Betty Crocker Wannabe has MOVED! I am now blogging solely at A Simply Klassic Home. I am still sharing printables, party ideas, and other inspiration. It's much more streamlined and clean. I hope you will stop by and say follow along there! I have lots of ideas for new printables coming this holiday season!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Friend Friday - Embarrassment

Happy Friday and thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blog world. I love participating in The Girl Creative's New Friend Friday. I have met lots of sweet ladies, and found some really cool blogs. If you're new here, Welcome! I hope you can take some time to look around. Recipes, photos, and my adoption journey are just some of the things you'll find. Take a look around and let me know if you like what you see.

Now on to the question of the week...What is your most embarrassing moment??? Seriously??? Ok, that's tough, because I do my best to forget my embarrassing moments, but most recently, my boyfriend embarrassed the heck out of me in front of his 17 year old son...

I should preface this story, by letting you know that Rick is 15 years older than me. I am 32 and he is 47. Also, he works for a cardboard manufacturer with a bunch of guys, and I can imaging the testosterone level in the plant is enough to run the machines without electricity.

One night, I was in the kitchen washing up the dishes from dinner, and Rick and his son "C" were chatting in the dining room. Somehow our age difference came up, and he proceeds to tell "C" how the guys at work all give him the nod when he tells them my age. He gets the "Way to go" and "Hey old man you've still got it." As if that's not embarrassing enough, he then tells his son, "Yeah, except that I'm usually too tired to partake in the, uh, extra-curicular activities!" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). I could have smacked him! I'm not sure who turned redder, me of "C"!

I sure hope you enjoyed my embarrassing moment. Thanks again for visiting, and I hope you'll come back soon! Don't forget to link up at The Girl Creative.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Good Mom

One of the most difficult things about being a parent, for me, is letting my son have his independance. I mentioned in this post that sometimes, I just want to get out the door in the morning and I don't care that he wants to put his shoes on by himself.

I've been working on this. So last night, I focused on my son. I had made dinner the night before, so all I have to do was pop it in the oven.

We built Lego towers.

Here's mine:

I let him play in the bathroom sink, when he was supposed to be washing his hands.

And when his shirt got wet from the aforementioned action, I let him change his shirt all by himself.

This was big. For me anyway.

Do you have any idea how painful this was for the control freak in me to watch?

But I let him do it. I even let him run around like this for the next ten minutes till it was bathtime.

Yesterday, I was a good mom.

You Capture: Spring in Oma's Garden

My Oma (the sentiment for grandma in German) had the most beautiful gardens. They were her pride and joy, even winning her the accolade of one of the "most beautiful homes" in our city one year. She spent hours upon hours, lovingly caring for her plants and flowers, often sharing her roses with friends and family.

I was blessed to be able to purchase her home after she died, a little over two years ago. Since becoming a homeowner, there are little things here and there that I have done to make the home mine, new floors, paint, etc. But there are a few things I hope will always stay the same. One of them being Oma's garden. 

"If we had no winter,

if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,

the spring would not be so pleasant;

prosperity would not be so welcome." 

While you enjoy the prosperity of spring, make sure you take time to stop and smell the roses.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wednesday's Walk - October 2

My Cooper came home in November of 2007. Thanksgiving that year was amazing, full of family, love and joy at this new arrival. My dad, who had been very sick for several years, had a great day, and was so excited to meet his grandson, who was just ten weeks old. My dad died just five weeks later.

Cooper with Grandpa & Gram on Day 1

Fast forward to September of 2008. I was preparing to sign adoption papers, to finalize Cooper's adoption. The attorney called me to set up a time for the court finalization. The day it would all be official. No more court dates. No more Social Worker visits. No more sitting on pins and needles waiting, hoping, praying. She told me I could request a date that would work for us, or that was significant to me. Her exact words were, "If you wanted, say, October 2, we could ask for that." My heart skipped a beat, and I felt my face get hot, as tears filled my eyes.

October 2 was my dad's birthday.

My dad and me on his birthday10 years ago.

I slowly asked her why she mentioned that date. She told me it was her son's birthday. I said, "That's the day I want. That was my dad's birthday and he died shortly after meeting Cooper."

