Buttermints and Besties


How to Identify a True “Bestie”

When you are in about the sixth hour of and on the twelfth pound of powdered sugar making a couple thousand homemade butter mints for a friend’s wedding, and you have sugar sticking to awkward parts of your body and every square inch of your kitchen…

a true “Bestie” (who you haven’t seen for three months) shows up, washes her hands, washes the dishes in the sink, cleans your Kitchen Aid Mixer cleaner than it has been in years, and then starts rolling butter and sugar with you…

even when you insist she just sits and keeps you company……

That, my friends, is what you call a “Bestie!

janet and jodi feb 15

Jodi & Janet – Sanibel Island, FL – February, 2015

I am blessed with a few of the best besties ever, including my sweet Janet, who has put up with me since we were 12 years old.  Her parents have adopted me as their daughter, her sisters have made me their sister.  My hubby and boys love her as much as I do.

What more could I ask for?!

Yep – Buttermints and Besties – that sums up my Saturday – doesn’t get any better…

Love you, Janet!  Thank you!

Cheers & Hugs,


Thanks a Latte! (and a Free Card Giveaway)

PP246 Thanks a Latte Love Perfect Blend

Any coffee lovers out there??  Do you ever sigh after that first sip of joe in the morning like I do?  Does anything taste better?  (with the exception of red wine after dinner?)  I love my coffee pretty bold (like my wine) with a nice splash of Italian Sweet Cream in it.

I created this card for The Paper Players PP246 Sketch Design Challenge.


The design was inspired by an awesome card I saw done by Paula Sievers at Stamping with Paula. I don’t often use Designer Series Paper, but I loved how Paula framed and layered it and then cut out the coffee cup and embellished the cup holder with chevron.

I have been wanting to use the StampinUp Perfect Blend Stamp Set and thought it would be so fun to put a lipstick mark on the cup like us ladies get so often.  Can you relate?

PP246 Thanks a Latte Love Perfect Blend

I had another stamp set from Fiskers with this sentiment on and the coffee beans that I thought complemented it and went well with the sketch challenge theme.  Some Gorgeous Grunge “coffee splatters” added just the right finishing touch.

I’d love to give this card away to one of you lovely “lifeinbetweeners” out there.  Leave a comment with your favorite coffee brand, flavor, shop, or how you like your morning java to be entered into a random drawing to win this card.  I’ve left the inside blank so you can write your own special thank you message to the person you choose to send it to.  (Winner will be drawn Sunday, 5/31/15.)

PP246 Thanks a Latte Love Perfect Blend 3

Cheers & Happy Friday Hugs,


Sometimes Simple is the Sweetest

memorial day birthday cake red raspberries and blackberries
Did you ever notice how fancy and fussy doesn’t always equal most delicious?

Take birthday cake for example, I have spent hours and fortunes on fancy cakes with fondant decorations or “secret” expensive ingredients.

But, as I can attest from this past weekend’s Memorial Day/DIL Birthday cake, my family absolutely and totally went gaga over a simple Betty Crocker Supermoist Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix baked in a 13×9 pan with white frosting and fresh fruit on top.

For the frosting, I mixed half a tub of Duncan Hines Fluffy White Frosting Mix and half of a large container of Cool Whip.  Canned frosting alone is way too sweet.  Cool Whip alone just doesn’t hit the mark.  Together, though, they are a marriage made in heaven!  AMAZING Frosting!  Try it – I’ll bet you get raves!

And to really rock it out, a scoop of Birthday Party ice cream doesn’t hurt either!  (Hagan Parlor Favorites makes a yummy Birthday Party flavor that has confetti chips and CHUNKS of birthday cake in the ice cream!)

Even those of you who don’t consider yourselves “Kitchenistas” can be Rock Stars with this easy combo!

Birthday party ice cream

Sometimes simple is the sweetest.

Cheers & Hugs,


You Caught My Eye Most of All

rusted railing west village new york city

West Village, New York City

In a quaint little village
on the west side of the city,
this chipped and rusty railing caught my eye.

Away from the shiny steel skyscrapers,
the honking horns and the bustling crowds,
this brownstone’s ornate railing
tells stories of its duties, its purpose, its history.

The bicycles that were chained
after a trip to the market, a visit to a friend, or an afternoon escapade.
The support of the hands of family members and friends that entered and departed.

You supported, you protected, you guided, you anchored.
Your beauty is far beyond aesthetic.
You have stories.
You have secrets… you have joys… you have tears.

Of all the things in this grandest of grand arenas,
You caught my eye most of all.

Cheers & Hugs,

Watercolor Butterfly

watercolor butterfly Jill bday

Today is my BFF’s birthday.  And what kind of bestie am I when I am pretty sure she is going to see this card here before she receives it in the mail???!!!  UGH!

