Friday, February 27, 2009

Copycat Post

Duck Duck Cow just posted on her top 10 reasons why it rocks/it sucks when your husband is away. I am going to completely, apologetically rip off her idea - because it was so good. But before you read my list, go visit her (if you haven't already) and read hers, because they are good too. Don't worry, I'll wait. The links are up there.

Really, go over now.

Ok, ready?

Here is my list - because my man may or may not be out of town right now. He may or may not be returning today. And this may or may not make me really happy.

10 Crappy Things:
  1. There is no one to ward off the solicitors who come knocking at dinnertime. I refuse to answer even though I'm sure they've heard BG yelling "Who dat? Who dat?"
  2. I end up staying up way too late because I dread going to bed alone.
  3. No other adult to tag-team child duties.
  4. No Daddy threats to eat your dinner - my threats just aren't taken seriously.
  5. Limited contact with my honey since international calls ain't cheap.
  6. I have to take the garbage to the curb AND bring it back. He will usually do one or both.
  7. No one to stroke my ego about how great/pretty/brilliant/funny I am.
  8. He wasn't home to share my excitement over the trunk show I did and sold at.
  9. No one to share the delicious Limited Edition Girl Scout Cookie ice cream with.
  10. I have to kill all bugs myself.

10 Good Things

  1. I get to watch whatever I want on TV. Lots of Grey's, Private Practice, and HGTV.
  2. BG and I can do whatever we want, including blowing bubbles in the house and playing with playdoh.
  3. "Homemade" dinner means cereal and pancakes.
  4. Cafe Rio on non-homemade nights.
  5. I can blog all night without anyone rolling their eyes.
  6. I can stop at the store and buy myself things without having to sneak them in the house or coming home late.
  7. I don't have to clean the house until the night before he gets home.
  8. I get 'me' time. Even if it's just lounging in my granny jammies or working on my jewelry.
  9. No one to steal my delicious Limited Edition Girl Scout Cookie ice cream (ok, I did let BG have some.)
  10. I get the bed to myself without him complaining that I steal the covers.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Falling Cheeks

BG has the most adorable, fat cheeks. They are starting to thin out as she gets older, but I love how pinchable they are. (I try to refrain from too much pinching. I know from personal, traumatic experiences, how annoying that can be.)

Recently she has started tell me that her cheeks are falling. And what do you do if something is falling? Obviously you need to hold up said thing. I finally got some pictures of her cheeks falling and her trying to hold them up.

Love the bench? I got it at a great new furniture consignment shop. It's just behind Party Land for the locals.

CA Here We Come!

Ok, well, not actually yet, but in April. We will be going to CA for my brother's wedding. But I figured, while we are there.... Disneyland! My sis lives in S. CA so she is going to get us the locals discount.

We are planning on driving but there is a argument discussion at home about whether we should do the trip in one day or two. I say we split it. Drive half way, spend the night, then drive the rest. JM wants to drive the whole 12 hours in one shot. I think my 2 1/2 year old will not do well with 12 hours in the car. Any thoughts?

For those who have made this trek, where do you stop/stay for the half way point? Vegas, Mesquite, St. George?

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Blog, New Shop

I have decided to start a new blog specifically to promote my jewelry, provide tutorials, and share my journey as a jewelry artist. I would love it if you would stop by and visit! If there is something you are interested in learning or hearing about, let me know! I'm hoping to get a good following for my new blog. I am working on getting a button so those great friends who have offered to post buttons will have access to one.

Come visit me at Jessica's Gems. Click on the sidebar link to learn more about my jewelry-making story. You can also visit my new Etsy shop too. Thanks friends for your support!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I just noticed that I was featured on Tip Junkie! I'm so excited. Maybe all the hard work of blogging is worth it. I love being featured on other blogs!

Go here to check it out. Yes, I'm at the bottom, so keep scrolling.

Who Has Time for All This?

Does anyone else feel blogging taking over their life? I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Here's the thing, I like blogging. I love reading up on other people and see what they are doing. I love all the fun cooking, decorating, and money saving tips I find all the time on blogs. But sometimes, it's just exhausting.

Plus, I'm trying to add more. (Maybe that's the problem.) I am trying to start a different blog about jewelry making. You may have noticed the new link on my sidebar. But I haven't been great about updating it. I'm hoping one day to sit down and write up a bunch of posts to time out then have a grand unveiling. Maybe that will happen this weekend. In addition to my new blog, I've opened an Etsy store - another new sidebar link. Maintaining that is also time consuming.

Basically I'm just saying "Whew! This can be a lot of work." Just wanted to get that out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Button, button, who has the button?

