Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Making My Way Back

I'm back y'all, i'm back y'all! Soooo, I know I've been MIA for a while but I had to get back to all my lovely peeps today! You see, Christmas nearly put me out! Don't get me wrong, I love everything about it but something just had to give. I haven't been to the gym in 3 weeks (yikes) and no matter how hard I tried I could not find any time to write up a post without sacrificing something else. So, I just put it aside for a while keeping in mind that I would come back this week, after all the craziness of the holidays.

I let my girls sleep in today after a crazy night of playing Wii games WAY too late. Okay, I was playing too. Just Dance 3 baby! I can't not join in. I mentioned here once that I love to dance, and you can find me bustin a move just about anywhere so as soon as that game is in I'm up and dancing along. Can't hurt to burn off a few of those (millions) of holiday treats that I have consumed too, right?

Here are a few pics of how we spent the last week. The Wednesday before Christmas I started my baking. I baked and baked and baked.... well, you get the picture. Instead of exchanging gifts with all of our neighbors we started exchanging treats several years ago. I like to try & come up with new things so here are a few of this year's goodies:

I baked mini-loaves of fresh bread to go with the apple butter I made. First time canning and nailed it! 

Most all of the neighbors have dogs so I didn't want them to be left out. I gave some to my own dogs, Ace & Romeo too & they went insane! I think I'll keep this recipe around and start making it regularly.

Oreo balls are so easy & amazing. I made these last year and everyone went gaga over them!

I love biscotti. I always make it. This year it was chocolate chip. Can't go wrong with chocolate chip anything!

And, all bagged up and ready to go:

We had my family over on Christmas Eve & Corey's family on Christmas day. The time flew by so fast I can't believe it's over!

Here is Audrey handing out the gifts:

One of my favorite gifts, boot slippers. I wore them nearly all day on Christmas Day. They are so comfy:

Ella with one of her cute new sweaters:

Shhh, don't tell him I put this picture up, but I couldn't help myself. It's Corey wearing Ella's new scarf. LOL He was showing her how to tie it like a regular tie:

And one more of Audrey wearing one of her favorite gifts. Seriously, she wore this thing for 2 straight days! Santa has good taste, eh. 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. We are having a nice relaxing week. Hanging out with friends and planning a small get together for New Year's Eve! So I'm off to Pinterest to go search for dip recipes......

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Claiming Me at Bloglovin

Hey guys, I'm just posting to 'claim' my blog over at Bloglovin. Since GFC is going away shortly everyone seems to be scrambling to figure out a different way to follow and be followed so now you can 

So, how are y'alls Saturdays so far? Whatsa happenin hot stuff? I'm sippin on some mocha peppermint flavored coffee:

Then I'm going to start the kids out on starting those ornaments I mentioned a few days ago here. Then, a baby shower, soccer game, and back home to start some homemade apple butter that I plan to can (for the 1st time evah!) :

Source: food.com via Pamela on Pinterest

 and more crocheting, maybe watching Super 8 finally! See ya on the flipside. Whatever that means.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Doin The Happy Dance

It's one thing to decide to sell on Etsy and it's another to actually make a sale. Well, on Sunday I got my 1st sale this week from someone I do not know. I have made 2 other sales before this one but they were from friends. By NO means whatsoever am I discounting those sales. Believe me, friends can be your biggest supporters and I very much appreciate those more than anything. It got me started and gave me confidence in my work. But, for a complete stranger to want what you are selling is a different feeling. It means someone was clicking through, saw it and said, I would like to have THAT, even though they know nothing about you (unless of course you read my blog, then "Hey gurl, thanks") And last night I got two more orders, well, 1 order for 2 more items. It feels amazing to open your e-mail and see that little confirmation that someone thinks your work is as good as you do. Good enough to buy it from you. That, that little idea that sparked into your head, that you just had to get down and make INTO something will be in someone's hands to enjoy. I know it's only a few sales. But it's a start in the right direction. Now, off to package up the order & on to the craft store to go get more supplies while I do the happy dance.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Goings On Around Our Hood

As we get ready for Christmas I have been enjoying life inside as it has been really cold here lately. Well, cold for me. I've lived in Texas all my life so anything below 50 is cold to me. So you can imagine how I feel when it's in the thirties, like it's been all week.

