Project Sneak Peek

Want to see a little peek of what we have been up to over the past few days! Join us next week as we post updates on decorating my daughter's room, our $5 goodwill chairs, and a winter wreath to carry you thru the rest of Winter!! And if we have time this weekend hope to get started on my daughter's dress up armoire!!


Groupon Canvas on Demand Deal!!

$45 for a 16"x20" Gallery-Wrapped Canvas from Canvas on Demand

($126.95 Value). Shipping Included.

So you know those Christmas portraits you just had taken well now is your chance to get one put on a canvas. You can not beat this deal! And this time I read the fine print and it says you can use up to 10 per person...can we say Birthday gifts or Grandparent Gifts for 2012!!

Here is what Groupon says about the deal:
Canvas on Demand gallery wraps personal photos on 16"x20" canvases for professional photorealistic wall art fit for dressing up any fireplace mantel or bedroom ceiling. After uploading the desired print, image touchup experts make complimentary fixes, such as improving sharpness, balancing and enhancing the color, fine-tuning contrast, and removing suspiciously red eyes. Vibrant images are then printed on textured canvas and stretched around a sturdy 1.5-inch wooden frame, creating a colorful edge that won't need a frame.

16"x20"x1.5" textured artist canvas
Professional photorealistic finish
Wraparound design eliminates need for frame
Complimentary image editing to correct color, contrast, and sharpness
Upload images, mail-in photos, or catapult personal prints

The Fine Print:
Expires Apr 15, 2012
Limit 10 per person. Not valid until 1/6/12. Online only. Redemption code expires 4/15/12. Includes shipping. Ships within U.S. only. Voucher is non-transferable.

I have personally never ordered from Canvas on Demand but I have several photographer friends who repeatedly buy this deal and love their canvases!! My kids are having their photos taken this week and if they come out great you can bet that I will be purchasing a few for myself. (and this time actually ordering instead of forgetting about it before it expires) Oh and just on this event alone over 5000 have already been sold and there is still 5 days left to this is a a very popular deal!!

Never signed up for Groupon before click here:
Already on Groupon click here for the deal:



Jack says Goodbye

As the story goes on Christmas Eve Santa picks up all the elf on a shelf elves on his way back to the North Pole. I had been so proud of Maddie for not touching Jack this year because apparently our neighbors have an elf that you can touch once he has been found and she really wanted to play with Jack too. So thanks to pinterest I saw a note for the kids for the last day(Christmas Eve morning). I modified it for us and to allow her to play with him and sat him on the entry way tree (where sadly he has been a couple times before) and she awoke to quickly read the note and then take him off the tree and hug him...I actually let her play with him for about an hour before I made her put him back on the tree.

When her brother arrived home from out hunting that morning she was so excited to show him the note and tell him about the hug! And thankfully being the big brother he is...he quickly grabbed up Jack and gave him a big hug!!

Here is a close up of the note in case you would like to use it next year! Of course this could have been on nice christmas paper and such- but you know when you think of things just minutes before your child wakes up you do what you can to pull it off!!

Parker, Jack & Madison Christmas Eve 2011!!

P.S. I know it's after Christmas, sorry..I promise I only have a couple of Christmas related posts this week then it's back to recipes and DIY projects!!


WW Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken

This recipe is Weight Watchers approved!! Wohoo!! We modified the recipe a bit to our taste and left off the dill and scallions but I have included the entire recipe as posted on the WW website below.

PointsPlus® Value: 16

1 spray(s) cooking spray
2/3 cup(s) lite honey mustard dressing
1/8 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dill, freshly chopped
1 medium uncooked scallion(s), finely sliced
1 cup(s) cornflake crumbs
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), four 4 oz pieces

· Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a shallow pan with cooking spray.
· In a small bowl, combine honey mustard dressing, salt, pepper, dill and scallions; remove 1/3 cup and set aside.
· Place cornflake crumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken into dressing mixture and then cornflake crumbs; place in prepared pan.
· Bake until chicken is golden and no longer pink in center, about 15 minutes.Drizzle remaining dressing mixture (the 1/3 cup that was set aside) over chicken breasts and serve. Yields 1 piece of chicken and about 1 1/3 tablespoons of dressing per serving.


