Santa’s Last Stand and the Disappearing Blog

December 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Mom Thoughts

Last week was a bit of a crazefest at our house.  We run our own business and were trying to catch up from being on vacation for a week and getting out all our shipments for Christmas.  We were trying to create a nice Christmas for our kiddies getting last minute things, like a tree, a tree stand, and lights.   Yeah, we put that off a little too long…oops.  Who knew all the tree stands would be sold out everywhere the weekend before Christmas?! I didn’t even think about it.  So after going to Shopko, Target, and Lowes with no luck, I finally called Home Depot.  Why didn’t I just go there first?  They had 15 left.  So…it took about 6 hours to get one tree, one tree stand, and three boxes of color fading lights.  Ugh, Saturday gone.  I did find it a little amusing that the brand of the tree stand was called “Santa’s Last Stand” LOL, cute name.  And, for me that was almost true.  :) Made me smile.

Amidst all our getting ready for Christmas and business stuff we discovered that our family blog we have had for the past 4 years somehow got deleted.  I know that in the big scheme of things this is minor, but at the same time it is how I have journaled my life and my kids lives.  I was in disbelief for about an hour after my husband told me, then I broke down and cried a good cry.  I felt like someone threw my journal in the fire place and I had no say and no way to pull it out.  Super Bummed!

But, thankfully my husband is a tech smart guy and with the help of Google Cache, was able to recover a little more than half of our blog.  Google Cache is a storage type system that Google has, it takes a little snap shot of your blog or website about once a month.  Through this we were able to look at our pages month by month over 4 years and copy and past my posts into a Word document.  The blog is still gone, but at least we recovered a little of it.  I am not sure if I am going to continue that blog anymore.  I might just start journaling some other way.

(All that’s left are links like this thanks to Google Cache)

Could we have avoided this?  Maybe.  Make sure all you bloggers out there backup your blogs on a regular basis! We should have been doing this more.  I think we still would have lost our blog, but we might have had more of it saved out there in cyber land.

Anywho!  I plan on getting crafty with you this last week before Christmas so stay tuned!  I promise my posts will be more cheery 😉

Simple Clean Living Blog and Cranberry Salsa

Simply Clean Living is a blog written by a good friend of mine, Katie.  I love her tag line, “Organizing life and surviving motherhood, one late night at a time”  She has everything from great craft projects to do with your kids, money saving tips, organizing tips, yummy recipes, and thoughts on motherhood.  I love Katie’s stories about motherhood and the way she writes.  Here is one of my favorite posts of hers, that I needed after one hard day.  It’s called “Down and Dirty: Motherhood Real-Life”   READ HERE

Also here is a super good salsa recipe she shared last week.  I remember her bringing this one Thanksgiving 3 years ago and I think I have craved it ever since.  It is good!  And it’s great to take to a holiday party.

Cranberry Salsa
Katie has provided a Printable Version here


  • 1 (12 ounce) bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt

Combine cranberries, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your food processor, and chop to desired consistency. Our food processor is not big enough for this entire batch at once, so I mix it in a bowl, and then put it into the food processor in batches. This salsa is best made the night before or a few hours before, and refrigerated so that the flavors have a chance to blend, but do not make more than a day in advance. Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe originally from

Check out Katie’s blog, Simple Clean Living.  She has a lot  of great ideas to share :)
READ ON AND SPREAD THE BLOG LOVE!!  That’s what Feature Friday is all about!
Want to be featured? Contact me :)
Till then, get crafty

Party Appetizer

December 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured Content, Snacks/Appetizers, Yummy Food

This might look a little weird, green and all.  But! Don’t let that get to you, it is GOOD! And, I am not the only person who thinks so.  I recently took this to an ugly sweater Christmas party and it was gobbled up fast.  And it is fast and easy to whip up before a party when you running around crazy to get ready. I think that is called perfection. :)

What cha’ do?

