Monday, October 31, 2011

Turkey Panel Pillows

 Remember these pillows? 

I love the spiders, but thought this was a little more appropriate for November. I still need to make another one-stay tuned.

I'm linking up here.

What's Cuter-Babies or Puppies

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Puppies vs. Babies

Unless your the Grinch, looking through pictures of babies and puppies will make your heart go soft and automatically force sounds like "ahhh" to come out of your mouth.  But does the cuteness of babies or of puppies make your heart melt faster?

Animal Planet is going to find out and is hosting the ultimate showdown of cute. Who will earn bragging rights on being cuter-puppies or babies. Puppies vs. Babies online contest 

You can  help decide who is cuter. Go online and watch videos and rate pictures according to how cute you think they are. (My kids will sit there all day watching the video clips if I let them).  Voting is open now until November 23rd.  The winning baby or puppy will win bragging rights and $5000, which will either buy a lot of diapers or a lot of dog food.

I'm voting for the babies. How could you not?  I'm not saying that puppies aren't adorable. but nothing's cuter that fat little baby cheeks, especially if it is sporting a dimple.

Go and vote today.Puppies vs. Babies online  , then leave a comment and tell me who you are voting for-puppies or babies.





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The Best Thing I Ever Blogged: The Sasse Life

I'd like you all to meet Kim who has graciously agreed to be our very first participant on "The Best Thing I Ever Blogged".

Hey everyone! My name is Kim and you can find me over at The Sasse Life. I'm a wife and mommy who is a little obsessed with DIY projects, crafts, sewing -- ok, this list could get long so I will keep it short. I think you get the point. Out of all my tutorial posts I have, I think one of my Wordless Wednesday post is my favorite.

I just love how this photo expresses his charming, goofy personality. There is never a dull moment in this household. Looks like we might have a future Marine :)

Thanks Tara for having me. Make sure to stop by The Sasse Life and say hi :)
Do you have a favorite post that you would like to feature on this blog?  Please either leave me a comment or e-mail me (, because I loved to see your favorite post

Tales of a Trophy Wife


Saturday night we had our annual Trunk-or-Treat and Chili cook-off at church.
The boys went as the Blue Man Group. Turns out-not a lot of the under-12 crowd has any clue who they are. I guess it's just the burden you have to bear if you are way cooler than all your friends.

 If you want your kids to be an obscure character for Halloween so that they can spend all night telling everyone who they are, all you need is a tube of .97  (I used 2 for all 3) blue make-up tubes from Wal-mart and swim caps. The boys refuse to tuck their ears in, so they looked a little smurfey.
Surprisingly, a lot of kids didn't know who Mary Poppins is either (we may need to move somewhere with cooler kids).   It's one of my all time favorites.   
If you want to be practically perfect in every way- Click here to see tutorials for the hat and umbrella.

For the most part, the blog is mostly about crafts, but I'm hanging out out Crayon Freckles today, talking about my life and my parenting style. Come visit.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Practically Perfect in Every Way Tutorial

I am having a very great day! We are having our first cold front of the year.  It's sunny and 60 with a cool breeze-weather perfection. I went to the library to pick up a new book by one of my favorite authors: Falling Together: A Novel by Marisa De los Santos. When I got home, there was a package of containing 6 cans of Krylon spray paint that I won from the CSI Project!  Then I worked on some accessories for my daughter's Halloween Costume without a single fail! 
Can you guess who's she is going to be?
Ugly Purse from Goodwill. (.50)

I started w/ a plain umbrella and some tin foil. ($2)

 I shaped the foil into parrot head.
 Using my paper mache skills that I learned making my Death Star Pinata, I covered the bird head.  I covered the umbrella w/ a garbage bag to protect it, b/c I am a messy crafter.
After it dried, I painted it to look like a parrot head.  It's not perfect, but I kind of love and it will be dark right? I will probably go spray some sealer on it.

To make her hat, I pulled a hat out of the dress-up box and attached small Christmas bulbs and daisy's. To make the edges wonky, I wet it down and used clothespins to fold it up until it dried.

Here's a hint:
I'm linking up here.

