Mar 09, 2017

I Am The Mom Of 3 Rambunctious Boys, And I’m Totally Cool With It (Now)

I wrote this.


It was easy.  What wasn’t easy was being brave enough to send it to Scary Mommy.


It was easy to imagine their editor reading and hitting the delete button.  What wasn’t easy was imagining them publishing it.


They did publish it and I’m still here.  It seemed to have garnered a decent amount of interaction, which for me is awesome and terrifying.  It’s a good feeling to see something you make shared with a gazillion people.  It’s a gross feeling when you look at some of the comments going off the rails about what the focus of the article was….having 3 (or more kids) is a circus, I happen to have boys, so I write about life with boys.  You may think there are stereotypes of “boy stuff” versus “girl stuff”, but unless you know me or my boys, you don’t really know, do you?


If you laughed and thought to yourself, “Damn, I would never want to be in her shoes,” or “I know exactly how she feels, I have 4 girls!”, then I am pleased.


If you felt offended by the thought of my being disappointed when I found out I was having a boy, when I really wanted a girl, whatevs.  This is my story.  I get to say and feel what I want in my story.


Write your own story, if you think yours is better.


My story isn’t for everyone.  My opinions aren’t for everyone.


But what is great about the internet is you can just keep on scrolling.  If you come across a story that you don’t agree with, no worries, keep searching for what works for you.  There is no need to be a dick in the comments.


Not everything in the world is going to speak to you, and if my story does, than I’m glad I was brave.

Feb 21, 2017

If you have been following Making it with Stephany for any length of time, you know that I am a big fan of yummy adult bevies and love mixing up new cocktails for the world to enjoy.


If you are new here: I’m a big fan of adult bevies.

I have a love affair with the Italian family of ‘Cello liqueurs.  I have made Blackberry Limoncello, Blood Orangecello, Ruby Red Grapefruitcello and Crema Limecello.  And guess what? Another winter means another ‘Cello recipe made with the abundant and plentiful winter citrus.

Welcome to the world, Vanilla Orangecello.  This ‘Cello tastes like dreams and Orange Julius, but with vodka.  It is as simple as my other liqueur recipes and has the same quick turnaround time, instead of waiting months to imbibe this tasty lil number, Vanilla Orangecello can be ready in about 3-4 days.  I went with organic oranges because their peels were going to be sitting in the vodka/simple syrup mixture and I wanted to keep it as chemical-free as I could.


Sure, I could have just made a basic Orangecello, but with the addition of the vanilla and the lemon and lime juice for a little complexity, it really isn’t your average Orangecello; it tastes sweet, warm, and lovely.  It also isn’t too acidic tasting like a traditional orange vodka combo, but fresh and easy to sip.


Vanilla Orangecello

1 750ml bottle of vodka, this time I went local with l’Etoile du Nord vodka

6 large organic oranges, peeled then juiced

juice from 1 lemon

juice from 2 limes

1 cup water

1 cups sugar

1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract or 1/2 of vanilla bean cut and scraped


Make sure all oranges are scrubbed under hot water and soap with a brush.  Peel lemons with peeler carefully.  Try to only peel off the skin without removing the white pith underneath.  It is very bitter and will make the liqueur taste bitter as well.  Put peels in large glass container with the vodka.  Set aside.
Juice the oranges, lemon and limes.  You will get around 2 cups of juice.
Next, make the simple syrup.  Add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla, and the orange juice to a medium saucepan.  Place over a high heat and bring to a boil, stirring once in a while for 4-5 minutes.  Let syrup cool to room temperature and then add to the vodka.
Let mixture sit for AT LEAST 72 hours in a cool, dark place.  When you are ready to serve, strain out the orange peels and vanilla bean pod and store in the freezer.  Serve over ice, with soda or champagne. Makes around 4 cups.


Jan 25, 2017

“I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” — Alexander McQueen


I am no fashionista.  My style is more “oddball” than couture.  I love diving into a clearance rack to see what the normal people have rejected.  Thrift stores are also goldmines for finding unique clothing.  I am inspired by pictures, colors and feelings.


I do have a few classic pieces, but what I am always drawn to is prints and bold color.  Leopard, polka dots, stripes are my go-to clothing staples.  After reading this blog post, you could say that I am a little obsessed with making monochromatic outfits with pattern.  (And as far as I am concerned, leopard is a neutral color.  It goes with EVERYTHING.)


I was going through my closet recently to get rid of the clothes I no longer wear and noticed I had a lot of buffalo plaid…”I wonder if I could make an entire outfit of buffalo plaid?”  Turns out, the answer was yes.


That made me want to put together a leopard outfit.


And stripes.


Polka dot?  Yup.

Hell, even the Bow Dress was part of the obsession.

