Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Button Button, Who's Got The Button

Aren't these cute as, well, a button? My mom made these for my sewing room. Fun, huh?


She collected coasters (turquoise, yellow and red) and wood cheese plates (green, purple) from thrift stores. Then she marked out the holes for the button holes and used a 1/2" or 1" drill bit. She gave them to me primed and ready for my color choice. Of course unless they're big and bright they're just not fun for me. 

I'm thinking about adding ribbon for the "thread" in the button holes, but at the moment I'm loving these sans decor.


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Friday, March 4, 2011

Five Question Friday 03/04/2011

Hi, it's Friday so here we go...


1. Have you ever forgotten your child in a store or at school?
Maybe. I can't remember.


2. Where did you go on your very first date? (Like...first first, not first with your spouse or current significant other!)
To the local roller rink, Skate Ranch. I met the boy there and we walked around the rink holding hands and watching the break dancers (hey, this was the mid 1980's) in the back of the building on the little kids rink. I think the boy and I shared an ice cream cone too. We held hands during the Couples Skate. It was all so romantic.


3. What's your "silly" fear? (We're not talking water and heights.)
Not having any chocolate in the house. I've worked to alleviate that fear by having peanut M&M's in my baking cabinet and Dove chocolate in my office. But what if...


4. Confrontation: do you cause it, deal with is as it comes, or run far far away?
I prefer to deal with it when it first comes up because otherwise I'll forget why I'm mad. Really it turns out I've had confrontations I simply do not remember having. It's bad when someone asks you "remember when..."? And you don't. At all.


I wouldn't say I run far, far away, but sometimes I do just check out. I'll deal with an issue if I think it's worth my time and energy, but I've been known to just shut down an issue (or person) and deal with it no more.


5. Wood floors or carpet?
Ah, a very timely question. We just suffered from a mechanical breakdown in our toilet's mechanism and the water overflowed. On to our wood floors. Crap. Not literally, thank goodness, it was the clean incoming water. At least it wasn't carpet. Still we have pulled up floors in our hallway that should be repaired Friday (today). We only have one box of the 10% extra wood left since this was our third flood situation. One more water-floor issue then I'm ripping it all out and putting in tile. Watch it will be 20 years until the next thing happens now.
The down side to wood floors. Water damage. 
As usual it's been a blast. I hope you played. If not this week do make a plan for next Friday. You'll be glad you did!





Thursday, March 3, 2011

Embroidered Burpie Cloths

I love my great nephew, my niece's son. He brings out the memories of when my own boys were babies. It's awesome to be able to love on a baby and then hand him back when he gets fussy or has a poopie diaper. MY (yes, I know I'm not his mom, but I claim him anyway) baby is also the recipient of my handmade goodies. Here is the latest giftie I made for him.
It's a burpie cloth with an homage to our beloved Texas Longhorns. I found these cloths on sale and I thought they would be fun to personalize. I used a custom design adding "Troy Boy" (what we call MY baby) to the longhorn design. 


I don't know if I dig this block font, but it might work better on another project. The "T" and the "r" blend too closely for my liking. I also am not sure about the bobbin fill coming up through the top stitching. I'm not sure if that's the top, the bobbin fill or something else entirely. The tension is set to "Embroidery", but it looks like it might need to be a tiny bit tighter. 


But it's good enough to wipe slobber off his chin. 
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chipolte Lime Cucumbers

I've been trying to come up with some healthier alternatives to snacking that don't bore me pieces. I *hate* hummus so it's hard to get ideas that don't include a hummus suggestion. One day my husband was in the kitchen experimenting and came up with this delicious nosh - chipolte lime cucumbers. 

