Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rainy Day Fun

There is a ton and ton and ton of rain here today.  What better to do than make a little mess?

  We had some whipped cream in a can left here from a potluck dinner, and we are more of the heavy-cream-whipped-up-in-a-bowl kind of folks.  No fear, I put it to good use.  I gave it to Burl to play with.

He had fun with it, until I gave him some to eat.  He literally gagged on it.  That wasn't a big surprise to me though.  Burl is a picky eater...he hates mushy food...it's real food or nothing for him.  The more texture, the better.

I kept trying to give him some to eat, and he would close his eyes.  Broseph came in and tried to give him some on a spoon, but he would have no part of it.  Eyes and mouth shut tight.

We quit "torturing" him with eating it, and Broseph handed him a spatula.

That's when the real fun started.  He played and played and played while I made lunch.

Lunch was served-Broccoli.  Burl. Was. Thrilled.

He was so excited about the broccoli, that he fed himself for the first time ever!  I have to say, I'm feeling proud.

The whole thing was a success and seem to put some extra fun into our day!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

True Story

Yesterday, John suggested that I go out with some friend(s) for coffee or something.  He knows I love girl time.  After I put Burl to bed, I met a friend at Starbucks for girl talk.  It may or may not involved talk about our new skinny jeans and workout clothes that are appropriate to wear out in public.  

As we were leaving, we were talking about the trick of putting keys between your fingers to make for a painful punch if we happen to run into any bad guys in the parking lot.  She walked to her car, I walked to mine.  

I was unlocking my car, when a guy stepped out of the car next to me.  Here's what happened:

"Excuse me, hey, I was just wondering, are you from around here?"
"Um, did you go to school around here?  Did you happen to go to CCS?"
"Actually, I did."
"I thought you looked familiar.  I did went to CCS too.  Wow.  What year did you graduate?"
"99, what about you?"
"Haha, I was 97.  That's crazy.  I knew it.  I knew you looked familiar.  My name is Michael ___.  Do you remember me?"

{At this point, my friend gets in her car and starts to slowly circle around me.  I wasn't too worried, he really seemed harmless.  I'm pretty sure I could take him, but I was still on the defense.}

"Um, yeah, your name sounds familiar."
"Oh wow.  That's cool.  So are you married?"
"Yeah, I've been married..."
"Oh man, I was going to see if you wanted to hang out sometime."

{I was thinking:  I'm getting hit on.  No hilarious freaking way.}

"Oh, well thanks, but yeah, I'm married."
"Oh, well, have a good night.  I knew you looked familiar maybe I'll see you at a reunion or something."
"Yeah, cool.  Have a good night."

As I got into my car, my loyal friend drove slowly away and called me right away.  She was checking on me and said that she was ready to spring into action if something was about to go bad.  I told her what happened and we had a great laugh.  I went home, told John, and he had a laugh too.  And he was happy for me.  

This morning, I'm still feeling cool.  I got hit on.  To say I'm flattered is a gross understatement.  Part of me has to wonder, how long is too long to be happy about it?  I'm not sure, so for now, I'll just tell myself that I STILL GOT IT.

Cookie Exchange Invites

My dinning room table was taken over for a couple of days while I made the 5th annual Cookie Exchange Invitations.  The Cookie Exchange is modeled just like the one my mom does.  That one has been going for 30 years!!!  We wrap up 1/2 dozen cookies for each person that comes.  

It's been the same 12-14 girls every year, and it's a blast.  We just eat, talk, and look at all the cookies we get to take home!

I always make my own invitations.  Nothing too fancy, just something that I can make in Word.  Sometimes making the invitations is my favorite part!

Here is an example of how I addressed them.  {No, Amy Butler was not invited, oh I wish.}  I love that line cutting through the middle.  I stole that idea when I saw this.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Week's Menu

I'm on the lookout for yummy, healthy meals.  Loads of vegetables and protein.  On the cheap.  Pleases John, Burl and me.  If you have any receipts that fit the bill, please send them to me!!!

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas 
Crockpot Thai Pork 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Confined & Occupied

Every so often I need Burl to stay confined and occupied.  

Solution: Ultra Saucer & short Baby Einstein videos on YouTube!

The picture speaks for itself...Burl loves them.  Open mouth breathing and all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saying Thanks

Just about all of my prayers start or end with, "thank you, Lord.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for this life."

