summer candies

It all started in WalMart. Usually, I am not a big WalMart shopper. Sidney had the day from school and I had promised her the DVD of High School Musical, and that is about the last place in town to find it. So, off we went. When we walked in, we saw the big display 'o summer candy. I was like, well, a kid in a candy store. Or a grown woman in a big box retailer. Whatever.

I used to love summer candy when I was a kid. You can't find much of the good old kinds anymore. Last Halloween, I could barely find candy corns to fill my glass jars. I decided to snap up some gummy bears and some licorice rope for a new display. I was bored of putting apples and lemons in the jars so here's the new colourful look for summer! Come on over and help yourself.

meet clara

Here is the newest member of our family, Clara. How cool is she? I have coveted after just such a mannequin for years. I saw one a very, very long time ago but it wasn't meant to be. I was meant to be with Clara.

Clara is my amazing graduation present from my Dad. I am way too excited! Thank you Daddy! Thanks for Clara! She's awesome.

How amazing will Clara look in my someday-somewhere dream art studio dream room?

Clara is circa 1910. She hides her age well and as you can see she doesn't look a day over sixty. She is in excellent condition, fully adjustable and stain-free. For now, Clara will reside in the corner of the living room so we can get to know her. I want to introduce her to everyone. I may introduce her to Febreze also.

eau de... play doh?

My tres elegant new fragrance.......and it really, truly smells like the real thing! It is a limited edition fragrance in honour of the 50th Birthday of the doh, this scent has been created by Demeter. Sidney and I are enjoying it. We even got a little tub of Play Doh as a gift with purchase! A little salty, a little sweet. Yummy.

things to do

Now that graduation is behind me, I have so many things to get busy with! A summer filled with crafts and hobbies! If the weather clears this weekend, I plan to refinish the old park bench and table. I bought the stain last year and didn't get to it.

Next on the list: dollhouse renovation. Hopefully Daddy and I will finish the wiring and the interior walls. After that, I have the exterior on the tiny real estate and the people house. With landscaping on both homes I should be busy well into August.

I also have scrapbooking to work on, I want to try digital scrapbooking, I have some memorabilia to frame from my cheerleading days, and today I picked up some canvas to start two acrylic paintings that are trapped in my head and begging to get out. I want to make a few hatpins to use up the last of my favorite beads, and I also plan to work on Christmas tree ornaments for this year's theme tree. I haven't yet decided if I will design for the Festival of Trees or not.

Today I finally finished my little wedding scrapbooks for the bridesmaids, soon to be delivered with love.

But for today, I potted this little group of cactus plants for Buddy. I can't complain about the pricklies, even though they came right through the rubber gloves I wore. They come with the territory.

spoiled rotten!

My excuse for not blogging lately is actually quite good! I had planned to blog right after watching the final episode of Will & Grace (I loved it, by the way) but I couldn't blog about it until Lolly and Pepper saw it... I didn't want to give anything away! They came over to watch the Oprah Legends special on Monday night. We had fresh strawberry daquiris (I just adore mixing cocktails for my buddies).

My other exciting news is that my Dad and I both graduated this week! My Dad was bestowed with an honorary PhD from the University he taught at for years... and I graduated with my Master's Degree! Today we are off to another ceremony. I can't wait to get our photos back to post those, too! I am so proud of Daddy. He made the commencement address and it was very emotional for all of us. We had some special dinners and celebrations.

I have also been well remembered and spoiled by many who congratulated me this week. What a treat to get nice flowers! I am so spoiled...

What a treat - this gorgeous bouquet from the Hicks family in Windsor. So sweet of them to think of me today.

A dozen roses from my brother Jan and his wife Susan!

And these are from sweet little Sidney Jean. Also, most of my Mother's Day flowers are still looking gorgeous so it is like a regular flower shop around my house and I love it, love it, love it!

cupcake heaven

Today's offering: lemon meringue cupcakes. The cake is lemon pound cake. I scooped out the top and filled them with lemon curd. It takes lots of meringue to decorate 24 cupcakes! The recipes are from The Clueless Baker cookbook, all recipes in it are foolproof.

belated scrapbooking

Today I had to go to the University campus and I parked near where we had our wedding. It got me to feeling all nostalgic. I came home and started going through some of the wedding pictures. I am ashamed to admit that I still haven't finished scrapbooking our wedding. I am presently working on three little albums for my wonderful bridesmaids. I found three (matching, of course) little hardcover albums. I am just embellishing 4x6 photos, so it is scrapbooking on a very small scale. I have set a goal to have these little albums completed by our second anniversary - maybe I'll have the girls over for cosmos and give them their little keepsakes. Shame on me for not completing them sooner.

Here are some photos I am putting in the handheld scrapbooks: I'll post more another day.

A flock of flamingos marked the spot for the wedding - these two were special guests!

We had a wedding- cake pinata for the kids.

