Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lazy Days...and Bubbles

I have SO enjoyed the past few days since Christmas...and am SO happy that these are the days we have just before sending off 2009. We have slept in late (to a whopping 8:30AM), spent quality time with family members, crafted, created and eaten! I have even taken the time to start a book I wanted to read...It has been NICE.... I even got asked to sit down and play baby-dolls. That might have been the greatest moment of 2009 for me...

Comfort foods have added to our bliss this week...I made the BEST Mac-N-Cheese last night and we devoured was delicious - and simple...My husband made a delicious Roasted chicken tonight and that was devoured too....No pictures because we all ate it so fast we didn't have anything to take a picture of! These are not unusual meals for us, but for some reason they just tasted so much better with the relaxed energy of our house.

I stood and watched in awe and contentment as my youngest jumped up and down for what seemed like an eternity over bubbles....lots and lots of bubbles. Each and every one that came out of the little machine made her more excited than the last. I just stood there cooking dinner, smiling from ear to ear. It was one of those moments when the little voice inside tells you to slow down and pay attention. also told me to grab my camera so I could remember it when my memory fails me.....

Tomorrow we close out 2009...I can't believe we are wrapping up another year!?!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Calm after the storm

...or Holiday whatever you want to call it.

The days prior to Christmas seem to have happened in a blur and the days since seem to be in a nice lazy haze.

Our area was blanketed in snow just before Christmas from the Blizzard of 09'...the first white Christmas in 20 years. I can't believe it was that long!!! Slightly detrimental to our business, but made for lots of fun!!

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We spent the Eve very casually with my mom, brother and was great. A few really good laughs and then off they went to their homes and off our children went to bed. A very special princess got her Orange Princess dress and Blue Witch hat...please note the enthusiasm when she opened them....(handmade by my mother)

Santa was VERY relaxed this year. He didn't go EXTREME with gift piles or wrapping...all very simple..

Christmas Day was wonderful! Presents, Breakfast ~ quick family visit with my grandfather and then home to spend the evening with friends.

Everyone got exactly what they wanted....

Xbox360 - and an asthma attack...not on the Christmas wish list, but we made it through...

A new phone....

A Nintendo DSlite

A Christmas Tree...
A cup, and candles for her marshmallows???....(plastic, battery operated)

We laughed so hard during dinner that I think I forgot to eat...however I remember laughing so hard that I choked so I must have had at least one bite. Then we played games into the WEEEEE hours of the morning.

It WAS FANTASTIC! One more look under the tree proved that we had all gotten exactly what we asked for! A terrific Christmas Holiday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Crunch Time

3 Days until Christmas and it is crunch time around here! I am dedicating this whole day to "making stuff"...

Procrastination is my nemesis

I will be crafting until my fingers bleed which really wont be hard because they are so

I have knit 4 hats so far, and put lots of thought into the other gifts I will be giving.

I have also decided that if it can't be purchased at the local hardware store, liquor store or my store...your not getting it for Christmas at this point!

I braved the mall twice this year...that is two times more than I went in the past year and a half! I will NOT be going anywhere near that place again!

I will go to the bookstore...but none of those other place again! I went to Target last was literally swarming with people who had a complete look of desperation in their eyes. It was crazy!! to the craft room! I will take some pictures when I am done....hopefully.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lets RE-Decorate!

9 Days before Christmas and our BIGGEST Christmas gift EVER is on its way!

HOWEVER!...this particular gift is causing us (me) to have to rearrange our entire living room and move our fully decorated Christmas tree....

What was I thinking?????

I was thinking that after YEARS of working hard my husband deserved a BIG treat!! And since I can't get him drafted to the major leagues, I settled with the next best gift.... A HUGE TELEVISION!


I hope that he loves it forever.

I must love him forever because I want to get rid of every television in our house and then I go and buy him the biggest mama jama I could.

OK...I must go back to redecorating. I have even gone a little crazy and decided that I would go ahead and put up another tree....I love glitter and sparkle!! I am trying to keep it simple, but seriously how can you keep it simple when it comes to glitter and sparkle??????

PS: Watching QVC at the end of a VERY long day can cause you to make decisions like the one I made....but loving your husband and being grateful for his return from work every day can also lead to such decisions...hahaaa

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 Days and Counting!!

Tonight was Jacobs Winter Concert. It was so sweet seeing the kids up there singing their little hearts out... I was only able to get one very distant picture and I blinded the man in front of me in the process so I wasn't about to continue trying for a better one! I asked him to wait 20 minutes before driving....

