Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Winner Winner!

This must be the easiest place on the planet to win a contest. Really. With only 4 entries, you've got such a great chance!
So, number 3 - which is Sarah! Yeah girl! I'll get you your book soon!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My FAVORITE cookies . . .

I can now share with you!
Yes, it's here. In all it's delicious glory. Josi Kilpack's latest book. And it is an AMAZING read.

I love all of her books (ok, there was that one that was kind of dorky, but other than that). Her twists, her turns, her silly little side notes are just so endearing. I read this book almost as a stand alone novel. My copies have been lent out so many times, I rarely have them around, and I just couldn't remember what happened in Devil's Food. While some details help you understand some motivations and such, even if you've never read the rest of the series, you can still sink your teeth into this one. I know I did.
I may have maybe sort of read all 345 pages in less than 24 hours . . . .

And the recipes are amazing too.

Specifically, Butterfinger Cookies. Just typing that name makes my mouth water. They are the. BEST. peanut butter. cookies. EVER. And you can have the recipe for yourself!

This time Josi has made the first chapter and all the recipes available HERE in pdf format. But the recipes just aren't enough! You know you need to read this book too.

And maybe for your very own!

I've got one copy to giveaway to one of my beautiful amazing readers. It's even autographed. And with 19 followers now, competition may get fierce! Or something.

To enter: leave a comment on this post with the name of your favorite recipe. Extra hugs to those that actually link to the recipe.

Entries must be in by Monday, Aug 24th at 7:00 central time (because I like to sleep.) On Tuesday I'll throw the numbers in to random.org and find the winner.


Believe me, it's worth it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trying to not give myself Ulcers

My oldest starts kindergarten. one week from today.

There are the obvious things about this. How on EARTH could this tiny little creature:
be old enough to go to school? (and how did I become grown up enough to be her Mom?)
Do we have everything ready? Where are we going to put all the papers? Can I actually pack a decent lunch for her? Will she have fun? Will she be ok?

And then there are some more specific worries:

  • Will she stress out about riding the bus by herself (cause she stresses, A LOT, about little things, especially if she's never done it before)
  • Will she be able to find her class, her supplies, her bus without stressing out?
  • Will she be able to actually open her string cheese/applesauce/ziplock baggie at lunch?
  • Will she make good friends, or just flaky people that I don't really want her to be around?
  • Will her teacher try to teach her things that go against what her parents tell her?
  • Will she be picked on because she is such a messy person - really. When she eats, when she crafts, when she plays, she makes an amazing mess. Way more than her little brother.
  • Will she be completely exhausted and amazingly grouchy with a 6 1/2 hour school day?
  • Will her brother cope with his full time playmate gone for most of the day?

Fear of the unknown is one of the hardest fears to overcome. And this Mom is trying SUPER hard to not let her young become aware of just how freaked out I am for her. Instead I'm trying to emphasise the positive, both to her and for me.

  • She's almost reading, on her own.
  • She loves to learn, about everything.
  • She thrives with social contact-something we've been missing since we moved a year ago.
  • She insists on a "perfect" person to the outside world, which means she's the biggest angel around with others and waits for the bad with me.
  • There are dozens of people there just to help her get through her day.
  • She's only a 3 minute drive away.
  • Kindergarten is not college. The hardest thing she'll be doing is learning how to write something other than capital letters.
  • Someone else, who is actually paid to do so, will now get to answer her hundreds of questions.
  • How could I not want my child to grow, to learn, to stretch, to become what she is meant to be.

I love my Girly-Lou. I will miss her energy, her joy, her insane spaghetti faces all day long. But I want her to become an even more incredible person. So I will begin to send her out into the world.

And she will come back to me.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Freebie bookcase!

Now, you all know I love a good deal. I'm cheap. Don't get me wrong- I'd love to just be able to go buy whatever I need/want, but instead I end up spending money on crazy things like diapers and string cheese. So I made me a bookcase. And didn't spend a dime.

First time I made one of these was when Girly-Lou was a baby. I needed something to coral all the board books we had around. It worked ok, but the shelf had some issues. I think I fixed that with this version.

Seriously - you can do this today. It's even likely that you already have everything you need for this.

Supplies:
1 big-ish cardboard box (bulk diaper boxes are PERFECT)
*small-ish box (I used one of those little box thingies that they display canned veggies in)
8-15 pieces of paper (I cut up 11 because that's how many were in the stack I grabbed)
modge podge (used about 1/3 a bottle)
duct tape
paint
sponge brush
scissors/paper trimmer (you could use scissors, but this was easier)
Step 1: Decide which way your bookcase will go. Just remember, the longer that shelf you put in is, the harder it is to support it. (in other words, tall = easier)
My box was shaped the wrong way, so I had to cut off a side instead of just the flaps. No problem, still works fine! The flaps (or side in my case ) will used for the shelf.

