Friday, January 30, 2009

Giveaway

Well - I decided last minute to go out of town for the weekend, so the Giveaway will last through Sunday. I am enjoying all your random facts, they are quite fun to read, which is good, I have had a rather melancholy week and they have made me smile. So keep it up, and I will post a winner Sunday night!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last Giveaway!

Well, the month of January is fast drawing to a close, but I wanted to squeeze in one last giveaway. The last one is a really beautiful velveteen scarf. I originally purchased the ribbon and fabric with the full intent of making this scarf for myself, but recently I was looking at how many scarves I own, and I really should share.






The scarf is made from a fuchsia velveteen, trimmed with an orange, fuchsia and green ribbon, and accented with green velveteen on both ends. It is luscious, but hard to photograph in all it's beauty.






All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with one random fact about yourself. And
same rules apply, if you link to me and you are a winner you will get two prizes! oh- what fun! You have until Saturday night to enter, Random.org will pick a winner Sunday morning.





Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Finished!


THE WALL is finally done! I am so glad! I think eventually I might look for one more frame to put on the right side, but this will be great for now. They are all kind of strategically smashed together to cover nail holes and old silver frame lines. And they look perfect with my beautiful collection of McCoy, which was given to me by this fabulous lady. Unfortunately the flash really makes the colors look off, so you will just have to wait until you visit to see the finished product.


I also thought of a great way to secure the vases. I love them there but I am a little paranoid they will meet their demise on the stairwell. I am going to put sticky tack under them all, and hopefully that will help keep them safer.



So now my three month long project is finally done. I thought maybe I would take a break......

........but no sooner had I hung the last frame, then James walked through the door with another big project, but that will be a story for another day.





And - don't forget to check back tomorrow for my last giveaway this month!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dilemma's

So the other night James went to study at Caribou, but instead he came home with a new HDTV and a PS2. Surprise! But... it was really Caribou's fault because their Wi-Fi was out, so instead he read the paper and found the sale. So, instead of sitting down at my sewing machine with a nice cup of tea I ended up literally rearranging the house to make our new large friend welcome. Somehow we (I) ended up moving the furniture around, rearranging Aidan's room, the upstairs closets, etc, and I am still trying to figure out what to do to make things work.




I searched all over Craigslist, the Internet, IKEA, Pottery Barn, etc, looking for "something," and then I found a fabulous something at the thrift store tonight. A big, beautiful buffet for less than half the price of the pieces I liked at IKEA.










The two guys at the thrift store didn't think I could get it home. Mr. Dread-lock and the "turbaned" man informed me it would never fit in the back of my Subaru, and I should just come back later. I smiled sweetly and asked them to just try one time, and surprise, surprise - after a few pushes and pulls, in it went, and I was rewarded with a round of High-Five's. They didn't know who they were dealing with. I know just how much I can pack into that car!





Now the dilemma is what to do with this big piece. It is very pretty and it seems old, although I can't find markings on it to figure out just how old it is. My original intent was to paint it white and distress it, but for some reason all of it's beautiful wood grains are begging me not to cover them. So, I can leave it brown and leave it downstairs, or trade it for the shelf in James office.






I think the buffet would be much better suited to hide all his treasures...... but it is so pretty, no one will ever see it, and it holds so many of Aidan's toys......







So I will sleep on it for a few days, at least until after the TV is mounted on the wall where it is going to be eventually, and who knows, maybe I will end up doing some more rearranging and you will have to read another post about it all!


(This post is really for my mom, because I always ramble on about decisions I am making about moving things around the house, so I hope none of the rest of you minded having to endure this! )

Going Banana's?

I found this recipe while doing a google search for banana muffins. They were so good I thought I would share! (And trust me, they do not taste anything like coffee. Anytime something tastes even remotely like coffee Aidan spits it out in disgust, and he ate these like it was his job.)


