29 April, 2008

mac lappity HELP!

I just got this new computer that I absolutely love. It is white, sleek and does so many things that I have been surviving without for  long time. Not to say that it was a sad existence before, it was just dimmer, not as exciting. If you are considering making the switch to a mac, from the old standby PC...well there is some learning to do. I have found that things are going really smoothly, it is all pretty much common sense stuff...but it is different. However if you are someone who embraces change, you'll have no problem-o.

There are still some things I need answers to from you mac-experts:

-what is the deal with the cut-n'-paste!!!!...I have figured out that you can highlight what you want to use and move it to a new location but sometimes that doesn't work. Is there another way???

-where do you edit photos? I was going to try to make a new blog header now that I can...but I can't, as of yet because I need to figure it out first. (I would like to combine several photos for  header) I know that there is iphoto, is that where I need to go?

-oh, and what browser do you use? do you use the safari that comes with it, or is firefox or something like that compatible??? I love firefox...

-what is up with the misspelled words?? they are underlined in red but if I try to click on them to get the right spelling the line just goes away, but the spelling is not fixed...so does it tell me that it is misspelled but not allow me to fix it...it must right!?

-do you use the mail inbox (with the little stamp of the eagle) or do you just get your mail online (at gmail, or such)? I don't really like the eagle mail, but I am partial to gmail and its design and layout.

-where do you type documents? Is text edit the only place? I don't like it much.

I have too many questions...I am really hoping you mac-sters (ellyn+ andrew are the ones I know of...you'll find them to the right, as I don't know how to cut and paste their links here, sorry) will help me out with these...

If you are a mac fan, don't worry...tomorrow I will do a post that explains what I LOVE about this shiny new white machine!!

28 April, 2008

what a great day!!

it is way too late for me to be doing this right now...but I have to. we went to Eugene tonight with out Friends the Langs for the Swell Season Concert (which was what my mom would call a 'riot!) and we also selected a computer. we chose the apple macbook white, this year's model with the most memory for a white one. i am working on it right now, and ADORE it. sweetness!!! I am so excited. 

(and no we didn't sell our house yet...but our dinosaur was getting to be in a literal coma state)

27 April, 2008

Cheesecake POPS! (Daring Baker initiation!)

Do we look ready to be daring or what!!?!?!?

I can finally call myself a Daring Baker!! This was my daring baker initiation.
I loved this challenge, it was sooooo yummy. That is mostly what I care about, if the finished product turns out to be good, or if my time was wasted. Oh, but these Cheesecake Pops were so incredible that I would literally do it 20 times over. My four-year-old has already requested them for his birthday (a year from now). I cannot believe just how good they were. I made them for my younger son's birthday party. My friend Trisha came over and we made the cheesecake part together...and then we waited, and waited and waited for our cheesecake to be cold enough to work with. Well, I ended up rolling mine, which was fine because for me- messy= fun. I just had a bowl of warm water next to me and every little bit I would rinse off all the sticky cheesecake from my hands and that worked like magic!

Then I dipped them in dark-incredibly-wonderful-chocolate, and concluded the process by dipping the chocolate coated cheesecake pops in a tad of crunchy raw sugar. It was beautiful, they were just as beautiful to look at as they were to have melt in your mouth...I was in a daze, and so were all the people we invited to the party! This was a success of a challenge!! And since it is my first I am now in the DARING BAKER clan!

oh, the baking of the goodness , sweet, sweet goodness.

little boys running though the baking scene.

this is me, and my bright red machine...i love it.

Trisha has the nice camera, and left after the baking point of the cheesecakes, so...my final product picure is pretty ugly...really it does no justice to the actual insane-o yumminess of the cheesecake pops covered in deep-dark chocolate. I want more!

Cheesecake Pops

(adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth by Jill O'Connor)

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 large eggs

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup heavy cream

Boiling water as needed

Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionery coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, degrees) - Optional

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.

Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionery chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve

23 April, 2008

heads up!

Here is my current situation, I have mentioned that we are waiting to sell our house before buying a new computer. So for the record, and just a heads up..if I immediately disappear I want you to know what happened. Our monitor (and computer) is dying. I said slowly...but that was before, now it is progressing rapidly. We have to beat the monitor for it to go from a snowy white, to a flicker...and then it will work fine for a short period from 2 minutes to 2 hours before the next screen beating occurs...life is inconsistent right now with our current set up. I just wanted to give you all a heads up, that if all of the sudden I am not here...it is because my computer screen has gone permanently snowy white , which is pretty don't get me wrong, but not functional.

22 April, 2008

Earth Day!!!!

Earth day is for making tree shirts (one thing among the many other very earthy things you could do)!! I did these with my four year old today, well, he watched. I wanted them to really turn out.

