Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Favorite Things

If Oprah can put a list of her favorite things together why can't I? I mean the ONLY difference between myself and Oprah is viewership. She's got, what a million plus viewers on a daily basis? Surely I've least four that I know of. And okay, maybe her influence is bit greater than mine. Surely some people find my opinions adoptable and embraceable, JUST LIKE OPRAH!! Whatever the case, just let me continue to live in my little bubble of deception and share with you my holiday must-haves list. Yep, JUST LIKE OPRAH!!

And doing this could really create a good shopping list for any of those wondering what to get that hard to buy for relative. Oh and sure, I'll let you know which of these are actually in my possession and which ones are on my own wish list, just in case one or more of you gets a wild hair and wants to go shopping for me (kidding, kidding...or not)!

First up is the knife I've drooled over for months, the Wusthof. I am absolutely convinced that this very knife would make cooking every night a delight. I must be delusional, huh?:

Next we have the Woolrich blanket that makes my going to bed a beautiful thing. Along those lines I apparently rolled over in the middle of a snore and said to Zack something akin to, "Without this blanket sleep would be a total waste." The BEST thing about it? The silky soft edging is delightful and reminiscent of baby blanket days:

This next item is another saliva-inducing one, the Vita-Mix. I once bought and returned one of these within 24 hours. At the time I simply couldn't justify a mixer that cost $200+. Now, I can justify it all sorts of way: smoothies, soup, my own ice cream and peanut butter. Trust me, I could go on and on:

Of all my kitchen tools, I really swear by this as the best. I encourage everyone who is even slightly interested in the kitchen to get one of these. And the facet I most enjoy? This puppy is melt-resistant. I use this Mix N' Scrape from Pampered Chef for everything, and that everything includes leaving it in my skillet while cooking. Nope, it won't melt folks!:

Next up are the cookies I've never tried but want to travel to New York City for. Well, maybe I have more reasons than these cookies to visit NY, but I'd surely go to the Levain Bakery while there. And at $22 for four cookies, these have GOT to be good, right?:

This here is the turtleneck I've been waiting all my life for. I just bought myself one the other day and I am in love. Remember those strangling tight, itchy turtlenecks of old? Well GAP has come out with the whisperthin turtleneck. It's soft, caressing, and perfect for layering (did I just call a turtleneck "caressing"? Commit me now):

This magazine is perfect for those of us who are Food Network deprived. There's nothing I love more than watching the Food Network as I drivel away my time on the treadmill. There's something slightly amiss with looking at food while burning calories, isn't there? In any case I only get to watch the Food Network at the gym since we don't have cable here at the house. This really is a fun treat for us foodies:

Next up is a movie that both Zack and I greatly enjoyed. Maybe it was just the fact that we made it to the theater for a date night. But I think it's so much more than that. This flick is delightful and feel-good. Watch it and I think you'll agree:

This next favorite thing of mine was introduced to me by my brother and sister-in-law, and is actually my Christmas gift from them this year. It came early, what can I say? Cuisine At Home is a wonderful cooking magazine because each and every recipe is accompanied by mouth-watering photos. And there are no advertisements. Yep, you heard me right, NO ADS!:

Last, but certainly not least is the ever-important stocking stuffer item. This Bath and Body Works lotion is a treat to the senses, in a bottle. I could have my entire stocking stuffed with these (and sometimes it is) and be blissfully happy. Not only are you treating your skin right, but you'll smell oh so lovely in the process. Husbands love these too!:

That my friends completes my holiday list of favorite things. And would ya do me a little favor? Whatever you do, DO NOT let Oprah know in any way, shape or form (since I know SO many of you have the ability to dial her right up) that I said in relation to myself, "JUST LIKE OPRAH". I'm not so sure she'd appreciate the humor... And no, my list may not be as well designed or as indulgently gifty as hers, but it compares well, right?

Happy shopping ya'll, and DO be sure to let these companies know I'm touting their products. Maybe I could get some sponsorship and make it big time! One can dream...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Better Than What You'd Buy

Do you ever have a hankering that just won't quit? A hankering you know you MUST satisfy. A hankering you know will NEVER be satisfied unless you, yourself, make that which will satisfy the empty hole in your stomach yearning for some goodness?

Well behold the product of my hankering, ta-da:


These cookies, my friends, are nearly beyond description good. Talk about melt in your mouth AND in your hand! These cookies are better than, well, anything you could get in the store for sure. Make these and ya'll can thank me later. Trust me, you won't be sorry:
(just copy and paste this link, but don't say I didn't warn you!)

And the only modifications I made are as follows:

1) To heighten the whole grain value I substituted 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour for one of the cups of all purpose flour.
2) I used organic cane sugar in place of the granulated.
3) Last but not least, I replaced 1/4 cup of butter with 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, sacrificing the fat but definitely not the taste.

Happy eating my faithful readers!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So it's probably pretty darn awful that I've not taken any pictures of as late. Life gets busy, and you know, things fall to the wayside. No of course not, my kids don't fall to the wayside, just taking pictures of them!

