Friday, January 31, 2014

5 Minute I Love You Treat!

The Headlines:

I am terrible at baking,

I am good at eating.

No one has any time.

To make this… you don't need any!



Valentine's Day is coming up.  And if you have kids or a husband, a boyfriend or a super great friend…  anyone at all that you care about… it's nice to bake something for them.  It may be the first special treat that person will be giving themselves after making that New Year's Resolution or goal.  No one is unhappy to receive a sweet treat on happy heart day.  

But what a pain?  I mean, do you really need one more thing to do?  A more optimal plan would probably be to just BUY a Sprinkles Cupcake or something, right?  Sure.  But then you're missing the point.  On this day of love you need to pour your heart and soul into what you give them.  This Caramel Brownie allows you to do that… in about 5 minutes.  




Ingredients:
20 oz (or so) package brownie mix
** you will probably need some eggs or something to make this brownie batch happen but that varies
     between packages
cooking spray
12 Nilla wafers
12 (or more) caramels

To do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare Brownies according to instructions.  Coat 12 piece muffin tin with your cooking spray.  Place 1 Nilla wafer in each hole.

 
Spoon batter over each cookie.  Unwrap caramels and place 1 (or 2) in mix.


Then top off with more brownie batter.  Bake brownies 20 minutes, remove and let cool.  I undercooked mine which is why there'a hole in almost every middle but I;d rather undercook than overcook because I love a tinge of "raw" versus overdone and cake like.



These are great served warm.  Actually, they're necessary to serve warm.  If you make and then completely cool, stick in microwave for 15 seconds or so.  Want to be really indulgent?  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

  
Add some heart confetti or red sprinkles, wrap one up or plate it and you are done.   So easy it's crazy… and the recipient of your affection (brownie) will be more than impressed.  You should totally pretend you spent like a hour on them slaving away because you love them soooo much!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kid Friendly Football Party!

The Headlines:

I love planning parties.

Here's a football party I did last year for my son.

8 ideas.



As the entire world knows, Super Bowl is upon us this upcoming weekend!  I have never thrown a Super Bowl Party… but I have thrown a "Hudson Bowl II"  

I, at the time, was not doing this blog so my pictures are… well… pretty much non-existent.  But the party was cute so I thought I'd share a couple of the ideas I can remember.  Beginning with this cute poster.  It was huge and set an awesome tone once people came in the door.  I can not take credit for it, however, my son's Godmother did it for him.  She found a "throw away" tablecloth and then fastened all the rest to it.  It was cumbersome, but that was okay since we only needed it for a few hours.  I loved it!

IDEA 1 (invite)
A good party always begins with a cool invite.  It shows people you're going to make this party special and people (kids) start to get excited for it even before they get there!  Yes, that can be accomplished with any old invite but isn't it more fun to set it apart!?  Well, it is for me!  I realize, I'm a little weird! Here's the one I made last year.  I pretty much make all my invitations.  It's, honestly, easier than buying them sometimes because I can never, easily, find what I want… and it really doesn't take that long once I get the idea solidified. 


This was made with some cool football textured/colored paper I found at Michael's.  I grabbed some brown cards and envelopes, then cut the textured paper and the cards to kind of match and fastened the football shape with double sided tape.  Then I cut the lines from some sticker backed puffy white "stuff" for lack of a better term (sorry)... 



It really did turn out cute.  Now, back to the party.  
IDEA 2
We asked people to dress in their football gear… so my whole family had on jerseys.  


IDEA 3
When people arrived, I asked if they wanted those eye protector sticker thing-a-ma-jigs.  They were so cute on the kids who did them!  


We did a lot of "football" food… I made a crock pot dip, BP's (my husband's) scrumptious ribs, of course chips and dip, Gatorade.  
IDEA 4 (food)
I also made, which I have no pictures of, chocolate rice crispy treats, which I cut into ovals and then carefully used a white frosting tube to draw the football strings on the treats.  

IDEA 5, 6 & 7 (games)
For games, the kids were two, so I was limited but we found some white duct tape and taped lines on our grass like a football field.  You can kind of see it in the picture below….
  

