We'll miss you Dasia.


Last week my poor kitty passed away. He was a great cat and kept all of us company. He would hang out with us outside and always put up with the girls picking him up and making him one of thier toys. He loved beanie babies and would carry them around like kittens. We will miss him dearly. Annie was quite upset when she found out but seems to be processing things in her own way; creating pictures for him, singing songs about him and talking to her sister about him. Maddie on the other had got over it pretty quick:
Mommy- "God bless Annie and Maddie and Mommy and Daddy and Autumn and Dasia"
Maddie -"But Dasia died"
Mommy -"Yes, he died but we can still pray for him in heaven"
Maddie- "Okay, Mommy"

Still working on stuff.


Sorry for the recent lack of posts. We are still plugging along over here but last week involved sick Annie, sick cat and thought he was sick hubby who is fine. The lack of digital camera is driving me crazy. We have been working on lots of fun stuff including a valentine's day mobile and the items for our first ever swap. I signed us up for the Mini Swap and we were paired up with a lovely family in Seattle with 5 year old boy and almost 2 year old little girl. We are so excited to be making things for someone so far away. Annie has been checking out the map to see where Seattle is.

If you are interested in swapping you can go to SwapBot to find something that might interest you. If you want to see some crafty inspiration head over here or here.

Here's a random photo from the box of cd's.

My 100th Post and 100 Things about Me


It's my 100th post so I thought I would try to share 100 things about me. Here goes

  1. I am 4'11"
  2. My eyes are green or blue or gray...
  3. I have never been my "ideal weight" for more than 10 minutes.
  4. I'm a t-shirt and jeans kinda gal.
  5. I am the mother of 2 entirely too smart little girls.
  6. I have been married for 7 years.
  7. I lived with my hubby for 6 years before we got married.
  8. I can cook a mean pizza thanks to Martha Stewart and Clara.
  9. I majored in University Studies in college with an emphasis in Environmental Education.
  10. My first job was as a prep cook and waitress and am currently working as a waitress.
  11. I have been a Lab R.A.T. at a children's museum.
  12. I hawked cheese during college at the Swiss Colony Foods in the mall.
  13. I worked for the zoo.
  14. My favorite job was as an exhibit developer for the children's museum.
  15. I worked at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
  16. I am a hippie.
  17. I love to travel.
  18. I had my first real kiss with a boy from California while in Sweden to play soccer.
  19. I love to grow vegetables but it creeps me out to eat them.
  20. My favorite ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby.
  21. I can eat almost any leftover cold from the fridge.
  22. My go to binge food is powdered sugar donuts.
  23. I can always eat pizza, pasta, salad and banana cake.
  24. I was married outside at a park.
  25. Go Bears!
  26. I love walking outside in the cold and snow.
  27. I have been backpacking in Colorado and loved it.
  28. I have stood and smooched on the most Northwesterly point in the Continental United States.
  29. I have been to England, Wales, Sweden, Canada and Denmark.
  30. The one place I want to go more than many other is Africa.
  31. I wish I had joined the Peace Corps.
  32. I celebrated my 21st. birthday in Atlanta at a Grateful Dead Concert.
  33. I celebrated my 35th Birthday at work.
  34. I don't have a favorite color.
  35. I don't have a favorite movie but I do love Rear Window.
  36. My favorite actors are Jimmy Stewart and John Cusack.
  37. I went to Catholic schools for 13 years.
  38. I don't go to church but really want to start going.
  39. I can sew.
  40. I can knit, okay I can knit hats.
  41. I spend way too much time on the computer.
  42. I still watch General Hospital.
  43. I love to cook and I think I am pretty good.
  44. I love to throw parties.
  45. I usually drink beer, Bass ale is my favorite.
  46. I think I need to drink more red wine.
  47. My favorite cheese is Fontinella.
  48. I read the Chicago Tribune everyday.
  49. I get the rest of my news from the Daily Show, because Jon Stewart is so darn cute, and funny.
  50. Go Bears!
  51. I am terrible about returning phone calls.
  52. I procrastinate.
  53. My house is usually a mess.
  54. My favorite plant is Prairie Drop Seed. (yep no favorite, movie song or color but a favorite plant.
  55. I have a dog named Autumn that has spoiled me from ever wanting another dog.
  56. My first dog was Casey.
  57. I had a cat with no tail named Petey.
  58. I have a cat named "Dasia" as in deja vu but Dan didn't know how to spell it when he took him to the vet.
  59. My husband is a little slow sometimes.
  60. I am a visual learner.
  61. My first favorite band was U2, I stopped listening to them after Rattle and Hum.
  62. I don't have a favorite album or song.
  63. I do have a favorite radio show-This American Life.
  64. I listen to talk radio.
  65. I rarely make my bed.
  66. I drink 3 cups of coffee every morning, black.
  67. I use cream in my coffee after 3:00 p.m.
  68. I have done things I can't write about here.
  69. Gin makes me crazy-wild crazy.
  70. I want to learn to crochet.
  71. I wish I was a better mother.
  72. I have had surgery 1 time, on my toe.
  73. I broke my collar bone.
  74. I have had stitches 6 times.
  75. Go Bears!
  76. I am a bit clumsy.
  77. I drive a minivan.
  78. I can drive stick shift.
  79. I hate going to the doctor.
  80. I once had a job as a stripper
  81. I have been riding horses since I was 8.
  82. I still play soccer.
  83. #80 is not true I wanted to see if anyone was still reading this
  84. In Spanish my name is Maria Margarita (that would be my stripper stage name)
  85. I would love to be reincarnated as a very overweight blues singer who wears sparkly dress and shakes her ass while belting out songs about the one who done her wrong.
  86. I am never too embarrassed to dance.
  87. I knew I would marry my husband 5 months before we started dating.
  88. The only state other than Illinois I have lived in was Ohio.
  89. I am a farm girl at heart and will some day own a farm.
  90. My best friend is my sister.
  91. I also have 4 brothers . They are OK.
  92. I am blessed to have 5 sister-in-laws that I love and 16 nieces and nephews.
  93. I want to learn to paint.
  94. I was once dumped by a guy by the a message on his answering machine.
  95. I am a great Scrabble player.
  96. I am a terrible room mate.
  97. I have never lived in an apartment. (as an adult-my folks lived in one when I was born)
  98. I have been in 4 car accidents.
  99. I would love to be a photographer.
  100. Go Bears!


