Sunday, December 27, 2009

Peppermint Twist

I have loads (well ok 7) orders of cake balls in the last three weeks. Considering I never dreamed people would actually be buying them from me I'm thrilled! Another tally mark for getting to stay at home for good! Here's the new kind-red velvet with cream cheese frosting, vanilla dip, and peppermint pieces on top. The red velvet cake dabbled into the dip and made it speckled which i thought was cool.

Oh and look what I bought!!! My first sewing machine. I'm scared-very scared but I did take it out of the box, turned it on, and read ten pages of the manual! I can't wait to take my first class. To all my other seamstresses out there. I wish you were here so we could share it together. I'm dying to know what everyone got for Christmas. That post will come in a couple of days. Here's to lazing about the house and vacuuming up pine needles.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monkeying Around

I love monkey bread. It's sticky and sweet and messy and full of calories. I decided to try a "low cal" version this weekend. Here's how it goes:

Preheat 350

2 cans of Grands biscuits-12.5 ounces

2t cinnamon

3/4 cup sugar

2t vanilla

3/4 low fat caramel topping

Grease a fluted bake pan (bundt pan). Cut the biscuits into quarters(four pieces each). Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a ziploc baggie and place cut biscuits inside, shake, shake, shake. Place the cinnamon sugar covered biscuits in your fluted bake pan-layering all the while. Mix vanilla and caramel sauce in a small mixing bowl and spoon over entire pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and then flip-carefully.

It was soo good and only 250 calories a serving instead of 500! Remember it's a small serving but invite the family over. They'll eat it up leaving you with a clean cake pan for the next new dessert! I think the parents are loving the phone calls inviting them over to eat something every couple of days!

Stay tuned for more monkey themed desserts as I get ready for Kimmie's baby shower!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oreo Cupcake Surprise

I'm trying to cook. Since now I can eat! At least Dr. Dunn says I have to eat so no more diet-but more maintaining!
In an effort to force myself to cook I have instituted family Sunday Dinner. This week my Mom and cousin Meredith came! I made sheppard's pie and a surprise for dessert! Check it out!

Lon's the taste tester.

A whole oreo baked into the middle.

Topped with oreo of course. Happy Christmas baking to all and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Have a Holly Jolly Baby!

As many of you know it snowed in Houston! I mean it has "snowed" before. If you are a fellow Massachusettian-you know that 1/2 inch of dusting that melts immediately is not really snow. This year it snowed and stayed for a couple of hours. I was at school subbing with Kimmie and we sent the kids home. For many children this will be their only chance to see snow so we were also excited for them.
I immediately called home and asked Lon to go take pictures with our new camera. Did I tell you I had been subbing to save up for a professional camera? I got it! Now I just need a beginners class and to figure out how to edit.

First snow for our doggies-notice the crazed look on Lacey's face? Also Hunter is no fool he stayed under the porch until Lacey checked it out-just like his mama!

And then he went Buck Wild!

So what have you been doing to get ready for Christmas? We got the tree-check, decorated the house-check, I just mailed cards-check, and I made cake balls for all my teacher friends at school-all 107 ( I went a little overboard) but I feel for ya'll-really I do. From ours to yours:

Notice how I'm not up on that ladder-thank you Lon. The bad part about having a nice camera that no one else is allowed to touch is I'm clearly absent from all photos.

I love them! Yellow cake, vanilla frosting, and vanilla dip.

Clearly Lon and I need to hurry up and have some children so we can stop pretending the dogs are our children.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Etsy Express

I can't believe it but I actually opened and Etsy store and put things in it-ahhhh! Here goes nothing! I'll probably spend more buying stuff at Etsy that I sell! Come on in!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Cornbread

I was reading online this article about how the majority of women in their 20's and 30's don't know how to be domestic-cook, clean, sew, bake ya know all the things I'm learning to do. It was sad. It talked about the importance of knowing these skills and not just for women. You can only imagine how many men don't know the basics of keeping a house and a family. Not you Lon-never you! So I decided to open the cookbooks and make something.

