Friday, January 29, 2010

Ghost Towns

Buuuurrrr, is It cold out there! We just got home from spending the day looking at ghost towns in the area and goodness was it interesting.

There was an old 1920s high school with a piano still sitting on their auditorium stage and old tattered curtains hanging in the window. The snow falling through the torn roof made it that much more beautiful and peaceful. Then there was an abandoned building from the 1800s where a few stone walls were still intact. There are probably so many stories that could be told about what happened in those rooms. Another “abandoned” high school that wasn’t as abandoned as we had originally thought. When the hubby walked up the front door he heard music playing inside which was a hint that it may be time to go. Or maybe the goats and pony in behind the school should have been a clue? Maybe the abandoned car or debris? Anyway….Then we stopped in a tiny town to enjoy the looking at the shops and small town atmosphere. While I wandered around the photographer hubby was snapping shots so pictures will be posted very soon. Unfortunately our time ran out too soon and we weren’t able to see everything we would have liked but we had a good time.

I love going to these old places and wondering what the story behind them is. I mean who were the people who used these buildings years ago? Who went to school there or who lived in that old house?

Now I’m completely exhausted so I think tonight’s dinner will be something simple, pasta and garlic bread maybe. Gotta keep this famil fed!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Yes I am!

Earlier this month the sweet vintage housewife lil’ miss Cat at The Vintage Housewife had a wonderful giveaway! What did a win? Lucky me, exactly what I needed to get this house smelling divine before our big move…

These Mrs. Meyers cleaning products smell so wonderfully fresh they make me actually WANT to clean! Didn’t she wrap everything so cute? There was even the most adorable flower barrette included in this special prize box!

and look at that card! (I should have turned off my flash, huh?)

Just opening the box put me in such a good mood with all the colors and great smells. I never win anything! You all should stop on over and pay Cat a visit, I've loved her blog since the day I found it.

Thanks Cat!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Balsamic Chicken

A little while ago I mentioned a balsamic chicken recipe that I would post here it is!

Balsamic Chicken

Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Minced garlic
Dried Thyme
Salt and pepper
Chicken breast

I have t apologize, I don’t measure much. I’m a pinch of this and pinch of that kind of girl so use your best judgment.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Rub chicken with minced garlic. I love garlic so I use quite a bit. Lightly drizzle chicken breast with olive oil and pour balsamic vinegar over chicken. I would say probably half a cup to a ¾ cup for four chicken breasts, depending upon how much you like balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with dried thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 375 for 35 to 45 minutes. I usually serve this with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Great Deal!

I have to take a quick minute to post about my score for Snuggle Bug! I absolutely love looking for deals at garage sales, craigslist and classified ads. This evening I was looking through a local yard sale website and found a wonderful little item for Snuggle Bug, a sandbox for $15! I've been wanting to get her one for a little while now but hadn't decided on what kind to get and when. The ones that I had been looking at were usually retailing for around $40 to $50 which is why I was so thrilled when I saw this listing. It even included a bucket, shovel and other toys! Its in good condition aside from a little cleaning since it was on their porch but overall a great deal.

I love saving money!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Because there isn't already enough to think about.

Preschool. Seems a little bit early to start thinking about that when Snuggle Bug is only about to turn two next month, right? WRONG. Holy crap this preschool stuff is a lot more in depth than I ever realized. Montessori, Play based, Waldorf, or Reggio Emilio? Which style is the best? What the heck are they anyway? Then there is the question of if preschool really is that important. The hubby didn’t go to preschool and he turned out just fine.

When I was a very young child my parents did not have a lot of money so needless to say hunting for the best preschool was not something that they had to worry about. So I went to a state funded preschool program for low income families. As a child I remember loving every minute of it. I got to play with neat toys, play with other kids – well aside from that weird kid who kept pretending to slit people’s wrists…I wonder what happened to him? - and learn about numbers, shapes and other things a geeky child such as myself enjoyed.

