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Monday, November 14, 2011

Free touch screen computer? Yes please!

So, I don't know how many of you have seen it around the blogosphere, but apparently HP is putting out a new touch screen computer. And they gave some to some bloggers! No, I'm not cool enough to get one, but I read the blogs of those who did! ;) Be Different Act Normal did a review of the computer for us and has a giveaway as well. You can be entered to win a touch screen computer as well! Just click on the link above to check out her review and enter to win.

Also, for those of you who actually follow my blog and read what I write (I'm shocked, but I'll let that slide for the moment), I'm working on finishing a few Christmas presents. Hopefully I can get them done soon and be able to post about them. And to save myself some work, I did end up ordering a few more. I got my grandmother a sign (from my siblings and me) that says "There's no place like home...except Grammy's." We've always had a hard time finding great gifts for her since she goes by Grammy so I couldn't pass it up. It was on Very Jane last week and was only $11.95 with shipping! For a completely finished sign, it was just too good to miss! If you want to check out Very Jane right now, they've got CUTE little girl's aprons for only $7.50 + shipping. They look like Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Dorothy. They're adorable. It almost makes me wish I weren't done shopping for my little girl! I've been keeping a running total of what I've spent for Christmas this year. I've loved it because I know EXACTLY what I've bought everyone and where I put it (I have a box for gifts, but some things won't fit well, so I have a list of where I hid things...my brain doesn't always work.) and how much I paid. I need to buy an item of clothing for my baby and then a few gifts for my hubby and then I'll be completely DONE with shopping! I had 42 gifts to buy and I've spent $136 total! I am SO proud of my shopping this year! Hopefully I can share a few of the deals I've gotten and show you how to get money back on TOP of that low a total! Good luck with the giveaway and with your Christmas shopping!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My favorite Paints

I thought I'd share some of my favorite paint colors. I currently LOVE Glidden paints at Home Depot. Their colors are fantastic and I love the coverage I've gotten. I used a navy blue for Chubby Bubby's room and, even without a tinted primer, it only took two coats to get the coverage we needed! It's fantastic!  We also used their white to cover the pink that had been on the wall (it was really Pepto Bismol pink...AWFUL! That's what I get for letting my daughter choose whatever color she wanted!) and it only took two coats on most of the wall. There were a few spots where the kids tried to help that we needed a third, but we have no paint brush marks or roller stripes. It's SO great! Plus, it's only about $24 a gallon at Home Depot, although they have it at Walmart now too. I like shopping at Home Depot because they have a 10% military discount, which has come in SUPER handy with finishing a basement! So here are my favorite blues. I'm debating between blue over white board and batten for the basement family room with a tan sectional for a more beachy feel and tan over white board and batten with a red couch for a fun game-room feel. Maybe some of you can help me decide! I'd love opinions! (You can click the pictures to enlarge and see the name of the color.) I'm a little nervous about a tan, because I don't want it to turn out pink-ish with a red couch. I'll have to think and look for the perfect tan if we go that way. Thoughts would be very helpful though!



Monday, October 31, 2011

Last day!

Well, it's Day 31! Halloween kind of dominated the day, so we'll do a quick recap. This morning, there was a Halloween parade at Bubs and Chubs' school. They were adorable. Of course, I couldn't get a remotely decent picture what with all of the crazy kids. Fortunately, the Hubs and his mom did on Saturday, so I'll share those.
Chubs demonstrating his mad Mario jumping skills. ;)

Baldy the Ninja (he's not so bald anymore, but still incredibly blond with fine hair, which you can't even see since he wore a coat!)

Bubs the Ghost. I promise there's a mouth on that ghost!

Chubs refused to wear overalls for his costume, but nobody cared. Everyone knew who he was from the hat and he was comfortable, so I wasn't going to fight him on it. Baldy went back and forth FOREVER about his costume! In fact, for our Halloween Carnival last week he was Luigi. If you asked him today, he wanted to be a " 'inja", a ghost, Spiderman and Superman. No Luigi, shockingly. I told him he could be one of the others next year. I'm sure I'll be hearing about it for the next few weeks, since he's currently obsessed with costumes. 

Some of my favorite costumes I saw today were a toothbrush (a cardboard box on the kid's head had straws bunched together to make bristles! SO creative!) and Humpty Dumpty on his wall. The dad had a box painted like a brick wall on him, and the little boy (probably around 1 or 2) was dressed up as Humpty Dumpty and sitting on his shoulders. It was so cute! I also love the little bunch of grapes that trick or treated in our neighborhood. She wore a leotard and leggings and attached purple balloons all over herself and put a little cap with a leaf on her head. And she came up with it herself! I'm impressed with the creativity in my neighborhood!

Anyway, I've enjoyed the last 31 days!  Hopefully I can keep posting as I finish projects. We'll be working on our basement a LOT in the next few months. I'd love to get it done by Christmas, but I'm not sure we'll make it. We do have the paint for the bathroom, plus the tile and all of the tile supplies. I also have the cabinet that I need to finish staining to the color I want. So I need the sink and counter and some shelf supplies to finish my shelf nook in the bathroom. I'll be able to go right ahead with painting my craft room since I don't want texture in there. I figure if I want a chalkboard wall in there, it'll be easier without the texture. So I'll be working a lot on that, and hopefully taking pictures along the way! Feel free to join me as I finish it!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 29 & 30

Wow, it's been a doozy of a weekend. Yesterday, the Hubs got up bright and early to go run the Halloween Half Marathon that he'd signed up for. 13.1 miles. Oh, yeah, did I mention the starting temperature of about 33 degrees? Flipping cold! I don't know how he did it. Yeah, I do. He's awesome like that. He was pretty bummed about walking a little bit of it (around the water breaks, which I was extremely grateful that they had! It meant he didn't have to carry water with him somehow.) but despite the walking, he finished in less than two hours!  I was pretty impressed considering it was his first half-marathon. On the other hand, today he's walking like he rode a horse for the first time instead of ran 13 miles. He is walking VERY slowly and gingerly. His poor legs are so sore. The first five miles of the race was ALL downhill! His calves were just about dead after that.

But my husband doesn't like to stop when he's JUST ABOUT dead. He decided to take the oldest three to the zoo when he was done!  If you know the Hogle Zoo in Utah, it's basically on a hill. There's not a ton of flat terrain, plus he was pushing a double stroller. I don't know how he did it. I stayed home. I had eggrolls to make for a party. I wish I'd taken pictures of them because they turned out pretty great. But unfortunately the camera was in the car, and I was not thinking that far ahead. I'll share the recipe at the end of this post. It's super yummy. My mom came and helped me make them and brought my sister out so that I could go to a Halloween party with the Hubs. My sister's awesome and babysits for us quite a bit. The kids may actually go to bed better when she's here than when I am. ;) Chubby Bubby went to sleep by 7:30 last night and he actually slept until 7:40 this morning!  It was a GREAT night for me!  And we had a blast at the Halloween party, too. It was a murder mystery party, so it was really interactive and made us think. I won a prize at the beginning for learning the most about the other guests (as themselves, not their characters), so that was fun as well. The kids have been having fun playing with the little Chinese puzzle ball today. It was great.

Anyway, on to the recipe! I hope some of you get to enjoy it as well!  My brother-in-law was quite upset that I'd never made them for him before. (For the record, I had, just in a different wrap, so they looked different!)

