Friday, August 31, 2012


Last night Kembia came into the bedroom with donut all over her face.  I got halfway down the hall  to get a washcloth when I realized that I was dreaming.  Good grief.  Talk about tired.  So I used it as an excuse to go and cover up Truitt who was sleeping in the living room since we are trying to get Moyz to stay in his bed at night.  He usually comes out at least twice, comes over to my side of the bed and stares at me.  If anyone has any tips that would be so awesome I would love you forever.  He has done it every night since he could walk, so it will be one year this coming November where we get up multiple times a night.

Still need a little bit more time on the projects I have going around the house.  Yesterday I spent around 3 hours lovingly fixing up a lamp that I have and then when it was all finished, it didn't work.  Should have checked that first.  I was not a happy camper.  Hopefully I will get the slipcover finished this weekend and then get the how-to posted for you next Tuesday probably with the holiday.

Enjoy your labor day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Too Tired to Clean

The last week has been exhausting for me.  Hubby repeatedly asks if I am okay and if I need to go and talk to someone.  Not a good sign.

And then yesterday, two men from the local energy company show up at my door to tell me that our gas meter has to be changed out.  They do it once every 20 years.  I happened to be asleep on the couch with Owen when they knocked.  What are the odds that someone would show up at the door and need to work on our house on the one day in the last 4 months I get to nap?  At least they didn't hit the doorbell and wake the other kids up.

So then I tried to go back to sleep, but I had to pee and I had to forget about napping anymore.  And then 5 minutes later they knock again.  This time they have to come in the house to restart the pilot light in our water heater.  I think I almost panicked.  I was in a white t-shirt, no bra and blue bermuda shorts.  My house was seriously the worst it has ever been in probably months.  There are toys spread all over the floor, and an empty beer can on one of the coffee tables in the living room. I have three babies in diapers and a kid passed out on the living room couch.  You couldn't see the kitchen counters because they were filled with all sorts of crap, the table was covered in filth, and the floor had huge marks all over it from dirty kids with bare feet.  Plus there was some smell coming from the sink area that I hadn't been able to identify or find yet.

And bonus, he actually had to go downstairs to the hoarder basement as well.  Now I was feeling a little bit better because I had worked on cleaning it but then I remembered that there was dirty underwear and dishrags that I had just tossed down the steps that I was going to "deal with later" and no lying, about 12 loads of laundry piled up right next to where he needed to go.

I seriously called Chris the instant they left and explained the entire scenario.  To which he responded that I will probably never see them again and not to think about it.  Meanwhile, I am praying with all my might that they don't call social services to come out and check on us.





WARNING! Swearing in the below picture.  But I had to post it because sometimes I feel like this is my life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Turn Me On Tuesday

This weeks list is kind of a bizarre mish-mash of stuff that isn't connected at all.  Sounds like it sums up my life!

1.  Generic Zyrtec

Okay, this may not be a "turn me on" type item, but without this item I would be a major pain in the neck person due to severe fall allergies that I have had only the second time in my life. To everyone.  Think of the most famous person you would ever want to meet and then imagine telling that person to go jump off a roof.  That's how miserable I would feel without this.  Also, I don't have an image for the generic version, just ask your pharmacist and he'll hook you up.  He will also take all your info. and enter it into the database to try and prevent over-buying so you can't make illegal drugs.  I seriously didn't know they did this.

2.  Clinical Strength Deodorant

Also another non-glamorous item for Tuesday, but I love this stuff.  I sweat.  A lot.  Like a pig.  And usually (TMI warning) I don't shave my armpits.  I like to pretend I am French.  I swear to you that by not shaving I sweat a lot less.  But it grosses my hubby out in the summer because I wear a lot of tank tops.  Plus then I feel bad about all the other people who have to see my 2 inch length armpit hair.  So in the summer I shave on a sort of regular basis.  And regular deodorants don't cut it.  But this one does.  Just make sure to put it on before you sweat even one tiny iota or it won't work.  It also suggests putting it on at night, which I have never done, but would probably help even more.  It's expensive, about $8 and you get much less than a regular deodorant, but it's probably worth it.

