Monday, January 31, 2011

Crafting up some love

day 18

I know you're going to be shocked by this but I love me some nap-time crafting.  I especially love VALENTINE crafting!

We (by "we" I mean "just Tracey") have been working on putting together Sam's Valentines for his cousins and lady friends.  This is a little sample of what he will be sending out. (The boys are getting friendship bracelets)  I have literally crocheted 30 hearts in the last couple of days. I'm addicted.

 I wore this little prototype to play group this morning and it was quite the hit. So it is going on Etsy in my super-random-in-need-of-an-overhaul-and-some-updated-stuff shop.  If you want one, this is where you can find it.

I think I'm going to put together some that are white and pink as well.  So fun.   I'm also adding a coupon code (SUFFERING) for all of you who suffer through my blog posts.  It'll be good until Friday.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Alone time

Ben has a new method of "discipline".  He calls it bucketing.  Basically, it consists of Sam sticking a laundry basket over Sam when he's being crazy.  Before someone calls CPS, I should mention that the basket is not held over him in any way and we are not using this for actual discipline.

Obviously Sam loves it because he is now self-bucketing when he needs some alone time.  
day 17

He may or may not have done this in nursery last week when he was tired of playing with the other kids. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Ben and I have a goal that every weekend we will try a new local restaurant. Let me tell you, Austin has some AMAZING food.

This weekend we decided to try Lone Star Kolache.

There are kolache places EVERY WHERE in Texas.

Anyway . . . for those of you who aren't familiar with kolaches here's a photo and the wiki definition.

day 16
Kolache (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolacky, from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče) is a type of pastry consisting of a semi-sweet yeast dough baked with fillings such as fruits, poppyseed, prunes, and cream cheese, often served open-faced, and topped with a topping such as popsika (a crumbled mixture of sugar, flour and butter). [1] Originating as a semi-sweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, they have become popular in parts of the United States.

Apparently they are all over Nebraska too but somehow I missed them in my youth.

Basically they are little treasure nuggets of bread filled with meaty or fruity goodness. Think pigs in a blanket or pizza rolls on steroids. So good.

Here are the varieties that we tried today.

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(Just so you know, I did not eat all of these. We split them all in half.)

The strawberry & cream cheese one was my very favorite but they were all super delicious.

The good news is if you go in between 1:30 and 2:30 you can buy six and get six free.

Unfortunately, this is also the bad news.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Daddy Time

day 15

Sam's very favorite book is a Baby Einstein book about world animals. Since the actual text is long and a little involved for Sam, Ben has started reading him a few facts and then making up actions to go along with each animal. Sam loves the ladybug action which involves neck tickling. He also loves the koala bear (pictured above) because Ben uses him fingers to climb up Sam's arms while saying, "Climb-a, climb-a, climb-a."

I took these photos hours ago but as I type this I can hear Ben reading the book to Sam again.

Love those boys.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Instead of one good photo I'm giving you one crappy photo and one okay photo.

Sam and I had a play date with Nicole, Zaylee and Jack today in Sandy & Tony (aka San Antonio) Imagine my displeasure when we pulled up to see this sign and I didn't have my camera with me. So you're getting a camera phone shot from inside Nicole's car. You will be happy to know that Zaylee did in fact have the pancakes. They looked pretty good. If they tasted anything like my enchiladas then I would say that Apelito's (sp?) can definitely claim to be the "Mexican House of Pancakes".

day 14 (part 1)

In other news, it is Sammy Thursday.

When we got home tonight, Ben had to go to Pack Meeting. After working out (yea me!) I came into the office to upload the pancake photo. Suddenly I see a blur of white flying across my living room. My son had dispensed of his pants and diaper. Wearing only a T-shirt I found him toilet papering my living room.

You would think I would get a photo but my house is a mess and I'm adamantly opposed to posting naked pictures of my kid. So I took this photo after the mess was cleaned up and he had pants.

I think it says "C'mon Mom. Not a big deal. Wait until you see what I do when I'm 13."
day 14 - part 2

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


day 13

Sam and I woke up to fog this morning. Luckily, because of my 365 project I had my camera handy. I ran out onto our porch in my PJ's and got this photo. It lasted for an entire 5 minutes and then it was gone.

I asked Ben if his drive to work this morning had been foggy. He said, "No, why would it be?"

Apparently we just had a freak patch of fog at our house.

Ben came up with the title for me. I thought it was silly and then I realized that I have seen the light concerning this project. So cheesy, I know. BUT if I wasn't actively taking pictures and I didn't have my camera prepped this morning I would have never got this shot.

It just goes to show that you never know when photo opportunities are going to present themselves.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



I am inches away from losing my quiet afternoons.

Monday, January 24, 2011


day 11
Dear Pixar,

Thank you for making Toy Story 2. It is the only way I get snuggles from my favorite little dude.


