Monday, December 12, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...  ok, maybe those don't make my top 10 list.  Remember watching Oprah and seeing the "Oprah's favorite things" episode WISHING you could be one of those lucky audience members?  Man, I was jealous.  Well a few of my friends have started up their own "Favorite things" party and it was so much fun!  10 of us girls all got together and brought 9 of our favorite things ($20 or under) to share with the group.  We were all given a moment to explain and introduce our favorite thing and why we love it before passing one out to the group.  What a fun night!  We all received everything from some amazing oscillating mascara from Lancome (it has a wand that vibrates as you put it on so it gets between every lash - it's WONDERFUL!), to car emergency kits, texting mittens, to Scentsy plug-in warmers.  Some gave personalized journals, fun drinking cups, and in years past someone even burned a CD mix with songs customized for that person.  I think one of my favorites has been the gravity operated pepper grinder.  Simply tip it upside down and it grinds the pepper for you.  Love that!  The nice thing is you have all year to find what your favorite thing is and chip away at them over the year.

Lipgloss and car kits and warm texting mittens, these are a few of my favorite things!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween Silhouettes

OK, so I'm a little late.  This should have been LAST Friday's post, but I threw a Halloween party for my kids last Saturday night, so Friday I was a little busy.  SO, here it is today!

I was looking through Halloween magazines at Lowes and came across this picture in one (Sorry, I don't remember which one it was).

I remembered I had 4 frames tucked away in my craft room which I had had FOREVER.  They were gold, and in desperate need of a paint job.  So I put my daughters to work with a can of spray paint, and we painted them glossy black.

While they were drying in the garage, I drew the patterns of the silhouettes I wanted on a plain piece of paper.

Then I cut out the pattern and traced it on to a piece of black paper.

I cut out the final picture, glued it to white cardstock, and inserted it in the frame.

Ta da!

I think they turned out pretty cute!

Happy belated Halloween!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blackberry Bliss!

I will be the first to admit, I am not a gardener.  I grew up with parents who loved to garden.  I remember picking corn, peas, beans, raspberries - all sorts of fruits and vegetables from our garden as a child, but for some reason, all that stayed with me about that time are fond memories.  I have no garden at my house.  What I DO love about this time of year is the abundance of blackberries all around our property.  I don't have to plant them, weed them or even pick them if I don't want to, but when I want a big bowl of blackberries - I can get as many as I want! 

Recently I saw this article in Country Living Magazine.  It included a recipe for a berry crisp with homemade vanilla ice cream. 

It looked soooo good!  I picked a big bowl of blackberries, modified the recipe a bit, and made some Blackberry Crisp and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream!

Here is MY recipe;

1 stick cold butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
Cut in butter until crumbly - set aside.

Blackberries (I used about 3-4 cups, enough to spread evenly over 9x13 pan)
Strawberries (I had about 1 cup frozen strawberries which I thawed and added to the blackberries.)
1/4 cup honey drizzled over berries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
Toss together, taste for sweetness.  Spread evenly in 9x13 pan.  Crumble topping over berries. Bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and starting to brown on top.

Ice Cream

I have one of those Donvier Ice Cream makers and keep the cold cylinder in my freezer at all times for those ice cream emergencies!  Here is a basic vanilla recipe; (best to make this while the crisp is baking)

Vanilla Ice Cream
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup milk
2 cups cream
2 tsp vanilla

Beat eggs till thick and cream colored.  Add milk, cream and vanilla.  Mix well and pour into cylinder.  Start cranking ice cream!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Cardboard Box Forts

If you're like me, kids spending too much un-entertained time together can get dangerous.  The fighting and bickering never seems to end!  I am constantly looking for things to keep them busy, so this week we made a trip to the Appliance Recycle store.  We loaded the back of the pick-up with about 6 giant cardboard boxes and brought them home to make a fort.  I handed my kids packing tape (to put the boxes back together again), spray paint (to paint flowers, write their name, whatever they wanted to design their fort with) and whipped up some curtains for their mansion in the yard.

Everything was going well until it came time to paint.  After a while I looked out back and saw them spray painting EACH OTHER.  Oh, for cryin' out loud. 

I quickly re-directed them and helped cut some windows and doors.  This was a WONDERFUL fort... for about 20 minutes.  Shortly after it was complete, my oldest noticed a small spider in one of the rooms.  Of course, they all ran screaming down to the house, abandoning the fort forever.

