Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hey!! Win Jonas Brother tickets!!!!!

My friend Saucy at Sprinkles is having an over the top 3rd blogiversary give away!!!! Jonas Brother tickets on July 2nd!!! Check out her post for all of the awesome it would be!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What is it?? Wednesday

Well.....this Wednesday we're taking a break from putting food in our canister. Cubby decided it was time for some of his he loaded it up with his markers, Crayola twistables, glue sticks, glitter glue and scissors. He is always crafting over here and I'm feeling this will be a great week for masterpieces. We're starting to run out of room to display them but he's not worried. He said I can sell the old ones on ebay for him!!! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

pound cake

It was just yesterday I told some friends that I can't play with Minnie anymore until I get back from Disney...I have to get in my bathing suit on Saturday! And every time I bake something I have NO willpower and end up eating way too much of it. Well, I just couldn't resist trying out this pound cake recipe from the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It didn't seem very intimidating because there were tons of pictures....I had all of the ingredients and the pages from the magazine were just sitting there on my desk......all of a sudden I was pulling ingredients out and it just happened!! It was soooo easy and it turned out fabulous for my first time.....the middle did sink a smidge, but it tastes perfect! So gather your things and try one!

6 eggs
1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2" pieces
1 8 oz. package cold cream cheese, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 tsp. pure vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour

1. Let eggs stand at room temperature about 30 minutes or until they are room temperature. Generously butter and flour two 8x4x2 inch loaf pans. Using the large bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle attachment beat cold butter about 2 minutes on low speed, occaisionally raising to moderately high speed for a bit to dislodge butter from paddle.

2. Add cream cheese. Beat on low speed 3 minutes with occaisional short bursts to dislodge mixture from paddle.

Beat butter and cream cheese mixture until waxy and well-blended. Still mixing on low, add the sugar in a slow continuous stream. (this should take 1 1/2-2 minutes). Add salt. Continue creaming butter and cream cheese mixture for 5 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl once halfway through. Increase speed to medium; continue mixing 2 minutes more, scraping once.

3. Add eggs one at a time, beating 20- 30 seconds after each addition or just until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl after first three eggs. Beat in vanilla with the last egg.

4. Gradually add about 2 1/2 cups of the flour on low speed, mixing until just blended (this should take about 1-1 1/2 minutes). Turn off mixer. Fold in remaining flour by had with a spatula, just until combined. ...and yes, my measuring cups are heart shaped! Aren't they cute!!! :)

5. Turn batter into prepared pan. Shake pan gently to distribute batter. Run a spatula in zigzag pattern through the batter. Drop filled pan about 6 inches onto kitchen counter to dislodge any large air pockets.

6. Place on center rack of cold oven. Turn oven setting to 300 degrees. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours without opening the oven door. Test for doneness.

7. Transfer to cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely before serving.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

99 things

Do you sometimes feel like all of your days blend together and at the end of the day/week/month/year you feel like you haven't done ANYTHING...I sometimes thing about stuff like this while I'm falling asleep or taking a walk....Jennifer Juniper over at Hopestudios found this list and I thought I'd share it with you....the items in bold are things I have done....the others are things I need to add to my to-do list.......

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld/Disneyland
8. Climbed a the Alps!
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a my car all by myself!!!
11. Bungee jumped.....never, never, never!!!!!!!!
12. Visited Paris...a few times!
13. Watched a lightining storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch...does knitting, scrapbooking and making jewelry count??? Or does it have to be a brush????
15. Adopted a child....well we sponser a child in Mexico. We have her picture and get letters......
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you were not ill...oh yeah!! Isn't that what they're for???
24. Built a snow fort...of course! I'm from Buffalo!!
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice....the person who wrote this list must have been on the same trip through Europe in college that I was on!!!!
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung a few divey bars....and on the kids machine at home!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a New York City
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait mom had them done of my sister and I for the living room.
48. Gone deep sea fishing - I get sea sick!
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling....snorkelling in Hawaii...I fed the fish frozen mixed vegetables
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud ...mud volleyball every spring at college....LOTS of beer!!
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business —58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies...not mine! Cindy Lou's!!!
62. Gone whale watching ...a few times in Maine and Hawaii
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving...never, never, never on this one too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp...utterly horrible!!! And it was right after we spent three hours at a beer garden in Munich!
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial..I actually got engaged their to my first fiance...long story!
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt....many!!!
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been laid off from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person....can you believe I haven't????!!!
80. Published a book — Does the one I made for Cindy Lou's 13th birthday from snapfish count??
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous....lots!!Donny Osmond,George Burns, Muhamad Ali, to name a few...another perk of having been a flight attendent.
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cellphone
99. Been stung by a bee

