Friday, August 27, 2010

Is It Just Me?

There are certain days 
(the ones where I've been beaten down by motherhood)
when it takes me forever 
to comprehend these diagrams:
They make this mom's head hurt.
I'm tired....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dinner Theater

You're about to hear something singing voice.  Apologies all around.  Lee's the only musical one in this house.  But Nate looks and sounds funny here so maybe my singing won't make you cringe too much.

Friday, August 20, 2010

5 Friday Favorites

If I had a "girlie" space to call my very own,
I'd decorate it with artwork by Janet Hill Studio
I found her while browsing on Etsy and
I love her whimsical, feminine paintings.

I.  Love.  This.  Bread.  Period.

I read this book a few weeks ago
but find myself still thinking about it. 
I miss my Guernsey friends.

I'm not always happy with my fabric purchases after I make them,
but I'm quite pleased with the recent selection of this fabric....
soon to be pillows!

Angie Smith's latest blog entry about prayer really resonated with me.  She's the most amazing young woman.  Click on the picture above to go to her blog...expect to spend hours reading her story.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Giants Win the Pennant!

Ask any baseball fan about Bobby Thomson and they'll probably say he's responsible for one of the greatest moments in sports.  Bobby passed away today at the age of 86.  In his honor, Lee and I watched an episode of Sports Night tonight called "The Giants Win the Pennant" (Sports Night is one of my all-time favorite shows that was critically acclaimed yet watched by almost nobody).  Here's a clip from the show:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In the Life of Nate

Nate reminds us to pray at every meal and snack.
"Pray" he says, over and over.
At the end he says "'men" and "yea!"
And then I get a toddler tongue lashing because I don't pray EXACTLY like daddy does it.
Poor, poor pastor's wife (wink wink).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Before-and-After: $1 Tin Artwork

Before: $1 tin artwork courtesy of a local thrift store.
Kinda cute in it's own way but doesn't work for my decor.
(Please excuse the dusty outdoor window sill.  Eww.)

Step 1: I spray painted them a bright turquoise to match my living room accent color.  Then I waited for inspiration.  And waited.  And waited some more.  We're talking weeks here.

On a whim, I bought scrapbook paper that resembles wood planks.  I knew the frames needed some sort of depth and, for 50 cents, I thought I would give it a try.  It worked!
Step 2:  more waiting as I decide between a photo or illustration for the main focus.  After stumbling on this site, the light bulb went on and I printed copies of 2 vintage seed catalog covers.  I used 2 vintage hankies from my stash and, using this tutorial, created 2 rosettes.  

I added a couple small squares of cardboard to the back of the seed catalog prints so they would be three dimensional in the frame.  And here's the best part -- because these frames are metal, I glued small magnets to the back of the flowers and the artwork so that I could start over with a fresh canvas if I decide I want to go a different direction (considering the length of this process, I won't be changing things up any time soon).

Finished product:
I'm linking up this post to all of the parties over on the right....

Updated 9/28/10:  I'm linking up to the CSI Project this week


Friday, August 6, 2010

50s Friday

50s Friday is back with another fabulous Jello ad.  
And by fabulous, I mean creepy and gross. 
In the interest of full disclosure, 
I must not find this that creepy
because it hangs in my kitchen!

Date Night

Because Lee's job has him out in the evening several times during the month, including almost every Friday night, we don't often get out for a night on the town like we used to pre-parenthood.  But much to my delight, Lee will be home tonight at 5:30pm (early for him) so we'd like to do something "special."  Going out to dinner can be expensive so we've come up with a couple Date Night @ Home ideas.  I thought I'd post them here because when I Googled "date night at home" and the suggestion of scrapbooking with my husband came up (no joke) it seemed like a few fresh ideas needed to be shared.

Breakfast for dinner:  wear your pajamas, read the Sunday paper (if you've saved it) in bed, and have a nice meal on a tray.  No cereal -- I'm think frittata, waffles, fresh-squeezed OJ.  You know, the works.

