9.30.2010

It's 7 O'clock - Let's Shop!


I just got the funkiest journal and I have to show it to you! It's called the RevolveR Journal and is like a journal with a hidden compartment - it unfolds from inside and flips out to reveal a secret, hidden journal! If they have journals at Hogwarts, I would imagine them to be like this. One section of the journal is lined, for lists and such and the other is unlined for sketches and doodles.

It is beyond description - here, you just have to watch it to understand how it works (my kids now think I'm a magician!):



I like to use mine as an entertaining journal. I use the lined side to write out the guest lists and the recipes and the unlined side to sketch out ideas for centerpieces or table layouts. Also, I totally have a section in the interior hidden part of the journal for my kids Christmas lists! Shhh...

But the sky is the limit...poetry on one side, sketches on the other? How about a remodeling journal - budget and lists on one side and room layouts and swatches on the other?

This cool journal with "two beginnings and no ending" was invented on a summer evening in a log cabin in the Catskill Mountains by husband and wife book-production and design team, Ellen and Matt Dudley. Doesn't that sound like romantic beginnings for an invention? Man, I love stories like that!

I chose the red/black combo but I also love the silver, blue, and leaf green colors. Maybe I'll get them all?




What would you use your RevolveR Journal for?

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9.29.2010

Why Don't You...Keep Your Sheets Tidy?

We learned how to fold a fitted sheet this spring. Whew. Now that my sheets are all neatly folded, I noticed the pillowcases often get separated from the sheet set. Sometimes, they slide around in the linen closet and fall down in the cracks and I have to search.

So, why not use one of the pillowcases to store the set? They will stay neat and tidy and all in one spot until you are ready to use them. This is also a great way to transport sheet sets on vacation.

Ta da!



See? A little sheet-set pouch!

There is still time to link up with Tutorial Tuesday - scroll down and join in the fun! Teach me stuff!

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9.28.2010

Tutorial Tuesday

Sorry folks, I was down with a massive migraine last night - here you go...

Hope Studios


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Scroll down to see my weekly tutorial: Creating a Vegetable Garden!

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios




9.27.2010

Vegetable Gardening: Part 2

You're back? Have you found the perfect spot for your garden and gotten sufficiently inspired over the past week? If not, check out Part 1 of my Gardening Series.

Now we need to determine the size of our garden. I wanted to make this project pretty straight-forward so I let the size of my wood determine the size of my garden:




I purchased 8 foot and 10 foot lengths of pressure treated lumber from Lowe's:



This determined that I would build an 8x10 foot garden.

Now, we need to begin to clear the grass. Measure the size of the garden and mark it with stakes or even spray paint.

We need to remove the sod. I wanted to use a chemical-free method since I would be growing food in this space and many friends and family members described the newspaper method. Simply spread several thick layers of newspaper over the desired area, holding them in place with rocks or boards, and keep them soaked. Soon the grass will die in that spot.

I'm pretty impatient. I think we all know by now I need immediate gratification when I begin a project. I layered the newspaper and kept a sprinkler on them several times the first day to really saturate the ground and hold the moisture in.



Then with brute force only a deranged-woman-in-need-of-an-instant-garden can muster...I yanked the sod out with my bare pretty pink gardening gloved hands. I used shovels and trowels and various other tools of torture to lift the edge of the sod and tore away chunks of it after a day of soaking. Waiting a week or so is much easier, but you have the week to decide.

Your mission this week is to clear the sod / kill the grass from spot where you intend to build your garden.



Meet me back here next week and will construct the box to surround your garden!

Come on back tomorrow to link up your own tutorial for Tutorial Tuesday...
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9.26.2010

The Chic Life - Sunday Funny

I love catalogs, the ridiculous situations and get-ups they put on these models and on sets for the sake of fashion. Sunday Funny will now be my ode to Catalog Living, my favorite laugh of the week.

A friend sells this brand of jewelry and I noticed this photo in this season's catalog last week:




After nursing Ryan for the last 7 years, Wendy had to sew an extra sleeve onto her sweater to support her elongated breast.

9.25.2010

Stuff I Learned

Check out this delicate Plaster Leaf Garland!



Hand Painted Wooden Knobs



If Sarah was my real-life friend I would have the greatest wardrobe and the fullest wallet in town...here is another fantastic tutorial for a DIY Pleated Dress




Tank Top Dress



So many craft projects begin with this: Removing Glue from Jars

This Household Cleaning Schedule is simple but much needed around this joint.

