Friday, October 21, 2011

The Shagnasties

Tank is sick. I. Mean. Sick. As in, if he doesn't pass his physical today he will be hospitalized. Mommy is sad. And busy holding a baby. Today I am MOM! Go BE!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

You just THINK I've been slacking!

This is most of the things I've been compiling/organizing for the upcoming months of projects. I've got my ideas for gifts/house/personal projects coming out of my ears and I'm way excited. I've found that putting my family first right now is paramount for my happiness as well as my little minions. Bubby is having a way hard time now that Mr. ITICB is gone all the time. His neediness = my playing catch up all day long. I get it, I'm okay with it, and I embrace the fact that I'm loved.

BUT... that being said, I also am trying desperately to find projects that I can do WHILE I watch/play with/attend to the needs of said minions.

So, here is the break down of upcomingness...

Curtains for the kitchen and family room
Wall art for my family room
Vinyl for the bulk head in the family room... eyesore that has to be prettified!
Front door wreath
ABC bean bags (going to be a Christmas present for Bubby)
Tank's flannel blanket (also a Christmas present)
Shhhhh... Christmas present for amazing friends
Shhhhh... Christmas present for amazing family
Crochet School... I've been silently stalking it... Look here if ya wanna join. It's frankly AWESOME and I love the Crafty Minx.
Halloween costume. I'm gonna be a book fairy.
A rag rug for under my kitchen table. I've always wanted one... I found a tutorial... I WILL make one.
A tie skirt... or something fun made out of DI ties.
ABC wall art for the kid's rooms.
I'm also going to do a "tree of life" for my kid's bedroom. I'll paint the tree on the wall free hand and then I have 11 pictures in awesome frames that I'm going to hang off the branches. As they grow I can trade out the pictures for different things they like. As of now I'm going to put different religious, and family pictures in them.

So, since I'm kinda notorious for starting things and not finishing them I need to actually finish these things.



Saturday, October 1, 2011

This week has been a whirlwind. I'm doing a lot of adjusting in my life because of the changes that just keep coming. I'm grateful for these changes, but holy cow... it's wild!

So, in order to make my life a little bit less hectic I'm trying out a new way of cooking... the CROCK POT! I love to eat and so does Mr. ITICB, our two boys are looking like they are following suit... so since I barely have 2 minutes to rub together any given day, the crock pot is turning into my favorite kitchen gadget.

This past week I've made 3 meals with it. Since our boys are little and eat small amounts, it makes for good eating all week long with leftovers for lunch. I've also found that I love Crock Pot Girls (don't judge them by their ugly website, they are in the process of changing it). I've found good recipes on their website and am following them on Facebook.

So here are my recipes of the week:
1) Chicken and Dumplings
          Ironically I've never had it before. It is a good starter recipe because the most you have to do is cut up an onion and dump in frozen chicken. It's quite good and way easy. It's going on the list of once a month comfort foods.
2) Cafe Rio Chicken
          Although it doesn't taste like Cafe Rio's chicken to me... It's still quite tasty. I've put it in quesadillas, burritos and on a salad with ranch dressing. But I have to repeat... It isn't Cafe Rio's chicken... Just yummy chicken that tastes great.
3) Paula Dean's Taco Soup
          I LOVE this recipe. Not only does the woman do good butter, but she does amazing comfort foods. My husband loves this recipe because it isn't a "one note" recipe. It has lots of flavor and gets better and better with time.

So this week I'm a Crock Potter!

Go BE!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby Blankets

Two and a half years ago I went to a baby shower for my husband's cousin. At the baby shower she got the cutest blanket. It had these little fringe things all the way around, and as I asked to look at it closer, I thought to myself, "I could do that!" (My mother is a seamstress and I have a high opinion of the fact that I know a little bit. Enough to get myself into trouble and have to call my mom.)

Needless to say, I quickly went to the store and bought myself some fabric. I was pregnant at the time with my first son and thought that the blanket sizes they sell in the stores actually work. So I bought 1 yard of each flannel I liked and went home a happy girl. 

