Friday, April 30, 2010

Three New Anita Renfroe Songs - LOVE 'EM

I absolutely LOVE Anita Renfroe!  Here are her three newest videos.  The first two are very fitting for mothers... She hits the nail right on the head - she does it everytime!  She is AMAZING.....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Big Reveal - minus decorations

Alysia's room is "done" minus a few odds and ends.  Alysia couldn't wait any longer - so she moved all of her stuff into it!

Of course there will be some vinyl lettering on the walls!!  And lots of other stuff with Bright Pink for some "POP"!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up - Don't Read MOM

WOW!  It seems like I have been yelling at my kids (my middle one at least) all day.  He has had a friend here all weekend and the lack of sleep has more than caught up with him.  He will be hitting the sack early tonight  for sure.

I did find some uber cool finds in Blogland this week though.  AND, I got my new sewing machine in Friday that I posted about here.  I am sad that I have had such a busy weekend with the basement remodel, extra kids here, working, and all the "stuff" that a mom does that I haven't had a chance to use it at all.  I did manage to read through the manual two days later.  Look for me to start posting come of my creations.  I'm excited.  The Rose Petal Dish towels is my first project :)

I want this!!  Isn't it adorable...

And this tablecloth looks like it took hours to create but is really very simple.  Sew4Home has lots of free patterns for those of you out there that like to create with your sewing machines.

Stephanie at Under the Table and Dreaming created and adorable Crepe Streamer Ruffle wall hanging that I plan on doing in black for Alysia's new room.  It is 95% done and she is ready to move in.  I need to go out this week and find some black crepe paper now.

How cute is this shirt at The Brassy Apple?  You'll never guess what the shirt looked like before she redid it.  AMAZING.....

This is what I want to make for Mother's Day.  Hopefully she's not looking right now.  I like when she reads my blog but she is so dog gone busy that she gets to it on a rare occassion.  I'll just pray that she doesn't look until after Mother's Day now, or she simply skims over this post.  Punkin Seed Productions has some adorable crafts that you are going to want to look through.

And what's not to love about this Trash to Treasure over at Dittle Dattle!  I am thinking this would be cute in Parker's room with his name on it.

There is it...another week of AWESOME finds!  Until next week...enjoy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

WARNING to anyone that cooks!

I decided to come up with another chicken salad tonight and bought a Kraft Parmesan Asiago Dressing to use for the marinade and dressing.
Sounded good enough to me.  I sliced up some chicken and put it with some of the dressing in a pan to cook it all together.  BAD IDEA!!!!  It stunk up my whole house like VOMIT - I am not kidding.  James has a friend spending the night and they were playing in the other room and he walked and in and said "Mom, it smells like Parker threw up.  I think I'm gonna throw up!"

Needless to say, the chicken and the dressing went down the drain.  I couldn't even fathom the idea of tasting it simply because the smell was HORRID.'s frozen salisbury steak for the kids and a simple veggie salad for me and the hubby.

I must say that the dressing is okay on a salad by itself but DON'T cook with it unless you are fond of the smell it puts dissipates.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Home Management Notebook

There are tons of sites on the web about creating your own Hom Management Book.  I have been in the process of creating one for a few months now and I think I have finally got it to where I want it, I think?!  Please note - this is a work in progress.  As I start using it I may change or add things to adapt to my needs.  This will give you a start to creating your own though.

I have pocket dividers so that I can store stuff in the pockets.  Here are my tabs:
  • Schedule
    • Kids school schedules and any other schedules.  I have tried to incorporate them all into one schedule but I always seem to need the other calendars for something, so I keep them for future reference.
    • Birthday Calendar
    • Holiday Card Checklist
  • Chores
    • Kids Chores
    • Daily Chores.  I break this down very simply.  I get sidetracked VERY easy so I need it all written down for me.  This prevents when I get to the end of the day and feel like I didn't do the simplest of tasks like wiping down the sinks.  You may not need this reminder, but I sure do.
    • Target Room Chores.  I have set up a sheet with in-depth chores for each room in the house.  I am going to assign each room to a particular day of the week and focus on those specific chores.
    • Spring/Fall Cleaning Schedule.  This is a list of all the in-depth chores that I plan to do two times a year.
  • Menu Planning
    • The tabbed pocket is where I keep all of my coupons and when I have time to clip them, they are in the same spot. 
    • List of meals that I make without recipes for reference.
    • Grocery List.  I have printed out a grocery list that makes my shopping easier.
  • Budget
    • The tabbed pocket is where I keep all of my bills when they come in.
    • Monthly Budget
    • I have a spread typed up for each bill and keep track of every payment I make to them along with confirmation numbers.  On each page I have the address, account number and online login information.
  • Phone Numbers
    • In the tabbed pocket I keep business cards that I need to hold on to.
    • Kids school directory
    • Friends and Family numbers
    • Important numbers
  • Projects
    • Anything I find in magazines that I want to keep for inspiration.
I do still have an extra tab and have not yet decided what to put in it.  I am debating about a Home Inventory tab where I keep track of all of the important insured stuff in our home. 

