September 25, 2008

Birds and the Bees, Oh Please

Yesterday I was in the car with my 3 children when my 9 year old daughter pipes up from the back:
Girl: Hey Mom, did you know that boy dogs and girl dogs can both have babies?
Me: No they can't, sweetie.  Only girl dogs can have puppies.
Girl: No mom, you're wrong. Boy dogs CAN have puppies.
Me:  Who says?
Girl: Everyone in my class.
Me: Really.  Where did they get that information? 
Girl:  Because, girl dogs AND boy dogs have to have surgery so they can't have puppies.
Me: Oh.
Yeah.  That was my answer.  Oh.  

Inside I'm laughing so hard, though.   I know I could have taken that opportune moment to explain that it takes a boy and a girl dog to make puppies.  But let's be real.  Her 5 and 7 year old siblings were tuned into the conversation and I really didn't want to have to share all of the facts of life on the way to church.  

So I thought the best answer was an interested 'oh.'

But no.  I was not going to be let off the hook that easily.

Two minutes later, the same daughter says in a ha-ha kind of voice:
Mom, do you remember a few weeks ago in big church when Pastor David said teenagers can have babies?  Teenagers can have BABIES?!
That is when I decided it was time for me to really step up to the plate and do what any committed mother would do.

I turned on the radio and said,  Hey, Let's jam!

For-the-love!  I'm not ready for this!

September 22, 2008

Room Makeover

If you like long posts with lots of pictures, this is your day!

When we built our house almost seven years ago, our children were babies.  The design of our house had a formal front living room.  We didn't need another living area and my husband already had his 'trophy room' office.  Instead, we put french doors on the room and turned it into our play room.  It was perfect.  We could keep the toys (relatively) in the same area of the house, the kids could be close by enough that I could keep an eye on them while I worked in the kitchen, and we could close the doors and ignore the mess ... sort of.
For 5 years that room remained builder's beige.

I finally decided to paint it green:
And then we added beautiful bookcases:
The yellow curtains were some I had made with left over fabric when we first moved in.  They were cute and added some color to the builder beige.  Not so great with the green, though.

But I had a vision.  
I knew when I painted the walls green what the future held.  I chose the green to accent the black and white room I dreamt about.  Black. White. Green. Dreamy.
But I needed to be patient.  
I waited.
And waited.
I waited until my babies were big enough to have their toys up in their rooms.  I waited until I found the perfect black and white fabric to make fabulous curtains.  I waited until I could find that fabric on sale for $7 a yard.  I drove to another state for that fabric to find me.  Then I waited for my first paycheck this school year to buy the rods and rings to hang them on.
And it was well worth the wait!
Do you see that magnificent mirror to the right?
THAT was the ultimate find from my girlie weekend away.
We found it at a furniture warehouse out in the middle of Nowhere, SC.
Guess how much?!  Guess!

The mirror is so heavy it took toggle bolts (whatever that means.. but thanks, honey).
I had so much fun decorating my bookshelves.  Most of the stuff I already had sitting around the house.  Pulling it all together was like a big scavenger hunt!  See that cute clock at the bottom?  It doesn't usually sit there, but I added it for the picture (just keepin' it real).  It is another treasure from my girlie weekend away.  It has a face on both sides!
Here is my famous teacart.
The finishing touches are so fun.  I love bunnies.  And birds.  Can you see the title of the book this bunny is resting on?  It's The Bluebird and the Sparrow.
How appropriate!
I wanted this room to have a French flair.  My mom and I spent a few weeks in France before I started having bebes.  It holds a very dear place in my heart.  
So I added my French sign.  
Have you ever been to a patisserie?  Oui?  
It is a french bakery.  
Everything is delectable and fattening.  Perfect, deadly combination.
Moving on:
My french plate and my fleur-de-lis plaque (from 'le Hobbeu Lobbeu).
The picture that hangs above the teacart is of a french cafe'.  Bon' appetit!