Well buy some cream cheese, Reese’s mild Pepper Jelly, and Ritz crackers.

Spread the cream cheese on a platter, then spread the jelly on top.  Set some crackers around the rim and head off to your party!

Go party with your badself!!

Photography Backdrop

December 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Crafts, DIY, Featured Content, Photography

For all you amateur photographers and momtographers out there- You will love this!

I hope it helps you take some fun pictures this holiday season :)

I was asked to take some indoor photos the other day, since it is FREEZING!! here in Utah lol!  So… I needed a backdrop!   I was mulling over how I was going to make this work and decided I needed to make a PVC pipe frame to hang some fabric from.  I have tons of upholstery fabric laying around from projects I have not yet done 😉  It was nice to finally use it for something.  Turns out thick upholstery fabric makes for a really good backdrop.  And, I got all the PVC pipe I needed for about 3 dollars.

I used 3/4 inch PVC pipe, 2 elbow joints, and 4 T joints.  The two cross pieces are 50 inches long.  The pieces going up the sides are 24 inches long and the bottom pieces helping it to stand are 12 inches long.  This was a great size for little people and 54in wide fabric worked perfectly, but it you need to make this bigger I would use 1in or bigger PVC pipe to make it stronger.

Then how to hang the fabric?  I didn’t want to do anything to the fabric, in-case I did get around to those projects.  Clothes pins?  Curtain clips?  Clamps!  I thought about running to the store for one of those first two things, then I saw the hubs box of clamps in the garage.  Waa laa problem solved!

Here is the finished product- I am pretty pleased how it worked out :) And I can take it apart and store it for another day.  It doesn’t take up much room, perfect!

I put it in front of a big window for natural light.

Here are the pictures from the shoot that day.  ADORABLE kids!

I am SOO glad it worked out!

We then went outside for a few minutes against the brick on my house.  Use what you got! 😉

I love babies that are sad, but just can’t help but smile when someone smiles at them.  This kid was SOO cute! Such a smiley guy :)

What a pouty lip!  He was so done, but kept smiling for us.  What a sweet boy.

Making a Table- The Process

December 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Decorating, DIY, Featured Content, Home and Garden

I really really wanted a new dinning room table when we moved.  But, a few things kept taking priority over buying a new table.  Espeacially since the tables I liked where around 1500 to 3000 bucks.  hmmm…. Dev (the hubs) wasn’t really feeling that.  So for my b-day he told me he would make one before Thanksgiving.

Uh… he has never made a table before!  What to do… Thinking thinking.  I started to cut out pictures and read blogs about what I wanted.  Then like a present the Lowes project magazine came in the mail with instructions on how to build a table.  It didn’t look to hard.

We went and bought all the wood a week later.

This table from Crate and Barrel is one I have had my eye on for years.  We modeled our table after it.

I told Dev that if we were going to build our own table I wanted to do it for under $100.  And! I wanted it to fit 10 people.  He liked my challenge.

We bought pine 2×6 x8 boards for the top

2×4 for the ends of the top and the frame

4×4’s for the legs

We did a few things differently than the Lowe’s directions.  But, it helped to have an idea of how to start.  Mostly we used the directions for the frame (which I’ll share below).  We wanted the table top to be seamless.  So instead of the Lowe’s way, we changed it up a bit.  We started by trimming up the sides of the 2×6’s to make them flat.  2×6’s from the store are slightly curved.

After cutting those we used a biscuit joiner to cut into the sides of the wood.  We put biscuits and wood glue between the boards and clamped them together, adding one  board at a time.  The table was large so we used pipe clamps to hold it all together.

We planed the ends then put the end board on using a router to cut a tongue and groove joint.  Then glued it and clamped it again with the pipe clamps.

We then used our hand planer to smooth/even out the top.  After that was done we used 100 grit sand paper on the electric sander to smooth it out more.  Ideally you would want to use a planer and run each board through it before starting to put the top together.  OR! You could put the top all together and find a cabinet maker who would let you run the entire piece through one of their large industrial planers.

