Friday, August 6, 2010

Abandonment

I wish I was perfect, and organized and perfect.

But I go through overwhelmed stages where cleaning the toilet makes it to the bottom of my list (ewwww gross I know)

Working and raising kids can obviously take over and leave nothing for the things I love and crave like creating, blogging and even baking.

Sorry for the prolonged absence. I'm sure I've set a record for absence apologies. They are all sincere I swear.

My hope (but not my promise) is that I can keep this up more and really give it a committed go.
Because I love to share and if anything it's theraputic.

See you soon.

xoxoxoxo
Chris

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

All Grown Up


I remember when I was a kid, hearing parents say "they grow so fast". I didn't quite understand until I had munchkins of my own. It's true. If I blink I feel like I might miss it all. *tear* I get all choked up thinking about them growing up.

My first born is now 5. Old enough to get things out of the fridge himself, watch movies at the theater, play a video game and go off and leave his Momma in pursuit of a higher education in kindergarten. *another tear*


We had another fun bday party this year in April. GI Joe themed. Everyone came dressed in camo and Joe gave all the kiddos battle ready face.



We played lasertag. Let me just tell you that I can't stop thinking about how much fun lasertag was even for an almost 30 year old mother of two. The hubby and I decided it would make a perfect date night!


After gaggles of fun there we headed to the airport observation deck for a fun lunch and to watch some planes land. Turned out a bit windy, but fun nonetheless.


My boy is five. I can't believe it:)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mother's Day...are you preparing?


So, if you are anything like me..you procrastinate.

You wait until the week before, the day before or maybe even a few hours before to pull a gift together.

In the land of mommyhood it can be tough to be on top of all the holidays and celebrations especially if you prefer to give handmade most of the time (like me!).

Well, Ruffles and Stuff and Made have an awesome week planned full of tutorials and lots of goodies for Mom.

It all starts today!!!

Boy this makes my to-do list so happy!
I guarantee there is gonna be something just perfect for me to make for all the mommies and mimis in my life.

Check out all the super wonderful here and here.

Maybe I'll have time to make me alittle something for myself this year:)

♥ enjoy ♥

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Exciting News!




First off I should apologize for my prolonged absence.

I've been such a busy bee trying to make some things happen and dedicating myself to some goals I've had for a while.


Well, I can check off getting my handmade goods into a local boutique! So exciting!


My items can now be found in The Cozy Cottage on Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, KY.


It's such a sweet shop chock full of unique gifts and handmade goodies.

I plan on adding more handmade goodies to the line soon so keep those peepers out.


It's time to get back to the regular scheduled blogging program:)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Busy..Busy...Busy

I've been away longer that I would like. So much going on and I promise to share soon.
I have though been very crafty lately working on some custom requests like this cutie:



I have some fun stuff to share soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dollar Store Fun House


Who doesn't love themselves a good dollar store? Until recently I wasn't really aware of the awesome craft potential a dollar store could hold. Dollar Store Crafts blog opened my eyes.

Not too far back I came across this $8 foam board house by Urban Craft. Had to do it for my boys!!

So I ventured out and luckily found the foam board and picked up packing tape. I wasn't really sure how it was put together so I picked some extra materials and went to work.

A fun little house was achieved!!
I used twelve foam boards, a roll of packing tape and a bit of poster board. I took about half hour or so to assemble but provides hours of fun for the munchkins for roughly $13

Here's a peek into how I did it with some visual aides.

The foam board comes 20" in width by 30" in length for $1. Like I said for this house you will need twelve and a roll of packing tape, also a dollar. What's so great is there is barely any cutting.



The highlighted area is one panel. Each wall is made up of two panels taped together except the front wall with the window. It's one panel with a half on top cut to fit.

The top back wall is just blue posterboard cut to fit the opening. I almost left it open as a window, but my oldest wanted alittle more "privacy".



I stood the panels up taping them together and created the base for the house. Each side of the pitched roof is made up of two panels taped together as well.

Once the base was established I taped a side of the roof onto the base and then taped them together at the peak.

Am I making any sense here?

I reinforced all the taped areas inside with more tape.

Lots of tape used here people!




After the structure was up and re-inforced I used an exacto and cut out an opening for a cute window. I really just wanted an excuse to put curtains up:) I cut some cute vintage fabric up into little panels and taped them in.