Every Thanksgiving season, I tend to mentally think about for what I am grateful.  This list is usually the same, including the big stuff-family, life, health, grace, etc.


Usually, the list stays mental though.  I am not sure if I put voice to all of my thoughts.  Today, I thought about a lot of people for who I am thankful, but I didn't tell those people.  I don't know why?  Maybe it's too mushy, too vulnerable.  I'm not sure.  

I want that to change.  I want to start
saying thanks.  It seems to mean more that way.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Parent #3

I'm just going to say it: Broseph is a great uncle.  I like to refer to him as parent #3, because he loves Burl and is concerned about Burl just like a parent would be.  Many times, if John or I aren't around, he wants Broseph to snuggle him after his naps.

Every morning, when Broseph comes downstairs (or home from a run), Burl jerks his head around until he can see him.  When they see each other, they both light up.  Burl goes nuts!  Other than when he's eating breakfast, he usually lunges for Broseph to hold him. 

Broseph is what an uncle is suppose to be: a little bit more rowdy than me, a little nervous and scared that he's going to drop Burl, and a lot mushy when Burl snuggles up to him.

I love it!!!  It's so fun to be front and center to watch this happen!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Working On It

For the last 20 minutes, I've been giving a fashion show to myself.  I'm a little bit nervous, a little bit excited, and a little bit freaked out that I've been using my time this way.  But, I guess that is what happens when I try and branch out of my usual style.  


This is not a post on what I've worn everyday.  This is a post on what I'm trying to wear.

Ruffle cardigan: Old Navy (my new basic)
White T: made by me
Skinny Jeans: Walmart, $12. Just got them in the mail.  Blogged about them here.  Let me say something about skinny jeans, and I've said it before.  I don't think this is the best look for me.  Not the best cut.  What it is: in style and different.  There is something about wearing a trend that puts a pep in my step.  Also, this summer, my mom changed her hairstyle for the first time in several years.  She grew it out.  It wasn't her favorite look, and it wasn't her hairdresser's favorite look.  Her hairdresser told her, "that's ok.  Sometimes we just need a change.  It might not look the best, but it's ok.  It's just different, and it's just for a brief period of time."  So, I'm giving the skinny jeans a chance.

Basic T: Gap
Bootcut Jeans: Walmart, $20.  This is a different style for me and, you can't tell by this picture, but it's a different color.  It's not my favorite, but that's ok.  It's different.  

Puffy Vest: Gap.  Again, this is a totally new thing for me, but I got SO MANY compliments on it the few days in a row that I wore it.  Even John loved it.
Flare Jeans, a few years old: Walmart, $13

Before: plain tee, flare dark jeans, flip flops.  
During: tee and something different, different jeans, working on the shoes.
After: just not there yet, but I'm working on it.

ps...did everyone notice that I got my jeans at Walmart for $20 or less?
ps2...I cleaned my mirror before this, but it did no good apparently.
ps3...I figured out how to crop the pictures myself.  Without John.  woo-woo.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Retail Rules

For the past 12 years, I have worked in retail, which means that I have worked the Thanksgiving holiday.  It's a blast.  The busier the better, in my book.  However, this year, I asked off...and I got it.  I'm not working this weekend.  Part of me is excited because I get to do some stuff that I normally miss out on, but part of me is sad because I'm going to miss out on all that retail action.

When I saw this picture, it reminded me of a home decor and linen store where I worked for several years.  I got to make displays like this one and talk about decorating and furniture and linens and it was a whole lotta fun. 

For the most part, I can say that the public is great.  I've had great customers wherever I've been-some of which have become friends.  I worked today and it was full of fun, happy, thankful customers and I had a blast.  Just like cars, we come across some lemons-people who need some ground rules, aka, manners.   When you're shopping this holiday season, please remember:

1. Return policies are required to be posted by the register or on your receipt, so take a minute to read them.  If you don't like the policy, then please don't get nasty to the employees.  They don't make the policies.
2. Accidents happen and sometimes HOLDS get returned to the sales floor.  Please don't yell.
3. Fitting rooms are for trying on clothes.  Nothing else.  {Oh, the stories...}
4. There are a lot of coupons out there.  Pay attention to the dates, the restrictions, and the items that are included.  We have to stick to those rules...we can't override them...no matter how angry you get at us.
5. We would be happy to throw away your food or drink.  You don't have to lay it just anywhere.
6. Eye contact, smiles, please and thank you go A VERY LONG WAY!!!  A funny joke does a wonders!!!  

