Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gone... Vanished...

I have wanted this light green Southern Living Easy-Arrange vase since I first laid eyes on it... 7 YEARS AGO.

This picture does not do it justice... it is so pretty and even prettier with spring tulips in it... I'm talkin'... amazing.



But, cheap-o procrastinating Napmom never bought it. 

I recently perused the newest Southern Living at Home catalog... as I do from time to time... (and I admire this vase and how pretty it is)... and guess what... my beloved vase was gone... had disappeared... it's {{gulp}} R-E-T-I-R-E-D!

NO WAY!

But it was my favorite... ever! 

It's been in the catalog... forever!

Why did they do this to me? 

How did this happen?

But I loved it soooooo much!

Admittedly...  I really wanted it in a light blue... I know that... and green would have TOTALLY been washed out in my already green living room... but... I mean... why did they retire it?  They should have just made it in light blue {{duh}}... robin's egg blue... hello?????  

{{pause while I do internet research}}

A robin's egg blue like this one... that I didn't even know existed... until today... and it's R-E-T-I-R-E-D too... but much, much prettier... don't ya think? 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Waiting

Right now I am waiting for these Tupperware Dessert Bowls to arrive via mail.

I remember that my grandma had cups like these when I was little.  She would make chocolate pudding in them.  It was wonderful to have little yummy cups of pudding just waiting for me the family me in the refrigerator.

I can't wait for them to arrive.

I have pudding and jello ready for their homecoming!  What shall I make first?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

AH - she wrote back...

When I wrote to Southern Hospitality asking for her paint advice... I mean... I didn't really think that she would write back... but she did.  Did you notice?

She wrote:
Sorry it took me awhile to get over here! I lived in a split foyer much like yours when I was in GA, so I know all about the challenges of painting. You could definitely, as suggested, put up a trim piece of molding on the wall where that 1/2 wall looks over to the foyer, to separate the paint colors in foyer & livingroom. That would work great for the separation. Trimwork and molding painted white.


As far as the other parts, I actually painted one side of an overhang one color, stopped the color at the corner that turned down the hall and began another color that direction. So, when you were standing in my kitchen looking to the LR, the kitchen was one color, then once you walked to the LR, it was another, and the only separation was corner walls. It wasn't totally ideal, but it did work for me. So you might have some ideas on how to use that. I'm sure you will figure it out. Sometimes a corner can be a break in color, but make sure they flow! 
So, it looks like you were ALL right and we will be putting up a column/trim/something in the hallway to separate the colors.  Yippee!!  You learn something new everyday!

I love the color in her blue bathroom, seen here.  She blogged about the bathroom when she first painted it... awhile ago... and I sent a picture to Dear Husband.  Maybe I Dear Husband will paint our upstairs bathroom this color in the future.  I really do love it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I said "yes."

Oh gosh. I can’t believe that I am even admitting this publicly.


Dear Husband likes to ride motorcycles… like Harley Davidson motorcycles. {{gasp}}

And, each Spring his brothers and some close friends go on a bike ride to… wherever the road takes them. Like, they each pack a one-man tent and very few clothes {{or toiletries}}… and ride with the wind. They have a blast… however, it sounds like pure torture to me.

Some years Dear Husband goes on the trip and some years he doesn’t. Last year, he didn’t go on the trip… because we needed him to stay home and work. I have a government job, so I can use leave to go on vacation… and I still get paid. He is a real estate agent… so if he isn’t working then he isn’t getting paid… and money is tight… to say the least.

Important FACT – my baby is due the end of April… and my babies ALWAYS come late {{very late}}… so I am expecting a beginning of May baby.
{{ahem}}

A few weeks ago Dear Husband approached me about taking an early May bike trip with the guys. {{See Important FACT, noted above.}} In short, his closing argument was, “I wouldn’t care if you went on a girl’s trip and left me with a newborn, so why should you care if I go.” Ummm… after I picked my chin up off of the floor… I went to bed… and the next morning, I told him to pack his crap and his bleep bike and crawl in a bleeeeeep hole somewhere {{actually, I was much MEANER than THAT… but you get the point}}. He says that I misunderstood him. Hmmm…

The May bike trip has now turned into a July bike trip. In truth, I want him to go on the trip. He totally deserves to go… no one is more deserving than he is. He loves his brothers. This is a great bonding trip for them. He NEVER goes anywhere and he is always there for me… and there for the kids… and he dotes on me… and he dotes on the kids… he is like the Energizer bunny… or the Giving Tree… he gives and gives and gives of himself… and his time… and his heart… day in and day out… and doesn’t ask for anything in return… except… for… maybe… one… annual… trip… with … the boys… his dear and wonderful… brothers. {{sigh}}

