Monday, October 20, 2014

show me, don't tell me

Shrine Circus anyone? My Grandfather was a Shriner. I remember him wearing that fun hat but cannot recall him driving those tiny Shriner cars. Every year we would go to the Shrine Circus with my Grandma wearing her fancy fur. Look how adorable she is!
This is a Shakespeare quote which rings true for eternity. We each have expectations for ourselves and others. Often we are unable to measure up to those expectations. Some days that is no big deal others days it leads to total heartbreak. The photo above is my mom in the middle with my sister and I to the sides. That mother daughter dynamic is especially brutal at times.

I am just starting my own tween daughter/mother journey. Most of the time, I find her utterly delightful (especially when we are watching Project Runway together). She is also the BOMB at helping me select shoes or boots for my outfits. Of course, there are moments when we both crash and burn on the expectation element. Live and learn.
Anything is possible if you've got enough nerve. In this moment, I was hoping that my Grandpa would toss me the keys to the boat. Yeah right, I was four at the time. He did let me drive, but only steering at very low speeds.

I found this photo of my sister and I laying around in lawn chairs. What I find so delightful is that my sister is wearing her footie pajamas outside. Sometimes it is wonderful to just let things go and see what happens. No agenda or schedule.
This is a photo of my Mother at her Romantic Reverie Prom (Robbinsdale High school) from the 1960s. She made this dress and I still have it. The plan is to have my daughter take a photo in that same dress.

So, it's time to fess up. The other day I stumbled over something that happened years ago. I got emotionally caught up with something that happened back in 1995. Silliness. A photo popped up in my Facebook feed of an ex-boyfriend tagged by a girl he used to date. I got tripped up when I realized that most likely he was dating her, when he was dating me. What a dog. But that is why he is an ex. I knew he was a dog and walked. (BTW, if that "dog" happens to read this... karma will find you).

My Grandma was always making food, hosting gatherings, cutting a snickers bar into 16 pieces so all of us could share. She was somebody who always made everyone feel like someone. She did this effortlessly and constantly. I often wonder when she found the energy to charge herself back up. She drank coffee but I drink three times as much as she did. I still want naps, daily.

Wonder where this all started, click here

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Halloween Bones

Sticks and stones may break my bones.
Pretzel rods, white chocolate and mini marshmallows make for a tasty sweet and salt treat. So easy to make too. In this version, I used an entire Rold Gold Pretzel Rod. Melt your white candymelts according to directions, lightly dip mini marshmallows in the chocolate and attach to the ends of the pretzels. Let them rest on a sheet of waxed paper and wait for them to cool. Next dip one end of the pretzel in the white chocolate, tap off excess, allow to cool on wax paper. Finally repeat on the other side.

In this version, cut the Rold Gold Pretzel in half with a sharp knife. I like the broken bone look and the fact that you can hold it while eating without getting melted chocolate all over your fingers. And they are quicker to make! Yeah, double bonus.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rice Krispie Turkey Drumsticks + Pumpkins

Yes! I finally made them. I saw these Rice Krispie Turkey Drumsticks a while ago and finally found the time to make them. My daughter had a sleepover this weekend. Sixth grade girls had no problems making these treats. So cute and even more cute when small children eat them. 

Wonder how to make them? You will need Rold Gold Pretzel Rods, mini marshmallows, white candymelts, Rice Krispies, butter and marshmallows. First step, cut the Pretzel Rod in half with a sharp knife. Melt your white candymelts according to directions, lightly dip mini marshmallows in the chocolate and attach to the ends of the pretzels. Let them rest on a sheet of waxed paper and wait for them to cool. Next dip one end of the pretzel in the white chocolate (only half way on the pretzel), tap off excess, allow to cool on wax paper.

While the pretzel bone is cooling. You can make a batch of regular Rice Krispies bars. I prefer to make them in the microwave. Allow the prepped rice krispie treats to cool a bit before you handle them. Butter up your hands. I tried to use coconut oil and it did not work. Butter is best. I don't think I used more than one tablespoon of butter on my hands for all of the drumsticks. Form the faux turkey meat on the pretzel bone (the side without the white chocolate). The will store well in an air tight container. However in my house, they were gone too quickly. 

