Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who needs a scarf tying lesson? ME!

Ohhhhh, do I have a treat for you today. Stacie from Scarves.net is such a sweetheart, and she emailed me and asked about doing a guest post, and I happily accepted! 
Yeah, I'll admit it. I buy scarves, and have NO idea how to tie them. I still do the "wrap it around, put one tail down the back and one down the front" thing. Ya know, like an airplane pilot, or how an 8 year old would do it. 

Hello! My name is Stacie Grissom and I am a new writer over at Scarves.net. I am so excited to be writing for Jen today-- she is such a creative crafty lady and she makes the cutest birthday treats ever. :) A bit about me-- I live in Indiana. When I am not coming up with scarf ideas, I love to sew and work on crafty things to put on my personal DIY blog. I also have an awesome three-legged dog named Bridget. She is so cool that she actually has her own Facebook page. Hehe. :)
As a writer for Scarves.net, I get to think and write about scarves all day, so I've got some pretty fun ideas on how to wear them.

Where to get these lovelies:
I am sure most of you know the usual ways to wear scarves, but I am going to show you a few of my favorite ways that are a bit more creative.
1. The Scarf Braid

To braid a scarf, it is a lot easier than it looks. Seriously. And it looks so fancy after you are done! I have found that this works best for longer scarves and it does noWt matter if the scarf is thick or thin. Need a visual? See it on Youtube.
2. Rosette Neck Wrap

I love this rosette scarf tutorial because you can also tie a scarf rosette around your head as well as a headband. This style is also easy to do but looks really sophisticated and fun. Youtube video here
3. Scarf Bow

To tie a scarf bow around your neck, you probably need a longer scarf so that the bow looks proportional. Pair this tying style with a simple shirt and you can make any outfit unique and feminine. Check out the video on Youtube
Hopefully these tips will help you gather some scarfspiration for the coming cold months! If you want more ideas on how to tie a scarf, head over to Scarves.net and check out out 37 Ways to Tie a Scarf. I want to thank Jen again for allowing me to post on her awesome blog! Happy tying. :)

If you're looking for a new scarf, there are a ton of adorable ones at Affordable Scarves. My favorite is the Ashlynn Leopard scarf in black. I can't wait to rock it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Highs and Lows 10-24 edition

So here we are again. Time for Highs and Lows. Pretty simple. Share the highs and lows of your week.

Life, Crafts and Whatever

  • Had to put my dog down last Monday, after being my best friend for 9 years. That's my only low. Everything else is petty. 
  • Adopted a new dog from the shelter. I love love love him. He's attached to my hip, which makes me feel a lot better while I heal. He's part chihuahua, part terrier. So ugly that he's cute though.
  • Took the girls on a Haunted Trail on Saturday night. Three other families went with us. Instead of driving over there, we decided to walk the mile there, which was a nice time to relax and catch up. The girls loved it, there was a "kid friendly" section, and then you had the option at the midway point to either exit or continue on. The husbands continued on (and so did my older girls) and the moms took the babies and exited. It was a lot of fun. 
  • Had a photoshoot on Sunday with the photographer that I did my first shoot with three years ago. I always love the pics I get with him, and one of my favorite make up artists did the make up. I'm super excited to get those pics back.  
  • My parents decided to adopt a dog too! They had a poodle for 15 years that had to be put down in 2002. I told my dad about Petfinder, and he found a 6 month old toy poodle, and he went over the next day to meet him, and he brought him home. He's dark gray, and they named him Casey. So cute!
  • We got our first letter from one of the Compassion kids that we sponsor. It came on Saturday, when I was having a really hard day, emotionally wise. Talk about good timing. Really brought me out of my funk. 
  • On Sunday nights, my girls have Awana, so hubby and I have a date night. We went to Freebirds with another couple friend of ours, always have a nice time with them. 
So that's it. I need to get back into blogging, I've been slacking, majorly. Thanks for not jumping ship. 


    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Welcome to the family, Titan

    "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." - Ben Williams

    Thank you for all of the comments and emails of comfort. It's been a hard week since we had to put Jasper down last Monday. 

