Friday, December 18, 2009

3 Degrees

It was three degrees out this morning as I stomped through the freshly fallen fluffy white snow to capture a few beautiful images.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Im sure you know the song-- "I Would do Anything for Love, But I Won't do That" Well that is my sentiment exactly.

I love my husband. Really...I do.

But he is in love with the idea of getting that God-awful lamp from "A Christmas Story" and prominently displaying it in my front window for all of the neighbors to see.

He even thought it would be a wonderful accent for my Holiday Party two weeks ago.

The phrase "Over my dead body..." may have come out of my mouth. And quite frankly, had he gotten it I may have had the same misstep that Ralphie's mom had when she "accidentally" broke the hideous light fixture.

So while cruising Rite Aid yesterday for vitamins, we stumbled across the lamp and I had to get it for him since things have been crazy and stressful lately. I even prominently displayed it in my front window.

And with some clever photo angles, he get's his wish.

... and I keep my sanity.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Friday, December 11, 2009


I Heart faces: Fix It Friday

I am doing a Fix It Friday for the first time to work on my photo editing skills. So here is the original photo--it is completely unrelated to my life :

Here's my fix it:

Whatcha' think?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Star is Born

Our homeschooling co-op had its play the other night where Michael took center stage as the "Shoemaker" in the Shoemaker and the Elves.

Here he is just after getting miked (is that even how you spell it??) and very proud for what he is about to go on stage and do.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped

Among the happy chaos on Thanksgiving, and the noise and the people, there was a boy who was patient...and hungry.
Check out other unwrappings here.

I ♥ Faces Challenge: Sweet Dreams

Here is Michael, one of my favorite sleeping pictures, while he lived in the NICU for 28 days. In this picture, he weighs 3lbs, 5 ounces and is 15 inches long. (Look at his baggy skin on his knees!)
Check out more entries over at

Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Tis the Season....

I am partied out. We held our annual Holiday party last night and I am officially exhausted. Lots of wine, lots of food, lots of friends. While I mingled most of the night I managed to sneak in a few of my favorite foods into my own mouth like the bacon wrapped filet mignon, creme brulee, and cream puffs dipped into the chocolate fountain.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dear Kids,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Heart Faces: I Heart Tushies

Check out other entries here at I Heart Faces.

Tuesdays Unwrapped

This statue is one of my favorite things, especially when it is dusted with early morning snow. Go check out others Tuesday's Unwrapped over at Chatting at The Sky.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Here is a great tushie shot, though it is 4 years old and taken with a much older camera. My daughter believed she was a cat at 12 months old-- not too sure why. She would always try to share a meal with the cats.

For about 2 months, you would hear the phrase "Meagan get OUT of the cat food!" at least 3 times a day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday FAIL

For anyone looking to have a good laugh, may I offer up my own stupidity to brighten your day.

It was Black Friday-- 4:35 am when I dragged my tired and still shingles ridden self out of bed for my annual adventure among the other Black Friday psychos shoppers. It was 34 degrees, a steady rain mixed with ice and I deluded myself as I drove to Target that I would be one of the early people in line, especially due to the weather. After all, this is Syracuse not downstate or Long Island where all of my previous Black Fridays have taken place.

It really shouldn't have been so shocking when I approached the Target parking lot to see that the line didn't extend to the end of the building but that it in fact wrapped around the back which is where I took my place at 4:45-- without an umbrella. That should have been my tip off that my morning wasn't really going to go as planned.

So soaking wet and cold I entered the building grabbed my cart and weaved through the madness to get to the toy department. Chaos ensued but I remained somewhat cheery and got my special sale items and made my way to the back of the store (not the front) to enter a check out lane. Ok, still not so bad. I am a trooper. I am a Black Friday hard core veteran- I can handle an hour long wait to check out. I grab a Pepsi off the shelf and begin to drink it as I wait and wait and wait.

Finally at 6:30 I am next in line for check out. I load my door buster specials onto the belt. Take another swig of Pepsi, and reach in my purse for my wallet. Then I reach in again....and again. My purse is so overloaded with crap I can't seem to get my hands to settle on my wallet. Huh. Maybe I should pull some junk out. Maybe I should hold it up to the light.

The woman in front of me is almost done with her checkout. I keep reaching for my wallet laughing how I can't seem to grab it--almost like it ISN"T in there. Almost like it fell out of my purse when I threw it in the car this morning and it toppled off the seat. Huh....funny..... my heart starts to race....

