Monday, December 21, 2009

the solution.

batteries.
scotch tape.
and my mommy kisses.

...can fix anything, according to my sweet little girl.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

stockings

I've had my one good eye on these stockings over at PBKids. Part of me wants to duplicate them, in the future, at a more affordable price...putting my mad sewing skills to use.

And part of me wants to just snatch them up while they're on sale for $14.99 and shipping is free. And have them here in time for Christmas.

And another part of me is hoping that they will still be in stock after Christmas...and that the price will be even less.

[and I'm kidding about that 'one good eye' bit]

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dan in Real Life

Recently, I flipped through the tv channels wanting to find some quick entertainment...you know something that wasn't too long or involved so I'd get to bed at a decent hour, but not wanting to go to bed too early...I saw that Dan in Real Life was on. I love this movie. I actually own it.

It was at the part where the family is singing about Ruthie 'pig face' Draper. I watched until the next commercial break...and I just had a hankering to watch more...so instead of watching it on tv like my parents would do [even when they owned the movies]. I got out our DVD and watched Dan in Real Life in its entirety, which resulted in the late night I was trying to avoid, but totally worth it.

I love the strong sense of family in this movie.  I love their little traditions and the activities they do to keep the family involved: the family talent show, the cross-word puzzle competition, the 'aerobics class,' and the football game. Just love it all plus it makes me laugh every time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

shades

The only pair of sunglasses I have ever truly loved with all my heart. ...fell into a yet-to-be-used toilet at the San Antonio airport on the 3rd of November, and even though I have washed them and sanitized them, I still have not had the heart [or the guts] to put them on.

I will be emersing them in a bleach/water combo for one last desperate attempt to save them [in my eyes; they may already be saved in yours]. I realize people drop cell phones and keys in toilets all the time, and continue to use them if they work...oh, if I could be so brave.

I will. But if you happen to see me wearing them...let's just keep it on the down-low. m'kay?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

smitten

I'm just as smitten with these ornaments as I was the first moment I saw them. [6 years ago]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

feathers

We made these sugar cookies into colorful feathers. [and hearts, just for kicks]
The feathers were for this little turkey and his friends [not pictured].I rolled out brown paper on the table. Drew up some featherless turkeys, and Indians, and pilgrims with non-toxic black crayon. But just to make sure the crayon didn't rub onto the cookies, I put down some clear plastic wrap. Then, we displaced feathers where needed...you know like on Indian head pieces or pilgrim hats or turkey bums.

And since the feathers weren't nearly colorful enough, we frosted them with various colors and amounts of buttercream frosting. The pilgrims and Indians also got large doses of color, where needed.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

mayflower

I saw a centerpiece similar to this in the pottery barn kids catalog. Of course, this is my own version with a few modifications... I used a basket instead of an oval metal container. I was really happy to find anything that even remotely resembled a ship, so when I came across this basket at Ross for only $9 I was quite pleased with the find.
Pottery barn's version also had sails the same size with embroidered brown stitching around the edges. I wanted mine to look more like the actual Mayflower, which is why I went with different-sized sails. I would have used square napkins [to make it really simple], but in an effort to save money I just dug into my sewing materials and used an old white sheet.

I may still embroider the edges. I think a simple, elegant script reading 'thankful' in the bottom right corner of the front sail might be the perfect, personal touch to this Thanksgiving centerpiece.

note: I think a centerpiece this large would be a little difficult to converse through at the dinner itself, that is, if your table is full...so I would recommend a smaller version or just displaying it elsewhere [I think displaying it on the front step would be a great way to welcome guests for the holiday].

Thursday, November 19, 2009

gracie.lane.

so i'm at it again...hoping to win something fabulous, that is.

obviously, i haven't won anything...yet...[remember i said i would let you know if i ever did]...but maybe. just maybe. i would be so lucky to display christmas cheer at its comfy-coziest with this giveaway.

p.s. i love marta writes. where this giveaway is taking place. i don't know her personally, but i totally dig her posts. especially the posts about good ol' idaho. love that state. you should go. to idaho. someday.

actually, i was really going to say you should go enter this giveaway. too. for yourself. i would be happy if you won. even if that means i didn't. 'tis the season.

p.p.s. this post is done in true. marta writes. fashion.

p.p.s.s. whatever that post script is supposed to be. i just went back and looked at the fine print. i'm supposed to link to gracie lane. the etsy shop. so you should check that out. after you enter the giveaway. n'kay?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

diapers

...Pampers to be specific.

I love their Gifts to Grow program. With each diaper purchase you make, you get points to earn merchandise. But that's not why I love it, I've never used my points toward merchandise. I love it because Pampers teamed up with Unicef and now I get the opportunity to donate all my points toward vaccines.

