October 28, 2010


A few weeks ago, I was sitting at my computer and The Girl was looking out my bedroom window.
My computer is about two feet from my window, upstairs in the master bedroom.
All of a sudden, she yelled, "The police!"
I was obviously curious was she was talking about, and stood up to peer out my window with her.
I saw this:

There was a van that was pulled over by undercover officers, and a male and a female who were searched and detained.
The female was arrested after about two hours of chaos in front of our house.
The neighborhood children rode their bikes in front of the scene over and over.
Our neighbors stepped outside and gossiped to one another.
One of the ladies across the street brought out juice boxes and cookies for the kids who had decided to sit and watch on the sidewalk.
You can see the park across the street.
The Girl's elementary school is on the other side of the park, and the windy sidewalk path is the same path I walk with her everyday.
It is the path that I have taken when you read my Nike+ updates on Twitter and Facebook.
Unfortunately, our home is the second one in from a crazy busy main street.
Fortunately, our home is part of a very safe neighborhood full of amazing people.
There is only one one-story home in the neighborhood, and everyone here takes pride in where we live.
These homes were built a gazillion years ago, but not old enough to be considered historic or to have any rad architecture.
It is cozy and happy.
I love it here.

While organizing our vacation pictures recently, I realized that I had taken a picture while standing in my mom's bedroom in South Dakota that had almost the exact angle as the photo above.

The view is very different.
The photos are opposites, really.
Here, you can see the Earth until it meets the sky.
You can hear wildlife.
(I thought I was hearing a maniac of a bird while we were there, but I later found out it was a bug. Bugs in other states feel the need to tell you that they are nearby and that clearly, they do not wish to be friends. Bugs here sound like crickets.)
There are fields of green.
I have never seen so many shades of green in all my life.
There are very few neighbors.
At night, there are stars that light up the sky like diamonds, and there isn't a street light anywhere that you can see.
A near-death experience can take place, and no one will hear you scream.
And emergency services will take 25 minutes to arrive.
Police cars are seen in singular form, and children do not gawk when one is present.
The neighborhood children ride their bikes as well, but none are required to wear helmets, and quite a few are seen giving their friends rides on their handlebars.

Life is different here.
Life is different there.
Yet both feel like home.
Surrounded by my family and the people I love, home is wherever I choose it to be.
When able to see things in a different light, your world can be transformed.
The giant STOP sign in front of our home is far from beautiful, but it allows me to back out of my driveway easily, and usually with a smiling person behind me beckoning for my car.
Our homes are side by side and our yards are not measured by acres, but we are close enough to share extra side dishes at dinnertime, and close enough to take one another's trashcans to the curb on Mondays.
There may not be neighbors nearby my mom's house, but she has land; freedom that you can feel with your whole body as you run through the fields.
She has quiet and beauty everywhere she turns.
She has a "five and dime" and a community pool where children can ask any nearby adult for ice cream money, and everyone feels like family.

The saying "The grass is always greener..." could be used literally in this comparison, but my point is the opposite.
Look around you and be thankful.
For the big ugly signs.
For the quiet.
Life is so much better when you pause for a minute and realize all that you have.
I am so very thankful for where I am.
Where are you?
Wherever you are, be thankful.

Happy Thursday, friends.

October 27, 2010

What I Whipped Up Wednesday Linky Party

I've gained the strength for my new linky party thanks to my bloggy BFF.
I always say I want a happy little linky party over here, and this will be a regular event here if you lovelies participate!

Linky Rules:
Must be your project...any craft, recipe, makeover, or idea you want to show off.
Must be linked to the specific blog post, not just your blog's url.
Feel free to grab the button so that others can link up too!


Each week I will highlight my favorites.

What She Wore Wednesday #6

{To see what "WIWW" means at our house, click here.}

I am writing this after a very trying morning with The Girl.
You will read all about it next week.
She made it to school on time, but Holy Headache, I am sipping my coffee at rapid speed.
Here she is, in happier moods...

