-A mostly true journey of a girl, her man and their three kids; all trying to live harmoniously in a house somewhere in Utah. Names and exact locations may be changed in order to protect the grouchy.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What is in that GORGEOUS bag?

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Well, the holidays are in full swing and I don't know about you, but I am already exhausted! November was all kinds of busy and December promises to be even more so. March must be one heck of a romantic, BarryWhite, get-it-on kind of month, because December yields us the largest crop of family and friend birthdays in all the land. Add Christmas and New Year's Eve into the mix, and you've got one heck of a strewn-out party. In fact, the poor husband shares his birthday with our family's famous "New Year's Eve Party". The very last day of the long year. By that time, people are sick of singing, wrapping gifts, smiling, blowing out candles and eating anything that comes on a cracker, platter or a toothpick. Bless his heart, he always gets the short-end of the stick... But enough about him.

Seriously though, I wanted to take a second before the holiday rush and thank everyone who has supported the Artfire Shop this year. I have had the best time designing, sewing, and selling my bags both in the shop and from the home studio. Business was better than I ever imagined and I feel blessed to have worked with so many of you. I'm not sure when I'll get to replenishing the store again, but I did want to share one of my new designs with you. Before going through the trouble of naming, listing and pricing the new bag I said to myself, "It's the holidays, why not give it away?" and then I said, "But, I love this bag, maybe I should keep it."And then I said, "No, someone will love this bag. If they don't want it, they could always give it away as a gift.." And then the husband asked, "Why are you having a conversation with a tote-bag?" Unto which I shook my head in disgust and let him know that it's a handbag, not a tote. Silly man.

So. would you like a free HAND-BAG? I'm giving this one away.



 It is one of my favorite designs so far. I hope you like it as much as I do. If you don't like it, for heaven's sake DO NOT enter the drawing. If you DO like it,  leave a comment below. I want to know 3 things. What two items are in your purse at all times and what is the weirdest thing in your purse right now. Be honest :) If you are leaving a comment as an anonymous person and want to be entered in the contest PLEASE list your real name or e-mail at the end so I know who to contact. You have until 8 o'clock this Friday to enter.  BTW, if you win this little baby, you get to name her design for the store. Yay!!

I'm leaving the 1st comment as an example for the drawing. No, I'm not eligible. Or am I? I'll have to talk it over with myself and get back to you..... :)

Good Luck, Friends :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

White Trash Comment of the day...

"I don't know if I would have opted for the glass-top stove if I knew I couldn't make Jiffy Pop on it.." quote from yours truly, who was devastated at today's finding.....

Happy Happy, blessed Thanksgiving, friends :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Be older, shellybean...

On the grocery list today:
1. Hair Color
2. Prescriptions
3. TUMS
4. Oil Of Olay- Regenerist
5. Sensodine toothpaste
6. IcyHOT heating pads
7. Calcium Chews
8. Control-top ANYTHING..

Sadly absent from list:
1. Any hair product from "Goody"
2. Teen Spirit antiperspirant
3. Laffy Taffy/ Jawbreakers/ Solid Caramels..
4. Spicy Salsa
5. Anything with the words "bikini fit" or "mini".


Proudly missing from list-
1. Depends Undergarments
2. Metamucil
3. Assorted hard candies with loud wrappers.

In due time, people......

Happy Monday, friends :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Soup's On!

Hello, friends!

Let me just take a moment to say another huge thank you to all of you who are enjoying the blog. I love reading your funny and kind comments on here and on Facebook. As I've stated before, I am very blessed to have a good family and great friends....

It is cold out, kids! We're expecting another snowstorm, so for the most part we're living on hot chocolate and soup. I thought this might be a good time to share one of my favorite recipes. Chicken Noodle Soup. I know a lot of you make your own versions, but if you don't,  give this one a try. It's a keeper. As always, exact amounts of ingredients can vary. Feel free to add or take away anything in the recipe- You can rarely go wrong with soup :)


 You'll need-

-A bag of frozen or dry thick noodle pasta. Definitely cook these before you mix to make the soup. They will turn into a nasty mush if you add them raw. I boil them with 1 tsp of parsley.
-3 cans of chicken broth or stock
-2 cups of fresh or frozen diced cooked chicken. I use Schwann frozen diced chicken. It is precooked.
-3 celery stalks, diced
-1 medium onion diced
-2 cups sliced carrots. .
-1 TBS of chopped Garlic
-1tsp Oregano
-1 tsp. Thyme
-1-2 Bay leaves

 In a frying pan with a little broth, reduce onions, celery and garlic.

