Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Family

I've made my Christmas cards and have had them printed out.  Unfortunately, they are not at the quality I would like, so I'm hesitating sending them out.  If I wait too long, people will get there cards too late.  I had them printed out at Wal-Mart.  I had to do it twice...and they still aren't what I want.  First, they cut off the sides of my cards.  The second time around, they printed out really dark.  I really don't like going to Wal-Mart.  It's a pain in the rear and I never see the "people of Wal-Mart" while I'm there to entertain me.  So, I can send them out via email, but is that tacky?  I personally like getting Christmas cards in the mail.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and loved.  Every time I open up that mailbox, my heart beats just a tiny bit faster. BUT, I'm erring on the side of caution since I am having a problem with printing.  I printed them at Wal-Mart because they were cheap.  Plain and simple.  I'm thinking now I should have paid the extra money to get them printed out like I originally wanted them to be.  Well, here's my card.  I'll probably be going back up to Wal-Mart to get them to fix it...again.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Have you seen the Pinterest pins for Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer?  Yeah, me too.  It looks super yummy, doesn't it??  Well, I whipped up my own version of this delicious sounding concoction.

I combined half and half, spices, vanilla extract, maple syrup and, of course, pumpkin purée.  Cooked them for a bit then strained it all into these two containers.  

I think it turned out pretty good!  Try it and tell me what you think.  

I like the fact that it is made with items in my fridge and pantry and has absolutely no chemicals or preservatives!  


By the way, I like to keep the creamer bottles from the store and reuse them.  I think they are perfect and they look cute!

Here's the recipe:

2 cups half and half
6 Tbls pumpkin purée 
6 Tbls maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1 tsp cinnamon 

Combine all ingredients in a pot.  Whisk until smooth.  Cook until you see some steam or bubbles on the side of the pot. Remove from heat. Strain liquid into container of choice.  You can use cheesecloth or a regular strainer.  I used my tea strainer.  Let cool.  Kept in fridge.

Hope you like it!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

studio5124

INTRODUCING studio5124!!!

I've started something new.  My very own Etsy shop.  If you haven't heard of Etsy, you need to check it out!  It's a website with tons of handmade items for sale.  So, if you're looking for something unique for yourself or for a gift, you need to check it out.

My shop features custom invitations, cards, art, and posters.  I design them, put your information or pictures in them and email them to you so you can print them.  This lowers your overall cost, yet you still have the uniqueness of a custom piece.

I have just started so there's not too much.  I am adding more items everyday.  If you are looking for a custom invitation to your party, or if you need a cute Christmas card (coming soon), please stop by my shop!

The shop is called studio5124.  Please Check it out!

Thanks!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

National Lasagna Day

Today is National Lasagna Day!  So guess what we're having for dinner??  I'm making my favorite lasagna which I talked about here.  It's the BEST LASAGNA EVER.  Really.  You should make.


This is a pic from ages ago.  SOOOOO YUMMY!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bacon Bacon Bacon!!!

Last night I had a little gathering of friends come over to compete in Best Dish.  Best Dish is a competition to see who can cook up the BEST DISH.  We have this once a month and every month the "secret" ingredient changes.  It's not really secret.  I guess it's technically the star ingredient.  Anywho, this month's ingredient was BACON.  Everyone prepares a dish where bacon is the star ingredient.  We bring enough of our dish to share, we try all of the dishes, then vote on who we like the best.  You can't vote for your own, though.  The hostess, does not participate, because she will be the one providing the prizes for the Best Dish.  It can be any prize of any denomination.  Last night, I provided drinks and 2 prizes.  The prizes were $10 gift cards to Trader Joe's.  We had several great contenders, as you can see.  All of the food prepared, and drink, was excellent.  But, there can only be one winner...well, in our case, two.  And the winner is....... (drumroll please).....BACON WRAPPED JALAPENO POPPERS & BACON INFUSED BOURBON!!!!!!!!


                                       
Bacon Chicken & Pineapple Kabob

                                           
Bacon and Cheese Muffins

                                           
Bacon Brittle

                                           
Deviled Eggs with Bacon

                                           
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

                                           
Bacon Infused Bourbon for Old Fashioneds

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Was I Being Scammed??

You know that feeling you get when you think you're being scammed?  Well, I had this feeling yesterday.  It wasn't overwhelming, it was just riding under the surface.  Still, it was there and I was aware of it, but not screaming in my face.

I bought some running shoes yesterday.  The hubs and I joined a gym and I haven't bought new shoes in 10 years, so, I went to the mall and found a store that sold workout kind of shoes.  I decided to go in and check it out.  It was a typical store with blaring music and tatted up sales people.  The kind of store, where in my 20's I'd think was kinda cool.  But now in my 40's, is completely annoying.  Why does the music have to be so loud?  Loud enough that you practically have to scream to hear each other speak.

