Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Almost Thanksgiving

Well, my mom and my older brother were suposed to be coming today for Thanksgiving but my mom just called and said they weren't coming because my brother is sick. I'm so annoyed. He says he has a fever and has been sick to his stomach this morning. How does that prevent you from getting into a car? All he has to do is sit there. So they "might" come tomorrow or they just won't come at all. I could seriously just scream. I've cleaned my house, I've bought all this food, Isaac is working way long hours through Wednesday so he could have Friday off to take my brother to DC, they were suposed to help me get the nursery together tomorrow... I hate it when people break plans. That is seriously the most annoying thing in the world to me. You do all this stuff to accomodate people and plan for them to have a good time and then they don't show up!

I feel that I must now amend my post because in fact my mom and brother are on their way to my house now. I guess he puked it out and is feeling better. They won't get out here until after midnight but they'll be here. Yay! Sorry I had a little tantrum earlier, I'm pregnant :P

I was in the middle of writing this when my mom called so instead of ranting for the whole post I'll go ahead and finish what I was originally writing. I have been super busy the last several days finishing up orders and getting them in the mail. I had one large card order that about did me in. Everything that could go wrong with the cards did and I ended up having the re-do about 35 of the cards because I had ink on my hands that I didn't know about and I smeared it all over some of the cards when I was tying them up. I finally got them done though and off in the mail but not before I stressed myself out so badly that I've got stress blisters. Sigh.

We had some friends over for dinner on Sunday night and I cooked this really good chicken that I thought I'd share the recipe for.

You need:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup prepared mustard
1 (6 ounce) can French-fried onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place mustard in a shallow dish or bowl; place onions in a second shallow dish or bowl. Dredge chicken in mustard to coat both sides, then dredge in onions. Place coated chicken in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

This chicken is so easy and yummy. You'll be surprised at how the chicken stays so moist. Most of the time when I bake chicken it tends to get a little dry by the time it's done but the mustard really gives it a nice juice and then the crunch onions on the outside are just so perfect.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby Boy Finds On Etsy

I've been wanting to check out what unique things etsy has to offer for the baby boys of the world and I have to say that I am disappointed. I thought that there would be some really cool, very unique things and I just didn't see all that much. So it left me thinking, maybe I should just really figure out how to sew and make my own baby things. I'd love to have some really cool burp clothes with fun prints and bibs also. I'm even thinking that I might want to learn how to do some applique and make him some cute onesies or shirts. We'll see though. It's not like I have a ton of time on my hands these days and I'm sure it will only get worse!

I did happen to find a few things that I really liked and thought were pretty unique so I wanted to share my finds with you.

I really love this dachshund onesie by BellaBludesigns. I love the graphic prints that she uses and of course I have a soft spot for anything Dachshund.

I also found a shop, Cashmeredejavu, that makes cashmere baby items by upcycling adult cashmere sweaters.

Mysweetpeashoppe also has these very fun moster shirts. I like that you can pick which monster design you like.
Another shop, Tadpolecreations, had a set of appliqued puppy items that I really liked. Again, she used a very graphic print to do the dog cut outs and I really like the overall look of that.

Finally, sheknitsamy had these great little crocheted baby booties that I think are super cute.
So those were my etsy finds for the day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Busy Day

Today was an incredibly busy day for me. I was finishing up orders and packing things to be mailed all afternoon. I had two international orders so I had to actually go into the post office to mail them. I couldn't believe the line! It was out the door. People must be really on top of getting things mailed this year because it's not even Thanksgiving yet. When I left the line was just as long.

I saw a tweet this morning on twitter about a blog giving away a Kitchenaid stand mixer so I entered to win it and I thought that I'd pass along the link for anyone else who wants to enter. I'd love to have one of these. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't pass along the link because that just mean more competition, right? Click on the picture to go straight to the blog post.

And since I'm now into both advertising through Project Wonderful and having people advertise on my blog, I found this great post by fellow etsian Timothy Adam that gives a wonderful tutorial on how to run an ad campaign. It was very informative and so easy! So here's that link if you're interested: http://timothyadamdesigns.blogspot.com/2008/05/master-list-of-pw-ads-here-list-of.html

And finally, a few pictures of some custom tins that I did for someone through etsy. I love how they turned out and they have actually inspired me to do a whole line of tins with Amy Butler papers so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where Did The Weekend Go?

This weekend has totally flown by. I can't believe that it's Sunday night already. Isaac had drill this weekend so we had to make the 2 hour trip to his drill site yesterday. I did a little scrapbook store shopping while he was working. I have about 4 pads of Amy Butler paper that I've had for months now and haven't done anything with. I came up with a pretty good idea on how to use up this paper and so I was hunting for matching cardstock. May I just say that she uses the most odd shades of colors in her prints. This was the second time that I had gone looking for matching cardstock and it was VERY difficult to find anything. I did come away with some that I think will go nicely though.