Start with thinly sliced cucumbers. I use a mandolin to slice the cucumber really thin, but you can use a sharp knife. Lay the sliced cucumbers evenly on a plate. 
Next squeeze a fresh lime over the plate. I use the old metal juicer that used to be my grandfather's. It came from Mexico so it's not only useful, but nostalgic too.
Use chipolte seasoning. I used a spice blend that I bought from the local farmer's market, but I hear Mrs. Dash has a good blend. I haven't tried it, but I might when I run out of what I'm currently using since the vendor I purchased from seems to have gone out of business. 
Serve or nosh while making the main meal. We put these out at our last family lunch while everyone was preparing their part of the rest of the food and we went through 3 cucumbers in 10 minutes. 
Excuse me, I think I need to go make some more now.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Little Pastry Humor

The other day the older boy and I were making a chicken pot pie for dinner. He's all about helping me out around the house lately. Maybe he's softening me up for something really big, but in the mean time I'm rolling with it. 

So as we pinched the edges of our pie he added his own personal touch.
A pi pie!
A proud group of dorks are we!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five Question Friday 02/25/2011

It's 5 Question Friday and on this post you get a chance to take a tour inside my mind guided my Mama M. over at Five Crocked Halos


1. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yep. That's how I learned to drive a car. My mom figured if I could learn on a manual shift that an automatic would be easy peasy for me. While I agree with her logic I think it took way longer for me to learn how to drive that way. But, yeah, she was correct. Nowadays I choose to drive an automatic, but I can drive a standard if needed. 

Me and the boy test driving a ride.
2. What are two foods you just can't eat?
Mushrooms and pork. It's a texture thing. I don't like slimy or stringy foods. I'm weird that way I guess. 
::shudder::

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?
I like Thin Mints and Lemonades. Truth be told though, the quality of the Girl Scout cookie has gone way down in the past few years. The cookies I've bought tasted stale or as if they had been frozen and then thawed. They were not appetizing. 
This year we didn't buy any GS cookies at all. My mom brought the boys one box which we have yet to open, but we just weren't asked by any GS to buy. Oh sure we got a lot of "we have Girls Scout cookies" e-mail message and Facebook posts, but if the GS doesn't ask me directly I don't buy. I can certainly do without an expensive stale cookie donchaknow. 

4. How do you pamper yourself?
::tilts head curiously::
What is this "pamper" you speak of? Is that like when I get to go to the bathroom and no one is outside the door asking earth shattering questions like "mom, have you seen the remote control"?
Pampering myself usually consists of my weekly Chick Date. Sometimes it's coffee after kid drop off. Sometimes it's a trip to the fabric store or IKEA and then lunch. Once a year or so it's a pedicure. Now we are talking a wine tour. That would be pampering! 



5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?
My nickname is Lainey. It's short for my name, Elaine. It's the same number of syllables so I don't think it's "short" for Elaine. Of course my kids call me "Mom" or "Mama" right now. As they get older and I get stricter I'm sure that Mother will turn into something else. Tough noogies. 


Well that's all for this week. I hope a trip through my brain wasn't too scary even if it was a bit of bumpy ride. Go on over and tell Mama M that you played, you know, if you did.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

News From the Farm

I'm always asked about my pets. I don't know what makes my pets more interesting than any others, but okay I'll dish.

First my beautiful baby, Pikachu is gone. The last we saw him was February 11 and he hasn't been seen since. He is microchipped.  We asked neighbors and left flyers on doors, but he's simply vanished. Not even a little kitty corpse to let us know if he met an untimely demise. I wish I could say what happened to him. The not knowing is terrible. I wonder how long until I stop checking the door to see if he's come home?
Bye bye, Pikachu.
Of course the chicken is still here. Why the heck would she leave when she's got it so good? The other day the boys were jumping on the trampoline and Antonia decided she wanted to play too. She's very sneaky, that girl. She inches up and insinuates herself until she's all up in your grill. 
Hello, human.
 And then she's got your full attention. She demands to be entertained. J is crying "uncle" and would like the chicken to just move on and do chicken things. Good luck with that, dude.
Chicken Antonia FTW!
Then of course we have the cat, Lucky, who wants to hang in the chicken coop. Really? My animals are so mixed up! 
What? I'm not a chicken?
Unfortunately, Lucky's name belies him. This cat has the worst luck! Back in January he was shot in the back right leg with a pellet gun. It took surgery to remove the pellet and a round of antibiotics to ensure infection didn't set in. He recovered nicely even though he surely used up one or more of his nine lives.

