Alma 32:41

...Nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Craving the fabric in this giveaway!

Check out Crafty Crow for the details! It's for a gift card to this Etsy shop ThisandThatFromJapan.
I love the colorful Robots, and Spacewalk, and so many more of the awesome fabric in this shop. Want to get me a valentine's gift? Mother's day gift? Birthday gift? A gift certificate to this shop would be great!

The other fabric I really want? Twiggy forest sky by Sanae at Sew Mama Sew. I think it needs to be part of a duvet I want to make for our bedroom someday...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Scrapbook pages! and New Year's Goals!

All scrapbook pages made using Karla Marano's January 365 kit
Currently selling for $2.00 at Divine Digital

Bet you thought I forgot about my goals and taking pictures of my messy house, right? Nope. I just thought I'd post them a week at a time. I have even decided to scrap my journey. Gotta give myself lots of accountability. I have also decided to do one room at a time and add a new rom to focus om every two weeks. building habits is the goal. I am starting with the front room. This room gathers toys, clothes, trash, ellectronics... So the goal is to have kaden help pock up betwee toy choices and do one final clean up as part of the bedtime or DH coming home routine. This room should be emptied out and vaccumed each night. I need to find a place for blankets. As you can see my progress is the front room has been middling so far. I cleaned it up really well for the first photo shoot day. Then the next day I did laundry all day and ended up with some not put away at the end of the day. But most of the laundry was gone by the next day so I consider that a success. :)

What should I consider cheating for my goals? LOL! As long as I am actually cleaning then it's not cheating. I can't just move things out of the way and take the picture. I have to put it in its proper room. Sometimes just getting it in the correct room is all I can handle right now. But that is ok for now. Once I've added the proper room to my list of "to dos" those piles will show up and I will find new homes for them. For example, I am discovering that I have too many blankets in my front room. Only two are ever in use at once- so I need to find a place for the rest so they can rotate in when the others go out for laundry. :)

SoCal Photographer giveaway

Go to Thirty Handmade Days for all of the details. If you win and can't use it, I'll take it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why I don't trust the media

"The entertainment industry is facing challenges from declining DVD sales and box office attendance and the digital transformation of broadcast television.

Yearly box office ticket sales fell 0.4 percent in 2008 to $9.6 billion from $9.7 billion, while the number of tickets sold fell 4.8 percent, according to industry tracker Box Office Mojo.

Harold Vogel, an analyst with Vogel Capital Management, said the long-held view that entertainment is recession-proof no longer holds true." By Sue Zeidler "Oscar nominations come in tough week for Hollywood" Reuters

So read all the hype and then read the numbers and you will see what is wrong. The money earned fell by .4% Ooooooh scary massive downturn! The number of tickets sold fell by significantly more- 4.8%...Why the big difference? They RAISED prices. They raised them so much that it almost made up for the downturn in attendance. Hmmmm... so did the recession cause the lower attendance or did the higher prices? Seriously, I think they are overreacting. Actually, I read an article a couple weeks ago that used the same percentages to say that the Entertainment industry is pretty recession proof. Check it out I found the other article written on Jan 4th, 2009 - "Box Office Resists Recession" . Don't you love spin? I am so sick of the doom and gloom because, really, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Keep going to the movies, folks. My DH works in the Entertainment industry and we like him employed. :)

Project 365

This was my house on Jan 20th. A mess. There's folded clean laundry on the couch. And piles of clutter on every surface. Not keeping my New Year's resolution to keep the house cleaner so well... In my defense we were without a dishwasher for over a week and then after that kids and I got sick and DH has been working late so.... But enough with the excuses it's time to resolve again...
In scrapbooking they are doing project 365 where you take a photo a day and scrapbook the week. So I have decided to take a photo a day of my new year's resolutions and scrapbook my progress throughout the year. Talk about accountability!!! Should really motivate me. I hope that by the end of the year I will be able to take a photo of any corner of my house without cringing. Baby steps by baby steps.
So I will start with the main living areas of the house- the parts that people see when they come over- that's three rooms- the front room, kitchen, and guest bath. My goal is to have them presentable and find better organizational systems for them/get rid of extra stuff.

