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!

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.
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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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Mar 9, 2010

Catch a COOTIE!

For my 30th Birthday my lovely friend Leanne over at Folk Craft made me a Cootie Catcher.  I loved it so much I wanted to share some of the fun with you. So, here is your chance to win your very own Cootie Catcher. Guaranteed to predict your future accurately!
I have made three uniquely individual Cootie Catchers.
Enter for your chance to win today, and predict your future tomorrow!
3 Winners!
How to ENTER!
Follow this blog
Already are? Just leave me a comment letting me know.
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Want even more entries? 
You will receive five entries for the following:
Post about this giveaway on your blog with a link.  
Leave a comment here after your post is up, including a link to your blog to receive your five extra entries.
 3 GIVEAWAYS to WIN!
Giveaway will be open until midnight on March 20th.
Do leave your future to chance!

Mar 5, 2010

9 Questions with Zig-Zag


Laci
Full time mom, crafter, sewer, writer, cooker, crocheter
Zig-Zags handmade This N' Thats



What is your "Go-To Meal" when you have forgotten to plan anything for dinner?
(I plan meals??) Well, what I like to cook is a simple recipe that is honestly ADDICTING that my mom has made for me since I was a kid, and recently she gave me the book that it is in. (The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook) Its called Roberta's Good Soup, and it is literally made up of water , onion, spices, tvp, egg noodles, and some brewers yeast... it sounds gross, but it is so simple it's GOOOOD!

Where have you always wanted to travel to?
Caribbean.... AND thanks to a nice little tax return I do believe that this summer me and my hubby might just get to go!!!! SQUEEE!!!

What is your number one time saving tip?
Don't Eat. (*whisper* there won't be any dishes that way ;)

LOL, no my LEGITIMATE tip would be, before you go to bed make sure everything is set out for the next day, be it clothes, packed lunches, important papers to look through, whatever....so that you wont be in a major rush the next morning.
What do you to to treat yourself?

Take a really LOOONG hot shower, BY MYSELF. The water blocks out all the noises, and a really great smelling soap completes the experience. mmmmm,peppermint and tea tree oil soap........*sigh* (IS THAT MUFFLED SCREAMS I HEAR??? oh well, *LALALALAA!*)

What piece of advice would you give to a fellow mother?

"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise." The Duchess- Alice In wonderland (I couldn't. have said it. better.)

Do you clean your own house?

Clean? Heck no- that's why I have the kids! (Child labor is so wrong, but it feels so RIGHT!)
Yes of course I clean, or try to clean...when the laundry ninjas aren't wushing by while I blink adding to the mountains of clothing in my hallway. (pesky laundry ninjas, grrr!)

What was your first job?
I worked at a pizza buffet. I was a busser, but they let me do dishes (oooh!) and chop veggies (ahhh!) and after a while they even let me roll some dough (WOW!) but hey it was a job, and I rode that dang bus EVERY DAY to and from that place. What would have taken me 5 minutes to drive to took me over an hour in waiting and riding.. all for $6.50 an hour! AHH, the memories... (*shiver*)

What one item in your kitchen could not live without?

A toaster. I NEED my toast. (are you looking at MY toast??? you are arent you...GRRRR, back off, its MINE!)

If you only had one day left to craft, what would you make?

Something that I could hide in so that no one would take me away from my crafty-ness...(they won't find me in HERE muahahahah, I will show THEM!)


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Mar 4, 2010

9 Questions with Red Planet






Mandi

expert
Red Planet

What is your "Go-To Meal" when you have forgotten to plan anything for dinner? Pizza Hut delivery saves my life. I don't even like it that much but some days I am just to lazy to mess with anything else.

Where have you always wanted to travel to? Australia. I don't know why, it just seems nice. Unfortunately, I have a fear of flying over the ocean so I stick to traveling wherever the travel channel takes me this weekend.

What is your number one time saving tip? Why would I need to save time? I have all the time in the world. Ha. But to be honest everything I do goes in the most time efficient order. Even my shower routine. But I will spare you the details.

