Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is not a Christmas Post...

...not a craft, recipe, or DIY project.  I have been nowhere near as productive as I'd like to be.  Sometimes I can finish a million things at once, and sometimes I'm stuck on the mom treadmill just keeping up with my family.  I came across this Youtube video of Anita Renfroe singing "The Mom Song" to the tune of the William Tell Overture, and thought I would share it with all of you who may feel like all you do is bark at your kids all day.

And the lyrics for anyone who can't watch videos at work with the music on.

"The Mom Song"

Get up now
Get up now
Get up out of bed
Wash your face
Brush your teeth
Comb your sleepyhead
Here's your clothes and your shoes
Hear the words I said
Get up now! Get up and make your bed
Are you hot? Are you cold?
Are you wearing that?
Where's your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and gloves and your scarf and hat
Don't forget! You gotta feed the cat
Eat your breakfast, the experts tell us it's the most important meal of all
Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall
Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at 3 today
Don't forget your piano lesson is this afternoon so you must play
Don't shovel
Chew slowly
But hurry
The bus is here
Be careful
Come back here
Did you wash behind your ears?
Play outside, don't play rough, will you just play fair?
Be polite, make a friend, don't forget to share
Work it out, wait your turn, never take a dare
Get along! Don't make me come down there
Clean your room, fold your clothes, put your stuff away
Make your bed, do it now, do we have all day?
Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay?
Can you even hear a word I say?
Answer the phone! Get off the phone!
Don't sit so close, turn it down, no texting at the table
No more computer time tonight!
Your iPod's my iPod if you don't listen up
Where are you going and with whom and what time do you think you're coming home?
Saying thank you, please, excuse me makes you welcome everywhere you roam
You'll appreciate my wisdom someday when you're older and you're grown
Can't wait till you have a couple little children of your own
You'll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly
But right now I thank you not to roll your eyes at me
Close your mouth when you chew, would appreciate
Take a bite maybe two of the stuff you hate
Use your fork, do not burp or I'll set you straight
Eat the food I put upon your plate
Get an A, get the door, don't get smart with me
Get a grip, get in here, I'll count to three
Get a job, get a life, get a PHD
Get a dose of,
"I don't care who started it!
You're grounded until you're 36"
Get your story straight and tell the truth for once, for heaven's sake
And if all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump, too?
If I've said it once, I've said at least a thousand times before
That you're too old to act this way
It must be your father's DNA
Look at me when I am talking
Stand up straighter when you walk
A place for everything and everything must be in place
Stop crying or I'll give you something real to cry about
Brush your teeth, wash your face, put your PJs on
Get in bed, get a hug, say a prayer with mom
Don't forget, I love you
And tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom's work never ends
You don't need the reason why
Because, because, because, because
I said so, I said so, I said so, I said so
I'm the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom!!
Ta da!!!

Thanks for popping in and laughing with me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ready with an Open Door

I tend to have an open door policy all year long.  I love it when people stop by, and it's especially nice during the holiday season when I have all my Christmas decorations out and the house is all glittery and bright.

I like to have some simple things on hand for those unexpected guests to munch on.  A well stocked pantry will find really high quality olives, marinated mushrooms, and gherkins for a quick antipasto plate.  Refrigerator staples round out the plate.  I love fresh mozzarella and if you don't have any proscuitto in your frig, some lunch meat will round out the platter.

I bake ridiculously huge batches of cookies at Christmastime, and I usually have a variety of cookies on hand to serve with tea.  I love Harney and Sons' Holiday Spice tea and their Green Tea with Coconut and Ginger is one of my year round favorites.  Right now their tea tins are B1G1 at Barnes & Noble with the coupon pack they send members.

And for guests who show up after dinner, it's nice to throw together a quick dessert with what I consider frig & pantry staples.  I always have some of my GF Puff Pastry on hand in the freezer right next to another quick dessert essential - frozen berries.  I can sprinkle those berries with some turbinado sugar and a smidge of cornstarch.

Roll out the puff pastry and cut into circles for tarts,

and fill the tarts with a couple spoons of lemon curd(a frig staple, either homemade or jarred is fine, too,)

top with the berries, and after a quick 20 minutes in a 400 oven,

I have individual desserts that look like I put a lot of time into them.

Thanks for popping in and feeding a crowd with me.  These are my go to pantry and frig items for on the fly entertaining.  How do you stay ready for drop by guests?

Home Stories A2ZSomewhat Simplechristmas cheer

Friday, November 25, 2011

Glitter Bell Wreath

Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, bring on the glitter & presents & trees!  I'm doing a silver & gold theme throughout my main floor Christmas decor this year.  I knew I had to buy some glittered bells when I came across them in Target's dollar section.

This project was so easy.  I laid out 10 of the bells in a circle alternating gold & silver.  I placed them on top of a tart pan to lift the center so that the wreath wouldn't dip in in the middle.

A couple of minutes with my trusty hot glue gun,

and a length of glittered ribbon from my craft room, and the wreath is complete.

Thanks for popping in and crafting with me.
PhotobucketLink Party

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies

I love baking with the flavors of the season, and both pumpkin and cranberries, are foods that come to mind when you think of Thanksgiving.  I combined the 2 into these fantastic Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies.

Start by whisking together 2/3 cups white rice flour, 2/3 cup brown rice flour, 1/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup arrowroot starch, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and 1/4 tsp salt.

In your mixer, beat together 1 stick of softened butter with 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.

Add in 1 - 15oz can of pumpkin puree.

Mix in the dry ingredients and 3/4 cup of craisins(dried cranberries.)

Drop spoonfulls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. 

Bake at 375 for about 18 minutes or until they are puffed up and just a bit golden on the edges.  Those are WD's fingers filching one before it's cooled.

Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before melting 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips and piping or drizzling across the tops of the cookies.

These cookies are so moist, chewy, and delicious and they freeze beautifully for make ahead treats.

Thanks for popping in and baking with me.  I'm linking this up to Gluten-Free Homemaker's Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Christmas Photo

Last year, I didn't send out a Christmas card.  I was trying to simplify by doing less, but it turns out those cards were missed, because several people asked about them.  So this year, I decided that I would bring my card making supplies with me to Rochester and work on them during the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Before any card making can occur, the Christmas photo needs to be taken, so that I can plan for size and theme.  Here's a Christmas pic from a couple of years ago.

The boys had fresh haircuts and the weather was cooperating, so we headed out to the local rail trail to take some park bench photos.  I took 24 pictures.  It was a battle.  The first several looked like this.

I asked for something a bit warmer.  Try putting your arm around your brother, honey.  I got a headlock.

Which became an arm bar, half nelson, then full nelson.

Full on shenanigans ensued.

This was the best of the bunch.  At least his eyes are joyful.

Needless to say we'll be trying another photo session after school today.  Don't worry not all of these pics are being discarded.  I like the spontaneity, and a few might find themselves as part of this year's Christmas card.

Thanks for popping in and checking out our photo session.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How to Re-Upholster - Part 1 Deconstructing

I shared my first reupholstering project a few days ago, and many of you were impressed with my having tackled such a big project(a loveseat) as my first dip into the furniture renovation pool.  I credit blind ignorance with getting me through that one.  I had bought the fabric, and 10 years ago 8 yards of upholstery weight fabric was a huge investment for us.  There was no way that I was going to give up on the project, no matter how difficult, with that chunk of change on the line.  Blind ignorance is not really a recommended method, so I thought I'd share my latest project for anyone still looking to tackle their first reupholstered piece of furniture.  I was helping a friend empty out her attic to make room for some things that she used to store in her basement.  When she tried to toss this old, lumpy chair, I had to put it in my van.

See the weird lumpy seat?  It looked like the scene from Alien right before the alien baby pops out.  Along with the strange seat situation, there were a host of other issues with this chair.

No worries, it was still coming home with me.  The first thing you have to do when reupholstering is to deconstruct what's already there.  I knew this wouldn't be a super simple redo like these dining room chairs I did last year.  The construction of this chair was more complicated than just pulling off a seat and stapling on some new fabric.  I started by pulling off the back fabric.  It was held on by pretty hammered upholstery tacks.  I tried to save as many as I could to be reused.

When I pulled off the front of the chair back fabric, I was surprised to find wadded up paper towel.

Apparently, the chair had been recovered before, but instead of using new padding, they just filled in the button tufting with paper toweling.  Weird, huh?

Underneath that layer of fabric(look at the vibrant colors on the backside) was still more fabric.

And beneath that was some straw and maybe horsehair.

Pulling all that away left me with some webbing.

The webbing was pretty much disintegrating, so that had to go, too.

Are you ready to find out what was causing the crazy one-sided lump in the chairseat?  Under the fabric was some 1"foam.  The previous redo must have pulled off the original fabric for a template.

Under that foam was still more foam.  This project was starting to feel like our kitchen reno, where every layer of floor we pulled off revealed another layer of floor.

Under that foam was some cotton batting and an ominous shape.

Under the batting I found some springs.  8 way hand tied springs are really the gold standard in upholstery,

but the cording had become so old and brittle that it snapped in several places which led to the springs being pulled out of place and sliding sideways.

I removed the springs which led to more webbing,

and under the webbing there was...paneling?  Even weirder.  The best I can guess is that when the previous person had redone this chair, the cords on the springs had already started to fail leading to a soft spot on the one side and they nailed on the paneling to shore up the bottom.

After pulling off all of the fabric, foam, batting, straw, webbing, and paneling, I was left with a million nails and upholstery tacks.

About 47 hours with a set of pliers,
the chair started to get a little loose.

But that's a story for reconstruction.  I'll stop here because this post is already super long.  Tune in soon for Part 2 Reconstruction.

Thanks for popping in and DIYing with me.