Friday, November 30, 2007

Holly Claus The Christmas Princess...

Little c is reading the novel The Legend of Holly Claus and really loving it. I think that she would also enjoy this picture book. I was shopping at BN the other day and looked through this book which confirmed my view that some of our best art is found in Children's Picture books. Jeffrey K. Bedrick is the illustator of this book, and the pictures he's created are so imaginative.. simply amazing.

Merry Christmas Ornament Box...

You've seen the pink ornament box posted below, this box is one that I made on the road to making the other box. I hardly ever get a new design just as I'm imagining it in the first try. But, I think this box still turned out pretty cute, (the glitter on the ornament didn't photograph well) and it's going in
this morning...

Wrapped and Shipped...

I like to wrap the boxes in this shred and then in tissue so that they arrive in perfect condition. Then, I take them all packaged cute to the post office. My post office has employed one or two guys that like to be funny. Last time I was at the post office, I told the postman that my package was fragile (I wanted him to put that orange sticker on it) and he asked me if I'd wrapped it properly. I told him that I thought so. He held that package above his head and asked me if I would be comfortable if he dropped it (I am not making this up). "Not really comfortable," I said. He told me I should probably re-pack it. Then he told me that my box would be stacked under other boxes up to weights of 70 pounds. It's a miracle they all don't arrive "schmooshed" (this ought to be a technical postal term). So, I told him that I was in a rush and I had to ship it now and I asked him if rather than a "fragile" sticker, I could get one that said, "place on top" and "only toss underhand". But, I'm putting more peanuts in the box next time for sure.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I've been finishing up some monograms recently. Here are two in pink and green (my favorite!) The top one seems to be for a little dancer. I put the ribbons to add a feeling of motion, they also make me think of point shoes, but I don't know if she's a ballerina or not.

I'm hoping to finish a world travel box this week and get my Christmas tree up... and the cards mailed out... and. and. What Christmas project are you doing today?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


There will be a few more Christmas ornament boxes in

later today. They have a new quote inside however,

"Love was born at Christmas... Christina Rossetti"

Stephens Chocolate Mint Truffle...

This is another one of my favorite holiday treats made right here in Utah. It's the best! I love the Mint Truffle flavor the most of all. If it's not available at your local market, you can purchase some here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Quotes..

Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion.
~Ralph Stockman

Mexican Paper Flowers...

I like to decorate my tree with Mexican Paper Flowers, but every year I think maybe not this year. Paper flowers don't save well from year to year. You can save them. When I used to do a crepe-paper flower tree (which was just insanity) the flowers were good for about 3 years in a row. I just love the way it looks when it's finished I guess, because I can't stop myself even though making the flowers has ceased to be fun and I find myself in envy of people who get their decorations out of a box (what a great idea!). We tend to be a bit Christmas crazy around here. Well, I still need to make the orange flowers and when I get them up.. I'll show you.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas Movies...

I love Charlie Brown.. The music from his Christmas special reminds me of the good kind of Christmas busyness. It makes me think of making cookies, going to concerts, wrapping pretty packages... all that stuff. We make sure to see it every year as well as several others that are part of our Christmas movie collection. What's your favorite? Actually C hates that kind of question so let me re-phrase... what's a favorite Christmas movie that you love to see this time of year?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving...

Lincoln's Thanksgiving Address

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.
We know that by his divine law, nations, like individuals, are subject to punishments and chastisements in this world May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins; to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has grown.
But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole of the American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
-President Abraham Lincoln16th president of the USA

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Christmas Box...

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
Hamilton Wright Mabie


I wanted to participate in Natasha's Prom, but I swear to you that I couldn't find a single High School photo of myself other than the ones in the year book (they're too small). I don't know what has happened to them all. I really looked and I just came across case after case of pictures of little c. Anyway, I did wear those sparkly earrings to several formal dances. They sure pinch, I've never pierced my ears and these particular clips are just mean. I didn't wear the necklace below to prom, but I wore it in High School all the time. I begged for this necklace and got it for my birthday one year I think. Cute huh? They are called parrot pearl, but I like to call them my pig pearls.. it's more fun to say. :) Happy Prom everyone!


I love Hershey's Kisses... I like the pretty silver foil and the pink foil in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is very fetching, but I loved the Mint Green Kisses for Christmas best of all, but now they are Mint Truffle and I don't love them so much, they are just ok.. which is ok I suppose. I won't be putting on the Christmas 5lbs.. What's your favorite Christmas treat?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Charlotte's Web...

I loved Charlotte's Web. When the film came out, I loved it so much as well. This theme song written by David Stewart and Glen Ballard perfectly captures the amazing sweetness of E.B. White's story. I've heard this song now on the radio a million times and now it's on a TV commercial, but I don't get tired of it. I just don't. It is a little miracle in itself. I am so grateful for so many things today and if indeed as I recently read we create a "life soundtrack".. Today, I would want this song to be on it. I hope you have a week of miracles to be grateful for as well.