I use a gallon size baggie to mix the chicken, sage, thyme and oregano.


 Microwave carrots before chopping. It's a lot easier.

 Mix in carrots, chicken and a can of broth into reduced veggies... Simmer until softened. I usually am boiling the noodles at this time. They take about 20-30 minutes to cook...

 Add cooked noodles and remaining broth into that crock-pot...

 Add all of the contents from the frying pan, along with your Bay leaves... Set to low...cook as long as you want. Ours stays on all day until it's gone. I always keep extra broth on hand to add throughout the day.

 Serve with croutons or crackers and salad. Enjoy!! You can freeze the soup and reheat in the microwave....

 Again, we don't always have this kind of time. It's definitely a lazy-day kind of food...


 So you don't doubt my white-trashiness, know that I am NOT above serving this.....

...



....



Don't be jealous of the paper bowls OR my TRIX cereal- prize spoon. I only show you this because I am fresh out of sporks and wet wipes.

Stay full and warm, friends!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Orange you glad to use the restroom while I wash my delicates?

What the? Yeah, I know. But there isn't really any other way to introduce our main-floor bathroom. It is both the go-to bathroom for EVERYONE and the laundry room..

Because you can see it from our entry way, I have to worry about clean toilets AND keeping laundry baskets off the floor. I check for toilet paper rolls AND underclothes hanging out of the laundry chute.

I wanted to update the walls, the mirror, the lighting, and have a place to hide all my laundry junk. I also wanted to try a dark color. I fell in love with a curtain I saw last spring from Target. A trusted girlfriend encouraged me to try and paint the room a color from the curtain....my favorite color was best described as a bright pumpkin. I love dark colors, and only a few rooms in my house get enough sun to pull off such a color. The paint is called "fall leaves" and the Lowe's lady actually had to remind me that the color was not returnable. Oh ye of little faith.....

So here it is. I figured the pictures can tell a better story. I do love it. I realize it's different, but.. again. Whose blog are you reading?

And to answer the question of at least two of my family members...No. I will not be changing the color when winter arrives. I'm not that motivated! ...but now that I think of it, I've ALWAYS loved a nice Icy Blue....


Bathroom before (laundry on left)

After paint with curtains "hiding" laundry
Before...

After... Etagere from Target :)
Old mirror and reflection of my classy laundry!

smaller mirror, reflection of laundry..
Old lighting and mirror. Paint chips were so intimidating!

New lighting (Costco). We're economical (cheap, people)!

Do you like it? Is orange a ridiculous color for a restroom? How about a laundry room?


Happy Friday, friends :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

"You said not to put drinks on the wood...."

Yeah. That would be a quote from the youngest, who in lieu of a coaster, decided to use my iPad.


Again, Not using the coasters. ... That sit on that checkerboard. Inches away...


A few famous "crazy mom" phrases later....and


Whew. We are back on speaking terms. That was close.  Hug your children today, Moms. Just don't do it with your hands around their necks.

Happy Monday, friends. :)


.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

8 a.m. Dental Appointment

Ouch!  The whole family headed off for our 6-month check-ups this morning.

 Then, I spent the rest of the day making these.....


A whole mess of sweets...

chocolate chip cookie-topped muffins....

Cherry frosted cookies


Coconut macaroons and peanut butter kisses..

Lemon snaps..

Carmel mocha brownies

toffee peanut-butter chocolate bars. (I couldn't even take the picture without the husband testing them out first.)

I wish they were for me! A dear friend needed some cookies for a farewell party for her son. Also, my mother-in-law is having her 60th birthday party at our house tomorrow. A bit time-consuming, but I love baking and am glad that I can knock it all out at once. In fact, I'm baking a cake while writing this post.  

Taking pictures and posting about my baking may seem odd to you, but trust me. It's for the best. It keeps me from eating everything in reach.

Let's face it. Unless you are an Oompa Loompa, watching me inhale butterscotch chips, and sampling 3 kinds of cookies, all while testing chocolate cake batter is NOT a sight you or ANYONE needs to see.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, NO CAVITIES. Booyah!

Have a sweet weekend, friends :)



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes....

"I don't think there's a wrong way to put them on, mom! They're NOT socks!"- quote from the youngest, wearing his tighty-whities high and completely backwards. He is the most self-confident person I know. He also has to be, at this moment, the least comfortable.

Because its author doesn't care to make a cameo on "To Catch a Predator",  there will be no photos accompanying this post :)

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside..

