Saturday, December 27, 2014

11 years

Tony surprised me for our anniversary and took me to the Wild Goose Inn (B&B).  We spent a few days there for our honeymoon, so long ago, and it was a lot of going back. 
Thanks, honey!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve!

We did our caroling at the nursing home and then had lunch at L. George's.
We went to the Vos' and celebrated opening gifts and making snacks.  
I love getting to spend this time with family and eating yummy snacks.  I made egg rolls, fried zucchini, stuffed mushrooms, a vegetable tray and mini cheesecakes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Baking '14

We did gingerbread houses this year, I just used my regular gingerbread recipe, which is really great, and then printed a pattern and cut it out of the dough.  The trick was to cut the pieces and pull out the excess instead of trying to transfer the cut pieces to the cookie sheet.  We need a little more practice in the construction department.  I also used my regular royal icing recipe, about the consistency of toothpaste, for the cement. For my neighbor and friend gifts I made fudge.  You know what?  I don't like fudge.  So I won't make it again.  I made old fashioned chocolate fudge and penuche fudge.  They were fine...I just don't like fudge.  I also made Mel's cinnamon caramels which were fantastic.  I could eat them all day long.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Lucy's Piano Recital

Lucy had her Christmas piano recital.  She did such a great job!
Tony recorded it but I'm still waiting for him to download it for me.  When I get it, I'll put it up here for you all to enjoy.  I was very proud of how well she did and all the practice time she put in.  Her teacher has been amazing  with her, and keeping her motivated.

Noah was excited for the cake pops. Just look at those eye brows.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

YW Christmas Party

I helped plan the YW Christmas party this year and I only took pictures of the food.  Lovely.
Oh well.  We had a good time singing carols, listening to the musical numbers and eating yummy snacks and desserts.  It wasn't so spiritual but it was fun.  We had a spiritual, christmasy lesson the Sunday before Christmas, so I guess it was covered.  You know, all the second guessing you do surrounding an event.  I think the girls and our invited guests had a good time.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Look who's 40!

Chris threw an amazing 40th birthday party for my sister.  It was a 16 candles theme.
We had fun planning and attempting to pull one over on my sister.  I'm convinced that's not possible.
We had such a fun time celebrating Jen, here's to the next 40!

Monday, December 08, 2014


I made croissants for Thanksgiving.
When they came out of the oven, I danced.
I danced around the kitchen in culinary victory.
I started them at 12am and they were done at 12pm.
I watched a video, several times, and read and reread the recipe to make sure I had it all right.
They came out perfectly.
These are a new Thanksgiving tradition and Tony asked for them for his birthday.
I want to start a cooking club.
I need ideas.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I forgot to note...

We bought a new Chevy and got rid of our old Chevy.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!
We had such a nice holiday with family.
So much cooking.
So many dishes.
And the best part is, tomorrow is still Saturday!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The best sugar cookie recipe

I know I'm a little prone to hyperbole, even though I despise it because I know tastes are so subjective...
a big BUT...
These sugar cookies are life changing.

I have a long history with sugar cookies.
Both of my Grandmothers, and even Tony's Nana, made really good sugar cookies.
My Dad's Mom made an unfrosted version, they were on the crispier side and she would package them in tins with wax paper separating each layer of cookies, I ate a lot of them growing up and finally got the recipe from my aunt a few years ago and the title of the recipe was "Grandma Starnaman's Sour Cream cookies," which must have been my great grandmother.  My Mom's mom also made sugar cookies, especially at Christmastime, or at least that's when I remember having them.  Hers were cutout cookies and frosted and soft and also very yummy.  Then, in high school, our cafeteria served these divine, frosted, sugar cookies, which I would love to have the recipe for, but don't.  So, when I started looking to America's Test Kitchen for recipes, I thought I'd try their sugar cookie and Lucy asked if I would bring them to school for her birthday treat.  Perfect timing.

I made these with Mel's Magical Frosting, which is my favorite all purpose frosting.  The combination is wonderful, but I think I prefer them unfrosted, and that's something, I love frosting.  These cookies are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside and just the right amount of sweetness.

