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A Little Bit of Sanity and A Lot of Chaos: December 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Now this is a bargain.

I saw the sticker on this chair and couldn't believe it. I thought it was for sure priced wrong. Totally wrong. No one would price a chair like this with all it's potential for 99 cents. I kid you not. 99 cents. How could I not buy it. I mean really. Holy CRAP. This chair was 99 cents. I asked the dude. "I'm not sure about the price on this chair?" He looked at it, and said, "It's ninety-nine cents." "Okay then. Do you have any more?" I said. He chuckled.

I can't wait to get my hands on this thing....after the little vacation. I am just dying to get to it!


Look at it! Wow. What color? What fabric? Where will it go? Should I sell it? Oh, I just can't wait!


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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tiny table

I found this silly tiny table at Goodwill the other day for $6.99. Generally when something is that cheap I snatch it up....remember the club chair....ooohhh, I love that thing. That was only $6.99 and look how that turned out!
So I bought this little table. Part of one of the legs was cracked. No big deal, just have to glue it on. Right, then the whole little piece came off when I was gently shoving it in my car while the kids climbed all over it. Still, just glued it with some gorilla glue.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it....

But here's what I decided. First, paint it blue. Second, distress it, a little.


Next, glaze, glaze, glaze.

Then, take a picture of the pretty handle, but be just a tish too far away to actually see it...
 
This is better:


Finally, put your new, pretty cake stand and cloche with some oranges on top and wait for one of the kids to hit their head on it, break it, or eat all the oranges....

Lovely.

Update: Lots of questions about what color the blue is. It's 'Tropical Breeze' by Behr, in satin.

Linking to: SNS at Funky Junk Interiors, Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts, Metamorphosis Monday at Beneath Naps on the Porch, DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land, Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage and Furniture Feature Friday at Mustard Seed Creations and Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous.














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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gus is 7 months old!

This little dude that started out at a mere 5 pounds 3.9 ounces now weighs 15 big ones. He has the absolute greatest toothless grin you will ever see. At 7 months he can barely sit up but rolls around like a barrel. He still sleeps for 16 hours of the day, and rarely cries. He enjoys his jumpy thing, shoveling and watching his brothers make fools out of themselves.

He has captured everyone's hearts.

Happy 7 months Guster!

 
Look at those cheeks. Delicious.


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Monday, December 28, 2009

Cake stand and a cloche

I have always wanted a cake stand. Once, I had one with a rooster on it. It wasn't as cute as I thought it was.
I don't even know what a cloche is. All I know is you put stuff under it. Fake fruit, cakes, and tiny little trinkets that you don't want three terrors to touch. (How's that for alliteration?!)

Anyway, I want both. For no reason, but because I do. I mean, it won't be the end of the world if I don't get them, but come on. I may stop breathing if I don't. Although....we don't have trinkets. We don't have fake fruit, unless you count the stuff the boys play grocery store, cooking and McDonald's drive through with. And, the only time I make cake is at birthdays. But I found a little cloche at Goodwill. I'm pretty sure it's for cheese or something.....


Then, at Target they have clear glass cake stands, but not white ones. I want a white one. I've looked all over for a cool one, but haven't seen them. Okay, not really, but who can go shopping right now for themselves?
So, I made one.
White square plate. Tiny white bowl that really is only big enough for a few m&m's.

Use Gorilla Glue Epoxy to attach the bowl to the underside of the plate. Let sit overnight.....chirp, chirp, hoot hoot. (That's the owl that wakes me up at 3 A.M. Seriously.)



There you have it. A cake stand AND a cloche.

Yummy. Ooohh, foreshadowing....wait until you see what that table used to look like!

Update
Linking to: SNS at Funky Junk Interiors, Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts, Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch and DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

I've Never.





Okay, I know this blog isn't ALL about ME. But, I write it. So, sometimes I get to be selfish about it.
(Has anyone ever noticed that my right pupil (my actual right, not stage right) is a teensy bit larger than my left...hmmmm...what is that about?)

Remember that game in high school and college? You go around the table and someone says "I've never done such and such..." and then if you have, you have to take a drink of *soda*. Really, only soda. I have never had a drink of alcohol under age.....

