Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My mom's favorite cookies

Today would have been my mom's 54th birthday.  In 30 days, it will be the third anniversary of her death.  I am actually doing okay today ~ I'm in a good place.  In the couple years past, the anticipation of these milestone days would leave a heaviness in my heart but I've been okay this year.  I did have a little breakdown a couple of days ago looking at her pictures and thinking about Grace and how much she would LOVE Grace right now - her spunk and her sense of humor.  They are a lot alike.  They would've been really close, I just know it.  Okay, starting to get a little sad thinking about that, so I will stop on that subject.

I wanted to share a few photos of my mom.  

This is probably my favorite picture of my mom when she was a baby.  I just love a good classic bath-in-the-kitchen sink picture.

Isn't she sweet? :) I love those cheeks and that gap in her teeth. 

The black & white picture of my mom with her siblings (& my grandparents in the background) is another favorite of mine. She's the one holding a bottle of Dr. Pepper - something I always relate to my grandpa.  He always had glass bottles of Dr. Pepper at his house when I was little.  And I included the picture of her with cake all over her face (with her best friend)  because she could be fun and crazy.

One simple things I like to do to honor my mom on her birthday, and the anniversary of her death is wear her 'B' pin (for Brenda).


 This morning while I was getting ready for work the idea came to me to post a couple of her favorite cookie recipes.  My mom was a very practical person and never cooked fancy meals or used fancy ingredients, so these are ingredients you should have in your pantry.

My mom played the bagpipes for most of my life and loved Scottish culture.  One of her favorite cookies was Scottish shortbread.  This recipe was her favorite recipe from her friend, Heather (another fellow bagpiper).   It's a very simple, delicious recipe. 

Scottish Shortbread Cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

2 sticks butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups sifted flour

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter & sugar together, then gradually add flour until combined.

Roll or pat out into a 1/2 inch thick square.  Cut into squares and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  

Bake at 325 degree F for 10 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown.


Another favorite recipe of her was for Chocolate Snappers.  She loved a good crispy cookie (I take after her in that regard).  These are really crispy chocolate cookies that are yummy dipped in milk.

Chocolate Snappers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1 3/4 cups flour, unsifted
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup Crisco
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup corn syrup
2  1-oz unsweetened chocolate baking squares, melted
granulated sugar

Mix first four ingredients and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, mix Crisco, 1 cup sugar and egg and beat until creamy.   Mix in corn syrup and melted chocolate squares.  Blend in the flour.  When all ingredients are incorporated, shape dough into balls using 1 level tablespoon.  Roll each dough ball in the granulated sugar.  On an ungreased cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.


I think Grace and I will have to make one of these recipes soon in honor of my mom.  (Although we just made Pioneer Woman's Crispy Oatmeal cookie recipe on Friday.  I better lay off because I ate them for dinner on Friday night!)

If anyone decides to try these, let me know how you like them. :)

Happy birthday mom!  I miss you like crazy sometimes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I've realized

Apparently I am really good at following blogs but I really stink at maintaining a blog!  

I have done a few little projects ~
 I painted silhouettes of my babies for my gallery wall...

I gave my living room lamps an antiqued silver leaf treatment...

I even made a felt heart shaped wreath for Valentine's Day that you've probably seen all over blogland.  By the way, I think this is staying up all year round in my living room.  Lovin' it!  I've decided I need more color in my house.

And I decided after seeing those trend-setting Youngsters hang a mirror on a window that I could do it too!  

I've also been working on a little owl art project which I will show you in a later post.

I even took a Sewing 101 class with a girlfriend.

I also took photos of my husband's cousin's wedding.  That was scary.  Please don't tell her I have  no clue what i'm doing when it comes to photography.  Seriously. 
(although I do love how this one turned out.)

Aside from these small enjoyable projects and making some space in my life (giving myself some grace for not blogging, taking some time for myself, etc), I've been doing the mom thing, the work thing, the household thing - but not the laundry thing, thanks to my husband and his new days off!