Politics is not usually the topic of events around here. I do keep up with the goings on, reading the paper daily, watching the news shows, etc, but a few recent events in the political world have moved me to share a bit here.

The first is the mid-term elections and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House. As I watched the mid-term election results come in I was pleased to see a "regime change" in both the House and the Senate. As the talk came to the Speaker of the House I was thrilled to hear that Nancy Pelosi was the apparent choice. It was not until I watched her stand at the podium with the gavel that I realized how much this event really meant to me. As I become a woman and mother of two girls it strikes me how little representation we woman have in the political spectrum. I don't know if a woman will govern differently than a man but having the opportunity to see is really inspiring to me. So to Nancy Pelosi I say congratulations and thank you, for opening the door or "breaking the marble ceiling" for all the girls out there who aspire to lead our nation.

The second issue is the upcoming Presidential elections. I have always said that if there was a woman candidate for President she would get my vote, regardless of their political party. I figure the longest they could screw things up for is 8 years and I survived President Bush for that long. Hillary Clinton is not my favorite candidate, but she is a Democrat, a woman and could really have a shot at getting elected so you would think I would be signing up to help her campaign, wearing t-shirts, etc.. Well I have this problem, I love Barak Obama. The first time I heard of Obama was while listening to my local public radio coverage of the Democratic Primary for Illinois Senate. I sat in my car listening to this politician who seemed different than any politician I had heard. It was the radio so I had no idea how he looked, I just knew that I was taken by what he said. I came in the house and googled him. I voted for him with gusto, usually I cringe a bit while voting for my democratic candidate. I have now watched him rise to potential candidate for President and I am still taken with him.
The two things that have always bristled me about President Bush have been his lack of honesty and seeming lack of intelligence. The two things that Senator Obama has seem to be honesty and intelligence. So here I sit a woman who wants nothing more than a woman to be President with the first viable woman candidate in my lifetime and I feel like -eh, take her or leave her and then there is Obama, I'd volunteer, I'd walk door to door I would even try to convert my oh so Republican dad to vote for him. Ah, what's a voter to do?
What do you all think of this and if you are a woman how do you feel about electing a woman president?

Want to learn more? Check out...

Woman as President

Barak Obama

Hillary Clinton

and check out this site because I'm a mom, I play soccer and I vote...

Favorite things.....


I am just back from the grocery store and picked up one of my favorite magazines, Wondertime. It's the best parenting magazine I have found. There are usually a few recipes, crafting acitivites and advice areas but it really is more about understanding your child and why children do what they do and how you can nurture and encourage them to be themselves.
It is from the same publisher as Family Fun. The photography is great and readers submit many of the articles and ideas. I also checked out the web site to get the link and they have some nice little games and articles there.
Hope you enjoy it too.

