Monday, December 3, 2012

week{or two}in review

I have been wandering around my house, and this review I'm posting is an attempt to make me feel like I've accomplished something in the last week and a half.
 i ordered my Christmas cards by December 1st!
do you k now why I ordered my Christmas cards by December 1st? 
 because I laid the family picture idea to rest 
that does not mean people were any more cooperative
 it was however, much easier to fake "merriness" individually.
{i believe with all my heart that in 15 years this person will cooperate}
the leaves are a fallen in East Tennessee. Cleaning up after these trees was not something we considered when we bought this house.
lots of times I thank my lucky stars for all our cheap labor.
this Fall Holden started mowing.
Todd only yelled at him like 50 million times before he got it right
a major improvement from a trial run this summer.
ahhh, the joys of family life.
Todd has himself new lawn toy.
  {it's safe to say Todd will be yelling 5 trillion times when Holden straps this thing to his back}
Holden had his first dog sitting job over Thanksgiving
i have never really considered getting a small dog before but she was kinda fun

{meet maiden}
i don't want to become one of those weirdo dog people, but I saw a different side of myself when she was over
my family should  be scared
this is my latest craft project
{Christmas card scrapbook}

this project has been sitting on our dining table for two weeks
i think it is the reason I'm wondering around my house
i haven't decorated for Christmas yet either
we don't even have our tree up
i'm not feeling very inspired
i'm also a touch lazy
 everyone is sick so that's my excuse
Todd was in bed for three days straight
i just can't wait to get what ever he had
i've taken to drawing on the walls as an exercise in avoidance

actually Holden had some buddies over and I was eavesdropping on their conversations from the top of the stairs
drawing on the chalkboard seemed like the perfect cover up
did you know 9 year old boys talk about atomic farts A LOT
i'm not sure what I thought I was going to hear, but all and all I was pleased
speaking of my 9 year old
we had a "date" on Sunday
he escorted me to The Nutcracker

{asleep before we even got there}
WOW, he looks thrilled
oh my gosh, you should have seen his face when I told him what we were doing on our afternoon out
he hung in there, he won't admit it but I think he had fun
truth be told I think he was watching so intensely because he was hoping for one of the dancers to fall into the orchestra pit.
it kinda makes me laugh to think how cool he would have thought that was
ahhh, the joys of bringing up well rounded children
something else happened for him to add to his list of life experiences
a trip to the emergency room for stitches...well actually glue
He fell up the steps last week and split his forehead open
it became a life experience for Todd as well when he got to take him to the hospital
dads should always be in charge of blood and such
{just what will this boy look like with braces!?}
he was brave
he's told anyone who will listen all about it
he is his father's son!
Have a happy Monday y'all.  I'll be back later this week.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

pretty enough to drink: starting the holidays off on the right foot

Need I say more
cocktails and the holidays just go together
I'm a gin girl
twenty years ago I used to be a vodka girl-oh the memories{or lack of-ha!}
I will never be a martini girl because those things go down waaay tooo fast
so, this is my new favorite drink
not that gin and tonics are new and amazing
my dad just introduced me to a little something special
 whole star anise
 lime and an orange
Now, this has nothing to do with adult drinks
but I suggest you sit down and make the kids share
this year I put all our hot chocolate fixings out on display
the kids love it
hot chocolate making has become an art
everyone has their own technique
two peppermint sticks, twelve mini marshmallows, whip cream to the ceiling
its a new adventure with every cup
my favorite part is the cute paper straws
the kids can't stand them
little punks
I tell them to go ahead and just drown in whip
I'm going to sip in style!
now, get out and enjoy the season

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

crafters unite!

What could be better than a visit from a great friend for the weekend?
I'll tell you ... that great friend and you crafting your little hearts out!

I mean really, we were productive. 
Books were being destroyed

Darling things were being created.
More on the book page trees a little later.  Thanks Tisha and G. for coming to hang out with us.  We miss you so much.  Next reunion is at your house after Christmas ...that should give us plenty of time to search Pinterest for inspiration :) 
*note: next reunion
i'm making sure to
shower before we
take the pictures!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

