Monday, November 30, 2009

Small Things 144

1. Putting up Christmas without too much hassel.
2. Having a really great visit with family for Thanksgiving.
3. For my husband for putting up christmas lights in a new way!  Looks great!
4. For having a good talk with Mr. Hope about our next step in tackling infertility.
5. Time with Mr. Hope's grandpa and wife.

NaBloPoMo is done... almost.

I thought for sure, with all of the posts that I had stewing that I could really pull this off this time.

I tried really hard.

But I failed.

Failed because I missed 6 days of NaBloPoMo.

But it's better than I've done in other contests and blog things...

I still need to keep doing my Grace in Small Things commitment.

Stay tuned...

Right now, I'm worried about catching up from the holiday break and put up winter wonderland in my house.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

what i wore.... cowl neck & fabric poesy

Today, the day before Thanksgiving vacation, I decided to think outside of the box and come up with a more creative outfit.

I no sooner set my things down to get a cup of coffee at the office and I was already getting compliments!  I love where I work because people notice new a different things and they always are willing to shell out a compliment, when it's due.

So, my outfit isn't really anything special, except for a few accent pieces.

Here's the look:

Jeans: Ann Taylor Loft
Top: (orange) Ann Taylor Loft, (white) Target
Cowl Neck: Pam Logan, a crafty lady at a craft show
Poesy Pin: Erin @ Four Munkees
Boots: Nine West

I've rolled my skinnier legged jeans from Ann Taylor Loft over top of my tall brown boots.  This look, my husband would say makes me look like a pirate but I thought it was cute so I just went with it.

This morning when piecing this outfit together, I thought with the cowl neck being a little bit of an off-white color and the pin having a bit of orange in it I needed something that would tie it all together and not clash.  So I went with the orange over the white and then added the two fabulous accents.

Here's a closer look:

The cowl neck was a STEAL from Pam.  She's just a handy lady that can crochet like a champ!  She sells these cowl necks for $5.00 a piece!  I'm not kidding!  If you look them up on etsy, they are anywhere from $30 to $75+ dollars!  It's nuts!  I almost bought some from etsy before I met Pam.  I'm going to work with Pam to make a few Christmas gifts because these things are just so darn handy and so pretty!!  I need a few more colors myself.

The Posey Pin, as I'm calling it... is from my friend Erin at Four Munkees.  She's just got that look that ALWAYS is so cute!  She was at a local artisan show recently where I finally got to witness her craftiness in person!  It was great!  She had little smock like dresses for little girls, owls, rings, earrings, bracelets, poesy pins, munkees and seek and find bag.  So many cute things.  I tried very hard to not buy one of each but what I did buy, I'm loving.  My posey pin is just the perfect accent for many different outfits and I'm very happy that I made that purchase.

Anyway, that's my outfit for today.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Have a happy, healthy and safe turkey day!!

Gobble, Gobble.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rival 22 qt.

So the other day, we were sitting at dinner with our house guests and we were planning out Thanksgiving dinner.  As I said yesterday, we are expecting 15 people to dinner, 10 of which we are staying in my house!  It's going to be a little packed but it will be great to have everyone together.

To help myself and everyone else that will be in our house, my husband I decided to buy an electric turkey roaster oven.  I've never used one before, nor have I seen one in action but it's got to be better than having that bird taking up room in my oven.  So we did it!  We bought one yesterday at Kohls for $49.99 and it will hold up to a 24 lb. turkey!!!

It looks like this and from what we understand it will probably cook the turkey faster than in the oven!!

Have you ever used one of these or know anyone that has?  Do you have any pointers?

food help for thursday...

I posted this last year and if you didn't try it, you are missing out!

It's my famous brine that I heard about from Whitney.

You must try it.

Your family will love it and so will you!

Tip: World Market sells a brine mix that you can buy and just add water to.  This makes it much easier and cheaper!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

today by numbers

We have 4 days until Thanksgiving.

