Saturday, January 31, 2009

Easy Valentine's Day Wreath

I found this super cute Valentine's wreath on Little Birdie Secrets and decided we needed to make it. I noticed we do not have anything for Valentines up in the house so i decided a wreath was in order. I got to use all my new sewing tools and they made it even easier to cut a number of 2 inch squares of fabric.
It's amazing how easy it is to cut a perfect square when you have all the correct tools! You don't have to be so exact when you make your squares I just wanted to use my new tools.

I thought it would be a fun project to make with the kids but Sissy gave out after about 5 squares and Bubby just wanted to play in the glue. I on the other hand wanted to see this project completed.

You take the squares and wrap them around a pencil and then dip the fabric covered square in glue. Press the pencil tip into the Styrofoam heart. The glue should keep the fabric in the hole.The wreath should look nice and full like this. Attach a ribbon to the back and hang on door.

Friday, January 30, 2009

You know you're a grown-up when....

....having both cereal and fresh milk on hand is no longer the Herculean feat of timing it used to be. realize that your gyno, your dentist, and your congresswoman are all roughly the same age as you are.

.....the concept of owning two expensive sweaters instead of six cheap ones finally makes sense.

.....someone doing a phone survey asks to speak with the head of the household and you don't pause for a minute before you realize that's you. can go out for a nice dinner by yourself without feeling the overwhelming need to hide behind a paperback at the table.

.....having a drama queen in your life is a whol lot less enteraining than it used to be (excluding any contestants on The Bachelor, of course).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cream of Broccoli Soup

You might not know this about me but I really do not like veggies and have to force myself to eat them. I am especially not a fan of broccoli but I do like broccoli soup. I'm also not a fan of tomatoes either but I probably eat salsa everyday...go figure.

Anyway...I found this recipe for Cream of Broccoli Soup in an old edition of Taste of Home and I love it! It was so rich and creamy.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

2 cups water

4 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules

2 packages (10oz each) frozen chopped broccoli

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

2 cups evaporated milk

2 cups (16oz) sour cream

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large saucepan, combine the water and bouillon. Add broccoli and onion. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Combine soup, milk, sour cream, parsley and pepper; add to broccoli mixture. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tangled Cable Scarf

Remember when I showed you a picture of this? This is the Tangled Cable Scarf from Vogue Knitting Winter that I will NEVER make again. It is the most ridiculous scarf pattern EVER! But isn't it pretty? (Come on people! I need affirmation here!)It is a Christmas present (a little late) for my dear friend Meagan (this isn't her....but looks JUST like her). Our deal is we either make each other a gift or only buy a small item. The problem is we tend to try and top last year's handmade Christmas gift. Next year she'll have to get a lung from me cause I gave two arms and wrist for this gift. You know me...I always do things a little different than the pattern calls for. I used Patons Shetland Chunky yarn instead of the cashmere (sorry Meagan!) and a size 10 1/2 circular needle. I didn't use a stitch marker (much to Alohaknitter's dismay) or a cable needle. Who knows if the gauge is correct or not cause I never check gauge I just pray it turns out ok. I got a lecture from Alohaknitter on this the other day too. It wasn't pretty!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Year of my Grandfather


In the year of change think of how much has changed in the last 100 years. What a difference a century makes!

Here are some statistics for the Year 1908

  • The average life expectancy was 47 years.
  • Only 14% of the homes had a bathtub.
  • Only 8% of the homes had a telephone.
  • There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
  • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
  • The average wage in 1908 was 22 cents per hour. (that's about what I make an hour)
  • The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .
  • A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
  • More than 95% of all births took place at HOME .
  • 90% of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
  • Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and the government as 'substandard. '
  • Sugar cost four cents a pound.
  • Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
  • Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
  • Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason. (Guess we would have never seen Canada)
  • Five leading causes of death were: Pneumonia and influenza, Tuberculosis, Diarrhea, Heart disease, and Stroke.
  • The American flag had 45 stars.
  • The population of Las Vegas , Nevada, was only 30.
  • Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet. (NO ICE TEA!?)
  • There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
  • Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
  • Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school.
  • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health'
    ( gives buoyancy to the mind.....hmmmmm)
  • 18% of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help. (I think we really should go back to this....I little domestic help would be wonderful!)
  • There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE USA.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Things that make me happy

My new shoes from EB do make me happy but I have to tell you how happy my Ipod makes me. I know I know....I'm the last person in the world to have one.

I always thought I didn't really need one cause I have CD's and a CD player so what's the point. But I have tell ya...I LOVE that all my music is in one place now. I love that I can just scroll through and pick a song to match my mood. I also love that I can go to the gym and if none of my friends are there to talk to then I can work out in my own little world. Again...I know I'm the last person to discover all this..haha!

