Saturday, December 31, 2011

new year's eve cleaning

Kitchen-Cleaning Kit
click on the image for cleaning tips

as a child, my mom would tell us we needed to welcome the new year with a clean house
it is superstitious, i know,
 but she would say if we had a dirty room for the new year,
 it would be dirty all year long.  gasp!
mothers will say anything to get their kids to clean their room.

this thought has stayed with me and today i find myself scrubbing walls and baseboards
that were long overdue for a good cleaning

there is something about welcoming a new year
new start, fresh beginnings
and in my case a clean home

i am resolving to take better care of my home and try to stay on top of the cleaning

i hope the new year brings you a fresh start and clean home.

thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 30, 2011

lovely laundry

after many years of cleaning service, our washing machine broke
it was one of our first purchases when we first got married and purchased our little home.
i had told the hubby that i thought it was on it's last straw
and this week, after throwing in my son's blanket and sheets to wash it did her in

so now we are purchasing a new washer and dryer and we will be remodeling the laundry room. we had planned on doing it this summer when hubby is off

i will spare you pictures of our laundry room now
seriously it's awful not to mention super dirty
i guess it will make for a better before and after picture
when we complete our project

i had already started my lovely laundry pinboard on pinterest for our future project

here are some of my favorites

Pinned Image

i love the colors on the counter, i want hubby to build a counter like this one

Pinned Image

we will be installing flooring like this
we found some vinyl flooring that looks like wood
perfect for the laundry room which also doubles as a workout room
{more like storage for machines that never get used}

i like the functionality of this one and the colors

Pinned Image

 we are looking at purchasing a front loading washer and dryer
i have heard good and bad things about frontloading machines

hubby likes to do his research and decided we should go with an LG
i originally wanted silver but they cost $500 more!
 just for color....white will do.

Pinned Image

these are just lovely rooms i pinned
we will be painting the walls a similiar color

Pinned Image

i like the wood countertop, the skirt, and did you notice the light fixture?
wonder if that could fit our budget?
getting ideas and looking for inspiration is probably the most enjoyable aspect of a remodel project
i am excited, i will be taking pictures of the project to share with you

how about you? are you planning a project for the new year?

images via pinterest, click on the images to read more about the remodel

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

mac n cheese


I made several batches of macaroni cheese this holiday season.

I always make some for thanksgiving. the boys love it!

my son loves it so much that he volunteered to bring it to his class christmas party.

family and friends have asked for the recipe so I decided to share it here.


I got the recipe about 11 years ago from the Martha Stewart Magazine.




to start  you will need to warm 5 1/2 cups of milk

the recipe calls for you to warm in a separate pot but I just warm it in a big measuring cup in the microwave, it works.


in a separate pot cook 1lb. of macaroni according to package directions, cook 2-3 minutes less

(don’t overcook your macaroni or your dish will become soggy)


in a high sided skillet on medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons of butter

then add 1/2 cup of flour, mix until the flour is cooked and slightly browned.


once the butter and flour are ready you will slowly whisk in some of the milk, and stir

your pot should look like this




continue whisking and add the milk little by little, the milk and flour will clump like this, don’t worry.




just continue adding the milk and whisking.

continue cooking and whisking  constantly until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick

you will need to whisk for about 10-15 minutes


once it is thickened, turn off the heat

add 1/4  tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more depending on your taste)

and 2 tsp. salt  and mix in



then you are ready to add the cheese

you will add  3 cups  shredded white sharp cheddar cheese, I like to use the cabot vintage sharp but any white cheddar will do

and 1 1/2 cups of shredded gruyere cheese, this cheese gives the dish some bite.



stir the mixture until the cheese has melted



add the macaroni to the cheese mixture and stir until well combined



pour the mixture into your dish

top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups od cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup gruyere

top with bread crumbs and 2 tbsp. of melted butter.

for the bread crumbs I like to use sourdough,

I just put 6 slices of bread (with or without the crusts, my family like the cruchy crusts) in the food processor and pulse



bake at 375* for 30 minutes or until the dish is bubbling and the crust is browned.

