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A Little Bit of Sanity and A Lot of Chaos: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oatmeal Pecan Pie

This recipe is out of the Cooking Light Holiday Cookbook from 2009.

This was my first attempt at a pecan pie and oh. my. goodness. TDF. (That means...To Die For, if you aren't a 14 year old girl.)

It's super easy, the hardest part was separating the egg whites, but we have one of those little egg yolk separators, so it was a snap.

Cooking light recommends making your own pie crust because it's healthier, but since I don't have a mixer...no hand mixer, no kitchen aid. No nothin. That's right. Nothin. I used Pillsbury.

Here's what it looks like. Thank you Cooking Light for the photo....


Pillsbury pie dough
Cooking Spray
1 Cup packed dark brown sugar
1 Cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup regular oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Place thawed dough in pie plate coated with cooking spray. Make edges fancy, if you must.
3. Combine brown sugar and remaining ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.
4. Pour into prepared crust.
5. Bake for 50 minutes or until center is set.
6. Cool completely.
7. Eat.

*I added a handful of whole pecans to the top of the finished pie prior to baking. I mean really, can you have too many pecans? I love this recipe because the oatmeal makes the middle seem so thick instead of just a layer of sticky sugar. And I can pretend that it is somewhat healthy.....

Enjoy. I'm going to go make another pie. And not tell anyone I made it. And then tonight I will hide in my closet and watch Biggest Loser with a fork...and my pie....


Monday, November 29, 2010

Sewing Table to Side Table

I picked up two sewing tables last week. Nothing fancy, but I wanted to see what would happen....

if I took these two tables....

And added a little color to get these....

This one is the lightest shade of gray I have ever seen. It is absolutely gorgeous and I want to paint everything I own it it. Or bathe in it. Oops color...love those.

This one is actually white. Odd lighting. I love how it turned out too.

I took out the ancient sewing machines that were missing pieces and heavier than, well, a heavy ancient sewing machine, and there is nothing inside. I am just loving how great they are looking in the entry.

They are over at White Butterfly if you're in the area.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

1. We've been giving thanks. We've been eating. We've been rough housing.

2. We ate.

I successfully made sweet potatoes with caramelized onions, pecans and marshmallows. I mediocred (yeah, that's a word, alright.) my first ever batch of homemade stuffing with mushrooms. And I made my first ever oatmeal pecan pie that was out of this world delicious and I will share the recipe with you this week. I had a dream about it last night.

My MIL made the best garlic mashed potatoes ever and my Dad cooked the farm fresh never frozen turkey that turned out amazing.

All in all it was a very successful meal. Even the boys enjoyed.

3. We played games.

Porter won at Sorry. Jack was a pirate.
4. Gus had his first time-out. Obviously he wasn't happy.

5. Then we took the Christmas decorations out. And went to town.

6. We received a Nativity set from Tom's grandma this year, and so Porter helped me put it up. All together.....awwwhhhhhh.....so sweet.

(Sneaky peak at my hair! And my favorite jcrew sweater. Ever. It's at least 15 years old. Love it.)

7. Tom and I got to do some Christmas shopping. Hooray for Grandpas that like their grandkids! We got to go all by ourselves. I was so proud of Tom for braving the crowds.

8. Today we went to Discovery World (a hands on type of museum) which was so fun and then we attemped this:

Obviously it didn't work too well. But, Hubs put some pins in it, and now it's surviving...sort of.

8. And now, what I know you've all been waiting for. The self portrait. It took me 17 takes. And I still hate this shot. But, it was all I could get. It was my first shot.  Definitely a change. But I love it. Take a look at the header if you want to see what I looked like before.

There you go. Thanksgiving 2010 is officially over. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I've got a few furniture posts coming up. Can't wait to show you a few new pieces! Unless of course you are a fan of White Butterfly on Facebook or you watch the White Butterfly blog...then you've got a few sneak peaks!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A whole lotta chalkboard.

On Friday evening my husband came home from work and was shocked.

One, he thought I was my youngest sister, Lou. On Friday I took the plunge and dyed my hair back to it's natural color. I am loving it. He is adjusting.

Two, in the spot where there was measly little chalkboard in a frame, there was this:

He freaked out a little about an entire chalkboard wall, but this is what it looks like this morning....

See the holly in the corner. He drew it. I think he's adjusting to it just fine. As are the kids. And me.

We still have this huge one, that has not gone unnoticed. It is getting used just as much.

