Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas

Last year at this time I was living in Oregon with the farm for sale and I was wondering if I would spend the next Christmas in Minnesota.  Now that year has gone by so quickly and here we are, nothing short of miraculous and I find myself forgetting how much God really has done for my family.  I was telling a friend the story of our move and I knew I wasn't remembering some details so I went back to my the move stories and reminded myself and thanked the Lord once again for all He has done, not just in the last year but in the last 9 years.

I was thinking the other day about Jesus being born in a stable, which I would assume is just like a barn.  I know our barn in Oregon was always very stinky, sometimes I just could not stand to be in there if the boys hadn't cleaned it.  I'm sure they didn't have pressure washers and nice shovels to clean the stables back in Bible times.  And I thought about having my children in a clean hospital with medication and comforts.  I wondered how Mary did it!  I have always thought Jesus birth was some huge deal back then with a bright warm holy light surrounding the clean stable with the softest hay and clean cloths to wrap Him in, isn't that how the Christmas songs make it seem?  And a choir of angels to soothe baby Jesus..... You don't think about the details of what a birth is, when you think of Christmas.

Then I thought, you know, I bet it was your average birth, no one brought Mary a hot meal after, it was probably a pretty horrible experience in a barn.  They were young and alone.  That stable had to be dirty and cold.  But I think that is how God works, He takes the average, unassuming person and situation and makes it His own.  It was a quiet night. 

I am so thankful that Jesus was born just to be a sacrifice for us.  It is overwhelming to think about.  I am so grateful!  Have a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I am home and so glad to be.  I feel very blessed that I was able to take this girls trip to Hawaii, but you know how it is, you end up missing the kids.  I'm not sure why that happens, you go about crazy needing a break from them but the minute you get one, you start to miss them so much you want to get back to them, and then the second you get home they start fighting and you then remember why you wanted to leave in the first place!!

It was very cloudy there, but that's ok, we had plenty to do.  I was just thrilled not to have to cook for a week.  The second we stepped off the plane you could smell the flower's and the ocean air.

We went to see my brother-in-law and father-in-law, then stopped at Kailua Beach, hit the store for some water and snacks for the week and hopped in bed at 7:00pm!  Jet lag....

All the stores and shopping centers had their Christmas Decor out.  I kept forgetting it was Christmas down there since the weather was so warm!

Of course my favorite store was Kate Spade.  It was two stories and these lights were over the stairway.  It was beautiful!

Here is the Kate Spade scarf I want.  I took a couple more photo's inside the store and then I got a scolding from an employee.  I'm not sure what the reasoning is for no photo's in the store, but my Kate Spade loyalty waned a bit after that,  I mean you guys know I'm a huge fan and there is not a store by me.  I guess the scolding could have come in a nicer, friendlier way.

I love the PINK Royal Hawaiian Hotel.  We did not stay there but would love to someday.  It is so vintage....

It is so manicured and beautiful!  They had pink Christmas trees up everywhere!  All the staff are in pink uniforms. I adore it!

In this area there were huge lounge sofa's.  This was the view from them.  We sat here for quite a while just looking at that view!  That was my favorite part of the whole trip.  I know it sounds crazy but look at it!  And the weather was perfect, the sound of the ocean, the breeze, the music, it was so relaxing.

Even  the umbrella's were pink and white!!!

This is the lounging sofa.  It was so comfy.

The pink Royal Hawaiian Christmas tree.

We had great food, the Luau salad at Cheesecake Factory is the best.  So is the chocolate cake!

We drove to the North Shore and stopped at Waimea Bay.  The waves were beautiful.  They just finished a surfing contest, we missed it!

December 7th, marked the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  We were so blessed to see men from the Survivor's of Pearl Harbor Association, at our hotel.  They were in their 90's.  I thanked them for serving our country.  It was amazing to think they lived then and are here now and they survived that terrible event.

                           Here is one of the sweet men we met.... a Pearl Harbor Survivor!

There was also a church service on the beach Sunday morning.  A flag was flying and they sang patriotic songs and Our God is an Awesome God!  I loved it!

Can you see the flag and all the people gathered?

I do not like birds.  Can you tell?  I was dying to get that thing off me, BUT I have a best friend who happens to love birds, wouldn't you know it!

I love, love Shave Ice.  It is so yummy, I always get Pina Colada.

