Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Wreath-My Front Door

Just a short post today. 
I finally dove head first into a mesh ribbon wreath. It seems like they have been around for ages now, but I am always a little slow on hot trends...I have to make sure they're going to stick around before I jump on the bandwagon:o)
I am really excited about this wreath, and I loved how easy it was to put together. My "W" looks right at home in the middle:o)
I hope you all are having a great Thursday! I'll see you soon!
Remember to come back and check out the Dollar Store Christmas Crafts next week!!

Participating in:
the CSI's Christmas Wreath Challenge

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Home for the Holidays-Part 1

I am finally sharing my Christmas decor with you all...about time, isn't it?
Today you get to see my living room.
There are 6 other rooms to see, so I decided to spread them out in different posts. 
Things are much the same as last year, but for those of you who are new here, it will be your first time to see it.
 We have 9 foot ceilings, so I get to have a gi-normous tree:o) Our tree was a craigslist purchase about 2 years ago, and I am so glad that I found it. 
Filling it up has been a task, but thankfully, my mother purchased most of the ornaments:o) She bought them for herself, but they didn't work with her decor, so I gladly took them off of her hands!!
The wreaths on the tree were made from the hubs' grandfather's old they're extra special:o)
 The Hob was out of the ribbon I have on the mantle, so I had to settle for this really cool ribbon. It was in the ribbon section, where as the other was in the floral section. It took two rolls to fill the length of my entertainment center.
 Here are some pillows I made the other day. 
They were place mats in their former existence. I purchased them at Kohl's when they had all of their holiday wares 80% off. I am not usually a big fan of deer decor...tends to put off a tad bit of the red-neck vibe here in the South...nothing against red-necks..I'm just not one:o)
I felt like these were Christmas-y enough, though:o)
 We currently have a new guest in our home. I would like for you all to meet Snarf.
 Yep, that's what the kids named him. It took some convincing, but I think they are both on board....the 4 year old more so than the 6 year old. It's been fun to get them to hunt for Snarf in the mornings. 
S.R. lights up when she sees him every morning. We have the Elf on the Shelf movie coming in the mail, so it'll be fun to see their reaction to that.
We are having TONS of fun with our Christmas crafts this week. I am really excited about showing them off next week during the Dollar Store Christmas Craft Week.
I have lots more trees to share, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Mantle

I wish I had pictures of my trees, but I don' the time I got around to taking them, the lighting was bad. Today is an overcast, dreary day, which is terrible for taking indoor pictures. So, my dear friends, you will have to wait a little longer..sorry!
I did get some pictures of my mantle, though.
This is the after:
This was the before...sad, skinny little garland. I know it's hard to believe, but that is two strands of garland wrapped around one another. Those things are so skimpy. I was bored to tears with my mantle. Just plain ole bored. I have always wanted to have live garland, but after checking online, I realized that it is truly more trouble than it's worth. So off to the Hob I went.
I purchased 6 pine cone picks. They are always 50% off, so they were $2 each. I also picked up some really pretty burlap ribbon...
(I am going back for more today so that I can wrap the garland on my entertainment center. It looks out of place since the one on the fireplace is so fancy now:o)
I fluffed the picks, and spread them out over the mantle. I made a huge bow out of the burlap ribbon, and attached it with floral wire. Then I took the remainder of the ribbon and ran it up down and around the garland.
 No more boring mantle. By adding just a few picks and some ribbon, I completely transformed my puny little garland:o)

Next week I will be sharing a different craft each day where all items to make the craft are either from the Dollar Store or they are $1 or less. I'm so excited! The kids are having so much fun with this!! I hope you'll join us. At the end of the week, I'll host a Linky Party so that you all can share what you have been working on for the Holidays as well.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Business November 28th 2012, The "Black Cyber Wednesday Door-buster!" Edition

 Did you shop til you dropped all pretense of human decency and clawed at the eyes or your fellow man to get the last off-brand, 47 million inch TV? Did you laugh all the way to the bank? Did you also cry when you got there and realized you had spent all your money in a tryptophan induced frenzy? If you didn’t shop, did you maintain a vigilant presence on social media so the world knew you were saving it by not shopping?

Either way, The Business wants your business!

We have a super spectacular list of g
uests that are available for lease or purchase.

Drennon Davis is back for a limited time only, get him while he’s hot and fresh!

