Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You Know You Have a Problem When

Your husband can recognize the sound of you spray painting over the phone.  And when you are spray painting while he is at work because you are not 100% sure he would be ok with you spray painting the lamps in the family room aqua blue.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the season for baking

I haven't been posting much the last few weeks, but I have been baking.... A LOT.  After my little hand held mixer died on Thanksgiving Eve I was completely mixerless.  (Mixerless might not be a word, but you know what I am sayin'.) I am kinda hard on mixers.  I find some need for one several times a week and this time of year it is almost everyday.  So just imagine my surprise when this little beauty showed up on my front porch Dec 3rd.

 Isn't she pretty?  I was having a not so great morning.  I was driving up to my house after spending the last hour or so at Wal-mart having the battery on my van changed because it was no longer holding a charge. And as I am driving down the street I see the UPS truck parked in front of my driveway.  I was a little confused because I knew I hadn't ordered anything.
I opened the box and there she was.  The newest love in my life.  In the past few weeks she has helped me make about 14 dozen cookies, 20 lbs of mash potatoes (we cooked all the food for the Relief Society Christmas Party at my house), 2 French silk pies, 2 dozen cupcakes, 3 birthday cakes, 2 dozen muffins (for the ward Christmas party), lots of biscuits, and last but not least ok probably not last, but I am starting to sound like some crazy cooking weirdo YAMS!  

Every time I make these yams I have so my people tell me "I don't usually like yams, but these are really good."  And then they ask for the recipes.  So as promised here are those recipes.

For either recipe you will first want to cook your yams.  I always use fresh yams.  I think they smell bad canned and don't taste as good.  For these recipes cook about 4 medium yams.  Wrap them in foil, place them on a cookie sheet and let them cook at 375 degrees for about 1.5 to 2 hours.

You will want them to be nice and soft.  Once they are all cooked I like use a fork and knife to peel off the outside.  Then just toss the insides in your bowl.

I would actually suggest using the paddle attachment to do this, but the wisk one will work too.

Orange Cranberry Yams 

*Warning I Made This Up*

4 Med Yams (cooked)
1/2 to 1 stick of butter (it just depends on how yummy vs. how healthy would want them to be)
3/4 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of sugar

Mix all these up (just like making mashed potatoes)  Then make your oat mixture.

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar 

I just mix these in a small bowl with a fork until it is nice a crumbly.  Then I just take little clumps at a time and toss them into the yams and then stir in fresh cranberries.

1 to 2 cups fresh cranberries

I stir the oat mixture and cranberries in by hand with a large spoon.

Then lightly spray a casserole dish with cooking oil, pour in the yams, top with mini marshmallows and cook at 350 until the marshmallows are lightly toasted.

Pioneer Women Sweet Potatoes

(I got this recipe from a Relief Society potluck)

4 medium sweet potatoes or yams
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. pecans
1/2 c. flour
3/4 stick butter

Add 1 c. (regular granulated) sugar, 1 c. milk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 tsp salt. Mash everything up with a potatoe masher, just enough, not perfectly smooth.
Now, in a separate bowl, mix together 1 c brown sugar, 1 c. pecans, chopped (that's 1 cup of pecans then you chop them), 1/2 c. flour, and then 3/4 stick butter. Use a pastry cutter or a fork and thoroughly mash together.
Spread the sweet potatoe mixture in a baking dish and then crumble the brown sugar mixture on top. Bake at 400 deg. for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

I can't ever decide which of these recipes I like better, so I usually end up making both. They are sure to be a hit.  
So tell me... Do you like yams?  How do you like to make them?

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Have you been to Bake at 350? If not you should totally go check it out! It is such a cute blog and has awesome tutorials. I went there for the first time about 2 weeks ago and was totally inspired.  I have always loved pretty cookies, but for some reason never tried making any... until last week when I made these.

These are so much fun and surprisingly easy.

I did three different designs to serve as place setting at a Christmas party I was in charge of this past week.

I also had to take a picture of my "mistake" cookies.  Aren't they cute?  I just want to eat them up, but my kids did that for me. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Elves Here at Conner House Are Working Hard

Okay I know this has nothing to do with anything, but it is funny and my baby is totally mesmerized by it. So here is a little Christmas cheer.

Elf Off 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama (link to: http://bit.ly/tmwishlist) and GameStop (link to: http://bit.ly/gamestop10) are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family? A Happy New Year.

2. What is your Christmas morning / Hanukkah Nightly tradition?  All the kids have to stay upstairs until we "open the flood gates" then it is stocking first, then presents.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?  A completely finished basement. No no wait $1,000,000.00.  That is better right?

