Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Style..it's not what you wear it's how you wear it..

So part of this style school class that I am taking has me looking at my personal style. If you look in my closet this moment it looks like a mix of I wish I had my 17 yr old body back, I have had "three kids" mom jeans and I work for the government. I have a speckle of cute "trendy" go out clothes because in reality I only go out a speckle of time. My dresser drawers are hilarious in the fact that three whole drawers are dedicated to workout/hangout pants and shirts. No joke, I have 6 pairs of yoga pants and I haven't seen my mat for almost 3mths. My collection of t-shirts is gross and don't start with the sports bra's. Is it a issue that when I work out I wear 3, at the same time..... I digress.

Back to what this post is about. So style school has driven me to really think about the type of person I am and how that reflects in my choice of clothing. After much research, thank you wikipedia, I have come to the conclusion that I do not fit in any sort of style era and I have no style icon. I mean I dig the flappers of the 20's, I think the late 60's/early 70's is very inspirational but I have no real connection to either. I feel no draw. I slipped in and out of the 80's, BTW my most disliked era, and I ended up in the 90's which left me with my first twinge of light. One word "Grunge". Yes the dirty jean jackets, the unlaced boots, the dirty chucks, the flannel... oh lord the flannel. One of every style and color please. I remember borrowing my dads flannels to wear to school after he had left for work in the morning. Grunge made me happy and it made me feel rebellious and it made me feel comfortable. But it did not make me feel sexy or cute or even remotely like a girl.

So then I started to browse through designers associated with the grunge era, yes there were actually people who designed those flannels, I found a style that while many refer to hippie clothes is now called boho-chic. It derives from Bohemian or Gypsy and Chic meaning elegant or stylish. Well while I feel like a Gypsy some days and I am far from stylish I found this style of clothing really spoke to me. I thought back to my closet and the items in there that would reflect this style and I would say that yes, I feel most cute, confident and sometimes rebellious when I wear those outfits that resemble Boho-chic.

images from

Cute Owl Purse that is no longer being made but heck I couldn't resist the image!

Billabong Shirt

Mia Shoes

So while I have narrowed down my style I have to say my additions and accessories along with the attitude I have when I am wearing them are what make my clothing options my own style and not anyone elses. Cowboy boots, leather moccasins, leggings, knitted wraps, shawls and of course my endless supply of yoga pants all make me the non 17 yr old, mom of three, home body that my closet says I am. Now I just need a huge purge of my closet and a money tree. Who said dressing like a Gypsy was cheap? Here I come Goodwill!! I need to get my fashion on!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cupcakes .. yes please

image: www.bakeitpretty.com

Julia is on this new baking kick and who am I to argue if my little Julia Childs wants to bake sweet goodies. So I cruised around for some cupcake classes and demos and found one in our area. Price was a little high for me ($30.00) but Julia has been trying really hard at school so I think its worth it as a bit of a reward. Plus mother/daughter time is needed big time so I can't put a price on that. So of course in preparation for this new adventure I had to clean out my baking cupboards, which turned into cleaning out other kitchen cupboards which turned into a 3 hour long adventure in "I swear I will use this" or "I can sell this"..... Ughhh to living clutter free.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

R U kidding me??

For the love of all things cute. Where do I put it, how soon can I get this....

Bird cages are not just for birds

This image was on a inspiration board for a kids room but all I saw were my birdcages. I am in love, but can I sell out my dream of finding the real antique thing?? The price seems right for three cages, I won't get that elsewhere. I have the location picked out... I guess I can pick these up and then when Chad asks I will say the rain made me do it.

I want to go to there....