Wow!!!!!!!! 63!!!!! Not too shabby....maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I meant to....

I meant to post this on Earth day but I was soooo excited about my soul sisters morning I forgot to.......isn't this an organic way to organize your jewelry??? Add more twigs to dangle more know the treatgirl llooovves to dangle things!!!

to all of my peekers!

Hi!! This little post is to all of my peekers!! I know I have lots and lots of readers who love to peek in at my lovely little blog....but who haven't left any comments. When I got together with the soul sisters on Tuesday I found out that I can adjust the settings on my blog so people who don't have google accounts/passwords are able to leave comments as well....I think I have it set up now so anyone can leave a little treat for me in the comment box and it will post to my blog. So come one everyone.......let me know what you think!!! There is even a box to check if you want to remain anonymous :) I'll stop back later to see if it's working....because as most of you know I'm not THAT techy and it sometimes takes me a bit to get it right!! Have a beautiful day!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What is it?? Wednesday

You had to know it was coming..... Yes! I finally put cookies in my jar!!! I busted Minnie out yesterday and made Jennifer Junipers peanut butter cookies They turned out terrific!!! I can't BELIEVE the baking success I've had lately...Readers, you don't understand that I have never REALLY baked before....just some brownies and cupcakes from boxes..cut out cookies from a pouch....the frosting from those tubs......and I thought I was baking! I really think my confidence is at such a high level because of Minnie. I've never had this many things turn out before...oh, and I have to say using parchment paper has made a huge difference too! And who said you can't teach an old dog new treats??? :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

here we sew again!!

The soul sisters gathered their supplies and sewing machines and convened over at Jennifer Junipers house yesterday morning. If you recall we had a sewing bee once before, last summer, when we made the cutest bags....this morning our mission was to make the most "random" aprons.... Our lovely hostess greeted us with a scrumptious spread of artichoke potatoe bake, strawberries and tea cookies....a little bit of girly girl chit chat and we got busy........



...laughing hysterically!!!! .....wait a minute! Ms. M had a slow start to the morning and we appointed her supervisor and mentor to Ms. Joy...She decided not to go the apron route....she whipped in with the prettiest fabric to make a skirt...without a pattern and only two hours! There were a few momemts when I personally would have thrown the towel...but she pulled it off quite nicely. Well......when she decided to try it on in the kitchen I couldn't resist a quick picture to capture the moment!'s a picture that does it more justice....especially endearing with her jeans around her ankles...really cute...the skirt I mean!!!

Jennifer Juniper had to go pick helper munchkin up at school while Marzipan Mom and I put the finishing touches on our super cute aprons. There was a break in the rain long enough for us to get a group shot out on the patio. It was a really fun little project. I like to wear an apron occaisionally....especially on special here to see the aprons I made last summer... I think this one will look cute on Mother's Day! The same thoughts ran through my head on the drive home that always do.....awwwhhh, it's over already, I just love those girls!!! wonder what we'll do next time??? ...It's just so wonderful to have my soul sisters!!! Thanks again!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

updating a summer wardrobe on a budget!!

The treatgirl and her family have started the countdown to our departure to Disney!!! We leave May 2nd...I have seen a lot of things on how to prepare to go to Disney....but not many have touched on the subject of how to make Mommy look cute on the trip too!! So I thought I'd take a minute or too and show my lovely readers how they can update their summer wardrobes on a budget! There aren't many who haven't been watching their pennies lately and the treatgirl is one of them!! Although, I always love a good are a few things I've found over the past several weeks that will stretch your summer wardrobe dollar. First, are these platform sandals. I know I won't be traipsing around the parks in them...but I thought maybe a nice dinner out one evening??? They were just $20 bucks at Walmart!!!! They also come in white, black and a gold metallic. Run while you can girls....I don't think these will last.

