Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We made it!

January 13, 2010

WooooooHooooo!  Unplannedcooking and I made it onto the I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter commercial during American Idol last night!  (You can watch it by clicking here. )

One of the two shots that aired was taken in the Hot Mama store at 50th and France in Edina.   Hot Mama was kind enough to let us shoot most of the video in their store (and my friend, Carol, let us shoot part of our video in her yoga studio.)  Starting Jan.19th (next Tues.), you’ll be able to vote for our video on the website  You can enter the I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter Sweepstakes from that site and view all of the videos that made it to the finals, including ours, by looking in the gallery.  I’ll remind you to vote for us next week!  

Coming soon………. a new science project!


January 12, 2010

If you catch American Idol tonight, watch to see if unplannedcooking and I made the cut to be on the I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter commercial!

Creative Mamas

January 6, 2010

When you were a kid, did you ever used to make up plays or shows and perform them for your parents and their friends?  Recently, I had the opportunity to do pretty much same thing as an adult, and it was a blast!

“I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter!”  sent my fellow blogger and good friend a Flip video camera and asked her to create and film a commercial for their new “Turn the Tub Around” campaign.   They’ve put out a new, healthier product and have a great campaign to go along with it starring Megan Mullally.  Check it out at

Jennifer let me in on the fun, and with the help of a few friends and Hot Mama’s Edina store, we managed to juggle our kids and our schedules just long enough to put something together.  Not only did we sing for the video, we had to learn a signature dance move and I am NOT a great dancer.  Incredibly, we just found out that our video is a finalist in the video contest.  We’re up against some amazing competition, but there’s a chance that part of our homespun video might air on a commercial during American Idol next Tuesday, Jan.12th.   You will be able to view our video beginning on Jan.19th on the “Watch, Vote and Win Sweepstakes” at

Check it out for a glimpse of a couple of  moms acting like kids!  You’ll also have a chance to win great prizes every time you vote for your favorite video!  (Hopefully, it will be ours.)

Note:  The free video Flip camera was sent in exchange for our participation in the contest and I LOVE it!  It’s small enough to fit in my purse and plugs right into my USB port to download videos.

When Two Worlds Collide

December 27, 2009

My reality: no lipstick, messy kitchen, my three-year old playing with my camera while I blog

Let me preface this story by letting you in on a few facts: 

1.  I’m not much of a housekeeper (an understatement) and I did not take a much-needed shower today.  After managing to keep the house and myself looking passable for a week of holiday entertaining, today I let everything go.  I shopped with my mom, took the kids sledding and made chicken soup for my husband, who has strep throat and spent the day in bed, miserable.  By dinnertime, the house was littered with art projects, bags of wrapping paper, recycling, cookie containers and carelessly slung snowpants,  The kids’ lunch plates still sat on the table accented by bottles of yellow of mustard and dried-up orange sections.  Anyone walking through my back door at that moment would think that insane people live at my house.  

2. My fantasy world can be found in the special interest sections of the New York Times.  I devour them while I sip my coffee and imagine that I will use my newfound knowledge to decorate my house, pick out amazing clothes and cook meals that Martha Stewart would envy.  (We can all dare to dream.)

Just before dinner, one of the authors of my fantasy world walked through my back door directly into my messy, unglamourous reality.  I was mortified.   Thank goodness my friend’s sister-in-law, who is visiting from New York, and is involved with the production of my favorite newspaper sections, is a disarmingly nice person.  I’m (pretty) sure she didn’t judge me.  However, I am my own harshest critic and wanted to crawl into a hole with a glass of wine and a bag of potato chips.  Fortunately, life goes on, dirty house, bad hair and all.  My mom and dad, the kids and I ate chicken noodle soup for dinner, cleaned up the kitchen and laughed as we wiped the table for the first time today. 

I hope that next time fantasy meets reality, I will be better prepared.  Chances are, I won’t be.

Cool Design Contest for Kids

December 16, 2009

Do you have a child that loves to draw?  My son, a budding marine biologist,  is very excited about this National Geographic Kids design contest.  Some lucky kid’s winning design will be made into a flag and fly on the National Geographic Ocean Now expedition ship in 2010.  Go to for more information.


December 6, 2009

I live in an amazing neighborhood.  We like to call it Mayberry.  Children run from house to house playing while neighbors keep watchful eyes on them.  Moms sip glasses of wine and chat at the end of long summer days and there are frequent gatherings filled with music and laughter.  Everyone knows your name. 

This is my perspective as a happily married mother of three young children.  As my neighbor Ginny used to say, “We’re living the dream!.”

A wonderful article in the Sunday Times today reminded me that there are many people in my neighborhood with a completely different view of our streets and the people who live here.    

It’s called “Lonely on the Street Where We Live.”   Read it.  It will make you think.

This week, the kids and I are going to bake holiday cookies to take to some our elderly and recently widowed neighbors.  Yesterday, we made Christmas Cottages (like gingerbread houses, but out of graham crackers.)  I’ll post the project soon!

Nie Nie’s Thanksgiving

November 24, 2009

I was  inspired watching this plane-crash survivor/mom-blogger on the Today show this morning.  Her face is horribly scarred, but all you see is how grateful she is to be alive and there for her family.  You can find her blog at and watch the video at  Happy Thanksgiving!

Festive Cranberry Garlands

November 18, 2009


Before I had kids, I would buy wire frames and painstakingly weave evergreens to them to create Martha Stewart-like wreaths for the holidays.  I also designed and hand-made our Christmas Cards every year.  Now, I struggle to get my photo cards in the mail and I buy my wreaths at Costco.  Although I sometimes mourn the loss of my adult craft projects, I’m comforted by the fact that I’m blessed with three children who fill our holidays with more joy and beauty than any decoration could ever bring.  I’d trade anything for a hand print turkey made by my three-year old!

This year, we will continue our tradition of making cranberry garlands.  They’re pretty, environmentally friendly, and will look nice at Thanksgiving and even through the holidays.  Last year, the berries looked pretty for a long time, even when they were a little wrinkled.  You can hang them outside on a tree or shrub when you’re tired of them and the birds and squirrels will have a feast of their own.

You will need fresh cranberries, fishing line or dental floss and a yarn needle.  Yarn needles are plastic, not too sharp and can be purchased at craft and fabric stores.  I bought 7cm needles. (Susan Bates brand to be exact.) Make sure the eye isn’t too big, or it will ruin the cranberries.


First, we pulled a yard or so of fishing line out from the spool and taped it to the spool so that no more could unwind.  Dental floss works well too!  Then, I knotted the free end of the fishing line to the needle so it wouldn’t pull off and had my kids start stringing.  Last year, it was a little challenging for our two-year old, but she could do it with help! 


You can make the garlands as long as you like.  Just tie them off when they are the length you want.  I love to string them on the chandelier in our dining room for Thanksgiving.  We may make a few strings for our Christmas tree too.  It would be a great project for people sitting around watching football, assuming they’re not on a white couch! 


Homemade Petri Dishes

November 10, 2009

The kids and I poured homemade petri dishes today after school.  Tomorrow, we’ll go around the house, swabbing for germs to grow on our plates.  I’ll post the entire project in the next day or too!  Your kids will love it!

Science Wednesday

September 16, 2009

We are finally settling into the routine of a new school year and I am breathing a sigh of relief.  Wednesday is an activity-free afternoon, so it may become our science and craft day.  Today after school we’re going to start to grow some crystals.  I’ll post the experiment later today or tomorrow.  It should be fun!