Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So delicious and perfect for fall!
You'll want to check out other recipes on this site as well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New in the Shop and SALE!

New in the shop~

Enter this coupon code at check out and save 15% off the retail price of any item in my shop:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mailman play set

Lucas's teacher has a wish list and some of the items on the list are occupation type dress up play sets for the kids to use during center time for pretend play.

I decided to make a mailman play set since I had lots of time on my hands this weekend.
It was fun to be creative with this set and it was actually pretty inexpensive since I used primarily felt.

You can open the little envelopes and in each one is a shape or pretend note.

Lucas has already had lots of fun playing with the set this weekend.

House pics~

Ok....for those of you that aren't family, you may want to skip right over this post as you probably won't be interested.
If you are family you may not be interested either! ha! :)
These are picture of the interior of the new rent house.

View as you enter the front door ~ Josh's office area:

If you are standing in the entry way and look to the see the formal living room (and Josh):

Looking to the right from Josh's office area is the kitchen/dining:

Another view of the office area:

Boys room:


Looking down hall from boy's bedroom back to kitchen area:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Italian Cream Sodas~

Fill glass half full with ice
Add 1/4 cup of simple syrup flavoring (I like Torani and the fruit flavors work best)
Add 1/4 cup of half and half
Add 1/2 cup of soda water
Top with whipped cream ( Redi-Whip in the can is easy)

(The soda pictured above was made using Torani's orange flavored simple syrup. Tastes like a Dreamsicle!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School

Lucas- Kindergarten / Zachary- 3rd grade

Well the day passed with only a few tears (mostly mine).
Shockingly, Lucas brought home the Gold Star for having the cleanest desk. I should have photographed it as that will likely be the last time he receives the award.

And in case you were wondering, apparently there are no cute girls in either class.
(Mom!!! uggh!!!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chili Chocolate Cookies

My sister who lives in Albuquerque (and is possibly the only person who still actually reads this blog) was telling me about a local cookie bakery that she visited not long ago. One of the cookies she sampled included chocolate and chilies and she loved the unique flavor. Soon afterwards I came up with this cookie that I think is both out of the ordinary and delicious.

Chili Chocolate Cookies~

2 sticks butter, cold cubed and unsalted
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp Mexican vanilla (ok to use regular vanilla too)
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground chili peppers (SEE NOTE!)
1 bar chili chocolate, coarsely chopped (SEE NOTE!)
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars. Mix in vanilla and eggs one at a time. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, baking soda and chili pepper powder. Mix this flour mixture into the creamed mixture until just barely incorporated. You should still see some streaks of the cocoa/flour in the dough. Add the coarsely chopped bar and the chocolate chips in by hand. Bake at 350 on parchment paper lined baking sheet until just barely set. Allow to cool on pan for one minute and then remove to plate to cool completely.


This is the Chili Chocolate bar that I used. You can find them on the candy aisle of the grocery store.

Don't use Chili Powder which incorporates garlic, onions etc. I found this ground chili pepper jar in the baking section aisle of the grocery store near the other spices. It is only chili peppers without added spices, etc. I use 2 tsp but you can used more or less to your taste.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Just Stuff~

We literally got all our boxes in the door of our new home and then left for vacation.

Tennessee was beautiful.

I would move there today.
It was so relaxing and we really needed a break from the chaos.

I have always wanted to see a bear in the wild and finally did.

Now we are knee deep in boxes, but so glad to be in the new house with several weeks of the summer left to unpack.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

This week in Photos

I found the easiest way to bathe the dog is in the shower.
Even easier.... have your 8 year old do it~

Happy 5th Birthday to Lucas~

Are my kids the only ones who bite their nails constantly?
Toenails that is~

Saturday, July 2, 2011

This week in pictures~

Don't let this fool you.
These two have been fighting non-stop all summer.
My ears are bleeding.

We are moving.
In an effort to keep the kids out of my hair and from killing each other entertained, I've built a strange labyrinth around the living room floor with moving boxes and blankets.
It actually worked for awhile today.
Then they started fighting again.
Apparently I didn't make the entrance big enough for 2 kids to lay in at the same time.

Wow! I wish I got a nickel for every time I found a clip randomly attached to a bag of cereal.
I can't tell you how many lessons we have had on how to roll the bags down and then secure them with a clip.
I wonder what's going through their heads when they stick the clip on the side of the bag.

These are delicious.
I'm currently smiling just thinking about them.
I add 1/4 cup cream and 1/2 cup "chopped to almost nothing but powder" pecans to mine.
They're from my favorite cooking blog.