I'm also a HUGE fan of my DVR and I recommend it to everyone! Almost everyone I know has one now but if you don't it's a must!With two kids in the house it's almost impossible to watch tv when they are around. I also do not like to be tied down to watching a show at a particular time. I don't want to have to worry about setting the VCR to record my shows and I also hate watching commericals and love that I can zip right through them or pause the show at any time.

I don't watch a lot of tv.....but when I do find time to sit down I know there are going to be a couple of my favorites...What Not To Wear, Ellen and Oprah episodes waiting for me. I also have a stock pile of kid's shows on there at all times. Such a time saver to be able to watch an hour show in 25 minutes.

Isn't technology wonderful!?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In need of some spring

I just bought these fabulous new ballet shoes from Eddie Bauer and I can't wait for the snow to go away so I can wear them everywhere!They are super shiny berry colored and just too cute for words! I wore them to church Sunday and my feet where cold but they sure looked cute. I think I'll just wear them around the house for now...haha!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Love it!

I love that she stays up late reading Little House on the Prairie just like I did.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Homemaking ABC's

I got this idea from Farm Fresh and thought I would carry it on.

1. Aprons – Y/N? If Y, what does your favorite look like? I LOVE aprons! I think they are just too cute! I have all of mine hung up in the kitchen and I do wear a couple of them all the time.
Some are the kid’s. Bubby even has his own John Deere apron.

2. Baking – Favorite thing to bake: Cookies! I really don’t even eat them all that much I just like the process of making them and eating the cookie dough. Once they are baked I don’t care anymore.

3. Clothesline – Y/N? I love a clothesline! Mine is one of the smaller ones because our backyard is so small. Someday I hope to move up to a full sized one.
I have a drying rack in the basement next to the wood stove and Hubby just built me a permanent place to hang the clothes.

4. Donuts – Have you ever made them? Yes! So yummy!

5. Every day – homemaking things you do EVERY day: make food, run the dishwasher, pick-up, wipe off the counters and keep the fire going.

6. Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze? Yes and it’s HUGE! It’s full of deer, fruit and freezer jam.

7. Garbage Disposal – Y/N? Absolutely. When I go home to my parents I can’t hardly cope without a disposal.
8. Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource? There are resources out there?? The Internet maybe?? I have now clue. This might explain why I’m not that great of a housewife.

9. Ironing – Love it or hate it? I used to enjoy it I guess. I iron so few things now that I can’t even tell you the last time I ironed something.
10. Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it? No junk drawer. I used to have one in our first house and then we were moving every year or two and it just seemed a waste of time. I now put it where it belongs instead of all piled in the drawer.

11. Kitchen – Color and decorating scheme: I like a lot of vintage kitchen items. I have a lot of red, yellow and green.
My antique pickle jar full of cookie cutters. I love cookie cutters! Old and new. I love this little guy. In person the banana really does look very real.
12. Love – What is your favorite part of homemaking? Making someplace inviting for family and friends to visit.

13. Mop – Y/N? when always with a rag and on my hands and knees. Mom said it never was clean unless you got down there and did it by hand.
14. Nylons – Wash by hand or in the wash in the dryer? Nylons??? You mean like pantyhose? Haven’t owned any since I quit my job.

15. Oven – Do you use the window or open the oven to check? I have a window but I always open it. Why is that?

16.Pizza – What do you put on yours? Pepperoni and green olives.
17.Quiet – What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Knit, blog, read

18.Recipe card box – Y/N? What does it look like? I have a recipe cabinet. It’s a mess isn't’ it? I need to get that organized into a binder but I never find the time. The empty spaces usually have crock pots sitting in them but I have both of them cooking away right now.
19. Style of house – What style is your house? 1970’s ranch

20. Tablecloths and napkins – Y/N? I love tablecloths almost as much as aprons. I haven’t had one on the table for awhile now cause I always had baby’s pulling on it. Maybe I should get those back out….
21. Under the kitchen sink – Organized or toxic wasteland? Not really that much under there. Couple bottles of stuff and the trash bags.
22. Vacuum – How many times per week? Once a week if I’m lucky. I know…that sounds horrible but I don't care...I have things to knit, blog and read!
23. Wash – How many loads of laundry do you do per week? At least 15. I try and do it all in one day. Wash, dry, fold and put away.

24. X’s – Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off? No

25.Yard – Y/N? Who does what? Hubby does the yard and the garden. I gather the food from the garden. I have some flowers but not near what I used to before children.
26.Zzz’s – What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Pick up and clean up the kitchen. I hate having a messy kitchen waiting for me.

Baby it's cold outside

But it's nice and toasty warm inside! Thank God for our wood burning stove Hubby installed in the basement. It's raised the temperature in the house 10 degrees and Molly is just loving sleeping by the stove pipe. She doesn't move from that spot much anymore. The drywall is up around the pipe but he hasn't had time to finish it yet.

