Friday, April 29, 2011

Etsy Feature Friday - Sora Designs

I'm starting a new little thing on my blog. Etsy Feature Friday. When some people detox, they watch TV. Me? Well, I watch TV and browse Etsy at the same time. I have so many shops bookmarked, I thought to myself, why not share my sweet finds?

You probably already know that I'm a jewelry addict. I just love all that pretty bling. Sora Designs is my newest jewelry addiction. I love everything in the shop from the simplicity necklaces for everyday wear to the 3D nursery necklaces that are some of the most classic statement pieces I've ever seen.

Here are a few of my favorites (and narrowing it down was painful):

One Fine Day - vintage repurposed OOAK necklace

Prohibition Necklace 

Cherish no.2 - multi strands glass pearls, Swarovski crystals

I would have loved this look for my wedding.

And this one for my bridemaids!

Chain of Clouds no.2 - multiple 14kt gold filled chains and pearls

I was planning on getting this one to wear to the royal wedding today. 
Strangely, it seems my invite was lost in the mail. 

You can see why Sora Designs has over 5,000 Etsy sales. I wonder how many of those are just mine? Hum....

Hurry up! Still time to get something for Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's For Dinner (A much saner mommy)

After my little vent about how sucky 4PM is, I decided to make a few changes around here. I like to cook. In fact, I would say cooking is about an 8 for me. Cooking with kids around? I would give that about a negative 2. So I am switching up the schedule. Usually I put Collin down for a nap around 1pm and Lydia takes her rest. Then I sit for 15 minutes, check emails and drink a diet coke. I then spend the next hour running like a crazy women to clean whatever I can get to. I look like a contestant on the Supermarket Sweep. (That was a cool show.) By the time the kids are up, I'm exhausted.

New plan. After the Diet Coke break (which is non-negational), I make dinner. At 1:15pm. All by my lonesome. I can watch a little TV on Hulu, or listen to music. I'm just going to go to my chopping and sauteing zen place. When the kids get up, I'm happier and have energy to play with them. Of course, the downside is the house is messy. But I would much rather tidy up with the kids around than cook. I can always vacuum to drown out the 4pm breakdowns. (That above photo is of a very impatient Collin yelling "Mama EAT!")

The first day I tried this routine, I made a culinary masterpiece. My copy of BON APPÉTIT arrived and I knew I had to make the cover receipe of Pasta al PomodoroEver since traveling to Italy with friends I've been marinara snob. The sugary tomato pasty crud they sell at the grocery store is no comparison. It just has the same color. (It doesn't keep me from feeding it to the kids though. They love it. )

Oh my. I have had major restraint with my portions lately, but this dish was such decadence, I was slurping it straight from the pan. Creamy and silky, bursting with basil and garlic. It's perfect to serve to company as it reheats wonderfully. (Just make sure to save extra pasta water for the reheating or it will dry out.) I served it with chicken sausage on the side. You can get the recipe here. And if you use dried basil, I will hunt you down.

Another yummy and easy recipe is Quinoa soup with corn and avocado. My kids HATE quinoa and sadly, this will be my last attempt to serve it to them. Shane and I thought it was delicious. Use homemade stock if possible. It makes all the difference. I make a batch of stock every week, so you know it must be easy. Seriously. It is the easiest thing ever, and it makes the house smell incredible. I like this tutorial, but I cook it for at least 6 hours instead of 4.
If you use bouillon cubes, I will hunt you down.

Lastly, the other day I had no idea what to make for dinner. I hadn't been to the store in ages. I thought I would try my hand at pantry cooking and was pretty happy with the results.

Was it as good as if I made everything with fresh ingredients? Well, no. But it was pretty good all the same. No one in my family is a fan of canned veggies, but they were troopers and ate them with minimal complaint. I didn't eat the potatoes because I think they taste fake, but the rest of the family loved them. Guess I will have to start integrating potato pearls. I can always microwave a real potato for me. I found a sad little pork tenderloin in the deep freeze that wanted to be of use. Instead of white wine for the sauce, I used white wine vinegar from the pantry, and in this instance, I think I preferred it. Made an outstanding gravy. Loved the briny hint.  I found just enough Marie Calendar's Corn Bread mix for the four of us. The "Fried" apples were the real hit. I cooked sliced apples in water and lemon juice until they were tender but not falling apart. Then I mixed them with apple juice and a bit of sugar. Once it was boiling, I added some cornstarch mixed with a bit of apple juice and cooked until it made a sticky sauce. Yum yum yum.

