Thursday, September 30, 2010

Getting To Know You Thursday....Take Me Back in Time

Have you ever been minding your own business when all of a sudden something stops you in your tracks.  It can happen anywhere.  All of a sudden you are in another place, transported.  You may find yourself laughing hysterically, smiling to yourself, or crying like a baby.

For me, it happened in the middle of Wal-Mart.  I was walking down the aisle and it hit me right in the face, or the nose, to be more precise.  I looked to my left to see an older lady walking by and smiling at me.  I was reduced to tears in the middle of Wal-Mart. 

All of a sudden, I remembered being in my grandmother's blue Lincoln.  She picked me up from school and headed to McDonald's for an after school treat, usually a hot fudge sundae.  Then, we were shopping for a wedding dress. Then we were at church.  She was sitting right beside me in the pew with her arm around me.  It was like she was right beside me if I closed my eyes.  Then, as quickly as came, it was gone, leaving me sobbing in the middle of the aisle. 

The olfactory sense is a powerful thing.  My grandmother wore L'Air Du Temps by Nina Ricci.  She wore it for as long as I can remember.  It was her signature scent.  Anytime I smell it, it takes me back to happy times spent with her.  She's been gone for nine years next month and I still can't smell it without crying. 

My sweet grandparents.


The smell of fresh shelled peas reminds me of spending time at my aunt's house, where my mom grew up with her grandmother.  We would sit on the porch and shell peas or sometimes in front of the TV in the living room, if the soaps were on. 

Jovan Wild Musk Oil (I believe is what it's called) reminds me of my mom.  I rarely smell it anymore, but when I do, it takes me back to being a little girl, maybe 4, and riding in the car next to my mom.  Back before car seats were the law, I would stand beside her when she drove.  I still remember the little brown bottle with the little wand in it.  It smells like love to me. 

The smell of roses always reminds me of my wedding day, the happiest day of my life. 



What smells take you back to another time? 



Signature

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bibs, Burpies and Baby Sheets

Busy, busy week!  Hubby is on vacation so I'm excited about a week with him.  YEA!  I did want to show y'all a few things I've made recently. 


I just love this Sandi Henderson fabric.  This is for baby Chloe.

AND

I have a client who recently moved her daughter into a toddler bed, but couldn't find a toddler flat sheet anywhere.  So, here is Leah's new flat sheet, personalized of course.


Sweet pink and brown fabric.  Hope you love it Leah!  You're such a big girl!


Signature

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Black Walnut Cake

Have you ever been cooking for a special occasion when things just fall apart....literally and figuratively.  Today is my sweet MIL's birthday.  I make her birthday cake every year.  Usually she wants coconut cake or Italian Cream cake, but this year she wanted Black Walnut Cake.  I've never made a Black Walnut Cake or even eaten a black walnut, but that's what she wanted, so I started looking for a recipe.  I found one on allrecipes.com.  Here is the recipe:

BLACK WALNUT CAKE

Ingredients


1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped black walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing just until the yellow disappears. Combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in the vanilla and walnuts, and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the crown comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 592
Total Fat: 29.7g
Cholesterol: 130mg

So, I made the cake and it smelled wonderful!  I let it cool in the pan as directed. 



Doesn't that look good?  But when I went to turn it out onto my cake plate, it stuck and when I say stuck I mean STUCK!  Half of the cake came out, half did not. 



Boy, if that isn't a hot mess, I don't know what is.  We had about an hour before we were supposed to be at my MIL's house.  No time to make another cake.  Stupid, crappy, bundt pan!  UGH! 

So, Nannie (Hubby's grandmother) and I made an executive decision that we would make frosting to cover it.  So, I opted for cream cheese icing. 


It's certainly not perfect, but at least it's better than no cake at all.  I'm glad to say that she loved the addition of the icing.  Hubby made her favorite homemade ice cream and we surprised her with Nannie (she didn't know she was in town from Texas).  She was very excited!  It was a good night, despite broken cake.  It actually tasted wonderful, although I'm not a HUGE fan of black walnuts.  If it were for me, I would've used regular walnuts.  But, that's just me. 

Hope y'all have a good day!





Signature

Monday, September 27, 2010

WHAT A GREAT WEEKEND!

Hello friends!  Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!!!  We had a visitor this weekend.  Hubby's grandmother is in from Texas.  The kids were very excited to see her.  Also, my nephew's birthday party was this weekend.  It was a skating party.  My kids were soooo excited.  My two little ones had never been skating before.  It was quite an experience.


Sweet birthday boy blowing out his candles.


C & J taking a break and STILL holding on to the wall.


My cutie pie brother insisted on speed skates.  He was a champion speed skater in the small town we grew up in.