Style is subjective.  There really are no rules.  Wear what you like.  Who cares what the trends are.

I have a lot of bold colors and pieces that may seem unwearable to a regular person, but to someone who gives zero fucks on what other people think of them, I can really get funky and express my personality through my clothing.  And let’s be real, as a mom who leaves the house with spit up down her sleeve 87% of the time, it is refreshing to dress like the oddball I am and feel fancy with my all leopard ensembles.


I have more monochromatic ideas that I haven’t gotten to style yet, but when I do, be sure I will Instagram them to their fullest potential.  Follow me at “makingitwithstephany” to see.



Jan 06, 2017



Murphy was my oldest son.  He was a ditzy, stinky, but gorgeous 75lb German Wirehaired Pointer.  He had turned 13 in August and was still trucking like a GD champion.  But December was hard on him.  The cold, his age, and arthritis and unbeknown to us, he had some cancer growing in his puppy tummy.  By Christmas time, things had gotten worse.  The kind of “worse” when an all consuming food beast, such as my Murph started turning his nose up at his favorite foods, I then knew shit was bad.

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I am not going to get into the end of Murphy’s life, but if you have been there before, it was as terrible as it gets.  My heart is broken, and I feel stupid about it because since he had a large cancerous lump removed when he was 10, we started realizing that our big old boy wouldn’t live forever.  When Murph started having problems in December, I kept pushing the reality in the back of my mind that his days might really be numbered.

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What pisses me off the most is how dogs get screwed on longevity compared to larger and smaller animals.  Cats are small and snobbish, and they can live to 20.  Horses are huge and can’t sleep on the foot of your bed and can pull almost 30 years.  But dogs, who can lick your tears and steal your orange slices out of your hand (MURPHY….) while looking adorable, get a measly 12-14 if they are lucky.


But I do feel lucky with the years we had with Murph.  He loved babies and didn’t mind when they crawled over him, taking fistfuls of his hair with them on the way.  He traveled to 9 states with us on vacation and never pooped in a hotel room.  He kept me warm in the winter.  He loved food, he was particularly fond of oranges, celery, cabbage, lettuce and whatever meat you could shove in his furry beard.  He literally could smell the instant your fingernail pierced the peel of an orange and would instantly be at your side, chopping at the fruit that was just out of reach.  The only food he would not eat was mushrooms, which was weird since he was a huge fan of eating yucky, dead things/random wild animal poop whenever he found it in the woods.  And he could “talk” like Chewbacca.  (Imagine Wookie sounds coming out of a dog–YES.)

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Since Murph was such a legend, I decided to create a cocktail in his honor, made with his favorite fruit that is only in season in winter, his favorite season.  (Pro tip: German Wirehaired Pointers are NUTS for snow.)  It incorporates blood oranges and some other citrus flavors, along with elderflower and blood orange liquers to help you think of happy times with your furry dog sons and daughters.  Enter: The Murphy.


The Murphy

1 oz fresh blood orange juice

1 oz St. Germain

2 oz Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

2 oz Lemon LaCroix

juice from 1/2 lime




Fill a glass with some ice.  Add the orange juice, St. Germain, Solerno, and lime juice to the glass and stir.  Top off with LaCroix.  Think of your favorite dog and enjoy.

Dec 21, 2016

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Recently, I was asked by my super awesome friend Janel, who runs the site, to come up with a tasty cocktail to share with her readers.  With the holidays happening RIGHT NOW, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to make something with whiskey and pomegranate juice.  Enter the Whiskey PomPom.  It is pretty smooth and delicious, and just what you need to make it through the holidays.


Want the recipe?  Head to the NellieBellie blog and check it out!

Dec 21, 2016

A quick crafty video with a special appearance by Santa!

Nov 21, 2016

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  I write stuff on here all of the time.

And while I put time into the how-to’s and projects that I create, I kind of just write whatever silly shit that comes out of my brain-mouth and hope it makes sense and makes you laugh, because we could all use a little relief from the world nowadays, you know?  What is better than smart ass recipes??

But this one below, I put some time in.  I wrote an article for the Stillwater Current, which is run by my cool buddy Shawn, about my other rad friend Sara, who makes delicious, ass kicking pies.

I want to do more of these types of articles (possibly some videos too?!) so if you know of any awesome businesses in the St. Croix Valley who would like to talk to me, send me your suggestions!


Sara’s Tipsy Pies: A Perfect Crust and Just the Right Amount of Alcohol

Oct 28, 2016


Is Pikachu haunting your dreams?  Do you have a Pokemon lover in your life?  Need a great costume in a pinch?  Check out this Ash Ketchum costume that I made in a day.  And if you know who Ash Ketchum is, this is definitely for you.