In my entryway it is time for the changing table to leave- we bought a toy chest at good will that I will refinish and we will put that there. It should be great storage...I just need to decide what will go in it. :) And then not overfill it...

I have two desks one built in and one that is my sewing desk. I don't plan on combining them but I need to utilize them better. So I need to decide on storage solutions for them...

I will keep up on the dishes! I need to catch up first... but then I will keep up!

I will clean my bathroom whenever I give the kids a bath.

Toys will get picked up before Kaden can watch a show while waiting for Dad to come home.

So the bottom three I will do everyday and the top two are weekend projects. Yesterday I charged my battery on my camera...I will post photos from today... a little later. :) I will throw in photos of other resolutions occasionally too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

super bowl menu

We aren't huge superbowl fans but we love the commercials and the FOOD! In the past e have spent way too much money on appetizers that look better on the box and cause lots of indigestion. So I've been trying to find homemade recipes that will be cheaper and yummier. DH and I don't necessarily agree on what that means but we are working on it...

DH has decided that the most important foods to him are:
sausage and cheese slices
chips and french onion dip
buffalo chicken strips- I've tried making these and the frozen ones are better so far...

He usually likes:
sweet and sour meatballs
cocktail weiners

I like:
mozzerella cheese sticks
twice baked potatoes
jalapeno poppers
crackers with fancy cheese spreads
devilled eggs

so I like cheesy and he likes beefy/meaty.

So here are the recipes I want to try:
BLT wraps I will love these. My DH- not so much he won't like anything but the bacon and cheese salsa- he's not a veggie man
steak bites
pineapple meatballs
potato skins
mozzarella sticks
I want to make some jalapeno popper wontons too...

I'll let you know what we pick for sure... and what was delicious!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Potty Training SUCCESS!!!

Yesterday and today we have stayed home and Kaden's been running around half naked. Every hour I make Kaden sit on his potty and every hour he has peed. At naptime and at night he wears a pull up because I just don't have the energy to deal with sleep time accidents. Kaden has only had one accident and blessedly it was in the kitchen on our linoleum floor. Easy peasy clean up. The real success has been that he has pooped in his potty twice now- once yesterday and once today. And he has been the one to recognize and signal that he needed to go on the potty both of those times. He has headed to the potty on his own without prompting three times now. Woohoo Progress!!!

This weekend we plan to have him clothed and continue the potty training so hopefully we will be diaper free by Monday! I am worried about public restrooms and all that good stuff... any suggestions? I think I may bring his potty with us and have him go in the van unless we are somewhere with a kid friendly toilet? Do places have those? Many of the parks we go to don't have restrooms so... Eventually he won't have to go every hour right? He can hold it longer now but he tends to have an accident if I don't make him go every hour. When do you taper off and just let them go when they feel like it- except for before bed or trips and such? What's my next step beyond clothes? :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menu planning

It's the best! Last week was full of yummy dinners and less stress because of it. I'm not sure why it's such huge relief but it is. I went grocery shopping on Fri. so that we would have less errands to run on Sat. But I didn't meal plan before I went- not smart. I stuck to staples for the most part and I brought coupons so I didn't go overbudget but I could have done a lot better if I had had a list and a plan. I think I threw a few too many - "oh, let's try that" things in the cart. SO this week in no particular order we will have...

lasagna- thought I would try Pioneer Woman's version(her site is in my sidebar)
enchilada pie (didn't make it last week and I bought some Queso Fresco)
Ham and cheese and broccoli (at least in mine) oh what are they called... basically pizza pockets but there is a fancier name... can't think of it... Calzones
Sweet and Sour Chicken(I'll try My Kitchen Cafe's version)
Chicken over rice
Curry chicken casserole

May change it as the week goes on... we'll see...

And about last weeks new recipes- Delicious. Thoroughly enjoyed both the Meatballs and the Bourbon chicken. Matt said that we could have the Bourbon Chicken ANYTIME. That's high praise from him. :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

So this week I will plan on Monday because I have been a slacker!

