Thursday, February 28, 2008

Whatcha think?


This has been my project this week - between finishing up orders and cursing the cold weather. It is going to make its home on my studio wall but, I can't decided if it needs something else or if it is perfect the way it is. And, if it does need something else, what is that something?

I need your help. Leave me a comment with your opinions/suggestions please!

Nothing has been glued down yet so make as many changes as you like!

I think I am going to hang them side by side instead of top and bottom but when I tried to take a picture like that it was just really small.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

If you read...

...you must read these books by my favorite author, Ray Blackston.












Seriously. These books are fabulous. They are funny. They are charming. And they are real. I've read Flabbergasted, the first of the series, probably 15 times (I'm reading right now) and the whole series probably 10. These are my go-to books when I don't have anything else to read, or just want a good laugh. If you read these, I promise you will laugh. And you will relate - no matter your age, no matter if you are married, single, or single-again -- you will relate to someone or something in these books.

Now if the cover of this next book doesn't make you want to read it, then I don't know what will.
A Pagan's Nightmare is a "comic spoof on legalism." You should read it.

And now for the best news of all...drum roll please...Ray has a new book out that was released February 12th. I did not know this. I don't know how I didn't know, but I didn't so this news totally just made my day, week, month, and possibly year. This is the cover:
I am literally going to Lifeway at lunch to see if they have it. I'll cry if they don't and politely DEMAND that they stock some copies, and then I will go straight home to my computer and order one for myself from amazon. I can't wait. I might have to go right now.


Anyway -- you can learn more about Ray and his books here. You can read Chapter One of each of the books there and what I call the "back cover" - you know, the short run down of what the book is about. I know you know what I am talking about. Don't kid yourself.


You can order the books here, here, and here. I suggest ordering them all at once, especially the series, because once you start you WILL NOT want to stop and driving the the bookstore or waiting for the next one to come in the mail will be excruiatingly painful. Consider yourself warned.


I'm off to the store. Happy reading!
Oh yeah, and when you go to Ray's website, leave him a little note and tell him "Steph from GA" sent you. =)

Friday, February 22, 2008

My first attempt at scrapping (sorta)

So I got it in my head about mid-January that I was going to MAKE cards for Valentine's Day this year. Um...yeah. I don't know why - I just did. So 2 hours in Michael's, a splitting headache, and $34 later, I had what I needed to get started. Keep in mind that I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING. The goal was to make 4 cards - one for my parents and brother, one for DD (my grandmother), one for Sarah (the bestie), and one for Justin (the hubby). I managed to accomplish this - but it wasn't easy. You see, I have committal issues. I don't want to glue anything down. I am always afraid that if I glue it down that 5 minutes later I will come up with a better use for it and then I'll be screwed. But over a weeks time I managed to make the four cards I needed. And I must say, it was pretty fun once I got the hang of it. I need tons of practice though and I am certain that I will never make an actual scrapbook - but the card making was fun so maybe I'll do it again sometime.
Here's the one I made for Justin: (please don't laugh - I don't claim to know what I'm doing)


Kinda plain and simple, but he loved it so that is all that matters.

Friday, February 15, 2008

This may very well be the death of me...



Chocolate, caramel (car-muhl), and pecans (pah-cahns NOT PEE-cans). Now separate, these three things are harmless (well, maybe not to your thighs, but for the most part) but put them together and the sheer ecstasy of the experience alone will kill you - Stop your heart dead in its tracks. Not to mention the elation you will feel when you bite into it and pull it away from your mouth only to have a trail of the most amazing caramel you've ever tasted stretching from your lips to the bear claw now a foot away. But the imminent threat of having that sticky goodness dangling off your chin will not deter you. You will let it dangle and continue devouring this caramel-bleeding Bear Claw until you have 5 trails hanging off your chin threatening to permanently make themselves at home there. Or maybe that's just me.

But...

Chocolate + Caramel + Pecans + Ecstasy (feeling, not drug) + Elation = DEATH BY BEAR CLAW

If I truly do die from attempting to eat the whole box in a single weekend, you can blame my parents. They sent Justin and I a box for Valentine's Day. Yes, you should be jealous. No, you cannot have them. They are MY parents. I'm willing to share though.

You can order your very own Death in a Box here or by clicking on the picture.

Come now friends. Let's all fall off the Resolution Wagon together. You will not be disappointed. =)

Picture property of River Street Sweets

Out of the mouths of babes...