I finally must concede that it is NOT in fact in there, as I pull out 2 loose dollar bills. The cashier greets me and reaches to ring my items and I start to turn bright red. I hear the words escape my lips and think this really can't be happening "Um, can you just ring up this Pepsi? I don't have my wallet." My hand offers my 2 crumpled dollar bills. She thinks I am kidding and then suddenly realizes that I am so not kidding. I start laughing -- possibly a prelude to the fact that I am about to have a nervous break down due to the fact that I woke up at 4:30, stood in the rain, and waited for 2 hours to buy -- A Pepsi. Here it is, the epic Black Friday fail.

Now if the story ended here, I'd be blogging from a padded room somewhere, rocking back and forth, and talking to myself. But thankfully the cashier took pity on me, perhaps in an effort to save her own life, and told me to go out to my car and find my wallet and come right back to her. I ran probably 1/2 a mile to find my car in the darkness and there was mister wallet sitting right on the floor. I approached the cashier completely expecting the person in line who I was now essentially cutting to kill me, and quite frankly had I been on Long Island that may have happened; but not here. She smiled and said "Oh go ahead dear-- what a crazy morning." Seriously? This woman and the cashier are pretty much responsible for whatever sanity I have left after this fail of mine.

On today's to-do list? Buy a purse that zippers shut.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving...the Syracuse Edition

This year our Thanksgiving was sure to be a bust. I had come down with shingles about 7 days before the big feast. We were to go to Long Island as we usually do to spend the holiday with my parents and my sister's family. But my sister had a baby 2 months ago and couldn't risk the exposure to the shingles virus at such a young age. (Isn't it just like a sister to mess things up? Humph! :) )

So we would stay home. I didnt have the energy since I was sick to cook a Thanksgiving dinner, and Pete had offered to do so but I was really bumming. My kids wanted to go somewhere--anywhere, and were ready to leave me home to fend for myself if that meant a big holiday somewhere.

My wonderful friend Laura, who at first mention of us staying home invited us to celebrate with her family. I guess she figured when you cook for 20, whats 4 more? She and her husband made us feel so at home yesterday, it was wonderful. It is actually one of my favorite Thanksgivings in recent memory.

John entertained us with his guitar, which Michael is so mesmerized by. He could just sit and listen all night. When I heard John playing, I went to find Michael to tell him. After looking all over for him, I found him on the floor front and center already listening.

Laura made funny faces at me in the kitchen while she cooked underfoot of 20 people.

The kids climbed trees and played like little monkeys.

It was a wonderful evening and I am so thankful for such good friends.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Advice I Really Need to Follow-- My Own

I must be a moron or something.

I give tons of advice to my kids and my husband, and friends and family regarding health. I am fairly well read on many of the new topics of improving health and love to read up on it. On any given day in my house you will hear me doling out information to my kids about the importance of fiber in their diet. I quote research studies to anyone who will listen about the ill effects of artificial food coloring and some preservatives. I explain to my kids the need to eat a wide variety of colors in vegetables and fruits.

Then there are the vitamins. Oh the vitamins. My kids currently take a wide variety of vitmains and I have happily schooled them in each of their benefits. They take 600 mg of Omega 3s, 500 mg of Vitamin D, an organic multivitamin, a C supplement,and Echinacea.

My husband is subject to my serving up of a mens multivitamin, Omega 3s, Vitamin D, and an antioxident supplement.

And of course due to all of this diligence on my part- they are pretty healthy despite it being flu season.

Here's where I become a moron. I dont take any vitamins. I dont eat balanced meals. I actually do quite the opposite. My diet for the better part of the past two weeks has been based on Halloween candy and large amounts of Coke (the soda --Im not THAT bad people!) There have been very infrequent actual meals for me and I might not even recognize a vegetable at this point if one dropped on my head. And lets not mention the reemergence of the cigarettes.....

The result of my self neglect? I have come down with shingles for a fourth time, and this time it is in my eye. I am in intense pain and have an overwhelming concern that if it spreads to my cornea, I could lose my sight in that eye. Fantastic.

So here I sit loaded up on Vicodin so I can manage the nerve pain and now need to listen to some of my own advice. Seems like it should be so easy right?

Then WHY isnt it?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

Thanks to Laura for doing this first. I saw it and HAD to enter.

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
a camera bag, a visit to Mirbeau Spa, a baking stone, snowshoes, and Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received? a stained glass lamp and homemade candy

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle? knitting socks

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child? tickets to Billy Joel-- I was kinda a child...a mere 20 years old

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year? Legos, DS Games, Legos, Club Penguin things, have I mentioned Legos?

6. What is your favorite holiday food? Umm.. turkey, pie, stuffing, eggnog...shall I continue????

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays? *hopefully* hats, gifts in a jar, and ornaments

8. What is your favorite holiday movie? Uh, hello.... Christmas Vacation and Its a Wonderful Life by far the BEST movies EVER!

