Monday, May 30, 2011

Party favor bags

For the kid’s birthday party I wanted to make some nice party favors. Usually we do a piñata, but I have grown tired of all the candy and being beaten by kids once a year.

In comes the party favor bag filled with Bubbles, Note book, Pencil, Headband for girls, 3D Puzzle for boys, Lollipop and Beanie Bands.

Here is how I made the “Lollipop head bands”. I used felt that I cut thin strips of and stretched a bit then folded them in two. I rolled them up together and glued them flat to a piece of felt and cut out around them. Using and extra piece of felt, I glued them onto headbands. I also made a few smaller ones for hair ties. Same way as before, I just didn’t fold the felt before rolling them up.


To decorate the bags I made some pinwheels using this tutorial found at Ohdeedoh. And I made my own bubble wraps using Publisher. I also made tags for the bags saying “Thanks for making our party so sweet”. Now I just have to get them all assembled.



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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Something new

I have been working on my blog lately. I wanted to make it more personalized and I finally figured out how to make my own header and buttons. Please let me know if there is any glitches in anything.

My husband bought me the perfect gift off of Craigslist. A Canon Rebel XS. I love it and I love him for finding it for me. I am having so much fun playing with it and taking lots of pictures. All the pictures in my header and buttons are taken with my new camera.

If you have been featured by me before, please grab my featured button.

I would also love it if you would grab my button for your blog.

There will be a few more changes as I get things going and I am very sorry if I take up space in your reader lineup, but I promise that eventually my blog will be worth the while.

Thank you all for hanging in there with me.

Please let me know what you think of my “new blog”. All comments are welcomed as it helps me improve the blog.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lollipop Birthday Party Invites

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This morning I was finally able to finish all the invites for my daughters birthday party. Isabel chose the theme of Lollipops and I really thought it would be easy to find Lollipop themed supply at any store, but I was wrong. We really should have chosen cupcakes. Still we kept going and I did a lot of research to see if I could find Lollipop themed invitations and other party supply both online and in stores, but didn’t have much luck.

I decided instead of making everything myself. I bought basic cards in five colors at JoAnn together with a scrapbook paper collection.

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To make a lollipop on the front I cut two circles of two different papers and then I cut them holding them together into spirals. That way I could make lollipops with two colors. The stick is just ordinary copy paper that was scrapped.

Then I used a party hat sticker I got at JoAnn to create some dimension to the card and a stamp to create the wording.

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To avoid having to handwrite on all the invites I used Microsoft Publisher to create the invitation text inside the card. I created a textbox and framed it with pinheads that I thought looked more like lollipops. Then all I had to do was write in all the text and copy and paste to get four to a page, print it, cut it out and glue it into the card. Assembling the cards having the printouts already done, but not having the lollipops cut out, took me 1.5 hours this morning.


Isabel was so happy with the design and has already given some out to her friends at school.

More to come…

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A little leave of absence


I have been taking a semi leave of absence lately. As you all know, I have had to do lists too long for one person to handle and still I have conquered them. I finished on time and I am finally able to relax and do some fun stuff.

I have just been too tired and both Sofie and I have had a cold over the weekend. Isabel and Jesse spent the weekend in LA and Sofie and I spent the weekend at home just hanging out watching TV.

                     Source                                         Source

I saw the whole Avatar series in three days and Sofie saw Winnie the Pooh the Movie at least 15 times. I know bad momma, but I was exhausted and not feeling well at all and neither did she.

I have been good the last couple of days as we have been outside almost all day, hence why I haven’t finished my buttons for my blog.

So I am planning a birthday party for the girls, a couple of crafts and some recipe tutorials. Hopefully between keeping my place showcase ready for showing by realtors and getting over this cold I will be able to get it all done.

Please bear with me while I get going on my blog rehab project.

Planning a Birthday Party

Both of my girls have summer birthdays. As a matter of fact they are only born four days apart, one in June of ‘09 and one in July of ‘04. For as long as I can I will do only one party for them, but I want to make it really nice for them.