PS - Please excuse my ugly feet. I am long overdue for a pedicure.

Austin Skyline Photo Info


Canon 5DMKII
70-200 mm f/2.8L
200mm 1.6 sec @f/5, ISO 800
Spot metered

Here is another shot I took as Ben was driving up South Congress and I was lovingly holding the garlic knots in my lap. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Patience. Have some. This is a long post.

If you aren't my friend on FB then you missed my comment around 6:30 pm.

"Because Ben is concerned that I haven't taken my photo of the day, he just offered to pose for some boudoir shots. I'm speechless."

The people "liked" it.

Alas, there will be no boudoir photography tonight. Instead I decided that tonight was the night for the Austin skyline. There is a scenic overlook not too far from our home that is quite lovely. The only problem was we couldn't quite remember where it was. We drove down the road, turned around because we thought we found it. Realized that wasn't the spot. Continued down the road again. Gave up. Headed back towards the spot that we originally stopped at.

Ben parked on the side of the road and I walked down the road for what seemed like forever (wearing all blank mind you . . . not smart) only to get a crappy photo. Seriously. My exposure was wrong. I didn't have my tripod (left it in Utah over the holidays) and there were stupid telephone lines in the way. So I headed back to the car in failure snapping a couple more on the way.

On the way back home, we found the spot! It was much closer to our home than we had originally thought. I hopped out. Lovingly placed my camera on a rock wall and my jacket as a make shift tripod and got this photo.


Isn't Austin lovely?

The best part is this isn't even my photo for the day.

This is. The only editing is a little cropping and the wording.

day 10

My loving husband sitting in the car with our darling son waiting for the crazy women in their lives to stop taking photos only to have to stop 5 minutes later and wait for her to take even more photos. Such great boys.

In case you are wondering here is the info for the daily photo.
Canon 5DMKII
70-200 mm f/2.8L

Are you ready for the insanity?

200mm 1/30 @f/5, ISO 3200

What was I thinking?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dr Pepper Museum (Waco, TX)

We went to the Dr Pepper Museum today.

It was glorious.

Our little family has a love affair with soda.

Ben loves Diet Coke.

I love Diet Dr Pepper.

Sam loves whatever he can get his hands on.

We learned all about soda, visited their cute little gift shop and finally made a stop at their authentic soda fountain. Have you had a hot Dr Pepper? We haven't either. Although you can get one there, we opted for the Dr Pepper float.

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With a side of Cheetos. We LOVE us some Cheetos.

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It is written all over our faces.

day 9

Friday, January 21, 2011

What's up home slice?

If you are avoiding carbs, (Shannon, I'm talking to you) stop reading now!

day 8

I love pizza. I love bread. I love marinara.

But I want to marry garlic knots.

I would let Ben be a polygamist if his other wife was garlic knots.

There is a pizza joint in Austin called Home Slice. They have the best garlic knots I have ever tasted in my life. I want to swim in a pool of their marinara while using a garlic knot as a flotation device.

I decided that I would pay them homage by using a picture of their neon for my day 8 photo. I took it this evening after I had safely secured my garlic knots. Yes, it is a queen with pigtails and a mustache. I don't know what it means.

I just know they have garlic knots.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go seduce my husband so I can talk him into giving me his last garlic knot.

Etsy? Do ya think? (Opinions will be rewarded)

Can we chat for a second?

I've had a couple of people comment, call and email asking about the "Cutie Pie" necklace. The overall consensus has been time to think about Etsy.

So here's the deal. Etsy has TONS of stamped charms.
All very cute.

I'm thinking that I might test the waters. So I've been practicing and researching. I've made a couple more. I'm working out my method.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm going to tell you that the one's pictured below are made using cheapey local craft store materials. Hence the bending of the metal. But they're fun and kinda quirky.

I've found a couple of suppliers where I can buy sterling silver blanks. I've got some on the way along with a couple of tools to make the process work better. (Right now I'm stamping, laying on stomach on our back patio.) I also found a beading class that I can take for SUPER CHEAP at the craft store.

So what do you think?

Try it out? Join the Etsy metal stamping madness?

How much would you pay for one?

Would you pay for one?!

Do the phrases work? Can you think of something better?

Or do I just do it upon request for friends and families? Just for gifts?

Because I really do need help, I'm willing to giveaway a couple of these bad boys for thoughts. Except the Betty one. Think of the movie Clueless. It's for little sister Bethany aka Betty. I have a couple more cheapy blanks so I will even make custom pieces if you will help me. Not joking. The first 10 people who help get some stuff. Comment, email, call me, FB me. Whatever.

Just help.

Do I really need a new project?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sammy Thursday

day 7

My little sweetie loves him some books. And stickers. And Toy Story.

