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February 27, 2010

Love, love, love him!!!!

Last Thursday night, Chris was up until 2:30am painting Emma's room in the anticipation that our flooring guys were showing up Friday. That's 2:30am on a school night!!!

He came to bed exhausted and I promptly woke up back up again 4 hours later to get ready to go to his elementary school. Look how great Emma's room looks, despite the missing carpet.

He also helped cover my new stools for my craft room with some fabric that I picked up for a dollar from a local thrift store.

He's such a great hubby. This home renovation project is both driving us batty, but he's so good at keeping his cool despite the chaos.

Love ya, Chris!!

Don't forget to sign up for my 1st Easter craft give-away.
I'll be drawing a winner on 3/3 at 6pm EST.

February 25, 2010

Let all things Easter begin! A mini house give-away!

I've already begun plotting some crafts for Easter. I was going to make some things for St. Patty's day, but I’ve decided to just jump right into Easter in my craft room. Maybe if I surround myself with Easter and pastel colors, it will make me feel like Spring is just around the corner?? Living in a state that feels like it has more cloudy days than sunshine, there's a reason I painted my craft room yellow!!!

I have a tendency when I'm scouring stores of ANY kind, to look for objects that I can repurpose or enhance slightly (aka flower hats on my Easter chicks and bows on my lambs).

Another example...see this wooden cd holder?

I immediately thought, what a darling dollhouse! As you can see from the 2nd dollhouse featured in the background of the above picture, and this post and this post, I love little houses. It was available at Michael's and with a 40% off coupon, I got it for less than $4 dollars. All it needed was a little paint, some scrapbooking paper and a few embellishments.

My original thought was that I was going to give it to Josie for her little price little people to take up residence. It's the perfect size and can easily be transported.

However, I remembered my little bunny family that I made last Easter and decided they needed to move in first.
See this post for step-by- step instructions for making my bunny family.

I'm thinking this cozy little house might just have to stay in my craft room. Looks like I'll be heading back to Michael's for another one! Wouldn't this little house make a fun gift? Perhaps it might even find it's way into an Easter basket? I had so much fun putting this little house together, I'll even decorate another one as a give-away. You just get to fill it with your own miniature goodies (it's the perfect size for Fisher Price little people, Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop creatures). Just leave a comment in this entry and I'll draw a random winner on March 3rd at 6pm (EST - Eastern Standard Time).

Happy Crafting!!

February 23, 2010

Wait for it!!!!

I came home from work to find my washing machine in the middle of my kitchen.

Gotta love a home remodeling project that literally invades my ENTIRE HOUSE!!!

Despite the chaos, the weird paint smells, and the constant dust, the project is coming together nicely.

Just check out my mudroom.

Here's a shot of the laundry room.

A sneak peek of Emma's bed quilt.

Although you can't see it from the packaging, her quilt has a very pale purple pattern running through it. She's chosen a coordinating purple for her walls.

We're still waiting for the cupboard doors for her built-ins, so Chris will start with painting her ceiling and walls in the next few days. It's hard to be patient.

I'm dreaming of April....

It was snowing so hard Monday morning, that I had to brush off the minivan 3 times before I left for work.

I can't wait until we can get our garage back from the construction crew. We're so very close now. We might actually be ready for flooring by early next week! I promise to post pictures of our progress in a few days. Emma picked out her new bedding over the weekend and she's very excited to show it off. Josie is still clueless that her bed bunk partner is going to be leaving her room and I'm not looking forward to that transition.

Back to my reference to April...I picked this up at the grocery store last Thursday and fell in love.

I even made Chris thumb through it. I have several thrifting, antique and decorating blogs I regularly stalk and they've mentioned how much they have enjoyed this new publication. Since the demise of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, I continue to be on the search for my next favorite publication.

Flipping through this magazine makes me think of MUCH warmer weather and my monthly tradition with my mother and sister at the outdoor Allegan Antique Market. Allegan starts back up again in April!!

