Saturday, September 29, 2012

~the best hummus~

 My friend, Lisa, makes THE BEST hummus ever!
I crave it for weeks after I eat it.
I finally got the recipe from her.
You gotta try this.

1 can garbanzo beans-drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
1 clove garlic
cumin to taste
salt to taste
pinch of cayenne 
juice of 1 lemon
Throw it all in the blender or food processor
and blend until it looks like this:

You can put it on anything but 
I like it best as a dip for veggies.
 Try it!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

~duck tape hair pretties~

 Have you seen all the amazing things people are
making out of duck tape? My nieces are a part of
the craze and they make some really cool stuff.
If I could ever get them to e-mail the pics of their stuff
I would show you (hint, hint). 

Check out the hair pretties they made 
for my little lady out of duck tape.

Aren't they sassy rock-n-roller retro'ish cute?
Thanks TJ-they are adorable!
Susie-I know her part isn't straight....settle down.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

~poor girl's flower arrangement~

 Sometimes the days and anniversaries we remember
are not always the mark of a happy event. 
Just because it's not happy doesn't
 mean it shouldn't be acknowledged.

I have a few friends who have lost people 
who were very dear to them in life.......
brothers, children, parents, spouses,
friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, etc.
I try to acknowledge their day of passing in
some form or other....whether it be
just a phone call or a text to let them know I'm 
thinking of them or an actual gift, I feel it's 
important for them to know that their
pain and loss is not forgotten just because life
for everyone else has "gone on". 

Today was one of those days for a good friend.
The day she lost her brother 14 years ago, 
tragically and sudden.
I wanted to do something special for my 
friend and her mother. My limited funds
didn't allow for much so this is what I
came up with: flowers on the cheap
from my yard, packed into a little baby food jar
and wrapped with a brown paper bag, tied with a bow.
I found some drawer sachets with words of
encouragement on them at Michael's for 50 cents each.
I attached one to each arrangement.

 I hope it brought a little bit of sunshine to their day.
I think I do it as much for me as I do for them.
It hurts to watch someone you love hurt.
It makes me feel better to do something nice for them.
It doesn't take much to let someone know you care.
Do something nice for someone in your life today.
Just because.
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Friday, September 21, 2012

~DIY moto jacket made from a vest~

Remember the moto-jackets I mentioned a 
couple weeks ago? 
Here's a reminder:
It's all coming back to you now isn't it?
I took that old vest I had out of my donation bag
( was THAT close to being gone)
and did this:
  And the final result was this:

Wore it to a play last night over a FABULOUS dress
that I purchased at the thrift store for $6.
I feel a "thrifty finds" post coming on :) 
This sweet little number took me a total of 30 minutes.
No joke.
ANYONE can do it.
I'm going to be wearing this a lot this fall.
It's so versatile....much more so than the
vest ever was on it's own. 
Funny how that works.
I wouldn't have thought that.
Sometimes I guess you just have to not think :)
Happy weekend everyone.
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

~handmade beaded necklace~

 You may recognize this necklace from a recent
post of one of the shirts I made. I was 
wearing it then and have worn it often since making it.
Here's a close up:
What do you think?
You like?

This was one of my more time consuming pieces
but the end result was well worth it. I did all
the wire hooks that are attaching the beads myself.
The more jewelry I make, the more I
realize the importance of quality tools......
and a whole lot of patience.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

~tis the canning season~

 Everyone's doing it.....
and YES....I am too.
I forget from year to year how much work it is.
 Add an almost toddler to the mix and it takes twice as long.
A couple hours of canning work turned into an entire day.
OK-that's a turned into 3 days. Once I got the beans
snapped and ready I had to put everything away because
some little person woke up from their nap WAAAAYYYYY
too early and I had a very grumpy child to contend with.
And then dinner.
And then homework.
And then bedtime.
So....two days later and voila:
Anyone who cans knows the great feeling of success
and achievement that comes with the "pop" of
your jars sealing. Man-I love that sound.  
 I've got the beans done. 
Sadly, the farmers from the little produce stand I have been buying my beans from for years and years are retiring
and this is their last year :(
Now I just have to do the beats and 
figure out what to do with all
my tomatoes and zucchini.

