Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz) (Laurie Berkner)

Let’s face fact: children’s songs can be pretty dang annoying. Salvation lies among different children’s music artists like Laurie Berkner and They Might Be Giants. When I taught preschoolers, I relied on great albums by these and a few others instead of going slowly insane listening to “The Wheels on the Bus.” Now that I have my own little boy (9 months old today!), I am happily singing non-obnoxious kid’s tunes throughout the day, hoping these will become his favorites!

Today I was singing “Buzz Buzz” by Laurie Berkner while in the garden. While we were on vacation last week, 467 weeds decided to grow in our vegetable patch. I took my little guy outside with me this morning and sang about bumblebees named Oscar and Jackson while he played on his blanket and I dug out weeds. If you are looking for a good children’s album, Buzz Buzz by Laurie Berkner is a great one to start with!

…Baby One More Time (Britney Spears)

“Dong, dong, dong”

Those first three chords of Britney Spears’ first hit bring me back to being eleven years old and listening to 98YCR, the local top 40 station. I wouldn’t consider myself a big fan of Britney Spears, but for some reason I have a clear recollection of hearing this song for the first time on the radio, sitting on the steps of the house where I grew up. I think it was one of the first songs that I heard soon after being allowed control of the radio. I am also pretty certain that the first CD my sister bought was the album containing this sugary song. (The first one I bought was 98 Degrees.)  To this day, one household chore I don’t mind doing is washing dishes. In our kitchen, there was a clock radio above the sink and I always turned on 98YCR while washing the dishes. So, today I was washing dishes in my own kitchen, listening to the 90’s pop radio station on Pandora, and smiling when this song came on. Of course, I was singing along. Loudly.

(Thank goodness my little guy was sleeping in his crib on the other side of the house!)

What is one of the first songs you remember liking on your own? (not because your parents liked it)

House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)

My family has just returned from vacation in Bethany Beach, DE. We had a great time and I wanted to share two of my favorite things, one new and one old.

New favorite thing: the British Invasion station on Pandora! I love listening to Pandora radio on my Kindle Fire. My love of music comes to me honestly through my mother, so while we were painting toenails to have beach ready feet, I asked her what she would like to listen to and we came across the British Invasion station. I really enjoyed this collection of songs. I never realized that this particular song, “House of the Rising Sun” is by a British 60’s band called The Animals. It is such a wild song and it makes your heart race!

Old favorite thing: Chicago style pizza! A few years ago my husband and I made a recipe from Emeril (Food Network) for Chicago style deep dish pizza. It is a little time consuming, but it is so yummy that it is worth the effort. We usually make it for a family gathering so we can share the delicious flavors!

Yummy slice of Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza!

Here is our recipe (adapted from the original to our tastes and pantry!) Note the ingredients are in bold.

Pizza Dough:

1 1/2 cups warm water– 1 1/4 oz package active dry yeast– 1 tsp sugar– 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour– 1/2 cup whole wheat flour– 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tblsp to grease bowl– 1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar, stir. Let sit until the mixture becomes foamy. about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of the oil, and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and smooth. Continue adding the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, working until it is fairly smooth before turning onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 3 to 5 minutes until smooth but still slightly tacky. Oil a large mixing bowl and place the dough in it, turning it all around to oil all the sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until it nearly doubles in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours.) Divide into 2 portions.

Tomato Sauce:

While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce. In a medium saucepan heat 2 tblsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tblsp chopped fresh garlic and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds. Add 2 tsp chopped fresh basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes and 1 tsp of sugar. Bring this to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until thickened, between 20 and 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool a bit before using.

Putting it together:

Oil 2 12inch round pans with extra virgin olive oil. (I use 9 inch cake pans all the time and it is fine. You could also use a square/rectangular casserole dish.) Press one portion of the dough into each pan, stretching it up the sides. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then begin layering on the good stuff in this order: 1 lb sliced mozzarella cheese, 8 oz pepperoni (I get both of these in the deli section of the grocery store.), 1 green bell pepper, cut in rings, 1 red bell pepper, also cut in rings, and 1 yellow onion, cut in rings, and 1 lb crumbled (not cooked) sausage. Finally, ladle the sauce on, then top with 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese.

Bake at 475 F approximately 30 minutes. (Always check it at 20 and 25 though, since the oven temperature is so high.)

Enjoy eating this pizza with a fork and knife!


Wonderwall (Oasis)

Not too much got accomplished today as I have caught the bug that my baby boy had last week: stuffy with a sore throat. I was using tissues all day long! (I even did the old gargle with salt water trick that my dad always suggests, blech!

I did listen to the 90’s Pop Radio station on Pandora today and heard one of the best songs, Wonderwall by Oasis. I think the instrumental is great, and I just love the way the lyrics punch. As the radio played on I started working on the paper parts to my wedding countdown calendars.

Here I used my new paper trimmer.

Here I used my new paper trimmer and an X-acto knife.

This will be the insert. The engaged couple can use a dry erase marker on the glass. After they are wed they will have a cute picture frame to display a photo from their special day.

This will be the insert. The engaged couple can use a dry erase marker on the glass. After they are wed they will have a cute picture frame to display a photo from their special day!


Fingers crossed that I can finish these before our trip to the beach next week!


Stand by Me (Ben E. King)


Let’s start off this blog with my intention: to share my favorite songs with you along with my daily adventures being a stay-at-home mom!

This classic song was lodged in my head today as I was working outside. I scored these great picture frames at a yard sale on Saturday for 10 cents each and I am refinishing them. They are going to turn into wedding countdowns for my Etsy shop. Yesterday, I sanded the finish off the wood and painted them with pastel colors. I sprayed them silver today, then used some sandpaper to give them a distressed look. Spray painting is no easy feat: sweeping the can back and forth, desperately trying to avoid your shoes, clothes, eyes, etc, takes a bit of practice. I think it turned out pretty well, considering that I was going for a distressed look anyway! Any advice for next time, fellow spray paint-ers and DIY-ers?

These just need one more coat of glossy paint!

These just need one more coat of glossy paint!


Using layers of paint gave these a nice distressed finish.

Using layers of paint gave these a nice distressed finish.