Mar 28, 2011

And I'm not even "lucky"...

Oh My Sweet Goodness!
So I was answering my email today expecting nothing but a few facebook updates and etsy inquiries, tralalalala...very absentmindedly....

When the I see the MOTHER OF ALL GOODNESS emails....

"Silhouette winner" from the blog Not Just a Housewife.

Seriously. My heart said, "Nah, just spam"...
No seriously.
I won.

Ok. Back story:
I have been wanting one of these bad boys for over a year. They cost $300 dollars. They are the premo bestest thing out there for die cut machines. I really can't justify EVER spending that on the machine alone. So I just sit and drool. And drool. And when I'm really desperate, I stalk random blogs that are doing giveaways for one and hope that out of about an average of 1500 to 3000 entries, my entry will be picked. (*Shah right!*)
So this week I got darn serious. I entered four different giveaways. It was all I could find online for blogs doing giveaways on this machine at the moment. I stalked the silhouette facebook page to find out who was hosting the giveaways...and entered.

Today I won! I literally screamed, jumped up and ran around the house like a crazy woman pumping my fists in the air squealing like a silly school girl, my voice ten decibals higher. I HAVE NEVER BEEN EXCITED IN ALL MY NATURAL BORN LIFE! *ok, maybe slight exaggeration, but you get the picture*

So what can this little machine do that would make my keyboard wet from slobber everytime I saw it featured? Well, IMHO, cricut has nothing on this bad boy. The cricut machine is really expensive too, but then you have to buy really expensive cartridges on top of it at $50-$60 a pop! And you might not even want all 50 images on the cartridge. With a Silhouette, you can cut out any image you could possibly imagine or design. It hooks up to your computer and has software that comes with it. You can cut out your own image or fonts, or use thousands on the Silhouette website for often only $1 a download. It can cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, and fabric. You can make vinyl wall art, temporary tatoos, t-shirt decals, professional cards on the fly, cupcake papers in cut designer designs, cake boxes, favor boxes, etched glass projects, silhouettes of your family for the wall, elaborate paper frames. Oh my! The list goes on. Plus, it can cut super long designs. If I wanted a wall sized tree art decal for say, the playroom, I could do it. Just sayin.
Here are some things you can do with it found on the website and Silhouette machines: theCREATIVEplace flikr stream.

You SEE now? Yep. Wet keyboard from drool. Maybe sometimes, I am just a teeny bit "lucky."
If you know me, you know I share. Tell me what you want to do and come over and we'll get our craft on.
Come over.
I'll let you know when it arrives.

Mar 27, 2011

Home Date 6: Travel planning.

We are going to Hawaii in three weeks, baby! So the afternoon saw us making a jaunt down to Barnes and Noble Bookstore for travel books. We like to find out ideas and plan a few things before we go and then let the rest fall into place as we feel like it while we are there. These are some of our favorite travel guides: The Lonely Planet and Frommers. Usually both of those travel guides do a good job no matter where you go. After we put the kids to bed, we hit the books and the computer deciding things we might like to do.

So yeah, basically we plan our own trips and travel nerdy like that. All around the world. It's the way we roll. This year it's a bit easier since it's still in the states.

Pish, travel agent. Who needs a travel agent?

Mar 26, 2011

Slice of Life

I heart Faces website's theme this week is "Slice of Life." I thought I would share my favorite "life" photo in an unplanned moment. Tessa was just home from the hospital and we were holding her and marveling at all her little features. My Mom had Tess on her lap and I was hanging over my Mom's shoulder taking a picture when Tessa did this big yawn. The last two weeks had been so stressful (if you know Tessa's story, you know how happy we were to get her home from the NICU) and this was just a completely normal, happy, relaxing moment.

Head over to I Heart Faces for more "Slice of Life" photos.


And here I thought it was supposed to be spring. Oh gee, I'm feeling so glad I got my veggie garden planted last week (you caught that dripping sarcasm, right?). When life gives you hail...make snow cones! The sun came out right after the massive hail and the kids went out and played and dug in the hail. They thought the slush was most fun! That is a puddle several inches deep there. They were a muddy, happy mess.
And then rest of the week it has poured. We have been doing LOTS of fort building. Hunter thought he needed a picture of his fort and took this one. Just in case he has to take it down and can't remember how to exactly put it back.
You know. Just in case.

