Monday, November 9, 2009

One Reason I Love Fall

I love Pomegranates , but I have never found a recipe for them that sounds good.

Plus they it's hard to get the seeds out.

They are beautiful though....and tasty. :))

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Basically, I love to dress up! I try to make sure my kids have a great costume, whether store bought or hand made.....but mostly hand made, at least a little.

For several years I have tried to get my son to be Harry Potter, but he was always interested in something else. This year it was his idea. Since HP isn't as big this year, we had to make the costume. No biggie, I already had a pattern for a cape left over from Star Wars a few Halloweens ago. I also found a plain maroon tie at the thrift store on which I painted gold stripes. We bought the glasses and wand, but he lost the wand about a week later, so I ended up having to make it anyway. Oh well....I love him. :)

My husband never has dressed up with us. Mostly it's because he works late and barely makes it to go Trick or Treating with us. I think it's also because he's a wimp.....which I can't understand since he's a theater guy. This year I came up with the perfect would tug at his heart-strings and he wouldn't have a choice in the matter. He would dress as Clifford the Big Red Dog and my daughter would dress as Emily Elizabeth, Clifford's owner. He agreed.... they were sooooo cute.

I had originally chosen a fairy costume for my Daughter, but every time I put it on her she cried and begged me to take it off. The costume she ended up with is regular clothing, so she was more comfortable.....and cute.

Here's my son and I. I was originally going to be a Beatnik...easy with all the black clothes I have and with the addition of a black beret. My son however had a rough day at school the day before. They were having their school Halloween party and one kid in his class, who knows how to push his buttons, made fun of his costume. He called him "Harry Plopper" real original, but it still bothered him. Really I think he's make fun of whatever my boy was, he's just like that, but my boy was pretty upset, so I told him I'd dress as a Hogwarts professor. It worked brilliantly, and my man cheered up.

We had bought him a wand at the costume store, but he lost it a few days later. So....I searched the web for a way to make a cool wand easily. I found it here. These turned out great. I made another one for my daughter, since I knew she'd be jealous, but I didn't post the pic here. These are easy and really cool when done. My son was pleased....which is what matters most.

The first pic is of me and my boy in 2005 or so....the hat I am wearing I bought at Walmart for about $10. I have worn this several time for Halloween, but I felt it was time for a makeover, so I decided, at the last minute, to re-do it. Here you can see the result. I love how it turned out. What do you think?

And here is another shot of my Clifford and Emily Elizabeth.......I can't get enough of this. She has him wrapped around her little it should be.

Hope you had a great Halloween! On to Christmas! oh no.........!!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My best ever soup

Here is the best chicken soup I have ever made, if I might say so myself. :))
What looks like "Honeycomb" cereal is Fiori. I'm sure some of you know that, but I have never bought it until now.
If you'd like to know what's in the soup, or if you'd like to tell me your "best soup ever" recipe, please leave a comment.

xo Danna

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall, really?

Is it really almost November and soon to be December?! It snuck up on me for sure. The weather here has certainly felt like Fall. Today was blustery, grey and misty. That always reminds me of "Winnie the Pooh".
The leaves have been beautiful, but they are already starting to turn from red, gold and yellow to brown.

We have a large Tulip tree in the front yard. In the Spring it has beautiful blooms than the bees love. In Summer it the best kind of shade tree, with it's broad leaves.
The other day I went outside and the beautiful green leaves of the Tulip tree were bright gold, over night it seems.
Maybe I just didn't notice. My mind been very preoccupied with life lately.
We just don't have the time or money to do a lot of extra things right now and it stresses me out so I tend not to notice the little things.

