Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day Desserts

I made two desserts this year for Christmas Day. The first one is my Apple Pie that I have made a million times. You can find the recipe in this post. I also tried out a Baklava recipe from Martha Stewarts' show. I was so afraid to make Baklava. I thought it would be extrmely hard with all the layers of phyllo was a little difficult but not bad. It was my first try and there are a few things I would change. For one I miss counted the layers and so the tol was thicker than the bottom. Also I think the recipe called for too many nuts. It was still delicious though. I enjoy it when I served it the next day it wasn;t as gooey from the simple sugar. I am so hard on my self...oh and sorry if anyone found pieces from my pastry brush!!!! I guess I need some new ones...they were falling off and I didn't realize it until I cut it..oh well!!! Now I am off to clean up the mess. I think it may take all week!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Annual Baking Day!

My sister, my mom and I always get together and have a baking day before Christmas each year. This year we made a few different cookies each. My mom made Chocolate peanut clusters, Finger Frets, and Peanut Butter fav! My sister made English Toffee and Thumbprints. I made Thin Mints and Soft Ginger other fav. It was really fun...we always enjoy ourselves and eat way to many cookies. Here are the recipes:

Big Soft Ginger

2 1/4 c Flour

2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 c Margarine, softened
1 c Sugar
1 Egg
1 TBS Water
1/4 c Molasses
2 TBS Sugar
Preheat 350
Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl. cream margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Then stir in the water and molasses. Add in the dry ingredients gradually. I like to refrigerate my dough for about 30 mins. If you don't have time it is not necessary. Then shape into balls, about the size of walnuts, and roll them in the remaining sugar. Place on cookie sheet and flatten down slightly with the bottom of a glass.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and they are ready to eat!

Chocolate Glazed Peppermint Cookies...aka Thin Mints

1 c. Butter, softened

1 c. Sugar

1/2 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Egg

1 tsp Vanilla

2 1/2 c AP Flour

Chocolate Peppermint Coating

1. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, add salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 10-inch roll. Wrap each roll in plastic. Chill about an hour or until firm enough to slice.

3.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut rolls into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to a wire rack;cool.

5.Dip each cookie into the Chocolate-Peppermint Coating, turning to coat all sides. Scrape off excess on bottom with thin metal spatula. Place on cookie sheets lined with wax paper. Chill until coating is set. Makes about 40 cookies.

Chocolate-Peppermint Coating

In a medium saucepan, combine two 12-oz packages semi-sweet chocolate pieces, 1/4 cup shortening and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until chocolate and shortening are melted.

Cookies can store in freezer p to 3 months!

Christmas Brunch

I was seriously considering bailing on the Christmas Brunch this year when I heard that my Aunt(who caters it) said she was not asked to make her wonderfully, delicious, smack yo mama stuffed french toast!!!! But I snapped out of my depression and knew that I had to set up my table and not disappoint my ladies. I love setting up my table each year. It is my most favorite thing to do and I started planning like 8 months in advanced. I actually already have next years theme!!!! We are asked to set up 6-8 place settings and do a centerpiece, napkins, name cards...etc. It is so fun to see all the different tables. This year I did a twist on the Three Wisemen. My dad made me the cutest manger and I got gold bulbs and filled an apothecary and stuck the lyrics to the We Three Kings in it. I also had a candle in a pretty holder and a perfume bottle..representing Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

No Christmas this year

It is not beginning to look a lot like Christmas at my home. There has been no Decking the Halls...until....last night!!! Yeah I know there are only 10 days until Christmas and I have no tree up. I am the type to have a "devil tree" as The Hubs calls it...yep straight from satan he says. There is no Jesus in a tree that has matching bulbs. No Jesus in a tree that does not have tinsle or colored lights!!! Oh geez..he has so much to learn. I do have matching bulbs and huge amounts of ribbon cascading down my tree each year...but I also have my ormanets that I received each year growing up. I also have some of Scott's...(however, his Snowboarding Polar Bear is always placed safely in the back of the tree)shhhh:).

I have been so overwhelmed lately. I finally just had enough and told The Hubs to just start taking boxes out and hopefully that would get me in the Holiday Spirit. It worked...I feel much better... still need my tree but it does feel more like Christmas. I am trying to not get too bogged down and keep the true meaning of Christmas in my heart. After all Jesus is the Reason for the Season and this year he has blessed my family so much..the least I could do is put up a few decorations in his honor.
As you can see in the pics Shane is loving the decorations. This year is going to be so fun. Whenever he sees lights he says " wooooow"!!! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and take sometime to enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Blog Design!!!!!

I have to say this is a little premature...but I just can't wait to share my new blog header. My talented Graphic Designing sister made it for me..thanks Leah!!!! I decided to move all of my posts from my blog SummerShares over to this one. I never liked the name of my other blog and soon I will be deleting it. Leah still has a little more tweaking to do but it is coming along great!

Flour power started in my little brain when I was in High School. That is when I decided to go to Culinary School. I wanted to open up a bakery once I was done with school and call it Flour Power! It was going to be retro and just so fantastic...but after two years as an Event Planner I decided that I prefer to bake as a hobby and the food service industry was tough!!! The Hubs has however reignited my fire for owning my own bakery or restuarant of some sort..who knows maybe once our lil' guy isn't so lil' anymore I can start to think about it again. For now I will try and bring you great tried and true recipes here on my blog. I am a first time, full time mom with another full time job as a Criminal Researcher, so no promises on how often you will get these tasty lil' nuggets!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Delights

Happy Thanksgiving!
I have about 10 minutes before I need to finish up my work day so I thought I would share a few recipes that I am making this year. The first one is a recipe from one of my favorite Chefs...Tyler Florence. It is sooooo good! It is a Brussel Sprout Hash. I never knew my love for Brussel Sprouts until I saw him make this on his show and they looked so good I had to try it. Now I make it about once a month. Since we are already making mashed potatoes I will omit the potatoes.

