Friday, August 28, 2009

Updated Kitchen!!

Our house is 37 years old and we bought it from the original owners 7 years ago. They updated a lot of the house and we have done a little more ourselves. Although not the original kitchen flooring, it was still pretty old and very dated.....
We set aside money for new flooring but I couldn't find what I liked. Then our resident handyman/church friend and I couldn't get out schedules to match up. The flooring sat on the hearth of my living room fireplace since Memorial Day weekend...that was 3 months people!! Anyway, the day finally came and my kitchen now looks like this....Looks like tile, don't you think? It is laminate though! Just like the wood laminate that is so popular now, only stone/tile look to it. Mr R still has to come back next week and finish some trim work around the cabinets, but we are pretty much done. I am thinking about putting it in our very small entry way area....but I also want to/need to paint and do something about the kitchen wallpaper, then the dining room will need to be painted.....and the list continues!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mary Poppins & Go Fish

This past weekend was packed full, but our family enjoyed every minute of it! Saturday afternoon, Miss M and I went to the historic Fox Theater to see the Broadway production of Mary Poppins. much fun for the both of us. The sets, new and old songs, performers...all were top-notch. My sweet hubby used "points" awarded at work to purchase the tickets - we were in a box, with special parking and entrance privileges, and food service at our table. We enjoyed a tasty strawberry shortcake and lemonades in "fancy" glasses (stemware which impressed Miss M). Our seatmates were mother/daughter and the little girl recently started kindergarten as well. After the show, we took more time to explore the beautifully restored theater. As we were getting in our car to leave, we saw several people waiting outside a side door...Mary Poppins herself came out and Miss M got an autograph. I didn't snap a picture because she was being so gracious to sign and meet all her fans...we thought that was enough. It was our first visit to The Fabulous Fox and although it may be a long time until our next visit, there will be another one!
The was the light above our seats...Miss M thought it looked like a butterfly.
Pre-show....can hardly wait! Pizza at home with the boys rounded out the evening.

After church, lunch, and a nap on Sunday, we all four headed to the next county over to see one of our most favorite recording artists: Go Fish. If you have children or grandchildren under about age 12, you must check these guys out! Their a Capella style mixes old children's standards with rockin' Bible based tunes like "The 10 Commandment Boogie" and other fun songs. I even listen to their CD's when I am alone in the car - they are just that good.

I saw them in concert last year at the MOPS convention but this was the first chance for the family to hear them live. We met up with friends from church, which made the hour wait more fun. We made signs and the kids were pleased when "the guys" gave them a thumbs up and high-fives all around when the came out in the audience.waiting outside to go thankful for unseasonably cool weather!
Even though the sound was turned lower than a typical concert, it was still pretty loud. What do you expect with a capacity crowd though? I think I heard the number was something like 850.
Hearing from Jamie about how EVERYONE can be "saved by grace, through faith".
Miss M spent some birthday money on a shirt and all three guys signed it after the concert. I lamented to Jason the fact they are not coming to the MOPS convention next month - they weren't invited this time! MOPS will surely hear about that from me and a few friends.
We had so much fun this weekend - Monday came much to quickly! Right now, I am in the midst of replacing the kitchen flooring. Actually, I am assisting a really good friend from church. Mr R has just about every tool you can think of and knows how to use them all! Check back later this week for before and after pics!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Weekend Plans

No pics as of yet, but just wanted to let you know what are family is up to this weekend. First off, Miss M and I are to see Mary Poppins on stage this afternoon. Daddy got box seat tickets for his two best girls at this theater through his work "points". We can hardly wait!!
Then tomorrow evening, after church, lunch, and naps we are heading to see our favorite musical group in concert - The Go Fish Guys. Go Fish is a group who specializes in Bible-based music for kids from preschool through elementary school, and they are AWESOME! Their tagline is "Great Music for Kids That Won't Drive Parents Bonkers". It is true - I heard them last year at the MOPS convention and we all four love their music - even Mr C sings along. Miss M has been looking forward to this since we learned they were coming to our area way back in December! She made a "Go Fish Rocks" sign last night and has a light up pom-pom to take as well. Oh yeah, the concert is awesome is that?!
Now to get a few more things around here before we head off to Mary Poppins!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Necklace Organizer

Miss M loves anything with a little sparkle and her jewelry box was pretty much just a tangles mess of necklaces and bracelets. (I must add that it once belonged to me as a little girl!) Anyway, we recruited Dad to cut a scrap of MDF into just the right rectangle size and shape.
Then we painted the back and sides pink, used spray adhesive to attach a piece of scrapbook paper, and sealed it with 2 coats of Mod Podge. 10 small brass cupholders and 2 picture hangers on the back and VIOLA...organized necklaces!
The finished project looks a little plain to me, but I am not sure what to add to it...ideas?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Frugal Flatware