Feeling Blue.....


I think my new look on the blog has a bit to do with my overall feeling right now, a bit blue. I have always called it "getting the sads". I am usually pretty bubbly and fun, (alright sometimes a bit irritable and cross) but usually quite cheery, every so often I get the sads. I almost feel as if I just need to let my smile rest for a little while. Usually a good long walk in the woods fixes it for me or it just goes away in a day. I think I have been a bit nature deprived of late, it's not snowy enough to draw me out yet to cold and dreary to want to go out either. Tomorrow we are headed down to the Field Museum and maybe a side trip to Shedd Aquarium. If you are from in town than take note that all the Museums downtown are free this week and many of them have free days on Monday and Tuesday throughout January and February. If you are from out of town then make a trip to the Chicago to see these gems. They are wonderful and the setting on the lakefront can't be missed, even when it's 20 degrees outside.
Maybe I'll get some nice, (film pictures) to show of our outing.

Until then enjoy this picture chosen from a random CD-ROM in my collection. (Look for more of these random pics until the camera comes back)


Gotta love the Bundt Cake....


Picture from here

Well, it's 1:00 a.m. and I thought I should get a post up. It's been busy around here and the lack of a camera really puts a damper on posts.

I think in the future I should avoid redoing my banner so late. Not so purty. Oh well, I can fix it tomorrow.

What is really pretty, and gone and, there is no picture to show it is this awesome Orange Bundt Cake I made for my neighbor lady friends today. It was so very yummy and easy, and what with only 4 eggs, a packet of pudding and a cake mix very easy on the waist. I found at allrecipes.com and if you haven't been there you need to go. They have recipes for everything and they are not slick magazine recipes that don't taste good or never come out right. These are the recipes you get from your girlfriends, the "I just ate an entire bowl of that dip you brought could I please have the recipe?" recipes. The best part is that you can read reviews of the recipes. The Orange Cake had 300 reviews and 5 out of 5 stars...safe bet. I have tried a few where the reviewers say add vanilla or cut down on sugar, like getting grandma's cookbook and it having notes in the margin. So go, get lots of recipes that you are supposed to cut down to 4x6, never cut them down and stick them all in you cabinet to drive your hubby crazy, until that is you make him some yummy snacks.

This all brings me to my love of the bundt cake. When I was a preteen I loved to bake. We always had cake mixes and cookies mixes on hand and I was the family baker. The grocery store shelves held many diffferent flavors of bundt cakes. I remember there being many more box cakes to choose from back then. My favorite cake to bake was the chocolate bundt cake that had the chocolate fudge filling. There was something about that filling that really did it for me.

A few years ago my mom gave me her old bundt pan. It has sat amid all my pans just waiting for me to put it to use. I was watching Martha one day and she had asked the audience to bring in Bundt Cake pans in honor of the bundts 60th anniversary. Well, yesterday was the day and what fun. I felt so nostalgic, although I did miss making the cake from the mix. I decided to dust with powdered sugar instead of glaze but I might try that next time. It was really quite good and easy. As nostalgic as it was using my mom's pan it wasn't as pretty as I remember, the pan is it bit wonky and probably did a few too many rounds with the wooden spoon. Maybe I'll invest in a fancy new one or one of the ones with 4 mini Bundts....mmmm. Until then check out all this Bundt goodness.

Looking for some new and fancy Bundt Cake Pans.....
Williams Sonoma

Have a Bundt pan but want a great new recipe.....
Southern Angel
Recipe Goldmine
All Recipes
Recipe Land
Those 4 alone should keep you in tunnel of fudge heaven.

Not really the make it from scratch type.....Bundt cake Mixes...
Williams Sonoma

Random NPR article on Bundt cake

and if you haven't gotten enough Bundt yet you can check out the flickr group here.
(I was going to start a group but it appears someone else feels the Bunt love too.)

Mama Says Om: The Uberlist


So the theme for mama says om this week is to make a big list, Uberlist, of all the things you would like to accomplish this year. The original list had 107 things, not sure I will hit that but here goes.

