Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Priddy Creations Giveaway!

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Amy of Priddy Creations is introducing her latest item by offering a fun camera strap and lens cozy giveaway. Stop by Erin's blog to enter.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A little name change for 2009

Don't worry, my eBay id just got the tiniest, itti-bittiest name change. I removed the "!" so now I'm just tadacreations. I kinda prefer the "!" because it feels more important and who doesn't like to feel important. Now I'm just a run-of-the-mill version of myself. But I thought it best to have my business name consistent no matter where you find me, and I couldn't use the "!" on Etsy or my blog name.

So, there you have it! Hmm...just noticed that it's in my logo too. Ugh...that one's gotta stay put!

I've got some fun things planned for my return to custom orders this spring. I can't wait! Is it spring yet? I'm already in the mood for warmer weather. I can usually only handle the snow until New Year's, then I'm over it. I've already removed all of the Christmas decorations and begun the "Spring cleaning" in an effort to get as much off of my to-do-list before I start devoting my free-time to sewing my little heart out again. I've been cleaning closets and cupboards and have accumulated quite a donate pile so far. Next is the "to sell on eBay" pile, now that I don't feel the need to hang on to girl clothes. But how do I decide which handmade items to hang on to? I can't seem to part with any of them, they are almost like children to me.

So what's the trick to selling off your samples? I suppose I have pictures of everything, but to not be able to look at them again just makes me sad. My Mom sewed most of my clothes when I was little and I wish I had more of them now that she's gone. Am I just too sappy, or is this normal?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"The 7 is gone Daddy!"

One of our gifts to the girls this year was a sweet little Hello Kitty tea cup clock for their room. I thought it was a great find for just $15 at Target a couple of weeks ago, considering I have had it on my Amazon wish list for quite some time.

In our attempt to get them to sleep past 5am, we are trying to teach them how to read a digital clock and tell them that they can't get out of bed until it reads 7. So, first off we had to make sure they knew what a 7 looks like on their clock. Thankfully it was still in the 7 o'clock hour when they were going to bed tonight, so that was easy. Now to see if they still remember and follow our instructions in the morning.

By about 8:00 tonight, we thought the girls were fast asleep and it was safe to start watching a movie together. A minute later we heard frantic crying from Emily and when she got close enough to the stairs we could tell she was saying "The 7 is gone Daddy!!!" Holy cow, this sweet child was just laying their looking at the 7! So, Dave tucks her back into bed and about 5 minues later we hear "Daddy, the 7 is back, come look!!!" I was sure this was going to happen every ten minutes, but Daddy's further explination must have been sufficient enough. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that they stay in bed past 5 tomorrow.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Morning

Santa stopped by our house. He must have come in through the skylight...he he he...at least that's our story. He left fun things like princess nail polish, Hello Kitty lipstick and mini M&M's for the girls. Then we all opened presents from each other. Yes, the sky was black out our window, it was only 5:30am. We can not get these girls to sleep past 5:15 any day! We saved presents to and from Sam until we woke him up at the more decent hour of 7am. We finished our morning with Buttermilk Pumpkin Pancakes. This was my 2nd recipe in search of the perfect one to taste like our favorite pancake spot. It wasn't quite perfect yet, so next I'll try this recipe.

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This is Sam's "Who are you and why are you holding me?" look.
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Christmas Eve

We've all been sick at our house for over a week now, so we ended up staying home and celebrating by ourselves on Christmas Eve, postponing our extended family gathering to New Year's Day. It was a nice change of pace since we've always had somewhere to go on Christmas Eve. I've always wanted to have a quiet night at home like that, but with being sick it wasn't exactly as I pictured it would be.

Neither of us felt up to cooking an elaborate meal so it didn't really "taste" like Christmas. And our house never got picked up and cleaned like I had wanted, so it didn't "look" like Christmas. But it sure "felt" like Christmas as we focused on reading the Christmas story and numerous other Christmas books and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. The girls opened only one gift from us so the evening wasn't overrun with presents and that felt good too.

I know this first picture is blurred, but I include it just to show how cozy and warm our home felt, reading stories by candle and tree light. I love that the lights were reflected in both the mirror and the window. The rest are taken with the flash and that kind of ruins the feel.

