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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween?

I like to party as much as the next person (maybe more?) but for some reason I'm just not that into Halloween. As of right now I still don't know exactly what my kids are going to be tonight. I'm pretty sure Eva will be Dora the Explorer. Well, she'll at least wear the backpack. Caleb wore a batman shirt to school today. That might be it. He's not that into the pirate patch anymore. He asks for it, I put it on him and then he immediately takes it off.

My decorations at home for Halloween consist of a pumpkin painted by Marsha (thanks!). If she didn't do that for me, I don't think I'd have anything around here.

I'm not that excited about having candy around the house, either. We still have some candy leftover from last year!

I also don't like to be scared or spooky things. I NEVER went on haunted hayrides or to haunted houses...not even when it was "cool" when I was in high school or college. I didn't need to be cool enough to subject myself to wetting my pants. ;)

This time of year isn't a total bust. It was over Halloween weekend 13 years ago when Carl and I started dating seriously. One of our first major dates was to the Halloween dance at the Institute. Carl was a streaker (scary, I know!) and I was the Queen of Ping (I am a really good ping pong player!). This year we're going to be stressed out parents. I think it suits us.

However you celebrate Halloween...enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Talk About Tuesday


Our bathroom renovations are taking shape slowly but surely. We have a soft deadline of the second weekend in December since my mom is coming to visit. She has got a dream bathroom. Did you see it? Okay, back to my bathroom.


Our shower is gone. Carl did that all by himself. It is nice having it gone but now I'm really wanting a bathtub. All we have to do is call the plumber. Procrastination at its best.
This is my ugly light fixture that I'm ready to get rid of. The mirror is going, too. I haven't found replacements yet. Any suggestions?
I didn't bother cleaning off our vanity for the pic. Sorry. It will just make an even bigger "before picture" statement when all is said and done. Carl is going to build me an open vanity a la Pottery Barn but with only one sink. I'm pretty sure this is the exact same one that Wendy had her husband make for her grand bathroom. Why pay $2K when you have a handy husband?

I love the colors of my home. The previous owners did a great job and I haven't wanted to change a thing...except for this bathroom. I hate this wallpaper. Ick. What were they thinking? As of today I am painting the room a light steel blue. The fixtures will all be satin nickel and the furniture will all be white.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be very happy with the outcome of the bathroom. If nothing else it has taught me to never, ever build a house with Carl...until we can solve the epic battle of quality or cost?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sweet Dreams

The other night I had an interesting dream. I was with some people on a hay ride and we were on our way to the airport to take a trip. On the way we were picking people up and one of those people just happened to be Vanna White. Nobody really recognized her or acknowledged her presence except me. I went over and started talking to her about how we love the Wheel of Fortune but what I really love is that she loves yarn. We talked about all the colors of yarn she has and I asked her why she decided to have an acrylic versus natural fibers (ease of care and cost, according to Dream Vanna). It was one of those dreams that seems so real that I'm pretty sure if I ever meet Vanna in real life she'll remember that conversation. Back in 1990 I had another real-life seeming dream where I was married to Patrick Swayze. I wonder if he remembers that?

As I was thinking about Vanna and our good times together as BFFs, I had an epiphany. I know what I'm going to name my sweater design. Are you ready?

SEVILLA

The name of the stitch pattern it uses is called "Fan". That reminded me of Spain. The city in Spain that most reminds me of fans would Sevilla, home of the flamenco. And, there you have it. Now if I happen to design any more in the future, I will give all of them names of cities or places. I think that's what Vanna would do.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Our New Daughter


Introducing Zoe. Created by strands and strands of yarn and my son's imagination. Loads of fun.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Smart Habit Saturday

Last week my SMART habit was to work every day. Frankly, this didn't happen. With the kids out of school and sick the stuff I would normally do in the daytime had to get pushed back to when they were in bed so that took away most of my work time. I did get some things done. I finished the projects for today's Stamp Club.

2-4-6-8 Box

Triangle Tri-fold card

(inside)

Baroque motifs card

This week I'm going to continue to work on the same habit. Not only do I anticipate having my etsy store open on November 15th, I signed myself up for a Women Business Owners Network On Display show. That's Nov 13th. I need to work whether I want to or not!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Perspective

The kids are sick and so am I. The good news= I'm not as sick as I could be. I can still function.

