Saturday, April 30, 2011

Someone needs a Makeover "While You Were Out" style!

why am I posting on a Saturday afternoon?

Nope... not to wish Veggie Teen a Happy Birthday... though he is now 16 and available to date...  but not seriously... because that would just freak me out.

(oh, Happy Birthday Kid...  you'll get your day...  just wait)

Nobody in their right mind posts on Saturday afternoon right?

Don't I KNOW that nobody will ever see this, it will be buried in all the many blogs you all read on Monday morning.

Only - I know my readers - I know they're just dying to get a peek into the exciting aspects of my life...

especially the aspects which I usually don't show.

People who have been to my house in person don't even get to see my bedroom.  That door stays SHUT

This is because it is also known as "the staging area"

you know... where I throw all the junk that I'm trying to hide from company?

I wish I were kidding on that one.

But my bloggy friend is hosting a fun giveaway - and apparently she's looking for the WORST room to makeover... and I used to spend entire days watching "While You Were Out" and "Man Your House is Hideous Here Let's make it a Little Better" - ummm... or whatever that one with Ty Pennington was called.  So I'm excited to maybe try this - yeah... seriously. I could be a contender!!!
(dang, did the button wrong - go to the Vintage Revivals Contest the old fashioned link way...)

The question of the day is: Does my room look THAT bad?

Well, let me tell you a little story:

When we first moved into our house I had a lot of people ask what my decor style was going to be. I'm a bit of a Normal Rockwell fan and I would say "Americana"... not knowing that to everyone else's mind "Americana" meant the American flag plastered on everything that would hold still... and you'd be amazed at the amount of home-warming gifts I got all plastered with the red, white and blue of my fair country...

Now, I'm a patriot... really.

But it was too much.

Now... if Mandy wanted to do THAT room over (the "Americana" decor has long ago been donated to a local school) it's virtually empty... but the real fashion faux pas in our house is now this...

My bedroom... which in an attempt to make it fashionable enough for me and masculine enough for my ManOfTheHouse I mentioned to those same well-meaning family members and friends that we were decorating it like a cabin:

and this is what happened:

Yes - seriously, even the toothbrush holder!

Enough Already!!!

Mandi - Obviously we are in need of help.  (and BONUS!  I live nearby - can we use the travel expenses to head to Vegas for the day?)

the good news - the room has "good bones" - or at least that's a catchphrase that I remember from all the DIY shows... and there's even a few pieces of furniture that can be re-vamped.  Like my hope chest that has gone from Green to Red... and now... well, now it's more "chameleon" covered...  or at least that's what I think... I'll let you know once I remove the piles and piles of clothing.

oooh, and I also have a PILE of mirrors sitting around...  and anybody who has ever hung out at Vintage Revivals KNOWS that Mandy has a thing for Mirrors :)  When you all pop over there later to vote for me (hint*cough*hint - voting starts at Midnight!) also check out the aMAZing branchy things she's got over on her side bar - because even though the post is about making your own rug (I know... she's too talented for me...) I just drool over that wall art!

and - as Mandi has been known to say... "Love your guts"

yeah, it works better for her...
because around here - we know that's a tiny bit on the gross side.  I don't actually love anything about your intestinal system.

and if I win... next time you visit - I promise to let you see my bedroom*

*providing you give me at least 24 hours notice prior to any visit, tour not to include the closet, the bathroom, and visitors must agree to not look under the bed.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Flop...

Like many of my neighbors I was awake this morning at 4 a.m. (for those of you who are NOT my neighbors this was the time the Royal Wedding coverage was slated to start).

Unlike many of those neighbors I was awoken by coughing from my daughter - checked on her (she was fine... really) and immediately went back to sleep.

In all honesty I don't think I cared much when Charles and Di wed...  and I was a little girl who should have been dreaming of fluffy princess dresses and marrying my own prince.

But seriously - that dress?  Even the little girl in me knew that was obnoxious... apparently just getting in the royal carriage required a few helpers to shove in that train.  Not to mention that prince... at least Kate got the hunkier looking son.

