Monday, April 25, 2011

Hopping By...

Happy Easter - one day late! What would I be if I were on time for anything in this world? I certainly don't know, but I do hope that you and yours enjoyed the day! It was beautiful here, weather and experience alike, and ended up being a series of hours filled with moments for happy memory-making.

But more on that in a bit...

Last entry I left you with the Room of Doom. See?


Now, unfortunately due to my car being too small, my mother being too sentimental, and myself being too lazy (oops) I do not have a spectacular reveal. I do, however, have several hour's worth of grunt work and physical labor to show off. This is what the room has been made into now:


It's more impressive in person, but still qorth a big of brag. However, I shall refrain until ALL the junk is out of the way, the additional furniture moved in (I know! Where's it going to go?!), and the walls are painted. Yes. Painted. Two shades of Caribbean Blue.

We bought the paint last year. Long story made short: I got lazy. Everyone else got lazier.

Nonetheless, the time and the day moved onward and forward!

Saturday started out rain-soaked, soppy, and dreary. A visit from my aunt sent the clouds scattering (it's her magic, I swear) and found my sister and I looking for the "better things" in our little town. My aunt wanted updated pictures of herself and had 'hired' my sister and I on for the task. And so, armed with flip flops and a small army of cameras, off we went!

Luckily, though our town is small and rather rough on the eye, there are a few places that stand as diamonds in the coal. We headed to one such place, less than five minutes from our house. (Everything in this town is five minutes away - anything less than that is walking distance, but again, laziness struck. I'm sensing a theme here...)

In the end we had a ton of laughs, scared a few families who were doing a photo shoot the 'professional' way (pft, armatures are where it's at, don't they know! *snort*), and ended up with almost 200 photos collectively.








It was a brilliant way to spent the day before Easter... unfortunately I forgot (rather, purposely shoved away the reminders of) all the cooking I needed to accomplish for Easter lunch. The night and I are old lovers though, and it welcomed me back into its embrace with open arms. We danced in the moonlight and by the time the sun came up I had a place for everything and everything in its place - I even snagged a few hours of sleep!!

And so we feasted, ending the family time with a bunny cake (pineapple cake with coconut buttercream frosting!) and robin's nest cupcakes! Delish!



After that, the kiddos and I hit the road for a short travel to spend the rest of the Easter day with their dad's family. The sun was warm, the company was welcoming and fun, the girls played to their hearts' content and came home happy to shower and collapse into bed. I'm nearly certain that they were snoring before I had them tucked in properly - unheard of!


Today I started on a small project that I've been putting off for weeks. If procrastination were a profession, I'd be CEO of the business. Since it is not, I'm just a lady with a penchant for running in twelve directions at once!

Hopefully tomorrow will see a completed product and pictures to boot! What's a day without an accomplishment or two, anyway?

Hoppy Days, Y'all!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Before, After, Easter, Disaster!!!

I'm sticking straight with the title today! AND I'm actually going to show you all the things that I've said I was going to show you. Sorry for the delays, there, they weren't intentional, my brain just doesn't do much functioning!!

So, my parent's closet. It's huge. It's still a mess. It's not my fault. These are the [few] differences I actually could make!





Next comes Easter -

Here's the project I mentioned [think I mentioned?]...
Take a vase, a few sticks from the yard, a few squirts of spray paint, and a dollar bag of sparkly eggs from the dollar store. Spray the branches with the paint. Let them dry. Stick them in the vase. Hang the eggs from the branches. Ta Da!!!!


& Last... today's project::


The results - tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Busy as a Beaver During Wood Season

I made wood season up. I don't know if it exists, but I'd imagine if it did then beavers would be especially busy during that point in time. Just an assumption I came to after many long nights of pondering...

I've been pumping this project up for a long time now, it seems, and today is the day. The big reveal. Please keep in mind that this is only the first and hope, dear hope, holds to the notion that I'll find the bits and pieces to do this project at least once more in a more extravagant fashion. However, for a first go of it, I had a hell of a time and am very proud of the results.

So, without further ado, I give to you the steps and final production of a Birdelier.

Step One: Find an old Chandelier

Step Two: Clean it up & Spray it down (yay! spray paint!)