Bacon and Brussel Sprout Hash

Extra-virgin olive oil...2 Counts
4 slices of thick-cut bacon
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lb of fingerling potatoes, split down the middle
2 cups Brussel sprouts, cut into thick slices
1/2 lb red pearl onions, peeled
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set a large saute pan over medium heat and add a 2 count of olive oil. Cut bacon into long strips and add to pan together with thyme. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes to render the fat then strain and set aside. Discard half the fat in the pan then add brussel sprouts, potatoes and pearl onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly browned. Add chicken stock and steam for 3 to 5 minutes until liquid has evaporated and vegetables are tender. Add balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Cook until balsamic has reduced then fold in fresh parsley and bacon.

The second is Williams-Sonoma's Cornbread Stuffing Recipe. My family always asks for it. I almost didn't make it this year because The Hubs calls it "Fancy Stuffing" and he doesn't like it..but sorry babe everyone else does so you can have unfancy stuffing..which is delicious too:).

8 cups cubed day-old corn bread (1-inch cubes)
2 cups cubed day-old country-style white bread, crusts removed (1-inch cubes)
1 1/2 lb. mild Italian pork sausage, casings removed
1 to 2 Tbs. olive oil, if needed
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup roasted and peeled chestnuts, quartered (I do not add this to my stuffing)
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary and thyme
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a shallow gratin pan.Spread the corn bread and white bread out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown and dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Set aside. In a sauté pan over medium heat, brown the sausage, stirring and crumbling with a fork, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the olive oil to the accumulated fat in the pan, if needed. Add the onion and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage. Add the corn bread and white bread, the chestnuts, herbs and stock. Season with salt and pepper and stir gently to combine. Transfer the dressing to the prepared gratin pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until browned and crispy, 35 to 40 minutes more. Serves 10 to 12.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Craft Night and Master Bedroom Accessories

I hosted another craft night this past Friday. There were five of us that got together and made Christmas wreaths. They all turned out so cute.
However I forgot to take pictures of them all:(

I also went to a Holiday Limo Tour of about 5 gift/antique shops in Riverside with my mom and a few of her friends. It was really fun. The limo took us to a shop that was participating in the tour and we got out and shopped and then got back in the limo to take us to our next shopping destination. I did not find anything until the very end at an antique store called Old Glory. I have never been there and I can't believe that it is only a few minutes from my house!!! I found the white horse chess piece pictured below!!! It was only 22.46. It is going to go great in my new Master bedroom. I also picked up the votive candle holders below at Michaels for like 1.00! I had just seen them in a magazine for a lot more so I was so happy I ran across them. And finally, another accessory for my Hollywood Regency room that I am so excited about. I made my own Starburst Mirror from two items from the Dollar Tree. I knew I wanted to use bamboo skewers for the Starburst portion...I had the gold paint and when I went to the Dollar Tree to find items for my Christmas Wreath I was so excited to see a round mirror and then a little ways down I saw a Styrofoam round that the mirror would fit perfectly on. I just inserted the skewers into the Styrofoam round(after painting gold) and then glued on the mirror. For a finishing touch I added some gold banding to cover the ugly parts:). It of course is not super amazing but for 2.00 and some change I would same I am very pleased with it. I can not wait to put this room together.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Money vs Time

I have really been taking a look at areas in my life where I can shave off a little fat. That really just made me think of loosing weight and that is so not where I was going with this..but I guess I should think about that too. Another time. Back to the situation at hand-money$$$. It is no surprise that so many people are struggling right now and are taking a look at what they truly need rather than what they want. It really is a more simpler life. Less stress, but the finer things in life are missed. I am not one to wash my used Ziploc bags and hang them to dry..or use cloth diapers..or really even recycle...but I think that whatever works for your family is great.
I recently joined a coupon site online. is a great site that lists grocery stores or Drug Stores that feature certain discounts, along with coupons. My goal is to get something for free! My first good deal was at Vons. Yes, I know most people think Vons is expensive (including The Hubs) but the people there are so nice and helpful and it is never busy and the checkers don't talk to the box people like a certain store that I HATE. I will give you a clue it rhymes with Cater Pros..sorry that was lame:(. Anyways, I hate grocery shopping so I need to prove to The Hubs that I can shop at a nice store and still get some great deals. I saw there was a sale on Glade products. If you bought three you got them each for .99cents each. Then I had a $1.50 off coupon if I bought two. So, originally they were 1.99 each..that is 5.97 and I got them for 2.97-1.50=1.47...a grand total of .49cents!!!!!
The checker had a hard time finding the coupon though. I was in line forever as she looked for it as it was an in-store deal. Finally, the manager just did an override of the system and gave me the discount. This discouraged me a bit. This is the reason I don't use coupons. I am always behind someone who does and there seems to be some sort of an issue. So, all this to say is your time more valuable than money.
We use products these days that are made to cut down on time for daily tasks. Such as those Swifter products. I use the dusters and the floor cleaning pads. It is great ...I don't have to take the duster outside and pounce out the dust as it gets all over me. I don't have to bring out the mop bucket and mop. that really worth the amount of money I am spending monthly to purchase the refills? Maybe I am going to the extreme. I feel though that we have become a society that needs instant gratification. Who has the time to get out that mop bucket, or prepare a meal instead of waiting a few minutes to get some fast food. I am guilty of even waiting for my fast food any longer than 5 minutes and getting irritated. When my computer is slow it is so frustrating. I started to think back to what I did 5 years ago, then 10 and finally 20. Then what my parents did that seems so ancient or prehistoric now...sorry they probably would not appreciate that reference.
Just think about the evolution of the phone. Just in the last 50 years there have been so many changes. From the rotary dial, to the push button dial, to voice prompted dial..I am always amazed at what they can do with technology. Is this all too much? Have we become lazy and dependent of technology to get us through the day. 100 years ago I wonder how my Great-Great Grandparents announced the news of my Great-Grandfather's birth. Today I could have someone videoing my son's birth with their Smart Phone and have it uploaded to Facebook in seconds or better yet YouTube for the whole world to see...not that I would appreciate that technology..but it could happen!
So, in conclusion, I am not going to turn into one of those super frugal mom's, who sews their children's' clothes and makes their own baby food. That just isn't me. I am however, going to not waste my money in areas that I could be saving a lot. I want to be a smart shopper. CA is so expensive and with this past election I do not see any change for the good. We would love to have another child and be able to allow me to not have to work anymore. That would be so wonderful!!!! So I figure unless I have no knowledge of currently being pregnant..I have at least about a year to save and learn to live on less and take more time to do things that will save me that hard earned cash$$$.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mama Woes

