Tuesday, February 24, 2009

because this isn't a New Year's Resolution...

...I should be able to keep it.

My little sister, Annie, started a blog yesterday, because she is attempting to lose 30 pounds by the time she is 30 (which is in 5 months). I think that one of her reasons for blogging her experience is to have some accountability to her faithful blog readers (me), and because she hopes to be an inspiration to anyone who might come across her sight.

If you have been reading my blog, you know my issues with my chubby Wii Mii. So, I thought maybe I'd play along. My goal is to lose 10 pounds by the time Annie turns 30 (which will be a week after my 40 1/2 birthday). I'm thinking that will take me out of the realm of chubby and back into healthy, which ultimately is my goal. (well, honestly, my goal is to get back into a size 6, but I don't know if my hips will cooperate after having 2 kids!)

To kick off the challenge, I bought myself The Biggest Loser Cardio Max DVD today. My friend Shawn and I were using it in the fall, and I really liked it. I figured it was time to own the DVD myself, and get back to work. Of course, I will still be trying to do my WiiFit, and maybe I'll even use the treadmill hanging out in my basement. I'll keep you posted.

If you'd like to join us, and have someone to cheer you on and be accountable to, leave a comment below with your weight loss goal and plan. Each Sunday will be weigh-in day. I'll post my results, and you can post yours in the comments. Or just follow along on our adventure! Along the way, I'll share my experience and any good recipes I find that are worth the effort.
Then in July, we will toast to Annie's success (glass of water, squeeze of lime, please) and a very Happy Birthday!

Okay, lets do this! I know we can!! Thank goodness the Girl Scout cookies are gone!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hey, Cupcake!

Over the past year I've been seeing lots of things about cupcakes and their new found place in entertaining. Have you noticed this? Cookbooks entirely devoted to cupcakes, cupcake stationary, cupcake plates, really cool cupcake liners, cupcake t-shirts, cupcake everything! I've been toying with different cupcake ideas and then found two sites that were exactly what I was looking for, but all the thinking was done for me already.

First, I'll share the sites, but you must promise to come back to visit me from time to time. These ladies are professional to my amateur for sure!

The first is Bakerella - she has been mentioned in a number of magazines, and was even featured on Martha Stewart - and it started with this: cupcake pops

Next, a Sr. Close To My Heart Consultant, who is much more creative than myself, on the west coast, who shared this awesome papercrafted cupcake: Papercrafted cupcake

So, when I've had a little time here and there over the past week I've been trying these out. Here is my first attempt!

The Cupcake Gift Card Holder:

The Gift Card hides in the cupcake! Just pull the cherry up and viola!

And here are the Cupcake Pops:

They are as yummy as they are cute. Oh, and here is my little cupcake:

The recipe for the cupcake pops is on the Bakerella website. I made my own cream cheese frosting (for the cake mixture) and used Wilton pink chocolates for the icing, and Nestle chips with a little vegie oil for the coating on the base.

Both of these projects are now a permanent part of my collection. Loved them, and will be doing them again for sure! Not only fun and tasty, but very therapeutic!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Last night:

You can never be too careful eating soup, I suppose. And we all know what a careful eater Noah is...
The homemade chicken noodle soup is courtesy of Emily who has been wanting to make this from a recipe on her ... Webkinz. So, since I had some leftover chicken, I let her create. It was very good. The secret, I'm told, is in the large handfuls of noodles you add to the broth. But it also contained carrots, celery and parsley (mom, not webkinz, inspired).

Perhaps the goggles were actually Noah's way of hiding his delight in the deliciousness of Emmy's first soup.

Or not. Unfortunately, I think the goggles were more the result of being like his nerdy mommy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Sorry I haven't been blogging over the past few days. You see, I've been mourning a comrade, a partner in crime so to speak. We did so much together, and she will be greatly missed. Attended family functions, there at every holiday, traveled together, and treasured the simple moments of the day together. Good times. And it is all my fault she is gone, really. I knew she hated water, and because of my carelessness, she is no more.

Goodbye, old friend. You won't be easily replaced.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Get Your Cookies Here!

Workin' the cookie booth. I'm so proud of my Brownies...between personal sales and cookie booths, they've sold over 800 boxes of cookies!! You go, Girls!

updated 2/17 - make that 960 boxes!! wow! Our original goal was just 600.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Heart You

Gotta love a good school Valentine's Party!
Heart-shaped soft pretzels, juice, grapes, a conversation heart relay game....
And who doesn't love coming home and opening up all the little valentine's left in their paper plate mailbox?

Valentine's Treats

After spending a crafty inspirational Monday morning with my friend, Anne Marie, I decided to make these Valentine's gifts for Noah and Emmy's teachers. I bought small paint cans from Home Depot, and decorated them with scrapbook papers, stickers and ribbon.

