Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hoo Are You.. Part 13 (but 6 for me)

Here are this weeks questions from Hoo Are You Tuesdays!  Don't forget that this fun Tuesday activity is brought to you by Leslie @ http://nightowlcrafting.blogspot.com/

1. What is your least favorite thing to clean in your house?
My least favorite thing to clean in the house is the bathroom.  I live with three boys so after a week it tends to be really yucky!

2. What color of shirts do you wear the most?
Most of the time I wear either black or brown.  I love to wear white but with 3 kids.. not much of a possibility.
3. Do you have long hair or short hair?
I currently have very long hair.  It is past my shoulders.. but I don't really have any hair attachment and there is a good possibility that I will get the urge and chop it.

4. What time do you usually eat dinner?
We usually eat dinner around 6.  My kids go to bed around 7 so we like to give them time to digest before bed.

5. What is your favorite dessert?
Hmmm.  That is  a tough one.  It would have to be a toss up between carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and pumpkin ice cream!  But I would take either any day!

Can't wait to see everyone else's answers!  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Before I start my post for today.. I have two shout outs I want to make!
The first is to Ginger at http://superstinkyboys.blogspot.com/ for featuring me on her mad skills monday link up!  Imagine my excitemnent when I saw this while on vacation.  Here is the awesome button I received!

The second shout out is to Tiff at Making the World Cuter.  You can check out my Superman Mirror review at http://makingtheworldcuter.blogspot.com/2010/08/making-world-cuter-monday-august-30.html.  Tiff will also be hosting a Baby shower in celebration of her fourth child with giveaways.. including a custom 10" x 10" wall hanging from yours truly!  

Now on with the show!  So it has been about a week since my last post because my husband and I took the kiddies to Williamsburg, VA for a good old fashioned family vacation!  If anyone was badly in need of a vacation, trust me, it was me!  The last two years have been very diffucult for us, although they have got much easier and much much better since November and for the most part I have tried my best to keep a smile on my face!
A brief, very brief synopsis of the past 2 years:
Bought a house and gutted it to the studs (luckily we did not have to live in it!).  My husband did all the work, making me a virtual single mother of 3 as he worked nights and weekends.   (Single mothers are amazing by the way!)
Commuted every day 2x a day to take my daughter to school in the town we were moving to, then turned around and drove the boys back to their school.  Our day started every morning at 5 am and we spent atleast 2 hours a day in the car. 
My almost 2 year old (at the time) got bit by a dog and had 4 surgeries.  He looks amazing now as you can see from all of the pics!
It was just a constant string of activities, doctors appointments, Girl Scout meetings (with me as leader), sports and church on weekends.  Just never ending.  Once we moved into our new house in the new town, the boys still went to their old school which meant I will still driving back and forth just in reverse and atleast only once a day.  Then I also got a part time job and have been working constantly on my crafting!  So needless to say a vacation was in order!  Here's a few pics of the kiddies to enoy!

Anyway, our vacation was amazing!  We spent a week in VA and went to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg and Yorktown. 

We swam in the pool almost every night, did a little shopping therapy, ate at restaurants and spent time together as a family.

I know that in the past I have told you that my husband is amesome.. but on vacation he is beyond amazing!  He did laundry, cooked breakfast every day, let me take naps and read books.  I actually finished 3 this week!  If you are interested in what I read they are:
1. Somebody Else's Daughter by Eliabeth Brundage
2. Whistlin in the Dark by Lesley Kagen
3. Local Girls by Alice Hoffman
  7 hour drives are great for reading!
Speaking of books if anyone is interested in joining in a book swap check out this fun blog that is hosting one for September http://aprettyplacetoplay.blogspot.com/2010/08/book-swap-3-days-and-counting.html
  This is one that I am totally participating in because it just looks like so much fun!
Hopefully tomorrow I will have some crafting fun to show you as I am working on some cute Fall themed projects!
a well rested and happy
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Carolyn's Chicken Salad~

Today I am making Carolyn's Chicken Salad.  It is so named because my friend Carolyn (see Craft Disaster for full story) asks that I make it for all our girls days in.  We have decided that it is the yummiest lunch going and it is perfect as she is the only person that I share it with (the hubs is allergic to apples and cannot eat it all even though he does like it). 

