Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tomato Basil Pasta Soup

Lucky you, do I have a recipe for you!

This is my all time favorite soup recipe, Tomato Basil Pasta Soup.

I've been making this soup for years and I promise you, it will clear your sinuses on a cold winter's day and warm you up. It's just a tad spicy--not too much for the little ones. My kids love it.

The pasta, I think, is what makes it palatable for the kids. Seriously, what kid doesn't love pasta?

Have you ever wondered how to peel a tomato? Here's how you do it.

Cut a cross in the top of the tomato, submerge it in boiling water for about 2 minutes, and it will slide right off. It's the neatest thing.

I made lots of this soup to freeze when had to get our tomatoes off the vines before the frost hit. I kept some for myself and shared some with my friends and neighbors.

Now that you have a great recipe for tomato soup, go make oodles of it and freeze some for another meal or two. Just don't include the pasta in the portion you're going to freeze. You can add it once you reheat the soup.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fall Layouts

Here are a couple fall layouts I just finished. I did a post on these pictures back on this day if you didn't see it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Blog Button

Look, I made a blog button. Feel free to post it on your blog if you want.

I worked for hours trying to figure out how to write and post the html code for you to just paste and add to your blog, and I couldn't figure it out.

I'm a bonehead like that sometimes.

If you want it you'll have to do it by right clicking to save the button or just drag and drop it onto your computer, then upload it to your blog and link to me at

Thank you for visiting and reading my blog. I really appreciate you!

Family and Friends

This is my Mama Llama. She hates having her picture taken.

As I mentioned, she arrived safely, and she got here just in time to stay on top of the dishes I've been dirtying in my cooking frenzy. Thanks, Mom!

Here's my Mama Llama in the kitchen with Renee. Renee brought her own apron because she knew I was putting her to work on the gravy as soon as she got here.

She doesn't like my gravy boats. She thinks they're too tiny and she let me know how inadequate they were. Also, I don't have a fat separator.

Seriously, do you think I would be rotund if I knew I could separate fat with a kitchen hoojit?

Guess what I'm getting for Christmas.

By the way, this year I brined a turkey for the first time, and it was excellent. The breast meat was very moist and tender, so I will definitely do it again. I'm more of a dark meat person, but I was chowing down on the white meat today.

I didn't have any monsters in the kitchen bugging me today, because they were all downstairs with Peanut Head and the Wii. Everyone is hooked on the Wii.

Last weekend we introduced Smashley to it and she got hooked on the tennis. She was playing with Peanut Head and really getting into it.

So much that she lunged for a ball, smacked Thing 2 in the head, and broke the Wii remote. We had to buy another remote and this time I got insurance on it. I highly recommend insurance on the remotes if nothing else.

Oh yeah, and Thing 2 is okay. 

When we replaced the remote, we also bought the Wii rackets with the soft ends that the remotes fit into, hoping to protect the remotes a little better. When we got them home, the girls were smacking themselves in the head with them and saying "Oh yeah, this doesn't hurt. Smashley can hit us with these and it won't hurt at all."


This is Colleen, Smashley's little girl. She's a little cutie, isn't she?

And here's her little boy, Garrett. We just call him Garr Bear.

He has a veeeeeery high pitched little voice and he loooooooves to push Zoe's buttons.

Don't we all?

Here's Peanut Head and Renee's son, Marmaduke, playing the Wii together. They spent the entire day downstairs, catatonic like this.

This is why I call him Marmaduke. He's like 7 feet tall.

His real name's Dacey Byron.

Well, actually it's Dace, but we don't need real names around here.

And Renee, aka The Renaissance Woman, with her inquiring look. The only way I can get her picture is to catch her off guard.

And finally, here's Smashley with her husband, Patrick. Aren't they sweet?

We had a really nice day eating, visiting, eating, playing and eating. I couldn't ask for a better day.

Good food, good friends, and family. There's nothing better.

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving too.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Would You Look at This Turkey?

