Sunday, July 22, 2012

Living Room Makeover NEEDED!

So I need a living room makeover desperately!  We moved into this apartment just over a year ago and we have two little girls so toys are everywhere!  However, our budget is tiny.  I'm not repainting the walls and I'm not getting new furniture so I need to work with what I've got and spend just a little money.

And I introduce my home - in all it's glory - (please ignore the mess - I always feel sad when I see pictures of people's homes online and they look amazing and then I think - their house can't possibly look like that all the time!). 

I am thinking of adding green accents to the living room.  I was thinking of making dining room cushions with this fabric:

54'' Wide Premier Prints Amsterdam Chartreuse/White Fabric By The Yard
 Click for larger image and other views 

I am  thinking of building a faux fireplace where the tv is (sort of as a new entertainment center).  
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Avery's Friend Lucy

Please check out Avery's blog and learn about her friend Lucy.  Lucy is just shy of turning 3 and she is still proving doctors wrong by living!  She was diagnosed with SMA type 1 when she was just a baby and given the same diagnosis as Avery.  Avery's website lists places you can make donations to help raise money to fight SMA.

Bubble Guppies Cake!

Hi Everyone,
Sorry I've gone missing.  My house has been plagued with sore throats and the croupy cough!  So not much sleep has been happening!  Plus my other half has been going on lots of interviews which is great - we just hope it pans out to something!

So I wanted to share how I made the Bubble Guppies cake!  I made a chocolate cake with vanilla butter cream frosting!

Cake Ingredients (from Taste of Home Baking)
3/4 cup of butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 cups of flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups of milk

1. Grease your pans (this recipe calls for 3 9-in round baking pans - I made the cake twice using a square pan)
2. in large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light & fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beat in vanilla.
3. combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt & baking powder - add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.
4. transfer to pans and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
5 to 6 tablespoons of milk

1. in bowl cream sugar until light & fluffy.
2. beat in confections sugar (to me it helped to beat in the sugar slowly - maybe 1/4 cup at a time.
3. add vanilla
4. add enough milk for desired consistency
** NOTE: do not make the butter cream in a hot kitchen and work quickly otherwise the butter will separate (which started to happen to me).

I put some frosting in the middle of the cake.  The next batch of butter cream I colored blue to look like the ocean.

Bubble Guppies Topping
Use the Nick Jr. templates to cut out the bubble guppie shapes from the fondant.  You will need food coloring to color the bubble guppies skin and "clothes".
Don't be afraid of fondant it's much easier to use than I expected- but use confectioners sugar to prevent sticking to your hands and use water to attach the pieces to one another.

When you're done attach the bubble guppie to the top of the cake - and there you go!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day All!!!

I hope everyone out there had a great day with their families.  Mine was interesting to say the least.  My husband was supposed to have an interview - he went to the restaurant but they forgot it was Mother's Day when they set it up and realized it was too busy to have an extra body in the kitchen.  And I was home with my 2 sick girls till he got home.   Overall a busy day.  But I did get a beautiful mug with pictures on it, 2 fabulous cards and a fantastic dinner!  So a success.

What did everyone else do for Mom's Day?  Any favorite traditions?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Survived the party!

I survived (or we all did) the party!  IT was a ton of fun and my BIG GIRL had a great time!  Below is a picture of the cake I stressed a great amount over.  I made a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting in the middle, blue buttercream frosting for the top and then I made the bubble guppies out of fondant.  The fondant was much easier to work with than I expected.  I got the templates for the Bubble Guppies from Nick Jr.'s website.  I made the little sign that says Happy 2nd Birthday Erin and taped it to 3 lollipop sticks.

What are some great things you have made lately!?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hump Day!

