Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spring Fever

I know this may seem really early, but I can't wait for spring and all of the fun flowers that go with it! I should never have opened my recent issue of BHG, because it's what started the fever. Check it out for great pictures and ideas for spring flowers.

Another reason I can't wait for spring is because I planted A LOT of bulbs at this new house, along with quite a few perennials, and I can't wait to see what comes up!

I just love the blue of hyacinths.

Oh how I love daffodils, especially the ones that aren't your common yellow.

Tulips come in so many fun colors!

I planted all of these beauties all over my yard last fall.

So am I the only one who can't wait to see all of the new stuff coming up in the garden every spring?

Does anyone else love dirt under their fingernails from planting flowers?

Who else makes plans all winter long for the outdoor projects they would love to get done once the weather warms up?

Does your husband moan knowing that his honey-do list doubles when warmer weather arrives?

Did I mention that Easter is my absolutely favorite holiday because it coincides with spring?
(Plus my birthday!)

See, I'm so excited that random thoughts just come spewing out of my mouth and onto this post!


The bummer is that we are dropping back into the 20's tomorrow after beautiful, sunny, spring fever inducing, weather last week.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!

I thought that I would share a little something that I made last night. I know a lot of you may have made calzones before, I have myself. Really though, this I made this dough in my food processor and it took me maybe 5 minutes. I got the recipe off of this website: Here's the actual recipe:

  • 1 cup water, at body temperature
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce, or 2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  1. Measure the water into a 2-cup glass measure. Add the yeast and sugar. Stir with a fork and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil.

  2. Combine the flour and salt in the work bowl of a food processor; pulse to mix. Stir the yeast mixture again. With the machine running, add the liquid through the feed tube in one 5-second stream, then let the machine run for 10 seconds. (If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl, turn off the machine and add 1 tablespoon of flour through the feed tube before continuing.) Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 30 seconds.

  3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl; rotate to coat. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Makes enough for two 10-inch pizzas.

This is what the dough looked like after I got everything mixed up. I know this is a pizza dough recipe, but I figured it would work on calzones, and I was right! (I have no idea why this sentence is bolded, and I can't seem to fix it, sorry!)

I also liked this recipe, because it only needs to raise for 45 min., and of course, I'm always remembering to make dinner at about 5:00 p.m. Plus, I always have the ingredients on hand. I just broke small pieces of the dough off of the big ball and rolled them out on my handy, dandy, Pampered Chef mat. You could use whatever fillings you want, ricotta cheese, mozarella, pepperoni, canadian bacon, pineapple, mushrooms, olives, etc. I made about 6 calzones out of this recipe so was able to make several different kinds. I put the fillings on 1/2 of my round and then folded the other half over and pinched the two sides together. You can brush them with an egg yolk and water mixture for a nice and pretty crust. (I didn't do this 'cause I was in a hurry, as usual!) I then baked them at 425 degrees for 20 min. They should look something like this:

(Photo courtesy of

I didn't get a picture of my own finished product because by the time things were done I had a husband and kids screaming about how hungry they were. Uuugh! I served these along with some marinara sauce out of the can, I guess you could make your own if you have more time than I do! Good luck with that! Some cut up fresh fruit, and I was done, and everyone dug in! I got good reviews and, even better, everyone was quiet because they were so busy eating!

Now I know this is not a gourmet meal, but it's a good go to meal that is hearty and popular...a definite repeat in my house.

504 Main
Tidy Mom I'm Lovin It Fridays

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Valentine's Finally

I know, I know, I'm joining the party late. All the link up parties started waaayyy back at the beginning of the week. I've been a little busy with stuff, k. I have now completed my CEU's needed to renew my nursing license. So what if I don't really need a license, it is easier to keep it than lose it and try to get it back. I also had a job interview today that I was worrying about. We'll see how it turns out. So after getting all of that done, I decided to reward myself with some craft time and a little Valentine's fun.

