Sunday, August 31, 2008

Escargot anyone????

Now, I am not a french food kind of girl, but these look deeeeelicious! I found them on this blog but the actual blogger was "guest blogging". Her blog is called Little Momma and company. I must say it is one of the cutest blog designs I have seen yet.

But I digress, back to the snails...not one thing slimy about these babies....probably not one thing healthy either, but I do think we are going to have to try them...maybe for breakfast tomorrow. It is a holiday, so I don't think the calories count!

Cinnamon Snails

4 slices of soft texture bread
¼ C cream cheese
3 T sugar
1 ½ t cinnamon
¼ C melted butter or margarine

Trim the crusts from the bread slices. Spread 1 T of the cream cheese on each piece of bread. Roll up the bread slices with the cream cheese on the inside. Cut each roll into thirds.
Stir together sugar and cinnamon. Dip each roll into butter and then into cinnamon sugar (do not dip the swirly ends of the rolls) Place rolls, seam side down on a ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes, or until light brown and crisp. Makes 12.

***Dont forget to scroll down and enter our give away before midnight on September 2!****

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Noodle Fairy is a Winner!


Georgia is obsessed with fairies these days. Mermaids and fairies. Or Merfairies, as she tells me they are called. For those of you without young daughters to enlighten you... a merfairy is a mermaid with fairy wings. Why a mermaid needs fairy wings, I am not sure. The other day Georgia asked me, "Mommy, are there really mermaids?" To which I answered, "No, Georgia, I think they are just pretend." She replies, "No, you are wrong, there really are mermaids." Okay. If you say so!

But, I digress.

A few weeks ago, we had dinner at a restaurant we really like called, Noodles and Company. We ate at one first when we lived in Virginia, and were tickled to find them out here in California too. They give out paper and sticker sheets for the kids to play with while you wait on your food. The stickers are all different noodles and vegetables. They have been running a contest for kids to create a noodle-person and enter it to win free food for a week. Georgia created a noodle fairy and turned it in. Lo and behold, she won! They called us to tell us and she wins free food for a week. Of course we have to bring her in to get her free food, and odds are that we will buy some food for ourselves while we are there - those guys must really be using their noodles (sorry, couldn't resist)! We went in today to collect and Georgia visited her noodle fairy, who is posted in the restaurant. She ordered butter noodles and a cookie, and the three girls goobled up those noodles.

The portions are huge - fed all three girls with some leftover! I, on the other hand, ordered Japanese Pan Noodles with Beef - Yummy! :)

Noodles and Company is having a contest online too, and you can win free food for a year! What a cool thing!
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Waiting on Gustav

Last week it was Fay. Fay dumped 18 inches of rain on us. It is still a challenge to get around town with all the flooded roads. We had relatively little wind, but still lots of downed trees due to the wet ground (the big oaks and pines don't like all that water). And school was called off last Friday. Two 4 day weeks in a row, with this coming one being potentially less than 4 days.

Gustav looks to be heading for the big Easy, poor, decrepit New Orleans. Let's pray that it doesn't hit those people that are still trying to recover from Katrina. Better yet, let's pray that Gustav will just fall apart before it hits anyone. In my experience, that is unlikely, but God is amazing, so let's pray anyway.

It's time to watch, wait and prepare. Despite the expert predictions, until Gustav hits the Gulf, it's track is just an educated guess and often not a correct one. Remember, PRAY!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Designer in Training


You know that I was tickled to witness this! Georgia decided to play clothing designer with me in my studio a few weeks ago. She picked up scraps from the scrap box and a pincushion filled with pins and begin creating her dress on the dressform. She worked at it for about 30 minutes and she was so cute! When she finished, she took it all apart.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten!

My baby girl has started kindergarten! We went last Friday to meet her teacher, and she was visibly nervous. When I asked her if she was nervous, she very firmly (and loudly) told me that she was NOT nervous. Um. Okay. If you say so...

Maybe a little nervous here, dontcha think?