BFF Jill is one of the most creative, supportive, generous, loving people I know.  And here I am late getting her card to her…

I have been wanting to draw and watercolor a butterfly for a while now.

This past week, however, had me in New York City for three days, home a day, and then off to Cleveland for an overnighter with another bestie for Saturday and Sunday.  All awesome stuff I must say, but little time for relaxing and creating.

Sunday evening, I finally found some time to sit down and be “creative.”  It was good to get my watercolor paint out again, draw a butterfly outline, and let it flow.  I was inspired by some designs I had seen done using a butterfly diecut at SimonSaysStamp.  For my card, I just drew a butterfly outline and then dropped in some color.

Jill and I have been through so much together.  I don’t know what I’d do without her. She and her family are our chosen family.  She is there for me in the most important of times (difficulties with family, emergencies, doubts, disappointments, but also celebrations, holidays, and milestones).

Many years ago, Jill and I went to a Bette Midler concert.  We’ve watched the movie “Beaches” together.

You know how couples have a “song?”  Well, Jill and I have a “song.”  It is “Wind Beneath My Wings,” by Bette Midler.  (and yes – hubby and I do have a song too – wonder if he knows it as the same one I do…. Merv?!).

So a butterfly seemed the perfect card for Jill – the wind beneath my wings.

If only I could have got it there on time….

Love ya Jill!  Happy Birthday!

Cheers & Hugs,



911 Memorial Rose

911 Memorial, New York City, New York, USA

Broken Hearts…
Broken Dreams…
Broken Families…
Broken Bricks…
and Broken Mortar.

All of these things may have been broken
by those with hatred and evil in their hearts…
those who have no regard for the sanctity of life
those who despise our freedom…
our liberty…
our justice…

But they cannot break our spirit.
We will not be a Broken Nation.

On my visit to New York City last week, I had the honor and privilege of visiting the 911 Memorial site where our nation experienced such great tragedy that awful September 11th day. It is evident by the rebuilding, the memorializing, the reverence, and the beauty, that we will not… and cannot… be broken.

Happy Memorial Day.
Celebrate Peace and Love,

These week’s WordPress Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Broken. This is my contribution.

A Wine Basket of Firsts – Bridal Shower Gift

wine bridal shower gift 3

I had a bridal shower to attend this weekend for the future daughter-in-law of one of my besties.

I thought it would be cute to make a wine basket gift of “firsts.”  I had seen these before and thought they were cute for couples who already have most of the “basics.”

In a large tin beverage bucket, I put a box of 4 red wine glasses, a box of 4 white wine glasses, a cork screw, and 6 different bottles of wine with fun names to celebrate some milestones and firsts.

The first one is Champagne (actually Prosecco) for “The Wedding Night.”

wine bridal shower gift wedding night bottle

The next one, Entwined, is for “The Honeymoon.”

wine bridal shower gift honeymoon bottle
For “The First Fight,” I thought a bottle of LOL!!! was fitting.

wine bridal shower gift first fight bottle

To toast at “The First Dinner Party,” I provided a bottle of HobNob.
wine bridal shower gift first dinner party bottle

When “The First Anniversary” rolls around, a bottle of Two Vines can be shared.

wine bridal shower gift first anniversary bottle

And if they are blessed with “The First Baby,” a bottle of Menage a Trois can be enjoyed.  (and if they want to use it for something else, I just don’t need to know about it!)

wine bridal shower gift first baby bottle

Anna and Kyle’s wine rack is now stocked.  Bring on the wedding!

wine bridal shower gift 2

Cheers & Hugs,



Fresh Red Raspberry Pancakes

fresh red raspberry pancakes

You may have noticed I am on a bit of a red raspberry kick… fresh raspberry chocolate chip cookies…    fudgy fresh raspberry chocolate chip brownies

Well – last weekend I made these homemade fresh red raspberry pancakes for breakfast.  They were quite the hit!  Maybe you are looking for something special and different for breakfast this long holiday weekend…

fresh red raspberry pancakes 3

These easy and yummy little hotcakes might be just the ticket.

fresh red raspberry pancakes 2

I served them with a side of thick-sliced peppered slab bacon.  The sweet and savory together totally rocked it!

Here’s the recipe.  Hope you enjoy!

Fresh Red Raspberry Pancakes


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup plain or red raspberry or blackberry Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup fresh red raspberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar


  • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. Set aside.
  •  In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg, butter and milk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Fold in raspberries.
  • Heat a griddle over moderately high heat coated lightly with oil. Drop scant 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto griddle; cook for 1 minute or until bubbles form on top. Turn and cook 1 minute more. Serve with raspberry jam, syrup, powdered sugar, or just as is!

Cheers & Hugs,