  1. Fix my digital camera and take better care of it.
  2. Lose 30 lbs.
  3. Decide if there will be a baby #3.
  4. Go camping more than 3 times.
  5. Have a weekend alone with Dan.
  6. Go back to school.
  7. Pursue opening a business.
  8. Go to the city once a month.
  9. See a play or 2.
  10. Spend time with my Grandma talking about her past.
  11. Spend more time with my mom.
  12. Make to do lists and do the things on them.
  13. Horseback ride with my aunt.
  14. Feel less guilt.
  15. Make an effort to be more tolerant.
  16. Be more politically active.
  17. Exercise more, okay exercise period.
  18. Have more date nights, even if they are on the couch with a movie.
  19. Organize the loft as a craft/computer/project room.
  20. Play more with the girls.
  21. Visit forest preserves more often.
  22. Read a book a month.
  23. Sew a garment for myself that I will actually wear.
  24. Sew skirts, pants, and pajamas for the girls.
  25. Knit a sweater and a pair of socks.
  26. Knit more often, always have a project on needles.
  27. Set a budget up with Dan.
  28. Make sure Dan has Dan time.
  29. Plant a new garden in the back yard.
  30. Paint my room.
  31. Do something in the laundry room.
  32. Purge, purge, purge.
  33. Find a new income source.
  34. Visit the zoo, children's museum, and arboretum more.
  35. Organize my pictures and get into albums.
  36. Frame pictures in family room
  37. Back up my pictures regularly.
  38. Stress less about the state of my home.
  39. Read 1 book a month.
  40. Spend less time on the computer.
  41. Go to bed earlier, get up earlier.
  42. Learn to say no and not feel bad about it.
  43. Write a book with Annie.
  44. Bake more bread.
  45. Make pasta with the girls.
  46. Take a bike ride on the lake.
  47. Go to Pegs in Madison.
  48. Shampoo my carpets.
  49. Strength train.
  50. Work on my punctuation. You know I need it.
  51. Write more in the blog...not just list what we did.
  52. Write in my family journal.
  53. Make a growth chart for the girls before they stop growing.
  54. Spend time alone with each of the girls.
  55. Go ice skating.
  56. Go rollerskating.
  57. Have my nieces over more often.
  58. Go to Appleton.
  59. Start Christmas projects earlier.
  60. Have a drink with Dave and Marcia.
  61. Entertain our friends.
  62. Videotape the girls more.
  63. Play outside more.

Kinda a random list, but it's a start. My camera is out so look for some more creative posts. Not just pictures with a bit of explanation. What's on your Uberlist?

Happy 2007!


Happy New Year to everyone. I hope everyone had as lovely a day as I had.

When Dan and I were first dating we always reserved New Year's Day for ourselves. We would usually go to Best Buy on New Year's eve, search through all the open box items, and buy ourselves a treat. Sometimes it was a VCR or a video game I think one year it was a computer. We would spend all of New Year's Day lounging in our jammies and playing games, watching movies, napping etc. It has become our tradition and it sometimes ruffles family feathers that we don't go to the family get-togethers but I always hold firm that it is our day together.

After the very busy holiday season and the addition of me going back to work and working extra during December I was looking forward to today for weeks. It was my do nothing day. I gave myself one day to just relax, no obligations and no guilt for not doing anything. I think I need more of these days.

I slept until 1o a.m. and I didn't even go out last night, in bed by 11:30 and fast asleep. I drank lots of coffee, read the paper and watched the Rose Parade. (I can't believe what people can do with dried flowers). My lovely friend Megan stopped by to bring me a gift and the kids played in the theatre while we chatted and ate velveeta cheese dip-big guilty pleasure, made guilt free on a my no guilt day- and ignored the kids while Dan watched Lord of the Rings for the 600th time (his version of doing nothing). I took a nap and got up with a very eager Annie wanting to make Be Bim Bop. For Christmas Annie and Maddie got the book Be Bim Bop. It's the story of a little girl helping her mom make the Korean dish Be Bim Bop. Annie has been dying to make it since the first reading. It came out great and Dan made Crab Rangoon to boot. YUM!
We finished off the night laying on the floor playing games and cards and watching Anthony Bordain's No Reservations while working on some knitting. Dan and I were struck by how much Annie has changed in the last year, with the "I know how to crack eggs, DADDY" to playing a full game of Go Fish and War, she is not our baby anymore.

It was a perfect New Year's Day. I am off to bed to start my New Year of taking better care of me, eating better, exercising taking care of some school stuff and working on some business ideas. Look for the Uberlist soon.
May you find as much peace all year as I found today.

Almost forgot my wonderful friend Sara also called to invite me on a shopping trip to Ikea. Cheap and funky stuff, Swedish meatballs, Marabau Chocoloate and free child care.....That's how to start the year of taking care of me. The eating right might have to wait until Wednesday.