Jacob sang three songs - no solos thank goodness - and the evening was over!

Lily wanted to know why there was so much singing and no popcorn?? They had seats like the movie theater but no popcorn! Her world was shattered....

I have started wrapping gifts and feel good about getting that done. I love to wrap! I get a little carried away with making sure everything is one of my favorite parts!!

I have to say though...I would love to receive these little goodies in the mail as an early Christmas present! 4 Kennedys and a Dog is doing a lovely little giveaway and I sure would like to win!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Under way...

Christmas shopping, decorating and activities are well under way!
I love to see my house decorated for Christmas...soft white lights, greens and sparkly lovely things to look at!

We decorated our tree on Sunday night and had delicious Chinese food...I think a new tradition has been formed...and I was so excited about getting our tree done that I couldn't stop! I told my husband that I "NEEDED" to put up two more of our trees!! He gladly obliged and went to the garage to start the process....I am a theme girl. I love having different trees in different rooms. We have 5 at our shop and I was really feeling festive...I blame it on the MSG. morning I had changed my mind and decided that ONE tree was just perfect this year!

Simple is ALWAYS nice!

I hope that your holidays are shaping up to be exactly what you want them to be!!

Speaking of "shaping up"! I have completed 3 hats so far! Not quite getting as much done as I had hoped for my handmade holiday, but I can still buy handmade!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Buying Handmade...

I have been searching Etsy for the past several days-nights-wee hours of the morning...I love Etsy..but there is so much to chose from that I am having a hard time making decisions.

So far; Artwork, yarn, pottery are all in my sights. I just NEED to make some decisions!

Hope your Handmade Holidays are off to a great start!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


...Tuesday was Lily's first day back to school after she quit. Yes, she quit...a month-and-a-half of Preschool was just too much for her.

We tried lots of name a few..

Upon being told that she should go to school to meet friends, she told her father..."I don't need any friends Big Guy.." She declared one of our 60+ year old customers her best friend and his dog too....

After being encouraged to go to school so she could attend her field trip to the Pumpkin Patch, she responded...."I have pumpkins in my backyard, and b'sides...I got one from the Hardware store!"

I met with the teacher and the director of school and they suggested all sorts of included somebody with the preface of "Specialist", being told that her father and grandmother were not allowed to drop her off anymore because they both had tearful-puppy eyed goodbyes...not a confidence booster for the child...Bottom line is that I have a very intelligent, almost 4 year old who has a pretty strong case of separation anxiety and spends a better part of her life and day in her very own coffee shop with lots of gifts and fun things and customers who come in just to see what she is up to that day!

We took the month of November off and decided that "with no other option" we would return to school on the first Tuesday of December.

There were LOTS of tears....back packs were thrown into the trash can....refusal to eat and clothes being taken off.... but in the end....

We made it! It was a BEAUTIFUL day! The Sun was shining and in the end I walked out of preschool with a HAPPY, skipping little girl who tried to scale the fence when she saw my car coming around the turn.

Thank you to God and all the powers of the Universe! One more blessing to add to my list..

Monday, November 30, 2009

Being real...

My Life is Crazzy, it is chaotic, it is is difficult, it is disappointing at times, it is a million other things that seem to pull on me... right now I feel like it is taking me down.

WARNING: The following post could be considered a RANT...but I needed a bit of soul cleansing and what better place to do it than here...

My life is not adventurous the way I would like it to be, it isn't FUN like I thought it would be. We work hard and don't get to play hard... When I was a little girl all I wanted to do was have children that I could bake cupcakes for, make crafts with, read stories to. That was my fairy reality, raising kids is hard, marriage is really hard, there is a lot more yelling than I ever thought there would be...I even told myself that I wouldn't yell at my kids or argue with my husband.... that seems all but impossible now. No matter what you do, there is a lot more month than $$, a lot more homework and talking from 4 kids than my brain can handle on most days at 4pm, a lot more heated discussions and sibling arguments than I know what to do with.

It is very full, it is very busy and i guess in it's own way it is very beautiful. But it is not beautiful every day the way I want it to be or thought it would my fairy tale world. My blessings are abundant and don't get me wrong, there are few people that I would want to trade places with but I read blogs and see people around me, some that make me laugh, some that make me cry, some that make me feel inadequate as a mother at times and others that make me wonder what am i doing wrong , why isn't my life "that" peaceful and accomplished???