Woe is me! I am soo tired. I think I may be dying. Ok not really I am a bit dramatic, but I seriously can't keep my eyes open. I feel like I did when I was pregnant..uh oh!!! No I am sure that is NOT it. Shane has been super cranky. Scott is gone in Vegas and I think Shane is upset.

I went to Kohl's because I have been in desperate need of new jeans. I got paid and I headed straight there. I always seem to find a pair on the clearance rack, this time was no different..I was so happy. About five minutes into our Kohl's adventure, Shane started fussing. Ugghhh...really lil man??? "Momma needs this retail therapy", I cried out inside. He didn't get the vibe. I had to get a few other things. I was there less than an hour, which is good for me but not for Shane. I had planned on going grocery shopping too, but that did not happen. Accompanied to Shane's crankiness, is his clingingness(spell check did not recognize this word). So, I tried to take a nap on the couch when we got home, but my little monkey did not want that to happen.
Ok..I am still not done complaining (I mean telling my story). I also was asked to work OT. At about 9:15PM I put Shane to bed..hallelujah!!! Signed onto my computer and could not get up enough strength to move my mouse...forget this. I had worked one hour of OT earlier and decided to work a few extra hours today instead. Off to bed I go....well not quite..I suddenly had all this energy..figures!!! So I decided to go into bed, but just read. As I mentioned Scott was in Vegas and so I knew it would be hard for me to fall asleep. I turned off the light around 10:20 and so it began.
I swore that I heard someone breaking in at least 17 times. I was so upset with myself. I prayed and just said Lord, please give me a peace and let me fall was now 11:00. I knew at 11:20 I could probably be close to falling asleep because that would be one hour since I laid down. I could feel myself falling into a deep sleep and then what is that I hear at 11:21??? Shane crying!!!! Are you serious? He has not done that in weeks... if not months. I had to start laughing. So this is what I signed up for being a mommy. I quickly jumped up, got the juices flowing again, and went to check on him. He was in the same position he was when I laid him down and I think his arm or something fell asleep..because he wouldn't move. He was in so much pain..poor guy. I found his binky and rocked him for a bit and he went back to sleep. So, now I had to start all over again! Dear Lord..please allow me to just pass out..AMEN.
12:33 I have probably been asleep for no more than 10 minutes. Dog jumps on bed. Bad idea for dog. I quickly snap at him and tell him very sternly to get in his bed. Daddy lets him sleep on his side..but that is a no no when it is just me. He never returned back to our dog!!!!!
7:30 Shane wakes up. So much for getting in a few hours extra of sleep. Oh well it was a nice idea. I know God did not do this to be mean, or Shane, or the dog..but it is so weird. It seems as a Mom that it is impossible to sleep any more than 6-7 hours. I guess that is why everyone always tells you to sleep as much as you can before your child arrives. They were not kidding! You will never enjoy those Saturdays where you can sleep in as long as you want. I guess I will have to wait until Shane is a teenager to experience that again.

I told The Hubs that there are three things that I rarely get now that I have a child.
1. Sleep..obviously
2. Sex...sorry, but it is true..who has time or energy for that!
3. Showers..I am lucky if I get 2 a week...ewwwww!!!
And now I can add Shopping to the "S" list. I wouldn't trade any of it though. I am exhausted, clothes are needs to be is a mess..but even though I don't get a few of those "S's" on my list I gained the cutest, smartest, sweetest and most wonderful "S" of them all- SHANE!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I am sure The Hubs will be thrilled to find out it is even easier for me now to search through listings on Craigslist! Over at Three Men and a Lady she posted about this great new "easy button". I just recently really started to look through all of the antiques and furniture posts on Craigslist and it is a little difficult. With Craigseasy it posts large pics of all the listings at once so it is so much easier to browse. You have to check it out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mood Board

If you are like me..anything you can create on the computer you do. My handwriting is horrible so if I can type something up it always looks so much better. If the computer can touch up a photo... I let it. I have a bunch of cut outs from magazines that I pasted onto a board for particular rooms in my house. I love so many different designs..I found it best to always put together a mood board to keep me in one direction. I have found though, in my current home that I did not do that yet again and am not really in love with anything in my house.

