Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grateful Sunday

Oh - where do I begin? I'll let the pictures do most of the talking:

It's a great, welcoming feeling to have my kitchen filled with people I love.

Aren't they cute? - I'm grateful for good friends

Ack - I don't like any of the Thanksgiving pictures, but I am so grateful that we had family in our home. I love that my kids could play endlessly with their cousins and there were hardly any disputes!! I'm grateful that my sister-in-law lets me go on and on and on and actually seems interested in what I'm saying! Words seem hardly inadequate for the feeling of having family you know loves you and you love them.

I got my best bowling score EVER - Yeah, I'm the L and true, I was bowling with little kids, but even if I didn't compare, it was still my best score. I had to take a picture in the middle of it, while I was still doing good. I did finish strong - a 159, my best and I feel it needs to be documented because I probably won't go bowling again for another 5 years!

A real snow! My kids love the snow and their daddy loves to take them out in it!

Lastly, I get to start decorating for Christmas - a season I love!

Hope your holiday was fun and you're ready for December. I've got a couple more organizing posts and I am super excited to see what the blogging world has for me this Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Organizing Your Holidays - Take 1

Ok - so I had a reader (I feel so silly and grown up pretending that I have "readers") email me about some organizing tips for the holidays. This might take a while, so buckle your seatbelts and lets get started.

During the holidays, there are about a million things I want to do/make/buy. These include taking I. to see the Nutcracker, decorating gingerbread houses, buying a new ornament, work parties, church parties, school parties, and on and on. It's enough to make me hyperventilate just thinking about it. So. . . .this is what I do.

I grab a sheet of paper and start writing everything I want to do. I talk to my kids about what they want to do. We just start brainstorming - nothing is off limits. Here's the start of our list:

Then I leave it out for a couple of days, and we always think of something - I. wants to write a wishlist, for example. Now, if I were more like my friend Steph, I would be nice and calm and get done what we can get done, and have no worries about what didn't get done and just enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, I'm a little more uptight and have high hopes for having the best Christmas ever. This just helps me see the plan, so I can relax and hopefully have fun doing it.

After we make our list, I sit down and grab some paper. On one piece I label it "Family Activities", the next one has "Things to Make" and another has "Things to Buy" and I think the last is "Misc." I divide our master list into one of these subcategories. For example, to decorate gingerbread houses, I put it under activities, but I also put gingerbread kits under things to buy. I then take just a second and think through each thing on our list and try to think if I have left anything else out. Last year we decorated with our friends and would love to do it with them again. On my list, I also write "Call friends about houses."

OK - I know that sounds totally lame, but it only takes me a little bit of time, while the kids are eating, or the computer is downloading. Don't let that part hang you up.

Next, I grab some big paper - my husband uses these for blueprints from his job and brings home the scraps as scratch paper. I have also used paper from my kids easel. I draw a big calendar, with 8 columns instead of 7. I then start plugging everything in. I write down when the work party is, when I want to call the sitter by, etc. There is no system for the colors - I just thought it looked prettier.

In the first column - I write things I need to buy to get me through the week. Then I hang it somewhere I will always walk by it. This year it's in our laundry room and heaven knows I spend plenty of time there! Seeing it like this makes me relax. We like being busy, and it will be busy, but hopefully, I won't miss the little things worrying too much about other things. Does that make sense?
Hopefully, I didn't scare my "readers" away - ask questions if I can help explain this more. It's late at our house, everyone's asleep - including Tom. I'm not sure I'm thinking clearly.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Grateful Sunday and a Couple of Tags

I am grateful for Primary in our church. I. has a great teacher, and she is really learning so much. I love all the songs they learn, and I love that those are the songs she has going through her head throughout the week. Often times, my children seem to listen better and trust other adults more than me. I'm glad for the teachers who pray for the children. What a great day.

