Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quick & Cute Snowman Place Setting

We had chili tonight.  While it was warming up (gotta love a freezer meal) and the Tostitos bag was opening, it hit me that it was the perfect meal to try this out:

Maybe it's because I just came off of the Thanksgiving brain-break, but I went for it.  It took about 5 minutes longer than usual to set the table and the boys were surprised and excited when they saw the snowman place setting. 

I rummaged through our leftover "special" napkins and thankfully, there were two that coordinated.  I guess they wouldn't have cared too much if the hat was orange and the scarf was made with a napkin left from a farm birthday party; but for the matter of this blog... I look much better with this version. ;)

No, my kids don't use a knife or a fork with their chili- but two napkins were pretty helpful. 

Does anyone else have kids that think the napkin is for their drink to sit on?  Drives me crazy.

I'm linked up with Alderberry HillBe Colorful, Between Naps on the Porch, Home Stories A2Z, Nap Time Creations, You're Talking Too Much, and Today's Creative Blog!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

9 Things You Forgot This Thanksgiving Season

All over Facebook I see posts about what my friends are thankful for each day- friends, family, the nineties… Okay, maybe not the nineties, but they should be thankful for that decade.  Hammer Pants, poofy bangs, great sitcoms…  Where would we be this time of year without a reminder about Festivus and the Airing of Grievances?!  

Occasionally, we get a reminder that life is about the little things, right?   Of course, I’m incredibly thankful that I don’t have to look far at all to find a thousand  big things that are truly blessings in my life, but I bet you’ve taken some great little things for granted.  Consider these:

-Kiwi-  A fruit that IS its own bowl?!  Just cut, and scoop.  C’mon.  That’s awesome.
-sweatpants, yoga pants and all elastic waistbands- My pregnancies (and, well, every day) made me gain quite an appreciation for these.

-Ketchup-  I fit in great at the kids’ table.  I’ll declare my love for it in any five-star restaurant without reservation.  (Yeah, I’m thankful for puns… even bad ones.)

-One-Hit-Wonders   You know you like to jam out to these… and it makes your day, too!  Don’t deny it.  I’ve seen you …

-miniature chocolate candy-  I’d rather eat ten miniature Heath bars than one regular sized one.  I don’t know why, but I’m thankful for them.

-words that are fun to say- “Indubitably”  and “anomaly” are two good ones.

-cheap wine that still comes with a cork-  I just feel a bit classier without a screw top when I offer it to friends. 

-Nice pens- My appreciation for a good pen is a bit ridiculous.  It’s the combination of smooth writing, a good weight, no-smear ink, etc.  It just makes for a good day of work.

-Reruns- Reba, The Cosby Show, Friends, Golden Girls, Seinfeld, Fresh Prince--- See why people should appreciate the 90’s more?

Happy Thanksgiving!      

I'm linked up with Alderberry HillBe Colorful, Between Naps on the Porch, Home Stories A2Z, Nap Time Creations, You're Talking Too Much, and Today's Creative Blog!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Necessity: DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee

Do you know what's good on a rainy day?

Do you know what's good on a rainy fall day?
-Pumpkin Spice coffee

Do you know what's good on a rainy fall day when you're waiting out a hurricane?
-Staying safely at home (yay for days off!) and still enjoying a Pumpkin Spice coffee

Yep, some people are running out for water and batteries, I'm home enjoying a great cup of coffee.  Don't worry, Mom, I already stocked up and we're hunkered down- generator's ready and so are we... we hope!  Hurricane Sandy is kind of like a friend in that she bought me a day off of work, but she's also an enemy because she may or may not be trying to destroy my home in the process.

Take your mind off that frienemy, Sandy.  Enjoy a pumpkin spice coffee with me. :)  I'm not sure how Starbucks can charge so much for such an easy cup of coffee. All you need is your regular coffee maker and pumpkin pie spice. Well, you need coffee, too, of course.

Not too long ago, I posted about these muffins:
                                                    Do you have Pumpkin Pie Spice? 

Just tap a dash of the pumpkin pie spice into your coffee filter with the coffee.  Do it before or after adding the coffee- it doesn't matter.  Then, make your coffee however you usually do!  Finally, fill your bathtub up with water and get ready for game-day with the kids...

Stay safe!  Tell me what your favorite hurricane-ready staple is? Or, how you survive frienemies?!   

I'm linked up with Alderberry HillBe Colorful, Between Naps on the Porch, Home Stories A2Z, Nap Time Creations, You're Talking Too Much, and Today's Creative Blog!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Full Fall

This fall is busy for my family and me.  In fact, I haven't had time to do a proper post this week.   So, here's a preview of what's cookin' in the blog part of my brain and what you can check in for soon... I hope.

Let's do a bullet format, shall we?  Of course we shall- it's me.