Mar 25, 2011


While I was drooling over a red dress on, Ainsley points to the dress excitedly and says, "OOO, mommy! That's the dress I want for my wedding!"

I said, "Ainsley, usually the bride wears white."

"But Mommy white is not a color and it's boring. So white is not good. It just won't go."

"So what would you like?'

"Actually, just pink. You know, you can have pink for everything. Birthdays...parties when it's not their birthday...prizes for going potty. You know. You know, usually, this is the thing, wedding dresses are fancy so I think a wedding dress should be pink with blue roses on it."

"Blue, huh?"

"Yep. You could make it. Just get some cardboard and fabric and just sew it up for me. Because I just like blue."

"Oh so tell me about the wedding."

"Well, the boys, they wear black. The girls will all have pink and blue. My shoes will be pink with little bumpy pokes on the back. I will just be all pink! Except I will just have a white thing on my head. I want to marry (insert friend's name) but he'll prolly marry his sister. Hmmph." (said with a scowl).

"You can't marry your brother or sister you know."

At this point Hunter interjects, "Well you know Mommy, Kevin and Cassie did."

At this point I am about ready to howl with laughter. Cassie is my cousin who got married a year or so ago and they live around the corner from her parents (my aunt), so I guess he is figuring Kevin must have grown up there too. I explained Kevin has different parents.

"Oh." I saw his wheels were turning. Clearly this is new news.

The conversation went on in a similarly hilarious vein of thought, but this little dialog is enough to give you a clear picture of how discussions with my children usually end up. Pardon the lack of pictures. I figured the dialog was colorful enough.

She can stand!

So Tessa has figured out how to pull herself up to a standing position this week. Pardon the Mommy brag moment since all little kids for the most part figure this out on their own and many are walking by this stage. I'm going to suspend reality for a moment and act like she is the only one in the world to be this brilliant. I put the legs on her play table so she could pull herself up and bang away on it. Before it was on the ground and she banged away on her belly.
She thinks she is hot stuff.
We encouraged her to think so highly of herself I admit by crowing gleefully at her when she pulls up.
There is only one little problem here. She hasn't yet figured out how to get back down. So she screaches and yells until someone rescues her.

Typical. So so typical. You should have seen how else they were harrassing her while she was standing here. She was delighted with it all. She's so proud of her little big self.
Oh Tessa. You are one funny baby girl.

Mar 20, 2011

First Day of Spring

First off, Happy Birthday to my amazing bro who turned 30 today. Someone should probably tell him it's time to be mature now. Heheh. Just kidding. *kinda* Actually, he and his wife bought their first house this year and are working hard on their careers. I am very proud of them. Happy Birthday, Josh!

The spring season started off with bang this year with two days of solid, pouring rain. We sloshed into church this morning, and sloshed out. In general, I like rain. There is only one reason in my life why it stinks.

My hair.

I decided to give up this morning after braiding it wet and letting it dry in the braid all day yesterday to semi tame it and just let it go. Boho style. This is only half the curl my hair COULD have. Yikes! Hair serum is my bestest friend ever. I sloshed out after church to try and get some photos of my tulips and daffodils in the rain.

I am just hoping that the rain doesn't end up flattening them.

Even my boots got soaked through. There is starting to be not much high ground to go around the puddles. My kids were soaked through after church. Socks, shoes and pants up the the knees! They, however, were loving stomping through every puddle which might just possibly be close to their path and novelty of using their own umbrella.
This is the cute face I saw waiting for me when I was coming back inside from flower pictures.

He was waiting for me to do a project with him. I had been saving this for a day like today when boredom might set in. I bought the kids drawing/tracing books and I copy characters out of the book and let Hunter trace them on my light box. He was having most fun mixing the different parts of the characters up.
Of course, my playroom looks like this as well. I shouldn't be bored. I have ten loads of laundry half folded in my room that I need to finish. I am procrastinating and writing a blog post. Somehow it seems more fun.
Here was my rainy day project from last night. I wanted a bunting for my fireplace. I took some vintage and modern fabrics, and mixed them up to make this. I have been forever grateful I snatched up a 3 piece monogram set for my sizzix machine when they were going out of stock at 75% off. I have used it so much because it even cuts fabric with heat and bond attached!
Enjoy your weekend. What do you do on a rainy day?
Linking up with Blessed Little Nest today.

