Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Out like a lamb in my garden

Since the weather we are having isn’t going out like a lamb I thought I’d post some garden pictures so we could all dream of summer. This is my Photoshop Tuesday entry. WOW now that’s cool, just think of doing your vacation pictures, Senior or baby pics and then getting a 20x20 for your wall. It was so much fun to do, I wish I had hours to play.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cake Pops

Okay so Lynn wanted to have Bakerella's here cake pops, that The Pioneer Woman here had on her ranch as a guest, for her baby shower since they are so cute and so girly looking. She wanted us to get together and make them to have at the shower looking so stinkin cute. Well since I had Friday as another vacation day and I decided to have a trial run and see if these things are easy to make and if they are edible. Now I know everything I have tried from PW site is yummy so these should be fine but I'm a bit of a picky food person so I just had to check them out myself in the privacy of my own home. I made the cake while El was in school and then she got to help with the rest.

So you can see the whole story I had to give you three POTD's, you'll see why. Here is El thinking these are the cutest little things ever and can't wait to bite into it. (BTW - the picture was taken about 10 minutes after the post with the crocodile tear in the eye, funny how she forgot her arm was broken)

Then she got to try one..... does she like it or not???

NOT!! (Can her eyes get any bigger)

What a waste of M&M's.....I know Bakeralla and Pioneer Woman are not reading this blog but just in case they are I have to say that maybe I'm not the best cake pop maker and theirs are really good but these were not. I may need a personal lesson with PW and B-ella at her ranch and stay in the lodge for a few days.... weeks or months.

The cake baked as normal, then crumbled, and mixed with a can of frosting. I'm not a cake and frosting girl, I never eat just cake and frosting unless I have to during a party to be nice. I'm more of a brownie, dessert girl. So now I have about 20 of these cute little cupcake pops sitting on my cupboard because maybe they are good and I shouldn't throw them away. Do I have any volunteers to come over and try them??? I'm afraid to take them anywhere for fear they might be as bad as I think they are.

SIDE NOTE - We have had a plane circling around our house for about 3 hours, it's making a big loop covering what appears to be about a 4 mile circle. It is driving John crazy, he wants to know why. I keep telling him our airport is busy and they need to hover until the runways open up.... :) So if you know why this is happen please drop me a comment, John will be able to sleep so much better.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Early Morning Visitor

We had two early morning visitors that had me chasing from one window to another trying not to scare them away. I don't remember them coming so early before, but I hope they stay around all summer. They are so pretty and when they fly they are so blue you can't help but see them. They like to be on the outside of your property line but for some reason they always nest in the house my dad built that's right in the middle of my garden path.

Here he is showing off his bright blue color for me, a bluebird.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Elly Crying

I love taking pictures of Elly crying. I have taken crying pictures of El since she was little and there's something about them that I just love. She used to get mad at me when I kept snapping away but now she's so used to it as long as I keep talking. Today when trying to get her games out of the closet she scratched her arm, about 15 minutes later she starts to cry and needs Grandpa to put a band-aid on it. Now after the band-aid she can't move her arm, she thinks it's broken... the tears start to flow and Grandma starts taking pictures "mean grandma". I comforted her and tried to kiss it all better but it didn't work, she was miserable, but look at those tears welling up in her eye and the catch lights in her tears are unbelievable, her eyebrow all scrunched up and her lips trying to hold back the crying, that darn little scratch.

She is so precious and I love her crying pictures.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blueberry pics

Today I took some pictures of blueberry. Lynn wanted to wait for a nicer day so we could go outside (we have a really fun shoot planned, you'll be so impressed) she has plenty of time to wait so we did some pre-fun ones just because she was here. Everyone who comes here to get their picture taken has to sit on the dresser. I love this dresser and it's in a perfect location for natural light and the walls are perfect. I didn't want to spoil the showing off of blueberry for Lynn so I'm only showing you one that you can't really see how humongous her belly really is (just kidding, it's not really that big).

