Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday nights my brother-in-law, Chris, has class.
Between Aunt Linda and myself, we keep Grant so Chris can get to class on time and Sis can have a little kid free time to unwind or run errands once a week.

I have grown to love this time with my nephew.
We rough house, run around, jump, race in his Little Tykes car, and have a blast.
Last night was different though.
Grant was in such a sweet mood.
All he wanted to do was sit on the couch and read Goodnight Moon together over and over again.  He will sit right next to you, pull your arm over his shoulder and hand you a book.  For real, best moment of my week. 

We took a break from reading to have some giggles too.
Our giggles are my all time favorite time of all time.
How can that smile not melt you heart?!

You all know laughter is very important to me,
but I'll let you in on a little secret.
The morning my mom passed away, Sis and I were sobbing when I heard our mom's voice plain as day say, "Don't lose your laughter, girls."
From that moment on I've thought of those words.
I want to pass that message on to my nieces and nephew as they grow up as a way of keeping Mom's memory alive.  Because of that split second, I cherish each and every giggle I share with them.  Not only do we never know how long we have together, but I want them to look back on their childhoods and remember the fun we always had together.

I love his giggle so much so that I did a voice recording of us together. All it is is us laughing.  I can't help but giggle just listening to us laughing.

We were having so much fun I did a video recording of our silly times.
So, to end your week with some laughs, 
here's the simple act that had us in stitches last night.
Honestly, a tissue was all it took to bring us tons of laughs.
Those are the best moments.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
I've gotten so much blog love lately, I thought I'd share with you some of my all time favorite blogs of all time that I never miss.  You shouldn't miss them either.

In no particular order...

"The Management" is one of the funniest people on the planet.  No joke.
Never miss a post that starts with "And then..." because it's always golden.
Hands down, funniest blog EVER.  
(She's in the process of relocating her life back home so she's not been blogging as regularly lately. Don't hold that against her.  Use it as a chance to read some of her classics.  Trust me, it's worth the read.)

Oh, Erin.  This girl is also a hoot. She's sassy, one of my favorite qualities in a blog.  She blogs about anything from her life in NYC to dating to decorating to Blue Moon and Guacamole to nannying to fashion and her love of boots.  Her humor always shines through.

Laura is fairly new to blogging but is taking off like wild fire.  She's a mother of four and blogs about her life in Texas.  She's got such a positive outlook on parenting, marriage, her wacky in-laws, and life in general.  Love her!

Michelle is unstoppable.  She runs Iron Woman races, is an extremely gifted photographer, working mom, and wonderful wife.  She blogs about her ambitions, her races, training, photography, her challenges with asthma.  I swear, nothing can keep this woman down.  I adore. Michelle.

Meg is a beautiful, crafty, sweet, thoughtful and stylish bride-to-be.  I swear, she's found her prince charming and is planning the wedding of my dreams...I mean...her dreams.  She hosts a great blog hop ever Monday to meet new bloggers, she's been wonderful to sponsor, she's currently hosting an ornament swap, and of course she's funny.  So, she's not only stylish and crafty, she runs a lot of swaps and hops to help bring bloggers together.  Does it get any better than that?

Good lord, where do I start with Shaylynn.  She has so many flaws: she loves Taylor Swift and hates everything I love (baking, crafting, glitter, puppies, rainbows, kittens, sunshine).  Oh, I am exaggerating.  A little.  But really, she is one of the strongest women I've had the pleasure of getting to know.  She blogs with such honesty about her struggles and the changes in her life.  She come across as dark and twisty, but she can't fool me.

Now, go visit these ladies and have a wonderful Friday.  
I already know I will be having a fantastic day/evening.    
You should do the same.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ok, just had to get that out of the way.

The Friday before Thanksgiving, Sis, her family, and I met up with Papa, his wife, and some of our aunts and uncles for dinner.  

Sis and Chris decided that would be the perfect time to announce to the family that they were expecting their 2nd bundle of joy.  

I whipped up this t-shirt for Grant to wear 
so he could be a part of the announcement.

It was very easy to do.  I printed out the wording on a sheet of normal white printer paper, inserted it in one of Grant's old white shirts, placed it on my glass coffee table with a lamp underneath to give the light box effect, and traced the lettering with some fabric pens I'd purchased at Michael's.  