Princess Party

You'll have to excuse the horrendous photos taken with the little point and shoot. We were in the middle of a princess party and I grabbed the closest camera. My princess did not want to interrupt our castle talk to take pictures.
The boys went to the Monster truck show last Sunday. Ainsley really wanted to go too, though I know she wouldn't have really enjoyed it because of all the noise. However, she didn't want to be left behind. I redeemed the situation by holding a "girl's night princess party" on the fly. Complete with fingernail painting, real makeup, prom dresses, crowns, and real cookies and tea on a real china tea set. We even picked out some of mommy's special jewelry that is always off limits.
The icing on the cake for her was that I dressed up too. We spent an evening pretending to be Belle and Cinderella and talking castles, princes, evil stepsisters, prancing around in high heels (which I always lost because I was Cinderella you know), and other such important things.
She informed me it was the BEST night EVER! You know, it was one of mine too.

Mar 19, 2011


I just feel like I have to pinch her.
Or maybe smoosh her.Or squeeze her.
(Hunter took these pictures on his point and shoot while I was working in the yard in January. I just discovered these when I uploaded a camera card. My yard is bushy and blooming now. Don't you just love little surprises like this?)

Mar 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day was so much fun this year! It was always a fun day growing up because it is my Mom's birthday. The house was always decorated in Shamrocks and we always celebrated the day.

Today I tried to make it special for my own kids. We made green pancakes for breakfast and of course we all wore our green!
Someone got tired though and didn't finish her green beans before a meltdown.We also made a leprechaun trap and put shiny things in it. Wouldn't you know it though, those sneaky guys sprung the trap, and left their footprints and a trail of gold candy all the way to the door. Hunter wasn't sure if they were real or not. He thinks he's got it all figured out though. The footprints look real and they are too small for Tessa's feet, so I couldn't have done them with Tessa to trick them. Therefore, they must be real! You gotta love the side of the fist trick for making footprints.
No one carries this old favorite of mine. I had to Netflick it. It will arrive tomorrow and I am excited to watch it again. I think the kids will love it!

Hunter watched the movie, "The Secret of Roan Inish" today. Another Irish movie. He enjoyed it while Ainsley was sleeping. I remember also liking "Darby O'Gill and the Little People". Do you have any favorite Irish movies?

Mar 17, 2011

Date Night 5: Puzzled

After that super clever Mardi Gras night from Tone, I knew I needed to step it up a notch.

I failed.

I HAD planned to do a whole St. Patrick's Day theme with a treasure hunt and corned beef and potatoes, and, and, and....failure. Turns out, we had only two nights to pick from and neither was ideal. We briefly considered skipping to which I said an adamant "NO!" It was either have a date late after we hosted Bible study at our house, or have it the next day after we got back from sledding in the snow all day. The day in the snow was super duper fun, but I was exhausted, so I'm glad we did it on Monday night after Bible study.
So at any rate, it was pretty low-key since we started around 10pm. I picked a 500 piece puzzle and didn't expect to finish much of it. We like odd puzzles, not pretty puzzles. We like lots of little details. Scenery to us is straight up boring. This puzzle is a puzzle of idioms and sayings portrayed with silly literal illustrations. 182 to be exact and we found them all.
I still wanted to make it fit a St. Patty's day theme, so I made Irish shakes for us. Here is the recipe:
3 oz. of Bailey's
2 oz of Vodka
half carton of vanilla ice cream
generous squirts of chocolate syrup

Just mix it all up in a blender and enjoy a tasty treat. I put a post it on Tone's that said:

We are kinda competitive overachievers over here. We actually finished it. At 1 am. Yep. Sleep? What sleep? We don't quit on stuff.
I guess date nights don't have to be over the top. Just as long as we are making a conscious effort to spend time once a week together, even simple can be good. However, next time it's my turn, I really am going to ramp it up a notch. Tone is super creative and has always gone out of his way to show me in creative ways, so hopefully I can come up with some creative things as well.

Mar 11, 2011

Happy things

First of all, I realize I am posting a blog about happy things when Japan just suffered a devastating Tsunami and earthquake yesterday. This is the post I had planned for today and I am well aware of the contrast between my little happy life here, and the devastation there. Life shows no favorites does it? I have been praying for the people of Japan all day while having a perfectly beautiful day here on my side of the world. So odd to think about.

