Saturday, May 8, 2010

Days of Play--Snooger Noodles

A few weeks ago M.E. and I decided to make cookies to take to our neighbors.  Chocolate chip cookies were on the menu but alas, no chocolate chips could be found.  Ergo, Snooker Doodles (which M.E. called "Snooger Noodles")!

  • 1 cup of soft butter 
  • 1 1/2 c. of sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 c. flour
  • 2 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • For the topping: 2 T sugar and 2 t. cinnamon


1.  Wash your hands.

2.  Beat eggs.  Mix butter, 1 1/2 c. of sugar and eggs together in a large bowl.  

3.  Combine flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda into a mixing bowl.

4.  Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture and blend until no flour is left on the bottom of the bowl.

5.  Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on top of cookies.

6.  Roll dough into balls and toss in cinnamon/sugar.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

7.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are puffy and golden on the edges.

8.  Cool on a wire rack.  Try to save some for the neighbors!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Black and Brown--Trendy Warm Weather Looks

So I did a little mix-n-match black and brown and a reader pointed out that most outfits were wintery.  We can't have that!  Check out these fun looks (FYI--these are "dressed down" because that's the way I roll!).

Date Night

Bumming Around the House

Trendy Church Lady

Errand Running

Fashion Forward Mama

Frugal Fashion Friday: Wearing Black and Brown

There are many fashion rules that should be disregarded:

  • No white after Labor Day (in case you haven't noticed white pants are hot!)
  • Bags and shoes have to match (no, they should go but they don't have to match)
  • You can't wear black and brown together (oh really?)

A few weeks ago I talked about wearing colors and posted a photo of an outfit and an anonymous reader asked if I was wearing black shoes.  In fact I was wearing dark chocolate brown shoes but that's besides the point.  The point is, the reader assumed black and brown can never be worn together.  In fact some fashion gurus might die at the mention though most of it have done it before (those khaki pants you wear with your black t-shirt proves it. Khaki is a brown tone!)

The truth is you CAN mix your browns and blacks. Just keep a few pointers in mind:

Find hues that compliment each other. If you choose chocolate brown and black, keep it at that.  Don't mix chocolate with camel with black or it might look a bit confusing.

Notice that one shade rich brown suit paired with black accessories.  FYI, I'd never wear that hat.

Mix the colors throughout the outfit.  If you wear black head to toe and then toss on a brown scarf it might "appear" to others as a mistake.  Correct this by having a brown bag, belt, or shoes to go with the scarf.

Leave it to the celebs to pull of this look.  I'm sorry but how great is Anne Hathaway's get up?

Consider accessories that pull your browns and blacks together.  Never underestimate the power of an accessory to pull together a whole outfit.  Animal print (minimal) is a great way to pull together brown and black.

 Um, yes please!

Finally, remember trends ebb and flow in the river of public opinion.  Personal style is all your own.  So if you want to rock brown and black, I encourage you to move in your own way! 

5 invisible cool points for anyone who starts singing the song I alluded to there!

Black and brown--have I made a convert of you?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Things I Love--Seeing Your Hard Work!

A few weeks ago my friend Jenn contacted me about her entertainment center.  Here's what she had to say:
This is how it looks after 5 days of both of us working and no one having taken the effort to put anything away. Well - I have seen it worse, but not much. Though, honestly, it rarely looks much better, either.
A photo Jenn sent me of her entertainment center.

Anyhow, Jenn requested my help organizing.  The kids and I loaded up and went to her house.  We left two hours later and you know what it looked like?  Pretty much the same.  Instead of working we just talked (because visiting with friends in more important than organizing).  To be fair we did discuss some ideas, including minimizing the DVD collection as advised here.

Jenn took some of the ideas, bins and dvd organization, and put them into action.  Without further ado, here is the AMAZING result of Jenn's hard work:

Not only did she do that, but look at this.  Jenn has a retro-room divider that her husband and kids use for "stuff" storage and it is driving her nuts.

She made some temporary dividers out of paper but has plans on replacing the paper with starched linen.  Did I mention Jenn weaves her own clothing and ribbon? 

Awesome work, Jenn. Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What I Think About--Advice Someone Should Have Told Me

I’m pretty sure that everyone has issues with themselves.  I even wrote about it in my post about keeping it real.  Anyhow, I was on THINGS I CAN’T SAY and Shell wrote a letter to her twelve-year-old self-explaining what she wishes someone would have told her.  I love this idea and decided to give it a shot!  I later discovered this was an idea that Pink Moss created and she is turning the whole idea into a blog (and maybe a book).

Here’s my take.

Dear Reagan (age 12),

Put down the book.  I know you can hear me.  I know you can multi-task.  I know you love to read.  Put down the book and listen.  I want your full attention (and get used to hearing this because your future husband will say it. A LOT).

Listen to me.  For once, don’t learn by disaster! 

