Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Do You Boo?

I love my Halloween decorations, they're glittery, fun colors and a little on the tacky side maybe.  This year I got a few new things, and made a few new things and then added lots of ribbon everywhere.  It is fairly inexpensive and really adds a lot, in fact I think the theme of all these pictures is cheap. I added quite a few new things this year, but I only spent $10!!!   Here's what I like to do, what do you put up for Halloween?

I already had everything in this picture except for the black crow that I picked up at the Dollar Tree, I just added a strand of ribbon and colored some rice with orange food coloring, the black fabric underneath was leftover from last years Halloween costumes and its sparkly!P1010924 (2)
The garland was made with paper from my stash that I stitched together on the sewing machine.  The small black pumpkin I got last year at Michael's on clearance and I picked up the BIG orange pumpkin this year at Target in the Dollar Spot for only $2.50!!!

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This banner was intended to go above my entertainment center but got way too big for that.  I used a bunch of die cuts I got at Michael's.  I got an enormous pack for on $4.  I still have lots left for crafting next year!
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This is the built-in in the kitchen.  The chipboard sign I picked up last year, unpainted from Hobbly Lobby, I think I paid $.30 for it.  I added some scraps of fabric from my stash and a few bits of ribbon.  That is candy corn in the wall sconces and little "flags" tied with ribbon onto twigs, from my yard.
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This is probably my favorite spot.  I made the garland a few years ago, and then I just added ribbon to everything else.
This fun sign came from the Dollar Tree- I've seriously found so much good stuff there.  All I needed to do was add some ribbon and a little glitter spray (which doesn't show in the pictures, but really looks great in person)
And, this cute picture was taken earlier in the month when the weather was amazing!  While Viv was at school, Sophie and Nathan decided they wanted to take a nap outside so they rigged up this little set-up and stayed snuggled up for almost 30 mintes.  Definitely not a nap, but I'm not complaining!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Swap til you Drop

My freezer is FULL right now.  I have so much food, but the best part is that food is literally ready to eat!  I organized a freezer meal swap last week and I'm now stocked with 4 meals for the month that are ready to go.  I used one already last week when the hubs and I went out for dinner and so the babysitter just had to pop it in the oven.  I also made an extra batch of my own meal to store in the freezer.  If you're thinking about hosting a swap, do it!  Here is how I organized mine:

1. I decided a group of 4 would work out well, so I contacted some of my friends who have similar sized families and eating habits, (ie. we're not gourmet chefs, but we all appreciate a good home-cooked meal)

2. We picked a date and time and about a week before the swap we all tried to let eachother know what we would be making.

3. Make your food and freeze it the day before.  This will make the swap much easier and also helps in transporting the food home if there's no chance of it spilling.  Also, labeling your food and heating instructions would be a great bonus.

4. SWAP!  I would try to bring a cooler or a box to transport your food home.

This was seriously so great!  I ended up with a gallon of chili, meatball subs, HOMEMADE calzones (Jenny totally outdid us all!), and a great looking lasagna.  I've already eatn the subs, which were amazing, and the calzones are scheduled for this weekend while I'm out of town so there's a nutrituos meal already for the hubs to feed the kiddos.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Give Said the LIttle Stream

I saw this on someone's blog and I thought it sounded like a fun idea. If you would like to play along send me a comment.


1. I will make a little something for the first 3 people that comment on this post. It will be a surprise and may arrive at any time in the next 365 days (yes, a year).

2. To sign up to receive a gift from me you must play along too. Share the giving love on your blog by promising to send a handmade goodie to the first three people that comment on your blog post.

3. You must have a blog.

4. After commenting on my post, you have to post this (or similar) on your blog to spread the love.

Leave me your email address and I will contact you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Yesterday was a good day! It made me feel like Super Woman!