what i wore wednesday

The other day Becca and I shopped together via texts.  While it made me miss my bestest friend like crazy, I was just so darn happy to be shopping for shoes with her any way possible.  She was having a crisis, and we have all been there...trying to find the perfect boot.  You know what I mean by perfect-the one that is just the right height, goes with everything you already have, doesn't hurt your feet, doesn't make you look too young and definitely not too old, the one that is just the right color and  texture and again goes with everything you already have{!}. Is it just me or is shopping sometimes like opening Pandora's box. 
It never fails that one clothes purchase leads to another.  If it's the shoe you love, it doesn't go with the jeans you already own.  The sweater that you have to find the right shirt to go under.  The coat that needs a new scarf and on and on.  I totally understand ambush makeovers.  There is nothing like living on a budget, losing a little bit of touch with trends, and having some babies that will keep you from ever going inside the walls of the mall and in turn looking like you just rolled out of bed. Hello yoga pants you wear every other day{the other days you are wearing the jeans that you've been wearing for seven years and your just thrilled they fit-never mind they have holes in both the knees}and a pony tail{maybe this is just a ME problem?} 
Thankfully Becca found just the right boot{I think...last time I checked they may have been hurting her feet}, but it got me thinking about my own fashion challenges-and there are many.  I like clothes, and if you ask my husband, I have no problem going into the mall and buying them.  that might be true, but I'm certainly not buying the ones I really want, I'm just getting the ones that don't break the bank and make me feel good when I really *have*to get dressed{it honestly doesn't happen that often}.
The following outfit took two years to put together.  That is so stupid considering it is not the least bit amazing, but parts of it have been sitting in my closet until I could find just the right thing to go with it.  I almost Goodwilled this shirt several times along with the shoes because I thought they were a mistake purchase and I would never wear them.   I stopped myself every time they nearly went in the pile because I knew all I needed was the right-whatever-I didn't know what to buy to go with it.
So, this is what I wore to church on Sunday

I bought the rust colored shirt 1.5 years ago in Des Moines. I had not worn it until this day.  The lace shirt is a recent purchase from The Buckle{of all places} suggested by the sales guy{of all people}. I love it-maybe a little too youthful but I don't care.
The mid length gold and silver necklace is from the Lucky store.  So happy that silver and gold are in together-makes jewelry way more versatile.  The short necklace is Silpada from 1 million years ago.
The jeans{7 for all mankind} were a birthday present last winter. This was seriously the first time I've worn them because I didn't have the right shoe, that went with the right shirt, that needed something to go under's like the old lady who swallowed a fly.
The shoes are Dansko. I bought them 2 years ago.  I loved them, hated them, and then loved them again. Pretty happy they never went to Goodwill. 
Now I need a casual black pair that will likely collect dust until I have time to collect all the makings for another outfit-ha!
Happy shopping to all you mommies.  I'm more than happy to pass along my phone number so we can go virtual shopping together :)  I'm always up for a trip to the mall in person or just via texts{don't tell Todd I just admitted that}.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

let them eat kale!

 Martha Stewart...she's a good thing{see yesterday's post}.  That woman knows how to do some stuff and I love her.  I love her even if in real life I would hate her and she'd be all snotty and stuck up and all type-A when I met her, she has still brought great things into my life.  She has pretty much been the one who taught me to cook, and she no doubt was the one who inspired me to bake.  I have a looong way to go, but this "Martha" isn't giving up anytime soon.
Now, with that said, I think she is holding this recipe hostage.  I usually have no problems finding recipes on the Internet to link up to.  I can't find this one, even though it was just published in this months Everyday Food.  I'm lazy people. I don't like to type out recipes. I must really love you.
Sweet Potato-Sausage Soup{Martha Stewart Everyday Food/November 2012}
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced large
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
3/4 pound sweet sausage, casings removed
2 sweet potatoes{1 pound total}, peeled and diced medium
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup small pasta{I used ditalini}
 4 cups roughly chopped mixed greens, such as kale and swiss chard{I just used kale}
grated parmesan for serving
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium high.  Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes, season with salt and pepper.  Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until browned about 5 minutes.
2. Add sweet potatoes, broth, and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. *see note*Add pasta and cook 3 minutes less than package instructions. Reduce to a simmer, add greens, and cook until pasta is tender and greens are wilted. 4 minutes. Serve with parmesan.
*note*the recipe says to cook the pasta in the soup, but it is my experience that pasta gets super gross when you do this-it soaks up all the broth, triples in size and gets way too mushy, unless you are serving immediately.  I've decided to cook the pasta separately and add it before serving. The pasta stays firm, the soup remains soupy and left-overs are much better.


Monday, November 5, 2012

it's all good

Around here when you're three a certain book becomes your favorite.  Sloan has reached that milestone and that means we read "It's a Good Thing" a lot and then a few more times.
It's just a silly little book with cute pictures.  It says things like..."It's a good thing...porcupines don't like to hug" and "It's a good thing...storks don't get confused". 

If I were writing the "It's a Good Thing" book my pages would sound something like this today.
It's a good thing...Sloan isn't a twin.
It's a good thing...jeans aren't the only option my boys have for long pants.
It's a good thing...Home Goods has everything I need because it's all I can afford.
Home Goods.  Yes, that place is a good thing and it's a good thing I went there last week because I dismantled my master bathroom *again* which means I took down the plates that had no business being there in the first place.  I re-painted, I re-purposed, I re-did it one. more. time.  Home Goods was wonderful enough to have just the little cubby thing I wasn't looking for and  I had all the things to fill it with.  I have had all these little tchotchkes for a long time.  A few antiques my mom has passed down, a heart collection from my dad. Things I have cherished and had no place to display until now.  I don't know if it's the best thing for above the toilet, but I am certain it looks better than the plates
Good-bye plates.  You were not a good thing.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

right now...