From his elaborate characters and sketches, to his provocative songs and animation, Drennon has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative minds in today’s comedy scene. His live performances of the Imaginary Radio Program combine live music and beat-boxing with one-man sketches into a show that the Los Angeles Comedy Bureau writes "not only lives up to its name, but exceeds expectation in what you could possibly think it is." Drennon was featured on NBC's Last Call and was a semi finalist on Last Comic Standing. His new animated show The Long Legs can be seen on MTV's rebirth of Liquid Television in 2012.

Drennon comes 2 for 1 with DJ Real!

Nick Stargu is DJ REAL, a San Francisco-based alternative musical comedy act. Performing all original songs, complete with costume changes, bad dance moves, and interactive multimedia, DJ REAL’s live act has been likened to the Talking Heads, The Residents, and Steve Martin. With a wide range of influences, DJ REAL’s songs vary from hip-hop, to folk, to the bizarre.

PLUS we will be joined by Portland darling and beautiful animal Ian Karmel.

Ian Karmel is a Portland comedian whose style zig-zags between the eclectic and the universal, appealing both to crowds who own homes in the suburbs, and crowds just staying with their parents in the suburbs until they figure some things out. Coming from an improv background, including time with The Groundlings and the Upright Citizens Brigade, Ian entered the world of stand-up with a unique perspective that helped him win the 2011 Funniest Person in Portland, 2010 Portland Amateur Comedy Competition and has given him the opportunity to perform at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot, Austin’s Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest, Portland’s Helium Comedy Club, Philadelphia’s Helium Comedy Club, Austin’s Cap City Comedy Club, Seattle’s Comedy Underground and Los Angeles’ Comedy Store. In addition to stand-up, Karmel has appeared on television, playing a character in IFC’s sketch show Portlandia and as a post-game analyst and commentator for the Portland Trailblazers.

We are also happy to have Matt Lieb and William Lushbough. Your regulars will be there as well. Mr. Sinister and Mr. Drucker will be back next week, but Mr. Keane, Mr. Koll, and Lady Gill will be holding down the fort.


AND you can bring a friend for free.

We sell out! Get there early for a seat.

BYOBargain Burrito.

Our First Christmas Craft of the Season

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We surely did!!
We got back home on Friday, so there was plenty of time to get settled and relax a bit before starting the work/school week.
The holiday baking has begun, so I have to make sure I keep my running shoes broken in, or I'll be asking Santa for the next dress size up;o)
 Our first Christmas craft was peppermint Christmas trees.
 Thing 1 & 2 worked very hard at unwrapping many many peppermint discs...most made it on the trees...a few ended up in their bellies:o)
We started with tacky glue, but that was a bust..wet glue and sugary candy aren't a good we had to pull out the hot glue gun.
 I did all of the gluing, but this was a craft that required all hands on deck, so they didn't get bored with me doing the work. We had a lot of fun crafting, snacking, and listening to Christmas music.
Oh yeah, there was a wedding over Thanksgiving holiday:o)
Here are a few shots of the kids in their outfits I made.

 I am so blessed.

We went a head and started Elf on the's been hysterical!
We might have waited a little too late to start it..6 year olds are a little harder to convince of such things, but it's been absolutely too much fun trying:o)
I plan on taking pictures of our trees today. Hopefully I will get them posted tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Boy's Vest and Bow Tie

A day late, I know, but here is E's vest and bow tie. 
I used a pattern for the vest, which was very confusing by the way. That's one of the reasons I like making my own patterns. I can piece the puzzle together quicker than I can read instructions and try to make sense of what they're trying to tell me:o)
Anyway, I am glad to have it done!
 The bow tie took about 35 minutes to make from start to finish. I think I will be making more of these. It's so stinkin' cute! The hubs even said he wanted some bow ties:o)
 Tomorrow is the big day. The kids are pumped, and the hubs and I are reeeally nervous:o) Not about the kids being the flower girl and ring bearer...they'll be fine...the hubs is playing the music and I am taking the wedding pressure at all..ahhh!
I hope you all have wonderful Thanksgiving. Make sure to treasure every moment with your family, (no matter how annoying you might think they are, for those of you dreading it). You never know how long you'll have them!!!
Hugs to all!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Business November 21st 2012, The "Emily Squared" Edition

This Holiday season, we are thankful for our Emilys. Two Emilys in particular, and they will both be here on Wednesday so we can give them thanks.

Emily Heller is a comedian and writer who likes you very much. You may have seen her on the third season of John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show on Comedy Central, or as one of the New Faces at the 2012 Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. In 2011, She was included in Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch, won Rooftop Comedy’s Silver Nail Award, and was named one of
the “Funniest People in Town” by 7x7 Magazine. Praised in San Francisco for what her friends call her “self-deprecating feminist slob poetry,” Emily now lives in New York City and performs stand-up all over the country.

