Monday, April 30, 2012

Branding 2012

One of my very favorite events of the spring is my daddio's branding.  The kids and I look forward to it every year!!  This year we were blessed with a fairly warm day...some years we are not so lucky.  My sister Jamus, brother-in-law and nephews came over from Medford, which made the day and weekend even better!!  Luckily there was a lot of help and just as every Albertson gathering...lots of kids and dogs.  Here are some of my favorites shots...

Seesters...


Tater and Uncle Mike...

Handsome Papa Leo...


Me and my girl...


Waiting...


GeeGee...


Gavin...


Gus...


Uncle Greg and Lori...

Big O...

Padre'...

 

Sweet Baby...


Branding Time...


Ozzy...


All tuckered out...

Can't wait until next year.  Sweet branding-

Friday, April 27, 2012

Super Fun Sock Gift..


April tends to be our busy month for friend birthdays.  I think that most of Tales friends were born in April and although some have opted to not have a party...we have still got a few invites.  I always like to send a fun gift but because I am on a budget I like to keep the amount spent on gifts to around $5.00.  This may seem like nothing but there are options for making a fun gift that doesn't have to break the bank.  This cute little funky sock cupcake is a lot like the post I did a while ago for a baby shower gift.  To put it together you will need an adorable pair of socks, a cupcake liner, a sucker, small plastic bag, rubber band, ribbon and a tag...

I began by taking the sock lengthwise and folding it in half...

Then I rolled it tightly and secured with the rubber band...

Because the sucker is basically the "cherry" on top...I took the wrapper off and covered it with saran wrap...

Then I suck it in the middle of the sock roll...

Put the sock in the cupcake liner, set inside the plastic bag and tie with cute ribbon and tag...

Perfect for a friend who is as sweet as a cupcake...

This cost me about $5.10 cents to put together and that was buying everything in Lakeview.  If you are out of town you could probably make it for even less.  Sweet cupcake-

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Creating a Chalkboard for your home...

For a while now I have wanted to make a chalkboard to use in my home.  I have heard of chalkboard paint but have never bought any until this last weekend.  I happened to be in hardware store for another item and came upon a can of chalkboard spray paint...it was calling my name (REALLY, I could hear it)...so I added it to my cart.  When I arrived back home I knew instantly what I wanted to paint first.  It was this a old platter that I found at an estate sale a few weeks ago for $1.50.  I began by taping up the edges, so that I could keep the yellow border...


Then I decided to make a trip to the antique store to see if there was anything there to paint and I found the large green platter.  I taped the edges of this one as well...


So I must admit that because I was so excited to get these spray painted that I totally forgot to take pictures of the actual spray painting.  I think I have a bit of crafting A.D.D.!  I apologize!  To walk you through it...I just laid down a $1.00 plastic table cover from the Dollar Tree outside, out of the sun and started spraying away.  They both took about 3 coats to completely cover and get this...

This one will be perfect for a cupcake table at a bridal shower this weekend...


This one looks perfect on an old garden chair by my front door...


The green one didn't turn out quite as well as I had hoped because some of the paint came off when I took off the tape...bummer!!  I used a little craft paint to cover it with red and although you can still see it...I like the rustic look.  They will be perfect around the house and for parties!!  I can't wait to see what things I decide to use them for.  Sweet chalkboard-

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Thoughts-Week 17

Week 17-You are the key to your own happiness!!

As I go through life and live through different moments I realize that nobody holds the key to my happiness...it is in my own hands.  I alone decide my fate!!  It is both a liberating and daunting realization.  I can make my own happiness which is amazing but sometimes it takes a lot of hard work and dedication...just like anything that's worth having in life!!  Sweet happiness-

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I have literally been wanting to make this cake for months!  I have just been waiting for the perfect time because I know myself well enough to know that if I don't have other people to help me eat it...well then I will eat it ALL!  No help involved...terrible...I know!!  So Easter dinner seemed like the opportunity I have been waiting for and it was every bit as delicious as my taste buds thought it would be.  I am already thinking about the next time I can make it...breakfast in the near future sounds good to me!!

To make the cake you will need 3 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1½ cup milk, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 cup of melted margarine.  For the Topping you will need 1 cup of margarine softened, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons flour and 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon...



First mix all of the cake ingredients together except for the melted margarine.  Once mixed slowly add the margarine until combined and pour into a greased 9x13 pan...


For the topping mix all of the ingredients together until well incorporated...


Then drop evenly over the top of the cake...


Using a knife, swirl the filling through the cake...


Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 28-32 minutes (mine took the full 32).  While baking mix together 2 cups of powdered sugar, 5 Tablespoons of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and while still warm pour over the cake...


