Thursday, January 29, 2009

My First Award!

I've only been blogging for a short time but I SOOOO wanted an award! Thanks to MaryCatherine at Peaches and Posh for bestowing on me my first "major award"! {that is for all lovers of the movie A Christmas Story} Yeah!

It's the LUV Award! That's seems only appropriate with all the Valentine decor I'm seeing around blogland.

Here are the rules and such...official business I guess to keep the LUV going!

1. Put the logo on your blog or post. (You can highlight the photo and text of this post and copy/paste wherever you need to...start your highlight from the bottom up to get the photo)
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award.

To continue the LUV-fest I have to nominate 10 blogs! This proved to be MUCH harder than I thought. Why you ask...or not?! I read my favs everyday but rarely go beyond that list. I think I need to stop being such a snob and check others out. Some of these folks I have been following for months and others I just met this week.

1. Wendy at The Shabby Nest
2. Susie at Bienvenue...
3. Kimba at A Soft Place to Land
4. Jen at I Should Be Cleaning... (she's my friend that go me hooked on blogging)
5. Jena at Not So Shabby
6. Jen R. at Sanctuary Arts at Home
7. Songbirdtiff
8. Pretty Organized Palace
9. Kim at STLMommy
10. The Nester at Nesting Place

Things To Do On a Snowy Day

Have a snow day like much of the country? Here's how we filled ours!

1. Hot chocolate with marshmallows with breakfast!

2. Make sock puppets!

This was a "keep" gift from the birthday party. It was fun but the glue didn't work at all! Translation...I had to sew everything on! looks like my kids sewed it on!!

3. Have hubby paint the half bath. It's off the newly painted kitchen so it gets a mini re-do too!

4. Play in the snow. DUH! Like you didn't know that was coming!

5. NAP! Wait...only the little man did that. I went to the store while the girls played Barbies.

6. Make a new chicken recipe. Super easy too!

Mexican Chicken Breast

1 package Taco Bell seasoning
4 chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup non-fat sour cream.
Put chicken and taco seasoning in plastic bag and shake to coat. Place in casserole dish and
bake 30 minutes at 375 degree oven. Top with salsa about 5 minutes before done. Serve
with sour cream.
That's it and the kids LOVED it!

7. Watch the movie Mamma Mia.

How do you fill your snow days?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tie It Up

In my bloggy travels this week, I found this great wreath for Valentine's Day!

You can find this and other treasures by Lissa at Lissalaneous on Etsy or visit her gallery. She also has clipboards like the ones I created here and a ribbon topiary that is in my future. She has really creative things...go visit her!

I decided to try to make it myself. Off to Hobby Lobby I went...just as the sleet started on Monday night. What a girl won't do for a cute craft project!

This is how my turned out...

Not too shabby for a first attempt! I was too tired to take pictures while I was creating my masterpiece but I will share with you the supplies I used.

12 inch foam wreath
3 yards (should have bought 4) white, wide grosgrain ribbon to cover the wreath
hot glue to secure to ribbon
ribbons of multiple colors and widths (I cut them 10 inches for the thinner ribbons and 11+ inches for wide widths)

I wrapped the wreath with the grosgrain ribbon and secured it with hot glue. I just wanted to cover the foam. This step may not be necessary because the other ribbons covered it well. I cut the small ribbons and started tying...that's it! Easy peasy!!!!

How would I do it differently? I wish I had used a solid pink ribbon. Aside from that, I L.O.V.E. it!

I also bought small heart shaped wreaths to do for each of the kids' bedroom doors. I think I'll let the kids pick out the ribbons and the girls can help with the cutting. What a great snow day project!!

Monday, January 26, 2009


The hubby bought me this hibiscus for mother's day last year. I don't do well with non-human living things. {Good thing I'm good with human living things...being a nurse and all!} Most (OK-all) of my plants die. This plant did not do great but it's still alive. Yeah! It has been very depressed since it was brought inside for the winter. There hasn't been a flower on it for months. It really has looked sickly despite being in a sunny window.

Then this morning, L shrieked when she saw this beautiful flower.

The plant wants so desperately to be outside that the flower has turned toward the window. :)

Then this come this evening...with more to come. I think the prediction is for 4-8 inches of it!

The hibiscus and I are BOTH ready for spring...PLEASE!
Cute Valentine project tomorrow!

A Mother's Mistake and Her Pride

Last year the girls wanted a bowling birthday party. It was the time that my mom was sick so the party never was planned. (Don't feel bad for them...they went to Disney instead!) So this year it had to be bowling!

When it came time to do the invites, I wanted all the girls in the class...14. Then we also have neighbors that are in the other kindergarten class...they were invited too. Throw in a few cousins and other close friends that couldn't be left out and you have 24 kids! Yes, you read right...24 little girls!