We're expecting 11 adults and 4 children to Thanksgiving dinner.

We're hosting 10 of those guests in our home.

We'll have 3 air mattresses in our house, it'll be sleepover craziness!!

We're going to spend $64.99 on a turkey roaster oven to help make the turkey without taking up oven space.

We've been trying to become pregnant for 38 months.

This month, we were 6 days late.

For the 50+ time, I saw a negative on Saturday.

I've taken 4 tylenols every four hours for the last 24 hours to help calm my cramps, back pain and body aches.

I only have to work 2.5 days this week.

I have 50 minutes until lunch.

This weekend, I missed 2 posts as a part of NaBloPoMa.

I'm going to post 2 posts per day for the next two days to make up for it.

I've been using this new "Compose" posting method for 10+ weeks and I still don't know how to spell check properly.

EtSy.LoVe of the week

Birds are the new craze...

Everything that I think is really cute either has a bird or an owl on it.

It's not something that I've always love, just something that has come about.

Also, if you are just tuning in... Red is my favorite color so anything with red, I love.

Bean Pickle Sprouts makes the cutest little sets for baby gifts or just for your own baby.  They're doing what a lot of others do and have done but I just like this set and wanted to share it with you.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Food on Friday - Chicken Salad with Grapes & Walnuts

Chicken Salad with Grapes & Walnuts

{Scaled Servings 8 Originally 4}

3 pounds chicken tenderloins
10 cups water
3 1/2 cups chicken broth, low-fat, reduced sodium
2/3 cups yogurt, plain
2/3 cups of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
2 cups grapes, seedless, halved
2 cups walnuts, chopped
6 tablespoons capers, drained (the best part of this recipe)

1. Toss chicken with 2 tsp salt.

2. Bring water and broth to a boil in a large saucepan, then add chicken and cook at a bare simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Drain and cool, then tear into 1-inch chuncks.
3. Meanwhile, stir together yogurt, mayonnaise, and mustard.
4. Stir chicken and remaining ingredients into dressing with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with: sliced tomatoes; green beens with lemon

Active: 15 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

We mad this during a cooking class with my mom at the Wellness Center.  It's a center that offers free services to cancer patients to help them live healthier lives.  It's a great program and fun to enjoy healthy food too!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

EtSy.LoVe of the week

This might be a good idea for a unique Christmas gift for a toddler. It's soft, felt vegetables and other food related products that kids will just love. Visit GoBuggy's shop to see all the options!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Food REPEAT: Buckeye Candies

Here's my first stab at doing a step-by-step guide to making something...

Here's the link from when I posted this before.

Step 1: Buy 1 lb of powdered sugar, 18 oz. of peanut butter, and 1 stick of butter.  Mix them together in a food processor.

Step 2: Pour mixture into a bowl.

Step 3: Roll them into balls the size of a gum ball and place them on wax paper.  There should be about 5 dozen balls.

Tip: If the balls don't roll well, melt them a little by holding them in your hands for a bit, then roll.

Step 4: Put balls in the fridge to cool and harden.

Step 5: Melt 16 oz of semi chocolate chips and paraffin wax (1/4 of a stick) in a double broiler.

Step 6: Dip balls in peanut butter with a tooth pick put back on wax paper.

Step 7: Pinch tooth pick hole to make them look like a real buckeye and put back in fridge to harden.

Step 8: Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

volleyball madness

A few weeks ago, we were asked to play in a volleyball tournament and it wasn't anything we really knew anything about but we wanted to do it.  I was afraid that I would be embarressed because I don't really care for indoor and I didn't want to let me team down.  They all play indoor and were really skilled.  I just prefer sand.

Anyway, we did really well and I played really well too.  I did get a hits and serveral sets that were just perfect!

So, we did so well that we won 2nd place and we made it in the newspaper!  Yahooo...

