Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Little Vintage Style: June 29

Linking up with Hart + Sew again for Little Vintage Style.

Shirt: vintage thrifted
Shorts: vintage thrifted

Got a sweet babes working the vintage style? Link up!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dinner & Dessert

Got together with the family tonight for dinner & dessert. The weather was perfect, the food scrumptious, the company even better! I love hanging out with my family {even if dinner is late!}

Creamy Pasta Primavera....recipe from here...adapted a bit {grilled all veggies & chicken, added seasoning & garlic to sauce}.

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies - inspired by this. {Thanks for the link Craigers - move back home and enjoy our dinner & dessert with us!} So, so good!

The entertainment for the evening? Watching Justin mow the lawn with Lincoln {he always tries to get someone on the lawn mower} while trying to drink coffee!!

And now I'm nursing a fat lip....Lincoln {accidently} head butted me while I was putting him to bed. Ughh.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Mike Made It: Rustic Garden Bench

Have you met Mike?

I recently shot his senior pictures. Not really. But that's what these photos reminded me of. Really they are just eye candy for me. Sigh.
Anyhow....Mike. He's a very handy man. You name it, he builds it. You break it, he fixes it. He's a carpenter, maintenance guy, artist, ruggedly handsome outdoorsman, car mechanic, plumber, electrician, cyclist...what can't Michael do? I love to look at his work. And him. Oh, and he's the father of my children. Nice, huh?
I thought I'd start a new feature on my blog to showcase his amazing talents.

This past Christmas, my mom had garden bench on her wish list. We had her name {my family draws names for Christmas and then we do a "Crafty/Thrifty" must be made or thrifted} so Mike whipped up a rustic garden bench for her. Or the fence-bench as I like to call it.

My pretty mom, enjoying her new bench. Pretty sweet, right? This bench was on our porch since Christmas and just got moved over to her house a few weeks ago - I miss it! I think we need one for our porch. {And it worked great for photo backgrounds!}

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

I love lazy Sunday afternoons. No plans. Lounging around the house. Going for a walk in the woods. Deer spotting. Reading. Playing. Laughing. And ending the day with a few rounds of Corn Hole {which I lost...horribly}.

Like our Corn Hole boards? Lyndsay & Andy made them for us for Christmas two years ago...stellar, right?!

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispie Brownies

It's been a while since I shared a yummy recipe with you. Today I'm sharing these highly addictive, super yummy treats in honor of Cait's birthday! Yay - today my beautiful step-daughter is 22!! And these are one of her favs. In fact, she had this made for her twice today!! By my sweet nieces {who shared the recipe with us} and then I made a cake-style one for her birthday dinner.
These treats are so easy and so, so good. You need to make! There's some variations of a similar treat that's circled the blog world - I've tried one before and these are better. And easier.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispie Brownies

Yields: 24 treats {more or less...depending on how big you like your treat!}

1 batch of your favorite brownie recipe for a 9×13-inch pan {I like Betty Crocker's Dark Chocolate}
2 cups of marshmallow fluff
2 cups chocolate chips {I like Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate}
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups rice kripies cereal

Make brownies according to the directions. Please don't over-bake your brownies. Ever. Let them cool.
Spread cooled brownies with 2 cups of marshmallow fluff. I like to heat mine for a little bit in the micro for easy spreading. {You can vary the amount of fluff according to your taste}.
Put the 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of peanut butter in a medium microwave safe bowl, heat one minute {or just until the chips are starting to get melty}. Stir until smooth. Add the 4 cups of rice krispies and stir to evenly coat the cereal.
Pour the rice krispies mixture on top of the fluff and spread to evenly cover. Refrigerate until set. Or if you're impatient like me, freeze till set {some of my nieces like to eat them frozen!}. Cut into bars & enjoy!

One of my favorite photos - Cait and Zac...1991?

Happiest birthday Caitie-did! Praying that you are blessed greatly during your 22nd year {22 is Cait's number!}. You are a lovely, amazing woman! I love you!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2024 & Cheesy Smiles

Today Lincoln graduated from preschool! His class graduates from high school in 2024....crazy! Not sure what the deal is with Mr. Cheeser Smiles. I also wanted a nice picture of the three boys together - Levi screamed if we took his drink away and Cai refused to come out from behind Linc. Nice photo, right?

We're so proud of our little Linco-bean!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Penny Thoughts

Ahh...I feel like life is starting to be a bit less crazy. Work is back to normal hours. Birthday madness is almost done. Lincoln graduated from preschool today. Soccer is almost done. I think I'm finally healthy {knock on wood}. Here's to hoping there are some lazy days of summer ahead.

