Fun Design

Bridal Broach Bou­quets
I saw these online and thought they are so cool by Hollee Mollee designs…something you can hold on to for­ever and so pretty at the same time.

To order the gor­geous broaches you see here go to
Lion­s­gat­eDesigns — Etsy Shop!

Holidays Growing Up!

Grow­ing up in a fam­ily of four chil­dren with a sin­gle father didn’t make for the most cel­e­brated hol­i­days. When I was eight I had absolutely no friends in school. One of the only friends I had was sick and missed a lot of school, so the only per­son I talked to was the lady who super­vised the play­ground at recess. Her name was Teresa. I remem­ber that year in third grade when she found out where we lived and deliv­ered a present to each of us. That was the only present we received that year. I can’t remem­ber for the life of me what that present was, but I remem­ber her thought­ful­ness and her name! Makes me cher­ish that much more when I am able to help out other chil­dren in the com­mu­nity know­ing that the gift we give may be the only one they will receive.

After ten, Christ­mas was never the same for me. My grand­par­ents in New Jer­sey flew us out for Christ­mas and each year after that. It was amaz­ing and over­flowed with awe­some mem­o­ries! Here are a cou­ple ran­dom things I remem­ber!
*Mass on Christ­mas Eve
*Open­ing All Our Presents on Christ­mas Eve…the presents marked with Santa, we knew were from our Aunt Karen…because she designed them. LOL
*Run­ning down the stairs to open the stock­ings hang­ing off the stair case from Santa(a.k.a.- Aunt Karen) on Christ­mas Morn­ing to find choco­late coins and life­saver books…and a $50 check from our Grand­par­ents.
*Long walks with our dad days ear­lier try­ing to find some small gifts we could get every­one.
*A huge din­ner of Turkey, dress­ing, olives, mashed pota­toes, green bean casse­role, rolls and the best of all Grandmother’s cheese­cake!!! YUM!! We would fit every­one at the table, all our uncles, aunts and their chil­dren! It was always dec­o­rated so nice.
*Play­ing darts down in the base­ment and Ping Pong.
*All our Aunts and Uncles sleep­ing over for the night, peo­ple everywhere!

*Other ran­dom thoughts…I remem­ber sit­ting around the table and play­ing Trivia Pur­suit and swear­ing that Uncle Jerry must sit around and study these cards all day, because he knew EVERY answer!
*Also remem­ber all the trips down to Penn­syl­va­nia! Thanks Uncle Jerry and Aunt Kathy!
*I also remem­ber the candy bowls that were filled up every­where and sneak­ing it!
*The puz­zles we would put together.
*The fur­ni­ture in the upstairs bed­room and all the tro­phies my Aunts and Uncles received when they were lit­tle.
*The coo coo clock that rang every hour and half hour! Loved that…The pic­tures that were hid­den under­neath it of us as lit­tle chil­dren.
*The finds that our grand­par­ents found on the trav­els all over the world…especially remem­ber, the carved ball inside the carved ball, inside the carved ball.…I used to look at it for­ever.
*Help­ing dec­o­rate the small Christ­mas tree in the Front Room.
*Going down in the base­ment and lis­ten­ing to old time records on a radio our father had built when he was younger.…listening to Danny Kaye…“Thank You very Much for the Under­wear!“
*The pit­ter pat­ter of our feet on the sec­ond story and grand­mother cry­ing out up the staircase…“Bequiet, I am try­ing to sleep!”

I could go ON and ON

*The fam­ily all stand­ing in their match­ing sweaters…the ones Aunt Karen designed :) in front of the TV for Pic­tures.
*Watch­ing the Sound of Music per Sun­beams request every year and my brother absolutely despis­ing it!
*Play­ing scrab­ble with Grandpa and Grandma…they would beat me everytime…But when I took out the scrab­ble game that I used to play with him…I kept some of the score cards with my Grand­fa­thers writ­ing on them…and I actu­ally did win!!! But then I also remem­ber him hav­ing to set a timer because I spent most of the time with my nose in the scrab­ble dic­tio­nary.
*I remem­ber learn­ing about Stocks and Bonds with Grandpa…he would have me get the paper and he would mark the loss or gain.

Ok…I will stop now! I really could go on forever!

I think of how per­fect it was and how happy we were and how every­one worked together to cook and clean. I want that for my children…but am start­ing to think they had a LOT more time to devote to it than me.

Photoshoot with Jeff and Brandi at The Shops of Highland Village.

Tak­ing pic­tures with the Hol­ley fam­ily is always so much fun, espe­cially the lit­tle guy. He is full of smiles!

Let’s go fly a kite!