This is such an easy technique I'll definitely use it in the future for some other fun t-shirts for Grant, his baby sister, and my other niece, Sahari.  You can bet some will be "Auntie Jen/Auntie Sissy is my favorite Auntie" shirts!  

The credit for this idea goes to this pin from Pinterest.
ONLY CHILD expiring ... Me back before 98 hahaha the good ole days when the world revolved around me. Haha just kidding!
Isn't that a precious way to include the 1st child in announcing the 2nd?  
It was a huge success.

Congrats, Sis & Chris!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I absolutely love being an auntie. 
I'm sure you've gathered that by now.
Being a local auntie is even more fun than I could have imagined.
Nephews are so much fun!
My nephew, Grant, is so much fun to pal around with.
We wrestle, tickle, giggle, and have a grand time.
In fact, yesterday, while he was visiting his mom at work, he picked up the phone and said "Sissy?" (He calls me Aunt Sissy.)  So, Bethany picked up the phone and called me so Grant and I could have a talk.  We babbled for about 10 minutes.  LOVE that boy.

Bethany (aka: Sis) and Chris shared some exciting news last week.
They announced last week 
that they're having a....
wait for it...

You have no idea the level of excitement I have for all the girly things I'll get to do with her!  Bows, glitter, tulle, ruffles, bows, manis & pedis, oh the list is endless.  I get the best of both do rough and tumble boy things with Grant and girly girl things with baby girl!  (Now, if I could just get my brother to move closer so I could do all these things with his daughter that would be awesomesauce!)

So, this week's pins are inspired by all things baby and girly.

Baby girl will most certainly have one of these.
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Sis loves "baby legs" but they're so expensive in the store.
I'm sure we'll give this tutorial a try.
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And what little girl doesn't need some ruffle butt onsies?
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To keep the peace, I'll make her one of these in neutral colors since her dad and I root for different teams.
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And you can bet she will have a million of these super cute bows.
I'll be making these for the new baby and for my other niece, Sahari.
A little girl can never have too many hair accessories, am I right?!
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And instead of using these bows for gift wrap on clothes pins, 
I'm going to try putting them on hair clips.
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How cute is this little number??!
minky gown tutorial

Can't get enough of the girly cute?
You can find more of my "Girly Girl Baby Girl" pins here and all of my pins here.

Now, hop on over to see what Michelle at The Vintage Apple and the others are pinning this week.  

Happy Wednesday, all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So, while Sis, Ashley and I were enjoying our Baking Extravaganza
we did a little glitter art too.  
We'd seen this idea on Pinterest a week or two ago 
and knew it was right up our alleys.
Daisy Dreaming: Glitter Reindeer
Kelsey at Daisy Dreaming has a great tutorial on how to accomplish this super easy (and high impact) project.  You can find her tutorial here.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you cannot beat the price Michael's has on their value packs of canvases.  You can get five 16"x20" canvases for $20, use the 40% off coupon, and spend just $12!  You can't beat it.  They also have packs of ten 8"x10" canvases for the same deal.  

All you need is a canvas (or piece of wood) in the size you want, paint for the background, Elmer's glue, and a bottle of glitter.  That's it.  

You need a bigger bottle of glitter to get the coverage you want, but by the time you shake off the excess and put it back in the bottle, you don't even really make a dent.  One bottle will go a long way.

Needless to say, I had a few canvases in my crafty supply.  Sis decided to paint a Christmas one with a green background and red glitter.  She did a silhouette of a branch with ornaments hanging from it.  Ashley decided to paint her pink and do different silhouettes of cocktail glasses.  

I channeled my inner Junk Gypsy because I'm putting mine in my ever evolving Junk Gypsy inspired bedroom.  Not only does the glitter seem like them, but they'd love the sentiment behind it too.  I painted my canvas green and used black glitter with the Latin phrase for "She flies with her own wings" and did a silhouette of a sparrow flying off to the side.  

You simply paint the canvas, draw your silhouette, flood it with glue and cover it with glitter.  Once it's dry, shake the excess glitter off.  You may need to scratch the glitter off that sticks where it shouldn't, so that part can be a little tedious, but other than that it's easy as can be.  ANYONE can do this craft.  The tutorial is great so check it out.

Wanna see how mine turned out?
Ok, so it's not as crazy apple green as it appears in this picture, but you get the idea.
I love it!  

So, get out there and glitter up some canvases, people! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

I certainly hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend.
I spent mine with my sister, her family, Papa, and a lot of his brothers and sisters.  I adore my aunts and uncles.  