It was such a great time, so relaxing.  I gotta tell you, we did have a few bumps though.  On the flight out of Chicago to Honolulu, we were stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours fixing something, then the 9 hour flight, then the movie sound didn't work, so no movies.

We finally made it but, the next day I had a huge infection on my toes, I knew I should not have gotten that cheap pedicure before we left!!  I had to go to a hotel Dr. (cha~ching, can't wait to see the bill)..... and wait in the waiting room almost an hour with sick people (germs!)  and get antibiotics, strong ones.  The sun wasn't out alot and it did rain a bit everyday, but you know what, we had so much fun and that outweighed everything else.  I'll let you know how much that Dr. bill is when it comes in......

It is good to be home.  I did miss my whiny kids and my sweet husband.  He kept the whole house running.  Thanks sweetie!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Girls trip

                               What could be better than being at the beach in your flip flops?

It's.... being at the beach with your best friend!!

My best friend and I are turning 40 and we decided to take a week long girls trip.  I'm so excited!
Will post some pic's when I return.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Where the Lollibag's are....

Sigh, is everyone as busy as I am?  I have a never ending ~to do~ list that grows by the second.  It didn't help that I was in bed for a week with a fever.  I say it every year, but Thanksgiving is already here! I can't believe it!

Have you decided where you are going to Christmas shop this year?  Well in case you live in Florida, Washington or Idaho.....your in luck!  Of course my etsy shop is open 24 hours a day, but here are the locations of stores that carry Lollibag's!

The Mad Cow
10619 E Trent
Spokane Valley, Washington 99206

537 So. Pineapple Ave
Sarasota, Florida 34236

Mary Janes Farm Store ~ 2 locations
210 E Sherman Ave
Coeur d' Alene, Idaho

425 S. Jackson
Moscow, Idaho

These stores have alot of wonderful things for sale, not just Lollibag's.  Stop back here and let me know if you shopped!

Smitten, the shop in Florida.... She bought all flower bag's, like this last photo :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wreath Giveaway!

Look at that beautiful wreath!  To win this wreath go to Dreamy Whites blog and enter!
I hope I win!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Devil's Food Layer Cake

My year has been so busy I have let Food Friday go by the wayside.  Since Sunday I have had a fever and it's really weird, it's just a fever and I'm really tired.  I am so tired of laying in bed that last night I made a dinner of meatloaf, leek and potato gratin (from Country Living) oh and I spent $12 on leeks! (oops, yes I went to target sick).  And for dessert I made Devil's Food Layer Cake from my Williams-Sonoma cookbook Comfort Food.  I LOVE  this cookbook, it's a must have.  I woke up still sick today, wondering how long this fever will last.  My poor sister has had her fever since last Friday and her's is way worse then mine, close to 105 this morning.  Please say a prayer for her.

Devil's Food Layer Cake

Boiling water, 1 Cup
unsweetened natural cocoa powder, 3/4 Cup
all purpose flour, 1 3/4 Cup
baking soda, 1 1/2 t
salt, 1/4 t
sugar, 2 Cups
unsalted butter, 1/2 Cup plus 2 T at room temperature
large eggs, 3
vanilla extract, 1t
buttermilk, 1 1/4 Cups

confectioners' sugar, 3 3/4 Cups
unsweetened natural cocoa powder, 1 Cup
unsalted butter, 1/2 Cup, at room temperature
vanilla extract, 1t
heavy cream, about 1 Cup

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350.  Lightly butter two 9 in. round cake pans.  Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper.  Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a small heatproof bowl, whisk together the boiling water and cocoa powder until smooth.  Let cool completely.  In a bowl, sift together the flour, bakingsoda, and salt.  In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium high speed, beat together the sugar and butter until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla and the cooled cocoa mixture.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed, beating until smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the tops.  Bake the cakes until they begin to pull away from the sides of the pans, 35-40 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the inside of each pan to release cake.  Invert the pans onto the racks, lift off the pans, and peel off the parchment paper.  Turn each cake right side up and let cool completely.

To make frosting, in a bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa.  Using the mixer on low speed, mix in the butter until it is crumbly.  Mix in vanilla, and then gradually mix in enough of the cream to make a spreadable frosting. 

Place 1 cake layer, bottom side up, on a cake plate.  Using an icing spatula, spread the top of the layer with a generous 1/2 Cup of the frosting.  Place the second layer, top side down  on the top of the first layer.  Frost the top, then the sides, with the remaining frosting.  Slice the cake into thick wedges and serve.

