Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I've been a little busy

Hi again! I know, not the best way to start a blog, but I promise I have good reasons ;) Life has been pretty crazy here lately, but mostly for good reasons. The day of my last post I was offered a new part time job. While I love my retail job I just wasn't able to get enough hours to help us get by. I had decided about a month ago to see if I could find something that I could work along with my current job. I really lucked up when I found out about this one. I am working in the catering department of my local university. The pay is great and I'm getting enough hours that we will be able to breathe at the end of each month after paying all the bills. I am still working the retail job, so that has made things a little crazy. The first week and weekend I worked was freshman move-in. It was also floor set at the other job. From Friday morning until Sunday afernoon I worked a total of 31 hours and got about 5 hours of sleep. Fun times let me tell you! Luckily that craziness is over and things are starting to settle down a bit and I'm getting used to the new routine. That means I should be able to give more time to my little blog.
Now let's back up just a bit and let me tell you about all the fun stuff going on at home during all the work madness.
Lindsey's birthday was August 20. My princess turned 5, and was treated as royalty all day. She had requested a chocolate cake just like Gabe's except she wanted it to have pink frosting, sprinkles and Tinkerbell. The night before her birthday I baked her cake. I, of course, didn't start baking until about 10:30 at night (most projects around here are like that!) and by the time the cake came out of the oven it was almost midnight. As I was taking it out I noticed it hadn't risen very well. Then I noticed it seemed kind of heavy and the texture wasn't very cakey. When I got them onto the cooling rack I realized something had gone really, really wrong.

Um, cakes aren't supposed to look like that, right?

That, my friends, is what happens when you forget to put the 1/2 tsp. of baking soda into your cake mix. Who would have ever thought that 1/2 tsp. of baking soda could make such a difference. Before this I sure wouldn't have! By the time I had figured out what went wrong it was after midnight, I knew if I started another cake that I would be up half the night baking and cooling and icing and decorating and just the thought of doing all that in the middle of the night almost made me cry. Thank goodness that Harris Teeter is open 24 hours and has a pretty good bakery. I ran there, praying the whole way, hoping they had a chocolate cake with chocolate icing that would be plain enough for me to decorate. I was extremely lucky and found exactly what I needed.

An hour later I had this beauty, with all the requirements:

Chocolate with chocolate icing - check

Pink icing - check

Sprinkles - check

Tinkerbell - check

Not bad for a middle of the night scramble, right?

The best part was that she loved it and never knew I hadn't done it all myself. You won't tell her will you?

Five days after that was the first day of school. It was a big year around here. Lindsey started Kindergarten and Gabe started High School. I can't believe that I have a child in high school! How did that happen? Didn't he just start school like 2 years ago?

So far it's going really well for both of them. Gabe made the Varsity (!) Soccer team (more time now being used for practices and games 2-3 times a week) and likes his classes. He is having to get used to having more homework, but so far I haven't had to nag too much. Lindsey is loving school. She was very dissappointed this past weekend that it was a long weekend and a short school week. She wakes up every morning ready to eat breakfast and go to school. I am so happy that she is like that. I just pray it stays that way.

She was so excited that this was the best picture I could get of both of them. I couldn't keep her still!

Don't you just love the pink shoes? She ended up with two pairs of pink school shoes. I guess it's a good thing she loves all things pink.

So I'm going to try to post more now that things are starting to settle down a bit and I'm getting into a routine.

Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What I (Wish) I Wore Wednesday

So the last few weeks have been very uninspiring for me clothes-wise. It's so hot and humid out that I have been just picking the coolest, loosest clothing I can find in my closet. Nothing has been good enough to even bother taking pictures of. Then, on top of that, has been back to school shopping. This year I have one starting kindergarden and one starting high school (yikes!) so I have had double the supply and clothes shopping as I have been used to in previous years. Of course, while out to buy for the kids, I have found so many cute things I want for myself. This week I decided to do this a little differently. I have put together pieces I have seen that I like to show you what I wish I was wearing. Most outfits are more suited to cooler weather than I will see any time soon (wishful thinking?) but it will give you an idea of what direction I hope to be moving toward dresswise.

As usual, I am linking to Lindsay at The Pleated Poppy and her WIW Party.


This outfit is all Old Navy. I have this shirt already in the green pattern and love it. It can't hurt to have it in another color if I really like it, right?

