Friday, April 30, 2010

I know I promised more posts about Autism Awareness and I apologize for not posting sooner. The way I see it..this cause should not be limited to a 30 day spotlight during the month of April, this should be something focused on year long!

Before we get going to far into this blog, if you like any of the items pictured here they are click-able and will take you to the shop where you can purchase them.

What I could do right now is start throwing statistics at you and different figures and a ton of medical jargon. I would hope that you would read through it but I know that those types of posts become dry and hard to read through because they don't grab you and pull you in. It's hard to understand any medical condition reading the medical dictionary definition of it.

I think the best way to help people understand Autism and its affects on people and family is to tell you how it has affected me.

As I mentioned in my previous blog I have a younger brother with Autism, to be more specific he has Asperger's Syndrome. I have other family members with Autism but they are a lot younger than me so by the time they came around and were diagnosed I knew what Autism was. This is why I want to talk to you about my brother. I had no idea what Autism was when we were growing up and I think it's imperative to explain my learning process because you might be able to relate better to that.

I don't know where to begin so bare with me. I can't remember too far back so I'll start where I remember. When I was about 5 or 6 and he was 3 or 4 I knew he was different than me and that he handled situations differently. I remember other kids being stand offish to him because he talked in such a high pitch voice and sometimes too fast to understand. He would throw tantrums when people didn't listen to him or couldn't understand him. When my Dad would leave (he was in the Army and went TDY often) his way of coping would be to bite me and so I was very angry because I didn't understand why he would do these things and why he couldn't just stop.

What I didn't realize was he is just like me, he is a person with feelings and emotions and he reacts differently. He handles his emotions in his own way, there is no book that says how we are supposed to be how we are supposed to react and feel about things. There is no book that dictates "normal".

When we were younger I didn't want to play with him a lot because when I did other kids wouldn't play with me and we were both picked on a lot. It wasn't until I was older that the protector role kicked in. I think I was 8 when that happened. I don't remember exactly what happened but I remember one of the older girls in the neighborhood saying something mean to him. He cried and started screaming at her not screaming anything just screaming with his hands over his ears and she started pointing and laughing. I grabbed his hand and stuck my middle finger up at her. (Mind you I had no idea what that meant, just knew that it wasn't nice)

It took my beloved brother a lot longer to learn certain things, like shapes and colors and reading. If he didn't want to learn it he refused for the most part to even try. He would tell people he couldn't read and wouldn't read when it came to school but he could tell you what a billboard about a movie said. To him that wasn't reading, he was looking at something he liked and just knew what it said. There were plenty of teachers too who didn't understand him and didn't bother to take the time to understand him. There were teachers who were downright mean to him, taking his lunch from him in kindergarten as punishment because he didn't behave the same way other kids did.

It breaks my heart to look back and see all the years he spent growing up being misunderstood because he wasn't "normal". He didn't have a lot of friends growing up but he didn't really seem to care either. He was just fine playing by himself, making up his own stories and going along with them. He would try to make friends but kids would shun him and turn away. He laughed at inappropriate times, obsessed over random things, wanted to hug too much...

Even as we were older and I started to become more familiar with the term Autism and what that meant there were things he did that would grate on my nerves. I would leave a pot of water on the stove to boil and ask him to check it as he walked through the kitchen to see if it was ready and he would stand there and keep saying ," Tiff, the water is boiling....the water is boiling...did you hear me? I said the water is boiling..are you coming to check on the water???" or when we'd leave the house he'd be afraid the door would be left open or come open and the dog would run away, he'd have to get out of the car and check for himself.

Some people would see these things as flaws but I see them as things that make him unique!

He may not be a whiz kid when it comes to Math and you might not catch him reading Shakespeare without a stutter trying to figure out what a word is or what it means but I guarantee you ask him any movie related question and he could write you a book. Movies are his thing and he is an amazingly talented writer! He writes his own unique awesome screenplays (with the help of spellcheck and some proofreading). I wouldn't be surprised if he went on to become a famous director!

He's not bad at all. If you actually took the time, patience, and effort to get to know him you would have the most loyal and loving friend you could ever ask for. My brother is not diseased, he is not broken he does not need a cure nor does he need to be fixed or adjusted to fit into this mold society has created.

If we sought to "fix" these people so many things would be different. Did you know Albert Einstein was autistic? Did you know Thomas Edison was autistic?? The list goes on and the next time you meet someone who is Autistic think about those things.

I love my brother. I love my beautifully gifted Autistic brother. He is special, God made him unique..maybe we're the ones who have it all wrong.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day is Here!

April 23,'s Earth Day!!

Plant a tree! Recycle a can! Pick up the garbage you see laying around in your neighborhood! Plan a trip to your Farmer's Market! Or...browse Etsy and cart some amazing and awesome Up cycled items!

