June 30, 2011

Welcome to the Dirty 30!

The first time I heard the phrase, "Welcome to the dirty 30!" was just a few days ago by a friend of mine who found out that my birthday was coming up.  Well, today it is here and I couldn't be more excited for it!!!  It's my champagne/golden birthday.  I am 30 on the 30th.  I love my birthday and my sister Julie and her family flew into town just for the occasion.  In honor of my birthday, I will let you laugh at me as I show you myself through the years.

And in honor of my birthday, next week I will be doing a giveaway (after family leaves).  So, stay tuned for that!  I hope you all enjoy your 4th of July weekend!!!

June 28, 2011

Favorite Photo Tuesday #13

My favorite photo this week has to do with something that people just don't believe.  My children often choose anything other than the sugary treat to eat.  I took the kids to Double Dave's Pizza last week and not just one, but both decided they wanted to eat more pickles before their dessert pizza.  Below is a photo of Colton munching on his pickle with his untouched dessert pizza in the other hand.  This photo is also completely unedited. 

Since I am sharing on the subject of my kids odd eating tendencies, I will also share a conversation my husband overheard between Maben (3 year old) and myself.  He sometimes thinks he has entered the twilight zone after overhearing conversations like this.

Maben: "More broccoli please!"
Me: "Sorry pumpkin, we are all out of broccoli, do you want cauliflower or cucumber?"
Maben: "Ummm...broccoli!"
Me: "I already told you, there is no more broccoli, cauliflower or cucumber?"
...a few moments later...
Maben: "Mmmmm, I like cauliflower."

How I love my kids...and I love that they love munching on raw veggies or pickles with me!

June 27, 2011

Redneck Wineglass

I don't know who all has seen one of these, but the first time for me was a couple weeks ago at a friend's house.  I laughed so hard I almost cried.  Such a brilliant and easy idea and so incredibly funny.  So, today, I am going to show you how truly easy it is to make.

You need 3 (yes, only 3) items to make a redneck wineglass.
-a mason jar
-a cheap candlestick (I purchased mine at Dollar Tree)
-E-6000 glue (found at most craft stores)

Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area.  The glue is a little on the strong side.  Place a bead of glue around the top edge of the candlestick.

Place your mason jar on top of the candlestick and center it.  It's easy to center when you are looking down inside the mason jar.

Now, let your redneck wineglass dry for 24-48 hours.  Then it will be ready for use.

My sister and brother-in-law are coming to visit this week.  They will be getting a set of redneck wineglasses, along with a bottle of Boone's Farm wine...because I can't think of anything more redneck to pair it with.  They are going to love it!

P.S.  I think this is the shortest tutorial ever.  Just to recap, gather supplies, glue, wait.

Showing this off:
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 up           party!


June 25, 2011

I Have A Bullet

Well, not a whole bullet.  More like the shell casing of a 50 caliber bullet that has been turned into a pen.  How freaking awesome is that?!?  I am going to give this away to an instructor that is teaching some friends of mine (and myself, kinda) some hand gun safety and teach us how to shoot a hand gun.

I learned how to shoot revolvers over Christmas break.  It was a blast!  I learned how to shoot rifles when I was six.  So, this is something that I am really looking forward to.  Now, I definitely do not get out often to do this, but jump at the chance when I can.

I don't think the photos do this pen justice.  It's 5 3/4 inches in length.  Definitely more of a statement piece than a practical one.  BUT...it is one heck of a conversation starter.

This bullet had been previously fired.  You can tell by the indent in the center.  That is where the primer has been struck by the firing pin to cause the chain reaction in the firing of a bullet. 

I plan to make more of these, they seem to be very popular and I have received a few offers to sell them at local gun shops.  How cool is that?  Going to try and make a stock pile so that I might be able to turn that into a reality!

June 23, 2011

Tool Holders

My husband and I both enjoy woodworking.  Living down south with all this humidity is NOT a good thing for your tools.  It causes a whole lot of rust and rust prevention is important if you want to keep using your tools for a long time.  There are many tool holders you can buy to store your tools and they typically come in two options, leather or canvas/denim.  Last month at the woodworking club meeting I attended, I decided to ask the old guys (don't judge, they are old!  I am fairly certain I am the youngest member) which was better.  It was an almost unanimous agreement upon canvas, and then denim.

Apparently leather holds moisture and you don't want moisture next to your tools.  Moisture = rust!  My hubby has a lot of leather tool holders, so for Father's day, I made him a denim one for a set of his chisels.

It rolls up, clips shut and has grommets at the top to hang it on a peg board (open or closed).  The grommets actually line up when you roll it closed.  Total happy coincidence! 

The only *constructive* criticism I received from the hubby was that it needs a flap at the top, so if he throws it in a tool box, the chisels won't come sliding out.  That's easy enough...I can add that at a later time.  For now, I just wanted to show off another creation.

June 21, 2011

Favorite Photo Tuesday #12

A few days ago we got to witness another spectacular full moon.  The family and I were leaving the mall around dusk and there it was, hanging so beautifully in the blueish/purple sky and all the birds were out and about. 

June 20, 2011


Just over a week ago, the kids and I went blueberry picking.  It's a nice little family farm that is organically run and you can't beat their prices, $3 per pound.  The Chmielewski’s Blueberry Farm is fantastic.  This is the second year I have gone there.  Last year I had Colton strapped to my chest and Maben stuffed his face with as many ripe blueberries as he could.  This year, Maben picked about 1/3 of a pound and Colton stuffed his face with as many blueberries as he could...ripe or not (we both paid for that for a few days!).

