Monday, December 26, 2011

Fa La La La La!

(Side Note: This is Maddie, Breanna's blogger hasn't been working so she emailed them to me ages ago and I typed them up... Then my internet went out so I gave up for a few days when it came to uploading the photos. When I fixed our wifi I finished the posts but instead of hitting the Publish button I hit Save and Preview, forgetting to actually publish her posts. I logged on and was wondering why we had two posts in the draft folder then I realized my mistake. I am SOOOO incredibly sorry ya'll! I hope you and Breanna will forgive me!)


Part of getting ready for Christmas is dusting off the Christmas music and having a jam sesh to Kenny G’s golden riffs. I just wanted to quickly make a list of a few of the musical CDs and DVDs we have lying around at strategic places in the house. We are virtually never without background music in my house. Here goes:
~Kenny G Christmas Classics: Yule Log Edition (“Hey! Is your TV on fire?!” “No, it’s just my Yule Log DVD.”)
~Lorie Line and Her Pop Chamber Orchestra Holiday Piano Favorites (I found this one in a cereal box)
~MercyMe The Christmas Sessions (I think we ran this one over with our car... but it still works like a charm!)
~Keith and Kristyn Getty Joy: and Irish Christmas (Maddie and her family gave this to us this year and I LOVE listening to her accent!)
~Various artists WOW Christmas
~Celtic Women A Christmas Celebration (Again, mesmerizing accents.)
~Theater for the Thirsty A Misfit Christmas
~Relient K Let it Snow, Baby…Let it Reindeer
~Jaci Velasquez Christmas(Original, right? But her voice is so soothing.)
~Glenn Henriksen Christmas Joyful
~Various artists A Midnight Clear: Christmas Music to Fill Your Heart
~Eden’s Bridge Celtic Christmas (As you can tell, we really like Celtic music.)
Well, those are our favorites. Check some of them out, I dare ya.

;-)
Breanna

P.S. Here's a picture of our first snowfall of the season. The picture really doesn't do it justice, it was so gorgeous.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Get Ready For A Cheesequake!

Have you ever been to The Cheesecake Factory? If you haven’t (and I think all who have can agree that) it’s a place of wonder and excitement and delicious food chock-full of calories. One of Maddie and my absolute favorite hors d’oeuvres on the menu is probably the most calorie-laden: fried mac and cheese balls.
Last week I had the urge to try my hand at making these artery-clogging-heart-stoppers, so I surfed the web until I found the closest thing I could without hacking into the restaurant’s recipe database. You may want to strap yourself to your seat because you are about to witness a cheesequake (forgive me). This recipe contains TWO POUNDS of cheddar and Gouda!





  Yeah, I know. Only in America. We had to break out our largest pot in our cupboards because this recipe makes FORTY spheres of cheesy goodness!  After we formed the reformed childhood favorite into little three-dimensional circles, otherwise known as spheres, and coated them with an egg n’ milk mix and breadcrumbs, it was time to start fryin’. My great grandmother was making a batch of rosettes (fried Norwegian cookies) once and severely burned her legs by dropping the pot of boiling oil down her front, so I have a slight phobia of frying things. 
I wasn’t going to take any chances...
Since we weren’t planning on having an army over for dinner, we took out six cheese balls and put the rest in the freezer (where our supply will slowly diminish over the next two years).
Now if you don’t already have your family Christmas meal planned, this is the meal that keeps on giving.
I hope you all are happy and healthy this season and don’t forget the real reason!
Love, your punny blogger,
Breanna =)

Photography!

Hey Ya'll!

Just thought we'd quickly direct your attention to the new "Photography" page on our blog! We both love taking photos but don't always have an entire post to go along with each one. So we made a separate page especially for it! We don't have very many picture up right now but hopefully we'll get more soon! Do you want to check it out? We think you should! Click HERE to visit it! If you want to use the photos that's awesome, but we'd really love and appreciate it if you emailed us first! Feel free to link them on pinterest! Oh hey, you could even follow us on pinterest if you fancy!

Breanna  =)
    
    &

Madeline   <3

"Teapot"
Photography by: Madeline

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Will Blog For Comments




To comment, or not to comment? That is the question.

Many people are simply readers not writers of blogs. I know that both of us (Breanna and Madeline) read other blogs as well as write.