What you will need is:

a blue zip up hoodie

a tennis ball

green stretchy gloves

red trucker hat (I found this one at Spencers)

small stuffed Pikachu

yellow, red, white, and black fabric paint

4-5 very large safety pins



Paint the cuffs, pocket trim, and bottom trim of the hoodie yellow.  You will need to put on 2-4 coats of yellow, depending on how dark blue your hoodie is.  Let the coats dry before you apply a new coat.  Using a hairdryer can help speed the drying process.


Paint the triangle “C” logo on the hat with green paint.  I googled the logo and free hand painted it on the hat.


Cut the fingers off of the gloves.


The tennis ball is the most time consuming part.  I used a thin washi tape and placed it in the middle of the tennis ball.  I painted half red and half white and once both colors were dry, I pulled off the tape and filled it in with the black paint while adding a small white circle that I outlined in black.

Note: I used fabric paint on the tennis ball to ensure that it wouldn’t chip off easily as an 8 year old boy would be throwing Pokeballs all over the world this Halloween.  It has been holding up pretty well so far.


Once everything is dry, pair with a pair of jeans and some rad tennis shoes and you have the baddest Ash in town.


Sep 21, 2016

Remember that one time I made a whole line of La Coix cocktail videos??  Well, if you’re new here, I did and they were recently featured on the super fabulous blog BonBon Break!

La Croix Cocktail Recipes

Check it out!  And thanks to BonBon Break for the share!

Aug 31, 2016

DISCLAIMER:  I am an expert smartass, I am not a parenting expert.  I am only a parent who tolerates her own children, more so when they are sleeping.  This worked for my kids, maybe it will help out another exhausted family.

Also: No one likes being told what to do, especially moms when it comes to their kids. I’m included. Consider this a idea you can choose to ignore or ask me more about.



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My 1st kid slept like a teenager.  As a baby, we would have to physically touch him to wake him up.  As an exhausted 1st time parent, it was amazing sleeping until 10am WITH A BABY.  That baby turned into an even better toddler sleeper.


Life was good.  Then we had another baby.


I thought I had this sleep stuff in the bag for #2.  HA.  My middle boy was a terrible sleeper as a baby. I shudder at the memories of the crying for hours in the middle of the night. Someone suggested I get this book when he was 2 and waking up 4+ times a night. I scoffed. How the hell was a book going to fix my kid “who just doesn’t like to sleep”?  Well, I caved after being a zombie for another day and got the damn book. The day I read a few pages that related to our situation, HE SLEPT THROUGH THE MF’IN NIGHT. It took some time to get him caught up on the sleep he missed for 2 years, but my little lamb was on track and Momma got the sleep she needed (that’s me).


Recently, I could tell that the baby was a little off track, even with him being the world’s most agreeable and easy baby, he was getting a little kooky. He would wake up for a bottle at 3 am, but then wanted to play and smile for almost 2 hours.  It was cute the 1st night, dumb the 2nd night and by the 3rd night in a row, Momma was pissed.  In the morning, I dug out the book, read up on 1-4 month old sleep, and my little giant baby slept from 9p-730a (with a bottle in the middle of the night, cuz he’s a GD giant baby) and just hit 2 hours on his morning nap. (edit, he hit 2 hours 15 minutes)


I use the suggestions in the book that work for us, ignore the ones that don’t, and holy cats, life gets better in the sleeping department in this house quick.  You don’t need to read chapters that don’t apply to your age bracket or situation, so don’t say you don’t have time to read an entire book about sleep, you won’t have too.  The author is a big fan of “cry it out”, FYI.  I am not.  But I think it depends on your baby’s temperament.  The middle boy could cry for hours.  Literally.  He once cried for 3 hours.  I almost died.  Cry it out did not work for him.  I haven’t tried it yet on #3 because he’s still pretty young.  I like a lot of the suggestions that are in the book, but trust me, you’re the parent.  Do what works for your family.  The author has some big ideas at times, but he’s not at my house helping out at 4:30am feedings, so he only gets so much say in how things roll over here.


But keep in mind, it is the parental units that have to make the decisions and the sacrifices to make these tips work.  Sometimes it SUCKS to put kids to bed at 6 in the evening.  But think of the long run.  And think of the luxurious sleep YOU, too, can get.  HALLELUJAH.


If your little (or big) monster isn’t sleeping well, check this book out. Will it work for you? What the hell do I know? I’m just a mom who has a blog and is currently liking her kids a little bit more with the sleep they are getting.


It might be a huge waste of time for you. But, it may change the way you live and you might get a whole lot happier. Than you can spend more time on my lovely blog looking up delicious cocktail and food recipes to make life even more grand.  Everyone’s a winner.


Here is the link to get your mitts on the book.