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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Potty Training and Algebra

What, might you ask, does one have to do with the other?  Oh, I think, more than you know.  First, they both cause anxiety for kids and parents.  Another is that they involve practicing step-by-step operations.  Third, they both involve crap.

Let me say up front that I don't like algebra.  I didn't like it in the 8th grade when I was expected to teach it to myself.  I didn't like it much as a freshman with Mrs. Huber and I positively hated it in college.  So when my son struggled with 8th grade algebra, I called my husband the "Mathlete" and asked him to step in.  Funny thing for my husband - when you are good at something, it's not always easy to understand another person's inability to "get it."  I now have to relearn it myself.

Potty training this particular child was also difficult.  Why doesn't he get it??  We would go through each step from sensing he had to pee to washing his hands.  It was just too many steps and a lot of bad aim.

So after failing algebra, we knew we had to do something, because as everyone knows, all math classes build from algebra.  We signed Christian up for an online summer school and braced ourselves.  My first shock was to discover that his professor was Mr. Huber.  What?! That was the name of my freshman algebra teacher!  This was going to be scary.

Now into our third week, we are progressing.  Our biggest struggle is getting him to write out the steps to solve equations.  He is good at deciphering in his head, but with multiple computations in algebraic equations, it doesn't work.  He seems determined to do it his way, and I see that obstinate little boy who can't consistently make it to the bathroom.  At least then he didn't give me the backtalk with the stubbornness.  Tonight after our nightly lesson, I asked him why he had to be so stubborn about not doing it the "right way."  He responded that he was just like me.  Ouch.

Maybe that's why I never really "got" algebra.  Maybe this time will be different for me and him.  Hey, we always used to say he would not go to college in diapers and we were right about that.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Hey, My Etsy Store Is Back!

It's Spring (almost Summer) so that means my creativity came back.  I've also been very inspired by my friend's new baby, Mary Alice (heck, all things baby).  What's a girl to do? Make baby stuff to sell!

Pretty Pretty Cindy has some new stuff and I'm really excited.  I've been working on some really beautiful and functional burp cloths, gorgeous blankets and there's more to come.  I'm having such a good time, but now I need some CUSTOMERS!  Here's some of the new items you'll find right now at Pretty Pretty Cindy:

Here's some of those famous burp cloths (click on the picture or title for the Etsy listing):

Girl Pastel Daisy Block Crochet Afghan

There are more blankets and a few bibs too!  If you, or someone you know is having a baby, the things in my store make perfect gifts!  Soft, cuddly and pretty - that's the goal with every item.

I can't wait to make more stuff, so keep watching at Pretty Pretty Cindy


Thursday, April 2, 2015

It's Peep Time

When I was thinking about writing this post, my initial thought was to announce that today (the Thursday before Easter) is the day to open your package of Peeps so they will be stale by Easter.  Long after my older siblings stopped eating Easter candy, they still had to have their stale Peeps.  I personally am not a huge fan of Peeps, but some folks are just fanatics about it.

As I started the "research" for this post, I found a wealth of information about all the different ways to eat Peeps.  First I should address the "stale" or "crunchy" method as it is the easiest.  Open the package in advance and let them breathe.  That's it.  Simple.  In fact, here's a tutorial from "From Here to Eternity."

Preferences on Peeps are not limited to stale vs. fresh.  You can toast your Peep (it ain't pretty), but be careful - the colored part is flammable.  It does look yummy, though - you can make the Peep into a s'more!  You can even watch a video about it:

Peeps make great decorations for other desserts.  I've tried that myself and can say that bunny Peeps can hide a lot of imperfections on the side of a cake.  If you want to make this cake, get my recipe here:

You can wrap them in a blanket brownie as demonstrated by "Life Love & Sugar"

All these desserts have me in an Easter planning mood.  You too?  Well get going peeps!

Happy Easter!


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Easter Peeps Cake

If you're not an expert baker or cake decorator (and I certainly am not either), you might think fancy cakes are impossible to make.  Here's one I created and it wasn't hard at all.  It's all about the color.

Here's what you need:

2 cake mixes (I used chocolate but you can use white or yellow)
Ingredients required by the cake mixes
3 tubs of white or cream cheese frosting (I like to have too much frosting instead of not enough)
Food coloring
Robin eggs candy
M& Ms in pastels
Optional coconut
9" round cake pans (you could probably use 8" too)

Prepare the cake mixes as directed on the box.  Instead of filling the cake pans, only fill them half way. Bake, but watch those cakes - it won't take as long as the box says to bake because you only have half the depth.  In the alternative to baking half the depth, you can bake a full size round and slice it long ways when it's frozen.  I am way too uncoordinated to try that!  You will need 4 thin round layers of cake.

If you used the method of baking thinner rounds, wait until your cake has cooled before removing it from the round pans.  Wrap each round in plastic wrap and freeze (or at least make very cold).  This will help you manipulate and decorate the cake easier.

Next, divide the 3 tubs of frosting evenly into four glass bowls.  Now it's time to start experimenting with color.  If you are not used to working with food coloring, I suggest you read the package to get an idea of the ratios of the respective colors.  However, be VERY careful in following the box instructions for how much dye to use for icing - they really tend to overdo the number of drops needed!  Keep the same ratio of the colors to be mixed, just don't use as much.  It's no fun to have your guests sitting there with dyed lips and tongues - yuck!

I managed to get pink, yellow, purple and blue with my dyes.  From there it was pretty easy.  I iced each layer with a different color, including between the layers.  Once my little rainbow was finished, I lined the outside with Peeps.  If you have trouble getting them to stay, use a little more frosting on the Peep.  I finished it off with robin's eggs, M&Ms and any other candy in pastel colors.  I ran out of time, but I wanted to dye a little coconut green (use only a drop of green food coloring and mix with coconut in a Ziploc bag) to make some grass for my eggs.

If you don't like all the color on the outside of the cake, you can do the same thing inside the cake by coloring the batter of a white cake.

So colorful, so springtime and so much fun!

Happy Easter!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

My (Very Own) Scentsy Website!

Did I mention that I now have my own Scentsy website for ordering directly online?  (You can also click on the Scentsy box on the right ---->

Here are some pictures of some adorable limited time products:

You don't have to host a party or wait for someone else to host a party.  You can just order online.  It's great for long distance relatives you might want to introduce to Scentsy.  You can also host a party using the website! Let me know you want to open a party and have your guests order through the website.  The delivery goes directly to them, but you get the hostess credits.  January is DOUBLE hostess credits so you get 20% store credit and 2 half price items for parties of $150 or more.

If you still would like the benefit of free shipping for the entire party as well as catalogs to give out to friends, let me know and we can open a party!  As always, the party can be an "in person" party in your home, or a "basket" party where I give you catalogs, order forms and samples to distribute.  They are great for introducing people who don't know Scentsy to the great scents and products!

Finally, all my commissions through September of this year go to funding Pueri Cantores St. Bernard of Clairvaux mission trip to Rome in December.  This choir of young people has been invited to sing at the Mass of Peace with Pope Francis on January 1, 2016!  For more information about Pueri Cantores St. Bernard of Clairvaux, visit its website (

Give me a call at (602) 430-4740 or send me an email at to get started or just start ordering online.