1.  My mom turns seventy next month.  We{my sisters and I} took her to Palm Springs earlier in October to celebrate{hello girl's weekend!}.  Cheers mom!

2. Nothing says Fall to me like heirloom pumpkins.  Grayblue is my fave.

3. In an attempt to love my fireplace more I finally stenciled the screen that I've been meaning to get to for over a year.  I want a glass insert for the opening, this solution is coming in at barely making me feel better until then. 

4.  I should have been an heirloom pumpkin farmer.  These things are pricey.

5.  Did you know I have two sisters.  I don't think Jen's picture has ever been on the blog.  Why is this?   I think she's guilty of hiding behind the camera as she is always the one snapping great photos, but that has to stop!  Kit,mom and me {on that fabulous girl's weekend-Jen was there but I could use some proof}.

6.  Palm Springs is one seriously beautiful place.  Palm trees, mountains AND the desert.  Did you know it's in California?  My little stay-at-home-self flew all the way there for a weekend{hello a taste of my old independence-is-the-key-to-life-self}.

7.  This is my new jacket.   I heart it in a major way.  It makes me feel cool because I haven't seen any moms in the car line wearing it. 

8.  A football obsession has taken over our house.  Asher has found the love of his life{for the next several years at least}.  Is it just me or do you wish for cool weather too and when it comes you wish you lived in Florida.  As of Saturday we aren't wearing shorts anymore-burrrr.

9.  Roasted beets are the bomb.

Monday, October 29, 2012

So, here I am. 
On my blog.
 It's been a while
Do you really want to hear my excuse for being gone so long? 
I didn't think so.
I'll just post some festive pictures...


Friday, September 28, 2012

creating solutions

Way, way, way back a long, long, long time ago I had a problem with our from entry, posted the following picture and talked about solutions.  It was weird, that same week in blogland it seemed like there were some other people dealing with the same problem.  Unsightly air return, thermostat in wrong place kind of problems.  People were putting fake mantels around the air returns and making boxes to fit around the thermostat.  I had this problem in our old house as well, so I knew just what to do{I just needed to get around to it}.
Fast forward a lot of months, and here is our entry way. 

Now, that looks better. 
 Easy access to the thermostat, the air can still return{or what ever it does in that thing} and I can feel confident about welcoming people into my house. 
Happy Friday y'all.  Enjoy a beautiful Fall weekend.  See you back here next week!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

what was new is newer again

I am still loving our new kitchen.  The flooring, the appliances, the counter tops, everything has worked out perfectly.  That is everything but the wall color.  When I originally painted it blue, and then painted the attached hallway blue and then changed that hallway to green and lived longer with the blue, I liked it, but thought it wasn't quite me.  Along with the fact that I have a lot of blue rooms, because I have a lot of boys, I thought I'd give it another coat of something more interesting.

 Lucky for me, paint is never at a shortfall around here.  I had the chalkboard paint from another project and figured I had nothing to loose{hardly even time since there is very little wall space}.
I like it{famous last words}.  I think it blends better with the rest of our house and since there is such little wall space it hardly makes an impact.  I like the stark contrast between the black and white and I like how it makes the hardware pop. I have used chalkboard paint for so many things because I love the finish, even if I'm not going to write on it.
However, it's more fun if you do.
Now, what to do with this little space? 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

pinterest in action

This is a post about scarves.  That's it.  I'm not bringing back "what I wore Wednesday"{I promise} because my clothes are a wreck and my bedroom mirror is always dusty{seriously, that's dust-not poor photo quality-I have since taken care of it!}.  I am however, trying to actually do something with all the Pinterest "pins" I have collected.
I love scarves, and I bet you do too.  Definitely the best accessory around- cheap, cozy and colorful.

I spied this idea off of a pin that Tisha marked on Pinterest. Friends who love to organize, it's important to have several of those in your life!
 I had all the makings{well, not quite, but close}. It's not as pretty, but it's in my closet doing it's job. 