We moved this year into a smaller home(1,000 sq ft smaller)!!! Most of our furniture fit except for a few pieces..but most of our bedroom furniture did not. We decided to sell it. So, now I have been in search for pieces that I really love. In one of my latest posts I told you about my Craigslist find! It is a Hollywood Regency style dresser. So that is my design direction. I wanted something modern for The Hubs and something Vintage for me. Your probably thinking Modern...Vintage...two total opposites. It really works though. I am taking vintage pieces and painting them with modern finishes to bring them up to date. Giving the furniture a face lift basically.

Anyways, back to the reason I mentioned using the computer to do your dirty work. I found a site that you can create a mood board using your own downloaded pictures or preset images that are from stores like Ikea and West Elm. It is sooooo awesome...however addicting. I already spend way too much time on the computer so I need to be careful. The site is Below is the Mood Board I did for my Master Bedroom. I was wavering on an accent color. At first, I was thinking red, then yellow...then even royal purple..but I really wanted the room to feel a bit brighter with all the gray that already existed. So yellow it is!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Craft Night

After a few friends had mentioned they wanted to get together for a Craft Night I decided to host a night of crafting:). It was so much fun. We made fabric pumpkins that I had seen on a blog I follow. They were a bit difficult but it was worth it. They all turned out so cute. It was fun to see each person's personality come out in their pumpkins. Next month we plan on starting our Christmas crafts and are going to do wreaths!!! So fun! Here are also a few recipes that I made for the night.
Pork Wontons
24 wontons
1 cup finely chopped Napa or Savoy cabbage
Coarse salt
6 ounces ground pork, not all lean
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil ( I only had vegetable and it turned out fine).
In a medium bowl, toss cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Wrap cabbage in a double layer of paper towels; firmly squeeze out excess liquid. Return cabbage to bowl. Add pork and oil to a pan and cook; add scallions, ginger, soy sauce and cabbage. Cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, lay out wonton wrappers and make an egg wash(1 egg with 1 TBS water). Apply egg wash with a pastry brush on two adjacent edges. Add about 1 tsp of pork filling to middle of each wrapper. then making a triangle press out any air around the filling. Heat a pan of oil and fry until crispy brown. Filling can be refrigerated up to two days. Martha Stewart recipe.
Downeast Maine Pumpkin
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Craigslist Find!

You know when you are looking for a particular item and you finally find it on Craigslist. When you see it your heart races and then you find it for a great deal..and you start to sweat. Your mind starts racing..hoping no one else already called on dream about redoing it and can't sleep at night. one else does that??? Call me crazy but I just happened to be searching for night stands on Craigslist and then I came across a listing for a "Sexy Headboard"lol. It was not the sexy headboard that caught my eye but the dresser that was also pictured.

It was a faux bamboo dresser that I have seen redone and it is amazing. It is from the 70's from the Bali Hai Collection from Henry Link. I tried to rack my brain about where I had seen it online before. I go to so many sites that I knew it might be difficult to find. So I just Googled "faux bamboo dressers" and there it was. I had first seen it on Design*Sponge. They did a feature on High Street Market, who had redone the dresser I just bought. Their dresser was missing some hardware and so they put new gold hardware that is so stunning. I really love the original hardware and it is still in good condition so I am going to leave it. I am however going to spray it a glossy white.

I am redoing my Master Bedroom slowly...but I will post pics as soon as I get this piece painted and then in the room..yay for Craigslist!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Growing sooooo faaaasssttt!!!! That is what I want to yell at my son. On the 16th he turned 1 1/2 years old:(. His little personality is really coming through. He is quite the character. He makes me laugh out loud daily. He has begun this thing where he tries to tell me something that just happened. Like when I get home from the store and he was at home with daddy..he will begin to mummble and and then say "where did momma go"? He then starts yelling "momma" "mommma"as if he is showing me how he was calling for me while I was gone...too cute! Oh and did I mention he is the smartest 18 month old on the's true! He knows probably around 80 joke..he definitely gets that from his father(the talking a lot part).

Well I guess this was just a post to brag about my little guy. Which is totally fine...right??? Everyday gets better and better. I am so blessed to be his momma!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ugly Pics No More!

I was so excited to see a post on making your photos better without Photoshop. I would love to have Photoshop but I do not. So, when I saw that I could download Picasa for free I was so all over that! I even put together a little collage and edited one photo and put text on it...amazing. So hopefully I will not have to apologize for all of my ugly photos no more! Here is the link to Little Miss Momma'a post. Oh and it is so easy to post to blogger as well since they are owned by Google. This is going to allow me to post more!!!!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 15, 2010

Target Clerance Tips

Target has to be one of every ones favorite places to shop. I call it my "Happiest Place on Earth" :). I came across some tips from a blog that I totally forgot the name of...I think Chicy Creations....anyways I did copy some Target Clearance Tips that she case you did not already here it is:

Monday: Electronics, Kids clothing and Stationary
Tuesday: Domestics, Food Items, Pets, Women’s Clothing
Wednesday: Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden, Men's Clothing, Toys
Thursday: Books, Decor, Housewares, Lingerie, Luggage, Music and Movies, Sporting Goods, Shoes
Friday: Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware and Jewelry

If the clearance price ends in a ‘4′ (i.e. $1.94) then it is at its lowest price!

