Life is more fun when you RAWR!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

No crafty updates in a few days but not for lack of projects around here!  I have several open projects right now so updates will be coming soon!
For now... it's Monday!  Time to share menu plans!

Monday: chicken soft tacos in corn tortillias, spanish rice
Tuesday: Baked potatoes topped with broccoli, cheese, sour cream, turkey bacon
Wednesday: grilled chicken thighs, herbed rice, green beans
Thursday: spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, corn
Friday: homemade pizza
Saturday: baked pork chops, mashed potatoes, salad
Sunday: burgers and fries

What are you having??

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Old Picture Frames updated

The boys got the neatest sign from my Aunt for Christmas.

It's so cute!
I knew exactly where I wanted to hang it... right between the boys' rooms.
And I knew exactly what to put with it... pictures of the boys.  What I didn't have was frames that matched the Christopher Robin sign.
So I got up into the attic and got out some old picture frames and went to work.

I sanded the frames... painted them blue first... then put a crackle medium on top... then white.
There are no step-by-step pictures or directions because it all turned out like a hot mess at first.  I just kept painting and crackling and painting and sanding and painting .until they finally turned out like I wanted.
And here it is:

I really like how it turned out in the end.  It adds a lot of character to the wall and was worth all of the trouble in the end.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

It's Monday!  Time to talk menu!!
Here's what we're having this week:

Monday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, green beans, garlic bread
Tuesday: pork chops (breaded and baked), mashed potatoes, asparagus
Wednesday: Pasta with veggies
Thursday: chicken tacos
Friday: homemade pizzas
Saturday: fried rice, chicken w/ broccoli
Sunday: hamburgers and fries

what are you having?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Report: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Time for another book report.  I've just finished "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."  This is a book that has caught on in pop culture.  I usually shy away from the books that everyone likes but a good friend sent me her copy and since she liked it I knew I would.
And I did, mostly.
The story was a little convoluted.  It's about one very messed up family and unfortunately, these freaks can breed so there are a lot of family members to keep up with.  And it's important to keep up with them because, in the end, it does matter.  I found myself at the climax of the book having to go back and remind myself who certain people were.
The story also contains a lot of sexual violence that is just not for the faint of heart.
While the characters may have been a little cliche they did have interesting relationships.
The book was originally written in Swedish.  You can tell.  The translation isn't done very well and I kept itching to go back and clean up some of the grammar.  It became a bit distracting.
It sounds like I didn't like the book but I have to say I did enjoy it.  Once you get through the first 1/3 of the book it gets very exciting so stick with it!  It speeds up.  I'll absolutely read the other two books in the trilogy but I won't rush out to get them.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday weigh in

Another rough week on the scales.  I gained again bringing my total loss to 16.2 lbs.  My week long binge turned into a two week binge of attempted comfort eating.
A victory though is that I remain soda free despite intense cravings, deep-down soul-consuming desire for a Coke.  I've come to a point where I realize it might taste okay for a little bit but I would be so disappointed in myself for giving in that it just isn't worth it.
I'm getting back to it now though and will report a good-sized loss next week!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fundies and a lovey quilt

An unfortunate cold has kept me down but I'm not out! 
My crafty projects are back in full swing.
First, a shirt and some "fundies" (fun undies) for our local LLL silent auction.  I am so in in love with the fundies.

The t-shirt I'm a little iffy on.  It's supposed to be "Get a Clue" as in Blue's Clues.  When I showed it to the family though the said "Get a paw" and well, crap.  It's sort of cute still but man, it must not read right.

 I also made a little lovey-quilt for a special baby born this week.  I made up my own pattern for this and I think it came out pretty cute.  I also free-quilted it which was a first and was sort of like dancing at my sewing machine.  I'm not going to lie, it has one seriously busted corner.  I fixed it but it wasn't pretty.
 One thing I have to learn to do is slow down and enjoy quilting.  Not every project can or should be done in an hour but I am impatient and that gets me into trouble with sloppy seams and corners that I have to re-do.  Patience is one virtue I was not blessed with and I'm trying my best to learn to slow down and do things more thoughtfully.  Not just in quilting but in life. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I'm not going to lie, it's been a trying week.  Physical and mental exhaustion combined with a 16 month old who just can't seem to be well at all during the winter have reduced me to some sort of sub-human species unable to control what she eats, her temper, or her general outlook on life.  I am determined to crawl out from under this rock and recenter, organize, get back to my sewing machine where life seems to work itself out, get back on the elliptical where my butt seems to work itself out and just get back to myself in general.
Not a crafty conversation but that's some real conversation for ya.