1 point=1 vaccine

One box of Pampers alone is 6 points. Do the math...that's 6 vaccines donated to women and children in under-privileged countries through Unicef.

Since they started offering this as part of the program [last year, maybe?], I'm pretty sure I've donated well over 70 vaccines. I, by no means, am bragging...just happy to make a difference somewhere out there...and with diapers even, who would have thought?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

self. portraits.

I'm getting my smokey on. sort of. Okay, my eyes don't look THAT smokey, and they're definitely not as smokey as Dr. Vanna von White [pronounced vite]...but you'll never be able to compare due to undocumentation.

But here I am trying to document my attempts at the smokey eye...which reminds me have you done a self-portrait photo session lately? I think they can be such a riot, as you can clearly see.

[sweet and smokey]

[puckered. you have to do puckered.]
[an amysueiloveyou wink.]

[that last one's for you kimbabwe...because I know you would laugh and laugh, and I can imagine you winking back in similar fashion]

Monday, November 16, 2009

happy

I thought a cloth happy birthday banner would be a fun addition to birthdays to come. I made the "birthday" banner [not pictured] separate, I thought this would give me options when it came to stringing it up. I tried to make it a general neutral banner, so we could just break it out for anyone's birthday. My fabric options are limited here, so this was what I came up with.

The banner was fairly simple to make. Now that I've made one, it would be easy to duplicate and make improvements. I made it so the backside could just be displayed for other special occassions like a welcome home or congrats; I just didn't add letters.

If you do attempt to make your own, the advice I would give you is to make it so it can serve dual occassions; and also to get that perfect isosceles triangle draw it up in word or your publishing program of choice.

Enjoy it for years to come!

Friday, November 13, 2009

apple pie [without the pie]

Once tasting the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's apple pie caramel apple [a few years back], I was sold...for sure on the taste, but not the price. So I decided to set out on my own gourmet caramel apple experiment...but not without research.
[from the 2007 experiment gourmet apples pictured: smores, oreo, white fudge oreo, and apple pie]

Yes, I google...which led me to some great recipes for this experiment. I found a ton of recipes here. And made up some varieties. But the caramel apple pie recipe I found is by far my favorite, I even gifted them one Christmas to friends and neighbors...I like to imagine they were an affordably tasty big hit.

Since this experiment was a couple years back, I don't recall where I found the replicated recipe originally. I did google again, and I found others which are basically the same recipe. But rather than linking, I'll just share the basics here.

Gourmet Apple Pie Caramel Apples

Caramel (I prefer the Concord's Apple Wraps...so, so easy)
Granny Smith Apples
Melted White Chocolate
Cinnamon Sugar mixture (you can mix your own or buy it pre-mixed)1) I just follow the instructions for the caramel wraps.

2) After the caramel apples have cooled slightly, I swirl melted white chocolate around them.

(I did recently see Ms. Martha adding vegetable oil to her melted white chocolate to make it spread easier for some white chocolate suckers, so I think adding oil might make the chocolate easier for dipping rather than spooning and swirling it on...but I haven't tested it yet.)

The white chocolate is NOT going to look perfect, but the cinnamon sugar mixture disguises it. And in the end no one will think twice about it's appearance.

3) Shake or spoon the cinnamon sugar mixture on.

4) Allow to set. Refrigeration helps speed up this process.

5) Once the white chocolate is set (by this I mean, firm), I like to place them in a decorative cupcake holder, wrap them up in cellophane, and tie them all up with a festive ribbon.


The gourmet-ish possibilities are really endless. Try candy bars, candy, trail mix, dried fruit, cookies, and drizzle with chocolate to keep everything in place. But try the apple pie [without the pie].

Thursday, November 12, 2009

tyler

He's all the rage right now.
[round these parts]

Tyler has made quite the impression on my 4 year old daughter. All I've heard since Tuesday is Tyler is the bomb-diggity (in so many words). SJ told me last night before bed that she was going to close her eyes and dream about Tyler.

Looks like Daddy's got some competition.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

the record

Years ago while visiting my childhood home, I sat on the couch and observed. With a notebook and pen in hand, I started to write down tidbits of conversations I overheard. I'd write down funny things, random things, and things that ended up being funny when taken out of context. I even had some "page-worthy" quotes myself.

This came to be known as the record in my family. The record is too good to keep to myself and my family, so I will be sharing "page-worthy" quotes via this blog.

Introducing.....the record..."like a record, record, record."

"We don't need to own a plane to go snowboarding."
-said by myself to my wonderful husband, Nov. 3rd

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

undocumented

So last night you may have seen us in attendance at a work Halloween party. I say may because you may not have recognized us.

