Orangey Goodness

FIRST OF ALL: why on earth do I love these?! What's not to love? They're beautiful, scrumptious, juicy, orangey, squishy, and they make my mouth water. {haha...your mouth is totally watering right now thinking about these being tangy! very cool.} The kids and I had some of these to close out a very hot day and it was purely heaven!

Whatever these things are called, they're one of my all-time favorite childhood treats that I'll love forever. Don't you?! (I love you, orange squishies.)


Summertime Dinner

I LOVE SUMMER!!! Okay, well it's still a little more like spring here...but nevertheless - I LOVE IT!!! I get giddy when the sun comes up and it's warm, buttery golden, and my back yard is lush and green with NO sign of winter anywhere!!! Last night we grilled up an amazing dinner and enjoyed being warm - this is heaven!


The Apple Dress

Remember this dress?! It finally fits! Brooke hates getting her picture taken so I had a hard time getting a picture of dress details - but you get the idea. ADORABLE!!!

Too bad I'm tired all of the time - I'd love to make some more cute dresses - so I'll settle on laziness for now!


Vintage Outfits for Sale

Hey Ladies! So check this out. (Mom, don't get mad...but I don't think I need these anymore) My *adorable* mom bought these outfits in 1977 when she was expecting me...but she got a girl...so they were never used. (I would hardly consider myself "vintage" - but it sounds so cool for clothing...) Then she gave the outfits to me to use when I had one of my boys and I just couldn't bring myself to ruin them so I never used them.

NOW I'm trying to send them to a good home (on eBay here) and they're just SO adorable!!! They even have the original 1970's tags on them, the original plastic hangers, AND that crinkly paper underneath the layers!!!! {gasp}

So go get them. I have no idea how much or how little they're worth, which is why I chose eBay to sell them, so here's to hoping they go to a good, loving home!


100% Calorie Free Cupcakes

These are pretty much the only cupcakes I need to have in my life. Aren't they scrumptious?! They're going to be glued to some hair clippies but I couldn't resist showing them off before I finished.

You can make these quickly, using my handy stitch guide, and you'll have a dozen before you know it.

Just glue a piece of felt to the back, clip around the edges, and that's it.

I'll show you the clips later when they're done!


Cooking 101 - Cinnamon Rolls

Okay, YOU ASKED FOR IT! I had several requests for this recipe and I just want you all to remember that I take NO responsibility for the ramifications of eating these cinnamon rolls.

Being a serious food critic, this recipe is the best I've ever had in my life. It doesn't matter what you've had in the past, I can guarantee that this recipe will blow your mind...and your diet....but who cares...

{This recipe originally comes from my beloved soul mate, Paula Deen. Paula...here's to you and all of the butter lovers out there...}

Cinnamon Rolls
(adapted from Paula Deen)

(always double this recipe - you'll thank me later.)

1/4 oz. pkg yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. scalded milk
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. melted butter (atta girl)
1 t. salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 c. flour (sometimes I'll use a little bit of whole wheat flour...makes a GREAT flavor!)

Filling: (I never measure this part, but if you're not into eyeballing it, here you go)
1/2 c. melted butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. ground cinnamon
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

4 T. melted butter (can't get enough)
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
canned milk

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 c. flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle (not too much flour, though). Knead on lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes (or in your mixer). Place in well-greased bowl; cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When dough is doubled in size, punch down dough. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out on a well floured surface into a 15 x 9 inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with nuts. Roll up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into slices.

Coat bottom of baking pan with butter. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until doubled - about 30-45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes until nicely browned.

Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, pinch of salt & vanilla. Add canned milk a little at a time until glaze is smooth, a little thick. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.


A Hamburger Dress?! Seriously?!

Okay, this is crochet at it's finest! Who on EARTH would have thought to make a "Hamburger Dress"?! It's absolutely amazing!!! ....suddenly I'm really hungry now...

Here's what I want to know - where can you get some fragrance that smells like a char-grilled burger? Maybe have the dress steamed in the Burger King kitchen?

(Check out more of the dress here.) Unbelivable.

Making a Blog Button

All the hype about these silly buttons - well I couldn't be left out, could I?!

FINALLY - done! It took me a few tries because I'm s..l..o..w..

This website HERE had the best instructions if you're interested in making your own. It's really SO easy. I wanna see yours!!!


Anyone Out There?! And Happy Mother's Day...late...

Hi Everyone!!! You still out there?! Hey - this is progress - I have a few minutes to myself right now to do some posts {gasp} and I actually did some baking this weekend! {aaahh!} Day by day I'm getting my life back after baby - so this is good!

I hope you all enjoyed Mother's Day. Whether you're a mother or not, you have a mother and I'm hoping you have some happy memories of her! For my Mother's Day, I baked all day Saturday - 2 loaves of bread for French toast, a batch of cinnamon rolls (photo over there of my babies rising), and chocolate chip cookies!! {good thing I'm trying to loose weight...} My kids made the most adorable cards and hand-made gifts, they showered me with hugs and kisses, and we went to church together while my Love Nugget slept all day since he had to work all night. Poor guy.