While the glue was hardening we picked out stains.  I wanted a beachy farm house table feel.  So we decided to do a gray stain with a white wash over the top.

Here is a link to the Lowe’s table directions that we used for the frame. Click HERE

We flipped the top upside down and started building the frame right on to it.

We used a pocket hole jig to join the top to the frame.

We changed the placement of the legs and moved ours to the edge of the table top,  and secured them with lag screws.  We inset only the apron piece.

Then we flipped it back over and filled some of the knots and holes with stainable wood filler.

You should probably use gloves here….oops

After that was dry we sanded the entire piece with 220 grit sand paper.

Before staining the table, we prepped it with Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.  This helps a lot!!  It helps you get an even stain, avoiding ugly blotches.

I then stained it with a weathered oak stain.

After that was dry I went over it with a white wash.

To finish the table we applied 4 coats of a water based polyurethane.

We built a solid table for under $100 dollars in less than a week.  AND! It seats 10 people.

We already have plans to build another one! Ha, I know, we are crazy.  But, we had a ton of fun doing this project together.  I love my man.

This table might be for sale soon, if you want it let me know :)

The next table will have turned legs, with a darker stained top and painted legs.  I am excited to do it again :)  Stay tuned for that one sometime in January 2012!

Please leave me some comment love! :)

Monday Mom Thoughts- IS THAT POOP?!!

December 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured Content, Mom Thoughts

A while ago my mom cleaned out her attic and asked me if I wanted all my old barbies.   We went through the boxes of them laughing and walking down memory lane.  Charlie was with us and thought they were super cool, so we set a few aside to mail home.   Even though, I vowed years ago I would never let my kids play with barbies, oh well.   We took a few of the regular ones, we took a sea world one with a whale, then the Disney ones too.  Had to take those Disney ones too.   Charlie was in heaven.

Remember these guys?

You might be thinking, what does this have to do with poop?  Well one day after the box of barbies arrived in the mail I noticed something strange at the bottom of the stairs.

Could it be!??!! I stopped, stared, dreaded…. is that poop?  Did Beck take off his diaper and accidentally poop while I wasn’t watching? Oh man…. I grabbed some stuff to clean it up and walked down the stairs.  When I go a little closer I realized….

It was just Aladdin’s head.  Relief!!  Well, then where is his body?

Well, I didn’t find his body. But! I did however find Prince Eric’s

Standing buck NAKED on my mantel.  Nice Eric…. real nice.

I am starting to remember why I don’t need more toys running (naked) around my house.  Especially barbies… Oh well.  C’est la vie

Angels from the Thrift Store

December 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Christmas, Crafts, Featured Content, Holiday Crafts

These angels where at Savers for 2 dollars each.

They needed a little Lynn love, so here is what happened.  I wanted to give it a silver and gold patina look.  I sprayed them silver.

Then I attempted to put some gold leaf on them.  I just didn’t love how they turned out.

Even though this look is kinda popular right now as seen in these beautiful pictures.

picture from Better Homes and

Picture from Martha

And from Patina Green Blog

I just wasn’t diggin’ it.  And I am mostly a green and red Christmas decor girl.  So… I tried again.  This time with teal spray paint.  Then a little white wash stain.

I painted the stain on, then wiped it off after a few seconds.

What do you think?

I am loving red and teal lately.

Large Fabric Wreath Bow

December 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Christmas, Crafts, Featured Content, Holiday Crafts, Sewing

Fabric bow making 101. You can use this tutorial to make a fabric bow of any size.  Just scale it up or down depending on your needs :)

Here’s how I made this BIG fabric bow.

(if you hate to sew, don’t like to sew, or don’t own a machine, or have one you can borrow- bust out the hot glue gun.  He is always helpful :) )

I started by cutting a piece of red linen 16 inches wide by 35 inches long.  I folded it in half long ways and sewed the ends together.