3.  Crayola Watercolor Pencils

Ad image

I saw these like 6 months ago on a blog.  Crayola had sent them to the lady to play with and rank how it went and I became immediately infatuated with them.  But then couldn't find them in stores.    Then last week I got the last school item I needed and there they were.  I have only had a little bit of time to play with them but it is so much fun.  Draw your item and then get it wet and it makes it look like a watercolor painting.  I have no idea how it works but oh my goodness am I going to have fun with this.  $3 for 12 pencils.  Don't know the price for the above 24

4.  Rachel Ray September issue magazine

My Rachel Ray magazine has been expired for a long time, but then the fam and I were in Mills Fleet Farm and I was getting bored so I bought this magazine and some chocolate covered peanuts and Truitt and I headed back to the car while the rest finished their shopping.  Normally I don't buy magazines individually because it is so much cheaper to just get the subscription, but this one is devoted to Italian food- my absolute favorite.  Plus it had a cheap subscription rate in it so I am going to renew now as well.  I think I want to make just about every recipe in the September 2012 issue.

5.  Justin Bieber's "As long as you love me"

Okay, I am hanging my head in shame here.  I admit to loving a Justin Bieber song.  The crush for all girls 15 and under.  But I l.o.v.e. this song.  So much so that I made Chris listen to it and then I told him it was our theme song.  Pathetic I know.  But the lyrics, oh the lyrics.  Example:
 But the grass ain't always greener on the other side,
It's green where you water it
So I know we got issues baby true true true
But I'd rather work on this with you
Than to go ahead and start with someone new

Okay, I absolutely love that line "It's green where you water it", doesn't that sum up marriage so well?  Marriage is hard people, and sometimes it sucks, and sometimes you don't water it and it turns yellow and starts to die, but then, amazingly, just a little bit of water and it greens back up.  Just like marriages.  Or at least just like my marriage.  It's amazing what a little bit of effort can do.

Here is a link to the song:  As Long As You Love Me  And if you are ever listening to Justin Bieber songs on youtube I suggest you just listen to one that is lyrics only and not his music videos which are lame, and not all that kid appropriate, at least not for my kids.

That's it for this week.  (Again with blogger crazily whiting stuff I write, I swear I don't know how this happens, it's not like I wanted to extra highlight my pathetic love of this song!)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

So today isn't going to happen as far as posting my living room.  We had a crazy, busy weekend and I just got the second coat of paint on my dressers yesterday so I have to put the polyacrylic on today and then wait a day or two, so I am hoping for Wednesday or Thursday to have everything in place.

Not only did we have a crazy weekend but I developed a raging case of fall allergies for only the second time ever in my life.  I literally want to claw my eyes off my face.  I have been taking generic Claritin, but even that doesn't take away everything.  I have been watching Moyz closely because the derm. told me that with eczema kids often have allergies and asthma, but I haven't seen any signs of that at all.  Hopefully it continues that way.

And then there was the dentist appointments this weekend.  We drive 40 miles to see the dentist because it's where Chris works and they do Saturday appts. for kids which is a huge bonus for us because I am not taking 5 kids to the dentist by myself.  I know I have blogged about how my kids may not be the best toothbrushers ever, but they came back from the dentist with glowing reports.  Which is great, but I was sort of hoping they would tell my kids that they need to brush more often, but now my kids are going to be all like "the dentist says I have some of the best brush teethed ever".

And while they were there, Kembia and I "quick" ran to a meet and greet that an animal shelter was doing and I fell in love with a half American Bulldog, half Boxer puppy named, of all things, Barney.  Chris still is not completely on board and is trying to very mechanical engineer of him, make a list of the positives vs. the negatives of dog ownership.  As of last night he is "not sure the benefits outweigh the negatives".  Poop.

Plus Kembia  learned the word "stupid" this weekend after hearing her big brother Owen saying it.  We discourage the word stupid mostly because I hate to hear kids say that they are stupid, but Owen used it like "that is so stupid" and then Kembia repeated it again and again.  But we put the kabosh on that really quick.  However, we do allow our kids to say the world suck (I know, I think I can hear some of you guys going what?  you allow them to say suck but not stupid?)  Mostly we let them do it because Chris and I use it a fair amount, and how can we use it and then not let them?  Although I have been trying to use it less because when I say it less so do they.  And just so I am clear on how it is used, I use it when something goes bad.  Like "that really sucks, the dishwasher just overflowed and now I have to clean it up."

