Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Little Bites

Little bites like little steps are my plan of getting through the next steps in my life. While trying to follow the writing in The Secret. It all makes great sense...good thoughts attract good things, think that you deserve good things and good things will come to you. There is so much more but that is the gist of it. We attract the vibes we put out into the universe, so if you say I can't probably won't. So I am now saying I am and I can instead.. My son is a perfect example, from the time he was a small child he has thought and jokingly said "he must have been left behind by a rich family" He wanted nice things, he got them. Yes, he works hard but enjoys life and is a very generous man. I am taking a page from his book and using the tools taught in The Secret to change the course of my life NOW. It is never too late for change. I also have a grand plan... a 14 day trip to Ireland to see where some of my family came from. The farthest back a cousin has tracked is Coleraine Londonderry, Ulster Ireland.   So, I am saving my change, using my cash from recycled cans and the checks I earn from Josephines. The trip is about $2,600.00 so I have a way to go but I WILL get there.
What Is The Secret
The Secret teaches us that we create our lives, with every thought every minute of every day. Living The Secret offers tools and ideas to help you live The Secret and create the life of your dreams.
So to reward myself for all the GOOD thought I am sending out to the world I searched the internet and found a wonderful blog that contained what must be the perfect treat
Brookie Bites
First you need to bake up your brownies...

I usually use a box, just because it is so much easier (and lazier:-)

While the brownies are cooling, mix up your cookie dough.

I used this same recipe found HERE but

I used vanilla extract this time.

Bake the cookies for about 7-8 minutes.

You want them to be soft and gooey...not crispy!

Try to resist the urge to inhale said gooey cookie.

Oh what the heck!

Go ahead and eat a few:-)

Let the cookies cool slightly, then

roll them into small bite sized balls.

(definitely easier to do before they cool all the way)

Place in the freezer and wait until frozen.

It will be hard but you can do it.


yup you got it.

Place that frozen cookie in the center of a small brownie

and start smushing it all around that cookie ball.

Now here is the hardest part...

you've got to freeze them AGAIN.

I know it's torture, but well worth it in the end.

You can reward yourself by eating

some of the brownie scraps to pass the time.

Once they are frozen enough,

melt some chocolate in the microwave and dip away.

Any sprinkles on top will do,

but it is that time of year so

hearts it is ♥

I also got inspired to make up a few new hats and items for the Etsy shop .

This idea came about from the boys bag of goldfish crackers.......another good thing in a little bite! I am working on a lion and a hippo. I will get them done today and I will get them posted. The are adorable!
Have a great day ( I am sending out good vibrations)   like that 60's song....I know I WILL

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back to Work

After a long weekend I really have to set my mind on working. Yes, the kids are home one more day...but with such nice weather they are all out and about.
This mornings task is editing photos and getting some items ready to list in my Etsy shop. I recently joined a team on Etsy called Etsy Kids.   A very busy group with a huge amount of promotion. I have time today to really sit and read all the wonderful posts and suggestions the shops share with each other. Also this shop is centered around kids and most of the items I make are for kids so it is a perfect fit.I have added a button to the side of the blog to make checking out the great shops in Etsy Kids easier so please browse those shops.
Expecting a house full of people yesterday I made two hams, dinner tonight .....something using ham. So, I checked out the recipes on line and this was my choice.
Cheesy Leftover Ham and Broccoli Casserole

