Showing posts from 2009

Start your new year off..

with these yummy sticky buns from Ina Garten. You can find the recipe here. You won't be disappointed.

You may need to hold off on that resolution to eat healthier and/or lose weight though. But it will be worth it.

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas...

to you and your family. Best wishes for a safe & healthy 2010!

Christmas joys...

Your children only get one childhood.... I have a friend who emails what she calls 'Christmas Joys' each day in December. She has been doing it for years and it's always fun to receive them. They are pretty much the same each year but sometimes she will add something to them. They are usually just a list of thoughts or ideas for December. As a bonus, she lists the activities going on in town for each week.

Today's "joy's" started off with "Your children only get one childhood". This is so true and can really mean many things. For any time of the year, not just Christmas. The first thing that came to my mind is that since they only have one childhood they should remember it as having a mom that was present, not running around like a crazy lady trying to make everyone else happy and essentially forgetting about the most important people - her kids & husband.

So, this time of the year when it's easy to lose sight of what matters, stop to take…

The end of an era...

Charlie Gibson of World News Tonight signed off for the last time on Friday. I am what you might call a news junkie and I generally only watch ABC & Fox News. I watch Good Morning America almost everyday. So it was a sad day on Friday when Charlie Gibson signed off - for the last time. I watched him on his first day of GMA, way back when, his first day on GMA, again, not quite as long ago, his first day as the anchor of World News Tonight (finally, he gets the coveted job, I thought) and on his last day on World News Tonight. I am looking forward to seeing what Diane Sawyer does as I also enjoyed her on GMA so I will be watching again on Monday @ 5:30. But I will miss Charlie - it was like your dad giving you the news when he was on - safe & comfortable. End of an era for sure...


Little Miss had a dentist appointment yesterday. The hygienist asked her what type of cleaner (the toothpaste they use for cleaning the teeth - not sure that's the technical name) she would like and rattled off a gazillion flavors. She settled on Chocolate Mint. yum.

On the way home she said she really liked the Chocolate Mint and asked if my dentist offered that flavor (he doesn't).

She says, 'Maybe we should suggest that they sell that at a retail store.'

Alrighty then. A 'retail' store? What 7 year old would say that? Just another funny outtake from the back seat of my car...

PS. She made a card to take to the dentist today that said "I love my dentist" - bet they don't get those too often! She also put a candy cane inside the card. Just trying to keep the business going there!


If you have read my blog for anytime (thank you) you know that I am not the world's greatest photographer. So that's what makes the pictures I took last weekend in Utah especially nice. The snow pictures I took turned out really neat - if I say so myself. See what you think.
Yes, there was a lot of snow. A lot. The above photo is of my sister's back yard (looking into it from the front). I used the flash for this which I thought was neat.
The rest of the photos were taken at the Sundance Resort. Look at that snow. It was really beautiful. Even though these pictures are good I don't think they quite do the beautiful scenery justice.

Is that neat?? This is my favorite one- six trees lined up together.

The Christmas decorations were almost completely covered with snow. But the brook was still babbling!

Don't you just love the way the green skis almost look like they were painted on the photo? We had a lovely time at Sundance and it was nice to have time to r…

Home Tour 2009

Here's our home decked out for Christmas. A bit less decked out in the past but I am okay with it.
Our Family Room Tree

A little cheer for Little Misses bedroom

More bedroom cheer for Little Miss. She puts a small ornament on each day.

Nativity scene on the mantle. My sister bought the nativity in Germany a couple of years ago. It is made out of the most delicate wood. So lovely and simple.

The stockings were hung....

A little vignette in the kitchen. Visit The Nester for more home tours. It's really fun...

Can you tell....

that Mom will be out of town this weekend? This is part of the grocery store haul today so LM and her dad will have a kitchen stocked with contraband. Got these goodies along with some Wonder bread, ham & salami. Yum!! They will be dancing a jig when I head off to the airport today. Hopefully they'll miss me some, too.

I am headed to my sister's where we will dine on salad, fruit & whole wheat. Much more to my liking, thank you. She has a Christmas lunch each year with her friends and their moms at the Sundance resort, one of my most favorite places. It is beautiful there and very peaceful. We have even run into Robert Redford there (literally, we were driving along the road and he was running towards us. We stopped in plenty of time for a 'hi' and a smile.) This is my first year at the Christmas lunch & I am quite excited.