Flash forward one month and son of gun is back at the vet with his left front paw a hot mess. Turns out all the little gifties, 2 field mice and one squirrel, he's been bringing me to make me feel better about missing Pikachu decided to fight back. Frellin' cat had an abscessed wound. So Dr. Corky patched him up. Again. And then we agreed that Lucky will once again be an indoor cat. I can't afford for him to sow his outside wild oats anymore.

The frog (or it's descendant) is still living under the rock on the front porch. I'm thinking after 30 years it's not the same frog, but it's clearly a family member so I don't complain.
 

We still have the dogs, but it's purely for the chicken's entertainment. Have I mentioned I'm not much of a dog person?

Free range everything
It's ridiculous on my homestead. I have a backyard farm. I swear the other day my son and I heard a cow mooing. Frightening. 
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Five Question Friday 02/18/2011

It's Friday that means it's time for Five Question Friday. Let Mama M. know if you play. 


1. Have you worn the same outfit more than one day in a row?


Sometimes, but not really. We have so many allergens in our area that one of the recommendations is to wash clothes after each wearing. It's not a practice that is a friend to the environment, but it does make a difference to those of us with allergies.


2. If you had to choose any LARGE city to live in, which would it be?


I'm not really one of those people that longs for a big city. I'm just fine in my medium-sized town and I would be okay if it were even smaller. The 3 of the top 10 largest cities are located in my great state of Texas so if I wanted to be Big City I could.


If I had to chose though I think I would go whole hog and say New York City. It's the largest city in the US and I have no desire to live abroad. NYC seems to me to be an adventurous enough place.


3. Fly or drive with the kids on vacation?


We have a max 4 hour drive rule. Anything over 4 hours we fly. It's the 4 of us so it can get expensive, but what price on sanity? We are considering a longer trip by car this summer, but we'll rent a vehicle for the trip and try make the stops part of the trip.
Our trip to North Carolina in September 2009.
4. What is your idea of "spring cleaning"?


Hiring someone to come in and do their idea of Spring Cleaning. I can maintain a house for awhile, but eventually it gets out of my hands and I have to call a professional. I'm a firm believer that any job is easy if you have the right tools and skills. Anything with the words "house" and  "cleaning" in it is not an area I have the know-how. Unless it's cleaning up your books/records, then I can handle it.


5. What is the best book you have ever read?


It's actually a book of novellas. "Different Seasons" by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman. I first read it in 1984 before the three movies came out of that book. The book I own, and still own though it's threadbare now, had a bright blue cover. I recently bought it for my eReader since it's one of those books I'll read forever.


The first movie, Stand by Me was based on "Fall From Innocence: The Body". I was the same age as the boys in the story when I read the book so it made a huge impression on me.  The other big movie, and perhaps the best known, is the Shawshank Rendemption, from the novella "Hope Springs Eternal: Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Rendemption". That movie stayed pretty close to the book and I suspect that's why the movie has done so well. I thought "Fall from Innocence: Apt Pupil" was one of the better novellas, but the movie, Apt Pupil, went far off from the story and tanked. It was really one of the worst movies ever that started with so much to work with.

That's all for this week! I hope I've brought something to you today. Even if it was a chance to laugh or take you away for two minutes. Enjoy!
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Third Thursday Thrift Store Scores 02/17/2011

Hi, it's me again. I'm back to fill you in on all this month's thrifting. Some of my girlfriends and I have been thrifting en masse at this new place. Did you know Goodwill has a clearance center? Well they do here in Austin. It's awesome! You go in, grab a cart, put on your latex or similar gloves (believe me you don't want to skip this step) and shop for $1.39 a pound. That's right, you pay by the weight. A treasure trove of goodies await you if you can get past the fear of the scary GW workers (they yell) and unwashed clothing (underpants). 