What do you to to treat yourself? I used to shop and drool over fabric at Joann's but now that I have a baby on the way I'm trying to save money. So I daydream of beautiful fabric, fill my shopping cart at Fabric.com with no intentions of ever checking out, and eat chocolate.

What piece of advice would you give to a mother? Technically I'm only a mother to a puppy and an embryo so I don't have advice yet but ask me in a year and I bet I would have tons of useless advice.

Do you clean your own house? Yes. Give me Clorox Clean Up or give me death!

What was your first job? I worked at the Movie Machine selling popcorn, scraping gummy bears out of the carpet, and chasing off hoodlums. (Some days there was the unthinkable but, again, ill spare you the details) I would go home smelling like a tub of butter. To this very day the smell of butter makes me gag.

What one item in your kitchen could not live without? It is a toss up between the dishwasher and my cheese grater. When I cook I can go through and entire drawer of silverware. I have a bit of OCD about reusing silverware after I have stirred or poked something with it so I generally throw it in the dishwasher and get a new one. I seriously couldn't wash all those dishes on my own! The cheese grater is self explanatory.


If you only had one day left to craft, what would you make?
Well, if I only had one day knowing me I would probably spend that time procrastinating and get nothing finished.
BUT If I were in a productive state I would like to do something meaningful. I keep meaning to look into making therapy dolls for sick children....maybe knowing I had only one day would light a fire under my....rear.

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Mar 3, 2010

9 Questions with Ikat

LiEr
Gratefully unemployed mom of 3
ikat bag


What is your "Go-To Meal" when you have forgotten to plan anything for dinner? Pasta anything. Like chicken alfredo, or ham-and-peas alfredo. If I didn't feel
like cooking, we'd do pizza take-out.

Where have you always wanted to travel to?
Belize. To scuba dive.

What is your number one time saving tip?
Do not fold the laundry.

What do you to to treat yourself? Eat nutella.  

What piece of advice would you give to a fellow mother?
Pizza take out is not sinful.

Do you clean your own house? Badly, but yes.

What was your first job?
Teaching Chemistry to a pair of 15-year old twin boys who didn't understand
English.

What one item in your kitchen could not live without? Oven.

If you only had one day left to craft, what would you make?
Whatever my children wanted to make with me. 

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Mar 2, 2010

9 Questions with A Feathered Nest

 
Abby
Momma, Crafter, Chocoholic
A Feathered Nest

What is your "Go-To Meal" when you have forgotten to plan dinner?
haha! Good one! Um, that's pretty much EVERY DAY here at my house.  Dinner time is the worst for me - it's more of a matter of "what can I feed my family with as little exertion as possible??"  I always have supplies on hand for certain things and one of those things are my 'gourmet grilled sandwiches'.  Sounds fancy, but in my fridge there's always deli meat, good cheese, store-bought pesto spread, good bread, and sandwich fixin's. Always.  So here's what you do:
*Butter two pieces of bread on one side (French bread works best); grill on your flat iron skillet or whatever skillet you have until it's golden but not hard and will turn your mouth to meatloaf.
*Let the bread cool a little; open up to un-grilled sides, spread a little mayo and pesto on both pieces; layer your sandwich fixin's - meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, thin cucumber, avocado slices, whatever you like.  
*You'll feel like you're in a fancy sandwich shop with this little number!  The secret to making it look like you've slaved all night is to arrange it really cute on a plate with a side of sliced fruit or something.  Your family will have NO idea how really lazy you are!!!  (just kidding...but seriously...)

Where have you always wanted to travel to?
Oh, hands-down, EUROPE.  I want to see everything over there, particularly the Sweedish villages, Italian countrysides, small French villages, World War II landmarks, the art museums, the ancient streets, the Mediterranean coastal areas of France & Italy, etc.  I could go on and on.  Um...so pretty much EVERYTHING across the Atlantic.  

