Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chocolate chip cookie heaven

Seriously, this has got to be the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies ever. I don't know where I found it, but I've been using it for about 4 years and they are perfectly puffy,round,not too sweet, and soft in the middle. They look like they came straight out of an expensive bakery, and when you stack them all pretty in a cellophane bag tied with ribbon they make the perfect gift.(i will warn you...get rid of them! fast! unless you can afford the extra two thousand calories.)

Your ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (sometimes I use milk chocolate or white chocolate and I always try to by the Ghiradelli chips...they're the best.)

The perfect cookie blue print:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.(really get it mixed and makes a difference)
Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
Drop cookie dough by ice cream scoop onto the prepared cookie sheets.*it makes them all uniform and perfectly round*
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted.
Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Or, eat them super hot right out of the oven with a cold glass of milk....YUM!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flower boxes choke me up

I miss my Daddy today...

Tonight I spent a couple of hours in the garage making flower boxes for my front windows out of fence pickets. I carefully measured each piece (twice) and penciled in my cuts. I braced each piece of wood that smelled like sweet cedar as I sawed it into perfect rectangles...took my wood glue (cause daddy would have used glue) and spread it evenly on each piece before taking my nails and hammer, then I lost it. I hammered then cried...then hammered some more then stopped cause by that time I realized my eyes were completely closed doing the ugly-holycow-i-hope-nobody-ever-sees-this cry. Hammering my already chipped fingernails would have been no bueno.

I just miss him ya know?
It saddens me that my girls will never get to go fishing with a "real fisherman" and that he won't be able to bait their hook and help them cast out a line. Then when they feel a bite he'd coach them on how to reel it in, being careful to let them do the work for the whole experience. I'm sad we'll never get a handmade treasure again. Every Christmas he'd hand make the most beautiful things out of wood for each kid and his grandkids. They'll never see his Jim Carey impression or eat his homemade pizza. My girls deserve an old grandpa! The kind that are all wrinkly and smell of Jovan Musk. They play an acoustic guitar and sing in the most beautiful deep voice that soothes with each note, and the kind that know the answers to everything.
He was that.

The smell of freshly cut wood takes me back to my childhood. His garage was always full of sawdust, and his tools were carefully organized and labeled...engraved with his signature RBM. When I hammer a nail or smear wood glue i feel close to him. It chokes me up every time, cause I know he would have been so proud that I can do things that he may have never taught me...but I learned from watching him. I suspect he worried about his performance as a father. And, while in our early years he had his share of mistakes (all parents do). I never got to tell him that he really was a good Dad. He really did his job.
My flower boxes are gorgeous Dad! A few wonky spots here and there but, I did good. You taught me well...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pinaholics Anonymous

Hi, my name is Michelle and I am a pinaholic.
I told my sweet hubs the other day..."i don't think i'd be as creative if I didn't have the Internet." Seriously, I have nightmares about the Internet crashing or being without access for a long period of time. I may have an addiction but the way I see it is I'm reading 75% of the time, and if it were books I were reading there wouldn't be an issue right? (for the record I'm not neglecting children or housework...ok maybe some housework, but I'm not in need of an intervention yet)So, yeah for exercising my brain!

My pinfessions for the week:

this pinboard cracks me the heck up! like, rolling on the floor, tears streaming...cracking up!

I just bought containers to do this. A snack station in the pantry and fridge.

vacation in a jar (I've always wanted to display our travel mementos but didn't want something tacky or in a book or box...this is perfect.)

This one works...we tried it. (pam to set your nail polish)

Keep dice at the table. Whatever they roll is how many bites they have to take.

I'm making a version of this headband...pronto!

Source: None via Michelle on Pinterest

I like this haircut or maybe she's just insanely gorgeous? Maybe both.

pumpkin pie oatmeal= craving October

Something to remember...

Source: None via Michelle on Pinterest

Go be happy. It makes you pretty!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to school eve and back to school

I believe that childhoods should be rich in traditions. You never really know if all your doing is making a difference until you make the comment that the reason you are doing something is to make them feel special and your 7 year old replies..."it's ok mom, I already do feel special". Talk about melt your heart.
Motherhood is what I was meant to do. I'm good at it because I love it. I love being cheesy and over the top. I love being a kid, and flying by the seat of my pants, throwing caution to the wind, and wrecking a perfectly good routine to make a memory. They are priceless! I may not have what society would call a "successful career"...i'm ok with that. Cause in my eyes...I'm wealthy beyond measure! Because you know what...I'm molding fabulous people here!

With that said, we pulled out all the stops the last couple of days. I squeezed in as much fun as I possibly could on our last summer free day. We did 2 sprinkler parks, a sand pit, Gattiland, shoe shopping, rainbow mani's and a back to school feast all in one day!


I packed yummy lunches with turkey shish kabobs and present wrapped goldfish labeled "you are o-fish-ally a kindergartner/second grader", drew silly pictures on napkins, and made them apple jack necklaces. All in the name of "make you feel special my dear, cause I love you!"

A second grader and a kindergartner! I wish they'd stop growing already. I told Dave the other day... "someday all this won't be "cool" to them anymore" that will be a sad day for me.


For now it's still fun for them, so we adopt new traditions like this one.
The Back To School Fairy and apple cupcakes for a 1st day of school snack.