This super cute top is from Target!! I actually got it on the clearance rack for a mere $3.24!!!!! What??? Yep!!! That is practically free!!!

Now check out these super cute jean shorts and capris I just got yesterday at Old Navy. I actually had to purchase a WHOLE new wardrobe last summer because I dropped 4 sizes and I never found the perfect pair of capris...these may be it. The shorts were $15 and the capris were $24....not bad!

On to the bathing suit department!! Yikes!! It was kinda scary trying them on in January....but that is when you have to buy, or they don't have your size. I found this super duper cute bikini at was on sale ??? I hasn't even been above 70 degrees yet and the bathing suits are already on sale! The swim cover up is from Walmart for $15!!

On to some spiffy new sandals....the brown Jack Rogers on the left are a classic to have in your summer wardrobe...they are kind of pricey at $105....but my mom treated me to them when I was in Florida for Thanksgiving. The fringy ones on the right are from Target. I saw a similiar pair featured on a fashion segment on E! one night and the very next morning I snagged these for a fraction of the price...gotta love it.

And you have to add a few new accessories too.....these are from New York and Company. Buy one, get one half off...and with one of the up-teen million coupons they mail me, plus the gift card my cousin, Gerberagirl gave me for Christmas these WERE free!!!

A few fresh new t-shirts are a must for the's always a good idea to go through them at this time of the year and weed out the ones that have seen their day...these are from mom got me two....and I added two more....$12.99 each on sale! They are great quality and should hold up for a while...unless I dribble something down the front :) And of course a fresh pair of white jeans. These are Lucky jeans that I scored on at TJ Maxx for $ at $98!!! Wowza!

So, let's see here...just in case Chip decides to check in on my lovely little blog ...I actually only spent $174.99 for 3 pair of sandals, 5 shirts, a bathing suit, coverup, 2 necklaces, a pair of earrings, a pair of jean shorts, jean capris and white jeans!! That's 16 things!!!! Hopefully he would see how much I saved him while I was treating myself :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

awesome photos!!

I found this link on a tweet from @aplusk...Aston Kutcher.Who many readers may know just beat CNN in being the first Tweeter to reach a million followers. Check it out.....they say they weren't photoshopped.....I'm not sure....even if they were they are breathtaking!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's official!!!

It's official!! Her name is Minnie!!! I had to take her back to Bed, Bath and Beyond this week....she wasn't sounding quite right in the higher speeds and she was speeding up and slowing down....but they've already shipped me a new one from the warehouse. Look how cute Cubby is peeking around from behind....he said I know you're taking a picture for your blog....I want to be on this week! I think I have a successful baking career ahead of me. I've gotten a much later start than most, but I'm making up for lost time! I've made two batches of cupcakes, two batches of the chewy chocolate chip cookies and a sour cream coffee cake in just two weeks! Don't get me wrong......I'm no where near the Marzipan Mom's caliber by any strectch of the imagination!!! But my family has noticed the home baked goods didn't come from a different home!......they came from here!! I'd be happy with just your basic cupcakes, chocolate chippers, some cut out cookies and maybe pizza dough....after that anything else would be frosting on the cake!!! No pun intended!! :) Wish me luck!!! Plenty of treats from now on!!!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

reward chart

Cubby really wanted to order this rewards chart from the Scholastic book order at preschool a few weeks ago.....normally I say "No" to anything other than books...otherwise they pick the Hannah Montana posters and goofy pencils with things dangling off them....but I thought this looked like a productive thing.

Well....he came home from school with it yesterday and we got right to work!! We filled it out with things he will do......and then we filled out what he will get when he earns a certain amount of stickers....for 15 stickers he gets to pick out what we will have for dinner...for 20 stickers we will go for ice cream and for 25 stickers he can get an "n-tow" (translation: nintendo) DS game. He recently acquired CindyLou's old nintendo DS that she hadn't touched in two years and wants to update the games.....she had fashion designer and babysitting!!....then we put the magnets on the back to put it on the fridge, but ours is stainless I suggested putting on the side of the washing machinge. Cubby said , "How 'bout up in my room?"...."well, there isn't anything metal up there"... I said. So he ran and got his metal Cars lunchbox and stuck it to that as an easel of sorts. Now we're in business!!

