Saturday, December 3, 2011

Family Picture Time!

Whenever I do family pictures, I have new empathy for my clients.  It is hard for parents! My friend Leslie helped us out with these.  Of course we tried to do it when the light was almost gone and it was too cold for the kids.  I think, somehow, we got a couple family pics that I like.  I got a few cute ones of the kids but wish I'd had more time.  I didn't even get to Ellis!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Yummy Cookie Recipe

How about a recipe post today.  My husband makes these amazing cookies for me on a regular basis.  I can't resist them.  Unlike some recipes, they're super tasty the next day too, so they're extra dangerous.  They have some texture to them, so that's kindof nice for a change.  I wouldn't be surprised if he adds extra chocolate for me. * I realized that my man altered this recipe quite a bit, so I made the necessary changes 3/20

Monster Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup semisweet choc chips
1 cup m&m's

preheat to 350
cream together butter and sugars until smooth, beat in eggs one at a time then stir in vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and rolled oats: stir into the sugar mixture.  Mix in chocolate, drop by tbsp. onto baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 11 min., if you like them chewy, take them out before they look done.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mischief Managed

Just thought I'd post a couple of Halloween picture for fun.  We have a Luna Lovegood, A Zombie, Coraline Jones, and a couple of princesses.  Savy actually wanted to be a plastic bag for Halloween.  I was for it, except for the safety concern of having a plastic bag over her head.  That's all she would settle for, by the way, none of this pulling it down over her head like a shirt. She screamed for at least ten minutes when we tried that. For some reason when Katia explained the dangers of wearing plastic over your head it suddenly made sense to her, that and the embellishment that if you didn't wear a good enough costume people woudn't give you as much candy.  Big sisters know so much more than parents.  At least she values originality.  Honestly I'm sure she would have been fine with the bag, but if nothing else I wasn't going to have other parents looking at me like, "So, us good parents never put plastic over our children's heads." Come to think of it last year she wanted to be a box, but became distracted by a Super Girl costume in the store.  The kids are old enough to do some of the creating now, they did pretty well.  I think we only paid for makeup this year too, so that's awesome.  Also, I had to try some of the sugar skull day of the day makeup.  Very fun, I can totally see photo shoot possibilities.

Also, Dan and I watched Night of the Living Dead, the old black and white one.  Quite shocking, at least it must have been back then.  It was actually pretty cool, except that most of the women were pretty much only good for balling up in a corner or getting other people killed. There was one that was worth something, but it didn't do her much good in the long run.  Well, now I can say I've seen it!  Onto the next holiday! Yay for turkey!

Monday, October 24, 2011

'Tis The Season

Sorry, but Halloween is the holiday I get really excited about.  I love fall; the chilli and cinnamon rolls, pulling out my favorite sweaters and jackets, cider scented candles, turning on the fireplace (I know it's fake but it sure is easy), hot chocolate, the pumpkin patch (even though it doesn't rival our Nebraska patch), costumes, The Nightmare before Christmas, candy, mild, golden days, warm colors, all kinds of wonderful things.  Of course there's a con list. I don't so much love the allergies, and I usually have work overload so I can't fully enjoy it.  This year's a little lighter though, which is kind of nice.  Socks are the bane of my existence and I am forced to pull them out now. Also, the vibrant falling leaves warn us that winter is coming soon, which does not bring me joy.
This year I'm kind of going crazy because I'm so excited to be in our home (even though the drama from building has not yet subsided).  Here are my little Halloween projects.  I'm a little pleased with myself for having enough creepy hardcover books around for my tablescape.  Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book" is a really fun read, but don't judge by the first chapter, which is a little more gruesome than fun.  "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy" by Tim Burton was given to me by my sister, and I will  not take responsibility for offense if taken.  My poor little dying plant looks extra appropriate rather than just sad and lame, right? Ellis got into it, she may have even tasted it.  I really like how my banner turned out but looking at the picture makes me realize how sadly bare all my windows are.  I just can't decide what to do with them yet!! I don't know what fabric to use for those dining room doors!  I know the "eat brains" looks stupid but it's all in good fun, right?

the kitty print out is from the graphics fairy for the banner are at the house of Smith's.  There's a woman who really goes all out.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More What to Wear

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was a great article.  If you haven't used that site before, the actual link is by the top right corner of the picture.  The only part I'm not sure about is the "wild card."  Sometimes that looks great, but in a larger group I don't think just one person should stand out.  I would not want to be the person everyone's eyes gravitate toward. I could definitely use a lesson in layering,  I'm kindof a simple girl. But I love these outfits!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Unusual Fashion Related Post

It's about time I posted something.  I see no reason why it should not be this.  Let's decoupage some shoes.  I see myself picking out some ugly shoes at the DI and trying it.  I think I need some yellow chevron shoes or something.  Hey, I've been wanting some teal or peacock blue shoes for-ev-er! I think I should create some.  Make it so.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Get out of my nest!