It was a huge hit...this was after only a few minutes.  I was sure to bake it just before I headed to dinner and on the ride out I covered it in foil to keep it warm...

It would be perfect for a potluck or Sunday morning brunch.  It was just as scrumptious as a cinnamon roll but took A LOT less time to make.  Enjoy!!  Sweet cake-

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Thoughts- Week 16- My Most Memorable Year

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned this before but I am a huge DWTS (Dancing with the Stars) fan!!  A few weeks ago the theme was "Most Memorable Year" and each contestant picked a song to dance to that reminded them of the year they chose.  For most of them it was a moment in that year that changed their lives (i.e. coming to America from Cuba, loosing a father or friend, etc.) and made them who they are today.  It was an emotionally charged two hours and really made think about myself and what year I would choose.

Life is full of moments that effect us in ways that are life changing but what would be the most memorable??  What year had such an impact on my life that forever I will be somehow different??  Would it be a year of struggle or happiness??  Which of those emotions would be more powerful??  I realize that for some of you this maybe an easy answer but for some reason it wasn't for me. 

Finally after much thought and deliberation I have decided that it is this last year.  Not just 2011 or even 2012...a culmination of the end of last year the beginning of this one.  So much has happened to me and so many things have changed my life forever.

Sadly I became divorced after over 15 years of marriage.  Definitely the hardest thing I have EVER done!!  Leaving that time in my life and turning the page to a new and uncharted territory has been so emotional and heart wrenching.  In turn I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought and that trust is one of the most important things that anyone can give or take from you.  I'm so grateful to have such an amazing support system!!

I started my blog.  I had been wanting to for so long and one day I just decided that it was time.  I took the leap and am so grateful that I did!!  Letting each of you in my life and sharing things that are close to my heart has been such an amazing outlet for me.  I have literally enjoyed every minute.  So far it hasn't paid a dime but it is fulfilling me in so many other ways.

I'm not only surviving but thriving as a single mom.  Being a mother is EVERYTHING to me and although raising them a majority of the time by myself is difficult...it is so worth every second.  I am so glad that God put Tater's and Tale's in my life...they are magical!!!

I bought a home.  In the past 6 years I have moved my poor children 9 times (yes you read that right...9 times), so to be able to provide them a home that they can settle into and that we can make our own is so important to me.  Giving my children the stability they not only need but deserve is something that I don't take lightly.

This year has been full of struggle and happiness but I have realized that each emotion has had a positive effect on me in the end.  I will never forget the past 12 months but I also wouldn't want to relive them.  Once was DEFINITELY enough...even though I feel better for it.  What was your most memorable year??  Sweet year-

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The first look at Casa de Lightle...

So if you know me or have been reading my blog for any length of time, then you know that I am a bit...(how do I put it nicely??)...crazed.  I find myself crazy (in a good way) about a lot of fun things.  One of my most favorite is decorating my home.  So you can imagine that when I purchased my new house I was over the moon with ideas swirling through my ever loaded brain.  Where would I place my furniture??  What colors do I want to paint rooms??  Where would I hang things on the wall??  How could I put my own stamp on my new abode??  For some reason things like this can be ALL consuming for me.  I admit it fully...I have many crafting addictions.

For budget sake I will be doing things slowly but I just couldn't move in without painting and decorating at least one room.  The super duper lucky first room is my dining room and because I just decided one afternoon to start painting and never stopped to take a breath...well, that means there are no before pictures.  1 gallon of paint, 2 long nights and a room full of my existing furniture later...this is what I have...


The color is Spruce Green, I used it in the kitchen & dining room of my old home and just loved it too much to decide on anything different.  You have seen the bottom of my hutch before in my rental but now I am lucky enough to have the room for the top part and some fun accessories...


I kept the existing shelf white to contrast the green and filled it with some of my favorite antique pieces, plants and roosters...


My kitchen table (which used to be in the breakfast nook of the rental) fits nicely and is topped with some of my favorite things...


I added an old crate and rustic bowl to the side of the hutch...


The eating bar is also in the dining room.  I added a picture of my sweet nephew, Gavin (the chef), an old metal pedestal plate, red berry garland and a pitcher to the corner...


All in all I am very happy with how it turned out.  Now I just need to find a new chandelier and it will be perfect for me.  I can't wait to share more of my home and decorating ideas with you. Sweet dining-

Monday, April 16, 2012

The big move...

I am officially moved!!  That doesn't mean that I am unpacked or that I have my rental cleaned...but at least I am moved!!  Saturday was the BIG day and I am one lucky girl because I have so many amazing family and friends who pitched in.  We started about 10:00 a.m. and I am not joking when I say that we were done by 12:15 p.m.!!  My mom made us chili, nachos and brownies for lunch...which totally hit the spot and made a lot of helpful people feel the same way.

