November 30, 2009

Christmas Is Coming

Creative Kismet

Oh hey, the countdown is on, say!

With Thanksgiving out of the way, I say BRING ON THE SNOW! I have some great ideas for Christmas already. I'd like for this to be a green holiday again for us. Lots of vintage, handmade, and reusable items. Here are some things on my mind for this year:

Last week, I found 40-ish vintage Christmas cards for $4 at Savers.

I picked up a boardgame for $2 and the entire Sesame Street library (circa 1980?) and Captain Underpants set for less than $6 total.
I bought a black, beaded halter top (you know the type) for a Christmas party for $6. I had budgeted WAY more than that for my outfit, let me tell you!

I want to fill some vintage jars with mini marshmallows for the boys as a gift. Just because. Just because can you imagine what their little faces will look like if they open a jar of marshmallows that is theirs alone? Just because? FUN!

I want a photo wall for Christmas (which really starts with me buying some Polaroid 600 film for my vintage Polaroid cameras).


I found this idea on Apartment Therapy and have already picked up 4 pairs of gloves and enough velcro dots and wiffle balls to fill two big buckets! The boys are going to FLIP OUT when they see this!

If I find the time, I know two little boys who are getting a colorful door in their room by Christmas! I can't be the only one who decorates for Christmas, am I?

Dottie Angel

I'm making a pom-pom garland for... somewhere in the house. Andy saw the pile and gasped OUT LOUD as he ran over and squooshed them up to his face. He asked for a basket of poms for Christmas. Isn't that the most precious thing you've ever heard? Why certainly, Son. You may have a basket of pom-poms from Mommy. Bet you a dollar he names them.

Posie Gets Cozy

Someone is getting a handmade bunting with thrifted linens and fabrics for their room!

I've also picked up a few craft kits for the kids, and a baby doll with blinking eyes for Mabel. Though, that shouldn't count for Christmas because she's already found her and started carrying her around by the head.

We're going to paint some more of the dough ornaments that we made last year and get them on the tree.

I'm looking for a vintage typewriter for Trevor.

This one from here

And, Folks, the goodies I find aren't in bad condition. If you knew me, you would know that I hand-picked every handout in elementary school and would only select the most crisp and new-looking piece of paper. I eyed the exact mint-condition textbook I wanted from across the room. Even today when I shop, I pick the best I can find. So, the boxes aren't cracked and broken. There are no stains or rips. And with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a little elbow grease, these items look brand new.

I'm also going to wrap presents with the pretty pages from my Antropologie catalog or the comics. Believe me when I tell you the kids don't care what they are ripping open.

Dottie Angel

I love this season!

*All links properly credited on my Tumblr here.

A Smörgåsbord

What a tremendous week! I am so incredibly thankful for my life. Every piece and part.

The kids traveled with their dad to Ohio for the Thanksgiving holiday. They had fun while they were gone and are happy to be home. While I did miss them desperately, I was licking my chops at the free time on my plate. It was a smörgåsbord of free time. Five days to myself.

I stayed up late every night and watched The Golden Girls until the cows came home. I ate what I wanted and caught up on laundry.

I hung out with friends and I slept in every morning.

I removed my kitchen cabinets, painted, and reattached them in an afternoon.

I cut, pieced, sewed, basted, AND top-quilted a throw quilt on Saturday. All that's left is the binding. Now that's some productivity.

I painted a bible verse on my wall and made a dozen pom-poms.

I put up the Christmas tree (though I saved the decorating for the kids when they got home yesterday) and did some Christmas shopping.

I had notions of doing more but a sinus headache wiped me out for most of Thursday. Still, I think I did pretty well.

I did take pictures... stay tuned!

November 25, 2009

Jane Quilt ON SALE

I have lowered the price on my Jane quilt just in time for holiday gift giving!
This is the first quilt I made from beginning to end with my two hands.

Ric rac detail on both front and back.

Handstitched binding and beautiful fabrics - some vintage, some new (Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner).

And that pink polka dot makes me swoon every time I see it. It's big, too - 54" x 46"!
Oh. My.

Please visit my Etsy shop to buy this up for your little one.
The details:
Various quality quilters cottons used, including Heather Bailey and Amy Butler. Warm & Natural cotton batting, with ric rac detail on front and back. This quilt was machine pieced and top quilted, with handstitched binding. It was then washed in homemade earth-friendly detergent to give it a soft, vintage look and feel. This quilt can be machine washed in cold water and dried on low or medium heat in the dryer. Made in a smoke free environment.The finished size is 54" x 46".
Find it HERE.