My first project was this fun little V-Day sign. This was so cheap! I spent about $.50 on this at the DI (Utah's version of goodwill), and then spray painted it with what I had on hand. I used a couple of sheets of scrap booking paper, a sheet of felt, and foam stamps and paint I already had. The whole thing cost me a buck fifty. Not bad! I know things aren't perfectly lined up but I kinda like the imperfection as it reflects my life in general, which I'm good with.

I then decided I would do a Valentine's vignette in place of a mantel scape. I found the cute little heart garland at Joann's along with the hearts stuck in the white basket, and on the block letters.

Of course, I had to add in some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the shape of hearts. (These are my personal favorites!) I also recycled my scented pinecones by spraying them with more white spray paint. I'm not quite ready to let go of the winter decor, so I combined it with my V-Day decorations, why not? It's my house so I can do what I want, don't ya think?

I think the whole thing has turned out to be fun and is probably the most I've decorated for Valentine's Day in years. In the past, I always felt like I just got the Christmas stuff down and can't be bothered to pull out more decorations. I caved this year. Plus, my kids are getting older and absolutely love it when I do these things, and I love it when my kids are curious to see what mom is doing. It turns into great time together.:) I still would like to try the crepe paper flower balls I've seen on other sight. This time of year is a good excuse to do all those cute, frilly projects that don't happen very often with three boys. It all depends on how busy things get.

I love how this little project has reminded me of how many things I have to love about my life.
Hoping this Valentine's Day is fun and full of love for everyone! Thanks for taking a peek!

UndertheTableandDreaming The DIY Show Off

Monday, January 24, 2011

Life Savers

This topic comes up only because I spent a large part of this last Saturday cleaning my home. I really do try to follow the advice that Becky at Clean Mama offers. I do try to do laundry, sweep the floors, wipe the counters, and pick up the clutter EVERY.DAY but sometimes life just gets in the way of a spotless house.

I really did use to be one of those people who couldn't have one thing out of place. Ask my brother, we used to have battles over him walking across my perfectly lined up vacuum marks in the carpet. (He still loves to torture me, he's just found new ways.) My bed used to get made every day, and I was my mother's cleaning lady, which she loved! All of this changed when I got my first dog. To those who don't have dogs, they are worse than kids sometimes. They don't care if they ruin your vacuum lines, they leave hair everywhere, chew things up, are great running partners, and love you unconditionally. One dog became two and were great preparation for being a mother. I got used to messes and learned not to panic when one happened.

Despite all of this, I really do try to keep things as clean as possible and have come up with tools that are "Life Savers" in helping me. I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with these but they still deserve a shout out from me. These tools are....ta da!:
My Swiffer duster, for wiping the dust and cobwebs off of things right before I get notice someone is on the way over for a visit. Another Swiffer product...I love this Swiffer sweeper that catches all of that dog/cat hair that inexplicably escapes the broom and dustpan.
My new find and hallelujah product is this little Libman mop that has washable microfiber pads and a chamber you can fill with the cleaning solution of your choice. (I use vinegar and water.) I did formerly love the Swiffer Spray and Mop but this is so much better because it I don't have to buy disposable pads (you can just put the microfiber ones in the wash) or any special fluid. LOVE IT!
Finally, the last and the best...Clorox Wipes! These help me to keep my sanity. They wipe up any mess you can imagine that 3 boys or 2 dogs could make. I've even used these things on my mirrors in a pinch! (Not perfect, but good enough most of the time.) I wipe down door knobs, bathroom counters, toilets, floors, etc. with these things. I know it's bleach, I know it's not organic, but it settles my nurse sensibilities and need for clean. These few things are my favorite, but not only cleaning products. An honorable mention goes to Mr. Clean erasers, and Clorox toilet wands.

By the way, my next thing to try is the line of Shaklee products. I do like the idea of non-toxic organic cleaners. I'll let you know in the future if they earn the ranking of best cleaner. Rumor is they do. However, I don't think I'll ever give up my Clorox Wipes! Also, I don't have a cleaning routine or any other special advice, other than I try to clean up whenever the opportunity presents itself. (This is not after my kids are in bed, because I'm exhausted at the end of the day, and am not the Energizer Bunny who just keeps going and going!) I know this must seem mundane to ya'll, but it sure is a big part of my life and I just had to get it out there...amazing what makes my world turn, huh?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Light Box - Part 2

Aaaaaaah! Can you hear those angels singing? I have solved that problem that has been nagging me like an itch that you JUST.CANNOT.REACH. My itch this week has been this headboard project. Take a look here for insight into the issue and how I made this out of my kitchen light box. I really didn't like how the first finish I did on this light box turned headboard came out. I think this version is sooooo much better!