Obviously we’re not living in a city like New York where you have to begin planning at conception then years later get up in the middle of the night to stand outside a preschool with hundreds of other applicants praying that their child is selected. But despite that there is still the desire to make sure that my little one goes to the best preschool she can, well, as good a school as we can afford anyway. Our upcoming move is the very first one that I’ve had to consider things such as school districts, preschools and the various educational factors. The hubby just rolls his eyes when I squeal in delight about finding a new activity for us all to do in Colorado – Gymboree anyone? – I’m just so excited about finally moving somewhere larger and having access to fun classes and opportunities for Snuggle Bug.

This is one of those moments where I mention that no one tells you that parenthood has this much pressure involved. As if caring for a fragile newborn isn’t pressure enough. Now add on the pressure of trying not turning them into a mental defective and hoping twenty years later they aren’t yelling at you about how your decision to put them into a Waldorf preschool instead of a Montessori school ruined their entire life. Oh my.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Building a Computer

Yesterday I told you all about the hubby sitting down at our kitchen table to build a new computer. While he was working I couldn't resist snapping a few shots of him lost in computer land.

The hubby hard at work.

Cords, wires, spinning things, blinking things....yeah.

Deep thoughts.

I was making dinner while he was doing this so I didn't get a chance to take too many shots but you get the idea.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

There Is No Clear Topic In This Post.

Its true. There really is no clear topic in this post so I couldn't think of a more fitting title than just that.

As I type the hubby is sitting at our kitchen table building a computer. I love my computer nerd savvy husband. This isn’t just any old computer either. This is a “super” computer as he puts it. What makes it super? Yeah, I’ve got no idea. But either way I know it’ll come out nicely because he’s got a talent for this kind of stuff. To me, it all looks like a random assortment of wires, bolts and metal bits. Looking into that box I may as well be staring into the human brain. But combined it obviously becomes something pretty darn neat or he wouldn’t be sitting there like a kid with a new toy.

Today was a fairly productive day. Snuggle Bug spent the morning at daycare while I ran to do some errands. Managed to save just about $15 bucks on groceries for the week, go me. I think I’m finally getting the hang of this coupon stuff. Maybe one day I’ll be one of those women who walk into the store and walk out with a cart full of groceries for $10 bucks. It’s pretty impressive I must say but I’ve got a while before I reach that power shopper status. Then I went to Target, 25 miles away in the next town because our town isn’t cool enough for a Target apparently, to get Snuggle Bug a new pair of sneakers. Her tiny feet are FINALLY starting to grow. The kid turns two in less than a month and she is finally wearing size 4 shoes. I blame those itty bitty feet on her late walking. I mean who can walk on such tiny feet; it’s like a balancing act! Then again I suppose all walking is a balancing act. I think I read somewhere that with every step we take we’re just moments away from falling on our face. Something to think about.

In preparation for our impending move we finally managed to get one of the dogs to the vet to get her shots updated and get more of her Heartguard. I feel like such a terrible pet owner because the year the hubby was deployed I wasn’t able to get the dogs to the vet. At that point I refused to put Snuggle Bug in any sort of daycare situation and the dogs are both so big it can be tricky to handle them and a baby. So unfortunately the last year their veterinary care fell by the wayside. On a more positive note, the vet said that Daisy is healthy, but slightly overweight, which we knew. I love that dog but she is so darn lazy. Getting her to get up and play, especially in the cold or heat, is a challenge. She much prefers to lay there and stare at you with those “why are you bothering me you moron?” eyes. Yeah, good dog. Peaches is the next to go in tomorrow and hopefully we’ll get the same positive healthy results from her check up too. She is my sweet, snuggly and extremely hyper little dog. She has a special place in my heart for the fact that she was adopted and returned to the rescue center so many times they were losing hope on her ever finding a forever home. How can you pass up a dog like that? I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog. But I digress….