Come on April! I'm sooooo ready for the HUNT!!

February 21, 2010

FRRRROZEN Hot Chocolate

Six years ago, we traveled to NYC to stay with our best friends who were living in Manhattan at the time. They took us to the infamous Serendipity3 restaurant for a frozen hot chocolate. Ever since I had watched the John Cusack movie Serendipty I was smitten with that dessert.

(Picture taken March 2004 - Serendipity3 Restaurant)

A week ago, my bestfriend Andrea (and former New Yorker), sent me Serendipty's recipe book (Sweet Serendipity) for Valentine's. It's filled with so many fabulous recipes, but I knew the first one I had to attempt was the frozen hot chocolate. It's out of this world and actually fairly easy to put together.

6 half-ounce pieces of a variety of your favorite chocolates (I used Hersey chocolate bars and not as much as the recipe called for - I didn't have quite enough on hand...darn that Valentine's holiday. This made it a bit lighter in color than the original, but it was still AWESOME).
2 teaspoons of store bought hot chocolate mix
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice
whipped cream, sprinkles or chocolate shavings

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place it in the top of double boiler over simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted.

Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until thoroughly blended.

Remove from heat and slowly add 1/2 cup of the milk and stir until smooth.

Cool to room temperature.

In a blender place the remaining cup of milk, the room temperature chocolate mixture and the ice.

Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into goblets and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or sprinkles.

Enjoy with a straw and spoon.

It was a HUGE hit with the girls.

This recipe filled 4 ice cream goblets and there wasn't a single drop left. If you collect cookbooks and love desserts, I'd definitely recommend this book. The pictures are simply gorgeous. The book includes recipes for cakes, cookies, pies, puddings, frozen drinks and sundaes. YUMMY!!!

Thanks, Andrea! I can't wait to go back to NYC with you someday! Until then, I'll be revisiting John Cusack's Serendipity on DVD.

Love Statue - NYC (March 2004)
Artist: Robert Indiana

February 19, 2010

Way to go, Emma!!

Emma's group did so well Friday night.

6th grade marks their last year at their elementary school and their last year to perform in the annual school lip-sync. Way to go girls!

We're so proud of you, Emma!!

You're so much braver (and waaaaaaaay cuter) than I ever was in 6th grade. Love ya, honey!!!

February 18, 2010

Josie's heart appointment

Josie had her 6 month annual cardiology appointment this morning and I'm happy to report that she continues to be stable.

She had an EKG and echo without any tears and neither test showed any major changes since her surgery in April 2008. She's now 30 pounds and (38.5) inches tall. She's gained 3 pounds and grown nearly 4 inches since last year's appointment. Dr. Lacina is pleased that her echo appears stable and that her energy-level remains high.

She continues to have quite a bit of back flow through the valve back into the right ventricle and eventually she will need to have this valve replaced. But her valve replacement isn't anything that needs to be done right away. To have another year without any major surgeries sounds lovely!! I couldn't be happier with today's appointment.

PS. Friday evening is Emma's annual school lip-sync. Her group of girlfriends have been practicing their dance routine for nearly 2 months. To my extended family - I promise to post lip-sync pictures on Saturday.

February 16, 2010

Construction updates...

Wednesday marks two weeks of construction.
That's two weeks of chaos and living in dust and weird glue smells. Seriously, you should see the dust. I dust everything down each night and the next day it's back again.

That's also two weeks of construction workers showing up each morning at 6:45am.
Heck, we consider them part of the family now!!

They are nothing short of amazing.
Be sure to click on the collages to enlarge.

After today, our construction family won't be back again for another 2 weeks. We're waiting for the zillion cupboard doors for all our built-ins to arrive. Until then, we're hoping our flooring guy can get started next week.

Have I said how spoiled I am because my craft room construction is done??

It's my new favorite sanctuary.

I just love staring at all my craft supplies in their colorful containers.

I especially love seeing my two girls crafting away.

Life is good, even if it's a bit dusty right now...