*Disclaimer: sometimes sales associates aren't the best at customer service.  I hate when this happens, but that doesn't mean manners should be tossed out the window.  In fact, those employees probably need a smile and a "Have a Good Day" more than anyone.  

Please, please, please, be nice.  That would be awesome!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Week's Menu

For convenience, taste, preference and to save money, all of John's work lunches come from home.  They are mostly leftovers...which can put restraints on what I make.  Seafood, for the most part, doesn't heat up well.  Who wants to take salad as a leftover?  Just when I get bored making the same kind of stuff to accommodate his lunch, John tells me this, 

"Hey, the external auditors have been working in the break room where we all heat up our food and they told me that they took a vote and they think that my food always smells the best."

I made them brownies.  No, really, I did.  Which John couldn't deliver, because they are EXTERNAL auditors.  So I ate them in celebration that other people I will never ever meet think I make great smelling leftovers.

So, please keep in mind, when I post that I'm making chili for the second time this month, it makes several days of great leftovers (and it doesn't stink up the break room).

Pesto Pasta with Leftover Roasted Chicken
Colon-cleansing Spinach Salad (in preparation for Thanksgiving gluttony)
Thanksgiving Feasts

Friday, November 19, 2010

Favorite Things

I've been anticipating a few things this week:

Cookie exchange coming up
Working the Christmas season at the Gap
Date with my husband this weekend
Getting projects done
Having a huge potluck dinner
Lots of family time over Thanksgiving
Making a lot of Christmas presents this year

Things that I like at the moment:

Changing my look.  I did it.  I ordered a great pair of skinny jeans.  They aren't the most flattering style of jeans, but dang it.  They're a change and they're different for me, and, let's just say, mama needs a new look.  They were $12.  I'm also considering a puffy performance vest.  Which will not only be a HUGE change for me, but will also solve my chronic problem of cold chest, hot arms. 

Just Dance 1 and 2.  I'm not a huge player of the Wii.  Until now.  This game is So.Much.Fun.  I feel in love with video games all over again.  And music.  And dancing.  I've played this with several girls packed in my little TV room.  Sweating, knocking things over.  It's a lot of fun.  Fun. Fun. Fun.

Fossil Bags.  I thought that $60 was a pretty good deal for a super cute purse (even though I've never paid over $20).  I almost bought it right then and there.  Then, a friend told me that they sell them at Marshall's for WAY cheaper...and at departments stores, which run sales ALL THE TIME.  I might not be waiting for Christmas on this one...

Things that I ABSOLUTELY love:

John brought me flowers.  Out of the blue.  For no reason.  And they were packaged so beautifully.  Still gotta, babe!  He bought them from this little shop where he can buy by the stem, the ladies are friendly, they play hip-hop, and the whole presentation is more special than stuff from the grocery.  {Doesn't sound cool to just say "grocery" without "store" on the end?}

I get to hang out with this guy all the time.  Oh my goodness, he's just adorable.  I love him and I say it everyday, "I can't believe he's real.  I can't believe he's real and I'm his mom."  Really, I don't understand why I get to be a mom to Burl.  Why me?  He has me saying, thank you, thank you, thank you for the life You have given me.

Most importantly, my favorite thing right now is that I might be getting it.  Finally.  It's not about how much I love God or if there is enough evidence in my life to prove that I'm a Christian.  Instead, it's about HIS LOVE for us.  I want to know that love, and I *think* I might be starting to catch glimpses of it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Window Box Makeover

Here's the wreath that started the makeover.

I have a window box in my kitchen.  I took one of the many wooden window frames that I have collected over time, and I asked John to make me a window box to go on it.  After drawing it on a computer program to make sure we were on the same page, he put it together.  He hung on the wall...and I'm pretty sure I could stand on it and it would stay in place.

As my brother likes to joke, the view is great.  Not so fast, Broseph.  Look at that tired display.  Dead bamboo, plain wreath and more greenery just sitting there looking lazy.  I want my accessories working for me.

