Renewing my blogging ambitions...

HELLO??!!  HELLO??!!.... HELLO??!!...  Anybody out there? ... there?...  there?

Are you there, really?!  Please, please comment & let me know if you're out there!  I miss you!!!

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Chriatmas!!!  It's so weird re-entering the blogging world after not participating for a while.  I'm so sorry - I  have no excuses.  My blog just hasn't been a priority and I'm not one to beat myself up over things that I'm not keeping up with.  (Plus, beating myself up looks kinda weird.)  It's hard enough keeping up with my household!!  If it makes anybody feel better, I haven't even had any time or desire to tackle any projects for this entire year... {GASP!}....but don't worry....I'm feeling that desire start to slowly, slowly seep back into my life...like a misty vapor of goodness and wonderment.  (Is wonderment a word?  Because I like it.)

Because we've been apart for so long, and because I know you're dying to know....here's a dozen highlights that I WOULD have posted here, but didn't because, well, I've been blazy.  As in, blog-lazy.  blazy.  It's a new word I created.

1.)  My baby grew a mullett.  
Since we're getting back to our small-town, redneck lifestyle, we gave her the go-ahead.  I think it looks adorable on her.  Think of the kind of boyfriends she'll attract someday!!

2.)  Cotton Candy Cupcakes
My older girl  had a birthday and we couldn't make just any kind of cupcake.  
We had to make cotton-candy cupcakes and this was actually quite fun & easy.  I don't do the whole "cake decorating" thing, so I found a lazy/adorable alternative.  Plus, my neighbor had the cotton candy machine - all I had to do was pop Jolly Ranchers inside and swirl my sucker sticks around in it.  Insanely easy.  You should try it.  

3.)  Like, totally, an 80's party.  
There's this amazing group of ladies here, most of them I went to high school with, who have invited me to some seriously fun gatherings!  One of our friends had a birthday, so we surprised her with an 80's party.  Although I was tempted to cut my bangs in order to achieve "The Claw" hairdo, I went with the Farrah Fawcett/Prell shampoo hairstyle (yellow shirt in the middle).   It's a work in progess - I need some more practice.

4.)  Redneck surfing
This is how it's done in the desert.  You go to the junkyard, buy a car hood, and strap it to a truck.  The kids LOVE this and we go nice & slow so nobody gets hurt.  So far, so good.

Eat  your heart out, beach bums!  haha.  In all honesty, I think we'd all much rather be on the beach...

5.)  Kids first trip to Disneyland  
(they've been to Disney World...don't go thinking we're the world's most lame parents...just kinda lame...)

 Dinner at Blue Bayou - probably our favorite part about the trip!!

 Balboa Beach with my Love Nugget.  

6.)  Jeeping all over Arizona
It's how we de-stress & live life!  I love getting any kind of picture of desert foliage - I'm starving for it after living away from home for so long!  

found a young little friend

Beauty within the thorns.  I LOVE desert blossoms.  The colors are gorgeous.

...for whatever reason, this gnarled tree was so fascinating to me.  The light was coming through the branches just right and I loved all of the shapes created with the branches.

...What the???  More cactus!!!  Did I mention that I saw some this summer?

#7.)  Wasatch Back Ragnar with my besties
(phone picture...a little blurry...but  you get the idea)

My BFF Kadie - it was more fun than I can possibly explain getting to see her and sit in a van for hours with her.  I don't think I ever stopped laughing.  (and I know you're jealous of my muffin top....just sayin'...)

My longest leg was 13 miles starting at midnight and I loved/hated it.  I got so sick afterwards!!! eww.....  As a tender gift of mercy, another girl switched me on our last legs because my next one was straight uphill and hers was shorter and didn't seem so hilly.  WRONG.  Don't let this picture fool you - I was totally miserable, in pain, and forgot to bring a machete to hack down the bushes and scruff I had to run through.  I thought I was going to die!!!   And just when I thought I was through the wilderness, I had to run through a hilly neighborhood.  NOT COOL!!!  Let's just say that I may or may NOT have acted inappropriately when I was through with this leg.  Some words were said....I don't know....I can't remember because my PTSD has permanently blocked those things out of my memory.....but it could have been ugly.  Not sure.  Let's just say that I'm done with Ragnars for a while!!  haha.

awww....after the pain and suffering...one last photo with my bestie.  It was hard to let go of her and hop back on a plane to Arizona.  
(I miss youuuuuuu....!!!!!)