9. Favorite holiday song? White Christmas

10. Favorite holiday pastime? Christmas light looking, and watching all the Christmas specials

Monday, November 16, 2009

I ♥ Faces Challenge: Autumn Beauty Take 2

I ♥ Faces Challenge: Autumn Beauty

The challenge this week is Autumn Beauty. We camped this weekend in a local forest and enjoyed every minute of the autumn beauty around us.

Check out other entries here

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Car Accident

This weekend I found out that my best friends are getting a divorce. And the only way I can explain the situation is to liken it to watching a car accident.

I am joining the scene at the point when the driver can do no more. The momentum of the accident is in motion. All the chances for steering out of it, applying the brake, and downshifting are gone. The car is now in its own motion and all I can do is sit and hold my breath as I wait for it to go through the stages it will travel through-loss of control, impact, and then coming to rest.
I can only wait until the damage is done and then go to help the passengers pull themselves out of the wreckage and evaluate their injuries.

But I am resisting every urge I have to be the backseat driver and scream at the top of my lungs all of my suggestions to help avoid it-- despite the fact that the car is hydroplaning and at this point no amount of defensive driving will get those tires back on the ground in time to avoid the impending collision. And I'm thinking of the little boy who is asleep in the backseat with no knowledge of what is about to happen.

So its here that I wait on the side of the road. I am waiting for the crash, the smoke, the sound of crumpled steel. I wait for the bodies, broken and torn to emerge. I want to close my eyes but can't. I am standing there with my first aid kit....waiting....hoping it won't be as bad as I know it will be.

SO since I can't do anything, I will check on my own car today. I will check to see that I haven't missed any signs of danger in the road ahead, see if there is anything needing my attention, be sure my eyes are open and I am not missing anything that could cause a problem down the road. In other words, I'm calling my husband who is away on business this week and reminding him how much I love him.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jumping Into the World of Blog Design and A Giveaway!

I am jumping into the world of blog design. I hope to make others have the same bloggy-happiness I have.

I will be starting a list of interested people and offer both custom designs and modified designs.

I am starting off offering designs that are not OOAK, however they have the personalization of photo(s) in the header etc. for only $25. The price includes installation as well.

Got a sample for me to see?'s Terri's blog I just did

Other one-of-a-kind designs will start at $75

How'd ya get on the list?
Either email me at jenaferlm [at] or leave a comment here with your current blog and email address.

What about the giveaway?
I will select one person from the list randomly, to receive a free design as stated above. Selection will be made on Monday Nov. 8th at 8 am.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tutorial: Homemade Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels...such a treat. They are surprisingly easy to make and you most likely have all the ingredients on hand, especially if you are a bread baker!

Step 1: Dissolve 4 teaspoons of dry yeast into 1 1/4 C water and 1 tsp sugar. Let sit until creamy, about 10 minutes
Step 2: Combine 5 cups flour, 1 tbs oil, yeast water mixture, and 1/2 cup sugar.

Step 3: Using a kitchen mixer with a dough hook, knead for about 10 minutes. Add one or two tbsp. as needed.

Step 4: Let rise 1 hour in a greased bowl.

Step 5: Take chunks and roll into long ropes. About 12-18 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide.

Step 6: Shape rope into pretzel and set aside.

Step 7: Once all pretzels are shaped dip them into a solution of 1/2 c baking soda and 4 cups hot water.

Step 8: Put onto greased cookie sheet and dust top with salt. Kosher salt is authentic, regular salt is fine though.

Step 9: Cook in 450 degree oven until browned, about 8 minutes.

Homeschool Co-op

Our homeschool co-op is in its second session and is such a roaring success the kids wake up asking "how many more days until co-op?"

We spend our Fridays immersed in music classes, cooking, knitting, drama, yoga, arts, and so much fun. Co-op has offered my kids a way to round out our homeschooling experience by getting rich musical exposure and the ability to participate in "schooly" events like a play.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Late Night Love

A teary eyed little boy met me in the family room last night while I was steeped in the drama that can only come from a DVR'd episode of Desperate Housewives. He was unable to fall asleep, restless and overtired.

He thought I would be upset that he was out of bed at 11:00 at night. And had I not paused for a moment to make a thoughtful decision regarding the situation, I may have been. Ah, my housewife friends would have to wait.

So I remembered to wrap him in love and served him up a warm cup of milk with a cookie. Soon after his late night lovin' he drifted off to sleep finally...only in my bed instead of his.