Here's the story.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Starred by Me - Take 2

Warning: There is a very small amount of adult.nudity included in this post.  It's not much and it's not rude... just wanted to make you aware.

This one will be all about photographers and the photo shoots that I've starred over time.  These will include just about everything.  Couples, engagements, weddings, maternity, newborns, family shoots and whatever else...

To start....

1. Jessica Claire's Matnerity shoot with Kamee.  {First, I love that name!  It was my favorite childhood babysitter's name!}  Her shoot was just so sweet and I loved the teal/turquoise background... just beautiful!  BUMMER, this link didn't work to link the shoot so I'll just post a picture {s} of what I thought was most beautiful...

2. Another favorite is Jessica Clair's {again, because she's awesome} shoot with {some.nudity.shown} Katie & John for the maternity photos... How can you not just love these pictures?  I know that this time isn't always glorious for everyone but these pictures, to me, are just stunning.  I hope when it's my time that I'm this confident with my body to get these types of pictures taken.

3. Look at this beautiful baby that Gina Lee captured.  If you haven't seen her work either, you must go and check her out!  Just so bright and full of life....

4. I don't know what it is about engagement photos or just photos of couples together but I'm always envious of what they are able to accomplish and I love the bond between the two people that really shines through in just a photograph.  So here we have Jennifer Lehner's pictures that she took of Nicole & Brett.  Not only are they in the fall and just SO colorful because of the changing of leaves but they laid in them too!  I love that shot!!!

5. These I'm going to be sort of selfish about but if you look close enough, you will see both Toby & I in these pictures.  I wasn't originally planning on getting in on them but it was fun.  I had to sort of chase Toby around and tell him where to be and where to stay.  He was so excited about the treats that he was getting that he wasn't always focused on getting his picture taken.  But there were a handful of FABULOUS photographers there that captured the event... So here you go, 1st, Megan Morgan {who hosted the event}, Holly McCaig, and Harrington Photography.  Are they just great!?!  My little model!!!

6. The last time that my family has had their pictures taken professionally together was when I was in high school.  It's a great photo as we are in the fall leaves that I just LOVE.  I'd love to do it again with everyone as adults and with our own families...  Check out these photos that Moments in Time captured! I'd love to try and recreate these with my family.

7. Then just some fun with silhouettes by Christy Johnson... I've always thought silhouettes were fun, I just have never done anything with them for myself.  Maybe someday!

There are many more photographers that I would love to showcase but I'm going to save that for another post...

Until then...

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I asked my ob/gyn to take my blood to do a progesterone test last week.  I wanted to do it because, not only was I there on my 22nd day of my cycle but I just wanted to be sure that my body was still functioning on it's own.  I had a cycle a while back where I didn't ovulate at all.  So I wanted to be sure that it was just a fluke.

My level measured at: 5.8

My dr. comfirmed that this means that I'm still ovulating on my own.  The nurse that that it was a good number and also said that people have been known to get pregnant at progesterone levels of 1.  So to keep positive thoughts going...

I love good news.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

is it true...

Or maybe a better response would be, "What did you do?"

"Why did you do that?"

"Why so dark?"

"You're going back tomorrow and getting highlights, right?"

"You know, I like blondes."

Or the classic, "Once you black... {you know the rest}"

Well, it's actually called "Fudge Brownie" by Paul Mitchelle.

Here's what I did last week:

Forgive the goofy look on my face.  I decided that it was better not to try and do a fake smile or take a straight on picture at my desk.  The more artsy, don't-look-at-the-camera shot was better.

Also, please notice my cowl neck that I purchased at the local craft show on Saturday.  It was $5.00!!!!!!!!  I was looking at buying one at J. Crew outlet and on etsy but both were in the $30-$40 range!!!  What a bargin!  I was so excited for thie purchased that I asked this older woman for her phone number so I could have her do some custome orders for christmas! 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Food for Friday - Peanut Butter Cookie mix

First, you have to buy those peanut butter cookie mixes by Betty Crocker and you can make these two items:

1. Peanut Butter Blossoms.

2. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.

