Sunday, December 30, 2007

Caroline is NINE!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!! All she wanted to do for her birthday is go to the mall, spend her Christmas gift cards and go to Starbucks for a snack and chocolate milk. So, that is just what we did! She came home with these, too! After she blew out the candles she informed us that in just another nine years she will be in college...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Wrap Up!

The Holidays around our house....

I made the stockings on Christmas Eve day.

Granny Smiths and cranberries...I just LOVE the apple green and red together.

The family room, from the foyer.

...and from the breakfast room.
The dry sink in the kitchen.
The dining room table.
The hutch in the dining room.
Christmas Eve at my Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law's...
MBM and the girls stalking Santa who makes some visits early on Christmas Eve,
riding on a fire truck , of course.

And they weasel their way into my sister-in-law's neighbor's house,
make some last minute Christmas wishes!

Me and my girls...not as happy to sit with me for a picture,
as they were with Santa...if they only knew!!!!

The whole team.

Christmas pajamas! Every year a Christmas Eve gift from Mimi!

Ready for bed...

Monday, December 17, 2007


Well...let's see today is the 17th of December! Finalized these today! Picked up the pictures this evening and will pick up the cards tomorrow, as I am having coffee with the stationer. Assemble, address, stamp and send! And with a few days to spare!
Tomorrow, will also be my last trip to the Post Office...HOORAY!! Then it is baking, wrapping, reading, and a trip to NYC on Thursday!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dear Santa

I thought this was sweet....ENJOY! Dear Santa, I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.. Here are my Christmas wishes: I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy. If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone. On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog. If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container. If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family. Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet. Yours Always, MOM ...P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Brace face!

Caroline got braces today...and she is beaming, sporting her "Orthodontist" t-shirt. I didn't bring her back to school figuring there would be some pain. So we went out for ice cream and the daily trip to the post office.

A few hours later...still no pain, on the phone telling MBM all about them. She opted for red and green bands for Christmas and is already planning what she will "do" in January!
Of course, like the basket case I am, I teared up when I saw her. My little baby girl smiling from ear to ear so proud of her mouth full of metal. How can she be old enough for braces? What's next....a training bra? Lord help me!!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Weekend at Home!

We don't have any plans this weekend...nowhere to be nothing pressing to do, except sewing of coarse! MBM went to a football game with a friend the girls and I are home for the day. I am in my studio working and the girls are playing in the next room. I turned off the TV and music so I could listen to them play. I am not sure exactly what they are playing but I know it involves costume changes, because every time I peek out Lulu is a different getup! I wonder how long this is going to last? Them playing so nice together! I probably just jinxed it...but, I'll take what I can get!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Let it snow!!!!

Oh, how I love the first snow fall! Everything so pretty and white...the girls school delay means lazy morning for everybody... I decided to count my custom orders after all...just 13 more to go!!!! HOORAY!!!! Then is is time to bake, read, and paint!!!! I am just about finished shopping. Just a few more things to pick up. Everything seem to be falling into place....hopefully no speed bumps! For fun I took this from several other blogs! Enjoy! Christmas Meme! 1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate 2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa LOVES to wrap gifts! 3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White lights on the tree and I keep it simple outside white candles in the window and a spot light on the door 4. Do you hang mistletoe? I haven't in a few years...maybe this year there is still plenty of time! 5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the week following Thanksgiving...we do a little bit at a time! The girls LOVE to help! 6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert): MBM makes the most delicious Christmas dinner...pork tenderloin with a mango relish....yummy! 7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Running to my cousin's house on Christmas morning for breakfast...we lived 4 houses apart. I miss it so much! 8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? The summer before first grade...Shawn McGee told me sitting by the azalea bushes, we were eating peaches...and I told my cousin Christmas morning, mean, I know! 9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? MBM and I do..the girls have to wait until Christmas morning! 10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? White lights...and every ornament I have ever received. When I was getting married, my class had a shower for me, each child in the class gave me an ornament with their name on it. I love pulling them out each year. We also have all the things the girls have made over the years on our tree. Including a Kwanzaa chain Caroline made when she was 3 and a Star of David Emma made in preschool! 11. Snow: love it or hate it? I love the first snow fall...after that I am pretty much over it! 12. Can you ice skate? Yes, several years of figure skating lesson...I so wanted to be Dorthy Hamil, even had the haircut! 13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My engagement ring...MBM popped the question when we were decorating my parents tree. He handed me an ornament I didn't recognize, a heart engraved with "Will you marry me?" 14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Staying at our house on Christmas day...I will host 100 guest as long as I can stay put! 15.What is your favorite holiday dessert? I am a apple pie and ice cream girl! 16. What tops your tree? Angelica, our Christmas angel! 17. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Since, we have had kids, it is all about them. And I love to give creative and thoughtful gifts...I am anti gift card! But, I am not going to lie it is nice getting a little surprise under the tree for me! 18. What is your favorite Christmas song? O, Holy Night and Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (we were announced at our wedding to it! Got the party started!) 19. What is your favorite Christmas movie? Charlie Brown...not really a movie, but I never miss it! 20. What would be the best gift you could receive this year? Time to enjoy the season with my family!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Back to work!

