Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

Good morning blog land! Today I want to give a birthday shout out to my Mama. Shes the best of friends, a great mother, and a fabulous Gigi.
Mom and Paul

Like most teenage girls, my mom and I didn't always see eye to eye. Ok, never saw eye to eye. I couldn't figure out how she could always be to strict and obtuse when it came to the everyday dealings of a high school girl. This is a matter my precious Emma will one day educate me on, I'm quite sure. Payback, right?
Fast forward to freshman year of college. After lessons in the real world  a more adult world, the entire time with my mom in my corner, I began to heal over some of those teenage girl hostilities. My mom supported me as I learned that meal plans from the student center do not mean you're doing it on your own, working weekends as a horse wrangler at a YMCA camp is not a real job, there is such a thing of partying too late and too loud with your roommate, being in college does not mean skipping your 8am - everyday, sororities and girlfriends can be a lot of fun, and establishing who you are has nothing to do with who you want your boyfriend to be.
Then, I moved into a house, a rent house, but a place my roommate and I had to take care of all on our own. My mom supported this decision as well as many others that led to lessons like:  roommates- suck (well maybe just make better friends then roommates,) waiting tables is fast way to make money, just because you can make more the next day doesn't mean you should spend everything you make tonight, skipping an 8 am class is different then skipping work - either are unbearable with a hangover, love can put you on a fabulous high it can also knock you right on your butt, the only thing that sucks worse then breaking up is seeing him with another girl, sororities - who pays for friends or needs that many t-shirts anyway- no offense to those of you've held on to and no longer pay for,  its great for you to try new things and exciting to land an awesome job but Per Diem should not be spent at the bar buying drinks for all your friends - well at least not before you actually take the work trip, spend time establishing who you are.
After years of the vicious cycle called college, which I should actually refer to as college days since I don't know how much time I actually spent in college, my mom and I had finally not only repaired all the mother daughter drama but built a friendship. I had a new respect for her as I began to understand all the things she did for my brother and myself and all the things she was truly protecting us from. I learned she was an amazing person, so strong, determined, and successful with her life, her career, and obviously her children.
Me and my brother, his graduation (in case you hadn't caught on)

I was happy to have her standing by my side I took a step in the next direction of my life. I took the job in Connecticut. A leap of faith, a scary one. She and I drove halfway across the country mid February in a single cab Ford Ranger, stick shift too, and I started my new life. We had a lot of fun together on the trip and setting up my new place, even just checking out the town. And oh, how I bawled the my first morning of work as I stood in my window and watched her climb into a cab and head back to the airport. This was it, I was truly on my own  and the closest thing I knew to home was pulling away to head back. That moment was really a turning point in my life. I knew it was time to step up and take control of my life. To make my mom proud and remember all those lessons I'd been learning along the way. The most important though was now, without distractions, I could decide who I was, who I wanted to be, define myself. And she had equipped me with all the right tools.
It was a good thing too because 5 months later I found myself pregnant and following my soon to be husband and a uhaul back across country, home to Texas. Through this too, my mom stood by my side. As soon as we pulled up to unload our belongings into our home, my mom was there anxiously waiting. She supported our decision to get married and insisted on a big wedding. True to herself, she did a amazing job. It was a wedding to remember and many of my friends often do reminisce about the wonderful night  experience.
My wedding day

Among all the planning, just before the wedding, my mom lost her own mother. For the first time I felt like I was able to be there for my mom. I know my mom still has a hard time with this, my Nanny was just as awesome of a person, but again my mom was teaching me. She reinforced how special our relationship is. How important a relationship with God is. To treasure both relationships and how to nurture them. How to be grateful for all the wonderful times, but all the ones I get annoyed too. And how to be strong, to be the rock for my family.
After the wedding it was time for her first grandbaby, did she ever embrace this life change. She adored Emma. She was so proud I'm sure that her coworkers grew tired of photos and stories.
Brand new baby Emma Bean

Two years later we surprised my mom at Christmas with the news of baby Eli. As always she was excited and proud. Eli arrived in a scary NICU whirlwind but again my mom was there for me. She stayed with Emma and supported me through frantic crying and did she ever pray. For me, for him, our family. God does answer prayers and he did this time. Eli was fine and it was a fluke hospital mistake.
Brand new baby Eli

Just as it happened 18 months ago, I found myself unsuspectingly in the hospital last Friday. Again, she was here. She kept my household together and even waited on my while I'm stuck on bed rest.
That being said;
Mom, I couldn't make it out to get you a gift. I thought about hand making you a card, but we both know I have hideous handwriting and two kids that would be all up in that mess. But this is the gist of what it would say. I love you so much, I am who I am and my family is what it is because of you.
My mom and my family

Because of the things you taught me all along the way and the support you gave me to build this awesome life for myself. I could never thank you enough or fit everything I should say into a card. Even if I could somehow manage to write them down. Thanks mom, and I hope you have a the best birthday!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Crazy Stuff Happens

As some of you may have been aware this weekend was slated to be Emma's big 4th birthday bash...vintage Barbie style.  I couldn't wait and have been pinning like crazy. We ordered the sweetest Barbie dress from Etsy.
Polka dot Ponies
My mom made her the cutest matching hat and we had all the decor and food lined out.