Oh, I had to post this.  Remember when I said that if I ever found a way to get my way with the decorating I'd let you know.  Well, I stumbled upon this article, "Convincing Your Husband to Decorate Your Way." It's about getting your way!  The nice way, actually.
I laughed when I read the part about ceiling fans and pouffy leather sofas.  Ceiling fans are the never ending debate around here.  I of course want lovely and Dan of course wants functional.  We have the pouffy leather couch too, although I can't say much about that because I have already sold the one I just had to have.  Then there's the all too common story of the husband who refuses to paint the paneling.  I mean if it's high quality, nice looking wood I can see cause for a debate but my motto is "if it's ugly, paint it."  Makes sense.  Wood purists drive me crazy. 
I agree that the woman should have extra pull when it comes to the house.  It's our nest and all of that.  The woman who wrote the article explains it well.  BUT  how many of us have then turned around and yelled at our husband because he did NOT have an opinion about something.  We shove him out and then get mad because he won't answer us about which fabric for the curtains.  My husband and I used to do the decorating together.  It was a nice way for us to spend time together, and it's nice to share an interest. Over time our styles have diverged somewhat and we've had some heated debates.  These days he stands back and lets me take over more often.  Partly because he's busy and partly because he's seen me pour over hundreds of internet photos and realizes how important it is to me.  I hope it's not because I've bullied him until he doesn't care anymore.  He does still watch Design Star with me.  That's right, I'm outing him.
Like everything, it's about balance.  I don't agree that the bedroom is a woman's domain, I don't think a guy should have to sleep in pink ruffles if he doesn't want to. This is his home too, we do want them to be here, right? Not all guys have horrible taste.  Some of them enjoy being involved in the decorating process and it would be a shame to take that away from them.  I also think sometimes a guy has a hard time visualizing things the way a woman can and they should just trust us because we're usually right.  Okay, done rambling.  Here's the article.  Feel free to add your opinions on this fascinating topic.

plying with image sizes

I was wondering how to get larger images on here and finally took the time to figure it out.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dan hung stuff up!

I finally have something hanging in some of the blank spaces I've been staring at for months.  Awhile ago I spotted a cool shaped frame on Pinterest and I got so excited I went outside and got a huge piece of plywood that was left in front of our house and had Dan teach me to use the jigsaw.  I had priced around a little and decided I was going to have to do it myself.  It went pretty well except when there was this llama wandering around my street and it distracted me when I saw it out of the corner of my eye.  Then Dan went and got some carrots and tried to get the llama home, and that was funny, but I digress.  Then I had to sand and paint like crazy.  Then I had to do an awesome photo shoot to put on the frame.  It was a lot of work.  It was supposed to go in my entry, but when we made that bench I saw that there was no way it would look good together.  So finally Dan hung it over the stairs.  Basically I did a ton of work and it didn't really have a place to go, but it's up so there you go. 
I also found something else to put above the bench, I'm super happy about that.  This window was from my grandma and grandpa's house.  I basically grew up there so it's very sentimental.  I chose some photos I love and sprayed them with adhesive.  It left some glops, probably not the best choice but it's okay.  Some people have used invisible tape, not sure what the best option is.  I'm just happy to have some of my visions come together.  I definitely need something larger to go under that bench, and maybe some color there.  Opinions welcome.
I feel the need to apologize for this weird, shadowy picture.  Since I'm a photographer I feel I have no excuses for crappy pictures.  It's a lot of pressure.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"And when you look up, they drop on you."

I think that's jagulars.  Here's something that I'm pretty sure is a good idea;  A painted ceiling.  I want to paint my kitchen ceiling green.  It would work pretty well because the arch divides the rooms so there would be a good stopping point.  I think it would divide the spaces a bit more, cozy up the kitchen, and add some much needed color.  Dan is uncertain.  I think he's just not saying much, hoping the idea will blow over.  I actually told him to try that technique.  Instead of telling me, "That's a terrible idea," just say, "You're right.  That IS really awesome!"  Most of the time the excitement will die out or I'll change my mind anyway, totally negating the necessity of an argument.  He does love to avoid an argument, I told him my awesome arguing skills are totally wasted on him.  Anyway, time for some examples.  I think you'll believe once you see.

 I think the first pic is from and the purple is from  I don't know the rest of the sources.  I'm guessing that gingham is wallpaper or something, very cool.  I've seen stenciling done too.  I also saw some where they painted the underside of the porch a bright color.  Love that.  Anyway, something to think about. Opinions?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Say Cheese Girls!