This book will come in handy when you may be out of the house for an extended period of time whether it be an illness, a vacation (yeah, right), or whatever.  Your kids and hubby will be able to find everything they need in one spot. 

Creatin this home manaement book did take me quite some time so please take time to tailor yours to fit your home and personality.  Decorate it and make it uniquely yours!

Here are some reat websites for more information and to get printables.  There are a million more if you can't find what you're looking for on these.  If you would like some of the forms that I have, just email me and I can send them your way.  Good luck!!

Household Management 101
Simple Mom
The Family Homestead

Chicken and Raspberry Vinagarette Salad

Our family has been doing good at trying to eat healthier and this is on what was on our menu last night.  I have been trying to come up with different ways to make salads so that it can be our entire meal and EVERYONE loved this one.  I was trying to copy Granite City's Bruschetta salad but came up with something totally different.  I wish I would have taken more pics so that you could see.  The secret ingredient that made it so yummy was Lilly's Raspberry Walnut Vinagarette Dressing (at Walmart).
Cook the chicken in Kraft Tuscan House dressing until cooked through and red onions in the Raspberry Walnut dressing just until they are soft.  I used about four chicken breasts.  Slice the chicken into strips based on your preference.

In a salad bowl combine Spring Salad Mix, spinach leaf, chopped tomatoes, and feta cheese.  Mix it all together with the chicken and onions once they are cooled and toss with more Raspberry Vinagarette dressing.  YUMMY!!

If you have olives or crumbled bacon that would have been a good addition.  I topped bruschetta bread with the salad but you can easily eat it on your own.  My hubby used the new Tuscan Herb Wheat Thins .

This will definitely be on menu more often!!  Let me know how it turns out if you make it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Early Mommy's Day For Me!!

I am so excited  :)  Apparently I have been a good little mommy that past year!  I asked my hubby if I could order the sewing machine that I wanted since it was only $150, originally $450.  HE SAID YES!! 

My sewing machine is so old and I am afraid that one day it's going to crash on me.  I'm sure that I will keep it around just because it is ancient but I'm not sure that it will get much use anymore.  I might trying cleaning it up some and oiling it really good and let the kids use it since they are always wanting to sew with me.

I have been wanting a new sewing machine for a few years now and I can't believe that the time has finally come!  This is going to fit so nicely in my new craft room (whenever it gets done). 
Thanks Hubby (and kiddos)!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Caught In The "Do It All" Syndrome - part 5 in a series

WOW, it's been a month since I last posted on the Inspiration Series.  I was planning on having this series done by now, but as you know, life had other plans.  I have been completely caught up in the "do it all" syndrome.  I apologize for anyone that has been waiting.

Do you get caught in the "Do It All" syndrome?  Who are we doing it for though?  Our purpose on life is not to do it for the church or the PTA, but for what our Father gave us to do.  Focus on good worthwhile things while still knowing that it can't all be done.  Our purpose is to bring glory to the one who gives us the opportunity to tackle this balancing act.  How can we do this when our homes are constantly in a state of bedlam and make it beautiful.

First and foremost you must prioritize the important.  Sift through all your yes' and no's and figure out where you want to spend your quality time.  Embrace the simple, don't let busyness take hold, and don't let the little things turn into big things.  Implement purposeful intentionality!

Oneway to do this is to instill traditions in your home.  We all have them but the difference I am talking about are the ones that you do yearlong and not just holiday traditions.  Christmas and Thanksgiving become so jam packed with to do lists and traditions which makes it the most stressful time of the year.

Start a heart of loving kindness project.  Look for unique way that you can poor love and encourage.  Simple lunch box notes, encouragement through a "kiss" and a "good luck".  Don't let you children or your husband walk out the door without showing them love and encouragment to fight the battles they will tackle in the outside world.

Service builds character. We can serve in many ways but you can also serve with your home.  Mark your doorposts as a warm haven and refuge.  How do you do that?  Well, senses are the way that we all experience life.  We feel good when those senses are heightened and stimulated.  Make sure your home shows warmth, welcoming, nourishment, encouragement, soothing, stimulating, and satisfying (just to name a few).  All of these feelings communicate love to the ones around you.

