Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Favorite Project from Last Year...

This past year (make that the last 6 years) has been full of projects.  We bought a "fixer-upper" and at times I think we bit off more than we could chew.  However, over time and through lots of money, we have literally remodelled EVERY room to make our house our home. 

Now we are finally getting to spend time on the details.  This is the hardest part for me.  I have no problem picking out tile for the kitchen or wood flooring for the house.  But this project was so much fun for me.  I found 8 dining rooms chairs on Craigslist for $3/each.  They were so gross.  But I painted them black and reupholstered the cushions with burlap.

Then my incredibly, talented husband created these stencils for me. 

I absolutely love the way they turned out.   He also made me some stencils to look like the European house numbers.  I have plans to use those this year on all sorts of things.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Red Gingham & Milk Glasses

So my husband and I did something a little unorthodox this year for Christmas.  We didn't spend more than $20 on presents for each other.  On Christmas morning I gave him a bottle of cologne and he gave me some accessories from H&M.  Things we knew the other person would want.  But we also gave each other the gift of cold, hard cash.  You see, there were plenty of things that we both wanted for Christmas, but we also enjoy the hunt for the perfect after Christmas sale.  Not to mention finding all of the things we didn't know we wanted, but then seeing it at the store, falling in love with it, and taking it home with us.  Add to that, not having to suffer the guilt of  "I just spent a 'crap-load' (technical term...look it up) of money on Christmas and I really shouldn't buy this." 

Since Christmas we have enjoyed finding our sales and making our purchases.  And I absolutely LOVE coming across something that I didn't know I was looking for, and then WHAM!  its there & its on sale!!  For instance, I found these milk glasses at Home Goods today clearanced to $1 each!  My mother-in-law has very similar glasses at her house and my kids love to drink milk out of them.  This is not something that I would have put on my Christmas list, but I'm so glad I found them.  And my red gingham shirt??  LOVE IT!!!  I realize its a little bit country, just like my milk glasses, but its just what I wanted.  And once again, its not something that I would have put on my list. 

So how about you?  Have you ever waited for your Christmas presents until after Christmas?  Do you enjoy opening presents on Christmas or do you like getting cash?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Fun

Our family had a wonderful Christmas holiday...

...Cousins had fun building Legos together...

...Candle Light service at church...

...and then there was the Zipfy.  You cannot imagine how fun this little guy really is, but I will help you try...

This is the hill at the entrance to my Mom's neighborhood.  I realize that its a pretty sorry excuse for a "snowy hill", but thankfully the entire thing was covered with ice.  Who really needs snow when there is ice??

Even Daddy took a turn.

The statues at the top of the hill are 3 dancing rabbits.  They are made from recycled items and covered in bronze.  Take a closer look...

Its thing like the Zipfy that will help me make it until Spring.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cream & Black

Confession:  I'm not the greatest at decorating.  I enjoy looking at beautifully decorated rooms.  I like to read magazines full of decorating ideas.  I even have some great ideas in my noodle, but they just seem to stay there.  Locked up.

But when it comes to getting all of the finishing details into a room, I get distracted.  I would LOVE to have someone professionally decorate my house.  (honestly, I would love to be able to afford someone to professionally decorate my house)

About 3 years ago, my husband and I remodelled our kitchen.  (I will post pics of that some other time)  I have always had a hard time deciding what in the world should go on top of my cabinets.  Its really like "no man's land".  Suddenly I decided that I would just keep everything cream and black. 

Over time I have collected several pieces.  These are a sample of some of those things. 


Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Christmas Tour of Homes

Hey!  Check out the 2010 Christmas Tour of Homes on


Tons of great decorating ideas for Christmas!

And the guessing game continues...

This is Gray.  I love that name.  (And it's important to note that I named him Gray BEFORE Grey's Anatomy was on TV.)  He's my middle son and he's 6.

I'm beginning to think that Gray may have wheat/gluten intolerance.  He's been complaining of his stomach hurting every time he eats.  This has been going on for a L.O.N.G. time.  I mentioned something about it to the doctor at Gray's last well check, but the doctor didn't think much of it.  He suggested that I eliminate dairy for a while and if that's doesn't help, then assume that Gray's looking for attention.  Huh?!

Well I eliminated dairy, but there was no change.  So months have gone by and just like every other good mom my standard question for him when his tummy hurts is,  "Well have you pooped today?"  But on Saturday night, like a bolt of lightning, it struck me.  Maybe its a wheat/gluten thing?! 