I stole the shirt from my Mom's closet and made the tie and sash out of red satin.
I know that Mary usually wears a coat when she goes out, but my Mary lives in Texas and she would melt.

Click HERE to see 12 years of crazy costumes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trick or Treating at the White House

One of the coolest things we got to do while living in DC was trick-or-treating at the White House. About 40 families from my kids' school were invited.

Have you ever wonder what the first family hands out for Halloween? Full size candy bars, Bit-o-Honey's, cash? Nope, this:
 For the record, the box in the middle contains M&M's-not cigarettes. The other weird looking things are an assortment of dried fruit. Bless whoever came up w/ this for trying to be healthy, but I think most of the fruit ended up in the trash.

The White House all decked out for Halloween.

Here's us waiting in line for over and hour. The First Family actually gave out candy from 5:00-7:00. We entered the gates at a 7:01. Heartbreaker. Our tickets said 6:15, but they would have let us get in line earlier and I so wish we would have known.

No Obama, but I'm sure we are all over Japanese Facebook. We all got tons of attention from tourists and they kept asking to take our picture.


Normally, I don't dress up and just wear  jeans and a t-shirt that says, "Boo". But I thought dressing up would give a good excuse to  shamelessly flirt w/ my husband all night (he was "smoking hot"). No one had any clue who I was-(I was Babette).

My eternal flame. Oh La La

I'm linking up here.

Blue Bird of Happiness

 I saw this idea on Pinterest (I'd love to give credit, but couldn't trace it back) and thought it would make a great addition to my little bird's room.  I just made a stencil out of contact paper and busted out some blue paint that matches her room.  It makes me happy for so many reasons.

 Tip: I removed the light cover so I could line up the little bird legs across the bottom.

I'm still looking for guest bloggers for my "Best Thing I Ever Blogged" on Mondays.  Leave a comment or e-mail me ( if you're interested.

If you don't have flat walls. Here's some tips:
1. Press the contact paper down really hard
2. Use barely any paint and don't paint in strokes, but kind of dab it up and down. I get a little paint on my brush and then dab most it off on a piece of paper and then on the stencil.
3. Or you can first paint a layer of the original wall color on top of the stencil. This way the original wall color will bleed under the edges and seal them up. Then paint your stencil color top. 
4.  Even doing all those steps, I sometimes have to go back and touch up.
Good Luck!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Linky #13: Will Link for...Luck

It's my favorite blog day of the week! 
Last week's most viewed link was this amazing Cinderella costume from Sew Fantastic. 
I pinned these super cute owl smores from Craftbuds. Adorable (and yummy)!
My boys have a football themed room, but I'm so in love w/ these superhero bins from SugarTot Designs, that I want to redecorate.

Please feel free to grab a feature button.
So now it's your turn.  Since this is my 13th party, I'm hoping it's lucky.

PS If you would like a weekly e-mail reminder about the party, please enter your e-mail when you link up, otherwise it's not needed.

What's Your Soduium Style?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sunkist S’alternative for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Sunkist S’alternative

Sunkist S'alternativ#3C3C25.doc


Do you know your sodium style?  Click here to take the Sunkist Sodium Quiz on Facebook.  You can find out if you are a “Serial Salt Offender” a “Sodium Smarty”, or somewhere in between. Invite your friends to take the quiz and see which of you is the most savvy when it comes to salt.Sunkist S'alternativ#3C3C25.doc  Turns out, I've got good sodium style.

The sodium scale revealed you are a

Sodium Smarty

  • Lemon_nerd_100x100

Sodium know-it-all. You’re salt savvy and have a stellar reputation for reading food labels. Your nutrition book smarts often impress others, but at times you might not put your sodium knowledge into practice. That’s where can help by teaching you new tips and twists on using Sunkist lemons as a healthy alternative to salt. 


Did you know that high consumption can lead to high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and even cancer? It is  important to be aware of how much sodium we are consuming.

*Read labels carefully

*Check the sodium content of your local drinking water with the health department in your area.  Be aware that many water softening systems add salt to your drinking water.

* Avoid process meats.

*Plan meals so that you limit high sodium items.

* Instead of adding extra salt to your family’s meals, serve Sunkist lemon wedges or herbs to add flavor.