I'm loving the extra (FREE) heat in the house and I'm also loving the gas bill being so low. We are saving over $100 a month just on gas alone!! Think of what I can buy at Eddie Bauer now!!...I mean think of what I can put in the savings account.

Monday, January 19, 2009

There's a Wocket in my Pocket!

Hubby was reading Dr. Seuss to Bubby the other night and he got out of bed to check if
there really was a VUG under the RUG.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Soup Weather's definitely soup weather around here. I can't even begin to describe to you just HOW cold it is. Those numbers don't even do it justice.Notice how next week it's supposed to be in the 30's? Looking forward to the warmth!

This week has definitely been nothing but soup weather. First, I made Hamburger Soup but without the hamburger. I had chicken on hand and decided it might work as chicken veggie stew. Learned my should never tamper with perfection. It was alright and we ate it but I'm not going to make it again.
Second recipe this week was a winner! Herbed Potato Soup from Allrecipes. Which I have to tell you is the best site for finding recipes. You can look up a recipe and then you can see what 450 different people thought of the recipe and whether it needs extra flour or sugar. Without wasting ingredients you can look at the comments and decide if 'Grandma's Best Cookies' REALLY are the best. It's great!

Anyway...back to the Herbed Potato Soup....super yummy and super easy to make. I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Enough Said

A little poem to enjoy......
by Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre
Damn It's Cold
The End

Yup...that pretty much sums it up.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thank You Cards

I'm HUGE on thank you cards. Someone does something nice for you or gives you something I personally think a thank you card is in order. It doesn't have to be something fancy. Just a simple card that says 'thank you for thinking of me'.

Since the kids are still too little to write out their thank you cards I came up with an easy way for them to say thank you and for me to just click, type, save, and print.

I take their picture while they are holding a plain white poster board. Bubby did really good this year. Usually it takes me about 15 shots to get something half way decent. This year it only took 2!Notice my new red vintage kitchen stool the kids are sitting on. Christmas present and I'm LOVING IT!After I take their picture I load them into my Storybook Creator 2 program from Creative Memories. I have used Publisher and Word in the past but I have found this program to be super easy for me. Storybook Creator 2 lets me create each picture as a card and save them individually. You can use whatever program you have on hand as long as it lets you type in a text box over your picture. I put a text box over the white part of the poster board and type in the thank you message. Then I save each picture as a jpg and have it printed just like a regular picture. I used to print the picture on cardstock and mount them to more card stock and make an actual card but my time is more and more limited now so the easier the better. Next year I guess Sissy will be able to make her own and I'll have to come up with something else.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My View

The view from my front doesn't change that much this time of year.

Down the slick steps to the mailbox.

Hey Alohaknitter! Don't ya wish you were here? Look what you're missing.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Feeling Inferior

How to make your friends feel inferior 101: You just whip up an apron like this and then send the picture to all your friends.
My friend Meagan just whipped this little apron up for her friend's little girl last night. Can you find anything any cuter?? (Maybe I won't post pics of my little make-up bags I made after all.)

Sugar 'n Spice and Everything Nice

I made 5 pies last night. Two for us and 3 for other friends who have helped us out or who are going through busy times right now.

After cutting all the edges off I had a ton of pie dough left over. Sissy and I rolled it out and layered it with butter, cinnamon and sugar.

I then baked it for about 20 minutes. It was yummy and Sissy thought she was really baking a pie.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Right now

Right now.....
  • the kids are napping...Sissy is sick. Nothing serious but I kept her home from school.
  • I have a headache cause I need a Coke. I hate being addicted to caffeine. I HAVE got to get off this stuff!

  • Only one more load of laundry needs folded and put away.

  • Bread is baking for supper.

  • It's snowing...again.

  • I have a million projects flipping around in my head but there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. I received all these cool sewing gadgets for Christmas and haven't even been able to open them yet. I'm thinking if I use these items my tote bags I have been making might actually be square. I received this WONDERFUL yarn from the lovely AlohaKnitter some months ago and have yet to cast it on some needles. Speaking of needles.....

    ....I am still working on this project and I am LOVING my new circular needles. How did I knit without them?

I want to knit these gloves....they look like so much fun! And for some reason I'm thinking of tackling this sweater for myself. The Alohaknitter seems to think we need this sweater. Well, since I have yet to knit ONE thing for myself in the last 2 years I think I might give this a try. We'll see....
Man do I have a headache! ARG!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Have a Banana

My mom sent this to me and I thought it was very interesting. We eat a lot of bananas around here so I guess it's a good thing. After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.
Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.
But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, 'A banana a day keeps the doctor away!'

Going to go and eat a banana now...just in case I have any of these issues.