Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thrift store finds



to go thrift store shopping. I love buying things second hand, cheaper prices, pre-shrunk, and just super exciting when you find a good buy. Some of the amazing bloggers out there always post their awesome finds. http://www.dearcjane.blogspot.com/ Cjane and her lovely sister NieNie always find these amazing dresses, skirts, and super cute vintage wear from thrift stores. So likewise... I was on pursuit to find me some goodies- not the typical Brooke things I look for either- I wanted something unique. So here are a couple of my goodies from my Saturday Trip

Now the weather just needs to start feeling like FALL rather then late SUMMER- its still in the 100's here in Phoenix. I may get to wear these super cute coats in December. They both were only $10.00 each. YEAH YEAH

Ahhh the smell of Pumpkin

My husband LOVES pumpkin bread. So to celebrate the first day of Fall, I made him some pumpkin bread and boy was it yummy. Here's the recipe for everyone to try... I PROMISE its YUMMY.

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
And the special ingredient is a touch of love.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
This recipe will make 2 regular size loafs or 8 mini loafs (I like the mini loafs so I can give them out).
*** for a sweeter tasting bread- use Pumpkin Pie Filling instead of Pumpkin Puree. The Husband preferred the sweeter one***

Thursday, September 24, 2009


What is it that makes Grandma's so special?? Is it the fact that they always are smiling? Or that they always have homes that smell so pleasant... like cookies, flowers, or that perfume smell that always takes you back to your childhood? Is it that they are your biggest cheerleader? Your greatest fan? Or your shoulder to cry on when everything seems to go wrong? I have been SO BLESSED with amazing grandmothers. They both are so similar and so different. These two women were both Mid-West Farmers Daughters. They were beautiful, smart, talented and I have been blessed to know both of them and still today try to emulate their qualities.
Sadly, my "Grandma" passed away a couple months ago. I miss her. I miss her laugh, her smile, her stories, her cooking, her greeting of "well there's my Brookie", her big hugs, her love. She had faith like no other, loved EVERYONE that she met- she considered everyone her "friend". She remembered birthdays, anniversarys, holidays, and you always got a card for each event in your life. She was always there to tell you that she loved you.

My "Mema" lives in Missouri and unfortuantly because of the distance, I am not able to see her often. She is such an amazing, talented woman. She cooks, she bakes, she cross-stitches, she quilts, she reads her Bible daily, she gardens, she has beautiful flowers, she is awesome.

With marriage, I have adopted a new "Grandma". The Husband's grandpa passed away last week and with that, we have committed to spending more time with Grandma. We went over tonight and made her dinner and hung out. She as well is such and amazing woman and I have loved (and will continue to love) getting to know her. She gives those same hugs that my grandmas do, she smiles all the time even after losing her husband of 61 years, she laughs at your jokes, she raised 4 girls (and anyone that can do that deserves a pat on the back).

Grandma's are special people. Is it experience or maturity that makes them the way they are or is it just in the Grandma handbook??

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Update on the Crafice

LOVE THE PEG BOARD... its kinda big but I plan on filling it with lots of craft supplies- The Husband has banned me from the craft store from a while though (hehe)

Yeah.... its clean and organized and I LOVE IT!!!

I decided that this blog keeps me focused on my "projects". Even if no one reads this thing, at least I stay focused to I can report back progress. So I offically am crossing The Crafice off the list.

Cut Cut Stitch Stitch...

In my wonderful days of blog movement (when I follow links around to a bunch of different amazing blogs), I came across this lovely blog http://www.ididntsaybanana.blogspot.com/ which had me in AWE of her amazing quilts. It made me wish that I knew her just so I could be the beneficiary of one of her masterpieces. BUT since I do not know her... I decided I needed to learn how to quilt. So here is the story behind quilting- you cut up a bunch of perfectly good fabric then sew it together to make a blanket of some sort. Here is where I fall short, I barely can walk straight, how am I going to be able to cut straight?? I do not match colors so well... how can I make it look good?? So I set out to the fabulous land of Jo-Ann's and purchased some fabric. I got what is called FAT QUARTERS (I think it means a quarter of a yard). I bought lots of floral prints- they don't have to match. Anyways- here is my progress so far...
bright colors- not sure what I will do with it once its done but I think its fun for a first time quilt. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brooke's not so smart...