My sales lady was very "energetic" (I put this in quotes because her energy seemed to be coming from a pill and not a natural high) and helpful (thankfully).  I've heard from a friend that this store can be horrible with customer service.  Many times she has walked out for blatantly being ignored.  Well, this should have been my cue to leave.  But, the sales lady was already in the back pulling shoes for me.   This was when the first inkling of me being scammed came washing over me.

She comes back with my shoes, they aren't quite right, so she goes back to find another pair.  In the meantime, another sales guy comes to help me.  They all seemed nice enough and played with Bean while I was busy trying on shoes.  They had their little banter session then rang me up.  This is where I really felt like I was being scammed.

I walked up to the register.  They were already in the process of ringing me up.  I saw that they had placed two spray bottles of something next to my shoes.  I'm assuming some kind of protectant or cleaner for the shoes?  Anyway, I witnessed an odd interaction between the two sales people that were helping me.  The girl says to the guy, to ring it up with her discount.  This is all said with a hushed tone and averted eyes.  Then she leaves.

The guy says to me what the total was and I asked why it was so much.  $45 more than what I had expected.  He proceeds to tell me that what the spray is for and how to use it and I stop him and say I didn't ask for that.  I did not want that.  He looks at me and says, "Oh.  She said she told you about it and was giving you her discount".  Well, that was a total lie.  She never mentioned that to me.  Plus, I never buy stuff like that.

She comes back to the register and he says to her that I didn't want it.  She looks at  him and, I swear it was a look of "Why did you say anything?" and she walked off.

My total was adjusted and I left.  I will never shop here again.  It made me feel uncomfortable.

Do you think I was being scammed??


My new shoes :)  Aren't they cute?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy 4th of July!!!!

What is everyone up to today?  I'm bbqing with friends and enjoying the hot day!  Here's a pic of a tiny piece of our beautiful nation.  

Happy Birthday America!!


This was taken on our way back home from Healdsburg (Sonoma county).  I'm always taken aback by the beautiful scenery that is so close to me.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dresser Rehab

I wanted to rehab a dresser into a TV stand.  You know, like all those cute ones you see on Pinterest?  Well, I came across this little beauty on Craigslist for $40.  Not a crazy bargain like I've seen on some blogs, but I think it's a pretty good deal.  First I removed all of the hardware, then removed the doors and drawers.


I did not sand this piece.  Not one single bit.  I purchased a quart of Zinsser Cover Stain Primer at Lowe's and got a FREE quart of Clark + Kensington Paint + Primer at ACE Hardware.  ACE occasionally has a Free Paint Saturday, so I snatched a quart during that time.  They will tint it for you and everything!  For FREE!  


Here are the doors after one coat of the primer and one coat of the paint.  I liked how it turned out, so I stopped here.  I was planning on painting another coat or two to give the dresser a more saturated look, but, I really liked this!


 Here are the drawers...same thing, 1 coat of primer, 1 coat of paint.

 The top

A close up of the paint


And the doors...Oh and the Hubs cut out the middle part of each door with a router.  We did this so the electronic components would be able to work with the remotes.  I plan on putting chicken wire in the holes to  make it look a little more rustic, but need to figure out how I want to "age" the chicken wire before stapling it to the backs of the doors.

The finished product.  I placed rope in the top drawers for the pulls, but will change those out as soon as I find something I like better.  This project took about a day.  Maybe two if you add more paint.

Hope you find this DIY semi easy.  I thought it was!  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kid Sized Hammock

The boys wanted to swing in the backyard...well, we don't have a swing, so I came up with this idea.  It's my Moby wrap tied around my kitchen table and VIOLA! a kid sized hammock/swing :)








Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Human Milk Machine

That's what I feel like.  "MILT, MOMMY, MILT"  This is what my little Bean says to me when he wants to nurse.  It's been 2 years and 2 months of nursing this little guy.  Not to mention the other two that nursed for what seems like forever.  All in all, I've been nursing for 5 out of the 8 years my children have been alive.  GEEZ!  When I write it down, it seems like SUCH A LONG TIME!

My goal was to let my youngest self-wean himself.  BUT, it's taking FOREVER.  I know that there is no magical button inside their body that gets pushed at the age of 2 to stop nursing.  And I certainly didn't want to stop him myself, because, after all, he is the last baby we will have.  I'm conflicted with letting him continue or trying to stop him.  On the one hand, he definitely does not need it...it's a comfort thing now, but on the other hand, he's my last baby and I'm trying to hold on for dear life to the sweet, baby-like attributes of his childhood.

How can I say no to this little booger faced boy???

I want to savor every moment but I also want to go away for the weekend with the hubs.  We haven't taken an overnight vacation without the kids, ever.  It's been a LONG 8 years.  I feel like we deserve it.  It's not too selfish of us to want to take a break after 8 years, is it??