The Attorney was quiet for a moment, then said, "I'll do everything I can to request that date."

Grandpa & Cooper watching Ducks Hockey

A few weeks later, I received a letter in the mail, stating that our court date was indeed scheduled for October 2. I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. This would be the first birthday since he died, and what could have been a day to mourn, became a day to dance. I couldn't think of a more perfect way to honor my dad.

On October 2, I cried again, as the judge said that he was mine. Forever mine. I cried happy tears for us, and for my dad, who I know was with us that day. We'll celebrate that day every year, and it will not only be about how we became a family, but about sharing with Cooper about his Grandpa, and how much he loved him.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die...a time to mourn and a time to dance..." Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

I hope you enjoyed my emotional little Walk down Memory Lane. Be sure to visit The Goodwin Family blog and see what others are sharing for Wednesday's Walk.


Top Two Tuesday - Summertime!

I'm participating in The Undomestic Mama's Top 2 Tuesday. Won't you hop on over and check the other great blogs, and maybe make a friend of two?

Top two favorite things about SUMMER:

I love Backyard BBQs. Everyone is relaxed, enjoying great food and getting to play outdoors, enjoying the beautiful Southern California sunshine. We'll pretty much throw anything on the grill...sausage, tri-tip, ribs, chicken, potatoes, garlic bread. you name it, we'll figure out a way to grill it.

And let's not forget the S'Mores...

The other thing I love about summer, is family vacations. Every August when I was a kid, my family would take a vacation...sometimes it was just a quick trip to the desert city of Palm Springs, other trips included Hawaii, Florida, Arizona and Washington. I'm continuing that tradition with my own family.

This summer we're heading to Sea World, with the whol fan-damily! Wish me luck!!!

Thanks for visiting; grab a cold drink and take some time to look around. Let me know if you like what you see!

'Til next time...


Monday, April 26, 2010

Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

Sunday is my stay at home day. At least that's what I try to do. I love being at home, doing the "mom" thing, laundry (yes, I said it), cleaning (ok, maybe notsomuch), preparing meals for the week, and baking. I try to bake one dessert on Sunday, that we can snack on throughout the week.

This weekend I decided to try a new recipe from Eat At Home. Have I mentioned that I love this website? There are lots of new recipe, and easy ones, to try out.

I thought this one sounded good, and looked good too. Here's the recipe as is. I'll add my variations in parenthesis.

Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

2 sticks butter, very soft at room temp

1 cup brown sugar
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw and drain them) at room temp
1 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk, plus 2 whole eggs at room temp (I only had 2 egg, so added about a tablespoon of water instead)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put the rack in the lower third of the oven.

2. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ cake pan that is at least 2 1/2″ deep (I used Pam).

3. Put 1 1/2 sticks of the butter in a large bowl. With a wooden spoon cream the butter with the white sugar and the egg yolk. Switch to a whisk and stir in the whole eggs one at a time. Whisk until the sugar begins to dissolve and the batter looks smooth. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla and salt.

4. Mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a seperate bowl, then add to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. The batter will be satiny.

5. Put the 1/2 stick of butter in the pan and set it in the oven to melt. Pull it out and stir the brown sugar into it. Pat the mixture out in the bottom of the pan as evenly as you can. Put the berries on top of the brown sugar/butter mix. Pour the batter on top of the berries. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 50-60 minutes. Cool 5-10 minutes and then dump it out on a plate.

I think I was expecting something a little sweeter, or maybe richer. It tasted more like a coffee cake to me, or almost like a blueberry muffin. But it was definitely pretty, and tasted yummy!

Linking to Tempt My Tummy and Tuesdays at the Table


They Like Me! They Really Like Me!!

About a week ago, I stumbled upon the blog Life As We Know It With Two Twinkies and a Tater Tot. Heather had just posted about her invitation to enter a submission for Write For Charity, an organization that publishes stories, poetry, etc, to benefit children's charities. She was inviting others to send in submissions, and the deadline was midnight of that day.

I knew it was a long-shot, but I had just posted My Adoption Story and had some positive feedback, so I figured what the heck, I'll send it in.