See that sweet little button underneath the post that says "Comments 0"? As bloggers whenever we see that we die a little inside. Hey, we're bloggers, we're needy, we sometimes strive to be people pleasers, we need self assurance, we love comments.

For us (Breanna and Madeline) the majority of the comments we get are from our moms, offline, telling us they like the photo we took and posted. (Thanks mom!) When new-hopefully-up & coming bloggers like us receive comments we freak out! (It's actually rather humorous)

It goes something like this. Madeline will receive an email alert on phone about new comment. Madeline eagerly reads comment, (sometimes repeats this step). Madeline calls Breanna, then realizes that she probably lost her phone again so calls Breanna's moms phone. Breanna's mom answers (most of the time) conversation usually consisting of the weather, politics and reminiscing about the past ensues. Breanna's mom gives the phone to Breanna. She apologizes for her mom keeping me for 10 minutes. Conversation about mountain goats, pinterest, and past escapades. I almost forget to mention the comment. I eventually mention it and we squeal with excitement. She quickly goes and checks. Conversation about the comment, sometimes we fabricate a crazy back story about how the person lives in Africa, is probably a fur trader, and found our blog cause they saw a picture regarding our post. Breanna hushes her dog Felix 3 times somewhere throughout this phone call. We both reply to the comment and hope the person reads it :) Then have the awkward "Okay, talk to you later." "Yeah, see ya!" "Bye!" "Bye!" "Umm, bye." "Yeah, uhh bye." farewell happens.


Now you're thinking as a reader, "Certainly that doesn't happen with every blogger?"
No, I can safely say that it does not. But, for many of the blogs we read we know that the authors love receiving comments! Also, if you look, many try to respond to your comment!
We aren't saying that you need to leave a comment on every single post of all the different blogs you read! But if there's a question you have, or a question asked in the post, correcting our spelling or grammar (hmm maybe not this one) a photograph you like, constructive criticism, a rebuttal to something you read... Post it in the comments! Having comments challenging us is great... Continue to reminds us about those tutorials we promised. It will motivate us to get the ball rolling!

We love hearing from our readers (all 5 of them ;) jk I think we have more) and we love hearing what our readers think. (Side note: in our small group of followers both of us are following our own blog. Sad huh? Haha!)


Hope this changes how you look at a comment! They may be small, but they mean a lot.

=) and <3 

Breanna and Madeline

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside! Wreath Tutorial!

My oh my! It's getting soooo cold outside! The other day the thermometer read 16 degrees. Cold weather is not my thing, I think I'm alergic to it ;) I've been in the crafty mood thanks for pinterest (I'm becoming a pinaholic!) And it's inspired me to go a bit homemade for Christmas. So I decided to make a wreath! My dad thought I had gone crazy when I tossed a foam ring into the cart while at Fleet Farm but oh well! Here's what you'll need!

1 Foam Ring
1 Skein Plain Yarn (In color of your choice)
1 Skein Textured Yarn (In color of your choice)
3 Different Sized Craft Pearls/Bead
1 Sheet of White Felt
Hot Glue & Hot Glue Gun
Ribbon
Sewing Needle
Thread Matching Yarn
1 Skein Bulky Yarn (In color of your choice)
Knitting Needles (I used size 8)

First I wrapped plain white yarn around the whole ring, securing it with hot glue at the end.

I wanted to add some texture to the wreath so I wrapped it in a second layer of a textured yarn. It's just a cheap cotton/acrylic yarn from Walmart! Secure ends with hot glue again!
Then time to start knitting! It's a simple technique for knitting flowers. Cast on 10 stitches, knit one row, then knit one stitch but instead of removing the stitch bring the yarn in front and pearl a stitch then remove the stitch. (If you'd like a better tutorial on the flowers leave a comment!) After doing that to every stitch in that row, knit the next row normally. The row after do the k/p stitch mix for all stitches (you should have 20 by now) knit next row normally, k/p mix for next row, knit stitches (40 by now) normally, k/p mix next row, then cast off for the last row (you should be casting off 80 stitches) The flower should kinda curl up and you can sew it together so it creates a rosette. I made one larger flower with 80 stitches at the end and two smaller with only 40 stitches at the end.
Cut two leaf shapes from the felt to what ever your desired size is. Then hot glue the craft pearls all over the leaf.
Arrange your flowers and leaves how you'd like them displayed on your wreath and you can put a small x down to mark it. Then sew your flowers onto the wreath. This shouldn't be hard since you have the two layers of yarn to work with!
Hot glue the pearl leaves where you want them, and then to secure the flowers you can hot glue the outside "petals" to the wreath.
Tie a ribbon to the top of your wreath and hang it! (Do you like my wreath hanger? I got it for $2.50 at Target! It's sparkly!)
Tada! You're finished and also the proud new owner of a super cute wreath!

