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!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Feel-Good Friday

I'm feeling good today for no particular reason. Maybe a mix of the beautiful mild sunny weather, a great weekend up ahead, and lots of fun projects in the works. I'm feeling a little fab, a little sunny, a little feisty...so here's THAT amalgamation in my Friday outfit:

Friday Fabulousness

TIBI wool dress
$495 - net-a-porter.com

Ichi leopard coat
£70 - houseoffraser.co.uk

Mid heel boots
$190 - topshop.com

Michael Kors shoulder handbag
$995 - neimanmarcus.com

Miss Selfridge gold jewelry
£14 - missselfridge.com

Kate Spade gold jewelry
$178 - katespade.com

I hope you are feeling as good as I am today. 

Don't forget to give thanks today for all those Veteran's around the nation! 

And, in honor of this fabulous day of 11-11-11, enjoy:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scary Night and What I Learned

Wow, so I feel like an idiot. Last night, I had just finished making dinner for me and the girls. Corey was at a class for school and so it was just us 3. We were in the living room getting caught up on some DVR'd shows and eating the chicken tortilla soup I had just made. I kept smelling a slight burning smell but thought that it was just the leftover scent from me frying up the tortilla strips for the soup. I glanced behind me and realized the kitchen was filled with smoke!

Of course I jumped up and ushered the girls outside immediately. I realized that flames were coming out of a sauce pan that I had used to fry up the tortillas. I had had the bigger pan of soup on low on the back burner and when I finished with the tortillas I put the soup on the counter and put the sauce pan on the back burner, not realizing I had left it ON! By the time I got into the kitchen, the flames were a few feet up in the air and my first thought was cut the oxygen. I checked the pan lids and the one that fits the pan that was on fire was glass. That would shatter, right? I wasn't sure but there was no time. So, I grabbed a bigger one and put it down over it the best I could. It was too big so it helped but not completely. I took a big metal slotted spoon and pushed the pot off of the burner and the flames slowly came down. After it was almost out I started to see that it was going to be okay. I called my neighbor and she said "baking soda". Duh. I knew that. So the baking soda was in the cabinet above the stove. Since the flames were very low now I could get to the cabinet where I kept the baking soda and used it. After throwing some over what was left of the fire it immediately went out. Whew.
Source: allyou.com via Hailey on Pinterest

Well, today the kitchen still smells like smoke and the paint around the oven on the cabinets is slightly blackened as well as the vent above it. I had inhaled some of the smoke and had a sore throat for a few hours but it went away. The girls had gone outside immediately so they didn't get much smoke. I learned a few lessons in the whole ordeal. First, we need new smoke alarms and we need to add an extra one in the kitchen. We have one in the living room and hallway. Both of which are 10-15 feet away. Both beep when you push the little button on them but neither went off! Next, don't keep your baking soda above the stove. Had I been thinking clearly, I could have used baking soda right away if it had been accessible. Third, thank goodness for my friend, my neighbor, who helped talk me through it and keep me calm afterwards. Another plus to getting to know your neighbors.

Do you have a plan for putting out a grease fire. We all have a plan for getting out of the house quickly (at least I hope you do) but if it is a small fire like we had what would you do? Our situation could have turned bad quickly. We were lucky. Walk to your kitchen and go through the motions. Do you have something you could grab quickly?

First off never use water on a grease fire! Do you have  something to cut the oxygen? Keep a lid nearby when cooking. How about a fire extinguisher? Even though it will be a mess this is certainly an option. Baking soda? If not, put it in a place where you could get to it quickly without having to think about it too much because you don't know how you are going to react. If you have thought it out beforehand there is a much better chance you can find a solution quicker. Hopefully, none of you will have to go through this but if you do, having a plan could save your kitchen and your home!

I am by no means an expert so this is just MY experience. But I want you to know how to be prepared if it were to occur. There is only a very short time between being able to put out the fire and time to call 911. Don't wait to call if you are unsure. If you do choose to put it out, make sure that you can get out of the house fast if you can't get the fire under control within a very short time.

 The National Fire Protection Association has a lot of great information to read through if you want more tips.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turkey Day Part I

In honor of my favorite holiday coming up (psst, it's Thanksgiving) I have been searching around for some cute decorations this past week for this happy day. I refuse to listen to Christmas music until we celebrate this wonderful day and I just love these great ideas:

1. This is the first in several table decorations. It's just so simple but will definitely brighten anyone's Thanksgiving table:

Source: google.ca via Pamela on Pinterest

2. How about some garland. You could use it on your Thanksgiving table, the mantle, or anywhere your guests will be:

3. My girls are 10 & 7 so this would be perfect for them to make:

4. I really want to do this one. They are always so shy when it comes time for their turn around the table letting everyone know what they are thankful for, so here is another way they can express their thanks. If you are like me you have a ton of yarn and even if you are not, yarn is cheap and you could use it for other things later:

Source: parents.com via Pamela on Pinterest

5. I wish I could think of a way to use these. They are adorable but with all of the pies & cakes we normally have I'm not sure I could find a good excuse to make them, but I'll keep thinking about it:

6. This, however, is another thing the girls can help prepare while I tackle the harder stuff. You have to have an appetizer while you put all the finishing touches on your meal. You may as well have this:

7. Did I mention I love wreaths? Well I do. And looky here. This one already has our last name's initial on it. Perfect:

8. Another table decoration that is super simple. You may even be able to gather the acorns from your yard:

9. One last table decoration. For a slightly different look you can get white pumpkins, candle holder, pine cones, and branches. And there you have it:

10. And, last but not least. I just LOVE this idea. You take a piece of paper and write down (or type) what you are thankful for, roll it up into a dinner roll, and bake it up. Then, you try and guess who wrote each one. Awesome:

Next week, I'll be showing you a list of what will be on my table. What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?