So, anyway, as I sit here in my 42 layers of clothing, I thought I'd share some of the goings on around here and show you what we have been enjoying.

First, off we have been wearing jackets and decorating our tree. No silly, that's not our tree. It's something I slipped in there. Did I fool you? I'll post up pics of the (real) tree later:

We've been eating yummy food like chicken piccata with fettuccine. Yes, I know what the bowl says but it's not ravioli. I promise:

I've been crocheting like crazy. This one is mine. I know, I know, it sounds selfish but I really almost never keep anything I make and this is my favorite color and I'll be around a LOT of people in the next few weeks with opportunities to take pictures so I thought it would be a good chance to show off the wares. Then, when they are like "who made that fabulous crocheted camera strap cover, I'll be like BAM, I did. and I'll make you one too, sir or madam". 

And I'm working on making a crocheted Nook cover a friend asked me to make in anticipation of getting one for Christmas. Since I've never made one and I could not find the perfect pattern, of course I had to come up with my own. I think I'll be adding a strap & brown button to this one too. Now, I just need to find someone that already owns one to make sure it fits okay as I only went by the specs I found on the interwebs:

I would also LOVE to try my hand at these:

Source: purlbee.com via Pamela on Pinterest

I found the pattern over at The Purl Bee and they look relatively simple to make. I don't know if you can tell but the letters are cross-stitched on and other than that it's really just simple sewing. I figured Ella could do her own. I used to cross-stitch way back in the day and it is pretty easy, especially just a letter like this. I may even have Audrey give it a go. I was thinking they could give them to their teacher's for a teacher gift before they are out on break and if they turn out well we may just make more for friends when we hand out our annual cookie/goodie bags. 

Sigh. So many ideas, so little time. Being as craft-minded as I am I would just love to sit down and make everything for everyone on my list but I know I don't have that much extra time so a few will have to do for now. 

Do you guys make any of your own gifts? What have you done or plan to do?

I'm joining in on the Facebook Hop today. Hi to any newbs that clicked on over from there. Welcome!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Finding Time to Unwind

Have you uttered these words lately: 'I'm SO busy'. I keep having to stop myself from saying it because I hate sounding like I'm complaining about my life. In fact, I love my life right now, but there is really just no other way to put it. My life is hectic. Yours probably is too, right? So, I have to find joy in the little things because vacation and summertime is just too far in the future.

So, what do you all do to unwind? Here's a few of my favorites off the top of my head:

1. Flavored coffees. I love the holiday flavored coffees so I have been experimenting with different flavored creamers & coffees from the store. I just bought mocha peppermint today. Sounds Yum!

2. A hot bath. Calgon, take me away. When I was a kid I didn't really get that commercial. A bath was just something you had to do. I so totally get it now. It's gotten cold here the last few weeks and especially today. I just get that chill in my bones and the only thing I can do to get it out is a nice hot bath.

3. Crochet & knit with a movie or catching up on DVR'd programs. Being that my shop features many crocheted items I have to find time to crochet so I may as well enjoy some movies or TV with it, right? Ella has been learning to crochet too (she's my mini-me) so she's usually snuggled up next to me which makes it even better.

4. Playing cards or Wii games with the neighbors. I'm so blessed to know many of my neighbors.We have a nice group that usually involves anywhere from 4 to 12 of us getting together at one of our houses on the weekends. We just hang out and usually play Wii Sports or card games. It doesn't really matter what game, it's just the background to hanging out and enjoying each other's company.

5. Volunteering. I get a lot out of volunteering at the school. My daughters go to a school that has a jump-rope team, a runner's club, a dance club, and a basketball club. Yes, our school's PE teacher is an amazing guy putting together all of these clubs. You can find me there at least a few times a week helping out and I just love interacting with the kids and getting my mind off of the list of things waiting for me at home.