Funny story about Carolyn, she introduced me to my hubby 12 years ago.. two years later when we started dating (long story) one of our first dates was at Carolyn's house for dinner.  At 19 the two of us made baked ziti and salad.  This was one of my very first cooking experiences.  Unfortunately, because Carolyn had a lot more experience with cooking and friends, she does NOT remember this day.   But once again, I digress.  So now after 10 years hiatus and finding each other through the wonder of Facebook (Love it) we are back to our old habits of lunching and cooking together.  The only difference now is that WE can both share recipes and advice and there are a number of children thrown into the mix!

Do you think if I make Carolyn chicken salad she'll let me keep him?  Please!

But I digress.. so on with the show.. I mean chicken salad!
3 skinless chicken breasts on the bone
1 tblsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste
2 apples chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
3/4 cup craisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups mayo (yes that much.. nobody said this was low fat!)

Bake chicken breasts with olive oil and salt and pepper in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or until the juices run clear.  Set aside to cool. 

(if we have a schedule mommy date then I make the chicken the night before)  Once cool cut into bite size cubes. 

There was more in the bowl, however, we ate it .. ALL!
Combine with apples, celery, craisins, walnuts, mayo and salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Serve either in a bowl or on whole wheat bread with a side of carrots!  Yum-O!

Oh and by the way.. I finally finished the Mermaid to match my Pirate.. so with no further ado.. here is Miriam the Mermaid!

I will be on vacation for the next week or so, so no new posts here unless its pics of my vaca.  The hubs has banned me from crafting for the ENTIRE week!  I may have some withdrawal, we'll see how it goes.  Enjoy your week!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Craft Accomplished and Cherry Bread!

After my rant last night.. I got to work!  I finally finished the superhero mirror, the cape had been throwing me for a loop for atleast a week.  I sewed it all up and reattached all of the remade pieces and he looks like a new man!

I finished the Owliver picture with a little help from my Cricut.  The letters and colors just didn't seem to fit together somehow.. so I reworked it.  Now he looks ready to reach for the stars.

Lastly I finished my Williamesque cowboy.  I found the missing bubble gun which I needed to make a template.  I made him a hat, bubble gun and of course the obligatory bandana.  Stick 'em up!

So now that I have bored you with my crafting adventures.. here is a something a little yummy!
I woke up this morning at 3am.  Yes.. I know I know.. it is an awful hour to get up but for me it is completely Normal!  Have I mentioned I have insomnia?  Anyway, I woke up and had the urge to bake something yummy for the kids as a surprise.  So I checked the fridge and found some cherries that were just about to expire.  So I whipped up a quick cherry bread. 

Here's the recipe!

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups chopped cherries
Zest of 1 small orange (clementine)
walnuts (optional)
dash of flax (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two loaf pans.  Mix flour, baking soda, baking power (and flax if using) in a bowl.  Set aside.  In mixer combine sugar and oil.  Add in eggs one at a time until combined.  Add vanilla and orange zest.  Add dry ingredients to wet.  Fold in cherries and walnuts.  Bake for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean.

We like to enjoy ours with a spread of cream cheese and a big glass of COLD milk!



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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sooo much to do... Sooo little time!

Ahhhh!  Sorry it just needed to be said.  It is 1:30 am and here I sit.. looking at all of the projects that I am currently working on. 

1.  Superman mirror to be sent to Tiff @ Making the world cuter.  It was something that I had done and have now totally redone as I had some issues with it.. being ever the perfectionist.  (Sorry Tiff.. it is going in the mail by Friday.. don't care if I have to overnight it!)

Is he a Super man?  Not Yet!

Notice the cape is NOT attached!

2.  Mermaid wall hanging which was a custom order through my Etsy site (shameless promotion?) which has to match its brother the pirate.. argh!

Notice that the second one is blank.
3.  A Star is born Owl, which I began several days ago and have not yet finished.

4.  Cowboy wall hanging which has been stuck in my head for days since I saw my 3 year old in full cowboy regalia complete with bubble gun!