Okay, that's the Nelson weekend wrap up.  Hope yours was more exciting than mine.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Working On The Living Room

Did you know that if you hit an acrylic nail with a hammer it will break?  And I just got them filled, there's $18 down the drain.

So I decided to make some living room changes.  For the longest time, like the first 9 years of our marriage we had my parents old couch that they graciously gave to us.  And then we had some friends who were getting new ones and offered us their old ones.  Both of which happened to be pull-out beds.  Major score.  Seeing as we don't have a guest bedroom and we knew we were going from 2 to 5 kids pretty much overnight, we snapped those babies up.  And they look like this:

It's kind of hard to tell with the lighting but they are an ugly forest green.  Not a problem.  I can cover them up with a slipcover, which I did.  And by the way, they are not cheap.  I found a stretchy two piece for both the loveseat above and the couch.  

But now some time has passed and all of our new children have left their "mark" (read nasty diaper stains) on the slipcover and it was never really the color I wanted, so I decided to make my own.  And at the same time decided to make some changes.

Here is a picture of the couch area with the new slipcover I made as it is currently:

Not terrible, but the pillars with the breakable vases are a major issue in our house right now, Truitt has almost pulled them over several times.  I am surprised that didn't happen with Kembia and Moyz. I originally put them up because I needed to fill the space on the sides of the couch and I had them from our wedding and thought I may as well do something with them, plus it was a free change to the house.  But now they must go because they are a safety hazard and I am just tired of looking at them.  And I will have a slipcover tutorial for the loveseat once I get it done, I was just too impatient to do it with the sofa.  

Here is a sneak peek at what is happening, and keep in mind that it's not finished, and will involve an IKEA rast hack.  Which was probably the easiest IKEA piece I have ever put together, and that is saying a lot because they are notoriously a ginormous pain in the butt to put anything they make together.  

Now that my kitchen is black, the living room was mostly brown as accents and the two just didn't flow right together.  My house hasn't felt exactly cohesive, and even though I loved both sides separately, I need for them to fit as one because my house has been giving me anxiety ever since I re-did the kitchen.  I know, I should probably just get over it, but I can't.  There may be something to that whole fung shuei thing.  (Totally don't know how to spell that!)

Hopefully Monday I will have finished pictures up of what it all looks like, although we have a super busy weekend coming up so no promises.  And actually, it will only be pictures of the couch area because I don't even have the fabric for the loveseat yet, so I will have to wait to show the entire living room until I get that done.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Looking For A Dog (Kind of, well one of us is...)

The kids have been begging, literally for as long as I can remember now, to get a dog.  The fish got rid of them asking for awhile, but they realize that as a pet, fish kind of suck.

So, I decided to spend sometime with Petfinder.  My suggestion to you is not to do this unless you want to see cute, helpless animals that need to find a home.  They will call out your name and you will dream about them.  Unless you are mean and the type of person who kicks puppies for sport.

I happen to like the type of dog that looks "mean".  Rottweiler, Doberman, Pit Bull.  I love the way they look.  And it is so unfair the rap that they get because of stupid owners and what the dogs were used for 100 year ago.  However, our homeowners insurance has stipulations against them, and any knowing mix, so sadly I cannot look at the dogs with that breed.

Chris is not on board with this.  Sometimes I think I may be able to convince him and then it all just goes away.  I thought I could help with that by not getting a puppy, but a younger dog who is already house trained and doesn't want to chew on everything in sight, but no go.  We'll see.  I am crossing my fingers and so are the kids who are near tears now that they have seen a bunch on petfinder but daddy is still saying no.

And then there is this:

Buzz: Saint Bernard St. Bernard, Dog; Solway, MN

This cute little thing is a St. Bernard/ Chihuahua mix.  For real.  Could you even imagine?  Actually, probably you shouldn't.  The mom is a 180 pound St. Bernard and the dad a 3 pound Chihuahua.  Chris' response when I told him about this was that the Chihuahua should feel very proud of himself.  I seriously would not have thought this possible.  However, this cutie isn't in the running because even with a teeny dad I have a feeling she is going to be humongous.  And small house, 5 kids and humongous dog don't mix well.

By default though we would have to get a medium to large dog, otherwise I think Kembia and Moyz and Truitt might excessively pound on the poor thing and we need a dog who can take a litte rough housing.  

I'll keep you updated if this goes anywhere.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Favorite Blogs

All right, since I've got nothing for a Turn Me On Tuesday,  I thought I would share these fun blogs, and sorry, some of then are repeats but that just means they are worth reading!