I bought this fabric about three years ago and kept it all this time. I just knew it would be perfect for a first day of school dress. The skirt background fabric shows the most fabulous retro school scenes, and the green is chalkboard handwriting practice. Which makes me giggle, because there haven't been chalkboards in school in a really, really long time. Not that I am old enough to remember that. No sirree. The yellow fabric is scattered with retro lunchboxes. I sewed the fabrics up into a dress. It is our Kate style, if you are wondering, with a few modifications. The rickrack I used is vintage too, as well as the buttons. The package of rickrack costs $.35 originally, and there is the most fabulous wrapper. On the inside of the wrapper is an advertisement for you to send in 3 labels and $.15 for postage and handling, and they will send you scraps of trims for your children to use in sewing their own doll clothes. How great is that??!!!

I plan for Olivia and Sophia will be wearing it on their first days of school too. I just love family traditions, and figure the best way to have them is to start them!

Here we are walking to school! Our new neighborhood is so close, we can walk to school. It is only about a 1/4 mile. So, I walk Georgia to and from school. (I was carrying her school supplies.) On the way there, I asked her if she was excited and she replied that she was and then she says to me, "Mommy, I can't wait until tomorrow." I said, "What is tomorrow?" and she says, "My second day of Kindergarten!"

Here she is in her new classroom, unpacking her backpack. When we went to visit, she was pretty excited to find her name on her table and on her cubby. When she arrives for the day, she unpacks her lunchbox and puts it in the lunch bin, and then hangs up her backpack.

This is the view of part of her school. Her classroom is behind the cupola/turret looking thing (just so you know, that is the technical, architectural term)!!

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Crafty Gals - we have a Giveaway for you!

We are all about feeling pretty. If you are going to vacuum the floor, then your vacuum should be pretty.

I tried to explain this principle to the hubby recently when I was picking out a new broom. He looked for size and economy, I looked for the pretty color. Guess which broom came home with us?! When you are sewing, an old fashioned red, tomato pincushion will work just fine. It will patiently hold your pins for you, and the little strawberry will keep your needles sharp (yes, that is what it is for!), but this little pincushion Liz created is much prettier!

We are going to start doing giveaways on a fairly regular basis, 'cause that's the kind of girls we are, and we are starting with this sweet little pincushion.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post before midnight, Tuesday 9/2. We will pick a winner and post the winner Wednesday morning!

Until then, happy creating, you crafty gal!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Feist visits Sesame Street!

I loved this song when I heard it on that Apple commercial ages ago. Lovin' it even more now! Olivia loved it when I showed it to her, since she is in that "elmo stage"!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Etsy goodness....ours this time!!!!

Did we mention we now have an ETSY store? Well, we do. On ETSY, we sell all kinds of fun, crafty and one-of-a-kind stuff that we usually only sell at those fancy craft shows we do every fall. We would love for you to come meet and greet us at Market Days in Tallahassee or the Rosemary Beach Holiday Market, but if you just can't make it to Florida for the holiday season, you can still get yourself some handcrafted goodness in our ETSY store. Keep watching, we have lots going up all season!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vehicular Mastitis

Last Wednesday, I was (yet, again) loading and unloading strollers into the back cargo area of my Suburban, when I discovered that the carpet was really wet. I was pretty sure nothing had spilled in there but was pretty perplexed as to where that water had come from. Everyone knows it doesn't rain in California. Word is that it hasn't rained here since April.
So, the water wasn't leaking in from outside of the car. Where was it coming from then? I mentioned it to the husband on one of our video conferences from Iraq. He says it could be a condenser coil or drainage line from the rear air conditioning.

Oh. Really.

So, what do I do about that, I ask. He tells me that I will just have to swing by the Chevy dealership and have them take a look at it.

Anyone will three small children knows you don't just swing by anywhere. I think the husband is picturing himself driving over to the dealership, parking the car, unbuckling his seatbelt, getting out of the car, and swaggering into the service department. At which time, he would tell them he was there to have the car looked at and they would suggest he fix himself a cup of coffee and then get comfortable in the waiting room with a magazine.