2 lbs. ground pork, chicken or turkey (I used turkey because I can't eat pork and it was easier to find than chicken.)
1 lb. cole slaw (no sauce, just the cabbage, carrots...the bagged mix basically)
1 can mushrooms
1 tsp. ginger
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 pkg. egg roll wraps (or gyoza wraps)

1. Run the cole slaw through a food processor or shredder of some kind. You want it a little more fine than it already is. Run it through the bigger grater setting because it will clog up your smaller grater. You can do it without this if you don't have one, but it's not quite the same texture.
2. Next, you want your mushrooms fairly small. (If you want them at all. I don't so I leave them out). You can grate them on the same setting as your cole slaw.
3. Add the cole slaw and mushrooms to the ground meat. Add in the ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil and mix. I just use my hands and it works better than any spoon.                                                                        
4. Get yourself a bowl of warm water to dip your fingers in. It will basically activate the flour that's on the wraps and make a paste to keep the egg rolls closed. If you're making these as egg rolls, put your wraps so that they form a diagonal in front of you. Put a line of meat in the center of the wrap. Fold up the bottom corner. Next fold in the corners on the sides and roll the egg roll the rest of the way. Use the water to paste it closed, basically anywhere the roll touches itself. You don't want it sopping wet. Just dip your finger in and then touch the wrap and it'll work.  (If you chose gyoza wraps, you'll put a spoonful in the center of the circle, wet around in a semi-circle on the edge and fold it in half, pinching the edges together. It looks like a chinese dumpling. In Japanese, it's gyoza.)
5. Heat up some oil. We used an entire bottle of oil for ours, although that obviously doesn't all soak into your egg rolls. Put egg rolls in the oil, making sure that they don't overlap. You should have a layer of egg rolls floating in oil. Your heat should be up to about high. The hotter the oil is when you drop your egg rolls in, the less oil actually soaks in to the egg roll. Cook both sides until they're a golden brown. When they reach a dark golden brown, they should be cooked through. We did put them in the microwave afterwards for about 30 seconds to make sure that the meat was done thoroughly. Continue to do this until all of your egg rolls are done. (This all goes for the gyoza as well, it'll just go more quickly.)

Now you have the option of eating them with plain soy sauce or our yummy sauce that we eat on gyoza.  It's one part soy sauce, to one part red wine vinegar. Whisk in a squirt of mustard. Then, if you like a little heat (which I DO!) put in a squirt of chili oil. It's super yummy and you can make it in whatever quantities you need using the one to one ratio. I honestly just dip my finger in when I'm done and taste it to decide if I want more mustard or chili oil. Then just dip your egg rolls in and enjoy!

Later today, I'll be making a new roll recipe, so I'll let you know how that turns out! Supposedly it only takes 30 minutes start to finish, so I'm crossing my fingers that it works well!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 28: The Hubs can be creative too!

So I wasn't terribly creative today. But it turns out that when left to himself, my hubby can come up with a pretty funny, albeit incredibly creepy costume. Okay, not your normal Halloween creepy. Although the 2 1/2 year old wouldn't look at him since he was scared. I'll just share a pic so you can all laugh so hard you cry as well.  You may want to run to the restroom before you look. Just warning you. I nearly fell off the couch when I saw him.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 27: Pics of the Memory Game


I knew I'd get to it eventually! Despite a not-so-great day. I did discover that I need to take a vitamin D supplement. I've been dealing with depression for a little while and my midwife recommended doing vitamin D testing. It was WAY lower than it's supposed to be. I would say that if that's something you're concerned about, it's an easy test to have done and was a way easier fix than I was expecting. I am still going to be taking an anti-depressant to help with things, but this should make a difference. Hopefully all of this will continue to help me get out of my "funk."  The crafting actually does help on days that I manage to get it done, so I'm grateful for the 31 days project to keep me on track with that. It gives me a little break from dealing with kid stress and I LOVE it, so thanks for your words of encouragement on my projects!  That means a lot to me!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26: Inspiration

Sorry I missed yesterday. We had some sleep issues the night before and I was pretty much out of commission yesterday. We've been trying to get Chubby Bubby to sleep through the night and, while he's getting closer, the older kids had a bad night and Bubs decided to climb into my bed with us. It meant that my back was totally out yesterday. I took a muscle relaxant and was out half the day. Fortunately the Hubs was home to help out. (He was actually home to work on homework, but he took one for the team yesterday. ;) )

Anyway, today I'm still recuperating. (A half hour trip to the grocery store to fill a prescription has had me on the couch the rest of the day!) So I decided to think about what's going to happen in our basement since the drywall guys finished today. Hooray! So I created my first "mood board!" It's kind of fun finding those things. I'm still trying to decide if these are the colors I want for the sofas and Hubs doesn't want the media wall. :( Oh well. It means I get one upstairs instead.

I've also been thinking about our master bedroom, which is the only finished bedroom to not be painted since we moved in...at least once.  So I saw this on The Big Bang Theory and fell in love. The comforter is from Bed Bath and Beyond, but I've been wanting to figure out what the wall color is. I already have an upholstered headboard that I've been wanting to re-do, so I could pull something like this off! 
Also, did you know that there's a Color Palette Generator online? You can put in a web address and it'll tell you what colors things are! That's exciting for me!  It does it for computer based colors, but I'm sure someone is close to translating that to paint colors, right? I'll figure it out!  I'm excited! Hopefully it'll help some of you as well! Only a few more days left of the 31 days challenge, but hopefully I've gotten back in the swing of things enough to keep posting often! I'm excited about the comments that I've gotten, so thanks everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Poppy Seed Fabric Giveaway

Check out I Heart Naptime for a $50 Poppy Seed Fabric giveaway!  Poppy Seed has TONS of fabrics to choose from, so check it out!

Day 24: Memory

I finished my Memory games for my nieces and nephews.  Well, except for laminating them. But I got the difficult part done. Each set had 60 pictures, with 60 cards to be pasted onto, and there were 5 sets, so that's about 600 squares I've been cutting out...by hand. Yeah, I may have wanted to think that through a little better. ;) I got a little smarter on the last 3 sets. I printed out the cards so the backs say "Our Family Memory Game" and have equal squares, so they're a lot nicer looking. I thought I'd go ahead and share that with you if you're interested in it! 
Family Memory Game
I printed it out with no margins to be able to waste the least amount of paper. It also gave me room to caption each picture on the other side with the names of the people in the picture. And I figured that was a good thing, since the whole point was to make it so that cousins on opposite sides of the country can learn names and who goes together. I have a picture of each person by themselves, plus family pictures of each family. A few couples have couple pictures as well. I was going to have each couple have their own picture, but had some printing issues with those ones, so they cropped funny. I was a little annoyed that artscow.com has their resolution set at 640x400 pixels and states that, but none of the other places give an actual ratio, just a minimum, so when I used that ratio, it cropped them, cutting off people's faces. Oh well. They gave me a credit for the affected pictures, so I would still recommend Snapfish to anyone. Even though it should've been obvious to me (I mean 600x400 really makes sense for a 4x6 photo!) they still gave me credits, so I appreciated that. I'll clear off my table in the morning and take a picture of the memory game in decent light. It's just too late for a good picture, so it'll have to wait. That's what I get for doing projects after bedtime!  Anyway, I hope some of you are able to use the memory game for some cheap Christmas gifts!  I was able to get my prints for $.01 each with Snapfish, so it was a really inexpensive gift, especially since my sister-in-law will be letting me borrow her laminating maching! Good luck with your Christmas gifts!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 23: Cupcake pictures!

Well, I was successful at getting pictures of the cupcakes!  I ate one with "seeds" on it, made out of mini m&m's, simply because I'm not a big fan of Gobstoppers and Airheads, but I hear they tasted yummy. A word of warning, if you're ever going to put taffy on top of cupcakes, apparently they don't agree with each other...and the frosting will win. The taffy had basically melted off of the cupcakes despite the fact that it's fairly chilly out here right now and they weren't kept in a warm spot! It was really weird. So our squash were basically orange jelly beans, but I guess that's good because at least they didn't look like ovaries anymore! ;)

(WARNING! The rest of this post is SUPER long! But I HAD to share!)

My mother-in-law was so surprised that we'd done something for her, even if it was something as simple as dessert in her honor. I was a little sad that I didn't have the recipe for HER mom's punch so we could've honored our mother- and grandmothers-in-law. They're all such wonderful ladies. I'm SO grateful to have married into such a fantastic family. Since it's Sunday and our cupcakes for my mother-in-law were our project for the weekend, I figured I'd share a little bit about these sweet ladies.

My mother-in-law has six kids: four boys and two girls. I'm a little nervous about my husband being the one to carry on that tradition since she came from a family of four boys and two girls. We currently have one girl and three boys and are the only ones who get and stay pregnant easily. That makes me a little nervous. ;) But she was amazing. She didn't think that she would have that second girl. The youngest is four years younger than her next older sibling. My mother-in-law has always talked about how worried she was to have a sixth child when she wasn't sure her husband would be happy about it, but her faith carried her through. It's funny because we can't imagine the family without that youngest child!  She really completes the bunch! She's actually getting ready to leave on her mission for our church in December, making her the fifth of six kids to serve a mission. They've really done a fantastic job raising their children and I'm SO grateful that she did!  She's a constant example to me of love and compassion. She's always the first to volunteer when someone needs something. When my grandmother-in-law was dying this past June, she stayed with her every day, caring for her, getting very little rest herself. I was constantly worried about HER and whether she was taking care of herself since she was paying SO much attention to Oma. I'm grateful for that example of selfless service to me and my family.

