Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Highlights

We love to decorate for Halloween.  Our neighbors really go over the top, and all the kids in the neighborhood have to stop by.  They have a guillotine and an electric chair, among other things.

I won't show you everything we did, but here are a few new projects I did this year:
This was such an easy project.  I had a cheap thrift store mirror that I hadn't found a place for.  I put some paint remover on the back and scraped off some of the mirror paint (I've heard you can also use oven cleaner), then I taped on an image I printed.  I got the instructions from this website.   I stuck some of my candles in the dirt.  They are so cool:  they bleed when you burn the candle.
I have been wanting to make this wreath ever since I saw it on Martha Stewart's website.  Painting rubber snakes is tricky, since paint on rubber just makes it sticky.  I used spray paint for plastic but it still turned out a little sticky anyway.  Totally worth it though.
I used my Christmas tree urn to hold my candy cauldron.
I used the lanterns I bought a while back from Ikea to use for Teacher Appreciation Week.  I put battery-powered candles inside and hot glued plastic roaches on the outside.  They looked amazing in the dark.
One of my kids was a deranged hockey murderer. Nice.
My daughter was a cow girl, and my other son wore a
Doppler Effect costume from Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory (See below). 
We just stuck white duct tape on a black shirt.
You can also see the body parts and machete hanging from the tree in the background.
Do you decorate for Halloween?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chunky Scarf

I've been seeing a lot of chunky scarves on Pinterest lately.
They look so cozy.
I found this one at Forever 21.
It ddidn't look that special on-line,
but I was pretty happy when it arrived.
That is a pretty great price.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How the Cool Kids Decorate for Halloween

Have you seen this?  A family decorated their house for Halloween with a light show set to Party Rock Anthem.  That.Is.Cool.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Help: How Do I Recondition Leather Furniture?

Have you ever seen the blog Mr. Goodwill Hunting?  Well it is written by Rashon Carraway who is a contributor on The Nate Berkus show.  He does amazing things with Goodwill finds.  Like this Baker cabinet he found for $75, which originally retailed for $17,370.  Wow.  Then he painted it gray and it looks amazing.
So, inspired by his blog, I dropped by the local thrift store, and I found a cute little gray leather chair.  I looked at the bottom and it said Crate & Barrel.  Googled Crate & Barrel leather chair and it appears they are selling chairs similar to this one for about $2,000.  I'll take it.  $20 is what I paid.
It actually looks better than the picture shows.  There are no cracks in it, just some scrapes that I think will go away with some conditioner or gray polish.  The only thing wrong with it is a small spot with packing tape sticky.  I'm not sure how to get it off, and I don't want to try things and mess up the chair.  Does anyone know the best way to recondition leather furniture?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Raw Vegetable Soup

I really love eating raw foods.  I feel good about putting pure, healing, wonderful nutrients in my body.

One of my favorite raw food recipe books is Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet.  She is the guru of quick and easy raw food recipes, and has videos on her website and youtube showing how to prepare raw foods. 
One recipe I make a lot is Garden Vegetable Soup, which is a cold veggie soup that is similar to gazpacho.  Here is a video showing exactly how to make it.  The recipe is flexible and uses whatever vegetables you happen to have.  Perfect if you have veggies that are on the verge of going bad and you need to use them up.  One of the ingredients she recommends using is miso paste, and I am hooked.  It has a really great flavor.  

If you like gazpacho, you will really like this.  I fill up 3 mason jars and eat it for a few days.  Yummy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Virginia Earthquake

I'm a California girl, living in Virginia.
(awesome photo from Blahbethany)

Need I say more?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jewelry Storage

I thought I would show you my jewelry storage today.  I put this in a while back, and it is great.  So easy, too.  Here's what I did:

I bought a poster frame at Target (clearance for a couple bucks).

I cut a peg board to the dimensions of the frame
(the guy at Home Depot can do this for you if you don't have a saw)

I took 3 scrap pieces of wood and mounted them to the wall where I wanted the pegboard to hang (top, middle and bottom).  You want the peg board to come out from the wall and not sit right on the wall because the hardware will go through the holes and mess up your drywall.  Don't make the wood too big though, because it will block the holes.

