Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions





 It is the end of 2010 today and I have made my New Years Resolution for 2011. This year my husband and I are going to try to get one major project done each month of the year.  To start with we are going to try to cut ties with our cable company, well we will still keep our internet but drop cable and phone service. My husband has been asking me how we can get our Comcast bill down. It is one of our largest bills and it just seems to keep rising. So this is what I came up with.

 We bought a Roku about a month ago (set top streaming box) and we signed up for Netflix and Hulu Plus (both free for the first month so you can try it out). So our next step is to buy a roof mount antenna and hope we get in most of the local stations.  If all works well we will be dropping cable and getting an additional cell phone to use at home (for 10$ per month). We figure we will cut our Comcast bill from $160 to $45.  Our cell phone bill will go up $10, our Netflix bill will be 9.99, and Hulu Plus is an additional 7.99 and My husband needs his baseball so MLB tv is 25.00 for the year or approx  $2.10 per month. So our total for tv, phone and internet will now be $75.00 per month which will be a savings of $85.00 per month or $1020.00 per year.

We have had the Roku set up for about 2 weeks now and no one seems to be missing cable.  My husband did use it once to watch football but only because we did not have the local channels yet. I will let you know how this all plays out once the antenna is in place but I am not for seeing any problems. Are you all tired of paying huge cable bills? Let me know what you think.

MAURA

Friday, October 22, 2010

Breakfast Freezer Cooking

This week Collin at Hip2Save is having a holiday Challenge to win some great giveaways. This weeks challenge was freezer cooking breakfast items and since I am having shoulder surgery Monday I am all about getting prepared (for my husbands sake and my own) for the upcoming weeks and months.



You needed to make 3 breakfast items that can be made ahead of time and frozen until you are ready to use them so I chose my 3 and got started this week. I first made pancakes. Now up until recently I always made them from scratch. How ever the last time I visited my mom she made boxed pancakes and my kids raved about them so now I just buy a box, add water, cook, Ziploc, and freeze. Then any morning The kids can pop them into the microwave and have pancakes for breakfast.

Please ignore my disgusting stove!




Next I made a half batch of the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls. Oh my goodness are these great. My family and neighbors can't get enough. You can bake them ahead of time and freeze them for later use. Like Monday mornings when no one wants to get up! I made them, wrapped the pan in saran wrap and then foil. I also make the icing ahead and leave it in the fridge in baggies to use later.




There were more but not all of them made it to the freezer!


Lastly I made banana crumb muffins. I have used this recipe from Allrecipes for a few years. I do tweak the topping recipe by adding oats and a touch more butter to bind. They are so light and airy and have just a little crunch out of the oven. If you freeze them and microwave later they are not quite as crunchy but they are still delicious.

I would recommend trying any one of these fresh out of the oven or frozen for later use. My kids think they are in baked good heaven. Now it is onto other meals. My kids have brown bag lunch for school and that means all I need is to get some dinners pulled together. I make a monthly menu so I just need to plan my menu around my frozen meal items. Let me know if you try any of these recipes! I hope you love them as much as I do!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You don't know what you've got till it's gone.

Como Italy 
Mr colonial cottage is across the ocean in Italy right now.  Hopefully sleeping.  He flew all night to get there this morning. He had a few meeting today and dinner tonight at 8 pm. He sounded so exhausted when I talked to him.  If you can believe it, his first day at his new job was in Como, Italy. Not bad for a first day huh!  I really miss him but I am so glad he found a new job so quickly. He actually took the month of August off and started looking for a new job in September. It took him all of 2 weeks to land a new consulting  job

 I feel pretty tired these days also. I don't know about you all but I do not sleep well when it is just me and the kiddos.   On top of that I am still going to physical therapy for my bum shoulder and I am waking up all night in pain. I had better stop complaining before you all stop reading!


Since I have all this extra time with my husband back to work, I have been trying to get organized for my upcoming neighborhood yard sale. It looks like we will have about 8 families involved and I am planning on putting my family to work that day. My husband and I will man all the goods except toys (the kids are taking care of that.) I even put my mother in law to work, she will be running the coffee/cinnamon roll stand. I am making a few batched in hopes of making a little extra dough ( no pun intended.) I am hoping we will have a pretty good turnout.  The weather has been lousy around here this week and is supposed to be bad for a few more days. I am hoping that mother nature is getting it all out of her system before the big day.

