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How is everyone?  I'm great.  I had a wonderful, relaxing birthday week.  I tried to not do anything on my birthday, last Wednesday but that only lasted half the day.  I just watched movies and relaxed but then I got antsy so I started cleaning and crafting.  I just can't sit and watch movies all day like I use to.  When I was younger, I was a professional at relaxing.  Now, I just am thinking too much about what needs to get done.  Oh the life of being a mother and a wife.

My two birthday dinners turned out really well and I think everyone had a great time.  The food was great and they company was even better.  I got to see almost everyone I wanted to see and I think it was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday.

Now I am completing Valentine's Day crafts.  I am trying to embroider love hearts for all my favorite couples.  I also want to complete a LOVE banner.  And of course I wanted to make something for you guys.

I thought about what I could create that you all could download and use.  I decided to make LOVE TICKETS.  I thought about if I had a ticket what I would want them to say.  I really love it when Addison and JT cook or clean for me and I don't even have to ask them to do it.  Then I thought about some other cute things.   I am still brainstorming on some other LOVE TICKETS.  Do you guys have any suggestions?  I won't mention The Chosen One's, it was dirty.  Let's just say it had a Star Wars theme.  :)

You can download your LOVE TICKETS HERE.

I hope you enjoy them.  And remember to comment on what other tickets you would like me to create.

Talk to you soon,

Birthday Week

Today is the start of my birthday celebration.  Tonight we are going to see "Mama" because I LOVE scary movies.  I still remember when my cousin, Cassaundra, took me to see "Pet Cemetery" in the movies theater and it scared the bejesus out off me.  I was 15 and probably had nightmares for a month.  Cassaundra, do you remember that?  I also remember watching all the "Amityville Horrors" with my cousins.  Hey, I slept with the lights on until I was 16 years old for reason.  :)

I can't wait to see it but I probably will be sleeping with a night light on tonight.  I asked Addison if he wanted to see it with us and he just screamed "NO".  I'm glad he's not totally like me, at his age I would have said yes and then slept in my mom's bed for a week.  I don't know what it is but there's something great about being scared.   It's nice to scream bloody murder from time to time.

The Godfather and Melissa are coming with me.  I have a bad feeling we are going to put The Godfather in the middle and squeeze both his hands so hard.  He's not going to be able to write or type for a week.  The last scary movie Melissa and I saw together, we ended up on each other laps by the end of it.  We are such scaredy cats but love it.

Tomorrow will be a nice dinner with family and friends.  Then next Saturday will be another great dinner with family and friends.  I'm excited about my birthday and don't feel a day older than 23.  :)

What do you have planned this weekend?  I hope everyone has a great one and I pray the Falcons win.  GO FALCONS!!!

Oh and before I leave I would to dedicate a song to The Chosen One. Have a great weekend!


Tooth Fairy's Receipt - UPDATED

A wonderful reader noticed that I spelled Quantity wrong.  I can't believe I didn't catch this.  I can't believe The Chosen One didn't catch it.  English major sister is in the dog house.  :)

I have corrected the error and updated the PDF file.  I will update the pictures later.  Sorry for everyone who downloaded it already.  Thank you for whomever noticed.  

I am also selling my Tooth Fairy receipts on Etsy.  For those you really don't want to print them out, make a little envelope, and glue everything together.  You can find them here.

I had such a wonderful time making Santa's receipt that I thought what other receipts I could do.  I thought a Tooth Fairy one would be really cute and I remembered I had a die cut for a little envelope.   I cut out the little envelopes and then decided to use the Santa receipt has a template.  Here it is:

Since my not-so-baby-anymore has lost his last tooth, I will not be able to use these but I hope everyone with little ones can enjoy.

You can purchase Tooth Fairy receipts at my ETSY STORE.

You can download and print it out with the link below.  LINK UPDATED!!!

