Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Resolutions

Do you make a New Years resolutions every year? Do you stick to it? I have decided not to this year!

My goal last year was to send out real birthday cards to all friends and family members on time. I know not a life changing resolution but it really makes me smile when I receive actual mail. From the mailman. In my mailbox.

So many people wish you a Happy Birthday or send a little note through email and now Facebook but taking the time to send a card really means a lot to me. So…that is what I wanted to do last year. DID NOT HAPPEN! Why?? No clue. I am still going to work on that this year. Why do you think New Years resolutions do not stick? Is it the pressure? Is it the year long commitment that is so hard?

What are your goals for the New Year 2010?

Monday, December 28, 2009

After Christmas Decorating

I love the white lights of the Christmas tree and my mantel. My favorite is to curl up and watch tv with just the white lights on. After Christmas when the tree comes down and the decorations get put away I miss the twinkle. I have been looking for some decorating ideas to keep the white lights up after Christmas but have not found much. Any ideas??

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Heart My Secret Santa

This year I participated in the Secret Santa Soiree and I am SO glad I did!

Here is my package! It started like this…




I was SO excited! My kids kept asking if those were presents for them. Nope…these were Mommy’s presents!


A soft pink scarf and a green mug filled with mini Reese’s cups. It’s like my SS knew me in real life! ;)


My very favorite coffee in the world, pretty bead bracelets and a sweet Christmas card.


Fun!!! A bow maker,  candle, folders, a binder, pencil case and a Creativity book.

Thank you, Thank you, to my Secret Santa. I cannot wait to find out who had my name! I really had a lot of fun with this!


Our cat Oreo was so excited she had a new box to play in. Cats love boxes!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Wonderful Giveaway!

OMG! I NEED to win this Oreck vacuum. I really really need one. In a house with 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 kids and 1 husband, I vacuum every single day. I have to. I have OCD and maybe that is part of it but I cannot stand the thought of dirty floors. My kids love to play on the floor with cars, games, everything. I have a steam floor cleaner but I had no idea a vacuum could do all this….take a look at this post over at Trying to Stay Calm! She has one to give away to one lucky reader!!!! I am sooo hoping that lucky reader is me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some Fun

My Family from

My Stick Family from


Romantic Snow Globes by has some FUN things to do and to add to your blog. Seriously I played on the site for over a half an hour. These are just a few of the things they have. If you are pregnant or wedding coming up….so many cute count downs. You have to take a peek at this site! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

HP TouchSmart Giveaway at Mckmama

Mckmama is having a FABULOUS giveaway!! She has a HP TouchSmart for one lucky reader!! I actually gasped when I read about this computer. I really really hope to win….but you can enter too if you would like! ;)  All you have to do is click here for all the details.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cinnamon Clay Ornaments

DSC_0004-2 We made cinnamon clay ornaments the other day. The kids really enjoyed making this craft. The smell in the house was heavenly! These are very easy to make and really you can use any cookie cutters to make shapes. We of course used our Christmas cookie cutters. My thought is to tie ribbons on the tops and use them as gift toppers. They would also look great on a garland.

Here is the recipe I used in case you are interested in making these with your family. These are NOT edible.

You will need:




Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup of cinnamon. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of flour, 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring constantly. Knead the last 1/2 cup of flour. The mixture should be warm, not sticky, and have the consistency of Play-Doh.

Roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to make shapes. I used a straw to make the hole on the top for the ribbon to go through. You could also use this dough to make beads. Pierce each one with a toothpick so they can be strung on to a necklace later.

Let the shapes air dry (this may take a day or two). These can also be painted after dry.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Handmade Bows

My Mother-in-law saves all the bows, ribbons and bags from gifts to recycle them on future presents. A great idea to save money on gift wrap. Then I saw this tutorial over at At Heart for Home. Handmade Bows from recycled magazines! How fun is that??


Monday, December 7, 2009

New Pirate Wall Art


My newest painting I have been working on. This is on wood and not canvas like I have done before. I am planning on personalizing this with a little boys name is red or if someone does not want personalization maybe “Ahoy Matey” something like that. What do you think?


Can you see his gold tooth?? :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Family Rules Canvas


After seeing quite a few of these family rules on painted canvas around other blogs I decided to try one myself. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out.  The background is brown with white dots. The “rules” are on different scrapbook paper. I used ModPodge.  I love this stuff!