The Sunkist website has lots of yummy recipes usingSunkist  S’alternative.

 Lemon Seafood Paella 


Sunkist® Lemon Seafood Paella -

Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings)
*1- 32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
*1 cup dry white wine
*1 teaspoon saffron threads
*1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces
*1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
*1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
*cup chopped fresh parsley
*3 Sunkist® lemons, zest and juice
*3 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 _ cups minced onion
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*teaspoon crushed red pepper
*3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
*1 cup frozen green peas
*1- 8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers

• To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

• To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

• Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bake, Cook, Serve

 Do you have a drawer in your kitchen, where you shove all your spoons, spatulas, and ladles?  Can you even close it?
 I saw this idea at Tattertots and Jello and I thought it could solve my kitchen utensil storage problem-and it's adorable. 

I started with containers from IKEA.  Then I cut out squares of magnets.  On each, I used vinyl to cut out the shapes and letters.

It was a super cute project and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

Linking up here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Shipping

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of StampXpress for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's getting to be that time of year when we all send out Christmas Cards. Some people think that social media has made Christmas cards obsolete, but I think an actual card beats an e-mail every time. I love getting anything in my mail box that is not either a bill or junk mail.  Each year while trying to send out my Christmas cards, I have a fight with my computer and printer while trying to print out the envelopes.  Can anyone else relate?

A great solution is to get a custom return address stamp from StampXpress. They sell lots of different styles, but I thought the round address stamps were really cute.  They are self-inking too, so you don't need to mess with a stamp pad.

StampXpress offers address stamps and more. Design your very own custom stamp exactly the way you want it at StampXpress! 

 I also have a secret fantasy of being a librarian and I love the stamps that said "From the library of...)  These would be a great way to keep track of books I lend out to people.

PSI 4141-108 - PSI 4141-108 Stamp FROM THE LIBRARY OF 


Currently, Stamp Xpress is offering free shipping on any orders over $10. They sell date stamps and number stamps, ink and other stamping supplies.  They even make it possible to you can customize your own stamp. Go check them out.

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New Sew Puffy Pumpkins

 My friend Andrea taught me how to make these pumpkins a few years ago and I still love them. They require no sewing what-so- ever.  Basically, you just cut lines in a Styrofoam ball and then tuck batting and fabric into the lines.  They come out looking quilted. Then I just shoved a stick and some leaves in to top!
(complete tutorial-

I'm linking up here.

The Best Thing I Ever Blogged About

The blog has hit 200,000 pageviews!  I appreciate everyone for visiting my little part of the blog universe and I wanted to do something special to celebrate.  Here's my idea.

Are you fans of the show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate?"  Funny story:  We went to a sandwich shop that both Guy Fieri and Duff Goldman claimed to have the best sandwich they ever ate in Baltimore.  The sandwich was good-but certainly not the best ever. What the episode failed to mention is that it shared a parking lot with a "gentlemen's club" and was across the street for a XXX video outlet!!! Family fun at its finest.  (Actually our kid's were innocent enough to believe that it was a club for "gentlemen" and that it was just another video store. pheww)

But I digress. I was thinking it would be fun to dedicate Mondays to "The Best Thing I Ever Blogged About".  Not necessarily the post with the most comments or the most viewed, just your favorite. It could be that project that you thought was absolute crafting genius, but despite linking up to every party in blogland, didn't get the love it deserved.  It doesn't even have to be a craft.  It could be a rant where you feel your snarky wit was spot on.  Or maybe your favorite post is about birth, loss, love, triumph or just plain funny.   If you'd like to participate, drop me a line:

 I'll go first.
(Self portrait's are not the most flattering)
The coolest room in our house the in Play room.  My husband is mostly responsible for the genius of the room.  He is a humanities major, Star Wars geek, sports fan, coke drinker, and rock star all rolled into one.   Please visit our "Grown-up Playroom" .  If you ever visit us for real, you'll get to sign our huge wall mural.

Maybe I love the room so much because I love my husband and the room is all him-or maybe I love it because it is just really, really cool. Either way our "Grown-up Playroom" is the best thing I ever blogged.

Tales of a Trophy Wife