Although I haven't read/heard this idea anywhere, I am sure it is not an original thought. I still wanted to pass it along to others though! Since Miss M isn't just a sandwich/chips/dessert kind of lunchboxer, I knew she would occasionally need a spoon or fork in her lunchbox. Although she could easily get one from the cafeteria, that is an additional step in an already short lunch period. I didn't want to take a chance her losing any flatware from home and using disposable really isn't very responsible. So, Mr C and I picked up a few forks and spoons at our local Goodwill on Friday. I can't believe they were 25 cents each!! I think a local thrift store in my hometown sells it for more like 10 cents. Nonetheless, frugal flatware was found for a steal. Of course, she is eating in the cafeteria tomorrow and won't get to use it yet!
I just realized that I haven't posted a vintage birthday gift from me to Miss M, so look for that this week. Also, I have a friend who makes beautiful beaded jewelry as a hobby and she graciously agreed to reconfigure some of my grandmother's vintage chokers and clip on earrings into some new things for me. I can't wait to show you how they turn out! Lastly, Miss M and I have a little project drying as we speak to help organize her overflowing jewelry box. So be sure to check back later this week for at least ONE of the projects!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Paint Your Own Pottery

I mentioned a few weeks ago that some MOPS buddies and I were having a Moms Only Night Out at a local paint your own pottery place. I have wanted to try that for sometime, so I jumped on the chance to go with some friends! It was so much fun and I can't wait to go again. Miss M was just a teeny bit jealous, so I promised to take her with me sometime.
We chatted and painted and laughed....then repeated!
Since it was about 2 weeks before Miss M's birthday, I decided to make a little something for her. My proportions are a little off, but I am still happy with the results. Most importantly, she was pleased!A little extra touch inside...
Miss M LOVES school and has enjoyed her first two days. I am still adjusting to her being gone all day. I know she was ready and she is in good hands at school, but I hate sharing her with others! Mr C is fun and so loving, but he doesn't' talk much...our conversations are pretty one-sided and when he does talk it is usually about a ball of some kind, cars, or wanting to play chase! Gotta love the boy, though! Enjoy your Saturday; we don't have any plans as of yet but sometimes that is the best kind of Saturday, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shrinky Dink Tags

I have mentioned Whimsy-Love more than once on my blog because she is a great inspiration to my crafty side. I love that when she has an idea for a project, she does it! I found that after Mr C was born, I was telling myself (and Miss M) "we will do it later" all too often. Nikki and her two girls strike when the iron is hot - something I am striving to do as well.
A few months back, Nikki reintroduced me to a fun little item from the 80's - Shrinky Dinks! I had fun with these as a child and had no idea you could still buy it. It used to come in pre-made kits but this is a package of sheets so you can make whatever you want! Ours came from Hobby Lobby, but I am pretty sure that other craft stores would carry it too.
We have made necklaces, used it at a Valentine party, and most recently to make bag tags for Miss M's lunchboxes and backpack.It is easy, easy, easy to use....just draw or trace your design using colored pencils, cut out, punch a hole if desired and bake at 325 for 1-3 minutes. That's it! Just remember that your design will shrink, so take that into consideration when drawing your design.Miss M's virus has finally run its course and she has the all clear to attend the first day of kindergarten tomorrow! It is hard to believe that the day we have been talking about for about one year is finally here. All three of will be taking her to school to see her off on this great adventure. Then Dad heads to work while Mr C and Cupcake Mama try to fill the hours until pick up time at 2:50!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Really Easy and Yummy Party Mints

Sorry I have been quiet for a few days. Miss M has a nasty virus that is attacking her tonsils and throat, so most of my time has been spent TRYING to get her to drink/eat something. Hoping she is on the mend though because her first day of school is THURSDAY!!
Anyway, here is the promised mint recipe. As you saw from the last post, we had lots of fun making the food for the tea party. We had some of our own ideas, but really enjoyed looking through her early birthday gift from my brother and his wife to form a menu for the party.

We also made mints while on the trip I posted about here. When Judy lived in our city, no baby shower was complete without her delicious and beautiful mints. Recipe and photos follow!

