Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't Eat Pete, Free Download

We played Don't Eat Pete for the first time with the girls tonight. The game is quite popular with my niece & nephews in Las Vegas. For some reason I have failed to introduce it to my kids until tonight.

It was a hoot! Really the most simple of games, but thoroughly enjoyable for everybody involved. Sadie's eyebrows shot up with interest when she found out she'd get to eat candy & little Claire caught on to the excitement of yelling "Don't eat Pete!!" & kept yelling out her mumbled version of it at the wrong times.

I put Dylan on the task of creating the game board while I cooked dinner. The artist in him couldn't just make it simple. I was really pleased with his illustrations in the end. He rocked it! So we decided to make it a free download for other families to enjoy. We plan on laminating our game board so that it can hold up for future uses. You can download it here, print your own game board & enjoy some good times with your family today!

How to play:

Send the first player away from the game board or into another room, then have the remaining players choose which one of the twelve people on the game board will be "Pete" for the round. Place one M&M in each square of the game board. Have the first player come back and begin picking and eating M&M's from the game board. As soon as the player tries to pick "Pete" everyone yells "Don't Eat Pete!" The player keeps all the M&M's picked up before trying to get Pete. Refill the game board and play again with the next player.

You can use cereal or other small snack foods as well as any type of small candy for this game.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Doily Pot Holders

These pot holders are my absolute favorite things right now. I love the pot holders that I made for myself a while back & thought I'd try some out with my favorite girly, vintage embellishment...a doily. I love how they turned out. I've added these to the shop, of course. we'll see how they are received. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mom's Quilt

I decided to make my Mom a lap quilt this Christmas. A lot of the fabrics used on this one are the same as used on the baby quilt that I have listed in my shop right now. I thought the colors would work well with her sofa & living room. It was nice to work on a quilt in the winter. Hand stitching the binding on with the warm quilt over me was so cozy & relaxing. One thing is for sure...once finished, I really wanted to keep this quilt for myself. I know that's a good gift if I don't really want to part with it myself. But I've decided that I need to have a stack of about 5 or 6 six handmade quilts like this in my house. Better get to work then, right?

Sorry for the poor lighting in these photos. I was rushing to get it finished & off in the mail. I couldn't wait until morning for better light. Heather was so sweet to get a photo of mom with the quilt in the gorgeous Las Vegas light. Take a look here.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

* the year of the baby strollers
* barbie clothes & star wars
* making my mom's cinnamon rolls for the first time (they turned out great!)
* looking at lights of Christmas Eve
* reading the story of Christ's birth from the Bible
* sprinkling magic reindeer food outside (thanks Chanel!)
* forgetting Santa's cookies & having to make them a half hour before bedtime
* our first year at home w/ the kids

Christmas really is the best. I hope everybody had a super great day! We have immediately turned towards cleaning & organizing. Every room, every drawer, every closet will get hit by the organizing duo (Dyl & I) by the end of this week. It feels great to get rid of some stuff & put everything in it's place. I want to start off 2009 in an tidy house. :)

In the middle of all the holiday busyness, my mind has actually been brewing with ideas for the shop. Watch for some updates soon. Especially if you want some items to brighten up your house now that all the Christmas decor will be put away.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hello Winter

We're staying in today. Luckily there are no errands that need to be done! The goal for today is to do all my weekly chores so that we can enjoy the holiday.

I finished up the last of my sewing last night. I didn't even finish half of the handmade gifts I originally set out to make. I'm giving myself a break because of all I've been through this last little while. Next year I will try again to be better & start in the summer time. For now I am just too exhausted. Dylan put his foot down & told me I couldn't start any more gift projects at this point. Although, I did have a few softies in mind for the girls....I know he's right. I need to get some rest & focus on other things, like wrapping & baking & remembering where I hid all those gifts.

We are supposed to warm up a little in the next few days. All I have left to do is shop for food. It's our first Christmas on our own as a family. I'm planning to make my mom's cinnamon rolls. I've never made them before, but Chanel has. She says they're easy & so I'm not too worried. It's fun to choose traditions from each side of our family to use & to make some up on our own as well. It feels great to be doing Christmas in our own place this year. I will miss our family tons, but we're excited. No need to sit around & be sad, right? We are so blessed. So very blessed & I can't stop thinking about that this week.