Well friends - I'm having a busy week.  When I get home I can't seem to get anything done!  I'm hoping after E's birthday party on Saturday life will calm down and then I'll be able to concentrate on some things. 
Any ideas for fun crafty things to do with a two year old?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Yesterday Avery passed away.   Tonight after putting my girls down I was going to write Ellen another note asking her to recognize Avery and her family as inspirational people.  I logged in and saw her blog.  I immediately began to cry.  It's not fair that a beautiful little girl - not even a year was stolen from this world.  However, in such a short time Avery inspired thousands of people.  Her message about SMA was spread - she has educated people.  Avery made me smile on countless occasions and made me appreciate and love even more the things I have.  We are all given a life to live - some of us are blessed with long lives and some are cut short.  Avery had a bucket list - and in just a few short months crossed many things off her list - some small things like getting her picture taken with the Easter bunny and large things like getting kissed by a boy.  Honor her by take a risk and doing the things you really want to do but perhaps you think you don't have time or you doubt yourself or whatever the reason - try to get those things done.  But more importantly help honor her by spreading the message about SMA.  Please visit her website: - there they will connect you to a place where you can make a monetary donation.  Please keep Avery and her family in your prayers.
This is the last picture taken of Avery before she passed away - always smiling - God Bless.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Goodbye April!

Mondays...what can be said about Mondays...nothing good!
Except for the fact that Andy Cohen host of Watch What Happens Live is now on in the background.  Gotta love him.  How he controls those crazy housewives I just don't know!
I really don't have much to say.  I'm exhausted - we had one of those crazy weekends and I didn't feel well on Saturday.  Okay I keep getting logged out!
Must be off!
xo world

Sunday, April 29, 2012

This was one of those weekends that I didn't get much done.  I made the Mr. Grouper cake and it tasted delicious but Mr. Grouper didn't look so happy.  So my cake shall go in another direction.  Yesterday we were at a 1st birthday party which was cute.  And today we celebrated my brother's birthday at a restaurant - in my family that's unheard of!  We usually just have a family dinner at home.  In any case here are two pictures of the same tree that I pass everyday on my way to work.  I call it the dancing tree - just look at the way the branches extend.

Now in black & white.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Chicklets

Tonight I have spent the better part of the evening making a run through cake for my daughter's 2nd birthday party.  The "theme" is Bubble Guppies - you know that really cute show on Nick Jr.  It's the show that makes her sing, dance, giggle and eat her breakfast, lunch & dinner!  So how could I not throw her a party with bubble guppies everywhere? My idea is to bake a chocolate cake in the shape of
Mr. Grouper (seen here).  Yes I think it's challenging and I might fall flat on my face!  But hopefully I will have some kind of picture to post tomorrow.  I think part of my whole obsession with her birthday is that I'm back to work and I have worker's guilt.  I want to be supermom - even though I know it's impossible.  And I think part of me wants to make an impression.
Well we shall see what happens tomorrow.  I made the buttercream frosting and it's the best frosting I have made to date - so at least that worked out!

OHHH the things we go through for our chicklets!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Little Moments

How many times a day do you have a moment with your kids that just makes you completely happy with where you are in you life?  Tonight, after my oldest had yet another poop disaster both my girls were resting in my bed.  Both smiling at me after I had a long day at work and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.
It was the first time that they held hands - like really held hands.  It's the little moments.

Avery & Ellen!

please visit Avery's Bucket List and go to Ellen's website and write a letter about how Avery inspires you!  It's on her bucket list to DANCE with Ellen!  May 1st contact Ellen as many times as you can to invite her onto her show!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Blues

Yesterday was a wet and rainy day here in New York City.  I wish I had captured a picture of the rainfall last night - between the thunder, lightning and winds it was pretty incredible.  Luckily when I left for work at  7:00 AM the rain had calmed to a lovely drizzle.
Here are some pictures I captured while walking through Central Park.

On a normal weather day you can see the skyline of Manhattan at the south end of the park.  Today you can barely make out the tops of some of the buildings.

Question for you out there - does anyone know how to make a decent watermark?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday!

Another Scavenger Hunt Sunday!

This is my youngest daughter's teddy.  He's yellow - but at only 4 months old he's starting to fade from all the cuddles

Something That Makes Me Smile
How could this not make smile?

My dad bought this at a junk shop over 10 years ago.  I saw it outside the store on the street and convinced my dad to get it for me for my birthday.

As you can see - the picture on the left shows the detailing, picture in the middle shows the two things that are on the side.  And finally the picture on the right shows the key to the cabinet in the middle.


Table dressed up for Easter :)

My kids splashing in the tub.  I was trying to get them to splash more - but kids do what they want
In the Sun

In Central Park on Saturday 

Some More Sun from my Archives
Central Park
Vietnam Memorial
Memorial in Washington DC


Feeling Down?