Sad that I live so far away from my mom - but we did get to talk later in the evening. I just LOVE my mom! She's incredibly amazing. {Mommy-cakes, I hope you don't mind me posting you on here, but you're so darn cute that I have to share you!}
This is my gorgeous mom, Emma, and she taught me everything I know! She has experienced so many ups and downs in life and has never once lost her faith or showed any fear. Mom made my childhood so much fun - and mostly homemade! She taught me the art of 'keeping it simple' and 'you don't have to be perfect'. She made simple dresses and homemade dolls for me, a tee pee for my brother and I, and a quilt with fabric scrap buildings and roads for my brother to drive his cars on. (Mom, I need a picture of that - it's SO cool!) When my son thought he was a super hero, Mom whipped out a simple cape for him that is one of the most beloved items in our dress-up collection. Between the two of us, we can figure out how to create just about anything! {and we can solve all of life's problems over chocolate and the telephone, too! AMAZING.}

Mom is the best Grandma EVER. {a.k.a. "Grammy-Cakes} My kids can't get enough of her and since she's still such a youngster, she can keep up with them, too! I often wish I had the energy that my mom has.

I could go on - but I don't want to embarrass my cute mom too much. Here's to hoping that EVERYBODY has as great of a mother as I do! Love ya, Momsies!

Cooking 101 - Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

For Mother's Day, the kids and I made this heavenly breakfast together! {hubby had to work all night...was en route home at the time...}

I mean, you probably shouldn't have this EVERY day...but it's amazing for special occasions!

Using the Challah bread recipe I posted, you MUST try this!!!


You'll need:
5-6 double-thick slices of good bread. (French bread or Challah)
4-5 Eggs
1 t. Vanilla
Pinch of salt
About 1/4 c. canned milk or half & half

8 oz. block Cream Cheese
1/4 c. (approximately) Strawberry Jam
Fresh strawberries, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 c. (approximately) chopped pecans or nut of your choice
1/8-1/4 c. Powdered sugar

1.) Heat your griddle.... then mix your filling together. That's right - just toss it all together in a bowl and mix away. If you want more berries, add them. If you want more nuts, add them. You got the idea. Make it to your liking.

2.) Mix your egg batter. I usually add cinnamon to any French toast recipe, but you don't need it here, so don't freak out. Mix your eggs, vanilla, pinch of salt, and a good amount of your canned milk or half & half. Whisk together until well combined.

3.) Bread. If you have an un-cut loaf of bread, cut your pieces double-thick because you're going to cut that in half - BUT NOT ALL THE WAY! Slice your thick piece of bread just until you have a good opening without slicing it completely in half.

Spread some filling into your little pocket and don't skimp! Spread it thick!

4.) Grill. Now this is IMPORTANT! Dip the bread in your egg mixture, soaking up a good amount. BUTTER your griddle or your pan generously. {Please, for the love of all things, don't use Pam Spray - use the butter.}

Cook on both sides until the egg mixture is cooked well. They'll need about 1-2 minutes per side, so adjust your griddle heat accordingly. You don't want to burn these beauties!

5.) Serve. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with your favorite syrup. I like maple, but there are tons of yummy syrups out there that would be divine!

ENJOY!!! ...oh, and it's totally okay if your eyes roll back into your skull - they'll pop back out eventually.

Cooking 101 - Challah Bread

Challah bread is a traditional Jewish bread with an interesting history you can read about here. But you have to pronounce it with that hissing thing in the back of your throat...hkhkhkallah. hkhkhkallah. Practice.

I purchased some at a local bakery just for fun -to try it out because life's too short not to try fun bread! {sorry if I screamed in your face.} The lady at the counter sold me on it when she said that it makes the best French toast! {ding!} Tried it....LOVED it....and now I'm a huge fan!

So here's a great recipe that I tweaked, of course, - and it DOES make good French toast!

Challah Bread

3 T. Yeast (my mom told me that SAF yeast is more potent than the others, so you'll need less - about 2 T.)
2 c. Warm water
2/3 c. Sugar (or honey)
1 T. Salt
1/2 c. Canola oil
7-8 c. Flour
4-5 large eggs

To a large mixing bowl, add water, yeast, sugar. Let sit for about 5 minutes. To that, add salt, half of the flour, and oil. Mix together. Add the eggs, mix to combine, then add the rest of the flour. Knead for a few minutes and determine whether you need more flour. The dough should be a little moist, but if it feels too moist, add more flour and continue kneading until it's no longer sticky. Cover and let it rise for about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough, dump onto a floured surface, and divide dough into 2 pieces - set one piece aside. Divide each of the two pieces into three pieces and roll into snakes about 12-15" long. To start your braid: line the three pieces up on the counter, join them together, pinch, and tuck under - then braid. Finish by pinching and tucking the end of the braid just like you did at the top. Gently place your braided dough on a buttered cookie sheet. Cover with a light towel and let rise for another hour or until it's doubled in size.

Repeat for the remaining piece of dough. Brush dough with egg wash - 1 egg mixed with a little water). Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.

Makes 2 large loaves.