Friday, July 30, 2010

Bathroom Update and a Ticking Shower Curtain

As you may now, I have become obsessed with red.  I have always wanted a red kitchen and I finally go that done.  Here it is right after we painted it.


My obsession with red continued on to the kids bathroom.  We recently painted it red too.  I'll have more pictures of the entire bathroom later, but today I wanted to show you my new shower curtain.

But, you need to check out the inspirations first.  Shauna over at Show and Tell has an amazing house.  I am obsessed with her laundry room and her bathroom!  When she posted a picture of her shower was love at first ruffled glance.  Check it out!

Isn't it amazing?  I love all the ruffles!!  So cute!!  You can find her post here

I love the ruffled shower curtain, however, I knew I didn't want white in my kids bathroom.  It's beautiful but my kids are dirty little creatures and I knew it would be GROSS in just a few days.  I searched and searched for fabric.  I looooove damask, but I use it a lot and thought maybe I needed to go a different direction.  I couldn't find anything that screamed "I'm the one!" and then I saw an old curtain I made for the kitchen a long time ago.  It was red ticking.  I love ticking stripes.  I think they are so homey and simple.  I looked everywhere for white and black ticking with no luck.  then one day at Hobby Lobby, I came across a cream and black ticking.  So, I bought 5 1/2 yards.  This is what I ended up with.

I ran out of fabric so right now I've only got three rows of ruffles.  This is them upclose.

I've got to get more fabric for more ruffles, but I was trying to get it done before my company came.  I'll add more ruffles eventually. 

Hubby spray painted the curtain rod for me and I used curtain clips from Wal-Mart for hanging.  I think all together this cost about $32 because the fabric was 30% off.  YEA!  Not bad, of course, I do have more ruffles to add so it will end up being a little more.

I'm linking this project to the following parties:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting To Know Your Thursday....What Is Romance??

I love romantic comedies.  I think they are lovely, happy little movies that let me escape into another world.  They are funny and romantic, hence the name of the genre.  I think maybe these movies do shape our view of romance.  I love movies like Music and Lyrics, Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally, The Holiday, You've Got Mail, Fools Rush In, etc.  They always have a little conflict of some kind that is overcome and then there is a grand romantic gesture of some kind.  In Music and Lyrics, the grand gesture consists of song written by a man and sung onstage at a concert.  Here's a clip:


Awww, how I love romantic comedies. 

Then there are the dramas.  The Notebook (my FAVORITE), Titanic, Dirty Dancing, and who can forget An Officer and a Gentleman.  Again, the grand gesture prevails.  Who can forget when Richard Gere, in his dress whites, walks into that factory, picks up Debra Winger in his arms and "rescues" her from her dismal little life and factory job.  Awww, the grand gesture seems to be the romantic go to in most movies. 

Then there is the obvious romantic things:  roses or flowers, candlelight dinner and dancing, moonlit walks on the beach, etc.  These are the things you expect to find on someone's online dating bio.  They are romantic in theory, but sometimes a little overdone.  Now, sending you a bouquet of your favorite flower, like say....Casablanca lillies, which are harder to find and takes a little effort....that's romantic to me. 

So, what's your most romantic date?  Mine would have to be the night my Hubby proposed.  We were suppossed to go to The Waffle House to eat.  He was already at my house waiting for me to get home.  He met me at the door and in the kitchen was a candlelight dinner with his awesome chicken fetticine alfredo, and soft music in the background.  It was very romantic.  And then, he asked me to dance, which he NEVER does, so that was a huge romantic gesture on his part.  Then the ten minute speech about how much he loved me and couldn't live without me and then my ring.  That was almost ten years ago.  That was the last candlelight dinner we had.  Hmmmm.  Does that mean the romance is gone???  Absolutely not.  It means, our idea of romance has changed.

Let's get real for a moment shall we?  We live in 1500 square feet with four kids, including L, who is autistic.  Hubby works full time and I stay at home, which means, we have no extra $$ lying around for huge romantic gestures.  You know the most romantic thing he's done for me lately?  Last year, during a particularly hard financial time, I was having horrible headaches.  I knew it was my eyes because I hadn't had my eyes checked in five years or so, but we just didn't have the extra cash to have it done.  So, Hubby came home one day with a receipt saying he had sold some stock.  He had already made me an appointment with the eye doctor and the check would be here within a week.  I cried like a baby because he knew I would put up with headaches for months without any relief because we just didn't have the extra money. 

