Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Photos

As promised, here are photos of my Fall decorating. Please excuse the fact that they are blurry. Our regular camera was damaged during the home invasion two weeks ago.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lentil Soup...mmmm

A favorite in our family is lentil's something that we ONLY eat when we go to a nearby restaurant, Crown Point. The hubby and kids both love it, much to my surprise for such picky eaters. So why do we only eat it a few times a year??

Primarily because I've heard that lentils can be hard to cook AND I'm afraid of not measuring up to Crown Point's famous soup. That's right, I said it...I'm intimidated! How could I possibly compete with something so delicious made by a family with YEARS of experience (not to mention that they are Greek and we all know Greek's can cook!).

I've decided though to give lentil soup a try. If I succeed then I can see it easily becoming a staple meal in our home. I'm imagining the days now of coming home from a long day of work and eating a big bowl of soup with my family.

So, do any of you have a recipe for lentil soup to share? I am still on the hunt for something hearty and delicious that will please everyone in my family. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Decorating

There's no doubt about it that Fall is my ABSOLUTE favorite season. I adore the colors, smells, weather and taking my kids to a pumpkin patch not far from our home. You better believe I was at Starbucks the first week they released their "pumpkin spice latte". So why haven't I bothered to decorate yet??? Primarily because we are in the process of trying to sell our home and I don't want to distract possible buyers from looking beyond the decor. I've come to the conclusion though that I'm just going to break down and decorate anyway.

This past weekend my hubby and I broke down and bought mums, kale and hay bales. I couldn't take it anymore, I just had to do it! It was complete torture seeing beautiful flowers every time we went to Lowes and NOT buying any. I've already setup the hay bales in front of our house w/our little scarecrow. I've added a big pot of mums and whispy grass although I'm not set on keeping it there. I'm hoping to take the kids to a pumpkin patch this weekend to pick out pumpkins but in the meantime the scarecrow will just hang out and wait on his buddies.

I just love this idea found on Midwest Living's website--

Who doesn't have a wheelbarrow sitting around anyway? Get some mums and kale and fill it up.

One of my favorite ways to decorate outside our home is to put a wreath on the door, no matter what the season or occassion is. Doesn't this wreath just screm FALL!!!

Now for the inside, I typically pull down my cornucopia that I made a few years ago and throw some garland up in the doorway separating our kitchen from the living room. I also like these ideas for table centerpieces--

How will you decorate for Fall? I promise to post pictures of my home as soon as I'm done decorating.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Yummy Peanut Butter Cookies

My little chef, Griffin and I made these cookies the other night while Daddy was at the store. We had EVERY ingredient in our pantry already which was a miracle in itself. They didn't take more than 30 minutes to mix up and bake and they are SUPER yummy!


1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

In medium bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar and peanut butter. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture until well blended. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto the cookie sheets. Press balls down using a fork dipped in sugar water.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, October 5, 2009

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Just as I thought I was back on track with blogging, our family experienced a "nightmare". My husband called me last Tuesday afternoon with something that I had hoped and prayed we would never have to deal with---our house had been broken into. I raced home in tears trying to understand it all and attempting to explain to my kids why Mommy was crying.

After spending nearly 2 hours with the police officer we were left to clean up the mess and try to grasp what had happened. I cried for hours while putting clothes back in the dresser, wondering why this happened and why it happened to us??? Not that it should happen to ANYONE but the neighborhood we currently live in has always been safe and there has never been any reason to worry about someone invading our home. No one else was broken into that day. Did they target our home because it had a "For Sale" sign in the yard? Or had someone been watching us noting our every move and schedule?

We still don't have the answers and we still at feel violated at times but I refuse to be scared in my own home! This is something that I know our family will overcome and I'm so thankful that none of us were home when "they" broke in. Please say a prayer for us and the person(s) who did this.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

~T-Shirt dresses~

...they typically run you between $30-60 if you buy them handmade on Etsy. I've been dreaming for months now of buying one for my daughter from a popular Etsy seller but let's face it, I can't afford to shell out THAT much money for something that she will only wear a few months.

My mom reminded me the other day that "I" used to wear them as a child and that "SHE" made them for me. Well, there's a thought...why not make one myself! So, for several days now I've been researching fabric designers and reading up on how exactly to make the dresses. These are some of my favorite patterns sold by Michael Miller:

They bring a smile to my face and I know my daughter would love them to! My next project is to attempt to make a Halloween tshirt dress for Ms. Roxie. Don't you just love this dress made by another Etsy seller?!

I totally dig the retro/vintage patterns right now! I believe this dress will be my inspiration for the one that I make for Roxie. Can't you just see some cute little tights and mary janes with it?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Long time, no blog

Oh, blogging---how I've missed you so!

I've been up to my eyeballs celebrating birthdays, throwing baby showers and participating in craft fairs for the last 2 months. Somehow I made it through everything. Next on our agenda, selling our freshly painted home! My husband and I got a "wild hair" one day and decided to contact our realtor. I don't remember exactly what sparked the idea, I just remember sitting at the kitchen table with John giving consent for him to sell our home. It's been a stressful experience so far and this is only the first week!!! We've been decluttering, touching up paint and cleaning carpet almost every night since BEFORE we met with the realtor. The positive thing is that we are selling our home for more than what we originally purchased it for. I can only imagine what the price tag would be if the economy was better than what it is now.

