Saturday, January 31, 2009

101 in 1001

I saw this on her blog and thought it was a great idea. It took me some time to assemble my list but I think I am okay with it now. I even used some that she had listed for herself...they really got me thinking. I imagine it was supposed to be started on Jan. 1 but I didn't find it until after that so I start today. I will give occasional updates to my progress.

Feb 1, 2009 to October 31st 2011
The goal here is to set 101 realistic and specific goals of things you want to accomplish in 1001 days. 1001 days is roughly 2 3/4 years. I love me some lists but often never finish them. So here is my attempt at taking an inventory at what I accomplish for awhile....a long while. Some are silly, short-term, serious, spiritual, crazy, difficult, but most importantly...all are obtainable.

1. Read 30 books (0/30)
2. Develop and stick to a workout routine
3. Skydive
4. Graduate college
5. Go to the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum
6. Try a new recipe every month (0/33)
7. Cut it down to one Coke a week. (0/143)
8. Grow my hair out.
9. Save up for a big camera!
10. Read the Bible at least once a week. (0/143)
11. Visit Savannah, Georgia.
12. Start taking vitamins
13. Add another child to our family
14. Update baby books.
15. Organize photo albums.
16. See 10 plays. (0/10)
17. Read all the Jane Austen books. (not included in the 30 books)
18. Take a trip with my mom and sister.
19. Go to Oprah.
20. Acquire more FANTASTIC high heels.
21. Have someone over to dinner at least once a month. (0/33)
22. Go to the dentist.
23. Clean car once a month. (0/33)
24. Take tennis lessons.
25. Buy two new pieces of art.
26. Run a 10k.
27. Look into adoption….seriously and prayerfully.

28. Watch 20 movies (his pick) in the media room. (0/20)
29. Write him daily e-mails with pics of kids when he is gone.
30. Send him at least one care package to each CAT.
31. More kisses.
32. Date night at least once a month. (0/33)
33. Take a trip…just the two of us.
34. Make him at least 100 chocolate pies. (0/100)
35. Pray together more often.
36. Root for the Rockets.

37. Potty train both boys. (0/2)
38. Go to the library at least twice a month (0/66)
39. Teach Sam baby sign language.
40. Do a video montage for each year of their lives.
41. Take more walks.
42. Read Bible stories to them.
43. Go to the park once a week. (0/143)
44. Do an art activity a week. (0/143)
45. Feed them more veggies and fruits.
46. Write letters to them on significant days.
47. Play with them more.
48.Visit Disney….again.
49. Transition to big boy beds in the same room. (0/2)
50. Take them camping.
51. Friday night pizza nights.

52. Repaint baseboards and doors.
53. Put handles on bathroom cabinets.
54. Sew new bedding and curtains for boys bunk beds.
55. Finish playroom.
56. Replace all door handles.
57. Order print pictures once a month and put in photo album. (0/33)
58. Organize pantry and keep it that way.
59. Cover patio.
60. Landscape backyard.
61. Clean and washout the fridge 1x month (0/33)
62. Figure out kitchen table dilemma.
63. Finish master bedroom.
64. Hardware on table.
65. New flooring.
66. Change entryway light fixture.

67. Send someone a card each week. (0/143)
68. Host a Mother's Day Brunch
69. Make cookies with Brittany.
70. Get with friends or sister to let kids play and enjoy good conversation at least once a month. (0/33)
71. Foster new friendships.
72. Go visit Trent and Sarah.

73. Start recycling.
74. Try to grow some vegetables.
75. Use reusable bags.

76. Learn to quilt.
77. Make silhouettes.
78. Paint a pottery platter with my kids.
79. Make more cakes.
80. Do a sour dough starter.
81. Learn to pickle.
82. Learn to make jelly or jam.
83. Master a salsa recipe and jar it.
84. Paint more canvas.
85. Take a photography class.
86. Sew more beautiful aprons with gorgeous fabrics.
87. Bake and decorate more cookies.

88. Eat out no more than twice a week…except on vacation. (0/143)
89. Start college funds. (We have the money they have been given but not opened the plan.)
90. Pay car off.
91. Pay Harley off.
92. Sell painted canvases.
93. Develop budget.
94. Use cash.
95. Cut coupons weekly. (0/143)
96. Contribute more to IRA.

97. Go on a mission trip.
98. Find a place to volunteer at least once a month.
99. Serve at church.
100. Do 10 run/walks for charity.
101. Serve meals to the homeless.

Cookies Galore

Wanted to show some cookies that I finished today for a little boy baby shower.
I just love the little ducky.

I also had to do a few for my sister's Super Bowl party tomorrow.
These are definitely not my finest work.

And the proud winner is....


I used a random number picker and it picked this.

Stacy from rccalyn come on down.

Thanks so much everyone for participating. I had tons of entries and appreciate all who entered. I cannot believe how many people were interested. If by some chance, you did not win but would still LOVE to have a canvas. Shoot me an e-mail and we can talk about price. I will do anything you would like. Thanks again for playing.

Stacy contact me whenever and let me know what you would like!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cookie Tutorial

I have had several people ask how I make the iced sugar cookies. I am going to try and do a tutorial. I am sure that I will miss a step here or there being this is my first tutorial so stick with me and ask questions and I will update the post. Here goes....
First off, I use a recipe for sugar cookies called No Fail Sugar Cookie. It is a great recipe that is very tasty and does not expand to much in the oven so your cookies stay true to form. The recipe is below.

No Fail Sugar Cookie

6 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract (I sometimes use almond extract)

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.

I always roll my dough either on a Silplat mat or directly on my granite. It keeps it cool which keeps it firm. Also, I put a piece of wax paper over the dough while I roll it out. If the dough gets to warm it is difficult to work with so only take a little bit out at a time.

