Life is Good

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Wichita, KS, United States
I'm a stay at home momma who strives daily to stay sane in this madness! Life is Good!

Dec 15, 2010

sink or swim

Sometimes I look at people and think "wow, you're really out there following your dreams and making it happen, good for you." I wish I could get 'out there' but I can't get past this pile of laundry and dirty dishes. My ultimate dream is to be a wife & mother, so I got that one covered,,,,but I still have other dreams....and I hate that sinking feeling I get when I think of them, because they seem so far out of reach. If I make a list of all the things that have to happen to make those dreams a reality,,,I get completely overwhelmed.
Thanks for listening, I'm done whining now.

Dec 6, 2010

It's HERE!
ONE week ONLY!

Nov 2, 2010

It's ALIVE!

Turn your child's art into a toy!
Supplies: markers, paper, kids, fabric markers, light colored fabric, sewing machine, stuffing.
I instructed Emma to draw a person who was a big as the paper.
Apparently what she heard was: draw a sailor with hands like Edward Sissorhands and make sure he is flipping everyone off!
 
Tape picture to window with light colored fabric taped on top
Trace the picture using fabric markers.
(if your child is skilled at drawing, you can skip these steps and let them draw on the fabric directly)
 
 Layer drawing on top of second piece of fabric.
Top Stich around entire drawing , leaving an opening to stuff it.
Pink around the drawing.

Let the little fingers stuff it.
Top Stitch the opening closed.

 Watch your child LOVE their creation.
This all started with Aidan.  When Emma saw what I was doing with his art she wanted to make her own.
Here are two other ones that I did for Aid for Aidan. I loved the Frankenstein one.
( I did Aid for Aidan's monsters digitally and printed them from my computer with high quality ink and Bubble Jet Set, hence the better quality)

Getting SOOO close!

Okay, so here is the deal, I need some of you to buy some MONSTER BUTTONS!
We are very close to a $1000.00 from Aidan's Friends and I would really like to see that happen. 
I know we can do it, we just have to pull together!

Oct 22, 2010

Cheese Bear

This is my brown sugar bear. I wasn't using him and felt bad.  So I looked around my kitchen for "things that attract moisture" and viola!
He lives inside of my Parmesan cheese, because I hate breaking up lumpy little balls of cheese.
He loves it there!

Oct 21, 2010

H is for Help

Did you know that you can fight cancer with MONSTERS?
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For more information on Aidan and his story 

Oct 19, 2010

Living a charmed life

I'm trying to live a charmed life and I need YOUR help.
What do you do to live a healthy life? 
Share it with me, be specific!
Do you make time for friends, have a really healthy recipe you cook, do a devotional, have you eliminated something nasty from your life, have a great workout plan, take a certain vitamin, have a beauty secret, work with a charity, ect...?
Let me hear you! 
Harry and I doing yoga in the park!

Oct 8, 2010

Beki's Barn Sale

I recently participated in my FIRST barn sale.
I had an absolutely splendid time!
Thank YOU Beki for hosting this lovely event, I can't wait for next year!
 
 
Even my key-chain got something sassy to wear!

Oct 4, 2010

 GIANT SALE
 at
 
Get them before they are gone!

Sep 23, 2010

I hope they remember

My kids will not remember if i wore make-up everyday, or if my fashion was the latest trend.
They will not remember if my house was spotless or if each meal was gourmet.

With any luck, they will remember:
I was always there with a morning hug and kiss goodnight.
I was always there when the thunder boomed and the lighting crashed.
I always knew where the other shoe was hiding.
I knew just what blanket would keep them cozy at night.
I was always willing to rock them just a few minutes more.
I loved them more then life itself.

My kids will not remember how my husband stressed about providing for our family.
They will not remember what car he drove, or what kind of cell phone he had.
With any luck, they will remember:
He was always available to be a human jungle gym.
He was the ultimate tickle monster.
He knew how to scoop them up after a rough tumble.
He knew how to do all the coolest tricks on the scooter.
He knew the precise way to shew away monsters at night.
He was always willing to make popcorn and dance with them.
He loved them more then life itself.