As I'm sure you noticed, I took a break from blogging, but I'm back and you're welcome! So, let's get to it!
Recently, Sis and Ashley came over for a baking extravaganza!
There's no other way to phrase it.  We baked for 6 hours and boy was it a fun time!
We divided up all the goods and this was just my share.  
That's a whole lot of goodies, am I right?
I'd share the cookies with you, but they were reserved for the family for Thanksgiving's big feast.
To make it up to you, we want to share the recipes with you.
It's the least we could do.
So, according to the numbered pictures above, here are the links or recipes.

1) Cookie Dough Bites

2)  Oreo Cookie Balls
You put one package of Oreos through the food processor to make them into crumbs.  Then blend the crumbs with one 8oz block of cream cheese, form them into 1 inch balls and dip them in melted chocolate.  It's that easy.

3)  Ginger Snap Cookie Balls
Same premise as the Oreo Cookie Balls.  You make a box of ginger snaps into crumbs, blend with one 8oz brick of cream cheese and we dipped these in white chocolate.

4)  Nutter Butter Cookie Balls
These are the same as the other two types.  You've got the idea by now...1 package Nutter Butters, 1 block cream cheese, form into balls and dip in chocolate.  These were my absolute favorite! Yummy!

5) Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

6) Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats
These are just normal Rice Krispies but substitute regular marshmallows with the strawberry flavored ones. Super easy.  We topped them with red sprinkles to give them a little shimmer.

7) No Bake Cookie and Cream Bars

8) Shortbread Bites
Bethany dipped some of them half way in chocolate. Delicious!

9) Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
We used premade Pillbury candy cane cookie dough and topped them with Wilson candy cane flavored candy pieces in the last minute of baking.

What special treats do you whip up during the holiday season?

These recipes are being shard on the following link-ups so join in the fun: Craft O ManiacSkip to my LouSumo's Sweet StuffC.R.A.F.T.Brassy AppleThe Dedicated HouseSarah Dawn DesignsThis Gal CooksAlderberry HillThe Gunny SackMad in CraftsI Should be Mopping the FloorSew Can DoKeeping it Simple Crafts, Sarah Dawn Designs33 Shades of GreenBlessed by GraceCrazy for CrustCowgirl Up!Not Just a HousewifeDiamond in the StuffHomeworkFunky Polkadot GiraffeHome Stories A2ZBlackberry VineBru Crew LifeLil LunaThe Winthrop ChronicalsA Bowl Full of LemonsUncommon Slice of SuburbiaDIY DreamerSomeday CraftsSavvy Southern StyleMy Girlish WhimsFree Pretty ThingsPrintabelleGinger Snap CraftsSouthern LovelyDIY by DesignUncommonCreations by KaraSugar and Dots733White Lights on WednesdaysHappy Hour Projects

Friday, November 16, 2012

Let me just say, I am my mother.
I have become her and I embrace it because she was amazeballs.
When I was growing up she'd make me try on hats in stores.  It didn't matter my hair style, whether it would mess it up or not, or the occasion. If she saw a funny hat, I had to put it on.  Me being the goofball I've always been played along because they were usually very funny and I'm a nut.  Hell, she's gone and I still do it to when I see a crazy hat.

Well, now I do it to my nephew, Grant, too.  I didn't realize what I was doing until I was looking through my iPhone pictures this morning.  Yep.  I found a ton of pics of Grant in silly hats.  Want the proof?
He's such a good sport!

Also, he's even started doing it to himself.
The boy loves him a hat!

Shall we stop with the cuteness there?
Today, I'm blessing you with so much cute you won't know what to do with yourselves.  You're welcome.

Here's how his Bacon & Eggs costume went on Halloween.
It was a hit!  We went to our friend Cheryl's house for his first ever trick or treat experience.  Little did he know he would hit the jack pot!  She let him have as much as he wanted.  She's cool like that.  She even took him in, gave him pizza, gummy snacks, more candy and anything else his heart desired.  We headed out to see some of her neighbors and he took to it like a fish to water.  He was even leading his momma to the next house!

Shall we stop here?  
The other day Grant was sitting on the couch between his all time favorite auntie of all time (that would be me) and his mom (that would be Sis).  He was giving out kisses like they were going out of style.
I asked him for another kiss and instead of kissing me, he leaned in to kiss the me that was on the screen of the phone.  Silly boy!
That smile melts my heart.

