-A mostly true journey of a girl, her man and their three kids; all trying to live harmoniously in a house somewhere in Utah. Names and exact locations may be changed in order to protect the grouchy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hmmm...

"Yuk. Why would we want our laundry to smell like the inside of our refrigerator?"- question from the youngest after seeing a commercial for detergent made with Arm & Hammer baking soda. Yes, we have a little box at the back of our fridge and no, it still doesn't help. I wonder what the little man will think when I show him the A & H toothpaste......

Happy Friday, friends

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The one about a sister and a brother...

I was able to visit with my sister this evening for awhile. We live across the country from each other and often find even a quick phone call difficult. She is busy with a toddler and I am busy with my kids, and sometimes, it seems as if there are not enough minutes (or hours) to say all that we want to say.

I'm extremely close with my siblings. I have a brother as well. We have strong connections with each other. You know the kind...you beat the crap out of each other when you're little. You yell, you push, you pray for the day when you'll have your own things. And then a strange thing happens. Exactly what you wish for happens. And a little piece of you goes missing.

For me, it's more like a gaping wound. I have a wonderful husband. I have three amazing kids. And they make me mad sometimes. And they make me laugh and love and smile. But being away from my siblings is hard. Time is cruel when you're separated from the ones you shared rooms with. I watch my kids look at each other when I'm ranting about something ridiculous, and miss that camaraderie of having someone have my back when all else failed. Yes, my brother and sister and I fought with each other, but we'd also fight to the death for each other.

It is still that way. My sister is neck-deep in being a new mother. My brother is building his grown life. I power through with the day to day goings-on in my world....and so we go, living our days, creating memories, struggling, celebrating, crying and laughing separately. Every once in a while though, the stars align and we find time to talk. We write letters by snail-mail. We in-box each other on Facebook. We call each other for just a minute and want to talk for days. I find myself protective of them, and they of me. I want to see them. Hold them. Cherish them. Mostly though, I want to laugh with them. We're all funniest when together. We bring up silly memories or act out vignettes of our lives together as kids. My daughter once said on a visit home, "Mom, I've never heard you laugh like that before!" It's true. These precious people know everything good and bad about me.

We have since gained fantastic family members in spouses and children. We have lost some of the few people we trusted with all of our hearts. We've faced illnesses and mourned for relationships we couldn't keep. And we've done it together.

I'm not really sure why I wanted to post this. Maybe because my brother isn't feeling well today. Maybe because someone I love lost his brother recently. Maybe because someone else I love almost lost his. Perhaps it was because for about an hour today I was able to feel like I was in the room with my baby sister, laughing and crying in tandem ; without fear, and completely comfortable during all of it.

So yes, their physical absence sometimes does feel like a gaping wound. But the laughing and joking, the communication and understanding of unconditional love between the three of us makes for a pretty good looking band-aid. I am so blessed.

Have a wonderful Friday, friends.

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Spring Bags 2011

Hello!

I thought I'd post some pictures of the new bags going into the shop this week. I hope you like them :) Leave a comment and let me know what you think...

The bags will range in cost from $22.50 to $30, depending on fabrics.

Happy Monday, friends :)

1. Aqua Flowers

2. Periwinkle/Aqua
3. Yellow/Gray
4. Lime and Hot Pink
5. Hot pink/Yellow Daisies
6. Orange Floral/Aqua
7. Light Green/Seafoam
8. Lavender Houses
9. Navy/Gray Artsy-bag
10. Lime/Navy Batik

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Crunch

Hello!
It is a gorgeous day outside today. I'm so happy to see the sun!

The eldest and middle child brought us breakfast this morning from McDonald's. Double yoga today, but it was glorious to not have to cook and make a mess.

So what did I do with the rest of the morning? I cooked and made a mess..... :(

Not really. It was more like microwave and "melt" and spend time with my husband and the youngest. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

Since it's Valentine's weekend, I figured I better use up some of my baking stuff. Yesterday, my kids and I made and decorated cookies. Today we made up Valentine Crunch and tomorrow I'll be baking up cupcakes for the man to take to his workers on Monday.
We are on sugar overload.....I hope my neighbors are hungry...



Valentine Crunch Ingredients

Baking Sheets
Parchment or Wax paper
Meltable discs in Chocolate and Vanilla (use a color that matches the holiday. I used pink)
Mini Chocolate chips
Bowls or squeeze bottles for melted discs..
toffee sprinkles (you can buy these by Wilton, or crunch up Heath bars)
3-4 bags Microwave popcorn. I used Smartpop, because I love the irony...



1. Lay out parchment paper on cookie sheets. This helps during clean-up and flipping the popcorn later. Microwave all the bags of popcorn.
 2. Sift through and discard all unpopped kernels. Perfect job for the husband...
 3. Melt one flavor of the candy discs in the microwave according to package and transfer into a squeeze bottle. If you don't have one, simple drizzle liberally onto the popcorn with a spoon. While the candy is"wet", sprinkle toffee pieces and mini chips on to the mixture.
 4. Take another cookie pan and Flip the popcorn onto it's other side. Then melt the second color candy disc and repeat step three.
5. Let dry and transfer into individual bags or boxes.
I had some leftover candy hearts and sprinkled those on as well. You can also add nuts or carmel if you like.

Now, give it away to the ones you love. If you're like me and love the heck out of yourself, make something warm to drink, sit yourself down to read a magazine, watch some TV or write up a blog post.!!

Happy Valentine's Day, friends :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dump Cake

Yeah, it's still cold outside. And yeah. I'm still inside and making ridiculously unhealthy things to eat. I look forward to the days when it will be too hot to bake. Until then, yeah. I'm also still eating all the  things I'm making. Circle of life...

Have you ever made Dump Cake? My college roommate introduced it to me one weekend. I'm sure it was during one of my many "Woe-is-me-I-can't-eat-one-more-cup-of-ramen" days. Me. Pouting about food. (shocking, I know) Anyway,  I've made it sporadically through the years ever since.

It's ridiculously easy and may already be something you make. If not, here's the recipe. Even though I'm complaining about the cold, this is definitely a dessert that deserves to be served over ice cream. If even the thought of ice cream makes you shiver, go put on a pair of warm socks and suck it up.

Stay warm, my friends. Or satisfied. Either/or; it doesn't matter.  It's a tricky tightrope that I don't mind balancing on every now and then :)

Enjoy!

Ingredients-

Cake Pan
Can of Pineapple
Can of Cherry Pie Filling (or other flavor)
Box of cake mix. I used yellow cake, but chocolate is even better :) Isn't it always?
Stick of butter (obviously not a diet dessert..but hey, there's fruit!)
Pam
1. Spray sides of cake pan.
 Okay. This is where Dump Cake gets its name....

2. Dump in pineapple chunks. Use the juice too.

 3. Dump on the pie filling. If you're the youngest, you'll carefully divide the pie filling so every piece of cake gets its fair share...
4. Sprinkle the cake mix on top of the fruity mixture. Again, the little man wants it to be evenly distributed. Whose child is this? Also, after looking at these pictures, I don't think that is my cake pan.....Hmmm.. Anyone want to claim it?


5. Cut the butter into pats and spread them out on the cake. I have also cut the butter into the mix. It works either way...
 6. Put in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until fruit bubbles throughout the cake.
 All done! We have to eat it warm because, well I don't remember. It's just always been that way! I know it doesn't look like a cake. It doesn't really taste like one, either. It tastes instead, a lot like a cobbler or a buckle, topped with butter cookies. (perhaps due to it's insane amount of...butter!) Any way you describe it, it's delicious. Just ask the little man below...

Happy Monday!
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