Then I gave birth. To a normal sized little boy (8lbs 1oz, 21 in). Who quickly grew to the 90%. He's still in the 90%. When swaddling babies store blankets don't work. And if they do, someone tell me what I did wrong that my kid always found a way to get out of them and then scream bloody murder because they weren't swaddled anymore...

So... the fabric for the blankets that I hadn't gotten around to suddenly looked small. But I still wanted them! So I went back to the fabric store! I got 1.5 yards of fabric this time! (I thought I was really smart...) And 1 whole blanket got made! Out of 7! The rest... nope... they never got made. 

So now baby number two gets to have a new set of blankets! The big ones... and I made the other set of three to give away as gifts to moms that I know will have smaller boys than mine.

First start off with your fabric. You will want 2 pieces (top and bottom) of coordinating fabric of 1 yard each or 1.5 depending on if you have big babies or not. Some will say to pre-wash. I don't. I'm sure someone out there is cringing. Have the fabric placed right sides out! Match up the top and bottom pieces and pin around the edges and in the middle to keep the fabric in place while you sew. (Some don't pin... but I'm not that good so I pin.)


After pinning it's off to the sewing machine.  My (piece of crap) sewing machine died. So I borrowed my mom's. It's much nicer than mine, but all you really need is a straight stitch. I chose this one, thinking in my head it would be nice and durable. It's the one with 3 dashes next to each other. I'm probably overkill here. I'm sure just the single straight line would be fine.

I went in about an inch to an inch and a half all the way around the edges.

More accomplished seamstresses will also sew in the middle of the blanket so it doesn't shift. If you care about this, go for it. I don't.

After sewing around the edges you take your scissors and go around the edges cutting up to your sewing line. (Making fringe.) As a caution at this point I would recommend doing this at a table otherwise you're bound to cut into your favorite pair of sweats and cry a little.

The next step is to throw them into the washing machine and watch the fringe fly! You will want to be prepared with those rolly-tape-pick-up-lint things, or a good amount of boxing tape to take away all the extra frayed pieces that come off. You'll also have to vacuum. Just warning you.

They will continue to fray for the first few washes until they are done with the fraying part, but I can't tell you how much I seriously love these blankets. They are a great weight for summer nights and into the fall. When your kid is in a thicker jammy set up they do great in the winter too. You can throw them down just about anywhere and for some reason the kids love the fringe! Both my boys are really tactile, and will play in my hair... the fringe works the same way. So... yay! I'm done with a project I've had for 2.5 years. Better late...

On a complete side note. This is what I came downstairs to after my shower this morning. He got into them all by himself. The look is saying... maybe if I don't acknowledge that I did something wrong I won't be in trouble... That is also the much loved fringe blanket that I made next to him. :)

Go be!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Freezer Jam

Most of my memories of childhood involve a TON of homemade food. My parents canned most everything, and froze the rest. My first home was an old farmhouse on 5 acres of land. 4 of those acres were rented out and 1 acre was there for my family of 9.

Yes... 9.

That's just the kids... not my parents.

So, it was imperative for my mom to know how to can. I just thought it was normal, until I got a little older and then thought it was just hard work.

As the kids all left and went to college, and dad got promotions, we canned a little less every year. But one thing we've always done is freezer jam.

So... bad and horrible true admission? I'm the youngest. I'm the spoiled one. I'm kinda built in lazy. Sooo I've never helped make the freezer jam before.


And now with my new gung-ho-I-can-do-this attitude, I decided that this year I'd help with the making of the freezer jam.

All 24 quarts of it.

It was AWESOME! I feel great about finding a new thing I can do to keep the traditions of my childhood for my kids. Especially the really yummy ones that happen to be easy peasy lemon squeezie!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gooey Cake

So I'm a blog troller. I love to hang out on many a blog and dream about trying to do what they've done... or modifying it so that it would work in my world.

I'm also a huge lover of all things food. So when I saw this post by Homemade by Jill I had to make it.

I have to admit, at first I was hugely disappointed. I was thinking... BUTTER! Cream cheese! More BUTTER! How can this be a bad plan? (I made the un-pumpkin version.)

