Tuesday, October 30, 2007


It's Halloween Yeah!!

Okay this is the part where I gush in a nauseating manner about my cute kids. Those with sensitive stomachs may want to come back tomorrow. This post will not be scary in any way! Just stinking cute! Here we have a Power ranger Matthew, Princess Brittany and Joshua the friendly dragon. And just for the record I cannot tell you what I went through to get these pictures but it involved a TV playing Elmo placed behind me.

Okay, so Joshua is also Superman. The dragon costume was Matthew's and I thought he should have a new one of his own too. And he can wear this all winter(I know I really have Halloween problems!) But I think Lois Lane doesn't stand a chance against that smile!

And Princess Brittany is loving her ensemble and tiara!

And this is Matthew practicing his seriously tough Power Ranger face. You are scared aren't you?

This is the not so scary Matthew! Don't you love that great spider hat!

Hope you are having a fantastic Halloween and having lots of fun! We are going to!
Sweet Treat!

I have been tagged by Blue house! I am supposed to list three other blogs that I really enjoy which is hard because I love all the blogs I visit regularly. But I will pick the lovely Vanessa, her blog reallyis like entering a beautiful little world and she is part of a fun Halloween party, Natasha who creates things I just dream of, and Karla who never ever seems to run out of beautiful creative things to do in her home and studio.

'Dem bones!
I guess it is a baking day around here today too. I wanted a treat to send with my kids to school tomorrow that was different than cupcakes or sugar cookies so I thought I would try making these bones out of meringue. They were really easy and made a ton, I have enough for both classes.

It was a bit easier because I have a decorator-tipped thing(don't know what it is really called!) that really made it easy. I am pretty sure you could do the same thing with a plastic bag and then cut a hole in the corner.

The recipe is super easy. You just throw 4 egg whites in a mixing bowl, when it gets foamy add 1/4 t cream of tartar.I have used 1/4 t salt when I don't have any. Then beat it until it is stiff then slowly add 3/4 c sugar and beat until it is glossy and the sugar dissolves. Stuff it in the decorator tube and make bone shapes on aluminum foil. My mother-in-law taught me to put them in an oven heated to 350, turn off the oven and leave them there until morning. I think you can cook them at a low temp like 250 for 25 minutes or so, but her way they stay white. I hope my kids like 'em! Hope your Halloween preparations are going well. I am going to do a nice long post tomorrow full of tricks and treats!

Pumpkin Bread!

Well with the weather turning a bit cooler and Halloween almost here I was in the mood for pumpkin bread yesterday. Actually I was more in the mood for the smell the bread makes more than anything, and it smelled just as good as I had hoped! So if you are in the mood for a good fall smell here you go.

2 1/4 C sugar 2 3/4 c flour

3 eggs

1/4 t plus 1/8t baking powder

1/2cup water 1 1/2 t baking soda 3/4t cloves

1/2 large can of pumpkin 3/4 t nutmeg 3/4t cinnamon 1 t. salt

3/4 c oil Combine everything and then pour into greased pans, I did mine in the little pans to give away but I think it makes two regular loaves. Bake regular loaves about 1 hour at 325.

Hope your house smells as good as mine did!

Monday, October 29, 2007

My little artists!
The reflections contest deadline is coming up next week so we worked on our entries this weekend. The theme was I can make a difference by... Matthew did by exploring space and Brittany's is ...by helping endangered animals. I think they turned out really great. I we learned the difference in making a really impressive entry is to paint/collage it on a canvas. So I buy the cheap canvas mounted on cardboard from Wal-Mart and they look really great don't they?!