I hardly ever do tags, because I really am a rather boring homebody. My sister called me a chicken, so here goes. Actually, I think I'll do the other one first and then my sister's tag.
Eight Favorite TV Shows
1. Lost
2. Heroes
3. American Idol
4. Project Runway
5. Top Design
6. Martha Stewart Show
7. I think I'm done

Eight Favorite Restaurants
1. Hacienda
2. In-n-Out
3. Cafe Rio
4. Sweet Tomatoes (it's so kid friendly)
5. Rubios
6. 3 Margaritas
7. I don't know any more of this one other

Eight Things That Happened Yesterday
1. My Running Partner and I finally got together!
2. Cleaned 4 toilets
3. Major Thanksgiving Day grocery Shopping
4. Vacuumed and Dusted the entire house
5. Made Thanksgiving Turkeys for Kids
6. 1 load of laundry
7. finished watching some movie about Harry Houdini with Tom
8. Colored my hair

Eight Things to Look Forward to:
1. our backyard
2. Susie and family coming on Wednesday
3. Pie party Wednesday night
4. Thanksgiving Day
5. Shopping on Friday
6. Cute Amy Butler fabric that is going to become stockings
7. Finally painting stripes in the office
8. A full night's sleep

Eight Things on My Wishlist
1. a finished backyard
2. things are actually really good, the things I wish for seem so trivial - like wainscotting in the girl's room.

Eight Things I love About Fall
1. trees
2. sweatshirts in the morning, sunny afternoons
3. anything pumpkin
4. my fall wreath
5. Halloween
6. Thanksgiving
7. fall colors - oranges, yellows and brown
8. school - yeah I made it to 8!!

OK, now for my sister's tag:
1. Where is your favorite place to people watch? the airport
2. Where is the best place to get a soda? hands down - Sonic. love their vanilla diet cokes
3. What's your nickname for your in-laws? I kind of just stand in front of them and start talking. My mother-in-law wants me to call her mow(rhymes with cow) and spelled mau - but I just can't do that.
4. What celebrity do you least resemble? The tall blonde from the Rocky movie - Bridgette Neilson?
5. If you got to watch your husband make out with another man, who would it be? I don't even know how to start thinking about answering that
6. If you had to hit one animal with your car, what would it be? I don't know, but for some strange reason, I am drawn to saying a giraffe.
7. Tell us about the sweatiest day of your life? I think it would be giving birth to G. He took longer than I expected and was bigger than I expected, and I did it natural.
8. What is the worse outfit you've ever worn? extra large Mossimo tshirts in high school, with size 12 jeans - why did my mom think clothes that size fit me?
9. If you had to spend $10 at Home Depot, what would you buy? ooh - so many options. Either cabinet hardware to hang pictures up with, or organizing bins.

so. . . . there you go. I try not to get too personal on this blog, reason being I'm boring. Hopefully you skipped over most of it and we can still be friends.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Santa's Workshop. . .

. . . is what my basement has become. My Futura has been singing, and we've had a lot of fun. Most of the stuff, however, will have to be a secret. . . don't want to ruin the surprise. One of Tom's brother never reads this blog - at least I don't think they do - and if they are just stalkers, serves them right to have the surprise ruined. I'm pretty sure their boys don't read. My kids thought that tool belts would be fun. We bought a box of tools from Target, looked at Daddy's tool belt, and made up how we wanted it to look. They turned out awesome (one of my favorite words of late, if you haven't noticed).

Anyone who can sew a straight line, can sew these. Even G. loves it and he might find one under the tree for him. Wanted to prove how creative - I mean Kreativ, I am.

PS - I only have 2 sets of my Give Thanks pillows left out of 10 from my etsy store (link on the right). I'm lowering the price tonight. Give them a look, I promise I did my very best 4-H Grand Champion sewing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Can't Lie, I'm Pretty Excited . . .

First, we are trying to teach our kids about money and saving. So, we decided to make our family work for a trampoline. They get a quarter if they throw the dirty diaper in the garage garbage can. We're not going to McDonalds or Sonic (the things I'll do for my kids) and putting the money towards the trampoline. I got out a jar for them to put their extra change in. And, I. couldn't wait to put a label on it. This mommy is so proud, not of the money, but of the label!

Second, I won a photobook from BowerPower. I can't wait - my baby's pictures have been seriously neglected and she's already 1!

Third, my first award. I'm speechless!

Isn't she a beaut, all damasky. I love it! I want to laminate it so I can carry it around with me. I don't remember how I found Emily, but I have been a regular reader for awhile now. Don't let the title Imperfect fool you - she's got a beautiful house, great recipes, and great posts.