1.  House Tweaking  Decorating blog by a hip young mom of 3, their last baby just born a surprise, while remodeling a new-old home.

2.  Sawdust and Embryos  Okay, so I know the name is a little strange, but they're a couple who have a fun blog for DIY, and had their twins through IVF.

2. Young House Love  The "It" couple of DIY home stuff.  Love them and they post twice a day!

3. Capitol Hill Style  Fashion blog by woman who works on Capitol Hill, super snarky, I love it.

4. A Little Glass Box  Lots of fun DIY projects, her son is adorable.

5. Michaela Noelle Designs  Sweet, young designer with one year left of college.

6. Life in the Fun Lane  Canadian decorating blog by a young mom.

7. Stuff Christians Like  Hilarious stuff.  Trust me, you will want to read it.

Hope you enjoy some of these, and if you know of any good ones that I should be checking out, please leave them in the comments!

PS- I think my kids are going stir crazy because Owen is playing "chrysallis", where he wraps himself up in a blanket and pretends that he is a butterfly coming out of his cocoon.  I think school is going to be very good for him!  Two weeks until school starts, I have officially started my countdown!

Monday, August 20, 2012

This Is Why I am Not Martha Stewart

Look at the following image:

Do you know what this is?  It's a mural that Martha Stewart made for her grandchildren in her daughter, Alexis Stewart's apartment,  out of Canadian Arctic deer hides.  Because everyone who goes to Canada brings back an armload of deer skin and thinks "someday I will do something with this".

I have to show a few more pics:

This is her kitchen.

The office, where she only wanted one cabinet of storage to avoid having things to store.  What?

Living Light
The living room.

Her bedroom.  Doesn't it just scream cozy?  (Sarcasm people, I hope you are catching it!)

Okay, now that you have seen the pics, here is why I showed them to you.  Alexis Stewart said in the recent issue of Martha Stewart Living "I wanted something more feminine than my last apartment, but not girly."  And, "I made a decision early on to embrace color."

Really?  This apartment is feminine and colorful?  Where?  This has got to be one of the most minimal, non-girly, non-colorful places I have seen in a long time.  One peach chair, a blue mural coupled with a few other blue pieces in the apartment does not a colorful apartment make.

I was actually laughing as I read the article.  To me, this whole entire house feels like a sterile environment where children would never be able to thrive.

Here is the playroom:

Now, I will give her some props as to being colorful here, but it also makes me feel like I am in a Montessori store.  Not one plastic toy in sight.  I can just see the babies being scolded for having more than one toy out at a time.

I am sorry, I may be a spaz when it comes to decorating, but I would never want to live in a home like that.  Colorful and girly?  I hate to repeat that question again, but this is about as far from that as you can get.  And I am still laughing about the fact that it was represented in the magazine under those titles.

Please bring back Domino.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wishing For Fall

I have been dreaming of cooler weather since mid-July.  Which probably makes me certifiably insane since I hated last winter being cooped up in the house with 5 kids and could never get outside.  Now this summer we have been cooped up in the house because it is too hot outside.  Good grief, I need to get over it, or move somewhere where it's always like 70 as the high.  Does this place exist?  And also, do they need a handsome mechanical engineer?

Fall is my most favorite time of the year.  So in honor of it hopefully just around the corner, although my neck of the woods has been known to be extremely warm through September, I am listing things I love about fall.

1.My cool weather clothes.

I hate dressing for summer.  I love jeans with a cute tee and a cardigan.  It's pretty much my everyday uniform.  And a little tough to wear when it's 90 degrees out.  This past summer I bought 4 long dresses from Walmart and have probably worn them 75% of the time.  My friends probably wonder if I own anything else.  

This year, I have decided to shoot for wearing skirts with fun colored tights and riding boots.  I love me a good riding boot and am on the lookout for a black pair, which surprisingly, I don't own.  I actually bought my first pair of skinny jeans a couple of weeks ago.  I have fought that like the plague, because at a size 10 it's not always the best look.  But after trying and failing miserably to shove my boot cut jeans into my boots and looking ridiculous, it was time to bite the bullet.  I would never, ever wear skinny jeans not tucked into something though.  It's a little something called "thigh heavy"

This looks like the perfect outfit for me.  I love everything about it.  Especially the contrasting scarf in a different color.  The only thing I would change is that the bag is probably a bit small for me just judging by the picture, who knows though, it could be huge.  I need room for a book or two, and baby stuff.