Does anyone have any yardsale tips for me? I could use any help I can get.

Maura

Tuesday, September 14, 2010





 Disney World Mom's Panel



Have you heard about the Walt Disney World Mom's panel?  I filled out my essays yesterday and would love to be a part of this group. It is a voluntary position. No pay. However you do go to WDW for training and get a trip for 4 to WDW. You also need to be willing to answer 25 questions a week from people planning a trip to Disney World. You must be over 18 and must have traveled to WDW within the last year. There are a few other restrictions you can read about it and apply here.  If you are thinking about applying, do it fast as there are only 20,000 applications accepted and they go fast.

I love, love, love Walt Disney World.  I have been 4 times and I know that many people go every year but I just can not afford to do that.  We have taken the kids twice now and have such an amazing time!  I also love planning my trips. I think you really need to put the effort into planning to get the most enjoyment out of Disney World.

1 in 20,000 are not such great odds but I hope and pray I make it to the second round. Oh did I forget to tell you?  You need to get through 3 rounds to be on the Mom's Panel.  Let me know if you've applied too! Good luck!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Things have been a little crazy at the Colonial Cottage! Check out the video at the end of this post!

I know summer can be a little hectic, but this summer has been over the top for me.  hence, that is why the  CC has been a little less bloggy.  So we started off the summer with swim team for two. Both my kids were  on the local swim team, which they loved but it was 3 days a week and I did not want them worn out before a two hour practice, so on those days we kept it low key. Then we would squeeze activities in on the odd days.  We did this from June 7th to August 7th.
ready at the start


back stroke












Also this summer almost my whole family (i am from a family of 8 kids) decided to vacation nearby.  We were at the mercy of everyone elses schedules for about a month.  Don't get me wrong it was great to spend time with everyone and to reconnect with everyone but we were also looking forward to some family time. Just my husband, the kids and I.

Well a couple weeks ago my sister called and said she had rented a cottage in maine (the same place we would rent as kids) and offered us an extra room for a few days.  We were headed to Damariscotta ME. later that week so we decided to go.  I have very fond memories of the cottages, and was looking forward to a little me time. 
the floating dock in the morning





All was well until the day we were leaving. I was laying in bed in the loft at the cottage. My husband thought it would be funny to "surprise" me by throwing a T-shirt over the railing at me to get me out of bed.  Well, I just saw something black flying at me and I jumped up. Only problem was that my arm was trapped under the blankets.   Being the trooper that I am (ha ha) we still continued on to my mom and dads.  My son tried to catch turtles and learned to skip rocks.  My kids went to the whale back midden which is where the local indian tribe put all their oyster shells I guess Harvard now studies that area. We also went out to eat at the pemequid lobster coop (best seafood ever) and watched the lobster boat races from our picnic table. We had so much fun in their little town and were very sad to leave.  
The prettiest little turtle pond 
 whale back midden 
Lobster Boat Races


 So I went to the doctors since I got back, and he said partial dislocation of my shoulder so No more driving, swimming or biking but also no more carrying laundry baskets!    I have 2 1/2 weeks more in the sling and then I go back to see if I need an mri and/or surgery. My husband is being a real trooper as I am pretty limited with only one arm, and the kids are being great too. I guess the fact that my husband is unemployed and home does come in handy! This typing with one hand is for the birds though!  I hope everyone enjoyed their summer and is as ready for back to school as I am!  9 days and counting. Oh and I have another giveaway coming soon so keep on reading.

Maura


Oh and before I forget this is what my son has been up to.

video

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray for Me!

I know, I know I really should not be cheering for myself but after 10 days with no dryer and piles and piles of laundry building up I finally tamed the beast and fixed my dryer!

The story goes like this. About 10 days ago my dryer stopped heating. I noticed after I put towels in and ran the dryer 3 different times thinking I had forgotten to turn it on each time. Well after ordering a new heating element and replacing that my dryer still would not heat (Boo Hoo). So this time I bought two new parts a thermostat and a thermal cut off fuse. (I forgot to mention I don't have a parts store nearby so I had to wait for the parts to arrive via snail mail.) I first changed out the thermostat and I still had no heat but as soon as I changed out the thermal cutoff fuse I could smell the heating element going! It kind of smells a little when you put in new parts so it is a good idea to let the dryer run a few minutes before putting clothes in there so they don't stink when you take them out.