The garage door broke this morning. The good news= I didn't have to go anywhere anyway so I was here for the repairman. Carl also has a good job so we can pay for these kinds of events without adding more to our debt.

The house is a pit. The good news= We have a house.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dream Bathroom

Last May I asked my mom to do a guest post on my blog about her bathroom renovations.

Today she finished it (the post, not the bathroom--that's been finished for a while). Instead of posting it on my blog, she's got her own now.

Want to see it?

Conversations With Eva

Eva: Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!

Me: What do you want? (nice voice)

Eva: Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!

Me: Eva, I hear you! What do you want? (not as nice)

Eva: Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!Mommy! Mommy!

Me: Yes, Eva?

Eva: silence

Eva: Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!

Carl: What do you want?

Eva: Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!

Me to Carl: Just say, "yes, Eva?".

Carl: Really?

Eva: Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!

Carl: Yes, Eva?

Eva: silence

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Boo-tays

My sister called me this morning to ask me if I could knit some baby booties for her. Hello? Does she really need to ask? Do I have knitting deadlines out the boo-tay? Yep. I also have a few more months until they are needed. Is it stopping me from searching for some pretty perfect baby bootie patterns? No way.

She's having a boy. In February. She told me she's been planning outfits all morning. Fun times. Do you have any go-to bootie patterns?

Good Mail


Grandma and Grandpa Greer (and Peter--the dog) sent Caleb and Eva Halloween cards. Caleb can read a handful of words so he loves when he sees his name on an envelope. I gave it to him to open. Inside were stickers and a $10 bill. Eva got the same. They took the stickers and ran. They still have no concept of money so I took the money and ran...to the store to buy them some toys. With them being home all week I thought I would get them something to keep them occupied. We were at a birthday party earlier in the week and the birthday boy got this set of dinosaurs ($10 from Target) that Caleb loved! I went to Target and got the dinosaur set and found a really cute fairy princess castle set for Eva (also $10). They LOVED the toys and they played nicely for a long time!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Talk About Tuesday


Design. I've been thinking for some time now about giving my blog a face lift. I don't have Photoshop (although it is on my Christmas wish list!) or more than just basic html skills so I've been relying on templates found online. Enter: Julie. A graphic designer that is working for sock yarn. Not only will I get an awesome blog design but I also get the satisfaction of shopping for yarn! A win win situation there.


This is my inspiration.

This image is from anthropologie. I love everything about it. It makes me more than happy.

What inspired the look of your blog? What inspires the look of your wardrobe, home, etc...? What kinds of design elements make you stop and look twice?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Music Monday

Here we go again. Melessa is my new Music Monday guru.

1. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree- KT Tunstall
2. Regresa a Mi- Il Divo
3. Borderline- Madonna
4. Big Girl (You are Beautiful)- MIKA
5. Somebody's Me- Enrique Iglesias
6. Tangled- Maroon 5
7. Te Aviso, Te Anuncio- Shakira
8. You Can Do It- No Doubt
9. It's My Life- Dr. Alban
10. I'll Do Anything- Jason Mraz

Fashion Rocks.

We had our one person fashion show on Saturday. Here are the best shots.


I'm going to have a test knitting opportunity for someone in the next few weeks. I'm writing the pattern for the still to be named sweater in multiple sizes and I'd just like someone (besides myself) to follow the pattern and see if it makes sense and make some notes. I'd provide the yarn and you would get to keep the top when you're finished. All I ask it that you make a different size than the one I already made (36" bust). I would need it finished by Dec 31st. It is actually a pretty quick knit. Leave a comment if you might be interested in doing this.

Speaking of test knitting, I've finished up two of the three projects I have in the works. This one used cotton chenille and I'm not sorry that I'm done with this project. There was nothing wrong with the pattern...just that darn yarn. Not my favorite. The next project used a really soft wool so I'm looking forward to working on that one.