    We always said that when Jasper passed, that we were going to adopt a dog from a shelter. I know there are puppies in pet stores and on Craigslist, but I'd rather open my home to a dog who need one. Plus, I'm not a fan of the whining in the middle of the night/house breaking/puppy stuff that comes along with owning a puppy. Yes, they're adorable, I just don't have the time or patience. 

    So on Tuesday, I started looking at different local shelters. The house was just so empty without Jasper. I found a shelter that is about 3 miles from my house, and we decided to go up there after dinner. Not set on bringing a dog home that night, just wanted to see what they had.

    We got there, and after being greeted, we went to see what dogs they had. The one that caught my eye was "Miller", a little chihuahua mix that I saw online. He was adorable, and super sweet, but we didn't want to just get the first one we met. So we met a few other ones, but they just didn't "click" with us. So we did the paperwork, and he came home with us. 

    We named him Titan. Hubby really likes those ironic names, like a great dane named Tiny, that kind of thing. I usually don't like chihuahua's, but I think he's mixed with a bit of terrier. He has these little wisps of longer hair, so he kind of looks like an old man. 

    They guessed him to be a year old. He was found wandering around a mall parking lot. He's been super sweet so far. A couple of small accidents in the house, but that's no biggie. It's been great to have him in the house, and he's convinced that my lap is the best seat in the house.


    Monday, October 17, 2011

    The best dog in the world went to heaven today

    I had to put my best friend down today. I bought him when he was 6 weeks old from a little pet store in Japan, and flew him back to Texas with me. Super expensive to fly a dog that far, but he was my dog, that's what you do. He was a loyal friend for 9 years.

    We found out a couple of years ago that he had some problems. He was starting to yipe when you'd pick him up, so we took him to the vet. Since he was a dachshund, we figured that he had the famous back problems that all dachshunds seem to get. The dr did an x-ray, and found a golf ball sized tumor on the underside of his spine. We didn't have it biopsied, as it was in an inoperable place, fused to his spine. It did fracture two vertebra, but as long as he was comfortable, then we didn't have to put him down. 

    Starting yesterday, he started to whine a lot, and he was limping and crying a lot. We decided to wait and see what today would bring, and it was the same. So we made the appointment. It was quick and painless, and he passed on while being held in my arms. 

    I'm heartbroken, and I don't think it's fully hit me yet. We buried him in the backyard, in his favorite spot. He would always lay in one spot, right where the sun would hit him. I loved that dog. He was with me since the beginning. From overseas, through a bad marriage and finally to where I found my Prince Charming and my happily ever after. 

    Rest in peace, Jasper Binx. Mommy loves you. Thank you for being the best damn dog there ever was. Whatever dog comes after you has huge paws to fill.


    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Highs and Lows 10-16 edition

    So here we are again. Time for Highs and Lows. Pretty simple. Share the highs and lows of your week.

    Life, Crafts and Whatever


    • Last night I pulled an ab muscle. The internet says there are three kids. Mild (results from over stretching the muscle, They cause some discomfort but do not limit your activities), moderate (involve a partial tear of the abdominal wall. They cause frank discomfort when using the abdominal muscle and limit your ability to do abdominal-intensive work, such as crunches or twisting motions) and severe (strains, the muscle is completely torn, causing pain and possibly muscle spasms, swelling and bruising. Normal activities, such as sitting up from a prone position, become problematic.)  Guess which one mine is? Ugh! Hurts so bad to straighten up (so I'm hobbling around like an old lady) and it feels like constant cramps. I have ice on it, and hubby is taking care of the kids and house. Ugh. so bad
    • Remember last week, when I said my oldest has lost her damn mind and is acting like an idiot? She came home on Monday, said two boys knocked her off of her bike for no reason. I saw red, those momma bear claws came right out. Contacted a bunch of my friends, found out where one of the boys lived, talked to his dad. Called the principal, about to call the cops, etc. The next day, the principal interviews Arielle and the boys, turns out that Arielle was bumping them in the back of the legs with her bike since they wouldn't move and let her pass, and they were pushing each other and playing around, and that's when she got knocked off the bike. Ugh! SO PISSED. Caused all of these problems when she lied. So she's grounded for a week, I was ready to strangle her.
    • Went on a date day with hubby on Saturday. Red Lobster, rented a metal detector (got stuck in the mud, oops), went metal detecting, went to the mall, Jason's Deli for dinner. All awesome. Well, most of it. Realized that I hate metal detecting (NOT an outdoors person), so I feel bad, like hubby wasted $40 on the rental, but it's better than buying one for $250 and realizing then that I hate it. 
    • Had dinner with a friend that I haven't seen in ten years, since we were both stationed in Misawa, Japan. She was in Fort Worth for a conference. We met in Dallas (I live about 35 minutes East of Dallas). Super fun, makes the world seem like such a small place though. 
    • Arielle finally has her baby tooth pulled. The adult tooth didn't come up under it, so she had the baby tooth still in place, with the adult tooth way behind it. Arielle said she didn't feel a thing. Plus, I talked to my ex on the phone about our divorce paperwork saying that he's required for paying half (which I've never send him a bill, just wasn't worth the drama) and it surprisingly wasn't an issue. Color me shocked. 
    • Yesterday marks one year that Ava came home from the NICU, after 66 days in the NICU and 6 surgeries. So thankful for that little girl. 

