Thursday, October 22, 2009

Everlasting Pumpkins

Well, not totally everlasting, but they will definitely make it longer than the real ones. I made them for Thanksgiving decorations, but you could easily add Jack o' Lantern faces and use them for Halloween.

I got the idea from a Martha Stewart Magazine, hers were made of a beautiful silk that had the sheen of a real pumpkin, I was too frugal to buy the silk.

So here are step by step directions with pictures, because I'm helpful like that.

First cut the fabric into rectangles that are twice as wide as they are tall. I cut mine at 6 x 12, 8 x 16 and 12 x 24.

Then fold the fabric right sides together to form a square. Sew a 1/4 inch seam along the side (that's to the edge of the machine foot)

While the fabric is wrong side out sew a running/gathering stitch around one edge, 1/4 inch in. Pull tight to form a circular closing on the bottom. Then sew through the gathered portion multiple times to ensure that it remains closed.

Turn right side out and stuff.

Do a running stitch 1/4 inch down on the top and pull tight to close. Sew through the gathered portion again.

Run 3 strands of embroidery floss through the center and around the sides to make the indentations. I sewed down through the first gathered side and out through the second one. Make as many as you want, I used between 5 and 7 depending on the size.

Cut a square of brown fabric and fold the edges into a circle and place on the bottom of the pumpkin (second side gathered. ) use a whip stitch to secure to the pumpkin.

In the same brown fabric cut out a stem shape. Sew the side when wrong side out and then flip to right side out. If it is large you might need to stuff it to keep its shape. You can either sew it to the top of the pumpkin or hot glue it. I like the look of the glue better.

Ta-da! A fabric pumpkin.

You can get 1 large, 2 medium, and 2 small pumpkins out of 1/2 yard of fabric. I stuffed 20 pumpkins with 2 bags of poly fill. All in all for 20 pumpkins I spent $10.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bulgogi - Korean Beef

This is a favorite at our house, even with my veggie hating husband. It is also easy which makes it that much more appealing. Keep in mind that this recipe is one that deals with approximate measurements, feel free to adjust it to your personal taste.

1 roast VERY thinly sliced. (ask the butcher to do this for you) ( I use bottom roast)

1/2 Onion

5 large carrots (or 12 baby carrots)

5-7 Green Onions

3 T. Minced Garlic

1 bottle Soy sauce (1.5 to 2 c) ( get the good stuff, it is worth it)

Start the meat marinading at least 24 hours before you want to serve it, 48 hours is better. Thinly slice all the veggies, the thinner the better. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. When they are mixed the soy sauce should just barely cover all of the other ingredients. Cover and place in the fridge, stir occasionally (once every 8 hours or so)

The night you want to eat, take the meat out of the fridge. Use a large skillet. Pre-heat the skillet to very hot then put the meat in (if your skillet isn't big enough for all the meat you can do this part in batches) Saute the meat until it is cooked through, serve on rice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Autumn Harvest Pork Chops

Yum! These were a big hit at our house last night. I have been getting bored with our meals at the house recently. I seem to do the same old over and over again. So I broke out the cookbooks and started searching for ideas.

I came across the recipe for Autumn Pork Chops in one of my small Campbell soup Cookbooks. I did substitute home made cream soup for the Campbell's that the recipe called for. It turned out REALLY well. Every one in the house loved it which is a huge thing for this house. I served them with brown rice and sauteed zucchini. It was just the right combination of flavors and types of food.