I also think the clearance goes from 30% to 50% to 75% off..don't quote me on that though.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Will It Ever End!!!

I am sure most of you women can relate to the feeling of the never ending cycle of laundry, dishes, cooking and cleaning. I have been so overwhelmed with keeping my home clean that I end up just doing nothing (usually I end up posting a blog..instead of cleaning). Working Full Time and having a 1 1/2 year old are great excuses...but I want to be a better "house keeper". Keeping this house clean is a tough job. My last house was brand new. So it started off perfect. The house I am in now is 35 years old. Everything looks warn down and nothing ever looks clean no matter how much I scrub. Also, our home before this was 1,000 square feet larger. That means that I have 1,000 square feet of stuff that I need to find a home for. Needless to say our garage is filled to the brim. We recently had a yard sale and got rid of it..but the garage is still full of "stuff" and I look around and see so much more that I need to get rid of. I think too I am a minimalist..who has a shopping addiction. So, being in a cluttered home drives me crazy..but I can't stop buying cute little home decor items. I love home decor. The Hubs always jokes around when I say we can't afford such and such..he says well if you hadn't gone to Target twice already this week or Marshalls than we could!!! Sad... but probably true. I buy stuff also when I have no place for it. I can't imagine not getting it though...I rationalize in my brain that it is my little prize. I never get mani/pedis or buy clothes so this is my treat. I now realize with my smaller home though that I can't do this. Unless I have space for it...I must step away and run in the opposite direction(unless it is the purse section than I must keep running right past that as well).

Some how this turned into a confession of my shopping addiction. I had no intention of this being a therapy session with blogland and myself..but whew..I feel better now:). Soooo, the purpose of this post was to share some cleaning tips I have read. I realized that in order for me to function better that I need to have a clean and organized home. One that is not full of clutter and excess stuff. The first area I am trying to learn more about is laundry. Since having the little one..I can do laundry 3-4 times a week. I realized that I really have no idea how to properly wash different items...such as White, Colors, Towels, Sheets...etc. I just through everything in and then dry. I recently started using fabric softener in my loads of sheets and towels. They never seemed to smell clean. But now they are too strong smelling. I don't use dryer sheets. Never used bleach until recently. My laundry knowledge is very limited. I use liquid detergent..I know to separate whites from colors and that is it!!!!

I decided that the Internet would be the best place to start. I also have a few of those 1,001 household cleaning tips books. Wow...why have I not looked into this earlier??? Actually I know the answer. I never question what I am doing. I never think about if I am doing something the most efficient way or not. I just do. Ok that is another confession and needs to be saved for my next therapy session:). Here are a few tips I came across in case any of you out there have been doing laundry the same way since your mother taught you years ago(actually my mom uses dryer sheets and knows tricks...I just failed to listen) :

Whites- To get whites clean you can use 1/2 cup bleach and 1/2 baking soda mixed in the water before you throw in your laundry.

A full load is efficient but a load that is too full will not allow the laundry to clean properly. If you have a top loading large capacity like me 12-15# of laundry is a full load. Hold the laundry and weight yourself to find out how much 12-15# of laundry is.

Dryer Sheets- Help with static and soften clothes. Also used to clean stuff but that is a whole other post apparently.

Fabric Softener-used in place of dryer sheets in washer. Usually automatically dispersed in newer models. Reduces wrinkles. Downside- Makes towels less absorbent and flame retardant clothing less retardant:).

Black clothing-Add black Rit Dye every 8-10 loads into the water of washer.

Towels- If they are sour smelling-use bleach when possible or 1/4 cup of Febreeze or 1 cup vinegar in addition to your normal detergent.

Finally, don't forget to clean your washer and dryer. To clean your wash mix a paste of vinegar and baking soda. For your dryer, vacuum the lint catcher area to remove any excess lint left behind.

Hopefully this helps someone. I am sure most of you are pros by now. Learning from others is always a great way to know what works and what doesn't.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I haven't posted in awhile because frankly I have been sooo tired and super busy at work. We have had such a backlog for the past few months. We are finally working normal 40 hour weeks instead of 72 hours!!!! I was so grateful for the work because The Hubs is working a lot but in Real Estate it can take months before you get paid. It was such a blessing...but very exhausting.

Now that I am back to normal I am getting caught up on house work and also starting to craft!
I am hosting a craft party this month. Hopefully we can get together each month and work on a craft together. It is always fun to get the girls together and do something girlie. We are going to be making fabric pumpkins for our first meeting.
I have a few other ideas for the next months as well. I love crafting. I love it so much I am actually I am going to turn the guest/catchall room into a craft room. I know once we have another child I will have to remove it all but that wont be for another year or so. Here are a few inspirations:

I am also getting excited for my Christmas brunch at church. It is my favorite thing to do during the Christmas season. I dream about the Stuffed French Toast my Aunt makes each year. Mmmmm...that reminds me...I need to get that recipe from her. I also decorate and host a table each year. This year I got an early start. I had this idea in my head and could not stop thinking about it. I am crazy..I know. It has evolved from the original idea but it is going to be cute. Can't give away any details but once it comes around I will fill you in...:). Well hopefully I will start working on more projects and be able to post more. With this hot "Fall" weather we are having I haven't felt much motivation to cook any fall recipes. I am getting anxious though. I made a Apple Pie, Pumpkin Cupcakes and a Carrot Cake. Hopefully it will cool down and I can bake some more. I am making Corn Chowder and Gumbo this week no matter how hot it is. Happy Fall Y'All!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pumpin Spice Cupcakes

I had some company over last night and was in the mood for something with pumpkin. It was an impromptu gathering so I hadn't planned on making anything , but I got online and found Ina Garten's Pumpkin cupcake recipe and just happened to have all the ingredients. I love it when that happens. I even had cream cheese for the frosting! Below is the recipe I used and then just made a basic cream cheese frosting.