Friday, October 26, 2007

To Kill A Mockingbird

This is somewhat embarrassing to admit but I had never read the absolute classic. I know, it doesn't speak well of my high school and college education especially as my degree was a bachelor of arts(but boy can I tell you about Homer). So a couple of weeks ago I was in the library looking for something good. Now when I am in the library with my kids I do not have time to browse. It is either something I pick up on impulse or something that I have heard and know for sure is good. That is why I usually reserve my books online. So I had to grab something fast and saw To Kill A Mockingbird. Now if it had had this cute cover it would have been an even easier decision. I took it home and I have really loved it. I can see why it has been read and studied so extensively. I can't even tell you which aspect I liked most. As a parent I really loved the children's relationship with their father. How honest he tried to be with them, and how he tried to shape them into good people. I also loved seeing parenting from Scout's point of view. Then there is the whole racial issue in the book. I thought it was amazing how Lee managed to see all around it, showing that people are many faceted. The same guy who was part of a potential lynch mob became the one member of the jury not to want to convict the colored defendant. I could go on and on, but you all have probably read it long ago. If by some strange quirk there is someone out there besides me who hasn't read it DO! You won't be sorry. I really want to watch the Gregory Peck movie again now. I have started Twilight today. A totally different book. I will let you know if I like as much as the rest of the world seems to!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We have a winner!

My sister-in-law who has the adorable blog handle of tatting-bug(she loves ladybugs and tats gorgeous things) is the winner! Please ignore the stingy hair, and last vestiges of make-up in places it doesn't belong and just admire my gorgeous tiara that I did wear all afternoon at the downtown trick-or-treat activity in our town. Thanks for all the birthday wishes, they really made my day so much nicer!

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

In case you missed yesterday's post be sure and leave me a comment to celebrate my getting OLD! And I will enter you to win a little birthday giveaway. I think it will be a halloween treat, will try and post a picture of it later today. But you should also go over to my friend Tif's at loveboxes and enter to win a Halloween box, this is one I am hoping to win(I have the other two gorgeous one--aren't I lucky?!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A princess tiara and proof that it is Fall!!

I thought I would snap a few pictures this morning to prove that autumn really does come to California. Although you do have to look for it a little harder. We do not have trees like this everywhere, but they are here and there.

I am always a sucker for red ivy in the Fall.

We do still have quite of few of these lovelies around too.

And these pretty little flowers whose name I can't remember, I think my mom called them a poor man's orchid and in Utah I only remember them as house plants. Don't you love that little green guy, I think he is thinking of taking up residence in there and wouldn't it make a pretty little house?

Well, I am down to finishing the details for the Halloween costumes. That is the part that I really love, the details are what really make this whole make-believe thing fun. So Brittany needed a tiara to make her a real princess so I finished this one last night and I am quite happy with it.

And tomorrow I will be wearing my official Queen tiara for my birthday. And since I missed my 200th post and it is my birthday I think I will have a little give-away, probably something to do with Halloween. So leave me a comment and I will draw a name while wearing my birthday crown at 7pm pacific time.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Still Working on the House
Just in case you might have thought the house projects are done around here I thought I would show you just how far I still have to go. Although I do believe a house is never really "finished". I mean where would the fun be in that? So this is Joshua's room "before". It is actually even more green than it looks in this picture and there are two walls that are the darker shade you can barley see in the photo. I don't have a problem with green but that was all you could see in the room. I have some more long-term ideas for this room but the other day I just couldn't stand it anymore and decided to use what I already had. So this is the "after".
I hung a quilt my Aunt Carol made for him on the wall to break up the green. It is hard to see in the picture but is does have a little green in it. Then I took a quilt I made when Brittany was born that had blue and green in the Noah's Ark pattern. And that quilt over the end of the crib was made for me by my grandmother when I was born(think she was hoping for a boy?).

Look how daling the embroidery is on the quilt my grandmother made is. I just had to show this little pink elephant for my elephant loving friend Tif from Loveboxes.
And how sweet is this little lamb?

And all this was done to make this little trouble-maker's room a little cuter. Yes, that is entire new box of cereal he dumped while I was sitting on the other side of the cabinet doing what? Oh, that would be blogging! So I can't totally blame the kid can I? It is a good thing he is so cute though.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Loved Miss Potter!

