Monday, September 29, 2008

Carol Decker

We read about the Decker family's story a few weeks ago, and it touched us. We wanted to do something to help, some small something, anything... So, we have made two separate donations to the auctions on behalf of the Decker family. The first auction closed awhile ago, for a whopping $500. Wow!
The second donation that we have made is running now, and will close on Tuesday. So, perhaps you will make a bid on our donated item, or one of the many other donated items. Or, maybe you can donate something else to be auctioned. It could be something that you create, or maybe just something you have around the house that would be a good choice. Please give in any way that you can.
To read about the Decker family - click here.
To visit the auctions for Carol - click here.
To visit our donation - click here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Giveaway Winners!

We have used the random number generator to choose 5 winners.
The winners of the sets of kids thank you notes:

Natalie said...
Southern Living at Home products are so cute and can go in almost any household. I am really excited about this giveaway! Thank you!!!


Jamie said...
I just found your blog! I love it, please enter me in your drawing too : )

The winners of the Great Kids' Rooms books:

That Girl said...
I'd love to win a prize!


MM said...
What a fun giveaway! Jan

and the winner of the school pictures scrapbook:

Misty said...
Great! I love Southern Living stuff! Thanks so much!

Please email us with your mailing information so we can send your prize!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Woo Hoo, we are featured on SITS this week!

Thanks for visiting and thanks so much SITS girls for featuring us! Leave your comment on this post for a chance to win the gift certificate. You can read the official rules over at SITS. Oh, and don't forget to visit our website, too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wondering where I went? Well, maybe you're not, but here I am.

Have you entered our GIVEAWAY yet?
Yes, believe it or not, there are two halves to the SFV team. I am the missing half. No entertaining toddlers here...just a busy second grader and a high school senior. I could tell you some interesting stories about the senior, but most are not particularly family friendly and may cause my teen to leave home and never return due to acute embarrassment.
So, is what we have been up to:
Lily has joined the swim team and had her first meet

Drew is a senior and is applying to colleges...a whole learning experience in itself. Seniors, being the "KINGS" of the school, make crowns to wear at pep rallies and various events throughout the year. We hosted the crown making at our house for a few kids. Lots of fun. They are creative, but don't want to get tooo crazy...isn't it interesting that as an adult, you want to make yourself stand out from the crowd, but as a teen that is absolutely the very LAST thing you would ever want???? I think it's called maturity, hmmm.

And if the kids aren't enough to keep us busy, Sweet Funky Vintage has been having great shows, and show season continues through the end of October. We are planning our spring line, helping out a fabulous fabric designer with her quilt market booth and generally trying to figure out how to get another 12 hours or so out of each day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Aren't we crafty?

Have you entered our giveaway yet?


I saw this post on a cool blog, Joys of Home, and it reminded me of a craft I made awhile back.
My original inspiration came from an old issue of the Pottery Barn Kids catalog.
The best part is that they were easy and totally cheap!
At Michael's, I purchased some acrylic paint, wooden letters and wooden plaques, and a sponge brush. I scrounged in my studio and added some quilt batting, scrap fabric, and ribbon. The only tools needed were a hot glue gun and a staple gun.
I painted the letters and let them dry. Then I laid the wooden plaques down on the fabric and traced around them, leaving about 2 inches of extra fabric, all the way around. Then did the same with the quilt batting. I lay the fabric face down, with the quilt batting and the wooden plaque on top of those. Then I stretched the fabric around the batting and plaque and stapled it in place with the staple gun, making sure it was tight. Then I turned it over so the fabric covered plaque was face up on the table. I positioned the letter where I wanted it and hot glued it in place. After it dried, I turned the plaque over again and staple gunned the ribbon in place. Ta-da!
The pottery barn catalog featured the plaques hanging on a door with an oval plaque in front of a colored oval painted on the door behind - to frame it. It was very cool. I live in a rental, so sadly, the painted oval was not an option. Maybe next time!


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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Giveaway - 5 winners!

We thought it was about time for another giveaway! This giveaway just might coincide with the fact I have been working on cleaning out my garage! I used to be a Southern Living at Home consultant and I have (too) many boxes of their closeout items that are brand new and shrink-wrapped. These are things that I picked up and kept with the idea of stocking up the gift closet and always having the perfect gift on hand for any occasion. Well, as my garage is out of control, I have abandoned the idea of having the perfect gift on hand. Because, let's face it, all of my closets are overflowing with stuff, and they will never look like Martha Stewart's gift closet complete with wrapping station and everything all nice and labeled!! So... we are going to share the love with all of you! This giveaway will have 5 winners! So, enter and you have a good chance of winning. And just remember, you can always keep it on hand to help stock your perfect gift closet!!
These are the goodies:
* boxed set of kid's perfect etiquette thank-you notes (2)
* Southern Living Ideas for Great Kids' Rooms (2)

* School Pictures Photo Album/Scrapbook (1)

To enter, just leave a comment on this post. You will receive an entry for your comment, but if you post about our giveaway on your blog and link back to this post, you will earn 5 additional entries! Send your friends this way to enter and if they leave your name as their referral along with their comment, they will earn on entry and you will earn another one! So, spread the word!
Giveaway ends Friday, 9/26 at midnight!