I almost have this shoe heaven. It's about 75% finished. One lucky photo developer in Costco had a peek into my shoe collection. But now I am out of space. Purge you say? I did. I purged out like 15 pairs of shoes that were not fixable. Donate you say, yes I did that too about 10 more pairs. I kept what I wear and I still have no room. So now I have to ask myself if this is a seasonal thing? Do I need to find some space in another closet (sorry kids) to move some of these seasonal options too, almost like coats. Something to ponder on a dreadful rainy day.
updated: ohh let me clarify, this is not my collection... oh heck I am not that trendy LOL. This image came from a orginazation blog and I borrowed it. I however have this same storage idea in my current closet. It looks about the same but with a lot more flip flops!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I have been proud of Julia on many occasions. I was so proud of her when she performed at her most recent flute recital. I was proud of her when she was a four year old dancing away in a pink tutu and ballet slippers on a stage that was way to large for her little body. I am always proud of the way she stands up for her brother Jackson and how she protects her baby brother James. I am proud of her when she shows empathy to others and when she stops and takes the extra time to do the right thing. I am even proud of her when her compassion for snails adds a extra few minutes to our morning routine. You see the snails like to hang out by my tires and Julia must make sure that all 4 tires are clear before we exit the driveway.

But I have to say this past weekend I could not be any prouder of my daughter Julia. Two days and four soccer games later Julia and her team have become finalist in the sectional playoffs for her soccer league. For a season that was supposed to end back in November we are still going strong into February. Coming from a swimmer I have no clue what it's like to be in a team sport. I swam because I never had to depend on anyone but myself for my glory. If I lost, I lost by myself, if I won, I won by myself. But seeing Julia alongside 8 other little girls and playing with all her might was amazing, it was thrilling and it was just plain fun. She fought alongside one of the hardest players in the region and wasn't afraid to get a little physical. I was bursting from the seams when I saw her rumble and shake up these tough girls, some who were 2 times bigger than she was. A few tears came out, mostly from frustration (both her and I). She took a hit in the face and before the blood started to come from her nose she gave that ball a few more kicks to get it going in the right direction, away from her teams goal and then dropped to the ground. I saw a determination in Julia that I can't put into words. To see such my daughter, my baby work so hard at accomplishing one thing and watching her grow with each game and each practice has been nothing short of amazing. I don't ever want to forget this part of her life. I don't ever want her to forget that feeling and desire for accomplishment and proof that with hard work and a bit of crazy she can do anything.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Focus on what is important

All too often I call family or friends and I am told how busy everyone is and how time is so limited to met or spend time together. Work, church, every other activity has already filled the calendar and there is just no time. I find myself having to text out save the dates months in advance for small birthday parties. I find it sad. As I was wandering through some blogs today I found this written by Darren Hardy and it really spoke to me.

When we look back at our lives, it will be our relationships that will matter most. Yet, still, our lives don’t reflect this wisdom. Ask anyone what their highest priorities are, and they will tell you their relationships with family and friends. But then you look at their calendars, you watch who gets priority when the phone rings, and the reality is quite different. We are here to exercise our gifts and talents. It is important to achieve and succeed, in both the marketplace and in our personal lives. Let’s not “miss the point.” Make sure your calendar represents the priorities you claim to be most important in life.

I choose to spend more time this year filling my Calendar with what is important in my life. My monthly dates with Chad, my home cooked family meals with weekly new recipes, dates with my children and important girl time. Even if there are no girls around to share it with, I am sure I will find something to do. What a wonderful reminder Mr. Hardy has given to me and I hope to remember it often.

Sewing part two...

I did it, I learned how to sew. Ok so I won't be busting out suits and shirts anytime soon but I am sure as heck going to make a ton of Kleenex holders for Christmas next year! The class was taught at the local community college and attendance was poor, I was the only one in the class. I felt bad for the instructor but secretly good for me. One on one instruction is the best. I am pretty excited to start sewing and now I can bring out Julia's little beginner sewing machine and we can make dresses and hair bows together. Or I can completely forget everything I learned and place this sad machine back into the closet and be happy that I marked something off my 2010 list.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jungle Party

The idea for a Jungle party to celebrate James's 1st birthday was born almost before he was. We had decided that we would decorate that years Christmas Tree in a Safari theme and of course tried killing two birds with one stone. It ended up being the cutest 1st b-day of any of the kids. (Julia's was a Suzy Zoo Duck theme and Jacksons was a Construction Truck party) So the plans to decorate this party were months in the making. Chad and I would pick up ideas here and there and bought items along the way.