It's easy to see bloggers around whom you think have it all together but just remember that when they are blogging about their lives and showing you pics of their home or craft projects, etc; they are just showing one corner.  There is another corner out of the frame that has mountains of laundry I can promise.  No house on this world looks like the magazines and I can almost promise that if it does, it isn't communicating love in all the ways that it can.  Think about it?  If you go into a home that is spotless, do you feel soothed, welcomed or warm?  I know I don't.

Here's a shocking statistic: 80% if us women believe we don't measure up!  That's a lot of us that are giving ourselves the credit that we deserve.  There isn't a mold that we all have to follow.  That would make life boring,  God gave us our individuality and it is our responsibility to embrace that.  Queen Esther did extraordinary things for God but was just an ordinary woman.  Her gift of hospitality made her extraordinary. 

"Ordinary things done with intentionality become extraordinary!"

Chose to begin living intentional with the ordinary!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Meet Giada!

On Monday night I had the pleasure of going and seeing Giada speak about all her awesomeness!!  She was at the Unity Temple on the Plaza and a friend from my hubby's work picked us up a couple tickets about two months ago and we have been patiently waiting.  The tickets have been hanging on my fridge me me to look at and anticipate everyday.  She was promoting her new cookbook, Giada at Home, and I got a signed copy!!

Giada is my husband's fave for obvious reasons.  She is beautiful!!  I didn't realize until I saw her how utterly SKINNY she is!!  Seriously I didn't know chefs could ever be that skinny.  I don't know how she does it, but she pulls it off VERY well.

Giada was so sweet and I wish we would have gotten there earlier so that we were in the first row.  Then maybe we could have actually MET her.  Here are some of the questions and answers from the evening.

1.  What cookbook would you always have with you other than your own?  Ina Garten, they are so simple and beautiful recipes.  You always with with Ina!

2.  What music do you listen to while you are cooking?  Right now, Jay-Z.

3.  What is your favorite recipe in any of your books?  Espresso Caramel Bars.

4.  What is your easiest recipe?  Pasta Ponza

5.  If you could cook for anybody who would you choose?  Bill Clinton.

6.  What foods do you not like?  Coconut and green peppers.  NONE of her recipes have green peppers!

7.  How do you get your 18 month old to try new food?  I put parmesan cheese on EVERYTHING!

8.  What is your best secret ingredient?  LEMON -- it is so flavorful and fat free!

9.  Is the show filmed in your home?  No, it is a set but it does look EXACTLY like my home.  It was made that way.  The ocean in the background...that's fake.  One the set anyways.  It is what I really see when I look out my kitchen window at home :)

10.  Where do you get all of your beautiful clothes?  My favorite shop is Anthropologie.

11.  What would you request for your last meal?  Undercooked chocolate chip cookies!!  
How could I not take a pic of the adorable apron that was one the stage!  ADORABLE...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Swap Goodies!

On Tuesday I got all my goodies from Rhonda at Down Memory Lane.  She definitely researched my blog and knew exactly what to send!!  I can't thank her enough.  This was her first blog swap as was mine, and hopefully she enjoyed what I sent her as much I enjoyed what she sent me. 

The apron is exactly my style!!  I love the halter style top.  She also sent me a Busy Mom's Bible!  What the perfect gift for a Christian mom always needing the encouragement from above. 

Rhonda must have read my post about my hubby LOVING gummy bears becuase she sent me two packages.  My hubby grabbed one as soon as I opened the box and ate them.  Then of course he felt guilty because he's on a diet.  So the kiddos get the next package. 

Also, see the rose petals?  See the flour sack towels?  Remember my post about the tea towels that I wanted to make? NOW I CAN!!!!  I can't wait!!!!

Thank's so much Rhonda.  I can't wait to hear about the stuff I sent you.  Click here to see what I sent her!

Also, head on over to Shortmomma to check out all the other swap goodies!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

I have had a crazy busy weekend.  Working on the basement, the yard, spring planting, and all of the other daily chores makes my schedule filled to the brim which didn't allow for blogging.  Don't worry though, I still have some great finds for you though.

Also, stay tuned for more about an amazing person (chef) that I met last night.  You're going to love some of what she had to say!!