So, Cathy over at Bits and Pieces did this as a post. In the past few weeks my followers have, well, doubled. Okay grown by 42 and counting....thanks sis for being my first follower... I thought it would be fun for my new friends to get to know me a little, because you know a lot about what I do every day and about my little family. Plus, if you stalk me like I do many of you, you might as well get to know the gory details. I'm all about sharing here.

So, here goes:

I've never been to Washington, DC.
I've never had perfect hair.
I've never not loved my teeth after braces. Best thing ever.
I've never regretted going to college and getting several degrees....
I've never regretted getting married.
I've never been happy with my tush.
I've never smoked.
I've never wanted to.
I've never successfully given up Diet Coke.
I've never been more proud of my husband.
I've never been more proud of myself.
I've never cheated.
I've never been broken up with. (I'm cold-hearted.)
I've never had a surprise birthday party. (Oh, but my sisters have!)
I've never accepted my mom's illness and death.
I've never liked pineapple. (But, Tom loves it.)
I never dreamed I would have all boys.
I've never not wanted another baby. (Ohh....that's going to get me in trouble.)
I've never been self-confident.
I've never been older. (Seriously. Cracks and snaps in bones I didn't think I had.)
I have never hated anything that I've painted. (Furniture, walls. Love it.)
I have never regretted changing my mind about anything. (Every.Single.Day. I change my mind.)
I have never jumped out of a plane. (I want too!)
Or bungee jumped. (That too!)
I have never forgiven my parents for ditching leaving losing me outside of the Michael Jackson movie at Disney World when I was in the 7th grade (...that's a long grudge. So mad. Still.)
I have never been good at arguing.  (I get all tongue-tied and cry.)
I have never not been passionate. (Some things really make my blood boil.)

Next installment...what I HAVE done!

What have you NEVER done?
 

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas

We had a fabulous day filled with family, fun and food! The boys were beyond excited for their hot wheels set ups - love a good garage sale purchase! They won't put down their tractors from grandma and grandpa and I think we all ate our weight in tenderloin, salad, cookies and pie.

It was a fantastic day and I am so happy that family was here to celebrate with us. Now. Onto a week with the whole family at the Cabin! 9 kids, 8 adults, 2 dogs, many deer, several raccoons and maybe a bear sighting.....ooohhh, and the food.....can't wait!

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas. Truffles, truffles and more truffles...



This is a recipe that my aunt stole cut out of Redbook magazine about a zillion years ago. These are to.die.for. So yummy. I've made them on several occasions. We made about 400 for our wedding day as favors. People still talk about them and our wedding 9 years later, it was quite the event, if I do say so myself. I've also made them for Tom's work parties and some holidays, but I actually haven't made them for about 3 years....and so, I figured with my MIL's help we could make some this year.

Here's the recipe (it's been changed by me over the course of time to suit my needs), this makes raspberry truffles.

1 package cream cheese. I use the 1/3 less fat, no one knows the difference. Seriously.
A bunch of ground up Nilla Wafers. Okay. 1 Cup. (You can use the low fat ones here too.)
1 cup chocolate chips melted.
chocolate chips for dipping.


Mix your cream cheese and ground up wafers together. Then melt your 1 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave. Get it nice and smooth. Mix that with the cc and wafer concoction. Then put that in the fridge for awhile. Until it gets firm. Then take it out and roll it into balls. About 1 inch in diameter. Then put them on a cookie sheet or muffin tin and put them back in the freezer for awhile.


Melt some milk, semi-sweet or white chocolate. I only do a small amount at a time so it doesn't get hard and you don't burn the chocolate.

Get yourself one of these:

Another MIL stocking stuffer a few years ago. A tiny spatula from Williams Sonoma. It's perfect for this.

Throw a bunch of frozen balls in and coat them.

Then sprinkle.

When I make raspberry flavored, I use 1/4 cup raspberry jam. Then I sprinkle with red sugar sprinkles....you can do peanut butter, caramel, anything really, just mix it in with the initial mixture before you put it in the fridge. You could also just roll it in copped nuts or coconut...the combinations are endless!

Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy your time with your families. I will be out of town next week without cell phone or computer....ahhhh...what will I do?

I have several posts scheduled already. Don't you worry! It's like I won't even be gone.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Today I feel...

Last night I started to feel a little funny...not, ha, ha funny...not, pregnant funny (don't get any ideas!), just this odd tugging in my chest. It's a little strange. And I'm pretty sure it's the holidays. Does anyone else get kind of sad during the holidays?

