Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the GOOD-the BAD- & the UGLY

the GOOD- Love Walked In is the first book. This is not your typical "Jen = love story". It is so sweet and actually it is about so much more than a boy/girl romance. If you want a warm and fuzzy good Fall read, this is it! Belong To Me is the second of the two. I am devouring it right now. The author has a PhD in poetry so the writing is pretty, as well as the story. Once again...heartwarming!

the BAD- No excuses, but when I am PMSing all health goes out the window. Also, my motivation to get things done flies out right behind it. So, yes, I have eaten many of these! I don't even really like them, but they have been the perfect combination to the good book and the chilly weather. Is there a Halloween candy that you could eat an entire bag of if you were OUT OF YOUR MIND?the UGLY- This is what I have been needing to do while I have been enjoying the good & the bad. I need a little of this to get it done. But reading just seems so much more enjoyable right now. I do have tinted grout so it is not AS gross as it looks, but it is still REALLY gross!

I do need to get this cleaned before hubby comes home on Friday. Who likes to come home to an icky shower after staying in a hotel?
update- the shower is clean! It wasn't that bad.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tag- Fourth of Fourth

Allyson at House of Stephens tagged me! Yay!
Here is how it works:
Pick your 4th folder
Pick your 4th photo
Explain it
Pick 4 people to tag

This picture was taken at preschool, two years ago. D had just turned 5. Funny that my fourth of fourth was a Fall picture. Spooky!

I will tag...

Emmy at Emmy at home, Tammy at Just Me, Pam at Pam's Place, & whomever else who wants to!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

monday gems

It is no secret that I ♥ Mondays. I know it is a little sickening, but I love cleaning up from weekend fun, filling the pantry and freezer for the week and starting anew.

Below are a few things that not only make my Monday routine easier, but actually enjoyable.

I am so crazy about Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day that I go crazy every time I squirt it. Personally, my favorite scent is Geranium but there are others that I am sure you would like. I buy mine here, but if you visit the website there is a plethora of goodies. (including "plug-ins", dryer sheets, etc.) The prices are only a tad higher than my normal cleaning supplies, but they are made with natural essential oils, are biodegradable and phosphate-free. And, no animal testing.
What an awesome gift for someone who has everything!

You heard me talk about these here, but I really mean it when I say that I cannot clean without them. I use them on everything from grout to shower doors to walls to door jams. I ♥ instant gratification and these babies delivers! Of course, I buy the generic brand.

Thanks to a friend who just introduced me to these dusters. I used to feel like when I dusted it would leave half of the gunk behind. Not with these. Plus they maneuver around all my junk, even the fragile junk, where I was afraid to dust. Who knew that dusting shutters could be so easy??

Lastly, no cleaning day (or any task) is complete without great tunes. I am usually so excited to get time to listen to something without Miley, Joe or the HSM cast. But every once in awhile I still play a Jonas Brothers song because it is just so fun to sing along to. Did I really just admit that?
There are definitely days where not even these things can get me motivated to clean, but when I use them feel good about my house and am not afraid when someone just pops by.
Have a great week!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


E and I had a great time!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Personalized Banner - baby shower 3

Nothing says party like a personalized banner. And with glitter, well, it is just about party perfection.

Here are all the products that I gathered to use. I omitted the paint and used glue instead.

These chipboard letters are readily available at most craft stores and make the lettering easy. To adhere them to the cardstock I used the pop up dots to make them more dimensional.
The decorative embellishments were labeled as "packaging tape" and was sold in a set of three. See above. The ribbon was in the $1 section.

Mommy-to-be loved it so much she hung it in the nursery. It would also be cute taken apart and to use the back of pieces as the pages to a small memory book of the shower.
This is a fun, easy, affordable decoration. I hope you try one yourself!

Candy Bar - baby shower 2

I told ya you'd see this from me again! This time it was for a pink and brown baby shower. Lucky for me it is Breast Cancer Awareness month so pink candy was not only plentiful, but proceeds went to a great cause. I strongly suggest that if you are planning a baby girl shower in the next year, stock up on pink candy NOW!

If you remember this, you will remember that each guest filled a portion cup and a cellophane baggie to take home.

I heard a guest say, "This looks like the candy shop at Disneyland". That was the best compliment I think I've ever had!

This time I added chocolate dipped pretzel rods. My cohost made these adorable favor boxes from Martha. They were the perfect addition. I also added these affordable scoops found here.

This definately was NOT the place for someone who hates chocolate!