Last night he got his very own jammies on...of course, the EASY ones with no buttons. He said, "That was easy!! I need to hit Daddy's easy button he has on his desk!!" The one from Staples that yells "that was easy" every time you hit it.....this morning he made his bed....I use that term loosely!!... and brushed his teeth before he even came downstairs....more stickers!......then he got more sticker.......and played with some toys, put them away....played with other toys and put them away......two more stickers????!!!!! At this rate we should be heading up to Target for the "n-tow" DS game later on this afternoon!!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What is it?? Wednesday

Clementines!!! These must be the very last of them....the season for clemetines is about over. Cubby can eat a whole mesh bag of them in 3 days all by himself! And for the record a mesh bag of them fits perfectly into my glass canister!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

there can be too many cupcakes!!!

Judge for yourself.......I didn't think it was possible....too many cupcakes.....but take a peek and you decide!!!

my favorite salad

This is one of my all time favorite salads. I need to give Panera some is actually the Harvest salad they offer in the fall. I couldn't help but copy it at home....then I can have it any time of the year. I took this salad for Easter dinner and I had all of the ingredients to make another one for lunch today. This salad and these sandwiches that Saucy made over the weekend would be an awesome "pick two" combo at Panera!! Saucy, do you have Panera in Canada???....anyway, if you'd like to try the treatgirl's favorite salad check it out:

Mixed greens
chopped pear.....those really dark green hard ones...are they Bartletts or Bosch?? I always forget!!
chopped pecans
light rapberry vinaigrette

This salad is always a hit at a gathering!! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

a beautiful Easter weekend

It was a beautiful Easter weekend....sunny, sunny..but VERY chilly, chilly....I hope all of you had as much chocolate and jelly beans as I did!!!....Cindy Lou and I started off the weekend spending Friday together while the boys were at was a total girl day! Lunch, shopping AND a visit with my niece home from college...we MISS her when she is away!!!...Saturday we went to the spring festival and egg hunt in the little town near us......

....and we colored eggs!! We all agreed they turned out especially pretty this year....lots of egg salad over here this week :)

Right after I finished sewing my pretty skirt to wear to church..(at 10:45 pm!! yikes!...cutting it a little close! )..I put the kiddos baskets together.....I looovve finding places to hide them....even Chip doesn't know!! I wait until they are all in bed.....I'm always the last one I'm always the "Bunny". After Cubby found his and opened his treats...he yelled "Thank you Easter Bunny!!" ....with a mouthful of chocolate!

We celebrated with Chips family down at the river this year.... everyone counts on me to bring the deviled eggs.....and of course I did! They were an especially good batch. Every thing was delicious......especially the yummy yum yum pineapple bake that Loot brought....I swear I didn't know there was 2 cups of sugar in it!!!! You know where you'll find the treatgirl tomorrow morning.....KICKBOXING!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

My new mixer inspired me... clean out the cabinet where I keep all of my baking supplies!!!! Yikes, I didn't realize what a mess it was until I went digging for the jello bean mold the other day.

I emptied it all out and was thinking, "I guess I could have entered Jennifer Junipers "messy" contest after all :(....I went through everything and got rid of some stuff......then I put all of my cupcake supplies in a bin, and cookie cutters in another bin...well, I don't REALLY make cut out cookies...I just use the pouch mix from Betty Crocker once a year at Christmas...and Cubby plays with it like it's play doh....but I'm hoping to get much better now that I have my new pink mixer!!

Lookin' better already!!!!

What an improvement!!!!!! I'm all set and ready to bake!!! I think I'll start with those chewy chocolate chip cookies I mentioned yesterday from Marzipan Mom and these
peanut butter cookies Jennifer Juniper is raving about!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

jello beans

Nothing like a little dish of jello beans on a crisp spring day! I forgot I had the mold for these little beans.....I got it at the grocery store years ago. I found it in the cabinet where I keep all of my baking supplies.....more on that in an upcoming post....

