Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas wishes for 'millennial' parents

I read this column in my local paper this morning. As a mom of teen girls for the past 10 years thru the next 7 years, I couldn't agree more! 

By SUZY RYAN - For the North County Times North County Times - Californian
Posted: Monday, December 27, 2010 12:00 am

This holiday season, I'm sending a different kind of request to the North Pole. As a "millennial" mom, I need wisdom to help my children navigate through a changing culture. So, here was my Christmas list to Santa for all parents out there:
1. Help us be invisible "friends" on Facebook to our kids. No embarrassing posts or status updates without permission from our teenagers. And remind us to refrain from constant comments on every new photo of theirs. If the tables were turned, I can't imagine my mom writing on my "wall."

2. Help us mothers not dress to rival our teenage daughters. We are supposed to be mature, so no "Juicy" booty shorts. Please. Now, I'm not advocating Pilgrim chic, but some mothers show so much cleavage that they frighten the males in close proximity.

3. Help us age gracefully. Why compete with the younger version of ourselves? It's not all about us anymore! We enjoyed our day in the sunshine, but we should move from the starring role to a support player. Instead we push up, snip off and trim down, trying to recapture our glory days. With unlimited money, maybe it works for Demi Moore. But when will most of us learn that no amount of exercise, surgery or hair extensions will stop the aging process?

4. Help us be the parents who don't always attempt to please our offspring. This leads to confusion. Although kids may think they want a friend, deep down they really want someone who loves them enough to hold them accountable. When my generation grew up, parents didn't worry about pleasing their children. They expected their children to please them.

5. Help us not take everything personally. We need to "have the heart of the child, the brain of a scholar and skin like a rhino." Yes, it's easier said than done. After almost 20 years as a parent, I'm still struggling with this one.

6. Help us understand the college "panic" and assist with the never-ending selection process. Years ago, when we applied for school, the university gig was a simple report card, ACT and application. In today's world, students even secure themes by junior high with companion websites by high school to compete for coveted college spots.

Over the years, I've teased my "millennials" that I had it tougher than they do. I trudged uphill to school both ways ---- in a blizzard. In North County, we don't have snow, but the relentless pressure on our youth is enormous. This Christmas season, may Santa help my generation be parents whom their teenagers will not want to "unfriend" on Facebook.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Here it is! Fabulously easy Christmas Fudge recipe.

Twenty something years ago, when I was a young wife and mom with little funds for Christmas gifts, I found a cute card with a fudge recipe printed on it. I bought one box of cards and made fudge gifts for friends, neighbors and teachers. Every year I make this fudge. Sometimes for just family and friends, and sometimes for gifts. I have changed it up by using milk chocolate, white chocolate and even mint chocolate flavored chips. I have added nuts, peanut-butter chips, crushed candy canes and sprinkles to the top for decoration. It has been gifted in cute ways, stacked in a martini glass, a chinese take-out container, coffee mugs, and this year in these cute Santa bowls. I hope my co-workers enjoyed the fudge and love the little bowls as much as I did!

The last of the original cards. This year I color copied it, reduced size, and used it for a gift tag. Yummy treat and recipe in one.

Semi-sweet with walnuts and creamy milk chocolate fudge.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sweet Potato Souffle

Thanksgiving is coming! My favorite holiday, family, friends and good food to share. This is my most requested holiday side dish, every year I have to make double so my kids can take some home as leftovers. It is light and fluffy, sweet with a crunchy topping. Very easy to make, everything goes in a big mixing bowl, into the souffle dish then bake. I usually make it the day before because it takes an hour or more to bake and my oven is full of turkey. When the turkey comes out on Thanksgiving, then just pop it in the hot oven to warm up.

Sweet Potato Souffle'

2 - 29oz cans of sweet potatoes

2 cups sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

5 eggs

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

* * *

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3 cups corn flakes crushed

1 cup nuts

mix first 5 items with electric mixer in large mixing bowl

until well blended (will be slightly lumpy)

pour into round casserole dish with high sides, or souffle dish

bake at 350* for 60 - 90 minutes until center is set

combine last 3 items by hand and sprinkle over baked casserole

return to oven and bake until topping is bubbly (apx 15 min)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Years of Memories Album

A few years ago I made this Halloween Album. I put it out in October for all to look through. We love seeing the kids over the years and their costume choices at different ages. There are even some old pics of Mom & Dad in costume.

a Ninja and a dark Princess

Garden theme: beekeeper, baby bee, flower, ladybug

Creative carving

baseball player and a mouse, counting their candy!

fairy princess and scary skeleton

mean girls mouse, 50's carhop and Barbie!