Well, guess what?? I got an email a very unexpected email Saturday afternoon saying "Congratulations! On behalf of the Selections Committee, I am pleased to inform you that your work, (entitled A Journey of Faith – My Adoption Story), has been selected for the “Write for Charity” Anthology slated for release in May of this year."

Holy cow! Out of over 500 submissions, they chose my story to be one of 101 stories to be published in this book. I am so excited!!! The book is due to be released in May, and I'll let you know where to find me for my book signing! ;)

'Til next time...


This Weeks Menu 4/26/10

I have a confession to make. I have been doing pretty well sticking to my meal plan menu, but Rick worked Saturday night, and I just didn't feel like cooking. So, I served the kids Cambell's Chicken Noodle Soup from a can. Not the Chunky one, either. Good 'ole comfort food, red & white label, condensed soup in a can. I ate it too, and it was sooo good. Don't judge.

There, now that I gor that out of the way, here's this week's menu:

Monday: Tex-Mex Beef Pot-Pie
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Pepper Steak with Spaghetti & Salad
Wednesday: Lemon Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta & Steamed Broccoli
Thursday: Pizza Playdate
Friday: Potluck with friends (Fruit & Spring Greens Salad)
Saturday: Easy Night
Sunday: Easy Cheesy Manicotti, Ceasar Salad, Garlic Bread
Dessert: Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

I'm making up my own variation for Tex Mex Beef Pot Pie tonight. I'll share it if it's any good! :))


Mono Monday - Toe Rings

Alysha, aka Supermom, has started a new blog party, called Mono Monday, with a weekly Black & White photo challenge. The theme for the first week is "You." The idea is for you to get to know ME a little better. There have been other pictures of me on my blog (just look in the top right corner), so I thought I'd get a little creative. This photo may give you a little insight into who I am...

I don't wear a lot of jewelry. I'm not a fan of chunky bracelets or big hoop earrings, and necklaces just bug the heck out of me. But the jewelry I do wear, has meaning. Like the toe-rings you see in the photo. My boyfriend teases me about my toe rings. I love them and think they look darn adorable, but aside from that, are the memories attached to them.

The rings on my right foot, I got in Hawaii about 10 years ago, when we were there for my brother's wedding. It was the last family trip we took together before my dad got sick, and it was a wonderful time of family togetherness. My dad died two years ago, and I think about him and that trip every time I look down.

The ring on my left foot, I got at a Fair the summer I met my BF. It was our fourth date. We held hands for the first time (yup we took it sloooow). Things changed for us in our relationship that night (get your mind out of the gutter), and I smile every time I think about it. :)

Well, there's just a little peek into me. Thanks for visiting my little corner of the blogosphere. Take a look around and let me know if you like what you see. But don't forget to hop on over to Mono Monday and see what others are sharing!

'Til next time...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My To-Do List Progress: Repurposed Dresser turned Buffet

I have been working on slimming down my to-do list. I haven't had too much success, but the little that has been done, I am happy with! I will apologize in advance for the lighting...we don't get much natural light in the kitchen, and the boy was napping when I took photos of his room. Anywho...

This week, we moved the boy's old dresser/changing table into the kitchen to be repurposed as a "buffet" for some additional storage in our little kitchen nook.

Here's the befores:

The dresser in the boy's room

The breakfast nook:

To be fair, we have never had breakfast at this table.

And the afters...

Our repurposed buffet:

I switched out the wooden knobs for Anthropogie-ish ones that I picked up from Home Depot ($4 a piece compared to $10 at Anthro),

and used a long strip of burlap as a runner.

I shopped the house and put together some vignettes of the things I love (it's a work in progress). This photo was taken on a day that holds  very special memories. It's one of my favorite photos of us.

And how cool is this stool?

Since we removed the table, we needed something in the kitchen for seating. My friend has a booth at an antique mall, so I sent her some pics of what I was looking for. When that was running upwards of $120, she found this, for just $35! I wanted something different, a nice contrast to all the wood in the room. I think my little metal stool fits perfectly!

The kid's room got it's reading nook.

The chair is from Pottery Barn Kids. It was a gift, but the slipcover was red, so I purchased a new green one. The Stitch artwork holds special meaning, and the sayings on the wall art are some of my favorite inspiration quotes for children.

