Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Giveaway - Poema Creations Necklace

Since it's almost time to shop for the most wonderful time of the year.....

Since it's been a long time since I've done a giveaway on this blog of mine.....

I think it's time for a GIVEAWAY!!!!

Today I introduce you to my friend Missy of Poema Creations. I gotta tell ya, this girl is talented at making polymer clay creations. You look at her stuff and can't imagine that it is handmade jewelry. I love it. I need more of it. (You hear that missy? I need more!). Check out her stuff. She is a local artist and I think the best Christmas shopping is done by supporting local peeps.

Because she's awesome, and because I'm giving her some of my goodies from my Worthwhile Moments Sweet Shoppe for her open house, She is giving me this awesome necklace to give away!

It is a 1" Stopwatch Pendant on a 16" chain. It is so cool and unique. She MADE it. Check it out:

There's lots of fun ways to enter. Do them all for the best odds of winning!

1. Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Who is the hardest person on your list to shop for? That will get you ONE ENTRY.

2. Post a link to this giveaway on your facebook page and leave ANOTHER comment telling me you did that.... that gets you another TWO ENTRIES

3. Tell the world about me, and my blog in a post on your blog and that will get you FIVE MORE ENTRIES (but leave another comment saying you did that too!).

4. Become a Follower of this blog (and comment that you did/ or are) and get TWO MORE ENTRIES!

5. Go 'like' my Worthwhile Moments Sweet Shoppe page on FB. Tell me you did/do. ONE MORE ENTRY

So you've got a chance to get TEN ENTRIES to win this gorgeous necklace. Keep it for yourself (oh, yeah baby!) or give it as a gift and cross someone off your shopping list (I won't tell).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Worthwhile Challenge #42 - homemade goldfish crackers

I saw this recipe for Homemade Goldfish Crackers over on Tasty Kitchen -- Pioneer Woman's food/recipe website. Thought they'd be a lot of fun to make with Hannah one day. I decided that today, since the cold front finally came thru and it was windy and chilly, would be a great day to give it a try. Easy peasy.

All you need is:
a food processor. new or old seems to work. this one is one we stole / got from Matt's parents, and I'm pretty sure it is at least as old as I am. It's pretty worse for the wear, but for the like three times a year I use a food processor, it gets the job done!

Five ingredients: 8 ounces shredded cheese, four tablespoons cold butter cut into cubes, 1 cup of flour, 3/4 tsp salt, and 2 tablespoons (give or take) of cold water.

A super cute little helper is also nice!

Pulse everything in the food processor until fine crumbs. Slowly pulse in water, a tablespoon at a time, until it comes together like pie crust dough. Form into ball, and chill in the fridge for a bit.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out. The first batch I don't think I rolled out thin enough. I had fat fish. (well, actually, fat hearts, circles, and pac mans). Cut out lots and lots of little cracker wannabes. Put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment (or waxed paper) and bake about 11 minutes at 350. Let cool.

Joila'! Now, keep in mind that these are NOT super duper crispy like the goldfish we get from Pepperidge farms. Crispy on the outside with a little chewy on the inside! But Hannah LOVED them. She loved making them, thought they were so good, and said "Daddy is going to LOVE these!"

Fun little thing to do on a dreary day, as most people usually have those 5 ingredients floating around the house. If you make these and use margarine instead of butter, let me know how they turn out!!

Coming soon..... a giveaway! I'm excited!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brooke - a Photography Journey

Everytime we have school pictures, I try to snap a few shots myself before I send the kiddo off to school. Brooke is usually a dream to photograph. She's not camera shy, she's fun, she is gorgeous.

But, alas, she is also seven, with an attitude, with a mother who is not a morning person. Here's the photo journey we had on school picture day.

1. Me: Brooke, smile so I can get a picture before the bus gets here.
Brooke: (see pic below).

2. Me: Come on Brooke, you can do better than that!
Brooke: (see pic below)
Me: That's not a smile, that's a grimace!

3. Me: So, who's your boyfriend?
Brooke: MOM!!! (see pic below)

4. Me: Is it Cody? Tanner? Dallas?
Brooke: ~laughing~ (see pic below)

5. Me- more guesses....
Brooke-- ~lots of giggles~ MOM!!! (see pic below)

6. Me- Come on, tell me! Is he your age?

Brooke ~I'm not telling!!!~ (see below)

7. Me - Well geez give your mother a hint!!!

Brooke - ~I'm just going to tell you he's in 2nd grade!~

Me- Thank God for that.

