Thursday, October 15, 2009

Addicted to Stumbling

I love to stumble!! Have you stumbled today?

If you have never heard of StumbleUpon then you have got to check it out. You create an account and set the categories that you interest you. Then you download a task bar to start stumbling.

I stole this from their site:

StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of 8 million+ other websurfers with interests similar to you. Rating these sites you like () automatically shares them with like-minded people – and helps you discover great sites your friends recommend.

You can add your own favorite sites to stumble and keep customizing your interests. I have found websites, blogs, videos, and so much more that I would never have STUMBLED upon before.

Check out these amazing papers I just stumbled upon.



Can you imagine the amazing things you could make with this beautiful blood orange papyrus paper???



How about carrots??? See many more amazing papers here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Favorite Magazines

It is that time of year again. Our school is doing a magazine sale and our Girl Scout troop is doing the magazine sale. I have to admit I have a huge addiction to magazines. Here are some of my favorites.

Everyday Food
I have gotten this magazine since 2005. I actually do the bulk of my meal planning out of this book. The recipes don't call for a ton of ingredients and even my 14 yo son can prepare the meal. So if I am running late I can call him and let him know what we are having tonight and he is a sweetheart and starts it for me.

Country Living
I just love the images in this magazine. I haven't done any projects from it yet but I definitely start dreaming when I look at all their great ideas.



Rachael Ray
I am in love with Rachael Ray. I finally got a subscription to her magazine after buying the magazine each month. I have to admit (but don't tell my husband) that I have only tried one recipe out of this magazine and it didn't work for me. I keep meaning to try more because it all looks so yummy.


Somerset Studios
Who doesn't fall in love with the look and the feel of this magazine. The paper the magazine is made from even feels rich. So much creativity in just one magazine!



My greatest addiction is any Christmas/Holiday magazine. I have tons of issues from as far back as 10 years ago. At Christmas time I pull them all out and look through them all again and get gift and decorating ideas. It is funny but something I didn't like 5 years ago in the magazine will be my new favorite thing for this year. And of course I buy the season's new magazines. I already have Holiday Crafts 2009 and the pages are marked for the things I want to make.

I really want to try the paper mache this year. And there is the cutest Halloween and Christmas fabric mouse you ever saw. I don't usually do Halloween crafts but this year has me wanting to start.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Need More Time..............

Lots of things have changed in since my last posts. I didn't start my own online store but went back to work full time. I was offered a job to be a programmer again and best of all work virtually from home. No commuting, just working in the comfort of my own little home.

The only thing lacking is the time and energy to create. I miss it so much and trying to find a way to sneak it back in between a job, 4 kids homework(wow is this a time suck), housework, soccer practice, cooking, girl scouts, church, and just the overall time constraints of life. I know you all have the same problems.

I did get a make these amazing simple and beautiful flower pins for my children's teachers. I love them so much I have made several more.

I found the instructions here Reese Dixon's Organza Flowers. I ended up not cutting the petals she suggested but made 6-9 circles in different sizes for each flower. I love the look.

My daughter helped me make them. She was very careful not to burn her fingers but we kept a ice water bowl nearby just in case her fingers got hot. She took them to school in a basket and let each teacher pick her favorite.

I sewed felt circles with brooch pins on the back of each one so they could be worn as a brooch.

Monday, June 8, 2009

First Holy Communion




My twins had their First Holy Communion last month. They were so adorable. I just had to share some pictures.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Big News!!!

I have BIG NEWS!!!!

I will be launching a new website and putting up my creativity kits online again. I am so excited. I love putting together kits that let others be creative.

Here is my story and I am sure we all have a story just like this one......

Last week I wanted to make these adorable cupcake bath bombs for all the teachers at my children's school.

I read the directions and wrote down my list of supplies needed and proceeded to head to the health food store where the writer of the instructions said I could find my supplies. After wandering the aisles of the health food store and being completely overwhelmed. I had no idea what the items I needed even looked like. Finally I gave up and stood patiently waiting for a salesperson to assist me.