I think I still want to get a rug or something for this corner, and maybe hang some cute little birdies from the ceiling, or maybe a tree on the wall. I don't know...what do you think?

Since we are lucky enough to have a huge enclosed patio/playroom (which I'm not going to show you - it's a mess), I just love that this is now the "Quiet Room" reserved for reading and sleeping. We recently transitioned to a big boy bed, and the room got a full make-over. I just love how it turned out, and the reading nook addition is the perfect final touch. I'll give a tour in another post soon.

So, how are we doing on the list?
  • Move the boy's dresser to the kitchen to repurpose as a "Buffet" for more storage.
    • Replace knobs
  • Organize, Sort, and Purge all of the cabinets in the pantry.
  • Move Tupperware from the Pantry to the Buffet.
  • Create a Reading Nook in the kids' room.
    • Get new slipcover for Cooper's chair
  • Organize, sort, and purge all three Hall Closets
  • Organize, sort, and purge Kitchen
  • Organize, sort, and purge Office (this one is the most scary, so it will probably be saved for last!)
  • Organize and purge digital photos onto a seperate hard-drive
  • Organize, Sort, and Purge Playroom
  • Paint Playroom cabinets and add kids handprints
  • New window treatments for playroom
  • Organize, Sort, and Purge Garage
  • Install new shelves in Garage
  • List items on Craigslist
Not bad for a week's work, right? This weekend, the pantry will be organized...or maybe not...I make no promises, except that I WILL take photos! It's going to be quite a feat, and worth showing off!!

'Til next time...


Friday, April 23, 2010

Favorite TV

Welcome! Kick up your feet and stay a while...

The question for the week is: What is your favorite TV show?

Ok, this is tough because I have a few favorites, and for different reasons!

1. Grey's Anatomy
I have followed this little show from day 1. The storyline always keep you on your toes, and really make you wonder "does this stuff REALLY happen???

2. Brothers and Sisters
I am an only child, so watching this family is fascinating to me. Of course, I love Sally Field, she is just amazing on this show. The storylines, in my opinion, are a little more like real life than other shows, and they don't always have happy endings. Hmmm, neither does my life!

3. V
Don't judge. I know, this is just another silly alien show. But the BF and I watch it together and have been sucked in since the beginning. He gets secretly excited on Tuesday nights, when I say, "you wanna watch V?" but just says "well, ok, if you want to." Right, honey.

4. Private Practice
These people are just so messed up that it makes me feel a little better about myself.

5. Big Bang Theory
This one makes me just about pee my pants it's so laugh out loud funny! A bunch of geeky guys and all their techy-trecky stuff. Priceless. Ok, the token dumb blonde is kind of funny too.

We also watch Flash Forward, Desperate Housewives, and Ghost Whisperer. Yes, I said "We." 

Have a great weekend! I'll be spending it with my favorite little boy and my favorite little girl.

Til next time...


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You Capture - SWEET

This week's You Capture Challenge over at I Should Be Folding Laundry, is SWEET.

What is SWEET?

Let me share with you some definitions I found at an online dictionary:

1. dear; beloved; precious.

2. pleasing or fresh to the smell; fragrant; perfumed.

3. having the taste or flavor characteristic of sugar.

Take a little trip over to Beth's blog, I Should Be Folding Laundry, where her photos are just as beautiful as her stories, and see how others interpret this week's challenge.


My First Mother's Day

I found a new blog today - The Goodwin Family. Jenilee hosts a blog carnival every Wednesday called Wednesday's Walk, where bloggers can share their memories through photos with a Walk Down Memory Lane. I love to share stories, and I love to share my photos, so this is perfect for me!

If you have read My Adoption Story, you know my struggle to become a mother. For many years, Mother's Day was one of the most difficult days of the year. But then, my beautiful boy came into my life. After that, Mother's Day took on a whole new meaning. The slate was wiped clean, the sadness melted, and it became a day for me to celebrate!

My boyfriend is a photographer, and was just getting started a few years ago, when I asked him to take some photos of Cooper & me for my first Mother's Day. I thought I would share some of my favorites.