Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Magical Glowing Memories

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
Dr. Seuss

I had prepared myself for a Molly-LESS Christmas. I had cried. I cried again. And, then I cried some more after that, until, I just had nothing left to cry. It had been almost 16 weeks since I'd seen my sister. We'd spent the last 102 day communicating via twitter, Facebook, and Instant Messenger. It was getting harder and harder to not just make every Dear Aunt Olly post "We miss you, We miss you, We miss you". And, the only thing I really wanted was to drink coffee with her in my parents' kitchen while listening the sounds of my daughter playing in the background.Then, last night, like any other night, Madaline and I traipsed upstairs with Morris and Murphy in our wake. It was bedtime. I sunk to the floor and felt the cold draft that whispers itself thru the cracks of our old house this time of year running across the bare floor. After making sure everything was just so, Madaline settled criss cross applesauce on her bed. And, with the glow from the hallway lights spilling into the room, just as my own Dad used to do, I told her our homespun bedtime stories. Days of her life, memories of love and laughter, all woven into a story that I want to be forever imprinted on the pages of her mind.
When I finished, she climbed out of bed, into my lap, wrapped her fleece covered arms around my neck and settled her head into the crook of my neck. As I pulled her close, inhaling the the sweet smell of her, I whispered "Guess who's coming home tonight". "Who Mommy". "Guess"...... Looking up at me with wide eyes "Aunt Olly?" she whispered and suddenly her trademark smile danced across her face. " girl, Aunt Olly will be home tonight". "Really, Mommy? So, I can give her a hug? I've missed her so much".

"Me too too".

note: My sister's plane arrived at JFK last night, from London, at shortly before 8pm. This was after she spent an extra 5 days in London when flights in or out of Heathrow Airport came to a screeching halt this past weekend. I heard my sister's voice clearly thru a phone for the first time in almost 16 weeks last night shortly after 9pm. I am thankful she's home. So, very, very, very, thankful she is home for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dear Aunt Olly, {Week 15}

{You can click on photo to make it larger & some have told me it makes the text easier to read}

I did not expect to be writing Dear Aunt Olly {Week 15} as if my sister was still in the United Kingdom. However, she is. Molly is one of the thousands of passengers affected by the snow which brought Heathrow Airport to a screeching halt. So, if you could, and I'm not usually one to ask, PLEASE, I need you to pray, chant, work your juju, beg, conjure the spirits, send positive thoughts skyward, cross your fingers/toes/eyeballs, heck, I'm not above asking you to break out the voodoo mojo - just do what ever it is you believe in doing - so that Molly's plane, leaves Heathrow Airport, tomorrow, so that she can be home for Christmas. It is and will be be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear Aunt Olly, {Week 14}

{You can click on photo to make it larger & some have told me it makes the text easier to read}

Monday, December 13, 2010

And, The Winner is,

Congrats Michele!
Please send me your ship to information at MagnificentMayhem{at}Gmail{dot}com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dear Aunt Olly, {Week 13}

{You can click on photo to make it larger & some have told me it makes the text easier to read}

Monday, December 6, 2010

ReView/GIVEaWAY: Pet Cakes

Madaline LOVES all things cupcakes. We are HUGE fans of Pinkalicious. There was never any doubt when we asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween. And, not a holiday passes where we don't do some sort of holiday themed cupcakes to celebrate. And, so, that why when I was asked to review PetCakes it really was a win win for us. How can one go wrong with cute cuddly animals with a clever cupcake theme? Well, in my mind, you just can not.
from left to right: Twinkle Sprinkles, Coco-Coconut, Blueberry Buddy, Randy Candy

We received all four of their new fall line, "Sweet Puppies" which debuted this fall. Each PetCake animal features a "frosting" hat, comes nestled in its own cupcake wrapper and has its own whimsical back-story. It's very easy to see why PetCakes would make an ideal option for birthday part favors, rewards for good behavior and of course stocking stuffers. And, since Christmas is just right around the corner, I gave Madaline "Randy Candy" to play with now, and will be giving her the rest of the set for Christmas. Are they not just the cutest little toys? PetCakes are sold individually and are available at (online only), and and other specialty stores. But, before you start cruising the drop down menus and search boxes at those aforementioned retailer, I have a chance for you to win two Sweet Puppies PetCakes pals. Not only did Well Made Toy Manufactures provide me with a set for Madaline, but they have offered to ship two "Sweet Puppies" to one of my readers. If you win, your Sweet Puppies PetCakes will by chosen by the company(based on inventory at the time) and shipped directly to you.

I'm giving you 3 easy ways to enter this giveaway. You can do just one of the tasks listed or all three, totally up to you. All I ask is that you PLEASE leave a SEPARATE comment for each task you complete.

1 - Leave me a commenting letting me know what you'd do with your Sweet Puppies PetCakes if you won. Are they for your own child? Are you planning on adding them to your last minute gift stash?

2- Become a follower or subscribe in your reader to Madaline: The Magnificent Mayhem Maker If you already do then just leave me a comment letting me know that.

3 - Follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: I entered @HaBryerton 's Sweet Puppies Pet Cakes giveaway - then just click back over here and let me know that you did.

Good Luck!! Give-a-Way starts today and ENDS on Sunday, December 12th at 12:00AM EST. I'll will allow Random.Org to choose a winner to be announced here on Monday, December 13th.
PetCakes will ship directly from the company to the giveaway winner. Limited to US resident only (sorry to any of my Canadian readers)

disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to do this review/giveaway for being a member in the Business2Blogger network. A complete set of Sweet Puppies PetCakes was provided to me in exchange for this post and an honest review of their products.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Welcome Winter


LET IT SNOW.....LET IT SNOW....LET IT SNOW!It's that time of year again. The wind is screaming through the pines, the snow is covering everything in a blanket of sparkly whiteness and there is a biting bitterness in the air that just chills you right down to the bone. This is the kind of weather that call for stew. Stew so thick, rich, hearty and warm that when you put a wooden spoon vertical in the pot, let go, it stands there by itself. That's the kind of yummy goodness we like to make over at The Townsend Bakery. Click on over and check our our latest RE-DO Recipe. And, of course, as always, it has passed the Mayhem Maker taste test.