That blonde scientist with the 'smokey eyes' peaking out from behind those Harry Potter glasses, who kept calling herself Dr. Vanna von White [pronounced vite] in various accents, that was me. And the tall guy in the scrubs with the orange '70s hair, who kept using accents as well and using the alias Dr. von Weird [that, most definitely, was my main man]. And Toy Story's Woody and Jesse were there as well, although you may have guessed by now...those were our very own little cowhands.

And just in case you or a cleverly disguised you missed this event, just know that you also missed the best mad scientisty-themed room...pretty much EVER. And that mad scientisty-themed room did snag the pizza party! Hmmm...I wonder who the mastermind was behind that clever theme?

Well, I'll admit it was me, although I did take a few pointers from Ms. Martha. But I may have outdone her [just a little bit]. [insert menacing mad scientist laugh here]

Now I bet your curious? Unfortunately, it is undocumented. But I will attempt to share a few of my favorite details in a post to come. Until then...[insert mad scientist laugh again]

Saturday, October 24, 2009

i gotta feeling

I happened to watch Oprah this last week...and this little number has been on my mind ever since.

Let's just say Oprah was pleasantly surprised, and I've gotta feeling it will be a nice little surprise for you too. [if you haven't seen it yet]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

scallop and smokey

Or smokey and scallop?

What do these have in common? Nothing except I want to link to the articles before they are lost to the blogosphere forever more.

I want to remember Scalloped Edges before it is buried too far within Stephmodo's archives that I would never be able to re-locate it. I particularly want to remember where to find the circle labels and the boxes...for future reference. And possibly try my own scalloped skirt. Do I dare?

And do I dare try this how-to from Design Mom's guest Allison? I prefer the natural-istic look myself. I still wear make-up, and up until recently considered myself a minimalist of sorts in that department, but maybe that's because I don't really know what I'm doing. I'm convinced that anybody can be on magazine covers so long as they have a hair stylist, make-up artist, and photoshop at their hands.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ruffles

"Ruffles are all the rage right now, so the blogoshpere tells me," I've told my dear husband a couple times as of late.

These instructions may have been incredibly helpful with my own ruffle attempt. And will most definitely be so, if I attempt the ruffle T.

p.s. These instructions might be helpful if I want a ruffly V.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

gracious

The gracious Cassity, over at remodelaholic.com, has graciously compiled an awesome list of food storage helps...something you may or may not have thought of.

Go check this awesome list out. [now, before you forget]

It never hurts to have access to helpful ideas, or have a source available for reference, or to be prepared. [wink, you'll get that after you check the link]

Saturday, October 10, 2009

missing:

One cute family.

[not literally] Just from this blog.

Wish I was willing to share them with the world, then you'd see how I dote on each of them. But until then...it'll be like top secret info [that may occassionally get leaked]. Now I just need to give them all really cool code names or something.

Hmmm...

Friday, October 9, 2009

stocked up

It seems these handy dandy caramel wraps are only a seasonal item where I live. I wasn't even able to locate them last year...so you can imagine my reaction as I turned the aisle past the pumpkins and saw a boxful of these babies right where they're supposed to be [at all times].

I think I may have cheered. And then I proceeded to fill my cart. Trust me, I wanted to buy them all, but I settled for 15. That's 75 gourmet caramel apples waiting to be made.

Why do I need 75, well, now 70 (made a batch a couple weeks ago)? Let's just say it has to do with a special kind of day celebrated the world round. And these in all their gourmet-ness are an awesome little goodie to give and receive. And did I mention this is the absolute easiest way to do caramel apples with pretty much a guaranteed no-fail result?

Stay tuned for gourmet apple ideas that you can use over the next few months.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

magical

This has got me thinking about the next birthday event in our house. [although he may still be a little young to fully appreciate it]

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

profile of greatness

1. Focus
2. Preparedness
3. Conviction
4. Perseverance
5. Creativity
6. Curiosity
7. Resilience
8. Risk-taking
9. Independence
10. Sense of a Higher Purpose

I learned of these attributes my sophomore year in a college course. I then placed a hand-written card in my wallet, so I could be reminded what it takes to accomplish great things and someday do so.

What can I say? I'm a work in progress.

[Go here for the same list in greater detail]

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

my guess

Hmmm...I think the most obvious guess here is Oprah. I knew it would happen...just wondering when.

Monday, September 28, 2009

wish i may, wish i might

Have you seen the huge giveaway going on at Make It and Love It? And Rachelle Writes? And Vanilla Joy? And Priscilla Styles? And Life As Lou? And My Organized Chaos? And Auntie Thesis? And Capadia Designs? And Cricut Christmas? Well, have you, and if so have you entered?I could sure use this handy organization station...to hide what is currently my "mess of a crafting table." Oh, if I could only be so brave to show the world how truly messy it is!