I like to serve it with a spinach and greens salad and Dijon vinaigrette, delish!


I hope you enjoy this yummy dish as much as we do.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

christmas in pictures

we had a great christmas with family

the boys enjoyed opening their presents
we enjoyed watching them.

i hope that when they grow up they will remember these special times.
i enjoyed my family, peace, and  joy.

never forgetting that peace comes from God
and the greatest gift that he could ever give us,
the birth of his son Jesus.

wishing you the best from our family to yours!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas

he's checkin his list
he's checking it twice
gonna find out if you're naughty or nice...

wishing you a very merry christmas

thank you for stopping by!

image via

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

crayon monogram art

today I worked on these gifts for the boys teachers.
I had pinned them on pinterest a while back.
I started with a template that I found here. There is a template for every letter.
I just changed the font for the name to one to my liking and printed it out on plain paper.
I bought the frames at Ikea {love that place}.
I started by cutting the crayons.  I scored each crayon with a blade or exacto knife and broke the pieces. Next, I placed the crayons on the the template. I cut all the crayons first before I glued them.
Once all the crayons were cut and dry fitted {for lack of a better word}, I printed the monogram on cardstock and then hot glued each piece and framed it.
super easy, super cute!
I printed this one on a textured piece of cardstock. i really liked the contrast and colors.
I want one for myself now.
I was really happy with how they turned out.
I think their teachers will really like them.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

playing with my camera


I was playing with my camera today taking some pictures of my boys for a possible christmas card picture. I wasn't going to send one out this year but decided to take some pictures and see.

card 1

I liked this one after I edited it.

I was playing with the aperture settings and got this shot.
this would have been a great picture if it wasn’t blurry.


Hubby got me a nice, expensive camera for mothers day and I still have yet to learn how to use it…pretty frustrating. I am super motivated to learn and take some really great pictures of my family.

I am big fan of  megashley, and jennifer who take some amazing pictures.

I will be taking a photo class this january and am super excited.
thanks for putting up with not so great pictures and blurries.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

more christmas decorating

i was able to take some shots of our outside decor
we do not go all out
 simple and white

my iceberg roses continue to bloom, they are beautifully illuminated by the lights

a grapevine moose and a reindeer hubby bought me one year

two topiaries and a gingy pillow on the couch

i like to just hang simple white lights

my baby frolicking with the animals

thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

christmas decorating

after taking jenn rizzos holiday house tour this week
i was inspired to take some pictures of some of the holiday decorating i have done so far
it all started with going to buy a christmas tree last weekend

we buy a fresh tree, i just can't seem to go with a fake tree
{saying fake even sounds bad}

 i love the way the pine smell permeates our home

my job is to string the lights, all twelve of them
every year i seem to need more lights

i took some pictures of my doggie max, he didn't seem to mind all the lights

he likes to be in the action and near me.

here are some of the things i have been working on

a bible verse for my dining room

a vintage angel that my sister gave me one year for christmas

 a cute musical birdie i found last year at target

every year hubby and i buy a family ornament,
 this year we added this lil guy
hubby knows i have been loving owls lately

my tree does not have a theme and i don't usually decorate with just one color
though i like theme trees, i like to use ornaments that we have collected year to year
each ornament comes with a memory of that time and is special

the boys each get to pick their own ornament
when they grow up and leave the nest {tear}
they will be able to take their box of ornaments to hang on their tree in their home

a whimsical santa

here is the best shot i could get of the entire tree
because our house is cozy {small} we have our tree in the dining room

who knew photographing a tree was trixxy

 another {not so good}shot of the entire tree

moving on to the boy's room

number one's tree

i found these cute mini ornaments last year

number two's tree, he hung all the ornaments himself

a small nativity for the boys

a cold chickadee in the boy's bathroom

a small wreath for my bedroom

a white nativity that hubby bought me for christmas one year

hope you enjoyed my little tour.

tonight i hope to take pictures of the outside before it gets too dark

have a great weekend.
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