Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Giveaway Winner - Dori... the polymer clay lady!

What a great week was that? it passed by so fast! I really enjoyed it, full of surprises,joy,happiness,smiles... and all of that because it was such a pleasure to have my etsy friend Dori in my blog. She was making me smile every morning when I was reading and read again her small interview.

I hope you enjoy it also and I really believe that this small post was a great opportunity to known Dori and see what a great crafter is... and from your comments I realize that her work is really adorable and loved by all of you my friends. 

So now is the time to pick a Winner, a lucky lady that will get from Dori her amazing Blue Crochet Necklace

A winner has been chosen by Rafflecopter and the lucky lady is:

Congratulations Mateja!!! We will contact you soon!!!

Dori I want to thank you for giving me the chance to have you featured in my blog and for sharing a lit bit about yourself. It was a great honor!!!!

Hugs and Kisses !!!!


My dear animal and kitty loving friends! Are you looking for a special, unique, meaningful, one-of-a-kind present for yourself or a loved one, while at the same time helping with a great cause? Here is a great way to do so! My friend Joan of God's Little People is doing wonderful, amazing, touching work to rescue cats and kittens in need on a small island of the Cyclades, Greece. Some of you may already have met her on my previous post here, for those of you who haven't I strongly recommend the read! Joan is a wonderful woman, whose heart never ceases to amaze me. Most of Joan's little rescues would never have had a chance to live if she hadn't rescued them... many of them suffering from severe health problems and denutrition. These wonderful rescued cats and kittens now live a happy and sheltered life in Joan's Cat Sanctuary, where Joan and her husband provide these sweet little babies not "just" with food and medical treatment, but with tons and tons of Love.

- Some of Joan's amazing little rescues -

Joan and I have joined forces to raise some more funds for the huge expenses she is facing for food, medical treatment and neuterings. Joan is now having a fundraising auction with some Annuk Creations handmade polymer clay pendants and Bastet cat brooches at her blog!

If you are looking for a special gift for yourself or a loved one... here's a wonderful way to to do so in a really meaningful way!!!

Please read all the wonderful, moving stories of Joan's sweet little rescues on her wonderful blog God's Little People.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Do you remember the lovely little spring flowers that were already sprouting in the woods and that I had shown you just a week ago? Well, they are now covered by a soft, white coat of snow! Don't worry, as soon as the sun is out again and the snow melts, the woods will be covered in adorable little flowers in the sweetest colors! :) March is the month in which the spring flowers are in full bloom in the woods here!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monsters Under The Bed

I know violence is as old as time but only recently has it been so pervasively and prevalently on my mind. It may be increased coverage on shootings in light of the national gun debate or it may just be the usual hysterics that rock our nation in the wake of a violent tragedy, but lately it seems that horrifying stories about death and violence and crime are daily taking the centerstage of all news programs. Some stories showcase the bravery of heroes in the face of danger. Others focus solely on the unimaginable grief of loved ones.

Amidst all of this, I find it increasingly hard to fall asleep peacefully at night.

Each night, as I slide under my covers, I try to unseize myself of the fear that is tightly gripping my mind. I try to shake off scary thoughts and imagined sounds. And even though there is just a thin wall separating me from the two precious boys snoring in the next room, in my mind, that wall has the depth of five dozen bricks. As much as I try to ignore all the scary "what-ifs," multiple horrifying scenarious still play out in my mind. I never know how each one should end. And this just increases my anxiety.

What would I do if something really were to happen? How would we protect the kids? I have no doubt I would jump in front of a gun if need be. But would that even be enough? As much as I don't want to think about these scary things, part of me feels like I need to. Isn't it better to be prepared?

I am fervently against gun ownership. I have told my husband a thousand times that I will not live under the same roof as a gun. In my mind, a gun is at least 10 times more likely to result in an unintended injury or death (especially with children in the house) than to result in successfully thwarting a criminal invader. But late at night, when my thoughts are running wild, when every sound coming from the boys' room makes my heart leap, when fear replaces logic, I can't help but think that a gun would make me feel safer. I can't help but feel that a measley baseball bat under the bed is grossly ineffective.

Hopefully the landscape of the national gun debate will quiet (as the next controversial topic takes over) and these scary thoughts will fade. But until then, versus of The Lord's Prayer will continue to run through my mind as I close my eyes each night. I will continue to fall asleep hoping that I never have to be brave. That I never discover the extent of my strength. And that I never meet the depths of my grief.

Being a mom is really hard. I never knew having children would be such an emotional vulnerability. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Little Bit Of Everything

My boys are both the highlights of my day and my biggest source of frustration.

I constantly have to remind myself to laugh at the trouble these little guys make. Like when I'm in one room cleaning a bunch of toys while, unbeknownst to me, the boys are in another, dumping a bunch of different toys out. Or when I have to tell Jacob something a minimum of seven times before he actually does it. Or when I walk into the living room to discover that Ryan has rubbed half a package of crumbled Ritz crackers into the carpet.

These moments are easy to forget, however, when Jacob flashes a wide smile just for me or when Ryan erupts into a fit of giggles.

Amid the craziness and business of this weekend, there were a few rare quiet moments. Times when the kids didn't need me to fulfill an immediate need. When they were busy playing or napping and my husband was also busy with chores. It felt so strange to sit in my room alone. I actually kind of freaked out. In those moments of quiet, free time, I had absolute NO IDEA what I should have been doing. I thought about starting a craft or home improvement project but I knew the free time would only be of short duration. Our house is so small that we can't start projects and set them aside for later. For five minutes I walked around, room to room, uncomfortable with my rare freedom, totally clueless about what I should be doing.

