Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Have a very...



Monday, October 26, 2009

Something old and something new.

I love the fall/winter/holiday season. I love the cool, crisp weather, the leaves changing, my sweet potato soup, and my oatmeal cranberry cookies that I make for Christmas. I make them every year. It is my own recipe and very popular with our friends. So when a friend of mine recently asked me for the recipe. I said to her that it is on my blog. She looked and said that it's not. WHAT? I never posted it? It is my oldest and dearest recipe and I have not put it up on my blog. Well here it is. Finally.

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 sticks butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup oatmeal (I use McCann's Irish Oatmeal - the plain kind)
1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift together flour and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In electric mixer with dough paddle, cream butter and sugars until light and fluggy.
4. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well.
5. Gradually add flour mixture a little at a time.
6. Add oatmeal, cranberries, and chocolate chips and mix by hand or with a wooden spoon.
7. Shape dough into little 1 inch balls and press flat into a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
8. Bake 8-10 minutes until light golden brown (do not overcook!).

That's it! Isn't it easy? Go make them - you won't be disappointed! And just in case you're wondering what's up with the lack of posts this week. Here is why:

Yep - made over 200 Happy Flower headband pieces the last couple of weeks for some of my boutiques. Don't they look so pretty in the box? Whew. I couldn't wait to close the lid and ship them out. And take a look at this Lulu the Owl. It was custom made for an Etsy customer. I am loving Lulu with the funkified look!

I was also so inspired by this post that I decided to try my hand at it. And this is what I got:

I call it The Mommy Series because this new line is inspired by some really special mommies. Within the next few weeks, I will be adding some more headbands and some hair clips as well. So keep checking my shop. And yes - this headband was indeed inspired by one special mommy. She worked so hard making my little niece a custom blanket that I wanted to give her something special as a thank you. Ssshhh.. she doesn't know it yet - it is a surprise!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Congratulations to
Lindsay from Paint Me A Picture
for winning the
Raspberry Kidz Giveaway!

I can't wait to email Rachel your niece's beautiful drawing to get it transformed!
It is going to be beautiful!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Look what I just bought. Thanks to my blog friends who keep enticing me with tutorials. Like this one and this one. Yep - and a sewing machine is necessary. So it was on my "must-have" list for a while and yesterday, I finally took the plunge. I am so nervous that I don't even want to open up the box. So if you don't see any blog posts from me for a while, send me an email to make sure that the sewing machine didn't eat me up!

5 wonderful years.

Happy Birthday Skylar Elizabeth.
I can't believe that you turned 5 today.
Time went by fast.
I still remember waiting for you. So excited that you were coming.

This is us (with your Lola).
You and me, kid.
Our first picture together. Still snug in my belly.

It was love at first sight.
Here you are at 4 hours old.
October 17, 2004
(Yes - I know that you are totally digging my Hello Kitty pj's!)

Three months old and didn't want to smile for the camera.

Almost a year old.
You fell asleep in your highchair.
You weren't the fastest eater.
It takes you almost an hour to finish a meal.
Thank goodness you outgrew that!

Your first birthday party.
Yes - that is a black eye on your right eye.
Which you conveniently gave yourself bumping on the crib rail.
Right before the party started.
The perfect party accessory.

14 months old and already a big sister.
Baby brother Deacon was born December 23, 2005
He wasn't what you were expecting as a Christmas present.
But now you can't even remember your life without him.

Memorial Day 2007.
Two years old and about to become a big sister for the second time in your little life.

November 2007. Just turned 3 years old and proudly holding your new baby sister, Peyton.

My little fashionista.
This was taken right before preschool.
And you dressed yourself that day.
Picked out every single piece of clothing.

Four years old and already a kindergartener!

I am so proud of you, my girl.
My little buddy.
Little big sister.
My little helper.
My inspiration.
You are everything that I dreamed you would be.
And you continue to amaze me every day.

I love you so much.
Happy, happy birthday!

Love, Mommy

Friday, October 16, 2009

Don't miss out on this giveaway!

