Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to all... and Peanut Butter Bonbons

It is very early Christmas morning and I have not gone to sleep yet.  Busy making Peanut Butter Bonbons and playing Words with Friends with my mom and my sister.  Super busy.  ;)

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  This time of year is always so busy but the fact of the matter is that it truly is the most important celebration of our lives!  Christ is born!

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
    that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    ~John 3:16

I just adore all of the music and decorations that celebrate Christmas!  We didn't get to do much decorating this year because we still don't have any shelving nor much furniture, but we are learning (ok... I am) to be thankful through every phase of this transition.  I want the house to be completely adorable and ready for people to come visit but I think I am focusing too much on what I want than on what we have.  Thank you God for giving us this house of ours in which we can relax and celebrate your birthday!

Thank you for the late nights spent wrapping gifts (that I can afford to give) and for the even later nights spent making treats and making Christmas morning even more amazing for our little girl!

I thought I'd share the Bonbon recipe since I mentioned making them.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Bonbons

1 cup of chunky peanut butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 (6 oz.) bag of semi- sweet chocolate pieces (I just use a cup of chocolate chips)
2 Tbsp soft margarine
1 1/2 cups of raisins 
2 Tbsp shortening

Combine peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar, mixing well.  Stir in raisins.  Shape into small balls.  Melt chocolate with shortening over warm (not hot) water.  Dip balls into the chocolate.  Place on waxed paper until set.  Refrigerate.  

So simple yet so awesome!  I always omitt the raisins because I'm not a huge fan.

I remember the first time that I made these.  We were still living in Copperas Cove, Tx and we had some of my husband's fight team over.  Talk about needing to make more!  They weren't training for any fights at the time so they didn't need to watch their manly figures.  ;)

They're still in the fridge otherwise I would have tried and made a pretty arrangement for your drooling...  I mean, viewing pleasure.  They don't look so hot sitting on the waxed paper.  LOL!

I had better try and get some sleep now.  I need to be up in about 5 hours to head up to my sister's house.  Have a Merry Christmas!

    And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life,
     and this life is in his Son.
     ~1 John 5:11

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silent Night

December 14, 2012 is a day that we will all remember and mourn.  Twenty innocent children lost their lives in a tragic way.  Eight young boys and twelve young girls.  Six brave women who are heroes in all of our eyes.  

As stories unfold, I cannot fathom what the people of Newtown are experiencing.  The pain, the sorrow, the questions.  But one thing that strikes me is the constant talk of prayers and that they are with Jesus.

I find myself crying multiple times a day over this horrific tragedy.  At one point, as I was reading some more about the victims, I was sniffling and trying to hold back my emotions because my 3 year old daughter was sitting next to me.  I guess my muffled cries sounded like laughter and she looked up at me, smiling, and asked me, "Mommy, what's so funny on the computer?"  I had to smile at her through my tears and pretend that everything was just fine.  

All we can really do is pray for the families of everyone involved.  Pray for little Noah's twin sister, Arielle, who will certainly have a huge loss to overcome.  Pray that she never feels guilt for having survived when her best friend did not.  I will be praying for her.  A lot.  

Pray for all of the mommies and daddies of these beautiful little angels.  Pray for their grandmas and papas who must feel so broken.  Pray for all of the Sandy Hook students who will never be the same.  Pray for the counselors, Pastors, policemen, firefighters.  Pray for the husbands, boyfriends, and siblings of the beautifully brave women.  

Get on your knees and pray.  Newtown needs your prayer right now.  Fall on your face and pray for them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Super deal on rugs!

I went to Kohls on Saturday night and was thrilled to come across an amazing deal on a few bathroom/kitchen mats that I've been in need of. Our house has been coming along quite slowly due to financial restrictions but we really needed a few rugs to help with warming up the floors and with decreasing the amount of dirt that was being tracked inside.  

I am quite picky when it comes to materials.  I really like natural fibers and am not a fan of "plastic" rugs that have come onto the scene in the form of indoor/outdoor rugs. I'm a hypocrite when I say this because we have a huge one sitting in our living room right now.  But in defense, I am rather looking forward to selling it on Craigslist and purchasing a nice wool one.