Step Three: Find a small bowl, or in this case, small clay pots - spray paint!

Step Four: Glue, epoxy, drill, connect said bowls/pots to chandelier in place of light fixtures
(Perhaps it should be mentioned in a previous step that you'll need to deal with the electrical fixings of of the chandelier, but I forget quite a lot of things...)

Step Five: Hang to dry for AT LEAST 24 hours... be kind to the birdies and don't kill them

Step Six: Hang!

Step Seven: Happy Dance to your heart's content as birdies come to feast in style!


Step Eight: Hang eggs from trees in the front yard to serve a double purpose; Easter and bird invitations by the dozen for only a dollar! What more could a lass ask for from the dollar tree??


Now, for some super exciting news that I am STILL squirming over...

Last night the family across the street decided to get rid of some of the furniture that was cluttering up their house and my mom saw it sitting by the road. Well, lovely furniture should never be left all to its lonesome so my mom yelled at me, I yelled at everyone else in my family (my grandparents, my aunt, and my cousin were all about to watch me flail fabulously out the door, already ooooing and ahhhhing over the found treasure) and took off at a flip flop flump pace. Translated, that means I went as fast as I thought I could without falling over or looking as excited as I felt.

My heart and lungs were doing jumping jacks. Jumping. Jacks. Exercise in my chest.


Anyway, I got three amazing pieces, one of which I forgot to take pictures of. (I'll fix that tomorrow!) Two antique, solid wood pieces; a dresser and a desk.



(better images before i begin the actual work!!)

They need a loving hand, but I'm SOOOO freaking EXCITED about this!!! I'll get to do REAL work! Sanding down and buffering and polishing and repainting, and all kinds of amazing, get dirty and make something gorgeous, WORK! Gah! I'm so in love!

The third piece was a medium size white dresser that I shuffled straight into my bedroom. Said action encouraged an immediate re-arrangement of the bedroom, my daughters' playroom, and today (oddly enough) my parents' closet. Right. Well, there's no rhyme or reason to me. But that's okay.

I'll post pictures of the progress of my parents' closet tomorrow. They're really weird about keeping their stuff just like it is and my mom likes to keep a LOT of stuff. Who am I to tell them not to do what they want in their house? No one... and they ignore me when I tell them things like that anyway. ;)

Ahhh.... major activities, how I love thee.

Other projects on the horizon::
* Cleaning out the sess pool that is our back bedroom and DONATING to the beloved Salvation Army
* Re-organizing the middle bedroom, which has been overrun with crafts, food, books, odds, and ends
* Fixing up the antique dresser & desk
* Re-arranging 3 rooms to accommodate new furniture
* Making a lamp!
* Finishing my abandoned mobile, poor thing
* Holding out hope that another chandelier enters my life!!! :D

Happy Huntings and Creation Explosions, y'all!! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Got Lost?

Well, not really. I got really busy and then photobucket crashed. Which means all of my nice, pretty pictures have disappeared and while I've continued crafting and creating, photobucket has continued to Not Work.

Uncool, photobucket. Uncool.

So, finally fed up and feeling like a blogging failure (uncool, me...uncool) I decided it was high time I jumped in my Driver's Seat and took charge once more. Hence, I've found another website to host my photos and I'm back to blogging! I know y'all are at least as excited as I am, right?!

Way back when... I mentioned a project where I chopped the feet off of my socks because they were beridden with holes and made arm warmers. Ignoring how odd my arm looks, this was the result.


Next I made a spring wreath. I had the wreath sitting around from that mega awesome Salvation Army trip I had a while back and celebrating spring seemed the right thing to do.

It all started with some twigs and ribbon...


Then some flowers made their way to the party...


& finally a few pastel birds flew in to perch for a while. Until Sunday the eggs will hang out as well. They're not as pretty as I would have liked, but in a pinch (and for the satisfaction of two four year olds) they'll do!


Finally, I have a few shotty pictures of some DELICIOUS Savory Seafood Soup. I mean, OMG!



The trick, my friends, is the cream cheese. *drools* This soup is so simple and so awesome that words alone cannot do it justice. Try it. Do it. Now. Scurry to your kitchens, my friends, just so you can down the amazingness it is!!!