My sister is here visiting this weekend and we have gotten to watch a few fun girl movies. Neither of us had seen Miss Potter yet and I have to say it was all I had hoped for! So visually lovely, I liked the simple slow plot and is it silly to say that I liked how little make-up Renee was wearing?! I am really in a Beatrix Potter mood now and want to get all of the adorable little books again. My favorite was the Tale of Two Bad Mice, loved Hunnca Munnca. What was your favorite Beatrix Potter book? I think I will even try and find a biography on her. I highly recommend it, if we could occupy the kids I think we would watch it again before she leaves today!

Friday, October 19, 2007

My new favorite show!!!

I love this show! Pushing Daisies on Wednesday nights is so pretty! I mean just look at that photo! It has the best costuming and the lead girl, a girl named Chuck, wears things I imagine Audrey Hepburn wearing. It is just such a lovely thing to see on television for a change. And although the premise sounds a bit morbid(it is about a guy who can bring people back to life by touching them and then tries to solve their murders), it is so light and smart and funny. My sister is here visiting an we stayed up watching it on the abc web site. If you haven't seen it and you have high speed you really ought to check it out. I find it at abc7.com. And if you don't give it a try next Wednesday. I hope you like it as much as we did!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Batcave: Before and After!
We are still working on getting the rooms around here just right and last week we worked on the Batcave. I love this little room but it has been serving as a dumping ground. The kids are supposed to keep their backpacks, shoes and library books in there but they wanted it to still be a fun room where they could draw too. This is before, and as bad as it looks I had just picked it up!
And this is after!
I made a curtain out of black gingham and hung it on a shower rod to cover the Christmas decoration storage and we still have room to tuck our library book bag behind it too. We also fit the little table and chairs in there with the light projector drawing table.

This is my favorite part. I hung a strip of wide ribbon with some pretty upholstery nails and the kids can hang their art work with some wooden clothespins I had hanging around!

Great artists huh!?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What to be? A princess or a Witch?

This seems to be the question around here this week. I have been working like crazy to finish these Halloween costumes up before my sister comes to visit me(yeah!) on Thursday. Brittany decided to be a princess but for some unknown reason I bought twice as much fabric as I needed so I thought what the heck, let's make one for Libby (my niece) too. Since my sister is coming I wouldn't have to mail it. Libby had seen a black and pink witch online but it was gone once she decided to want it. So Aunt Shell(that's me) just had to try her hand at witches too. I have been making these two girls their Halloween costumes for most of their Halloweens, all of Brittany's. I just can't resist. I know it sounds crazy and like I am spoiling them but my motivation is mostly selfish. I just love creating these things! Being a mom at Halloween is one of my absolute favorite things, second only to being a mom at Christmas. As I was making the girls dresses this year I was so sad to see how big the dresses are. They used to be these tiny little princess dresses I could make out of a couple of yards of fabric and now they are like full blown ballgowns or something! I figure there are probably only a few years more when Brittany will even want to do Halloween but I am going to encourage it as long as possible. I just love the magic!

Oh, maybe I shouldn't use this pic,you can see my bow is slightly off center. I think this is one reason I like sewing Halloween costumes, nobody cares if it isn't perfect!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Halloween Hat!