I need a button for my blog. If I was feeling ambitious, I would go to Blogger help and Google and try to figure out how to make a button. But, I'm not feeling like researching it. So, instead I'm going to just throw it out there and hope someone will just tell me how to make a button.

I can do the actual creation of a little square picture in photoshop. What I don't understand is how to make it link to my blog. Then how to I make a little box underneath so other people can put my button on their blog.

So there you have it. I'm being too lazy to do my own research. I'm asking instead that you just bring me the answers. While you're at it, some chocolate covered strawberries would be nice too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentines Day

We had a great Valentines weekend. It was so fun having it on a Saturday. We had a heart themed day. Breakfast was heart pancakes with strawberries. Lunch was conversation heart quesadillas. We also made chocolate dipped pretzels, which make perfect little hearts! I took little Valentines bags of the pretzels to my neighbor friends. Dinner was low-key and JM brought home Cafe Rio. The pork salad was delicious!

On Friday, BG had a class party at school. She looked so cute all dressed up with her heart bows that I wanted to take a picture of her. She was not too excited about taking pictures.

But this was favorite shot. You'd think I'm torturing her by asking to take a few pictures. (I blame you mom!)

She was much happier after school so we took some happy pictures.

I hope everyone else had a great Valentines!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's my Party...

and I'll blog if I want to.

Today is my birthday and I've decided to take the day off from blogging. I may not even post tomorrow either!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentines Day Plans

For some reason, this year I have been more excited about Valentines Day. Maybe it's because of all the fun ideas out there for decorating and activities. I think our day will be pretty low-key, but here is what I have planned.

Pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream. I plan to use a heart cookie cutter to punch little hearts into the pancakes.

Quesadillas shaped into a heart. If I'm feeling really brave, I might write a message on them - conversation heart style.

Dinner: I want to do a traditional red and white dinner, but I haven't decided what yet. I'm thinking maybe turkey with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and a red vegetable. Are there red vegetables? Maybe we'll just do cranberry juice with it and call it good.

I'd like to make and frost some sugar cookies too, but we'll see how far we get. It will be fun that Valentines is on a Saturday so the family can all be home together to celebrate!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blog to Book

I have been so excited about printing my blog into a book. I figured that it is the closest thing I have to a journal right now, so may as well put it into a lasting format. I looked around at several different places and decided on Blurb. I liked the look of their books best and liked the versatility they offered over some of the others.

I am currently working on my book and will hopefully send it off to print by the end of the month. Here are a few pros and cons I have discovered thus far working on this project.

  • Fairly easy to use, straightforward
  • Reasonable prices
  • Options for layouts
  • Background options, patterns and colors


  • Slow program and not as sensitive to mouse drags etc as I want - really annoying!
  • Must use layout templates that can't be altered - i.e. expand a text box
  • Time consuming - This may just be the perfectionist in me, but I have already put in about 6 hours into the book to make it look the way I want. I'm only 2/3 the way through

So there you have it! My review of Blurb while it's still a work in progress. Have you printed your blog? Who did you use and were you happy with the result?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pink Cupcakes

BG has been asking me for awhile to make pink cupcakes. I thought with Valentine's Day quickly approaching, it would be a great time to make them. I realized I didn't have a cake mix so we would have to make it from scratch. I figured that wouldn't be too hard. I found a recipe for a coconut cake in a cookbook and we set to work.

I need to remember not to make recipes I haven't tried before when cooking with BG. I am very distracted trying to cook with her so I'm not so good at reading the recipe correctly. The first thing I did was dump the eggs and sugar together. It wasn't until after they were sitting the bowl together did I read I should have creamed the sugar and butter first. I took out as much of the eggs as I could for the creaming. We got to the eggs later and I dumped them back in. It was three steps later that I noticed I should have only combined the yolks and reserved the whites. They were to be whipped separately and folded in at the end. By that point, I didn't care. I knew the cake wouldn't be a fluffy as it would have been if I followed the recipe but I figured all the ingredients were in there so I wasn't going to worry about it.

I put half the batter into a cake pan and got out the food coloring for the rest. BG loved watching the color swirl through the batter. She squealed in delight "I love it! I love it!" We baked everything up while I made frosting. We colored some of the coconut red and she also loved that.

Isn't my helper so cute? She loved playing the flour that we spilled on the counter. She is really good at dumping the ingredients into the bowl.
The final cake. Despite all the mix-ups during the mixing process, it turned out tasty!

And the cupcakes. We had to leave some naked (sans coconut) for Daddy who doesn't like coconut. She loved the pink topping.

