Monday, May 30, 2011

What's Up?

Hello.  I hope that everyone is having a great holiday weekend.  We are taking it easy, hoping that we can make it through the day without a trip to Walmart (doubtful), and preparing for a busy week.

 I haven't been a very good blogger lately and here are some reasons why:
  1. My classes ended (Hallelujah!) and I was busy grading projects and figuring final grades.
  2. Just after sending off my grades, the tornado hit Joplin and I found myself overwhelmed by the news coming out of there.  Frankly, I found myself thinking that it's pretty silly to post about my latest yard sale find when--less than two hours away--many people have lost everything.  So many people have lost their loved ones.  It kind of makes my little blog seem trivial and pointless.
  3. C officially finished preschool.  We went to graduation, handed out some "thank you" gifts to his teachers, and tried to process the fact that we can no longer call him a "preschooler." 
  4. We have a little over a week before C begins a summer kindergarten prep program at his elementary school and, on Friday, we began this break by having one of the worst days of parenting I have ever experienced.  Four (five? six?) rounds of time-out.  Daddy home late.  Legos banished to the garage.  Big blue ball (kicked inside the house one too many times) thrown into the backyard when what I really wanted to do was stab it with a steak knife.  It was a bad, bad, no good kind of day and I'm glad it's over. 
  5. Saturday and Sunday were marginally better.
  6. Now it's time to prep for my summer semester.  It begins one week from today and I have a lot to do.  I'm not feeling quite motivated yet, but I'm sure that I'll feel inspired any minute now.
  7. I've been really busy plotting and planning all of the exciting things I'm going to do while C is having fun at summer school (e.g., sewing, painting, decorating, reading, napping...)
So that is what has been happening around here.  What has been happening in your part of the world?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quilt Raffle to Benefit Joplin MO.

I know that with all of the natural disasters our world has experienced over the last few months, it is easy to get a little overwhelmed by all of the bad news.  It is easy to feel helpless.

But Dana, at Old Red Barn Co, isn't helpless at all.  She's awesome and generous and inspiring.  She has decided to give away a beautiful quilt and you need to check it out.  For every dollar you donate, you will receive a chance to win this beauty and 100% of donations will go to the American Red Cross to help victims of the recent tornado in Joplin, Missouri.

Here is the direct link to her post:

I'm biased because (a) I grew up in the Joplin area; and (b) I have family members who still live there; and (c) I live 90 minutes away from there now--but--I cannot think of a nicer way to help the people of Joplin. 

Thank you Dana!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mindless Crafting.

Good Morning.  I hope that everyone had a good weekend.  Ours was okay.  Just okay.  The weather was damp and cold.  Soccer got cancelled again.  The husband was sick again.  Just not a great weekend, but we all survived.

On Friday morning, I found myself buying a straw wreath at a garage sale two streets over.  Friday afternoon, I found myself tearing strips of fabric and pushing them into that wreath.  I call it "mindless crafting."  What do you think?

I think my front door needs to be repainted, but I'm undecided on the wreath...

Here's a close-up:
Too 1990s?  Too little girl's bedroom?

Sometimes I find that I have to be crafty in order to stay sane and the end result doesn't really matter.  This was one of those times.  So be honest...

Should it stay or should it go?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tail Tale.

Oh, I'm so disappointed because I wrote a big, long post yesterday before Blogger decided to go crazy and it's gone!  Not saved.  At all.  Not one word.  I finished writing it, hit "publish post" and received a message that Blogger was down.  And that was that.  Finally got back on just now and nothing was there.  Boo.

The main thing that I wanted to share was that C suddenly decided that he needed paper for a "now project."  I waited and waited to see what he was making.  Can you guess?  Me neither.

He made...
...a tail!  And not only that, but he made one for J and me, too, so that "everyone" in our house would have one.  We are so cool!

Don't you wish that you had a tail, too?  They're the newest thing for spring!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black Bean Soft Tacos

Good Morning!  I thought that I would share a recipe that I've been loving lately:  Black Bean Soft Tacos.  I found the original at and modified it a bit.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (sometimes I just use the minced garlic that comes in a jar)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (it calls for canola, but I usually use EVOO because it's handy)
  • 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes w/ green chilies ("Rotel" tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a nonstick skillet, saute' onion and garlic in oil until tender.
  2. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chilies, and seasonings.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Spoon 1/2 cup of mixture onto each flour tortilla and sprinkle with cheese.
These are so good and if you replace the tortilla with a few tortilla chips, a little lettuce, and some salsa--you have a bean taco salad!    So good!  I even like to make extra because it freezes well.


