Thursday, December 30, 2010

Where Have 2 Weeks Gone?!

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since my last post!  I've been very busy as I'm sure you have been as well.  We've had both of our children sick at different occasions.  And shopping for last minute gifts which I promise not to do every year. 

We also had our very last church event "The Ugly Sweater Party" that I was in charge of.  My hot gravy fountain worked out great!  I regrettably did not get of photo of that but I did get lots of photos of the people who attended in my "family room"!  We set up a small stage and put some furnishings on it for families to pose for their picture.  This was VERY popular with the kids.  They had to "shooed" off frequently.

Our Christmas morning was quite nice.  This year Chuck and I held back with the presents for the kids.  In the past we've overspent and it was just too much.  I would end up taking things to a consignment sale just 2 months later.  This time we only bought what we thought they would truly love and play with for a long time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Home Made Hostess, Gift #2

I was in need of something festive to wear to a Christmas party last week.  Gaudy and over sized accessories appeal to me a great deal so whatever it was had to go along those lines.  I was inspired by Magpie Ethel's collection of vintage Christmas corsages and decided to make one of my own.
This summer I purchased two different kinds of vintage tinsel, one gold and the other silver at yard sales for a few quarters.

I also had a bag of "Swedish molds" from an estate sale that I just had to have but didn't know what I was going to do with them.  After flattening them, I glued cut tinsel all around the edges.  Then added some vintage birds also from yard sale.

They blended together to make a wonderful accessory! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Home Made Gift #1

I saw this idea on one of my favorite blogs, Deep Space Sparkle and knew Katherine could do it as a gift to her Nonna.  She saw Katherine's lizard this summer and wanted a painting like it.

We used a Masonite board which I will never do again.  The label said the board was primed and ready for paint.  But the paint scratched off very easily so the finished project had to be decoupaged.
I did the main drawing except for the legs.  Katherine is fond of making a tiny tiny drawing on a large piece of paper instead of using the entire surface and I just don't have the patience lately to do a lengthy art lesson. 

Look at her, she's just so proud!
Thank you Patty for another wonderful gift.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Float, It Was Not Fun

I was in charge of our church's float in the town's Christmas parade this year.  I had no idea it was going to be a very time consuming and emotionally draining adventure.  NOTHING was easy.  I've already mentioned having to make the costumes as they had disappeared.  My friend Stephanie helped me cut out and sew.  I had forgotten a lot about reading a pattern.  My sewing machine gave me a lot of trouble then I realized it was Charlie going behind my back changing the thread tension.  Then I had a spool of bad thread that kept breaking.  It was not fun.

The stable that we use is stored behind a storage building and is in the elements year round.  This makes for a very unstable stable.  I had a lot of help with fixing that problem but it did not go as I planned.  We were at the last minute making sure it wasn't going to fall on anyone.  It was not fun.
Mom and I spent an afternoon using zip ties to add garland and greenery to the trailer but having to watch Charlie at the same time.  It was not fun.

The day of the event the sky looked very "rainy".  That was more than I could handle.  I had a melt down and later had to apologize to my parents.  Getting hysterical was kind of fun.
It did not rain and the event did end up going smoothly.  People were so nice and shouted very sweet things about how great the float looked.  And we were in the paper the next morning.  What a great ending!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Disappointing Movie

We spent last Sunday night relaxing and watching Jim Carrey in "A Christmas Carol".  I remember this movie not getting very good reviews so we didn't go to the movies to see it.  I'm so happy we didn't.  It is made by Disney and marketed to kids but it is not a kid movie.  The story went very much by the book and had some really freaky characters, like their version of the ghost of Christmas Past. 

The animation also had some surprises.  Every teenage boy in the movie was given quite a bit of acne.  This may have really been historically correct but we don't need or expect such accuracy in an animated film.  There wasn't any funny parts to lighten things up and my kids were just bored.  It was just plain weird.  I'll stick to my "A Muppets Christmas Carol" and my very favorite version of this story is George C. Scott as Scrooge.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Some Unique Gift Ideas

My husband receives the "Think Geek" catalog in the mail.  We had a good time flipping through it and laughing at their cleverness.  Last year they had the "Tauntaun" sleeping bag that I wrote about
but I especially like these 2 items this year.

I found these for the kids. 
My daughter would really LOVE this hoodie.  I might have to add some $ to her Christmas budget.