Monday October 18, 2010

Top: Thrift store last year
Jeans: Hand me downs
Shoes: Walmart
Hair bow (made with Red Ribbon Week ribbon): Made by me

Tuesday October 19, 2010

Top: Hand me down
Jeans: Target
Rain boots: Target
Same hair clip as Monday

Wednesday October 20, 2010

Shrug: Lincoln Thrift Store
Long sleeve top: Target
Jeans: Hand me downs
Boots: Justice
Headband: Forever 21

Thursday October 21, 2010

Picture Day!
Tank: Justice
Top: Target
Skirt: Lincoln Thrift Store
Knee highs: Crazy 8
Shoes: Payless
Hair bow: Ordered off of eBay years ago
Bracelets: Birthday gifts

Friday October 22, 2010

Giggles courtesy of Mommy's crazy antics.
Top: Lincoln Thrift Store
Pants: Hand me downs
Shoes: Craigslist

It was a good week.
I hope your's was lovely as well.

Happy Wednesday, fashionistas.

October 26, 2010

Kimmie in the Kitchen: White Chocolate Walnut Blondies with Maple Butter Sauce

On Twitter, Amanda tweeted about a recipe.
All I read was "white chocolate" and my hand clicked the link without hesitation.
White chocolate is my kryptonite.
However, after reading this recipe, I have discovered that my kryptonite is not limited to only white chocolate.
And after eating it, I am certain that I would make a very lousy super hero of any kind.
It made me weak.

Seriously, I wanted to eat the batter with a spoon.

I topped it with coffee ice cream instead of vanilla to make it less sweet.
It was beyond yummy without the ice cream, but I ate a package of these while they baked, so I needed to wash them down with something containing less sugar.
You know how it goes.
I then added chopped walnuts on top of the ice cream and entered Kryptonite Land.


Happy Tuesday.

October 25, 2010

Angel Face Designs makes me happy.

Last week I got the happiest package in the mail.
I decided to use every last penny in my PayPal account and treat myself to a birthday present.
I never ever ever buy myself new things.
New to me, yes.
New, no.
I could not pass up the sale that Heather was having on her site last week, so I went for it.
Not the wisest decision in our current situation, but sometimes you can buy happiness.
And at the moment that it was purchased, it was exactly what I needed.
Angel Face Designs has such gorgeous pieces, and I am absolutely smitten with this Cupcake Connoisseur necklace!
It was screaming my name.
And the packaging and extra goodies really made my day!
Don't you love awesome business owners that pamper their customers?
Good customer service is my favorite thing in the world.

Adorbs, no?

Happy Monday, friends.

October 24, 2010

Sugar and Dots is sponsored!

If you look to the right, you'll see that there are some fancy new little buttons.
Each one goes to a creative lady that makes me smile.
Yay for sponsors!
Since Hubby was planning on coming back from our vacation and working his tail off for some extra Christmas money, we obviously will be having a very small Christmas this year.
It will be so small that I found us a pathetic plastic Christmas tree in the "free" section on Craigslist.
So, we'll have a Christmas Charlie Brown style... at least we have each other.
But to ensure that we can cover the envelopes that continue to flood our mailbox and something fun for each kiddo under the tree, I am now offering ad space on my blog.
The traffic here has more than doubled recently.
I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm thankful.
If you feel like adding your happy little button here, please contact me and let me know.
Prices are super affordable so that you can enjoy your holidays, too.
I've been busy working on new projects for my shop.
And I'm in the process of something that could potentially be huge for our family, so please think happy thoughts for us!
Can you believe the holidays are upon us already?
Halloween is in one week.
Holy craziness.

Back to the sewing machine I go...until midnight at least. :)
Happy Monday, friends.

October 22, 2010


I've been busy, busy, busy.
I know you have been too.
Which is why I just popped in to say hi.
How are you?
How was your week?
What do your weekend plans look like?
Mine is crazy.
As usual.
If you're bored, feel free to check out all the changes around here.
I had an itch to redecorate.
You know how that goes.

Happy Friday.

