Monday, October 17, 2011

Hello There!

I haven't written in awhile, mainly due to the internet being down & being busy as a 50's housewife. Also, we just had the little man's first birthday party on Saturday - this year has gone way too fast! I will resume regular posts tomorrow. I plan to update with both posts on how my 50's project is going and some design/decor posts.
The 50's blog post will be a bit more specific. I would say overall there has been big improvements in my life due to this project! It feels great though there are a few spots where I feel I may have 'fallen off the wagon' a bit.  I will be trying to get back on quick! This week I plan to share breakfast ideas inspired by the 50's and also some fall decorating. Also coming soon - the exterior. Forever ago I was talking about cleaning up the outside of the house and haven't brought it up in awhile. It has taken a long time to make progress due to summer schedules, having a newborn, weather, etc, but we have totally been getting there. The weather is at a point where we will need to wrap up for the year so I hope to finish up a couple small items later this week and post in the near future. Happy Monday!

P.S. The slightly dark (sorry!) pic above is of a pear pie I made from scratch during this project - awesome! I usually do make pies at Thanksgiving, but typically I cheat on the crust by using the frozen pie crust from the store and also use can pie filling when needed. Not on this baby - peeled and sliced fresh fruit and made the crust myself! It was delicious.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Baby Steps

Sorry I haven't been updating daily, but it is hard to find time to blog when you are a 50's housewife! The last few days have varied. Day 4 I felt a lot better as I didn't put as much pressure on myself and tried the best I could. My nonstop work eventually rubbed off on my husband and he started cleaning our packed full garage (yay!) I had to market (shop) that day but was waiting for my husband to finish in the garage. Anticipating a late trip I had made dessert ahead of time and went with the good old stand by of spaghetti and salad for dinner so we wouldn't be eating too late. Dessert was the peanut bar thing that was good, but don't know if I would make it again.
Day 5 was the second day my husband had to work since this started which somehow made me think it would be easier. I tried getting up at 6 to see if that would be early enough and it seemed good. I fed the dogs and took them for a walk, freshly pressed clothes for my husband to wear for work and made a yummy almond braid thing for breakfast. He didn't sit and eat it though just took it with him to work. : (
  Almond braid

At least the kids enjoyed it.  Next I got my daughter ready and off to school. By this day I was starting to feel slightly less tired and much happier. For my deep clean project I had to cheat and use it as time to work, but I still managed to do a couple loads of laundry, bake two more loaves of bread and do plenty of cleaning. I also made homemade pizza for dinner.

Not sure if they did that in the 50's but it was delicious! An exciting development happened in our household on Thursday as well - the little man took his first step! He stood without holding anything in the middle of his playpen, he then took a step to get to the railing. He was so proud of himself he immediately sat down and started clapping!

Day 6 (Friday) saw continued progress. It is getting easier to wake up and get going and it is exciting to see how well I will do, how much I will accomplish. My husband however has been dampening my mood a bit by being a major flat liner lately. He has been going through some stuff with work and it has been making him NO FUN. I got up at 6 again thinking it would be earlier enough. My husband got up earlier than usual, put on the pants I had ironed and layed out and put on a different shirt while I was ironing one! I wasn't happy. Then just as I was about to make his breakfast he said he had to leave for work (about 40 min. earlier than usual) and left. I guess he isn't too impressed with the 50's housewife. I was really clicking through the steps on Friday however and feeling pretty good about it. For my deep clean I concentrated on the girls room. I washed all my older daughter's bedding and for my younger daughter I started packing away all her more summery clothes and putting away some fall winter ones. For dinner I figured we would have fish and made something similar to earlier in the week.

 I served it with a fresh salad and used up a box of rice we had.  For dessert we had a delicious apple crisp that I made from scratch topped with homemade whipped cream. Delightful. Afterwards my little three year old helped me pick up the toys and books in her room that had come out since I cleaned. Before bed her and I watched an episode of Dennis the Menace that I found on Netflix (I know very un-50s-ish but it is a 50's show and it isn't on regular tv.) I remember watching that show when I was little - 'Oh, Mr. Wil-son!' Classic! Well, Saturday is day 7, wish me luck! Also if anyone has any questions about anything put them in the comments or email to dreamingupdesigns AT yahoo DOT com. I will answer in a future post. Bye!