Oma was another wonderful example to our family. She served a few missions for our church, including a few during World War II. Her husband was a prisoner of war (he was actually a member of the German army, despite the fact that he hated Hitler...I told you she has interesting stories!) and she served while she had no idea whether he was alive or dead. She and her husband also served in a temple presidency in Germany (I believe it was the Frankfurt temple) when she had young grandchildren that I'm sure that she missed back in Utah. She was a nurse for President David O. McKay's wife and my father-in-law remembers getting to go visit her in the prophet's home. What an amazing experience for a little boy! She lived a life of service. I talked to her a week before her death (when she actually seemed in fairly good health, but we didn't realize what was around the corner) and she spoke about being amazed that her husband was still able to go to the temple every week. Until she moved to Utah County from their home in Salt Lake City, she'd been going with him weekly (or more often!) to the Salt Lake Temple, doing work for the dead for deceased family members and for people she knew nothing about. She was a sweet woman and I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to know her.

The Hubs's other grandmother passed away while he was on his mission. I wish I knew more about her. She served a mission for our church as well, only this time as a family history worker. She did research about family history and it became a passion for her and for many members of her family as well. When I went through her home after her husband died, I found a number of Agatha Christie books. Agatha Christie happens to be my favorite author and NONE of her grandchildren wanted the books, so I was grateful to be able to give those a home. She had notecards upon notecards full of quotes that she found uplifting. They ended up taking up 3 index file boxes, completely full!  I took those when her husband died as well so that I could type them up and put them on cd's for her children and grandchildren. (I'm STILL not done with that project! She had a TON!) I want my kids to know the things that were important to her and those were obviously things that she felt were important. I'm grateful for the things that she wrote down and for the history that her family has and their willingness to share. Her family still has 3-4 generation dinners every few years so that siblings, cousins, second cousins and beyond can all get to know each other!  The family is so close and I'm grateful for that example to us so that we can continue that tradition!

I'm grateful for the wonderful women role models that I have to look up to and that I can pass that on to my children. From the time that I got married, I've called my mother-in-law Mom. She's such a sweet woman that I'm proud to call her that and I'm grateful that she's willing to claim me as well! Their family is fantastic and I'm amazed that I was lucky enough to find them and get to be a part of that. It makes me happy to be able to raise my children with such a strong foundation of faith, service and compassion and hope that I can continue to add to that.

Day 22: Oma's potato salad

Well, it's Mother-in-Law's Day today. In honor of the mothers-in-law in our lives (or recently departed), my sister-in-law and I got together yesterday and put together some cupcakes. I was going to post about it yesterday, but we didn't get done until midnight! Fortunately, we all enjoyed ourselves and had a good time. We even got our husbands in on the action!  The menfolk made some fantastic peas and radishes out of candies, while my sister-in-law and Bubs made some lettuce (most of these were out of Airheads and Gobstoppers! I can't wait to get pictures of them tonight! My sister-in-law took them with her to keep them safe from Baldy.) and I made squash out of jellybeans and a taffy. Yes, *A* taffy! There was only one orange one, so it was tricky. And my sister-in-law teased me that they looked like ovaries. We're hoping our mother-in-law is less, um, imaginative, than my sister-in-law! Hopefully she'll see the squash seed packet and know they're supposed to be squash and not ovaries!  But to celebrate my grandmother-in-law who passed away recently, I made potato salad. (It also happens to go GREAT with pulled pork sandwiches which is what my mother-in-law was planning for dinner tonight!) It's her recipe. I'm going to repost it here to put the picture and the recipe together so that people can find things easier. I LOVE this recipe!  I finished it off this morning after a very long night last night, so I added the hard-boiled eggs today and the paprika. (I was VERY tempted to put chili powder on it instead, in honor of Oma who was well-known for not being able to read her spice jar labels well and accidentally putting chili powder on her potato salad on a regular basis.  It probably didn't help that English was her second language and she couldn't see well in later years.) Anyway, here's the picture and recipe so you all can enjoy!  It's SO yummy! (I've already snitched two spoonfuls this morning! Oops!)

Cook about 6 medium potatoes.  (Potatoes should be tender, but still harder than mashing potatoes.) Peel potatoes after cooking.  Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut one half into thirds.  Cut it horizontally to cut in half again, then cut it in thin strips vertically widthwise.  Place in one medium bowl.  (Add about ½ tsp. salt between each potato as you add them to the bowl.)  Pour ½ - ¾ c. pickle juice over potatoes (enough to make them “juicy”) then let them sit while you prepare the sauce.
To make sauce, add ½ - ¾ c. (2 large spoonfuls-wooden spoon size) sour cream (Kroger’s All Natural is best).  Add approximately the same amount of Best Foods Real Mayonnaise (more if it doesn’t look like there’s enough sauce to cover your potatoes).  Add about ¼ c. pickle juice.  Stir well. Taste.  Add vinegar if it’s not “sour” enough.  Cut 2-3 small pickles in the same way you cut the potatoes.  Add to sauce and stir well.  Add 1 slivered slice of onion, cut into tiny pieces, and stir well.  Stir in potatoes a few scoops at a time until all the potatoes are well covered in sauce.  (If there’s not quite enough sauce, add a bit more pickle juice.)  You can also add a little more salt and pepper at this point.  Let the salad rest a day, then garnish with hard-boiled eggs and paprika.  (You can add diced hard-boiled eggs to the salad if you’d like, or ham or bacon.)  Chives and/or parsley can also be used to garnish.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 21: Daddy's home tomorrow!

Okay, so I love my kids, but all four of them home all day? Well, it gets old. I've been enjoying Bubs being at school all day (although the girl is developing a MAJOR attitude, and I'm convinced it has to do with being around other kids all day...just means more reminding her to be respectful.) and Chubs being gone half-day? HEAVEN! I like having just the two little boys. They're SO cute together, but as soon as you add the older two there's chaos. They have their moments, so I still like 'em. ;) Anyway, I'll be glad to have the Hubs tomorrow to help out a bit with all of them.

 Although, we will have our hands busy since we're painting the basement bathroom tomorrow. The drywall guys finished putting up drywall today, but they'll be starting mud and tape on Monday so painting the bathroom is about the only thing we can do for it tomorrow.  I'm thinking that I'm going to do a vintage Mickey Mouse theme in the basement bathroom. It'll be right off our media room and I think it would be fun to put some movie reels in there as decorations. Everything will be black and white with a dose of red thrown in (mostly because I don't believe in handing my kids white towels! I know you can bleach them, but I'd be doing it ALL the time!) so we'll just be painting it white. I'm excited though. We're really hoping that getting the bathroom faucet in ASAP will stop the pipe banging that's been going on since we worked on plumbing down there. It's really loud and we're all kind of sick of it, so it'll be nice to get rid of that. Hopefully it works.

Also, did you know that Sunday is Mother-in-law's day? I saw it on facebook (yeah, I look for excuses to have a holiday celebration!) and I have an awesome mother-in-law, so my sister-in-law and I are going to make some special treats for our usual Sunday dinner.  I guess my mother-in-law will be making pulled pork for dinner, I'll make some potato salad, and my sister-in-law is making cupcakes that we're getting together to decorate tomorrow. She's got a book that'll show us how to make them "gardening" cupcakes, so we're excited about that.  I figured I'd share my potato salad recipe today. It was actually from my sweet grandmother-in-law who passed away in June. She was 90 1/2. (Everyone thought she'd think it was really neat that she died on her half-birthday...I guess!) She made the potato salad SUPER yummy. I went over to make it with her one day and have been making it ever since.  It was hard to pick up, since the original recipe was in German. (I'll share more about this sweet lady sometime. She had an amazing story!) But she walked me through how to do it. She would cut one potato and then make me cut the rest of them, telling me the whole time that I was doing fantastic. It was a great memory of her. I even took her shopping the day before so that we could buy all of the ingredients that she swore made the best sauce for it. So, I'll share her tips as I go. (It's been easiest for me to share it in paragraph form so that I can explain things better. Also, I absolutely recommend making it the day before you want to eat it so that the sauce can sink in to the potatoes...but it's still super good the day you make it!)