October 20, 2010

What She Wore Wednesday #6

{To see what "WIWW" means at our house, click here.}

Monday October 11, 2010
Outfit: Nordstrom Rack last year
Shoes: Hand me downs
Hair clip: Made by me
Tuesday October 12, 2010
On this morning, The Girl and I butted heads from the second I told her it was time to wake up.
After fighting with her like we were teen sisters, I finally threw in the towel about ten minutes after school had already started, and told her she was on her own.
Responsible parent FAIL.
She left the house with Hubby in the above outfit that I did not approve of.
Top: Justice
Shorts: It doesn't matter because you can't cussing see them.
Shoes: Walmart
And when I went to pick her up from school, she was wearing this:
Hubby swung by Walmart on the way to school since she was already late and dressed her in something more school appropriate.
Wednesday October 13, 2010
Top: Target
Skirt: Lincoln Thrift Store
Boots: Justice
Hair clip: Made by me
Thursday October 14, 2010

Top: Lincoln Thrift Store
Jeans: Walmart
Shoes: Walmart
Hair clip: Made by me & coming to my shop soon!
Friday October 15, 2010

Outfit: Walmart
Shoes: Walmart
Hair clip: Made by me
On Fridays I now help out in the classroom, so from now on every Friday I will try to jump in a picture with her.

On me: Tired eyes
Sans makeup
Lack of hair straightener use
Sweater: Nordstom Rack
Nothing else matters cause you can't see it. :)
Anyone else ever have an off week where your parenting skills fade to nearly non-existent and you spend the entire week not caring where your mascara is?
Happy Wednesday, fashionistas.

October 19, 2010

Mailbox Monday (on Tuesday) & a Giveaway

Last week my aunt sent me an email saying that she purchased a Silhouette SD and a few extra goodies, but that once it arrived, she wasn't feeling so crafty and asked if she could send it to me.
In an un-opened box.
With goodies.
Hmm...I wonder what she thought my answer would be.
It's mine now, obvs.
And I am beyond thankful.
Unfortunately, life has been a bit busy (Laundry Everest has finally reached it's tallest peak, The Girl has started a new martial arts class and has an outer-ear infection, and I am trying to get new products listed in my shop).
Tonight, I will be diving into this pile of happiness:

And since I adore snail mail, I am excited to be linking up to the fun party Kyla is hosting.

Perhaps her linky party will blossom into a ginormous event where everyone starts to write letters by hand again, and where children are introduced to pen pals like they were when I was little.
Or perhaps companies will feel the need to send me free boxes of products.
Or maybe you will want to join in and send me a box of money.
I sure hope so.
Rock on, snail mail.

And now for the giveaway.
Who wants a lifetime supply of...
It's yours.
You won.
Because really, I'm so far behind with giveaway details and email that that's the only thing you're getting from me.
Hope you like it.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

October 14, 2010

October 15th: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (and comfort food)

For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you know that my family has babies that we miss every second of every day.
For those of you new to this blog, or if you're here visiting, you can read our story here and here.
October 15th of every year is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. (Or Awareness Day, depending on your preference.)
I'm sure that everyone knows of at least one person that they can reach out to on this day.
Someone who has suffered loss.
A pregnancy; ectopic, complicated, high-risk, ending prematurely...
A baby; stillborn, SIDS victim, premature, high-risk, ill...
It's a topic that people tend to sweep under the rug.
It is a topic that I have no fear in discussing.
I have no fear in telling the world that I miss Riley.
That I wish all four of my pregnancies had been successful.
That miscarriage and infant loss brings a bond between families, and a connection between souls that nothing else ever could.
An unfortunate bond.
A connection that breaks hearts into a zillion pieces.
A friendship that allows the gift of tissues and comfort food.
I ask you on this day to reach out to someone you know that has suffered this kind of loss.
Tell them that you are thinking of their little one.
That you are there for them and remember their baby.
Or go a step further and write a card.
Bake something yummy.
Reach out.
Because life is short, and the bonds we make and the connections we choose to keep mean something.
Now that my oven is fixed, I will be baking for someone in my life that had a pregnancy end early.
Baked goods have a way of making people feel better.
Chocolate has been in quite a few studies, and I'm fairly sure the end results have proven chocolate to be the best thing ever.
Or something like that.
If you don't feel comfortable participating in this day and reaching out to someone, I ask you to link up a recipe anyway.
Because next year, I want this to be big.
Bigger than big.
I want comfort food delivered to every deserving mother.
To every family who prays for their missing family member.
I want this day to be warm and happy.
To be sincere and heartfelt.
I ask you to leave me a link to something you have made that you either plan on making again for someone on this date, or to leave me a link to a recipe that I can share with the women in my life.
Please join in.
For Riley.
For your own.
For the ones never to be forgotten.
It would mean so much to me.
Thank you.

