not me, heather is the creative one

Sunday, January 31, 2010 | | 4 comments

i love these little...frames? i guess you can call them that. my ex-workout buddy (we still both work out-sadly, just not together at 5.30am anymore) heather got this idea and helped me out getting the supplies.

if you know heather you know she-

1. has wayyyy too much energy and never sleeps. how?

2. is the most creative person you and i have ever met.

3. has the BEST stories about her kids...especially her daughter seneca.

4. knows everyone. seriously. i bet half of you have clicked on the link above to her blog already and realize that you know her. the other half of you have been to her blog because you were blog stalking a friends blog. no lie-that is just how her life is!

anyways, these are major easy. and even if they didn't have the cutest kids' photos on them, i would still love them! i'm sure you could put one photo on each but then i would have to pick a favorite kid.

some days that is easy to do. (not today. there haven't been any fights yet.)

they are just pieces of wood...about 2" thick. i'm certain you could do any size but mine are 5.5"x5.5" and 7.5"x7.5". i think heather even cut them all by herself. i just slapped some black paint on them, distressed them a bit and sealed them. then i ran to home depot for some knobs. or maybe heather picked them out for me. which ever happen, the 'chooser' had great taste! i just glue dotted the photos on in case i want to change them out. but let's be real now-it won't happen.

i just wanted to share a crafty friend with you. and let me know how you know heather.

(and yes, my kids don't like the conversation hearts but my neighbor kids do. that will be empty by valentine's day!)

blog im linking to the diy club and brown paper packages

spring where art thou??

Friday, January 29, 2010 | | 2 comments
i love aprons. i have a bunch. i actually have more than a bunch.

i should say had.

some have broken beyond repair. mostly the straps breaking in the wash.

makes me so mad...

of course the obama one that i got as a joke from my sister in law from christmas in 2008 is still in working order. and i am so low on aprons, i use it all the time.

so i decided to make my very first apron and mrs. lane from dallastown high school in good old york pa would be so proud! i have never done darts or bias tape before-so there were somethings to learn. but i felt pretty good about myself reading and understanding the instructions. and even though it was one of those 'easy' patterns, it took me 2 afternoons to finish.

and as my handsome model shows, it is a nice girly, springy print. i love me some pink in this house full of boys!

(what you can't tell in the second photo is that my model nate is laughing because he realized the bow is down by his butt. to a 6 year old boy, the word 'butt' is the greatest word ever muttered by man.)

i felt so good about this one, that i am making a second one! a different view on the same pattern. and i was thinking about making it for a friend for her birthday, but i might end up just keeping it.

marilee's dip

Thursday, January 28, 2010 | | 2 comments

let me tell you about marilee...she is amazing! i swear there isnt a thing that woman can't do! she plays golf with her hubby, she runs all her boys around the valley. after 3 boys she finally got her girl! and she is in love. i stole a photo from her facebook page to show you how perfect she and little stratton are! (makes me want a baby just looking at it!)

marilee, is also my personal stampin' up person. that is what i call her. if you ask her, she will tell you she is a distributor. but whatever.

and that is how i came across this tasty recipe...

about two times a year, she throws a stampin' up workshop in her home. she has this HUGE room with a kitchen in her basement and she sets up tables and lets us go at it. i always walk away thinking she is the greatest paper crafts person alive. at one of her parties she had this...

marilee's cucumber dip

2 packages of cream cheese

1 cup cucumber, chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 t salt

1/4 t pepper

serve with celery, carrots or wheat thins.

and i never would have become a stamp-a-holic with out the encouragement of heather or jen. and then i never would have had this dip. then life would be miserable...

so thank you my friends!

***ps. if you need stampin up stuff, contact me! i will give you all of marilee's info! and in case you haven't heard, they are selling the clear stamps now!***

i heart kohls...

kohls has only been in utah about 5 years, but i have fallen head over heels
in love. when ever i need something for a gift (or a pick me up for me),
i know i can find it at kohls
(or target. but this is all about kohls today!)
i have gotten some AMAZING OUT OF CONTROL DEALS at kohls.
well today i go in to pay what we spent on christmas gifts there and...
there is a sale that all clearence is 25% more off! I KNOW!
tons of sweaters and jeans and cozy stuff that we still unfortunately
need to get us through the cold winter still ahead of us.
i got the cutest photo frame that used to be $14.99 for (sit down) $1.49!
holy stinking poop!
i would show you but they don't have an image of it on their website. it says 'brothers'
and is a black frame.
i am planning giving it to a neighbor when she has another boy (was hoping for a girl).
they had tons of girl clothes on sale-some at 80% off. not too much for big boys, and i didn't even bother to check out babies. but they had some toys on sale too.
this is why i love kohls. i think i should make a support group. after you go, you will too!

