Archive | February, 2012

A Unique Present: Handmade Yankees Quilt

17 Feb

Quilts are part of my family’s DNA. My Grandma Tam made the most beautiful quilts in the whole world, and I have two that I get to call my own. When my grandma passed away, she left behind several unfinished quilts, and I can’t wait to have them finished so I have more to enjoy.

My Grandma Densmore also makes amazing quilts, and I use several of the ones she made me every week. I have one made of my cheerleading T-shirts from Penn High School and other that represents my time at Indiana University. I also have a flowery quilt, a design that both myself and my cousin Ashley have.

There is just nothing like snuggling with a quilt on the couch. So, when I was on Pinterest a few month back and ran across this profile, I was immediate struck by the Yankees quilt. I commented on the image of the quilt and Jill Motsinger at wrote me right back. She makes custom sports-themed quilts for people, and she was happy to make one for me.

Well, instantly I thought this would be a great idea for PoppaNut. First of all, he is obsessed with the Yankees, and this would let him have a quilt just for him. It could be something I give him that would be with us the rest of our lives. I immediately wrote back to Jill, and she got to work.

The amazing thing about Jill is that she emailed me photos and communicated with me about the quilt all along the way. She sent updates after she got the fabric and as she put the blocks together. It only took her about a month and a half to complete everything.


When the completed quilt arrived at the house, I was bursting with excitement. I placed it inside PoppaNut’s Valentine’s gift bag and waiting for the big surprise. When he opened it up, he was shocked. He absolutely loved it, and wanted to use it right away. He even said that it will be something we keep in our family for the rest of our lives. Jill, thank you for making something so special for our family.

And that’s life in a nutshell … finding the perfect gift can be as easy as looking around Pinterest!


Friday Food Day: Peppermint White-Chocolate Fudge

17 Feb

Any day is a great day to make fudge in my book. I happened to make this little bit of heaven for Valentine’s Day but you can certainly make it for any occasion. Did you have a good week at work? Make this fudge. Did you have a bad week at work? Make this fudge. I think you get the picture.

It literally only took me about 15 minutes to put this together, and it was simply delicious. It is very rich, so a little goes a long way.


  • 1 (12 ounce) package of white chocolate chips or high-quality white chocolate bar
  • 1 (16 ounce) container vanilla frosting
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 8 drops red food coloring
  • 2 Tablespoons crushed peppermint candies


  1. Line an 8X8 pan with waxed paper.
  2. Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler or melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval.
  3. Stir in the frosting into the white chocolate chips.
  4. Stir in peppermint extract.
  5. Spread into prepared pan evenly.
  6. Drop 8 drops of food coloring evenly spaced on top of the fudge.
  7. Using a knife swirl the food coloring.
  8. Sprinkle top of fudge with crushed peppermint candies and press down slightly.
  9. Cool for about an hour in the fridge.
  10. Once firm, turn fudge onto a cutting board and cut into small squares.



And that’s life in a nutshell … fudge makes everything okay in the end. Enjoy!


What a Woman Wants: Learning the Code Behind What a Woman Says Before Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

I’m a pretty direct woman. I pretty much say how I feel when I feel it. I try not to use code language when talking to anyone, but I must say, I sometimes fall victim to the passive-aggressive conversation that everyone hates. In an effort to keep all men out of the dog house this Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing this email I received from my Uncle Greg. Please share with others so we can save all the men on Valentine’s Day and the rest of the year.

(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with “nothing” usually end in “fine.”

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don’t do it!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of “nothing.”)

(6) That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. “That’s okay” means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you; do not question or faint. Just say you’re welcome. (I want to add in a clause here: This is true, unless she says “Thanks a lot,” which means that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all.  DO NOT say “you’re welcome” as that will bring on a “whatever.”)

(8) Whatever: Is a woman’s way of saying …Go to Hell!

(9) Don’t worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking “What’s wrong?” For the woman’s response, refer to # 3.

And that’s life in a nutshell. I can also tell you that just by saying “Yes, dear” to anything your wife says keeps you from hearing any of these responses above. Just sayin’. J


Take Me to the Theater: Supporting School Field Trips

7 Feb

I used to love going on field trips when I was in elementary school. At Mary Frank Elementary in Granger, Indiana, my class used to go to the Morris Performing Arts Center to see the “Wizard of Oz,” “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Riverdance,” “Grease” and several other performances.  Not only did I love to get out of class for the day, but it was a great time to bond with other classmates. But, most importantly, going to the theater opened up a whole new world for me.

Field trips allowed me to see all the great offerings in the community. It allowed me to see something I may have not otherwise had the chance to see. It opened my eyes to a creative world, one that I’m still living in today. I’m even still haunted by the Shedd Aquarium field trip that I had to skip because I was sick that day. And that aquarium is still on my list of must-see places now!

So, when I heard my sister talking about a field trip that she was desperately trying to organize for her kindergarten class, my ears perked right up! Mrs. Stephanie would love to take her kids to see “Clifford the Big Red Dog” at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda, FL. However, there is not enough funding to get a bus to take her students to the play.

Mrs. Stephanie and Her Class

Now, I thought that schools automatically supply transportation for field trips, but it turns out that it doesn’t work that way. And it will cost $450 for the bus for the day. With teachers being required to help fund school supplies and more, I can’t believe they have to figure out this transportation as well.

So, I’m looking to my blogging community for some help. One local business has already pledged to give this class $100 toward the bus transportation. So, we are just short $350! I know you can look into your hearts and see what an impact this field trip will have on these students. It encourages reading, creative expression, theatrical play and more. And think how much your old field trips changed you? How can you not help another classroom experience that?

Donations would need to be made by mid April in order for the field trip to take place. Feel free to comment on the blog with your email address, and I can put you in touch with Mrs. Stephanie.

And that’s life in a nutshell … helping out one teacher can make an impact on a classroom of students.


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