I’m so selfish. This means that I will have to spend 7-8 days… by myself… without Dear Husband… and I’ll still have somewhat sleepless nights… and toting around the newborn… and dealing with Bro… while still trying to occupy a preteen… early mornings… late nights… middle of the nights… sweltering summer humidity… for… a… whole… week… with… NO… break… and… all… by… MYSELF! {{on the floor throwing a fit like a baby – just picture it}} Can’t this trip wait… like 5 more years… when the kids are a bit more… manageable? {{Is that too much to ask?}}

But I want him to go… and so… last night… I said “yes.” {{And I was like… nice… and sincere too.}} And he was silent – but giggling like a child, deep down inside, I know. I will put on my big girl pants and make it through one measly week with my children {{1 newborn, 1 terrible-two, and 1 preteen… the PERFECT storm}} by myself… because it is my turn to give back… don’t you agree?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Letter

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Varmint Squirrel,

You ate my bird food.

I set out some squirrel food especially for you.

You still walked right past it and... ate my bird food.

Then, you ran away with the squirrel food too - don't deny it - I saw you do it!

You will be happy to know that I will be shopping for an anti-squirrel bird feeder this weekend, rather than the pellet gun that many have suggested.

Also, I will continue to set out special and delicious squirrel food for you and your little ugly rat squirrel babies.

However, the next time you touch my bird food... I cannot promise that I will be so easy to get along with.

Consider yourself warned!

Sincerely,
Napmom

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mystery Solved

Back in December we were snowed in... and a mystery man came to our driveway with his large machine and cleared the better part of our driveway.

We were ecstatic... we were pumped... we were excited beyond belief.

And, every time it has snowed since, he has been back, in his big orange machine, clearing our driveway.

But, who is this mystery man?

As we meet the neighbors, we continue to get some hints as to his identity.

Hints

Neighbor 1 told us that he is is a guy who lives down the street.

Neighbor 2 told us that he is single and kinda gave directions to the general direction of his house.

Neighbor 3 told us that the mystery man has a driveway in our neighborhood but his home is considered to be part of the neighborhood next to us (my parents' neighborhood).

I want to know who this person is because I want to make him some cookies or bread to say THANKS and so he KEEPS COMING BACK!  {{wink, wink}}

Discovery

I told my dad, "Guess what?  We know who the guy is who plows our driveway.  He is this single guy who lives at the end of our developement but he is not part of our development... he is part of your development.  And, he is really nice and... he just plows people's driveways to be nice."

"Is his name Brad?"

"Well, I don't know what his name is... all I know is that we met these neighbors and they said... {{repeat information}}."

"Yeah, that's Brad!  He's my buddy!  We have been water skiing together!  He's a great guy!  He's the one who said that Dear Husband can have the firewood."

"Really!  Well, tell him that I am your daughter... because we really like when he plows the driveway.  Where does he live?  What can I bake for him?"

A Few Days Later

Dad says to me, "I talked to Brad.  Yep, he's the guy who does the plowing.  He asked if you are the family with the two kids?  He said that Dear Husband can have all of the firewood he wants!"

Mystery Solved

We know his name.  We know where he lives.  He's a family friend.  Like... we have the connection now!  What a great guy!


We Mystery Neighbor Guy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Paint Help

I wrote this e-mail to Southern Hospitality.  I'm not quite sure if she will respond, but it was worth a try.  I find lots of inspiration for paint colors and decorating in general on her blog.  Check out the bathroom in her most recent post... isn't it gorgeous?  Alas, I am still confused about what to do with my space.


Dear Southern Hospitality:

I read your blog through google blog reader and I think that you are the perfect person to help me and other readers as well.

I was wondering if you have any ideas on the best way to paint a split foyer home. We just moved and we want to put a green color on the walls. However, in a split foyer home... all of the walls run together. Our foyer wall is connected to the living room wall... and the back of the living room is connected to the entire hallway. Is there a suggested way to break up the walls so that we don't have to paint the entire top level g-r-e-e-n.

I am sure that I am NOT the only person who lives in a split foyer home and I thought that maybe you would have some ideas that you could share with me and your other readers fans.

