Thursday, December 31, 2009

GoodBYE 2009...HELLO 2010

The BEST of Madaline: The Magnificent Mayhem Maker

It's that time of year again. Where we take a look at where we have been, what we have been doing and where we are headed.

It has been a magical year here at Madaline: The Magnificent Mayhem Maker. I have made LOTS of new friends. Friends that I am so grateful to have, and that I would not have had, had it not been for this blog.

And, so, because I think it is important to let where you have been, play a roll in shaping the path before you - I thought it would only be appropriate to end the year, with a list of what I think is 'The Best of Madaline: The Magnificent Mayhem Maker'. And, so, as we say good by 2009 and usher is 2010 - I leave you with our very own, Top 10:

10. The Olly Chronicles

9. & one of my Favorites: An Afternoon w/ Ollie - Take 2

8. At LEAST it's NOT Chicken Pox?

7. Clock-less Time

6. Patiently Waiting

5. Definition of Bedtime: Wikipedia vs. Mom

4. Potty Training - Part I

3. The SCARY Phrases of Motherhood

2. I am a WOHM! And Proud of it!

1. I am a Mom? I am REALLY a mom?

And, so, that wraps up the best that we have had to offer this past year. And, with that, I wish you, a,

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Wrap up Mayhem Style

We have been busy around here.

I am on vacation until January 4th. I vowed that this year, Madaline and I would do something. Perhaps, something constructive - and so we have. Ok. Not really. But, We have been playing with Play-Doh, her new toys that she got for Christmas, and doing some baking. Oh...and we are Potty Training. Which, we are somewhat successful with. So, well, at least we are doing, something.....constructive. Right?

And, so with that......I thought it might be best to bring you up to speed in photos. Take at peak at what we have accomplished up to this point. Or, at least, take a look at what we had been doing. Make sense? That way, you don't have to read my awful writing - and, you get to look at my cute Mayhem Maker, Morris & Murphy, Olly, and a few others. Sounds good...right?

Ok. Here goes:

Our Holiday week (actually, this was almost two weeks ago now that I am finally sitting down to write about it) started with the making of Gingerbread houses. It was just a lot of candy and frosting, followed by more candy and frosting, and ended with a LOT MORE candy and frosting. *belch* I am not sure I can ever really look at a snow-cap again, and not be reminded of my daughter and her spit soaked fingers in the frosting dish as she plastered gingerbread with candy.

But, as you can see, she was proud of her creation and it was kind of fun. Just a little bit - especially since Daryl and I went shopping later that afternoon, and her Grammy got to deal with the sugar high.

We made I Should Be Folding Laundry's peppermint bark as well as many other goodies - Monster Cookies, Graham Cracker Toffee, Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Oreo Truffles....Some that was taken to family parties and we gave a LOT away. It was fun - The Mayhem Maker and Olly had a good time crushing candy canes with a meat tenderizer in my dining room floor. Also - you will see that Morris got in on the action as well. Or, he way trying to at least.

And, because I had so much baking and candy making to do, Olly was kind enough to spend some of her time at my house entertain my Mayhem Maker. This meant she got to reap the benefits of after bath time snuggles

And, we had a simple Christmas....Not a lot of extravagance.

Daryl and I really wanted to make sure that Madaline played with her toys. That she didn't flit from toy to toy in a toy overload haze or stupor. We worked really hard and had many conversations on what we thought would be special and something she would actually be interested in. We didn't want to just buy her toys to buy her toys and end up with her being overwhelmed - which is what happened last year.

And, at almost a week late, we are pleased to say that we were somewhat successful in our thinking. As a result, we have had a fantastic week of playing with each and everything she received. And, the smiles or should I really say her typical Mayhem Maker smirk, has been ever present on her face since Christmas Day. And, to see that little grin, usually followed by her sweet giggle, each time we play with one of her new toys, has just been music to our ears.