But no, I didn't watch it... didn't even consider watching it.

My apathy makes me...

well, something... 

you tell me:
It proves that I don't have a romantic bone in my body.
It proves that I am too old to swoon about someday marrying a Prince and living in a castle singing to forest animals.
It proves that I prefer sensible shoes and dresses that you can dance in.
It proves that I love my husband enough to be happy with our wedding that cost about 1/10000th of the amount they spent on the Royal big day.
It proves that I have been sleep deprived and had better things to do at 4 a.m.
It proves that the only Royals I will ever cheer for are probably wearing baseball caps.
Okay, really... not those ones either.

or... All of the Above.

but hey, congrats to the happy couple...  I'd send  a card or something but really, I just don't care enough to send the very best.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Little Purple Pansies in my garden grow... a.k.a. Why I don't have a gardening blog

When I was little a friend actually thought that song said "Little purple Panties"...  which is all well and good until you get to the part about being "touched with yellow gold"...

Yeah - that resulted in a little teasing...  which I'm sure I never participated in.

Oh, yeah - and I know this isn't a pansy...  but I didn't have any tip of the tongue songs about Iris... 

Don't faint...  apparently I DO have a domestic bone in my body... these are in my very own flower bed.

Also, don't give me TOO much credit - the bulbs were given by a friend's mother and all I did was pop them into the ground and make sure they stayed watered...  luckily they each had enough foliage (that's the leafy stuff right?) remaining that I managed to not plant them upside down...

and maybe this year I'll add a little dirt...  are the bulbs supposed to look like they're trying to escape my garden?  is it THAT rotten of a place to be planted?

There are currently about 100 of these bad boys in my back yard - but the full scale picture is just so stunning that it might be considered bragging :)

or maybe I'm just too flippin' lazy to go and find the camera cord to load up that stunning photo...


Monday, April 25, 2011

The REAL point of Scouting... (hint, it has to do with yummy pizza)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of FRESCHETTA® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I think the scouts have some oath or something... as a matter of fact they have a bunch of stuff they've memorized - one of which talks about the purposes of scouting...
Be Prepared - Be Helpful...  y'know... but they left one out...
My favorite one.  "When camping have a tin-foil dinner that will the rest of the troop will talk about for weeks!"
Have you ever made a tin-foil dinner?  The ingredients usually consist of some sort of meat, some version of potatoes (these usually burn), some vegetables (it doesn't matter what kind - they burn too) - so in the end you're left with...  meat...    This was a problem for our friendly neighborhood Vegetarian Scouter...
so what to do?
I had a GREAT plan to be all domestic and home-makery...  mix up my own fancy crust and chop all the toppings... milk a cow and process some cheese and all that.
and then...
well, life got busy...
and I happened to be at the store picking up a microwave pizza - coupon provided by FRESCHETTA® By the Slice so I could tell you all about it... 
Mmmmm...  yummmm... I will admit I didn't expect much from a microwave pizza slice... I picked the Chicken Barbecue because only one member of our family is afflicted with vegetarianism (I did note however that TWO of their four flavors -Vegetable Medley and 6 Cheese Medley) are Veggie Teen friendly... this made me smile!) Also available:  Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom... which was tempting enough that I almost flipped a coin to choose...  but that old guy buying frozen peas looked at me funny when I asked to borrow a quarter.
It was actually yummy...  with a good crisp non-cardboardy crust... I give it two thumbs up - albeit those thumbs were covered in a little sauce at the time... hey, eating pizza isn't a neat and tidy affair! I was pleasantly surprised to find a good fresh taste and the onions on my pizza still had a little crunch to them - how they managed this in a frozen pizza is beyond my capabilities - but I tip my hat to them for their brilliance.
BUT...  as I was saying - the Scout Dinner Pizza...  well - apparently the scout trailer isn't equipped with a microwave - so I did the next best thing - I picked up one of the Freschetta self-rising crust version pizzas and...
1: sprayed the tinfoil with a little Canola oil
2: unboxed and folded the pizza in half
3: slapped it on that there chunk of tinfoil
4: wrapped it up in tinfoil, then in newspaper, then in tinfoil again...
5: sent the kid off to camp.
6: looked forward to Sunday - when I was praised and honored (okay... "talked to") at church by the Scout Leader who had drooled over my kid's Calzone while munching on his burnt potatoes and veggies...
the "before" for obvious reasons...