A few weeks ago we did spend the extra gas money to drive to a lovely nature center. The kids loved looking at the bee hive they had and we quickly found the queen. I was chasing my daughter around so I missed getting a picture of it. :( They looked a taxidermy birds, skunks, raccoons, deer, and snakes. They were fascinating, but they gross me out. I didn't let on though. I don't want the kids to pick up on my neuroses. :)

Next we walked on the paved wilderness paths. We all enjoyed it very much. The weather was perfect. Sunny, but with a cool breeze.
My poor Hubby enjoyed it as much as he could...he has had two knee replacements and it's hard for him to hike much, especially on a hilly trail. This trail was VERY steep. He also didn't let on....he even carried his tired little girl up some of the slopes.

I was on the hunt for mushrooms to photograph, but I didn't get really any. They just weren't there....well, at least not by the trail. I did get one picture of a dinner plate size fungus, but it was really high up on a tree. I thought they would be lower....shows what I know.

Can you see it?

We also saw a Buck, which was so amazing.....and a bit frightening. I thought for sure we'd get too close and it would attack us. It didn't...... :)

This is the only descent picture I got of the deer. There were too many people and he got scared away.

All in all we had a fun, relaxing and tiring day. It's good to let go sometimes. Now, back to reality..........

Monday, October 5, 2009

Halloween Fun!

My big Brother and I at Halloween 1980something.

When I was little my big brother and I decided one Halloween to have a costume party. We planned for weeks how to decorate, what food to have and especially what costumes we would wear.
I believe I decided to be an Egyptian princess. ( I'm not wearing the mask in the picture) Jason was a vampire. Very scary.
My Mother and Father encouraged us to plan the party, but they came up with a recipe for a drink that was the perfect addition to our party must haves; home made Root Beer.

Here's the recipe for party size amount..... :)

5 lbs sugar
5 gallons water
5 lbs food grade dry ice
2oz Root Beer flavor (extract)

Combine the water, sugar, and extract. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the dry ice in medium size pieces just before guests arrive.
The liquid will bubble and fog will form for the best Halloween party effect.

You must be very careful handling the dry ice! Wear work gloves and use an ice pick to chop it into manageable amounts. Make sure when you serve the Root Beer that you do not put the ice into the cups. Dry ice can cause frost bite very quickly so please be careful!

This sounds difficult, but with knowledge about the ice it is easy and is a great effect for a party also it's so yummy to drink.
BTW this is not a carbonated drink, just very tasty.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tropical Oatmeal Muffins

Amended 10-03-2009
This time I added 1Cup of packed Brown Sugar and only used 1/4 cup of white sugar.
It was just the added flavor they needed!

1 1/2 C All purpose flour
1/2 C Quick Oats
1 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
2t Baking Soda
1T Cinnamon
1/2t Salt
3 over ripe Bananas
1/2 C Sweetened Flake Coconut
3 Eggs
3/4 C veg oil
1T Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tin with papers.
Mash Bananas in a bowl add the eggs, oil and vanilla and brown sugar. Stir until combined.
In another bowl mix flour, white sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, stirring until combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until combined.
Stir in coconut.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake until set, I think about 10-15 minutes.
Cool on a rack and enjoy!
I think this would also be good with Macadamia nuts and maybe some brown sugar thrown in too.
This is not a "golden brown" muffin. It has a rich caramelized color to it.

OH so good....... :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


When I was little, my Grandmother Sue owned an antique shop in historic downtown Hot Springs Arkansas. You might say that antiques and collecting is in my blood. Later, when I was in high school, and when I didn't have dance class, I would go flea marketing on Saturdays with my parents.
I loved digging through the piles of junk to find that one treasure. My favorite things to look for were vintage handbags, hats, jewelry and clothing. I also collected anything that had stars on it.
Those Saturdays are one of my fondest memories of childhood. Spending the weekend with Mom and Dad was actually very enjoyable for me and we had fun discussing over burgers, all the goodies we had picked up.
A few years ago I went through all the old stuff I had packed away and decided to sell most of the treasures I had found from those Saturdays. I sold the handbag collection to a friend of my mother's, whom I knew would appreciate them. The hats, clothing, and some of the jewelry also went the way of the garage sale.
I was sad to see them go, but I just couldn't keep everything. I think it was a sort of purge that I needed at that time in my life.