No, it's not Crazy Hair Day. This is Zoe Bug in the morning.

As I was wrestling the turkey into the oven this morning, Zoe came in with this sad face, the comb and the squirt bottle, and she wanted me to comb her hair. Right now.

Every time I see this, my heart drops because I know it means 20 more minutes of my life will be spent untangling this mess of a tumbleweed on top of her head.

Her hair gets like this because she rocks at night to soothe herself. Usually it's when she's having a bad dream or she just wakes up and can't get back to sleep.

It started when she was ten months old and I don't know how to stop it.

If nothing else, it's fun to watch. She looks like a jockey on her horse, on all fours with the top of her head rubbing back and forth against the mattress.

Hence the Bed Head.

It's a good thing I got most of my cooking done yesterday.

I'm happy to report that my Mama Llama arrived safely yesterday afternoon, and all is well in the Scott household.

We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Get Stuff Done When I Procrastinate--Unimportant Stuff

Did I mention that my Mama Llama was flying in to celebrate Thanksgiving with me?

Yeah, well, about that.

She missed her plane.

Can you believe that? Who misses their plane?!!!

Well, apparently my Mama Llama does.

She was driving to the airport, she got halfway there, and then she realized that she forgot her purse. Clearly she wasn't going anywhere without her purse, so she turned around and the rest is history.

She'll be flying in tomorrow now, a full 24 hours after her scheduled flight, but at least she's coming. She had to pay $170 to reschedule her flight. The worst part about that, is that she bought flight insurance on her original ticket, but forgetting your purse is apparently not an acceptable reason to miss your flight.

So she's supposed to get on the plane without her purse? How is that even possible with the check-everyone-for-ticks and bombs tight security we've got going on these days?

Seriously. What's the point of buying flight insurance?

The moral of this story is never buy flight insurance.

Oh yeah, and make sure you have your purse when you're going to the airport.

Mom. Are you reading this? You better not be! You better be on your plane. Get your purse and get on that plane, dang it!

So, since my Mama Llama isn't here yet I had extra time to procrastinate on my cleaning today.

So, I finished this.

It's a magnetic Christmas Countdown Good-Deed-A-Day Calendar.

Wow, that was a mouthful.

Want to see how I made it?

First I gathered my supplies. If you want to make it you will need: 1 12x12 scrapbook frame (minus the glass), 1 12x12 sheet of metal, 1 sheet of 12x12 scrapbook paper for the background, 5 sheets of coordinating scrapbook paper, 25 magnets, 25 clear flat marbles, chipboard glitter letters and a few sheets of coordinating card stock.

In place of the 12x12 scrapbook frame and the separate sheet of metal, you could also just use a magnetic board with a 12x12 magnetic area. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely go that route because the metal didn't fit perfectly into the frame, so Peanut Head had to attack it with his tin snips. That was pretty scary because that stuff is sharp when it's got a smooth edge, let alone after it has been worked over with the tin snips.

First I put lots of Photo Tape on the sheet of background paper so that it would lay down and never move again.

Hey, that sounds like a movie title.

Here it is. You can see that it didn't fit perfectly, but that's okay because that little bit will be covered up by the frame.

This next part is a little tedious. You will need to cut 50 2" squares out of each of your five scrapbook papers. That is, you will need 10 2" squares from each piece of pattern paper.

You will also need to cut 25 2" squares from your coordinating card stock. As you can see here, I cut my 25 2" squares from chipboard, which was a bad idea. It isn't necessary to have the squares that thick, and it makes it harder for the magnets to do their job when they have to go through that extra thickness.

After you get all the squares cut, you will want to ink the edges with a sponge dabbed in ink, and then scraped along the top edges of your paper squares.

When you're done, they look like this. Vintagey. Or, as The Barefoot Contessa says, dirty.

Really, what this does is gives the paper a bit of depth.

And it looks dirty. But I like dirty, so that's okay.