Hello, friends! Well, the first measurable snow has fallen today. In fact, it is still falling. I can't really complain because we had a gorgeous Autumn. We also live on a mountain bench. And, it is the second week of November. It was inevitable.



Even though I'm not a fan of the cold, I am really excited to get to start cooking and baking again. While the outdoor-sports people are likely doing backflips today, I am devouring the cookbooks and pantry. While they are getting all kinds of exercise, I'll be putting on that extra-layer of fat. A girl has to stay warm, right? Moderation...I know.

The first things I make in winter are hot drinks.

Our family loves them all. Hot cider, hot chocolate, hot tea, hot double-carmel lattes.. (okay, that last one is mine). You get the idea. One of our favorite cold weather drinks is hot wassail. Our version of wassail is a citrus/apple/spicy concoction.


In case you're feeling chilly, I'd like to give you the "kind-of" recipe. I say, "kind-of" because I never really make it the same way twice. There aren't any true measurements and sometimes I substitute one item for another. Still, the basic concept is the same. Give it a try. Once you taste it, you may not mind the cold, blowing snow outside :)

Winter wassail-
I make mine in a crock-pot on low and let it go all day. If running low, feel free to add to the liquid at anytime.

8 cups apple cider or apple juice
2 cups orange juice
2 apples, cut up into chunks
2 clementines, peeled, divided into parts. I use the parts, not the rind.
3 whole cinnamon sticks, 
1/4 tsp of whole cloves or 1/8 tsp. of ground cloves
1/4 tsp. apple pie spice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Start with the cut up fruit in a bowl. Mix it with all the spices, save for the whole cinnamon sticks.
Put the fruit mixture in the bottom of a crock pot. You can do the mixing directly in the pot. I like to make the biggest mess possible :(




Layer cinnamon sticks on top. Pour the juices over the mixture and cover it up. Set it on low for one to two hours. Like anything made in a crock pot, the longer you can wait, the better it will be. Enjoy!


At any time, I add or substitute this recipe with lemonade, pears, peaches, pumpkin pie spice, or for my Michigan friends, a can or two of Vernors. The carbonation is fantastic. You can top the wassail with your favorite whipped cream and cinnamon. If you don't care to stay warm, (who are you?) you can also top it off with vanilla ice cream.




On days when you can't possibly find the time, but would love something warm to drink, try these. They are very, very good :)

Do you make something similar at your house? Any suggestions on improving the recipe? Let me know!



Keep warm, friends :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another normal day at home....

Crazy Me #34-  I have this insane need to put decorations away the day after (sometimes the night of) any holiday. Don't ask. I have no idea why it must be done, it just HAS to. Valentine cards get put away on the 15th of Feb. to make room for St. Patrick's Day stuff.  The Christmas tree comes down on the 26th to make room for New Year's. It's become a habit (and a family joke) and I have no intention of trying to quit. I'm not sure if it's a Utah thing or a teacher thing, but we are always ready for the next celebration....

God bless you if you are still reading this stuff. On a scale of real-world issues, this doesn't even rank. I get that. But you came here, and you're still reading these words, so there's enough blame to go all the way around, isn't there? :)It makes you feel wonderfully normal, doesn't it? Well,  I proudly have this kind of crazy down to a science. I start in the kitchen, move on to the hallway,  get stuff from the bathroom (don't ask), scan the living room and finally, finish up the front door and porch. By keeping this routine, I am able to grab everything, put it in a plastic box, take it down to the storage and grab the next one. I ask everyone to take one last look before I go down there because once it's down, it's not coming back up until the day after it's previous holiday. :)

As you can guess, On November 1st, the Halloween stuff came down to make room for Thanksgiving. Carved pumpkins got chucked and anything black/orange got packed away right along side the cobwebs. (I'm talking about the ones we put up on purpose.) Turkeys are now up where the skeletons were. Acorns are scattered where tin foil bats use to be. It's as lovely as it's going to get. So imagine my surprise when I go to set the table this afternoon and glance at this. A week later.




Say what? We had meals at this table! How on earth (no pun intended) did I miss this? I practically live in my kitchen and never noticed. I live with four other humans who must have walked by it countless times. I'm losing even more of my mind.

Somewhere deep down, I now have fears of my family waking up on Christmas morning and seeing Easter baskets and American flags instead of a tree. It could happen, people. Sanity is fragile. Keep your eyes on the prize.



Have a fantastic weekend, friends.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our secret family members.....