Every time I went flea marketing I would think of my Grandmother and the summers I spent in her antique shop. I rarely go anymore, but when I do she is on my mind. I sort of feel that she is guiding me to the good stuff. (haha)

Several years ago I read an article in Country Living magazine about an old pottery company called Bauer Pottery. Without telling their whole history, they were basically the company who started the look of mismatched dinnerware, long before Fiesta.
I loved the look of it so I decided I would try to find some. The first piece (the medium size pot pictured above) I found in Indiana. It was perfect until my cat knocked it over onto the brick fireplace. I was sick when that happened, but I still loved the piece, and the cat. :)
The next pot ( the large one) I found totally by accident. I was actually looking at a large photo of downtown Hot Springs Ark. taken in the 30's. It was so neat and It reminded me of my Grandmother. I went back several times before I decided that, yes I could spend $60 on an old picture.
The day I went back to get it, I was heartbroken to discover it was gone. As I walked around the booth, hoping they had just moved it, my foot tapped something big on the floor. I looked down and there it was, the Bauer pot I had been hoping to find someday. It was on sale, and the perfect color too. I just couldn't pass it up. To this day I do feel a bit like Granny Sue lead me to it.

The smaller pot I found on Ebay and paid way too much for it, but I just had to complete the set. I love these pots, as much as you can love an inanimate object.
I think sticking to the garden pots and also sticking with one colorway makes my collection, all be it tiny, very special. Of course that won't stop me from looking for more.

I don't get to go flea marketing very often anymore since two year olds don't make good shopping companions in a store full of antiques and collectibles. I will go again soon though, and maybe Granny Sue will find something great for me. ;)

My post was inspired by this post. Thanks!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Crochet

Here's a new hobby....don't worry, I'll finish the socks first. :))

Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcoming baby

In addition to the edible cakes I made for the baby shower, I also made a cute little diaper cake. I think it's pretty good for my first try. ;)

Here is the completed hat and booties together. The mother to be loved them.

I feel accomplished.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Easy Mini Cakes

These are the wonderful cakes I made for my daughter's first birthday. I had wanted to make cupcakes at first, but then decided I wanted something more along the lines of teacakes. I know it's not a totally original idea, but I wanted to share how I did it, so you can try it too. Plus they are sooooo yummy!! :)

I started with a frozen pound cake. I let it thaw in the refrigerator. The cutter I have is an antique that my mom gave to me. It's about 1.5 inches tall and about 1.25 inches across the wide part.

I then cut the cakes in half through the middle, being careful to make it an even cut.
Start cutting out the shapes and put them aside.

I got ten hearts out of each half. Yours may vary depending on the size of your cutter.

Look at all those scraps! What can I do with all those extra pieces.....

I know.... mmmmmm..... ;)

This is what I got from two frozen cakes, minus one that my daughter snatched.

I used canned icing, for ease, but you can make your own if you want.
I made a double boiler out of a bowl and small pot half filled with water.
Turn the heat up to about med. high and let the water get hot, then turn it down to low. You don't want the water to boil.

Stir occasionally until the icing melts. I like it to be a bit thinner than pancake batter.

Dip the bottom of the cake and place it on a fork, slotted spatula....or another of your favorite kitchen implements.

Then spoon the melted icing over the cake until it is completely covered. You can do this a few times if you want, but I would wait until the icing on the cake cools a bit.

Then I gently place the iced caked on to a cookie sheet with foil, wax paper or parchment.
(sorry I forgot to take a picture of that) At this point you can add sprinkles or other decor.
Then into the refrigerator it goes.
When the cakes are chilled I remove them from the cookie sheet and place them into some cupcake papers.

