31 January 2013

Bid farewell to your makers.

'Tis that time again, my dear readers. Time to bid farewell to this month's sponsors. Travel is on my mind lately; probably because it's what I really want to do. Anyhoo, here is a little snippet of a picture of the things they make. 
1. Shadke

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The perfect chocolate chip cookie

I have been on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie for a few years. Obviously, it hasn't been my first priority, but every time I see a new recipe, I try it out. And I know that this isn't really condusive to the lifestyle change that Jeff and I have made, but our kids really do love chocolate chip cookies, so every once in a blue moon, I make some.

Here is a chart from The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, showing possible results of an attempt at chocolate chip cookies, and what you did wrong to create this result:

1.  This cookie is done just right. It is pictured to compare with the rest.
2.  This dough was not refrigerated.  It is still good but a little flatter than it should be.

3.  This dough contained too much flour and did not spread much at all. It is interesting to note that the dough looked identical to the correct dough, but was much stiffer and drier. 
4.  This dough had too little flour.  It spread too much and didn't bake evenly.
5.  This dough was over-mixed.  It had a poor color, baked flat and had a strange consistency.
6.  This dough was formed too small.  It was overcooked at eight minutes. It is fine to make smaller cookies, just bake them for less time. 
7.  This dough was formed too large.  The outsides were done while the middle was too high and underdone.
8.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too hot.  The outside was overdone and the inside was slightly underdone.
9.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too cool.  It fell flat and became too crisp without much of an inside.
10.  This dough was frozen when baked.  It took longer to bake and didn't cook as evenly.  To use frozen dough, set on cookie sheet at room temperature while oven is preheating, 15-20 minutes.  It takes the frost off and bakes perfectly.

And this is my attempt of trying to make the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie.

So yummy!

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30 January 2013

What You Made Link-up 48

Well, for creating things, this week was a bit of a bust. With my day job's busyness picking up, I'm finding it difficult to find time to clean my house, let alone create anything (but I always find time to blog!). I had purchased some paper for my journals in bulk (I'm fulfilling my 2013 goals!), and I found a spot for them in my craft closet. I also reorganized my closet a bit more; I started hanging some storage containers on the wall, and I put up a big white board - good for notes and ideas.

Anyhoo. Last week's most viewed link was this adorable handknit newborn wrap from Emily Joy Creations:

Here are some of my favourites from Emily's shop:


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29 January 2013

Around the House :: Organizing the Fridge

I don't know about you, but my fridge is CONSTANTLY disorganized, and everything is everywhere - there is no semblance of order at all. And in my resolution to be more organized, that definitely meant the fridge.

I was meandering through Pinterest (LOVE!!), and I happened upon this picture. And silly me, I can't find the pin, so maybe I just uploaded the picture without re-pinning. So if you know the link to the source of this image, please let me know, and I will add it pronto!

Now granted, my fridge doesn't have that many shelves. It has three shelves. And we have kids who LOVE to drink apple juice, so we usually have 2 jars of apple juice in the fridge at all times (well, when it's on sale)

But I'm going to give it a try. Here is what our fridge looks like now:

As you can see, this organization tool isn't as helpful as I wanted it to be. I don't think my fridge could be as clean as the one pictured in the pin. For starters, look at the milk that we have in there; it practically takes up half of the bottom shelf! And we have TONS of fresh vegetables. There are grapes in the bottom drawer, but the rest is vegetables. And you see the yogurt on the second shelf? Those cases of yogurt go all the way to the back of the fridge - Costco is really great for bulk!

Perhaps if I lived on my own - with no husband or kids to change things around without caring about where they are supposed to go - this fridge would still be properly organized, but still not like the first picture. But I don't, so this is my reality.

I hope my experience has helped you decide if you plan to reorganize your fridge.
Remember: it doesn't have to match the picture completely, it just has to be organized in a way that will work for you.

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28 January 2013

Featured Artist :: Shandke

I love how Shawna has taken her drawings and put them onto so many sorts of items - prints, totes, t-shirts, puzzles, cards, even toms!! I think it's so amazing (and ingenious!) what she is doing with her art.

Here are just a few of my favourites.

Head on over to Shandke and try NOT to love what you see. just try!

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26 January 2013

Jeffery brought some flowers home for me the other day. How sweet is that!?
(can you tell I don't get flowers often?)

Honestly, though, getting flowers not too often are not a bad thing. You know how people have green thumbs? Well, I have a brown thumb. All plants I have ever owned have died slow and painful deaths. I'm very glad that plants don't have feelings - cause then I would feel bad.

Valentine's Day is around the corner, and although I LOVE a good bunch of flowers, I can't help but find it to be rather pointless if they are given to me. They will just die. And I realized, as I was perusing my favourites on Etsy, that I really like faux flowers. probably because they can't die.