Don't these sweaters look yummy? I have big plans for them, but not in their original state. Though to be clear this is the washed original state. I bag up my finds, throw them in the back of my van, then the bag goes directly to the laundry. I loving wash all the sweaters. Twice. 
I love this glass. I've not seen one of these with a handle on it. Usually they're in margarita glass or wine glass format. Beautiful.
Storage containers are so expensive new. I saw one like this at an office store for $30. At a thrift store this baby was mine for $7. I plan to use it for fabric organization. I like that I can see through the drawers so I don't have dig through everything to find one thing. 
Below you'll find a little sample of the amazing finds at this store. I mean who doesn't need a tiny blue toilet with a smiling poo that pops us when you lift the lid? And, of course, you'll see my gloved hand in the background.  
Until next time. Let me know if you've found some lovely items second hand. I know that it will be hard to beat my itty-bitty toilet, but you can try. 
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Five Question Friday 02/11/2011


Yay! Five Question Friday is back! Mama M. has been going through some tough times, but she's trying to get back in to a routine. What better way than with a 5QF. This week's slate of five is as random as ever, but that's the beauty of it. Makes you think!

1. Would you rather be on ABC's Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC's What not to Wear?

Extreme Home Makeover for sure! I'm developing my sense of style, but I don't know how to put it together. We don't have a bit that would qualify us for a nomination though. We're just an ordinary family, living an ordinary life, in an ordinary city. I love that EHM does something to give back to extraordinary families and involves the community. 

I have some friends that have been on TLC's "Trading Spaces" and I loved the sense that the designers took them where they couldn't take themselves. That's what I need. 

2. Do you have any tattoos?

No, but I want one. I kept saying when I'm 40. Well, 40 has come and gone and no ink. I know the place, both on my body and where I'll have it done, but I'm not sure what image I can commit to for The Rest of My Life. My friends find it odd that someone who's been married for nearly 20 years has a hard time with commitment. Go figure. 

3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?

Yes. Selectively. I tell them stories about my childhood and experiences, but there are some things that I hold back until it's germane to the conversation. And we always include a little diddy on what we learned for the experience. We tell the boys it's okay to make mistakes, that's how you learn. Just go make new mistakes. 

My 3-year-old rebel self on my dad's motorcycle.
My 12-year-old is starting to ask more about when we were his age. I fancied myself quite the rebel, but my husband said not so much. Fortunately my older boy is just like me. A little reserved and happy with his own company. 

4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?

Depends, but by and large I'll slow down. It's that overly cautious thing I've got going on. And I'm a rule follower. I can't help it.

5. What's your preference: chocolate or chips?

Both. There are just some things where you can't pick a team.

Now you play. Click the button below and let Mama M. know your answers. I know she could use a pick me up this week.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Carpool Pick-up

It's a little after 1 p.m. and I'm playing in the Mom Cave when the doorbell rings. I answer as grumpily as I can because I don't know who this person is and, dude, I was in the Mom Cave. He introduces himself as a local television reporter doing a story on single member districts in our city and wants to know if he can do an on camera interview with me. 

Damn. 



When I used to work in Public Information I expected to have to go on camera at a moment's notice, but that's not in the current job description. I even kept a blazer in my office for last minute media requests. It was part and parcel with the job. The At Home uniform is much different. Jeans and t-shirt, no make up, hair up in a clip - don't pretend like you don't know the look. And the house was messy so naturally they wanted shots with me working and all the unfinished projects in the background. 


It's freezing cold and he's been looking for someone to interview. A neighbor sent him over to me. Nice. I'll have my cat drop a little present at their door the next time Lucky, a.k.a. Jethro the Hillbilly Cat, decides to go squirrel hunting. Ah, as if he were a girl scout selling cookies door to door, I just couldn't say no. 
If you're interested in seeing the final product you can watch the story on KVUE. I haven't see it yet, but I hear it was just lovely. Mr. Reporter said it would be on at 6 p.m., but we have karate during that time. 