Next, I took 5 squares from each pattern, a total of 25 squares, and I laid them out on the board so that they would look nice, but not be too patterny looking. Randomy instead. All technical terms, of course.

I found the exact center of my board and started working from there. I did a minimal amount of measuring.

I so dislike measuring, which is why I usually measure once and cut twice. Bob Vila would be so disgusted with me.

As I was saying, I started in the exact center and then eyeballed the rest. It's a tinsy bit tippy, but it's good enough for me.

I nailed the squares down with excessive amounts of Tape Runner because, again, I do not want them to move, ever.

Next, I gave my frame a couple coats of watered down paint, so it would look more rustic.

Shabby Chic, I believe is the correct term.

Although if it were truly Shabby Chic, I would have tossed it about in some gravel, and maybe rubbed some dirt on it too.

But I don't like dirt.

Here's the next step. These little squares are going to be the Good Deeds for each day. You'll want to take a piece of card stock and a piece of pattern paper and glue them together real good. Repeat 24 times.

Again, I used my Tape Runner and I used way more than I would ever use if I were scrapbooking. Because I don't want the paper to moo . . . Oh, never mind. I think you get the idea.

Anyway, remember how I told you I used chip board and that was a bad idea? Well, here's another good reason to convince you to use card stock instead of chipboard. You don't have to paint the card stock. It took me extra time to paint all those little squares. So not fun.

Next was the really fun part. I got to make up good deeds for my kids to do each day and stick them on the backs of my cute little squares. That part was so much fun, I can't even tell you.

Clean the baseboards is one of the good deeds. I'm so excited to have clean baseboards once a year.

And another one is to make a special lunch for Daddy to take to work. Hee hee. I'm thinking he needs a Lunchable, a peanut butter sandwich with sprinkles, and some Pixie Sticks. Oh, and a juice box. This is so much fun!

Of course, the girls are already complaining that it's not a treat-a-day calendar.

"Where's my treat, Mom? Don't I get a treat for doing something good?"

"No! You get to be a better person and do nice things for people. You get to build character."

They're so not into the building character part. They're going to do it anyway. Even if it kills me.

Once all the good deeds are done, you stick them on the calendar with the marble magnets that you are going to make. You do remember how to do that, I hope? Go here if you forgot. The only thing that's different is that you're going to put sticker numbers on the paper circles before you adhere them to the magnets.

Pretty cool, huh?

Oh yeah, don't be dissing me for posting this before Thanksgiving. I have none of my decorations up, and I'm not playing the Christmas music yet.

Happy Thanksgiving, Turkeys!

Several people have asked me what all the deeds/activities were that I put on my calendar, so here's that list:

Shovel the sidewalks for a neighbor.
Make a special lunch for Daddy to take to work. 
Write thank you notes to let others know how much you appreciate them.
Donate something to the animal shelter.
Dust for mommy.
Put some money in the Salvation Army bell ringer's bucket.
Make and send a holiday card to someone.
Watch a Christmas movie with your family.
Read the Christmas story.
Put bird seed out for the birds.
When Daddy comes home from work, bring him his slippers and cuddle with him.
Organize something in your bedroom or some of your toys.
Take some treats to a neighbor.
Give someone a compliment.
Scrub the baseboards.
Make a paper chain to decorate your bedroom.
Write a thank you note and draw a picture for your teacher.
Buy an anonymous gift for someone less fortunate than yourself.
Eat a candy cane.
Do a chore for someone else.
Give everyone you see a smile today.
Do something nice for a member of your family.
Call a friend or relative who lives far away, and wish them a happy holiday.
Tell someone you love them.
Do something nice for someone anonymously.

I hope this helps!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sometimes It Doesn't Pay to Be Nice

I was so sad to see Amy fall below the yellow line tonight and then get voted off.

However, I can't help but think this wouldn't have happened if she had voted for Vickie [cough, spit, hack] last week. She had to have known that Vicki would get her revenge the first chance she got.

