Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pumpkin Art

I love pumpkins.  :)
I love fall and I love pumpkins.  :)

I DO cook with pumpkins, but my favorite thing to do with pumpkins is decorate with them!

Here's some fun ways to dress up plain pumpkins.

Use tape to make a design on your pumpkin.  Remember that the design you make will be a negative of the finished product.  You'll be decorating on the un-taped parts of the pumpkin.  So, wherever you put the tape will be pumpkin colored when you are done.

Now comes the fun part.  You can use whatever you want to decorate.  Paint, Decorative pins, Ribbon, Glitter, whatever you like.

For this particular pumpkin I sprayed the entire thing with spray adhesive glue which you can get in any hardware or craft store.  Or, you can make your own spray-on glue by mixing glue with water. 

Then I generously dumped black glitter all over the entire pumpkin.  Put something underneath to catch the extra glitter.  You can put it back into the container to use later.

Let it dry.

Remove the tape and decorate to your hearts content!

Try using different colored paints or glitters for custom looks.  Here's a few more I did just to help get your creative juices flowing. :)

Beware!  This project is addicting!  I almost couldn't stop!  
Have fun!  Be creative!  Give them as gifts! 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Review: The Hunger Games

Um, WOW.  Just wow.  I really had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book.  Takes place in the future, in a sort of altered reality.  I guess technically it would qualify as science fiction.  The pace was awesome, kept me riveted enough that I polished off all 350 some pages in one day.  I DID stay up rather late.  But, I couldn't put it down!!  

Some cautions though!!!!! I would NOT recommend this book to everyone.  The girl that recommended it to me said it best when she told me she liked it but "felt guilty for liking it since it's SO violent."  I agree.  WAY violent.  But, that's part of the author's point.  She's exploring the effects of war and violence on young people.  (I seem to be caught in a rut of reading YA books all about corrupt governments lately...)  

Anyway, the story is like some sort of hideous coliseum type fight-to-the-gruesome-bloody-death-kill-before-you-get-killed reality tv show.  With 24 contestants.  Sound awful?  It is.  It REALLY is.  Again, I would NOT recommend this book to just anyone.  Yes, it's a YA book, written for teens.  That doesn't mean I think every teen should read it.  Remember, I'm closer to my 30s than I am to my teens...  

Good things: The characters deal with extreme situations and Suzanne Collins is very adept at handling that.  I think their reactions are excellent.  Good vs. Evil.  The characters deal with not being overcome by evil in the midst of it.  They struggle of course (very realistically) but I think it's handled really well.

Bad things:  Violence.  Violence.  Did I mention VIOLENCE?  A little too much romance, more than is tasteful in a YA book, in my opinion, although the romance IS a necesssary part of the plot, so I guess it's understandable.  And it's predictable.  When an author writes themselves into a corner like that and it's a YA book...  well, I'll just say that when you KNOW things are going to have to turn out ok and you KNOW that certain things will have to happen... and certain things CAN'T happen, there's usually only one road out of that corner.  Also, it's the first book in a trilogy.  And the second book only came out a few days ago.  And this ending is somewhat wrapped up, but it does leave you hanging.  Honestly, I'm kind of wondering what the second book is going to be about... but I'm anxious to read it anyway.  Even if I know it DOES end in a cliff-hanger and I have no idea WHEN the third book might be coming out.  

All in all, this book rather enthralled me.  I stayed up shamefully late to finish reading it. (Some of the riveting suspense may have been sharpened by the cold, rainy, dark, quiet night...).  And the next morning I told my sister the whole story.  She was riveted too.  

But, if you're squeamish about violence and excessive cold-blooded murder... you might want to stay away from this one. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekend Fun!

Sarah Beth and Luke join in on an impromptu jam session at the historical re-enactment.  Authentic "Antique" instruments like maracas and drums and frogs.  :)
They helped make beautiful music with classic songs like "Old McDonald Had a Farm."

Sarah Beth LOVES the Carousel.  :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bedroom Decor [Image Heavy]

As long ago promised....
Pictures of my bedroom!  I actually didn't do any redocorating at all except painting the one wall red.

Here's a 360 view.

Immediately to your left when you walk into the room:
Bookshelves.  The Rocking Chair was a gift from my grandparents as was the Pashmina draped over the back.  The stuffed animals...  well...  Just because I'm 27 doesn't mean I need to pack them away, right?