Today is also Lynn's birthday.... yeap it's a birthday week for this family. Happy Birthday Sweetie we love you very much.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vegas Night

We had another decorating job this week, it was a Vegas Theme and it was sooooo cute.

Happy Birthday Dad. By the way he's feeling much better, tests are completed and now we just have to wait for the results.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My black breakfast nook is done and it looks stunning. Our house is getting back to a homey feel, we do have lots of staining and trim boards to do yet but we need nice warm weather to start that project. I'm only giving you a sneak peek of the nook just because I can.

Happy Birthday John and thank you so much for finishing my breakfast nook, we can try it out this weekend..... eating our breakfast, not what your thinking!! MEN

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Black and White

I used to be a big black and white or sepia fan but lately I can't find any photos that I like better than in color. It must be the whole winter/spring boring landscapes causing us to see the world everyday in black, brown and white. But tonight this photo peeked my interest. The dreaming look on "J's" face, the way "little K" was holding onto mommy's sleeve, and the closeness between the two of them. I couldn't help but play and it screamed black and white to me..... Here it is SOOC

And then here it is dodged the reflection on "J's" glasses, cropped, changed to black and white, added a pencil sketch, upped the contrast, added a lens flare to accent the touch of "little K", added a border and stamped.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ice Storm

Tonight we have an ice, rain and wind storm going on, I of course didn't want to get my camera wet, yep that's it.... my camera.... I was fine with the cold, rain, cold, wet, wind, cold, soggy, wind, cold and would have walked outside for my POTD but I have this wonderful lens that I can take this photo right from my living room window and the camera stays dry.

I love these bushes that line the driveway but John wants to cut them down, he thinks they are over-grown and need trimming. Last summer he was going to trim one of the 6 bushes...... trim or cut right down to the ground..... So while I still have the remaining bushes I will show you the great photos I can get with them during a rain/ice storm.

My dad could use your prayers this week, he's not feeling the best. We're all very concerned and not used to dad being sick. This week is his birthday and for as long as I can remember he has celebrated his birthday the week before, the week of, and the week after. He and John celebrated their birthdays the year Lynn was born that she almost took her first breath on the pool table at Earl's Bar..... driving to the hospital wasn't part of the birthday celebration.

Dad and Joanne we love you and we're praying that dad has good news for his birthday.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Simple Moments

I wish that I would have a picture like this when my kids were little. I had the typical posed pictures that shows how I stressed over every ones shirt colors. I remember making several shopping trips before one of our family photos to make sure the girls and I had all the same color red button down shirts, John had a royal blue and Adam was in white. We stood by a fence and looked like cowboys who just steeped off the ranch.... not our personality at all. Next family photo was blue t-shirt for myself, John and Adam and the girls wore white. We posed under my dad's apple tree and I asked the photographer to take another picture with the kids posed in the front and John and I standing a ways back out of focus, it was already then I was wanting to be on the other side of the camera. That picture is more us and it's still hanging up in the house.
I really like to capture simple moments between a couple or a family. This type of photo is not for everyone, some wonder why you would ever hang it on your wall and others, like myself, would make it a 16x20. Some people wonder why they aren't in the middle of the photo, why aren't they looking at the camera? I like it but that's what makes me a creative artistic person and I wish I had one hanging on my wall.
Simple Moments are the Most Treasured

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sweetest Little Girl Ever

Our niece and her husband came over to have me take pictures of "little K" today, she is the sweetest little girl ever. Those big brown eyes and long black eyelashes make you melt. "Little K" did a great job of smiling and posing and her outfit changes were stunning. Now remember when looking at these photos "little K's" daddy was right there the entire time. On a couple of them I'll have to Photoshop his hands out.

And of course I couldn't share just one, she is a little cutie pie.