Know what else is romantic?  When he loads the dishwasher for me, even if he doesn't do it the way I would.  When he brushes the kids teeth.  When he checks my oil for me.  When he entertains the kids so I can soak in the tub, with a good book, without a kid trying to climb in with me.  When he dances with me in the kitchen, amongst the kids, the dogs and the dirty dishes.  When he tells me he loves me twenty-five times a day.  When he makes me laugh after a bad day, or after a good one.  Because, he's my BEST friend and because he's always there, for the good stuff and the bad stuff.  That is romantic to me.   

What about you?  Have your views of romance changed over the years?  What's the most romantic thing your spouse/significant other has done for you lately? 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Show Me The Progress Party...The Front Porch Edition

Amanda is having a Show Me The Progress Party today, so I thought I'd show off the front porch because it's pretty much the only progress I've made lately.  This is the original post.  Here is the before picture: 

Boring, right?  The whole house is tan.  The only color was from the bench Hubby painted red for me and the color from the kids bikes, four to be exact!  I'm sure our neighbors must think I am the old lady from "There Once Was An Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe" from all the bikes and/or scooters on the porch.  So, we moved the bikes off of the front porch so that it's not quite so obvious that I'm the old lady who lives in a shoe - actually I live in a shoebox size house, but that's another story. 

I painted the front door black (find that post here)

 and made a new burlap wreath (find that post here). 

Then I made some new pillows for my bench (find that post here.) 

Let's just pretend that I dusted the bench before I took this picture.  You can pretend, right?

This is the current photo:

I still have a lot to do.  I still need to paint my chippy white rockers and I still need to add something between the door and the window and get a new doormat, but it's progress anyway. 

Run on over to Amanda's and check out everyone's progress.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Have you ever been to Copeland's?  I went there with Hubby on date night several months ago - okay like a year ago if you wanna get techinical - anyway, they had this fabulous shrimp pasta dish with cajun alfredo type sauce.  Ever had anything like that?  It's all yummy and gooey with cream and butter and lots of cheesey goodness and it's so good that you can actually feel your butt getting wider with every bite?  Yes, I ate the whole bowl and felt so guilty that I'm pretty sure I had dessert too.  So, I became so obsessed with this bowl full of heaven, that I decided to do my best to recreate it at home with fewer calories than your average alfredo sauce. 

First you need to thaw your shrimp, that is, if you're lazy like me and use the bagged frozen kind like I do - $5.48 at Wal-Mart for the small, deveined with tails off.  I thaw them by putting in a strainer and running cool water on top for a few minutes.  Then I sprinkle with a little cajun seasoning (like Tony Chachere's) and cook very briefly in a frying pan - just until warm because they are already cooked. 

Boil pasta of your choice.  I usually use angel hair - about 2/3 of a box.  Next you need to make a roux (not sure if it's spelled right).  Melt 3 TBSP. butter in a frying pan and add about 2 1/2 Tbsp. flour and stir. 

Now, add a can of fat free evaporated milk and bring to almost a boil on medium.  When it starts bubbling around the corners, add your parmesan cheese, shredded or grated, fresh if possible.  Turn the heat on to low-medium and let the cheese melt.  Add cajun seasoning to taste and a dash of cayanne.  Toss pasta, sauce and shrimp together.  This is the end result.

Okay, so I should've staged it a little better.  Most of the shrimp is hidden under the pasta.  OOPS!  I serve with cheddar garlic biscuits and a salad.  YUM!

I'm linking up to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Movie and Pizza Night

Wednesday night is our designated Family Night.  We either have Family Game Night or Family Movie Night.  We try to have "fun" food and time together for some family friendly fun. 

On our last Family Movie Night we made homemade pizza.  Now, let's get real here - I've never been a fan of homemade pizza.  The crust is never right.  It's either too doughy, the wrong texture, or just not quite right.  We have a small franchise pizza place in our town that has a wonderful crust.  It has just a little bit of a beer taste or I've been told it could just be the yeast in it, either way, it's soooo good!  So, when I saw this Beer Batter Pizza Dough over at Alli 'n Son's blog, I couldn't wait to try it!! 

C and J had a great time kneading the dough and helping me roll it out. 

