December 30, 2008

So for those of you who didn't know. Seattle had more snow than it's had since 1990 the last few weeks. Church was cancelled 2 weeks in a row, businesses were closed, etc. People were all frustrated by the lack of plows, the fact that our eco-friendly solutiuon to the snow was sanding roads instead of salting, (that and some soy-based product) and that Western Washington was ill-prepared for snow. Well - to all that I say you can always move. This is the coast not some flat prarie, plowing tall hills is a lot more difficult (in some cases impossible) and having a ton of plows sitting around rusting in our frequent rain, waiting for the rare occasions (every few years) they are needed is wasteful. Besides, if you're well prepared at home, what's wrong with a snow day or two? Get out and play in it!

December 28, 2008

I'm a long time fan of stuffing. Here at my house we eat it more often than Christmas and Thanksgiving. Way more often. Although up until a few years ago that wasn't so. One reason we eat it more is because I use it in recipes to make delicious and hearty meals. That and my little monkey loves it. So for those of you who just used your first or second package of stuffing this year you have been missing out. If you're making your own stuffing (and no one makes it like My Daddy does) a huge hurrah to you! But you may want to look into this for the rest of the year.

Tonight I am making the "Easy Chicken Bake" (Hearty Meals Section) with yet another package of stuffing. We're almost out again. Time for another trip to Costco. One of our favorites is to make the Meatloaf recipe from the site and use it for meatballs instead. I substitute Italian Salad dressing for the BBQ sauce often.
So go ahead and check out the few recipes on Stove Top's site and then do your own searching and variations!

December 27, 2008

So in the gift exchange this year my son got one of my nieces. The girls both got American Girl dolls last year for Christmas. This year I thought I'd surprise her with something for the doll. So I checked out the American Girl Magazine. There was no way I was going to buy anything in it. I could barely afford the clothes, let alone anything else. So I decided to find something else. The next day I was at D.I. browsing through the toys when I noticed a large Jewelry Box on the end of a shelf near me. I couldn't pass the opportunity up. $6 later I had yet another re-purpose project.
Jewelry Box becomes Doll Armoire.
The process was long. I sanded a bit and painted, but it took several layers. The brown was just so hard to cover. I put new fabric in the top and the drawers as well. A gloss coat for protection and all back together. I think it turned out fabulous. My niece loves it.

The day before Christmas I actually played Santa's Helper as well and sewed my other niece bedding for her new doll bed to match the armoire. It's absolutely adorable. I'm waiting for a picture of that.

December 22, 2008

I've been using my Adobe CS3 for all sorts of things this year. I'm so glad we got it last year for Christmas. I love InDesign for making my cards and invitations. I've also used Photoshop for a lot of photo editing. I've also tried out several things in Illustrator. Saturday I found a paper that I really wanted for Scrapbooking. But I didn't want to pay $10 to download it when I could possibly design it myself. I had to give it a try. Last night I started, but didn't get very far into it before I had to quit. So today I have spent hours perfecting this paper. Here's my first 12x12 design! I named it Staccato - all those theory lessons are finally paying off! (Just kidding Mom, you know I actually do play my piano.)

December 19, 2008

We're in the process of refinancing so Interest is on the brain. So I discovered a new tool to play with: The Early Mortgage Payoff Calculator It blew me away when I tried out our numbers. For example and extra $100 a month would save us over $50,000 in the end. I understand Interest, Rates and everything else, trust me. But I'd never really played around with the numbers before. Let's just say - This Little Family is going to be doing some serious budget evaluation in the next few days.

"Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours. … Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you." - President J. Reuben Clark Jr. Conference Report, Apr. 1938, p. 103

December 16, 2008

"Last Sign of Fall"

I decided to enter the Greeblemonkey Photo Contest. Not that I think i will win. Come on, as if I had that kind of luck. No, this is just for fun. It does mean however that I'm re-posting a photo you've all seen. Unlike the former post, this does not have the mask around the edge. I must confess, I'm still impressed by this photo. For SOOC (straight out of camera) I didn't know my little camera had this potential.
I must confess - I don't win anything very often. I don't even enter sweepstakes or draws very often because I used to enter them all and then not win a thing. Talk about disappointing. So yesterday I was sent to a sweepstakes in a blog I read. It's at 2Modern. So I was really surprised when I checked my e-mail and saw that I one Monday's prize. Maybe it's because I'm getting older. Or maybe they found out I just had a birthday! Whatever the reason I am glad that for one day I got lucky.

Hurry on over there everyone and enter to win the other items. Stay and check the site out too. This company has a lot of cool things.

December 15, 2008

December 12, 2008 I pull up the blinds to let in some sunshine. It's 1pm, my son is napping, and I have a chance to run and grab the camera to share this rare moment with all of you. This beauty ran away right after I took the shot.