And she did.

The Blue team is incredibly naive as well, to not see that Vicki is playing them.

Now I can't wait for next week.

I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess.

Look at the Butter!!!!

Check it out!!!! FINALLY, I got some butter. It's not there all the time, because I think AdSense is toying with me, but every other opening of my web page or so I get the Darigold banner on my right side bar.

And sometimes it's under my post.

Why won't it stay in one place?

When it's not on the right side bar, that ad is usually the weight loss ad where they have a before picture of the girl not wearing Spanx, and the after picture where she is wearing Spanx and somebody shaved off her curves in Photoshop. Do you see what I'm talking about?

Has anyone else seen the butter ad?

It probably won't be there forever, but at least I got it for a day. Whoo Ha!

And what in the heck is that "I looked like a turkey" ad about? Has anyone seen that one? Geez, the ads on this blog are half the entertainment.

Kreativ Blogger Award

Look what Jody over at One Mom, Five Kids, gave me today. I've seen this award on other blogs, but this is a first for me. Yay! Thank you, Jody.

It just so happens that this little award couldn't have come at a better time for me. I've been busy procrastinating all day and I haven't even thought about what I would be posting for tomorrow, so Ta Da! I give you this blog award.

You all know I'm a cheater already, so this is yet another example of my cheatness. Cheaterness? Whatev. I cheat.

Anyway, I like this award because I'm supposed to share six things I'm thankful for. That's easy, and again, the timing is perfect as Thanksgiving is this week.

1) Peanut Head - He gave me babies, the best gift anyone has ever given me, and he puts up with my projects and big ideas. Usually he ends up getting involved as well, whether he wants to or not.
2) My kids - Monsters, they are, but they truly make me want to be a better person and they force me to keep my priorities straight.
3) My Entire Family's Health, even Pickle, because I still love him, even though he's a dork - I won't ever take our health, and the opportunity to have health insurance, for granted, because without our health, it's hard to enjoy anything else.
4) Being at Home with my Kids - A dream come true for me, and something I never thought I'd have. Every day, no matter how hectic or stressful, is a joy.
5) My Country - Even with all the upheaval and such, we have so many opportunities here and luxuries that should never be taken for granted, though so many of us do.
6) My Mama Lama - She's much nicer than I am, and she has taught me a lot. As a kid, I always wanted to grow up to be just like her.

I remember when I was four or five, stroking my mom's panty-hosed legs, because I liked how they felt. It used to creep her out and irritate her. I couldn't help it though. They were so cool. That is until I put a pair on myself many years later. I believe that's when I started running.

I detest panty hose.

Not that that has anything to do with this blog award, but that's what you get here on this blog.

So, the award, should you choose to accept it (or just save it until you desperately need a post), goes to all of you out there reading this post.

Because you read my crazy ramblings.

And you like butter. Well, except for Mattie Cake, but I still love her anyway. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

Carmelized Sweet Potatoes

I am officially freaking out about Thanksgiving right now. I just sat down to sketch out the menu and I think I'm a little behind.

By my calculations, I should at least have my pie crusts made and waiting in the freezer.

Oh no, wait, I still have to grocery shop too. Oh yeah.

And clean my house. Oh crap!

And my Mama Lama is flying in Tuesday night and the guest room is half full up to the ceiling with stuff. The bed is piled high with stuff I need to deal with and make decisions about what to do with.

Guess I'll be stuffing it all under my crop tables. Hee, hee.

You might think I'm kidding, but really, I do this. Seriously, who's going to look?

Well, maybe my mom will now, but at least she won't be sleeping with it.

All that stress aside, let's turn to food.

I hope none of y'all are on a diet right now. Bad time of year to be cuttin' back, you know?

You'd be just setting yourself up for failure.

We can talk about moderation later, right?

Good. Glad that's settled. Right now you need to think about making these sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. I know you've already done your grocery shopping, and Susie probably already printed out her little menus, but I think you need to go back out and get what you need to make this.

