Monday, January 31, 2011

Just Stuff and Some Laundry

I've been organizing my photos and I found some things I forgot to share.

#1
Angela and I found this aluminum cake cover for $1 at the beginning of January when we went junking antiquing (junking doesn't sound as classy or sophisticated as antiquing).  We had such a fun visit.  I miss my dear friend and wish she lived closer so we could spend more time together.
I cleaned up the cake cover and put it to use this weekend.  I tried a new cake recipe and used this cake cover to keep it fresh.  Have you ever tried a new recipe and it turned into a huge mess?  That happened to me.  I should have divided the cake batter into two pans instead of just one.  While the cake was baking, it overflowed over the edges of the cake pan and spilled all into the bottom of the oven.  It started smoking and the smoke detectors went off.  The house reeked of smoke.  The cake looked pretty terrible and so did the inside of my oven.  I was able to get the cake out of the oven, clean up the mess, get the cake on a plate and finally take a bite.  It ended up being pretty tasty.  Let's just say I won't be making that cake recipe again.  It was just too much effort for the finished product.

#2
I really like old mason jars.  The blue/aqua are my favorite.  I was taking photos of my milk glass in the kitchen so I took a photo of the sweet, little jars.  I bought them this summer at a local trade days.  You can check out what other treasures I found there here

#3
I'm so ready for Spring Break in March. I don't have any plans, but I'm just ready for a break! February is going to be a L O N G month even though it only has 28 days.

#4
I'm disappointed that a new Grey's Anatomy hasn't been on in two weeks. It's my favorite show and I miss it. I'm ready to see what Arizona's reaction is to Callie's shocking news. I seriously didn't see that coming. I love it when the writers surprise me with something sensational. Drama, Drama, Drama!

#5
I'm hoping to do a series of posts dedicated to a home tour. I'm still working on my photography skills. After this post is finished I'm going to re-install Photoshop on my computer. I un-installed it about six months ago because I gave up on learning how to use it. I'm really intimidated by it. I made it a New Year's Resolution to learn how to use Photoshop.

#6
I need a do-over on a couple of my resolutions. I'm not exercising nearly as much as I should. On a positive note, I am reading and studying the Bible more. We're doing a ladies Bible study at church and it's going really well. So far I feel like I've learned a lot and it's encouraging to spend time with other ladies who are interested in studying the Bible and growing in their faith.

#7
Sometimes Mark and I are guilty of letting the laundry pile up.  It usually reaches this state when we have an upcoming break.   We put off all chores because we think we'll do them over the break.  I think I snapped this photo back before Thanksgiving break.  Hey, I told you I was going through my photo files and found some old ones ;)

Before
After

Check out more Miscellany Monday post at lowercase letters.
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gardening In January

Today the weather was perfect.  It was sunny and in the 70s.  It's pretty unusual for a day like today in January so we took full advantage of the beautiful day.  We had a picnic and the boys played and played outside.  Mark and I were able to take care of some much needed yard work. 

We love gardening, but our yard has been neglected since we've had children.  I never felt comfortable working in the yard while I was pregnant because I was paranoid of contracting toxoplasmosis (yes, I just had to look up how to spell that).  Because of that, all of the yard work that we used to divide up and share was left for Mark to take care of all by himself.  We have a huge yard with an extra lot and he maintained the yard, but any extra work on our flower beds was just too much for him to do.  It's so nice to be past the pregnancy phase and the teeny tiny baby phase.  Since Will and Ben are older, they can happily play while we work. 

Today we planted some hardy gladiolus bulbs.  Will loves to be my little helper.  He had a good time placing the bulbs in the ground.  The bulbs were given to us by my in-laws.  They divided the bulbs in their yard and gave us enough so we can get a few groups established.  The great thing about perennials and bulbs is that they come back each year and they spread.  Once they are established you can divide them which allows them to keep spreading.  I can't wait to see them bloom this Spring.

