Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time to Be Jolly

After a VERY cranky evening, around 7:30 pm the Twins suddenly decided to put off their cranky ways and embrace a general spirit of jolliness.  They set themselves up on the chest with little notepads and crayons and scribbled and chatted for nearly a half an hour about delightful who-knows-whats. 

{Sorry for the blurriness, it was very dark}

Gideon had to check-up on Calliope's progress every so often.

I'll take Jolly Twins over Cranky Twins any night of the week.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

40 Days, 40 Bags of Unlovliness Leaving My House!

So I read that somewhere that somebody was doing a 40 bags in 40 days challenge.  There was no link or explanation so I don't know if this is a "thing"?  But it's definitely needs to be my Thing.  I'm a chronic stuffer and when I do things like the Baby Shower, my stuffing tendencies go into over drive. (Imagine baskets of laundry tossed out in the.... garage, and coffer filters stuffed in the....freezer - but I was completely unconscious of doing the latter!)

So by Monday I was feeling a keen sense of MESS.  Can anyone say, "SPRING CLEANING"?  But instead of taking on the whole house, taking on one smallish, manageable mess each day for 40 days sounds just possible.  I will conquer the chaos - who's with me?!

Here's my list of 40 Unlovely Messes in my house.  At the end of 40 days, I plan to have gotten rid of a Bag of Unlovely, Unnecessary Mess from each space. 

40 Bags in 40 Days

1.  Front Closet - Bottom
2.  Front Closet - Top Shelf
3.  Laundry Room Cupboards
4.  My Closet - Left Side
5.  My Closet - Right Side
6.  My Under the Sink Cabinet
7.  My Sock Drawer
8.  My Pajama Drawer
9.  Hat and Scarf Drawer
10. Top of Desk
11. Sunroom Cabinet
12. Toys in Sunroom
13. Toys in Family Room
14. Twin's Closet
15. Twin's Dresser
16. Elias's Dresser
17. Elias's Closet
18. Under Elias's Bed
19. Twin's Green Dresser
20. Freezer
21. Pot Cupboard
22. Pantry Cupboard
23. Cup Drawer
24. Pampered Chef Boxes
25. Under the Kitchen Sink
26. Cookbook Cupboard
27. Underwear Drawer
28. Garage Freezer
29. File Cabinet
30. Under the Bed in the Basement
31. Chest in Family Room
32. Clothes Containers in Extra Closet
33. Clothes Hanging in Extra Closet
34. Sweetheart's Clothes Hanging in Closet
35. Sweetheart's Drawers
36. My Craft Chest
37. Silverware Drawer
38. Cupboards underneath blue bathroom
39. Linen Closet
40. Pantry food in Furnace Room

I had written out about 9 messes on the list, when I had to attend to some sad child, and my dear, sweet, highly loveable husband added on the following:

10. My Kitchen
11. My Kitchen
12. My Kitchen
13. My Kitchen
1001. My Kitchen
1002. My Kitchen
19820320192831. My Kitchen
19820320192832. My Kitchen
928309482019278367483919120038127319230128371237189923098298326109826. My Kitchen
928309482019278367483919120038127319230128371237189923098298326109827. My Kitchen
928309482019278367483919120038127319230128371237189923098298326109828. My Kitchen
928309482019278367483919120038127319230128371237189923098298326109829. My Kitchen
928309482019278367483919120038127319230128371237189923098298326109830. My Kitchen

Ha. It was the running joke of the day that I had attempted to clean the kitchen no less than four times that very day and just never quite got-her done....which makes me think I should really go finish cleaning my kitchen.) 

Update: I did go clean my kitchen all-the-way, and it feels SO GOOD.

Click HERE to Check on My Progress. :) I'm crossing them off each day - woohoo!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Baby Shower

So here are my "Left-over" photos from the Baby Shower last Saturday.  They are left-over pictures because they are literally taken of the left-overs after everyone had gone. :)  As I mentioned yesterday I was too busy trying to pull myself together and mis-measure lemonade to take pictures before the party.   So here's the after picture.

I was really glad I did the Bunting - I loved how it complemented the colors already in my living room/kitchen while lending such festive fun to the party.  
(The funny white things hanging behind the bunting are onsies hanging from a clothes line)

  The food was fairly simple.  Just my absolute-favorite-carrot-cake-recipe-cupcakes and coconut cupcakes made from Sister's recipe.  Then lemonade and lemon water and pretty chocolate-covered strawberries sweet Wendy made.

Of course, the strawberries were all gone by the time I took this pic, but below is a wobbly one I snatched during the shower.

