Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

So December has come and is nearly gone! Christmas came with it. And sadly it has gone too. Here are the pictures that we get to keep to remember our Christmas 2011.
Firstly The last weekend of November found us at the Festival of Trees, a fund raiser for the Primary Children's Hospital in SLC. It is a huge event with so many decorated trees, in every theme you can imagine. Very inspiring! Plus they had gingerbread houses, quilts, wreaths, mantel displays, gift boutiques, and an area for mini trees. My mom and I went and we took Elyssa with us. We were so exhausted by the time we left, but we had a ton of fun.  So that means I had to come home and get our tree up the next day.  We wanted bright colors this year but also some animals. I saw an idea on pinterest that I just knew we needed to make. In early November,we went to our local thrift store and dug through all of the toys to find the little plastic animals. They only charged us $1 for a basket full of them. Then we came home and glittered them and put them away until time to decorate the tree.

 The next thing we did was to make crystal snow flakes. Borax Snow flakes, they were so easy to do and doubled as a science experiment.

  And about that time we had the tree up so we were able to hang them. Our decor is relatively simple and not too involved.

Another idea I found on Pinterest and decided would have sufficient impact with very little work involved. Hanging different lengths of different colored ribbons on our mirror and tying ornaments to them.  And on the same mirror just below the ribbons is my favorite piece.

With our stocking below that. We don't fill our stockings, they are purely for decoration. 
The next weekend My mom and Elyssa and I went to another expo to do some shopping, and just hang out.  We had a lot of fun. and found some nifty, inexpensive gifts. 

Justin and I went to his company Christmas party at the little America Hotel downtown, always a fancy affair, we look forward to having this date night all year. 

 Then there was the night I got to go and take photos for Justin's brother and his family such fun times! 

Then it was on to the cookie baking.... Justin's schedule changed so we had some adjusting to do while he worked nights for a bit. This was the perfect time for me to bake and decorate cookies. Kept me occupied while he was gone in the evenings.

and when it was all said and done I had 10, gallon sized ziplock bags full of cookies. 

Elyssa made a few cookies worth mentioning, 
 Well we have Adam and Eve apparently before the fall...

 And our Chickens made the cut. 

And these cookies I made for a friends who gets to have that long awaited reduction! 
Happy Bra shopping D.A. 

Dixie doodle decided sleeping under the tree was her new favorite thing to do. 

Elyssa made several of these drawings for her brother and aunt and uncle.
Ashton LOVES his!!!  

Christmas Morning, The most beloved gift.....
a rolled up raw hide chewy of course!

And Christmas night, after our movie (Marley and Me)
Time to learn a new song, Deuling banjos. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pear Frangipane

This is a recipe for a pear tart that is pure HEAVEN!
It is simple, has few ingredients and fast!
Using your food processor makes it go really quick.

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp. cold butter cut into pieces
2 tbsp. ice water

In a food processor bowl combine, flour and salt. Pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Add ice water and pulse until a ball of dough nearly forms. Gather into a ball and wrap in plastic, chill 1 hr. (less if flattened)

Preheat oven to 375*F
Roll out dough and place into a 9" tart pan, pressing dough up the sides.  Bake 20 minutes, let cool.

6 tbsp. butter
 2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds
2 tsp. flour
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
3 soft, ripe pears, (peeled, cut into halves lengthwise, and cored)

In food processor bowl combine butter and sugar, process til smooth. Add almonds, flour, cornstarch, pulse to combine.   Next add egg and egg white along with the extracts. Pulse until well blended. Spread frangipane in cooled crust, slice pears and nestle into the frangipane and spread the pears out. but do not separate them.bake 40 minutes or until the frangipane is set, and golden brown.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Easy project makes a great gift!

LOVE, that is it.
ok, well maybe a camera and some kids and some frames. And in about 2-3 hrs you can have a timeless gift ready to go.
 First I printed out some letters on cardstock. I used the letters L-O-V-E. I printed them using the Georgia font, at a 700pt.  They turned out great.

Next I had the grand kids line up and I took the pictures out side in the freezing cold. I had each kid hold each one of the letters. And I took multiple photos, just to make sure I got great ones I could use. So that would mean a minimum of 16, but in reality I took about 120 pics in 10 minutes. (Why was our photo shoot so short? Because it was about 20 degrees outside and we were FREEZING! And Ice crystals were starting to fall out of the sky.)

Then I went in and cropped and edited them. I wanted black and white photos so it was really easy to do. Next I uploaded to Costco.com and had 8x10's printed out. I picked them up added some cute frames and voila! Beautiful, meaningful gift. I was so happy with the way they turned out.

