Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fashion Shoot at the train depot

Yesterday was Meg's second fashion post.  We have so much fun doing photo shoots together.  Megan is so easy to photograph.  She looks cute in every picture so it makes my job very easy.  This week we went to the train depot in Ontarion Oregon. I love the way the pictures turned out with all the pops of red in Megan's outfit.

For more wonderful pictures and some info. on Megan's outfit, check out her blog here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Damsel in distress

This morning Meg and I were heading out for our second photo shoot (look for that post tomorrow).  We were set.  We had our vintage luggage (photo props-adorable) in the trunk and Meg's camera bag at our feet.   So, we are heading down the road and the car doesn't feel right.  A mechanic I am not, but I knew something was wrong.  I pulled over as soon as I could and our tire was completely flat.  So what's a girl to do?  Of course, I call my husband.  Thankfully, the gas station we pulled into had an Arby's.  So, we had to have a sandwich (turkey and swiss minus the mayo and onion-you must try it) while we waited.   Rob pulls in, removes the flat tire and puts on the spare;  all while we are inside enjoying our sandwich. 
Meg and I started discussing how glad we are that we are girls and don't have to take care of these things.  For example, trying to shovel a car out of a snow bank, finding a way into our locked up house, etc.  Now I know there are some females out there who would be proud to do these things for themselves.  And I say, "Kuddos to you!" Seriously.  However, I don't want to take away these opportunities for Rob to be my Knight in Shining Armour.  I'm sure there is some need he has to protect and take care of his girls.  So what kind of family would we be to deny him of his ability to fix things for us? 
Or, waiting for me while I shop?  Ah, who am I trying to kid?  He loves to "treasure hunt" as much as I do.
On the other hand; being a damsel in distress can have its challenges too.  When asking for help, it is most effective if you can bat long eyelashes.  Oh nuts!  That is a bit of a problem for me these days.
The Pioneer Woman recently posted a question about false eyelashes and how many people are using them.  Get it here 
I have a pair of false eyelashes that I wear on Halloweens.  I like the way they look, but I don't think I have ever put them on correctly.  Well, that is, if you aren't supposed to feel like you have needles poking in your eyes.  After reading around a hundred comments on this topic, I thought I would give the individual lashes a shot.
I watched this youtube video: Watch it here  It's really well done, and her tips are so helpful and easy to follow.
I bought the medium length lashes.  They didn't look very long in the box, but when I put them on they were unnaturally long.  I think I will need to buy some short ones.

Here are my natural eyelashes.
Here are my lashes with the individual eyelashes added.
As you can see, the lashes are so long that they touch my eyebrow. 

My two cents worth:
Positives:  The eyelashes weren't as difficult to apply as I thought.  Once they were on, I could barely feel them.  No poking at my eyeball.  A definite plus! I will need to buy some of the short length and add some short ones in. 
Negatives:  They didn't seem very thick ( Although, that is what many people like about the individual lashes-you can make them as thick or thin as you want).  So maybe that is also a positive.   I can't imagine putting these on daily, but I will absolutely take the time to wear them on special occasions.

Added Sunday:  Last night after I finished this post, I went to remove my long luxurious lashes.  Some of them just plinked off (maybe these weren't attached correctly).  There was one set of lashes right in the middle of my eye that would not come off!  I tried for about 15 minutes without any success.  I finally gave up thinking it would probably fall off during the night.  The next morning, it was still there-like little spider legs in the middle of my lashes.  I took a shower.  Still there.  I used about another 1/4 bottle of eye make up remover and nothing.  Then I read the fine print on the back of the eyelash packaging.  It says the lashes can be easily removed with specially formulated LashFree Adhesive Remover.  Ok, so I guess I should have read that when I was buying the adhesive.  I had a movie date with the girls so I had to trim the false lashes to the length of my real lashes.  I stopped by the drug store and they don't sell the adhesive remover.  Hmmm, I guess this will be a good test to see how long the lashes stay on.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A poinsettia for Valentine's Day?

What do you do with a poinsettia after the holidays? 
I did a Google search and I didn't come up with much.  However, I did find out that when it is warm enough, a poinsettia can be moved outside.  But it will be a long time, here in Idaho, before it's warm enough.  So, how do you decorate with a flower that is the most "Christmasy" flower after all the holiday decorations come down? 
I'm thinking most people must throw them away after Christmas.  But since I am just developing my Green Thumb (That only took 47 years!) I couldn't bear to throw these beautiful plants away.
I love the way the leaves look changing into a pretty pink.

My flowers are pink and red, and  Valentine's Day decorating is pink and red, so I thought why not give it a shot.
I repotted the pink poinsettia and tucked in some pink tulle.
I set this adorable plaster cherub next to the pot.
I think I like it.  It works for February.  I don't know what I'll do in March.  Green tulle and a leprechaun?  Or not.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Crown Revamped

I found this crown on sale at a cute little gift store in Boise last year. 
I thought I would put a candle in it.  Maybe a bird?  Hey, I like a good trend, and I have collected quite a few birds and items with birds on them over the past few seasons.  I didn't like the look of either, so I decided to make an arrangement with a nest on top. 
I bought this little nest with eggs at Ross.  I bought some moss and a little ivy.  I cut off a few of the ivy tips so the leaves were very small.  The fern was really hard for me to find.  I ended up buying
a fern in a little pot.  It was stuck in the pot with a bunch of foam and hot glue, so I made a huge styrofoam mess pulling it out of the pot.  I flattened it out and worked in a few strands of ivy.  I poked some little bunches of moss in here and there.
I filled the bottom of the crown with moss.
I added the greenery and nest.
Voila!  The finished crown.

