i'm all christmas-ed out over here!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 | | 2 comments
a few years ago, chris made this tv nook into shelves. isn't he useful?!
i should have taken a before photo but oh well. it is all christmas-ed out now and i want to highlight a few things.
this right here is one of my 10+ manger scenes in our home. but this is my favorite. the kids and i made it one year when chris was on a business trip to sacramento. everything has a toilet paper base and things stuck to it. the brown one on its side isn't a piece of poo, it is parkers attempt at a donkey. and nate had this 'thing' about making baby jesus with a golden diaper (if you have seen the movie 'tallidegia nights, you will remember the baby jesus that will ferrell liked to pray to). i don't think there will be a year that i don't display it.
in the middle of the photo below, you can see my plates for santa.
(nate still believes, i don't think parker does)
in the upper left corner is a jar i got here and filled it with some candy canes.
and on the middle shelf on the right side is the ball from here.
and on the same shelf on the left side is one of my kick-butt stars from here!
so i didn't actually buy anything, but it looks amazing!

if you want to share your christmas-ed out home, be sure to leave a link in your comments!

and the winner is...

Monday, November 29, 2010 | | 2 comments
amanda at catss99 who said...

I like baby it's cold outside

in honer of the winner, here is dean martin and doris day singing her favorite christmas song!

jennifer, my mentor!

years and years ago, i worked in the display department for a chain of stores call the bon ton. i had a strange, but good man named dave as my boss. he always talked about his daughter jennifer and i had met her a few times. i usually felt bad for her and her mom for putting up with dave.
almost 20 years later jennifer and i met up on face book and became fast friends.
she is EXTREAMELY crafty, loves shoes and has 2 boys. one of which is named nate!
match made in heaven i say!
well, except for the fact that she now lives in georgia and i'm in utah.
she made this fantastic wreath for christmas and i was so freaking jealous! browns and greens were the colors i wanted to use for my christmas this year. but thankfully, we are miles apart and no one will know that we copied each other!
here is jennifers wreath.
and i wanted it.
i ran to michaels for some ribbon (50% off!) but didn't like the balls.
and i didn't see any HUGE grapevine wreaths (we have an 8' door so we need a big wreath).
after hitting a thrift store, i remember that i had one in the basement i could use.
i ended up getting some green and brown balls at walmart.
here is the before.

i threw away all the red stuff but kept the green eucalyptus because it was glittery and i think i'm going to use it on one of my trees.
then i spray painted the wreath with krylon champagne nouveau.
mostly because jennifer did that.
i wrapped the ribbon around (again, see jennifer's) and made a cool looking bow.
i hot glued the balls on and i might add some more hot glue later.
(it has been windy out here)

so here is my try at jennifer's wreath.
hers is still cooler.
i might have to unfriend her.

Sumo Sweet Stuff

finding santa's stash

Friday, November 26, 2010 | | 5 comments
my best friend growing up was nicole garratiano.
we did just about everything together.
played with our cabbage patch kids.
played with barbies while watching the golden girls on tv.
and we got matching bathing suits (by accident) one year.
in 1981, all the rage was olivia newton-johns 'let's get physical' album. (on a side note, utah banned the song.) now, although i love olivia, that song just hasn't held up as well as some others. i mean, have you listened to it lately? it is really bad.
that was the year i found where my mom hid christmas stuff and i found the huge vinyal record in a black plastic bag.
i was so excited-i had to show nicole because this was at the TOP of my christmas list!
she actually told her mom and her mom told my mom and i got in a little trouble.
every year after that i would go down and look and see what i was getting but on christmas morning, it wasn't exciting because i knew.
now, even though it KILLS me, i don't peak.
do you?

a thanksgiving giveaway!

Thursday, November 25, 2010 | | 22 comments
i was once again contaced by cns.
they are my new favorite people!
they are letting me give away a $45 gift certificate, so you can start your christmas shopping!
or finish it.
now, what would YOU get with your $45?
if my brother patrick read my blog and entered, i know he would get
how do i know that? because he is working on his man cave and all those men will need somewhere to sit.

how to enter...
since it is almost officially the christmas season, i want to know what your favorite christmas song is.
want a second way to enter? follow the thrifty ba and leave a comment to let me know.

you can enter until november 28th and i will announce the winner on monday, november 29th.
i wont set a time for the announcement. we will have to play it by ear.

go broncos!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | | 3 comments
parker's 10th birthday was yesterday.
how did he get so old?
(yes, chris did have hair at one point!)
when we went to disneyland this year, i got him one of those neck things so he could sleep in the car.

it was only $3 at walgreens but it had a boring cover on it.
but it worked and i used it the ENTIRE way home while sick with strep.
since parker got a bike for his birthday, we couldn't really afford to buy him much more. but i didn't want him to only get a bike. i don't know why.
so i got the cover off of the neck pillow and used it as a pattern.

