YUM. That's all I have to say about it. I posted the recipe HERE a while back and just made some more today. Oh, AND...my house smells AMAZING. (Which is a good thing considering the fact that I need to do some serious cleaning...)


Bring on the Bling

So this is Kadie - (sorry, this is the best photo I have of you at the moment, Kadie) and I'm pretty sure we were twins separated at birth. I mean, you can probably tell just by looking. Anyway... among many other things, Kadie is the jewelry GODDESS. As you know, I've dabbled in bead jewelry a bit but Kadie has rejuvinated my jewelry-making needs. (...and she's got nunchuck skills...)

Kadie showed me this cool way of making charms which can be attached to earrings, necklaces, bracelets, whatever - so this post is in honor of Kadie.

Don't you want to make a cute pair of THESE? These earrings go with just about everything I have in my closet, including my Fall wardrobe. Very cool.

I'm just going to give you the basic idea of how I did these and then you can do what you like on your own.

To start with, you'll need some tools:
Round Nose Pliers
Needle Nose Pliers
Wire Cutter
2 Headpins (those straight wires with something on the end)
2 small "O" rings
2 earring hooks
Thin gauge wire

You can mix and match however you'd like - the color possibilities are endless!

Start by making your leaf charm.

Start with your thin gauge wire (I can't remember the size) and run it through your leaf, twisting a couple of times.

Bend the short end of the wire into a loop with your round nose pliers.

Now wrap the wire carefully around, making sure to secure the loop, and wrap a few more times.

Now you have a leaf charm!

Now for your flower charm - stack your beads on the headpin. (I know, it seems too easy to be true...and it is)

With your round nose pliers, grab on to the wire, giving yourself about 1/2" of space above your bead.

Twist around the round nose pliers. Using the needle nose pliers helps get the wire nice and tight.

Wrap once, and then around again, opening the round nose pliers, grabbing a hold of the wire, and clamping down hard again, twisting the wire around.

Now that you have the wire wrapped twice, take it underneath and go around the shaft of the wire a couple of times, using the needle nose pliers to get it nice and tight.

...and now you have a flower charm!

the rest is cake...just open your "O" ring, stack the charms and your earring hook inside and close it up.

Perfecto! (I don't speak Italian...or Spanish...but I like that word.) Baby's got BLING! The approximate price of these earrings is probably in the $1.00 range - give or take. Now get out there and make yourself some GORGEOUS Fall jewelry!

I'm also going to take some pics of Kadie's jewelry and show you her amazing stuff. I guarantee that it will inspire you to go out and get some beads!



There's something to be said about curling up with a good book. I often prefer to "read" with my iPod and LISTEN to a good book since I can work and "read" at the same time, but the two books I've checked out from the library aren't available on audio. (rats!) However, it's been pretty fun curling up at night in my bed with a book! (Imagine that!!! ...reading!...I totally feel all smart now!!!...)

So I need some more good suggestions -- do any of you have a favorite book that made you go, "WOW - that was really good, I'm sad it's over?"

(Oh, and I added my Goodreads page link on the sidebar. I think it's obvious that I need to read more!)

And...by the way...all of your funny video camera moments from below are hilarious! I want to hear some more!!!

Cooking 101 - Great Morning Muffin Mix & Match

This AMAZING muffin recipe is so versatile and very basic - you can add ANYTHING to the mix! I'm going to give the general recipe and then you can just add or replace things that you like.

Muffins are AWESOME because they're fun for kids to eat and they can be very healthy. (and they make your house smell yummy, too!) So if mornings are stressful for you, start these muffins the night before with the dry ingredients and shredding your carrots and apples. The rest will come together quickly in the morning rush! (you know, while one kid is yelling because they can't find their socks, the little one's 10-pound diaper is falling off as he's walking around with a sharp utensil in his hand, the older kid needs papers signed for school, and you discover something rotten in the fridge as it drips all over and into everything...and the bus is coming in 10 minutes.)

Carrot Pineapple Muffins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. - makes about 15 regular sized muffins. (odd number, I know, but that's how much my batch made...)

In a medium bowl, combine the following:
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. oil (or plain applesauce)
2 lg. eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. grated carrots (or half carrot, half apple)
1 c. crushed pineapple
1/2 c. (or more) chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix together until combined.

In a large bowl, combine the following:
1 1/2 c. flour (or white wheat flour)
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients together; combine all ingredients together in the large bowl until combined; do not over mix. Spoon into greased muffin tin, filling the muffin cups almost to the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

just a thought:
Something I LOVE is ground flax seed (found in the baking aisle). I add this to EVERYTHING! I'll add a Tablespoon of that to the mix for just a touch of flavor and some good fiber. You could also add a Tablespoon of wheat germ for the same reasons.

Try different fruits, veggies, and nuts in your muffins - have fun with it.


Too Bad There Wasn't a Video Camera

Have you ever had a moment where you're thinking, "thank goodness that wasn't caught on tape..." ? I've had so many of those moments that it would be impossible to recall them all - but I had one happen today and it made me laugh afterwards!

So there I was, loading my 3-year-old into his car seat after a brief interlude at the park. (it's GORGEOUS outside today, by the way.) I noticed that the miniature sticky hand my boy got from a quarter machine a few days ago was stuck to the side of his car seat so I peeled it off and tried to toss it. No-can-do. I tried again...and again...and again...and again...shaking my hand even harder now...still not coming off...getting frustrated now....can't get it off my finger....now it's stuck to the other finger...by this point I'm shaking my hands like a mad freak trying to get rid of the blasted sticky thing stuck to my fingers! NOW I totally feel like a 2-year-old and surely a grown woman is smarter than a sticky hand?!

With a little ambition and sweat, I finally got it off. Geeze - what was THAT all about?! Too bad there wasn't a video camera running!

And then last night, on my way home from my son's football practice, I see a friend whom I recently called, and like a silly girl, I roll down my window...(she is wondering why I'm rolling down my window with a big smile on my face) and I shouted out "HI! I left you a message earlier!" The poor, confused girl shouts out, looking very concerned, "Are you sure?" It was then that I realized, with a line of cars behind me, that I have NO idea who this girl is. oopsie. I just waved and floored it in my car. I was laughing and my older two kids had their faces buried in their hands - SO embarrassed of their insane mother!

ANYONE ELSE?! I want to hear about your special video camera moments!


Nature Walk & Cute Idea

So our lazy, carefree days of summer are finally over and just when I thought life would ease up a bit, it got even BUSIER!!! Hence the shortages of posting - I barely have time to groom myself lately and even that is minimal. (Sorry, honey, for the bad b.o. and fungus in my teeth...)

Here are some cute photos of a recent nature walk. I just didn't grow up in country like this, ladies, and it's absolutely breathtaking!!! I never get sick of the scenery during the warm summer months here. So when I'm whining and complaining about being frozen and sick of snow, I can look at photos like this to remind myself that it can't last forever and that the world is PROBABLY not coming to a frozen end.

AND... this is my newest inspiration. I have three pedestals, all the same size, and I want to make stuffed pumpkins for them - probably in harvest colors instead of Halloween. HOW adorable, eh?! I'll let you know how it goes.