Babybel Beauties

I have a new love! How cute are these adorable little Babybel cheese characters? They are from Cute Food For Kids and made by artfully cutting the wax of the Babybel cheese:


Source: Cute Food For Kids


Source: Cute Food For Kids


The Babybels in our fridge don’t last long enough to become so cute…..but I’m tempted!

Sewing for Baby: 20 Great Gear Tutorials and Patterns

Making a baby shower gift or just trying to stock up for your own baby? I’ve rounded up 20 great baby gear tutorials and patterns from around the web:

Sewing for Baby Tutorials and Ideas via

Click “read more” below to see the gallery and links:

[Read more…]

Photo of the Day: Sprouts

Well, I learn something new everyday….never knew that brussel sprouts grew on a stalk. What a cool way to buy them too:

Make a Distressed Trick or Treat Sign (A Tutorial)

a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial via

Another Citrasolv project! Using an wood board, some old book pages and a photocopy Boo and I made an easy distressed Halloween “Trick or Treat” sign to add to our decor. I’ve attached my PDF template that you can print off at the bottom if you like….the image is already reversed and ready for transfer!


a distressed trick or treat halloween sign diy tutorial via

(more after the jump)


First we started with an old board:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 1) via

Using some Liquitex Matte Medium as glue I collaged old book pages to the board to make an interesting background:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 2) via

The finished collage:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 3) via

I painted a layer of Clear Gesso to make the background more absorbent to help with the transfer:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 4) via

My photocopy ready to transfer (please read my full tutorial here on what type of photocopy of printout you need for a Citrasolv transfer):



a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 5) via

I used a few thumbtacks to hold my photocopies in place:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 6) via

Then I applied the Citrasolv to the back:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 7) via

…and used the handle of a pair of scissors to rub the back to transfer the image to the background:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 8) via

I did a few letters at a time so the Citrasolv wouldn’t evaporate too quickly:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 9) via

Distressed and spooky!


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 10) via

The finished sign:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 11) via


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial (process 12) via


Download the template here:


a distressed halloween sign diy tutorial and free download via



Photo of The Day: Walnut Grove

I can’t get enough of Little House on the Prairie. I’d live there in a millisecond….and I would even wear the calico dresses.


LHOTP Fact: In The Last Farewell, they actually DID blow up the town! It was the end of the series and they had to put the land back in it’s original condition so they wrote that into the script.


Thrift Store Find: Rolltop

So excited about this find!  It needs a little work and then I have to decide what color to paint it. Maybe hot pink for Boo’s room? Or maybe distressed? Or rainbow (my house needs some color!) I haven’t decided yet. I was so excited it was only $49.00 and the guys from the thrift store that delivered it said the thrift store didn’t even want it… almost got thrown away. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? You’ll have to wait and see how it turns out…..I’m still waiting for the temperature to drop so I can paint outside!



These photos are from a previous post I did about thrift store observations……they are sad to me.  Doesn’t the rhinoceros remind you of Corduroy….begging to be taken home?



And some items just have no hope of being rescued…..although I’ve seriously considered making some 10-key art!




Praying for Dreams, Utopia

A friend emailed the other day saying that she’d had a dream about her father and my father…..that they were playing golf together in heaven. She said that she prayed for dreams about her loved ones that had passed and it really hit home because every night that I go to bed I pray that I’ll dream about my dad too.

It’s funny how things happen after a loved one dies ……and you wonder if they are part of some master plan. Now, I’m pretty darn sure there is a master plan:


1. So yes, the biggest one is that Boo says she saw Grandpa on the porch of the mountain house and that he wanted to speak to Grandma.


2. The well known golf photographer Brian Morgan was in Seoul, Korea the week my father died. He took the last photos of my father before he died and documented the last week of my father’s life.

Photo Credit Brian Morgan

A few weeks after my dad’s funeral I was talking with Kevin, our family friend that was with my father when he died and Kevin mentioned that Brian would like to meet and share some photos.  Of course I called Brian right away and asked where he was located:

Me: So where are you located?
Brian: Palm Desert, CA
Me: I’M in Palm Desert! Where in Palm Desert?!
Brian: I’m just up Hwy 74 just off (streetname).
Me: (stunned silence) I live just off (streetname).

It turns out the man that photographed the last days of my father’s life lives less than a quarter mile from my house. It’s an easy walk. Brian and his fiance visited one night and we talked for hours about my dad, their mutual love of golf and story after story after story. It’s a gift that they live so close.