While waiting nearby I heard in graphic detail this poor customers problem with his foot. He was going into detail about all the "natural" remedies he had tried and was asking if the salesperson if she had any other suggestions. I was in shock that someone would go through what this poor man was going through. I would most definitely be at the doctor's office yelling for DRUGS! He is very admirable for sticking to his beliefs of natural treatments. But seriously I could have done without the gruesome details. LOL!

Finally the patient and very polite salesperson was able to give me her attention. I explained my lack of knowledge of what I needed and showing her my list of supplies. She proceeded to tell me they didn't carry this, or this, or this. But she did have one item on my list, a large bottle of witch hazel for $9.99. The instructions only said to spritz with witch hazel so I am sure I did not need this huge bottle of witch hazel. Seriously I have no idea what to do with witch hazel. She was very nice and said she would be happy to order the other items on my list.

Well being a busy person like we all are I had waited till the last minute to even think of what teacher's gift I was going to make. Teacher Appreciation day is tommorrow!!! There is no way that I would be able to get my supplies in time to make the Bath Bombs.

I could order the ingredients online but couldn't find them all on one website so would have to pay shipping from several different sites. There is probably a website that lists all the supplies but darn if I could find one.

To add to all this drama I don't even know if the measurements of the supplies listed make 1 or 20 bath bombs. Can you imagine if I ordered everything and only made 3 bath bombs??? I have 4 children and a TON of teachers to make gifts for.

My bath bombs were quickly costing a fortune. Instead another parent and I are setting up a chocolate fountain in the teacher's lounge for the teachers.

You know what would be perfect! To have a kit with all the indepth instructions both written and images (for those that like visuals like myself), supplies, tools, and only one shipping cost. And to know how many bath bombs the kit would make. I would be able to create and not have to own a huge bottle of Witch Hazel.

I love putting together kits and making sure that all of us can try new techniques but most importantly not to waste our valuable time running around town looking for those supplies and tools you need. We get to spend our very valuable time on creating!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

We love Ducks!



The baby ducks are growing so fast. They are not even 1 month old and they are huge. They still love to be snuggled and played with.

They are almost as big as our full-grown hens. We took them out yesterday and they were so funny to watch waddle around. But poor babies were terrified of the hens.

My adorable Wyatt holding Waddle or Quackers. We have decided on names but still waiting to see if they are boys or girls.

Too cute!
This is Maeve and she is the first hen to run and see what you are up to and see if you have her a treat. She is the skinniest of the hen and we decided it is because she "works out" so much.


You know the story of the baby duck that went around to all the animals asking "are you my mother?". My oldest son picked up this duck the day we brought it home and it settled right now and would cry if he put it down. The duck has decided that Chase is it's mother. Of course Chase would die if his friends knew this.

Sorry the pictures are a little dark it was raining yesterday and we were all getting quite wet playing with ducks.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is up with this EGG!

We have the cutest and sweetest chickens in the world. They are so tame they follow you everywhere and love to be picked up and petted. We let our chickens out during the day and they eat all the bugs in the yard.

We started with baby chicks a year ago and this year we have 9 hens laying 6-9 eggs a day. They lay ginormous eggs but this one is by far the strangest egg yet. The kids are so excited to take it to school to show their teachers.



Here is a picture of a large egg from the grocery store, then our usual eggs from our chicken, and finally our STRANGE egg.

The kids talked me into saving two baby ducks this year. The ducks were not standing on their own and so they couldn't get to the food or water and were going to die. My Noah nursed them and made sure they got food and water all day long. He saved their lives and now they are also huge.

Here is a cute picture when one of them when they are a week old.


We haven't named them yet because we don't know if they are girls or boys. And because we saved 2 ducks we had to get some cute little chicks to keep them company.




The ducks and chickens do not live in the house! Looks like they do from the picture above. They were in containers in the bathtub for 2 weeks so we could make sure they were getting their medicine and the weather was so cold here even with a heat lamp. Now they are cozy and warm out in the barn still separated from the big hens. So now we have 2 ducks and 14 chickens, a dog, and a cat. A crazy place if you ever saw one.

