Category Archives: misc.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

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I’m in a minor panic mode.  Weather forecasters predicted a possibility of 1-4 inches of snow Tuesday night.  I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but in the Portland area, there’s much hype from the media when it comes to snow and little is delivered.  So I didn’t think too much about this particular forecast.  Saturday morning I went to the grocery store in a mad panic because the ice/snow/wind storm was supposed to come around 9 AM bringing 1-2 inches of ice.  The storm did materialize, but it was closer to a little more of a dusting of snow and 1/2 inch of ice.

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I decided to smite the weather forecasters this time and not panic.  When I woke up this morning, we had 11 inches of snow.  Yikes! Now I am kicking myself that I should have listened to the meteorologist, and therefore gone to the grocery store on my way home from work yesterday because I am almost out of fruits, veggies, and milk.  But more importantly, I am almost out of flour and butter.  And when you’re cooped up inside, warm baked goods sound better than ever, hence the minor panic mode I have induced upon myself.  This picture is the nature park by our house.  I have to admit, snow is beautiful.

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This one is of our backyard.  Oh my poor Japanese maple! Continue reading

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Reflecting On a Year

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The time between Christmas and New Year’s has always been a time of contemplation for me.  A time to look back on the year and reflect on the highs and lows.  A time to see the mix of laughter and sorrow.  But through the bitterness there is sweetness, no matter how small it is.  In February, on my husband’s birthday of all days, I was involved in a hit-and-run accident which totaled our car.  My son, Matthew, was in the back seat, and even though the driver plowed through the back end of the vehicle, smashing the trunk and shattering the back windshield, there was not a scratch, bruise, or break on my son’s little body.  Miracle.  God was good.  This fall, we had to put one of our cats down, who was about 12.  He suffered from kidney failure and it was painful to watch.  How do you explain death to a 6 and 4 year old?  My husband took it especially hard, but Matthew told him not to worry, as Thomas is in heaven and we will see him someday.  Sweetness in the bitterness.

For many of us, 2016 has been a roller coaster ride, but no matter how hard or easy this year has been, each year offers a fresh start. A clean slate.  And I love fresh starts.  I am one of those obnoxious people who creates lists.  New Year’s Resolutions is no exception.  In fact, I look forward to it.  However, I have to limit myself to 10 goals, otherwise I’ll get carried away.

Two years ago, I had to have my gallbladder removed.  Subsequently, my diet changed too.  Not drastically, as I ate pretty healthy before, but it took a whole year for me to accept the fact that I have to really limit the fats and sugars I eat.  For example, I can’t eat a 4 oz steak without getting a stomach ache, and sweets, which I ABSOLUTELY love, obviously, is down to just a few small bites.  As in, I can eat one cookie, not two.  And it kills me!!  The majority of the desserts I make on this blog are given away to neighbors and coworkers…after my family has had a few bites.  This is how I make friends.  This is also how I keep them.

I have taken up exercising more too.  In October, I completed my first 1/2 marathon and liked it so much that I signed up for another one next year.  (I walked it though.  Not ready to commit to a full-on running race.  That’s too crazy for me.)

Writing goals is a great way to verbalize what you’re thinking.  E.M. Forster’s quote How do I know what I think until I see what I say? is one of my favorites.  And sharing goals is a great way to have someone hold you accountable.  So, I wrote down my 10 goals, but am going to share just 5 of them with you.  They are as follows: Continue reading

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Star Wars Birthday Party

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My baby, Matthew, turned 6 a few weeks ago and insisted on having a Star Wars themed birthday party.  And when I say insisted, it was all he could talk about.  His only restriction: “No Princess Leia!”  This, or course, hurt Grace’s feelings, because that’s the only character she likes.  Sigh…

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For the past few years we’ve had his party at our house, but with Matthew getting older, and boys being so active, I decided to have it at a park.  So they could run around.  And pretend they were Star Wars characters.  And just be boys.  And eat lots of food and spill and it doesn’t matter because we’re at a park.

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On Amazon, I found this AMAZINGLY HUGE Storm Trooper–like 6 feet amazing.  The morning of the party I sent Eric and the kids out to get it inflated while I stayed home and made cupcakes.  When he came back this was his brief story. Continue reading

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10 Valentine Desserts + Sugar Cube Hearts {tutorial}

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I thought I would share some of my top Valentine’s Day desserts with you, in case you haven’t made up your mind as to what you want to bake for the big day.  These desserts range from taking an hour or so to a few hours.  Some can even be made ahead of time (like the truffles and decorated sugar cookies).  Whatever you decide, they are sure to please whomever you are giving them to.  Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

Pink and Red Sugar Cookies

Red Velvet Truffles

Rose Cupcakes

Black Bottom Brownies

Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookie Sandwiches

Swirl Cupcakes Valentine Cookies

Pecan-Oreo Fudge Bars

Oreo Truffles

Strawberry Pound Cake

Sugar Cube Hearts Tutorial 

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DIY sugar cube hearts are such a fun and simple embellishment to make. I say embellishment, because, just like scrapbooking, it adds the finishing touches on the final product. For cupcaks and cakes, instead of buying store-bought hearts, you can make your own, in whatever color and size combination you want. Since they are made of just sugar and water, they can last a long time, provided they stay out of the heat and don’t come in contact with liquid. Continue reading

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Sugar Cube Hearts {tutorial}

I am over at Sweet C’s today sharing how to make these easy, adorable sugar cube hearts.  I hope you’ll join me! Enjoy! xoxo

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Transportation Birthday Party

My son turned 2 about a month ago, and when I was planning his party, I told myself I was going to go easy.  Nothing too time-consuming, just keep it simple.  I kept telling myself this because last year, for his 1st birthday, I spent a lot of time planning and making food, invitations, etc.  You can see it all here.  Plus, with being pregnant, I have begun to lose my energy.  Being pregnant the first time around was way easier than the second!  Toddlers wear you out.

But in the end, it was worth it.  Seeing the look on Matthew’s face when his party was all about trucks, trains, and cars made me happy.  And celebrating with family and friends made it worth the while.  I found cute invitations from this Etsy shop, and everything was based off it.

For appetizers, I had veggies and dip, along with salsa and chips.  For the “main course,” I made pasta salad, using the wheel-shaped pasta.  (What is the official name of it?)

I also made egg salad sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and had them in the shapes of cars.  I found this really cute car cookie cutter and cut out bread using the cutter. Continue reading

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Filed under Chilled Desserts, cookies, dinner, misc.

End of Summer

I can’t believe it’s the end of summer!  It always flies by too quickly, and in one short week, I’ll be back cleaning up my classroom and getting ready for teenagers to walk through my door.  I just wanted to give you a quick update to let you know why I’ve been absent for three weeks.  And it all comes down to internet issues.  Said cable company wanted to charge us too much money for internet, so we cancelled.  We’ve been trying to get a different company to come out and get us hooked up to the real world again, but between them not thinking we are already outfitted with FIOS and playing phone tag, nothing has happened.

I am crossing my fingers that they’ll be out this week, because I have lots to share with you.  Life moves too quickly to be out of touch!  Thanks for hanging in there and we’ll chat soon. :)

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