Saturday, January 31, 2015

Scraptastic Saturday: Valentine DIY

I was playing around with some of my scrapbook scraps the other day and was thinking about the fact that I don't have a lot of Valentine's decorations.  I thought it might be nice to make use of some of those leftover scraps to create something I could display.  Instead of going to buy something I might as well shop my own house, right? So that's exactly what I did and here's what happened:


First of all, in my digging around I found this old frame I had and wasn't using anymore for anything specific.  I liked the romantic look of the gold leaves and little jewels. Sold!


I took out the old glass and used the cardboard backing as my base. I put some pink cardstock over the top of it and didn't even need to adhere it (in case I want to use the frame for something else another time). The frame grips on the back held it in place well enough.  Then added some sweet black letter stickers.


Then I thought why not grab one of those cute little scrapping mini envelopes? The kind I'm supposed to put my wee ones first tooth or first haircut piece of hair in for their scrapbook, and use it as a real love letter envelope instead.  Cut out a little heart to match the backdrop and a little leaf brad for dimension (& cuteness). And don't forget the love letter...I am a hopeless romantic you know.  I used bad handwriting on purpose so it would look like my hubby wrote it. Yep, that's the story I'm going with on that one.


I know sweets always work as bribery for me, so why not throw in a couple of strawberry crème swirl candies...just for effect of course. (I may or may not have eaten these .5 seconds after this photo was taken - I'll admit nothing).


And there you have it - an easy peasy Valentine decoration and it didn't even cost me anything! (minus the calories of 2 chocolates).

I'm linking with Andrea at Scrapality for Scraptastic Saturday


Friday, January 30, 2015

More Fairy Housing

Is it bad that it's only January and I've already got "cottage fever" and I keep dreaming on Spring?? That Groundhog better not even think for a hot second that he's going to see his shadow and give us more Winter! I'm banking on an early Spring for my own sanity, and the sake of the fairies.  I've already been accumulating more housing for them.  Another fun find for my daughter's garden collection.  Would you like to take a peek and dream on Spring with me? Here you go:

Another beauty and I'm ready to move in! Since it's too chilly and the fairies would rather be indoors right's sitting on top of our piano. And look...we've attracted a fairy already!


Looks like she's ready to greet us at the front door and she's thinking of flowers and green growing things already too.


Can you see the lights glowing inside?


That's what I liked about this one. It has a light inside and you can set a timer. So it can light up each night in my daughter's garden.  Love that - and hopefully the fairies will too!


In other Spring news I might have also picked up this pretty glass mosaic bird feeder for my Mom's garden.  What can I say, I'm a desperate cooped up woman that needs some things to dream on!  Don't judge me. Lol! 

Have a great weekend!  I would be more excited, but the Packers didn't make it to the Super Bowl, so just not as interested. Big bummer.  Keep thinking warm thoughts...


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Easy Black Forest Cake



Ok - another quick yummy dessert. I know these are not on my resolutions for this year, but I cook for more than just my family so it gets me off the hook a little. I love to make dessert and when I send some to my in-law's & sometimes my Mom than I get to feel a little less guilty, right? 

This cake couldn't be easier as it's one of those awful sounding "dump" cakes. As in dump in all the ingredients - don't stir - bake and voila cake! I found this recipe here. 

just pour 2 cans cherry pie filling in 9x13

"dump" devils food cake mix all over the top

pour melted butter all over the top of that

pour hot fudge over the top of that (you feeling me now?) and bake

don't worry about not mixing and having some dried bits around, it all works out in the end


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Weigh in: Books

Well I'm pleased to update that I'm loving my fruit infusion water bottle! It works just beautifully and I've been much better about getting my water intake. Of course, it doesn't hurt that as I've been getting over this flu I still need a lot of liquid for all the crud still left in my lungs and the coughing. Here's even a pic I took the other day:

This particular day was a raspberry pear blend and was quite good. Here's the link to the great gear bottle I bought. They also gave a free downloaded "recipe" book with the purchase.  I have no association with this brand - just highly recommend this bottle or one like it!

Now onto my weigh in Wednesday topic for today: Books! I'll be short and sweet as actually I'm posting to ask for your help as to more great book ideas. I've almost finished the inn Boonsboro trilogy recommended by my friend Carrie and they've been really good and fun! I still want to get back to reading Outlander and catch up there....but looking for some other choices on the way. I have some books lined up in my ipad from a while ago, but now I'm not interested at the moment. So what have you been reading lately that you just can't put down? I like almost all genre of books also! The last book I read that I gobbled up really quickly too was Wild by Cheryl Strayed (true story now made into a movie with Rees Witherspoon).