(please excuse the horrible pic once again)
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Makes 10 cupcakes (It made 17 for me)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.
2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
3. Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use a level 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Master Bedroom Mood Board

We moved into our house in mid March and since then I have neglected our master bedroom. It is very small but really is fine for a bedroom. I come from the standpoint that the actual bedroom itself should only fit a bed, nightstands and a dresser...then there should be a huge bathroom with a seating area that leads to the enormous walk-in closet/dressing area. I think my last bedroom/bath was the size of half of my new house. Oh well...I am happy where I am and I need to get motivated to spruce it up.
I never make my bed. I used to when guests were coming over for the first time..but with the little one here now I just say that it is off limits and no one gets to see it. I think it is because I have such ugly bedding...well and because I just don't wanna! I have searched high and low online for a bedspread, comforter, bed-in-a-bag, duvet or any type of covering that I would like. I had an all black comforter before with little white and grey specks. It attracted to much lent and dog hair so I know I do not want that color again. I thought of all white with a band of grey but with a husband, dog and lil man in the house that is just not a good idea. Finally I decided to go with red. The walls are all grey and the accessories are silver and black so the room needs a punch of color. The bathroom is grey and red so it will work out perfectly. Now to find some bedding that I like that isn't 1,000 dollars!!!! This has been an impossible search.
I decided to just put together a mood board so I can stick with my plan and not change my mind a million times.

Patterns I am toiling with:

This is a wall stencil that I am going to attempt:

And finally a few accessories that I like:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Simply me

Many bloggers like to write an "All about me" post. I kind of thought that was cheesy but it is so interesting to see the blogs that I follow often have a blogger behind them that is so similar to me. I think every girl thinks fondly of Target and gets all giddy when she receives her Michael's coupon...but it is so much fun to see what else makes everyone tick. it goes...this is simply me...

I like to pretend that I have a great eye for design...and maybe I do...but my brain and hands don't allow me to make that a reality. I can't draw a straight line or hang a picture without making at least seven holes in the wall. I am a perfectionist and so projects get started but then quickly are halted and production is stopped and a professional is called in (aka..The Hubs).

When I am feeling blue...a quick 3 minute drive to Target cures all. I have been known to go there three times in a week. Marshalls and Lowes also do the trick. I am the handy one in the family (unless is involves straight lines and hanging pics...that is why The Hubs and I are a perfect match).

I love the beach..however I probably actually have only been in the water a total of two times in the last seven years. The Hubs does not enjoy the water...I work full time and the thought of me in a swimsuit around mass amounts of people scares me and will scare them as well.

If I was single and had no family I would live in Maui.

I am a boys mom. I always wanted two boys. Girls scare me. Although I would like to have a girl for the sole purpose of decorating her bedroom (Is that so wrong???). It would be overwhelmingly all girl. Pink, tulle, frills, tutus, chandeliers, pink, polka dots, chenille and more pink!!!!!

I am a spelling Nazi. I am a bit of a snob about it. I make mistakes and so therefore I have decided I can not judge....but really people! I am horrible about punctuation. That is why I always use (...) because I have no idea if a :, ;, or a . is needed:).

I am extremely and painfully shy. I am getting better. People don't scare me (man..I am afraid of a lot of things) as much as in the past. I used to cry before school or events where large amounts of people would be gathered. I am learning to Love God and myself and that is helping me love others.....long process:).

Home is where my heart is. I love everything about homes. From the front door to the back yard and everything in between. I even lovvvve to paint. It transforms a room with little money just some blood, sweat and lots of tears. You can tell a lot about a person just by taking a look at what they chose to surround themselves with.

I HATE drama (except for The Real Housewives..obsessed). I think that is why I like boys more than girls. But my few girlfriends that I do have are soooo awesomely amazing and are drama free. I am very laid back... drama and loud noises make me have panic attacks.

I do not appreciate animals. They leave hair everywhere, lick, jump and are quite rude to guests. I do not appreciate animals in my bed...yet my dog is probably curled up under The Hubs blanket as I type this. If I was single I would only have fish or maybe a fish. They are quiet, don't scratch, don't shed and only require a few flecks of food and a water change every once in awhile. Most of my friends...including The Hubs are animal lovers....I have forgiven them. I can look past their insanity and remain talking to them...just not about their pets.

I do need to mention dog Vinnie is pretty alright for a dog....ok he is a really great dog..but that is the end of this conversation about animals.

Last but not least....I love my little family. The Hubs is so loving and loyal. My two favorite qualities in a man. He makes me lol at least once a day. (see pic for proof)
My favorite thing to do is to make HIM laugh though. My lil buckaroo is so sweet. He is such a boy and I love it... but am seriously afraid for his safety on a daily basis. (It keeps the ol' ticker goin'...right?). He is the perfect addition to our family. God truly has given me more than I I am hoping to return the favor and be the Godly woman he has intended me to be.