It’s not that unusual when everything is beautiful
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
The sky knows when its time to snow
You don’t need to teach a seed to grow
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
Life is like a gift they say
Wrapped up for you everyday
Open up and find a way
To give some of your own
Isn’t it remarkable?
Like every time a raindrop falls
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
Birds in winter have their fling
And always make it home by spring
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
When you wake up everyday
Please don’t throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part
Of the ordinary miracle
Ordinary miracle
Do you want to see a miracle?
It seems so exceptional
Things just work out after all
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
The sun comes up and shines so bright
It disappears again at night
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
It’s just another ordinary miracle today
... Lyrics written by David Stewart and Glen Ballard

The Sugar Plum Fairy & The Toy Soldier...

Every year as a family tradition, we go to see The Nutcracker. We love to do this, even C who loves everything Christmas. It's funny though how each time we go it captures little c's imagination in a different way. I always ask her if she were in it, what part she would like to play and then she asks me (my answer never changes, I want to be the snowflake princess). Little c has always wanted the really big parts too. She wanted to be Clara and then She wanted to be The Sugar Plum Fairy. But this year, when I asked, I was amused to find that in her heart of hearts, she really wants this year to be the soldier "that gets to shoot the Mouse King". Little c has had a super-hero complex going for awhile now, so I guess this fits.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Heart Boxes..

These were added to..

Rovalis Ristorante Italiano

Davis County is such a wonderful place to live. We have everything here except great restaurants. (You wouldn't dare put that we have a Wendy's in the comments:) Oh I shouldn't say there are none, but in Davis County without going into the city there are very few good restaurants that I know of. In the burbs you get chain restaurants and some are ok sometimes, but I never wake up with a hankering for Red Robin.

There are a few good resteraunts that are not the chain variety. Roosters and Corbins are very good. MacCools is good. There's Robintinos, but I understand from a few people that it's an acquired taste that you have when you grow up in "the county". Some time ago we got a family owned (this is important) Mexican Restaurant named Pepper Belly's. I was so excited when I went the first time. It's decorated so fun and you'll have a great experience there as long as you only order a soda. The place is generally (with one or two exceptions) know be awful in the worst way. I swear to you that they buy the chips in bulk from Sam's Club and everything, everything has Pace Picante on it. Now Pace Picante sauce has it's uses. I have a great recipe, believe it or not, for salsa that you make with a base of Pace Picante Sauce, but no self-respecting Mexican Food lover likes it alone and they will not believe my recipe either (until they try it).

I digress. Anyway, my friend Circe recommended a new Italian place in Layton, I can't remember the name of any place ever, so I forgot, but I think this was it. Rovalis! It was great! Mostly really great. C was a little bugged that his veggies had been the frozen/then steamed variety. But, I don't know if I want to knock off points for that because you really aren't supposed to review a restaurant after visiting there once. So, maybe the frozen veggies aren't regular fair. I hope not. However, the rest of the meal was just delicious. The place was light and bright, reasonably priced, and had a really decent kids menu. It is family owned. The service was great. They say that they make all of their desserts right there fresh, and they looked delish, but we were too full to sample them.

I hope they make a big success, but if you are dining in Layton, trade the chain Olive Garden and the like, for a real family owned real, and delicious restaurant. Help them make it a big success. Maybe I'll see you there, but don't sit too close because they have a special garlic dish I'm trying next!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Big Boxes...

I am frquently asked if I can paint more of my boxes in the largest size. I guess I must like the medium size the best because I like to paint that size and I mostly have mediums, but these boxes are listed in the shop and they are the larger size for anyone who is interested you can see them over in...


Last night we went to see Hairspray at the dollar theater. All the kids seemed to really like it except for my nephew Chris who hated it so much that his ears were beet red when we came out of the theater. It was a little long for me, but what a talented cast. Some of the singing and dancing was amazing. It was difficult for me to get over John Travolta playing the mother, but even in a chubby suit, the man still has some pretty good moves. His makeup must have taken 10 hours. Queen Latifa sparkled like a Christmas ornament through the whole thing.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Martha Ornaments...

If you haven't been to K-mart recently, it sure is a fun place. I love all of these ornaments from Martha's Sugar Plum Dreams collection. I did wish that they were made a bit better. The painting on the wooden animals was just a light spray, easily chipped. I had the same opinion of the cars and planes (plus, I worried a bit about the lead paint/China thing). I only bought the blue amigurumi elephant. He's much cuter in real life, but also could have been better made. However, these ornaments were all selling for $2.24....

Mozart and the Whale...

A heartbreaking film about two people with Asperger's Syndrome. Josh Hartnett plays Donald a guy who is brilliant with numbers, but who can't keep a job driving a taxi. He starts a group for people who have similar handicaps where he meets and falls in love with Isabelle played by Radha Mitchell.

Very tender in parts, this movie is also very rough in places. It could have been edited better as well, it was not seamless. But, the acting was really amazing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Wooden Wagon...

In all the craziness surrounding lead paint in toys and toy recalls of every kind, I appreciate the values of companies like The Wooden Wagon. These toys are made to be heirlooms and at a very reasonable cost. The dyes used are often vegetable dyes.
Little c began collecting these little hand-carved Ostheimer Dogs this year. She has the two shown (and she's getting the St. Bernards for Christmas... shhhh don't tell). I was thinking of getting this little angel for myself (Merry Christmas to me...) It looks like a little angel that I love.