Excited to get back to enjoying cooking again. Look at me. Domestic! (Kind of. We're having corn dogs tonight. I will not be preparing them early however.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Little Easter Shoot

The other day I was just putting Collin down for a nap when I looked outside and saw the most glorious lighting outside. I made a snap decision. "Lydia! Put your Easter dress on!" I pulled Collin out of his sweats and whirled around his closet like a crazy person, trying to get his Easter outfit on before the light changed. I did enjoy seeing them look at each other with that "Mom's losing it" look. "Jellybeans! Each of you will get a whole egg filled with jellybeans if you smile!" That changed the tone. I had about 3 minutes before Collin was totally done and wanted candy, but I still managed a couple cute shots.

Dancing in the driveway while I hurriedly tested the light.

They seriously know how to shake it. 

Goodness she's lovely.

So handsome. Even with hat hair. He looks like his Daddy.

Oops. Looks like the bow tie is falling down. Did I mention we were rushed?

And did I mention this was during Collin's nap time?

Had enough.

"Don't worry mommy. I'll stay in the photo."

Ahhh, there we go. 

Hoping the message of Easter brightens your home and heart.

Have an extra three minutes? 
Click here to see a beautiful Easter message you can share with your entire family.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Countdown and Winners

Finally got some Easter decor up. Isn't my new little flower adorable? I got it in my handmade swap. You can get one too at Wood n' Stitches.

Shane really likes a baked ham for Easter so I will oblige. However, I personally would rather copy this entire meal from Eat Drink Pretty. (One of my very favorite blogs.)

Since Shane is choosing dinner, I will pick dessert. Making this Sour Cream - Lemon pound cake. Planning on serving it with vanilla whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Haven't been indulging in dessert lately (dark chocolate doesn't count) but I found this recipe via Cooking Light, so I guess it's okay. It looks scrumptious. 

Almost ready for Easter. Now if Mother Nature would just help us out. We went to the park yesterday in winter coats, hats and boots. LONGEST WINTER EVER! Shut up Kristi, I know Tennessee has been in the 80's. Give me a call in August when you can't leave the house. :)

Mother's Day Giveaway Week Winners!!!

Winner of the Magpie Lovely giveaway is Melcy.

Winner of the Truche giveaway is (lucky number #1!!) Lindsey

Winner of the Dali Decals giveaway is CW.

Winner of the Huggies Diaper Giveaway is Melanie


I never heard back from the winner of the Uppercase Living giveaway, so the new winner is Kara

Congrats to all the winners! Please comment here, then email me with in 72 hours so I can get you your prizes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What to do with leftover cake....Recycle! (It's Earth Day this week.)

I know there's probably a right way to do cake truffles. But here's how I do it. Take one half cake leftover from a 5 year old's birthday extravaganza. Throw it in the food processor and blend until it looks like pudding. Just toss the whole cake in, frosting and all. Spread out in a cake pan. Chill. Scoop out tablespoon balls and place on parchment paper. Coat with melted white chocolate. Then drizzle with semi-sweet chocolate. Store in freezer and take as treats to sweet new friends.

Other things I am loving right now:

Heel Tastic. Works miracles on cracked heals. I got it at Ross for about $6.

2010 Rexburg Baby names! Read to know what not to name the baby.

Vitatops. Saving me with all this Easter candy around!

My sweet kids. They love each other so much.

Luna Smores Bars. Always in my purse.

Kate Spades perfect Easter purse.

New Etsy shop Gloria Jane.



Don't forget to enter last weeks giveaways! All 5 are listed on my right sidebar. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

One week until Easter

I wish I could say that the reason I have the Easter baskets done is because I am a super overachiever. Sadly, it's indication of the opposite. Last week I set aside an evening to get things done on my to-do list. I started with the most pressing: clean the humidifiers. Ick. Once that was done, I scanned through the rest of the list. Organize the pantry? Better to do that after I shop. Sweep the worms off the patio? Too cold. Scrub the kitchen floor? Too exhausting. That went on until I came to...put together Easter baskets. Yay! Totally not pressing in the least, but fun! Anyway, they turned out kind of cute. I'm still working on Shane's.

I'm starting a thing where there is one wrapped gift outside of the basket. That will be the Edward doll. Lydia has no idea who he is, but when I found it on clearance, I knew it must be ours. 
I think it will add a new element to Barbie play. 
I can't wait to bust out "Tangled". That movie was so good. I think we will be spending Easter evening watching it as a family with a dinner of jellybeans, chocolate bunny and popcorn. I may throw a ham in there somewhere. 