Oh, and for the record I'm not political. I could support Single Member Districts. I could also see the pros and cons of staying with at-large representation. Like The Mister says, I'm a butterfly and can't be tethered. To a job or an opinion.
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Herbs Are Not My Thing

Ya think? What you see here is what is left of my oregano (??) plant. I might have done something wrong. 
I want to have a green thumb. Really I do. Planting and gardening is just not something I get the hang of despite attempts too numerous to count. I've a had container gardens, square foot gardens, throw-it-out-on-the-lawn-and-see-what-happens gardens and none of them have been worth the time or the effort. 


Well, it's really more of a personal cost-benefit analysis issue for me. I hate to be outdoors. I'm not a woodsy gal. I don't like bugs (mulch, compost and worms, oh my) or the feel of dirt on my hands. Gardening as a hobby is not a match for me. 


I'm okay with it. 
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What Do You Do All Day Wednesday

I swear this is the craziest question I get asked about being a work at home mom. Both of my kids are in school during the day so I do have a respite from 8:30 a.m. until about 2:30 p.m. If you can call it a respite. 
So one day I decided to keep track. And now you have the answer to that elusive question,  "What Do You Do All Day?"

  • Forgot to put on coffee before bed. 
  • Got up. 
  • Got dressed. 
  • Made coffee.
  • Got ready for carpool. Carpool kids are sick today. We're on our own. 
  • Got the kids to get their school poop together. 
  • Got The Mister out the door. 
  • Dropped off the young 'un at his school. 
  • Dropped off the 12-year-old at his school. 
  • Went to the post office to mail games sold on half.com.
  • Went to the grocery store. 
  • Matched sales to coupons for "stockpile" and picked up "staples".
  • Unloaded the groceries. 
  • Browned ground beef that was on Reduced For Quick Sale. Froze it cooked for tacos, spaghetti or stroganoff later.  
  • Prepared other ground beef for meatballs for my Mom's potluck lunch. We call the gathering our "Nooner". 
  • Made pizza sauce in the crockpot. 
  • Made two medical appointments. 
  • Made a mamogram appointment. Go me.
  • Fed The Mister lunch.
  • Went through benefits open enrollment package. Due in few days. Nice.
  • Bookkeeping. The kind that makes me money. 
  • Picked up 6th grader from school early. 
  • Went to the bank to deposit a rebate check. Go me.  
  • Picked up 4th grader from school early for dentist appointment. It's next week. That figures.  
  • Took 6th grader to the dentist. All good. Go him.
  • After school snacks. They'll make, but want an idea. *sigh*
  • Gently reminded the boys to do homework. 
  • Drove Boy 2 to karate. Waited. 
  • Ate dinner out because none of the food from the grocery store was actually in meal form. 
  • Yelled at kids to do homework. 
  • Loaded the dishwasher. 
  • Laundry.  
  • Kids in bed. 
  • Put clothes away and noticed clothes that don't fit. Started another give away bag.
  • Put the chicken in her coop.
  • Logged on again because I forgot to pay a bill. 
  • Paid the bill.
  • The Mister is home late. Fed him (warmed over) dinner. 
  • I'm done.
  • Jammied.
  • Mindless T.V.
  • Lights out.
So now you tell me, "What Do You Do All Day?". Pick a day and keep track of it. Then on Wednesday blog about it. I may do a linky thing if I can figure it out or you can stop by and let me know that you've played. Just have fun with it. Who knows, it might be very eye opening. 

