Archive | August, 2009

FMM: Getting to Know Me

31 Aug

It’s Friend Makin’ Monday! Amber is hosting again and this week she says:

If you know anything about me, you know I’m kinda nosey. For instance, I like to know random details about people’s lives and just how they live. I sometimes wonder if people get tired of me asking the most random version of ’20 questions’ in the history of anything. I like to know how people live their lives.

1. Do you cook every night?
No… I don’t looooove to cook. I dislike the pressure of having to cook EVERY night. I love to cook when I want to, what I want to. I probably cook every other day. And on the off days we usually eat leftovers, sandwiches or sometimes breakfast for dinner!

2. What kind of laundry detergent do you use & why?

About a year ago I started using MelaPower from a company called Melaluca. It has much less additives and easier on our skin.

3. Do you do laundry every day or loads at a time?
I do all of my laundry at once. I spent one day doing it usually. I can’t stand having piles of laundry all over the place.

4. How often do you eat out per week?
I don’t like to cook on the weekends. I look forward to Friday nights because I know we can go out somewhere.

5. Where do you usually eat out?
For quick dinners we like Del Taco, but we love Greek food at a place called Dask’s, Mexican food at Cafe Rio or Barbacoa and I love PF Changs and Pei Wei for Chinese food.

6. What is your favorite retail store?
I love, love Target!

7. What’s your favorite thing to drink?
I have a small Diet Coke addiction… I am trying to be better by drinking more water. But sometimes when you are eating Mexican food, you just need a Diet Coke!

8. Do you take vitamins? What kind?
Yes, I have been taking vitamins for about 15 years. I take a multi-vitamin supplement, plus several calcium supplements because Osteoporosis runs in my family.


9. What percentage of the household chores to you do?
70% I have four kids so they do a little. And my husband likes to do laundry.


10. Do your children do chores? {Or will they, did they, etc}
Yes! I have a chore chart. Each of the kids has 4-5 chores that they do every day. Saturdays they do the more serious ones – that is our work day.

11. Do you go to church?
Yes, every week. Plus I am on a women’s committee that is very active, so we have meetings or things that we are in charge of during the week too.


12. Do you have a housework schedule?
I have the chore chart for the kids, but I need a better one for me. I am not a very organized person…


13. Do you keep a working budget?
I have a loose budget of what I can spend per day, but it is in my head. I need to get better about that.


14. What do you do at night as a family?
We try to eat dinner every night as a family. Plus Monday nights are set aside for family. It’s hard because my husband travels so much, but when he is gone I still try to do something with my kids on Monday nights. Plus my older kids and I like spend time together after the younger ones have gone to sleep.


15. How do you prepare yourself for a new week?
Sunday nights I like to pick everything up and vacuum. I HATE getting up to a dirty house!

16. What do your mornings look like?
I am not a morning person. I need to get myself to bed at a more reasonable time! My son has to get up at 5 AM and be at school by 6AM. Then my oldest daughter has to catch the bus at 7:20. I walk my 10 year old to school at 8:45, then I go on my run.

17. What time do you get up in the mornings?
It depends, but I get my son up at 5, then cat nap until he is ready.


18. What time do you go to bed at night?
I’m trying to go to bed earlier. I have been going to bed at 12:30 or 1. I am dragging!


19. How do you manage all of the paperwork that floods into your household? {bills, school work, magazines, ads, etc}
I have a filing system in my kitchen for the kids papers. Each one of them has a slot where I can put their papers. I also have a bulletin board in my office where I put future reports or things that I don’t want to lose.


20. How do you keep your household organized? {calendars, charts, etc}
I have a small purse calendar that I keep with me at all times. I really need a larger one because so many things are going on. If you have any suggestions – I would love to hear them!

