20 December 2013

[digiscrap: Buried Under a Pile of Pics.]

Every year, I make a Blurb 12x12 album for my mom and MIL.  It's their Christmas gift from the kids - and costs us a small fortune, but they LOVE them.

This year - I'm behind.  Like ... I'm still digiscrapping pages and Christmas is next week.  So.  This year, they will get a COMPLETE album, containing this year's Christmas too ... and get it in Jan/Feb.

They are SO much work ... hours and hours and hours and hours of work.  But seeing their faces when I give the books to these lovely women - well, it's sheer motivation ... another 6pages done today *smile*.

Click the images to enlarge.

Have a great one!

04 November 2013

[cakes: Secret of the Wings Birthday Cake.]

Hello?   Anyone out there?

Ah yes ... I am still here.  Still kicking' and breathin' ... much has happened since I last blogged, but more on that later.  I've been wanting to catch up on some of my life and it seems that Katia's birthday cake is kinda where I left off ... 

So here I go ... 

She loves fairies.  And there's a movie called "Secret of the Wings" where Tinkerbell discovers she has a sister.  It's a complicated story of warm and cold fairies - with the point being that these two sisters live in two different worlds divided by a log.  Warm world on one side, cold world on the other.  

That was the inspiration for my cake.  Well.  Inspiration is a strong word.  I was actually dreading this one.  Katia's "Hello Kitty" cake was so ridiculously simple - I was longing to just do that one again.  

As always - I just baked a few shapes and then stepped back for a while.  Staring at them for a long time seems to help me ... or frustrate me.

First things first ... buttercream frosting.  Can't go wrong with that.

I cut a part down the middle to create the "cavern".  

Then, I decided to make "cliffs" by using black glittery sprinkle stuff.  See?  I have no clue what I'm doing ... or talking about.

I made the mistake of cutting the first part in half, because I needed to "dip".  When I placed it on top of my base, the two halves separated.  So, I got out some wooden kabob sticks and tried to make them stay in place.  By this point, I was already frustrated and just wanted to go to bed *grin*.

The next mistake I made was pointed out to me the next morning by Mattias.  This bottom part should've been blue - it should've been a river instead of the "black abyss".  Oops.

See the split?  Ah yes ... good times.

The next part was kinda fun ... playing with fondant and colours ... creating a "warm" world.

I rolled some "vines" and then realized it was looking pretty dull ...

I used white fondant for the "cold" side ... 

Added some flowers to the "warm" side ... 

Then I tried to outline with liquorice whips.  Yeah ... they don't lie flat.  They just twist and coil.

Then I placed the cake topper and BOOM.  Third mistake ... the waterfall that I had wanted on the front of the cake - was actually on the back because of Tinkerbell sitting on the left.  Ha!  Oh boy ... 

I cut out some snowflakes for the "winter" side ... 

Wrote "happy birthday" ...

And it was done.  Thank goodness ... it was not what I had hoped for - but done none-the-less.

The next morning ... the BIG REVEAL.  And you can see that it literally was first thing in the morning.  Katia's hair was all over the place - although her tiara fit well *grin*.

Honestly - her reaction wasn't the best.  But that's ok.

Because long after the boys were done looking - she stayed and stared.   For a long time ... 

She talked to it, touched it ...

 That's when I knew that she loved it ... phewf.   I mean, there would be NO point if she didn't.

So ... that's it. 

Now I can cross blogging it off my list too *grin*.

Off to menu plan, start my worship list for Sunday morning, download October's bank transactions, book Mattias' gr2 piano exam, make an appointment for 4 weeks from now regarding the surgery I had on Friday ... 


Gonna be another busy day ...

Have a GREAT one!

29 September 2013

[meal planning: Week5.]

Yup.  Here we go again ...

B ::  cereal&milk, orange juice
L ::  Mac N Cheese, apple sauce, cucumbers&dip
D ::  cauliflower soup, open faced grilled cheese, salad.

B :: toast with jam or honey
L :: Ham&Cheese buns, popcorn twists, grapes
D ::  oven baked roast beef, baked yams, maple carrots

B :: cinnamon toast
L ::  cheese quesadilla, apple sauce, snicker doodle cookies
D ::  Chicken fried rice w/ brown rice, eggs, red peppers & peas.

B :: pancakes and maple syrup
L :: pizza pinwheels, apple slices, carrots and dip, pretzels
D :: panko&parmesan chicken strips, yam fries, caesar salad

L :: Applesauce muffins, cucumbers&dip, fruit snacks
D :: spaghetti and salad

Shortest post ever.

Have a great one!

22 September 2013

[mealplan: Week4.]

Another week of planning ... last week - wow - this was a LIFESAVER.  This week?  We'll be eating together as a family ... and for that, I am very grateful.

I'm working on a few other posts - but truly - haven't had the time to finish them.  

So.  For now ... I'm staying organized and feeling like I'm gettin' into the grove of things.  Plus, I'm always trying to expand my meal-plan repertoire - although I love having things that I fall back on when I don't want to actually think *smile*.  