Is your mouth drooling yet?

So how do you make these, you ask?

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Make cookie dough as directed.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown.  Immediately place 1 unwrapped Hershey Kisses milk chocolate on each cookie.  Remove from cookie sheet.  Cool completely.  3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bottom only of 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray.  Make cookie dough as directed.  Press in pan.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes.  In small microwave bowl, microwave 2 cups chocolate chips on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until chips can be stirred smooth.  Spread over bars.  Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.  Cut into bars.  24 bars.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

EtSy.LoVe of the week

I'm a huge fan of antique items making their way back in my house with a functing purpose. Like these two items, a wire basket and a glass jar with metal lid. These things could have many options for their use. Could be a magazine rack, could hold mail, could hold dog toys, could store the remotes, could store books, could store your hair dryer and flat iron? The jar could hold corks, could hold flour, could hold animal crackers, could hold clothes pins, could hold straws, could hold cotton balls, could hold beans/dried corn and dried flowers for a center piece, could hold candy? See the options are endless...

Visit Vintage Jane's shop to see all of the other items she has on hand...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kreativ Award: From Mrs. Hammer

A few days ago ...Expect Miracles... nominated our blog for the Kreativ Blogger award.  I was having a bad day, as aunt flow had shown up the night before, I still hate her but understand that it's just not time yet for us.  I had a dentist appointment that went great and then I irritated my eye so much so that I could hardly see out of it and it looked like I had been punched in the face because it was so swollen.  Anyway, when I got to work and read my gmail quickly and my google alerts told me about this award, it brightened my morning up!

So, this is how it works:

1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.

4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.

5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.

6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

7-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

So, first off, thank you Mrs. Hammer for nominating my blog for this award, you are too sweet.  You always comment on my posts and remind me that I do have kind readers that are supporting my husband and I along this journey.  It's great to have friends like you and all the others out there that constantly read...

Second of all, the award:

And now, the 7 things about me that you don't already know.  This one is kind of hard because I talk so openingly on my blog but I'm going to give it a try...

1. My new favorite ice cream is Cold Stone's Pumpkin Pie in the Sky.  It's pumpkin ice cream, carmel syrup, graham crackers and whipped cream.  YUM!

2. I have my ears pierced two times in each ear.

3. Speaking of piercings, I once had my belly button pierced.  {I feel like I might have talked about this before but I can't find the exact reference so I'm just going with it...}  I did when I was on Spring Break in MN away from my parents.  It was a great idea at the time.  Long story short, it got infected, I was on a family vacation that was a warm weather location, I took it out and now the only thing I have is a scar to prove it did exist.  I'm not proud but I did do it.

4. I'm a HUGE fan of musicals.  I'm not a crazy fan of them, though.  I enjoy the music, the costumes, the band/orchestra, the getting-dressed-up-and-going part, the ticket stub that serves as a reminder that you went, collecting the broadway playbill from each show attended, etc... you get the idea.  I'm not, however, good at names of people in the shows unless they are famous from something else.  I have thought that one day when we finish our basement that I might frame the playbills that I have a put them on a wall down there.  But first things first, couches for the living room, then a patio off the deck {projects for next Spring (cross your fingers)} ...

5. When it comes to home remodeling/decorating, I have a wicked good memory about how things were and how they are now.  For instance, the lady I babysit for, she's lived in her house for about 2 years.  It's quite a bit bigger than my house and she's got LOTS of wall space to not only paint but decorate with pictures and things.  Well, almost every time I come over there I notice something different that she's done to decorate.  I hadn't been there for about 3 weeks and I was there last night.  I walked in a noticed that the wreaths on her front door looked different.  I noticed that her dining room had {beautiful} furniture in it, the walls throughout her living/kitchen area were all faux painted, and even the greenery that she changed in her faux flowers...  It's really strange how I can pay attention to those things but I can't remember to get my wallet out of my coat pocket that I wore yesterday that's still at home...