Collin has a slight obsession with the Llama Llama books so I was thrilled to find one we don't have. He also is fully obsessed with Elmo. Tucked into that basket are two dairy free chocolate bars, bubbles (like Lydia's), a party blowout, funny mustache glasses, toy bunny that does flips, peeps, TONS of jellybeans and gummies. I think he will be a very happy boy.

As for me, I always get myself something new for Easter, but this year I'm recycling. That's the beauty of moving. No one has seen your wardrobe. However, Lydia and I will both be wearing these incredible bracelets sent during my handmade swap. Thank you so much Rachel! They are stunning.

I am kind of freaking out right now because I had a file full of photos from the packages I received during the swap, but I cannot find it! Argh. Please please tell me I didn't accidently delete it.

Okay. Tonight I am really going to take care of that to do list. Well, at least the line that says "Wrap gifts for baby shower."

Monday, April 11, 2011

truche giveaway

Sorry! This giveaway week was supposed to start yesterday, but I am running a little behind. I'm on top of it now. :)


A couple months ago I was homesick, missing Tennessee. (Still missing it. It's a continual winter in Boise and Chattanooga has been in the 80s!)  I thought it might be nice to add a little Tennessee charm to my charm bracelet as a little pick me up. In my searching, I came across the Etsy shop truche. Oh my. The cutest cutest theme shop ever. 

Truche sells pendants in the shape of US states with a tiny punched heart over the city of your choosing. The pendants are made from PMC (Precious Metal Clay) and are .999 silver. They are darling!

As soon as I saw them, I knew I had to have a Tennessee pendant. Something lovely to show love for my Southern home. These would also be wonderful Mother's Day gifts. Maybe you and your kids live in Texas, but your mom lives on the other side of the country. Send her a Texas pendant to remind her "where her heart lives". Every State is available. 

Don't I look so not homesick with my Tennessee necklace? (Speaking of mothers, mine is going to look at this photo and tell me I need to wear lipstick.)

Mom from Massachusetts? Send her something to show her pride. Maybe your family took a vacation to France one summer. Send mom a France pendant as reminder of sweet memories. Each pendant comes with a 16 inch sterling silver chain. 

Truche also has adorable stud earrings that would be great gifts for everyday wear. The tiny love studs are so dainty and classic, what mom (or friend) wouldn't love them? 

Have a mom with understated style? I recommend the Leaves necklace
Or perhaps the Maple necklace. So pretty.

One lucky reader will receive a $25 gift certificate to Truce!

To enter:
Head over to Truche and let me know what you would get with your gift certificate.  

For additional entries, let me know in a separate comment if:
  • Are a public follower 
  • Like natalie's sentiments on Facebook.
  • You have my button on your blog 
  • Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway.
  • Blog about my Mother's Day Giveaway Week. You only need to blog about it once to receive an extra entry on all giveaways this week!
I'll announce the winner on April 22nd. Good luck!
US and Canada Addresses only.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

72 Hour Pack Deal Alert!

Ever since the tragedy in Japan, I have been really stressing about getting my 72 hour kit ready to go. My food storage is good, but I keep thinking about having to leave the house with whatever I can carry. I've lost sleep over it lately. I have the food part done and I have been planning on working on the emergency gear. Luckily I was made aware of a fantastic deal from Shelf Reliance going on right now. The two person survival kit that is normally priced at $160, can be purchased right now for over 50% off! I'm not sure how long this deal is going to last, so I would hop on it. Email Valarie Seamen with any questions or to place your order.

You can also call Valarie at 208-890-9570. She's super helpful. When I called her to place my order she told me about another deal going until April 17th called the Food and Water Storage package. It's like $1500 worth of thrive food, water treatment supplies and a wheat grinder on sale for $973 with $15 shipping. It can't be purchased online. So if you are interested in knowing more about it, make sure to ask her. If you ever just wanted to get your food storage taken care of in one order, this seems to be the deal.

Enjoy the weekend! I spent last night catching up with an old roommate I hadn't seen in 13 years. My side hurts from laughing. It is amazing how many details you can remember after so long. Man. Things have changed since I was a freshman in college. I'm blogging about food storage for heavens sake! Glad I didn't have any emergencies then. All I would have had ready was a tooth brush and some cocoa puffs.

Do you have your 72 hour kits done? Anyone ever had to use theirs? 


Friday, April 8, 2011

Some Yellow Decor Ideas

I am designing a yellow guest room, so I have been on the look out for ideas. (My obsession with yellow seems to be growing.) Some that I have filed away for future reference. 