I'll tell you what, if I happen to win I will post this said mess for your viewing displeasure. Honest, I will. Of course, I will also post the mess after I have packed it nicely into the vanilla beadboard or raised panel workbox, so you can breath easier knowing my house is that much more the tidier.

Check out the other items available at The Original Scrapbox. I've got my eye on this handy little ribbon organizer. And if you feel a hankering to buy some of their products: Enter this code when you place your order to get $100 off your shipping: 100Writes.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

spearmint baby

I love how blogs just share and share and share ideas. If they didn't I wouldn't have ever come across this awesome ABC wall found over at spearmint baby.In fact, I wouldn't have had the chance to peruse the other awesome baby decor ideas and products on display there. Check it out! Your eyes will love you, and who knows you might come across a few great ideas for yourself.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

jimmy & parker

The Jimmy Fallon & Parker Posey Pepsi Commercial has to be my all-time favorite ever. It aired during the 2006 Super Bowl, I believe. And it still makes me smile...and bust a move. [or try to]

For your viewing pleasure, click the links below. The images aren't the best, but still worth it.

Jimmy & Parker Pepsi Commercial [30 seconds]
Jimmy & Parker Pepsi Commercial [60 seconds]

Makes me want to just break out my life's soundtrack and dance enthusiastically down the street.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

there's a reason...

why I don't do tutorials...
exhibit a
Well, a few reasons to be exact.

1) my photography skills are not quite up to 'the' par I would like them to be...working on it, so please pardon my dust. [always wanted to say that]

2) to document each step is such a hassle to me, especially when I even get a moment to do some of these projects. I don't know how some of you do it! But I admire you for it.

3) if I had to give it a number, I'd say 70% of the time the projects go smoothly, the other 30% is dedicated to fixing mistakes or trying to disguise them, so you think that's what I was really going for.

For example, exhibit a was my attempt to document the steps it would take for me to pull-off ruffles on SJ's dance tote. Let's just say that exhibit a was just the beginning of this project's 30%.

Now take exhibit b [picture below], this clearly was not the original vision I had for this tote, but I like it even more. Thankfully, the polka-dot ribbon covers the holes where I ripped out the ribbon that is shown being sewn in exhibit a.

So instead of ruffles galor, I have a little ruffle fix accompanied by simplicity and bling. [and p.s. I am happy with exhibit b's photography work]

exhibit b
So instead of giving you a step-by-step photo-accompanied tutorial, I'm just going to give you the finished product. And tell you even though it's not perfect, I'm pleased with my work and so is the owner. I give you exhibit c...

exhibit c
I will also tell you, that I purchased the "hip messenger bag" at that one store that is basically established in every town across America, but I can't for the life of me think of what it could be called....starts with a W ends with an al-mart. You know what I'm talking about, right?

Anyway, it came with a bunch of iron-on designs, as you can see in exhibit d. I added SJ's choices for good measure [whatever that means exactly].

exhibit d...for dance!
And that is why I don't do tutorials.
[unless you ask very, very nicely]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

sweepstakes

I've been all about sweepstakes lately. I don't know why. I just have been. Oh, and blog giveaways. Believe you me if I ever end up winning anything, I'll let you know unless it's a whole lot of money...maybe I'll tell you after it's spent. [wink]

Maybe you are right there with me on entering sweepstakes and voted at amazon.com on the Best Magazine Cover. Before even looking at any of the choices, I knew this was the most memorable magazine cover I'd seen in a long time. And so I voted for it. When it came to voting on the finalists, this cover almost slipped in with all that gray. And the texture! I found myself getting lost in the gray bliss of it all...that's just a poetic way to say I appreciate the work.

But I stuck with good ol' Tina.
"Fey all the way!"

[sorry, Parker]

Monday, September 21, 2009

colour.

No, I'm not British. (I wouldn't mind having the accent though)

Nor do I ever spell color with a u until just barely.

Click on over here,
and I think you'll understand what I'm getting at.

I [heart] colour. [oh, I did it again]

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the clue.

What could I possibly be doing with this color of paint?
What would you do with the color opulent?
Any takers?

{answer pending project completion}

Saturday, September 12, 2009

cake stand

Can anyone point me in the right direction as to where I could purchase a cake stand somewhat similar to this?
{photo from CuisineNie}

Preferably inexpensive...but if not I just may have to splurge.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

wrap it up already

I am envisoning something like this around the house at Christmas time: So I have been saving boxes and boxes and boxes. [I feel like quite the hoarder, but it will all be worth it when they are all wrapped up in lovely paper and decked out in ribbon, and hanging there on the walls while that Christmas music plays...]