E was very excited about skating.  I think she thought it would be easy and she would look like Minnie Mouse on Twice Upon a Christmas.  She did skate a little, but had a little more fun doing this:


video
She was so upset when they turned on the lights and her spotlight disappeared! 

My sister and I put on skates too.  Sorry, no pictures of me busting my behind - which I did twice.  It's been a long time since I spent my Friday and Saturday nights at the skating rink. 

In other news, do you read Kelly's Korner Blog.  Well, I sent little Harper a birthday present - a HOGS shirt for the Razorback games and she had it on for the game Saturday.  YEA!  I hate the Hogs lost to Alabama, but at least my Cowboys beat the Texans yesterday!  WOO HOO! 

What did y'all do this weekend?







Signature

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Just Don't Get It

I've spoken of my love for TV quite a few times.  I love my TV.  My mom said that when I was little, I would leave during the show and come back only for the commercials.  I would memorize the little tunes and sing them constantly.  I thought about going into advertising, but I didn't think I was cut-throat enough to make a career out of it.  Anyway, have you ever been sitting on the couch, enjoying your episode of Castle or Gray's Anatomy, or Big Bang Theory and all of a sudden a commercial comes on that is just plain mind boggling.  How do people come up with this stuff?  I just wanted to share my view on two commercials that I just don't get.





 This is a commercial for Acqua Di Gio by Georgio Armani.  I just don't get it.  Please someone tell me why this poor chick is wandering alone in the rainforest?  Did her plane crash?  Was she supposed to be on Lost and got lost?  I get the connection of all the water and the "acqua" in the name of the perfume, but who is this commercial targeting?  Are there women who wander around in long maxi dresses in the rainforest that I don't know about?  I, for one, have never wallered around on the floor of the rainforest - there are snakes and scary bugs there people.  Also, she's rubbing leaves and flowers all over her half naked self.  Is there some handsome doctor in the next scene who is going to rub Calomine all over her from the poison ivy and other scary things she may get from those leaves?  Is this wandering through the rainforest a pastime that I was not aware of?  And what's with the rolling around in the water on the beach?


This is the scene from the movie From Here to Eternity.  This rolling around in the water, I get.  A man and a woman passionately kissing while the waves overtake them - that I get.  Rolling around by yourself in the water, not so much.  Not even to mention, those waves stir up lots of sand and you end up dirty in places that tend to be a little...irritating, to say the least.  Not that I would necessarily know from experience.  (blushing)


One more commercial that I just don't get is the Cialis commercial.  I couldn't find a video of it anywhere.  It's the one where the couple starts out in the kitchen, loading the dishwasher and then all of the kitchen walls disappear and they end up in the forest (what is it with the forest?) and I think eventually in bathtubs. 

First of all, I have never, EVER been loading the dishwasher and got, shall we say...romantic inclinations.  Never.  Ever.  Now, a better scenario might have been, him loading the dishwasher, while she was lounging in another room or something, maybe reading a good book.  Is it the dishwasher that is turning her on?  Do I need a new dishwasher?  I don't get it. 

Second, all the walls fall down and suddenly they are in the forest sitting on a rock.  WHAT?  What is it with the forest????  Then, all of a sudden, they are in seperate bathtubs on the deck, looking out on......you guessed it, the forest.  Seriously?  Not even to mention they are in seperate bathtubs.  Wouldn't they be in the same bathtub?  Is this supposed to be after their little tryst or before?    It's all very confusing for me.  I don't get it.  I'm not expecting either of these commercials to win a Cleo award anytime soon.   

Is it just me or am I the only one who thinks of these things while watching commercials?


Signature

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Getting To Know You Thursday.....Favorite Birthday

Because I have so many birthdays in September (6 family members), birthdays have been on my mind.  We don't do huge expensive birthday parties for our kids every year.  We usually just get together as a family and the birthday person gets whatever they want to eat for supper and whatever birthday dessert their little heart desires - unless it's September and there is no pumpkin to be found for the pumpkin pie you want - then you have to settle for something else.  And, of course, we always have presents. 

My favorite birthday was probably my 30th.  I know the 30th birthday could potentially be very depressing for some.  Truth is, I was too happy at the time to even think much about it.  I was five days away from marrying Hubby so I wasn't even concerned about my birthday.  I was completely consumed with last minute wedding arrangements and our everyday lives. 

My birthday was on a Friday, which to us, meant Co-Ed volleyball.  Every Friday night, we played volleyball for our town's church volleyball league.  My parents played, Hubby and I played, all of our friends played.  It was our Friday night ritual.  When time and money allowed, we would go out to eat after our games.  It was a great time of food and fellowship with our friends and family.  After our game that night, we planned to go to my mom's house to pick something up before we met everyone at the restaurant.  I walked into my mom's house and out everyone jumped.  "Surprise!"  I was shocked!  All the people we were supposed to meet at the restaurant, were in my mom's living room.  I still don't know how they beat us to mom's, especially since there were no cars in the driveway.  We had a wonderful night of food, fellowship and kareoke (my friend's Hubby was a DJ).  It was the biggest surprise of my life, cooked up by my mom and my Hubby.  I don't think I ever felt more special than right then.  The happiness I felt that night and five days later totally made turning 30, not such a bad thing. 

