Monday, January 30, 2012

Stuffed Pasta Shells~ cheesecake~ Just Life

Remember this recipe?  It is sooooo good, that's what I'm making for dinner tonight!  What is your family having?

I have been so busy lately, I would sure love to read this post on cooking with cast iron.  I have a cast iron frying pan, that I know I am not taking care of properly.

What have I been busy doing?  Well a big chunk of my time has been making cheesecakes!  I know.... but they are so so good.  I am now addicted to cheesecake.  But the good thing is there is no grains in cheesecake, well pretend there is no graham cracker crust :)  Soon I will post my favorite cheesecake recipe.  I have made them all, with sour cream, without sourcream.  In a water bath, without a water bath.  I've made ginger cookie crust cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, and regular cheesecake.

My sweet children have all been sick, so sick we didn't even celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary and had a LAME party for Lauren's 16th birthday.  But I can't complain, how can you, it's just life.  And then I found out horrible news on Sunday an old school friend from 6th grade, died of colon cancer.  So really I am just grateful to be alive.

With  a hint of sadness, I quickly sifted through my maternity clothes...I am passing them on to my cousin who is just starting that phase of life.  Me?  I am about to turn 40, so that door is closed, and happily so.  But I am not sure how I am feeling about this new decade.  A part of me is excited, but that is mixed with sadness, gratefulness, confusion....

Sadness because my oldest child will be moving out soon.  My next child is graduating and starting college this year.  My third is now 16 and driving.

Grateful to God, He gave me those last 2 stragglers!  Or I would have had a completely empty nest in the next couple years.

Confused because I am not sure, what now?  Of course I keep sewing, but have yet to find those fabulous sale venues here in Minnesota.  Am I to keep selling Lollibag's?  I sure hope so, I really enjoy it.  I will just keep at it, being a wife, mom, baker, sewer, friend.

Advice welcome from those who have gone before me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

DIY homemade granola

I have always loved granola.  My mom used to make it when she was in her "health kick" days, those days started when we lived in Arizona.  She took a health food class and came home and bam! The next day we were drinking raw milk with chunks of cream floating in it, eating raw wheat germ on everything and making homemade granola!  Looking back, it was kind of "hippyish" of my mom!  I am so proud of her for doing that.

So maybe that is where my love of granola started.....I usually buy Cascadian Farms organic granola at Walmart, but it is almost $3.50 a box and I always buy more than one box, so it adds up rather quickly.
I found my mom's granola recipe, but to my surprise there is sugar in it!  So I don't want to use that one.  I found a recipe online but I changed it a lot, so I guess I'll call this my own.

Homemade Granola

3 C whole rolled oats
a little salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C organic pure maple syrup
1 C coconut flakes, I use Tropical Traditions coconut chips (so, so good)
1/2 C cold milled flax (I got it from Costco)
You may put a little agave nectar or honey in there if you like it sweet.  If you do, you may want to use less maple syrup, you'll have to experiment.

Stir all ingredients together and put on a cookie sheet with sides.  Bake at 300-325 for 15 min.  Stir and bake another 10-15 min.  After it is cool you may add raisins or whatever dried fruit if you like.

This is so easy and so yummy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I just chatted with an old friend today, she has something very happy going on in her life right now.  I have known her since 4th grade, Tami.  As I was thinking back over the years, I realized that in all the states I have ever lived in, God brought me a wonderful best friend.  They are all different, we each have different relationships, but they are all best friends. 

When I was in 4th grade my family moved down to Arizona from Minnesota.  I met Tami and we became fast friends.  We only lived in Arizona for 2 years, till we moved back to Minnesota when I was in 6th grade.  How could I have possibly made a life long friend in the 4th grade after knowing her for 2 years?  It is simple, it was God.  After I moved away we wrote letters, lots of letters.  When I was 19, I went to visit her in California where she moved.  Then when I was 22 she came to visit me in Minnesota.  When I was 26 I went to see her when she lived in Tennessee.  The last time I saw her was 11 years ago, in Vegas,  she had just had her second child, I was pregnant with Portia but didn't know it yet.

Tami got me through my first abusive marriage and divorce.  I helped her through her first marriage and divorce, when her husband abandoned her.   She helped me through my mom's death.  We have had so many life altering experience's in our friendship, I am tied to her for life.  We don't talk very often, as a matter of fact it can be years in between our phone calls.  But it doesn't matter, I can call her and it's as though we just saw each other a week ago.

When we moved to Oregon in 2002, God brought Heidi into my life.  We are just alike, we hit it off instantly.  I only lived there for 9 years but they weren't lonely because of her.  We were blessed enough to be pregnant at the same time.  Our husbands traveled all the time at the same time so we always took the kids out to eat. We would have slumber parties, she even brought her dogs..... We traveled together, she helped me decorate my first home in Oregon, that was just a couple blocks from her house.  Then when we moved to the farm, she let me cry on her shoulder.

