Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Can Do So Much Better

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately. Mostly Mom blogs. One blog I read tonight really made me think, "Man, I want to be more like that."

This particular Mom makes crafts, sews outfits, bakes, cooks and so much more for her family.

My children never go hungry but I would love to have a complete meal including dessert. Just reading her list of menus for the week or looking at the cupcakes she made and even reading her post about dicing her bell peppers and onions to freeze.

Tonight I made beans and cornbread. It was really good! I used red kidney beans, bacon, garlic, onion and Cajun seasoning. My hubby tossed in some hot sauce as well. And the homemade cornbread was not too bad either.

I make crafts (not as much as I would like).

I don't sew outfits (which I would love to do for my daughter). I'm sure my son wouldn't care to wear clothes that Mom made.

I bake... occasionally.

I cook... but I would like to make well rounded meals with desserts that are healthy.

I do have some recipes I want to try but I think I need to start getting a list together of desserts that my family would love.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mommy Needs Headache Medicine

So, this past week my normal day has gone a little something like this:
  • Crawl out of bed (literally. because I'm tired from the night before)
  • Get the kids up and ready for school while listening to them argue because one of them shut the bathroom door on the other one or because they messed up something in the bathroom.
  • Drive them to school while having a "discussion" about the morning argument(s).
  • Procrastinate because what I was willing and ready to get done for the day is now gone because of the arguing.
  • Go back to bed. Because I'm tired from the night before.
  • Possibly get a couple of things done around the house and go pick the kids up from school.
  • Listen to what happened at school that day or how boring it was or how mean a teacher was or....
  • Get home and get them started on chores. More arguing because someone is in the way or someone said something mean or someone is doing more or not enough.
  • Eat dinner and possibly more arguing... this depends on the day or if it's an ongoing discussion of a previous argument or how they are treating each other.
  • By this time... I'm wore flat out mentally which makes me procrastinate even more because I'm drained. I don't want to do anything.

So yep, the last few days have been tough. I don't know why they argue so much lately. Maybe it's because they are getting to the teenage years. Who knows.

But now, I have added more to their chore lists and a couple they have to work together to complete. I've also made them sit outside (Indian style), facing each other, holding hands and saying I love you over and over to each other for 5 minutes. Afterwards, they had to give each other a hug and say they were sorry. Needless to say they didn't like that so much. I've also taken away some of their computer time.

I've had it. I'm done with the arguing and yelling. I'm going to fix this no matter how drained it makes me.

And when they are old enough to drive... I'm going to pick a fight with their Dad about who's turn it is to sit in the front seat, fart and laugh, yell and argue in the backseat while rocking back and forth to make the car move so they get nauseated.

Then, when I go to their house for a "family get together" and I help. I'm going to stomp, walk around with my head and shoulders down, huff and puff, complain, ask why someone else can't do it and ask them "well, what are you gonna do?". Not to mention when we are eating at the table... I'm going to fart, burp and laugh.

Oh! Let's not forget about when they are trying to do things on the computer. I'm so going to stand behind them and hover over them while asking 50 questions or complaining about something that their Dad said or did to me.

Hmmm... things may get interesting.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Tutorial on How to Make a Blog Banner from Clover Lane



I found this post via Money Saving Mom about how Sarah at Clover Lane explains how you can create your own blog banner using Google Picasa instead of something fancy and complicated like Photoshop.

I made my banner using a program that I downloaded online for free called PhotoScape. I did use Adobe PhotoDeluxe but it quit working with my computer... even though I downloaded their "patch". So, I removed the program and searched for something I could use for the time being. I wish I would have found this post before. The sad thing is... I have used Picasa for a couple of years now and never thought to look there.

If you would like to make yourself one of those cute banners that you see on the blogs nowadays instead of a basic one you should read this post.

She explains step by step on how you can do it. It's quite easy. Thank you for sharing Sarah.

It's Almost Friday!

There's nothing exciting happening Friday. I'm just glad the week is almost over.

This morning has been great so far. The kids ate breakfast here instead of at school so they were actually happy when I took them to school this morning... instead of being grouchy. I didn't even let the parent that had his van almost in the backseat of my car bother me this morning. Okay, maybe just a bit. I guess they only reason why it did was because I was trying to make sure my kids actually got onto the sidewalk of the school and they were in a huge hurry... until we hit the main road... then they decided to drive like a turtle. Okay, moving on.