Welcome Spring. I would like to believe you were really here, except it started to snow yesterday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The worst part of my day

I hate 4pm. It is the worst. By that time I have just about had it, but bedtime is still so far away. Collin has a melt down the moment I step into the kitchen. He wants to eat NOW (even if he gets a big snack at 3:30). He wants me to hold him, play with him, anything but make dinner. Eat or play. There is no other acceptable option. I cruse his milk allergy for keeping me from pizza delivery.

Lydia is at that terrible stage when she still kind of needs a nap, but if she takes one she is up all night. At four o'clock on the dot, she have a break down in total exhaustion. It's usually sparked by Collin's crying. Almost every night I make dinner with crying, wailing children. Even if I save their TV time for 4pm, it just adds to the noise. I curse Lydia's peanut allergy from keeping me from Chinese delivery.

I then get a little angry at Shane, knowing he will walk through the door at 6 when they are happy and feed. He will be dressed in his pressed shirt and slacks. I will be covered in a myriad of grossness. They run into his arms yelling "DADDY!!" with utter jubilation. Haggard mommy is instantly the enemy. Daddy is home to save them from time outs and vegetables. (I then feel really awful about myself. I'm angry at my amazing husband for the long hours he works to support our family? For being a good dresser? For being a wonderful father??? Yeah. I'm a terrible person.)

Last week I was making dinner, crying children at my feet, and I felt that vein on my neck start to stand out as I lost my cool. I quickly though of my year's goal. Find Poetry in the Prosaic. I looked down and saw the most beautiful designs in the red cabbage I was cutting. It was amazing. The modern lines and curves. The bright jewel tone of the purple. Just for a moment I was able to tune out the little crazies and enjoy what I was doing. I thought of the healthy meal I was preparing. Of the fresh organic produce I was going to feed my family. It gave me just enough of a respite to regroup and continue on.

Shane surprised us by getting home by dinner and we sat together as a family. With help, Collin said the prayer. Neither kid ate any of the cabbage. (Well, Lydia sobbed through her one required bite. Collin tasted his, and spit it right out.) I thought it tasted great.

 7:45 pm is my favorite part of the day. Children warm from the bath with fresh jammies. Excited to cuddle and read stories. Then 8pm. Blissful quiet.

What's the worst part of your day?

Monday, April 4, 2011

A little something for the moms

Can't let a Mother's Day go by without some giveaways. That's just not how we do things on this blog. I've arranged for some fantastic giveaways the second week of April. I've been keeping my eye out for things I think every mom would love, so make sure to come back for some great gift ideas and to enter to win. I'm still looking for at least one great Father's Day gift idea. Why is shopping for Dads/husbands so hard? Any ideas?

By the way, thanks to everyone who commented with book ideas last week. I have a nice long list now. I read Room last week and it was incredible. Wow. Wow wow wow. One of the best books I've read in a long time. Though I don't recommend it as a Mother's Day gift. :) I've added a widget to my sidebar that connects to my Goodreads account. I'm a huge fan. A site about connecting through books? Awesome.

The winner of the homemade earrings is Heather. Congrats! Email me and I will get you your prize.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Snapshot Saturday

Two posts in one day! And on a Saturday to boot. But I just wanted to add a little snapshot of my sweet boys from last week before church. Awe. So handsome. 

I'm linking up with Yellow Songbirds Saturday Snapshot link up party. Mainly because it has yellow in the title and most everything yellow is cool. Head over to take part in the fun.

Make sure to come back on Monday....I have some details on my giveaways this month.

Tee Hee. Mormon Women are awesome.

Note. If you're not Mormon, this post won't make any sense to you. :) 

My mom helped put together a video sketch for their ward's Relief Society Birthday dinner. A little tribute to the service we women provide, along with some great stereotypes we see in our culture. It's hilarious! She is the "southern" brunette Sadie in the black and white. (She picked up that accent on her visits to Tennessee.) Check it out this weekend. Maybe in between General Conference.

A few thoughts for after you've watched it.

1. Lasagna - After I my last baby I received 6 meals from the women in my ward. 3 were lasagnas. 1 was a baked spaghetti.
2. I always thought the green jello joke was something from back in the 50's or something. But since I've been in Boise, jello as a refreshment has been brought up in three separate Relief Society planning meetings I've attended. Once as a side dish to lasagna.
3. Not all Mormons knit. Or crochet. Or whatever you do when you make an afghan.
4. My mom is awesome. (Yes, it was fun having her as a mother. And no. Her hair is not normally that big.)

Have a great weekend! I'm off to make some Funeral Potatoes. 
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