I'm off to make myself a hot chocolate since I'm so freezing! Stay warm!

<3

Madeline

Monday, November 28, 2011

We Need A Little Christmas!

This is the first of hopefully many Christmas posts! Christmas is without a doubt my favorite time of year (followed closely by "Kamp Season")
Tonight my mom and I ran a few errands and we ended up at Target so I picked up some fun gift wrapping supplies. I also convinced my mom to pick up a 20 foot garland (for indoor/outdoor use ONLY! What other use is there?) to put over our kitchen window outside since I seem to be on the loosing side of the "We should really put Christmas lights up for the first time ever" battle. I even volunteered to climb up on the roof and put them up myself! But alas the answer was no. I was not deterred.
 I would not let our house be the one "Grinch" house in the cul-de-sac. I hung the garland outside the window and set up a tree that we usually put on our porch during the Christmas season out tonight, but first I had to take down the fall display my dad and I put together.

Adios pumpkins!


The display semi dismantled.

Time to sweep out the leaves that had gathered.

I couldn't get the picture to focus for the life of me.



I think the garland looks a little sparse, so I want to have my dad pick up another one then I can twist the two together. All I need is an extension cord (which I should be getting tomorrow) and I can finish up the Christmas lights!

<3

Madeline

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shopping Before Black Friday


This past weekend I attended a craft boutique and sold my wares! (Do you think I have pictures of it? of course not) It was so much fun to see all my friends that have done tables in the past! I believe this is my 6th or 7th year having a table and over the years what I've sold has changed. The first year I sold simple bracelets and greeting cards, then expanded into cell phone socks, shrinky dink jewelry, photo cards, dog treats and sock monkeys. (Not all in one year) This year I simplified. I only made sock monkeys, rice bags (the wonderful things you heat up in the microwave or toss in the freezer) dog treats and I introduced cupcakes this year! I was so excited to sell cupcakes and they were a huge hit! I sold out! The boutique consisted of Friday evening and Saturday morning-into-afternoon. Breanna and her mom showed up Saturday afternoon and after the boutique was finished we went shopping at the Mall Of America!


No, we didn't shop in Michael Kors, (I wish) but the window display was amazing so I had to take a picture. (I'm still confused Breanna about the reflecting in the window thing...)


See? I told you their window was AHHMAZING!


We then hit up my favorite store. Francesca's! I got a super cute leopard print chiffon top and a winter dress coat!


We finished the evening with dinner and dessert at Nordstrom's Cafe, Yum-O! (Please excuse the picture of us looking like we want to hurt each other. We're still teaching out mom's how to use our cameras)

On the ride home the next day I took a break from sewing the first of many petals for my Galinda Bubble Dress and took a picture of some of the things I purchased.

I think I added two or three more rows of sequins after this picture was taken. But it's oh-so-pretty!

Picnik is so much fun ;)

I got new Sorel winter boots that I needed very badly. I out grew mine last year and never got around to getting new ones. "Umm, hey mom. Can I borrow your snow boots?"

I love Polar Bears.

I also needed new tennis shoes. My old ones were getting small (hmm after 3 years that might happen... But that's what you get when you stay between 4'9 and 5'1 for 3 years) After an unfortunate running incident at work weekend which involved me practically running (and not noticing that I was running) through a muddy/bog/swamp area where I landed promptly on my tush and up to my ankles in mud, my old shoes were history. Enter stage right new Nikes! They're pink, and polka dotted, and wonderful!

Sorry about so many Macro shots. I just realized that my camera takes amazing macro, and not so great (insert every other setting here) photos.

Alas, me staring out the window in some meloncholy state of mind... I was probably pretending I was in a movie of something.

That's all! If I don't get around to posting tomorrow (which let's face it, I rarely post when I tell you I will) hope ya'll have a wonderful Turkey Day!