And the last picture of the day:
This is the birdcage that I have searched high and low for.  I have scoured every 2nd hand store in NC looking for one.  I found it TODAY!  Oh the joy!  A treasure!
An eight dollar gem!  Yes.  $8.  It was a little dirty.  But a wet towel, some black plaid ribbon and a little nest later ...  perfecto!  (oops... is that french or italian?)

au revoir!!!


Several people have asked me for my salsa recipe.  I posted it once in my side bar as "Corey's Salsa".  However, since I change the recipe of the month, it is gone ... forever.  So, I thought I'd post about it, with pictures!  
Let's get started:

Chop 4-5 roma tomatoes.  Seeded or seedless, it's really up to you.
Now we need to add some HEAT baby.  
I usually keep a can of green chilies in the pantry.  One small can is enough ...  add more if you prefer.  OR, to really spice things up, you can add a fresh jalepeno.  Since my daughter loves this stuff, I try to not make it too spicy.  I left out the seeds of the jalepeno for her, but  I prefer the HEAT!
Next you will need a bunch of green onions.  Chop the white and green part.  If you line them up like this, it is much faster:
Oh, and if you don't have green onions on hand, you can use a white/yellow onion diced.  A purple onion really adds some great color.

Next comes my favorite... cilantro!  I LOVE love love this herb.  It is tasty, beautiful, and cheap!
 I usually just cut off the bottom of the stems and then use the rest.  No need to pull the leaves off.  Use it all. It's okay.
Now for some zing!  Zest a lime.  (I love this little zester gadget from Pampered Chef.)  
Then add the juice of the lime as well.
Let's add some flava!  
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar 
(or applecider vinegar, whatever)
3 Tablespoons olive oil  
Now the fun part:
You can add WHATEVER else you want!  
Sometimes I add black beans, corn, tomatilla, black olives.  
You are the kingpin at this point.  Whatever suits your fancy.

Add chips and you have a masterpiece!
Serve and be ready to accept all the love and appreciation your family can give.
This salsa ROCKS!!!

*It does not keep well.  Make on the day you plan to serve it.  

September 18, 2008


Join the fun.  Come up with a list of 'sevens' that others might not know about you.  Post about them, then leave a comment!

Seven Things I Love:
1. The smell of coffee
2. Fall
3. Roller coasters
4. Music
5. Candles: 
Autumn Leaves Yankee Candle
Firewood Henri Bendel
6. A good book
7. Fast toys: jet ski, boat, 4wheeler

Seven Pet Peeves:
1. Whining 
2. Bed hair in public
3. Moody people
4. Sour smelling clothes
5. Failure to use turn signal
6. Loud children in church
7. Cluttered countertops

Seven Things I Can't Do:
1. Blood
2. Sing on key without music
3. Grow taller
4. Burp out loud ... I've tried!
5. Lose weight while eating my 9pm snacks
6. Watch boxing (it usually includes #1)
7. Pull teeth

Seven Things I Can Do:
1. Laugh at myself
2. Enjoy my kids
3. Decorate on a budget
4. Teach
5. Snow ski
6. Be creative
7. Cook

Seven Characteristics I want to have:
1. Joyfulness
2. Contentedness
3. Humor
4. Patience
5. Peace
6. Righteousness
7. Organization

Seven Things I Can't Live Without:
1. My Bible
2. A shower.  Everyday.
3. Music
4. Dishwasher
5. My computer ;o)
6. Chic-fil-a
7. Warm pajamas

Seven Things You Might Hear Me Say:
1. We'll see.  (Mom speak for 'probably not, but I don't feel like arguing the point right now')
2. I love you.  (I say this very freely.  And I mean it.)
3. You need to just listen and obey.
4. Seriously?!
5. That's hilarious!
6. I'm so tired of political adds
7. What should we have for dinner? (Mom speak for 'I'd really love it if you stopped for pizza)

September 17, 2008

Laundry 101

Don't let the title fool you.  I'm not a laundry expert.  In fact, I really despise it.
About a year ago my husband overheard me tell a friend that I loved the layout of our home.  Everything but the location of the laundry room.  It was the room you had to walk through from the garage to get to the rest of the house.  Not only was it the furthest point from all of the bedrooms, it collected all the stuff a mud room collects... plus laundry piles = perpetual mess.

