December 25, 2010


I made buns! And I finally figured out how to make my dough smooth and elastic.  Who knew I was using way too much flour? And that the dough will not stick to the table when it starts to get tacky while kneeding? Oh! I love bread. LOVE!
yummy balls of dough

December 11, 2010

the *best* banana bread ever!

Lily and I baked banana bread tonight. Yum! She, of course, wanted to lick the beaters immediately after I got them out of the drawer.  I have taught her well! ^_^   We adapted a recipe we found over at Food Network from the Two Hot Tamales (if you don't know who they are, then you have not watched enough food tv!).  Here's the link: Banana Bread at Food Network.No pictures except from the other website since the camera is in need of batteries again.  Darn Lily! 

We made two smaller loaves so that I could pop one in the freezer for later.  Here is our yummy goodness:

November 16, 2010

Photos by Lily

Today, I present to you: Photos by Lily.  Lily spent a couple days using the camera to take some photos and here they are! 

A few random things from around the house.
Mom and Dad: From my Perspective

Photo by Lily

One of Lily's many photos from on the way to the park. She was really working angles on this one!

November 14, 2010


Sooooo, I am again questioning my choice of career.  I don't know if I am getting burned out on accounting from the bad teachers I've been having or my not-that-great accounting job.  Either way, it's become a chore, a mundane task, a don't-wanna.
Calculators are so dull.

October 22, 2010

i'm a bad blogger

i know.  i'm bad at blogging.  i like never do it.  so sad.  i try.....

well, here's a good story from the other day.  the Noodle has decided she is the litter police.  we were going to daycare and there was a plastic lid on the ground. you know, the kind from a gas station cup of coffee.

coffee is happy!

September 21, 2010

school rocks

so i finally started school up again this year.  on my second full semester now.  and already bogged down in homework.  no one ever really tells you how much homework there will be.  there is a ton involved in an accounting degree.  and i'm only doing 3 classes!  its gonna be crazy when i take 4 :)

things are getting busier at work as we incorporate all of our properties into the new "in-house" accounts payable system.  still not all in yet, but we are working on getting there.  i missed a day and half a few weeks ago and i feel like i've been behind ever since.  oh the never ending life of invoices.

July 28, 2010


july has been a very busy month for us.  i started working a full-time job in accounts payable at the beginning of the month.  it might be a foot in the door to an accounting department, but it's still a very dull job.  not much thought required, but it pays the bills.

charles has been super busy at his job preparing for a short trip to cincinnati at the end of the month for his brother's wedding.  he is a groomsman in the show.  he left today, and so far, his directions that he got from microsoft streets and trips have been wrong twice which has added a couple hours almost onto his trip.  once again, wisconsin is the black hole of that drive.

July 5, 2010

favorite muffins

i haven't made these in a looooong time, but they are by far the best muffins i make.  and i like love muffins!!

favorite muffins

1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk (approximate)
1 cup berries

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl and mix well.  In a glass measure cup, measure 1/3 cup oil, add the egg and beat well.  Add milk to the mixture in the cup to equal 1 cup.  Add the wet to the dry and mix just until almost combined.  Add in 1 cup of your favorite berries (or anything you like) and mix in carefully.  Don't over mix!

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  I always bake mine in paper cups.

June 27, 2010

Etsy Tagging: A Crash Course

So, you want to sell your goods on Etsy?  Your first stop after signing up: reading the Do’s and Don’ts of Etsy (also the Terms of Use, TOU).  If you haven’t read those in their entirety, I strongly urge you to do so now.  It will save you a lot of silly questions and a lot more grief if you post in the forums!

You could search the forums and the Storque Blog on Etsy for all eternity and read forever on how to properly tag your items.  I am writing this article in the hopes of saving you some time.  At the end, I have included a list of links to most of the Storque Articles and some forum threads and, of course, the Do’s and Don’ts.