I have attached pictures for you to view or you can view the pictures and a post about this request on my blog at http://napmom.blogspot.com/.

Sincerely,








p.s.  We are aiming for this type of green, which is what we had in our last home, with a beige couch and black accents.  Also, I did NOT decorate that country kitchen (in the picture above).  It is more of a Tuscan themed kitchen now.


If anybody has any suggestions on how to paint JUST THE LIVING ROOM green (or any other creative idea) then please let me know.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

♥ Love ♥

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another bird reminder...


Have something important to say?  Create your own message at the Candy Hearts Generator.



 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bird REMINDER

A reminder of MOST IMPORTANCE...

The Great Backyard Bird Count starts today and lasts through the weekend.

Looking for something to do with the kids?  Cabin fever got you down?

HAVE NO FEAR... Birds come out in the snow too, you know?

Check the Great Backyard Bird Count site for more information.

You can read all about our bird count fun from last year here... okay... really... it's just a tally of the birds we saw... but we had great fun! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowed In.

We. Are. Snowed. In.

Lucky for moi... Fairy Grandmother and Luvs2Boat live 1 mile away.

Lucky for us, Luvs2Boat has a 4-wheel drive truck and Fairy Grandmother gathered ALL of the materials needed to make Valentine cookies.

Before we started the day, Lulu packed all of her Wii games for a day at Fairy Grandmother's house.


Hence, Lulu played the Wii, while the rest of us made cookies.


How to Make Valentine Cookies - as told by baby Bro


First, find some space inbetween Fairy Grandmother and Mommy.


Sprinkle dough with flour.


Roll out the dough.


Select a cookie cutter.


Press down real hard.  Don't make fun of my hair.  I can't believe my mom let me go out of the house like this.


Put the cookie on the tray.


Sneak a quick bite when Mommy isn't looking while Mommy plays with her camera and then set it down real quick in hopes that she won't notice.


Eat some cookie dough when Fairy Grandmother steps away.


Ta-da!


Play Wii with Lulu while the cookies bake.


Add sprinkles to the cookies.


Thank Lulu for taking time away from the Wii to be our afternoon photographer.




Eat leftover sprinkles.


And that, my friends, is how you make Valentine cookies!



Tray 1.


Tray 2.


Tray 3.


And... then... you hunker down for a n-a-p...


while the snow continues to pile up outside.


It is a time-consuming process, but well worth the effort!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Snow

Napmom's life update...

Snow (Episode 1)

We were snowed in underneath an unbelievable amount of snow.

More unbelievable snow is coming.

I didn't blog about the snow because we reconcreted the basement.  Remember?  And the computer is in the basement.  Remember?  More about that later!

I do have Snow (Episode 1) pics to share someday.


Snow (Episode 2)

We are ready.

1.  I printed some math worksheets from the internet... you know... so we don't forget everything that we have learned.  {{Ahh.... I can feel the mommy praise coming now!  Do they have merit badges for this type of stuff?}}

2.  We have the kite paper necessary to make Waldorf Window Stars as seen at Pink and Green Mama

I took this picture from pinkandgreen mama's site without asking.  But this is her little princess' star... and since I am linking to her blog... and giving her ALL of the credit... I hope I'm sure she won't mind.

3.  Lulu's dad is delivering 2 Wii games that we can ALL (sans baby Bro) play together at one time (Mario Kart and Super Mario Wii).   

4.  I'm going to make meatballs in the crockpot - Em's favorite meatballs (other than the ones she gets at camp).  Yummy!

5.  Fairy Grandmother has all of the necessary supplies for the kids to make Valentine cookies!  Double-yum!


House Update

Everytime "we" do something to the basement, "we" have to unplug all of the computer stuff and move the computer desk.  Then Dear Husband has to listen to this question, "When is my computer going to be up and running," until it all gets hooked back up again. 

I offered to let the computer live on the main level of the house until these basement projects were completed, but "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooOOOO"... so... guess what... all of a sudden... now it sounds like a great idea to move the computer upstairs.

Don't get me wrong... we have NO place for the computer and we will be crazy cramped... but it is necessary... for the sanity of all MOI!


Upcoming Projects

Tile in front of the fireplace.

Paint the basement a real pretty and light blue.  A very, very, very light and airy blue.

Carpet the main area of the basement.

Breathe a sigh of relief!  {{That's my part.}}


Weekend Events

Great Backyard Bird Count
We have seen tons of birds at our bird feeder and the squirrels are staying away. I can't wait to start documenting our sightings!