Let's get our Pumpkin on!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

DIY Metallic Pumpkins

9.24.2010

Crayons, Pencils, Folders...Disinfecting Wipes, Tissues...Feedback Friday


Back to School Resource blog raised a really interesting question last week. I would love to hear your feedback on the issue of school supply lists.

My boys had school supply lists that included the normal stuff, pencils, crayons, markers, notebooks, folders...etc... But included in these lists was also tissues, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer.

It's Feedback Friday, so this is the question :

Do you feel that it is appropriate for teachers to request cleaning supplies on their school supply lists?

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9.22.2010

Why Don't You...Zap That Zit!

Although I'm weeeellll into my 30's, my skin is under the impression that I'm still 16 years old. It seems so wrong to have age spots and zits on the same face...but this is my life.

Usually, I have a little bugger crop up the night before some event with either my husband's co-workers or , God-forbid, one of my husband's ex-girlfriends in attendance. I don't usually have a tube of Oxy around and I've learned it isn't necessary.

So, next time you have a sudden zit surface -

Why don't you...Zap your zit with toothpaste?



Just ordinary, old-fashioned, white toothpaste (the blue gel won't work). Just dab it on before bed and you will be good to go in the morning!

There is plenty of time to link up with Tutorial Tuesday this week - scroll down and join the fun!

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9.20.2010

Tutorial Tuesday

Hope Studios


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Scroll down to see my weekly tutorial: Creating a Vegetable Garden!

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios





Vegetable Gardening - Part 1

The kids are back in school and you have a bit of time on your hands each day. The weather is still beautiful - much more comfortable than working outside in the heat of the summer - and you need a project. Let's work on our garden so we are all set for next spring!

We moved into our home 6 years ago. I have a huge backyard and I've always wanted a garden. I dipped my toe into the gardening world when we first moved and we dug a small garden...we called it "The Grave" since it was about 2x6 feet and looked like a freshly dug grave! It was small, but big enough for us to plant rows of peas in the early spring and a couple tomato plants later in the season:



I knew about 3 years into our gardening adventure that I wanted more space and launched into all sorts of plans each spring only to realize that if I began then, I would miss the planting season! So, I tucked my plans away, vowing to get a jump on things earlier next year.

Fast forward 3 more years and I've decided that fall is the way to go when you are planning a spring garden. For the next few weeks, we will pace ourselves and get this garden ready for the next planting season.

Let's begin...

Creating A Vegetable Garden: Part I

First, we must choose the proper spot for our garden. We must consider three things.

Convenience: Let's choose a spot that is close enough to catch your eye (so you remember to water and weed) and close enough to reach with the hose.

Sunlight: Find a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.

Drainage: Locate a spot with well-drained soil, not a swampy or super dry spot.

Next, get inspired! BHG.com has a whole section of Vegetable Garden Plans you can browse or you can sit out on your patio leafing through gardening magazines (this is best done while sipping lemonade). I found my inspiration at A Soft Place to Land. Kimba's inspiration garden from This Old House magazine quickly became my own inspiration garden!



Take a little time this week to get inspired and choose a spot for your garden, we will meet back here next Monday to begin construction.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to link up your own tutorials! If anyone would like to offer a prize for one lucky winner Contact Me.
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9.18.2010

Stuff I Learned

Before we go any further, you must go see This Sweet Shop Birthday Party! No, seriously, I'll wait....whistle, whistle, hum....Amazing, right? I know.

As far as I'm concerned, there are far too few tutorials out there in blogland teaching us how to make Dripping Blood Cups.



This video tutorial for Distressing a Dresser is spot on!



Loving this T-Shirt Refashion



Our big winner this week is Michelle from Girl in Air! I will get a hold of you soon.

Thanks for another great week - I'm off to finish my boys' bedroom redo's...I'll reveal next week.

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9.16.2010

Party Pooper - Feedback Friday


I have a great Friday topic that was pushed back last week due to the ridiculous Terry Jones Debacle and yet again another topic pushes to the front of the line. Maybe someday we will get to talk about school supplies?

I wanted some extra feedback on this one and have a mission for you, so I'm posting Feedback Friday a little early this week.

Remember my Summer Party? Remember how excited I was? Remember all the planning? Remember it all went off without a hitch and turned out to be a great night for all my friends?

Well, it all came crashing down this week as I was shocked to discover the following anonymous email in my inbox:

-----Original Message-----
From: Dewey Beach [mailto:deweybeachboy@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2010 10:35 PM
To: xxxxxxxxx(I erased my own email address)
Subject: Party

myself and my family find your actions regarding your guest list last week short sighted and damaging to the unity you presrcibe to endorse for the neighborhood...(the typos and no caps. lead me to believe it was sent from a phone)

Huh...