This is a pic of Ella & I nearly a year ago at jump-rope camp.

Your turn....what do you like to do this time of year to relax?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Randomness & Tagging Along

I'm blog hopping today. You should too.

Does that mean I'm one of the cool kids now? I hope so, cuz I love reading all of these lady's blogs.

And now for something completely different, random pictures from the past few days:

The last fruit from my garden (and only tomatoes of the year). oooh, ahhh.

My daughter and her 'toeless socks'. Don't worry, after I realized this was what was left of her favorite pair of Strawberry Shortcake socks I made her throw them out, much to her dismay. Could that really be comfortable? Ah, what we do for fashion. 

I don't know if you will find this as amusing as I did when I found it lying on the coffee table but I'll post it up anyway. Translation: How to love macaroni and cheese. First you get born. Next you try it. Then you LIKE IT! Just in case anyone needed a step by step on loving mac & cheese.

And, just because he could use a few well wishes, the rare appearance of my hubby, Corey. He is starting his first day on a new job today, all decked out in a new suit and everything. He is SO happy to be starting this new job and we are all very much looking forward to this new beginning for him!

Happy pre-Friday everyone!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I am ____

I am _____ right now:

I'm loving all the Tuesday Ten link ups over at :

Here's mine:

I am - a busy busy bee and I love it!
I wonderhow long it will take before I can get the Christmas tree up. It's down from the attic. That's a start, right?
I seethat times are stressful right now so I'm trying to be light in my responses today.
I wantfor my kids to know that they can do anything but it takes hard work. 
I pretend(ed)that I didn't want the leftovers of shrimp and pasta and gave it to my husband, but I totally did. 
I worrythat people think that because I'm quiet I'm not smart. No really, I get that impression sometimes.
I cryat the drop of the hat. I was at Zumba yesterday and a lady was telling me how she was going to teach Zumba to people confined to a wheelchair so they could get some activity, and I had to turn away because I was tearing up. Dangit, I'm doing it again. It's just so DANG sweet!
I hopethat I can get my Christmas presents wrapped as I get them instead of waiting until the last minute like I usually do.
I dream - that my children take chances and become who they were meant to be. I may push them a little (or slightly nudge), but I didn't get that and I still have no idea what I want to do.
I feelall verklempt now, so much for being a light post. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back On Track

OK OK, I think I've finally had enough turkey already! I'm ready to get back to our somewhat normal schedule and ready to move on to Christmas. Yay! (and the gym, for like a full day to work off half of what I ate.)

How was your holiday week? I was able to hang with my girls, my hubby, and the in-laws, as well as our neighbors, and my family. That was the best part. I believe it's good for your soul to just take time out and visit with people you love to be around. 

I was also able to finish a custom order I have been working on for a friend. I just love her photography style and can't wait to book our own family's session with her at Vintage Bloom Photography.

It's my second camera strap cover & I have more going so I'm looking forward to getting several more up over on Etsy. I had been working on a coral, grey, & white one before her request so I'll be finishing that one this week!

My sister-in-law also gave me an idea for a new accessory. Being a work-at-home mom doesn't always put me in the middle of fashion central so when my beautiful, stylish sis-in-law mentions something is cool, I listen! I'll have to work out the pattern but hoping to start this new item within the week too!

Don't forget the giveaway going on over at Pink Stitches! Win a chance for $25 in credit to my shop! If you don't see something in the shop that you would like, send me your idea and I'll see what I can do.

Have a great week, stay warm, and don't forget to take some time to be around some people you love too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Well Hello There.

Hi everyone!

I'm so thankful for Bonnie over at Pink Stitches for featuring my Etsy Shop on her site. So, if you are new and just joined from her referral over there then I'm sure you know how awesome she is already. I have more camera strap covers, necklaces, and other projects on the way so check back for those.