God Bless!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Music Lover

My little man has been a music lover since he was in my womb. We would play music in the car and he would start to move all around in my stomach. Since he was just a few months old everytime a song came on he would start grooving. He has a play microphone at home and at Grandma and Grandpa's. He always sings in it and puts on a show. The kid loves music. Scott recently got out his guitar and played for him. He stands on the guitar case and dances and claps. He love the "tar". Last night we went to our last Summer gathering at church and afterwards Scott had to do sound and so as the worship team practiced Shane was on stage and he ran in the back room and after only one second came running out to join our worship leader and Kim (pastor's wife) with mic in hand. He danced around as though he was channeling a gospel cute! It is fun to see his interests develop at such a young age.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beach Trip

We went to Huntington Beach this past weekend with our frinds Ryan and Heather. Now when I say beach trip I don't actually mean we touched the sand with our feet or got in the water. Who does that! No, we walked the pier and went shopping and then went to Duke's. The Hubs is not a fan of the Ocean so I am going to have to go at least once this Summer and get in the water with Shane. I have to say it was soooo crowded so I am glad I am planning a trip when all the kids will be back in school. If I could I would live on the sand but unfortuantely I never go to the beach because of my work schedule and the Summer always slips by so fast! But I WILL make it once this Summer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Home Cooked Meal

It seems like it has been ages since I actually cooked a home cooked meal. The Hubs would definitely agree that it has been too long and far between some good meals. If we do eat at home it has been something super quick and easy. The Hubs always says that it is ok and it is also cheaper but I found myself starving (figuratively and literally) to be in the kitchen for longer than just 30 minutes. For some women that may seem like torture, but for me it is sooo relaxing. There is nothing better than to use amazing ingredients and prep all of them and then to get cookin'! Tonight I made a pasta dish I found online. It is really simple, but I jazzed it up a bit. The main sauce is a cheesy Asiago sauce. It starts off with just a basic Bechamel and then you add the cheese and seasonings. You combine that with Farfalle pasta and some spinach..very easy. I wanted it to be more of a main dish so I added Chicken, mushrooms and zucchini. It turned out really well. The Hubs (who is not a Italian food lover) even liked it. Here is the recipe and some really bad pictures..believe me it tastes way better than my pics!

Pasta with Spinach and Asiago Cream Sauce

makes pasta course 12 people or main for 8 people


2 lb. pasta of choice

4 Tbsp sweet cream butter

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c. milk, plus an additional 1/2 c. if needed

2 c. shredded asiago cheese

1/4 tsp garlic salt, plus more to taste

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1/8 tsp paprika

1 c. baby spinach, chiffonade ***I just used regular spinach
*Note...I cooked chicken breasts as the pasta was cooking and chopped that up into bite sized pieces. Seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Then I cooked the sliced mushrooms and zucchini together in some olive oil and butter and then garlic and salt and pepper.

Directions:-In large stock pot with salted water, bring water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

-Meanwhile in dutch oven or large, wide-bottom pan, add butter over medium heat.-Once fully melted, add flour and stir with large wooden spoon to combine well.-Cook, stirring well, for two minutes and and milk, stirring well, 1/2 c. at a time to turn roux into a smooth bechamel.-Turn heat to low and add shredded cheese, stirring well to combine thoroughly.-Add salt, pepper, paprika and stir well to combine.-Add more salt to taste if needed (depending on the saltiness of the cheese).(Remove from heat and bottle sauce here if making ahead)-

Once pasta is done, quickly strain, reserving 1/2 c. pasta water.-Add pasta to cheese sauce pan, along with spinach and stir well to combine. -Add pasta water if needed to achieve nicely coated pasta.-Transfer to bowl and serve. ***Note I did not need to add any of the reserved pasta water.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Growing Pains

Recently I have experienced quite a few "growing pains". For many of you it has been years, but I found out that as a parent you have to go through them again. This time they shoot right through your heart. The "growing pains" I am speaking of are not your own growth, but that of your child.
Shane will be 16 months in about a week and a half. Tonight I bought a tub stopper and bath mat, so that he could take a big boy bath. I found myself staring at the products wondering if I could just maybe hold off a few more weeks. I should have already retired the baby bath tub a long time ago...but I couldn't. It meant throwing out the fact that my baby is not a baby and is now a toddler. So along with the bath water...out went the baby tub. It is now dried...wrapped in a Hefty bag...and sitting out in the garage along with the shopping cart protector(cause mama isn't a hypochondriac any more about eat're fine), the pack and play that has not held you captive in months, your bouncer and soon your high chair will be added to the mound of out grown baby products. If you have seen Toy Story 3 then you know about how sad it is for the toys to be put away..I wonder if the pack n play and bassinet are getting along out there???? I am sure the bouncer is keeping them in line...(cue duh bum ching).
This must be the time when most mama's have the urge for another one. Hmmmm...I think I will just take some Advil and call it a night. Growing pains are tough...but labor pains are tougher.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blogging- As A Profession

Wow! I am daily amazed at all of the talented people out there in blog land! Many of whom have children and seem to post new crafts or design projects that they are working on..on a daily or weekly basis. I was beginning to feel like a blogger failure. Then I just told myself that this is something I enjoy getting inspiration from and that it is not necessary for me to post something everyday or heck even every week. I am so thankful for all of you who do. It is almost like a second job for many of you. I can see many of the blogs develop into a business. Selling your creations on Etsy, providing design services online and other things of the sorts.
Here are a few of my favorite blogs whose creators spend so much of their precious time for us to enjoy...thanks!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My new collection

