November 29, 2010

Share A Meal Monday

I have always been really impressed when I go somewhere for dinner and there are homemade buns. I don't know why but I've always thought it takes a special talent and a lot of time to make buns. My BFF gave me this recipe (hi Shar!) and I love her for it. This is an easy and delicious recipe for homemade dinner rolls and it doesn't take a lot of talent or even much time. Now I can impress dinner guests and I haven't even done anything that spectacular!  Give it a try.

2 Hour Buns
4 cups flour
1 Tbsp fast rising yeast
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt

Mix 2 cups of flour with yeast. Beat egg, sugar, water and oil together in a separate bowl. Add this to flour mixture and beat well. Add remaining flour and salt. Let rise 15 minutes then punch down. Let rise 15 more minutes and them make into buns. If desired dip tops in melted butter. Let rise one hour. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes.

November 27, 2010


Yesterday Porter and I were playing "grocery store" and I have to write down how the whole thing went. He said some really funny things and if I don't get them down now I'll forget.

When we play grocery store or "shopping" we take a few items from the cupboards, a small basket, some fake money (Canadian Tire cash - really, what else is it good for?) and Porter's play American Express card. One of us works the till and the other one shops then comes up to pay. Porter and I take turns and yesterday Porter told me he wanted to be "Sutil" (at the till). For those that don't know Sutil is a Formula 1 driver and F1 pretty much reigns over our household.

 While I was shopping I asked him what his store was called and he thought for a second and said, "We're No Cyclops." I said ok then (???) and asked him if he carried peanut butter at his store. He said "no, sorry, you should check Superstore or Costco." (Don't forget his little lisp.) And then told me that his store carried lots of other things like elephants, dinosaurs and skate boards.

After a while we traded and I was at the till and he was shopping. He asked me if we carried Mini Wheats and "rashed potatoes" so I showed him where they were and then he came to pay. He swiped his own credit card and then packed his groceries out to his car (the coffee table in the living room). While he was putting them into the trunk he stopped and said "oh, my back hurts!" (At which point I about died, how many times has he heard me say that?!!?) He then drove off to unpack them into his house.

Isn't being a mom (most days!) great?!

November 26, 2010

My Living Room

This post is mainly for my momma, she had no idea how a yellow dresser was going to fit into my living room. I promised her it would so now I'm going to prove it! :)

When I decided to paint my dresser mustard yellow there was not a speck of mustard yellow in my living room, not any. I knew I was going to have to tie it in somehow and when you don't want to buy all new furniture and drapes, what's the easiest way to add some color? Throw pillows. I bought some great fabric that had mustard yellow and also the burgundy color I already had in my living room. I also bought some felt to sew up a couple pillows I had seen online. I got busy and sewed, sewed, sewed!

I followed the second pattern on this tutorial to make this pillow. It's apparently another Pottery Barn knock off like the first pillow I made. It's not exactly the same but I am happy with how mine turned out.

I wanted to also tie in a little more of the turquoise that is in the pillows and I had this metal vase that I've actually never loved so I pulled out some leftover paint from this project and painter her up.

I also purchased this great turquoise throw for $10.

I added some cute vases to the dresser. I like the color and like the simplicity of the pair.

Then I called it DONE! It's just a few additions but I think it's cohesive and definitely a lot more colorful. AND the yellow dresser TOTALLY fits in! Right mom?!

November 25, 2010

dresser transformation

Ok folks, here it is - my dresser make over! I will try to keep the text minimal because well as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and I took a lot of photos to document my steps.

So remember her? This is how the old girl looked when I decided she needed a little rejuvenation.

I had to decide if I wanted to use oil or latex paint. I decided to go with latex mainly because with the sudden onset of winter I had to do this project inside and oil paint is very smelly and very hard to clean up. I laid out a flat sheet to cover my carpet, put her on a piece of plywood and began to sand.

Initially I was going to take a belt sander to it all but Cynthia (my SIL and paint advisor) informed me I didn't need to do a major sand job but only needed to scuff up the surface to take the gloss off. It only took me about 20 minutes to sand the entire thing.