Hardy Gladiolus Bulbs

Will and Ben helping their Dad

Sidewalk Chalk is great to keep the boys occupied

Bubbles are a favorite with my boys

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday: January 2010

I've only been blogging since May 2010 and so many wonderful things happened before I ever started blogging.  When I started blogging Will was 3 1/2 years old and Ben was 11 months old.  This blog has turned into a place to preserve special memories and I wanted to include things that happened before May 2010.  In an effort to do that, I've started Flashback Friday.

Here's Ben at the end of January in 2010.
He's seven months old.
I remember taking these photos just after we got home from church on Sunday morning.
They are just too cute not to share!




Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Light


I shared my word for 2011 here

I chose the word LIGHT to remind me of 1 John 1:7 and Matthew 5:16.

1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.


Since I decided to think about those two verses this year and try to live out what they mean, I've seen reminders all around me.  It's neat how that happens once you become more aware.  I've seen and heard those two verses more than I ever noticed before.  I just recently heard the verses below discussed at church and they go perfectly with the two verses above. 

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Philippians 2:14-15
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday Wk 20

I can't believe this is my 20th week!

I started this way back in the summer.  I took a short break at the end of 2010, but I'm back and ready to take on 2011.

Here are a few random thoughts about the last 20 weeks of my WIWW posts.

First of all, thanks for taking the time to stop by!  Each and every comment someone leaves makes me smile.  It's so encouraging!

Second, I buy a lot of my clothes at the Gap and Old Navy because I'm a cardholder and the perks are great.  I really like Banana Republic, too.  There's an outlet mall about 30 or 45 minutes from where I live, and the J Crew, Ann Taylor and Gap outlet have pretty good deals.  If I have time when I'm in Target, then I like to shop their clearance section.  I also like Nordstrom Rack for shoes and other random finds.  My dream store is Anthropologie.  Who doesn't love Anthro?  I only shop there several times a year for my birthday or Christmas.

Third, I buy all of my clothes on sale.  I'm a teacher married to a teacher so I don't have to tell you that we're not in the profession for the paycheck.  I'm a bargain shopper for practical purposes, but I think I'd still bargain shop even if I didn't have a budget.  Who doesn't love the thrill of a good deal?

Fourth, I don't claim to know anything about fashion at all.  In real life I feel like a pretty big nerd.  When I'm shopping I look at ladies in the store who are chic and have great style and I just copy whatever they are buying.  Seriously!

Fifth,  I keep coming back to WIWW because I love meeting new people, getting inspiration for new outfits and forcing myself to be more thoughtful about the clothes I choose to wear.

This is about the clothes not my random thoughts.  Enough rambling!

Wednesday: school
I sort of feel like a SNL Sprocket in this outfit :)
Black cowl neck top: Ann Taylor LOFT
Gray pants: Old Navy
Gray ruffle flats: Gap outlet
Earrings: Premier Design

Thursday: school
Pants: Banana Republic
Beige Drapey Cardi: Forever 21
Blue top: Target
Necklace: Forever 21
Bracelets: H&M in Chicago this summer on our road trip
(read about our 2010 Road Trip here and here)
Wedding Ring: my wonderful husband
Shoes: Born bought at Nordstrom Rack


Friday: school
Skinny jeans: Target
Stripe top: TJ Maxx
Gray cardi: Old Navy (it's new)
Black boots: Gap outlet
Necklace: Lisa Leonard family tree 
Ring: Sundance

 Saturday: visited my grandpa and went shopping
Skinny jeans: Target (same as Friday)
Black and white stripe top: Gap
Blue cardi: Old Navy (new only $3)
Necklace: Lisa Leonard
Black boots: Gap outlet

Sunday: church
Black pants and black skinny belt: Gap
Blue cardi: Old Navy (same as Saturday)
Black ruffle top: Gap outlet
 Black pointy kitten heels: BCBG bought at Nordstrom Rack

Monday: school
Entire outfit: Old Navy except shoes
Gray ruffle flats: Gap outlet
Jewelry: Premier Jewelry


Tuesday: school
Pants and green and white top: Old Navy
Sweater: Gap outlet
Shoes: Aeropostale
The shoes are about five years old, but I still really like them. 