Anyway, it’s time for me to make my family a yummy meal! I’m making a tasty and simple balsamic chicken that I’ll be sure to post the recipe for soon. It always comes out great!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Late Night Mommy Musing

Do you ever have nights where you just can’t sleep? Yeah, so do I. So here I sit in bed next to my snoring hubby with my laptop typing the night away while the rest of my family sleeps. I love my family. Despite the moments where I want to lock myself in the bathroom for a few spare moments of silence, pay no attention to the constantly running toilet, I still love that they are mine.

When my curly haired toddler runs up to me with snot running down her nose, hugs me as she wipes her nose on my shoulder and then runs of giggling I’m reminded of why God gave us children….to give us a sense of humor.

How can you be serious when you’re wandering around with snot on your shoulder, mashed peas on your shirt , sipping stale cold coffee and yelling “Don’t shove that crayon in the dog’s nose!” while your child squeals in delight? That’s right, you can’t. Because if you try you’re going to get wrinkles and I don’t need any more factors that lead to wrinkles. Instead I’ll take rolling around on the floor with my baby laughing at her silly faces and enjoying motherhood.

I make the mention of snot not because Snuggle Bug has a perpetually runny nose but rather because the poor thing has been dealing with a cold for the past few days that has made my sweet girl a snot factory. That is part of the reason I’m still awake. Because if tonight follows suit with our last two nights she will be awake in just a few hours crying because she can’t breathe through the abundance of mucus in her nose. Which will prompt me or the hubby, me if I’m awake, to come in with the snot sucker thingy to clear her nose. Then we rock for a while and try to get her back to sleep.

Maybe after that I’ll think about going to bed. Or maybe I’ll do some laundry, who knows?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Potty Training

Yes, it’s that time in toddlerhood…potty training. Well, technically, this is potty training take two. A few months ago we started and were making good progress. She peed in the potty twice and seemed to be having a fun time with the entire thing. Then we began traveling, a week in Colorado, two weeks in California. Then the holidays came and went and in all that madness potty training went on the back burner. I really should have tried harder but I just got lost in everything there was to do. But here we are just a few weeks away from Snuggle Bug’s second birthday and it’s time to pull the pink potty out and get started again! Our chart is all ready and by her potty. She LOVES her sticker chart! There is a spot for a sticker each time she goes into the potty, tries to go potty, pulls her pants up and down, washes her hands and so on. Those little colorful stickers make her so proud! The only problem we really had during that time was the problems we had with the pull-ups giving her a rash. She has such sensitive skin it can be tricky to find things that won’t irritate her skin. Do they make cloth pull-ups that are actually absorbent? We attempted the cloth training panties but they were so thin that her first accident soaked all over the place. Needless to say we put those to the side for when she has a bit more bladder control. I guess I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears out for something that will work for us.

It is hard to believe that we’re already at this stage. It seems like time is going buy so quickly and before I know it she’ll be grown! But until then I’m going to enjoy every toddler minute I can with my baby, get every snuggle, every kiss and soak up all the memories. I love being a mommy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Over the past couple of days I have been overflowing with creative ideas. My most recent ideas have involved upcycling. For those of you who don’t know what that is, upcycling is taking an item that has been discarded or that no one has use for anymore and turning it into something better. I LOVE upcycling! Earlier this week I did a run to Goodwill and found some wonderful gems to work with. Now Snuggle Bug has some brand new items for her wardrobe.!

This skirt was made from a bedskirt that cost $1.99. There is still lots of fabric left that i'm not sure what to do with. Maybe a purse?

These pants are from a Tshirt that was on the 99cents rack.

I’m also working on an adorable shirt dress for Snuggle Bug which I’ll post just as soon as it’s done.

My other latest projects have been kanzashi flowers. Such simple but beautiful little cloth flowers that can be used to embellish your craft projects! A wonderful tutorial can be found at

Here are a few that I’ve made recently.

They are so simple and fun to make. Definately a great way to use up those tiny fabric scraps!