My problem for starting to wean him is, I just don't know how to start.  Seems silly, and not too hard of a problem to have, but I just don't know how to do it.  And, no, I haven't Google'd any sort of 'how-to' on the subject.  I probably won't.  I'm not a cry it out kind of mom, either.  I, personally, cave every time I try to do it.  Whether intentional or not.  We aren't those types of parents.  Don't get me wrong, for the parents who do this, my hat goes off to you!  I know it's a hard thing.  So good for  you for not caving in!  Also, to each his own.  Everyone has their own style of parenting that works best for their own family.  No judgement here.

So, to the matter at hand.  How did you stop nursing your baby?  Did you do it cold turkey?  Did you slowly decrease the number of times you nursed a day?  Bean nurses mostly at night, but also a little bit during the day.  I've noticed that if I'm a little late with lunch or snack, his first 'go to' is milt.  So, I've been trying to keep on schedule with that, and if I do find myself running behind and he asks for 'milt', then I immediately offer another food.  It seems to work 80% of the time.  If he's super tired, then the only thing that will quell his screaming and crying is nursing.

Any suggestions???





Monday, June 10, 2013

Here I Come to Save the Day!!!!!!


My friend Amber had a great idea to do a superhero playdate.  She made the buildings and brought a blue sheet (sky) and a white stuffed pillow (clouds) so I, er the kids, could pretend to be flying and protect the city from bad guys.  It was cute to see all the kids line up and "fly" through the air :)


 Bean's doing a nose dive into the buildings :-P
And here's Super Mommy!

She also brought a little craft to make the superhero masks.  It was great!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

School's Out...Already????

Summer is upon us.  The last day of school is TOMORROW!  I don't know what we are going to do.  Thankfully, Turkey will continue to go to preschool 3 days a week.  I might even get to drop off Bean now and again.  The two older boys will be going to Camp Texas (aka - trip to G'ma and G'pa's house) in July.  They went last year and had a blast.  It will be a nice reprieve from the screamin and hollerin that takes place on daily basis.

Anywho, I was thinking, that I needed to get my end of year presents ready.  Stuff for the class, since this will be Angel's last year at this particular school (we moved to another district) and something for his teacher.  Well, Angel loves to dance, so my idea was to make everyone a CD with some of his favorite songs on it to remind them of him when he's gone.  Here's a list of the songs I compiled for the CD.  OH!  AND, we get to have a DANCE PARTY the last hour of school!!!!  Who doesn't love a dance party??  Thanks Anne, for being a cool teacher!

Here's the list of songs I compiled for a Rockin Summer :)

Glad You Came - The Wanted
Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
Gangnam Style - Psy
Good Feeling - Flo Rida
Stereo Hearts - Gym Class Heroes
Scream & Shout - will.i.am
We Are Young - FUN
Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5
Party In The USA - Miley Cyrus
TTYLXOX - Bella Thorne
Ready or Not - Bridgit Mendler
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO


These are the CD's I made.  Eventually, I'll get this up into the 'Printables' page as well.  As soon as the 'Printables' page is up and running :)



Green Smoothie of the Day




Today's smoothie has frozen pineapple, spinach, plain yogurt, a splash of orange juice, chia seeds, and vanilla protein powder.  It's tastes like a tropical drink, except I'm not laying on the beach.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day is just around the corner.  I, for one, have not thought of anything to get the hubs.  I have some ideas, but have not been on the ball with executing them.  While I was perusing the internet for some ideas, I came across some I don't hate.  So for all of my lovely readers, I've compiled some pics and links to some Father's Day gifts that don't suck. :)


A couple of years ago, I did something similar with etching sand and some drinking glasses.  My glasses said, "Keep Calm and Drink Beer".  I gave them to my dad.  The glasses were in a set of 4 from Target that looked like this.  Then I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out a stencil and I used etching cream to finish it off.  They turned out great.  Sadly, I didn't take any pics.









Last year, the boys made Daddy a Father's Day gift of their handprints.  It was super easy and free!  I had everything I needed to make this, so it was super simple.  You can see the how to's here.

I also thought about boudoir photos and looked some up, but thought they were too racy to post a pic of an actual photo.  I'll just link it to some I found on Pinterest.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Look Who Came for Some Breakfast


DIY Artwork Display

I've been meaning to post this, but just haven't gotten around to doing it...so here you go.  I recently acquired this awesome picture frame from a friend who got it for practically nothing on Craigslist.  It was gold and black and was coming apart at the seams.  The thing is huge!  4+ feet tall and a couple feet wide.  Well, I reinforced the seams with some "L" brackets, painted it black and stapled chicken wire to it.  Now it houses all of the boys artwork, awards, medals, etc.  It takes up a nice chunk of wall space that was otherwise empty.  