Tonight- Italian Chicken (chicken marinated in italian dressing) with Mozzerella and red and green peppers and bacon wrapped sausage- served over rice, green salad, and french bread and cheese.

Tuesday- Nachos

Wednesday- Bourbon Chicken from My Kitchen Cafe (no bourbon in the recipe though)

Thursday- Leftovers

Friday- Meatballs w/cream sauce from My Kitchen Cafe- I think I may replace chicken broth with beef broth in the sauce- this is an experiment soooo... I will let you know if it works :)

Sat- Homemade Pizza

Sun- Enchilada Casserole (enchilada ingredients but layered in a 9x13 pan instead of rolled)

This strikes me as a very doable list for this week. And I don't need to buy any ingredients. :) Woohoo!

Food storage

I guess I forgot to mention this goal but it goes along with budgeting and Meal planning. I am not ready for the whole year's supply I don't think but I definitely want a 72 hour kit in place and a rotating 3 month supply. So this website is coming in very handy for those goals. They can be overwhelming but it is worth it. Menu planning has taken a huge stress off of my shoulders. I need to start posting them again. I use my groceries better when I have a plan and then I don't waste money on food that goes bad before we eat it. Anyway check out this new resource- launching today- click on the invite to go to the site:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Update on Goals

Appropriate for January 1st right?

So I am sticking with my goals that I started, oh a month or so ago...

Potty Train Kaden- I think I have made this a much longer process than it needs to be... Current status- if I leave him half naked and make him go to the bathroom every half hour to an hour he stays dry but eventually poops on the floor (or goes in the diaper or pullup during naptime) . If I put underwear on him and make him go the bathroom every half hour to hour he has an accident. It seems like anything on the bottom half of his body signals diaper to him. Any suggestions? Books or routines that worked miracles for you? Getting him trained and fully clothed again would be a huge blessing.
Goal: Have him trained by his third b-day(feb 22). I know he can do's just convincing him that he wants to do it...

Improve my Clean House routines- Status- My house is overwhelmingly, depressingly messy. Asher is crawling all over and getting into everything. My house feels small and cluttered. It stresses me out and it's cramping my creativity. So it's gotten to intervention status. I need an action plan here. I will probably try and pick up Fly Lady since logically I know that's what I need to do. Our dishwasher just broke so I need to have the landlord over- that's motivation to clean. :) They love us though cause we pay the rent on time and don't ask them to fix anything very often.
Goal: 15 min out of every waking hour are spent cleaning- even if it's just helping my son pick up the legos so he can play the next game. (so that won't take 15 min... but you get my drift) I will set the alarm on the stove and tackle something for fifteen minutes every hour. :) Maybe it's a bit unrealistic but hey I can try. And I should have success even if I fail to do it EVERY hour.

NO TV/Preschool/park- Current status- This week we've been home. Kaden actually told me, "I need to get out of the house, Mama." We did do well on the no tv front. And the goal isn't actually no tv it's tv only twice a day. I did join a playgroup so we have been going to the park recently. (just not this week) Kaden got a bike for Christmas that he needs to learn how to ride. We did some letter B activities this week.

Goal: TV only in the morning when he first gets up and at night- the last hour before Daddy gets home. Video/computer games cannot replace TV- some are allowed but within reason. Go to the park at least once a week. Do an activity with Kaden once a day.

Read scriptures every day- I joined this blog Grasping at Rods to discuss the sunday school reading. I teach a children's sunday school class during the adult sunday school class at church. It will be nice to have an adult discussion about the scriptures and accountability for my reading. I need the extra push right now. There was a quote from one of my sunday school lessons to the 10 year olds that said, essentially, that you can gauge your spiritual growth by how you are treating other people. I found that interesting. I've been in a spiritual lull for awhile(oh the excuses I could give you but I won't)and I don't think I have been a very fun person to live with either. So this seems like just the push I need to get back in the right direction.

Budget: We are going to the envelope method for our food budget. It's just to help us really see where our money is going. We want to save as much as possible this year. First we are saving our emergency fund. Since Matt is freelance we would like to have 6-12 months in living expenses in our emergency fund. Wish us luck and send us gift cards. LOL J/k