School is on Fall Break for the week. I'm trying to keep the kids as occupied as possible. We made playdough and we've been doing a lot of disco dancing. I'm really going to need that vacation in November!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A New Yarn

*photo from flickr images

I've heard a little bit about this new yarn that could be a Noro substitute. I was on the lookout before I found my awesome stash of Noro via eBay. It is Debbie Mumm Traditions found at Joann. I haven't felt any in person but word on the street (aka Ravelry forums) is that is a lot like Noro but softer and cheaper. I think this would be a great option for anyone that was interested in making Lizard Ridge but not wanting to make an investment in Noro. This yarn certainly doesn't have the wide range of colors as Noro but the color changes are wide enough and could be a suitable substitute.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Smart Habit Saturday

I'm still working on finishing things but this week my SMART habit is all about starting new projects.

Craft fair season is about to kick into high gear and while I've only committed myself to one so far, I need to replenish my stock. Not only that, starting November 15th I'll be able to sell my creations using Stampin' Up! products online. They have updated their angel policy and it goes into effect on that date. I'd love to have my etsy shop ready to go.

So, this week I'll be starting the habit of setting "work" hours. My plan is to work at least 1 hour a day. Ideally, I'd like to spend at least 10 hours this week but with it being Fall Break I don't anticipate getting a lot of extra time during the hours when kids are awake.

FYI: If you don't keep up with my blog except for on SHS, you might have missed my latest news on my sweater design! You can find it here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Design Contest

On Wednesday night I went to my knitting group. We started chatting about the Project Lincoln fashion show and contest. I was pretty sure I was the only one that entered. I started thinking really awful things--like they weren't going to give me the prize ($100 gift certificate) since I was the only entrant. I was planning revenge in awful ways--like blogging about how awful and terrible they are and how nobody should ever shop there...blah, blah, blah. I went into the store today to drop off a flier and double check about tomorrow and I was kind of ready to be disappointed with them saying that they are canceling everything and I can have my top back. I was mistaken.

I wasn't mistaken about being the only entrant. Alas, that is true. I was mistaken about expecting them to not give the prize. As soon as I came in they congratulated me and told me how great my top was. They were even nice enough to say that if there were other entrants I would have been hard to beat. I'm getting the gift certificate and they are going to publish my pattern for sale at the shop. Assuming it sells, I'll get a return on that as well. I'm still going to be there with my model tomorrow to take some pictures for the newsletter. We might have her do a little strut or two down the hallway. And that my friends, is how I became a knitwear designer*.

I'm going to need to name my top. I haven't really come up with anything substantial. I was kind of leaning toward naming it Heidi (because of Project Runway) but now I'm not so sure. I'm taking suggestions and if your name is chosen I'll be sure to send you something uber fabulous.

*Not a knitwear designer like Debbie Bliss. More like a knitwear designer one hit wonder like Kajagoogoo.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Favorite Things

Another installment of some of my favorite things!I've been swapping a lot of books on Swaptree lately and these 10X13 catalog envelopes from Columbian are my "go-to" envelope of choice. I keep them by my computer desk so when I print out the mailing label and postage, it is ready to go! It is almost time for me to get a new box (I think I bought this last box in Indiana) so they have been on my mind.

These Band-Aids really block water. They are also really transparent and super comfortable. If there wasn't the cotton strip I would probably forget where they were. As far as I know they don't come in other sizes so I do keep some others on hand but these are definitely my FAVORITE!

A new favorite from this week is my version of Taco Soup. Sorry, no picture. Here is the recipe.

1 lb. ground beef, browned
1 can corn
2 cans pinto beans
1 medium white onion, diced
1 large can crushed tomatoes (or 2 small cans)
1 package taco seasoning

Put all of this in a pot and warm it up. It takes just a few minutes (not counting the browning on the beef) and is a real crowd pleaser. By crowd, I mean Carl. I loved it, too! Next time I make it I'll probably do a double batch or more to have enough to freeze.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Noah's Ark

Last Wednesday I made it to knitting night at Barnes & Noble. While I was there I saw the Simply Knitting magazine (from the UK) that had an extra insert for Alan Dart's Noah's Ark. I needed those patterns. I bought it. I'm still knee deep in test knitting and birthday knitting so there is really no way that I'm going to get to this anytime soon but I knew I would regret it later if I didn't get the patterns. I don't even like animals all that much but I am such a sucker for Noah's Ark toys. I think we have 3 different sets around our house. But we don't have a knitted set. That will make all the difference!