A happy back to school to you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This and that thursday

The absolute best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Teaser...
Snapbucket,Filter: X-Process,Frame: Sq. White

Baby sister who is obsessed with the bucket on her head, and learning very quickly that picking on the big sister is fun...hence the standing in front of her when I was trying to take her picture.

Sweet neighbor teaching my big girl how to ride a skateboard.

When it's 108 degrees outside you wait until only a sliver of sunlight is left to take your kids to the park.
Snapbucket,Filter: Retro,Frame: Sq. White

Lots of spray painting...clockwise from left to right: a black frame going in the girls bathroom, white tiered stand going in my craft room, 4 red frames for the craft room, vase was poopy brown, now it's mossy green fabulousness. white frame for my craft room, pink window frame was a mirror, but now it's going to house all the girls jewelery and will see, blue suitcase for the girls room...I'm stacking to make an awesome nightstand.
Snapbucket,Filter: Retro,Frame: Sq. White

Part of my yummy spray paint collection. Hello there Rustoleum Aqua...i do love you.
Snapbucket,Filter: Vintage,Frame: Sq. Black

Some more big sister teasing.
Snapbucket,Filter: Vintage,Frame: Sq. White

I sent her to practice writing her name, and I swear when she came out of her room and held it up for me to inspect, I thought I was having a stroke! I wasn't...thank God. But, we are definitely going to have to work on this. (my little lefty)
Snapbucket,Filter: X-Process,Frame: Sq. White

Bucket hat gone terribly wrong...
Snapbucket,Filter: Vintage,Frame: Sq. White

Baby sister kisses or mouth to decide.
Snapbucket,Filter: X-Process,Frame: Sq. Black

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Call me Bob Villa

I built this...

With my own two hands. From a left over grass pallet and some old fence wood my neighbor was going to throw out. Talk about recycling at its best.

She was their best customer.

It was a far cry from our lemonade stand last year where not one car showed up...not one! Meanies!!

My Dad was a carpenter. He would have been so proud of me with a pencil in my ear and a tape measure in my hand. I could hear his voice..."measure twice, cut once",and I'd be lying if I said I didn't tear up a little thinking about him while doing this project. I understand his love for the craft now. Woodworking was to him what sewing is for me. To create something from nothing is such a wonderful feeling. Even if i did have all the wrong tools.I only had a jigsaw, hacksaw, a sissy girl hammer, and some left over nails, but that thing is pretty darn sturdy. I see more woodworking for me in the future. Maybe some flower boxes for my front if I need another hobby. Maybe some like these.

We will see.

In the meantime...success is so sweet!

A whopping 100 glasses of lemonade, and 25.00 to split between 3 girls. They were on cloud nine.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ok, so I have a confession...
I'm a pinaholic!Seriously!

I can't get enough of that darn time sucker. It's like the inspiration that never ends. Problem is...I've now started about a bazillion projects and finished um....none. I start one... see another I want to try, and then start that get where I'm going here right? On a positive note...I'm feeling extremely inspired to do. I can't wait to share all the fun projects I'm working on.

The girl's room is coming along nicely. It looks like a cupcake with sprinkles. I love all the fun colors!

Our deck is being built this week...I'm psyched!

My garage is organized, clean, and ready for a garage sale this Saturday.

My craft/laundry room is just about done. (my laundry is not)

Hey...reading that made me realize I am getting crap done! Yeah me!

So, hopefully by next week I'll be ready to share some pictures.

For now, here are some of my favorite pins from this week:

This room is so happy and colorful! I love it...even if it isn't my style.

If ever I have a brunch...these would definitely make an appearance.

This photograph makes me miss my Dad...if he was still here I would totally copy it.

How to make your own moon sand. It would make you feel less guilty about throwing it out.

Cut an x's in a shirt box to transport your cupcakes safely. (this is genius!)

Bling out your pumpkins for Halloween...yes please.

A lady bug pedi for my girly girls.

The back to school fairy.

I'm sew going to make these leg warmers for Amaya this fall.

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

Frame with the glass taken out. Scrap book paper in. Attach your clip. Change your picture whenever.

Turning bamboo blinds into roman shades.

Sending you s'more love!

Chicken wire and a frame=memo board/picture hanger for my kitchen

I'm dreaming of a beautiful future...

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shoe love

She's loving shoes right now...calls them agh(like ugh but with an A) Don't ask? I have no idea. She doesn't discriminate. If she thinks they are pretty, they are fair game. These were mine, but not today.


The Paper Mama

Friday, August 5, 2011

When you give a mom 108 degrees...

When you give a mom 108 degrees,


she may wait till nightfall to entertain her kiddos...

and when you give her nightfall she may decide she needs to try sidewalk paint .


Playing with sidewalk paint will get old very quickly(not to mention too dark to take pictures until the next day) so she may decide to pull out the flashlights for a game of flashlight tag...


then playing flashlight tag will take her back to her glow in the dark bowling days in high school, and she will ask the daddy if he would take them...he happily obliges.


But, while bowling she will remember how hot it is outside, and decide before bed to attempt to make Ziplock bag ice cream...which is yummy, but turns into ice cream soup very fast... (if you don't shake the entire 5 minutes.)


which reminds her why, when you give a mom 108 degrees... it's just TOO HOT to do much of anything...(till nightfall)