It didn't sound so great but it had three things I loved in it-broccoli, cheese, and onions. I'm also slowly starting to learn to cook since soon I will be off my diet!!!!! I've also been super couponing and have a mega stockpile so I'm learning how to make things that utilize things in the stockpile. It's more of a side dish. Lon and I were surprised it was sooo good. I got this out of one of those Gooseberry Cookbooks-Almost Homemade-I have to admit I bought it because it was cute, but if you know me you're not surprises.

Here are the pics and the recipe.


1 onion chopped

10 ounces of broccoli cooked and drained

1 bar of mild cheddar cheese grated (yes you can buy a bag and my arm got really tired, but they put wax on the bag shredded kind-yuck!)

1 cornbread mix(I used Martha White-super cheap!)

1/4 cup buttermilk

4 eggs beaten

1/2 butter(I used diet butter) melted

Preheat oven to 375

Combine all ingredients-doesn't matter what goes in and when into a large mixing bowl and stir.

Spoon into a 13x9 greased pan and cook for about 20-35 minutes-depending on your oven.

Eat it up!

PCOS update-We have our doctor's appointment Dec. 1st!!!! It will be the first time we've seen Dr. Dunn since I began losing weight in March.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Putting PCOS in the Corner

Over the past year and half I've been battling PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). Basically what PCOS means for me is that my hormones are out of whack. Over the past year and a half I have met so many women struggling with infertility. Few talk about it. We're embarrassed, saddened by miscarriages. The truth is that MANY women and men struggle with infertility. The reason I would like to share my story is because I remember the comfort in learning I was not alone. I hope I can bring that feeling to someone else in this blog world.

A year ago Lon and I found out we were pregnant and were over the moon. 8 weeks later we miscarried and went through what was the most devastating thing I have ever dealt with. The loss of a child, of hopes, of the life you were already planning and falling in love with. I had the support of a dear friend who had already had her own struggles and she helped me keep hope.

Three months later we were pregnant again! Three days later we lost our second child. It was then I started asking the hard questions...what's wrong. The first time I was told it was bad luck...the second the same...but I didn't believe that. On my own accord I went to a fertility doctor. My regular obgyn said she couldn't refer me until I had three miscarriage-can you believe that?

My fertility doctor noticed my folic acid was low and B12-I have a deficiency and don't create either-so we fixed that with simple vitamins. Months and nothing...if you yourself or someone you know is going through infertility problems you know that the "trying" part is the worst and can often times be the loneliest.

After some more testing I was diagnosed with PCOS-which can mean lots of things but for me it means my hormone levels are off balance. I'm fortunate because my symptoms are mild. One of them is weight gain which contributes to the crazy hormones. So...I decided to put PCOS in the corner and have been losing weight since March-75 pounds and counting. I have already begun to see some of my symptoms subside. It was hard to put my plans on hold but we knew it would be worth it in the long run.

There is hope. If I had known I had PCOS earlier I could have seen the signs and adjusted my lifestyle. If you have PCOS keep your chin up. Change your diet and keep a regular work out schedule. Those of us suffering through infertility are fortunate that we're living in a time where new medical breakthroughs are available-sadly insurance usually won't pay for them-don't get me into that. Fertility should be a right rather than something only available to those who can afford it. You are not alone.

I pray for patience in God's plan as we get closer to starting our family. Fingers crossed for January. Sometimes when you work for something or someone so hard it makes it so much worth it.

Sometimes I Miss It

As a family we decided that it was best for me to quit my job as a Kindergarten teacher this year and stay home. I was just too stressed out and was always getting sick and it just wasn't conducive to us starting a family. But sometimes I miss
Buying stickers for the kids.
My daily ration of hugs.
Hearing my name over and over again from a plethora of children.
Making their first school memories.
Living all the magic moments through them.
The camaraderie of my fellow teachers.
The untied shoelaces.
Opening up lunches and snacks.
I'm looking forward to starting a family and having that time but in the meantime...I miss it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Obsession with Disney

For those of you who know me I have a deep love for Disney World. Not necessarily owning and decorating my house in everything Disney but in being there. It's magical! We went again this year. My dear husband promised in an attempt to encourage me to lose weight in the journey of trying to become parents (getting closer!) that we could go to Disney if I stayed on goal. I have lost 75 pounds so far so to Disney we went! Here are a few snapshots!