I was able to get two dish towel dresses made last night. All they need is the Velcro. One is a cupcake towel dress and the other is an Easter chick. I still have another Easter one to make, a few valentine's, a coffee themed and a few more. I really need to get busy on those.

My "to do" list has gotten a bit smaller. I did manage to get a lot of it done, but I did add more to it. A "to do" list is never really done, though. Is it?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Unique Gifts for Valentine's Day

The norm for Valentine's gifts is roses, jewelry or chocolates but if you don't really want to give jewelry or food for Valentine's and are looking for something a little different, you may want to see these:





They also offer other wood words like Love, Kiss, XOXO.

















I have to admit... I love my wreaths and would love to add this one to my collection.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yummy's For Valentine's

Everyone loves them some sweets. Okay, maybe not everyone but I know I do. The perfect gift for any holiday... food! Everyone has to eat, right? Well, maybe these aren't considered "figure friendly" type foods but I bet they taste delicious.

Check out these Valentine's goodies:



Aww... they look just like the candy!






So very cute! I want me some of these!






Wow! This looks delicious!







These would be perfect paired with a mug and some hot chocolate in a cute gift basket or box.
Yummers!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Todays To Do List

About 2am this morning I couldn't sleep. I had so many things that I need to do around the house running through my head. I decided to get up and make me a To Do List so that I could go to sleep.

My husband would (not so much anymore) make fun of me because I would have so many lists of ideas, things we needed (groceries and for the house) and things that I needed to get done. But, if I don't make lists I will forget something. It's not likely that I will forget to do laundry or dishes (everyday things) but I will forget to clean the filters that day or go through a closet. Things that I don't normally do or do that often. I guess I forget because I get "preoccupied" doing other things. Oh and hubby doesn't make fun of me anymore because he now has his own lists... lol.

So, here is my list of things that I need to get done within the next couple of days.
  • Laundry (mostly done)
  • Vacuum
  • Sweep
  • Mop
  • Clean the kids bathroom (my daughter usually does this... kinda)
  • Go through kitchen cabinets to make room for new stuff (done)
  • Go through crafts (to get rid of things I haven't used in over a year)
  • Make Dish Towel Dresses (a work in progress)
  • Take down Christmas tree (done) yes, I still had it up... oops
  • Go through kids school pictures to hand out to family (yes, I'm a slacker)
  • Dust our computers and desks and organize them
  • Go through some of the toys in the kids room for garage sale
  • Wash all sheets and other bedding
  • Dust
  • Go through books on bookshelf
  • Go through games
  • Go through our closet
  • Organize master bathroom (done)
  • Go through pantry (done)

I have quite a bit to do but I should have already done most of it. As I discussed in a previous post I don't like a lot of clutter. I just seem to function better if things are tidy-ish.

Valentine's Day Goodies

The hubster and I usually don't do much for each other on Valentine's Day but we will try to give a small gift or go have a bite to eat. Not too much... just a little something. After almost 14 years of marriage, things tend to slow down a bit in the gift giving area. I've never been great at getting gifts he likes. He's not really hard to buy for. He just likes expensive gifts. Okay, he's hard to buy for. Love ya babe.

Here's some more Valentine's goodies:
















Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tammy's Recipes

Instead of going out to eat, we've been trying (and have been mostly successful) to cook at home and avoid eating out. We still eat out occasionally but not as often as we did. So, we have been clipping coupons and looking for sales and specials at our local grocery stores.

One thing I really enjoy doing is looking for new recipes to try. Instead of cooking the same thing over and over again, we try to mix it up a bit.

Speaking of recipes... I had all the recipes I printed off the Internet in a binder and I decided to go through them and get rid of ones that we probably wouldn't use. The ones I decided to keep I put into a recipe box. One lovely evening, I was in a hurry to get dinner finished and went to the box to get a recipe. I picked the box up and dropped the entire thing upside down on the floor. I haven't organized it again yet.

I came across this great website/blog called Tammy's Recipes. It's not only a recipe site, but it's also a personal type blog. You can read about recipes and meals that she has made as well as read a bit about her family.

Please Visit Tammy's Recipes



You will also find tons of other information and tips on her site. It's full of great ideas. Some are:

  • Kitchen Tips
  • Menus
  • Recipe Swap
  • Her Cooking Disasters
  • Laundry Tips
  • Frugal Tips
  • Tips for Leftovers
  • and more

You can visit Tammy's Recipes by clicking the banner above or by going to http://www.tammysrecipes.com/

Love Is In The Air

Valentine's Day is right around the corner! Sometimes it's hard to find the perfect gift for the special someone in your life. I'm sure most men will not read my blog so maybe you can *hint *hint *wink *wink and let him know what you would like.