Emily Maya Mills is an actor, writer and stand-up comic based in Los Angeles. She's been seen on Parks and Recreation, Ellen, Conan, Childrens’ Hospital, Key and Peele, Downers Grove, Harry's Law and many of television’s weirder commercials. Emily is a graduate of Emerson College is a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Her three-woman sketch group, Birds of Prey, won Best Sketch Group in a Punchline Magazine survey and continues to produce exclusive videos for and

These fly birds aren’t Turkeys! They’ll cran your berry! You’ll want to do the Mashed Potato with them! You’ll want to fill your body cavity with their delicious stuffing!

Your regulars will be there as well, Sean “Sweet Potatoes” Keane, Bucky “Gravy” Sinister, Mike “Terducken” Drucker and Caitlin “Green Bean Casserole” Gill.

We sell out! Get there early to score a seat.

BYOBurrito de Pavo.

Dining Room Table-Christmas Centerpiece

Good Monday to you all! The elves have been busy here in our home, and are ready for their naps:o)
It looks like the North Pole exploded in our house...AND I LOVE IT!
I am not ready to share all of our trees...yes there are multiples..possibly I am waiting until after Thanksgiving to let you guys in on the fun:o)
I know the suspense is killing you;o)
I thought I would share my center piece for the dining room table, just to hold you over.
I created it using items I already had. I love FREE:o)
The September or November(can't remember which) Southern Living magazine had a beautiful centerpiece for fall with pumpkins, fall flowers, and berries. They had an enormous trough that they put it all in, and I thought, I wish I had something like that...well I completely forgot that I did:o)
I got a VERY distressed plant container from one of my mother's friends back in the summer, and stuck it in the attic so the hubs wouldn't fuss at me for junkin' up the garage. Out of sight, out of mind, so I didn't remember having it until I started digging through the attic for Christmas stuff.
I was so very very excited. And even more excited that I had the stuff to fill it up.
Fancy and Free:o)
 It makes a huge statement, because it is huge:o) My favorite part is that it is contained. I don't have a bunch of little nick-knacks strewn across the table like I normally do. Clean, elegant, and bold.
So are you ready for the holidays? Do you have all of your decorations up, or are you patient, and wait until after Thanksgiving to get in the Christmas spirit?
I must be off...I have to go make little man's vest and bow tie for the wedding. Hopefully I will be able to show it off tomorrow. Have a great Monday y'all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Flower Girl Dress

Brrr! It's cold today! I can't believe how easily the cold wind can cut through you. I'm so very thankful for a warm home to shelter me from this frigid weather!
Speaking of being thankful, I have some wonderful news that my family and I are very thankful for. My uncle is getting married! He is engaged to a fabulous woman, who is absolutely perfect for him. We are all overjoyed for the both of them. They are getting married on Thanksgiving Day, and my little ones are part of the wedding party. 
If you are a follower of my Facebook page, you saw the inspiration dress I shared yesterday.
This is my version.
 For seven straight hours, I sewed away. 
Drowning in ruffles, constantly back and forth from my machine to the ironing board.
Blood, sweat, but thankfully no tears:o) (Stinkin' stick pins!)
I accidentally figured out how to make the ruffles quicker by loosening the thread could have been longer than 7 hours if I hadn't stumbled upon that!
 The neckline was a bear, but I finally got it to work. I pulled the stitches out three different times. 
My favorite is the back. This happened by accident as well. I ran out of the blue fabric, and had to use the mustard colored fabric for extra ruffles. A very happy accident indeed:o)
The petticoat is slightly underwhelming...I meant for the dress to be much "poofier." I think I'll hit Dillard's tomorrow and see if I can't find one to put under this one to give it just a bit more oomf:o)
So did I hit the nail on the head, or did I miss the mark completely?
I love it, and so does S.R....and hopefully the bride will too;o)

Now I must get to work on E's vest and bow tie...something that he is very excited about as well:o)

Updated Photo from Wedding:

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Business November 14th 2012, The "North Atlantic Treaty Organization" Edition

A friend of The Business is back in town! We’ve missed him since he moved to New York, but he’s been visiting our living rooms every Thursday night via the excellent show he writes for, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. Come enjoy him live and in the flesh here in SF! We are happy to welcome Nato Green.