I recently made these for a baby shower and they were a huge hit!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here's the adorable bootie and the beginnings of another one I made this week. I would have been done if I hadn't had other things to do this week, like laundry, cooking, dishes, oh and a two year old to run after. :)
I love this pattern. It's probably the easiest bootie I've ever made. I will definitely be making more. I got the pattern here. It's under the title "Oh My! Baby Booties" by ADHD Knitting.

Here's a horribly knitted hat I made for my son last year. I cannot begin to tell you all the things wrong with it. I do love the design, but it is supposed to be entrelac and I just couldn't get the stranding right. I tried twice before I decided to just embroider the design. I may try again this year. I need a better hat know besides just guessing at stitch count! :)

I'm throwing a baby shower this weekend which should be fun. It's been a long wait for this little girl to come along.

What are you doing this weekend?
Here's a great new giveaway from a great blog.....

I love reading other blogs. I get great inspiration from them.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My foyer at sunset.
Wish I had a better camera.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Here's a couple of pictures of my latest creation. It's for my yet to be born neice. This is made from bamboo yarn and is sooooooo soft. I want a blanket made from it.
Hope it fits the baby.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Here's a shot of the quilt my Granny made with the "Blossom Beauties" pattern. She hand embroidered all of the squares. She'll tell you it's not the best quilt she's made and that she didn't follow directions, but I love it just the way it is.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Projects

Here's what's been on my work table.

I started these socks two weeks before my Granny's birthday party. If I had worked non stop I could have finished them both on time. I just ran out of time. Luckily, my Granny has a good sense of humor. She just told me she expects the other one for Christmas. Don't worry I won't let your other foot get cold!

By the way....I love self striping yarn!

While I was visiting my Granny, she let me go through her crafty patterns. She has so many cute ones. I just couldn't borrow them all! Here are the one's I borrowed. I can't wait to get started making something with these.......after the second sock of course! :)

Granny made the cutest quilt with the "Blossom Beauties" patterns. That's a lot of hand work! There are so many more of the lovely ladies. I couldn't post them all. Those are some of my favorites.
I may make some totes or pillows with these. I just haven't decided yet.

What would you make?

Monday, July 6, 2009

My thoughtful son

So my loverly son knows how much I love wildflowers and he picks them for me all the time.

The last week of school he had to walk home from the bus stop, which I normally don't let him do, and every day he brought me a different flower. There was pink clover, daisy, Queen Anne's Lace, Deptford Pinks etc. Basically the normal flowers everyone knows and a very pretty variety. One day he came home with a rather large cluster of white flowers the he said was the biggest Queen Anne's Lace he had seen. I knew it wasn't but I couldn't place what the name was so I decided to put it in water anyway. It stayed on the windowsill only for a short while until the cat decided he wanted to eat it, as he does all my flowers. After he got a small piece and instantly spit it out, I knew the plant had to go.

Last night I found my wildflower guide book and looked up the plant. Turns out, what my thoughtful son was picking for me was Water Hemlock! The book said in bold italic letters that it was a "Highly Poisoness" plant and that it is directly related to the very same Hemlock that Socrates took. OH what I thought though with a few more expletives.
I told Jarred all of this and reminded him not to pick the very pretty flowers unless he knows for sure what it is. I marked the page in my wildflower book with the date and the location we saw the plant like I do with all the new plants we find.
And by the way....the kitty is fine. Obviously the plant tasted bad enough for the cat to spit it out in time. Thank Goodness!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Made by me for me.

I love this top!!! It's from the afore mentioned pattern. More to come!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

As if I needed any new projects.....I was happy to get to go to the fabric store on Sunday. Several of the fabrics I drooled over the last time I went were on sale. That always makes me happy. I didn't get as much of them as I wanted, but I got just enough to make another dress for myself, a couple of tops, and a few things for Sophie. I also have an idea for a first birthday gift for my darling niece. Hopefully I can get something made before they decide to have a party for her.

Hubby is out of town, the rain has stopped and it's going to be in the upper nineties later this week. Should be a long week I think.

Sorry for the boring post....again. I promise to have pics asap.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

much ado....