My life is a contradiction in terms....this month has been hard - really hard in so many ways and in so many other ways it has been fulfilling. Maybe this is the same for everyone and they don't share that??? I don't know...but I decided that no more of that crazy living that makes store clerks look at me and say things like....."oh, you look tired..." or "rough day???" and my all time favorite..."You look like you have a full plate..." NONE of these are good for a girls ego! I need to find the right balance...the right mix.

I am going to make a VERY conscious effort to make my life the most beautiful that it can be for myself, my kids and my husband. To do the things that I really love doing and not feel like I am struggling to do it.... I hate when cooking and crafting feel like work when really they are some of my most favorite things to do.

I have no time to give up, and I am too tired to feel defeated....besides that is not me. My life isn't horrible, it is by most standards a pretty good one. I just feel so overwhelmed, overworked, underpaid and out of control! Seems like I am missing the magic potion that all these other women have that keeps them smiling and beautiful all the time. One of my girlfriends says it has something to do with Prozac and alcohol.....I don't know, but I know that I am not willing to go that route. I know that I am blessed - I just need to look at it a little differently sometimes. I need to start a journey of daily gratitude and remind myself that in the midst of the chaos there really is peace. I just need to find it tucked in there (probably in the fetal position like I would like to be when it gets really chaotic in my life, but nonetheless it is there). I ending the month with a list of the blessings that I have been given and being thankful for them. Some hidden that needed to be uncovered and dusted off a bit but there there. Then I am going to rewrite it and carry it with me so when I am feeling like my head is going to explode from stress I can either read it or force myself to add to it......

1. Child 1 a genuine, beautiful, spirited child with a tremendous work ethic.
2. Child 2...blessed by his brains, his curiosity, his gentle heart
3. Child 3...blessed by his strength and courage and his stubbornness. Reminding me that giving up is not an option.
4. Child insanity and sanity rolled into one. The little sunshine at the end of our tunnel.
5. A husband that comes home to me every day
6. Working with my mother every day...even on those days where I think that I could pull my hair out
7. A roof over my head
8. A husband with a job
9. Healthy (for the most part) Kids
10. A husband that loves me.
11. Kids that have good manners and respect adults
12. Electricity and food
13. Making it through childhood
14. Customers that come to see us every day
15. a big beautiful back yard
16. creative genetics
17. having good role models when i was a child
18. living close enough to the water that I can see the sun rise or set over it any day I want
19. Being able to make decisions for myself
20. Health care options for my children
21. my blue eyes
22. child 3 is still with us after last February
23. A father that gave me nothing - ever - but made me a survivor
24. A mother that did what she could
25. God for giving me all that he has given me
26. the challenges that have been blessings in disguise
27. a beautiful turkey on Thanksgiving....(I know that was a stretch)
28.A strong southern woman for a grandmother
29. The friends that I have had and lost along the way.
30. the ability to make changes when I need to

Monday, November 2, 2009

Handmade Holidays 2009!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

I am doing it again.....handmade for all. Last year went really well! A few "Elf" made gifts made their way under our tree, but for the most part it was handmade and up-cycled whenever possible.

I am pushing myself one step further this year. I am going to "attempt" to use what I already have on hand to make these gifts. I honestly have WAY too much in my craft room and am 90% certain that I can accomplish my gift making/giving without having to buy anything new.

Wish me luck!

There are approximately 60 days until Christmas so I figure 5 days on each gift can earn me 12 really nice gifts! I will also be visiting Etsy and some of my favorite blogger's shops. There is so much to chose from!! The kids really got into making wish lists from Etsy. And in effort to be completely honest...I am buying each of the kids a "Snuggie" because I think they are hysterical and make a great gag gift. Gag in more ways than one.....

But they will be purchased from our local hardware store (family owned)- they carry a bit of everything - so I feel good about buying this mass produced product from one of our local stores.

Again....wish me luck!

I will keep you posted on how it is going.

Flying By...

The last part of October flew much happened in such a short few days I can't even believe it is over!
I have so many things to share, and not enough hours in the day to show them all to you...

2009 Oyster Festival
Final Harvest of our Summer Garden
Mid-day Pumpkin Pie....courtesy of Chef Hayden
Pumpkin Carving....with two of the kids
What happens when you take away the Princess's Pumpkin Seeds

No Cute pictures of the kids on Halloween....Completely forgot my camera every time we were in costume. Bad Mommy.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Apple Today

Is Applesauce, Apple Tart, Apple Pie, Apple Butter.......tomorrow.

