Thursday, October 29, 2009

What Will You Be?

Two more days til Halloween fun!  I start planning our costumes around June of every year.  I'm not sure why as I still wait until the last minute to actually make them.  My goal is to do something easy but fun and not commercialized and something that I don't think is going to be very popular.  I may buy certain pieces to put the whole thing together but I prefer to not buy a store bought costume.  I have however rented costumes before because they are authentic and believable.  I don't go crazy all out but I do put effort and thought into it.
I keep getting messages and emails asking what the monkey is going to be this year.  Early on I had decided that she and I would go as flappers and Poppa and Maximus would go as a 20's gangster. Oh did I not mention that I dress my dog up as well? :)  I already had his and my costume from a few years back so I would just need to make her's.  Easy Peasy.  Then the stores starting coming out with their costumes and guess what costume the major chains were showcasing? Yep Flappers.  So that nixed that idea.
Let me tell you, coming up with an additional idea nearly caused panic attacks.  I mean I'm trying to start a tradition where we all dress up in a theme as a family that includes the dog, something that makes the monkey stand out, doesn't embarrass Momma and Poppa, and that I can do with little to no sewing or spending $, and that is not going to be the same as every one else.  Wow do I box myself in or what?
Then I get a letter from her school that they are having a Fall/Halloween party on Friday, need me to bring a bag of candy and sign up for something to make/bring and since it's a Christian school, no little witches, mummies, monsters, devils, etc, and no props like swords, wands, masks, etc.  Talk about really boxing one in uh? :)
Well what's my plan?  Sign up for home made cupcakes of course and do 2 different costumes, one for her to wear to school and one for her to wear with our family theme on Sat.  Oh and let's still wait til the last minute to do it all. Why do I love to torture myself so?
So after changing my mind on the family costume about a zillion times, including as late as Monday, I've finally got it all figured out and worked on her school costume hoping to finish it last night so that I could do the cupcakes tonight and our family costume Fri night only to mess up her school costume and have to go out on my lunch break and get the supplies to redo what I messed up which means tonight finish that and do the cupcakes yes I realize I just wrote about 4 run on sentences, don't judge me I'm tired and mad at myself. :)
I am not revealing the costumes until they are finished but I thought it would be fun to view past Halloween costumes.  Stay tuned tomorrow for her 1st costume reveal, I'm taking a half day so that I can go and volunteer and be at her very 1st school party and then Sat come back to see us on Halloween.
Happy Halloween everyone. Oh and can you believe my monkey will be 15 months on the 1st? Wow.
I can't wait to see everyone's posts in all their costume glory.

This was our freshman year in college, we'd been dating a few months, my Nana made us these genie costumes.
All dressed up for the Halloween night
Batman and Catwoman
Basketball player and cheerleader
Hip Hop Rappers
Sumo Wrestler and Geisha
Ceasar and His Queen
Blues Brothers with Our WD Group
Flappers with my girl Amanda and 20's Gangster
Maximus as a Turkey, won 3 contests that year
Maximus and Dantes as Thing 1 and Thing 2 won the national Petco contest and got a year supply of dog food
My little chicken clucking
Made this from the Martha Stewart Show
Last year we went as Farm Living with Farmer, Milk Maid, Chicken and Cow
Hope you enjoyed looking back at the past 13 years of our Halloween fun, come back tomorrow for the monkey's 1st costume and school party.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Little Lady Bug Jordyn

My nice got her lady bug costume and off to dance class she went today.  How stinking adorable is she?  I just want to eat her up, now if her parents would move their hiney's down to Texas I could!!  I love how her mom added the spots on her face.  Too cute.  Love you Jordyn Bug!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yummy In My Tummy

So my husband and I are not pork lovers.  We like bacon and occasionaly sausage but I've never once made pork loin or pork chops.  We've had them and never liked them so why waste money and time on making them right?
Well we're trying to eat less red meat in our diet and let's face it chicken gets old after a while and well pork is budget friendly so I thought I'd give it a shot. 
I was thinking the chops needed to be seared but then cooked slowly to finish it and with something flavorful and wet to keep it juicy.  So I looked online, recipe books, magazines, cooking shows and kind of pulled from all of them to make what I think is the best pork chop dish I've ever had.  Which technically isn't saying much since I haven't had too many pork dishes. 

I call it Sweet and Tangy Stuffed Chops
Don't let the name fool you into thinking this is hard, I assure you it is not, you don't really even stuff the chops but you do use stuffing. YUM-O.
Here's what you need.