Dennis the Menace

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 3: No June Cleaver

Day 3 I was awake at 7 and although tired things did go pretty smoothly. There was plenty of breakfast left over from the day before so all I had to do was reheat it in the oven. As things went well I also decided to catch up on my beauty routine, something I had not gotten to the day before. Monday was supposed to be a facial and Tuesday a pedicure. I must admit I had not had either in ages. At first I felt a little guilty making myself pretty when I could be cleaning (or doing dishes!) but in the end I rather enjoyed it. After the morning activities the afternoon unfortunately was a wash. My husband tried to be helpful and made the bed when he got up, but we needed a couple things and he wanted me to go along. We did not get home until almost 4 which of course totally threw off my day. Everyone was still hungry so I made tuna salad sandwiches and served some leftover pie. On the plus side I did get a few 50's cookbooks while we were out. Then I helped my oldest with her homework and had to make dinner. We had pork topped with a mix of apple pie filling and crushed ginger snaps, leftover carrots and some delicious sesame green beans. Since we ate the pie for lunch I needed a new dessert and I found a boxed brownie mix which I made. I was so tired that my husband told me to go lie down around 9:30.
My fatigue brings me to an observation. I have been so fatigued I have been having a hard time getting in the 50's groove and being really hard on myself for it. As I mentioned before, I had decided I could use products in my home until they were used up (it wouldn't be in the 50's spirit to waste things) but then when they ran out they had to be replaced with a time appropriate item. A couple of days before the project started I ran out of diet mountain dew. In average I had been drinking approximately 3 cans per day. Diet Mountain Dew came out in late 80's. Regular Mountain Dew was around in the 50's, but wasn't widely available until it was purchased by Pepsi in 1964. That all aside soda was not for all the time like today. It was a special treat and wasn't sold in big buckets like it is today. So I stopped drinking it. The first few days I noticed I had headaches and major fatigue. After the headaches were gone I thought I was over it. I thought I was tired because I was a failure at the 50's. However, I have now read that when you stop using/drinking artificial sweeteners (ex. diet dew) it can take as long as two weeks for your body to stop having withdrawal symptoms. After that the roller coaster still isn't over. You could still have a couple weeks of habitual cravings. For example, artificial sweeteners are supposed to make you actually crave more sweets in general so some of those cravings may still be there.
Here a decision had to be made, should I go on with the project or wait the two weeks for recovery? I already started and I want to continue. We will just have to keep in mind these first couple weeks that I will be extra frustrated and tired and hopefully after that things will improve. Here's to day 4!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 2: My Own Kind of Hell

Good morning, everyone! Today I will be a little more brief as to not throw off my schedule. Day 1 found me up at 6:30 and in bed well after midnight. Day 2 I had to be up bright and early (7 am) to see my oldest daughter off to school. Everything went okay. I made a delicious breakfast of french toast with raspberries on top.

Downside was she didn't have time to finish eating it. In my defense she is quite chatty and the bus was a little early, but still. I was so very tired I had dizzy spells all morning while I tried to keep up with my schedule. For my 'deep clean' task of the day I chose baking and laundry. I didn't really get any more laundry done than I have been, due to waiting for the machine to finish, and never got to ironing. I did bake two loaves of bread. I haven't made bread in awhile and I forgot how dang long it takes to make! It wasn't even close to being done at lunchtime and we had no other bread in the house. I had to scramble to get a lunch together and use the old 'use it up and replace with 50's item' crutch and make a couple boxes of Suddenly Salad.

Fresh bread!