It was a great mail week last week! Look at my beautiful hat I got from my swap partner Karen. She made it out of gorgeous papers and trims. I just love it! It's funny, I wouldn't have said I had that many Halloween decorations but I have had quite a few posts now of them haven't I. I guess that counts as a new little collection! This is short today, got to finish the Halloween costumes, at least the pink witch and princess. I will post them when they are done. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I am soooo lucky!
Look what came for me yesterday in the mail! My dear friend Tif from Loveboxes sent this for my birthday which is coming up. Of course when I see that loveboxes return address I pretty well know it is for my birthday(sweet girl does this every year), but do I save it to open on my actual birthday? No way! Unless it has got do not open until stamped all over it there is no way I am waiting for the actual day! And look how lovely! Tif is the master of gift-wrap and no one does it like she does. Just look at all the goodies! One of my recent favorite boxes, lily of the valley. Which is nice since I had to leave my lily of the valley in Utah. We love ducks around here and this is a super soft and sweet one. Tif always tucks a yummy candy or two and there has been much begging for mom to share this time. And last but not least a sweet little tea towel that I think I am going to line a basket in my bathroom with and display some boxes there. I have to tell you Tif is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We have known each other since we were very little girls and grew up in the same neighborhood. I do have to say though, I think we are better friends now than ever growing up. She has been so supportive and helpful during this move. I really, really miss her though!

Since we are talking about Miss Loveboxes I thought I would show you my Halloween boxes she has given me over the years. This year's box is a kitty I think and I highly recommend you go check out her shop and get yourself one!

Friday, October 12, 2007

More Halloween!
This is what is on the front porch today. A few years ago I risked life and limb by using hubby's band saw to cut out the boo and then painted it white. I made the softy pumpkin a million years ago when we were first married. And it is hard to tell but the witchy girl is actually a cat but it is rainy today so not very good pictures and of course we have Matthew's pumpkin,corn and gourd from the field trip.

Last year we made the kids and I made this fun little forest from paper bags. We loaded the bottoms of the bags with rock, cut vertical strips, twisted to make the trunk and then twisted each strip to make branches. I hot glued little foam bats on wires to fly above. We made salt dough ghosts and pumpkins to live in the forest. A neat tip I didn't know is you can microwave your salt dough figure in 3 minute increments and it will dry really fast.
And these girls are still looking for homes this halloween and they can be found in the shop! If you order this week you will also receive a bonus kitty!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A trip to the pumpkin patch!

I got to go along on Matthew's field trip to the pumpkin patch. Do not be fooled by the pictures, we do not live in a very rural area, but it is nice to know you can find fun places like this even near the city. The funny part is that this is a pumpkin patch right? Well see those pumpkins? They have already been picked and are just lined up in rows like that! I guess this is the time of year I sort of miss our neighbors with their dairy farm and all the corn fields we had around in Utah.
I did get some fun fall pictures though!
I loved all these knobby, multi-colored gourds. We thought some of them looked like space aliens. (That would be the expected sort of description from my little man).

Matthew was very disappointed in the Indian corn. He thought we were going to take it home and eat it. I had to explain that it wasn't really that sort of corn.

And you gotta love this funny old gal!
I love autumn. I am missing the season in Utah, but at least the weather seems appropriately cool even if leaves haven't started to change. I hope they do that here, I really don't know! October is one of my favorite months. I love the cool, the colors and the fun holidays. Hope you have a lovely fall day!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Our Halloween Tree!

Okay, my husband thinks I am nuts but my kids and I made a Halloween tree this weekend while we listened to LDS General Conference. He says he has never heard of such a thing. All I know is we had a great time and I think it looks cute! A couple of weeks ago Matthew and I saw some branches on the curb left over from when the city guys trimmed bushes along our street. We picked some up on our walk home from school and saved them. I tied them together and then spray painted them silver. We just stuck them in a mason jar with some clear marbles to keep them stable . Then we used some of the adorable papers and stickers I have gotten in some swaps lately to make ornaments. The kids did a great job and it really turned out fun I think. And the whole thing cost me $1.19 for the can of spray paint!

We put it on the half-table in the front entry so everyone can see it when they come in. They are on the table with my kids in their Halloween costumes. I also have been collecting fun Halloween frames that I put pictures of my kids in their Halloween costumes in each year. It is fun to see how they have grown and changed and we get to enjoy all that work I put in every year! Plus it adds to my Halloween decoration collection!