Friday, October 26, 2012

Something Fun Friday

  We did a few fun things this past summer and fall, so I thought I'd share some pictures and layouts of all the fun things we did. I know I wasn't blogging this summer, so I feel like this isn't redundant (at least, that's what I'm hoping).

April: It all started with a picture frame. We got our family photos done in April, and my wonderful friend who takes our pictures (Val, of The Sweet Life Images), and she showed me the picture frames that they offer to their customers. Well, they are GORGEOUS. And I started dreaming of having a big family portrait on the wall. I didn't really dig the idea of my face being up on my wall all huge and stuff, but I was willing to sacrifice. I chose a beautiful blue. "Bahama Blue" is was called. Well, this got my gears turning and you know where this was going. A whole room redecoration. Which turned into a whole first floor redecoration.

The picture frame that started it all. (With the family portrait that is my FAVORITE EVER.)

So, here's all we did. Living room first:

This is the "accent wall" color we chose. See how it ties the portrait frame in? This is one wall in the living room, the wall that is is front of you and to the right when you walk in the living room. The shelf is a rough piece of lumber from my mom's boyfriend's sawmill. It still has the bark on the front side. The wreath is wrapped in burlap and has a cluster of rolled fabric flowers I made, and a cluster of buttons. My friend and I painted the bottles and I got a few pretties at Hobby Lobby.

I got these letters off of a copyright photostream on Flickr. I printed them off in sepia and painted the picture frames to all match and glued them onto another piece of rough lumber. This is over the entryway from the living room into the dining room.

This is across the (very long) room from the accent wall. So the blue accent wall is on one side of the room, and on the other is the matching frame all to tie it all together. The made all the prints on the wall. The far left one is a "word find" type page with the words "Family. Laugh, Love, and Happiness" in it. The far right one has significant dates in our lives. My and Brandon's birthdays, First Date, Wedding Day, and Maylee's Birthday. The "C" is a project I did by cutting out a whole bunch of  "C"s out of cardboard. I glued them together and wrapped them in the matching yard. I then covered a shoe box lid (!!) with wrapping paper that was a great find (brown and blue damask with a shine finish) and glued the letter onto it. The the one to the left of the date project is just a framed piece of scrapbook paper with a Scrabble letter crossword puzzle glued onto it. It has family words on it, too. Then a shelf under the portrait with pretties on it, and a couple shelves made of metal bookends, and we were in business!

My very eclectic photo wall (and my daughter's head). No my frames don't match. No, it's not perfectly symmetrical and perfectly ANYTHING, but I love it.

The dresser I got at a yard sale for $10 painted the same color as the accent wall. It is now our TV stand! Extra storage and pretty, too!

Our dining room. I saw this kitschy "EAT" sign on Pinterest (where else?!) and HAD to have one. Brandon cut all the wood for me and put them together and hung them up for me. And I love them! The to project on either side of the shelf are just framed scrapbook paper with blue spray painted spoons (that I got at Goodwill!) glued onto the paper. 

Remember how I mentioned "eclectic" up there? Yeah, well that word describes our downstairs bathroom perfectly. We have the same rough-cut lumber with the bark still showing. Then just a bunch of pretty stuff thrown onto the shelves! I made the rolled fabric flowers in the upper left, a jar of beach stuff, a basket of pretty rocks and beach stuff, a plant, some flowers, an old picture of me and my sisters, an old drink dispenser and some cans. Some style I have, huh? And I can't forget to mention that frame in the middle. My friend wrapped that in jute twine and bailing twine. It came out really pretty (it was a 10 cent find at Goodwill while I was buying the spoon. I bought it just to be covered).

OK, so next Friday, I'll show you some pics of the places we went this summer. We had family visit on two different occasions, so we had lots of fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Make Something Monday (err, Thursday?)

  Here goes! Here's my pretties for this week.

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All for now!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Think about it Thursday

   Thursday's gonna be kinda a wild card, I think. I think I'll kind of rotate between "th" things. This week, it's gonna be "Think."