And, so, I, or we rather, hope that your holiday, was just as sweet, just as magical and filled with just a hint of Mayhem...Just like ours!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Friday Feature: Bread and Butter, a kitchen shoppe

When I started the month of December, I look at the pages of my idea book. What I saw, was that I had lot of ideas and that I was filled with high hopes for my blog in the month of December. Really, I had all these great ideas. Perhaps my most favorite idea, was to that I was going to put together a Friday Feature. I was going to highlight fellow bloggers, shops/stores that I adore, and even my favorite holiday tricks & tips. Well, here we are, the next to last Friday in December, a week away from Christmas, and this is the first post. I am working on creating a button for this little project - but, well, I am not so good in the create an avatar department. And, so, without further ado, - My first installment of: The Friday Feature.


I think it is safe to say, that Madaline and I bake, ALOT. I even have a separate blog about my escapades in the kitchen, that my sister & I co-author. Well, I do more on it than she does, but, that is neither here or there. The Townsend Bakery is really more my dream, my baby than hers, but, it wouldn't be the same if here name wasn't attached to it some how.

And, so when a fellower blogger put out a call looking for some of our favorite food based blogs, I jumped at the chance to put The Townsend Bakery in for consideration. Never in a million years, did I expect what actaully came of it.

You see, Jill, the creator and author of Scary Mommy, has set up and started, one of the most ADORABLE on-line kitchen shops I have ever seen.

It has the sweetest, most eclectic collection of kitchen stuff. You can find adorable aprons, fun cookware and some great holiday gifts. All right in one place.

So, you can just imagine the squees of joy I let out when I found that Jill linked to one of my Townsend Bakery recipes on her new site. I mean really, Just look at this apron.....

Isn't it adorable?

I can so totally see myself serving up Christmas dinner or serving my apple cake with tea or coffee. My husband might actually think I was Martha Stewart or June Cleaver instead of just thinking that I pretend to be like them.

Additionally, it was fun to see lots of different items geared towards children on her site. Jill, being that is is a mother of three, knows that children love to cook and should be encouraged to aid and experiment.

And, with idea shown in the picture above or with charming accessories, like these measuring spoons, our kiddos are for sure going to be right at home in the kitchen.
And, even if I didn't have Madaline, I would want those measuring spoons. They would make me crack up every time I needed to measure out a teaspoon or two of good vanilla extract.

And, I am honored to be a part of her site - I am honored to have one of my favorite recipes featured there. How could I not be? Thank you Jill...THANK YOU!

And, with that my dear readers, I have something to ask of you. Take a look at your Christmas list - do you have people left to buy for? I know I do - I have NOT even started to do my Christmas shopping. So, perhaps instead of heading to the mall or you local big box chain store, you take a minute and poke around Bread & Butter, a kitchen shoppe. You won't be sorry.

All images belong to Scary Mommy or Bread & Butter, a kitchen shoppe.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday: Endless Possibilities

"The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination."
~Ward Elliot Hour

Looking for more? Other than mine?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hunting vs. the Snowman

My husband works wonky hours. But, the bright side of that, is that he and Madaline get to spend most mornings home together. This is has been great in a sense that it has cut down tremendously on the amount of money we pay in daycare.

Last night, after the Hubs got home from work we have the following conversation:

HUBS: I think I am going to take Mads to the sitters in the morning - as, there are only [insert number here - I can't remember] of hunting season left

Me: Fine with me...not a problem.

Which, brings us to this morning. Madaline has not been sleeping well. She insists on sleeping with a blanket that is now too short for her, since she has gotten so tall. This results in her little piggy toes getting cold at night, because, being the spirited child she is, refuses to wear socks unless absolutely necessary.

*yes, I am well aware that this dilemma could be solved by putting her in footed PJ's - but, Mads is also at the point where, she likes to pick out her own clothing in the store - and don't anyone come back and give me that line 'well your the parent' - because, this is just one battle that ain't worth it*

And, so, we were up several times last night to the calls of "MOMMY....MOMMY....COVER ME UP..P L E A S E....COVER ME UP!" Or, you could insert "DADDY" in there once or twice for the Mommy. And,finally, shortly before 7 am, she figured it was light enough out for her to get up for the day.

Which brings us back to my original story...the Hubs & his plans to go hunting today. *whew*

So, Picture this: The Hubs is standing in the kitchen sipping on a cup of coffee, as I am putting my shoes on and preparing to go out the door. Madaline, head for of bed head hair, and still in her PJ's wanders into the kitchen. She gives me big hugs and kisses and tells me to have a nice day. She then turns to my husband, with those big eyes and sweetest smile she has and says:

"Daddy, you stay home with me today?"