Something new for us this week - bagels and cream cheese.  My boys are addicted to Nutella (can you blame them) - thus the reason I meal plan for breakfast too ... trying to limit Nutella to once, maybe twice, a week.  I bought the bagels and purchased two kinds of spreadable cream cheese ... chocolate and strawberry.  I know, I know ... Nutella vs chocolate cream cheese ... hey - I read the ingredients.  The cream cheese is a MUCH better choice - and, SCORE - they LOVED it this morning ... boom.

Here's this week's plan ... have a great one!!

B ::  baked crescent rolls with nutella
L ::  ham and cheese buns, pretzels, grapes
D ::  crock pot orange chicken, brown rice, steamed broccoli

B :: hard boiled eggs (do eggs the night before), bagels and cream cheese (chocolate/strawberry)
L :: Mac N Cheese (made the night before), cucumbers&ranch dip, apple sauce
D :: Perogies, sausage, salad

B :: cinnamon toast
L ::  pizza pinwheels, apple slices, carrots and dip, pretzels
D ::  Tex-Mex Wraps (ground turkey, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, cheese)

B :: pancakes and maple syrup
L :: cheese quesadilla, apple sauce, snicker doodle cookies
D ::  Skinny Italian Creamy chicken, egg noodles, salad, jello for dessert *smile*

L :: Applesauce muffins, carrots and dip, fruit snacks
D :: out for dinner

15 September 2013

[meal planning: Week Three.]

Although it may not seem like it, I assure you my entire life isn't revolved around meal planning.  In fact - meal planning is the smallest part of my life - but so incredibly necessary for my sanity.  So, here I am - at 11:47pm on Sunday evening ... planning.  Printing out the list.  Putting it on the fridge ... and the kids are already used to running and checking out their meals for the day ... so crazy.  So fun.  Well ... not fun.  Just crazy.

Meal planning helps me for the unexpected ... like when my son went to emergency on Friday night from 1am-630am with croup.  I don't meal plan for Saturday - but even just seeing some ideas helped me for Saturday when we were all grumpy and wiped.  Turkey Wraps worked just fine for Saturday night's dinner ... 

But please ignore the lack of spunk in these meals.  My hubby won't be around for dinner for 4 nights this week - and with piano lessons, swimming lessons, baseball practice, kids church activities and Recovery Church special meetings ... well.  One night of McDonald's is going to allow me to actually be on time ... no guilt.  We all do a Micky D's run every now and then, right??

Ok.  Enough.  I'm tired ... here's the list *yawn*.

B ::  toast with peanut butter
L ::  penne with tomato sauce&ricotta, apple sauce, 1cup popcorn
D ::  panko and parmesan chicken strips, yam fries, salad

B :: hard boiled eggs and buttered toast (do eggs the night before)
L :: ham&cheese buns, carrots&ranch dip, grapes
D :: McDonalds

B :: pancakes with maple syrup
L ::  applesauce muffins, cucumbers&dip, pretzels
D ::  do-it-yourself pita pizzas (ham&pineapple, cheese)

B :: cereal
L :: cheese quesadilla, apple sauce, carrots&dip
D :: lasagna, caesar salad

L :: crackers&cheese, fruit snacks
D :: shredded chicken casserole, baked yams, peas.


... have a good one *yawnnnnnn*.

09 September 2013

[meal planning :: Week Two.]

So - last week went off without a hitch.  MAN - for me??  Having a planned meal schedule gave me the gift of time.  No panicking.  And - the kids loved going to the fridge and see what they were getting in their lunchbox or what was for supper that night.

Worked like a charm.

How do I do it?  Well ... on Saturday night, I start the plan.  After church on Sunday, I go over it with my hubby and then I head off to do the grocery shop.   By 1pm on Sunday, I'm all done and if I need to do an additional produce shop, I do it right by my children's school.  So great.

This week?  Well - a little less adventurous in the kitchen, unfortunately.  My hubby will be away on business two nights this week, and next week - four.  That makes meal planning tricky, because he's the "eater" in the family ... not my 4yr old little girl *grin*.

Ah well ... maybe the week after that I can try Homemade Ricotta Gnochhi ... a recipe I can't WAIT to surprise him with ...  

On a side note - I set the alarm early this morning (before anyone in the house was up ... ) and went for a 3.5km run.  Showered.  So after I dropped the kids off at school, I could actually DO something ... instead of just using that time to get ready ... brilliant.  My plan is to do that Mon/Wed/Fri ... three runs a week so I can use the time while Katia's at preschool to actually get something accomplished.

That's manageable, no?

Well.  Until it rains LOL.

And I also wanted to say that I've had a "lightbulb" moment this weekend ... I realized how much RHP I do, and it needs to be balanced.  I work, literally, 7 days a week late into the night - and that's just plain wrong.  So.  I've decided to protect two days a week where I do NOT work, and be IN BED by 11pm every week night ... so I can get up and be healthy in the morning.  I actually feel a sense of relief from this epiphany.   Again - just trying to do better and be wise with the time God has given me. 

