Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shopping with my girl Shmeco

So you're sittin at home wondering what you'd look like in a new pair of boots. You just can't decide which pair you'd like. You remember your girl Shmeco is handy and really knows how to pick out just the right merchandise. She's a great girl to bring along, cause she can really hold a lot of stuff.

see the whole story here

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Mayhem that makes one forget they just turned 49

A table covered with newspaper. Knives wielded by young adults, sawing the tops of every pumpkin off directed by their younger companions.

Hands thrust deep into the tangle of slime and seeds.

Two men, a sawsall, and a pumpkin. The men won...the pumpkin put up a good fight.

New friends bonding over one the the traditions of Halloween.

A pretty girl and a cute kitty.

The toughest pumpkin in the world and a little girls vision carved into the tough skin of this gourd.

A disco ball for someone who thinks outside of the box.

If all of that doesn't make you forget how old your are....I don't know what will.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You'll like um, you'll love um, you'll want some more of um

Pumpkin muffins
3 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Mix dry ingredients and add:

1 cup oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 cup pumpkin

Pre heat oven to 350 bake for 20 to 30 minutes

Top with cream cheese frosting
lemon glaze

Happy Fall

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nuttin like an old fashioned book burnin

Saturday, September 25, is the first day of Banned Books Week, a national celebration of our freedom to read; it was launched in 1982 in response to what organizers describe as "a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries." In anticipation of Banned Books Week, GOOD scrolled through the American Library Association's list of the 100 most frequently banned or challenged books from 2000 to 2009 and selected our 10 favorite entries.

Check out the list here

There are some great titles that Ive read and some new titles Im planning on reading. Enjoy

Sunday, September 5, 2010

As always she breaks my heart.

I love to listen to this woman sing. My favorite of her songs CRAZY was written by Willie Nelson of all people. At first she didn't like the song because the beat was too fast. She slowed it down and found beauty in each sad word. She died when I was three in a plane crash. Somehow she transcends time and moves me today. Listen to her beautiful voice here

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Local Girls-- Applesauce anyone??

I start with free apples from my Mom's tree. I love the way they look in this old pail.

I use my Grandma Larson's apple slicer to core and slice all of the apples. It works like a snap and I like to think of my beloved Grandma's hands holding this tool.

After cooking a stock pot full of apples with a little sugar and cinnamon, I fill the sieve with apples and push them through the holes of the sieve with the wooden paddle. The hot apple sauce drips from the outside of the sieve into the bowl. At this point, Im already imagining a pile of pancakes topped with this deliciousness.

Finally, there it is. Apples to apple sauce.

Monday, August 9, 2010

HIKE HIKe HIke Hike hike

I went to this place...

by walking through beautiful meadows....

with these amazing women.

It was pretty special.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July...It's all about

Its all about saving a spot on the street with tape and patience from 12 noon on the 3rd so that we can have a giant spot in the shade to share with those we love.

Its about the vision of a full size copter rolling down Hartz Ave.

followed by a 1950's police cruiser

its about taking pictures with characters like Funnel head...

capped off by, whether you like it or not, the Devil Mountain Brigade

followed by REST and mad I didn't take any food pics..arg! We had pulled pork sandwiches, fruit salad made by Mama Margarita, potato salad prepared by uncle, chips, salsa and homemade guacamole. Dessert--cupcakes by courtney tara and terri and apple pie with homemade caramel sauce.

The big finish! Fireworks exploding overhead leaving trails that you are sure might reach down and dust your face with magic.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Courtney Graduates from Cal Poly SLO

I'm feeling really happy today. Little Courtney, the rollie pollie baby who I snuggled in my arms....little Courtney who loved to read Little House on the Prairie, cook, and do crafts as a child....little Courtney who has persevered against all obstacles.....has graduated from college. She is off to Davis for a Masters Degree and teachers credential in the fall. I love seeing my kids become the people they are meant to be. What a beautiful thing.

love love

Sunday, June 6, 2010

This Reader's Recommendation

One of my favorite things in the world is a good book. I'm addicted to the slow seduction of words that draw me into a world filled with new friends, enemies and cultures. For those of you who feel the same way, pick up this wonderful book. Prepare now for dishes unwashed, dinner not cooked and clothes unwashed. Don't feel bad. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that it's good for your family to learn to take care of themselves. Oh, and don't forget the tissue. You'll need it at the end when you bid your new found friends goodbye.

love love

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

30th Anniversary

I'd show you the before picture.....but I'm not sure I could take the shock.

love love

Friday, May 21, 2010


I've been ranting for a few days. This guy has to go home. He's like a rude dinner guest who complains he hasn't been treated well enough after gorging himself. If he wants to comment on policies in our country, I suggest he immigrate legally, learn to speak English and pay taxes. After all it is illegal to protest anything in Mexico unless you are citizen.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fun times in the O'Connor kitchen

What a wonderful week. I only had one day off this week and I spent it with these two beautiful ladies. Randi was the lucky winner of the Local Girls Pie Giveaway and wanted to learn to make the pie instead of just getting one. Don't you just love it! Aubrey is home for the summer, loves Randi (just like me), and wanted to get in on the party too! We all ended up with a decadent pie to share with our families.

love love

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Local Girls Chocolate Pie Giveaway WINNER

Tara drew the winner--and its RANDI. I'm so happy that I doubled my projected participants in this contest. I'm touched that you all stop by. As for the winner, she is beautiful (see above), smart (my mom her 3rd grade teacher verifies), a loyal friend, a person of high integrity, honest, a person who keeps confidences, and person Ive learned a lot from. She's also working her toosh off in Nursing school! So proud of her.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Local Girls Chocolate Pie Giveaway

My walking buddy told me that this is national pie week....Funny we talk about food while walking. I can't find any verification...MAYBE SHE JUST LIKES PIE. Anyway I'm giving away a beautiful chocolate pie made by me! BEST CHOCOLATE PIE EVER!!