I have been crocheting off and on since I was in 5th grade. My teacher at the time had us do a project and one of the choices was to crochet something small. Well, mine wound up being a blanket! I just couldn't stop and I have loved it ever since. Throughout the years I have gone through times where I would pick it up and put it down. Then, a few years ago a friend of mine had an idea to get together and she would teach people to crochet and/or knit. She knew I already knew how to crochet so asked me to come along to have a familiar face. We met at our local Target's Starbucks and gossiped and crocheted with some other lovely ladies and I've been back into it since then. I have always been amazed that I can take something as simple as yarn and actually create something from it. It's probably the same reason I love to cook.

Anyway, that's my start. I'll make this short and sweet because I have lots of food to get started for the big day tomorrow. I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and if you are traveling please be safe!

Audrey says hi. 

Monday, November 21, 2011


Linking up with Living In Yellow. Erin has a great list and inspired me to do my very own 25 things you may (or may not) want to know about me:

1. I use spreadsheets for everything. My 'grocery' section alone has 7 sections.

2. I just started getting into photography less than a year ago but I love my Canon Rebel and try to take at least a few pics a day:

3. Sometimes I don't do things just because I don't like to do what everyone else is doing. Like watching or reading anything Twilight. Sorry :)

4. I left a decent job 5 years ago and took an at-home job because I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my kids in daycare any longer.

5. I'm slightly obsessed with the show Dexter. I can't get enough of it! I really want this bobble-head.

6. I was painfully shy growing up and I still have bouts of it but I'm much better now! One of my fears was that one my 2 girls would follow that path and it would hold them back but neither one is. (whew).

7. I met my husband in the back of a music store where his punk band was playing a show.

8. I adore clothes and fashion but I hate shelling out the money so I almost always buy clearance and starting to get back into thrifting (used to do it a lot in college).

9. When I first met my husband I could barely cook Hamburger Helper but now the thought of cooking a full- course Thanksgiving meal gets me all giddy.

10. I work out because I love to eat. I generally eat pretty healthy but I do believe you need a good burger and chocolate milkshake every once in a while.

11. I've carried the same purse for 3 years. I know I need a new one but I splurged on a good leather one and cannot find anything I like better.

12. I know all of my neighbors and we regularly hang out all the time. It's awesome!

13. I bake my own bread.

14. I love living in Texas and everything about it. I want land in the Hill Country when I retire.

15. My oldest daughter, Ella, is my fashion consultant. She is 10 and has better taste then just about anyone I have ever met.

16. I think people's choices in movies tells a lot about them.

17. My least favorite chore is mopping and I go way too long in between doing it at my house.

18. I played soccer for the first time on a team at 35.

19. I could skip most meals and just eat appetizers. I love bite-sized everything!

20. I'm a late adapter to most electronics. Once I'm there I usually like it, but it takes me a while.

21. I'm a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. My favorite player is Demarcus Ware:

22. My BFF & I made up a phrase for people on the internet that ask you questions you KNOW could easily be found on google: GTS (it stands for Google that Sh--). As in, what was the name of the twenty-second president of the United States? Seriously, just GTS. We hope it catches on.

23. I'm a big ole crybaby. I'm going to be a mess when Ella graduates 5th grade and I don't even want to talk about high school.

24. I will bust out dancing at random times. I especially like the Humpty Dance and the Roger Rabbit but I'm also a fan of climbing the ladder and the sprinkler.

25. I'm pretty sure my youngest daughter, Audrey, is going to be famous at something when she gets older. She is 7 and great at everything, especially lighting up the room:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prepping For The Big Day

What's going in your house? Yesterday was a killer day here. I got the chance for extra work so jumped on that (yay extra Christmas money) and in between typing (I'm a transcriptionist) I worked on baking bread, roasting a chicken, and making cupcakes. Makes for a long day!

I haven't made bread in a while but this is my start to Thanksgiving dinner. I use white bread in my cornbread stuffing but it needs to be a little stale so this is my official start to Thanksgiving:

Next, I roasted a chicken to make homemade broth. Doesn't it look like it's saying "I surrender"?

Today was my FIL's birthday and I have been wanting to make these cupcakes for a while. 

Here are a few of the special ingredients.