    I think that's it. Hard to keep up with my weeks, but I'm getting better at writing things down during the week, so I'm not scratching my head when it comes to this post.


      Wednesday, October 12, 2011

      Chili Roasted Salmon with cilantro cream sauce

      I posted a pic on facebook of some salmon that I made the other night, and had quite a few people message me, asking for the recipe. So rather than send the recipe out, over and over, I thought I would just do a blog post about it. You'll have to forgive my picture, it's just a camera phone pic. But if it looks this good in a crappy phone pic, imagine how good it looks in person. 

      Chili roasted salmon with cilantro cream

      Nonstick cooking spray
      4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
      4 garlic cloves, smashed
      2 teaspoons chili powder
      2 teaspoons ground cumin
      3 teaspoons olive oil
      4 5-ounce skinless salmon fillets
      1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
      1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
      1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced
      1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
      Freshly ground black pepper
      1/3 cup light sour cream
      2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

      1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mist 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. In a small baking dish, mix together 2 tablespoons lime juice with garlic, chili powder, cumin, and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add salmon and turn to coat; let sit.
      2. In a medium bowl, toss corn, bell pepper, poblano pepper, and onion with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Transfer corn mixture to one of the baking sheets; spread into a single layer.
      3. Remove salmon from marinade and arrange on second baking sheet. Drizzle corn mixture with remaining salmon marinade. Season salmon and corn with salt and black pepper to taste and roast 8 to 10 minutes, until fish is just cooked through and vegetables are tender.
      4. Mix together sour cream, cilantro, and remaining lime juice. Season with salt to taste. Spoon corn onto plates and add salmon. Drizzle cream over fish.

      Nutrition facts per serving: 444 calories, 33g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 25g fat (5.9g saturated), 3g fiber

      *I did make a small change. Where it says to "Drizzle corn mixture with remaining salmon marinade",  I did do that. However, I also made up another batch of the salmon marinade and tossed the veggies with it. We really like the marinade, and just using the leftovers wasn't quite enough for us.


      Tuesday, October 11, 2011

      The Whimy Shop, check it out

      One of my wonderful sponsors, Janice, is off of maternity leave and ready to rock out some orders. 

      Her most popular necklaces are the birthstone necklaces, and the remembrance necklaces. 

      The birthstone necklaces are stunning. So simple, yet so meaningful. 

      You have the option of silver or copper colored wire, and of course, she has the option of all birthstone colors available. What a great gift for moms, grandmoms, etc.
      Her remembrance necklace is her other popular seller. Janice explains it more beautifully than I can.

      "After losing our own baby, Jack, after complications from a heart surgery I designed this remembrance necklace. It reminds me of something precious being encircled by two arms. The necklace is hammered to represent the beauty which comes from going through difficult circumstances." 

      Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is on October 15th.  The purpose of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is to promote Support, Education and Awareness for grieving parents nationwide (and worldwide).

      Miscarriage and infant loss affects so many families. 
      According to a national report in 2000, 1 million of the 6.4 million pregnancies in the US ended in either a miscarriage or stillbirth;  and in 2003,  27,500 babies died before the age of one.

      Parents who have lost babies love to hear that others remember their children and miss them.  If you know of anyone who has lost a baby, give them a call or drop them a note on Saturday.  It doesn't have to be anything special.  Just let them know you are thinking of them and their precious baby.  It will mean so much to them. 