I often write about my busy husband and our three spirited children. I like to include them in my posts because they are so vital to everything around me and, well, let's be honest. They are the reason I get to have things to write about; both good and bad.

I realized that I haven't quite introduced you to every one. Somehow I've forgotten to mention our sixth and seventh family members.. Uh, I'm not quite sure how to describe them. If I'm allowed to be frank, (of course I am, it's my stinking blog) I'd have to say that we don't get along. At all. I haven't even come face to face with these relatives, but I hear about them every single day.  You might be asking yourself, "How could a mom NOT love someone who lives in her home?" The answer is because those two just don't make it easy.....

On any given day, they:

1. stuff laundry down the chute AFTER I brag that I've finished 5 loads.
2. pump the hand-soap bottle at least 8 times, catching only one of the squirts. This results in puddles of grossness all over the sinks.
3. eat all of something, yet leave the empty box or bag-of-hope for a hungry someone-else to discover.
4. do not flush the toilet. (oh yeah, I'm going there..)
5. don't replace the empty roll of toilet paper. Ever.

You'd think I could calmly speak with them about these issues, but they never listen. I won't allow them to sit with us at dinner or come with us on vacations. Yet, like I said, every day someone mentions them. In fact, family members tattle on them all the time.

So, with a wee bit embarrassment,  I introduce you to our other relatives, "Wasn't-Me" and his twin, "I-Don't-Know". Perhaps you've met. Do they sound familiar?  Maybe they've visited you. I hear they often hang around with those other thugs, "Somebody-Else's-Fault" and "I-Didn't-Know-You-Were- Talking-to-Me". They're nothing but trouble, I tell you...

Don't worry, though. I can usually get those ALL of those monsters out of my house.  I just introduce them to "Uh-Oh-Mom-Is-Crazy-Mad!"..... Oh yeah. Now SHE and I get along just fine.....

Who else lives in your house?

Happy Almost-Friday, friends!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blog Stuff... Talk to me.

As most of you know, I need more than a little bit of help (in the form of an IT guy or a five-year old) when it comes to computers. So I'm going to list a few things that may have come up for you (and me) with this blog. As always, thanks for baring with me as I'm apparently quite-the-slow learner :)

1. If you have been getting an overload of e-mail notifications from this blog, it's because I have it set up so you will be notified every time I post. Apparently, some of you are also getting notified when I EDIT my posts. Unfortunately, if I find a mistake, or remember something else I wanted to say, I edit the post or add something else to it. Some of you are getting 5 notifications on the same post because this author cannot make up her mind/is insecure/is insane/over-thinks things/is too judgmental of herself/..See?

2. Some of you are both "followers" of the blog AND entered your e-mail in the Feedburner box. If so, you may be getting two notifications. I am so sorry. Let me know and I can remove you from one or the other.

3. Some of you may have decided that this is NOT the blog for you and wish I'd just leave you alone. That is understandable. The next time you get a notification, simply go to the bottom of the message and hit "unsubscribe". No offense will be taken. Out loud any way. :)

4. Some signed up to receive the blog, but are not getting notified. Holy Hannah! Who knew? The man says you have to go through the process to become a follower. Hopefully you know what that means. All I know, is that you get a cute little box (with your picture if you'd like)  and I get to feel like I have friends. Kidding...kind of...

5. You may have just happened upon this blog and for the love of all that's good, all you wanted to do was read something funny; not a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I understand that too. You might like to tell me that you got a chuckle out of one of my stories or hated that I didn't use the correct punctuation on something. If that's you, man are you in the wrong place. Anywhoo, the Guestbook box is for you. Find it on the page and tell me that you came by.

6. You might be a stalker from the neighborhood (or nearby area) who simply wanted to stop by and see if I really am as crazy as you've heard. (The answer is a resounding YES.) That's okay too. Sign in the Guestbook and leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

7. ALWAYS feel like you can leave a comment. Old post or new. I love to hear from my readers and know that you are out there somewhere feeling as imperfect as me :)

8. You just wanted to read my blog and want to be left alone. No biggie. That describes me most days. Ignore all of the above.


I'm going to figure this blog out.  Eventually.  In the meantime, I'm hoping most of you are enjoying my posts and will stick around for a bit longer :) Drop me a line and give me some ideas about what you'd like to read about. At the most, I'll give it a try. At the least, it will give me something to make fun of for a day or two.

Have a beautiful day, friends :)  ( I'm off to edit BEFORE I hit publish. Imagine...)
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