Wednesday, December 30, 2009

IS IT THAT TIME AGAIN ALREADY?


A friend asked me whether or not I make New Years Resolutions. My reply? Um... not exactly. I believe change can come at any time. New Years is just that... a new year. Time and nothing more. I understand some people need a starting point to change but my changing points come throughout my life. I always joke close to New Years that I have to make changes but I seriously never do. I change when the feeling hits me. If it is April at 2 am and I feel like changing something, then I change it.

Last year I did make a list on my blog of New Years Resolutions. I looked over that list to see what I had accomplished.

2009's Resolution List:
1. I promise not to wake up before 11 am. BROKE
2. I promise not to work out more than 1x a week. RELUCTANTLY BREAKING
3. I promise not to avoid chocolate. BROKE
4. I promise not to skip a snickers cooler each day from caribou. BROKE
5. I promise only to walk the dog if she barks uncontrollably and whines a little. KEPT THIS ONE
6. I promise to be extra late dropping my kids at school so I can sleep later. BROKE (The teacher threatened my life, what can I do)
7. I promise to spend extra money on soapmaking supplies and cardmaking supplies. BROKE (I need to spend more)
8. I promise not to give my husband too much alone time. KEPT
9. I promise to eat out and not cook at least 4x's a week. BROKE (the domestic goddess title is calling my name)
10. I promise to give my kids unhealthy food daily. BROKE (Now it is only a few times a week)
11. I promise to do laundry only once a month. BROKE
12. I promise to clean house every six months. BROKE
13. I promise not to read or write too much. KEPT
14. I promise not to help my kids with homework. TRYING TO KEEP THIS ONE BUT THEY WON'T LET ME
15. I promise not to have long talks with my children when they have inquisitive questions about life. TRYING TO KEEP BUT IT IS REALLY DIFFICULT SINCE I'M WORDY BY NATURE.

See what I mean. Who needs New Years Resolutions anyway????

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CHRISTMAS HAS COME AND GONE

All that preparation for a moment that comes and goes so quickly. Now it is time to move on to bigger and better things... like... pictures :)

These turned out so yummy I just had to share. The girls and I made two batches of delicious chocolate chip cookies, our first time ever. Yes, I'm guilty. I have always purchased the mix at the store. You know the one... slice, put on cookie sheet, bake. Now that I have my new kitchen aid I have no excuses for not making cookies from scratch.

Before I get started with cookie baking I'll show off my new kitchen aid from the Martha Stewart blue collection. Woohoo!



Ok, enough of that.



Cookie Recipe:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

The finished product. Yes, they are dark but who cares, they are still edible. I learned that my electric oven bakes cookies faster than a gas oven. Next time I make cookies I won't leave them in 9-11 minutes, it will have to be 7-8 minutes instead.


Now for our Christmas. We do all of our celebrating on Christmas Eve, hence why I am doing a blog post on Christmas day.

Our day consisted of shoveling this 3 different times



and we aren't finished yet. It is one of the reasons I love Minnesota so much. Yes, the darkness in winter is awful and the bitter cold can be draining but the snow really makes it all worth while.

The midwest is getting dumped heavily and it is wonderful. Thankfully, we don't have to go anywhere.

While burried inside yesterday I decided to get one of my card swaps finished. Here is she is in all her glory. My bella!

If you are a stamper you probably know who bella is and I have a bella addiction.



As for our Christmas celebration. Do my kids look happy to have their DSI's? If they don't look happy now they will be VERY happy to have these when we have to take a long flight to visit my in-laws.



Hubby was his usual goofy, cheerful self when putting together one of Aiyana's gifts.



Last but not least is my little angel. She has wanted to be a princess since the first time she saw Cinderella. It was a long wait but the princess has finally arrived.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

THE GIFT BASKETS ARE A HIT!!

This year for my sister and her staff I decided to have a Christmas party. The girls and I have come through so much together in the past 9 months I wanted to do something nice for them. Since I'm always preaching to my staff about the dangers of chemicals in our environment (LOL) I thought it would be fun to make them gift baskets comprised of only handmade goodies. At the same time I wanted to support some of my fellow indie business pals.

I asked the following people to make some goodies for the baskets.

Teresa and her sons from Homestead Notes and Two Tadpoles on Artfire made 8 soap dishes.

Carrie from Under the Willow Gifts, Mud Puddle Girl and Under the Willow Gift Shoppe made 8 bars of soap.

Amber from Ambers Ambry and Ambers Ambry Etsy Shop made 8 containers of bath salts and included with each container was a handmade spoon for scooping.

Joanna from Product Body, The Soap Bar and the Product Body Blog made 8 Creams and 8 Bath Milks.

Amy from the Great Cakes Soap Works Blog and Great Cakes Soapworks made 8 packages of bath truffles and also sent along 8 little round balls of soap.

I must apologize for my lack of pictures. I had intended to take pictures of everything that was sent but, as usual, I procrastinated and on Sunday (2 days before the party) me and 3 daughters came down with the stomach flu which left us bed bound until early Tuesday morning. Our staff party was Tuesday evening so I quickly put the baskets together forgetting to take photos of individual gifts :(

Middy reminded me to take a picture of the completed basket.



As usual, I'm a dope when comes to photography and I forgot to switch the camera into the correct mode when I took the following pictures at the staff party. I hope they aren't too awful.

Angie smelling her sexy laundry day cream from Joanna.



My sisters support team gathered around for a holiday photo.



Joy, Daba and Mia giving big smiles to show they love the gift baskets.



Thank you everyone for creating such great prezzies. Everything was loved by everyone. You may even be hearing from a few people :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

MY BACK IS KILLING ME!!

Seriously! I want to try and come up with some ingenius title for this blog post but my back hurts so bad that I can't think of anything else.

Why post? Um...because I hate letting so many days go between blog posts so I'm determined to at least share something.

Well, I managed to make a few things. Woohoo! < that is me giving myself a mini cheer. Someones gotta do it... right?!

Anyway... I made some bath bombs and several batches of soap. Being the perfectionist that I tend to be I'm only happy with one of the batches. All my cast-offs get sent away. I've found a couple newbies that are more than willing to take my cast-offs so it is a win-win situation. Ahem... Joy... Ahem... Angie.

Here is the Oatmeal & honey soap. I cannot wait for my beekeeping course. I felt cheated that I had to use someone elses honey. Some day it will be mine and I'll be OH SO PROUD! I love how honey naturally turns soap into a beautiful tan color.



My itty bitty bath bombs AND YES, they are itty bitty. I'm using the MINI BALLER that I purchased from FROM NATURE WITH LOVE and it works really well.



Now for family.

We headed out to Hansons Tree Farm, our annual tradition, and we chopped down our beautiful balsum fir tree. It smells wonderful. Of course hubby always does the cutting and we watch and complain about how dang cold it is. LOL! Then we head back to the fire and have some hot cocoa :)












When we got home the girls had fun decorating the tree.







and now I can't believe that Christmas Eve is just 18 days away. YIKES! Time to get off the computer and get working on wrapping.