Lacking photos means I have to make up what's missing in visual stimulation with verbal stimulation. Soooo, let's see...

I know what I'll do. To tide you over till what I hope will be a very soon photo, I'll share some of the cute things that have come from the kids' mouths. Oh from the mouths of babes, right?

Starting with Garrett:
1) As I was cutting his hair in the bathtub tonight (which we do unclothed) I asked him if he thought he'd be naked, getting his hair cut as a teenager. His response? "I sure hope not, I'll at least have to have underwear on."

2) Heard by me as I peeked around a corner, while he talked with Ashlyn. He held Ashlyn's hand wedding ceremony style and said with the utmost sincerity, "Ashlyn I would marry you if I could because you are so funny." Awwww!

On to Brody:

Hmm, in typical mother-of-middle-child fashion, I cannot for the life of me think of one, single specific thing. Don't be hatin'! Just know that Brody is, in general, the most quirky/funny kid on the block. He is daily busting us up and has truly made us belly laugh nearly daily since he could talk. Enough said, right, I've made up for my motherly fuax pas, RIGHT?

Finally, Ashlyn:
1) "Mom, who has a bigger brain, boys or girls?"

2) After I reminded Brody at dinner that he needed to eat, I told him I should just make a recording of me saying, "Brody, eat!". Shortly thereafter I looked at Brody and said in my motherly tone of angst, "Brody what am I going to say?" Ashlyn answered for him, as she so often does, "Eat up buttercup"!

3) "Shnashnics are my favorite." Interpretation? Gymnastics are my favorite. We just LOVE the baby pronunciations she still has left! We'll hang on to any bit of baby remaining! Other fun pronunciations are: panjees (chimpanzees), guts (for gutters, as in the type on a house), bitamins (vitamins), and somesting (for something).

And can I just tell you that Garrett made me a sign and taped it to the door between the house and the garage? He wanted to be sure I saw it when I arrived home from a Pampered Chef party Sunday afternoon. The gist of it is that I am the "best mom", and he made a graph chart indicating my level of goodness at 100%. Oh if he only knew! It's too bad we mothers tend to fall from glory in our children's eyes as they age. I'll just hang on to that sweet little sign and read it on those days in the future when I'm the, "worst mom ever"!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ho hum

So here's the scoop:

The kids and I were suppossed to be in Cody, Wyoming visiting with my family while Zack and his cohorts are out enoying their manly fall weekend. The guys hunt (shooting big game and stocking the freezer does amazing things for a man's ego by the way) and we were going to be hanging out with my mom, dad, and brothers, one of whom travelled all the way from New York to be there. So why didn't it happen? Sick. Did I say sick? Oh yeah, sick!! Turns out we've got influenza going around our house, and the last thing we want to do is give the lovely virus to my nephew, Phoenix, who flew 10+ hours along with my brother Justin. So alas, we spent the weekend at home, cooped up, picking our noses. Not really, our noses are too runny to pick!

No for real, we've kept busy with multiple crafts. The kids have been inventing all sorts of goodness and I've been sewing. I'd love to share with ya'll but Christmas is 'round the corner and some of you will be getting said sewing project. I'm excited about how these "things" are turning out though, and I have actually enjoyed being home doing nothing but hobbies.

I never blogged about Halloween because we don't do much. We've bucked the system, gone a different way from norm (What does Norm have to do with this? Ha, ha, I kill myself), and we stay home. Now we don't just stay home we also have plenty o' fun. We carve pumkins, eat candy to our hearts' content, and we usually make caramel apples (ran out of time this year though). So here are a few pictures of Halloween night since I can't share the REALLY good crafty pictures with you:

And although carving pumpkins has lost some of it's fun now that I make the kids gut their own pumpkins, they were mightly pleased with what gutting resulted in:

Till next time, peace out!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

All Is Good And Right In The World

No the election results haven't been miraculously reversed, so okay maybe EVERYTHING isn't good and right but some things sure are.

The following photo is music to my ears and beauty to my eyes. It's the wafting of freshly baked apple pie to my nose. It's...okay you get the idea!

When relatives come visit I often hear, "Oh, things are getting so much better Jennie!" Sometimes I shrug my shoulders and think, 'Yeah right you don't live here. You're just visiting and you have NO idea.' Other times I think, 'Better? What do you mean, things were never bad!' And yet other times I think, 'Oh, so you were miserable the other times you where here?' (just keepin' it real, by the way)!

These well meaning comments came from loved ones who had witnessed the busyness, no scratch that, the absolute insaneness of my life. For a blur of time I had a three-year-old, a fifteen-month-old, and a newborn baby. To say life was crazy is an understatement. Then I had a toddler, a two-year-old and a four-year old. Had anybody told me that stage would have been more difficult I wouldn't have believed them. But then I experienced it and mercy, the sibling rivalry was nearly unbearable.

Enough of the past! As much as I treasure those days of little ones under foot everywhere I'm also cherishing where the kiddos are at now. And "now" is more peaceful, more fun and much more enjoyable as a mom (again, just keepin' it real)!