Now bear with me, my camera had the wrong settings on that day and I was so busy that I wasn't checking my images in the screen so some of these shots are not exposure perfect or even focused for that matter.

Goodie Bags are always fun and these were super quick to make, brown bags and wood animals from Michael's and paper and name stickers from my home stash. A little bit of brown ink smudges and we were ready to go. Outdoor decor was probably what we spent the most money on. We purchased about $60 in real trees and covered the bases with burlap purchased from home depot. I am proud to say no trees were harmed in the making of this party. Every single plant and tree purchased has survived and remain in our backyard. The tiger made its way from Julia's room to the backyard for the day.

Tiger tails, quick and easy to make and I didn't even use a sewing machine. (good thing since I don't know how to use one). Material was purchased at Joann's, check the sale rack. Attached with a safety pin that you couldn't even see once the kids shirts went down. Safari hats were purchased from local party supply store.

Indoor centerpieces were made using Vases (I had previously), green "fake" plants and a few floral picks from Michael's. I added banana's for effect and cut up burlap in various spots. I also had plastic snakes hanging from various areas and peeking out of boxes. The cake was purchased from a local baker using the generic jungle theme they had. We added our own animals. The cake holder was covered in zebra print material that was also used as a overlay on the table linens.

Just a few more shots of decor. I would have to say that the hanging decor was an after thought at 1:00am the morning of the party. I should have just let it go because if you aren't going to do something right, then don't do it at all. I should have tripled the amount of hanging burlap and vines but I was running low and just wanted to use what I had left. So if anyone plans on doing this don't half arse it like me and actually cover the ceiling. Not shown is the entrance to the party which was triangle burlap's similar to above and lots of vines hanging down with snakes in the vines. Very cool effect. I chose to not add in fog or misters like some Safari parties because.... well I wasn't going to use that stuff for Christmas and remember we are trying to do double duty here. Side note: almost everything used here was re-purposed for Halloween and Christmas.

And finally the whole reason we did this! This is his mess cake, no way was I dealing with green and blue dye on my baby. Now most of these ideas came from my head and hours of me discussing options, colors and types of foliage with Chad. He did veto the live snakes and the paper mache boulder in the shape of pride rock. I did get some ideas from the good ole google search, the expedition boxes I found somewhere online, the using of your kids stuffed animals in the decor as well. Now this is a bit much for a kids party in general but since it was geared to adults as well (Jungle Juice anyone) we wanted to make it a bit nicer.

We did have a firepit that started at night and once we lite the tiki torches the whole place looked very cool. We also had the spa available for the kids only (thank gosh since the Jungle Juice was gone by then) and that added major ambiance later in the evening. Oh and the games we provided were, safari scavenger, we just made up the locations, and pin the tail on the giraffe, lion pinata and ... I think that was it. We served steak and fruit kabobs, rice and salad. It was a great time and I am sure one that James will never remember because he was only one.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dirt.. sure why not?

I find this art very, very fun! I am interested in seeing what the next piece will say.

Fresh Veggies and such...

There is nothing like the feeling of picking fresh veggies from your garden. This year we choose Bok Choy, Onions, Cabbage and three types of Lettuce for our winter garden. The cabbage was eaten just days after planting by either the dogs or a friendly cat. The onions were trampled and one of the lettuces never took. But we did have success with the other two types of lettuce (I never keep the name tags so I always forget what we plant), and the Bok Choy looks pretty good. Our rosemary from last spring is also doing well and that has been a pleasure to pick and incorporate into our meals. I was surprised when the eldest childrens requested lettuce on their sandwiches for school. I think it was the pleasure of having something come out of the garden as part of their meal more than it was about eating a vegetable. Hey whatever it takes. We also have a wonderful crop of Lemons and Oranges that we are still picking. The 30 or so Tangerines are long gone. Jackson made sure of that. So here is to a good winter season of veggies for us. Now I need a good recipe for Bok Choy since I have some that needs to be cooked tonight.