Thank you "J" and "K" for letting me take pictures of "little K" and spending time with John and I. We really enjoyed your visit, I hope you enjoy the sneak peek.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Vacation day = Paint

I have too much vacation time accrued so I have to take off at least 2 vacation days a month or I lose my time. I know your all saying "oh you poor thing" thank you I feel your love right through this monitor :)

Well if the weather is not nice I usually find something to paint or go shopping, John cringes to what he'll come home to. Well it was either shop for a new TV and cabinet or paint the one we had and since we have to buy a new TV I thought I'd try to paint it. What would it hurt, well when I started the cabinet is all laminate, really shiny laminate so I used "No Sand", waiting the 15 minutes and started to paint..... after one coat I walked to the house hanging my head that I'd have to tell John he was right.... "not everything can be painted". After the first coat dried I added the second coat, then Sugarland starting singing "...it happens" and it happened, the cabinet looked great. Rachael Ray even thinks it looks good, she had to stop digging in her fridge to tell me how great it looks.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brown Season

Spring brings all kinds of new beginnings but we have to get through the brown season first. There is nothing pretty outside.... nothing I'm telling you.

I walked around with my camera tonight trying to find a POTD and this is the best I can do for the brown season.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Well hello....

you've been gone too long!!
I'm ready to get my hands dirty

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

20* above normal

Today we had 20 degrees above normal temperatures, it was over 60* today. We have been waiting for warmer weather for so long.

I had to drive to another facility today so I was in the car during the morning hours and it was soooooo nice out. It took all my strength to not take a half of vacation day. There will be nicer days but when we have spring days like this it's hard to stay at work. I got a few daylight hours and this beautiful sunset


I didn't do anything to the photo besides adjusted the color to create some drama.

I'm not really liking this photo but it's all I got. I tried to find a four leaf clover to celebrate Saint Patty's Day.... okay so it wasn't that warm!!

Hold up your glass of green beer.... come on I know you have one, it's what we do in Wisconsin!!!

"glasses clinking" Cheers - Happy St. Patty's Day

Monday, March 16, 2009

They’re done

Does anyone else use this method to test spaghetti noodles? I’m not sure who taught me this but the girls loved to be the one to toss the noodle against the cupboard door. I don’t usually test my noodles this way anymore but for some reason tonight I just picked the noodle off the wooden spoon and gave it a toss across the kitchen…. they’re done!!

If the noodles aren’t done to the correct tenderness they will not stick to your cupboard door. Try it, it’s fun and you have perfect noodles everytime.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Serious Game of Go Fish

Adam, Michelle and El are in a serious game of GO FISH.

Gotta scoot it's Sleep Over Night and Miss E wants to watch Open Season and snuggle in our jammies. I'm sure you guessed it.... she's already begging Grandpa to make her pancakes for breakfast. She sure loves her sleep overs.

Friday, March 13, 2009


They say you can't spoil a baby by holding them too much, but we're trying!!

Grandpa and his little man.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

O'dark thirty

This is what you see when you don't have to be to work before o'dark thirty.... oh wait the photographer behind this photo didn't have to go to work at all for the last 2 weeks...... Doesn't this time change just make you crazy in the morning. I am so tired and by the time I get used to the change it will be time to switch the clocks again.

Fear not the photographer got the call this morning.... he has to report back to work on Monday! This photo just cracked me up... it looks like he's talking on the phone but he has to be holding the camera... wait a minute he's only holding my camera with one hand, is he crazy? My camera is too heavy to hold with one hand, he's gonna drop it. I guess he didn't have the super-duper lens on since it's in the photo, that helps to reduce the weight. This photo is SOOC. Yesterday he tried to take pictures of the breakfast nook and called me at work to find out why the photos were all black.... I take photos in the manual mode so he has to learn to turn the dial back to the green square. Well these photos are proof that he's learned how to do that. I hope that these Zoe windows work or Adam's senior picture will be faded before I get to hang him on the wall with the girls.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Work at home is happening