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of our exchange students who recently went home.  Savy couldn't remember how to say "Chinese" so she called them "cheese girls."  They (and 2 friends) made an authentic Chinese dinner for us.  Finally, my aprons were put to good use. The food was good, and very different from our American version of Chinese food.  We roasted mallows and made s'mores next door. They were really pleased when they understood that s'mores comes from "some more." How can I have some more if I haven't had any yet?  Forget about it, Smalls.  We also went to Ritter's Island/Thousand Springs, did the Drive in, and had a sleepover with purple and teal popcorn (made by Dan- "that's who I married") that matched the nail polish I bought, and of course Karaoke and Wii bowling.  They really do like Karaoke.  And ColdPlay.  And anything that says Nike on it.  We were surprised to find how novel even looking at the moon and stars was for them, they really can't see them well at home.  The kids loved this, and they miss their Chinese sisters.  It was a great experience for us.  If you try this, do expect to spend some time shopping.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Being an adult

Just a little funny for today.  This is me.  Only I don't know if I ever really go into overdrive.  I feel highly successful when I have crossed three or four things off my list and my house isn't a wreck. When her eyes go wild and she's pounding on her keyboard I think she looks frighteningly like me.  Well, I can't wait several minutes for this layer to flatten I might as well browse on  Too bad Dan installed extra memory on my computer, I may not have that excuse anymore.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Succulent Succulents

Oh yeah, I have a blog.  We all knew this would happen.  I am easily distracted.  But I have a good excuse this time.  We've had exchange students from China staying with us.  They are such cute girls.  Our schedule has been packed finding fun things for them to do, and with work of course. 
I think I'll go ahead and post my little table and succulent project.  I was OBSESSING over finding a table to go behind my sofa.  I was so excited to go to the grand Real Deals event where they stock up the whole building with stuff.  However, it may be my imagination, but I think their prices are a bit higher than they used to be.  They had cute furniture but it was more than I wanted to pay at this time- I still need grass.  Also, they didn't quite fit what I needed.  I didn't want to pay a lot and then have to paint it. I picked up some cute trinkets like a little bird (of course) and an old-and-crappy-looking-mirror (always wanted one of those!).  Then I actually went back into the store because I was so determined to find a table.  I used super observation skills and found a sad, ugly little table that nobody wanted and was being used for displays.  It had a red line through the price.  This was a good thing.  So I bought her, took her home, and painted her white.  The end.
Wait, then I needed something to put on her.  I am LOVING succulents these days.  Last year Dan bought me a plant.  This plant kept on living and living like it didn't know about my dark track record with plants.  It only needed water as often as I'm likely to water a plant.  We eventually found out it was a Jade plant of the succulent variety.  My grandma used to have what she called hen and chicks that would spread around her garden.  And have you seen those vertical succulent gardens?! Anyway, as I looked at yard ideas they kept grabbing my attention.  I'd like a whole yard of them, they come in so many colors and shapes and sizes.  However I learned that they while they are good for desert areas they will not usually survive the winter and come back.  But I could have a miniature little succulent garden of my own.  Or two.  Lowes had a bunch of these plants and you could just take a variety of them and put them together in a container.  The drippy ones are called pearl necklace or something, love that one. You do want drainage like a hole in the bottom, or rocks.  I wish I had added sand to the dirt as well.  Well,  I love how they look.  I wish I could say they were doing super well- they were supposed to be so easy! One of them is so needy! I wonder if the containers too shallow or I planted to many or something. It keeps trying to die and I actually think it's under watered.  Did you know the number one killer of succulents (go ahead, say succulents again!) is overwatering? Well, leave it to me to figure out how to kill a thing.  Sometimes I'm surprised they let me have kids.
Oh, the picture on the table is an image I found on That site is cool.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ode to weeds

An ode to weeds, but not wode, because my family would disown me for that.  We spent many summers cutting that evil stuff down. 
Can you make a wish on milkweed too?  My farmer neighbor probably thinks I'm crazy out cutting milkweed but I love these things.  Actually I like a lot of the weeds around here, they make beautiful backdrops for portraits.  Our neighbor was kind enough to cut them for us, but I was sorry to see them go.  If I had my way I'd have enough grass to run around on, but plenty of tall grasses, viney things, and awful things that spread everywhere. 
My sister taught me this trick.  Spray the tops with hairspray, they stay together a little better.  I need a prettier vase but this will have to do for now. 
I thought I'd post a couple more shots taken in the backyard and the empty lot.  It was fun while it lasted. By the way, the dress in that photo above is available at Leslie's shop, link's on the right.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Apron Love