I always wanted to collect something...something different..unique. But my fear of clutter always clicked in. You know once you mention to anyone you love...say soon have cow mugs, cow towels, cow salt and pepper shakers and the ever so popular cow mailbox....seriously a collection could get out of hand real quick! Growing up my Nana bought me these beautiful figurines each year for my birthday.(I actually need to find those...and display them). I then began collecting stickers, shells and handkerchiefs. But as an adult I have never had a collection of anything. I am not sure how many you actually have to have in order for it to be a collection, but I decided that I want to collect buckets!!! Exciting, right?? Ok so maybe not to you but I love the beach and I thought it would be cute to collect sand pails or buckets..vintage and new. I wanted something that would be harder to find and make a cute display. So, I bought my first one with my bday money:) It is from a site that I discovered a few months back It is a bit pricey, but they just happened to be having a 25% off sale was a sign from above:) There were so many to choose from but I chose the anchor design. I can't wait to receive it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

She's Crafty

Since I started blogging, most of my design inspiration comes from fellow bloggers. I think I have watched every design show on HGTV so I am glad that everyday I can see what everyone is up to and learn some new craft, design and cooking skills. There are so many talented people. I am so thankful they take the time to share their gifts.

These past few weeks I have to say have been so stressful at work. We have had to work four hours a day of mandatory OT. That is nice for the bank account, but not for the already tired mama. Something gets neglected when you are putting that much time at work. Unfortunately it was my family, friends, house and ME! I decided to start working on a few little crafts. I know...why add more things to do. I had an awesome three day holiday weekend for the Fourth of July and so I decided to do absolutely nothing (except clean my bedroom).

The first project I actually completed a few weeks ago. I happened to go to my weekly Michaels run (The Hubs calls it an addiction...whatever). Outside in front of Michaels I spied a frame that was the perfect size for my Menu/To Do board I wanted to make. It was on clearance for only 4.99! Then inside I found rub-on transfer for the days of the week, Those were I believe .99 cents and finally found scrapbook paper that matched my kitchen for .19 cents. It was meant to be. I spent less than 5.00 on this project.

This was so easy to make. I just lined the inside of the frame with the scrapbook could also use fabric...which might be better since you get a line where the two piece of paper meet. The I rubbed on the days of the week and viola..a Menu/To Do board. This is more of a To do board since my Menu usually is not decided until 6:00 everyday:).

My second crafty project was for Shane's Nursery. With the popularity of Monograms and putting your child's name somewhere in the room...I have found it hard to decide what to do. I started with the traditional wood letters over his crib. I used western scrapbook paper and hung them with ribbon across a dowel. Then I decided in our new place I would use the S and put it on a memo board covered with a bandanna...cute but still not feelin' it. Finally I saw a blog that took the child's initials and cut them out of different fabrics and framed them all. Here is what my finished product looks like:

I think I might paint the frame red or blue. I also am working on another similar project that I am going to put up in a few more days. Pics to follow soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Silohette Giveaway

Ok I know this is a bit silly but I really want this machine!!! Here is another giveaway. So amazing!


Have you seen this thing yet? It is like something the Jetson's would have...I think it may make you dinner and put on your makeup (not really but people need to get on that). Ok, anyways a fellow blogger is giving this away...yay free products!!!! I know that I couldn't convince The Hubs to buy this for me so I will just have to try and win it. It cuts paper for paper crafts with designs you can download or design yourself..wall vinyls..stickers...everything!!!! Super fun....if you don;t hear from me for awhile you will know I won it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Garden

We recently moved into our new home in March. The owner walked us around the back yard and gave me a quick tutorial of all her plants and trees. I tried to remember everything, because I love flowers and trees but I don't know much about taking care of them. Most of our grass is dying because who has time to hand water their lawns these days? (Yes, we have no working automatic sprinklers...ugghh). I tried to not kill anything....but there have been a few casualties. There might be hope in resuscitating them though..I'll have to read up on that. The other day I was looking through my husband's office window. We have a shed and then next to that a rose bush and Peach Tree. Peaches are my favorite fruit..however...I always forget to water this side area because well it is on the side of the house I never see daily. When I was looking at the Peach tree through the office window I guessed it...PEACHES. Amazing..I thought surely there would be no fruit this year because of my neglect. I picked a handful but there are still another dozen or so. I am so excited I can't wait to make some cobbler and peach iced tea..mmmm. Then I thought I better check my Orange Tree and sure enough it is loaded with fruit. I picked a dozen and there are still a couple dozen more. I also have a Lemon tree that produces beautiful lemons for my weekly homemade lemonade. There is also a Plum tree but I am pretty sure those don't give fruit until Fall or some time later. Finally, I have a beast of a tomato plant...I forgot to take pictures but it is about 4 ft tall and about 6 ft wide! It is a combo of regular red tomatoes and then a million of those yellow pear tomatoes.

I really hope I can hone my green thumb and keep these beauties alive. I feel like a lil' ol' country girl out picking her harvest...but this city girl is a little afraid of bugs and she will have to wait for The Hubs to help pick the rest of the fruit waiting for her.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer!

Oh how I love Summer! I hate that I have to work though...times like these I wish I was a teacher, so I could enjoy this season to it's fullest. I would be at the beach at least once a week. I would be a golden brown tone instead of marshmallowy...or better yet pretty much clear! Hope you all are enjoying your FIRST DAY OF SUMMER! At least I get to be in the pool for round two of swim lesson with Shane!