"Daddy, you stay home with me today and play with me?"


Hubs looking over the top of Mad's head says to me:
"Did you put her up to this?"

I reply: "NO...I have been trying to get out the door to get to work"

"Daddy, you stay home with me, we build a BIG snowman"

Hubs: "Yes Bug, Daddy stay home with you today"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday: Playdate NEEDED!

Madaline is an only child.

Clearly she is a creative child.

Perhaps it is time to schedule her a playdate?

On a completely different note.... There are some great things going on today in blog land.

There is a fabulous auction being held today to benefit both:

thank you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kicking Off the Holiday Season - Merry SITSmas!

Merry SITSmas!!!!

The lovely ladies over at SITS are having a HUGE bloggy carnival and great giveaways today. Take a moment and check it out, if you have time. I am kicking off the holiday season by stealing, err, borrowing an idea from one of my favorite bloggy friend - Connie, over at the Young & the Relentless.

So, grab a muffin or brownie, some coffee or cocoa, pull up a chair, as I share with you a little bit of Holiday Mayhem, err, Cheer!

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
4 & 8 Cup Glass Pyrex Measuring Cups
Oversized Muffin Tins
New Socks
A Necklace from The Vintage Pearl
Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics Cookbook

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
My cousin crocheted me an afghan for Christmas my senior in in HS to take with me to college the following fall. I still have that afghan and use it regularly.

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
I want to learn to knit, so I can make scarves.

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
Is it bad that I really can't remember or that nothing sticks out? We always had wonderful holiday's, but I remember going from house to house to visit family during my childhood then I do the presents.

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
She really hasn't asked for anything - but, then again, we haven't asked her either. LOL

6. What is your favorite holiday foods?
It's a tie between the fresh baked rolls for dinner and the Cinnamon Bread French Toast Bake that my mom makes about every other year for Christmas morning

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
Cookies, Townsend Bakery Chocolate Crunch Mix, and I *might* try my hand at some dipping & candy making.

8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the older version, and I only like to watch it, when they play it on TV with commercial breaks.

9. Favorite holiday song?
O Holy Night

Favorite holiday pastime?

My parent's Christmas Eve party - its a tradition as old, if not older than I am. Good food, my loving family, and lots of laughter.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Week Full of Happiness

Who says HAPPINESS can't be found in a bowl of ice cream?

It's now been OVER a week since I have blogged about anything. I hope you all haven't forgotten about me...or missed me too much. I suppose you have been wondering what we have been up too....Hopefully, I can bring you all up to speed.

Madaline has been spending LOTs of time perfecting her coloring skills.

My cousin Ryan & Madaline

I also noticed the other day, as I was coming thru the back door, having just gotten home from work, that my two year old, is using our fridge to showcase her new found artistic talent. I never thought that something as simple as my daughters artwork could make me feel like I can really finally call myself a mom. And, I really do feel like a Mom lately.

Before we could gear up for the Holiday season we needed to celebrate some birthday's in our family. I ended up baking this obscene cake for my sister Molly - I called it a Strawberry White Chocolate Layer Cake. White cake, brushed with strawberry puree, layered with white chocolate custard and then covered with white chocolate cream cheese frosting.

She was an happy camper. Happy Birthday Olly!!


In addition to that cake, I myself, have been on the search for perfect Blondie Cookie Bar recipe. As I was typing up the post over at The Townsend Bakery - it struck me that finding this perfect cookie bar recipe was kind of like the need to have 10 different pairs of black shoes.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

And, finally, perhaps is looking back at the last week or so, and reflecting on all that we have done, it was this, that made me the happiest. My daughter helped her Great Grandmother blow out her birthday candles. Just last night, we celebrated my Grandmother's, Madaline's Great Grandma's 84th birthday. I marvel at the fact that not only does my daughter have the privilege of growing up to know her Grandmother, but, her Great Grandmother as well.

Madaline & her Great Grammy

Madaline & her Grammy

It's been a good week. It's been a busy week - and most importantly, It's been a happy week.