Learn a card game together:  Gin Rummy, Canasta, Bridge, etc.  Can you say you know how to play all of these?  

Dinner and a movie with a theme:  we do this pretty frequently.  The meal has to correspond with the movie.  For instance, we watched Cinema Paradiso and ate Italian food.  Think outside the box -- how about a Western film with chili and cornbread?

Dress up:  I bet, if you're like me, you've got 2-3 fancy dresses in your closet that haven't seen the light of day in a while.  Dust them off and eat dinner by candlelight.
Recreate a holiday:  eat turkey and pretend it's Thanksgiving.  Have candy for dessert and daydream about Halloween.  Buy chocolates and flowers for your wife (at half the price!) and pretend it's Valentine's Day.  Wear red at your Valentine's Day dinner.

Star gaze:  Someone you know probably has a telescope stuck away in their attic or garage...borrow it & put a blanket on the lawn outside and look at the moon.  

Taste testing:  Doesn't matter what it is -- beer, wine, cola, ice cream, pizza, sushi -- sample several types of the same food and decide what your favorites are.

Do you have any other ideas you want to share?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Yummy Summer Meal

Roasted Potatoes, Shrimp, and Pancetta

2 Tblsp. olive oil
1 Lb. boiling potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/4 C. diced pancetta
2 cubes frozen crushed garlic
1/4 Tsp. red chile pepper flakes (I used less)
1 Lb. raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I couldn't find raw large shrimp so I used raw jumbo)
1/4 C. dry white wine (I used more)
salt and pepper
2 Tblsp. chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat over to 450 degrees.  Heat the olive oil in a medium ovenproof saute pan and saute the potatoes over medium-high heat until softened and golden, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the pancetta, garlic, red chile pepper flakes, shrimp, and white wine.  Season lightly with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.  Place the pan into the preheated oven and roast until shrimp are just cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Garnish with chopped parsley.  Serves 4-6.

Green Beans with Red Onion and Creamy Feta Dressing

1 16-oz. package fresh green beans, trimmed and steamed
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 C. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tblsp. chopped basil, for garnish

Arrange green beans on a serving plate and scatter most of the red onion slices over the surface, reserving a few.  Whisk together the dressing ingredients (the dressing will be thick, with pieces of feta throughout).  Dollop the dressing over the salad and garnish with reserved red onion slices and basil.  Serves 4-6.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Centerpiece Shake-Up

Clearly I have a thing for table centerpieces (see here and here).  I'm guessing it's because our dining room is small and on the sparse side and I like having something "pretty" in that room.  Plus, Nate makes us chase him around the table numerous times EVERY day -- who wants to run around a plain table??  Bor-ing. 

As much as I love my Ikea cake stand and it's endless possibilities as a centerpiece, I was ready for a change.  So I followed this post from Lemon Tree Creations (very clever ladies!) and created this:

Basically, I removed the pictures and mat from a rectangular frame that was collecting dust in the garage, painted it white, and lined the inside with a piece of scrap fabric.   To protect the table, I  stuck small, round felt pads on the bottom of each frame corner.   It's been fun to gather leaves, herbs, etc. from our yard and see how they all come together in an assortment of glass containers and vases.

Beauty at Your Fingertips

I'm working on a project that involves 
something similar to this image:

As Nate would say, it's "pitty pitty."  The archives on the Smithsonian Institute website are amazing.  I spent 20 minutes browsing through a bunch of old seed catalog illustrations before I realized my life was drifting away I had things to do.  A lot of the images are copyright free and are available for download.  Check them out here.

Long Lost Cousin or Stranger???

The problem with (1) getting older and (2) collecting vintage photos is that at some point you forget which pictures are actual relatives and which pictures were bought for a dime at a yard sale.  I do remember that the little lady below is NOT related to me in any way.  But there are 3-4 pictures I almost tossed yesterday before I hesitated and thought "should I be keeping these because we're kin???"   Oops.