I wanted to keep the original key holes so I taped them off and then used an exacto knife to cut around them so that I could roll right over top without getting paint on them.

I washed the whole thing down well and then primed it all with my tinted primer. Once that was dry I was able to start painting the yellow - very exciting!

I said I wanted a mustard yellow but didn't realize how close "Serengeti Song" actually was to well... mustard! I'm SUPER pleased with this color.

I did 2 coats and then let it sit for an entire day. It needed more but I wanted it to be good and dry before I painted again as I didn't want it to get gummy.

I was a little worried about how well this medallion would paint but I rolled right over it and it covered really well. I think having a great primer really helped.

I finally did another 2 more coats and let that dry for another day. When it wasn't tacky any more I put the drawers back in (don't worry I don't have them closed all the way), put the hardware back on and moved it back into place.

I am *THRILLED* with how it turned out. It is better than I had envisioned it. The color is perfect and it's exactly what I wanted.

I am so happy with it! It looks so much more modern, so much more "me," and really brightens up the room.

And for all you BEFORE and AFTER junkies, here you go!



Come back tomorrow and I'll show you the rest of the room and how her new look is fitting in nicely.

November 23, 2010

my boy's room

One of the real pains-in-the-butt (there are about 3 bazillion of them) about living far away from people is that when you make minor changes (with major affects, of course!) to a room they are familiar with you have to just describe it to them instead of have them come over to oooh and aaah at your new hand towels or to agree that that picture does look better hung 3 inches lower. Ya know? So when I recently purchased a dresser from my friend Laura (who bought a "new" dresser she is going to make over - eek!) and moved it into the boys room I wanted to show my mom and sister what a great addition it made buuuuut they live 12 hours away. When I also bought Porter a new duvet I decided it was best to just take pictures of the whole room and show them how it had come together.  Anyway, here are the changes to the room for my little men.

 The new dresser. It matches the other furniture perfectly and holds so much more than the small change table/dresser I was using. I also purchased that adorable wicker laundry hamper for some clothing-control and it's awesome. 

 I did have to move my rocker over slightly but it's fine where it is.

 Beside the dresser/rocker I keep my blanket folded up in this cute basket, ready for me to pull on while I nurse my babe.  A place for everything makes mommy very happy. 

I added this cute little wicker waste basket as well. It's functional and matches the laundry hamper.

 Here's the new duvet. Really nothing special but it's better than the yellow one I had in here before. Every time I came in the room I got a sudden bout of jaundice. 

Here's the crib as always - even though it still says Porter above it. I hoped the Rigby blocks on the dresser would counteract that.

I didn't have anywhere to keep diapers and wipes with the change table taken out of the room so I put them all in this cute basket which I just slide under the crib.

So there you have it ladies. Not as good as having you here *sigh* but it will do.

November 22, 2010

Share A Meal Monday

So who doesn't love breakfast for dinner right? I know we all take the easy road once in a while and make eggs and sausage or waffles or pancakes. Well I have an AWESOME recipe for pancakes and since I made them yesterday for the first time in a couple months (why do I do that?!) I thought that's what I would share today.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup oats
3 Tbsp sugar (I always do 1/2 of the 1/3 cup - it's roughly the same)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl mix wet ingredients (not the water yet) together and then add to the other bowl. Fold until well mixed. When mixed add water and mix again. Cook on griddle at 300 F.

November 19, 2010

felt pillow

When I decided to paint my dresser (which is happening this weekend I hope!!) I decided to sew some pillows in coordinating colors to tie the room together. I bought some cute patterned fabrics but wanted something more. My sister and I had both seen this tutorial and thought it would be the perfect compliment to the pillows I was going to sew. When I told Laura about it she sent me over to this tutorial as well. Apparently they are Pottery Barn knockoffs but don't judge me for saying it, I know nothing about Pottery Barn - well, other than these pillows which I think are cute. Anyway, before I show you the completed room next week I have to show you how this pillow turned out today. It's not perfect which would normally really bother me but I think it adds to her charm.