2.  Soups

This is my hands down, favorite meal of all time.  I would take a bowl of yummy soup over almost anything else.  Here's a yummy recipe:

Chicken Enchilada Soup
3 cups chicken stock
2 skinless, chicken breasts
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
4-6 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup tomato paste
8 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
8 oz pepperjack cheese, divided
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chips

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add chicken stock and heat over medium heat. Add chicken breasts, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer about 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside. Add tomatoes, jalapenos, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pot. Simmer about 30 minutes, covered until tomatoes have begun to break down. Add black beans, corn, and tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add cotija cheese and half of the pepperjack cheese and stir to melt. Return chicken to soup and cook about 20 more minutes until desired consistency.

Add cilantro, reserving some to top individual bowls. Ladle into serving bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, reserved pepperjack cheese and cilantro.

3.  Fireplaces

Okay, I admit that I don't actually have a fireplace.  But curling up next to a fireplace with a good book and a comfy blanket is like my mental image of perfection.  So instead of fireplaces I will replace it with:

4.  Bonfires

Love being around the bonfire with family, roasting marshmallows and staring into the flames and pretty much forgetting that anything else exists.

5.  Fall Leaves

Love the trees that turn red the most, hate raking.  But I will take the gorgeousness of all the color, even with all the work.

6.  Holidays

Okay, so I get that the holidays has the highest suicide rate of the year.  And I guess I can understand that when we stress all the family togetherness and if your family sucks, or you don't have one, I can see where this comes from.  That is why we need Jesus, people.

I happen to be blessed with an amazing family (for the most part!) and so I love the holidays.  I love the togetherness, the decorating, the food, and how fast it helps the crappy, cold part of the year go quicker, at least until New Year's, after that, winter drags on f....o....r....e....v....e....r.

Plus, I love the Christmas tree in my small, cramped house.  I really do.  I leave the lights on all night long because I love waking up in the morning to the brightness of it all.  

So, August, please go as quickly as possible because I am ready for some change.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

PS- Hunger Games comes out on video tomorrow!  Now my hubby and I can finally watch it together since I saw it three times in the theater without him!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ginormous Zucchini

I find it interesting that blogger thinks ginormous can pass as a word, but thinks Truitt is misspelled.


As a kid we always had a decent size garden.  I remember that sometimes we got punished by picking weeds, or snapping green beans.  I hated that.  And I always remember that we had zucchini that grew to epic proportions.  But I truly do not have one childhood memory of eating zucchini.  My mom would probably beg to differ.

So when my parents took pity on our family and decided to grow a garden for us (and my brother too) I was super excited.  Last week when we went home to visit we were told that they had some zucchini ready for us.

Now we absolutely love zucchini at our house.  Our favorite way is probably to toss it in a pan with some olive oil, onion and garlic with salt and pepper.  Sometimes we add tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.  Yum.

But then we saw the zucchini my mom had for us.  And these were seriously the mother of all zucchinis, over two feet.

There is only one thing to do with a ginormous zucchini, and that is make zucchini bread.  With chocolate chips.  People who make zucchini bread without chocolate chips confuse me.  

Here is the recipe that I used:  (from all recipes, which seems to be the main place I get my recipes off the internet)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

I left out the nuts because I also think people who put nuts in things like this are strange as well, and added chocolate chips which are not in this recipe.  Just dump in what you think looks like a good amount.  

And then eat that stuff up.

I can just hear Chris wanting me to make lots of these.  This past summer I had to knead and all that jazz Amish Friendship bread for a whole month so I could make and freeze 12 loaves of it.  What a pain in the neck.  At least this recipe doesn't require sitting on my counter for 10 days at a time and daily smooshing.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Freezer Meal Co-op

Some friends and I are doing a freezer meal co-op.  We had our first meeting about 1 week ago where we went through how it's all going to work and picked meals.  Essentially, 10 of us will meet, pick a meal and then go home and make 10 of our meal, 1 for ourselves, and 9 for the other women.  So each month we will have 10 different meals that can quickly be made for supper.