Aug 26, 2010

Lite Berzerka Bars

I love Barefoot and Baking!
Here is my lite version of Bezerka Bars
Bezerka Bars

2 cups oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
1/8 cup flax seed
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 sticks of butter, melted
1 t vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup applesauce
fresh fruit*

*My favorite is fresh peaches and raspberries but just about anything works, be creative!

Mix all the ingredients, except fruit, together and press into a greased 9x13 pan. Put fresh fruit on top and press lightly into crumb mixture. Bake at 325 for 40-50 minutes, until they look dry on top and lightly brown on the edges. These are good warm, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but tend to fall apart easy. To set, let them cool completely. We love these as breakfast bars too.

Aug 18, 2010

Inspirational CRAP and such.

When I saw this chalkboard I knew I had to make it mine. Trouble is, it hangs in my kitchen and stares at me.  It taunts me daily with it's relentless whining and desire to be written on. 
Since clearly I'm not writing on it, I thought maybe you would like to. 
Give me some quick quotes, words of inspiration, funny sayings. 
ANYTHING that will fill the space and I'll throw it up there.

Jun 8, 2010

It's a GIVEAWAY!

The awesome and incomparable Wichita Handmade is hosting a fabulous giveaway for the next two weeks!! It begins today and a winner will be drawn on Saturday, June 19th. The prize is a lovely, summer-inspired lemonade, linen, & lace wristlet created by Folk.etsy.com. It really is a little cutie!

All you need to do to enter is head on over to Wichita Handmade's facebook fan page, become a fan (or "like," as they're calling it these days), and leave a comment on the giveaway status!

May 24, 2010

Rock, Chalk, Wine

I discovered a new "game", it has quickly become my second favorite game. (I adore "put mommy to bed on the couch" game, Emma loves it too. She is so nurturing.)  I urge you to try this game when you are tired from having a garage sale for 3 days.  

Supply List:
Sidewalk Chalk
Rocks
Wine









Step One: Throw rocks onto patio
Step Two: tell little kids to trace all the rocks
Step Three: Grab that glass of wine, sit back & enjoy how content, quiet, & cute your kids can be.

May 22, 2010

Faux Wonder Under & Foil?

Ironically as I was working on a costume for a parade I'm going to be in this next Saturday... I ran across this little statement:
 Oh MY! 
You have no idea how happy this makes me.  I want to try it NOOOOWWW!
Have you ever done this does it work?

May 11, 2010

Life is Sweet, Literally!

This morning in my sleep deprived state I poured coffee into the sugar bowl and not the coffee cup. Maybe someone could hook me up to a caffeine IV about 15 before I get out of bed. That would really help with my morning routine.

May 7, 2010

Mother of the bride

I made Emma a wedding veil headband  She thought it was useless without a dress.
Dancing in her new veil and my tanktop wedding dress!
Harry kept wanting me to take his picture.  He was so proud of himself for wearing one of Big Sister's Crocs. He kept posing for pictures.

May 5, 2010

Things are not so swimmingly

Lately I feel like I'm always on the verge of a meltdown.
I have a sense that everything is closing in on me.
I can see the light, I just keep tripping over toys every time I reach for it.
Even If I have had 6 cups, I feel like I'm one cup of coffee away from feeling awake.
I'm always one load of laundry away from being caught up.
If Harry slams one more door/cabinet I'm just going to take them all down.
I'm one "Hey Mommy" away from cutting my own ears off.
I feel like I'm dredging along at the bottom instead of swimming at the top.
My patience level is dangerously low.
I'm tired of trying to find foods my kids will eat.
I'm in a viscous cycle of my kids being upset, thus I'm upset, thus they are more upset, thus I'm more upset....
It's like one of those dreams where you're running but not making any progress.
So, what do you do to recharge your batteries, and bust out of a funk?

Beer For Breakfast

I pass this sign everyday. It makes me laugh.