I love Christmas, because my mom loved Christmas. It was her absolute most favorite time of the year. And I guess, without her, and without the rest of MY family around (Damn you, Costa Rica for being warm and beautiful this time of year) it feels a little sad. Don't get me wrong, I heart my hubby's brother and sister and their families. A lot. In fact, I heart them about as much as I heart my hubby....I wish we all lived closer so I could pop over to their houses and pull up a stool and chat. And you all know that I love my husband's parents. How could you not when they give your kids their first dump trucks and babysit when they live 4 hours away and bring you yummy things to eat!

Okay, enough feeling sad. I've got presents to wrap and truffles to make. AND I still haven't gotten those cards out. Guess they will be a New Year's card! And Grandma and Grandpa are going to be here any minute!


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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies



This is my very first recipe post. Of course it had to be about sweets. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on who you talk to, it's about cookies and not chocolate (those truffles aren't going to make themselves...gotta get on that.)

I have no clue where I got this recipe. Maybe my mother-in-law, maybe my mom, maybe off the Crisco jar...don't know. But what I do know is they are delish.

First and foremost you must have one of these:

This was one of those stocking stuffers from my MIL. I didn't know I needed it until I had it. I use it all the time. It rocks. Seriously. It makes cookie making fun. Tools. It's all about the tools.

Then get yourself one of these:

Child Labor. Comes cheap. All he wanted was a cookie as payment. Done and done.

You can get one of these too:

He is always using his "noculars" to look for bad guys that want to steal our cookies.


 Yep. They licked 'em.


I tested something out this time around. You know that silly little thing you are supposed to do with the fork and the sugar. Well, I didn't do it to some of the batches. I KNOW! I may go to baker's jail. BUT, guess what I found out?! It doesn't make the cookie taste any different if you don't do it! Seriously. It was hard for me to believe too. So I kept NOT doing it. And I like the look of them better. Plus, I don't have to dirty a fork. Who wants to clean another utensil?! Not me.

Here's the recipe. Finally. Enough chitter-chatter.

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (I use Jif. I only ever use Jif. For everything.)
1/2 Cup Butter
1 egg
1 1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix sugars, peanut butter, butter and egg until smooth. Stir in remaining. Cover and refrigerate until firm (or until you just can't stand waiting any longer, which for me is about 5 minutes. They still turn out the same!)
Use your handy cookie ball utensil and scoop. Then flatten with fork dipped in sugar. Or don't flatten and just sprinkle some sugar on top....

Bake 9-10 minutes. at 375 degrees. (I found that 7min30sec is perfect in my oven.)
I tripled this recipe today. I filled this jar plus half of another the same size. I have no idea how many cookies there are. Please. I'm lucky I actually got them made!


By the way, I love these jars. Target. $5.49 each. They come in three sizes. The smaller they get, the cheaper they get. See this post to find out what I did to a bunch of them!

Enjoy your cookies!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

When the cat's away...

When the hubs goes out of town he does two things right before he leaves. He gives me a kiss goodbye and then he tells me what projects I may NOT do. Booo.....he tells me this, not because he thinks I won't be able to do them, or that they shouldn't be done, but because HE wants in on the project. So, this trip he says, "Do not rip up the carpet and start to put new floor down, and do not start building the mantel."
This started after I put in the dimmer switch. By myself. Without his help. Bummer. I was totally going to do the mantel. Not the carpet though. Please. We have company coming in two days. I would never do a major project like that. Ever. No, really. I mean, besides painting the living room....which I did tonight. It just had to be done. Here's the thing though, if I do something when he is gone, he often expects something major and I tend to change little things...dimmer switch, painted ceiling fan, painted living room walls....he hardly even notices. If he notices at all. It's like losing weight. When you see someone every single day you don't really notice how much weight they are losing because the changes are over time. But, if you haven't seen that person in awhile, it is totally noticeable. Am I right?! So, instead of throwing big things at him when he's gone, I throw little things so he doesn't notice as much and can't say no... he just assumes it's always been there....men.

The boys nap for about three hours in the afternoon. Today after lunch my little buddy Jack says, "Mommy, I need a nap." And he proceeds to grab his "fwankie" (blankie) and doggie and go upstairs, lie down and go to sleep. Unbelievable. But, right now, it is 10:00 and he is still awake.