      Janice can do this precious necklace with one, two or three birthstone charms. 

      With Remembrance Day coming up, and Christmas right around the corner, her etsy shop is definitely worth checking out. 


      Monday, October 10, 2011

      Highs and lows 10-10

      So here we are again. Time for Highs and Lows. Pretty simple. Share the highs and lows of your week.

      Life, Crafts and Whatever

      • I had to retire one of my favorite piercings, my snug (it's an ear piercing). I've had it for a couple of years, but I have a hard time with cartiledge piercings (you'd think I wouldn't have issues, I was a body piercer for a while). But it got bumped during a haircut a while back, and never wanted to heal after that. So it would hurt, or get bumped, or I couldn't sleep on that side. Just wasn't worth it. Bummed, but it's been nice not having to spaz out if someone got near my ear.
      • My oldest daughter has lost her damn mind lately. Back talking, pouting, whining, sore loser, not listening. It's constant, and nothing we're doing is helping. Positive reinforcement, grounding, yelling, a pop on the butt, trying to talk to her like a big girl. Ugh. She was crying when she didn't win at the sack races at Jasmin's birthday party, she was crying because "Jasmin got all the toys that I wanted". "Go get Mommy your hairbrush and a pony tail holder" means "Go play in your room." I'm pretty sure I'm speaking English, and I don't have any weird accent or voice inflections that I'm aware of, but we're just not communicating lately. Lord, grant me patience before I have to kill her. 


      Jasmin's party on Saturday was a success. The theme was "monster bash". She had 10 friends show up. My mom and I made monster plushies, and I bought some fabric paint and let the kids decorate them (drying time said 4 hours, but we did it right at 2pm, and I set them in front of a fan to dry. All but two of them were dry by 4pm when the kids left, but those girls had put the paint on really thick). We then walked down to the fields by our house, and did sack races, three legged races, and a pinata. Afterwards, we came back to the house and did cupcakes and punch. Then Jasmin opened her presents, and we put on the NOW 20 CD she just got, and we had a dance party for a few songs. I was really happy with how the party turned out. I plan on doing a post about the party soon enough, I got away with doing the party really inexpensively. The party favors (the hair clips in the pic above) were made by me, and all the girls got a kick out of them. 
      • I've had some GREAT sales lately. One on Etsy, the rest by other people off of Etsy. The sales off of etsy, I took as a huge compliment, since they were both repeat customers. Means I'm doing something right. It's just nice to be able to contribute a bit to the household finances. Hubby always tells me that the money I make it to be spent on myself, but I'd rather do something with the family then get a new pair of shoes. Most of the time. 
      • UFC 128 was on Saturday night. We had a couple of friends over, and then a bunch of guys showed up and we all watched it. Good company. 
      • Did a double date with another couple during the girls Awana on Sunday night. We've known them for a while, but it's the first time we really hung out together. I had a great time. 
      • In our community, you are only allowed to have garage sales twice a year, per HOA rules. This past weekend was one of the weekends. Arielle came inside and asked if she could spent some of her money at a garage sale down the street, and I said it was fine. She came back, and gave me a recipe book that she bought for me with her own money. Little glimpses of sweetness like that keep me from killing her, most days. 
      • I posted a pic of some salmon that I made on FB, and I've had a ton of people message me, asking for the recipe. Be looking for the recipe sometime this week. 
      • Remember on this post, where I said that my low was modeling for a make up school, and the instructor was really unprofessional?  I finally got the pics back, and I love them. Great to add to my portfolio, and I finally have pics with my new short hair. I normally don't show pics on my blog, but the last time I said that, I had a couple of readers email me, saying that I should. So voila.

      • Had a great day with my mom. Fabric store, thrift stores, Applebees. I was feeling frumpy that day, just one of those days, ya know? I had a lady come up to me at the fabric store, and told me that she loved my hair, and I have the type of beautiful face required to pull it off. Totally made my day. 
      • Yesterday, I've been with my husband for 5 years. It's crazy how much things have changed, but oh my goodness, I would walk through fire for that man. 
      So that was my week, folks. 