All finished with trunk shows and custom parties until February!!!! Now I will be hunkered down in my studio sewing, sewing, sewing to fill all the custom orders...I am afraid to count how may I have to do!

Saturday, after the trunk show we decided to go get our tree at a local Christmas tree farm. I love this place, it is like a scene from a movie...bonfires, hot chocolate, live reindeer, everyone bundled up, kids running around like it, love it, love it! You can take a tractor ride to the field to cut down your own tree which is a lot of fun, but, this year it was just too cold and Team McCulley was just not dressed appropriately, so we opted for a pre-cut tree. Our tree this year is about 8-9 feet tall. In past years we have had 12 feet and over, ridiculous, I know! It really wasn't fun to have a tree of that size...we would have the farm deliver and set up the tree and of course write a big check to do so! Kind of takes away the "magic" of Christmas for me! We ran into several families we know...which is another reason I love this always run into someone you know!

The girls with the reindeer...Douglas and Frasier

MBM with the girls...don't they look cold?

Yesterday, I went here with two of my friends! We left at 5:00am and returned home at 7:30 pm...tired but a lot of fun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Yesterday, I came out of my studio just to go to the market and post office. I have been sewing nonstop since Thanksgiving. This is going to be a daily event for the next two weeks. I am hoping to have all my custom orders finished and shipped by December 10th...keeping my fingers crossed!

I have one more custom party and one more trunk show this week and then I am finished until after the new year!

This year I am really look forward to the Holidays. The past few years we have taken a family trip at the beginning of December...the pressure to have EVERYTHING, decorating, shopping, sewing, etc... finished before our trip made for one unpleasant Heather! So this year, I am so laid back and I think I will actually enjoy all the preparations for Christmas. I have started is a sneak peak at one of my favorite holiday decorating projects!

I'll use these outside in the window boxes with some greens. I'll be sure to post a picture of the finished product!

So what is your favorite holiday decorating trick?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I am not much of a cook. In fact I detest the everyday cooking. But, I LOVE cooking for holidays and parties. Tomorrow I will bring these Thanksgiving specialties to our feast! Enjoy! Cranberry Pear Relish 4c fresh cranberries 2c sugar 1c fresh orange juice 1tbsp finely grated orange zest 2 slightly ripe pears, cored, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch pieces (Bosc or Anjou) Combine all ingredients in a heavy sauce pan and stir well. Place over medium heat. Biol until the berries pop open-about 10 minutes. Skim the foam of the top with a metal spoon. Cool and refrigerate! Pumpkin Cheesecake Crust 1/2 c gingersnap crumbs Sprinkle the gingersnap crumbs onto the bottom of a well buttered 9-inch spring form pan. Chill until ready for filling. Filling 2lbs. cream cheese, softened 1 1/2 c granulated sugar 1/3 c flour, sifted 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp grated nutmeg 1 tsp ground cloves 1/4 tsp allspice 1/8 tsp salt 6 eggs 2 c pumpkin puree In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, salt, and eggs until smooth. Add the pumpkin and continue to beat until very smooth. Pour the mixture into the chilled pan and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven and let the cake stand in an open oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Topping 1 c of heavy cream In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream and spread onto of cake! ENJOY!!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

