I love to cook, sew, take pictures, have dance parties in my living room, eat, sing loudly to songs I don't know, decorate, throw parties, make messes, host playgroup, bike, kiss my husband, eat, play the piano, visit new places and scrub my bathroom floors with a toothbrush while my kids whine and complain.... anything but laundry. This here blog is dedicated to everything a mom can do, except (heaven forbid) that basket of clothes that needs folding.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sneek Peek

This is my sister-in-law Hailey (and her darling family). She is creative, organized, stunning, patient and kind. I love her. So happy to take pictures for her on this perfectly beautiful day.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Moon Cake

My mom made this when I was little and then I made it for my preschool class I taught in high school. I then I made it yesterday, for a space themed playgroup. I ate twice as much as all the kids combined. yes.


1 cup water
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla or chocolate pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup chocolate syrup (I did without)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a jelly roll pan.
2. In a large saucepan, bring water and margarine to a boil. Remove from heat, and mix in flour with electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Spread evenly in prepared pan .
3. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool completely
4. In large bowl, combine pudding mix, milk and cream cheese. Mix with electric mixer until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled crust. Top with whipped topping and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Chill in refrigerator and serve cold.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stepping Stones

(from my personal archives September 2008)  

We made these babies at the reunion- and they were fun, easy and cheap.

Cement (10 bones) + craft store floral pebbles (two fity) + Costa Vida tin (twenty pennies) = less than 15 bucks (buy more tins and you'll have enough cement to make twenty. You could make one for every grandma, uncle and teacher for less than a buck a piece. The kids loved it and the parents had a memory to take home (okay, so they will probably just throw it in the dirt- but they liked it too).

(note: you take the foil off- this picture was taken while drying, but trust me, they turned out cute)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sam and Kaori Part One

Sam and Kaori's wedding weekend was a blast... and it was especially fun to be their photographer (a first for me). It will most likely be sometime next week that I get to posting the reception photos. Congrats Kaori and Sam- you are a beautiful couple with beautiful families. What a beautiful day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back to school with Olivia

My kids gut laugh every time we read, "Olivia forms a band." They can't get over the ginormous lips Olivia sports when she applies some make-up for a night out. When I saw these wax lips in the store... I could not resist throwing a back to school dinner celebration featuring Olivia. We had black spaghetti with read sauce, homemade Macaroni Grill bread (Dylan's fav), homemade magnolia bakery banana pudding (our new family favorite), played Mad Libs, talked about Dylan's first day in second grade... and read our funniest book of course. We had a great time... even Ruby cakes.

Is anyone else totally frustrated with blogger right now? any tips on lining up photos would be warmly welcomed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dylan's Doodles

When Dylan was three we made (what I consider) the cutest shirts ever known to man. We were remembering them this past week and now I'm itching to make some more. Originally we made them as Christmas presents for all the fam and then we made one for welcoming baby Ellie, and another made for his first day of preschool. I love that I still see grandma's wearing them.

My parents used to frame my artwork- and I felt so dang important. My dad even made shirts with a smiley face I had drawn and then wrote below it : Start your day with a smile and then get it over with. I felt famous.

Such simple steps to helping my kids feel famous:

1. have them doodle a drawing.

2. refine in illustrator by tracing the scanned image. add type if wanted.

3. print on iron-on paper and adhere to shirt. of course you can get fancy and have it silk screened.

4. wear the shirt everywhere you go for years to come and rave about your little artist.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Put to good use

(from my personal archives fall 2008)

Do you have projects coming out of your ears? We turned Dylan's masterpiece's into thank you cards. I think I will keep this up- they turned out too fun.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So fun...

...to be featured on this fabulous site! Hip Hip Hooray is a blog I have been following- you should too!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Zuchinni Bread

What's better than having your own garden? Easy: having your own garden that you did little work to and still enjoy the benefits. Sure, I was having a baby while my husband was busy building the beds, prepping the soil and planting the seeds- but boy am I lucky to enjoy the fruits of his labor. I like his fruits. I have especially loved having oodles of zuchinni around to make this divine bread.... a perfect Sunday snack:

Zuchinni Bread
(found on allrecipes.com)

 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips or walnuts

  1. Grease and flour/sugar two 8 x 4 inch pans (or a bundt pan- thanks to my sister-in-law for this fabulous idea). Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl (I felt lazy I didn't sift and it work out just peachy). 
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted (ahem, non-sifted) ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and chips until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Call me Crazy...

