Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Pink Stamper - Sunday Challenge!

I love making cards.  Now ask me how many I actually give to people...

The sad truth is that in this electronic age we live in, writing and sending letters and cards is a dying art.  So I was all too happy to participate in Robyn's challenge for today at My Pink Stamper:  to make something with the intent of giving it away.  So here's my contribution:  a Valentine card for my brother who is in basic training for the Canadian Navy.  He likes hedgehogs, so what could be better than this adorable set from Penny Black called Piece of My Heart?  Hopefully he won't be teased out of the barracks!  Sometimes cards are more of a reflection of who they're from than who they're for.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My Pink Stamper Cold Days Challenge #1

I have a new addiction.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I got a Cricut for Christmas.  I was surfing one day looking for a good tutorial on how to use the Cricut and I came across My Pink Stamper.  Robyn has super cute ideas, is an absolute riot, and is a good teacher if you're needing to learn how to use your Cricut.  The challenge is to make something with your favorite color, and black.  Well, my favorite color is red - red clothes, red personality, red kitchen appliances...

Here's my card:

This was made using the seasonal Cricut cartridge Love Struck, which has some really fun designs that I'm finding require very sharp Cricut blades.  Time for another trip to Roberts...

Don't forget to check out My Pink Stamper too!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A cute idea for Valentine's Day


Who knew the Dollar Spot at Target could be so much fun?  Normally it is the bain of my existence because my girls love it and spend their hard earned money on little trinkets and lip balm and other such girly things.  However, every year Target gets these adorable little mail boxes that can be embellished and blinged to your heart's content.  Apparently they were available in 3 colors:  pink, red and white.  I say apparently because as soon as these things hit the shelves they are gone and I feel lucky to have found the few that I have.  It never ceases to amaze me that there are crafty people out there that can look at something like a plastic and aluminum mail box and think, "I can decorate that!"  Thank you, oh crafty people, from those of us who need to copy your good ideas.  They are so fun to embellish too.  Can you tell from the pictures what I got for Christmas?  My in-laws got me a Cricut and I'm loving it, so much that I think I need new blades already...

I think these are such a fun gift idea, and not just for Valentine's Day.  You can fill them with treats and give them as a gift, or you can give one to your kids and leave little love notes in them.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A day in the life of a 3 year old

Domestic life these days consists of potty training my almost 3 year old.  My philosophy on potty training is wait until they have been waking up dry for a few months, and then bribe them with sugar.  It sure is working for this little guy.  Yesterday was a constant cycle of going potty, getting a treat, eating said treat, and then immediately squeezing out another drop and the cycle would start all over again.  I eventually had to go out and buy a bad of M & M's that I could divvy out 2-3 at a time so he won't completely rot out his teeth or die of the sugar high.  He definitely has the plumbing all figured out, we just need to work on making going to the bathroom a priority when his sisters get home from school and he's having too much fun to bother.  He's learning a lot in the process too.  I get a frequent run down on who the boys are in the family, and who the girls are.  This morning as we were gettling bundled up in preparation for some snow shovelling he gave me a big hug and said, "Mommy, you're such a cute grirl (girl)!"  Ah, the joys of motherhood!

Isn't he stylin' in his Cars underwear?  You wouldn't believe how hard it was to get a G-rated picture of him though!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Death by a thousand beans

We are having some employment issues at our house right now.  My husband happens to be in an industry that people just don't spend money on when times are tough, and so we are trying to be even more frugal than usual.  I like to shop sales and clip coupons and build my food storage, but right now we are in consumption mode so that means lots of beans.  Not that he needed any extra incentive, but I told my husband that until we know what is going on with his job or he gets a new one he is going to be suffering death by a thousand beans.  Either he will die from intestinal distress, or the rest of us will die from the smell.


As per my previous post, I have spent some more time at Preparedness Pantry and in particular I have been checking out their Food Storage Analyzer.  This is a really good resource whether you want to:
  • get started with food storage
  • see the nutritional content of your food storage
  • determine what your food storage is lacking
After you log in for your free account you will be asked the number, ages and gender of the members of your family.  With this information it calculates the numbers of calories each person will need.  From there you can plug in what you already have in your food storage and see whether that food meets your family's nutritional requirements and how long the food would last.  And of coarse whether you are just starting your food storage, or just want to add to it, they have all the products right there you could ever want or need available for purchase.  The best part is, the Food Storage Analyzer stores the information in your account so you can keep track your inventory and see where you are lacking, or maybe have a surplus.  Check it out!

Gift Card Giveaway

Friday, January 8, 2010

You want me to eat what???

Food can elicit some pretty strong emotions in people, and my family is no exception.  When my husband and I got married I found that he had pretty low expectations when it came to meals.  My mother-in-law, bless her heart, doesn't like to cook and so my husband was raised on a lot of fast food and good old fashioned red meat and potatoes.  Me, on the other hand, I was raised on vegetables, vitamins, liver, whole grains, and anything else that my mother thought was good for us.  As far as what I prepare for my family, I think I would say "practicality" rules.  I have never had a large grocery budget, so I tend to cook with very little meat and I try to use the items that I store in my food storage:  legumes, grains, powdered milk, etc.  With all due modesty, I have to say that I'm a pretty good cook.  Although, anytime I try a new recipe I have to ask my family if it's a "keeper", especially if it involves food storage items.  I am happy to report that my children, for the most part, are willing to eat just about anything because they have been exposed to a large variety of foods from many different ethnicities.  My husband, on the other hand, thinks that I am trying to kill him anytime I feed him legumes or whole grains.  Still working on that...

I am always looking for inexpensive meal ideas, and in particular, ways to make my food storage items more palitable.   That is why I was really excited when I found this recipe for Curried Lentils and Rice at one of my favorite food storage resource blogs Safely Gathered In.  It tastes good, really good.  I liked it, my children liked it - even my picky 2 year old.  My husband, well, he said that it tasted good but had that health food quality about it.  Good enough for me!  Lentils are cheap, full of protein, and easy to prepare because they take far less time to cook than most other legumes.  This recipe is a keeper!

While I am on the topic of food storage, be sure to check out the new button I have posted for the Preparedness Pantry blog.  In addition to being a great resource for information and great products, they have a fabulous giveaway going on right now for a dairy combo, with a retail value of $175.70.  Check it out!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A new year, a new post....finally

To anyone who has been coming here for the past month hoping to find wonderful gems of domestic wisdom to inspire you through the busy holiday season, I am sorry.  My Christmas season was full of parties, music, school performances, gift making and giving, baking, and last but not least, hoping and wishing that I could feel some holiday spirit.  I am very grateful to have young children who do feel the Christmas spirit, and who warm my heart and bring me joy.

I googled "domestic" and I really like one of the definitions that I found for domesticity:  affection for the home and its material comforts.  So I thought I would share some of my favorite "material" comforts of wintertime:

  1. My duvet:  I love the feel of having heavy blankets on top of me in bed.  My husband loves to tease me about this because the truth is, I love having heavy blankets all year round.  That's the worst part of summer is it being too hot for blankets!  So although I'm no fan of winter, I do love that I have an excuse for lots of blankets in bed.
  2. Stephens Hot Cocoa:  This goes without explanation, but my favorite flavor, I don't know if there's a flavor that I don't like.  I really like the Hazelnut, Raspberry, and Mint Truffle.  Has anybody tried the new Raspberry Cheesecake flavor?  Sounds divine to me!
  3. Rosy cheeks:  Yesterday my husband and I took the kids sledding and I just love the fact that their pale and pasty little faces turned all rosy!  Rosy cheeks, noses, chins - they were all rosy and having a blast in the snow!

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