Since my hubby is the creative builder type, he said, "Why don't we move the laundry room upstairs?"
What?!  We've hauled laundry up and down the stairs for 5 years and I never knew that was even possible?  Let's do it!!!

So we enclosed 1/2 of our walk-in attic and created a new laundry room:
Since the ceiling is very low, I chose wall sconces instead of an overhead light.  
Did you know that indoor wall sconces are twice as expensive as outdoor ones?  Did you know you can use outdoor sconces ... indoors?  Wow!  What freedom!
You know I had to decorate a little.  We stay much more organized in here: 
The basket is for lost socks.  I'm sure you don't ever have those.
This little hanger thingy is the best!  It takes up very little space, yet holds a lot.  It even collapses if your space is really tight.
See, the vaulted ceiling is still high enough to put those high-falutin' front load things.  One day.

Do you know what the best part of this laundry room is?  My hubby does laundry now!  Yippeeee!  One of the best 'moves' we've ever made.

September 15, 2008

Need a little...

It seems to be a perfect time for a little encouragement from the Lord.  
Just in my small corner of the world, I have 2 friends that are having surgery this week for breast cancer, 2 friends dealing with difficult marriage situations and another friend who is dealing with her 8 year old's battle with leukemia.

My heart goes out to our neighbors in Texas that are just now beginning to pick up the pieces of their homes and lives; as well as those who were bruised by yesterday's financial crisis.

Let us remember that we have:
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my HOPE comes from Him. Psalm 62:5

When I put my hope in the Lord, and seek Him, then I will find:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the PEACE which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

To enjoy the blessings of true HOPE and PEACE, we must have:
In Him and through FAITH in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3;12

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.  Isaiah 54:10

These three frames hang in my bonus room.  I've looked at them a hundred times, but today, they seem to mean so much more.

*For an easy corner pick-me-up , I found these little word plates in the scrapbooking section, chose some coordinating paper and put them in these cheap little frames from Walmart.
Big impact.  Little price...   $13 for the whole thing

September 14, 2008

Trash to Treasure

A few weeks ago I happened to drive past a yard sale.  
On a Friday.
I didn't even know that was allowed!

Since I noticed several pieces of furniture, I turned the car around and checked it out.
I ran across this gem:

It had a sticker for $20.  I went WAY out of my comfort zone and did what you're supposed to do at yard sales:  Will you take $15? 
At first she didn't bite, but when I  started to walk away, she accepted my offer.

Solid wood teacart. 
It needed a little work on the wheels.  Okay.  One of them completely broke off before I even got it in the car.  But other than that, it was in great condition.
Since the stain was super dark.  Dark, as in 1970's dark with a few water stains.  We decided to sand it down and paint it.  

Isn't it beautiful?!!!

Did I mention it was $15?

For my faithful readers:  This went into my makeover room (post coming soon!) along with the treasures I brought back from my girlie weekend away.

If you're wondering: the plant is real.  

September 10, 2008

Greenery 101

If you are looking for  your mother's ivy-in-every-brass-container greenery ideas, you're in the wrong place.

Not yet, but in a minute, after you finish reading this wealth of information, go visit the Nester.  She is hosting a whole party about greenery-gone-wild.

Wondering what that means?
People Opposed to Objectionable Pretend Plants In the Environment
She's serious.  Really.  Go check her out.
Well, in a minute, of course.

Back to Greenery 101
Today's 'greenery' isn't necessarily even green.  
Take this burst of white berries for example.  This little gem stands about 15" high.  We're talking big impact and oh-so-versatile with it's changeable ribbon.  