November 24, 2009

My Second Honest Scrap

OMG. This is so, like, totally cool, like. My friend Diva has awarded me the Honest Scrap Award! This is my second Honest Scrap and I'm beginning to wonder if I've overshared again... flashbacks to 7th grade abound right now, lol.

How about 10 NEW honest things about myself?
  1. I took pictures of my children before they left with their dad this afternoon, just in case I never see them again.
  2. I met Aerosmith, Kansas, Color Me Badd, Kenny Chesney, and The Grateful Dead when I worked for a hotel chain. The coolest? Hands down, Aerosmith.
  3. I love to paint. I'm pretty good at it, too.
  4. I am craving sushi in the worst way right now.
  5. Someone threw gum in my hair in the 10th grade. I didn't notice until I got home that night, after I stopped and made out with a boy!!!
  6. I can honestly say I still hate Kiki's smelly farts. I also hated when she stink-bombed the babysitter last week and he nearly died for thinking it had been ME!
  7. I've always wanted to be an artist. Acrylic on canvas primarily. I'm going to give it a go soon.
  8. I have owned the Twilight book series for several months but haven't yet cracked the first book.
  9. Theologically, I stink. I can't quote but about 10 bible verses. I know many of the stories, but I feel like I should be able to better quote from memory. I need to work on that. And read Daniel and Revelations.
  10. If I didn't think I'd gain 1,000 lbs, I would eat avacados for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All the time.
The last time I received this award, I passed it on to several ladies. This time, instead, i'm going to encourage you all to spend some time writing and sharing about your life.

Thanks to Diva for the award, and thanks to all who read this blog!

November 23, 2009

The Pillowcase

I recently found a vintage pillowcase while out and about and washed it up before using it.

Moo found it in the laundry basket, waiting to be folded.

Then I found her in the dining room pretending to be a pilgrim. Or a bride. Or a cowgirl. Or something.

"Mama, I foun dis pillowcase. Mama. Mama? MAMA!" "Mama, see me?" She ran to find me, the pillowcase flapping behind her.

"Mama, I wearing da pillowcase. Is funny! Is SO funny!" Flap, flap, flap. Jump, jump, jump.

"Annie? Trebber! Watch me wif da pillowcase!" Hop, flap, hop. "I'n silly!"

Hmmm... pausing here for effect, I think. That or waiting for Davy Crockett to come pick her up in his wagon. (Please don't judge me for the booger in her nose.)

"Mama. Mama? MOMMY! Look at me ageeen! I jumping wif da pillowcase! Is funny, Mama."

I can't decide if she looks like Laura Ingalls or Annie Oakley.

Yes, my girl has lots of imagination. We won't mention how she was scarred for life by Nana and Andy.

That has nothing whatsoever to do with her interest in putting everything on her head.

At least I hope not.

Oh my cuteness. Stick a fork in me. I'm done.

November 22, 2009

Oh How He Loves Us

I have thought often about talking more about Jesus in this place. Then I realized that I couldn't NOT talk about Jesus more in this place. I am PROUD. I am HIS. And to Him goes ALL of my glory and my happiness (even when life is exploding). We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord always, no matter what is going on around us.

Besides, this Sunday sharing is sort of becoming a nice, comfy habit of mine and I love it. If any part of my testimony provides even one of my readers with encouragement then it is so worth it. I encourage you to share as well. Share everyday by smiling.

Be the light.

And know that He loves you. No matter what.

Below is a gem for you. Listen with tissues because this song... this song has become my new anthem. It is glorious. We listened to it at church as something beautiful happened this morning and again this afternoon when the children and I sat down to an early Thanksgiving dinner. Then I thought of this song as I prayed for God to travel with my children on Tuesday as they go to Ohio with their dad for 5 days.

Oh How He Loves Us
by Kim Walker & Jesus Culture

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane,
I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight
of His wind and mercy.

When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.

Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.

We are His portion
and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption
by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean,
we're all sinking

So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us,

Oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves
Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.

November 19, 2009

My To Do List

It's been a little while since I've just blogged about what's rolling around in my head.

Please visit my Tumblr for links to all of these (and other) lovely sources.

OOOOOOOOhhhhhh.... Uh Oh - Baked Potato Soup

Jennica Weeks got my attention right quick this morning. Guess what is on the agenda for next week?