I'm still pretty new to Etsy (shh don't tell anyone! ;) ) so when I first saw the term up cycled I was a little confused as to what it meant. Up cycled is really just a catchy way of saying recycled and re purposed. Up cycled is like the designer side of's a fun word.
The seller I want to feature today on Earth Day is an up cycling kind of gal who has lots of neat-o stuff that appeals to the geek in me and I want to share that with you. Her Etsy name is KatieAnnCreations...that's also her shop name as well =).
All of her products have been sterilized and have no sharp edges. Be sure to read through her shop announcement if you want to know more!
Her accepted forms of payment are Paypal, and personal checks. All payments must be cleared before she will ship your item! More on her policies can be found under the shop policies link in her shop.
To access her shop you can click on any of the pictures in this post and it should take you to her shop front.
If for some reason the linking is not working today (which would be my luck haha) then here is the link for your browsing pleasure!

I for one loooove me some carbonated beverages conveniently packaged in a colorful aluminum can bearing the name of my favorites. I probably enjoy them too often but hey a girl can love her soda can't she? With all the bubbly goodness love there's no surprise as to why this shop caught my eye! The pop top bracelets are fantastic and for all you Twilight fans she has some that look just like your beloved Bella wore in the flick.

She combined two of my favorites in the Pepsi cupcakes you see at the beginning of this post. Are those not insanely awesome! Check out these Monster Energy Star shaped Earrings!!! I'm sure you know at least one person who loves Monster Energy Drinks.

Those are some pretty neat Ear Flare! Not only does she have jewelry she has hair accessories as well. That pop top and bottle cap hair clip is pretty neat too! I can honestly say I've never seen something like that!! KatieAnnCreations items are a fun and unique way to show off you're favorite beverages and at the same time show you care about recycling. Be sure to check out her shop!!

It's Earth Day!! Stop reading this! Go plant some flowers!! =) Get out there!

Monday, April 19, 2010

ArtTales LEFTZ

Earth Day is April 22nd for those of you who haven't glanced at the small print on those lovely calendars =) or if you scribbled over it for all of you busy bodies =).

With that being said I want to share one of my favorite Etsy Sellers with you! ArtTales is the screen name you'd look for over on and adorable Upcycled Plushies are what you would be delighted to find.

If you aren't into searching for people via Etsy's search option just click here to go directly to ArtTales shop.
The plushies are playfully called LEFTZ (pronounced Le-ft-e's) and are eco-friendly plushies. Reading through her shop announcement you'll learn that the materials used are found in yard sales, thrift shops, and some come from family and friends. The adorable one eye is created out of vintage buttons and the animal itself is stuffed with plastic grocery bags.
One of these playful critters has even been nominated for Etsy's & The Daily Green's Trash to Treasure Celebration! I highly encourage you to vote for Peewee the Octopus! Click vote to help Peewee the Octopus win!

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than getting one of these absolutely adorable plushies for your bookshelf, they'd even make a cute addition to any end table. Because of the materials used to make these cuties they are not intended to a be a toy or to be used by children.

Make sure to read through the shop policies for all information on shipping, payment, etc. Oh and before I end this blog, I want to share my favorite LEFTZ plushie with you all!
Thanks as always for swingin' by and checking out what we've got going on today! Everyone have a rockin' week! Earth Day is right around the corner, it's a reminder to be conscious about what we do and the impact it may have. Try recycling for the first time if you haven't, or plant a tree or a patio garden!
Or swing by Etsy and help continue to support our Green Handmade/Homemade Artists =)
Thanks ArtTales! ArtTales Blog

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Treasury Time Again!

YAY! I was just perusing through the chatrooms on Etsy and mingling with other sellers and discovered that Sinner's Sweets again has an item in a treasury! How exciting!

Kissedbyclover has created a fun fair theme which is perfect for this time of year and the Juicy Hot Dog Necklace is in it!

To view this awesome-tastic treasury click here

I'm working on some more posts about Autism Awareness so keep on checking back with us! I'm also working on new items for the shop as well =) Feel free to comment or e-mail me at any time!