Happy Friday.
Spread the word.

Baked Potato Soup (crock pot style)

On Tuesday morning I decided to assemble dinner in the crock pot (with a broken oven, we tend to get creative) and needed a new recipe. While browsing around online, I found this recipe, and I loved it so much, I had to share.


6 large baking potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 quartchicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cream or half-and-half cream
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 cup sour cream (optional)
8 slices bacon, fried & crumbled
cheese, for sprinkling


Combine first seven ingredients in a large crockpot; cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours (potato should be tender).
Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soupy is slightly thickened. Stir in cream, cheese and chives.
Top with sour cream, sprinkle with bacon and more cheese.

{image source}

I took photos as I assembled everything into the crock pot, but after searching for the recipe I used online, I saw a bunch of better pictures. And well, who doesn't want to use the best photo possible right? I'm sure you have all seen chopped potatoes before. :)
This was said to serve 6, but I fed my entire family, and I have quite a bit leftover. The leftover soup is much thicker and it tastes better than the night I served it...if that's even possible.
It's delish.

Oh, and my dad came over on Tuesday night and fixed our oven.
After three months without having one.
So, I baked a cake.
Right before bed.
Get ready for lots of new oven-loving posts!

Happy Thursday, friends.

October 13, 2010

What She Wore Wednesday #5

{To see what "WIWW" means at our house, click here.}

Another week of crazy weather. From extreme heat to cold and rain...

Monday October 4, 2010

Top: Yard sale
Jeans: Target
Shoes: Walmart
Hair clip: Made by me

Tuesday October 5, 2010

Top: Yard sale
Jeans: Hand me downs (they were in great shape in kindergarten)
Shoes: Walmart
Hair clip: Found on eBay years ago

Wednesday October 6, 2010

Sweatshirt: Made by a friend for her birthday. It has her name in fabric across the front.
Jeans: Walmart
Shoes: Walmart
Hair clip: Made by me

Thursday October 7, 2010

Top: Walmart
Under shirt: Justice
Pants: Hand me downs
Shoes: Walmart
Hair clip: Made by me

Friday October 8, 2010

Top: Hand me down
Skirt: Lincoln Thrift Store
Boots: Craigslist
Hairclip: Made by me

I think that was the least expensive week's worth of clothing yet! :)

Happy Wednesday, fashionistas.

October 12, 2010

The Boy's Bedroom Makeover Post 3,212

Seriously, this has taken forever to accomplish, and there wasn't really much to do.
It's not even completely finished yet!
I have about 10% left to do.
Thankfully, the remaining stuff is fun stuff, so it should get finished pretty quickly.
I need to make two lampshades for these:

The gumball lamp was found at a yard sale for $5.00. I took the entire thing apart and spray painted all of the brass a metallic silver. I won't be adding gumballs to it until The Boy can control himself. The last thing I need is a two year old burning himself trying to get candy. But the lamp? Love it.
The bear lamp was my step-brother's when he was itty bitty. I took it apart, tossed the bear in the washing machine, and spray painted the wood base black. I love that it's been in the family for so long, and that it's in like-new condition again.
Lampshades are a must.
I also have an idea for curtains, and if all of my prayers are answered and the stars align, I will have fancy curtains hanging in his room next week.
He has a rug that I will be adding to the room tomorrow, but it was washed today and was drying during my little photo shoot.
He's also missing the hamper in his room since it's currently downstairs full of dirty laundry.
So if you remember, back in June I sorted through everything he owned in this post, and took before and after photos.
So now I have before/after/after photos for some angles in his room.

After again:
The curtains are recycled from our dining room until we get closet doors. Nearly everything else was already in his room before I painted it.

After again:
Our guinea pig Henry is making an appearance. :) The poster was a gift from my aunt years ago. The frame was collecting dust in a closet. I can't find the poster online, but The Getty sells the poster in book form here. And yes, I opted on having a 13" TV in his room. I'm a huge fan of VHS tapes, and if I can pop one in while I fold the laundry, then so be it. Keeping it real.