That's my little Cowboy inspiration.

Here is the start to my cowboy.
5.  Boxes and lots of them that I am going to recraft after my craft disaster!  Hopefully atleast four of them to be entered into the 4th round of Iron Crafter at Fireflies and Jellybeans.  I entered last time and did not do so well.. so I insist upon trying again.  This time the ingredient is .. paint chips!  (I still have to pick those up.. but my idea is ready)

Happy that I found the joy of spray paint!
6.  Courdoy dress that I started for my daughter.. but still needs lots of help with from my mother in law.  Hopefully that will get done by September 8th.. her second day of school.  (why not the first day you ask?  well she got an adorable pink ruffle dress from my mother in law that she is in LOVE with and I can't blame her!)

Oh and did I mention that I am going on vacation in several days for a week?  In addition to the vacation I was informed by my husband that my crafting paraphanalia is to be left at home.. Oh no!  Wish me luck.. as this time I may REALLY need it!  So one more time.. AHHHHH! (and thanks for listening!)


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hoo Are you.. Part 5

Here is my Tuesday Blog Hop! I love it! Too cute to get to know each other via links. So here goes this week questions and answers from Night Owl Crafts you can link up here!

http://nightowlcrafting.blogspot.com/ or click on the button on my sidebar.

1. What is your favorite flavor?

I love Strawberry!  When I was pregnant with my 2nd child I craved strawberries on a daily basis and have never quite gotten over the addiction!

2. What was or is your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject was always English.  I loved to read the stories, write papers and discuss everything!  Wonder why I never joined a book club, huh?

3. What are some of your hobbies?

Some of my hobbies are baking, crafting and reading.  But I don't a lot of time to do any of those things with three kids and a part time job but I do the best I can!

4. Do you prefer fruits or vegetables?

I can't choose I love it all!  I was a vegetarian for 7 years so I lived on a diet of fruits and veggies.. I still can't get enough!

5. What color of eyes do you have?

I have blue eyes.. but more of an aqua blue with green and yellow around the pupil.  They are the same as my Grandma's so I LOVE them!
Can't wait to read everyone else's answers!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Craft Disaster! (This is a LONG story)

Recently my friend Carolyn asked me to make centerpieces for her son Jakob's christening.  She introduced me to my husband.. so I guess I owed it to her (lol). 

Jakob.. isn't he adorable?
Originally I wanted to make photo blocks with his picture, some crosses and the words "God Bless Jakob".  After going to AC Moore we found that the two photo boxes would cost $7 per table without scrapbook paper or anything else.  Carolyn being ever thrifty went to the dollar store to find a less expensive alternative.  After shopping around she found cardboard boxes with lids in different sizes for $1 a piece, making each centerpiece about $2 per table plus scrapbook paper.  I got to work right away on the project.  But oh my gosh!

First I tried painting the boxes white but the paint peeled off.  Then I started again by making square templates out of an old cereal box so that I could cover each box because they came predecorated.  I found some beautiful paper that matched the color scheme that she choose.  I thought that the boxes were only 2 sizes so I cut all the paper to those sizes.. only to find out that there were actually 4 different sizes.  Now I had to recut some of the paper.  Each of the boxes required 5 squares so I used 2 sheets of paper per box.  After finishing just about half of the boxes.. I ran out of scrapbook paper.  Thinking I would be able to get more of the paper I covered the remaining boxes with what I could.. so just about 3 sides of each box.   Then I grabbed my crafter in training (my daughter) and we took a trip to Michaels to get more.  After searching two different stores and not finding the same book of paper.. we decided that we would have to cover the boxes with solid paper in corresponding colors.
Needless to say I finished covering the boxes.  Then it was on to the next challenge.. how to cover the seams of boxes.  First I tried covering each indivdual corner with skinny ribbon.  It has too hard to work with and it didn't always line up right.  Next I tried fat ribbon that I could wrap around both sides of the corners.  That ribbon didn't lay flat and wasn't always straight.  The edge around the top of the box just looked horrible!  Ahhhhhhhh!