Brooke - Stop talking about it ~giggle~

8. Me - more guesses.

Brooke - It's Chase!

Me - Chase, who?!?!

Brooke - Debbi's Chase!!! (mommy's BFF's son, they went to preschool together. She hasn't seen him for months).

Me - Does Chase know this?

Brooke - Well, I'm not going to tell him!!!

9. And finally, she warmed up to the camera, and stopped giggling just enough to get this shot:

10. And this shot....

And we didn't even miss the bus!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'

I'm not usually one to discuss politics/religion/hot topics on my blog, or even in general. I'm a pretty grey-area kind of thinker actually, or one of those people who can see many sides. But I thought that I'd make an exception to this usual way of operating to share my thoughts on some things. Not to make any friends or enemies, not to make ya a hater. Just to tell ya what I think. Since this is my blog and all....!

Heaven or Hell? I believe in Jesus Christ 100%. He was sent by God to this earth to save man from sin, he died on a cross and triumphed over death to give us eternal life. I know that my salvation is in Jesus, believing and accepting His gift assures me of eternity in heaven. If you don't believe in Jesus....? Well....guess that one is up to God. But I think you should, because I'd love to see you up there.

Republican or Democrat? While on social issues I would err more to the side of republican, I usually vote democrat because I've never really seen anything good happen to the economy from a Republican's work. I feel that a majority of the problems today and that Obama is fighting are still aftershocks of G.W.B.

Pro-life or Pro-choice? Well, I'm totally for LIFE of course. Babies are too precious to be disposed of. However....and here is where I hit the grey area... if the mom's life is in danger...then that's one thing. I would never encourage someone to have one in anything but a life-threatening circumstance, and I think it should be illegal for sure for third trimester, and I think women who use them nearly as a form of birth control need to be punished.... I don't think it's the government's decision. It's a personal one. Just one that I would choose NO to. Make sense?

Homosexuality: I don't know if they are 'born this way' like Lady Gaga says, but I know that I have several homosexual friends who feel that they were born that way...they say 'why would i choose this life of discrimination!?". Here's what I think...I don't really care what they choose. If they are a good, honest, loyal, caring person that contributes to the benefit of society, that's all I need from someone. I'm not here to judge, I'm here to love. It's not my business. That's all up to God. I'm just here to love others.

Blood or water?: Weird one, I know. I just want to say that I think blood is thicker than water. I don't think you should choose your friend over your family. I think you should always have your family's back, be in their corner. I told Brooke tonight that if she was ever in a room full of people with her sister, her cousin brayton, etc...that her family is always her priority. That's just what I think.

Popcorn. Oh you're right, this is not a political topic. But I do have to say that it cannot be eaten without a carbonated beverage, a little salt, and chocolate of some sort. The best being MM's dumped right into the popcorn bag/bowl so they get a little melty/salty.

Love me or hate me? It's your choice. I am who I am. I wear my heart on my sleeve, just want to be loved, don't want to be jerked around. I can be super sweet and thoughtful, and I can be a little bitchy and abrasive sometimes too. Sometimes I'm passionate, sometimes I'm passionately bossy. Love me or hate me, I don't care...but don't make me feel little, or play hot and cold with me, or be my friend one minute and ignoring me the next. This girl prefers consistency. :)

So there are some of my random thoughts on various 'hot topics.' Now ya know.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Crazy.Busy.Insane.Week. CBIW. That's what I have had.

Like, my usual week times 100.

I am pooped.

Monday was a pretty routine day. But since's my week:

Tuesday morning get up and do some baking for an order that I have to do. Run with Hannah to the bank and the store, while talking on the phone to Matt about the problems we are having with the car dealership getting his truck that he wanted up here from another dealership. Speak to owner of dealership. 10:30a.m., call Matt and tell him we are going to go get the vehicle ourselves. Make arrangements for Grandparents to babysit. Go home, feed hannah lunch, get a rental car booked, call a cake customer, call a travel customer, do a travel quote, call a PTO person. Get Hannah to grandmas. pick up rental car. leave town at 1:20. Drive 4.5 hours to Arkansas. Spend 10 minutes at Dealership getting Matt's Avalanche picked up. Spend 10 minutes dropping off rental car. Spend 30 minutes eating at Jimmy Johns. Spend 4.5 hours driving back to Wichita. Go to bed at midnight. Up with drainage-pukey kid at 3:30 in the morning. Long long long long day.

