Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Calendar...

My kids love doing advent calendars.  They love getting a little treat everyday from December 1 through Christmas.  Usually we do one with little chocolates even though it doesn't always go shall we say smoothly.  One year my middle child tried to open as many as he could before I caught him {smile}.

This year we will once again be doing one with little chocolates.  Except for the youngest who hates all things chocolate.  I wonder if he was switched at birth {just kidding}, actually my other two eat enough to cover his share.  He'll get a swedish fish everyday and I'll be forced to eat the little chocolate {please stop twisting my arm, it still hurts from surgery}.

I picked up this really cool Lego Advent Calendar this year.  All three kids have to share it so we picked numbers who would go first and then wrote their initial on the numbers they would get to open.  It worked out great they'll each get to open 8 days.

This collection will then be added to the rest of their little city they have built on a table in the family room.
 {men at work getting the horses ready}

 {the chopper, I mean who doesn't need a chopper on hand?!}

 {football goal}


 {four wheelers}

 {computer workstation}

 {horse stable}

 {little tools to keep horse stables clean}

I love their little imaginations and I hope they never lose their love to create.

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

they're here...

I love to send Christmas cards.  Last year I don't know what happened, but they never got ordered.   This year I was determined to make it happen.  They arrived the week of Thanksgiving {smile}. 

Usually I like to design my own card {as if I don't have enough to do} but this year I used Shutterfly.  They turned out so nice and were so easy to make.  Now to get them addressed and mailed.

And for those of you who like to watch the holiday classics on tv... Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is on CBS tonight at 8pm est.

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Exhausted.  That word sums up Monday morning after a fun packed holiday weekend.  Maybe it's all the turkey I consumed that is making me so sluggish.  Maybe it's that the kids have off school again today.  Whatever the reason it's going to be slow paced today.

Only thing on the list today is to go see the new Muppets movie.  I think I might be more excited than the kids.  I can remember going to see a Muppet movie when I was a kid and loving it.

And I think Snickerdoodle will continue doing this for the rest of the day...

For anyone doing any cyber Monday shopping, I saw Amazon has Real Simple magazine for $12.00 for a year subscription.  Love that magazine and it has great stuff in it every month.  Check it out!

Happy Monday!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

slow this train down...

This past week has been crazy. 

My baby turned seven {I don't even know where seven years went}. 

It rained five out of seven days.  Snickerdoodle was not digging the rain.  {Neither was I in case anyone was wondering}.

Thanksgiving was celebrated.  Even though I like to be thankful everyday, not just the one day on the calendar.

I slept in this morning.  There is nothing I need to stand in line for.  I think it's wonderful some people {not naming crazy sister} enjoy Black Friday shopping.  But it's just not my thing.

The only thing we shopped for today was our Christmas tree.

Every year we wonder through acres of Christmas trees begging us to take them home.  This year a blue spruce won.  Well actually I won, I picked the tree.  According to my youngest son it wasn't fair.  So I think starting next year from now on one of the kids will pick a tree.  Wait, I didn't mean we'll get three trees as they seemed to understand it.  I meant each year they can take turns.  Now to get it in the house and decorated.

Happy Friday!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

who lives in a pineapple under the sea....

My youngest turned seven last week.  I don't know how he is seven already, he's suppose to be the baby!

The kid had one thing on his birthday list.  Fish.  Okay, I don't know about you but I've never had good luck with fish.  Many of goldfish won at local festivals over the years have made their way back to the sea via the toilet {Please tell me I'm not alone here}.

So we got him a 10 gallon tank a few Spongebob accessories, because who else would live with fish he told us {smile}.  Six fish were added to the little freshwater tank.  It's more than I was asking for.  These little things are work.

And I may not be doing a good job, two fish have returned to the sea already!

This gives me so much more respect for the people at the aquarium {smile}.

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I've always wanted to make my own play-doh.  For some reason I always pictured it as something that would be hard to do.  Turns out I was wrong. 