Day one of this nanny job:
G- age 5 1/2 N- Age 3

Nate: Mrs. Stephanie, what is that thing in your nose?

Me: That's a nose ring Nate. Like an earring, but for your nose.

Grace: Nate, it's called in-di-vi-du-al-i-ty. Mrs. Stephanie has individuality. Can you say it with me?

G & N: IN-DI-VI-DU-AL-I-TY

Day two:
(While at the pool getting our table set up with ALL our stuff)

Grace: Mrs. Stephanie, you have the pools reflection on your legs.

Me: {Looks at legs and tries to figure out how on earth the pool is reflecting off her legs}
Grace, come show me. I don't see what you are talking about.

Grace: Right here....and here....and here {pointing to the stretch marks on my upper, upper thigh/bottom)

Me: Oh. My. Gosh. {laughs hysterically and then dashes to the locker room to see just how bad this must be to look like the pools reflection}

Kids say the darndest things!! I'm pretty sure I will never forget those two days as long as I live!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yummy!

This tried and true recipe for yummy roll-out sugar cookies and icing comes from my momma Cindy. If you stick to the recipe (as opposed to deviating as I usually do with every other recipe) they will turn out amazing and everyone at your ladies Bible study will want the recipe.=) But don't take my word for it -- test it yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed.

That is all that is left of ours. I took mine to Bible Study.=)

Roll-Out Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons Clear Vanilla Extract*
1/2 teaspoon No-Color Almond Extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. In mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not chill dough. Divide dough into 2 balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12 in. wide and 1/8 in. thick. Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 5-6 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Recipe may be doubled. Makes about 3 dozen cookies. WATCH COOKIES CLOSELY WHILE BAKING -- they burn VERY easily.

Poured Cookie Icing

This icing dries to a shiny, hard finish. Great to use for icing or to outline and fill in with tip 2 or 3.

1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
Place sugar and milk in bowl. Stir until mixed thoroughly. Add corn syrup and mix well. For filling in areas, use thinned icing (add small amounts or light corn syrup until desired consistency is reached).


Icing (like, the regular kind)

1 1/2 cups shortening
8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tsp butter flavoring OR 2 tsp almond extract (I used almond)
4 tsp clear vanilla*

Place shortening in mixer and add sugar one cup at a time (you will want to have it on LOW unless you just like to cover your kitchen and person in white sweetness and then have to clean it up). Add vanilla and butter/almond extract. Add very small amounts (teaspoons) of luke warm water until icing is the consistency you want. At this point the icing will be white -- you can add food coloring or Wilton's icing coloring if your heart desires.=)

*You can use regualr brown vanilla for the cookies and the icing, but if you want the icing to be bright, blinding white you should use the clear. I used brown because I colored the icing red.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Why?

Me: Nate, keep practicing your "B's"-- they don't have to be perfect, that's why it is called practice.

Nate: I CCCCCCAAAAAANNNNN""""""TTTTTTT!

Me: Your brain can hear you say that. My gosh, I sound just like my mother. I just want you to try. You haven't tried so how do you know you can't do it?

Nate: IIIIIIII JJJJJJJUUUUUUSSSSSSTTTTTTT CCCCCAAAAANNNNN'''''''''TTTTTTTT!

Nate: My brain hurts.

Me: Mine too bud. Mine too. Screaming does that.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Creative Genius

So my husband has been sick all this week with that nighttime-sniffling-sneezing-coughing-aching-fever-NOT-the-best-sleep-you-ever-got crud that is apparently going around the whole US right now. Because of this, I was forced to resort to less than conventional sleeping arrangements for myself. I like to think of myself as an empathetic, compassionate person, and in keeping with that self-picture, I let hubby have the bed while I slept here:



I won't lie -- I haven't slept that great for two nights in a row in I don't know how long!! I'm so glad our couch is a sectional and that with a little creative thinking I was able to turn it into the most comfortable "couch bed" ever! Of course, I did destroy our living room in the process, but it was worth it to not have to sleep with the walking Nyquil commercial (before the medicine kicked in).

I'm happy to report that Justin is feeling much better now. Hopefully we will both sleep soundly in OUR bed tonight. After we watch LOST of course.

Please ignore the mess in the background. This is what happens when Justin is home sick for two days.

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Etsy Listing!

I just listed this in my Etsy Shop:





Go check it out to see what it is! This may be my favorite thing to date. I need a little boy so his crib bedding can be of this fabric!