Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My little house is back!

I can't tell you how good it feels to get my little house back after putting away everything Christmas!  It's definitely as fun as putting it all out.  It really makes so much since to put a really big tree inside a tremendously small house already packed to the brim with 5 people and a home business...CRAZYNESS!!! 
So everything is down and packed back into the shed.  I am sure it will soon be messy with all the new stuff Santa brought or some new craft idea but it still feels really good!!!! 

The tree was right there by that cabinet (the cabinet had to scoot over a bit).  We conveniently plopped it right by the front door...easy escape and not too much of a pine needle trail to clean up.  
*Ignore the bike tires...my husband is getting us all ready for an early spring???  Let hope his wish comes true.  

This is the Mom chair...this is the spot where if you are there and Mom (me) comes in and wants to sit...you must move it...quickly!!!  Love my chair!

My work area still needs a bit of attention but I will get to it soon!  Love my spot!  I got a new iron for Christmas...never thought an iron would make me so happy!  Love my iron!

So now it is on to new projects and ideas...here is my inspiration...!!

Inspiration wall!

Bucket of joy to create with!

and beautiful fabrics to play with!  I love it all!  
I hope your new year is always filled with all the things you love...plus more!  

As some of you know, this year has been a bit difficult for me and my family and I so I am thrilled to say goodbye to 2009 and to ring in 2010!  

Happy New Year everyone!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas 2009!!

We had such a great family day!  I love that I love being with my family and that we never run out of things to do and talk about...I am blessed everyday to have the family and friends I have! 

 Such an amazing dinner and just getting to hang out and reminisce is the BEST!

...a fun day was had by all!  
Merry Christmas!! 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Kiddos Big Events!

The kids had a big week at school finishing up before their Holiday Break and it ended with some fun events.  

Katia is involved with her school choir called Hotshots.  This is for any 4th and 5th grader that is interested.  They do a couple concerts a year and always one right before the break.  She did amazing!  She surprised us by not letting us know that she was going to be involved in a trio for one song and then also a dance routine...it was really a nice surprise!  
The gym was a bit dark so the first picture isn't great but you can still see her.  She is sideways, standing to the right of the girl with the glasses.  She even has her musical earrings in...she was sure to do that! 

In this next picture, I tried to get the entire group but just couldn't...way too large this year...a Great thing!  I think Carl counted 80 kiddos!  They all sounded beautiful too...great job guys!

Zander's event was a culmination of their study on Native American Indians.  They had a Pow Wow with some music performances and lots of Native American-based food...buffalo, dried fruit, beans, etc.  Zander mentioned that he was going to play an instrument but couldn't really explain it too well.  (If you know what the instrument is that he is playing...let me know!)  He did really amazing...a lot of times kids get off beat and such...he really kept the beat for everyone and we were so proud!  I guess he has inherited his drumming talent from his uncle! 

Here is a pic of most of the kiddos...Zander is at the top-middle behind the girl with the feathers in her hair.

Lili didn't have a performance but she did have a Holiday party.  She was so thrilled to get lots of treats and hot chocolate with many, many marshmallows (don't know why she thought she was going to get so many...)!  She had made a card for her teacher and this is her reading it to her.  

They had a great week but are so glad to be home for Break!  We will be hanging with Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) and my sister for Christmas this year...very relaxing as we will be at my sister's and I don't have to do any cooking!!!  Yea!  

I hope you all enjoy your Holidays and really get the chance to enjoy your family! 
We send our love to all!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Projects!!! I Love projects!

I really do love having a project to work on.  I always seem to have at least 1 going but more often than not, 2 or 3.  Of course this time of year brings it out in me...I am a bit late with some things I have wanted to get done but they will get there and the world will keep spinning whether I do or not.  

I hope like some of you, I have an affinity for mindless TV...you know, Survivor, Amazing Race, Biggest Loser, Dirty Jobs, etc, etc,...you know, TV that doesn't make my life any better it just helps me escape for an hour or so.  My husband doesn't quite get it but he has his own escapes (computer stuff) and we leave each other be.  While I watch these said shows, my hands can't be still.  I have to work on something.  So there are benefits from this mindlessness...I get some pretty great stuff created!  Gifts galore!  So Fun!  

Here are some of the fun stuff I have been working on lately...

Izzy bags (small makeup bags)...so fun to do because they are quick as can be to make!

and these...

So I can make bunches of these... Margarite pins to hang on anything you want!  I pin them on my bags...so cute!

I also get a lot of my orders finished during these times...I just finished this great bag!  It's a small messenger bag for a young girl...I think it turned out perfect!

I also completed another Chloe bag that will soon be for sale on my Etsy page...

and these are what I am working on today...

A few more Izzy bags...my kiddos choice for teacher gifts!  

Sometimes I get a bit stressed about the things/projects I still need to do but then I remind myself that another project is a good thing!  It means the world is definitely still spinning and I really like that!  

