Hello 2009!

Happy New Year Everyone! We hope to see you all soon!

Peter, Janell, Cedar & Bella


Stay warm everyone!

Brrrrrr.... Keep warm. Keep a shovel near by and most importantly eat something with high fat content to satisfy hibernation urges.

Cedar is getting very good at pulling himself up in his crib. It gets more interesting every day!


Ice rink is open, tree is up, coffee is hot...

The ice rink across the street in Sibley Park is open and it looks beautiful. I look forward to grabbing my ice skates and gliding with shaky ankles. Despite the below zero temps the rink has been busy and the lights remain on until 9pm. Come over, bring your skates and use our home as a warming house. The coffee is on. The sledding hill across the street is also busy but I would only go down after a fresh coat of soft snow. The hill looks icy and fast! Great if you are 10, but not so great if you are on the dark side of 30.

I put the tree up and it is a huge incentive for Cedar to get crawling. The house feels festive and the glow of the bubble lights on these dark nights sure has warmed my heart. We are looking forward to Cedar's first Christmas/New Year celebration.


Boy, almost crawling

Cedar is starting to take on the form of a crawler... it won't be long before he puts it all together and takes off for the stairs, door, dog, christmas tree (that I have yet to put up). Oh can't he wait until January 2nd?


Cedar & Santa

Well we went to see Santa today at Macy's downtown. Paul and Judy took Cedar and I - and besides the very long line- Cedar had a fabulous time. The display was beautiful- of course and I could go back just to look at that! The Santa was very good old fellow- I did not think he was going to give my baby back to me. He kept holding him, hugging him and even let Cedar pull his beard. What a fun day! Cedar had a good time and we have lots of wonderful photos to put in the album.
Now I am in the mood. Bring on Christmas.


If Santa reads my blog....

I want this necklace. Found on ETSY at LOTUS JEWELRY. I have been a very good girl all year- besides that time that I snuck some dark chocolate.


Peter & Cedar, my love for them

Peter took the day off on Friday before he had to leave for his weekend job. We had a mellow sunshine day lounging around and reflecting on all that we are thankful for. I stick to my list and #1 is without question my amazing husband Peter of which I am so thankful to have him in my life! When he leaves on Fridays, I miss him like a teenager pining for a rock star. ahhhh !!!
Cedar is also starting to become a big fan of his papa. They have a lot of fun together and it is so lovely to watch. Cedar is so bright eyed and happy around him. My two boys. Can life get any better?

Thanksgiving Photos




We hosted the Badenschier clan (Peter's Mom's family) for Thanksgiving. A small fun family that enjoys spending time together. Peter and I cooked the turkey the night before and it turned out beautifully. The rest of the dishes were pot luck and lucky we were. The food was fabulous. We had a nice feast. After the food it was cards -cards - cards. Everyone had a nice time. Cedar was a little fussy all day and woke up on Friday cutting his top front teeth- (more on this later I'm sure).


Cedar"s Smile

Little Boy's Room


1. Loving, caring husband
2. baby boy
3. good health for all of us
4. cute little dog
5. home, food, clothing
6. loving, caring family
7. friends- wonderful friends
8. this computer- so I can stay in touch with you
9. music-!
10. this day, may it be memorable, fun and delicious for all of you!



Cattle Grate | Janell Vircks

I am still hanging on to black and white photography and when Cedar is just a little bit older I am going to hop back on into the darkroom. In the meantime I am living through the talented people that submit their work to SHOTS MAGAZINE . I have a photo in the last issue (pictured above). The owner & publisher is the very talented RUSSELL JOSLIN , an inspiration to me always, Russell has wonderful taste and a beautiful sense of design plus he is an amazing photographer. Check out his magazine and if you know someone that is into fine art photography get them a subscription- they will be in awe with each issue- I promise!


Pendleton baby blanket

Thank you Grandpa Vircks for this warm wool blanket. We have been using it a lot. Perfect stroller blanket- so warm and cozy! Notice Cedar's big yawn? Comfortable enough to nap...


Bye Bye Monster

Cedar is on the solid foods and his diapers are proof of it! YUCK! I am glad that we are out of the cloth. The odor can be knocked out with this locally made kid-friendly room spray BYE BYE MONSTER. I just love this company. THYMES makes such yummy products and it is right here in Minneapolis. Bye bye diaper pail stink.

Wooden Cell Phone

Ok. Cedar has discovered my cell phone and just has to have it. I let him hold it once- and that was it. I found this safe kid's toy phone at the WOODEN WAGON A wooden cell phone? I love it. I want it retrofitted to my i-phone. How cool would that be to pull out at a business meeting!