Check out other entries over at Chatting at the Sky

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I ♥ Faces Challenge: Balloons

This week I ♥ Faces' theme is balloons. I thought of this picture right away!

Check out the rest of the entries here.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

Michael and I both earned our yellow belts on the same day.

I am edging closer to being in my comfort zone.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Inspiration Again: Ice Sculptures

I own 2 ice sculpture molds- a snowman and a fish like one. But they aren't really 3 dimensional. They are the kid that needs to lay flat on a tray. Its cool--but I want bigger and better. I want a standing 3 dimensional one.

I read an article on how to make a latex mold here and might just try it.

But then I stumbled across this incredible and cool bar type ice sculpture and think I might have to find a way to create this on my own.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Inspiration: Christmas Ornaments

I belong to a website called Organized Christmas which starting in October, helps you take a 6 week journey preparing for Christmas in order to be done and ready to celebrate come the beginning of December. I have done this for 3 years now and find it an amazingly useful tool.

So with that, the Christmas countdown began yesterday and my mind has turned to all things Christmas.

I am looking for some inspiration for making Christmas ornaments this year both as gifts and as party favors. We host a Christmas Open House each December and I like to give out a little party favor at the end to my guests (very Martha Stewart-y if I do say so myself). So this year I would really like to make ornaments with the year on them for my guests to have. This might not be a small feat considering we are expecting about 100 people this year.

So here is my inspiration today from brilliant crafters found on Etsy.

Photos are products of sellers SaraEi, Plunkettdesigns, Craftnique, XxSnapdragon

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Preview

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reply Emails I Need to Send this Week

Dear Mr. Heng-Shu,

Greetings to you too! I am so happy you contacted me. I am sure you can imagine my surprise that I, of Polish and Irish descent, am the sole heir to my long lost (and unknown) great great uncle from Africa.
I am so sorry to hear he was exiled from his country only to die shortly after. Amazing that he had all of his 24.5 million US dollars tied up in foreign bank accounts too.

Of course I will help you release the funds from the bank so I can claim my inheritance and pay your simple fee for your massive efforts of locating me.

Let me wire you the necessary funds to release my money as well as provide my secure banking info so that you may forward the money on.

I will also send you the keys to my home and my address so you may come and visit while I am away. Please make yourself at home.

Dear Mr. Fahil,
I am so excited to hear that hot Russian woman are waiting to meet me. Your climate though must be rather warm as it is very cold here in Syracuse; I doubt they will be hot here. I hope they have jackets.

So I am assuming they want to learn how to bake bread or homeschool. Well then I too am excited to meet them.


Dear Mr. Zahirri,
I am very interested in this male enhancement product you are offering. I am assuming you are targetting woman who would like to enhance their husbands. Specifically I would like to enhance my husband's ability to listen to my endless stories with extreme interest as well as enhance his ability to put laundry away.
I will send the $224.95 at once as I am about to receive a large inheritance from my distant African exiled uncle.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Perspective Revisited

I got upclose and personal with these little mushrooms growing on the kids playground and realized they aren't the same brown lumps needing to be kicked over that I thought they first were. It all depends on how you look at it.

Do you see an eyesore or think of Smurfs and fairies that should find this a most lovely dwelling?

Do you see something that needs to be ridden from your garden or proof that this little decomposer is doing its job breaking something down?

Does it remind you of your younger wilder college days? (If you have no idea what I mean by that--carry on)

Do you see a reminder of that wonderful chicken marsala recipe you know?

It is all about how you choose to look at something.

Thank you to Emily at Chatting at the Sky for making me look at things differently each Tuesday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall Flavors: Pot Roast and Pumpkin Custard

Two of my favorite fall foods rounded out dinner last night--Pot Roast and Pumpkin Custard.

Pot Roast Recipe:
3lb Top Round Roast
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
8 Beef bouillon cubes
1 Cup sour cream
2 Tsp basil
1/2 c diced onion
1 tsp Gravy Master (for color)
10 potatoes
2 cups carrots
10 cups (or so) of water

Put all ingredients except veggies in large pot. Water should just cover top of roast.
Bring to boil and then simmer for 4-5 hours.
Add veggies and cook for another hour.
Serve and enjoy--super easy!

Pumpkin Custard Recipe
1 lb. can pumpkin
3 eggs
2/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. dry milk or 1/2 c. milk

Pour into individual ramekins, dust top with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and bake at 425 for approx 20 minutes. Center of custard should rise.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween Treats

We have a Halloween Party next weekend to attend and we will be bringing some "treats". As I'm scouring the web for ideas, good ol' reliable Martha Stewart has some fantastically freekish Halloween treats we will be working on duplicating this week.

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