Then we played a couple of games we made up... like who can throw the ball the farthest...


we also played pin the ball on the goal post.  No pictures, but I duct taped a goal post to our outdoor, floor length window and then double taped some paper footballs (I found at Party City) so the kids (with some serious help from their parents) could stick them on.  Oh yea, and we played "hot football".  My take on "hot potato".  You know, the music stops and who-ever has the ball at the time is out.  It was all really cute!   All in all, my little football players scored a home-run!  Wait... 


IDEA 8 (cake)
Now for the crowning glory…. the cake.  It's on display during the entire party and kids covet it, for those 2 hours,  like it's Santa's lap during December.  It needs to be ultra-cool to top off an awesome party!  For that reason, I always "make it"… meaning I buy a sheet cake at Albertson's and cut/frost it to what I need it to be.  It's so easy and it looks way better than (almost) any cake I could buy.  Because I'm PICKY!  Again,  not a great picture of it but you get the drift.  



I had Albertson's (who makes really good tasting cakes by the way...) frost a half sheet green.  Then I bought another half sheet, cut it in the form of a football, and frosted it with chocolate frosting, then added the stripes.  Fabulous!  Place the cake somewhere everyone will see it and the one key thing I missed this time however,  was elevating it.  So it looks more important.  An easy way to do that is just to grab a cardboard box of any kind and disguise it with wrapping paper or whatever you choose to match your theme.  I will be doing that with my son's golf party, for sure, this year!  

So good luck with your own football party.  Use these ideas for your next Birthday bash or maybe incorporate some on this Super Sunday!  Hut hut! 


Monday, January 27, 2014

Heart these Super Appetizers!

The Headlines:


Super bowl means super food!

Appetizers are a must.

Here's an easy one the ladies will LoVE!



If anyone knows me, they know I am not a huge football fan.  Yes, I was a cheerleader for football starting in the 4th grade.  I continued in high school.  I was even captain of the squad and called cheers for multiple years.  However, ironically, I knew not a thing of the sport.  I think I even may have, inadvertently, cheered for the other side.  That offense/defense was a bear!  Today, I am much better at understanding the game of football.  Why?  Well, for one reason, I married a former (high school) football player.  And two, he is a current football fan.  Yes, I married one of those men who love to sit on a Sunday (and sometimes a Saturday) and watch football from sunrise to sun down.  You probably have one of those in your life too.  They seem to be everywhere.  All I have to say is thank the lord in heaven for all this DVR stuff… otherwise we would never get anything done!


With all of that said, I still do not actively watch football.  When BP (my husband) sits down to catch his beloved San Diego Chargers on screen, I sit to catch up on my magazines.  It's a perfect situation.  Until Super Bowl.  Then, watching football becomes bigger than that.  Much bigger, right?  Women, men, kids of all ages, probably even some pets tune in and, somewhat actively, watch the big game.  You're either throwing a party, going to a party or having some sort of private party.  And with any and all of those possibilities… food is involved.  Preferably party food or appetizers.

The typical Super Bowl food I would say is:  pizza, some sort of bean and cheese dip, maybe an artichoke dip, perhaps a veggie plate…. blah blah blah boring.  I say, do a little something different.  Now, I have yet to throw a Super Bowl party… and I may never do so because my son's birthday is around the same weekend (and I'm more focused on his party details).  But I will say, if I did,  I'd either want to take all the traditional Super Bowl food and turn it up a notch.  Or, I'd want to add some, non-traditional app's, to the mix.

Something like this… Let's call them Tomato Love Puffs.


Aren't the cute?  A heart shaped finger food that's perfect for the ladies on game day (goes great with wine)… that also pays an homage to the impending holiday ahead.   Yes, it can be used as a perfect reminder for the man in your life - Valentine's Day is around the corner!!

Oh what fun this could make your Super Bowl!  And, of course, it's super easy to do.  Okay, let's get to it.

Ingredients:
1 bag (3 oz) sun dried tomatoes
1 box (10 oz) thawed, frozen artichokes (these can be a little harder to find - you may have to hit a store or 2 )
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 (plus)  tsp salt (optional)
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small bowl, cover tomatoes with warm water to rehydrate for 10 minutes.  Remove and pat dry.  Put in a food processor with artichokes, olives, parm, pepper and optional salt.  I think most dishes need salt.  Combine. Gently roll out party dough on parchment paper.  Spread half the mix atop it.