I screwed the pegboard to the pieces of wood.

I placed the frame right on the peg board and secured it with some hot glue.
On my dresser I have a silver dish for small earrings and flower pins.

You can also see my thrift store painting that I love, but Mr. Jones does not love, so I propped it up on my dresser.  It really softens the very modern furniture I have in my closet.
Stop by Simply Brookes to see some other jewelry storage ideas.

Where do you keep your jewelry?

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Thought on Parenting

I had a thought this morning . . .

(view of the back yard as I was taking out the dogs)

I was laying in bed thinking about the day ahead with the kids.
Mr. Jones was up early getting ready for work.
He works so hard.
I wondered . . .
(something got missed last night)

What would happen if
I dedicated the day to working hard as a parent?
(we had a lego building marathon)

I tend to float through the day,
do what needs to be done,
get distracted by things that interest me.
(do these ever go away?)

Maybe today I'll try a little harder.
Pretty soon the house will be clean all the time,
Legos gone, dishes fewer, shoes somewhere else.
(i cleaned out the closet yesterday. just some of the guys' shoes. wow.)

I want to make the most of this day.

Have a blessed day, friend.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Organizing Embroidery Floss

My daughter likes to make friendship bracelets.
This is what her stash of embroidery floss looks looked like.
 I was wasting time on my new favorite website (,
and I saw a photo of embroidery floss wrapped around clothes pins.
I just happened to have two packs of
clothes pins from the dollar store (30 pins for $1)
I used two packs.  $2.00
Looks so much better, don't you think?
I guess I didn't totally waste my time.

Have you become addicted to Pinterest yet?
(If you have no idea what on earth I'm
talking about, go here for an explanation.)

Here are my Pinterest Boards.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blackberry French Toast Casserole

When I went to the ornament exchange party/brunch hosted by Wendy of Simply Brookes, one of the casseroles she served was a Blackberry French Toast Casserole.
I think she got the recipe from Kristy at Mi Casa - San Diego (that's the person I would call for a good recipe recommendation, too).  Fortunately for me, Wendy put a link to the recipe on her blog.

I will include it here also:
  • 1 cup Blackberry Jam
  • 1 loaf (12 Oz. Loaf) French Bread Loaf, Cut Into 1 1/2 Inch Cubes
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Cubed
  • 4 whole Large Eggs
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ cups Firmly Brown Sugar
Cook jam in a small saucepan over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring once.
Place half of the bread cubes in the bottom of a lightly greased 13×9 inch baking dish. Top with cream cheese cubes and drizzle with melted jam. Top with remaining bread cubes.
Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour over the bread mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover tightly and chill 8 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake covered 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until bread is golden brown and mixture is set. Serve with desired toppings such as maple syrup or whipped cream

I was going to make this while our house guests were here but I couldn't get my act together (sorry house guests).
 I made it today because one of my kids is going away to camp.
The recipe called for 1 cup of blackberry jam, but I had a jar with a little less than 12 ounces and I used the whole thing.  I didn't think a little extra jam would hurt.  The recipe also says you can top it with maple syrup or whipped cream, but honestly, I don't think it needs a thing.
Except a cup of coffee and a back porch.  Thanks for the recipe Wendy and Kristy.

Do you have any great breakfast recipes?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Giant Bubbles

The nice lady at The Home Depot wanted to
know what I was going to do with this pile of stuff.
Make giant bubbles, of course.
Here is a link to my post last summer that has the recipe.
I just love making these bubbles.

Once you start making bubbles, it's hard to stop.
Sometimes we do this at night.
They seem to last longer without the hot sun.
So if you drive by my house late, you might see
people in polka dot pajamas making huge bubbles in the dark.
That's hot.

This cutie took most of the photos.

There was also a sneak hug attack after the bubbles.
And then, unfortunately, our
amazing, wonderful, beloved house guests
had to go on their way.
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