Oma's Potato Salad
Cook about 6 medium potatoes.  (Potatoes should be tender, but still harder than mashing potatoes.) Peel potatoes after cooking.  Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut one half into thirds.  Cut it horizontally to cut in half again, then cut it in thin strips vertically widthwise.  Place in one medium bowl.  (Add about ½ tsp. salt between each potato as you add them to the bowl.)  Pour ½ - ¾ c. pickle juice over potatoes (enough to make them “juicy”) then let them sit while you prepare the sauce.
To make sauce, add ½ - ¾ c. (2 large spoonfuls-wooden spoon size) sour cream (Kroger’s All Natural is best).  Add approximately the same amount of Best Foods Real Mayonnaise (more if it doesn’t look like there’s enough sauce to cover your potatoes).  Add about ¼ c. pickle juice.  Stir well. Taste.  Add vinegar if it’s not “sour” enough.  Cut 2-3 small pickles in the same way you cut the potatoes.  Add to sauce and stir well.  Add 1 slivered slice of onion, cut into tiny pieces, and stir well.  Stir in potatoes a few scoops at a time until all the potatoes are well covered in sauce.  (If there’s not quite enough sauce, add a bit more pickle juice.)  You can also add a little more salt and pepper at this point.  Let the salad rest a day, then garnish with hard-boiled eggs and paprika.  (You can add diced hard-boiled eggs to the salad if you’d like, or ham or bacon.)  Chives and/or parsley can also be used to garnish.

Enjoy the potato salad! I'll make it tomorrow and see if I can get a picture of it...and the yummy cupcakes!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 20: Shelf's up! Sort of...

Well, the drywall guy came today and quickly left. They had a few issues today (the guy was supposed to be here at about 8 this morning and didn't get here until 2:30! Yikes! And then the rest of the crew was stuck in traffic!) plus he noticed a few things that needed to be taken care of in order to to drywall, so we decided it was best for him to come back tomorrow.  Now I just need to remember to talk to him and then call the city because our STUPID city inspector INSISTS that you should do a drywall inspection before the mud and tape go up (which is ridiculous! I've never heard of another city that does that...but I could write a book about this inspector and the things that I HATE about how he does his job!), so I'll need an inspection in the middle of the day or they won't be able to tape tomorrow and we'll have to wait until Tuesday most likely. Which would suck. I was planning on working on texture this weekend, but if mudding and taping isn't done, that can't happen. Yuck!

Oh well. While my dad was out here helping us out tonight, he helped put up my coat rack in the garage. It's up, but the screws still aren't long enough to safely put coats on it. As it turns out, they used 5/8" drywall in the garage (which isn't really standard...but then again the previous owners were weird, from what we can tell.), so when a screw has to go through 1 1/2" of 2x4, plus 5/8" of drywall, it really should be longer than 2 1/2" since that only leaves 3/8" to go into the stud. So we're going to try 4" lag bolts...4 of them. I figure I want to make sure this can hold a LOT of coats, so we're going to make sure that it's sturdy. But that's another project done, so I'm happy about that. Add that to a load of dishes and two loads of laundry and I'm not TOO upset about today, despite the kids being home all day. We'll cross our fingers I can get a lot done tomorrow too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 19: Shelves undone, costumes done!

Well, the makeshift closet rod didn't get put up yesterday. I spent a while explaining to the Hubs what it even was! It took a bit for him to get what I was talking about, even with the rod in front of him, so I'll be sure to post pictures once I get it up. Drywall guys were supposed to start hanging up drywall today, but that didn't happen either. The drywall got here at least! But it got here at exactly the right time that I had to send a friend to pick up Chubs from school for me so that I'd be here. I felt bad about that since it was his first field trip today and I would've loved to pick him up from that. Fortunately, he was excited to talk about it. It was funny that, while he was excited about the petting zoo area that they visited at the farm, he was very upset that they didn't have a word of the day or get to bring home one of their word books. He's a little nerd and I love it! ;)

The biggest thing I got done (besides some dishes, which believe me, is a BIG thing!) is the kids' costumes. Our neighborhood Halloween Carnival was tonight (put on by the youth in our church group), so the costumes HAD to be done. Bubs decided she wanted to be a ghost. She specifically wanted to be this ghost, so I put together a quick pillowcase dress (my first one) for her, using a shelf bra from a tank as the face. (Shelf bras don't work for me, so it needed to go, so I was happy to use the fabric for something), so it was a $5 costume. Chubs and Baldy decided they wanted to repeat their Mario and Luigi costumes from last year. I had to buy new long sleeve shirts for them, but I actually got a red jacket for Chubs since he needed one anyway and it was only $8 and Baldy got a green shirt that he can wear for a while for about $6. He normally wears a 3, but I could only find green shirts in the boys' section, so I had to get a 4, so it'll fit a while. Chubby Bubby is a little lion that all of the kids have been. It's a little sad because he is only 7 months old and it's a 12-18 month costume! He's huge! I had a devil costume that I bought on clearance last year for about $5, so this was a pretty inexpensive Halloween. Although I still have to come up with something to wear to a Chinese-themed murder mystery party Halloween weekend. So we'll see how it goes. If anyone has any suggestions for places to look for something Chinese-ish in an XL, that'd be awesome. It's not easy, I'll tell you that! Maybe I'll figure out something to sew, but until then, Halloween's taken care of! Hooray!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 18: Building is exercise, right?

I really hope everyone would agree that building is exercise, because my arms DEFINITELY agree. I've been trying to figure out a way to get all of our too small/too big/too warm/too cold coats out of our TEENY TINY coat closet without cluttering up the mudroom too much.  For free. Which, considering we're almost done finishing our basement, is actually not as hard as you would think.

So I went out to the shed (where the last of the wood is, since drywall guys are coming tomorrow! Yippee!) and grabbed a 2x4 about the length I wanted and 2 smaller 2x4s that were pretty close to the same length. Then I grabbed a 2x2 (which fits a coat hanger almost exactly...the hanger won't go ALL the way down, but for FREE who's complaining?) that was a little long. I grabbed MY jigsaw (not my husband's!) and MY drill (he hates it!) and headed out to the garage. Earlier today, while Chubby Bubby was still sitting nicely in his car seat in the van and I had the door open, I had cleaned off an old broken down bookshelf so that we can take it to the dump and use the spot that it had been taking up for my brilliant idea. ;) I used my jigsaw to cut the short 2x4s to the same length and then started drilling...which is about where my brilliant idea started falling apart. The only screws I have on hand are 2" drywall screws. Which is great if you're doing drywall, but not so great when you're trying to attach 2x4s to each other. A 2x4 is actually 1 1/2" (for some unknown reason that no one's ever been able to explain to me), so they go through, but it only goes about 1/2" into the other 2x4. So I grabbed some nails, which helped a lot. Until I got to the 2x2. I can only put one in, which isn't terribly sturdy. And now it spins. And I'm too short to effectively attach it to the wall!

 So despite my grand ideas, it isn't attached to the wall yet. But I got the shelf clear, which I've been thinking about for WEEKS, and I started getting the rack put together at least. Hopefully when the Hubs gets home, he can help me figure out how to make it sturdier and get it attached.  And I'll remember to take pictures for tomorrow's post. ;)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 17: I FINISHED THE DRESS!

Yup, I'm excited, so there may be an overuse of capital letters and exclamation points! ;)  Anyway, the dress is done, pictures are taken and sent to the pattern designer! I got THE most adorable little girl to take pictures with. She was SO happy and just grinned the whole time. Except for the two seconds after she fell down. But she didn't even cry for that since she landed flat on her bum. On the soft grass. No bumps and bruises. She was adorable and it was so fast, which was great. So, without further ado, here are the pics of her in the little dress.  (If you're interested in buying this pattern that I tested, it's available now at http://www.etsy.com/listing/83714001/vivienne-party-dress-pdf-pattern)






Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 15: Not gonna happen

Well, I'm on my second load of laundry today. All my clothes. That never happens...okay it happens about once every week to week and a half. You know, when I'm on my last pair of clean underwear and I'm wearing pajamas because nothing else is clean. I was going to work on the dress today, but at this point, I'm on hour 10 of a pretty massive headache that my normal medicine is just NOT kicking! And the Hubs is gone for the weekend. On the bright side, my sweet sister agreed to come stay with me, so I got a two hour nap this afternoon. And a haircut which was nice. She also is grocery shopping with my older three kids so that I don't have to. And bringing me back a Mountain Dew which will hopefully help kick that headache. I never drink caffeine unless I have a serious headache, so I don't have any around here. Especially since the Hubs stopped drinking it a few years ago, too. I am going to start printing the pattern for the dress since I'm fairly certain that I can at least cut a straight line...since it's quiet. I'm not sure I could sew a straight line today, unfortunately. So I'll be sewing my butt off later. Cross your fingers for me!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 14

Sorry I took yesterday off. It was the Hubby's birthday and I took the day off to spend it with him. We went to the temple in the morning. (To learn a little more about the temple, check out Denton Sanatorium's post today. While you're there, check out all of her posts from this week. It was a GREAT series!)  Then we grabbed some lunch at Subway after picking up Chubs. It was great. We enjoyed having the whole day to spend together and I'm glad I took the opportunity. Especially since he has to work on my birthday next month. (Despite the fact that it's a Saturday! Yuck!)