Then the bed (I did get a new comforter and sheets at K-Mart.  My old ones were getting to the hideous stage.  Comforter was super cheap.  $20, I think, and the sheets were one of those BOGO sales.)

 Step by step instructions on how to How to make the wall art HERE

(By the way, the floor is STAINED.  It's not dirty.  :-) )

Closeups of my Vanity

Dirty Makeup Brushes

Semi-Organized Makeup

Earrings hanging :)

Necklaces and Bracelets.  (I don't have a lot of necklaces, I guess I don't wear them much)

Hopechest my Grandpa made for me :)


So that's my bedroom!  The decorating and color scheme have sort of evolved over time.  I'm not the type to pick out the colors and decorate and then keep it the same way forever.  I'm always changing things up.  :)  I love this color combo right now though.  :)  The curtains and pillows I made out of inexpensive Walmart fabric (back when Walmart still sold fabric) and the rest of it was easy, inexpensive stuff. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I wish I'd lived in the 1940's

During the Foyle's War time.

So when my sister says "Hey, Rebecca, wanna be a Jewish girl in my skit?"  I'm like: "SURE!"
Then of course I spend an hour researching hairstyles... 
And an hour trying to get my middle-of-my-back length hair into a "bob"
Then I do my makeup (Oh JOY!  RED LIPS!!)
I pick out my favorite vintage jewelry.

I'm so loving it.  :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

You may have already noticed...

I got a new blog template earlier this week.  Thanks to Katie who put it up for me.  I can never figure out how to do it without losing all my widgets...
I got the template from Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates as usual...  :)  It was one of the freebies.
AND... a new profile picture!  Courtesy of Stephanie
What do you think?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Garden Bruschetta

This is one of my all-time favorite things to do with garden produce.
NOTE: This is not a picture of my bruschetta.  We gobbled ours up so fast I forgot to take a picture. 
  • Chopped fresh TOMATOES.  (I like to use red and yellow tomatoes, if I have them.  Yellow tomatoes tend to be sweeter)
  • Cubed CHEESE.  I like Swiss, but experiment and use whatever kind you want!
  • Fresh chopped BASIL, oh my gooodness... to. die. for.  Especially if it's fresh from your garden.
  • Drizzle of OLIVE OIL.  Extra Virgin is best.
  • GARLIC (optional, I guess, if you don't like garlic)
  • Pinch of SALT.
  • FRENCH BREAD, sliced.  (I used French bread, but you can really use any kind you like)
Toast the bread with a little butter.  Pile on the Bruschetta.  It's love.  :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I wish I was drinking coffee

Green Tea instead. 

Actually, it's not bad.  Kind of tastes good in a grass-y kind of way. 

I don't mind it. 

I've finally decided to start drinking the green tea that I bought a while ago because I had heard that green tea is So Very Good For You. 

Kind of funny really, since normally I don't rush out to do something the minute I find out it's good for you.  In fact I almost never do.  I am the girl that Does Not Take Vitamins.  Not because I don't have any.  Because I just don't.  I forget to take them.  And, trust me I've heard plenty of arguments for taking vitamins.  I know I should. 

But, I digress. 

I've started drinking green tea. 

And that's actually the whole point of this post.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


For the IDD Blog

There is a picture in my head that I will never forget.
It was a sunny day in Florida and we were at a church picnic.  Someone was organizing games for the children and oneof them was "tug-o-war."  I wandered down to see what the kids were up to and enjoy their antics.  I'll never forget the lesson I learned next.  Some of the children decided to challenge some of the dads to a game of "tug-o-war."  The dads were against it at first, afraid they'd hurt the kids, but finally gave in... and lost.  The dads recruited reinforcements... and lost again.  More dads came.  More kids joined the kids side.  Again and again, those little kids pulled the dads slipping and sliding across the finish line.  I stood on the sidelines with some of the moms and watched in awe, we cheered at first, but as we continued to watch silence descended among us.  There was something amazing about this.  The dads had all the muscle, all the strength, but the kids had the TEAMWORK.  They had a person on the sidelines keeping the beat. "PULL!  PULL!"  Every single little foot moved in rhythym, every hand pulled in time.  Every time they out-pulled ten or twelve dads.