And of course there is Rach, do I need to say anymore?  I have talked about her a lot.  I have known her since 2nd grade, but we became best friends in 6th grade.  We have certianly been through the wringer together.  We went through our troubled teenage years together.  She is my prayer warrior, she has prayed me through many, many situations.  We always laugh so hard we can't breathe.  I just don't know what I would do without Rach.

God is so good to us, isn't he?  These 3 women couldn't be more different from each other, but they are all equally important to me.  Thank you Lord for girl friends!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


It is my first ever sale.  I promise to do this more often now that I know how easy coupon codes are!

Friday, January 20th is my 19th wedding anniversary AND my daughters 16th birthday!  So to celebrate I have put up a coupon code for 15% off, now through Saturday evening.  Just enter code HAPPY15 at checkout.

You know you want a new Lollibag!

Spread the word!



I would love a pretty pink cardigan made from this. It looks so soft and warm.  I looooove the color.

These paper party cups are so cute!  I imagine them filled with pastel mints.


I love the idea of using vintage music sheets or vintage book pages to make things and wrap things in.  I have used vintage music sheets to wrap etsy purchases in that I send out.  It is so pretty and a fun suprise to see when you open the package!

And if this doesn't make you smile and brighten your day, then nothing will!

Have a great day!

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Lollibag's!

I am sloooowly getting back to sewing after my winter break.  I always take a break sewing over the holiday's.  I'm am excited to hop back at it.  (And I've been too busy experimenting with cheesecakes to sew).....I guess I like cheesecake, didn't know that.

Here are my three latest Lollibag's :)

This Lollibag is so full of vintage, maybe overvintaged?  No, no such thing.  The ruffles, lace trim and flower are all vintage fabric.  Interior is Heather Bailey fabric and a vintage shell button.  I think it's a perfect spring bag, you can never prepare for spring too early!

I love this knit.  It is vintage, so retro.  It seems familiar doesn't it?  You probably had a short sleeve shirt made from it when you were a kid in the 70's.  This bag has the same Heather Bailey fabric interior and my favorite vintage button to close it.  I have been saving this button because I love it so much, I just couldn't imagine sewing it on a bag.  But I think this vintage striped knit calls for it, don't you?  Yes!  I love it on this Lollibag!

A little Lollibag made from brown corduroy.  It has linen ruffles and a patch of vintage 60's fabric on the front.  It closes with a green vintage button.  I love the orange thread.  Do you know a little girl who would love this?  Portia already asked for it and I said no you have to many Lollibag's already!  But there is NO SUCH THING as too many Lollibag's, what am I talking about???

Are you gearing up for spring?  I am, I can't wait!  I have new shrubs and flowers in my future!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Yellow Chandelier!

Well I finally did it, I found a chandelier.  I had discovered this chandelier in a magazine a long time ago and then forgot about it.  Until..................after 300 pages of online light surfing, I refound it!

It came in many colors, but I chose yellow.  Of course the shades were extra, sometime soon I will get them.

I love it, I think it's me, and it will look even better with shades.  If you would like to know where I purchased this light, please e-mail me.  It has been quite a fiasco.  And this light is not the best quality,  by all means I should be returning it, but I love it so much and cannot find it at any other store.

Over the weekend we celebrated Portia's golden birthday, her 10th.  It's not really until Tuesday but....
She wanted her barbie cake again and she designed her outfit and hair ribbon.  What do you think?

Guess what?  I signed up for  cake decorating class!  For the next 4 Tuesday night's I will be taking a basic cake decorating class and I'm kind of excited.  It is hard for me to do this by myself, but I decided to do it!  Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

DIY deoderant

I have always wanted to use a natural, not bad for you deoderant.  I have tried all of the "natural" ones, they just plain don't work.  I always have hope when I see a brand I haven't tried, but nope.  So I was sure this homemade deoderant would just be another thing to add to my list of tried and failed.

Boy was I suprised!  I kept smelling my pits all day, it really works!  And you know those days you forget to apply deoderant and you stink?  No problem for this deoderant.

Here is the recipe:

6 tablespoons organic coconut oil, I use Tropical Traditions
1/4 C organic cornstarch
1/4 C baking soda

Mix cornstarch and baking soda in a bowl. Then add coconut oil.  With the back of a spoon mix ingredients together.  Mix for several minutes until you have a very smooth mixture without any crumbling.
This makes quite a bit, I bought two small containers with lids and filled them with deoderant and gave one to my daughter.  Apply it with your fingers.

I never have to buy deoderant again!  Please let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

I love this question.

The first time I heard it was a few years ago.  And for me it always comes back to creating and selling.  Putting myself out there even if nothing comes of it.

I have been pleasantly surprised.  While raging success is not at my doorstep, I know that women like Lollibag's and that feels great!

I don't know how it got to be 2012 but it is.  There are some things I feel I will never accomplish, like loving my husband the way the Bible says to.  As in I Corinthians 13.  But the good news there is, God is quick to forgive me and help me start new every day, even every hour.  Maybe more like every minute.

I want to hear from all of you the answer to that question.  No matter how crazy it sounds...What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

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