Mine aren't as pretty but the taste was amazing!

Now, I have the broth bubbling on the stove and tomorrow is the last grocery shopping excursion for the week. I plan to get in there early and not go back for at least a week. I hate crowds so I'm gettin my turkey and gettin outta there quick!

Have you started prepping anything yet?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turkey Day Part II

Did I mention I LOVE Thanksgiving? Pretty sure I did. But this week I'm going to share what dishes we will be serving. Most are not the exact recipe I use but is the closest you can get.

We'll start with appetizers. We only have our family of 4 plus my husband's mom, stepdad, step-brother, and his sister so nothing too fancy.

1. Who could go wrong with deviled eggs. Last year I made a dozen (which is 24 appetizers if you're counting) and they were gone way too quick so I made need to bump that up by another half dozen.

2. Ok, sorry I posted this last week but we decided for sure that we (we being the kids) are making this too. It's just too cute not to:

3. The in-laws will be bringing a couple of dishes and this is the first. I don't really eat green beans but it looks great:

Source: frenchs.com via Pamela on Pinterest

4. Another must have: mashed potatoes and TURKEY GRAVY. I could live without the potatoes but I have to use my turkey drippings for the gravy. My perfect bite of turkey is like this: turkey-dressing-gravy for every bite. I'm kinda OCD on it. It makes my mouth happy :) :

5. Seriously, if you are going to make mac and cheese you have to make it like this. I follow this recipe (which can be found by clicking on the pin)  and you just HAVE to add those buttered breadcrumbs to put it over the top:

Source: food.com via Pamela on Pinterest

6. And if that weren't enough, time to put you into carb overload with the dressing. I have always used the recipe my mom gave me. I don't think it is even written down but I was looking through Thanksgiving recipes a few years back and as it turns out Paula Deen's cornbread dressing is nearly exactly like hers. And she says it was passed down through her family so hey, maybe we're related? You never know:

7. To be honest, I 'm really not sure what bread we are having. It is kind of an afterthought but since I need to finish buying everything by this Friday (2 days from now) I better decide. These are at the top of my list right now, Rosemary Garlic Butter Rolls:

Source: kayotic.nl via Pamela on Pinterest

8. Is that it? Wait, the most important, of course, the Turkey! This recipe, from Alton Brown, is pretty close to what we do but I do not add the exact same herbs. Those can be changed to your liking. The big thing that we always follow, though, is brining. I will NEVER cook another turkey without brining it first. Makes all the difference:

9. And on to the dessert. We usually have so much food that we can't possibly eat dessert right away. We usually wait until AT LEAST halftime (go Cowboys). I usually do a cheesecake and this year I think I will add one extra ingredient, a swirl of chocolate. My mouth is already watering:

10. Last but not least, apple pie, my husband's absolute most favorite dessert in the world. This year, he is requesting individual mini apple pies with crumble crust so I'm searching for the perfect recipe. This one looks great:

So, what's going on your table this year? Last year I finally got everything right and the key, in my opinion, is to keep it simple and use fresh ingredients. Can't wait!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Perfect Saturday

What a great weekend we had. Fall soccer was finally over. We have a few weeks until Winter starts and on Saturday decided to go to our local Veteran's Day Celebration: The American Heroes Carnival. It was awesome. Besides being a little windy the weather was beautiful. We got to ride tons of rides, eat carnival food, listen to live music including Bowling For Soup (your kids will know them as the guys who sing the theme song to Phineas and Ferb), and a gorgeous fireworks display.

Here's Audrey and I riding the 'Tornado'.

A nice Ferris wheel and sky shot:.

Ella giving me that look:

Audrey waiting for the band to play:

We stayed for around 5 hours. It was exhausting, but so much fun. They rode into the night:

And ended the day with gorgeous fireworks:

I just love it when you have one of those days that you just know your kids will remember forever. They got to hang out with tons of their friends and families, and still got to be giggly girls. I worry that they are influenced by so many things in the world today that want them to grow up too fast, but today was NOT one of those days. It was perfect!