Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's All About Christmas

I had the plan to finish out my "month of Martha" in the kitchen. I'd find some awesome recipes and then bring them to life by strapping on my apron! I will say that my menu sounded delicious and the pictures on the recipes looked spectacular, but something went wrong in the execution process. It wasn't a complete disaster because everything we made was devoured, but if Martha had been invited to Christmas dinner at the Wilt's house I would have called her and told her that everyone had come down with typhoid.

The planned menu; my pinterest pins.

                                                                       Source: thehungrymouse.com via Linsey on Pinterest

                                                                              Source: weheartit.com via Linsey on Pinterest

                                                                              Source: foodgawker.com via Linsey on Pinterest

     Source: bakingbites.com via Linsey on Pinterest

We overcooked the prime rib, but it was still delicious; we just drenched it in au jus!

The strawberries didn't turn out at all, they looked nothing like the picture. Mine looked more like I tried making them blindfolded, but they are in the freezer and I will continue to give them to the kids for snacks!

The potatoes ended up becoming chips because we tried frying them instead of baking them like the recipe called for. The cooking process wasn't long enough to completely cook the potato, but the chips were great!

The lemon bars didn't cook long enough so they were too soft and were a bit too tart, but the platter was empty and the last one was fought over. 

Matty's cookies for Santa were a hit, but then again they did come from a tube!!

A few Christmas highlights!

"What About Bob" on Christmas Eve. Um, it's funny, isn't that the only reason you need for the qualifications of a good Christmas Eve movie?

What I love most about Christmas is spending the entire day doing nothing but hanging out with those we love most; nothing else on the agenda but to eat, play, veg and love! 

Toys, what toys? Boxes are way more fun!

The night ended with the girls quietly playing Monopoly,

the boys beating the snot out of each other,

and Luke the guard dog making sure everyone was accounted for!

I think I'm retiring, being Martha is flipping exhausting. I am sure she will surface from time-to-time, but keeping it up consistently is just not my cup of tea! 

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Martha Learns About Aperture

I took a personality test online this week. It's so interesting to understand the "why" behind how you function as a person. It can help in all areas of life to understand why we do the things we do and how it meshes with those around us. After I took the test I clicked on the description for my results. There at the top was a list of celebrities that also have the same personality type, guess who was listed? Martha Stewart...I just knew we had something in common!

I wonder if Martha has any photography skills? Well if she doesn't, I bet you anything, she would be one of those that picks up a camera and immediately starts shooting in manual. She would tell you exactly where to stand to illuminate your facial features perfectly and she would have an instant knowledge of Photoshop. 

But, if for some reason she doesn't have any photography skills, I would love to give her a lesson! We could trade services. She could teach me how to properly use a glue gun without burning the flesh off of my fingertips and I could teach her all about aperture and shutter speed...all while we sip on freshly brewed sun tea garnished with raspberries and mint! After swapping skill sets we would take a stroll in the garden and eventually find ourselves swinging on a hammock together in the sunshine. There would be a light breeze swaying the trees and we would chat the afternoon away uncovering all the things we have in common! 

Hmmm, I wouldn't be surprised if this leads to some weird dreams tonight.

Every year we do family pics...it's tradition...it's just what we do. It's pure torture. Erik put it perfectly, "it's the most stressful thing and yet we have to act like we are having the time of our lives!" 

My pin from pinterest and my inspiration for our family shoot!

                                                        Source: infinitebeginningx.tumblr.com via Linsey on Pinterest

I will just say this, it is really hard to accomplish an imperfect perfect picture! Two "photoshoots in the freezing cold later" and this is what we got. I'm happy! Remind me next year to do our family pictures while it's still warm out! 

Our card for 2011
Merry Christmas!

A few outtakes!

Waiting for mom to set up the shot, everyone was just about over it!

Trying to lighten up the mood with some dancing after some crankiness started to surface.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Martha Month: Five Finger Snowman and My New Man Mac Jr.

My post is very late this week because my computer finally gave up it's last breath after two years of diligent service. I don't blame the old man, his work conditions were less than civilized; loads of overtime, loud work environment that probably made him go deaf far before his time and the disorganized chaos that surrounded him is enough to make anyone loose their mind.  It was time to let the old guy retire. At first I was angry at him, but now Mac's little bro is gracing my presence and oh man, he's hot!  I can definitely say this transition hasn't been the least bit difficult. No hard feelings, rest in peace old man Mac...don't worry about me, Mac Jr. is doin a fine job! 

I have to give a big shout out to my friend Chris who gave new life to my computer! I am so thankful for your awesome geekiness, without it I would still be cursing and crying my way through the work day! Seriously, thank you!

Week two of my "Month of Martha" takes us to these adorable ornaments. Every year we buy the kids an ornament to add to our collection. It was the perfect opportunity to get my crafty pants on and find an ornament we could make and save some money doing it. Though cute, Hallmark ornaments for four kids can break the bank! 

