Monday, October 24, 2011

umbrella upcycle

A few months back a storm blew through our neighborhood and left us with a broken umbrella. It has sat neglected in the corner on the porch ever since. Coincidentally, we have a very used and abused dining room table and chairs. This is the same table and chairs that my sisters used to sit at when in grade school and our homework. So you can imagine what the upholstery on the chairs looks like. (there's picture proof coming up) after a few months of blog hopping, I have been inspired to upcycle things around my house, and thought this was the perfect opportunity!
Here's a picture of our umbrella. I'm sure why, but i really liked it. Something about the bright colors i suppose. So I was sad to see it go with the rain. Below, is the picture of where the umbrella was supposed to be. Please don't look at the state of the lawn....the record setting Texas summer of 2011 left few survivors.
Ahhh, and here's a shot of the cushion from the chairs. Stage left shows the cute little feet of my artiste who helped make that paint stain in the upper right hand corner. As you can see, even if these were clean the fabric really isn't up to date anyway. (not that bright red, orange and green stripes are ultra hip. i just like them better)
I was really bad. I mean really bad. I didn't clean the umbrella fabric before stapling it to the cushions. Just some dusting off by hand. O:) So bad..
After laying the cushion on top of the fabric as a guide, I cut out a square leaving enough on each side to wrap around the cushion. Then, I got to use my handy dandy staple gun. This was the best part of the project.
Tada! New and improved dining room chairs for free!! The whole project took under an hour.

Now, what to do with this carpet in my living room that I don't like......

uploading here:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

october 22, 2011

Over the past few weeks we have been trying to teach L about responsibility. she's starting to feed the cat(s) {that's plural because we feed the neighbor's cat too} but i digress. This topic seems to come up most frequently when getting out of the car. She doesn't like to help carry her own things inside. I find myself frequently saying things like "these are your shoes, they're your responsibility." Or, "we're a team, we need to help each other carry in the groceries" And every time I say these things they seem to go right in one ear and well you know the rest... there's no indication that what i'm saying is starting to stick with her.

that was until this showed up at our table with our food at lunch on saturday....
She was immediately more interested in this than her french fries. asking "hey what's that?" with a look of excitement. Then I heard these words come out of her precious little mouth: "hey, we're a team. we need to share that right there" well at least i know she hears me. even if the application is quite there yet. :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Landry's first trip to the fair.

just a quickie post. we took Landry to the fair for the first time today. i'd say minus one run in with a camel (yes you read that right) she enjoyed it very much! this picture if of her riding her first carnival ride ever. it was one of those that has the cars that spin in circles.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

I've been in an organic phase lately. hopefully it's not just a phase.... ha, we will see. anywho, i've been doing alot of reading about the health benefits of eating whole wheat vs. "enriched" flours. you can google it, there's tons of info out there. but basically white breads are made with flour grains that after processing or air puffs loaded with lots of calories and carbs and no nutrients. yuck! well, buying whole is somewhat more expensive, so i started making my own to save a few $. here's my recipe.
ingredients needed:
3 T milk
2 T honey
2 t active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1 egg
2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 t salt
2 1/2 T butter
Sesame Seeds
Combine warm water, honey, milk and yeast. set aside and allow it to become foamy, approx 5 min.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In stand mixer combine salt, flour and butter and mix until you have a "crumble" texture. Some may prefer to do this with their hands. I do it with my stand mixer and dough hook for convenience and I haven't had any problems to date.

Slowly add your water/yeast mixture and beaten egg and knead for 5 minutes. If you are kneading by hand it will take a little longer. the mix will be somewhat sticky at this point. If it has a more wet appearance add more flour. Cover and let rise for 2 hours.

After your two hour break, get out your rolling pin and cookie cutter. If you don't have these items, improvise!
My rolling pin disappeared years ago in the hands of my three year old. so i typically use the end of my turkey baster or my hands to flatten the dough out to approx 2 inches. I also use a glass cup to get my circular shape.
Cut out a few buns and set them on your cookie sheet. then roll up your left over dough and repeat. This recipe should yield around 8 buns. Add sesame seeds if preferred. You can also spread another beaten egg over the tops before baking.
Bake for 15-18 minutes. Then ENJOY!