Anywhoooooooo, I grabbed a couple of these nice little woven mats by Eco-Brights and took them to the price scanner. I wasn't expecting them to be on sale because they weren't included on the little "sale" pricing screen.  So you can imagine my surprise when they popped up clearanced out at $2.99!  I wanted to cry.  I did have to fan myself off though.  I immediately sent photos of them to my sister but the snob (JK Diana) didn't feel the colors worked in her place.  Luckily they'll work in mine!

I ended up getting 4 of them.  The colors are a little off in the photos but what can you expect from a cell phone, huh?  They ended up coming to $2.39 since I had a 20% off coupon.  Not too shabby for a girl on a budget, huh?

I love them because they really hide the dirt (until I get to wash them... weekly, of course)!  They also remind me of my Grandma, which is always a good thing.

I got a larger one that wasn't on clearance but it was originally $90 and I only paid $28 for it.  It's now warming up my kitchen floor.  It's a lovely teal with bright green stripes.  One of these days I'll be ready to post more photos of the place.  It's just a slow (yet praiseworthy) process right now.

HALLELUJAH for our trials! (It's not always easy for me to remember to praise God through these things, but it's wonderful to have friends who are there to remind us that "decorating a house" is not much of a trial.  Wisely said.)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, -James 1:2

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November Moon

Tonight after church I was standing at my car with my dear friend and we were mesmerized by the beautiful moon peeking between these patches of clouds.  They were almost in a circular pattern that hugged the moon.  It was spectacular.  Of course I had to try and take some photos but they were horrible.  Taking photos of the moon requires a lot more from a camera than what my old cell phone can handle.

Luckily when I got home tonight my husband had been looking at a very similar sky and snapped some of his own.  It doesn't have the same patches of clouds that I saw but they are really beautiful photos.  Thanks Patrick!

It reminds me of that prayer, "I see the moon and the moon sees me.  God bless the moon and God bless me."

On our way home from my sister's house today my daughter had asked me who made the moon.  It was such a sweet question.  Of course she went on for a while with, "Who made bad wolves?"  and "Who made mean doggies?"  But we'll pretend for now that she only asked who made the moon... because it's quite fitting for this post.

God bless and good night!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fun Fall Pinterest Ideas!

I just love this time of year.  I think I actually say that about every new season every single year, but I really love the coziness of Fall.  I also love decorating in the deep hues of the changing palette of nature.  It doesn't look like I'll get around to it this year (we're still living out of boxes, much to my chagrin).  But I thought I'd post a few of my favorite Fall Pinterest ideas.  Have fun!

I found this cute photo and loved the look right off the bat.  Unfortunately the link went to some jewelry website so I'm not sure whom to give credit to.

This adorable front porch was designed by Laura over at Finding Home.  She brilliantly re-purposed that awesome log holder out of what believes may have been an old propane tank holder!

Good old Martha Stewart!  I love, love, love the little pumpkins used as votive candle holders!

This felt leaf garland is simply too cool!  If I had my bookshelves up already I would totally make this and drape them all across!  I'm not sure who this is by either (let me know if it's you!).

These vases are simply filled with water and twigs and floating candles!  Great idea Julie!  

Courtney over at A Diamond in the Stuff has a post on really creative mantel/ shelf ideas.  One of my favorites is this Thanksgiving themed cutie!

It wouldn't be complete without something from Better Homes and Gardens!

This is an awesome idea for a nice smelling candle straight from nature!  It's a video, so make sure you watch it!

Last but not least is another natural room scent.  The idea comes from Monica over at The Yummy Life.  All natural, all wonderful!  They would make an awesome hostess or Christmas present as well!

Happy Fall!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I voted and painted today

I won't post much on politics here.  I am not one for debates.  But none-the-less, voting is important and so many people have devoted their lives or even lost their lives for our right to vote.  The good ol' US of A is a country founded on freedom and we should respect the Founding Fathers who drafted the Constitution!  


I spent the afternoon cleaning, sanding and priming our dresser.  I got in 2 coats of primer and was racing to finish before the sun went down.  This daylight savings is crazy when it comes to 3:45 sundown!  The sun wasn't completely gone for another hour so I was able to get in a few touch ups.  Hopefully I'll be able to complete the turquoise coats tomorrow.  We'll see how it goes! 