Best of all? It's another semi-homemade recipe (as much as I'd like to cook from scratch all the time, my wallet mocks me and I have to make do with what is allowed) which means half of what you need is most likely already in your house!

Savory Seafood Soup

1/2 C butter
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 jar mushrooms
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can whole kernal corn
1 lb shrimp (thawed, if frozen)
1 can whole clams (throw in a second one if you'd like!)
1 lb crab meat or immiatation crab meat, diced
1/4 C milk

heat thick saucepan over medium-low heat
-- melt butter & cream cheese
-- add mushrooms, simmer 3 minutes

stir in soup and corn
-- simmer 5-10 minutes

add milk to thin to likeness
-- add all seafood, heat through 5 minutes
-- serve and ENJOY!!!!

Tomorrow I'll be back to reveal my simple "Egg Tree" that cost a whole dollar but brightens up my day AND to reveal the project that I was so excited about!! It's finally finished, up, and in use!!!

Thanks for not giving up on me, y'all! :D

Thursday, April 7, 2011


So the things I did today were small; mere baby steps toward finished projects. Hopefully tomorrow will allow me to finish off my "big project" for the week. I know I've got to make more cookies! Giant ones! Chocolate Chip & Spring M&Ms.... super simple, super classic. :)

Hope your days were productive. Mine was rather laid back, tinkering here and there, but spending the majority of it in the backyard with my girls, letting them enjoy the sunshine. I also did something that was quite rare for me these days - I read a book.

Now, I've always been a bookworm. ALWAYS. The only best friends I've had in life that didn't let me down were found in the pages of fiction. However, I found this wonderful thing called "fanfiction" and I've been stuck in the land of Drarry (oh, what a happy place to be, too!!!).

Feet dragging, I came back to the real world and read a real book. And then another. And then one more. And, finally, I had to make a run to a town thirty minutes away to buy the last three books of the series. I'm now eagerly anticipating them, but even more than that, I have to appreciate the trip to the store and back.

I got the kids down for the night, tucked away and tuckered out, and stole out the door. (NO! I did not leave them asleep and alone - my parents were both at the house!) The sun had officially set but the sky was still it with bright colors, stretching their rays and clinging to the clouds with quiet disparity. It was beautiful and it was a ride that I haven't taken in years.

A lot of memories and thoughts slid through my mind, carried on the wind of my open (yes, open) windows. It was peaceful and reflective and fun and something I really needed. Every now and then, I think we each need a bit of peace and beauty. I'm very thankful I got a moment of both.

Something more worth while tomorrow - it's my goal!!! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cupcake Creation

This is what I call the Coconut StrawCherry
with Strawberry Buttercream Icing.

And it. Is. GOOD!!!

Sandra Lee, Watch Out!! I'm coming for your job!!!

My mom is a teacher and they've having to do "bench mark testing" this week. Let me tell you, you do not appreciate how much teachers dislike school until you are one - or at least the daughter of one. They don't like it any more than the students do.

That's not to say they don't like their jobs or they don't like passing their knowledge along, it's to say all those ridiculous hoops the government is sliding into place within the school system get tiring after a while. You can only jump so many times before you landing is less than ideal.

I wanted to give the teachers a bit of a "pick me up" between their massive classes of loud, rambunctious, know-it-all tween and teens (seriously?! who thought thirty 17 year olds in ONE ROOM for an hour and a half was a good idea?!). Thus, the Coconut StrawCherry was born.

It all started with a white cake mix. I used Pillsbury cake mix because it's done me good so many times. Moist, cheap, and totally drool worthy all on its own.

Next I added about 1/3 C of strawberry jello. Following that was a pouch of Capri Sun Cherry Flavored juice (and a touch of tap water to round that out to a full cup). I added somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 C of oil, three egg whites, and a half a cup of sweetened, shredded coconut.

Mix, mix, mix, dip and drop out equal (or nearly equal) amounts, into the oven @ 350* for 20 minutes and the smell was smack you in the face GOOOOOOOD!!!

I had to taste one. So I did. It was as yummy as it smelled. I was proud.

Next, I needed icing. Yuuuum....

Buttercream is an awesome standby. It holds up well to time, it doesn't have to be refridgerated, and it's versitile.