I haven't watched much TV lately.  Our old tube TV that was up-stairs finally kicked the bucket a few weeks ago.  We have a very nice flat screen downstairs, but most of what I do is upstairs, ie. dishes, cooking, computer stuff, and playing with Sophie during the day.  Don't get me wrong, Sophie loves to play downstairs.  She actually has a lot of toys down there, but the bathroom is up stairs, and she gets mad if I take her up when she wants to be down.  So we have just been hanging around up here.  
HULU has become our friend as of late.  They have Harold and the Purple Crayon which Sophie has latched onto.  She loves to sing the songs and act out what Harold is doing.  It's very cute.  
She and I have also been coloring a lot lately.  She gives me the color she wants me to use and we have to sing while we draw.  Usually it's the theme to Winnie the Pooh, or Under the Sea from Little Mermaid.  It's been very enjoyable to sit for long periods of time and do that with her.  She's a very detailed artist.  I'll try to remember to post some of her work later.

That's the other thing.  The computer with all of my pictures and the photo program is downstairs, currently not hooked up.  The computer up here needs to be cleaned out of unnecessary programs etc, before it can even hold my pictures, so I am stuck with a camera full of shots, nothing to load to the blog and no where to put anything new.  UGH....I wish I knew how to take care of that.  That is my hubby's area of expertise.  

Maybe he can get on that soon....I hope.

Here's an update on the holes in the wall.  Hubby finally got them all patched and we had the hardware store match  the paint color from a piece of the broken wall.  Well they tried to match it anyway and now we have a large section of wall that is off color.  It really bugs me, so I said "Why don't we pick a "real" color?"  Eric said "What like white?"  Haha....I find it the perfect opportunity to go with a fantastic color to add pop to the entryway.  I've been trying to find out what would be the best color in Feng Shui for an entry, but haven't seen anything very helpful.  I keep leaning towards a green anyway.  Calm, serene and from nature.  We can see the entry from the living room/kitchen/dining area so I think it would  be a great color overall.  Now to find the right shade, maybe with a little blueish tint instead of yellow.  I was thinking a medium shade.  What do you think?

I did find the time recently, to make a couple of things for myself.  This sundress and this top.  The dress is a great batik and the top is a Japanese theme print with butterflies and writing.  I made both in the middle of the night, while I had time to myself.  The problem I had with the patterns is that I went by my measurements.  The list they have of sizes did not correspond with the measurements they gave and my garments were a lot bigger than they should have been.  Well, now I know so hopefully they will go smoother next time.  After many alterations, I do love them both and love the fact that I know how to make clothes for myself (and others) whenever I want something new.  Really I think the hardest part is deciding on the fabric.  I am dying to try some of this double gauze fabric.  I have never seen it before, but it sounds amazing.
( in case you don't know, click on the highlighted word for the link)
 So what have you been up to?  I'd love to hear.

Monday, June 1, 2009

No rest for the weary

Still organizing the house and I am still unable to upload pictures.  Check out this site instead.  

I can't wait to try some of these awesome paper crafts myself.  

Monday, May 18, 2009

Howdie! Well our house is in a bit of disarray as we have moved several things around this weekend. So I am unable to upload pictures for at least another week since they are all on the other computer which isn't hooked up yet.

We had a crazy weekend, though it turned out very enjoyable in the end.

On Friday we had baseball team pictures and were supposed to have a game, but a huge storm rolled in just before starting time, so we had another rain out. That makes 5 I believe. At this rate we will be making up games until September! So we hung out at home and watched "Bedtime Stories" instead which we all enjoyed. I am a big fan of Adam love him or hate him, and I love him!

