Wishful Thinking

I love fall. Too bad the Northern California weather doesn’t seem to agree with me. Therefore, I will *make* it happen. Even if that means sweating to death in my jeans and adorable flannel shirt, drinking pumpkin lattes when it’s 85 degrees out and burning apple cinnamon candles in my home, despite the a/c running.

So far, none of this has worked. So last Sunday, I pulled out the big guns. It was time to make my momma’s Pumpkin Crunch Cake. Desperate times call for desperate measures, people.

This being the case, I attempted to recall the recipe as best as could, seeing as how my momsie was out of town at the time. Normally, I would just wait to get the correct recipe, but something had to be done about this nonexistent fall season.

I wracked my brain and came up with the main ingredients. Canned pumpkin, yellow cake mix, evaporated milk and BUTTER. Lots and lots of butter.

I also remembered that this was a kind of dump cake, meaning you just mix and bake. Butter and easy? Does it get more *awesome* than that?

So, armed with my foggy memory and cups of butter, I attempted the recipe. Thank heavens, it turned out. Almost as good as my momma’s. Almost.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

by Sarah’s momma

15 oz. canned pumpkin

10 oz. can evaporated milk

1 c. packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

1 box yellow cake mix

1 c. butter, melted

1/2 -1 c. chopped walnuts (I used toffee bits as the men folk in my home aren’t fond of walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 pan. Set aside.

Mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs,  and pumpkin pie spice. Pour into greased pan.

Next, sprinkle yellow cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Drizzle melted butter over the yellow cake mix and sprinkle on the walnuts or toffee bits.

Bake @350 for 40-45 minutes.

Eat heartily and with lots of vanilla ice cream.

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October 18, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, House and Home. 2 comments.

Weekend Wrap Up

For some unknown fantastic reason, the Soccer Head Haunchos decided to favor me this last week by giving the entire league a bye week. For those of you who haven’t had the life sucked out of you by sports, this is a fancy way of saying we had the weekend off. That’s right. NO games. An entire Saturday all to myself with no obligations to get anybody, anywhere. It was glorious.

So, I spent the day doing the following:

Sipping 2 cups of steaming hot coffee. This sounds lame,But considering that I usually inhale said coffee while burning the bejeebers out of my tongue, sipping was sheer bliss.

Taking the boys for a long awaited bike ride. Boys and bikes are always a fun combination.

Surprising bike riding boys with the new Star Wars Lego movie. Because boys can never get enough of Star Wars or Legos.

Sewing in heavenly peace while boys watch said Star Wars Lego movie. (I forgot to mention that this was my *real* motive for the purchase). I was actually able to finish up 3 (yes,3) new market bags for the shop. To be listed this week…

And finally, sweet talking my hubs into making me an iced vanilla latte. He’s so perfect for me.

So, thank Soccer Haunchos. Thank you for giving me a most rare and precious gift: A day off.

October 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations. Leave a comment.

Random Ramblings of a Phantom Blogger.

That’s right. I’ve decided that I’m going to pretend that I can blog again. I do this about once a year, for those of you who haven’t followed my wanderings for long. I tend to go like gangbusters for about 8 months, and then I fall off the face of the earth. Hey. It’s how I roll.

So, now that I’m back, I have to  vent just a bit. As many of you know, it’s September. Which means it’s soccer season. Which also means that I lose all control of my free time and schedule. It’s all about practices, games, snack schedules, banners and mud filled cleats.

 

Having had the 3 boys for a while now, I’m getting used to having my life overtaken by sports. So this is not my rant. My rant is the crazy parents that I’ve had to deal with now for 4 years running. And I have to say, that the longer we’re in the sport, the crazier they get. Let me introduce you to my favorite nutsoid parent this season: SWAT Team Dad.

SWAT Team Dad’s son and my middle boy are on the same team, which means that I’ve had a chance to observe him up close and personal. And it’s not pretty. He’s so intense with this recreational soccer game, that it freaks me out to think about how he must react to really important things like tax season and the toilet overflowing. My favorite quotes from him to his son so far:

“Pick up those feet! We’re not girls!”

“Lap, em’, son! Pass 3 boys and you get an Icee.”

“Put your head in the game!”

“Sprint! You’re faster than that kid!”

“You wanna make money? $1 for every goal you make!”