I've got so many different projects that i'm working on and I can't wait to share them as I finish them!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cold Winter Day

It was a cold, snowy day yesterday. One of those days that makes you want to curl up next to the fireplace with a nice warm blanket. So what is a better thing to do on a cold dreary day than bake cookies! Sugar cookies happen to be one of the hubby’s favorites so that is what I made.

Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
granulated sugar

Cream butter; beat in sugar gradually. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla extract; stir to blend. Combine and sift flour, baking powder, and salt; add gradually to creamed mixture, mixing thoroughly.. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place 2" apart on greased baking sheet. Flatten with bottom of glass that's been greased and dipped in granulated sugar. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to racks immediately to cool.

Don’t they look yummy?

They didn’t last very long in this house either!

For our yummy snowy cold winter’s night dinner I made Clam Chowder with crescent rolls. It was so yummy!

Clam Chowder

1/2 pound bacon, cooked them crumbled
5 unpeeled potatoes, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams with juice
2 (1.8 ounce) packages dry leek soup mix
1 quart half-and-half
1 Bottle Clam Juice

Place the bacon in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisped and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pot. Crumble then set the bacon aside. Stir the potatoes and celery into the bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour the juice from the clams into the pot, bottle of clam juice and add enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir the leek soup mix into the potatoes until no lumps of soup remain. Stir in the clams, reserved bacon, and half-and-half cream. Cook and stir until the chowder returns to a simmer and thickens, about 10 minutes more.

Thank goodness there are leftovers from last night or I think I’d have to make this again soon!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jose Cuervo Cookies

Jose Cuervo Cookies

1 tsp baking soda, 1 cup of sugar,1 tsp salt,
1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of butter, 4 large eggs, 1 cup nuts, 2 cups of dried fruit,
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample the Cuervo to check quality..

Take a large bowl, Check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality,Pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter In a large fluffy bowl.

Add one peastoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still ok, try another cup just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who geeves a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dinner and Home Staging

The house smells so yummy right now! I’ve had stew simmering in the crockpot all day and the longer it cooks the better it smells. I’m going to toss some cornbread in the oven before too much longer. Beef Stew and cornbread, now that is a yummy cold day meal! <---I wrote that about three hours ago and it tasted just as yummy as it smelled! I started my blog entry earlier today but got a little distracted with finishing dinner, getting everyone fed and getting the little one into bed. But now the kitchen is clean, the house is quiet and the little one is fast asleep. Time for a little blogging and quiet time before bed.

The meeting with the realtor went well today. He seems like a knowledgeable person who will do a good job. I hope this turns out better than our last attempt at selling this house, 2 showings in a 6 month period…..not good. Tomorrow I’m going to start the staging process but I’m running into one little problem, toys. Everything I read about staging says to put the toys away which is easier said than done with a toddler. Since her bedroom is upstairs it is hard to keep everything up there when we spend most of our day downstairs. Not to mention her bedroom is already overflowing as it is. She is quite a blessed little girl! Staging is pretty tricky when you’re still living in your home. Our house is filled with family photos and special keepsakes that make our house feel like a home. I hate the idea of living in a generic house but if it helps then we’ll do what we have to.

Here is a little home staging inspiration.

Now, how do you get a house to look like that when there is a toddler, two dogs and husband running around?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Five Minute Craft of the Day!

Does anyone else love pretty storage? Bins, baskets, boxes…..i’m in love with decorative storage! I seem to go through phases. One moment it is baskets, baskets for everything I can see. Then it is plastic storage bins and off I run to the store for plastic storage bins to organize whatever mess is around and now its jars and boxes. I love jars, so perfect for those odds and ends just not big enough for a box or bin.

A little peek into my bathroom closet….

Now it is time for a 5 minute craft project of the day! I went to walmart and purchased a few simple white storage boxes in varying sizes that cost between $7 and $4. Something along the lines of this…

I had planned on buying some stamps for this project but was sad to find that my walmart didn’t sell stamps and the nearest craft store was 30 minutes away and closed on Sunday. Since I’m not the patient type I looked for a new option which ended up being rub on transfers which cost about $2.50 for a pack. I had never used them beforebut I love them now because they are so easy!

