Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How Not To Over-Eat On Thanksgiving Day.

Eat in front of a mirror!

Benjamin Moore Grant Beige. Another great neutral.  Love the leaning massive mirror in dining room and that chandy!!

Hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Hope you chuckle at these too!

Don't Ever Cut Off This Car...

Awkward Moments In Public Bathrooms...

The Biggest Banana He’s Ever Seen!

Children Are A Lot More Resourceful Than We Think...

The Only Reason Bookworms Haven't Ruled The World Yet Is Because There Are Too Many Books...

I love the internet!!

Monday, November 25, 2013


Look at some of these prints from Tom Hussey's mirror series.  I saw this in the Huffington Post.  And I literally cried when I looked at them.  He took people now in scenes and looking into mirrors where there is a reflection of themselves from when they were younger.

tom hussey

For all of the pictures go here.  I think I would love something like this when I am 80 to hang on the wall.  A good reminder of myself that even if I look old, there is still someone young inside.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Things That Confuse Me

It's kind of been a long week.  Last night was the worst because Chris feels that Zeke's cage is too small (it isn't) and that it's a miserable place for him to be at night and that he is old enough to be out at night.  So I laid awake a lot thinking that my 100 lb., 6 month old Great Dane was probably wandering the house and peeing because he couldn't hold it over night.

He didn't pee, so all is good except the fact that I am uber tired.

This morning I woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep so started flipping through an Elle Decor magazine.  It's kind of an odd magazine and not my favorite, and the one I accidentally renewed through 2016.  Oops.  Anyway, it led me to this post, for lack of anything better, about some recent things that I just don't understand.

1.  Jeff Koons

I don't get it.  People spend loads of money on this.  Giant balloon art has never appealed to me.

2.  Damien Hirst

Okay, to be fair, he has done some interesting things like putting sharks in glass boxes and some taxidermy stuff which I do find interesting, but a wall full of dots does not an art exhibit make.

3.  Any "art" that looks like my kids made, but my kids didn't


I don't understand this.  It's not something that makes me pause and wonder at the beauty of it, or the deeper hidden meaning.  I look at this and think it's ridiculous that someone would spend oodles of money on primary colored squares.

4.  Animal leg tables

In theory, you'd think I'd really like these since I do like taxidermy and animal stuff, but something about the stools or chairs where you just have legs gives me the creeps.  No thank you.

5.  Having your main "library" be on you kindle

Guys, I am really struggling with this whole kindle books thing.  On one hand I love that you can bring everything with you.  I really do.  On the other, I am such a tactical person that it drives me crazy to read books by flicking my finger and holding a piece of plastic.  I love, love the experience of books, turning the pages, tossing it on a table, the fact that I don't need to charge a book for fear that I can't access what's there.  And I have this bizarre fear that what if something happened to Amazon's cloud storage and I lost it all?  Then I would have paid all this money for books that literally disappeared in the great wide web.  I know, it is so irrational, but still.  Although, it is getting harder and harder to purchase a bound book when I can get it cheaper on kindle.  Although the flip side of that argument is why are kindle books still so expensive when all I am getting is words and not something tactically tangible?

Gotta go, Ava's alarm just went off, the day begins.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

You Will Not Believe This!

Check out this commercial.  I have seen it burning up the blogs this past week.  At first it doesn't look like anything amazing, but they did it in ONE take!  Un-freakin' believable!

I cannot even imagine the trust he must have had with those two truck drivers.  Hey dad, do you think you could do that!!  (The driving the truck backwards part, not the split part)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I Pee On You

Good morning  Art Print

Seriously.  I have decided that this is quite charming, and perfect for the space above the toilet in my bathroom that I saved for artwork.  Kind of fitting for that spot, wouldn't you say?

You can by the original here for $16, or you can go the route that I will and DIY.

As soon as I do this painting my bathroom will be finished and then I will post some pictures!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Little More Congo Adoption Information

Just wanted to give a heads up for anyone who may still be interested in Congo adoptions and somehow found this blog.  Even though now, two years after our kiddos are home it really is just a blog for Jess' brain dumps.

Anyway, in October and November, we had a friend spend almost a month in Congo to try and bring her legally adopted little girl home, and the DGM is still refusing to give exit letters.  She is with one of the more reputable adoption agencies, and so this, of course, is alarming.