I pride myself on being a mom that doesn't overindulge her kids. So obviously, I lost my mind this time. I failed miserably at a twin mom dilemma! The problem came when L wanted a certain girl and O wanted another. I didn't have enough common sense to correct this problem. Next time (which won't be for a L.O.N.G. time), they will each get to pick a certain number and that's IT!

And so we bowled! And had a GREAT time!

Here is the aftermath of 22 guests buying for twins...

Don't they look happy?
We couldn't even open gifts at the party because it would take too long.
We just had Christmas overload 1 month ago. We just could not keep all these gifts. Before the girls started opening them at home, we had a talk about the generosity of others and ways to be generous in return. It was decided that there would be a "keep" and a "give" pile. The "give" pile is going to one of the area children's hospitals.
The girls were extremely generous with the items they were willing to give. There were no tears or pouting. There were no arguments over what to keep. The picture above was taken after the decision to share was made.
Here is just part of the give pile...

I couldn't be more proud! There are teachable moments all around us, we just have to open our hearts and minds to see them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Don't Forget the Hubby

The hubby also had his birthday on Saturday. What a crazy week! For everyone that commented that they like the banner for the girls...they make it in blue too!

I might even like it better than the pink version. The colors as very rich.

The girls made their daddy a homemade banner too...

with the accents only 6-year olds could think of!
I think I like this one best!

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Give It Up

This post is probably more therapy for me than it is interesting for you. I made no New Years resolution for the simple fact that I don't stick to them. Why set yourself up for failure? I also think you can resolve to do things at any time. Like today!

Lately, I have become a crazy woman when it comes to coupon clipping and bargain shopping. However, I think one of the biggest burdens on the budget (that I don't actually have) is eating out. I plan a menu every week. And every week we sneak in some unplanned, unhealthy dining experience. Of course, the kids love it. When asked, it is always McDonald's. I, too, love the golden arches. When people say they really don't like it, I wonder if their DNA is shorted out! Yummy french fries and greasy burgers...and the best diet Coke!

So I say, "Enough already!"

There it is...for everyone in blogland to see. I think this public proclamation might make me more accountable to stick to it. We have already spoken to the girls about it and they agreed. They aren't happy, but they agreed. So soup and grilled cheeses, toasted raviolis and left overs will substitute for the fast food. We will find a way to use what is in the pantry and freezer and make it work! Plus, if I'm going to create a beautiful kitchen, I should use it!

We have committed as a family to give it up for 1 fast food, no subs, no vending machines, no take-out and no restaurants. The only fry Friday! We have to be good Catholics and support the church! :) Plus, it only happens once a month. During this next month, Lent will start. I plan on continuing this for Lent as well. Wait til the kids hear that!

Thanks for listening to my rant! And wish me luck!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hooked on Buttons

Julia at Hooked on Houses is hosting a "hooked on" party. When I looked back over my recent blogs, the answer is obvious! I'm hooked on buttons!
Colorful buttons...

I'm sure there is a Valentine project in there for all those pinks and reds!
White and cream buttons...

First was the button wreath...and another chance to show off my mixer!

Then the homemade birthday. My girls LOVED these gifts. And I loved that I made them instead of buying them!

Who knew that buttons were for more than holding back the pizza, cake and ice cream I ate last night??!! :)

Birthday Decor & A Tradition

I had originally planned to make a "Happy Birthday" banner out of scrapbook paper for the girls. But when I was stalking the PBK butterfly creation, I found this cute little banner.

I think it's nicer than I would have created! Fun colors and embroidery. Not the mention the time saved!

The crowns the girls made at school. The birthday celebration is very limited at their school and I think that stinks! No treats...nothing! I always looked forward to handing my treats out to my friends on my birthday. I remember feeling so special. What a bummer!

Large cake and cupcake candle from PartyLite. I even have the "birthday cake" scented votives...I just always for get to light them!

After the kids are in bed on the night of their birthday, I always sit down and write a letter to them. It usually talks about what they have accomplished this year, my hopes for the future and just gushing about how much I love them. I have all the letters saved in a box for them to open later...maybe their 18th birthday. That remains to be seen. I'm sure about the timing yet.
OH-the girls loved their butterflies!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Homemade Birthday

After the Christmas overload, I knew there would be no toys purchased by me for their birthday. So now what?

L told me she needed clothes to get ready for spring...she is sooo my daughter!

O just wanted some music. She always makes it easy.

EVERY room in the new house remains a work in progress. This includes the kids' rooms. Then the PBK catalog came and I found some inspiration! I saw the butterfly pictured above and knew it would look great in both of the girls' rooms. Then came the sticker shock! $179.00! Remember...twins! That's $358.00! CRAZY!

