Easy Patriotic Pretzels!

June 30, 2013

Jodi pinned those cute pretzel rods to our shared 4th of July Pinterest boardyou know the ones – so adorable, with their wee M&Ms and patriotic sprinkles! My girls made a whole bunch of them this afternoon:


When they were almost done, I saw that there was some drizzling chocolate left, so I put some pretzel snaps down wherever there was room on the cookie sheets, and drizzled them too, then threw on some sprinkles and wee M&Ms:


Can I just say: so, so much less involved than the rods. Next year, we’re making entire cookie sheets full of these. So quick and easy!! It would be a great project for younger kids.

All you need:

  • pretzels (we used square snaps – lots of surface area – pretzel thins would work really well too)
  • candy coating for drizzling (white or chocolate….we used both)
  • wee M&Ms (we got the big bags and separated out the blue and red ones)
  • assorted red, white and blue sprinkles

Happy Independence Day!


Flashback Status

September 4, 2011

I promise – Julie and I will start blogging again SOON!  I am about to start what I would love to be a trend on Facebook.  The idea is so fun that I wanted to share it here first – so that I actually have proof that I came up with this idea!  So, my idea is to occasionally put up a Flashback Status on your Facebook status.  I know a lot of our parents are on facebook – but let’s pretend that they were on facebook when we were little – or growing up.  What would your parent have wrote about you in their status???  Example:

FS 1984:  Jodi finally passed her drivers test on the third try today.

If you don’t know the exact year – that’s okay.  I think this’ll be a lot of fun.


Just in time for the 8/31 deadline!

August 30, 2010

Whew, that was close!

Sew Mama Sew is hosting a giveaway — a fabulous  Husqvarna Viking serger giveaway — so fabulous that I’m breaking the blog silence to post my entry. I’m supposed to answer the question: How would your life be better with a serger?

Honestly, I’m not going to lie, my life would be better with any sewing machine made in this century.  I do love to sew but my 1969 Singer can only take me so far. And I’ve always wanted to learn how to use a serger!  (I borrowed my MIL’s serger for about three years wherein I replaced the blade and tried to read the manual and poked it with a stick and could never figure out how to use it.)

If  I win this contest, I promise, I’ll take a class.

The very specific reason that a serger would make my life easier is this:

This is one mammoth project. I can’t even really remember how it ended up on my figurative plate, but I can tell you that there was a lot of, “are you SURE you want to do this?” involved, to which I crazily answered, “yes, I am SURE.”

My kids attend a small Catholic school so they wear uniforms. And we have a very large, active uniform exchange, where you can trade in your old uniforms and take what you need in return. We’re all about reusing! But these have been reused so many times that they’re moving on to being recycled. This year someone realized that the UE hadn’t been culled in approximately 3857230 years. There were a lot of items (see photo!! six HUGE garbage bags full) that were stained, ripped, just plain worn out, or that didn’t meet our current dress code.

So I volunteered to inspect them further, remove what’s wearable so it can be donated to Goodwill, and then take on the massive task of repurposing as much as possible of what’s left. For every shirt that has a stain on the front, there’s a back’s worth of fabric that can be made into something else. Fabric from stained polos makes great rags. The worn out plaid skirts are begging to be made into hair accessories, pouches, and doll jumpers. I have a list of button crafts as long as my arm. And so on.

I’m not sure my Singer can handle this one! Help!


40 Years Ago Today

September 21, 2009


40 years ago today – I was one and a half.  I was probably walking around on the orange carpet in our living room – gazing at my very pregnant mom.  Maybe I was pulling around my Fisher Price telephone – maybe munching on a graham cracker.  Little did I know that that day would change my life forever.

That day, my little sister was born.  From the start she was curious and loving and sweet.  We shared a room for the first eight or so years.  We had this amazing bunk bed that my mom built – primary colors – equipped with it’s own big green slide.  We had these HUGE metal bookshelves, full of games and books and matching dolls who’s hair grew longer when you pulled it out of her head.  We also had a magical chinese checkers game – some of the marbles turned into gumballs – no joke.

We had lots of matching dresses and outfits (like the one above).  Some had cats, some Raggedy Ann and Andy and more.  Matching sleeping bags and ponchos and all kinds of things.  We were built in buddies.  Mom did everything she could to make sure us girls were happy, well adjusted sisters.

I don’t even want to think about where I’d be without her all these years.  She’s been my best friend, my confidant,  my co-conspirator, my cheer leader, my inspiration. We’ve shared so much – especially our faith in a loving God and Savior.  Where would we be without HIM?

The only thing we don’t share is a STATE.  We live way too far apart.  But today – I’m at her home helping her celebrate her birthday.  Thanks Uncle Brad for flying me out to be with her today.  Thanks sis for choosing to have me come.  I love you with all of my heart.


Julie loves Scrabble.  So. . . at her birthday party we secretly had friends spell out on a board – things they loved about Julie. . . some of the results are above.


we interrupt the blog silence…

June 26, 2009

…to mourn the passing of a genius — albeit a flawed one — who provided the soundtrack to our childhood, adolescence, and coming-of-age. Dramatic? Yeah. But really, no other musician evokes such vivid memories of growing up with my siblings.

