Monday, May 26, 2008

recipe Monday - Puppy Chow

Took this to a cookout last night and it was gone by the end of the night. Kids and adults love it. So easy.
1 box of Chex rice/corn cereal (17 oz box)
3 cups of milk choc. chips
1 cup peanut butter (creamy)
1 stick butter (or 1/2 cup)
1 pound powdered sugar
Melt choc. chips, peanut butter and butter in microwave. Melt 2 minutes and stir. The choc. chips will melt last but once the butter is completely melted, just keep stirring until the chips melt. Be careful not to microwave too much or you'll burn your butter.
Pour cereal into large bowl and coat with melted choc. mixture. This is messy, you may want to use your hands to get all the cereal pieces coated. Pour cereal into a large brown grocery bag or you can use a small plastic bag (I used a 13 gallon trash bag liner). Pour powered sugar over cereal, close the top and shake gently a few times coating the cereal with the powered sugar.
NOTE: I have always used a brown paper bag. Yesterday I didn't have a bag so I used the plastic bag and I really liked it better. After I mixed the contents, I then cut off about 3/4 of the bag and it was very easy to pour. I'll use a plastic bag from now on. This can be stored in a sealed plastic container for many many days. I put a small measuring cup in the bowl so the kids (and adults) can easily pour some in their hands or a cup.

Tree Frog

About a month ago I discovered a little tree frog living in one of my planters on the back patio. It was very small and looked so fragile, so I didn't share it with the kids. Yesterday, I checked to see if he was still there, and there he was. Well, the kids (2 of my 3) were outside running through the sprinklers so I decided to share it with them. We put him back in the urn after 5 minutes. For the last three years we've also had a praying mantis living on our house. Since this is a sign of good luck, I was thrilled to see him year after year. I hope he comes back too.

Monday, May 19, 2008

recipe Monday - it's yummy

Everyone loves a trifle, right? Well, I know I certainly do. Have a PTO meeting tonight and needed to make a dessert. This is one of my most favorite, easy all the way, all ages love it kind of desserts. Did I invent it, no. But I just threw it together one day about 3 years ago with ingredients I had on hand and it turned into a favorite. I've seen many variations of this yummy concoction from pound cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit, to chocolate cake, instant coffee and toffee pieces. Make it however you want. This is my simple favorite:

1 box brownie mix (the box that makes a 9x13 pan)
1 big box of instant choc. pudding (I think it's about 5.9 oz)
3 cups milk
16 oz. thawed cool whip (I use a lite variety)

Make brownies according to package in the 9x13 dish and bake. While baking whisk your big box of instant choc. pudding and 3 cups of milk. Let set up a bit, about 10 minutes. Fold in about 1/3 of the tub of cool whip, set aside. Once the brownies have cooled, cut into 1" cubes. Depending on the shape of your bowl, layer between 1/3 to 1/2 of the brownie cubes on the bottom of the dish/bowl. Layer half of the pudding mixture, layer about 1/3 of the remaining cool whip, and repeat. As the bowl gets bigger, you need to use more, so plan ahead. So it goes brownie, pudding, cool whip, brownie, pudding, cool whip. Smooth the last layer of cool whip on the top. You can sprinkle jimmies or shaved choc. on top, or leave it plain like I did. It just depends on my mood and for the age of the crew I'm making it for. It will be a hit for young and age. Enjoy.

Going to Etsy tomorrow

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Flower Pots

I love to garden, I love creating coordinating arrangements in pots. This is one of my big pots on the back. Below is another one of my big pots on the other corner. I used the same colors, but a few different plants. Purple, lilac and white. And I love the purple annual grass in the middle. I love these grasses and use many of them in my pots. They are a beautiful color and gets a little plume on them later in the season. I still have to do my pots for out front, I'll post those later.

My small purchases from Ikea

So, I got a lot of inspiration and some great ideas from Ikea. And strangely enough, I didn't spend much money -- unusual for me. This is what I purchased, and like I said, it isn't much. Two super cute rolling bins for Sophie to use in my studio, a roll of art paper for her easel, two packs of pretty chalk (again for her easel), wrapping paper, colorful bag closures (which seem to mysteriously disappear in this house), Ikea's signature jelly, and the sweetest pink flower light for Sophie's room. See, not that much - all of this cost around $40. It was a fun trip and Ikea is incredible to walk around, almost too much to see and take in, I'm sure I missed a bunch. Oh, I forgot that white tube thing on the top is to hang up and store your plastic bags.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

IKEA, IKEA, I'm off to IKEA tomorrow

So doing my little IKEA dance here in my room. I've been wanting to go to IKEA so badly, so far I've only been able to drool over the website. I thought I would have to travel to Pittsburgh or Detroit to see the store, but lo' and behold, the beautiful folks at IKEA found Ohio worthy enough to provide us with a store in West Chester (suburb of Cincinnati). So off we go, Sophie and my mom tagging along. Not too many more days of weekday freedom before the boys are out of school, so I must take advantage. I sure hope the clerks at the store won't mind me taking photos of everything. I'm such a geek ... but in a good way.