The shirts in this outfit are AE, the pants Old Navy.

The cute tank is Old Navy (love the roses at the neck) and the sweater and jeans are AE.

Another Old Navy outfit. Love all the ruffle details.

So there you have it. I didn't include shoes because I haven't been shoe shopping yet, and don't know what might be waiting for me out there (hehe!). Hopefully sometime in the near future I can show you some real pics of me wearing these.

Go check out The Pleated Poppy and what all the other ladies in blogland are wearing.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

So Yummy. . . I May Be Addicted

I've been trying to cut down on all the sugary sweet snacks we tend to keep in the house. If the kids realize what we have, they drive me crazy until I give in and give them something. But then, when Mom decides she really, really needs chocolate, that doesn't leave me with many choices. Well, yesterday was that day. I HAD to have some chocolate. It was almost 9:00 on a Sunday night, which meant that my run-out-and-pick-up-something-gooey-and-chocolatey choices were really limited. And, I really didn't feel like baking something because by the time I got it mixed up and baked I would be too tired to even want it anymore. So I did what any good Mom would do - I dug around the pantry behind all the boring stuff until I hit upon the jackpot

Rold Gold Honey Wheat Twists and Nutella. I realize it may not look like much, but together, WOW! And so easy, all I did was take a twist and dip it in the Nutella. It was heavenly, truly the best thing I had ever had (at least at the time, hehe). I have now eaten my way through most of the bag of twists and about half the jar of Nutella and I'm sure gained back part of those 8 pounds I recently lost. But it's all worth it. Mom's happy now! And lucky for me, the kids don't realize that it's sweet and good, looks like it's a treat all for me.
Have a great day

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Update and Inspiration

I'm still here! I've just been overwhelmed this past week with kids, work, high school soccer, back to school shopping and just basic everyday Mom tasks. I have also been busy with some projects that have me kind of excited. I'll post more about that later when I can get some pictures taken.

I'm sure if you have been on the internet for any amount of time you have seen these images. The Keep Calm and Carry On image has been around since WWII, and has become quite popular in the past few years. I have always been inspired by that image, but I have also loved some of the variations that other people have created. Here are just a few that give me inspiration, in many forms.

This one is pretty self explanitory, coffee, my favorite ;)

This one has been my driving force this past week. I love the lightbulb!

This one just makes me laugh! Haven't we all had those days?

Just because I am a huge Led Zeppelin fan.

I think I need to just post this at the coffee maker so I can see it first thing every morning. Again, it's all about the coffee!

I hope these will make you smile, and possibly give a little inspiration too! I'll be back to full swing soon, so until then, have a great day!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I think I've created a monster

I love my iPod Touch, it's like my lifeline most of the time. I keep my calendar on it, check my email, keep up with facebook and work on my solitaire score. But here lately it seems my youngest child, my baby who still gives me hugs and cuddles, has developed a love for it that is all his own. He is obsessed with it! He can actually work it better than Lindsey can. Luckily he hasn't figured out my password to download apps yet (but believe me, he's tried). I have now started using it as a bargaining tool. If he does something that I want him to then he can play with it for 5 minutes. The five minutes doesn't always work, but at least it gets him to clean up toys or take a bath.

Just look at that face. I told you he loves that little gadget.

And as soon as he gets ahold of it, he gets to work.
I guess the little fingers do just fine with the touch screen.

His favorite app is the flixter app. You can go on it and watch movie trailers. He's a movie fan, just like his Mom.

I'm not sure if this is the best thing for him to be playing with so much, but as long as it keeps the fights over toys to a minimum, it works for me.

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Want To Go Shopping

Have you noticed all the fall/back to school clothing that is hitting stores right now? I'm loving so much of it. I love fall and spring weather, cool mornings and mild afternoons. I enjoy wearing layers and being comfortable. I'm not a shorts person at all, and I have just this summer started wearing sleeveless shirts out of the house. The heat has just gotten to me worse this year than in the past (except for those summers I was pregnant, but they don't count) and I've gotten over as many clothing issues as I can. I still refuse to leave the house in shorts that are more than 2 inches above my knee. OK, that may be a little drastic, but you get my meaning.

I've been looking at all the new cardigans and layering pieces and I have already started my "want list". I thought I would share a few things I'm thinking about.

