Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays


I hope you all have the holiday season of your dreams!

Cheers,
         Tracy

Monday, December 19, 2011

What we're eating - Homemade Pretzels

Not the best photo, we started eating them and then I remembered I wanted a photo.


I found this recipe on pinterest (it does pay off to spend too much time on that site) from allrecipes.com.  They were so easy to make and soooo yummy! It was a perfect Sunday lunch for us and the girls loved making them.

1 pkg active dry yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp.)
2 TBS brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp sat
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 TBS. baking soda
5 TBS melted butter
2 TBS coarse kosher salt
parchment paper

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast, brown sugar and salt in a 1 1/2 cups warm water.  Stir in flour, and knead dough (on a floured surface) for about 8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface.  Cover, and let rise for one hour.

Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8" square pan.

After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner.  Twist into a pretzel shape and dip into the baking soda solution pan.  Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and let rise for 20 minutes.

All the waiting for it to rise really kills me... I have no patience!

Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.  Brush (I dipped top surface into a bowl of melted butter) and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar. Also yummy dipped in melted cheese!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Memory Monday - don't peek

We took the girls to see Santa last week, 
Tuesday night is the best time to go... no line!

Amelia said this was the real Santa, his beard was real. 
Anna wouldn't get close enough to him to find out.

••••••

I remember when I was in third or forth grade. My brother and I were old enough to start giving gifts to each other. I knew Brent had hid a Christmas gift for me and I just couldn't wait to see! I went to search it out, which wasn't too hard because I knew it was in his room and the closet was the only place to hide anything. There in the bottom was a gray plastic shopping bag. I pealed it open to find the cutest, whitest, stuffed teddy bear. It was super soft and had a metallic bow tie. 

As I was closing the closet door Brent walked in and he knew what I was up to... he was so mad. Of course I denied ever peeking and acted totally surprised when I opened it. Since then I have never peeked at gifts again, I learned I didn't want to know. But then again... I wonder if I would ever have even remembered that stuffed bear if I hadn't had that sneaky pre-Christmas moment with it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa likes his cookies

Sorry Santa I guess those cookies do go straight to your hips!

Lovin' this drawing Anna (age 6) made of Santa... so cute!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Memory Monday - Light Bright

Growing up this was one of my favorite toys. I remember spending hours at the kitchen table pushing the colorful pegs through the holes to create an awesome glowing design. I found this vintage light bright box at a garage sale for a buck. 

Amelia is working on a "Welcome Santa" sign on the light bright. 
(a nod from the "Elf" movie)
Just some plan old, good fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pillow factory


It's that time of year, where my office becomes a mini one woman factory, pillows are my biggest seller in my etsy shop and those keep me busy. I've made 12 pillows in November plus sold many other items: hair leaf barrettes, prints, owls, plushy toys, etc.

The end of the year is also busy time of year for my graphic design business. I'm working on two logos, an annual report and a website update at the moment right now.

Add leading two girl scout troops, trying to workout at least once a week and trying to keep my house somewhat clean... whew, I'm worn out. But don't think I'm complaining... I have my job, food on my table, and a nice little house. I know I am blessed... busy, busy, busy is good!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Amelia - The Bat

click to enlarge
Amelia brought this home from school...
 I love her drawing style.

The ittly-bitty bat in the upper right
corner on the thumb is so cute!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Geo Caching



click to enlarge photo... yes that is Anna in the background.



This past weekend we went to Castlewood Park with my parents, brother and his family. We were going to look for a few geo caches. There were five in this park and the first one we looked for was a two step cache but it was too hard to figure out. So we went to look for another cache labeled easy...  as you can guess it was not easy, we never found it, didn't even get close. We still don't know what was wrong, maybe it was the GPS?

Anyway Brent was teasing us that we did not know what we were doing, but the photos above are proof, we have found five geo caches so far and we are hooked, even with the odd set back last Saturday. Either way it was a pretty day to take a hike with family.