6 pork chops (3-1/2 lb.) (I used boneless)
1 pkg Stuffing Mix
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce (oh and guess who now loves cranberries? Yep my monkey thinks they are awesome!)
3/4 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. EVOO
Salt and Pepper

Drizzle the EVOO into your skillet and heat, season your pork chops with salt and pepper and then sear your chops on each side for a few minutes to lock in the juices.
Prepare your stuffing to your liking
Mix cranberry suace, bbq sauce, brown sugar. 
Place your chops in a greased baking dish and spoon some of the cranberry sauce mixture over each chop.  Mix the rest of the cranberry mixture with your stuffing and spoon that over the chops. 
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Serve with vegetables or salad and you've got an easy full of flavor, tender and juicy porkchop meal.  Enjoy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Halloween Jordyn

At the very last minute and after talking to my SIL, I decided my niece Jordyn needed me to make her a Halloween costume that she could wear to her dance class this week since her real costume isn't the dance around in type. Yes this was on Friday and yes her class is on Wed and yes they live in OH which means I have to basically over night it but hey, an Aunt has to do what an Aunt has to do and this Aunt decided she needed to be the cutest little lady bug on the planet!!

She will wear a black leotard so I think this will go perfectly with that and it fits perfectly in with a dance class. HELLOOOOOOO what ballerina doesn't wear a tutu?

She gets a custom red tutu with a black back and red bow with of course ladybug spots all over it. And what ladybug princess/ballerina doesn't have a ladybug wand? I don't know either so of course she has her very own do dance around with. And ladybug hair bows to match. I was going to make them with antennas but decided against that so she can wear them again with red and black clothing.

I had a lot of fun making her costume, hope Monkey's comes out as cute and hope my precious niece Jordyn enjoys it and knows her Aunt Shayna loves her. (Even more than her Aunt Janelle. ) Just kidding Janelle. :)

Now I'm off to get this adorable bug in the mail.

Blah To Yeah Baby

This weekend I tackled many of my to do projects.  I still have a gazillion and one to do but it's a good start. 
1st off was fulfilling bow orders, the store that carries my bows ordered some Christmas ones already, and then I had a few customer orders.  I also worked on my niece's lady bug costume, and monkey's snow white costume, and rootin tootin sheriff costume.  I'll post pics of those when they get done, the lady bug is done I just need to take pictures.  But here are a few pics of a few bow that were done.

I finally tackled my bench project. We were given this awesome table and bench by our fellowship coordinators, got to love plurality giving in the household!! I use the table as my crafting and sewing table but the bench was quickly becoming a catch all and not helping me support my back and since I've been dying for a bench on the front porch then it just all made sense.  Don't buy a bench, repurpose one I already had, yay me for saving money.  Saving time on the other hand is a different story!! 

Umm does anyone know how long it takes to sand a sealed bench?  A very long time, but after sanding, priming, and 3 coats of paint, I now have my porch bench.  I'm still working on the fall decorations out there so bare with me.

Bench Before

And Bench After

Well, those are my weekend projects, stay tuned for my Lady Bug Costume Reveal, so stinking cute, makes me wish I was a 3 year old little one again to prance around in.  Hope Jordyn loves it.

Linking up to
Metamorphosis Monday

Poppies At Play

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Christmas Turkey

It's week 4 over at Red's Writing 12 Weeks of Christmas and it's all about the food! 

It's probably no surprise to most that I like to go all out on the food each year.  With 4-5 ladies contributing to it we get a lot done and not one person is stuck doing it all so that's a nice.  Although I wouldn't mind getting stuck doing it all, I love to be in the kitchen. 

In a previous post on traditions I shared that we do Mexican type appetizers on Christmas Eve with chips and queso, taquitos, and build your own tacos.  Man now my stomach is growling.

On Christmas Day we do the traditional meal, Turkey, Ham, Dressing, Sweet Potato Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Corn Casserole, Mac and Cheese, Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry relish, Fruit Salad, Rolls, Green Bean Casserole, and so many desserts you'll gain 5 pounds just looking at them.

But my thing is doing the turkey.  I do Kidd Kraddick's Brown Bag Turkey, it is the juiciest most tender, wonderful turkey ever.  Oh and my little secret.....cook the turkey breast side down so the juices run into the meat.  This happened by accident my 1st year doing the turkey, I cooked it upside down by accident and cried when I realized what I had done until we cut into it and tasted it and man oh man, YUM-O. 

So what are your Christmas Foods and recipes?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Dresser Redo

I am enjoying participating in the weekely blog parties.  My favorites are the before and afters, transformations, and DIY projects and crafts.  It's so amazing to see what some very talented folks can do with road side trash and how inspiring they can be for others to give it a whirl. 