What are you doing today? What are your holiday traditions?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Everyone Needs a Pom Pom Skirt

This gingerbread girl is by far the best craft to come home from preschool this year. I love the pom pom skirt in all it's overdone glory. We've even lost a few pom poms in the backpack & throughout the house. I think we all need a pom pom skirt. How fun would that be!

We also got a card from Sadie yesterday with a hand print reindeer on the front.

Her teacher helped her with the inside.

Now please note that we really are not big fans of McDonalds in this family. Actually, I think I counted about a 3 or 4 year stretch where we did not give McDonalds any of our business. But, Sadie got a little older & we'd end up there on road trips every now & then...but still we try to avoid it. While I was sick over the past couple of months, we did however stop there quite often. Sometimes just for a vanilla cone. Anyway, just thought you should know that we are not McDonalds junkies & don't like to support them with our money. :)

But...back to this adorable card. My very favorite part is "Thank you for hugging me and giving me apples." It's the sweetest thing!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm Around

Getting my laundry on. Oh, who am I kidding? That laundry has been in those baskets for days now. Don't you just hate when you need a white piece of clothing & have to dig through the whites basket. It's impossible & totally annoying.

Anyway, I am getting things done. Trying my best to keep up productivity around here. It feels good to have energy. I feel like my old self again.

But there are a lot of things to get done. Anybody else feeling the stress? I know I'll get it all pulled off in the end, but boy am I looking forward to resting after Christmas. Unfortunately I can't share any of my recent sewing with you, because surprises will be ruined.

On a side note, I joined facebook finally. I'm kinda in a race w/ Dylan to have more friends than him. Any of my buddies out there that I haven't tracked down on facebook yet? Let me know. We'll hook it up.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crazy Mullets

Yes, I did go get my haircut at a place called Crazy Mullets last week. No, they did not give me a mullet. Yes, I am happy with my cut. Yes, I am happy with the amount I paid on my way out ($20 women's cut, $18 men's cut). No. I'm not sure that I can give up this awesome postcard next time I go in even though it's good for $3 off any cut.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crayon Rolls

I've added a few crayon rolls to the shop. I love to give these as gifts along with a coloring book. They are a good little stocking stuffer as well.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Visit With Santa 2008

Santa was in town last night so we took the girls for a visit. Sadie was SO excited. The store that Santa comes to is right across the street from our grocery store, and whenever we're by it Sadie brings up her visit with Santa last year.

I was curious to see how Claire would react to him this year. I truly thought that she would be scared. Not at all. She walked right up the stairs and sat on his lap just like her big sister. Sadie let Santa know that she wanted a Belle dress for Christmas & that Claire wanted a baby stroller. When Santa asked her if there was anything else she wanted she said "No." I just love these little kids who are satisfied with one toy.

Being a kid at Christmas is the best. I am loving watching my kids experience the fun & magic of it all. Luckily, I gave Santa some advance warning on the kids wants this year. I think he's pretty well prepared & I'm glad there weren't any surprise requests last night. :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Cake That Maria Made

My friend Maria called me on Sunday to tell me that she wanted to bring over a "dessert" that she made for us. I was thinking brownies or cookies, but then she shows up with this beautiful cake! It is totally professional like & delicious as can be. And how fun is that color? Now if a cake like this doesn't cheer a person up, I just don't know what will. Thanks, Maria!

Monday, December 08, 2008


All tote bags, headbands & travel tissue holders have been marked down today over in the Sparkle Power etsy shop. Happy holidays!

Little Gifties

Bean bag sets for the littles in our lives, or Sadie's friends.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ahhhh, Yes

Things are getting better around here. A little better each day, in fact. We still have moments of sadness here & there, but we are trying to move on & enjoy this holiday season. Thank you for all of your kind words on the last post. They really helped me a lot. I considered leaving the comments off on that one, but knew that your words & thoughts would be so kind & helpful. Thank you.

I cannot believe how amazing our friends out here have been. They have been right here with food & phone calls & hugs & it has been so uplifting & wonderful. Thanks to all who have offered help. The world is full of amazing, wonderful, good people. I really am overwhelmed by your support. Thank you.