John is laid off this week and things are starting to happen with his projects. I wanted to make him a honey-do list but he refused and assured me he had his own list to worry about. He did gets lots of stuff done both for me and him so I didn't have to put him on my (you know what) list!! He got my window... no, let's call it a look through..... no that's not right, how about a bar? How about we call it.... a porthole.... no, it's like a skylight opening in the wall, letting light into the dining room from the leaded glass front door, it's an opening so I can see my red wall and green chair, it's an opening I got because I couldn't take the entire wall down.
Some stupid man thing about that's a support wall and if I remove the wall the upstairs will fall in.... yeah right, I think it was just a story to get them out of more work! All my ideas can't be done because of some man story and construction or electrical wires or plumbing..... they should let women decorate without all those little details. But since I'm so accommodating I went with just the opening in the wall, John sure is lucky to have such an understanding wife...... So let's call it ....... are you ready????? My breakfast nook, the door is facing the east so the sun should be shining through the door every morning. Now where was I??? He got my breakfast nook opening all framed up but now my plan was to paint it black but he sprung it on me tonight that I should just stain it since he likes the wood look. I thought about Patti's blog and her wood vs. paint decision so here is mine. (by the way Patti, John says he loves the wood and your crazy if you paint them). Go take a look it's the Bruggink Blog on the right.
Stain the breakfast nook opening, you'll have to imagine it stained a little darker than the natural wood.
Or paint it black (thanks to a quick photoshop you have a visual) Ignore the yellow ladder back there, it's become a permanent home for them lately.

Read to me

We have tons of pictures of everyone reading to El, she wanted to be read to all the time. Her favorite book has always been "Are you my Mother?" I used to read this book to her every night when she went to bed. This last week it was Doctor Seuss Week at school and she had to bring her favorite Doctor Seuss Book to school, of course she came to get her book from her bedroom shelf. When she got home she read the book to Garrett, she is so proud that she can read this book all by herself. Reading in Kindergarten, what's next??

Here is the SOOC, it's a pretty good picture just like this but of course it's the one I chose to play with. My two favorite subjects look cute no matter how bad the photographer is. :)
Here is the same photo cropped, brightened colors, darkened edges, blurred edges, added a texture, erased texture from their faces, added a frame and stamped. I am a texture nut, I think every photo looks better with texture behind it but it's probably just a fad. You only notice the texture in the walls behind them but look at the difference it makes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Jeans on the line

Nothing better than bluejeans hanging on the line that your husband washed, hung up, and folded by the time you got home from work. I happen to come home for lunch to snap the pictures or I would have missed the whole process.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Perfect Key Lime Pie

But Julee it's only 3 WW Points a slice so it's okay for me to post this food picture! It's amazing so give it a try...you won't be disappointed!

Key Lime Pie
Graham cracker ready made crust- fat free
1 box sugar free lime jello (4oz)
1/4 cup boiling water
2 containers of fat free yogurt (w.w. Key Lime)
1 8oz. container of fat free Cool Whip

1. In a large bowl mix 1/4 cup boiling water with jell-o. Whisk vigorously to try to dissolve every bit of the jello mix.
2. Add the yogurt, mix well
3. Add the Cool Whip and mix well
4. Pour contents into the pie crust and refrigerate for about two hours
5. Divide equally into 8 slices - 3 points per slice

If you want it to be less points skip the crust and eat it like a mousse. Here are some other variations to try.

Amaretto Cheesecake Yogurt + Orange Jello
Orange-Mango Yogurt + Orange Jell-0
White Chocolate + Raspberry Jell-0
Vanilla Yogurt + Orange Jell-0
Bluseberry Yogurt + Blueberry Jell-0
Raspberry Yogurt + Raspberry Jell-0
Cherry Vanilla Yogurt + Cherry Jell-0
Lemon Chiffon Yogurt+ Lemon Jell-0
Strawberry-Banana + Strawberry Jell-0
Strawberry Shortcake Yogurt + Strawberry Jello