#8.)  Jeeping in Ouray, Colorado

...love this place.  

made friends with this adorable creature, Maggie.  She is seriously the sweetest, most kind and gentle dog I've ever seen.  She's got her "lovie" in her mouth, which she carries everywhere.  

And, interestingly enough, one of our favorite places to eat in Ouray is Maggie's Kitchen!  Oh, Maggie.    This place makes the BEST BURGERS in town!!!

If you're ever in Ouray, come by Maggie's and see if you can find us!!  We had to leave our mark....

...and correct some bad information...

 and....what the???!!!  SO cool!!!  

 #9.)  ummm.....knee surgery
Between CrossFit and running, my right knee got torn up.  Now that everything is all healed up, I still run occasionally, but CrossFit is out.  Look how swollen my leg was!!!  ahhh....fond memories...

#10.)  Our Mountain
We are a quick 30 minute drive from the hot desert into this blissful splendorama.  (splendorama should be a word, too.  I like it.)  All year long, it offers beauty, fun, and great memory making opportunities!!

 ...seriously...who knew the desert looked like this?!

#11.)  The Passing of Grandpa
My grandfather was my stand-in father for the first 14 years of my life.  He was always a strong pillar in my life - always working hard on something, and always glad to see me.  Out of all of my various grandparents, he is the one I've always been the closest with - and I miss him dearly.  I'm not sad, though - it's great to know that he is SO much happier where he's at - and I have no doubt that he'll keep very busy!

As a WWII veteran, he was buried with Military Honors, and had all of his military family members in uniform to serve as his casket bearers.  My brother, 3 cousins, 1 cousin's spouse, and an uncle were all present in their dress uniforms as Grandpa requested.  Such a beautiful sight to see!!  

#12.) Christmasy Winter Fun
and prepping for a New Year!!
Naturally, we'll find anywhere our Jeep can go, as it is our family's greatest source of entertainment and adventure!  Just before Christmas we headed up to our mountain for some fun in the snow.  It's great that we have access to snow just 30 minutes from our warm valley.

And here we are.  Another great Christmas has passed, and a new year awaits us.  I'm excited for all of the things that 2014 will bring!  Wishing you and yours a VERY happy New Year !!!

Stay tuned....one of my goals is to be more artsy/fartsy & productive!  I hope to share as much as I can with you here - and I'd LOVE to hear from you!!!

-Love & Warm Wishes,


It has begun...

 It's been started, the ball's rolling, the iron's in the fire, project is launched, I'm doing it!!  I bought the pattern, had it blown up a little bit at the copy shop, got it all traced, and now I get to play!!  {wahoo!!}

Honestly, folks...for me, it's a rare luxury to sit and stitch something beautiful with a good movie playing, sunshine streaming through my windows, and my little one playing next to me...but that's what happened yesterday and I'm not kidding.  I didn't shower until bedtime, but hey, we can't have it all, can we?!

Speaking of having it all....have you made this carrot cake yet?!  This is what I whipped up for my Love Nugget's birthday - and it makes me moan out loud every time.  I used applesauce & just a little bit of oil,  and it turned out ultra moist and dense.  Seriously...for the upcoming Spring festivities, go make this cake.  It's soooo good.

And...a desert sunrise from a few days ago.   Have a sunshiney, happy day!!



Whatta SLACKER!!!  I know, I know.  Looks like I'm on the once-a- month schedule.  Not cool!!  I miss my fun bloggie friends and the world of creativity.  I do create every now and then, but I think I'm in a phase of my life where it's not very easy, so projects are few and far between.   I do, however, maintain a regular schedule of admiring the works of others, particularly one of my heroes, Nana & Co.    I will definitely be purchasing this pattern & making one!  It's gorgeous.  I love her frame, too.

After a brief inventory of my embroidery supplies, I was aghast to discover that most of it is buried underneath all of our earthly belongings, locked away in a storage unit.  At the very bottom.  The bottom, most underneath spot.  It may as well be at the bottom of the sea underneath the Titanic.  It's NOT going to be recovered anytime soon.  I know...can you stand it?!  How could I let this happen?!  