3. The movie 7 days in Utopia…..I’ll have to wait until it comes out on DVD because I couldn’t even make it through the trailer without sobbing. My sister saw the movie and was so freaked out at first that her text subject to me was “h*ly sh*t” which is totally out of character for her. The main character, Johnny Crawford, could be my dad. Played by Robert Duvall, in the first trailer clip he laughs and I had to catch my breath… was my dad’s laugh. Scene after scene I would lose it.


Robert Duvall in the movie eerily looks like a slightly older version of my father:

The scene at the river is my dad to a T…..I can hear him saying “you have to control your emotions……it never fails” in the exact same tone. I have to do a double take of the scene to realize it’s Robert Duvall and not my dad.

The long putter: My dad was the world’s biggest champion of the long putter….we buried him with it.

And then there’s the flying scenes: My dad made all of us learn to fly….just in case anything ever happened to him at the controls. One day he just stopped flying and sold his plane.  My mother confided in me years later that he’d been in a plane crash.  Want to know how stoic and protective my dad was of us? Well one night we were all eating dinner at my grandparents and my dad walked in a little late. We ate as normal and had family time and then that night as he and my mother fell asleep he said “something happened that will probably be in the papers tomorrow.” He had crashed the plane he was flying. We never knew a thing….he never wanted us to worry. My mom told us all this story just a few weeks ago.

There are other crazy similarities in the movie that I’ll leave to my sister Perry to write about one day. I know my dad would have loved this movie. It would be one of those that he would mention every time he called “have you seen 7 Days in Utopia yet? Make sure you go see it this week.” Don’t worry Dad, I’ll see it….just on DVD so I don’t traumatize the entire theater with my crying.


4. The course my dad played in Korea the week before he died is called 9 Bridges. Brian Morgan was there to photograph it for a few weeks before the tournament and believe me….if there is a place on earth that resembles a Utopia it is 9 bridges. It’s one of the most gorgeous places on earth:


photo courtesy of Brian Morgan


My sister pointed out that, ironically, there are only 8 bridges on the course, and the 9th bridge is supposed to be a metaphorical bridge to heaven. Perry says “it looks like dad found the 9th bridge on the way home.”


Yesterday, my husband’s grandfather found the 9th bridge as well. He passed away and joins his wife, my husband’s grandmother, in heaven. As always, our family chooses joy. Rest in peace Papa.


Sometimes I get on a tangent researching things…..tonight it happened to be John Wayne. My dad loved old movies and I think I’ve watched every John Wayne movie that’s been played recently on AMC and TCM. I found this great quote:

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.
-John Wayne

Isn’t that awesome? Every day starts out new and perfect, regardless of what happened the day before.

My dad would have loved this one even more:

Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.
-John Wayne


If you are new to my blog and would like to read the back stories to this post click below:


10 Creative Tents and Teepees

Grow your own tent? Vintage inspired? Here are 10 of the most creative tents and teepees I’ve seen around….click the image to see the gallery:

Delicious Kung Pao Chicken

I love kung pao chicken…’s my favorite Chinese food!  It’s really easy to make too.

The basic ingredients you need are:

2 chicken breasts
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp red chili flakes
4 green onions
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar or Splenda
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts

1 tsp red chili oil
1 small pinch 5 spice Chinese powder
1 small zucchini sliced and quartered



First, cut the chicken breasts into small pieces and coat with cornstarch. Add the vegetable oil, sesame oil and chicken to a wok and cook the chicken just until it’s cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside.



Cut the bottom of the green onions off and into small 1/2″ pieces. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the wok and move around the bottom of the pan until heated and the add the green onions. (Note: if you like your kung pao chicken with zucchini you can add it at this step, before adding the green onions, just make sure to cook it throughly before adding chicken in the next step)


Mix the rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar (or Splenda) together and add to the wok. Stir until heated.


If you have 5 spice Chinese powder you can add a small pinch:




I like my kung pao chicken extra spice so I add a tsp of red chili oil:


Add the chicken to the wok and mix into the sauce and onions:


Add the peanuts:


Turn the heat to high and mix together until the kung pao chicken is hot. I pull the mixture up on the sides of the wok to sear it and thicken the sauce:


I love serving this dish with the frozen organic jasmine rice from Trader Joe’s. It’s so quick and easy.



I think it’s better than PF Chang’s!


Photo of the Day: Half and Half

Boo: But I don’t LIKE cherry topping on my cheesecake!
Me: I know….that’s why THIS half is yours, and the other half is mine.

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