Monday, November 30, 2009

Dare to DIY - Orange Dream Cookies

If you're interested in the eMompreneurs giveaway . . . scroll down!

We are a cookie family. Most nights, Tom has just one cookie after the day is done. That is how much discipline he has - he just eats one, with a glass of milk, over the kitchen sink so he doesn't get any crumbs on the floor. Me, on the other hand, can eat five or six in one sitting for breakfast! I have no control when there is a good cookie on the hand. I've tried sending them to work with Tom, but he doesn't want to eat them in the middle of the day. I've tried giving them to piano students and neighbors. Christmas time is hard - so . . . I'll spend extra time with my treadmill and we'll make it through this season.

Kim, at Newlywoodwards, is having a Dare to DIY Blog party and this is not the week miss! It's an bloggy cookie swap!

We have so many cookies that we love; it's hard to narrow it down. But, if I must, this is a favorite and always goes quickly. I've passed on the recipe so many times, I've lost count.

Orange Dream Cookies

1 c. butter softened
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. grated orange rind
2 t. orange extract
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 c. white chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugars, eggs, extract and orange rind together. Combine flour, soda, and salt and then slowly add into mixing bowl with other ingredients. Mix in the chocolate chips at the end with a wooden spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Giveaway: eMompreneurs

Now this is a cool giveaway. eMompreneurs contacted me about their business and I just think it is awesome. Ashley Radar and Ashley Combe have started two successful businesses, all while staying at home and raising their children. They have strategies that will help others to make their businesses take off. They started a business, eMompreneurs, which is designed to be a training and networking resource for moms who own, or want to own, their own online businesses. Between the 2 of them, they have launched 5 successful e-businesses and their hope with this site is to coach and bring together other Mompreneurs and teach them that it's possible to be online business owners AND fantastic moms. How cool are they? I probably know at least, well I'm not going to take the time to count, but many many moms who are trying to do just that. And I bet you do too.

So . . . eMompreneurs is offering ONE FREE MONTH MEMBERSHIP to their site and a 25% off the first month of membership coupon for everyone (use the coupon code 4F7E74408C). Try them out.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment describing what your dream work from home job would be (or if you have an existing business, where do you want to see it grow in the next year). I'll draw the winner on Saturday, December 5th. Of course, all followers will automatically be entered. So, if you follow AND leave a comment - that's 2 entries.

Good luck.

Grateful Sunday

I had a wonderful, satisfying week - and spent plenty of time thinking of all that I am grateful for. This could possibly be a very long post, but I think I'll keep that which is most sacred to me private. I am very blessed and extremely grateful - and that is all I'm going to say.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dare to DIY - white pumpkins

This week at Kim's Dare to DIY, we're talking Dare to Entertain.

We are hosting our annual Pie Party this week with as many friends as our house can hold. Most of these friends are children. So. . . there's NO WAY my china and goblets were coming out before the party.

This is my table though. I'm not sure I even want to use the word tablescape for it - that sounds too fancy. I put white pumpkins (or do we say funkins) on a white runner. A couple are raised on pedestals. Next, I use the wheat bundles on both sides.

So simple, so understated, so neutral - so me!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

PS - Don't forget to check out Kim's for some more DARING posts!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Last Minute Thanksgiving Idea

I'm reposting this from last year - we just made our turkeys last night! You still have a couple of days to get yours done.
Last night, we made our Thankful Turkeys - and idea we got from a Family Fun magazine years ago. We've been making them for the past four years, my kids love making them and who doesn't love a big soft yummy cookie?

We use our favorite cookie recipe (ours is an oatmeal chocolate chip), and make them big - we use 1/4 c. per cookie. The we wrap them, sketch a turkey head and feathers. We write "I'm thankful you're my teacher." My kids can do most of this by themselves, at least I. can. We tape everything on and we give them to all teachers - we give them to nursery teachers, primary teachers, classroom teachers and even the dance group teachers (act surprised, Mel).

Just a little way to show our teachers that we notice them and appreciate them.

Grateful Sunday

I am grateful for:
  • good musical numbers at church that I can enjoy
  • family fun last night!
  • Mel
  • I get to see my mom and dad in a few days
  • M's sweet voice as she sings some crazy song

Have a great week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Frameless Mirrors

Just a little something I found for the girls' room and after living with it for a couple of days, I really love it.

The mirrors were less than $6 each. The ribbon was free. I used what I had - but I'd love the change it out. How great could this look with different ribbon?! Also - how cute would it be if it was hung from cute knobs (like this idea?) Darling cute glass knobs.

There is so much you could do - but the point is that it is frugal. For less than $20, it's a big impact on the entrance of this room, even without all the things you could do.