Thirty Hand Made Days

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday!

today is a very special day for someone in our house. on this day 30 years ago Jared was born. Happy Birthday! So, on this momentous occasion, i want to take a few minutes to wish him a Happy Birthday. if you have a week stomach for mushy words of affirmation, then read no further! you have been forewarned. (oh yah, and of course there will be pictures :)

Some call him Fonz, Coach, Coach Fonz. But, the cutest call him Dad.

and, he is one of the best there is. i'm almost certain there is nothing sexier than a big, strong man that loves his little, precious, daughter.
I love his sense of adventure and patience for my love of looonnnngggg road trips.
and while he'll be the first to tell you he's not perfect. and we don't always see eye to eye. i'm pretty sure that i don't deserve him.
Thanks Jared for being a great dad and husband! Happy Birthday!

.......and she thinks they're just fishing.....

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22, 2001

for many, today was the first day of school. it was no different here. j was up and at em bright and early. for little L and i it was a much calmer day this year around. summer is officially over, and with dad out of the house we had some time on our hands. first, and it's no surprise, there was fabric!
i finally settled on a pattern for my layer cake of Sweetwater's Hometown line. i'm not sure if i'm 100% satisfied with it, but at least i'm doing something with it.
somewhere between fabric was a trip to the neighborhood pool. however, it wasn't all fun and games around here. we had a little "school" action going on too.
but, let's be honest.....there's was a lot of fun being had today.

hope everyone had a great summer! and for my faithful 7 followers, i hope to blog on a more regular basis now that things are back on a schedule around here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Front Porch Tea

maybe i'm the only one....but, we are one week into summer break and i'm already at a loss for things to do with my three year old in 100 degree temperatures. besides going to the pool of course.

so, meet summer project #1. Front porch tea. (or, as you can see from the pictures, maybe i should have called it flower bed tea)

i wish i could say that we talked about solvents and made a big lesson about it. but, really it was just an excuse for us to make sweet tea.

we set it out around 9 am and by the time we got home from church at 1 pm it looked like this...

now, we're just waiting for it to cool off so we can enjoy it!

linking up at:

Thirty Hand Made Days

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes

My parents have grown a garden in their back yard since I was a little kid. this year's crop has been especially plentiful.

my yard is a wee bit smaller than their's and my garden has not been as successful. during my last visit we helped pick a few veggies, even landry got in on the action. they took pity on my lack of green thumb and sent us home a few goodies. enter the loveliness on the right.... fried green tomatoes! let's take a second review a few things. number one, and this is the only one because it's just that important: i don't really like tomatoes. go ahead, let it sink in. if you know me, i know you are shocked right now. the only tomatoes i like are heavily processed, added to sugar and called ketchup. that being said, i actually liked these. whew, there, i said it. so, if you've never tried them before and in you're in the mood for something new, i'm giving you the recipe below.

  • tomato, sliced. ends discarded
  • flour
  • egg
  • milk
  • bread crumbs
  • corn meal ( i omitted this b/c i didn't have any, and they still turned out ok)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil
measurements will vary based on amount of tomatoes you use.
place flour and bread crumbs into separate shallow bowls, combine egg and milk
cover tomato in flour then submerge in the egg/milk combo then lastly cover in bread crumbs
cover the bottom of a skillet or pan with oil and cook till golden brown on each side.
i imagine this being really good with homemade sweet tea.

linking up at:

Friday, May 13, 2011

my favorite things of spring

after wearing sweaters and being stuck inside all winter, there's nothing better than a warm springtime breeze. am i right? but, it's kinda hard to take a picture air. i am by no means a green thumb, but when it comes down to it, my next favorite things of spring are garden surprises.
this is our first squash of the year. now, if i could only make myself like squash...or any vegetable for that matter.
this little beauty is a surprise because the flat of flowers we bought were white. when this guy bloomed, he was fuchsia. so now we have a long line of white flowers lining the flower bed with a bright pink one in the middle.
last, but not least are my all time favorite flowers ever. hydrangea. this plant was my mother's day gift from jared and landry last year.