They don't look bad from far.. but are far from good!
My poor husband came home on Friday afternoon to find his craftmaniac of a wife in a rage because the Christening was on Sunday and I could NOT give these boxes as the centerpieces!  Being the saint that he is, he packed the kids in the truck and took us all on a field trip to AC Moore (and pizza dinner!).  We walked through the store talking out solutions to my crafting disaster and finally came up with a great one! 

We bought 7 tables worth.. as that was all they had and then went to another store to get the rest.  We worked on them for the next 3 days.. yes even the morning of the Christening we were still painting and glueing centerpieces together.  Needless to say I arrived at the Christening with blue and white painted fingers.  
Here is the result!  I just loved them!

Carolyn loved it too!  Yeah!


Oh My Lovely Blog (Award)!

I am super excited to announce that I received my very first blog award!  Chelsea at  http://craftersanonymousclub.blogspot.com/ was kind enough to bestow the Lovely blog award to me! 
Thank you sooo much!

So here are the rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person that gave you this award.  (check)

2. Share 7 things about yourself.  (check)

3. Pass the award to at least 4 fellow bloggers who inspire you.

4. Let them know you gave them an award.

So here are the seven things that I would like to share:

1.  I was a dancer until I was 19.. I took ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical and hip hop.  I taught classes to pay for my own classes and had atleast 8 - 10 parts in the recital.  I miss it sooo much!

2.  This year for my 31st birthday I ran my first half marathon!  It was awesome and I cut 15 minutes off my training time on race day to come in at 1 hour 48 minutes!.

3.  I have 3 beautiful healthy kids.. but if my husband ever agreed to it.. I would have a fourth in a heartbeat!

4.  I have a very small group of friends.. but they are the best friends I could EVER have!

5.  I drive a very messy, dented and stickered tan minivan.. man!

6.  I am currently in LOVE with anything OWL related!

7.  When my littlest guy goes to school full time I want to go back to school to get my degree in excercise science to be a high school gym teacher / track coach.

And now here are the 4 blogs that I have chosen to give the lovely blog to:

1. Linda @ Craftaholics Anonymous   http://diaryofacraftaholic.blogspot.com/
2. Cheryl @  Sew Can Do http://sewcando.blogspot.com/
3. Kati @ The multipurpose life  http://dragonflyfeathers.blogspot.com
4.  Brooke @ The Craft Cave  http://thecraftcave.blogspot.com
5.  Tiff @ Making the World Cuter  http://makingtheworldcuter.blogspot.com/

Ladies thanks for your inspiration and your crafty ideas.  Go ahead now and Share the love while I bask in the glow of my first award!

Check back later for some great new crafts.. as my mother in law bought me a new camera!  Yeah!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Five Days!

Okay.. it has been five days since my last craft confession and I am having withdrawal!  Unfortunately,  I find that with three children running around the house.. an 8th birthday with lots of celebrating, which also means lots of cooking, baking and cleaning... I am TIRED!  So for the past five days while I have been working on projects.. my camera died and I have no pics to post for you of my favorite party recipes.. the underwater cake or the fun party, and now I have a sick child too.  Sooo I just wanted to check in and say "Hi"!  I promise that I will be back in a day or two with some wonderful reveals, yum-o recipes and especially pictures!
Don't give up on me loyal followers!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hoo Are You.. Part 3

Here is my Tuesday Blog Hop!  I love it! Too cute to get to know each other via links. So here goes this week questions and answers from Night Owl Crafts you can link up here!

http://nightowlcrafting.blogspot.com/ or click on the button on my sidebar.

(I know I said last week that I would get the link into the blog.. but honestly I haven't gotten that far in life.. but I am working on it... STILL!)

Here are my answers!

1. What are some of your favorite summer activities?
For two years I drove between two towns to get my kids to schools.. this is the first summer that we are in our new town and our new home.. so I love to do nothing!  My favorite activity is to spend time with the kids in the yard.. we garden, swing on the swings, play in the sandbox and just enjoy the sunshine!

2. What is your favorite flower?

My favorite flowers are day lillies.  I even had them as my wedding bouquet.. so pretty!