That was all I could think at first! (Notice I left the original sender's email address for any friends that want to help me weed out this weasel! In case you missed it, the email address is

deweybeachboy@gmail.com


I would like to invite any and all of you to go ahead and give him a piece of your mind after you take a moment to give me your feedback here today. And if you can help me figure out the owner of this account, all the better!)

I thought of all kinds of comebacks for this person, I wanted to tell him to go cry to his mama, I wanted to ask him what he's done for me lately, I wanted to invite him to form a support group with the other 38 out of 50 homes in my neighborhood who were also not invited to my personal party. I wanted to tell him I don't hang out with anonymous bullies who hide behind fake names to harass people for not inviting him to parties.

I wanted to ask him to really think about the following questions:

Are we friends or just friendly?
Do we hang out and go to dinner or do other fun things together?
Have you ever invited me to your house?
Have I ever even seen the inside of your house?
Have you ever invited every single person in the neighborhood to your home for a party?
Would I call you if I needed help?
Do we have a deeper relationship other than saying "hi" at the bus stop?
Are our children good friends who often play together?

This was the criteria I used to develop my guest list for my party. Wrong?

Two years ago I invited my friends as well as everyone on my street to a party and it was a disaster - too big! We spent the entire night feeding people, changing trash bags and toilet paper rolls, and stocking drinks. Never again. In fact, it was so overwhelming we didn't even HAVE the party last year. During our one year break, the group of neighbors who I invited the year before never reached out to me in a way that indicated they wanted to be more than "chat at the bus stop" neighbors. So, this year a new and improved guest list was devised. Much more manageable and affordable.

I decided to take the high road and take pity on this small, pitiful, sneaky, bullying person who went to such lengths almost a week after the party to set up a secret account and send me this email. I responded as follows:

I'm sorry, but I don't know who this is, could you identify yourself?

If you are referring to my Labor Day party, that is my own family party and not a neighborhood function. I supply the main meal, the alcohol, and the entertainment from my own pocket. Neighbors are all welcome to attend the neighborhood Christmas party, or plan a summer neighborhood party of your own.

If you would care to discuss it, I would love to speak with you.

Warmly,

Jen


It's Feedback Friday -

Do you feel compelled to invite every family in your neighborhood to your home whenever you have a party?

Would you ever confront a neighbor for having a party you were not invited to?


Also, remember to pass your thoughts along to

deweybeachboy@gmail.com


Honey, don't mess with us bloggers. Just sayin'.
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9.15.2010

Why Don't You...Make a Treat from Extra Frosting?

Growing up, my mom never wasted extra cake frosting. She always used it to make a little treat for us. I remember as a child, loving the soft graham cracker and sweet frosting confections...a rare treat.

So why don't you...Spread your extra frosting between graham crackers:



Wrap in foil overnight:



And enjoy!



Yum!

There is still plenty of time to link up with Tutorial Tuesday to win a sweet little zipper bag! Scroll down to link up your own tutorial...
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9.13.2010

Tutorial Tuesday with The Empty Nest!




Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

My weekly tutorial: Chicken and Biscuits!

Tutorial Tuesday is brought to you by one of my sponsors (and bloggy friends) Janet from The Empty Nest. See her little button up there? She has been gracing my blog since I first started taking advertisers...all those long 4 months ago. Ha.

Janet has a new obsession. It's adorable little zipper pouches! They have cute fabrics, they have cute zippers, they have cute, little birdies... She is addicted and just can't quit making these sweet little bags!



Janet, uses the coolest array of materials for her shop items. You know Janet make couture aprons, too, don't you? Well, these little bags use the same kinds of vintage and recycled fabrics as her famous aprons and fit in your purse!

Janet has a great eye for detail:



And loves pretty linings!



I don't know how, but after she finishes sewing aprons and zipper bags, and making knitty girly stuff, AND painting canvases ... she also finds the time to blog and make friends with girls like me. You can catch up with all of Janet's projects and life in general on The Empty Nest Blog

Janet has graciously donated your choice of zipper bag for one lucky winner this week!

Want to win?

Either link up with our party (rules are below)

OR

Check out The Empty Nest shop and share your favorite item in the comments.

Easy peasy, right?

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios




Chicken and Biscuits - Tutorial Tuesday


The weather was perfectly fall this weekend, and that called for some comfort food. I'm a super busy mom with three kids in two different schools and three sports schedules to organize each week. A quick weeknight dinner is a must - but I also want to to taste like I've spent all day preparing it. Enter: rotisserie chicken!