Pirate Lon

I gained 12 pounds-can you believe it? It's been 3 days and I've lost 8.6 already! It was so worth it though!

What's better than Disney and Halloween? Nothing!

I have wanted to stay at the Wilderness Lodge since I saw them building it. It was worth the extra pennies!
At this time I would like to thank the following contributors to my weight loss:
Lon for dealing with my moodiness and keeping me strong while asking for queso and replying "NO!"
South Beach Bars-I can't believe I've been eating them daily for 8 months.
Chick-Fil-A- You are true greatness, good food that isn't that bad for you.
My friends for their love and support and understanding when I can't go out to eat with them. The time for dinner dates again is fastly approaching.
If I can do it-ANYONE can do it!

Seeing Spots

After we got home from to come...I decided to finally buy some pumpkins and since we (Texans) can't carve pumpkins because they mold in a day I saw the cutest pumpkins at a craft show for $15 and decided to make them on my own. So easy, so cute! It cost about $2 a pumpkin!

Start with your pumpkins...I rinsed with soapy water and dried first so the paint would stick.

I used this much acrylic black paint to paint all the pumpkins...that's it! I also bought those circle spongy paint brushes for a dollar.

Add random polka dots!

And voila! Add some cute ribbon! Clearly I have a thing for polka dots and ribbon. These are so easy and would be super fun to do with a little one. I even made a "hidden Mickey" on the back of one in honor of our recent trip. And now you can see the craziness that is the front of my house.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Brownie Cupcakes

In honor of all the boxes of brownies I've been getting free from couponing I decided to make brownie Halloweenie cupcakes for my Dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bow winked

My new project...bow making! Don't you just love a little girl with a hair bow? So here it is-after about an hour of cursing. It's a lot harder than I thought! I did not prick myself while sewing or burn myself while heat sealing and hot gluing. In honor of my favorite holiday here's the first one. When we get back from Disney I will be making them for hours.

Major Cupcake

My Mom's birthday was last month and since I've been taking all of this cake classes I decided to make her a giant cupcake. The bad part is it was difficult to bake. The pan contained the bottom and top and they both needed to cook at separate times. I also decided to use melting chocolate to create her name in 3D. The things we can do with chocolate. Did I mention I love cupcakes?

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Do people actually dress their kids up to go to a craft show? I mean every kid there was wearing a tutu.

I Just Couldn't!

I just couldn't wait anymore and finally broke down and put up the Halloween village. I vowed that I wouldn't completely decorate for Halloween yet-just Fall and would spare the neighbors from the yard decorations-for now...for now. So I have lovingly taken pictures of the Halloween village to share with my dear ones. Who doesn't love mini pumpkins lights and witches flying around. I should live in Salem I swear and yes I've asked Lon about moving!

Happy Halloweenie!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Totally Tag Saling

Things have been a little slow but here's the loot!

I got all this tulle for my next project of tutu making-of course I will post. The white was 2.00 for 13 yards and the bag of every color was 2.00. Some random fabric for 1.00

An interesting chopper kitchen thingy-new for 2.00.

Cute sundress 1.00.

Basket for the pantry redo-1.00.

Another basket for 25 cents and cookie cutters for my new fondant class for 1.00.
I hope everyone else got tons of stuff! Don't forget to stop over at Southern Hospitality where Rhoda hosts the tag sale sharing party-you just won't believe what some people find!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cake class update

I told you I was behind! So we've been using royal icing which is nice and my job is to make 40 flowers to go on my final cake complete with a basket weave! Here are this weeks flowers, an apple blossom and violets and those green blobs are the petals for the violets. I will try and post more as I accomplish!

He Makes Bread!

So I've been dying to try loads and loads of new recipes but am on a diet and will be until the end of November. So Lon decided he would make homemade French bread. He did such a good job-too good! I ate it!

Kneading and kneading....

and viola! Bon appetite! Yes we saw Julie and Julia the day before... coincidence? I think not!