Michael's Banana Coffee Muffins
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen



Ingredients:


1/3 cup melted butter
4 ripe bananas, smashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons strong coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted or raw
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 12 cup capacity muffin tin or use paper liners.
With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, coffee and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Fold in the chopped pecans. Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.
*Cook's note: To check to see if the muffins are done; with a toothpick insert into the center of a muffin, if it comes out clean, it's done.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Jenn!





A few days late - but we did find some time to celebrate this week. And Jenn -thanks for being such a faithful friend and encouragement over the years! (not that she will ever read this, I think she is decidedly anti-blog.)




We managed to round up a few girlfriends on short notice, and enjoyed a lovely evening together. Maybe it was best that we only had a few, I think sometimes you can have much better conversations that way.



I just had to post this picture so you could see the funky vintage tumblers my parents gave me for Christmas! Aren't they cool? But alas, not dishwasher safe.


I also decided to try something new for dinner. I received a pasta press for Christmas from my mom, so we had real homemade lasagna for dinner. Yum. I have to say, (quite humbly of course) I usually make good lasagna, but the noodles definitely brought it up a notch! Maybe if you come for dinner sometime I will make it for you!




I also have to tell you about something I found last week as we wandered the aisles of Walmart while we waited for our oil to be changed. Now- I don't love Walmart, but a few weeks ago I was home with a sick Aidan, and my oil and battery were in dire need of a change. Now, there aren't many places in the Cities I feel like I can go to unshowered, without make-up and still pretty-much in pajama attire. Walmart is that place. So that is where we went for our auto work, and while there I found that Martha Stewart has a whole line of scrap booking stuff, and a whole line of homemade party decor kits. They are so neat! I hate to say it, but these kits are surely worth a trip to Walmart. (But I do have to say, I was so paranoid about my messy, dirty self I was sure we were going to get in a car accident that day and I would have to go to the hospital and see people I knew, or worse yet break a leg or something and be unable to shower even longer. That would be embarrassing, but it is even more embarrassing that I even have to admit I think about things like that!)



Aren't they perfect for a girlie birthday party? I was running late that day, so I only had time to make three and hung them rather poorly from the light fixture, but you get the idea.

Super cute!







Saturday, January 24, 2009

This project is driving me crazy.

I have been putzing away at this wall since November when with one visit from friends half our photos ended up broken on the floor. ( I am exaggerating of course, but seriously, I have nothing better to do than pick glass splinters out of my feet.) I started covering foam-board with fabric and then pinning photos onto it, and then using some super-duper-double-sided foam tape to adhere them to the wall. Oh - by the way - even though the package said it was safe for painted wall, it isn't. So I am glad I putzed and I only made a few. So I now have even more reasons I need to cover that wall. Repainting the whole room isn't really an option right now, I finally like the color I have down there, and it took me probably 4-5 coats of various colors and techniques to arrive at this one, so it is staying.

So last week I was going to have some friends over for a birthday celebration, and I thought I would try and get my project completed before they came.

As you can see, our kitchen table became a workshop for a week or more, as I painted layer after layer over some old frames and pictures I found at the thrift store. I had this great idea to frame some fabric bulletin boards and than have a few magnetic boards as well, so we could display lots of photos and mementos.


The frames turned out great. Here are two of them. I love how they turned out.


The magnet boards also turned out just how I wanted, they were the right size and colors, EXCEPT after using an ENTIRE CAN of magnetic paint on the two boards, while they can hold magnets, if you try and hang a picture on them - no luck -they slide right off. Grrr. I was so irritated. They are painted such bright colors they need to be broken up, so rather than spend another $10.00 and one week layering on the magnetic paint, I decided to just frame some more fabric. But we (I) have been sick again at our house this week (tonsillitis, strep and pinworms.... no.....I don't have the worms.) and by the time I get home from work and put Aidan to bed, I have no energy! So the frames still sit on the stairs, waiting for their new home.


Maybe by spring.

