Sunday, February 28, 2010

get your motor runnin'...


Sneak peak at the Race car cupcake toppers I've been working on...courtesy of the cakejournal how-to tutorial. Instead of gumpaste, I opted to use MMF, and it worked up like a charm.
Next up, checkered flags, tires and baking the actual cupcakes..which lil miss A ( the birthday girl) will help me bake next weekend, before her speedway par-tay!

Snuggler

Beaver has become quite the snuggler...he can't help but get right up in our faces...which makes the TV watching a bit of a challenge, but we love him anyways! Acting like a baby with NZ...just wait till he has to compete with the real thing! Oh, what a wake up call it will be! We might just end up with a jealous cat..but for now, he's our big ol snuggler.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Such characters!


I spent the afternoon going through a HUGE rubbermaid storage bin full of old framed photographs and wedding stuff....and found this in our guest book...What a surprise..I had forgotten it even existed!
NZ's cousin is a cartoonist, and quite a talented one at that..His rendition of us, is quite accurate, right down to the goatee NZ sported on our wedding day.. Check out his website for more cool characatures and cartoons.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Even better than the real thing

An old friend of mine, and my sister sent me a link to a new foodie blog, called Baking Bites. They must know me reaally well, because the first recipe I saw was for GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!!

Yes, knock-off Girl Scout cookies..Samoas, Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos and Tagalongs!

I think I got the link to the recipes on Thursday night, and by quitting time yesterday, I was chomping at the bit to get home, get my cardio done ( as an attempt at damage control on the amount of cookie dough I would likely be consuming later last night), and get to the business of Samoa Cookie Baking...Followed by an all day Saturday bake-off, of which ended in a sugar induced coma..and Tag-a-longs and thin mints to round out my Girl Scout wannabe's.

I can not take credit for the recipes, at all..But if you want to make some yourself, here's a link to Baking Bites Samoas , Baking Bites Tag-a-longs, and Baking Bites Thin Mints. I followed the recipes for the most part, subbing ANPB ( All natural Peanut Butter) for creamy JIF or SKIPPY, and Mint chocolate candy melts for the coating on the thin mints, instead of using high quality chocolate and mint extract.


Why pay $4 a box for 16 cookies when you can have 3 dozen? The ingredients are nothing special, most of us who love to bake already have most the ingredients anyways. The only thing I had to purchase were caramels, which shhhhhhh...I bought at the Dollar Tree..and Wilton dark chocolate mint candy melts for the thin mints.

If you're feeling nostalgic, go for it..make some Girl Scout cookies! These ones are even better than the real thing.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Second chances

Breaking our pattern of week night prepped-on-Sundays-and-reheated-all-week dinners of chicken, rice and veggies ( exciting, I know!), I talked NZ into heading out for a quite bite instead, last night, since yesterday turned out to be a happier one than I had anticipated.

We had agreed on our ol' standby...Taco bell, but as we pulled into the lot and I was salivating over the thought of a nice hot bean and cheeser, Nick threw out a suggestion he has probably made umpteen times..

And I took him up on it. Heck, why not? One bad experience, one bad date, and a bit of throw up in my mouth...that was years ago..I thought, why not tempt fate once again?
And try.....
SUSHI!!!!!!!


I did it. I survived...and the best part?


It wasn't as bad as I had worked it up to be..In fact, I sorta more than liked it.

Thumbs up to NZ for his persistence in suggesting it ( 6 years he's been throwing it out there...and getting shot down) over and over...Now, if only I can get myself to try Indian food with my father-in-law.

Give me another 6 years and I might surprise him and say yes when he suggests Indian for lunch.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blindsided

Today was the day.


I was wondering if I was "over It". "It" being the grief that wrenches my heart in a vice grip. The past few months have gotten easier, and that vice grip had twisted counter clockwise and let off a little bit of the hurt. I thought that maybe, just maybe, that intense hurt was gone forever..and I could deal with my grief in an adult like manner from here on out. Then today, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, full of sunshine..

"It" blindsided me ..and...
The vice grip twisted clockwise again.

Maybe this is what I'm in for , for the rest of my life? Most days will be good ones, and every once in a while, there will be a tough one thrown in just to remind me that it's okay to hurt?

Dunno, but I am sure glad that tomorrow is another day, and another chance to appreciate the greatness of all that I have and love, other than that of a sad mom, missing the opportunity to watch a child grow.


Here's a link to my "theme song of the day"..It's one of my all-time favorites..George Strait, singing "You'll Be There"..

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Unearthed


Apparently, my step-dad unearthed some poor unfortunate souls while cleaning out the garage. These poor, forgotten ones, were in the tomb of the unknown stuffed animals, of which, my mom sent out an e-mail to my sister and I, wondering who would lay claim on them. She thought that one of them was my sister's, and that perhaps the other unclaimed critters belonged to me...

So, I gave the fallen soldiers a once over, and none of them were recongnizable to me..I was hoping that my memory sparked with the sight of the "pink elephant" she claimed was mine, but nothing, nada...zilch in the memory bank.