Some of you may know that the husband was married to a wonderful women before me. She was tragically killed in a car accident and then we later met and fell in love and got married. In the process of me moving into the house when we got married, there were still alot of her things around and I was trying to "mark my territory". As I was cleaning out the kitchen, I came across this plethera of plates of every color. Yellow, blue, green, orange... just tons and tons of dishes that were all so many colors. At the time, I was more of a neutral, earthy tone type of girl. So I decided to donate these plates to the wonderful world of Goodwill. Months later, I came across the wonderful blog of NieNie (http://www.nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/) who taught me to love color. As I was reading her blog and seeing her super cute kitchen and house, I wanted to add color to my world and thought of those plates. I started shopping at antique stores (Brass Armadillo here in Phoenix) and came across a booth that had all of these colorful plates and dishes... HER plates and dishes. What?? These are antiques and worth money. AGHHH- typical Brooke. I told my mom and showed her the plates at the store and her response was, "YOU got rid of FIESTA plates" and I think she added some choice words. What are "Fiesta plates??". I went home semi-depressed that I did not keep the plates. In unpacking the many boxes that accumilated, guess what showed up out of no where???
YEAH.... the plates and bowls. I did give away quite a lot of dishes but was still blessed to have some of the colorful pieces. Now I just need to convince the Husband to let me change out my kitchen to COLOR and MORE COLOR!!!

New Dish...

In the search of a new, fabulous meal to feed the Husband I came across the HAWAIIAN HAYSTACK. Am I the only mormon who has never tried this wonderful meal??? because when I googled it, it seemed to be on alot of blogs.

So here was my crack at it... and I might add... it was YUMMY!!!

So here is the SUPER SIMPLE recipe... Brown some chicken (I only used 2 chicken breasts) cut chicken into pieces- add one can of Cream of Chicken soup and one Can of Cream of Mushroom soup. Cook some rice and put the chicken soup mixture on top. Add some yummy toppings. I used: Chow Mein noodles, coconut, pineapple chunks, tomatos, shredded cheddar, celery, and green onions. It was awesome. The leftovers were even more yummy. Try it out and let me know.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Geneology... I am doing it

My parents converted to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when I was two. Neither of their parents were members nor anyone in their family. I married The Husband and he is not a member of the church either so needless to say... I have ALOT of family history work to do.

I have gotten online and searched out names and are putting them a nice little Family Tree... eventually when I can get enough names and dates I want to create something cool like this.

Right now I have to just get the names... its frustrating but definitly will be worth it. Plus... it would make a great Christmas presents for the parents. Look at me planning Christmas presents and its not even December. VERY UNLIKE BROOKE.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Crafice....

So I have to change the name of my craft room to Crafice because it just sounds better and honestly I have been calling it that as I have worked on it. I love neat looking craft rooms- you saw the previous post and all the potential that I have with this working space. The husband loved it when I came to him last night and said, "honey I need pegboard". (check out this blog and see the wonderful craft peg board she has. http://mandishandis.blogspot.com/2009/07/craft-room-peg-board.html

So... I went to Lowes late last night, purchased some pegboard (it was on sale-normally $14.00 and I got it for $4.11-- woo hoo). Bought some yellow spray paint (yellow is a bright, cheery color) and went to work.

So something I learned about spray paint-- it sucks. I had to use like 3 cans- also, don't stand so close to it because you get a buzz from inhaling the spray fumes. Also, its hard to keep it all even. Since this was one of my projects, The husband wanted me to do it all with so he sat nicely in a chair as I tuckered away at the peg board. UCK! Once it was done... I loved it.
I got the board put up and will post the pics tomorrow. I now have like 5 projects going... how do all these super women do it??

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Execrafice....