I continue with my advice to not start a Congo adoption until the issue with exit letters has been resolved.  And again, if you are with an agency who is saying that this isn't a big deal, or that they will be fast tracked through this problem, please reconsider the ethics of your agency, and ultimately, your adoption.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mulling It Over

When I was pseudo-hunting, my cousin and I stopped by a winery in the Black Hills.  I am not one for wine and truthfully only like it if it's quite sweet.  So I was a little bit hesitant at first.

The winery we went to was called Prairie Berry in Hill City, South Dakota.

Isn't it pretty?

Anyway, we got to try 5 or 6 different wines, and I was pleasantly surprised.  Of course I gravitated towards the sweet ones, and ended up coming home with a pumpkin/cranberry, which sounds totally disgusting, I know, and two others which I can't recall what flavors off hand but you will have to trust me when I say they were definitely yummy.

But the big surprised was mulled wine.  I really, really liked it.  And it was even made with a dry wine, which I will admit was a little too dry, and I would make mine with a sweeter, but still, that says a lot.

They make their own mulled wine concoction and sell it for $7.95.  I bought some for my Downton Abbey party I will be hosting in January, but I think I am going to serve it for Thanksgiving with the Pumpkin Bog wine.

You can order it from Prairie Berry, Williams Sonoma, and other high-end food stores, or you can make your own.  Try here, here and for an alcoholic free option, mulled apple cider.

Friday, November 15, 2013


I have to be honest.  I am not totally over the moon for turkey.  I live for the sides at Thanksgiving.  Now, I come from a Scandinavian background, so we have typical things like green bean casserole and stuffing from a box (which I love, by the way).  And I find it comforting to have a similar meal every year with family.  It's all part of the tradition.

Recently, I came across some new recipes that totally up the ante.  But they are still similar to what you know and love.

Bobby Flay's Wild Mushroom-Bacon Sourdough Dressing

Picture of Wild Mushroom-Bacon Sourdough Dressing Recipe

I don't even know where to start with this one.  Sourdough, mushrooms, bacon?  Three of my favorite foods all together in this yummy goodness.  It's a little labor intensive compared to, you know, opening the box of Stove Top, but infinitely more times better.

Herbed Monkey Bread

This one came straight out of the Food Network magazine, but I couldn't find the exact recipe online so I found a similar one by Paula Deen.  But instead of making all of them parmesan and italian seasoning, mix it up a little by rolling some in paprika, dill, parsley- whatever herb you so desire.  Sure beats plain butter biscuits.  (Although, who am I kidding, those are great too!)

White Chocolate-Cranberry Cheesecake

Picture of White Chocolate-Cranberry Cheesecake Recipe

I think I have died and gone to Thanksgiving food heaven.  I mean, have you ever even imagined something like this?  True thing about cheesecake and Chris.  He used to hate it.  With a passion.  But I love it, and so enough time has been spent with me where he know likes it as well.  But I think this recipe might just push him over into the love category.

All sounds good, no?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Roasting The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

This year we are doing Thanksgiving at home.  The first time in a loooooong time.  Maybe my brother will show up, but we aren't sure yet.  It may be just the 7 of us for the first time in the history of the Nelson family.  I have a whole slew of ideas to cook, and I will post more on that later this week.

But today I want to talk turkey.  Well actually, I want to post a pretty picture of a turkey and then have you click the link to see how to do it.

Check it.

From the blog Chris Loves Julia, which I absolutely adore.  She's the cutest thing ever and he makes amazing recipes and posts them for the enjoyment of all.

Anyway, Chris from Chris Loves Julia, says the secret to the perfect turkey is brining.  Don't feel bad, I've never done it either.  But this is my year.  I'm gonna soak that turkey in juices like a turkey has never been soaked before.

I am pulling out all the stops and doing everything different this year.  Still Thanksgiving-ish, but better recipes and better food.  And my littles will honestly not care at all about it, but I will.

Click here to see the directions to roasting a perfect turkey, and then thank me (but mostly Chris and Julia) when it turns out amazing for your fam!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Coming Up Empty Handed

So back to Wyoming I went.  And we procured no deer. I basically tagged along with my brother and dad on their hunting trip.  I went to get away from my kids and have some peace and quiet.  I hunted for two days and then my cousin came and got me and we went to her vacation home in the Black Hills and did grown up things like visit a winery, which I have never done before, and ate in restaurants without the added chaos of kids.  It was great.  

I don't have very good pictures because my camera is crap, but I'll post the few good ones that I do have.