In tune to the use it up theme I realized there were no disposable diapers in the 1950's. I decided to cheat with my 3 year old daughter and have her start wearing underwear during the day and save my last disposable diapers for night time so I wouldn't be woken up in the night because someone wet the bed, etc. I didn't think it would be a big deal. We had started potty training her quite a while back, but when our son was born she started that whole nasty regression - I want to be the baby- thing. Let's just say it involved some large puddles day 2 that I did not appreciate.
My husband tried to be helpful and take all the kids when our oldest had dance class in the evening. I am not going to lie - as soon as they were gone I had changed into some comfy p.j.'s and was watching a little Happy Days. Of course I was also folding laundry.
Then came time to get dinner ready. I was making a chicken recipe. I thought I already had a whole bunch of chicken broth so I hadn't bought any. Apparently it was beef broth. I scrambled through the cabinets hoping for some chicken bouillon - and I found it. Unfortunately it expired in 2008 so I went with the beef broth. Dinner wasn't quite ready when they got home and there was piles of folded laundry in the living room. Boy, did I feel like a loser! Everyone loved dinner however - chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, carrots and homemade bread with a berry pie for dessert. At least I had that going for me. Then came the really bad part.
DISHES. Oh, how I hate dishes. These 50's housewives must have spent half their damn day doing dishes. Even with trying to keep up with them during the day they were everywhere. I swear they were breeding and multiplying! I remember growing up we didn't have a dishwasher until the early nineties and I really don't know how we managed. Then the bitterness came. I was up before everyone and here I was, back killing me, literally making my eyes water, washing all these dishes, while everyone else was cozy in bed. Not nice. I did almost all of the dishes, skipped making lunches, setting the table for breakfast and cocktails, and collapsed in a heap on the bed about 11:30. The end.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 1: Not Another Lovely Day in the Suburbs

Yesterday. was. hard. I knew it was my first day and things wouldn't go perfectly smooth, but oh my. There were lots of ways I felt a failure yesterday. I tried getting up at 6:30 hoping it would be early enough, but oh no, not even close. By the time the dogs had eaten and gone for a walk I was running low on time before my husband had to leave for work. I had planned on making some fritatta thing but had to settle for making some type of omelet with the fritatta ingredients. Not only that but with all my prepping I had not gotten a chance to iron my husband's shirt for work so he did himself. Bad housewife. It took him so long he did even have time to eat breakfast - he chugged down the orange juice and took the plate of egg with him. I already felt like a loser, but tried to press on with a positive attitude.
I had been doing a lot of 50's era reading, but also had found this hilarious blog that had a list of how they tried to be a 50's housewife. I decided to follow list, though with quite a few variations such as having three kids, two bichon frise dogs and two cats. So far I haven't found much about being a mother at home with children in the fifties. Most things talk about, 'after you have sent the children off to school...' What about the weekends? What about before they go to school? I also read a couple things about visiting the children in the nursery, so either those children had a nanny or their mother just locked them up in a room all day until dinner time. That's why the houses were so clean. Oh, wait, I also found a quote about how you should keep your children quiet and keep their faces clean because that is how God wants them to be. Thanks for laying on the guilt trip...
You can find the list I am working with here and I highly recommend you check it out...
Extremely funny blog, though I have to admit I am waiting to read most of the 50's posts after my are done so I can compare.
Most things I couldn't entirely complete and even if I did...

Here is the living room after it was cleaned;

and when I was busy in the kitchen doing dinner dishes;

"But, Mom, I was just pretending to be a fashion designer!"

By 3:00 I was so sore and worn out I didn't know how I would make it through the rest of the day. It was time for my 'deep clean' step. I fell back on my old cleaning schedule and decided I would super clean the master bedroom/upstairs area. I got all our sheets in the dresser...then layed down on the bed for half an hour exhausted and feeling sorry for myself. No deep clean. After that I had a couple cups of tea and felt slightly more refreshed. I hadn't realized the dessert I had planned was supposed to freeze for 12 hours, but I decided to give it go anyways. You have no idea the restraint it took not to dump some booze in there and make it worth my while. Dinner was a success, however. This week I am more worried about a 50's eating schedule (of not eating out at least 3 time a week) than the actual recipes, though I do plan to make some later 'for authenticity.' The recipe called for one of three different types of fish which I asked him to get, but of course he said they didn't have any of those and got Dory fish, which we have never eaten. "You know, you can eat the blue fish from Finding Nemo. Just keep swimming." Grr. He knows I hate it when people compare edible food to cute animated characters. Anyway, it was delicious.

That is the three year old's portion. The recipe called for bottled salsa on top. I wasn't sure they would have had that in the fifties, so instead I topped it with a blend of diced tomatoes, cilantro and olive oil.

Dessert was also good. It was some raspberry- lime juice slush thing topped with ginger ale. I even served it in authentic 50's era glasses.