At least once a day I will find him over in his play area reading books to himself. It is his self-imposed "alone time". Today he chose to read his Toy Story sticker book. He recently discovered that there are numbers in this book. My boy also LOVES numbers.

In fact, when he saw this photo he said , "Seven . . . . Sam"

Sam is a closed mouth talker so a lot of times people don't understand what he is saying or they think he doesn't talk. We are guilty of underestimating him. Over Thanksgiving, Granny and I discovered that Sam knows ALL OF HIS LETTERS!!! It is the craziest thing. I've never worked with him on it. He just picked it up. You can spread all 26 letters on the floor out of order and he can identify every single one. Even if they are backwards or upside down.

Now, if we could just get him to open his mouth. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cutie Pie

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As you can see the obsession continues . . .

I have started a list of all of the fun things I could put on these suckers. Let me tell you, some of them are pretty funny (or snarky) if I do say so myself.

There may be a large number of these babies departing from Austin come Valentines Day . . .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Own Personal Brand of Crazy

day 5

About once a week I instant message Ben and tell him I'm going to take up a new hobby.
He loves it.
Not really.

Today I decided that I was going to make stamped jewelry. I've done it before but I wasn't super thrilled with the results. Today it was time to conquer the craft.

Then I got sidetracked.

You see, I like the little bead dangles that go with the jewelry and my local craft store simply did not understand my vision. So I made my own. It only took a dozen beads, ten head pins, a Diet Coke and countless mini Reeses Cups. So instead of one hobby, Ben got to finance two new hobbies.

Lucky guy.

Monday, January 17, 2011


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Because we are post-doc apartment dwellers, our kitchen is TINY.

I utilize the side of our fridge to hang stuff for two reasons.
First, I hate opening the fridge and having a bunch of junk fall off.
Second, I like to keep recipes close at hand. You can't see it but my stove top is literally 24 inches away.

Here is a list describing what you will find hanging on the side of my fridge. This is so much less embarrassing than what is INSIDE my fridge.

  1. Three hand drawn pictures from my almost 5 year old niece Miriam. We are best buddies. That's what she told me. Love the girl. She has discovered that if she sends me mail, I will send her mail. My nephew Cameron (age 6) made a similar discovery regarding email. I will have to post about that one later. So funny. Please notice the reoccurring themes in Mimi's drawings. Rainbows, flowers and butterflies.
  2. Two different Cafe Rio magnets. They aren't doing me much good in Texas. Neither is the magnet for Jordan View Dental which also operates in Utah
  3. Recipes for: Carmels, Tomato Sauce, Crema Verde Enchiladas, Twice Baked Potato Casserole, Peanut Butter Creme Pie, Butter Toffee and Refried Beans. Not all are visible, but believe me, they are there.
  4. Two digital thermometers. The cords are in the drawer next to the fridge. I love these things because they have an alarm that sounds when you reach the desired temperature. Priceless when making candy or cooking meat. Especially Thanksgiving turkeys.
  5. A picture of Sam Earl's college Jeep. Notice the word "Poop" on the hood of the jeep. Yes, Ben was the responsible party. No, I'm not really sure why this is hanging on our fridge.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Sam is in desperate need of a haircut.

I was going to cut it at Thanksgiving but Ben thought we should try growing it out.
Ben never wants to get a haircut.

I was left to deal with this before church.

day 3

What you don't see is Ben's cowlick.

Haircut tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Law

Ben had a run in with the law today.

Day 2 - The Law
(Excuse the terrible focus. It was raining and Sam was yelling in the car)

Notice the expiration date on Ben's car.

Think about today's date.

Recognize that in the state of Texas you have 90 days to register your vehicle.
We moved in August.

Luckily, Ben went and got his inspection this morning so the very nice Texas State Tropper (in an awesome cowboy hat) let him off on a warning. Needless to say his car will be licensed Tuesday.

My car, which also has Utah plates (that are NOT expired), will follow close behind.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thanks a lot Jen and Andrea.

So I tried the 365 thing last year and failed.

However, I'm susceptible to peer pressure so I'm doing it again.

Thanks a lot Jen and Andrea. Blerg.

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Dear B,

I know you think I have too much crap on my desktop and too many programs running. It isn't going to change so stop asking me if you can close stuff. If it is there, I have a reason. Now go play on your computer.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Welcome 2011

Dear 2010.

Thank you for seeing Ben graduate. Yea Dr. Ben!

Thank you for blessing us with a job in a really gross economy and and for the the chance to move to Austin.

Thank you for all of the darling new members of our family.

Thank you for all of the fun trips vacations. Especially the one's where we were able to see friends and family.


Thank you for our trials. Even the really crappy one's. They help us remember how good we have it and how lucky we are to have this little guy.

As good as 2010 was (most of it), welcome 2011! I've been waiting for you! Believe me. I've been waiting. :)