Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I’m SO Into This…and That

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One of my favorite bloggers, Jen of Hope Studios, is hosting a fun party on Thursday to blab about what everyone is currently “into”. 
 
What a fun way to see what’s cool, hip or just a new obsession in each other’s households these days.
 
Well, in my house, the buzz word is “guys”.  Let me explain. 
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My oldest, Lanham, has always been one to rename his toys how he sees fit.  “Guys” is his world for any sort of action figure.  Usually it refers to the Star Wars Galactic Heroes, but the term has also been expanded to include Transformers, GI Joe and Indiana Jones guys too. 
 
Now my two year old, Braden, is completely into it too and they fight constantly over who has who’s guy.  On and on.  The floor of my car is full of guys.  Coat pockets too!
 
As if being outnumbered in my house by real guys wasn’t enough?
 
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Lanham, my 1st grader, is into “chapter books”.  Now that he’s mastered the basics of reading, he HAS to read “big boy chapter books”.  June B is a fave. 
 
Braden, the two year old, is obsessed with attempting to “read”.  So, he carries a book around and mumbles a lot.  He wants to be like his big brother SO bad!
 
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The boys also love the Penguins of Madagascar spin off series.  Braden requests it simply by saying, “Pain-gins, peas, mommy?”.
 
I have to admit, it’s a hysterical show.  While at the aquarium last weekend, Braden started naming the real penguins Rico and Kowalski.  Ha!
 
Cute and Cuddly Boys.  Cute and Cuddly.
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Braden has discovered his inner Picasso lately.  Luckily, his medium of choice is washable.  
 
My hubby has been WAY into the Winter Olympics lately.  Hockey is on in the background as I type this post.
 
The winter months involve lots of TV watching after the kiddos head to bed.  Currently, we’re both into Biggest Loser (SO inspiring!), Damages (Glen Close scares me!) and Modern Family (BEST new comedy hands down!). 
 
When the snow finally melts and the birds return, then maybe my butt  imprint will finally be removed from the couch.
 
As for me, myself, and I….
 
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Avocado.  Especially sliced on turkey sandwiches.  YUM!
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No-Crack Super Hand Cream (from Restoration Hardware) is the best thing for my dried up wintery paws this time of year.  I use the lemon grass scent each night before bed and it really does keep the crack away.
 
My newest thang is sewing.  I haven’t learned how to actually sew yet, but if someone needed to write a research paper on the types of sewing machines available or a list of really cute sewing projects to try…well, I would be your go-to gal. 
 
So that’s it for La Casa de Sabby.  What’s everyone buzzin about in house?  Don’t forget to check out even more fun “Into It” posts at Hope Studios
 
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Gooey Goodness - Stuffed Mushrooms

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Last week, I made baked manicotti for my hubby for our “in-house” Valentine’s Day dinner.

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Yummy Gooey LOVE!

The recipe made more than enough for that night and at least one night of leftovers.

To jazz up leftover night, I decided to make an unexpected side dish. Normally, I save these for parties or holidays, but since the main dish was already prepared, I had a little more time to spend on a yummy side.

One gooey thing deserves another, right?

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Cheesy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 1 lb mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
  • 1 lb seasoned pork sausage, any variety
  • 2 tablespoons onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

In a medium skillet, cook sausage until browned, drain fat and place into a medium bowl. Mince mushroom stems. Cook minced stems in fat that remains in the skillet. Add garlic and onion. Cook a few more minutes. Add mushroom mixture to drained sausage and allow to cool slightly. Add parmesan cheese and HALF of the mozzarella cheese to the bowl and mix well.

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Place mushroom caps in a greased baking dish. Stuff each cap with the mushroom and sausage mixture. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the mushrooms. Bake for 20 minutes and serve.

Before going into the oven:IMG_7227

And after…IMG_7236

I’ve made this recipe with both breakfast and Italian seasoned pork sausage and it all works. You can even try bulk pork sausage and season it the way you like it.

Also, there will be some of the sausage mixture remaining so you could use it to stuff additional mushrooms if you have them OR use it to top a pizza. Maybe an omelet? It’s too good to just toss it!

I’m linking this up to the Tasty Tuesday Party at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam AND Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

SNAKES! Why Did It Have To Be Snakes?

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My son watched the below scene from Indiana Jones:Raiders of the Lost Ark and it changed his life….forever.

He is completely terrified of snakes now.  If I had known the effect of this beloved movie, I would have never let him watch it.