Note: The Bunting is indeed still up, making everyday life feel wonderfully chipper.

{View my current post HERE.}

Monday, March 28, 2011

Harried Fun

 The Baby Shower came and went last Saturday.  I had a lot of fun, preparing for and enjoying it, though I was a bit more harried than usual.  My husband worked in the morning so I got my shower just an hour before the shower was set to commence.  I got dressed just in time to open the door for sweet ladies who came early to help me.  They got to see me in curlers.  :)  They also got to see me crazy and with a very un-swept kitchen floor.

{Party favors/Party Decorations}

And everybody got to see classy things like this price tag still on the plant I potted late the night before.  
Yeah, I noticed it after the party was way over.

But it was all good and real and sweet.  

P.S. Said harriedness resulted in few pictures of the actual event but I'll share "left-over" pics tomorrow.

P.S.S Go HERE for a wonderful Monday morning listen.  Esp. "Simple Song".  
Just delightful.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Brown Paper Package Happiness

 Today my Garnish order came - all wrapped in brown paper -

 With all sorts of paper goodness packed inside.  

Not all of this is for the shower - my mom ordered some things as well.  She's excited about the ripple coffee to-go cups -  wouldn't you love to send over-night guests off in the morning with one of these in hand?  I'm excited about the soup/ice cream cups and wooden spoons and the twine and...

...the sippy-de-do-dah straws.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hannah {Maternity Photo Session}

 Here's some pictures from my little photo session with Hannah and her hubby, Carson.

They're such a cute, fun couple and so excited for their first little baby.

It was especially a treat to give them suggestions on how to stand, look, smile and have them actually do it.
(I don't get quite the same response from two-year-olds :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Walkabout

Now that the weather is so exceedingly fine, we've resumed our walkabouts - hurray-hurrah!  I usually have my camera with me to get pictures out in the natural light.  Here's a couple from this week.  My Little Man most always has his guitar in hand these days, and so on our walks he is our traveling minstrel.

And here are my twinsies, warming Mamma's heart as they walk hand-in-hand.   Spring could not be more welcome.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baby Shower Invites

So this weekend I'm hosting a baby shower.  For the invites I wanted to do something fun and personal and not super labor intensive. My friend isn't going to find out whether there's a boy or girl in her tummy, so I wanted to use gender neutral colors - namely Green.

Cue Green Invitation Kit at Target.

Ahem, I mean cue ON CLEARANCE Green Invitation Kit - wahoo for Target Clearance!

The kit was for an invitation like the one pictured on the front of the box, so I didn't us the floral sticker to attach the papers. Instead, I grabbed the two layers of paper in the kit and twine and hole punch and attached (hot-glued) copies of photo from maternity "photo session" I did with them last week to the top cream layer.

I didn't trust myself to figure out all the print your invite out on invitation kit paper stuff,  so I actually wrote out the info part using my photo editing program the same size as the picture and got them printed at Walgreens.  Pretty spiffy, yes?  Here it is on the inside of the invite.

And here's the finished product with floral whimsy envelope.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Ordering Some Garnish Today

Today I'm so excited to finally be ordering some fun party supplies from Garnish - wahoo!   I like what they write on their "About Us" page:

It all started with a smile and a belief...

... the smile on our friends' faces when they discovered an evening awaiting them that led to a lasting impression; on the kids' faces when they realized they were being treated to something extra special; on our faces when we discovered how easy it was!
... the belief that we all have a creative fire burning inside us, and that packaging... is everything!
Avid subscribers to all things foodie and crafty, we were drawn to the simple food styling on the glossy pages of our favorite magazines and the clean and modern kitchens of our beloved TV show hosts. We loved the creative and fun ways everyday packaging items were used. Who knew so much could be done with products typically reserved for take out or commercial use? We soon realized that it wasn't what was inside the container, but the container itself that really mattered.
Whether hosting a backyard BBQ, or packing up treats for our children's classes, we tried to add something personal to the packaging. We used to scour shops, as well as the Internet, for simple, elegant, fun and modern supplies that we could easily make our own. But we could never find exactly what we were looking for. So along came give people an easy, stylish and affordable way to add a personal touch to everyday moments (because after all a personal touch - a Garnish - goes a long way to helping turn moments into memories). Everything we carry is a blank canvas, just awaiting your own personal expression. You can dress Garnish items up; you can dress them down. They're perfect for every occasion because they're perfectly "you."
Garnish + Enjoy!

Okay, so perhaps packaging isn't Everything, but I'd say it's a good 85% of Everything and about 100% of the fun! ;) I love love the simplicity of their products, and their blog that has all kinds of creative ideas - Random Acts of Garnish - to bless others with simple, thoughtful surprises.   Isn't this idea just so fun?!