Anytime you're feeling down just think of beautiful little Avery.  She had to have surgery, at just 5 months, to get a tube to help with feeding - she has SMA.  But after surgery she is still smiling - puts a lot of things in perspective.

Avery's Bucket List

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tonight I participated in the first Grits & Giggles Linky party!  You should submit something you made (old or new).  I submitted my Silhouettes.

And tonight I am just too tired to continue writing - sorry.  I had an extremely busy day at work today and my eyes are crossing!  And then I came home and was trying to switch out old and hand-me downs for my youngest because she is growing like a string bean!

Happy Hump Day everyone!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I'm proud of myself today.  Guess what I did...I got up at 5:00 AM - yes I said AM - as in before the sun rises and went to the gym!  It's the first time I've been to the gym - in lets just say a very long time.  I'm no longer preggo and would like to be able to wear some kind of bathing suit this summer and feel pretty good about myself.  I think most women feel that way.  But how does one find the time?  I come home from work at about 4:30 ish and I want to spend time with the girls.  After they are in bed I want to spend time with my man (or be selfish and do things that I like to do).  So when do I possibly have the time go workout - only in the morning. 
It was so early I was worried I would be the only person there.  Luckily there were some hard core gym goers there.  One girl was on the treadmill (running mind you) when I got there and still running when I left.  Young girl - wonder what she does. 
I hope to keep this up every other day.  So cross your fingers for me. 

PS - This is SO not what I look like

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ramblings & Photos: Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This is my fist submission - yeah me!  And it's after 10:00 on a work night and I'm not in bed - go me!
This week's words are: Simple, Grain, Transportation, Stitch & Bubbles.

This is a picture in Central Park during the fall (sorry I had to go into my archives).  It was the only tree of this color in that area - so SIMPLE.

My husband recently graduated culinary school (let's hope I don't put on 10 more pounds).  This is a dish he made several months ago (again sorry I had to go into my archives).  He wants me to let you know his plating has improved.  Right now he's laughing to himself saying "terrible plating" :)


This week we went to Ikea in Brooklyn.  This is a picture of the Brooklyn Bridge as we are heading back home.  It transports thousands of people each day.  (sorry not sure why there is that black bar on the right).

This is the fabric I used to make a seat cushion for my closet that I'm turning into a "mud room".  I got the idea from the The House of Smiths.

And finally Bubbles!  My daughter is obsessed with bubbles.  Her Grandma Morgan went bubble crazy.  Here they are playing with bubbles!

Thanks for looking.

Raising Awareness

Please visit this blog.  It's about a little girl, Avery - only 5 months old who was diagnosed with SMA - Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Her parents started this blog to raise awareness about the disease and to create a bucket list for Avery. For me, as a mom, it was hard to read their blog but then I thought - they are living this reality every day.  And you can see from their pictures they can still smile.  The least I can do to help them is spread the word.  I don't know them, but for any child or parent that is in pain we should help.  Please read their inspiring story and beautifully written blog to learn more and to help them get their blog viral so they can raise awareness. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I have always thought silhouettes were unique and elegant and wanted to get some of my daughters but figured they were too expensive.  One day I googled how to make your own silhouettes and found a great and easy tutorial at the Women Get Social with the SITS Girls
I took a profile picture of my girls - which can be challenging enough with two active ladies both under the age of two.  Actually my youngest was easier than my oldest - go figure.

I realized after I took the pictures that the girls were facing opposite directions so I just flipped my younger daughter's picture horizontally. I copied my pictures into Word and sized them down to 5 x 7.  My printer has been acting funny the last few weeks so the print quality was off.  Just make sure you can see the outline of your subject.  First I traced around their faces leaving room for error and then I trimmed it down to size. 

I turned the paper over and painted the back of the picture black.  Once they were dry I put two books on top of them to prevent curling.

The next day the family Morgan ventured to Ikea in Brooklyn - such an amazing store!  We hadn't been there in a few years so we had a ton of fun.  I found two cheap white frames for 5 x 7 photos.  My original plan was to get one large frame and have both pictures in the same frame - but each frame was $2.00 so I couldn't resist.  I can always get a larger frame at another time and use the smaller ones for other photos.
I inserted the picture into each frame and VOILA!  I have my very own silhouettes that were inexpensive to make.