Now you’ve read the Do’s and Don’ts and you are listing items.  Congratulations!  Until, you hit that tag page and you are struggling to come up with 14 different tags.  First of all, you need to decide which main section your item belongs: Handmade, Vintage or Supplies.  This tag, your first, should be a very easy decision.  A few quick rules for tag #1
  • If it doesn’t fall into one of these 3 categories, you can’t sell it on Etsy!
  • Vintage is 20 years or older.  No less than 20.  No exceptions.
  • Supplies are items that can be used to make something.  If the item is a finished product and can be used as-is, it is not a supply.
  • If you didn’t make it or alter it, it is not handmade.

Moving on to tag #2.  This should be your main category that you would define the item as if you have a handmade item.  Take your time here and decide which category is best suited to your item.  Some items can fit into any number of main categories.  In this case, I would suggest perusing those categories to see how clogged up they are with similar or mistagged items.  This will give you a feel for which category would be the best fit for your item.  If you are selling supplies, tag #2 will be a choice between handmade and commercial.  If you even have to think about this one, you’re gonna need more help than I can give you.

So now you’ve chosen the main categories that your item belongs in.  You may have also chosen a few subcategories at this point, depending on your main categories.  Now it’s time to get into the nuts and bolts of your item.  Here are a few rules to remember:
  • Tagging an item with a possible use (such as tagging a blank card with “birthday, wedding, etc”) is against the TOU on Etsy.  Don’t do it.  If the item is occasion specific (say a wedding card)  it is okay to tag it with that occasion only.
  • Tags should be only one word for the most part.  Some things just go together, like peanut butter and jelly or sterling silver.  Some things don’t, like peanut butter and pickles or silver earrings.  Using more than one word in a tag when they do not go together, is known as “stuffing” your tags and is against the TOU.
  • You don’t need to tag your items with the singular and plural of a word if they are similar.  If the words vary quite a bit, you may want to do both.
  • Only tag your item with what it really is.  For example, don’t tag a necklace with “earrings” in the hopes of someone seeing it.  If someone is looking for earrings, they don’t want to wade through 5 pages of necklaces first.  They searched for earrings for a reason.  It only hurts the community to mistag.  It doesn’t help anyone.
  • Get creative with naming your colors.  Some people search for blue while others look for periwinkle, cornflower or denim blue.  I’ve included a link at the bottom which includes a vast array of color names.
It is also a good idea to put your shop name or, if involved with an Etsy team, your team name into your tags on some items.  Don’t feel that you have to put them on every item, but if you’re struggling to come up with tags, use those.  Also, when offering free shipping or having a sale or clearance, be sure to tag those items accordingly as people will search for those terms.

Etsy Do's and Don'ts
Etsy TOU
Etsy Seller's Handbook
Etsy Tagging How-To's
Storque Article with Lots of Keywords
List of Colors

June 20, 2010

to leave or not to leave

so, i have met some really nice ladies over on etsy through the D List Team.  but then, why do i do this, i went to the forums today.  and there was someone calling Racism.  we've gone from saying resellers are bad to saying that people are racial profiling resellers now.  WTF?!?!  ok etsy.  you've got one month left.  and then, if i don't see an improvement in site views or sales, i will wash my hands of you.  and i will stay out of the forums except for the team thread.  this reseller and political bullshit is enough.  i think its starting to give every single seller on etsy a bad name.  we all know that the forums come up in google searches.  people are going to start assuming that all sellers on etsy are the same.  a bunch of whining, snivelling, spoiled rotten brats.  yes, that is what i think the reseller-haters are.  get over it. move on. work harder on your craft and quit yer bitchin!