thrifty wreath

i was on this 'thing' yesterday where i wanted a wreath for valentine's day, but i really don't have the money to go out and buy stuff to make one. that is where this came in. and i must say-not too shabby for free!
somehow the photo i took of me wrapping the wreath is missing. oh well-it was a wreath i had sitting around in the craft drawer. it was a softer green wreath, but i think if i could have spent money, i would have gotten one of those that is smooth with the coating on it.
but again, i was trying to be thrifty.
and i just used the twine that i had from all the balls i made this year.

yup-that is my infamous basement floor where so many projects have been painted by the little space heater! we will never finish the basement because i would loose my paint booth!
well, one of the reasons why we won't finish the basement.
i hot glued some little candy hearts on there. i had to go through my jar that is holding about 3 bags of these looking for ones that were mostly centered and did say anything too lame.
and i didn't even eat one! so proud of me.

and this is how i hooked it onto the wall...a christmas hook! yes, i have many in my christmas decorations boxes and i think i even picked up one after christmas at target.

so there you have it.
i saved chris money AGAIN and i feel all special because i did something with what i
had on hand.

love mrs. vadden

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | | 5 comments

my aunt trish lives and teaches in philadelphia. she is amazing and loves her kids more than ANYTHING! i know that because of her, these kids will make something out of themselves.
at christmas, she asks businesses to sponsor kids and sometimes the whole family. these kids have nothing. no-they have less than nothing. most are living with a grandparent because even the mom isn't able to take are of them. none of them have a stable homelife. she makes sure each child has a christmas.
and that is just at christmas time. she brings them lunches and buys them socks. no matter what these kids do in life, they know that mrs. vadden is on their side.
back to the photo...
it is almost valentine's my mind anyhow. i got this idea for the cards for my aunt to give her class from brown paper packages. this is an adorable blog! please roam around and see what other great things she has going on!

i did make mine a little different but i pretty much stayed the same as hers. i'm pathetic.

i did put magnets on the back of each clothes pin so the kids would be able to display their art on their fridge at home. each has their name on it, so they can be proud of what they have done.

pay it forward...

Monday, January 25, 2010 | | 3 comments
another fun game in blogland (i got this one from thrifted trasure)

*i will make a handmade gift for the first 3 people who comment on this post.
*i have 365 days to for it in...
*what it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise!
the catch is you MUST participate as well:

* you must have a blog and before you leave your comment here, write up a pay it forward post (or just copy mine!) on your blog and keep the fun going.

just think how nice it will be to get a present handed to you/in the mail! (if you know me, it wont take a full year for me to get it out! i'm already obsessing on all the cool things i can make....)

happy birthday gram!

Saturday, January 23, 2010 | | 0 comments
i am sure you are thinking...uummm lovely shirts ba. and who wouldn't?
and what does that have to do with gram and her birthday.
let me explain...
today is 'grams' birthday. my friend holly's mom moved in next door to her years ago. when that happened, holly's daughter (britney) referred to her grandma as 'gram''.
then everyother kid in the neighborhood did.
now we all referred to her as 'gram'.
that was way too long of a story for anyone to care about...
and you are still wondering about the shirts, aren't you?!
well, a few months ago i was on ruffles and stuff and found THIS
ok-hers was cuter for us cute young (no comments about age people!) girls. but this one is PERFECT for gram. she is all about blue. that is just gram-blue. not sad, just if you see something blue, you think of her.
i bet now you are thinking, ba, there is writing all over the dark blue shirt. and it isn't on the scarf at all. I KNOW. let me tell you, 2 womens large shirts from savers are more than enough for this project! i had to wrap that thing around my neck 3 or 4 times! i even threw some squares away.
anyways, i am only posting this because i dropped it off at grams home last night (she visiting family in idaho), and she will find the scarf before she checks her emails/favorite blogs. so i feel pretty safe in posting this.

more burlap!

Friday, January 22, 2010 | | 3 comments

i wish i could tell you all that i made this yesterday in between running kids to school, food shopping and counting out 27 dozen cookies for school...
but i didn't.
this is a fabulous creation by the feminist housewife. this is what happens when i see something cool in burlap-i fall in love.

got spring fever?!