One more little gem for you.
I'm saving the best for last.
And yes, it does get even cuter.
Seriously, can you get enough?
I know I can't.
Those giggles!
He makes being an auntie so much fun!

Little Dude, thanks for bringing so much fun and laughter into my life.
I sure do love you!
xoxoxox, your all time favorite auntie of all time,
Auntie Sissy

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Who loved her November "Party Perfect" Glam Bag?
This girl!

I'm so glad I made the switch from Birchbox to Glam Bag.
(If you missed the deets on that switch, check it out here.)

In exchange for eating out one less time a month, I subscribe to Glam Bag for $10 a month.  It's so worth it to get that envelope of goodies mid-month!

This month's theme was "Party Perfect" to help get you party ready during the holidays.

As always, you get two full size products.
My full size products this month are Starlet's Intense Eyeliner in Chocolate ($11 value) and Nailtini's Millionaire nail polish ($13 value).
It's "teal & gold tinsels awash in rose-gold micro-glitter."
I put mine over a tan-ish nude color with the above results.
It covered really well in one coat and looks so festive!

My three sample size items were:
** a small but generous size bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie lip gloss
** The Balm's Meet Matte eye-shadow
** a Chella eyebrow defining gel.

I'm not usually a fan of lip glosses because they can be so thick and goopy, but I really like how sheer this one went on for such a dark color.  

I'm very pleased with my products again this month.
A great friend of mine made the switch this month and is thrilled with her Glam Bag too.  Do you subscribe to any beauty memberships?  How do you like yours?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Happy hump day, folks.
It's time for you all to take a peek at my favorite pins from the past week.  
I know you've been on the edge of your seats so here you go...

I want to give this crochet stitch a try.
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I also want to make some of these.
I have a store bought one and love it.
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Aren't these zipper bracelets cute?!
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These cheeseburger egg rolls look yummy.
Please feel free to come make me some.
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I can't wait to try these corn crisps.  
They look delicious!
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This looks like such an easy way to decorate the dining room 
without cluttering the table. Love it.
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Me thinks I'm going to have to give this pin a try too!
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And given the "ol' football injury," I thought this card hit close to home.
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Speaking of the "ol' football injury," 
I finally went to the doctor yesterday. 
There are no breaks.  

You can find all of my pins here.
to see what everyone else has been pinning.

Happy Wednesday, all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So, last week I posted about our canning adventures with Auntie P last month.  I promised to give you my grandma's super easy recipe for making apple butter.  Luckily, a little over ten years ago, I organized a family cookbook where people sent in their versions of Grandma Ava's recipes along with memories of her.  That's where I found her recipe.  Thank goodness!  

Here's the lovely cover.
 Another reason I'm glad I did this cookbook because my mom put her recipe for egg rolls in it and that recipe would be lost without this cookbook.  If you have a lot of family recipes you love, consider making one of these little gems.  It can be time consuming to gather and organize it, but it's so worth the work!

Anyway, when I said Grandma Ava's apple butter was easy, I wasn't kidding.  I knew I had "taking short cuts" in my blood from my mom's side of the family, but it turns out my dad's side gave me a little too.  Without further ado...
Grandma Ava's Super Easy Apple Butter Recipe:
8 cups applesauce
3 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice to taste

Mix all ingredients together.  Cook 8 to 12 hours on low in a crock pot.  Put in jars and seal.  (Makes 4.5 pints)
Seriously, it's just that easy.  
The house smelled so good while this was cooking in the crock pot all day.  
Nothing takes me back to memories of Grandma Ava like the smell or taste of apple butter.
What's your favorite family recipe?

PS:  Turns out my "ol' football injury" is hurting worse today.  I'm taking drastic measures by ace bandaging an ice pack to my leg and brought my vanity stool from home to keep it elevated all day to keep the swelling down.  
Hurts like a mutha...but makes me giggle every time I think about how I hurt myself so there's always that.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Yep, I'm 35, work for a university, and have never tailgated....until Saturday!

Say hello to Brian and Tina.
They are amazeballs.  I used to work with Tina before she moved to West Virginia to marry Brian and work at West Virginia University   They flew in for a long weekend for the WVU vs. OSU football game.  They crashed my guest room and we had a blast all weekend.

