Friday, December 28, 2012

And we're back!

How was everyone's Christmas?

Ours was fantastic! It was our year to have the older kids for Christmas and the decision was made months ago that we would share a special holiday with them! I grew up snowmobiling through Yellowstone park. Had I known that one day this privilege would be nearly non existent for my own children I perhaps would not have taken it for granted! I have been able to share the family passion with my husband who now bleeds ski doo. My great grandfather Wiese was one of the first people to enter the park by means of snow machine. A young man with a heart for flying across the snow....

While leaving town for the Christmas holiday is not for everyone it is certainly something our family will always remember! I always look forward to these trips but this year especially so... The day of our departure started out with unease! We received a text from our school district notifying us of the closure of our local high school due to a threat of violence. With Connecticut so fresh and devastating my mother bear instincts came out and my heart raced as I contacted my daughters elementary school which is only a block away from the high school. The superintendent would not allow the closure of the other schools in the district. I am positive this was because he did not want to spread unnecessary panic....

At the end of the day everyone was safe and we were on our way out of town, away from the chaos that has become "normal" everyday life. For five blissful days I did not worry about gun toting madmen. My children were safe under our presence and protection...

As we prepared to leave the one place on earth I feel most peaceful, I could not help but cry. Here we go back to reality! Back to uncertainty, back to life. I am so lucky and truly blessed . A few years from now they will not remember what they opened on Christmas morning, but they will remember the things we do together as a family. The new reality of what we must face is overwhelming and saddening.

And so we're back!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peppermint log candles...

     I have had these logs kicking around for awhile now. The intent was to turn them into pumpkins. The pumpkin logs I have already made have been holding up real good. Sooo these logs have sat in the backyard making my husband irritable for some time:)
     I cleaned them up. Brought them in and painted them white. I was relieved when the spray paint did not stick to the oil treated logs because it was chilly outside! I painted them with a latex semi gloss instead whilst keeping warm!
     While the paint dried I gathered some random items still not positive what I was doing. I used some old bulbs we had laying around, some jute, and a few bamboo sticks to fashion my wick and flame.

     When the paint was almost there...I am low on patience:) I used red ribbon and a matching red acrylic paint for my peppermint striping effect.

I really like them! They turned out just like I imagined! Good luck!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dear Santa, about last Saturday.....

Please place Sweet baby K back on the good list!

     When my husband and I learned I was pregnant over two years ago we rode the roller coaster! The usual fear of the change and the  elation of a child of our own.... We have two older children and we would be literally starting over with diapers and all nighters! Fast forward to life with Sweet Baby K! Starting over has its most heart fulfilling moments! We get to experience her milestones together! We are having an absolute riot!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Throwback Thursday

Yesterday was my Poppa's birthday! This is one of many cherished photos I have of him as a youngster! A good ol Idaho boy with his Chevy! Happy birthday grandpa! Much love!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Coke can snowflakes...

   I love to find ideas that suite any budget and ability!  

    Cut your can in half...don't throw the top away just yet! Carefully cut and bend the can into strips. Fold the strips in half to begin your snowflake design! Have fun! I used a white spray paint and iridescent glitter to finish...


Hang anywhere using fishing line! Love that stuff!
I am working on something fun with this old window.
    Save the tops of your cans to make a lighted snowflake garland! Carefully snip the pop top off and place light through opening. Use the remaining portion of the tab to secure:)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Soft pretzels!

Fall is full of great ideas! Chilly weather makes me crave the warm smells wafting from the oven! I had never made soft pretzels before and decided it was time! This is an Allrecipes version with a few tweaks! Enjoy!

Pretzel dough:

2- 1/4oz packages yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
5 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon apple sauce (as an oil substitute)

Baking soda bath:
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water

Egg wash:
1/2 cup salted sweet cream butter softened
1 egg

Pretzel toppings of your choice

Dissolve yeast in warm water with one tbs sugar and let sit until foamy or at least ten minutes. Meanwhile mix flour salt and remaining sugar together in separate bowl. Once yeast is foamy create a well in the flour mixture and add applesauce and yeast. Mix well and then knead dough until elastic. Dough will be dry, add a tbs of water at a time until it is workable. Kneading takes about 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.

Once dough has risen preheat oven to 450 and pour dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 12 equal parts and roll out into rope shapes. Prepare your baking soda bath. Form a pretzel shape with your dough rope, make sure to cross the ends in the middle portion of your pretzel, this will help it keep its shape during baking. Dip shaped pretzels into baking soda wash for at least 10 seconds prior to placing on a greased cookie sheet.

