Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2 Thumbs Up For Two Seaside Babes

We're starting to get excited for fall around here! The girls can not wait to jump into a big pile of leaves. We've had a great summer, but we're all looking forward to sweaters, soup, crisp fall day and snuggling on the couch under big warm blankets. What else do we love about fall??? HATS!!! Those who know me well know I L-O-V-E love hats! I recently purchased two hats for the girls hats from Two Seaside Babes and I am totally and completely smitten with them! They are adorable and super cozy. Not only will I have the two most stylish girls around, but I won't have to worry that they are freezing during the cold Indy winter. I liked the girls hats so much that I ordered a buckle beanie for myself and I'm stalking the mailman daily!

Make sure you check out their Etsy site and "like" them on Facebook (a little birdie told me that there is a Super Saturday Sale each week).  For the Indy locals you can check out all the wonderful goodies in person at Fishers Art in The Park next month. You know I'll be there shopping for a scarflette to match my new hat!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Home Is Where The Art Is

So I have a confession to make. I'm not a big fan of children's art work scattered all over the place. Seeing it stuck on the refrigerator and taped to cupboards and walls drives me b-a-n-a-n-a-s. I know, gasp! A crafty mama that doesn't like the crafty all around! How can that be?!?!? Sadly it's true.  I love the crafty, but I love an organized and clutter free house more. There, my secret is out.

When I saw {THIS} picture on Pinterest I knew I had found a crafty compromise.

Here's my version:

I started with frames from Goodwill. Our goodwill has 50% storewide sales the first Saturday of every month so I didn't pay more than $2 for each frame. I painted the frames the same color as our barstool chairs and then "distressed" them with my Martha metallic glaze.

For the chalkboard I just spray painted the backside of the print with my chalkboard paint.

I purchased the clips for $2 at our local hardware store. The whole wall cost me less than $10.
Now the girls have a place to display their favorite pieces of art and I keep my sanity!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Make Over Your Monday

Happy last Monday of August! I hope you are all getting into the swing of things. We're adjusting well to our new schedule with Lo in school everyday and I am AMAZED at how much I can accomplish with only one little one at home!

So how did you do on last weeks challenge? Did you get organized? I have to say I totally rocked this one!

This was our pantry...

...and here's how it looks now! So pretty! If you're wondering where all the "stuff" went the answer is: the trash. It's amazing how much unneeded things were being stored in one tiny closet!

I even made some money...
Since I was on a roll I attacked my desk too. Before...
...and after...
I also cleaned off my crafty station, but was so in cleaning mode that I forgot to take pictures. You'll just have to trust me that it's clean!

This week's challenge comes from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar. I loved the idea and knew it would have to be my next Make Over Your Monday.

The challenge: Leave sticky notes with words of encouragement in random public places.

I really hope you choose to participate and share your notes. It will be a lot of fun to hear where notes ended up. Maybe you'll even come across someone else's note!

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Garden Re-Cap

The garden was starting to look a little sad. Weeds had taken over and most of the "crops" had started to shrivel up and die. I hadn't eaten anything from my garden in over a sad as it was, it was time to say good-bye to the garden.

Here is what it's sad state looked like this morning.

After an hour of pulling weeds and getting attacked by a grasshopper, I declared garden season over.
This was only the second year we've had a family garden and like last year I spent some time reflecting on how things went. Again, there were some hits and misses, but overall we had a very successful year.

The Hits:

  • Juliet Tomatoes (they are like mini-romas)
  • Yellow Pear Tomatoes (hands down my FAVORITE this year!)
  • Golden Jubilee Tomatoes (I only got 3 the whole summer, but they were some of the juiciest, most delicious tomatoes I have ever had.)
  • Yellow Cherry Tomatoes
  • Basil (we have a well stocked freezer of homemade pesto)

***For some reason anything yellow grew very well in our garden

The Misses:

  • Roma Tomatoes (I got generic, yes they make generic plants, and I will NEVER do that again. All three plants were very disappointing! I didn't get to can one can of tomatoes this year-so very sad!)
  • Habaneros (The plants themselves did well, but they didn't grow many habaneros.)
  • Cherry Tomatoes in pots (They grew very tiny tomatoes that didn't taste very good. Next year everything gets planted in the ground or very large pots.)
The hits definitely outweigh the misses and the whole family got to enjoy lots of fresh tomatoes and herbs. Even though it's many months away I'm already looking forward to the next planting season!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dear Santa, I know it's only August but I've been very good this year...

I think I NEED one of these. I literally have hundreds of photos in my iphone and if I want to print them out I have to email them to myself, download them and then send them to my printer. That is why most of mine go unprinted. This little baby, available at Hammacher Schlemmer, would be a total life savor. It's the size of a tissue box so it won't take up all your desk space and also serves as a charger. You can print 1, 4 or 10 images on each 4x6 sheet. With a USB cable you can also use it to print pictures from your Android phone, iPad or iPad2. It does require special paper, but you save money on ink cartridges since it doesn't require one-it's magic!