I grew up on a farm and there are so many memories associated with the seasons and one of my favorites (I say that alot...) was always Fall. The colors of the leaves, the way the horses started to settle and the change in crops...empty fields from summer crops and acres of dry cornstalks...Homecoming Dinner and applesauce....pounds and pounds of applesauce! I have been dying to take the kids to pick apples and can some homemade goodness!

Sunday was our day. We woke up to the most beautiful day after the terrible rain the day before! We hit the road and headed to a pick your own farm... It was about an hour drive for us and we got to see the most beautiful fall foliage. The trees were just alive with color!

Lily of course donned her Princess Dress and 1" heeled dress up shoes...what else do you wear to the fields?...

And after we purchased the biggest bag of popcorn I had ever seen we headed out to the orchards.

There were rows and rows of apples....Red, Yellow, Green and every color in between. We made our way home with over 70lbs of apples and I can't wait to eat every bit of them!

The Princess tired of walking and rode for a bit.

Bree is so proud of this apple - it was HUGE!My kids were like speed pickers! My husband and I joked that if our kids were around when my uncle was farming our land he would never have had to stop!

And for a little more nostalgia.....

My first job at the ripe old age of 13 was at my uncles produce stand just like this. I get a little sad when I see them empty at the end of the season because as much as I love Fall, an empty stand means all those delicious summer vegetables are gone!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Our Bewitching Hour came on Saturday night, and along with it came some HORRIBLE rain!! I have always professed my love for Mother Nature but on Saturday I decided that she really isn't my friend and is a "Mean Girl".....

Normally our party is outside under the moonlight but this year the rain drove us inside!! None the less we had a really great time. This year we went with a Diva Divine Witch theme...more Sparkle than Scare!

My girlfriends always look fabulous and my mom pulled out all the creative stops with the hat designs this year. She sold them at our shop and they literally flew out the door as fast as she brought them in.

Over the past four years I have made a collection of silverware, plates to go with our theme. This coming year I think I am going to make goblets for the evening. This year I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning working on my dress....I had a last minute inspiration and worked furiously to get it done. Old bridesmaid dresses come in handy after all! I discovered some really great tips along the way for working with lace and 13 yr old models....they don't go together well! I need to invest in a "real" dress form!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One step further..

...than usual! I have already professed my love for Halloween and showed you some of my prep for the upcoming Witch Dinner party...but last night, last night I went one step further!

I died my hair Midnight Black to go with my party theme! I had been thinking about dying it darker as I normally do in the Fall. Black Cherry was the suggestion of my stylist, they didn't have Black Cherry, but what they did have was....Midnight Black, with a tint of blue undertone.

I went for it! Out with the Red and in with the Midnight Black. I know you might think I am crazy...but it is only hair and quite frankly...I realllllly enjoy my Witch Dinner Party! It is a new look for me - for sure - I kind of dig it! I have had many a discussion today over my funny how attached people are to their own look and yours... lol.
Tonight I was reading one of my favorite blogs and she was talking about her hair and I busted out laughing. Hair was a popular topic today!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Halloween is by far one of my favorites! I have boxes and boxes of decorations!! Not scary Halloween, just fun and fanciful pumpkins, witches, ghosts and a spider thrown in here and there!

Every year right before Halloween I hold a dinner party for some of my girlfriends...the theme being....a night among the moonlight as Witches. Now we are not "witches"...but we sure do love to dress up in fancy hats and long eyelashes...
The invitations are just the start for me! I went with a little "fancier" because I wanted to be fancy witches...if there is such a thing!?!? I chose glitter, roses...and skulls. Skulls are not my first choice normally but, for the invitation, I bent the rules! Skulls are a bit scary in my book....

I thought I'd share with you....
(My flash realllllly stinks....)
I bought paper skulls from Michael's, painted them with black spray paint, then hand painted them with a glossy black acrylic paint and sprinkled fine black glitter all over.

I bought a few bouquets of black roses and glittered them up....

The leaves were not safe...they were glittered too.....I am not a big fan of the glue that I used...I am sure you can tell from the color which "name brand" it is. It is WAY too clumpy!

I put a few gems around the eyes and used a sparkly spider on the head...almost like a bow on a few. I hand wrote the invitations on this really cool had great fibers through it and was really wispy. Loved it!

I rolled the invitations up and put them in the mouth with the rose. Then I packaged them in a brown paper bag with ribbon and sparkly leaves. I was behind the eight ball this year with getting the invitations out so I sent out a save the date ahead of time. I rolled down the tops and ran ribbons and string through the top so I could hang them on the door handles. Getting your invitation is like getting "ghosted"..... only when you open the door you get a fancy surprise!