In theory, I really like this idea.  However, after shopping the other day for my meal, ham and potato soup at Costco, I am not sure how I am going to feel about it.  It seems like it is going to be expensive, even after finding ham at a good price at Costco, as well as getting everything else pretty good, my meal is going to cost $9.40.  The meals usually feed between 4-6 people.  So you can see our household is already going to have a problem.  I can flush the meal out with bread and a salad, but that just adds to the over all cost.

Because we generally don't buy meat and eat only the venison we get each year, I am nervous that this will increase my food budget a fair amount.  And I am trying to decide if the increase in cost, which I haven't confirmed yet, is worth it for different meals that help me stay out of a food rut.  We'll see.

And I am hoping to do another freezer meal with a friend where we make like 20 meals a piece in a weekend of crazy cooking together.  I think I am going to like that option a little more because we can decide together what to make and she also has 7 in her family so we can theoretically go the "cheaper" route and do bulk things that feed a lot of people for comparatively little money.

Has anyone else ever done something like this before?  I have a sister in law who does a lot of this and seems to really love it, but I think she does it on her own and not part of a group.  But I guess if I was left by myself to do this I probably wouldn't.  Doing it with other people forces me not to procrastinate and thus it will actually get done!

And here is a website that give recipes and directions on how to do your freezer meals, I admit that I haven't looked at it a ton, but there are lots of recipes on there, and they sound super yummy.  Plus it appears that she has been doing this for a long time so that is always a bonus!

Once A Month Mom

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Turn Me On Tuesday

Okay, so I think I forgot to do this for the last two Tuesdays in a row.  For one I was on vacation, and for the other I have no good excuse.  But I am actually okay with skipping a week or two because sometimes it's hard to write these if I haven't tried anything new.  So I will shoot for every Tuesday, but it may become every other Tuesday.

This week:

1. Canada's Jam  (formerly called Malkins Jam)


Hubby and I love this jam.  But let me warn you, I have no idea to tell you where to get it.  We get it whenever we go to Fleet Farm in my hometown.  If you have a farmer-type of store near you there is a good chance it will be there.  It's definitely on the expensive side, about $5 for 16 oz. but super yummy and comes in several types.

2.  Downton Abbey

Okay, I know I am so late to this already.  Most of you are probably going "been there, done that". But I am running on limited amounts of free time and just recently got through Season 1 of this.  Love it.  And I really want to punch Thomas in the face.  So hopefully Season 2 (on DVD) will have something wonderfully terrible happen to him.  And I think Season 3 is starting soon, so I better hurry and catch up.

3.  Divergent by Veronica Roth

Front Cover

I discovered this book by typing in google "books like Hunger Games", and this one popped up, along with the sequel, Insurgent.  The trilogy is set to be completed in Fall 2013, so now I need to wait a whole year for the last book.  I hate that.  I would much rather be late to the game and be able to read the series in one fell swoop then got caught up in the mania of having to wait years.  I can't even give a good summary about it without sounding dumb, and Amazon's little paragraph about it doesn't make it sound all that great either, but it is a good read.  Not as good as Hunger Games but still worthwhile.  Check it out on amazon and read the reviews.  Or just order it, that's what I did.

4.  Survival Mom Book

Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios

With the risk of sounding overly survivalist to all of you, I really do like this book.  It is written from someone who would definitely consider themselves to be a prepper, so there is your caution, but it is filled with good tips on preparing your home for emergencies and the like.  Just last week I came home at night from vacation to a piece of paper stuck in my door from the water company saying we were going to be without water the next day for 4 hours.  Given the time, I really couldn't run to the store and get water to be ready for the morning without, but because I had read this book and put into play a couple things in it, I happened to have water on hand and we were just fine.  One other tip that I really liked was having a binder with photo copies of all important documents in them inside of it.  She suggest labeling the binder something like "Crockpot Recipes" and keeping it with the other cookbooks.  She suggests this in case you ever need a document that may be in your safety deposit box and you can't get to it.  Also, lots of people think their stuff in a safety deposit box is theirs and "safe", hence the name.  But President Roosevelt put down the command and all safety deposit boxes were seized and anyone who had gold bars in them at the time lost that to the US govt.  Most safety deposit box contracts have vague wording in them that allows the bank and the govt. to seize them at will if they see a need, which they determine, and your stuff becomes their stuff.  If that is where the only copy of your will or husband's life insurance is and you can't get to it or the bank or govt. seizes it, you are out of luck.  Plus, in an emergency like a flood, you could grab it and would have copies of things like the house title, your insurance, the kid's birth certs. etc.  Of course, it possesses a lot of valuable info. in it, so make sure to put it in a good spot.  I don't think a lot of people would steal something called "crockpot recipes" or "great scandinavian cooking".  Okay, now I do sound survivalist.  Sorry.

