ace of spades

I finally got around to trying out my Deck of Cards cookie cutters.

And last time I left you, I was still missing the elusive heart. 

Well, spoiler alert...I found it. 

Literally the next time I went to an antique store. 

And also P.S....I have since seen "Deck of Cards" cookie cutters all.over.the.place. I don't know if it's a case me suddenly becoming aware of something that's been there all along; or some creepy cookie-cutter conspiracy... 

(Probably the latter.)

Anyway...I was craving something sweet and we had nothing of substance in our candy bowl (this was prior to Easter, by the way. The bowl has since been filled to the brim and then nearly emptied again...) so I decided to finally break-in the "cards". 

Normally for roll-out cookies, I use this recipe here

But I was feeling lazy this time, so I cheated and bought Betty Crocker's sugar cookie mix. The recipe tells you to add an extra tablespoon of flour to the mix, if you are planning on rolling them out, rather than making drop cookies.

Well, I can tell you right now: Betty Crocker is a liar.

I would definitely not recommend these cookies for any cookie cutter projects. I ended up adding nearly a cup of flour to the mix, and they were still sticky and flimsy. (On a side note, they were quite delicious and chewy to eat, however...)

So anyway, lesson learned. Don't cut corners if you don't want to pay for it later.

For the frosting I turned to Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Black & White Cookies, and modified the initial recipe by adding red food coloring. (The recipe calls for -- after using the "white" frosting -- adding chocolate to make the "black" frosting. I added the chocolate to my red frosting with perfectly fine results.)

I ended up just dipping the cookies in the frosting (rather than spreading it on each cookie), and letting them drip from a cooling rack over a sheet of wax paper. 

One note I would make is that the chocolate frosting sets really quickly, so you have to move fast if you want smooth cookies. 

The cookies were the perfect antidote to my craving...and in a glorious (or terrible?) twist of events, Joe and Henry liked the "Red" cookies better, and I liked the "Black". 

(Which meant I ate a lot of cookies all by myself...)

Has anybody else seen these cookie cutters out and about?


one year

image c/o society bride

Exactly one year ago, on April 13th, 2011 (PS...it was not Friday the 13th, the way it is this year...) my blog made it's debut to the world.

It wasn't flashy, or anything special, but it was mine. (And oh how I've loved her....)

As I was posting yesterday I made the distinct realization that if I had posts from last year's Easter, then wouldn't it make sense that this blog had been around for a whole year...????

To be honest, I actually thought I'd missed the big day, and that the big "0-1" had come and gone. But then, when I went back and checked, I found out that today was it! One.Whole.Year. (Exclamation Point)

I can hardly believe it.

It seems like it's been forever, and also it seems like it went so quickly...

So anyway, when I realized that I had a special day to celebrate, I tried to decide the best way to commemorate these last 365 whirling dervishes I like to call the last year of my life...

So I decided I'd do a re-cap post... (I know, "what a cop-out", right? It's like one of those episodes of your favorite tv show where they label it as "new", but instead it's just a "flashback episode" and there's only like 2 minutes total worth of new footage...the worst right???)

But bear with me here. Not because there's any reward at the end of it. Just because I had a lot of fun walking down memory lane...

(And I'm hoping you will too!)

My blog started on April 13th, 2011.


In April I introduced you to my love for cake baking...

And Henry wrote a story all on his own, based on one of his favorite books!


Then, in May, I told you about the best gift I was ever lucky enough to receive (other than my Kitchen-Aid mixer....I kid!)

Henry also graduated from preschool, and we were all so proud of him!

Then, I made this wedding invitation suite for my sister-in-law Krista's wedding, and it was kind of the start of some very cool things for me...

My mom also celebrated her 50th birthday and we commemorated it with a cake and a book that all of her siblings and my brother and sisters and I put together...

Additionally, I also attended my very first bridal shower tea party in Krista's honor. (Actually, it was my very first tea party of any kind...) I learn tea parties have very delicious food (particularly cucumber sandwiches, which appear to have little more than butter and cucumber on them...?), and also I learned not to mix both cream AND lemon in your tea. 

It's gross. (I've since discovered.)

Finally (Man! May was a busy month!), in May I featured a great artist, friend and gal that I sincerely admire, Kendra Hensler of Summer Street Photography.

If you've been following the happenings of Summer Street since this first post, you'll know that things have only been going up and up (and UP!) for Kendra; and it really could not happen to a better, more deserving person. 

Kendra you are a true artist, and I wish you the best of best of luck!


In June I debuted our family farm land and the spooky haunted house that resides there...

I also celebrated my quarter-century existence (aka 25th birthday!) with some awesome gifts...