Let’s Go Fly a Kite! Although fly­ing a kite wasn’t some­thing I did often as a child, it is still a fun child­hood mem­ory. Work­ing on a project for my pho­tog­ra­phy class and fig­ured that Sat­ur­day was a great day to fly a kite and our back­yard was a per­fect place for it! The boys had so much fun. Their Uncle Josh and Uncle Bear helped them fly their kites. Josh thought his wasn’t high enough so he con­vinced Luke to let him use some fish­ing line. It was so high in the sky, we couldn’t even see it. It took him at least an hour to reel it back in. Logan and Connor’s col­lided and we ended up los­ing Logan’s in our neigh­bors tree…so we are going to have their mon­key of an Uncle climb up and get it!

Writ­ten by Robert B. Sher­man
With tup­pence for paper and strings,
you can have your own set of wings.
With your feet on the ground,
you’re a bird in flight!
With your fist hold­ing tight,
to the string of your kite!
Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the high­est height
Let’s go fly a kite
And send it soar­ing
Up through the atmos­phere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a kite!
When you send it fly­ing up there,
all at once your lighter than air!
You can dance on the breeze,
over ‘ouses and trees!
With your fist ‘old­ing tight,
to the string your kite!
Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the high­est height
Let’s go fly a kite
And send it soar­ing
Up through the atmos­phere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a kite!

Homemade Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows

Home­made Hot Choco­late and Marsh­mal­lows from my MIC friends
Home­made Marsh­mal­lows
Ingre­di­ents needed:

3 pkgs unfla­vored gelatin
1 1/2 c gran­u­lated sugar
1 c light corn syrup
1/4 t kosher salt
1 T pure vanilla extract
Con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar for dust­ing

Com­bine the gelatin and 1/2 c of cold water in the bowl of an elec­tric mixer fit­ted
with the whisk attach­ment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
Mean­while, com­bine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 c water in a small
saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dis­solves. Raise the heat
to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy ther­mome­ter.
Remove from the heat.
With mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dis­solved gelatin.
Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mix­ture is very thick, about 15
min­utes. Add the vanilla and mix thor­oughly.
With a sieve, gen­er­ously dust an 8x12-inch non-metal bak­ing dish with
confectioner’s sugar. Pour the marsh­mal­low mix­ture into the pan, smooth the
top, and dust with more con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar. Allow to stand uncov­ered
overnight until it dries out.
Turn the marsh­mal­lows onto a board and cut into squares. Dust them with more
con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar.

Whipped Hot Choco­late
Ingre­di­ents needed:

2 1/2 c whole milk
2 c half-and-half
4 oz semi­sweet choco­late chips
4 oz milk choco­late, chopped
1 T sugar
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 t decaf­feinated instant cof­fee powder

Home­made marsh­mal­lows
Heat the milk and half-and-half in a large saucepan over medium heat to just
below the sim­mer­ing point. Remove the pan from the heat and add both
choco­lates. When the choco­lates are melted, stir in the sugar, vanilla, and cof­fee
pow­der. Reheat gen­tly.
To froth the hot choco­late, whip it in the saucepan with an immer­sion blender. If
you’re very care­ful, you can also pour it into the jar of a blender with a tight seal
and blend on high speed for high speed for about 30 sec­onds. Pour into cups
and serve as is or with home­made marshmallows.

Hot Cocoa Mix

Another Hot Cocoa Recipe

The secret ingre­di­ent in this mix is the mini choco­late chips, which melt when com­bined with the boil­ing water and give the cocoa an extra-rich fla­vor. The recipe makes enough for four gift-size por­tions, each of which can be mea­sured into a small plas­tic bag and tucked into a cup or mug filled with mini marsh­mal­lows, candy stick stir­rers, and a spoon. Wrap each filled gift cup in cel­lo­phane and don’t for­get to include a tag with the fol­low­ing instruc­tions: “Spoon 3 or 4 gen­er­ous table­spoons of cocoa mix into your cup (depend­ing on the size), add boil­ing water, and stir well.”


2 cups non­fat dry milk powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweet­ened cocoa

1/2 cup mini semi­sweet choco­late chips

1/2 cup pow­dered nondairy creamer

1/8 tea­spoon salt


Mea­sure all of the ingre­di­ents into a mix­ing bowl and whisk them until they are evenly blended.  Store the mix in a tightly cov­ered con­tainer at room tem­per­a­ture until you’re ready to pack­age it. Makes about 4 cups of mix.


Pecan Fingers

Pecan Fin­gers — The Best***
1 cup Pecans
3/4 C Short­en­ing (1/2 but­ter and short­en­ing)
3/4 C con­fec­tion­ers sugar
1 1/2 C flour
2 eggs
1 C Brown Sugar
2 TBSP. Flour
1/2 tsp. bak­ing pow­der
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream Short­en­ing and Sugar
Blend in 1 1/2 C. Flour
Press in 9x13 pan
Bake 12–15 minutes

Mix other ingre­di­ents, spread over hot baked layer and bake 20 min­utes longer. Cool. Cut into bars 3x1 in.

These really are good!!!!