Groovy tree root

My dad overlooking the side of the mountain

I thought this tree bark was awesome, it grew wrapped around the tree, I am thinking possibly from the wind?

We drove up on a mountain path to this clearing where we pitched our tent

Dad and brother hiking on the mountain

It was a pretty fun break for me, even though everything I cooked gave us all gas, and even thought my brother and dad will give me crap forever after this because I abandoned them to go and do girly things with my cousin.  But I'll take it because it was a much needed trip.

Now I am back home adjusting to 5 kidlets again and wondering what in the heck did we do all day?

Friday, November 8, 2013


I have this horrible problem of reading too many books at one time.  I have one girlfriend who only reads one book at a time.  What a horrifying thought.

Here's what I've got going on right now.

1.  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

As a former microbiologist, of course we used her cells.  Which were originally taken from her without her knowledge and used for all sorts of research.  Fascinating book so far.

2.  Multiply

By Francis Chan (love, love him) on how as Christians, we are called to make disciples.  And how most of us aren't doing that.

3.  The Mysteries of Udolpho

If it's good enough to be talked about in the stories by Jane Austen, then it's good enough to be read by me.  I bought this specifically to be read in Wyoming, which hopefully I am doing right now even as you are reading this.

4. The Mortal Instruments, City of Bones

Product Details

So I am a little bit peevish of this one, especially if you went off the cover.... but I keep hearing all these great things about it and it is soon to be a movie, not that that necessarily means anything.

5.  In A Dark Wood Wandering

I really think I am going to like this one, but I have started it twice and had things happen to distract me.

What say you- one book or mulitples?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's Up House Beautiful?

Remember House Beautiful's $20 painted clothespins in their "Best Of" section?  Well, they've done it again with this gem.  (Continuing off the last post on statement walls)

Do you see all those fake flowers on the wall?  Doesn't it remind you of this horrible monstrosity by Trading Spaces?  (Remember that HGTV show?!)

Can you believe that someone chose to do this??

Anyway, I thought of this so fast when I saw the most recent House Beautiful cover and it just made me shake my head.  Someone paid a lot of money to do the purple custom flowers.  To be fair, it is loads better then the Trading Spaces bathroom, but come on people, fake flowers all over a wall?  How do you clean the dust off it?  What happens when you don't like it anymore?

And most importantly, who's making all these decisions and posting them in House Beautiful?  Cause I am thinking they may want to chat with a couple of their editors....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Statement Wall

Can you even imagine having one of these in your house?  I can't decide if I would head-over-heels love it, or get bored so fast.

How long do you think this would take?  A loooong time, but so worth it.  At least for awhile.

DIY Plank Statement Wall from Life Crafts & Whatever
Gorgeous.  Like a modern take on the old rustic cabin

Can you even imagine having your own wall of fresh herbs?  Love it.  Especially considering that herbs are like $3 for just a few snippets.  My kids would totally trash though.  And then I would cry.

Statement wall and gorgeous drawers
Love this in an all-white kitchen.  Maybe even in an all-white bedroom.

So what do you think- yes to the statement wall??

Friday, November 1, 2013

Your Stomach Will Thank You

While I am hoofing it in the Wyoming wilderness eating things like Ramen and oatmeal on repeat, I prepared this list of food-to-make-your-mouth-water that I am jealous of already by just putting it together. I already promised myself that after my wild-woman adventure I will come home and whip some, if not all, of these up.

1. Fire Broth Spicy Sausage Soup

If this doesn't say the perfect thing after a cold day, I don't know what does.

2.  Caramel Apple Tart

appletart Caramel Apple Tart

What to do with all those apples you and the kids picked...

3.  Pumpkin Scones

I attempted a different recipe that fell flat on its face.  But only because I didn't really know what a scone was supposed to look like.  But now I do, so yes to this please.

4.  Apple Cider Sangria

applecidersangria1 Apple Cider Sangria

Normally, I don't like oranges in my food or drink, but I am willing to give this a try for the sake of loving Sangria.

5.  Slow Cooker Coconut Hot Chocolate

Crockpot Coconut Hot Chocolate I

I've raved about this one before.  It should probably be made illegal.  It is that good and that bad for you.

6. Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles

Truffles always seem so time consuming.  But I really am going to have to give these a whirl.  I have tons of canned pumpkin in my pantry begging to be used for something, and this is a heck of a lot better than pumpkin pie!

Hope something speaks to you!