Why am I so excited you may ask. Well for two reasons. First, my husband will be out of work on july 30th and I am trying to be frugal these days and I also love the fact that I spent 85$ on parts to repair it and I would have spent 150 just to have someone come out and look at it. Second I love that feeling of knowing I don't have to rely on someone I do not know, to tell me what is wrong with something (kind of like when I bring my car in to be repaired). Dryer repair is not as scary as it looks. This is actually the second one I have fixed. The first was at my last house and the heating element went on that one.

I know it sounds crazy but I have never been so happy to see a load of laundry in my dryer!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

We have a winner!

Sorry I am a half hour late. I was having dinner with the neighbors and just remembered about the big giveaway. So I asked the king of colonial cottage to pick a number from 1-18 and the lucky winner is #2!   B. Fox of bekafox.blogspot.com She is also a new follower. Beka I will be in touch tonight! I hope you have fun picking out something cool at CSNstores.com ! To everyone else thanks so much for being a part of my first giveaway and for following along with me at A Colonial Cottage! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

CSN GIVEAWAY!



Today is the day. I am doing my first giveaway and CSNstores.com has so nicely offered to send one of my great followers a 40$ gift certificate.  Now I am sure you must be thinking what can I do with a 40$ gift certificate, Maybe you need a little money to put towards a new sleeper sofa.  If you are like me and enjoy cooking you can order a some cool cookware or you can add some ambiance to your home by adding some new lighting. It is up to you to decide. CSN has over 200 stores to choose from, so there is something for everyone.  I looked at quite a few things CSN offers and was amazed at their selections. I need a new baking mat- for all my breads and cookies so I think that would be my first choice!  But this giveaway is for you guys so have fun checking out all their goodies!


As with any giveaway there are a few restrictions. First off this giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers only.  There may be shipping charges or in the case of Canadian readers, international fees, for certain products. So choose wisely.


Mandatory Entry: You must be a follower of my blog to enter this giveaway.  So click the little follow button, leave a comment telling me that you follow my blog, and you're automatically entered! Check out CSNstores.com and let me know what you will do with the 40$ gift certificate if you win.


Want another chance to win? 

Blog about this giveaway. Leave a comment indicating that you've done it and post the link in a comment for me to see!


This giveaway will be open until Saturday May 15th at 8pm Eastern Time.  Be sure your blog or profile has a valid email address on it so that I can get in touch with the big winner.
The king of my colonial (my husband) will be choosing the winner at random from all the entries. Good Luck to everyone! I can't wait to hear what the winner gets with their gift certificate!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Get Ready For My first GIVEAWAY!




I am so excited to be able to do a giveaway this week. Stay tuned and I will let you know all about it in the next day or two!

Maura

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A sweet little beside table

I have actually had this project done for two weeks and I am just getting around to posting about it.  I found  two dark side tables on craigslist a few months ago. They were pretty solid but also had some damage to the top. This is what they looked like before the new coat of paint. As usual I remembered to photograph them after I had started priming!
Now here it is after first coat of paint. Don't you love the pull out tray?

And finally here it is at home in my bedroom. I got some new hardware at Lowes to spruce it up even more!
Oh I almost forgot to tell you how much I love the vine detail across the top. I am debating about getting a black paint pen to fill it in. What do you guys think? Should I leave it as is or paint it?

Happy Mothers Day to everyone ! Thanks for your input.
Maura

Monday, May 3, 2010

Disney Week at Fingerprints on the Fridge!




Rachelle over at Fingerprints on the fridge is having Disney Week at her blog. Goodness know I LOVE DISNEY.  We went this past january and also two years earlier. I also went around age 10 and after graduating high school.  My husband is job hunting now and we are hoping he finds something soon so we can go again this january.  So today is day 1- packing strategies.  Rachelle already talked about using ziploc bags to pack an ensemble for the day and I have done that for both of my kids trips. It saved so much time in the morning because my fussy daughter had already picked the outfits out at home so there was nothing to complain about!   One of my favorite packing ideas and money saving ideas is to pack an extra suitcase (if flying on southwest). I fill it with bowls, cups, spoons, snacks, cereal, juice boxes, travel coffee mugs,  ground coffee, and #2 filters. and any other breakfast/snackie items I may need.  I don't have to spend a ton on snacks at the park and It saves about 30$ a day on breakfast. My kids always have cereal in the morning anyway. It also save a lot of time as we don't have to do a sit down meal for breakfast either.  Then at the end of the trip I use the empty suitcase to pack up our souvenirs.  I hope this helps anyone going to disney for the first time or anyone just trying to get more organized for their trip.

Have a great day!
Maura

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Colonial Cottage

So Ann Nicole at oursuburbancottage.blogspot.com is having a party today. What is this party about? Its a  How I Met My House Party!  I thought what the heck I just need to finish a painting project, mow the lawn and make dinner...so I think I will join in.

I met my home about 4 year ago. We lived in a cute suburban town in New England and wanted to stay in that town. However we had out grown our 1850 village colonial and decided it was time to look for a new home.  We knew from the start that we wanted to pay no more then we could afford, so we chose our max price and stuck with it.  We put our old house on the market .   We found our present home after looking at many newer homes which were at the top of our budget and I did not feel like we were getting all that we wanted.  Our wish list included: 4 bedrooms, a fireplace, at least 1/4 acre and an area for a playroom for the kids.

After looking at all the newer homes we finally stepped foot into our present home. It is a colonial and  was built in 1973.  It was love at first sight but definitely not love at first scent.  The realtor who showed it to us made a point to tell us that one of the upstairs bedrooms was the cats favorite room. Now the house was empty at the time and when we went upstairs to take a look the smell of cat urine was overwhelming.  I tried my hardest to look beyond the smell and found that I loved the bones of the home. Yes, the carpet was disgusting,
 and yes the wall paper was dated,
 and yes the yard was a little smaller then we would have liked,

  but it was still 1/4 acre so it fit the bill.   So we put in a bid on it and the owners accepted,  but we did put a contingency in the contract that we needed to sell our other home. Time passed and the contract did too.  However  two days after the offer on our new house expired,  we sold our old one. We talked to our realtor and she suggested we make another offer on the new home and after  a little haggling  we had a new offer accepted which was almost 10,000$ less then our first offer. We were thrilled and relieved at the same time.

We lived in a hotel for 10 days while we had hardwood floors installed in our new home and were so excited to return to a fresh and cleaner smelling home. They actually had to remove the subfloor from my sons bedroom because the cat urine was so bad.  Anyhow it has been four years and we are still in love with our house.

The floors look better,
The wallpaper is gone,
The yard is still a work in progress.

  We are still working on the inside too!

 I am from a family of 8 kids and my home is always full of family and friends.  Family members are always calling and asking  if we have any openings in the spare room.   My sister got married two years ago and we actually had 11 people staying with us plus my family of four, thanks to many aero beds, couches, and the double bed in the spare room.  I hope you all enjoyed the story of how I met my house. I can't wait to read about how you all met yours!

MAURA

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Free Starbucks

Just got back from starbucks with my husband (work from home day). Today only you can bring in a reusable mug and get a free fill up! I guess it is for earthday/ tax day. If you like starbucks, why not get it free today!
 If you want to learn how to get more items free check out my new blog- gotnotcentsatall.blogspot.com, It is all about saving by using coupons and such!  Let me know what you think!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Could this week get any worse?

Well my son went in for another check of the nose this week and He is in good shape. Still swollen inside the nose but it is healing . So my sister came over last night for dinner (which was awesome- chicken picatta) and while she was here my daughter stubbed her toe on the coffee table. My sister thought this was so funny as I have always stubbed my toes-  I never wore shoes as a kid, if I did not have to, and my toes were always hurt. Anyhow my daughter woke up this morning to find that she can't put any weight on her foot and her toe is red and bruised. So It is back to the Drs again to  have her foot looked at today.  The pediatrition is not going to believe this. UGH! I will let you know what I find out later.

Maura


Follow up: Just got back and the toe is just bruised and sprained but not broken- Thank goodness!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Trip ...but not the kind everyone likes

Well I hope everyone had a nice Easter! We were having a great time at my mother in laws. The kids were getting a little tired and we decided it was time to go. So my son decided he wanted one more run around the back yard which has a railroad tie retaining wall in it. . I said to him.. you know you are getting tired and it is time to go I don't want you to get hurt. Not one minute later I heard his foot hit wood and turned to watch at he went nose first into the corner of another railroad tie. The blood was a gushing and it took 40 minutes to get it to stop bleeding. We decided it was time to call the doctors.

So I call the doctors line and the answering service said they would put in a call to the doctor on call. Well 15 minutes later we get a call back from the answering service saying that the doctor on call is not on call at this time. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ANYTHING SO DUMB!

Anyhow we did get a triage nurse to call back and she told us it would be a good idea to take him to the er to have the nose looked at. Which we did. The Dr. told us it is a good thing he is only 7 because the nose is all cartilage.  How ever he has a pretty big blood clot in his nose which the dr said will come loose and  he may bleed again. So for now we have moist air in his room, vaseline in the nose to keep it moist and tylenol for pain. He does not look too bad today. Just a little swollen but he said that everytime he smiles or makes his nose big ( I think he means flairs his nostrils) it hurts. I told him not to make his nose big if he can help it!  As for smiling - well that just can't be helped and I am glad to see that even if it hurts a little.

My son loves school and wants to go today so I said he could but no running around at recess and no gym this week. They are playing soccer and I can not imagine the pain if he ever got hit in the nose. Other  then that we will be back to normal in no time.  Hopefully!  Well enough about us. How was your Easter?

Maura

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Menu Planning

I started Menu Planning last month and have found it to be not only a great time saver but also a great money saver. I found this monthly menu planning sheet on the organizedhome.com  and printed it off, filled in each day (after looking at our calender to see if we had any plans). In order to fill it in I had my kids, my husband and myself each make a list of our favorite 10 meals (many were dups). I then filled in my menu with those meals, and added a few extras where needed.



 I started stockpiling( buying multiple items I use when I have a coupon and it is at its lowest price) about a month ago and I have a pretty good supply of my staples and I only buy my meats on sale( really good prices).  I divide and cut them up and put them in my freezer. I scallopini some chicken for some of my meals and cut some up for stir fry and fajitas so it is all ready when I take it out of the freezer to defrost. I put freezer bags with ground beef for tacos and american chop suey and make patties for grilling.  This means when I run to the store I only need to get  fresh vegis, milk, and eggs to pull my meals together.

I used to wait till 4 to figure out what I was going to make for dinner at six and was always stressed about meals and I feel much more organized now. I also love it that my kids don't have to say "what's for dinner" anymore as they know a month ahead of time what we will be having.  I hope this idea will help you get more organized with meal planning and if you have any questions let me know!

Maura

Monday, March 29, 2010

The sweet taste of Maine

Yesterday was Maine Maple Sunday!  Never heard of it? Well neither had I until Saturday.We went to visit my brother and his family this weekend.  My brother lives in maine and one of my nieces has a best friend who's parents own a Christmas tree farm. It is called Balsam Ridge.  In the spring though it is all about the maple.  They have small taps going into each maple tree, and from the taps a small tube goes around their property carrying maple sap to bigger tubes and then to a large vat.  From that large vat they have another tube that carries the sap to the "sugar house".  Now to date myself, When I was little we went to a "sugar shack" (another term used in new england) on a school field trip and they would have each tree tapped, and had a bucket hanging under each tap. The had a metal triangle  hanging over the buckets to keep things from falling in. Now everything is so high tech.  We watched as they show how the sap was cleaned and cooked to a beautiful amber colored syrup in the sugar house and even got to try samples of maple cream and maple butter. We also had breakfast out side in the freezing cold. ( i think it was in the 20's) But that is how Maine Maple Sunday is done and when in Maine you do as the Maniacs do!

Oh did I mention on Maine Maple Sunday all the Sugar Houses open up for pancake breakfasts and sell all their Maple products. We came home with a bagful of goodies. Including: Maple syrup, Maple candies, Maple Whoopie Pies, Maple butter and even Maple cotton candy! It really was fun and a great idea if you are visiting maine on the last weekend in March!

Hope everyone had a sweet weekend like I did!

Maura

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

GRUMPY

Ugh, I am grumpy today and could use a little cheering up. I had a great weekend with temps in the 70s (insert the choirs of angels singing). But the last two days have been rain, rain and more rain. I have a couple projects in my garage that I want to start working on but I refuse to do it inside anymore. I want sun!  I have also had a back ache for 3 days due to my 10 year old mattress - it has seen its day and if we ever get our tax refund (yes you heard right- this is what happens when your husband is unemployed for four months) I will be shopping for a new mattress and maybe a new bed to boot! Boy that would make me happy.  Spring has sprung around here... sadly so has my mattress!

Does the dreary weather get you down? Or am I the only one? Does anyone else have the old mattress blues? Love to hear from you.

Maura

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Grilling Season Around Here!

Ok, so last fall my grill started shooting fireballs at me while cooking chicken and I told my husband it was to dangerous to use any more.  Of course he could not just take my word for it. He had to try it out and have fireballs shot at him in order to agree. We decided we either needed to get a new grill or buy replacement parts for the one we had. Well after a wind storm a few months ago our grill was toppled over and the handle was broken off and the grate were broken also in addition to the already broken burner. I guess our decision was made for us. So this past weekend my husband went to Lowes and bought a new grill and we made our favorite ribs recipe. The recipe includes dry rubbing the ribs and cooking them in the oven for three hours in a water bath. This is what they look like when that is done. The meat is already falling off the bone, as you can see.




 the are great now but then you slather them in bbq sauce and cook on the grill for about another 15 minutes. The final product looks like this...

I thought I did not like ribs until I had this recipe ( my sister gave it to me).   We started making these last summer and we sent some to our neighbors. They all loved them and now when I go buy ribs at BJ's wholesale I buy them for us all and we take turns cooking a package from each neighbor. That way each family gets a rack and nothing goes to waste.

Maura

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

25% OFF



I love to save my pennies. I buy clothes on clearance at the end of the season for the kids and put them away till next year. I  always get a good deal on my family vacations (waiting till Disney offers their packages) , and stock up on non perishable food items my family likes when I know they are a good deal. The one thing I am not very good at is cutting coupons. Now don't get me wrong I do cut out the bed, bath and beyond coupons, and I use coupons I get in the mail for Kohls or Yankee Candle, but I have never been good at cutting grocery coupons. So I am setting a goal for myself this month to cut 25% off my grocery bill. I usually spend about 140$ a week ( this includes my weekly shop and little shops I make during the week for fruit or meats).  Given that amount I am going to try to cut 35$ per week off my bill each week.

How will I do this you may ask? Well I have been reading up on blogs and websites about couponing.  While I do don't want to be a "super couponer" (those people who spend hours on end trying to get everything for free, paying .05 cents for a cart full of groceries) I do want to start saving on the things I normally buy.  So I started this weekend by buying extra newspapers, I plan to do this again but from now on I will pay for the papers and leave them for someone else who does not care about the coupons.  I don't want to be wasteful. I will start a stock pile of coupons and start buying things on sale with coupons.  I have learned that you can use two coupons when there is a buy one get one promotion (which I never knew) and I also learned that cvs is a great place to get grocery deals too. I know to some 25% may seem like a little but when you keep adding it up 35$ a week that ends up being 140$ a month and over 1600.$ a year. Thats not chump change. Does anyone else out there use coupons and do you have any helpful hints for me?

Maura

Friday, February 19, 2010

Is this the end?

A few days ago I took part in the Get your face on party over at the stories of a to z and I posted about my make up regime. I got many responses about the lash and brow gel I use instead of mascara. I check periodically to see if it is on sale. Well when I checked today it was not in the mascara section any more and when I typed it in the search box it came up at the rock bottom price of 4.00$. I was very excited about the price but bummed out that it was not coming up on the main page. I think it may be on its way to being discontinued.  This is the the third makeup item in recent months that I use to be discontinued.  I am buying enough to hold me over for quite a while but what will I do when I run out?  What do you ladies do when your makeup favorites are discontinued? Find a replacement, Beg the company to keep making it, or just forget about it?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Getting My Face On!

Beth at the stories of a to z is having a party today and I guess I am one of the few crazy people in blog- land who is willing to show my before and after! So here is my crazy face upon waking up in the morning and here are my steps to my made up face.



1. I wash with Cetaphil cleanser 2x a day and put Cetaphil moisturizer  with spf 15 on in the morning every day. I put it on my face and neck so I don't end up looking like a twenty year old with a 60 year olds neck. Not that I look twenty or anything. I always put my moisturizer on right after I was to try to keep the moisture in.


2. After that I put on underwear for lids by origins (it gives you just a little bit of sparkle on the eyes- but not that teenie bopper look) I then top that off with a little eye shadow from the body shop- not sure of the name but it is matte and has a number 13 on it. I then put on black eyeliner on top lid only and smudge it in a little and curl my eyelashes and use a brow and lash gel instead of mascara on both my lashes and my unruly eyebrows. I like this because it comes off so easy and I don't have to scrub and scrub to get it off.
After I do my eyes it is on to the cheeks- as you will notice I don't wear foundation. I don't like the way it feels on my face but I do like a little color on the cheeks and for that I go to my favorite Origins Pinch your cheeks brownberry- I think it is being discontinued as I can never find it but I love it.  Finally I add a little lip liner- the cheap stuff from the pharmacy (can't read the name anymore) and top it off with Maybelline Shiny-licious in sugar plum.  and here is my after.

 I know I don't wear a lot of make up but I try to do the best with what I use. I still like to have a natural me look - but better then what I wake up with. 
I hope more people join the party! If I can do it so can you! 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heartwork

Well you may or may not know that my husband and children are really into art. My husband works hard and plays hard and part of that play includes painting.  After a long day at work he finds it relaxing to paint with the kids or alone. He actually took about 10 years away from painting and got back into it last year. I love all the paintings he does but I especially love the most recent one he did from a photo. The picture is of my daughter in bar harbour maine.

He has also painted from another photo my niece took in maine of a big old red barn
This one is on display in my dining room
I just love the shadows and light on that one.

Oh and here is a chalice that we found in an antique shop


and as a sweet valentines gift my daughter painted this sweet heart
and my husband painted this one!
I just love my new heartwork. Don't You! 
I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with for good ole St Patty's Day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I am an addict!

But not the kind you think. I am addicted to homemade bread.  As most of you know I got  a Kitchen Aid Mixer for Christmas this year. I started out making my old favorites -chocolate chip cookies in it and they came out even better than usual, more light and airy. Then I started making meatloaf in it and now my kids are asking- did you make it in the mixer? again it is so much lighter and less dense then when I mix it by hand. But now I have moved on to making homemade white bread and my family loves it. I am making about 2 loaves a week and I have not had to buy bread in about a month. It does take a few hours to make, not working the whole time of course, but if you ask my family it is totally worth it. I just took my loaves out of the oven and here they are.





I got the recipe from Baking with Julia. It is a great cookbook and I have been eyeing a few other recipes including chocolate truffle tartlets and croissants.  I am not sure about the croissants yet as it may be a little above my skill level. If the pictures of the loaves above are not enough to tempt you I thought I would post my "lunch" today.  Yum- first a slice of bread.


Then a little butter





and finally a little homemade strawberry rhubarb jam we made last summer


  


put it all together and it is heaven on a plate

are you guys addicted to any foods? 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some Before and Afters



Well I have lived in my home for 3 years now, and we have done quite a bit to it since we moved in. I have my basics done like furniture and paint colors and drapes but I am still at work on the little bits that finish things off. I have been procrastinating a lot lately.  I will get a project done this week, but as of yet I have not done anything except clean my house. So since I dont have any current projects I thought I would post my before and afters of what my home looked like when we moved in and where we are now. I am also posting a picture of my living room (with the fireplace) to show a fellow blogger what the paint color she has chosen might look like on her walls. It is Benjamin Moore Ivoire. That is the color of my living room walls. I love it and I hope You do to. So without further adeu...







these are pics of my daughters room before we moved in and after.
Her paint color is sherwin williams Lily.












Next we have our front hallway before (narrow and flowery) and after (open and airy). I like open and airy, how about you?

our tv room had spongy blue carpet when we moved in and as with the rest of the house it got a new life with hardwoods. I also love fresh blue paint on the walls in this room


I promised Beth of The stories of AtoZ that I would show her my living room as I used the paint color in it that she is thinking of using in her kitchen so here it is. Before...



and after! I used Sherwin williams Ivoire for the paint color.
Things have changed a bit around here since these pics were taken... furniture layout and wall decor. However I am still happy with all the wall colors I chose.
I will post more before and afters soon of the rest of the house but for now that is all!
Hope everyone has a great day.