so, i have to know...what are your favorite things of spring?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Springtime Shabby Scrap Wreath

Materials Needed:
  • one metal hanger
  • coordinating fabric scraps.
side note: my scraps were one inch wide by 5 inches long. if you want a chunkier look cut your fabric wider. mine were already cut to one inch for another project thus the thinner look.
take your hanger and unbend it, shaping it into a circle. you should be able to use your bare hands for this but a pair of needle nose pliers might come in handy. you can leave the hook to use later to hang your wreath. if you choose this method just use some more scraps to make a bow to camouflage it. Or, you can undbend it and form it along the top curve you already made.
Now start tying your scraps with a knot around your the hanger.
tie, tie, and tie some more. this is a good opportunity to catch up on tivo. keep tying till you run out of fabric or run out of room on your hanger.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

my little artiste

I'm sure you've heard me talk about Landry's obsession with using our home as an artistic outlet. every time i turn around something else has been "decorated"
this is a shot of her cleaning side walk chalk off of the wall on the island between our kitchen and living. also please not the marker on her own arm. nothing is off limits in her imagination apparently.
this is black crayon on her bed. she was supposed to be "taking a nap" on a side note, she has recently started eliminating her naps. please pray for me.
this is grey marker on my sewing machine. at least she was reading the leaders correctly as she marked them off.
this one is my favorite. i love the use of colors and sparkly stickers. why is this one so bad, you might ask. it just so happens it's on the back of one our vacation pictures.
and last but not least, the infamous green highlighter on our "dry clean only" comforter. luckily i was able to get this out using an awesome Oreck spot cleaner. (thanks Danielle!)

I'm envisioning that one day my little Michelangelo will be a wildly successful artist and she'll pay for me to live large on her dime and buy me lots of nice "undecorated" stuff. it's always nice to dream right :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

spring flings

please meet Eugene, the newest member of our family. he's named after the male lead in tangled. (his real name) this is bull frog tad pole. or as Landry calls it a frog fish. he had a friend that came with him which promptly died as Landry quickly pointed out "hey, he swims upside down" right now he's living in an old diaper wipes box until further "accommodations" can be found.
in other spring time news. there were a few Easter crafts started at my house this weekend. i made this Easter egg wreath which is a kid friendly craft. the wreath that was my inspiration can be found here. as you can see, they yarned around all of their eggs. after 3 failures at trying this, i went with the original plastic egg as is. it was much easier on my mental well being. (and my finger tips after all that hot glue) since i already had the yarn and eggs, all i had to get was the wreath which was half off at my hobby lobby!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

trial and error

a while back i was inspired by the process pledge over at in short this where bloggers include more than just the perfect finished project. instead you show all of the process involved in making something by hand. the process of "working out the kinks." today i'm joining the bandwagon....
here's the "quilt" i was working on. i put it in quotations because i decided to make it into a pillow case instead. probably because i could no longer take that i couldn't get the points to all match up. :) above is the front of the pillow. below is the back of the pillow.....
i recently read from someone that one of their motto's is to do at least one thing every day that your kiddo(s) can't undo. i loved this. anybody with children can tell you that it doesn't take long for them undo anything you've done in less time than it took you to do it. after making this pillow my second motto is don't do anything you'll have to undo later. i had exactly 3 and half sides sewn before i realized that after i turned it to put the pillow in it it would be backwards. sigh. at least the front is on right.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

sunday fun

i made landry a special pillow case dress to show her team colors. we got this as a door prize at one of the games last year. since it doesn't really go with the pink and purple butterfly theme she has going in her room, it thought it would serve better as a dress for her to wear to the games. it started out as your regular old pillow case...
and ended up as a dress. as you can see she has room to grow into it for a few years :)
today we also set up to try our hand at growing our own avocados. just like watching a a potato grow roots.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

spring break continued

it's a special day...two posts in one day. Spring is in the air in my neighborhood. the first tulips have bloomed, and it's a breezy 80 degrees!
with the warmer weather comes new inspiration. below is one of many "works in progress" that i have going. hopefully one day it will be a king sized quilt. the best part about it, is that it's a quilt as you go pattern so no basting and then resewing layers together.