   I'm a fan of thinking. I think people don't do it often enough, and yes, even I'm guilty of not thinking things through, or speaking before I think, or thinking of things I shouldn't be (get your mind out of the gutter...I mean like daydreaming and not focusing on what I'm doing).

   Today, let's think about time. Time passing, time being lost, time moving way to damn quickly. How often in our day-to-day lives do we stop to think about time? Probably only when you're at work and you feel like the clock is going so slowly that it will never be quitting time, huh? And I bet many parents are like me. Time is never so evident as when I look at my child. How in the world did she get to be so big so quickly? Was I present enough during all that time? Will she have good memories of her time being a toddler, and into preschooler age?

   I sometimes think about time too much. I let it get to me sometimes. It's those very same times that I think about my child growing so quickly that I can get melancholy. I worry about her growing up and what kind of young person she'll be. I worry about what kind of parent I'm being and if I'm making the right decisions and teaching her the right things. But, though it's so very cliche, I absolutely have to be better about living in the moment. Enjoy what we're doing together while we're doing it. Enjoy teaching her, guiding her, and being taught by her. Yes, time is fleeting. Alarmingly so. Savor who I have, when I have them, and hold onto every memory I can. And MAKE memories. Because soon, much sooner than I care to admit, she'll be thinking about how time is flying for her, as she's watching my grandchild grow before her eyes.

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Tomorrow will be here soon enough,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Time to read Tuesday

   Tuesday. Again. Man those come fast!

   I've managed to stop and start the same 3 books over and over for about 2 months now. This is so unlike me. The ones I'm stop/starting are The Shadow of Night, A Dance with Dragons, and The Scorch Trials. So I just decided to give them a rest. I'm going to table them for now. So these are the two new books I am reading/will be reading.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

   This young adult book has been around for a long time. First published in 1993, I've been hearing about this book for quite some time. For some reason, I totally had the wrong impression of it. I thought it was some "Where the Red Fern Grows" type of book, and in reality, it's more like a "Insurgent" or even, on a very base level, "The Hunger Games."
   Dystopian literature has been on my radar for a couple years now. In this novel, Jonas lives in a perfect little world, where everyone is assigned everything in life, even down to their mother, father, and sibling. When he gets the news that he was chosen for a very special role, his whole life, and everything he knows about it is turned upside down.
   I'm not too far into this one yet. This is the one I'm listening to at work. But it's keeping my attention. And that's all I ask for in a book!

The Causal Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

   Everyone who knows me knows that I am a Harry Potter freak. And I'm not ashamed. HP is my favorite series and I'm a huge Jo Rowling fan. So when we heard she was coming out with an adult fiction book, I knew I wanted to read it. I hope I can go into it without expectations. I know it's not going to be anything like HP, of course, but I love Jo Rowling for her writing style and how she can weave a story and suck you in. I'm hoping this novel does the same for me. I have it in my possession, but have yet to crack it open.

So, what have you all been reading? Anything that's so awesome that I should just drop everything and read it? I do so love books like that!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Make Something Monday

  Here are the pages I made in the last week!

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Yep. And that's that! I hope you enjoyed at least a little! I know I enjoyed creating them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Time to Read Tuesday

Blogger is being a meanie poo-poo head and not publishing my scheduled posts. Hmph. So here's YESTERDAY'S, and I'll post today's MANUALLY later, I suppose.

   Well, since I'm still reading the same books I was last week (dude. Having a kid and having a hobby really sucks all my free time! Oh, and there's a few TV shows we watch, too), I decided to post about some children's books that we've been reading. Maylee just loves books and reading. She loves to know who writes and illustrates the books, too. If I don't tell her, she always asks, then nods her head like she's tucking that information away in her mind to use at a later date. Love that kid.

   So we'll start with picture books today. Here's some great books or series that she really enjoys. (And just for reference, she's a 4-year-old that's been in 2nd year preschool.) These are just fun before-bed books we like to read.

Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems.

