Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bathroom cabinet make - over

Boys bathroom with freshly painted white cabinets
and new hardware!
My sister called me this week to tell me she was going to re-paint her kids' bathroom and paint the cabinets as well. She also painted her front door black and it came out amazing. It made me want to do something cute to my house. So I ran to Home Depot, got a small paint roller and some hardware and painted the boys' bathroom cabinets. I've been wanting to do it for a while, since I painted the downstairs bathrooms cabinets, and it came out great. I love how it looks. Now that the boys have a cute bathroom and bedrooms I want to do my own bed and bath. It's next on my list....

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gettin' in the Christmas Spirit

Last year I decided to enter a writing contest. It was the first time I ever put my writing out there for others to read and critique (well except for my college creative writing class). The contest was for Christmas short stories and the winning stories were going to be published in a collection. It was really fun thinking of an idea and writing and editing, and editing some more and letting other people read it and comment. It was fun reading the other stories and seeing how many different, fun ideas people came up with. I won one of the contest categories and now my story will be published, along with all of the other winners, in a collection that will be available to purchase on November 15. I'm so excited to see my first story in print. After this experience with this writing contest I've been trying to make writing more of a priority and take it more seriously. I recently sold a story to the Friend magazine, a magazine our church publishes for children. That story will be published in the June 2013 issue. I have also started a writers' group with a friend and we are gearing up for NaNoWriMo in November (National Novel Writing Month). By the end of November I hope to have my first draft of my first novel written. So, even though it's still a warm 85 degrees here in Vegas and it doesn't even feel like fall, start gearing up for Christmas by checking out Checkin' It Twice, available November 15 through Amazon. There's nothing better than reading a good holiday story to help you get into the Christmas Spirit.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ninja Cooking School

A couple of weeks ago I decided that the boys needed to help out more in the kitchen. I rearranged the chore chart and added "help Mom cook" as one of the chores for the week. Logan was my first helper and when I told him he got to be the chef helper he said, "I'm not a chef helper, I'm a ninja." So that is hoe Ninja Cooking School came to be. I started with something simple: fruit salad. I showed Logan how to use the knife to cut up oranges, bananas and grapes for fruit salad. He did a really good job. When it was time for dinner. he was super excited to tell everyone he made the salad all by himself and then he proceeded to eat a lot of it. He had never liked oranges before but since he cut them up he wanted to try them. Trevor helped last week and did a great job learning how to make Baked Ziti, using a knife to cut up strawberries, making mashed potatoes and chicken in a biscuit. He told me cooking was actually kind of fun. Colin gets to help this week and I picked his favorite for the menu: spaghetti and meatballs. It's a lot of fun having them in the kitchen to help cook and then after dinner they all stay and help clean up and do the dishes. I think someday my future daughter-in-laws are going to thank me.
Dave and the boys making dessert. Love my boys in the kitchen cooking!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Halloween Yarn Wreath

I was at Michael's Craft Store last weekend with my three boys trying to get stuff to make 2 new wreaths for my doors for Halloween. I knew what I wanted and was just going to go in, get my stuff, and get out, but the boys wanted to see EVERYTHING. We were there for at least 40 minutes looking at all of the fun Halloween stuff. It is my boys' favorite holiday and the beginning of all of the holiday fun. I love getting decorations out and finding something new to decorate with, and I just love having wreaths on my doors. I have been making lots of these yarn wreaths since I made my first one last year. They are so easy and look cute and there is so much you can do with them. I am not a crafty person so for me simple is better. When I was in the store getting yarn this woman asked if I knew how to crochet. I told her my yarn was for a wreath and then explained how to make it: get any wreath you want, any size, shape, whatever. Get the yarn you want, and then start wrapping. So easy. This lady was so impressed. She said she was going to try and learn to crochet but now she was going to make door wreaths instead. She was so excited. I was happy to spread some crafty cheer to someone. So this is how my Halloween wreath turned out. I love it. Colin said it looks nice and he likes the colors. Logan said it's not scary enough and it needs spiders and webs. He said moms will like it but not kids. After I put my wreaths up they put up all of the ghosts, skulls, tombstones and the other scary decorations. All we need are some pumpkins and we're good.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Now I'm a believer

I have a ton of rosemary in my front yard. People always tell me that I can cook with it, but I never believed them. I mean, the rosemary in my yard has got to be different from the stuff they use on cooking shows, right? But I would always hear from ladies how they go out in their yard and get a little and use it in their dinner. Sounded weird to me. But tonight, on a whim and because I was feeling all homemakey and domestic I went in my front yard and grabbed some rosemary. I was making homemade focaccia bread to go with my spaghetti for dinner. I wanted to flavor my bread so I got some garlic cloves and the rosemary and put it in my little food processor and chopped it all up. Once it was chopped I smelled it. It was a-maz-ing. One of the best smells ever. Colin said it smelled weird but he was wrong. I put half of the mixture into my bread dough and the other half I sauteed with a little olive oil and onions and then dumped in my can of Hunt's Spaghetti sauce and some cooked ground beef. I let the sauce simmer for about an hour while I got the bread ready and then baked it. And dinner tonight was delicious. The sauce tasted homemade and the rosemary added something. Trevor said he loved the sauce. I mean LOVED. It was so good. The focaccia was really good. It tasted like flavored pizza crust and next time I will put in more rosemary and garlic. The flavor was good but too subtle. I love cooking, I love trying new recipes and I love it the most when my kids lick their plates clean. (If you want the focaccia recipe you can find it here on PW's blog. Just make the dough and then put in the flavors you want. It would make a really good pizza dough too.)