After all pretzels have been dipped beat egg and mix in butter. Brush the tops of your pretzel with the egg wash and then whatever your preference for topping.... Course salt, cinnamon, Parmesan e.t.c

Bake until golden brown, this usually takes less than eight minutes! You now have delicious homemade soft pretzels!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Movie nights! Confessions of a book nerd!

The Saga ends!

    Last night was a late night for this lil group! The night all Twilight fans have been waiting for finally had arrived! Breaking Dawn was awesome! Of course there were a few cheesy parts, Aro gives an all new meaning to creeper and the baby Renesmee was strange to say the least! Overall, however it was probably, in my opinion... the best out of the series! It was a little sad to see it end, but eager to purchase the box set for the girls!

    It had been a looong time since I had been to a theater! I think Hunger Games was the last theater movie....Three very active full time kids, a job or three, a gorgeous husband, and life in general will do that for you! I found myself in eager anticipation of a handful of upcoming films! Les Miserables looks divine and I cannot wait to see it on Christmas day snug in the home of my heart! The cast looks amazing! This classic beloved tale has me antsy! Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, and Hugh Jackman.... phenomenal! I have the Liam Neeson and Claire Daines version of Les Mise on my Kindle Fire and watch it religiously!

    The teen saga era remains ever popular, even for us old ladies! Halfway through  Dream Dark, the Beautiful Creatures series has me hooked! Following Link and Ethan as they return home and Link begins to understand the gravity of his situation! I cant read fast enough!
     Oz great and powerful! Looks fantastic as well, and I have already found my next series for in between gym meets and homework! The Mortal Instruments series! Has anyone read this series? The angle that caught my eye? The Nephilim! I loved Danielle Trussoni's Angelology from cover to end! Peaking my interest in the subject! Another reason for loving the SoulKeeper series, which by the way would be a fantastic movie! I need to take a deep breath and finish my current reading list! It is just a great time to be in love with books! So many great and wonderful reads just waiting!

    Anyway! Yes, I am book nerd! I am currently single handedly supporting Amazon through my book purchases:) What films are you anticipating! Stephanie Meyers The Host is set to be released soon!

 What books have you hooked?

Friday, November 2, 2012

What are you thankful for?

This month of thanks I would love to celebrate! Today I am thankful for my sweetheart! Everyday is better than the last! He sees my faults and makes them my victories... He loves me so unconditional it seems unreal. He is my hero in every sense. Thank you baby!

Monday, October 29, 2012

This weather calls for apple cider!

Apple cider
8 -10 apples (I used a variety of reds and golds)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cloves
1 thick orange slice


Quarter your apples (no need to remove peel or seeds).

In a large pot add your apples and fill with water, just enough to cover the apples.

Add sugar and stir.

Wrap your cinnamon and spices in a double piece of cheese cloth and add this to the apples and water.

Boil on high for one hour (uncovered) checking on it frequently. Enjoy the warm aroma that will fill your home!

Turn down heat and let simmer for two hours. Cover your pot and stir occasionally.

Take off the heat after two hours of simmering and let cool.

Remove spice bag and mash up the apples to a pulp like consistency

Once cool pour into a strainer over a large bowl. When most of the juices have drained away, put the remainder of the apples into a doubled up cheese cloth and squeeze over the bowl until no more juice comes out. You can do this as many times as needed.

store in an air tight container in your refrigerator for up to a week or you can freeze it! Reheat in the microwave or on the stove! I usually get a full gallon from this recipe! I set aside milk cartons to store the cider in!


Thursday, October 25, 2012


Welcome To The...

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Follow your Aloha Friday Hop hosts and team members.

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Link up your family friendly blogs 

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 Share this hop so that others might join in.

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 Visit at least three other blogs and let them know you've come to share aloha.

(How lucky are we to start our wonderful weekends together, let's have fun with this)



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday....

Our babies are dying to get out! Yesterday's snow storm only fueled our snow desire! Anytime now my husbands new 2013 will be ready for delivery! We are so excited to welcome a new member to our family;)

Christmas will find us in West celebrating party style! I just need to focus on first things first.... Like Halloween and Thanksgiving:)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Days like these...

We woke up to a surprise this morning! Our beloved Winter season is within reach! Everyone was up early to share in the excitement!

Do you know what I love more than anything? Besides the obvious of course:) Cooking in the chilly weather! Our home is our haven, nothing delights me more than to see the faces of my husband and kids as they shuffle through the door after the world has had its way with them, catching a whiff of warm deliciousness!