So we were pretty much gone all day yesterday and then today I am working on finishing up some custom orders and getting them ready to go in the mail tomorrow. When I have those finished I really want to start working on a new round on tins but instead I'm going to have to get together my baby shower invitee list with names and addresses and get it emailed to my aunt. My mom has been asking me if I have it done for the past three days now so I've got to get it finished.

Speaking of baby showers, it was suggested to me that I possibly have a virtual baby shower since most of our friends are spread out through different states and countries. I haven't looked into how this could be done but I'm wondering if anyone out there has either had a virtual baby shower or participated in one and how it worked. It would be awesome if our friends could participate in our baby shower.

Two quick baby finds that I'm loving right now. I found this monkey coat at Gymboree and I think Noah just has to have it. I didn't buy it when I saw it on Friday but I am going to go back and see if they still have it. It was on sale in the store so I think it was only like $25 which is a lot for a baby's coat but for the cuteness factor I'm going to have to give in!

I also found this pacifier that closes when it falls out of the baby's mouth. My mom had seen one or heard about them before and looked them up online. We thought that was the only place that you could get them but when I was in Motherhood Maternity the other day I saw that they had them. So I grabbed the only blue one they had (they had the Nemo one but Isaac didn't find it as cute as I did) and it was only $3.99. I didn't think that was such a bad price, especially if it keeps the pacifier from getting all yucky on the ground. I hope that Noah takes to this kind.

And lastly, a few new Pocket Albums in my shop.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Most Delicious Lemon Cookies Ever!!!

I've got another seasonal recipe for you today. Yesterday I decided to make the most wonderful and delicious lemon cookies ever! I'm seriously not kidding about this. I had never made these before but my aunt has made them every Christmas since I can remember. Since it has gotten so cold and yesterday morning there was a thick frost on my lawn I was just in the holiday mood and decided to give them a try. It was the easiest and cheapest batch of cookies I've ever made.

1 box of lemon cake mix
1 8oz container of cool whip
1 egg

Stir together and drop small cookie balls into powdered sugar. Preheat the oven to 325 and cook for 10-12 minutes.

It couldn't possibly be easier! I love them as little bite sized cookies and they are so soft you won't believe it. My husband, who doesn't really eat sweets, was gobbling them down yesterday. And you get a ton of cookies out of one box. I would say we probably had between 60 and 80 just larger than a quarter sized cookies. So super yummy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Soy Milk

Yesterday I was in the baking mood so I made some pumpkin spice muffins for breakfast. They smelled delicious and they taste alright, but not as good as they smell. I need to find a really good pumpkiny recipe for those. I love pumpkin anything. They are a little on the dense side as well but I know that some people prefer that so that's not necessarily a negative.
Here's the recipe that I used to make these
Makes 10 to 12 muffins

2 cups whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 15-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin
½ cup water
1/3 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.
Add pumpkin, ½ cup of water and raisins. Stir until just mixed.
Spray baking cups with cooking spray, then spoon batter into each one. Fill to just below the top of each baking cup.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until tops of muffins spring back when touched lightly. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a rack. Once cool, place muffins in airtight container for storage.

On another note, I'm trying to make the switch from drinking regular milk to soy milk. It's tough though. I bought a half gallon of soy milk nearly two weeks ago and I just opened it up this morning to have my first glass with my pumpkin muffin. It has a strange taste but I'm sure it's something that I can get used to. My husband was telling me that all growing up he only drank soy milk and so he doesn't really like the taste of regular milk. How did I not know this? We've been together for over 6 years and this is the first I've heard about this. He says he'll only use a little in his cereal and that's it. I guess that's why I never noticed. So I'm trying to make the switch and have healthier eating habbits one switch at a time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Need A Drink

Today has been one of those days. I'm not the type of person that typically says this, but I seriously needed a drink today. If only I weren't pregnant! The day started out fine. I went to my last chiropractor appointment and all is well again with my back so that was great news. I still will go once a month for the last three months to make sure I don't get that same problem again, but I have relief and it's fabulous. I came home and listed a few items in my etsy shop and then started making lunch. Isaac and I had a great lunch of meatball subs and then the UPS man came. We received replacement sides to our crib we just bought last week. The sides had been dropped and the wood was shattered but JCPenny was awesome and immediately sent out replacements. This is the crib that we got for Noah. I am very pleased with it.

So we put the crib together, which took like an hour and a half, and then things started to go a little sour. I went downstairs to get something and apparently Napoleon had gotten sick so there was a big pile of puke on the floor. Yum. So I went back upstairs and told Isaac and he was all yuck that's so grose you should go clean it up. By this time it was time for me to start cooking dinner for Isaac to take with him to work. If I don't start cooking by 2:15 it's not ready for him to leave at 3:45. Plus he wanted me to make some more ice tea for him to take with him to work. So I told him that I didn't have time to do it all so he would just have to suck it up and clean up the puke.