{scanned image from last year's Pottery Barn magazine}

Monday, September 7, 2009

plain white t's

I'm a fan of Sesame Street. [always have been]

How can you not love those adorable, charming monsters trying to make you laugh or smile at every moment? Cookie monster's segment is always a favorite around here...although these days he has less screen time than he used to.

And the celebrity guest appearances are always fun [for me more so than for my kids].

One of our all-time favorite letter of the day segments is the Plain White T's song.

Totally worth it...guaran-teed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

hello september.

That's it.

Just wanted to give September a proper welcome. And now I have.

If you'll please excuse me, there is much to be done this month. It is all very exciting.


[stay tuned]

Friday, August 28, 2009

once...

I recovered a couch.
And not just a regular old couch.
A sectional.It made a world of difference.
Did I mention I was six months pregnant at the time?

Of course, I had a little help.

My sister recently had taken a reupholstery class and gave me a few pointers that I didn't find on the internet. And my husband was very helpful with the upholstery staple gun and stapling just where I told him to. And then of course, my daughter, SJ, not wanting to miss out on the action proved very handy with the hammer.

This probably was the biggest project I've ever taken on. Totally worth it though.

Reupholstery projects can only get easier from here, right?

So I'm here to tell you, it can be done.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

brown paper packages tied up w/ strings

I'm in love with this post over at black*eiffel. Packaging made so simple, and yet, still so very appealing.

When I do get around to posting items in my Etsy shop, you can imagine similar packaging arriving in the mail from amy sue, i love you designs.

I'm also imagining Christmas cards of a similar fashion. [shhh.]

[and yes, I am already thinking about Christmas]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

lord goring

"Fashion is what one wears oneself.
What is unfashionable is what other people wear."
-Lord Goring, from the movie An Ideal Husband

This quote always makes me feel better about my own personal style. [as "in" or "out" as it may be at times] I've never been unconfident in my style, but I realize there is always room for improvement especially when I take notice of friends [or blogs], who not only seem to be stylin' themselves, but their kids are as well.

btw-Have you seen this movie?
One of my favorites.

Monday, August 24, 2009

extensions

I've just recently decided that skirts are a must to stay cool during the grueling summer days here in the Lone Star State. So I've added a few shorter length skirts to my weekly wardrobe [not just for Sundays anymore]. When I say short, I mean knee-length-ish, I don't like them too short...obviously for modesty reasons.

A friend of mine [JoMama], shared a link to an online store [like forever ago] that specialized in "skirt-extensions" [if you will], and I was in love with the idea, but not the price. So...about $8 later I had made this little number in minutes. I will be making more [eventually]...in different colors and fabrics. I think this will be an adorable addition to my daughter's wardrobe too.

Go ahead, try it! I dare you.

Friday, August 21, 2009

kitchen curtains

One of my beautiful sisters made me these beautiful hand towels as a gift......the only thing is they are way too beautiful to dry my hands on daily. [or at all]

Still wanting to display them in my kitchen, I decided to hang them as "curtains" in the window over my kitchen sink. I couldn't be more pleased. I get to look at them daily and they're way out of reach of any sticky little fingers.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

suzy's chocolate chip cookies

I don't believe in secret recipes...[why not share a good thing if you can?]. But if I were to have one this would be top secret. This recipe comes from my mother-in-law's kitchen [with a few revisions made by myself].

2 sticks butter, softened
1 stick of margarine, softened [original calls for 2 sticks]
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 1/4 c. brown sugar [original calls for 2 cups]
3 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla
6 c. flour (loosely filled)
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips [preferably Ghirardelli or Guittard]
[original calls for 2 c. chopped nuts, but I never add nuts to my cookies. The idea is just nuts to me.]

Mix softened (not melted) butter and margarine with sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix briefly. Add flour, salt, and soda. Add chocolate chips when dough has formed. Roll into balls; don't go spooning them onto the pan, they must be rolled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. [I like to take them out of the oven before they're close to golden-brown and just let them bake on the pan for a few minutes before allowing them to cool on the rack]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

expectant elephant

When we were at the Hogle Zoo this past July there was an expectant elephant. I've been wondering about her lately, wondering if she had delivered her little [big] baby.

In a recent phone conversation with my sister, I was informed that the elephant did have her baby (after 22 months). The mother and her elephant are bonding at present, so they aren't open to the public at this time. But you can check out some pics at ZooBorns.

And you can also see a few other additions new to the Hogle Zoo this summer.

Monday, August 17, 2009

pixie holler

I'm not a fan of the "characters" being plastered on every imaginable item....shoes, clothes, bedding, home decor, etc. There are always the exceptions to this rule. Recently, we've made a few of these exceptions. We've purchased Transformers shoes for my son because they were the only "summer" shoes available in the area.