Linking to Wendy's Frugal Friday and Jane's Frugalicious Friday.
Happy Friday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our Next Project

All the backyard work is done for the year . . . so time for some Honey Do's inside.

While I still whittle away at our Master Bedroom - can you tell what planning has begun for?

SO excited!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dare to DIY - Thanksgiving Apron

Are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner? I sure am. Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite time to cook. I think it is because you get one week to cook it, and every takes the kiddos away to let you just be in the kitchen.

So . . . I dared to sew an apron to wear while I cook. Does that count?

Actually, I sewed a couple so my helpers could look like they belong.

I was excited to have a reason to use Moda's Gobble Gobble line and a cute orange velvet ric-rac.

I used the BHG apron pattern that Kim talked about. It's a free pattern, gotta love that.

Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself, while sucking in your tummy, and trying to get good lighting? Hard - that's why there's only one, and it's at the bottom.

For more of me feeling the Thansgiving spirit, I have Thanksgiving quilts here, and my PB knock-off Thanksgiving advent calendar here.
Check out NewlyWoodwards for more Daring to be Thankful girls.
Also linking this up to Kimbas. and Today's Creative Blog.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grateful Sunday

I'm grateful for:
I was featured at Apartment Therapy - totally cool! Find it here

freshly mopped kitchen floor

vacuum lines in the carpet

clean smelling air


brand new socks

most of all- my eternal family (oldie but goodie picture).

Have a great week.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanksgiving Quilts Finished . . . and a winner

Thank you to all who entered my fun little giveaway! I'm real technical here and asked my hubby to pick a number between 1 and 273 (number of followers+number of comments). He said 266

Which is . . Kathryn at 902 Woodrow. Kathryn has a brand new blog. Congrats - email me your address and I'll get these in the mail this weekend.

I finished my Thanksgiving quilts this week - even the binding. Record time for me.

I'm going to stash them in this basket, instead of on their beds. They can use them to cuddle while they watch TV or are downstairs.

Someday, I'll just made one quilt and spend some time making it really nice. But until then . . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Anatomy of a Command Center

Linking up to TDC's

If you are visiting for the first time, check out my other organizing posts here.

I'm a big believer that every home needs a command center. A landing zone, grand central station . . . call it what you will, but I bet you have it whether you know it or not. Now, it would function a whole lot better if it was organized, so let's get crackin'.

Here's my command center - nothing fancy, but totally functioning. It's in my kitchen - all command centers should be easily accessible. I'm lucky enough to have this, but it would work in an office, on a wall by the garage door, at a console table. Anywhere that is easy to get to.

Every command center should include:

  • Calendar

  • Message Board

  • Place to throw your keys

  • An out-box

  • A place for everyone to put their papers.

Let's dissect, shall we?

This is my calendar purchased from here. I've used it for a couple of years and it works well for me. My kids are pretty little and I still control 90% of their calendar needs, so no need to have a big one where everyone can add to it. As they get older, I'll probably do that. Usually on Sundays, Mr. Engineer and I sit down and calendar for the week.

I use a 5x7" spiral notebook as my message board. Remember, my kids are little and aren't really writing or reading messages - so this works for us. I've seen chalkboards, whiteboards . . . tons of different types of message boards.

We throw our keys here - and have for years. In our old home, we also threw our keys in this little box. We keep it in a cubby above the desk.

Next to our keys, is this cubby - our out box. We put out-going mail, videos to return, and such.

I have a file drawer that holds files for everyone. In it there is a file for each person, bills to pay, and store coupons. Those files pretty much take care of all the paper work in our home. At least once a week, we go through them and clean them out (Obviously, I haven't done it this week, yet).

If you don't have a file drawer, you can use a box. You can use clipboards, baskets, in/out boxes . . just so you have a place to put people's papers. You know they are going to have them!

I also have a cubby for homework in our command center. Both I. and G.'s homework comes in a folder, which we just throw in this cubby.

So . . . let's say I. gets home from school. She empties her backpack and throws it on the desk. Of course, ideally she wouldn't do that - but she does. I grab her homework and put it in the cubby. If there are any papers I think are worthy enough to actually save, I shove it in her file. Any papers that have a date on it get set on my calendar until I can get to it.

Let say . . . I get home from getting the mail. I throw away all the ads and credit card stuff before I even get in the house. One quick sort and put mail in the files. It takes one minute and the piles are gone.

Let's say . . .Tom is looking for keys . . . easy to grab them.

This is what works in our home, it is very simple but gets rid of the dump that comes when people come home. I don't need things perfect - just functioning. The papers aren't filed perfectly, the keys are just thrown in the box. The thing is, though, everything has a place.

This is what it usually looks like during the day:

When I clean the kitchen at night, the desk also gets a quick clean.

This works for us, do you have something similar?
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