Monthly Archives: November 2015

taking a few days off to be with the ones i love…


blessings to you all this thanksgiving.

may you find peace and love with those you are with this week.

and make room for memories of those you will be missing.

i am taking a few days off to enjoy my own.

blessed am i.

yes i am.

here are my 30 days of gratitude for 2015…

God.  Family.  Health Of All Of Our Family Members (especially our niece that is healing after her fall).  The Birth Of Our Newest Family Member.  Evening Calls From Greg.  Face Time With Brooke (love seeing her smiling face).  Kisses To Our Fingers Then Swiping Them As He Says Goodbye Each Morning From Mason.  True Friends.  Sunshine On My Face.  Donuts (especially those with bacon on top).  Coffee (hot and iced… cream and one stevia please).  Drinking Out Of My Paris Mug (this list was written on fb before the terrorist attack.  i still will visit paris one day with my two friends.  it’s on our bucket list). Our Cat (Chance The Rapper).   Our Fish (Russell Wilson).  All Of The Photos On My Phone (it’s my personal photo album to be looked at daily by me).  Photo Of The Day (the photos the 4 of us send each other every day so we are connected… priceless).  Flip Flops All Year Round.  Honesty.  Generosity.  Cool Art.  Luck.  Nacho Cheese Doritos.  Pedicures.  Laughter.  Sleep (especially late start Wednesdays).  My Blog (one day my family will appreciate it).  My “World’s Best Mom Trophy From 2003.  Twizzlers.  Our Palm Tree (hula girl) in front of our home.  Random Acts Of Kindness.  Visiting The Original VonReichards (inside joke and i’m sure i don’t spell our name correctly) And Having Dinner At Ottavios (funny thing is we are having dinner there tomorrow night… i’m salivating).  Magazines In The Mail.  Music On My Phone Finally (thanks mason for putting your songs on there, even though the lyrics are mighty interesting… and yes, he added a few of my fav songs).  Every Evening Crawling Into Bed And Knowing All Is Well With My Loved Ones.  And The Biggest Gratitude Yet… I Get To See Brookie Tomorrow!!!!!!!  I’ts Been Too Long.

oops, think I went over my 30 things… and there’s so much more.  But gotta run.  kid just got home from school and apparently is STARVING!!!!


FFFF always and forever.  after all, thanksgiving day, years ago, is where FFFF idea was born.

happy tuesday.


the 2015 thanksgiving torch has been passed to us…

are you ready, dolly???

i just found out last night that my aunt and mom have passed the torch to the next generation.

how come i suddenly fell like i am 15 and can’t live up to their expectations.  they are the ultimate hostesses with the mostess.  they have flair.  and don’t sweat.  and don’t get grumpy.  and for some reason can get an entire dinner onto the buffet at the same time and nothing is cold.  how do they do that?

hmmm.  not sure it’s fair.

there are only 2 of us girls.  and our 3 daughters.

the rest are all boys (men).

and let’s be honest, the men are not quite ready yet to make a feast of anything other that dip and chips, salsa and chips, yep… anything with chips.  and maybe a little spray cheese on crackers (by the way, my kids introduced me to that stuff recently… yum.  seriously.)

hey, maybe they could do the dishes.  YES!

it’s up to us, dolly and girls.

we can do it.

and here are a few ideas…


if it were up to me, i’d decorate the table in all white and shades of tan.  gorgeous.  thank goodness it’s not at my house this year.  i’d have a hard enough time finding 15 plates that weren’t chipped or had some foreign spot on them.  and forget about silverware.  it wouldn’t match at all.  thank goodness my aunt is hosting.  in her wonderful home in so cali.  she has everything.

thanks for the idea


i would love to put something like this on the table.  i’m curious what each generation would say.

thanks for the idea


how awesome is this table.  i mean really, would we even need nice plates and utensils?  they are already drawn in.  i think you could use fancy disposable chinette and those silver throw away cutlery… and plastic cups.  you know the kind… with the fake crystal details.  oh, so my kind of table.  why?  do you need to ask?  no dishes to wash!!  but then what would our kids do?