But the damage is done.  He won’t even go near the snake house at the zoo!  The rubber ones at the aquarium gift shop?  Not a chance.

And now this…

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See that missing piece?  He kept telling me that he was almost finished with this puzzle, except for one piece.  He was “So sorry, Mommy”, but he just couldn’t bring himself to finish it.

Huh?  Why is Nevada missing?  Then I spotted this off to the side of the puzzle.

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Flipped it over.IMG_7262

Aha!  A snake.

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Sorry, Nevada.  You better get a new Melissa & Doug USA puzzle mascot or you’ll get booted out the country in this house. 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

You Capture – Kisses

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Since I’m the one usually giving out and receiving the kisses in our house, this week’s challenge was…well, challenging.

I captured what I could on Valentine’s Day morning, when the little ones were feeling oh-so lovey dovey.

Full of Valentine mushiness! At one point, they went a little over board and some of the shots were a Fabio-cover-of-a-romance-novelish. You ask, they do.

Here’s what made the cut.

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And, of course, Dixie the wonder pooch, had to get her turn.

puppy kisses

MUAH!

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There is a great weekly photography challenge at I Should Be Folding Laundry called You Capture. It’s a wonderful way for me to work on my skills, get new ideas and have fun with photography.

Each Thursday she hosts a party for a specific photo assignment and gives the assignment for the next week. Great idea, huh? Like homework for your hobby.

But the fun kind of homework.

Check her out!

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Stop Buggin’ Me, Mr. Weevil

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It’s the middle of winter.

I haven’t seen a spider, fly or even a gnat for months.

Then, this little guy appears.

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Gross to admit to the entire world, I suppose. 

Welcome to my bug filled home.  Now, let’s make some cookies!

Okay, so it’s not filled with bugs.  That’s a slight exaggeration.  I found about a dozen total so far.

To me, that was enough. 

The worst part?  Not knowing what the heck he/she/it was.  I Goggled “What the heck is this bug?” and came across…

Trumpets please…

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Yes, there is a website completely devoted to bug identification and all things buggy really.  Genius!

First, I tried to search the site to spot possible images of my new house mate.  Then I realized that these guys have done a LOT of bug research.

I took my chance at submitting an “Ask What’s That Bug” questionnaire, even after reading this below disclaimer.

Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). And while we appreciate the support, donating through the PayPal link does *not* increase your chances of having your identification request answered.

Fair enough.  I’ll give it a whirl.

To my amazement, I was given the bug’s name in less than 24 hours!  I plugged “Grain Weevil” into their site search engine and a pretty extensive list of info popped out! 

Grain Weevil.  My new arch nemesis. 

So what’s the big deal with naming this creature?  Well, I’ve learned that some bugs aren’t worth making the house all toxic just to ease my “fear” of them.  Some are, gross as they seem, actually helpful.

However, as small as these little weevils are, (less than 1/4 inch long) they can do some serious pantry infestation damage.  Therefore, we’re opting to rid our house of them. 

RIP Grain Weevil.

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Hopefully we won’t end up on their “Unnecessary Carnage Page”!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Grown Up Room

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Our master bedroom was kind of a catch all for random mismatched furniture and decor. After living with this mess for three years, I’m proud to say we’ve finally grown up and graduated to something that finally somewhat resembles a “Master” bedroom.

Before

The UGLY wall treatment!!!DSCF2571Our lovely barn-like focal wall used to hit you like a ton of bricks as you walked in the door! It was also textured and faux treated with a shiny silver glaze by the previous owners. Yikes!

Combine that wall with the “Seen Better Days” furniture below and many other miscellaneous items from both of our single days and you have a much needed makeover room.DSCF3102

After

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First, we had the walls painted. Yes, I said it. We hired real painters for the first time ever. I know its not the sign of a true DIYer. However, when we figured in the cost of renting scaffolding and the amount of time this huge space was going to take…well, we caved, ok!!

Back to the color choice. I wanted a neutral that we could live with for a long time….possibly forever since the space is a real pain to paint obviously. The space is SO large though that many neutrals would just appear white.

I figured we could get away with a deeper tone in our large space and went with a warm neutral from Sherwin Williams called Sanderling (7513).

I love how it turned out and it immediately made the room so much cozier.

Here’s a look at the same “barn wall” from the Before pictures above.IMG_7073

Then, I tackled the two sad pieces of furniture that we had to work with due to a teeny tiny budget. The knotty pine nastiness….I mean furniture, got a much needed overhaul that I proudly talked about way back here.

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This mirror was another quickie spray paint project.

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A little flat black spray paint, rid it of its former honey oak life.

Next, I moved on to jazzing up the bed a little. The above pine furniture set included a matching spindly headboard that was meant for a full size bed. We had propped it up behind our queen bed for years. It annoyed the heck out of me.

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I originally wanted to make a padded headboard. Then I stumbled across this option from Walmart. It was featured in a Better Homes and Gardens room redo by Genevieve.

The same headboard (believe me I checked the model number) can be found at other websites for $50-$100 more than what I paid at Walmart. Just shows that it helps to shop around.

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And with Site to Store there’s no shipping fee. Woo hoo!

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The pale blue green coverlet and shams are from Overstock and I found the chocolate basket weave shams on Ebay.

We also have a down comforter (not pictured) that we use during the winter months. It has a neutral cover and kind of blah. Alas, it is a necessity this time of year.

I love the way I can add and subtract from our bedding as needed to suit the weather. In the summer, we only use the coverlet. Now that its winter, we added the down comforter underneath.

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Our old Ikea nightstand, was better suited for another room and I snagged these beauties online from Walmart.

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The lamp bases were on clearance for $7 at Meijer and I topped them off with shades from Target. At first I wasn’t a huge fan of the finish and had thought I wanted more brushed nickel. However, once it was all in place, I loved the warmer look.

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The accessories are still a little sparse in this room. It’s a work in a progress. So far, I’ve scored these silver candlesticks from yet another Home Goods clearance rack.

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The blue/green glass bowl was $1 at Goodwill and now holds coral we found on the beaches in Costa Rica. IMG_7069

This vase and the other smaller one next to my jewelry box were clearance finds from Michaels.

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The color scheme actually started with my love for the blue-green/chocolate color combination that’s so popular these days. I first found these curtains, again, at Walmart and went from there.

(Ok…now I sound like Walmart pays me….they don’t. I wish, but no….they don’t. Most of our income goes to them and not the other way around unfortunately. ugh.)

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I’m trying to add the blue-green color in my accents and keep the other things in the room more neutral. When I change my mind about that stronger color, I can pull it out and add a new one to my neutrals.

For instance, I added simple artwork above our bed using inexpensive 12x12 frames and scrapbook paper. I’m a lover of Art on the Cheap. For more artsy fun, look here and here.

Of course, there is always room for improvement. Here are some things I still want to add to our already new and improved Master Bedroom.

  • Change the ceiling fan out - It has black lacquered fan blades that I stare at with mild hatred each night.
  • More artwork - this room has so much wall space!
  • New TV stand – the current one is something we picked up in a hurry one day and its just bad…but functional.

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I hope you enjoyed my Master Bedroom tour. We are certainly loving a more grown-up and pulled together retreat for ourselves.

I’m linking this post up to the below parties! Check them out for some fabulous inspiration!

Susan’s Metamorphasis Monday

Kimba’s DIY day

Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell

Gina’s Transformation Thursday

Poppies at Play’s Creative Cats Friday

Jen’s Weekend Wrap Up Party


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Monday, February 15, 2010

Hey! I Want To Make a Ruffled Pillow Too!

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I’ve finally had it.  I can’t stand it any longer. 

Every morning, I grab my cup of coffee and start flipping through the daily goodies in my Google Reader.  Such a great part of my day.

Then it hits me….I can’t even DO many of these awesome ideas.

Why?  Well, I’m pretty crafty, yes.  What I am lacking is pretty important, though.

A sewing machine.

Where to start?  What little do dads do I need?  Brands?    What a “free arm”? 

My mom has agreed to give me some lessons….she’s pretty good at all things crafty, including sewing.  Now I just need the machine. 

So I’m putting out an SOS to you all, to help me decide which one to get.  Seriously.  I got completely dizzy when browsing all the options on Amazon the other day.

My mother-in-law is also a great seamstress, but she lives in Arizona.  :(  She’s given me tips and tricks to get me started.

And mom’s not much help either.  She hasn’t bought one in years!  now she wants a new one too.

I want to hear from you guys.  The ones that are in the sewing/crafting trenches each week.

So can you help us?  Pretty please!!

I promise to share some fun creations after I learn how to wrangle the sewing machine beast.  Oh, and if I don’t run the needle over my finger in the process.  Ewww! 

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