Thursday, February 25, 2010

A missed opportunity and some randomness...

A few days ago the Office Stylist mentioned big sale at Chiasso. "Sale" is one of my favorite words so, of course, I checked it out. I fell head over heels in love with this beautiful silver wreath.

Gorgeous, huh? And the best part - it was 71% off. Wowza! I couldn't believe it, so I set off to count how many windows I could hang them in next winter.

Well, I guess my counting took a really long time, because I when I went back to place an order I saw the worst words ever - "This item is discontinued and no longer available." Ahh! I could have screamed or cried, but all that would have been a little dramatic, so I just pouted a little and moved on to searching the internet to find something similar. No such luck. But don't worry, I will definitely keep looking [or come up with a DIY version...I do have almost a year].

Fast forward a few days to last night...I'm in bed about to fall asleep when it hits me - I had seen an e-mail this morning for "ONE DAY ONLY: Free Shipping on Decorator Super Sale" at Home Decorators. Without thinking twice, I jumped out of bed to go look if there was anything we "needed." After all, I didn't want to miss out on gorgeousness twice in one week! Seriously, I have problems. But there were some beautiful items on sale, such as...

and this area rug.

Lovely, huh? But...I didn't end up buying anything. I realized that when you are buying things online, late at night, while your husband is probably should have a pretty darn good justification for needing them. This realization didn't keep me from looking more though, because on the homepage there was also a link for free shipping on select lighting.

How can you not check that out? There are probably about 57 lamps that I would love to have, so I can't even begin to show you all of my favorites. But I did have to show you this...

It looks a lot like this next one, doesn't it?
The Art Deco Table Lamp from Target.

It makes you do a double-take. I noticed it right away, because I had used the Target lamp in this mood board.

You wanna know something interesting? The Target lamp is $59.99...and the Home Decorators lamp is $44.00 and has free shipping. Not what I would have expected. Interesting, very interesting. [Unlike this post, which is just getting long, very long.]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cheerleading cookies...

For the past few months, I have been coaching an Upward cheerleading squad of kindergarteners and first graders. They are absolutely adorable and I have loved every minute of it. Yep, even the minutes when they splashing each other with the water from the water fountains, hiding behind furniture, running through the halls or doing silly dances [and trying to convince me that I had taught them the silly dances].

Actually, looking back, those might have been some of my favorite moments.

Or maybe my favorite moments were when they told me that they couldn't cheer for boys basketball "because the boys wear tank tops and that's GROSS!" Or when they said "Miss Paige, you're the best teacher ever." [They really said that, I swear I didn't make it up!] Or last weekend when they completely rocked out their pom routine at halftime.*

Or maybe my favorite moments were during the devotion times when they told me that "reading the Bible is fun" and "they love talking to Jesus." Or when they all told me they really wanted the white star for showing Christ-like behavior.

Basically, everything about the experience has been really great. So, I want to do something special for these special little girls this weekend at our last game...and I want that to be cookies. I can't decide exactly what I want them to look like, but here are my ideas...

Basketball cookies, since that's what we cheer for...

Megaphone cookies in the team colors...

Or letter cookies with a "G" and "O".
[This is the idea I'm leaning towards...I would put both letters in a bag and tie on a note with words to one of our cheers. Oh yeah, I would also have little green and white pom poms tied on. Wow, I should really get to work instead of jabbering!]

I will try to actually remember to take photos and let you know what I end up doing. Go cookie-making, go! :)

*[Side story, but I was seriously beyond proud of them...Every time we did the routine in practice last Friday I let them count the beats out loud. And they counted really, really loud. Not sure why, but they did. I was incredibly impressed by how well they were doing though because we had just finished learning the routine and they had to perform the next day, so I decided not to worry about it. Well, Saturday I changed my mind and decided to tell them to try to at least count quietly...but then I forgot and said nothing. When halftime came around, the music came on and they all start doing the pom routine...and not a single one of them was counting out loud. And not a single one of them missed a motion. I seriously sat watching them in complete awe with a giant goofy grin from being so proud of them all. And I'm pretty sure I had the goofy grin of excitement the entire weekend. :)]

Caramel apple deliciousness...

I love to bake. Cooking, not so much really. But if it involves sugar, sign me up for making it. Cookies, cakes, brownies, muffins, pies - you name it.

So for Christmas at my in-laws this year, I offered to make a pie for dessert. The unanimous request was for a caramel apple pie like I had made last Easter. Well, between the long drive back in a snowstorm, getting stuck in the snow when we stopped at our house to pick up the gifts, and a few other random things happening, I didn't have time to make the pie on Christmas. Or the three days after that when while we were all snowed in together. Turns out we were way too busy playing games, watching movies and napping.

This past Saturday we all got together for, you guessed it, another game night. And we decided it was about time we had a pie.

Enter a delicious caramel apple pie [and the actual point of this post]...

Okay, so this isn't the actual pie we made. We ate our whole pie before anyone could even say the word picture, so this picture is a random caramel apple pie picture from here. It is the same type of pie though...and has a lattice crust...and was made with Pillsbury pie crusts...and makes me very hungry just like the one we made.