Quilt from Great Grandma

Thank you Great Grandma Schaus for the handmade quilt. Beautiful and timeless.







So sorry I have been MIA. Life has been really crazy lately as I try to adjust to the working at home thing. Also since the daylight savings switch our bedtime has been screwy.
But here is a little update:

BIRTHDAY... I had a fabulous birthday! Thank you everyone who called, emailed, sent cards and visited me. I feel so loved. What a wonderful birthday. I feel great and hope that it only gets better.

CEDAR... he is a master at rolling over and is starting to get the sitting to tummy thing. He is even scooting (barely) for toys and I think that if I turn my back he is going to be crawling- although let's wait until after Christmas for that one - ok. He has been really happy and healthy while he works on more teeth. I can't believe how awfully painful those top front teeth look as they rise up to come down. - ouch! As long as he has something interesting to chew on he does well. Any other suggestions from folks out there to cope with teething?

PETER... notice there are no pictures of him in this batch. The man is working so hard these days. If you see him or speak to him make sure to give him words of encouragement. He is doing a fabulous job of keeping us fed, under a roof and clothed! Thanks Peter. We love you.


6 Month Check Up

Cedar turned 6 months on October 21st. We went in for his check up today and here are the official numbers:
WEIGHT: 19lbs, 9 oz (77%)
LENGTH: 26 1/2 " (44%)
HEAD: 45.9cm (92%)

I know what you are all thinking. Chubby short guy with a big head. Well for now that is ok. He is healthy, strong and doing very well despite the shots. I can't believe we made it to 6 months already. This has been the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life.


Sharon made this summer bonnet for Cedar. It worked very well. There is also a cute matching overall.

The lion and it's creator.

Look at this warm fleece hat. She made this from the lion scraps. We just love it!

Sharon and Cedar in September

Cedar's great aunt Sharon made the memorable lion costume, a beautiful star baby quilt, two useful hats, summer overalls and a nice tie fleece blanket. He is so lucky to have such a talented and giving great aunt. Thank you Sharon for your gifts!


The Little Lion

Cedar on Halloween. A little lion. grrrrrrr


Jack and Lily

Cedar received these JACK AND LILY shoes as a gift from my UMBER studio mate Jessica. They finally fit and they are so cute! They have soft soles so the baby can still get some tactile sensation with their feet and they also stretch over his chubby toes. Thanks Jessica!


Hello From Cedar

Just a simple hello from a happy baby. Peter took the day off on Monday and the house was full of smiles.


Sharon's Buttermilk Pie Crust

Peter's aunt Sharon makes the most delicious pies and it all starts with her amazing crusts! She gave this pie crust recipe to me over a year ago and I finally had a chance to use it on a pumpkin pie. If you live the battle of the tough crust you must try this. It is easy to work with and rolls out beautifully. I even rolled it twice and it was wonderful the second time. I took some cookie cut outs made the leaves and nuts from the scraps (which I rolled a third and fourth time), baked them and added them to the pie after it cooled a bit. The crust is flaky and rich. Thanks to Sharon- and this is not the last time you will read about her.

Happy baking. The season for warm kitchens is among us!

(this is a doubler recipe that makes 4-6 crusts depending on how thick you like your edges)

6 cups unsifted flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups white Crisco
2 tblsp oil
8 tblsp (1 stick) margarine or butter (I used butter)
1 cup buttermilk

Mix all ingredients except buttermilk in pastry blender until crumbly / or mix all dry ingredients and cut in cold butter, then pick up with your fingers and rub until crumbly. Stir in buttermilk. Divide into 4 to 6 equal parts and wrap in saran. Use and or refrigerate or freeze in a freezer bag. Use as you would any other pie crust.

*for the picture I used two pie crusts for a deep dish pie pan and cut outs.


Classic Fall Day

Ahhh what a beautiful time of year.


Pea Pods

For as much as I love the country, it is stores like PEAPODS that makes me glad I put up with city life. I have not been there since I was pregnant and that is probably a good thing since I can not afford most of the items there. Since Cedar can not write yet (that is just around the corner) I will have to take over the task of writing to Santa and I am going to kindly ask him to shop here and start with this cute PLAN pull along zebra- or the cute HABA clutch. They have maple building blocks with amazing shapes, wooden stack rings, classic sleds, organic cotton clothing, BPA free plastic cups and a lot more that I hope Santa will consider. I am doing my best to keep Cedar inspired and learning in healthy way and this store is spot on.