The boys thought this iguana riding a motorcycle was hysterical.

I actually got to spend some quiet time with Porter since Jack went to bed early. Which is always nice. He helped me put together a moss wreath. I'll post a picture tomorrow. He quite liked it and was very helpful. He constantly talks about doing projects and will grab paper and scissors and get to work cutting out car washes and snow, as in little bitty pieces of paper that are really fun to clean up. It's fun to see that.

Off to bed. What to surprise T with tomorrow....hmmm.....

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Neckties

Tom had to go to work last night after the boys went to bed. Nope, he's not an ER doc. He doesn't drive a snow plow. He just had a ton of stuff to do. So I was left to my own devices....is that the right saying? I was on my own for the evening...what is a girl to do? Make ties of course! I've seen fabric ones on Etsy and I will probably do something a little more later, but this works for now.

If you haven't used Scrapblog you must! It is fantastic. I have used is for tons of stuff!

I used a triangle and trapezoid and maneuvered it around to make a tie shape and then filled with grey background and put an owl sticker on them. The boys love owls!

Then I printed them out on iron-on transfer paper and ironed them to long sleeve white t-shirts that I got at Target for six dollars. Fantastic!

Here they are in all their glory! The boys love them!





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Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Great Weekend and a doable art project

We had a very full weekend! Saturday morning was spent cleaning. We cleaned the entire house. Scruba-dub-dub. Tom spent the whole morning scrubbing the kitchen floor, and I did the bathrooms and the rest of the house. I had some extra special snuggle time with Jack and those moments are always the best!
Tom's parents come on Wednesday, his Grandma on Christmas Day and then we head to the Cabin (yes, Cabin with a capital "C") on Saturday. I'm looking forward to being away for a little while to spend some time as a family.
We are a family that hangs out together a lot. We like to. We like to run errands together and go places together. But, Tom's been working a lot this week, even late Saturday night, and he is going to Chicago tomorrow for two days, so it's been a little hit and miss with all of us lately. It will be nice to play for a week.
Gus is getting tubes when we get back. I hope he can make it that long without an ear infection. It amazes me that he is still such a happy-go-with-the-flow baby even with a sinus infection and double ear infection. He is amazing.

The rest of this is about our weekend project. We have a two-story entry (it sounds fancy, but it's not) and it leaves a ginormous blank space in my life. I was going to put this there, but it was heavy and I actually wanted to be able to reference it when the boys get older, so it went to the mudroom/laundry room. Then, I wanted to do a huge mural using a projector, but we couldn't get the projector...such is my life. Never easy...so I freehanded it. Seriously. I'm not an artist, but I figured, how hard can it be to draw some branches and leaves? Well, it's not "hard", it's just not that "easy". I had an idea from some scrapbook paper that I liked, and did my best...take that seventh grade art teacher who gave me a B.
Here's the paper:


I didn't want to spend a ton of money on an artist canvas, those run about $90. So, I got a drop cloth canvas. Five bucks. And it had a protective plastic backing so I wouldn't have to worry about paint on the floor! Another plus, especially with my history of paint spills...eh hem, the carpet in the boys' room...

First I drew it on with chalk. Then I took the leftover black paint from the island and bathroom cabinets and painted it on. That's right. Leftover latex paint used to paint stuff. Not art....eh.
By the way, I'm a huge Behr fan. I love their paints. (They should pay me to say that. Please Behr, pay me to say that.)

 

It wasn't that bad....just time consuming. Thank goodness the kids went to bed well!
And here it is:


Tom built the frame out of some inexpensive 1x1. (He's the handy one. We all know that.) Then I stapled it to the frame. If I was an angry, lonely woman and wanted to cut my ear off I could totally be famous. Totally.


I love it! It looks great up there. And it's something that we did! I think it was a total of $7.00. This is a vey doable project for someone that is not artistic, like me. Especially if you have access to a projector and a handy hubby, but not mine. You can borrow him. But you can't keep him.

Ahhh....I'm at peace with the blank space in my life.
Now, if only I could stop eating cookies...

Okay, I'll share. Cottage Instincts, Met Monday, DIY Day, Today's Creative Blog and Transformation Thursday here I come! Aren't they all so clever!


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