What I have realized...

Apparently strep infection and autoimmune diseases (which was discovered from said strep infection) do not mix...

But thank God for medication because I am clear now! ~ at least on my face, chest and arms.  I feel like I can present my face in public now, and I no longer take aback little old ladies in the doctor's office waiting room.  

I am thankful it is winter here in the Midwest and I can't wear the knee length dresses that I usually love to wear everyday.  I am hoping by spring I will be able to dress the way I want!

I have also realized how fleeting beauty and good health can be at any moment and it reaffirmed to me how the LORD looks at our heart which shows our true beauty.

Apparently it's been a long time since I visited my mom's gravesite - almost a year in fact, so Grace and i stopped by.  It's a peaceful place.

It was a gorgeous sunny winter day.

Near where my mom is buried sits a head
stone of a young girl who passed away suddenly ~ I think from a car accident.  
I love this legacy etched in stone.  Simply stated, beautiful, comforting, powerful.  I want this for my own headstone.  A message of hope.

On a lighter note, 

Apparently I have a climber.  

I found this little stinker hiding in his bathroom in the dark with the door closed, in the sink sucking on his sister's toothbrush.  :)  He learned that cold water is pretty uncomfortable {hence the expression}.

Apparently he likes to be a big boy and do things himself.

and he has a thing for big people's shoes.

And apparently he hates feta (aka foot cheese) as much as his daddy.  (He's a pretty picky eater anyways!)

Yep, just like his daddy.

Apparently I love this boy...

as much as I love this sweet girl, who adores her brother, especially when he's not getting into her "stuff" in her room.

Apparently my little girl is a well rounded individual.

Apparently my once neat kiddo actually inherited the messy gene from her mama.

Apparently she loves Mouse Trap as much as I did when I was her age.

Apparently racing up the stairs with your five year old is not always a bright idea, especially when you have flailing elbows. 


Apparently even though we look like a pretty normal family...

...we are a really goofy family.

{apparently I married Kevin James}

Obviously I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Top Projects of 2010

I am joining Rhoda's Top Projects of 2010 party.  I started my blog in March of this year and my very first project was inspired by  Kate's DIY jewelry hanger.  I  decided to create my own. 
 {Who isn't inspired by Kate, by the way??}

In March, I also did a few other projects, including a jute monogram,

In April, I made a little jewelry display for a girly girl using scrapbook paper, mod-podge and a shadow box.

Keeping with the kid theme, I made this Very Hungry Caterpillar inspired growth chart using decorations I had painted for Grace's first birthday party. 

In May, I gave this tall chunky candlestick from the thrift store a makeover.

I also made these reindeer moss topiaries.

In June, I made over this mirror into a chalk board.   Unfortunately, I couldn't really find a place for this in my house and I will probably donate it. 

I also gave this mirror an easy champagne finish.

In July, I finally made drop cloth curtains.

I also made this subway scripture art {scripture subway art?}which is now in my bedroom.

This isn't really a project I did but in August, I visited my best friend and I showed you her awesome home, which you can view in three posts here,  here, and here.

In September,  I kind of lost my steam... finally in November I started tackling my tv gallery wall.  {I didn't post until December}.  I am embarrassed to say that it still looks just like this.

And finally, I shared my Christmas decor on the Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes 2010.

Here are a few projects that I want to complete for 2011:

~Finish the gallery wall and finish the paint!  I am going to paint this wall Comfort Gray from Sherwin Williams.  The other walls are painted Sea Salt which is a shade lighter than Comfort Gray.

~Paint this Goodwill dresser/sideboard for my bedroom {and free up some space in the garage!}  

~ And refinish this tufted chair for my living room. 
Goodbye Gold!

I also really want to attempt a tufted headboard - a little nervous about that!  I also need to paint my end tables in my living room. I think the theme in 2011 will be paint!

What projects will you be working on in 2011?