      Friday, October 7, 2011

      Super Freakin' Easy Parmesean Knots

      I'm always looking for simple recipes that make me look like I slaved in the kitchen all day. These totally fall in that category. I found this recipe on Real Mom Kitchen, and yes, mine looked like theirs when I was finished. I call that a success.

          •    1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I used the knock off brand)
          •    1/4 cup canola oil
          •    3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I used the generic can stuff)
          •    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
          •    1 teaspoon dried oregano
          •    1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

          1.    Roll each biscuit into a 12-in. rope and tie into a knot; tuck ends under. Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. (I found it easiest to take each end and slowly pull it apart until it had stretched out quite a bit, then rolled it in between my hands.)

          2.    In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; brush the warm knots with the mixture.

      And voila! You look like super mom/wife, and you can take pride in knowing that your family has happy tummies, without a ton of effort on your part. These are yummy, even my picky eater asked for seconds.


      Tuesday, October 4, 2011

      Highs and Lows 10-3

      Dude. I've been SLACKING with the whole blogging thang. Do I still have followers? The things I see people post about, I just don't do, so sometimes I don't have a damn clue on what to blog about. I don't change my mantle decor every 5 minutes, I've only made one and a half wreaths in my lifetime... yeah. Leaves me with nothing of substance to blog about.

      But I do enjoy my highs and lows, so here we are again. Share the highs and lows of your week.

      Life, Crafts and Whatever

      • Took the family to a place called Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch on Saturday. They've been featured twice on Dirty Jobs if you watch that show. It was pretty darn cool, took us about an hour and a half to drive out there. We got to pet a 7 month old zebra, 2 week old guanacos, a lemur, a baby kangaroo... pretty darn cool. It's normally $10 per adult, and $8 per kid, kids 2 and under are free. But I found a deal on Living Social a few months ago for a family 4 pack for $18. Deal. 

      (click on photo to see larger)

      • The girls were off of school on Friday, so I dropped Ava off at my mom's, and took the girls to see Kung Fu Panda 2 at the dollar theater. I heart the dollar theater, I just can't see spending $8 per ticket for a movie, I'd rather wait 2 months and see it at the dollar theater. Plus, my kids don't know the difference. We were the only ones in there, so we didn't have to deal with other idiots, talking during the movie or playing with their phones. 
      • Hubby finally went to talk to the neighbors that live diagonal behind us about their barking dogs. I told him that either he goes, or I go, and it'll be nicer for her if he went. They have 2 small dogs that bark, ALL THE EFFING TIME. He had to run around the block (all of the fences are connected, so you just can't walk between the houses) and figured out which house it was coming from. The lady happened to be pulling into her garage (talk about pissing me off, she left her dogs outside when she wasn't even there). He just talked to her about her dogs barking, and she seemed to understand and said she'd work on it. She said that her dogs have a problem with peeing in her house, but said that it wasn't our problem and should have to suffer because of it. I didn't hear them AT ALL yesterday, when usually it's hours on end. I understand some barking, some "hey world! I'm here!" barks every now and then. But I mean, HOURS, literally. Fingers crossed it helps. 
      • Got a package ready for our Compassion kids, Maira and Dimas. Stickers, coloring pages, pictures, and the girls colored pics for them. 
      • Found an awesome home for my parrot with a lady, her husband and 11 year old son. She didn't have all of the money in cash that I was asking for, and offered to pay half up front, the rest in post dated checks, with her Michael Kors watch as collateral. Not something I would normally do, since I didn't know her, but something kept telling me that it would be a great home for him and to have some faith in people, so we agreed. She was super nice, Jack LOVED her (they say birds pick their person, the person doesn't pick them). Plus, the next day, she got a bonus at work, so we met up, I returned her watch, tore up the post dated checks, and she gave me the rest of the balance in cash. Thank you Lord for not letting me get screwed in this situation.
      • I have a shoot coming up that I need a long dress or two for. So I hit up Goodwill, and told myself I wouldn't spend more than $10-12 on it. I found two dresses that would be perfect, but they were $8 a piece. So I was standing there with both of them in my cart, trying to decide which one I wanted. A nice lady came up to me, and said she had an extra coupon for 50% off one item and gave it to me. So I was able to get both of the dresses for $12.

      • Lady time of the month, which means I was in a pissy mood. Nuff said.