Cake Bites - baby shower 1

My friend and I threw a baby shower this weekend. Our friend, Paige, is so special and we knew this shower needed to be extra special. With that in mind we decided to include all finger foods on the menu since the shower was scheduled for tea time. Instead of traditional cakes we made these yummy cake bites that are soooo easy! Trust me, you will want to cut and paste this, put it in your back pocket and pull it out when you are throwing an event! Start with any flavor cake mix you want.
I chose strawberry because our theme was pink and brown.
Bake cake per package instrustions.

I tinted Cream Cheese frosting pink (strawberry frosting would've been too much).

When cake is warm from the oven, crumble cake into a large bowl.

Mix 1 1/2 tubs of frosting with crumbled cake.

Use your hands, it will be like playdough.

Spread out tons of wax paper and roll into balls.

Freeze balls overnight.

Melt a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

I add a tiny bit of parafin wax to help set up

Have wax paper ready and dip batter balls.

While dipping do not handle too much.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I tinted some white melted chocolate pink for drizzle.

The sky is the limit with flavor combinations for this dessert. Below are some ideas to inspire you.

  • carrot cake mix, cream cheese frosting, dipped in white chocolate
  • devil's food cake, chocolate frosting, dipped in chocolate
  • yellow cake mix, buttercream frosting, dipped in milk chocolate
  • chocolate cake mix, chocolate frosting, dipped in mint frosting, drizzled with shite chocolate tinted green

I hope you try these, they were a big hit! Thanks to my sister for this recipe!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


  • OF COURSE it was hubby's new car that got hit and not my old mini-van.
  • OF COURSE it was when hubby was away on a business trip and parked my van at the airport so that I was driving this.
  • OF COURSE the person who hit me drove away and left NO NOTE! I was parked and not in the car.
  • OF COURSE I did not see it last night so it ruined my day THIS morning!
  • OF COURSE we have to pay a deductible.

I usually try not to be a downer on my blog AND I KNOW OTHERS HAVE MORE SERIOUS PROBLEMS I just needed to vent my frustration. Yes, it stinks that someone hit our car. BUT what really upsets me is that someone could just drive away. If it were smaller I would give them the benefit of the doubt, but with this big chunk you know they knew! UGH!

update: what a wierd day it has been! Hubby dropped his cell phone in a cab and didn't know it. A woman called me and arranged for him to pick it up. I am so glad that there really are honest people out there. Still a wierd day though!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Chalk" full of fun

My-oh-my-oh-my! If you want to see some inspiration, check out these pantries here! I had seen this post and ran to buy chalkboard paint. I decided to do the inside of our pantry door, I actually see the inside moreso than the outside, it is a hallway to our dining room.

Here is a peak of what it looked like before.

I abolutely adore it! I already have places all over the house to write notes to family members so for this chalkboard I will list ideas for dinner and breakfasts. That way when the kids ask "what's for dinner?" I can tell them to pick something from the list. It will also inspire me when I am wondering what to cook. I often make a list like this when I get home from the grocery store. That way I do not forget what I just bought. Now I have a cool place to record it.

My ten year old daughter never thinks we have anything for breakfast. Every morning I have to tell her all the things she can pick from. Now I will be able to direct her to the pantry!

So here are a few tips that will save you!

  • overly mask with tape and overly cover the floor. Do not underestimate overspray!

  • if possible, remove the door first to avoid drips. I, of course, am too lazy to do this so I had to deal with drips by blotting them out and spraying with another coat. Fine for me.

  • if possible, buy chalkboard paint that is not spray. It will alleviate tip 1 & 2.

  • keep "Magic Erasers" close by. It perfectly took away all of my overspray and any boo-boos I made. I ♥♥♥♥ these things!

I think the finishing touch will be a monogram "B" at the top of the chalkboard.

Halloween Party- part 2

As promised, here are a few more pictures of our adult Halloween party this past weekend. My cohostess did these oh-so-cute bottles (assorted fruit juices) and printed off labels from Martha Stewart. The little accent bottles were an after Halloween bargain at Michael's last year.
Along with the "make your own potion bar" we served an assortment of bottled beverages in a hollowed out pumpkin.
Thanks to blue lady bug for the idea on the centerpiece.
Thanks Jennefer for hosting with me! Can't wait what we come up with for Christmas! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween Party- part 1

My friend Jennefer invited me to throw an adult Halloween party with her. Although I am not too crazy about Halloween, it was really fun! Below are a few of my contibutions. I will post part 2 soon.
Thanks to La Fuji Mama I offered to bring pumpkin shaped cheese and crackers. For a tip, use thread or dental floss to easily slice your cheese.