I may have to start another hanger as this one looks like it's hanging a little low-huh?  Well, you get the idea.  My scarves aren't taking up precious drawer space, nor are they on the closet floor{their home previous to this}.   Pinterest in action-now on to the 100 recipes I have tagged...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just saying

The temperature outside has dipped below 80 degrees.  You know what that means. Pumpkin Bars!
 {The dollop of frosting on that knife was rightfully mine!}
Here are a few other things I'm making this week:
*note* the pumpkin bar recipe calls for 1 cup veggie oil.  I used a 1/2cup oil and 1/2 cup sour cream instead. It turned out really well.  thinking about trying all sour cream next time.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

little yellow dresser

Earlier this week{I know, this IS my third post} I showed you the dresser I was painting and wanted to share the *almost* finished pictures and ask your opinion about something very important...knobs.
This is the dresser before.  It was Sloan's changing table, turned little boy dresser. 

I have repainted, selectively sanded, and glazed it...
 and now it looks like this.  While it's still Sloan's, it's in his new{to him} room and....
 I can't decide which knobs to use.  Please weigh in.  All these knobs are from Hobby Lobby{so mad at myself for EVER buying them from Anthropologie}. The Hobby Lobby knob selection rocks and I think they are virtually always on sale.  I should probably show you the rest of the room, but it's not ready for any big reveal.... 
still hunting for more paint-by-numbers, bedding to buy, and I have stuffed animals to wrangle into bins I have yet to find.  Just another almost finished project. Although lets be honest, just almost finished is my happy place.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

make this

Pinterest and good friends, it's about all this girl needs during the week{besides hugs and kisses from all my boys}to feel good.  Tisha{my wonderful friend who moved away and I miss so much}inspired me to make my own laundry detergent.  On a quest to continue to save money, this seemed like a great opportunity to cut my Target bill a bit. There are a lot of "recipes" on Pinterest, but this is the one I settled on.   It took just minutes to assemble and guess what?? It took the funky smell out of my towels that I had been trying for a week to get rid of{have you ever had towels get's gross}.  
I'm not sure how many "recipes" all this will make, but I'm thinking it adds up to just pennies a load.

They suggested putting this in a blender to work into an even finer powder, but I honestly do most washing on warm so wasn't worried about the soap particles dissolving{you might want to bring out the blender if you wash on cold}. I might be imagining things, but I swear my laundry seems cleaner than ever before and if nothing else, my husband really thinks I'm taking my budget seriously{which I am...really}.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's that time again{updated}

Time to play catch up on the blog.  September is the new December and I said the same thing about May.  Geez, things are busy around here. I really want to get back to blogging but all these darn steps.  Project, picture, edit, type something's more than I want to do right now.  I am, however, loving the kids back in school{!}, my NEW car, and finishing some projects that have been on my list. More on those projects later....
 For now I will share the gray minivan good-bye picture.  *Clearly * no tears here, although Todd said he was feeling sad about seeing it go.  Really?? I get it, he's strange AND I guess for a family that moves a lot we are bound to get emotionally attached to something since it can't be our houses.  What really makes me emotional about this picture is how big my kids are.  I know they're growing, but I must seriously be shrinking as well.  I have two years. After that  I'll be trying to hoist myself onto something just to be seen alongside these people.

 The quality of these following pictures are not so great, but you get the idea.  I have a BRAND SPANKIN NEW minivan.  I know, how could someone get so excited about a van.  I'll tell you who, someone who "did her time"{yes, like a prison sentence} in a grungy, hail damaged, breaking down minvan. 

*update* I had to add a new picture of my beloved minivan.  Just so you can get a look at the inside{which is what I really love about this car}.  Not to bad for a dreaded mini-huh!?  I had no idea I would be all about the gadgets-but bluetooth is waaaay awesome.  When I'm driving the kiddos around{keep in mind-yelling at them not to put their feet on the leather!}I feel like I'm in my dream car{that would be a Toyota Sequoia-I dream big}it's when I'm walking up to this car that I'm always shocked it's a van.  And that's when I remember my place in this world.  It's good to know right where you belong ;)

Todd says Holden should get used to the feeling of sitting behind the wheel. Apparently we will have this van long enough to be his first car.  I already feel sorry for him-ha!

 Ok, so on to the rest of what's going on.  Holden is running cross country this season.  What a great sport.  I mean, if he can master running he will have a sport and good health for life.
 The starting gun goes off and the they all run off into the trees following a guy on a bike-it's crazy{clearly I knew nothing about cross country}.  He ran over a mile, and I was one proud mama. 

Uggg, I've been baking.  I love to make goodies for this household, but these were way too yummy to have around.  I can resist most things I make.  Cookies, cakes, breads are not a problem, but anything resembling a brownie is dangerous. {recipe here}

Asher celebrated his 7th birthday with all his buddies playing laser tag. What a fun bunch of kiddos.

I am painting...things that I've painted before but feel like painting again.  Nothing leaves my house without at least one coat of paint and one round of re purposing.  This chest is on it's second life.  After a little mucking up with my antiquing glaze it will be good to go for a couple more years.

Sooo, I'm off to the school for yet another fund raising good time.  See you here later this week.