 We really, really need that dresser done.  We have baskets of laundry lying around with no where to go.  If I haven't mentioned before, we had to downsize our closet size drastically.  Our house is in shambles so getting these projects completed is vital to my sanity.  I cannot stand disorganization.  It makes me anxious and somewhat angry.  I find it quite humorous (ok, that's not how I would put it if I weren't on a public forum) that I ended up marrying a man who is the opposite of tidy.  He's like five 3 year olds enclosed in a room without supervision.  Except he can cause more turmoil in less time.  Yeah, he's like that.

Annnnnnnnyways, here is a teaser of the dresser's current primed state!

Miss Mimosa and Marinara Sauce

This morning my daughter and I threw on our old clothes and headed outside to paint the soon to be sidebar table in our kitchen.  My husband had primed it and raised it.  It's an old console table that was left by a previous tenant.  We are in dire need of more counter space as well as storage so we're hoping this is the solution.  The console originally had three rows of three drawers but we decided to keep only the top three and use the space left beneath for storing potatoes, onions and whatever else in wire baskets.

As I mentioned yesterday, we chose Martha Stewart's color, Mimosa.  It's a lovely shade of chartreuse that I just love!

I was extremely excited to get started but I wanted to get lunch ready.  A few months back I read a Nicholas Sparks novel called True Believer.  Aside from being a fabulous book, there was the mention of a marinara sauce in it that I made shortly after and was blown away by how easy and delicious it was.  

The ingredients are:

2 (28 oz) cans of San Marzano tomatoes
1 stick of butter
2 onions (halved)

Just peel the onions and cut off the ends.  Then cut them in half.

Place the onion in a pot and throw in your stick of butter.

Pour in your tomatoes and let simmer for an hour and a half.  You will notice the enticing smell almost immediately.  I mean, whoa!  This stuff smells amazing!  The fact that it's three ingredients makes it almost unbelievable.

While our marinara was simmering we headed outside and got down to business.  My daughter had the task of painting the inside of the shelf where the baskets will go.  She was thrilled to be able to help me with this project.  About halfway through she turned to me and said, "Mama, you're amazing!"  It was the sweetest thing and it reminded me of how important the little things are in her little 3 year old mind.  I'm so glad that I didn't sweat the small stuff but instead allowed her to help me out.  It meant the world to her.

I'm not revealing our kitchen sidebar until our baskets are in place, but here's a teaser!

After we finished painting I got ready for work and sat down and had a bowl of spaghetti.  It was scrumptious!

But I'll be honest.  The first time I made it I couldn't find San Marzano tomatoes at Trader Joe's.  I substituted 2 cans of organic tomatoes in their place.  This time around Trader Joe's had them in.  I actually liked it better the first time around.  I think it might have been due to the fact that these tomatoes were canned with bay leaves.  It lent a different flavor which I still loved, but not as much as with the organic tomatoes.  

But try it for yourself!  Paired with a nice bread and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.... oooooh weeee!  That's a tasty dinner!  It also makes an incredible pizza sauce.  Especially with those chunks of marinated tomatoes!  Trust me, you just have to try it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Favorite Day

Do I really need to explain why today is my favorite day of the year?  ; )  Ok, some people might be reading this later on so I need to state that today is daylight savings.  "Spring forward, fall back."  I LOVE FALL BACK!  One extra hour of sleep?  Yes, please!  Needless to say, my LEAST favorite day comes in the springtime.  LOL!

Today was a beautiful Indian Summer day.  It was 86 degrees!  Pretty hot for November but also quite a lovely blessing.  The next few days are supposed to be hot as well so I'm hoping to get some painting done.  We have an old console and an old dresser that we chose paint colors for last night.  I'm super excited to get started!

We chose Martha Stewart's Mimosa for the console (which we're turning into extra counter space and storage for the kitchen) and Behr's Cozumel for the dresser.  I tried to find a photo online of Martha's Mimosa but they're just not accurate.  They look butttery soft but it's a light chartreuse.  You'll just have to wait on that one.  But Behr's cozumel looks like this!

Very exciting for me!  They're both zero VOC which makes me even more happy.  I'm all about no chemicals and lingering smells!

So if all goes according to plan, you'll be seeing two beautiful pieces posted very soon!  Wish me luck!