The Chosen has already asked how much a not flossed, not brushed, and cavity ridden tooth would get her.  I was thinking maybe $.25. What do you think?   :)

Talk to you soon,

My favorite things - Jan 16

My first favorite things in 2013!  Are you excited?  I hope so.

I thought really hard about what are my favorite things today.  I came up with something interesting and something cheesy.  But hey I am a little bit interesting and a whole lot of cheesy.  :)

So here it goes....

1.   Ann Hamilton, Event of a Thread - The installation I wish we would have seen when we went to NYC.  It was held at the Park Avenue Armory.  Just looking at the pictures and video makes me realize I miss something amazing.

Here are pictures and two videos I found on the Park Avenue Armory Website:

Here's an interview I  found on Blouin Artinfo with Ann Hamilton explaining the installation.

Isn't it beautiful?  I can only imagine that it was an incredible experience to attend.  The videos have me in awe.  Just imagine being there.  Surreal!

2.  The Carrie Diaries - I know this is a new teeny bopper show but I just can't help myself.  I watched the pilot Monday and fell in love with it.  I felt like a teenager in the 80s all over again.  The music, the hair, the clothes...did I mention the clothes?   I was smiling from ear to ear when I watched it.  I felt like I was watching a John Hughes film and I was 12 years old.  I admit I still have a little 80s pre-teen inside of me and this shows speaks to it.

I spent the next day playing all my favorite 80s songs and thinking I can't wait until next Monday to watch another episode.  If you compare it to Sex and the City you will be disappointed.  It is something totally different and it should be.  Can you say you are exactly the same person as you were when you were 16 years old?  I am thankfully not.

So those are my two favorite things that have me smiling today.  What are yours?

I leave you with one of my favorite 80s songs, Bette Davis Eyes.

Talk to you soon,

Italian White Bean and Kale Soup

This fall and winter I have been trying different soups.  Some were hits, the butternut squash soup.  Some were misses, Addison did not like the french onion soup.  I am having so much fun doing different things with vegetables.  And it always interesting to see what soup I will decide to make each week.  Last night I made an Italian White Bean and Kale Soup.  I got the recipe from the January issue of Martha Stewart Living.  In hers it is an Italian White Bean and Mustard Greens, I decided to replace the Mustard Greens with Kale, decided to add some vegetable stock to the recipe, and added extra carrots.  But everything else I did the same.  You can find her recipe here.

I tired to take step by step pictures.  But with soup it is all about chopping everything up and then putting it in the pot.

Here's what I have:

Letting the beans soak

Chopping the vegetables

Add everything together.  Ready to go in the oven.

The farro that took Addison and me forever to find at Whole Foods.

First add the farro

Then add the rest and EAT

Addison said he liked this soup more than the butternut squash soup.  This means it is #1 right now in the Cochran household.  This soup is much easier to make than the butternut squash soup so I am not complaining.   It turned out really good and was really filling.  It is nice to have a Meatless Monday and still have a happy family with full bellies.  We have enough for leftovers so tonight I will roast a whole chicken and we can have it with our soup.

Here's the recipe:

Italian White Bean and Kale Soup

adapted from Martha Stewart Living January 2013


  • 1 pound dried lima beans
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    1 onion, finely chopped
    4 medium carrots, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 1/2 pounds kale, washed well and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips
    5 thyme sprigs
    5 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
    2 bay leaves
    1 Parmesan cheese rind (about 1 by 4 inches; optional), plus freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
    1 quart water
    1 quart vegetable stock
    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 cup farro

  1. Place beans in a large bowl, cover with 2 inches cold water; let soak overnight at room temperature. Drain and rinse beans. (Or quick-soak them: Boil beans 1 minute, then let them sit off heat, covered, 1 hour.)
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown in places, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and kale to pot, and cook, stirring frequently, until kale wilts, about 2 minutes.
  3. Put thyme, parsley, and bay leaves in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Add to pot along with beans, Parmesan rind, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, transfer to oven, and braise 1 hour.
  4. Remove from oven, and stir in 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover, return to oven, and braise until beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add farro, and cook until grains are tender and begin to split, about 25 minutes. Drain.
  6. Divide farro among 6 bowls, and ladle soup over farro. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and drizzle with oil. Soup and farro can be refrigerated in separate containers 2 days; let cool completely before refrigerating. Gently reheat together in a covered pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

I hope you make it and enjoy it.  Now I just need to stay focus and complete some projects.  

