bare white

bare white


Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here is a little tidbit about me for all of my illinois friends that don't know. I am from Michigan (all of my family, which is a lot,  still live there) and my parents own a Restaurant there - Rykse's Restaurant & Bakery .  I grew up there and from early on I started working there. My earliest memories are working in the bakery with my grandma, covered head to toe in flour...I am sure not much older than Addison. I LOVED it.  As I got older I started hostessing, then serving, then catering and my final couple years there before I go married I was Managing.
They started this restaurant with my Grandparents and Aunt & Uncle 25 years ago. Many of the recipes, at that time, were my grandma Helen's.  It has changed and evolved over the past 25 years.  They have the most amazing desserts and bread and rolls and cinnamon rolls - not to mention the rest of the menu.  I miss it though I am sure my waistline doesn't.  Actually, that isn't completely true because when you work there, most of the time, it doesn't look as good - just because you are around it all of the time.

SO as Arae and Bobo are getting older, I really want to bake with them and teach them all my grandma taught me. Even if it means we are all covered in flour. I have so many amazing memories in the kitchen!

I was talking to my grandma today, in fact, asking her for a few recipes that I really want our kids to carry on.  I am so blessed to still have all of my grandparents alive and healthy...a true blessing!

I thought I would post a recipe I LOVE for chocolate chip cookies. This is not a recipe from the Restaurant or my grandma...those are a secret. But it is a recipe that I LOVE.

Here are a few tips I learned, though, from my grandma and the restaurant :

When making cookies :
- Don't over mix the batter if you want soft, fluffy cookies...this truly makes a difference!
- Cook them until you think they are getting close and take them out. Overcooked, crispy cookies aren't the my opinion. I like them soft and gooey.
- Refrigerate the batter if you don't need it all right away....then you can take them out and have hot ones when you want them

She is so talented....she can cross her eyes two different ways! 

the show stoppers!

Niether one got a shell in...I was SO impressed!! They were pretty happy too!

LOVE my kitchen aid....and the cute hands that start it up!

If you don't have one of NEED one! The best thing in the world for baking anything and it not sticking! Silpat

my Scooper and her many bracelets...she has made several of them and she keeps making them for everyone she knows. I even was gifted one today from my sweet girl!
Also, this is the perfect size scoop!

 Patiently waiting her turn from the crazy boy

Crazy boy! He was in heaven licking that thing...Im just happy no tongue was found stuck in it!

Not too done....perfection!

sit down, and enjoy....two at least! It is not a complete delicacy unless you dip it in milk! okay....maybe it isn't a delicacy to some, but to me (and the kids) we'll take it!

*DJ's tip - freeze them and eat them frozen

Recipe :

3/4 C Shortening (this makes them SO good)
1/4 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 C White sugar
2 eggs
2 T warm water
1 t vanilla
3 1/4 C Flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
6 oz choc chips

Cream together first 4 ingredients together. Add eggs, water and vanilla. Beat well, but not too long. Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix well....again, once all beat together stop. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet lined with a Silpat. Bake 8 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from oven when cookies barely start to brown and you think you may need to bake them longer. Leave them on cookie sheet until you can take them off easily...mine are usually still warm but not hot.

7.24.2011 IS patient

I am home from church today.  Littlest one has a runny nose - nothing crazy, but I always feel bad putting her in nursery with a runny nose. So I am doing "church" at home. I was getting ready to listen to a sermon on the computer, but before I quickly checked one of my favorite blogs. It is one of those blogs that makes me STOP, and BREATHE and reminds me of what my true purpose here on earth is.  It is one of those blogs that encourages and challenges me. Sometimes I don't always like everything I read because it is convicting, but I know God is in the words penned (typed) there.  (

So I scrolled down a few days and read this Love is Patient
I needed this the other day (last wednesday to be exact) when I totally lost my cool with my kids. Yes they were being disobedient, but I went overboard...all because I was trying to finish our bedroom redo before Jase got home. I need this on those days when I just wake up to a argument between the boys about who is getting up first.  I need this when there is a "discussion" on who gets what cookie...all based on size.  I need this everyday!

After all, these precious ones are my treasures


Birthday Project for 35

So here is the big reveal to my birthday boy! This is something I have been LONGING to do for years. Since we have been married...8 years...we have lived in 6 different homes - some for a short time, some for even a shorter time.  So we have never had a room for US ...  that room we WANTED to go into and sleep or read or just be. 