Just sharing a little obsession.  I love aprons.  I don't even cook all that much.  Dan's the real cook.  But he doesn't wear these.  Don't worry, I bought him a sugar daddy apron.  I tried to buy him a nice one for Father's Day, but I have not yet found any awesome aprons for men, not even on Etsy.  Let me know if you see any. Although Anthropologie has darling aprons, I get mine at TJ Maxx.  They are just as cute, at a fraction of the cost.  They should be paying me.  Anyway there was a blank spot on the cabinetry around my fridge so I thought that was a good spot for my collection.  I used the 3m hooks so I didn't have to make holes in the wood.
Speaking of obsessions, I don't know how many birds are in my house.  I didn't mean to start collecting them.  You know, you're at Real Deals and there's a sweet little birdie for only a few bucks, so you pick him up. A lovely garden statue owl at TJ Maxx is calling to you.  They happen to be hiding in the fabrics you pick out.  Suddenly you're in danger of having a theme.  I'm not counting, that would be embarrassing.
What can't you resist (f the comment section is working on my blog yet)?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Bench!

I finally have a bench for that large, blank space that is my entry. I kept looking at the DI until I finally found a lovely headboard I could use. It's only a twin so it's a little on the small side but I think it's fine. The only sad thing is that it doesn't go at all with what I made to hang above it so I have to make a completely new plan. It needs some styling for sure. I planned to make a yellow and white chevron pillow for it but I'm not sure if that's the right thing, and I'll have to do something different under it. Weird little carpet line underneith but oh well. So many possibilities, how will I ever decide? I'll have to take another picture when I have it all figured out. Anyway, I'm so proud of Dan for putting it together! He didn't know how to do any of this stuff when we got married, but he's figured so many things out, like how to use man-tools. He made an awesome permanent baby gate too because our stairway is too wide for most gates.
This tutorial helped us out a bit:
And if you want to get more complicated, I always love this blog:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Paint: quite possibly the solution for everything

Man, if you give a mouse a cookie! That post yesterday got me thinking about my basement. I went ahead and made a whole steampunk theatre room inspiration board for the husband so he could see the whole picture and jump right on board! Well, it didn't exactly go that way. I think I always start with too much build up, and then he just won't bite. When I figure out the right way to inflence others so that I always get my way I'll write a post about that. Don't despair though, I'm not giving up on it yet. Anyway so today I saw a picture of a painted floor, and did some searching. I think it would be cool to either acid stain or paint our basement floor (my sister did this, looks nice). I'm leaning toward paint, maybe with a stenciled pattern. This option is economical too, shouldn't that get me some points? I think I love the blue floor in the kitchen pic best.
The sad thing is we can't even start on our basement until we get grass in the yard. Well, I guess we could paint the floor
Most of these pics came from wideopenspaces and apartmenttherapy blogs but I'm afraid I don't know where they came from originally

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Steampunk kitchen/dining room

Oh, and this stove PLEASE!And while we're at it, we might as well have this laptop. Come on, people put them in their kitchens all the time.
I love inspiration boards! I'm so impressed when people put them together so beautifully, and I think, now I'll simply go and purchase all those things and make a perfect room! But of course I don't. Well, I wanted to try to make an inspiration board. It was kindof difficult for me. See, I have this horrible problem with indecision. Notice there are three clocks represented, that's because I couldn't decide. Now, I love clocks. I'd like to put them all throughout the house, but there won't be batteries in any of them. That's how we do things here. Out of batteries? Sorry, it's broken. Well anyway, an inspiration board from me can't be simple, nothing is with me.
So here's my steampunk kitchen/dining room. I'm fascinated with steampunk although I'm still trying to figure it out. If you're not sure what it is, think "Series of Unfortunate events"(heart, with jim carrey, more hearts) or City of Ember. "Picture a world where steam drives not only trains but also all sorts of other anachronistic inventions like computers and airships; where women wear corsets and red satin, and life has a distinctive Victorian flavor and aesthetic. Throw in lots of brass and clock gears, perhaps a dragon or maybe even a vampire, and you have steampunk." C.S. Harris
The pendant is from the Sundance catalog (outlet section- we considered these for our house). The stool is from (still considering these for my home- I think it might fit in the country vibe too, what do you think?). The chair (thought it could be a dining chair for two sides of the table) is from overstock. The gear clock is from The rest of the items (except the kitchenaid-just found that image on google) are from Etsy. That giant wall pocket watch is cool! I thought the little gears or typewriter keys would look cute in a bowl (not sure how that bowl fits, but I liked it anyway-could always get something silver), and the keys would make great art in a frame. So, feel free to critique my little attempt!
Oh, and if you can't get enough, here's some more fun stuff. I totally have my wheels turning now. Hopefully I'll be able to use some of this stuff somewhere myself.