's party and for the first time... I cheated and used "non-edible" things on the cake. There just wasn't enough hours in my day to do otherwise!

I hope to continue to blog frequently with many creations... but if my hopes are diminished with spending time with my family, which I am soooo happy to see, then I will be back soon!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sweet addiction... chocolate


Above is a yearly favorite... marbled toasted almond bark.

It is a love affair... my coffee and this bark... what a great team they make!

I can post the recipe if you like... it will be a sweet, easy, Christmas treat!

I have been bow making... many for gifts. AND... my sweet, secret graphic designer friend has a new font for the Red Plate Tradition so after the new year... look for the Etsy shop featuring these plates and many new bows for sale. The Red Plate would be a GREAT Valentine's Day gift... yes, you can smack your computer screen for me saying Valentine's day already :).

My goal, currently is to keep shooting photos... the more practice the better, right? Well... that should be the case :).

Thank you to all that have stopped by for a visit and left a comment! I truly appreciate it!

Merry Christmas to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Peppermint Bark by Hilary Rondeau

(please remember that all photos are copyrighted)

My goal in this post is to show you how to make Peppermint Bark at the FRACTION of the cost of what Williams-Sonoma is offering it for this year... 1lb. $26.50 not including shipping.

I have been making this for years and we love it! I do not put the milk chocolate on the bottom because I make a marbled toasted almond bark, also. If you like, I can post those instructions as well.

What you will need for this project:

one microwave safe bowl

1 to 2 tablespoons of oil

two bags of white chocolate chips

1 box of candy canes crushed

a foil lined cookie sheet


Place the chips into the microwave safe bowl and add oil. Microwave at 30 sec. intervals, stirring each time until smooth.

Pour chocolate onto foil lined sheet and spread evenly.

Tap the cookie sheet on the table to remove air bubbles.

Sprinkle the candy canes over the chocolate... evenly.

Tap the cookie sheet again to set the candy canes into the chocolate.

Place in the refridgerator on a flat area for approx. 40 minutes.

Take out after 40 minutes... peel the foil away and now the fun part...


The point is to have radomly broken pieces! So... have fun!

I hope you find these informative and I WILL post about bows soon but it so fun to create and SAVE MONEY, too :)

Peppermint Bark

Friday, December 12, 2008

Peppermint Twist


Below this blog post you will see the photo slideshow instructions for these great additions to your hot cocoa this year! I saw these in the Better Homes and Gardens December issue and thought I would give them a try! Here are the basic instructions and as stated I have included a slideshow in the post below with the instructions, also.

Stir together a cup of sifted powdered sugar with water, a teaspoon at a time (2 to 3 total), until it is the consistency of a thin glaze. Dip half of marshmallow in glaze, lightly shaking to remove excess. Roll glazed end of marshmallows in finely crushed candy canes or peppermint candies. Place on waxed paper/parchment paper coated side up to set. Thread on skewers and serve.

Marshmallows for Dipping in Hot Cocoa

Just when you thought...

Just when you thought people weren't giving this year... there was a cookie drive at the Air Force Base where Leo works. It was for all the young men and women that live in the dorms. The goal was to personally deliver 1/2 dozen cookies to each member living in the dorms....
THEY COLLECTED 12,000 COOKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There were so many cookies that they were taking them to the offices that were working around the clock. Our children were able to enjoy some of the homebaked cookies, too!
What a wonderful thing!
These young men and women live in the dorms and many are NOT going home for the holidays!
We are lucky enough to sponsor two right now!
So... here are the words...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Sincere Apologies...

So... there have been no posts for a few days... sorry about that... I've been recovering from the spinal cortisone shots and today...

I was able to get some things done!

I do plan on posting more tips, crafts, etc. in the VERY near future but as of today...

I am rejoicing that the outside is decorated.

Four Christmas trees are in place.

Stockings are hung.

Some cookies are baked.

24 goodie bags are DONE.

Alden's birthday party is planned at the Tea House.

Her invitations are ordered.

Christmas gifts are purchased (just need wrapping).

Ironing is done.

House is cleaned upstairs and down.

Leo's Christmas party is planned for work.

And... that's all folks... so... I did get something done while I was away!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Manic Monday...

(one of my favorite things to create at Christmas... our cookie tree)

Okay... um... Mondays are CRAZY at our house with Preschool, ballet, running here and there... much like your own lives, I am sure!

So... instead of me posting one of my holiday creations... what are some things that YOU have done to make the season brighter??? Any ideas to share?

Secondly, are there any types of bows that you just can't find in stores that you would like to see?


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Red Plate Special

So... some of you have seen this featured on Debby's fabulous MommyDaze Chic Chat website.

As I was looking for Christmas gifts to make, I found the "You are Special Plates" on Tip Junkie's website! Laurie at Tip Junkie graciously emailed me her source for the vinyl lettering and I was able to make several to give away as gifts! So... don't be surprised if you see this in your mailbox this season... so... you may ask, what is the "You are Special Plate?" The Red Plate Tradition is one that you can begin in your own home to celebrate days when someone does something special OR if someone is not having such a great day! You place the red charger underneath their regular plate to make them feel extra special. Laurie at Tip Junkie even includes instructions on another site.

Leo and I have purchased a plate rack for ours and it hangs in our kitchen (our kitchen has red accents so it goes well with the decor :) ). We are ALWAYS looking for ways to make the kids feel special about their accomplishments in life! Now... if you go to Debby's site... I am giving one of these away to some lucky winner! You have to register to win!

Also... I am working on finding a different font for the vinyl... (someday I will get my OWN Cricut machine :))... so... I will be offering these for sale very soon! I did make the placemat bags, too, that go with these so if anyone wants the details on that, too... just let me know (once again, I took the NO SEW approach!)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Holidays! Enjoy the bows!

Boutique Ribbon Shirts

Ribbon Shirts
first attempt by Goosie and Boomer Bowtique...

I have found these creations all over the internet... and in avoiding the sewing maching upstairs still in a box in my closet... I did this one for Goose with Stitch Witchery and a shirt from WalMart ($3.50). That's right...I'm selling myself out on this one! It was the first attempt EVER at one of these shirts so I will continue to perfect and eventually do the sewing! Honest opinions, please... I made the bow pin (easier to pin them on for washing purposes), the hair korker ribbons, and the clippies to match!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Welcome to my newest creation!

Hello! Welcome to my newest creation... this blog! I was searching for a way to share my love of crafts and photography and this seemed just the way! Please bear with me as I am learning this forum of the blogging world! I plan on continuing with the family website and blog as a way of updating our loved ones (friends and family) on the life of the "crew"!

It will be so much fun to have an outlet to share creative ideas and my hairbows with all of you! I plan on adding the link to an Etsy shop in the near future in case you would like to purchase any of the creations... but never hesitate to request something you see that you like!

Thank you for joining me in my latest creation!!!!

Many hugs,