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.