I'll be linking up to the Pleated Poppy. 
Head over and check out other bloggers who linked up.
the pleated poppy blog

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shopping Spree and Spending Freeze

Hello Monday!

This weekend we went on a little shopping spree and now I think we need to declare a spending freeze.

{First: Shopping Spree Old Navy}
I wanted to go to Old Navy because they had an extra 25% off for cardholders.  When I got to the store, I was pretty happy to see an additional 40% off of clearance.  I ended up going a little crazy.  I bought a couple of sweaters and cardigans (I've never met a cardigan I didn't like) and then I saw the jewelry.  Everything was already reduced with an extra 40%  off the lowest price plus my extra 25% discount.

I bought all of the jewelry in the photo below for a total of $20.13 and if I paid full price it would have cost $100.40!!! 

If you keep up with any of my What I Wore post then you'll be seeing these pieces in the future.

Bright Orange Clearance Stickers
That's just what a bargain hunter like me likes to see!


The sweet, little white top was only about $4.  It's not appropriate for the weather right not so I'll put it away until spring.

We also bought winter play clothes for Will next year.  We usually buy the boys clothes for the next year when they go on clearance.  We have plenty of closet space so storage isn't an issue.  It saves so much money to plan ahead.

{Second: Shopping Spree Target}
We got super lucky in their clearance section.  We found a Maclaren Volo stroller for $49.99.  They are usually at least $99.  Woo Hoo!!!  We have a Maclaren Triumph that we bought several years ago for Will.  Before that we used a Graco stroller, which was great but it was big and bulky.  We needed a smaller stroller for a road trip we took in 2008.  We were going to NYC and the Maclaren was perfect for strolling through the city and getting on and off the subway.  We've been using the bulky Graco stroller for Ben, but it's showing signs of wear and tear after two kids.  I'm so happy to have the much smaller Volo and now each boy will have a lightweight Maclaren stroller when we go on vacation this summer.  Maclarens really are the best strollers because they are well-designed, lightweight, easy to push, easy to store and the boys appear comfortable when they are riding in them.

Bonus, the color is perfect!


{Third: Unsolicited Advice}
If you are interested in my humble opinion on baby gear, I wrote a post talking about all of the baby items we found useful and helpful here.

{Fourth: Note to Self}
I might go broke buying stuff on sale. 
That's why I've declared a spending freeze :)

{Fifth: A Reminder}
Don't forget that the Getting To Know You 2011 link up will be open until the end of January.
Link up :)

AND

{Sixth: First Time For Everything}
I'll be linking up for the first time ever to share my list at lowercase letters Miscellany Monday.
If you love randomness, then check it out.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mine

Ben has learned a new word.  This word entered his vocabulary much earlier than it ever did his big brother Will's. 

Ben's new word is MINE

Everyone one told me the second child would be different than the first.  Well, they were right.  Ben is developing his own personality and making his own way.  As Ben gets older, it's fun to see the boys interact and play.  Ben was an easygoing baby, but as a toddler he's very independent and doesn't let his older brother get by with much.  In fact, sometimes it's Ben who provokes Will instead of the other way around.  With two active little boys it's always an adventure at our house.  It's clear that they love each other very much, but Ben's definitely giving his strong-willed, older brother a run for his money.  We hear the word "Mine" a lot when they are playing together.