Autumn Harvest Pork Chops

1 T. Oil (vegetable or olive)
4 pork chops (3/4 in thick)
2 T & 1 T butter
2 T flour
1/2 c. finely diced celery
1/2 t. salt
1 c milk
1/2 c. apple juice or water
2 T Spicy Brown mustard
1 T Honey
Ground Black Pepper (to taste)

Put oil into a large skillet and turn heat to med-high. Once the oil is hot put Chops in to brown, about 5 min on each side. While they are browning.
In a small saucepan put 1 T butter and all of the diced celery, saute the celery until it is starting to get clear. Put 2 T butter in saucepan and wait for it to melt, add the 2 T flour and stir to form a rue. Cook the rue over med-high heat for 1-2 min (this will help remove the taste of flour) Then add the milk slowly stirring all the time to form a creamy soup. Add salt to taste, I used celery salt to give my "cream of celery soup" more flavor. Once the soup comes to a boil it should be smooth and thick. Take off the heat.
When the Pork is browned, remove it from the pan and drain all of the grease. Then put the soup, apple juice, mustard, honey, and pepper in the skillet. Mix and cook until well combined and heated through, about 3-5 min. Re-add the Chops to the pan, cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for an additional 10 min until pork is done. (Don't overcook, I use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bloggity, blog, blog, blog

I am not sure why I am writing this now, I should be waiting until I hear from the hubby. I am a little stressed out today. He is going before the Med board right now to see if they will clear him to go back to full regular active duty after his ankle surgery or if they are going to start the proceedings to kick him out. I know that he is capable of going back to work, and I know that he wants to. It just worries me that he is even having to go through this. Hopefully this is nothing more than a routine walk in and walk out with a full medical clearance to work.

Other than that we are not doing much right now which is amazing. We have had family visiting us for what seems like forever in reality it was only a few weeks, but it is amazing how much that will throw you off. The little dog is gone. My brother took him back. And even though I miss him I am also really glad to have him gone, he was turning into a terror with his chewing every toy that the girls put on the floor for more than 2 seconds. I am getting things cleaned up and put away the way that I want them to be and just enjoying getting back into the routine that works best for me and the girls, not me, the girls, and whoever is staying here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Blah's

I am feeling a little blah today. I am not sure why, I think that it is because for so long we had major changes happening on a yearly basis, moving, having babies, things like that. Now the only changes in the foreseeable future are pretty far off. I think I have forgotten how to come up with my own entertainment. So I am looking for fun things to do to break up the monotony. I am not having much luck coming up with suggestions for myself right now. It seems like everything I think of involves being outside which is not really an option because it is already over 100* outside, and it is only going to get hotter. There is also the fact that most of the things that I want to do cost money that we just don't have available right now. I am so torn as to what to do.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Yup, that is the best way to describe my weekend this weekend. I sat back and let Sgt. DirtBoy do all the work for me. Granted cleaning has always been more his thing than mine, but still I feel really guilty when I let everything fall on him. Especially when all I have to explain my time away from the housework is multiple hours caring for my various facebook apps. Go Me!

Despite all of this the house is clean. most of the laundry is done and the kids are happy and fed. Well mostly happy, Monkey is teething again so she has had a snotty nose and bad attitude but once we gave her a few happy drugs she has been much better. Princess Batman is also having a few issues this week, but they are more attitude related. She has decided that she is an adult this week and more than capable of bossing all of us around. I feel like I have done nothing but tell her to be respectful all weekend long.

Tomorrow we are back to the regular weekly grind. My time at the gym with the personal trainer is on Monday this week, and probably on another day later in the week. I am really looking forward to getting back to work on that. It is amazing how much better I feel both energy wise and self-esteem wise when I go to the gym on a regular basis.

So, it wasn't the weekend I was expecting, but it wasn't a total loss, thanks to Sgt. DirtBoy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Hello sunshines! How is everyone today.

Things are going well here at the Diva-in-Training house. The kids are learning, the laundry is going, the dishes aren't piled anywhere all in all we have success so far. I think that the major thing I have learned while trying to become that "perfect" wife is that keeping on top of things is better than letting them go and doing one big job. If I take the 5 min to wipe down the counters and do the dishes while I am making dinner, the after dinner clean up is a breeze. Little things that you don't think will help really do help a lot.

The girls are doing great. I am so amazed at how smart they both are. I sometimes hate to brag about them, I worry that people will think that I am making things up, or holding them to standards that they can't live up to. In reality I feel like I am not doing enough to keep up with how much they are capable of learning. So my project for next week is to really get some plans in place for school here at home.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yeah, so I'm a slacker.

