Monday, April 6, 2015

show me, don't tell me

Be all in or get out all out. There is no half way. My mom in a Easter basket in the 1940's in Minneapolis. She was an 1980's Tiger Mom. She was the kind of Mom that made kids' parents sign a legal form saying it wasn't her fault if they got hurt on our playground. She was also the same Mom that would come outside to that playground on a very hot summer day with popsicles. "Hey, you kids want a nice popsicle? Yes? Okay, well here's a bag... fill it up with weeds and then you can have one". Insert eye roll from offspring and the downward stare of shame.

"Kym, your mom is so weird"

Now that I am a mom, I think that weed trick was freaking brilliant. And the legal form, also a good plan. Her fashion sense was still a bit off, but no one is perfect. 

Be curious not judgmental. Easter with a really creepy bunny 1980's style. I still have that dress. I can't get anyone to fess up who made it. I love the knee high socks and black shoes.

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. Well this bunny is certainly more creepy than the previous bunny! I asked my Mom about this one. She can't remember when or where it happened. I told her it looks like outside a parking lot. Why did they let us sit with this bunny? He or she had to be a bit hot? Clearly I am okay with allowing my sister to get close but I won't have any of it.

Effort is attractive. I remember this day. We didn't have baskets for some reason, so my Grandma Marvel gave me her hair scarf and pulled out a plastic bag from her purse for my sister. Grandma always saved plastic bags. She would fold them up neatly, keeping a few in her purse and the rest in one kitchen drawer. They also had a paper cup filled with the rubber bands from the newspapers. Who reads a newspaper these days? I think the last time we had one delivered to our house was 2004.
You go and find who you really are, and do not let anyone stop you. It's me and my wild hair in the early 1980s. I am outside my Grandparents Towers Condo near Hennepin and 1st St South (Minneapolis, MN). You can see the Grain Belt Beer sign in the distance. That sign is still there.
 You must know what you want, to find what you want. My mom in the 1940's.
Death leaves a hurt no one can heal. Love leaves memories no one can steal.  12 years ago my Grandpa Bill passed away. He is the fella holding the baby (my Dad). My Grandma Winnie and Bill would bicker up a storm. I should have video taped them. They would have made some killer Vine clips. Grandpa Bill died a little over a month before my first child and his first Great-Grandchild was born. It's hard to believe that time has gone by this fast. I am grateful for the time I had with my Grandparents. They were a big part of my life and I still miss them very much.

Wonder where this all started from? click here.  I was asked by a few folks if I sell these images. I just started up a Society6. Check it out if you might be interested in a print or two.

Pom Pom Berries

So cute, little pom pom berries. I have so many ideas. This is just the beginning. At first I made my own fork version of a pom pom maker, then I tried using my hands, then we just bought the Clover pom pom makers at Michaels. Of course, we bought them one at a time and used our 40% coupon! Forget what people say, just go buy the Clover Pom Pom makers. It's way easier for the kids and is worth the investment. We bought four different Pom Pom Makers for a total of $8.40.

Over the summer, my Dad found a giant bag full of yarn from my junior high crafting days. I took the yarn beast home knowing that I would find something to do with it. Then, it was Spring Break for my kids without fun traveling plans… I knew it was time to tame the yarn beast.

I found this awesome strawberry pom pom tutorial on

The first one we did, is the pink berry. The second one is the red berry. The third one is not currently pictured. My daughter didn't use enough yarn and it's a berry hot mess.

We have lots of ideas now, and want to try a lemon or orange! Even my six year old is loving this pom pom business! Be sure you have sharp scissors to snip the yarn.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bunny Sugar Cookies

I saw this adorable bunny cookie idea on which was created by Baked Ideas
I thought "perfect, I can totally do that". My kids are allergic to whole eggs, so frosted cookies have become our Easter standard. I found some Wilton candy decorations at Target and Michaels. The glasses make this cookie the BOMB.

They are very easy to make. I am so serious. It is a regular gingerbread man cookie cutter, then one circle cookie cutter cut in half. We pressed in regular classic jellybeans and shaped the hands around the candies. We tried Starburst Jelly beans too, but the old school ones worked best. We also tried adding the sugar candies. They worked great! Baked at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

And of course, we made some eggs too!