And then...Oh Yeah! Krista and Bryant got married! And I got to help out with all the details (which was both exhilarating and exhausting...I was like, 38 weeks pregnant at the wedding, or something ridiculous like that...)

And then we shared this cool video of all the photos from the photo booth at the wedding. And now every time I hear "Good Life" by One Republic, I think of this day and this wedding. 

And I think that's nice...


First, we celebrated the start of July with fireworks and campfires and all the proper things...

Then -- just to mix things up -- we decided to have a baby!

And his name was Theodore Joseph.

(I call him Teddy Joe all.the.time. now. You can too, if you want.)

Then, I didn't do much for a while, and I had a bunch of guest posts (which were awesome! you can read them all right here).


In August Joe and I celebrated our 4th anniversary and I reminisced about all my favorite things from our wedding...

And then our not.so.baby.anymore. Henry turned 5-years-old. And we put a bunch of balloons in his room, so it looked like this when he woke up...

And then Henry went on a Big Adventure with his Uncle Zach and Grandma and Grandpa, across the Great State of South Dakota...

And all of this happened just in time for Henry to start Kindergarten!


And in September we celebrated Teddy's baptism with a mis-mash of recipes that resulted in this delicious pumpkin cake with caramel sauce and cream cheese frosting...


And then October rolled in, and we got to do a lot of cool things, like this awesome photo shoot I partnered with Kendra (from Summer Street Photography) on!

And then Henry played on a soccer team and he was quite good (surprisingly good, actually!). But that also meant that I had a lot to learn about being a soccer mom... 

(I'm very.much. still learning!!!)

And then we visited the greatest pumpkin patch in the whole wide world: Valla's Pumpkin Patch!

And Henry decided he and Teddy would be skeletons for Halloween...

(also...not the cute kind....the scary kind.)


And then in November I started my Etsy shop, which has resulted in 6 consecutive months of a glitter covered basement

(And also a little spendin' money too!)


In December I got the awesome opportunity to interview Nicholas Lowry of Swann Galleries on their auction of the complete works of Roger Broders.

And it was quite fun.

And also very scary.

(mostly scary...)

And then it was Christmas and I made some gifts for my family and it was all hugs and good tidings and whatnot...


In January I decided to try my hand at these miniature chairs made from champagne wire cages, because I had seen them and loved them.

And also, because thanks to New Year's Eve I finally had a wire cage to try it on!

And then our whole family worked together to make this belated Christmas gift for Henry's teacher, Mrs. T.

(Wife to Mr. T...)


And then February came and practically left again without so much as a post, save for these two updates about Valentines:


And in March I debuted the first of several invitation suites I have been working on (for FARRRR too long now!)


And now here we are again, in April.

One year older.

One year wiser?

I don't know.

Over 150 posts and nearly 50,000 page views later.

Here we are.

But life is good.

Sometimes you just need someone to light a fire under your feet.

(And just so you know...) You guys are holding the match.

Thanks guys.



easter, part deux

After church on Sunday we took a drive out to the Falls (our home town Sioux Falls' namesake). 

We went out there last year on Easter Sunday and decided to continue the tradition. (Although last year we were a family of 3, and I had a slightly smaller wardrobe to work with, due to my bulging stomach...)

Here Henry and I (and Teddy!) are last year...

(don't mind our awkward pose or squinty eyes...Henry has some serious trouble with outdoor photos. Remember these?)

And here are the boys this year...

Still squinty-eyed...but so much bigger!

This year is was quite a bit cooler than last year, and I even contemplated staying in the car with Teddy while Joe and Henry walked around for a bit. Teddy quickly informed me that that would not be the case however, so we all climbed out to take some photos. 

Here's our shoot:

...soooo sunny (-ish?)!

Sweet boy.

Joe decided my shoes needed to be photographed as well...

It's a little hard to tell from this small photo, but apparently, the first thing I taught Teddy was how to make an "annoyed" face...

Here's a closer look...


Here we are, a little happier...

Henry showing his super muscles.

(If super heros fought in skinny cords and chambray shirts, that'd totally be him...)

We've also recently learned that our #2 son is part puppy dog. 

This is his "happy face". Whenever he's exceptionally happy (particularly when he's outdoors) he hangs his little tongue out of his mouth and has a perma-goofy smile plastered to his face. Seriously...scroll back through these photos, see how many times he's got that look. 

He's like a dog with its head out a moving car's window...

Back to the car...

I hope everyone had as wonderful an Easter as we had. Even little unexpected things like rashes and trips to the doctor make you realize just how sweet the "everyday" moments truly are...