Did I mention these are 7 year olds? Seriously, Dude. It’s all I can do to sit there, say nothing and not stare. What I really want to do is tell him to take his motivational insults and his Under Armor hat and jump off a cliff. But, in the spirit of sportsmanship and team support, I keep my mouth shut. Thankfully, we have an awesome coach who sends out weekly emails reminding us to do our one job. Cheer.

Game on, SWAT Team Dad.

September 16, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family. 2 comments.

Curling up

There is an insane storm going on outside. Crazy rain, wind strong enough to blow our spa cover off, and *cold* temperatures that are making this California girl terribly unhappy. I know, I know. Those of you that don’t live in California are laughing at my weakness, but hey, 40 degrees is down right frigid to us. So go easy on me.

Weather like this makes me want to curl up in a ball on the couch with a good book. And I like to stay in that ball for the remainder of the day. So that’s what I plan on doing today. I’ve taken stock of the books I’m reading and thought I’d share them with you. It’s always cool to see what other people are reading and get some good ideas for the next rainy day read-in. I am a multi-book reader, by the way. I have to have at least 3 books going at once. It drives my husband crazy. So here they are:

 

 

1.  Emma by Jane Austen – I’ve read this so many times, and yet I’m reading it again. And I’ll read it again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that…

2.Henry and the Paper Route by Beverly Clearly – Okay, okay. This isn’t really my book, but I’m reading it with Max and we both are enjoying it *immensely.* If you have boys, or have been a boy, you will end up loving Henry.

3. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather – I bought this about a year ago, right after I read My Antonia. I do love the way she describes the characters in her books and how she’s not afraid to let them have flaws.

4. Abraham Lincoln by Carl Sanburg – Not for the faint of heart. This book is my attempt at continuing education, and while I’m learning *tons* I can only take it in small doses. So, with that being the case, I should finish it in the year 2025.

 

So, what are you reading? I’m always looking for new books to add to my ever growing ‘to read’ list. That’s the list that for every one book I read, I add six new ones. So, share your faves, peeps! And happy reading.

 

 

February 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, House and Home. 4 comments.

Home, Sweet Mess

I have become obsessed with home decorating blogs. There. I said it. I love perusing them, ohing and awing over the creativity and resourcefullness I see. But along with the inspiration comes conflict. I’m always envious of the pictures of nice, clean, organized rooms, with everything put in it’s place. I’m envious because that’s how I wish my house was. Not that my house is dirty or anything. I *am* after all, a self confessed neat freak. So while dirt isn’t an issue, clutter is. And for one reason only.

I am a mother.

 

Sarah Dawson Photography

 

Who would have thought that these three angelic creatures would wreak havoc on the home? Don’t believe me? I have proof. I walked through my home this morning, shooting pictures of all the chaos that lay in the wake of these three and as painful as this is, I’ve decided to swallow my pride and share them with you. Here goes:

Kitchen Playmobil explosion

 

Close up of the carnage

 

Monster Truck Madness

 

Sling shot. Notice the fingerprints on the table? *Sigh*.

 

More kitchen mayhem

 

The mess even found it's way into my private sanctuary.

 

I share these pics with you in hopes that I will give some of you peace through your clutter. I have spent years trying to follow the hurricane around cleaning up the destruction left in it’s wake. But to no avail. I’ve made my peace with the clutter and now have employed a way that keeps everyone happy. Baskets. The best invention. Ever.

 

 

February 4, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations, House and Home. 3 comments.

Giveaway Goodness

Alright, faithful readers. ‘Tis the season for giving, so I thought I’d get myself in the mood by hosting another giveaway! Woot, woot! This time, I’m featuring Julie from Third Eye Artisans and her cozy yarn goodness. Julie’s love for texture and color shine through in her beautiful crocheted pieces, and each item in her shop showcases her love for her craft. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s my momma. Here are a few examples of her fantastic work.

 

 

 

Awesome, yes? I have one of those cowls, and I *love* it. It’s a good day when one can look fabulous while staying warm.  Want to learn a bit more about Third Eye? Here’s what Julie has to say about her shop and love of color:

“I must confess that my love of using bright, vivid color began at a less than happy time of my life when I was in the first grade. After being given a ditto page (remember those?) of Abraham Lincoln to color, I excitedly opened my brand new box of Crayola Crayons (back in those days there were only 8). I used every crayon in the box to color my Mr. Lincoln. When I was finished, the teacher held up my paper and used it as an example to the other students of how *not* to color President Lincoln. “Use only black or brown.” she said. I continue to use all of the colors available to me which, thankfully, are way more than eight now. Beige is not in my crayon box either. This is why you see such a variety of items, in a variety of colors and textures, in my shop. With very rare exception, my items are one of a kind (ooak). Everything is my favorite! It’s all I can do to list the pieces after I make them because I want to keep them all!….ARGH!!!! “

So, time to see what you can win! Julie is offering a choice between two of her lovely designs. Take a good look at both and then enter to win below!