Go on over to Amber’s to join in Friend Makin’ Mondays – it’s so much fun!
Have a Super Monday!
Check Spelling

Creative Fridays: sweater redo

28 Aug

I was flipping through the Boden USA catalog last night. I don’t think I had ever seen their clothes before. They have some really cute things — but they are also very expensive! I saw this sweater. How cute for Fall. Then I saw the price tag — $98. Seriously??
I loved the buttons and the stripes. I thought of all of the buttons jars that I have. Could I remake one of my old sweaters into something similar?
So I found an old black sweater. This could use a little jazzing up. I got my buttons out. I have some that are from the 40’s and 50’s and some that are new. I experimented with different placements and buttons.
I decided that I couldn’t copy the sweater exactly because I didn’t have a sweater that overlaps at the top like the one in the catalog. And when I placed the buttons on one side or the other, it just didn’t look right.

This is the one I decided to go with:

After a while, I decided on the way I was going to make it work. If you want to do this project, here are a few tips to help you.

  • Get your buttons out and experiment first.
  • Once you find a placement that you like, take a picture of it.
  • Now get a piece of chalk and mark where each of the buttons goes.
  • Take the buttons off the sweater and keep them in the order that you want to sew them on by placing them on a table in that pattern. This will save you much frustration. Also you have your picture to refer to if you can’t remember the exact placement.
  • Sew the buttons on.

I went with a really minimalist look, but you could have a really fun time making a work of art!

What are you doing this weekend?
I think we are going to see The Time Traveler’s Wife.
Have a fantastic Friday!

Tasty Tidbits Thursday: Julia’s Crepes

27 Aug

My first recipe out of the book was Julia’s crepes. I made them for our Back to School dinner. They were so delicious — and easy! I had a few people who asked for the recipes for the savory chicken crepes and the berry crepes. So here you go!First make the crepes. I doubled the recipe and it literally made over 50 crepes. Just so you know. Also, you need to let the crepe batter sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, so it’s a good idea to make up the batter in the morning.
Julia’s Crepe Recipe

1 cup cold water
1 cup cold milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)
non-stick Pam
  1. Place the water, milk, eggs and salt in a blender. Add the flour, then the butter. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to the sides of the blender jar, dislodge them with a rubber scraper and blend for 2 to 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate the batter for at least 2 hours.
  2. Spray skillet with Pam. Heat it over medium-high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke.
  3. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and, holding the handle of the pan in your right hand, pour with your left hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. (Pour any batter that does not adhere to the pan back into your bowl; judge the amount for your next crepe accordingly.) This whole operation takes 2 or 3 seconds. The batter should be a very light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. If, after making your first crepe, it seems too heavy, beat in a bit of water, a spoonful at a time. Your cooked crepe should be about 1/16-inch thick.
  4. Return the pan to heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss the pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crepe. Lift its edges with a spatula, and if the underside is a nice light brown, the crepe is ready for turning.
  5. Turn the crepe by using two spatulas; or grasp the edges nearest you in your fingers and sweep it up toward you and over again into the pan in a reverse circle; or toss it over by a flip of the pan.
  6. Brown lightly for about 30 seconds on the other side. This second side is rarely more than a spotty brown, and is always kept as the underneath or nonpublic aspect of the crepe.
  7. Slide the crepe onto the plate. Grease the skillet again, heat to just smoking and proceed with the rest of the crepes. As soon as you’re used to the procedure, you can keep two pans going at once and make 24 crepes in less than half an hour.

Filling for Savory Chicken Crepes


  • 4 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. chives, chopped
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • can of cream of chicken soup (I was out, so I used cream of mushroom instead)

  1. Mix ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Place 2 to 3 tablespoon of mixture on each crepe and roll them up.
  3. Place the rolled crepes in a 7 x 12 x 2 baking dish.
  4. Pour 1 serving of re-constituted cream of chicken cup of soup over the crepes.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Berry Crepes

I used strawberries and raspberries, but any kind of berries would be delicious. I sliced up strawberries and put them in a bowl and then put the raspberries in another bowl. I made a scrumptious cream cheese filling to go under the berries.