Today I bought new fabric for the dress that I now need to redo, thanks to my little mishap.  I couldn't find the butter colored satin until after I was at the cutting table. I ended up going with an icy blue color. It's absolutely gorgeous and will be SO pretty on my 6 1/2 year old. I got enough for the 12 month dress AND a size 8. It's $2.99 a yard at Hobby Lobby (which I think is a great price anyway!) and I had a 40% off coupon!  I got enough buttons for both dresses, plus the thread and fabric and it was just under $16. It was SUCH a good deal!  $8 for each dress is fantastic and I'm SO excited to get them done! My sister's here this weekend while the Hubs is at drill this weekend. Hopefully I'll be able to get a lot of the 12 month dress done before she has to leave Sunday afternoon. The fabric is currently being pre-washed. I don't pre-wash fabrics that I'm going to be making pajamas with or low-use items, but when it's going to be washed repeatedly and worn by kids (out of the house), I take the time. It's worth it in that case.  I'm excited about the dress on my daughter and I'm hoping that my niece's eyes are still blue enough that the blue dress will bring them out even more. (She had blue eyes, but all of her sisters' have turned brown, so I wasn't holding out hope. We'll see how she looks at Christmas, when she's about 9 months.) I'm hoping this dress will go better than the last one!  In the meantime, I got almost all of the pictures printed out for my Family Memory game that I'm giving to all of my in-laws' kids, so I still feel pretty accomplished. I hope that keeps up!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Days 11 & 12

Okay, so posting last night didn't work as well as I'd hoped. I don't know why I thought it would, since I had a craft night at my church last night. At which I did NO crafts!  I know!  I'm horrible. Oh well. I didn't want to pay for the craft that I was the most interested in. It was mod podging a picture onto a painted board. Well, I have boatloads of boards that I can paint here (which is what happens when you finish your basement yourself!  TONS of leftover small boards that are good for nothing...except crafts!) and then I can print the picture to the size I need. They were using 2x6's, but I'll be using 2x4's, so their picture size wasn't going to work anyway. So I'll print pictures in the size I need. I know that a 2x4 seems small for putting a picture on, but when you consider that my kids share rooms (or one room at the moment, I should say...though that will change SOON hopefully!) a 2x4 is the perfect size for them to be able to put next to their bed and say it's theirs.

I finished the dress lately...or at least the main body of it. It still needs buttons and a sash put on. But I WON'T be going to do pictures with my volunteer model today. Mostly because it won't fit her. Because when you print out a pattern that comes in PDF form, you should always make sure that your printer doesn't scale the pages to fit the "printable" area. Or you'll end up with a dress that looks like it SHOULD fit a 12 month old, but in reality, won't fit over their head...or their diaper. Not so much fun. So I have a GORGEOUS dress that won't fit any baby I have to shop for for Christmas.  My friend might be getting it. Because I know she'll let me have it back for a while if I ever get another girl, but I really don't want to store it in the hopes that that will happen someday. I really should start making a ton of boy stuff. Then, when I do get pregnant and am FINALLY ready for a boy before I get pregnant, it'll be a girl. Because that's how these things work, right? ;) So that project would definitely be my epic fail for the week, as far as crafts go. Pay day's on Friday and I'll try again with a 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby. I think I'll stick with the same color, since I love it SO much, but I'll make it the right size this time. ;)  And I'm borrowing my mom's sewing machine. Because my mom bought me a new one for my birthday a few years ago and I picked out one that I liked and family members gave her their money and it was a big group gift (that I organized myself because I REALLY didn't want to pay for a new machine, but my old one was older than me and not working so well anymore!) and she got me the next step down from the one that I picked because, and I quote, "you're a beginner and you won't need those functions for a LONG time." Which is great...except that this machine doesn't even let you really control your stitch length, so I can't run a basting stitch!  Which doesn't work well when you have yards of ruffles to do! So she has to give up her machine for a week since she didn't listen to me. That'll teach her. ;)

My goal for the day is to pack up my craft room. I'm not sure it'll happen with two sick kids and...Baldy. He's not easy, I'll tell you that! But I have to get it done so that I can have drywallers come finish the basement drywall next week. I'm SO excited!  I'll have to share my plans on here at some point. We were given a set of house plans when we moved into this house and the basement plans were HORRIBLE! So horrible in fact that there were two bedrooms (which is great) but you had to go THROUGH the closet to get into the cold storage room under the porch!  What kid wants people traipsing through their room constantly to go to the storage closet!  Oh, and you had to go through the bathroom to get to the furnace...which is right in front of the cold storage room. And they left a giant empty spot for "storage" on the other side of the bathroom. So I learned how to use Google Sketch Up to make plans and drew up our own floor plans to have approved by the city. It involved ripping out concrete just to move pipes over 8 inches to where the new toilet would be located (because the old one would've been IN the wall), but we now have a nice big bathroom down there that will have built in cubbies for towel storage and toilet paper and all that fun stuff, plus we have a door right next to it that goes to a utility room and a hall back to the cold storage room!  And the other useless storage space in the basement is now my craft room, or hall, depending on how you look at a space that's 20 feet by 5 feet. But it's almost done, after a year and a half of weekends working on it (while Hubs was deployed. Basically my dad and I have finished that basement and I'm REALLY proud of that!) and I'm so happy!  It'll be nice to have a little room to spread. And be able to empty our outdoor shed back into the basement, since that's where all of the stuff that WAS in there went for the last year, and then we can take the shed apart next spring and take it to my father-in-law's!  And we'll have room in our backyard for things like a swingset!  Woohoo!  (All that to explain why I'm packing up my craft room!  Woops!) I'll post pictures of the basement next week.  I think I have a few before-ish pictures, so I'll share those.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 10

I realized after I turned off my computer last night that I hadn't posted!  Oops! But considering it's only 6 a.m. where I'm at, I'm not willing to call it Tuesday yet since I'm normally still sleeping. (HORRIBLE night with ALL of the kiddos. Yuck!)

It was a very productive day for me. I was super excited about it. I mentioned earlier that I was chosen to be a pattern tester for an adorable little baby girl's dress. Well, I got half of it done today!  I got the pattern cut out Sunday night and then on Monday, I got the fabric cut out (except for the sash, which I just realized!) and got it more than halfway done. It's turning out SO cute and tiny! Considering my only girl is 6 1/2, it's been a really long time since I've sewn anything so itty bitty for a girl. And I'm not sure I've really done it for a boy because they're a little tougher to find projects for in the first place. I've been enjoying sewing more again lately, and hope that I can keep it up. I feel like it actually does save money, especially when I buy the fabric on sale. For example, this dress will cost me less than $10 when all is said and done!  I didn't have to pay for the pattern, since I'm testing it, plus I found the satin on sale for $2.99 a yard at Hobby Lobby last week! The thread was only $2.79 and then I got 5 buttons (of which, I'll only use 3) for $.62 at Walmart yesterday.  So grand total there is $9.39! This dress would cost a LOT more than that if I were to buy it! Hopefully I'll be able to get it done today and post pictures of it with my Day 11 progress report! I'll at least get it done by tonight since it's my ward's Terrific Tuesday (our yearly craft day for my church unit) and I didn't sign up to make any of their projects. I figure I'll just take my own project to work on. That also means that I'll be able to show the dress to my friend who's letting me borrow her little girl for the pictures that I need to take of it. And I'll definitely be completely done with this before the Hubs's birthday so I'll be able to relax and hang out with him all day on Thursday! Yay!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 9