Brian would agree, fun day, by would add... "minus my pee soaked shoe and sock". Anna had to go to the bathroom, we made it to the potty just in time for her to get her pants down and pee all over the floor and Brian's shoe. I think that is a badge of honor for a parent, we've all been peed on at least once.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I'm watching - movies


Brian and I have been renting a lot of movies lately (gotta love the library and red box), there just isn't much on TV right now. Last weekend we watched Brides Maids and X-Men. I know what you are thinking... one for me and one for him. But we both really enjoyed both movies. 

Brides Maids is silly and funny, while X-Men was exciting and intersting. X-men touched upon the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis, which I have to admit I didn't know too much about. Now I am currious to read a book about the missile crisis minus the muntants.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We caught the elf in action




Last year Amelia had the idea to try and catch our elf in action, he was always getting into things at night while we slept. Here is the video of what we taped that night.


What cracks me up are the comments that people have left on the video. It seems to be a debate on if the video is real or not. What do you think?



  • -this video is definetly fake but just a little bit crepy at the same time
    -this video is soooo fake
    -that Laugh Sounds Like a Smurf
    -Real
    -that elf is creepy!
    -that is not fake
    -Fake they moved the elf when took pictures
    -the laugh scares me it sounds like a demestic squirrel
    -i didnt see any string good job
    -funny but fakkee
    -lol Let me spell it. F.A.K.E
    -fake



Friday, November 11, 2011

What I'm making... Holly Leaf Barrettes

In September I made some leaf barrettes and they were a big hit in my etsy shop. Now for the kick off of my holiday version... the holly leaf. I'm very happy with how they turned out. My favorite thing is that they are made from upcycled leather making them eco-friendly.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Product review: Wee Squeak Shoes


THE MOST ANNOYING SHOES EVER!


We went to a family birthday party this weekend and one of the kids there (not a relative) had these shoes on. They look normal right? Well hiding in each heal is a very loud squeaker (like you would fine in a dog toy), so with every step, hop, jump you make with each foot you hear a very loud SQUEAK! 


Now put these shoes on a 3 year old kid and guess how many times you hear that squeak within a 2 hours time? I'll tell you... about a billion. At least that is how it felt in my brain... each squeak was like someone poking my brain with a small pin.


I guess the only upside someone might have to these shoes is you know where your kid is at all times through out your house. But a tiny cat bell would also do the trick and would be way less annoying.


Thank goodness my girls do not own these and if they got them as gifts they would be set on fire! 


Do you have someone you don't really like... give their kids these shoes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

What I'm reading - Bossypants by Tina Fey

I'm a fan of Tina Fey, she just seems so fun and really down to earth... someone who can laugh at herself. I checked out her new book at the library and finished it last Saturday. It's a very fun, light hearted and easy to read book. A bit like watching a half hour comedy show.

I was a little disappointed, I thought I would be "LOLing" throughout the whole book. I think I had maybe 3 LOL's. I'm not saying it wasn't funny, I was, but not crazy funny like I had hope it would be. I did like the behind the scene peak of the working of SNL and 30 Rock. I would recommend it if you want a quick and easy read with a dash of humor mixed throughout.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spider Wreath


I had seen a wreath like this made with all snakes. But since we have a spider house for Halloween we made a spider version. We bought a cheap vine wreath for about $3 and the girls spray painted it black. Then we glued the spiders to the wreath and added the fake web stuff you can find everywhere.


Great addition to our spider house!
Click to enlarge

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Anna



Happy Birthday to my little monkey Anna... 
now 6 years old and keeping me on my toes! 
I love you sweetie!

Here is a list of her favorite things right now 11/1/11.

color: Purple
book: all the Richard Scarry books
t.v show: Amazing world of Gumball
movie: Labyrinth
activity: coloring
food: hamburgers
treat: airheads
sport: swimming
toy: barbie coloring book
thing to do with Mom: cooking
thing to do with Pops: play with his speed racer toys
thing to do with Anna: play polly pockets
thing to do with Groucho: kiss him on the lips

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Please come see me

Last Thursday I got this email from Amelia's teacher:
Subject: Please come see me
HI,
  Well, I got a very interesting little note on the top of Amelia's letter to the teacher. Please stop by my class as soon as you can. I'm having an OMG moment! I would talk to her about it, but I want to talk to you first!!
Stacey W.