Valentine's Day

Heart shaped pancake molds?  "check"
Small gift for each child?  "check"
Pizza dough for heart-shaped pizzas?  "check"
Chocolates and strawberries for homemade chocolate dessert cups?  "not yet"
Something totally romantic and sweet for an oh-so-deserving Dear Husband? "workin' on it"

What are you doing for Valentine's Day?


Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Commercial

My favorite Super Bowl commercial (below)... just loved it.  You don't even need the sound... just watch... so sweet!  I was like, "awwwwwwwwww... that is so sweet... that is so sweet... that is so sweet..."  Loved it! 





Although, this one makes me laugh too... and WAS my favorite... until I saw the google commercial.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Even More Home Improvements

Before we can put down the concrete in the basement, we had to replace the sliding glass door.  Well, that is, the door didn't NEED to be replaced, but because of how the concrete was going to come up over the lip of the door, it had to be replaced NOW or NEVER. 

So, in the dead of winter, "we" {{we = Dear Husband and my amazing brother-in-law}} replaced the sliding glass door.

View from inside the house.


View from outside the house... taken as I was sitting in my lawn chair watching Bro play outside while asking "How much longer?"  My poor brother-in-law.


The door eventually made it into its correct spot, as you can see in this picture that was taken the-day-after.  Yes, I know, there is some molding work to deal with... we are babystepping here folks. 

On this day, Daddy was showing off for mommy teaching Bro how to chop wood.  Of course, to chop the wood he would set one piece of wood on the large stump (that you see in the picture) and then start chopping with the axe.  When the wood split, it went flying in different directions.  We joked about what we would do if a piece of wood flew into the sliding glass door and the whole thing cracked.  COULD YOU IMAGINE????


Bro helped Daddy stack the wood... always the little helper.




Another funny story...

We all know that one of the things that I really cherish about Dear Husband is that he is such a good helper.  I say this all of the time.  It's not like either one of us does more work than the other (ahem); we are both part of this game called "Life" and just working to get it all done.  The other day, when I said something about Dear Husband being a good helper, he looked at me and said (in a totally sweet way), "You know... you refer to me as a helper.  But, being a helper would imply that YOU are actually doing something and I am merely ASSISTING YOU.  But... you see... I don't ever see you doing anything.  So how am I the HELPER here?"  Of course, he followed that up with some laughing and some hugs... ha ha ha ha ha!  Can I even begin to tell you how much I love this man??????

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Home Improvements

While it was wonderful that someone (thanks Ariane) thinks that I graciously no-baked my way though Christmas.  There is something that I am not being so gracious about... and so... since I have been such a pain in the bottom... I haven't blogged about it... and that something is... my basement has gone from bad to worse... and what once looked like this...



now looks like this...

... and I am not happy about it. 

And, it's only gonna get worse (if you can believe that).  


Why?  There is a 2-inch dip/slope in the floor... and the Powers-That-Be (ahem - Dear Husband, Fairy Grandmother, and Luvs2 Boat) want to fix the dip.  Why?
  •  "You want it to be right." - Fairy Grandmother
  • "The furniture will sit correctly and NOT wobble, if we fix it." - Luvs2Boat
  • "You are going to feel like you are falling over when you walk on it, if you don't fix it." - Fairy Grandmother
  • "A 2-inch dip/slope is tacky!" - Dear Husband
I am not a patient person.  If it was up to me (and I don't seem to have a vote here) I'd tile in front of the fireplace and carpet the main flooring area... and be done with it.  Voila!  Instant office, lounge area, and play area!!!!!


Instead, we are going to:
  •  rip up the floor;
  • tear up a bit of the wall; and 
  • repour the concrete... I think that's the plan.
Then we will:
  • tile in front of the fireplace;
  • fix the walls;
  • paint the walls;
  • put down the carpet.
Notice my use of the words "we will" and "we are going to," while none of this involves me at all.  ha ha ha ha ha!


For now, I am extremely grateful for all of the help that we are getting with the project and that the basement will be so wonderful when it is finished, but I am having a very hard time being p-a-t-i-e-n-t...


Remind me to tell you about the first time "we" painted a room in our first house... again I use the term "we" loosely... it was a classic case of how my impatience can get the best of me... I clearly cut off my nose to spite my face on that one.  I'll tell you the story someday... and you'll wonder why my husband stays married to me... I think that it's because I'm such a good cook!  And, Fairy Grandmother knows the story and she will call me soon to say, "Napmom... you cannot tell that story on the internet!"  Oh yes I can!