Well, I'm going to try to take the rest of the day to actually REST. I don't normally talk about religion on my blog. Either my craft blog or my family blog really. (Although when was the last time I actually POSTED on my family blog? That's been a while!) I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We had our General Conference last week. We believe that we have living prophets and apostles on the Earth who speak to us today. General Conference is our opportunity every 6 months to have a worldwide conference where we hear those apostles speak to us. Our sweet prophet, Thomas S. Monson, gave a few wonderful talks. He's in his 80's, but in such good health. He has the sweetest way of speaking. Even before he became our prophet, he was one of my favorite speakers to listen to. And watching it on tv (which is how a lot of us watch General Conference. Some in churches throughout the world, some in their homes, and some online.) is even more fun because he has SUCH great facial expressions. There's a large congregation that listens to him speak in person and they would crack up laughing seeing him make some of his expressions. I'm grateful that I get to see it on television and see those expressions. We listened on the radio for part of it as we drove to lunch with my family and I felt like I missed out a little because he was speaking and we couldn't tell what he was doing with his face.  It was fun to listen as he announced new temples (houses of worship and ordinances) were going to be built. One of the new temples will be located in Star Valley, Wyoming. He took a moment and smiled. When the congregation started to giggle a little bit, he said "Can I be the one to dedicate that temple? They've got good fishing out there." He's just so sweet and fun!  One of the things that they talked a bit about was sharing the gospel. We have SO many resources available to us these days. We have phones and internet and phones WITH internet and all sorts of ways to keep in touch with people. And the church has been keeping up with this. They offer apps with the scriptures. You can download church magazines, including the magazine for kids and teens, which have great stories at their level to help them understand basic principles better. And these days they have mormon.org, which I linked to above, which talks about our beliefs and how to learn more. I'm 27 years old and I don't feel like I've ever done a good job sharing what I believe. I'd like to change that. My sweet sister-in-law is going on a mission for our church in December. She'll be sharing the gospel and teaching on a daily basis. I'm hoping to follow that example more closely, to show my children. And even if the only people I teach are my children and  myself, those are the most important people that I can teach. So I'm starting here- putting it out where I want to be held accountable. I want to learn more. I want to know more so that I can teach my children, so that I can answer questions. I know that my church is true. I KNOW it, but I need to know all that I can so that I can teach others. So this will be my topic to post about on Sundays, even through my 31 days. To keep myself accountable. To share what I learn. To teach others. And myself. Because I need to know. I hope you join me!  I'm excited to start this process of learning more. So to start, I'll share a scripture that I saw today and will be reading again soon as I work on reading my Book of Mormon more. "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." (2 Nephi 25:26)  That's what this is about. Rejoicing in my savior and sharing his love. 

Day 8: Oops! A little late!

That could've been the title for my whole day really!  We had a bit of an oops yesterday morning when Chubby Bubby fell off my bed. It was not a good way to wake up. (For the record, I was not the one who put him there!) So the poor Bubby is a bit banged and bruised up.  I worked on my cross-stitch for my brother-in-law quite a bit and am getting SO close to being done. I'll be excited to finish that up. I'm thinking I'll just get a frame from the Dollar Store to put it in. I love my family and all, but I'm a cheapskate and don't believe in spending $10 on a frame for MY house, let alone for a gift. (In fact, I just added up all of my Christmas gifts for this year. The one's that I've bought at least. Anyway, for my side of the family, 6 people, I spent less than $10! Woohoo! I wasn't QUITE that good for the Hubs's side, but still not horrible at all.)

Anyway, we had the Hubs's family over last night. Or at least his brother and sister-in-law and mom, since that's who actually showed up. We decided to go over to the frozen yogurt shop where his sister works to surprise her. She was supposed to get in at 7:30, so that's when we went over that. She wasn't there, though. We called her and as she picked up my sister-in-law's call, she said "Oh, shoot, oh shoot!" and hung up. Not really a good sign. Turns out she hadn't looked at the clock and was still half an hour away! We decided to go ahead and get frozen yogurt anyway. By the time we were finished, she'd showed up. Oh, and did I mention she's the MANAGER? Silly girl. Well, we said hi and then headed home to put kids to bed, but even the older two were already 20 minutes late at that point.

My creativity for the day was actually making a pumpkin shaped cake for my husband and niece's birthday dinner that's tonight. It looks pretty good, although we had issues getting it done. Baldy decided it was a good idea to pour a whole TON of water in the orange cream cheese frosting (did I mention it's a homemade carrot cake from scratch, with cream cheese frosting from scratch? I'm super excited!) so I had to have my mother-in-law stop on her way over here last night and get more cream cheese frosting. Maybe I could've just added more powdered sugar, but I wasn't exactly sure where he GOT the water that he poured in and that child makes me nervous. So overall, it was kind of a hit and miss kind of day. Got there just a minute too late a few times and had to wait for a while once. Hopefully today's better!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 7

Wow...I couldn't even come up with a good title. A late night kills me these days!  I'm not quite 27 and the thought of pulling an all-nighter is HORRIBLE to me!  I don't know how so many people my age do those things...oh wait, they probably don't have 4 kids! ;)

Well, I'm excited for the next week. It sounds like it's going to be a VERY full week of sewing. I have a friend that I may be making a petticoat for so her daughter can have a "poofy" flower girl dress...on Wednesday. And I still haven't gotten a firm yes or no, so if I do it, it'll be quick. Luckily, we'll be working from the tutorial at Make It and Love It. I'm excited about that. I've been wanting to use one of her tutorials for a while. I was also accepted as a pattern tester for Peek-A Boo Pattern Shop. I'll be making her new Vivienne Party Dress in the 12 month size for my niece. Which might change what I give my niece for Christmas...or just add to it, since I already have all of the stuff for the present I was planning on. And it's just a double of what I'm making for Chubby Bubby, so it's not a big deal to make a second one.  So I should have a lot of projects to report progress in the next week on my crafts. Yay!

I've been doing a lot of working on my Christmas gifts last night and today. I decided to organize the gifts that I've already got according to recipient. I have all of them in bags inside a Rubbermaid bin to keep in my closet. Kids know that that is completely off-limits. (Although 2 year old Baldy still thinks it's okay to use it as a stepstool...but he climbs on everything, so nothing knew there!)  I also have a smaller Rubbermaid bin for the birthday gifts for our upcoming birthdays in the next few months. It helps me keep track of what I have and keep them organized. Then today, since the Hubs has been home and we've been catching up on NCIS (which we LOVE!), I've been working on a cross-stitch for my brother-in-law. Now I know a cross-stitch sounds like a weird present for a guy, but I find it hilarious. Check it out!  This one has a different controller than what I'm using. His will have a Classic NES controller, which I find hysterical. He's a bit of a gaming nerd, so I think he'll appreciate it. Hopefully he'll like it. I also received confirmation that my pictures are on my way for my Memory game for all of the little kiddos on my list, so that'll be great to get done. So Christmas is well under way and I'm excited for the next few weeks of finishing that up. It'll give me lots of projects to report on here.

As far as eating and exercise goes, I've been trying to use some leftovers for lunch lately. I did make some homemade Oreos today that we enjoyed, but I didn't have my snacks, so it wasn't too big a splurge. It's CRAZY cold here (as in, mid 40's for the highs, which is odd since it was about 85 on Monday!) so there hasn't been a whole lot of walking, especially since I've got the baby to be worried about. I hate the idea of him getting sick. He's already got reflux and allergy problems and gets ear infections really easily, so I'm a little protective of him especially where the weather's concerned. But while he and I were home alone for a few minutes today, I got in a few crunches with him and used him as a weight for my benchpresses. (I use my older kids all the time, so this wasn't as much of a workout as I would've liked.) I also did push-ups over the top of him, which he thought was funny. It was just a few minutes, but that's more than I normally do, so I'm happy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 6: I finished!