•2 boxes store bought macaroni and cheese
•1 lb. leftover ham, cut in chunks
•1 (16 oz.) package frozen broccoli florets
•1 22 oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained
•1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
•1/2 cup milk
•1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
•5 tbsp. butter
•Approximately 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella
•Approximately 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
•2 tbsp prepared yellow mustard or Dijon mustard
•Salt and pepper to taste
•1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil macaroni according to package directions, but just until almost finished cooking. (Very al dente.)
If using a pasta pot:
Drain noodles and set aside in a large bowl, but do not rinse. Add broccoli florets to the basket and blanch in pasta water for approximately 2 minutes. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
If using a colander:
Place broccoli florets in a large heat-proof bowl or pot. Place colander over broccoli and drain water onto the broccoli. Allow to sit in hot water for 2 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water. Allow to drain in a second colander or on a clean dish towel.
In the same pot you made the pasta in, mix the cheese packets as directed on the box. (Generally 2 tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup milk per packet…) When mixed add heavy cream or half and half and butter, stir to combine. Stir in mozzarella 1/2 ball at a time, waiting until the last addition is completely incorporated before continuing.
Add macaroni, ham, broccoli, green onions, tomatoes, Parmesan, mustard and salt and pepper. Stir until everything is well coated in the cheese mixture. Pour into a large casserole or jelly roll pan. Top with breadcrumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until bread crumbs begin to brown and mixture is bubbly.
Remove from heat and allow to rest uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.

So I am off to create some great photos and enjoy the day. I am sounding very positive!!!  I am ready The Secret and attracting good things in my direction !  That is my new plan , I will let you know how it progresses.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Todays Easter Bunny Parade

The parade went off very well, the sky clouded up a few times but that did not stop the Bunny from making his 4th annual stroll through the downtown. We gathered candy at some of the local businesses and tried not to tie up traffic too much as we crossed the highway. From little ones in their bunny or duck hats to Ladies in their Easter Bonnets. It was alot of fun. We got a kids head count of 79, a big increase from last year so we are all very happy about that. It would be nice if next year more of the businesses took a minute to join in handing out candy as the kids passed by. Maybe after hearing about the turnout and seeing the write up going in the paper they will. Thanks to B&B, Brandon, The Silver-Smith, Granite Fall, Tambears , Yahooz and The Olde Time Barber Shop for joining in. Also a huge thank you to Jean and Bob from the Garden Center and Teapot Quilt Cottage on Hwy. 22. Without them the Bunny would not have been here!

Pattibears Place

Pattibears Place

I am Happy to Say

that when I posted yesterday about teens not wanting to color Easter eggs....I was wrong!  They did join in and had a good time. Liz got creative, Chrissy took command and Carsen even tried to taste test the egg dye. (a family first). But, the eggs got done and the little guys had a good time. Carsen did feed one egg, shell and all to Trixie , who is now on the look out for the Easter Bunny to get more.

We broke out the FireKing cups to have enough space

Kathy is preparing the dyes

wow, we made pink in Grammas coffee cup

Chrissy adds a name to each egg, even the dogs have an egg
Here is what you look like if you taste the blue dye....he did not try any other color after blue

Carsen allowed limited help, at almost two he thinks he can do it all

I got a little on my hands, not too bad. 

Mike who is about to turn 13 joined in and made a couple "ugly" eggs

Liz and her boyfriend Dakota joined in the fun. she even used stickers. P.s. she is off to nursing school in the fall

busy, busy boys

Kathy read somewhere that you could use grape Koolade to color eggs purple ( her favorite color)   It is more like an ugly brown/grey...

Carsen is telling her "hands off" he wants no help he can do it all by himself

JJ shows off all the colorful eggs he made, he is very patient for being 3

Liz finishing up her eggs with stickers

One happy egg decorator, he will be showing these off. I can't wait to see his face when someone tries to eat one.

The eggs are all done and we had a good time. I am really glad the teens joined in. It was also nice to see them take over and do what I have done for them all these years. They will all make great parents when the time comes. family traditions are so very important and to keep these going is a big thing.   Thanks kids for making my day!
Carsens work is done so he is enjoying a sucker. We will get it all cleaned up, then off to watch The Velveteen Bunny.
Make your own Easter Egg dye

How to Make Blue

1 pound frozen blueberries (about 3½ cups)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. On the stovetop, bring frozen blueberries and water to a boil in a pot. Boil for 5 minutes.
2. Pour colored liquid into a cup or bowl, straining out the blueberries with a strainer.
3. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

How to Make Yellow

2 tablespoons turmeric
2 cups water
1 tablespoon vinegar

1. On the stovetop, bring turmeric and water to a boil in a pot. Boil for 5 minutes.
2. Pour colored liquid into a cup or bowl.
3. Stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar.