(I apologize for the dark pictures taken at night - I just couldn't wait!)

I am loving that this finish is more of the brown, old, distressed look I was originally going for and not a pink nightmare. It was definitely a long process. I ended up painting it with my Heirloom White spray paint again. Once that dried, I sanded to give everything a more distressed look. I tried my ebony stain in one corner for the glaze. HATED IT! (Does this remind you of In Living Color?) I painted a.g.a.i.n and then tried some dark brown paint left over from painting an accent wall. I watered it down and voila! It was perfect!

A HUGE improvement over the pink finish I originally got!

One more time:

Don't you just love it when a really bad outcome turns out ok? And yes, I do realize that I still desperately need to get updated bedding and find a real nightstand (not a tv tray) to make my guest room great. A girls gotta leave some things for another day!

I'm linking up to:

PhotobucketFurniture Feature Fridays
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Tatertots and Jello

A Day in the Life of Max

So today I thought I would post about a little person who is my buddy. He is always at my side, and keeps me hopping to stay up with him. Of course, I'm talking about my 18 month old, Max. I waited 4 years after Tommy to have this little guy, and he has been a true blessing.

Now don't get me wrong, my other 2 boys are little blessings as well. The difference between my older two and Max is that for the first time, I have been home with him 24/7 through all of those big developmental milestones. It has been more work than I ever thought possible. It is THE-HARDEST-JOB in the world! However, it is also the most rewarding. I worked as a nurse full time with the older two, and will probably need to do so again in the future, but I'm eating up this opportunity with gusto!

Max is the busiest little boy and he is a scavenger!

I cannot keep him out of my pantry! I don't want to put a child lock on my new cabinets, so it's my own fault. His favorite snack is crackers of any kind! Wheat Thins are his personal favorite.

I am constantly cleaning up crumbs and anything else he can get his hands on. Aaaargh! Yesterday I caught him with chocolate smeared all over his face, hands, and the pantry door, and discovered he had broken into the Hershey's Kisses stash. He had about 3 kisses, foil wrappers and all, stuffed into his mouth!

Besides constantly eating,(only what he wants, of course)he is always on the move. He is up and down the stairs to the play room in the basement and primarily responsible for the mess that room is constantly in. If I clean it up and put things away, it is an open invitation for him to dive in and drag EVERY.SINGLE.TOY all over the room again.:) At least he is good at entertaining himself most of the time!

I love this little stink, as I affectionately call him! My baby boy is the best! Of course, I might be a little biased...hehehehehe. Better go, I hear wrappers crinkling in the pantry!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Best Mess

In honor of the link party over at Decor Chick, I decided to show everyone my real home and real mess. With my three boys, two dogs, and cat, it is impossible for my house to stay picked up and clean for very long. I really do sweep, vacuum, pick up, and wipe things down on a regular basis. Really, Clorox wipes are My Best Friend. It takes a lot of the ewe factor out of things the kids and animals spread around.

I do admit though that paperwork is my downfall. Filing - HATE IT! Take a look at the cabinet I stuff all this paperwork into. I think this is the whole last year's worth of bits and pieces of paper I shouldn't get rid of. I would rather throw it away than file it...darn it!

Next is my constant, non closetable - I know, not a word - mess in the toy room. This room is in my basement and is also my guestroom. For this reason, it usually, gets cleaned up (you guessed it) when I have guests.:) It seems like I clean it up, turn around, and the toys are everywhere again! Blah! I do intend to go through and get rid of broken toys and donate those that don't get used much...just after I do the filing...hahahaha!

So now ya'll know how real I can be. You have seen the messes I don't let anyone else see. A little embarassing, but I hope it all sounds familiar to someone else out there!

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