Here we have the finished product.

Aren’t they pretty? Five minutes and $13.50 later i've got two adorable boxes to store my scrapbooking supplies! I bought one more box in brown for sewing supplies and I'll probably end up buying a few more before my pretty storage box phase ends. Hmmm, I wonder what is next. Bags maybe? I guess we'll see!

Clean Clean Clean

Yes, it is that time again. We’re going to be putting the house back on the market in hopes that it will sell in the next three months. While I’m not holding my breath on that happening I nonetheless have to get this house back in showing shape. Not an easy task with a messy husband, toddler and large dogs. I’ve spent my entire morning cleaning out closets (and wondering how they’ve gotten so bad since the last time I did this), folding laundry and making lists of stuff I need to get things more organized. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the amounts of tiny clutter that can accumulate. I’ve had to put a few of my crafty projects on the back burner for now while I tackle my current project. Sometimes it seems like I’ve got 20 things going at once and I want to do them all at the same time! The sad thing is that I haven’t finished a complete project in ages. The hubby is probably starting to wonder what I do all those hours that I’m working in my craft room. But this gives me time to get my crafting supplies a bit more organized. Right now they are all living in a number of shoe boxes and plastic bags so it is probably time to invest in some better storage options.

In other news the hubby managed to break a fairly expensive camera lens while he was out shooting yesterday and he had that thing all of two months. Apparently the winter weather doesn’t agree with his California boy nature because this is the third time he’s slipped on a patch of ice this winter. Here’s hoping his warranty will cover getting it fixed. He did manage to come home with some lovely pictures of the winter landscape around the area. He’s getting good at this new hobby of his!

Here are a few shots he took……

He found a small ghost town about an hour away from us and he said that the old general store still had stuff in it. How cool is that? I love old towns and buildings because there is just so much history. We're heading to a ghost town a few hours away this Friday and i'll be sure to take my camera along! Okay ladies and gents my break time is over and i'm off to get more done!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Good morning! The hubby is off shooting most of the day and while I sit here starting a quiet day with my Snuggle Bug and sipping my cup of coffee I’m feeling motivated this New Year to get organized and creative! Since last night I’ve been looking up projects, writing down my ideas and tomorrow I’m off to the craft and fabric store. Do you ever get in a creative mood? I read all these wonderful blogs where these amazing ladies organize their home using beautiful storage ideas they’ve created from everyday items and they inspire me to do the same. This year I’m going to be more creative! With our move coming up in just a few short months I feel the need to clear the clutter so I can make our new home even better than this one. This New Year is full of creative possibilities and I’m ready to tackle them all and live in a more beautiful and creative world! I’m off to spend time with my Snuggle Bug but before a do here is a little creative inspiration……..

Feeling inspire yet??

Lets get crafting!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Why Men Are Never Depressed

This was posted on Sugar Pie Farmhouse and I had to repost it here....its too funny!


Men Are Just Happier People ~ What do you expect from such simple creatures?
•Your last name stays put.
•The garage is all yours.
•Wedding plans take care of themselves.
•Chocolate is just another snack.
•You can never be pregnant.
•You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
•You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
•Car mechanics tell you the truth.
•The world is your urinal.
•You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
•You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
•Same work, more pay.
•Wrinkles add character.
•Wedding dress $5000 Tux rental-$100.
•People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
•New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
•One mood all the time.
•Phone conversations tend to be over in 30 seconds flat.
•You know stuff about tanks.
•A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
•You can open all your own jars.
•You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
•If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
•Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
•Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
•You never have strap problems in public.
•You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
•Everything on your face stays its original color.
•The same hair style lasts for years, maybe decades.
•You only have to shave your face and neck.
•You can play with toys all your life.
•One wallet and one pair of shoes --one color for all seasons.
•You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look
•You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife.
•You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
•You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.