First up: the Slouch Beret, a $23 value

 

 

Slouch Beret in Taupe, Navy or Plum

or: the Mesh Net Scarf, a $35 value

 

Mesh Net Scarf in Peacock

Want to enter? Here’s how:

 

1. Head over to Third Eye Artisans and heart the shop. This is a MANDATORY entry. (1 entry)

2. Like Julie’s Facebook fan page. (1 entry)

3. Follow Julie on Twitter. (1 entry)

4. Follow my blog. (1 entry)

5. Tweet about this giveaway. Simple copy and paste this:  Enter to win a #handmade scarf or hat by @thirdeyeonetsy at https://handsfullcreations.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/giveaway-goodness/    (1 entry)

6. ‘Suggest’ Julie’s Facebook fan page to at least 3 friends. (3 entries)

Do not forget to leave a comment on this blog post and tell me which of the above entry forms you have chosen! Feel free to enter as many times as you like, just be sure to  leave a separate comment for each entry. Also, be sure to include your email address, or if you prefer, a Facebook, Twitter or Etsy user name where I can contact you. Giveaway starts now and ends on Sunday, December 12th, at 11:59pm PCT. A winner will be randomly selected and notified within 24 hours of the giveaway ending. Have fun and good luck!

December 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations. 29 comments.

Christmas is for collecting

I am *not* a pack rat. In fact, I tend to let the pendulum swing completely the other way, and I get rid of things too quickly. Then I end up feeling regretful. But, when it comes to certain things, I’ve been known to be a hoarder. Stamps for one. Can’t get enough of them. Recipes are another, even though I seem to make the same things for dinner over and over and over again. But my most favorite thing to hoard, er, collect are nutcrackers.

 

The whole family

 

 

My newest additions. The hula girl is *awesome*.

 

The classic...

 

...and the not so classic.

Weird, I know. But I got my first one years ago, and I can’t seem to get enough. My husband was tolerating at first, but now has been infected by this crazy need to collect nutcrackers. We both scour the stores come the holidays to see what cool new addition we can add to the family. We’ve even passed this craze on to our children for a Christmas inheritance. It’s pathetic, really.

 

I know I’m not alone, though, in the holiday hoarding. What do you collect?  Snowmen? Santas? Snowglobes? Fruitcakes? Anything goes, right? Merry Christmas and happy collecting!

p.s. I’m announcing a new giveaway from Third Eye Artisans on Monday! Be sure to check back and enter to win some goodness!

December 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Beds, Bathrooms and other Inspirations

I am fighting this crazy desire to buy paint and wallpaper this morning. It’s a feeling I fight often enough these days, especially since the house I’m living in at the moment has bare, taupe colored walls, just screaming to be updated. No offense to those who like taupe.

Beds for Boys

The room I’m dying to get to these days is my boys’ room. Those of you who know me might be scratching your heads, seeing as how I’ve already painted and designed in there. But, the whole bedding situation has never satisfied me. You see, I have 3 boys. 3 boys who love to be in the same room. 3 boys who love to chat at night when they’re going to sleep, who love to listen to stories on cd together and wake up together. So, even though we now have room for them to have their own rooms, they opted not to separate. You can imagine how this did my momma’s heart good. Anyway, how to manage three twin sized beds in one room is now my dilemma. I have been racking my brain on how to place the beds, on what kind of beds, etc… After 3 months of brainstorming, nothing.

Until last night, when I was perusing flickr. There I was, flickring here and there around my favorite groups of photos and I saw it. The most brilliant idea ever, and it came from bumpercrop.wordpress.com. This chick is a genius. Click on the blog and see for yourself.

So now here I am, totally on fire to hang 3 beds from the wall. Crazy, yes. But I’ve already convinced my poor, long suffering husband of the idea, as well as building me the bed platforms. Thanks, bumpercrop. You are amazing.

Bathroom Idea

The boys have a bathroom in their room. Yes, that is *awesome*. A whole bathroom that they can use as the ‘boy’ bathroom. I’m in heaven. But, it’s a white hole. Nothing but white as far as the eye can see. So, what to do with it?

