Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thank You Haworth Handmade

I have been a little behind in my blog reading due to Easter break and the bunny and eggs and all, and finally got a few moments to catch up on the blogosphere. I was a few weeks past due so you can imagine my surprise when I opened one of my favorite blogs to read called

Under Construction and found out that I was one of the winners of her Pay-It-Forward Contest. It is written by the ever-so-talented seamstress and woodworking extraordinaire, Melissa Haworth. Also a Craft Mafia sister of mine. I was so behind in my reading that she had posted it before Easter and I had not yet seen it. So I am so excited to get a little package in the mail from her. I love reading Melissa's blog because: 1) I can totally relate to her when she tells of her toddler tales with Biscuit 2) She sells such cool stuff and is a totally talented woodworker, seamstress and crafter (as mentioned above.) 3) Her tutorials rock! - She has done two just recently on using a rotary cutter properly (which I haven't been) and one on how to make a log cabin quilt square. Both were super informative for those of us who have never made a quilt but long to be a fabulous quilter. So thanks Melissa.

So the Pay-It-Forward contest is now going to be paid forward. Please leave a comment on this post about how you would pay it forward if you were given $1,000.00, and I will draw three commenter's names out of hat on April 6 for a special surprise from Pink Petunia Designs. The only request is that you pay-it-forward to three more individuals. It can be big or small. Whatever you can do. So comment away!

Friday, March 28, 2008

What I Did On My Spring Break

So I never told you what I did over Spring Break. The Peanut was off of school of course and the Trotti Family from Texas came to stay with us for the week. There was six Trotti's that came for a visit. Grandma Trotti, Aunt Trotti, Uncle Trotti and three kiddo Trottis. The week started out with a bang. We traveled to Yuba City to visit our new niece. She is already growing like a weed. We ate lots of Girl Scout Cookies and some yummy homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade french bread. We headed to the park where the menfolk played a little ball and the womenfolk attempted to put a kite in the air. It didn't really work, but it was fun trying. We ended the day with some yummy cupcakes. Thanks Brother-in-law and sister-in-law!

The next day we took a trip to Scandia. It has been a while since I have been there and it is so much fun. The guys and Aunt Trotti all went on the throw-up machine. I don't know what the name of this ride is, but that's what I call it. Remember the hammer at the carnival. Think of that but 100% bigger. Yeah, instant tummy twirler. They had a sign posted that there was no screaming allowed. WTH! O.k. no screaming, but there were a lot of funny looks as people got off this thing. The Trotti's did great. This Trotti doesn't do those types of rides. It's not that I am scared of the heights, but knowing me, I would get a splitting migraine and throw up everywhere. Just speaking from experience! That's a picture of the hubby riding solo. Poor guy! We got bracelets which allowed us to do everything there. The guys and the kids were all over the bumper boats. The bumper boats had mega squirt guns which were used, uhum, sparingly! They were soaked. Next we jumped on the go-carts where we really reeked havoc. So much fun. The manager was eyeballing us the whole time. He emphasized not running into each other and was directly looking at my hubby when he said this! So there may have been a few nudges and a few spin-outs, but it was too much fun! We next headed to the miniature golf where Grandma managed to hit a ball out onto I-80 that then proceeded to hit a car. Whoops! The Scout, who stands a giant 30 inches tall loved the golf. Her sister, who had been begging us to take her miniature golfing, lasted about 10 minutes with it and got bored. The Scout loved it. She is a lefty so it was a little difficult trying to hold the club. She decided at a certain point to just kick it down the green. It worked. When we got to the windmill she walked up and threw her ball in the hole. That works too! It was a crack-up. She would have been there all day if we let her. Here is a couple of the pics. We also did the arcade which was fairly uneventful but the kids enjoyed getting their millions of tickets for their 10 cent junk prizes.

The next day was a cool day. The guys took off and went jeeping with our old goliath of a wagoneer. The girls called it a quiet day and headed to the movies to see "Horton Hears A Who" so cute. We then went to lunch at Chilis. A nice time without the rough and tumble boys. After the guys came back from jeeping, they took off to RPM Motorsports where you can race go-carts. My husband loves this. You have to take a training class first and then you get suited up and race. Even Aunt Trotti joined them at the end of the night. Here they are in all their racing glory! Of course their night ended with hot wings at Hooters, minus Aunt Trotti. Good call, sister.

The next day we were off to Soda Springs Resort for a day in the snow! So much fun! We did a little tubing, and the guys decided to do a little snowboarding. It was so cool because the Texas Trotti kids had never been to the snow before. They loved it and the boys especially loved the snowboarding. Here is a pic of my cute husband coming in for a landing.

The next day they were on their way back to Texas. We always have a great time when we have a visit with them, and for us its always like a vacation too. I think that I am going to marry Aunt Trotti because she does the laundry when she comes and cleans up my house! LOL, and Uncle Trotti, aside from sending my husband vulgar text messages, is great too! He spent the whole afternoon at the snowpark taking the Peanut and her cousin SassyPants tubing when I gave up and went for the lodge.

