Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Do you have a song

That make you happy every single time you hear it?

For some reason, this song does that for me. And I do not even particularly like country music.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I have been abusing my living room curtains

Or rather "mistreating" them. While we are in a Nester frame of mind, I wanted to share my big, scary project of the week! The Nester first got my attention when the bargain board I was reading at the time was raving about her concept of mistreating curtains to save money. The basic idea is that you can make a fancy window treatment that looks like a million bucks without hemming and hawing over it. She uses a hot glue gun, trim, tacks and high heels to McGyver herself some really nice designs. I may not have the high heels, but I did manage to make this!

OK, so picture if you will green tab top curtains that have hung on my living room for about 4 years. When they first came out, I loved the look of tab top curtains, but they were starting to grow old on me. The green was perfect in our living room, but with our gigantic picture window I could not stomach paying over 100 bucks for new curtains. My solution? Turn the curtains upside down, cut about 2 feet off the top to get rid of the tabs and hot glue on some adorable plaid fabric I got for 30% off at Hobby Lobby. Then, cover up the rough edges with trim. See?

Unfortunately, my original cut was too much and the curtains were hanging shorter than the sheers. BOO. Since the whole idea was to not spend much money on these, I used a store credit at Target (from returning an ear thermometer after three attempts--whole other story) to buy some curtain rings thingy majigs. I just clipped those onto the top and hung it all on my existing rod and voila!

Instead of over a hundred bucks I spent about $40 and that was only cause I bought really nice fabric for the bottom. I wanted to splurge a little. *wink*

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

10 Minutes to a Room You Love

OK, so, yay! This is my first time participating in a linky party and I feel so…official!

So, one of my mostest favoritist blogs (yes, I make up my own words around here)—The Nesting Place—is hosting the 10 Minutes to a Room you Love Party today.

Our assignment was to show off simple techniques we used to spruce up a room in our house. On my tour of Chez Desperate, I wanted to show off my kitchen--the heart of my home…the place where I nourish my family...the place where friends gather.

Oh who am I kidding?

My kitchen is a pain in my tushy.

It is constantly messy, never warm and inviting, always full of junk food.

But what it is, with all certainty, is organized. I may not be able to put on my housewife apron and whip up a delicious pie on a whim, but I can locate the recipe, find the ingredients with ease and then ask someone else to cook it.

So, here is my quick list of organizing tips and tricks of the trade!

Keep it close.

Make your kitchen an actual work area. Cooking is work, people. You must keep your tools at hand. Anything you use on a weekly basis deserves to be at your helm. Here you can see everything I need is within easy reach and is all centered around my stove. So, on the left side I have flour, cooking oils, salt, pepper, spices, cutting board, and rolling pin. To the right (since I am right handed) I have my spoons, spatulas and other items I would need to grab as I am cooking on the stove top.

Get it up.

Magnetic strips are my friend. I use them to hold my spices. I also use them to hold my knives. And I even have an extra strip up for holding notes, recipe cards, etc.

Have it separated.

Here is my baking/cooking cabinet. On the lower shelf I keep anything related to cooking—spices, salts, measuring cups, etc. The shelf above includes all baking items—sugars, powers, soda, flavorings, etc, which are stored in nice see through containers.

Get it together.

This is my recipe book. Not only does it include my recipes in regular rotation, but it also holds recipes I want to try. You see the calendar? I plan my menus in two week sets. I have winter menus and summer menus—4 weeks worth of meals that I can just drop right onto the monthly calendar.

Have it central.

This is my family calendar. It is in a central location in our kitchen—a place both my husband and I can see. I keep the markers in little baskets hanging to the side. The hanging system was a steal on ebay, but it is originally from Ikea. I also used another magnet strip to put up a wipe off board for extra notes throughout the month.

Recycle it.

No one says your recycle bin has to look like it came right out of Whole Foods. This is just a simple $10.00 trash can from Wally World. To make it look all official, I printed out a recycle sign (thanks to Publisher) and taped it on with some packing tape. My kids know exactly where to stick things when I say put it in recycling. When it gets full, I make a trip to the backyard where the bigger bins are. And when those get full I actually make a trip to the recycling center.

Editor's note: Please excuse the tidiness. I promise my house is not like this all the time—I just had the time to clean up a bit. My apologies for the lack of keepin' it real!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Black is slimming

I think I should drive a black minivan so I look thinner as I am riding around town.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Smooth Operator

Me: How was your day?

The Boy: Good. I only have one page of homework and I made a Mario card. And Hailey finally did something I have always needed her to do.

Me: What is that?

The Boy: She asked me if I wanted to be her Valentine and I pretended to not be myself and be Venom.

Me: Venom? What did she think of that?

The Boy: She didn’t say anything. I was nervous and sometimes people just get nervous and that is ok. She put a valentine inside my folder.

Me (reading valentine): Roses red, Violets Blue, I love you xoxoxo

The Boy: What?

Me: It says I love you.

The Boy: I’m in second grade! I’m not even supposed to have a girlfriend until 3rd grade!

That’s my boy!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day Trippin'

So, after being couped up with snow and single digit temperatures for a week plus, we had to escape. It has been outstanding weather the past couple of days and we had to take advantage. Our family tends to be semi adventurous so at high noon on Sunday afternoon, we took off down the interstate.
Not so far down the road we got this:

See the idiot light?

After a quick refuel and a check on my Facebook status, we were off again.

We knew we were heading to Knoxville for a few hours and being the fan of Food Network that we are (Hi, Guy Fieri, if you are reading this!) we knew of a joint that had been featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives a while back called the Pizza Palace. Techno Geek used his handy dandy iphone to secure the directions and with no trouble at all, we found it.

The Pizza Palace is a drive in Italian restaurant. You have pizza, spaghetti, sandwiches, etc all delivered to your car by car hops. Apparently these car hops must all be chain smokers and go on smoke breaks every 5 minutes or so, but that is another story.

To pass the time, The Boy played on his very precious DS....

And The Girl enjoyed climbing out the sun roof. That's good stuff right there.

And before you know it our food arrived. There it is...a hot pizza perching precariously on my lap. (For the record Techno Geek laughed at me for taking these pictures, so, I had to explain to him I was doing a blog entry on our trip. To which he laughed more. )

Next, we headed towards downtown looking for this:

And as we circled the block to find a place to park we found this instead:

Knoxville Museum of Art
With a sign outside that said "Free Admission Day"
Excuse me, did they say FREE?
Yes, they did!

Notice the hands in the pockets--he was nervous about knocking something over!

I call it "Little Girl in Big Room"

This one was called "Ladies" and it was listing all of the names this man had "dated." The Boy was staring at it a little too long for my taste.

The Museum also had this sweet little corner, tucked away in the back, that held an interactive exhibit for children. The kids could draw their own art and play with a giant Lite Brite.

And later on, we ventured downstairs were they had some hella-cool kids artwork....

and a sculpture garden.

Overall, our little day trip hit the spot and gave us a much needed break from the house. We find that sometimes the best trips are the ones right in our own backyard!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A sample of our week

We needed lots of this....

For this fella here....

All week we had this...

And no school to match...

It worked out ok though... Note the weather forecast on tv.

After a looong week, we had basketball.

And a Winter Festival to attend (ironic that it was warm enough to wear shorts)

Yes, this week we had lots of sneakiness...
And a fair dose of mischief

But a whole bunch of sweet.