Ben's second favorite word is Coke.  I reluctantly admit that Ben is a big fan of Sonic Happy Hour and DQ Happy Hour.  Mark and I try very hard to limit our trips after school to these places, but some days we indulge in a Cherry Limeade (for me) and a Cherry Coke (for Mark).  Soda probably didn't touch the lips of Will until he was two and now Ben at 19 months old knows what Coke is.  To make matters worse, when we drive by Sonic or Dairy Queen he points and says, "Coke".  It's pretty stinkin' cute, but it's made me realize that maybe we treat ourselves to Happy Hour a little more than we thought we did. 

Before I forget, I need to share these adorable photos and one more cute story about Ben.

Do you ever go through your SD card and find photos that you forgot about? I found these of Ben. He did the cutest thing during one of the many football games his dad was watching. In the last couple of weeks there were several college football bowl games on (ladies whose husbands are football fanatics, can you sympathize with me?). Ben saw the band performing at half-time and he ran back to his room and found his toy drum so he could play along. So observant and cute!






Don't forget to link up to my random list of questions Getting To Know you 2011.  The link up will be open until the end of the month.

I'd love to learn more random stuff about you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Getting to Know You 2011

I received this list of questions in an email a couple of years ago.  The other day I was organizing my digital clutter (one of my New Year's resolutions), and I found it saved in an email folder.   I copied and pasted the email for this blog post with just a few minor changes.  I love to make list,and I actually like Q&A things like this.  I never mind answering the questions even if they are silly and random.  I think I'll start doing this every year because it's fun to compare my answers now and the answers I gave back in 2008. Some things have changed so much in just three years, and some things haven't changed at all.

Getting to Know You 2011

1. What time did you get up this morning?
6:20 A.M.

2. Pearls or diamonds?
Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Gosh, let me think.  We used to go to the movies every weekend, but since we've had kids we very rarely make it to the actual movie theater.  The last time we went to the movies was this summer and we saw Inception.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Grey's Anatomy

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
cereal and juice

6. What is your middle name?
Elaine

7. What food do you like the least?
olives

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
The Avett Brothers (all of their albums are awesome)
Taylor Swift Speak Now
Steve Martin The Crow
Sara Bareilles Kaleidoscope Heart
Patty Griffin Children Running Through
Vampire Weekend Contra

9. What kind of car do you drive?
VW Passat and Toyota Highlander

10. Favorite Sandwich?
chicken salad

11. What characteristic do you despise?
People who are dishonest and manipulative

12. Favorite item(s) of clothing?
Since it's winter I'm loving my black boots because they are warm.  And, you just can't beat a good pair of jeans.

13. If you could go anywhere in the world for vacation, where would you go?
This is hard for me because I LOVE to travel. 
Tahiti, Italy, Brazil, Tanzania or Australia

14. What color is your bathroom?
Silver Sage (Restoration Hardware)

15. What is your favorite brand of clothing?
anything from Anthropologie, Banana Republic or J Crew

16. Where would you retire?
At the Land
It's where we own our land and plan to build or forever home.

17. What was your most recent memorable birthday!
Turning 33 was pretty low-key. I think turning 21 was the last big thing.

18. Favorite sport to watch?
men's college basketball
It's almost time for March Madness.  Bring it on!

19. Favorite saying?
Good grief!

20. When is your birthday?
September 16th

21. Are you a morning person or night person?
Morning

22. Are you part of the problem or the solution?
It all depends on the situation.  I'd like to think I'm a problem solver.

23. Do you have any pets?
Does a Beta fish in my classroom count?

24. Any new and exciting news you would like to share with us?
 I am currently getting things ready for a blog makeover.  I've very excited about that.

25. What did you want to be when you were little?
A teacher.  I loved playing school.

26. How are you today?
I'm pretty good.  I'm a little cranky because my wisdom teeth are coming in and that's uncomfortable, but other than that it's been a pretty good day.

27. What is your favorite candy?
Hot Tamales or Sour Patch Kids.  I also have a weakness for Ghirardelli dark chocolate and Twix.

28. What is your favorite flower?
Bird of Paradise

29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?
Spring Break it's March 14-18.  I'm a teacher, what can I say?