I don’t think that anyone who didn’t grow up in the 70s can quite understand this. I’m not one to ordinarily mourn the passing of complete strangers. But as I tried to explain to my daughters last night, the music of Michael Jackson is so intertwined in my memories — there is not one album in which one or two or four songs don’t evoke vivid recollection of the events and experiences of my young life. From playing Looking Through the Windows on our old record player in my sister’s bedroom…to watching her dance solo to Michael on stage at a talent show in the Clifford School  gymnasium…to gathering around the TV to watch the world premiere of the Thriller video…to playing Man in the Mirror at the house of a guy I was sooo secretly crushing on when I was 18…to riding with my brother in his VW Scirocco, amazed that he knew every word, beat and “oooo!” in every song.

Yeah, he got really odd. But honestly…who wouldn’t, with the whole world watching him from when he was so small? I know, I know…some wouldn’t. What a sad reality that his temperament + massive fame = wacky train wreck. What a shame.

But I don’t want to dwell on that…the media is doing it for me. 😉 I’m just gonna get back to my all-day MJ dance party and celebrate the music, thankful that he was able to share his gifts with the world.


Cupcake Pops

April 24, 2009

I tried my hand at Bakerella’s Cupcake Pops!  Oh my they are so fun.  I’ve made three batches during this week’s birthday extravaganza (for dd’s school, church and party).  I am NOT going to explain how to do this – Bakerella does a great job of that here and there’s also a video of her making them on Martha!!!  I’ll include a few things I’ve learned – after the pics.  Here are a few pics of mine:

You can click on the pics to enlarge them.   The bear ones (made for a Build-a-Bear party) – the actual cupcake shape didn’t turn out that great – I used the cookie cutter that Bakerella likes best from Williams Sonoma – but somehow – the shape didn’t work for me.

The one that did work was from a bento set that my sister bought me – small flower cookie cutter.  I gave the bears lips from some Valentine’s sprinkles and tiara’s from new Disney Princess sprinkles I found at Kroger’s.

In a few pics there are M&M’s for the “cherry” on top.  The others – with blue and pink are yogo’s.  We found making chocolate cake and using chocolate frosting tasted the best.  I used about 3/4 of a thing of frosting – so that the cake didn’t get too sticky (and tasted really good).


Pink Formica Dinette Table

April 17, 2009
Pink Formica Table

Pink Formica Table

This isn’t the best pic – I’ll find a better one later – but I had to put something up as we’ve been quiet way too long.  I found this table on Craigslist for $50 – and it includes TWO LEAVES!  It’s a gorgeous gorgeous find and goes perfect in my jadeite green kitchen.  Now if only Kitchenaid would let me exchange my white mixer for a PINK one.



October 27, 2008

Outside My Window… freezing rain

I am thinking…can I make it through the day without going to Target?

I am thankful for…having everything I need

From the kitchen…pumpkin snickerdoodle bars

I am wearing…my work clothes…haven’t had a chance to change yet

I am creating…Christmas presents, as soon as I drag the sewing machine out

I am going…to pick up the girlies at school

I am reading…People magazine

I am hoping…that neither car breaks this month

I am hearing…almost-silence (faint chainsaw noise in the neighborhood)

Around the house…I need to sort and fold the laundry, and make pico de gallo for taco night.

One of my favorite things…hugs from the girlies. there’s nothing like ’em.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:work, ballet, soccer, baking lots of cupcakes…

Here is picture thought I am sharing…


Primitive Antique Ring Holder FIND

October 15, 2008

There is a local Flea Market (indoor antique mall) on the way to my kids’ school.  I had about 20 minutes to kill yesterday, so I wandered in and around the 100 plus booths in this place.  I was nearly tearing myself away from the kitch when I saw this treasure.  Being a jadeite collector, my eye is always drawn to shades of green – and this little guy drew me in.  It is a wooden coffee pot ring holder.  On it reads:

“Let me hold your rings for you while dishes or washing you do”

It’s clearly been used.  The paint is chipping and there are water spots on it – scars from many years of living on the counter next to the kitchen sink.

When I took it to the checker, I said, “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”  Upon closer examination, she said SHE had never seen anything like it either.  I thought that was extraordinary for an antique purveyor to also not have seen an item like this before.   So, I came home, eager to jump on ebay and do some research on my new little treasure.  I have searched and googled and searched again – and found nothing else like this, nothing with the quote on it, NOTHING!  Can you believe it?  Well – I should say that I spent $6.50 for this ring holder and will most likely actually use it because we don’t have a dishwasher (as I’m sure it’s original owner didn’t either).  If YOU have any information on my little treasure, please leave a comment here.  I’d love to learn more about these.


Popcorn Shop

September 26, 2008

Popcorn Shop

Originally uploaded by squonkblog

Mmmmmm – falling leaves, commuter trains going by, and the smell of The Popcorn Shop.   Nothin’ like it!!!

This is in downtown Wheaton, IL – where we grew up.  This place is (was?) in the Guinnesss Book of World Records as the smallest shop.  It was an alley that they made into a penny candy shop.  This is where I first met Swedish Fish.   You go in there, fill up a little white lunch sack with candy – and take it to the worker toward the back.  They’d pour your candy out and count it up.  They also made the popcorn in the back of the shop – the whitest yummiest popcorn ever – made in a big kettles.

We always stopped here on our way to the Wheaton Theater around the corner.