Thursday, December 30, 2010

I am going to brag on my teenagers

  As any mom of a teenager knows, it's not a glamorous life, teenagers can really put you through the wringer. I try to remember it's not all their fault, that hormones have a lot to do with it, but some days, it's very evident to me why the young male wolves get kicked out of the pack! I mean really, Mama wolf is probably tired of having to clean their bones out of the cave, she's just had enough and off they must go!

    But, I digress, this week I have very proud of my teenager, it's their last winter break (as their seniors this year) and they are both putting in a full weeks worth of work.

    C is working his co-op job from tech school. He's one his way to being a tool and die maker (following in Daddy's footsteps). His work has plant shutdown for the main floor so they can do maintenance on the machines. This is a dirty job, C comes home covered in oil, and yet he goes back in everyday, knowing that he's making good money to be there, helps I'm sure. Also C genuinely wants to do a good job for his boss. He wants to prove they made the right choice in hiring him. We got hit by the snowstorm Sunday going into Monday AM. C left over a 1/2 hour early to make sure he got there on time. I have to say I'm very proud of him.

                                    C at the open house of his tech school working the CNC
   R is working 40 hours this week as well. Unfortunately it's not as his chosen profession as a welder (that will come starting on the 5th when his new co-op job starts). He is working at the grocery store filling in for his dairy supervisor. R is "throwing the load" which means he's responsible for getting the load put where it needs to be, whether that be out on the shelf or in the backstock cooler. It's a physical job, he's tired when he comes home, but he gets up and hauls his fanny off to work each morning.

                                     R showing his grandparents his welding skills
    I know a lot of their friends are working the same type of hours this week, but that's because the seem to gravitate toward kids who's parents have taught them the value of an honest days work. So to all those kids who spent their winter break from school working, my hat is off to you. It's nice to see there are still young people out there who aren't afraid of a little hard work

Monday, December 20, 2010

Only 5 more wake ups till Christmas!!!!!

And as always, I'm not more then 1/2 way done. Although I have it on good authority that the elves have wrapped all the kids gifts and just need to put the curly ribbon on them. At our house Santa gifts are all wrapped pretty, with shiny paper and shiny curly ribbon. When the twins were older, but Jey was just a baby, Hubby made the comment that while it looked nice on Christmas morning, he doubted it would make any difference to the kids if I wrapped them so fancy. I told him it made a difference to me and since he didn't have to put one piece of tape on a package, he needn't worry about it. Well low and behold (and out of the mouths of babes) C says to me that Christmas (he was old enough to know who helped Santa out) Mom I just want to thank you for all the things you do to make Christmas so special. I really appreciate how you do all the little things that mean so much.  Oh yeah, still get tears in my eyes over that one. So with those sweet words of encouragement tucked away in my brain, I'll be curling the heck out of the shiny curling ribbon later on this week.
     Some Christmas cookies have been made, and using the time honored method of my mom (hiding some of the cookies) we'll have at least sugar cookies and peanut butter blossoms for our Christmas guests. We'll try for gingerbread men later in the week. We made them for the first time ever last year and they turned out so yummy. And the little two love decorating them. I'll make sure to post some pictures of my little bakers hard at work.

    So here's hoping you've got your items bought, wrapped and ready to go. That your cookies don't all get eaten before the big day and you have a very merry last week before Christmas.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Look 3

 Of to Baby Girl's preschool carols and cookies this morning, so I decided to go with look number 3. Tried to get a picture at home of just me, but Little Man doesn't have a very steady hand. So just the one photo of me with Baby Girl.

   Today I went with the lilac color sweater tank under the olive color button down collared shirt. So a little Christmasy with the green, but not over done. Plus I think a sweater would have been a little too warm today with all those other parents/grandparents in the sanctuary. So glad I wasn't over dressed.

 And here's my outfit number 3 and my favorite little girl ever!! Oh and her little Santa dress, $4 JC Penny  clearance last year. 
    Now I just need to decide if I want to brave the cold and the crowds and hit Old Navy tomorrow for their scarfs for $1 sale. ???

Monday, December 13, 2010

Curbside Pick Up

  That sounds so much nicer then "trash picker" doesn't it? But hey, some people throw out some pretty nice stuff, so why let it fill up a landfill? See, I'm being green and recycling (which still sounds better then "trash picker).

   So anyway... I've been wanting a mirror for the mudroom since I painted it back in the summer. I really haven't found anything in my price range that I liked. Well driving down the road over the weekend, what should grab my attention, but someone's cast offs sitting at the curb. I stopped to look at a storage bin set, but then I saw this mirror and fell in love.
     This is a great old mirror, the wood is real, the mirror weighs a ton, but it looks wonderful. The only down part to this mirror is the stud isn't in the center of were we hung the mirror, so it's a little of center, but I can live with that. With just a little Pledge and Method window cleaner (oh I love that minty smell) this mirror looks great in it's new home.