30. What are you listening to right now?
The boys are playing.

31. Do you wish on stars?
Yes

32. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Magenta

33. How is the weather right now?
Cold! It's 32 degrees which is COLD for north Texas.

34. What is your favorite soft drink?
Cherry Limeade from Sonic

35. What is your favorite restaurant?
Pei Wei, Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread and TaMolly's a local Tex-Mex chain

36. Natural hair color?
Dark brown

37. Siblings?
Brian, Chris, Kirsten and 3 sister-in-laws--Andrea, Brandee and Laura

38. Favorite day of the year?
Christmas

39. What was your favorite toy as a child?
Barbie dolls and baby dolls
My grandma made matching outfits for my Cabbage Patch doll and me.
The matching outfits are enough to make you die laughing or me die of embarrassment.  Did you notice the bangs and the purple finger nail polish!?!  Goodness gracious!

40. Summer or Winter?
Summer--no school!

41. Hugs or Kisses?
Both

42. Coffee or tea?
Tea

43. Chocolate or Vanilla?
Vanilla (I'm thinking ice cream)

44. Favorite season?
Fall

45. Last time you cried?
We recently had a young man die in our community.  He was on his way back to college and he was tragically killed in a car accident.  His best friend came to see me at school after the accident and when she walked into my classroom, I couldn't help but cry.  The entire situation was overwhelmingly sad.

46. What is under your bed?
Storage boxes

47. What is your favorite smell?
McIntosh, Harvest or Pumpkin Pie (Yankee candle)

48. What are you afraid of losing?
My car keys

49. Salty or sweet?
Salty

50. How many keys are on your key ring?
2, the Passat and house (the Toyota doesn't have a key)

51. How many years at your current job?
10

52. Favorite day of the week?
Sunday

53.  What was the last thing you had to drink?
Chai Tea Latte (made from Oregon Chai mix)

54.  Ever go to camp?
Yes, I loved camp as a kid and being a camp counselor as an adult.

55. Favorite book?
To Kill A Mockingbird

Thanks for taking the time to get to know a little bit more about me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday Wk 19

Hello What I Wore Ladies!!!

This last week was the end of the six weeks at the school were I'm a junior high history teacher.  We're allowed to wear jeans the last week of the six weeks so I took full advantage of that privilege.  You'll usually find me in pants/chinos, dress pants, dresses or skirts.  The jeans were especially nice since we had unusually cold weather in north Texas were I live.

What I Wore Wednesday Wk 19

Monday: Snow Day!

Tuesdsay:  School
Jeans: Hudson
Texas A&M hoodie: Nike
Gray shirt: J Crew outlet
Sneakers: Puma bought at TJ Maxx

Wednesday: School and church
Jeans: Seven A Pocket bought at amazon.com
Shirt:  ??? I can't remember and I can't see it.
Fleece: The North Face bought online by my husband
Brown scarf: REI
Sneakers: Puma
Will's outfit: Baby Gap

Thursday: School
Skinny Jeans: Target
Purple Sweater: Old Navy
Gray top: Gap
Black boots: Gap outlet

Friday: School
Jeans: Seven A Pocket
Green stripe top: Gap
White layer tank: Old Navy
Olive hoodie: Target
Sneakers: Puma (untied because I was about to take them off and I realized I didn't take a photo for today's outfit.)

Sunday: church
 and
Tuesday: school
Gray dress and black tights: Forever 21
Black cardi and Black boots: Gap outlet
Necklace: Christmas gift made by my SIL Andrea
Ring: Sundance
Ben's outfit: Baby Gap

Monday: No School and visited my grandparents.  I didn't photograph my Nike pants and hoodie.  It's not photo-worthy. 

Thanks for taking time to check out my What I Wore!

Oh, I almost forgot...I'll be linking up to the Pleated Poppy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Light


Kathleen at Simple Silly Life did a great post today that reminded me to share my word for 2011.  This is the first time I've ever chosen a word at the beginning of the year.  I chose the word Light to remind me of the verses below. 