...but I start losing sleep over Christmas project ideas come mid-august. You gotta get cracking soon, right? That way you know your plan well in advance and can finish it the night before Santa makes his debut. Yeah, I'm a planner like that. Here's some inspiration from my 2008 Christmas (I didn't have time to make a 2009 collage because in that one Christmas week: my little bro got married, we drove to San Diego and back, family came to visit, I was in charge of the first grade class party and- the ultimate excuse- I was pregnant). Anyway you put it, these were some of my favorite projects:

(clockwise from the top left):

a. birthday banner for my SIL (love those Heather Bailey Fabrics)

b. pendant for me. I got to make it, my MIL purchased and had a fun girls night to put together.

c. Snapfish love story book for my love

d. Doll blankets for Ellie with matching pillow cases

e. front of pendant

g. biscotti for Auntie M. 

h. another blanket shot

i. love story cover (ie my neck)

j. note card sets with different wallet size flower shots on front

k. painted cradle we bought a garage sale long ago and freshened with a new coat of white paint

l. framed favorite photo of hubby with his dad

(maybe this year I can list to item z. Sounds like fun to me)

Ruby's Big Day

I gave Ruby a choice. She could 1. quietly enjoy her blessing day among her parents and siblings or 2. get all dolled up and have a (Sunday appropriate) party. Of course she's my daughter and of course she chose the later.

The blessing really was wonderful, and was then followed up by a waffle bar at the clubhouse with some family. I was so glad we could (literally) squeeze Ruby into the same dress my mom, Ellie and I were all blessed in. She had to bag the heirloom shoes due to a chubby feet situation but I found the perfect little shoes to match her little outfit. I also made the girls some linen bows to match. It doesn't get any cuter.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Playgroup- the M say mmm...

(from my personal archives spring 2010- anxious for playgroup to start up again) 

This morning (after applying Maybelline mascara and my makeup in my mirror) I marched downstairs to prepare for a myriad of munchkins to come over for mischief and mayhem. We mingled all about ME (them)- making mini books with magenta markers filled with milestones and measurements. We then ate marinara masterpieces- matted in mushrooms and mozzarella, washed down with milk in mugs (leaving mustaches). Mmm- marvelous. We meandered the pages of book about a mouse and a moose with a muffin, while the melodic music played mellowly. Make no mistake- a mess was made... but my muscle man was there to help me mop up and maintain the midgets.

Mr.Pizza Face and his sidekick, Sauceman

paperbag mini books for each of the kids

Better than Chicken Noodle Soup

(from my personal archives spring 2010) 

Yesterday my sister had the fabulous idea to put together a care package for my grandpa who recently had a stroke (shh... don't tell him). I thought it turned out so cute and I'm anxious to send it off today.

Box Contents:

1. Pictures from the kids
2. A smile attack (little hand drawn smiley face to decorate his walls

3. A jodytote banner. Whenever we ask grandpa how he is going he says "jodytote!" It's my favorite word (hence the title to our family blog).

4. A little green dog. Whenever someone in the family is bummed or just needs a good laugh- Grandpa walks over to a closet door, opens it a crack (making dog noises) and kicks a pretend dog over and over until everyone is in hysterics. He then walks away limping while the "dog" whimpers. I can vividly remember this making bad days not such a big deal.

5. Pictures of the kids

6. A bouquet of some of his favorite people's hands (aka us and the kids).

We love you Grandpa

A few of my favorite things...

(from my personal archives spring 2010) 

Homemade gifts
My mother and sister-in-laws
Tiny Clothes
Luncheon food and fruit
Springy weather
Fresh cut flowers

...so imagine the happiness when I thought I was going to our monthly quilt swap (which is fun too) and found a few of my favorite things instead- all put together for a surprise baby shower! It was a perfect day. And man was I spoiled!

I'm so thankful for this sweet shower- what a treat.