This is a GREAT giveaway - don't miss out on this one. I still need some scanned pictures! This is a beautiful and unique way to display your child's artwork - computer generated with 3D effects! Enter the giveaway here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Goodbye Binky

Good Bye Binky.
You have been really good to me.
But I am a big girl now so I am saying good bye.
I will miss the times when I had to pick you off the ground.
Or take you out of the dog's mouth.
Or the squeals of surprise that you get out off me when I find you in the most unexpected places.
And the joy that I feel when I put you back in my mouth.
Thank you for the memories.
I will cherish them always.

Love, Peyton

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Raspberry Kidz Giveaway!

I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel from Raspberry Kidz when I stumbled onto her blog and entered one of her contests. She turns kids artwork into computer generated art including some three dimensional effects by "raising" parts of the drawing.

"I love kids' art! It inspires me and makes me happy. I love to create original works of art based on children's doodles. Once they see their ideas presented in a color, matted professional manner, this will hopefully inspire them to continue on with their artwork."

She is an incredible artist and I truly fell in love with her work. I didn't win the contest but I sent her an artwork done by my friend's daughter as a gift for her 5th birthday. Take a look at Abby's original artwork.

And the finished look after Rachel is done with it. ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL?!!!? The finished product is an 8x10 print surrounded by a black mat. Abby was so proud of it that she asked her parents to hang it up in her room where it is displayed today.

Do you want your own Raspberry Kidz print? Here is your chance to own one. Rachel has generously offered to give one lucky blog reader a chance to turn their child's artwork into a beautiful Raspberry Kidz print.

This special giveaway is open to my blog followers only. If you want to join the giveaway, please follow my blog.

Here is how you can enter (please leave a different comment for each entry):

1. Scan your child's artwork (in a JPEG format) and email it to me at:
This is required to participate in the giveaway
2. Leave me a comment on this post after emailing me the artwork to let me know that you have done so
3. Visit Rachel's shop on etsy and pick a favorite print
4. Become a follower of Rachel's blog, Raspberry Kidz
5. Grab my pretty button for your blog

The more entries you leave, the more chances you have in winning.
Good luck everybody!
The winner will be chosen through on Sunday, October 18, 2009.

Rachel has also offered everyone who enters the giveaway 10% off their purchase until October 31, 2009. How great is that?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Dinner - week 9

Oh yeah - it's back! Sorry for the lack of Sunday Dinner posts. I am finally caught up with this thing called life and am finally able to do Sunday Dinner again. Welcome to the fall season everyone! One of my favorite fall dishes is this delicious Sweet Potato Soup. I've tweaked and tweaked it over and over until it is finally how I like it. It's become a Thanksgiving dinner favorite but it is so satisfying that you can eat it as a meal. Paired with some yummy potato rolls. YUM!

Sweet Potato Soup

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 pieces shallots finely diced
1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic (optional)
2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
3 medium to large baking potatoes, cubed
4 (14.5 oz) cans lower sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup light cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in soup pot over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots until shallots are wilted. Do not burn the garlic.
2. Add both potatoes, chicken broth plus 2 cans of water. If you want some pepper, now is the time to add. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer on low for about 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are soft and tender.
3. In batches, puree the potatoes and broth and set aside in a bowl until everything has been pureed.
4. Return the pureed potatoes in the soup pot on low heat.
5. Add the parmesan cheese until melted
6. Add the cream
7. Season with salt to taste
8. Serve with italian cheese mix in the center and some potato rolls (I use Martin's party potato rolls because they are smaller)

* Soup consistency should be slightly runny when hot. It will get thicker as it cools and after it has been refrigerated. You can save some of the broth in a container to for reheating purposes - in case the soup gets too thick.

Enjoy your Sunday Dinner!


Congratulations to
#8 Zertuchina
for winning
The Vintage Chain Giveaway!

Congratulations and enjoy your beautiful new necklace!

There is a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY coming tomorrow. This is open to my blog followers only. Please make sure that you are a follower of my blog if you want to join. Stay tuned tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cici's Story.