If the turkey drumsticks feel like too much work, then this is the option for you. Melt the marshmallows and butter in the microwave, stir till well combined then add the food coloring. Toss in the rice krispies, allow to cool a bit. Butter up your hands, scoop up some Rice Krispies and shape into a ball. For the stem I used Tootsie Rolls but you could also use pretzels too.

I think it would be cute to add leaves too. Maybe some Fruit leather or or those Spearmint leaves

Monday, October 13, 2014

Show me don't tell me

These four fine young men in this photo are my Great-Great-Grandmother's brothers. They look to be a pack of trouble. I wish I knew more about their adventures. I'm loving their attire and confidence.

Making mistakes is better than faking perfection. I am the queen of mistakes but many do not believe me. Obviously they have not seen my flopped Pannekoeken attempt. I forgot to add eggs while wrangling the kids. I really have no clue what I am doing. I just keep moving, keep trying and see how things pan out.

This photo above is my Grandpa Stanley, Grandma Marvel and her sister Grace and her husband, Bitty. Grace was a firecracker, an amazing seamstress, spoke several languages and a wonderful artist. She passed away not long after I was born.

This is a photo of my Grandma Winnie and my dad. Winnie was always real. She didn't know how to be quiet or how to hold her tongue. She was a riot and I miss her so much. I love this photo of her, looking so cute with her first kid. She ended up having four kids before disposable diapers, microwaves, or the Little Mermaid (on repeat).

This quote, is from a longer statement by Marianne Williamson. I am not a very religious person, but I love this message. We should all shine, like we did as children.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Okay, this kid is not "shining". He is grumpy about something, which happens. But if you have time to complain you have time to make change. Sure be a grump for a bit, but then think up a solution or move along.
Little Tike Cozy Coupe 1970s style. The first model was sold in 1979. I am sure this is one of the original ones. Remember to always stay patient and trust your journey.  At times nothing makes sense but just keep going but somehow everything works out.
My Grandma Marvel and Grandpa Stanley loved to travel and they really enjoyed taking photos of food. They were decades ahead of the Instagram foodies sans fancy filters. 

Do you wonder where this all started from? Click here to read the tale.

Monday, October 6, 2014

show me don't tell me

Ha! 1989 mega bangs. I cannot believe my parents let this happen. Either I was mega headstrong (highly likely), they didn't realize this was wrong or they were totally amused. Judging by this photo, they were highly amused. Look at this, they propped me by "wow, what a deal". I just showed this photo to my kids. They were highly amused as well. 

Drawing was done by my little guy. I love this quote. Everyone you meet knows something you don't. So be kind, you never know what you might learn from someone else. Even the ding-bat playing on his phone when he should be driving... he might have an amazing knowledge nugget.

In Minnesota, we are often labeled "Minnesota Nice" because we are so helpful and kind. Here is the exact definition from wikipedia "Minnesota nice is the stereotypical behavior of people born and raised in Minnesota to be courteous, reserved and mild-mannered. The cultural characteristics of Minnesota nice include a polite friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understatement, a disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, emotional restraint, and self-deprecation."

I feel it is more about Minnesota "Passive Aggressive". Yeah, you betcha we make nice and awesome tater-tot hot dish but don't ask us to answer a tough question with straight up honesty. BTW, it's Duck Duck Gray Duck.
Oh my brave Grandma Marvel wrangling two wiggly giggly girls in the pool. This photo is a testament of her patience with us. Pretty certain she had to be near 70 years old in this photo. My Grandmother was part of the Asians in Minnesota Oral History Project. Click this link and you can read more about her story and even hear her interview. The story was collected a few weeks after my sister was born in 1979. I love her sweet voice. I still miss her so much.

What does a parent do with a pair of construction paper sandals from a first grader? There would be a bucket of tears if I tossed these shoes out. So for now, I am still trying to convince that this sweet photo collage is enough to hang on to.

This is my Mom, all fancy her in fur (not sure if it's real). She has a talent for saying something profound and then looking down for impact. She makes that exact facial expression, then she waits a bit to look back at you. Silence can be the best negotiation tool and she knows it.

Wonder where this all started? click here

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Discovery What you Love : Mary Kay

I'm loving this new commercial for Mary Kay. Great styling, lighting and energy. Typically I just fast forward through commercials while watching Project Runway. This Mary Kay spot is worth a watch!

