December 31, 2013

We're about to ring in a New Year tonight. 2014! I feel like 2013 just flew by. I've been super busy around here doing all sorts of projects and things. I'm sad that I haven't really had the time to show it all to you. Hopefully in the new year I'll be better about that. At least, that's my plan!

I'm partying tonight with my family - just us. We're going to have tons of fun - but I'm keeping it simple. Because if I was having a real New Year's Eve party I'd be going all out. (Or at least trying to.) Have fun tonight everyone! May 2014 be all that you want it to be!

November 23, 2013

Thanks to Molly for giving me the heads up on this. Some of you will be thrilled with this announcement. Silhouette has developed Silhouette Connect. It's a plug-in for Illustrator and Corel Draw users to cut directly from their software to the Silhouette Cameo and Potrait (and I'm assuming their older Silhouette SD and Original). This is available for Windows XP and higher as well as Mac OS X 10.6.8. It's a really great price at $39.99 and is available to automatically download! I am currently waiting for my software to download in order to play around with it. I'm sure this news will thrill others just as much as it does me!

November 10, 2013

Well I did it. I went outside of my comfort zone and entered a design contest. Usually I see them on Ployvore and think they look cool, but that there's no way I could win. But for some reason (perhaps the reward) I was really intrigued by this design challenge.

The challenge from Polyvore and 2Modern was to "Create a contemporary living room with a softer, natural touch." In another description they explained a little more of what they were looking for. "Beehive-shaped lamps, caterpillar-curves on a chair -- nature inspires design. Show us how you would create a contemporary, organic room."

So the first thing I did was look for an inspiration piece to design around. The orange Anana Poof from Aqua Creation's Furniture line is made from a super luscious material - but it is even named after it's inspiration - the Pineapple. (Anana is pineapple in Spanish.)

Aqua Creations
Aqua Creations   (clipped to

I knew I wanted to pull in the bright colors of fall to make the room feel more rich and natural - so I chose orange, blue and green as my pallet. I like to show people that bright colors aren't just for paint or artwork.

Then I searched for items with organic fabrics, recycled materials and other nature inspired elements. The sectional from Environment Furniture was made recycled army tent canvas. I was so surprised by that but I love it.

Sofa   (see more modular sofas)

I think what surprised me when I finally sat back and looked at the room was how warm and inviting it felt. I pulled many modern elements in and used items from 2Modern and while a lot of it is modern, there is a much more inviting feel to this room than I usually see in modern design.

Here's my entry to the contest! What do you all think? Does it feel like organic modernism?

October 26, 2013

While putting together the plans for our Halloween party - I whipped up this image. It was a great visual checklist for me while preparing everything. It was also really nice to use to get back to links instead of having 10 tabs open.

The Party was so much fun. All together there were 5 adults and 17 kids. There was lots of playing indoors and out. Good food was enjoyed by all. Sadly, I had no idea my husband had stuck dry ice in the freezer that morning, or I would have pulled that out to use as well. But honestly, it was a whole lot of fun. Here's a few photos of some of the details:

Halloween Party

Spiders Eggs

Zombie Teeth

October 25, 2013

The day school let out this year we flew out of town and basically we were on the go since then. I counted up a total of 5 weeks either traveling or having company this summer. So if you wondered where I was - I've been BUSY. That didn't stop after school started up and the clouds of dust settled. We're currently working on repairing our deck. Amid that mess I realized how little I canned this summer (ie. Nothing at all.) Suddenly, I felt this overwhelming urge to stock my bare shelves and a Costco trip did not suffice. I needed more.

When I placed my produce order I can guarantee you I wasn't thinking properly. I ordered WAY too much for a sane person to do. Can-O-Rama 2013 commenced. I was worried I'd have some produce go bad by getting it all at once, but I lost 1/2 a pineapple out of 16 and 5 tomatoes out of 60lbs. Not bad. Just over a week later I finished and I have to say I'm so happy with the results!

13 Quarts of Pears
26.5 Pints of Pineapple (in 37 Jars)
16 Pints Stewed Tomatoes
15 Pints Regular Salsa
6.5 Pints Hot Salsa (in 8 Jars total)
23 Pints Zucchini Salsa (in 26 Jars total)

Hot Salsa

Zucshini Salsa

+ 4 Large Bags of Concord Grapes in the Freezer to be juiced in a few weeks when I'm ready to can again.

Had I read this post from NW Edible prior to canning I may also have a few jars of tomato sauce. Maybe next time.

Altogether that was 99 jars through the canner! The hardest part of it all is finding room to put it all in my pantry! Thankfully this new house has a big Garage!

Pantry Full of Canned Goods

Canning In Garage

As if that wasn't enough for me. Just weeks later I found my self experimenting with Pressure Canning Chicken from Zaycon Foods. I followed all directions in the Pressure Canner's Manual. It turned out super easy and super delicious! 36 pints from 40lbs! It doesn't look all that pretty - but here's one batch (18 jars) for you to see. (This is nothing like Canned Chicken you buy in a store.) I also found this post from The Sister's Cafe helpful. (I didn't use Bouillon though.)

Pressure Canned Chicken

I still have a lot of frozen fruit to make jam and jelly with this year.

One thing that kept me sane through all of the canning was a message thread back and forth between myself and some friends of mine that also can. It was fun to get pointers from them, learn some new things and get the boost of support I needed to make it through that week! (Thanks girls!)

Do any of you can? Do you have a favorite recipe? Feel free to share!

June 5, 2013

For quite some time now I have been a Pinterest user. You can find me HERE. The inner geek sometimes makes me get frustrated wtih programs I use and how they could be better. So I contact companies with my suggestions. No - I'm not saying it was solely my idea (I'd like to think they did this just for me though.) but today Pinterest announced that you can finally search your own boards! Huzzah! My main frustration with Pinterest is now eliminated.

How do you do it? In the search bar up top enter the words you are searching for. When the results come up click on "Just my pins" in the upper left corner of the results. Suddenly that impossible to find Lime Chicken Enchilada recipe that you pinned and tried and liked and then lost among your pins got a whole lot easier to find!

Thanks Pinterest! Now if they could only program in my one last request: to be able to type the board name to find it in the drop down box when I'm pinning - that would make pinning a whole lot faster!

June 3, 2013

I kind of dropped of the end of the online universe lately. Life has been busy. I've been working really hard to get my home and life organized, spending a lot of time outside in my glorious yard with the kids, and working on crafts instead of blogging about them. One proud accomplishment was updating a website last month. A friend of mine wanted to freshen up her website. It is hosted on Weebly and they have lots of design options so I wasn't even required to code too much. The logo was re-designed by another company near her but I colored it in for the site. It was fun collaborating with her on this.

Sunrise Studios Website Before

Sunrise Before

Sunrise Studios Website After

Sunrise After

Sunrise Studios is a great studio with all sorts of classes offered. If you live near Kent East Hill, you should check out all that this company has to offer.

If you are looking into creating a website for your business but aren't sure where to begin, is free (with various upgrades at additional prices) and is relatively easy to use.