So - there you have it - the best way to make your kid the most popular Scout around the campfire - AND to reward you for slogging through my entire pizza post - I'll even do you one better!
Your witty retort today will enter you into a giveaway - I have in my hot little hands one additional pizza coupon - which I will send to a randomly selected commenter...  I also have a small set of containers provided by Freschetta that are the perfect size for bringing some side dishes to complement your pizza lunch...  these will also be given away!
For extra entries: 1- pop over to facebook and check out Freschetta's facebook page
2-follow them on Twitter @freschettapizza
(just let me know what you did all in one comment though...  I'll figure it out from there!)
If my coupon winner is in the US - I'll send them the coupon and containers... If they're international I'll send them just the coupon and choose a separate U.S. winner for the containers...
(Contest Ends when the month ends... make sure to leave contact info if I can't reach you through your blog profile!)
So - comment, be witty, make me laugh...  and unless you think I already know - pop your country of origin into your comments somewhere :)
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stories of Hardship - and a Very Happy Easter Wish to all my Favorite Peeps.

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this - being a book blogger and all in my "spare time" - but I've never read the Little House on the Prairie books...  true.  No worries, though - I did watch the TV series... what kid in their right mind doesn't jump at the chance to sit in front of the television mindlessly after all?  I can't say as I remember a LOT of the episodes...  hmmm... Nellie was rotten to the core, Mrs Olsen had "the vapors", and Mary went blind...  did I miss any?  Oh yeah... the Christmas episode.

You know... the one where Mr Hairy Scary guy who looks like a big bear trudges around in the snow and nearly dies to bring the girls their Christmas Gifts from Santa... 

a tin cup, a barley stick, and nickels... 

Yeah - somehow I think it lacks the color and excitement we get in our house on most Christmas mornings when the wrapping paper alone costs far more than a barley stick. 

But Laura and Mary were ecstatic about those tin cups and things... maybe not ecstatic - but happy content... can we agree at least that they didn't complain within the earshot of Charles and Caroline?

Tales of hardship remind us of all we have - they make us grateful for the little things... and they are a wonderful tool of manipulation for parenting...

"Eat your Broccoli - there are starving children in Minneapolis"
"Put those shoes on right now and be grateful they're not 97% duct tape!"
"You'll eat that orange and enjoy it, you know great-grandma used to have to SHARE her oranges with her whole family and then content themselves with sniffing the peel for the next few months?"
"Run and catch the bus... for crying out loud I used to have to walk 2 miles to the bus stop.  Uphill.  Both Ways.  In The Snow.  Up to my Neck.  At 6 a.m."

I worry about my kids...

We're by no means rich...  but really - what tales of hardship will they have to frighten their kids with?

So we're doing something about it...

and years from now my children will look back on this Easter and tell their grandkids their tale of woe...

"When I was but a young'n I remember the Easter we woke up...  we looked and looked through all the baskets, we searched high and low through the plastic eggs... but we didn't get a single Marshmallow Peep."
insert sound of chirping crickets... or maybe chirping chicks... whichever...

The Horror!  Those great-grandchildren of mine will cower in terror whilst munching their peeps - and they will appreciate them gosh-darn!!!

*Disclaimer:  seriously, who'da thunk they'd sell out of Peeps? 

**Update:  I think we're off the hook for the therapy bills... ManOfTheHouse has located some Peeps after all...  but hey, I'd already written the blog post and I'm certainly not going to remove it just because of a few little issues with "accuracy" :)

***and a teensy little moment of being serious... I wish you and yours a happy and thoughtful Easter Holiday - may we all truly remember that it is about far more than colorful eggs and Marshmallow Peeps.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Teenagers in the House.