We finally finished up our Christmas decorating. The tree was waiting for me to add some berry branches & now that it's complete I remember how much I love, love, love my Christmas tree. I thought that this would be the year that I'd be ready for all new stuff...not so. And last night I did some sewing. It felt wonderful. I am excited to get in the groove of making holiday gifts. I love sewing at night with the house decked out for Christmas & cold snow outside. I'll share what I can along the way!!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 05, 2008


I hate to have to do this, but I must inform you that our family will not be expecting another baby early next summer. At my 14 week checkup earlier this week, the doctor was unable to find the baby's heartbeat. I knew right then what was happening, but she did a few ultrasounds & without sharing all the details...we've lost the baby.

This has been really hard to deal with. We are all very sad. Dyl & I especially & that poor little 4 year old too. I wish it would have happened earlier. I wish that my family hadn't had to go through the hardest part....those 2 months of constant sickness where I am unable to take care of them fully. We thought we were in the clear. We were proud of what we had conquered & that little bean we'd seen earlier on the ultrasound screen with a beating heart had already become a part of us.

We are sad. Our hearts are broken. Time will pass & life will go on & we will be okay. We are okay. We have a lot of love in this little house of ours. We will be okay.

For now I am allowing myself to be sad. Thank you for your calls, but if I don't answer my phone, please understand that I don't want to talk about it right now.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Digging Out

Things are starting to brighten around here. I'm in the middle of my 12th week of pregnancy & I feel great! Still a bit tired all the time, but no more morning throw up session & no more feeling nauseous all day long. I completely lost all order in our home over the last two months that I spent in zombie mode. So now it begins, time to dig out of this mess!

First order of business last night was to take care of some long neglected grooming. I used this $7 highlighting kit to color my own hair for the very first time. It came out great. I feel much better now that my 2 inch roots are gone & the amount of money I saved on a salon trip makes me even happier. I still need a haircut, but that will get taken care of soon enough.

So while I am feeling happy & blessed & recognizing that even though my house is a disaster, I have so many things to feel grateful for, I am going to share with you some things that are making me happy right now.

My new slippers. My feet have been living here for the past month & will continue to throughout winter. I finally, finally invested in a nice pair or warm slippers for myself. And my flannel pajama pants....sexy, I know. My husband is such a lucky guy.

Hot chocolate with a good amount of whipped cream on top.

The snow that continues to fall outside. Not enough to have shovel, but enough to feel magical & dust everything with pretty white.

Thoughts of Christmas and all I want to do this year to make it great for my family.

This little girl & her "cheese" face.

Sadie and the maturity that she is starting to show. Her loving nature is really coming out lately. She's made some huge progress on a little behavioral problem we've been dealing with for F-O-R-E-V-E-R. She makes us so very proud every day to be her parents.

And Dylan, who deserves something great for all the work he's done to hold this house together while I was sick. I know he loves me. I think he knows I love him too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So Flattered

Imitation Is, photographic print by wrenandchickadee

I was so flattered to be contacted by the super stylish Ez of Creature Comforts for a interview. Check it out here! I've added a photo of my favorite item from her super cool shop above.

I am offering a shop discount through Nov. 25th, so be sure to check out the details mentioned in Ez's post. And, a big welcome to all who have made their way here through the incredible Creature Comforts blog! Thanks again Ez. :)

Just Because

They are cute.

(yes. that bathroom is funky & gross.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

So, Here's The Deal...

I'm pregnant.

This pregnancy was a bit of a surprise, but we are so happy about it. I'm 10 weeks along. I've been feeling very crummy as I usually do early in my pregnancies. Hoping each day that the light at the end of the tunnel is coming soon.

With this information, you can probably understand why I've taken some time away from blogging. I can't say for sure when I will get back to posting regularly, but for now I am excited to share this news with you. Now go on & congratulate me!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween 2008

Sadie decided a few months ago that she wanted to be Princess Leia for Halloween. We decided to have Claire's costume follow the theme. I made the costumes myself & it really made me feel like a good mom. We have the cutest kids ever.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Feel Like Sharing a Little Bit Today

This photo is for Heather & all the rest of you who live in places where trees like this don't exist. This is what we see these days when we look out our front windows. We are on the second floor so we get a beautiful view of the tops of the trees.