How to Make Orange

2 tablespoons paprika
2 cups water
1 tablespoon vinegar

1. On the stovetop, bring paprika and water to a boil in a pot. Boil for 5 minutes.
2. Pour colored liquid into a cup or bowl.
3. Stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar.

How to Make Pink

12 ounces frozen raspberries (about 3½ cups)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. On the stovetop, bring frozen raspberries and water to a boil in a pot. Boil for 5 minutes.
2. Pour colored liquid into a cup or bowl, straining out the raspberries with a strainer.
3. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

How to Make Brown

¼ cup instant coffee granules
2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon vinegar

1. In a cup or bowl, stir coffee granules and boiling water together.
2. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar.

How to Make Green

Directions In a bowl or cup, mix one part blue liquid with one part yellow liquid.

Trixie watching for the Easter Bunny!

I am off to get the final prep done for The Montello Easter Bunny Parade today at 1:00. What started out a few years back as a handful of kids has grown to be alot of fun for all ages. The sun is shining, the snow is gone and hubby, Matt and Liz are downtown right now hanging balloons on the light posts. I am charging the video camera and my digital to catch the fun and get some new photos with the "BUNNY"

Friday, April 22, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

Just a day or two ago the snow flakes flew and my newly sprouted floers were covered with a blanket of snow.  This morning here is not a trace of snow in the yard.  I am very thankful for that  becasue I have an Easter Egg Hunt planned for Sunday morning and really did not want to wear snow boots to do it.

I get so excited when I see these plants come back because I am NOT a gardener. No green thumb, sand for soil and hate pulling weeds. Over the past few years I have added perenials to the space along my dricveway in hopes to not have to plant ever again. Now, I check each morning to see just what has come back. Hens and chicks are up, some of the sedum, a few unknown plants and of course day lilies. Spring really is here, finally.

I have the eggs on to boil and two little boys on their way here to color the eggs. I miss the fun of having the little ones, the teenagers are really not into all the prep fun any more. They still look for the Easter Basket and are on board to help tommorrow with the Easter Bunny Parade downtown.  It is fun to look at last years photos and see how much the kids have grown.

This Montello Easter Bunny Parade we started about 4 years back and it keeps getting bigger. The businesses along the sidewalk downtown come out to pass out candy as the kids follow the bunny through the downtown.  A funny story.... the first year my grandson Mike was about 8. After the parade and photos the bunny needed a ride back to the Garden Center. My husband offered to drive. Mike went with foir the ride. Not wanting to burst his belief in the Easter Bunny, Bob the owner of the Garden Center and (Bunny) could not remove the head. They dropped him off and he waved as they drove off. To anyone who would listen , Mike told that the Bunny went to the Garden Center and somehow lived there. If only they could stay that way just a little longer. Thank you to Bob for all the happy memories and fun.  I am having dinner at home for Easter and have a small shoppping list, some baking to do and last minute check on the ingredients for dinner. A low stress day would be great and much appreciated. My MOM has moved here from Tulsa and this will be our first Easter I think since I was a toddler. ( long story on why, and I will save that for another day). So the guest list will look something like this....Hubby and me, daughter Kathy and her son Mike, Daughter Patrice and her Matt, Liz, hopefully sam and Joey with his two boys JJ and Carsen, Chrissy and her friend Zach, Mom and maybe Cheryl and a friend.
 The boys and I have planned to make placecards and finish a centerpiece, I hope to get photos of all the craftiness that goes on. At almost 2 and just 3 it should be quite an afternoon.