Ziti Bake

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and if you are like my family you have been celebrating for a few nights with everyone so the last thing you want for dinner is more leftovers!!
This Ziti Bake is one of my children's favorite meals and changes up the regular spaghetti menu a bit!

What you need:

1 package of Ziti Noodles

1lb of ground hamburger or turkey

1 Can of Spaghetti Sauce

1/2 cup Parmasean Cheese

1/2 cup of mozerella

1 cup of shredded cheese or mozerella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown meat on stove while cooking noodles following directions on packaging

After cooked mix- meat, noodles and sauce in large pot

Add parmasean cheese (more or less to taste) and mix together

Add 1/2 cup of Mozerella and mix together

Pour into 9X13 casserole dish

Add 1 cup of shredded cheese to top

Cook for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted on top.




Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas~ hope this morning you found everything you asked for under your tree!

Our church sent home with all the kids some cake mix and icing to make Jesus a Happy Birthday cake! Here is the one my daughter made before she covered it in sprinkles!!

Next week we start decorating my daughter's room so be on the lookout for lots of home projects before and afters plus the big reveal!! Hope it all turns out like it is in my head!



Jack the Elf Part 2

Jack our elf sure has been up to lots of fun this month...

I haven't had a chance to catch a photograph of all that Jack our elf has been up to but I did capture a photo of him and Barbie out on a date! Notice how he can not take his eyes off her!! And from the looks of her hair it sure looks like they had a wild night!!

And the next morning we woke up to find Jack hanging out in the Barbie mansion with Barbie and a friend...sure sounds like Jack is one lucky elf!!Here is Jack relaxing in a snowball bath after a couple wild nights of partying with Barbie and her friends!!

There is only a few more nights until Jack heads back with Santa...wonder if he will keep up all his fun or get tired and just hang out in the tree!!


Reindeer Cookies

There are tons of reindeer cookie ideas floating around the web and pinterest. Some use peanut butter cookies, some with nutter butter cookies, some using m&m's or chocolate covered pretzels. But I needed something I could take to my daughter's class party and we have a peanut allergy in her class so I knew that I was going to have to modify these so all could enjoy.

My daughter did not want to use m&m's and so we looked at what we had in the pantry and came up with mini chocolate chips and red icing for the nose. These were very easy to make and she enjoyed helping! Have you started to notice a theme for most of my recipes...simple ingredients and easy to make with children!

What you need;
1 package of rolled sugar cookie dough (or peanut butter cookie dough)
mini pretzels
chocolate chips or m&m's for the eyes
red icing, red hots, or red m&m's for the nose

Preheat oven based on cookie dough directions
Cut rolled dough into slices- mold on pan into an oval or diamond shape
Place mini pretzels into each corner at top
Place chocolate chips/m&m's in dough for eyes & nose (if using)

Cook per directions, let cool completely then add red icing for the nose!!



Gingerbread Houses

My daughter loves to decorate Gingerbread Houses- she usually starts asking about the time Thanksgiving rolls around when they will get the chance to decorate their gingerbread house. Which means this momma snaps up 2 prebuilt houses as soon as Target puts them on sale in early November!! Because you never know when that perfect afternoon will come when everyone is bored...
This year my kids had their own designs in mind and so I did not get to help too much- might have to pick myself up one next year! Maddie wanted her roof iced just like the designs because she was going to put a colored "light" in each one! With red & white lights on the roof top!

Parker was very focused on his and while both kids had similar ideas they both completed them in different ways..which is always interesting to me!
Oh and I guess here is where I should put the photo of the finished houses except my kids never finished theirs!! So we have 2 almost done houses on our kitchen table...oh well that's the way things turn out sometimes..but the smell of gingerbread still fills my kitchen & hearth room...yummy...


A Photographer's Child

Ever wonder how the children of photographers behave when it is time for their photo? Yep I am here to admit my daughter is totally a poser!! Poor thing I promise I did not do it to her...well maybe I did, but I did not mean to...but after a few years of being my model for different locations, props and such and well she has totally turned into a poser!! Enjoy her finest moments as she strikes a pose for the camera!!