thanks for the idea


and there is pink.  i just love pink.  it makes me happy.  not sure we could pull this off for thanksgiving… but hey, Christmas is right around the corner.  hot pink and lime green.   yep.  that’s it.  ok, who am i kidding.  we will be eating in front of the tv, watching football and holiday shows, on our chipped plates i talked about earlier.

thanks for the idea for my own personal Christmas table

november23feast mode teenovember23fatpants

can you imagine if dolly and i wore these tee’s as we were cooking?  with waist aprons on?  i wonder if i could get them overnighted to us.  really tracy?  don’t you have 8 santa paintings to finish tonight?  how about next year?

love all of your tees

november23 tobin james winenovember23 tobin james winenovember23 tobin james winenovember23 tobin james winenovember23 tobin james wine

there will be wine.  i do know that for sure.  there always is.  the best part?  the two grandpas have wine cellars.  and their taste in wine is so much better than mine.  my palate is that of a 1987 Washington Statue University college grad.  $10 bottles of wine are fine with me.  to be honest with you i usually choose my wine for the label.  the label tells the story.  but if you have a chance, join us in giving thanks with a bottle of Tobin James.  it’s always poured at our table on this special day.  for some reason it became tradition.  we even named our appetizer in the form of a turkey “tobin the turkey”… then ate him.

must needed site for favorites if you drink wine

november23 table topics

i love this game.  hoping to find it on our drive  up the coast wednesday.  best questions ever.  and it beats hours of football!

thanks to my fav site for quick ordering and shipping


just a few more days.

this year i am so very grateful.

as we will be missing a few very important family members who are smiling down from heaven, and a few who could not join us, and to the new baby born into our other side of the family, we raise a toast to family and love.

happy monday.


4 more days…

brooke november 22c

4 more days til the best hug in the world!


Isn’t she lovely
Isn’t she wonderful
Isn’t she precious
Less than one minute old
I never thought through love we’d be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn’t she lovely made from love
Isn’t she pretty
Truly the angel’s best
Boy, I’m so happy
We have been heaven blessed
I can’t believe what God has done
Through us he’s given life to one
But isn’t she lovely made from love
Isn’t she lovely
Life and love are the same
Life is Aisha
The meaning of her name
Londie, it could have not been done
Without you who conceived the one
That’s so very lovely made from love
-Stevie Wonder
Yes, this girl is lovely.  and i’m not just saying this because i’m her mom.
happy sunday.

i am crafty. i’ll bet you are too…


i’m going out to the beach this winter and gathering rocks.  lots of rocks.  heart shaped.  wishing ones with circles.  all kinds.  and i’m making a bowl of these.  and when someone needs a few words of encouragement (including myself) i will give them away one by one through the year.  then gather more when they are gone.

thanks for the idea:

november20glassontablewith photos

our kitchen table is round.  it’s chocolate brown.  and white leather chairs.  i love it.  but the table has a huge piece of glass on top.  i’m always washing it.  then it dawned on me… wouldn’t it always be sparkly clean if i put a whole bunch of black and white photos underneath the glass?  well, maybe.  at least it wouldn’t look as dirty or smudged.

thanks for the idea:

november20watches onwinebottle

i love watches.  so does greg.  what a fabulous idea for our bedroom or bathroom.  that way we can see what we actually have.  and wear them all.

thanks for the idea:

november20photos in frame

love love love this idea.  photos in one frame.  i need to do this for brookie for Christmas.  maybe one for my mom too for all of the CA trips we take.  we have such great memories and photos.  but the photos just sit in a box.  i need to get them out quick and get started on this project.  maybe even one for mason of all of his sports over the last 15 years.  love!