Here is a cupcake recipe I found for Easter, but I am using orange instead of lemon.  Have a great weekend!
Raspberry Lemonade Angel Food Cupcakes


•1 box Angel Food Cake Mix, prepared as directed
•Zest of 2 medium lemons
•1 package of raspberry Jello (3 oz) – sugar free is fine
•1 cup of water
•2 cups heavy whipping cream
•2 tablespoons white sugar
•3 fluid ounces of frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, thawed
•Candied Lemon or fresh raspberries to garnish
1. Preheat oven as directed on the cake mix box.
2. Mix the cake batter as directed on the box.
3. Fold in lemon zest after mixing.
4. Bake according to the instructions for cupcakes on the box.
5. After your cupcakes have cooled, use a fork to pierce holes in the top. Poke the fork into the tops 2-3 times per cupcake.
6. Heat one cup of water to boiling. Stir into gelatin mix until dissolved (in a glass measuring cup if you have one – will make the next step easier!)
7. Pour (or spoon) slowly over cupcakes. You don’t want a full swimming pool in the cupcakes – just a little to run into the tunnels you made with the fork. Attempting to photograph yourself pouring into the cupcakes = spilled liquid gelatin mess on the counter. Trust me.
8. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. I made these the night before and refrigerated overnight!
Onto the frosting!
9. If possible, chill your mixing bowl before you get started. Then combine whipping cream, sugar and lemonade concentrate in a bowl and beat until the frosting reaches stiff peaks when you remove your beaters.
10. Put whipped cream into a piping bag and frost your cupcakes! Top with candied lemon or fresh raspberries!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Green in Wisconsin/Etsy Treasury

'Spring Green' by Grammasgifts

Green seems to be sprouting up even through our new fallen snow in Wisconsin. All items made in Wisconsin

Prima - Celebrations Br...


Therapeutic Neck Shoul...


Breath of Spring Lime G...


Vintage 2T Unisex Overa...


Hair Bow clippie - scul...


Over the Shoulder Turqu...


HOBO Tote Purse Sling B...


2 Hanging Crochet Top D...


Peace Love and Rainbows...


Seaweed Single handspun...


Gnome door Fairy Door


Bird in a Cage Mug


Pretty Clip Line


Pink Frog Quilt


Matching Big Sister Lit...


Frogette hat for baby t...


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

Almost Easter

  As I sit looking out my window it is hard to believe that even though Easter falls later this year that my view is covered in snow!

Yes, my bluebirds are back and looked quite confused as the flakes kept falling yesterday. The school closed early, the snow piled high and it did not seem to want to stop.  This morning we had a two hour delay for the school opening because there was not a plow in sight.  Thankfully the plow did pass and the kids are off to school and I can get to my daily list of things to do.  With some cute outfits being finished I have buttons to sew on and then the task of listing them on Etsy.

 I have been trying to use the suggestions for increasing visitors to my shop by following  So many wonderful ideas and helpful tips. I could spend the day just reading on that site.
But then like alot of you I have to prepare for Easter. We have dinner at home with guests and now the two little guys are very into the Easter Bunny and all its magic. So, I am looking into some fun table markers we can make together and looking for that perfect dessert to end the day. JJ already has his Easter cake mix box with matching frosting on the counter. Cupcakes are a must for him. The menu I would love to change up a bit. We always have ham but maybe a new sidedish without causing my hubby ( who is a creature of habit) to freak out as the kids say. I saw a nice spinach and strawbeery salad that looked good. More reading will have to be done and then the list making before I set off for my final tri to the store. Right now my list consists of jelly beans, peeps and robins eggs......I think we need real food.
Carrot Cake By: Marc Boyer

"Here's and old-fashioned carrot cake that's got more carrots than spice. Pecans can be substituted for walnuts."
Original Recipe Yield 15 to 18 servings


2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup flaked coconut
1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
2.In a large bowl, mix together sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir in carrots, coconut, vanilla, and pineapple. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; gently stir into carrot mixture. Stir in chopped nuts. Spread batter into prepared pan.
3.Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
4.In a medium mixing bowl, combine butter or margarine, cream cheese, vanilla, and confectioners sugar. Blend until creamy. Frost cake while still in the pan.

 I found a darling place setting idea at  I am going to crochet my daffodils

though and maybe not use real grass as I dont think I have enough time left. I am tired of the same old and determined to jazz things up a bit this year. I will have to let you know how that goes over with the rest of the family.