No Take Out

notakeout.com Love this idea! Wonderfully put together website that gives you recipes for entire meals not just singular items. The step by step instructions starting with "When you Walk in the Door" is dummy proof and perfect for this busy mom of three birds who are chirping to eat as soon as 5:00pm hits. I look forward to using this tool not only to help eat at home more often but to learn a few new recipes and incorporate some vegetarian meals into our lifestyle. Go veggies! Make sure to take note of the "Suggested Wine and Desserts" for your meals options.

New Recipe- Week 1

image courtesy of all the links below
So this week I tried a new recipe found off The Pioneer Woman website. Now I won't go into much detail because Ree's directions are spot on and if you follow them to almost a T you should be ok. However note, we actually cooked this meal outside on the outdoor grill (side burner) because we have touchy fire alarms in the house and I new this sucker was going to smoke up. It sure did.

So the recipe is called Steak Bites but I think I need to change it to mini heart-attacks. My tips are: reduce the butter just a smidge and make sure to cut the pieces as similar in size as possible to make for even cooking. Oh and if you can't cook outside make sure to have all the windows open and fans on because to do this right you really need to try and get that hot pan sear thing going and it does get very smoky.

We paired it with roasted rosemary/garlic potatoes on night one and then re-heated the leftovers (still very tasty) with crab legs and wild rice for night two. Chad, Baby James and I enjoyed our mini heart-attacks and thought they would be a fun addition to a Super Bowl menu.

Sewing Class - I am on my way to making clothes or a mess

So this Wednesday I will be taking my first sewing class ever. Well actually my mom tried to teach me to sew a few years back when I wanted to make trick or treat bags for the kids. The bags turned out great however I really didn't do much of the sewing and more or less observed. One of my goals this year is to learn how to sew so I can use my new found talent on making crafts and do dads for the house. My expectations are high and I feel confident that I will be a sewing wizard by the end of the year. The ultimate high would be to finally make that flying monkey costume (for James this time) using the pattern I bought .. ohhh 10 years ago.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Which One Are You?

The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods

Super excited to learn more about this book. Apparently it is not available in the US until Spring 2010. I am a bit impatient so I may have to go ahead and pay the extra shipping to have it sent from Canada. Sounds super fun!!

In desperate need of inspiration

Found this super sweet inspiration.. from somewhere.. i am so bad at linking my finds. I fell in love for it for two reasons: 1. the big letters 2. the letters are C K my intials. I want a wall like this in my kitchen. I am thinking the large fish tank needs to find a large new home and a art wall needs to take its place..... or a shutter project like below. Ahh the need for clean fresh starts. This stuff helps feed my soul.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Creative Escape

I need some help in the scrapbook room/craft space re-organization area. My current creative space is a dumping ground for everything and anything. I made a small attempt a few months ago to try and clean-up but then the holidays hit and everything just went haywire again. So my goal this weekend is to try and make a small dent in the area of organization. I will definetly do a before and after on this one. Above image is from this little ladies blog: Jealous anyone?? I need to do a inspiration board on this big time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Swiss Miss Pick-Me-Up .. It's a Good Thing

This has to be one of my favorite morning beverages. If you can't read the box it says, "With as much caffeine as a cup of coffee". Thank you God and ConAgra foods for making this great hot beverage mix, without it my mornings would be much darker.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 is finally here...

The birds and I had a wonderful New Years, full of all things New Years should be full of. Food, fun and fanfare. There is something about the cold fresh mountain air that calms the soul and we had three days of it. There was plenty of talking, laughing, playing and just being. Yes we came home with a ton of laundry and a few bug bites but we also brought home a ton of memories and a overall feeling of happiness and joy. Oh and I also brought home a mean addiction to Diet Mt. Dew. Ohhhhh its good.