Never, I repeat NEVER let Randean do your hair for school picture day.  If you do she will make you look like a horned dinosaur.  And mom is going to make you wear a multi-colored cardigan with a cheerleading bear on it.  This combination will result in a hideous school picture of epic proportions.  If the photo disaster happens, resolutely refuse to get photo re-takes and let the picture be a living reminder about how cruelly you were treated.  Will you be totally embarrassed about the awful photo?  Sure.  Will you giggle on the inside when you tell the person looking at the photo about how awful your sister was to you?  Yep.

Do not use Lip Smackers chapstick.  Your freshman year your lips will suddenly become allergic to the acid in it and you will end up looking like the Joker.  And then you’ll have to walk around putting Aquaphore on your lips and people will joke that it is KY Jelly.  Don’t use Carmex or Blistex either.  Find a natural water based chapstick and go with it.

Wear your glasses and do your eye exercises.  Keep the glasses-free dream alive.  One day you won’t need corrective lenses (because they’ll be an eye surgery for you).  P.S.  Get the eye surgery no matter what Kathy Griffith thinks.

You’re gonna buy some black slouchy knee high boots in Canada.  Keep them.  In fact, keep the silver sandals you bought for prom too.  The trend is coming back and you’ll wish you still had them.

You are not athletic or a team player.  It’s cool.  I mean kids at school will think you are a total loser because of your general lack of athletic know-how but one day you’ll totally rock at rock climbing and road biking and running.  So you can’t play volleyball—there are worse things in life.  Maybe not at 12 but at 30+ish, you won’t give a dang whether or not you were on the team. 

What the kids at school think about you doesn’t matter.  I know it feels like it does now but it doesn’t.  Long after you graduate when you’ve forgotten them and they’ve forgotten you, you will still be in contact with your closest friends.  Those relationships matter; cultivate them. 

And by the way, you’ll be smokin’ hot for your 10 year reunion and so will your hubby.  (In fact, hubby will have been on the “must date list” for one former schoolmate.  He never gave her the time of day.  She’ll pretend she doesn’t recognize him at the reunion but you’ll know the truth.  And it’s kinda worth it—though there’s no use being spiteful.)

Be in a school play.  You’re gonna be awful but do it.   Sometimes you have to learn who you are not in order to become who you are. You are not a good actress but at least you’ll know that from experience.

Do not go to prom.

Be prepared for Cubby to die.  Don’t force her to live in pain longer than necessary to ease your own hurt feelings.  The cat you get after Cubby is going to be a royal pain in the rear.  She’ll bite your friends, torture and terrify Ami and will be hated by your husband.  Get her anyway.

When you turn 16 do NOT give your drunk friends a ride in dad’s green truck. They’ll puke everywhere and you’ll have to clean it up.  Dad will never let you forget it.

Skip going to see a Goofy Movie. If you don’t skip the movie, get a motel room to avoid driving in bad weather.  Do NOT let Bethy ride in the back of the car. Have your parents drive you to wrestling state.   I'll be honest, you’re gonna be in at least ten car accidents.  Be prepared and wear your seatbelt.

Now really listen to me here.  The summer of 1996 will be a blast but when you break up with the guy
you are dating—stay broken up.  If you don’t stay broken up then please, I beg you, on July 4th get into the suburban with your dad and don’t look back.  DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?  Get. Into. The. Suburban!

Wear sunscreen. In about 10 years a song is going to come out and it will make you laugh at the irony of this advice but heed it anyway. When you are 30 and don't have crow's feet and your skin looks 20, you'll be glad you listened. 

Mom and dad do not have a secret stash of college money anywhere.  Study hard because you’re gonna need scholarships.  And when that teacher tells you that you aren’t “college material” fill out applications by yourself.  One day you will get your Ed. D. and you should consider inviting said teacher to your graduation.  Maybe not.

Mom is going to get really sick.  There is evidence of her disease now that you aren’t recognizing (like how it takes her 4 hours to give you a 15 minute lecture).  Don’t do or say anything to her that you’ll regret.  One day your relationship with her will change and you’ll wish you were better to her. Take my advice and be good now.

You’ll have to work jobs where you serve your peers (and handle raw chicken—ewww!).  You’ll live in a trailer and drive junky cars.  This builds your character and humility.  One day you’ll appreciate the experience of not being handed everything.

You hate Randean but this will not always be the case.  Mend bridges now.  It’s worth it, I promise.  Don’t be too ticked about her pink mustang.  It blows up.

You will be involved in a massive food fight.  Roll with it.  It will be one of your fondest memories.

Have fun in college but do not compulsively honk car horns at Megan’s house or bad things will happen.  Be Dave’s designated driver when he goes to a party at the end of the fall semester.  And when the guy wearing a cross comes up to you, be your charming self.  He’s God’s provision for you.  Treat him as such.

Your marriage will not be perfect.  Your husband will say and do stupid things.  You will be hurtful.  You will feel like roommates---you will feel like enemies.  You will blame him for things that aren’t his fault.  He will make you apologize.  Listen to him.  Follow him.  Lovingly submit to him.  You’ll never be more grateful if you follow this advice.

