Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Craft Room Makeover....In progress

Oh my craft room.  It seems that this room is ever evolving and always needing help and room for improvement.

The pain in my side. 

The flat in my tire. 

The kryptonite to my Superman Woman. 

The room I have always dreamed of having…and have…but I just cannot get a good flow going in this room.   The problem is, e v e r y o n e dumps everything into this room when they don’t know where it’s home is really located.   It is not a functioning craft room at all; however, it is a functioning crap-dump room.  Mind you, this room is small, I don’t know the exact dimensions but I’m guessing it’s around 6 x 8.  This room also has big shoes to fill.  It is a hard working room with high expectations for it.  This room is multi-purpose room. 

It needs to function for all of my hobbies.
1)     Sewing:  Fabric, sewing machine, serger, and sewing supplies

2)     Scrapbooking:  Cardstock, albums, stamps, stamps and more stamps, ink, and so many more supplies (My absolute true love and hobby)

3)     Scentsy: For my Scentsy business, my stock that I have on hand, supplies for my parties, testers, samples, etc.

4)     School Supplies:  crafts for the kids, extra school supplies, etc.
5)     Kids Work:  All the special art and projects the kids have made from school (I only keep a small percentage of their work, no way I could keep it all.  Not with 4 children)

I got a small start this weekend with the craft room.  Since, The Mister was out of town, and I really need his help with my full vision  for this room.  I was only able to clear out one small area of the room but it was enough to get the momentum started; meanwhile the kids are temporarily losing their playroom since all of mommy’s stuff is currently living in it.  :)  Sorry kids.
This is the only real "Before" photo that I have, just image the whole room this disorganized and messy
I got started before I took a "real" before photo.  Oops!  I have a vision that will be using some of our other furniture and products from other rooms in the house.   However, I had to just focus on the one small area first.  (A.D.D. anyone?  No?  Just me.  Okay).  I can’t wait to put my vision into a reality.
I had some peg board that was already cut and painted for my displays at my bazaars or shows that I do for my Scentsy business.  It was hinged into thirds and forms into a standing triangle for my table displays.
However, this was taking up a lot of space on the floor of my room.  So, I decided to hang it on the wall.  I  L O V E  it!!   
I have all my Scentsy Bars, Scent Paks, and Scent Circles up on the wall.  Which was a big empty space and is no longer.
It’s so simple and I can easily remove it from the wall for my shows.  Another plus in my book.   Cute and functional.

What have you been up too?  Any re-arranging of rooms?  Do you love peg board?  What do you use it for?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Homesteader Farms

Happy Monday everyone!!!  Did you have a good weekend?   The Mister and Hotrod were out of town for the weekend, since Hotrod had a ISDE Race (dirt bike race) that he was in.  The girls and Bubba stayed home and hung out with me while we got Firecracker ready to head off to outdoor school this morning.
My sweet friend, Michelle and her lovely husband Neil, have their very own animal farm.  I work with Michelle and she has been telling me all about the baby animals on her farm.  We have been trying to get out there to see the babies before they get too big.  We went and visited them last year and those babies and even got to help take care of some of the babies when they went out of town on trip...the kids LOVED it.
So, we went to go visit their farm, while The Mister and Hotrod where out of town for a race.
When we pulled up we were immediately greeted by Cletus the turkey aka The Flirt.  He ruffled his feathers and even stomped a little matting dance for us.  He was hilarious.
Our new buddy, Lambchop, was anxious to be feed. He kept baaa-ing at us and was wondering where his food was. Farmer Neil brought out a bottle for Lambchop and each of the kids got to feed him. He was so hungry. Just gobbling the food up and noisy about it, like a newborn baby.

Gina, Momma Goat, greeted us with her babies, Alvin, Simon, and Ted (Theodore was just too serious for this little goat). 
 Alvin was a little camera shy, as you can see he looked in the opposite direction while their picture was being taken.
George, Papa Goat, telling Bubba some story, or checking him out, or both.
Gina fell in love with Baby Girl and I think the feeling was mutual. Baby Girl is going to be our little veterinarian, I can see it already.  She loves all animals and wants to care for them all too.   :)
After all the little babies were feed and good to go we just HAD to go visit Moose, the ram and Norman, the bull.  As soon as the feed bucket was shook, they came r u n n i n g from the back hillside.
Norman is the most docile bull I've ever met.  Not that I've met a lot of bulls in my lifetime.  I've met none, but uh hello?  Running of the bulls, anyone?!?  :)  Kidding...just kidding.