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So here's a good one for ya!!!

When Carl and I got married 18 years ago, my Mother-in-Law gave me an amazing gift...a recipe book of all her best recipes (and Carl's favorites!).  I have used many of them over the years but one of my favorites is her Cranberry Bread recipe.  I remember when we were dating and she had made this and I didn't even want to try it...I was a very picky eater and didn't like to try new things.  I think Carl finally got me to try it and it truly is one of my favorite things about this time of year.  Of course, Cranberries are everywhere right now and very inexpensive so there is no reason not to make it over and over and over and over...you get the point!  

Here it is...SO YUMMY!!

My kiddos also have acquired my affection for this yummy treat...the loaf does not last long around our table!  

I decided I am going to share the love and pass on this great recipe...I have doubled the original so I can get 2 big loaves made at once...Enjoy!

Carolyn Gregov's Cranberry Bread
4 c. flour
2 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs-beaten
1 1/2 c. orange juice
2 t. orange peel
2 c. chopped cranberries
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  In another smaller bowl, melt butter for 15 seconds in microwave.  To the butter add the beaten eggs, orange juice, and orange peel.  Add these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in large bowl.  Chop cranberries (I use my food processor).  Add the 2 c. cranberries  and the nuts to the large bowl and mix all together.  Divide batter into 2 standard size bread loaf pans (9 x 5) and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Test with toothpick.  

Try it...it's the perfect treat!

And it looks perfect too!

One more tempting picture!  My breakfast!  

Happy Holidays!!  I send lots of love to you all!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I am here...!

I am here and I am fine!  Sorry for my disappearance...Life gets in the way sometimes! 

Recently, Carl took the kiddos sledding at our local sledding hill!  They had a great time and I got to enjoy a quiet, warm house!  Here are the high lights...


More to come soon!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Birthday to my MOM!

Today is my Mom's birthday...my wonderful, amazing, talented, beautiful and loving Mom!  Not only is she my mom but she is also one of my best friends and I am thankful everyday that I was blessed to have her in my life.  

My Mom has been there for every important event in my life.  She was not only wonderful when I was going through my childhood and my teens, she has supported all my craziness!  What fun we had planning my wedding...the wedding budget meeting with Dad at Taco Hut in Manhattan, the days spent choosing the amazing dress at the Plaza in Kansas City, choosing the wedding cake, deciding on the flowers (and what a beautiful job we did!), and then the actual day itself was just perfect!

Then, after a few years, came the babies!  Katia arriving so quickly and us leaving the hospital so soon afterwards...she had to search us down. These were the days before everyone having cell phones...she finally arrived at the house and me coming down the stairs to tell her that SHE had just woken up and her reply "Oh, it's a girl!"  How excited she was to finally have a granddaughter?!  She stayed with me 2 weeks.  We have always had such a good time together, no matter the amount, and are always so sad when it's time to go home.  Then came Zander...she stayed with Katia for 2 1/2 weeks while Zander went through all his stuff.  Grandma and Katia had such a magical time together...I think they will both always cherish it.  Katia may not remember it all but their special bond is there because of it.  Then came sweet Lili and back came Grandma to help out!  We just couldn't have done it without her!  

Over the years we have had some wonderful times together...we both love the same things and never run out of things to share and talk about.  It's always been this way and I know it always will be this way.  I can't believe how close we will soon be (only 1 1/2 hours apart compared to 8 hrs) and I can't wait!!!  

Here is a picture of my sisters and I with my parents @ their 50th Wedding Anniversary party!  I loved celebrating their amazing life together and it was so great to get the entire family all there.

Mom is in the center, as deserved, my 2 sisters on the left, me (on the right) and of course my Amazing Dad!  Thank you Mom (and Dad-your birthday is coming up-just wait your turn!) for giving me such a wonderful life!  I am very thankful and love you dearly! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Christmas Time!!!

What a magical time of year!  It's so fun to see the wonder in the kiddos and all the great family memories that always seem to be made this time of year.

It's also time to dig out those Christmas decorations!!  How fun is it to re-discover what great stuff you had forgotten...almost like finding a lost treasure of wonderful jewels!  There is always that one item (or more) that you remember from childhood or a creation that you made that brings back so many wonderful memories.  I love it!  

I thought I would share some of our favorites decorations around here...so fun!  

Katia's favorite decoration...her nutcracker!  I set it by an arrangement of poinsettias and sunflowers...can't totally get rid of my KS heritage...ever!

Carl and I were married December 14, 1991 (almost 18 yrs!) and we/I registered for this Christmas pottery.  I didn't quite know if that was the best idea at the time...whether I would use it or not (Carl thought it was very silly-Men just don't understand).  I have been thrilled every year when I pull it out get to put it to use!  We also got coffee mugs with the year on them...definitely a good idea!

Next is an amazing cross-stitch that my very talented (and much loved) Mom made for us!  It just so special and I treasure it!  