So, whatever you do, do not waste your time with this magnetic paint. I literally put 12 coats on each board. Maybe that's why we are sick. We breathed some pretty funky fumes this week.



Thanks for letting me vent, maybe now I will be inspired to keep going!

And the winner is.......

Janet! She is a friend I met at a really bad art fair we did this winter..... (think doilies and washrags) But the nice thing was -I did meet her!

Thanks so much for playing everyone. I really wish I could give all of you a bag........

But I will have one last giveaway to celebrate this month, so keep checking back. I haven't decided which one to give - a scarf I really made for myself, or a cute springy bag. Maybe I will make random.org pick that for me too!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Last day!

Don't forget today is the last day for the bag giveaway! I will draw a winner in the morning. You can read all about it here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thrift Store Treasures

I am working on a project on one of my walls, so I have been stopping into a nearby thrift store every week to try and find picture frames to paint. Last weekend I found a frame, and then a few more treasures that I just have to share! So please, humor me.


It is all really Aidan's fault. He is smarter than I give him credit for sometimes. We were leaving and on his way out a Power Ranger toy caught his eye, and he insisted that we go back and look at it. He then asked me, "Why do we always come here to find things for you, but never for me. " I kind of ignored him because I had just noticed this stack of blue milk glass plates sitting on the lower shelf. Here they are on my shelf. they are so pretty! And I think they are actually large enough to use as a dinner plate, and it would help with portion control and all that good stuff.



Anyway, as I was busy loading them into my cart I spotted another treasure, a white milk glass punch bowl set! Now, last week I had a bunch of girls over and I had to polish my silver rimmed punch bowl set again and I decided then and there that it wouldn't live to see another year at my house.



So I kicked Aidan out of the cart and loaded my punchbowl inside, and then my eye caught site of that great vintage teal color on the bottom shelf. And I found 4 awesome trays. They claim on the back that they are unstainable and unchippable, and I believe it because they are all in pristine shape! And we use trays in the summer all the time for hauling food out to the deck, so perfect!






So now- I am all set for a spring party! If only spring would come.......

Oh yeah, and Aidn walked out happily holding his Power Ranger toy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Called Winter Camping.


That's right. That's what we did this past weekend. It is actually easier than I thought.




First you light a campfire.






Then you spread out your picnic blanket and eat a yummy supper complete with lemonade.






Then you sleep in your cozy tent.



You should try it sometime!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"I need a hero!" or Blog Anniversary Giveaway Number Two



That's right! The fun continues! But to win this one, you have to answer a few questions from my world.
You see, everything at our house right now revolves around superhero's. Everything. The other day Aidan and I were watching a show at the mechanic's while we waited for our car , and he kept bugging me...., "Which ones are the good guys? Which ones are the bad guys? Which one is the superhero who is going to save the world????" If a book or show doesn't include a super-hero, it just isn't cool.
Last week while we were driving he started asking me all sorts of question, like, "what is Superman's real name? Batman? Iron man?" Needless to say, I didn't know so we had to call James.
So.... your assignment is, you have to leave the names of Ironman, Batman, Superman, Spiderman and the Hulk in your comment,and next Saturday I will randomly choose another winner. And yes, if you link to this post and you win, I will send you another surprise!
Oh- and in case you would like some specifics, the shoulder strap is long enough to comfortably wear this bag across your shoulders if you would like. It has a roomy inside pocket and a sweet little velvet ribbon/button closure. The lining is vintage chenille. It is so cute!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Overheard during bathtime


You know, LarryBoy, let's not wash up just yet. I think I am going to give you a little wine first."


"Red or white?"


"No, just bath wine."


I have no idea where he would have heard that.

Winner

Thanks to Random.org we have a winner, Katy. Thanks for playing!

And as it is so fun to give stuff away, (especially as a few of you who signed up have helped keep me in business the last few years) I will have to do it again this week. So keep checking back!