Hyper Dash...

I really like the idea of this game for kids. It's a get up off the couch sort of really fun, outside for kids, tag game.
How to play:
Hyper Dash consists of one electronic tagger and five different colored and numbered targets. The tagger plays pre-recorded music and calls out which targets you need to strike. It tracks the amount of time taken to complete each course. The tagger uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to recognize the targets, which can be set up side-by-side, or spread out across the length of a football field. There's no limit to the distance between targets. Farther targets result in more running and exercise. Hyper Dash can be played indoors or outdoors; solo, in pairs, or in teams.
I don't really know if I like this for a Christmas Gift... simply because if the weather is bad.. you can't play it in the house (I'd go mad) but I love the idea for summer and children's parties.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Longfellow, Paul Revere & Our Veterans...

My sister, the English teacher, sent me this amazing article about a great American Poet. I enjoyed it very much. And since it's Veteran's Day today, or at least we are celebrating it today, I want to share a favorite poem about one of America's first Veterans in honor of all the great and good men and women who have kept and continue to keep us free. God Bless our fighting men and women stationed all over the globe today.

Listen my children and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere... Read the rest here.

Dinner at Home...

Imagine the photo on the left is of the cook. That's how frustrating I find cooking sometimes. I have all of 3 fool proof ideas for dinner and my family, although kind and patient always, is kind of sick of my ideas. Still, I love a nice dinner at home, not so much the food, (I love spicy and I don't know how to make it..) it's the company I love.

In addition to the company, we now have a family dinner game, thanks to my new friend Barbara. Thank you Barbara! She gave me this beautiful jar and inside were all these really fun questions. The idea is to get a great conversation started that includes your children.

Our question of the night... "What other country would you choose to live in and why." I said that I would like to live in Sorrento, Italy. It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. It seemed quieter there and so beautiful overlooking the ocean. Little c thought she'd like to live in Sweden because it's so beautiful and balmy there. When we explained about the climate, she was more attached to her decision because she loves snow too. C said he'd like to live in Santiago, Chile. Who knew. I may have never known that C liked Santiago so much and that little c wanted most of all to visit Sweden. Maybe we should visit those places together some day.

All the questions are really fun and we've had a ball with them night after night. We've been through them all and changed them a little. We've made up some of our own. Little c says as I put the plates on the table, "Will we play the question game tonight?"

Barbara gave me a paper written by Shirley R. Klein associate professor, School of Family life at Brigham Young University which reads in part, "Children who do not eat dinner with their families are 61 percent more likely to use alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs.... Teens who eat frequent family dinner are less likely than other teens to have sex at young ages, get into fights, or be suspended from school, and they are at lower risk for thoughts of suicide..."

My mother is homemaker extraordinaire. I ate every night on beautiful china plates. We always used napkins at the table and we always had a salad and usually two veggies. Don't get me wrong, we ate too many sweets and tons of ice-cream every year. We weren't perfect, but we had a beautiful meal every night together as a family. As an adult and a mother, I often think what an amazing gift that was. It's a gift that I'd like to give to my daughter as well. I'm not as fancy, but it's the being together and the veggies that really count.

So, what is your best 10 min. recipe for someone who doesn't love the kitchen part. I've already shared my healthy pizza recipe with you. Then, if you want to e-mail me at and I will e-mail you back some of Babara's great questions. Then, cut them up and either fold them or roll them up and put them in a jar that can be set on the table at dinner time.

PS.. Ok. so, I didn't share my healthy pizza recipe, but here it is. French Bread halved. Pizza spread. Turkey pepperoni (it's truly delish folk and 80% less fat) low fat mozzerella cheese. 6 minutes at 400 degrees and 4-5 minutes under the broiler. Prep time is literally 4 minutes and served with salad.. it's a great dinner.

The Bee Movie...

This is a pretty cute film. I thought the writing could have been tighter and that there are a lot more interesting facts about Bees that could have been included (yes, my nerdy family and I have just watched a documentary film about bees... fascinating). But, the bright fun colors and the amazing art (every bee dresses a bit differently.. not to mention the cute bee houses and bee swimming pools). "Box Kite!" ... That's my favorite part!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Gift of Life...

When giving gifts this Christmas time... this article written by my favorite columnist is a must read.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Something The Lord Made...

This film based on true events is a masterpiece. The script is tight. The acting is superb. Something magic happens when movies like this are made because they show human beings what they can be. This film is perfect in my opinion and I think your heart will pound in your chest as you watch this inspiring story.
If you don't watch this film after that recommendation... it's just not my fault.
Have a great weekend everyone. :)

My Birthday Party...

I never have a beautiful day for my birthday party... It's almost always sleeting, but look at this day... and I had garden roses on my table. My roses are doing amazing. A friend told me that my roses were a birthday gift from heaven. I certainly felt that way. I hope you had a beautiful day as well.