*I wanted to post a picture in the post but blogger is having issues with that at the moment. You can just click on the link to an eBay listing of the insert that has lots of pictures of the animals.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Talk About Tuesday


Last week I talked about designing a top. It is finished! We haven't had the final fashion show but I did blog about the final fitting. You can see the pictures of the finished product here.

This week I've still got knitting on the brain. I have several knitting deadlines. I'm test knitting for Gardiner Yarn Works and I can't really show any pictures of that right now. Except this.

I'm also making a Harry Potter Hufflepuff scarf for my brother Sam. He turns 12 next month. Once I finish that one I'll have to immediately cast on for Joe's. He's my other brother that turns 11 in December. He wants Ravenclaw but he wants his to be the style that the 3rd and 4th year Hogwarts students wear. If you're a Muggle this means nothing to you. But if you've seen the movies and care even a little bit about knitting, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Yesterday I talked about my dyeing my hair. Here is a picture for those that wanted to see it. Chocolate Cherry by Garnier is what I used. Carl wasn't impressed but I really love it. I took this picture last night and promptly trimmed my bangs this morning!

And, while I'm talking about talking about stuff...we bought our bathtub last night. We got this one. We just bought the tub. Not the surround. We're still deciding what we want to do on that.

I think that is all I have to Talk About Today! What do you have to talk about?

Monday, October 15, 2007

This Week at Casa Nelson

We've got one busy week ahead of us. Here are some of the things we are going to do.

Monday: I dyed my hair brown. Chocolate Cherry to be exact. I'm pretty much loving it but realize that it might be time to start doing my eyebrows. I never have. They are a little out of control.

I spent most of the morning at the store. We got groceries and I checked out the kitchen and bath sale at Menard's. Looks like we're buying a bathtub tonight!

Caleb's therapist comes this afternoon.

Missionaries over for dinner. We're having Garlic Chicken Stir Fry.

Off to Menard's to spend a load of cash.

Tuesday: Morning playdate with Mary and Leslie. I don't know where we're going yet.

Book group at night. We are discussing Twilight. I'm making Virgin Strawberry Margaritas to drink. Yum.

I'm going to make either a pot roast or taco soup for dinner.

Wednesday: Piano lessons in the afternoon.

Pumpkin Patch with Caleb's class from 4-6pm.

Enrichment craft night activity from 6:30pm-9pm.

Knitting Group at B&N from 7-9 (if I finish all the crafts I want at Enrichment I'm going to head over to knit).

Thursday: This is probably my easiest day. Nothing going on for me but Carl has scouts in the evening.

Friday: Nothing planned yet for me. Carl is going on a scout campout so he won't be around.

Saturday: Carl should be home around noon. Fashion Show for Project Lincoln starts at 2pm with a 1:30pm call time for me and Wendy. I have to reschedule my Stamp Camp.

Knitting Group from 3-5pm.

There is no school next week so I'm going to have to come up with some spectacular activities to keep us occupied.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Giveaway Winners

The winners have been drawn for the Pink Plaid Party Goody Bag Giveaway. Three winners were drawn randomly and it just so happens that I have their addresses already so I thought it would be fun to surprise the winners by having the bags just show up in their mailbox! If I don't have your address, I'm sorry. You didn't win. If I do have your address, you might get something in the mail from me this week. You might not. Wicked? Probably. Fun? Sure!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Smart Habit Saturday


Last week my habit was to finish things before I started anything new. In my Talk About Tuesday post I showed what has been involved in designing a hand knit top. Well, I finished it! Here are the pictures as proof. We still have a fashion show to get through next week. We're going to pair it with that same black shirt underneath and some black pants.

I haven't finished all that I had hoped this week but I did stick with my not starting anything new. That was rough. But, I'm certainly seeing progress on the things I need to finish soon.

This week I am going to continue working on this habit. Here are some more things I need to finish:

1. Test knitting. I'm so close to finishing the 1st out of 3 items.
2. Getting the kids' clothes organized for the colder weather and evaluating what exactly I need to buy to round out their wardrobe.
3. Sam's birthday present (a Hufflepuff scarf).
4. Stamp Camp projects.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Finito, Etc...