The evening went much smoother which made it slightly more bearable. I probably would have completed evening thing if I had not had to help with homework, get kids ready for bed, etc. Even then I was pretty close. My husband didn't get home until well after 9, so he had to eat then. He was very pleased to come home to me in a dress, food ready and everything else. After he ate it was cocktail time!

Those cocktail tools and shaker we received as a gift quite some time ago (a couple years?) and this was the first time we were using them. Clearly, we needed to get with it. We were going to attempt singapore slings. The recipe I used is here.

These are served in circa 1950's Libbey hostess glasses, a gift from my mother-in-law.

The drinks looked very pretty, but those first few sips were something. I left the club soda out to mix more in, but ended up not. After the first few sips you are tipsy enough to only taste a hint of cherry as you drink it down. Here's a raised glass to hoping day two goes a bit better. Cheers!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 0 : Prepping for the Fab 50's

Good evening, all! I am about to collapse from exhaustion, but I had to give a little update. I refer to this as day 0 as there are things I had to do to prep for tomorrow to work ; ) I cleaned my little man's room, baked a whole lot of cookies, did laundry and dishes and got a bagged lunch ready for the husband. Fingers crossed this won't be a flop! I admit I began having my doubts around 5 pm today...

This room was cleaned spotless yesterday. And after certain little people were told they had better pick this room up...

A lovely little under-the-bed-sweeper.

I had planned to go into more details on what all I plan to do but, will have to be done throughout the week. Nighty night.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Prepping for the Fabulous Fifties

Just wanted to do a quick update! I will be starting my 50's project on Sunday. So far I have been preparing by cleaning (not 50's standards but cleaning) and doing a little shopping. I've been major cleaning so I wouldn't get burned out in the 50's, but whew, I am already burned out now. Also, been doing some reading.
Did I mention that, other than telling everyone on the Internet, I haven't actually told anyone I know? I wanted to see how long it would take for anyone to notice and how they would react. So far in the preparations, my husband has only looked at me funny a couple of times. 1. He thought it was odd I wanted to go to the bank and withdraw a bunch of cash (no credit or debit in the 50's!) to pay for gas, groceries, etc. He then assumed I was doing some type of budget thing and wasn't too worried about it.
2. He looked at me a little funny when I purchased gin and cherry brandy. I don't think I ever have purchased either of those things. I explained I had found a drink recipe I wanted to try and he was fine with it.
Another part of my project was that I decided if I had consumables (food, beauty products, etc) I would use up what was left, but when it was gone had to be replaced with an appropriate replacement. A couple days ago I ran out of diet mountain dew. I estimate I normally drink about 3 cans a day of this. Not only was this drink not around then, but people did not down soda like we do now. So, it has been a couple days since I had any, which I think is partially contributing to my feeling of fatigue and being burned out, not to mention some doozy headaches. I did drink some coke yesterday though. I had my last restaurant trip for awhile, Buffalo Wild Wings. People were also not constantly going out to eat.
Looking forward to getting started and just doing this already! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

50 in the 50's

Yeah, that's right. I am all over the place lately. Not all that much has happened lately. I am continuing to get things organized, but had lots of other stuff going on that put me a bit behind. This week I am preparing as best I can for my big project/experiment. As you may have guessed from the title I am going to attempt to live 50 days in the 50's lifestyle with a few minor exceptions. I thought this would be something different, but as I plan I find many people have already had this idea! I find that very interesting. I still will attempt this as I want to experience this for myself. Feel free to vicariously live through me and read about my adventures for the next 50 days!

My disclaimers: I am not suggesting this is for everyone, only that is something I would like to attempt and compare results on. I am not saying it will be ridiculous or that it will be wonderful (my best guess would be that it will fall somewhere in the middle.) If you find this offensive remember you do not have to read it. : )

My other disclaimer is that I will be attempting to do this the best that I can. I was not alive in the 1950's nor do I have a time machine. I will collect my information from various sources to try to get the overall best impressions of what is accurate. Anyone with additional ideas/information is welcome to comment at anytime. Some sources may be more accurate than others and I will honestly attempt to do the best I can. Can you imagine 60 years from now people trying to depict our daily life with issues of Cosmo and episodes of Jersey Shore as inspiration? (Gag!)

How this will be conducted:
This will begin on Sunday and last for 50 days. For these 50 days I will attempt to be the perfect mother/housewife of the 1950's. I will apply all information as much as possible. If I have to make exceptions I will note them.

