Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's been far too long since I've given you an episode of "Look at all of the weird stuff you can buy on Craigslist this week!" Here they are...things I found today on my local Craigslist. Swear.

"Happy Holiday Reindeer" - $100 (as-if!)
aka...Rudolph's albino brother, Whitey

"Raccoon Tea Set - $10" (ooo...I've just gotta see this!)
Yup...that's kinda what I thought.
And if that just isn't enough raccoon for ya, how about this to go with your new tea set?

"Raccoon Picture - $10"
What sort of Creepy McCreeps-a-lot owns these things? (sorry..I shouldn't judge. Sorry I called you creepy. It's not YOU...it's your crazy nocturnal mammal-lovin' home decor choices)

"Lil Minx Dance Pole - $200"
(no photo - thank goodness!)

Yup...a stripper pole! (i had to Google it). What the heck! Apparently she's selling it because she's "moving out of state." But she's so generous...she has outfits and shoes too if you're interested. Yikes! Now I'm wondering if the raccoon stuff is hers too. Wouldn't that be an interesting trailer? A stripper pole and a framed raccoon on the wall. yee-haw!

"Deer Antler Skull Rack - $50"

Oh no! Did the Raccoons get to Whitey?!

"Dragon Table Lighter - $45"

I have no idea what this is...nor do I understand how it is both electric and gas...but whatever...it's weird.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dollar Tree Decor

How big of a nerd am I if I say I've found the BEST Dollar Tree ever? I know, I know...total lame-o. But seriously! Here are a few decor projects I created this week with Dollar Tree finds and things I had on-hand. Small black frames - $1 each. Cute little ceramic bird to welcome SPRING - $1. I had the candle holder and the Willow Tree figurine and used scrapbook paper and my Cricut to make the letters/background. Total cost: $4

Hellllllo there cute little birdie! Seeing you makes me think Spring - and I love you for that! Isn't she cute? ONE-DOLLAR! See her cute little nest? Moss....one dollar. See the pillar she's perched upon? Goodwill...$3 (darn...Dollar Tree didn't have any....THIS time).
Daddy's Night Out

Tonight was "Daddy's Night Out" at Lauren's preschool. It was a wonderful opportunity for the kids to spend a fun night with their Dads or other important male family members. Lauren was so excited to have her big date with her Daddy. Bailey fixed her hair and she put on her "He's not just my Daddy, he's my HERO!" shirt and off they went. Here are a few pictures of their fun night and their birdhouse project. (Lauren did the hammering - and apparently designed the project).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Big Boy "Dinasurrr" Room

A couple months ago I learned about Ana. Ana is going to change our home! She is an amazing lady in Alaska who takes popular, EXPENSIVE furniture found in popular and EXPENSIVE stores and develops simple and bank account-friendly plans so you...yes YOU, can build them. I fell instantly in love with her, her blog and her plans! I immediately showed Mark the site...and my long...LONG list of projects I hoped we could complete. And guess what? He was immediately on-board!

Our first project was a big boy bed (aka: twin bed) for Grant. It was something we NEEDED...and we liked the idea of putting our own sweat and near-tears into it. For this first assignment, Mark was the builder and I was the finisher. This worked out well. Mark's attention to detail sometimes drives me nuts because I'm a dive-in head-first sorta person and he's a planner...and a researcher....and likes to practice and study and have the entire process thought out in advance. SO NOT ME! But because he's Mr. Analytical, this bed ROCKS! Way to go, honey!

This bed is a "knock-off" of a Land of Nod bed from their Simple Collection. Their bed retails for around $700. Ours was made for about $100 plus paint...paint that I'll be able to use for the next several projects!

I'm going to post more about the process of making the bed later....because I really want this to be about Grant's room...his excitement over the big reveal, etc. So here it is...in pictures. Please note a couple things first though:
1. I didn't realize he would be coming up the stairs with ketchup all over his face...and I didn't want to ruin the moment by interrupting to clean him up...so his joy comes with condiment.

2. The curtains didn't photograph well. They do NOT look sage green in real life. They are bright....almost exactly the color of the walls. I plan to add a little something to them later on because it's a little too monochromatic for me right now.

3. I am NOT done in here. I have a few more additions planned for his room - stay tuned!

Night-Night Big Boy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Raindrops on Roses, Whiskers on Kittens....

I'm sitting here watching one of my new favorite shows and it inspired to me to list out all of my latest favorites. Here goes...

Modern Family - soooo funny!

Glee - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Maybe it's the show choir Mom in me...or maybe it's because I have really good taste and this show is AWESOME!

Kock-Off Wood - Knock Off Wood
I heart Ana! We are 3/4 of the way through with our first project, a knock-off of the Simple Bed from Land of Nod...but way sturdier and way, WAY cheaper. When that's done, then we're on to a looooooong list of other projects. So much fun!
Diet Coke -

Etsy - Can't get enough of people's creativity! I could shop here all day, every day. (but I won't - don't worry, honey)
Mod Podge - Decoupage goodness! So another recent favorite is this blog - Mod Podge Rocks

DiDi Benami and Crystal Bowersox -
My favorite girls on American Idol this season.
Incredible Pizza Company - Good, clean family fun!

and thrift store "hunting" in general.

My new travel coffee mug. The picture doesn't do it justice..the most beautiful green you've ever seen! I'm into green lately - LOVE it!

Of course there's more...but I'll save it for another post on another day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Easter Apparel for the little kiddos:
Grant's shoes...TBD. Coordinating something or another for Bailey...TBD (because I'd like to get a new picture taken of all 3 of them).