You can find their products and more fun ideas at 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Fabric

            I got fabric in the mail!  This was my first time to order fabric from - so fun.  The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the package was how lovely-soft all the fabric is - it felt like Quality not cheapy.  From left to right the fabrics are: 1. Michael Miller Bonnes Amies Petit Point Lime 2. Moda Sunkissed Meadow Sweet Misty Grey 3. Amy Buterl Lotus Full Moon Polka Dot Lime 4. Moda Sunkissed Picnic Plaid Misty Grey.   I Love them all - so exciting!  These are my inspiration fabrics/colors for a baby shower for a sweet friend next weekend.  This fabric will be for bunting - hopefully. :)

           I can tell that I'm already feeling pretty hooked on this Quality-fabric-in-the-mail thing, so this will likely be the first of many orders.  The great thing about is that you get free shipping for orders over $35 (if you just have a small order it works well to find a friend or a crafty Sister who wants to combine their order with yours in order to get free shipping!).  Also I googled " coupon" and came up with a code for an extra 15% off at   There's also free returns - win, win, win.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Very Girlie Girlie Party

 Last week my precious twin nieces turned a grand three-years-old.  The girlies told my sister they would like a "pink" birthday party, and she delivered about the purdiest pink party you ever did see.

  Complete with pink bunting, pink puffs, pink tutus, pink hats, pink hair ribbons, pink balloons, pink, pink pink...

...and pink cake.  Yes, it was pretty much the epitome of girly-ness.

But that didn't stop my little Gideon from getting in the party spirit. :)

It was perfect and made me so thankful for little girls...who appreciate pink.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Mum's Party Table

So my mum knows how to throw a party.  She had an early one for St. Patrick's Day last week, and I stopped by beforehand to snag a couple shots of her delicious table.  Her runner/tablecloth is simple burlap, cut so just a bit of the wood table showed on both sides.  Rattan charges are layered on gold plastic charges for the lovely layered look.  Green poka-dot ribbon from Hobby Lobby makes a fun whimsical napkin ring, and twine ties a brown paper label on the ribbon for a place-card.

For the center-piece she put little sheets of moss and moss-covered "rocks" from the craft store on a round, silver tray.  A happy, clover-type plant in a neat-o, green, pedestal thing go on top.   And as if that wasn't enough, she tops the table off with nothing less awesome than a pair of antlers - not to mention a lovely dinner and drinks.  So pretty, Mum!

Let's Have Cake for St. Patty's Day

This is a Yummy Cake.  I'm not particularly fond of beer, and the batter was not the kind I'd wanted to lick up with a spoon.  However, in the end it was undeniably yummy - wonderfully moist, rich and St.Patty's-Day-Good.  The recipe came from, but I feel I can almost claim part ownership as I changed the recipe and instead of one cup of Guinness I put in the whole bottle.  Yes, I did.  I read the recipe wrong somehow.  But the cake still turned out great and perhaps was even more dense and moist as a result! So quick - invite some friendly people over for Thursday and have yourself some St. Patrick's Day sweet, good times.


  • 1 cup Irish stout beer (such as Guinness®) - or just pour the whole bottle in!
  • 1 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, or as needed
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys®), or as needed
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Pour the beer into a saucepan, add the butter, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth. Allow the mixture to cool. In a bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream together until smooth with an electric mixer, and stir in the stout mixture to make a smooth, thick liquid.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pour the stout mixture into the flour mixture, and gently combine with a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool in pans for 5 minutes before inverting the cakes onto wire racks to finish cooling.
  5. Mix together the confectioners' sugar, butter, and Irish cream liqueur until the mixture forms a smooth and spreadable frosting (add more sugar or liqueur as needed to create the desired consistency). Spread half the frosting on top of each cake.
  6. Place the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to almost boiling in a small saucepan, and pour over the chocolate. Stir in the butter, and stir the mixture until the chocolate melts and the mixture is very smooth. Allow to cool until the mixture is pourable but not thin or overly runny, 10 to 15 minutes. Stack a cake gently on top of the other, frosting sides uppermost, and carefully drizzle the chocolate mixture over the cake, allowing decorative drips to run down the sides. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Little Man Turns Four

Last week my oldest little man turned four.  My two twin nieces also had birthdays.
There was lots of excitement.
Dearest wantings were satisfied.
Juice boxes were abundant.
And cousins enjoyed all sorts of good times together.
It was a fun week of celebrations, but now...we're pretty pooped!