Unfortunately, crazy stuff happens and the party was postpone. Without going into all the gory details, I'm talking scene from Carrie, here's the rundown. Sorry to be vague but as you will soon read some of it is a bit personal however, I'm feeling the need to share. haha
Anyway a while back I had a LEEP procedure done (if you want more details on that feel free to look it up.) Lets just say, for the sake of being as tactful as I know how to be, its one of those things thats handled by your womanly doctor. So it had been about two weeks and I started having complications. I went in Thursday to get checked out and they said it appeared to be a fluke and everything was healing nicely. Thankfully I called my mother in a day early so I could go to the appointment without my kids tagging along. There's just something unsettling about bringing your kids to those kinds of things (not to mention the scarring it may leave on their poor minds, haha.) So Friday my fabulous husband had hired a cleaning service to come clean the house before the party and relieve me of the extra stress. My mom and I met a good friend and her little girl at McDonald's for coffee and play time while the house was being cleaned. Just before heading back home I experienced these complications again. I called my doctor back and she said I needed to go to the ER. By the time I arrived the situation had worsened and the Dr. took me into surgery. Well, they called it surgery it was really only a couple of stitches but it did require full anesthesia and the whole nine yards. Afterward she decided I needed 2 blood transfusions due being severely anemic. Needless to say I was staying the night and the party would need to be postponed. 
I'm back home now and feeling fine (minus a pounding headache.) I am a little bored with a week of bed rest, its not nearly as fun as it originally sounded. My MIL came and is taking the kids back to her house after school tomorrow, I was thinking of all the wonderful things I could do without the distractions of bickering children and milk cup refills, but the hubby made it very clear there would be no projects this week. 
As for Emma she was very sweet and understanding for a 4 year old. 

Taken on an I-phone - excuse the mess it's just the party paper. Cute hat huh?
There is a slight possibility Mommy was more excited about the Barbie birthday or maybe its the fact we told her she gets to have 2 birthdays this year. We did a little family celebration with my parents and then one with my MIL when she arrived. But, we'll all just have to wait a while longer to see the exciting Barbie party.
Well there you have it the Barbie Birthday drama weekend! In the meantime 
Happy Birthday Sweet Emma Bean!!

On a lighter and VERY exciting note, today my blog was featured by one of my very favorite bloggers, Cassie at Hi Sugarplum. This is my first blog feature and I am in blogger heaven over it! Shoot over and check it out, leave her a comment too! 

I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I just wanted to share my pinterest Valentine's Day cards for Emma's class. I was so excited to make them and love how they turned out.

These were super easy just a quick snapshot and some writing in picasa.

Then I made little "x" slits above and below her hand so the lollipop could slip right through. I was planning on just using a hole punch but the hole punch wouldn't reach the right spot. Lastly,  I secured it in the back with a piece of scotch tape. The total was $3 and some change (plus the cost of  candy, which I would have bought anyway) for a cute personalized card.

For the class

For the teachers
The Teacher's cards say "The difference between ordinary and EXTRAordinary is a little EXTRA... I hope you have an EXTRA special Valentine's Day."  
Although looking at it, I think I may have written and instead of an, of course I did.  Ah well, better luck next year!
I just tied punched two holes at the top of the photo and tied it around the gum with a pretty ribbon. Then taped the ribbon on the back. 

Hope you all have a an extra special day as well!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sometimes life hands you lemons

I have been pretty bad at keeping up with my blog goal this last couple of weeks.  I did make my post last week but it was really just a copied recipe which I realize was a bit of a cop out. While, I do have a good excuse, I am not really ready to talk about it here in blog land. So I decided I would catch you guys up to speed with my plans for some upcoming blog posts. 
This week I have a primary focus: Emma's Vintage Barbie 4th Bithday Party! But, its funny how hosting a party, even a 4 year old's, can really bump the to do list a  notch. I do have to focus on food and decor for the party, I'm also planning on an awesome photo booth and have to figure out the barbie cake. But some how, refinishing the vintage hutch in the garage and bringing it into my kitchen to replace the $10 garage sale dresser, just became a priority. You know, so the house looks good for company. While I'm at it I probably should just move that dresser into the craft room, then I could get organized and I could really show it off when everyone is here. Since my kitchen would be lookin' so good, I wonder if I'd have time to paint my living room and get rid of that yellow color that have been bothering me for the last 3 years?
I know, whats wrong with me, right? I have exactly 5 days and two kids to keep fed, not to mentioned entertained. WHY on Earth would I take on these projects...Don't do it, you're house is going to be a train wreck when everyone gets there. Does anyone else have a similar thought process?

I just don't think I can hold stay tuned for the craziness to come!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tiramisu- YUM!