I’ve fallen head over heels in love with subway tile. It’s very strange to see that in type, but there it is. And yes, those are white too, but, just stick with me. Here’s what I’m thinking. Dark grout. It makes the white tiles stand out fantasticly. Is that even a word? My spell check says no. Anyway, here’s a visual:

 

And then there’s color. I was thinking black/white/lime green. Something like this:

 

or this:

 

Thoughts? Ideas? Too much? Let me know.

 

Other Inspirations

I bet you all thought I forgot about Color Thursday in my excitement over hanging beds and subway tile. While those are quite distracting, nothing tears my thoughts away from awesome color schemes. Today, for your viewing pleasure, we have:

Plum and Gray

Flower Brooch

 

Chunky Reversible Cowl

Plum Rose Pillow

 

Plum Pudding Sterling Silver Necklace

 

Grey Dresser

 

Purple Romance

 

Bee-u-tee-ful, If I say so myself. A bit of a wintery feel, soft yet elegant. And ever so pretty. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

November 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations, House and Home. 3 comments.

I declare it Fall.

And to prove it, I’m going to share my all time favorite fall time recipe, Dipped Gingersnaps. My addict/husband begs me to make them year round, but I simply can’t get myself to do it. After all, there’s nothing more autumn-like than ginger and cinnamon. I’m just not convinced that they’d be quite as fantastic if I whipped up a batch in July. Could be the control freak in me, not sure. Hubby/Addict has also made it quite clear that he thinks I’m nuts for sharing the recipe. He’d prefer I keep it under lock and key, surrounded by razor wire and lasers. Why, I’m not exactly sure. Something about not giving away a precious gem, but I can’t help but disagree. I feel recipes are meant to be shared amongst friends. And that’s what we are, yes? So, without further ado, my recipe.

 

Dipped Gingersnaps

 

4 cups flour

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

1/2 cups molasses

2 eggs

2 packages vanilla chips

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine oil and sugar. Mix well. Add molasses and continue stirring. Add eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition.

Now add dry mixture in several small batches, mixing well after each addition. Dough will be fairly stiff.

Pour a bit of granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll dough in to small balls, about 1 inch in size. Roll balls in sugar an place on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Can’t stress this enough. They won’t be nearly as soft and yummy if you let them bake longer.

Once cookies have cooled you can start melting the chips for dipping. Be sure to spread some parchment paper or waxed paper on your counters before you start dipping. You’ll want a clean surface to lay your dipped cookies on.

Place vanilla chips and shortening in a medium sized bowl. In a small saucepan, add about 2 inches of water, and place over low heat. Place your medium sized bowl over water in saucepan, making sure bowl is big enough to sit on the saucepan. The steam from the boiling water will melt the vanilla chips nice and slow.

Stir chips and shortening until completely melted. Once melted, start dipping your cookies. Dip each cookie in melted chips, about half way, shaking off excess. Place on parchment or waxed paper. Let cool for a few hours until the coating has hardened. Enjoy!

Makes 4 dozen

The finished product

 

I was going to take pics of the whole baking process, but in typical Sarah fashion, I forgot. Oh well. This photo will motivate the most health conscience, fitness freak to whip up a batch of gingery goodness. So, enjoy and Happy Fall!

October 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Hands Full Creations, House and Home. 2 comments.

Monday strikes again.

I’m pretty sure that Mondays get a bad rap. I mean, it’s not their fault that they come right after a crazy Saturday and busy Sunday. Still, I find it easier to blame my lack of motivation and energy on poor Monday than myself. Who really wants to take on the new week when you’re exhausted from a busy weekend? Oh well. Someday, I’ll take responsibility for my own actions, but for now, Monday will remain my scapegoat.

On to more exciting things. I did promise an ‘after’ picture of the living room. And for the 2 of you who have been waiting breathlessly for it, (you know who you are) wait no longer! I give you my semi-completed living room!

The space under the television will not remain in the electrical, cordy mess that you see it in. My handsome and talented brother Matthew, is creating a customized media cabinet, complete with built in cooling fans and dvd drawers. Total organized bliss! The walls are still lacking some framed pictures, but new photos are needed seeing as how my boys just keep on growing. The black coffee table is my pride and joy. I’ll explain. It started  as a thrift store find and looked like this:

I then sanded it down, primed it and painted it black.

Voila! A $35 coffee table, about $16 in primer and paint. Not bad, if I say so myself. So, there you have it. One room in the house (almost) done!

October 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . All About Me, Family, Remodel. 6 comments.

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