Start with the regular recipe:
1/2 C butter
1/2 C shortening
1 tsp STRAWBERRY extract or flavoring
4 C powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk, water, or light Kyro syrup

Mix it up in the order it's listed. The more of the last ingredient you add, the thinner your icing will be so add carefully until you have the consistancy you want.

Today I let mine run a bit thin. I think it gave it the look of those candles made to look like cupcakes?? Um... something like that anyway. The taste makes up for the look. :)

I added a cherry on top. The candied kind. Made me feel whimsical.
*floaty dance*


My only other accomplishment today was getting a hole in my sock. So I chopped the feet off and now I have nifty arm warmers. They have black and white strips with the number 72 at the top. No real meaning, but they made me smile. I 'll take pictures tomorrow.

Hope y'alls day was as productive! :) :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

No Pain, No Gain

If that isn't the truth, I'm not sure what is! I can barely move right now, every step is paired with a grimace and I seem to be stumbling about in a style fashioned after Frankenstein. I'm relatively young, why does my body hate me so? Perhaps because I gave it hardcore abuse for nearly twenty years before laying off and getting lazy. Ah, well.

Shuffle step or no, my yard looks EONS better than it did before I got down and dirty - literally down and dirty! Said dirt is also the reason why I missed out on a full weekend of updates.

Saturday began good and early, up with the sun, and had my dad and I headed out of town. We went to the nearest Home Depot and loaded up our borrowed trailer with extreme amounts of wooden boards, wooden slabs, and wooden posts. And because that wasn't enough wood for us, we stopped off and bought several still-alive wooden beings as well (aka trees).

This took up the majority of the day considering the nearest Home Depot is about half an hour away and when one is traveling with an overloaded trailer dragging along behind their vehicle, tetchy contraption it is, one doesn't get to drive over forty miles per hour. Ugh!

However, there were pockets of time stolen away to look over a wide variety of trees, bushes, flowers, and the sort as well as *bonus* a quick stop at an antique store that left me wiping away the steady flow of drool that escaped my lips before strangers had a chance to take notice. When my eyes bugged out of my head like an old Warner Brother's cartoon character - well, that was understandably harder to hide. Ya win some, ya loose some.

Sunday began at least as early as Saturday, my body pleasantly sore from all the unloading of massive bits of wood. I got to play with a couple of cans of spray paint and decided to start twelve projects all at once. Thanks to my neurotic behaviors, by the end of the day all of the missions were accomplished. Tooting my own horn on that:: TOOT freaking tooty TOOT TooT!

I began with shoveling up massive amounts of monkey grass. Horrid stuff, that monkey grass. It has roots that delve deep and cling like a... well, like a monkey. And it spread, spawns, reproduces and conquers the world nearest to its command center. E-vil. EVIL!

I got frustrated with that after a while and wandered off only to return at the end of the day and finish the task. Before the sun set my forearms and the back of my neck had turned a shade of red that any tomato would envy and my yard looked like a different place completely.

Alllllll the wood we hauled
- stacked and stacked and stacked -

The real trees we bought
- my dad did the hard work of planting them -

cleaned off & prettied up the porch
- ewwwwy spider webs -

cut back all of the ivy
- found the sidewalk again -

that wasn't enough fighting with ivy
- so i took on all that was eating these rocks & won -

then i got addicted to the rocks and dug these up
- i stacked them and made the back of the yard spread uniform -

then I just wanted to play with rocks
- the pots are a result of my spray paint playing -

this was the other spray paint project
- part flower planter, part bird feeder, totally homemade -

the whole picture
- birds and squirrels alike come a'calling -

i wanted more plants and less birdfood
- so i tipped over an old tin bucket and got to moving some dirt -

for a homey touch i moved a relic out into the ivy
- this item is two years older than me and in better shape... sad -

Today I actually got out there and planted some flower seeds, built my homemade birdbath, and began a few other yard projects that I hope to have completed (and photographed!) by next week at the latest. I need to add a few more do-dads to my birdbath before planting it in the yard or sharing it here, but so far it's only cost me $3.50 and it's looking good. :D

Tomorrow it's supposed to rain, rain, rain, so I have no plan beyond lying pathetically on my couch, groaning at the fiery pain I still so freshly feel and the re-burned places on my arms and neck. (You would think I would have learned... and yet, I didn't.)