(what, you don't craft on a table that has star wars action figures on it too?)
i only got a quarter yard of fleece broncos fabric, which turns out to be not enough width wise but i made it work. this side is the one that has an opening so you can slide the pillow in and out.

and for the solid side i just used 2 halves.
and yes, i did sew this together wrong and had to seam rip and re-sew.
im brilliant.

the end result!
not too shabby! and parker didn't even get upset by the fact that he ONLY got a new bike!


now all i need is a job!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | | 2 comments
i have wanted one of these so bad for a long time!
it's not like i have a job to bring my lunch to.
it's not that my boys would be caught DEAD with this type of lunch box.
but when they are originally $14.99 and marked down to $3.74, how could i NOT get one?!
or 2, because it is a 2 pack.
(so an even BETTER deal thank you!)
and at some point in life, i will get a job outside of the home and will have to bring my lunch.
when im not eating out with all my new friends.

this time last year...

Monday, November 22, 2010 | | 1 comments
my back yard looked like this...
because i was making these...
last year, my christmas was red, purple and gold. this year i want  brown, gold and this funky green (that no one seems to make in spray paint!).
i got alot of crap from neighbors and the husband about spray painting on the grass, but i really dont care.
i dont think i will be painting on the grass this year, as my back yard now looks like this...

yup-that is about 11" of snow.

HANDS DOWN my most favorite thanksgiving decoration!

Friday, November 19, 2010 | | 1 comments
last fall we took hand prints that look like turkeys of the kids.
(my kids are turkeys, so they might as well make these!)
now i wish i would have done that every year, because they are my favorite thing to put up for thanksgiving!
i just got some frames at $1 store, but i bet you have some laying around your home.

nice crooked pictures ba!

they get big way too fast...

BWS tips button

another fantasic gift idea!

Thursday, November 18, 2010 | | 3 comments
this amazing ball used to be a bright blue extra large christmas ball from the thrift store. i paper mached it then spray painted it bright red. then i dipped the lid of my water bottle in white paint and made the messy circles. i think it turned out fantastic!
and i had a great time doing it! mostly because it gave me an excuse not to answer the door or the phone because i had gooey hands.

megan's rosemary pasta

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | | 3 comments
i have friend megan who loves cooking.
and her family actually eats what she cooks.
her foody blog, vittles divine, is full of yummy foods.
like what we had for dinner monday night, rosemary chicken
not only did i steal megans recipe, but i stole her photo too!
here are megans directions for the best rosemary chicken EVER!
(nate told me i should use that spice more often! (i guess he means rosemary))

3 breasts of boneless, skinless chicken
2/3 cup flour
4 tsp olive oil (divided)
4 tsp butter (divided)
1/4 cup diced onions
4 minced garlic cloves
2 cups water
1 cup unsweetened white grape juice
4 cubes chicken boullion
1 tsp ground or regular rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
12 ounces angel hair pasta (not 16 oz!!)
fresh chives (optional; I have never used them)


Cut thawed chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and put into bowl. Pour flour into bowl and stir until chicken is well coated with flour. In a wide, deep skillet, combine 3 tsp olive oil and 3 tsp butter and heat over med-high until bubbly hot. Add chicken and cook, turning until lightly browned and cooked through (approximately 5-10 minutes). Remove chicken and set aside.

To skillet, add 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp oil. Add onions and garlic cloves, saute until softened (about 2-4 minutes)

Add water, white grape juice, bouillon, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Simmer covered approximately 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and simmer covered approximately 8-10 minutes. Sauce will thicken slightly and chicken will be heated through.

Before chicken is added to the pot, get started on the pasta. Cook angel hair pasta and drain as suggested on package, but do not rinse (tip I learned from America's Test Kitchen). One idea for this recipe is to break pasta into 2-4 inch pieces before boiling.

When pasta is ready, slowly add pasta to the skillet with the sauce and chicken. Optional: cover and simmer for 1-2 minutes, serve warm. (I say "optional" because I sometimes forget to keep simmering it and it's ok. Last night I just dumped the sauce and noodles together into a serving bowl.) It will look very soupy, high-liquid when you first add the pasta to the sauce if you have done the previous steps right -- covered-- but after it sits for a few minutes, most of the liquid will absorb into the noodles. Don't be alarmed! Trust me, you want it this way! It all works out in just a few minutes!

oh yea, i had a giveaway winner that i needed to announce...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | | 5 comments
first, i need to apologize. actually, summer should. she dragged me all over the salt lake valley yesterday. we hit savers, orsen giggy and some chinese store that had dead birds hanging up in it.
i must love her.
and we had some drama. we were looking at ugly sweaters for one of summers daughters because of an 'ugly sweater dance' coming up. here is what we found...
it doesn't look bad until you realize that the little deer is sniffing the big deers butt.
really-would you want your teen girl wearing that?
then there was the sweater that summer picked out.
and please remember that this wasn't for a ugly sweater dance, this is because she LOVED it!
if you don't know summer, she isn't as old as this sweater suggests!
she CLAIMS that she will make this into a pillow.
i think she will wear this around town with a big sign that says 'ba loves my sweater!' just to annoy me.

and that, my friends, is why i didn't post the winner yesterday.

so the winner was picked by my almost 10 year old parker (because nate wanted to play star wars on the xbox instead of helping).

so congratulations trish!
she said...
I'm thankful for my taste buds. They bring me great joy.

i actually know trish and will be dropping this by (hopefully) today so you can get as much use out of it as you can this holiday season!

i'll be thrifting for christmas. you can count on me!

i hate to admit this, but there are actually a few board games that my kids DON'T have.

how are they functioning in society?
(don't answer that if you really know them!)

on a recent trip to deseret industries, i went down the toy isle.
let me stop there...i ALWAYS go down the toy isle. i have gotten legos and star wars toys on amazing deals. just like any thrifter knows, you never know what you will find!
this particular day, i


 for $1.50!
now, the packages are always taped shut, but believe me, i always untape them.
i stood in the toy isle and put perfection together (without the timer on!).
i have trained my kids to put all games pieces back into the baggies on all games.
i realized not all moms are as perfect as me.
(insert laughter here!)
but both had all the pieces. so after i scrape the d.i. sticker off and put all the pieces in baggies, i'm wrapping them and they will be under the christmas tree in 40 days.
and my kids will never even notice.
Monday, November 15, 2010 | | 3 comments
i love pasta fagioli soup. it is espically with the fall weather, a nice warm soup hits the spot. and with some crusty bread on the side, HEAVEN ON EARTH I'M TELLING YOU!
my mother's family's last name is 'martin' (we think it was originally martini but they changed it to not sound so italian! wtfreak!?). and this is a martin family recipe.
(image is of nana, some of her sisters and friends at the jersey shore. notice, no fist bumping.)
except it is from this martin family...
oh well...he must be family, right?
i got this from a book that dean martin's daughter, deana, wrote a few years ago. i have made it and it is yummy!

Martin family* Pasta Fagioli

2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2, 15 oz cans cannelloni beans
6 c water
Dash of salt and pepper
¼ t ground cinnamon
8 oz tubetini pasta
¼ c grated parmesan cheese
Heat oil in large pan and saute’ the onion for 1 minute. Add beans and water. Season with salt and pepper. Add cinnamon, cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 mins then reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours. Check now and ten and add boiling water as necessary. Add the pasta and contine simmering until pasta is done. Remove from heat and service with grated cheese.

*this is actually the Dean Martin family’s receipe for Pasta Fagioli, not that Pat and Mickey Martin family

girls go crazy for a sharp dressed man...