This seems to be the learning board. Porter is starting to learn to read and write and he uses this board daily to do his "homework". Oh, and draw Mickey Mouse. And beautiful flowers. And hand turkeys....

We built this one with 1x2, hardboard and chalkboard paint.

The wall took about 4 coats to do. I even had a helper. This time Jack was napping and Porter was helping.

Here it is, 4 coats. Boy, my kitchen was a mess on Friday.

I love the drama and fun a chalkboard wall adds to a room.

Happy Tuesday. Off to wash slipcovers.


Monday, November 22, 2010

We're in the middle of some very odd weather here in Wisco. Raining, warm and tornado warnings. Very strange. And tomorrow it's not even going to get to 40. Wisco.

Saturday afternoon Tom and I took our master shower and made it wonderful.

We had a shower curtain in there.

It was a nice shower curtain. From Pottery Barn. I splurged.  (It's now in the boys bathroom, which makes it okay!)

But the darn thing kept blowing into the shower. We had a plastic liner. It blew in. No. Matter. What.

So frustrating taking a shower in a tiny little section of the shower.

And it leaked out. So that little corner outside the shower got soaked and yucky.

So we splurged and got this:

Tom put it in, I caulked it. We are good to go.

Although, it's taking a little getting used to looking over and seeing the mirrors RIGHT THERE. AND ME. RIGHT THERE.

I'm sure I'll survive.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Mom Ramblings #20

1. I received the most amazing present in the mail from my BFF. You know, the one that says she can't sew but really can....

She MADE this apron for me. Made it, with her own two hands, a sewing machine, and love.

Isn't it the cutest thing ever?! It's pink! There is nothing else pink in my entire house and I am going to wear this thing every. single. day.  I just love it. I'm never taking it off. Ever. Love that gal. She's pg with her fourth and she took time to make ME an apron. Now, that's friendship!

Because I'm sure you are dying to know: Yes, that is a toddler bed in our front room. Yes, I am standing on a chair to take this picture. And yes, I am squeezing my arms in and holding my breath to one, make my chest look bigger and two, make my waist look smaller. Hat: Target, Shirt: Gap, Jeans: Citizen of Humanity.

2. I have received tons of fabulous comments lately and I just love all the love! Thank you! There are two I received, that I just had to share. I hope they don't mind, I'll keep them anonymous, but they just really made my day. Plus, they were no-reply, so this is the only way to Thank them!

This one, I received yesterday, regarding this post I wrote exactly one year ago today, made me feel so good about keeping up with blogging:

I know this is a super old post & I've never commented on anyones posts before...I've started reading your blog...4th straight day now...not all day, just when I find a few minutes here and there :) And I have to say I love you..not in a weird way or creepy way but a refreshing way!! You're a great Mom w/ THREE boys under 5...how you do that I will never know!!! Please don't let one person ever rain on your parade...you are so much better than that!! Better than letting one person who is unhappy w/ their life so they judge others make you feel bad. Sad really. Anyway, I love borrowing ideas from you.

And this one, from a male reader on the post about the Farm Table. It just made me crack up it was so nice, in the male-giving-a-compliment-kind of way (you know what I mean!?):

Two things:
First, I need to know where you live because I'm just going to come and steal your table. I've been hearing from my wife about doing just this project for a while, and I've been daunted, to say the least.
Second, I looked over that "To-do" list over there ------> and I have to say...are you kidding me? That nearly put me in the fetal position here in my office.
Excellent work...it looks terrific.

I know sometimes we don't think comments matter, but they do. I like reading them.

3. The boys got in the Christmas spirit yesterday. (Who am I kidding, we've been listening to Christmas music for a week now)

4.  Tomorrow, after years of being a "blond" eh-hem.....I will be going back to my natural color. It's time. Less maintenance, easier to grow out, less annoyance for my beautiful neighbor, who I constantly call to just do quick touch-ups. I'll let you see, maybe....

But, here's me blond, (I know the three to five male readers totally care about this.) and my totally hot hubby. Yummy. Plus, I'm one of those people that like to put a face to a name to a blog...I like to see who's writing. 

That issue is to be continued....

5. I poured myself a glass of wine last night and didn't drink it. Boo....

6. I'm trying to convince hubby to get another Ikea chair instead of a recliner. It's. Not. Going. Well.

7. I need help with my front room. It's lost. We're lost in it. Please help. Send a rescue squad. Or a designer...preferably Sarah Richardson....