Now, I know that each person's taste and style is different.  Take my husband, for instance.  His idea of decorating with greenery would be this:

Seriously.  He put that there.  I have no idea where my red candle is.  Funny guy.  Fun-ny guy. 

Back to our not-so-green greenery:
I'm really more of a berry girl, myself.  It adds the warmth without necessarily throwing in one more accent color (i.e. green).  This wreath hangs in our mud room.  The colors are chocolate (not just plain ole brown) and white with accents of blue.  Green greenery wouldn't work here.
There's just something comforting about a wreath, doncha think?

One more plug for berries, and then I'll move on.  They are ssoooo  seasonal!  I have pink berries for the spring, white for winter, red for Christmas and these beauties for fall: 

Another option for non-green greenery is the grape vine.  These guys are so easy going.  They don't mind being bare neked, but they also love a little panache.  A ribbon, some berries, a few feathers, whatever.   They're not picky.  AND they aren't one size fits all.  Their sizes and shapes are limitless!  I've had this little cone/beehive/tree thingy forever.  Really.  It's one of my very first decorating thingamajigs.   Right now it is a little bare:
But... it has a secret.  Do you know what is hidden inside?  Little white Christmas lights!!!  They poke their little heads out and twinkle beautifully. 

Enough about non-green greenery.  
Let's talk green.
I'm going to be very blunt.  Don't be mad, it's for your own good. 
Disclaimer#1: if I know you personally, I do not critique my friend's greenery.  This is just general cutting-edge decorating information.  Do with it what you want.  No hard feelings.  Really.

1.If you have fake green ivy draped over every cabinet top in your kitchen, pull it down.
   Too much of a good thing is bad.  And ivy isn't necessarily a good thing.
2. If said green ivy is a brighter shade of green than what naturally grows, throw it away.
3. If said green ivy looks plastic, shiny or remotely f-a-k-e throw it away.

When looking for some new greenery to replace your oh-so 90's ivy, look for fun textures, realistic leaves, and soft hues.  This 'dusty miller' plant is one of my favorites.  It is almost furry to the touch.  Remember 'green' doesn't always mean 'ivy'.

Now before I really make every ivy-lovin' gal mad.  Let me say that ivy does occasionally have its place.  You may have the rare chance to find a bush of gorgeous green.  Go for it!  But typically, it is better as an accent.  For example, I use it in this wrought iron planter in my family room.  Right now it is doing a great job accenting the fall foliage.  At Christmas it highlights the live poinsettia that nestles in there.  See.  Ivy is not evil.  Just dangerous if not kept in check. 
Disclaimer #2: Although the ivy in the picture looks shiny It's NOT!!!  Silly flash.

One last note about greenery.  Or ahem, not-so-greenery.
If by chance you have a dried flower arrangement/wreath/sprig etc...  ask yourself these questions:
1. Does it look grey in overall appearance?  Yes?  
    Throw it away.
2. Does it bring life to a room or scream 80's?
3. Does it just need some fresh sprigs to liven it up?  Get to Garden Ridge asap.
4. Does it or did it once have any form of mauve or lavender in it?  To the dump!
5. Have you had it more than 10 years?  Unless it holds supreme sentimental value, it's time to let go.  You can do it.

Okay.  I can't let this one go.  One more:
Magnolias were fabulous in 1992.  It's 2008.

September 9, 2008

Oh the Shame

Last night, as the girls were laying out their clothes, they both chose fairly casual outfits.  I thought it was actually cute for my Fashion Queen to choose a t-shirt with writing on it.  She is usually so fashion-conscious, that her little 2nd grade wardrobe puts mine to shame.

My other dear daughter doesn't usually concern herself with time-wasters like accessorizing and such.  It's more of a grab-n-go thing.  Unfortunately, it is the end of the season, so most of her 'grab-n-go' items are very worn looking or getting a little small.
When I dropped them off this morning, I smiled again, at my oh-so-casual girlie girls.  A true rarity for one (FQ).  