It's been 4 days now and the fort is beginning to crumble.  I'm thinking next I will send them out with matches and let them have at it. (Kidding, of course).

What fun things are you doing with your kids this summer?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Farmer's Market

What a beautiful summer day!  After several hours spent working in the yard, pulling weeds and planting a tree (Here's my bargain of the week... $2.97 Red Maple Tree on sale at Lowes!)

I loaded the bikes in the back of the pick-up and headed down to town to let the girls go on a bike ride.  While they rode on the Centennial Trail, I took the opportunity to do a little shopping in Snohomish.  I love browsing through this little antique capital of Washington.

Thursdays are also the Farmer's Market day.  I picked the girls up after their ride and we hit the market.  Live music entertained us as we got our Kettlecorn, Shaved Ice and the best part...STRAWBERRIES!  These aren't your Costco strawberries.  These gems are like God's little gift in a green pint sized carton. 

 They are to die for.  They absolutely melt in your mouth and SWEET - oh my goodness, you can't eat just one.  THIS is the reason I come to the Farmer's Market.  They were just picked about 2 hours prior to me buying them.  If ever you are at the Snohomish Farmer's Market and you have just $4 to spend on a treat, don't get the Shaved Ice (although it is wonderful...) you must get the strawberries.

Enjoy your summer!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wine Barrel Table

My husband recently went up to his dad's barn and brought home some treasures.  This barn is every rusty junk-lover's dream.  It's 5,000sf packed full of 40 years of collecting.  A lot of it is truly junk, but there are some treasures to be found if you dig deep enough.  On this trip, my hubby found 2 wine barrels.  One was full size, and the other was half size.  I'm currently using the half size one for holding wood used in our outdoor firepit, and the full size one got a makeover yesterday!

Here is the before;

And here is the after!

I don't quite know where I'm putting my wine barrel table yet.  I'm happy with how it turned out!  You've gotta love Krylon.  Spray paint is my bff.

My next goal with this table is to decopauge wine labels under the glass on the top.  I guess I'd better get busy drinking wine so I can peel the labels off.  It's good to have goals :)


Friday, July 8, 2011

Magazine Holder Makeover!

I have a confession.  I think I am a closet hoarder.  I have unusual obsessions with things I just can't part with, and if it weren't for my other obsession to organize things, you just might find me on the show "Hoarders".  My addiction?     Magazines.  Especially home decorating or organizing magazines.  I just can't seem to get rid of them, (and don't even get me started with the holiday editions of Better Homes and Gardens!)  Even when I go through old magazines page by page, when I get to the end and realize there was nothing of interest to me in the magazine, I still can't seem to part with it.  I hang on to them for YEARS. 

My sister recently posted a blog about Martha Stewart magazines and it got me thinking about my old collection (and I do mean OLD).  I just went through my old stack and realized they were from
 1995!!.  I decided I needed to go through the magazines and tear out any recipe or crafty idea that looked interesting and THROW THE REST OF THE MAGAZINE AWAY.  So I did.  This, of course, brought on a new little project.  How can I organize my magazines to make them look prettier in my craft room??  Low and behold, I found some wrapping paper at Michaels which perfectly matched my curtains.  I decided to wrap the holders and love the way it's turning out!

 Much like wrapping a present, I cut the paper to size and started taping.

When all is said and done... ta da!! Pretty Magazine Holders!!

I found that 1 roll wrapped 4 holders, so I will need to go back to Michaels and get a couple more rolls.

I have seen similar magazine holders in the store for about $7 each - but considering my obsession with magazines, that could send me to the poor-house.  I will GLADLY wrap my old ones for the same general look at the cheaper price. 
 I'm so excited about this new project.  I have even begun to throw out the 16 year old magazines to make room for the more recent issues.  Baby steps!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I love learning new things

Have you ever had a project looming in your garage that you feared tackling simply because you had never done it before?  Mine was the set of ripped up screens that came off one of our apartment units.  A new tenant moved in and we noticed none of the windows had screens.  Hmmm, that's odd because just last summer we spent $25.00 per window to have screens made and hung.  It seems the former tenants didn't want them.  I found about 5 of them tucked away in laundry rooms, behind the building,  and under the carport, so I gathered them up and brought them back to my garage.  I really didn't want to spend another $125.00 to make new screens for this unit, so I thought to myself "how hard can this be?"  When we purchased the building, I found in one of the storage units a few unusual tools and "window screen corners".  I saved them, of course, just in case I ever needed them.  Well, what do you know - I needed them!