  •  At home, DIY pumpkin spice coffee (mmm...)
  • How I sometimes successfully fit exercise into my busy schedule- watering (see below), kids' sports, grading papers, etc.
  • A gift for my neighbor with the greenest thumb in town... and the biggest heart-  She's amazing and should charge admission to see her flower beds.  I'm so thankful she's shared so many plants with me this season.  How many?  For starters, 18 hostas.   Yes, I said for starters.  I also said 18.  A gift- yes, I'd be a jerk not to say that.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Not So Tangled Web I Wove: A Halloween Wreath Alternative

Halloween isn't usually an event I decorate for.  Maybe it's because my mom never really did (She was a busy working mom, too.); maybe it's the Southern Baptist influence; maybe it's because my family is always really busy this time of year and what my kids are going to be for Halloween is the chore I focus on. (By focus, I mean "last minute scramble"... I'm no "Mom of the Year" in that department.)  It doesn't matter because this year, I'm excited to show you this:

I've been wanting to do this ever since I saw this one. The bonus part of this- it was easy and cost me around $5! The only reason I didn't do it all in one sitting was because I had to put three coats of purple paint on the $3.25 Goodwill frame that started like this:

The paint was leftover wall paint from a friend's project (Duron's Dignified), so that was another bonus.  It photographs more blue than it is.  It's a great Halloween purple in person... and in this photo.  Weird.  Compare the one at the top of the post to this one.   

Anyway, let's ramble about my lack of photography and lighting knowledge later.  How'd I make it?  I sat in the floor with my frame, $0.89 yarn from Goodwill, Gorilla tape, and my cute Michael's wooden sign with clip-on spider.  Less than 30 minutes later I had it finished!  I think it would've been faster if my family hadn't needed me for something at least twice during the process. 

First, tape double strands of the yarn to the back to make the base of the web.  I'm a fan of symmetry, but I purposely went a little off-kilter with this. Whoa, look how crazy off-kilter I went! Watch out!

Seriously, why is my floor two different colors here?!

Now for the web- I was worried this was going to be complicated, but it was actually really simple. Start with a long piece of yarn and double it.  Tie that in a simple slip knot. around one of the base pieces to get started.

All that was left was weaving the web!  I just wrapped it around each of the base pieces keeping the yarn tight as I went.

When I finished a section, I tied it off with another knot... I have no idea what the official name of this knot is.  I'm sure moms of boy scouts are in disbelief right now. Hang on... ahh, here we go:

At the end, I still wanted the web to have more, so I just faked it and used tape.  

Finally, I taped on the "Happy Halloween" sign and the spider and I ended up with a cute addition to the front door.

Maybe next year I'll go crazy and DIY a costume for my kids... Better yet, maybe they'll DIY their own!  Any good DIY Halloween costumes I should know about? 

I'm linked up with Alderberry Hill, Keeping it SimpleBe Colorful, Between Naps on the Porch, Home Stories A2Z, Nap Time Creations, You're Talking Too Much, and Today's Creative Blog!


Monday, October 1, 2012

No Measure Pumpkin Muffins

Sometimes things are so easy, I feel like I'm cheating.  Case in point: the muffins I made this weekend:

Yes, I made more than three. These are just all that were left after breakfast.

Seriously, this is all I used:  Please excuse the glare from the box. ;)

Have your eyes recovered?  Okay, let's keep going. Honestly, don't add any of the usual suspects.  Leave the eggs and oil alone today!

I woke up Saturday morning wanting some muffins, but I didn't have any muffin mix.  Nor did I have a carrot cake or spice cake mix that I usually use with the canned pumpkin. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check the bottom of the post.  Your life is about to get easier.  I had yellow cake mix, and being that I'm a big fan of "just use what you have," I did. 

1. Stir the dry cake mix with the can of pumpkin until it's blended.
2. Add a bit of the pumpkin pie spice.  (If I had to guess, I'd say I used about a teaspoon.)
3. Bake according to the cake mix's directions. (~20 minutes)
4. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and add icing if you'd like!

I almost always have a can of pumpkin or two in the pantry.  Usually, I have a spice cake mix or a carrot cake mix, too.  Throw the pumpkin together with either of the mixes and you've got a quick muffin or cupcake!  Is icing the only difference?!  I've even tried mixing the pumpkin with a Devil's Food mix when I made cupcakes for my sons' classes.  No one was the wiser- not even picky preschoolers.

I need more easy-feels-like-I'm-cheating-tricks like this.  :)

I'm linked up with Alderberry Hill, Keeping it SimpleBe Colorful, Between Naps on the Porch, Home Stories A2Z, Nap Time Creations, You're Talking Too Much, and Today's Creative Blog!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dream Big, But Not Too Big: Kids vs. Parents Tree House Ideas

You know how you encourage your kids to dream big and reach for the stars?  Be careful with that.

Here are my sons’ ideas for a back yard tree house:

or like this

 Here’s what my husband was planning: