Crafting it Forward

26 01 2010

[Resurfacing this post from last year, with a few slight changes, since it got buried before anyone signed up. Thanks!]

While blog surfing, I’ve found a great idea at the Polka Dot Daisy and Creations by Lanie: “pay it forward.” This is not just your typical raok or putting on a happy face, but paying it forward with something handmade. And I love to make things! Yipee!

Here we go…

Making handcrafted items is a dying art, but they are so fun to make and get! So, here’s a little game to encourage handcrafting to live and thrive. The first 5 people to leave a comment on this post, will receive, at some point during the year, a super-duper handmade gift from me! What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise. The catch is that you must participate as well 🙂 So before you leave your comment here, write up (or copy and paste) a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going. Then, come back, let me know you are going to play, and anticipate the arrival of your super-duper handmade gift!

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

  1. I make no guarantee that you will like what I make. But, I will try my best to make sure that you do 🙂
  2. It will be done this year (probably sooner rather than later)
  3. You will have no clue what or when it will be. Please make sure to leave some way that I can get a hold of you.

Have fun!

Intelligent video conversations at Say It Face To Face

26 01 2010

Janet and Susan at 5 Minutes for Mom posted an invitation on their blog to “Vlog and connect with us at Say It Face To Face” The concept sayitfacetoface.combehind Say It is great, because you really do connect better with people when you can see them face-t0-face and have “intelligent conversations.” But, I’m finding the amount of time it takes to upload to youtube frustrating and I can’t get the direct record to work. And the lighting in my little computer space is terrible. And the audio never seems to match my moving lips. Alright, enough excuses; I’ll try to experiment and make the most of this fascinating resource.

I’d be thrilled if you answer my first vlog question about the condiments lurking in your fridge here.

Bean’s Beauty Shop

22 01 2010

This is a great week for makeovers. First, I discovered Bean decorating her hair in the mirror. Reminds me of the Ruby’s Beauty Shop episode on her Max & Ruby dvd. Then, Mighty Man got his first real haircut which he wasn’t too thrilled about. (Thanks, Daddy!) And if I can get myself motivated, I need a haircut badly. Not a bad haircut, though!

JustJen Custom Shirts

21 01 2010

When I saw a Blog of Goodies challenging bloggers to design a shirt from it reminded me of my sister, Jen. (Apologies to my other sister, but I do think of you every time I pass a Claire’s accessories store and I’ll design a shirt for you next time.) makes custom rhinestone t-shirts and clothing. So I put together this idea I have if I made her a customized t-shirt:

Ok, picture a cute little black polo shirt. There’s 10 other shirt styles to choose from, but I’m partial to the polo and I think Jen would be too. On the front, Genuine Swarovski Crystal rhinestones in a “volcano” purple-y color in cursive writing declare Jen to be “Most Fabulous Mom,” for, indeed she is! And if the text fails to express the message, a little crystal star in a Tanzanite light purple won’t be easy to miss. My first choice was to put a martini glass image rather than the star, but that might send the wrong message. I’m also not sure about wearing “surround sound” rhinestone, but I thought it would be fun to add “Queen of everything” on the backside. Well, why not: a girl can never have enough bling!

Or maybe we can both get coordinated shirts like these, but I don’t understand; why doesn’t the middle sister get extra sparkles too?

Please note: Images are courtesy of I have written this post as an entry into the Just Jen $100 GC Blogging Contest hosted on All opinions are my own and no compensation was received.  Thanks!

Pumpkin Bread

21 01 2010

I’ve been thinking about making some pumpkin bread, but can’t find my regular recipe. In trying to

find a new one, I discovered this one on allrecipes for Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread.

Not sure what make Maine pumpkin bread better than other versions, but 3,375 people have reviewed the recipe and it still stands strong at 5 stars. I’m almost afraid to try it. I would be crushed if I had to disagree with so many people!

A Strong and Happy Gymnastic Bean

18 01 2010

Bean's drawing

I asked Bean what helps make her strong and happy, and she said going to her little gym. She drew a great picture of having fun at her gymnastics class. This idea was probably foremost in her mind because she’s been overly excited these past few days about practicing her skills for their “big show” in class next week. She loves to draw, but since she  just turned 4 years old, I had to ask her to explain some of her details. I love the little stick arms & legs and how she drew the faces with big open smiles. Her story is below in blue and I’ve translated a little after to make it easier to follow.

“One, two, three, four people. Four. This is me. This is me. This is me. This is me. [She drew herself 4 times, in 4 different outfits and hairstyles, of course!]
They follow all the dots to a beam…This dot to this dot to this dot.
[Her gym has dots on the floor to make a path; she followed the path in green marker on the lower left hand side]
…and jump over here…and walk over here all the way to a beam.
[She has a balance beam (line) and vault in purple in the lower right hand corner]
Right here they are jumping on here and then they are keeping their feet together and they are jumping.
[The girl with a red head, a red-orange leotard and green hair is jumping on the yellow & pink donut mat]
And right here they are tumbling.
[The girl with red hair in the lower left hand corner who appears to be wearing an orange toga with blue and green dots.]
And this one is laying here because there’s a puppet.
[The girl with huge hair and a red-striped leotard. Bean gave her a black dotted ball too. A puppet??]
And this one, she’s walking on the ball and then she’s jumping here and then she’s jumping on the ball.”
[The girl in purple is jumping on the two orange mats and the red ball.]

Two other things that Bean wanted to make sure I knew about are the “jumpy snake” [the light blue shape near the yellow mat] and the “swimsuit leotard” [the polka-dotted shape near the purple girl and red ball]. I’m not quite sure what either of those are about. Any ideas? The other details are different mats and gym equipment and some of her words. [the zig-zags in the middle of the page]

Bean coloring

Do two markers color twice as fast or make it twice as orange?

I’m entering Bean’s picture in the “Strong and Happy” Drawing Contest sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom along with Yoplait Kids. Thank you Yoplait! (Bean enjoys Yoplait Kids yogurt cups and Go-Gurt.) Visit the contest here to see all the other cute entries and enter your kids’ drawings for a chance to win a generous prize to use towards classes (including sports) and/or education materials for them.

PS-Couldn’t resist adding these two flashback links:

Bean likes to exercise

Bouncy Bean (aka “Thank you, Grandma, for sending me a leotard!)

Coffee Cookery and The Coffee Shop

14 01 2010

Been thinking a lot about coffee today. My friend had given me “The Coffee Cookbook,” but I haven’t made any recipes from it yet. I was going to post the link to the book, but it doesn’t seem to be available online. If you’re curious, you could probably ask about it at a Dunn Bros. Coffee Shop or go to Coffee Kids: Grounds for Hope organization and find something else to get your coffee fix (the books’ proceeds support Coffee Kids). I want to try the chocolate lava muffins recipe very soon. Maybe for Valentine’s Day?

I also discovered a fun blog called The Coffee Shop. I’m looking forward to hearing about her coffee adventures. Her blog has a giveaway for a starbucks card through Saturday, so be sure to visit soon.

Wordless Wednesday in MA

13 01 2010

The Wordless Wednesday MckLinky at 5 minutes for Mom is here.

Meal Plan Monday in MA

8 01 2010

I’m beginning to think that I should switch to Meal Plan Fridays since I’m not great at planning dinners first thing on Mondays. So this is either really late for this week or a bit early for next, but here goes:

Friday: Baked fish and vegetable soup.

Saturday: Pizza and Salad

Sunday: Hot dogs and pink potato salad, Soup

Monday: Teryiaki Chicken with fried rice (onions, peas & carrots)–recipe from Dream Dinners cookbook

Tuesday: Baked Pork Chops with mashed potatoes and a sauce made from evaporated milk

Wednesday: Pork and Pink Bean Sautee–Leftover pork cut into pieces and mixed with beans and spinach

Thursday: Pasta & Sauce, or leftovers

Friday: Baked Tilapia with cracker crumbs

Saturday: Leftovers, or Pasta & Sauce (whatever doesn’t happen on Thursday!)

Sunday: Frozen Lasagna (recipe from Best Make Ahead Recipes)

Happy eating! Check out I’m an Organizing Junkie for more ideas. To find this week’s MPM, click here.

She’s also got a list of links for freezer recipes here.

BJ’s GC giveaway

7 01 2010

One way our family saves money is by shopping at BJ’s wholesale club. We’re a smaller-sized family, but there are plenty of things that we go through regularly that we can stock up on in bulk. Some people do really well playing the drugstore games and getting things like razor blades and toilet paper for dirt cheap or free, but I appreciate not having to worry about following weekly sales on these kinds of things. BJ’s is one of the few wholesale clubs that does accept coupons too!

Right now, Coo Coo 4 Coupons is hosting a giveaway and you could win one of two $25 gift cards to BJ’s HERE. (ends 1/8) Good luck!