He was just a goofy, over sized dog. Moose, baby Lambchop's pop, is Norman's BFF. Those two head butt each other, rough house around, and chase each other.

Bubba chose a nice calming color to wear for a bull, didn't he?
So much fun to watch.

We have a great time visiting our friends. The kids talked all about their favorite things on the way home. Which animal they liked more....who they liked to feed....who was the friendliest...their favorite part of the visit.
All of it.
***This is not a commercial farm, not a visiting petting farm either, just our friends who let us visit them and their animals on a sunny day.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Shall We Ride?

It's been a really long time since I've posted. Sorry about that. Things have been different crazy. I've been studying for a license for my work, so all other activities are taking a back seat. I am craving a good crafting and project!  They will be coming.  Soon.  Very, very soon.

A couple of weekends ago we took off for a much needed mini vacation. At first I was really stressed about going on this mini getaway. It wasn’t a good time at my work to be gone, since it was tax time, nor at The Mister’s work, they seemed to have been short-handed. But that’s ultimately why we were taking this mini vacay. We were burnt out. We were stressed and we needed to regroup as a family.  The kids were picking up on the stress.  We were tense.  We needed to be “unplugged”. We needed to get away. We just needed...each other.

So where did we go? We went to our favorite place in this wonderfully beautiful state we call home. We headed east to Central Oregon. If you have never been there, I’m sorry, you are really missing out. If you have been there, then you will understand why we love it so much.

How would you like for THIS to be your view every morning when you wake up? It was ours for 4 whole days. I miss it already.

We packed up our home on wheels and we were going camping; dirt bike riding, sleeping in, s'mores, and playing with the kids. We were getting away. No electricity. No neighbors. Just the open air. A campfire. And our family.

Once we got on the road, it was as if the stress just lifted away. The tunes were playing, the kids were laughing and at this point I didn’t care where we were going; because I knew that we were together and we were going to have a great time.

We actually drove down a 'red dirt road', just like the country song, to get to our remote camping spot.

Seriously, isn't this beautiful?
We camped.
We played.
We rode.
Hotrod...the name fits the soul.   :)

Baby Girl isn't a rider...yet.   But she cruises with Daddy.

Bubba & Firecracker, both on new bikes to them...bigger bikes, and doing so good!
Even I got a little riding in (still a beginner)
This is my new favorite picture.  My very own "Biker Gang"

We practiced our jumps
We chilled out by the fire

We did s'mores.
We laughed.
We snuggled.
We woke up to several inches of snow.
We had a snowball fight
We relaxed.
We work hard ... so we played...HARD!
We loved every minute of it!
We can't wait to go again!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Freezing Asparagus

I got a phone call from my mother-in-law's best friend the other day.  We had just recently had a conversation about asparagus, and the added health benefits that asparagus has.  Well, low and behold, she ended up finding a great deal on some.   I believe it was around $1.58 per lb.  That might still sound high, however, the average price for us is $3.99 per pound. 
I stopped by the store on my way home from work and grabbed a few bundles.  These were fresh and looked really, really good.   I knew that there was no way we were going to be eating these before they went bad and I really had intended on freezing most of them anyway.  *Totally kicking myself for not getting more and freezing more.

Step 1:   Separate the size of the asparagus by small, medium, and large stem bases.

Step 2:  Break off any of the woody parts of the stems
Step 3:  Blanche the asparagus.

Small:  2 mins.
Medium:  3 mins.
Large:  4 mins.
Step 4:  Then add to an ice water, cold water bath.  The stops the asparagus from continuing to cook.
Step 5:  Drain in a colander and then just lightly dab dry

Step 6:  Seal and Freeze  (I used our Food Saver, however, Ziploc freezer bags work great too)
There you have it!   Frozen FRESH asparagus, ready for a meal.