8. I'd now like a farm to go with my farm table. Maybe some chickens. And a barn. I've already got the boots.

9. I have baby fever. Still. Again. Still.

10. I think toilet paper commercials are the most ridiculous things ever. I hate them.

11. I love the Target Christmas commercials. That woman cracks me up. Plus the e-trade commercials with the baby. Funny.

12. Which reminds me, I have TWO Emmy Award winning family members, which makes me a winner by proxy.

13. Hubs and I are taking a little vacation in a couple of weeks. We're going a whole two hours away, for two days and two nights. I can't wait. I hope it isn't windy where we're going....

14. If either dog throws up on the new rug, I may ship her off to my in-laws.

15. Martha Stewart intimidates me.

16. Dave Ramsey makes ME want to curl up in the fetal position.

That is all. Carry on. Happy Friday!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coffee Table for Eleven bucks!

Because I'm still avoiding finishing the painting of the trim....

I found this little gal at my least favorite thrift store. For $11.03.

I primed it. Then painted it my favorite shade of greenish-blueish-grayish. I am off to HD today for one specific reason-to find the name of this color, and to refill my stash, okay, two reasons.

Then distressed it a tish.

Tom wants it to stay, although, I don't think it is proportional to the room. We'll see.

I sure do like it though!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Little helper

Yesterday, while this kiddo was doing this:

He climbed up on the couch and asked to be snuggled up and within seconds he was sound asleep.

The other kiddo was helping me do this:

Surprisingly he did a great job. He put the roller in the tray and even got the "excess" off. His new word he learned while we were working.

So, WE took this table that Tom and I built last year for $37 with random stuff from Habitat ReStore:

To this:

I used a dark gray oops paint. It's darker than the wall, which actually makes it stand out quite well. I'm loving the change. A lot. I distressed it a ton and it brings out all the nicks and scrapes in the old legs and the old apron, which of course we know I call a skirt.....

And of course, I will not apologize for "Baby Gus" the bear on the floor, two baskets full of toys, little feet at the end of the table and cords. I just don't do it. Because, you know, that's life. This isn't House Beautiful. But, oh how I wish it were!

I hope you are all having a beautiful Wednesday. It's raining here today. Let's see if we get out of the house....I feel Marshall's calling my name...

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Monday, November 15, 2010

How to get rid of your husband's ugly chair.

I bought this recliner at a garage sale for my husband on the day that we moved in to our very first house.

Sidenote: the house was in a sketchy area but the neighborhood was one that was turning....uhh....never did turn. We got out just in time.

But, this very ugly plether recliner has survived through 2 dogs, 3 houses and 3 children.

But, it was time to say good bye. It had to go. For the love of all that is holy, this chair needed to leave my house. Pronto.

I prepared him.

Me: Honey, maybe we should think about replacing the recliner with something a little more scaled down in size. It doesn't really fit in our house. It's just so big.
Stubborn: No.

This went on for a few months. That's what I do. I just break him down until he just can't take it anymore and he gives in. Eventually he loves everything that he has given in to. For example, kitchen cabinets, white trim, wood stairs, laminate floors, painted walls, barn wood table....the list goes on.

Tear him down, then build him back up. It's like the marine corp around here.

Fast forward a few months later (This past Friday).

Me: (Calling him at work, no less.) It's time to say goodbye to the brown chair. I'm taking the brown chair to Goodwill.
Him: I can't talk about this right now. (He had to pee.)

Him: (Calling me back.) You may only take it to Goodwill if I have complete control over the replacement.
Me: You can pick it as long as it is something that I approve.
Him: Well then I'm not really picking it am I?
Me: No, no you're not.
Him: Well then you may not get rid of my chair.
Me: (Silence)


I took this broke down, beat up, heavy, clunk of crap and loaded it in the van by myself. Hauled it to Goodwill and they said, "We can't take this. It's in too bad of shape." Huh. Yes, those are the exact words he used. I was angry. I huffed off with my bungie cord-strapped tail gate and went to the next place. My least favorite thrift store to purchase things. They took it no problem and will probably sell it for more than I paid for it over 8 years ago.

So there.

It was the first thing he noticed when he got home. But didn't mention it until later that evening.....he wasn't THAT upset. He really wants a new chair!


Goodbye ugly brown plether recliner. Off to the land of frat boys and bachelor pads with you. Enjoy your new life. Farewell. Godspeed.


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