This is the Iron Man chest light.  It clips to any shirt, lights up, and makes noises!  Fun!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Today is our 12the wedding anniversary!  Which we both forgot until late this morning.  We are not the most romantic of couples but we rarely fight so that equals out I think.  I'm so thankful to Chuck's parents.  They raised an awesome man.  I remember seeing Chuck for the first time my senior year of high school.  I thought he was the best looking boy there.  He spent a lot of class time reading books (ignoring the teachers) but somehow managing to have this reputation of being a genius.  Definitely a man of mystery.  I was intrigued and I still am.  I love you Chuck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Family Photo

I'm in charge of the church Christmas party this year.  I choose to do an "ugly sweater" theme.  I'm so excited!  This weekend I worked on my family's sweaters so we could take this family photo.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  I just love Chuck's resigned look.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Charlie wasn't feeling cooperative today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

One of My Favorite Movies

I watch this movie every Christmas season, "One Magic Christmas".  My husband usually finds me sniffling even when I try to hide.  Normally I do not recommend emotional movies as they leave me drained but this one is special. 
I like it because I can relate to the main character, a flustered mom.  I too feel at times that I'm the only one in the house with any sense of reality and responsibility.  I know this is not the case but being rational is not one of my strengths.  For example, I can be a real penny pincher. Recently, I threw a fit when my husband threw a $10 bottle of honey into the shopping cart without me knowing until I reviewed the receipt.  He was thinking that he got the most for the money and I'm thinking that $10 is just outrageous for honey!  It totally ruined my "savings in coupons" and "total money spent" ratio on the receipt.  I returned it and bought the cheap honey bear.
Back to the movie, this mom is struggling with having a Christmas spirit in the midst of her husband being laid off, working for a jerk of a boss, and just being "Mom".  She learns the hard way what life would be without her children and her husband.  It's a great story with a good ending. Love it!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting Ready for Christmas!

I started my decorating last week.  My kids both have Christmas trees in their rooms.  Katherine is now on her 2nd tree.  The first I bought when she was born and we were living in an apartment so it was a small table top tree.  Now they both have 4 ft trees that I bought for less then $5 at Wal-mart on clearance along with all the trimmings.  They each have their own labeled box with a star and ornaments.  This has worked well with Katherine's handmade ornaments she comes home with each year.
I saw an idea somewhere about how to organize your ornaments using plastic cups.  Simply hot glue rows of cups onto a piece of cardboard that fit into your box.  You might wrap your glass ornaments in tissue then place them in the cup.  This has worked so great!

Katherine's tree...

Charlie's tree is kept on top of his dresser.  He's 2 and can't be trusted.

Onto some more decorating....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pillow Pets, All the Rage

A year ago my daughter saw a commercial for pillow pets.  She spent her birthday money on the horse since the unicorn wasn't available.  I wasn't willing to spend $19.99 on the toy then an additional $9 for shipping but she was.  She has LOVED it intensely and so has Charlie.  He is known for sneaking into her room and stealing it.  His Marmie bought him the dog soon after the horse was such a hit.  This year she bought them both another one for their birthday.  We now own the horse, the unicorn, the dog, and the bee.  They are all very much loved.  Today they were all under the living room in a fort made with my robe.
Now that pillow pets are in stores everywhere, I would suggest these as a gift for any child.  I'm thinking about getting one for myself.  They're the perfect size for your lap on a long car trip.  Maybe I'll get the ladybug.

Our Charlie is 2!

We spent most of last week celebrating Charlie's birthday.  We went out to eat on his actual birthday then he opened gifts from us after eating a small cupcake from Publix.

This past weekend we had a small party and ate my "candy mountain" cake.  I don't know what it is lately but my cakes don't look anything like my inspirations.  I was told by the guests that the cake tasted good.  At least that's what they said to my face.

Katherine's cake from last month was just as ugly.  Who put those candles on so wonky??!!

Back to Charlie....
He's rather difficult to capture on film not making faces. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My New Closet!

I'm so excited to have completed this project!  You might remember this "before" photo from the beginning of this year when one of my resolutions was to be more organized.  Well 11 months later.....I got started.   It took only 3 days to complete.  I got rid of 5 bags of clothing, shoes, purses, and any clothing hangers that were not white.  I also removed the dirty laundry basket to another location.
After putting all my clothes on matching hangers I color coded them from light to dark.  I had no idea I wear so much black.
Well, here she is after some wallpaper, shelves, and a new light fixture!

I'm beaming with pride.  If you come over, you will be pulled through several unfinished rooms to come see this one! 

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Kids Hate My Cooking

Lately dinner at our house is stressful but I keep trying.  I don't make my kids eat everything on their plate but they do have to try it.  Since I've been shopping Publix and buying a lot of their fabulous buy one get one deals my family is exposed to more of a variety of things.  One of those was Hamburger Helper.  When I placed "stroganoff" in front of Charlie, he screamed in fear and tried to get away from it.  Katherine's reaction wasn't as strong but she made it clear she wasn't going to eat it.
Every Fall I'm inspired to eat squash but I have yet to convince myself or my family that we like it.  Many recipes I have made I couldn't eat because it was just so orange.  This year I made spaghetti squash which tasted very mild and is good with cheese and a tomato sauce, a lot like lasagna.
Tonight I made a Martha Stewart recipe that my family hated.  I think I'm done with her recipes.  They are just too fussy and too refined for our taste.  It was a butternut squash and chicken soup.  Charlie at least picked out the chicken and ate it then splashed the rest out of the bowl.  My husband ate his and tried to convince Katherine at the same time how great a skill it is to be able to eat food you don't like.  I really do try to prevent him having to use that skill.  Poor Katherine, she's so like me in many ways.  I don't see her or me developing that skill anytime soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So Gross!