So that's are Spring Break in the condensed short version. We are headed out to Arkansas next year for a week's worth of houseboating with them. Can't wait!

Friday, March 21, 2008


This morning we dyed Easter eggs. We have a tradition of the hubby being in charge of the dye and me taking the photos. The girls had a great time experimenting with the double-dipped eggs, changing them into messes of beautiful vinegary color. It was fun. Here are our eggs that the girls made this year.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Book Worm

Here is another one of my Folk Art Primitive paintings that I finished. This piece will be up for auction for a school fundraiser at Leonardo Da Vinci K-8 in Sacramento on April 11 at their Spring Fling Parents Night Out. The school is having a silent auction as well as a art auction. The piece had to be appropriate for a school art auction so I made my little painting in the theme of reading. One of my favorite past-times! The piece reads, "Reading is a Beautiful Thing." The art piece incorporates acrylic paints, inking, vintage style paper as well as a vintage button. I am going to cross my fingers that somebody buys it. The money from the auction will help fund a scholarship program that is available to all students who attend the school.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Orange Marmalade-Ricotta Cupcakes with Yummy Frosting

CUPCAKES ARE BACK! They are back with a vengence! Who doesn't love a itsy bitsy treat of heavenly goodness? I love to try out new recipes whenever I get a chance, especially ones that involve frosting. I know a lot of people may have an aversion to ricotta cheese but just try it, I think that you will be pleasantly surprised. This recipe is one that I have found in my travels (or my Cottage Living magazine) that can't be beat. Every time I make them, I get rave reviews!

Cupcake Ingredients:

1 (18.25 oz.) package of plan white or yellow cake mix. ( I always use white cake mix - Duncan Hines)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange juice, divided

2/3 cup ricotta cheese

1/3 cup orange marmalade (I like Smuckers)

1/3 cup vegetable oil (I actually use Extra Light Olive Oil - I know it sounds strange, but I like it and its good for your heart)

4 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons of orange zest

Yummy Frosting Ingredients:

1/2 cup of butter, softened

1 tablespoon of orange marmalade

1 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest

2 1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons of orange juice

Yummy Frosting Directions:

Beat first three ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until combined. Gradually add orange juice, beating at medium speed 30 seconds or until frosting is spreadable. Beat at medium-high 30 seconds or until fluffy.

Cupcake Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Insert paper liners into 20 muffin cups; set aside.

Beat cake mix, 1 cup of orange juice and next five ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Scrape side of bowl with spatula, and beat at medium speed 2 minutes or until batter is thick and well combined. Spoon about 1/3 cup batter into each liner.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Brush tops of warm cupcakes evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Let cool in pans on wire racks for five minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

Spread about 1 heaping tablespoon of Yummy Frosting on each cupcake. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days, up to a week in refrigerator or (unfrosted) up to six months in freezer.

Kids and adults love these!

If you love cupcakes, you may want to check out these cool blogs:

Everyday is a Holiday - Fantastic artist and great blog to read!

All Things Cupcake - If you really love cupcakes this is the place to check out!

Handmade & Homebaked - Peptogirl (Amy) is also one of my Craft Mafia sisters and super talented at everything she does!

P.S. The restaurant in the pic is in NYC. I so want to try it out!

Scoping Update

I am way behind in posting once again. Here is a little scoping update. I have finished with my class on Transcript Production. Got a B on the final. Was hoping for an A, but no dice. On to my class on How To Be A Professional Scopist. I am really enjoying this one so far. I have completed six of the ten lessons and am hoping to be done by this weekend if I can get the Peanut well enough to work on it. She has got a touch of the croup. I hate that stuff. She sounds like a little barking seal. After this class I only have two more classes left and then I am finished. Yay! My boss is going to send me some practice files to try my hand at. Hopefully I will do an o.k. job on them!

Look What I Got in the Mail!!!!!

I love getting mail especially when I receive an anticipated package. I received my Itsy Bitsy Giveaway gift and it is soooooo cool. If you haven't tuned in before, I won the Itsy Bitsy Giveaway from Lauren at Speckled Nest. Thank you so much Lauren, I LOVE IT!!!!!!! This is what came in the mail: The cutest little oil cloth zippered bag. Oil cloth is one of my favorite fabrics. You can wipe it down so easily, and with kids, that's a must! The bag was filled with a ton of super cool goodies. The first one is a cute round pincushion with two leaf stick pins, the second, a handy dandy Kleenex holder that is the coolest thing that I have ever seen. I have already put it to use in my purse! A set of fabric covered buttons that she has turned into magnets, also put to use immediately. It also came with a small bag of vintage style papers that have been punched to use for tags and an old sewing spool with the cutest flowered ribbon wrapped around. I was so surprised that that little pouch could hold so much stuff. Thanks again Lauren, I love it! Please check out her amazing shop at: