Friday, July 29, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

It's good to be back!  We had a wonderful time with my family, and packed a lot of fun into our visit. It's going to take more than one post, I think, but here's a sampling.

We went to Tim Horton's no less than six times.  It was the first place we stopped once we crossed the border.  The one below was our last call, in the Detroit area; I'm hoping they'll make it further (farther?) south eventually.  Interesting fact:  the cup sizes are larger at the US locations, where the small is at least the equivalent of the medium in Canada.

Canada's Dollarama is the best dollar store I've ever been to (although it's actually a $1-2 store).

Craig took the kids to Niagara Falls.

We went to a beach on Lake Ontario with my nieces and their families.

Come back next week for more family and Canada posts. 
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Vacation

I'll be in Canada for my brother's wedding and family time for the next ten days.
Sorry I wasn't organized enough to get some scheduled posts together.  But, there are almost three years' worth of content here that you can browse!

See you when I get back!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pale Legs Remedy

Thanks for all the input on my dress and shoes!  You were all very helpful.  I should have mentioned that it is an afternoon wedding, and a second wedding for both, so it's fairly casual.

I've decided to go with the first dress, which I thought looked better and you all confirmed.  I was able to find both shoe styles at Target in my size.  I haven't made a final decision on that yet, but I think I'll probably go with the all black wedge.

One other issue was my very pale legs.  I'm pale everywhere; I'm a redhead and have never had a tan in my life, though I've had plenty of burns.  But somehow pale legs are just...the worst.

So here's my secret:  Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs.
I the photo below, my right leg is au naturale, and my left leg has the Airbrush Legs.
(I am not wearing any make-up, and my hair is still damp, so ignore from the neck up.)

Granted, the difference is subtle (and I'm not sure how it shows up on your monitor), but a deep tan would look ridiculous on me.  This gives me enough confidence to not be so self-conscious about my legs.

Airbrush Legs is a spray.  You spray it on your palm, rub your hands together, then apply to your legs.  It is instant leg make-up.  You can see exactly what you're getting as you apply it.  There is no waiting for it to develop, and it doesn't stink.  After a couple of minutes you can get dressed.  I've never had it come off on anything, and it stays on until you take it off with soap and water.  I find it much easier to use than self-tanning creams.

It has some sparkle to it, which I actually kind of like, but according to the reviews it was a newer addition and was very unpopular.  Apparently they are going back to the old, sparkle-free formula in September, which is fine with me too.  It comes in several different shades to best match your skin tone.  I've only used in on my legs, but some reviewers mentioned that they've used it on everything else too, with good results.

What do you think?  Can you see the difference?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Which Dress?

I virtually never wear dresses anymore, not even to church because ours is very casual.
I feel like I did my time; I wore a dress or a skirt every Sunday (a.m and p.m) and Wednesday night when I was growing up.  My mom had strong ideas about what it meant to be the preacher's family.

But we are driving to Canada next week for my brother's wedding, and I needed something to wear, so I hit Kohl's.  I'm not easy to fit because I'm very petite, so I was quite happy when I found two possibilities, and they were under $20 each!

I'm going to return one of them, since they are similar in color and I really don't need two.
You can help me decide which one to keep!

Things you need to know:

I cannot wear anything remotely resembling a heel
Yes, this is as "tan" as I will ever be
My nine year old took the photos, so...

Option 1

Option 2
(it's hard to tell in this photo, but it also has turquoise in it)

Honestly, these pictures pretty much confirmed my suspicion that Opt. 1 looks better, but I'd still be interested in your opinions.  The only thing I don't like about #1 is that more of my very white and somewhat spider-veiny legs show.

Now, about the shoes.  With the first dress I'm wearing black peep-toes that I think might look too much like slippers.  With the second dress I'm wearing a black patent ballet flat.  

As I mentioned, heels are out, but I might possibly be able to swing a low wedge.  Target had a couple of options online; whether or not I'd be able to find them in my size in the store is another thing.

I also thought these were cute, but I'm not sure if they're wedding appropriate.

So, which dress?
And what is your opinion about the shoes?  Is a low wedge any better than a flat?  Do you like either of the above wedges?  Is the turquoise flip-flop too casual?
Or should I just stay with my black flats, and if so which ones?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Grilled Pizza

Try making homemade pizza on your grill next time.
The crust is crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, the flavor is a little bit smoky.
It's delicious!

I made pizza dough in my bread machine, but you can even use the frozen 
bread dough that you can get at the grocery store (thawed, of course).

Flatten it out into individual-sized portions and put them on a hot grill.

It will firm up quickly, maybe a couple minutes; then flip it for a couple more.
Don't overdo it because you'll be putting it back on the grill after you put the toppings on.

See the nice grill marks?

Craig prefers to take them off the grill, add the toppings, then put them back on.
Don't be heavy-handed with the toppings; you don't want it to be soggy.

By the time the cheese has melted, the edges may be a little charred;
in my opinion, that's the good part!

Delicious, rustic pizza!


Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday already.  We pick up the kids in the morning.  It will be good to see them, but may I just say...I loved this week!  I can't believe we did this for five years of our marriage before we had children.  No whining and bickering, no "forgotten" chores, cooking only for two and without considering if/which of the children would eat what I prepared.
Good times.

Craig was off Monday, of course, and we made the 600 mile round-trip to Chicago, specifically to go to IKEA.  I know, I know, we should have stayed overnight at least, but he had to work on Tuesday.

Waiting patiently at the cattle drive checkout.

Self portrait:  "Cinnamon Bun"

I brought home the new cover for the sectional, and the new chair, in Idemo Light Brown.

The scale is more appropriate for the room than the old furniture.  The color, however, did not look good with the green area rug or throw pillows, so they were put away.  The room looks and feels bigger now. 

My savings is completely depleted, but I got exactly what I was saving for, and I'm happy I was able to do it with cash.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


There are about three of you out there who may be wondering what happened to Tuesday's Tips and Tricks the last couple of weeks.

I have decided to discontinue the party.
I started it back in November on Mondays as Money-Saving Tips, then moved it to Tuesdays and "anything goes" in hopes of better participation.  After a combined eight months, the party never did take off, so I think it's time to lay it to rest.
Thank you to those of you who did participate.  As I'm sure you know, there are other similar parties that you can link to.

I'm still on the fence about the Knock-Off Party.  Again, participation isn't great, and there are a lot of other venues for your knock-offs.  I might do it occasionally, but I don't think it will be a monthly event any more.

 I'll still be posting tips and ideas and the occasional knock-off for you,
so stick around!

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Personal Independence Day

I hope you are enjoying your Independence Day!

This year I am also celebrating freedom of a different nature.
Yesterday we dropped off all three children at overnight church camp, and we won't pick them up until Saturday morning.  We purposely picked the "all ages" week.

They were wildly excited and barely bothered to wave as we pulled out.

And Craig and I hardly know what to do with ourselves for five. whole. days!

But the possibilities feel a little like this!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Domestic Skills for Boys

All of my kids have been doing chores for several years.  That means that my boys empty the dishwasher, do dishes, clean bathrooms, vacuum and dust.  This summer we've added sweeping and mopping the kitchen.  One of these days I'll get serious about teaching them to do laundry.  My older sister recommends that kids start doing all their own laundry by highschool.

The other day we were at a toy store that sells Ugly Dolls, and Skippy decided to make his own.

We got out fabric, needle and thread, and now Skippy can add sewing to his domestic skills repertoire.

I helped him some with the green one, but he did the brown one all on his own.
The plan is to make the next one using the sewing machine.

My goal is to grow competent men and helpful husbands.  I think we're on our way.