Naturally, I had to get more stuff. 

I'm not complaining, though.  All of these delicious thread colors!  Just a buncha eye candy, alright!!  
It's tedious work trying to re-establish a well-stocked embroidery inventory, but I'm getting ready to put a project together, so I need everything to be up & running...and my only staff member consists of one 3-year-old who doesn't listen to me.  

During the in-between time, when I'm not home cleaning up after people and playing dress-up with my little one, and wishing I was making something pretty, my hubs and I often load up the family & take little day trips in our great, big backyard.  I never tire of it!

During one of our slow, Sunday drive evenings, we were cruising around the old Welker Farm and spotted this gorgeous barn owl.  We couldn't get any closer, so this is as good as we get.

Isn't he BEAUTIFUL?!  {gasp!!!}  Staring right at us with those bright, yellow eyes!!!  And, if I zoom in on the photo a bit, he looks like he wants to kill me, so that's a little unnerving...

my baby turned three this month.  (sniff)
Remember when we were guessing what to name her?!  
And her debut here on the blog...
Wow.  Just wow.
She still makes me tired, but I can't get enough of this little fireball!!!

She's madly in love with Periwinkle and requested the winter fairy for her birthday cake.  
I think it's funny that, of all of the Tinkerbell fairies, Brooke is crazy about the winter fairy.  Makes sense...she was born in the snowy winter...it's in her blood!

My eldest daughter and I made white chocolate snowflakes on waxed paper, put them in the freezer, and used them as cake toppers.  We had the perfect winter fairy cake!!  Brookie loved it.
Hey, I'm all about simple here.  
The cake & frosting were both incredibly delish...that's really what it's all about!

This picture below is a treasure....she wanted a Periwinkle doll & costume SO bad.
She just loved, loved, loved that doll and couldn't stop looking at her!!!  
I love the magical world that kids live in!!  I don't want her to get any bigger!!!

Excuse me while I go sob my face off.

Cheers everyone!!


Lazy Girly Weekend

My boys took off for a manly man weekend in the city, so us girls had a quiet, peaceful weekend home together.  I love my boys....BUT....it was nice not having all of that boy energy busting through the walls.  

So....with my house clean, laundry running softly in the background, two little girls playing quietly, and some real peace and quiet in the house, it's the pefect recipe for:  recipes.  That's right.  These recipe books are kind of like little friends, just waiting for a turn to be useful and please the family, and I never get time to just sit and drool, I mean look, at them.  If my family knew what was good for them, they would FIND time for me to sit and drool, I mean look, at these cookbooks--they would be beneficiaries of not only a happy mommy, but some delish food.  What is wrong with them?! 

One of my prized posessions - a personal gift from my Sweetheart.  Oh, how I love this book.
And the Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake.  I posted it here - but it's always fun for me to visit the actual recipe.

 ...mmmm....these cookies are a major winner, too....

 ...haven't made this cake yet...definitely going to have to do this soon.

 ...oh, seriously...it's so cold right now - maybe I want THIS instead...

Switching gears to some serious comfort food.  I'm no longer a Martha fan...I became disenchanted with her years ago...but she/her staff continue to put out some amazing stuff.  This book below has been my favorite for the past 12 years - it's timeless and wonderful.  

This cookbook has been so loved, in fact, that I need another copy of it since this one is looking a bit grimy.  {I can sense Martha wincing at this image...she would never let her book fall into disaray like this....}

Every recipe, every image conjures up homey comfort.  Just what a good cookbook should do.

Our family's favorite soup--Summer Corn Chowder

Oh, some Boston Cream Pie.  I could use a sliver...or two...or three right now.

Our all-time, award-winning favorite:  Chicken Potpie.  I've made this dish dozens upon dozens of times, changing it up a little, and even cheating sometimes...yet it always comes out amazing.  

...friggin' DELISH...

Speaking of delish....!!!  She's scrumptious!!  

She also shares my love of cooking - and tasting.  

Here's to a girl's weekend of peaceful splendor.  And crepes.  (they were mind-numbing good)