Keep me WARM baby!
Mosiac Fireplace DIY
The idea I had in this Man Cave/Teenage hang out was a New York loft style. I didn't want it 2 Man Cave-ish with a bunch of dead animals on the wall & peanut shells on the floor. Nor did I want it 2 Teenage-ish with life size cut outs of Justin Beeper (what I call him) & a lemonade stand. 
When it was time to do a fireplace, I wanted real stone, something shiny & elegant in a way. We found this great marble we wanted, the only problem was, it was in the main entrance to Caesars Palace in Vegas.. As you may have guessed, we found us the Marble at non other than our local Lowes. Okay, it may have not been the 20x20 marble squares they had surrounded by gold instead of colored mud, but hey we feel like we SCORED!
2 rock the boat like I tend to do when it comes to DIY projects I wanted to do it in a mosaic pattern, which really isn't a pattern at all if you think about it.
So I gave the twins the hammer & bang-bang they went.

Then came the colored mud & broken pieces to adhere to the wall.. 
Oh ya, I better show you all the WALL.

Colored mud next....
the  AFTER

Can you see the face on the right by the fireboX? We just noticed that that the other night while having "Movie Night"..


easy breezy

1 cup butter (no substitutes)
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 -10 wooden sticks
8 -10 medium tart apples

*Insert 1 wooden stick into each apple.
*In a heavy saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and milk; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
*Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees (firm ball stage) about 30-40 minutes and for a softer caramel cook just to a few less degrees.
*Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
*Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture; turn to coat.
*Holding by the stick, sprinkle with nuts or whatever you desire while the caramel is still warm (work quickly the caramel sets up fast).
*Set on generously buttered wax paper to cool (make certain to generously butter the paper).
Note: if making a double recipe make two recipes in two separate pots.

Yum Yum!! These Carmel Apples are some of the best I have made. Easy to make, great for the kiddies to help with & even husbands. I had to make a 2nd batches a day later, because they were all gone within 12 hours. I hate to admit, I ate 5 out of the 9 we made the fist day. I was eating them for breakfast & mid afternoon snack.. They are just that good!

Drizzle Chocolate on them, or nuts are also fabulous.. My family just like
them simple & plain jane..



Coming home from a trying day & this is what I find on my doorstep.
Angels among us is what this is! My dear friend Lee (a.k.a cat dog:) is one of those rare Women who is always thinking of others, always!

Let me tell you about this woman. She lost her beloved son in a freak accident weeks ago, & is thinking of me!!? When most people would be unable to get out of bed, or would close themselves off to the world & life after such a tragedy, this remarkable Angel among us is thinking of others, doing for others.

This to me is what you call, "living as our savor did".. Not a better example of selflesness do I know.

I love you cat dog!!


RANDOM thoughts...

Have You heard the term "Vampires that suck the life and energy out of you"? Those negative, self absorbed and drama filled people!

My favorite, the people that can't be happy for the success or accomplishment of other.? You know the ones that leave the room when others congratulate or ask you about your achievements. You all know of these type of people, we all are acquainted with or have them in our life either by choice or by fault..

The older and more life experience I have it becomes more of a mystery as to why we tolerate such poisons to invade our lives.

Being a Mother of teenagers you of course see this type of behavior in the young people, it is in their DNA so to speak due to age and the lack of life experience. This is normal, this is expected.

What I find fascinating is why as adults do we let those vampire, energy suckers and selfish individuals dim our light of essentially joy and happiness?

Many studies have concluded that these type of toxic individuals you should extract from your life. I for one thought that was just mean! Dont those people need to be shown compassion as well as the one that brighten and fill our lives with extreme joy, right?? Wrong!!!

I have now seen the light! This last year I did an inventory of the people I have surrounded myself with, the people I have let close to my precious and most important priority, my family. When you step back and think about it, it is very easy to separate the ones who Lift, Support, Love with all their heart and make your life better because they are in it, from the people who rob you of your enjoyment, steal or minimize your dreams, the ones who you know you could never count on if your world came crashing down.