My best snuggler this morning: a blond haired, scraped nose, 1-1/2 year old wearing just a diaper. See those teeth? I just LOVE baby teeth. Working on that one item on my list. Pulling out my camera more often to snap photos of the girls.

Friday, October 10, 2008

And I Am Now 29 Years Old

Amy nudged me to join in on her list exercise & I honestly wasn't gonna do it. I'm no good at making lists to begin with & I'm certainly no good at completing things especially when I am given such a long time frame. but darn it, as I was vacuuming that day, I couldn't stop thinking about what would be on my list. So here I am, on my birthday, making such a list. Heaven help me to actually do all these things. As Miss Doobleh-vay says: "These lists are meant to be realistic and in the spirit of being good to yrself." I feel that this is a good thing. It can help me to be happier & a better person.

29 things to do before I turn 30:

1. Make cinnamon rolls
2. Take a family hike
3. Visit Amish country
4. Make a dress for Sadie
5. Make a dress for Claire
6. Write 4 love letters to my husband
7. Take photos of my children daily
8. Be a better friend
9. Be a better sister
10. Spend more time doing...less time on the computer
11. Organize the craft room/office
12. Buy myself a new pair of slippers
13. Find a local charity & do some service
14. Eat less meat
15. Host a party
16. Make a piece of clothing for myself
17. Bake bread
18. Learn to sew a zipper in
19. Play with my kids more
20. Grow some tomatoes
21. Get to 500 sales in my etsy shop
22. Go camping
23. Catch a lightning bug
24. Organize & donate some of the kids' toys
25. Make a mix cd
26. Go to a baseball or basketball game
27. Pay off one credit card bill
28. Send more 'happy mail' to friends & family
29. Love more

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Taking Some Time Off

It's been 5 days since my last post & 5 days since I last took a photo with my camera. I've been going through some emotional stuff lately. I'm worn out & tired. So instead of leaving you hanging, I'm going to officially take a break.

I may pop in to show you my kids' Halloween costumes, if I ever get them made.

Take care!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thinking of Giving

So, I'm feeling a little more grounded, a little less overwhelmed & a little excited about the upcoming giving season. I've received the names of family members that we are exchanging gifts with this Christmas & I've pretty much nailed down what I will be giving them. Of course I want to make all the gifts & I will try my darndest to do just that.

(vintage linen scarf & vintage patchwork coaster set will be added to the shop later today)

I am sticking with my handmade pledge from last year. This year more than ever with the economy going to crap, I think it's more important to support the crafters & artists out there that are working their tails off. The items that I am unable to produce myself, I will be purchasing from other etsy sellers.

I have, have, have to plug my super cool sister's shop. Just Be Jewelry is absolutely perfect for gift giving because you are able to customize items. Remember my super cool necklace? It doesn't get more perfect than that. If you have something special in mind, just send Amber & Jen a convo & they can make it happen!

Dylan also has a really, really good new mix up for this month. It has a great energy & is just perfect for listening to in the background while you are easing into these colder, busy months ahead. Go download & enjoy. If you like it, be sure to give him some props by leaving a comment on his blog.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stress & Lasagna

I opened up the blinds on my front windows today to see that the leaves on the big tree out front had almost completely changed color. I love fall, but I couldn't help but be super stressed at this sight. Immediately a list of to-do's came to mind. I need to:

* pack up all the kids' summer clothes
* make sure they are have warm clothes for fall & winter...which means I need to shop.
* make their pajamas for the colder months
* start working on Christmas gifts
* get my shop ready for holiday shopping

I do love doing all of these things, so why am I stressed out of my mind? I will take it day by day & maybe I'll just have to drop a few things off my list along the way.