Teamwork goes beyond individual strengths.
Andrew Carnegie said that "[Teamwork] is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."

In my life I have been blessed to be involved in many different situations that have taught me the value of teamwork.  Families are the first place to start.  Every family should function as a team and every member is vital to making that happen.  I was having a story-swapping session with a co-worker recently and she said: "You and your sisters (referring to the two sisters I share a house with) don't fight, do you?  You don't seem like you do.   That's amazing."  I felt like I had to clarify.  "We DO disagree," I responded, "And we do talk about our disagreements and sometimes there are hurt feelings, but we don't FIGHT."  I thought about that for a minute.  Why don't we fight?  I can think of one reason, my mom didn't ALLOW us to fight when we were little.  We're not in the habit of fighting when we have problems.  When we had a disagreement as children my mom's constant response was "Work it out."  Just work it out.  Make it work.  You'll probably have to give a little.  You may have to give a lot.  But, work it out.  Because whatever you work out between all of you is going to be stronger and better than whatever you were going to do by yourself with no support. 

I worked at a fast food restaurant.  It is absolutely impossible to run a restaurant through a busy lunch hour by yourself.  Similarly, you can have a big crew, but if everyone is trying to do everything themselves or nothing themselves it will be equally impossible. 

My current job is somewhat different.  I'm a florist, and a lot of the projects I work on are individual efforts.  I design bouquets by myself, but my boss is a HUGE advocate of teamwork.  At the end of a busy day she never forgets to say "Great job guys! See what we can accomplish with teamwork?"  It's the kind of team where we bring everything we have to the table, we depend on each other's strengths and cover each other's weaknesses.  We make it a point to encourage each other and learn from each other.  I'm a better floral designer because I work with other good floral designers.  We ask each other's advice and opinions.  Because we know we're stronger that way.  The shop is stronger and does better that way.  And if the shop does better WE do better.  Ultimately, we're looking out for each other, and each other's lives and families. 

And that's what teamwork is all about.  It's really true that
Together Everyone Achieves More

Friday, September 11, 2009


I've been so AWOL again...
I honestly have no excuse.

I did take pictures of my bedroom but I wasn't really happy with how they turned out.  My bedroom is kind of small and I had a hard time getting the angles I wanted.  I have an idea that I might borrow my brother's camcorder and try to do a video but don't hold your breath.  :)  I'm not in the least technilogically minded.... I'm not sure I could figure out how to do that...

In other re-decorating news...  The bathroom is done!  Katie finished the curtains and she and Stephanie hung a new wall shelving unit and it looks SO cute!  I can't wait to show you all that too, except, once again... I don't know how... the bathroom is WAY tinier than the bedroom.

I'm thinking of the 9/11 victims and their families today.  Commemorative posts on the IDD Blog today.

Oh, guess what?  My boss bought some new (used) vehicles yesterday!!  So exciting!  Especially considering the van we were previously using was literally duct-taped together.  And running REALLY rough.  My boss wouldn't allow anyone to drive it out of town.  She took all the out-of-town deliveries herself because she didn't want any of us to be the ones stranded on the side of the road standing next to a junk heap.  We joked that anyone that drove it should just get out and walk for a while if they started to feel sleepy...  :)  It wasn't actually leaking Carbon Monoxide (yet) but it was almost there...  So, we have a new station wagon for driving around town and a new mini-van for delivering big loads to funerals and for pulling our trailer.  Very excited about that. 

And... I can't think of anything else interesting to say.  I hope you all have a good weekend!  I hope some people are still checking in even though I haven't been posting regularly!  I'm really sorry about that!!  I'll try to do better!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Have Mercy on Me