Monday, November 03, 2014


Noah the Ninja and Lucy the Wolf.
Lucy's costume had a cool tail and claws but I didn't get a picture. Shucks.
They had a lot of fun at the ward Halloween party and Trick-or-Treating.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Lucy is 7

Birthday season seemed to stretch on forever, it was fun, but long.
We had family parties and friends over and her present was her lizard, who I can't find a good picture of at the moment.  Lucy is my best girl, grateful to be her mama.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

sneaky peak

I took some pictures of the kids this week.  I'll share more later, I've got other editing to work on. but this one was just too sweet. This photo was not staged or coached in any manner and I love it.
These kids sure do love each other.
Noah has taken to calling Lucy, "My Lu."
"How old are you mom? 31."
"And how old is My Lu?"

Speaking of how old My Lu is...tomorrow, it changes.  Today is the last day of being 6!
Right now Lucy loves:
Lemon, her lizard.
Reading, especially the Ocean Fairy books, the Ramona books, Ivy + Bean, and any animal fact books she can get her hands on.
She is really good at math, which along with science, is her favorite subject.  She is still working on her handwriting and has improved a lot already this year.
She is still enjoying her piano lessons, due to her amazing teacher.
Her favorite foods are Cheeseburger Soup, pickles, bacon, and white chocolate.  She does not like milk or dark chocolate unless it's a Kit Kat.  She loves to laugh and has a great little giggle.
She also loves to snuggle and she is the 2nd best big sister in the whole world.

Something I've noticed about Lucy is that she is eager to please, maybe that's the sign of the first born but she seeks for our approval on a lot of what she does and I do my best to be affirming and confidence building.  I love getting to be her mom.

I'll post more birthday fun tomorrow.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My beautiful nieces

Sweet little Annie had a beautiful blessing day.

And Lizzie did such a great job cheering!  Go Steelers!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lucy's Duet

Did I tell you Lucy started Piano Lessons?
She did, she's been excited to practice and excited to go to her lessons.
She has a fantastic teacher.
The other night, she and I were practicing Ode to Joy and I didn't think she'd be ready for the lesson.  I told her she could ask her teacher for an extra week and she got really upset, "you can't do that in piano, then I'll get behind."  Sweet, anxious, first-born child.

I usually sit in the car and read during her lessons but today I went in to hear the duet and I was so proud, I nearly cried.

(she's playing the melody)

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I made falafel for dinner.  I doubled the recipe, I should have quadrupled it, or maybe served something with it other than sauce. 

The recipe is from Bob's Red Mill and Tony and I made up the sauce.

Falafel Sauce:

1/2 C Mayo
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 t cayenne
1 t dried dill, you could use more fresh if you've got it. :)


Friday, September 26, 2014

Chore Chart

We implemented a chore chart for Lucy in order to increase her personal responsibility and teach her some fiscal responsibility also through an allowance.  We decided that if she completes her weekly goals (she can miss up to three check marks) she gets $1.00.  On Saturday she does a "Saturday Job," which so far has been, cleaning the windows outside the house, cleaning the toy room, and scrubbing the bathtub.  If she completed her week-day chores and earned her $1.00 she earns an extra $2.00 for the Saturday job.  If not, she still has to do the job, but doesn't get paid for it.  So far, it's been working.  We've had to do a fair bit of reminding and she has missed a few check marks along the way but we are three and a half weeks in and she's earned all her dollars each week.

She's even learned a bit about delegating.  She hired her brother to help her with the toy room and paid him $1.00.  It was all her idea and he was thrilled.  He walked into the dollar store protectively covering his dollar filled pocket.  They both had fun picking their own items.

Yesterday, Lucy brought home the Scholastic Book order form. There is a book she wanted to get, after seeing the price she said, "If I buy this book, I'll only have $1.00 left."  
So, she's's working.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I love Concord grapes.  I can not get enough of them.  Turns out my neighbors have a mature vine that grows along their fence.  They offered to let us harvest since they don't use them.  I planted our own vine in the summer of 2013 and I was nervous it wouldn't make it through the harsh winter but it did.  It hasn't born any fruit yet but I am hopeful about next year.

We went out as a family one night and picked and picked and picked.
After I went through them all and picked them off the stems, we ended up with 5 lbs and 8 ounces of grapes.  We then washed and squished and boiled and juiced.  My kitchen was a purple mess!
I ended up with 5 jars of jam or jelly-I'm still not sure the difference, and 2 jars of syrup (sugar experimentation gone wrong).  It's sweet and sour and delicious on buttered toast.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Baby Annie

I've done a few photo shoots recently, I took some of Annie the other day that I am really in love with...the girl and the pictures. :)