Thanks for swingin' by! Have a great week everyone.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April is Autism Awareness Month

That's right ladies and gents, April is Autism Awareness Month. With the numbers of children affected by Autism steadily on the rise it is time for us to really take a good hard look at what's going on. There are so many things that are suspected of triggering Autism and we need to be ready to get them off the market and away from our families.
There needs to be more understanding and tolerance of those who are Autistic. They are not bad or diseased or broken. They are people like you and me and anyone else. This campaign is something that is very near and dear to my heart. As a Big Sister and Cousin of some amazing people who happen to be Autistic I have a passion to educate people and make them aware.
Being the Big Sister of an amazing Autistic Brother had an abundance of rough patches that I will never forget, scars that will never go away of watching the complete ignorance of people and their intolerance for things they do not understand or know anything about. I had bruises and scuffs to prove that my brother was amazing and that anyone who had anything other to say was going to get a swift punch right in the nose. My brother and cousins are the most loving and caring people you will ever meet.
I wish I could be more like my little brother. He is an amazingly talented young man who writes some amazing screenplays! (Look out Spielberg!)He may not be the best at conversation and may ramble on and on about his love for all things Zombie and Bruce Campbell, but he is an amazing human being. There is nothing WRONG with him, he needs understanding and tolerance.
The range of Autism and how it affects people is so vast that there is absolutely no way to generalize them or their behaviors.
Why am I writing this? Again, April is Autism Awareness Month and throughout April I will be posting about just that..Autism Awareness. I am going to post some of my favorite Etsy items for you to see and post stories for you to read about Autism.
So for today, I found this item on it is a beautiful handmade necklace. The charm is sterling silver and absolutely gorgeous. It's not covered in primary colors making it hard to wear with other items. This gorgeous simple necklace can be worn in an everyday casual way or even in a more formal setting (at least for me it would be okay :) ). To see more items like this click here. That link will take you to the sellers shop front, if you click on the picture of the Awareness necklace it will take you to that item listing in her shop.

The seller's s/n on Etsy is anniereh if the links don't seem to be working for you.

Keep an eye out for more posts with more great Autism Awareness Items.

Food for Thought:

"Autistic beings develop and bloom if their spirits, talents, and self-esteem are not destroyed by bullies, prejudice, 'doggie-training', and being forced to be 'normal'." - Trisha Van Berkel

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Justified..that is the blog title solely because that is what my husband will be watching here in about 5's his new thing.

It's not really my cup of tea as I'm more of an Always Sunny kinda fact I'm sporting the Paddy's Irish Pub shirt today! Yes...I am a HUGE nerdy fashion for sure!

Hmm what to write about? I have this delciously tempting brownie sitting next to me and a tall glass of ice water..nope not milk..lactose intolerant. (yes very lame I assure you if only I could bury my face in some delicious yogurt without...lets not go there)

I really should be devouring that beautiful little thing! I'm a little put off by the icing..I've never been a huge fan of icing on a brownie..why ruin the delicious chocolatey-ness of it with a layer of fat and sugar? Don't get me wrong I loooove making icing just not eating it..too sweet for me.

So I have decided on at least one seller for the Earth Day features, starting April 18th I'm going to do a feature a day until Earth Day to get everyone in the mood to do some recycling or whatever else you want to do to celebrate!

We're going to plant our patio garden and we've started recycling now that we have the bins to do it!

Hmm I guess the title of this blog really should say "Random Thoughts of Nothing Really" =P and with that I'm off to consume temptation! Goodnight folks!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Late Night Blogging

Nothing like it! As I sit here with my Easter Reeses Egg, listening to my baby babble on instead of sleep I figure now's as a good a time as ever to blog.

Hmm but what to blog about? Another heads up to all my blogosphere peoples, 10% off sale for Mother's Day!

Oh and keep an eye out as there will be updates to policies and such on the shop site. I'm hoping to clear out the food items by the end of June to make room for new inventory. Sinner's Sweets..home of foodie chic jewelry pieces that are fun and funky! For any occasion or event!

If you have any requests or something you would like to see in the shop feel free to shoot me an e-mail at or if it's easier for you hit me up via the Etsy conversations! Hell even comment on this post and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

I'm also looking for an Etsy seller to feature for Earth Day! I've got some in mind but if you know someone you think deserves the Earth Day feature let me know! to get a 10 month old to go to sleep at midnight...ahh off to do the Mommy job =) (shh don't tell's my favorite job )

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today was the hubby's birthday so the girls and I decided to do a cake that fit him the best we could. I made a white cake from scratch but cheated and used a store bought chocolate icing. The "grass" is cream cheese and the "pond" is blue raspberry jello =).

I had planned on adding some flowers into the grass to add some more detail but with poor time management and 2 girls hungry for some cake things didn't work exactly like I planned them. Oh well!
So Spring is here and Summer is right around the corner..what are your favorite spring/summertime foods and celebrations?
Personally, I love a nice hot day with the barbecue going and some ice cooooold Peach Tea and juicy juicy watermelon! Pork Steaks are definitely in the top 5 of my favorite grill foods.
Well like I said, today is the Hubby's birthday so this blog is going to be cut short ;) nighty night everyone!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nap Fail

I was sooo looking forward to an afternoon cat nap after I got the girls in bed! No such luck. The toddler (as he will be one next sad!) did not feel the need to take a nap. I slept for maybe 15 minutes when he decided he was ready to go to sleep and of course after those 15 minutes the girls were awake.