It’s gonna be hard to love a few of your in-laws.  Love them anyway.  They may never like or love you.  Love them anyway.

Be there for Kim because she’s gonna need it.  She’ll be there for you.  Again and again and again.

Don’t let Josh take Griffon for the night.

The move to Cheyenne will be worth it.  Linda will not be a good neighbor but be a good neighbor to her--even when you don’t want to be--even after she’s done being your neighbor.

The doctors are wrong.  You will have children.  When you are in your twenties you’ll have a dream that you have four babies and you will.  Only two will live.  Your relationship with God will sustain you—even through this.

Don’t be afraid to fail.  Apply for school and jobs and volunteer.  Do not be afraid to fail.

Look in the mirror.  You look awkward and gawky and greasy.  Everyone feels that way at this age. You will grow into your nose. You might not ever like it, but you’ll grow into it. Remember that you are the daughter of the King and the King delights in your beauty (and so will your husband).  There are some photos of you in your early 20s that you’re going to want to keep. Trust me, the Cat in the Hat photos will go a long way.

Finally, most importantly, find and know and follow Jesus at any and all costs.  That’s really all that matters.  Love Him and let Him love others through you.

Get into the suburban,
Reagan (30ish)

I can't tell you how therapeutic writing this mock letter was!

Want to know what I think?  I think you should do this.  If you blog, post it and send me a link.  If you don't blog, e-mail me a copy at and tell me whether or not I can publish it.

I'd really love it if you would send your own letters to Pink Moss and participate in her project.  For more information, click here.

I'm so excited to see your response to this!

(P.S.  If I had a scanner I'd share photos of my hideous 6th grade school photo and the cake fight.  Probably not the Cat in the Hat photos ... well, maybe ...).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday's Too Clean Tip--Get Dressed!

I know this is going to sound nutty but there actually is a lot of research that links motivation with appearance.  People who feel better about they way they look on the outside tend to do get more done.  I can personally attest to this.

Very rarely I will have a day in "mom uniform"--yoga pants, slipper socks, random long-sleeve T-shirt with toothpaste drip on the front and Pax snot on the arm and hair in a ponytail.  Sounds hot.  Am I comfy? You bet.  Do I ever get anything done on these days?  Nope.

I've found that when I get up and get ready--head to toe--I'm always ready to tackle the day.  So if you have a day coming up where you need to clean and cook, and run errands, and make calls and take treats to your kid's class and and and ... get up and get dressed.

Head to toe.

(Hopefully you realize that by posting this I just became enemy #1 to velour jumpsuit wearers and feminists world wide.  This is the sacrifice I'm willing to make for my loyal blog-buddies!)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Breast to Sippy--Weaning Advice Needed

Hello moms!

Paxton is almost 1 and I need some weaning advice.

He has been breastfed since day #1.  He absolutely refuses any type of bottle (even with breast milk).  He will not, not, not do any sort of formula (we've tried all kinds and he spits it out immediately and starts screaming).  I can "tell" that my production is not enough for him and I'm wanting to supplement/wean him around his oneish birthday.  M.E. pretty much did this herself with no problems.  Pax won't be that easy. Ergo, I NEED HELP!

If you have experience, advice, or commiseration, please share.

If you aren't following already, you can click the FOLLOW button and become a follower (that way when you leave comments I know who you are and I can contact you--no spam!).

By the way, did you know you can join my BlogFrog community and share your responses with other moms and me?  If you'd like to join and post discussion questions or share responses, it is free!  Look on the right hand side of my page.  Click on the "Join my community" link and get into the discussion.

Not interested?  Please leave your advice in a comment.

And as always, thank you for being in this with me!

Days of Play--Tunnels and Bridges

I just love random ideas I can throw together in the name of fun.  I'm posting this one because whenever we drive and there is a bridge or walkway or anything overhead, M.E. yells, "DUCK!" In small amounts it is too funny.  In large amounts it's totally irritating!

How to play:

Show your child photos of bridges and tunnels.  Talk about what they are used for, how they are different, where you've seen them, etc.

Now make your body a bridge and let your child climb over you.
Make your body a tunnel and let your child crawl through.
Repeat using chairs, blankets, ropes, etc.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What's Cooking 5/3-5/9

First of all, a super duper HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout out to my mom!

Wow.  With a trip to my sister's, Matt traveling, and some surprise company, my meal plan is all messed up.  The good news is that most of the meals are frozen so there was no food going to waste.

Sorry most of these are "repeats" but that happens!

Monday--honey lime chicken with cilantro rice
Tuesday--beef enchiladas in red sauce
Wednesday--White lasagna with salad and homemade crusty bread
Thursday--Dijon pork loin and steamed red potatoes
Friday--Spicy grilled salmon and veggies
Saturday--Best Marinade Ever steaks and spicy home fries
Sunday--BBQ ribs with dad's secret sauce