How this will be posted on my blog:
The internet was not commonplace until the mid-ninties or so, however I will use some time to update my blog. I will try to post daily or at the least a few times per week. During the week I may post on a small portion of my day or on some aspect of the fifties. Once a week I will give an overall report on how things are going. I will also create a mini report on some various different factors to compare from week to week. I will try to have this report include some measurable things and some emotional/mental things. At the end I will post my overall impressions, what I learned, and what was the best/worst.

Things that will differ: As I will not be actual in the 50's some things might not be 100% accurate and I will note the exceptions as much as possible.

There you have it. Looking forward to getting started. : )

P.S. What the heck is the picture at the top of this post? I recently acquired this pair of birds. I haven't decided what I will do with them yet. I have tried to find out when these are from/where they came from, but I can't find a thing! Does anyone know anything about these? I see no markings with brand, date, etc. The bodies are cream with brown flecks and appear to be made of some type of  stoneware/ceramic material. The head and feet are made of metal which I think was painted to look like brass, but I don't think is actual brass. They do have a bit of weight to them. Anyone? I would be very grateful to anyone who can offer any information!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Okay. Maybe I am not triple crazy with three exclamation points crazy. I do feel a little sleep deprived, exhausted crazy. I am having a hard time even making sentences, whew! Looong day! So, I have had a kind of rough year without getting too specific or personal. It has taken its toll and snowballed from  there. I am now trying to claw my way back to 'normal-land.' Well, normal for me anyways. : )  I have some extreme ideas planned, but first things first.
The fact is a I have been depressed. I've been busy. My dishwasher and vacuum broke recently (vacuum fixed, dishwasher not.) My house isn't looking so pretty and I can't stand it, people! It gets messy then I feel more depressed which makes me feel tired... Anyways, I really wanted to get my booty back into gear and its anyone's guess whether or not I can do it. I have a project planned and we will consider this the 'transition.' 
Today I decided to get back into my old cleaning routine. This would be a light cleaning of areas, dishes, laundry and major clean in one area. Because I am behind I decided to skip the light cleaning part and just really focus on one area. Wednesday was the day dedicated for kitchen, back hall and back stairs.
About this area of my house. The kitchen is a small 10x10 room. The kitchen was remodeled by the previous owners in a way that is difficult to use. The back hall is a small area with hooks for hanging coats, etc., and the stairs lead to the basement.
Today was not fun. My body, namely back and legs, are screaming, at me. Ouchie. I cannot wait to go to bed and it is not quite 8:30.
I did three loads of laundry. Yes, that's right. One load of baby items, one lights, one darks. Many, many, many dishes. All by hand. If there are still people out there who get by without dishwashers (and I'm certain there are) wow. I tried to do the dishes in small loads throughout the day, to make it easier if that is logical. We had dishes from the day before, dishes from the day and 'extra dishes' from various other sources. I actually had to stop, aside from the crippling pain, because I ran out of dishsoap! For real. And my lunch was a hostess cupcake -yuck!- because I didn't want to create any extra dishes for myself! No lie. I also took care of some prep work for my 'work', cleaned up items for a rummage sale, watered plants outside, took care of kids (duh!) worked on some projects cluttering the kitchen and I'm too tired to recall what else. My back hurts so bad by 4:30 that I collaspsed on the couch for about 20 minutes before I took a bottle of some ibuprofen and got back to it. By about 6:30 I realized I had better make dinner. Next I realized hubby had about 3 lbs of ground beef sitting in the fridge that needed to be used. I browned half and made a double batch of hamburger helper. After this I will be making another to save for tomorrow. Besides the fact kids didn't eat till after 7. Bad mommy. Ugh. The picture above is of the kitchen around 5:30.  Not looking so hot. A loong ways to go. Yuck.
Not a good start to crawling out of the whole.
Tomorrow is a new day. Now to pry myself off this couch and make tomorrows dinner. Or fall asleep on  the couch. Yawwwwn.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Felt Puppet Fun

Good day to you all! Getting excited for the weekend? We have been super busy around here! Trying to get a few fun things in before our oldest goes back to school and then of course the neverending lists of projects that need to get done. There are so many things I want to share here that aren't quite ready. Some day soon, people (I hope!) We had a great day a the fair yesterday with beautiful weather and a fun time for the kids. The little man even got to enjoy his first cream puff.

