Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm having a giveaway

To celebrate my 3 years of blogging... I'm having a giveaway
first up is this really cute L O V E banner made with vintage heart doilies and book pages.. then there are all sorts of Valentine goodies:  M&M's of course, in red and pink, B-I-N-G-O cards.. all displaying the number 14, cupcake liners and picks and a beautiful pink pin.
 close-up... see I told you it was beautiful
 I love all my followers, readers and commenters.... 
All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post by 5pm Sunday.. I will use random.org and pick a commenter's number. 
...you are my peeps and I love you all.   
 Who would have thought that my attempt to show (and motivate me to make) my crafts, keep in touch with family and share recipes would turn out to be such fun. 
I again say that I am not a writer.
I am a 'sharer'.  I am an entertainer.  I am a fun lovin' gal who likes to be inspired and inspire others to live a positive creative life. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's all about the paper hearts

For our Church: Sisters & Salads.. I made some table decorations, along with a yummy snack (last Friday's  Foodfunfriday here).

I really do have a thing for banners! (see here  or here)
These are made from an old book, and heart/circle doilies, string and tape! easy sneezy.

And for the tables themselves, I pulled out my trusty sewing machine and sewed crepe paper into ruffles.
this is only the start, we had about 15 salads with NO repeats!  score
It was a yummy Salads&Sisters luncheon!
We also helped make crafts for our little Primary children:

come back tomorrow and I'll announce my blog-anniversary contest!!!  I can't believe it's been 3 years!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

how to find out what's happening

Friday, January 27, 2012

Food Fun Friday- Valentine Chex Mix

Yes, this is the mix you see all over the Internet...
I'm in charge of decorating for the church Sisters and Salads on Saturday.  I plan to make this part of the (edible) decor!
Here is my (doubled) recipe
 9 C Rice Chex Cereal (a whole box)
1 C white vanilla (chocolate) baking chips
1/2 C  peanut butter (smooth works best)
4 TBL butter
2/3 C powdered sugar
1/2 C valentine M&M's
4 Tbl  red and or pink Jimmies sprinkles

*Use a large bowl to dump the chex cereal in.  Microwave the vanilla chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on high for about a minute or more, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth.  Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal and stir until evenly coated.
*In a gallon food storage plastic bag pour in the powdered sugar.  Place 1/2 of the cereal mixture in the bag and shake until well coated.  Spread this on waxed paper or foil.  Cool.
Meanwhile, stir candies and sprinkles into remaining cereal mixture.  Cool
*In the large bowl, mix together both cereal mixtures.  Store in airtight container.

I'll share more about this snack after the luncheon!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It was a BANNER weekend

On Saturday I was happy to be stuck at home! I went crazy and made 4 different Valentine banners!!
I used my silhouette machine (only for the second time) and cut all the letters out.  It was fun creating with what I had at home.
Kieri Banner:
Lauren Banner:

 Heleana banner

Lisa Banner
If you are still with me... and want to know what I used:
most important, I USED my silhouette!! and cut the letters out from the vinyl.
I used a painters drop cloth for the banner material.  I used the "heart's" from a deck of cards (a small deck and large deck found at goodwill).  I painted all the hearts on the cards with sparkle paint.
I sewed the cards to the banner triangle.  I also sewed the banners to different seam bindings.(I knew Be My Valentine was going to be too much .. so I tried to make it a two line banner).   Then I added rick rack or pompoms to the top.  
Then the fun part of embellishing each one!
ahhhhhhh good times!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snow update: It has been raining and now it is gone!

So I can remember Friday snapping this picture as the sun came up:
 and yesterday snapped this one, raining:
What a difference a day makes.
Friday was a strange day indeed... lots of ice cycles
I love this one from a spout less drain:
actually it was a dangerous detail walking into work dodging all the sharp points just ready to spear you:
That being said... I am SO glad the snow is gone.
Amen, and Thank you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

White Knuckle Driving

I have been cautiously and carefully driving to work these past two days.
Both mornings the snow has been coming down in heavy sheets.  I almost prefer that because NOW comes the freezing temps and the ICE.
  hey I'm from San Francisco, it does not snow there.
Here's the story in pictures:
Let me just say:
I learned to ski (in 1982)-Alpine Meadows.
I went to college in Utah WITHOUT a winter coat or boots.
I lived in Iceland for 3 years (I had lots of boots there).
We tried to take the girls to the snow every year so they could learn to ski.(92-02)
I try to like the snow, but I just really hate to drive in the slippery mess
the end.
wish me luck today... frozen snow at 28degrees.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday- Snow Day for some

It has been snowing since 3am. 
Have I mentioned how much I hate driving in the snow!
oh yea, and this is only the little pre-storm. 
oh oh oh, I can't wait till tonight!
ok I CAN wait until tonight.
                 I'll keep ya posted!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Moaning-(Lauren don't look)- Little Car Carrier

Since we've had the house on the market, let me tell you how frustrating it is to 'create'.  You have to find where you put everything, and then lay it all out... and...if it is at night you have to put it ALL away before the next day...because you never know if someone is coming to see the house. 