The joys of motherhood! Hahaha I should've known there would be no naps in my future this morning.

Not only was nap a fail..but blogging once a I'm such a procastinator! I will sit here knowing I really should type up a blog while I have the time and the kids out of my hair but of course I always find something else that needs to be done at that moment. I will still strive to do a blog a day but its apparent that won't always happen like I want it to.

Now onto some business stuff. =) Last night while the kids were in bed and the husband was studying I finished up some new pieces!

Keep an eye out for pictures but I'll tell you what I made (it was overcast earlier so pictures were a no go but its clearing up). Sinner's Sweets will soon have BLT studs, PB&J studs, a 3 tier wedding cake paper weight (which can be turned into a ring on request!), a hot dog necklace, and a hot dog charm bracelet!

Everything turned out great! I'm so excited to get the pictures done and these babies listed.

On another note. Some of you may not realize but Mother's Day is just around the corner!! Literally one month from today!! Starting the first week in May Sinner's Sweets will be offering 10% off all purchases for those who put 4MOM in the notes to seller! Be sure to snag something truly yum for your mum! Sinner's Sweets has delicious cupcakes and candies for Momma and Momma's to be to snack on or for those waist conscious Mommas we've got plenty of food jewelry to sport your favorite snacks.

Remember all Have a Rockin' Weekend! Keep your chin up even when it feels impossible to do!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The temperatures are rising, the AC's blasting and the pollen is everywhere! Welcome to North Carolina spring/summer. It's actually a lot different than Missouri, the weather is already really hot, its not near as humid but the downside is definitely the pollen.

What does that have to do with food anyway? Well don't leave your pie to cool on an open windowsill right now! It will get a lovely coating of the yellow powdery stuff floating in the breeze.

I've been working on some new pieces but haven't had the time to bust out the camera just yet and I did promise my best at a blog post a day so today I've decided to share a recipe with you =)

I loooooove a good loaf of home made bread (the kneading is a fantastic stress relief as well!) so I'm sharing with you a recipe for 2 loaves of a delicious buttery braided bread (say that 5 times fast!)

So without further ado lets jump right in!

Braided Bread Loaf
1 c. milk
½ c. unsalted butter cut into cubes
½ c. sugar
½ t. salt
1 packet active dry yeast
¼ c. warm water
1 lg. Egg, beaten until white/yolk blended- room temperature
4 c. flour (you can use all purpose but bread flour tends to work the best)

Scald milk in medium saucepan and add butter, sugar and salt until butter has melted. Pour your milk mixture into a large mixing bowl. This part is extremely important! Cool the mixture to 105 to 115 degrees any colder and your yeast will not "burp" as much any hotter and you could kill your yeast. Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warm water in small bowl; stir to dissolve. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature
Add yeast and 1 beaten egg to milk mixture. Stir in enough flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form soft, slightly sticky dough. Lightly grease large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat. Cover bowl with kitchen towel or cheesecloth and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. (You can put a large pan of warm water in a cool oven and place your dough in there as a sort of home made proofer)
Grease two heavy large cookie sheets. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, 2 minutes. Divide dough in half. Divide each half into 3 pieces. Roll each piece out between hands and floured surface to 18 inch long rope.
Arrange 3 ropes side by side on 1 prepared sheet. Braid ropes. Pinch ends together and tuck under loaf. Repeat process with remaining 3 ropes on second cookie sheet for second loaf. Cover each loaf with kitchen towel and let rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush with butter periodically throughout bake time. Bake until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool.

Here's a couple pictures of the finished product =)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Down to Business

I think I've been pretty lazy when it comes to keeping up on this blog. I've never really blogged before so forgive me if I'm not following the rules or standards of the Blog Gods..eventually I'm sure I'll get the hang of this.

So lets start over and see if we can't make this thing work! =)

I'm Tiff, I'm a student, Etsy lover and shop owner, and a crafty domestic stay at home Momma. I am without a doubt hooked on Etsy there are so many great finds and great people! The community on Etsy is very diverse and a lot of fun. My goal is to eventually own my own brick and mortar store front.

I will be using this blog to feature sellers/items that I think are fantastic! As well as give everyone the heads up when I'm going to be listing new items myself!

For all my fellow SAHM out there keep an eye out as I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes for everything from cupcakes to steaks!

So what should we do first? I'm going to share with you some of my newest creations for today =) Ooooh and before I forget..One of my hair bows made into an amazing treasury on Etsy! To see this treasury click

Here's a taste of the new items

The cheeseburger and pancakes have been mounted on an adjustable ring!

Hope you enjoy them, they were a lot of fun to create. Remember to check back, my goal is a blog post a day =)