I have not found a pizza sauce recipe that I'm in love with yet, so I used canned tomato sauce and just added some spices.  Then we topped it with mushrooms, pepperoni and a blend of cheese.  Then, because I try very hard not to use my crappy un-insulated oven because it makes my house hotter than....well, hotter than it should be, I decided to cook them on the grill.  It worked pretty well.  The temperature on the grill was about 450-500 degrees.  I used just a plain metal pizza pan because I don't own one of those fancy pizza stones.  They actually turned out really well.  This was BY FAR the best pizza dough I've tried! 

Then we all piled up in the living room and watched this: 

It was really cute!  Even my 4 year old watched most of it.  Although, as usual, L retreated to our room to watch Heffalump.  He loves Heffalump.

Do you have family night at your house?  What is your family night routine?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A New Old TV Stand

This is my TV stand that I bought back in 1993.  It served a poor working girl well during that time.  It later housed a TV, DVD player and DVD's in the kids' room at my mom's house.  When mom got new furniture a few months ago, I got it back.  I realized it would be perfect to put out DVD player on since we moved our TV, but not our surround sound and wiring.  This is my before TV stand.

Check out that lovely "honey oak" orangey stain.  Nice, huh?  Hello 1993! 

So, I primed it with this.

Yes, I am painting in my kitchen.  It's 103 degree heat index outside.  No thank you!

Then I painted it with Behr Black Suede, (suggested by  Sarah at Thrify Decor Chick, per The CSI Project) -two coats and then lightly sanded the edges for a slightly distressed look.  I painted the hinges with Satin Nickel spray paint.

Here's the end result. 

It's not perfect, but it's sooo much better! 

I'm linking this to The CSI Project's Favorite Project of the Year!

Thanks to Visit for giving me the inspiration to FINALLY get this done.  If you have a furniture makeover to enter at CSI Project, click on the button above. 

I am also linking to these parties:  Thrifty Decor ChickBefore and After Party and




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a Craft Room

When I was growing up, my grandmother had a craft/sewing room, which was always a total mess!  She arranged the flowers for church every Sunday so she had flowers, oasis and all of the flower vases, baskets and wreath forms you can imagine.  She was also an artist and had TONS of paint as well as a her sewing machine.  She was a very crafty lady.  We would go to her house and end up staying in that craft room for HOURS!  We would paint everything we could get our hands on - from canvas to wood to clothes.  We must have gone through thousands of gallons of craft paint.  That craft room is where my sister and I spent most of our time with our grandmother. 

My grandmother's little craft room was just that....little.  It was probably 10 x 10 and we loved every inch of it.  It had shelves, cabinets, a sink, and an old dinette set we used as our painting surface.  It was our home away from home. 

I've been dreaming about my own craft room lately...the one I don't have.  My craft/sewing stuff is scattered in parts of my bedroom and dining room.  I wish I had my own room with plenty of space for painting, sewing and crafting of all kinds.  As long as we're dreaming, let's dream BIG!

Photo courtesy of HGTV

Photo courtesy of HGTV

Photo of Patty Young's studio from her blog

Ahhh, someday.  do you have a craft or sewing room?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Easiest Mock Peach Cobbler EVER!

As I said yesterday, I am on a little diet kick at my house.  I gained three pounds last week between having company and visiting my in-laws.  I made this dessert to take to my mom's on 4th of July.  It's EASY and it's delicious.  My mom has been making this for YEARS and it never disappoints!

Let's get one thing out on the table before we even start.  I don't roll out dough.  I know, it's the best wasy to make pie, cobbler, etc.  but it just doesn't happen at my house.  I'm a little lazy.  There, I said it.  Moving on....

Ready for this?

3 Ingredients:

Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix
Butter, 1 stick, not margerine!!
1 large can of cut peaches in HEAVY syrup

Dump about half the cake mix in a 9 x 13.  Arrange the peaches on top of the cake mix evenly and pour the syrup on top.  Pour the rest of the cake mix on top.  Cut up butter into pats and place on top of the cake mix. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  A few additional pats of butter may be used for any dry spots.  Wanna see what it looks like all golden brown and pretty?  Yeah, me too.  Sadly, I'm a dork and forgot to take a picture.  Sorry!

There you go.  Super easy, buttery wonderfulness (I know it's not a word, but this yummy dish deserves a new word).  My Hubby loves it with vanilla ice cream on top. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Welcome to Summertime Cruise Lines

Hello. My name is Mom and I'll be your cruise director. We'll have breakfast in the dining room at 8:00. There will be kareoke in the playroom at 9:00, bowling Wii tournament at 10:00 in the playroom and lunch will be served promptly at 11:00 in the dining room. After lunch will be a short nap/rest time in your room so that mommy can gather her sanity before she runs screaming from the house!