Our morning walk

Every morning since Cedar was about 1 month old I have been taking a morning walk with him and Bella. I now appreciate the ease of summer when we could just grab a sun hat and go. To think that I walked him in nothing but a onesie for a few months blows my mind. It is now just barely 40 degrees when we hit the park. This morning I pulled his winter clothes over his protests and dragged myself into the cold. Once we get going it is refreshing and absolutely wonderful. I will always cherish these walks and I know that Cedar does too.

Here is a clip of our latest walk:


Wow. You won't believe how good these are - especially hot, right out of the oven and you won't believe how easy these are to make. I have been through two batches already. The ingredients are easy to store and very quick to make. Enjoy!

350 degrees / 16-18 minutes
1 Spice Cake Mix
1 15 oz Can Pumpkin
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Mix ingredients, Drop on greased cookie sheet. Bake. Makes about 35-40 small cookies.


The End of the Harvest

This past summer (and the three summers before) we have enjoyed the bounties of a CSA with the EASY BEAN FARM. Peter and I shared a full share of vegetables with Phil & Pat. Each Friday we received a box of goodies well worth the money. There are many good reasons for supporting local farmers and I am sure you all know those. The downfall is that you share the woes of the farmer too like bad weather, pests, crop failure and over abundance of just one item. All those things can make it interesting, adventurous and sometimes boring, however I have a refrigerator full of onions that will last well into the winter, a freezer full of tomatoes and brussel sprouts and hopefully a healthful body from all the good food. Our last box came Friday and that is the absolute sign to me that summer has passed.


Dogs are miracles with paws.

When I am out walking with the baby & the dog many people smile and walk up to me. I assume they want to get the baby's attention but they are always drawn to the forever puppy Bella. Kids run up to her for petting, older folks admire her gentle ways and other dogs want to give her a kiss (but she is too shy). Oh Bella. If only I was a good as you think I am, if I could feed you what's on my plate I would and if I can keep those kids hands away from your ears I will. You are such a good friend and a fierce protector, the mail carrier will never cross the threshold. Your snoring at night doesn't bother me that much and your sweet gaze melts my heart every time.


The Onion Movie

I am not sure how many of you are familiar with THE ONION, but if you are sit down. THE ONION MOVIE is out now. The Onion does what we all wish were good at- turning around current events and seeing the insanity and absurdity in all of it. The movie is no different. I worked on the music production for this movie and after four years (yes it took four years and two studios) it is out now on DVD. For all you Onion fans this is great news. For all of you with a cynical, intelligent and slightly jaded sense of humor get with it! Check out this movie!

To view some clips go to ASCHE AND SPENCER *Note this is for adults

Thank you Grandma Ethel

Thank you for the big box of goodies Grandma Ethel. Top teeth are starting to come in. The teether arrived just in time. Cedar has several cold chewy things and a few others to reach for although at times it is never enough...



Thomasina liked to make Cashew Brittle. It was so good that family and friends encouraged her to go into business and make her wonderful brittle commercially available. It is delicious and one bite pulls you into the bottom of the bag. She is amazing! Thomasina is also a wonderful vocalist and a kind person. She stopped by last week with a baby gift and two bags of her brittle. OMG! It is so good I had to hide it from myself. We gave Peter's mom one of the bags because I knew she would like it. (and she really did) If you are looking for a yummy gift for someone that has a sweet tooth I highly recommend THOMASINAS CASHEW BRITTLE
The ingredients are: Butter, sugar, cashews, vanilla. Truly amazing!

Making Your Own Halloween Costume this year?

Are you one of those people who start thinking about your Halloween costume as soon as the kids are back to school? If you are, and you want to win a fabulous costume contest check out the craft challenge at CRAFSTER If you have a fabulous original idea and are doing it yourself make sure to snap a photo and send it in. Win a cool prize and share your creativity with others. The photo shown is a DYI costume winner from a few years ago.
I remember one year I threw together a corpse bride with tool, leaves, sticks and lots of makeup. It was a lot more fun to wear than something you just go out and buy and then find you are the 6th honey bee at the same party- enough for a hive.


BIRDLETTE "little people tees"

Before Cedar was born I started looking on mod parenting sites. Everything was way cool and way expensive. I love design so much and it is important to me to support artists but I had to reign in the spending and be extremely picky. I ended up purchasing a onesie from BIRDLETTE She has fun cute and whimsy nailed.

The one I purchased for Cedar just started to fit his big milk tank tummy.


Rainy Day today... but not a few days ago

Today is a cool rainy day. We went for a walk under the umbrella and I was thinking about what a nice sunny Friday and Saturday we had. Here are a few photos from those days for a little warmth in your day.