I have every intention of making a little flower box for the front with some paper flowers someday. For now my boys like to take crayons and markers to it. A great activity for all these snowy days we are having here in the Cincinnati area.

This house is surprisingly really sturdy and pretty big so you have to have some room for it. For now mine is in my living room and at some point knowing my little cyclones, it will get destroyed and it'll find a resting place out by the curb for recycling.

I was thinking though that if you had lots of room such as an adequate size basement, that lots of these little houses could make up a cute pretend village complete with things like a post office, firehouse and grocery store. I'm just salivating over all the craftylicious things I could make to go into that village.

I'm gonna put that on my very large "To Do Someday" list.

♥ Hope you enjoy ♥

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Better Late Than Never: Valentines Crafts



Valentines day is just around the corner.

Yay for holidays that celebrate love!


I actually did a few cute crafts for Vday with the kids. I've been meaning to post them for weeks now...but better late than never, right?

No worries there is still time to craft up some cuteness before Sunday!

Caleb and I did a fun craft with crayon shavings and wax paper. We made stained-glass hearts.

A bit messy, but adorable results and easy peasy. This is very adaptable for a multitude of holidays and celebrations.



I found the tutorial for the hearts over at Martha Stewart. We connected some and made mobiles to hang in the window.

I also made a quick wreath for the door with materials I had on-hand. I based mine off the burlap heart wreath tutorial over at Craftaholics Anonymous. I just didn't have any burlap so I used some other red fabric I had and ran a straight stitch through a strip and gathered it on the heart shaped coat hanger. I finished it by hanging it with a remnant of a polka dot scarf. It feels very Betty Boop to me. Don't you agree?




There are lots of other amazing Valentine's ideas on some of the other blogs I'm a fan of. Here are just a few:


Skip to My Lou has a great tutorial for rice krispie heart shaped pops. These would make the perfect Valentine!




How about a super cute lollipop boutonniere for your little man? I bet you could take this further and make corsages for the little ladies! Check the tute out at The Opulent Poppy. What a creative idea!



And heart garland! This is something I didn't get to this year, but so will next. I've seen this done with paper, fabric and felt. Easy, cheap and simply sweet. Oh So Crafty has a great tutorial on her inspiring blog.


Hope you have a chocolate-covered, sugary-sweet, caramel-centered Valentine's day with the one you ♥ !

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fabulous French Onion Soup


Cold wintery months mean yummy soups, stews and chilis in my house.

One of my personal favs is french onion soup. It can fetch a pretty penny in gourmet cafes and fancy restuarants. But really it is so much cheaper to make at home and so easy really.

I usually have everything on hand to conjur up a pot. Even my little guys flip for it.

Who doesn't want a mound of stringy cheese on slices of french bread atop a bowl of happy?




Fabulous French Onion Soup



4 large onions, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white sugar
3 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup white wine
1 French baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese




In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions in the butter or margarine for 10 minutes, or until onions are tender. Stir in the flour, ground black pepper and the sugar to form a pasty mixture.
Now add the beef broth, water, parsley and thyme and simmer for 10 minutes, Then add the wine and simmer for 10 more minutes. Preheat oven to broil.



Fill individual oven safe bowls 3/4 full with the soup. Place a slice of bread on top of the soup and cover with the cheese. Place bowls in the oven.
Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly



I personally prefer Gruyere cheese, but mozzerella is more cost effective when feeding this to your family and I usually always have a couple bags in my freezer along with some demi french baguettes.



This sweet little recipe always reminds me of my Paris travels with the hubby.

Ahhh...The City of Lights I ♥ you!

yours truly outside the Cath├ędrale Notre Dame de Paris in 2000.

♥ Enjoy ♥

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti On My Heart

Last night I had a hard time falling asleep in my nice warm bed complete with down feather pillow and comforter.

I couldn't stop thinking of the devastation. The orphans.The disease. The hungry. The injured. The missing. The dead. The mourning families. The looters. The dying.

It seems wrong all of a sudden to enjoy all the modern conveniences that I do regularly without having Haiti on my heart.

What can we do?
Pray. Pray. Pray.
Give money of course. That is the best thing at this point. But I want to do more.
So I went searching for other ways to make an impact.