That will take me another 3 weeks I'm sure.
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

~My family's cause-Mitochondrial Disease~

Hello everyone.
It's that time of year again for the 
United Mitochondrial Disease Walkathon.
For those of you who don't remember,
mitochondrial disease is what my niece, Ashlee,
died of nearly 10 years ago. Ashlee was the FIRST
PERSON EVER to complete a two year study for
mitochondrial disease at 
The University of California San Diego.

The walkathon is Saturday, September 15, at
Liberty Park at 10:00 am.

Although it is a very common disease, most people
know little or nothing about it. Our goal is to raise
awareness and earn money to help support
study and research for a cure. 
Please read the information below to learn more
about the disease.

What is mitochondrial disease?
Mitochondria exist in nearly every cell of the human body, producing 90 percent of the energy
the body needs to function. In a person with mitochondrial disease, the mitochondria are failing
and cannot adequately convert food and oxygen into life sustaining energy. For many,
mitochondrial disease is an inherited genetic condition, while for others the body's
mitochondria can be affected by environmental factors.

How does mitochondrial disease affect the body?
The parts of the body that need the most energy, such as the heart, brain, muscles and lungs,
are the most affected by mitochondrial disease. The affected individual may have strokes,
seizures, gastro‐intestinal problems, (reflux, sever vomiting, constipation, diarrhea), swallowing
difficulties, failure to thrive, blindness, deafness, heart and kidney problems, muscle failure,
heat/cold intolerance, diabetes, lactic acidosis, immune system problems and liver disease.

Every 30 minutes, a child is born who will develop a mitochondrial disease by age 10. While
exact numbers of children and adults suffering from mitochondrial diseases are hard to
determine because so many people who suffer are frequently misdiagnosed, researchers
believe the disease is approaching the frequency of childhood cancers. Many are misdiagnosed
with atypical cerebral palsy, various seizure disorders, childhood diseases and diseases of aging.
Still others aren't diagnosed until after death. 

 What is the prognosis for these individuals?
Currently, there are no treatments for children and adults with mitochondrial disease.
Although some of the affected children and adults are living fairly normal lives with the disease,
many people are severely affected, and many children do not survive their teenage years. More
research dollars are needed to find more effective treatments and ultimately a cure for
mitochondrial diseases.

(info from the UMDF)

My family had great success last year in meeting 
our fund raising goal and we thank everyone
who helped us by making a donation in
Ashlee's memory to our team. 

We are hoping to get a good turnout this year
as well. We are a bit late in collecting our 
pledges but we hope we will still be able to meet our
fundraising goal of $500. 

 Please help us to 
honor her memory and recognize her contribution
to the study of mitochondrial disease by making
a pledge to TEAM ASHLEE.
Trust me, we know times are tough financially but
Any dollar amount is greatly appreciated 
and helps us reach our goal.  

Click (here) to be directed to the web-site 
and click on the Donate link to make 
a secure, online donation
contact me if you want to give a cash or check donation.
Checks can be written out to UMDF
Your donations are tax deductible.

If you want to join us in walking next Saturday
we would love the support on TEAM ASHLEE!
Click (here) to join our team.

"Grief is loves unwillingness to let go."

Still grieving after 10 years.....
BUT also HOPING for a change and 
REMEMBERING your lovely spirit. 
We love you...this is for YOU!
-Aunt Paula

Friday, September 7, 2012

~outfits on the cheap~

 I normally save my thrifting runs for Friday night
but the way I was feeling by the time my husband
got home last night from work required
I needed to get the hell out.
It was one of those afternoons.
My "calgon take me away" spot is the local
neighborhood 2nd hand store.

Check out the outfit I scored for $7.
The skirt was $5 and the shirt was $2.
I love the hem of the skirt. 

The shoes were a score many months ago
at the same place for $4. They have become 
one of my summer staple pieces.