Wednesday morning, get up to get Brooke off to school. Spend all morning baking the remaining 14 dozen mini sweet treats for a customer that did not get baked on Tuesday. Take a shower at 12:15. Take hannah to preschool. meet a travel client at preschool. go to Brooke's school to help with fundraiser delivery. leave brooke's school and go pick Matt and Brooke (early release) up at the house to go 'close' on the truck. forget checkbook. go to the bank for a cashiers check. go finalize truck. leave Matt and Brooke there to get the new vehicle delivery completed while I go get Hannah. Take Hannah with me to Brooke's school to help a PTO parent with conference meals. Meet Matt outside of school to pass off Hannah. Go to Brooke's conferences (she's rocking it all!). Pick up dinner. Give kids a bath. ice/dip/decorate the 14 dozen minis that I baked that morning. Finalize Disney cruise booking for family of 9. Go to bed.

Thursday....Brooke on bus. Hannah and I deliver order to Serenity Massage Clinic for their Anniversary Open House. Go to Hannah Circle Women's group. Leave there, go to bank and post office. Come home. let the dog out. eat lunch. put hannah down for a nap. play with dog. more travel stuff. wash dishes from frosting trifecta the night before. Brooke and Matt get home. Go to pumpkin patch. have a lot of fun at pumpkin patch--one of my favorite events of the year. eat dinner in El Dorado. Come home. shower. tuck girls in. sit happybutt on couch to watch something on the DVR and blog.

My head is spinning. Is yours?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Week in Review and Worthwhile Challenge 40 &41

It's Friday night at 9:40 and I can tell you these things for sure:

1. Everyone in my family but me is asleep in bed already. Even the dog.

2. A girl I know is at Walt Disney World right now, and keeps facebook statusing each ride she is at. It's driving this Disney nut crazy with 'iwanttobethererightnow-itis'

3. I've decided that 'busy' is just my permanent state of being these days.

4. I get a date with my hubby tomorrow night.

5. Jesus rocks.

And here is what my past week included (among other things):

My talented friend Abbe whom I've posted about many times in the past few years, has a great business going of repurposing furniture and giving it some life. You can find her facebook page here, and you can find this cute table she did in my entryway!

I've been looking for years for just the right table to go on this little wall inside my entryway. It's located cattycorner, kiddiecorner, across the tile, from this project. I haven't decided exactly what I want to put on this yet, but it will be cute. Kind of dragging my feet because I know in a few weeks I'll be putting some Christmas stuff on it anyways, so in no big hurry to accessorize it. That spot has waited years for a table, it can wait a little longer for decorations. However, HANNAH quickly claimed the little cubby on the side for random things. The first night, I found her PJ's in there after we put her to bed in a new pair. Along with a stuffed animal she was later looking for. And Brooke thinks it's a place for her to leave things when she gets home. Must accessorize it and claim it as mine!

Brooke didn't have school on Thursday, and about 3p.m. the came in from outside wanting to do a lemonade stand. We did about an hour before dinner and 30 minutes after dinner and made $6!! Brooke learned the lesson that most people don't take the time to stop and give a little attention to kiddos in their busy day, and decided that we need to make sure we stop at lemonade stands when we see them in the future.

This precious furball can still fit through the fence. We love him too much to trade him in for a bigger model though. Honestly he's really been perfect for our family. Except when he comes racing up to my room at 7:15 in the morning after the girls take him out to go potty. He races in and whines next to the bed until I flop my arm over and rub his little belly. He loves me.

Life is busy in my little Worthwhile Moments Sweet Shoppe right now.... which is good because this is typically a little bit of a slower month or two in my travel business. This weekend I'm doing my first wedding cake / groom's cake.

Here is half of the groom cake fresh out of the oven this morning.

Here is the completed groom cake. It is a big chocolate cake. Big as in 19"x24". Lots of black and orange icing. 16 eggs. Two batches of buttercream (which means, 16 cups of powdered sugar). Big. Cake.

Can I take a moment to say, thank you to those of you who are my cake and travel customers. I appreciate each order and each booking I do for you. Thanks for supporting me!

