I Love My Button!

Button Button…who’s got the button?

I DO!

If you haven’t noticed it yet, I now have a blog button on the right sidebar. Please feel free to grab the code and add my button to your site! (If you do add it, please leave your link in the comments below. I’d love to return the favor!)

I know many of you big time bloggers don’t understand my excitement, but something about having a blog button makes me feel like a “real blogger”.

I am very new at this blogging thing and I am just loving it. I have always loved writing down my thoughts and I have always loved projects so it is just the perfect place for it to all come together.

Now I need to figure out the age old questions…

How do I get other people to care about what I am writing?

How do I get other people to even know that I am out here?

And most important…how do I get over my addiction to the site stats?

If you have any suggestions I would love to hear from you…be kind though…I am fragile…

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Making a List and Checking It Twice…

My father was a hard worker…but he was not a project person. If a room was blue and it didn’t need painting, why would you ever even consider painting it yellow????

Me and my Dad, circa 1963?

For the most part my dear mother was okay with this. She just learned for the most part to do things herself but every once in a while I would hear her ask my father to do something on which he would always respond, “Put it on the list.”

It wasn’t until I was a teen that I wondered just where the list was. Of course there wasn’t one…it was my dad’s way of saying…I’ll get to it when I get to it.

I did not marry my father…my husband is always looking for something to do and it didn’t take long for us to realize that to keep peace in the family there needed to be a real life list.

Many times before the creation of the list, I would find him working on something like polishing the car when I was hoping to have the bathroom painted before my dinner party next week. He was working hard…on something that needed done but just not done right now. Soon tempers would flare…

Now we have a list…if something is really important and needs to be done right away for some reason then I put a star beside it.

My husband now finds great satisfaction when he can cross something off the list knowing he made his wife a happy camper…

Are you a list person? Is your spouse?

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Cupcakes With a Lot of Heart

When I saw these cupcakes featured on Alison’s Wonder Scraporium I got so excited. After being a “Room Mom” for almost 25 years now, it takes a lot to excite me…but I really wanted to make these for my daughter’s school Valentine’s Day party. Aren’t they cute?

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But of course I never want to do things the way I am told…that is when my troubles began.

The directions clearly gave a cake recipe to make but I said…why? I have a cake mix…

I mixed up the cake mix. I tried to guess on how much I was suppose to set aside…I under estemated this…and added some red food dye…a little more than I meant to but that was okay…to the rest of it.

I baked the red mix…let it cool and then proceeded to use my cookie cutter to make the hearts..

Oops…the cutter was too big…hmmm…time to punt…I would have to cut small hearts out by hand.

This worked well…except remember all that cake mix that I made red because I thought I was going to be making large hearts? Hmmm…

I took the little bit of cake mix that wasn’t made red and put it in the cupcake papers. I put the heart down into the mix. I then was supposed to have enough to add just a bit to cover the top of the hearts…

Hmmm. Problem…I was out of mix…

No problem. I sent Mr. Amazing to the store to buy more…more Vanilla mix…

You guessed it…he bought “white” cake mix. He thought Vanilla was white..

Oh well. At this point it was just going to have to work…

One important thing that was mentioned in the directions was to keep track of the orientation of the heart…it is important so my daughter and I closly kept track as we set each one to cool…

Problem…Mr. Amazing didn’t know this important tip. When he went into the kitchen while they were cooling,  he moved them…oops.

With all of that they turned out pretty well. By the way, it is important to put conversation hearts on top..this encourages people to turn the cupcake the right direction so when they take a bite they can see the heart…

Pretty cool, huh? I was thinking that these could be done any time of year with a blue or pink heart inside to anounce if you are expecting a boy or girl…

Have you ever tried to make cupcakes like these? How did they turn out?

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Ooops…..

Funny how no matter how old you get or how many times you do something you can still have one of those “duhhhhh” moments.

The other day it was cold at our house….well, we live in Florida so that is a relative statement….but it was cold for us. Mr. Amazing had a lot of things on his project list to do but it was a bit cold to pressure clean the driveway and everyone knows you can’t paint outside when it is cold so he decided to move to some inside projects.

Why not paint inside????

So he got his paint from the garage….the cold garage…I might add and started painting…

As it turns out cold paint doesn’t cover very well….

You can’t tell very well in this picture but the paint job came out very blotchy…what should have covered easy with one coast of paint required two.

No real damage was done and another lesson learned…when the weatherman says it is going to be cold tomorrow…bring your paint in the house to warm up over night before you paint.

What is your latest home improvement “oops”?

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Reaching Out on Valentine’s Day

This is a picture of my mom and I on a plane flying off to visit my daughter at college.

What a great time we had…how oblivious we were to the pain and hardships that were about to come. Since that day…Dad has died of Alzheimer’s and Mom has gotten it too.

I wouldn’t have been able to do what I do these past few years if weren’t for the dear people who help take care of Mom, so….

On this Valentine’s Day, I wanted to make sure they knew just how much I appreciated them.

My youngest daughter spent the day baking cookies and then we bagged each one separately. I had started off with some cute little bags to use, but the cookies ended up to big for them…

Oh well…time to punt.

I had gotten large paper doilies and cut them in fourths adding one to each baggie…..

Can we say “Blahhhhh….?”

Mr Amazing then suggested we add a red napkin…

Better…then add the cookie…

Perfect!

I then piled them in a basket…wrote a note…

…and took it to the nursing home for all the workers to enjoy.

Remember on this Valentine’s Day….we all have someone we can show love to…

Who have you shown love to on this Valentine’s Day? How did you do it?

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My Valentine

This is Mr. Amazing as a little boy…

ISN’T HE ADORABLE!?!?!

And he is still just as adorable playing with his tools all these years later.

He is the love of my life.

Not just because he is “amazing”…which of course he is…hence the name…but because he makes me feel amazing.

Happy Valentine’s Day to each and everyone of you…

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Feel the Love

I went to my first wedding of the year the other day and I just had to tell you how much weddings make me smile. I love everything about them.

I even love wrapping the gift that I take. This is strange since I hate wrapping and where every year I think I am going to learn to love wrapping each and every gift I give …I don’t. More times than not I run at the last minute into my stash of used gift bags and stuff the gift inside….hoping they won’t notice I am using a Happy Birthday bag for housewarming gift.

But weddings are different…I’m not sure why but I want my gift to be beautiful both inside and out. I imagine the bride smiling as she sees it…once again helping her to feel special during this very special time.

How do I do it…it’s easy….use real ribbon. You know what I mean…the stuff your mom would use to tie in your hair. There is something about real ribbon that just makes it not only look special, but feel special.

I also like to add a fresh flower to the top of the gift. I usally just go around the neighborhood and see what I can find to clip. Once again…so much better than a smashed bow that has been used over and over…hmmm guess you can use a new bow but that never seems like an option at my house.

The other thing that I always try to do when it comes to wedding gifts…..put the card inside the gift. Gifts can often be moved around a lot at a wedding but many different people….your bride and groom will love you for your thoughtfulness of making their lives easier.

What are your gift wrapping tips?

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Moms Need to Be Creative

I was rummaging through the attic the other day and I came across this very old memory.

This is a guitar made by my third daughter. The two older girls made ones also…each one as unique as them.

When you are project people like us, you always have extra boards hanging around, so one summer we let each girl design and make themselves a guiter. Hours were spent not only planning the shape and style (daddy cut), but also sanding and painting.

Rubber bands were strung between some very small nails. And of course a strap…which was just staple gunned on.

This was long before Guitar Hero or any of those games, but I would venture to say they had just as much fun.

So if any of you are running out of ideas for what to do with your snowed in children, let me give a few more suggestions…

Get ping pong paddles and play ping pong on the floor…who needs a table?

Learn how to fold napkins and have a tea party.

Grab a bottle and a clothes pin and play drop the clothes pin in the bottle…I know right now a whole lot of you are wondering just what a clothes pin is… ok…just use a ink pen..it will work too.

Decorate the house for a snow party…make snow flakes out of paper..you remember how to do this…just fold the paper and cut.

I hope some of these things helped stir your creative juices. Hang in there moms…trust me…someday you will look back on these days and smile…just as I am doing now.

Do you have any “snow day” activity ideas to share?

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Painting All the Molding

When you love molding as much as I do, someone in the house ends up getting very good at painting it. That would be Mr. Amazing in our home. Over the years he has learned a few things that I thought I would share with you.

1. Pay extra and get the more expensive brush. After years of pulling brush bristles out of his paint job he finally bought a good brush a few years ago and would never go back.

2. Use cloth drop clothes instead of those blue tarps. Drops of paint dry faster on the drop clothes and you are less likely to step in wet paint and track it through your house.

3. Always paint in good light. Since Mr.  Amazing has a day job, much of his painting gets done at night. You can see a picture of the light he uses in this post.

4. Use semi gloss on trim. Gloss is just too shiny and you won’t be happy when you are done…learned this the hard way.

5. Oil base paint is more forgiving on covering up brush strokes and is more durable longer term. If you decide to go this route, please ventilate the room well.

6. If you are not the trim painter in the family make sure you “ooooh” and “aaaah” a lot…it will help you get more molding in the future.

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Table for 16?

I was reading Young House Love the other day…as I do on most days. John and Sherry were trying to figure out how to get a table that would allow them to sit all of their guests. One of the things I love the most about this blog is that it reminds me of so many great times that Mr. Amazing and I have shared through the years.

Our home has always tended to be the house where everyone would come together for all of  the large family gatherings, and it has often taken a lot of creativity to work the seating out.

Here we are many years ago in our very small 1,000 square foot house. We had 20 people coming for Thanksgiving…what did we do? We borrowed tables and chairs from the church and set them up on the back porch and prayed for good weather. What you can’t tell from this picture is that the high chair is balanced on the edge of the in-ground jacuzzi!

A few years ago, I decided that if I just had a large enough round  table, I just might be able to sit everyone together in our dining room.  The problem was, I didn’t have a large round table. We had an oval table that sat eight.

Mr. Amazing went out and bought two 4×8 pieces of 1/2″ plywood with a sanded finish and cut them each into a half circle. We then just laid them on top of our table pads on our table.

Guess what…we now have a large table that will sit 16..and when we are done, the boards store easily against the wall in the garage.

It seemed as if all my troubles were over but do you have any idea how hard it is to find a tablecloth this big? I found that a king size sheet works well.

I hope  this helps any of you like Young House Love and myself who wants to be able to seat a ton of people in their home, but also would like to leave some money for the food!

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