Here are a couple of things I found on Etsy that are too cute:


Cascades of Love Cupcake Soap from AJ Sweet Soap (all kinds of cute food shaped soap)





Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Awww Poo

I can't believe it's already been 7 days since I've posted. I would have posted sooner but I have been in a funk of sorts. A lot going on in my head lately and not something that I can write about... yet. Well, it's not really one particular thing; it's multiple things. I haven't even sewn the Towel Dresses I been wanting to sew. I just couldn't get started. Can you say procrastination?

So, I've been watching movies, clipping coupons, dishes, laundry, cooking... the basics to get by for the last couple of days.

Maybe the nasty weather we've had here has had something to do with it. Who knows. I'm all good now though. At least for today. :)

I'm going on 4 hours of sleep right now and I'm very surprised that I haven't crashed by now. But that's a good thing because I will probably get to bed at a decent time tonight and I may actually get something done tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

My husband and I have had our hours crazy mixed up ever since he hurt his back at work. He's in a lot of pain so he's not able to lay down or sit in certain positions for a long period of time. It's been tough. But we will make it through this.

Coming up tomorrow... Valentine's Day is right around the corner. So, I must do my browsing on Etsy for some goodies. Tomorrow I will post some of the things that I have found that you may want to purchase for the love or loves of your life. Who knows... I may have more posts on Valentine's!

Off to do some browsing!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Low Cost Organizing Ideas

Some of the products that are purchased for organizing can be quite expensive and can add up quickly. I would love to buy all those nifty baskets, hangers, trays and boxes that are available but some are really costly.

I came across this article at Real Simple that is "31 Smart, Low-Cost Home Organizing Ideas" and I thought I'd share.

You can read it to find out how you can reuse items, straighten and clean up closets, stow stuff away, make things tidy, hang items up to stash them and de-clutter the bathroom.

My closet, bathroom and craft storage are the problem areas in my home.

Enjoy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ginger Snappz

I adore the colors and fabrics used in this shop.
You could create a gift basket with every item in the Ginger Snappz shop to give at a baby shower. A little something for Mom and baby combined.
Burp Cloths - $14.88 for a set of 3
Key Fobs - $6.50
Mini Key Fobs - $6.25
Nursing Covers - $21.88
Checkbook Covers - $11.88
Nursing Pads - $12.00 for 6

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bedroom Makeovers



Are you tired of the same old look? Is your bedroom drab and dreary? Or, do you just need some inspiration?

Real Simple has 11 Bedroom Makeovers to liven up your space. If you have a lighting problem, mismatched furnishings, it's too gloomy, an awkward layout or it's just not cozy enough... check out this article to see ideas that may inspire you.

Real Simple

Fallen Star Boutique

Such an adorable bow for Valentine's Day or any outfit with red or pink hearts!
My daughter would love this.
Fallen Star Boutique has beautiful products for girls and is based in Deer Park, NY.
They offer:
Leg Warmers - $9.99
Tutu Puffs - $5.00
Hair Bows - $8.75
Crochet Daisy Headbands - $10.00
Infant Crib Shoes - $12.99 - $16.99
Boutique Hats - $7.99
Hydrangea Headbands - $6.50

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dolce Dreams

This Hand Embroidered Baby Quilt would make the perfect gift for a baby shower.
You can even have it embroidered however you like. You can have just a name, name and date or she will customize it to your liking.
Dolce Dreams also offers Clutches, Sachets, Eye Pillows and Hand Embroidered Pillows.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sweet Petites Boutique

I would love to have these for my daughters room!
There are so many designs available... flowers, birds, monkeys, ladybugs, stripes, dots...
$5.50 each knob
At Sweet Petites Boutique you can also purchase:
Switch Plates - $14.95 -$26.95
Picture Frames - $20 - $31.50
Picture Hangers - $5.50

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baby Cuddles By Tiffany

How cute are these? Awww. I wish these were available when my kiddos were babies.
The Zebra Hat pictured comes in sizes 0-18 months and you can choose the trim color. $22.00
In the Baby Cuddles shop you can also find:
Hats for Twins - $40- $45
Holiday Hats - $20 - $40
Beanie Hats (even with pom poms or bows) - $20 - $22
Bonnets and Earflap Hats - $20 - $40
Elf Hats - $20 - $35
Headbands - $12 - $20
Hat and Legwarmer Set - $40
Knappy Wraps - $22 - $45

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Anxiety

This post is kind of hard for me to write. But, blogs are suppose to be a form of therapy in some ways, right?