I bought these pop up thingys at a garage sale several years ago for about $2. Usually they are stuffed between the garage wall and the garage fridge, but every now and then, I drag them out. Since they don't come out often, they provide a good long bit of entertainment for these girls. This morning, the pop up thingys kept them occupied while I was baking Big.Cake.

That's the bulk of the week around here. PTO. Cooking. Baking. Baking. Baking.

Two new recipes for the Worthwhile Challenge:

Candy Corn Roll Up Cookies

(they are basically sugar cookies with an orange/yellow swirl baked in them).

In large bowl, beat 1 cup butter or margarine, 1.5 cups powdered sugar, one egg. Mix in 2.5 cups flour, 1 tsp soda, 1 tsp cream of tartar.

Divide dough into thirds. Tint one portion orange and the other yellow. Flatten each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 20 minutes.

On a sheets of lightly floured waxed paper, roll each portion into a 12x9" rectangle. Place orange on top of yellow, and plain dough on top of that. Roll up into a cylinder (like a jellyroll).

Wrap in plastic, refrigerate 1 hour (or freeze 30 minutes like I did).

Heat oven to 375, cut dough into 1/4" slices, sprinkle with coarse sugar, bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are set.

Review: very soft, decent cookie but I thought it was a little boring. I'm pretty picky about cookies though! They did look pretty!

I also made Chicken Bacon Ranch Paninis from The Pioneer Woman. You would think that since my kids love bacon, ranch, chicken, and grilled cheese sandwiches that they would love these. Hannah picked out the bacon and ate it, then ate the part of the bread with the cheese on it. Brooke picked out the chicken and ate it. Matt ate the whole thing but could take it or leave it, I personally liked them a lot! To each his own I guess!!

Share my blog with your friends... I'd love more followers. It makes me feel special. Or something. :) Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


So, I just discovered that there is a blog app for my phone! Speaking of which, RIP Steve Jobs, your iPhone makes me get so much more done! (well, except when I get sucked into games!). Anyways, new blogger app. Cool. Testing it out.

Today I also tested out a new recipe (that I'm not sharing!) for White chocolate raspberry scones. Divine!!! Here's a pic!

Hmmm ok not sure how to put the pics where I want them. I also played around with cakeballs this weekend. Still not a huge fan.

This week, I'm doing a wedding cake!!! I'm a little nervous!!! Wish me luck!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Seven recipes Worthwhile Challenge #33-#39!

I'm SEVEN weeks behind on posting newly-tried recipes? Really? SEVEN WEEKS? how did that happen?

Hmmmm.... about 7 weeks ago, school started. Perhaps that is what happened! Is anyone else still trying to get their school-schedule groove on? Because my routine is strikingly....routineless!

Well. excuses excuses.... here are SEVEN recipes to get me caught up.

I discovered the Crock Pot Girls page on facebook, and the first recipe I tried was Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake. It needs to be done in a big crockpot, one of those oval ones. And you should NOT leave it in the crockpot overnight because you don't feel like washing it. According to Matt, if left overnight, it's puke worthy stinky. However, hot and fresh out of the crockpot with some whipped cream on it...totally good. Here's that recipe: Mix one package of Devil's food cake mix with three eggs, 1/3 cup oil, and 1 2/3 cup water. pour into greased crockpot. Mix one small chocolate pudding mix with 2 cups milk and pour over cake mix. Sprinkle with 1 bag of chocolate chips. cook on high about 2.5-3 hours.

Around the time school was starting, my friend Chuck was celebrating his birthday in Pennsylvania. I wanted to send him a cake, but haven't figured that whole shipping cakes thing out, so I sent him some chocolate cake in a jar. I followed this recipe.... and while it was yummy, I didn't think it was quite as fabulous as my usual chocolate cake. He'll have to come visit us to get that! I also sent him a icing bag full of buttercream icing and a baggie of sprinkles :)

I have cooked more than desserts around here.... I made this Cheeseburger Pie and did NOT really like it. NOT a keeper in our house. I even made the meat layer more sloppy-joe-ish and still didn't think the dish had enough pizzaz.

A recipe/meal long forgotten is Beef and noodles. I make homemade chicken and noodles all the time, but rarely do beef. I put 1 lb of kabob meat (any kind of roast cut into cubes would work) in a crockpot with 1 can cream of chicken, one can of cream of mushroom, salt, pepper, about 1/2 cup water and a beef bouillon cube. Let that cook for several hours, then shred the beef and return to the sauce. Serve over buttered noodles. 'Twas good!