5.  Art Forms in Nature Book by Ernst Haeckel

Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel (Monographs)

This book is amazingly gorgeous.  And the perfect thing to do with it is pull out the pages, frame them and decorate your house with them.  It looks like something Ballard Designs would do, only you do it for much, much cheaper.  There are some amazing drawings in here.  I have a hallway full of them.  The book is $16.50 off Amazon.

That's it for this week.  I notice a theme when I do these, it pretty much centers around food and books.  But I guess that's because I don't buy a lot of other stuff.  Anything new or note worthy you know of?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Working on the Hoarder Basement

I finally bit the bullet and decided to start working on my basement.  I have put it off for about, oh, the entire year the babies have been home, but now we can barely move down there and so I had to do something.  Or lose small children among all the crap, and I can guarantee you it's not baby-proof and Truitt would stick something in his mouth and choke.

I should have taken before pictures because I think it would have helped you understand what it looked like, but I forgot.  I do have a friend or two who have seen it though, and they could publicly attest to it if you really needed the proof.

The first area I started with was the boxes of clothes.  I was able to give away 6 bags of clothes to a friend, and that's not counting all of the clothes that I deemed too nasty or adult clothes that needed to go as well.  We moved Moyz into size 3 and I have 29 short sleeve shirts and 25 long sleeve shirts in that range.  Now to be fair to myself, and make myself feel better, most of them weren't Owen's, but were donated to us.  The good thing is, is that we are coming up onto hopefully cooler weather, so I just picked a selection of the short sleeve for Moyz and saved the rest for Truitt to wear, which at the rate he is going will be next spring.

Truitt also moved out of 12 months and into 18 months, and I love it when he outgrows a size because it means I can get it out of my house!  No storing for a future kid to wear.  Same this weekend for Kembia, out of 18 months (finally!) and into size 2, which I will admit is slightly big in the legs as far as pants, but I was working with a limited selection of clothing in the size 18 months, so it's nice to have some other options.

Chris whined that he felt like he barely saw me this weekend because I was buried in the basement, but I countered with the fact that it is looking amazing and so he probably shouldn't whine too much.  And as much as I hate cleaning, I kind of enjoyed it because Chris pulled 75% child duty.  So even though I had to sort and put away, at least I did it mostly sans children!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Bunny Phone

Because I am so tired today (how tired?  My whole family went to bed last night at 6:45, including Chris and me) I am giving you a link to a hilarious post at Capitol Hill Style about this:

Seriously people, just because this is America and we can, doesn't mean we should.  Read her hilarious thoughts on this phone here Capitol Hill Style

And "her" is a woman who works on Capitol Hill as a lobbyist, for the NRA.  Which, by the way, makes me crazy love her.  A woman with style, tons of snark, and loves gun?  Let's be friends!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I have a magazine problem

More than likely, I will end up as one of those sad women who order tons of mail because they like getting things in that cozy little mail box.  That's how excited I am at getting my magazines each month.  Pathetic, I know.

Here is a picture of SOME of my magazines.

Not pictured that I also get are: House Beautiful, Elle Decor and National Geographic and InStyle

I go in phases with my magazines.  Lucky I have been reading for many years.  They have a new editor and I am not necessarily crazy about some of the things since then.  Mostly that everything is super expensive now, and they don't have stuff in the price range that most Americans fall into- you know, the poor range.

Vanity Fair is my secret liberal indulgence.  I have always, always been conservative.  But I really like this magazine because it gives me just the amount of liberalism that I have in my life.  Can I just state how the two party system in this country sucks?  Both need some serious improvement.

I go between Food Network and Rachel Ray for meal ideas.  Basically I flip-flop each year.  Helps me break out of my food rut.

HGTV is new and I am liking it so far.  I don't have the channel, but the magazine is pretty good.

Martha Stewart.  Every couple of years I give her a try, and generally I come away each time thinking, too much money and too much time, both of which I don't have.