Nato was named SF Weekly’s Best Comedian of 2010 and got his own cover story in 2011 for getting “smarter and faster” and putting on “legendary” shows that keep audiences “doubled over.” Nato is the
creator of Iron Comic, the Iron Chef-spoofing comedy game show that he often co-hosts with Moshe Kasher. Nato's humor commentaries have appeared in Huffington Post, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Rumpus, The Bold Italic, and more. Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, said Nato is, “Righteous and hilarious, bracing and a hoot, Nato Green is like finding a shot of bourbon at your co-worker's stupid vegan potluck.”

That’s not all! Also joining us will be the hilarious John Roy. He is visiting from Los Angeles, and we are pleased he has time to get down to Business.

John began his career performing in independent rooms in Chicago. After honing his act in clubs around the Midwest, John competed and was crowned the first champion of CBS' Star Search, in 2003. He has performed stand up on numerous television shows, including The Tonight Show, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Last Comic Standing, where he was a semi-finalist. He made his debut on Conan, in 2012. John's CD Dressed for Recess, was released in 2008 on RBC records and continues to receive frequent airplay on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Your regulars, Sean “Kosov-O-NO-YOU-DIDN’T” Keane, Alex “Greece-y Turkey” Koll, “Brussels” Sinster and Caitlin “Eisenhower? I barely knew her! I’m de Gaulled!” Gill will be there for you as well.

Make a treaty with yourself to join our organization! Tickets are just $5, and you can even bring a friend for free with one of these handy 2-for-1 coupons.

BYOBurrito, they are the international symbol of peace. Move over,  doves.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Many journalists can't provide the value-added journalism that is needed today

Journalists pretend they spend their time investigating the intricacies of international affairs, covering the inner workings of the economic system, and exposing abuses of political and economic power. Although many aspire to do so (and occasionally do with great effect), the reality is far from the imagined sense of self.

Most journalists spend the majority of their time reporting what a mayor said in a prepared statement, writing stories about how parents can save money for university tuition, covering the release of the latest versions of popular electronic devices, or finding out if a sports figure’s injury will affect performance in the next match.

Most cover news in a fairly formulaic way, reformatting information released by others: the agenda for the next town council meeting, the half dozen most interesting items from the daily police reports, what performances will take place this weekend, and the quarterly financial results of a local employer. These standard stories are merely aggregations of information supplied by others.

At one time these standard stories served useful purposes because newspapers were the primary information hubs of the community. Today such routine information has little economic value because the original providers are now directly feeding that information to the interested public through their own websites, blogs, and Twitter feeds. Additionally, specialist topic digital operators are now aggregating and organizing that information for easy accessibility.

Town councils place their agendas and voting reports on their own websites, many police and fire departments operate continuously updated blogs and twitter feeds that provide basic emergency reports and what is being entered in their blotters and logs, performance centers and concert promoters offer websites and digital notifications of upcoming activities and events, and companies and business information media offer direct distribution of financial reports and news releases to the public. All of these are stripping the value from newspaper redistribution of those kinds of information and making people less willing to pay for provision of that news.

To survive, news organizations need to move away from information that is readily available elsewhere; they need to use journalists’ time to seek out the kinds of information less available and to spend time writing stories that put events into context, explain how and why they happened, and prepare the public for future developments.  These value-added journalism approaches are critical to the economic future of news organizations and journalists themselves.

Unfortunately, many journalists do not evidence the skills, critical analytical capacity, or inclination to carry out value-added journalism. News organizations have to start asking themselves whether it is because are hiring the wrong journalists or whether their company practices are inhibiting journalists’ abilities to do so.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hot Cocoa Recipe

I love cold weather, a.k.a. snuggly weather. I love the warm blankets, cozy fires, and most of all, hot cocoa. 
I am not a big fan of cocoa mixes because of all the added "stuff" that is put in them. I prefer to cook my own.
 I have a favorite recipe for hot cocoa, and I have to share it with you so that you can enjoy it too.
It takes minutes to make, and warms your belly and puts a smile on your face:o)

Hot Cocoa
serves 4
adapted from this recipe
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa
3/4 c white sugar
1/3 c boiling water
3 1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add cocoa and white sugar. Bring back to a boil, and then lower heat so the mixture simmers. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add milk and vanilla, and warm to desired temperature. 
I usually pour the kids some before it has gotten too hot.
I spy some happy campers right here:o)

Now you can enjoy those few brief moments where they have a smile on their faces, and calling you the best mom ever, after drinking something delicious! Then brace yourself for the sugar high!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Some New Sewing Projects for Boys