Throw this easy meal together in 15 minutes using rotisserie chicken and frozen biscuit dough for a quick, home cooked weeknight meal.

Chicken and Biscuits
recipe credit: Epicurious with some personal changes

Pop your biscuits in the oven according to the directions. While they bake, assemble the chicken in gravy.

Chicken in gravy

* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 1 carrot, finely chopped
* 1 celery rib, finely chopped
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 cup frozen peas
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
* 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
* 1/2 cup half-and-half
* 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (from a 3- to 3 1/2-lb rotisserie chicken)
* 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Cook onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper in butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in frozen peas and cook until thawed. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in broth and thyme and bring to a boil, stirring, then boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.

Add half-and-half and chicken to gravy and gently simmer until chicken is heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

Spoon the chicken mixture over biscuits or for chicken pot pie, place biscuits on top and bake according to directions.

Come link up tomorrow with your own tutorials for Tutorial Tuesday - we have another great prize being offered by one of my sponsors!

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9.11.2010

Stuff I Learned

Repeat after me: We must all make this Felt Flower Pillow!



Make this PB knock off wreath using Book Page Leaves



Get ready for Halloween by making this Vintage Looking Halloween Garland - she even gives us templates!




These Toilet Paper Pumpkins are a little different from mine, but still a great decoration for fall:



We all need Back to School Lunch Tips!


Gina tutors us on the Business of Mothering

I wish I would have had a High Chair Bibb Bag when I had little ones, so convenient!

The winner of the prize from i love it all this week is Modern Family!

9.10.2010

Burning the Koran - Feedback Friday

The Today Show recently covered a story about Rev. Terry Jones from Gainsville, Florida who has declared 9/11 to be National Koran Burning Day. Jones claims that he was told by God to burn the Muslim Holy Book.


It's 9/10 and it's Feedback Friday - Thoughts, Feelings, Comments about the proposed burning of the Koran as a demonstration on 9/11?
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9.08.2010

Why Don't You...Fill a Decanter with Mouthwash?

The Big Guy really digs his mouthwash. He buys really big bottles of it at Costco. Really big, ugly bottles of it. This is what I used to see whenever I walked into our bathroom...



Now I see this...



Ahhhhh. One quick trip to T.J. Maxx, and I just made big, ugly mouthwash pretty.

Don't forget to link up with Tutorial Tuesday we have a prize this week you don't want to miss!

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9.06.2010

Tutorial Tuesday with: i love it all

blog button


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

My weekly tutorial: Fun Party Lights

Tutorial Tuesday this week is brought to you by Monika from I Love it All! You all know I have a thing for words - quotes in particular, so when I found this shop's selection of art posters, I was in love! And Guess what? I couldn't find a darn thing in her cute shop over $25!

Clearly, this particular poster screams Soul Sisters!



And I really love the Little Moments in life, so this particular poster speaks volumes:



In my opinion, every newlywed (and maybe all couples) should be gifted with the Rules of Love:



You know, she blogs too - i love it all is chock full of download-ables and our fave...tutorials!


Monika has graciously offered one of her Family Rules posters (in a surprise color) for today's giveaway:



Want to win?

Either link up with our party (rules are below)

OR

Check out i love it all shop and tell us your favorite item.

OR

Click on over to i love it all blog and "follow". Easy peasy, right?

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios




Party Recap and a Fun Party Light Tutorial

Well, the party went off without a hitch! We ended up with about 100 guests and there was plenty of food and drink for all. We laughed, we danced, we sang and then we slept in late!

Here are a few photos of the night...

Here is the pre-party set up, lights are hung and ready, beach balls lie in wait for all the kids!



Later in the evening the Soul Sisters (minus one) hung out a bit. With so many guests I didn't have enough time with them, but we did fit in laughing and chatting.



Here is our band preforming after dark. The lights over head made for a festive feel:



Do you want to learn my fun Party Light Trick? Well, it involves colorful cupcake papers! (I can't remember where I saw this trick...anyone?)

We poked a hole in the papers and placed them randomly over the bulbs then screwed the bulb back into the socket. We left some bulbs bare and mixed up the colors:



Look how it dresses up an ordinary string of lights! This would certainly work with small twinkle lights, too.



When lit, they glowed different colors and were frustratingly difficult to photograph well, but trust me - they looked cool!



And here are the lights and the fire and the friends and the band! What a great night!



Join me for Tutorial Tuesday tomorrow! Anyone want to offer up a prize for a giveaway? Drop me a line...

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