It's only half way through summer and I'm already hearing "I'm bored!" Seriously? I've got some cleaning that I'd be happy for you to do if you'd like to take a break from bickering with your siblings. UGH! I am apparently "paying for my raising" as my mother would say. I remember complaining of being bored when I was young too. I WISH I had time to be bored!!

Hubby, being the semi-organized manager type that he is, decided to give them some structure and make them a schedule of sorts. There is specific time for TV/video games, chores, play time, outside time, meal time, family time, etc. Ya know what's missing from the list? MOMMY TIME! I have been with these kids constantly and I need a break! Seriously, our trip to the library yesterday was enough to make me want to take Prozac (I hear it's also an appetite suppressent - WIN-WIN! HA!).  UGH!  What I wouldn't do for a free day and $ with which to do non-cruise director type stuff! UGH!

So, let me take a moment to dream about a day off. I would sleep late - until at least 8:30. Then I would get my coffee and just sit and watch the Today show for a few minutes. Then I would take a shower, fix my hair - NOT in a ponytail - put on makeup like a real girl and put on something CUTE. Oh wait, I don't own anything cute so I better go shopping. So, I head to the mall (I pause for just a moment at the back of the van before I realize I don't have to get out the stroller.  WOO HOO!) and find something adorable that compliments my junk in the trunk and makes me look slightly taller and therefore slimmer. Then to the salon for a mani/pedi (I've done that once for Mother's Day in 5 years). Then, home to put on my new cute outfit for a hot date with my Hubby. Ahhh! A day off sounds FANTASTIC! BUT, be 8:00 p.m. I'd have to go wherever my kids are and pick them up 'cause I'd be missing those little munchkins.

Maybe we'll have a dance contest in the living room at 9:00 or a 9:30 sundae buffet in the dining room before bed.  Maybe I should've been a cruise director.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Front Porch Pillows

A few months ago, at Amanda's Decorating Dilemma Party (see post here ), I complained about my front porch.  It was BORING!!!  I got LOTS of suggestions and have made a few improvements, including the pillows I made.  Wanna see?

I love me some zebra!  I adore the envelope pillow with the green button.  Wanna see a close up?

Isn't it cute?  I used a ribbon covered button and a hair tie for the envelope closure.  It's far from perfect, but I think it turned out pretty good considering I didn't use a pattern.  I really wanted to try a pillow with cording, but I ran out of time .  I was trying to get this done before my company got here so I didn't have time for trial and error. 

So, here's the front porch now:


I still have some improvements to do, but it's looking better. 

I'm linking up to: 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dishing It @ Amanda's Blog....Summer Reading List

So, my friend Amanda is having another Dishing It Party.  This months topic is about your Summer Reading List.  Hmmmm.  I love to read.  I constantly snuggle up in the window seat with lots of pillows and a good book.  I always have a Raspberry Mocha and plate of cookies on hand too.  Yeah, right!!!!  I'm also a size 2 and a part time swimsuit model. 

Actually, I do love to read, I just don't have a lot of time.  If I sit down to read a book, I end up reading the same page over and over because I'm so distracted from all the "Mommy, I need" and "Mommy, I want" or "Mommy, she/he...blah, blah, blah".  It's so hard to read with lots of distractions!  That's why I only ready five or six books a year, if that.

The books that I enjoy reading are chick books, with the occasional book on autism.  I love Nicholas Sparks books, especially The Notebook, which is also one of my favorite movies. 

I do enjoy Danielle Steele even though they're usually a little predictible.  I love suspense movies, but I don't read murder mystery type books because I need to know the end of the story before I go to bed, or else I won't sleep or I'll have nightmares if I do sleep.  I do enjoy books with a happy ending.  I think there is enough bad stuff going on in the world today, that I don't want to fill my spare time (what little I have), with sadness, fear and other bad things.  I also do enjoy Carly Phillips if I want a "beach read", ya know something quick and entertaining.  Also, as much as I hate sci-fi, I did enjoy the Twilight series very much!

One of the questions was "where is your favorite place to read?"  I usually read in the school pick up line because I am in the car a little over an hour in the afternoon.  That's usually when I read.  I also like to read in the bathtub, but only if I don't have little ones interrupting me constantly.  That's a nice visual, huh?  So sorry about that.

