Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Mother's Day Gift from Dani

This is what my Dani made me for Mother's Day! She got on YouTube and found a tutorial on origami flowers! She watched it over and over and got it figured out. Then she made me this gorgeous bouquet and put it in a cute rusty bedspring. She made me a book to go with it telling what each color represents. I love it and I love you, Dani! Thank you so much!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.

Here's what you are supposed to do:

*Look at the list and bold those we have read.

*Italicize those we intend to read.

*Star the books we love.

1. Pride and Prejudice-Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings-JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre**-Charlotte Bronte

4. Harry Potter series-JK Rowling

5. To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee

6. The Bible

7. Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four-George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials-Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations-Charles Dickens

11. Little Women**-Louisa M Alcott

12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles-Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22-Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare

15. Rebecca-Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit-JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong-Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye-JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveler's Wife-Audrey Niffenenegger

20. Middlemarch-George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind-Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby-F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House-Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace-Leo Tolstoy

25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy-Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited-Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath-John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland-Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows-Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina-Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield-Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia-CS Lewis

34. Emma-Jane Austen

35. Persuasion-Jane Austen

36. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe-CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner-Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin-Louis De Bernieres

39. Memoirs of a Geisha-Arthur Golden

40. Winnie the Pooh**-AA Milne

41. Animal Farm-George Orwell

42. The DaVinci Code-Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude-Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney-John Irving

45. The Woman in White-Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables**-LM Montgomery

47. Far From the Madding Crowd-Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid's Tale-Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies-William Golding

50. Atonement-Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi-Yann Martel

52. Dune-Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm-Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility-Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy-Vikram Seth

56. A Shadow of the Wind-Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale of Two Cities-Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World- Aldous Huxley

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Mark Haddon

60. Love in the Time of Cholera-Gabriel Garcia Marrquez

61. Of Mice and Men-John Steinbeck

62. Lolita-Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History-Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones-Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo**-Alexandre Dumas

66. On the Road-Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure-Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones' Diary-Helen Fielding

69. Midnight's Children-Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick-Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist-Charles Dickens

72. Dracula-Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden-Frances Hodgson Burnett

74. Notes From a Small Island-Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses-James Joyce

76. The Bell Jar-Sylvia Plath

77. Swallows and Amazons-Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal-Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair-William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession-AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol-Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas-David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple-Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day-Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary-Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance-Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte's Web**-EB White

88. The Five People You Meet in Heaven-Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree Collection-Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness-Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince-Antione De Saint-Exupery

93. The Wasp Factory-Iain Banks

94. Watership Down-Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces-John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice-Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers-Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet-William Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory**-Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables**-Victor Hugo

Well, I have read more on this list than I thought! I have seen the movie version of several of these, but I guess I should read the book. There is a nifty little used book store in Burley that I am going to have to frequent more often and become a bit more "well-read"! I'll add that to my ever-growing bucket list!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Bread That Is Served In Heaven

Yes, you read that right. This is so good that it is served in heaven! I made this for Mother's Day and took some to my best friend Jan and to my mom and dad. Everyone agreed that this is awesome! So, I will share with you so you will know what they eat in heaven!!

Heaven Bread

Mix 2 Tbsp yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Let sit until foamy.

Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup soft butter, 1/2 cup milk and 2 eggs.

Add 1 tsp salt to 2 cups of flour. Add to yeast mixture.

Add 2 to 3 more cups of flour or until you have a nice soft dough, just a bit sticky. Knead for 10 minutes or so, until it's smooth.

Put dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise another 10 to 15 minutes. Divide dough into 3 balls. Roll each ball of dough into a rectangle.
Spread 1/3 of filling down each rectangle. Spread 1/3 of a can of raspberry pie filling down cream cheese layer on each rectangle. Cut strips down each side of filling. Braid the dough by alternating the strips across the filling. Tuck in the last strip. Gently place the braided dough on a greased cookie sheet. You can get all 3 on one cookie sheet.
Let the braids raise for 15 to 30 minutes. Bake at 350* for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and drizzle with icing.

Filling: Blend together 8 oz cream cheese and 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Other: 1 can raspberry pie filling (you can use cherry or blueberry or strawberry or whatever floats your boat!!)

Icing: 1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
Blend until smooth

Healthy Brownies

"Healthy Brownies"...is that an oxymoron? Is oxymoron one word? Well I guess it is for this post!
Take this box of brownie mix (this one is made with whole wheat and of course double chocolate) and a can of black beans.
I drained the beans because bean liquid grosses me out...then I mashed the beans and added the brownie mix (dry).
I added 2 Tbsp water because it was a bit dry. Then I scooped them into mini muffin cups and baked.
Yummy little brownie bites with extra fiber! Win Win!

Bedspring Flower Bouquet

Isn't this one Laci made so cute!?!?

Laci had us make these for Janica's Stampin' Up Hostess club project. We had a lot of fun doing these! We made paper lollypop flowers, ribbon flowers and fabric yo yo flowers. Then we put them in an old rusty bedspring "vase". They turned out so cute!

Melissa's Birthday Present

This is what I made my good friend Melissa for her birthday. They are 2x4 blocks with her hubby's and kids' names on them and wire added for her to display their pictures. There is a wide ribbon tied around them all. I got the idea off of http://www.howdoesshe.com/ . Hope she enjoys it half as much as I enjoyed making it for her!