I came across other opportunities to help be apart of the Haiti relief effort.

http://www.souls4souls.com/

This is an organization that helps get shoes to those in need. They have committed to one million pairs of shoes to Haiti. You can enter your zip in their donation site finder to find a location nearest to you.





and others like them adopting children from Haiti and having trouble bringing them home now that the earthquake has struck.

They need everyone's help to influence government to grant Humanitarian Parole for Adoptive Children.

Anyone & everyone can help influence this by simply emailing, tweeting, facebooking, calling and writing letters from the comfort of your home or office.

I can't imagine having to leave my son in Haiti RIGHT NOW!

You can get all the info you need to help plus sample letters on their blog.

Copy & Paste. That simple.
Another great organization that has a ship almost packed and ready to set sail to Port Au Prince to provide aide. They have a list of non-perishable items they need on the site. Also, there is a disaster response application if you are interested in volunteering your time.
This organization has been collecting new dolls/trucks for the children of Haiti and other nations for years. Dolls/trucks may seem trivial admist the other needs, but so many children have been displaced and traumatized that this could provide a small comfort.


Always money is a great idea and can make a HUGE difference.

text Haiti to 90999 and $10 will be added to your phonebill for Haiti relief.
text Yele to 501501 to donate $5 to the Yele Haiti relief


A facebook friend recently posted this: Isn't helping others in times like these the basic responsibility of every human being?

Absolutely. I truly believe so.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day!


A beautiful blanket of snow has hit the mid-west!

Some people freak out.
Some people run to the grocery to buy a bulk supply of milk, bread & eggs.
Some people wait in long lines at the gas station.

Not me.
I leave work early and layer my kids up Christmas Story style and head out for some sled riding.






I feel like a kid again instantly.


Memories of the many snowdays my brother and I enjoyed together in our backyard come to me making me feel all gooey.




I love making these kinds of happy memories with my boys.


And just like when I was a kid, every snowday ends with a cup of hot chocolate. The real kind made on a stove, not with powder in a cup.


Snowday Hot Chocolate

4 teaspoons sugar
1/3 semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 cups milk
a couple squeezes chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla


add milk,chocolate chips, sugar and syrup into saucepan on medium heat. continously stir until all is combined. add vanilla. serve steaming in cute mugs with lots 'o marshmellows and whipcream.


yummy, sweet and will spoil your dinner:)




Me & bro (way back there) in our backyard with our awesome Pa in 1984

I was the same age then as my Caleb is now.

Happy Winter!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Yummy Holidays

Happy New Year!


I hope everyone's holidays were as blessed and beautiful as ours:)

The holidays can most definately be stressful with all the shopping, wrapping entertaining and hectic social schedule.


All the more reason why I like to make Christmas Day and New Year's Day relaxing days where I don't have to be slaving in the kitchen or thinking about what to feed my sweet little family.


So I plan some brunch casseroles that we can eat and pick on all day if need be. My longtime faithful is the Country breakfast casserole. So easy and my hubby's fav!






Forgive the pic, but my fam wastes no time diggin in.



Country Breakfast Casserole


Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) package breakfast sausage
1 chopped green onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 (2.64 ounce) package country gravy mix (I make my own if I don't have this on hand)
6 slices bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
paprika to taste (optional)



Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease an 11x8 inch baking dish.
Brown sausage in a large skillet; drain fat.
Combine sausage with green onion and spread evenly across the bottom of the baking dish. Top with shredded cheese. Whisk together eggs, water, milk, and gravy mix; add mixture to baking dish. Arrange bread squares evenly on top. If desired, drizzle melted butter over bread, and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Set aside 10 minutes before serving.


Earlier this year I came across this wonderful baked french toast at Whatever and knew it would be perfect with my other casserole.


So easy and quick and absolutely delish!



Baked French Toast


melt 1 stick of butter then add in 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 t. cinnamon and stir together.
pour into a 9x13 pan covering the bottom.


then layer slices of bread on the sugar mixture with the crusts removed.
(it would probably just as good with the crusts on....)
i used 15 pieces of bread.
fill in the holes with smaller pieces.


in a mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups of milk and 6 eggs.
pour over the bread.
that's it.


put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
when it looks baked and golden, pull it out and drizzle syrup over the top.
put it back in the oven under the broiler until brown and bubbly.


Here's my youngest, Quinn enjoying it all!