The mold for these jello beans is a little tricky....I sprayed it with a bit of cooking spray....and I even added knox gelatin.....but the little buggers would. not. come. out!!!!!! Well, I happened to have a little infant spoon left over from when Cubby was a baby and it scooped them out perfectly! yummy.yum.yum!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What is it?? Wednesday

This week the canister is featuring Veggie Straws! My kiddos looovveee these...although, Cubby picks the green ones out! They come in a 20 oz. bag (1.25lbs.) from Costco. They are all natural, no trans fat and no preservatives...they are lightly salted and potato, tomato and spinach flavored...made with sunflower oil and 30% less fat than potato chips. The perfect on-the-go snack, these light and crunchy straws are also great for dipping into your favorite dip....I suspect the canister will be empty long before next Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

snow?? It's April 7th!!

I don't want to say "I told you so"....but I did mention once or twice that I thought we would get one more taste of winter before spring was really here.....and today was the day!! Being from Buffalo I've seen this a lot of times.....but I think it's it's quite unsual around here....

...of course I had to snap a few pictures...I do think snow is pretty at any time of the year! :) Today the soul sisters got together for was sooo nice to be tucked in sipping hot coffee and nibbling on Marzipan Mom's home baked goods. I will surely make her chewy chocolate chip cookies... I just loved soaking up the morning with the girls. Thanks for the infusion of "sisterhood".

Monday, April 6, 2009

secret project

Chip was in Nashville for five days this past week. When Chip is away the treatgirl likes to change stuff!! It all started last Christmas when Chip came home with a new 42" flat screen for the family one weekend I got a new sectional, media cabinet, chocolate brown leather recliner, window treatments, and accessories....all in chocolate brown and blue.....well, this turned into a tweaking of the powder room upstairs.....which then led to the treatgirl thinking she was sick and tired of her master bedroom!!! Don't get me was perfectly fine....I just needed a change...something chocolate brown and blue! I sewed everything you see in the picture above...the duvet, bed skirt, shams, euro pillow and window panels. That was six years ago and I just didn't feel the love of doing it all slowly over the past few months I have been collecting bits and pieces and stashing them away waiting for Chip to be out of town long enough to make the big switch-a-roo....well......whadda think??

I love it!!! My sister....the fabulous interior designer that she is....was in town for the weekend and helped me with the pillows and added the blue quilt...I have new lamps on the way and she suggested painting the wall behind my bed and around my windows a slate blue......that may happen in next few days as well. I felt like a princess away at a spa hotel the next morning when I woke up. Chip didn't seem overly thrilled, but....oh well!!! When the treatgirl is happy, everyone's happy!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

happy, happy!!!!!

A big fat thank you to my sister!!!!!!!!! Look how happy I am!!! She treated me to an early birthday present! My very own pink Kitchenaid mixer!! We stood in front of all of the mixers in Bed, Bath and Beyond and I chose the white one...a classic.....well, she couldn't believe I didn't choose the pink one....knowing that pink is my favorite mind was spinning...a PINK mixer???? Why not???? There wasn't one on the shelf, but when we checked with the girl up front she found one in the back room. I was having a few second thoughts as we waited for her to bring it to the front, but as soon as I saw it I just knew it was right! And look, I'm wearing the perfect shade of pink sweater too!!

My mom and sister have been visiting all sister in town from Vail, Colorado....and my mom from Delray Beach, Florida....the first thing I whipped up was a big batch of buttercream frosting so they could enjoy some wonderful cupcakes!! I can't believe she's parked on my kitchen counter! I may just leave her there for a while so it can soak that she's really here :) ....and of course I need to name her!!!.....any ideas????

Friday, April 3, 2009

a little easter craft

We have a busy, busy weekend planned......but there is always time for an easter craft!! Cubby just loves the wooden things that you can paint. And I forgot I had these cute little chickies down in my craft playground. He noticed them the other day and has NOT let me forget that we need to get them done!!!!

Sprinkle a litte glitter on them....everything looks cuter with glitter!!! They turned out adorable! Springtime treats!