Friday, December 31, 2010

Favorite Things... day 4.

Day four, posted on day five, but hey- That makes day five on the first day of the new year... kinda exciting huh?
Speaking of exciting.  Remember my nap yesterday afternoon?   I of course could not go to sleep at my regular 11pm ish time.  Turns out it was a good thing! Other wise I would have had to get up out of a warm cozy bed at 3am when I had to help Ryan put the cows back in.  I was awake and sitting in the living room when I heard them.  Walking on the porch.  An hour later, I was back in bed. Tired now, and ready to sleep.  I woke up at 10:30am today, just in time for Elizabeth to bring me breakfast in bed.  Dutch babies with sautéed apples.  woo hoo!

In any case!  Favorite thing day four is.....

My New Sewing Room!!

I have a huge list of projects, and first on my list? A bag.
(a new one for me, huh?) 

I've been wanting to make a bag for all those "reusable" grocery bags I've collected.  I hardly get around to reusing them, and that kind of defeats the purpose.  I decided that if I had a cute bag to carry them in, it would make all the difference.

The "organized mess" in my pantry.

I have this great World Food Program bag from Brook that I love, but the zipper broke, not as easy to take as it once was.
I found a pattern on the internet, and decided to give it a try.

The first one (on the right) was a little small, so I add 2" to the pattern, and made the one on the left.  It's still a little small for what I wanted to use it for, but I do not have enough of this fabric to make a third, larger one.

While I figure out how to get this bag just the right size, and go to the local Quilt Shop annual sale, let's have a giveaway!

If you would like to win one of the above bags, or one "the perfect" size, OR, one of the Amy Butler "Birdie Swing Bag" seen below,  or here,

Just leave a comment telling me what is on your project list for 2011?
Winners will get to choose their own fabric from my collection!
I'll draw the winner in one week!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


"Favorite Things" day four will be posted tomorrow. (seeings how it's almost tomorrow anyway)

After being woke up by the earthquake.  Yes, I said earthquake.  I took the kids out for lunch and to our County Museum for family day.

Since Jackson was asleep when we got home, I thought I would lay with him for "just a few minutes" and slept for four hours.

The day was pretty much shot at that point....  but stay tuned!  Day four is fun, but day five? Day five is Fabulous! 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Favorite 3

So sorry for the late posting today.  Besides working for the first time in a week, I've been busy.  Laundry, dishes, cooking.

Cleaning up after these two.  Hard to imagine, I know.

And using this. A Hoover maxextract 77.  One of my Christmas gifts. I've cleaned both couches, and they look fabulous.  The tile is next.  You never know, it may be on next years favorite things!

And reading.  My Mother in law gave me this book for Christmas, and once I got started, I just couldn't stop.

Jodi Picoult was on last years "favorite things", and I'll be honest.  I think I've read.... maybe three books since then? I don't know.  But I will tell you why reading is my "Favorite Thing" for day three.
A horrible thing really.  Once I get started, I can't stop.  It's true.  Even though I did get some things done today, it was more like this:  read.  clean up Jackson's mess.  read. change the laundry. read. clean up Jackson & Isabelle's mess.  read. clean the couch.  read. clean up after Jackson. read. change the laundry. read. make lunch. read. sweep the floor. read.
I end up feeling guilty sitting down to read, when I have so many other things to be doing, but I just can't help myself!

My Mother in law also gave me "Firefly Lane" by Kristin Hannah.  I'm debating whether I should start it tonight or wait? but then again, this week I'm on vacation....

If you would like to enter to win a $20. gift card to "Borders"  please leave a comment telling me what book is next on your reading list!
If you are not a reader, but would still like to enter, just tell me one of your guilty pleasures!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Favorite Things... Day 2

Yesterday, Elizabeth and I spent the day in Chicago with our friends!

We wandered up and down the "Magnificent Mile" (Michigan Avenue), had lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe.  The apple pie?  DEELISH!

I love the city, and the Christmas lights were beautiful!

So, my favorite thing for day 2?  Good times with friends, and one on one time with Elizabeth.