What is your favorite way to cook asparagus?  Do you steam?  Do you roast?  Grill?  Have you ever frozen any before?  Please share. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Shadow Box

If you follow me on Facebook, maybe you'll remember a few months ago I posted this picture.  
I have worked with a very sweet lady for the last 10 years.  She is the most genuine, sweetest, caring person I've probably ever met in my life.  She has announced her retirement for later this year, which really bums me out.  I will miss her.  She is super crafty, she sews, quilts, and she bakes the best cookies...ever. 
She quilts over 300 baby blankets for the NICU at our local hospital, every single year, in her spare time.  So, when she came to me (far too many months ago), asking me to create her a shadow box showcasing all of her mother's antique sewing supplies, I was honored to do so.  I had a vision in my mind and it was just getting it out and into the shadow box that was another story.  When they are done right, they are really a neat project to have displayed on your wall. 
Her mother had some pretty neat sewing supplies and I wanted so showcase all of them.  But something just wasn't clicking.   Was it the layout?   Was it the background fabric?  I just couldn't place it.  Since this was for someone else, I, of course, wanted it P-E-R-F-E-C-T. 

So it took me a while. 

A long while. 

In the end, this is what I came up with. 
She LOVED it!!!!

Have you ever made a shadow box before?  What did you showcase in it? 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Smoothies and Why I Love Them

If you're my friend on Facebook.  Or if you follow me on Instagram.  Or if you even follow me on Pinterest.  You have seen the smoothies I've been making.
The Mister and I have been working on changing our eating lifestyle for a while now.  Not that it was terrible, but there is always room for improvement, as with anything.  Not to mention, we always want to teach the kids the difference between right and wrong types of foods and why it is very important to eat healthy and how it helps your body. 
It is very important to us to have a healthy family.  Unfortunately, in today's society there are a lot of processed foods,  boxed dinners, fast foods, and many other unhealthy choices.  Also, one of my goals this year was not to only eat better, but to eat out less and at home more, since we got into a terrible habit of that in 2012.
A few months ago, came across this group on Facebook, called Young and Raw and I "liked" their page.  I "liked" their page because I have heard about the Raw Food diet and I wanted to see what they had to offer as far as recipes were concerned.  I am ALWAYS looking for new recipes to try.   I saw they had a 30-Day Smoothie Challenge.   I figured, "What the heck.  Let's do it." And I signed up. 
This was AWESOME!  They sent out daily recipes for the following day, along with a shopping list for the full 30 days, broken down into 5 day increments so that your produce didn't go bad.  The work was done for you.  You just had to buy the produce and make the smoothie.  Can't get much easier than that!
They told you WHY the food was in that particular smoothie and what the added health benefits were to eating these foods.  My kids were drinking spinach and kale and had NO IDEA.
I have good veggie and fruit eaters anyway, but this was great.  It was yet another way to get more of that veggie & fruit goodness into my kids bodies and also my own.

Now, without going into too much detail and totally grossing you out.  This was also helping out my own health issues. 
As much as I try to create a very well rounded diet, my body just was not getting enough fiber, if you catch my drift.   I've had this "issue" for about 5-6 years now, progressively worse, almost unbearable, in the last 2-3 years.   Needless to say things are much better for me. 

Left: Before -- No I am not pregnant.   No -- I am NOT sticking my tummy out.  Yes -- It is THAT bloated! Yes -- It is painful
Right: After -- On the Smoothies, so, so much better

1) My skin is so much clearer
2) I have more energy (I have never been a coffee or soda drinker)
3) My belly bloat is almost non-existent (When I don't have my smoothie, it is very noticeable, as you can see in the above photo)
4) I even feel more alert
5) I generally FEEL better and healthier, all around

For me, this is not a fad diet.  For me, this is a new way of life.   This is not the only thing I eat.  I love food too much to give it up.  This is something I simply have in addition to my high protein breakfast every morning.

I will post a few of my favorite smoothie recipes to share with you.  What are some of your favorite smoothie recipes?  Have you shared with your kiddos?  Do they just love it?

*This is not a paid endorsement for Young and Raw, just simply sharing with you what I have found & love and what works for me. 
**Please speak with your medical professional before making any changes to your diet, health or exercise program.


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