I could do nothing else the rest of the day and still feel like today was a success. My kitchen's still mostly clean (a little clutter to put away and I'll feel happy with it), my dining room table is cleared of dishes, and the chair is finally done!  Hooray!  I wish I had a decent before picture. Apparently, I only thought construction was important because I needed to put it back together. I didn't think to take a picture of the overall before. Bad blogger, I know! (If you want an idea of what it looked like before, check out this post. Picture the fabric being more yellow than orange, and you have my chair!)  I have two strips of trim on each side of the back because my fabric came out further on one side than the other and it didn't look great, but overall, I think I did a pretty good job of fudging it. There's also trim around the arms because it used to have caning in it, but the caning had a hole in it, and I didn't want to pay even more to replace that.  So here's some pictures! (For the befores, picture 70's gold and DARK brown wood.)



I'm trying to think how much I actually spent on it. I got new plywood for the seat (the old plywood had a hole cut in the middle and rebar to support it! Scary!), new foam for the seat and back and the nailhead trim. So the estimation for the price goes as follows:
Chair: FREE from my mother-in-law!
Foam for cushions: $16 (I have a GREAT little fabric shop that was SO helpful!)
Fabric for cushions: FREE from my grandmother!
Plywood: $11 (which my husband convinced me to go for the thicker stuff so it would last longer...good choice with three little boys!)
Nailhead trim: $28 ($8 of that was just shipping! Ouch! But I still have about half the roll, so I can still use some more.)
Paint: Rustoleum Heirloom White that I had from another project that I never finished, so I'm not counting it. The primer was also left over from another project, so I'm calling paint FREE!
Total: $55 
Not quite as good as I had hoped going into it, but still REALLY good for a brand new (to me) chair. I feel like I learned a lot. (Oh, by the way, I didn't count the cost of the staple gun in that total because I'll use it for so many other projects and I LOVE it! And the staples were the same size as what we're using downstairs on the insulation, so I just counted those as basement staples.)  I'm so excited with how it turned out and I'm WAY excited to have more NICE seats at our house! Hopefully it'll stay that way for a while! ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 5: Not too shabby

Today was not nearly as bad as it could've been. We'll start with that. I didn't end up doing Just Dance. HOWEVER, the living room is actually clean enough that I can do it tomorrow and not spend the Bubby's whole nap getting to the point where I CAN exercise. I actually vacuumed, which was much more pleasant than normal since my grandmother gave me her "old" vacuum cleaner that's only been used twice. (She switched to a Roomba Vacuum that's much easier on her back, so I was happy to relieve her of the old one!) But since it's vacuumed, I can decide whether to do Just Dance tomorrow while Bubby sleeps or do the Wii Fit, which I like too...as long as the room is vacuumed and I'm not picking up crumbs every time I step off the balance board. ;)

My mother-in-law also came over today and helped with my kitchen, so it's looking pretty darn fantastic too. Plus she helped Bubs get motivated to pick up the papers that were in the dining room and clear her things from the dining room table, so that was really helpful. I was also able to order my sister-in-law's Christmas present today, which I'm super excited about, and I ordered the books from my book order, so I have Christmas nearly complete. Also, for my craft this week, I've been working on a Memory Game for all of my nieces, nephew (since I only have one...four grandsons and three of them belong to me!) and my kids. That meant re-sizing a TON of pictures and getting them printed out using the last day of Snapfish's 100 prints for $1 sale, so it was a really good deal, considering I needed 95 4x6's. I also just received the nailhead trim for my chair, so I can finally finish that up tomorrow!  And, all in all, my eating wasn't bad today. We got some grocery shopping done and I had a Lunchable for lunch, but it could've been worse, especially since I ate one without any dessert in it. And it was only $1, so I didn't feel too bad. So, if I can keep myself from eating all of the cinnamon rolls I just made for tomorrow's breakfast (per Bubs's request), I won't feel too bad at all! I'm calling today a success.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 4: An Epiphany

So, I logged onto my computer this morning and there was this lovely article on Yahoo about your weight. I didn't even bother to click on it, so I don't have the link or anything. From the first little schpiel (yup, I have no idea how to spell Yiddish words and my spell-check is NOT liking that word...I'm sticking with it!), I figured it was something that I had no control over. Basically, it was talking about how sleep is important to your metabolism. And it hit me: THIS is why I gain weight after I have babies. With all of my kids, I work and work and it's not until they sleep through the night that I start losing ANY weight. Well, Chubby Bubby slept 6 hours straight last night. It was fantastic. Now, if only those 6 hours had not followed 3 1/2 hours of waking up every half hour to hour. I would've made it to bed before 1 am and would not have been wanting to crash all day today. In fact, at one point, my older two boys were playing together while I was feeding Bubby a bottle (since he STILL can't hold the darn thing up himself!) and we were waiting for my daughter to get done with school so we could go pick her up. I woke up at about the time that I was supposed to have the boys all ready to go in the car to go get her. Fortunately, a lot of other parents seemed to be late today too, so we still managed to make it in time and get a spot where she could find us. Unfortunately, it pretty much meant that we didn't get to walk because I was so out of it and we would've been late. Which means that we haven't walked yet this week. And probably won't because we've got storms in the area ALL week long. I think I'll do some Just Dance on the Wii tomorrow. It kicks my butt every time I do it, so I feel like it's a good workout, plus it's something my kids like doing with me, so I don't have to fight with them to get free time. Although I do have to wait until Bubby's asleep so that I can do it without stepping on him...or him climbing me...or puking on me.

I did have some good news today though. My sister-in-law and I had a book party at my house last week and were told that if we made $400 in sales, we'd each get $160 worth of books for $37.50.  We found out tonight that we made $451!  Woohoo!  That means I've got two Christmas presents for each of my kids taken care of. Which also means that I'm almost completely done with my shopping for Christmas!  A few projects to work on (I'll share my progress on my Family Tree for my in-laws tomorrow) and I'll be done!  I bet that I'll be done before November. That's very exciting. Plus I got a few extras for Baldy's birthday at the beginning of December. Yay!

Oh, and I finally took Bubby in to the lab to get his lab work done. That involved getting a stool sample this morning (which was part of the reason that we didn't walk to school this morning. The kid FINALLY pooped!  He doesn't do that too often. Hence the reason we have to do lab work...that and the reflux. Blegh!) and taking him to get his blood drawn. And let me tell you, he's a STRONG almost-7 month old! It wasn't easy holding him down! And I got myself a new dress, 2 new shirts, and my daughter a dress, all for $27. So, despite not getting my walks in, I feel like I was still fairly productive. Tomorrow, hopefully I'll be able to get dishes done and some more laundry and take care of some housekeeping things...AFTER Just Dance and a shower. ;)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 3: Accountability

Well, today was not a good day. Chubs decided that, despite the fact that he's 5 and in Kindergarten and SHOULD be able to act like a big boy not a baby, he was going to scream at me most of the time that he was home. Add that to Chubby Bubby not wanting to sleep for ANYTHING, and I was on edge all day. Oh, yeah. One of my kids decided to balance a GLASS cup in the fridge precariously this morning and it broke when I opened the fridge. And the Bubby just puked on my foot. Yup, he's got reflux and we're trying to deal with it and it's not going well. Add all of that together and I ate.  A lot. Okay, not A LOT, but way more than I should have. Oh, and I put a pie in the oven for dessert knowing full well that none of my kids will touch it and it's going to be my husband and me eating a whole pie just the two of us. And it was picture day and was supposed to rain so there was no walking going on to or from school. In fact, I had to call a friend to pick up the oldest from school because that happened to be the time that Bubby FINALLY decided to sleep. So today was not a great start to everything. But the beauty of all of this is that I can pick up and start over again tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. I'll have to remember that there are better ways to deal with stress than to eat. I've been following along with another blogger in her 31 days as she's talked about her weight loss goals.  I love that today she talked about remembering to pray in your weight loss journey. I remember the last time I tried to lose weight. I found through that that when I remembered to pray and read my scriptures and do all of those things that you learn as a young child, I actually lost weight. I need to get back into those habits and I think that will help a lot. Unfortunately for me, this might involve waking up early. I mean, really, who wants to do that? Not me! But if it'll help, it's what I need to do.

