Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Goodbye Little Gainesville House...

we've had some real adventures. We brought our little baby girl home to you. We made many Christmas presents on your living room floor. We've laughed and cried, been very poor, faced many emotional struggles within your thin walls. We squeezed way too much furniture into your little square footage, but you happily obliged us. We listened as you let little creatures come into our attic - squirrels...cats... I screamed as a snake slithered through your many cracks and crevices. I've been washing the dishes by hand for 2 months now, because you just decided the dishwasher had had enough. Hmmm...we've had a nice time but I think we're ready to move on. Take care of your next little family. I don't think we will ever forget you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Think your house is hard to clean?

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

I brought this book along on my recent trip to California. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It was passed on to me by my younger sister, who said it "changed her life". Naturally, I was intrigued. It is the true and amazing story of the people who survived the dust bowl. Here is an excerpt:

"One of nine kids, Ike Osteen grew up in a dugout. A dugout is just that, a home dug into the hide of the prairie. The floor was dirt...Every spring Ike's mother poured boiling water over the walls to kill the fresh hatched bugs. The family heated the dugout with cow chips, which burned in an old stove and left a turd smell slow to dissipate. The toilet was outside, a hole in the ground."'s shocking. It is really hard to understand why in the world they stayed there - so you'll have to read to find out! The first part is a little slow, as it is giving a lot of history, but hang in there - it gets better. Enjoy and be inspired, especially by the women who had to clean those dust-infiltrated homes.

Organizing tip of the week: Color

I know this is not a new concept, but I had never really organized this way - it is my new favorite! I have now organized all of my fabric, paper, and beads this way and they are so inviting I can't wait to use them! (Much better than digging around a drawer for 30 min before you even find what you want). So take a minute and make your crafting area a little more beautiful- then craft away!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Congrats to my hubby!

Just wanted to say a little congratulations to my smart, hard-working husband who just finished his last graduate class EVER on Thursday!!! He still has a year of externship, which is why we are moving to TN, but that is just like working(only you don't get paid as much). Anyway he is finished with classes and I am so proud of him! We went out Thursday to celebrate - we went to Satchels to eat pizza, of course. Working hard packing, but I will post about lavender soon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


So, lets talk about lavender. If you are interested in using essential oils you should start with lavender. It is the safest and most versatile oil. In addition to my massage therapy license, I am also a certified aromatherapist. This just means that I have studied essential oils in depth, and know how to safely use them medicinally.

Lavender can be used to heal all kinds of ailments, but I will just list my favorites.

  • stress reduction

  • skin abrasions/burns

  • anti-viral

  • anti-bacterial

  • insomnia

So how should you apply lavender? You can mix it with a carrier oil, such as sunflower, jojoba, safflower, or olive oil and massage it into your skin. Use 4 or 5 drops to a 1/4 cup of oil. You could also put a few drops in some milk and pour it into your bath (the milk helps the oil distribute through the water, otherwise it will just float on the top). You can put several drops on a cotton ball and inhale deeply if you don't want the scent to stay on your skin.

How do essential oils work?

Please be careful when you use any essential oils. They are not merely a fragrance, they are a powerful, concentrated substance.

Lavender is safe to use on infants, pregnant/nursing mothers, and everyone else (except the few people who are allergic to it).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


When designing Charlotte's nursery, I decided her floor needed a rug. However, you know how expensive rugs can be. So I decided to fashion one myself. (I know it is hard to focus on the rug with such a gorgeous child playing on it)
I bought these four rugs (i think they are acutally bath mats) at Ikea for $4.99 each.
Then, I got out the trusty Duct tape and just taped those puppies together. Go really slowly and make sure your rugs are lining up and not overlapping.

Next, I got out my other standby...the glue gun... and hot glued the border on. I pressed under the edges so as not to have raw edges showing. The whole project cost about $18.00 and it has lasted two years. Okay, so it is not a family heirloom, but for that price, 2 years is a pretty good deal!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cherry Galette

Okay so I have 9 days left in the house and I am packing all day long...but a girl's gotta satisfy her sweet tooth! That is why I used the cheater method to make this yummy dessert.


1 frozen pie crust

1 bag frozen dark sweet cherries

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

1 T cornstarch

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1 egg

half and half

sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Take frozen ingredients out and let them defrost for about 10 min. In a bowl combine cherries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Mix well but don't squish the cherries. Press your piecrust out flat. ( you may need to sprinkle a little water on top to make it pliable). Pour the cherry mixture into the middle of the crust. Fold up the edges around the filling -doesn't have to look perfect - it is supposed to be rustic :). In another small bowl whisk the egg and some half and half (about 1T). Brush it onto the crust. Then sprinkle sanding sugar all around the folded edge - can I just take a moment to say how much I LOVE sanding sugar? It is like glitter for your food. Hello - if you know me at all you know I love glitter (although I haven't really posted anything with glitter...hmmm I will have to work on that). Back to the sugar - it makes your food so sparkly and inviting. I use it whenever I can. So - bake your galette for about 45-55 minutes. Until the edge is brown and the bottom is firm. I put parchment paper on my cookie sheet to prevent sticking and to make for an easy clean up. I also had to cover it with some aluminum foil towards the end to prevent the top from burning. After you take it out of the oven, let it cool for 15 min. Then slice and serve! We had ours with milk, but it would also be amazing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back from the West Coast!

Well our vacation was just lovely. Here are some pictures of our trip (and by some I mean a lot.)