4 ounces fat free cream cheese
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon powdered sugar, for garnish
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 strawberries, hulled and sliced


  1. In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese until smooth using an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, mix well.
  2. Spread 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture on each crepe, leaving 1/2 inch around the edge. Top with 2 tablespoons strawberries. Roll up and place seam-side down.
  3. Top each with 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar. And garnish with whipped cream and/or ice cream.
  4. Note: (you can also make a baked version of this recipe by placing the crepes in a casserole dish and baking 10 minutes at 325-degrees).

I think I am going to make Supremes De Voiaille A Brun (Chicken Sauteed in Butter) and Tomatoes A La Provencale (Tomatoes Stuffed with Bread Crumbs, Herbs, and Garlic) for dinner. I am a little afraid that making too much Julia food is going to cancel all of my hard work on the trail this summer…

Have a wonderful day!

Back to School Dinner: Crepe Party!

27 Aug

The night before school starts we have a few traditions to get ready for another year of learning. One of these is a big family dinner. We like to talk about school goals for the year, chores, other responsibilities for the kids and also have a good time being together. This year we had a crepe party. We made crepes, lots and lots of crepes. (I think I went a little overboard – I doubled the recipe and it ended up making about 50 crepes). We had savory chicken crepes for dinner along with baguette tomato mozzarella and basil appetizers, and then sweet berry crepes for dessert. I think the kids liked making the crepes – we made them the Julia way. I made placemats using lined notebook paper and then put some school supplies by each place setting. For another back to school party idea, check out Cristin’s @ Serendipity. She did some really fun things for hers this year! The first day of school went well. They all seemed to have a nice day. I think I had a harder time than they did!

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

I Like Cotton Candy

25 Aug

Last night was Ella’s first soccer game. She has been wearing her uniform around for the past 3 days in anticipation. We bought her a little soccer ball and she spent hours kicking it around in the backyard. It was so much fun watching the little 4 year old girls running around in a huddle trying to kick the ball. They didn’t really know which direction they were supposed to be going. Ella had a wonderful time.

Meet the team: Pink Cotton Candy
Today’s the last day of Summer break.
School starts tomorrow — ack!

Friend Makin’ Mondays: My Top 10 Summer 2009 List!

24 Aug

Yay – Friend Makin’ Mondays is back! This week we are talking about our favorite memories of Summer 2009. This summer went by way too fast. I can’t believe it’s over *sigh*. Here are my favorite highlights:

  1. Fourth of July Parade and visits from family
  2. My trail
  3. Our Seattle/Portland trip
  4. Working on projects
  5. Staying up late and sleeping in
  6. Pedicures!
  7. My square foot garden
  8. Ice cold lemonade (crystal light) on my swing
  9. Bike riding
  10. Barbecue cookouts
Kasey’s taking a blogging break, so Amber’s hosting this week so go on over and sign up to join in the FMM fun!
Have a Super Monday!

Creative Fridays: Back to School Hair Clips

21 Aug

Five more days until school starts. I still can’t believe it! I think we’re ready. Yesterday I took my oldest to high school orientation. Yikes – how did I get old enough to have a child entering high school?!! We waited in line for 2 hours to get a locker. But it was fun to explore the school and meet his teachers.We have new outfits for the first day, backpacks, school supplies, lunch boxes. And I had been meaning to make these clips this summer, but time got away from me. So last night I made some clips for the girls to brighten up their outfits this fall.
I got out a container of odds and ends – old costume jewelry, pins, earrings. I also used some scrapbooking supplies, beads, vintage buttons and, of course, ribbon.

Supplies needed to make Flower Clips:

  • Metal clips (from the craft store)
  • Glue gun
  • Flowers (I bought mine at the craft store — on sale for .60 each)
  • Ribbon
  • Embellishments: scrapbooking do dads, small beads, old jewelry, mismatched earrings, old buttons.