So with all of this said, I've been a total slacker with keeping up with my blog. I'm truly sorry for those of you who actually try to keep up with it on a regular basis. I'll try to do better! :-)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nifty and CHEAP (to make) coasters

I'm still working on the old window pane that I have but in the meantime I'm also making coasters to sell at our upcoming F4L craft fair.

Have you ever noticed that really durable, nice coasters are priced too high? Take it from me. I used to work at a very well known card/gift store and we sold sets of monogrammed coasters for $25-30!!!! That just seems a little high to me and unless I REALLY need something, I'm not typically willing to spend THAT much money (unless I have a coupon of course..hehe). It just seems a little ridiculous.

I'm actually taking an idea that I saw on another blogger's site and doing something similar. Go to your local Lowes store and see if they have any small ceramic tiles on sale. The ones that I bought were on clearance for 26 cents each! Yes, you heard me right. I would say that's a deal. I am almost positive that they are 3in x 3in, just large enough for a regular size cup to sit on top.

Next, get your favorite stencil out (obviously one that will fit on the stencil) and tape it down real good so that it doesn't slide everywhere. Pull out your stencil brush and stencil creme of your choice. I purchased some stencil creme from AC Moore. It's supposed to be permanent and the kind that I have is not nearly as "creamy" as regular paint. It's more like a really thick paste sealed in a tiny round jar. They aren't kidding when they say that the creme goes a long way. Just dab your brush down in the creme and then get to work on filling in the stencil. I've found that tapping the brush works better and has better coverage then simply brushing the creme on. Do whatever you like. It really just depends on what kind of look you're going for.

With the creme I was able to remove the stencil almost immediately. Let the tile sit for 24-48 hours so that the creme can dry. Once this is completed go over the tile with a clear sealant so that the creme doesn't run. I'm not convinced that anything is waterproof these days. Even waterproof mascara isn't waterproof!

The last step is to line the back of the tiles with corkboard so that they don't fly off the table if it's bumped OR scratch up the table. You can find corkboard at most craft stores, possibly even a hardware store. If you want to add a little pizazz to your coasters add SMALL rhinestones depending on the type of design you have. I would recommend gluing these on with a hot glue gun or Gorilla glue and do it BEFORE you put on the varnish. You want those pretty little boogers to stay on, right?

If you plan to give the coasters as a gift, wrap up a few with a pretty little ribbon.

Cooking up somethin' good...

Go check out ClassiclyAmber's blog to see how she's making homemade honey wheat bread. I think that I may try to whip some of this up over the weekend myself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

***Updated Pics of our house***

I was finally able to snap a few pictures this morning of our new house color. Dustin was able to get the shutters painted and up as well. I am so proud of him for making such great progress on this project.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our latest endeavor...

I havent had much time lately to post pictures of the projects that I'm working on because my husband and I decided this past Saturday to take on an even bigger project than what we could chew. I'm really surprised that we haven't done it sooner. We've now gone through 2 layers of primer and 2 shades of yellow. I think we finally got it right. The second picture is actually the first color that we chose. I'll try to take a picture tonight of the newest yellow color. It's called Mark Twain Historic Yellow (I believe). We plan to paint the shutters black to add a little contrast. More pics to come soon!

Friday, June 12, 2009

That old thing...

So, about a year ago I picked up an old window pane from a local "antique" store. I had plans to turn it into something fabulous but of course that never happened. While trying to conjure up ideas for an upcoming craft fair I remembered that old window pane sitting on the side of our building. Last week I pulled it out and started washing it off. The more I sprayed, the better it started to look. The white paint that someone had applied shortly before I bought it started coming off and underneath was a beautiful green color. I brought it inside last night and finished cleaning it up. The night before I had found the exact stencil that I've been looking for all along at Michaels. So I pulled out my brush and my paint and got busy. This is what I have so far (pics to come later today). It's gonna be REALLY hard not to save this for myself. :-)

Friends4Life Craft Fair

Come join Friends4Life for a fun filled day of purchasing handmade goods! You never know what you will find. Drop in at any point on Saturday, August 1st. We will also be featuring various home businesses, too. Keep checking back here for updates. There is more to come!
**Wanna make some money? Contact me about setting up your own booth at the fair!**

Wow, a free HANDMADE apron!

Go on over to Kelli's blog and check out the chance to win a free handmade apron. You can also check out her Etsy shop:

Monday, June 8, 2009

The beginning of a new adventure!

I have to admit, I've hesitated for a while now with starting my own blog. I've kept up with several different blogs for months and thought "I could never sound as cool as them!" but I finally decided to have faith in myself and just do it! I want another outlet (besides my Friends4Life) for expressing myself and my ideas. At various points throughout the day I find myself thinking of nifty ways to take items that I already have and turn them into something fabulous! So what better way to document them, than starting a blog?!? Who cares if I sound eloquent and spell everything correctly, I'm a Southern Belle for goodness sake!

Thanks for taking the time to read my first blog. Stay tuned for more!