Enjoying the fruits of her labor. She didn't want to pick it up with her hands. Instead she just lifted up the plate to bite it. She really must be my child because she basically licked all the frosting off then declared she was done. The frosting is my favorite part too!

Friday, February 6, 2009


BG has a relationship with spiders. Usually it's a bad one but on occasion, she likes them. The thing is, I can't recall when she's actually seen a live spider, at least not recently. Maybe back in the summer when we were working in the garden.

The last few nights she has insisted on a spider check before bed. Daddy is the only one qualified to complete a thorough spider check of her bed. It involved examining her blankets and shaking them out, closely examining her pink bear and pillow, and wiping down her sheets. The spiders apparently live in the corner of her bed because that is where they are always coming from.

She often sees "spiders" in the car. Sometimes they are on her. I tell her to throw them away. She will "pick up" the imaginary spider and throw it into the air. This seems to help appease any anxiety.

Some kids are afraid of monsters or reptiles. Mine has a thing for spiders.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Writers Workshop

This weeks writers workshop prompts were too good to pass up. I choose number 4- Write a list of ten things on your mind this week. So, in no particular order...

1. I really want to try this mirror makeover that I found at Southern Hospitality. It makes a huge difference and looks easy enough that I could handle it.

2. I need to make some more jewelry for a show I am doing in a few weeks.

3. I want to find some time to get the shelf I bought stained and hung.

4. I wonder how much I can spend on decorating/organizing before JM gets mad at me.

5. When is BG going to get the potty training thing so we can be done with diapers already!?

6. I need a vacation. I'm really looking forward to having President's Day off in a few weeks so I can just chill or work on my own things.

7. Are JM and I exchanging Valentines gifts? If so, what should I get him?

8. My birthday is next week and I'm feeling strangle neutral about it.

9. I'm annoyed that JM doesn't want me to paint my office. I would look so much better with a grey blue paint on even one or two walls.

10. Our wireless network at home keeps kicking me off the Internet when I try to work on my laptop. It is really infuriating and puts me in a bad mood.

Click over to Mama's Kat's for more!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Organization Nation

I am on an all-out organizing kick. This weekend, I went to Target (heaven!) and stocked up on all kinds of great gadgets to keep the ever-increasing chaos of our lives in order. I bought one of these.
I'm not planning on using it for shoes though. I'm going to put it on the inside of my linen closet and fill the pockets with all the medication we have stashed all over the house. The bathroom medicines cabinets are bursting, leaving no room for anything else. JM pointed out for safety reasons, we will fill the top pockets first and make sure everything is out of reach of little ones. I also bought a few of these.
We buy bag cereal. It is stored on the top shelf of the pantry and it drives me crazy that the bags fall all over each other and don't stay in one place. I end up clearing off the shelf every time I want a bowl of cereal. No more! I also bought this (well, something similar).
Our spices are housed in a cabinet next to the stove. I have tried all kinds of things to keep it organized, but they always end up all jumbled. That leads to me pulling out half the spices I own to find the Oregano. Not efficient. So I got one of these so you can better see the spices located in the back. When I was putting them back, I also got the brilliant idea for how to arrange them. Instead of alphabetical order, which is what I normally do, I arranged them by the ones we use most. Those ones are now located in the front. We use a lot more Thyme than Allspice at our house. Now, the Thyme is located front and center, but I can still see the Allspice in the back.

That's just a few of the things I have been working on around the house. We also FINALLY hung family pictures. The pictures that have been sitting on the floor since we moved into the house over a year ago. Now on the wall and looking fine! We also bought some window treatments and rods. Hopefully we can get those hung tonight!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Superbowl Winner

This year's Superbowl winner was me! Not literally of course. Although I think I could rock the tight shorts... But I digress.

We watched the game with JM's family. They do $.25 bets on each quarter of the game. Everyone puts in a guess for what the combined score will be at the end of the quarter. The person with the closest guess without going over wins the money from that quarter. I won the first and second quarters! My first quarter guess was 0; the actual combined score was 3. When placing my bet for the second quarter, I first said 7. My Bro-in-law, who was taking the bets, tried to explain to me that it would be nearly impossible to get a combined score of 7. I decided since I went low the first quarter, I would guess high on the second and went with 21. There was more rolling of the eyes that 21 would be a difficult score to achieve due to rules and stuff. Whatever.

But when that last second touchdown pushed the 2nd quarter score to 24, I won again! I lost 3rd quarter, which is also when we left to go home. BG was getting tired and had had plenty of excitement for one day. Did anyone else have a party or win their own pot of quarters? Mine winnings totaled $4.50. Oh yeah! Living the high life.