Talk to you soon,


Crafting and Organization

As a child I was diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, my doctor prescribed different types of medication that didn't react well with me.  One gave me crazy nightmares and the other made me shake.  So my mother decided I was fine the way I was and I learned to deal with things on my own.  Today, I don't think I have ADD or ADHD and if I do it is not an extreme case.  I do think I have a problem with organization and completing things.  I am definitely a procrastinator.

Last weekend, I finished a baby gift I wanted to give a friend at her baby shower.  I ended up having the worst migraine and could not attend.  But my wonderful husband and son drop of the gift.  I am just so happy that it is the second thing I have crafted, completed, and gifted.  I have so many projects in my head that I want to do.  I have so many half completed projects in my craft closet.  Knowing I have completed something else I really wanted to give made me feel really good.  I don't think every project I start I will complete but I think the odds are getting better.  The Chosen One likes to say it doesn't matter what you finish, the one who dies with the most fabric at the end wins.  Have I mentioned that she's a bad influence when it comes to my crafting addiction?   :)

Now I am inspired to start Valentine's Day projects and hopefully finish another banner I promised someone (over halfway done).  My craft closet is still in a state of slightly organized, slightly crazy (my type of organization). But I am having positive thoughts and excited about creating.  I can't promise I won't stay off Etsy until I have used the fabric I already have.  But things are getting finished so I have room for more.  Right?  :)

Here's are the baby bibs a made for a friend:

I also made a drawstring bag to wrap the bibs in.  I wanted to do something different than a box and wrapping paper.  I love the way it turned out.  Now I want to wrap all our presents in drawstring bags.

Talking about organization makes me think I need to organize my blog.  I wake up every morning wondering what to write about.  Sometimes I have a lot of ideas and sometimes I have nothing.  I was thinking if I set a day for each week that I talk about a certain topic that interest me.  I think I tried this before and my ADD set in.

I was thinking...

  • Monday - Family and life 
  • Tuesday - Cooking/Baking
  • Wednesday - My Favorite Things
  • Thursday - Crafting
  • Friday - Free for all and something Sci-Fi (the Chosen One mentioned I really don't talk about Sci-fi anymore, the nerd in me is ashamed)

Let's see if I can really keep up with the schedule and blog everyday.  Challenge accepted!

Talk to you soon,

Resoltuion #4 - Exercise

So we all know that one of my resolutions had to be exercise.  Isn't that on everybody's list?  So every beginning of the year I work out more, do great for a month or two, and then just stop.  So I was thinking instead of going extreme I would just do baby steps.  I was also thinking if I did a challenge with other people it would keep me exercising.  So The Chosen One and some others (I think Brandi is joining us)  have decided that we have to walk/run 8 miles a week.  With everyone's busy schedules 8 miles seems like a reasonable number.   Every time someone walks/runs we will take a picture of it and upload the picture to Instagram with the hashtag #pi8milesaweek.  I would love for all of you to join us.

With Instagram we can comment on everyone's progress and cheer each other on.  I think it will be a lot of fun.  For walking with my iPhone I use to app Endomondo.  I love the it tracks what you are doing, you can add friends to see what they are doing, and it even has GPS.  Grandma even does it and she's a walking machine.  She walks about 2 miles a day and seeing what she can do encourages me to walk more.

I hope you will join us in our walking/running challenge.

Have a great weekend!!!