This one is going to the top of my Christmas wish list for sure!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Goofus and Gallant

Goofus doesn't think it's important to use a napkin. She often thinks clothing doubles as a napkin.

Gallant has a totally meltdown if she gets on drop of food on her clothes.

Goofus is CONSTANTLY covered in sticky syrup, spaghetti sauce and glue.

Gallant can wear her clothes two days in a row and no one would ever know.

Goofus spills her milk DAILY.

Gallant literally cries over spilled milk.

For those of you with a Goofus in your life I want to share with you my laundry "secret." I NEVER pretreat a stain. I would spend ALL of my life treating stains if I did. After many loads of trial and error I have found this winning combination of laundry soap that takes out almost every stain Goofus brings my way.

1. Prewash laundry in Biz. My HE washer has a prewash function that is a huge life saver, but before the front load luxury, I kept a bucket in the laundry room. I would soak the stained clothes in water and Biz until laundry day and then throw everything into the wash.

2. I throw a Tide In-Wash Stain Release tablet into the wash. I wash with our normal laundry detergent in cold water.

3. BEFORE drying the clothes I check to make sure the stains are out. If a stain makes it into the dryer it will be set for life. Occasionally a stain will get by me, but Goofus is smart enough to cover it up with a brand new stain so no one ever knows!

**What are your stain fighting secrets? Please do share!**

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sounds of Silence

Things have been quiet in Bloggerland the past few weeks. Have you noticed? A few of the blogs I follow regularly have mentioned it too. I think everyone is settling into their new schedules. I know we haven't been too crafty here the past few weeks and I thank you for being patient. I've been tackling the less glamourous tasks of cleaning and organizing, but have some fun projects to share with you in the next couple weeks.

Today the most amazing thing happened here at home. It was quiet! It was the most amazing soundless sound. It hasn't been this quiet in a LONG time. I was so productive. I cleaned out 3 closets, my desk, and the crafty corner-All in one afternoon. Than never happens!

While I was getting my organization on, Noa was enjoying her own little heaven. She has been loving having me and the house to herself. No one is taking her toys, no one is telling her what and how to play, no one is tattling on her-she has free reign. She sat and colored on her "desk" all afternoon.

Oh how I love her!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Apparently we have a thing for meatballs around here. I think it's because they are so easy to make, you can "hide" lots of nutritious ingredients in them (like veggies), and the girls love helping make them. If you've missed any of our previous meatball recipes feel free to click {HERE}, {HERE} and {HERE}.

This recipe came from my All Recipes Dinner Spinner iPhone app. It's so much fun to use. You pick the type of meal (appetizer, dessert, main dish, etc.), the main ingredient (fish, meat, cheese, veggies), and the amount of time you want to spend making the meal, and then you spin the spinner. You then get all the results that fit your criteria. As with their website, you all can see and read ratings and reviews for each recipe. For the meatballs I chose main dish, beef and less than 20 minutes. Like most of my favorite recipes I had ALL the ingredients on hand-three cheers for a well stocked pantry!!!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, egg, onion, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Roll into meatballs about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in size. These are pretty basic meatballs. Feel free to make the meatballs to your liking. You can add shredded veggies or even chopped spinach to the mixture. 
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the meatballs until browned on all sides.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the water, vinegar, ketchup, cornstarch, sugar, and soy sauce. Pour over the meatballs, and allow sauce to thicken. Continue to heat until the sauce just starts to bubble.
They were truly read in less than 20 minutes. I actually made the meatballs the night before saving me even more time. The hubby and I really like them, but the girls had mixed reviews. Noa ate her's up quickly, and Lo thought they were good, but she didn't like the onions. They make a great main dish but would also be perfect as an appetizer. Meatballs-so versatile! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Martha, Martha, Martha

Oh that Martha...she's done it again! Seriously! How does she find the time? Does the woman ever sleep???

I LOVE her new (New? I don't know if it's really "new" but it's new to me!) paint line. It's my new go-to for when I have refurbishing projects.

There are metallic glazes and textured paints:

The terra cotta paints are also textured and come in various colors or in a paintable finish so you can customize it to your needs.
Do you fancy a crackled finish? Martha's got you covered.

For those who need a little sparkle in their life, there is glitter paint.
I'm dying to try her Potter's Clay. It creates a beautiful textured finish that you can vary just by using different tools. It also comes in over 20 colors so you're bound to find a shade that you'll love.
Martha again makes your life easier by having 8oz samples of her paint in EVERY color. Not only are they perfect for trying out a color before you totally commit, but they are great for those small paint projects you have on your list!
The Martha Steward Living line can be found at Home Depot and are reasonably priced so you won't break the bank with your newest project.

Happy painting!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Make Over Your Monday

Happy Monday! How are you doing? We survived our first mini-week of school and are slowly getting into the grove of things! Lo is totally digging kindergarten and NoJo is enjoying her special time with Mommy. How did you do on last weeks challenge? Did you cut yourself some slack? Did you make it okay to not get EVERYTHING done? I sure hope so!

This week's challenge is to organize something.