That's my favorite birthday memory.  What's yours?  Did you have a special party?  Did you get a special present or take a special trip?  I'd love to hear your story.

On a sidenote, I will be turning 40 in January.  I'm praying for a vacation with Hubby for the 40th and our 10th anniversary.  From my computer, to God's ear.  Hee!  Hee!





Signature

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Crafty Girl

It's September 22nd, which is a milestone at my house.  My little tiny baby girl is turning 13 today!  I can't believe she went from this:



to this:


to this:



Time flies!

So, I just thought I'd share her crafty project for the week.  C loves Halloween.  I'm not a big Halloween decorator.  It's usually so hot that I skip the Halloween and fall decor because I just can't get in the mood for it when it's 95 degrees outside.  By the time it finally starts cooling off around here, I go straight for the Christmas decorations.  C, who was "bored" and could no longer go without a Halloween decoration in sight, decided to take it upon herself to make something for Halloween.  This is what she came up with:



She used scrapbook paper and ribbon and printed out the letters she wanted in MS Word and cut them out and glued them on.  Pretty cute, I would say.



Here it is with E's beloved pumpkin on my front table.  It's not much in the way of fall decor, but it's a start. 

Happy Birthday to my Crafty Girl! 


Signature

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dining Room Window Treatments

Back in July, when I was expecting company, I made a few improvements.  Some of them I liked.  Some of them......I'm not so sure about. 





This is my big ole dining room window.  I desperately wanted some kind of window treatments, something simple.  I had some fabric left over from this project. 


This is the fabric.  I loved that it had a little red, but also some black, gold and green.  So, with my leftover fabric, I made a little topper, a valance I guess.  I think I hate it.  What do y'all think?  I ran out of fabric so I had to just use what I had. 




I do realize that Hubby hung it to low, but I wasn't paying attention and I figured I would wait until I got ready to change the whole thing before I made him redo it.  Do you think it's too small?  I'm thinking I need something.....more.....something.  I didn't have enough fabric to make it long enough to gather up so it's more like a straight panel.  Not good.  I think maybe I need something longer too, but my floor gets sooooo dirty with all these kids around.  What do y'all think?  I thought about drop cloth treatments with some ribbon around the edges or maybe a contrasting fabric on the bottom.  I'm not sure yet,  but I think they plain drop cloths would be too light for all the color.  Do you agree or disagree?  I'm really thinking something like this:


Ballard Designs

Aren't they pretty?  Well, these are not available anymore, but I know I could make them for less than they would've been since everything they have is EXPENSIVE!!!  Not to mention that these are silk - not so great with kids. 

So, what do you think?  Be honest!  No hurt feelings here. 




Signature

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Last Lake Visit of the Summer

Well, summer is coming to an end.  Fall officially starts tomorrow and this weekend was our last visit to the lake.  We were there to celebrate our family birthdays.  My "C" will be 13 on Wednesday.  I will have a teenager.  She wanted one last visit at the lake for her birthday, so Mom played party hostess.  C wanted grilled burgers and guacamole for lunch and wanted pumpkin pie instead of birthday cake.  I looked all over town for pumpkin (which consists of two stores) and was told they don't stock canned pumpkin until closer to Thanksgiving.  Hmmmmm.  So, she opted for Dirt Cake with sour gummy worms instead. 

It was also my nephew "M"'s birthday yesterday, so we celebrated his birthday as well.  He opted for banana pudding. 


The birthday kids blowing out their candles. 


M's favorite gift - his new Iron Man helment!


C loved her new jelly watch and peacock rain boots!

After lunch, presents and dessert, we did a little of this:


and a little of this



We all had a fabulous day.  Then we went back to the house to find this:


Who knew butterflies like ketchup? 

Also, my Razorbacks beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the last minutes of the game.  They just barely pulled it out.  Sadly, my Cowboys weren't so lucky.  Better luck next time guys!

What did y'all do for the last official weekend of the summer?



Signature

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting To Know You Thursday....What TV Show Is Most Like Your Family?

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I love my TV.  My TV and I have been friends my whole life.  My earliest memory of watching TV was sitting on the couch with my mom in our little house.  I also have very vivid memories of watching Sesame Street in our upstairs apartment.  Oh, how I loved Bert and Ernie - Rubber Duckie, You're The One - I love that song. 