Country Living.  I am probably the furthest thing from country that I know of, that being said, there are some great rustic ideas in this magazine, and I love a good rustic touch mixed with everything else.

House Beautiful is probably my favorite.  Elle Decor tends to show homes that are too modern for my taste but I usually get the subscription cheap so it's worth it.

Love National Geographic.  Interesting articles and lots of great pictures.

Am also thinking about getting Discover again.  Fascinating science articles.  The Smithsonian is also an interesting magazine that I get on and off, it's cheap and each month the articles are so random you never know what you are going to get.

So there you have it, a fairly serious magazine addiction.  I would love to get Canadian House and Home, but at $40 per year, I have yet to bit the bullet.  And can I just add my forever lamentation of Domino?  Hands down the best home magazine ever invented, and then they had to go and do away with it because of the great 2008-2009 recession, and I will forever be sad.

Any other great magazines that I am missing out there?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gross Things My Boys Did Last Week

Last week Chris got to go to Wyoming for some schmoozing related to work, so the kids and I decided to head up to my parents.  Because if you are going to single parent, it is much better to have others around you!

Aside from general crazy running around the farm, there are several moments that stand out for us.   The first was when Truitt decided to eat, not once, but twice, dried peacock poop.  I am hoping to high heaven that peacocks are germ free, and given the humongous chance they aren't, that anything in them was dried up by all of the hot days we have had.

The next great adventure was when the house was quiet and I had to go hunting for the kids, only to discover Truitt in the back hall drinking water from the dog bowl that he was so magnificently using as a cup.  My gag reflex is kicking in, I almost can't handle it.  He drank almost the entire bowl.  And then spent the rest of the week in the back hall trying to intimidate the pomeranian by growling at her.  Probably in the hopes that she would leave and he could have a free for all with the water bowl again.

And then there is Moyz.  Moyz decided to copy what the dogs were doing at a family reunion on Saturday.  After a brief rain, he noticed that the dogs were licking the cement to drink water, and so I turn around and there he is copying the basset hound and licking the pavement and thinking this was the best idea ever.  Plus, on the way in to town one day he decided to shove a bead up his nose.  Thankfully, he didn't get it up that far and so we were able to retrieve it.

And finally Owen.  His isn't so much gross as the thought that it could be gross.  I shot a rabbit that was in the garden eating everything, and when I told Owen, he was so proud of me.  But when I told him that we weren't going to eat it, he almost started crying.  For real people.  I think I am raising the future Davy Crockett's of America.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fake Nails

In general, I consider myself to be a low maintenance type of girl.  I see nothing wrong with wearing the same black dress to poop around the house for three days in a row.  Heck, I don't even mind wearing it out in public three days in a row if I am not going to all the same places!  So I have surprised even myself with my recent desire to get acrylic nails.

I don't know what it is, possibly their allure is because longish nails look so nice on people.  Mine never get that long mostly, if I am honest, because I bite them.  I know, shame on me, I should have outgrown that like 20 years ago.  Even when I can get them long, they never stay that way for  more than a day or two and then they break.  Plus, I am the not so proud owner of stubby nail beds.

So today I bit the bullet and went for it.  First I called around to a bunch of salons and looked at stuff on the internet.  There is a whole bunch of info. out on the newest thing called gel nails, both the fancy nail polish and an extension.  But after talking and reading I went for acrylic.  I did it NOT in a shop in a strip mall, but went to a woman who does it out of her house.  She does not use the nasty glue that a lot of shops do, and does not use an electric file which erodes away at the nail bed and can cause problems.  She was more expensive then a shop in a mall, but I think it was worth it.

They look super cute in my opinion, and it does help me feel more pulled together.  We'll see how it goes as far as zipping jeans and not accidentally poking my kids and drawing blood.  The clicking as I type this is a little annoying, but I suppose like anything I will get used to it.  Kembia keeps pointing to them and smiling, I assume because she doesn't know how to say pretty yet.

After paying a not-so-dirt-cheap-amount for them, I think it will cure me of my biting habit, which then hopefully will carry over to when I no longer do acrylic nails.  And I guess I don't feel too bad about my biting habit, there could be worse ones.  I just recently read an article on adult thumb suckers!  Now there is an unfortunate habit to hang onto as a grown up.

PS- Is anybody else exhausted from staying up late to watch Olympics?  I am not sure I can keep this pace up!