Thursday, January 21, 2010 | | 0 comments

then head on down to hobby lobby! they have flip flops on sale for 67 cents! they are in the clearance section where stuff is 66% off. there are tons of colors (pink, yellow, cheetah print...)you might not be able to wear them outside (how much snow was on YOUR driveway this morning?), but wear them in the house and turn up the heat really high!

and start praying for that groundhog NOT to see his shadow!

so what does your counter look like?

i finally got my counter together. i didn't say done...just together.
i know...the penguin isn't a normal valentine's day decoration. my 9 year old is doing a project on penguins for school and we had to find a safe place for him. (he is a paper mache animal, with a diet coke plastic bottle being the body and a styrofoam ball as the head. we are still working on the report)
i like the look of this coke bottle, and since it was red-i put it out for the holiday! a looonnnngggg time ago i bought a vintage bingo set from the d.i. and i put all the little pieces you use to call the game in here. i think it is kind of fun. and if someone actually ventured into my home for a visit, they would think i was clever. i will have to still with you thinking that.
that photo is of my nana and pop pop on their honeymoon. i love that photo. it is my favorite thing about this!
so there you go! i will add to it (i have a ceramic bird that i am spray painting downstairs as we speak, so that will end up here at some point) before february 14...
so-what does your counter look like?

artichoke dip

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 | | 5 comments
simplest dip ever. but if you have ever had it, you will never get enough.
i have actually been told that i could only attend a party if i bring this dip.
how rude!

1 cup grated parmesan cheese (you could use the stuff in the green can. and it is ok.
but a bag of it is best)
1 cup mayo
1 can artichoke marinated hearts (and i always drain them then cut them up smaller)
1 clove of garlic
mix all up and put in a casserole dish. no need to grease that dish up!
serve with really good french bread. usually 2 long rolls.
i know, you can hear your arteries clog while reading this, but it is so worth it!

my crafty kid

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | | 0 comments

my brother patrick is coming out to utah here in, well, 24 days now! our family loves doing countdowns to anything and everything.
here is parker making a countdown for u.p. (uncle pat)...
it started life as one of those free kids workshops that home depot does on saturdays. it is a great little calendar, but an even BETTER countdown!

freeze frame!

Monday, January 18, 2010 | | 5 comments
(please tell me that you get the 80's music reference on the title. i can't be that old!)
when i made this little project, i was thinking i was so cool for somthing up with something easy and fun. i have so many freakin frames around this home.
then i wake up at 4:30 this morning and switch on my computer and...
at red heads craft more fun i see this. seriously, this is so great! she has the steps on her blog on how to make this. and by useing your candy here you wont see it your butt!
then this one...
from tatertots and jello.
she is one of my favorites-every project on her blog makes me want to craft away!

why do you people have to show me up?
if you are living in utah today, it would be a perfect day to work on these. not only are your kids out of school but there is snow on the driveways. why get out of your sweatpants and leave the house when you can CRAFT!

it's here!

Saturday, January 16, 2010 | | 1 comments

in case you missed last weeks post where i WON A MAJOR AWARD, here is a link.
and here are photos...i was just coming home from harmons (seriously, i love that place! i will have to have a love post about them someday...) and in the mail box was some tax forms and this!
i was so geeked out that i forgot to bring in the french country bread that was still HOT! i am so excited to have won something that i really can't share with the rest of my family!
thanks again holly!
(and yea, the photos of how cool this necklace really looks are on holly's blog)

love at home

the idea room had this great...idea...for a cute, easy valentines day decoration. (uh-the topiary not the 'home' sign. just clarifying for you.)
amy has directions and all the info you will need to make this in a day. i swear it took no time at all and very little brain power!
i had everything already, so i didn't even need to leave the house and spend money. what a relief-for chris!
i didn't end up using a dowel like amy did, i used one of those long decorative cinnamon sticks left over from christmas. it seems to work just fine and i didn't have to spray paint and wait for it to dry. i hate waiting.
i still need to grab some 'stuff' for the bottom, but i'm thinking on using some easter grass (i never use it for easter because i can't stand it all over my home. but i use it in crafts and gifts for others. yet another weird thing about me...). i will let you know how it turned out.
we have less than a month before valentines day-get to celebrating already!

target rocks!

Friday, January 15, 2010 | | 1 comments

in case you didn't hear the screaming coming from your local target, toys are 75% off!
of course, not all toys are. and there were alot more girl toys. but maybe that will help you out.
i also got a turtleneck for parker...$1.98! (he managed to put a hole in one of his 2 church shirts. grrrr! so here is the replacement.)
and of course, you should take a moment to print off some special 'target coupons'.
what? you don't know about these? oh my heck-they will get you some AMAZING deals! mostly trial sized things free, but some other deals too.
so throw the kids into the car and get down there already!

it is always a party with legos...