Friday, December 4, 2009

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

I LOVE the holidays. I love to decorate for the holidays. My favorite part is sitting in the living room with only the Christmas lights on. It is so peaceful to me.

Here are some of our holiday decorations this year. I have not taken any outside photos yet but I will get to those. My wonderful husband put the outside lights up for me. 

This is our mantel without the flash on. In the middle is the word “believe” in black. You really cannot see it very well in the photo.



This is a close up of our tree….see the black in there? See the black furry tail sticking out between the branches??? That is our cat Oreo. She loves the tree.


Here she is again, mad that I disturbed her sleep in there! :)

DSC_0006 My Christmas dishes. I change out the dishes every year and put all my Christmas ones in to use. Even the kids use the pretty holiday dishes. They love it!


Hope you enjoyed the little peek into our holidays!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gingerbread House

Today we decorated our annual Gingerbread House. Last year we decorated a train not a house but you get the idea. Every year I buy one of the premade kits and the kids decorate it. I have always picked up extra candy because really the candy that comes in the kits is…not very appealing. What fun is decorating a Gingerbread House is you can’t sample the frosting and the candy, right?

The kids are getting pretty good at the decorating! :)


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Manage Your Time Wisely

Are you a stay at home mom? Do you work from home? How do you manage your time?

I am a stay at home mom. I also home school our children. I also run my own business from home. Do you see the pattern here? Everything needs to be managed from home, in my house, with everything else going on.

There are always distractions when you are at home. You may be home with your children all day or you may be working from a home office. There are always distractions. How you handle them is key.

I am working on this. My phone rings constantly some days. All day long. Friends, family, telemarketers it really does not matter. What matters is how to handle it. During our home schooling time I do not answer the phone. I use to. I have realized that not only does it distract all of us from our work  BUT it was sending a message to my children that the phone was more important than their schooling. Not the message I wanted to send to my children.

I also do not answer the phone if we are curled up on the couch reading, watching a show together or playing a game. I want them to know that the time I spend with them is valued.

Some people do not respect that decision. Some people get upset and mad that I did not answer the phone. Ridiculous. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “I called you this morning. Why didn’t you answer the phone?”.  I HOME SCHOOL. I try to run my own business from home. I have 2 children who NEED me. I know these years are going to fly by and I am trying to savor every moment. Some people just do not understand that. They get MAD. Seriously!

What do you do to handle your time?

Friday, November 27, 2009

What Sam Needs….

There is a wonderful and funny post over at Atlanta Mothers. All you have to do is do a search on what you need on Google. For example Sam needs…
1. Sam needs to make a cake and some cookies.  Now that is a good one…I could do that.
2. Sam needs a job! Well, no, not really. I am a homeschooling stay at home mom and that is a job in itself.
3. Sam needs jeans. Yes, most definately I do. My favorite jeans has a hole…well a few holes…small ones but in not so good areas!
4. Sam needs time. Always…I always need more time. :)
5. Sam needs a shower! LOL Ok that one is just funny!
6. Sam needs a playful and loving home. This I have already!
7. Sam needs a holiday in Spain. Oh yes please that sounds lovely.
8. Sam needs to tone her aggressive tone. YIKES! ;)
9. Sam needs your number’s. Well, ok…if you really want me to have them.
10. Sam needs to get to work. Enough already with the work and the job thing! Jeez!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of friends, family and laughter.

I am thankful for…

my wonderful family, our health, my children’s laughter, smiles and hugs, a warm home, food on the table, a bed to sleep in, comfort, love and life. So many things we take for granted in life. Look through the eyes of a child this year and see all the precious things life has to offer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Advent Calendar Give-a-way!

Have you been over at Tatertots and Jello?? She has an adorable give-a-way going on right now. Take a look at this advent calendar.

She made this herself!!! Is it not the cutest thing ever??? I love polka dots and this would be PERFECT in my house! I have to win this. If you want a shot at winning click here. Of course if you must send it to me! :) She also has a couple for sale.

I need one!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Favorite Things

I am linking up to 320* Sycamore's Favorite Things! I am a day late but I am sure this one will be going on for a long time. What a wonderful idea to get more holiday gift ideas!!