Back to the point [sorry, I get really side-tracked when I talk about pie], the pie is incredibly easy to make. Here's the quick and easy, pretty much made up as I went, recipe:
  1. Peel and cut apples until it looks like enough to fill a pie pan.
  2. Mix the apples with two heaping tablespoons of brown sugar and two heaping tablespoons of Bisquick.
  3. Add cinnamon and nutmeg to the apples until they are all sorts of yummy.
  4. Put one Pillsbury pie crust in the bottom of the pie pan.
  5. Squiggle caramel syrup all over the bottom crust.
  6. Add a layer of apples and squiggle more caramel syrup all over.
  7. Add the rest of the apples and, of course, squiggle more caramel syrup all over.
  8. Put on the top crust. [I always do a lattice top because they make me look fancy...but really I learned how to make them in cooking class when I was a sophomore in high school and never really learned how to make any other type of top crust.]
  9. Bake the pie at 350 degrees for about 40-50 minutes.
  10. Enjoy some deliciousness.
The first time I made this pie my mom and I actually used caramel squares. So, we unwrapped about a bazillion of them, cut them in half and then melted them to add them to the pie. Umm...yeah, using caramel syrup was wayyyy easier.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baby news...

My sister and her husband found out Friday that...

So now, we all have frogs and snails, and puppy-dog tails on the brain. Because that's what little boys are made of. Okay, really our brains are full of things like cute fabric for the nursery, baby showers and finding a Longhorns baseball outfit for the new baby.

For a cute nursery (that looks similar to the picture above), check out this post at Design Dazzle. I love the circle rugs on the floor. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One last post about gifts...

Okay, this is the last belated post about Christmas gifts and it is all about my brand new...Cricut machine! Yippy! Seriously, I love just saying that I have a "Personal Electronic Cutter Machine."

My mom and I found a great deal on it at Joanns on Black Friday. And by "great deal," I mean pretty much the best deal ever. The machine is regularly priced at $199 but with the combination of door buster deals, coupons and even a teacher discount...we got it for $60.

So, ever since Thanksgiving I have been dreaming about all the fabulous electronic cutting I can do. You see, this machine is the perfect thing for me, because well, I'm just not so good at manual cutting. I honestly think that maybe I missed the day of kindergarten where you learn about scissors and how to cut. I'm not totally unable to cut...but I am completely incapable of cutting at all quickly. And the thought of cutting out the insides of shapes or letters completely intimidates me. Seriously, in my middle school science class, my teacher would cut projects out for me because I was so slow at it. But now, my Cricut has saved the day and I can cut again. :)

Except that I am so excited that I can't even decide what to use it for first. I feel like the first project should be something memorable. Yes, I know I'm a dork, but this is big for me. Here are some ideas I love...
Basically, I am sure you will be seeing a whole bunch of Cricut projects from me in the future. :)

More gifts...

Continuing with my belated gifts post, the next category is gifts I want more of. :) These are three items I received from my mom, sister, and mother-in-law. I love them so much that I want to make more of them - I think they could all be recreated, I just need to figure out how...

First, was a blouse similar to this one from the Loft. I love the flower details and would love them on a whole bunch of similar tees. I believe I'm going to need to learn to sew... 

Next, is this necklace from Stella & Dot. Love it...and pretty much every piece of Stella & Dot jewelry. So I also need to learn jewelry making...

And the jewelry making will also help me to make cuff bracelets like this and an assortment of colors. This isn't the exact bracelet I got, but it is the same lovely idea...


Okay, I know Christmas was months ago, but I wanted to share some of the great gifts I received, so please bear with me for a few posts. First up are three homemade, extremely meaningful, family-related gifts...

The first gift is this sweet little bear made from my grandpa's old shirts, ties and, of course, overalls. [My grandpa always wore overalls. The only time he would change was when my grandma made him.] My aunt made one of these bears for each of his children and grandchildren. I love how each of the bears is unique and such a great way to remember my grandpa.

The next gift was also made by my aunt for all the children and grandchildren. [She was really on a roll this year!] She gathered all of my grandma's recipes and compiled them in books for each of us. My favorite thing about the book is that it just confirms again how much like my grandma I am...probably 88% of the cookbook is filled with dessert recipes. :)

And last in the "family" gifts category, was the yearly scrapbook update from my Godson. Someday when I have kids, I will definitely be continuing this tradition for their Godparents. At the beginning of the scrapbook, it says "You shared with me my Baptism Day,"...

"And now I invite you to share with me my childhood."

And each year for Christmas I get adorable updates of this little cutie!

Good things come in big packages...

Coming home to a package on the porch is one of my very favorite things. And today I came home to a huge box with our new bookcase from CB2.

We are planning to put it together this weekend...which probably translates to sometime in April. Either way, stay tuned for pictures of the bookcase set up in our office. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

While my husband is away...

Every Tuesday my husand has to work late. Which means that every Tuesday, I generally do one of four things:
  1. Go shopping
  2. Work on a craft project
  3. Write on my blog
  4. Or watch lots of Days of Our Lives
I have now officially done all four. It has been a very good day! Stay tuned for more about my shopping and craft.

[And if you are a dork like me, check this out for more on Days of Our Lives. But don't spoil anything for me!]