Happy 4th everyone!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New in Shop~

DIY Vintage ornaments!

And a few finished:

Find them here

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

Super easy.
Not too sweet.

After an incredibly busy weekend, I was craving something "chocolaty" but not too much trouble to make.

These were perfect.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins
6 squares (1 oz each) semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips (standard size work fine as well)

Preheat oven to 400.
Over low heat, melt chocolate squares with butter.
Let stand off heat about 10 minutes to cool. (Can put in refrigerator as well.)
Lightly beat egg.
Stir together the chocolate-butter mixture, buttermilk, sugar, egg and vanilla until well blended.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking soda.
Make a "hole" in the center of the dry ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients until just combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Fill paper lined muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake at 400.
Cook until done using the toothpick test.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day in Photos

~My kids never miss their morning appointment with Mario.~

~The Ganache topped Bittersweet brownies are made for tonight's company.~

~Preparing to wash 1, 673, 986 dishes by hand.
No, we do not have a dishwasher.
Thank you paranoid landlord.~

~ May I join you, Opal?~

~Enjoying Snicker's Icebox Pie with friends~

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


First, let me say thanks to all of you who entered
the contest for $20 worth of fabric from Fabrics Boutique!

And a BIG thank you to Mary of Fabrics Boutique for
providing the gift certificate!

And the winner is:

(Thanks to Zachary for drawing the name for me!)

Congratulations to PuffPastryShop!

I'll be in contact with you so you can pick out some
delicious fabric!

Please continue to shop at Fabrics Boutique for a great variety of fabric and patterns!

On another note, I just finished reading this:

HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended!
(But have an entire box of tissue handy)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

School's Out for Summer~ And a Giveaway!

The kids got out of school yesterday which means the fighting began at 8 am sharp.
I think it had something to do with Lucas's feet finding their way onto Zachary's blanket.

I plan on doing a lot of sewing and cooking this summer.
I will probably do more refereeing.

If your Summer plans include crafting and sewing, have I got a giveaway for you!
Mary of Fabrics Boutique has GENEROUSLY offered one of you, my sweet readers, a gift certificate for $20 to her shop!
Which means you can get your hands on A LOT of fabric or supplies for your summer projects!

I'll be honest, several thoughts went through my mind when I found out about Mary's generosity:
*I wonder if it's unethical to enter your own giveaway?
*Maybe Josh would like to enter this giveaway.
Zachary and Lucas too. They like fabric.

I've decided to play fair.
However, if my sweet sister who does not sew would like to enter this giveaway I want to remind her that she is welcome to. I'm sure she could find a loved one to mail the gift certificate to. ;)

Ok~ Just let me know your favorite listing at Fabrics Boutique in the comments below. That's it. You each get one shot. I'll announce the winner late Tuesday.

Get to know Mary better:

Believe it or not my background is actually in science. I was an environmental toxicologist for over 11 years and for then taught secondary for seven years. Five years ago ago my youngest son was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy resulting from a prenatal stroke. What a blessing his condition was diagnosed early! However, it became increasingly difficult to meet my teaching obligations and take my son to his physical and occupational therapy appointments (twice a week, two hours round trip for each visit), doctor's appointments, etc. So in June 2006, I "retired" from teaching to be with my son. However, due to economic conditions I have had to return to teaching part-time. During all of this time I also owned two antique shops and a gift shop. So within a couple of months of retiring from teaching, I was looking for something I could do from home to stay busy and bring in some extra income. My mother taught me (and my daughter) to sew at an early age and I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. I collect handmade papers and fabrics--although I usually don't have a project in mind when I buy them. (LOL You sewers and scrapbookers with a stash that is taking over your living space understand what I mean! ) I also love vintage and antique linens, porcelain, china, flowers, tea time etc. So in October 2006 I opened Sew Graceful. Although my emphasis is on quilt shop quality fabrics and patterns, vintage linens, and handcrafted soft goods...every once in a while you will also find some estate sale treasures-- fine porcelain and china, tea time treasures, and romantic cottage decor and personal accessories.

Thanks again, Mary!!!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Photo Catch Up~

There are several "Urban Farms" in our neighborhood.
I love buying farm fresh eggs from our neighbors.

It was 99 degrees today! Summer is HERE
and the boys have had plenty of "water fun" already.

Some new items in the shop ready for a (your) new home~

AND, FRIENDS.... There is a giveaway coming later this week!!!!