2011 I have focused on the Best and the Brightest. The loved ones that are 100% real! Those you know without a doubt have your back, you never have to question their intentions, their loyalties or their words. I tell you it is the greatest self examination I have yet to do. Along with holding on with the "death grip" to these special people in my life, the bad seed so to speak I have let go. Because of this purge I have felt more PEAcE & CALM than ever before.

One of my consistent lectures 2 my children is the importance of choosing friends wisely and the people they invite into their lives. Seeking out the good, honest and true. If I have said it once I have said it a zillion time, "it is better to have a small handful of people 2 surround yourself with that you can trust with your life, than several dozen with questionable intentions". If I am teaching my children that philosophy, why did it take me so long to get rid of the vampires in my own life?

I am now enjoying a Vampire FREE life & couldn't be happier.
Clarity is mine!


How R you HALLOWEEN -  Ing this Year ??
This year I am all into the CLOCHE !!
I have been somewhat obsessed with Cloche's the last few months. They are perfect all year around & even loving using them for Halloween!
Doesnt this guy look like "Johnny" from the Chocolate Factory, or was it Charlie?
 Love this big BELLED Cloche, fits perfect on my cake stand.

               My Favorite !

So fun to use them in a groupings.. Usually I will put Cookies, Muffins, Rice Krispy treats, things such as that under the cloche & sit them on my kitchen counter. It looks way Yummy & very Chic..
The following are not French Cloche's, but dang cute bottles!

 Bottle up those Pumpkin Carving Tools.
 This bottle isnt all that  Halloween-ish with a GIANT Pear on top, just add  spooky gauze, spider & fill with candy. In a few weeks it will be holding Candy Corn for Thanksgiving.
                              Love double duty Beauties.


Extreme JOY, Trials, LAUGHTER, Hard Work & Family bonding!
I have been a touch absent from the Blog-phere the summer of 2011!
My disappearing act has been mostly due to Adventure & hard Work that has taken my Family & I out of State for most of the Summer. Now that the weather is getting a little chill-ie we are back to our home base surrounded by the Wasatch mountains.
A little recap on this Summers adventures......

TREK like the PIONEER's

  A wonderful experience for our youth! The lessons they learned while "treking"  through the big sky country as the Pioneers once did, will stay with our children for a life time. It was amazing to see them returned home with dirty faces, sore feet, blisters & aching backs, but yet a spirits of joy that was profoundly impacted.

surrounding areas

 *Love that the girls can look like movie stars in the morning & can get down & dusty by mid-afternoon..
 *Zak did a great job blowing everyone off when we came down off the mountain
I love the people in my life! U all bring me so much joy!

after a summer full of fun & games....
There was LIGHT!
My Maverick, Renaissance Man "B" did all the Electrical in the cabin.  I cant believe he can figure this stuff out & do it to such perfection. It looks amazing! Better yet, we had the Electrical Inspection done & it passed with flying colors. He was told that his handy work was better than most seasoned pro's.. I am a proud owner.. (hahah)

BORN in Bed!
             MInka (MommA)
              & Pierelli (daddy)
The story goes like this...
B rolled over in the middle of the night to a slimy, goo-ie,  oil slick sort of  notion. He woke me & to our SHOCK & SURPRISE we had 2 little creatures in our bed.  As I jumped out of bed, I noticed a little lifeless body was under my leg as mommy Minka was attending to another little fur baby. We checked the lifeless little body & were sad to note that she did not make it. As I started working on the living, B was not about to give up on the little girl. He picked her little 1 ounce body up & started rubbing in a warm towel that Xanthi was heating up by blow dryer. Sucked her little lungs out with the bulb & continued his goal of making sure this little gal was given every chance of life. 45 minutes into it, there she was breathing on her own.

Angels Among Us!
My beautiful Mother became my Heavenly Angel this summer! The most amazing Woman I have ever met. She was the "fun" Mom! All my pals wanted her as their MOther. I believe the reason why most of my boyfriends spend so much time at our home was just to be around her.
She is now guiding me, her grandchildren & all she loved so much from our Fathers thrown.
p.s. like you told me daily Mom, I 2 "love you all the summer rains" ooxoxo