While at the store, enjoying my alone time,
taking a breather from the kids, I couldn't help
but overhear and follow around a beastly "mom"
who was, in my opinion, verbally abusing her 
3 year old daughter. The poor little girl was 
tired and cranky, it was 8:00 at night for 
God's sake, she should have been in bed.
She was crying and whining and her mom was
being so mean to her because of it. 
I felt so bad for her and felt like I needed to 
follow them around (discreetly). I thought
for sure she was going to hurt her physically.
I finally couldn't take it anymore and asked
the mom if I could give her the little package
of fruity snacks that I had in my purse for my kids.
She said it was OK and felt the need to
tell me, "Oh-she's cute but she's a mouthy brat."
I said, "Well she's tired. My kids hate this store too."
 What I really wanted to say was,
"BITCH! Your kids problem is YOU!"

I get the concept of don't judge until you've walked
a mile in someone's shoes and for the most I 
believe and live that way. I know sometimes
we all raise our voices to our kids and a stranger
looking in, not seeing the whole story or picture,
may see it differently than what the reality is.
BUT-I couldn't help
but think that no matter what kind of day
this woman had just had, that little girl
didn't deserve treatment like that 
("You're a brat. I can't stand you. I can call
a bad person to come get you. I can take you
outside to the front of the store and leave you there
until I'm done." This is the kind of stuff she
was saying to her daughter)
if that's how she treats her in public, how
must she treat her in private? 
It broke my heart. 
I followed her around the whole time and ended up
in the dressing room right next to her too.
When I came out of my room-they were gone.
I said a little prayer that the girl would be alright....
and also for the momma.
She was no doubt stressed and miserable.
It made me come home and squeeze 
my kids a little tighter and thank my 
husband for the breaks I get whenever I 
feel like I'm about to blow. 

On a lighter note......
just wait and see how cute this skirt
looks as a shirt!
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

~shirt inspired from "I Spy DIY" book~

This book.....
....has soooo many fun ideas in it!
I made a shirt inspired by one of her ideas
in the book. Hers is made with a scarf and mine
was made with fabric I have had for years, not 
knowing what to make with it. I had about a 
yard of fabric and cut it out in the shape 
of two scarfs. It's basically two squares sewn
together, leaving an opening for the neck and arms.
I didn't even have to hem it.
Instead, I burned the edges.
An idea I wouldn't have thought of on my own
and it was sooooo much faster.
Here's my version:
 I know these self portraits are killing you.
They kill me too and I CANNOT for the life of me
get a decent shot ANYWHERE in my house.
Here's a pic of it on my dress form-it gives
you a better idea of what it looks like.
 I made the neckline extra wide so it falls
off my shoulder. The pink ribbons are just
for draping and marking on my form, they aren't
actually part of the shirt. 

I made it especially for a special summer concert
with some of my favorite gals:
 I loved the finished product and the concert
wasn't half bad either......come to think of it-
the concert ROCKED! 
I'm adding Grace Potter to the list of
celebrities I want to be friends with.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

~fall fashion inspiration~

With New York Fashion week in full swing there
are lots of blogs and sites out there reporting on 
the upcoming trends. I love it.
There's not a chance in hell I can afford
any of the high end, designer pieces but 
I love to envision ways that I can take pieces
I already have and re-purpose them to make them
more current. 
I have THE PERFECT vest for this:
Contrasting sleeve moto jacket.
I can't wait to get started on it! 
Right now I am praising myself for NOT getting rid
of it a couple weeks ago when I went thru my closet.
Can I get a "woot woot"!

It's still too warm here to wear something like this just yet.
Saying goodbye to summer is a bummer but 
 great pieces like this take the sting out of it by giving
me something to look forward to.

 Stay tuned for the results.  

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

~shirt made from a scarf~

 I've had these scarfs for years and years and never
really worn them with anything.
The leopard scarf is one of those really big,
square scarfs and the turquoise scarf is long
and narrow. I haven't been able to find a 
great way to wear either one of them......

 The leopard scarf wasn't quite
big enough to give me the coverage I wanted in
the back so I sewed the turquoise scarf onto
the bottom of's in the back.
 I will take pics of this on
my dress form so you can get a better idea.
These were the best pics I could get of it on me.
 I used three blingy pins to close it up and it 
works surprisingly well. 

The necklace I'm wearing is another I've made
recently. I'll showcase it in another post soon.

If you want to see a tutorial on how to do this shirt,
leave me a comment and let me know.
Making the shirt is more simple than
making the tutorial :)

Linking up with Positively Splendid

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