Wednesday, April 22, 2015

No plain frames!

I almost feel sorry for the plain frames in my house...I simply cannot leave them alone�� I try, I really do! This chunky turquoise frame survived longer than most without embellishments. Then one day I walked past & knew what it needed--flowers:) I am partial to both Prima & Petaloo companies. A few flowers, a bit of glue & five minutes gave my frame a new look & me?...a temporary embellishment fix!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Brittany's Sugar Cookies

I really should not have this recipe in my possession. These cookies are moist and packed with fattening yumminess. Let's face it, one does not make sugar cookies for healthy eating:)
 Disney's movie "Up" was the inspiration for this creation featuring these sugar cookies made for Scarlett's 2nd birthday "cake"!

With this recipe you will want to eat your cookie and have your icing too:)
Be sure and try almond extract as a fun alternative to vanilla.
Sugar cookies are best made with a huge mess of flour all over the kitchen and a giggle or two. I have a cookie cutter for most holidays, however I rarely use them because all of the dough never makes it to cookie form:)

Here is the recipe, use at your leisure and desire for a culinary indiscretion!

Brittany's Sugar cookies

1 1/2 cups butter softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, & almond extract. Stir in baking powder, salt, powdered sugar & flour. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour or overnight. Once chilled, roll out dough to desired thickness on parchment paper to cut-out shapes (400 degrees 6-8 min) OR... press dough into a baking sheet 1/2" thick and bake until golden (350 degrees 15-18 min). Then cut with cookie cutters AFTER baking and transfer to a cooling rack. This is much easier and gives you a perfect shape with no size guessing every single time!


4 Tbsp butter softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract OR 1 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tbsp milk
3 drops food coloring

Mix well & have fun!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Scarlett's "Up" party!

Me "Scarlett, how old are you?"
Scarlett "2!.....Gambie..old"
Some days it feels true, some days not as true:)

Someone's daddy aka son-in-law Travis thought that would be a fun thing to teach my grand baby! Obviously it was or I wouldn't have shared it on all forms of social media:)

To celebrate Scarlett's birthday Brittany put together a party from the Disney movie "Up" far as two year olds are concerned it is about a house and balloons! The original idea was to fill the trampoline with balloons for the main party activity however the weather had other plans. Luckily the cottage was available! Party preparations were a breeze with all the Tolman family here visiting. 

We began with a chipboard house and cookies which turned into a really cute birthday "cake". Brittany's sugar cookies with almond butter icing are addicting!

Brittany chose a house with a whimsical feel from cricut design space
and I set to work cutting a chipboard base for dimension.
To create this multi colored house, 2 or 3 colors of each layer were cut.
The bigger pieces like the house were cut in two so purple and blue would both be used. 

A canvas board covered with butcher paper became the base.
The house was adhered, cookies carefully placed and then ballon strings were "drawn "with icing.

Party prep was more like the party with Daddy & the uncles having
 ballon blowing contests and other assorted activities:)

My scrapbook tables found another use as the ballon corral:)
Aunt Trinsica helped make the grape "ballon" skewers

Black olives joined the party because they are one of Scarlett's favorites-yuk!
Donut holes on colorful paper straws added another fun "ballon" element.

Colorful circles sewn together by one of Brittany's friend added a festive touch!
These were rescued from the trash...thrifty or hoarding?:)
The little blue house was "built" by another friend for another event.
Brittany saved it from demolition (like the movie!) and months later
 it became the party center piece. 
Keeping the donuts safe till the party started was quite a challenge!

Brittany & her creation! She baked a cookie sheet filled with dough and
then cut with an egg shaped cookie cutter for perfect balloons.

Added to the party snacks were mini corn dogs and french fries...a Scarlett favorite

Pre-party pictures...with the bow:)

This child has more fun than anyone I know!

Tolman uncles and Grandad

Brittany had the idea for guests to create a ballon thumbprint 
on a page for Scarlett's scrapbook. 

Scarlett figured out presents! She wasn't as sure about the cash:)

Happy Birthday to you..... The Tolmans, who all have beautiful voices, have a funny tradition...
they sing happy birthday in the worst possible way!

Scarlett on her new picnic table from Grammie & Grandad!

After the party was over...
Me-"Scarlett did you have a fun party?"
Scarlett-" it again!"

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Just a few seconds

My new car has it's first dent. Wish I could remember when my body got it's first dent:) Too many "wrecks" now to count! 