My Little Ponies (remember them?) with dad and mom

ponies and the curious kitten

baby princesses

awesome scarecrow and pregnant bee

toy soldier and sad clown

Keep it simple. Use a few photos that show their costumes and personality. Maybe a shot of the jack-o-lanterns they carved, or your front door decorations. Easy cropping, add the year and a line or two about the night. No page protectors needed. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh, say can you see

I LOVE this! The flags were so beautiful. Walking through the ailes of over 2000 flags was awesome and humbling. Each flag represents a loved one of someone in our community. The flags are placed in neat rows in Town Square Park to honor and remember our veterans.  There is also a cluster of permanent memorials there to visit. Thank you all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ready to Carve Pumpkins?

This weekend we are off to the pumpkin patch with the family, then to Mark & Peggy's to carve pumpkins at their annual carving party. Looking for inspiration for this years pumpkins, always a competition among all the siblings.



Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall = Orange

I'm not sure if it's the Fall season upon us, but I am noticing all things orange. I am loving orange! Such a fresh, happy color. I already have an orange kitchen, now I'm thinking of adding orange to the guest bedroom. Too much?

 My orange kitchen

Orange rug
Orange chest

Orange throw

Orange bedroom

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lemon Cake

Only 4 days left of summer, so here is an easy, yummy summer dessert to try.
**Coming soon: fall recipes - my favorite!**


You 've gotta see this post from Alaskan Crafter it is the cutest little street artist booth I've ever seen. And a talented poet too.

Yup. Like a lemonade stand, except that she sells haiku. A little bit of existential wisdom in a 5-7-5 sized bite. AND, they only cost a suggested donation of $5.75, which goes mostly to a local poetry slam group. She even types them up on an old typewriter for you, how sweet is that? Ahhh, clever and giving at the same time, who is this wonder-woman?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My husband just planted some of the gorgeous rose plants in our backyard. We are hoping to train them to grow up the patio trellis. The variety is "Climbing Cecil Brunner". We had them at our last house, they grow masses of tiny pink flowers on canes that climb 15-20 feet long. They require a little support to keep them upright, but are easy to care for. My new plants are about a foot and a half high right now, but should be blooming next spring.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I was watching a new show the other night, a crime show set in Boston. The main character Rizzoli , was eating a Fluffernutter for lunch. I love Fluffernutter sandwiches, they were a lunch box staple growing up on the east coast. So here you go, try it!

2 slices of bread, spread with 2 Tbs of peanut butter and 2 Tbs of Fluff (marshmallow creme), cutting off the crusts is optional. Delicious! Enjoy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Do you love this !!?

This painted armoire makes me want to go find an armoire to paint! So inspiring. I am helping my (almost) 12yr old daughter redecorate her room and this would so work for her.  Maybe we'll handpaint some cuteness on her existing furniture to compliment her new bed linens.

photo via Better After

Monday, July 12, 2010

Oh, how I wish....

Oh, how I wish my bedroom looked like this -

- ours is currently a (once popular) green paint color with dark wood furniture and a cluttered home office in the retreat area. I am so going to buy some paint this weekend! this month!  And maybe talk my husband into covering our headboard with padding and fabric. Am I crazy? It is supposed to be 102 degrees this weekend. Hold that thought, I'll just shop for fabric, painting can wait til it is cooler.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


My friend Peggy gave me a bag of apples from her backyard tree. So the other day I made some homemade applesauce. It was delicious.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Patriotic Cake

My husband brought home a whole bunch of fresh strawberries, so my daughter made a holiday themed cake and used them on the top. She baked a standard white cake and added royal blue food coloring, white frosting, red sugar and strawberries - easy and delicious!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Perfect Patriotic Grannys

One perfect granny square....

and a pile of 2" granny squares stitched together into this flag....

That will be made into a pillow for July 4th.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Audra's Room

My youngest daughter just finished elementary school and will be starting middle school in August. She is dying for new bedroom decor to match her new maturity. Her bedroom has been a very girly pink for the last 5 years. She is wanting a modern floral with a fresh yellow paint color. I've been cruising the web looking for inspiration, and have found some cute ideas.

This is actually a photo of a painted floor , love the color, love the pattern, it would make
 a fabulous accent wall.


Whimsical table, handpainted, cute idea for a writing desk re-do.

Silver-leaf end table idea could definitely work for a nightstand.

She loves the look of these collectible shelves and turquoise would be a great accent color.
So, we're off to the fabric store to find the perfect modern floral fabric!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crochet Tradition

I learned to crochet from my grandma when I was in grade school. She taught me the granny square and basic stitches. Over the years I taught myself to read patterns and learned more challenging stitches. I tried to teach all my girls the craft, but only two of my five daughters picked it up. My second oldest has a lot of friends who are expecting and she has been crocheting the sweetest baby layettes. Here are a couple photos and the link to her blog.

(P.S. I still love the granny square!)