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Sunny Saturday Afternoon

It's been so pretty here this weekend. I know, those of you up North would like to bean right now. That's okay, come summer the shoe will be on the other foot. 
This 3-wheeled scooter was procured a few years and both boys were too small to manage the coordination it takes to ride the Trikke. Now that they're preteen boys they have energy to spare. They were fighting as only brothers can when I loaded the younger boy into the van to go scoot out his boredom. 
He did such a great job maneuvering the do-dad. I got on and, dang a ding dong, that take a lot of coordination. Walk and chew gum at the same time much? Uh, no. 
He's just coasting here, but that is the best part of this ride. I guess it's time to give away those "little guy" scooters that are sitting in my garage. I hope the boys get adept enough at using these Trikkes because they're a lot fun!
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Five Question Friday 01/28/2011

Ah, the last Friday in January. I can hardly believe how quickly this month has passed. In the spirit of trying to be a consistent blogger I have to thank Mama M for providing the grist in my blog mill.  

Onward and upward with this week's Five Question Friday.

1. If you had $1,000 to donate to a charity, which would you choose?

Either Austin Rescue or Emancipet. Both are animal organizations here in town and I since I want to adopt every stray that comes my way but can't, giving my money is the next best thing.  When I pass those pet adoption set-ups I want to bring home someone new. In order to minimize the guilt I buy a round of kibble for the gang. Shhh. Don't tell The Mister (she says secretly like he's not going to read this at some point).

2. Snow days: Do you welcome them happily or are they a pain in your butt?

I'm sorry, what are these snow days you speak of? Today was sunny and in the 70's. Degrees, not decades. I was cold, like in the 30's, a few weeks ago for about 4 days and you would have thought it was Armageddon. We Texans hunkered down like hibernating bears only to return when the sun and warm weather does. So in theory Snow Days sound great!

I would imagine Snow Days to those of you North of the Mason-Dixon line are akin to Ozone Action Days here in the South. During the dog days of summer we get these dangerously high temperatures and air quality alerts strongly suggesting those with asthma (almost everyone in this area) stay inside. Are you kidding me?! These kids are driving me crazy!! We Texans become nocturnal creatures because it's simply too hot to go out during the day. So looking at it from another direction I think I'm going to have to with "Pain In The Butt" for $500, Alex.

3. What talent did you wish you had and why?


Singing.

Oh, I belt it out like I'm Carrie Underwood or Celine Dion, but I suspect I don't sound as good as I do in my head. Most things I do that impress people - haha - are learned.  Sewing, cookie decorating, organization, even writing are skills. Singing? That's a God given talent. 
But I'll keep singing in the shower and at Bunco night. 

4. Are you a news, politics or celebrity gossip junkie?
News junkie fo' sho'. I can't get enough. I have news on my twitter feed, my breaking news texts, tabs on my browser and apps for all the national press. I'm sure this obsession has to do with having been in the news business before I came home to raise children and chickens. There's a part of me that will always armchair produce a segment.

5. What is your favorite "cocktail"? (Are you a beer person, a kiddie cocktail junkie, or perhaps your more the "Cosmo" kind?! Anything flies...doesn't haftabe alcoholic!)

Margarita! Frozen with salt. I try other cocktails from time to time, but there's no substitute for a frosty 'rita. 

Okay, now you play. 
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Chalkboard Tags

You never know when you'll need to label something in a box. Since I had some cardboard and just a bit of spray chalkboard paint I decided to get all creative Practical Girl style. I had seen some chalkboard tags in Pottery Barn Kids catalog and loved them, but I'm frugal. And if you've already got the supplies on hand you've got to give it the old college try.  
The first thing I did was cut down the chipboard/cardboard to rectangles. You can trace and cut, but I'm lazy so I used a Fiskars paper cutter on the backing of a Paper Stack
I repeated the process 12 more times, but I'm only showing you six. You get the idea though. Pull out the paint protector which in my case was a couple of lawn bags laid out next to each other. Sometimes I forget to use anything to cover the ground and it ticks The Mister right off. So I'd recommend you do as I say not as do. 
The trick here is to spray lightly and go over several times. This is really a project where layering and patience will produce the cleanest results. Spray off the cardboard, meaning start pushing the spray nozzle before you go over the cardboard and stop the spray once you've passed the edge of the cardboard. That's really a good tip for any spray paint job. I've found this out the hard way through drip trials and blob errors. 
Then you can label with your favorite chalk or in our case the boxes and boxes of sidewalk chalk the boys have collected over the years. The stinkers don't use them anymore so I'm making the most of the leftovers.
I love the way they came out. I cut my tags 4"x6" and that provides enough room to write. I think if I were going to do this again and I will eventually, it would be fun to make themed shapes. Baby, school, music, art, you know the list is endless. 
Now go get organized and make yourself some cute tags to fun up the process. Let me know if you try a variation of this project. I'd love to see the results!
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Five Question Friday 01/21/2011