   Hubby likes to have a mirror by the door to check out his hair before he leaves (although he always wears a hat, so does it really make a difference?) The other nice part about where this hangs is, it reflects the light coming in the door, so it brightens up my mudroom some. 

   Or if you want to check your hair after you've walked through the wind tunnel to get in the house, then it will work for that too.

   So now you know my decorating secret, I pick other people's trash up. But.... it's good for the planet because it's not going in the dump. It's good for the piece, because it would be a shame to not have this simple, but beautiful mirror displayed in someone's home. Last but not least, it's good for the budget, because it's free and who doesn't like free? 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brownies out of a box

GASP!!!! I admitted it, I make my brownies from a box mix! I know there are lots of moms out there (and some dads too) who make them from scratch and to you I take my hat off! But, I never really found a scratch mix I liked enough to take the time and effort to make. So it's just me and Betty Crocker when it comes to making brownies. The other nice thing is a box mix is quick and simple and since I always seem to have some little person under foot willing to help, I need quick and easy.

   So today after preschool Baby Girl decided she wanted to make brownies for Daddy. So out came the box mix and her step and she was good to go (with just a little help from Mommy)
mixing the eggs for the brownies

    Now lest you think I'm too lazy unambitious I do try to add a little pizazz to my box brownies. This time I sprinkled some little marshmallows and butterscotch chips on top and put the pan back in the oven for a few minutes to make them soft and stick to the top of the brownie.  
Don't they look yummy?
   So there you have it, don't be afraid to let your kids into the kitchen. And don't be afraid to make a box mix (most people won't know unless you tell them). Your kids won't remember what kind of cake or brownie you made, only that they were allowed to help and the special memory of being in the kitchen with mom.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I love my Shark Steam Mop

 And when I say love I mean love!!!!!! Let me just say, I hate to clean. The only reason I do it is because no one else will  (the cleaning fairy has lost the directions to my house). I will do anything to try to make cleaning more enjoyable. Then add to that that most cleaners are kind of toxic and the smell of some makes you wonder if you should have cross ventilation in the house when you crack the bottle open.

   OK so Black Friday lots of places had steam mops on sale for a pretty good price, but Target had the Shark mop for $49 and it was the only one that had the full head (most has some little triangle head that would have taken forever to clean with).So I decided I'd elbow my way in and get the mop. I mean for 1/2 price, how could I go wrong??

    So yesterday, I'm sitting there looking at my dirty kitchen floor (I've got 4 kids, it seems like the kitchen floor is always dirty) and I decided my mop can't wait till Christmas, I want to use it now. So out comes the box with the very easy directions on how to assemble and start cleaning. I was mopping with in 10 minutes. Oh the joy of it all. There was no lugging the bucket of water and praying I don't trip (I really am that big of a klutz). No wringing the mop out, no manual effort at all really. Just plug in the mop and start moving it back and forth. The movement of the handle releases the steam, so if you've got a tough spot, just give it a little more steam and up it comes. The head swivels so you can do along the edges easily. The best part no toxic fumes.

    So the kitchen floor came out great!!! I was so impressed, I had to try my hardwood floor in the living room. I had the men folk clear out the furniture from the living room (if I was going to do it, I was going to do it right) and pushed the dust mop around first (you want to do this, or you'll make mud). The hardwood came up so nice, that I decided to polish it since I already had the floor clean and I can't remember the last time I actually polished the floor. It looked brand new!!
Look at that shine
  I polished the floor this time, but I do think the floor looked great even without it being polished. This is real hardwood flooring, the steam doesn't leave wet spots, it was barely damp.

  I really can't find one thing wrong with this mop. It's easy to use, lightweight, works great, easy clean up, really handy to have. Just make sure you dust mop the area you're going to use the steam mop on and you should be good to go. I will say this created an "If you give a mouse a cookie" kind of vibe. Since the kitchen floor came up so nice, I did the living room floor. Well that came up so nice, I did both bathroom floors. And since they came up so nice today I'm going to do the mud room floor and the hall. So it's a little addictive, don't say I didn't warn you. Knowing what I know now, I'd have bought the mop for full price (well actually I'd have bought it was Bed, Bath and Beyond and used a 20% off coupon. It really is a must have in a house.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Looks 1 and 2

    I thought I'd post them together since I didn't get a chance to post look #1 from date night with hubby on Thursday night.
  Normally I'd just wear a v-neck sweater and call it a day. But I like the look of layers, so I'm trying to work them into my wardrobe.  ( I know, come into the 2000's already D!!)
     So I wore my periwinkle collared blouse under my eggplant v-neck sweater, not a drastic look to figure out, but it looked good and was comfy to wear.
    I wore this with jeans, but I'd also wear it with a black pencil skirt as well.

   Look #2 I thought was a hit, till I looked at the picture hubby has taken. Ehhh, not the best thing I've ever worn, but not the worst either. 

     I wore the short sleeve, collared navy blue blouse under the green sweater, I think I would have liked it better if I had long sleeves with a cuff to finish the look on the sleeve of the sweater.

  Well live and learn right?