It's actually pretty easy and you probably have everything you need already.

Here's the recipe I used...

1 Cup Flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
food coloring (where rubber gloves so you don't stain your hands while mixing)

Heat the oil in a pot. Remove from the heat and add food coloring and water. Stir in all other ingredients. Continue to cook over low heat until mixture is firm, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set clay mixture on wax paper to cool.
Store in an airtight container.

Note... I didn't use the food coloring for the batch I made.  We left it white and added glitter until we thought it looked pretty.

We started to make these snowmen with it.  Can't wait to finish them.

Happy Thursday!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

thank you Monday for being over this week...

Monday was kinda a rough day.  

I flooded the kitchen.  Well not exactly the whole kitchen.  You could say the counter actually looked like Niagara Falls.  I hate it when I start to fill a pan with water and forget that I was doing that.

I forgot a load of laundry in the washing machine.  Ughhh.  Not that I had to do a lot, just push the buttons again, but it still was a pain.

Twice I brought mismatching socks down stairs.  I don't think anyone noticed.

Went to the store to pick up a birthday present for my son and got mezmorized with the Command Strips display.  Got home and realized all that was in my bag were the Command Strips and gum, no present.

A man accused me at the park of stealing the starving squirrels food because I was collecting some acorn caps.  I didn't know squirrels ate the caps.  I apologize Mr. Squirrel if I stole your food.

And finally, I caught Snickerdoodle someplace he's not suppose to be.... bed.  It's a good thing he's so adorable!

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas lights...

I've been married for thirteen years and for all thirteen years we've put white lights on the Christmas tree.  Even when we switched over to LED lights to be more "green" they were still white. 

So this year there's going to be a big shake up at our house.  You guessed it, multi colored lights it is.  The weekend before my shoulder surgery I went and picked out new multi colored lights.  My husband thought I was crazy that lights were the only thing I needed to pick up before surgery {smile}.

Can't wait to get the tree.  Bring on the turkey baby,  I'm ready to get this show on the road.

Happy almost over Monday !!

Friday, November 11, 2011

oh Christmas tree...

I can't stop thinking about Christmas trees.  I love them.  I mentioned earlier this week that we put one up because of my {third}shoulder surgery.  I think know it's making me feel better {smile}.  We get a real tree the Friday after Thanksgiving, it's a tradition at our house.  We bundle up and go to a local tree farm and pick out the perfect one.

And every year I do this knowing for the next two weeks my sinuses are going to drive me crazy.  But once I make it over the two week hump I'll  fine.  I love self torture.  I mean I love the smell of fresh trees so I'm willing to use Kleenex for two weeks.

I love looking at how other people decorate their trees.  Lately I've been clicking through all the beautiful Christmas trees and decorations people have posted on Pinterest.  You could get lost for hours on that site.  Here are a couple I love...

I love how chubby this one is...
Pinned Image

I love the snow on this one... { should have thought of this before we got a dog}...

Pinned Image

Love the comfort feel of this one....
Pinned Image

Wow, can you imagine coming down the stairs to this one...

 Pinned Image

And finally, here is our first Christmas tree in our new house back in 2005.  This is one of my favorite pictures of my kids....

Hope this post helps you to get in the holiday spirit.  I know it helps me {smile}.

Happy Friday !!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

take five....

We needed to take a family picture for our Christmas card.  It's not that we haven't had any family shots taken this year, just none I wanted to use on our card {why is it everyone can't look at the camera at the same time?}.  So we gave it a try last night when the kids got home from school.

We weren't going far.  The front yard was going to have to do this year.  Luckily the tree in the front yard has waited to change and drop it's leaves.  So before I took a nap yesterday {surgery medication is still kicking my butt} I told my husband.. "don't rake those leaves we're going to take a picture there when the kids get home."

I woke up a little groggy to the sounds of the boys raking and jumping into the leaves.  My first thought.. I must be dreaming since that's the last thing I said not to do before I layed down.  My second thought... on my word they're really raking up my leaves!!   