So, part of the honor of winning this award is to name 6 things I'm thankful for, then to pass the award on to 6 of my favorite blogs. Easy Peasy. I'm thankful for:

  • my Gilbert Blythe looking husband and the sweet children we have,

  • I get to live in Denver and all the awesome things that go with that,

  • our home and that my husband can do pretty much anything to make it look awesome,

  • it's almost Thanksgiving and we will have family visiting us

  • my Singer Futura and all the fun we have together

  • my Sister - she's funny, beautiful, and she gets me even though we are very different.

So, to pass on this blog to my 6 favorites:

19 Butternut - the title alone is cute, but look at all her DIY projects

320 Sycamore- I guess I'm a sucker for cute sounding streets. Seriously, though, decorating your house on a budget - Melissa rocks.

Right at Home - I just found her last week, and fell in love looking at just her header!

Harrington House - notice a trend her - great houses, great style.

The McIllece Spot - she does it all, and seems to have fun doing it.

Joy's Hope - love her signs, love her fabric choices, and love her

So, there you go - I could name about 50 blogs that I love! This is just a sample.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Grateful Sunday

  • Last night, my hubby and I went out on a date - just the 2 of us. We haven't done that in about a year. I ate wheat for the first time in 9 months. It was delicious, but not the "to die for" type of delicious where I couldn't believe I hadn't had it. It was good, but I can totally walk away. We did a little Christmas looking after dinner and walked holding hands. We haven't done that in awhile - we're always holding kids hands, or kids. It was nice. I like him - a lot.

  • Junie B. Jones keeps my 6 year old and I laughing. I love her laughter, it's out of control, loud and crazy and I love it.

  • Light Sabers - my 3 year old spends hours a day fighting the carpet. He's so intense, he works up a sweat!

  • The retaining wall for the patio is done! It seems like a small step, when you look at the entire plan for the backyard, but it's nice to say something is done. This shot is pretty common - M. really wants to go outside, but it is not safe. She ends up just watching from the door and wishing and longing. Next year, babe, next year!

  • I just sent out the invites for our "Pie Party." I hope it will be as fun as I imagine in my head, and I hope my house is ready.

Have a great week - I know we will

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Making It My Own

Who doesn't love a good before and after shot? I'm always poking around my house looking for a project. I found this lamp at Hobby Lobby and loved the price, but didn't like the lamp shade. That's easy to fix, right? I've been reading about all you glue gunners out there and thought I could do it and just use my stash. Unfortunately, I didn't really like the first try. There's so much I didn't like about it. I don't like the hanging thingys, I don't like the ribbon cutting right into the toile. So, I decided to stick to the basics, it's what I like. I got out one of my loves - grosgrain ribbon. I started wrapping and wrapping. There, now I like it - clean, simple, classic! And it looks great in it's little spot.
Second - we have had a table for years, and I have never used it. I don't even know if you call it a table - I think Tom's grandparents had their cocktails and nuts on it? I don't know. Anyways, after staring at that thing for years and reading all your DIYs, I knew that I could use it for something. I forgot to take a before shot, but here it is being primed:Doesn't it have great shape? I spray painted it black, put a piece of foam on the top, stapled fabric around it and made it into a little bench. Don't know why that picture is fuzzy - probably because a child was in my arms trying to grab the camera. So, there you go. This is what I do in my child-ignoring time. As my sister-in-law says, "it's cheaper than therapy."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tis The Season?

Now, I'm a pretty big stickler about NO CHRISTMAS until after Thanksgiving, but now and then something comes along and a girls gotta give. Tip Junkie is having a 12 Days of Junkie. Two winners are announced for the next 12 days! The odds are good.

It's to help promote the women who are selling their products in the Mom-preneur Shop-a-thon. So be sure to head on over to Tip Junkie and enter the contest and check out all the amazing gift-giving possibilities in the shop-a-thon!

Super excited, hope you go see for yourself!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Grateful Sunday

I am grateful for:

  • The election is over. Regardless of who won, and who I voted for, at least my phone has stopped ringing encouraging me to vote. I wonder how effective those phonecalls are - does anyone really change their opinion, or get more information because someone called and told them to?

  • My husband was thoughtful enough as a little boy to save all his Legos for his future children to play with. Years later, we have all his Legos and all of his 4 brother Legos. We play with them every Sunday and they are cool. I. was building an airport today and said "Daddy, your Legos are just so awesome!" I love how they are still called his Legos.