Now is the time to attack that clutter that's been driving you crazy. I'm sure you can find a closet, drawer, garage, refrigerator or desk in need of some attention. None of us wants to be showcased on the next episode of Hoarders!

Have a great week and GET ORGANIZING!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And the award for Mother Of The Year goes to...

This has been a public service announcement from Hanging On By A Thread....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

To Market, To Market

Every week I make my grocery list, and EVERY weekend I head to the market to do my shopping. We all have our systems for lists, menus and coupons. For me I plan my nightly dinners and then make my list. I came across these wonderful downloadable planners at Design Sponge and I wanted to share them with you. A few are blank so that you can customize them for your needs, and for those who want a pre-made list you'll find it there too.

Here are the links to the downloads:
Grocery List
Menu Grocery List
Grocery List Items

You also find some great helpful tips on organizing to help minimize the headaches that often come with shopping at the market.

Happy shopping!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chicken Florentine Bow-tie Pasta

When I saw this recipe at the Picky Palate I knew it was perfect for our family. It was super easy, quick to make and I loved that I could put it together the night before and just pop it into the oven when I got home from work the next day. It was the first time I used Philadelphia Cooking Creme and it was a huge hit with the kids and the hubby.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 clove minced garlic
4 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Philadelphia Cooking Creme
1 pound bowtie pasta or other small noodle
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place oil in Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in spinach leaves, cook, stirring until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt and pepper and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add cooking cream, stirring to combine.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. Add pasta to chicken mixture stirring to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kindergarten Round-up

 As some of you know yesterday was a big day for me Lo.
Yup, that's right, my baby is all growed up! She was so very excited about starting kindergarten that it was almost too hard to be sad. She has been counting down the days, and yesterday morning she practically flew out of bed.

She had her first day outfit all picked out right down to the matching headband, earrings and painted fingernails.
We walked to the bus stop and for those who know me well I'm sure it's no surprise that we were the first ones there...but it's a good thing we were because the bus arrived about 5 minutes early! Lo would have been devastated if we would have missed it.
Noa quietly slipped on her sister's backpack hoping that she could sneak on the bus unnoticed. To her dismay we noticed!
The bus arrived and she hopped right in like she had been doing it all her life. I admire her bravery. I myself an not very comfortable in new situations and I'm grateful I haven't passed along that trait to her.
I was very brave. I didn't shed a tear, mainly because there was no time to. It was all so quick! As the day wore on I started feeling a little sad. I missed my baby and so did her sister. I am now the proud owner of my very own mini shadow. I think it's going to take us all a while to find our groove.

She came skipping off the bus with a huge smile proclaiming she had a great day!

The highlights were:

  • Meeting the principal "She's a GIRL Mommy!"
  • Seeing her friend Abby in the cafeteria
  • Learning the song, "Who rocks the house? The bears rock the house and when the bears rock the house they rock it all the way down!" We've heard it a million times today.
Nothing makes this mama happier than a first day full of smiles!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Room Redo-The Cave

Last week I was given the opportunity to pretend I was a contestant on HGTV's Design Star. I was given a blank wall and a budget and it couldn't have been more fun!

The project was to redo the "Cave" at work. The cave is a small portion of my office where three nurses and a doctor squeeze in together.

Here is the Cave pre-makeover...dreary, drab and DE-PRESSING!

...and here it is today clean, calming and contemporary!
I started by painting the walls a dark gray. It's Better Homes and Garden "Driftwood" in an eggshell finish. It's calming and worked well with the furniture and textiles already in the room.

The inspiration for the colors came form my favorite floral fabric from Hobby Lobby. It's full of various shades of blue which coordinated well with the burgundy countertops and navy carpet. I covered 4 stretch art canvases with the fabric and then applied mod podge on top. The large letters are from Jo-ann Fabric and were painted navy to match the fabric. Each panel was hung using command strips.
All the frames came from Goodwill on their 50%-off Saturday. They cost less than $2 each. For the chalkboard I simply turned the picture around and sprayed the back with chalkboard paint. Now it's a great place for us to leave important, funny or inspiring messages for each other.
For our "11" (and inside joke at work) I covered the print with cotton batting and matching fabric. I then hot-glued painted wooden numbers onto the fabric.
The clothespin frame (find the tutorial {HERE}) was salvaged from a neighbor's trash. I spray painted it and again covered the picture in cotton batting and fabric. It's another great place where we can hang pictures or leave silly notes for each other.
The shelving came from Hobby Lobby (half off!!!) and the cork boards are from Wal-mart. You may notice that none of them are hung at the same height. This was on purpose and I trick I like to use. It is so difficult to get them all level. If they are off just a little it will look funny, but by having them at obviously different heights it looks intentional (which it was).

All the accessories also came from Jo-ann Fabrics. They were a steal at 70%-off! I love how organized and updated the Cave looks.

The best part was being able to pull a whole room together at once. Usually I work on a room little-by-little, gathering things here and there. I was able to pull it all together over the weekend and surprise my co-workers Monday morning.

So much fun!