Eating more vegetables and fruits

I think we eat healthy but I think we could do better.  There is always room for improvement.  I try to take most processed foods out of our diets but we do slip from time to time.  I cook homemade meals at least 3 times a week and we have enough from leftovers for the rest of the week.  I am very fortunate that my son will eat anything, well at least try anything.  His favorite thing to eat is rack of lamb and any kind of risotto.  We eat fruits and vegetables everyday and take a multi-vitamin.  But, I have really been thinking we need to be eating more vegetables and fruits throughout the day.  Unfortunately, I don't know what JT and Addison eat during lunch during the week because Addison eats lunch at school and JT eats out at work.   I know you can't believe Addison doesn't take his lunch to school but he did and he told me it was too much of a hassle and the school lunch was good.  I bet he thinks it's good there is probably little to none nutritional value in it, example pizza and hot dogs.  Addison does tell me he always get a side salad.  I'm just not going to worry about lunch. It can be their cheat meal and I can feed them better for breakfast and dinner.

So for breakfast and for snacks I have been thinking about juicing.  I have started doing research about juicing and even borrowed Melissa's juicer.  I like her juicer but after doing research I am thinking it is not the one for my family.  She has the Breville Ikon Juice Fountain.

Don't get me wrong.  It is a great juicer and it is really fast.  But, after doing research I am thinking a slow juicer would be more my speed.  It's a Centrifugal Juicer Vs. an Auger Juicer.  A Centrifugal Juicer moves at a high speed, vegtables are pushed through the chute, and ground to a pulp.  During the high speed spinning the pulp and the juice are separated.  Auger or Masticating Juicers are low speed and have no spinning action.  It uses a auger to crush vegetables and squish out the juice.  They are quieter than the Centrifugal Juicer and said to keep more nutrients in the juice because of the slow speed.  I am also more interested in an Augur juicer because they are better for leafy greens and that's one of the things would really like to juice.

Now since I have decided what type of juicer I would like, I need to decide which Auger Juicer to buy.  I am debating between the Huron Vs. the Omega VRT330.

I have looked at reviews for both and they are some great reviews and some really bad ones.  Since, juicers aren't cheap I'm going to take my time until I find the right one.  I would love if anyone has any input on Auger juicers.  For now I will be using Melissa's until I find the perfect one or until she asks for hers back.  

I now need to make homemade yogurt with our yogurt maker since JT likes to mention I want all this kitchen equipment but never use it.  But, I think the yogurt maker is the only thing I don't use regularly. Well, I will be making yogurt for weeks to show him.   Poor Addison is going to be yogurt out.  

Talk to you soon, 

Resolution #2 - Less Television

Yes, I said my one of my resolutions was blogging more and I then I didn't post Friday.  Addison is still out of school so life isn't completely normal yet. He goes back tomorrow and I will be able to get back to work on my projects.  Having your child home for 2 weeks can be fun but also difficult.  I didn't want him just to play video games for 2 weeks straight so I had to come up with other activities to do during the day and take him places.  I do not know how mothers homeschool their kids.  Addison and I have a great relationship but we start to fight if we spend too much time with each other.  JT says it is because we are exactly alike.  He might be a little right.  I just try to help him be the best person he can be and Addison takes it as nagging.  Yes, I am that mother that does speeches about his future and suggests how he should do things.  I have to remember he is a 13 years old boy and all he wants to do is play video games and drink chocolate milk.  But I worry with too many video games he will be a 33 years old boy (still living at home) that only wants to play video games and drink chocolate milk.  Yes, I went there but it's ok to be overly concerned.  Right?