Even more recently we purchased a backpack for my daughter. She wanted purple, and the only purple backpack close to her size had Tinker Bell on it. With the limited options, we went ahead and bought it [especially because she really liked it and that's what mattered].

On arrival home, I took a closer look at Tink. Now I know she has a cute figure and isn't ashamed to show it off...but this is a little ridiculous to be displayed on a little girl's backpack. Call me a prude, if you must...but I just didn't approve of Miss Bell flaunting herself like this on my daughter's backpack, so rather than returning it I decided to give her a makeover. And made the gal a little more modest...although I accidentally made her slightly more voluptuous in the process, but at least her "boops" [as my daughter would say] are covered.And since our options are limited in this area, I'm pretty sure my little sweetie wasn't going to be the only one sporting this backpack at school. So now, even though it's like the rest of them, it's not.

The title, you ask? My daughter calls Tinker Bell's home Pixie Holler instead of Pixie Hollow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

dear nie nie

Dear Stephanie,

I wish you the best as you hike the Y today. I wish I could come and hike it with you and be inspired by you once more. But alas, I am too far away...and there isn't even a mountain in the vicinity that I could pretend to hike with you.

I look forward to reading your blog with all the details of this latest accomplishment.

lots of love,
Amy

Thursday, August 13, 2009

no more tangles

I live vicariously through my daughter and her long hair, since mine isn't that long [yet]. But the tangles this girl manages to get in her hair overnight were just too much! We were considering cutting it to ease the tears that came from brushing.

I remember how much tangles hurt when you're little. My mom would use a product called No More Tangles. I would hold the bottle and look at the little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl with the little tear-drop falling off the lettering. No More Tangles sure made the whole detangling process more bearable then...which is exactly what I needed for my daughter now.

That was way back in the 80s, surely there was a similar product today. Sure enough, a strawberry-scented detangling product of the same name, just different packaging, was easily spotted at our local Walmart. [Here's a visual from Amazon.]

I still get a few protests while brushing her hair, but if she's distracted with a good conversation she hardly notices the "ouchies."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

imagine mini me and mini you

My recent safari-an nesting doll purchase got me thinking that I could possibly design and paint my own set of Russian nesting dolls. So I "googled" to see where I could purchase a set. This set of 10 is sold at rus-sell.com for $25, which seems reasonable, but shipping is $16 [most likely they're shipping from Russia at that price]. The sets are newly hand-made in Russia and made out of lime tree base...so I'll also have to do my research on the best paint and techniques needed to complete this little family. [since I don't claim to be a painter]

You're welcome to join me on this crafting venture. I'd love to see your vision for your own personal set...think of the possibilities. I'm thinking a nativity for this set of 10 could result in charming. I also think my family in miniature Russian nesting form would be fun.

I'll keep you posted when I check this off the to-do list. [or if I come across any helpful tips in the process]

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the sundance scene

Maria von Trapp has her Alps, and I have my Sundance. I spent many a day playing, working, and breaking hearts in the shadow of Mount Timpanogos. There are so many great things about this place...the beauty, the romance, the restaurants, the year-round activities and entertainment, the art programs, and most obviously the mountain sports-summer and winter.

If you're not up for the sports venue, but still would like to take in the view, Sundance offers scenic lift rides in the summer and fall. You have the option to just sit and ride the lift, taking in the splendor all around you, or if you're feeling up for a little exercise you can get off at the top and hike over to Stewart Falls and back and just ride the lift back to the base.

The scenic ride can be shared with family, friends, or, for a more "romantic" ride, that special someone in your life.

Before you go, stop by the Sundance Grocery Deli for a sucker [in the summer] or hot chocolate [in the fall] to enjoy while you take your scenic lift ride.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

rubber bands

You know those "rubber" bracelets you get for free almost everytime you turn around? Our "collection" has included...

Motherhood: It's hot. - red band
LIVESTRONG - yellow band
[not actually free, but proceeds went to cancer research]
Deer Valley Concert Series - blue swirled w/ white band
Here's to the Heroes - camo band [pictured below]

I like to keep one handy in my kitchen utensil drawer, in case I ever come across a pickle jar I can't open. This band works on pretty much any jar, bottle, or glade plug-in cap I can't open. It's more accessible to keep on hand than my husband [my previous designated jar opener].

bonus: Wear this recycled piece on the go for any unforeseen jar-opening encounters. [wink]

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

a mom must have

This product is a must-have for moms. It takes care of the damage done to clothes no matter which end it comes out of your wee lil' babe. This has saved many an outfit in our household...I'm confident it will do the same for you. Recently, I came across my son's blessing outfit and noticed a spit-up stain right in the front. I don't know how I didn't catch that when I put it away. Of course, wanting to salvage the outfit I soaked it in the Oxiclean Baby Stain Soaker overnight, washed it, and [after a year sporting that stain] it was gone.