This time she got her brother to join in the posing..luckily he usually does as I ask and doesn't get carried away with all this posing!! But yep it carries over into our daily snapshot life too!
After lunch one day I thought the doors to Red Lobster would be perfect for a backdrop!!

Yep even posing during sports!!

Gotta love this one on her first day of kindergarten!!

Hopefully you aren't laughing so loud that your co-workers noticed you were not working on real work this week before Christmas!!


Girls Bedroom Inspiration

So it's time for me to start working on my 5 year old daughter's room, I am struggling a bit on whether to decorate her room more childish as a 5 year old or push it up a bit more girly like a 7-9 year old. Her room is 12X13 with a fairly large walk in closet. The first thing I did was take down the closet door- it was directly behind the entrance to her room and the previous owners had knocked a hole into it from the doors banging into each other!

Next it was time to pick a new color for her walls to replace the painter tan that was in there. She picked her favorite color- yellow of course! Now let me warn you right here- yellow is a nightmare to paint & I will never do it again!! I first bought the new paint at Lowe's that has the primer mixed in with the paint and it took almost an entire gallon to just do one wall....however it just took one wall for us to realize that not only was that paint not going to work in that room because it would have cost a fortune to paint but the color was a little more neon then we wanted! You know when you step back and look into the room the people in the room should not be glowing from your wall color!!

So back to Lowe's we went to get some new paint mixed from our 2nd choice color. This time I got primer + 2 gallons of our paint. I put 2 coats of primer on the walls- that original yellow was neon I tell ya!! Here is just a crappy iphone pic of her new wall color and bedding. The bedding was from Brylane Home after waiting on backorder for over a month at JCPenney. I do love it for her but the reviews on it were right and the bedspread is lightweight and the fabric on it just does not seem like it is going to last very long, but for now it works.

Excuse the paper blinds as the previous owners had 1" vinyl blinds hanging in the windows and they had to come down- to be replaced with the faux wood blinds plus the previous owners had measured for an inside mount and then hung them on the outside so they did not even cover the entire window glass!!!

So back to some inspiration- I would like to create her walk in closet into a changing room. I want to take down the long closet shelf & rod and replace it with 2 smaller ones stacked on the end of the closet. Then move her vanity in there along with maybe a full length mirror. Right now she has a huge dresser that I may either move into the closet or remove all together as it does nothing but collect more junk inside of it!! Also since I took the door down to the closet I was thinking of hanging a curtain on it like this:

I love this little nightstand table- isn't it just awesome for your little ballerina!! And it's just made out of a kitchen stool with a tutu wrapped around it- how simple!

I absolutely love this room- probably because I love the wall color- which is what her old room was painted and to me so verstaile-but I love how the bedding can work for either a pre-teen or a younger child.

I loved this wall decal mainly because it is so large at 58" tall and 68" wide - originally I was thinking of putting it in her corner and then adding some reading pillows underneath but now I am thinking of going more towards the image below. I already have that sofa table but mine is cherry and I would need to add a shelf- but I was thinking of maybe going with the white cube storage units that way for now I could use it as a bookshelf too?? What do you think?

Here is another cute option for a closet play space or ideas for curtains on the doors.

Photo Inspiration Credit: Pinterest

Tutu Nightstand: RealSimple

Teal Room Inspiration:

Blue Sitting Area:


Our Current Home

Welcome to our new home! Decorating our new home is not going to happen overnight and will have to happen on a budget so here are some pics of it empty before we purchased it. I will try and come back and update the pics as we complete each room which will be a slow process!

Looking back at the entry way and dining room from the den.

Looking into the den from the entry way!

The dining room- the first thing we had to do was paint over that purply cranberry color- we painted a dark brown color on the top- thank you to my realtor, Harriet, for helping us paint - love ya!

The Kithchen, Hearth Room, and Eating Area

Standing in the kitchen and looking towards the hearth room.

Master Bedroom has a double sided fireplace thru to the Master Bath.

Walk thru Shower

There is another bedroom and bathroom on the 1st floor but as you know it is so boring to show pics of just a wall with a window in it- so I will update and show those as we finish decorating them. Upstairs is 3 more bedrooms and 1 bath- again I will update as we finish decorating.


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