On Saturday I went to a Red Hat Society luncheon with my Mother-in-Law. Two of my three sisters-in-law were there which was nice. I don't see them as often as I should. We actually had a great time. The food was nice and the dessert was to die for. I had Creme Brule'.
I don't get too many opportunities to get dress up and go out, so it was very refreshing.
When I got home however.....I walked in the front door and the first thing I see is three large holes in the wall! My son and Hubby were standing at the top of the stairs with stupid grins on their faces. They knew they were in trouble!
My dear Hubby decided to rearrange the house while I was out. He had tried to move our rather bulky couch downstairs....By Himself! It got stuck in the stairwell leading to the basement and apparently in the wall too.
So we spent part of Sunday trying to begin repairs.

We also had a Cub Scout picknic Sunday. So our day wasn't all work. That was so fun. The Dads and the boys had three legged races, sack relays, and tug o' war. It was a blast.

When we got back for that, I needed some time away from all the mess inside so I decided to finally get the flowerbed ready for planting once and for all.
Jarred helped me get the last of the weeds out and we added some good organic dirt to the mix.
It actually looks better already.
We had to take a trip to the hardware store for drywall and paint so I decided to pick up a few perennials to fill in until the seeds I have get going.
I bought a large correopsis, a couple of Lantana, several of something that looks like carnations (I can't remember the name) and another plant I have never seen. It has a cluster of pink and purple variegated blooms. I'll post a picture later. I may go back for more of it if it does well.
By the time we got back it was too late to get those in the ground, but I will try to tomorrow.

All in all the weekend started out very stressful, but I think we actually accomplished a lot.
I think that's the way it should feel.

I also bought two new patterns this weekend to try, hopefully soon. Like I needed any more! They looked really comfy, cute, and easy so I was sold. One is a simple sundress and the other is what seems to be a very flattering and easy blouse. Both are sutable for any fabric, which I like, and I thought I could make a few of each. Add it to the list I guess. :)

Sigh........time to relax.....until tomorrow! Another week begins.

Hope you have a good one!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A day without rain

Saturday was the first day in about a week that we didn't have any rain. My son was so thrilled to actually be able to have a ball game. We've had so many rain outs I think we will be playing baseball until September.
After the game we came home and He helped me in the garden. Well, the future garden, just a flower bed really. We pulled out as many weeds as we could, finding lots of worms, grubs and other bugs along the way. Jarred had no problem picking up the grubs with his bare hands. Grubs are super cringe worthy for me, but he had fun.
It was nice to spend some Mommy-Son time. With my two year old daughter running around and getting into everything I don't have as much time just for him. Hopefully we can have more times like that.
Now before I get all weepy......
We also put out the bird feeders. I love watching the birds in our yard. We actually have a pretty good variety of birds, not including the Mallards that live on our neighborhood lake.
A couple of my favorites are the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, and the Baltimore Orioles. (not the ball team, I'm a Cards fan all the way!) The Orioles love fresh oranges so we put out a whole bag. I've only seen them once, but I know they will come more often since there's food.
We also have a lovely little Bluebird who is guarding a nest. Last year they built in a birdhouse we put up for them, but tragedy struck. I believe a raccoon pulled the top off the house and ate the babies. The carnage was all over the ground. I felt bad for them, and didn't think they would build in a house without a top. Apparently they did because the male stands watch over the yard and chases the other birds away if they get too close to his house. Hopefully the raccoon won't bother them this year.
Next I need to get the Hummingbird feeders out. They've already come looking for them.
I love Spring....except for the seven days of rain. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Something Crafty

The Beatles and John and Yoko. Felt pins

A doll for my baby niece. I love her smirk.

Felt food pin cushions for my Granny S. and close up of strawberry, my favorite part.

Okay so far I've blogged about not blogging, UFO's and gardening. I though it was time to post some crafty things.

Here are some pictures of my favorite projects to date.

There are of course a ton of projects on my list. Some I've already written about.

My head is constantly filled with ideas for new things to make. One is using the large stack of magazines I have under my desk to make cards, jewelry or wall art.

Sometimes my head is like a flooded river to fast and dangerous to be productive. I am hoping that writing about it will help me focus.

What helps you focus?