My find and pin from pinterest

                                                                             Source: littlebitfunky.com via Linsey on Pinterest

What you will need:

- glass ornaments (I found these on 1/2 off day at the thrift store. I paid $3.00 for 16 ornaments, score!)
- white craft paint (I already had this, but it's .99 at the craft store)
- paint brush
- sharpie markers 
- egg carton for drying
- ribbon 

Paint the hands.

Place the ornament in the palm of their hand and have them wrap their fingers around it, keeping them spread apart. I helped a little by pressing some fingers. 

Let them dry.

Add all the snowman details, so fun watching them come to life!

Add names and the year.

What I love about this craft is they look cute no matter how perfect or imperfect the 
handprints are. 

I thought I would really get my "Martha" on and take it to the next level with a bow! Oh yeah, in the voice of Gay Focker, "watcha think a that!"

So easy, cheap and adorable! I am going to use the rest of the left over ornaments for Abby's birthday party! I'm really excited about finally being "that" mom that does something cool that makes all the other moms go, "oooo, ahhhh", and it becomes the hot conversation topic at next weeks play date!" 

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Month of Martha: Ruffle Goodness

I'm no Martha Stewart, but it's fun to pretend sometimes. The sense of accomplishment that you get after creating something is so rewarding. You come up with reasons that allow you to walk by your creation just so you can take another look at what you've done. "I made that? Wow, I did a great job! Oh my goodness I love it!" You're trip from one end of the house to the other takes you longer than normal, just so you can smile as you walk by the cuteness.

We all know everyone's recent addiction to Pinterest; I am no exception. I get on there and I am exploding with creativity...while I'm sitting on my butt starring at the screen for hours on end. It's like a really good book, one where you become the main character of the story.

I sit down, flip open the thriller and instantly get sucked in. I can't put it down, it's just too good. In this story I become Martha Stewart. The possibilities become endless and I become the mastermind behind it all. The problem with that is the minute you close the book, you are back to reality. When will I have time to create that? That would just cost to much money? There just aren't enough hours in the day. All those wonderful projects that had me bursting with ideas now get put on the back burner...forever. I walk away from the computer and I am no longer Martha, she only resides in my fantasies. Oops, strike that, that came out wrong. She only resides in my dreams? No. She only resides in my story? Whatever...you get the point.

I have decided to make December a "Month of Martha." A cheaper, less-meticulous, less-complicated, more of a copy-cat style of Martha...Martha, on a shoe-string budget. 

First up:

A gorgeous ruffled tree skirt!!

I love ruffles...always have!

Ruffled shirt and ruffled bangs, wowzers!

Ruffles weren't really in style after the sixth grade, so I had to layoff of them for awhile. I am so glad they're back!

My pin from Pinterest

Here is what I did
Items I used:
- painters canvas drop cloth, the one closest in size to 4 1/2 by 4 1/2 (purchased at Home Depot 7.99)

- 4 yards of fabric ... to save some money I used a cotton fabric. Actually a king size flat sheet from the thrift store (1.00)

- I also used a shiny curtain panel (i know there is probably a correct term to describe this type of fabric, anyone?) to add some bling between the layers of cotton, again, from the thrift store (.50)

- hot glue gun and glue sticks (about 5.00 worth of glue)

- fabric scissors

I also purchased some ribbon to tie the slit together with some cute bows. But, it's not necessary. I like the way it looks all gathered up under the tree and found I didn't really need to tie it off, but of course you could. I was picturing three bows down the length of the slit. Does sound cute doesn't it? Okay, maybe I will add the bows when all said and done!

Total cost so far: $14.49

I'm going to say that the final cost will be about $18.00, I still want to purchase some more sheer fabric to finish between the layers, I ran out.

First thing you need to do is make your drop cloth a 4 1/2' square.

Fold it over two times making a smaller square,

then into a triangle.

Cut off the bottom and top,

making a big donut.

Make a slit.

Then when you realize you've cut the center hole way to big, you will need to do a little damage control,

by glueing back on some of the canvas. It will all be covered by gorgeous ruffles, so no worries!

Take your fabric and cut 2'' strips. I started off by being meticulous with this, but then just started eyeballing it. This type of project is very forgiving!

Then just start creating ruffles by laying down a stip of hot clue and pinching the fabric into it. You will start to get a rhythm.

This is the curtain panel that I used. I just cut out the shiny strips and put them between the cotton layers.

I really love what this does for the skirt, gives it a more chic look! It's also off-white in color so it balances out all the white.

Even though it's not finished yet, you get the idea. Just picture the bottom portion all the way up!

Isn't she gorgeous, I love her! I'm hoping to make a trip to the fabric store this weekend so I can get this lady finished!

I'd love to hear about any projects you've accomplished lately? 

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