My sister quickly replies, via e-mail that all of the stuffed animals were HERS..She lays claim on every single one of them! Just like a big sister, MINE MINE MINE..( in her defense, she is about the only big sis in the world who has never uttered those words to me, she'd give me the shirt off her back if I needed one)..but, no wonder I didn't recall a childhood filled with a pink elephant, sock monkey or Snoopy! They were hers!

I guess I can relax and breathe easy, since none of them are mine, I don't have to rationalize with my uber-organized husband why I must keep these animals that I never knew exisited, just for the sole fact that they are over 30 years old...keeping them just might mean I need to add another silver Rubbermaid to the shelves in the garage..So, sis, thanks for staking claim..They're yours to store and you saved me the price of a bin!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Doh!!!!(nuts)


I woke up this morning and as I do every morning, I perused my favorite websites prior to having to leave for an internet-less day at work ( yep, that's right..NO internet at work..we're part of a dying breed, I know)..And yes, I admit, I wake up a half hour before I really need to, just so I have my morning internet time.
My favorite thing to do is to check for blog updates on all my favorite bloggers..I sit at the computer with my breakfast of egg whites and oatmeal and just read away..just me, my food, and the 'puter.

Among my favorite sites to stalk .....Bakerella. She is hands down, one of the most creative bakers I have found. I love love love her ideas, and although I often try to re-create her masterpeices, mine look like a preschooler's attempt at a professional's game. She is in a league of her own..if you haven't already, check her out..
So imagine my surprise as I signed onto her blog today to find that I missed ( gasp!) a recipe I have been longing for.....

DOH!!!!!!!!!!

How'd I do that? I was quite certain I have read her site up and down, forward and backward, left and right....but somehow, someway, I missed her DOH-NUT blog!

That's right, DONUTS!

Donuts are a once in a blue moon treat for me ( unless I am pregnant, and then well...I won't tell if NZ won't tell, but I could probably sample ahalf dozen by my lonesome)...What makes things worse is that if we stopped in after 6 p.m., the donut lady by our house would throw in an extra 5 or so..for FREE..geesh, thanks lady..my willpower already sucks, and just what I needed, 5 more to tempt me..

Anyways, I saw Bakerella's donut trial and error ( and her eventual success) and decided that I.MUST.MAKE.THEM!!!

So, after supper tonight ( we ate healthy, I promise!), NZ helped me make my first ( and probably only, ever) batch of old fashioned donuts, courtesy of yep, you guessed it, Bakerella.

For a couple of nuts, we sure pulled this one off..

They're glazed and headed to work with NZ tomorrow!

mmmmmm, donuts!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Still got it

I've been contemplating finding a gymnastics facility that has open gym for adults to go and play around for FUN exercise....but then the more I think about it, the more these questions fill my head, " What are you thinking??? You'll break your neck!"

It's been a good 2 years since my last attempt at anything more than a handstand. I think the last skill I tried was an aerial, and let's just say, rug burn on the nose doesn't feel so good. I lacked some SERIOUS height and barely got my feet back around..I escaped with little injury, but it scared the bejesus outta me.

Something got into me on Sunday night, and with a lot of positive self talk, and inspired by the Jersey Shore's "Snookie" who did a backwalkover backhandspring in a dress, I figured, hey if Snooks can do it, I can do it..


video

And so there the story goes, I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once, as I ever was. For 32 years old, I'm pretty happy with myself (=

Do I smell open gym in my future? Any ex-gymnastics friends wanna join me?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Brownie Bites

Valentine Brownie Bites

These are super easy to make and fun too!

YOU'LL NEED:

Boxed Brownie mix ( lazy, i know!)

Oil

Water

Eggs

Candy Melts

Sprinkles

Candy sticks ( available at michaels, Joann's..any craft store)

Wax Paper

TO MAKE:

Make brownies in a mini cupcake tin ( spray tin well with PAM)

Freeze Brownie bites once cooked

Insert candy sticks

Melt half a bag of candy melts in a bowl at 30 second intervals in your microwave

Pour sprinkles into a small bowl

Dip brownie pops in candy melts

Dip sides in sprinkles.

Set on wax paper to harden.

Now, isn't that sweet?

Sewing woes


I am in LOVE with making these Amy Butler bags..so much so, that my sister asked me to make one for a special someone in her life..I totally agreed to it and got to shopping this morning for the perfect fabric coordinates.

I have been playing around with different lining materials..fusible vs. sew-in, stiff vs. light, felt vs. mesh...Each bag I have made ( 4 of them so far) has had a different type of lining..I think I have finally settled on the perfect match for my sewing abilities, frusteration level and completed bag quality...and let me just say, it's not the stiff fusible stuff I tried today. My fingers hurt from pushing pins through multiple layers of fabric and lining...OUCH! The bag is beautiful but a bit in need of a tumble through the dryer to soften up and be more slouchy.

Ah well, lesson learned.
A bad day of sewing is still better than a good day at work.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Twice the Gift

I just had to share the link to the wonderful wonderful story of fellow blogger, Niki and her twin boys born via surrogate. I have followed her blog since our loss, and am in awe of all she has overcome on her journey to motherhood.Congrats to Niki and J on the birth of Liam and Silas.

Twice the gift: Surrogate mother gives birth to cousin's twins