After again:

The paint color is Silver Moss (purchased at Walmart in Kilz Casual Colors). After painting my room Silver Sage by Restoration Hardware, I really wanted something similar for his room. I found a color that was a little more blue and went for it- absolutely love it.
The hardest part of his room was getting my husband healed enough to help me get rid of the toddler bed and get a twin bed. All of the furniture was bought for me for my 15th birthday, so we had the bed frame stored in the garage. Once Hubby was feeling up to it, I convinced him to help me haul a mattress home from a nearby mattress store, and I built the bed myself. I first had to take apart the toddler bed and then build the twin bed frame. Not gunna lie, it was a pain to do. If your husband does that job for you, thank him. For reals.

1. Wire farmer's basket filled with antique baby blocks. I got both on my vacation this summer. The basket is from South Dakota and the blocks are from Minnesota.
2. His Toy Story shrine. This kid loves everything "WoodyBuzz" (yup, all one word...) and has some of the original toys from back in the day. "Mic" was found at a thrift store and works perfectly, and the Chatter telephone was given to us for free at a yard sale. I got it because it was old, and when Toy Story 3 came out, The Boy fell in love with the free toy even more.
3. His bedding. We had the A-Z bedding by Pottery Barn when we moved him to his crib at 6 months. The small pillow went on the glider in his room, and the alligator was on a shelf. When he was moved into his crib, we randomly ventured to the Pottery barn Outlet so that I could find inexpensive accessories since I finally had a theme. I found the twin size comforter in the same theme for $109.00 so I snagged it. I also found a frame that matched the set- loved that shopping day! The sheets are from Target and coordinate really well.
4. His artwork.
5. Two different views of the vintage and antique books on the top of his bookshelf. Many of them are from yard sales and thrift stores- a few are from South Dakota.
6. Storage bins from Ikea. I love that I can tell him, "It's in the red one" or "It's in number 1". He loves telling me his colors right now, and the numbers are an added bonus.
7. I found those blocks at a yard sale for $2.00 and put them in a large Ball mason jar that I got at a yard sale for $1.00.
8. This gumball machine was $3.00 at a yard sale. Again, I'd love to add gumballs to it, but still think he's too young to have gum in his room alone. Instead, I saved the lids from beverage containers and milk jugs, and added them inside. The collection you see started in 2008...it is a long process, but I like the way it looks.
9. This frame was found on Craigslist from the A-Z line at Pottery Barn.
10. This is the frame I found at the Pottery Barn Outlet, and the photo was edited by my amazing photog friend, Laura.
11. The trucks are super old and were found in Becky's barn. The antique baby blocks are from the collection in #1, and they spell out his name. Obviously, I switched some things around to continue to keep him as "The Boy". Unless you think that I named him Nerar, which is totally fine by me. ;)

I just realized that the chair for his desk isn't in his room in these photos. (I had to use it to get Henry's food in the top of the hallway closet.) When I take pics of the last 10%, I'll take a photo of his desk again.

So there you have it; the room that took a gazillion years to transform.
But I love it.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

October 11, 2010

The Boy's Bedroom Makeover (Sneak Peek)

If you'd like to see a sneak peek of tomorrow's blog post, click here to visit my Facebook page.
Do you "like" the Sugar and Dots Facebook page yet?
Sneaky peeky's for posts can be found there.
His bedroom is 90 percent finished, and I'm blogging the progress tomorrow...

Happy Monday.

October 9, 2010

Why I don't like Halloween...(mature content)

It's true.
I don't like Halloween.
I feel like the odd man out with all of these blog posts about fun Halloween crafts, homemade children's costume ideas, and easy peasy party planning.
Sorry, this holiday is one I like to sit out.
I do participate- dressing the kids up, pumpkin carving, passing out candy, doing a random kid-friendly craft- but my heart isn't in it.
Halloween stores scare me.
I'm not going to lie.
Halloween movie previews give me mini-strokes.
And adult costumes gross me out.