I'm just so happy that so far I'm sticking with this resolution and have been reading more! Yay!! Thanks so much for any ideas you share - it's greatly appreciated! xo

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

St. Louis Trip

Well now that I'm finally getting some energy back and sort of back on track with life, I thought I would finally share why I missed HHM the last week. We were in St. Louis for a hockey tourney, that was also part family trip.  It was a wonderful trip for several reasons:

*St. Louis is a cool city

*We had a lot of fun and good family bonding time

*the weather was heaven while there - upper 50's and sun!!

*My posts I pre-scheduled during all that time went well, so I guess I know how to do that - yay!

St. Louis Missouri was about a 12 hour drive from where we live.  The hockey tourney went very well (we won!) and the weather was so mild. Almost 60 a couple of the days, lots of sunshine, no snow and it really felt like Spring. It was very hard to leave that let me tell you! For those of you who have never been to St. Louis, or are not from the states, here's some info for you.

I'll let the photos do a lot of the talking for me. One of the first things we did was see the arch. My hubby and I have been there before so it wasn't our first time in the arch, but it was for our kiddos.  They were a little nervous going up (you go up in tiny little cubicles with seats for only about 5), but then they thought it was really cool! We had some fellow hockey folks' kiddos with us too (also in the photos).

My Crew

Some other hockey players and family "holding up" the arch. Lol

Looking straight up at it

Can you tell my daughter was still a little nervous (biting her nails)
Looking straight down - you can see shadow of the 2 sides of arches meeting on the ground

View from one of the windows out at the city and the Mississippi River

One of the other really neat things I wanted to share with you that we did was the City Museum.  It was the most unique Children's Museum I'd ever seen. It was built in an old shoe factory and was part beautiful old building, part museum, part junkyard (to play on!) and part something out of Harry Potter! Lol  You can read about the museum here.  Get ready for more photos:

Walking into the museum you see an old plane torn apart (you could crawl through and walk around in the sky) and a bus hanging off the top of the building. Unfortunately, the top outside floor was closed for the Winter but I guess there's even a ferris wheel on the top.
Walk in a whale

A unique aquarium

The many floors and some of the architecture

Gargoyles keeping watch

Lions keeping watch. Lol

Life sized tops you could sit in a roll around a while.

You crawled through a cave that came out to this: 3 and even 10 story spiral slides you could go up in and slide down. Looks like a Harry Potter movie doesn't it? Lol

Giant organ by the slides

These are just a few photos of what was inside - now some from outside:

Castle turrets to explore

A giant ball pit to play around in

Walkways in the sky
A tree house built on a "tree trunk" of recycled railroad ties

Enter the crazy forest and tree house if you dare

The wonderful use of recycled materials was so interesting and we couldn't get over how much the stuff looked like something kids shouldn't play on - yet they were very respectful of it and had such a fun time! They also had many wonderful museum workers keeping watch over all areas. 

I also thought one of the neatest parts of the museum was what they told us when we went in, as it could be a good motto for life: We don't give out or believe in maps - we just want you to go explore!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Well it was a fun weekend of fighting bugs - yuck!! I'm ready to start a new week and hopefully have it end a nice healthy one. My poor little Annie was the latest victim, but my hubby is putting up the good fight and seems to be the only one out of us four to make it out unscathed! That lucky Guy. Let's get this week going in the right direction and DIE BUGS DIE!!! Lol


Continuing the mild trend.  Today it's mid 20's and it was snowing such pretty big flakes earlier- like Christmas Eve pretty - but now tapering to a light snow.



1/2 of an English muffin with blackberry jam and southern pecan coffee with hazelnut creamer.



Grey - but soft and white and pretty. The squirrels and chippies (chipmunks) have been especially frisky this AM. I've been watching them run back and forth on our deck, through our yard in the snow, running around on the tree branches. I wish I had some energy like that right now! Or maybe they got into a stash of nuts they had hidden away that were a little too "fermented".  They're putting on a show that's for sure.



Taking a little break.  I was already getting busy around here this AM, trying to continue cleaning and disinfecting to get rid of all of our flu germs. Needed to take a break as I still don't have full energy back.


I see my daughter resting.  She's home from school today as she was still spiking fevers last night. She seems to feel better and I'm hoping she'll be up for school tomorrow.  But I don't mind one bit getting to mother her up an extra day. I don't have my mom-in-law today due to our illness. My wonderful Mumsy (my Mom) is spending time with her today.  I'm also looking at several other areas I want to scrub down and clean out the germs!


More laundry. Lysol more. Scrub down more surfaces with antibacterial wipes. Change the sheets again and wash all the throw blankets again.  Open the windows and air out the house some more (did it a little this weekend when it was even warmer). If I feel up to it later - will do some cooking as I have some meat in the fridge that I either need to use or put in the freezer.