The Fischer Family

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across this blog. And I was so moved. Cici could've been anyone's little girl. She could've been my baby girl Peyton. They are the same age. Who would've thought that one little piece of diced fruit would change a family's life forever. It did for the Fischers. Cici's choking accident last October 2008 caused parts of her brain to die from lack of oxygen and she is now severely disabled.

Cici Fischer

Cici with older brother Max and twin sister Penny

Cici's mom Jenny is so awesome. She was actively involved in this project called Bids for Cici where over $2000 was raised for Cici's special needs trust. There is another one coming in the spring and you bet that I will be participating in that as well. Cici's treatments are expensive. The Fischers have tons of equipment to buy, intensive therapies to go through and lots and lots of co-pays. That is why the fundraiser was put together - all for Cici.

Mommy loves me: Jenny and Cici

I made two special, limited edition items in my shop for Cici:

50% of the proceeds will be donated IMMEDIATELY to Cici's special needs trust. Please help me spread the word. Buy Cici's pretty things. Help change her life.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread

More than 10 years ago, a co-worker of mine gave me a loaf of delicious bread. It was the sweetest, moistest, and yummiest bread I've ever tasted. So naturally, I asked her for the recipe. It's Amish friendship bread, she says. It takes 10 ten days to make it. TEN DAYS? SERIOUSLY? Yep, I was a very busy full time worker back then. No time to tend to 10 days of bread making craziness. So I never made it. Then a few months ago, one of the blogs that I follow did a post on friendship bread. This got me thinking that it's about time I try making my own. So I did.

I found the recipe here. Follow it carefully. Here are a few helpful tips:

1. DO NOT USE ANYTHING METAL. That is the most important tip I can give you when making this bread.
2. I mixed it and then poured in a ziplock bag.
3. When mixing the milk, sugar and flour - follow these simple instructions: In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix sugar and flour first. Mix them well otherwise the flour will lump when you add the milk. warm up the milk a little before you add it to the sugar/flour mixture. The texture should be smooth. Add to the ziplock bag.

And when you're done, you can print out a cute little recipe card for your friends here. This is a picture of my three little cups of batter ready to give away to some friends. So pretty. I can just imagine them whipping up some more friendship bread in their own kitchen so they can share it with their friends. But my bad dog Wendy got to them first. Aaahhh!!! Yep - licked all three bowls and slurped one until it was almost clean. Bummer, huh?

At least I still have the loaf that I baked. Hands off puppy. This one is mine.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Vintage Chain Giveaway! (ENDED)

Jennifer with 4 year old Zane

"My name is Jennifer and I'm a stay-at-home mom from Texas. I have two children, Zane (4) and Emma (2) and have been married to my wonderful husband, Shay, for nine years. I specialize in creating unique handstamped jewelry for any occasion. I also enjoy scrapbooking and any other crafts I can get my hands on. I love being creative!"

I am so lucky to have met Jennifer here on my blog. Have I ever mentioned that I've been so fortunate lately to have met such wonderful people here? Jennifer has two adorable children and has a gorgeous hand stamped jewelry shop on Etsy called The Vintage Chain. Just look at these beauties.

"Feeling Lucky" - exactly how I would describe myself now

Don't you just love them all? I do. And I am ever so jealous happy to announce that Jennifer is generously giving away this beautiful necklace - PERSONALIZED with the winner's choice of initials. Lucky, lucky you!

Here is how you can enter (please leave a different comment for each entry):

1. Visit The Vintage Chain on Etsy and choose a favorite
2. Follow Jennifer's blog, The Vintage Chain
3. Become a follower of my blog (if you already are, please state that in a comment)
4. Grab my pretty button for your blog
5. And for extra credit, who are you planning on giving this beautiful necklace to? And it's totally okay to admit that you want it for yourself!

* if you don't have your email on your blog profile, please include it in one of your comments.

Good luck everybody! The winner will be picked through on
Sunday, October 11, 2009.

Now Jennifer, would it be cheating if I entered my name in my own giveaway?
I am already jealous of the winner - lucky readers!!!

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for all the entries!