Hey, I'm figuring this out ....

I actually am feeling pretty good about my blog now. I figured out how to change the color, and how to add my etsy listings on the right hand side, and now, tonight, the mother of all things HTML, adding my music, my handpicked selections of a few of my most favorite songs. LOVE THAT!!!! What do ya' think?

Target Trip

I think it is fun to share this stuff I purchased at Target this morning. You see, I have this friend who loves to look in other people's pantries. And no, it's not to be nosey, but just more of a curiosity. She just wants to see if there's anything neat or cool in there that she has to try for herself/family and stock in her pantry, or just to get a good idea of something to try. So, this blog is dedicated to her :-)

Archer Farms granola which Sophie is loving in parfaits right now. Brock also likes my parfaits, Cole is partial to them. A bit of strawberry yogurt, fresh strawberry slices, a sprinkle of granola, vanilla yogurt, sliced bananas and a bit more granola. Served in a cute vintage soda fountain glass, it is very pretty and oh so healthy and best of all fun to eat.

True North peanut clusters - OH MY - if you like peanut brittle, then you will LOVE these cluster. They are better only because you don't have to worry about breaking a tooth while eating. Lots of different flavors, including Pecan Almond Crunch. YUMMY.

Cute swimsuit for Sophie, gardening tools & gloves for me, flip flops for Brock, Lego Raiders of the Lost Ark series birthday present for Cole to give, cute hotdog holders in the dollar section, along with a couple metal pails that I'm going to decoupage from the dollar section, and Best of All .... STARBUCKS. Actually that's an empty cup because I'm giving Sophie's preschool director a Starbucks Gift Certificate and wrapping it up in the cup along with a cute coffee cup sleeve I purchased from on etsy.

Any Etsy seller looking for an inexpensive packaging for their buyers needs to check out the dollar section at Target. Look at these great tissue paper packs, 20 sheets for $1. And even better, while you're there, you can pick up one of these cute 2 packs of the Little Mermaid ice packs because you never know when you're going to fall off your bike and need one.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wholesale Ribbon Trip

So Norm was going into work late yesterday. I mentioned I needed to go to my wholesale ribbon place because I was low on several colors of ribbon. He said he wanted to tag along. Well, little did he know that this wholesale place just isn't about ribbon, it's everything you could possibly think of, he was in heaven with Sophie on his shoulders going up and down the aisles as I puttered around the ribbon section. It was funny to say the least. He couldn't believe all the crap this place carried, and I mean lots and lots of crap. I think people buy things wholesale at this shopping mega and just turn around and sell it and claim it as their own homemade item. So this is what I came home with, my ribbons and tulle and buckets for a future project.


Tah-Dah ... read below. This is out of our second story window. Once she realized I was snapping up photos of her, she decided to perform. And of course, we had to get a photo of her with Miss Lucy Lulu.

Watch me, Mommy. Are you watching me?

Does anyone else have a daughter who constantly does this? Watch me, watch me, mommy, watch me. Neither of my sons ever have done that. When Sophie starting doing this about age 3, I thought what in the world. Then checking with other mamas of little girls, I realized this is the standard, the norm, something to be expected. Now I just laugh .. and, of course, watch. And don't you dare look away for a split second because it will just start all over again. This is Sophie "backwards flip" on the monkey bar, speaking of monkeys .... she is one.

Oh to be 5 again

It was just one of those beautiful days. I was in my son's room, picking up and glanced out the window. There was my sweetie. mismatching crocs and all, just happily swinging. I grabbed my camera and took a few photos from the bedroom window. How carefree .... and utterly happy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'm back at it

URGGGHHH!*!&!***!! How in the world can I get a fun background on my blog and how in the world can I get my music to get on there? I'm working, I'm working, but oh so frustrating. I don't know this stuff, I'm just faking my way through it. More to follow .....

Still There

Just checking in today to see if my blog is still there, with all the photos and such. Hey, it is. I'm slowing impressing myself. LOL

Friday, May 9, 2008


Okay, see I put the photos in reverse order. Anyway, this is my studio in the works done by my sweet husband who wants me out of his den. So this is my closet and to the right a little lounging alcove hoping to get a small sofa in there or big fat chair at least, with ottoman of course.

This is looking to the left of my closet. And yes, I have a window. We had our builder dig our basements extra deep so most of ceilings are 10'. We both hate feeling like we're in a basement with the low ceilings and dingy lighting. You really don't feel like you're in a basement, which is exactly how we wanted it to feel. Can't wait. Walls are just primed white, but my colors will be kiwi green, black and cream. I'll post more when we get closer --- fingers crossed by summer.

So now I'm going to try to add some photos of my studio in the works. Let's see if I can figure it out.

Not so easy .... yet

Everyone tells me, do it, it's easy, really. If I can do it, you can do it. Well, sitting here now three hours, it's not easy. I'm trying to figure this blogging thing out. I will get to the bottom of it. It will take me days whenever I can find some time to work .... uninterrupted, which is near impossible. Bear with me :~) I'm trying not to swear.