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The girls both received princess backpacks from us and they were a big hit. Their friend Kaci, at school, has a princess backpack and Emily loves to point it out to her teacher when they are all walking to the doors to be picked up after class. My friend, Kaci's mom, told me that her daughter mentioned that Emily looks at her backpack a lot. When Emily opened the gift she said "Just like Kaci's!" It will be fun to watch them both walk down the hall at school with their new backpacks in a week.

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Sam I Am

My little guy is getting so big. He is definately out of the sleepy newborn stage. He is awake a lot more, he holds his head up pretty well and has even started cooing and smiling a bit and seems to recognize our voices. I wish I could just freeze time, I want him to stay a baby forever.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joseph's Lullaby

Joseph's Lullaby
by Mercy Me

Go to sleep my Son
This manger for your bed
You have a long road before You
Rest Your little head

Can You feel the weight of Your glory?
Do You understand the price?
Does the Father guard Your heart for now
So You can sleep tonight?


Go to sleep my Son
Go and chase Your dreams
This world can wait for one more moment
Go and sleep in peace

I believe the glory of Heaven
Is lying in my arms tonight
Lord, I ask that He for just this moment
Simply be my child

Go to sleep my Son
Baby, close Your eyes
Soon enough You'll save the day
But for now, dear Child of mine
Oh my Jesus, Sleep tight

Having a baby boy at Christmas is a special blessing. Looking at Sam as he sleeps in my arms, I can imagine how Mary and Joseph felt holding Baby Jesus in theirs. What a mix of emotions that must have been. This was their baby, their son, their prescious child, God's gift to them and the world. To think about it is just overwhelming really...

Merry Christmas!
XOXO, Angel

Monday, December 22, 2008

Quadruple Bypass Today

He made it through and is in the waking up process. They were only able to do 3 of the 4 bypasses, but evidently the one that they couldn't do was the least important. Thank you for your prayers!
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As I write this, it's 9:45 am and my Dad has been in surgery since 8am. He is having quadruple bypass this morning. Originally we were told it would be a triple bypass, but one of his veins needs it in two places. His surgeon expects it to take about four hours.

Please say a prayer for my Dad and for the wisdom and accuracy of the surgeon and his team. I too am sick now, so I'm unable to wait at the hospital with my mom and Grandma today. I'm so disappointed, but the last thing I want to do is get any of them sick and then pass it on to my Dad. Hopefully we will all be better by Christmas and can visit him then.

Last night my dad called to tell all of us that he loves us. It's been 6 weeks since he's seen the girls, having not wanted to cause him any extra stress or get him sick. He said he asked my mom to drive him over and let him just look at the girls through the window. How sweet is that! He got to talk to both of them as they were getting ready to read the Bible with Daddy last night and he got to hear each of them say they love him and miss him. I know he was feeling a little worried (even though he said he wasn't), I could hear it in his voice. I will be so glad to receive the next call saying he's done and doing well.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chocolate Crinkles

So the chocolate pretzel thingies didn't last very long at our house. Several someones (I'm not naming names, like ones that start with "A", "E" or "D") ate them all before they could be boxed up for the nieghbors. So...on to our next cookie baking adventure. These happen to be my all time favorite so if they disappear too then my fall back will be gingersnaps (hmmm...actually those are my favorite). I've really never met a cookie I didn't like! But I'm hoping these will be the ones left for Santa. Aren't they pretty? They remind me of Zebras.

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Chocolate Crinkles
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, cooled **
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In large bowl, mix oil, chocolate, granulated sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar; roll around to coat and shape into balls. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no imprint remains when touched lightly in center. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

**I was out of baking chocolate so I subbed 3TB cocoa powder + 1 TB oil for each square. Check the cocoa container, pretty nifty substitute and the cookies were perfect.

What's with this look? I have no idea.
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No electric mixer needed for this recipe!
Just 2 sugar powered hand-mixers. Get it? Hahaha...lame, I know. ;)

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What could be more fun than playing with powdered sugar?
Certainly not cleaning it up!

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And what was Sam doing, you ask?
Why he was just snoozing away right next to us...secure in his masculinity. ;)

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Now for some random shots from last week-end...
Doesn't Sam look huge on Emily's lap? I weighed him on our scale and he's 13 pounds at just 6 weeks. Now of course that's not as accurate as his Dr.'s scale will be in just 2 weeks, but it can't be too far off. He's getting to be a chunk!