Every woman needs a space to create... whether it be to create a blanket, create an awesome body, create a piece of art, create a new outfit therefore
every house needs what I call a "creativity center". Luckily my house has an extra room (because I have no children) that I have called THE EXECRAFICE... Excercise Room/Office/Craft Room. The the execrafice doesn't sound all that fun- I am going to now call it just my CREATIVITY CENTER. Okay- so anyways- here is a pic of the room currently

Okay so notice lots of boxes and a chaotic MESS- thats because we have not CREATED the "Creativity Center". To see what I want my CREATIVE CENTER to look like... go visit this wonderful blog.

or visit this blog

So now I will go to work on my room... will keep you posted.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yummy Treats... care of Better Homes and Garden

This last weekend the Husbands grandfather passed away and I had some time sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. As I flipped through all the magazines, something caught my eye. It reminded me of Bakerella's CakePops http://www.bakerella.com/. If you have not ever seen her BLOG- go look at it. LOVE IT! Anyways- it wasn't a CakePop but instead was a Vanilla Wafer Pop. I believe all great things come on a stick- I mean really. CornDogs (especially state fair ones), caramel apples, Cheese on a Stick, lollipops (I love DumDums), Popsicles, CakePops, and now the ever so yummy... wafer sandwiches on a stick.

So ingredients.... Vanilla Wafers (yummy), a bag of Caramels, some lollipop sticks, milk chocolate chips (or any sort of candy melts), and I like Sprinkles.
So you begin by melting the caramels according to the directions (caramels and usually a tablespoon or two of water) Once melted take a spoonful and place on the vanilla wafer (flat side). Place the lollipop stick in the caramel and place a little more caramel on top. Then put another vanilla wafer. This creates a sandwich.
Once completed, place in the freezer so the caramel hardens. Meanwhile melt your chocolate and get your sprinkle station set up... I like to call it a "Station" because I tend to make a sprinkle mess.

Once sprinkled... I put them into a pieve of foam (as you can kinda see in the background) to dry. Then you can wrap them in a little plastic wrap or a small bag with a ribbon. These are SUPER YUMMY. The husband loved them and he normally does not like sweets (crazy I know). So go make some and let me know what you think.

My FIrst Domestic Project

so my grandma is definitly a BAW (refer to first post). She can do everything. She cooks amazing food, quilts these beautiful art pieces, can cross stitches. Anyways- on my last trip to Missouri she told me that she no longer is cross stitching blankets for her great grandchildren. SInce I have yet to produce a GREAT GRANDCHILD for her, I figured I needed to cross stitch my own blanket for my future unborn children. I think this actually turned out pretty good. I only got the smart idea about creating the blog about me wanting to be everyone else halfway through the blanket, I did not chronical my every move. But needless to say- here is the finished product. I only show the front because the back is kinda a mess. Even if I never produce a child to love in this blanket- my dog MIA loves it as you can see.

This is me and The Husband... who sometimes goes by the name of Brian

The Story....

  • I have a confession. I am a blog stalker. I find myself constantly reading blogs. Whether I know you or I don't.... I will read the blog and feel like I have become part of your family. With that... I have a problem. I see all of these things in the blogs that make me say to myself "I can do that". Then I venture to what "the husband" calls my "flavor of the week". Whether its baking (thanks Bakerella) or decorating (DesignMom, NieNie), or taking amazing pics (the hundreds of photographer blogs), cooking, or quilting... I want to do it all. My boss uses this phrase all the time- BAW (said as its spelled). A group of her friends make up what they call the BAW CLUB- Bad Ass Women's Club. These women are much like the women I read about in the blogs. They all have done amazing things like write a book, had 8 kids who all are successful, run charity events, work full time, have a SPOTLESS house, cook yummy meals that not only taste good but are healthy, sew clothes, work out daily, make homemade bread, have food storage, take care of their husband, get very little sleep because they take care of babies, volunteer at church, run a marathon, volunteer at school, work full time, always have makeup on, with hair that looks perfect, organized AND still have time to BLOG ABOUT IT. So in my ventures with this blog... I want to be a BAW. Here is my conclusion. I am a normal person- I work a full time at a job that sometimes is emotionally draining. I am getting my Masters Degree currently. I have a husband "the husband" that is amazing. I have no kids and 4 dogs. I have very little crafting skill and very little cooking skills, BUT I do attempt to do it all. Domestically Brooke is my attempt at a blog to become a BAW. I am going to blog about my adventures in trying to be everything that I see in blogs or come across along the way. I will show you what others have made... then I will show you Brooke's ATTEMPT at it (good and bad). Now if I can just figure out how to make a blog.