Maben showing Colton how to pick blueberries.
Maben upset that Colton is eating white and
green blueberries, even though he keeps
showing him how to pick the purple and blue ones.

We had a lot of fun, even though it has been nothing but super hot here in Texas.  The boys held out, I bumped into a great friend of mine and we brought home a lot of blueberries.  We got just shy of 3 lbs.  If you are wondering what that looks like, it will fill a kids sand pail (like the kind you find at the dollar store).  So what do you do with all those blueberries, eat them and bake with them of course!

I rinsed them first (and busted out my camera to try out some new techniques).  I think I did an excellent job figuring out flash in low light with a fast shutter speed.  What do you think?

The first thing I made with my blueberries were some muffins.  I have been tweaking recipes a lot in order to make them healthier and lower in fat.  This recipe has a little zing with the added lemon, but it's delicious and refreshing. 

The batch made 24 mini muffins and 7 regular sized muffins and I ended up eating way too many.  Don't they look delicious?  And now...I want to make more.

June 18, 2011

Family Tree

A cute spin on the family tree...or as my husband put it, the family stump.  I saw this idea somewhere, I am horrible and cannot remember where.  Of course I saw it before I finally caved and got a Pinterest account. If anyone can provide me with the where, please let me know so I can credit it.

I made this for my husband as one of his Father's Day Gifts.  It occurred to me that we really carved out our own place on the family tree by having kids, which is why I was inspired to do this.  It was really easy and doesn't take much talent.  I took a pencil and drew out my design first on watercolor paper.  I made sure to include our initials in the heart with the year we were married.  The kids each got their own leaf with the year they joined our family.  I took some sharpies and outlined my design in the colors I wanted.  Erased the pencil markings and then painted it in with watercolor.  See, super easy...give it a try!

I framed it in a wooden frame I picked up on clearance.  So, what do you think of it all put together?  Are you going to give it a try?  If you do, I would love to see it!

Linking this up.


June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love the most is soap-on-a-rope.
Bill Cosby

Honey, we love you!  We hope you love your Father's Day gifts.  We hope you have a wonderful weekend.  You are an amazing husband, an awesome father and my best friend.  Happy Father's Day! (a few days early)

I hope that all the great father's out there have a wonderful weekend.

P.S.  Be prepared, we are in need of some newer family photos!  With all 4 of us in it.

June 15, 2011

I Returned To The Scene Of The Crime

The scene where I was brutally assaulted by my own clumsiness.  (You can read about it here)  I am happy to report that my thumb is healing nicely and I returned to the garage to finish the pen I was working on.  Doesn't it look nice?  Hubby has given it away.  It was raffled off at a conference.  I hope the new owner appreciates all the blood, sweat and (surprisingly) no tears that went into it. 

The pen is made of Honduran Rosewood and the pen kit used is called Slimline.  I wish I could take some credit for the box, but it was purchased at a woodworking store. 

June 14, 2011

Favorite Photo Tuesday #11

Last week the kids and I joined a large group of our friends for a nature walk in and around some of the causeways and bayous.  We got to encounter quite a bit of wildlife.  Lots of birds, frogs, bugs, turtles and our very first alligator sighting.  He was about 4 1/2 to 5 feet in length and swam right up to the dock we were on.  Good thing the dock had a deck railing all the way around it.

Now that we know where to find them, the kids and I might have to go hunting for more alligator sightings.

June 13, 2011

Tutorial: Hanging a Canvas

Last week you got to see a glimpse of the fun the kids and I had trying our hand at Painting a Pollock.  Today I am going to show you how we hung it up.  

On a total side note, last week week we took a visit to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and got to see a Pollock up close and personal!  Just wish I could have taken a photo of it, but I didn't want to get kicked out of the museum.

In order to hang a canvas, there are a few items you will need.  Most of which you can find around your house and the rest you can buy individually or get in a picture framing kit.

Eye screws
Picture wire
Picture hook
Scissors or wire cutters

Determine which side of your canvas is going to be up (because on a Pollack, it could be any way).  Make sure to mark the back with which side is up.  Then from each corner, measure about 1/4 of the length and mark it with your pencil.  Take an eye screw and tap it into the wood with your hammer.

Once the eye screw is started, you can turn it by hand.  If it's a little difficult to turn towards the end, take a screw and use it as leverage to turn your eye screw.

You should have 4 eye screws in place.  Each upper corner of your canvas should look like this.

Next,  you will need your picture wire.  You will need it to be 2 1/2 times the length of your canvas.  Start on either of the sides and loop your picture wire and then tie it off by winding it tightly around itself.

You will string it from the left side, to the top right, then to the right side, to the left top, then back to the left side.  It will make a big "X" in the center from where it crosses.  You will also have two triangles, one on either side.

Pull tightly (but not super tight) and tie off the end of the wire like you did the first time.

Cut off the excess with either your scissors or wire cutters.  Your canvas is done and now comes the easy part.  Grab your hammer and picture hook and nail it into the wall where you want your painting hung up.  Then hang your canvas on the picture hook where the "X" is on the back of your canvas.  The reason for the "X" is to make it easier for your painting to hang level. 

It's a fairly simple process and doesn't take long at all to do. 

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