Friday, November 12, 2010 | | 5 comments
my nathan is adorable!
he is turning 7 today and can not wait. in fact, for the past month, he asked me to tell people that he is 7 because 'i basically am'.
at church, i used to put himin a golf shirt and tan pants and call it good.
that is no longer working for mr sharp dressed man. he needs a tie.
i made him one awhile back here and he alternates between the one i made and the christmas one.

the last trip to the thrift store i knew i needed to find a new church shirt (his was short sleeved and we are getting to long sleeved weather here in utah). well not only did i SCORE on a $4 arrow, wrinkle free shirt but this cute tie as well!
if you can't tell from the look in his eyes, he is a child who will cause me lots of trouble.
but he will be well dressed doing it!
oh and ps...dont forget my giveaway!

what are we thankful for? (plus a giveaway!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010 | | 13 comments
every november, we get out this old, laminated tree that i made 7 years ago and stick it to our back door. then leaves are made and we spend one monday night naming what we are thankful for.
here is this years...
(yes that is a tree and NOT a bush!)
there were the usual answers...family, friends, food...
then the not so normal answers...kyle (whittingham. coach of the u of u football team. that was chris's idea.), world peace (that was nate. he might be a mr. usa in training.), america (this is parker. he has a man-crush on stephen colbert.), computers (i will blame the kids for this, but im thankful for them too!)...
im really in the giving thanks mode right now.
 i love fall and all the beauty it brings.
i love that all 3 of my boys were born this month.
i love that we can put on the fireplace when it is cold.

and of course i love all my readers!
so i will be sending this amazing necklace to the person who is thankful for the weirdest thing.

and yes, this is a christmas necklace, but by the time send it, it will be time to wear it!
and yes, i will have a chain by then!
you have until sunday midnight people!

i may be knee deep in birthday month...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | | 5 comments
our family has 15 birthdays in november.
now if it was just nieces and nephews, that wouldn't be so bad.
but that also includes both boys and my hubby!
(and my father in law, sister in law, nephews, brother...the list goes on and on!)

but im ready for christmas anyhow!
mostly because i start early and don't really have a choice.
now if you remember franny, well she has a big sister named jojo.
jojo is one of the only people i know who can use a 'claw' machine and actually win!
now THERE is a marketable skill!
i actually gave her a roll of quarters one christmas so that she will continue to win stuff for my kids!
this year i wanted to be crafty so when i found a boring wood bracelet at hobby lobby, i had my starting point.
(i thought i had a photo of the before but oh well, i guess you will have to use your imagination)
i used my can of chalk board paint painted away.
then 2 weeks 24 hour later, i chalked all over it and wiped it off.
then so that jojo would 'get it' i got a box of chalk and wrote all over it.

i think it is awesome amazing.
lets think an 18 year old does too!

Simpsonized Crafts

today i am grateful for nate!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | | 4 comments
i had totally forgot that i had got this cornucopia at savers ($2.99!) last spring.
well, forgot until nate comes upstairs wearing it as a hat.
and then blowing it like a horn.
now that looks like fall!

my poor husband!

Monday, November 8, 2010 | | 5 comments
it was was the very tolerant chris's birthday sunday.
can  you guess how old he turned?
being thrifty like i am, we used some election signs that were still up (i had parker jump out of the car, snatch them and throw them in the trunk. he loved it!) and just stapled paper to them.
and for his birthday he got the new jon stewart book, earth, but mostly because i wanted to read it.
(yup, that is how it works here).
then we gave him this simpsons christmas tie.
(he is NOT going to like me for posting this photo!)
also being thrifty, i got it from d.i. for $2!
it was in perfect condition, and wasn't even all wrinkled where the knot should be!
of course, chris won't wear it until thankgiving is over.
kill joy.
but he is also getting a ski pass, which will not be thrifty. but hey-i love the guy and he puts up with ALOT!

oh, and by the way, i have strep for the FOURTH time since september.
i have been to an ent dr and it turns out i have reflux that comes up pretty high in my throat. the damage from that is allowing (we think. we hope.) the strep to get into my system. we are treating the reflux and will see what happens.
so if i post something weird (i announced on fb that captian kangaroo died), please forgive me and blame the strep. and i plan on using that excuse as long as possible.

i didnt forget!

Friday, November 5, 2010 | | 3 comments
i didn't forget about my project for my aunt and her school kids.
i was just waiting for her to get them!
here are some of the 30 pencil bags i made with the help of some very special friends!
here is what used to be my kitchen table while i bagged all of the loot donated.
(i was looking for the phone!)
this the final project! well, some of them.
and here are the kids!
this is a dora bandaide that was donated. the kids love them!
thank you EVERYONE who helped out1

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