Monday, February 26, 2007

Fun on the Farm

This weekend Arwyn and I took a little trip to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. They live on a small farm and they had 10 calves, but we only got to see one and it was kind of far away. Arwyn didn't really mind. She was just so very excited to be on the farm and see the cows. She wanted to get in the pasture and run around with them.

It was so fun to take her to a place that I loved as a child. The truly wonderful thing was, it hasn't changed one bit. It seems like so many times when you grow up everything is different than the way you remember it. My aunt and uncle's house is just the same. The only noticeable difference I could detect was the living room furniture. And it's not as if the house is falling down or anything, it was all just so wonderfully the same. Even the upstairs carpet is the same as I remember. I'm not against change, I just find it hard sometimes, especially with things that pertain to getting older. It was almost a relief to drive down that winding country road and see their house and barn sitting off to the side and feel like I was going to a very happy, peaceful place.

My cousin is a year older than me and we were very close when we were growing up. I got the most awesome hand-me-downs from her and would get SO extremely excited when they came for a visit. She usually got me in trouble of one sort or another, but I didn't care. It was fun.

In the summers she would come and stay with our grandma for a week and I would go to their house for a week. These were some of the best weeks of my childhood. I have fantastic memories of the time spent there. My aunt's big, comfy kitchen overflowing with her collection of cookbooks. My uncle telling long, involved and funny stories. My cousins running around, fighting with each other, and just being kids. Rollerskating in their garage. Riding my cousin's awesome purple bike with the banana seat. Climbing on huge, round hay bales. The smell of honeysuckle always in the air.

I hope I get to take my little rock star city girl back for many more visits.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Patchwork Card

Here's a little card/tag that I made for a birthday present for a friend's little girl. I whipped this up while Arwyn was "helping" and it probably only took about 10 minutes. I didn't think it turned out too bad, considering all the help I had and the time limit.

I drew an 'm' freehand on a folded piece of cardstock and cut it out. Then I outlined the 'm' with a marker and cut out little pieces of scrap paper to fill in the inside of the letter. I punched a hole in the top and threaded a ribbon through to attach to the package. Can you tell what we got her? (Cheap see-through wrapping paper) This was easy and fun and also used up some scraps. I will probably make more of these in the future.

We had a really good visit this weekend with some of my family. Pictures soon to come!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


This is Arwyn's house. Those are Arwyn's blocks. Don't even think about touching them, unless you are specifically instructed to do so. And even then you will probably do it wrong and be informed of this great travesty in a very loud and vocal manner. Repeatedly.

Did I mention she's a tad independent? And bossy? And changes her mind every 2.5 seconds? But also sweet and funny and goofy. Yesterday she told me that Big Bird is her cousin. I had no idea that giant yellow talking birds were in the family tree. Who knew?

Tomorrow morning we are traveling a few hours to visit my cousin (hi, cuz and cuz-in-law!) and their new baby boy. Good lookin' out, dawg.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Berry Good

I saw a link to this recipe on another blog (can't remember who right now, sorry) and decided to try them, as raspberries are on the list of alkaline foods I'm supposed to be eating a lot of right now. The raspberries that I bought already had mold (!) on them, so I went digging in the big freezer and found some blackberries harvested from the bushes at Bryan's grandparent's house.

I love to bake, especially with foods that came from someone you know. Being on this "diet" has forced me to curb my enthusiasm quite a bit. I'm supposed to be avoiding refined sugar, which is not an easy task. I love to take something I've baked to someone I love and see their look of delight as they sample it. On Saturday mornings I would much rather make pancakes for everyone than have Bubby run out to get donuts, which he totally doesn't get but he's happy to eat the chocolate chip pancakes. Sometimes it just feels good to feed your family.

I had originally planned to take the cupcakes to a playdate yesterday (excuse to bake!), but then I started imagining four toddlers trying to eat a cupcake with runny cream in the middle and reconsidered my plan. Plan B involved using the icing left over from the Valentine's day cookies. I added a little sanding sugar to the top, just to get as much sugar on there as possible. That, and it looked pretty. Because toddlers care about pretty cupcakes. Well, at least their moms do.

This saucer is part of the set that I picked up thrifting a few weeks ago. If I ever need to serve tea or coffee to 12 people, I can do it. The awesome calender towel is also thrifted, for a song. I once visited a house that had a separate closet off the dining room solely for housing dishes and linens. It was awesome. This is one of my many materialistic dreams.

The cupcakes disappeared quickly at the playdate and the look of bliss on my mother-in-law's face when she ate her mini-loaf somewhat made up for Bubby's lukewarm response to my question, "Aren't they great?!!"


Definitely a five out of five fruits recipe, and even if your husband doesn't appreciate your culinary efforts, someone will.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Creative Endeavors

Inspired by Alicia, I planned to put up some white lights in my kitchen a couple of months ago. I thought since it was the holiday season, I would have no problem finding lights. I was wrong, so very, very wrong. After digging through every end-of-the-season lighting display an idea finally struck: the wedding department at Michael's. And lo and behold, they came through. They were $5 a box, but they were there.