Dear Girls,
It's hard to write something encouraging when you're not being encouraged yourself.  Today I'm sharing with you something that has encouraged me when I was low.  Sometimes it helps to admit that we're afraid or that we're lost.  Sometimes when I'm discouraged the first thought that gives me any hope is the knowing that I AM discouraged.  God is bigger than my discouragement.  He's bigger than my life.  He has good plans for me.  And He has good plans for you.  There are days when I don't see Him moving.  There are days when I'll swear He's forgotten all about me.  But, all along that's only my own little mind that can't see Him.  It doesn't mean He isn't there.  Peter Marshall once said "How can my tiny mind prove God?"  
When I first heard this song I was in my car driving home from work.  It's a good thing I know that route like the back of my hand.  Tears were streaming down my face.  This song describes my life.  And the truth of it hurt my heart.  I've listened to this song many times since then.  But, I'll be honest.  There are times when it comes on my CD player and I push the 'skip' button.  Because I just can't handle it right then.  
I hope it encourages you too.  And I hope anyone reading this today knows that God cares about them more than they even care about themselves.  You may be worrying about your future, but God's not.  He's got it covered.  And if you're struggling with even believing that, than just know that I've been there too.  Many times.  There's nothing wrong with admitting that we have struggles, that we have doubts.  Sometimes I just feel like I have to be honest with God.  I tell Him exactly what I'm thinking.  I don't hold anything back.  I tell Him I'm afraid of everything.  I tell Him I wonder if He's still there.  I challenge Him to prove to me that He is.  
The amazing thing is: He always does.  Not always right away.  Sometimes I have to struggle more.  Sometimes I have to wait.  But, He ALWAYS DOES.  
I'm tired of being afraid
I'm wondering how I got this way
I'm trying to remember what life was like before
Panic moved in without even knocking on the door
Have mercy on me
I'm not who I used to be
Have mercy on me
Jesus please
I've been praying and asking you to take it all away
You never do exactly what I say
You see me from the outside
A lover looking in
But, all I see is danger moving underneath my skin
I know it's not because I don't love you enough
It's not because I'm weak, it's how you choose to speak to me
- J.J. Heller

Friday, September 04, 2009

Plans for Labor Day?

I don't have any plans yet.  (That I know of) 

None have developed. 

I DO have a list of "potential" plans. 

They are:

  • Read
  • Finish the paint touching-up in the bathroom
  • Possibly shop for fall/winter clothes

And that's it.  And that would be lovely, lovely, lovely if I could get those things done on Labor Day.

In other news, I'm going to a football game on Saturday. 
I DO plan to take some pictures of my room re-painted and post them here for you guys (some people were interested) just haven't gotten to it yet.  I will. 

What are YOU all doing for Labor Day?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

August Book List

77. Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers- (*****) I loved this one!  Probably one of my favorite Lord Peter mysteries.  :)  I loved Lord Peter undercover as Death Bredon.  I loved the family elements added in with Lady Mary and family.  I loved the advertising business and all the characters in it.  What an excellent piece of work this book is. 

78. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey- (*****) Surprisingly just as good as its prequel.  I love these characters!

79.  Easy to Kill by Agatha Christie- (***)  Kind of spooky...  Intelligent, though.  Even though I did find myself thinking "What in the world?  That's got to be the dumbest way to commit murder ever!"  I don't like it when the supposedly "Ingenius" murderer has such dumb plans.  Like replacing the cough syrup with hat paint.  Seriously?  Come on!  How exactly does the murderer KNOW that the victim will wake up in the middle of the night and drink the cough syrup when the prescription was only prescribed that morning?  How does the murderer know that IF the victim wakes up in the middle of the night to drink the cough syrup the victim will be groggy enough to just reach for the bottle without turning on a light?  How does the murderer know that the victim will drink enough of the supposed cough syrup to kill them?  Most people don't drink cough syrup right out of the bottle you know.  Most people turn on a light so they can see what they're doing when they pour the syrup into a tablespoon.  How did the murderer know that the hat paint would kill the victim?  What if it didn't?  What if they didn't drink enough?  What if the victim was only ill enough to need medical attention and when it was discovered that the victim had drunk hat paint instead of cough syrup the victim was alert enough to be able to say for certain that she had placed the COUGH SYRUP next to her bed and NOT the hat paint and that she didn't even own any hat paint let alone use it, but that she had seen for certain that exact same bottle of hat paint sitting on her employers shelf and that in fact her employer was the ONLY person who could possibly have had access to both the hat paint and the cough syrup and was therefore the only person who could have switched them while the victim was asleep. 
And if that's not bad enough... Every other murder in the book is just as "ingeniusly" planned and miraculously
executed successfully.  Pushing a guy off a foot-bridge?  Seriously?  The guy drowns?  I love Agatha Christie, but even she sometimes over-reaches herself in an effort to write something new and different. 