My friend decided to tag me. It's taken me over a month to post this. I'm not sure she'll tag me again at this rate. I think the only reason she did was to get more info to mock me with.

Crazy 8's:

TV shows I love to watch:
  1. Secret Millionaire
  2. NCIS
  3. The Mentalist
  4. Without a Trace
  5. Wizards of Waverly Place
  6. Murder She Wrote
  7. Mystery Woman (Hallmark Channel Show)
  8. Jane Doe (Hallmark Channel Show)
Favorite Restaurants:
  1. The Cheesecake Factory
  2. BJ's
  3. Tucanos (Ipanema's the closest around here)
  4. Chili's
  5. Chevy's
  6. Macaroni Grill
  7. The Spaghetti Factory
  8. Olive Garden
Things that happened today:
  1. There is still snow on the ground
  2. I designed a new background for my private blog, and couldn't post it yet
  3. I read some blogs
  4. I started sorting things in my craft room
  5. I ordered a Christmas gift for my parents
  6. My son kept unplugging and plugging in the Christmas Tree
  7. He also found a fan while I was sorting things in my craft room, snuck into another room, closed the door, and I found him attempting to plug it in - luckily he was trying the phone jack instead of an actual outlet as the fan is not child safe
  8. Ate cookies my friend baked us - Yummy
Things I look forward to:
  1. Going to Canada for Christmas
  2. My husband having a week off then
  3. Seeing my friends this week
  4. Actually getting my hands on my birthday present
  5. Closet Organizers
  6. A clean garage (not looking forward to cleaning it though)
  7. My husband getting home tonight
  8. My sons nap today (I have so much to do while he's asleep)
Things on my wish list:
  1. Organic Cotton Pin-tuck Comforter and Shams (Natural Color)
  2. Red Curtains for my bedroom
  3. Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian DVD
  4. Wii Fit
  5. Oscar Quilted Bedding for my Son's room
  6. A rug for the living room
  7. Some new ottomans, or just recover the ones I have
  8. Paint the main floor bathroom

December 14, 2008

Thinking of doing Holiday Cards still? I just finished mine today. Some of you can view them here. Anyhow, I found a web-site that has free photoshop templates for Holiday Cards. The Front and Back are already made, you just need to add your pictures. For those of you interested in the templates, you can find them here. If you are friend or family of mine, I would be willing to do them for you and send you the high-res .jpeg file for you to e-mail, post, or print wherever you choose. Just go to the site and see if you like one, then e-mail me your choice, and your pictures.

No, this is not a confession that I am in fact a millionaire. I wish I was. That way I could be as giving as the people in this new show. It is one of my new favorite shows. You only need to watch one episode to understand.

Fox's New Show: Secret Millionaire
In honor of the snow all over today (I can't believe it cancelled church) I am posting some recent pictures of mine. These are pictures I took of the this fall. I must say it was the most beautiful fall I think I've ever seen. And these pictures honestly do it no justice.

My backyard...

I honestly was struggling with the idea that Christmas when last weekend we attended the Christmas Fair and the trees at the fairgrounds looked like this.

December 9, 2008

While I continue to be truly proud to state this fact - I am ashamed by the current political state of my country. Seriously, I'd say I'm in shock over it all, but almost 7 years ago I knew my country was headed this direction.
Last Friday the Prime Minister froze Parliament. That means there will be no political action taken for Canada for a few weeks. What seems even more crazy is the reasons as to why he did it. As a savvy economist he was making cuts in the right location - pulling some (not all) of the funding that goes to political campaigns. An excellent choice from my standpoint. Why someone's tax dollars should be funding a party they don't support (or respresent their opinions) is beyond me. Anyhow, about 6 weeks after Stephen Harper's re-election as Prime Minister with a minority government the craziest political move I have ever seen has taken place. (Note: I saw 7 Presidents in 2 weeks during my mission in Argentina and this seems crazier to me.)
Stephen Harper is Conservative. The two other main parties Liberals and Democrats formed a coalition with the Bloq Quebecois (a separatist party). In the coalition they proposed to make one of their leaders the new Prime Minister without re-elections. (All apparently perfectly legal.)
In the past it is common for a vote of non-confidence from the majority of Parliament to force re-elections, but never has anyone tried to take over the Prime Minister's position by the current means.
The 3 parties in the coalition can say what they want - accusing the Prime Minister of running and hiding to avoid getting ousted was not his intention with the Parliamental Freeze. I think his true purpose was to allow Canadians the time to become aware of the situation and react to it. I personally am shocked that the Liberals and Democrats would align themselves with the Bloq Quebecois for power. Can they really say you're representing the people that voted for you when you're joined with a party whose goal is to separate form a unique nation out of Quebec? I guess it spells it out for us though. Power and Greed rule the nation.
To Stephen Harper I say excellent choice in freezing Parliament. My only hope is that by the time it starts back up again the true voice of the people is spoken for - not the voice of Power and Greed.