After a false start, I managed to hang two strands of lights without short circuiting anything. They definitely brighten things up on dreary days, but not so much that it gives you a squinty-eyed headache (i.e. a headache from squinting your eyes too much).

I've also been working on one final freezer paper shirt for Arwyn. This did not come out as I had envisioned it, but most things don't.

I think I need some freezer paper tips. How do you super crafty folks keep the paint from seeping under the stencil? And how do you get such intricate details?? My shirts just don't ever seem to come out as well as I think they should. Maybe it's all just part of the creative process. Maybe it looks more authentic that way. Or maybe it looks like crap and I just want to think it looks authentic! There are some people out there making some amazing things and I want to know how it is done. I thought if I made enough of these it would get easier and they would look better, but I am getting impatient. If you ever buy a cheap boy's t-shirt from Wal-Mart for this project, don't freak out if the iron discolors the fabric. It seems to go back to normal after a few minutes.

Did anyone else watch Idol tonight? I thought the majority of the boys were a tad on the sucky side. I was a little let down. Perhaps I get a bit too excited about complete strangers singing on tv ...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Heart Day Goodies

Bubby has outdone himself in the present department over the last year. I was totally surprised when he came home Wednesday night with a bag from Nance Galleries. Inside were these two wonders.

A citrine (my birthstone) ring from India. Every item from Nance comes with a little card that explains the item's origins and meaning. It says, "Citrine is know as a 'success' stone thought to promote success and abundance...It is thought to enhance mental clarity, confidence, happiness and will power."

This little beauty is a Raku Pear Form. "The origin of 'Raku' was founded by Raku Chojiro in the 16th century Japan as the Ceremonial Tea Ware of the Zen Buddhist Masters. It is valued because it is believed that the spirit of the maker is embodied in the form and revealed at the foot, which is traditionally left unglazed." This pear is amazing. The artist is a self-taught potter from Indianapolis.

I also ordered myself a little something from Amy's wonderful site. I love her blog and shop and would like to live inside of it, or maybe just visit on a regular basis.

The packaging was so fun! She puts a lot of thought into the details and the shipping was super fast. Go order somebody you love a fun gift. They will adore it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wind Burn

I was never really into playing in the snow, even when I was a kid. The best part of the whole deal was going back inside and having tomato soup with grilled cheese and hot chocolate. Therefore, I've never really felt the need to play outside when the temperature drops below 40 degrees.

However, lately I've been trying to change my lifestyle and mindset and decided a few minutes outside in the FREEZING cold wouldn't kill us, or probably even maim us temporarily. We lasted about 30 minutes, long enough to make footprints in the snow, "skate" on the ice, kick the ball around a few times and take some rides on the outside toys that work much better when there's no snow on the ground.

After all that exercise we'd worked up an appetite and we had to make some heart cookies for Valentine's day. We bought the sprinkles a week ago and finally got to use them. Arwyn enjoyed the dough just as much as the cookies, just like her mama.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Hearts Day

I managed to get Arwyn's shirts done in time to wear out and about this week for Valentine's Day, although today we are out of shirts. But we haven't gone anywhere except the backyard anyway.

This is the whale shirt, and it did turn out nicely. Arwyn doesn't really seem to see the need to dress appropriately for the weather and doesn't really dig sweatshirts too much. But she will wear the whale sweatshirt with the heart. It's hard to tell in the photo, but the heart is silver. Actually, it is Pearl White, which I discovered when I bought another bottle of Pearl White, thinking I had silver at home. Three trips to Michael's in one week (I have to return the paint!) might be a personal record for me.

Arwyn enjoyed her Valentine's party at story time yesterday a lot. It might have just been the copious amounts of candy consumed, but I like to think it was the camaraderie and togetherness of friends. Right. That and lying on the floor inhaling chocolate by the fistful.

Have a wonderful sweetheart's day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Your Butt Feels Like Pancake Mix*

I hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying that I think we are finally out of the woods. Phew.

Seeing as Arwyn barely touched anything edible for five days, I pretty much fixed her whatever she wanted. One day she wanted pancakes at 10:15 am, so that is what we had.

Then twelve hours later I had the leftovers for a late night snack with some peanut butter and syrup. Mmmmm.

Anytime I had a chance this weekend I was running to a craft store. I made one trip to JoAnn's and two trips to Michael's over the past two days. I am going to be crafting it UP! Let's hope what I've been working on tonight doesn't fall into the Nothing I've Done Today Has Gone Right category. First I was trying to hang up some lights and stapled right through the wire. And I was so proud of myself for loading and using my staple gun all by myself. Then I was printing out some pictures and somehow they all came out about 1 inch tall. THEN I forgot dinner was under the broiler and burned the first batch of sandwiches. Um, no pictures of the black subs.