<3

Madeline

p.s. Tutorial update: I'm working on one right now, I just need to purchase a few more things and figure out how to install a zipper. Then gather more paint chips from the hardware supply store. (Two separate tutes, don't worry I'm not going crazy and making a paint chip dress)



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weekend Plans

I know it's kind early to be blogging about the weekend but I'll be seeing Breanna at my craft boutique this weekend and I'm so excited!!!! More updates to come...

<3

Madeline


Friday, November 11, 2011

Advent-ure Time!

    I never meant to allude to the weirdest children's show ever to grace cable TV, but it just worked out so well!
    So, Conservativchic (aka Maddie) reminded me that I am overdue for a new blog post. Story of my life. Since quite a bit has actually happened since the last time I blogged, I will tell you about some of it.
    Halloween. Was. So. Fun. I invited my friend, Rachel, to hand out candy again with me this year. This has become a tradition as of last year. We get together and set a theme (this year it was Alice in Wonderland) and then we dress up like characters from that theme. Rachel was Alice, I was the Cheshire cat, and third friend, Corrie, was going to be the Mad Hatter, but she had a paper to write for school (yet another reason why homeschooling is awesome), so she wasn't able to make it. Another thing we do is have a door prize drawing for the kids. This year, in light of our theme, we had them pick from a deck of cards. In order to win a prize, they had to pick either the queen of hearts or queen of diamonds. It was a blast! (And the kids had a good time to! ;-)
    If you ever read my tweets on the right side of this page, you may have seen a picture of my newest creations, Marius and Cosette. There was an auction to raise money for the school band and choir that I am in and I knit two phone socks for it. They were inspired by the watching the musical Les Miserables the night before the auction, and I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. =)
Marius and Cosette. Yes, that is a mini beret that he is wearing ;-)
    Shifting into a minor key: Today, I had this deep feeling of discontentment with my life. I think it might have been for a jumble of reasons, but one of them was that I haven't been reading my Bible as diligently lately. This depression was a horrible, evil feeling and I knew that if I was ever going to get back on the right track, I had to go away for a while to talk to my Father. As I was searching for verses on contentment and confusion, I came upon two verses that spoke straight to my soul and I'd like to share them with you. They were 1 Corinthians 14:33 and James 3:16.
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
1 Corinthians 14:33
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work
.James 3:16
    Now, on to the real reason I've called you here. My mom and I are making an advent basket for a lady who goes to our church. (Hence the awful title and picture of an advent calendar.) For those who don't know, an advent basket is a basket of gifts, each with a number on them that tell you which day of December to open that gift. The numbers go up to 24, Christmas Eve day. If you receive one, you probably won't know who it came from until you open the last present, when they reveal their identity on a card. Pretty neat idea, eh? Sort of like Hanukkah for Gentiles. Anyway, the gifts don't have to be big or expensive, just cute little ornaments or practical things or bath items. In the spirit of this blog I should have at least woven the basket or something crafty like that, but this time my mom is the one who was crafty- she is going to knit a washcloth and a towel to give. Fist pump for crafty mom!
    Have a beautiful 11-11-11 guys! But that occasion could never be allowed to overshadow the original reason this day is so special. Thank you to all of the brave men and women who have fought and are still fighting for the United States! Freedom is such a precious gift, and we have you to thank for it.

=)

Breanna


My friend, Rachel, and me all decked out for Halloween.
 I would like to point out that the water bottle in Rachel's left hand has a tag that says "Drink Me" on it in scrawly writing. In her other hand she has a pocket watch. I love her! She is so amazingly detailed!

Self explanatory. =P

Friday, November 4, 2011

Snickers and Reeses and Smarties! Oh MY!


Well friends,

Plans changed rather last minute and I went Trick-Or-Treating with some friends of mine.

"Aren't you a little old to be Trick-Or Treating Madeline?"
(Atleast that's what my mom asked me)

Yes, I probably am too old to be out Trick Or Treating, but I justified it by saying it would be the last time I'd trick or treat without my own children. No, I'm not going to have a kid before Halloween next year. I'm just going to refrain from going out until I'm 30-ish with kids of my own. Now of course that doesn't mean I won't still dress up for Halloween. I love making costumes! I will always dress up if given the chance! (Next crazy costume idea of mine is to make Glinda's "Bubble Dress" from Wicked, we'll see how that goes)
(Backstage photo: from Galinda's Wardrobe.com)
One thing's forsure. I thought Halloween candy would be the death of me.