SO, for His birthday I knew for awhile what I wanted to do -  the plan of attack started. First on Pinterest for inspiration, then a budget (that doubled along the way:) ) and then the shopping and making and redoing and finishing AND seriously sweating!
I knew I wanted to reuse/paint as much as possible. AND I wanted to shop my house first. Then I made my list and went for it - Target, Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx and Pier One were my main stops along the way.  I was also determined to NOT pay full price for anything and I think I managed that except for one thing...Praise the LORD!

My source of inspiration  came from the most amazing quilt my grandma made for us a couple of years ago. I knew the color schemes were coming from that, but I wanted to get it off of my bed for awhile since we get so much natural light, I was fearful it was starting to fade. I want to cherish is as long as I live! It truly is amazing!

I painted our headboard wall light gray and the rest of the room stayed the neutral antiquey-white

I did NOT want to spend $50 + on a bedskirt so I started researching no-sew ones online and this is what I came up with. I wanted it neutral but maybe add a little texture so I went with linen. In less than an hour it was done. It took 4 yards of fabric cut in half (long ways) and LOTS of safety pins. I LOVE the outcome. Honestly, it is better than what I imagined!

My mom brought me 4 of these shutters painted blue. I LOVE them, but we don't have blue anywhere in our room so I sanded and painted two of them -  2 coats of gray, then spray painted  2 coats of antique-white (yes my arm/hand still hurts from this) - then I sanded the edges and the final step was staining them.

THIS was fun! See my helpers?? I found an amazing sign I wanted for our room but WAY out of our budget, so I did my own version with wooden frame I put together, a (used) painter's clothe and Burlap. Then I used stencils and black paint and tried my hardest to get is all spaced's not perfect, but I LOVE it and so does 35!

Painted sticks above the window - kind of on a whim, but added to the masculinity of the room

OLD VINTAGE window from The Antique Shoppe I sooo HEART!

 Art work complete...yes you have my whole heart Jase!

Vintage fan

vintage mirror hanging on the shutter

 Love this mirror - clearanced at TJ MAXX - still have a little repair to make on it, but I will need his help to do it

SOLID wood bench - another masculine feature...this thing was HEAVY! 
That is the amazing quilt under the bench

To-be-filled-frames from Organic Bloom - I can't wait to fill them!

Vintage-looking hook for our throw at night so it isn't just on the floor for kids to do something me they would find a way!

AND the final outcome....for now.  I have a few more things I want to do, but they are a little more involved....board and batten, a little more paint and we'll see what else. 


Bitty : eight months

I wanted to go back a bit (now that I am all caught up with the 4th of July posts). 
Littlest one is now actually 9 months with 2 teeth and all over the place. She has been crawling for awhile now and started pulling up on things as well...she is following the path before her from her sister. Arae walked before she was a year, which at the time I thought was cool, only to now realize how much harder it makes my life....especially with stairs in our house. ahhh! I like the stationary stage!

I love having kids...they make our life so interesting, and joy-filled. They test me over and over and even when we fail them they still love us so much. To me, they are a picture of God's unfailing love and  grace.  Seeing their expressions when they do things for the first time, or when they achieved a NEVER gets old.  
I have said it before and will say it again :
"Making the decision to have children is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." (Elizabeth Stone) 

So here is one of my hearts...8 months and counting!

Mouth wide open...we see this face all of the time when she gets excited!


my 4th of July project

This 4th of July I really wanted to do a 4th of July shoot with my kids. I want to instill in them how amazing and wonderful it is to have is a gift from GOD! a GIFT...truly! One that, I fear, we may not always have...I hope we do...I hope, but incase we don't, I want them to know/remember what it is like to have it.  I want them to know that no matter what, God is good, He is faithful and He has put us where we are to live - for HIM. 

4th of July - night

Delicious cookout at Emily and Frank's, walk to the fireworks, await the fireworks, bathroom break (in the trees) for little boys, more waiting for fireworks, exploring and watching the sprinklers go off on spectators (haha), more waiting, THEN they start, then they stop, then they start, then they stop and we WAIT...then we leave only to have them start and keep going as we are walking back to our we stopped and finished watching them.

See those sprinklers??? Well, yes...there were people there awaiting the fireworks when they went off! 

Sorry pop - your eyes are closed  - typical Bobo face

 Bitty's first fireworks....she fell asleep


Here they are!! (click to enlarge)