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Interior Motives

Decorating and DIYing our house to make it a home.

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Good Enough To Eat

Tried and true recipes my family loves.

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Life Lessons

Navigating motherhood through life's little lessons.

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I Heart Pinterest

When all else fails, go to Pinterest!

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Pretty As A Picture

Photography tips and tricks for the average person.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One Last (Summer) Hurrah

My soon to be seven-year-old made a friend.
I've been thinking a lot about the stages of motherhood. Maybe it's because I have one week left with the kids before school starts, maybe, because we're approaching more milestones; a son entering middle school, the "baby" turning seven, another potential job for me.

I could be getting all sentimental because the heat is withdrawing and the cool temps at night remind me that my favorite season is approaching, ahh, Fall, the best time of the year.

I'm all about sitting by a fire outside and enjoying the clamoring of kids who want to eat marshmallows and pudgy pies made with peanut butter and chocolate. Yum.

So we are definitely saying goodbye to summer, goodbye to mom and kid get togethers and hello to another season, the back to school season, the season of growing children, the season of what I hope will be many more  happy moments.

I called us "The Real Housewives of the Midwest!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Homemade Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad With Dried Cranberries and Almonds

  • 3-4 cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
What I love about this recipe is that if you leave out the celery, or the almonds (because you don't have any) it's still delicious!

You can eat this 3 ways; put on top of lettuce, put in bread and eat as a sandwich, or eat it with garlic toast on the side. (pictured) It's all good!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday's Five-Star Finds

~ I'll have a Homemade Vanilla Grande Light Frappuccino please.
~ Ashley Ann used vinyl chalkboard for her fridge, cool!
~ Protect your iPad at college? A brilliant idea.
~ The kids and I made these bubble makers for FREE this summer.

~ How about chalkboard coasters as gifts? I adore this DIY idea!

Right click and save my button to put on your blog showing that you were featured here! Thanks for the awesome posts!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When Life Gives You Cereal...

Either I am a DIY queen, or else I'm taking this thriftiness thing way too far. I'd been pinning some of these "letters" on Pinterest for awhile now, coveting how cute they looked.

Maillardville Manor

But I, in my cheapness refused to go out and buy these cardboard letters, no matter how inexpensive they were. So, I made my own from cereal boxes. Because my family eats a ton of cereal.

I kept patting myself on the back thinking that some kind of math should have been involved in this process, but for some reason I was able to miraculously make three letters of the same size. I couldn't find any tape (still stuck in a box somewhere since the move) so I ended up using staples. Just as good.

Then I couldn't decide whether I should paint them or not. I busted out the ORB and almost got spray paint in the eye...I basically ran out of paint and decided I didn't want to paint them...

Then I thought, let's turn this into a decoupage project for a six-year-old, how very "Mom of the Year" of me.

We ended up tearing old sheet music and Modge Podge-ing the whole thing. Yes!

Let's see: Modge Podge I've had for years: $0, Empty cereal boxes $0 (okay, we did have to pay for them, but we ate the cereal and we're only going to recycle the boxes anyway!) and old sheet music $0.

Hooray! It looks great! Now all I have to do is decide where to put them!

Friday, August 19, 2011

When Does School Start?!?

My SIL and I were talking today about whether we should be categorized under "Good Moms" or "Bad Moms" because we are eagerly anticipating the start of school. In 19 days.

While we were on the phone I could overhear her twins in the background and she heard shouting by my six-year-old and my soon-to-be 4th grade son shooting Nerf guns with a friend, sounding an awful lot like elephants about to bust through the ceiling.

Our soon-to-be 1 year-old-dog, not to be outdone, decided to pee on the living room carpet out of sheer excitement about two boys bounding around like elephants.

We came to this realization:

  • When we weren't mothers, we were awfully unfair to those moms who celebrated when school started.
  • That boys are harder on furniture, but girls never stop talking.
  • Wasn't it after we had children, that we discovered gray hairs?

So we're both trying to hang in there, knowing that routine is good for all of us. Especially us moms. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Demolition At A Time

Our kitchen looks like Beirut. Husband decided enough about the comments on how the wallpaper is a throwback from 1952 and just started tearing it off.

TSP and a rented steamer later, we're looking at walls where plaster has come off and what was going to be an easy painting project is now a little more complicated. We're talking broken drywall and talks about re-taping and re-mudding.

Look what we had to remove, the valences and the lovely wallpaper.

And I don't like complicated. I, like many in my species, run in the opposite direction when it comes to anything complex. *Sigh* So now we have a torn up kitchen and very sad looking walls. I don't even know what color to paint it.

Fortunately for me, I've been pinning ideas on Pinterest, bookmarking sites online, and scouring places like Better Homes And Gardens online.