I then creased it  so the seam was in the middle on top and ironed it flat.

I then folded the ends in to meet in the middle.

I sewed down the middle to hold the ends in place.

I took a piece of thick thread, wrapped it around the middle of my bow, pulled it tight, and tied a knot.

waalaa bow….but we are not done yet!

Straiten it out a little and make sure the sides are even.

Then I cut another piece of fabric 8 long by 6 wide.  I did the same steps of folding in half, sewing together, then ironing with seam on top.

I hot glued that piece over the thread in the middle of the bow.

I then cut out 4 more pieces to be the ends of the bow that hang down.

I have the pattern I made for those; if anyone wants it e-mail me.

I sewed two together them flipped them right side out.

And I hot glued them on to the back of the bow.

Then I cut and sewed a piece for the wreath to hang from and hot glued the bow on to that.

Took about 30 mins.  I’d say this is an easy project.  AND I’d say “Go get crafty with your bad self!  And pin me on Pinterest while your at it ;)”  wink wink :)

Here is the finished bow on the wreath I bought at Costco.

Monday Mom Thoughts

December 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured Content, Mom Thoughts

It should read, “Monday Mom Thoughts, or the lack there of.”  Yeah, especially for this post.

I was at my wits end with my kids the other day.  The young women at our church were putting on a free baby sitting night. I WAS SOOO EXCITED! I could hardly wait till nap time so I could shower and start feeling cute for my hot date.  But, then Devan called with bad news.  He had to go help with the young men’s activity at church…date night cancelled.

I was so bummed and felt even more crazy knowing I would not be getting that break I was sooo looking forward to.  Why shower, I was going no where…blah… man!… Now I was getting snappy with the kids and was not being the best mommy I could be.

Charlie even sang a song that seemed to sum up my day.  Her little ditty went something like this,  “I love my mom sooo much, even though she is mean to me.  mean mean mean to me, she is mean mean mean MEEEEAAANNN!”  She was very happy when she sang this song.  She does this a lot; where she expresses her thoughts of the day through song. But, the moment I heard it I turned around and my jaw dropped.  “I suck,” is all I could think.

I sat silently for a few moments then asked Charlie for a hug.  She so willing gave me one.  I love that girl, even when she sings truthful songs about me. lol.  We sat for a few minutes hugging.  A hug was just what I had needed ALL day. Silly mama, silly me.

Here is a picture from this bad day.  I was eating lunch when I got up to get some milk for Charlie and Beck.  I decided to pour myself a cup too.  I then sat down and Miss Charlie pointed out, “Mom, you have two cups of milk! That’s silly!”

I looked at my cup(s), she was right.  When did I pour the first one?  A few moments ago.  Some how in those 5 mins I decided that I was thirsty and needed a drink of milk. (which I already had but forgot about RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE)  Oh geez….

I grabbed some oreo’s and made it worth my while.  What a day.


Friday Feature- Today’s Fabulous Finds- Snowmen

December 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Christmas, Crafts, Featured Content, Holiday Crafts

One of my close friends pinned these on Pintest and I saw them and knew I needed to make them!  TOO CUTE!

What a great idea Janet over at Today’s Fabulous Finds Blog had.

Check out her fun blog and see how she made her snowmen by clicking HERE

And I had a ton of wood 2 x 4’s left over from building our dinning room table.  Click HERE to see that.  Anywho…  My buddy came over after we had both put our kids to bed and we made these adorable snowmen.  I made 4 because I knew Charlie would wonder where her or Beck was.  So here are my four that I made.

We did ours just a little different.  I didn’t have dowels, so we just used wood glue to stick them together.  We used beads and puff paint for the faces.  We hot glued the arms and decor on.

Thanks for the fun idea Janet!  And thanks for helping people to get Crafty!

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