Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brain, Brain, Go Away

My head has amazing amounts of chatter that can not be stopped. It is making me crazy. There is so much going on right now I feel all a-flustered!

A few random thoughts: in the fashion sense, I want these ruffles and a pair of nude shoes, but I believe I would opt for a sexier heel

If you have children on Facebook, you should definitely friend their friends- so you can happenstance across a photo like this that would have otherwise never been seen

taken at a Friday night party
I love this

I am speaking with my entire family in our church this Sunday- on my favorite subject of all
this assignment humbles me and frightens me, as I tend to get emotional when speaking about something so dear to me. Now accepting positive vibes and happy thought from all.

Finally, our family is going through some big changes. Right now I am scheduled to close on a home next week, which will leave me saying goodbye to my sweet cottage of 16 years.

More on that later....

for now, I hope a run will clear my head

Live out loud today

Monday, February 14, 2011

Perfect Sugar cookie

It is a Valentines tradition to make a huge batch of sugar cookies for the holiday. I started doing this about 7 years ago, when I found the perfect recipe that even my husband, who is not a sweet tooth by any means, can't resist.

First, the frosting. This is from the Wilton classes, and will taste like a bakery style buttercream. you can tweak the flavorings if you like a different taste, but the cookie is very mellow, so a sweet frosting is perfect on these.

1 cup Crisco shortening
1/2 tsp butter flavoring
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond flavoring ( all flavors are the clear Wilton bran, for a white icing)
4 tbsp water
3-4 cups powder sugar

Blend the shortening, flavors, one spoonful of water and 1/2 cup powder sugar on low in a medium size bowl. It will make the frosting base. Once it is well blended alternate one tablespoon of water with 3/4 cup powder sugar, until icing peaks. A slightly softer icing is better for the base spreading, and stiffer will work best for the borders. If you use liquid coloring, more powdered sugar may be needed before decorating.

The cookie recipe is as follows

1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
6 tsp baking powder
6 cups flour

Cream together first 4 ingredients, adding milk,powder and flour one at a time after.
Roll out onto floured surface to desired thickness, creating shapes with cookie cutter. Bake at 350* for 8 minutes, cookies will be light but puffy. Let cool 2 minutes and remove from sheet. Frost when cooled.

In our family, it is also tradition to give the kid's teacher a personalized super sized cookie. Our favorite secretary and principal always get a cookie, too. Apparently the secretary screamed with glee when she saw her personalized cookie this morning....that makes me smile....

A few tips:
I have treated myself to using disposable bags most of the time. By the time I am done with the process, I love just cutting off the tip to save and tossing the greasy bag away. Well worth money.
If you don't have any tips just get a good star tip, and a good round tip. You can do most anything with those two tips to pull off a cute cake or cookie.
DO NOT whip your icing. Keep it on low, and take your time, when you beat it too high you whip bubbles into the icing and they pop when you decorate.
Wrap tinfoil on a piece of cardboard cut to size for a great give away plate
You can get the Wilton extracts at most craft supply stores, and even Walmart in the wedding supply area. I buy big, because I love to frost things.

There it is. I gave away my secrets. I hope you can use them for someone you love.

We actually had cookies for breakfast this morning....
in my mind, a great way to start a day of love

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Holiday Shoes and Pretty Things

It was a crazy week last week. Between calling schools, flying solo, cold air, and 'the moodiest week of the month', I was spent. I took the haydster out to find some shoes for him, and passed the clearance racks at Dillard's

I had to have them, of course. Are they too much "Dorothy"?
Do snowflake socks make these official winter wear?

Anyway, I hope I have a legitimate reason to wear them on Valentine's. They are Gianni Bini heels and I snagged them for 23 bucks.

I received a few of the valentines from my exchange. Look at this little darling one.

Looking at it makes me feel young

I made these to send out

and for around the house, peek at this adorable wall plaque from Shopko (shocking, I know)

you could drape a romantic scarf around your bedside lamp
instead of worrying about candles to enjoy a softer glow

I have also decided if it requires a dress this winter, I will also be donning my
birthday boots, leg warmers, and thick tights.

