Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Favorites

I don't know about you, but today was just a lazy day.  Doesn't help that 4 out of 4 of us aren't feeling that great.  Good thing we've got a wide-open weekend ahead of us and can do whatever we please.  We need a weekend like that.  And because I've got nothing better to say, I'll now share some new favorites, in no particular order.

-New album: Gungor Beautiful Things I might be the last one to get on the Gungor train, but I'm glad I did.  My brother got me hooked and I'm totally enjoying this music.  Very chill, kinda funky worship music.

-New book: Doodle Dolls which contains hundreds of outfits to color and decorate for paper dolls.  Haven picked this out with some birthday money and she's already spent hours playing with it.  It's a great value on Amazon- we paid much more for it at Target.  I would highly recommend this if you've got a daughter with any sort of artistic interest, especially at this price!

-New fun thing: I had to get a new phone a few weeks ago.  It's much nicer then anything I've ever had, but I've got to be honest and tell you that my favorite part is the cute case I could pick out.  And to think I almost bought a boring red one at the phone store.  I would have missed out on this little spot of happy!

-New recipe: Haven and I watched Rachael Ray make Grilled Chicken and Bacon Mac & Cheese on her tv show a few weeks ago and she turned to me and said, "Mom, you've got to make that!"  So I did and we all loved it.  Not so much a healthy dish, but well worth it.  Made even better by a new item at Trader Joe's- a white sharp cheddar and Gruyere cheese mix.  I don't know how they make it, but it's delicious and was perfect for this recipe.

-New show: Have I mentioned how much I enjoy Netflix, especially now that we watch through our Wii?  Well, I do.  This week we started (and finished) watching a new show via Netflix that Cale and I both absolutely loved, Downton Abbey. It's the story of a family and it's servants in early 1900's England.  It's witty, charming, smart and engaging.  There were only seven episodes, but we were hooked from the start and are excited that it's been renewed for next year.  I'm sad there's no more to watch right now.  If you like Jane Austen at all, you will love this show!

Anything new that you've been enjoying?  Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Craft Night: Fabric Flowers

Last night, five lovely ladies joined me at home and we spent a few hours whipping up some fabric flowers.  I had fun and I hope everyone else did, too.  Here's our handiwork!
 For many of these we cut out six inch circles and then folded "petals" and stitched them together.  And once people had made one, they started branching out and we ended up with all sorts of variations.
 Not bad for a few hours of hanging out, snacking and getting our craft on. Can't wait to see what we make next time!
Here's one that I made, attached to my cute new bag for spring.  (From Target, of course!)  The flower adds a touch of personality and I'm sure will make me happy every time I see it.  In fact, I made two to switch out on this bag and another one to go with my favorite red purse that I got a few years ago.  Several of us also made some cute hair bows and I can't wait for Haven to try out the one I made her that matches a dress her Nana made.

All-in-all, a productive night and I can't wait til next time!  Thanks, girls!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Remember me? Not sure what's happened the last week, but I do know what's occupied my time this weekend.  A certain little boy entered the world and he's already taken residence deep in my heart.  I'm not technically his aunt and he's not technically my nephew, but who cares about technicalities.
We hopped in the car Friday afternoon and ended up pulling off a great surprise, that was never intended to be surprising.  I spent lots of time with the new little family, celebrating and laughing and just sharing in the joy that this baby's arrival has brought into the world.  I wouldn't have been anywhere else this weekend, but by their side.
Haven got denied entrance twice, so we snuck her in.  She was desperate to get her hands on this little guy.  Can't say I blame her; I would have smuggled him out of that hospital if I could have!
Sweet Micah, I'm so glad you're here.  We've been waiting and praying, trusting and hoping. And the Lord has outdone Himself with you.  A perfect gift, from the Perfect One.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy hearts

We've been doing a little Valentine crafting here the last few days.  Some projects have worked out better then others, but this one was a complete hit!  The original idea I saw was to paint circles overlapping one another, but I thought it would be fun to try it with hearts for Valentine's Day.  And it worked out perfectly!

I used a cookie cutter and watered down black watercolors to trace the heart shapes.  I'd recommend tracing the inside of your cookie cutter, not the outside.  Wish I would have thought of that before I got to the end.