 It's beginning to look like spring in here, even though it is snowing outside.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

A look back

The great thing about being a "newbie" to the blogging community is that I have a lot of past projects to blog about.  Since I do most of my creating in the summer, this will give me quite a few goodies to share over the next few months. 
We built our house eight years ago.  At that time, I bought two bar stools.  I think I was in a hurry and we were running short on money, so I bought a couple of stools that I didn't love. 


They are nice bar stools.  I ordered them from JCPenney.  They are metal, very heavy, and they swivel.  I think the problem is that they are a tuscan style and I was wanting more of a "cottagy" look.  Looking back on it, I think just about everything was tuscan in 2004.
To get that comfy, cottage look, I spray painted like crazy!  I think I used about 6 cans of a soft green spray paint.
But you can't leave furniture all shiny and new.  It has to look like it's been around for years and has a great story to tell.  I used a light gray acryclic paint and very lightly drybrushed over the green paint.  Then I sanded everything down.  I really went crazy on some parts.

Unlike our dining table and chairs, these barstools get used a lot.  I have reupholstered the seats several times over the years.  I had read about using a drop cloth to cover furniture.  What a great idea.  I spent $9 on a drop cloth, and I was able to cover both stools and a bench for Megan's room.  All I had to do was wash it three or four times and it was ready to go.  I thought a nice full ruffle would be fun, and cottagy (is that really a word?).

I love the way they turned out.  I was concerned that the spray paint might chip off  the metal, but it's been seven months and they are holding up great.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Morning Glory Muffins

I love to go to a cozy coffee shop and get a coffee and a really good muffin.  One of my favorite muffins is the morning glory.  A good morning glory weighs about a pound, and is loaded with all kinds of stuff!  I'm not really sure what's in one.  Of course there are those days when I want to hang out at home and still have a good muffin. So, I thought I would search for a recipe that is similar to the ones we get locally. 
I came across several recipes.  None of them seemed to be exactly right, so I took the things I liked from each of them.  I also changed a few things to make them a little more "clean".  (More about that later.)

Morning Glory Muffin Recipe #1
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. flaxseed meal
1/2 t. soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. allspice
1/2 t. sea salt
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 banana (mashed)
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 t. vanilla
1 c. carrots (grated fine)
1 c. raisins (soaked in juice)
1/2 c. pecans (finely chopped)
1/2 c. walnuts (coarsely chopped)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.  Mix the rest of the ingredients except for the walnuts.  Mix the dry and moist ingredients.  Fill twelve greased muffin tins.  I filled them to the top-they rise very little.  Sprinkle the walnuts on top.  Bake for 25 minutes.

Next time I am going to try adding:  grated zucchini, finely chopped apple, and crushed pineapple. The muffins from Zeppole have several kinds of seeds in them.  I might try sunflower seeds, some pumpkin seeds, or hemp seeds.  I don't know what hemp seeds are, but one recipe called for them.

To make this recipe very "clean" you could substitute the sugar with agave nectar or sucanat.  I haven't had much experience cooking with either of these.  I wonder if yogurt or applesauce could be used in place of the oil.  Hmmm, looks like I'm about to make myself a "test kitchen".

Monday, January 16, 2012

Photos with my Meg

I felt like a real live photographer today.  I had a photo session with Meg from Drawer full of pretty wishes.  Wow!  That made me sound so official.  Ok, so I took pictures of my daughter Megan today for her blog.  I think the pictures turned out great.  Of course it was easy because Meg is a natural at posing for the camera. 
We drove out on a country road about 2 miles from our house.  We were concerned about how blah the area might look since it is January and there is no snow to liven things up.  I think the yellows and tans in the landscape really made her outfit pop for the pictures though, so it was a good thing.  Or as Martha would say, "It's a very good thing".
Here are some of my favorites:



My favorite

To view more pictures from our "photo shoot"  be sure to visit Megan's blog. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kids, gotta love em'

Well, Ryan was feeling a little left out yesterday since he wasn't mentioned in any of the things that made me smile.  
So here's a story, featuring Ryan, that made us all smile.
This past fall, through a series of mishaps, Ryan ruined my favorite apron.  Now here's the thing.  Instead of telling me, and letting me see if it could be fixed, he just threw it away.  Well, I really shouldn't have been surprised.  When he was nine or ten, I was searching for days for his flat sheet.  Come to find out, he had thrown it away because he doesn't like flat sheets!  Anyway,  for Christmas, he ordered me a gift off the internet, wrapped it up in the package it came in, and put it under the tree.  Christmas morning, when I opened his gift, I was very surprised.  Actually, we were all (even Ryan) quite surprised.   He had bought me a child's size apron!

Every time I look at this apron it makes me smile.  And all you moms out there will understand that I will cherish it forever.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Little Things that Made Me Smile Today

Today was a great day.  I didn't do anything spectacular, but it was a day full of wonderful little things.  The quote on my calendar was perfect for today:

Remember this~
very little is
needed to make
a happy life.
 -Marcus Aurelius

1.  I woke up without a headache today.  I've had a headache for three days.  Yay! No pain behind my eye today!
2.  Rob went out in the cold and bought me a coffee from my favorite coffee shop.
3.  I used the adorable coffee cozy Meg gave me for Christmas.
4.  It was a baking kind of day.  I made our favorite banana bread.  There's nothing like smelling delicious bread baking on a cold January morning. You can find the recipe and directions here.
5.  We just bought a bag of clementines and they looked so pretty in my silver bowl.
6.  The first flower on my paper white bloomed today. 

7.  Meg and I made our favorite lunch:  Chicken salad on a croissant, Garden Salsa Sun Chips, and grapes.  This is normally something we eat on hot summer afternoons, but we liked it just as much on a chilly day like today.

8.  Bargain Shopping!  Megan and I hit the local thrift shops looking for some fun items to "up-cycle".  We are so excited to create some great things.