Anyway...I was headed to an appointment cruising down Hwy 12, pleased to see the light was green and I didn't have to stop. As I am looking to the intersection I see a van pulling across the lanes to turn right in front of me! Slammed on the brakes and make a split second decision to try and "turn" with the guy. Any other option involved more cars. This big puppy weighs about 3 tons so into the van I went. I was mad! The guy got out and said he saw the green light going straight and just went with it. He freely admitted running a red light. Police came, reports taken, insurance called....time used. I was mad! 
Finally made it home and stated remembering the chain of events beginning with pulling out of my driveway. We are on a state highway with the speed limit marked as 75. Would love to give a tongue lashing to whoever made that decision! Normally I pull out first chance I get on to the shoulder. Today I waited a bit longer on some cars in the distance. That probably save my life. Those extra seconds I waited pulling out of my driveway kept me from a head on collision with the "running a red light guy"......I was no longer mad. I was grateful to be here. Glad my brakes were new, glad no other cars were hit, glad I was the only one in the car, glad the offender had insurance, super glad it ended up being a only fender bender, glad I know a great place to fix my car......
Mad then glad, then grateful and humble. 
Perspective is so important. 
Fenders can be mended. Life can't be reclaimed. 
Mad to grateful...probably should spend more time here:)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Cinderella phenomenon

Annabelle is 4. She thinks she is a princess. She has a charmed life with really great parents, fabulous grandparents:), a Sunday school teacher that understands her need to be in charge, a preschool she loves, ballet class, and all the amenities in life a 4 year old little girl could want.
She is on a good behavior program with earned puff balls, which lead to a sparkly ticket which buys her a date with Mom or Dad or Grammie or Grandad. Today she was accompanied by the 3 people who secretly wanted to see Cinderella with or without her:)
   As I watched this timeless story I felt myself transported back to my experience seeing the original animated Disney version as a child. I got teary when the stepsisters made fun of her, I cried when the stepmother and sisters tore her dress before the ball. I re-imagined what it would feel like to walk into the ball in such a beautiful dress.... still would really like a fairly godmother:) It is safe to say I really became immersed in this new movie!
   The Cinderella immersion led me to thinking about how little girls feel about themselves as they twirl around our homes in costume. Once upon a time that was me. I believe it is most little girls who come from homes where they are loved and allowed to dream.
   I have a wish for my 4 little granddaughters Annabelle & Scarlett, Savannah & Charlotte and our 5th, Madeline joining our family mid August!

Annabelle at her princess birthday party!

Savannah flits around as Tinkerbell, 
alternating with her Elsa gown:)

Scarlett dresses up with big sister 
mostly in charge of costumes:)

Charlotte makes a sweet Tiger Lily princess

   I want these precious girls to find a prince, one who is kind, hard working, steady, and opens doors (My dad was big on that!) I hope they feel beautiful even in ordinary clothes because they are kind and courageous, as this movie so beautifully portrayed in the promise Cinderella made to her mother. I pray that these little girls will be respected as women, that they will dream and achieve their dreams. I hope they will feel like a princess because they are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.
   My hopes for them echo the hopes of mother's everywhere who can remember what it felt like to believe they were a princess....before life got in the way, struggles came, and people were unkind.
Watching this movie gave me back a bit of my "princess" dreams. A hope for the future because for once Hollywood mentioned kindness and courage as the basis of a good life.
   As I am writing this it occurred to me that I am still a little princess inside and that I did find my prince who is everything this little girl hoped for. These thoughts have consumed me and so I named them the "Cinderella phenomenon".....thank goodness I can still believe in fairy godmothers, glass slippers, and twirling in big fancy dresses!

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Gardening with the blondies in only 17 steps!

I remember my Papa Geldard's garden. Rows & rows of beans, peas, & potatoes. Nellie canned everything they didn't give away. I can still hear the snap, snap of beans we "snapped" on their front porch when I was a girl.
I feel like it is my duty & right as their grandaughter & quite determined to succeed at this gardening thing! 
Brittany & I along with some adorable blondies spent a couple of days planning & planting our garden:) We cheated with plants instead of seeds, and miracle grow garden soil...Papa Geldard didn't have it so easy!

Step 1-buy dirt.
Step 2- stop at the end of the driveway and let the blondies ride on the trailer:)
Step 3 (not to do)- try and back up the heavy trailer so you can surprise hubby with
your independence, instead get hopelessly stuck on the very wet yard.
Step 3 stomp the dirt:)
Step 4-"I do it! I do it!"
Step 5-re-arange the plants in the wheelbarrow
Step 6 (optional)-get Hubby to whip out the big green tractor
and rescue suburban from yard.
Step 7, 8 & 9-bathe children until clean, this may take awhile!

Step 10-make sure almost 2 year old has plastic tools instead of metal:)
Step 11-save baby tomato plant from avalanche of dirt by well meaning almost 2 year old!
Step 11-save baby tomato plant from drowning with its first watering.
Step 12-"Look Grammie, I'm safe from the squirrels"...
which is more than the veggies may be able to say...
Step 12-"I want our garden to look like that!"...
Try and explain photo shopping and false advertising to a 4 year old.
Step 13-stand back and smile at the new dirt and hopeful green plants.
Step 14-Lecture your pregnant daughter on the dangers of over working in the garden
because she insists on playing with the tiller.
Step 15-Endure a smart comment from the son-in-law
(who thinks we will fail and who only unloaded some dirt)
"Well that looks Pinteresting"

Step 16-convince hubby to build another pallet "easel" after you took up his valuable time rescuing the suburban and because you bought too many strawberries...

Step 17.....figure out which ant killer is safe for the garden because all of the ants in the county live here and until you figure out the cure you cannot get the 5th bed planted because an ant hill the size of the superdome is preventing you from being DONE!