Now, lest you think that today was a total waste for me, Chubby Bubby was caught standing up in his crib for the first time today. Unfortunately, he was screaming, so I didn't snap a picture, but I did find the pictures of Baldy the first time he stood in his crib, and he was 3 1/2 weeks older than Bubby is. This could be interesting with him doing everything earlier than his brother who WALKED at 10 1/2 months! Yikes! Oh, and I got a Nook Color today!  I'm excited to play with it some more and learn more about it. It was an awesome deal and I was pretty proud of myself for scoring it, so I'm in love so far. And, just as importantly, my kids loved it enough that they sat and played with it quietly long enough for me to cook dinner. THAT's what I call a good investment! ;)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 2: My eating plan

Well, yesterday was my intro to the "series" (for lack of a better word. If this actually turns into a series, I might start feeling like a REAL blogger! ;) )  and I said that I'd go into more detail on my eating plan. Basically I'm going back to the gestational diabetes diet that I did while I was pregnant with the Chubby Bubby.  To break it down to its most basic, I was allowed 30 grams of carbohydrates for breakfast, morning snack, afternoon snack and evening snack. (Yes, I had to eat SIX times a day!  Which is harder than you would think.) For lunch and dinner, I got 30-45 grams of carbs.  I actually had to explain this to a friend today since she was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I should've just directed her here! ;)

Anyway, I am weird and actually like eating the same foods over and over. I rarely get bored with a meal (unless it's one that I have to push myself to eat the first time), so I have a pretty good routine with the food. The trick is to keep myself from eating the extra carbs that I find myself craving now that I don't have a little baby depending on me to stay healthy.  I know that my 4 kids all need me healthy, and that's why I'm trying hard now, but when I'm the only source of nutrition for a baby, it's just so EASY to stick to it! I knew that if I didn't follow the rules, he was going to have problems when he was born, and that was all the incentive I needed.

Anywho...yes, I get sidetracked easily. I love having croissant breakfast sandwiches every morning. I get the Great Value brand at Walmart and they're exactly 30 grams of carbs. They're also less than $1 a sandwich, so I don't feel like I'm spending TOO much on them. I like eating Fiber One bars for one of my snacks. They're pretty close to 25 grams (which was still within the threshold that I was supposed to be in) once you count the fiber. My other snack is normally a sugar-free pudding cup. I know, that's a bit of a splurge, since it's about $4 for 12 cups of pudding, but for me it's worth it. I know that if I don't have a pre-measured serving that I won't be able to stop myself from eating it all. The best thing is to have two graham crackers with it. That makes it equal almost exactly 30 carbs. For lunch, I like to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I use sugar free raspberry jam. A tuna fish sandwich is also good when I'm in the mood for that.  Then I try to eat just a smaller portion of whatever I've made my family for dinner. That's normally where I have a hard time though. It's really hard for me to just eat a small portion, since I normally make things that I enjoy eating.  I'm working on it, though, and hopefully I'll be able to make some progress in this area this month.  I'm really crossing my fingers on this one!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 days...of accountability

Okay, I might be a total space-case to even CONSIDER doing this, but I am. I need SOMETHING at this point. I haven't really done much with this blog but I want to do more. I've been trying to do more crafty stuff lately. I finished a dress for myself last week. It's not quite how I want it yet, but it's good enough for the moment. I'd like to keep this pretty craft oriented, but I definitely need something to keep me accountable in SO many areas right now. I had my little guy in March and my darn body does NOT deal well with having babies. I never gain more than 25 pounds while I'm pregnant (and, in fact, this time I only gained 1 1/2 lbs. Don't hate me...I had issues and was overweight to start) but I ALWAYS gain weight after I have the baby. So after losing almost 30 lbs after I had him, I've gained 35 lbs. RIDICULOUS! (Wow, there's a lot of caps in this post! Sorry!)  I really want to work on losing that again because I looked awesome after I had the baby. I also felt fantastic. Much better than I have in a very long time.  So part of being accountable will be being accountable for what I eat and how much I exercise. So, here's my goals:

1. Stick to my eating plan. I'll probably post what that is tomorrow, but it's basically going back to my diabetic diet from when I was pregnant. I felt AWESOME on it and it obviously kept my weight under control really well.
2. Walk my kids to school every day (weather permitting...we're supposed to have a bunch of thunderstorms this week, so we'll see how that goes). From my house to the school and back is exactly 1 mile. If the weather's nice enough, I can do this walk up to three times a day between dropping off and picking up kids.
3. Choose one other form of exercise each day (if I only walk kids TO school. If I walk them home too, that will count as the other exercise.)
4. Take vitamins daily. I've found that I just feel better when I take them every evening.
5. Complete one crafty project a week. I'll post more about what those are tomorrow.

I don't know how many people will actually follow me throughout this, but I hope that at least someone will comment occasionally to help me remember that I have someone to be accountable to. I'll try to post each evening to let everyone know how my day has gone.  Thanks for helping me to stay accountable and try to reach my goals!  I'll definitely post updates about weight progress, etc. as the month progresses. Hopefully there will be a noticeable difference by Halloween!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pinterest

So a few months ago, I started using pinterest. It's been really fun and I get hooked easily. I'm trying to be good and actually DO some of the things that I pin on my boards, so it's not completely wasted time. For example, I found this quote: 
Then yesterday, I found it again while planning out my wall for my kids' photos in my front room. We've added one more little one since I had done the wall and so poor little Chubby Bubby (as he will hence be known on the blog) wasn't represented. It was time to rectify that. So, inspired by this quote, we came up with this: 

I'm really happy with it (although I will be getting poster putty to hold the DANG cheap picture frames level! They drive me CRAZY!) and so glad I had pinterest to reference. 

HOWEVER, there is one thing that bugs me about pinterest. (And based on conversations I've had, it bugs other people too.) It's etiquette, really. It's just a way to be nice that people are missing out on, and maybe it's just that they don't know better. BUT, here's the thing: when you pin something, CLICK THE LINK FIRST! If you've been looking at a whole category on a blog and then pin from that spot, you're linking everyone back to a WHOLE category, which will expand over time. On the other hand, if you click the post that your idea is featured in, every time someone clicks on that pin, it'll take them to the idea you meant! It'll make people SO much happier when they click on your pin, I promise. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Giveaway

Check out this giveaway over at Our Family Treat. It's a gorgeous necklace from Of the Earth Jewelry and you get your choice of colors! Hooray!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Finished Project

So I finished that blanket for my little one, who was born March 10th.  He's a pretty adorable guy and we love him a ton, but he keeps us seriously busy, so projects have been slowed down yet again at our house.  I've been getting caught up in Pinterest though, and trying to actually follow through on some of the things that I pin. Enter: The Great Pinterest Challenge. I entered my quilt for Eli (or Chubby Bubby as he shall be known on the blog from now on!) in the sewing contest and the Olive Garden breadsticks I made in the recipe contest.  (And WOW! Those breadsticks were AMAZING! SO good!)  Anyway, I need help with the contest. If you're on facebook, PLEASE go "like" HoneyBear Lane and vote on my All Star Quilt in this album. *You have to like HoneyBear Lane first or the vote won't count. Also, commenting doesn't get me any extra votes, but I'd still love to hear what you all think! ;)*  THEN go to Topsy Turvy and vote on my breadsticks in this album. Voting ends Friday night at midnight. Thanks in advance for everyone who votes for me!  I appreciate it SO much!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Finished part 1 of the project!

Well, I've never done a quilt top before.  But I fell in love with this quilt over at Sew Dang Cute and when I found out I was having a boy, I had to go for it.  With a month to go (tomorrow! Yay!) and finding out that I'm already dilated (which I've never been this early with any of the other three!) it scared me into action. So I started applique-ing like mad yesterday, and got the quilt top finished today.  I'm so excited about it!  It's not perfect by any means, but it could have gone much worse for sure.

*Sorry for the bad angle!*
I'm looking at places right now where I can take it to get it professionally quilted.  I'll be using the Warm & White cotton batting, which is also a first for me. I normally use the polyester stuff, but I wanted this to not be quite so fluffy, but still warm.  Hopefully the quilting will be done in the next week or so, so that I can sort of relax about it before he shows up.

Tomorrow I'll be working on a rag quilt for him too, which is also a first, so hopefully that will go well.  I got it all cut out tonight and decided how I want it to look.  Since he'll (hopefully!) be a March baby, I didn't want it to be overly warm, so I'm not using batting at all in this one.  I'm excited about all of these projects and actually being able (and remembering) to post them. So thanks for checking it out!

Toni's giving away Chocolate!

So, Toni over at Bowl Full of Lemons is teaming up with Beth to give away a basket of stuff from Dove Chocolate Discoveries!  Go check it out over there to see what is in it.  It looks so yummy (especially since I'm in the final 4 week countdown to the end of the gestational diabetes!).  Go leave a comment and enter!