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.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Record Play

I love to stop at Goodwill or any other Thrift store and play with the record sleeves. My kids are finally hopping abroad this entertaining train. 
We had spent the weekend up in St Michael, MN for swim meets. My daughter won her heat twice and two free blizzards at the local Dairy Queen. Only in Minnesota, do you each Dairy Queen Blizzards while the wind whips across the fields and the windchill is below zero.

Monday, January 12, 2015

tea towel pillow

Winter clearance at the local Anthropologie store. I picked up this sweet little towel for around $7. Then I popped over to Goodwill to find a Target patio pillow for $3.99. I removed the existing fabric from the Target pillow, then placed the batting into the Anthropologie towel. I sewed up the sides by hand. I could have used a sewing machine but I wanted to binge watch "Homeland" on my couch.

Monday, January 5, 2015

show me, don't tell me

Keep me safe and I will keep you wild. My Great Aunt Grace is on the far left and Great Aunt Mae is on the right. This photo was taken in the 1920s yet has the vibe of a candid Instagram shot from today.
A passionate woman is worth the chaos. Again, the wild and free Great Aunt Grace causing a ruckus with the boys.

Life has no remote. Get up and change it!
One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change. This is my Great Aunt Grace. She was a wild card all her life.
It's not enough for a man to know how to ride, he must also know how to fall.
A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear.
Good parties create temporary youthfulness. My sister and I back in the early 1980s, partying during New Year's Eve. Fake Christmas tree, pink sweatsuit with thrift-store fancy PJs. Work it girls.

Want to know where this all started, click here

Monday, December 29, 2014

show me, don't tell me

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion! I love the expression on my sister's face. I am the one with the crazy hair. Our dad always affectionately called us "brats". Even when I was older, living in my very own home and paying all my own bills... he would still call the house and ask "Is the brat around?" with a smirk (you could hear it in his voice).
My Grandma Winnie passed away this year. I didn't go home for the holidays. It was too hard to be there without her. So I stayed in Minnesota and pretended that she wasn't really gone. I know she is gone, I just can't deal with it. She was my last Grandparent and honestly the most entertaining one. I remember how much she loved to wrap gifts just to piss you off. She would wrap a super tiny gift inside a small box, inside another slightly bigger box, inside another bigger box, on and on. You get the idea. She would sit on her floral print couch, sipping her large glass of ice water while laughing at you. When it was her turn to open gifts she would allow all the kids put bows and ribbons on her face and on top of her head.
Christmas is a time when you get homesick even when you are home. This is so true. Holidays make me miss my younger years, when everything was truly magical. Sneaking downstairs before the sun is up to see the presents under the tree. Then romping back to your room before you were caught by the parental units. My sister and I would eat Christmas Eve dinner till our tummies hurt. Our Grandma Marvel made the best stuffing with roasted chestnuts. Then we would lollygag near the twinkling Christmas tree and listen to the adults chattering while they sipped Buttered Rum.

Now it is my turn to create the magic for my kids. I am cool with that. We are creating our own traditions with pom pom garland, toilet paper owl ornaments, frosted sugar cookies, cake pops, candy cane shaped pizzas and tiny gingerbread houses.

Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood. I love how happy we both look. You can see that my sister is doing her best to control herself for the photo. She really just wants to tear open that gift.
This photo is from the 1920's taken at the Lake of Isle in Minneapolis. My Grandmother Marvel is on the right. The ice-skater on the left is my Great-aunt Grace.
Be humble for you are made from the earth. Be noble for you are made of the stars. The fancy lady is my Great-aunt Pearl. She was a wild card. She ran away from home when she was around 18 years old, got married soon after and then moved to China.
Family is our link to the past and bridge to the future. This photo is from the 1950s. My mom and her cousin Larry. Larry is now the family history expert. I am doing my best to gather more photos and add to Larry's history documents.

Wonder where this all started from? click here