Also, don't forget to check back after the giveaway to see if you were the winner!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have discovered (like, what am I? Christopher Columbus?), okay, more like stumbled across a really cool blog the other day, The Picky Palate. Such a fun blog! They had a recipe that I couldn't resist. So, we made them tonight.
Spaghetti Cups!
I shamlessly borrowed her picture. It is so much prettier than one I would have taken, and I was just too hungry to stop and take pictures! But, mine pretty much looked like those. I even put the fresh basil on top! (aren't you impressed?!)
Flaky Garlic Toasted Spaghetti Cups

3 Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough, thawed (this confused me a little - they come in packs of 2. So, I bought 2 packages - a.k.a. 4 crusts. I used 1 and 1/2 of another one. However, my cups weren't big enough, so next time, I would use a bigger glass to cut my circles, so I would definately use 2 crusts)
¼ Cup olive oil, for brushing
½ teaspoon garlic salt, Lawry’s
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ Cup diced white onion
½ Cup diced red bell pepper
1 lb lean ground beef
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic salt, Lawry’s is what I use

26 oz favorite pasta sauce, homemade or store bought

1 lb whole wheat spaghetti (I didn't make this much - only about 1/2 a package and had plenty!)

½ Cup Fresh grated parmesan cheese
12 Fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out pie dough rounds to an even thinness. Using a 3 inch wide bowl or cup (I would used a bigger one - my cups weren't very deep), press 12 round circles of dough. You may need to roll out remaining dough to make more circles. Lightly brush each side of the dough rounds with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. Press gently into the bottom and sides of 12 muffin tins, that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack.

2. Place oil into a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, sauté onion and bell pepper until slightly softened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in beef, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Cook until browned and crumbled. Stir in pasta sauce and reduce heat to low to simmer.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

4. To assemble, using tongs, place a small amount of noodles into the bottom of the crusts. Top with a heaping spoonful of pasta sauce. Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and basil leaves if desired.

Makes 12 spaghetti cups, you’ll have more spaghetti left over

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Fashion Emergency

Friday was one of those days. You know, one of THOSE DAYS. Yep. Georgia was in a fine mood when she woke up. She was in a fine mood during breakfast, and when she skipped off up the stairs to go get dressed. Then, things went downhill. Fast.
I called and called up the stairs for her to hurry and come down. She had been gone awhile. She finally drags herself down the stairs. She descends like there is a death squad waiting at the bottom of the stairs, instead of her Mommy. It takes her about 5 minutes to get all the way to the bottom. And, I didn't tap my foot with impatience, not once. Okay, well, maybe I did and I was urging her along and asking her why she looked like she was headed to her doom. She bursts into tears and plops herself down on the bottom step, and says, "I am not going to school." Amid the tears, and wails, and hiccups. I finally translate that she doesn't want to go to school because she doesn't like the shirt she is wearing. The shirt is her school t-shirt, and everyone is encouraged to wear them on Fridays as it is spirit day. I choose her clothes for her for the week, and put them on a hanging shelf unit in her closet, and she chooses what she wants to wear on each particular day from the choics there. As it was Friday, there was only one choice left, and she didn't like it. She says to me that the shirt is ugly and she doesn't want to wear it and she doesn't want to go to school. WAAAAAAH! So, I tell her that she doesn't have enough time to go change, and that she needs to wear it, but she doesn't have to wear it next Friday if she doesn't want to. More tears. The doorbell rings and it is her neighborhood friends who have arrived to walk with her to school. They are both wearing THE SHIRT! I point this out to Georgia, who couldn't care less. I end up bribing her to go to school by giving her a little mermaid sticker to wear on the shirt, and by allowing her to take her favorite stuffed animal (froggy) to school. She sniffles and looks forlorn all the way to school, according to the Mom who walked the girls to school. A few more tears, but the Mom said she was doing much better when she got to the playground.
Mid-morning, the teacher calls me. Apparently, Georgia spent a little time that morning in the fetal position on the reading rug, with froggy, crying. The teacher couldn't seem to get a coherent answer from her about what was wrong, just something about a shirt. That didn't make sense to her (ya think?), so she called me. Bear in mind that Daddy is in Iraq. So, the teacher is quite worried - worried that something has happened to Daddy and that is why Georgia is so upset and crying. I reassure the teacher that Daddy is fine, and that Georgia's trauma is more like a fashion emergency. We agreed that Georgia is probably upset about Daddy being gone and missing him, but doesn't quite know how to verbalize that, so it manifested itself in an anti-shirt campaign. However, the teacher does tell me, "Georgia's clothes are all so lovely, the shirt is kind of ugly in comparison!" Oh for pete's sake, help me out here, will ya??!! At that point, she was doing better and having snack and playing on the playground, so the teacher and I agreed that she should stay at school.
However, I started feeling pretty guilty - bad mommy syndrome - that I had made her go to school and wear THE SHIRT. So, I picked her up a little early and took her to the build-a-bear-workshop. I know, pretty hard-core case of the guilties. She asked me why I picked her up early and why I decided to take her to the build-a-bear-workshop. I told her it was because I heard she had a bad day.
And, she says, "I didn't have a bad day."
Oh. Okay then.