We decided to fly instead of endure the 8+ hour drive, although we really only save a couple of hours with a 2 hr drive to the…

Gift cards...

are the new fruitcake? I just read an article called 'Gift cards are the new fruitcake' on MSN. It basically explained the pitfalls of gift cards (fees, expiration dates, etc). So I started wondering, do a lot of you give orreceive gift cards for Christmas? I am mostly wondering about the giving as I don't mind receiving them if they are for something I use (Starbucks, Victoria's Secret). I usually ask for a gift card from my mother-in-law when she asks what I want. I think it's easier for her (remember, she has 13 kids, most with spouses and lots of grand kids to buy for) and it's easier to mail (she lives out of town). But for those gifts I need to buy for people I don't know so well (some of the 13 kids or spouses) I wonder if a gift card is the easy way out? I have always enjoyed the process of finding 'just the right gift' for someone. But maybe a gift card IS just the right gift. I have never gotten a gift card that I haven't used. …


Here are my dining room decorations. Sorry for the bad lighting. I hope you can get the idea. I wanted something really simple for the table. I think this fits the bill.

I started with the square vase (World Market-on sale for about $20 and I can use it year round). The 'shatterproof' silver balls -$4 from Walmart. I didn't really want shatterproof ones (plastic) but with a dog and a 7 yr old I think it's safer. The ribbon came from Walmart - I think it was about $2.50 and I have plenty left over for gifts or more decorations. The one ball on the top is from Crate and Barrel - a splurge at $4.95 but it adds a little something extra.

This is the little tree I have sitting on the chair that houses beach towels in the summer (the chair sits by the door that leads out to the pool). My mom made the little quilt and pillows. Just a few extra silver balls and ornaments decorate the tree. It's simple but it's what I wanted.
I'll show you the 'big' tree soon, …

Monday, Monday....

Yes, it has definitely been a Monday. First off, it rained. ALL DAY. We haven't had rain since about October so we really needed it but...

Drove about 45 miles or so today doing errands and delivering poinsettias (hockey fundraiser). My average day: 5-6 miles. Luckily, I love my car.

I can't even put into words what Staples did to our only hockey schedule poster when I asked them to laminate it. My husband is now on the hunt for an extra one.

The highlight of the day was having to go to Church @5:30 to retrieve LM's backpack that she left at CCD (my husband picked her up). Thankfully the preschool teacher was still there and I was able to get it so LM could do her homework.

I will post some Christmas pictures so you can see what else I have been up to. I hope my finger feels better when I start typing again. I have the smallest cut on the tip of my left hand pointer finger which hurts really bad when it is touched - like when I type. It may be infected but I am not …

Moving right along...

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens Our tree is up (photos coming later - we're still decorating). Presents purchased (for the most part, I have 3 left to get not counting our 3 secret santas for my husband's side of the family - we don't have our names yet.) Wrapping started. Hope to finish up within the next few days or so. Cards - addressed ready for pictures/notes to go in. They will go out on Friday. NO MATTER WHAT! Baking will start next week. Most baking will occur after the 18th, when school is out but I'll start a bit next week so I am not doing it all in one day. How's it going at your house?

Advent Calendars...

I found a cute wooden sleigh at Michaels (using my 40% off coupon) to use as an advent calendar this year. The finished product is below with the original look at the very bottom. I am so excited at how it turned out. Little Miss is enjoying it too.

I used red paint I had on hand (latex) for the sleigh. The rails were painted with silver paint and then a second coat of 'glitter' paint made them look glittery. I had never seen glitter paint before and was so thrilled to come across it. I detest glitter since it always gets everywhere but this paint it wonderful.
The knobs are also painted with glitter paint. I used a stencil & a silver pen for the numbers and rub-ons for a little pizazz. I wrapped empty jewelry boxes with silver wrapping paper to put on top of the sleigh.

Each drawer holds a little goody. I used quarters, small chocolates and hair barrettes. I also put small pieces of paper in some of the drawers (later in the month, after Christmas vacation start…

Fa La La La La....

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens Tomorrow is December 1st. We all know that. What I don't quite know is HOW it got here so quickly. Every year I wonder. Every year it all gets done. This year will be the same; I am just not sure how it will happen. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at my sister's house in Utah. Although there was snow on the ground, it didn't snow while we were there. It would have been nice but Little Miss made due by building baby snowmen with the existing snow. She was also able to take snowboarding lessons for the first time. She had been asking since her last ski lesson in March. Against our better judgment, we let her do it. She didn't like it and wants to go back to skiing. I am proud of her for trying it and sticking with it all day long when what she really wanted was to ditch the snowboard and put on skis. While she was in snowboarding school, I joined my mom and sister for a pedicure. A much needed pedicure. Friday nigh…

Calgon, take me away...

Remember that commercial?

That's how I feel today.

First of all, it is Monday and we were gone over the weekend. Second, my husband called me this morning to say that his secretary is out sick today. Third, we leave for Thanksgiving on Wednesday which means I have 2 days to get ready to go - from 70 degree weather to snow, which means lots of clothes and boots and hats and scarves.