This is hard to explain so bare with me here…. fold 2 sides of dough (short ends if they have them) in about 2 inches each (as tight as you can), then fold each side again (and again) until the edges touch.  Honestly, this is the delicate part and it was a little hard but you just have to work fast and do your best to make it work!  

  
Repeat with second sheet and then cover both, tightly, with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meantime, beat 1 egg with 1 tablspn of water in a small bowl.  Remove "logs" from fridge, take off plastic and brush outside with egg mixture.  Slice each roll and divide among 3 or 4 parchment lined cookie sheets.  Make or mold them, as best you can, into heart typed shapes.



Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.  Take them out and they look like this!  Some are adorably shaped hearts… others are not.  This was my first time making them!


They are tasty, sweet (as in cute),  out of the ordinary apps… and if they're not suitable for your Super Bowl party then… save them for your next Valentines celebration!  Whatever works.   I just know these would keep ANY Picky Chick tuned into to any football game!  Now… who's playing again?



Friday, January 24, 2014

Kitchen Remodel

The Headlines:


We bought a house.

It was built almost 20 years ago.

We already made a WHITE KITCHEN and more!

We will be working on it until the day we die.

Here's what's next.



So one of the reasons we bought the house we currently live in was, not only did we like the neighborhood, but EVERYTHING in it was old! It was my dream come true!  I know many of you hate the thought of such a daunting task.  I couldn't wait to get started.  Why?  Mostly because Arizona style is not mine.  As I've mentioned here before, my "defined style" is Desert Cottage.  I would say the most common style in Arizona, for right now, is Tuscan.  Most of the houses where I live seem to lean towards that.  Therefore, almost any house we bought, though completely new and beautiful, would not have been what I wanted.  I really needed a house that needed to be re-done so that I could make it mine!

We began the major projects within a couple months of living here.  But for the most part, we took last year off, traveled instead.  We needed it.  Remodeling takes a lot out of you… especially when you have kids.  It's a lot of juggling!  So, I wanted to space it out and kind of concentrate on one project at a time.  I did not hire a general contractor because that was me.  I also didn't hire a designer.  That was me too!  I found all the contractors separately.  Recommendations were key.

The first priority was the kitchen… isn't it always?  You spend so much time there!  Plus, everyone sees it


I love it.  Everything was re-done.  I knew I wanted to continue my "desert cottage" style and I wanted a white kitchen.  I love the look of a white kitchen but I needed to keep it warm and classic.  Some white kitchens can get a little cold if they're done with too much white.  I decided against a "rubbed" white cabinet look which is really popular right now... because it's really popular right now.  I also went with brushed nickel pulls (or jewelry on the cabinets as I like to call them) because I thought it would stay "in style" longer than let's say… an oil rubbed bronze (which has been a cool look for a few years now).  We also put in granite countertops to warm it up and bead board on the island.


We purchased all new Kitchenaid appliances, installed a dark wood flooring, put in a farm sink...


Basically, it all had to go.  It was pretty bad.  Here are some "Before" pictures…  it's even more of a mess than usual because I just quickly took this on a random day to send to a contractor.











We also took out the soffits and added high crown moldings.  Soffits.  Know what those are…?



They're those wall protrusions that come out of the ceiling and sit just atop the cabinets in your kitchen. So very 90's.  They're all over Arizona.  But now, at my house, they're gone.  Look!


We re-did the half bath and continued that dark wood plus some white paint (in the kitchen we used a light gray called foggy day by Dunn Edwards) in all the common areas.  It was a lot of work, time and money.  But worth every trouble and cent.  Here's the before and after of the same space in the kitchen. 
Before Kitchen




It's the fact that our hood, smack dab in the center of the above picture, doesn't have a "topper" to anchor it.  So it just kind of floats there. When we put it in I wasn't sure what to do with it so I let it remain until I could figure it out.  But our contractor never came back, after multiple calls from me, to do it - once I knew what I wanted.  I think it was too small a job ($ wise)… this year… I will beg him if I have to!

Helllllllo 2014!  Nice to see ya… you and I are going to get along just great!  Remember, if you ever have any questions please don't hesitate to ask - I love this stuff!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Salad for dinner - gotta problem with that?

