Friday, December 21, 2012

I've moved....

For those of you who have sent emails of concern and thoughtful wishes... THANK YOU!! It is comforting to know you are out there thinking of me.

Most of you know I have a new blog and moved over to a wordpress site. The focus of my posts have changed a bit and I felt it prudent to begin all over again with a new format... and new name.

For years people have listened to my life stories and commented, "You should write a book"! On leap day 2012 I made the major life changing decision to listen to everyone and really work on writing. The going is slow... but I hope to have a real 'page turner' when all is said and done.

I invite you to continue following me at If you sign up before midnight Dec. 31, 2012 you will automatically be entered into the chance to winning a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Thank you for following me in the past, and I hope you will consider following me in the future.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Time to bead!!!

I had a few moments free recently and decided it was time to clear out some of my bead stash. Leather wrap bracelets were the answer!!! Aren't they pretty? Both are for sale in my ETSY SHOP:

Black/Bronze Crystal with Black Leather
Teal Pearlized Leather

Yesterday I sorted through some buttons looking for teeny tiny ones to make a button bracelet. When I finished and moved the box out of my way... I saw...

A heart for Valentine's Day!!! 
It formed all by itself... with no help from me. 

Meanwhile... to keep my mind busy I have become OBSESSED with 2 new sites... PINTEREST and TOPHATTER. 

Pinterest - is a virtual bulletin board. You can have as many boards as you want, name them whatever you want, and pin whatever you want from any site on the web. PLUS... you can follow your friend's (or any one else too) pin and they can follow you. There are lots of tutorials on DIY projects and TONS of creative inspiration. Follow me!!!

Top Hatter - is a real time auction site. A lot of ETSY sellers auction their things, supplies, crafts, etc on this site. You have to be available for the auctions, and check out via paypal. I have my first lot of supplies going up on the block tomorrow at 10:00am. Check it out!

Check this blog on Monday to see what happened this weekend at my house. I'll give you a hint: It's the first thing I wanted to do when I bought this house a year ago. It's a DREAM COME TRUE for me!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Banana Bread Day!!!

By SPECIAL REQUEST... I baked some banana bread today. Not just any old banana bread... but the BEST BANANA BREAD in the whole darn Universe. Why is it the best??? Because it's not good for you... that's why.

Here's my super easy... yummy for the tummy recipe:
1 cup sugar
1 8oz package cream cheese (softened)
2 (or 3) VERY ripe bananas
2 eggs
2 c Bisquick (or any other brand Buttermilk Pancake Mix)

1. With electric mixer cream the sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy. 

2. Beat in 2 mashed (or 3 if they are small) bananas.

3. Beat in the 2 eggs.

4. NOW... add the Bisquick mix... and quickly TURN OFF the mixer. THIS IS THE SECRET TO GREAT BANANA BREAD!!! You want the dough to be lumpy. Otherwise it will get gummy and taste AWFUL!

Notice the lumps??? 

5. Pour into a greased loaf pan (I use PAM spray). 

*Important.. don't forget to leave some batter on the beaters to lick while waiting for the bread to bake. Yes, REALLY! Salmonella poisoning be damned!

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

7. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from pan. TRY to wait until it's cool to eat. If you can't wait... then add some Vanilla Ice Cream for an extra special treat :-) 

This recipe DOES NOT double well!

Because this bread is so popular, I have to bake 4 loaves just so I get to have a piece or two. Some day I will invest in another loaf pan... but until then I bake them one at a time. For best results and a nice crunchy crust I use a clay loaf pan. Mine is from The Pampered Chef... but there are many different ones on the market that bake just as well.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Where's the cold weather???

Did I hibernate through winter??? The calendar says February 1st... but the thermometer says it's Spring. What the heck???

I made Hot Chocolate sticks to share with my neighbors... to keep everyone nice and toasty warm. See????....

You thread one of these home made chocolate fudge squares on to a wooden skewer... top with a home made marshmallow square from a previous post... and ta dah... a Hot Chocolate Stick. The idea is to warm a cup of milk, stir the chocolate and float the marshmallow. 
YUMMMMM.... Down home goodness!
BUT... the weather is NOT co-operating and it's too damn warm to be drinking hot chocolate. 
I guess I should make a lemonade mix instead???

BTW... the weather isn't stopping me from EATING the chocolate squares... he.. he!
Whoopie!!!! More for me!!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Run Lauren, Run!!!

Disneyland, California

I am PROUD to say I had the pleasure of being in California this past weekend to cheer my daughter on as she ran the Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon in Disneyland!!! She walked/ran 13.1 miles in 3 hours 25 minutes... which isn't too bad for her very first (of many more to come) runs. 

Our hotel was located at the 7 mile mark... so I was able to catch her as she ran by... with a smile still on her face. Considering the start time was 5:45 AM and we were in the park the whole day before and stayed until 9:45 PM... I was stunned she was still standing!

I painted her T-shirt with wings and her url... for advertising purposes. Next stop is Disney World in Florida at the end of this month. One thing I learned on this trip was that I am a slacker as far as support cheering goes. So many other moms, husbands, boyfriends, etc made signs, blasted "Rocky" music and more for motivation. I can assure you... I can fulfill my duties with gusto at the next run... unless I decide to run myself. Hey... ya never know!


I hate having my picture taken... so here I am in shadow. Yup... I'm wearing my Mickey Ears. Black and red sequins make them dressy. I fit right in with the rest of the tourists... he... he.
We rented a FIAT. Zippy, fun, and fuel efficient. Driving on the 101, 110, 405, 105, & 5 was certainly an experience I will never forget. My destination may have been 35 miles as the crow flies, but consistently took 1 1/2 hours travel time. UGH! I never thought I would be happy back on the New Jersey Turnpike.