6. I prefer Coke products over Pepsi.

7. I played the piano for 8 years growing up.  I don't know that I could do much with it now without much practice but I have the knowledge stored away...

So for the nominies:

1. A Soft Place to Land... and her beautiful mantel.

2. Four Munkees... and all of her handmade lovelies.

3. Good Food, Good Friends, Good Life...and the sneak peak of their nursery.

4. Footy Pajamas... and these YUMMY Party Pinwheels that she made for her son's birthday.

5. Rare and Beautiful Treasures ... and her stunning mantel and dinning table decor.

6. Blue-Eyed Bride ... and her absolutely gorgeous nursery for her son Hudson.

7. Mada's Place ... I can't even link anything in particular because it's ALL so stinkin' cute!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

dunt du du DAH!!!!!!!

I finally made a decision.

It wasn't too hard, thanks to the wonderful customer service person at Verizon.Wireless.

But I chose not to get a Blackberry based on the price of the phone and the extra expense per month.  It seemed like the best idea, just based on the time that I spent playing around with my sister's Blackberry but after talking to the CSR at VW, I found that I could do everything that I wanted from a couple different phones.  Not only will it do everything that I would like it to do but, it's only an additional $10 per month {maybe even less, just need to see the first bill}.

After talking to the CSR, I felt confident in my decision to get a regular phone with HTML access/touch screen instead of a SmartPhone/PDA or Blackberry.

Here it is, the Samsung Rogue:

It's seriously perfect!

Not only can I look cool with my touch screen phone, unlike my old POS:


But, I can also access the internet, tweet straight from my phone, check out facebook, write an email, check all of my email accounts, text/write with a FULL keyboard and not just the key pad with numbers/letters, get updates on birthdays, look up anything on the internet {movie times, addresses, sports scores, etc...}, use a blue tooth headset, etc... The options are just endless. 

The only thing that the Blackberries, SmartPhones or PDA's can do that my phone won't do is access Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook.  It also will not sync with my computer to have my calendar information/contacts be the same as what's on Outlook.  Those things aren't really that necessary for my phone usage.  I'm okay with still having to keep those things separate.

So, if you are looking for a new phone and you haven't found one yet, check out the Rogue.  You'll love it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Starred by Me, Take 1

So, with the Google Reader, if you aren't familiar... You load your blogs that you like to read into the reader and when someone posts something new from those blogs, it lets you know.  When they come through, along the bottom, you have the options to star them, like them, share them, share them with a comment, email them, or ad tags.  I'm usually a fan of the first 5 options.  I don't know that I've ever added a tag but I'm HUGE fan of starring them.

I thought it would be fun to go back and look at a few things that I've stared.  In doing this, I found out that I've starred 1,805 items/posts/notes since September 8, 2008.  So, as much as I would like this to happen in one post, I'm going to have to refrain because I can already tell there are going to be a lot that I'm going to want to share and I'm going to run out of time if I post in just one. 

Plus, with NaBloPaMo who wouldn't love to see a few more posts generated from this one idea!

1. My first item that I starred, out of all of the 1,805 items was Miss Jan and her post about the CountryLiving Fair that came to Columbus in 2008. 

2. Next was this post by Starry Night's Journal {which I now remember is blocked}.  I just thought this nursery inspiration was just so sweet.

3. Next was when Jill from "homemade by jill" was posting FROM the Martha Stewart show.  I thought this was SO cool!!!

{I find myself, a lot of the times, starring items that are inspiration for home projects or crafts that I would someday love to have time to do or create}

4. I'm a fan of windows.  I always have been.  This post by Life is Beautiful just made to think about all the options you have with just a window.  I have a painted window in my house that I love right now but these made me thing of other options that might be fun to create.  Now if I only had some windows....