So, I hung the wreath on a secure nail push pin I barely got on there.  Then, I grabbed an adorable birdcage that my mom gave me.  I have two of them but only used one.  I like the unbalanced look.

I even threw in a little somethin' somethin' on that side as well.  
*Dear Greenery, I'm really starting to love you.  Even if I found you in my yard.

Looking at it, I realized that I need balanced unbalance.  (That makes no sense whatsoever, but that's how I'm leaving it.)  I also needed candlelight and mason jars.  Together.  Being that I NEED those jars for canning, I don't want the wax.  Enter: perfect sized votives that fit perfectly in the mouth of the jar.

Meanwhile, Burl grabbed the chalk and wrote a desperate call for help.  He could not believe what he was seeing:  his mom neglecting him to move stuff around and take pictures.

I almost felt bad.  Until I stepped back and saw what I had done.  It's not amazing.  It's not in season.  But it's different and I like it.  

And apparently while I was "decorating," Burl taught himself to scale a wall and send a very clever SOS.  I call that a win-win.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Burlap Ruffle, Flair Added

My absolute favorite crafting blog is Jones Design Company.  All the stuff that she makes is way cool, and her tutorials are so easy to follow.

When I saw her Burlap Ruffle Wreath, I know that I had to make it.  

Monday was rainy, Burl was sleepy, and I was without a car for part of the day.   Basically what I'm saying is that the planets were perfectly aligned for me to finally make the wreath, for which I had purchased the supplies a while ago. 

The best part of the wreath is the accessories.  I'm not sure how she made that black and white flower, so I created my own version.  It turned out cute!!!  The wreath and I might have a little fight over who gets to wear it first.

The supplies are simple:

a piece of fabric 20 x 12 (give or take)
needle and thread
sewing machine (staples or glue gun would be fine...that part gets hidden)


1. Fold fabric length wise, cute side facing out.

2. Sew (glue or staple) along the cut edges.  
*Think:  zipping up a sleeping bag completely over your head.
3. Take the short edges and do the same.  The fabric will be in a hoop, as in hula hoop.  

4.  Thread the needle, with two strings hanging down, tied together at the bottom.

5. Run the string, in and out, along the sewn, ugly edge.  Go around the whole loop.

6. Pull to tighten/ruffle.

7. Fold open and play with it to get it to look "just right."  It's like hair...take's a bit of tweaking, but the messy "I don't care that much about my hair" look is what we're going for here.  

It turned out pretty cute.  It says more "welcome spring" than "pass the eggnog", but that can easily be changed with some red berries and magnolia leaves. 

It may get a Christmas makeover.  It may stay like it is to remind me that spring will come again.

Come back tomorrow to see how I used it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Crafts

This crafting/making stuff is getting quite out of hand!  I'm loving the stuff that I see out there.  Not only that, but I think that I can do this stuff too!

Now, all I need is more time to be more efficient with my time.  I can do that.  And, Burl is purty entertained by the metal ends of my yardstick.  When I really get things cranking, I am going to have a home office that looks like this:

How cute is that.  Tons and tons of cute cards right by my desk just waiting to inspire me.

Speaking of being inspired, my Christmas list of stuff to BUY people is shrinking.  The list of stuff to MAKE people is getting Longer and Longer.  I'm not talking lame stuff either.  I'm talking super cool stuff that I can't wait to make and blog about.  (I can't spoil any of the fun now...some of the soon-to-be-recipients read my blog.)

I'll give you a hint: today I called my local craft stores to price Printable Fabric.  You heard me.  Fabric I can run through my printer.  Giddy with excitement!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

From Three to Two

Naps, that is.  He's growing up, his needs are changing, and I'm learning our new routine.  This means, we have more active play time.  

Instead of eating, diaper change, and a little playtime rolling over, Burl is eating, diaper change, and a lot more playtime.

One of his favorite things he likes to do is to get into stuff.  Since he's not mobile, it gets hard. Here's our new thing: putting the toy basket on it's side and letting him "get into it."  

When I sit him on the floor, put the basket on its side, his eyes literally light up!  Jackpot.  And he starts going for things.

Then, he is distracted by all the pictures being taken and wants the camera.  I set it down, just out of his reach and scoop him up for...that's right, lots of kisses.

* Side note: it was a little cool in our house this morning, hence the hood.  Well, that and Burl prefers da hood look.