This pumpkin dip is scrumptious. Anything salty with it is really yummy, I prefer pretzel crips or pita chips. For a different taste you can use ginger snaps.

Pumpkin Dip-

1 can of pureed pumpkin (15 oz)

2 Cups of powdered sugar

1 8 oz block of cream cheese ( I use fat free)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Blend all together in a blender and refrigerate for a couple hours. Enjoy! **thanks for reminding me about me making this recipe Jennefer**

"Candy Bars" are not new to entertaining, but they are my new entertaining event.

Gather up and wash all your glass containers, shop for color coordinated candy and display. Since I did not want to label my jars I used skewers with Martha Stewart stickers.

Be sure to have small portion cups or cupcake liners so that guests can fill up and add it to their buffet plate. Also, make available cellophane bags so that guests can take home some candy also.

You will be seeing the candy bar from me again, it was a big hit!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Join me in a new adventure!

Well ladies... after a long plane ride, lots of time on my knees in prayer, and supportive friends I have decided to embark on a new adventure. Please visit a new blog of mine here and JOIN ME!
Please pass on my new blog! I'd ♥ as much input as I can get!

Friday, October 10, 2008

around the house

I have been having fun fiddling around the house lately and thought I would share some pictures. We have an outside staircase that leads to a studio above the garage. Ever since we moved in, almost six years ago, we wanted to use under the stairs for storage.
In order to do that we needed to demo a wall in the garage. Well, the time has come!
Look at all of that space! D wanted to make it into a clubhouse.

Here are some spaces in the Bonus Room, which is like the kids family room.

I love these plates! They are from Marshall's at $2.99 a piece!

Have a Great Weekend!

new TWILIGHT trailer

I am having trouble posting the tailer, but click the link above. IT IS SO WORTH IT!


Monday, October 6, 2008

General Conference~ Oct. 2008

"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Daddy & Me

There are a few things my dad loves...airplanes and sailboats are among them. When my dad visited recently and saw my aqua room and knew my birthday was upon us, he set out to make this for me!

The sparkle in his eyes, when he was pointing out all the details, was priceless.

Knowing he spent hours making it just right, for me, is humbling.

I will cherish it forever, just like I will cherish him.

My dad has always been thoughtful, especially at gift giving. One Christmas while I was away at college my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Since I was on a tight budget I was being practical and mentioned I was in need of some new undies. So on Christmas morning, among my gifts was a silver box with ribbon ( Nordstrom, my second favorite color box). When I opened it there were a handful of gorgeous, lace undies. My mom told me that my dad went out and bought them for me. I loved them but really did not feel that lacy ones were my style so asked if I could exchange them. Looking back this probably hurt my dad's feelings. So I went to the Nordstrom lingerie department to get some Fruit of the Loom ;) and the sweet lady said, "your credit is $250"!!!! My daddy bought me $250 of lacy underwear!!! I exchanged it for some undies... and a new jacket... and some shoes. The funny part of the story was the sweet lingerie lady giggled and said, "When your dad was here on Christmas Eve he told me these were for his daughter and I thought yeah right, they are for his girlfriend."

I'll never forget that my dad would do anything for me!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"it's the thought that counts"

If you are a woman, you have probably muttered these words too.

"It's the thought that counts"
I truly mean it! It is never about money, isn't it just effort that we want? To know that we are important in someone else's life?

Yesterday was my birthday & boy there were a lot of thoughtful people!
  • 15 facebook birthday wishes
  • 1 TWILIGHT ecard
  • 1 blog shout out
  • 1 blog tribute
  • 5 birthday phone calls
  • 1 surprise gift at my door
  • 3 birthday emails
  • 2 birthday texts
  • 1 home cooked birthday dinner (my dad's rotisserie roast beef, my mom's handmade pasta & sauce)
  • 1 made-from-scratch birthday cake (my mom again, she really is the original MARTHA)

There were a few moments that stood out in my day that truly melt my heart. Here is my gift from E, who is 10. It is a book titled, "The Wonderful Adventures of Super Mom!"

Another heart-melting moment was when D, my 7 year old, said the dinner prayer last night and said, " We are thankful for Grandma and Grandpa because without them my mom couldn't be my mom. I am thankful for my mom being born."

I have always been a daddy's girl. A post will follow that will elaborate on that. But for now, I will tell you that my dad put in hours on making my birthday gift perfect. It is so big, and made with his own hands, that we could not even get it home yet. I will cherish it forever! So, you will have to wait to find out what it is until we go and pick it up with the van.

Thank you to all for just thinking of me yesterday! It is all I could ask for!