The Headlines:

Salad - it's what's for dinner.


Salad is yummy.  If you make it yummy.  I can't stand it when a television show belittles the salad.  The line usually goes something like this: "look at her, let me guess, she's going to order a salad" or  the opposite "finally, a woman who eats some meat!" Back off my salad dude.  Just cause I'm a women doesn't mean I can't eat some serious meat.  I love a good steak just like the next fellow.  But it also doesn't mean I can't eat a tasty salad.  I do both.  When I want to… and that's okay.  Got any problems with that?  No?  Good.  Moving on.

I'll be honest, though BP (my husband) may not appreciate my saying so… the perfect day of food for him, in my opinion, is a (onion) bagel with (garden vegetable) cream cheese for breakfast, a big carne asada burrito with lots of guac and cheese inside for lunch, a mid-afternoon snack consisting of cheese, salami and crackers… and then finally finishing the day off with an awesome pizza (possibly from Costco - have you had those?  The 'everything' one from there snack bar?  DE-licious!) for dinner.  He's in heaven.  However… that was sooo 2013...  with the on-set of 2014, BP has decided to embrace the salad even more.  Now, the salads I prepared for him once (maybe twice, but not usually) a week … I now make several times a week.  And that, my friends, is not a bad thing!  Not, if you make a salad yummy.  Totally doable.

The salad we had last night was one of BP's favorites.  And while it's similar to a salad you can order at a restaurant… not many people think to make it at home.  Why - I have no idea?  A southwestern salad can be made quickly and easily anywhere.


Ours consists of:  romaine, onions, black beans, garbanzo beans, (un)frozen corn, salsa and ranch dressing. Other possibilities depending upon your taste and your waist: tomatoes (not totally necessary since there's some in the salsa), chicken, avocado, crumbled tortilla chips, shredded cheese.  I did none of those last night.


What makes this salad is the mixture of the ranch dressing and salsa, which sort of becomes a part of the dressing.  Plus, there's plenty of protein with all those healthy beans.  Which makes the chicken not necessary, to make a complete meal.   Here are 3 other reasons I love it:

  1. It, naturally, has all small ingredients which makes for an easy salad to eat (and prepare).  Meaning there's on gigantic artichoke hearts that you have to cut up or chew through!  
  2. The ingredients are usually already in your kitchen.  I always have a can of beans in the pantry  and some corn in the freezer!  
  3. Most people just don't think to put beans in their salad so it seems a step above the "usual salad"… and since I'm picky I don't like to do things like everyone else all the time.

Once you mix it all together, your husband, your guests or you will be pleasantly surprised!



Really, a hit every time and -- all together now -- soooo easy!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

How do you want to celebrate Valentine's Day this year?

The Headlines:

Valentine's Day is coming up.

To me, this is the sweetest holiday.

To much of the world, it's a "Hallmark Holiday"

Stop seeing red - choose to see love.



I love Valentine's Day.  I think it's a special holiday.  The whole point of it is to tell the people that matter in your life - you love them.  What can be wrong with that?  You're not celebrating a birthday or pilgrims, not costumes or fireworks… just pure love.  I know many people that say "I don't need a holiday to tell me it's time to say 'I love you'… I can do that on my own everyday!"  But the question is… do you?

I think we get busy and we forget to tell even the most important person in our life how important they are.  We may assume they know how much they mean.  Maybe they do - but it's still nice to be reminded.  When I was much younger I started realizing so much remained unsaid… my mother always yearned to hear those "3 little words" from her own parents and felt as though they came so few and far between.  So I started writing.  I wanted the people special in my life to know they were just that.  A card to my mom at her birthday to tell her I loved her - a note to my dad at Christmas - even a letter to a best friend when I was leaving town for good.  I got the 'thank you's' and 'I love you's' out in the open and it was worth it!  I still do this, maybe not as much as I'd like… we're all so busy… but Valentine's Day tells me - it's time.

Around mid January I decorate a bit for the heart day.  Not too crazy but stuff like this in the middle of the kitchen table...



I put some heart lights in my children's rooms… throw some Valentines towels in bathrooms.  Of course, I add the CANDY in jars!!!   Nothing big… but the actual day deserves to be celebrated.  The skeptics, I am well aware, hate the pomp and circumstance that comes with this day.   They say the holiday somewhat "forces" people to spend money and retailers love that… so make it less about buying some expensive ring for the one you love and more about telling them the love is there.