So I went about the task of trying to see if I could make it myself. I went to the Pottery Barn store to stalk it. I mean see it in person and then gathered my supplies.

This is how it turned out...

My camera is terrible...

I bought 2 24x30 canvases, scrapbook paper, big hole punches, lots of buttons and some mod podge. That was all I needed.

My sister printed out the picture from the website, traced it and projected it onto the canvases. I used her lines as a guide and viola...a homemade birthday gift! This is quite an achievement for me! Remember, I have zero artistic talent and succeed only in copying the great ideas of others. I had never even been to Hobby Lobby until 2 months ago!

The PBK has EVERY button sewn on and EVERY paper circle had a stitch to make it look like buttons. Maybe later! That is WAY too much sewing. I think I will just use a fine tip marker and make pseudo-stitches on the paper.

My mess...not too bad!

Thanks to Wendy at The ShabbyNest for some crafting advice!

Happy Birthday, girls!

Mommy loves you soooo much!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Persistence Pays!

Last month, I talked about my magazine crush on Wisteria. My husband wanted to get me the birch village as a Christmas gift. Due to the fabulous sale (and his procrastinating) there was only one piece of the village left...the sawmill. I got it on Christmas and LOVED it but wondered what I would do with just one piece. So much for my idea of an elaborate village display! 1 doesn't make much of a display! How sad for the sawmill. :(

Now...I've been stalking (yes, stalking) Wisteria's website for weeks waiting them to reduce the price of the cookbook holder I want (they didn't). I opened the site on Friday and found (drum roll) more of the birch village! The people at work must have thought I lost my mind...then again, they know me and know I lost my mind long ago! I even did the happy dance all the way to my locker to get my debit card! How could this be? All of the lovely pieces of the lovely birch village I need to make my lovely display! How LOVELY!

I bought 3 or 4 additional pieces. I don't even remember what I bought! I just clicked on everything I saw! My receipt says this is what I bought...

The schoolhouse...$9.75

The cottage...$9.75

The barn...$9.75

I also got the church pictured at the top ($12.25)! Yeah for bargains!

I think it will all look great on top of my free piano next Christmas!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Piano

You wouldn't know it to hear me play now but I took piano lessons for about 8 years growing up (thanks mom!). I gave it up when I was 16 to pursue other interests...boys! However, I have missed playing at times.

Now I have 2 little girls that love to sing and dance. I knew that they would love the piano too! Sandy, sister #2, is a music teacher. She told me years ago that she would start lessons with the girls when they were 6...well guess who is turning 6 on Thursday?! Did she think I'd forget?

In the middle of a kitchen re-do, there is not $$ for a piano...or is there? I started looking on Craigslist just out of curiousity. The first day I looked, I found this beauty! I could see it was special despite the clutter the previous owner had on it.

The price? Are you sitting down? FREE! Oh, yeah!

The hubby and some strong friends went and picked it up. I think I was more excited than the girls! L went straight to it. There was no banging, just a curious girl making beautiful music. Well, not beautiful least it wasn't banging! :)

It needs some work and has to be tuned but well worth the price!

Beautiful inside too!

It's hard to see here, but someone etched 1923 on it. It makes you wonder about its past and excited for its furture.

Lessons start next week...for me too! I can't wait!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Butter Continued

Still can't get a descent shot that really shows how awesome the color is! So frustrating...


Courtesy Restoration Hardware

Kimba at A Soft Place to Land did a post recently about the challenges of finding the perfect paint color. I don't know anyone that thinks this task is easy. I have had several disasters, many near misses and lots of success! Although the more times I have chosen paint, the better I get at it.

So I need a kitchen color...and decided to try Kimba's suggestion and use Restoration Hardware paint. It's even on sale this month!!! That keeps the hubby happy! :) And the budget intact...oh wait...there is no budget! I'm really bad about that.

I started looking and decided on....butter! I mean-it is a kitchen after all! What could be better than butter on the walls? Paula Dean should try it in her kitchen.

So...the painting was done on Saturday. It took hubby all day...1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint. Now, I can't get a decent picture of the color to share with you. Stupid camera! I think I need a good sunny day for some natural light. You'll have to trust me that it is gorgeous! It covered really well and looks like butta! It truly is the perfect yellow without all the searching. Thanks, Kimba, for the advice!

The following are some more kitchen inspiration...all have yellow walls and white cabinets.

Love the glass fronts on the cabinets and white (not stainless) appliances. I have to love the white appliances because I am not getting new ones. redo on the cheap!

This kitchen has the touches of blues I want. Oh...and the rooster!

Had to include this one...check out the yellow KitchenAide mixer! My source of inspiration!

I think this final one is the closest to my dream...creamy yellow walls, white cabinets with a black island. LOVE IT!

More kitchen posts to come...