This is an awful picture of the finished product. They look so cute and this photo does not do them justice. 
So, to see the photos how they really appear see them below. 

I was really close to the kids and tried to take shots that were from the waist to the top of the head or a little higher.  Also I wanted to get their personalities to shine through the photos. I did not care if their eyes were not wide open, if they were having a genuine laugh going on.  I was teasing and snapping photos and making the kids laugh as fast as I could. 
 I also looked for interesting backgrounds, knowing we were going to do the photos in black and white, I wanted some visual interest.  Texture!

I think this is a project anyone can do if you have the time to plan ahead and have a few hours. 


Sunday, December 11, 2011

17 years!

Can it be 17 years have gone by?
17 years with my best friend!
17 years of love and joy!
17 years of wedded bliss to my wonderful husband!

Happy Anniversary Justin! I love you, more each day!

Wow, it has been a slow few months on the blog front!

So much to do and so little time to do it.... that has been my motto lately. Our homeschool year has me busy! I don't seem to be able to keep up with the laundry much less the blog. I am going to make a concentrated effort to do the pictures of the month starting in January. I have missed doing that series this year!

Tomorrow I am going to share a project that I created for my mother in law for her birthday. I got the idea from Pinterest. However I did not know how easy it would be. I am thrilled with it and can't wait to share it.

I also want to share a few recipes, the ones that are easy for this time of year.  But that will have to be in the next few days. Tonight I am exhausted!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Zac Thomas Images

Everyone has that person in their lives, the one with an amazing talent, the talent you wish you had. Well Zac Thomas is that person for me. His images are amazing!!!!  He has a giant camera and takes awesome photos with it. But the images I am talking about today are from his iPhone. You can check out his website here.
Check it out just in time for Christmas.  I know you are going to find an image for that person who just has everything, or that person who is so hard to buy for.   Or maybe you will find one for yourself. So go on and check out his site, and tell him I sent ya!

Plus he is hosting a contest here.  You really do want to check this one out I Promise!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

let's be honest here....

Lately I have been trying to be more conscious of  not being so judgmental. It is something that
I struggle with.  I have tried to ask myself, How can you help instead of judging, and if you can't then just don't think about it at all, Or pray for this situation or individual.  Sometimes it is so difficult to do that. 

Well  for the last 3 days, I have been judging the gentleman in the photo below. I don't know how he can just sit there in his hoodie all day. Every time I look out side, he is sitting there just doing nothing. Probably smoking, wasting his time and money instead of supporting his baby.  
Ugh!!! It has me frustrated!!! 

Today I walked outside and just watched for a minute. And what I saw was ugly. He was not there anymore, or rather he was. But he wasn't what he seemed.  

Yep, just take a closer look and you will see it too.

I realized that the "Man" I had been judging so harshly the last 3 days was in fact not even a man but a seat out of a car.  The Ugly part comes when I realize how "quick to judge",  I can be sometimes. I wasted precious energy and resources on my judgmental attitude of this neighbor.  How do I feel about the whole situation? Ridiculous! to be sure.  Confused... I could have prayed for this individual but in the end I would have been praying for an empty chair.  I need to pray for my own eyes, to see things the way Christ would.

P.S. I am also making an appointment with the optometrist  ASAP!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

have you seen fish face?

Recently I discovered Pintrest, and I am addicted!
I don't know why it took so long to discover, but I am happy that it finally happened. 
If you don't know what Pinterest is you MUST go check it out. 

While browsing the boards on Pinterest, I came across a photo I just could not stop staring at. 

Check it out. 
(I tried really hard to find a credit for this photo, I found it on pinterest and followed it to a few other websites but could never find the owner, my leads stopped at Tumblr.)

Isn't that photo fun?

It just so happened that while pulling all of the harvest/ halloween type decorations out. My daughter also found the makeup. 
We decided to try it out.  Please keep in mind that I am in no way, shape, or form, an artist.  We did what we could for fun, and we liked the out come. 
 Here is our version.

  We had a lot of fun making goofy fish faces! 
Next time I will try harder to make it look like a fish.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

spoiled dogs

Don't judge me.... I feed my dogs table food every once in a blue moon. They are never fed from the table, but every once in a while there is a little bit of steak left over that I just can't bring myself to throw out or re-heat in the microwave for lunch tomorrow. So I feed it to the dogs, and they are so patient as you can see below.

They have never eaten from a fork before.
 So I was extremely surprised by how well they did. 
They had better manners than some adults I know. 

First it was Dixie's turn. She is our pound puppy. 

Then it was Bruiser's turn.
  Bruiser is my mom's dog and he gets table food all the time, even ice cream.
He is a special dog, he was attacked by a pit bull and lost his left eye. 