Anyway, the title of my post was felt puppet fun and there must be a reason for that, right?! I'm not quite sure how this got started, but I have been making some felt puppets for the kids in my 'spare' (insert appropriate snort of laughter here) time. I think it had something to do with them wanting toys for things that there aren't a whole lot of toys for so I just started making some. Here is a pair a made;

I didn't really take any 'in progress' photos, but it's really quite simple. First, I took an ordinary piece of notebook paper and drew a pattern or outline of the puppet and cut it out with scissors. Second, I placed my paper pattern on top of two sheets of felt and cut the pattern out of the felt. Third, I decorated the top piece of the felt with other felt and glued on with hot glue. I used a good 'ol sharpie marker for some of the details. Finally, I sewed the two pieces of felt together with thread and needle. If you don't like the handsewn look you could use a sewing machine and if you don't like the look of the all around stitching you could sew your puppet inside out and then flip it back out when finished. This is the look I pictured in my head so this is how I did it.

The kids love these. Next, I would like to build this awesome puppet theater I saw in blogland made with the top of an old hutch. Of course, I have seen hutch tops tons of times at Goodwill, etc., but once I actually find something to do with one I can't find one anywhere. I will keep you posted on my hutch top quest. Have you made anything fun for the kids this summer? See you again soon I hope!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fiesta Colors List

Rainy, rainy day here today! The grass and plants really needed the tall drink of water, but it really spoils my spray painting plans for today. Anyway, I recently fell in love with Fiestaware. In fact, I think I am grounding myself from buying anymore for awhile...maybe. As my interest grew I wanted to learn more and started searching for information. The thing I wanted to know the most I was having a hard time finding! I really wanted a 100% complete list of all the colors made and what years they were available. I think I have compiled one and am sharing it here. If you find a major error or see I missed something, let me know. I will also try to keep this updated as best I can. I do not have listed values, pieces, etc. This is just for colors and approximate years. Here you go!

 Fiesta Originals

Red            1936-1943    1959-1972
Ivory           1936-1951
Blue            1936-1951
Yellow        1936-1969
Green         1936-1951
Turquoise  1937-1969

Fiesta Fifties Colors

Rose                    1951-1959
Gray                     1951-1959
Forest Green      1951-1959
Chartreuse          1951-1959
Medium Green    1959-1969

Fiesta Ironstone

Antique Gold       1970-1972
Turf Green           1970-1972

'New' Fiestaware 1986-Present

White                  1986-
Black                   1986-
Cobalt Blue         1986-
Apricot                 1986-1998
Yellow                  1987-2002
Rose                    1987-2005
Turquoise              1988-
Periwinkle Blue    1989-2006
Seamist Green    1991-2005
Lilac                      1993-1995
Persimmon          1995-2008
Sapphire               1996-1997
Chartreuse           1997-1999
Pearl Gray            1999-2001
Juniper                  1999-2001
Cinnabar                2000-
Sunflower              2001-
Plum                      2002-
Shamrock              2002-
Tangerine              2003-
Scarlet                   2004-
Peacock                2005-
Heather                  2006-2008 (I have also seen 2009 listed)
Evergreen             2007-2009
Ivory                       2008-
Chocolate              2008-
Lemongrass          2009-
Paprika                   2010-
Marigold                 2011-       (Limited Edition, select pieces available earlier, 75th Anniversary)

*The color Sunflower is pictured above.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

MEGA Mac n' Cheese

Hello. Hope you are having a great weekend! Just thought I would share last nights dinner. ; )
It was getting late, dinner needed to be started...and I quickly realized we did not have the ingredients for any traditional type of meal. I dug around to see what ingredients we did have and came up with this. Everyone said it was good so I wrote down the ingredients just in case anyone asked me to make it again. I warn you, not the healthiest thing around. Here is MEGA Mac n' Cheese.