It's Friday so that means it's time for another round of Mama M's fabulous Five Question Friday. She asks us, we tell her (and anyone else that will listen/read). I think you should play along. It's fun!

Let's do this crazy thing...

1. Where did you meet your spouse and did you instantly know it was love?
I met The Mister at work. It was my first year in college and I got a part time job with the city locating people who owed money for city services so that they could be served for collection. His cubicle was next to mine and while I was learning the ropes I asked him questions. Lots of questions. 

I think he thought I was pest, but he says he liked me. One day he needed a ride home because his car was in the shop. After 2 or 3 days of rides he asked me on date to say thanks, or so he says. We started dating regularly, then steadily. Almost two years later (the November before he was to graduate in May) he proposed. We got married 14 months later. We've been married for 19 years. 

I don't think it was love, but it was really, really "like" and the love grew over time. Heck I was still a teenage! I love him more today than when I first met him and I keep loving him more. He's been an outstanding friend, husband and father to our boys. 

2. What is your favorite room in your house?
All of them. I stay home and, when I work for pay, it's from home. I spend most of my time in the kitchen and at the "formal" dining table when my computer hangs out. I also have a great sewing/craft room where I spend weekends crafting and watching shows on Discovery ID

3. Can you wiggle your ears?
What am I, a rabbit? No, I can't wiggle my ears, but I can roll my tongue. 
4. What is your evening ritual?
Dinner, a show with the boys, getting them through their bedtime routine, tucking them in, cleaning the kitchen while I drink a glass of wine and then in bed to read for me. It's a wild life we lead.

5. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
Function? 6 hours. A good day is 8 hours. Anything less than 6 hours strikes fear in the hearts of people around me. 

Well, that's all for this week, folks. I'd love to have a 5Q Friday on recent embarrassing moments. It's been awhile since I've had a really good laugh at myself, but I've been working on it. 
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Third Thursday Thrift Store Scores 01/20/2011

Oh, the sheer joy of finding a bargain! I have wanted a standing wreath hook for a whole week now! I've seen several posts on adorable Valentine's wreaths and they're on a hook on a shelf or some equally lovely place. I had no idea. So imagine my delight to find this at the local Goodwill store for $1.99! I saw her and said, "you're coming home with me, baby" and clearly she said alright. 
UPDATE: It turns out that this is an ornament hook, not a wreath hook. Still I bought it's mine and I can do with it what I want. Call it creative license. Hurumph. 

I love this sign. My house lacks that "open floorplan" that is all the rage. My house was also built in 1979 when the idea of kids and adults sharing space was a pretty foreign concept. I'm beginning to think the 1970's builders had the right idea, but I digress. I found this lovely for $3.99. Yes, it's a bit more than I'd usually be willing to pay, but it spoke to me. No alterations were required. Hang it up and the deed was done. 
Next I found a great tin tissue cover. It was a little rusty, but nothing that a can of paint can't gussy right up. Look for it in another post, but here is a preview. 
So there you have it for this month. The flip side of this treasure store hunt is that I also donated a poopin' ton of stuff that we no longer needed or wanted. I believe I must contribute to the thrift store cycle of life.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Five Question Friday 01/14/2011


A new year, a new leaf. Remember I said I'd try to be better about posting? Well my favorite sport of yesteryear shows up this year. What's that you ask? Why it's Mama M's Five Question Friday!

