Book-Worm Wednesday - Witch Craft

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ok, so I know it's not Wednesday, but I really had to at least mention this book before Halloween has come and gone. 
Witch Craft:
Wicked Accessories, Creepy-Cute Toys,
Magical Treats, and More!
By Margaret Mcguire and Alicia Kachmar


If you have a love for the creepy and crafty like I do, you really should check out this book. It is full of recipes, decorations, toys, and accessories collected from across the web just for your spooky get together.  I wanted desperately to make one of the projects below, but didn't have the supplies handy (or maybe it was the ambition). Even though Halloween is my favorite holiday, I haven't gotten around to the decorating and costume making this time, but I'll definitel keep these ideas in mind for the bash next year!

Poison apple anyone?

These little bats are my absolute favorite!

I love her pink hair, but wouldn't bright green be awesome too?

Since I know not everyone participates in Halloween, I'm not going to give this book a star rating like I usually do. I'm just going to list the projects inside for anyone interested. Just know, I thought it was an adorable little find. You may have seen some of the projects around the blog circuit, but it's still worth a peek anyway.

Headbands and Corsages
Bottled Potions
Marshmallow Skulls
Crochet Bones
Cross-stitch Jewelry (witch, pumpkin, ghost)
Crystal Balls (snow globes)
Graveyard Cupcakes
Felted Dracula Candy Bowl
"Finger" Food
Fuzzy Bats
Ghost Toast (croutons)
Good Witch (crochet doll)
Cupcake Toppers
Knitted Spider and Web Hat
Wicked Tutus
Catnapping Mask
PB&J Skull Sandwiches
Plush Poison Apples
Poison Ivy Lip Balm
Ruby Slippers
Felt Ghost Brooches
Beaded Spider Earrings
Tangerine Jack-o'-Lanterns
Paper Garlands
Vampire Bite Necklace
Creepy Mary-Janes
Witches Brew Punch

Wishing everyone a Fun and Safe Halloween weekend!

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Fall Festival

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Since we moved down here to Virginia, I've been on the look out for fun family outings for us to go on. We managed a trip down to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum for my birthday, and also a fun visit to the National Zoo, but since the weekends have been mainly devoted to grocery shopping and errands, we haven't gotten out as much as I'd like. 

So Monday, Ant took the day off work so we could all go to a pumpkin farm about 15 min. from our house. Cox farms wasn't exactly what I was thinking about when I was planning to pick out a pumpkin, but we all had a wonderful time! In the end it was probably much more fun for Reli than going out in a field just to pick a pumpkin and turn around to go home. 

This was much more of a Fall Festival since they don't grow their own pumpkins on site. There are dozens of slides, large and small, a hayride, farm critters to pet/feed, a corn maze, straw bale tunnels, and the all important apples, cider, and kettle corn. They also let you pick out a tiny little pumpkin for each person on the way out (which was large enough for our purposes) or you can buy the larger carving pumpkins by the pound. 

I don't think I've been in so many pictures since my wedding, but Ant was trying to figure out how to use the new "fancy" camera for most of the day. I think we ended up with over 300 shots of the top of Reli's head before the day was over. (Anyone know how to get a 2 yr old to actually look at the camera? ; )

Over all we spent an amazing four hours out in the beautiful sunshine with smiles on our faces.
(We haven't seen anything but rain in weeks, and we actually got a little sun burned!)

I hope the rest of you are all able to get out and enjoy the fall season 
with the pumpkins, apples, or even just the colorful leaves!

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Thank You...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

First off, I can't get away without saying Happy Birthday to the 2 most important guys in my life. Today is my husband's and also my father's birthday. (weird right?) So...

Happy Birthday 
Anthony and Dad!
Birthday Cake 2 Clip Art

Now, I wanted to send out a big thank you for all of the Congratulations (and encouragement to relax) that I received after my post on Friday.  I've been busy making a cleaning system that will let me keep the house in slightly less than disastrous condition while still putting forth the minimal effort each day. Between that and trying to enforce a weekly dinner menu, My hardest tasks have become a bit simpler.

I have even gotten up enough energy to bust out the yarn and start a new crochet project. It isn't anything super amazing, but it lets me feel like I'm accomplishing something without having to leave the comfort of the couch. We're shooting for baby steps right now. Once I finish with the crochet, maybe I'll move on to a bit of embroidery, and work my way back up to making clothes. Reli sure is in need of some new outfits, so hopefully I'll be back in action before it starts to get too cold.

