so typical & advice please

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I have decided that my new mode of parenting, well actually just living, is to keep myself in a continual state of barely treading water. It seems the minute I start to feel like I kind of have things under control, I decide to throw something else into the mix–why? WHY?

This is an alarming (and probably boring to read about) trend for me since Amanda was born. I seem to want to constantly feel like I barely have things under control. Well, my latest adventure was making bread. Michael’s wonderful Mom makes bread. Michael really wishes he had access to her dense, soft, whole wheat slices 24-7. Michael’s wife has purchased and thrown out 3 big pouches of yeast waiting to be inspired to make said bread. It just seems so intimidating with the grinding, and the kneading, and the proofing. (Okay, I’m done.) Anyway, I finally gave in and went for it last week. Afterall, LuAnn assured me that it is the easiest recipe ever. The mixer does all the work–and here’s where we hit the problem. My trusty little Kitchenaid (Artisian) seemed to explode with dough as I added in the 5 cups (out of 10) of flour. Flour went everywhere and dough rose up the mixing arm and gummed up everything it could under the head of the mixer. I wish I would have had the presence of mind to take a picture; but I was too busy trying not to panic. I pulled out the dough and cleaned up. I cut the dough in half and put a section back in the bowl. I can handle kneading two batches. We’re still okay. As I am keeping kids happy, cleaning up the rest of the mess, etc. I start to smell that dread-inducing electrical burn smell. I turn around like the heroine in a horror film. There is smoke pouring out of the head of the mixer! The humanity! I finish kneading by hand. I only get 2 more cups of flour in. The bread still manages to turn out very dry. (Though thankfully edible.) It actually doesn’t even look too bad.

So now, finally to the question:

I need a new mixer. What do you recommend? I have looked at everything and they all have very mixed reviews. You Bosh lovers, do you use your Bosch for everything else or do you use something else to make cakes, cookies, whipped cream, etc.? We are almost ready for round 2 of the bread-baking cahllenge. I need to get something. Sigh, thanks for listening.

oh. my. goodness.

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I just saw an add for the Cricut Cake. Scrapbookers have heard of this machine that makes custom diecuts. Well, now they have one that cuts food. That’s right. You can cut intricate fondant overlays and greetings for your cakes. I will probably never own one, I mean really, it’s over the top. Just have to say that is jaw-dropping, crazy cool, foodie tech, people. Just had to share.

headbands & hardware winner

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I wish I had a giveaway for everyone (although, your odds are probably better than anywhere else…so keep trying. With only 8 people to compete against, I can almost guarantee something this year.) The giveaways will continue–I think it is fun. Okay, back to the game, the winner is:

Julie K: “I’m not on facebook or on twitter. But please enter me I would love to win!”

Julie, you should receive your gift certificate via email soon. Let me know if you have any problems.

For everyone else, don’t forget you can still use the 15% off coupon code.  Deedee, I do have a couple of the sport headbands and they are great. Andrea, that floppy satin headband would look so, so cute on you! I almost bought that one (and have seen it in person.) It is darling! But it didn’t work with my out of control curls. : D

love these girls

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This is a pretty good snapshot of our little world: Emily in her swimming suit, Meg in a dress and holding Amanda. They are best buds. No one get Amanda to laugh quite like Meg does. I love it!

headbands & hardware give-away

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One of the things I have been trying to brush up a little lately is my Adobe CS prowess (such that it is.) I designed this postcard for a new, and downright fabulous, site called Headbands & hardware.

I have recently acquired several new hair adornments myself. I love that they make me feel hip and cute despite my current jolly physique. : D Hehe. Amanda is well worth the baby weight. Everything is super well-made and I have even been dressing up my sad “I showered, but didn’t do my hair-so what?” pony tails with darling flowers, feathers, and jewels.

…and Headbands & hardware have been gracious enough to offer one you a $20 gift certificate! I am going to take a leaf out of DeeDee’s book for the entry method. Here’s what to do:

1 entry for checking out H&h and leaving a comment telling me what you would buy with the gift certificate (no anonymous comments)
1 entry for posting about this giveaway on your blog
1 entry for becoming a follower of my blog
1 entry for linking to this post on your facebook status
1 entry if you tweet about this giveaway
2 entries if you buy something from H&h–and tell us what you got!
*No points for mentioning my creative genius in making their postcard, but flattery is appreciated. lol

*Entries must be received by midnight on Thursday (4/22), the winner will be announced Friday.

Now, if you don’t get the give-away, don’t fret. You can enjoy 15% off of your order by using the code HH15 at checkout. Happy shopping!

oh that deedee!

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Well, I have been practically living under a rock the last 2 weeks while painting the girl’s room. (Pictures to follow very soon.) In the meantime, I logged into my reader tonight and saw that DeeDee is doing a ton of great getaways. If one of you 3 (very dear and wonderful) readers happens to read this tonight, hop over and get yourself entered into one or two of them!

eggshell mosiacs

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I love these because they have such a pretty, delicate look and it is a super easy project. The great thing is that you can do something like mine in about 30-40 minutes or spend a lot of time and have a frame-able piece of art by filling in the whole picture.

materials:

eggshells from colored eggs*

white school glue

heavy cardstock (Tag or mat board is ideal; a dark color tends to look better.)

toothpicks

pencil

*If you don’t have shells from Easter eggs, make an omelet for breakfast and rinse the shells. You can put them into a few small bowls and just barely cover with water. Add  several drops of food coloring and let it sit for a minute or two. Drain on paper towels and you are good to go.

directions:

1. Sketch a simple design or picture on the board.

2. Using a toothpick, spread glue onto a small section of the picture.

3. Arrange the eggshells to fill in the area. Keep it simple, or use variations in the hue and intensity of the color to create shading. It also looks great to use similar tones in an area. (ie. oranges, and yellows or blues and purples together.)

4. If desired, embellish with glitter, paint or even sequins, buttons, ribbons and such… whatever works with the design.

Megan’s house with fluffy clouds and trees.

Emily wanted to add paint. (Actually, we spent about 20 min. on the mosaics, then the girls moved on to all paint.) This is her “tower, with Jasmine and rain clouds/drops in the sky and mud on the ground…” with the original flower in the center. That girl comes up with quite the story for each picture. She cracks me up!  As you can tell, the patience that mosaics tend to take really show in the outcome. The girls (3 and 5) thought this was fun. An older artist will actually make something that looks cool. (This isn’t the first time I have wished I had a 10 year old around! :D)

happy easter

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We had such a fun-packed Easter. The girls were overcome with excitement at waking up to an egg hunt. My favorite thing was following them around as they gave little yips of excitement at finding a new egg. Megan asked if the Easter Bunny “visits all of the children of the world.” (Hehe, where does she get the cheesiness??) After watching conference, we hopped (haha) down to my parents for an Easter lunch and egg hunt. Then we came home, finished up conference and headed over to the Jensen’s for dinner, an Egg hunt, and the annual Egg drop. Notice a theme? Let me give you a hint, it involves buckets full of candy. : D The girls were in heaven!

Really, I am not sure what’s going on here, but I thought it was funny!

Every year Jensens of all ages engineer crash protection for a raw egg; which is dropped off of Grandma Verna’s roof. The dropping turns to throwing, and then to throwing harder and farther, until all of the eggs crack. Michael did very well with his nerf football holder. Weston was the winner. He made a tubular cradle out of straws and packing tape then added balloons to slow the fall.

As you eat your eggs, save the shells. I will post a project to do with them on Wednesday. Happy Easter!