Monday, September 29, 2014

show me don't tell me

I grew up with a Chinese Tiger mom who chanted "do it right or don't do it at all". I take that one step further, "Do it with Passion or not at all". Be all in or get out. Don't wander through life. Go for it. Get out there. 
Check out that couch! I hated that couch, it was so scratchy. I was only sitting on it because I wearing pants and my legs are not exposed to the evil material. The only redeeming quality about that couch was the fact that the ottomans had four wheels (and there were four of them). When our parents were gone we would take those ottomans and cruise around the 1980s linoleum like wild circus children.

Did you see it? Do you see it? I made a fail! Life isn't about being a "Master" it's about trying, each day over and over. Some days are like a big fat Bass and other days are just lake weeds and tiny stupid Sunfish. 

This photo was taken at Lake Sarah in Minnesota. My Mom's parents had a lake house on Lake Sarah. I spent many long weekends and summers in that Lake. My Mom wasn't perfect, most Mom are not. She did a great job teaching us to swim as babies and trying to get us to water ski.

Parents are just people. They make mistakes. They are busy. They need naps too. BTW, I love naps more than chocolate. My kids know all I ever want of Christmas, Mother's Day or my birthday is a nap, chocolate and coffee.
My sister got nice calm normal hair. I smartly hid my crazy curly mess under the super cool quilted orange coat.
This a photo of my Grandma Marvel. She was the most beautiful person not because of her physical beauty but for her beautiful spirit. Of course she has her little side comments about folks. She was human but had more talent than most to hold her tongue in the right moments. She understood the need to make other people feel beautiful, not telling me my 1980s big bangs were a poor choice and slipping me extra money to purchase a prom dress.

Wonder where this all started? click here

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Orange Spice Pumpkin Coconut Pie

I am all in with any recipe that involves coconut, spice and pumpkin. I saw this pie on pinterest and went for it. YUM. The whip cream topping is made from chilled coconut cream with a bit of powdered sugar. Top it with some toasted coconut. Winner.

Awesome recipe is from here

Friday, September 26, 2014

Salted Carmel Chocolate Cakepops

I finally did it! Salted Carmel Chocolate Cakepops. I have been meaning to create these for months. They were great. Super easy. I melted 3/4 cup of carmels (the wrapped ones that you can purchase in the baking aisle) mixed with 3-5 TBS of cream. Once the mixture is smooth, drizzle it over the cakepops. Then sprinkle on some sea salt. Next time, I will be sure to have coarse sea salt on hand.

My youngest loves to add sea salt to his chocolate pudding, so we are running low at our home. Stinker! But he is on to something. Try it, sea salt on chocolate pudding is the bomb. Even the lame Hunt's pudding cups get a bit a jazz with sea salt.

Monday, September 22, 2014

show me don't tell me

Once again, it's "show me don't tell me" time. This time it's a big reveal (in my mind). A photo of me, sans makeup and no wrangling of my insane hair. My son is really getting into his hair. He gets so upset that he can't tame it, sadly that comes from my side. But crazy hair, is better than no hair. We'll take it.
The two images above show my Grandmother, Marvel. Her ethnicity was half Irish and half Chinese. She never learned how to drive a car, comfortable to rely on the care of others. She was quiet, allowing her few moments of bold thoughts to be hard hitting. When she was in her 80's, she was still living downtown Minneapolis in a condo. I was riding the elevator to visit her, two elderly gentlemen were also in the elevator. They saw that I pushed floor 12. That number sparked their thoughts.
Gentleman #1"Oh, say remember that Marvel? She was a looker back in the day"
Gentleman #2 "What do you mean back in the day, she's still a looker!"
 My Chinese ancestors came to the United States back in the 1870s. They settle mainly in Yakima, Washington. This was their laundry.

No, I was not grumpy about dance or the fancy trophy. I was bumming at the number of photos that were being taken. I do love this photo though. A nice contrast to fluffy tutus and huge grins.
The fancy sir with his fine canine is my Great Grandfather, Bing Hum. He spoke several languages and ran a hotel in Wilmar, MN in the early 1900s.
My Grandparents married at the Little Brown Church in Iowa. Only two people witnessed the service. When they returned to work after the marriage, their co-workers were very upset to have missed the wedding. So they made their own mock wedding, with newspaper dresses. 
It all started from here

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014