One of our little friends were visiting when the babies were in the tub and went on to tell his teachers that he played with baby ducks and baby chickens in the bathtub. He totally confused his teacher!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Filing Cabinet Transformation

My younger son's had this horrible dresser where the drawers kept falling apart and the handles fell off. You know the ones. I have glued, stapled, and nailed the drawers back together a zillion times and couldn't take it for a second longer.

And to make matters worse they can't get the clothes out or into the 2 top drawers because the can't reach. So you spend everyday putting their clothes away and getting their clothes out. Not my idea of self-sufficient children.

I found these at a thrift store for $5. They had 4 and I only bought 2 (I couldn't fit anymore in my car with the kids) and wish I had bought all of them.

My husband thought I was crazy when I said I wanted them for my son's dressers.

A few hours with rubber gloves and lots of steel wool and my filing cabinets were showing promise. I grabbed the spray paint and went to town.
They are a beautiful glossy blue to match their red, white, and blue bedroom. They are very heavy and sturdy. The perfect dressers for 2 boys ages 6 and 8. They love them and have them all organized with their clothes. It is so cute to see how neat they keep them.

And the best part I got reuse something old and find a new purpose for it. My favorite pasttime!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our Brownie Troop is Going Green


Brownie's Showing their Spirit and Going Green!

I am the leader of my daughter's Brownie Troop at St. Joseph's School in Millbrook, New York. We have been working on our Big Community Service Project for the last 2 months and will finally see all our hard work pay off as we help reduce the amount of plastic bags that make it into our landfills.

We have collected 500 used t-shirts from family and friends to turn into recycled tote bags. We will be handing out our tote bags in front of the A&P in Lagrange on Saturday, April 25th 3-6PM. We are not charging for our tote bags and will only be accepting donations for our local food bank!

We will be helping our community cut down on their use of plastic bags and also gave 500 t-shirts a new purpose.

I am so proud of these 2nd and 3rd grade girls and their dedication to this HUGE project! They have worked so hard cutting, sewing, folding, and making signs for our event.

I will post more pictures after our event. And please stop by if you are in the area and pickup a t-shirt tote bag from us.

My daughter Chloe sewing her little heart out trying to keep up with mommy on how many tote bags she can make.

One of the many boxes of finished tote bags.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Life of a Six Year Old



I am addicted to Stumble and find myself stumbling each evening before I fall asleep. I saw this idea on another blog (and I cannot for the life of me remember which one) while stumbling. Such a perfect idea to see what your child thinks about you.



What is your favorite color?
All the colors except pink.

What is mom's favorite color?
Pink, of course.

What is your favorite thing to drink?
milk, juice, and water

What is mom's favorite drink?
coffee and ice tea

What is dad's favorite drink?
everything

What is your favorite snack?
goldfish and cheezits

What is your favorite food?
hamburgers

What is mom's favorite food?
chocolate

What is dad's favorite food?
chips and spicy food

What do you like to do with mommy?
crafts and cooking

What do you like to do with daddy?
play guitar and build train sets

What color are mommy's kisses?
pink and purple.

What are the color of daddy's kisses?
blue, green, red, and yellow

What does mommy do when you are at school?
chores

What does daddy do when you are at school?
work

What does mommy and daddy do when you are asleep?
snore ALOT

What is daddy's favorite chore?
cleaning his room

What is mommy's favorite chore?
Cleaning her craft room.

What chore does daddy hate?
emptying the dishwasher

What chore does mommy hate?
cleaning her room, just look at it.

What chore does Wyatt hate?
picking up the dirty clothes.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Chase!!!



My first child turned 14 yesterday! I cannot believe that he is growing up so fast. It is strange to have a child that is towering above you.

I made this wonderful cake I found on foodgawker. You can find the recipe here.

The cake was a huge hit with everyone. I was a little worried when the recipe was in grams and ml instead of cups and tablespoons. A little converting and I will make this recipe again and again. Everyone one wanted a second piece of cake and that never happens.


I think there are 3 pieces left from last night and a few fork marks in it this morning.