There was SO. MUCH. CANDY.

I weighed it. 11 pounds.

I knew that I'd just continue eating it until it was gone, as would my parents (I had to hide the candy we were giving away from them so they wouldn't eat it all) so I brought my bag to Youth Group (after taking all the Kit Kats out mind you) set it on the table and told the kids to "Have at it!" It was like a stampede of elephants. Since the majority were "church kids" I'm pretty sure they'd never been trick or treating, much less seen that much candy before. All I was left with were a few suckers, a mini Heath bar, a fun sized Three Musketeers bar and those strange black and orange candies no one eats. That was very quick and effective!
Now, I wonder if I can do that with our Thanksgiving leftovers this year too...? *taps chin n thought*

Hope you had a fun and candy filled Halloween!

<3

Madeline

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Don't You Look Boo-tiful?

Unlike the rest of my family I love Halloween. I love the pumpkins, the candy, the cute costumes (I don't like any of the spooky/creepy stuff though)

I'm getting too old to trick or treat so the past few years I've been dressing up and handing out candy in a costume. This summer I made a mermaid costume for Kamp, so I'm planning on breaking it out again for Halloween. I only made the tail and some of the jewelry, the top is two different dance costumes I've had that I combined into one.

This is the WHOLE costume


This is the WHOLE costume on!


This is just the tail



The cool "artsy" angled shot. It kinda gives a close up of the "scales"


Hope you like my costume!

<3

Madeline

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

    Ever since I can remember I've wanted to travel the world. Maybe the desire grew in me from the number of times my mom and I have moved around or maybe I've just inherited her adventurous spirit, but whatever the case, living in one spot for the rest of my life has never been an option. However, it's hard to be a person with big dreams if you're not a person with big funds. I- along with a large percent of the worldly population- am one of those people. Of course, I don't really care and I will continue to search for cool places to visit until I tire of it (which will be never). Even if I have to pull a Jean Beliveau and walk around the world.
    I recently joined Pinterest and now I am constantly looking up pictures of cities and states and countries and "pinning" them to my "boards". Here is a portion of the indefinite list of places I would like to see sometime in my life.
    Let's start in the States:
1. West Virginia- I'm not too familiar with this state, but I found an absolutely gorgeous picture of Grist Mill.

 2. Boston, Massachusetts- Apparently this picture is of a casket delivery. The picture is just so beautiful, though, isn't it? All of the white sails just like clouds floating on the clear blue water. Then it directed me to a website: 24hourCaskets.com! High quality caskets at the best price direct to the funeral home of your choice - anywhere in Massachusetts. I know I shouldn't laugh....

3. Santa Fe, New Mexico- My mom says this is her favorite city. I love all the adobe structures and the Spanish feel, and I think that's what she likes too. Hopefully that will be a trip in the near future.

Now, let's move a little southeast of Minnesota.... okay a little more to the east.... THERE!
4. Toronto, Cananda- Now that's a city! Wowzers!

Okay, now we're going to look at a college Maddie and I are planning on going to the first year out of high school.
5. Capernwray, Lancashire, England- I'm not 100% sure on how to write the location of this place, but whatever the case, Capernwray Bible School is a castle on the countryside- sheep and all!

You may have heard through the grapevine that I am half Italian. No, I'm not from New Yohk or New Joysey and I do not fake-bake or wear a poof. But I would like to go back to my ancestor's home country:
6. Secily, Italy- I know the least about my dad's side of the family, and some day I hope to go on a trip with my dad.
7. Manila, Philippines- My cousin works for a company here and one day we really want to visit him... and the mountains. ;-)

Some non-related places I would like to visit are:
8. Santorini, Greece- Mama Mia! Here I go again! My my, how can I resist you?


9. Rome, Italy- While my dad and I are in Sicily, we might as well just be-bop over to Rome! Oh, they're over 300 miles apart? This might have to be a separate trip.


10. St. Petersburg, Russia- Watch out, Anastasia!


I'd love to hear about the places you'll go, too! By all means, leave a comment and let us know!

=)

Breanna

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting...
No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy! (or girl. We'll cut him some slack.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!
~excerpts from "Oh, The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss