blogging fundamentals · Our creations · what I love · why blog?

New Blog Love

Do what you love, love what you! Literally stolen from a //“>Life is Good t-shirt, just there on a rectangle on the shirt hanging in my bathroom. My Mother had passed and I was trying to figure out, “What do I do NOW!” I have 2 kids in high school and 1 kid in grade school! I admit ADHD took hold. I did job hop and dabble in an Etsy shop. I did learn very much as I wandered through 4 jobs. All of that aside. I am very lucky that I get to do what I love and I do love what I do! I still have an Etsy shop. And yes that has changed too! I make teething necklaces for Moms to wear when babies are teething. I still work in a variety of media, my current favorite is hand lettering with chalk and chalk paint pens on chalkboards. I make them for family and gift giving.

It has taken me a long time to, do what I love and love what I do! My very favorite thing to do that I love the very most is to do the best that I can at taking care of my family!

#lovewordpress #blogginguniversity #bloggingfundamentals #nevereverthoughtiwouldblog #luvwriting #loveblogging

Shop Amazon – Valentine’s Day

cookie decorating party · culinary

Cincinnati Bakeshoppe by Janice Plummer

1f238ef2-c692-48a1-89c4-0a0c926a6301Last Friday 13 of us enjoyed the fun of learning how to float icing on sugar cookies. I especially like the very unique designs that Janice presents. When she comes to your home she brings a dozen cookies for each guest and all the icing and supplies to decorate your cookies. Oh and did I mention that the cookies are absolutely delicious? Whatever you have not eaten you can bring them home!

Janice Plummer is a professional. She teaches in homes and at Cook’s-Wares in Cincinnati. Her Etsy shop has quite a beautiful variety of cookies. In advanced classes you can learn to make the decorative icings.

It is a very fun evening activity for a group 8-15 of friends. You can then make them at home anytime. Here is a link for some of the supplies and tools. We enjoyed each other’s company and cookies! Thank you Janice for such a fun time!

#cincinnatibakeshoppe #cookies #decorativeicing #floatingicing #homepartyfun #royalicing #bloggingfundamentals



Crocheted Baby Blanket from the Middle

I really do love to knit and crochet. When my Mom was still alive she and I would sit side by side and work on projects. I would run into a snag (knitting humor), she would be able to get me on the right track immediately.

Crochet is also in my tool basket. It is fun to put together a pattern that you have repeated over and over. I like to make one particular baby blanket because there are YOU TUBE videos that are stitch by stitch instruction. There are 2 videos and they are the complete instruction for this lovely baby blanket.I can get these blankets completed in 2 sittings. This baby blanket is made with fleece yarn. This pattern uses Bernat fleece. unnamed.jpg

I think you will like making this blanket and enjoy the videos too.

This is part 1

This is part 2

Enjoy! Melissa

why blog?

5 Reasons that compelled me to blog!



  1. While at a Business Boutique conference I attended sessions about blogging. I was not at the conference to become a blogger! I was there to get some tips for my Etsy shop. I felt this experience made me want to blog. If you want to blog get educated sign up for Blogging University  this post is one of the assignments in BU.
  2. One of the hardest questions for me to answer is, What do you do? A blog is helping me to answer this question, I like and love to do many things. I am now able to somewhat compartmentalize all of the tasks and things I love. A blog helps you to organize your thoughts.
  3. It really helped me to write descriptive adjectives about myself that are positive and fun. Such as talented, excited, fun loving, expressive, artsy, craftsy, realistic, happy and much, much more. Use a thesaurus!
  4. Social media is just waiting to hear what I have to say. Really just kidding! I am just trying to psych myself into it.
  5. Go ahead and just do it. In one of the sessions at the conference our speaker said, “just go ahead and PUBLISH”! I agreed and I did!

God made me on purpose with a purpose! I am very excited to join this fun outlet of energy and creativity! Blog on!

daily prompt

Daily Prompt: Culture

via Daily Prompt: Culture

In response to today’s prompt: Culture. My culture and heritage is half German and the rest is a mixture of French, Scottish, English and possibly a little more of whatever. We as a family did not really have cultural habits and or traditions. My Maternal Grandmother did make foods that were of our German tradition such as, what she called Kugel. Chicken with homemade egg noodles. It was really delicious. I am the youngest Grandchild in my Mother’s family. My Grandmother taught me a few things as I grew. She told me how to climb the cherry tree so I could pick cherries at the end of the summer and then we made pies. I remember eating so much cherry pie one time that I got sick. I miss those days. She passed when I was 27. As she aged she stopped doing and making the things that were mainly cultural.


IMG_4276.jpgAs an adult I have been steeped in a culture that has been very interesting and exciting. My husband’s heritage is Italian and German. My Husband’s Mother is Italian and her culture was embraced by the family. Mostly the food aspect of their culture is on their radar. It is amazing to me. I love all of the food and the variety. I have learned so much about all kinds of foods that I have never ever seen, smelled, made and eaten. I am amazed at the variety from fruits, vegetables, meats, pasta and of course sauce. You know tomato sauce is one of the French Mother sauces. Mmmmmm. My Mother in Law has always said, “Learn how to make the ravioli because when I am gone, then you will know how to make it“.  You do need good tools. We always use the same cutter.She is the best. I have loved learning to cook, sew and to be a better Mom. She is first generation American and such a great role model. The culture she has taught me is amazing. I am so grateful for all of the lessons and fun we have had over the 3o some years I have been lucky enough to have known her.


Sparetime Belly & Soul, Alexandria, Kentucky 


Kevin and Christa Klein re-opened Sparetime Belly & Soul  in August of 2016, this 50’s style, iconic diner has been serving sweets and great food to the Alexandria and Northern Kentucky community for more than 5 decades. Sparetime has a rich history in Alexandria and has even been on the “Hollywood” stage in several movies such as “Fresh Horses” in 1972 and “Carol” in 2014.

I began working at Sparetime Belly & Soul when it opened in August 2016. I had no idea how much fun I would have working in this kitchen. I had waited tables when I was 21 and have long said that restaurant work was my favorite! I had gone to culinary school in 2014 at the ripe ole age of fifty something. I fell in love with all of it. In school I met a classmate, Kevin who later decided to open this restaurant. Kevin is very talented and skilled. Kevin and his family are worthy of their success. Simply said, “do what you know and do it very well.”

A few of the things that make Kevin and Christa’s vision work are their mission and ministry, “pay it forward” wall, and “Belly Bags.” The mission and ministry of Belly & Soul is for it’s customers to, “Come hungry & leave happy.” As a community Belly & Soul feeds the hungry and homeless in Cincinnati once or twice a month. Customers are welcome to join us in this ministry. The “pay it forward” wall feeds many. When you are at the restaurant you have the opportunity to buy a meal, a cup of coffee or a combination of all of these. Then you write that item on a post-it note and put it on the window. It is so cute to see a slip on the window that may say, “a piece of pie for a freckled 7 year old girl”and then a cute little red haired girl goes up and finds that slip that describes her. What a wonderful feeling and cute smile on that girl! Belly Bags feed others you could pick one up and give it to a deserving person. All of these great attributes are at work daily. 

Above is a photo of the pies we serve every day! I am fortunate enough to be able to share in the joy of making pies that are the original recipes from Ingram’s Restaurant (Christa’s family’s former restaurant).

It is such a pleasure to work with these 2 intelligent entrepreneurs they are open to so many new ideas. They are a great team that know this business and how to make it work. Thank you so much for taking a chance on me. You have a very bright future!

#belly&soul #ky #sparetime #spareburger #burgeroftheweek #greekburger #kevinchrista #family #payitforward #communityoutreach

culinary · what I love

Baking warmed our hearts! 

Hello there everyone! Happy Sunday! We wanted to write today to tell you about the most awesome experience that we had yesterday! We went to a bread-making class at Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State! They have Creations Classes that the two of us go to every now and then. We really wanted to try the breads class and then share some of the fun with you. 

We were so excited when we walked in the classroom. It had individual workspaces set up for each guest. All of the ingredients were measured out for us and the recipes and a Kroger gift card were on our workspaces!

We got the opportunity to bake a ciabatta, 5 grain, and a semolina bread. We learned how to make the starters with premium ingredients & how to use the industrial mixers.

We even got to use the hearth steam and convection ovens.

We ended up taking home 18 total loaves of bread. Chef and his assistants packed up ingredients for us to make all of the loaves again at home. They even sent us home with two different compound butters to try on some toasty pieces. We were so grateful for all the work that Chef put into the class. Plus a bonus is getting to know the supplies needed for bread proofing and baking.

Chef Van Fleet taught the class and was so very gracious and kind. He is talented, knowledgeable and an expert! This class was more than informational. We took home recipes, ingredients, and BREAD. Chef even made us an amazon wishlist in case there was anything we wanted to look up supplies-wise from class.  This class really was beneficial for us: body, mind, soul and belly!


Lauren and Melissa


Our Family Garden! 