This year since we are going on vacation to Norway in mid June I will have to have their party on June 11th. That gives me four weeks to get ready now.

This is my to do list

  • Find a location – Daleway Park
  • Get a budget – Use my own judgment…
  • Find a theme – Lollipop party
  • Make and send invitations
  • Make decor
  • Make treat bags
  • Food





cherry blossom cupcakes







  • Cupcakes
  • Cake pops
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Chocolate covered marshmallows
  • Sandwich sushi rolls
  • Cookie pops


  • Water
  • Juice
  • Soda

Treats for treat bag:

  • Lollipops
  • Bubbles
  • Pinwheel on pencil
  • Any other ideas?


  • Pinwheels
  • Lollipops
  • Balloons
  • Colorful table cloths
  • Cake stand
  • Picnic blankets

This is at least a beginning.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Getting your own button code

I have been procrastinating on this one task.

Several months ago I made myself one button for a linkup party I was planning on hosting. I got as far as putting it on my blog, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the grab my button code.

I tried so many different tutorials and I still couldn’t get it up and running.

Then finally I found the “Grab my button generator”. It did everything for me.

All I had to do was plot in my blog title, my blog URL, my image URL, and choose some colors and I was ready to push preview and then the get code button.

As soon as I had my code I just had to copy and past it into my blogger HTML/java script box and place it where I wanted it on my blog.

Oh so easy.

Here is the link if you ever want to try it for yourself

Grateful Sunday 23

I have been so busy that I forgot to sit down and think through my blessings. God has been very gracious to me and my family and as I add to my list of requests for him I thank him for these things amongst others:

221. Mother in law taking my husband and Isabel to LA for the family reunion to celebrate her brothers 80th birthday.

222. Mother in law and my husband taking Isabel to Disneyland for her first time.

223. The sunshine we are experiencing here in Seattle.

224. Sofie and me having a good time even though we are both sick.

225. Being able to watch a whole TV series on Netflix.

226. That I managed to finish all my projects on the condo in time for putting it out on the market for sale.

227. Friends offering to watch Sofie for me so that I can finish my projects even though I didn’t have to take them up on the offer.

228. Friends seeing my strengths and helping me use them more.

229. My blogging community always sending me inspiring and encouraging emails.

230. Safe travel for my family.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Tough Mom Award

Stephanie over at the Odd Duck made this award in honor of all the tough moms out there. The only rules she gave is to pass this along to all the tough moms you know out there in blog land. One of the tough moms following her is Jenner.

Jenner over at Jennerally Speaking passed this on to all the moms she knows and that includes me.

I am now passing this on to YOU because YOU are one TOUGH MOM.

All I ask is that you please pass this on to every tough mom you know who is following you.

Thank you to Stephanie for making this award and to Jenner for passing it on to me.

The latest books I’ve read

For my birthday my mom gave me a Sony E-reader and with it a new world opened to me. I can finally find time to read again. My reader is easy to bring in my handbag and while the kids are playing I can read no matter where we are. This has enabled me to read 400 page thick books again.

Angels of Destruction: A Novel

Angels of Destruction I really liked. Throughout the book you learn about the mother and father who lost their only child when she ran away from them. You learn about the daughter and her misguided boyfriend. And all throughout the story is a little girl with chopped hair and glasses that helps them all come to terms with what has happened.

I really enjoyed this book and I still don’t know what to make of the little girl. If you ever have read it or if you ever read it, please let me know your theories on this little girl.

The Help

I read about The Help in my local newspaper and knew I had to read it especially after hearing my dear old friend Lois tell me stories from when she worked in the black wing of a hospital in the south.

There is three voices in this book, two are black housekeepers and one is a white young woman. Together they are experiencing the months counting down to the Big  March on Washington. Collecting the stories of the housekeepers, good and bad while fearing for their lives.

For someone like me who doesn’t know the American history very well it was very interesting to get a look into the southern ways of living only 50 years back.

If you would like to read it, please use the links below as I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ready to Sell

We’re there. Today is the day that the realtor came and took the pictures for our ad and now our condo is on the market.