   The author Mo Willems is a big hit in our house right now. He writes really funny books and the illustrations are really fun and cool. This series is the Elephant & Piggie books. Elephant goes through all kinds of different emotions in deciding if he should share his ice cream with his best friend, Piggie. (The mom in me is glad of the sharing lesson, but NO!! Don't share an ice cream cone! Blech. Germs.)


The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems.

   For the record, I don't like this series nearly as much as the Elephant and Piggie books. I think Pigeon has a bit of a bratty attitude that I don't really like. But the little scooty chick is super cute in these.

Just a Little Critter collection by Mercer Mayer

   I am so, so happy that my little one likes these classic books. I loved Little Critter growing up. He's so real (I mean, other than being some kind of animal) in his attitude and scenarios. And he's adorable.

   Well, that's all for now. I'd love to hear some of your kids' favorite books. Also, I'd really love to hear some favorite beginner chapter books. I think we're heading that way soon, in our household!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Make Something Monday

   It's Monday! From now on, I'll start sharing my digital scrapbooking pages from Monday-Sunday of the previous week. I hope you don't get too bored. I really do love this hobby and creative outlet. I enjoy creating the pages and keeping my family's memories.

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And that's that!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What's Cooking Wednesday

  Well, the news around here on the food front is HEALTHY. I know, not very exciting. But I need to create some excitement for myself! I've been trying to change my lifestyle (I'm not calling it dieting) for about a month and a half now. So far, I've just kind of eaten food groups more than meals (does that make sense?). I don't feel like I'm really cooking a meal, I just have these different things that I eat: meat, veggie, fruits, cheese, more meat, more fruit, eggs, more get the idea. I only have a few dishes(or what I consider a meal. I think I'm weird, because when I think of a meal, I think of dishes that have more than one ingredient. I've always been an avid one-pot cook, so maybe that has something to do with it) that are a pretty much all-around healthy dishes.

One of my go-to healthy recipes is one I've mentioned here one or two times. It's PW's Chicken Tortilla soup. It's deliciously yummy and pretty dern healthy!
Recipe here

I also recently threw together some stuffed peppers and we really enjoyed them. I noted all the things I wanted to do differently to make them better, too. Here's a rough outline of the recipe.

1 lb. ground turkey, seasoned with lots of good stuff (totally open to interpretation LOL)
When that's almost browned, throw in some chopped onions (oh, ya'll know me, right?!), garlic, and the tops of the peppers (that you are cutting open to stuff. when you cut the top off, the part around the stem is still good! Use every last bit!). Drain if needed.

When I made this the first time, I didn't use any rice, though it was in most recipes I glanced at. After eating it without rice, while it was yum yummy, I could see how having something rice-like in there would help. Anyone have any suggestions other than just rice? Bulgar? Quinoa? Something like that? I also didn't use any tomato product in the mix, but I could see really digging that, too. Some tomato sauce? Paste? Diced tomatoes? I'll have to think on that.

Stirred in some shredded cheese. Yeah, I can't seem to get away from the stuff. Shoved those peppers as full and as tight as I could get (I used red/orange/yellow peppers. MUCH better, IMO), and make the tops into little heaping mounds, too. Baked for 20 mins, topped with some cheese, then baked another 10 minutes. Some of the recipes I saw called for baking for over an hour, but I wanted the peppers to still have some crunch, and they turned out perfectly. 

Here are a few recipes I want to try. Trusty old Pinterest, ya know.

via Stacey Makes Cents

via Recipe Girl

via Point-less Meals

Any good, healthy recipes you can share? I'd LOVE to get some more dishes in my rotation. 

Let's see if I can come up with some kind of photo or something to go along with this post...

Ah! Here we go! I went went a couple of my friends to see Ree Drummond (aka Pioneer Woman, aka, PW, aka P-Dub) and have her sign our books! We met her (and Marlboro Man) in the flesh! And they were as nice as you'd expect them to be. And I had a great night out with the girls, too.

Till next time,