Before I knew it, it was time to pick them up from school.   As I rounded the curve in carpool line, I noticed the kindergarten class.  Wow.  What a snazzy group today.  They must have had something special going on.  Then I noticed the 5th graders.  Hmm... something is up.  They are all decked-out too.  

And then it hit me.


Oh the shame! For there stood my Fashion Queen in her Mossy Oak couture.  
At least her daddy will be proud of her display of his favorite hunting manufacturer.

Don't get me wrong.  She looked cute as a button in her pink and brown. 
 It's not like I sent her to school in camouflage and a flame-orange hat... give me a little credit.

September 4, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My dear bloggy friend Lacy tagged me.

6 Unique Things about Me:
1. I want to go skydiving with my brother.
2. I don't do blood, teeth, or eyes. (Sorry, kiddos)
3. I would choose to eat only sweets if I could get away with it.
4. If I ever made it to the show, I think I could win the $million on 'Don't Forget the Lyrics'
5. Dirty and/or long toe nails creep me out.
6. I would put on my pajamas at 4pm everyday if I could get away with it.

Now I would like to tag these precious ladies:
Having Moore Fun

If I've tagged you, then post 6 unusual things about yourself with a link back to me.
Then, tag, you're it!
Go tag 6 of your fave's

September 3, 2008

Fall Nesting

Melissa, over at The Inspired Room is having a 'fall fest' if you would like some ideas to decorate your nest.  Go check her (and all the great links) out!
The picture above is of my favorite white pumpkin.  It's about 9" in diameter.  I found it a few years ago on clearance at Target (love of my shopping heart).  The photo frame was inspired by several other blogs that suggest using photo frames for words, monograms, etc...  
I found these fall leaves at the Dollar Tree! It's hard to tell in the photo (I'm so photo-savvy), but they are very realistic looking.  The little rocks in the candle holder are a filler from the Wal. (used-to-be love of my shopping heart ... not so much anymore ... there is something to be said about cleanliness and friendly cashiers. I digress.)
This photo is dedicated to my BFF who got me started on this whole filling-cool-glass-jars-with-anything jaunt.  You know who you are.  
So in the 1st one on the left, I have dry black beans topped with a white pumpkin.  Did I mention I luv white pumpkins?  
In the middle container, I have my overflow of rice.  This is what happens when you buy the giant family size, only to get home and realize you have nowhere to store it.  Oh.  How about a glass jar?  Who said practicality can't equal beauty? 
On the right, are two packages of mini gourds I found at the Dollar Tree.  Man.  I gotta go back over there.
And then we come to my sweet little birdie.  He looked so silly just a peckin' at my fall napkin.  So I gave him a little something to eat.  Dry split peas on a candle dish is just what he needed.  His compliments to the chef.  
Remember this little project?  Here she is in all her fall glory.  It's amazing the difference a few leaves and gourds can make!  

Are you inspired to pull out your fall stuff?  No?  
Wow.  I suggest therapy.  
However, visiting The Inspired Room will be much cheaper.

September 1, 2008

The Long Awaited Climb

Over the weekend we took a hike.
It was a refreshing, exhilarating ramble through the woods ...  
All 8 of us enjoyed the trek.  Even my hubby, who 1 year ago, discovered he would have to have reconstructive leg surgery, again.  For the second time.  
As I watched him traipse with the kids, I marveled at modern medicine, his determination, and God's grace.

I know I've said that I will one day blog about our amazing journey ... and I will.  (I just need about a week to jot down and edit all my thoughts).

When we reached this spot, it was more than conquering a mountain:
It was conquering the 2 most painful,  physically challenging years of my husband's life.  As I watched him race to the top I rejoiced, not just because he is strong again, but because he is a man that has maintained his integrity and given God the glory through it all.   Even though he was humbled by his physical limitations, he never gave up.  

So when we reached the summit and stopped to enjoy the view, I took a moment to cherish the significance of the climb.