When I got a little to old for Sesame Street, I remember watching a lot of Lone Ranger, Leave it To Beaver, The Patty Duke Show, The Cosby Show and much to my parent's dismay, Roseanne.  But what I really loved was Little House on the Prairie.  I am pretty sure I have seen every episode at least 20 times.  Laura was smart, full of mischief and she was a tomboy.   Charles and Caroline were wonderful parents.  They loved eachother and their children.  They were supportive and affectionate, but strict and always full of advice.  The family worked together and had fun together.  Pa could always be counted on to throw someone in the creek or to go fishing.  Ma was always cooking and taking care of the family, but was not afraid of hard work out in the fields either.  She gave of herself every single day.  There was an episode where Ma stayed up all night making the girls' new dresses as a surprise.  That episode reminds me of my mom staying up late sewing our Halloween costumes.  Both Ma and Pa worked very hard.  They went through many rough times, such as drought, hail storms that ruined their crops, and the death of a child, but they never lost their faith in God.  They never lost their faith in eachother.  



Little House on the Prairie reminds me so much how I was raised.  I had amazing parents who taught us how God wanted us to live.  The not only taught us by telling us, but by example.  They taught us how to love eachother as a family and how to love other people. 

As far as the family I am raising, I think it would be a mixture of Little House on the Prairie, with a little bit of The Cosby Show thrown in too. 



My house is full of laughter, sarcasm, affection and lots of love.

What TV show is most like your family?



Signature

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Means New Clothes

When I think fall, I think of the usual falling leaves, haybales, Halloween, hayrides Thanksgiving, pumpkins, etc., But considering it's still 95 degrees in Arkansas, I have a hard time getting into the fall decor until mid-October.  Before then, the only fall type things I work on are fall clothes.  This is especially important when your kids have grown three to four inches in the past year and have outgrown every stitch of clothing they wore last fall. 


This is our latest Halloween outfit.  Decopauge jeans and a twirly t-dress.  E is obsessed with this pumpkin from Wal-Mart.  I brought it home to try to get us in the fall decorating mood, but while she napped with her beloved pumpkin, I made the outfit.  What do you think?  This outfit and E's pumpkin are the only thing fall-ish in the house so far.


**Pretend we painted her toenails before I took this picture** 

I'm linking up to

 Visit thecsiproject.com 

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating  Favorite%2BThings%2BFridaybig%2Bbutton.jpg  Keeping It SimpleThe DIY Show Off


Making  The Girl Creative



Signature

OUTSIDE DREAMING

Fall is right around the corner so I can help dreaming of having an outdoor room.  I dream of having dinner out on the porch.  I can imagine sinking into my comfy outdoor furniture that feels as dreamy as it looks.  The family and I eat outside as the breeze blows the fallen leaves.  The overcast sky darkens as Hubby and I talk and watch the kids run and play and romp around as children do, with Emme, the dog, in tow.  After the kids are bathed and in bed, Hubby and I sneak out to sit on the porch with a drink and a snack and talk for hours in the cool night breeze wrapped up in a blanket, in front of our outdoor fireplace.  If only it weren't a dream. 

This is what my dream looks like: 



Sadly, my reality consists of a concrete slab too small to fit my table for six.  We have a lovely view of our neighbors back yard and their big ole storage building just behind our fence.  There is no fireplace.  My 8 year old has a fear of fire of any kind, even candles, so a fireplace or a firepit is out of the question with him around (I blame Bambi).  The kids do romp and play in the yard with the dog,   although it seems a lot of our time is spent breaking up arguments between them all.  UGH!  I guess even the reality isn't so bad.  Maybe Hubby and I do need to sneak out on the porch every once in awhile after the kids are in bed.  Hmmmm.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Bread

Hello bloggy friends!  Hope everyone had a great weekend! 

Today I thought I would share one of my all time favorite recipes.  We love blueberry muffins.  We love banana nut bread.  So what could be better than a combination of the two?  I got this recipe out of the local newpaper about 15 years ago and have loved it ever since.  It's sooo yummy!  Cut a big ole slice and warm it up with a little butter on top and you will be in blueberry/banana heaven.  YUM!  It's got oatmeal in it, so I pretend it's healthy.  Are you ready?  Here we go!

Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal Bread




Ingredients

1/2 cup crisco vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup quick oats ( I've used rolled oats and they're good too)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or 1/2 cup walnuts (optional, I skip the nuts)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh blueberries ( I've been known to add up to a cup)

Directions

Cream shortening and sugar till fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.

Stir in banana.

Combine remaining ingredients, stirring gently.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing just until moistened.

Turn into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake at 350*F for 50-55 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Easy, peasy, right? 



Okay, so this isn't a serving, it's half a loaf, but I forgot to take a picture when I took it out.  OOPS!

Have a great day!!  I am on my way to the gym to work off a HUGE slice of this yummy stuff!



Signature