June 17, 2010

Noodle's day full of firsts

well today was a big day for my littleNoodle.  who is now a whopping 3!!!  we went to scheels to buy her daddy a father's day gift.  i had no idea they had an actual ferris wheel in that place.  well, somebody just so happens to just squeak in under the 36" height requirement, so of course, we had to ride the damn thing.  i hate the ferris wheel.  it scares me.  i am totally afraid i will fall out. it's never happened to me nor have i seen it happen, i just think it will.  anyway,  after our shopping, we did ride the ferris wheel and the Noodle had the time of her life on that thing!  she is soooo excited that she gets to ride it again tomorrow with her daddy! (we just got him a gift card so he could go buy the frisbee golf discs that he wants)

another first for her, riding an escalator! we went up and down today at scheels.  she did excellent.  probably did better than i did on my first ride :-)  we had a little trouble going down, she ended up on two steps and got a little scared for a second, but made a quick recovery in trueNoodle fashion!

she also experienced a good thunderstorm while she was awake.  i think she has slept through like all of the thunderstorms ever.  i might also mention that she was born during a storm.... i digress.  she decided this morning while her and i were laying in bed (i'm gonna miss that when i start working again :( that she is afraid of thunder.  so to combat this fear, she gets out of bed and ROARS out the window at the thunderstorm.  what a crazy kid!  so she roared all morning at the thing until it left.  i think she even thinks she made it leave.  oh to be 3 again!

April 23, 2010

cake mix cookies

used this recipe here for cake mix cookies.  i think this is **the** easiest recipe for cookies i have ever tried.  and they are actually really good!  last week i made them with a dark chocolate cake mix.  i had to add an extra egg and an extra 1/4 cup of water, but they were great.  very chocolatey, nice and soft and not a bit cake-like as i had thought.  tonite i am using a yellow cake mix with about 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup of water mixed in the recipe also.  then i am putting chocolate chips on top :-) yum nummy!

April 9, 2010

easiest cake ever! with mixed results

so i got some cake mix on sale today at the store. i like homemade cake a lot better, but sometimes, its just so much easier to use boxed :) and now, i know that its even easier than i thought! i found a recipe where you combine one box of cake mix with one 12-ounce can of soda. and bake it according to the box. that's it. couldn't be easier. (well, you could buy a premade cake, but then you wouldn't get to eat the cake batter, now would you?) i used rainbow chip cake mix and a can of lemon-lime soda. (the recipe called for diet soda, but i don't drink that crap) the batter taste the same, except you don't have to feel bad about eating raw eggs :) we shall see how it comes out of the oven. can't wait!

fresh from the oven!  it cut horribly, but then, i just couldn't wait :)  it was very, very moist.  to the point of being heavy even.  it also didn't rise as much as a regular cake.  upon eating some the next day though, it is a little less heavy in the mouth, but still heavy feeling in the belly.  it does cut much better once it has cooled though! :)  i think i may have to do some experimenting with this recipe....

April 7, 2010

strawberry shortcut cake

well folks, the strawberry shortcut cake from last nite was not all that spectacular that i had hoped. the white cake portion was pretty good. charles really liked it, even with less sugar :) it had a very, very fine crumb to it. i think i may make the cake again, but use some applesauce instead of some of the sugar and fat. the strawberries and marshmallows added nothing to the cake really. i felt that they almost ruined it. would have been better as a white cake with a seven mintue frosting and sliced berries on top. mmmmmmmm.

April 6, 2010

baking :-)

so tonite i am baking "strawberry shortcut cake". i made a little boo-boo though, and forgot to cut the cake batter in half, so i have an 8x8 strawberry cake and a heart shaped white cake. the white cake has made it out of the oven at this point because it was smaller. and i can say whole heartedly that it is a yummy cake batter! i did alter the recipe by using less sugar, but thats it! the other cake is looking mighty yummy in my oven too!

February 2, 2010

life in the big city.........Bismarck

So we are moved to Bismarck. The house is nice and it has an awesome backyard with a deck! Britty did a good job scouting for us :) And apparently we are hosting her graduation party in May! The cat is still naughty as ever. The Noodle is still naughty as ever. Not much has changed :) I am not working yet, but am working on school fulltime and my etsy shop. I will have a spring inspired line of hotpads and dishcloths debuting in march. So much easier to crochet when I have easy access to loads of places to buy yarn!!