3 oz softened cream cheese
2 1/2 C powdered sugar
optional: 1/2 tsp your choice of extract (ex. mint, almond, orange)

Knead cream cheese and powdered sugar ( 1/2 C at a time) until it makes a firm ball and is the consistency of pie dough. If the dough is too dry, add 1/4 tsp water and blend into mixture.
You may also add flavoring at this time, if desired. As a side note, we decided the ones we made were tasty enough without adding any extract.
You might want to wear gloves for the next part. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces and put 2-3 drops of different food coloring into each portion. Blend the colors into each portion. You can leave the colors swirled in the dough or complete blend the color evenly. Place two portions of the dough into separate baggies to keep it from drying out while you work the other color.

Judy has made hundreds of mints and had lots of silicone molds to choose from. If you don't have molds, you can pinch off about 2 inches of dough, roll in a ball, and flatten with your hands. Then use small 1-in cookie cutters to form your shape. You can also divide dough into 1-inch pieces, roll into a ball with your hands, and then flatten.

Once the mints are all formed, put them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze in a single layer. Once solid, you may layer them in a freezer safe food storage container between sheets of wax paper. Arrange the mints on your serving tray 1-2 hours before your event so they have time to thaw.
Miss M didn't sample one as we were making them, but instead waited until the party. They were a hit, with several girls asking for seconds, and thirds, and so on! Oh...and do you like my chabby chic pedestal plate? Check back for directions on how to make it! (It will be a very technical post, with words like smoosh and is VERY expensive (around $1.25, plus glue!) Also, when Miss M feels like it later today, maybe we will finish up a super cute and simple bag tag for her backpack and lunch box that we want to show you! If you grew up in the 80's you will LOVE the supplies we used! to get a certain little girlie to each something!! We have tried pudding, milk shakes, smoothies, shaved ice, hot chocolate, jello, and popsicles. She doesn't like soup or hot tea...any other ideas?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Miss M's Tea Party

Miss M said this was her best birthday party yet. (Of course, she has only had six of them!) The guests all arrived wearing their fanciest clothes - one party goer even had an evening bag! Miss M greeted everyone at the door and escorted them through the "curtains" into the living room.
The "curtains" made of tulle and ribbon left from another project. We did this before Mr C got up for the day and he said "Wow" upon entering the room. They are still hanging and will probably be there for at least a few more days!

We played a variation of Jenga using sugar cubes and something akin to hot potato, but with a tea party flair. One girl sat in the middle of the circle with her eyes closed while the others passed around a teacup. When the music stopped, the one in the middle tried to guess who was holding the teacup.

After the games, the young ladies were seated in the dining room. Cupcake Nana helped me prepare all the "dainty food". Fruit kabobs, tiny ham/cheese and peanut butter sandwiches, tiny pretzel twists, pink lemonade with ginger ale, and peach tea. We also had the yummy mints we made while visiting our friends two weeks ago. A few moms stayed for the party and they were treated to a veggie tray and chicken salad with red grapes and apples.
Ladybugs....grapes and strawberries on a toothpick with mini chocolate chips (tips down) pressed into the berries.
Raspberry tea sandwiches....theses were really quite good!
The runner is a remnant found in my grandmother's fabric stash, the flowers are from the grocery store, and the pink cloth napkins were thrifted. The glass dishes were borrowed from church and each girl took home a thrifted spoon as part of her favor. You can't really see it very well, but I found some tulle butterflies in the basement that were tied on a gift a few years back...tied them to the overhead light with some ribbon for an extra little touch.
Cupcake Nana made the napkin rings out of more vintage fabric from grandma's house, with a little batting, ribbon, and a few buttons. So cute, don't you think? I plan to use her idea for other parties and events. Miss M and Nana also made the little cupcake place cards.
A better shot of the hand painted cups and saucers Nana worked on. Remember what they looked like to begin with? Each girl took her set home, personalized with her first initial.
We packaged them in Chinese take-out boxes, along with a few homemade tea shaped sugar cookies. Again, these were baked by Nana...she loves a theme and loves Miss M, can you tell?
The giant cupcake cake...did you know you can add powdered sugar to canned frosting and it works with pastry bags? Did you also know you can work in A LOT of powered sugar with canned frosting and use it like fondant to form the cherry on top? A little trick Cupcake Nana recently learned and shared with me!
All the happy party girls....

and their most favorite pose of the day....looks like Miss M and a few of friends have had some practice at this!
I know it may look like I spent a lot of money (and time) on this party. Almost everything we used was something I already had, thrifted, or borrowed. It did take a lot of time, but Miss M was involved with every step and it was a fun and productive way to spend a few hot and muggy days instead of watching the boob tube! Also, I have not forgotten the mint post...I forgot to take a good picture of them at the party. I have a few left in the freezer so I will take a pic of them soon and post with the recipe.


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