I hollered for my husband to get them {sounds terrible I know, lol}.  And when they found out that they weren't allowed to rake the leaves because we were taking a family photo there.. well lets just say they were less than pleased.

Finally after getting a sweater on {which is not the easiest task since I had shoulder surgery Monday} we headed to the front yard, only to discover my camera remote battery was dead.  Rats.  And to make things just a little more difficult this year {as if we needed more difficult at this point} trying to get Snickerdoodle {our mini Goldendoodle} to look at the camera, well let's just say we had many takes.

Take one.. "kids look at the camera not the dog." 
Take two... "why are your eyes closed?!"
Take three.. "puts the leaves down." 
Take four.. "seriously Snickerdoodle, stop watching me as I walk back after setting the timer {lol}." 
Take five... "cheese!!"

Take five it was.  That is the one that made it to the card.  Whew...we're done!!

Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

one project at a time...

This weeks project is one I've wanted to try for a etching.  I found some very cute ideas for teacher gifts on pinterest.  So before I tried gifts I'll be giving away, I thought I could do something for our house.

I made new toothbrush holders for my husband and I, only his says Mike, not Tina {smile}.

Now here's a look at each step it took to make this adorable new cup.

I bought these cute little cups, brought them home and washed them.  They need to be clean before you start.  When you pick out your glass piece to etch, think about what you are using it for.  Knowing what you want to put in it will help you pick out what size glass piece you need.

Next I cut out my name on contact paper using my cricut.  You'll want to keep the negative part of the image {that means pull out the letters you cut out sit them aside for another project}.  Place the contact paper on the glass where you want the etched word{s} to be.  The nice thing about using contact paper is that you can reposition it until you get it exactly where you want it.

I decided to use Armour Etch.  There are many different products out there to use and at $25.00 a bottle I think this is a little expensive.  I waited until I had a 40% coupon and brought the price down to about $15.00.  The great thing is that you'll be about to get a ton of projects out of this bottle.

Safety first.  Always wear rubber gloves and eye protection while using this product.  Follow the directions on the bottle to apply etching cream.  I did this project outside just in case there were fumes.  Another side note ** Make sure you tape off the rest of the glass so the cream doesn't get on any areas you don't want it on.  Once it touches glass it does not come off**

After waiting five minutes, wash according to directions, take contact paper off and tada your very own personalized piece. 

The teachers will all be getting one with their names on it.  We haven't decided if we're going to fill them with pencils, pens or candy.  But any of those will be adorable.

So use your imagination and give it a try.  The project ideas for this are endless.

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

very thankful...

Today I am very thankful that all went well with my third shoulder surgery this year.  Now I'm just hoping that old saying "third times charm" it true {smile}.

So with being out of commission for a couple days, I thought I would show you how big Snickerdoodle is getting.  Originally 4 lbs 12 oz.  Now a whopping 6 lb. 14 oz.

He's so cute, I can hardly stand it!!

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

it's snowing bokeh...

I love bokeh.  Love, love, love it.  I also love Starbucks Peppermint Mocha and wait every year for it's return.  If you have never had one of these give yourself a little treat this holiday season {you deserve it}. 

There happens to be a Starbucks in the Target I shop at.  It's a perfect spot.  I mean it's evil.  I mean I love that it's there.  It's a love-hate relationship {smile}.

The cups they use this time of year are also adorable, which leads me to the my first photo.

Yes, I broke out one of the Christmas trees I display over the holiday season.  But in my defense... I am having my third shoulder surgery this year today and needed to have a few things done.  Plus, Christmas tree lights make me happy.

Anyway, this photo was taken to show you normal light bokeh.  This is one of my favorite things to take pictures of.

Now, check out this cool bokeh.

Look closely.  Ahhhh....snowflake bokeh.  How you ask?  Very easily.  I took a scrap piece of paper, cut out a small snowflake using my cricut.  While taking the picture I just placed the piece of paper directly in front of my lens and started shooting. 

