Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dreaming in Green

Whenever it's cold and dreary outside, the winds are howling outside my door and I'm stuck inside and begin to feel like a caged bird I start dreaming and fantasizing about spring....about warm gentle breezes, beautiful warming sunshine, hanging laundry on the line, and planting little green seedlings and watching them grow into something beautiful and nourishing for both the soul and the body. *smile*

I've already started receiving garden catalogs in the mail and am already planning next year's garden in my mind. Since we won't be able to move to the country probably for at least a few more years I figure we will just make the best of what little land we do have. *Bloom where you are planted*

So my goals for this year's upcoming gardening season include installing a rain barrel out back to collect rain water for the garden, digging up part of the front yard by the picket fence (yeah less grass!!) and planting a tea garden, more veggies, a grape vine or two, more berry bushes there, maybe planting a dwarf fruit tree of some variety in the front yard (I'm thinking maybe a cherry tree but still need to do a bit more research before deciding), going to the farm auctions with my Dad to find a few new laying hens, planting a mixture of leaf lettuces among the flowering herbs in window boxes for the front of the house, and digging out and potting up some of our ornamental perennials in the side bed by the fence and taking them to the next plant swap and planting more vegetable plants in their spots, tearing out the bushes in front of the house and planting berry bushes and climbing roses in their spots to grow up the front porch rails.

Ahhhhhh to dream. *smile*

But for now I'm content to flip through garden catalogs, make lists of things we want to grow, read my new issue of Countryside Magazine, and peruse some of my favorite websites on all things beautiful and green...
and my favorite site of all

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Snowy Weekend

As much as I hate to drive in the stuff (and for good reason we slid 3 times picking up Raven from her holiday party...ack!) I do have to admit snow does make everything look so pretty and peaceful. The girls had a ball playing in all the snow all this weekend. We bundled them up until they all looked like fluffy, colorful marshmallows and then turned them loose in the yard. I stayed indoors and made big pots of hot broccoli cheddar soup, baked rolls, chicken salad, and hot tea. The soup was a big hit and they actually ate ALL of it (usually when I make it they say ewwwww, lol).

Today Ella and I planted paperwhites. I can't wait for them to bloom. :) I've always wanted to plant some for winter but every year I never get around to actually planting any so I'm so excited to finally have some this year. Ella was so cute she helped me fill little tea cups and bowls with the planting medium and then she would put the bulbs in and help cover them up. She was so proud of herself afterwards she kept walking around saying "I'm a good planter". *smile*

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Decorating the House

Well we finally got our Christmas decorations up. Usually we have the house decorated either Thanksgiving night or the day after, but this year everyone has been under the weather and lacking energy and motivation. I finally decided just to go and dig the stuff out (it was buried in our shed...what a mess :P). I'm glad I did though. The house looks so festive and cozy now. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Amazing Dollhouse Miniature Food

The girls and I are going to attempt to make some miniature food for our dollhouses this weekend. Making miniature clay food is so much fun. I haven't made any for years and the kids have never made any before so I think it will be a lot of fun to do together. :)

I recently joined an online dollhouse miniature email group for inspiration and someone sent this link for a tutorial by Betsy Niederer on how to make miniature cakes. The detail is amazing! It looks so real it makes me hungry just looking at it lol.

Betsy Niederer's miniature creations are absolutely beautiful. You have to check out her website full of teeny, tiny goodies! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Freshly Painted House

Did I mention I hate painting? :P It does look really cute though, but I'm SO glad I'm done (well at least on the outside anyways). :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Passing of the Dollhouse

I love dollhouse miniatures. I've been fascinated with them every since I can remember. I started collecting them when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I remember going shopping with my Mom at Frank's Nursery and Crafts and they had an aisle of nothing but tiny little dollhouse things....teeny tiny toothbrushes, teeny tiny toothpaste, tiny little dishes and itsy bitsy china cups. It was amazing. Every trip we took to Frank's I would come home with one new prized miniature for my collection.

I had always wanted a big wooden dollhouse so when I was about 10 years old or so my Dad set out to build me the coolest dollhouse. It was wonderful. It had 9 rooms, 2 hallways, and a big front porch. :) I LOVED it! I would play with it for hours and I finally had a proper home for all my minis I had collected over the years. :) I always said I would never part with my dollhouse because one day I would pass it on to my daughter. Little did I know I would have 3 daughters. *grin*

I love my daughters but honestly they are not the most careful, delicate, gentle creatures always. One day they snuck into my dollhouse while hubby was babysitting and I came home to a couple broken pieces of furniture, a few missing accessories and a jar full of mini "blueberries" scattered all throughout the dollhouse. Needless to say I was none too pleased, but I also understood that they were just fascinated with it and just wanted to play with it. I knew they weren't quite ready yet for teeny tiny miniatures and they had their own house...a giant wooden Barbie house that hubby built for them. So I told them one day the dollhouse would be theirs. just not yet lol.

Well finally the day has come. Gwen has been longingly staring at my dollhouse and asked when can we have our own dollhouse? I still don't know how super careful they are but they are much better about things like that now (I hope lol). So we made a deal. Once Mommy could find a "fancy" dollhouse to move all her delicate minis into then I would pass the dollhouse onto them that their Grandpa built over 20 years ago and we would fill it with their very own set of minis. Luckily Grandpa built quality stuff so it is a super solid wood house so it will hold up perfectly.

So the search for Mom's dollhouse began. I didn't realize just how expensive finished dollhouses were until I started searching online.....yikes! What I really wanted was about $500 and it wasn't even painted!! No way. :(

I considered ordering a smaller dollhouse kit and attempting to put it together myself to save money but then I realized I would probably drive myself insane trying to piece together one of those monsters lol. So I figured I would check ebay and low and behold I found a BEAUTIFUL huge dollhouse very similar to the $500 one I had been drooling over. It was constructed from a kit (so not very sturdy for the kids but perfect for all my own minis since I'm not exactly playing with it lol), it still needed a few things like doors and windows, accent trim and painted inside and out but that I could do! And best of all it was only $36!!!!!!!!