I made this lasagna from Everyday Food Magazine on Saturday night. I left out the prosciutto (Dylan will be bummed when he reads that). My family loved it. I was worried about their reaction because of the amount of spinach, but they really enjoyed it. Whoever invented oven ready lasagna noodles is a genius.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I've listed a few scarves in the shop. I really, really love both of these scarves. The patchwork one was really fun to put together. Sorta like a mini quilt. It's great to be able to use smaller pieces of fabric & complete a project with them. This one in particular is backed in fleece & it is super soft & snuggly. I'm happy with the gray against the blue & white & the little pop of linen makes me smile. I plan to make a smaller one for Sadie & may make some kiddo ones for the shop as well. We'll see what the demand is.

The orange plaid fringe scarf is another that I love with all my heart. It is really comfy. I made one for myself & plan on wearing it all through fall. This fabric was a super lucky thrift store find!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

3 Good Recipes

Yes, I am still working on answering all of the reader questions that were asked oh.....over a month ago. As promised, I will get to them all!! I have been a little busy with custom orders, which is good. It's always good to have work to do, right? Anyway...

Stacy asked: What are three of your favorite really quick family meals? Recipes or tips would also be appreciated!

Cuban Black-Bean Stew with Rice
I just tried this one last week & loved it. It comes from Everyday Food magazine. It's a quick, easy, hearty vegetarian meal. My kids loved it too.

Quick Fettuccine Cacciatore
We went through a spurt where I made this like once a week. It's really quick & very tasty.

8 oz. fettuccine, uncooked
2 tsp. oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 c. green pepper strips
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 c. Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 c. shredded Italian mozzarella/parmesan cheese blend
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil leaves

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir until no longer pink. Add peppers and mushrooms; cook 3 min., stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes and dressing. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

Drain pasta. Toss with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I call this Caitlin's Broccoli Soup. It is a really fast soup & it is seriously SO good. Replace chicken broth with vegetable broth for another vegetarian meal. My family loves this one. So good with a green salad on the side.

Enjoy! Let me know if you try any of these. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I'm currently working on a custom order for 63 feet of flag garland for a local business. The garland is going to be used to decorate a fund raising dinner.

63 feet of garland = 98 flags!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quilty Update & Etsy Finds

I added a couple quilts to the shop today (one is a mini). Go check them out.

Also, my vintage map wooden blocks made it into the Etsy daily finds article today!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I think I mentioned a shop update today. Turns out, I'm not ready. Life got in the way. I'm oh so close to finishing that blue & brown quilt & I have a few other items in the works, so watch for updates this week. Thanks!

(The cupcake is from Sadie's birthday)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quilting Itch

I'm really enjoying quilting these days. I'm working on a few basic patchwork block quilts for the shop update. I'm aiming for Tuesday of next week. Are you excited? Combining the fabrics has been the most exciting to me lately & I keep having lots of fun, new ideas come to mind as I go along. Hopefully, I'll be able to make some larger quilts soon. Oh! Be on the lookout for a few mini quilts with this update as well. The little ones have got me all worked up too! :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fall Is Here

Isn't it the greatest? Winter is not my best bud & summer isn't always the best for this easily irritable when hot girl, but fall....fall is the greatest. I pulled out a favorite shirt to wear yesterday. One with longer sleeves. I'm sporting a different hair style this year & I really liked my big waves with this gingham shirt.

On a side note...once in junior high school some jerk of a kid told me that I look like Kermit the Frog. It hurt my feelings obviously because I still remember it to this day. Anyway, I think the above photo caught me looking quite a bit like that green little frog. It's my thin lips. Ha ha.

Really though, what I wanted to tell you about today is that I am working towards a shop update with some new handmade items. Maybe sometime next week. I'm loving the routine that we've established now that Sadie is in school. Those few hours in the afternoon while she's away & Claire is napping really give me a chance to get a lot more done. I have a few scarves, quilts & purses in mind. Now I just need to get to work.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sadie Turns 4

Every year on her birthday, I can't help but think back to the day she was born. Does that ever go away? Anyway, it's amazing how fast they grow. We sure love this little girl & we had a fun day with her today.

We took cupcakes to school for her to share with her class. She came home with a birthday crown & told me that she was the birthday queen at school today.

Grandma's package was waiting for her when she got home. Inside was the Barbie Island Princess dress up gown. She put it on immediately & wore it the rest of the day.

Luckily she was really happy with the new cash register that we got her. And here's a shot of Claire eating cake.

Happy Birthday Sadie!!
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