Finito

The sweater is finished. I finished it yesterday and turned it into the shop this morning. Feels good.

Etc..

1. Are you playing Monopoly at McDonald's? Can I have the codes off of your game pieces so I can play the online game? If I win anything I promise I'll share. Email me! Speaking of winning, I'll draw winners for my goody bag giveaway Monday morning and post them then. You still have time to leave a comment. You're not willing to pass up free batteries, salad, and kleenex are you?

2. I went to Lowe's this morning to look at bathtubs. Why are they all hanging off the wall? I don't want to buy a bathtub without sitting in it first. Is it just me?

3. Tomorrow we are going to the Omaha Zoo. It is also the Road Show. Carl is going to be Thomas Edison singing, "I Light Up Your Life". I'll give a full report over the weekend.

4. My kids always sleep exactly 12 hours. I tried to trick them last night by having them go to bed at 6:45pm instead of 7:00pm. Silly me. Eva came upstairs this morning with the remote in her hand telling me to "Push! Button!". Caleb is always friendly and very talkative first thing in the morning. He said, "Good morning, MOM!" and then talked about how he was going to be good today.

5. Have you guys seen the show on VH1 called America's Most Smartest Model? I think it just started. In my quest to finish my knitting I've been finding all sorts of interesting shows. This one deserved a mention. Ben Stein is on it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Paranoid

Caleb's special ed teacher does a home visit once a week. It is great. She gets to see him in action and I get to learn all the special tricks she uses at school to keep him from beating up everyone. Today she asked me if I ever thought about getting Eva evaluated. Actually, I hadn't. I know she doesn't have autism so I didn't think about the possibility of her needing services for something else. We talked a little bit about it and Caleb's teacher just seemed a little concerned because Eva won't talk to her much and when she does it is hard to understand her.

I called to set up an evaluation. It can't hurt anything to see and if she does qualify for services...great! I can use all the help I can get. At any rate I'll get back in touch with the services coordinator that I really like.

All afternoon I've been listening carefully to everything Eva says and how she says it. Yep, now I'm paranoid.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

It is a REALLY good thing I bought my plane ticket to Boston yesterday because what happened this morning would have made this trip all but impossible.

It's all about the shower.

When we moved in we knew we wanted to re-do our upstairs bathroom. It is a double shower where only one of the shower heads works at a time and the base was cracked. We have tried caulking it repeatedly but it is finally beyond repair. The sub floor is rotten and water is starting to come through Caleb's ceiling. Oops. Time for some renovation.

Carl is on board for getting a whirpool tub. We just have to make sure that we can get it in the space we have. You see, there is a reason there is a double shower in there right now. It is a little smaller than an average tub. HOWEVER...we have some wiggle room with our laundry area (also in the bathroom--it is a pretty big space) so I'm hopeful we can work it out. If we can't get an awesome whirpool tub in there then I'm all about doing another double shower and making it a sweet spa shower. Either way it is going to be cool. I just don't know how long it is going to take or how much it is going to cost. Yikes!

The good news? Looks like I'll be getting to the Y on a more regular basis if I want a shower.* No more excuses.



*Technically I could go downstairs to use the kids' bathroom. They have a shower and a tub. But, that bathroom always smells like poop--thanks to my incredible pooping machines that REFUSE to ever do it in the toilet.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coming Soon!


Courtesy of Christmas 2007 and a husband that thinks I deserve a weekend break, I will be traveling to Boston in November for 3 days. I just bought the ticket today!

Giveaway and Cookbook

I'm going to give you a little more time to sign up for the goody bag giveaway if more people are interested. Just comment on the linked post. I know a lot of you wanted the cookbook information so I thought I'd just post it here.