On the Road

We are headed to the shore for the weekend...HOORAY! Of course, it is way too cold to get my feet sandy, but that is okay. I have a custom handbag "gig" tonight somewhere in New Jersey and a trunk show tomorrow at a Holiday Market in Sea Isle. Lulu and I are headed to the shore this afternoon. MBM and the big girls will follow tomorrow after lacrosse. My brother and his girlfriend are coming Saturday. My mother loured him with promises of Fillet Mignon and crab for dinner. Only my brother will drive an hour and half for a good home cooked meal. I will be contributing this yummy drink to our Happy Hour...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lulu Belle Holiday

The Holidays have hit the lulu belle studios...

Black and Tartan Silk Belt with Black Buckle (reversible)
Black Silk Folded Clutch with Tartan Lining and Covered Button

Tartan Silk Folded Clutch with Black Silk Lining and Covered Button
Red Velvet with Red Silk Belt with a Tortoise Buckle
Red Velvet Folded Clutch with Red Silk Lining and Covered Button

And for the Pink and Green Girls out there...

Green Velvet and Pink Silk Belt with Tortoise Buckle
Green Velvet Folded Clutch with Pink Silk Covered Button

These won't be available on my me if you are interested...they make GREAT teacher and babysitter gifts!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Do Not Disturb

No talking, no whining, no questions, no coughing, no sneezing, no snoring....

I am so excited for another season!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day Off

I took today off! After the gym Lulu and I did a few errands and the home. I puttered around, did a few loads of laundry, watched General Hospital and that is about it. My house from top to bottom looks like a bomb hit, a BIG bomb! It is now 7:25 and I am in my studio ready to get back to work...maybe not sewing but organizing and cleaning up. I am starting from the bottom and working my way up. Hopefully by tomorrow afternoon there will be some order in this house!

Here is a peek at some new bags I made last week. They all sold this weekend! I think I'll make another batch for my gigs this coming week!

24 Hours

I am exhausted...EXHAUSTED!!!! I did three handbags events in 24 hours, two custom parties and a trunk show, I logged 6 hours in the car and 6 hours sleep (not nearly enough sleep for me) the rest of the time I was pushing handbags.

Yesterday, I just wanted to stay home...but, we had a family Christening. I put my pajamas on at 3:30 in the afternoon and Emma I a took a nice nap, MBM made a great dinner for a fall evening, and the rest of the night I was parked in front of the television...which I never do...just sit and watch TV!

Today is cold and rainy! Lulu and I are off soon to ballet and gymnastics this morning and I am going to hit the treadmill while she is dancing. I somehow was convinced by my husband and friend to do a 5K on Thanksgiving...there is no turning back now! If you are interested in joining some other Bloggers...check this out!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I've got nothing!

I have been sewing like a crazy person to prepare for three events this weekend and filling orders. Saturday, I have scheduled myself to be in two places at one time...MBM and the girls will be working the last hour of a trunk show! My "team" has been very helpful!
This was the floor of my studio the other is all cleaned up now!

This is what happens in our back yard after school...the girls waiting with their sticks for MBM.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Well we survived the weekend. My event on Saturday wasn't the best, but I did book a custom party for February and met a local gal (she is new to our area by way of Long Island) with a sweet little business and story similar to my own, stay at home mom with a sewing machine...blah, blah, blah! Check out her website...I did some Holiday shopping with her...these for my girls!

This for my nephew ....

And this for my niece......

My girls night was ok, the place the birthday girl chose was AWFUL...a hokie Italian restaurant, which was fine. But, when they cleared your plate they took your table away, too! The chef became a DJ...there was dancing on the bar...too many disco balls...the music was sooo loud you couldn't even talk without screaming...AND it was a total meat market...nothing I like more that women in their forties dressed and acting like they are twenty, it wasn't even funny, just pathetic...GOOD LORD, I sound like an old fart...but, trust me it was bad!