Now on to the weekly wrap-up.  Meg over at A Little Knick Knack made some very cute Easter pillows.  Ii isn't easter anymore but I think they would be great just for spring.  Guess what...they're made out of dish towels!  Very simple....
She also did this a cute project that takes the famous quote from the book "I Love Your Forever."  My oldest boy loved this book and I can't wait to start reading it to Parker. 
Little Birdie Secrets has something UBER COOL!!  Seasonal word blocks :)  You decorate seven blocks with corresponding letters and you can spell up to sixteen seasonal words! 
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE LollyChops!  These wallflowers are seriously too cute!!  I love the three-dimensional look of them on the frames!!  This is going to be a MUST DO when my craft room is done.  Check out her blog because she has others in different colors.

  Katie at Favorites and Things has a recipe called "California Chicken" that will probably sneak it's way into my weekly menu. 

Stay tuned for my special post on the famous person I met last night!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Need Photog Help - I have your answer!

If you are like me and love taking pictures but don't quite know all the bells and whistles in order to go into manual know where you tell the camera what to do instead of you thinking it has a brain...The Idea Room has some GREAT posts by Kristen Duke where she shares a LOT of information.

I hope you get as much out of it as I did.  Now I just need to jot down some notes and carry them with me all of the time.  There is no way I can remember all that stuff!

My Dog Has Separation Anxiety...What To Do?

So if you remember, we got a new puppy at Christmas time from my hubby's brother.  Remember I was not happy about it but as the time has passed the dog and I have become best pals.  I love her probably more than I have ever loved a dog and she is my "shadow" wherever I go.  Since I have the opportunity to stay home, she has never had to be in a cage at all.  I know, I know.....I should have kennel trained her from the beginning, but I didn't.  Now I'm paying for it.  First of all she has all but kicked my hubby out of our King Size bed.  Second, being the five month old puppy that she is, she has taken a liking to chewing.  Therefore, when we leave now she has to be put in a kennel.  She does NOT like it one bit, and that is putting it mildly.

I even went as far as to videotape her one day just so I could see what in the world she was doing inside that cage.  Her are some pics of her most recent injuries.  Mind you, these could be worse, but none the less, she is literally beating herself against the cage because she wants out so bad.

Her poor nose is swollen so bad.  Honestly, this is probably one of the milder times that she has hurt herself.  Once she was cut so bad that she was bleeding.  She is literally trying to pushher way out of this metal cage with her head and nose.

Here's my problem.  The cage is kept in the garage because when she is in it she profusely foams at the mouth.  I couldn't figure out why she was always wet when we got home which was one reason I videotaped her.  I mean nasty, sopping wet.  And the floor outside the cage is drenched with the natsy mouth excretions.  This is why we have not been able to put the cage inside the house.  It stinks so bad and makes such a mess that I can have her doing it inside.  And the smell....HORRIBLE!  I don't know what it is about the mouth foam or the wet dog, but it is almost unbearable at times.

I don't know what to do to help her make the adjustment or just realize that this is something that she does and just know that EVERYTIME I leave and come home I have to deal with giving her a bath and treating her to make sure she is ok.

Any suggestions?  My husband is at his wits end with it and doesn't really have the mentality to work with her so it is up to me to do it.  He just wants it to be taken care of NOW and honestly I am sort of getting tired of having to clean her up everytime I go somewhere. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dressed Up Flip Flops

I finally got around to making my interchangeable flip flops even though I only have one set of ribbons done.  You can go HERE for the tutorial.

Now I can't wait to wear them out!