However, I bought five pairs of bamboo chopsticks from the dollar store (all of them for a dollar total) and plan on making myself some spiffy hair bling from them. *Grin* Oh! & I've got a project I'm working on for my girls. That could keep me entertained whilst the kiddos are at preschool, assuming we aren't all whisked away by the tornados they're threatening us with tonight!

My ramble has been long,
my good night hat is now on,
may the mighty winds blow,
away to Kansas we may goooo! :D

Bird Feeder/Planter::

Need ::
- Large flower pot
- 5 or more medium or small flower pots
- spray paint if you'd like
- long metal post
- heavy duty glue
- potting soil
- flower seeds
- bird seed

1. drill a hole in the center of your largest flower pot

2. locate where you want your yard art

3. dig a shallow hole, just big enough for your largest flower pot to snuggle into

4. hammer metal post through the center of the flower pot (through the hole) till well entrenched

5. fill pot with potting soil

6. dig small indention in soil and lower a smaller pot over the metal pole at an angle

7. repeat process with a second pot, facing the opposit direction
--- smear glue over lip of lower pot where the upper pot will sit against it
--- repeat till height is desired

8. i used a small collection of rocks in the base of each of my flower pots to help weight them and take up a little bit of space so i didn't loose/ruin too much bird seed. This is optional, do or don't do this step.

9. Fill upper pots with bird seed, plant flowers in the largest pot. Done!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

NC17: NUDE Pictures, Before & After!!!

Time to do some body re-shaping! :D



If you didn't see that one coming, I'm not sure there's help for you out there ;)

However, today it seems, was a day for silliness! Just check out our dinner::

The idea was that you couldn't tell one course from the next - they were all supposed to look like cupcakes. It didn't come out quite like I had imaged, but it was mighty tasty and we enjoyed it as a family; I called the grandparents in once more and we all acted like fools together! :)

The rest of the day was pretty much spent making these:

Chocolate Chip (standard)

Southern Savory

Banana Sundae

It was a good day, a busy day, and a day for inventing! The Banana Sundae was totally my creation! No outside inspiration, no "based off of this recipe"... just me! SUPER excited over such a small thing, but so is life. :)

It's pretty simple, all things considered... yellow cake mix, 1/2 C chopped candied cherries, 1/2 C chocolate chips, 1/2 C walnuts, 2 tsp banana flavoring (I'll try mushed up bananas next time!), 2 eggs, 1/2 C veg oil - mix, roll into 1 inch balls, and bake @ 375* for 10 minutes. YAUM!

There are a lot of possible tweaks with this recipe, too. Like dipping it in chocolate, topping it with caramel, adding that mushed banana I mentioned... mmmmm. I can't wait to play around with it! :D

To bring myself up to date, this is the list so far:

1. Cooking
1. Brown Sugar Meatloaf
2. Maple Porkchops OR Maple Salmon
3. Drunken Coffee Jello Squares - You can argue that these are "bake", but i'll argue back ;)
4. Homemade Cinnamon Bread

2. Baking
1. Eclairs! Loooove them! Now I want to MAKE them!
2. Cherry Pound Cake. Yum.
3. Playdough Cookies. Fun for the kids, too!
4. S'mores Cookie Bars My sister's obsession is slowly becoming my own.

3. Crafts
1. Flower Faires
2. Hair Bows
3. Paper Flowers
4. Toliet Paper Roll Wall Art

4. Cleaning
1. Organizing the Laundry Room Cabinets
2. Decorating the Mantel
3. Reorganizing the Baking Supplies
4. Cleaning the Kitchen Counters (the dreaded moving of the microwave!)

Not too much left to do before I need a new list & tomorrow already has plans for landscaping with my dad. We're headed out of town to get a few trees, some lumber, and perhaps a plant or two? I'm pretty excited about this project, though it will take a while to complete. I'm just hoping I get to be hands on from beginning to end! :D

In the vein of keeping some of these posts short and sweet I'll end things here - no trick. ;)

Happy April Fools!!! ((& Happy Birthday to Fred & George!!))