When I was younger, I was outgoing, not afraid of anything, willing to try anything once, could travel anywhere by myself, could talk to anyone, wasn't afraid of heights, didn't worry about money or what people thought of me. Now, I worry and stress over just about everything. In some ways and many times, it affects my daily life.

I'm not outgoing anymore. I'd rather stay home. Sometimes the smallest things people do will irritate me. It can be something that is said or someone cutting me off while driving. Disrespect and morals is huge to me.

I'm hesitant when it comes to trying anything. I don't just jump right in. I have to analyze it first. Take precaution.

If I'm not comfortable driving somewhere my anxiety gets worse. I've asked my Mom or husband to go places with me just because I was uncomfortable driving myself. I have literally started shaking and sweating at just the thought of me having to drive "into the unknown". Although, I have gotten better at this. I just talk myself into it or pull up a map to make sure that I know where I'm going... locally. I still can't make myself drive out of town anywhere... unless someone is with me.

I'm standoffish. I will not say hi to someone first anymore. I will avoid talking to people. I fear that I will say something stupid or that they will judge me. Now, if I know you and talk to you on a regular basis. I will talk your ear off. But on the Internet, I'm OK. I will talk to anyone.

I'm terrified of heights. A couple of years ago we took our children to the local fair. My husband talked me into getting on the Ferris wheel with them. What scares me about Ferris wheels is the pure thought of falling out of the bucket or getting stuck at the top. Well, this particular one had NO doors on the sides. It was completely open and guess what.... we were stuck at the very top for a bit. Not sure why it wasn't moving but I freaked out. All I could do was hold the pole in the center, shake and cry. I felt so bad for my hubby and kids.

I worry about or finances on a constant (pretty much) basis. I'm sure that comes from us having to struggle as well as anxiety. We've been through layoffs, hubby quitting for a job and the job not being there and now... he was hurt at work back in July. Dealing with workers comp has been horribly slow and depressing.

Most of the time, I worry about what people think of me. Especially those that I used to go to school with or knew "back then". I worry that they will think I've gotten uglier or talk about me gaining weight or think I just look like crap overall. No, it doesn't matter. And I don't know why I care so much.

I think I was going to have problems with anxiety no matter what, though. You see, my Dad, my grandmother (Dad's mother) and all three of my aunt's (Dad's sisters) have anxiety and depression issues. Some take medicine for it... others don't and just try to deal with it. I... don't take medication. I have never liked taking medication. I'm trying to deal with it on my own and force myself to push through my issues.

I also have a huge fear of going back to work. I have literally cried and shook at the thought. What am I afraid of? Judgement... failure... having to put my kids in after school care. Around here, childcare is not that great. That's why I have tried many different things to try and make money from home. Even if I had someone to watch my children, I still freak out at the thought of going back to work after being home for 10 years. Now, if my Dad still had his auto shop and I could go back to work for him like I used to... I'd do it in a heartbeat.

This is a struggle of mine that has been going on for quite a few years now. It can be depressing at times. I do the best that I can to take each day one step at a time. That's all I can do. My kids and my family keep me going. Everything I do is for them.

Even though this was hard to post, I wanted to just to let other people know that have anxiety issues... you're not alone.

Boston Avenue Babies

How adorable!
This hand knit hat is so super cute with the little pom poms!
You can choose from pink, white or yellow and they are made with Acrylic Yarn.
Also available are Hand Knit Elf Hats.
The hat pictured is only $9.99. What a great price!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Clean House Is A Sign Of A Broken Computer

The title of this post is on a metal sign that I received for Christmas from my nieces. I really like that saying. And I have to admit, it does fit me... somewhat. I haven't hung it up yet because I can't decide if I want to hang it in my kitchen or above my computer. I guess it could work either place.

For me, when it comes to organizing and cleaning, I'll be the first to admit that I need some work in this area. I don't have a filthy house but I don't enjoy cleaning. I do like to have things organized. I wish I had the skill of some organizers but I do my best with what I have for now.

There are two shows that I really enjoy watching. I think I watch them to get a glimpse into the life of others as well as find out tips and decorating ideas.

How Clean Is Your House - I love Kim and Aggie. They are a blast to watch and they have great cleaning tips. Most of their tips consist of using things that are already in your home. You can search for the show on Youtube and find many and you can visit the website for some cleaning tips. Click here for the website.