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. (and Katy will you send me your address? thanks!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

What do you get

when you are stuck in the house for three days in the -20 weather with a sick kid?













Couch pillows. Four of them. I felted a wool blanket I found at a second-hand store that made a great body for some pillows, a great backing for others. Add some trims and ribbons I have hanging around and "Viola!" we have some new pillows! I think they turned out rather cute. But not as cute as the little boy who snuck into some of the photos.

Last chance

to sign up for the giveaway. I am feeling a little paranoid that so few people signed up........the purse just isn't your cup of tea, eh? Hopefully the next one will draw more people in! Check back tomorrow a.m. for a winner!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sick days

We do things like eat supper in our jammies.

We had some yummy chicken and rice soup for our colds.


Three extra days of being indoors also found me getting some projects done, some were necessary, others probably were a little over the top. I also get three new pairs of pants - new because I finally hemmed three pairs that had been hanging in my sewing room for months.


I decided to take inventory of my cupboards. We don't have a "pantry" in our old kitchen, all our goods are just shoved into the dark recesses of the cupboards. I can never remember what I have, so I end up buying more - which is why I found countless cans of cream of chicken soup when I cleaned!

Now I have an inventory posted that works well with my shopping list system. I know, I do have OCD tendencies....but imagine all the time I will save, I won't have to root through cupboards looking for things I thought I had. We'll see how long the system lasts.


But one thing I didn't get to do was go to the gym thanks to my sick kid. So I need to go spend some quality time in front of the TV. A friend recommended Jillian Michaels "Shred" DVD (which is on sale at Walmart for $9.00 right now.) So I will try it out and let you know what I think!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Giveaway

My blog turns a year this month, I date I never thought I would see. I was always rather skeptical about bloggers, and now I have to admit rather sheepishly that I actually enjoy blogging. I also have found that tons of old friends and aquaintences have blogs, and it is really a great way to keep in touch with people despite their busy schedules.



This month I wanted to have a few giveaways from my Etsy shop (since that is one of the whole reasons I started a blog.)


So if anyone needs this purse for themselves (or a gift) leave a comment and I will randomly pick names on Friday evening. AND (in the interest of Second Street Designs) if you post this giveaway on your blog and direct others here, leave me a comment letting me know, and if you are the winner you will get two gifts. Sound like fun!?! And if this purse holds no interest for you, don't worry, maybe the giveaway next week will be more up your alley, so keep checking back!

Mocha Punch

Last night I had some friends over for dinner and a girls night out. We had this punch, and a few of them wanted the recipe, so I am posting it for you all to enjoy! Even the non-coffee drinkers among us liked it. And it is fun to improvise with too. A little almond or vanilla always tastes great in it, and Bailey's and Kahlua also are de-li-cious!!!! (But maybe don't read the nutritional information)



Mocha Punch

SERVINGS: 20-25

TIME: Prep: 15 min. + chilling
Ingredients:
6 cups water
1/2 cup instant chocolate drink mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee granules
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Chocolate curls, optional
Directions: In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add drink mix, sugar and coffee; stir until dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. About 30 minutes before serving, pour mixture into a large punch bowl. Add ice cream by scoopfuls; stir until partially melted. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and chocolate curls if desired. Yield: 20-25 servings (about 5 quarts).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Can I brag a little?

This week the cold I have had for what seems like months decided to turn into a sinus infection, so Thursday found Aidan and I at Wal-mart in search of some relief. Now, I am not a germ-a-phobe, but in this day and age if you take your child to daycare, the gym or Sunday School there are large signs posted reminding parents to not bring their child if they have had a fever/runny nose in the past 24 hours. So I find myself explaining to Aidan on a pretty regular basis that we can't go to ---- today because he has germs and we don't want to get other children sick.

So, back to Wal-mart. My sweet child picked up the basket and carried it around the store so "I wouldn't give my germs away." He also directed me to direct him to the items on the shelves I wanted so that I didn't touch anything, and yes, he loaded our goods on the conveyor belt too. He wanted to pay.... but I told him my money already had lots of germs on it, so a few more of mine wouldn't make much difference.