It was almost like a blur...a truck and trailer would back in and be filled within a matter of minutes...then another one would take its place.  I had 2 uncles, 1 aunt, friends (lots), 2 sisters, 1 brothers in law, a niece, 3 nephews, 2 neighbors, my children's friends and of course my ever trusty Daddio!!   Each one had a hand in making the move seem like a well orchestrated symphony.  It literally was the quickest thing I have ever seen. 

I get emotional thinking about all of these wonderful people who not only helped me move but have been there supporting through every step I have taken.  I truly appreciate every single thing they have done for me.  I am one VERY lucky girl with a giant support system of love and dedication.  Words are most definitely not enough to express my gratitude.  I am humbled and happy to be in the midst of such truly terrific people.  Thank you again to everyone who helped me in any way and to all of you who have wished me the best of luck.  I love you all!  Sweet support-

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Thoughts-Week 15

When I read this quote I just had to share.  I think we all walk around with baggage from the past that can bring us down.  Life is just too darn short to let those things define you in a negative way.  My challenge for all of you (and especially myself) is to take it and use the lessons learned to better yourself in an amazing way.

Week 15-Let your past make you better...not bitter!!

Happy Friday!!  Wish me luck on my big move tomorrow!!  Sweet lessons-

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The best day EVER!!!

Well maybe not the best day ever...the birth of my children definitely is #1 but this day ranks right up there.  Now I know I said that I was taking the week off but I am just too excited to contain myself!!  Yesterday I closed on the purchase of my home!!!  A home that my children and I will be able to live in for years to come and make a million memories!!  The purchase of this home is so monumental to me because I feel like it signifies the beginning of a new life.  A day in which Taters, Tales and I can finally settle in and get on with what God has in store for us.

It is absolutely perfect for us!!  It has two bathrooms (YEAH...we have been living with one), 4 bedrooms (Tales and I can still have our craft room), a fenced backyard (my dogs will be so happy) and many other wonderful features but best of all it is ours!  I'm excited to settle in...paint (I've already started painting my dining room/kitchen...crazy...I know)...decorate and make it our own.

I will be posting before and after photos of each room throughout the next few months!!!  I have a million ideas rolling through my head and I can't wait to dig right in.  All I can think about is paint color, furniture arrangements and organizing...I never said I was normal!

I want to give a humongous, ginormous and gargantuan thank you to my mom & dad...you two are the best and I love you more than words can ever express. Sweet home-

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

100th post giveaway winner

Congratulations to Mesa Greenfield, she was randomly selected on random.org and is the winner of my 100th post giveaway!!!  I ended up having 30 entries but my post had almost 100 hits...if everyone would have entered I could have made my goal!!  Oh well...maybe next time!!  I will post a picture of the fun things she won very soon!!

I also wanted to let you all know that I will be taking the rest of the week off.  Don't cry...it will be ok (hehe)!!  I am signing papers on my new house today and it should close tomorrow...so I am going to be very busy moving, arranging, decorating, taking picture to share with you and being exhausted.  Thanks for understanding and be looking for some very fun posts to come!!  Sweet move-

Monday, April 9, 2012

Smores, babies and Easter...

First of all I loved every minute of the weather here in Lakeview over the weekend!!  The little break from the wind and snow really let me fell like spring was in the air and set the atmosphere for some very fun things.  It all started on Saturday with the arrival of Tater and Tales 4H pigs...


Aren't they so adorable??  I just love baby pigs!!

Then it continued with a cookout at my sisters.  My brother-in-law made some righteous burgers and later it was time for Smores around the fire.  There is something to be said about your first Smore of the year...it made my heart skip a beat and my mind wander to camping plans for the summer.  Since I was large and in charge of the Smores and decided to mix things up a bit...


I brought the stand by graham crackers and marshmallows but in addition to the plain Hershey's bar, I also included Peanut Butter Cups (Tales and my sister Amus' new favorite) and Cookie's and Creme candy bars as well.  They were YUMMY!!!!!


I also got to meet a few of my Graders (aka Grady) new baby chicks...


And GeGe's (aka Shelby) baby calf Cletis...


The next morning the Easter bunny visited...


He even hid eggs outside for Taters and Tales.  My sweet Tales is always the first one to find all of her eggs...


Tate on the other hand, well he is a boy and let's face it...unless it is literally on his lap he most likely won't find what he is looking for!  Luckily after a little help he was able to find his last one...


Here is my new bunny bowl with fresh pineapple and strawberries for breakfast...


I also made deviled eggs and a Cinnamon roll cake (recipe to follow this week) for dinner at my Mom and Dad's...


Can anyone say salad??


As you can see it was a full weekend of fun and food.  I hope you all had an amazing Easter weekend as well!!  Sweet Easter-