Wow this is sounding very love-story-lame right about now.  I wonder if I'm having Bachelor hangover from last night… if you follow it - Trista and Ryan got "re-married" at their 10 year Anniversary and I cried.  Yep, I admit that - a few tears streamed down for a second.   Believe it or not I think those 2 are really in love and they're not afraid to tell each other -- in front of millions of viewers.  TWICE!  Maybe, we could all learn a little from that.  We don't need a tv show to do it… just a Valentines's Day.  Luckily, there's one coming up.

BP (my husband) and I don't really exchange major gifts on V Day.  I try to be a little creative.  One year I got him a box of chocolates and wrote what I loved about him on pieces of paper which were tucked beneath each candy.  I usually make a special treat for he and the kids… he might bring me flowers and we'll eat something yummy.  But the most important part of the night is when I get that card.  Yes, he knows, just as I do, how important those words are to hear and see.  He does an excellent job of writing them down and they make me feel special - it goes way beyond anything he could buy.  SO again, I ask, what could be wrong with that?  A holiday that reminds you to stop and tell the people you love - that you do.

Now think:  how do you want to celebrate Valentines Day this year?





Friday, January 17, 2014

Grouping = Decor

The Headlines:

Decorating is easy.

If you let it be.

Group something.  You got style.



Everyone wants to be a part of a group.  Why?  It makes you feel connected, like you're not alone, others are "in this" with you.  Groups can some times get things done where individuals can't.  There is power in numbers.  For all of those reasons, groups are appealing.

This is also true when decorating.  Take a bunch of one thing, ANYTHING, put them together and you have something that looks really cool.  For instance, take one baseball and put it some where - it looks like someone forgot to put their ball away after practice.  Put it in a basket with about 45 other balls and you have this….


Alone… not so great.  Together, we're on to something!  People comment about the baseballs in my son's room all the time!  I use this technique over and over again in my house.  I do it ALL THE TIME with candy and I switch that out with the season.  Obviously with valentines day around the corner this a perfect time for red! 



And this was just too pretty to put away after Christmas...


so I just took off the red bow that was around it and positioned it somewhere different.   I love the way this huge "cookie jar" of gum balls adds a big splash of color to the dining room!  I group things like this everywhere… the bathroom is not excluded.



These are hard to see due to the mirror but those are Q-tips, pretty shower curtain rod doodads and soap (I need to buy more soaps though)!  

Clearly, I group most of my things with glass jars. I find great prices on these at Home Goods.  I use them all the time, just put different things in them according to the season, so they're hardly stored.  The little scene below has been out since Fall. 


The key here is a bunch of something.  To make this look work it's better if you have A LOT of -- fill in your blank.  Plus the bigger the jar - the more the impact!  During the Spring I put out these really pretty pastel Cheerios.  Not a bowl full.  But instead, several boxes of the stuff!  And poof - instant style!

So easy, so inexpensive and yet it packs a powerful punch!  Now go out and find a bunch of one thing and have some fun!





Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Men Eat this Salad - Seriously.

The Headlines:

It's the New Year.

Let's lighten up.

Eat salad.

Even the man in your life will eat this one.



It dawned on me the other day.  Most men think salads are for women.  Ah… they're not.  I was talking to a friend… she mentioned how her husband eats no vegetables of any kind.  Huh?  Seriously?  Yep she said… maybe every once in a blue moon, in a restaurant, he'll eat a little bit of the veggie side but that's it.  I asked her how his mom was at cooking when he was growing up.  She said, "his mom made 5 things… and that's it."  Yep, she would rotate those 5 things and that was pretty much what he grew up eating.  That - I said - is the problem.  When I met BP (husband) he would not bring a tomato close to his mouth.  He HATED them, he said.  Over the years, I kept ordering them and including them in at home meals.  Guess what?  One of his favorite salads is now the Caprese (tomatoes and mozzarella - with some basil thrown in)!   Right.  We finally deduced it was the way his mom prepared the salads as a child.  The same way my mom did.  They cut these huge chunks of tomatoes (or cucumbers or bell peppers - just fill in the vegetable) and left all those nasty slimy seeds in there.  It made the salad awful!  And he, in turn, grew up despising tomatoes!