Exclusive Pink Plaid Offer

For just $19.95, you'll receive:
  • The Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Celebrating the Promise ($29.95 value) and
  • 1 year of Better Homes and Gardens magazine ($7 value)
To receive this special offer, send your name, address, daytime phone number, along with a check for $19.95 (shipping & handling included) made out to "Pink Plaid Offer" to: Pink Plaid Offer, PO Box 5935 W, Clinton, IA 52736
Offer ends 12/31/07. Allow 4-6 weeks for shipping.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Talk About Tuesday


This is the VERY FIRST installment of Talk Abut Tuesday so it would be a good time to jump on the bandwagon! I know I've been including a lot of these on my blog lately. Frankly, it is sometimes hard for me to think of exactly I want to blog about each day. These kind of give me a focus and take the pressure off some of the days. Can you all believe that I've posted AT LEAST one time each day this whole year?

This week I'm being consumed with a top I am designing for the Project Lincoln contest held by my local yarn shop, The Yarn Shop. I have done some designing of my own patterns before but nothing of this magnitude. The final reveal will be at a fashion show this Saturday at the shop.

I called on Wendy to be my model. As much as I would like one of these tops myself, I just couldn't bear to make one for my ample bosom. We started by finding a few designs in magazines that we liked. We settled on the Josephine top in one of the past Interweave Knits (shown above). It ended up being a coincidence that I chose the same color of yarn. My only other choices at the shop were really bright red, purple, or green. I think you'll all agree that my top will look best in this muted color. Anyway, we kept the basic shape of the garment and the corded empire waist and then we made the rest our own.


I chose a simple lace fan design for the body. Here it is before steaming. The cotton flake yarn is a nubby yarn so it has some really thin/thick places. It makes plain stockinette stitch look interesting. I think it works really well with this top.

And now for the blocking. When this top came off the needles it looked like it might fit Eva (my 2 1/2 yr. old). With the help of my handy board from Hancock Fabrics, I was able to pin it out to a reasonable size and steam it into submission.
Here is a close up of the lace pattern after it has been opened up through the blocking. It makes a really cute scalloped edge at the blottom that I really like.

We had a fitting yesterday morning and then I seamed it up and started on the sleeves. I'm doing a basic stockinette sleeve and I'm envisioning some sort of rolled edge to match what I'm going to do when I finish the neckline. It is all going to depend on how it looks. It might take a couple of tries. I better get on that since I need to be done by Saturday!

Using the now infamous words of Project Runway guru Tim Gunn, I'm going to "MAKE IT WORK!".

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pink Plaid Party



I have yet to post about the Pink Plaid Party I hosted over the weekend. We had a wonderful time courtesy of houseparty.com and Better Homes and Gardens. I made some pretty delicious treats (if I do say so myself!) from the new Pink BH&G cookbook. I can't say enough good things about this cookbook. I have the old red one so I was thinking that I didn't really need this one. I WAS WRONG! It still includes a lot of the classics we all love but it has some excellent new recipes and the informational content is much better. I think it is well over 600 pages.

This party wasn't the kind of party where something is sold. It is just a new kind of marketing tool where they sponsor 1000 parties around the nation and we get to see the product and get an opportunity to spread the word to our friends.

I have a few goody bags leftover from the party that include lots of coupons and freebies from the sponsors. Do you want one? I have three to give away. Leave a comment on this blog post and if more than three people are interested, I'll draw for the winners and send them to you.

Music Mondays

Because I haven't uploaded the pictures I want for my post today, I thought I'd do this in the meantime. I'll get the other post up sometime after Carl gets home.

Thanks, Melessa.

Get your iPod and hit shuffle. List the first ten songs (no matter how embarrassing). Link back to Melessa's blog. Easy peasy.

1. Angel- Aerosmith
2. Rapper's Delight (medley)- The Sugar Hill Gang and Ellen Dow (from The Wedding Singer)
3. Our Boat is Rocking on the Sea- The Wiggles
4. Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)- Laurie Berkner
5. One Last Kiss- Jesse Pearson (from Bye Bye Birdie)
6. On The Table- A.C. Newman
7. Hungry Like the Wolf- Duran Duran
8. Boogie Shoes- K.C. and the Sunshine Band
9. Ring Ring- MIKA
10. Figure It Out- Maroon 5

I just used my main music folder to do this one. I guess that would explain why some of Caleb's music popped up. Although The Wiggles and Laurie Berkner are some of my favorites for kids, I don't usually listen to them unless I have to.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Craft My Ride

I'm kind of a contest junkie. I like to win things. If it is a competition, I love to win even more!