It's true, he is quite helpful.

Although today, as we were getting ready to go ice skating, he kept bugging me to hurry up. I informed him that if he wanted me to go faster then he could change the laundry loads. (He does this for me all the time.) However this time he looked at me smugly and said, "I don't want to help, because some day I am going to be a dad, and dad's don't do laundry."

Guess what James and Aidan are going to be doing this week.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Last Christmas Post!!!!

Hurray! You won't have to look at my Christmas photos again after this blogpost! Not that I don't have more, mind you. I have lots and lots. For some reason none of them turned out the greatest, so it was hard for me to find any I liked. I also forgot my camera in Iowa, so I didn't have it with me when we had our final Christmas at the Kahl's.
But in exchange for not making you look at my photo's, I am going to write more. I'm sure you had nothing better to do than read more about my Christmas, right????

This is Aidan and "Honeybear Grandma." We have so many that we have to come up with creative ways of identifying them. She is my Dad's mom. She is still quite spunky. And as you can see she has a broken arm.

Ummm..... I seriously debated putting this photo up. But it is kind of a funny story.
We were all getting ready to go out for dinner on Saturday evening, and for some reason the 8 of us couldn't get ourselves together. No one was ready at the same time, and there was a lot of- "Why don't you just go get some clothes on?"
"I did, but look at you, sitting there without your coat on, what are you waiting for????" etc.
At one point in the banter my Grandma suddenly stopped her involvement, and went to sleep on the couch. We all went about getting ready, and then when it was time to get in the car she wouldn't get up.
Now..... my Grandma may seem pretty cute, but I have to admit, when she wouldn't get up we thought she was faking it. So I threatened to take a picture of her on the couch, which I obviously did. And she obviously didn't care. Then we said, "Grandma if you don't get up we are going to have to take you to the ER." And she didn't get up. At this point we realized the situation was a little more serious than we originally thought, and because we were unable to move her we did have to call 911 and have the ambulance come. She had a TIA and her physician's are still doing a work-up to try and find possible causes.

Hmmmm. I think this is me directing as we are headed out the door with the ambulance. I also have to add, I spent the night in my Grandma's hospital room, where I proceeded to come down with some bad food poisoning. All I can say is even in her feeble state she mustered up the energy to kick me out of her room. It wasn't pretty! Sorry Grandma. (And the rest of you, beware of McDonald's Southwestern salad.)



Grandma was released from the hospital the next day, so we were still able to have Christmas on Saturday. I have to add, I use the word "released" loosely, because Grandma informed me she "Told that doctor she was signing herself out!"



Practicing for the annual Jordison poker event.

The practice didn't do them much good however, as none of the above won.

The little guy in the middle with his baseball cap on won.

He is 16, and they all swear it was beginner's luck. He is a smart kid though, because the first thing he said was, "I am going to put all this money into my bank account."

Quiet at last. Ahhh... nothing like cartoons to wind them down at the end of the day.

One more note- as a mom, having to call 911 was one of the best visual demonstrations ever! Aidan and I frequently chat about all the "what if" situations; candy from strangers, a hurt mommy or daddy, etc, and it is hard to explain "911" to a 4-year-old in a way that he can totally grasp. So the whole experience was great for Aidan to see. Everyone remained calm as we checked Grandma's blood pressure and neuro status, moved cars and furniture, put blankets on the floor, etc. The First Responders were so professional and helpful, and although I hope we never need to use their services again, I am glad Aidan was able to be a firsthand observer to how it all works, and when it is appropriate to call them.

While they were loading her up one of the EMT's said, "Alright Iva, we are going to take you to the ER now."

And Aidan's little voice piped up, "Good! Now can the rest of us go eat supper!?!?"

And that, my friends, is the last of my Christmas photos.