I tried not to get too excited because my luck with ebay is not always the best. Someone always comes along at the last second and outbids me or it jumps way out of my 'willing to pay' range. To my benefit the location of the seller was in my area just 30 minutes from me and it was for local pick up only, there was not much description of it, and they had taken the WORST photos of it....there was only one of the front and it was posted sideways. So I was hoping that would deter any potential bidders. I was SO excited when I opened my email tuesday morning and there was an email from ebay stating that I had won the auction on it! No one else had even bid on it!

So yesterday Raven and I drove up to get Mom's new house and then we headed to Hobby Lobby (who just happened to have all their miniatures on sale half price! woohoo!) to get the furnishing for the girls' soon to be new dollhouse. *smile* We had so much fun looking at all the tiny stuff. Raven and I have VERY different tastes but I bit my tongue as she picked out bright orange tiger striped "carpet", a zebra striped "carpet", shiny vibrant sequined fabric and so on. I want their "new" dollhouse to be a reflection of their tastes, their interests, something they will have fun playing with and remember fondly when they are older. Who knows maybe one day they will pass the house on to one of their daughters. *smile*

Pictured below is the front of my new dollhouse, now if I could only find a life sized version for 36 dollars. ;)

inside view of the new house
One last photo of all my minis in the dollhouse my Dad made for me 20 years ago before the new tenants move in and redecorate. *smile*

The girls had so much fun playing with their new house that they happily played together in the toyroom with it most of the night and even spent the night down in their toyroom *smile*

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beautiful Blog of the Day

It's not in English so I have no idea what it says but I love the pictures and the colors! So fun. So beautiful. It makes me want to add more color to my abode. Hmmmm...wonder if I could sneak off and go thrifting today? ;)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bye, Bye Bottle Party

So it's official my baby is no longer a baby. *sniff* Today was a milestone as our little Ella said goodbye for good to her bottles. She self weaned from nursing around 18 months but was still very attached to her bottle.

We have been talking about it for awhile now and she finally decided to say good bye to the "yucky" bottles and trade them in for big girl sippy cups. So we threw a "bye, bye bottle" party to say her finale farewells to all her beloved "ba-bas". Ella helped me bake the cake and Raven helped ice and decorate it. Daddy and Gwen helped blow up balloons for the celebration while I wrapped up new sippy cups and a special new cuddly stuffed dolphin (to cuddle with to sleep instead of her bottle at night).

Ella was very excited and said she wanted a candle to blow out on her cake. So Grandma came over for the special celebration and we all gathered around her in the kitchen as she chucked the last of her remaining bottles into the trash can and said goodbye to them. We all applauded and waved goodbye to the bottles as Daddy took out the trash bag and carried the bag outside to the trashcans (so Mom's not so easily tempted to go rummaging through a trash can at 3am if Ella wakes up screaming for a bottle goodness forbid lol).

Once Daddy was back in Ella opened up her presents. She was so excited to see her new sippy cups and blue dolphin and Gwen gave her a little book she had made especially for her called "I Love Family Book". *smile* Then we lit the candle on the cake, the girls sang a goodbye bottle song they had made up and then Ella blew it out and we had cake. Then it was on to dancing in the living room and playing with all the balloons. Time passes so quickly it just amazes me sometimes and catches me by surprise. I still can't believe my little baby is now my little girl. *tears* *smile* Where does the time go?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One drawer at a time...

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with cleaning (or maybe with life in general at times?). Where do you start when there are a million things on your "to do" list? I want to get the house in shape for the holidays. I'm always happier and more at peace when things are clean and pretty. Who doesn't? So I finally decided to just each day pick one room to concentrate on and one small section of that room to work on. So today I picked the kitchen. :)

It's pretty clean already but the drawers could definitely use some help since everything just gets shoved in there and even though we have tons of tupperware containers in there you can never find a lid to fit said container to save your life. So I figured it was time to re-organize them. I actually really enjoy organizing stuff (yes I know I'm a dork, lol) but it's hard to find the motivation at times. So I cleaned out and organized the silverware drawer, the tupperware/bento box drawer, the waterbottle/lunch thermos drawer, and my FAVORITE drawer (yes I actually have a favorite drawer...I told you I was a dork believe me now? lol) my bento accessory drawer. It's just so colorful and fun. I love making Gwen's lunches using all the fun little accessories. I don't know who likes it more me or her, probably both of us. :)

Now I can actually find what I am looking for and all the lids have containers to match! No more lid hunting. Woohoo!!

It looked so pretty I had to take a picture of it because I'm sure it will be a mess again in a couple weeks (...ok days) lol. At least now I will have proof that it was clean. Really. ;)

And of course, as usual, I had a little helper. *smile*

And who knew tupperware containers made such great ice skates? Well why Ella did! lol :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Party Crashers

So yesterday the girls decided to build a tent in the living room to play house in. All was going well until 2 furry "intruders" tried to break into the joint. *smile*

All that activity wore little Sophie out. Okay now time for a nap. Shhhhhhhh. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fun With Paper...

Also known as decorating on the cheap. ;) I decided I wanted some fun, bright prints to brighten up the living room now that the weather outside is so dreary looking and blah. So today I had a little fun with some paper, a pair of scissors, a glue stick (borrowed from Gwen's homework supply bag...thank you Gwen! *kisses*), and a few cheap, white square picture frames from the dollar store (gotta love the dollar store). Here's what I came up with. :)