I arranged all of the wedding flowers - the night before the wedding. Buddy stayed up late with me and handed me the tools and kept me company. It was a nice way to spend time with him, just the two of us before Mom's wedding. I incorporated each of my friends' favorite flowers into their arrangements, in their own colours.

I put little figurines on the top of the cake that looked like our dogs, Wrigley and Jasper. By the way, I made the cake, too!

We had a Beatles tribute band, Liverpool, perform a set during the dance.

I will put real tiny feathers on this photo, leftovers from the flower arranging.

baby's got a brand new bag

Yesterday my dear friend Pepper gave me the sweetest handbag that used to belong to her grandmother-in-law. She was getting ready to drop it to Goodwill and I spied it and ooooh, I loved that little bag! Well she gave it to me and it is too, too, cute and summery. It looks like it is from the sixties and I just love the sixties! I will feel just like Jackie Kennedy when I wear this with my grey shift dress! I am beside myself and can't wait to doll myself up.

My girlfriends and I live in a world where we do little things for each other all the time and it is so kind and civilized. I mean, why not share? We do it all the time. As a matter of fact, that Pepper of mine is always showing her "random acts of kindness" and that was way before Oprah copied her. You simply cannot walk the streets of New York with that girl, she is constantly feeding homeless people. Back in her modeling days, she ate at the best restaurants in NY and then gave the bums half her sandwiches. And I don't mean just her doggie bag leftovers, I seriously think she set aside half that meal on purpose, especially if she knew there was a bum outside. "I won't give you money, but here is a nice apple", I have seen her do that, shop with apples in her purse in case she saw bums.

And do not go downtown with her, she is like a meter maid except when she sees that someone's time has run out, she plugs their parking meter with her spare change. That is just the kind of gal she is. She invented the random act of kindness.

Thanks for the bag, Pepper!

hi-hat cupcakes on parade

Who could possibly wait to cut into this yummy, marshmallowy goodness?

This Mother's Day it was just us girls. Mom, Granny, Aunty, Sidney and I. Four generations! We spent the afternoon fussing over how to make the hi-hat cupcakes. The frosting is marshmallow. Granny was the project supervisor.

The cupcakes have to chill before you dip them in chocolate.... mmmm they looked good already! We had a great afternoon bickering with each other about how long to cook the frosting, how much chocolate to melt, yadda yadda yadda.

flower pot cupcakes

Sidney and I made these super-cute dirt desserts for Mother's Day gifts. Martha Stewart made them this week and it got me remembering the "dirt pies" I used to make for Buddy when he was a little guy - a mixture of chocolate pudding, crushed oreos and gummy worms.

These are slightly different; the clay pots are lined with parchment and we baked the cakes right in them. They are frosted with chocolate icing and Sidney sprinkled the oreo crumbs on the top and decorated with candy rocks and the little plants are sprigs of mint. You should line the inside of the pots with parchment so your cake doesn't take on the taste of the terracotta or clay pot.

We delivered them around town this morning. We hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day eating dirt. That sounds awful! But they weren't awful, they were yummy and delicious. Happy Mother's Day!

this one is apple

I had a really nice birthday yesterday. I took the day off from most of my usual to-do's. Today I was back at it and made another pie. This is the second apple pie in three days, I think it turned out better because Granny gave me a few tips!


Whenever I sleep with a bobby-pin in my hair, I almost always wake up having come up with a brilliant idea! The key to this, however, is that it has to be an accident, I can't just put a bobby-pin in my hair and go to sleep (believe me, I've tried) it has to be pure serendipity coupled with an absentminded bedtime routine that leaves the pin in place, kind of like a genius antenna. It really works. My most creative ideas are implanted by bobby-pins.

hail to the chocolate chief

Oh lucky me! My honey knows a guy who knows a guy who got me these patriotic bits 'o chocolately goodness from AIR FORCE ONE! I love M&M's and the very cool very exclusive packaging - I am so happy! I will never, ever eat them nor will I ever sell them on eBay (because the guy who knows a guy my husband knows told me I'm not allowed) but they are supposed to be red, white and blue on the inside, but I will likely never find out since I am never opening them!!! It was a little pre-birthday treat for me. I lurrve it.

lemon pie, oh my!

We made a lemon meringue pie for Ben today. Maureen gave us the dish for a house warming gift. I am sure that is what turned the tide in my favor. The meringue is a mile high! The recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma cookbook. I only made the pie to use up the lemons that I zested for the lemoncillo at Buddy's birthday... so I used the lemons but I have two egg yolks leftover... now what will I make???

little spring plants

Today Sidney and I finally think spring is here. The leaves on the trees are most definitely turning green. We have planted buddy's little plants that he got for his birthday from Grandma. His plant from Marit is up by his computer so I think it will be alright - sufficiently neglected I am sure - and I think we may keep these ones in the family room where there is plenty of light. He has been hounding us for more houseplants so I hope this suffices!