This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

Apparently my secret is out.  I have teenagers in my house.Advertisement

and I was trying SO hard to keep this just between you, me, and the lamp-post.  In hindsight calling one of them "veggie teen" might have been a giveaway...

You know what comes along with the teen years?


yeah, we're going there...  partly because I was given a lovely free sample of an anti-acne wash but mostly because zits are funny. 

okay - yeah, they're not funny in and of themselves, but Zits is a funny word.  zits zits zits zits zits...  see, hilarious.

you know what ISN'T so funny?  being of an age where some might say "pushing 40" and still getting zits.  Wrinkles and zits... not a good combination - trust me on this one.

so - forget the teenagers - I just used this stuff myself.

Day one? not much difference...

Day two? is it possible that I actually am breaking out MORE?

Day three? ugh - yep - the classic North Star, good thing we're staying home today.

Day four? wait, are they already gone? 

Day five? clear skin...

seriously... so I shared with Veggie Teen... who tells me that he's been using it religiously.  He isn't allowing me to rub my hands all over his face to see how smooth it is (he's picky like that), but there is less redness...  and a girl did call him on the phone... so obviously something is working!

Me? well, no girls are calling me still... but remember that painting project last week that left me with a smurfy hue?  yeah - well, sometimes paint is a big pain to take off...  and since this stuff was right next to the sink and the soap and water had already failed...  ta-dah...  okay, it was actually still a bit of a job, but it DID work better than the soap... who knew?

so - thanks to Walgreens for introducing me to yet another of their Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products that we can't do without (seriously guys - I think the pharmacist recognizes me now... is that bad?)


except mine is a guy... and he's usually greeting me with a box of allergy meds...

One last thing - Walgreens Way to Well Fund™ is a fairly new program that offers free preventive health screens in your community - every time I purchase one of the Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products I'm not only getting clean & saving $...  I actually am helping out some other people as well.  Win Win.  


Hey, you can't blame me for wanting a few more bonus points in the hereafter... with skin this soft it's hard to be humble :)

Consider today's comment a signature on my petition that people of my slightly advanced years should not have to contend with Zits AND Wrinkles... there should be a law.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Monday Morning


All workouts performed before 7:00 a.m. should burn more calories - like time and a half holiday pay.

Except I want double... double calories burned before 7:00 a.m. - it only seems fair to me.

pretty much any workouts on Monday should get the same perk.

I was informed that today is National Velociraptor Awareness Day. Celebrate with Great abandon... and cupcakes...

I really could not make this stuff up!

But somebody apparently can... I can decide if it's because they are more witty than I am or just more desperate?

On that note - tomorrow is officially "Send a Small but Thoughtful Gift to your favorite Blogger whose name starts with T" day...

(no "T"he Pioneer Woman doesn't count... or "T"he Empress... focus people!!!)

This morning Po asked me what S.A. stood for... yeah, I was stumped too...

and then I figured it out and spelled it for him:

and I am left to wonder where this major gap in his education happened.

because there's no way I'm taking the blame for this one.

That's 98% of why I don't homeschool... I need someone else to pass the blame off on. (his 2nd grade teacher can have this little bit... I don't even remember her name right now)

The other 2% of the reason? Naps.

I'm not ready for Easter.

Hey, I warned you this was Random... were you expecting cohesive thought?

Maybe you need to look up the definition for random?

If there is no Easter Bunny we are in some SERIOUS trouble folks.

Because this little guy is about all I've already purchased.

Did you know that marshmallow suckers don't hold up well in the heat?

I spoke last week at a writer's conference... mostly about blogging and twitter...

because I'm kinda awesome like that.

Stop laughing!

I actually think I managed to SOUND smarter than I FELT!

seriously... the laughing is a little rude guys!!!

I dressed very professionally in a nice wrap-around skirt with leggings underneath.