thanks for the idea:


speaking of gifts.  i just found brookie’s G-EASY ticket from last years concert.  well, it’s actually a print out from the computer.  why don’t they hand out tickets like they used to.  remember all of those years when you had to actually stand in line and pay for one with cash?  and if you couldn’t get one,  you had to call radio stations for hours hoping you’d win a ticket or two (um, I never won.  that’s a bummer).  but i’ve always wanted to do this for her.  i wish i’d saved my old concert tickets and i’d decorate my house with tickets from fleetwood mac, poison, brett michaels, some random country guy who is probably famous now that we went to see on a whim, hewey lewis, neil diamond (haha…  my ex boyfriends mom took me), keith urban, and so many others i can’t even remember now because i’m so angry i didn’t save the tickets.  this could also be cool for washington state football tickets and seahawks tickets too!

p.s.  i swear i did go to some really cool concerts.  i just can’t remember.  it’s been too long.

thanks for the idea: (forgot to write the name of the site down, but you can find it)


i’m so excited to get crafty again.

happy friday.


the sweeter side of lemons…

november19lemon cookie

i love lemon.  lemon anything.

sweet lemon cakes, cookies and bars.  savory lemon chicken and fish.

lemon in my sun tea.

lemon in my hair (okay, that was when i was in college.  no more of that.).

i found this yummy site.

and i think she has the same passion for lemon (and food in general) as i do.

go take a peek at her blog.  you will love it.  she’s brilliant.  and you can get the recipe for the photo above on her site.


in honor of “i love lemon” day (self proclaimed, just saying it needed a day of it’s own), i’m sharing a few of my favorite lemon treats below.  recipes only.  photos are on my old phone.  yep, still trying to figure out how to retrieve them.



1 box white cake mis (i like betty crocker)

2 eggs, divided

5 Tblsp. melted butter

1 c. sweetened flaked coconut

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice (yes, from a real lemon)

3 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1/2 c. sugar

butter and flour a 9×13 pan.  i like to use the foil, disposable pans.  they cook real even in them.  just a preference of mine.  i’m sure professional bakers would not agree.  hey, i’m just a mom and an artist and an occasional cake baker.  what do i know?

preheat oven to 350.  mix cake mix, 1 of the eggs, butter and coconut together.  it will be crumbly.  reserve 1 c. of the mixture for the topping and set aside.  press remaining dough into prepared pan.  bake for 12 minutes.  remove from oven.  while crust is baking, mix cream cheese and lemon zest.  add lemon juice, sugar and the other egg.  spread over crust.  sprinkle remaining mixture on top.  bake for 25 more minutes or until golden on top.  cool on counter.  refrigerate until ready to serve.  so yummy if you make them the day before your event and they are cold and chewy.  omG… i want one right now!




1 c. flour, 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, 1/2 c. butter, softened, 2 Tblsp. sugar

mix and spread into lightly greased 9×11 pan.  bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  cool completely.


1 c. cool whip, 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

whip together and spread over crust.


2 small packages instant lemon pudding, 2 3/4 c. 2% milk.

mix together on medium speed until thick.  spread over frosting.


1 large container cool whip.

cover the filling with cool whip.  then refrigerate for at least two hours.

ok, here’s the deal… i like to make 2 small ones in 8×8″ pans.  they are thinner but this method is worth it if you want the majority of the cake for yourself….  i keep one (covered in foil) in the back of the refrigerator since nobody in my family looks back there, and the other in the front (covered in clear wrap).  you can use your imagination.  yes, midnight, when all are asleep, sneak to kitchen, eat directly out of your own in the back with a spoon.  ahhhhhhhhhhhh.  you will thank me for this tip.