Today their noses will be greeted by homemade vanilla toffee cinnamon rolls and oh man! The crock pot is killing me with the smell of made from scratch broccoli and cheese soup! I love the seasons and enjoy my time at home! I can't wait for snowmobile trips! Woot woot!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...With words!

It has been a rough few days! Good rough...not bad rough, there is a difference! When I stop to count my many blessings rough seems an unfair analogy, but the terrible two's are in the beginning stages. My little Houdini is into everything!  and yes, that is duct tape on her diaper.....

Alice Cooper called...

    Oh how history repeats itself! One sunny Sunday eight years ago I awoke to find my then toddler with a mascara unibrow! "I pretty!" She exclaimed excitedly! Yes baby you are! Fast forward some years, and the quiet is making me nervous as I busy myself around the house... Once again a three foot nothing beauty queen emerges from the bathroom... "Eye! Eye!"

What else can you do but giggle!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


A loss for words...

    Yesterday as I posted the pictures from our Fall Fun weekend there were so many things I wanted to say in addition to the photos. I wanted to share with you the joy of watching Sweet Baby K paint her first pumpkin. Tell you how we all laughed and spit out burnt, but coveted pumpkin seeds....Let my readers in on the emotions I was feeling when last Sunday I made time to do all the small things my kids had been wanting to do....

    These feelings began Saturday as our family gathered around my grandmother who has recently been diagnosed with Leukemia.... When looking at her you would never know. The woman is a spit fire, has been all her life! Even with all the helping hands available Saturday she still insisted on keeping busy. I finally sat with my husband and children feeling all that was to be done, was done...Grandma, once every one was seated and plates full, finally served herself and was on her way to her seat. Approaching our table we slid in to let her pass. I touched her arm and noticed eyes full of fresh tears threatening to spill as she surveyed the crowd that had assembled on her behalf. "Grandma, please sit down." I urged.... 

    "Grandma, what else can I get for you? What do you need?" A single shiny tear escaped and rolled down her cheek as she grasped my arm and replied "Just more time."

   This singular statement has been haunting me all week. Make time, no matter the cost. Make time no matter the inconvenience. Make time today to put the truly important things on top. Make time....

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Warriors...

Great Halloween table runner!
By one of my budding artists!

White punkins are all the rage!
Getting our Fall on! I had been wanting to try a lace stencil! 

Baby K's first Punkin!

We are so excited!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vals spaghetti sauce...

  My friend Val is an amazing cook! I miss her cooking! On a fine afternoon such as this, thee  first day of October! The crock pot beckons!

    Last year we were lucky to receive a quarter of beef. Our deep freeze was full with delicious roasts, steak, and hamburger until late spring! Range fed beef is delicious not to mention the benefit of a healthier meat. This year although the timing was rough we dug deep into our pockets to purchase another quarter! We are once again glad we have done this! It will more than pay for itself and save us money in the long run!

Back to the Crisp Fall air and beckoning crock pot!

    1 package of stew meat
    1 large sliced onion
    a few cloves of fresh garlic
    1 26 oz can tomato sauce (you can use spaghetti sauce)
    a dash of  oregano
    salt and pepper to taste

    Cut stew meat into bite size pieces. Brown. Combine everything but the pasta in crock pot. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours stirring occasionally. Serve over cooked pasta! So easy and sooo delicious! The stew meat literally falls apart! Yummo!

Don't forget the garlic bread!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Joining the dark side...

Fall is everywhere!

    The urge to succumb to the season is hard to resist in many aspects! Today feels like the day to make some changes to my tresses! Trade in the highlights for rich chocolate and vibrant reds! 7W is my go to color, but this warm tone contains beautiful caramels that fade quickly! Great  for that sandy blonde base when adding a platinum highlights over it throughout the summer...not so much for keeping with the rich Fall tones! 

Reds are tricky!

    Versed hair stylists with clients (or themselves:) enamored with red know and feel this frustration! Keeping a rich red vibrant can be as easy as washing less, waiting to wash newly colored hair, and by using a gloss or color depositing shampoo. Try washing with cold water to keep the cuticle sealed.

   You can also ask your stylist to add a base for your more vibrant tones to grab onto! Blondes coming over to the dark side.... be sure to request a filler to add any missing pigment! 

    If I were younger, and braver I would love to try something like the picture above! I also think the Ombre hair color technique is awesome! It looks amazing on everyone else, but I am not sure how it would look on me! Think I will stick to the Jessica's! I love this color!  Her eye shadow rocks as well! Wish me luck!

What are your Fall hair traditions?

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