Step 2: Decide the height of your shelf. Grab the tallest book you want to put on a shelf and place it in your box. Put the flap on top and mark where it will be. (ok, you could also measure the height you want. But my way has less math!)

Step 3: using the remaining flaps and/or extra box, form your supports. Basically, you're making an upside down U shape, with the shelf on top and the side supports flush with the sides of the box. Clear as mud? Great. Here's a picture to show what I'm talking about.

Step 4: Duct tape everything in place. Then duct tape some more. Cover EVERYTHING that can move in tape - sides, supports, shelf all around. The more tape you use the more secure things will be. nope no picture of this step. ahem. Just look at the next picture and everything that is white - imagine that silvery duct tapey!

Step 5. Ok, now you've got a basic bookcase. You could stop here, but personally I'm trying to avoid looking like a redneck decorator. So let's get ready to paint.The problem with duct tape is it does not accept paint very well. That's where the paper comes in. Cut strips of paper 1/2 inch wider than your tape (this is not exact science. Just make it big enough that it will completely cover the tape.). Then modge podge the paper over the tape. To give a more finished look, also wrap around any exposed cardboard edge.
Step 6: Let everything dry (ok, I lied. If you add in drying time this takes longer than a day. But active work time only takes an hour or so!)

Step 7: Find some spare paint and slap it on. The goal here is for this to be in Buddy's room, so I grabbed this brick red color. *if you don't have spare paint laying around, or want to match something else color wise, go to your favorite home improvement store and pick up a sample can. They are only $3 or $4, and that way you could have any color you can dream of.



Step 8: Fill 'er up! You're done. Now don't you feel good about your free bookcase?

*I may have totally forgotten to post these instructions months ago. If you're wondering how it's holding up, well, it's been five months and it still looks brand new. So yes, cardboard furniture is strong enough for 4 year olds!

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 http://www.thethriftyhome.com

Monday, August 2, 2010

Living room before and after- FINALLY!

I think I might have decorating ADD. I'm having a very hard time sticking with one project through completion. And when I do actually complete something, I'm already working on 6 other things, so I forget to update you with the details.

Oh well. There are worse things in this world!

So months ago, I posted about my awful sanding job. Remember, the hours and HOURS of sanding to remove that unbelievable texture on my walls? Let's reminisce:

Yes. THAT texture. The next step was paint. After much deliberation, colors were chosen. Happy Mom and I spent a wonderful afternoon slapping paint around. Then I stepped back and . . . . Well. It wasn't awful.

But I didn't really like it. It was decidedly ok.

Boy was that a dilemma! I didn't want to (or have!) another $50 to put down for more paint. So the room sat there for weeks, just in limbo land.

Then one day I gave myself permission to make mistakes! I have a really hard time putting up pictures - I've spent too many years in rentals where nail holes were major deals. But we own this house. I can do what ever I want to it! So I did. I put up all the pictures. It was nice! I needed new curtains - but just put up the old ones for now. Not bad!

So now I like the room. Half finished is not the time to make judgement calls. It's not done - I still want to make some throw pillows, need to paint a couple of frames, and I'd like some better curtains - but it is SOOOOOO much better than the original!

So here we go.

The beige blah before:Yes. Beige walls. Beige carpet. Beige curtains. This room needed some color! (OK, this picture is actually from the middle of the sanding adventures. There were actually pictures on the walls at some point!)

After:
Green Prettiness!*the weird looking sign has our last name on it. It looks totally normal when not photo shopped.

Before: frilly blah curtains:
After: same curtains with a seam removed. With a decent wall color, they look pretty decent!
Before: the most hideous pointless ceiling fan ever created:

I entered this in an ugly lamp contest! No wall switch, only takes 3 night light bulbs, and uglier than anything!

After: breath a sigh of relief! Hubby and my Father in Law wired this puppy up (dimmer and all!) so there is actually a usable light in here!
And some extra shots just for fun:

We also finally put up a door frame here:(and my happy little console table!)
The switch in the corner is the one we installed:In case you couldn't tell, the far wall is actually an accent wall. The light color is Behr Sagey, and the dark is Egyptian Nile.

I'm super happy with it now. I know it won't stay this color forever, but for a couple of years at least, here's my new room.




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