Luckily, those moments did not last long. They were quickly interrupted by Ryan was crying or Jacob demanding something to eat. And then, faster than Jacob can say "Mommy, come wipe my butt!," I was back to feeling normal: the short-fused, ever-flustered mommy with too much to do in too short of a time.But, I think I like it that way best.

All in all, this weekend was full of...

Rainier Beer drinking

Laughing at Daddy

A kitchen-band music debut (don't you love my lime green cabinets?)

Riding scooters and playing in rare Pacific Northwest winter sunshine. You are a true Pacific Northwesterner if you bust out your shorts when the temp dips above 50 degrees.


Being Mommy's big helper

Playing dress up

And comic-book reading.

After the day whizzed by, I tucked my sweet boys in and gave them lingering hugs goodnight. I chuckled to myself as Jacob desperately begged and pleaded to stay up and read comics with his dad and Ryan snored away with legs tucked under his belly and his butt in the air.

And now, as I fall into bed myself and slink under my warm covers, I can't help but think about the crazy and fun moments of the days and greet the evening hours with a big smile on my face. My children are my favorite bed time story.


My dear friends, thank you so much for your purrs, prayers, wishes, positive thoughts and all the love you sent for little Lilli! Unfortunately she had to go through surgery again yesterday, as the infection was more vicious than expected and had come back. So, more extensive surgery was necessary. After only three days since the first operation it was indeed upsetting news, as the poor thing was going to be put under full anesthesia again. The surgery was successful, she will need more treatment but we hope for the best and that the problem is now solved. Poor Lilli has to wear an "Elizabethan collar" so that she cannot reach the stitches on her back.

Friday, February 22, 2013


My dear friends, thank you so much for all your love, purrs, prayers and positive energy for little Lilli! She is now recovering from her surgery, she still has to be taken to the vet but she has started eating a little and she will hopefully get back to her playful, purring and talkative self very soon! :) 
I will let you know!

Today I'd like to show you a place I love... There are many little abandoned hamlets in the woods, with old ruined houses where people used to live a few generations ago. In one of these little hamlets in the woods, there is a church which has been preserved from decay, and one little house is still in use... my friend Ornella keeps a little cat colony there, they are all rescued kitties who now live a happy life.

- Oreste - 

- Mammola, a sweet 16-year-old girl -

- Mammola -

It's always the right time on this clock :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Rough Day Ends In Success: With Strozzapreti!

Wednesday was insane. INSANE. First, as we were driving down a busy highway, Jacob swung his car door wide open. I had a mini heart attack before pulling over to reprimand him/stop my heart from jumping out of my chest. Less than two minutes later, we were back on the highway and Jacob was screaming at max capacity that he had to pee right now! No exit in sight, I pulled over to the shoulder once again. I grabbed my empty water bottle and held it out for Jacob to pee in (we've done this before...). Unfortunately, he missed.






After I freaked out and nearly shriveled out of my clothing, we made a quick (ha, yeah right!) stop at the grocery store to grab something. As soon as we walked into the store, a horrible smell radiated from Ryan's butt. I went to change him and discovered that he had filled his diaper, his onesie, and his pants with brown, soupy poop. Ryan was stripped to a shirt and diaper for the rest of the trip. And the poopy pants, which I SWORE I threw onto the floor of my car, have gone missing. This means they will likely show up somewhere very unpleasant at a very inconvenient time...after marinating for a week, of course.

After that (and much more), I probably had a great excuse to pull out a frozen pizza for dinner. But, no. I'm certifiably insane. And cooking is my therapy. After the chaotic, random, and uncontrollable events of a busy kid-full day, nothing is more therapeutic than to pull together an organized and predictable list of ingredients and follow a clear set of step-by-step instructions. On top of that, cooking is such a fun, creative process. Oh yeah, and the end result is edible (duh!)!

When we got home, I was so excited to make dinner. Earlier that day I had run across what appeared to be a simple and easy homemade pasta recipe. I've made gnocchi, linguine, and ravioli from scratch and, while they were all delicious, they were so much work! This recipe for sprozzapreti, on the other hand, was super easy and only required two ingredients (for the pasta anyway, then add your own favorite sauce)! Just like my favorite recipe for homemade tortillas, this is going to be a new go-to recipe.


(seen with my new favorite dish: gruyere chicken)
(p.s. forgive the poor quality, phone-camera photo)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs

Pour the flour into a bowl. Crack the eggs into the center. Mix thoroughly with your hand until the ingredients are combined and form a ball. Add flour if necessary so that the dough is not too sticky. However, do not add so much flour that the dough becomes stiff.

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out onto a floured surface as thin as possible.  Cut the dough into strips about one inch wide. Take one strip at a time and roll the strips between your palms as if making play-do snakes. Roll them just enough to make the snake shape so that they have a fun texture but do not roll them so much that they become too smooth (honestly, you can roll them as much as you like, but the funkier the texture, the better the pasta can pick up your pasta sauce). Pinch the strips into small pieces (don't worry about being exact) and set aside.

Cook the strozzapreti in a large pot of boiling salted water for a couple minutes. You want the pasta to be tender and slightly chewy, but cooked through. When it's the desired amount of tenderness, drain the water. Add pasta sauce and serve!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


My Mom's sweet little Lilli needs purrs and prayers! She has been bitten by a dog (this is what the vet thinks from the wounds), and she had to have surgery because she had an extended infection. She's back from surgery now, please my friends send positive energy so that this little girl will get well soon!!!