Our first afternoon we went to La Jolla Beach and watched the sunset.

All of the wildflowers were in bloom. So pretty.

Wednesday we went to a Padres/Braves game.

Friday we drove up to Keys Creek Lavender Farm. This is a picture of rose geranium, sweet lavender, and the distillery, where they make the essential oils.

Of course, we had to eat at In N Out Burger. Ryan in his element.

Costa Del Mar, collecting rocks to use for Hot Stone Massage.

Ready to party on Friday night at the Beach Boys concert on the U.S.S. Midway, courtesy of Starkey hearing aid company.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I will admit it...I am slightly picky when it comes to children's music. Being a musician myself, I have high expectations for the quality of music my baby girl is going to love - these are my top picks.

I like to create these stations on Pandora to get a taste, and they will, of course, pick more artists with similar sounds so you can expand your musical horizon even further! You can also download many of these on itunes. May your home be filled with joyful sounds!

(that lovely piano graphic is from the graphics fairy)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Grandma's Southern Zucchini Squash

If you have never cared for Zucchini, here is a recipe that will change your mind. At least it changed my husband's:) You will need: 3 or 4 zucchini squash, butter, milk, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Step 1: Slice the zucchini and place in a pot of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until fork tender.
Step 2: Drain the water out of the pot. Add 2T of butter to the hot squash.
Step 3: Add a splash of milk, 1/2 t of sugar(it cuts the bitterness), and salt and pepper to taste.
Step 4: Get out a potato masher and mash all of the ingredients together. Use a slotted spoon to serve. Yummy!

(you can also use yellow summer squash)
Great way to get those veggies in there!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The San Diego Bag

Packing for our trip to San Diego... going without a baby... need a bag! All I have are diaper bags (plus a few purses which are already in boxes). So...I went to my favorite place... and found this for inspiration:
So I found whatever scraps of fabric I hadn't packed (Ryan is laughing at me because I said I was done with small projects after Easter...). Anyway I came up with this:

I wish I could give you a tutorial, but I'm not even sure how I made this, much less how I would tell you. I just started cutting and pinning and sewing and ripping until it looked how I wanted it to. So...Hurray! A new summer purse just for Mommy! Now I have to focus on packing...
I did want to say that I will be on holiday(don't you think that's a much better word than vacation?) all next week so I probably won't be posting, but I will tell you all about it when I get back. I did set up an appointment to go visit here on Friday of next week, and I am so excited!!!! Anyway- go make yourself a new summer bag!

How far can your $10 go?

This afternoon Ryan, Charlotte, and I went thrift store shopping. Now, my husband goes all the time which is how he finds such good deals - you have to go often. He had seen some nice things yesterday so we went to check them out. This is what we purchased and it totaled $10.42 :)
4 shirts
2 vases
1 mug
1 vintage teapot
1 glass apothecary canister
1 funky bowl thing (I may put seashells in it, or a candle)

Only $3.00 for this cute shirt!

So go scrounge up some change and hit your local thrift never know what you'll find :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lavender Eye Pillow Tutorial

Good Morning! Well Mother's Day is a month away and here is a lovely gift you could make for any Mommy you know! Select some lovely fabric, I chose Anna's voile of course, mainly because I had scraps left over from Easter. The voile is nice though because it feels so soft against your face. Once you have selected your fabric you will also need to gather rice, lavender buds, and a fabric to use for lining.

Step 1: Cut out four rectangles, 5" x 8"

Step 2: Do any embroidery you would like to add now. I chose to put the words "Dreaming of fabric..." on my front piece.

Step 3: Lay fabric right sides together (including lining) and stitch three sides, using 1/2" seam.

Step 4: Fill the pillow with about a cup of rice and 1/4 cup of lavender buds. If you are sensitive to smells I would use less lavender. Experiment with what smells good to you :) You can either grow your own lavender and dry it or buy some here.

Step 5: Tuck the raw edges in and top stitch your opening.

Step 6: Wrap and send your gift...or enjoy it yourself ;)

Organizing tip of the week

I would like to say that I am organized enough to give you a tip every week...but that's not true. So I am going to try to pass along what I can when I can :) I came up with this last night when I was so tired of her little pony tail holders showing up ALL OVER the house! Plus it's a great way to use your old spools of thread! Now I need a way to organize her bows. What are your tips for storing and displaying hair bows?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Flower Child

Here are some photos reminding you all to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy your life one day at a time and be present."Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink in the wild air" Ralph Waldo Emerson

6 Steps to a Shiny Sink

Ok- if you have never taken the time to shine your sink- today is your day! One of my favorite resources for cleaning tips is She has lots of simple tips for helping us clean without getting overwhelmed. Here is her guide (slightly modified by me) to shining your sink- I do this about four times a year, the rest of the time you can just maintain it.

Be sure to rinse well between each step.

1. Take all dirty dishes out of the sink.
2. Fill both sides with hot water. Add about 1/3 cup of Simple Green to each side and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Drain and rinse very well. Sprinkle baking soda in your sink and scrub with a sponge.
Step 4: Rinse the sink very well, then take a sharp edge and clean around the edge of your sink, like you would clean under your finger nails.

Step 5: Scrub around the faucet with a toothbrush- you will be shocked at the gunk that has accumulated there.
Step 6: Spray your sink down with window cleaner and give it a good shine. I use paper towels but you could also use a cloth.
Ok- are you ready for the result?!?!?

AHHHH... one happy mama with a clean shiny sink. Have fun!

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