Because, I don't like picture-less posts, I won't leave you with one. Here's one from May that Wendy, of Blue Lily Photography took - love her.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Ultimate Fall Cleaning Challenge - Days 2 and 4

Doesn't adding the "ultimate" to it make it sound even cooler? I hate to give up, so I will finish, but I was up late last night mopping. I love the smell in my laundry room when the sink is filled with Mr. Clean. I left it all night and in the morning my house smelled clean. Anywho - I forgot to take before pictures, but here is my kitchen now:

I really love my kitchen, it is truly the heart of our home. I'm even starting to like (not love) the vinyl floors - for right now. Look in the picture up there, there are already dirty dishes in the sink. That happened in the time it took me to get the camera. Getting it cleaned up even motivated me to get the knobs the builder left us with on Craigslist so I can get ones I actually like.
Day 4 was the bathrooms. Shower curtains washed and dry, check. Grout scrubbed, check. Sinks bleached, check. I even cleaned and disinfected the garbage cans! I think I should get extra credit - I have 3.5 bathrooms to clean, and 2 eager little helpers. We did it, though. Here are my afters:
My master bath, although not decorated, is sparkly clean (hello Laurel).

The kids bathroom.

The toy room bathroom

The powder bath.

Here's another after shot for you - what happens when you clean one room, the mess has to go to another. Oh well, at least she's happy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Heart The Hyper Homemaker

Just when I needed some motivation, The Hyper Homemaker issues a challenge. This one is right up my alley and I was super excited to get cracking. They are already on day 4, but today I did Day 1 and Day 3.
First off, Day 1 - the pantry, cupboards and fridge.

The problem I have with my pantry is that they are so deep. I feel as if I have plenty of room, but I hate digging. I use bins (of course) in my pantry. One is labeled sweets, one is breads, one is lunch supplies, one is opened pastas, and one is spice packets. Here is a before:

Here is a during:Here is an after:You've got to love a sparkly fridge - and just to not freak Candace out - I'm going to Costco as soon as the baby wakes up.

Day 3 - The Medicine Cabinet

I live with a perfectionist - you put an organizer with a perfectionist and this is our medicine cabinet:

Not bad, in my opinion.

We do have a cupboard in our bathroom that holds most stuff, so I decided to tackle that:

Yes, I use labeled bins to store medicine in and yes, that is Airborne sticking out of the children's medicine. Most of the time, I just grab the stuff and deal with the sick child instead of putting the medicine back. It was time to clean. Now, let's hope no one gets sick so I won't have to mess this up.

Ooh - so much room.

Can't wait to see what's up next! Tom will be so proud.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Organizing Pet Peeve

One thing that really bothers me is putting anything folded, be it towels, blankets, pants, whatever, in the closet without its folded side facing out. To make it look nice and pretty and easy to grab - folded side out!
Look how pretty. It seems so easy and obvious, but still somehow it happens. What is the world coming to?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grateful Sunday/Mandatory Halloween Overload of Pictures

Halloween was great - we had great weather. So great, in fact, that M. and I sat outside on our porch to pass out the candy - we didn't want to miss the action. I was told that I didn't have much of a life is this was action, and why lie about it - this was my life. I've been waiting for trick or treating all month! We did everything. We made Mrs. Rossi a pumpkin, which she appropriately ooh and ahhed over and made my daughter feel special:We made Martha Stewarts "Baked Rig-a-bone-y" (except we used gluten free shells, instead of rigatoni, but everyone loved it):

We made about 5 dozen frosted pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for Tom to take to work and I. to take to her school party (biggest temptation for me, but I didn't lick the batter even once - little pat on the back for me):We had "Witch's Brew":And we went trick-or-treating until we dropped. The costumes almost stayed on the whole night, and everyone was happy with them when it was time to put them on.On a side note, G. was playing in the backyard about 10 minutes before dinner, and tripped. His forehead hit a wall block and Tom and I thought for sure we were going to spend Halloween in the emergency room getting stitches. We're still not positive we made the right decision to just slap a band-aid on it and go on with our plans.

All-in-all, it was a night that reminded us how much we love our neighborhood and we love Colorado. Now, family and friends - move out here!

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