Thursday, January 14, 2010 | | 2 comments

there are a few birthday party 'rules' in our home.

1. both parties must be on the same day (the boy's birthday are 11 days apart). i do nate's in the morning and parker's in the afternoon.

2. they need to have the same theme.

3. we go out to dinner when the day is done.

this year, parker came up with the lego theme. it is hard to tell, but the banner is lego-y. the spacers in it are rectangles with circles on them to look just like a lego. (you can kind of tell with the green middle one) the letters i cut out (with my paper) at my kids school with their letter making machine.
i got some felt and made lego bags as goodie bags. (also kind of hard to see the spots on the bags. i ended up useing fabric glue for the spots and it worked like a charm!) inside we put these hard lego candies (think cheap tasting sweettarts), lego coloring pages (6 year old guests), lego comic books (free from walmart when you go to their 'lego building days'-big boys only), lego stickers and lego bubble gum (which, by the way, is AWEFUL). i love hand making goodie bags-i guess because i have boys and it is almost a girly thing.
for games we played (younger kids) pin the spot on the lego. the big kids played the lego construction game that i picked up at the local thrift store. i totally scored on that one and i was a big hit with 9 year old boys.
and yes-that is our front door with a ginormous craft paper lego on it. some kids were new to our home and we wanted to make sure they knew what house it was from the road (it ended up snowing that day). we used a coffee sized can to make those spots.
and for thank you cards...can you think of anything cooler? in fact, i used that for all of my kids thank you notes this year. and for those of you who wonder why the giant red and white 'U' for 'you'. well we are u of u fans and some of our friends are byu fans.
it entertained us.

won't you be mine?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 | | 3 comments

to answer your questions...
yes-i am onto valentine's day. i need some decorations up!
no-i didn't come up with this all by myself. tina
did this really cute one and has all of her instructions on how she did it. hers is really cute and simple and super fast! (she realized that you could make this a no-sew project! but why make it THAT easy!)
of course, i am never one to do things the EASY way, i changed it up just a bit. i used bias tape (extra wide, double folded) because then i didn't have to iron. and i used 2 pieces of burlap (one square, one triangle) because my stamped letters didn't seem big enough on the triangle one alone.
and finally no i don't plan on leaving this on the floor, it was just easier to take a photo because the sun is coming thru the window and i cant wait for 5pm when it goes away.
so...won't you be mine?

mangia bene, vivi felice (eat well, live happy)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 | | 2 comments

this photo is a typical sunday dinner growing up in an italian family. you have the men in the 'wife beater' undershirts (of course they weren't called that then!), you have pasta and salad. you have homemade wine for everyone (even the kids-which surprisingly isn't considered child abuse). you can't see the couches which are ALWAYS covered in plastic.
aaahhh-the good old days!
in this photo the little girl is my mom and my pop pop is next to her. the handsome young man in the front in the tshirt is my uncle anthony, who i had a HUGE crush on when i was little!
i thought i'd share our family recipe for 'gravy and meatballs'...
which to americans is 'spaghetti and meatballs'.
***these are in NO WAY a light healthy version. these taste GOOD!***
4 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1T parsley
1 garlic clove
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
add EITHER 2 lbs ground beef, or any mixture of ground beef/veal/sausage.
in frying pan put 1/2"of oil and one onion sliced in 2, flat side down on medium heat. when onion is brown, start putting the meatballs in.
**don't throw away the oil when you are done!**
3,28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
oil from meatballs
1T basil
1T salt
dash of garlic and oregano
keep on low, stirring now and then for a few hours.


burlap-a girl's best friend!

Monday, January 11, 2010 | | 3 comments

i got this cork board this past summer out of someone's trash! (yes-i am that type of person. but it was on the top-not hiding under gross food and diapers! it was ASKING to be saved from the landfill!) there is/was absolutely nothing wrong with it except it was boring. the person who was throwing this away had no imagination!
the first thing i did was mask off the cork and paint the frame black. i wasn't sure what fabric i was going to use on this for along time. like 4 months.
then the burlap revolution hit! i swear everywhere i looked-there was a new burlap project! here was my favorite (ok-it was a project i did! but still one of my favorites!).
i found this cool ribbon at dumb old walmart, and just hot-glued it on. i boogered up one corner and that is why the flu-de-lis on on here. but i think it adds something. so maybe i shouldn't tell people why...
so my love affair with burlap is still on. so is my love of people who don't see potential in their trash! KEEP IT COMING!

i am a winner!