So I went downstairs and started cooking and of course Isaac never comes down. So I yell up the stairs at him asking him to please clean it up while I cook. He yells back down that his stomach is really upset and he has to go to the bathroom. So I make the tea and get everything cooking in the oven and he's still no where to be found. So of course I have to clean up the puke and the whole time I'm sitting there thinking I can't believe that he thinks it's okay for me to do this but he acts like he'll die if he even has to look at it! I was so annoyed. My husband is very helpful and great at a lot of things but when it comes to cleaning up after the dogs, I could strangle him. He's useless and whines like a baby.

So he finally comes downstairs and before I can even say anything his phone starts ringing and he's on it until like 10 minutes before he has to leave. So I do the dishes and clean the kitchen while I'm waiting for the food to be done. He comes up and asks if it's done yet and the timer is just going off on the oven. So I get an oven mit and take out the pan and just as I'm lifting it onto the top of the oven the glove slips and I drop it all over the floor and the inside of the oven. I was so mad! I don't usually act out in my anger but I was so mad that I just threw the glove down on the floor as hard as I could. And of course it's plastic so it made a huge noise and all the dogs fled the kitchen. Isaac just looked at me and said, was that my dinner? I just looked at him and told him that I hope Noah craps all over him.

And that's why I desperately needed a drink today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I feel like I was really busy today but at the same time I didn't get much accomplished. Don't you hate those kind of days? It's now 11:30pm and I'm feeling like I have to do 10 more things before I can go to bed! I hate that. Plus I'm feeling like a giant prego so that doesn't help matters.

I did manage to get a few things listed today in my shop. Another set of notecards, another Pocket Album, and a super cute snowman Christmas card. I also got a custom order today for some of the monogramed notecards so that was exciting. I'm not sure how she found my shop but she just signed up to etsy today and placed an order with me. I'm wondering if maybe she found me through one of my Project Wonderful ads. That would be awesome since they've only been up for like 2 days. I'll have to ask her.

What else did I do today...oh yeah, I heard of this new site called Lollishops.com and I heard that they were taking applications for shops on their site. They haven't launched the site as a selling venue yet but they launch the trial version on November 15th and then later in the month they are launching the full version. Anyway, the site is for super girly stuff, lots of victorian and cottage type things but they also have a section for bright colors. I applied to be put in the bright section, I know it's shocking, right? I didn't really think that I would get in because I read that a lot of people weren't getting in but amazingly within about 15 minutes of applying I was accepted. Yay! I was emailed more information about the site and I need to go check out what their fees are going to be. Wasn't I just saying yesterday that I wasn't going to set up on other sites and that I was just going to work on etsy for the time being? Oh well, I may give it a shot and see what happens. I hear that they've already got ads up on several internet sites and that they have a pretty big advertising budget so maybe it'll be a great second selling site for me.

Alright, housework is unfortunately calling my name. Gotta get those 10 things done before bedtime!

Monday, November 3, 2008

What A Day

Wow, I feel like I've been running, running, running today. I woke up late today because this daylight savings time has really thrown me off. I'm super tired very early and so by staying up until midnight, which is my norm, I actually feel like I've been up until 3 or 4am and then I can't wake up at my normal 7am. I didn't get up today until nearly 9!

I did a lot of research about how to better promote selling my handmade items and I learned quite a bit today. I have this fabulous friend Dotty who gave me a lot of valuable information. I was thinking about setting up shop on several other sites other than etsy but in the end I decided to stick with etsy and just try to promote the heck out of my shop. So I created an ad for Project Wonderful and I've got that ad on I think 5 or 6 blogs right now. I like that you can see how many clicks you get on your ad for how many views of the website. Plus it's pretty cheap advertising. I'm also going to purchase an ad space on another gal I know's blog. She seems to get a ton of traffic so I figure I'll try it for a month. I need to be more visible in this holiday shopping season.

I've added several new pocket albums to the shop and I'm also offering custom monogramed notecards again this year. They were a huge hit last year and they are such a great stocking stuffer or gift to get for the gals at the office. The price on them is just right for this kind of thing too. I have three colors listed right now and you just pick the monogram you want on them. You can also convo me if you want a different color that I don't have listed. I have about 60 different colors of cardstock so I'm sure I can fix you up!

I made old fashion bread pudding from Tastefully Simple tonight for my Bible study gals. Oh my gosh, it was so good. I did get a stomach ache from it though because I didn't eat dinner before I went to study so all I had to eat was bread pudding. Thus, the stomach ache. I'm hopefully going to get a little real food in me tonight while watching The Hills at 10pm. I know, it's a sick addiction, what can I say :)