3. What is your favorite meal of the day?

Does dessert count?  I love that meal especially when it is some really yummy homemade treat.. it is something that i look forward to ALL day!

4. How much time do you spend on the computer each day?

I spend maybe 2 hours a day on the computer.. checking emails, paying bills and talking to friends. 

5. Do you have any pets?
We have a beautiful bunny girl named Rosie or Rosadota.  She is a lionheaded rabbit who is great with the kids and is litter box trained!  Perfect for my busy family!

Check back in with me and I should have some new fun bbq recipes and crafts that I have been working on.. Just waiting for the new camera so I can share the pics!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cassandra's Birthday! (Days #8 & 9)

First of all today, I have to start out with 2 shout outs! 

The first one is to Tiffany at Making the World a Cuter Place. You can check out her site at http://makingtheworldcuter.blogspot.com/.  She made the awesome and adorable Pinkapotamus button the my page!  I love her!  She is also hosting a baby shower this month on her site and I will be donating this super cute Super Hero mirror. 

Keep checking her site for full details to win lots of great prizes!

The second one is Lori at Paisley Passions.  You can check out her site at http://paisleypassions.blogspot.com/.   She made an adorable lap tray using a picture frame and wood letters.  

She was sweet enough to let me "borrow" her idea to make a birthday present for my daughter and share it with you! 

Now on to the real Subject of this post... Cassandra's Birthday!
My beautiful little girl turned 8 yesterday!  For the past few weeks she has been following me around with her beads on my broiler pan. 

It was the simplest way for her to have her beads accessible for crafting and also without them being on my table and rolling to the floor.   When I saw Lori's initial tray I knew I had the perfect gift for my Lovey! 
To make my tray I started with 2 letter C's and a tray with handles so that she can carry it easily through the house.  My husband then made two stands so that we didn't have to change the C's in any way.  He attached everything for me with screws.  I then painted the tray black and pink and decoupaged the letters C's and the tray itself with paper that Cassandra picked out.  Here is how it came out!

In addition to the tray I also made her a butterfly book shelf for her really special books.. like her Harry Potters!
She of course got other presents..
like some zhu zhu pets and a home for them,

a book and special time with Mommy at the nail salon!

Then we went out for dinner and she wore her special crown, went bowling

and then we had ice cream because that's what my girl wanted.  All in all it was a great 8 birthday!  Thanks for sharing her birthday with us!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Go Bananas!

I LOVE bananas!  But in the summer all of my bananas seem to go bad on the counter before I get to eat them.  It makes me very sad as I HATE to waste food.   So today I decided that I would take all of my almost rotten bananas and turn them into something yummy before it was too late!
So here is what I came up with:

Chocolate Chunk Banana Cookies!

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 ripened bananas
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cup flour
1tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
4 hershey bars roughly chopped

Cream together the butter and sugars.  Once fluffy add in the eggs one at a time until completely incorporated.  Add in vanilla and banana.
In separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda.
Add flour to wet ingredients and beat. 

Add in chocolate chips.

Drop onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet by rounded teaspoon. 

Bake for 6 minutes then rotate (for even baking) and bake another 7 minutes.  Cool for 1 minute then move to rack to cool.  Then enjoy!

Tip:  I like to drop my cookies using an ice cream scoop with the sweeper.  It keeps the cookies the same size and shape~

Then I took the next batch of almost rotten bananas and made blueberry banana bread.. ohhh soo yummy!

Bluberry Banana Bread

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3 bananas
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 pint of blueberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together the butter and sugar.  When fluffy add in eggs one at a time.  Once combined add in half and half and vanilla.  In separate bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.  Then add in blueberries. 
Pour batter into two greased and floured bread pans and bake for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean.  If you are using frozen blueberries this may take a bit longer!

It's sooo yummy that I promise it won't last long, I know mine didn't!  Oh and it has been kid approved by my banana monkeys!  Just look at those happy faces!

Okay, so now for the craft reveal... drum role please.. oh wait.. sorry guys there isn't one for today, but not because of lack of trying.  In fact I have about four of them that I am currently working on and I will reveal them as soon as it is humanly possible!  Here is a quick peek into what the future may hold..

Check back with me soon..!

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