But I cannot give you that, can I?  Day 2 "Favorite thing" is Fair Trade.
We have a wonderful Fair Trade store in our little town, One World Handcrafts. I know I've mentioned it before.  This month while purchasing a few Christmas gifts at One World, I bought one for myself.
The hat and "glitten" set you see me wearing in above photos.  Fashion is fairly important to me.  I usually rank it higher than comfort, and sometimes function. Knowing I was going to spend the majority of my day on my feet and in the cold, I still wanted to look good.  We were in Chicago after all!  Not one for wearing hats, I decided that I wanted to be comfortable in the windy city.  Not only did the hat and "glittens" keep me warm, they were cute too!

For you, my lovelies, I have one hat and mitten set! Made in Nepal, by a fairly paid individual.
The hat is predominately black with earth tone polka dots, and the mittens are the same colors, but each side of the mittens is a different color.  Totally Cute! 

If you would like to win the Fabulous hat and mitten set, please leave a comment putting these three things in order of importance to you:




Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, Yes, I wore heels.  Boots with heels. And yes, today my feet hurt.  But, it was worth it. 

Monday, December 27, 2010


Day one!

This fall I was invited to a Pampered Chef bridal party for a friend of mine.  To say the least, I was pretty excited.  Not only do I love the bride, and hanging out with friends, I have come to love some of the pampered chef products, and couldn't live with out them.  It had been quiet some time since I had been to a party, and was needing to stock up on a few "staples" like these:

Chip clips 

Garlic press 


Rubber scraper 

 Mini spatula

Bamboo spoons

Cutting shears.

All are well used in my kitchen.
I also love my stoneware, and the polka dot dishes? love them.

I decided to purchase this:

a "Mix & Chop"


I have no idea how I ever lived without it.
We eat a lot of ground beef /ground sausage here in our house, and this little tool chops it up like no body's business. Into tiny little pieces that are perfect for toddlers who cram things in their mouths and swallow without chewing, and for mom's who do not like big hunks of meat!

If you would like to win a Pampered Chef Mix and Chop for your self, just leave a comment telling me what one or five,  kitchen tools you cannot live without!

Winners will be drawn on week from today.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

All I wanted was one good photo in front of the tree before church on Christmas Eve...

....and that is what I got!

Hope all of you had a wonderful time making memories like we did...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Early Christmas!

From my mom, a porcelain covered cast iron pot.  In my favorite shade, navy blue.
First use? My very own "Baked Goulash"

1 pound browned sausage
1 box cooked (el dente) whole wheat pasta
1 green pepper diced
2 cans diced garlic & onion tomatoes
1 jar red pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese
mozzarella cheese 

Mix together

Sprinkle more cheese on top half way through baking time
bake at 350 until warm & bubbly, about 30 minutes

Second use?  Bean-less chili.

What's next? I want to try making bread in it... 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Little Dancer, etc

Friday night was Isabelle's "Holiday Dance".  

She's on the far right. 
Poor photo, I know... still wanting a new camera....

Her class did a little routine to "Here Comes Santa Claus"  I did take a video, but of course it will not load.

She had a wonderful time, and was delighted with her "costume".

Being the fourth event we had in five evenings, we were pretty much tuckered out!

Saturday found us at home, all day. Doing the laundry.  I am happy to report, it is finished.  Except for all the new dirty laundry we now have.
Sunday, church. Cleaning up the house, and a visit from an old friend I had not seen in awhile.  It was great to catch up, and I hope that we can hang out more often! Sunday evening we did something we, as a family had never done before.  Decorated Christmas cookies.

 The finished product.  And yes, I let Jackson have free reign.  So, if you come over, and someone offers you a cookie, I suggest a polite "No thank you".
Monday, Ryan and I went Christmas shopping.  My total enjoyment of the activity and his utter disgust, equaled a mildly happy afternoon!
Today, I am working on a few last minute gifts, mailed my cards, and making bread and cinnamon rolls.  I need to put out a few more decorations.  I know it's kind of late, but I really like them, and our guest are not arriving until Thursday anyway.  If I leave them up until January 15th like I usually do, I'll get plenty of enjoyment out of them.  I'm feeling pretty good about the whole situation. It's the first time in years that I actually have 99% of the gifts bought, some wrapped, the cards mailed and the tree up, a WHOLE week before the big day!