Then Haven got to work painting in all the different sections.  She tried hard to get nice bright colors by using less water.  She worked diligently for almost 40 minutes and here was the result! (Gotta love the crazy hair and squinty eyes!)

The pictures don't do the color justice- it really is bright and happy! I loved this project probably more then Haven did.  We will definitely do it again with the circles and I will make one for myself to paint, too!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Haven's Valentine

I can't take credit for this idea, I'll give that all to them.  But I will say that I love how these turned out with the addition of our actual cut-out bear. A bear hug from Haven with teddy grahams and gummy bears wrapped up and ready to share with her friends.  A sweet treat from a sweet girl.  Family Fun always have some different and fun ideas and this one was a hit for us.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Decals and cookies

I realized today that I never shared one of my favorite Christmas presents.  And that's a shame, really, because I love it!  Then I realized that I was going to be showing off my mixer and am empty mixer is pretty boring.  So I whipped up a family classic.  My mom made these all the time for us and they are a recipe I still turn to when we're in need of a cookie fix, but I don't feel like baking.

But first, admire my KitchenAid decal.  I found it here and ordered it for myself for Christmas (on Cale's behalf of course because I like to be helpful!). It arrived and I waited for it and then Cale forgot to wrap it and put it under the tree.  Oh well!  I've got it now and it makes me happy every time I use my mixer.  Since it's always out on the counter it adds a little personality to my otherwise boring (but oh so useful!) appliance!

And now back to the cookies. Enter: The Toffee Bar.  No idea why the toffee, since there is none included and in fact, you probably always have these items on hand.  I like to make up a half batch for us because it satisfies the cookie craving without too many leftover.  It's also a fun one for this time of year, because you can shape it into a heart for a little Valentine treat that takes about 5 minutes to make.

Toffee Bars
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (or pecans)

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add vanilla.  Then add flour and mix til totally combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Press dough onto cookie sheet in a rectangle (or a heart!).  Bake at 350 for 16-20minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Slice into bars while still warm.  Wait til cool to remove from pan.

-I like to under bake them a little bit so they are nice and chewy. Also, if you're going to make a heart shape I would recommend doing it with a half batch otherwise it's a lot of dough to mess with.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I am a Steeler Lady

In honor of the big game tonight, I had to post this song.  I am definitely a Steeler Lady and will have my Terrible Towel flying around tonight! And yelling! And probably eating some delish snacks and watching the commercials.  It's gonna be a fun one!

My brother sent me this a few weeks ago and I love it!  It was written two years ago when the Steelers were headed to the Super Bowl, but it still works. My kids and I have been dancing to it all day.  Now Haven's going around singing, "All the Steeler Ladies!  All the Steeler Ladies!"  which is an improvement from earlier this week. Humor me and listen to at least the beginning of it.  Go Steelers!

All the steeler ladies (7x) Now put your hands up

I wear black and gold - don't fit your mold - of what a lady should be
I live football, I yell at bad calls, wear Dad's Bradshaw jersey
I was raised this way, know every play, don't get me on the offensive
Look at me now, got my terrible towel, don't care if it's 3 degrees

Gonna win it and they're gonna put a ring on it
Gonna win it and they're gonna put a ring on it
In the superbowl, the Steelers will be bringin' it
Gonna win it and they're gonna put a ring on it

Here we go, oh oh ohhh oh, oh oh, oh oh oh (2x)

Gonna win it and they're gonna put a ring on it
Gonna win it and they're gonna put a ring on it
In the superbowl, the Steelers will be bringin' it
Gonna win it and they're gonna put a ring on it

Yes we can, we got Big Ben, Farrior, Miller and Reed
Holmes & Hampton, you know Tomlin came prepared to lead
Hines Ward grinnin', Willie spinnin', Lebeau is on a mission
Polamalu is gonna come through with another Super Bowl trophy

Gonna win it and they're gonna put a ring on it
Gonna win it and they're gonna put a ring on it
In the superbowl, the Steelers will be bringin' it
Gonna win it and they're gonna put a ring on it

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Saturday

Productive is not a word that I'd use to describe myself of late.  But today, today we made up for it and it's with great satisfaction I can sit on the couch and veg for the rest of the evening!  I got a bunch crossed off my to-do list today; sadly, the list is still quite long.  But here's a few accomplishments:

-Washed every one's bed linens and hopefully all the nasty germs that have been lingering around here.