Oh, and on a completely different note, tonight while my daughter made every excuse in the book not to go to bed (yes, she's absolutely my mini-me) she ended with a classic, "Mama, I have a bad headache."  I looked at her and I could tell she thought she had come up with the best excuse ever.  So I told her that she should definitely go to sleep because sleep is the best thing for a bad headache.  She tilted her head and goes, "Mama I have a BIG idea!  I can take medicine!"  Ok, she's 3.  I had to hold in my laughter and guide her back to bed.  She loves the taste of that grape children's tylenol.  Crazy kid.  I love my crazy kid!

Friday, November 2, 2012

In the midst of all the chaos...

... I love walking out my front door to see this little basement door with the beautiful bougainvillea surrounding it.

It brings this sense of peace and an overwhelming feeling that God is here with me through it all.  He knows exactly what my heart desires (at this moment, it happens to be a lightly stained blue basement door and bougainvillea).  ;)

But seriously, I have been stressing like crazy over my mom's house (the packing, cleaning, selling of items, etc.).  It went on the market a few days ago and we have had numerous showings already.  The problem is that it is not "show ready."  It looks like a pack of giant men came through the place and started grabbing random things while tracking in mud, dirty socks and spider webs.  I suppose some of those things were already there but you get the point.

Please keep me in your prayers as well as my husband and my mom.  We have a long weekend ahead of us if this place is going to have any chance of showcasing its beauty.  I'm barely keeping my sanity at this point. 

Thank the good Lord for bougainvillea and old wood!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Light the Night!

We had a very successful festival tonight at our church.  We had games, crafts, food, contests, candy, prizes,  music... all set up for the neighborhood children.  It was a wonderful way to spend the evening and such a blessing to all involved.

Jacob's Ladder bean bag toss game.

Pie eating contest (ok, so they were actually Twinkies).

This has absolutely nothing to do with the Light the Night Festival, but I thought it was the only appropriate day in which I could post a photo of a Black Widow on my blog!  We found her last week hanging onto the INSIDE of our screen door!  My husband claims it is the biggest BW he's ever seen (and he's been around some nasty spiders from around the world).  I won't go into the noise that I made when I noticed her as I passed through the front door.  We'll just leave that up to your imaginations.  But go easy on me, alright?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Flowers and Froggy Fog

I planted bulbs and tubers today.  I had to plant them all in gopher proof beds because those little rascals get everything here!

The previous tenant left an old tub.  Kind of cool!  Perfect for my Tulips!

I'm hoping these Irises actually make it.  I dug them up from my mom's house about 10 days ago.  I guess we'll soon see!

I've been doing a lot of research on flowers that are more gopher tolerant.  I think I'll have to do a post on them because I never found a site that would just show you a photo of the flower beside the name.  I'm not all that knowledgeable on plants so matching up a name to an image was very difficult for me. I had to keep going back and forth between websites and Google Images.  That was a little annoying.  But I digress.

I planted Irises and Tulips and Amaryllis.  The amaryllis (Naked Ladies) are actually one of the top plants that gophers don't like to eat so I ended up planting them along the fence rather than in a planter.  We'll see how that goes once things start blooming next year!

I was about to start painting the console table that my hubby is helping me fix up but the fog started rolling in.  Luckily my daughter has an internal fog horn because I had just begun to paint when she started yelling, "Mama, it's getting froggy!  Mama, the frog is coming!"

Boy was she right!

I thought I could beat it but there was no way.

Oh well, it sure is beautiful!

Uesugi Farms

Fall is definitely underway.  We took the girls (my daughter and my nieces) to Uesugi Farms in Morgan Hill on Saturday.  It's become a tradition of ours and we always have a great time.  

This is one of the views from the hayride tour.

There are just rows and rows of these beautiful marigolds! 
 It's really quite breathtaking in person!

Of course there are a ton of sunflowers in every breed.

The girls had to ham it up and do a little dancing on the stage.

We can't forget the pumpkin patch!  Every year the girls love to play in the pumpkins.  
It's so cool!  Pumpkins as far as the eye can see!  I'm sure that from their 3 year old minds there must be zillions of them!

They create this huge pyramid of pumpkins that is just plain neat.

This trip is always one of the highlights of this season.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Autumn Sky

Today's sky left me awestruck. 

Wow.  How can you look at this sky and not see God?!?