We got everything done last week. Of course I am several days late in writing this post because I’ve just had way to much to do as you can probably understand.

My condo is pristine as long as you don’t open the doors to my storage area under my stairs or the kids big closet.

Lets look back at my last to do lists.

Isabel’s to do list

  • Norwegian Homework
  • Purge outdoor clothes
  • Purge shoes
  • Pick up and organize toys

Sofie’s to do list

  • Purge and organize toys
  • Dust and clean table tops

Jesse’s to do list

  • Prime and paint living room walls
  • Drop stuff off at Goodwill
  • Use carpet cleaner in living room
  • Post stuff on Craigslist

Marianne’s to do list

  • Prep walls in living room
  • Attach molding in dining room
  • Touch up paint
  • Clean the floors downstairs
  • Use carpet cleaner in living room
  • Purge and organize storage closet
  • Help kids with chores
  • Make dinner list for May
  • Organize outdoor clothes closet
  • Clean baseboards
  • Clean powder room
  • Buy and hang up curtain rods and curtains in laundry room
  • Put away Easter decor
  • Decorate living room for sale
  • Clean decks

It feels good to be done. Now comes the hard job of keeping the condo as pristine as possible. Not easy when you have two kids where one is a toddler. Any time people might call to ask to come see it and we have to pick up and get out of here before they come. It will be interesting having strangers coming through our condo every once in a while.

Now I just have to get on to my next task which is preparing a double birthday party for my girls the second weekend of June.

Mothers day

I hope everyone had a good mothers day or at least better than mine. Lets just say that with everything going on for readying the condo for sale, my oldest one is having some behavioral problems and my youngest one some stumach issues. It all topped up on Sunday with me having to prepare and host a mothers day dinner for 8 people.

The only thing that made me smile on Sunday was this video and with that I will wish all you mamas out there a late happy Mothers day.

Big thank you to Pretty Handy Girl and her mom who made my day with this video.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Norwegian Cream Cake

Foto: Gidske Stark

One of my earliest memories is of my dad and I waking up early in the morning to make breakfast for my mom on Mother’s day. He had been out to buy flowers and a card that we brought in to my mom with a big cup of coffee. Later in the day my grandma would come over for dinner and we would serve a beautiful Cream cake that my mom made the day before.

Later after my grandmother passed away we would take my mom out for dinner. Always with a piece of Cream cake for dessert afterwards.

The Cream cake is one of the most popular cakes in Norway and the reason for that is its versatility.

May 17th is the Norwegian Constitution Day. It is a national holiday and we have parades, we dress in our national costumes and we eat more Cream cake than any other time in the year. If you have ever been to any Norwegian district on this day, you will know that they too celebrate May 17th there, but it is not the same as in Norway. I don’t know if you can tell, but I am homesick now. So why don’t I just share the recipe for Cream cake with you all. Here it is:


4 eggs and 4.6 oz (weight) sugar is beaten till very airy.

4.6 oz (weight) all purpose flour and 1 tsp baking powder is carefully folded into the egg and sugar mixture.

1.2 oz (weight) melted, but cooled down butter is folded in.

Pour into a well greased Baking tin with removable bottom (dia. 8 5/8", volume 2 qt at IKEA or equal to this) and put in the middle of the oven at 345 F for 25-35 minutes. Do not open the oven to early or it will fall flat, it is done when a toothpick comes out clean.

When it has cooled off you cut it into three layers.


1 lb Strawberries, cleaned and sliced up.

1 vanilla bean, take the seeds out and divide in parts of 1/3 and 2/3.

1Tbsp sugar mixed with 1/3 vanilla bean seeds.

3 1/4 cup of cream mixed with 2 Tbsp sugar and 2/3 vanilla bean seed, whipped not to much, but not runny either.

2/3 cup of Port or Cognac .

Put one of the cake layers on a cake stand, sprinkle 1/3 of the Port or Cognac all over it. Layer 1/4 of the strawberries on it, sprinkle with your homemade vanilla sugar and cover with 1/4 of the cream. Put one more layer of cake on top and repeat. When the top layer of cake is on, you sprinkle the last of the Port or Cognac over it and then cover the whole cake with the last 1/2 of the cream. Then decorate with the last 1/2 of the strawberries. Lastly you enjoy it.