80.  Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix -(*****)  WOW.  Just wow.  Excellent.  I love it when a YA author writes with such depth and the reader can get an education.  Basically, Haddix is exploring the effects of a Totalitarian governnent.  In her fictional world the Government has outlawed any couple to have more than 2 children.  But, what if they have a third child?  Well, according to the government that child's life is illegal.  So, the Government takes measures.  But, suppose you don't want your child murdered by your government?  Suppose you are the third child?  Suppose you could never look out of a window or turn on a light for fear someone was watching?  What if you couldn't even eat at the table with your family because someone might count the shadows through the window shade?  Haddix's characters are extremely easy to love and understand.  I'm looking forward to more installments in this series.  Easy read.  160 some pages.  Couple of hours reading. 

81.  Among the Imposters by Margaret Peterson Haddix- (*****) Second book in the Shadow Children series.  Very good.

82.  Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix- (****) Shadow Children, book 3.  This book followed different characters which always takes me a little time to get used to in a series.  You know... I open the book expecting to hear more about Luke and instead I'm reading about Nina.  Mild disappointment for 5 pages or so.  Then I got into her story.  This one was a bit predictable and while there were other characters I felt like I was only really supposed to be interested in Nina.  So, it was a little closed and not quite as edge-of-your-seat.  Nina isn't as likeable of a character to begin with.  She's the kind of character who's side you're on against your better judgement.  But, I have a feeling this sort of reader/character relationship is exactly what Haddix was going for.  So, in that case...  She did an excellent job! 

83.  April Lady by Georgette Heyer- (***) This book took me forever to get into.  I kept reading and reading and reading and not really feeling exhilerated about it, but by the time I realized I wasn't ever going to feel exhilerated about it I was halfway through the book and (in spite of myself) I wanted to see what happened.  And I confess I had a tiny hope that it might somehow get better.  Or, that the ending would make the dullness of everything else make sense.  Now, don't get me wrong.  There's really nothing wrong with this book.  It's well written.  The characters are extremely well developed and understandable.  It's a period piece and the descriptions were all very vivid and not overdone.  The kind of book where you read it and can see it playing out in your head.  The entire story was not in the least unlikely or unbelievable.  It was just sort of... boring.  At least for me.  I guess it's just not the sort of book I'm used to reading.  If you love Jane Austen and are looking for more books in that vein you might want to give Georgette Heyer a try.  Her books are considered classics.  She wrote some mysteries... I think I'll try some of those.  :)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Dr. Jak's Fall Fashion Tips

What's in for fall?

Glad you asked!

Because Fall is one of my FAVORITE seasons!  I LOVE fall!! I love the smell of it and the colors and the FASHION!

Fall is a super season for dressing great because there's so much more room for creativity.  Mainly because you can wear MORE clothes and you can mix and match so many more pieces of your wardrobe.

For instance:

  • Try your darker toned summer shirts with a cardigan over top.  
  • Wear your capris with knee-high boots
  • Pull out your heavier sweaters and wear them with a shorter skirt or capris
  • And WAY exciting!  You can wear TIGHTS!  
Here's some tips on what's in for fall 2009

Knee High Boots.  If you do not already own a pair of knee high boots I highly suggest you make the investment.  You will wear them ALL THE TIME.  Make sure you get a pair you're comfortable in.  I wear mine almost exclusively in the winter.  Granted I live North :)  and almost can't step out of my front door without stepping into at least 6 inches of snow.  Which means that in a regular pair of flats my socks would be soaked in a matter of 22 seconds.  So.  I wear boots.  And you should too.  :)  Plus, they look cool.  :)

Belts. Big belts.  Of course these are designed to accentuate the oh-so-perfect waists of the oh-so-perfect.  But, look at how cool that big belt looks tied over that chunky sweater!  It almost inspires me to start doing crunches.  :) 

The Layered Look I couldn't find any really good pictures of this but I'm sure you all know what the layered look is.  Basically, layers.  :)  Mix and match textures to really get the look you want.  And if you're feeling REALLY adventurous, try mixing up patterns!

Chunky, Statement Jewelry in Autumn Hues.  Big is in.  If your necklace reaches your waist, that's good.  :) 

Fall is your chance to wear those yummy metallic colors.  Gold, Copper, Burgundy...  Have FUN with it!
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