The Chosen One grew up in a household with no television.  Just typing that sounds a little crazy to me.  Her father and mother chose to raise her and her 2 sisters in an environment with no television and they turned out wonderful.  They all went to Ivy League colleges and have great careers.  I on the other hand was raised by television.  You see, I was raised by a single mother that worked hard.  She was the chief nurse at the VA Hospital, had her doctorate, and travelled for business a lot.  I spent a lot of time home alone watching television to keep me company.  I ended up have mediocre grades, finally graduating college (but later than mosts).  But, now we all have great lives even though we had different childhoods and took a different road (mine was just longer and winding).  But, I still believe that television had a major part in our lives and still does today (Also, the fact that I was raised by a single parent and The Chosen One was not, but that's a whole different conversation).  I think I still watch too much television and The Chosen One doesn't even have cable.  I bet you thought I was going to say she doesn't have a television.  No her parents finally got a television when all the children moved out and now watch way too much television. But hey they are older and they have time to do that now.  The Chosen One has a television but only uses it to watch movies. She is always saying she doesn't have time to watch television and doesn't think there is anything worth to watch (except for Downton Abbey).   We own 3 televisions, have digital cable (over 1,000 channels) and our DVR is always full because there is so much stuff to watch.

So what I am wondering is if I could find a happy medium of The Chosen One's childhood and my childhood?  I already don't let Addison play video games or watch television on the weekdays.  But, that's is because he just doesn't have time to do anything on the weekday after his activities and homework. It just seems on the weekends if we don't have anything planned he just stays in his room and plays video games or watches television the whole weekend.  I believe this was another one of my downfalls being a parent, letting him have a television in his room.  But, I had one in my room growing up so I just felt like it's normal.  I guess I am more concerned now since he's a teenager and I think more and more about what he will be like as an adult.  I guess I just want him to well-rounded and happy.  With or without a television he will probably turn out well-rounded and happy, so I just need to let go.  But, I do believe as a family one of our New Year's Resolutions needs to be watch less television.  If I am going to be concerned about Addison, I need to be concerned about the whole household.  I know JT will be confused about this because it is football season and he watches an obscene amount of television at this time.  But, I believe cutting our television, computer, video games, electronic in half will change our lives for the better.

I will let you know if the men go on an uproar and kill me.  Well I won't be able to let you know so if I go missing you know what happen.  :)

What are your resolutions this year?  Can you guess what #3 will be?

New Year's Resolutions:

1. Blog more
2. Less Television, Video Games, Computer
3.  ?



I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Ours was perfect.  The food was delicious and I believe everyone had a great time.  It's wonderful spending the whole day with family and friends.  We all just ate, talked and laughed.  The sad thing is the decorations have been taken down and we are starting the new year.  What am I going to make next?  I guess I will have to start making Valentine's Day decorations.

Here are some of our Christmas decorations:

Our beautiful Christmas table

We enjoy the Lego Architectures through out our house.  

I do need to finish two baby banners first.  Oh I made a quick JOY banner the day before Christmas.  I am loving these  felt banners.  Hopefully, I can start selling them soon.

I didn't have time to hand sew it.  Maybe I will try next Christmas.

I can not forget to mention the incredible food we had on Christmas Day.  My hubby makes a Turducken every year.  He debones a turkey, duck and hen.  Then layers them on top of each other with stuffing in between.  Then sews it up and cooks it.   It is soooo good.  We look forward to it every year and friends always come over for leftovers.

Look at the gorgeous bird.  There's a duck and a hen in there.

Oh and my famous Baked Macaroni and Cheese. I make the best mac and cheese.  I might share the recipe one day.  

We also make the Cake Pyramid I wanted to make last year from Martha's Living magazine December 2011.  I loved the way it turned out.  And love that we can use it again next year.  The gingerbread cake also turned out amazing.  The Godfather even mentioned how good it was.  I will be saving this cake recipe for next Christmas.  You can find it here.  

I promise it is as good as it looks.  

What did everyone do for New Year's Eve?  We had our annual party at The Godfather's.  The food was good and everyone had a blast.

Holden looks exhausted.  He would not go to sleep.  He partied until 2 AM.  He's hardcore.

I have been thinking about resolutions since it's the New Year.  What are yours?  I going to post tomorrow about a couple of resolutions I have.  I will give you a hint.  One is blogging more.  :)

Talk to you soon,