-Rearranged Haven's bedroom.  It's been the same for 2.5 years.  I love this house, but its rooms are not created for furniture variety.  But we made the most of it in Hay's room and I think I like the change.

-Got a head start on Valentine's for Haven's school party this week.  Have I mentioned how much I love my Silhouette?!

-As seen above, I also gave myself a manicure.  And a pedicure.  And dyed my hair.  It was a veritable salon around here!

-Painted tiny toenails sparkly pink.

-Cooked something new for dinner that was a hit: Crock-pot Lettuce Wraps.  The kids opted for rice bowls, but Cale and I ate ours in some lovely red leaf lettuce topped with mushrooms, scallions, shredded carrots and cilantro.

-Tried Siracha for the first time (see above).  We are not usually spicy people, so I was surprised how much I liked it.  Haven tried it, thought she liked it and then her lips starting burning. Mati ate it no problem.  He's a true Ethiopian with taste buds of steel I think.
-Ate some more of the pink castle cake that is never-ending.  What you can't tell that's a castle?  Well, you wouldn't be the only one!  Although Haven said it was prettier then the one in the book.  And her approval is the only one I cared about!

And now I'm going to sit in my cleaner-then-it's-been-in-three-week-house and watch a movie.  Hope you're having a good weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Five years later

The day was crisp and clear.  It had been a mild winter, much to your snow loving mama’s dismay.  So it seemed only appropriate that they were calling for a snowstorm the day you came to us.  No sign of it as we entered the hospital at 2pm.  A few hours later a flake had yet to fall.  But when it did, it just kept coming and didn’t stop.  I have a clear memory of looking out through the slats of the blind, in between contractions, and seeing a winter wonderland.  The kind of flakes that make you feel like you live in a snowglobe that’s just been shaken.  And in the midst of that swirling snow, you were born.  Eight pounds of beautiful girl, healthy and whole. 

Five years later, we celebrate you on a snowy, icy day.  You’re even more beautiful.  

You bring out the best in me.
We’re growing up together, my love, bit by bit
You make me laugh and smile and be silly. 
You’re my best girl.
Happy birthday, sweet Haven!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oh, Haven...

I honestly don't know where Haven comes up with this stuff.  But it worries me a bit.  She loves to play Just Dance 2 with Cale and I.  Her favorite song, hands down- "It's Raining Men."  She started crying today when I tried to dissuade her from listening/dancing to it.  And all day long she's been singing, "It's raining men, Hallelujah! It's raining men!:

As if it's not disturbing enough, my soon to be (as in 24 hours from now!) 5 year old set me over the edge with her dinner time comments.  Man vs Wild is not a show that I typically let our kids watch, but Cale was relaxing on the couch after suffering a concussion (for real- he slipped on the ice and was crazy-freaking-me-out confused- it deserves its own post!).  Haven was sitting with him to watch.  At dinner later on we were talking about it and Cale asked her what her favorite part was.  Without even thinking about it she replied, "When he got n*ked."  What???  Bear does get n*ked in just about every episode it seems, but that was her favorite part!?!?  And then she added," I'm gonna remember that for a long time."  I promise you that they never show anything inappropriate!  But I'm disturbed that it seemed so memorable to her for some reason.  It's not like she's never seen some pasty white man thigh before (only her dad's of course)!

Oh, dear...what am I going to do with this girl!  Guess we'll just listen to bad 80's music together.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Now I know my ABC's

Our latest project was truly a collaboration between Cale and I. I wanted to create an alphabet print digitally, but he had a different idea and once I thought it through, I ran with it and this was what we came up with.

A certain someone that I know (and love!) is expecting a little one in the next month and this past weekend we celebrated his pending arrival at a baby shower.  I knew the general color scheme and direction the nursery was going and wanted to create some artwork that would work well with it.  I'm pretty sure we nailed it with this!  
But man it is hard to photograph it and not get the glare!  But you get the idea, right?  The picture doesn't do it justice as you can't appreciate the layer and textures, but you can imagine it.  I love how it turned out an can't wait to see what we come up with next.