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Springtime Walk

Today I went for a walk since we're having spring like weather, I'm a fair weather walker, the stars have to be lined up perfectly for me to walk without being able to wear shorts and a t-shirt so this is a special occasion. First my i-pod's battery was dead (from not being used in so long) so I charge it because taking a walk without music isn't going to happen. Then I start walking and I smell "country-aire", sure enough the neighbor is spreading shit in the field, I thought about turning around and running back to the house but I put my sleeve over my nose and walk really, really fast past the dump site. Then since my music is so loud I don't realize a truck is pulling up behind me so I scream loudly startling the other neighbor who's window is open and she's right next to me and is just stopping to say hi. The wind is cold, my hair is in my face....what am I doing out here but then I begin to look for something to pass the time. I noticed how the snow melts and makes it's own temporary rivers. The sun glistens on the running water and the snow underneath is acting as a rapids for the fast moving water. I suddenly forget I'm miserable but I am over a mile away from the house and all I can think of is, why didn't I bring my camera? After I get home I talk John into taking me back so I could get a few pictures.

Now the weather men are calling for more snow and cold, gotta love March weather in Wisconsin. Here's one of my distractions making my springtime walk enjoyable.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stop the Aging Process

I have got to stop the aging process.... I look into the mirror every morning and wonder how I got here, how I got to this point in my life. I was just 30 years old a few days ago, not a worry in the world about getting old. I was a young mom, when I would pick Lynn up from school they thought it was her older sister. I was getting carded every time I went to a bar, not even understanding how laugh marks could stay embedded in your face as a wrinkle which all the old people talked about!! Why would girls sit around a table and talk about what kind of paint to buy and which was the best paint and they liked the texture of a certain paint...
The year I turned 30 is the same year my sister Starla turned 40, so we were planning her surprise party and I was in amazement that she was FORTY YEARS OLD, that was like the unheard of. I did all kinds of nasty things for her party, but only because I loved her so very much, she is my favorite sister, shhhhh don't tell the others ;) She was the best sport during her party and I remember her having a very good time along with everyone else. The years went by and we had a surprise party for Gayle's 40th and then DiAnn's we decided to tell her but then the surprise was, we all dressed up like old people so she wouldn't feel out of place, we were nasty. They got me back big time, sucks being the youngest, you're to stupid to know there's payback. All these parties were a blast and I wish they could happen all over again not only because now I'd like to be 40 again but because we were surrounded by family and friends and had such fun. We don't do parties for 50, we learned our lessons on 40.
NOW jump ahead 3.10 years and here I am looking at my aging face in the mirror. This morning I had an Ah-ha moment. I can fix those holes and seams in our drywall to make them all smooth again so I should be able to do the same with my face.... It was a bit messy but if this works I'll be doing infomercials. Don't worry I'll give you the blog discount... Don't use the risky plastic surgery to fix the sagging facial skin, don't let someone stick needles into your face until you leak while drinking a glass of water, are you afraid of your eye lift turning out like Kenny Rogers..... instead buy 1 tube of anti-aging cream and a 4" putty knife for $19.95 but if you call within the next 18 minutes you will get 2 tubes of anti-aging cream, a 4" putty knife, and a slim 2" putty knife to help you get into the hard to reach places like under the eyes and brow line for the same $19.95. Call now!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Guac, you either love it or hate it

If you can't eat guacamole like this.... stay out of Mexico. I could eat an avocado like an apple, without the skin of course, but instead I smash it up with a little lime juice, salt and pepper and call it good. In Mexico when you ask for guacamole and chips by the pool on a 90* day at 3:00 snack break this is what they will bring you. I might not be in Mexico, instead I'm standing in my kitchen but I have guac and I get to eat the whole bowl by myself!!

A girl at work today had a t-shirt that said "Nobody Cares About Your Blog"..... how RUDE!! I'm sure you do care about my blog, I care about yours. Why are they making t-shirts to make me feel bad? Can anyone explain this? I'm sure someone cares about me holding this chip, I'm sure someone cares that my cabinets still look fabulous, I'm sure someone sees the tiny bubbles of light called "bokeh" that are in the top of this photo (I've been trying to do that for awhile now), I'm sure someone cares that I like guac, I'm sure you do...... damn t-shirt has given me a complex. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Left Overs and Food Touching

I can't eat left overs unless they are the right kind of left overs. I'm not sure what defines the right kind of left overs, I guess it's just foods like left over potatoes and meat that I can't eat... or like a sandwich that has ranch on it and makes the bread soggy, YUCK. Nothing worse than soggy bread. As some of you know I don't like my food to touch so this photo is me going out on a limb...... my food is touching and it's left overs! I must have been starving but it was really, really good. If you haven't made the Pioneer Woman's Enchiladas you got to try them.... they are fabulous, even as left overs.