All major disasters in the household were averted, I finished a quilt that had been pieced and basted for at least 3 months, I made chili, a carrot cake and helped my sister finish a dress, I did dishes- twice. Whew, I'm exhausted. I think I'll take today off ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Big Girls Don't Cry

I made this shirt for Viv's first day of kindergarten and it was pretty easy- I think I'll make one for Sophie and post the tutorial. And, luckily for me, Viv was a big girl and didn't cry. Her mom on the other hand was a big old cry baby and cried the whole 2 blocks home from the school after dropping her off. She had a great day and says she loves her teacher and that getting chocolate milk at lunch is really cool! Oh, and in classic Viv fashion, she says her favorite thing about her teacher is that "she looked fantastic". What a girl!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 1 of new dinners = VICTORY!

UN-STUFFED PEPPER SKILLET , from one oe my favorite cooking blogs was a huge success. Oh, and did I mention it's dirt cheap to make?  That's quite possibly my favorite part.  This one is getting added to the recipe file for sure!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Augustus 411

Just the highlights!  Brent unexpectedly switched jobs, which also meant he had some time in between, two weeks of vacation time saved up from the old job to be exact, so after we hung out around home for 4 days we decided on a whim to head out to Utah to visit family.  It was fun, but so tiring and the thought of making that drive again makes me want to puke!
We were home about 10 days and then we headed to SW Michigan for a week at the lake with the Staller clan.  We had lots and lots of fun, and now I'm exhausted!
I have SIX!!!! new recipes I'm trying this week; I got all of my groceries today and Un-Stuffed Pepper Casserole is in the oven right now.  Hopefully I'll be better about this blog stuff and can let you all know how it turns out!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Like pulling teeth . . .

Okay, I know I go way to long between postings- but I've been busy peeps! Here's a glimpse of what I've been up to:
Took Viv and Sophie to a Tin Caps game for Isaac's B-day.  It was Star Wars night, hence the hair and outfits.  The fireworks afterwards were great!
Mom's friend Debbie bought this large floral print at MOOD (I swoon) to use as a tablecloth.  Sadly, her table is a bit larger, so she needed a border added on.  It was a great learning experience for me.  I learned to properly miter corners on a border and do great mitered corners on the hem edge.  This came in especially useful when I made the 8 matching napkins (tutorial on my next post I think!)
Another little bit for Debbie.  She picked up this great Batik in the Carribean, so I bought some green and red florals to finish it out and cover some pillows too!
The family keeps me busy!
Viv's first piano recital- she did such a good job!
Sophie busted her lip open at the Burger King playland.  She was a trooper and only cried for about 30 seconds before she was ready to go play again.  Unfortunately we had to leave to get her some stitches! 
Family Dinner.  Viv set and decorated the table.  She said it was a restaurant.  She's so cute like that! 
Viv's missing an extra tooth on top because her mommy has butterfingers.  I dropped a can of mousse out of the bathroom cupboard and it fell right on her front tooth.  Luckily Ryan drove into his office and Brent met him there and he pulled the tooth.  Crazy times! 
Sophie's stitches healing nicely.  She's thinking about giving that frog a kiss! 
Nathan is NOT thinking about kissing the frog! 
I think she's gonna do it!
Brent is a real softie and brought this kitten home that he found wandering on the side of the highway.  Its very cute and is named Sprinkles, but it needs a different home.  Me and animals don't mix!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Big Reveal and a New Recipe!

Here's the after shot!  This is probably the worst photo ever taken, but that's all I have right now.  I'm really happy with how the makeover went- if you want to see the before, check out my previous post.  It really does look better in person, I think the photo magnifies my amateur spray-painting status.  The hubby says to let him do it next time.  I think I will!
 And, a yummy new recipe.  I've made about four versions of this dish over the last couple of months, and I think I've perfected it.  I started out with two different recipes, smooshed them together and voila!  I'm not really into Thai food, but this kept getting better the more I tweaked it, so its probably barely Thai food anymore, but we all love it!  I like to make all the ingredients early in the day and then about 20 min. before we eat I start the rice, warm up the sauce and then throw the chicken on the grill.  Recipe after the photos.