15 April, 2008

flowers and kisses, b.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how our kitty spider had killed 2 rats, since then she has killed 2 more and one bird ( I am sorry mr. bird, I really am). But now an exciting new season has emerged, an even better line of gifts have been given me on our doorstep: flowers! It is really insane. In our last house she did this all the time during the blooming months of this particular flower( we had a kitty door and she would bring them inside), and I honestly can say that I looked on us moving with a tiny degree of sadness just because she would no longer do this, there is not even one of these flower bearing bushes that I can see anywhere in our new location. That is why I was shocked, stunned..and beyond when this new line of pink gifties was left just last night( I shuffled them so they'd all fit in the camera, but besides that I promise this is just from last night!!!):

Can you imagine a cat bringing these one by one throwout the night!?!?! It is so funny! I wonder if she is hyperactive or something! Or maybe she is just nocturnal...as this is what she is doing as I type.

I love this fuzzy cat! I can't believe she found a local provider of my favourite cat flowers!!! Way to go spider!(this is much better than dead things, so I try to encourage her!;)
Oh, and here is my new signature...I love it!!

10 April, 2008

things i won't hesitate to buy soon...and very soon.

we are in the process of selling our house, so we have been holding off on a couple of things that I want to talk about so that I feel that at some point they will become a reality. No, we did not sell it yet...I am daydreaming again, you know, for fun!
for me there are two things that I would like to get, and really need to get..since our computer is literally dying (it is very old) and we need a really good camera (need in this case, obviously very subjective!):

A MacBook Pro:
one good camera: There are three that I keep coming back to, confused as to really which is the best, if you have any imput...that'd be great.

I like: the SonyA200

The Nikon D40
The Cannon Digital Rebel XTi (400D)
I like them all, but there are drawbacks to them all as well. The cannon is great, and I love it...but I am nervous it won't "agree with" two amazing lenses I already have. The Nikon D40 also looks great, and gets amazing reviews, but it is only 6. something megapixels. The Sony (up top) is new and has a ton of megapixels, but doesn't have a live view LCD, but it does have an LCD. whew...that was a load of stuff.

So if you can answer any of my questions...or all of them....DO SO!!

invitations to a party

Yesterday we made invitations and envelopes for Oliver's second birthday. J made the super cute animals on the front of each one. He begged and begged to help, and I kept finding little things to do, but then I thought "he really wants to help, I need to find something for him to feel like he really did help". He loved it!!

As for the envelopes. We did not want to leave the house, and so we came up with a pretty neat envelope idea. You just get a magazine that has tons of pictures and don't mind tearing up. You tear out a page per envelope and fold it as though you were folding a letter (in thirds) you can make it as little as you need to (depending on what you are putting into it) we just had the invites, so I made it that big. I have done this before, when I had a pen pal long ago...but haven't used this for a while. My favourite one is the one with the blue eggs (above). So...if you ever don't have envelopes, and want to reduce, reuse, recycle...remember this.

PS: to our family and friends in the area: I only sent out a few of these, if you want to come...YOU are more than welcome, I just have a hard time guessing who would like to come and who wouldn't...so this is your invite if you want to come.

You are absolutely and most excitedly invited

to Oliver’s 2nd Birthday Party!!!

It will be on Saturday, the 19th of April

at 4:30 pm

Please come, it will be fun, we’ll have dinner,

we’ll have fun…and it won’t be the same

without you!

(it will be at our house...call me or comment here to RSVP)

09 April, 2008

chalk drawings

this is a "cooking thing" by jackson

painted pictures

(again, first off I apologize for the poor quality of a camera phone photo...but it is what I will have for a while, and bad pictures are better than no pictures at all, especially for my family that lives very far away!)

The big pictures are two of my latest pictures (I loved using acrylics...it was my first time!!) I have done one since, for the living room. And the ones underneath are jackson and oliver's latest as well!! They love the idea of the "inspiration wire" (from the book The Creative Family by Soule) I only have one complaint: It always fills up way too fast!!! I try to take things down but each time it is so hard for me to do it...but I need room for the new ones. I think I am going to put up more display locations around our house so that it doesn't fill up so fast. I' ll keep you posted!

08 April, 2008


jackson learned to embroider yesterday...it was insanely cute. I have some good pictures of him actually doing it, but here is one in the meantime are the products of his embroidery day:

One is a house, with grass and stairs. The other is a tree with a bird and blue sky.
We used burlap, and a huge blue plastic needle and thick embroidery thread that I bought at goodwill and was marked $1.99 for a bunch of it, and a little embroidery hoop.

I obviously helped him thread the needle, and had to say: go up through the bottom, down through the top most of the time...but he loves this. It is art, and anything that helps him create...is his "favourite". "Let's do this all day and all night" is his phrase for: I want to do this for a long time because I really enjoy it!

I love finding things that he enjoys, and that I enjoy too. I have been learning as well...and we pretty much both began learning at the same time. I love it, I'll show you what I am up to next.

a home of my dreams, maybe someday.

Can you believe how incredible this house is?? I was shocked to find such a beautiful home, it is known as A Low Impact Woodland Home...and the owners have their own website to promote the concept of building homes, such as this one with as little impact as possible on their surroundings. This is a dream for me, it might not be for you...but to me this would be the "what house would you live in if you could live in whatever house you wanted to in the entire world" type of house. Oh, it is perfect. (oh, I would make it only a little bigger, with a room for the boys and a room for us).

Want to see more?!: A Low Impact Woodland Home