Monday, March 30, 2015

show me, don't tell me

We travel, some us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. My Grandma Marvel is the lady on the right with Barbara. Marvel never learned to drive a car. She was content to leave that chore to others.
Actually, I can. Oh Great Aunt Grace… forever doing exactly what she wanted to do. She hand painted this photograph decades ago. I am the keeper of most of the family photos. I wish I could have met her. I am certain we would have loved each others ideas.
 I don't want just words. If that's all you have for me, you'd best go. Grace again, this time in France during the 1930s.
 Do it right or don't do it at all. Check out those bright orange quilted coats. The kids would always ask my sister and I if we were going hunting in our orange coats. Nope, not going hunting. Our mom loves thrift shops and has no idea that Member's Only and Acid-washed denim are the 80's hot ticket item. Oh well....
Kind people are brave people. My Grandma Marvel is on the left. I just found out from my Mom this weekend, that the fella is John Beck (maybe Jon, not sure). John wanted to marry Grandma, but she passed. I wonder what this pie-eating evening was all about? Who took the photo?
Liking what you do is happiness. So I found nearly all the Easter Bunny photos in the ten or so boxes of photos that I have lurking in my uber messy office. There are literally bunny trails to navigate my office, so serious. The rest of the house is fine. You can tell in this photo that I am really not in the mood for this situation. I am wearing my ballet outfit, guessing practice is soon.

What I am looking for is not out there. It is in me. My Great Aunt Grace in WooSung, China (North of Shanghai) in the 1930's.

Wonder where this all started from? click here.  I was asked by a few folks if I sell these images. I just started up a Society6. Check it out if you might be interested in a print or two.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rice Krispie Carrots

Spring is all about Easter business. My kids are allergic to eggs, so we usually make Bunny Bread, Frosted Sugar Cookies, Carrot veggie pizzas and now… Rice Krispie Carrots! 

When our youngest was little, he would say "Tarrots are Tasty. Bunnies love Tarrots". Now he is big and was a great little helper arranging bunches of edible grass. 

3 TBS butter or margarine
1 pkg 10 oz mini marshmallows
Orange food coloring (the amount you would like)
6 cups Rice Krispies
Edible Easter Grass
Green Candy melts
Orange Candy melts

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter/margarine, add the marshmallows and then the orange food coloring. In greased bowl, measure out 6 cups of Rice Krispies. Start pouring the melted mixture into the bowl of Rice Krispies, mix as you go. Nicely grease a 9x13 pan with butter/margarine and evenly spread the orange Rice Krispie mixture. Press it down evenly and let it cool. I cut the pan into 24 carrot shapes (long triangles). 

For the grass topper, I used Edible Easter Grass from Target. It is Green Apple flavored but I really could not taste it. It comes in long strands, I cut them smaller and made bunches of 5-7 strands. I used Wilton Candy Melts as "glue" to hold the grass together. Once that bunch of grass is cool, carve a little hole in the carrot and add the grass bunch with a bit more of the candy melts. 

For the final detail, you could add orange candy melt drizzle for carrot texture. I placed the melted candy melts in a sandwich sized Ziploc bag, snipped the corner in order to drizzle the carrots.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bunny Bread

A few years ago, we made Bunny Bread. My kids loved it, so we hopped to it once again this year. It looks complex, but it really isn't. I tossed some poppy seeds to add visual depth for the bunny ears.


The key is to let the dough rise after the bunny is shaped. Do not skip that step. This photo shows the bunny before we baked it.

Click here for more detailed directions.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Show me, don't tell me

Beauty without expression is boring! My Great Aunt Grace at the Piscine Molitor pool, France 1938. I wish she had taken more photos of the pool. Maybe she did and I cannot find them. This suit would have been quite wild at the time. The first official bikini (a bit more revealing than this suit on Grace) made its debut in 1946.
 My Grandma Marvel in the 1940's. My Grandparents raised and trained Scottie dogs.
You are the music while the music lasts. My Grandpa Stanley and Grandma Marvel going out for a fancy night of celebrations. Look at that car!

If you are lucky enough to find a weirdo, never let them go. My Great Aunt Grace in Shanghai, 1938. She was quite the traveler, loved photography and made many of her own clothes.
You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way. Again, this is my Great Aunt Grace in Hongkew Park, Shanghai. The park is now called Lu Xun Park.
 Grace! Actually I can. She was a sassy-pants. She did what she wanted and never paused.
The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding. My Great Aunt Grace at Gare du Nord in Paris. It originally opened in 1864.

Wonder where this all started from? click here.  I was asked by a few folks if I sell these images. I just started up a Society6. Check it out if you might be interested in a print or two.

Monday, March 16, 2015

coconut curry creamed spinach

Super easy, Whole30 compliant and very tasty. Coconut Curry Creamed Spinach.

