Thursday, April 17, 2014

Keep Calm and Pray On

Hello my lovely friends!

This morning I am humbly asking for your prayers, happy thoughts and good karma. As you may know, the company Mr. Décor works for is closing here in Phoenix. We are trying to prepare financially by selling the condo Alyssa lived in while attending ASU. We are currently in negotiations with a potential buyer. (Praise Jesus!) It is our hearts desire to sell, if you could please pray for God's will.


In addition, after months of hard rejection Mr. Décor has 4 job interviews this next week.


This is totally me this morning trying NOT to freak out.

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Somehow I am now heading to school to take a French exam. But that’s a prayer for another time. :)

Laura

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Pinterest Easter Fails

As you may know, my kids are older. They aren’t interested in hand-woven Easter baskets containing homemade bubbles, DIY jump ropes, and hand crafted sidewalk chalk. However, like most kids, money is always appreciated. Rather than just sticking the cash inside plastic eggs this year I decided to try my hand at creating origami springtime creatures out of dollar bills. I checked out Pinterest and found all sorts of inspiration and links.

This is supposed to be a rabbit.

Pinterest fail.

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Butterfly.

Pinterest Fail.

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I am not even going to bother showing you the “flying bird”. Let it be known that just like last year my kids will be hunting golden eggs with squashed up dollar bills inside. (I’m thinking they will be just as happy.)

Ok, next let’s create some Easy Springtime Pretzels.  My kids love it when I buy the plain jane variety at Sprouts.

They require just three ingredients:

Pretzels, almond bark and sprinkles.

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Microwave the almond bark according to the package directions. Yep, so easy. Take a fork and dip the pretzel into the melted HOT LAVA. Coat entire pretzel. Then repeat the process   EVER   SO   SLOWLY    8 million times. Continually burn yourself from random drips and question why you thought this was a good idea.

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Lay out the pretzels and top with sprinkles. Quickly realize that the majority of the sprinkles will be wasted on the paper.

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After one hour of repetitious drudgery realize that the huge bar of almond bark has covered just 50 pretzels. Find joy in the knowledge that the now empty bowl is forcing you to abandon this tortuous chore as well as your expectation that you would have several jars of springtime pretzels to share with friends and family.

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Wrap up the pretzels in a small airtight jar and add a pretty ribbon. Feel absolutely no guilt as you hide the jar from your family and make plans to eat it all by yourself thereby insuring your pants will continue to not fit.

Pinterest fail!

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Happy Wednesday!

Laura

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, The Dedicated House, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection,Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, No Minimalist Here, Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest,Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home, Common Ground, The Charm of Home,Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Perfect for a Spring Brunch~ Julia’s Quiche Aux Oignons

As my children are now older I have found myself transitioning from egg hunts to really focusing on Easter itself. In this way we celebrate not just one day, but the entire Holy week. On Palm Sunday I went and got sprinkle donuts in spring colors. I never do this and my kids were thrilled.

This morning I arose early to make Julia Child’s Quiche Aux Oignons (Onion Quiche). I used leeks which I love dearly and they feel like spring to me.

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You can find Julia’s original recipe HERE.

I made three changes. First I used a Trader Joe’s pie crust. Because who has time to roll out pie dough on a Tuesday?

Then instead of 7 cups of  onions cooked for an hour I used two leeks thinly sliced with a small package (4 ounces) of pancetta (Italian bacon). They cooked in 3 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.

I so wish you could have smelled this goodness!

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The rest of the recipe was followed to a “T” and placed in the partially cooked pie shell. Ms. Child does not say to put the pie dish on a cookie sheet but I do. In the event of a spill over the sheet is much easier to clean than the oven.

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25 minutes later I pulled this delicious beauty out.

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I let it cool for about 5 minutes then served it up with some really sweet blackberries.

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Because some of you might ask, the tablecloth and napkin in the first image are vintage. They came from Grandma Joyce Gunn’s closet. I adore the set and the bright colors also feel like spring to me.

Also, for those who wondered how I made Monday (yesterday) feel special and spring like….parfaits all the way!

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The onion tart is perfect for Easter brunch.

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I’m taking in a bit this morning to Madame de Soleil, my French instructor. 5 extra credit points for sure. :) 

Laura

Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, The Dedicated House, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Savvy Southern Style, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection,Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, No Minimalist Here, Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest,Imparting Grace,My Romantic Home, Common Ground, The Charm of Home,Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Under The Table and Dreaming, Foodie Friday

Monday, April 14, 2014

No More Towels On The Bathroom Floor!

Perhaps like many of you my guest bathroom also doubles as my 12 year old son’s bathroom. It’s a situation that strikes fear in the hearts of mothers everywhere. One of the reasons why is that a large percentage of boys are physically unable to hang their bathroom towels up on a towel bar, my son included.

Let me just say that his towels were never draped beautifully over the tub as shown in the image below. They were more likely to end up in a soggy pile on the floor.

Keep reading to see the super solution.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Still He Rode

Today I am thinking about Jesus. I wonder when He got on the donkey and saw the crowd cheering and throwing palm leaves down on the road to make a lovely way for Him if the human part of Him for one moment thought “Maybe it’s all going to turn out ok. Maybe a week from now they will still be cheering. Maybe I won’t have to….”