Baked Potato Soup (yeilds 10 cups)
from the kitchen of Diana Bonilla

4 large baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 green onions, chopped and divided
12 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled, and divided
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 (8 ounce) carton sour cream

Wash potatoes and prick several times with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until done. OR peel, cube, and boil potatoes. Let cool. Crush into bite-size pieces. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add all-purpose flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add 6 cups milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly.Add potatoes, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons green onions, 1/2 cup bacon, and 1 cup cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated; stir in sour cream. Add extra milk, if necessary, for desired thickness.Serve with remaining onion, bacon, and cheese.

Recipe and photo are from I'm Just Saying

November 18, 2009

The Best Compliment

I have gotten some pretty great compliments in my day, I am proud to say. Compliments about the kids' behavior, some recipe, or my ability to laugh, my eyebrows, my sense of humor, and about those fantastic red heels.

Yes. But more and more often now people compliment me on being so happy. I have been accused of being unfazed by what life brings. Optimistic always. Bruised but never broken. I don't mind it.

Today I gave a presentation to our entire company, and I kicked ass at it. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous at all. I prayed beforehand, cared about the subject of my presentation, and was proud after.

(Though if I'm being honest, when they handed me the mic, I kept thinking of that scene in The Wedding Date when Kat's mother is trying to toast to her youngest daughter and Kat turns and gasps, "Oh good Lord, who gave that woman an amp!?")

So after the presentation I politely greeted a random production coworker in the hall. Random Coworker said that my smile was contagious. Then Random Coworker said, "You are always so happy... I want what you've got. Whatever you've got going on, it makes you happy. I want it."

Oh yes. JESUS.

Overwhelmingly, certainly, more than any other happiness or shield or armor or battle cry I may ever have or need, I HAVE JESUS. He is my light. He IS my smile.

It was the best compliment. Thanks, Random Coworker.

PS: Are you mad at me yet for not posting anything new on the house? Don't be. I'm trying to finish painting my next project so that I can show you. Life is bursting at the seams, so it's taking me longer to paint than I expected. Please be patient.

November 17, 2009

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Ahh, I loved Ren & Stimpy back in the day. Sad, but true. There is irony there that I won't explain now. Makes me laugh, though.

Moving on...

I am happy and joyous because Judy gifted us with an upright freezer for housewarming recently. Thanks again, Mom! I haven't been able to do freezer cooking for years and I NEEEEEEED to. There are things I haven't made because I couldn't freeze half for another meal or didn't have space in my fridge's freezer.

Image from Smitten Kitchen

Like lasagna.

Image is Pioneer Woman's lasagna.

My granny's apple pie.

My chili.

Image is again, P-Dub

Image from P-Dub

Green beans from my (next year's) garden.

Image from Nie

Image from Ree again

Corn casserole.

Sloppy joes (or taverns, if you live in Da Plains).

Tater tot hot dish with green beans.

Image from Tricia Jaeger

Like banana bread.

Pumpkin bread.


Like perfect pie crust


Man, I'm all slobbery now. Shouldn't have written this post while hungry.

What am I missing? Know of any other good recipes that I can test out and freeze? Lay them on me!

November 16, 2009

What Faith Can Do

Today I need to share a song with you. It's powerful.

The kids and I first heard this at the Lifelight festival in September. Kutless was the Friday night band - more than 100,000 people standing in the dark with their hands raised. It gives me chills all over again just thinking about it. This band is so fun, so rock-n-roll... and SO POWERFULLY moving.

This was their new song and even though I'd never heard it before that night, I loved it immediately.

I think you will, too.

What Faith Can Do
by Kutless

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think its more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don't you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

It doesn't matter what you've heard
Impossible is not a word
It's just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody's scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It'll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You do have a chance
(That's what faith can do)
When the world says you can't
It'll tell you that you can!

I've seen dreams that move the mountains,
Hope that doesn't ever end
...Even when the sky is falling.
And I've seen miracles just happen,
Silent prayers get answered,
Broken hearts become brand new.
That's what faith can do

That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

November 12, 2009

Holiday Stockings In My Etsy Shop

Large, eco-friendly felt holiday stockings are restocked and in the shop now. Stockings are 22" from toe to top and the perfect solution for stocking stuffers for your little (or big) ones.

Each stocking was made with love and handstitched with quality. I will be adding all of these designs to the shop over the next week or so.

In hot pink,

emerald green,

cherry red,

and baby blue.

Enjoy! (Go shop - find them HERE!)