Leave a comment and we will pull a number out of a hat.

If comment history is any indication Aubrey, Courtney and Randi will be competing for this pie. I love you girls. Aubrey and Court, you can collect it when you are home IF you beat the stiff odds and win!!!! Ha ha!

Winner to be announced on Sat April 24

love love

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Magnetic chalk board

I bought this UGLY framed picture at a local thrift shop for $15.00--just for the frame, of course.

I used the mat to mark an outline on the sheet metal I purchased at the Home Depot.

I used metal clippers to cut the sheet metal. I think if I do this again, Ill go to the sheet metal shop and beg, plead and pay to have the metal cut by a pro because it was a nasty job. Im not sure my hands have recovered yet.

I painted the frame red and used chalkboard paint on the metal,reassembled the frame and hung it on the deplorably ugly row of cabinets that run across my kitchen. I HATE HATE HATE that row of cabinets, but that is another more expensive project for another more prosperous time. Stop by and leave us a message! Love Love

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lemon Layer Cake

Oh my gosh.....I made this cake once a week for two weeks and you know one complained. I seriously LOVE lemon. I get an itch in the spring to whip up something with a little sweet and sour flavor.

My friend Lenny gave me the cake part of this recipe. She is a master baker. Just ask my family. They wait at the door during the Christmas holiday season in anticipation of her annual delivery of sugar cookies.

1 box lemon cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup apricot nectar
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
Mix cake mix, sugar, apricot nectar and oil.
Add eggs one at a time
Grease and flour cake pans
bake at 325 for 20 min.

2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbs unsalted butter slightly softened
pinch salt
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup heavy cream

To make filling: in a medium saucepan, whisk together the yolks and sugar until combined. Whisk in the lemon juice, butter and salt. Cook over med-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 5 to 6 min. Do not let the filling boil, or it will curdle. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl. stir in the lemon zest and allow the filling to cool. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

beat heavy cream til soft peaks form. Remove the lemon filling from the fridge-whisk til smooth. Gently fold the whipped cream into the filling. Cover and refrigerate till ready to assemble the cake.

3/4 cup unsalted butter,softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2tbs heavy cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

To Make Lemon Frosting: Beat butter on medium speed until creamy, about 30 sec. Beat in the confectioners' sugar on low speed. Add the cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest. Increase the speed to med-high, and beat for about 3 min, til the frosting is light and fluffy.

Go on..make it, share it, but by all means....EAT IT!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My BABY goes to prom

Friends since Brownies at Vista Grande

A friend once asked how we had three such beautiful daughters....I was kind of offended....but now when I look at them I wonder too.

The flower exchange.

Poor kid....the torturous, obligatory photos taken by the dates parents...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Proof that if you add enough sugar I LIKE BANANAS

This banana bread recipe has been rattling around our family for a few generations and has been enjoyed by many. When Aubrey was about three years old I was making this treat while she was sitting on the counter watching. She looked at me and exclaimed Mommy, you look beautiful when you make banana bread. So cute, my heart melted! I added a streusel top can't use too much sugar!

Banana Bread
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
2 cups of banana (about 4 bananas)
2 tsp salt
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
Mix the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla
Add flour and baking soda
mix in mashed bananas

Pour into muffin cups
top with Streusel
1/8 cup oats
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup cold butter cubed

Mix all ingredients until pea size balls form

top filled muffin cups with streusel
bake in muffin cups at 350 for 30 min

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

IF you have a dog

I've had three dogs of my own in my life and this little beauty is NOT my favorite. She's the Monet of dogs....At a distance she's really cute, however, believe me up close she's a mess. Hyper, nervous, and needy. Not really my favorite qualities in dogs or people. Anyway, on to the really cute bed I made for her. Despite my feeling for the dog previously described, her old bed looked terrible and clashed with my kitchen. $4.99 Joann fabric paw-print fleece and 20 minutes later, the bed is adorable and the dog is still a mess. I'm thinking about a shock collar......

Monday, March 8, 2010


Doesn't this look good? My sweet daughter, Courtney just sent me a text from college. Isn't it great she texts her Mom. Ive been lucky with my girls. Anyway, she heard about a great site for recipes called I LOVE this site! Lots of great recipes, clever commentary and beautiful photos. All of this deliciousness created by Ree Drummond. Check out her site here

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to organize: beads, rings and sparkely things

foam board
old frame with mat
box cutter
glue gun

Disassemble your frame and mat

Use the inside of the mat to trace the shape onto the foam board. Keep in mind you want the foam board to pop out of the mat a little bit. Take your box cutter and run it over the trace line that you have created to fully cut the foam board. Take your foam board and place it on your fabric--cut that with enough extra to wrap around the back of the board. Use your glue gun to fix the fabric to the back side of the foam board. Glue the back of the foam board to the backing for your frame so it doesn't fall out the front. Use some cute pins to create a hook to hang your baubles.