Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pretzel Making

A couple of weeks ago I read about these buttery soft pretzels on another blog.  I knew I had to make them with my kiddos.  Today was finally the day! :)  While the boys had a couple of friends over this afternoon, Penelope and I got busy making the pretzel dough. 

more stirring

kneading the dough

After it had risen, the boys got in on the action too.  We all made pretzel ropes and snakes instead of twisting them in to the traditional pretzel shape.  While rolling, Penelope helped herself to some of the tasty dough.  One of hers didn't make it on to the pan to be baked.  After we filled the pan they went in to a hot oven.  Then a quick 8 minutes later, we got to enjoy hot soft pretzels--just like those incredibly yummy ones at the mall, but without the expense and grease. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mid-Life Crisis?

  I've been thinking lately about life in general specifically my life.  Life is so fragile and in the blink of an eye all that I know it to be can change.  Where's my life going? Am I on the right path? What's the right path?  Should I be doing more? How can I be a better person, wife, mom, sister, daughter?  I love the idea of starting and running my own business.  However, I feel like I need to be making a difference.  I tell myself that being the best mom right now IS making a difference.  For some reason it just doesn't seem to be enough.  Maybe it's because I haven't been able to define what being the perfect best mom is.  I know I should do such a good job so as to essentially make myself and all that I do not needed by my kids.  Teach them how to do all that they need to do and be holy, well-rounded, and upstanding.  I'm finding it hard to let go of the control. Controlling the way that things are done.  I tell myself that it's the process of the kiddos learning and not always necessarily the end result that's important at this time. 
  The business I'd like to create is a furniture refinishing one.  Seems kinda shallow, but I can spin it pretty well.  It does play in to the living green theme.  I could make it make a difference in people's lives by improving their surroundings, donate profits, empower others with the knowledge to do refinishing for themselves, provide opportunities for therapy and conversation while working.
  Maybe it's a mid-life crisis (I'm suddenly feeling like I'm getting older!)  maybe it's just desiring more and trying to actually follow through, fulfill, and attain a dream.  Who knows where I'll go with this, but it feels good to get it in writing and out of my head.  :)
  Anyone else out there feel similar???

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January+Snow Days=Organizing

January and organization and snow days...these 3 things seem to be going together more and more.  And so, as another possible snow day comes, I'm planning on tackling some organization projects and enlisting the kids' help.  There are oodles and oodles of organizing blogs and websites out there, but I happened upon this one and have decided to jump on the 21 day challenge (although I'm more than fashionably late!)  As I read through some of her posts, I saw her Day 12 posting: organized spice cabinet.  Hello, genius!  I have almost all my spices in containers on the shelf, but I always have to lift a spice bottle up to see which one it is.  Here's the simple ingeniousness of an organizing guru...LABEL THE TOPS!!! I do owe a label maker and put it to great use so much that I ran out of label tape and never bought more.  BUT, I have plenty of permanent markers in several colors that I can simply write spice names on the tops of all my spice bottles.  LOVE IT!!!  So, here's to another snow day :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Coffee Table

I was given an old coffee table by a friend who got some new furniture to fill her space.  We haven't had a real coffee table at all and haven't really had a need for one. When we did need one, we made due with our over-sized ottoman.  This poor ottoman has most often been used as a trampoline though.  With the kiddos and their endless energy, not having a coffee table has been a blessing.  Not having the coffee table meant having more space to play and spread out.  However, lately we've been playing more board games (usually chess or Monopoly) and I decided a coffee table would be helpful both for storage and table space. To say our sofa is large is an understatement.  I still remember the salesman's line, "This couch is great! If you take the back cushions off it's the size of a twin bed!"  He wasn't kidding. It's huge.  It's ugly.  But it's comfy, we don't care too much if things spill on it or if kids jump on it, and it has come in handy as a bed on a few occasions.  So for now and until we have cash to buy a nice new one, it's what we've got.  Back to my new coffee table.  It was dated, but large and fit the scale of the sofa.  The table has some perfect storage for all our games and even space for baskets of books.

All I have left to do is put a couple coats of sealer on the top.  This project has taken MUCH longer than I had planned.  Lots of sanding and stripping.  Pictures to come!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Shots

Here are some favorite pictures from this past week.
John Paul and Lily playing in the back yard.

Penelope eating her pappas con huevos.

The cardinal was spotted New Year's Eve at the Arboretum during a walk that Jaime, Alexander, and Lily were on.

Jaime got the pictures of John Paul and the cardinal. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Saturday Sharing

There are so many absolutely wonderful, creative,and inspiring blogs out there.  I thought I'd spotlight a few of my favorite current reads.
First up is Centsational Girl
Kate's got fabulous before and afters...many have tutorials so you can learn how to do the same.
Look what she did to this piece for her office:

Simply amazing!
There are decorating ideas aplenty, some recipes, gorgeous photos (she lives in northern California and often has beautiful photos of the vineyards), and so much more.

Next up is another daily read, Clover Lane.
Sarah's blog is inspirational to me for parenting perspective (she's got 5 kiddos).  She writes so authentically that I feel as though we are sitting in the same room having a conversation.  Love that! Her posts make me laugh out loud, bring tears to my eyes, and make me feel like I'm not the only mom going through similar things with my family. Sarah also has organizing and decorating tips.

Lastly for now, is Life in the Fun Lane.
I adore this blog for the furniture redos.  Holly has a beautiful classic style and gets most of her pieces from thrifting. Take a look at her daughter, Wren's, room.  Also, I fell in love with her WhiteBerry shop and find it inspiring my work.

I've got many more, but think I'll save them for next week.
Happy New Year!


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