May 26, 2009

I disappeared for a while. Other than close friends and my husband and child I'm not sure many other people really noticed. But for a couple of weeks I spent days designing with the bride and her sister-in-law and redesigning. Luckily the sister-in-law did most of the sewing and I only holed up to do alterations and to finish the skirt. Finally I handed off the dress. With a prayer that the bride does not change in size before her wedding, and that with the few final touches and especially a good press and steam job that it will look picture perfect on that day. Here's the blushing bride in all her glory, the day the dress left my sight.
Congratulations Dear Bride and please do have a wonderful wedding. We will be cheering you on from this continent and praying that your day is as special as can be! Thanks for giving me the chance to remember a few long unused skills.

May 21, 2009

Sometimes there are craft or home decor trends that I just drool over. I mean it. I see it and want it. Final. But then I get to thinking about them. Is it practical? Will I use it or like having it in my home? Or the ultimate question for me is always can I make it myself for less? Often after some serious thought I end up not making the purchase. (My husband is probably in complete shock over that last statement.)

So recently my Mom asked me if I knew anything about the current trend: Blackboard Vinyl, and how it works. Let's just say I've seen the item all over in the Blog world lately. I think it's absolutely adorable and seriously for about 5 minutes almost bought some for my house. (That was the first time I saw it.) Then, however, I got to seriously thinking about it. Thank Heaven.

Sure it is really cheap and cute. It's not only a decoration, but it has practical use. BUT, when it all boils down I HATE CHALK. Why then, would I ever want a blackboard in my home? In Elementary School we all took turns cleaning the chalkboard brushes. (Yes, when I went to school there were still blackboards.) So maybe that's why, or was it the sound of scratching nails on a blackboard that I associated with chalk? If you ever write on a cardboard box with a Sharpie it's pretty much the same sound as chalk on a blackboard. I did for a job. That just brings back memories of boredom. Then again, I don't know if that sound would even exist with the vinyl. Anybody out there know? But even more than all that. I just don't like the texture of chalk in my hands. It makes my skin crawl to think about it. I'm still wondering what crazy idea caused me to buy my son sidewalk chalk. I suppose this should be a confession, but no, it's merely an explanation. I'm so glad I thought that purchase through. Although, I suppose this one I could have given it to my Mom as a gift. Unless reading this is making her reconsider as well.

Overall - for looks I must say I approve. Adorable. But for practicality at my house it scores really low. As to the how it all works? It's really easy to put up and install just like all the Vinyl Lettering things out there. Just remember, the larger the piece you get, the more difficult it will be to align perfectly. Of course, considering the textured finish it will be thicker than the vinyl used for lettering. But it's still going to be a lot thinner than actually buying the blackboard.

If you do end up buying this product I sincerely hope you enjoy it. I'll be sticking with my Whiteboard and Dry Erase Markers. Thanks. Actually, one of these days I'll show you our own little system.

*images taken from Say it On the Wall

May 15, 2009

I discovered this marinade one afternoon a few years ago while I was searching for a good marinade for Shish Kabobs. That night we enjoyed the most delicious Kabobs I think I'd ever had.

Delicioso Marinade

1/3 cup Soy Sauce
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1/8 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 tsp Dry Mustard
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Parsley
1 1/2 tsp Pepper
1 clove Garlic crushed

Place all ingredients in blender and blend thoroughly. Marinade meat for about 40 min-1 hour. Store in fridge.

We use this marinade on Chicken, Beef or Pork Kabobs or not. When we make Kabobs we like to marinade the mushrooms with the meat. It gives them wonderful flavor. If you're not grilling you can use the left-over marinade to marinate and fry mushrooms for on top of steaks too. Just don't over-do it.

May 14, 2009

If you want to know the real reason I need a large craft room or area it's because I have so many projects that I haven't started or haven't finished. It's not my tools that take up the space, or even my sewing machine and serger. Nope. It's all the things I have on a list of projects.

Last week I actually went through almost all of my craft things. This was because it was moved out of the old guest room so we could give our growing son the bigger bedroom and prepare for the second baby. It was so much work. I re-discovered things I had forgotten about. Like the skirt that I made for myself 4 1/2 years ago, but never finished because it was too small. Or the pajama bottoms I had cut out but never got farther than that. The quilt I began for my son, still unfinished. Scrapbook pages I have yet to put together, and oh so much more waited for me in my piles. My true identity became very clear to me.

I am a Procrastinator.