Sewing for a little girl is so easy. There are so many cute inspirations out there for girls, but there really isn't a whole lot to choose from for little boys. Sometimes I feel guilty when I make something for S.R. because for every 3-4 things I make for her, I make 1 for E. Sad, I know.
It's a fine line when sewing for boys because some things out there are border-line ridiculous. You have to take great care in not making your boy look like a girl. 
So anywhoodles, I went to Heart and Home Fabrics on Etsy, and  let E pick out some really cute fabric from the "Children at Play" line by Sara Jane. 
I made this cute little bean bag ottoman from it. If I ever get around to it, I will do a tutorial because S.R. wants one as well:)

 I also made him a cute little vest out of the same fabric. Yes, it coordinates with his ottoman, but how often is he going to be wearing that vest while sitting on the ottoman? ;o)
I'll have a tutorial on how to make a vest very soon because I have to make another one for him. Wanna know why?
Because my uncle is getting married, and E and S.R. will be the ring bearer and flower girl. They are super excited, and so am I. I just have to get busy on making their clothes for the wedding. I have found some pretty awesome inspiration on Etsy, so I can't wait to show you what I'll be working on.
Until next time....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Red Ribbon Week Poster-Master Yoda

Since I have been out of school for longer than I am willing to admit, there are a few things that I had forgotten of them being Red Ribbon Week.
I am constantly being reminded of how the world isn't all roses and cupcakes. The thought of teaching my children to stay away from drugs had never crossed my mind until we got a letter from the guidance counselor about Red Ribbon Week. Yikes! How do you explain drugs to a 6 year old who has been completely sheltered? We struggled through it, but I think he got the gist of it. He knows their bad, and God doesn't want us to harm our bodies.
So, since we are all about Star Wars, he wanted to include Master Yoda on his poster.
The hubs knows all when it comes to S.W., so he came up with the slogan.
Pretty catchy, huh?

We flipped through some coloring books, and E picked this image for his poster. I used my little projector, and traced it in pencil.
He traced over the pencil marks in black marker, and then colored it in with crayons.
We used the S.W. fonts to make the letters...just printed the slogan out, cut, and pasted.
Easy Peasy.
He was the only one in his class to do a poster. He got to go to a popcorn party, and there were big kids there...a.k.a. 5th graders, so he felt pretty special:o)
It was so nice to be able to do an art project with him, especially since he's really starting to enjoy drawing...the coloring he could do without:o)
Great mommy/son bonding!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween Costumes

Since I have been lagging on posts, I never told you guys what my kids were for Halloween this year. 
E, once again, wanted to be something related to Star Wars. I'm not sure if he was a clone trooper or a storm trooper, (I get confused) but I most definitely knew that making that costume for him was next to impossible. I hate buying store bought costumes, but I know my limitations people:o)
Thankfully S.R. wanted to be something easy, Pocahontas. The Disney Pocahontas costumes aren't exactly modest, so I decided that we would go for a less flashy, more coverage kind of dress:o)
E didn't get to wear his Star Wars costume to school, but they do have book character day, and get to dress up for that. He chose to be Peter Pan. It doesn't get much easier than that! I purchased 2 t-shirts from Hobby Lobby. The lighter color in his size, and the darker color in an adult large. I turned the adult shirt into pants using a pajamas pant pattern, and used the sleeves of that same shirt to make the hat.
 His belt was made out of brown ribbon and Velcro, and his feather was made from felt. He loved it, and best of all if was cheap and super comfy for him.
 S.R. 's costume took some planning, but once I figured out how I wanted to construct it, it was smooth sailing from there. I used a peasant dress pattern found at Walmart in the 99 cent section. The fabric is some kind of faux leather/suede material, also purchased from Walmart.
After I pieced the dress together, I cut the skirt portion into a V, and then laid it flat on the ground and started cutting slits. 
 I bought a shirt and leggings and dyed them tan, and painted a red tattoo on the sleeve of the shirt. 
The whole reason S.R. wanted to be Pocahontas was because of her "blue diamond necklace." The girl likes her bling, so I definitely had to include the neckalce!
I found the medallion at Walmart in the discount jewelry making section, and looped a leather necklace I had on hand through it.
That's one pretty little Indian Princess:o)
 Here is a shot of little man in his "Whichever" Trooper costume:o) Such a sweet boy!
 And the with the helmet on for the full effect.
We didn't do the normal neighborhood trick-or-treating this year for two reasons...the first was because it was on a Wednesday night, and we had church..and the second was because we have been fighting a cold virus, and S.R. has been on a nebulizer for quite some time now. We needed to stay out of the cold air, so  we decided to trick or treat at a local retirement home, and visit with the ladies there. 
It was so fun, and I'm so glad we got to visit with those sweet women!