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money? We do a lot of family stuff, one of my favorites is a "Polar Express" van ride with hot cocoa looking at Christmas Lights.  And of coarse there are the lights at Temple Square.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?  Uno and a lot of N 64.

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?  Every year each kid gets a new ornament.  

7. Where would you go for a Christmas/Hanukkah-away-from-home trip?  Back home to Alaska.

8. Check out GameStop (link to: http://bit.ly/gamestop10) and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?  Well in a dream world my three top ten would be an Xbox 360 and Kinect and some DSs, but it is more likely we will be getting a just Dance Kids Wii, Disney Epic Mickey Wii, and Zhu Zhu Pets Wild Bunch Wii.

This is an insanely awesome giveaway and would be a dream come true for my kids.  Fingers crossed!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Okay I really need someones help!!!

About a week ago I saw this super crazy cute Christmas flannel and I got it in my head that I was going to make matching pajama pants and then some 90 min shirts that say naughty (or nice depending on the kid) for the kids Christmas pjs this year.  So yesterday I started with baby Brycey pants.

I used my favorite pair of Brycey's comfy pants to make a pattern, cut out both sides, surged it all up and in about 30 mins was feeling pretty pleased with myself when I put them in him and he looked so CUTE.

It was all good until a few hours later while sitting in the waiting room at an unplanned trip to the dentist office and I noticed this.

What the heck!!!!  How the freak did that happen???  They didn't seem to small and it is not like this was cheapo Joanns fabric.  This is Riley Blake's Colorful Christmas.   Grrrrr.

So today I set out to fix the problem.  I took the #^%%&@ pants and made what I am going to call a bum panel and a crotch panel.

Then I took my seam ripper and started taking them apart.  I HATE having to rip out seams.  Then I surged the panels in.

Then once the waist band was in...

It was time for the moment of truth...

Oh they look like they fit great.  Plenty of room in the crotch for crazy crawling.  And yet I checked about an hour later and it looked like they were starting to fray again!!!!!

So here is my question..... WHY?????  I have a lot more of these I want to make, but not if the stupid crotch is just going to rip out.  Does anyone out there know how to solve my problem???  Anyone??? Bueller??

Any advice all you amazing sewers have would be very much appreciated.


Ugly Dress = Pretty Skirt

I bought this dress last winter on ebay.  The pictures weren't very good, but it was cheap and it looked like it might have potential, plus the listing said it was on like new condition.  To say I was disappointed with what I got would be an understatement.
 There were pen marks and what like water marks all over the skirt and it smelled bad.  The seller wouldn't let me return it so I did the only thing I could do.
I washed it.... a few times.  Most of the marks came out and the smell went away, but the velvet frayed at the neck line making unwearable, and I just didn't really like it.  It seemed a little old fashioned (not in a good way) and frumpy to me.
So this ugly ruined dress just hung in Emma's closet.  Until yesterday, when I was in there putting clothes away got a vision the pretty skirt this dress could be.

Right away I took the dress downstairs and took a pair of scissors to it.  Then I took my rotary cutter and got a nice even cut on the skirt part and the crinoline that was originally with it.

Next I cut off another strip that was 5 inches by 30 inches for the waist and I cut off the ties.

I cut the waist band in half and sewed it back together with the ties in it about 1/2 inch from the bottom.  Then I gathered the tops of the skirt and the crinoline, sewed them to the waistband, made the casting on the waist band and put in the elastic.  It took less than an hour to transform it from ugly dress to pretty skirt.

I love the result, I wish I had one in my size.  Due to the damage that was done to the dress there are still a few pen marks and snags in the skirt, but they really aren't noticeable and I like having really cute clothes for my kids that I don't really care about.  After all I am  sure Emma would have gotten a pen mark on it anyway.

I kinda feel like I should clarify something about buying kids clothes on Ebay.  For years I bought almost all my kids clothes on Ebay and it is still my go to place when I want to find a Childrens Place sweater vest from two years ago to match the ones I already have, or to get a great deals on Gymboree, Gap, or Boden.  And my good experiences by far out weighed the bad.  When I just had Emma and even Alan I bought most their clothes used and then turned around and sold them again so I could buy more.  Emma usually only wore things once or twice before I would sell it, for basically the same price I bought it for (sometimes more) and get something new.  Now that I have 4 kids it just takes to much time and with the boys it seems like as soon as one of them grows out of a shirt or something the next one is ready to wear it, or it is totally trashed and not worth anything anymore.


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