She's just precious.

November 18, 2010

a cute craft and an embarrassing story

The Cute Craft

The other evening I went over to my good friend Stephanie's house where a few girls were getting together to make this:

Just paint a clay pot, hot glue a rose bowl to it and use the bottom of the pot for the lid. We had a friend print some vinyl to say "treats" but you could stencil it if you don't have access to vinyl. Both the pot and the bowl are from the dollar store so it's cheap, easy and super cute!  Now to keep little hands out of it.....

The Embarrassing Story

My friend Steph painted her pot black as her kitchen decor is all black and white, and then put her vinyl on the bowl since you wouldn't be able to read it on the black pot. The next day I went to her house and as I walked in the door she was telling me how she had gone out that morning to buy some white paint because she wasn't happy with the plain black pot. She had just finished painting white horizontal stripes all around the pot to jazz it up a little. I took my shoes off and walked over to her pot to have a closer look. I told her it looked darling and the stripes really did add a lot. She said she wasn't sure if the stripes were straight enough but that they would do. I motioned to pick it up and then said "I probably shouldn't heft it." and she said "oh, it's strong, I've been carrying it all morning." (I know you know where this is going...) I picked it up by the bowl and as I did the little lid started to slide. I kinda jerked the bowl to try and catch the lid which broke the bowl from the pot. At the same time the lid went tumbling in one direction and the pot went in the other and they both landed on her kitchen floor and SHATTERED. I was left holding just the little bowl that said "treats." She bent over laughing and I stood there mortified. We had made these the night before and she had just finished hers that day, her husband hadn't even seen it yet! I clearly felt HORRIBLE but couldn't help laugh and still laugh out loud to myself whenever I think of it. Good thing she's a great friend and found the humor in it instead of being upset about her lost hard work.

Soooo if you'd like to make one, they are cute and easy and cheap and a little fragile. Just be careful.

November 16, 2010


I bought Porter a new duvet cover but couldn't bear to throw away the old one and all of it's bright yellow jersey knit goodness. I stashed it away knowing I would think of the perfect project for it sometime.

A while ago I saw this tutorial and fell in love with it. I am such a scarf girl and love the raw-ness of this one. When I was down at my sister's in October I bought some cute heather grey jersey to make my own but when I pulled it out yesterday to finally make the scarf it was immediately obvious that I hadn't bought enough, like by a long shot. Soooooo I remembered Porter's duvet and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to cut it up.

I then made it into this:

I am SO pleased with how it turned out. It's warm, it's cute and it's re-purposed. Love it.

November 15, 2010

Share A Meal Monday

The clock says 11:17 so it's still technically Monday and I'm sharing my recipe! Sorry it's taken me ALL day to get to it, I'm sure you've been checking non stop (guffaw!)

We had friends over for dinner tonight and I made my wonderful mother-in-law's recipe for Frito Casserole that I posted last week. And even though the lady at Superstore told me corn chips were banned in Canada (??) and I wouldn't find them I sent my hubby on a trip to Safeway and guess what - he came back with some! Take that Superstore Lady! So the meal was lovely, corn chips and all. For dessert and an evening snack I made my wonderful momma's caramel popcorn. Now this my friends, is a TREAT.

I must share:

Conda Rae's Caramel Popcorn  
(Conda Rae is my momma's name - I once had someone ask me, "what's a Conda Rae?!")

1 cup margarine
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
6 quarts popcorn (*to me that means 2 batches in my popper*)

Melt margarine, add sugar, salt and syrup. Bring to a boil and stir, then boil without stirring for five minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. It will foam so stir until it's all mixed. Pour over popcorn and stir until all popcorn is coated. **You can stop here and eat it like this all gooey and warm but if you aren't going to eat the entire batch right away I suggest the next step - pour popcorn into a roasting pan and bake at 225 F for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. This bakes the popcorn and makes it crunchy like Kernels Popcorn so you can have it for a few days. If you don't bake it and let the gooey popcorn sit it will go HARD and stick together. Bleh. I always bake mine (after having a bowl of it gooey of course!) ENJOY!