But without further adieu, here are some pieces of my happy day. We spent a lovely 2 hours at the park this morning with friends and the kids brought their bikes and got a lot of energy out. Then we swung by McDonald's for shamrock shakes. All three of us are addicted to them. When we got home, I printed and hung the little silhouette of Hunter on his bike from yesterday's post. I love it.
My friend Cherish introduced me to this perfectly lovely little vintage thrift shop downtown called Urban Salvage run by the two sweetest ladies. I went yesterday afternoon by myself and came back with some finds. Wait, did you catch that? BY. MY. SELF. Uh huh. Thanks Tone'!

I brought back this Dr. Pepper crate for organizing Hunter's school supplies. They had other crates, but I happen to be slightly majorly addicted to Dr. Pepper. I have been since Jr. High so I don't think it's just a passing phase.
I should mention it was the only one with dividers which work perfectly. Much better, right? I have a slight addiction to old handkerchiefs and you can find them draped or peeking out of almost every surface of my house.
That first shelf was still full of unsightly school whatnots, so I made a quick teatowel of some vintage fabric, added red rick rack binding tape to the bottom and hot glued it to the shelf. Seeing as how this is a $15 Walmart shelf, I didn't feel guilty about it.
Here is the school area on the wall between the living room recliner and the kitchen table. I think it looks much better and is a little more deserving to be on the focus wall of our main living area. Unfortunately, this is the easiest and most convenient place to store the school stuff, so I have to make it work.
This next little find made me supremely happy. I spotted it first thing walking into the store. Yes, that crazy quilt! The colors are so vibrant and to die for! There are just a couple spots that I need to repair but they are minor. I had it in my claws immediately and was looking around hoping no one else had spotted it too to fight me for it. In reality, no one else was in the shop, but you wouldn't have known that the way I practically RAN to it and pounced it up. I couldn't find the price tag, so the dear lady sold it to me for $20! I think it's a full size or small queen. Recliners are nice for getting cozy, but an eyesore for making your house look good so I NEEDED a cute something or other to throw over the back and use on cold winter's nights in front of the TV. Says I. Maybe not the hubby so much, but whatev.
The kids have all been told they CANNOT make forts out of it which is a regular occurrence at our house. Anyhow, while I was taking pretty pictures of my house, this is what the kids were doing. Yikes!
Triple yikes! I don't even want to know how many toy buckets and baskets that is dumped on my rug. They picked it up double time while I made dinner. I'm not above withholding food for a clean living room floor. Guilty as charged.
And yup, it looks just as bad from the other direction. Tessa is just happy to be right in the middle of the fray.
Look at her. What a slimeball she has been lately with her constantly drippy nose and drool. She feels big and important with the big kids though. I can see here in this picture that one of the buckets dumped was the bucket with all the little figurines that kids manage to acquire from who-knows-where. I blame McDonalds mostly. Whatev. Those buckets kept them happy enough for me to grab a good long shower. I call that an accomplishment. Thank you, messy buckets.
I love this spot in my house. It was the coffee table, but since Tessa kept banging her head on it, it's now pushed up against the wall. That just means I can put more stuff on it, right? I am in love with this teal vintage fan, old books, and that tea towel bought on clearance from Anthropologie. That box, by the way, holds all the love letters from Tone and I while we were dating.
I have so many daffodils blooming in my yard right now, it is ridiculous! I cut three and put them on my mantel. Looking at them gives me an instant pick-me-up because yellow is such a cheery color.
Speaking of yellow, I am in love with this little tunic from Forever 21. I wore it with mustard yellow flats today and felt cheery just because I was wearing it. (Ahem, excuse the open drawer and laundry behind me...this is always a work in progress around here).
I have always looked great in yellow, but yellow has not always been an "in" color. I attended a tiny private school in high school and we had to wear uniforms. There were these plaid skirts and polo shirts we had to wear. Anyhow, the polo color options were red, navy blue, white, or yellow. I tried them all and decided I looked best in yellow and wore yellow on the first day of school. I was the only one who decided out of 150 students to wear yellow that day. It actually didn't bother me. I knew I looked as good as one could look in that uniform. See, the yellow addiction started young!

I also wore these earrings today. I bought them for $1 and feel that they may have possibly been the best dollar ever spent. Hello, vibrant yellow? Silver paisley? Be still my heart.
It was a happy day. I hope you have a happy weekend!