*The title is a reference to something Bubby's niece once told him when she was about six or seven years old.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Puke in a Bowl

Arwyn caught some sort of 30-hour stomach bug and I spent the better part of the day doing laundry and flinching every time she coughed. She made a miraculous recovery just in time for Daddy to get home from work. Amazing how that works. I'm so glad she's feeling better, it is just very convenient how I get puked on all day, then Daddy arrives and ta-da! She's running laps in the living room. Grumble, grumble.

I did steal a few minutes away from the recliner to finish up her Valentine's shirts. I still have a sweatshirt in the works for her, then I think I might work on something for myself (non-Valentine related). These are long sleeved t-shirts that I bought on clearance and then worked some freezer paper magic.

What I am typing isn't even making sense to me anymore, so I think I should head to bed.

Edited to add: Yeah, um, NOT a 30-hour bug. Last night was some sort of freak brief respite. Still upchucking. Lots of fun at our house.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cinderella Dressed in Yella

A little booklet we picked up at our favorite new antique store. Bubby loves all things Disney (yes, I knew this about him when we got married and I still married him). I'm not sure if that's what drew him to it, but I like it because it is gorgeously illustrated. Our tastes in most things are very different, so when we agree on something, we have to buy it. It's a non-written rule of our marriage.

It reminded me of the jump rope rhyme that we used to sing at recess:

Cinderella dressed in yella (hey, it has to rhyme)
Went upstairs to kiss her fella
Made a mistake and kissed a snake
How many doctors did it take?

Then you keep counting until you miss the rope. That's how many doctors it took to bring Cinderella back to life. But why would Cinderella even need a doctor? Couldn't she just call her Fairy Godmother, wave the magic wand around a little and be good as new? Was Fairy Godmother on vacation or something? And even if she was, hello she's magic! She could just blink herself right back to the castle asap.

Don't you just love the logic of the Cinderella story? She got the Prince because her foot fit in the slipper. Not because she was pretty or smart or skinny or clever. Just because of the size of her foot. So simple, yet so perfect.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Possibly the weirdest pictures I've ever posted on this site.

This is in response to the questions regarding my Six Weird Things post.

Maybe I'm not as weird as I thought I was.

Maybe I should have asked Bubby what makes me weird. New meme: Six Things About You Your Significant Other Thinks Are Weird.


My Valentine hung some recycled blinds for me in the dining room and kitchen. I am no longer blinded by the afternoon sun. Thanks, hon!

The top of the bookshelf, which has turned into my seasonal display of sorts. Lots of candles, some of them recycled from Advent.

The Bubs and I on our honeymoon at Disney World. And some unsuspecting lady taking a picture behind us.

A teeny vintage Valentine. Does not look tiny in this picture, but it measures about 2 3/4" x 2 1/4".

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Six Weird Things

Nino seems to have tagged the whole world for the Six Weird Things meme.

Um, only six?

1. I have multiple To Do lists at all times, including ones in my head that I haven't written down yet. I just might possibly spontaneously combust without my lists.

2. I do this weird (ha!) little clicking thing with my teeth, usually in rhythm with a song in my head. You can't really see it or hear it, so if I didn't blab about it on the World Wide Web no one would even know! Currently playing in my head: Apples and Bananas by Raffi

3. I can flex my fingers so that the third row phalanges point downward and my finger makes a "U" shape. This tends to freak people out, though I've never understood why. Makes a great party trick.

4. I can cross only one eye (see photo).

5. My grandmother and Larry Bird's mother were first cousins. Seriously.

6. I am currently drinking in excess of a gallon of water per day. I am peeing a LOT.

Let me know if you'd like a Six Gross Things list. Tag, you're it!

Not Campbells

I recently made Kerflop's potato soup and I thought it was awesome. Bubby liked it, but will "pick out the potatoes next time" because he doesn't really like potato soup. Who knew? Arwyn, of course, took one bite only when forced. Hey, more for me.

Last week I bought a lot of organic produce. I couldn't get over the color of these potatoes.

Throw in some crusty bread and a salad.

De-lish! I used all organic products except for the cream of chicken soup.

Definitely five out of five fruits. I haven't discussed it much on here, but I have started seeing a natural health consultant and am taking steps to overhaul not only my diet, but essentially my lifestyle. This is not an easy task, but I feel it will benefit our whole family. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

No School!

Today came the day I never thought I'd dread. A snow day. If I've learned anything at all in 31 months of parenting, it's never say never. Our Moms Morning Out program follows the local school system. They were operating on a two hour delay, so we were out of luck. Arwyn was crestfallen when I told her there was no school, until I added that friends were coming over to play. Friends to the rescue!

Does that whopping quarter inch of snow on the ground that doesn't even cover the grass require us all to be stuck at home? I think not. Whoever is in charge of making school cancellation decisions obviously didn't grow up in the kuntry where you learned how to put on snow tires and chains at age 10, throw some firewood in the back of the pickup truck for added leverage and take off to run donuts in an empty parking lot.

A few additional items I picked up at the thrift store on my last trip.