So, back to my friend, I told her to - make the vegetables good.  Easier said than done?  Nope.  Just easy to do.  Here is a way to make any man eat a salad at home.  PUT SALAMI ON IT!


Now, I know salads are supposed to be uber-healthy but you and/or your husband can afford to slice up  4 pieces of the fatty stuff.  Trust me, that much goes a long way!  BP is starting the year off right and wants to eat a ton of my salads and this one hits the mark.  And by mark, I mean "man-mark".  Put salami on anything, I can almost guarantee that man will eat it.  BP had this last night.  It's like a light version of an antipasto salad.  SO easy.

You need:  romaine lettuce, chopped onions, olives, pepperoncinis, salami and tomatoes.  But remember when you chop those tomatoes, make them small like this…


so you just get one tiny tomato with some lettuce and salami in that mouthful.  That kind of goes for all the veggies in a salad: the key is making everything small so you can get a taste of all the elements in (almost) every single bite.  Then for a dressing I "fake make" it (Hidden Valley Ranch and Berenstein's Restaurant Italian - I wrote about it in another blog post- you can search it)… and everyone gobbles it up!

I promised my friend her husband would too.



Makes sense right?  We are so affected by what happens to us when we are children.  From serious stuff  to….. tomatoes!  The crazy thing is, we have no idea as it's happening.  A huge responsibility as parents though, right?  Scary actually, but true.  When I was a little girl I threw up after eating brussel sprouts.  Guess who never had a brussel sprout again?  But vegetables… like the entire food group… come on ladies - we can work with that!




Monday, January 13, 2014

Baby's First Pillow

The Headlines:

Your baby's clothes were so cute.

Don't stick them away in a box.

Do this instead.



When I was a young girl there were 2 pillows that remained on my bed until I was… in college.  This is one...


The other, I think, is still at my parents house.  It was a small dress that I used to wear.  The outfit above I wore too.  They were stuffed and sewn by my dad after they no longer fit.  What a memory.

Fast forward to when I had MY little girl… and… oh the clothes!  The clothes I bought for her were so stinken' cute I wanted to bottle them up and drink them.  But since that's not possible I turned to my dad.  Again.  This was the dress she wore for her first birthday party.  I love it.  The memories come rushing back when I see it.


Rather than stash it in a box... displaying it is so much better!  SO, I went a little crazy.  She had a lot of CUTE CLOTHES!  We did her adorable night oufit that was given to her as a newborn (below) and these overalls that I just knew were going to be so cute as a pillow - plus I put her name on it!


I did others but they're not shown here.  Then I began to talk to other moms, showing them what I'd done, they loooooved it!  Anything is better than sticking such sweet pieces away!  Some Moms tried to do something with them - they typically showed me their shadow boxed outfits.  But in the end they liked my idea better.  It was something kids and moms - for that matter - could grasp onto, literally, as they were growing older… and just remember.  

For a brief moment I even considered and investigated making my idea into a business.  But I didn't.  However I knew, and still know, we were on to something.  That's why I bring it to you today.  I know this is something every mom in America could do for their own babies.  Take that time, where your kids are young and innocent -- and capture it in a pillow.

I now have a son and have done the same thing for him.


I chose the very specific colors of his room and even stuck to a sport theme.  And, yes, I loved these outfits on him when he wore them at 1 year old.  So here, the pillow's purpose becomes two fold.  It's a decor tool and nostalgia!







































Here's the thing about a "Baby's First Pillow"… you have to pick the outfit carefully.  Not every one will work.  It has to be easy to close and stuff.  Reference all of the outfits above.  The smaller the better.  For instance a 5 year old's outfit won't work as well as a 2 year olds.  Things like button down, collared shirts for boys are difficult because of the buttons and collar.  Girls dresses can be tricky if they're to flowy…  like pleats… how do you stuff those?   Bottom line, pick something simple and sweet and you won't be disappointed.


Our babies lives go so fast.  It sounds corny but you blink and they're teenagers and then they're off to college and pretty much out of our lives. This is one small way to preserve a moment in time forever.  You can squeeze on tight to a pillow when they're gone (and they can too)!