Painted Beadboard Backsplash ~ from BHG.com

There's that beadboard again, but this time, it's painted in this muted mint green and I love it! And this colorful tiled backsplash, not sure if I like it or not, but I can't stop looking at it!



How about subway tile in an olive green color? Okay, we're nowhere near tiling or anything like that. We just wanted to get rid of that wallpaper!

And here's another lesson I've learned. Take your time. Even if we downsized and we do everything ourselves, we still have to be careful not to dump all our efforts, time and money into this house of ours.

This is a huge lesson for me, when the decorating blogs make me want to tear up carpeting and paint all my woodwork white!

I guess I'll no longer be keeping up with the "Blogging Joneses."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Life: Living It Or Blogging It?

About twice a month I want to post about how; "if I'm not blogging about my life much now, it's probably because I'm too busy living it!" Do you ever feel that way?

I don't think I'm important enough, that you need to get a tweet from me, I don't always photo-journal our family on-goings (though sometimes, I will I had, like yesterday when I caught my first fish) but mostly, I guess, there's so much in life worth living, that blogging about it takes last place.

And then I think, I'm such a Debbie Downer because I should be posting about all my craft projects, house updates, hilarious children's anecdotes, and Husband's much appreciated niceties instead of questioning myself about how much of my life am I actually living and how much of it is getting edited and "photo-shopped" in order for it to be blog appropriate. (Yes, that is the longest blog-sentence you have ever read.)

I mean for goodness sakes, our youngest daughter's room has been finished for a few weeks now, but I have yet to post about it. (Partly because my camera has been goofy and my new computer doesn't have photo editing software on it yet and I have so many more important things to take of first...) *sigh*

Maybe this is just a glorified post about how "sorry I am that I haven't updated the blog lately..." or maybe it's more than that, maybe, as many of us veteran bloggers know, blogging will lose it's appeal and reality will set in and we will re-prioritize our lives, knowing that life really is too short (and way too important) to condense into a well-thought out, well-written blog post with stunning photographs.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Last Days Of Summer

As we venture into the last days of summer, we just returned from our annual trip from "up north" where we gathered with 11 couples and their kids. That was a total of 43 people. That's a lot of people.

This was taken by my 13 year old daughter. She's getting good at photography.

Husband and I both agree that every day we have an opportunity to learn, to do good, to be better. Watching other parents interact with their children, watching husbands and wives interact, watching how kids whose ages range from four to seventeen all get along is amazing. Yup, there's a lesson there.

So anyway, we say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of Little League, softball, Vacation Bible School, summer piano lessons and linger into our next goals; school supply shopping and registration. Back to school, back to work. It was a busy time and we're happy to laze around enjoying the last days of summer vacation.

Congratulations to Erika K comment #29 (picked through Random.org) I'll be emailing you!

liked you on fb- erica e k

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Veggie Pizza Appetizer

I usually have some occasion to cook for, whether it be a party, a school/work thing, etc. This time it was for our annual Little League picnic.

I'd bought this from the grocery store in the ready-made aisle, but wanted to make it myself (for probably half the price!)

Here's where I got the recipe.

Only I added cheese, which I shouldn't have, unless you're a Cheesehead like me. Yum.

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P.S. Have you entered my Starbucks card giveaway? You can enter here.
I'll be drawing at random and announcing the winner tomorrow, Wednesday, August 10th!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Starbucks Giveaway

{This giveaway is now closed! Thanks for entering!}

I'm having my first giveaway! You could win a giftcard from Starbucks! (Are you sensing my excitement?)

What am I celebrating? It could be my 6 month anniversary of this blog, or it could just be that I want to share a little Starbucks love!

I hate giveaways where there are so many steps and conditions that you decide not to enter because you're just tired from reading how to enter! Let's make this easy, shall we?

You can:

  • Follow my on Google Connect...or
  • Like me on Facebook...or
  • Become a follower of mine on Pinterest.

Any of these count as a separate entry, just leave me a comment saying which one(s) you've chosen to do!

You can do all these things for more chances to win, or just pick one because you hate jumping through hoops! I know I do...

Winner will be announced next Wednesday, August 10th! Winner will be drawn at random.

Good luck people and enjoy a few coffee drinks on me! :)

Lemon & Lime Water

This really isn't an "eat" but it's something I've been making lately because it's been so hot here in the Midwest!

One of my favorite (and super-duper healthy) drink concoctions is this one!

- lemon and lime slices
- crushed ice
- water

Yep, that's it. But I'm not a good water drinker and my body is starting to hate the sugar substitutes, so when it's really hot, I actually crave this!

Try it and tell me if you like it!