If you are all already in bed and don't want to link up I understand but here's the linky anyway!  Have a great week!

November 12, 2010

The newest member of our family

As you know we recently finished (for the second time) our basement. I'll do an extensive post on that but in the mean time I want to show you what we rewarded ourselves with for all our hard work. (Ok, we were going to buy it anyway but now feel totally justified!)

Dah dah dah duuuuuh:

 I put Rigby on it to give you a bit of context.

 The end with the chaise. Fun word right?

The other end - the piece Rigby is on and the end piece beside him both recline - they are "wall crawlers" so you can recline all the way back even though the furniture is pushed up against the wall. 

Had another body besides my two babies been home there would be a picture of me laid back lounging in it right here but there wasn't so I'll just tell you how much I love it instead of show you. 


November 8, 2010

Share A Meal Monday

We ate this meal at my in-law's for dinner last night and I want to share it with you. It's another one you can adjust to your liking and I love recipes that you just use what you have around.

Frito Casserole
1 lb hamburger
1 onion chopped
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 16 oz can tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic plus
1 cup minute rice
3 1/4 cup water (sometimes I add a tad more)
Corn chips

Brown hamburger and onion, add spices, sauces, rice and water. Simmer for 20 minutes until rice is tender. 
You put a layer of corn chips on your plate and spoon the meat and rice mixture onto that. Now here's the fun part with the variation- you can top it off with whatever you'd like: tomatoes, peppers, olives, onions, cheese, sour cream and salsa - whatever! It's easy and makes quite a lot so there's usually leftovers which in my house is a BONUS!

Thanks for linking up, have a great week! 

November 7, 2010

Amazing Giveaway!

If you are in the area (like within a DAY'S drive, I'm serious, it would be worth the trip!) then you MUST go enter this giveaway! The fantastic photographer (and even better friend!) MANDY BAKER is doing a GIVEAWAY! The only requirement is that you be a MOM in need of a little pampering... and do I even know a mom that isn't?!?!! You will get your hair done, your make up done and have a private photo shoot with MANDY! Ok, click HERE and go enter! 

If she gets 50 entries she's going to pick TWO winners.


November 6, 2010

she's at it again!

You HAVE TO go see what my sister's been up to. This girl continues to blow my socks off!

November 5, 2010

one of those days

Today I can't help but think of one of my favorite Josh Ritter songs. It's a song about a relationship but today it describes my two-almost-three year old little turkey. I'm sure many of you moms can relate.

I'll leave you with just the chorus:

"I'm trying hard to love you - you don't make it easy babe."

November 4, 2010

Let's call them fraternal twins

You know how some moms of twins dress their kids exactly the same - all matchy matchy because, well, they're twins! And then other moms of twins dress their kids entirely different because, well, they're 2 different people. I think if I was a mom to a set of twins I'd be the latter mom, at least I'm that mom to a set of chairs.

Here is the makeover of my second chair. It resembles the other while maintaining it's own identity. 

And here they are side by side. They look enough alike to tell they are related but different enough they won't be getting confused for each other any time soon. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they start switching places to see if I'll notice....

November 3, 2010

Organ Donors

We have ordered a new beautiful sectional (which arrives in 6 days but who's counting?!) So in preparation for it's arrival (and out of necessity to have our carpet relaid) we took out our current couch and loveseat. When we moved them out Neil literally took a sawzall and cut them in half. Not wanting to waste good materials he then turned the furniture into organ donors - removing the firm foam seats and the batting from the backs.

We had 4 foam cushions like this

and 2 HUGE bags of batting like this

With the help of my friend Laura who is a recovering expert we turned them into these

and even added handy carrying handles

perfect for little bodies to climb on, sit on, jump on and lay on.

With only ONE of the bags of batting I was able to make these 2 huge pillows. Neil wants me to make one HUGE pillow with the entire other bag of batting but I reminded him that these things are fun but we do have to store them somewhere too! We'll see.

So thanks for your guts loveseat and couch, we're happy to keep parts of you around.