Beyond The Picket Fence

Apron Evangelism

Thanks to the Hillbilly Housewife for this lovely article.  I couldn't agree more with her.  I love my aprons even though my friends laugh at me.  :)  Thanks Maggie for your words of encouragement!
One day not too long ago I was struggling with the boys over some minor details which come up when a lot of people live in a small shack in the woods. Details like the value of picking one’s dirty clothes up off of the living room floor when company has been spotted driving up the mountain. The boys were unusually stubborn that particular day. Rather than fight with them over their household responsibilities I picked up the dirty clothes myself and crammed them into the washing machine. I ran some soapy water in the sink to get a start on the dishes before the company arrived.
Now usually I am not one to hold a grudge over small disagreements like laundry on the living room floor. This one settled in my brain though, and I felt compelled to mull over it for several days. It was the outright insubordination which offended me the most. After I figured that out I went in search of solutions.
About the same time I was in the process of Spring Cleaning. I was having a great deal of trouble motivating myself to wash the walls in the kitchen and mop the back porch where the cats live (blessedly with a doggie door so they don’t need litter boxes).
Well, the more I worried about these twin dilemmas the more I felt the need to discuss them with the queen of solutions, my momma Darthulia. As I suspected she had the perfect solution. Darthulia told me I needed a uniform or costume which would reassure myself and others of my intention and status in the home. She claimed it would remind me of my duties, inspire me to greater levels of cleanliness (which as a hillbilly I sorely need), and reaffirm my authority in the home.
Darthulia then went on to describe the homemaker’s uniform to me in detail. “Imagine the modern archetype of the housewife.” She began. “Think Donna Reed, or Beaver Cleaver’s mom. They wore full skirts, and stockings, and heels when they vacuumed. But you knew they were doing housework because they had their aprons on. A string of beads graced the necks of their classic shirtwaist dresses, and a lacy bibbed apron proclaimed their role as matriarch in charge of household management.”
I only have a fleeting memory of Donna Reed. I sort of wish she came on television regularly so I could take notes but she doesn’t in my area so I am stuck looking for other heroines-of-the-home to model myself after. Most of what momma said made sense to me though. That very day, I put on a full skirt, stockings, sensibly low high heeled shoes, and a string of pearly white beads. Then I sat down at my sewing machine and ran up a couple of bibbed aprons, decorated with lace and ribbons.
I made up the pattern as I went along using a small rectangle for the first bib and a heart shape for the second bib. Then I stitched lace around the edges of the bib and attatched it to a simple tie with a full apron skirt gathered to the waist. I made them short waisted so they would fit my maternal figure a bit better, and voila, I was set. I put the first apron on, a creamy white or ecru, and looked in the mirror to admire my handiwork. I expected to see myself staring back at me, probably looking a little silly in this frilly piece of confection designed to protect my clothing.
Boy howdy, was I in for a surprise. In the mirror I saw a vision of the homemaker I have always strived to become staring back at me. Her cheery face glistened in the sunshine. Her hair tied up neatly in bun looked authoritative, and compassionate all at the same time. The apron covered several figure flaws and accentuated the fertile curves of the woman I saw in the mirror. This woman had purpose. She had status. She had clout. I stood there, contemplating the wonder of the homemaker that shone through my image in the mirror. “This is who I want to be” I told myself. “This is the Keeper of the home, with a capital ‘K’. ”
I wear my aprons every day now. I have made more, in different colors and configurations so as to be pleasing to my senses. I have come to believe they are a like lacy bits of lingerie, only worn on the outside, and a quite a bit more respectable. When I put on my aprons the children mind me better, wandering visitors immediately know my role as a stay at home mom. Door to door religious missionaries assume I am a virtuous woman and cheerfully move on to the next house. Fred thinks I look cute as a button, and neighbor children hug me more often.
I like my aprons. They have changed my life, raising my standards, inspiring me to greater feats of home making skill, and making me more effective as a parent. Whoever thought that a dollars worth of fabric and lace could effect so many changes on one woman and one family? Since my success with aprons I have become a true believer. I am now called to spread the word among my fellow housewives. Join the crusade by sharing your love of aprons with friends, family and internet buddies around the world. Together we will change the face of the House Wife, the world over.
–Maggie (The original Hillbilly Housewife)

Monday, April 5, 2010


Go HERE to take this IQ test to see where you rank amongst other Americans.  I am 16.2% stupider than other Americans.

Average score is 17.2%, I scored 15%.  Just as a side note, I hate history and always will.  If the test was on anything else I probably would have done much better.

Go Here and take it yourself.  Just don't tell me if you're smarter than me...

Weekly Wrap-Up...Late Again

Here I am. a day late with my weekly wrap-up again.  If you follow my blog enough or know me personally you will know that I am always late and forgetful, BUT I do get around to doing what needs to be done.

This Rose Petal Hand Towel has to be the most adorable thing I have ever come across.  Head on over to Living With Lindsay for a complete tutorial. 

This bag caught my eye for quick trips to the library but I'm also thinking it would be cute with the word "Swim" for your summer pool visits.

I have been seeing these camera straps around the Blogshpere for awhile and I came across a tutorial on Crap I've Made so I can make my own!

These notepads by Clean Mama would be really cute as party favors for a little girl or boy.  She didn't have a pic of the finished product but I promise you won't want to miss her tutorial.  I have been wanting to do this for quite sometime but never found a way to make the glue at the top and she solved that problem. 

This is the most adorable foot stool stool I have ever seen!!

Last, but not least is a car caddy tutorial by Homemade by Jill.  Having two boys I think this could be a life saver for those time when waiting seems endless.

If you like LOTS of craft ideas then you'll want to head over to One Pretty Thing.  They have a million craft projects.  You won't be bored looking through them.  I hope you find something you like.  Link me up to it so I can come see.