Enter: Craft My Ride.

I'm going to have to pass on this one. I'm still busy with my Project Lincoln sweater that needs to be done in LESS THAN ONE WEEK!!!!!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Our church has conference two times a year. It is always the first weekend of April and October. Before the internet and satellite tv, we would truck on over to the church where it would be transmitted to the huge satellite dish at the meetinghouse. There are 4 general sessions (2 hours each, 2 a day). This was a lot of sitting at church.

Enter BYU-TV. Now anyone with this channel can enjoy conference from the comfort of their own home. Some families still dress up to watch conference at home to keep with the "spirit" of church. Other families play conference bingo with their kids to help them pay attention. Did they say 'Faith'? BINGO!!! At our house, we might get dressed and we'll eat a lot. Our kids can be loud and if we miss something we can REWIND!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Smart Habit Saturday


It's time for another SMART Habit Saturday! Last week I worked on communicating more with my husband. It helped. We didn't get to go on a date like we had hoped but we had plenty of alone time and lots of things to discuss.

This week I'm going to work on finishing some things I've started. I've started going through the kids clothes to get them ready for cooler weather. I'd like to finish that. I really need to finish my Project Lincoln sweater. I only have the short sleeves left. I need to finish my projects for my Stamp Camp I'm having later this month. I need to refrain from STARTING new things until I have these things accomplished. That's my habit for this week. Finish what I've started.

The end.

One blog post finished.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I {heart} swap


Just when I needed it, my swap partner (I didn't get her blog address but I'd love the link!) sent me a delightful package! We {heart} a lot of the same things! The person that gets the package I send will find some similar things! I got a mixed cd, a bracelet (that I am finding very fabulous!), the book The Tale of Despereaux (which is actually on my long list of books to read), some post it notes, circle cards (these look really neat!), and a sheet of grocery checklists--magnetic--that I have actually been wanting to buy every time I've seen them at Target. Now I have some! Thank you so much! Nothing like a fun package to make your day!

I have about 15 minutes left before Caleb gets off the bus. Hoping for a better day today.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Smack Down

I've been trying not to blog about how bad it has been getting with Caleb. I'm trying to be grateful that I only have to keep him on task for half of the day now that school has started. Instead of having a variety of meltdowns dispersed throughout the whole day (like the summer), he compacts them into the few hours we are together. And, they are doozies. The fact that he had to change schools probably isn't helping. He has to get used to a whole new set of friends, teachers, and routines. It can be a little much.

I am seeing a little glimmer of hope. We've been working on helping him get to the toilet right when he gets home. He holds it all day and before it was a huge fight to even get him to go into the bathroom. He would just pee all over and then I would have to fight with him to get him to take his pants off. Now I've got it worked into his schedule and he gets a reward when he goes into the bathroom (usually a fruit snack). It is still a struggle to get him into the bathroom the rest of the day but we've got a good system now for right after school. It only took 6 weeks! Now it is time to work on the next problem areas.

His latest issue is with the car. For the past week he's been taking his seat belt off while I'm driving and then smacking me in the face...or throwing his shoes at my head...or pounding Eva. While. I. Am. DRIVING!!! I pull over as soon as I can and get him back in his seat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until we make it home. Any punishment is lost on him. We're stumped. His teachers are stumped. The social workers are stumped. I've got an appointment with a behavioral psychologist but she's swamped and we can't get an appointment until November 15th. The silver lining? It's getting bad enough that the social worker is going to make a special call to the psychologist to see if we can get an "emergency appointment".

I'm even willing to consider medication. I wonder what they'll prescribe ME?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Swiper NO Swiping


Eva loves her Dora backpack. As you can see, she wears it even when she has no clothes on. It is filled with her favorite toys (mainly Little People). Her latest favorite toy is also in the picture. Carl brought me back a souvenir from Hollywood. It is an Oscar for Best Sweetheart. He also brought me back some MAC lipstick (color: Retro). I won't let Eva play with that, though!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It's A Boy!