To make it more kid friendly you can substitute the Port or Cognac with milk or a juice.

To make it easier you can mash 1/2 of the strawberries and fold it into the cream and put it between the cake layers.

You can also substitute the strawberries with anything else you would like. I love bananas and kiwi, or strawberries and blueberries.

Please let me know if you ever make this and tell me what you thought of it.

Recipe and picture source.

Transformation Thursday

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Family To Do’s

We are back at our regular schedule again this week, well except for my husband who actually has three days off. This means that we will get more done and that we might be ready to put the house on the market by next week.

Last week I made a very short list and I barely made it.

  • make a newsletter for MOPS.
  • make teacher appreciation gifts for the PTA.
  • get my house back together after the guests leaves.
  • purge and organize the water closet room.

    This week I will be making a list for every one in the household. These are all things that is not on our ordinary to do lists, except for Isabel’s Norwegian Homework because we have to do twice as much this week on it due to catching up this week.

    Isabel’s to do list

    • Norwegian Homework
    • Purge outdoor clothes
    • Purge shoes
    • Pick up and organize toys

    Sofie’s to do list

    • Purge and organize toys
    • Dust and clean table tops

    Jesse’s to do list

    • Prime and paint living room walls
    • Drop stuff off at Goodwill
    • Use carpet cleaner in living room
    • Post stuff on Craigslist

    Marianne’s to do list

    • Prep walls in living room
    • Attach molding in dining room
    • Touch up paint
    • Clean the floors downstairs
    • Use carpet cleaner in living room
    • Purge and organize storage closet
    • Help kids with chores
    • Make dinner list for May
    • Organize outdoor clothes closet
    • Clean baseboards
    • Clean powder room
    • Buy and hang up curtain rods and curtains in laundry room
    • Put away Easter decor
    • Decorate living room for sale
    • Clean decks

    There will probably be more added on to this as we go along.

    And look at that we actually got a head start :)

  • Linking up to A-P Tuesday at New Nostalgia.

    Teacher Appreciation Gifts

    If you are Isabel’s teachers please stop reading right now, otherwise keep going.

    A few weeks ago I took my mouth to full and offered to make all 35 teacher appreciation gifts  at Isabel’s school for the PTA. They gave me a budget of $75 to buy supply for, but I had no idea what to do though.

    I headed over to Skip to my Lou who is doing a whole series on teacher appreciation gifts. There was so much to choose from and it was really hard to narrow it down. The reason I chose what I did was that it was easy to alter to my skill level and I wouldn’t have to spend to much time on it as I am really busy right now.

    This was my inspiration. Image and idea from Stampers Dream.

    I don’t have that many paper crafting tools  so I knew I couldn’t do it exactly the way Michelle at Stampers Dream did it, but I knew I could make with the tools I have.

    I cut 12x12 sheets of scrapbooking paper  in four 6x6 squares. Using some double sided scrapbooking tape on one side I wrapped the Chocolate bars in the paper.

    To decorate the top I used Microsoft Publisher to make the text using the saying Michelle used on hers. I printed it out on some nice scrapbooking cardstock. Then I bought Fiskars Circle cutter and used it to cut the sayings out in perfect circles.  Fiskars 93807097 Circle Cutter with 2 Replacement Blades

    I also cut coordinating scrapbooking cardstock  in a slightly bigger circle. Using the double sided scrapbooking tape again I taped the circles together and then onto the front of the chocolate bars.

    I bought some pearl bling stickers that I used as well.

    I am so happy with the result. My final price on these were $31. I bought 9 sheets of scrapbooking paper, 35 chocolate bars, the Circle cutter, and 2 pearl bling.

    On Wednesday I am going to meet with the PTA leader and put these in the teachers mailboxes at school. I really hope they will like them.


    Sorry about the pictures. On them it says A sweet thank you for all you do. Teacher Treats. Now I just have to find out how to say who it is from.

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