1 John 1:7 (ESV)
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I kept thinking of the two verses above over and over at the beginning of the year.  They remind me to strive daily to be the person that God wants me to be.  It also reminds me that if I am the person God wants me to be that I will bring glory to him.

Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pepper Springs and Pier 1 Pretties

In the middle of winter, I'm thinking about summer for a little bit.  Several months ago a local Pier 1 store closed, and I bought this Summer Stripes Divided Bowls. It's really fun and practical for entertaining. This set of three bowls is just perfect for serving tasty dip.  When it comes to dip, I can't help but be biased. 

The most delicious gourmet dip mixes I've ever had are made by Pepper Springs .   My sweet cousin, Laine, is married to Tommy, and Tommy's family owns Carmie's Kitchen. Tommy and Laine work for the family business, which makes the delicious dip mixes and many other scrumptious
treats.  I love everything they make, but I'm hooked on their dips. 

Manana Mexican is the original dip mix and it's their most popular.  It's seriously the best dip we've ever eaten.  Manana Mexican = Mouthwatering Goodness!!!  Mark and I are addicted, and Mark's brothers and their wives are big fans, too.  Honestly, anyone who eats their dip usually becomes a big fan.  I'm also partial to the Baked Enchilada dip.  I served it at a Christmas party, and I should have made a double batch because people were scraping the side of the bowl to get any that was left.

You can get your hands on some Pepper Springs goodness here.

While I'm at it, I'll show you what else I found at the Pier 1 store that closed.
These French cups in four pretty colors were 40% off!
I love Anthropologie and something about them reminded me of Anthro but they were much cheaper.

Perfect for hot soup on a cold night.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hot Drink Arsenal


I can only think of military analogies to explain the ridiculous amount of hot drink mixes on my kitchen counter.  The reason I have military terms on the brain is because I'm currently covering the Texas Revolution with my 7th grade Texas History students.  All day I explain military strategy and terms like siege, column, blockade, scout, skirmish, weapons, artillery, ammunition and cannons.  It can't help but carry over into my random blog ramblings.  I refer to the collection of mixes in the photo as my hot drink arsenal.  Yep, all of items in the photo above are in my kitchen.  It looks like I've stockpiled enough hot drink mixes to serve an army.  I wasn't aware of the situation until I started organizing my pantry and realized I didn't have room to put it all away.  It only takes one cold spell for this Texas girl to get fully prepared with almost every hot drink of choice.  The funny thing is that this photo doesn't even include the tea which actually fits in the pantry.  I assure you we are making good use of all of these tasty mixes.  There's still snow on the ground and it's been really cold here in north Texas.  A hot drink, warm blanket and my laptop are just what I need to get cozy on a cold night.

More Milk Glass

Angela gave me the prettiest milk glass cake stand when we met on Saturday for a short visit. She had been saving it for me since she found it at an auction in Pennsylvania earlier in the fall. You'll have to read about her amazing finds at that auction here.  She knows I collect milk glass and it was incredibly thoughtful of her to bring it to Texas all the way from Indiana.

Thank you, Angela!

I LOVE it!




We found this milk glass piece at a local flea market by her father-in-law's lake house.  It was only 75 cents.  


Both pieces have found a home on top of my kitchen cabinets.  I've started the process of dusting and cleaning my kitchen cabinets so I can photograph all of my milk glass in its new home.  No promises on when that post will be ready, but let me just say that cleaning layers of dust from the cabinets is not fun.  I'm embarrassed to tell you that I may not have dusted on top of the kitchen cabinets since we built the house and moved in eight years ago.  I know, I'm terrible!  Hopefully I have it ready to share with you soon.


*I'm sharing this post on February 20, 2011 with Cha Cha at Sit Relax and Read for Sentimenal Sunday.
Sit Relax and Read

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