I love this cardigan and shirt. Both are made from a really soft knit, the kind that will keep it's shape but just get softer with each washing. The shirt is also available in other stripe color combos and in solids.

Again, the knit Boyfriend Cardigan, but this time in a great soft red. I'm not a huge fan of bright colors, but this red just screams fall to me. And the tank, I know it's hard to tell, but it has small flowers on it that are the same color red and the cardigan brings out the color really well.

This is another knit combo. I really like that with the cardigan you can wear it dressy or casual and I like that the tank has a banded bottom. The banded bottom helps camoflage the bit of "baby belly" I still have left over. (yes, my youngest is almost 3, but that is a whole other post!) Oh, and both of these pieces just went on clearance for $19.95, I may just have to push them to the top of my list ;)

Don't you just love the ruffles on this cute sweater? Lindsey was looking at these with me and she now wants one too (hehe, that's my girl!). It's available in other colors, so you could buy one for every day of the week! And the tank is another knit that has off white dots that match the sweater perfectly. Cute, cute, cute!

All of the pieces are available at American Eagle, or at except for the ruffle sweater, that is from Target, and is also available online.

Hopefully you'll see me in one or more of these outfits in a WIW post really soon!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What I Wore. . . Thursday?

Welcome back to another edition of What I Wore, er, Thursday! I know it's usually on Wednesday, but I guess Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy is having a week like mine. Everything seems to be running behind. The heat around here hasn't helped at all. I live in North Carolina, and if you've never been here in the summer you may not understand what the heat is like here. For much of the past week the temps have been in the mid-90's with the heat index at 100+ with an average of 90% humidity. Imagine walking into a steam room every time you leave the house. That's what it's been like here. Sounds fun doesn't it?

That should pretty much explain my outfits for the past week, nothing fancy, and as cool as I could manage. Again I'm linking up with the party at The Pleated Poppy

Hanging around the house except for taking Gabe to soccer practice.
Tank - AE

Boyfit Jeans - AE

Flops - AE

Work in the morning, then errands

Floral Tank - AE

Tank (under floral shirt) - AE

Boy Fit Jeans - AE

Shoes - Target

I LOVE these shoes! I think they are one of the cutest pairs I own, so I decided they deserved there own picture.

Took Hubby lunch, then ran to the grocery store.
Tank - Target

Straight Jeans - AE

Flops - AE

Took the kids to a movie (hence the sweater) and had family day.

Tank - Target

Dress - Old Navy

Sweater - AE

Flops - Hobby Lobby

Flower Pin - Me!

And again, really cute shoes that I wanted to show off!
Running errands in the hot, humid rain.
Tank - AE

Sweater - AE

Capri Jeans - Target

Shoes - Target

So there you have it, another oh so thrilling week (hehe). And until the heat breaks, it will probably stay with me dressing about the same each week. I have started planning for fall and winter and I'm hoping to start picking up some items that I can use with what I already have. Maybe then I can look like I put a little effort into what I wear.

I also have an exciting (to me at least) announcement. I went just this morning and started gathering supplies for my mini kitchen re-do. It will mostly involve paint, fabric and little odds and ends, but I'm hoping it makes just enough difference that it will look fresh and new. Keep on the look out for pics!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ikea Love

I Love Ikea! I mean I really, truly, big fat puffy heart love Ikea. I live in North Carolina, and Ikea just opened here a little over a year ago. Up until that point I had only heard of Ikea and only had a faint idea of what I was missing by not having one in my life. I went the second weekend they were opened (FYI for anyone planning to go to one that is newly opened - leave the kids at home) and within about 5 minutes I looked at my Husband and said "How is it we have never been to an Ikea before now?" I'm sure he now regrets taking me on that little adventure. I guess I should also let you know that I live over an hour away from my closest store. That is the only reason that I'm not there weekly spending money I don't have on things I just can't live without.

The reason I'm writing about this now is that the new Ikea catalog will be released the beginning of August. Do you know what that means? More eye candy for me to drowl over, a catalog that equals (to me) the Christmas toybook! I get giddy just thinking about it!

I thought I would just give you a look at just of a few of my favorite things from there.