How do you deal with home improvements in your life?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lemonade

Someone once said, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  Which means... when you find yourself in a not-so-fun situation then try to make the best of it.

Ariane - I got goosebumps when you gave me the "lemonade" award.  I was bummed, to say the least, about no-baking my way through Christmas.  This award was such a sweet uplifter for my soul.  Although, my husband would probably say that HE is the one who deserves this award for putting up with me. tee hee hee hee!

For those of you who are new to my blog... (who am I kidding, I've had the same 12 faithful readers for the past year now)...  here is a recap.

This past November we moved into a home that doesn't have a working oven... and then...

On November 25 I posted that I was thankful for a working toaster oven.

On December 7 I made no-bake snowman cookies and announced that I received my first cookie swap invitation.  {{How are you supposed to go to a cookie swap if you don't have an oven?}}

On December 13 I reminded you that I still didn't have a working oven.

On December 14 I noted links to recipes for 4 types of holiday related no-bake cookies.

On December 17 I made no-bake oreo truffles... which I will make again for valentine's day.

On December 23 I planned a no-bake Christmas dinner.

On January 3 I made no-bake mint cookies.

On January 15... drum roll please... I presented my new, working oven!  What I failed to mention in this post was that I totally burnt the coffee cake that I made and smoke was taking over the whole house.  Dear Husband was kind enough NOT to poke fun about it.

Has life given you lemons lately?  If so you can cheer up with Susan's Lemon Cake (thanks Cake Mix Doctor), if you are not in the mood for lemonade.



Napmom's review:  This cake is wonderful and lemon-ey and always a hit at parties.  I recently made the cake to celebrate Lulu's awesome cheerleading performance just so I would have pictures for this blog post.  It was very yummy!

Napmom's Glaze Tip/cheat: Originally, I wasn't crazy about the recipe for the glaze. From now on, instead of making the glaze, I just warm up some store bought vanilla icing and drizzle it over the top of the cake. Much better (in my opinion).  If you have a good cake glaze recipe then please leave me a comment... I'd love to try it sometime.

Here is the cake recipe.

Serves: 16

Preparation time: 5 to 7 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
Assembly Time: 5 minutes

Cake:

Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
Flour for dusting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 package (3 ounces) lemon gelatin
2/3 cup vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean, or sunflower
2/3 cup hot water
4 large eggs

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

2. Place the cake mix, gelatin, oil, water, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stope the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula, and place the pan in the oven.

3. Bake the cake until it is light brown and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile prepare the glaze Combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.

5. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a serving platter. Spoon the glaze evenly over the warm cake so that it drizzles down the sides and into the center. Slice and serve warm, or let it cool before slicing.

Store this cake, covered in plastic wrap or placed under a cake dome, at room temperature for up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.


Did life hand you lemons recently?  Was there someone there to help bail you out?  If so, this cake is a wonderful way to say 'thank you.'

I will be doling out some lemon awards of my own very soon.  Thanks Ariane!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Crayon" you believe how cute these are?

This is the post where Napmom actually follows through with something crafty.

I saw a cute valentine idea on Staying Close to Home.  And, I was inspired to make some homemade Valentines for Bro to give to his friends at "school" because (1) Bro loves to color, (2) toddlers don't need candy, and (3) toddlers won't appreciate a paper card (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Once upon a time, I melted crayons in my mini-muffin tin... and they didn't turn out so well {{think brown}}.

Thus, this time, I ordered heart-shaped crayons from chaseddreams.

Then, I created this card template in Microsoft Word.  Tip:  You make the little arches using "Word Art" located on the "Insert" tab of your ribbon (for those of us using Word 2007).  Not to worry... they have "Word Art" in the older version too, I just don't know off the top of my head where it is.

 
I included a picture of Bro, instead of just his name... so that his friends would know that this was from him.

I printed the template onto heavy paper and attached the heart crayon with a small clear sticker thingy (yes, that's a technical term... NOT).


I cut the paper template into 4 cards using the craft scissors that I borrowed from my mom.

Voila!

Look at this little angel {{you know... ALL sleeping children look like angels}}.  Don't you want to be his valentine?  I know I sure do.


Coming soon someday in this lifetime.  Napmom Makes a Terrarium... I promise, I'm gonna do it.