I heart this product.

[p.s. look for it at Target]

Monday, August 3, 2009

on safari

I found this wild nesting set at Thanksgiving Point on a recent trip to Utah. I couldn't resist buying them. They are absolutely too adorable! I found this same set available on Etsy at shanickerskids, and thought I'd share my excitement.

recycled never looked so good

I fell in love with these beauties in the back-to-school aisle at Walmart.
And I purchased all 4 colors. [$3.50 a piece] I even went back for more adding polka-dot designs and geometric designs [not pictured] to my new collection.

The reason for the first four: 1) home "ideas" binder, 2) recipe binder, 3) to-do/ideas/project binder, and 4) a possible time management or business binder. The reason for purchasing four more: I just could envision them as awesome scrapbook binders and I had to get them before they were gone.

Check out greenroom.eco for more designs. The site doesn't sell them, just tells you where to purchase them...Target has a nice selection as well.

peanut butter chocolate goodness

We celebrated a birthday in our house recently with these little numbers... A very nice substitute to The Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakeshop's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake.

I'll admit, I used a cake mix for the cupcakes...I usually opt for an easy, yummy cake mix. I did, however, spend a good portion of the day making NieNie's Mud Cake Magnifique (not knowing if it would really turn out or not) from scratch.

I would make the cupcakes again in a heartbeat. The NieNie cake was a little much: time-wise and bittersweet chocolate-wise. But serve it up with some vanilla icecream and a smile, and it still ended up a crowd-pleaser even with the "mishaps" I seemed to encounter with it's creation.

For your own PB & Chocolate Goodness...
1) Make chocolate cupcakes
2) Make peanut butter frosting [recipe below]
3) Crush Reeses peanut butter cups for the topping

Peanut Butter Frosting
courtesy of BHG, submitted by Judith A. Janowski, 2007
In a medium mixing bowl beat 1/2 cup peanut butter; 1/2 cup butter, softened; 1 tablespoon milk; and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, beating until combined. If necessary, stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons additional milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

hello. yellow.

We served up a little sunshine for lunch today.

Ah, summer.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

dirt.

Supplies:
Cardboard (To be quite honest, I used davy board)
1" foam for padding
Brown material (I chose cordoruy for it's texture)
Hot glue gun
Scissors/knife
Sewing Machine* (optional) Sort of a tutorial:
1) Cut 2 pieces of cardboard the diameter of the pot.
2) Cut or drill holes in both, so they match up.
3) Glue 1" thickness foam on one board and then sandwich it with the other. [Line up the holes]. The foam doesn't need to be the diameter of the pot. I used 3 or 4 pieces and placed them sporadically to keep the height between boards. [Make sure not to cover your holes]
4) Line the holes with fabric. Glueing down the excess on both ends. You won't be able to see the foam or cardboard through the holes with this step.
5) Glue down fabric covering both cardboard pieces.
6) Feel for you holes and cut X's where the holes are.
7) Fold the hole fabric under and glue.
8) Glue a sewn or folded "belt" around the entire circumference.
9) And that's how I made dirt. [from materials I had on hand]

[and yes, I see the shadows in the pictures, but I also see the light.]

Monday, July 27, 2009

blog bling

So I created an "amy sue, i love you" button [on display in my sidebar].
yeah, no big deal.
whatever.

Seriously, I'm totally excited about it. I'm not saying you have to get my button...it's there if you want it. All I am saying is IF you want...you could make one for yourself. And then we could totally be blogger button BFFs.

I used Little Miss Crafty Pants' tutorial. This is the tutorial I came across first, but I'm sure there are a ton of tutorials out there [including Shabby Blogs, which also has lots of freebies available] I have used the Shabby Blogs tutorial on post dividers [not on this blog], and highly recommend it if you want a little somethin' more to spice up your blog.

Check 'em out for yourself. BFF [forever ever]

Sunday, July 26, 2009

question.

Does anyone know why some pictures I post on my blog(s) will enlarge when you click on them, but others won't?

I can't make sense of it. I thought it might have to do with the cropping, but there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it in my eye because some that are cropped enlarge and others don't, etc.

I could probably research this a little more in depth, but I figured if anyone out there [anyone at all] knew--they could just clue me in and save me the time, er-trouble. I'd love you forever.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

sharing

I would just like to say a few words on "brilliance." [not necessarily the kind of brilliance recognized world-wide, but more so personal moments of brilliancy] I have concluded that there are a lot of ingenious thoughts out there pertaining to...well, anything really. And these same strokes of genius can be experienced by individuals at different times. Do you follow?