My favorite things:

1. My Keurig Coffee Pot! This is one of the best things. No more wasted coffee left in the pot and it tastes delicious. They have so many different coffees to choose from.

2. Painting! I love to hand paint personalized items for friends and family. These will be personalized with names and initials. So much fun!

3. Monogrammed or Personalized Magnetic Dry Erase Boards. I found this one by Monkeyseeboutique on Etsy and I LOVE it! I do not know her but she has some adorable stuff!!!! Great for Christmas!

4. Hand made pillows - found this one by LilacAve on Etsy. How cute is this????

5. Yankee Candles! I have one for every season and love the way they smell. Such a homey feeling when we have these burning. My favorite for fall is Pumpkin Spice or Harvest.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Good-bye to an old friend

Today we said good-bye to Tucker. It was a very peaceful good-bye and we were able to do it at home. I love our vet! She is wonderful, sweet, caring, compassionate and truly loves her job.

The kids said their good-byes which was terribly heartbreaking to watch. Then they went upstairs to play with grandma. My husband and I sat with Tucker right in his “spot” next to our couch. He was always at my feet. A little heartbeat at my feet no matter where I was. :) So that was the best and most comfortable spot for him.

Putting a dog to sleep is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. Thank you for all your kind words. I am going to feel the loss for a very long time. He was full of life and made a big impact on our house.

We are animal lovers in a big way. I once volunteered with a sheltie rescue group (I had 4 shelties and now 3). A little over a year ago I volunteered as a foster mom for an animal rescue group and now we have 3 cats too. I admit I am softie and end up falling in love with the animals.

Rest in peace Tucker Mans…you will forever be in my heart.


Monday, November 16, 2009


We are having to say good-bye to one of our fur-babies. Our dog Tucker has been sick for a long time now but hanging in there. He has many issues but most having to do with his thyroid and seizures he has.  He is only 10 years old.


This is Tucker last year. Look at that sweet face. He is the most loyal dog I have ever know.

Tucker chose me when he was a puppy. I had gone to look at the sheltie puppies with an “ideal” look in my mind. Tucker had an almost all white face as a puppy and was adorable but not what I had pictured. So after lovin on all the puppies and watching their little personalities this little dog kept coming over to me and sitting right  on top of my feet. Every time I would stop walking there he was perched there looking up at me.

He knew.

He knew I was his person. Finally I laughed and said, “I think this little guy picked me!” and I was right. Tucker has been such a joy to have in my life. He LOVED to run in the sprinkler just like a little kid. He would run and jump through it barking and enjoying life to the fullest. He LOVED tennis balls and would always have one in his mouth. Tucker would play ball until your arm just could not throw it any more. He was sweet and gentle when I had my children. Content to take a backseat for awhile and let me be a mommy. Then when the kids were old enough…he had playmates and loved them with all his heart.

Tucker is a good soul.

Tomorrow I will have to put Tucker to sleep and I am hurting. I always told the vet that if he was in pain and did not have a quality life left to let me know…even if I was in denial. Well, last night Tucker had a really hard night. He has had them before but then always seems to get “better”. Today he has not. The vet gave me some valium to ease his pain a bit and make him more comfortable through the night.

I am spending the day with my furry little guy and letting him know how much he has brought to my life.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holidays with Paula Dean

I LOVE Paula Dean so I was super excited when I found this FREE download of her Holiday Guide. It is WONDERFUL!

about_paulaIs that her kitchen?? Seriously…who would not love to have a kitchen like that!

primary_mums_home This is beautiful! This would look great on our table this Thanksgiving.

And then for Christmas….


I think one of the reasons I picked this is because of my love for polka dots and checks. Anyone know how to find those plates?? I love the white with the little bubble ridge around it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Apple Squares - YUMMY

My children and I love to bake. Every fall I make Apple Squares. I made a batch a couple weeks ago and they disappeared all too quickly soooo we made some more today.


My little girl loves to help Mommy in the kitchen!


She snuck a few apples to eat as we were peeling them….so cute!

This is what is in my oven right now and I cannot wait to eat one. They smell wonderful!


Here is the recipe:

Apple Squares

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

8-9 apples peeled and sliced

1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon

(Mix apples with sugar and cinnamon and set aside)

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time. Sift in dry ingredients. Press half of dough into the bottom or a 9 X 13 greased pan. Spread apple mixture on top. Make patches with remaining dough and place on top of apples, overlapping.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 mins.