I went in to see the teacher very worried, this sure did not sound good! But Amelia has always been a good kid. The teacher handed me this...  double click to view it full size and read the tiny note at the very top of the letter.




Yeah... this was from a second grader to her teacher! Ugh!!!


After I talked to the teacher, both of us shocked, this is so unlike Amelia. I called my husband to tell him of Amelia's note. He thought she probably meant to write "stop giving me this sheet".  When we got home from school I had Amelia read the note to me to see how she would read it and she did say "sheet". 


I casually asked her to spell sheet and she spelled it the way she wrote it on the letter. I told her that was wrong and she tried again "shet". I told her that's closer and told her to correct way to spell sheet. 

Whew!... this is one time I am so thankful she miss spelled a word.

Either way she should not have written that note and there was an apology note on the next letter to the teacher.

Another funny memory to share with Amelia's future spouse!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lucky Stones

My newest addition to my Etsy shop:


So what is a Lucky Stone? 

It’s a stone with a hole through it carved by mother nature. Collected and treasured as talismans from as far back as the Neolithic ages, these holy stones are considered to have magical powers and believed to be able to ward off illness and misfortune. 



Fishermen would not sail without them, farmers would nail them to their barns to protect their livestock. In the Victorian days it was considered especially lucky to spit on the stone, and toss it over your left shoulder chanting: Lucky stone lucky stone bring me some luck. Today or tomorrow at Twelve O’Clock.

 I found these on the beach of lake Michigan this past summer on our family vacation. The girls and I really enjoyed walking the beaches searching for the lucky stones. I think they make such a simple and sweet necklaces.




Friday, October 21, 2011

In My Desk

Amelia wrote this little poem at school. Of course my favorite part is the drawing! I love her the point of view she drew it in? The person lifting up the desk lid and peeking in... just so cute! (said the proud Mama).


That was one thing Amelia was very excited about starting 2nd grade... the desks that lift up!


Double click the drawing to see it full size.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cute Evelyn Rose

My best friend had her second baby this past Friday. She had a sweet baby girl named Evelyn Rose. My girls enjoyed meeting the tiny baby, Amelia loved holding her.

Welcome to the world little lady, 
you picked a great Mama to be with.



Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Addiction

I admit it... I am addicted to pinterest! I love this site, it is such a wonderful idea and I thank whoever thought it up!


No more bookmarks that I'm not sure what they are. Because this shows a photo from the site, I know just what I saved and can find it easily on one of my boards!


If you haven't checked it out yet, go do it right now... you will not be disappointed!


Pinterest

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hard and Easy


Amelia brought this home from school the other day and I had to scan it in to save it. It made me smile! I love that she wrote, "but it's easy to make friends". That makes me so happy to read. And as always I love her drawings. Notice the t-shirts... she is so into peace and love right now.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's not all pretty

I know some of my readers think that everything is perfect and fun over here. But I loudly admit that it's far from that. I do like to try new things and sometimes it works out and sometimes it's a big flop!


That's the thing about blogs, you only see what I want to share. Well today I am sharing one of my flops! My cousin's daughter was having her first communion back in May and I wanted to make a little keepsake for her. I did a quick sketch and though, yes this will be so cute. I sewed it together, did the hand beading and it looked really nice... but... then I stuffed it. 


Everything looks very different when you stuff it! That's the hardest part about making plushy toys without a pattern like I do. You can never really tell how it will look in 3D. I was a little disappointed, then tossed it aside and made her a cute little sun dress for her American Girl doll... ahhhh... much better and something I was happy to give as a gift.


So there you go... just one of many failures, you don't see them all. Those just aren't as fun to share.


p.s. The funny thing is that Amelia really liked the odd cross pillow and wanted to keep it for herself. Maybe I'll try again and make one for her first communion.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Giant Zombie Bubble Fun!


I found this great bubble tutorial. I made the stick bubble wands and special solution, and we took it on our vacation to Michigan city and gave it a try. It works!!! Awesome Giant Bubbles!!!

We all took turns making the bubbles, it's so much fun for kids and adults!


I think Amelia made the largest bubble, it was huge!