A few years ago we moved from a place that was fully furnished for us to an empty apartment.  A new area, new home, new jobs, meant no $ to furnish or decorate lavishly so I took a garage sale find that was pretty cheap looking and quite frankly had no personality and worked her over until she earned a spot of her very own in my guest room. 
She started out looking like this, blah yellow tv stand/dresser.  The drawers are missing as I used them for something else which I'll show you in a sec.

I found another pic of one just like it online that someone painted just to show what she looks like with the drawers.
Still not my style but anything is better than that dull awful yellow look.

So after sanding and sanding and sanding and did I mention sanding? And then priming and painting she's now not so dull looking. 
The door had way too many shelves that didn't leave room to hold anything in between so I took 2 out and sanded and primed and painted black and then painted a design on them with my stencils, added brackets and hung on the wall.

I saw in a magazine where a decorator used old drawers as shadow boxes and hung on the wall and so I did my own version of that, I sanded again, primed and paitned the drawers, added brackets and hung on the living room walls and they've been a few different colors now but right now they are a dark green, but very soon they are getting redone to a brick red.

That's my little transformation for the day but I've got lots more to do and show so come back and see me.

This week I'm linking to
Metamorphosis Monday
A Soft Place To Land
Poppies At Play
Mustard Seed Creations
so hop on over there for more ideas and fun.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Texas Monkey Boutique

There are so many moms out there that are so talented and putting that talent into a business.  I'm giving it a go myself.  I've got a long way to go but I've also come a long way so I'm thankful and happy where this little adventure is taking me.
What do I do?  What is my business?  I'm glad you asked.  It's Texas Monkey Boutique of course where you can find the perfect hair accessory, tutu, tutu dress, flip flops, wands, bow holders, and more to help Glamorize, Mesmorize, and Accessorize your own little monkey.
Why the name Texas Monkey?  Well my baby girl was my inspiration in this boutique.  I wanted quality customized bows for her every outfit but didn't want to pay the boutique prices.  So I started making them for her and when someone offered to buy one off her head I knew it was time to make a go at this.  We live in Texas, duh, born and raised, Go Cowboys, Hook Em Horns, Dang it's HAWTT outside, :) and she would crawl up my chest like a monkey when she was hungry and the nick name stuck and the name for my store was born.
Right now my items are online, in 2 brick and mortar stores, and showcased in 3 photography studios.  I do wholesale, custom ordered, and in December I'm doing my 1st craft market.
Enjoy the pictures of some of my "creations" and if you're visiting from Kelly's blog and place an order you will receive 15% off AND free shipping as well as a FREE small bow with ANY purchase.  This special will last through next Friday, the 23rd.  Enter Blog Party for coupon code at check out.
Do you have a blog and want to do a giveaway?  Contact me now and I will donate a tutu and bow set to the 1st responder. 
Hope you enjoy visiting Texas Monkey Boutique.
                                           Need a flower girl dress for a wedding?  We do those.

Ultimate Pink and White Bow

Various Sports Bows

Birthday Party Sets

Any Holiday or Occassion

Tutu Dresses are so POPULAR

Match your team's colors with flip flops

Customized Bow Holders to match any room

All kinds of Halloween Bows

Merry Christmas Tutus

Little girls need Bows

Linking Up

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cheap and Fun Halloween Decorations

I have seen in stores, magazines, articles, and blogs some wonderful and fun Halloween decorations and crafts. One that I really like is the Halloween trees. I've seen many variations of these and decided to make myself one. I had all of the supplies so this cost me nothing, Yay!

I found a dead limb in the yard and spray painted it black, took a red pot and spray painted it black. Grabbed some of the hubby's golf balls (the plastic ones) umm, don't tell him ok :), and one of his old white t-shirts and some white ribbon. I cut up the t-shirt in squares, hung it over the golf balls and tied with the ribbon to look like ghosts. I then drew faces with a marker and hung on my tree. I used foam and orange tissue paper to put the tree limb in. I'm thinking of getting some small pumpkins to hang on it as well to add some more color but I think it is cute and it was fun and free!

I've also put together a little spider wall project and please forgive me but I've searched all over and can not find where I got this so if you know tell me and I'll link back to it, but basically took sticks from the yard, spay painted them black and hot glued them together and then hung spiders on it. Yep, all free.

So this weekend was fun putting together some decorations, still have some more to do but just ran out of time.

Hope you enjoy putting together your own decorations.

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