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I kept catching Allison eyeing the gingerbread house we made and finally got a peek at her through my camera. This was from a kit of course, I didn't see the point of making one from scratch this year. My plan is to go all out next year like my Mom and I used to do growing up. We had windows that you could peek into to see a rocking chair, Christmas tree and fireplace dollhouse furniture pieces.

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On Saturday Dave's Dad and Ella were here from FL, so all of his siblings and our nephews and brand new niece came over for the day.

I have to say that the ornaments on our tree have been rearranged by two little elves a gazillion times. I've stopped putting them back now. And threatening to remove all of the ornaments hasn't helped one bit. Her shirt should read "I want ornaments."

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Grandpa John with Sam and his new monkey (which Allison has now adopted).

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

littlebrownpen

Just found this adorable video...great Christmas gift ideas from littlebrownpen, and here is their blog too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

surgery is postponed

My Dad's surgery that was scheduled for today, has been postponed due to an elevated white blood count and a cold he has had this week. Now we wait for another week or two to be rescheduled.

It seems that you have to be in perfect health to receive life saving surgery...who knew?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

little helpers

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This morning the girls and I started making gifts for our neighbors. This year we are giving them bags of the yummiest pretzel candy treats. I chose them for how kid friendly they are to make. And it was fun to talk to the girls while we were "baking" about why we give gifts at Christmas.

If you've never made these, run right now to the store and whip some up tonight. They are super easy and oh so yummy. Just remember when you eat one that you are eating a whole Hershey's kiss...it's easy to forget and 20 or so later...yeah, been there, done that.

You'll need
1 bag of ring pretzels
2 bags of kisses (hugs are fun too)
1 bag of M's
2 cute helpers don't hurt either

Helper #1

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Ok, so the "don't smile at me...you better not smile at me" trick works. But now I just need to get them not to open their mouths with every smile.

Helper #2

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Getting ready...

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M's make a great diversion to keep the kisses from being eaten.

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Now line your cookie sheet with pretzels and top each with a kiss. One bag of kisses will fill one sheet with 25 to spare.

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The perfectionist in me only allows me to use the most perfect looking pretzels (and I even make sure they are face up). The rejects all end up here ready to be crushed for Strawberry Pretzel Salad.

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Bake for 5 minutes at 200 degrees. The kisses won't change shape, but they will be melted and ready for you to push an M into the top to make it fill up the pretzel.

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Put in the fridge to cool. Then hide them or they will be gone too soon!

Eggs and Bacon alternative
Place 2 small pretzel rods a bit apart. Top with a white chocolate candy. Melt and press only yellow M's into the chocolate candy.

yo-yo's

Do you remember this pile of yo-yo's?

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I made them from Heather's freshcut fabric to match the girls' new room. I had planned to make little throw pillows, but after realizing that they would always be on the floor, I opted to embellish their curtains instead. I'm considering adding them to the bottom of their bedskirts too, which match the curtains, but that would take me forever.
We'll see...

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winter yumminess

First we obliged Mom for some pictures...

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then we ate some snow...

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then we made snow angels...

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then we roared like the Abominable Snowman...

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then we hopped on our sled...

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and went really fast...

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then we got all of our screaming out of our systems, before heading in for...

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some nice hot cocoa.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

One Happy Family

We had a fun photoshoot at our friend Jeff's house today. He's got a wonderful space for taking studio setting photos. It's right next to their playroom which worked great for keeping the girls happy between takes. He would have been glad to bring his gear to our home, but then I would have had to clean the house and that would have been no fun (I'm procrastinating that job until next week).

I knew Jeff would do a great job, but I was amazed at how good he was with getting the girls to smile. This is no easy ask, believe me I know, as I can rarely get them to smile for me. So I actually learned some fun tricks to try myself. Thanks Jeff!

If you are in the Minneapolis area give Jeff a call, you will not be disappointed.

Here are my favorites...

First, our Christmas card from Nounces on Etsy. Jennifer did a fantastic job and customized the colors to match our photo. Thank you Jennifer!

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