Super Giant Zombie Bubble Solution
(we called it Zombie bubbles because ours was made with green dish soap)

-12 cups water
-1 cup dish soap
-1 cup corn starch
-2 tbls baking powder
-3 oz tube of personal lubricant 
(I know this is a weird one but it makes the bubbles last a bit longer)

Let the mix sit for at least an hour, we used used an old milk jug. 
Stir a bit before you use it, but do not shake.

Have fun making your GIANT BUBBLES!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Anna - tickle your heart



Scene: Last Friday Anna and I were walked up to school to pick up Amelia. We had been walking in silence and out of the blue...


Anna: You know how you know God is in your heart?


Me: oh... no how?


Anna: She tickles your heart (Anna waves her fingers in the air in a tickle motion) and that makes it beat.


Me: I love that idea, that sounds wonderful.


Anna: Ya, I think that's how.


I'm not sure what made this idea come to her mind, I think she did she a cartoon where a heart was tickled. But my favorite part is that she calls God a "she". This is not the first time Anna has called God she. I love the fact that she has her own image of God.


I asked her to tell Brian the tickle story and as she was telling the story she asked me "is God a man or a woman". I asked her what she though. She said a woman and she continued her story referring to God as she. For some reason this makes me happy, as a woman with two daughters I guess I like the idea. 


I am going to ask Anna to draw a picture of God... I'm very curious to see what she draws.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What I'm watching - Catfish

Brian and I watched this documentary last weekend... 
I don't want to give anything away... so all I will say is: 


-it's really good
-we both gave it an A
-we suggest you watch it


enjoy!







Monday, September 19, 2011

Birthday

 Last Monday was my birthday, it was a big one and I have to say I don't feel my age at all! I don't think I ever will.

Brian was a bit worried I might have some sort of breakdown, but really it was just like any other birthday. I did go out shopping and bought two pairs of shoes... new shoes are always great! I bought a black pair of heels to keep me feeling sexy and a comfortable pair of flats for those days my knees ache.

My parents gave me two funny cards, one was a signing card, and for some reason it made me tear up. I think because my Mom wrote I would always be her baby... so sweet... it's nice to be someone's baby.

So now what... I guess I just try to keep this body strong and healthy so I am around for my two girls when they go over that hill... because they will always be my babies!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What I'm watching - This is it - Michael Jackson


In the 80's I wanted to marry Michael Jackson, countless times I danced around the living room to the thriller record... yes a vinyl record... I am showing my age. 

I have several of his classic hits on my ipod and the girls love the music also. Especially Amelia, the other week we watched part of the "This is it" movie and it was really neat. He still had the moves and the voice. Amelia was just as fascinated as I was. It's so cool to enjoy the same interest as your kids! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Anna's Art - Family & Groucho

Anna's drawing of me (curly hair), Brian (tall guy), Anna & Groucho.
Amelia was mad that she was not drawn in the picture.

Anna's drawing of our dog Groucho... I love this one!

Friday, September 2, 2011

What I'm making.... leaf hair barrettes

I made these eco friendly upcycled leaf barrettes for my etsy shop and have already sold two and have gotten great feedback! It's so nice when your idea turns out just as you pictured in your mind.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Homemade Dog Treats


Anna and I tried a recipe for homemade dog treats, I found it on Gardenfork. 


Groucho loves the treats! I liked that they are fresh with no preservatives. Plus, it's a great activity to make with the kids. Anna had a blast cutting them all out. We will be making another batch soon.
Isn't Groucho so cute... his teeth crack me up.


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups beef broth or equivalent measure of beef bullion
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix the Flour and Baking Powder.
Add beef broth and peanut butter.
Mix the ingredients together. You want a fairly dry batter-dough, because you will be rolling this out on a board. Adjust the mixture, adding more flour or more stock to achieve a dry yet pliable dough.
Flour a board and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough. you want it to be about 1/4″ thick. 
Cut out the biscuits using a cookie cutters.
Place the biscuits on a greased cookie sheet and back for about 20 min. If you want the biscuits to be harder-drier , bake them longer.
Taste test with your dogs. Keep in a sealed container. If refrigerated, they will last longer.