But I had a piece of it right after it came out of the oven and it was still hot. (Gooey cake... seems like something that is good hot... right?!?)

It's more like cheese cake... much better cold!

I'm now very glad I made it and eat it for breakfast...

It has eggs in it... two of them...

I guess now I think I'm a baker. :)

Go BE!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Confusing... I know

So this past week officially started football season in my home. As a mother of 2 little boys (Bubby* 2yrs and Tank* 4.5 months) sports are going to be in my home for a long time. SO... I decided to embrace the inevitable and go with the flow.

Mr. ITICB loves football (mainly professional) and since he is back in school this year going for his Executive MBA, he is following his new Alma Mater on the football field as well.

The University of Utah...

I'm a Cougar...

Can you see how this could end up being a problem?

So, I came up with a solution and my project of the week:

HA! I'm officially stoked to get these printed up and put on anything I can! Shirts, bags, sweatshirts, hats... I'm thinking of wearing them everywhere so that the locals will know I've officially lost it.

Cause I have to support both. Cougars have my heart, and the U has my money...

*children's nicknames are subject to change at any time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last Week's Madness

So this past week, I tackled what IMHO is one of the great uglies of my home. The basement.

For many moons the basement has been the catch all. The place to put whatever it is that I have no idea where it will go, and yet I can't bring myself to throw away. (Familiar?)

Well... Last week we went from having all of this (which is in my garage now),

To looking like this!

After taking out all the treasures (crap), giving it a good dusting and few different vacuums, it is habitable. Over the next few weeks I will finish painting (I've started and the view you're looking at is the new paint. It used to be 3 different shades of white. We bought the house that way...)

Now it is a nice calming grey-blue that Mr. ITICB picked out.

It's his new office.

I'll let him have one.

We've always found this to be the weirdest room in the house. When it was finished off... let's just say there was no professional involved. In fact, I think a trained monkey might have done better. But it's a room, and Mr. ITICB needs an office so that he can go and seclude himself from the world while living through his MBA.

The exciting part for me is that I get the other half of the room!

This wonderful hole in the wall is going to serve the secondary purpose of being my craft/learning/I can think I can be ... room! Yay!

Now I'm going to be off... I've started another project so that I can get ready to post later this week. (I'm hoping.)

With 2 little boys, a new puppy, and a husband in his MBA program, I just might be the craziest chick I know for doing this blog too... but I'm actually hoping it will keep me sane.

Go figure...

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Hi! I'm Nichole and I think I can be ANYTHING!

No really...

I think I really can be anything I want to be. With a little work, a lot of research, and effort put into it, I really do think I can be anything I want to be. AND I think I can be great at it!

Am I great now? Well... My husband thinks I am, and my dog thinks I walk on water (what dog doesn't?) ... My boys from time to time think I am ... and I have a few select friends out there who think that I'm pretty cool.

Other than that, it's iffy.

You see, I'm one of those people. The people who look like they've got it together on the outside, but really, on the inside I'm just a big hot mess. I have so many ideas, and things I want to learn, but I'm either way to lazy, way to busy, or way to tired to do those things I know I need to do to be anything but tired!

So, I'm starting a blog. (Cause, I need to be held accountable.) I need to set goals I actually keep. And come up with those lists of things I want to learn how to do, and then do them.

I know secretly you're agreeing with me. That you too have that idea that maybe, just maybe you might be a hidden crafter, or painter, or photographer, or ________ (please fill in the blank). And if you are, you just might be my kind of person.

So join me! Find something every week that you want to figure out how to do. It might be big (mondo project of the century... my basement...) or it might be small (how do people make those little crafty things they give away?!?). But even if you don't join me, I'm bound and determined to do it!

My goal: Once a week to pick a project that I may or may not know how to do and post about it. I might give updates throughout the week, or just one big blog after it's done. Either way, you'll be able to either laugh with me, cry with me, or gasp at my awesome failure/achievement!

I'm Nichole... and I think I can be...