This is my crazy group. I wish I could say they are just acting but they are always like this. Goofy, goofy children.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Learning to Customize my Blog

I am learning how to customize my blog. I will be playing with it for a while to find the look I like. I am having too much fun right now to decide on the perfect look.

Here is a place to get some great free backgrounds.

http://simplychicblogs.blogspot.com/


I have been tweaking the HTML to get each look and will be posting information on how to do it as I learn myself.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Coupons, Coupons, and other ways to SAVE!

I don't know about all of you but I am having to find creative ways to save money everyday. Today is a grocery shopping day and I have to figure out how to get my grocery bill down, really down. I have meal planned for a few years and have really seen the impact it has on my grocery bill.

Now I am going to give coupons a try. I have never been that good at coupons. They seem like so much trouble and most of the time the coupons are for things I don't use. It is time to change my attitude and go for it.

I have just discovered the multitude of online coupon websites. How easy it that???

coupons.com
coupon Mom
Coupon Surfer
Coupon Savings

Meal Planning is definitely the way to go. I have no waste, no stress on what is for dinner, or a missing ingredient. Sunday evening the fridge is completely empty and I clean it out and wipe down all the shelves and drawers.

I started meal planning when I got the Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine. The recipes in the little magazine all come with a picture and the ingredient list is never more than 10 items long.

The recipes are for the most part super simple to make and tasty. My son and husband have even made a few on nights when I am unable to prepare the meal.

I have about 2 years worth of magazines and hand them out to the kids on Sunday and they each pick something they want for dinner. I then write down all the ingredients needed for my grocery list. On another sheet of paper the recipe name, page #, and which magazine it came from. This is posted on the inside of the kitchen cabinet door.

The kids love they picked what they want for the week!!!

We are having Skirt Steak with Crispy Garlic Potatoes tonight.


Friday, February 6, 2009

$5 dinner - Lentil Soup


I am trying my own version of $5 Dinners. Take a few minutes and check her out.

This is such a great idea in these hard economic times. I will be seeing how many other $5 dinners I can come up with.

Lentil Soup
Brown sausage in dutch oven. Add chopped onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Then add water, tomatoes, lentils and seasoning. Simmer for 1 hour. Serves 6.

Total $4.41

I made homemade bread to serve with the soup. My children love lentil soup on a cold day.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Waiting for Spring



I am getting tired of the cold, ice, and snow. I want to see Spring flowers and little green shot of new grass. The snow is pretty and all but I am ready for Spring. My driveway has been an solid ice for too long.

I created my little pillow out of scraps to help me get out of the winter "blahs". It is working and when I feel cold and housebound I just look at my pillow when I can find it. My daughter fell in love with it and immediately put it on her bed.

I used the Japanese technique of Kanzashi. I have a tutorial somewhere that I will post soon. As you remember my computer crashed and I need to dig through my backups for the file.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My quest to Learn to Knit


I am working hard on my resolution to knit. It has been a little frustrating, a little daunting, and finally I think I am going to love it.

I have a few tips I have discovered for those who would love to learn to knit.

1. Don't use any fancy yarn. Plain inexpensive yarn is best when learning so when you rip it all out you don't waste your good stuff.

2. Nice big needles are best when starting out. I tried with small needles and couldn't see the stitches to tell what I was doing.

3. Use the wonderful learn to knit on YouTube. It is definitely easier to learn with a visual.

4. Pick a super simple pattern to start with. Nothing too fancy.

5. Knitting is not an inexpensive pastime. Look for coupons for your supplies.

I am still trying to figure out the best type of needles to use (aluminum, acrylic, bamboo, etc). I have decided I don't like the acrylic, they don't slide the yarn well for me. Of course it could be my stitches.

** I got my yarn at The Christmas Tree Store for $1 each. It is very loopy and definitely not the yarn to start on. I dropped a stitch and it was so hard to fix. Don't look too close at all my mistakes. The other side of loopy yarn is that it hides the mistakes a little. LOL!!!

