Thursday, January 28, 2010


Did I say that I would be "cleaning" this week?  What I meant to say, was that I would be sidetracked from the cleaning by starting yet ANOTHER project.    I can see how the two could be easily confused.  What I'm working on, is building a new entertainment center for our living room.  We finally sold the dark, giant wooden thingy that took up too much space and lacked appeal.  What I'm building is the Logan media unit designed by Pottery Barn.

Apparently I can handle it, because I started the project on Monday (which consisted of buying the materials), and by this afternoon I had what you see in the top picture - it's resting on the top of the piece, waiting for the glue to set so that I can screw in the top and make it sturdy.  There is maybe about one hour of work put into it at this point.  I had to keep starting and stopping to take care of Miles, run some errands, and just take lots of breaks.  Building is exercise - I broke a sweat several times while doing this!

Around 7:30 we went out to dinner to celebrate the hub's birthday (Happy 36th, my love!) and came home to enjoy some ice cream cake.  After the kids were snug as bugs in bed, I went back to my project.  And as of about 11 p.m., I have what you see in the second picture, as well as several blisters on my hands.  Ouch indeed!

All I have left to do before this is finished is build the doors (there will be "cabinets" on each end), attach the shelves in the middle, attach the decorative trim, and then sand, prime and paint.  We have a few pieces of Pottery Barn furniture in the house right now, but it's nice to know that I can make the pieces I love without spending the small fortune that they charge for essentially the same thing I can make!  So, blog on Ana - blog on!  You rock girl!

And where was Little M during this furniture-building-extravaganza?  Well, he was really a trooper for a large part of the day.  He hung out in his playpen, vegged out on TV, and yelled at me for making messes on the floor.  Yes, he's turning out to be a neat freak like his father ...

Friday, January 22, 2010

spring cleaning ...

I don't know about you guys, but I'm horrible at cleaning my home.  And organizing ... forget that.  I've been saying for months that  I'm cleaning my studio, but in all honesty, I manage to clean the house and shove everything into my studio. 

Well, I decided it's time to put a stop to it and I'm going to really stick to a cleaning routine.  I have tried FlyLady in the past, but it got to be complicated and I gave up.  Way too many lists.  So, I'm going to try this one at Just Mommies.  Consider it my New Year's resolution, so to speak.  It's a small daily list of "to do's" and if you do a little more researching on the website, you'll see that they have an organizing schedule too.  Just one small task per day.  I can handle that.

So, if you want to join me in my resolution to become more organized, leave a comment and let me know!  We can check back in with each other once a month to see how everyone is doing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meet Mocha ...

I'd like to introduce you to Mocha.

Our girl has been here a little over a week, and already, we're attached.  Mocha was "adopted" from a family who just didn't have the time to show her the attention that she craves (and boy, does she crave lovin'!) ... so, we met her last Saturday and she's been here ever since.

Mocha is 7 years old, and obviously, she's a golden retriever. 

To celebrate her arrival and adoption, I baked her some yummy treats (recipe below).  She munches on one a night - like dessert. 

Mocha's Munchies

Ingredients:  1 egg, 1/3 cup of peanut butter (as little sugar as possible is better), 1/2 cup of mashed banana, 1 TBSP honey, 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of wheat germ,  1 cup of carob chips, 1 TBSP shortening.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.  Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.  Stir together the egg, peanut butter, banana and honey in a medium bowl, blending thoroughly.  Stir in the flour and wheat germ and mix well.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll to 1/4 inch thick (I tend to go a little thicker than that for a bigger dog).  Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack.  Once cool, melt the carob chips and shortening in the microwave.  I found it best to do so in 25 second intervals, stirring in between.  It took about 3 spins in the microwave to get a nice, creamy consistency.  You can then dip the treats into the melted carob chip mixture, or do what I did and pipe it on to half of the treat.  You can also add a small amount of sprinkles (like I did), but be careful not to go overboard with the sprinkles.  Refrigerate overnight to set the "chocolate" and store in an airtight container.  These will last for approximately 6 weeks if stored properly in the refrigerator.

So, bake some goodies for your four-legged friends and celebrate Mocha's homecoming with us!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

catching up ...

I had my graduation yesterday at school.  I'm not finished completely, but I graduated from the esthetician portion of my studies.  Whew.  So if you're wondering where I've been - that's my reason for going into hiding.  I had projects to finish, notes to finish, and finals to study for ... but for now, it's over.  At least it's over until I go back on Monday night and start the nail portion of my studies.  Can't wait for THAT graduation, because that means that I'm officially DONE!

We had some quiet holidays around here.  No big elaborate parties, but we did enjoy some simple and sweet family holiday get togethers.  We rang in New Year's Eve and then went promptly to bed at 12:02 - when did I get to be so tired all of the time?

I did manage to finish up some quilting bee blocks before the holidays started.  I still owe blocks for December, and now January.  It's my "turn" in one of the bees, so I need to get my fabric sent out - it's coming ladies, I promise!  I decided I'd use my turn to get rid of some of my stash, so the girls are going to get lots and lots of random scraps!  It should be a pretty colorful quilt when it's done.

We're also "on the market" to add a new family member in our home.  We've been doing some research, contacting some rescues, even posted an ad on Craigslist, and I think we're going to be adopting a dog soon.  We feel it's time for the boys to enjoy growing up with a dog, especially considering that the cats could really care less if the boys are here or not.  It's not much fun trying to get a cat to "play" with you. 

There are 2 really high-potential girls out there that we'll be meeting over the next few days.  Be sure to check back often to see who's coming to live with us!

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to all that 2010 has to offer!  I know we are!