1. Paper Roses - I've had these in my favourites for a LONG time. These would look so great in my craft space!

2. Felt Flower - I just love the colours in this flower.

3. Silk Flower Brooch - The way the silk is folded into this flower looks so graceful and opulent.

4. Porcelain Bouquet - This is just plain beautiful!

5. Metal Flower Bouquet - I would like these for in my kitchen.

6. Red Paper Flower Bow - I like the two-fold purpose of this: a flower and a bow (you know, to put on a present).

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25 January 2013

Sponsor Call

It's that time of the month - time to look for blogs to advertise on. And Trees.Hides. is available for sponsors! What a coincidence! lol
Here are the stats:
Trees.Hides. has over 1825 followers via
GFC, Bloglovin, Linky Followers, Hellocotton, Twitter,
Facebook, and my fabulous newsletter.
Pageviews have increased by 17% from last month.
If you're interested in more information about sponsoring my blog, head on over to the sponsor page, where you will find information about the ad space options, giveaway options, and how to purchase your ad space - it's super easy, but if you have any questions, just email me! The featured ad spot has been purchased, but there are lots of space left for the large spots - only $5.00 for the whole month!!

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24 January 2013

Valentines Gift Guide :: For Him

Why are the men always so difficult to shop for? I've searched and searched, and here are my favourite gift ideas for your man's Valentine's Day gift.
This belt looks so smooth and sophisticated!

Who doesn't love this bow tie?!

3. Men's Slouchy Hat - $12.50
A good warm wool hat is the answer to keeping your man's head warm.

I know that saying isn't all that original, but it's a cute pun.

What can I say? I love plaid!!

If you don't watch "How I Met Your Mother", you won't get it. For the rest of us, it's awesome.

If we had the money for Valentine's Day gifts, this would be my gift to Jeff. I think know he would love this.

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23 January 2013

What You Made Link up 47

This past week was busy with a sick girl. A on-and-off fever of 103 was keeping us up in the night, and we didn't get much done (you should see my sink full of dishes right now!). But while she was napping on Saturday, I was able to organize my craft space further, which brings me another little step closer to how I want my space to look. Pictures will come shortly!

And I bound a couple of journals too. You can find them in my Etsy shop. Here they are:

Last week's most viewed link was this blog post about a hook rug by Honey from the Bee:


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22 January 2013

How to keep warm this winter :: head and ears

Keep your head warm. Ears, especially. Maybe it's just me, but when it's even just a slightly cool breeze, I have to have my ears covered, or they will hurt and get so cold, so quickly. Here are some awesome ways to keep your head (and ears!) warm.


Got grass? lol
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21 January 2013

Featured Artist :: Sofia Sobeide

There are so many things I love about Sofia's Etsy shop. Her talent for knitting and crocheting is one that I could only dream about (I don't think I could ever do the Amigurumi - I can't follow a pattern). Knitted and crocheted goods are definitely one of my favourite things to peruse online.

Here are some of my favourites from Sofia's shop:

And there is so much more to discover and see in her shop! Head on over and take a look.

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20 January 2013

Meet Your Maker

It was weird when I discovered that four of my sponsors' names start with "S". And my name is Shirley. There's something to that, there is. Now, there were a few sponsors who were too busy, so you won't have a chance to meet them right now.

Anyways. Come and meet the people who are on the right column of my blog.


Etsy Shop | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

What is your favourite item on Etsy right now?
I have so many favorites. But I love this timeless journalI have a penguin journal myself and I love it. Love the idea that it is timeless and therefor no waste of paper. And it's cute.

What is your new year resolutions?
I usually don't have any resolutions. But my resolutions for 2013 is to graduate and to get married.


Website | Etsy Shop | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Pingg

What is your favourite item on Etsy right now?
I think this pillow would be perfect in our Living Room or our bedroom. I've been in love with the work by timberps since I back when he opened his shop. That was just after I began selling on Etsy.

What is your new year resolutions?
 I don't usually make resolutions, but I have set numerous goals for myself this year.  I have personal ones and business ones.  The primary thing I'm focusing on is building my illustration career.  I'm currently working on promotional materials, and I have been doing a lot of local networking, which is already beginning to pay off.  I also have set a goal to create one new sketch each and every day this year.  It doesn't have to take long.  I just want to have a habit of creating a new drawing every day... no matter how busy life gets with the kiddos.  Other projects that shall currently remain unnamed will be revealed throughout the year.  Each one of them is something I've been wanting to do for quite some time, so I'm thrilled about the things that 2013 holds in store for me.  On a personal level, one of the goals I have made is to take the boys to more art events and just enjoy the things that are available for entertainment in this area.  (After all, we live 20 miles from NYC.)  We've already started on a positive note in this department, because I took the wee ones to an art installation in the city about a week ago.  They loved it, and so did I.  Who says you need to be a specific age to enjoy art?