1 c. butter

2 c. flour

1/2 c. powdered sugar

4 eggs

3 Tblsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 Tblsp. flour

2 c. sugar

2 tsp. lemon rind

1 tsp. baking powder

powdered sugar for dusting on top


preheat oven to 350.  combine butter, flour and 1/2 c. powdered sugar.  mix well.  pat into a 9×13 pan.


while crust is baking, mix together eggs, lemon juice, flour, sugar. lemon rind and baking powder.  as soon as crust comes out of oven, pour mixture over top and return to oven for 25 min longer.


when lemon bars are finished baking, immediately dust with sifted powdered sugar.  cool.  cut into squares.  refrigerate.

special note:  i like mine frozen.  they get sticky, ewey gooey and firm.  a great summer treat!


that’s it.

i’m sure i could share more.

but you guessed it… i have to take my kid to baseball.

happy thursday.


p.s.  if you want more recipes, email me at and request a cookbook.  they are $15 each (plus $4 for shipping).


what is beanboozled…


it’s a game.

and i just ordered it from for mason for Christmas.


spin the wheel.

land on a color.

pick one of that color and you will either get a fabulous flavor… or one that will make you want to puke.  okay, maybe i’m being a little dramatic, but when i saw a video of two girls playing the game with their dad i nearly fell over laughing while being disgusted at the same time.  i knew then i had to get this for mason.  and i’m sure he will try to convince greg to play along with  him.  and i’m fairly certain brooke and i will say no thank you.  but we will watch for sure!

now you get our family humor.

ya, we got some.

happy wednesday.


yum yum bubble gum…


so, did you hear?

they sprayed down the iconic seattle bubble gum wall this week.

not sure why.  just know they did.  and while we were having our girls weekend away last weekend, i snuck away and took a photo in front of a section of the wall.  blurry.  why?  because we went to bed at 4am the night before.  long story.  no asking.  that’s why the makeup and hair and eyes and smile are somehow faded.  i was tired.  very tired.  but not tired enough to snap this photo.  yay me.

bubble gum was something special when i was a kid.  my dad was a dentist.  he considered sugar free trident gum to be a treat.  it wasn’t.  just sayin.  we were friends with the wrigley family…. yes, wrigley chewing gum.  and they gave us tons of it when we visited.  as much as we could hide from our parents when it was time to leave.  good memories.  steve, if you are reading this… thank you.  i loved your parents and had a lot of fun there as a kid.

in honor of bubble gum, here are a few ways i can see myself enjoying it as an adult (as i chew my trident gum, which i like now).


voodoo doughnuts in Portland.

i always add one of these to our dozen just because they are so cute.


how cute is this?  i want one for my next birthday.  in march.  hint hint, kids.


in the meantime, i might just buy one of these for our home.  love it.  of course i will fill it with pink bubble gum balls.  or turquoise.  or green.  maybe i’ll buy 3.


and today.  oh how i wish today was sunny and i could go get some vanilla ice cream (or chocolate vanilla swirl) and make these.  do the calories count if it is a craft project?  i didn’t think so.

happy tuesday.

remember, you are never too old for bubble gum.


monday. blah…



husband left for one day trip to colorado (on his day off).  had to wake up at 4:30am and pretend i’m chipper.  slept 3 total hours since i decided to watch a lifetime movie from 1-3am (i hate how they suck you in and you swear you won’t watch it).  then fell asleep the last 10 minutes and never saw if the mom got her kid back from the crazy people who were holding her hostage.  drove carpool to school (since our kid goes out of district… sounded like a good plan last summer when we switched… not as good idea this morning).  actually dressed up.  thought i’d run tons of errands and get inspired at stores for the holidays.  thought maybe i’d call a friend for coffee.  maybe go to the mall and get a new shirt for thanksgiving.  all great ideas on my day to myself.  this day was intentionally supposed to by MY day and be easy and fun.  went to trader joes hoping to find something yummy and out of the ordinary.  had half of my groceries in my cart (since i was told yesterday “there’s no good food in our house”).  got a call from the school within 2 hours of dropping him off.  picked up the sick kid.  been with sick kid ever since.  thank goodness he just gagged and didn’t actually throw up.  paid bills.  lots of bills.  i hate bills.  watched the rain outside.  that stupid rain.  i hate the rain.  yep, that’s about it.  it’s 5:15 pm and i’m still dressed up.  maybe i should go somewhere.  haha.  who am i kidding.  i think i’ll just put on my pajamas.  haha.

can’t wait for tomorrow.  tuesday.  should be a good day.

happy Monday.