My sister, Lisa, is having a baby. We found out today it is a boy. I'm really looking forward to meeting him and it will be interesting to see how a kid from our Charlton gene pool will look. I bet he's going to be super cute. Just a guess. She's due the first week of February. I've been planning on doing a lot of knitting for this little tyke. Now that I know that pink is out, I can get started!

Big Girls

Last night we took the kids out for a family outing to Chuck E. Cheese. It was nice to have the whole family together again and we had a great time. Caleb is a master at skee ball. He doesn't roll it...he just tosses it right into the holes. Eva just likes to run around like a crazy girl. She kept saying, "Cheese! Where are you?".

We came home and Carl put the kids to bed. Have I mentioned I'm glad to have him back home? Anyway, I decided to go and try on some pants at Lane Bryant. They have a new sizing system and I wanted to check it out. I've been wanting to get another pair of jeans. The sizing is based on your shape. I knew I wasn't a blue. It was between red and yellow. The clerks sized me as a yellow 5 but she said that the measurements are running big so I should try on a yellow 4. The yellow 3 fit me the best. I also tried on some red sizes and they fit me well but I could really tell that my body was more fit for yellow. It was fun to see the differences. They have a sale going on right now that if you buy something regular price, you get something else for $10. Inspired by Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, I tried on a million (okay, maybe 6) white shirts to find my "classic". This is the one I ended up getting. For $10. Pretty sweet. I also found a really cute pink plaid shirt for my party on Saturday ($6.99 on clearance, thank you very much!). I'm too lazy to take a picture of it right now. You'll see some later when I wear it to the party! All in all, I'm glad I decided to go shopping last night because the sale ends today.

In other news...remember how I blogged about DWTS? This week Helio knocked it out of the park! Dude, I love him. He's so darn cute and a really good dancer. Carl and I tried to decide if he's better than Apollo was last year. We think he's just as good or will be even better by the end of the season. And...DONNY WAS THERE! What a great episode.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Animal Killer



I was commissioned to make two little sweaters for identical squirrel stuffed animals. Had three squirrels not lost their lives tragically in our swimming pool, I probably would have declined. I've got enough deadline knitting on my hands right now. But, it seemed like it would be good karma to make sure these poor stuffed creatures wouldn't be cold this winter.

I also killed a mouse. Actually, I think Caleb did. This happened on Saturday. It was a good thing I found it when I did because the cord was really heating up. I turned it off immediately and then sulked that I wouldn't have a computer until Carl came home. Luckily, when he called I told him what was up and he let me know there were a couple of mice downstairs that I could use. I found a really awesome USB one and I just had to plug it into my USB hub on my computer desk. Easy peasy. Next thing I know someone will need me to knit a mouse cozy.

Think Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I was picked to host a special Pink Plaid House Party sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens. My box full of goodies showed up a couple of days ago. Check out what is inside!
  • the "pink plaid" cook book, Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Celebrating the Promise
  • "Words of Promise" card, with pin and bracelet, from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
  • a new CD from Kelly Sweet
  • Rocco's Real Life Recipe cards
  • Fleischmann's Yeast recipe cards
  • Fresh Express salad coupons
  • pink party napkins from BH&G
  • Energizer batteries to power your party
  • A $75 gift certificate from Serta Mattress
This week I'm going to work on picking the perfect menu from my new cookbook. This isn't your mother's Betty Crocker cookbook. It is totally updated and has a ton of great recipes! I'm really looking forward to checking out the neat appetizers for the party. Everyone that attends will get a special offer to get the cookbook at 45% off including a year subscription to Better Homes & Gardens. Actually, I think I can pass this on to anyone that is interested. I'm going to have a giveaway later this week of a grab bag or two for my "virtual party-goers" (aka blog friends!).

I'm also starting to think about how to put the party favors together. I've got a few things I'm going to add in there. Also, I think I'm going to give the CD and the pin away as door prizes. I sent out some email invites but I wasn't really good about printing out invites to stick in the mail if I don't have your email address.

If you're in the area and want to come...here are the details.

October 6th from 5:30pm-6:30pm at my house. RSVP in the comments or email me! If you've already told me you're coming (or RSVP'd on the houseparty site) you don't need to do it again. I think we're going to have a lot of fun!