Thanks again, and I hope you are all out enjoying the fall weather. We went to the pumpkin farm yesterday, and I can't wait to share some of the cute pictures we took. Here's a sneak peek...

Have a great day!

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Let me explain...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Some of you (you know the whole 4 of you that follow along regularly) may have noticed the complete downward spiral that this blog has been in lately. I'm not really making anything creative, and heck, I'm lucky if I get 2 posts up a week. If I'm being 100% honest, I haven't sat down at my sewing machine in over 2 months...2 MONTHS!

But why?

I could blame it on...

the little monster having a sudden bout of the terrible twos...

everyday life:

- One of the cats has a UTI
- I broke 2 teeth last week (eating french fries!!) and need to get crowns
- Rearranging the house
- Decorating for Halloween (plus costumes)
- New tires for the car
- Potty training (who am I kidding, we gave up!)
- Dr. appointments
- Birthdays
- Cleaning
- Grocery Shopping
- Looking for a car (still)
I'm sure you all have the same kind of list at your house.

But, none of those things would be he real reason that I haven't been getting anything done.
Here's the truth...

I'm Pregnant!
I've never been so exhausted in my whole life!

Everyday when nap time (aka prime sewing time) rolls around I think I'm asleep before Reli's music toy even stops singing. Then in the evening I'm usually asleep by 9:00 so no chance for creativity there either. I feel so ridiculously lazy, but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it! 

The funny thing is that I've been making up for my lack of sewing with an excess of cooking and cleaning. It's almost like the "nesting" hit early, but without the extra energy. (seriously, last week I scrubbed the kitchen floor with a scrub brush on my knees. Cinderella style!)  This might explain all the "football" cooking (and baking) too. Hopefully as this 2nd trimester gets more underway things will start to return to something close to normal, and I'll get back to the sewing and crafting. 

But I hope this explains my sporadic posting, and the horribly long time it has been taking me to rely to your comments. I do REALLY appreciate all of your comments! Just please don't give up on me and think I'm turning into a flake who never posts if I'm missing for a few days and don't sew anything for awhile. 

This is how we told my family at Reli's birthday party.
(Yeah, that's a deer skull behind my head. Is that not normal at your house? ; )

And for the questions everyone always wants to know...

I didn't get sick the first few months, but I had that "If I could just be sick I'd feel so much better!" feeling constantly.

We don't know what it is yet, but I'm absolutely gonna find out! (sometime around Thanksgiving)

I'm due on April, Friday the 13th. How cool is that? Wonder what it says about this little ones personality?

Most of you have been through this at least once before so thanks for understanding. I promise I'll make it all up to you with some really cute baby projects, and maybe even some fun toddler patterns! (Eventually...)
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! (Is it nap time yet?)
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Party Time!

Monday, October 10, 2011

We had Reli's 2nd birthday party this past weekend at my Dad's house. And even though I'm still sorting through the laundry, presents, and random chaos that goes along with even the shortest of trips, I really wanted to share some of my favorite pictures.

I have no idea why I picked a fish theme for the party, but I figured there would be plenty of years to do the princesses and characters later. It wasn't anything fancy either. I've seen some amazing party set-ups in blog land, but since there were no other kids present, and I wasn't in my own house, it was a "make it work" kinda situation.

The snacks were my only extravagance, and even with just those my dad kept making funny faces and telling me that this was all to "fancy" for our family. Oh well. The ideas for the cupcakes, chip dip squidsand dollar cookies, and hermit crabs in a blanket (no picture) all came from Pinterest.

Martha's version, not mine!

I tried to make the fish bowl jello too, but I thought nerds would make cute "gravel" in the bowl and when I poured the jello in, most of the nerds melted. That left me with something that looked like sewage in a fish bowl. So we poured it out in the yard. hot water + sugar = FAIL! duh (some days I'm not sure my brain cells are firing!)

And somehow I got the kid who doesn't want to have messy fingers so this is how she ate her  cupcake!
Look Ma no hands!
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Where did the time go?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I know every Mom says the same thing when this time of year rolls around, but . . .
I really can't believe that my BABY is 2 years old today!

We aren't doing much today since we are headed to my Dad's for a party this weekend, but I did want to do something a little bit special just to get her excited when we said Happy Birthday. And, since Reli had such a great time last week with a balloon they gave here at the party store, I figured why not try for that same reaction on a bigger scale. So, Ant and I spent last night blowing up 40 odd balloons to fill Reli's room with. (I say blowing, but I bought a $4 balloon pump just so I wouldn't burst a lung. I know, I'm a sissy. Ant had to use his "manpower" though and I thought he was gonna pass out!)

