Monday, April 18, 2011

Ode to my Slow Cooker

Slow cooker, my slow cooker,
I hope that you know,
what a big difference
you make in my home

I put in ingredients,
then to work I go,
while you gently cook
the meat and potatoes.

The vegetables, too,
which I will then feed,
to my husband and son
when they come home in need

Of a hot, tasty dinner
at the end of the day.
You make my life simpler,
and so I must say...

***THANK YOU!!!***

(Do other people write bad poetry about their appliances?)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Meal Planning - April 11

This week's fabulous meal plan comes to us courtesy of my amazing husband. I am only sad that, as I write this, I am digesting tonight's amazing dinner (barbeque chicken, mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing and green beans) and you have none, dear reader. Sigh.


Lunch - Chicken salad on croissants, berries, yogurt

Dinner - Baby burgers and french fries


Lunch - Turkey sandwiches on ciabatta bread, grapes, chips

Dinner - Mexican Chicken Soup (made ahead & frozen)


Lunch - Bagels with cream cheese, yogurt, apple slices

Dinner - Pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce and vegetables (did I mention my darling husband is the one who makes the yummy Alfredo sauce at our house??)


Lunch - Leftover pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce and veggies, apple slices

Dinner - n/a (bowling league night)


Lunch - Turkey sandwiches on wheat bread, applesauce, carrot chips

Dinner - Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole (made ahead & frozen)

Oh man...I am hungry again just reading this! Must be time for some more green beans :-)

Want more meal ideas? NEED more meal ideas? Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie, where hundreds of bloggers link up their weekly/monthly meal plans each Monday morning. Just make sure you're not hungry when you start browsing!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So I Had This Shirt...

We'd come to a face off. I love this shirt - the colors, the pattern, the soft material...but not the cut. The cut that shows off waaay too much of my cleavage to be appropriate. I am someone's mother, after all. Plus the sleeves are too short to be worn to work (shows my tattoo, which is distracting for some of my little special needs friends). I know the first thing you're probably thinking - layer! - but I am too much of a hot flasher to make that work, especially considering we live in DFW. There ain't no summer like a hot, humid, Texas summer, let me tell you! But back to the face off: This shirt was hanging in my closet, unworn, ill fitting, and making a mockery of my supposed decluttering mission! What could I do?

Upcycling is the answer, friends, and so that is exactly what I did. My firs
t thought was to turn it into a tunic, like mid-thigh length. I had this printed cotton left over from a mock dance blouse I sewed back in December to be used for a fit model:

A little mis-matchy, yes, but that's how I roll. I did grow up in Oregon, after all ;-)

First thing is first. I tried on the shirt and figured out a good level for the new, empire-style waist to be. Measuring from the bottom with a ruler, I marked all the way around with a Sharpie. Yep, we like to keep it classy around here!

If you are bra-cup well endowed, as I am, you may want to mark the back an inch or so higher than the front. That leaves some extra room for the girls without making the back hang low. Here's what it looked like with the line drawn:

Next, I cut off the bottom of the shirt, folded the bottom band in half and sliced it into two pieces. Can you guess what those pieces would become? That's right, sleeves of a work-appropriate length!

Here is the "new" top for the tunic, complete with the sleeves. I didn't do anything fancy with them, just turned, tacked and sewed them on the hem of the existing cap sleeves.

Just as a I got to the point where I was ready to attach my mis-matchy cotton, I got swept up in another sewing project. Driving one of our little teenage friends home from church, we swung by a garage sale (I know - dangerous!!!) and I happened upon a cast-iron room divider with absolutely hideous fabric panels on it. Price? $1. Unfortunately, I happened to have $1 on me (this is another reason I don't generally carry cash), so I was unable to say no to the gorgeous thing. Aah! I love it!!

Just so you don't think I've gone completely over the edge, I did have a use in mind for the screen. Mr. Make It Happen and I have an ongoing disagreement over the use of windows and sunlight in our apartment. I like to have the blinds open during the day, as I find the natural light energizing and it cuts down on the electric bill. He is, apparently, part vampire, and finds sunlight to be unpleasant indoors. He also dislikes having the neighbors see into our apartment, which is unfortunately one of the side effects of having a first floor apartment. I decided to try this screen out in front of the living room window, in order to have some privacy for him without giving up my sunlight. Here's how that's working for us, two weeks in:

As I'd said, the fabric panels currently on the screen were ugly: beige, scratchy, worn - yuck! Luckily, the velcro at the top and bottom were in great shape, so I was able to rip that off and reuse it with the pleated panels I made (shown above). I had a king-size flat sheet from Freecycle sitting in the utility closet, just waiting to be used, and I loved the color with the black iron frame. Because it's so sunny today (love it!!!), it's hard to see, but it is actually burgundy.

So after finishing the screen panels, I had just enough burgundy cotton left to make the skirt of a dress for my upcycled shirt, which I was planning to tunic-fy. What do you think?

I linked this post to Tip Junkie's Tip Me Tuesday post!
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Friday, April 1, 2011

Road Trip!

Man, there are few thing Mr. Make It Happen and I love more than a good ol' road trip! Unfortunately, he doesn't get to come on this one, since he is still teaching Saturday School in preparation for TAKS (Fellow Texans, please vote: Do you think standardized testing will be less stressful, more stressful, or about the same once the new STARS test rolls out?). So the Monkey Boy and I are hitching a ride with another dance family. Did I mention they have two dancers, both girls, one 6 and one 5? Oh, yes, this is going to be an awesome trip to San Antonio, and I may finally be able to answer the age-old question: When equally matched (3 adults vs. 3 small people), who will come out psychologically on top after being in a vehicle together for 5 or so hours? Hmmm...definitely something to ponder!

I'm almost packed (which is good, considering I need to leave the house in T-40 minutes to pick up Monkey and head up to meet our ride at their house) and the haul includes 3 bags of dance costumes & gear (Highland is a high-maintenance sport!), 1 overnight bag, 1 in-car entertainment bag (coloring books & markers & DVDs & magazines & iPods, oh my!), 3 camping chairs, and 1 stuffed-to-the-brim snacks & drinks bag. I believe in overpacking, even if the trip is less than two days - we have a performance in Dallas Sunday afternoon for Tartan Day, so a full weekend was not an option! Personally, I am looking forward to plugging in my iPod, opening up a trashy magazine, leaning back, relaxing, and NOT DRIVING!!! Wish us luck :-D