how to fill a Lego brick container

There is this thing that lives inside just about every Lego store.  It’s so big and bright and calling out to my kid, “Come over here and take me home with you!”  You guessed it: it’s the Lego brick wall.  And how can anyone resist, right?  Piles of colorful, shiny, new bricks just waiting to…

card making: heat embossing with colored powders

Heat embossing is a super fun technique that is simple to apply to any small project.  It’s a technique where the embossing powder produces a shiny, satiny finish that is usually glossy after it is heat set.  Check out the effects of using different colored powders and then experiment with different color combinations to find the…

chocolate buttermilk layer cake

Happy Easter with chocolate layer cake.  And buttermilk.  Chocolate cream cheese frosting. You’re welcome. And the recipe is here: Donna Hay’s Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake It was delicious!

card making: easter eggs by the dozen

Easter is coming!  There’s still time to whip up a cute card so here are a dozen different ideas made to inspire you.  In this article I talk about techniques such as heat embossing, doodling, using fabric, hand-stitching, and masking.  Each card has step-by-step directions, extra photos illustrating different steps along the way, and alternative…

recipe: apple pie sticks

I think I first saw a photo of these somewhere on Facebook and could not resist seeking out the recipe.  Before you click on that link let me just warn you with two words: FOOD PORN.  Oh yes.  There are some mighty sexy photos of apple fries dipped in a yummy gooey caramel sauce attached…

recipe: ginger coconut pumpkin seed granola

Homemade granola is so delicious and extremely easy to personalize.  This was the first time I tried to make it at home and man, I am so glad that I did!  I followed this simple recipe for the first batch (just to test the water and try my hand at it) and my husband loved…

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. Click here to…

last show of the year

Alas, November has come and gone without a single post until today!  It was quite a busy month with travels and a one-year-old’s birthday celebration.  And although it’s quite last minute, here is info on my last show of the year taking place tomorrow (Saturday), December 1st in Newton, MA.  It’s Trefler and Sons‘ first…

the penny jar = redeemed

We both thought it would be about $30, so we weren’t too far off.  Not bad for 10+ years of collecting these copper things! And yes, we will start over again … hopefully it won’t take us 10 years to get it full again.

the penny jar

This jar of pennies began before I met Tony, which many of you may not know, was almost 11 years ago.  He started putting his loose penny change in it way back then and we decided to cash it in (since it was nearly full) the other night.  The great thing about those Coinstar machines is that…

science & cooking

The Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Alícia Foundation have developed a new General Education science course, “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter,”  which recently began this Fall.  The course — which is unfortunately limited to currently enrolled Harvard undergraduates — will use food and cooking…

chris trapper + kristin cifelli

Back in high school, I used to work in San Francisco at the Macy’s in Union Square.  I was a receptionist at what was at the time an Elizabeth Arden Red Door salon.  I used to take BART back and forth between Hayward and the city after school to work evening hours now and then,…