Which probably didn't look so professional when it came untied while I was loading the car to leave.

(okay fine... you can laugh now)

I heard a lot of snickering from the pool users behind me... even though I was FAR more dressed than they were!

and... a final random thought of the day...

when your kids are playing "King of the Mountain" inside your house...

it might be time to fold the laundry.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I forgot to show you my picture of Justin Bieber's biggest fans?

sometimes teenagers worry me because they're SO worried about what others think.

and other times they amaze me because they could care less what others think.

this was one of those times.
forgive the quality - it's a cell phone pic...
"biggest" in this case meaning only that they're past elementary school - now to be honest - as far as I know none of VeggieTeen's friends actually listen to the Bieb's music... but who'd give up a chance to hang with him at the movie premiere?  (premiere in this case meaning the first-ish showing at our local cineplex)

Friday, April 8, 2011

the painting projects revealed...

blue...  which was really just a repeat of what was already on the wall before we had to tear out the entire wall and ceiling to have a little "work" done.
"work" in this case meaning hiring one guy to come and spray every square inch of the place for little nasty bugs that are trying to eat my walls.  Yeah - those bugs.  It's been a source of great stress - but somehow admitting to having termites is just like telling people my kids have lice.  Which... well, I've done that too...  after a month... because that's how long it took for me to find the funny side of lice.  Do I have any pride left?  No, probably not - and we're probably still a good few months away from finding the funny side of termites...  mostly because lice only set me back about $100... termites, well, let's just say it was a little pricier...

Guess who's NOT going to Disneyland this summer?  :)  (what the what is that smilie for...  hey, this isn't funny - I'm not ready to move on to the acceptance and laughing about it part of this... really) - although let's be honest, seeing the gang from Bug's Life - as big as life... might not be so good for me right now...

on the plus side - all my books ARE put away.  and woe be to the child who puts them away in the wrong order...

as a matter of fact I can spot a series out of order in that picture...  I might have to go fix that before posting...

But wait... that's not all!

No, I'm not selling Ginsu knives.  I painted MORE than one room...  you just didn't get to see the smudges of this color on my skin.

mostly because by the time I was done with that funky aged leather effect on the wall - the stuff left on my hands was all one nasty sickly baby poo color... 

and apparently I have just enough pride to not be showing THAT to the world.

but just barely.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Leading the way...


I think if I did a quick read of all my blog posts over the past 3 years I'd find that at least 57% of them began with "so...".

I don't think I SAY it that often though...

of course, that's not the point of today's post...

moving on.

Once upon a time I was called to work with the young children at my church - "leading" the singing time...

While I DID have one smart-alec little kid once ask me why I wasn't waving my arms the truth of the matter is that's hardly a necessity when your audience is primarily concerned with whether or not they get to help you hold up a picture today... or toss the die that tells them whether or not they are singing in their drill sergeant voice or their baby voice.  Trust me... they weren't watching for whether or not I waved my arm...  they were usually FAR more interested in whether or not I tripped over a 4 year old in the front row.  (happened more than once)

for a little over a year I managed to avoid swinging my arm to the beat...

do I "know" how to lead music?

well, yeah... sure I do...  in concept.  In concept it's as easy as counting to 4... or 3... or 6...  right?

In reality?  It's a little like driving a stick shift - there's just a lot going on at the same time... I have issues with physically multi-tasking...  can't cook more than one item at a time (unless "blackened" is a flavor choice), can't walk and chew gum, can't drive and change the radio station (ummm, really, that's a bad idea for any of us probably), and I can't sing and wave my arm at the same time.

I CAN rub my belly and pat my head - go figure.  That's never come up as a church calling somehow...

So... they gave up on me and eventually got somebody in there who can entertain the kids AND wave her arms.  She's amazing like that.

and me?  well, I was recently asked to work with the teenaged girls at church - the Young Women...  and I couldn't be more excited.

okay, maybe a LITTLE more excited...  y'know... if by "camping" they meant "day-spa and retreat"

but they don't...

so I think I'm going to be looking into a good cushioned pad...

wait, who am I kidding - ManOfTheHouse owns enough camping gear to outfit a small army - I'll just raid his closet.