If you Google "Halloween costumes women" trying to get some inspiration, the only thing you will be inspired to do is 1) Lose weight to wear the lingerie-themed outfits available. 2) Become a hooker. Or 3) Vow to never Google costumes again.
It is disgusting to me that women choose to dress up in a manner that shows off more than they would show off any other day.
"Sexy Cinderella" is an actual costume.
In high school I was practically married to my then boyfriend. We were inseperable and every holiday was spent together from Christmas my freshman year to 4th of July my senior year. We avoided high school parties like the plague, and really only hung out with each other. One Halloween, we decided to stop passing out candy at his house, and visited a party that a friend of his was having. When we arrived, all of the girls that I admired and looked up to (he was a senior and I was a freshman...only a year and a half apart though...) were dressed in hardly anything. When we returned to school on Monday, I couldn't even look those girls in the eyes. I had seen so many of them in practically just a bra and underwear, and for some reason it just really made me feel yucky.
Like they were trying hard to be grown women in their size A bras.
The whole thing made me realize that this holiday is basically an excuse for women to dress like sluts and get away with it.
Don't get me wrong- I know there are plenty of you that will be dressing up for family parties (or even for adult parties) that will be classy and lovely.
But there are so many women that will dress up like sluts and parade around the wrong people at the wrong time.
Women who will get themselves into a bad situation because the way they dress will be giving off the wrong impression.
You know that there are men who adore this holiday for that very reason.
I seriously wonder when the time was when women decided to enjoy the freedom of this country and push the limit on Halloween.

So please forgive me for not joining in on all the fancy Halloween discussions and linky parties.
I'd step up with the Halloween baking ideas, but without an oven, this holiday is really not awesome this year.
As the holiday approaches, I hope you speak up and tell the young women in your life that dressing classy is always best.
And if not, it's really none of my business anyway.
Just my two cents.

Happy Saturday.


I had an old Twitter account, FancyKimmie, then decided to create a new account when I updated my blog's name. I then created SugarAndDots and lost my original followers by having two accounts. All of my fun conversations and crafty happiness disappeared.
So then last night, Twitter finally offered me the new Twitter, and I found out I could change the name of my FancyKimmie account.
Problem solved.
I switched it to SugarAndDots and assumed all of those followers would automatically float over to my old account.
Not so much.
I have now lost all of my new followers, and I am still struggling to see how this new Twitter works.
Bottom line, if you think you follow me, please click here to double-check.
Thank you kindly.

Happy Saturday.

Freebie Friday No. 2 & Winners

Sorry guys.
Long day- just now getting on the computer to post.
If my cell phone got along with Blogger, I wouldn't have to post after midnight.

According to Random.org, last week's winners are:

Prize #1: #1, Kathy. (What are the odds of getting that number?!)
Prize #2: #8, Corina
Prize #3: #15, Shannon
Prize #4: #12 tattgiff

I will be emailing you lovelies tomorrow when my brain isn't sleeping.
For the rest of you, I have an edited photo from my trip to South Dakota that you are welcome to enlarge and print.
A friend of mine requested it for her living room, and I thought if she wanted it, maybe someone else might.
If not, you can't hate on freebies, right?

I hope you all had a fabulous Friday!
Goodnight friends.

October 6, 2010

What She Wore Wednesday #4

{To see what "WIWW" means at our house, click here.}

Last week it was HOT.
It was record-breaking in Los Angeles (not far from home), and miserable here.
As I type this, it's pouring rain and FREEZING.
This weekend?
Yeah, it should be in the 90's.
I love California.

Here is the girl in all her sweaty glory:

Monday September 27, 2010

Top: Hand me down.
Skirt: Goodwill
Shoes: Payless
Hair clip: Made by me

Tuesday September 28, 2010

Top: Lincoln Thrift Store
Shorts: Hand me downs
Shoes: Walmart
Hair clip: Aloha 99 Cents Store

Wednesday September 29, 2010

Top: Yard sale
Leggings: Target last year
Shoes: Payless
Hair clip: Made by me

Thursday September 30, 2010

Outfit: Target last year
Shoes: Walmart
Hair clip: Children's Orchard

Friday October 1, 2010

Jacket: Hand me down
Top: Target last year
Shorts: Yard sale
Shoes: Payless
Hair clip: Forever 21

Happy Wednesday, fashionistas!