 With this down time I have been reading more and I'm nearly done with the Inn Boonsboro trilogy.  They're a lot of fun to read and I did look up the history on the real Inn in Maryland that Nora Roberts owns and the book store they talk about in the books is owned by her hubby. It was fun to look up an inside peek at all the different rooms in the Inn (based on famous romantic couples) and see them for myself. She has a page on pinterest with all the different rooms. Thanks again for the suggestion Carrie - from Anniehow! Loving it.


I watched the SAG awards last night (I'm a sucker for the awards shows - I love to look at what they're wearing as much as anything else) - plus I just love movies, t.v., acting in general.  So, I didn't get a chance to watch Downton Abbey and need to catch up on that. I also started taping the new masterpiece Grantchester. I haven't watched it yet but it looks really good! I've had my fill of game shows this past weekend. With my daughter especially down and out we took over the upstairs tv room and the boys stayed away downstairs to watch sports. Lol  And my daughter is obsessed with game shows lately, mainly family feud, the chase (trivia game show), and the idiot test (tests your ability to solve riddles quickly).


We have eaten a lot of chicken soup around here lately! I definitely don't have soup on the menu for a while.  Lol  With the meat I have in the fridge I think I may make up some lasagna roll-ups and put them in containers in the freezer for down the line. Then with other part of meat I think I'll make meatloaf as I haven't in a while and it's my hubby and dad-in-law's favorite (& I haven't cooked for them in a while due to flu). Loaded baked potatoes to go with it and salad/veggie will make them happy campers!



Still working on my personalized cookbook and catching up on my own scrapbooks. I'm very bummed as I was supposed to go to a scrapbook workshop one day this past weekend with my Mom. But due to my lingering flu and my daughter just starting hers I had to cancel.  We were going to spend all day working on the heritage album for my mom's side of the family. Sigh. We'll find another weekend down the line that works.



Nothing new for this week I can think of - just easy stand-by's.




I'm linking up for Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Scraptastic Saturday: Scrapbooking School Days

Even though I'm still battling this flu bug I couldn't pass up linking up for Scraptastic Saturday at Scrapility and showing a latest completed scrapbook page that I just love!

I have school years albums that I'm scrapbooking for both of my kiddos. I'm still a little behind in each one (that's what happens when I have multiple projects going at once - but that's how I roll) but I'm slowly getting caught up. These albums are so much fun to work on and look back at each of their different school years.  I think these albums will be a treasure for each of my kids to hold on to and share with their own kids some day. So for each school year I'll include a first day of school kind of photo, their school picture for that year (& class photo) and any special activities that occurred that year, end of year school party/carnival, and their sports activities.  Here's a recent page I completed in my daughter's album:

I wanted to especially highlight this photo because I just loved it. So I used a cute chalkboard border paper on the side and put ribbon around part of the photo itself. Some flowers for dimension (since it's my daughter's album for this one) and to highlight the teal color in the title sticker. Then added some fun school stickers and that's one cute first day of school page!

Here's a few other pages from her school years album to give you more of an idea of what I'm including in it:

Title page


An earlier page done in the album that I also just love with the vintage looking paper and map back drop.


One of her sports pages


My kiddos have both enjoyed looking through their albums and what I've completed so far.  My son maybe less so now that he's a teenager, but I think one day he'll be grateful that Mom kept a nice book of these school memories for him. And my daughter still loves to go through it with me and give me input on what she wants in there as well as to go down memory lane: "Hey Mom remember that teacher?"  "Look at this class picture Mom, remember she was my best friend that year?"   These school days scrapbooks are an absolute labor of love. 


Friday, January 23, 2015

Chest Cold S.O.S.


Well I initially had a whole different plan for my post today, that would have explained my absence from HHM last Monday.  But it would have been a more involved post and required more effort and time and I'm just not up for it today as I've gone and caught a bad cold bug! Ugh!

Actually, my son has been sick for days and I put up the good fight, but being home with him for these sick days must have been too much exposure and now I've got it. It's a horrible chest cold with LOTS of exhausting coughing.  So I'm sending out an S.O.S. to see what you do for a bad cold?  - tips, advice, secret cures- I'm open to it all so please feel free to share! In the mean time here's what I'm doing:

Drinking lots of hot tea (& water & juice & lots of liquids in general)

Sucking on lots of cough drops to let my chest get some rest from all the coughing.


Spraying lots of this around to try to kill all the cold germs, as well as wiping down all my tables and counter top surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes. Die bugs Die!!!


And getting in lots of snuggle and rest time with a favorite blankie and my sweet Girl.

Thank goodness nurse Ruby is on the job!

I'm also eating lots of chicken soup and taking my vitamins.  I don't have the patience for no energy and feeling so lousy so please share any magic cures out there....