Anyone with three small children knows that the scenario would go a little differently. The oldest of the children would buckle herself into her carseat. I would fish the middle child out of the front seat where she was busy turning the radio volume full-blast and the windshield wipers on. Meanwhile, the baby would be headed down the driveway into the street, dragging her bunny behind her.
Once all of the children were secured into their carseats and we were in-route, I would alternate handing back juice cups and pretzels, while trying not to run off the road. Once we arrived at the dealership, I would remove my seat belt and begin the unloading. I would go around to the rear and manhandle the akwardly cumbersome double stroller out of the cargo area and on to the ground and pop it open. I will push it around to the baby's door, unbuckle her from her carseat and re-buckle her into the stroller. The oldest child will be out of the car and practicing cartwheels in the parking lot. Meanwhile the midle child will have to be fished out of the front seat once again, where she has been turning on the turn signals, and turning the air conditioning to full blast (which may very well have gotten us into this pickle in the first place). Middle child will be buckled into the front seat of the double stroller and we will head towards the service department. I will manhandle the double stroller up onto the curb and the oldest child and I will akwardly enter, while trying to hold the door open and maneuver the double stroller in the doorway at the same time.
We will enter the building and when the nice person in the service department offers me a cup of coffee and a magazine while I wait, little does she know that she will wish she had asked me to wait outside, once my children start terrorizing the waiting room. Because anyone with three small children knows that they don't do waiting rooms well. They don't do waiting rooms well when they are waiting to see Elmo, for crying out loud. They certainly aren't going to do waiting rooms well when they are waiting for some silly car repair!

So, the thought of having to take the car in for service makes my stomach hurt. I left the back hatch open for several days in order for the carpet to dry out, only closing for a short trip to run errands each afternoon. On the third day, I realized the carpet is still wet, so I channel my inner-Jayne (Jayne being my good friend who is the definition of an independant, capable woman - she can do anything!) and take a look at the car and see if I could figure out what was going on. I open the back hatch and remove a piece of plastic molding so I can lift up the back edge of the carpet and see what is going on. This, my friends is about as far as I got. I figured out that the carpet was still quite wet and the padding was pretty wet too. I used the wet/dry vac to suck up as much water as I could, and I called Jayne. She came over and between the two of us, we managed to find yet another use for a 12 pack of beer. Car repair. Who would have known?

We propped up the carpet and pad with the beer in order for air to flow between so it could dry.

Look, here is Jayne!
But, we didn't think that was going to happen very fast. So, if the twelve pack of beer wasn't redneck enough, we added the leaf blower to speed up the process.

I would love to be able to tell you that no beer was actually harmed during this car repair process, but I am sad to inform you that one of them got away from us. It rolled down the incline of the driveway and into the street. I raced after it. (I am sure any neighbors watching think I am a total lush as I am running down the street after a runaway coors light). I caught it and brought it back to the garage when I realized that it had a small puncture hole in it and a fine mist of beer was shooting out. Hey - another use for beer - could be used as a mister in hot weather!

Now, you are probably asking at this point, where does the mastitis fit in? Well, Jayne went home and did some research on the computer to see if she could find anyone with similar air conditioning issues. She found lots of message boards with postings about a/c problems in Suburbans, but fortunately my a/c was working fine, just the water problem, which narrowed it down. The issue seemed to be a clogged drain line, and one poster mentioned a nipple (yes, a nipple) that could be found behind the rear wheel well. And that it could be squeezed to release water built up in the drain pan.
So, I drove over the Jayne's house and she looked under the car, and would you believe there is indeed a nipple under there?

And, she squeezed it.

And out came about a gallon of water! So, she diagnosed the car with vehicular mastitis.

Just a little clogged nipple.

She opened it up with a drinking straw and the darn thing seems to be working fine. I am leaving a puddle of water beneath the car everywhere I go. But, who cares! After all, I spent little time, no aggravation, lots of laughter, and no money! The carpet is dry now and I am hopeful that the straw repair will hold until husband returns from Iraq!

For those who love fonts....

Admit it, you are a font junkie. If you are like me, you love your fonts...can't get enough...beg your friends to send you cool ones. Ok, admitting you have a problem is the first step. I'll post the information for FA (fonts anonymous) later today. But seriously, if you love fonts like I love fonts, watch this video from . My friend Kim sent it to me. It cracked me up!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Update on my Marine


I wanted to say thank you to all of those kind, kind people who commented on Liz's post about my husband leaving for Iraq. You wrote the nicest things and I want you to know how much I appreciate each and every word.
He is doing well and getting settle in as well as he can. So many Americans have friends, neighbors and loved ones who have served in Iraq since the war started, so this may sound familiar to you.
He tells me it is quite hot there - average temperature of 130. Yep, you read that right. 1.3.0. Hard to believe, isn't it? Yikes!
He works seven days a week there, so I have to imagine it feels a little like groundhog day - one day just like the next. We have pretty good communication via the computer, unexpectedly good, actually. So, cross your fingers that continues. The girls have enjoyed being able to "see" Daddy on the computer screen. Although, I think they are just as tickled at being able to see themselves on the computer too!!
Here is a picture he sent me this week.