You could also use a shaped paper punch if that's what you have on hand.  And use what shape that makes you happy.  The possibilities are endless.

So get yourself a Peppermint Mocha and start shooting some holiday shaped bokeh.

Happy Monday and have fun!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

under attack...

I still remember it like it was yesterday {actually it was yesterday}.  Snickerdoodle and I headed out for one of our many trips outside {potty training is a lot of work with puppies}.  Thankfully the weather has been fairly nice during they day.

Anyway, as I opened the door and stepped off the porch I noticed two huge Turkey Buzzards sitting on my neighbors {also known as my brother-in-laws} roof.  So I proceeded with caution.  Not even twenty steps off the porch they were off the roof and after us {or so it seemed}.

I don't like to call things bad names, but this thing is just ugly.  There are no other words.  Well a few, I looked on Wiki to see what they had to say about Turkey Buzzards.

Per Wikipedia: The Turkey Vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its meals using its keen vision and sense of smell, flying low enough to detect the gasses produced by the beginnings of the process of decay in dead animals. In flight, it uses thermals to move through the air, flapping its wings infrequently. It roosts in large community groups. Lacking a syrinx—the vocal organ of birds—its only vocalizations are grunts or low hisses. In the U.S, the vulture receives legal protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. {So I guess that means taking him out with a BB gun is out.  Although, looking at him I don't think a BB would have done much damage}.

My first thought was a flashback to the Sandra Bullock movie The Proposal were they tell her not to let the dog Kevin outside or the eagles would get him.  And if you see the movie sure enough it happens.  So I grabbed Snickerdoodle and tried to run.  {Side note, I have a bad shoulder and can't run very well}.

My second thought "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" {Wizard of OZ

I really don't know who's heart was beating faster mine or the dogs ?!

I'm going to go ahead and say mine.  Apparently, Snickerdoodle doesn't seem to taken by the incident.
Never a dull moment I tell you, never dull.

Happy Friday !!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

one project at a time...

Did you ever see the cool chalkboard labels very organized people use to label and identify everything?  I love them.  You see cool ideas all over the web and my thoughts were "I can do that".

So I ordered everything I needed.   And waited for the man who drives the brown truck to drop them off  {I wonder if he likes me as much as I like him?}.  When everything arrived I wasted no time getting started. 

First on the list, Snickerdoodles {our mini goldendoodle} treat jar...

I picked this cute jar up at Target.

I used my Cricut to cut out the label on chalkboard paper.  You could use or cut out any design that you love.

A chalkboard ink pen works great to write on the label.  The fun part about this is that is erases off and you can change it as often as you like. 

The possibilities to use this are endless... bins, drawers, folders, holiday decorations, food containers and on and on and on.  I think this may scare my family {smile}.

Happy Thursday !!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

peak of color...

I can't believe we flipped the calendar over to November yesterday {could someone please tell me me how to slow down time a little}. 

I love this view!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

bombs away....

Turning the knob to open this door leads me to the scariest places in our house.  What's behind door number one you may ask... is what I refer to as Mount Laundry.  This is the pit that all the dirty laundry lands in after it is tossed in from the floor above.

I have to admit, of all the things we did when we built our house, I think this is one of my favorites.  Even though I hate seeing the mound of laundry in this closet {I honestly don't even know how it gets so big so fast} I love that there is no dirty laundry anywhere else in the house. 

We built the closet in the laundry room so it makes it easy to sort, wash, dry and fold all in the same room.  On the down side... we do wish we would have made this room a little bigger since this is also the mudroom, but we could always change it in the future if we wanted to.

Before I end this post, I need to give a huge shout out to the things that actually do most of the work.  Without them the laundry would probably be spewing out the top of the laundry chute.

Thank you washer and dryer I truly do love you.  And you give me about five minutes to let my dirty laundry basket be empty {smile}.

Happy laundry day !!  {p.s. I can't help but think I'm going to open this door one day and see one of my boys sitting in this basket !! }