The next few pics are all of some felted wool bags I made a few years back!  I think they were kits that I bought at a quilt shop or some place like that.  These are so fun and were so very easy to make.  

 This is a great craft idea for all of you out there...you know how all those antique store have boxes of old postcards?  Well I found some christmas ones, matted them with fabric I loved and stuck them in a frame.  I made a second one (forgot to take a pic of it) which has 3 postcards that are a series.  I love these!  I need to make some for all the holidays because it's always a bummer to put these away after the holiday!


This last picture is probably my favorite!  My wonderful Mom knitted my girls these adorable Santa hats a few years ago and I think they are the best santa hats I have ever seen.  They love getting to use them all December and love the compliments they get from everyone!  
Thanks Grandma!

This is the only way to play Wii Mario carts...very comfy by the fire with your favorite hat!  

I am sure you all have some favorite things as well and I hope you are having as much fun putting it all out on display!  

Happy Holidays to all!   

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009!

Colorado was absolutely gorgeous for Thanksgiving this year and we had a really nice day!  My sister, from Arvada, joined us this year...what a lot we had to be Thankful for!  We started off the day with a yummy breakfast...

Breakfast Casserole and homemade cinnamon rolls!

Then, of course, we had to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade...Love it!  

Here is Aunt Donna with Katia!  We love Aunt Donna!  She brought her lovely dog Petra with her and I must say...I was so thankful for the continuous mopping of my kitchen floor throughout the day...Thanks so much Petra!

Then it was time for turkey duty...no pardon on our side of things!  It's always such a busy day but the end result is so worthwhile!

We had to get out and enjoy the amazing weather!  A walk around the Twin Lakes was definitely needed!  Lili, Zander and Carl rode bikes (LIli had to practice those newly acquired biking skills) and Katia loved walking Petra.  Donna and I walked slowly as we were playing with her new amazing camera!  

We then headed home to finish what we had started...Carl doing his duty!  The turkey turned out great as did all the other yummies!  Especially the Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole...here is the recipe!  
Steuseled Sweet Potato Casserole 
14 c. cubed peeled sweet potato (5 lbs)
1/2 c. half and half
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 salt
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. chopped pecans
*Preheat oven to 375*.  Place potato in dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes until tender.  Drain.
Combine the half and half and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a lg. bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add potato to egg mixture; beat with a mixer until smooth.  Spoon mix into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. 
Combine flour and sugar in food processor; pulse to combine.  Add chilled butter;pulse until mix resembles coarse meal.  Stir in pecans; sprinkle over mixture in baking dish.  
Cover and bake at 375* for 15 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until the topping is browned and the potatoes are thoroughly heated.  
ENJOY!!!!  It was really good so save this and enjoy next year!

We all send you lots of Thanksgiving LOVE

We all hope you enjoyed your day immensely and were able to spend some really lovely time with your friends and family!   

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009!!!

We send our love to all our friends and family!  I will post pics of all our activities throughout the next couple days...yummy baking and lots of it!  YUMMO!!!  

Friday, November 20, 2009

K's Orchestra Concert!

My oldest daughter had her first orchestra concert Thursday night.  They sounded really good for just having just started this fall.  She seems to be really enjoying herself and loves the fact that she is getting better all the time.  This picture is a bit blurry but she is sitting in the front row right on the other side of the director.  I don't know if that means anything yet...whether that indicates her position but we sure had a great view of her for the concert.  

The concert was a mix of 5th Graders from Heatherwood and Douglas Elementary Schools and 6th, 7th and 8th Graders from Platt Middle School.  I think part of the fun was getting to hang out at the Middle School.  They all seem pretty excited to go there next year...I don't know if I am quite ready for that though.  

This concert was on our littlest's 6th birthday.  She didn't seem to mind too much...she had a fun day celebrating!  I can't believe she is 6...going from 5 to 6 seems like taking the step from little girl to big.  Next year 1st grade will be a breeze!  
I am sure you all wish you could hear those violins purring...sorry to disappoint!  Use your imaginations!  Great Job K!  We are so proud of you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Long time...no posting! Sorry!

So it's been a while since I have posted anything...sorry fam and friends!  I have a big Holiday Bazaar next week that I have been busy sewing like crazy for...it's fun but a bit overwhelming!  The kids have been very patient with me thank goodness.  Here is a sneak at some of the new stuff...

A new messenger bag...The Carol Bag (named after Mom)!  This is a very fun and very functional bag for everyday!

The new Maggie Bag...so cute!    

Another Maggie Bag!  The Maggie Bag is the first bag I designed completely myself!  Yeah me!

A smal Bella Bag!

A redesigned Bella Bag w/ side ties!

A Chloe Bag in the works!

And lastly my newest design that is also in the works...The Eliza Bag!

(more to come on that later!) 

So that is why I have not been posting!  The fabrics are all great...I so love what I do! 

Have an "A.Lovely" Day!