I don't remember where I got this recipe. I used to make the marshmallows on top version, then I graduated to a spiced up version I got from Bon Appetit, and now these are my go to sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.

I promise you, people that don't eat sweet potatoes will be eating these potatoes. Just ask Girl Genius. That girl is picky and she loves these. I sent her home with some and she was beating her family off with a broom.

No lie.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guacamole to Die For

This is my all-time favorite guacamole recipe. It's quick and easy to make, and incredibly delicious. Eat it with chips or with a spoon. You pick.

I originally got this recipe from a Williams-Sonoma Mexican Food cookbook. I've tweaked it a little, but it's pretty close to its original state.

Every time I make this guac, I get mucho complimentos. That's probably not even correct Spanish. It's been at least ten years since my last Spanish class. That's why I like Skippyjon Jones, he let's me pretend like I can speak Spanish.

Anyway, someone (probably R.W.) told me recently that if you leave the avocado pit in your guac it won't turn brown as fast. I'd try it with this recipe, but it never sticks around long enough for browning to be an issue.

I know I should be giving you Thanksgiving recipes right now, but I'm still procrastinating on the whole planning my menu thing. I absolutely have to have it nailed down by Monday though.

Wish me luck.

Anyway, you can tuck this recipe away for Superbowl Sunday or something equally exciting. Just don't forget about it.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Party Potatoes

I just made these potatoes for the first time in years. It's probably been ten years since I made them, and I have no idea why.

Where have these potatoes been this last decade?

Actually, they've been buried in my recipe binder. The one that I disassembled when I started making recipe cards.

Because I'm compulsive, I decided I was going to methodically go through all my recipes and decide, one at a time, which recipes were worthy of their own digitally scrapbooked recipe card.

It's taking me awhile.

Towards that goal, I give you this recipe. These potatoes are gooooooood. And easy.

I originally got the recipe from Velveeta, and it was actually titled Bakersfield Party Potatoes.

Well, I've been to Bakersfield, California, and I'd prefer not to think about it when I'm eating these delicious potatoes, so I abbreviated the name for the sake of the recipe card.

It's nothing personal, Bakersfield. It's just that I have an unpleasant Bakersfield memory.

Picture this, it was July of 2005 and the girls and I were traveling through Bakersfield on our way home to Idaho. July is not the most pleasant time of year in Bakersfield. Although I wouldn't quite call it the armpit of America, it gets pretty close when the temperatures climb.

On our drive through, we had to stop for an emergency potty break, and when we got back in the van, 18,000 flies joined us.

We spent the next 10 hours of driving rolling the windows up and down, trying to rid ourselves of the nasty hitchhikers.

All the while my hysterical oldest child was freaking out about the flies and screaming every time one landed near her. That is, frequently.

Good times.

Eew. I seriously do not want you to be thinking about flies when you look at this recipe, so I don't know why I even went there. Just erase it from your psyche.

So, the recipe. You might think this recipe looks a lot like the recipe for Funeral Potatoes, but this recipe is a little different. First of all, it doesn't use sour cream and it uses only 1 can of the Cream of Chicken soup.

Although there are quite a few versions of Funeral Potatoes. I suppose that, to someone, this recipe could actually be Funeral Potatoes.

That's neither here nor there though.

These potatoes are just the right amount of crunchy and chewy.

And I'm pretty sure they aren't Weight Watchers approved.

You'll love 'em though. I promise. Make them today. Oh, and you're going to need some butter.

Where's the Butter?

Seriously, I'm disappointed in AdSense. Is it because I gave you butter overload that you would not post a teeny little ad from the National Dairy Council?

Do you have a problem with blogger manipulation?

I give you butter and you give me Roto-Rooter?

Seriously, how do the two compare?

I would understand if atherosclerosis went up, but drain cleaning? C'mon.

That's fine. I'm over it.