First off, my Gynnsam knife. This is hands down the best knife I have ever owned. It is extremely well made, sharp, and cheap! I have worked for both Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table, I have had knife training from Wustof and Shun, and I have sold many different types of knives (good and bad) and this is still my favorite knife. And at $14.99, I could just go buy another one when it needs sharpening, and would still save money. I have been using this knife since Christmas (it was a gift for my Hubby) usually daily. I always handwash it (you should always handwash good knifes) and it still cuts like it is new.

Second is the Ikea 365 white wine glass. Love this glass. It costs $2.99 and is comparable to the $20.00 Riedel glasses. The size is perfect, they are dishwasher safe, and hold up well with a somewhat clumsy Hubby.

This is the Arstid wall lamp. We have these hanging in our bedroom on either side of the bed. I love that they can work in either a formal or casual room. I also love that at $14.99 each, I could put them in every room and not worry about the little kids breaking them.

And then there is this. I am sure if you read any blogs that have anything to do with decorating you have seen and heard about the Ektorp couch. No, I don't have one - yet. This is on my wishlist. We are on our second hand-me-down couch that matches nothing else we own. I feel like we owe it to ourselves to save up the $400.00 ($400.00!!! where else can you get a brand new couch for that?) and have a couch we will all be happy with. It probably won't happen until tax time next year, but it will happen!

And lastly, the best reason to make your Ikea trip and day trip - Swedish Meatballs! Even if you don't spend the day, make sure you go hungry so you can enjoy a plate of these. Yummy Delish!!!

So there is my little Ikea spiel for today. I'm sure that after I get my new catalog (yay! happy dance!) I'll have lots to add to the wishlist. And another trip will be in order. I guess my Hubby should start planning now.

Have a great day, I'll probably post later today for WIWW. Yay, the week is half done!

Monday, July 26, 2010

DIY Fabric Flowers

These flowers are all the rage right now, and why not? They're really cute! You can pin them to your shirt and dress up an otherwise plain outfit, or sew (or glue) them to a plain bag to make it fabulous. I have seen them all over and finally decided to learn how to make them myself. This is really a combination of 2 tutorials I found online that works pretty well for me.
First off, lets go over what you will need.

Scrap material (You can use either 1 or 2 different) cut into circles. I used 3" and 2.5", and you will need 6 of each. A small piece of felt cut to the same dimensions of your smallest circle. Scissors to cut all you circles (duh!?!), sewing thread, sewing needles, straight pins and a button.

First off, find the center of your felt circle. The felt will be used for your backing. I like using a straight pin, it just makes it a little easier for me.

Next, take one of your bigger circles and fold it in in half 3 times. It will look like this,

You will then cut a curve into the top of the piece.

When you unfold it you will have a scolloped circle. Do this to another (you will have 2 total), these will be your base of the flower.

Make sure they are centered (this is where the pin helps) and that they are not perfectly aligned with each other.

Now, take the rest of your large circles and fold them like before. This time however you only want to cut half of a curve. Make sure the folded side is the highest side or your petal won't turn out right. Believe me, I know.

Once you unfold it you will have a petal that looks basically like this.

Now fold it in half so that the scallops are uneven, like below.

Now fold again and you will have your petal. It will looks kind of like a heart.

Now, again, using your pin as a guide, center you petal and stich it on just at the point.

Do the same with the remaining 3 petals. It will look something like this.

Now repeat the same process with the smaller circles. Make sure all your stiches are in the middle.

Once all the smaller petals are attached you will be ready to sew on your button. You can use any kind of button, but I've just been using these little plain ones. The biggest reason for this is that I bought the whole box at the dollar store and don't really feel like laying out any more money when I have plenty right now.

The button is the last step! You now have a cute fabric flower. You may have to fluff up the petals a bit, but other than that you should be good.

Like I said before you can attach a pin so that you can wear it on your clothes (or jacket or hat or so on) or you can use a low heat glue gun and attach then to a bag. This flower is actually going to be used on a mini tote bag I'm making for Lindsey for her birthday. I've been making a lot of these lately, and she has just gone crazy over them. She'll love that she will have a bag that she can use as another pocketbook, and that it has flowers.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. I'm going to try to keep these going at least once a week, but I can't promise they will all be as fun and easy as this. But I'll try!

Have a great week!

Linking to:
The Girl Creative
The Girl Creative

Between Naps On The Porch

The DIY Showoff
The DIY Show Off

Skip To My Lou