Then at 6:55am I'm laying in bed and hear BALL!BALL! AHHHHHHH! 
Ant was still in the bathroom getting ready, so I waited for him to come out and over Reli's continuous shrieks of delight said "I think your daughter is awake..."

I find it hilarious that at 2 yrs old, Reli still hasn't figured out a way to escape her crib. She can get her leg up and over the rail, but is too leery of the fall to go any farther. So this is what we walked in on...

That last thing she sings before saying bye is "wike bawoons! I wike to bifday cake!"

Needless to say, she continued in this fashion for more than an hour until I made her sit down for breakfast. Then once we were done eating she was right back at it. Who knows, if I'm lucky, maybe she'll be busy with those balloons until nap time and I can finally clean the house! (Or catch up on gossip girl)

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Football and BBQ

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So, Anthony got into the whole Fantasy Football thing with his co-workers this year and I have to admit that I've been getting sucked into the games a bit more than I had expected. Football is the only sport that I take any interest in (probably because I actually know the rules & such after the 4 years I spent cheering on my high school boyfriend), but Ant and I never watched anything other than the Super Bowl. This year I'm sucked in all day Sunday and half of Monday night until I just get too tired to care anymore. (around 9pm)

football party food
The really odd part is that I feel like we have to have that "tailgate party" atmosphere that normal people have when they get their friends together to watch the game. The only difference is that we have no friends ; ) But, that hasn't stopped me from busting out the crock pot each Sunday to make chili or some such dish.

This past weekend I wanted to try something I've never made before and decided "What could be more "tailgate" than pulled pork?" Enter the strangest (but evidently most amazing) recipe I've ever made. What did I do? 

I used a pork shoulder since they are cheaper,  but I guess you could use a tenderloin if you wanted too. Toss the meat in the crock pot and pour root beer on top of it. Yes, ROOT BEER! (about 6 fl oz for each pound of meat) Set the temp to low, and let it simmer for 6-7 hours until the meat is done. Then you pour out the root beer, shred the pork, and dump it back in the pot with whatever bottled bbq sauce is your favorite. (about 9 oz sauce per lb) Stir it all up and let it soak together, and in about a half hour you're ready to eat what Ant called "The best pork sandwich he has ever had!" (Of course I forgot to take a picture, but I guess pork BBQ all looks the same.)

I couldn't believe it. Never in a million years would I have ever thought to cook pork in root beer. I don't actually cook pork that often, but still. It just sounds weird doesn't it? Why does it seem so much different than cooking beef in coffee or pineapple? I sure don't know, but I have 9 more lbs of pork in the freezer (Thanks a lot CostCo) that are never going to have the chance to be anything but BBQ!

Have any of you ever tried this before, and what did you think?
What is the strangest recipe you have ever made?
And... Got any ideas for a dish for next Sunday?
I'm thinking maybe wings, or ribs, or spinach-artichoke dip, or empanadas, or...

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Monday, October 3, 2011

I know you have all see this project dozens of times, and it isn't terribly original, but I really wanted to make Reli a few homemade gifts for her birthday.  I figured having some big chunky flower crayons might help deter her from eating them, but we'll still have to see about that.

For those of you who have somehow escaped these directions before...

Peel the paper off your crayons and break them into small chunks. Put all the little pieces into silicone molds of some sort. (cupcake, ice cubes, candy etc.) I put 8 crayons worth of wax in each section to keep them all the same size. You can simply mix a bunch of different colors in each cup, or divide them by shade like I did below.

Place your silicone cups on a baking sheet for better stability and pop them in the oven at 200 degrees. My wax took about 18 minutes to melt, but each oven will be different. Make sure you keep a close eye on them. Once all the wax is melted, go ahead and remove them from the oven being VERY CAREFUL not to shake the tray. If the wax gets jiggled too much the fun marble pattern is lost, and if your put multiple colors in each cup they could all just turn brown.

Let the crayons cool completely, pop them out of the molds, and have fun coloring!
(If you try to get them out while they are still warm everything may crack so be patient.)

I loved the way these turned out, and eventually made a yellow, brown and black/grey to complete the set. That swirly pattern is just so nifty! Reli better watch out, or mommy will be confiscating these puppies all for herself ; )

Have any of you tried this project before? What shape did you make your crayons?
I did flowers because I thought they would be easy to hold, but can't wait until Reli gets older so we can make something really cool like race cars or teddy bears!
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