The good news is that I have been keeping on track with become the housewife that is impossible to become. The bad news is that I have totally neglected to tell anyone about how I am getting there.

Why? This stuff is hard. How do those women do it, keep a perfect house, stay in perfect shape, have hobbies and interests outside the house, help their children grow into respectable people, and keep a husband happy? The answer is a little of two things. a) they don't or b) they are planners. I am hoping to become one of the planners.

The more time that I spend trying to get a grasp on what I want to do with my life the more I feel like I have a million different directions that I want to go. Perfect mom, of course, Amazing wife no doubt. But what do I want to do to fulfill me? Take pictures? I do love beautiful pictures, but even with all I do I have never seen myself as artistic. Become a real actual historian? For some reason this hit me last night. I feel the desire to become the historian of the military wife/family. There are a million books about what happened during the battles, and even the letters home, but what about the development of the job that it is to be a military wife?

So I sit here and contemplate the future, while my girls dance around me in their tu-tu's and remember that no matter what, family will be first, and I have time to decide what my calling in life is.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A few thoughts

My journey to establishing myself as a domestic diva is full of ups and downs already. There are days when I get things done so quickly and easily that I begin to wonder why I never did this before. Then there are days when I get so far behind that I wonder if this is a totally futile effort. I am sure that these ups and downs are a part of the process. My hope is that the good days begin to out number the bad, that they begin to take over.

Things that I have learned this week. Large projects are fun, but they need to be taken with caution. When you want to do a big project you need to not only think about whether or not you have the time to complete the project, but if you have the time to complete the project while still doing your normal goals. When I was done with the projects I looked up to realize that I had let the house go. I had been so involved in these extras that I forgot to keep up with the normal.

So my mistakes are your learning experience. Have a wonderful domestic week.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Let's start at the very beginning.......

The most important thing to have is a plan. The plan might not work, in fact the plan might fail miserably, but at least you went into things with an idea of where you wanted to come out of them. So I figure today is the day to start with a plan.

First of all I have been using the FLYlady method of house keeping for the last year and it has worked wonders. However I have decided that for me I need to do some basic alterations. If you want to check out the original look here.

I have decided that I will line out goals, daily, weekly, monthly, etc. I need to see where I am going, and have a marker for how far I have come. One thing that I do want to stress is that it is no use making goals if they are unrealistic. It is one thing to say that I want to get in shape this year, it is another to say that I want to lose 7lbs a week. (at least at my weight it is) So realistic goals is the important thing.

Am I going to share all of these goals? Nope. I don't want them to influence the goals that you set for yourself. Everyone has a different view of what their ideal life would look, and what is the most important thing for them to accomplish. If you go into an organization plan trying to use someone else's goals, that were set to fit someone else's life you are destined to fail before you even start.

Have a great day, and happy planning.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year, New Me

It is time to get on the resolution band wagon. This year I am resolving to become the kind of housewife I am in my dreams. I want to put the kind of effort into my home that I would put into a job. I am constantly telling people that being a Stay-at-Home Mom is a full time job, but I never approach it that way. As a result I feel like I am constantly 2 steps behind where I need to be. This constant battle to get ahead leaves me feeling inadequate and unfulfilled.

I am going to start this year with the goal to start to feel like I am excellent at my job. I want to feel like I have the type of home that people want to visit and the kind of children that people want to be around. I also want to feel like I am the kind of woman that people want to be around. I feel like even if I get my home and children in order but look harried and unkempt it will be a wasted effort.

I know that this will not be easy, I have years of complacent habits to undo, and a million good habits to start adding to my daily life. I also know that it can't be done all at once. I need to make changing my outlook on life a constant thought.

So if you are trying to change your life in a positive way please join me on this journey. It will be a learning experience for everyone involved. I know that there will be days when I feel like a failure, I just hope that they are interspersed with days when I feel like I am making strides towards my goal.