On a side note, I have every intention of doing "my favorite things" week again this year, but since I totally missed yesterday, I think I'll start it next Monday.  stay tuned!! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Heaven in a USPS Box

Cinnamon Rolls from Knaus Berry Farm.  oh my.

The aroma when I opened the box...divine.
The instructions said to heat "low and slow", but I could not resist, and ate the first one straight out of the bag.  The second one I did warm up in the microwave, and sit with a nice cup of coffee.

The last lonely roll from Sunday morning.

Knaus Berry Farm is located in Homestead, Florida.  Last stop before you get to the keys.  I worked there the winter I was seventeen. I lived on angel food cakes, homemade bread, herb sticks, and milkshakes.  And yes, I gained a few pounds that winter.  I've been trying to get them to ship items ever since.  Maybe, if some of ya'll would let them know you would like to try them.... they would.  I'd buy some for you that's for sure!  hmm.  Good idea.  If I can get them to ship again, I'll ship them to a commenter on this post!
Now, if you are headed to south Florida anytime soon, it's worth the stop.  A cinnamon roll straight from the oven with a mango milkshake, is well, heaven

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jackson Ryan

Two Days

Two Weeks

Two Months

Two Years

My, oh my where has the time gone?

This, That, and Everything Else

The past few days have been so much fun!

Saturday morning we put the fall decorations away, and started on the Christmas ones... with much attitude from the big sister.  Another story for another time..

Saturday afternoon some friends and I took a class from our friend Jen.  She is the owner of a fabulous floral shop; Love Bug Floral.  We all made a beautiful Christmas centerpiece.  I even impressed myself!!  Hopefully we talked her into teaching another class before Easter.....

Saturday evening was our Bunco Christmas Party.  "So much fun" does not really describe the evening.  It was... so much more.

We exchanged gifts, by playing the game where you can either pull from the pile of unwrapped, or steal from someone else.  You know the one.   This was the book I (ahem) stole from Beth.  I am so glad I did!  It is a book about our little town in the 1900's.  Not really something that interest me, I'm going to read it, and probably learn so much about the area, but the reason I love it so much??  In the acknowledgements the author list two of my favorite people in the whole world, Beth S., and Tracy S..  I LOVE you guys!!

Sunday, Church and then the Christmas Program in the evening.

Isabelle is in the back, center.  Right next to her "Best Friend", Grace.  She did a fabulous job and it is always fun to watch!.

Monday... our first two hour delay.  WOO HOO!  I'm a big fan of the delay!

Monday afternoon, Isabelle's "Best Friend" Grace and her little brother Isaac came to play.  Everyone had a great time, even me!

Monday  night was Elizabeth and William's school program.  A little rewind:  The beginning of November a note came home from school asking for volunteers to make costumes for the Preschool and Kindergarten classes for the Christmas Program.  I said yes, if no one else volunteers.  No one did.  The fabric and patterns came home from school the week of Thanksgiving, and sat on my folding table until last week.  I know, I know.  I HATE leaving things until the last minute, and stressing over them, but I seem to never learn, and do it to myself ALL THE TIME.  God heard my prayer, and sent snow.  Because without the two hour delay, they would not have gotten done. 

The finished product.  Fourteen of these little guys, under my belt.

Elizabeth and William did a wonderful job.  William stood on stage without fidgeting with himself or his neighbor, and sang the songs.  We've come a long way baby! 

A big THANK YOU to Abby for taking Jackson and Isabelle to the basketball game so Ryan and I could watch the big kids.... instead of the little kids!
Sorry about the photo, it is so hard to take pictures with that lighting, and I need a new camera.  Would love a new camera...

Today is Jackson's birthday- and since I learned NOTHING from my mistakes, I have left all the preparation for today...better get started!   Have a great day!