So, the 2 days I thought I had are being cut back a bit so I can go help my husband out. I have stuff to do there - what I usually do at home - but it involves yet more packing (notebooks, checks, etc). This will likely be my last post until next week. Probably my last peek into blog world until then also.

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

My Favorite Things....

Join Melissa @ 320 Sycamore for her My Favorite Things party. Here are my favorite things: David Cook. The CD. Still lovin' it. Listen to it a lot. It's good. Very good.

Philosophy Lip Gloss. I have the melon daiquiri flavor and love it. It's shiny AND stays on. Tastes good, too. About $12.

Electric Pepper Mill. How did I live without this? Really. You can find one like this at Crate & Barrel for about $40 or so.

Peets Coffee. I talk about Starbucks a lot because we don't have a Peets here. It's really the best in my opinion. Luckily you can find it in the grocery store for about $14/lb -or less when it's on sale. You know that's when I buy it! :)

Measuring cups. I have these from Williams-Sonoma. I love them. I think it's my favorite thing in my kitchen. At least one of them. And one I use almost daily. It took a while for me to break down and buy them but I have to admit that it's the best $30 I have ever spent. When Little Miss moves us out of …

I'm just not feeling it...

People announced their 'Sexiest Man Alive' - Johnny Depp. I don't see it. At all.
Eddie Cibrian apparently made one of the lists. Good choice, I think. (Although I must say that I am not happy to see that he left his wife to be w/ Leann Rimes with whom he made a movie, now is maybe seeing someone else. All gossip of course but one wonders.)
Who would make Debra's list you ask?
Darius Rucker

David Cook

Chris Daughtry (I like the bald look!) Funny that those 3 are musicians and I am clearly not but there is some amount of sexiness to them. I would also put Hugh Jackman, Patrick Dempsey, Ryan Reynolds and Kurt Warner on the list. And my husband!!! Who would make your list?


One Fabulous Mom did a post about her quirks yesterday. I thought I would join in since everyone is surely dying to know mine!

If you watch 'Big Bang Theory' you know Sheldon. (If you don't watch it you should, it's hilarious). Sheldon is the king of quirkieness - in my opinion. Sad thing is that I don't know that I'm not too far behind him. For example: Sheldon has a spot on his couch which is his and his alone. No one else should try to sit there. If they do they get the stink eye. That is me. I have my 'spots' every where I go: at scrapbooking I have my seat- everyone knows that's my seat, at school drop off I have my parking spot (unfortunately, the other 300 parents don't know it's my spot and sometimes have the nerve to park there), I have spots in all the parking lots I frequent that I prefer. Sometimes I get them, sometimes I don't.

I find it all very strange and quirky but I just can't help it!

Happy Homemaker Monday...

The weather in my neck of the woods: Supposed to be sunny and 71 today.

One of my simple pleasures: A cup of green tea. I like to have one everyday, first thing. If I don't have it, I feel 'off'. I am sure it's in my head but it works.

On my bedside table: 'First Things First' by Kurt & Brenda Warner

On my TV: Fox & Friends (news)

On the menu for tonight : Quesadillas (we have hockey tonight so it's quick and easy)

On my to do list: Jazzercise, grocery shop, change sheets, work, take LM to religion classes, take LM to hockey practice

New recipe I tried last week: nothing

In the craft basket: Christmas gift tags

Looking forward to: Taking LM to see Santa on Saturday. We didn't make it when I wanted to go a couple of weeks ago, so it's on the agenda again.

Homemaking tip for the week: If you buy anything like 'kid's cuisine', weight watchers meals,lean cuisines: When you are done with the containers wash them out and keep them for things l…

Have you ever...

seen clothes as cute as the ones J Crew has for kids (Crewcuts) ?

I am looking for something for Little Miss to wear with this skirt.

I need something short sleeved for Christmas Eve at church. It was hot as blazes last year (one lady even passed out from the heat) so she needs to be cool. That counts out a lot of really cute Christmas options, unfortunately. Of course, in looking for tops or light sweaters I come across this darling velvet dress (pictured above). I fell in love with it as well as some other dresses. Also, some really cute sweaters. Fell in love. Love.

But I am still looking for a top. I have to remember that and keep focused. Since I already have a perfectly cute skirt, I want a top. I want to spend as little as possible as it's probably not something LM will wear a lot. Hope I can do it! I am off to check Hanna Andersson now (sale in progress).

Wish me luck...

When you've got it, you've got it...

I am not a huge country music fan. I like it. Sometimes a lot. But I must say that I was so excited to see that Darius Rucker won 'New Artist of the Year' at the CMA's last night. I was originally a 'Hootie & the Blowfish' fan. Still am. I thought the cross over to country was interesting. I got the Darius Rucker CD for Christmas last year and was convinced that he would make it in the country genre after my first listen. Such a distinct and wonderful voice.