Sharing this quote a friend posted on Facebook today:

‎"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." ~Voltaire

See something beautiful today

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I am that type of parent

Forget dreams of lovely clothing and lovely kitchens (just for a minute!) as I fill you in on a crazy story.

The tickets at school. The dreaded punishment. They sit in your file indefinitely, they can keep you excluded from assemblies or parties as you lament your bad behavior. And my son came home with one.

He came in a fit of tears, with a slammed door, and red checks. He quickly proclaimed it wasn't fair (his usual battle cry) and threw his ticket to the ground. Then what he said made my blood boil...
"I got a ticket for not wearing my coat."

Here he is, WITH his coat, on a day that actually needs a coat


He is a big kid. He was wearing a sweater over a shirt, and was hot. He had already been out earlier and took off his jacket, so to save time he just didn't take it next recess.

School Tech " You need a coat on." Son: "No, I'm not cold."
Tech: "Well I want you to get a coat on. Go to your room and get it" Son: "But I'm not cold. I am wearing a sweater and my room is locked"
Tech "I think you need a coat" Son:(I am sure, he is angry at this point) "But I have on a sweater. And all of those kids (he points to the playground, where some hundred children play without jackets in the first sunny day in a month) are out without coats on. "
Tech:"I will take care of them later. We are talking about you" son: "But I am wearing a SWEATER!"
Tech looks at his sweater, unsatisfied. "Push your sleeves down " (they were gathered at his elbow) Son angrily pushes his sleeves down to his wrists and throws his hands up in the air, obviously mocking this ridiculous request.
Tech: "You just got a ticket." she writes the ticket she says "It's kids like you that make me hate this job."
(I have paraphrased what he paraphrased, so you will get the idea)

I am the mom on the phone. I have e-mailed the principal. For follow-up Daddy Bear also visited the school. We have applauded our son for standing up for himself- yes, we have talked about doing it respectfully, but if he is out with children who do not want a coat who is she to decide that for him? If she had ignored the coat issue, the whole exchange would have never happened. And she sited him for 'disrespect' while stating out of her own mouth how she hates her job. Wow. Hypocrisy.

Apparently there have been similar complaints from other parents, and this tech has been warned, but it just makes me many kids has she belittled who don't dare speak up? Or whose parents don't care, or don't have the time to worry? This ticket has since been removed. We did find out he was playing ball against the wall and warned to move, which he and his friends were kind of ignoring.

So we have discussed respect. We have discussed listening to teachers, but we also have discussed rights. He can wear his sleeves any way he wants.

I am that kind of parent. And I am proud of my son.

Last time I checked....this was a free country

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Eye Candy for 7 degree weather

Brrr. That is all I felt this morning. The thermostat was loose on the wall and so my heater shut off last night. The house sat at a cool 60 degrees- it is finally warming up, but slowly.

Due to my foul mood (I couldn't tear myself away from the news yesterday, just watching Egypt unravel before my eyes) and the foul temperature, yes, it was 7 degrees when I dropped off my teen at early morning seminary, I am escaping in photos.

The following are from the iVillage photo board by Mary Kate Frank.
It was probably warmer than 60 degrees in this lovely bedroom upon waking

and if it wasn't how about a soak in a hot bath in here

In my escape I read and create in these rooms

I wish I had the power of Mary Poppins to just jump right into these
romantic rooms this February.

And for my Style app picture of day how about some - Ralph Lauren- I love this

and now back to the reality of the morning and the comforts I actually have

my cheapy knock off warm boots which work great without socks, by the way

(I slip these on every morning upon climbing out of bed and they stay on until I am dressed for the day. It is my solace for getting out of my warm covers.)

my morning jolt, since a Diet Coke just seems wrong before 9:00 am

sip and breath.

I am probably addicted.