Etsy Shop | Twitter | Pinterest

What is your favourite item on Etsy right now?
I adore this piece. The detail and soft look is amazing! I could have listed a thousand things here... I kept coming back to this beautiful piece of art.

What is your new year resolutions?
I plan on adding more items to my shop :), adding more items to a few art galleries in the area and attending several summer art festivals (Dreading tx heat). I also plan on making my 90 year old grandfather a TX shaped clock covered in magazine beads. Little info...he nicknamed me Shannybeebo when I was in diapers. We browsed my shop and he loves the paper beads! He's still my hero...even though I'm 40.

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19 January 2013

I really enjoy sharing the things that I love. Here are a few more items from my favourites on Etsy:

1. Ceramic Mug - This mug is so pretty! I love the teal and the bohemian pattern. Too bad it's sold.

2. Ceramic Heart Bowl - This is also really pretty. I would like to put mints in it for when we are entertaining. I mean, who doesn't like mints in a heart-shaped bowl?

3. Lingerie - I don't know why, but I'm feeling a lot more confident in my self image, and I'm wanting to try different lingerie. (TMI?) Maybe it's because I'm beginning to see my weight and inches going down (due to my resolution number two).

4. Coin Purse - This would be a perfect little bag to hold all my drugs (advil, tylenol, gravol, etc) in my purse.  I have an old little bag, but it's getting really old and the zipper doesn't seem to be working very well. This would be a perfect replacement!

5. Windmill - Who doesn't love windmills!!? This one is so cute!! 

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18 January 2013

The ABCs of Me

I saw this on another blog today, and they were such great questions that I had to do one too!

Addictions: um, I don't think I have an addiction.
Bed size: queen; although I wish we had a king.
Chore you hate: dishes.
Dogs or cats: cats.
Essential start of your day: pressing snooze and rolling over to sleep some more.
Favorite color: orange and teal
Gold or silver: silver
Height: 5'9"
Instruments you play (or have played): piano, guitar, recorder
Jobs titles you've had: pita-maker, mail sorter, admin assistant, process operator, tele-receptionist, office clerk, secretary, wife, mother, creative business owner, blogger - not all in that order.
Kids: Alexander (4), Isabel (2) and hopefully more, God willing.
Live: Hamilton
Mom’s name: Anita
Nickname: Shirls, Shirley-Whirly
Overnight hospital stays: when I got a tumor removed from my leg when I was 16, and when Alexander was born.
Pet peeve: When my husband slaps my hands away from my mouth when I'm trying to bite my nails.
Quote from a movie: "It's like I have EPSN or something" -Mean Girls
Right or left handed: right-handed
Siblings: 3 sisters, 2 brothers.
Time you wake up: 6:00 a.m. (not including the snooze time)
Underwear: um, I was told it was socially required to wear them?
Vegetables you dislike: Brussels sprouts
What makes you run late: my husband
X-rays you’ve had done: on my leg before the tumor was removed, teeth
Yummy food you make: triple layer bars. I will give you the recipe for them some day.
Zoo animal: elephants and giraffes

If you do this, please put a link to it in the comment section - I'd love to read more!!

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17 January 2013

Valentines Day Gift Guide :: For Her

I like these earrings because I know who I would give them to!

These just look delicious!
2. Valentine Love Pops - $16.00

I enjoy how this looks - although I'm not much of a ring girl, so I probably wouldn't wear it.
3. "Love" ring - $24.00

That's what I'm all about: comfortable-sexy. Is there such a thing in lingerie? Yes, there is; it's right here!
4. Lingerie Nightgown - $69.00

I want this to hold my tea at work.

These could be a lot of fun!

Too cute!
7. Valentines Brooch - $14.50

I like this one - geeky and sweet.

I love taking baths, so this one is a no-brainer for me.
9. Bath & Body Set - $12.50

So if you like these gift ideas, just send them to the man in your life, and let him know which number you like! Easy-peasy!
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16 January 2013

What You Made Link up 46

This past week I have been working on learning how to follow a crochet pattern. This pattern is marked as "Easy+" (whatever the + means), but I didn't really find it all that easy. It took me a long time to figure it out. I almost gave up and tried to figure it out on my own, without the pattern, but I have to learn how to read these stinking things if I'm ever going to advance in my crochet skills.

I also bound a few books, here are my favourites:


Enough about me. Last week's most viewed link was a wire wrapped pendant from Wake up the Angel:

Here are my favourites from Renee's shop:


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