Archive | November, 2011

School Photos for 2011 to 2012

29 Nov

Click here to view these pictures larger


Lelia’s Got a Brand New Bed!

27 Nov

Thanks to the generosity of several family members and family friends, Lelia got her brand new big girl bed today!

My Mother-in-Law and Step-Father-in-Law gave us the bed.  It was a bed that Colin’s brother had slept in growing up and had been another family member’s before that.  They also gave us the matching dresser, which my step-FIL, lovingly refinished.

My talented aunt, Nancy, of Nancy D Poole Decorative Finishes, painted it the perfect grass green and stenciled the white bamboo design per my request.

Then family friends, gave us a spare twin mattress and box spring, and my step-father drove all around Lutherville with my today picking up the bed frame, mattress and box spring.

Colin and I assembled it, and dug out the bed bars.  Lelia is over the moon, excited to have her very own bed!

Thank you to everyone who helped!


Wine Cork Letter

26 Nov

Having seen all of these wine cork letters on my beloved Pinterest, I added them to my list of items to give people for Christmas.  Tonight I’m giving one early! A friend of mine is being married for the second time and while they didn’t register for any gifts, I couldn’t go to their wedding celebration empty handed.

I wanted to give them something small but something that would be significant to the two of them as they start their lives together.  I thought the wine cork letter would be nice since she is taking his last name. Having the same last name really represents a couples union. It’s cheesy I know, but I love sharing my name with my husband and now with my children.  It’s something we all share.

At any rate, I got to work on the project.  First pulling up photoshop elements .  It’s the best kept secret in the world! It costs a mere $90 (as compared to the $600 full fledged photoshop) and contains all of the elements of photoshop that I need for work and play. And it’s 50% off until November 29th!!!

I opened a Legal sized document, selected a font that I liked, American Typewriter, and blew up the letter until it filled the page.  Then I printed it out and grabbed my husband’s bag o’ corks.

I laid the corks out on top of the printed letter, taking some creative license to enlarge the letter just a bit.  I glued each cork to the corks next to it, working from the top of the letter down to the bottom.

20 minutes later and my letter was complete! For reference, the letter is about 15 inches tall.


Recipe | Pizza Roll Ups

25 Nov

This is easy peasy lemon squeezy! I saw pesto crescent rolls on Pinterest and decided that they would be even better with a little Don Pepino in which to dip them and more cheese!

Roll out the store bought crescent roll dough, spread pesto sauce across the dough, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Roll it up, slice into 1/2″ thick rolls, lay on cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Super easy, and they were a huge hit!


Recipe | Tomato Pudding

23 Nov

This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Thanksgiving side.  It isn’t traditional to most Thanksgiving feasts, and it wasn’t part of ours until my mother bought her Church’s cookbook many moons ago.  The recipe is from the pastor’s wife and she brought it with her from her childhood home in South Carolina. We’ve altered to suit our tastes and now serve it at every Thanksgiving.  It’s been passed on to me as my responsibility to cook and I’ve been doing so dutifully for over 5 years.

It’s an indescribable taste, it’s so delicious. There’s nothing really pudding like about it.  It’s main ingredients would lead you to believe that it would taste a lot like tomato sauce.  But that’s not the case.  And the beauty of it is that it marries so nicely with other, more traditional, Thanksgiving sides. And it contains bacon so it’s extra tasty.

First you fry an entire pound of bacon. I cut mine all up and tossed it in the dutch oven and stirred it around until it was perfectly fried.  I should note that while frying bacon all I ever think about is “Now fry like bacon, bitches!!!!” from Dazed and Confused.  Anyone else have this happen?

Then I scooped it out, and drained all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Set aside the bacon and then fry up 2 diced onions.


Then you add 3 28oz cans of WHOLE tomatoes and cook it for several hours until it reduces, thickens, and deepens in color.

Once that’s happened, add back in the bacon


Then add in 1/2 cup of PEPPERIDGE FARM country stuffing and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.  *Everything up to this point can be done a day ahead.  Then remove and heat in the oven before serving.*

Stir it all together and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tomato pudding just before it goes in the oven, once it comes out, you won't be able to discern the stuffing cubes from the rest of it


Serve to your guests and wait for the rave reviews!


Tomato Pudding Recipe

1 package of bacon cut into bits

2 yellow onions, diced

3 28oz cans of whole tomatos

1/2 cup Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Fry bacon, remove from pan.  Using 3 tablespoons of bacon grease, saute onions.  Add 3 cans of tomatoes.  Cook for several hours until reduced, thickened and darkened in color. Add bacon, stuffing and brown sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.



Chair Re-Do

23 Nov

I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner!  Armed with a screw driver and a staple gun, I reupholstered my dining room and kitchen chairs today!

In between posting updates for clients, emailing clients, brainstorming contest ideas, fleshing out contest rules, and taking calls from clients.  Because that’s how I roll.

I ordered the fabric from Calico Corners.  For about $75 I got enough  indoor/outdoor (translation: I can easily clean it when my children spill food and drink) fabric to re-cover 4 kitchen chairs and 6 dining room chairs.

It was so simple to do, seriously!  First of all, 3/4 of a yard of fabric is more than enough to cover 2 chairs.

I cut my fabric into 3/4 yard increments, then cut those in half.

Next I unscrewed the base of the chair from the wooden part.

I laid the cushion upside down on top of the fabric and pulled the fabric to fit tightly around the edges, trimming the excess.

I started on the front edge of the cushion and stapled as I went.  The corners were the trickiest, but with a little pulling and folding I got a snug fit.

Then I screwed the cushions back into the wooden part of the chair.  And THAT’S IT!

Each chair took about 20 minutes from start to finish. So $75 and a little more than 3 hours later and my dining room and kitchen tables have a full makeover!!



Phonetic Spelling Oh How I Love Thee!

22 Nov


Isabelle has been writing for over a year, but she didn’t know how to spell anything other than her name until recently.  Now she’s got several words committed to memory and those that she doesn’t know how to spell, she sounds out and writes the words as they sound to her.

It’s been an eye opening experience for me because, since she’s only 5, she still doesn’t speak perfectly.

Her R’s get lost and TH’s sound like D’s.

I find it endearing.

And not to worry, I’ve had her tested and Baltimore County says it’s all just fine and totally normal for a 5 year old’s speech pattern.

My first sighting of the phonetic spelling was a princess story she worked on with her older (read age 7) neighborhood friend.  The story read

“Once upon a time DAR was a princess”

My heart melted with the cuteness. Dar instead of there.

Then she gave me Thanksgiving card she made at school.  On the outside it said


And on the inside she had drawn a hand turkey and written



Tuce, was turkey.  The K in turkey sounded like a C to her and since she drops her R’s she didn’t hear it.


This just may be cuter than my all time favorite Isabellism!!

Most recently, she made a card for her good friend’s birthday.  Instead of signing it Love, Isabelle, she wrote

“Dis is from Isabelle”

And then she drew a smiley face and wrote

“Dat is a smiley face”

This phonetic spelling thing is heartwarmingly genius and for the first time in a long time, it’s making me super happy that my kids are the age that they are, instead of longing for days when they’re older and more self sufficient.

So on this week of Thanksgiving, I’m most Thankful for my girls who light up my world every single day!