And so, with my optimism cup refilled here is my menu plan for this week:

Monday - Chicken fingers, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy (didn't eat this last week as planned)

Tuesday - Pasta with mushroom alfredo
Wednesday - sausage, rice, peppers and onions
Thursday - sandwiches and soup
Friday - chicken tacos
Saturday - pizza (homemade)
Sunday - hamburgers and fries

After evaluating last week's meal plan I was sort of horrified by the thought of having red meat four times in a week.  Now I've resolved to cut that  back to once a week and start working meatless options into the rotation at least once every week, hopefully twice.  Unfortunately while the boys and I love beans, Drew is not a fan.  So if you have any meatless ideas that don't involve beans I could really use some!

Like Menu Plan Monday?  Get in on the fun here!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Goodbye Time Warner Cable

The family nightmare is over.
We are no longer customers of the loathsome Time Warner Cable.
But Julianna, how do you go from being a TV news producer to not even having cable in your home?
Let me tell you!
Like many customers we signed up with one of their "bundles."    We had internet and cable for a decent price.  Then, like all bundles do, our "decent price period" ended and our monthly payment ballooned.  We didn't do anything for a while.  Our internet was fast enough and we figured we watched enough cable tv to make it worthwhile. 
Time passes and we add other services like DVR (which is the single greatest invention in the last 10 years) and HD channels when we got a TV that called for HD.
Then we got a great deal on internet through our phone company.  We seriously pay about $10 and we're locked in for life.  Bye Bye TWC internet.
And then our cable just stopped working consistently.  Channels would playback just black, or we'd get a blue screen telling us that such-and-such a channel wasn't available check back later.
Call after call to TWC netted no results.  They'd reset our boxes to no-avail.  We had day after day of our service comped.  Our last and final call to TWC about this had them telling us they had to come service the box at the end of our driveway but that I needed to be home while they were in our driveway... just in case.  Um, no, sorry.  You take care of your equipment on your time and do not waste my time.
My husband and I started having the conversations:  Do we need cable?  Is this the best way for us to spend $120 every month?
The big question is:  What shows do we watch?
I watch Top Chef absolutely religiously. 
My husband enjoys the military channel on occasion.
We sometimes watch House and Lie to Me.
I like The Office, Parks and Rec and Community when I remember they're on.
I do like Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" but I don't tune in... and it's available on NetFlix and online.
The boys like Avatar, Little Bill and Blues Clues but they are also on NetFlix or very cheap on DVD. And their very favorite cartoons are Curious George and The Cat in the Hat... broadcast in HD for FREE.
And that's exactly what it came down to.  The shows we like are available elsewhere... even Top Chef... for free online.
So we were paying $120 per month so I can watch Top Chef 12 hours earlier than when it's available online.

That just doesn't make any sense.

So my husband, the tech guru, got to work.  He set us up with MythTV - which acts as a DVR.  Each TV has a computer attached and now we can enjoy whatever we want to watch for the $10 per month that we pay for internet and our $11 per month Net Flix subscription.
We've been working with this MythTV setup for the past month and now, cable is finally canceled.
Our over-the-air signals for broadcast channels are great.  Crystal-clear HDTV.  Free.
And so now, we're free.
There will certainly be unexpected kinks that we'll need to work out but, in general, we're free and it feels so good.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let's Hear it for the Boys

Finding crafty projects that benefit boys is really difficult for this crafty mom.  Too much cutsey makes the boy look silly and, at least for my boys, it's just not their style.
That's why freezer paper shirts are perfect. You can make your own design to fit your own child's personality.
Additionally, I love for my kiddos to have holiday-themed shirts since they get so excited for holidays but I really dislike spending a fortune on any clothes for my kids since they are so generally rough on them.
So, I present to you Grant's Valentine shirt:

If you can't make out what it says - it's "Cupid's Wingman."  And I did think that up all by myself as opposed to seeing it somewhere and making it my own.   Hooray for me!

To make the shirt I used the same technique described here.  This time though I used two colors of paint (applied at the same time).  I also made my very own SVG file for the cupid icon, something that's very very simple to do with Sure Cuts A Lot's trace feature. If you want a copy of the cupid.svg or just a copy of that cupid.jpg to make a similar shirt (it's a simple enough drawing that you could easily print it and cut it out with an exacto knife) just leave a comment here with a way to contact you and I'll send it your way.

And when you're the mom of a bear, you want him decked out in bear gear.
Today I saved a onesie from the rag bin with just a little paint!
Front view:

Back view:

There is something just so right about how this turned out.  It is absolutely perfect for my little bear.  I got a little creative by painting around the edges of my stencil on the back of the onesie and I really like how that turned out.  I'm actually now thinking of making my own personal tags say "Rawr" in this font and everything.