5. Then there is always some love for Etsy... Lovely Fall Days, EtsyMom Halloween, Etsy :: Crowns and I'm Bleeding Red.  Keep in mind, these are just for the month of September in 2008.  There will be more of these to come, I'm sure of it!!!

As I said on top, I have to break them up in order to get them all in... so here's a start!  Look for one next week that is full of {just a few} photographers that I've found and love....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

the last 4 years...

Just because I thought this was fun for both me and you...

2006 - Glenda the Good Witch

2007 - A Naughty Nun

2008 - Lady Luck

2009 - Flo from the Progessive Commercials

Now, I just need some ideas for next year??

Saturday, November 7, 2009

another thing on hold...

Because of our house guests and all of the drama that comes along with having two people living in your house permanently/temporarily, we have been forced to put some major things on hold. 

One thing for sure is our furniture.  We had every intention of purchasing these pieces in the beginning of October/mid October but with our house guests still living with us and the wear and tear that they are already causing to our current items, we decided that we're going to hold off.  It's not the financial part that is standing in our way.  It's the fact that we want to enjoy them and because they are the ones who are home all day everyday enjoying our things, we want them to just live on what we have.  We'll take the furniture to the next step once they move out, whenever that might be...

I'm sort of bummed about this but it's just the way that it needs to be.  I'm not going to give them our nice things to ruin or wear down. 

It's just the way it has to be....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Food on Friday - Acorn Squash Soup

Acorn Squash Soup

from the farmers market/


1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 quart chicken broth
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8 oz.) package light cream cheese
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
ground cinnamon to taste (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Place the squash halves cut side down in a baking dish.  Bake at 45 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Scoop the pulp from the skins.  Discard skins.  Melt butter in skillet over medium heat and saute the onion until tender.  in a blender or food processor, blend the squash pulp, onion, broth, brown sugar, cream cheese, pepper and cinnamon until smooth.  This may be done in several bathes.  Transfer the soup into a pot over medium heat and cook stirring occasionally until  heated through.  Serve warm.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

2nd year in the tradition

As our family continues to grow and our needs/wants start to change, it becomes more and more difficult to buy for everyone for Christmas.  We haven't ever thought that we'd do a drawing and whoever you get is who you buy for, we just make lists.  We write down things that we'd like or have interest in and it's up to everyone else to figure out who buys what.  We don't get everything on our list, or at least sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't.  We are happy to receive anything!  {As I write this I can hear myself seeming selfish and that's not where I'm going with this.} It's just meant to be a guide.

So, to start this year off with a few things that I would like, without forgetting about them before it's time to make my list, I thought I'd post them here.

1. A Flat Iron.  I don't have a preference, I just want one.  I had one YEARS ago.  Loved it.  But dropped it on the ground and it split in 1/2.   I haven't ever replaced it but have gotten to a point that I need one.  Everyone always questions me when I ask for one because I do have rediculously straight hair but this will only help me style it better.  My round brush can only do so much and when it's done I'll have to use this...

2. A running watch.  I didn't think that I wanted one at first because I was always running the same distance around my neighborhood and I knew about how long it took me to do it.  Well, that's sort of changed and I want to know more.  I want to not only know my time, but the distance and my heart rate while I'm running.  It's not asking too much and I believe this watch will take care of those things for me!  {Oh and it doesn't have to be pink.  I actually would rather it be ANY color aside from pink.  It was just the image that I found.}

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

trick or treat candy

Let's pretend I send my husband to the store for halloween candy...

Let's pretend that he gets home and it isn't until he's getting the bags out of the bag that he notices that he bought 13 bags of candy!

13 bags.

Granted he gave great thought to buying many different options.  But 13 bags was CRAZY!

We took back 6 bags and still have 1 full bag and a mix bowl  left over... Still.

So clearly if we would've had 13 bags we would've been in a world of candy...  ugh.

Thankfully, we still have some of my favorites left...

I win.  Again.