Sunday, January 10, 2010 | | 0 comments
i know you (my dear friends) always think i'm a winner. and i thank you for that. since you read this blog-i think you are too!
but this morning when i woke up and flipped on my computer i found out that someone OTHER THAN MY FRIENDS thinks i'm a winner!
and even if it is just for today-i'm cool with that.
holly over at holly's haven picked me to win a sweet necklace!
you might say 'ba, she RANDOMLY picked you.' or 'ba, you are so simple.'.
so click and go check out her blog. other than giving me the greatest gift ever, she also has some other fantastic posts like this one or this one (which once again makes me wish i had girls).
as soon as it arrives, i will post photo after photo of me wearing my major award so you can tell me how fabulous i look! and i might even let you try it on.

super lego table (NOT MINE!)

i wish i could claim this one but kate at thegainsgang came up with this one. BRILLIANT!
and when you go to her blog, you will see how it fits so nice with her room. i need to be more crafty...
and no-i refuse to show this to my kids as they will want one.

change in design...

Saturday, January 9, 2010 | | 1 comments

did you ever start a craft project, sure of what you were doing. then BAM! it doesn't.
well, this was originally going to be a display of photos of chris and my grand and great grandparents.
parker (why do i even ask a 9 year old for his opinion?) veto-ed the idea when he told me that looking at wedding photos doesn't really say 'love' to him. i pity the girl who marries him.
i still want to do something with their photos, just maybe not today. maybe just other frames. suggestions?
ALL the frames here are from savers or d.i.. i primed and painted all of them cream then sanded them all old-fashiony like. the music paper IS NOT from parker's piano books (although i'm certain he would offer it so he wouldn't have to practice) but from d.i.. there was a whole book for $1. i have no idea what music it is for, but it works.
the letters are from the cut out machine at my kids school. i just bring my own paper and punch them out. volunteering at school so much has its privileges!
this isn't the final resting place for these. the plan is to put them on the island in the kitchen, but i have alot going on on there right now. but soon...

fruit dip is the fruity-est!

parker has this 'thing' about fruits and veggies. and by 'thing' i mean, he won't eat them.
at all.
well, he will drink apple juice. but i don't think that counts.
even my neighborhood famous fruit dip cannot get him to try fruits. sometimes i wonder about him.
but that is parker...everyone else i have ever met loves this dip and i wanted to share it.
i came across this fruit dip recipe about 8 years ago and i have been licking the bowl ever since.
apples and grapes are tasty 'dippers', but so are pretzels and rolls. and as a certain friend who asked me not to name her demonstrated today, a fork also works well as a delivery system for the fruit dip.

2 blocks of cream cheese
1 bag heath/skor candy bits
2 t vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1.5 brown sugar
mix well-i always use my kitchen aid with the paddle attachment.
let me know what you think! parties in herriman are always better when they have fruit dip around!

scary savings!

Friday, January 8, 2010 | | 1 comments

i originally went to d.i. for frames (another project that i am in the middle of. i will hopefully will be posting that soon. ) and found this just sitting out on a shelf! i think i hurt my back making such a fast swift move to grab it before anyone else realized what it was.
so worth the pain.
no lie-tags from taget still on this lovely! (originally $20-WAAAYYYY too much for our budget!). it was even from this past halloween, so i have no idea what this person was thinking. when i showed it to nate, he even remembered seeing it at target. i think mostly because he could imagine opening each box and getting a piece of candy out.

so in case you cant see the tag...$2! so 90% off the original! makes you wonder what the freak people are thinking...

what could it be???


this is just a quick peak at what i have been up to.
i should be done today then i will post the finished project!

a thrifty mom

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 | | 0 comments
not all thrifty deals come from is one from a thrifty mom. there are some awesome deals down at target! (and we aren't just talking about the christmas being at 90% off!)

the hot ba! (courtsey of savers in midvale)

as most of you know-i lost 23 lbs. now nothing fits. in a good way!
this is a cute spring (i know-a long way off) skirt from the limited. not only was it $5.99 (well, actually $4.91 with my savers discount) but it is also a size SMALL! woo hoo! wont this look adorable with a light blue-ish t-shirt or a cardigan?
you cant see it well here, but this is actually light pink and black. this gap skirt was $6.99 ($5.61), and it is lined. so i guess that is why it is more than the limited one.

and this STEAL is a navy blue twin set-both pieces for $7.99 ($6.41) and i cant find a snag or anything wrong with it!
as with all clothing i get at a thrift store, i wash it before wearing it or even putting it in my closet. i always drop off clean stuff, but not everyone is ba.
oh yea-those are my skinny jeans that i have on. those are from kohls, not from savers. but man i look hot in them!

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