              4 Chicken Breasts (optional)
              12 oz Whole Wheat Rotini (or whatever noodles you have on hand)
               6 tablespoons butter - I used I can't believe it's not butter brand
              1/2 c. light sour cream
              8 oz. Finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
              8 oz. Finely Shredded Colby and Monterrey Jack Cheese
              2.8 oz. package Real Bacon Pieces

1. Begin cooking chicken breasts if you are using them. While they are cooking you may begin step 2.
2. Prepare noodles following directions on box. After you drain and rinse them return to pan.
3. Add butter, cheeses, sour cream and bacon stirring after each addition. Mixture will be thick.
4. Slice chicken breasts and place on top of bowls of the macaroni.
5. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Annual Pooh Sticks Picnic

 Hope everyone is having a great start to their weekend! So far, mine is okay. I am really looking forward to my husband's vacation coming up. Recently we went on our annual Pooh Sticks Picnic. We have been doing this for a few years now and I am not entirely sure how it started, but the kids look forward to it every year. We pack a picnic basket of goodies (this year we cheated and packed it with Subway sandwiches!) and drive about 30 minutes to Covered Bridge Park. After we finish eating, it is time for Pooh Sticks!
Some may ask, 'What is Pooh sticks?' Winnie the Pooh fans may already know. 

Here are the rules, as far as I know.
1. Each player must find a stick. You may want a few so you can play a few times.
2. Each player stands in a row across the bridge, each with one stick in hand. You must all stand on the side of the bridge opposite the way the water is flowing.
3. When the person designated says, "go!" players drop their stick off the side of the bridge.
4. Player then move to the other side of the bridge. The players stick that makes it out first from under the bridge, wins!

Very easy, but the kids love it. It was beautiful weather and great time with the family. We also made a couple friends. ; )

Do you have any fun summer traditions that your family looks forward to? I hope everyone has an amazing Saturday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Happy Pink Panther Birthday

(Get Pink Panther theme stuck in your head.....NOW!)

My little Diva recently turned 3 and ofcourse a party was had to celebrate despite the fact she is growing (sniff) Anyhow, she loves the Pink Panther. LOVES. Thanks to netflix we get to watch him every-single-night. Ofcourse being the good mama I am I had tons of great ideas for an awesome Pink Panther party. Ofcourse being the bad mama I am I didn't have time for most of them. :  (
I was impressed with myself over one thing however. I found a vintage 1977 Pink Panther cake pan online. My mom always made us the cakes with the Wilton cake pans and I was determined to try to have the patience to do one. It got to the day of the party and I had to make it. I was afraid there wasn't enough time or it would turn out horrible. I confess to you it is not perfect, but not so bad for a first timer, I don't think.

The worst part was the name, which I did last. Should stopped while I was ahead I guess. I changed the gift box color to match our color theme.

The cake was a surprise for the little diva and she loved it! Here she is blowing out the candles.

Daddy even wore this Pink Panther shirt he found at Kohl's.

Ha! I was a bit surprised we got him to do that! And my super crafty sister-in-law made her this pink panther 'pillow pet.'

She also made her a super cute pink panther skirt with a matching dress for her American Girl doll.

Has your child ever requested a vintage themed party? Were you able to pull it off? I personally like the challenge!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Living Room Update July 2011

Goooood Morning Readers!! Hope you had an a-mazing fourth of July!

Awhile ago I mentioned my crazy painting spree & while it hasn't quite finished yet I thought I could show you a bit of what I've done. Please let me know what you think. This is technically a 'before' picture. I say this because I was way too excited to paint to take the before pics and this picture is from about a year and a half ago, maybe a little older.
The room never really looked quite this dark, but it was a dark color. A LOT has changed since this picture, but I will start with what had already changed pre-paint. Removed the large coffee table and replaced it with a small storage ottoman/table that had been at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom, different rug, different wall hangings, removed pillows (yeah, haven't replaced those yet.) Um, that might be it.

One more super blurry before.

The before color was 'Chilled Wine' I kind of had a whole jewel tone thing going on. I liked the traditional color schemes but, I really needed something lighter and brighter. Here is some priming;

I really hate priming.  Especially entire rooms. I just get so darn anxious to see the new color on the walls. Sorry the picture is a bit dark, but this was waaay late at night. I just had to stay up and get this part done and over with.