Original Recipe:

Linking up to Tasty Tuesdays over at 33 Shades of Green...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Great Ideas.

This morning, I'm thinking about...

#1:  Painting our bedroom brown:


 #2:  Or painting our bedroom blue with brown accents like the color scheme in this living room:

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens?
 #3:  Painting the cabinetry in our master bathroom:

Source:  www.???

#4:  Accent colors for our living areas (e.g., living room, dining area, kitchen, and hallways):

 Souce: www.???



Wouldn't it be nice if I could focus on one room at a time?
Wouldn't it be nice if I could decide on a style and stick with it?

How does a person pick just one "look" for a home when there are so many great ones to choose from?

Argh!  : )

P.S.  I hereby declare that I shall be better about noting my souces when I add pictures to my file of favorites!
P.P.S.  I can't figure out why some of my sources aren't showing up even though I have entered them over and over again!  Sometimes blogger is not my friend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A WW Update.

Good evening!  It's been a fast day and I actually feel like I've accomplished a lot!  Nothing pretty to share, but the laundry is almost done (at least for today), I have five new tissue pack covers cut out and ready to be sewn for a kind friend, and we've been to Walmart and soccer practice.  Now, for the news that all of you have been waiting for (Ha!):  During Week Two of WW Online, I lost 2/10ths of a pound (Total lost:  4.2 lbs). 

Yep, that's right.  If you fail to follow the plan in any way and eat pancakes and cookies instead of carrots and celery, your rate of weight loss might just slow down!  Just thought you'd want to know that.

Am I the only person out there who yo-yos on a weekly basis?  I seem to think, "Hey!  I've lost 4 pounds.  Now I can eat anything I want for the next week!"  And then, I either gain or stay the same and think, "Oh my.  Must get in control..."  And on and on it goes.

I am hereby challenging myself to lose weight three weeks in a row.  If I meet this challenge, I'll make J give me a $10 (non-edible) treat.  So--help me out.  If you see me on the street eating a donut, knock it out of my hand and if you sense me sitting here eating chips while reading blogs--send me a message to go take a walk around the block!

Now, I'm off to make dinner and--no--I haven't planned what to eat.  Let me take this moment to note my favorite WW quote of all time:  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

I hate it, but it's true.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pardon our Progress.

Am I the only blogger out there who has trouble deciding on a color scheme, theme, template, layout... 


I know that it drives people crazy to see constantly changing blog designs, but I have this picture in my mind of what I want and I can't seem to achieve it.  So please bear with me.  I'll try to leave it alone--at least for a month.

Then, who knows?  Perhaps my graphic design skills will have evolved enough to help me create the look I'm after. 

But probably not!  : )

Good Morning Monday.


You know that old song that says rainy days and Mondays always get me down?  Well, today is rainy and it's Monday so I'm having a bit of a struggle. 
Where are you sunshine???  Don't you want to be friends anymore?

Moving on. 
  • We had a nice weekend.  The rain cleared a bit and C was able to complete his second soccer game of the season.  For those of you keeping score at home, that means that we have completed 2 out of 5 games.
  • We went to "town" after his game and I was able to shop for fabric and other crafting supplies with only minor/major grumbling from my boys.  I have learned that when you live 40 minutes from any major shopping venues, it is best to (A) Go alone; or (B) Strategically plan your shopping attack to minimize boy grumbling and maximize your cute fabric to stop ratio. If you know what I mean.

    In case you are wondering, here is my Grumble Rating Scale
    • No Grumbling:  Occurs only when I go shopping by myself
    • Minor Grumbling:  Generally occurs when I suggest a stop (e.g., Target) that holds some interest to J and C (such as toys or electronics), but that wouldn't have been on their list if I wasn't shopping with them.
    • Minor/Major Grumbling:  This weekend provides a good example--I spent 20 minutes in Joann's while they waited in the car.  By the time I had finished, J was convinced that I had been in the store for at least 60 minutes and C announced that he was ready to go home.
    • Major Grumbling:  Often occurs when one or both is hungry, it's the Christmas shopping season, and/or I require some type of assistance in my shopping plans (e.g., Can you help me carry this?)
    • Major/Major Grumbling:  May occur when C is forced to spend time in a fabric store and/or J is asked his opinion about something I am considering for our house.  This is to be avoided as much as possible!
  • I'm (mostly) kidding.  J and C are usually pretty nice and patient about my "stops" and I return the favor by waiting patiently for them as they explore places filled with comic books, video games, and Star Wars figures. 
What's on the agenda for this week?  Sewing, paper-crafting, teaching, and cleaning.  Oh--and frolicking in whatever sun I can find!

Come on out sun!  I'm ready to frolic!