Then Skye puppy got her turn.  
She is old and missing front teeth but that did not stop her from enjoying her steak dinner. 

The dogs even ate the little bit of zucchini and carrots I had on the plate.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

It was a sweet read

Recently on one of my trips to the library, I picked up a different kind of book. 
I was kinda desperate for an easy read. Something with a bit of humor and something I could put down and not worry about not getting back to right away.  Well, as it turned out I grabbed this book by Gesine Bullock-Prado. Yes, the sister of Sandra Bullock. I did not realize that at the time however. It wasn't until I was about a quarter of the way through it that I re read the author's name and put it together.   
Cover Image

This book was a great summer read. The only real problem that I had with it, was that it really made me want to bake, and in a bad way. I was desperate to get my hands in the dough of some sweet confection.  One of the recipes she shares is for Zwetschgendatschi or German (Bavarian) plum tart. 
I had purchased some plums a few days before I came upon the recipe. But the kids had eaten one and turned up their noses because they were not very sweet. I ended up letting those little plums sit on the counter for a week and a half before I decided I had time to make a plum tart.  I was very afraid that I had waited too long and my plums were better off as chicken feed. But they seemed to be in good shape if a little soft and juicy. 

I was going to make the recipe from the book but realized at the last minute that I did not have quite enough butter on hand. So I reached for my trusty little Taste Of Home Cookbook. I looked up tarts and right there was another recipe for German Plum Tart, and it used a lot less butter.  I now had enough.  This recipe was super quick and easy. The hardest part was waiting until I could cut into it. 
After all was said and done I had a gorgeous plum tart to take to my meeting that night. And let me tell you it was so YUMMY! 
I think I am addicted to Zwetschgendatschi!
 I thought the short crust would be soggy but it was not,
 and the flavors were so so good together.  

Here is the recipe that I used.
 You can use any kind of stone fruit, peaches, apricots, plums.

 German Plum Tart

6-8 ServingsPrep: 10 min. Bake: 35 min.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 to 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds plums, quartered (about 4 cups)


  • In a small bowl, cream butter and 3 tablespoons sugar until light and
  • fluffy. Beat in egg yolk. Gradually add flour, 1/4 cup at a time,
  • until mixture forms a soft dough. Press onto the bottom and up the
  • sides of a 10-in. pie plate.
  • Arrange plums, skin side up with edges overlapping, in crust;
  • sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or
  • until crust is golden brown and fruit is tender. Yield: 6-8
  • servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving equals 237 calories, 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 57 mg cholesterol, 117 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein


Monday, August 22, 2011

Hand Delivered

A few weeks ago I heard a knock at the door.
 It was in the evening, and I was not expecting anyone. 
As I opened the door there was a woman standing there with a package. 
It was a very pretty box tied with a ribbon. 
She asked if I was Stacey and I replied yes. 
Then she told me that she was hand delivering my apron swap package from her mom. 
I was shocked but excited too!
When I finally opened the box, 
I went through all of the goodies and then opened my apron, saving the best for last.

Here is the beautiful Apron that Susan made for me. 
The theme was cocktails. 
I think this pretty much fits the theme.
 And it is so colorful and bright. 

I know this is the apron that is going to get me through the winter blah's...
It is so summery and cheerful. 
And now I am really wanting to do some baking, in this apron.  

These are the goodies that were tucked into the package. 
Crystal light Margarita flavor (really tastes like a real margarita too),
2 margarita glasses, a cute little coin purse that matches my purse, 
2 dish towels (there is nothing like having fresh new dishtowels in the kitchen), an adorable little pink flashlight with flowers, and a few drink recipes. 

Susan did and Awesome job of putting my apron package together.
 I love every last bit of it. 
And my apron is AWESOME! 
Thank you Susan!!! 
You can check out her blog at this address

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hot mama Apron Swap....Cocktails edition.

My partner received her package so it is safe for me to post about the apron. 
The apron I finished in record time, and then had to wait to ship off. 

 I had a very difficult time finding any cocktail related fabric. Included in her package I sent a cocktail recipe book published in the 1955. It was blue and pink and also had cherries in the illustrations. That was my inspiration! I found some blue, ruffled, garter lace and let that be the special addition that made it just a little on the spicy side.  I made it with extra long ties to be able to tie it in front.
 I found a cute martini applique at Joann's and put it on the front pocket. 

 Then I made some cocktail glass markers/charms. 
They are pinup girls. I tried to stay with the pink and blues. 
Also because it was end of July all of the cocktail themed items were either on clearance or gone, to make room for Halloween items in the stores. So finding the perfect tuck-ins, I had in mind, ended up being a huge challenge. But in the end I was very happy with the package  I sent off. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did putting it together!