This cake is so moist and delicious!  And the frosting is like nothing I have ever made!  It is amazing.  Of course I don't feel the greatest so that will help me not devour the whole thing.

I have been watching nothing but food shows while in bed.  I love food shows, and they are making me want to cook and bake!

And I am pooped again, so off to bed I go!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

More Lollibag's

I just cannot get over the sun here in Minnesota!  I love it.  After spending 9 long rainy, gray winters in Oregon, I am thankful for the sunshine!!  It is a bit deceptive, Sophie thinks since the sun is out that means we get to play outside.  Most days we do, but now we have to bundle up.

My sewing machine is by a big window in my dining room and when I sew the sun hits me and dare I say, sometimes it's too bright??  I quickly push that thought aside because I would rather have a too bright sun than no sun at all.

This is a chocolate brown corduroy, size small Lollibag.  The flower is striped cotton with the edges pinked (my sister's idea).

This Lollibag is made from a fuzzy brown suiting fabric with loads of ruffles in linen and cotton and very old lace on top.  It's warm and cozy.

I bought this pink polyester fabric at The Salvation Army, I LOVE that store!  I absolutely love this cheesy old fabric.  Doesn't it look like pink sherbert?

I got an e-mail from etsy today, I'm sure you guys get them too, but there was a shop featured in the e-mail and I instantly fell in love, with this garland of pom pom's.

Don't you love it?  I am  I-N  L-O-V-E!  I actually may have to have one!  Her shop is www.millalove.etsy.com

I am seriously thinking of Christmas shopping about now.  My best friend and I are hitting a huge thrift shop next week to start.  I want to try and buy used or handmade this Christmas.  Okay I may get a Wii game for my kids....

Where are you going to shop?  I hope you'll stop by Lollipookiesoap!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall is quickly turning to winter...

Here in good ole Minnesoooota!  I really did forget how brutal it is.  But this weather has me turning to winter fabrics, cozy, soft and warm. 

Fuzzy suiting fabrics, courduroy in brown, suiting in gray.  Warm linen's, bright interior's, big coppery button's.  Ribbon's in mustard.

Have you started Christmas shopping yet?  I have just a tiny tidbit...  Fall should go through Thanksgiving right???  It is getting alarmingly cold here, pretty quick.  But I know this is quite warm compared to what's in store!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The hallway is ready to show you.....

You say, is that all that's ready??  Yes, I am afriad so.  I still have piles of boxes and things to hang in every room of the house!  My dear sweet husband, says he will not be working inside the house while the weather is nice.... while I appreciate what he is saying, that means I will have my piles for a few more months until the weather is cold.

Remember my nice long hallway in Oregon?  I had all my pictures there.  I am truly befuddled as to what to do with these 12 ft. ceilings I have!  Do I decorate up to the top?  Do I only do midway?  What?  Do I get decorative curtains?  Great, how much will those cost?  So if you know please tell me.

Here is my hallway...

It is so dark in here, I had to turn on my hall lights.

You can kind of see my wall lights, I didn't like what was here when we moved in, so I found these lights at Menards, kind of like Home Depot......you'll never guess how much they were.  A box of 2 for $5.99!!  At the end of the hall is my laundry room and on the left are the stairs to the basement.

To the right is my kitchen at the end of the hall to the right is the master bedroom.  The first door on the left is the pantry and the door right after it is the half bath.  I do have that done, I could show you that too!

So from right to left, laundry, stairs to basement, half bath, pantry...  I do like my Cotton Balls white, but I am noticing how dirty everything gets.  That goes for white baseboard and doors too.  But I love it, I would still choose white even with the dirt!

Have a great weekend, and leave me a high ceiling decorating tip, please!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lollibag's at MaryJanes Farm Stores

I am so excited to tell you that Lollibag's are coming to MaryJanes Farm stores in Idaho!  Last year at the Creative Connection 2010, MaryJane and her daughter Meg, came to my table and bought a Lollibag.  This year Meg visited my table again and bought 2 Lollibag's. 
Soon after the event was over, I received an e-mail from Meg and she wanted to buy some Lollibag's for their stores and she interviewed me for MaryJanes Farmgirl Sisterhood newsletter "The Cluck".