Free Pattern Sites

Lion Brand Yarn

KnitPicks

Ravelry some are free

I want to learn to knit those socks but definitely need to practice a whole lot more!!! I will be making alot of scarves till I get it down. I love the fluid motion of knitting when I do it right. I got lots of knitting done during the Super Bowl. Definitely worth learning.

Our Super Bowl snacks. Each year the kids pick a snack and help me make it. We have fun and make lots of messes.

Buffalo Wings
Eggrolls

Potato Skins

We are all still stuffed from last night. I hope everyone enjoyed the game.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Recycled Wool Scarf


I love using old wool sweaters in new ways as many of you know. I had scraps from some of my favorite sweaters and saw Betz White's book Warm Fuzzies where she made a wool scarf from her wool remnants.

I was looking at my huge bag of scraps the other day and saw the perfect colors for my husband. He never wears a scarf but decided that he just never had the perfect scarf to wear. LOL!!!

First my felt scraps were felted in the washing machine. I cut them all to the same widths but varying in length. It was very simple to cut with my rotary cutter and mat.

The only issue i had was that my scrap pieces were different thicknesses. I found the back were I sewed them together was just too lumpy for my tastes. So I found the perfect dark Grey super soft flannel and backed my wool scarf. I really love how it turned out.

And the best part is my hubby wears it!!! See I was right he was just waiting for the perfect scarf.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Finally........................

My hard drive crashed in my computer and I finally have it fixed. I have learned that I truly have an addiction to my computer. The withdrawals were BRUTAL!!!

I know I check my email about 20 times a day and it was very hard not checking my email but twice a day when I bugged my husband to let me use his laptop when he wasn't working. But I didn't realize how many other daily things I used my computer for.

I am constantly planning my dinner menu from my favorite food websites. I love them when I am short on ingredients and need to see what I can prepare with what is in the cupboards. My poor family hasn't been eating as well as they usually do. I have all my favorite recipes filed on my computer and browse them daily for ideas (I did lose all my information on my hard drive).

I have horrible hard water stains in the bathroom tub and normally after I have tried everything I look up on the internet for ideas I haven't tried. Still hardwater stains on the tub. Time to look for the perfect solution to my problem.

And then there is the daily inspiration I get from Etsy and so many other blogs. I swear I haven't done anything creative lately without my trusty computer to inspire me.

You have got to see my sad attempt at learning how to knit. I have been using youtube to learn to knit. I couldn't check out what I was doing and my poor piece is a mess. I kept it so I can laugh at it. I am still determined to learn to knit and will be checking out those youtube videos again.

So many things have fallen apart without my poor computer. I am truly lost without it!!!

I can't wait to load my pictures from my camera and start playing again.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

I am a little late posting a greeting for the New Year. Life is so busy with the kids home during the Christmas break. And then there is the issue of my hard drive crashing. I thought long and hard and decided that I was not going to succumb to the idea of getting a new laptop but to replace my hard drive for a lot less money.

I am sure many of you are doing the same thing with our current economic condition. We are all learning how to be save those pennies!!

This Christmas with all the handmade gifts my family saved over 50% from what we spent last year. I knew I would save a little money but was really shocked at the amount we saved. And I really have to say my children were so excited passing out their gifts to friends and family. The children are planning what they are making for next year already.

I can't believe it is already 2009!!

I make resolutions every year on New Year's Eve and I swear they are the same every year but I still get hopeful this year is the year I will keep them. Here are a few of them. (Do you think if I post about them I will be better this year????)

  1. Eat healthier and exercise. (same one every year)
  2. Read to my children. (I do a lot of things with my children but sitting and reading a book just never happens. I did read several books last night.)
  3. Learn to knit (My grandmother has tried to teach me forever. I can do it when she is sitting next to me but as soon as I am not with her I forget how and have never finished a knitted piece.)
  4. Organize my studio space. (same one every year)
  5. Create everyday (again a repeat every year ::::: I know I am happier when I create but never find a lot of time to do it.
  6. Learn to make cheese. (I always try to learn new things every year. This one I am good at doing.)
And many more but I won't bore you to death.