Next was the fun part. The new color was called Creamy Pebbles. As I was putting up the new color I was l-o-v-e loving it! I got it all painted and waited about a week annnd....there was just one problem. The wall above the couch. I had flipped the couch and love seat so the longer couch was on the windowless wall. I had been able to do this by replacing the old end tables with new ones (real wood end tables on clearance at Wal-Mart for $97 each.) Way cheaper than a furniture store and the quality appears about the same. Above the couch I had hung back up what was there before - Ballard Designs entomology plaques and punched metal mirror I got with coupons and sales last summer. It was nice, but it just looked a little plain, needed some pizazz. So I channeled my hours of HGTV watching and thought about painting the area behind the art a different color. As I tend to over think everything, that decision took awhile. I finally decided on a color called Pick Me Up (could I have found a color name more fitting?)

Here is the before with the lovely addition of the painters tape.

I always am nervous doing these projects with painters tape as straight lines and I are not friends. I always desire perfect straight lines, but they just don't like me. : (   However, the taping this time around was much quicker than the nursery project. Maybe I am getting hang of it? Maybe I was just lucky. Anyway, here is the after;

 I like it waaay much! Huge difference. I still want to trim it it out with some slender moulding, kind of like a frame, so I am adding that to the list. Here is a room after, though I warn you the living room is a haven for unfinished projects.

This little dresser was in the Diva's room before the girls had to share and she begged me not to get rid of it so it ended up here. Very cute I think. Plus, lots of storage. : ) The area above it, of course needs quite a bit of work. I already had the jars and basket, white flower dish from Goodwill, lamp also something I got from Goodwill and painted plus shade from Target. Frames were also also from Goodwill, with the exception of the white one which I already had. I will get those sorted out better once they actually have pictures in them. Here is one more after.

If you look close, you can see the kitty hasn't moved much in the past year and a half ; ) The cutie basket on the brown table is from Homegoods. I was originally going to replace the curtains and rug, but they looked totally different with the new paint color and I decided I want to keep them.  I would love to move the love seat out and put some chairs in their place- on the list- and get a new couch, but that may be awhile. Finally, one last time, the before-
And after-

Love the difference so far! Well, I hear I am going to a tea party on the front patio, so have a great day!!

lil luna link party button

Monday, July 4, 2011

I think I am in L-O-V-E!!

About 11 years or so ago I moved out of my parents house and got an apartment. Early in the moving process I realized it just might be nice to have something to eat food off of. I purchased plates, cups, canisters, etc. all in the Corelle Callaway pattern.
 Since then I have sold/donated most accessories, but I still use the plates, bowls, etc. every day. The dishes have held up well and look ok, but for the past few years I have been itching to buy something a little 'nicer.' I have looked everywhere - Pottery Barn, Ballard, anywhere with dishes, but I have never been able to commit. It always makes me cringe thinking about spending so much money on dishes and then what if I get sick of them? What if I buy part of a line and it gets discontinued? What if, what if, what if?!
I load up my virtual cart, but just can't get through the checkout process. Then we get back to the ivy plates. (I'm pretty sure my husband hasn't minded.)

Anyway, now that you know everything you ever could have wanted to know about my plate situation, I will get on with my story. The other day I had a $5 off & 15% off coupon for Kohl's that I really wanted to use and it was almost 9 at night on the last my husband drove us all over there. He was supposed to meet up with me and asked what area I would be in. To which I said I wasn't sure. He took longer than I thought he would & we kind of ended up wandering to the plates. The last few times I've been at Kohl's I have noticed this HUGE display of Fiestaware and had been intrigued. While looking at all the lovely colors I noticed this little cutie hiding on an opposite shelf...

The cutest dishes ever and the set was 60% off because a bowl was missing (bowls can be purchased separately.) This Sunflower color is just so happy and charming. I-LOVE-IT. Maybe that is going a bit far, but it is perfect. I became an overnight Fiesta addict and I do not collect things. It's just that the three Sunflower pieces are so lonely all by themselves, they must have more of their kind. There are so many beautiful colors it is hard to decide on what to get next! I am so glad I was a dish commitment-phobe all these years! Do you know what I really want?! They have the most gorgeous soup tureen in their 75th anniversay color Marigold. Only 10,000 are being made I believe. Oh, it is lovely!  For, now I am happy with these -
but, I will keep you posted! It's not just me -the girls can't wait to get more so we can use them.

P.S. I did notice some good deals online at Macy's but I think the sale ends today.

P.P.S. Happy 4th of July!!