And filled them with candy kisses, of course.

Can't wait to see what Anne Marie put together - hope she took pictures!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Time Flies When Your Having..Kids!

After several unsuccessful attempts, my dear college friend, Lisa and I finally had our 8 year reunion! Yep, some how 8 years have passed since we've gotten together... interestingly enough we both have 8 year olds...

I traveled an hour north and we enjoyed a yummy, albeit quick, lunch of caesar salad with grilled tuna. Yum. But, we had to try and squeeze 8 years into little over an hour. Thankfully, we hope to make this a more regular occurance.. how 'bout no more than 8 weeks, instead of 8 years!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How Could I Not Have Known!

It's Today! February 5th! I kid you not! In honor of this most festive occassion, I give you the recipe for Nutella Ice Cream - tried and true-ly yummy! And just 2 ingredients!!

Super Simple Nutella Ice Cream (from http://www.chocolateandzucchini.com/)

- 1 1/2 cups or 360 ml Nutella

- 14 1/2 ounces = 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon = 380 ml evaporated milk

Makes about 3/4 quart

Pre-freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Combine the chocolate hazelnut spread and the evaporated milk in a medium mixing bowl, and stir with a whisk until they become one, smooth and silky. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Whisk again and churn in your ice cream maker. That's it!

You don't need much per person, it is very sweet. So, you can share it with a select few - if you want! Now that I know such a day exists, I will be searching for other, equally yummy Nutella recipes. And if you've never tried Nutella, consider it. Make it an early Valentine's gift to yourself.

Hold on! I just found this blogger after my own heart. Her awesome site lists 50 ways to eat Nutella, and also defines the different types of Nutella lovers out there. (Let's not even discuss that this American woman LIVES in Italy) Check it out: Nutella Lovers

Don't Sneeze!

okay, so now that I found the camera cord thingy, I can FINALLY share pics from last weekend. On Friday, we attended a Spaghetti Dinner school fundraiser. Surpassed my expectations because the 6th graders served us, dressed up as Italian waiters with big chef hats AND there was entertainment... the 6th graders parents who were working in the kitchen and behind the scenes sang "Pasta Queens" to the tune of Abba's "Dancing Queen"... so get the tune in your head - here are some of the words some very creative individual wrote...sing along...

Friday night and a chance of snow, Looking out for a place to go
Where they serve the right meatballs, Sauce is nice and hot
You want to eat a lot!

Anybody could do the job, Can't be lazy or a snooty snob
Have to love to serve people, Have to get the job done,
You're in the mood for fun.

And when you get the chance:

You are the Pasta Queens, Mature and wise, Twenty -plus-seventeen.
Pasta Queens, Feel the heat from the kitchen steam
Oh, yeah!
You can stir, You can pile
Spaghetti as high as a mile
Ooh, ooh, ooh,
See us girls, watch the canteen, dig in the Pasta Queens.....

There are actually several more verses, but you get the idea. I love that I live in a small town where we can be silly like this. It was very refreshing to see these women (and man) up in front of us, just being so silly for their kids - and us. Loved it.

On Saturday, Emmy celebrated her 7th Birthday with her friends at the CLAY PLACE. What a cool store. Lots of creative inspiration there...

Got our game faces on for the Superbowl on Sunday...

at my sister's house. So, according to Noah, the 3-D event was overrated, but a thumbs up to the Dorito commercials...

And here we are with another weekend right around the corner. I'll have my memory card IN the camera this time!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009



Looks like we finally are going to have a "REAL" snow day! After I put on about 8 layers, I'll be joining my snow angels outside. Found the camera cord thingy though (yeah, in THAT office), so I'll be back later with pics from our weekend.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


After spending an entire evening searching for the cord thingy that connects my camera to my computer, I've resigned myself to the fact that I am not going to be able to share my pictures or stories from our weekend on my blog - until the cord is found. (I forgot to put the memory card back in the camera, and the pics I took are on the internal memory now) I know it's in. THAT. office. somewhere. And I've even been working on cleaning it up (see the Disclaimer post on 1/13) although I know it still wouldn't satisfy my roommate from college, Kathleen (not that she is here to see it, but I often think of her when I'm trying to organize - cause she was a Master) I'm headed back in to clean out all of the desk drawers and bookcases after this post. However, I do have a picture of this to share:

My awesome little sister, in THAT office, hooking up my new (well, bought in December...) wireless printer for me (cause my eyes roll into the back of my head trying to read directions). I am so excited. I no longer have to email myself stuff from my laptop just so that I can print it. And I can start to figure out how to use my Adobe Elements software - after I finish reorganizing THAT office, of course!

As an aside, I just love her scarf, don't you? Wish me luck finding that camera cord thing - I have some funny pics to share!