I met up with an old High School friend for dinner... and hung out with my son (who lives out there) for 2 days. Sleep??? Oh... was I supposed to sleep while there? I knew I forgot to plan something!
At least I got to work on my tan :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Many, many moons ago Martha Stewart Living magazine did a spread on homemade marshmallows. I was intrigued. At the time, my friend Rennie said... "Why would you go to all that trouble when you can buy them at the store for under a dollar?" Since I was a busy wife and mom with 3 kids, a business, a girl scout troop, and running the PTA at the time... I put the idea of making these tender little puffs of sugar out of my head. Besides... other than Rice Krispy treats and S'mores when did I really eat marshmallows?

Now that I am much older (and wiser?) I have decided it's time to tackle the candy thermometer! It has been hanging out in my kitchen drawer unused long enough. It's time that thing earned it's keep.

With recipe in hand I grabbed my equipment, ingredients, and dug out the thermometer. Turned off the phone, cranked up the music, rolled up my sleeves and turned to the stove. Let's do this!!!

Well... it was so easy! I was ready to do battle... and there was no battle to fight. Everything went so smoothly... Amazing! The hardest part was waiting overnight for the marsh to mallow... to set up enough to cut into squares. Don't worry... there was enough on the beaters to lick :-)

So... to reply to Rennie's comment (even if it is over 10 years or more delayed)... "Because they are absolutely delicious and taste like no other marshmallow you have ever eaten... and it was FUN!!!"

Marshmallow Recipe


  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin... like Knox
  • 1 c cold water
  • 1 1/2 c regular sugar
  • 1 c light corn syrup
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c confectioners' sugar
  • Butter


Pour gelatin in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Add 1/2 c cold water. Let sit.
In a small saucepan combine remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes... don't peek. Uncover, clip the candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until thermometer reads 240 degrees F, about 7 to 8 minutes. 
Remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix another minute.


Butter bottom and sides of a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar to coat.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a buttered spatula. Sprinkle top lightly with confectioners' sugar. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.


Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel or knife dusted with confectioners' sugar. Roll each marshmallow gently in the sugar. Store in an airtight container up to 3 weeks.

1. Butter is your best friend. It keeps the mixture from sticking to everything. Some people sprayed their pan with cooking spray... you can too... however the oil pools in the corners and makes your marshmallows a little slimy looking and grayish. 
2. Adding a 1/4 c cornstarch to the confectioners' sugar is in a lot of recipes. I didn't like the flavor so omitted it with no problem. Add it if you wish... or not.
3. Think of all the flavor combos you can do!!! Switch the vanilla extract with peppermint. I actually have Chocolate extract... hmmm... a little cocoa powder... some chips... I think I have the makings of Chocolate marshmallows!!!
4. Water is your next best friend. Let your sauce pan, mixing bowl, beaters and all soak in warm water. It makes clean up fast and easy. 

In anticipation of our first nasty weather tonight... I am going to make hot chocolate squares to combine with the marshmallows and deliver them to all of my neighbors tomorrow. Watch for that post!!
Stay warm!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Year... New ME!

Hello everyone!! It's a NEW YEAR... and a NEW ME! I hope you all are just as excited about 2012 as I am. The end of 2011 was a bit rough for me, but I took stock of my life and decided that I was better off than a lot of other folks in my area... so I slapped a smile on my face... made a bunch of New Year's Resolutions... painted a sign to hang on my wall as a constant reminder... took a deep breath and leapt forward with a new outlook on life.

Here's the sign. 
It gets a little crooked towards the bottom, but I was in a rush to finish it and hang it up. 
Oh well.

#1. Be Happy... I don't think this needs an explanation. Right?

#2. Use Up Craft Supplies... Hence the card photo at the top of this blog. I have enough craft supplies around this house to create anything I want at any given moment. I've made a conscience decision to NOT purchase another thing without figuring out how to use what I already have on hand. I look at things in a whole new light and have been much more creative about thinking 'outside the box'. Try it... you'll see what I mean.

#3. Sit Down To Eat... A lot of my 'meals' (if that's what you want to call them) are eaten standing at the kitchen sink. It's time to grow up and be an adult. So what if I'm eating by myself... that doesn't mean I can't be civilized. 

#4 Reach Out To Family & Friends More... Yeah, that's a good one for me. I tend to 'hole up' and shut out the ones who know me best. I need to remember that others need a phone call, a shared experience, a little shot of happiness as much as I do. It keeps people connected and makes life more interesting.

#5 Make Lists... I should have added 'and don't leave them on the kitchen counter when you leave the house' to this one. I get annoyed at myself when I return home and realize I forgot to run that ONE errand I so desperately needed to do. I get distracted easily.

#6 Eat Breakfast... Slamming a piece of toast in my mouth doesn't count. Start off the day with a clear head and a full stomach and things will go smoother.

#7 Shop Independents... Let's keep the Mom & Pops open!! They have mouths to feed too. Yeah I know, it's cheaper to shop at the chains, but every town is beginning to look the same and have no personality. Spending a dollar more for an item at an independent can be compensated for by purchasing less overall. In the long run your outgoing expenditures will be less, and the small independents will still be around to serve you.

#8 Moisturize... Some days I feel my skin is as rough as a crinkled old dry leaf. Especially my hands. UGH! 

#9 Pack A Healthy Snack... Every time I leave the house I make sure to pack a healthy snack. It keeps me away from the fast food and junk until I can get home to make something more nutritious. Most of the time it works; however every once in a while I just HAVE to have Peanut M&Ms, Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, or Snickers Bar. My wallet thanks me, as well as my heart and waistline.

#10 Create... Duh! I live and breathe to create... how about you?

So.... Did YOU make any New Year's Resolutions?? Are you still following them?