Three springs ago my hubby, some great friends and I tackled the task of starting out our first veggie garden.

We bought seeds and some little plants from a big box store. We also bought some seed potatoes from a farmers market. The garden produced some small carrots, tons of sugar snap peas and I was pretty sure I killed the potatoes.  We made lots of mistakes, had tons of weeds and not much variety.

The next spring I was having a baby so no garden happened.

The next spring I was raising a baby so no garden happened.

In an effort to get back into our garden my husband and I had been thinking of revamping our raised bed. This fall my husband and his dad took on the challenge. They worked hard and the results are amazing. We went from having a garden made of some rotting railroad ties to beautiful raised bed with a nice fence and gate around it. We even have a gravel path encircling the raised bed!

Above is a picture of the garden project as it was in progress. Now that it’s really chilly out, our garden has been tucked in for winter. We tilled in some organic manure and covered it with a blanket of hay.

I hope to use the blog this winter to help plan out my vision for our garden this spring and summer. Maybe our garden will produce more veggies for us!  Can’t wait to share the fun with you!

Hasta pronto,


Our creations

10 ways to find your own Chalk Drawing LOVE! 

I first began drawing Chalk Drawings about 6 years ago. I had no idea what I was doing. Pinterest is amazing. It is known as the world’s catalog of ideas. It truly is that great. I started pinning hand drawn lettering. My favorite fonts are the pages on Pinterest that are old Speedball ink pages. Originally drawn in the 1920s and 1930s. I discovered many hand drawn posters. There is some amazing art on Pinterest.

  1. Buy a frame that you know will go with your decor. Measure the inside of the back where the glass would have been. Let’s say 8″ by 10″.
  2. Go to Home Depot they have chalk painted Masonite 2′ by  4′. At Home Depot they will make the cuts for you. They do a great job. Have them cut into many 8″ by 10″ boards. Approximately-18 pieces.
  3. You could put the chalk board Masonite in the frame or wait until you finish. I like to work with it in the frame so that if you decorate along the edges it will be proportional.
  4. Gather your materials: sharp pencils, pencil sharpener, an eraser, wet paper towels (wet paper towels can remove chalk and marker mistakes), dry paper towels, chalk and or chalk markers.
  5. Begin by coming up with an idea. I like to make family mottos, birth announcements, fun quotes, name boards and many others. The choices are endless.
  6. Start drawing the layout with pencil. This way you practice and you figure out if everything you want to draw will fit.
  7. Once you are happy with the pencil drawing you can then begin drawing with chalk. I do not end up drawing exactly on the pencil lines. This adds a uniqueness to your art work. I prefer the chalk marker pens because they are versatile. You can wipe off just the mistake not the whole drawing.
  8. Make sure the drawing looks balanced. I take a picture in the middle. For some reason the drawings look better in a photo. You can find flaws easily.  See below.
  9. Keep adding chalk drawing to the board look at it to make sure there are no errors and to see if there is negative blank space that you can fill with a doodle, a flower, a shape, or a ribbon.
  10. When you are happy with how it looks take another photo and pin that sucker on Pinterest! You did it, you hopefully now are in love with chalk drawings. Remember that art is not perfection it is unique.

This is a new one a gift for someone for Christmas!

first born doggies

Must love dogs!

I had never had a dog. I always wanted my children to have one. I felt I missed out in some way. A dog was a dream of sorts. For some reason 3 years ago when I had heard that someone had 2 litters of  Golden doodle minis I wanted to see them. We went and saw about 20 puppies. They were so cute. One litter was red and the other was white. OMG such a girl’s dream. They were about 6 weeks old. They were so darn cute! We wanted a female. My husband and 2 of my kids went with me. It was November. I could pick up this sweetie on December 20th and I thought that OH let’s wait until after Christmas. But no the breeder had a full house and she needed to move the pups. I brought a Longaberger basket
with me, my daughter, son in law and son. We picked up that 4 pound 8 week old puppy. She was precious. When we arrived home we all sat around to name her. My whole family. Wow she was just a tiny little thing. Her basket was 4 times her size. I was completely SMITTEN! Cleo Patra Ann Buttercup Grove. These Catholics just had to add a saint’s name. IMG_0670.jpg

We have had Cleo for 3 years coming up soon. What a good dog. She jumps to your shoulder if she is excited to see you and knows she will get a dog treat. Puppies are a great responsibility. We were ready and still shocked with the responsibility that we feel on a daily basis. I am so happy we decided to get a dog. It is not always convenient but she is such an unconditional love bug. Part 2 will be about our second dog. Yes I am crazy!