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Liz, how fast do you type?

74 words

Speed test

This is a joke for Liz, because she is a hunt and peck typist. Granted, she is pretty fast for that kind of typing. But, when she was here this past week and we would be working on business paperwork or email or what have you. I had to leave the room because it is painful to watch her type!!

I ran across this typing test online this morning. It was kind of fun to do. How fast are you??

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fall is Coming!


Just wanted to share a sneak peek of fall goodness with you! Our fall season has started and our first trunk is currently in route to Atlanta as I typed this! We will be posting our fall collection on our website during the upcoming week. But, the best way to view our collection is at trunk show, so if there is a show in your area, try to stop by. If there isn't a show in your area - host one!!!
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

California is so cool!

As you know, I visited Missy in San Diego for a week or so. I ended my visit with a fun lunch with my friend Wendy, a caligrapher in San Diego. Wendy lives in a LOFT (Super cool)downtown. She took me to Cafe Chloe where I wish I had taken a picture of the sign, but of course they have a website so you can see it for yourself. Anyway, it was tres' french and made me feel very cosmopolitan. We orderd the most FABULOUS pommes frites and other random deliciousness, but the beverages were a delightful surprise. Wendy ordered diet coke and received the Euro version, coke light...charming, in a glass bottle. Lily ordered rootbeer and received a tasty organic version made in Louisiana. I ordered sparkling water and received the delightful bottle pictured below. We all found it so charming and felt it would look fabulous with flowers in it so I had to carry it home on the plane. Sometimes it takes so little to make your day, doesn't it?

Breakfast of Champions!


I have been trying to shake a cold for over a week now, and with Liz and Lily visiting from Florida, have been pulling many late nights and busy days. So, this morning, I wanted to sleep a little later. Just past 7am, at least! So, when Georgia popped her head up by my bedside this morning at 6:20, I groaned. I begged her to go find something quiet to do and not wake up her sisters and let Mommy sleep just a little longer. She said she would, and she did. When she came back up to see me at about 7:15, she informed me that she had helped me out by fixing breakfast. What a girl! Here is what she came up with: fruity pebbles (but "not too many because we aren't supposed to eat too much junk food"), cheerios, gorilla munch cereal, 3 grapes each ("except Olivia got 4 because I thought she'd like an extra"), and one small yogurt, carefully divided into 3 bowls. And the best part is that she fixed me breakfast too - a large glass of water and a container of sour cream and a spoon. When I asked her about the sour cream, she laughed and said she thought it was yogurt!

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sharing some ETSY goodness!

While visiting Missy this week, she received a fun Etsy purchase in the mail. I just had to share it on the blog because there are so many more possibilities from this seller....
Here is what Missy bought for her military wife girlfriends:

Originally an obscure British WWII poster reassuring calmness during the war …Now a great slogan for those with a hectic modern day life. How fun is that?

Then there are these two that I think would make great stocking stuffers for Lily...

and much more deliciousness...there are something like 263 listed! Go check em out HERE.

Blueberry Turnovers

We found an incredible deal on blueberries at Costco and even with as much fruit as my girls eat, we hadn't made a dent in that package.

So, we searched in cookbooks and online for a yummy blueberry recipe to try. I found a great blueberry turnover recipe and Georgia and I got down to some serious baking!

Here is the recipe:

1/2 c. sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1 recipe double-crust pastry
* we used the BH&G checkerboard cookbook for the crust recipe

In 2 quart saucepan, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Add blueberries to coat well. STirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute. Turn into bowl; cover surface with waxed paper or plastic wrap and cool.
Roll out dough 1/2 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 5 inch circles. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons blueberry mixture on 1/2 of circle leaving 1/4 inch edge. Moisten edge with water. Fold unfilled pastry over mixture to form turnover. Press edges together with fork. Make an S shaped cut in top to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes until golden. Makes 12. (I think we got 10)