The other night I had it in my head to make "Oreo Brownies." Took my favorite brownie recipe (take yours), chopped up about a dozen oreos and bake as normal. Let cool completely, then serve with a dollop of buttercream and some crushed oreos on top. It was yummy. You probably want a buttercream recipe.... butter...vanilla....powdered sugar....bit of milk. Cream. butter cream. for the most part. :)

Last night I had some chicken breasts to work with. Started out making chicken parmesan but decided I wasn't really in the mood for that. Ended up doing breaded chicken cutlets with baked beans instead. Pound your chicken out (in a big ziploc bag) to even it out and help it cook up quicker. Dredge in flour, shake off excess. Dip in whisked egg. Dredge in panko bread crumbs. Fry up in an skillet with some oil and butter. I ate mine with 57 Sauce (my favorite condiment), Matt and the girls dipped theirs in ranch. If I wanted to be unhealthier, I could have made a gravy and called it chicken fried chicken. I love working with Panko Bread Crumbs, because they really give a good crunch.

Is that seven yet? No? One more? Finally, about a month ago, we were in a big strawberry kick in this house. I made a yummy strawberry glaze with some strawberries I was trying to use up while they were at their peak. We had it on ice cream, I put it on pancakes for Brooke, we had it on cake. Muy deliciouso. I used this recipe for that.

Whew. Caught up. I told ya i'd still be cooking...just haven't been blogging. I'm trying to get my routine going on. really I am.

Have you tried any new recipes lately?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lessons from God

I've had {another} insanely busy week. I don't know how my weeks are so crazy, but they are.

Fortunately, I always make time for church, and this year I've decided to make time for Hannah Circle, a women's ministry at a local church. This week, I was reminded WHY I make things such as this a priority to me. Because God does great things and speaks great truths when you have your heart open to learn.

At Hannah Circle this week, we talked about the Fruit of the Spirit LOVE. We see the perfect description of God's love in 1 Corinthians 13. I learned, though, these five things about loving Jesus and loving others: it's an act of will, it's an ACTION, you should use it to reach the unlovely, we need God to help us love, and honest love expects nothing in return. (that last one is very tough for me. I feel like I give give give/love love love/ reach out reach out reach out and am always left wondering when the reciprocation is going to happen. but if I'm TRULY loving, I'll stop wondering about that).

The most profound thing I learned at Hannah Circle this week was this: when you choose not to love someone (even the butthead neighbor, or the arch rival from high school, etc), you are telling God "I don't love you enough to love that person." Wow. So the next time you have a hard heart towards someone...or act in hate or resentment towards them.... think about that statement.

Even more amazing this week was the sermon at church. We go to a huge church here, and honestly love it. The pastor is gifted in the sermons he delivers. Right now we are in the middle of a message series called "Intensive Care"...about when life really is tough and you need some major help. Saturday night he talked about what to do when you are in a really tough place in life. He spoke on Jeremiah 29:11, one of my all time favorite verses; "for I know the plans i have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans for hope and a future." That verse is one that many hold strong to in tough times. But Mark talked about the context surrounding that verse. The people that are being spoke to were Christians who had obeyed God and moved from their happy place of Judea to Babylon...a not so happy place. They were ready to get out of that tough place. They didn't know what to do in that difficult place. God said basically, sit tight, brace yourself for the long haul, put down roots, live your life. This is where I have you now, but don't worry, because I know what I have planned for you.

What God is saying when you are in a tough spot is; just keep going. Mark said "just function." When you are in a difficult place of loss, of heartache, of betrayal....just function. Get up, get dressed, breathe. Just function, and get through each moment...because God is there, and God is also on the other side...and He knows full well the blessings He has for you around the corner. I had a friend sitting in front of me that got woke up by her husband a few weeks ago at 4a.m. and told that he was 'done' with their 13 year marriage and totally blindsided her. She visited our church for the first time this weekend. You can't tell me that God didn't perfectly design that moment...for her to be sitting there this week, for that message. Just keep going.

God's promises are huge. Love others like He loves us. And just keep going, because He has great plans for you. Open your heart to His love, and His plans, and you will be blessed eternally.