May 4, 2010

Bedhead Baby

On the count of three shout it with me!
1..
2..
3..
BEDHEAD!
BAHaaahaa this kid is hilarious!

Apr 30, 2010

Big Spoon = Quiet Dinner

At dinner Mike played a trick on Emma.  She asked for a spoon and he brought her a large wooden spoon just to be silly. Turned out to be spectaular. She thought it was hilarious and we never once had to tell her "eat your dinner!"
Lesson learned: next time your kids are wearing you out at dinner, give them something silly to eat with!

Apr 28, 2010

1 Hour Easy Bunting

I have seen several tutorial on how to make some really fabulous bunting.  This is not one of those tutorials.  This bunting is quick and cheap! No pinking, NO double sidedness, NO meticulous mathematics, NO bias tape. If this project takes you more then 1 hour you are doing something wrong.
 Step 1 : Make a triangle template out of scrap paper/cardboard
 Step 2 : Find scraps of fabric/felt/paper/denim and cut out triangles.
                          ( i used my rotary cutter and did 5 at a time)
 Step 3 : Choose ribbon (any length & width you want) & cut it in half. Pin the ribbon together about 12
                 inches from edge.    ( these ends will be used to tie the bunting to objects as pictured above)
Step 4 : Use your zigzag stitch and start sewing at the pin.
Step 5 : Add more flags at intervals you prefer.
             I used the edge of that metal plate as my guide.(pictured left)
             You could also use your Painter's Tape Guide (pictured right).
Step 6: ENJOY YOUR NEW FABULOUSLY CHEAP BUNTING!

Apr 26, 2010

Painters Tape Guide

Did you know? 
You can use painter's tape as an extended guide on your sewing machine.  You can move it around as much as you want and it never leaves a sticky residue.  So go raid your husbands garage and never struggle with wide seams again!

Apr 22, 2010

Emma's FIRST sewing project.

     Recently I was inspired to not just take my kids to the fabric store, but teach them to LOVE fabric.  Hmmm I never thought to do that. So last Friday Emma and I left the boys at home and headed out to find her very own piece of fabric. I made a point to not look at anything for myself and only purchase her stuff.  I was so busy talking to Emma and exploring the store through the eyes of a 4yr old that I forgot to take a lot of pictures. Sometimes just being in the moment and not trying to "capture" the moment is much more memorable.  She picked out a lovely pink and purple fat quarter and some matching purple broadcloth.  I think she has fabulous taste.  The whole experience cost me a whopping $1.56!  Who knew fun could be so cheap.When we got home I asked her what she wanted to make and she said a pony and a purse. I hunted down a great Pony Tutorial and we went to work.  She helped me place the pattern, cut out all the yarn hair, and even sat on my lap while I sewed it together.  It was a perfect 1st sewing project!
Emma also wanted a purse. I'm so glad I asked her what she wanted because she had very specific ideas. A big pocket on the outside and Two handles that need to be long and skinny. And while it's nothing like I would have made her, she loves it, and that was the point of these projects. "Teach Emma to Love Sewing"

Mar 30, 2010

Handsome Harry

Sunshine is HERE!
Everybody CHEER!

Mar 29, 2010

words to ponder

Making the decision to have a child- it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body. -Elizabeth Stone

Mar 27, 2010

Roach Coffee

Once when I was in Venezuela there was roach in my coffee.  It was GROSS!

Mar 25, 2010

Thanks for all your NOT!

I follow several blogs, I love them all. However, I rarely take time to comment on them, and it occurred to me that these bloggers may not know how much I love them. 