I guess when you've got it, you've got it...

Thank you Veterans....

If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life, And I had to start again with just my children and my wife, I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today 'Cause the flag still stands for freedom and you can't take that away. And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free And I won't forget the men who died And gave that right to me And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today 'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God Bless the USA! From the lakes of Minnesota To the hills of Tennessee Across the plains of Texas From sea to shining sea From Detroit down to Houston From New York to LA Well there's pride in every American heart and it's time we stand to say... That I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free And I won't forget the men who died Who gave that right to me And I gladly stand to you And defend her still today And there ain't no doubt I love this land God Bless …

I can make that...

I am joining the 'I can make that party' hosted by Just a Girl today. LOTS of fun, easy, thrifty Christmas gift ideas. Head on over and check it out.

Here's what I have:
Little jars of hot cocoa mix. They would be great for teachers, babysitters, mail carriers, coaches, scout leaders, neighbors, etc. I used jars I had from mushrooms. The Walmart brand mushrooms are great because the top is solid gold so I didn't have to try to cover a logo. I have been collecting these jars for months just for this project. You can use already made hot cocoa mix (buy it in bulk) or make your own.

I made a little tag with instructions (sorry it's blurry). Just printed the instructions on regular paper - you could also use cardstock.

I used these rub-ons from Target's $1 spot to decorate the jar and part of the label. I got one sheet of the red and one of the blue for $1. Can't beat that! You could also paint the jar or use stickers. Just be creative. Everything but…

Happy Homemaker Monday...

The weather in my neck of the woods: Sunny, high of 85

One of my simple pleasures: Clean sheets

On my bedside table: 'First things first' by Kurt & Brenda Warner

On my TV: Good Morning America

On the menu for tonight: leftovers from last night

On my to do list: laundry, run to the grocery store for a few things, clean office

New Recipe I tried last week: none

In the craft basket: nothing

Looking forward to: Wednesday - school's out for Veteran's Day

Homemaking tip for this week: For a clean house, invite company over. We have had company for dinner for the past 2 weekends and my house has been clean, for the most part, the entire time. I can do it fast under pressure! Who shall we invite over this weekend to keep the streak going???

Favorite Blog post of the week (mine or other): This one which shows 2 very creative 'mini mudroom' ideas.

Favorite photo of the week:

Little Miss donating a Build a Bear to Toys for Tots on Saturday.

Lesson learned the last f…

"New" Dresser...

I finished putting the knobs on my 'new dresser'. I decided on the knobs as opposed to re-drilling the holes and buying 'pull's'. I wanted to keep the cost down to keep the dresser as close to 'free' as possible. So I picked the square blue ones - they are brushed nickel with the blue sea-glassy center. They were my favorite and first choice but the knobs were $9 each and the pulls were $10 so getting 20 of them wouldn't be too frugal, right? I ended up getting a variety and spending about $60. The wooden round knobs I just painted with my array of blue & green paint. I am glad this is finally done as it is so much easier to open the drawers now...

Got Votes?

...Apparently not.

Yesterday was election day. Some locales had big time elections (Kudos to Virginia's new governor!); some, smaller, local issues. Our town was in the latter category. Only 17% of registered voters here voted yesterday. Yes, you read that correctly: seventeen. Disgusting. I wish people would understand that just because we're not voting for President or Governor doesn't mean an election is not important. Sometimes it's more important.

Which may be the case with yesterday's election. Four years ago our town voted on an 'override' to put more money in the school's budget. It passed. Yesterday it was time to renew this override. It didn't pass - just barely 48-52. But what's the saying - 'close only counts in horseshoes'? This, unfortunately, is not horseshoes. It's our future.

The money from the override provides for things like all-day kindergarten, reading specialists (who, by the way teach our Spanish…

Happy Homemaker Monday....

The weather in my neck of the woods: Warming up again- supposed to be 89 today.

On of my simple pleasures: a morning walk

On my bedside table: 'Finding it' By Valerie Bertinelli (almost done!)

On my TV: Fox Business channel

On the menu for tonight: quesadillas

On my to do list: Stamp club, pet smart (need dog food), change sheets

New recipe I tried last week: none

In the craft basket: nothing right now.

Looking forward to: stamp club today, hopefully taking LM to see Santa on Saturday (we will be in Las Vegas to meet my husband who will be there for a Trade show most of the week & it's a good chance to hit the mall and beat the rush -I just hope Santa is there - he was last yr so I have my fingers crossed.)

Homemaking tip of the week: If possible, I try to do all my housework during the week so I can relax on the weekend and not feel like I 'should' be doing this or that.

Favorite blog post of the week: It was a good blog week with Halloween but I have to say …