1 Red Onion (sliced)
4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1/2" piece of fresh Ginger (minced)
2 8oz bags of Spinach (I used Fresh Express)

1 14oz can of Light Coconut Milk (Trader Joe's)
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Smoked Paprika (it is worth the purchase)
Add salt as needed

Heat up some olive oil in a pan, while you slice the Red Onion. Then saute the onion 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger, saute another minute. Then start adding handfuls of the spinach, it will wilt as you go. Just keep adding. I added one bag, then pour in the entire can of coconut milk. Saute a bit more and add in the spices (Cayenne Pepper, Curry Powder, Smoked Paprika). Finally add in the last bag of spinach. Simmer till all the spinach is the consistency you like (5 minutes should do the trick). This dish has a bit of a kick. If it was me, I would add more heat.

Recipe found from here and tweaked a bit!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Show me don't tell me

 Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.
 If you are not too long  I will wait here for you all my life. My Great Aunt Grace in France in the 1930s.
 My Grandma Marvel such a beauty. Joy is the best makeup.
My Great Aunt Grace in the 1920's at Lake Minnetonka, MN. This lake has nearly 125 miles of shoreline. I find it to be a total puzzle to navigate.
Authenticity is not needing external approval to feel good about your actions. I love the sassiness of the girl on the right and the bold smile of my Great Aunt Grace on the left.

 It is a blessing or a lesson. My Great Aunt Grace in La Baule-Escoublac France in the 1930s. Clearly, this would be a blessing sort of situation.
Everything we hear is an opinion not a fact. Everything we see is perspective not truth. My Grandma Marvel with my mom in the 1940s.

Wonder where this all started from? Click here.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentines Day : Tiny Fortune Cookie Erasers

Valentine's Day Tiny Fortune Cookie Erasers! My co-worker found these cuties in the the Target Dollar store area. I was all set for my Valentine's this year, but these tiny guys will be PERFECT for next year. I figure I can cut out a few paper take-out boxes here and there. It won't be a mad dash next February. The best part, is the erasers have a little cut out space to add a paper fortune. ADORABLE.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentines : tiny bakery erasers

When I was a kid, my favorite holiday at elementary school was Valentine's day. I loved decorating my Grandmother's Hush Puppy Shoe box from the Dayton's store. My Grandmother always thoughtfully pulled aside paper doilies, vintage cards and wrapping paper for my sister and I.

The day of the celebration at school was sugar filled with that crazy kid orange drink and frosted cupcakes. Back then, no one in my class was Gluten Free, allergic to Red Dye 4 or Peanuts/Treenuts. School is different now. Kids cannot bring food treats to school (too many allergies). I make sure to create something adorable to ensure Valentine's Day is still magical.

This year, we found these adorable tiny bakery erasers at Target. They were only $1.50 for six. To spice them up, I constructed a tiny box for each one. I found heavy weight paper at Michael's Arts and Crafts and 3M washi tape at Target. I layered in some cut up tissue paper for a pop of color. Then tossed in a funny paper fortune "You will be hungry in one hour. Lucky Numbers: 02, 14, 20, 15". I had the kids sign their names on the back of the paper fortune.


Of course, we only had to make 48! The boys did help cut out the boxes. The six year old had better fine motor skills. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cakeball Truffles

Yum! Salted Caramel Chocolate Cakeball Truffles. My eldest, loved them and she is miss picky pants. I make the caramel sauce from regular caramels (the ones that are individually wrapped) in the baking aisle. I toss the caramels in a pot and melt them slowly on low heat with a bit of heavy cream. The salt is best as freshly ground Sea Salt.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

BOOM, and 10 it is

My middle kiddo is officially 10 years old. He is nearly 5' 2" and wears the same size shoe as me (woman's size 10). This year we had a sleepover at the WaterPark of America. They have an awesome little set up. One hotel room has a bigger room and then a smaller little alcove with two sets of bunk beds. The boys romped around the Waterpark till around 9pm, then back to the room for pizza and a movie (Earth to Echo). They went to bed like fine gentlemen. Usually the girl sleepovers are filled with squealing, slamming doors, giggling, wrestling, fart noises, snorts and more. The boys were perfect, so easy! In the morning, hotel guests get access to the water park at 9am. So the boys were up by 7am ready to go.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Valentine's Day Cakeball Truffles

My daughter had two friends over for a sleepover. I thought it was time to let them take over on the cakeball truffle business. They can do it! Sure, they are not perfect-perfect but they still taste great. This time we made strawberry with dark chocolate. Every treat is better with sprinkles.

And then we took turns coloring on the Cuties with permanent markers.