Dear Gina,
    Thanks for all you're not.
You are not a creative crafter who make me feel lazy for not crafting daily.
You are not a super chef who makes me feel guilty for feeding my kids Mac & Cheese.
You are not a whimsical wife who caters to your husbands every whim.
You are not a woman who owns 3 home businesses.
You are not a woman who inspires me to make crap for my house.
You are never trying to "one up" other moms

You are ordinary in the most spectaular way.
You inspire me daily to be a better wife and mother.
You have taught me about Cream of Onion soup....SO GOOD!
You remind me that something as simple as hunting for spectacular pop can be a declaration of love
You are a woman raising her children to love God.
You  remind me it's okay to enjoy playing in the dirt with my kids.
You remind me that at the end of the day my kids will not remember what craft I made, but perhaps they will remember what book I read, song I sang, or game I played.
You have taught me "when your hubby never tells you what he wants, sometimes he gets what he doesn't want." Words to live by!
You inspire me to find adventures in the everyday life of my kids.
You have taught me to praise God for dirty bathrooms. 
And last but not least you always make me laugh. You paint wonderful word pictures on your blog
Thank you Gina!
Your faithful reader and un-commenter.
*********************************
 
Raise your root-beer floats and say "Cheers to Gina" for reminding us to slow down and live life a little more ordinary(in the most spectacular way)!

Mar 24, 2010

Rock-a-baby

It's 11:09pm in the Stout home, everyone except me has been in bed a few hours now.  A moment ago Harry randomly woke up and started crying, so I rocked him.  He fell asleep and I kept rocking and rocking and rocking. He would have been fine to put back to bed after just a wee moment of love...but that little stinkbut is so intoxicating to me I just had to take advantage of the free snuggle time. While I was holding him all I could think about was how much I love the smell of sweaty hair, dried snot, dragon breath, and hot pee. I know I know GROOOSSS, but the upside is, it means I have a baby sleeping on my chest and that my friend is the greatest feeling EVER! Somehow the good Lord guarded my nose and just let me adore every ittybitty inch of my son in that sweet moment in time.
Now that moment is gone, but trapped in my heart forever.
I'm going to bed and all I can think about is how much I want to smell dried snot.
Goodnight

Mar 23, 2010

Meet Pete

This is Pete the Porcupine. 
He wanted quills of copper, but decided they just weren't flashy enough to attract lady porcupines. 
Pete enjoys sewing, dark beer, walks in the grass, rice, and staring out the window. 
If you know any lady porcupines looking for love, Petes' available.

Mar 22, 2010

10 Favorite Words

I have no idea what the logic is behind some of these words, but they fill my life and I just love them. 

Slickery (slick and slippery)
Stinkbut
Freezerator (Freezer & Refrigerator)
Ringaroom (Living Room)
Wobbly 
Collapsey (sometimes biscuits go collapsey)
Woller (roller skate)
Silly
Crims (Sam's Club)
CrackCrack (cracker)
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What word fills your life? Let's here em!
ps. My spell-check hates this post :)

Mar 15, 2010

A letter I'd like to send,,,but won't

To whom it may concern at my OB-GYN's office.
     Please stop selling my name. I get that you probably get quit a few perks from this business, and most of the time I too enjoy the perks. However this time is different. I have been perpetually getting formula for 5 years because eveytime I get pregnant, you put me on "free crap and promotional junk mail I don't want" list.  While you may think this is a lovely list to be on, I beg to differ.  Please take a moment to pull my medical file from the shelf....I'll wait...okay got it? Now open it up,,,, and count how many times i have had a miscarriage. Whoa I bet your ran out of fingers. What you have failed to do is take me off of your "free crap and promotional junk mail I don't want" list when this unfortunate event occurs.  This results in me getting lots of  painful reminders that I don't have a baby.  And thanks to the thoughtfulness of the baby company's, they send me all these reminders about 8 months from my miscarriage. Just when I have put it behind me and moved on. Geee i'm a lucky girl, and my poor husband, OIY! He has to put up with a roller coaster of emotions from me for about a week. So please, take me off you list.
Sincerely,
Shelly
 
List of items I DON'T need because I DON'T have a baby right now:
 
The art of Feeding Booklet
Two cans of formula
A letter welcoming baby
$20.00 of formula coupons
Dad's survival guide


I will be giving the formula to a friend, but if anyone can use the coupons let me know. I'll be happy 
to send them to you, just Email Me
 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Mar 14, 2010

Color the COMICS duh!