You can do this too!  Even if you can't find a giant frame, you can go to Home Depot or Lowes and purchase fancy trim, cut it to whatever size you want, staple it together and you've got yourself an awesome, cheap frame!  



Sunday, May 26, 2013

Moss Beach

Yesterday was a good day.  I'm kinda getting over my illness, we had lunch in Moss Beach then went to the beach for a couple hours.  The beaches here are nothing like the beaches in Texas.  They are WAY BETTER here.  It's also a lot colder here, too.  We were bundled up in long pants and hoodies and I was still cold...and I loved every minute of it.  Growing up in Texas, you'd think I'd be all over 95+ degree weather at the beach.....NOPE.  I love that it's cold and windy and that the water is freezing.  It's such a strange combination to me.  But it works :)


While we were at the beach, Turkey, as usual, goes right for the freezing cold water, gets wet, takes off his pants and proceeds to enjoy the rest of his time in his Creeper shirt and underwear.  My little Bean is very timid of anything that looks slightly dangerous or different.  So, he was hanging back with Mommy and Daddy while his older brothers waded into the cold water.  He eventually got up his nerve and dipped his toes into the water near the tide pools.







Oh, and a funny thing happened while we were there.  Well, probably not funny to Pete, but funny, nonetheless.  We were leaving the beach and he couldn't find his shoes that he had dropped off at the bottom of the stairs.  Someone had stolen them!  Who does that???  Poor Pete had to walk back to his car without shoes on :(  I guess whoever took them, really needed some worn out flip flops.  What is the world coming too?



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Accosted at Starbucks

This morning started out like it usually does, everyone running late.  Now that we've moved, Angel's school is a solid 25 minute drive in the AM.  Well, this morning, we were running behind.  I didn't have time to make breakfast, so I grabbed some Clif bars and shot out the door.  We made it in pretty good time so I decided to stop at the Starbucks and get the boys a breakfast sandwich instead of just eating a Clif bar for breakfast.

I saw the usual crew, said my hellos, ordered and waited for my sandwiches to be heated up and my latte to be made.   Just when I was about to get my coffee and sandwiches, a woman comes into the shop and starts screaming, or should I say, demanding to know who's van is parked outside.   I looked at her, she was one of the homeless people that hangs out around this particular Starbucks, and realized she was talking about my van.

I had parked right in front.  Right in the sweet spot.  Front row, closest to the door, totally visible from inside the shop.  I say this next thing with a bit of hesitation, for fear of being judged.  But, I know that I need to say it.  I left all 3 of the boys in the van.  The store wasn't crowded, I could see them, and I was in a hurry.  Now, some of you might be thinking that I should not have done that and that CPS should be called on me.  And  you have the right to think that. But I really was paying attention.

Well, after listening to her psychotic rants and claims of an 8 month old baby in the van screaming and in duress, I said to her that it was my van and I'm RIGHT HERE.  I SEE THEM.  THEY AREN'T SCREAMING, HE"S NOT 8 MOS. OLD.  She proceeds to scream obscenities at me for leaving them in the car, that she was going to call the police and that I should "Fucking go to work and forget about my goddamn coffee!"  "Fucking take care of your kids!  First of all, she knows nothing about me or how I "take care of my kids".  I was infuriated as well as being scared shitless!

All the while getting closer to me and waving her arms like she was about to attack me.  I have never been so scared and pissed off at the same time.  Ever.  I was shaking.  I didn't know if she was going to come after me, or go after the boys.  Well, after what seemed like an eternity of her screaming at me, she walked outside.  It looked as if she were going to go to the van so I followed her.  She saw I was coming and figured it was a good time to start verbally accosting me again.

At this point, Cat, the brave Starbucks worker came out and got in between me and the crazy homeless woman.  She did this because at this point, it really looked like she was going to attack me.   A few other workers came out then she finally left.

I was so upset and scared.  I had started to cry and ended up in the car, sans food and coffee.  A nice patron of the shop (she told me her name was Tanya) came up to the window and checked on me to see if I was OK and was so nice and reassuring that nothing was my fault and let me know that the homeless lady was a little "off".  She offered to get my food and drink for me, but by this time, another Starbucks employee had come to my car to check on me.  They gave me a hug, told me I was a good mom (thanks Nick!) and apologized for my horrible experience.  I got my food and was on my way, after calming down and stopping myself from hyperventilating.

The staff at the Starbucks was awesome and the one patron was super nice.  But no one else said anything or got involved.  I guess that's what's to be expected.  So now, I feel shaky and weird and ashamed for letting a crazy woman make me feel bad about my parenting choices.  I am a good mom and I do what is absolutely the best for my children.  I should not feel guilty, but unfortunately, I do.

I have no lesson or funny quip about this particular occurrence.  I just had to get it out on "paper".






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