In the meantime - for my debut activity I get to teach the girls a skill tonight.

Leading Music.

No, I'm NOT kidding, you can stop laughing now.

how's this for a lesson?

Rule #1 of Leading the Music:  Lift weights daily to avoid that underarm flab...

it tends to throw off the congregation as they're not sure which beat to pay more attention to.

Rule #2 of Leading the Music:  Or wear a long sleeved shirt. 

Rule #3 of Leading the Music:  Really, who's watching you anyway... (unless that flab is REALLY entertaining...)

Hmmm....  maybe I should re-think this... unless I'm bucking to get kicked out of YW before camp hits :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

man do we know how to par-tay or what?

so...  I'm supposed to be telling all about my lovely blog for this "Ultimate Blog Party" thing...

Like - who am I?
what am I doing here?
where am I going?

oh wait...  maybe those weren't the questions?

let's just party...

Look - I even bought presents!  Oh, don't tell sweet M, she thinks it was all about her!

but seriously - what kind of a good mother would purchase dolls with accessories this size for a child?  (in my own defense - she just turned Seven...  and has never actually swallowed any non-food item.  Shoot, we barely get her to swallow FOOD items aside from Tacos or Mac 'n Cheese)

speaking of food...  I made an incredibly special meal for the occasion (haha - obviously not a cooking blog you've happened upon here folks!)

we even made a cake - she helped!  I love this age - simple meal... simple cake...  simple party...  I know, they get older... and more demanding... (Sometimes I would deem this a cake decor blog... but not today... check out the disco cake from 2 weeks ago, that was much more detailed)

and because it's a "par-tay" we had friends over to watch a movie...  (shhh... again, sweet M thinks they were celebrating something else... and you might find a movie review here once in a blue moon...  "might" - book reviews I do all the time... but there's a separate blog for that)

and then the weekend hit...  and my partying spirit went out the window - time to spruce up the house!  I spent about 12 hours with a paintbrush in hand on Saturday...  no joke.  Our church conferences were televised this weekend and I enjoyed listening while I painted.

One problem with this?  The touching moments...  it is REALLY a bad idea to be painting and wipe away a tear...

I was a mess - I looked pretty nasty when my daughter came to remind me that her soccer game was soon.  Luckily ManOfTheHouse was closer to done and ran the 3 soccer players to the field while I scrubbed my hands, face and arms... and pulled my blue streaked hair into a quick ponytail.  I figured it was very trendy and I'd get cool points from the kids.

Umm...  I missed a spot.
actually I missed a few spots - but H started to move away from me in horror when I exposed the bottoms of my feet in all their rainbow colored glory.  There go the "cool points" right out the window.

and - even though this is SO not a decor blog - you will likely be subjected to my cool new "library" (a.k.a. - the place where I shove all the books in the house) and the new "guest room" (a.k.a. - the curtained off area with a bed that my boys now think they should be able to call their own.

(big bash blog party - okay that's not what it's called - is being sponsored by  which is probably why I felt it was okay to participate even though 5 minutes is about all the time I've got this week...  today?  gotta finish putting all the books back on shelves.  Yesterday I thought I was done - but then found a pile in the laundry room.  Sometimes it's just best not to ask "why" around my house.

Friday, April 1, 2011

In honor of Fool's Day...

I cannot tell you anything today... you won't believe ANY of it after all...

I could be pregnant, dying, or choking on a chicken bone and you'd just leave a comment like "haha T - I'm not falling for that one"

good thing I'm not pregnant or choking. Dying? aren't we all?

Best joke I've seen so far today?

This Sign.
(okay, so not THIS sign, but a bright yellow one... you get the point)

On EVERY door at the High School.

The Veggie-Teen was thrown for just a minute before getting out of the car and walking straight through the nearest door.