I heard it was Pi day recently, so since I have allergic reactions to all things math, I'm making this to celebrate:

Chocolate Cream Pie

• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups milk
• 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
• 3 egg yolks
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked

1. Combine sugar, flour, milk, and chopped up chocolate in 2 quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Continue stirring for 2 minutes.
2. Mix a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, beating rapidly to avoid cooking the yolks. Stir the warm yolk mixture into the remainder of the chocolate mixture, and cook for an additional 90 seconds. Remove from heat, and stir in butter or margarine and vanilla.
3. Pour filling into pie shell, and chill until set. Top with whipped topping, and a little grated chocolate.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Every once in awhile I try a new recipe that just rocks...and this one was definitely a keeper! So good I wanted to share it with you. This is a microwave (score!) Pampered Chef recipe for the deep covered baker. If you don't have one of these "magic pots" - you have to - HAVE TO get one! I scored one free last fall when I hosted a party...but even if I had to pay full-price it would have been worth every penny! Trust me...I've never steered you wrong! You can order one here. I don't benefit if you order...I'm not having a show, I don't sell the stuf...it is just one of those products that you MUST tell everyone you know about! Ok...on to the recipe! Again, I modified this recipe, so here is MY version:

2 lbs of ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
1 diced green pepper (I diced a whole green pepper but it looked like too much, so I used about half)
1 diced onion (didn't have one...so I threw in some dried onion flakes...worked just fine)
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese (of course I used more...just supporting America's Dairymen. I actually didn't have shredded cheddar on hand so I used a blend of Kraft's shredded white mexican cheese (not the blend of cheese...but all white) and colby/jack)
1/2 cup of salsa (I probably used a little more than this...I just dumped it in. I used my Dad's canned salsa from his garden - but any would do)

I mixed all of this together and shaped it in my deep covered baker. Then I covered it - popped it in the microwave for 18 minutes. Uncover it....dump some more salsa on top (probably 1/4 cup?)...pop it back in microwave for about 5 minutes. Then take it out again and dump more cheese on top (if you want...duh!).

I did drain some liquid (created from meat and salsa) after the 18 minutes - but it really doesn't hurt anything to have the liquid in the bottom. The house smelled DELICIOUS and it tasted AMAZING! super moist.

Now, if you're skeptical about cooking meat in the microwave...that's because you don't have the Deep Covered Baker. Trust me.....it is like you cooked it in the oven! But done in 20 minutes! The meat doens't have that weird gray color from the microwave...it is just like oven-cooked meat - HONEST!

This would have been great with mexican rice...but I didn't have time for that. Also - please note the original recipe called for 1/2 cup ketchup instead of salsa....and it called for the Pampered Chef chipotle rub, which I omitted. The salsa gave me the flavor to make it "southwest." It also called for a little less cheese.

Order your magic pot and make this recipe - I promise you'll love it!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

This is Lauren's second year of dance. At age three, she was in "Tumbling Tots," which was mostly pencil rolls, forward rolls, crab walks and the like. Cute as heck at the recital though. This year, at the ripe age of four, she's moved on to "Pre-Ballet." And this year, she's actually learning real dance elements!
Chasse: (sha-SAY) Chased. A step in which one foot literally chases the other foot out of its position; done in a series.
Fondu, fondue (fawn-DEW) Sinking down. a term used to describe a lowering of the body made by bending the knee of the supporting leg.
Plie: (plee-AY) Bent, bending. A bending of the knee or knees. (etc., etc. not going to type it all out)
Saute, Sautee (Soh-TAY) Jumped, jumping. When this term is added to the name of a step, the movement is performed while jumping.
Echappe (ay-sha-PAY) Escaping or slipping movement. An echappe is a level opening of both feet from a closed position. Echappe saute is what Lauren's class does...this is done with a spring from the 5th position and finishes in a demi-plie in the open position. (whatever - when 4-yr-olds do this, it looks like a jumping jack except arms are open to the side instead of over the head)
I'm sure there are other moves, for instance I know they've learned at least 1st and 2nd positions...and I'm sure there is a french term for the pointing of the toe in front of the body in a point, point, point fashion? There seems to be a lot of that going on.
Anyway - it's cute as a cute can be! Her dance number is called "Pinkalicious" - and it is! =-)
Last night we brought her costume home. (Pictures in a future post). She was so excited about it and started talking about the recital on the drive home. The conversations went something like this:
Lauren: I love my pinkalicious costume!
Me: I know! It's so beautiful!
Lauren: I'm going to wear it at the recital! I'm going to wear my leg warmers!
Me: I don't think you can wear your leg warmers for the recital.
Lauren: Why?
Me: Because you have to wear special tights
Lauren: What kind of special tights?
Me: I'm not sure yet - I don't think they've told us....we'll have to ask
Lauren: You need to go to dance class dot com and look up it
Me: (laugh out loud!!!)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Friday night I went on a girl's night out with Lauren. She was so excited to do something special - just she and her Mommy. What did we do? Where did we go? Well, we attended an awesome book launch party for my friend and fellow book club-member, Becky Janni. Her brand-spankin'-new children's book, Every Cowgirl Needs A Horse is a MUST-BUY if you have or know of a little girl with a big imagination. It is going to be huge...H-U-G-E, I tell you! I predict Fancy Nancy proportions.

Read more about the book and it's amazing author HERE. And then head over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble or a bunch of other locations to buy your copies now! I promise you - you will not be disappointed!

And speaking of my book club (J'adore!), this is the SECOND published author in our group! (and there's only about 8 of us in the "club"). If you have a teen or tween, you MUST check out Eileen's Mia the Meek series - they are equally awesome! Buy them here and here.

Having such amazing women in my book club makes me wonder how/why it is they let ME in! Now go buy your new books!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My sweet, recovering-from-a-horrible-stomach-bug baby boy...

(I'm recovering too....so no judging on the horrible appearances)