Ok - enough ... here's this week's meal plan.


B ::  baked crescent rolls with nutella (don't judge me ... LOL)
L ::  ham and cheese buns, pretzels, grapes
D :: sticky baked chicken, baked yams, steamed broccoli


B :: hard boiled eggs and buttered toast (I do the eggs the night before)
L :: Mac N Cheese (made the night before), cucumbers and ranch dip, apple sauce
D :: spaghetti and sauce, caesar salad, ice cream for dessert


B :: cinnamon toast
L ::  pizza pinwheels, apple slices, carrots and dip, pretzels
D ::  Tex-Mex Wraps (hamburger, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, cheese)


B :: pancakes and maple syrup
L :: cheese quesadilla, apple sauce, snicker doodle cookies
D ::  Thai Peanut Noodles,  jello for dessert *smile*


B :: Land Of Nod Cinnamon Buns
L :: Applesauce muffins, carrots and dip, fruit snacks
D :: Chicken and egg-drop soup

Have a great one!

02 September 2013

[meal planning :: Week One.]

I always start September with a BANG ... and then it fades by week three - can anyone relate??  But I DO know this about myself - if I take a few minutes and organize, than I can accomplish pretty much whatever I set my mind to.  If I get overwhelmed and DON'T do it?  CHAOS ... and I usually gain about 5lbs in two days from emotional eating.


So ... this is for ME.  I do this for ME.  For MY sanity and for MY calm.  If it helps you, then that blesses me ... but please do not think that this is normal.  It's September ... let's see how many weeks it takes for me to fall of the wagon *wink* ... 

My plan, for those who are interested, is to connect links to my "Make By Homemakingirl" site - where the recipes will be located.  Again - this is for ME.  So, instead of losing the list of meal-planning-paper that my children have inevitably turned into a robot somewhere, I can come here and find EVERYTHING.  This works ... again.  For week one, anyways *grin*.

Here's this week ... 


Dinner ::   Egg-Drop-Chicken-Noodle soup with veggies and dip


Breakfast :: hard boiled eggs and toast
School lunches ::  pizza pinwheels, sliced apples, snicker-doodle cookies
Dinner ::  Crock pot Chicken Cordon Bleu, steamed broccoli, brown rice


Breakfast ::  pancakes with maple syrup
School lunches ::  ham and cheese buns, carrots and ranch dip, fruit snacks
Dinner ::  Crock pot Garlicky Pork Tenderloin, oven baked yams, peas, salad


Breakfast ::  cereal and milk
School lunches :: macaroni and cheese (thermos), apple sauce, cucumbers and dip
Dinner :: Wraps with Ground Turkey


Breakfast ::  Land of Nod Cinnamon rolls
School lunches ::  pizza rolls, pretzels, grapes
Dinner ::  OUT

Have a great one!

26 August 2013

[talk: she's four.]

I don't EVER do this ... but I've chosen to post some pics that I recently took of Katia on my RHP blog.  Today is her fourth birthday - and these pics are to document that.  My RHP blog displays images so much better than here ... 

So, if you're interested - click HERE.

Have a great one!

21 August 2013

[vacations: Oroville, WA.]

For the last number of years, we've headed south to Oroville, WA for some family-time away.  As we bought our current home last year, we thought that we would skip the reservations that were needed to be made last year, and bow out this year.  But - with my hubby's Italian family arriving this summer, we decided to join the entire gang ... 

The water tramp was a hit ... more-so with the men, than the kids.  Obviously.

So, during the day, we were at our rented cottage on the lake with the large group of cousins and friends there.  And in the evenings, we headed up to our Zio and Zia's place for family dinner ... where the rest of the family were staying.  

They've done a lovely job over the last 5 years.  Zia and Zio now have a pool, a garden - even a vineyard.

The craziest thing that happened, was when we were all sitting watching the storm one evening - and the lightening struck the mountain directly behind us.  Within an hour, that one spark began a massive fire ... 

It was crazy.

So the next day, the firefighters purposely burned a line at the bottom of the mountain.  This would protect the homes below should a fire ever happen again.  

While fires were burning ... we were eating brick-oven pizza made by my bro-in-law and sis-in-law, and my father-in-law and mother-in-law.  That's a lot of "in-laws" to type ... 

our angel-bean.

After dinner?  A whole bunch of bug spray and a volleyball game.  With only a little bit of violence.

During on of the afternoons, the guys decided to prove their manhood through a friendly swimming competition.  

It was Mattias' birthday - so we got, um, three cakes *grin*.

My handsome hubby ... with hair that's got a mind of its own ... 

Hey Josiah ... would you like some cake?

Or maybe you should just go to bed?

Well ... there are a million pics on my IPhone - but you get the idea.  Good times.  And hey - I can cross documenting this off of my "to-do" list today *grin*!!

Have a great one!