Hoarders - This show takes a look into the lives of people who have an inability to part with their belongings. It's a very interesting show. They have therapists that come in and work with the person and their family to teach them how to let go of material things. You can watch episodes on the website by clicking here.

I love, love, love Real Simple! They have so much information on their website. You can find:
  • Organizing Tips
  • Cleaning Tips
  • Decorating Tips
  • Home Improvement
  • Gardening
  • New Uses for Old Things
  • Beauty and Fashion
  • Recipes
  • and so much more

Click here to visit the Real Simple website.

My mother is a bit of a hoarder in some ways (Bless her heart). I think that is why I don't like clutter in my home. I tend not to keep anything that hasn't been used in a year or that I have no attachment to. Plus, my home just is not big enough to keep everything.

When I watch these shows and visit these sites, it makes me want to get up off my boohiney and clean or organize something. They truly are an inspiration!

Strawberrie Rose

These are so stinking cute! Even though my little girl isn't so little anymore she would love these!
Strawberrie Rose creates these adorable Tutu's. The one pictured above is the Fairy Wings Set for $54.95.
Here are some of the other cute creations they offer:
Posh Petti Tutus for $38.95
Petti Tutu, Shirt Sets for $64.95
Portrait Dresses for $79.95
You can visit the Strawberrie Rose shop by clicking here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bullying

I'm so freaking nervous right now. I just contacted the superintendent of the school that my children go to.

My son has had problems with bullies since he started 4th grade. There has been many incidents that he has been involved in. He's been punched, slapped, pushed, kicked, stabbed with a pencil, lunged at (numerous times by same kid), cursed at, called names and had his books knocked off his desk. He's also witnessed other children being threatened and bullied.

So, I decided (after talking to the principal) to contact the superintendent and give her a basic rundown of the bullying incidents as well as suggest a website that I found where students can report bullies and incidents happening at their school.

She replied back letting me know that she will forward my e-mail to appropriate areas and I will be contacted by a district or campus administrator. Which is what I didn't want. I just wanted them to fix it.

You see, I'm not so good at talking to "uppers". I get super nervous. Plus, I don't want my kids to suffer because I "told". But, I know I had to do this for my kids and for other kids that are being bullied at the school.

I also don't want the campus principal to be upset with me or feel like I'm going over her head. I'm not. I just wanted to let the superintendent know about the website and to notify her of what is going on at the schools that she runs as well as a way for the kids to report bullies if they don't feel comfortable going to their principal or counselor.

It just really makes me nervous. I guess I just have to wait and see how this plays out.

Btw, if your school does not have this website available, you may want to suggest it too. It's http://reportabully.com It allows the child to report a bully and the incident privately... away from school. I think this is a great idea because my son was scared to report the bullies. He was afraid that it would make the bullying worse.

My Dream Craft Room

I think I fell in love again. If I had this as my craft room I could more than likely guarantee you that I would sleep there too.

You see, I don't have a craft room. Most of the time, my craft room is my kitchen table. Although I do have a sewing area of sorts.

I just love the color and tranquility of this entire space and how her supplies are so organized yet decorative at the same time.

I just had to share Heather's craft room with you. You can see more pictures by clicking here.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Andes Cookies... Mmmm... Mmmmm... Good

I've been wanting to make these cookies for a while now. After drooling over all the goodies on Etsy, I finally made them. They were the awesomist (don't think that's a word). <-- But they really were!

I got the recipe in one of those little Wal-Mart Homemade books.

I've included the recipe below for you and you can visit www.tootsie.com/recipes for more Andes recipes.

Andes Creme De Menthe Chunk Cookies

  • 1/2 cup salted butter - softened (I just used what I had on hand)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (I just used light)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (I didn't sift mine)
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz) Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips

Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until mixed. Stir in flour. Add baking chips. Chill for about one hour in refrigerator.

Measure out approx. 1 oz. of dough. Form a ball and flatten slightly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake on oven rack that is one level above middle on a non-stick baking pan for about 8-10 min.

Should make about 4 dozen cookies.

Ready to go in the oven!



Yummy.. Yummy Goodness!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sweet Tooth

I have a mega sweet tooth... or sweet teeth. I could drool for hours over these goodies...


Dipped and Decorated Orea Lollipops from Friendly Creations.


Cherries and Chocolate from Nikid.


Cashew Clusters from Nikid.


Bikini and Onesie Sugar Cookies from Andrea's Goodies.
White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Fudge from Jewel of the Lion.
Yummers!!!
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