Procrastination at my house means:

1. I should really never be in charge of something major. Like a girls night out or a wedding dress.
2. I should not be allowed to shop. Period. I'd say just at craft/hardware stores, but pretty much any store can be dangerous. Trust me.
3. I shouldn't blog. This habit causes serious delay as I take pictures of the before, during and after. It also takes precious time. And yet I won't stop, don't worry.
4. I shouldn't read other Home Decor/Craft/DIY blogs. It makes me want to do more.
5. Projects shouldn't take priority over dinner or cleaning. Yet they often do, and seldom get finished. Sorry Honey.
6. Productivity in front of the TV is minimal. Even if there is something I could do while watching. I can't even knit while watching TV.
7. There are things that always need to be sorted through: Papers, crafts, mail, boxes of junk, etc.
8. Distraction by a craft idea or project is always welcome when the alternative is not interesting (ie. All the random phone calls, grocery shopping, folding laundry, etc).
9. Actually profiting from my projects is impossible. I take too long.
10. 80-90% complete is often good enough.

So I confess my true nature to all my friends and family. Maybe I should join Procrastinators Anonymous. But for now I will go sweep and mop my floor. It has been over a week since I actually did that. Then I think I'll make dinner.

May 13, 2009

I love a good soup. But make it Chili and I'm in heaven. It wasn't until much later in life that I discovered the joys of White Chili, Tortilla Soup and Taco Soup. Once again, I found myself in Heaven. Yesterday some of my friends got to sample my favorite Taco Soup recipe. So here's the recipe for everyone else to enjoy too:

Taco Soup with Black Beans

1lb Ground Beef, browned and drained
28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
15 1/4 oz can Corn, undrained
15 oz can Black Beans, undrained
15 1/2 oz can Red Kidney Beans, undrained
1 envelope dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
1 envelope dry Taco Seasoning (1/4 cup)
1 small Onion, chopped

1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on Low 4-6 hours. (This can be cooked on med-low heat on the stove in about an hour, but it tastes way better done in the crock-pot.)
3. Garnish individual servings with: Corn Chips, Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, Avocado, and Spinach as desired. A little fresh Pico de Gallo is always delicious too.

I usually use Ground Turkey instead of Ground Beef. I prefer to brown the onion before mixing it in, otherwise the onion is a little too strong for my taste. I put the Cheese, Sour Cream and Spinach at the bottom of the bowl so that it will melt, or wilt better. Then I stir it all up.

May 12, 2009

This year after attempting to late to sign up for a plot at the Community Garden we decided to try Square Foot Gardening. I'm excited to say we've got the boxes made, almost filled, and we have the seeds (and their locations) planned. I'm especially excited to try some things I've never grown before: Cantaloupe, Jalapenos and Round Zucchini.

Anyhow, as we've planned the locations of the vegetables, fruit, and herbs I realized we would benefit from plant markers. For two reasons: it makes it cute and so we remember where we planted things.

So I've found two really cute and crafty ideas for making them. I started the first idea and
then saw the second one. I'm not sure which I'll end up making in the end, but I will show you the finished product. In the meantime, if you are planning to make your own markers here are the ideas and tutorials from the online craft world:

May 8, 2009

I swear it's just when you think you've baby-proofed completely that you realize it's never enough.

My 2 year old can already pull off outlet covers.
He has hit the door knob locks hard enough to break it off the knob.
He has pulled hard enough on the bi-fold doors that the locks pop off.
He can climb up things now, so putting stuff up high isn't enough.
He is sneaky enough to remember hours later if you left a door, a window, or a latch open or unlocked. And wait patiently until you are not paying attention to actually do something about it.

Cute and innocent? Sometimes, but there are those days I feel like he's always got the one up on me.

Oh well - I guess I can't complain. This is all coming from the girl caught escaping from the hospital when she had been left in a tented crib. The same girl who hauled a chair to the laundry room climbed up on the washer and into the closet to get a small key, then dragged that same chair into the kitchen, climbed above the stove and unlocked the medicine cabinet. Luckily she didn't take any because her favorite blue medicine was out. Did you know a leg could be broken just from going down a slide? She proved it! Her poor mother! So yeah, I should consider it all payback.

I guess this post is a warning - someday, somehow, your child will make your own mother very proud.

I sometimes wonder why I ever encouraged my son to grow or learn to walk. And yet, I love and adore him all the same. Motherhood is a glorious thing.

May 4, 2009

This weekend I spent a few hours at the temple with my dear Sister and her son. I arrived and it was raining, but when I came out and there was glorious sunshine. I decided to take a few pictures of the gorgeous flowers there. By the time I drove home it was raining again. Go figure.

Have you been impatiently waiting to see pictures on my new camera? I'm still learning just how it all works. All I can say is it takes me a lot longer to download photos and sort through them. Not because it's slow or anything, just because I take WAY TOO MANY pictures!

alternative text

May 2, 2009

So do any of you have difficulty coming up with things for your toddler to do all day long? Or wonder why there are days when it seems there has been way more crying than laughing? Some times my adorable boy is content to play completely on his own, all day long. But then there are those days he wants to be entertained ALL DAY! I know he gets bored with the same old thing, and honestly so do I. So when my friend posted a link to this list: 101 Things To Do With Your Toddler I was excited. It's not my only resource, but it's a good one. I'm sure many of you have other great ideas too. Please share them (links or personal ideas) in the comments.