Now after they are baked and cooled I begin to ice them. I use a royal icing. It sounds gross but the cookies are super tasty.

Royal Icing

3/4 cups warm water
5 TBSP meringue powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 bag powdered sugar (2 lb)

In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened...about 30 seconds. Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more. Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer. Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy. Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying. Tint with food colourings or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.
After your icing is finished it will be very thick. This is a great consistency for detailing or making flowers. But for a smooth finished cookie you must thin it. Take the desired amount of icing out that you need to tint to a certain color. Add a teaspoon of water at a time until is reaches the consistency of glue. I then color my icing to the desired color. If there are a lot of bubbles after you mix it, tap the bowl and let it sit for awhile covered by a damp cloth. I then add my thinned icing to a plastic dispenser that is used for candy making. You can get them at Wal-mart or any craft store. They are made by Wilton and are super cheap. You are ready to do your base color. I am very careful at this point. For less experienced cookie decorators it might be better to outline with the thick icing and then fill in with the thinned icing but I prefer to do it all with the thinned icing and be careful. It allows for a smoother finish. I first outline the cookie and then fill in. I use the tip of the bottle to help flood the cookie. Be very careful not to have too much icing or it will run over the edge.
Now let your base color get pretty good and dry. A few hours. Then you can add detailing. I use the thicker icing for detailing and I use a decorator bag with tips 1-4. After your cookie is detailed then you should let them dry for at least 24 hours before bagging them or stacking them. These cookies should keep for at least a week. You can freeze them and they thaw beautifully and tastily.

The icing can also be kept at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to a month.

I will post some more pictures of other cookies I have done to give more ideas. They are just on another computer and it is very late...or early....depends on how you look at 4:45 am.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Party? Why not!

So today...out of boredom (we're iced in) Jack asked for a "happy birthday party." So what the 'bout a Snow Day Party. We got balloons.
We had candles and curly ribbon and a great meal.
Party hats. Sam was not interested in wearing his.
Mommy got to be the princess.

That is some good spaghetti.

We even had cake. Who needs forks!Party foul.

My brother's silly.

"Mommy, party all done."
The aftermath of our party. Clothes taken off right at the table and straight to the bathtub...for the second time today.
Party = Dirty = Fun = Cured Boredom

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tour Tuesday - Formal Living

After a long delay of my tour my house Tuesday...I'm back. Today we are looking at my formal living room. I photographed it at night so forgive the flash in the pics (GASP!!). The overall view of the living room. It is right in our entry so there is not much space. I did not realize how bad the scuffs on that chair were until I saw these pics.A view of our wonderful couch. We found it on closeout at ZGallerie. Serves as a great dog bed for our Roxy as she waits for us to come home. This is a great chair that I found at a boutique in Waxahachie, TX. It used to be in an old Art Deco hotel in the 40s. She was going to paint them and reupholster her but I wanted her as is. She is loud but so much fun.Here is a little table that I found for nothing at an antique shop. She opens up and holds candlesticks for us.This big chair came from a secondhand store. This store receives furniture store cast-off donations to resell and make a profit for their organization. She was less than $200. Our entry table...wish it was bigger. Our front window treatments. Wish we did not have to have the blinds but need them for privacy. A beautiful painting I purchased from a street artist in Paris while on vacation with my sister and Mom.A little view of my monkey the whimsy. Also, I love a crystal candy dish because my Mom always had one.A little bell and some great Southern Living decorating and entertaining books.Vignette on the coffee table.An arrangement in an art niche we have.My Mom and I made all of the pillows and window treatments.A sign above our door on your way out of our house.
Don't forget to enter my first giveaway for a custom painted canvas. Click here and it will take you to the post.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My First Giveaway

So I have noticed a lot of blogs are participating in this Bloggy Carnival and it seemed like fun. So I decided to get involved. I am going to giveaway a custom painted canvas...anything the winner picks. Literally anything...(within reason).

It can be a child's name painted to match their room, a monogram for your family room, a holiday sign. Whatever you would like.
Just post a comment and make sure there is a way for me to contact you if you were to be the lucky winner. And if you post about it on your blog and then link back (let me know that you did) you will get two entires. The contest ends on Friday night. I will post the winner on Saturday morning. So here we go with my first ever giveaway.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Valentine's Goodies

I have been hooked on painting on canvas and came up with this for a little holiday decor. The heart is covered in glitter but you cannot see it in the picture. They are on a 5x5 canvas and completely hand painted. I made a few extra to sell. The price would be $25 plus shipping. The cost is reflective of the price of the canvas. E-mail if you are interested...cute gift for teachers or a best friend.
Check out Hooked on Houses party and see what everyone is hooked on this week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fleur de "T"

I have been painting lately...a lot. I have been doing custom names to match babies and children's rooms but I wanted to try something for myself. So I did a monogram with a Fleur de lis. These pics were taken before the paint was all the way dry and before the clear acrylic coat but I like the way it turned out. The background is a muted sage with a metallic bronze Fleur de lis. Wouldn't it look great with a large chunky frame around it?

Some people were suggesting I sell some of these little boogers...what do you think?

Here is an updated picture taken in natural light. It is now dry and has the clear acrylic coat. You can see the colors better now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Ava

My sweet neice turned 2 today. She is such a delight and our world is so much fuller because of her. Her delightful personality lights up a room and she can make everyone smile easily. Jack talks about her everyday and adores playing with her. We can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you sweet Ava.

I made her this for her birthday. It matches her room.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another Reason My Dad is Great

Not only is he an amazing grandfather, he built this....

A black walnut sofa back table. It is waiting to be adorned with goodies and hardware. I want the stain to dry a little longer but couldn't wait to show you it.
Love all of the texture and variation in the wood. Thank you Daddy...I will love it forever.