  • Take the metal clip, wrap your ribbon around the top and back of the clip and then around the bottom, leaving about 1/2 inch on each end so you can tuck those under the ends of the clip.
  • Run a line of glue down the top of the clip.
  • Immediately put your ribbon on the glue – make sure it is straight.
  • Turn the clip over so the hinges of the clip are visible. Put a dot of glue on each of the ends of the hinge. Immediately pull your ribbon over the end of the clip onto the hinge on both sides and hold for a minute.
  • Turn the clip over and run another line of glue down the bottom side of the clip. Immediately pull your ribbon taut over the side and smooth with your fingers.
  • Now you should have the entire clip covered with ribbon. The ends of the ribbon should be loose over the tips of the clip.
  • Open the clip and hold it open while you put a bead of glue on the tip of the top prong of the clip. Fold the ribbon and press it down onto the bead of glue. Hold for a second until it cools.
  • Turn your clip over and repeat the step for this side of the clip.
  • Now you can embellish the top of your clip any way you like.

I used a glue gun to attach most of the embellishments. If you would like to make the clips with the small beads, use a different kind of glue like e6000.

Have a great weekend!

Favorite Thing Wednesday: Vintage Button Pendants

20 Aug

I have been making more metal tag resin pendants. I used some vintage buttons from the 40′s for these.
It’s so fun to experiment. If you would like to make some, my tutorial is HERE.

And, I’m so honored to be featured as one of the bloggers today on Tip Junkie’s Fashion and Style Edition. Thank you so much Laurie! There are so many fun, cool ideas there today – go on over and check it out!I hope you are having a Wonderful Wednesday!

My Biggest Summer Project checked off the list: Garage Redo

17 Aug

Sorry I haven’t been posting very much the past few weeks. We have had house guests, but also, I have been in the midst of a garage meltdown.

Do you have a place where you stash all of your crap? A place that people seldom see– where you can throw your old clothes, art junk, cardboard boxes, school projects, oozing cans of paint, rusty tools and cast-offs? (And, see that buckets? A zillion pair of shoes!)
Well for me, my garage was that place. Half the year it’s too cold to be in for much of the time. The other half it is a stifling oven with no air.


So this summer I decided that enough was enough. After 7 years of living in this house, my garage was overrun with who knows what. It felt like an impossible project.
The first thing we had to do was clean the entire place out. That in itself was a huge feat. I ended up throwing away countless trash bags of junk, 27 bags to DI (which is like Goodwill).
Once the entire thing was cleaned out we painted the floor! We used an epoxy paint which makes the floor super durable and shiny. Then while the paint was still wet, we threw millions of little plastic confetti over the entire thing to cover imperfections and make it so we don;t break our necks when it gets wet.
Then we bought a bunch of white cabinets. We ended up putting them together in the dark in our front yard in the middle of the night one night in July. I was surprised to find out that they looked pretty good the next day.
So now I have a place to hang up all of those winter coats, boots, sports equipment, and an entire cabinet to store summer things like beach towels, sunblock, pool toys and beach bags.

Then when I was practically done, I read a post by Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick where she painted her garage door and added vinyl. So I copied it, yes I did.

I even have a place for the shoes that used to be in a big bucket by the door!I think it turned out pretty well. I also put a little message center near the back door. So when the kids are heading out for school they can leave themselves a reminder note for the next day.
I made a chalkboard out of an old poster frame, and screwed on a plastic soap container underneath to hold the chalk. I also have a basket by the door so people can put things in there that need to be taken in the house.
Now, instead of keeping my head down as I go from my car to the house, I actually want to look around and enjoy the clean, organized space that my garage has become.

I even have a place for the giant ladder.Hope you have a Wonderful Monday!

Fun with Phoebe

14 Aug

We have been having a wonderful time with our friend Phoebe from Vermont. When she got here we made up a list of things we wanted to do:

  • See Julie and Julia — check
  • Make muffins — check
  • Go to the Planetarium — check
  • Ride the light rail — check
  • Have a barbecue — check
  • Shopping — check
  • Make a cake — check
  • Go up the canyon — check
  • Make omelets like Julia — check
  • Go to the Dinosaur Museum — check

And we had to add another item to the list — one of the great treats on a hot August night: mini golf and gelato!And cooking the Julia way:

Phoebe goes home tomorrow. Thanks for coming to visit — we loved having you!