Grilled Thai Peanut Curry Chicken &and Rice
Marinade for Chicken:
2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 c. Peanut Butter
1/4 c. Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
Warm Water to thin sauce- I used between 1/4-1/2 cup

*Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth.  It will be pretty thick at this point.  Slowly add water to thin the sauce down.  It should be the consistency of heavy whipping cream.  Reserve about 1/2 c. marinade and pour remaining over 2 large chicken breasts that have been cut into cubes.  Let marinate for an hour (or more), and then place on skewers and grill until done.  Continue basting with the reserved marinade while grilling.

**NOTE:  The last time I made this I got lazy and just mixed up some sesame oil, vinegar and soy sauce and used that for the marinade and it was just at yummy!

Sauce for Rice
1 c. mild salsa
1/4 c. Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp. Orange Juice
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp. Curry Sauce - or more if you like.  Play around with it a bit

*Process in blender or food processor and then place in a small pan and warm thoroughly.  Don't let it boil- peanut butter should not boil!

**NOTE:  The last time I made this I was lazy and didn't feel like dirtying my food processor and just heated everything up.  It tasted JUST as good, although it didn't look quite as pretty!

*Put it all together!  Spoon a bit of rice on your plate, top with sauce, chicken, chopped cilantro and julienned red pepper.  You could forgo the pepper, but please don't skip the cilantro- it is essential!

I'm linked up here: Todays Creative Blog

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tis the Season

Garage Sale season is in full swing!  Just about every weekend there are at least 3 or four communities hosting garage sales.  It's fantastic- I go to one area and usually hit about 20 garage sales (give or take a few)!  That's amazing, and I've gotten some AMAZING deals.  Like the Robeez shoes.  Granted, there's no bun in my oven, but could I pass up $1.50 for cute Robeez?  I don't think so!
I linked up here
And this little gem- which will be painted black by the end of this week (fingers crossed) was only $5!

I got a couple of things for my display  areas and added a little spray paint and they're now much cuter- $2 for the brass thing and $.25 (what a deal!!!) for the pitcher thing.  Seriously, the brass was making my eyes burn.  It was so funny, the old lady I bought that from told me it had been on her mantle for almost thirty years!!!  My hubby used engine paint on it, and it worked brilliantly.  Just think- its made to cover and stick to something that is dirty and greasy, so you know its going to stick to garage sale junk too!  I used Valspar Brilliant Silver on the pitcher.

This last one isn't a garage sale find, but I did get it at the dollar store.  Sorry I don't have a before pic, but it started out as a plain old glass vase.  I spray painted the interior first thinking that it would look REALLY shiny- almost like a mirrored surface.  Well, I was wrong.  The paint (Valspar Brilliant Silver spray paint), doesn't look shiny through glass, it looks dull.  So, I gave it a really light coat on the exterior so that it looks shiny in some places and dull in others.  It gave it a really great look!
I linked up here:Todays Creative Blog

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

For the Birds

Do you know the song "His Eye is on the Sparrow"?  It's a great song- I've always really loved. it.  I'm not even sure when I first heard it, but I love the message and decided to make a hanging for my hallway.  Feel free to print out one for yourself.  You can download it HERE, and when you go to print, under "Page Scaling" choose "Fit to printable area."  This is made to fit nicely in an 8x10 frame.  Enjoy!
I'm alse participating in TCB Tuesday Link-up party, go check it out!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hoppy Easter (cheesey, I know)

Sophie helping to sweep the living room- making everything look good for the Easter Bunny.

Vivian in her "Easter shirt, that she insisted on sleeping in.  What a silly girl!

Nathan LOVES his chocolate bunny :)

The Silly picture.  Unfortunately, that's the only kind of picture we got of all three kids together this year.  Oh well.  I think it represents our lives fairly accurately.

I made the girls' dresses using THIS free pattern from Burda style.  I had a couple of friends make some too.  Its a really easy pattern, and the thing I like most about it is the attention to interior detail.  It is constructed so that there are no raw edges visible inside.  The bodice is lined too- which I always think is a nice touch.  One minor note, I had to add a button closure to back.  Maybe my kids have really big heads, but these puppies were not going on without it!