Sunday morning we were running out the door for church and I gave Gray a muffin.  Sure enough, within an hour he was having stomach pain.  We went over to my mom's house for the rest of the day and I made sure he had NO wheat.  And guess what!  No pain! 

Now I understand that serving him only 2 meals with no wheat does not mean success, but it does mean that I may be headed in the right direction.  Time will only tell.  Until then, I'm on the lookout for some stellar gluten-free recipes!  If you have some, or know someone who does, PLEASE send them my way!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

stay focused...Stay Focused...STAY FOCUSED!!!

Whew!  This whole blogging thing is not only time consuming, but also REALLY addicting.  So here's a little confession...I haven't wanted to do anything else this last week.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  Zilch.  That doesn't really go over well with the husband.  I mean I have done some things this week, but the word "balanced" doesn't even belong in the same sentence as "blogging" for me.  Until yesterday...

My very good friend, Keriann, wrote a post on her blog, Loving Hearts at Home, yesterday that was just what the doctor ordered.  Recently Keriann came across a website called,  They sell chore charts for grown ups!!  Just what I needed. 

Here's how it works.  You purchase the chart you want, pay for it, and then download it to your computer.  Then its up to you if you print it out or just view it on your computer.  But here's the kicker....are you ready???  It is a chore chart for the entire year!!  Everything already listed for you with a cute little check box next to it.  AND, if you are so inclined you can choose the chore chart that includes daily Bible reading assignments.   I'm sold!  It costs $8, but if you use the code LLNOE it will only cost you $7!  Seriously people, this is a beautiful thing.  (And they did not pay me to say that.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One Week Down...

Wowzers!  I don't know what to say.  I feel like Sally Fields at the 1985 Academy Awards.  I have the urge to say something spectacular like "You like me!  You really like me!" 

When I started this blog last week I really thought that no one and I mean NO ONE would ever see it.  But you have proved me wrong.  (Its not the first, nor the last time I'm sure)

In just one week over 400 people from 9 different countries have viewed my blog.  I'm sure to those of you who have been in the blogging business for some time think that those numbers are nothing.  But to me, Ms. Small Potatoes, that's obscene! 

This past week has been a blast!  I'm learning so much about blogging and how to develop my "brand".  I hope that you will continue to be patient with me while I work out the kinks.  I have lots of ideas floating around in my brain and I can't wait to share them with you. 

Thank you.

My All-time Favorite Christmas Cookies

I going to attempt posting the recipe for my Grandma Truman's Orange Drop Cookies.  These are the best cookies EVER!  Hands down.  End of story.  Here is goes...

This is what you are going to need:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar;  3 1/2 cups sifted flour;  2 cups of powdered sugar

Juice from 2 oranges;  2 Tbls. grated orange peel;  3/4 cup of shortening;  1/4 cup + 1 Tbls. softened Butter;  1 tsp vanilla;  1 cup Buttermilk;  2 tsp baking powder;  1 tsp baking soda;  1/4 tsp salt.

And 2 beaten eggs.

Cream together 3/4 cup shortening; 1/4 cup butter; and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar in large mixing bowl. 

Add 1 cup buttermilk;  1/4 cup orange juice;  2 beaten eggs;  2 Tbls. grated orange peel; and 1 tsp vanilla. 

It should look something like this.  I realize that this isn't very appealing, but hang with me.   I promise this gets better.

Sift together 3 1/2 cups flour;  2 tsp. baking powder; 1 tsp. baking soda;  and 1/4 tsp. salt  Then slowly add to the mixture.

See there!  Doesn't that look better?! 

Using teaspoons, drop batter approximately 2 inches apart on cookie tray.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until slightly golden on edges.

Remove from oven and cool.

Now for the icing...

In a mixing bowl combine 2 cups powdered sugar;  1 Tbls. butter and juice from 1 orange.  (about 1/4-1/3 cup)  You may want to use less juice to get the right texture.  You want it to be smooth, but not runny.

Beat until creamy smooth.

I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to cookies.  I like to just slap the icing on and be done with it.   But do however you feel is best. 

My favorite way to eat this cookie is with a cup of hot tea.  Mmmmmmmm.......

Hope you enjoy!  And I hope it wasn't too confusing.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This one is ALL Boy...

I don't have any clue what its like to raise a girl.

I have 3 boys.  My oldest is creative.  My middle son is sensitive.  And my youngest...

He's an old soul with a bit of a dare devil in him.

He's convinced that our neighbor's 6ft tall mound in his backyard is the black diamond trail at Breckenridge.

I'm thankful that its not.

And although I don't usually enjoy the cold weather, his pure enthusiasm for the snow helps me to appreciate little things like this.

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