This was such a easy sew.. but it took me three nights of getting things out and and then putting them neatly away... and finding all the necessary items, that I knew I had...

but I digress, *MOANING OVER*

This was such fun to make!
If you can believe it, my little grandson, (ha ha and I use little in a figurative way)
(come on how can you say no to that face)
He will be turning 2 in a couple of weeks.  His name is CARson... and cars are always a big theme in his life.
Here is a car carrier for him. 
I got the pattern and instructions from here:

I hope he has fun with this....
maybe I'll tackle a (traveling-roll-up) street road map next.
If I can find the rest of my fabric!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

a brand new ending - Yes You Can

Friday, January 13, 2012

Food Fun Friday, Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce

Since I was taking my mom to the Dr. after work I knew I needed a crockpot dish for Thursday.  I found this on skinnytaste.com and hatched a plan.  I will add my 2cents in italics.  And yes I started it the night before, it didn't take much longer than doing the dishes.  In the morning I just plugged it in.
Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce, from skinnytaste.com

This sauce starts out on the stove, which is essential to brown the meat then slowly simmers in the crock pot for the rest of the day. You can start this the night before if you want this for a weeknight meal, then turn it on in the morning and go to work. When you get home, all you will need to do is boil some pasta, or ? what ever you need.


4 oz pancetta, chopped (or center cut bacon) center cut bacon much easier to find
1 tbsp butter (or olive oil)
1 large white onion, minced  I chopped not minced
2 celery stalks (about 3/4 cup), minced  and chopped
2 carrots (about 3/4 cup), minced and chopped
2 lb 95% lean ground beef   or turkey
1/4 cup white wine   cooking wine
2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
3 bay leaves
salt and fresh pepper (or a lot of other spices for zip and zing)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup half & half cream

In a large deep saute pan, sauté pancetta on low heat until the fat melts, about 4-5 minutes. Add butter, onions, celery and carrots and cook on medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
Increase flame to medium-high; add meat, season with salt and pepper and sauté until browned. Drain the fat then add wine; cook until it reduces down, about 3-4 minutes.
Add tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper. 
Cover and set slow cooker to  LOW 6 hours.

After the 6 hours, adjust salt and pepper to taste, add half & half; stir and
serve over your favorite pasta or spaghetti squash. Garnish with fresh parsley

Makes about 10 cups. Leftovers can be frozen for future meals. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator then reheat on the stove or crock pot.

This will make about 3 meals for the two of us.  The ONLY thing it lacked was a deeper flavor, a zing of sorts.  I think I'll add red pepper flakes when I heat it up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as he always has. But he can't if you don't pray, and he can't if you don't dream. In short, he can't if you don't believe.” ― Jeffrey R. Holland

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More on my mother--

For those of you who have asked, my mother is doing fine.
Here she is at Christmas making her gravy: 
The fall last month did nothing but give her a few aches and pains (well first of all it gave her a fright, and an uncomfortable night on the floor and a road rash on her elbow crawling to the cabinet to drag out some blankets to throw over her as she spent the night on the floor!) But she is fine and even more careful than before. Yes, she still lives alone in her house, and no she doesn’t use her walker.

It is going to be quite the test to 1. sell our houses 2. move (meaning finding a house that the three of us can live in together and agree on!!!) and then the daunting task of packing up the stuff and moving. And 3. decorating!!!
Ahhhh who gets to put their stuff where. I mean I do NOT like her couches one single bit:
… but she loves them, why is that… ah yes because they are blue!! (but from the 80’s… at least we took away her 1962 BLUE AND GREEN couch… let me see if I can scan an old picture to show you the color of that…
that's uncle Jess... and look who this is... baby JB...
Baby JB turned 31 last week!!!  and this couch was pretty old when he was a baby!  ( I always say that that couch would have won top honors in the Ugliest Couch Contest!)

So yes, I like to decorate as to the kind of house it is; our Half Moon Bay house was a white and brick two story, rather like a farm house with knotty pine cabinets. I certainly didn’t decorate it with modern furniture. Our house here in WA is/was a new house, for our new marriage! …it has a more modern feel (with a few antiques thrown in) (cough, garage sale antiques

I really can’t imagine using these couches in my decorating scheme!
This move may prove harder than I anticipated.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Family Ties - A Cancer Article

Cancer is a harsh reality.  In my life it has been a harsh reality. 
14 years ago I had ovarian cancer.  I really don't like talking about it.  I like to just ignore that horrible awful year of my life.  Not only did I have cancer, but my younger sister had breast cancer that same year.   During her two year span with that awful disease, it metastasised and she died at the age of 34 leaving three little ones.  THAT has impacted our family something fierce. 

My husband's niece, Angie, has written a very informative and personal article about the BRCA gene, and her decision to have a hysterectomy and double mastectomy. 

Anyone with a family history of cancer can (should?) take a look at their family tree and decide along with their doctors if having the blood test is right for them.  (Angie also talks about the insurance implications of the blood test. )


I know not a fun subject!
Just keeping you in the 'know'

Saturday, January 7, 2012

the age old question: (and not the one about the chicken and egg)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Food Fun Friday- chicken/artichoke/mushroom ricebowl

Last night I tinkered with this recipe I found by the BFL team.  I came up with a yummmmy dinner dish with even left overs for today's lunch.
4 chicken breasts- chopped in bite size pieces
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 C chicken broth (more if needed)
salt & pepper to taste
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 pkg chopped mushrooms
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 C finely chopped fresh basil
1 pkg frozen brown rice (you could use more or you could use pasta)

With a little EVOO in the pan over med/high heat add the chicken and saute about 5 minutes or until browned.  Add garlic and saute about one minute.  Add broth, salt&pepper, artichokes and mushrooms simmer five minutes or until everything is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.  Remove from heat, stir in cheese and basil.  Meanwhile heat the bag of brown rice in the microwave.
Place rice on the bottom and gently toss in your pan of chicken delight.  Gently stir in cheese and basil. 
I wish I would have had the basil...some other color rather than beige would have made it more desirable to the appetite. 
I also thought of adding a little spinach to the chicken mix..but really the basil would give it the extra color and flavor!
All in all it was a great meal, a little chopping was necessary... but it was easily managed.
See Mr. Produce couldn't wait to dive in!!!