A friend sent me a helpful email with homemade recipes for household cleaners.  One was using Dawn hand soap and vinegar to remove soap scum.  You pour vinegar about half way into a spray bottle then heat it in a microwave then fill the rest with blue Dawn dish soap.  It's suppose to "melt" soap scum.  This was exactly what we needed for our shower door.  I've tried several different methods without any real success.  Then I just gave up.
This is the before shot.  It's terribly embarrassing.  But the recipe really did work!

After scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing and spraying it down with the hose....
it looks clean!

I did try to use this mixture inside the shower.  I about passed out from the fumes.  I just finished the job with Lysol. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Problems with Costumes

You might remember that I had carefully planned my children's costumes, a gnome, and Medusa.  Well the Medusa head piece was sold out, so we found another.  And that one was only available in November which might as well be NEVER.
I had been testing Charlie for the gnome costume by putting hats on him hoping he'll leave them alone.  No luck.  He would have looked like a Scandinavian child with an odd choice of belt without the gnome hat and beard.
Moving forward with 2nd choices.  Luckily my mother gave Katherine a dragon costume for her birthday.  This is because Katherine spends most of her time in "character".  She was completely happy spending Halloween as a dragon instead of Medusa.  She didn't care for the headpiece so much and refused to wear it Halloween night.  Here she is at school getting ready for the costume parade.

Charlie spent his Halloween as Dracula.  I bought his costume from Wal-mart but just used the cape.  I thought his church suit looked better than the cheap elastic bottomed pants.  Chuck found the perfect pacifier on-line.  I love it!

I'm so disappointed in my photo taking this time.  I really didn't have a good photo of either kid in costume.  Pathetic.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Differences of Opinion

I am in charge of the decorating in our home.  Usually I have a clear idea of what I want and rarely ask Chuck's opinion about colors, patterns, bedspreads, etc.  He has a say in how much I spend.  I do keep in mind that he's a man and I wouldn't want him to feel uncomfortable in his own home. 
Our bedroom is in need of a makeover.  I put some wallpaper up behind our bed when we first moved in.  It looks great... from afar.  It was my first attempt and that's exactly how it looks.  I would like to take the paper down and try again with painting a pattern of some sort.  But deciding on an all over color has been a challenge.

So I found some rooms on line that I liked and asked Chuck's opinion.  I was really surprised that the one I like the best he found "a mess".  From Decorpad, here she is.....

He hated everything about it.  But I love the mess, it's an interesting room.  It looks like it has a bit of age.

This was the bedroom he liked the best.  I'm sorry but I don't know who to give credit to for this pic.

I like this room but it's too sophisticated for me.  It doesn't suit me at all.  Too masculine.  I do love that chandelier and round mirror though.
I'm still hunting for that perfect color that we can both happily live with.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I did something stupid this week.  I was reading one of my favorite blogs and she mentioned a free 8x10 photo canvas from a certain company.  Great!  I went right to the website and picked a photo of Katherine and my Dad from her birthday flight.  It's going to make a great Christmas gift for him.
The ordering went so fast or I just wasn't paying attention but I didn't know how much the shipping and handling was going to be.  In fact I never found out until they sent a confirmation email to me several minutes after I had ordered.  14.95!!!????  I realize that this is a good price for a canvas but it was far from free.
Oh well.  It is done.  Isn't this a great photo though.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thrifted Finds

We had the best time going to yard sales last weekend.  I bought all kinds of goodies!

Most of the pile is vintage Christmas items.  Wow!  They're so cool.  The box is full of interesting ornaments.  I also bought a lamp post to go with my Santa!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Inspirational Room

We went downtown this week to an "uppity" pizza place, Zsa Zsa's.  It was a nice change, but next door to it was a gorgeous little business.  I had to take a photo of it. 

The chandelier caught my eye first then the wallpaper.  Me wants!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My 1st Church Activity

I've recently been put in charge of our church's activities.  I'm really into it!  My first one to plan was our Trunk Or Treat.  I went to my trusty notebook full of pulled out magazine ideas and chose a couple to try.  Martha Stewart is always a good place to start as well.  She had the idea below of the hanging decorations.

I will warn you that the directions that come with some of her projects are not great.  This one had no suggestion of what kind of paper to use so I chose scrap booking paper.  After folding my first 12x12 paper into a fan my hands felt arthritic.  This project just did not work.  My back up plan was to use newspaper which was free and much easier to work with.  I chose not to add the faces, it didn't look good with the newspaper. 
My next  project idea was also by Martha Stewart, candy corn pom poms.  Aren't they cute?!!
Again, the directions to these could have been better.  My outcome wasn't near as pretty but good enough.
Here are my homemade decorations all together.

I did not have a beautiful backdrop for my hard work but I'm happy with the overall effect.

On the food tables I crafted some arrangements with sticks, more newspaper pinwheels, and some dollar store black birds.  I also used purchased Spanish moss.  I could have used some out of our tree but I didn't want to risk bugs getting into the food.

I learned all kinds of things working on this party.  I am considering doing another blog especially for these events.  I was hoping one already existed but if it does I haven't found it.