Friday, September 12, 2008

We have taken your suggestions!

Several of our loyal readers like Kacey and Kim have commented that they can't tell who is posting unless we post something personal. Kacey suggested we look into signatures. We had no clue where to start, and then I had drug induced insomnia Friday night (not advocating drugs as a means to get things done, but dang, you can accomplish a lot in the middle of the night!), did some research and found this really cool site! Check out You can create your own signature from a choice of hundreds of fonts, colors and slants or you can get super fancy and actually write it and they will code it for you! After you create it, you simply paste the code into your blog, email program etc and VOILA...your signature! Cool, right!? If you can't figure it out, email us, we'll be glad to help!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lazy Day Skirt Giveaway Winner!

Our random number generator chose...

Anonymous said...
Is it too late? I know that Victoria would love something that Georgia has!


September 9, 2008 7:24 PM


Email us with your address and we will send the skirt right out to you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

O- Nuts!

Liz went for a 20 mile bike ride on Sunday. I was so inspired by her fitness. I decided to go the opposite route and make doughnuts instead! I busted out my Better Homes and Garden cookbook. And, I mean that literally. The poor thing is really falling to pieces. It is 4 big pieces and lots of loose pages!

Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

3 1/4 cps all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c milk
2 tbsp butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate (I used semi-sweet)

In a mixing bowl, stir together 2 /14 cups of the flour, the baking powder, salt. In large mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla, beat with an electric mixer until thick. Melt together the butter and chocolate. Combine milk and melted butter and chocolate. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to egg mixture, beating just till blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup flour. Cover dough and chill for about 2 hours.
On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured 2 1/2 inch doughnut cutter. Reroll as necessary.
Fry two or three doughnuts at a time in deep hot fat (375 degrees) about 1 minute on each side or until golden, turning once with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.
Drizzle warm doughnuts with glaze.

I mixed up the dough, and let it chill for a couple hours before rolling it out. I don't own a doughnut cutter, so I dug through the cookie cutter box to see if I had something that would work. Last year, after Valentine's day, I found a set of Valentine cookie cutters on sale and picked them up. In that set, was an X and an O. The O looked sort of doughnutty shaped, so I used it.

Olivia hovered nearby the entire time I was making the O-nuts, swiping dough bits, and blowing on the cooked O-nuts to help them cool faster.

I glazed them with a powdered sugar glaze and the girls loved them!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Another item on the list of banned items...

List of banned items:

A little while ago, if I were able to find a gypsy wandering around my neighborhood, I might have sought out a trade. Olivia for something less messy.

About a week ago, I found Olivia perched on top of Sophia's changing table. She climbed up and was busy applying Desitin diaper rash cream. To her hair. I cleaned her up and scolded her. I looked into her giant blue eyes, filled to the brim with tears that threatened to spill out. I said in my most serious voice, "Olivia, this is a no-no. You have made a mess. Climbing onto the changing table is dangerous. Are you going to do this again?" She quivered and said, "No, Mommy".

Well, as you can probably guess, she did it again. She climbed up and I found her perched on the changing table. This time she left the Desitin alone. Probably because she found the tube almost completely empty from her last episode. This time, she went straight for the almost full jar of Vaseline. It. was. everywhere. She liberally applied it to her body, clothing, and hair. She liberally applied it to the bottle of baby lotion and the container of baby wipes. She smeared it all over the baby's hairbrush. She even finger-painted the wall with it.

This time, I didn't kneel down to her level and say anything in a quiet, serious voice. I completely lost my mind. I yelled, I fussed. I cussed. She laughed, and she clasped her hands together and started saying her evening bedtime prayers. I am pretty sure, at that point, I muttered beneath my breath, "you better be praying".

Have you ever tried to clean up Vaseline? It is quite a challenge. Heck, it is completely disgusting. Georgia tried to help, she fetched my camera when I asked for it, and then she fetched the entire contents of the kitchen's washcloth drawer. I lost count of how many baby wipes I used.

I sent Olivia straight to her room. You may be a smartaleck who asks where I was while all of this was happening. Well, I was cleaning up the lunch dishes, loading the dishwasher, and putting the slipcover back on the family room sofa. The same slipcover that was covered in red, green and blue graffiti last night after Sophia found the markers left out on the table (by Olivia, might I add).

For Pete's Sake, I need a drink.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We interrupt this programming for a garden update!

* Have you entered our lazy day skirt giveaway yet?? *


I posted a picture of our garden when we first moved to California this summer. We planted the garden before we even finished unpacking, because we knew we would run out of time if we didn't hurry and get it in the ground!
Here is our first bounty - 3 yummy tomatoes and some fresh basil. The smell of the basil is incredible!
Looks good enough to eat, doesn't it?

Well you can't eat it!

Because we did!!

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