I get a coloring book delivered to my house everyday, why did I not realize this sooner! DUH!

Mar 12, 2010

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

I adore making these biscuits. 
When I make them, its as though anything can be fixed in the world.  I think they posses super powers.  Of course I'm bias because I think anything with a stick of butter in it is magical. 
So here is the recipe I use. Happy baking friends!


Buttermilk Biscuits by Peter Reinhart
 

8 oz. (1-3/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed for shaping the dough
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 oz. (8 Tbs.) very cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup very cold buttermilk
 
Heat the oven to 500°F and position a rack in the middle of the oven

Put the butter in the freezer until you are ready for it
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl and stir with a whisk to distribute the ingredients evenly.
 
Cut the butter into small bits and toss with the flour. 

With a sharp knife, cut the cold butter lengthwise twice. Rotate the butter a quarter turn and cut twice again.  Then slice into small squares. You should create 9 small bits of butter per slice. Toss the butter bits into the bowl with the flour mixture. Use your fingers to separate the butter bits. Don’t rub the butter too hard with your fingertips or palms, as this will melt the butter. You’re just trying to break the butter pieces apart, not blend the butter into the flour.
 
When all the butter is evenly distributed, add the cold buttermilk (do not place your buttermilk in the freezer) and stir with a large spoon until all or most of the flour is absorbed by the buttermilk and the dough forms a coarse lump, about 1 minute.

Dust a work surface with flour and dump the dough onto the floured surface, cleaning out the bowl with a spatula or a plastic bowl scraper. Dust the top of the dough and your hands with flour, and press the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Sprinkle a small amount of additional flour on the top of the dough. Fold the dough over on itself in three sections, as if folding a letter. With a bench knife or metal spatula, lift the dough off the counter and dust under it with flour to prevent sticking, if necessary. Dust the top with flour and press the dough out again into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle and repeat the tri-fold. Repeat this procedure one more time (three times in all).

After the third tri-fold, dust under and on top of the dough, if needed, and roll or press the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick oval. Dip a 2-inch or 2-3/4-inch round biscuit cutter in flour and start cutting biscuits, dipping the cutter in flour between each biscuit. Press straight down to cut and lift straight up to remove; twisting the biscuit cutter will seal the sides and interfere with rising. Place them on a baking sheet or stone about 1/2 inch apart.
 
Gently gather any scraps of dough, pat and roll out again, and cut more biscuits from the remaining dough. You can gather and roll the scraps two times total and still get good results (the more times you roll out, the tougher the biscuits will be).
 
Put the baking sheet in the oven and reduce the temperature to 450°F. Bake for 8 minutes; rotate the pan 180 degrees; continue baking until both the tops and bottoms of the biscuits are a rich golden brown and the biscuits have doubled in height, revealing flaky layers on the sides, 4 to 6 minutes more. It’s all right if some butter seeps from the biscuits. Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a cooling rack, leaving the biscuits on the pan. Cool the biscuits for at least 3 minutes and serve them hot or warm (they will stay warm for about 20 minutes).

 
some photos: Scott Phillips
Fine Cooking 85, pp. 49
April 2, 2007

Mar 10, 2010

Lovely Stash

   My Aunt recently gifted to me her lovely stash of sewing notions.  This is by far, my favorite type of gift.  I love digging through other peoples' craft supplies.  I adore seeing all the specialty items and thinking of all the fun things they made.  I love seeing all the abandoned projects that never got finished.  The process of sorting someones fabric is very personal. I often feel like I'm betraying all the forgotten projects who are blissfully unaware that I too will never complete them.  On the flip side, my shelves are now filled with lovely vintage items that are no in production, I have ideas busting out of my head, and I feel more connected to my Aunt.  I find it so amazing how much notions are like kids.  I can tell you exactly when, where, and who from I obtained every piece of fabric, button, zipper, ect.
 
Emma loved helping me sort the buttons!
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