Thursday, December 15, 2011

Teacher Gifts on the Fly

Well, there I was cuddled up in bed last night just about to drop off when I suddenly realized that little miss 3's last day of preschool before Christmas break was tomorrow!  CRAP-OLA!!!
I knew when I woke up the next morning I had to work fast on a very tight budget.  I printed out this sheet music from the fabulous graphicsfairy  (My heart loves that woman!)

I then hi-tailed my fanny to the grocery store where they had poinsettias 2 for $5!  SAH-WEEEEEET!  I just wrapped the sheet music right around the lovely crinkly red foil and tied it off with burlap ribbon from Walmart (I need to buy stock in that awesomeness!) that I had leftover from fall decorating.  Stuffed miss thing in her most sparkly holiday outfit and ran off to Starbucks. 
2 Ten dollar gift cards for 2 very patient teachers...check
1 Grande Peppermint Mocha pour moi...check (I probably worked off all those calories running around like a crazy person, right?)
The feeling of calm that can only come with an enormous dose of overly priced, overly fattening, cup o'deliciousness...priceless!
                                            Finished product

So now Sis is off to school with what will hopefully pass as a lovely and thoughtful gift.  Whew, another crisis diverted.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Give him an inch and he'll take 55

Sooooo...we have an Elf Jr. that visits our house every year and brings a really nice family gift, a special trip, a PS3, etc (of course this is after I have very carefully budgeted Christmas down to the last penny.  Does anyone else's  "Elf" do this to them?). Well, our "Elf" went and did it this year.  He got us a brand spanking new T.V...a 55 inch 3-D T.V.

"Where are we going to put it?" I ask breathlessly, as I picture my boyfriend from The Vampire Diaries on 55 inches of HD beauty.

"Um..." he answers as he glances sheepishly towards the mantle.  MY MANTLE!

She doesn't even have her pretty holiday face up yet (I know I'm really behind on the whole holiday decorating thing.)  

No more Halloween vignettes, No more Christmas mantlescapes!  What is a girl to do!!! 

This is what I've got to work with.  Hello giant T.V that was not in the Christmas budget!  You're killin' me Smalls!

Look at Mr. 10 and Mr. 8 enjoying some 55 inch Lego Harry Potter.  The back of their little bed heads are just so stinkin' cute.  They're gonna totally have sore necks.  I have been promised those cables are going away and that he will add some depth to my mantle top so that I can still decorate it.

Do I sound totally bratty and spoiled?  I really am grateful for all the hubster does I just feel so conflicted.  On the one hand, HELLO, I can watch the boyfriend in 3-D people!  On the other hand, it is all you see when you enter the room.  It is man cave mecca in here!

Oh well, I have to admit we are a T.V family.  I'll just have to get creative, after all I do enjoy a challenge! Keep you posted!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Mantle Makeover?

This is a project that my darling dad helped me with last November.  I am showing it to you now because you have to understand my sheer giddiness at finally having an actual mantle to decorate so when I post tomorrow about the hubster's "Christmas gift"  you will understand my conflicted feelings!

When we moved into our little cookie cutter, the exact same house is repeated 4 times on our block (and there just aren't that many stinkin' houses on the block!)  we were gifted with a builder mantle that was exactly 3 inches deep.  I'll give you a second to picture that.  Yes, 3!  Come on!  What in the world am I going to do with 3 inches!
All I could fit on it was a craggy string of hydrangea garland, and it would fall off if you looked at it wrong!

It's Par-Tay time!  This is the only before picture I could find of it decorated (if you could call it that).  I mean seriously, I couldn't even hang stockings on that sucker for fear a slight breeze would knock the stocking hangers off and bean a passing munchkin.  

Here's the mantle nekked before we started:

I re purposed the mirror out of an old one I had been given that had an itty bitty oak frame around it.  I have no excuses for those little useless votives...I claim temporary insanity.  
We just added trim and moulding to the existing mantle to beef it up. Fluted molding along the sides, dental along the inner top, and a 6 inch top.  I couldn't go any deeper because our T.V sits in an alcove next to fireplace and as it was the six inches blocked part of the picture.  To finish we painted her a glossy off white.
Here she is all purdied up

*sigh*  I don't even mind the ugly gray tile as much.  Total project probably cost around $50 and totally transformed the room.  My mom bought me my dream sconces from Pottery Barn for Christmas (way more impact!)

My before and after:

What do you think?

I have had so much fun decorating it.  I wish I had pictures of what she looks like normally and gussied up for holidays but I don't.  And tomorrow you will see why I will never have one again, sniff. Maybe I am being a bit melodramatic.
The only picture I have is of my meager beginnings to get the holiday mantle up.

In this picture you can see the television next to the mantle.  Apparently it was feeling a wee bit small to the hubster.  Do you see where I'm heading here?  Yup, I think you do.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fantastical Friday!

It's Friday, It's Friday, It's Friday Today!  Thank goodness 'cause I can't stand the sight of one more peanut butter sandwich at 7:30 in the freak frakin' morning.  
With that little outburst taken care of how about a yummy recipe?  I don't know about you but as the days get shorter and the nights colder all I want is nice warm comfort food, my hips are screaming in revolt - but I have perfected the fine art of tuning them out entirely.  
Come join me for a nice hot bowl of baked potato soup!
Cheese, Bacon, and Potatoes...doesn't get a whole lot better than that, unless there was a giant piece of chocolate cake at the end... ummmmmmmm....chocolate cake (I might have heard a tiny squeak from the hips that time...shhhhhh hips, nobody likes you!)

 Baked Potato Soup
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) chicken broth
  • 3 cups cubed potatoes 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of whole kernel corn (can this count as a veggie?)
  • 1 (2.5 ounce) package of country style gravy mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • shredded cheese 
  • At least 6 pieces of bacon
Fry up the bacon, remove bacon and drain some of the fat, then fry the onions, and celery in the remainder (oh yeah baby!) cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes, cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally.
Stir in corn, return to boiling, dissolve gravy mix in milk; stir into boiling mixture.  Add cheese and crumbled bacon pieces from earlier.

Sweet deliciousness!  Enjoy your weekend!!!

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                                         linking up to:
Home Stories A2Z

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Houston, We Have a Problem

Well, I realized this summer that  I had a serious problem, the hubster would argue that he knew I had a problem long before that...which one are we talking about?  The problem is, that I am a terminal DIYer.  Yes, that one.  I have a good friend who  would rather buy something than make it and thinks it is down right hi-larious that my pottery barn catalog looks like this:

I'm not alone here am I?   Hey, if you can afford it, have a ball!  But I digress.  Let us return to that summer day when this little problem was realized.  There I was, minivan loaded with loud sweaty little bodies clambering to get to the public pool when I spotted a garage sale.  I slammed on my brakes (in the middle of the road I might add -small town, not a lot of traffic, blah, blah, blah) because I had seen this little puppy sitting prominently in the middle all the tchotchkies.

 Don't hate the playa people!!!

I clamor out of my car, rush up the driveway, and of course then  feign total disinterest (heeelllo-garage sale 101!) as I take in the perfect canning and overall fantastic condition.  I calmly turn to the delightful elderly couple (who for obvious reasons are eyeing me with total suspicion-hey, I had pulled the car over to the side of the road at this point-my problem isn't that serious...yet) and guess how much....just guess!  $10 SMACKAROOS! 10!!!  I didn't even bother to try to talk them down!  I proudly took my purchase home to show the hubster.  He took one look at my beauty and said... "Seriously". imagination.  I had plans for this little lady.
Fast forward five months and she still looked exactly like this sitting in my front room.  I got a lot of "uh, babe, are you ever gonna do anything with this".   
I took the whole thing apart (I saved all the scraps to cut new pieces of material).  I have to admit it was a little daunting.  I have never reupholstered before.
I spray painted the whole frame with Rustoleum's Heirloom White and then lightly distressed all the edges.
The button holes had to be stuffed with batting since you would be able to see them through the fabric.  I don't have a lot of pictures of the process.  Sorry, pre-bloggy days and all.
I decided to try to make the fabric look like an old grain sack (the real deal is waaaaay out of my budget) so I got to taping stripes and painting.  

Yikes, sorry for the poor lighting.  Photographer I am not

I just was not prepared to attempt piping so I picked a pretty trim that matched the chair color
and started hot gluing that sucker down.

Uh...this pic. was taken by Mr. 8 who obviously was unaware that he was supposed to crop out my lovely ensemble, yup, and better yet I think this was at, like, 2:30 in the afternoon.  No excuses.  
Anywho....Ready for the reveal....

This angle makes the stripes look crooked, they really aren't.  My sweet mom made the little bee pillow, how cute is he?

Ok.  So maybe I have a problem but with a total spent of maybe $20, it's a problem we can live with.

Its my "grownup" moment...

Hola, its Kari, the little sister :) Here for my first post

Grownup moments for me seem few and far between, but I had one recently with my Christmas tree.
It happened once before...when I bought my first washing machine....I felt like a big girl, a grownup.

Ever since I was a little girl I would stare at those trees in the department stores in all there matching glory and want to pick it up and jam it into the back of the car. Don't get me wrong, I love the Christmas tree we have with the heirloom ornaments and the plastic Scooby Doo wearing a Santa hat. The kids love it too. But a girl can dream. So when someone recently gave us a brand new pre-lit tree I jumped on that bad boy with a passion. And a dream come true...I have the department store tree in my house....eeeeee!

Two trees, one tiny house. Over kill- yes. Do I care? NO! This puppy makes me smile every time I walk by it, hee hee. My husband does not have the proper appreciation for my matchy matchy tree. But me? I am free from Christmas tree envy. Ah, sweet decorating relief!

                                                           Linking up to:
christmas tree party

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hello blog land!

Well, after obsessively *ahem* I mean faithfully reading the many oh so talented blog gals out there I decided (was forcefully coerced by my adorable little sister) to begin my own bloggy adventure -ummm...side note, Why should spell check say bloggy is not a word?  Little do they know...uh oh, you guys may be in for a long ride are you buckled up? 

My hope is that this lil' bloggy (darn you spell check, I will NOT submit) will be an awesomely fun way to look back on my many decorating victories and disasters, and there will be disasters, oh you betcha.  But hopefully there will be more good than bad (at least I will try to convince my husband of that). And a reflection of the ups and downs of staying at home with my three little crazies.  A little of this a little of that, right?

To be honest, I am feeling a little anxious about this new little adventure, something along the lines of: 

                                                                    image By Xanboozled

Yes, dear doggy friend I feel your fear.  

With three wild and cah-razzy kiddies my house seldom looks like something out of a magazine, unless it is an issue of Barbies Gone Wild (why must they always be nekked?).  So what, might you ask, do I think that I am doing? Here among the ubber talented?   Well, I might answer, someone needs to keep dreaming up new projects to keep my hubby busy, who better than me?  It is a past time of mine to watch the many expressions that play out on his face every time I utter the dreaded words..."so, I've been thinking". hee hee. Thank goodness he loves me! So....Heeeellllooo bloggy land (just one more time to send spell check over the edge)

Wish me luck as I ramble my way through my days, sometimes they feel endless, especially these short winter days.  I feel like bedtime will never come.