I stole my own ad.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Butter is My Friend

You're probably wondering why the heck I'm posting about butter today.

Well, because I love it.

Butter, butter, butter. Butter is better.

No really, my friend and neighbor, Janet, asked me today what all these ads are that she sees on my blog. I've had several people ask me that question, so I'm sure there are probably more of you out there wondering the same thing.

So I'm going to attempt to satisfy your curiousity.

When I set up this blog, I opted to let AdSense place ads on my blog. AdSense searches my blog posts for content, and looks to place ads which pertain to my topic. In Blogger, you can find AdSense as a gadget in your template.

Butter, butter, butter.

I keep saying "butter" because I'm hoping that AdSense will search this post and put a big fat butter ad on my blog. This is a test. It's all in the name of science, so work with me here.

Last month when I did a post about my desk, I kept referring to my pending baskets as procrastination dumpsters and AdSense put ads for dumpsters on my blog. One ad read "Rent your own dumpster!" It was hilarious.

The real question is, if I keep posting all these high fat recipes and talking about how much I love butter, why does AdSense keep putting that "Find out how I lost 70 Pounds of Belly Fat!" ad on my blog? I think I can safely say that it's not going to happen with butter.

When I get a lot of people, or traffic, on my blog in one day, I can make one cent. If someone actually clicks on one of those ads, I can get a whopping fifteen cents or something like that. Most days, I don't even make one cent, but every once in awhile, I make ten cents. The first time I made ten cents, I was so excited that I ran to tell Peanut Head that all my hard work was paying off and we were ten cents richer. He laughed hysterically.

Let him laugh, that's more than I make working for the PTO. Heck, sometimes I'm paying to be working for the PTO. Well, in blood, sweat and tears, anyway.

Butter, get your butter here!

Recently Peanut Head commented that this blog is taking over my life.


Butter, butter, butter. Get your pat of butter!

The idea with placing ads on your blog is to get paid for your blogging, of course. Think of yourself as a journalist in cyberspace. If people like what you write and it's relevant to them, you'll increase your traffic and eventually your income from ads.

Anyway, butter. There are people that make a living blogging. It's true. The most I've ever made in a day is about a dollar, so clearly I am not one of those people.

Making a living blogging, from what I've read, is not easy. To be successful, you have to post every day. This in itself, is pretty difficult to do. Life has a way of getting in the way.

And you have to perservere. For a looooooong time. It doesn't happen overnight.

When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to give it my best attempt and see where I could go with it. Sure, I wanted people to read my blog, but I also had a million ideas swirling around in my head, and I wanted to purge them from my brain and have them available to myself and anyone else who might be interested.

With all these ideas, I knew that I could keep a blog going for at least a few months before I started to sound like a big fat wind bag.

It has been a pleasant surprise to me how much I enjoy the writing aspect of blogging though. And not to be gross or anything, but some days it's as easy as a big mental vomiting episode for me. It just hurls out and I don't even know where it's coming from.

These are my thoughts and feelings, of course, but somehow I'm able to express myself writing in a way that I've never been able to do verbally. To be honest, I suck at verbal discourse.

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!

I loath getting into arguments with Peanut Head because he can talk circles around me. He has the ability to keep his thoughts organized, and he never forgets what his point is. I'm easily distracted and then I become stunned and confused and I end up sounding like a blubbering idiot. When we argue, I end up incredibly frustrated and madder than a wet hen because I can't make him understand me.

With writing, it's different. I can go back and edit. I can cut and paste and I can take the time to choose the right word to express myself. Also, nobody interrupts me and distracts me with their own point of view.

Oh, I can't forget. Butter, butter, butter.

Sometimes I'm incredibly tempted to click on my own ads. Not to make money, because AdSense knows when it's me and I could get in big trouble for clicking on my own ads. The ad police will come after me or something like that.

