It's unusual…

..what started out as an IVF journey and ended up being about life

chachachaChanges! January 19, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — gertyrae @ 2:31 pm

In reviewing my life and schedule, I realize I don’t spend nearly enough time updating my blog. But, I have spent a lot of time with the aforementioned camera.

In that light, I am looking to maybe adjust and possibly rename this blog in order to sell some of my photos. I’ve had quite a few people suggest I start selling or at least offering the option. So stay tuned for some changes and hopefully this pans out.

Let me know what you think!!


It’s been years! March 5, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — gertyrae @ 10:13 am

A quiet, albeit cold, Sunday March morning made me think about checking the blog and realizing that I haven’t been here in TWO YEARS!!! Should I make the effort to bring it back? In this age of social media? Sure, why not…..
So much has changed. The miracle child is 7 and making his First Holy Communion in a couple months, we are planning our first trip to Disney and we’ve lost our original furbaby, Espresso and gained a new furbaby, Electra. I did get a promotion and am now a police dispatcher. 

But, more than anything else. My husband gave me a Nikon D3300 DSLR camera for Christmas last year and I’m in love. I try to get out at least once a week. I love taking photographs of nature, wildlife and landscapes. I especially love the birds. So many birds, and so many personalities. It’s truly become a small passion (I can’t really have a large passion with animals, kid, job and home) and I make the effort to get out there and do it. 

So in that light, I’ll leave you with some images. 


Valentines Fun February 12, 2015

Filed under: Do It Yourself!!,Parenting — gertyrae @ 9:38 pm
Tags: , ,

Having a kindergartener and living on Long Island where snow removal is generally a fiasco makes for lots of craft activities. And so we prepped ourselves for V-Day.

First up was the kiddie valentines. Since Colin’s school is a no food zone we had to come up with a non-edible idea. Legos are the toy of choice right now so I decided to opt for Lego gifts. For the girls we made Lego heart necklaces and the boys get an assortment of block. We used Lego #3176 for the necklaces and I picked up a basic value pack at Target for the assorted bricks. The necklace strings were macrame cord purchased at Michaels. Then it was onto the packaging. A bag of 40 small clear bags from Dollar Tree and some cardstock labels that I mocked up and we were good to go.






Now onto the teachers! For them I broke out the Shrinky Dinks and we made Valentine key chains. Again, Michaels saves the day with their little $1 Shrinky Dink kits. We also made some tissue paper stained glass hearts that C picked out while we were in Michaels. Add a chocolate rose and a Dunkin Donuts gift card and we are done. I got the hang tag via and just cut out the shape. All packed up in a neat little Dollar Tree gift bag (can you guess my two favorite stores?).





Oh yeah, we had another pretzel day in the mix!

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentines





Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies February 20, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — gertyrae @ 12:06 pm

Two posts in two days! It could be a record for me. But, these cookies came out so good I need to get my recipe down before I forget.

Wanted to try something different and I had a bag of Heath Toffee Bits in the pantry. No single recipe grabbed me so I opted to experiment a bit. The end result is pretty darn good, thank goodness.


So, here goes:


2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup vegetable shortening (1 Crisco Baking Stick, had these in the pantry also)
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Heath Toffee Bits
1 1/2 cups Nestle SemiSweet Chocolate Chips

1/4 cup granulated light brown sugar for rolling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Using an electric stand mixer bowl, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula periodically.

Turn mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits by hand until well blended. Should look something like this:


Using a small cookie scoop, form balls of dough. Roll balls in granulated sugar and place on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Press down with heel of hand lightly to flatten. Bake cookies for about 12 minutes or until very lightly browned on edges. Let cool for 2-5 minutes before removing from parchment. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.



special thanks to and for the initial idea




Snow Day Projects February 19, 2014

Filed under: Do It Yourself!!,Life,Parenting — gertyrae @ 12:53 pm
Tags: , , , , ,


We have had a bevy of snow this winter and I have spent the bulk of my days figuring out what we can do

We’ve done puzzles, played Legos, watched movies and even broken down and purchased Disney Infinity….

But, it all comes back to baking and yesterday we decided to make pretzels. Great project for C and they were delishly yummy. Shout out to Jessica Fischer for the basic recipe on good cheap eats.

Here is our version:

Homemade Pretzels


1/2 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk (microwave for 1 minute)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast

Whisk all above together in stand mixer bowl until blended. Let sit for approximately five minutes to get a bit foamy.


With dough attachment on mixer, add the following:

1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups bread flour

And mix together. Remove dough from mixer and knead for approximately 10 minutes. You can take turns 😉


Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm location to rise. Allow to rise about 1 hour, dough should double.



When dough has doubled, flatten it out and divide into equal pieces approximately golf ball sized. I put them back into the bowl and let them sit as we shaped each pretzel. For each pretzel, roll dough into a rope about 15″ long, lay dough on counter and make a “U” shape


Now take the open ends and twist them around each other twice.


Turn twisted ends back to the “U” part and press together. Set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Now you need to make a soda bath, in a 6 quart pot boil 8 cups water. When water is boiling add 1/4 cup baking soda…very slowly!. We had a volcanic eruption cuz we added it too quickly. When the mixture is at a rolling boil add pretzels one at a time and let boil for about 30 seconds. Remove each pretzel and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.


Once your cookie sheet is full, salt pretzels with coarse salt (or leave as is for cinnamon/sugar pretzels) place in oven and bake until browned, 8-10 minutes.


Remove, allow to cool and Walla!! You have pretzels. If you opt for cinnamon/sugar brush the pretzels with melted butter while warm and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.


Yummy delishness!!!!


Oh, and enjoy the snow!!








Cookies, cookies and more cookies December 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gertyrae @ 11:10 pm

It’s that time of year. I think Christmas has become more about cookies lately than gifts. At least in my world. I love cookies…love to make them, love to buy them, love to give them and most importantly, love to eat them!
So, in all fairness I figured I’ll share some of my recipes. All of them have been partially plagiarized from someone somewhere and then tweaked a tiny bit in the process by me.

My favorite cookie is the Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle


Colin’s favorite part is smashing the candy canes:



Anyway, I love these cookies cuz they are like thin mints but with a soft chewy chocolate center. I love them so much I doubled the recipe.

So, without further ado…the recipe

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 candy canes, crushed

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

In a small bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl mix, on low speed, cocoa, sugar and oil. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add peppermint and vanilla extracts and slowly add flour mixture while beating. Mix in candy canes with spoon.


Cover and chill for at least an hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a small scoop, roll dough into small balls (about 1.5-2″) and roll balls in confectioners sugar.
Place cookies onto lined sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes or until just set. Cookies will crackle while baking.

Cool cookies on parchment for a minute or two then transfer to cooling rack until completely cooled.

80-something cookies later:



The worst blogger ever…. November 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gertyrae @ 3:17 am

…is me. Another almost year has gone by. Funny to read back on my last posts and see what’s changed and what hasn’t. Our life is pretty much the same, albeit Colin has turned into a boy, Stormy has settled down quite a bit and Misty is starting to show her age. Thinking about going down a different path and posting more foodie stuff as opposed to journaling, because journaling is SO not happening obviously. Baking and cooking absolutely are…and a bit of kid crafting. Since C is a bit older and more capable we have been taking on littler projects. It lets me get out some of my creativity also, since although I used to do a lot of drawing I rarely get to it now. I’m hoping to create some nice memories and traditions with my little guy, plus we get to hang out together.

This all seems rather ambitious since I haven’t posted in almost a year but it can’t hurt to try, right?

A boy and his dog: