Monday, April 28, 2008

I found

the perfect house today. Yes, really, the perfect house. We have lived in our home for five years now, the longest i have lived anywhere in the last 20 years, and i am just itching to move. I have repainted almost all the rooms two or three times in the past five years, and i am running out of ideas. So when my husband casually mentioned he saw an old house on a golf course in Roseville that interested him, I found myself planning a moving sale and daydreaming about new decorating schemes. The house sounded so perfect, because he wants to live on a golf course, and i want the big old house with lots of character. This past weekend I searched all the local realty websites, to no avail. So when i got off work today, i just had to buzz over and check out the house. Beautiful and brick, it appeared to have lots of charm and was in need of some TLC, but nothing i couldn't handle. And the price, a mere $50,000. Honest. Oh, but you do have to move the house to a new location.

In case you are interested in checking out the house, here is the link. The home really is quite dreamy. And i am sure it has some amazing stories to tell. Part of me wants to contact the realtor just because i want a tour......but considering that James has absolutely no interest in moving anywhere at this time, i should probably refrain from this whole pattern of thought, and be content right where i am.

I'd hate......

.....for any of you to think i have an idyllic life. I don't. As a matter of fact, this week alone, my house has been invaded by mice, my face is all broken out, and i have just bought my fourth coffee pot this year. Serious! We have had FIVE; yes count them, 1,2,3,4,5 mice in our kitchen in the past two months, three of them in the last few days. They make me crazy! I am an obsessive cleaner and a total neat freak, so they about send me over the edge! Not to mention i am usually home alone when they rear their ugly heads and then i have to valiantly deal with them, without scaring my little four year old and giving him a lifelong fear of tiny little creatures that crawl up your legs, and poop in your cupboards, and chew up your muffin mixes........I have learned that a salad tongs and elbow high gloves and a big pot and a paper bag and a long meat fork are great weapons, although it is hard to juggle them all while balancing on a chair that is shared with a child who is stroking my leg saying, "don't worry mom, be brave... you can do it..." Anyway..... i know they are harmless and that is what happens when you live in an old house on the edge of the woods, but seriously, i feel like they have ganged up on me.

And the coffee pot...... i am not a morning person and my mother recently bought me this mug.

Few truer words have ever been spoken. Even Aidan has come to understand the realities of living with a mom who is not a morning person. One morning he asked James if he "could make Mommy some coffee so her head will work."

But I digress..... so back to the story of this week. When we bought our house the previous owner had a Black and Decker Space Saver Coffee maker, and i killed it when i ran CLR (or something like that) through it last spring. When shopping for its replacement i felt obligated to buy another Spacesaver, partly i already had huge holes in my cupboards from the old coffee pot, and also to conserve precious countertop. To make a long story short i bought THREE of them in a two month period, until finally one seemed to actually work. True, it was slow, and sputtered, leaked, only partially emptied the reservoir, and served up lukewarm coffee, but at least it was off my counters. Now a normal person probably would have saved their receipts after such a horrible experience, but not me. I did email the company, but after many fruitless Google searches for a good, safe under the cupboard coffee maker i finally gave in and purchased this lovely pot. And now i have a good reason to repaint the cupboards while James is in China next month....... so maybe it isn't such a bad week.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Yesterday Aidan gathered up all the beanbags, blankets, throw pillows and bed pillows from around the house into one big heap on the family room floor. He decided that was where we were going to camp out for the night. Aidan had so much fun i assume he intends to make this a tradition. Oh...... and half the fun is putting everything back the next morning. Strangely he doesn't enjoy that part as much as i do.

I love......

.............this boy.


Last year we were able to put in a new driveway, sidewalk, stairs and retaining wall. After the
contractors were done i went to work planting all sorts of things, and i must admit i forgot most of what i planted, so this spring it is exciting to see what is popping up through the mulch. I forgot i planted all sorts of crocus bulbs. The bunnies have eaten half the flowers, but here is a picture of what is left. I am so glad spring is here!

All ready!

Would you like to take a peak inside my office? i think i am as ready for the show as i am going to be. We have company coming all week, so this is it because i am out of time.

After doing my inventory, i had over 50 bags, some scarves, cloth napkins, greeting cards, mobiles and framed birds, and i ended up with about 90 items. We will see how it goes!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


............ had a haircut this week! I love to rub his fuzzy head!

Busy week

The lady from the sewing machine repair shop called me this week with the news that it would still be two more weeks until my machine is ready! Usually they over-estimate how long a repair will take, but this time it will be over three weeks before it is functioning! Yikes! So i have been busy all week cranking out items for the upcoming sale without the use of my sewing machine. I think i have done pretty well, considering i have never done any work with paper previous to this. I just hope my late nights this week pay off. I usually know that my purses will sell, but this is new territory for me. I have no idea if they will sell, or how many i should make..... I haven't been to this sale for years so i don't even know what kind of crowd i am trying to appeal to. Here are a few pictures of the items i have worked on this week.

I found all these great papers at a local art store. They are actually designer wrapping paper.

Funky retro-style mobile. There are some vintage drink recipes from an old "Joy of Cooking" cookbook on some of the birds! Have you ever heard of a "Scarlet O'hara?

I saw a bunch of cool clipboards in the office section at Target last week, so i thought i would try and make some of my own. In this picture they are drying after their 5th coat of polyurethane.

I had some extra picture frames that didn't have a home yet, so i thought i would give these a shot too. We will see how they do!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Soup's on!

A few months ago i had a great bowl of tomato soup, and i have been trying to make the perfect soup ever since. I tried Panera's recipe, Cooking Light's recipe, the Pioneer Women's recipe and more. Tonight we had some friends for dinner and this is the recipe i finally ended up with.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Chop finely - one medium onion

Saute in olive oil, along with 2 roasted, minced garlic cloves.

When they are translucent, place in food processor, along with 1/4 cup

Return mixture to pot.

Add three 14 oz cans Glen Muir chopped tomatoes, and two cans tomato paste, simmer until they are tender and then use an immersion blender or food processor to obtain the texture you desire. Add 2-3 Tbsp Chicken soup base, salt and pepper, smoked paprika to taste.

Continue to simmer above. When it is close to serving time, add 1/4 cup dry white wine and 1 quart fat free half and half.

Garnish with fresh basil, croutons and asiago cheese.

This makes a pretty large pot. Note:pureeing the sun-dried tomatoes might seem a little time-consuming and unnecessary to some, but it really makes a difference in the flavor of your soup. Trust me.

Aidan doing the dishes after dinner! What a great helper he is!


I have been searching for a way to organize all the ribbons in my office, and i was at Pier 1 this weekend and found the perfect thing! Isn't it the cutest? They have small ones and large ones if you need to do some organizing as well!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another one

Today i bought some more metal signs to use for making mobiles/wall hangings. I hope to get a few more made before my show in a couple of weeks, since my sewing machine will be gone for the next two weeks, and the loaner i was given by the repair shop is.... well..... kinda like a rental car, i guess. The machine has has seen finer days. So here is one that i completed, and if it calling your name, you can find it (and others) in my etsy shop!

Another try!

I made my first mobile this weekend, you can see a picture of it in the post below. However, i wasn't entirely pleased with it and i wanted to find a way to make it better. Here is a picture of what i ended up with.

I also made three others that i will post later and put in the etsy shop as well. They are so whimsical and fun to make that i just can't stop! But now i need to head out to a fabric garage sale at the Minneapolis Textile Center. We will see what treasures i find!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I think I am hard on sewing machines. Every time i am getting ready for a sale, my machine ends up in the shop, and i am finally catching on. The problems are not with the machines, they are with me and the way i sew! I have to drop off a bunch of items for a big sale in two weeks, and my machine is in the shop for, yep, you guessed it, two weeks. So all my piles of spring fabrics are staring at me, and all my new ideas are still floating around in my mind.

Since i don't have a machine, and my booth is already paid for, I decided i should try and come up with something else to make for the upcoming sale that does not involve sewing. I saw this lovely mobile here, and that was exactly the inspiration i needed. I have always loved the look of hanging decorations from the ceiling. Lamps, canopies, guaze, mobiles, windchimes, stars, have all graced my ceilings at one time or another. So i made my first mobile last night, using the hanger idea, and tonight i am going to try a couple other ideas. We will see how it works out! They are so much fun to make!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Usually Tuesdays we buzz all over town, running errands, hanging out with friends and going to the gym. However, this Tuesday our company left, so we spent the whole day cleaning. I should clarify, it doesn't mean our guests were messy, but they have a nice big hairy dog, so i usually clean after they leave, instead of before they come. It's hard for me to wait to clean, it goes against every bit of my OCD nature. But this time it was a good excuse to get in some spring cleaning. So we washed all the rugs, and throw pillows and blankets, and cleaned the house from top to bottom. I love the way it smells now!

Here are a few of my favorite products.

They make the house smell so fresh and lovely!

I must have worked him too hard. Here he is at the dinner table.

Isn't that the sweetest picture of a tuckered out boy!

It's finally over......

Last week was fun, but it literally felt like the never-ending birthday party! We enjoyed a visit from my parents for a few days, we ate more birthday cake, opened more presents, and Aidan played more smash-brothers in those few days, thAn he probably will play all month! He also was sick with "Stomatitis" over the weekend, so we pretty much laid low. The ladies were able to do some shopping, and the guys watched lots of basketball! Here are a few pictures from our weekend.

Aidan somehow talked Grandpa into playing Smash Brothers with him for hours on end. Granted the kid was sick, so he would play, nap, play, nap etc. It must be hard for a Grandpa to refuse a sick kid.

Grandpa also promised him a trip to McDonald's play land. So here he is... all ready to head out into the rain! Yep, we spread his germs to all the other kids. Sorry.

Aidan didn't think he would be able to climb the ladder to get to this spot in the maze, but the "you're 4 now" psychology really helped him overcome his fears.

Aidan had Grandpa wrapped around his finger. Here is laying in the bath, arms crossed behind his head, waiting for Grandpa to come wash him up. Seriously. Nana, James and I all know that Aidan washed himself up every night, but Grandpa must have forgotten that four-year-old boys can wash themselves.

Grandpa also helped him get his p.j.'s on. Seriously, Grandpa! Aidan is going to have a hard time settling back into reality!

Aidan and Charlie have lots of fun.

Aidan and i during the basketball game.

Grandpa and Nana during the game. Apparently he is doing a beer commercial.

We had a great time with them, and were glad they were able to come for a few days.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What's black, white and green all over????

Well, this great couch is,

or you could plan a classy wedding,

or you could be green and black and white in this dress at a summer picnic.

This could be your living room.....

This painting could hang on your wall....

Or you could find this bag in my etsy shop!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Birthday Boy!

Today was officially Aidan's birthday. He had a party at Vicky's house, and made out like a bandit with all sorts of great toys. For dinner we went to one of our favorite pizza place's, SNAP in Northeast Minneapolis.

Sharing a malt. They make the most delicious malts at Snap!

We also made Aidan a teddy bear, that came in a "build-a-bear-workshop" kit from Kitty Grandma. Making that bear was much, much harder than it looks. Aidan decided to name the bear Nippy Shady Kahl. I have absolutely no idea where that came from!

Getting ready to start.....

Stuffing the bear......

The finished project!

Now we are getting ready for a visit from my parents! We have a busy weekend ahead!


That's right, it is officially Aidan's birthday today, and to celebrate, i am going to post more of my favorite pictures of him from the past four years!

it is hard to resist such a smile.....

I loved this little jacket on him!

He pulled his chair right up to my little "sewing TV," grabbed a blanket and a remote.... typical male!

He also was great with the dustbuster

Spent some quality time here pretty frequently....

Enjoyed the circus....

Playing with his little friend Faith.

Love these jammies

Playing with the billiard balls at Grandma's house

Daddy's boy

Ready for the 4th of July

Aidan and i love to have popcorn and watch Desperate Housewives. :)

Halloween, in Medtronic scrubs

At the Swedish Institute

Like father like son.