Tiramisu has long been one of my favorite desserts. I often see new recipes pop up on pinterest but have always heard its hard to make. Last week I pinned this recipe for Jo's Easy Tiramisu and last night I made it. It was pretty awesome, enough that I wanted to share! The following picture and recipe is from (she has a great picture tutorial too) but the part in red is what I did differently.

photo stolen from: Jo Cooks
  • 1 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese Found this in the fancy cheese section by the Deli. Don't taste it alone, I did and gagged a little. I was expecting cream cheese and got something more like a spoonful of butter.
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract I used about 1 and a half but would stick to one if you use the rum.
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 24 lady fingers I've never used these and had to ask where to find them, by the strawberries.
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup brewed coffee Brew Strong Coffee
  • 1/4 cup rum (optional) I left it out because I didn't have any but think it would be better with it
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  1. In a mixer beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla extract until light, fluffy and smooth.
  2. Fold the mascarpone cheese into the egg mixture with a spatula. Set aside.
  3. Dip the ladyfingers in coffee and arrange 12 of them in the bottom of an 8×8 inch dish. You don’t have to soak them in the coffee for a long time, just briefly dip them on both sides. Spread half of the cheese mixture over the ladyfingers and repeat with the remaining ladyfingers, then cheese mixture.Seriously, don't soak them just barely wet them. They absorb the coffee real speedy like and it make the end result a little too mushy if you just drop them in.
  4. Now you need to cover this and refrigerate it for about 1 hour then sprinkle the cocoa powder just before serving. It looks beautiful, and people will think you spent hours slaving over this in the kitchen.
It was great and so easy. You can do it and you should!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine Wreath

Last week I posted about my Valentine mantle and mentioned I was planning on making a wreath for the door.  I got to it today! It was very simple and I made it with mostly leftovers and scraps I had in my craft room. I didn't take pictures each step but I tried to document a little.
I had been looking at wreaths on pinterest and was going to try to do another mesh ribbon wreath but I never got around to getting the materials and its been a crazy two weeks with Emma in swim class and the car in the shop. So I opted for a simpler one and it was perfect. Here's my finished product:

It was inspired but this one:
So here's how. What I used (and this was pretty inexpensive:)
Styrofoam wreath form (I had one laying around)
Scrap burlap cut into about 2-3 in strips
Scrap Valentine colored fabric
Red ribbon (thick)
Pink ribbon
Corsage pins (2)
Thin red ribbon
3 pearls or beads for center of flowers (I purchased mine a while back and found stems in the floral dept at Hobby Lobby for dirt cheap that had a bunch of pearls on them I could just pull off)
Scrap Scrapbook paper -red and neutral 
Scrapbook letters
glue gun and glue sticks

First wrap your burlap around the wreath form pulling tight and gluing as you go. 
Then you will make 3 flowers 

Jaihart had a link to Craftaholics Anonymous with a tutorial on how to do this but, I'll try to give you a little tutorial of my own. But be warned, it was hard to take pictures one handed and the pictures that have my hand in them, well I'm no hand model. 
First take your strips of fabric and fold one in half. 
Fold the end over then roll over a couple more times to get started. 

You continue rolling the fabric (this time a little more loosely) and kind of shaping it as you go. I use a dot of glue where needed to hold it together. 

This was supposed to show you the dot of glue. Obviously,  you may have to look close.
If your fabric strip runs out just fold the end under and glue the next strip from the underside until you get the desired flower size.
The end of the fabric strip

The end of the fabric strip view from the bottom

Fold under

Start the next strip from the bottom

When you get the flower as big as you want just cut off any excess fabric leaving yourself enough room to fold the end under just as you did above. 
You may have this little piece on the back that sticks out from rolling it in the beginning. Sometimes I do and sometimes I dont, it depends on how I start the flower.

 All you have to do is cut it off pretty flush so that you can glue it to the weath.

 Then flip the flower over and voila, looks great! You may have burned your finger tips with the hot glue a couple times but you get better at it as you go. Sometimes I make a couple extra if I've got the time and keep them in a drawer in the craft room so I can grab them out for another project. They're really cute on headbands or even gift packages.

Ok so now just glue your bead or pearl to the center and make 2 more for the wreath. 

Once I had the flowers attached (just hot glue them) I started on the the little XO banner. 

I used some left over scrapbook paper and letters to make the little banner. I just cut the paper to fit the letter. Then glues it to the red ribbon. I used red paper to make the heart. I attached the ribbon to the wreath with the corsage pins. I liked the pearl pin heads on them because they went with the little pearls on the flowers.

For the ribbon hanger at the top I just glued the pink ribbon to the red then looped it around the wreath. I flipped it right sides together and stitched the end (while still around the wreath) to hold it together. I made a cut on the backside of the ribbon to hang it from the door. I just have a 3M hook attached to my door for hanging. 
So thats it, the Valentine wreath and rolled fabric flower tutorial.