But deep down, He knew. And still He rode.

“Jesus enters Jerusalem”~  Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin, Paris, 1842

Ever humbled, ever thankful.

Laura

“So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” ~ John 12:13

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” ~ Zechariah 9:9

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crafting for Easter Seals

Are you familiar with Easter Seals? It is non profit charitable organization that annually assists more than one million children and adults with autism, special needs and other disabilities. There are over 550 service sites that provide services, therapies and treatments tailored to meet the specific needs of the particular community they serve.

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I have felt tremendously blessed by small beautiful things this past week and wanted to pay the joy forward. Given the time of year Easter Seals seemed like the perfect organization. 

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In between house guests, anniversaries and college classes I created 8 Victorian styled Easter baskets. They feature various sweet children, bunnies and springtime flowers in soft shades of pink. They are priced at just $10 (to include shipping) and 100% of the profits will be given to Easter Seals.

You can find these treasures in my ETSY Shop HERE.

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If you would like to donate directly to Easter Seals please visit HERE.

Laura

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” ~ Hebrews 13:16

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” ~ Luke 6:38

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” ~ Roman 15:1

Linking to:

How Sweet The Sound, Common Ground

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Favorite Five~ Mr. Decor

Hello everyone~  Laura refers to me as Mr. Décor in blog land, but to everyone else I’m Eric.  She asked if I would like to join the “My Favorite 5” party with my own favorites as a way of keeping in touch since once again I am on the road on our anniversary for the second year in a row. 

My life is a bit of an open book as things I build or projects I help with are often shared on the blog.  So I thought on our anniversary it would be fun to share five favorite events from our personal life. 

1. The Wedding (16 years ago today)

You have seen this picture before, the joining of a family; a novice and two strong women.  The story behind this picture is Laura agreed to marry me with the understanding that we would be stationed overseas within 5 months and live there for 4 years.  This was her first trip to Europe and first time in a country that English was not the primary language.  Our first posting was to the Greek island of Crete.  Laura and Alyssa followed me a few weeks later transiting through Athens.  As they waited for the connecting flight Laura figured they would do some quick sightseeing of the Parthenon and Acropolis.  They hopped on a bus not knowing where it was going. Of course it was going the wrong way.  But they turned on the charm and got turned around by some Good Samaritans and were able to see the sights plus make their connecting flight.  Once I heard their story, I knew my adventures had just begun…

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2. The Today Show

We had moved from Crete to Germany and were blessed with healthy baby boy a month early no less.  Sweet Boy, now Sweet Guy (and will probably be called Sugar Daddy later on) started life at just a smidge over 5 pounds, hence a “sweet 5 pound bag of sugar”.  Now you get the “Sweet” references.  At two weeks old our family in America received their very first glimpse of him on a Today Show segment hosted by Ann Curry.  (The NBC network was doing a story on the Afghanistan humanitarian food drops staged at Ramstein AB Germany.)  Laura handed our baby over to Ann who could barely stand how tiny and sweet he was in his star spangled suit. We ended up as part of the baby intro segment of the show. Hello World.

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3. Getting Piped Out

I decided to retire from military service after 21 years.  Most people have a quiet ceremony with a few coworkers and immediate family, but I believe protocol allows for a parade or pass-in-review from the unit assigned.  I opted for a Bag Piper from the Air Force Band. Scott Gunn, who has performed for the President, also happens to be a distant cousin. For the ceremony Laura carried on the Scottish theme as she and the kids wore the Gunn tartan. She also had plaid and Scottish thistle corsages made for my mother, step mother and sisters. We had great fun at the after party, which also had a Scottish theme. The highlight of the evening was when we had a chance to try and get the pipes to make some noise.  Laura’s attempt still makes my knees weak every time I think of it. LOL! 

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4. The Graduation

I’m so very proud of Alyssa’s ability to overcome the constant change she experienced by being a part of a military family. Our first year together required Laura to take on the role of homeschool teacher to guide her through 4th grade. The following year was in Germany. Three years later we were in Georgia and three years after that we moved to Arizona. I realize it was hard on her to be the new kid, especially moving to a new high school. Alyssa is now a graduate from ASU and has life experiences kids her age dream about. The world is her oyster with pearls yet discovered.

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5. Sweet Guy completed 5 years of Cub Scouts and satisfied the requirements to earn the highest award a Cub Scout can earn, the Arrow of Light. A local Boy Scout troop presented this award during his cross over ceremony into Boy Scouts. His presentation arrow and display holder were hand carved on my wood working bench. I had volunteered to be the Cub Scout den leader when we first joined and held that privilege for the next five years. I think I had as much fun as the boys in the den did. I discovered early on that being involved with scouts allowed me to spend more time with my son during his development years. Not to mention fond memories of: camp fires, pulling cactus needles out of his shoe, the tent collapsing in high winds, trying to sleep while the coyotes are howling or the elks are bugling, and…you get the picture.

These are five of my favorite experiences that Laura has given me by saying “Yes” when I got down on one knee over 16 years ago.

Thank you Mr. Décor for the beaming light you have brought into my life. Dear readers now you know why I am always looking at him like this:

Happy Anniversary Mr. Décor!

Laura