What is your number one time saving tip?
Keep stuff on hand all of the time. Random things that you cook with like the pesto spread I mentioned above, good bread, cream cheese, tortillas, frozen chicken, chocolate chips, etc.  It's amazing how much time you can save by just having random supplies.  Example:  yesterday morning I had enough sense to know how tired I would be (I'm 100 months pregnant) and I had the sense to put some frozen chicken in the crock pot with a pack of Italian dressing, a can of cream of chicken soup, and a block of cream cheese (all blended together first).  Dinner was done by the time everybody was ready to eat and all I had to do was cook up some rice and throw together a quick salad.  I saved myself SO much time and effort and patted myself on the back really good for it!

What do you to to treat yourself?
I keep a stash of Dove milk chocolate with caramel in my cupboard!  I also don't over-commit myself, which is a treat, because I'm not stressed out all of the time. I'm grateful that I have learned that I can't do everything, I shouldn't TRY to do everything, and that if something is going to interfere with my family then I'll back out.  This keeps me sane and I don't feel worn out so much.  
Also, I make sure I have time for my hobbies.  Some people tell me that they don't know how I have time for all of it, but my answer is that if you don't MAKE the time for it, you'll never do it.  For me to be happy, I have to create and have hobbies, so it's not a question for me on whether I'll do them or not - I make the time and it keeps me happy!  

What piece of advice would you give to a fellow mother?
haha!  I don't know if any good mother should ever listen to me!!!  I would have to say, though, that my advice would be to keep things SIMPLE - you don't have to be the PTO president or Bunko Queen; and keep a JOURNAL!  Enjoy life and the little things - and WRITE THEM DOWN.  This is one thing I've practiced since I've been married and I can't tell you how joyful it is to read about having my first baby, moving across the country, etc.  I haven't been very diligent lately, but once a month or so, I'll write about the kids, what they're doing, qualities that I love about them, what we're doing as a family, etc.  What a treasure for them to have when I'm an old lady and they're changing MY diapers!  You don't have to have an elaborate scrapbook, just hop on the computer, create a "journal" file, and type away.  Add to it every chance you can get.  It really helps you as a mother keep things in perspective and evaluate how you're doing.

Do you clean your own house?
OY...yes. My husband offered once to get some outside help but I was so offended that he's never brought it up again!!!  I do wish I had someone to come do my floors and bathrooms once a week, but that will have to wait until we can afford that luxury!  

What was your first job?
OH, this is a good question - my first job was FASCINATING!  My aunt and uncle ran a funeral parlor in our small town and I worked for them!  I took care of office work and helped with viewings and funerals.  Being around the deceased doesn't faze me - I'm perfectly comfortable vacuuming the funeral chapel with a dead body lying in a coffin! My friends could never understand that!

What one item in your kitchen could not live without?
My Cutco knives. They ROCK. You've GOT to have good knives in the kitchen or else cooking can be rough! (and my Dove chocolates - can't live without them, either.)

If you only had one day left to craft, what would you make?
WHAT?! Oh goodness - I have no idea!!! I'm a sucker for baby stuff right now like cute blankets and dresses, but I'm in LOVE with photography so I'd probably go out and take pictures all day if it were the last thing I could ever 'create', so to speak. Taking pictures and turning them into art is the most soothing, gratifying thing to me right now. 

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Mar 1, 2010

9 Questions with Homemade by Jill


Jill
Full-time momma, Part-time crafter
homemade by jill


What is your "Go-To Meal" when you have forgotten to plan dinner?

This happens frequently, as I am not a great meal planner. My go-to meal is usually some kind of pasta, but I'll make a cheese sauce or pesto from scratch to go with it.


Where have you always wanted to travel to?
Italy

What is your number one time saving tip?
You're asking the wrong person ... I'm more of a "procrastinate now, panic later" kind of gal.


What do you to to treat yourself? get some frozen yogurt

What piece of advice would you give to a fellow mother?
relax!

Do you clean your own house?
yes

What was your first job?

In my 'tween years I engraved name tags for a fast food restaurant


What one item in your kitchen could not live without?

my dishwasher (which less than a week old ... I vow to never hand wash again!)


If you only had 1 day left to craft, what would you make?

something for myself. :)

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