Let me explain using an example from my own life.

[true story] I always thought that there should be one term to cover both "nieces and nephews." Because really saying "nieces and nephews" in conversation can be quite a mouthful. I thought about this for a couple of years, and then it hit me one day...nieces and nephews are really just your siblings' kids, they both start with n, why not niblings?

Pure genius, I thought. And thus, I "spread the word." My sister told me you could submit words online to Websters. And that is what I proceeded to do. She helped me word the definition just perfectly...

niblings, n. a non-gender specific term to use in reference to your siblings' children; nieces and nephews. [something like that]

I was so unbelievably excited to submit a word I invented, to share a moment of ingeniousness with the world...I clicked submit...only to find that at least 5 other people had already invented the same word with the same meaning.

It would seem that we can have an original thought...that may also be someone else's original thought. We can simultaneously be experiencing the same flickers of brilliance or inspiration.

With that said, I just want to say any original ideas I may share...could very easily be someone else's original idea, as well. There are a lot of minds out there thinking all the time, so I wouldn't be surprised. I will give credit where it is due. And I will take credit for any "originals" [even if I'm sharing it with multiple someones...unbeknownst to me].

I feel like this is turning into a disclaimer of some sort. Really, I just want to be honest. My Pots for Tots idea was an amy sue original...after I made the flower pot [previous post], I discovered a mini version made by Melissa & Doug at a local store one day...so someone else already had the same brilliant idea and probably even before me. And I'm sure someone out there already has a little company named Pots for Tots. I do applaud their genius. [mostly because I feel it is a small reflection of my own lucky moment of inspiration]

I also applaud many other strokes of brilliance out there because we all learn and can be inspired by others.

flower pots for tots

This is a project from a couple years ago, and has been a hit ever since. It's one of those ideas I have that I think I could sell especially with a catchy title like [shhh...Pots for Tots], but then I think well, I made it, others could just as easily. So I'm sharing this idea with you, just in case you may be interested in making one yourself. After buying the huge flowers for a mere $5 each [on sale], I envisioned this idea a few months later. The idea is that the kids can "pick" the flowers, and when they're not playing with them they just look pretty sitting there. I can safely say the flowers are picked nearly everyday, and it's also easy clean-up because the kids know exactly where to put them [and bonus: it also challenges there eye-hand coordination].

I didn't crop the picture because I wanted you to have a reference of the size. It's bigger than your average terra cotta pot [but I'm sure any size will do, so long as the flowers are proportional to your pot]. I used some davy [book-binding] boards (I almost went with cardboard--practically free), 1"foam, and brown corduroy from old pants to create the "dirt".

If anyone would like more details on this, just leave a comment. [because this is in no way meant to resemble a tutorial]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

zoo-per doo-per

I have fond memories of going to Utah's Hogle Zoo when I was younger, so I was excited to take my kids this summer and share the experience with them.

This time around we went to the bird show they have daily. After the show the audience members get the opportunity to donate a bill [of any dollarly increment] to a bird and the bird will put it in through the slot in the box to help with the zoo's program fundraiser. How cool is that! We're suckers for cool photo ops like this [and clearly, helping the birds].

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ever want your very own handwritten font?

Did you even know it was possible?

I came across the link to yourfonts.com on kirtsy.com [back in February]. This site walks you through how to make your own handwritten font. It's fairly easy.

I tried it, as you can see.

And it's kind of fun to have a font in my own handwriting available to use [even if the letter N isn't up to par].

Just thought I'd share. [in case, you're interested]

Monday, July 20, 2009

today's post is...

I have been in love with the zinc letters from Anthropologie since I first perused the store last summer. And I finally purchased the letter "R" I had been dreaming about since. [I chose the letter "R"--for obvious reasons]

This isn't where I originally envisioned it displayed in our home, but I love how it stands out against the shelf, and I love [love] looking at it whenever I walk by.

I think the large zinc letters would be fun on display indoor or outdoor, but I'm not as willing to fork over the $98 as I was the $18.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

the sweet tooth fairy

Did anyone else have a hankering to try the va-Nie-lla cupcake after seeing The Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakeshop featured on the Nie Nie Dialogues? Well, I certainly did. I must say the cupcakes are definitely well worth the trip. [actually, the frosting alone makes the experience well worthwhile] They are simply divine...I had to snap this photo quickly before they were devoured, otherwise, I would have taken a better photo.

p.s. My personal fave is the peanut butter chocolate cupcake. [pictured front and center] It comes highly recommended, so I'm featuring it [along with the other cupcakes] on my A-list...you know, Oprah has her O-list and I have my A-list.