27 January 2015


My Sister-in-Law threw a Cocktail Tutorial Party and asked me to put together a little give away gift. I designed and hand stitched little french-fold brochures and we attached a jigger to each one. Because the brochure was full of recipes I wanted photos that didn't represent Miami circa 1982 so I began the hunt. I found a couple of blogs (here and here) that were filled with beautiful photography of cocktails and recipes. I gave them credit in the brochure, but of course, I'd like to show off their talents here as well. See below for recipes, complements of Elisa Noelle of Bar X.

P.S. I don't actually drink cocktails (though sometimes I wish for them at about 4:00 when my kids are at each other, not doing homework, being uncooperative and snippy. That's when we all need one, right.)

2 oz. Rye
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 Dash Bitters
two hearty shakes of bitter in glass, add vermouth, add rye, drop three broken ice cubes, and stir

2 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz. Dry Vermouth
add vermouth and gin in glass, add ice cubes, stir, add lemon twist

2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
combine all ingredients, shake

2 oz Spirit
1 Sugar Cube
place sugar cube in glass, douse with bitters, add ice, stir, add twist

1 Egg White (set aside)
2 oz Bourbon
3/4 Lemon Juice
3/4 Simple Syrup
5 Ice Cubes
combine bourbon, syrup and juice, add egg white, and dry shake,
add ice cubes, and shake again, double strain into glass, and add line of bitters

1 1/2oz Spirit (Brandy)
1/2 oz Citrus (Lime)
1 oz Cointreau
combine ingredients, and shake

1/2 oz ginger root juice
1/2-1 oz lime
3/4 simple syrup
combine ginger, lime and simple syrup, shake with ice and double strain into glass, top with soda

05 January 2015


I am DROWNING in art. I'm not kidding.... My kids probably produce on average 8 pieces of art daily, and at least 4 pieces that are really adorable and savable... EACH! There is a crazy pile of artwork in my sewing room, another in our home office, the daily schoolwork pile has art from September to now, the art drawer has a pile and then this pile shown below in the photo (note the art boxes, which make it seem like it's organized, but those are jam packed)... there are at least five different places where artwork is being placed in my home.

I consider myself to be pretty organized, but the artwork has gotten out of control. Literally... out of control!! Can you sense the panic? I can't get on top of these piles. So here's my idea...

STARTING NOW, JANUARY 2015 Everything created by my kids will be photographed on my phone and printed into Chatbooks.

After this is set up and rolling, THEN... I'll go through the many piles and edit and keep only the really amazing pieces of art. and file them into my kids craft boxes (see the top left of the photo). Those boxes by the way were meant to be for school, home, and church art up until age five. I currently have two boxes for my six year old, so they need editing too. But again, this is going to get attention after this project is under way.

I've had several chatbooks made already and I love them. They're affordable and easy to use and their customer service is amazing. I've already got an account so I can easily add another book. All I have to do is this:

1. Set up a new email account. I used an old yahoo account from years ago.
2. Set up a new private Instagram account. The downfall to this plan is that Instagram makes you sign out and in of each account which is a huge drag but for this project, I'm willing! I did, however, leave them a comment to get with it and make it easier for people to have multiple accounts.
3. Add a new book to "My Books" in the Chatbooks account (or for those that haven't done it before get the app on your phone and start... it needs to be done on your phone, not the computer).
4. Start taking photos.
5. Start posting photos to the new private Instagram account. Nobody else will see them if you keep it private. Don't add any followers and don't follow anyone.
6. Photos are added to your Chatbooks account in the same order that you add them to Instagram so be mindful of how you want them to appear in your book. You can delete images, but you can't move them around.
7. You'll start receiving books once you subscribe. Each volume is sent out after 60 photos. Chatbooks will send an email to edit your book (change text etc.) and then it comes to your house like magic. Pretty amazing set up, I say.

I've created all kinds of photo books from several sources and this is by far the easiest option. I'm looking for something that will actually get done so it has to be easy. I will shoot art on a daily basis, mostly likely at the end of the day so I only have to log out/in once per day.

Now I won't have to fret when it's time to toss the little love notes and drawings and art created at school and at home. It's also great for the bulky pieces that just don't work well in the filing system.

And THAT is my plan. Pray for me and my piles of madness.

02 January 2015


Well, we're running on empty over here... out of things to do in this 7˚ weather. Too cold for making snowmen or sledding... well, let me take that back, we could do it, but it would last all of 12 minutes. Too much effort for the likes of me.

Running out of crafts to do too. Here's one to share in case anyone out there is feeling the winter blues like we do. Oh fret, we're only in January, we're in trouble!

Toilet Paper Rolls
Paint & Brush - White or Frosty Silvery White
Construction Paper - Red. Orange. Black
Fringe Scissors (not necessary, but certainly fun)
Black Sharpie
Greenery (a small sprig from a garland or the tree is all that is needed)
Hot Glue Gun

1. Paint the toilet paper roll and let dry.
2. Cut two black circles, one slightly larger than the toilet paper roll diameter. The second the same size as the toilet paper roll diameter. Then cut a black strip about 1"x5".
3. Cut a small orange carrot nose
4. Cut a red strip and some fringe for the scarf.
5. When the paint is dry draw on a face. Of course, construction paper eyes, and mouth would be great too.
6. Glue the black strip into a tube that is the same diameter as the smaller black circle. Glue the smaller black circle to the top and the larger to the bottom. Glue that to the top of the snowman.
7. Glue the scarf around the neck and add fringe.
8. Glue a bit of green fir to the top hat and add some small red berries.
9. Glue on the orange carrot nose (my kids opted for no nose).

You can make a whole snowman family if you'd like. And you can make Santa too!