Actually I've grown to let these types of foods touch each other, like using sour cream and guacamole on top of my enchilada. I know it's hard to believe especially if you've ever watched me eat and my corn juice gets anywhere close to my potatoes I freak out, or if my meat touches my potatoes I cut it off and put it on John's plate.
I have to tell you my favorite story of my food touching. Years ago I'm at a after hours work party in a local tavern and there is snacks there. I fix myself a plate of mozzarella dip on the left, shrimp dip with sauce on the right and pretzels. Nothing is touching and now I have to walk back through a crowded party to where I was standing, I get half way there and I meet a co-workers wife and she says "Ohhhh thanks Connie" as she takes a pretzel and starts with the shrimp dip and drags it totally across my plate into the mozzarella dip. I am shocked and stood there with this deer in the headlight look on my face not knowing what to do. I must have had a tear start swelling in my right eye as she says "what's the matter" I say "my food can't touch" and she takes my plate, holds it up to her face and licks the center until there is nothing touching. "there" and hands it back to me. I look around and everyone I work with knows me and is laughing hysterically at me, I am so shocked I can't speak. I hand the plate back to her and walked away. It's hilarious now but at the time I think I was traumatized.... her and I still talk about it and laugh every time, she's never seen anyone like me.
Not everyone in my family is struck with this fobia but those of us who have it, got it bad. My brother Randy has to have a different plate for everything he eats, his food can't even be put on the same plate. Let me tell you he goes through the dishes on holidays or potlucks!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tia's challenge

Tia had a challenge on Sunday to get both kids looking at the camera. I didn't even show you the ones she took by holding the camera herself. These are half of the ones from when she talked her father into helping her. She does spoil these two every chance she can get.

Monday, March 2, 2009

How much can a girl take?

Come on..... the editors for the magazines must not have any idea how cabin crazy we Wisconsin folks are right now. This morning on my way to work I knew it was cold but since I park in the attached garage I don't get to feel the real cold until I get to work. I glanced at the temperature gage and it says -14.... are you kidding me, it's March!!! Then I come home to this magazine laying on my cupboard, how much can a girl take? I understand that we live in Wisconsin and that's what Wisconsin weather is but we've been living with cold since October... the skin on my arms and legs is as white as snow.... hummmm snow, that's funny how that word just popped into my head!! I'm ready for digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, fresh flowers, sitting on the porch, and sunshine on my face.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

He's so shy

Today the kids were over and Garrett was hungry so of course I like to feed him, Shan hands me his bottle and says.... "he'll hold his hands over his eyes, don't pull them down". She knows I like to see him when I feed him his bottle and I fight to hold the bottle and keep his hands down below his bottle. Well this is how he drinks his bottle.... the whole time, you can't see nothing while your feeding him. He started this about a week ago. You would think his eyes would be closed but nope they are wide open just under his hands and then he hooks his fingers around each other to cover up the middle. As I'm halfway through feeding him I ask Shan how I'm suppose to know how much he drank so I can burp him. She says "I feed him the whole thing because I can't see either." It's a good thing he's not a spit-er-upper. I'm thinking he's going to be a closet eater, he'll never make it as a competitive eater like we seen on the Food Channel last night. This girl, very small girl I might add, ate 119 shrimp in 5 minutes while the other two guys, larger guys, ate 22 and 19. She looked kinda gaggy by the time they stopped the clock, I was afraid they were gonna have shrimp pieces everywhere. We are Food Network-a-holics especially with Guy, and now he's got a new show!!

Here's the birthday boy, 4 months today. Don't look at him, he's eating.