MBM just arrived home from the NY marathon...he said it was the most exciting because the streets were lined with people cheering for most of the course. I wished I could have gone with him. Next time and there will be a next time! We are all a little wiped out from the busy weekend and the time change. I wish I could sit in front of the tv tonight..but, I am getting ready to fire up the monogramming and sewing machine!

Go check out my new friend's website!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Weekend Ahead!

I have been sewing just about every waking minute for the past three days. I think, I have made roughly 20 bags. Tomorrow, I have a trunk show at a Fall Art Festival. I never know what will sell. Along with the bags I also make belts, headbands, burpies, binkee bungees, diaper and wipe cases, etc...So tonight, I have to tag it, log it, and pack it all up in my car. The girls have friends over until soon as they go home I am uncorking a bottle of wine and getting my stuff organized. But, only one glass as I have to set up between 6:30-7:00 AM!A....M...! I'll be sure to make it a BIG glass. So, tomorrow I have the trunk show...MBM will take the girls to lacrosse and soccer...Saturday afternoon MBM goes to NYC for the marathon on Sunday...Saturday night I will be going to dinner with some girl friends to celebrate a BIG birthday...Sunday MBM will be running, running, running in the NY Marathon and I will accompany Emma to a birthday party! Then Monday...we start all over again! Have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

An Angel, Devil, and Witch! Oh My!

Here are my girls...before running all over the neighborhood gathering thier loot!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How Lucky Am I?

All of a sudden, lulu belle has been busy. Very busy! The next four weeks I have nine trunk shows and custom parties. This evening, I delivered ALL my stock to a huge event that will go from October 31st-November 4th. On Saturday, I have trunk show...and no stock. So, when I realized I had double booked myself I sent out an email to all my friends pleading for help. I lured them here with promises of lunch, $$, and a bag! I had to turn friends away! The lulu belle studio was very productive today...three sewing machines, two irons, a hot glue gun and a computer. WE accomplished at least five days of work!

Meet the team....

JG, lulu belle packaging supervisor. Also a stay at home mom of twin eight year old boys. Side note JG was also my very first paying customer. She order six bags as teacher gifts nearly four years ago!

SL, lulu belle team seamstress. Also a student, dance teacher and expecting her first child in May.

LB, (in the background), lulu belle head fabric cutter, she has been with the team for a few years and can she work the shears! Also, a stay at home mom of a five year old boy and three year old girl!

BP, lulu belle CIO, chief ironing officer. Stay at home mom and professional homeroom mom to two boys 10 and 8!

SY, lulu belle lead seamstress and one of the masterminds behind lulu belle becoming an actual business. Stay at home mom to a 9 year old girls and 6 year old boy.

MH, lulu belle administrator! Stay at home mom and "swimming" mom to three boys 12, 9, and 6! Also, a cohort to the first lulu belle custom party!

Not only did we get a huge amount of work done we had a blast doing it with lots of talking and laughing! lucky am I?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Come and Knock On Our Door!

The annual Halloween Party was a blast as usual! And great costumes to are just a few!

Holly and Heff

A Cereal Killer ( runner up for worst costume) and the Grim Rapper

Jailbirds...Nicole, Lindsey, and Paris!

Bed Bugs, they were going for comfort!

Speed Racer and Trixie

Lindsey and the Caveman of her dreams.

MBM and I were set on Donny and Marie. Then at the very last minute (Friday) one of my friends was going solo (Penn State Football widow) and did not have a costume. One quick trip to Walmart...say hello to Jack Tripper, Chrissy Snow and Janet Nobody Knows Her Last Name!

Oh, the shorts! Mine were on clearance at Walmart for $3, flattering for my figure, huh?...MBM had his vintage Op's from a previous costume. He had visible panty line! And Chrissy well who can get past the socks?

All in good fun!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This was in my INBOX today!