I was down for the tailgating experience...even if it did start at 7am!  Evidently you have to get up at the crack of dawn to tailgate for a 2:30pm game. Saturday at 7am came way too early.   

We got all dolled up in our game day gear.  WVU gear is hard to find in Oklahoma so I represented in some OSU colors.  
Tina was sporting navy and gold polka dotted nails to show her spirit. 

We got to Stillwater about 10:30 to set up.
I was clearly ready to get in the tailgating spirit.

This is Angie.  She and I were instant friends.  
Brian asked Tina how I knew Angie.  Tina quickly informed him I'd never met any of these people but would be besties with them in no time.  She was right.
I introduced myself to Angie as a tailgating virgin.  She grabbed my arm, threw it up in the air and yelled "WE HAVE A VIRGIN!"  I was dubbed "Virgin" 5 minutes into the day.  It stuck.  

Needless to say, I took to tailgating like a fish to water.  

Tina helped "raise the roof."
 Here are some of my friends and I getting into the "spirit" of things.
(Please make note of the nice lady on the far left.  She was there when I almost killed myself about 20 minutes after this picture was taken.)

Angie, Judy and I were having a great time.

At one point, Tina, Brian, and I went over to 
greet the WVU players when their buses arrived.
I don't care what team you're on...WVU players were a good looking team!  
We even got the Mountaineer to pose for a picture.

A liquid lunch isn't suggested.  (Good to know.)  Turns out you're supposed to eat at these things, so we headed back to get some food before I was taken on a tour of Eskimo Joe's.  I should NOT have been allowed out in public at this point, but for some reason Tina and Brian allowed me to wander about.  
 Clearly, I was having a lot of fun in Stillwater.
PS: I'm almost as old as Joe's.

We eventually headed over to the stadium for the game. 
and we had a blast!

I cannot share the events of the day without telling you about what I like to call my "ol' football injury."  Anyone else that was there would call it my "tailgating mishap injury."  

Well, I was becoming great friends with all the tents around us.  I was over visiting the gal in that picture I mentioned above around noon.  This tent had games and such going on.  One of those games was a game called "washers."  If you're not familiar, it's like horseshoes, in that you are throwing washers from a distance and trying to get it in a cup in a box like this.
One of those boxes tried to kill me.  I swear it was a foot tall and jumped up to get blended into the ground eventually and I tripped on it.  Really, mid conversation I backed into it and went ass over end some how injuring my shin.  To quote by brother-in-law, "only you would fall backwards and hurt your front."  
I didn't realize how badly I'd hurt myself until we got home about 9pm.  When I realized how bad it was, I went in the guest room to show Tina and Brian.  That's when Brian shared with us his perspective of how I fell.  We were dying with laughter as he reenacted the event. He was back at our tent and said he had a clear view.  What happened in a split second to me seemed to happen in slow motion to those around me.  I backed into the box, stumbled, did a twirl, landed on my shin on the edge of the box, did a stop drop and roll maneuver, went ass over end, legs were in the air...and then...I popped up with my arms in the air like I was a member of the fierce five Team USA Gymnastics team...solo cup in hand and all!  
 That's my shin that night.  
It's only gotten darker and more swollen since then.  
Yep, my entire shin is bruised.  
That takes talent!

Does it end there?  No, a while after I fell I was trying to get Tina or Brian to be my wing Wo(man) to go flirt with some WVU fans a couple tents down.  Brian wanted no part in these shenanigans.  Tina, being the wonderful friend she is, went down to get the conversation flowing. 
 I went down and started talking to the one I'd had my eye on.  He was a good looking man and was flirting back.  He stopped a minute or two later and says, "Are you the one who bit it really big over there??"  Me, "Yes, yes that was me.  Thank you for being a gentleman and for coming to check to make sure I was ok. Oh, wait, you didn't."  He said, "Girl, the way you popped up like you were accepting an award it was clear you were fine!"  He was most certainly right!  

Oh, and by the way, he ended up being married.  WHY DO MARRIED MEN FLIRT?! And we women are teases? I digress. 

A great big THANK YOU to Tina and Brian for showing this girl a good time.  I can't wait to experience some tailgating fun in WV in the future!!  I'll be sure to pack shin guards in my carry on bag.  You guys are the best!

Anyway, I have been icing the ol' football injury and I'm sure I'll be fine.   

Oh, and don't forget to pop on over and see Meg and the other gals at the
Mingle 240