Freezes well

This only makes one pan of them and I have found that is not enough! :) I love these and love to share them with friends.

Let me know if you make them and how they turned out!! :)

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Kids Table Ideas

Over at Alpha Mom, Cindy posted some adorable Thanksgiving ideas for the kids table. I will definately be using these this Thanksgiving. She included free downloads for us to print! A crayon holder, placemat, napkin rings and center piece. Wonderful ideas to keep them busy while everyone is coming in and saying hello. Being part of the holiday decorating always makes my kids feel special. They love it! :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Drop Cloth Curtains

I am sure you have seen these by now. They seem to be everywhere. I LOVE them!! They are made with painters drop cloths. The have the look of linen and remind me of the curtains in Pottery Barn. I bought mine at Home Depot. Painters drop cloths are all different so you have to look at them.
I washed mine several times and dried them with dryer sheets to make them softer. They also have a terrible smell to them when you first take them out of the package so you have to wash them.
I already had the black curtain rods so all I needed to purchase was the black curtain rings.  I am so happy with them!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Craft Room

Over on the Martha Stewart site she has posted a "Show Us Your Crafts Room".  I am jealous of all these craft room photos that people have posted! One I like the most has slat board on the walls with all her items held up there with clips. This is a great idea! You are able to see everything you want to use. My one problem finding the time to scrap / craft / make cards is having to get everything out in order to use it. I spend more time setting up! My dream room would have all my "stuff" neatly organized, a long work table and room for friends to come over and work along with me. Do you have a craft room in your home?


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Holiday Gift Ideas

What do you do with all your Halloween candy?? My kiddos have so much loot that there is no way they are going to eat it all. People do not give only one piece of candy these days. The kids were getting 2-3 pieces per house. Crazy!

Now that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is quickly is time to think about holiday gifts this year.  I love homemade, from the heart gifts and with money being tight for everyone this year they are even better! So I am looking for some great ideas!

Last year I made these of the kids for the grandparents and a very special aunt.

Everyones set was different in some way. I tried to match their personality or their house style with the frames and background. These are in our house and I LOVE them. Pretty, thoughtful and cheap!

Interested in making some of your own?

I took a profile picture of each child and enlarged them. I carefully cut around each profile and traced the cut out on black cardstock. I used nice cardstock - non fading, acid free, etc. Then very very carefully I cut out the profile on the black cardstock.

Using scrapbook tape I adhered them to scrapbook paper and framed them. Easy! :) My mom actually teared up when she opened them. That was thank-you enough.

Please share your posts of any holiday ideas you may have. Please post in your blogs and direct some more friends over here. Hopefully we will get some wonderful ideas!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Melissa over at Melissa’s Heart and Home is celebrating her one year of blogging! She is having a wonderful give-a-way for her readers. You have to go take a peek and enter (even though I hope to win!). 

Friday, October 30, 2009

What Are You Afraid Of?

Personally I have a phobia of spiders. Let me make this very clear...a PHOBIA - not a fear. Not a simple I do not like them or think they are creapy. I am TERRIFIED of spiders. I have no idea where this irrational fear came from. I start off screaming. Then it leads to irrational screaming and crying. THEN comes the hyperventilating. Then it feels as if my throat closes off. The gasping of air comes pretty quickly after that and then in the past I have passed out. There it is folks. A phobia. in NC there are some BIG ass spiders. This here fella is now living in my backyard. That is until tonight when my brave hubby comes home and I tell him to remove the spider from the premises. Now I will not make him kill him. I know they are good and kill insects. I actually feel sorry for this little guy. Do you notice anything about him?? Spiders are suppose to have 8 legs. This beauty only has 6. Two are missing. I do not even want to think about what happened to them. Yick!

Now you are probably thinking how in the world a girl with a phobia like mine was able to take this photo. I have a great zoom lens! LOL

Another thing that NC is blessed with is fire ants. This is the third big mound that I have had to tackle this fall. I sprinkled the crystals/poison on the mound yesterday so today I went to check on it. Again...yick!

Looks small right now. Poison must be working! Wait....see all those dark pits? Those are not pits of dirt. They are piles of dead ants. The ants that are still alive are removing the dead bodies from inside the nest. Once again....yick!!


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