But some of the ads make me curious. I want to know how exactly I can lose 70 pounds of belly fat. Well, actually I don't have 70 pounds of belly fat at the ready, but surely I could come up at least 40. I'd be willing to spare that in the name of science. I'm giving it to you, AdSense. Come and get it.

It's all butter fat.

So remember, if you leave a comment today, make sure you mention butter. It's an experiment.

This is one of my favorite posts because it wasn't really planned, but just sort of erupted out of me one day when I sat down to write about AdSense. It got a lot of positive response, and I had a lot of fun because of it over the following weeks. If you want to see others' favorite posts, visit Tip Junkie for more Talk to Me Tuesday favorite posts.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fall Decor--I Know, Still!

I think I finished decorating for fall today.

I haven't actually done much. I'm just very picky and I don't like to be rushed into things before I'm ready.

To illustrate, we got this dining set in February, after maaaaaaany years of eating at what I liked to call our Barbie doll table. It was a small table, for a small apartment, that could barely seat four.

I waited for a long time and we saved our pennies so we could get a real, grown up table.

I knew exactly what I wanted. Dark wood, not ornate, sturdy, blocky, simple. And I found it. And I was happy.

Then when I got it home, I realized that hey, I could probably fit the matching cabinet into my teeny tiny eat-in kitchen as well.

And I could.

And I did.

And I loved it.

I loved it so much, that every time we sat down to eat, I would cringe at every little move that could scratch my new dining set. I was jumpy. I still am.

Hey, I'm obsessive. I'm compulsive. I obsess about things compulsively. I'm a freak. I know there are many others like me out there. Probably even some of them are reading this blog.

Anyway, where I'm actually trying to go here, is that I've been on the lookout for decor for the cabinet and functional serving pieces that would also look nice on display inside it.

Until today, I haven't bought one thing for my new dining set. Frankly, when I think about buying something to go in here, my palms get all clammy.

Partly it's because I don't want to spend the money, and partly because I don't want to make a decision that might require me to have to actually return something that I might decide I don't like when I get home.

But on account of Thanksgiving is next week, and there will be eight adults and four children eating at my house, today I started looking with purpose.

In short, I went to Pier I Imports to get lucky. I had a rare coupon and I was hoping I would have a chance to use it.

I tend to walk around stores like this, chanting to myself what I'm searching for so I can stay focused. I'm easily distracted.

Today I was chanting "glass jar, group of odd numbered items, staggered heights." I know it makes no sense to you, but I had something in mind and this is just how I stayed focused.

I did okay too.

First I found these cool candlesticks that are a very pretty bronzy brown color and very earthy elegant looking.

I just made that up.

Anyway, they were perfect for the autumn color scheme I've got going on in my living room and dining area. I was able to get two in different heights, so I was fulfilling my staggered heights criteria.

Next I found this . . . thing. What is it called? I am so not a decorator, I just know what I like and then I give it my own name when I need to tell my kids to dust it.

"Get that, that . . . thingie up there with the hoojit on it. Yes that. Make sure you get all the dealie bobs real good."

So anyway, I've been looking at these, whatever they are, on Darlene's blog, and she's always putting stuff in hers that look real pretty. I knew I had some leaves and fake pumpkins and gourds that I could stuff in mine, so I figured I was set.

I'm happy with how it all came together, and I'm already thinking about what I can stuff in this thing for the holidays.

But I promise I won't start decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Card Caddies

I was feeling crafty today, and I've been putting this little project off for a few months, so it was the perfect fix for me.

I was short on time, so this was a fairly manageable task. Making the cards to go inside will be much more time consuming.

This first one is a gift.

This one, I'm keeping for myself. 

I learned that Modge Podge does not stick to painted tin. I had to pull out my Creative Memories Photo Tape to get the paper to stick to it.

I always use the Photo Tape for nailing my ribbon down as well. I used glue dots for the flowers and buttons.

The absolute hardest part was getting the paper cut out for the lid. That took forever, but once I got one done, I used it as a template for the second. As a result, the first one is a little worse for the wear.