I get most of my books from either my mom or the library.  My mom ready constantly so she usually has several I haven't read. If not from my mom, then from the library.  I rarely go buy books, except for sometimes from the Used section. 

What's next on my reading list?  There is one Nicholas Sparks book I haven't read and the new Safe Haven, due on soon.  I need to get my hands on that when school starts. 

As far as magazines I read, I read Glamour from cover to cover every month.  When I can get my hands on People (too expensive to have a subscription), I read it from cover to cover too.  I also really love my Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens and House Beautiful. 

Just FYI, if anybody has a child recently diagnosed with autism, I strongly recommend the book Ten Things Every Autistic Child Wishes You Knew.  It's excellent and an easy read.  It helps you understand the way autistic kids sensory issues work.  Awesome book and fairly cheap too.  We bought enough to send to all our relatives to read to help them understand L's issues. 

So, what's your story (HA!  Get it?  I know, I'm a dork!)  Anyway, run over to Amanda's and party with us. 


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cresent Cinnamon Rolls

Have you ever had a craving for cinnamon rolls?  Ya know that craving that you just can't get rid of?  Cinnamon and sugar and icing - three of my favorite things all in one.  I crave chocolate like most of the women in the universe, but cinnamon and sugar are right up there with chocolate for me. 

So, last week Hubby and I were sitting on the couch watching TV and I just couldn't contain my craving any longer.  After battling it for days, I finally gave in.  I'd just make some canned cinnamon rolls really quick and eat a few and saved the rest for the kids for breakfast.  But, alas, we didn't have any canned cinnamon rolls.  But, I had cresent rolls.  Oh yeah, baby! 

I rolled out the canned dough and spread a little softened butter and sprinkled a generous amount of cinnamon and sugar.  I rolled up the cresents and sprinkled a little more cinnamon and sugar.  Then I baked them according to the directions (I think it was 375 degrees for 12 minutes or so).

Top with powdered sugar, milk and vanilla mixed together for the icing.  Sometimes I add a little softened cream cheese to the mixture.  SO YUMMY! 

They are so fabulous and buttery and I ate a  lot of them, four to be exact.  I shared with Hubby.  I didn't save any for the kids  - they were asleep - ya snooze, ya lose, right?  I am such a bad mom.  I guess that's why I gained 3 pounds last week.  Oh well.  More of me to love.  Maybe that's why my Hubby calls my backside cinnamon buns!  I know, TMI!

I'm linking up to Tasty Tuesday @ Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday @ Blessed With Grace. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend Pounds and a Little Inspiration

Last week my SIL and BIL came up from Houston for a visit.  The stayed a few days ago and then we all met this weekend in Big D (Dallas) at my FIL's house.  We had a wonderful weekend full of family and fun and unfortunately, food.  I gained three pounds this week!  UGH!  I didn't make it to the gym this morning either.  The kids were so tired that I could barely get them out of bed.  I see an early bedtime in our future tonight. 

Anyway, I generally have to have an event coming up to really get into the weight loss mood.  I have no such event coming up.  The only event I am counting down to is the beginning of school in August.  So, because I have no event, I thought I would inspire myself with a few pictures. 

This is my fitness dream:

Stacy Ferguson aka Fergie

Okay, let's just be very honest and get real here for a moment.  I am not now, nor have I ever been one of those little skinny girls.  Even when I starved myself down to a size 8 (which lasted about 10 minutes), I wasn't skinny.  Frankly, I looked a little funny.  As I have said before, I have a little junk in the trunk.  Never once in my life was called "chicken legs" or anything like that.  I'm larger on the bottom than the top.  If I lose too much weight, I look unbalanced.  Fergie is not a skinny girl either, but she has great legs!  I would love to have legs like her.  She's my fitness inspiration.

Photo courtesy of InStyle magazine

I am so in love with the boyfriend jeans.  Doesn't Reese Witherspoon look adorable in her boyfriend jeans?  She is so stinkin' cute!  I want to be able to buy cute boyfriend jeans in a size smaller than 84.  I'm thinking if I had to buy boyfriend jeans in my size, they wouldn't look so cute. 

Dress from Target.

My sweet Hubby bought me this dress from Target.  I absolutely love it, but it would look a little better on me if I was a little thinner.  Just sayin.

Also, bulky warm, cozy sweater season is just around the corner.  Those add on another 10 pounds.  Better lose weight before sweater season. 

Anybody have any secret tips for something you've tried?  Guess I'm off to eat a Lean Cuisine.