Before tackling this project, I Googled "window screen replacement" and clicked on the video link.  Ta da!  SEVERAL how-to videos popped up and I watched a step by step instruction on how to do it.  So here's what I did;

First start by laying the old screen on a flat surface.

You will need a few tools.  A knife, small flat screwdriver, screen roller and possibly needle nose pliers.

Start by lifting the corner of the rubber spline with a screwdriver.

Then you pull the spline all the way around the screen.  Save it - you will need it later.

Once it is removed, take the old screen off and throw it away.

Lay the new screen down leaving about an inch all around the frame.

Using the roller, lay the spline over the screen and the groove and press the screen into the groove

Once the spline is pressed into the groove, press the corners of the spline down with the screwdriver to make sure everything is tight.  Then cut just outside the spline all the way around the screen.

Remove the excess screen from around the frame.

There you have it!  Fresh screens using the old frames!
The replacement screen just cost about $14.00 at the hardware store.  It sure beats replacing them all for $125.00!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We recently flipped our mattress, and when we pulled the bed apart, I took the bedskirt off hoping to touch it up with an iron.  Well, it sat in my laundry basket for quite some time as I found myself unmotivated to put it back on my bed.  It was so blah, I really wanted to get or make a new one to give the room a new look.  I considered making one, and while at the fabric store recently, I scoured the home interior fabrics looking for just the right color, pattern and weight.  I had decided on something red or cranberry.  I also envisioned red panel curtains to go with my red bedskirt and a few throw pillows with red in them.  Something to give the room a pop of color.  Nothing caught my eye at the fabric store.  I went online looking for just the right bedskirt, and of course when you are looking for something, you can never find it.  I constantly check out Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Ross for a great deal on the perfect bedskirt, but again - no luck.  It's been a subtle mission of mine for about 9 months now.  I don't set out to go shop for it, but I am always keeping an eye open for it.

The other day I FOUND IT!!  Of all places, I was at Goodwill.  Don't you just love a good bargain??  Here it was, a king size cranberry bedskirt.  It was perfect!

Just look at the price!!

Ta da!  Here it is on the bed.  Now, for those curtains and pillows!
I'm so excited to finish the look~
I love a good find.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Impatient for Impatiens!

Happy Spring!!  Here in the Northwest, Spring has arrived with sunshine and mild (50 degree) temperatures.  I am so ready for my flowerbeds to be anything but brown.  I soaked my sweet peas in water last night and planted them under my kitchen window this morning.  I look forward to them peeking up to greet me in the next few months!

I also planted my Impatiens in a starter tray.  They are now sitting in my kitchen window.  I plan to move them to a greenhouse until they are ready to plant.  I just adore impatiens.  They look so pretty along walkways.

I was inspired to plant them because of a former neighbor who had them planted all over her yard.  They looked SO pretty.  Every year, her house looked so nice lined with these sweet little flowers.  Recently, she lost a battle to cancer.  I plant them now to remember her by.  Every time I look at my yard, I think of Lisa.

I hope your yard brings you happiness this summer.  Happy planting!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January Purge

As much as I love the holidays, it is so nice to put all the Christmas decorations away, give the house a good cleaning, and start simplifying.  If you're like me, you start the year with a goal to be more organized and have your home run more smoothly.  Room by room, I am weeding out all the clutter.  I started in my daughter's rooms and closets.  I pulled boxes of clothes out of the closets, removed a bookshelf which was cluttered with "treasures", and reorganized the dressers complete with laminated labels.  I moved a wire cube shelf into her closet, and labeled cloth bins for "underwear, socks, etc". 

Into my other daughter's closet, I moved a small dresser for her underwear, belts, and socks.  Each of the girls have small walk-in closets and like to treat the closet like a mini dressing room.


We went through BOXES of jewelry, and organized all the jewelry into categories of;
1. Jewelry she wears regularly
2. Special Jewelry with sentimental value
3. Dress-up jewelry

I also got some small rubbermaid drawers to store my daughter's Lip Smaker/Chapsticks, nail and pedicure supplies, and other makeup items small enough to fit into the drawers.

She has so many collections, it can be frustrating orgainzing all her treasures.  Where does one store 100+ bouncy balls?  Rock collection? Kitty collection? Stuffed Animals? Build-a-bear clothes? Ceramic Angels?  It can be a daunting task finding an organized system for all of these "priceless" items.

This may be just the first step in a marathon, but it feels like a leap to me!

Happy cleaning!