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of?
Fool's Rush In and Where The Heart Is. No matter how many times I've seen them (lots) whenever these movies come on I'm captivated. 

2. What's your biggest pet peeve right now?
People who talk on their mobile phones in public places. I'm standing there thinking about whether I need dishwasher tabs or not and some crazy lady comes through the aisles of Target talking loudly on her bluetooth as if there's not a soul in the store besides her. Look, lady, I know it's allll about you, but shut it. No one give a rat's patoot about whatever you think is so blessed important. Go home and talk while you're unloading the dishwasher. Mmkay? Thanks!

3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say?
I have several BFFs, but they're all funny, creative, loyal, talented and amazing

4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living?
I don't currently have an income and I feel as though sometimes I have more degrees than a thermometer so it's hard to think within those parameters. I guess I'd have to say I'd be a Stay at Home Mom. Well lookie there, that's exactly what I'm doing! 


So maybe the question for me is if logistics (you know child care, dinner on the table, grocery shopping) weren't involved what would I do? In that case I'd love to be a teacher. I love creating lesson plans and putting together projects that will help solidify a concept. I've spent several years as a preschool teacher and substitute teacher. I love being with the kids and I love working with other teachers, but I hate the bureaucracy and politics that comes with public school education. If I could just teach that would be my dream job. 

5. What is your one "splurge" item, that you will always buy, no matter the cost?
Wow, I don't have one of those!  I'm not into name brands or high-priced accessories. the appeal is lost on me, but it that's someone's thing, then rock on! 
My "splurge" items are fabric or Dove chocolate, but these are pretty low cost in the scheme of things. Okay, I do have a big fabric stash. Don't judge. Still I won't buy them unless there are coupons involved. Kind of a chintzy splurge no doubt. 
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fun Fleece Hat

At my son's class Christmas Party this year I was in charge of one of the crafts. I have loads of fleece and yarn so the kiddos made a winter hat. 
How cute is that hat on that cute kid? You can't really tell in this picture, but take my word for it, that kid is a doll!


There is some prep work that has to happen, but not as much as other crafts I've done in the past. If you don't have a surplus of fabric in your stash, then you'll need to buy the fleece. Watch out for sales because you can get this stuff for a steal. Fleece is very forgiving and doesn't fray so that cuts on on the set-up and ensures that the hats don't come apart at the edges. 


When you get your supply of fleece cut rectangles of 14 inches by 22 inches. If you're feeling really craft you can patch together a panel with those dimensions. I just went with solids because I had to whip out 24 of these babies and you conserve time when you can.


I used a serger to put the hats together. You could use a standard sewing machine, but be sure to make your stitch longer. At least a 4 because fleece is thick. First put right sides together lengthwise and serge (or stitch). You are sewing a fleece "tube" that is 14" from opening to opening. Stop at the last 5" and serge off (or stop sewing and tie off ends). 


Then turn inside out and serge (or stitch) the final 5" of the tube. The reason you have the seam on last 5" is because you'll turn the brim of the hat up to adjust for the height of the head and the seam will be hidden. Sneaky, huh?
Now you want to tie off the end of the fleece tube that has the long seam. Tie yarn about 3 inches down from the top. You can see an example in the blue and green hats in the lower left side of the image above and below on the orange hat.
Once the top of the hat is tied off you'll cut the top into strips. Use good scissors for this part of the project. The standard class scissors don't work well.  
The strips can be as thick or as thin as you'd like it to be. If you like a particularly floppy top the tie off at more than the 3 inches. No rules really.
Finally you'll want to roll up the bottom of the hat to make a brim. Some of the students did a single brim, some did a double brim. All of them had a blast making the hats and putting their own twist on the creations.
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