And my ribbon is a little crooked.

That's okay, imperfect works.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vicki Must Go!

I watched The Biggest Loser tonight, and I'm disappointed to say the least. I'm surprised that the blue team puts up with Vicki's foul mouth and the fact that she's a ginormous meanie.

She keeps saying she's just "playing the game" but if that's the case, why is she so mean and vindictive?

The Tooth Fairy is a BONEHEAD!!!

I'm thinking I might have to fire our Tooth Fairy.

I know you're dying to know why, so bear with me as I windingly tell you.

Last week Stinkerbell lost her first tooth. Exciting times for a five-year old, let me tell you.

Thing 1 is not at all happy about this, because she only lost her first tooth a year ago and she's two years older than her sister.

It's good to learn young that life isn't fair, don't you think?

So, first tooth gone last week, second tooth yanked out by The Stink Sunday evening. I think she likes the idea of trading her teeth for money. A little bit disturbing, eh?

This morning I was getting Thing 1 off to school and Stinkerbell wasn't awake yet because she has afternoon Kindergarten. She wouldn't be up for hours because she is not a morning person.

Thing 1 was frantic and she rushes out to tell me that the Tooth Fairy didn't take her sister's tooth or leave her any money.

OH CRAP!!!!!!

My thoughts were racing. I was thinking I had to get Thing 1 out the door so I could rectify the situation.

But then I realized that, no, I couldn't plant the goods because sisters talk and then I would surely be busted.

Dang it! What to do? What to do?

Okay. Wait. Stinkerbell wasn't in her own room last night because she snuck in to sleep with her sister. Oh, I feel a consequence coming on.

A teachable moment.

I LOVE teachable moments . . . I get to be right. Oh goody.

Look at that! I'm saved. See it? See it?

That's the tooth.

On her sister's nightstand.

Not where it's supposed to be.

Not under her pillow.

Yes! Yes! Yes! I run to write the note you see at the beginning of this post, trying so hard not to write like myself.

When Stinkerbell gets up I take her to her room to explain about the consequence and show her the note. She doesn't freak out because that is so not her style.

She looks at me as if to say "What-EV. Big deal."

She understood completely why she didn't get paid.

Except she wanted to know why the Tooth Fairy didn't come looking for her since we have two kid bedrooms. I blubbered a little bit and then changed the subject

Whew! I am so lucky.

Look, no bottom teeth.

Stinkerbell tells me she can fit a suitcase in there.

I don't know what she's talking about. Sometimes it's easier just to not ask the questions and act like it makes perfectly good sense.

Stinkerbell decided she needed to write a note to the Tooth Fairy since she appears to be so thick.

Okay. I deserved that, I guess.

Dear Tooth Fairy,
My tooth is under my pillow.

At least Stinkerbell didn't chastise her. I don't know if I could have taken that.

Stinkerbell even drew a little picture for her. With labels because she didn't think the Tooth Fairy would know what the picture was.

Because she's so stupid.

You and a horse it says.

At least not a horse's butt. We're doing okay here.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I like to mess with my kids. They got notes from Santa last year too.

Zoe Bug,
I've been watching you and I want you to work on not whining so much and freaking out. Like your Mama says, "Chill girl."

And just in case Stinkerbell was ready to laugh at her sister.

I've been watching you too, and I want you to stop chewing on your hair and pushing Zoe's buttons. I don't want to have to put you on the BB&G List. Be Good!

I have to tell you, at first I didn't think these made any impact at all. They both seemed to not care. After all, they still had the mother lode of gifts at their feet, how bad could it be?

Then later that week I overheard Thing 1 telling her friend in a whisper voice "We got letters from Santa. When I woke up and found mine, I got a little tear in my eye and I almost started to cry."

That just broke my heart a teeny little bit.

But I'm recovered now. Obviously.

And if you liked this, you might enjoy reading about the box of rocks for brains that is our Easter Bunny.