If you would like to join the Farmgirl Sisterhood please go here.  I am a farmgirl sister myself!  If you have never heard of MaryJanes Farm, it is a magazine, I subscribe and love it.  MaryJane also has a bed and breakfast and a farm school.  Lauren and I went to MaryJanes Farm Fair in Idaho a few years back and had so much fun. 

So needless to say, I am super happy about this!  I will let you know when the newsletter comes out, until then, go visit MaryJanes Farm.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Creative Connection 2012....photo's

Hi, I'm home.  I made it.  I didn't think I would.  But really this year was a whole lot easier, being I live in Minnesota now!  I didn't feel the greatest but my sister came with me and stayed the whole time!  She was a huge help.  Thank you sister!!

Again, I met alot of great women.  Really nice women.  I will start with the old faithfuls, I'll call them.  A couple ladies who I met last year and they are genuine, stayed in touch with me and came by to see me again!

The first is Koralee from Bluebird Notes.  Who doesn't follow Koralee?  No one.  And rightly so, have you been the recipient of one of Koralee's sweet e-mails?  You know what I'm talking about if you have.  Well she is the real deal.  That's not fake.  And her hugs are even better!

I like the lady showing her friend a Lollibag in the background :)

Another friend I met last year is Hollie from Funky Junk.  She bought a Lollibag last year and wore it right away and in turn all kinds of ladies saw it and came over to buy their own!  We have stayed in contact this last year and I was so happy to see Hollie again this year!

A new friend I got to see this year was Deborah from Art & Soul.  I love meeting a bloggy friend.  Deborah volunteered for Creative Connection, she drove up from Iowa.  Let me tell you.... I was not expecting such bubbles, such happiness, she called me sunshine, but that was the exact word I was going to use to describe her!!  She is a ray of sunshine.  Not only has she sent me encouraging comments on my blog since I met her online, but she is even better in person!  Deborah, it was so nice to meet you and hopefully I'll see you again someday!

Holly from Decor8 stopped by my booth!!!  My sister and I chatted with her for a bit, she is very nice and she is on a whirlwind book tour.  My lands, I don't know how she is surviving the travel.  But what fun!  She said this was her favorite Lollibag...

I met the ladies from Whippy Cake... a-dor-able.  My sister and I were sitting back and just watching the people walk by.  This cute tiny pregnant girl is meandering by and sister and I both say... Oh look how cute she is!  She had the cutest dress on and her short blond hair was so stylish and she stopped in my booth and picked out 3 Lollibag's!  We found out she is from Whippy Cake.  Super cute hair accessories.  Super.   Cute.  I got a couple headbands for my girls.  They love them. (this picture is the next day...)

This year at Creative Connection there was a new booth called Enchanted Makeovers.  I had read about it before the show and knew I wanted to donate a Lollibag.  When I got to the show and read what they really do, I was amazed!  Terry Grahl, the founder and president, told me they go in to women's shelters make over the rooms so the women feel encouraged that they are worth something to start a new life.  Myself, being in an abusive marriage at one time, I knew I wanted to give a Lollibag.

So I grabbed a few Lolli's and went over to her booth and I started crying... great.  I said I was in an abusive marriage and thank you for what you are doing!  My Lollibag's will go to women and girls who have nothing and maybe it will brighten their day, maybe they can take a Lollibag on a job interview or to school and not feel bad that they are living in a shelter.  You really need to check out her website and see the amazing transformations they do.  It still brings tears to my eyes.  This is what means something!  This is what storing up treasures in heaven is, what Terry does!!  Please if you create something or can donate time or money, it is such a worthy cause! www.enchantedmakeovers.org  The photo below is a bedroom that they are donating to twin girls.  That is Terry Grahl.

Here are a few pictures I took of the event and of my booth....

 My sister, Jessica, at my booth...

My sister and I.  We get alot of..... are you guys twins?  ha ha, we think that funny, we don't see how someone could mistake us for twins.  Also alot of......OH you MUST be sisters!

I also met a lady who has a shop in Florida, she bought 6 Lollibag's for her store in Sarasota.  She said she is in the process of changing the name, so I'm not sure what the new name is but check out her website or stop in! Buy up the Lollibag's!  I hope it's the start of a nice relationship between us!

And there is it girls!  Another year gone by.  I am going to go collapse on my sofa and read a good book! 
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