Kidney stone update: I had a CAT scan done last week. I still have one stone left in my right kidney but it isn't bothering me so we're leaving it be for now. I may have gotten a part of a stone for them to send off to the lab. I was a little embarrassed to take this in because I'm not sure it was a stone. ??? It's so super tiny. But I'm thinking what else would it be? Who knows what I be peeing out! {However it does not embarrass me one bit to share all this with the world wide web? Go figure...}

I'm weird about clothes. The other day I put on a bright green shirt but then wondered if I should wear it because maybe it looked like Christmas. Lincoln even asked at breakfast that morning when it would be Christmas time again and I was all paranoid that he only thought of Christmas because of my shirt {turns out he's just wondering when he can get more presents since his birthday is over...}. But then at lunch time I realized I had bright green sunglasses that matched perfectly so I felt better about my shirt. I also have bizarre thoughts on me wearing sneakers...

Throughout my childhood {um, how old does that phrase make me seem?}, I can remember my mom going through long periods of time not wearing her wedding & engagement rings. Her finger would get itchy red bumps under the rings. Fast forward to me today and I can't wear my rings because they give me itchy red bumps!!! What is the deal peeps?! I just want to wear my rings again and quit being a floozie as my big sister calls me when she sees me out and about without my rings on...

How horrible is it that I keep checking the weather every half hour to see if it's going to be raining this evening in hopes of soccer being cancelled? It's not that bad taking Linc, it's just one more thing to do.

I just want to get in bed and read a book and take a nap. I'm sooo tired. And tired of going, going, going. But I have so much stuff to do. And I shouldn't be blogging. Or editing pictures {which is what I'll probably do next}. Or napping. Be productive Manda, be productive! No! {That was a blogging conversation with myself. Nerd. Get off the computer!}

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Lincoln James

Today you turned five years old. I cannot believe that I am old enough to have a five year old! And I cannot believe you are already five. Since the day you were born, I cannot count the number of times I have heard, "enjoy your time with your baby, it goes by so fast", and it is so true. And I so enjoyed the last five years.
You are so excited to be five because that means you can go to kindergarten and ride the school bus {around the corner...such a short ride for someone whose sole excitement for school is the bus ride!}.
Although you have a crazy-hyper side that can drive Momma crazy from time to time, you are such a loving, helpful boy. You are so good and have been since you were little. We never had to baby-proof the house for you because you never got into things. I know that I can leave you playing and you will do just that - play and not get into trouble. You always help me with little jobs and are always helping daddy - especially when it's time to mow the lawn. You love on your little brothers so much and are very helpful with them too. I love watching the three of you play together and laugh together. You always want to be on the go and with people; going to someone's house, going to a store, having people come to our house. Even though you tend to be a bit shy when in a bigger group of people, you always want to be with other people! You have the best memory too...Daddy and I joke that when we need to remember something, we'll just tell you!
My hope and prayer for you Lincoln James, is that you will be a man of God. That you will love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. I know if you're doing that everyday, everything else will work out just fine.
I love you little shuggie-bear. Happy 5th Birthday!

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Garage Sale Finds

I love garage sale season!! Here in WNY we get about four good months of garage sales. I always dream about what it would be like to live somewhere warm where garage sales could happen year round. I don't get to nearly as many as I would like to because it is just hard with little ones. And estate sales, pretty much off limits unless you get a sitter.

I found these pretties Memorial Weekend.

Cute little pin cushion that had two vintage diaper pins stuck in it!

A nice vintage hand mirror.

Vintage record player - unbelievable score for me! It was on my list and it was exactly what I wanted: vintage, small, in a case.

Total spent: $1.75. Sweet!

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Stoner for life...

Right now, I am missing my firstborn's first ever school play. I'm trying not to cry about it. I am in bed writhing in pain from kidney stones. Or in the bathroom throwing up from the kidney stone/pain killer meds combination. {Right now I'm hoping that writing distracts me enough that I won't go running to the toilet...}*
I had my first kidney stone when I was pregnant with Lincoln. I woke up in the night with such severe pain in my back I thought I was dying. I started throwing up. I called my midwife who sent me to the ER. After quite a few doses of pain medication and some anti-nausea meds...relief. This happened a few times throughout each of my pregnancies and once in between pregnancies. I began to hate going to the ER for it. I would wait for hours before they even took me back to a room and gave me any drugs {and we have a tiny ER...not sure what the wait is always about - the waiting room is empty!}. While pregnant, there wasn't a whole lot they could do for me or give me {no narcotics for the pregnant lady}. About a year ago, shortly after Levi was born and a recent bout with stones, I had an appointment with a urologist who informed me I was a patient for life. I would get kidney stones for the rest of my life. {Awesome}. According to my most recent CAT scan, I had stones in both kidneys, ready to make appearances at the most inconvenient times. I had the choice of getting them blasted out - but at that point, I did not want one more procedure/appointment. I had a breast-feeding newborn and was having a difficult recovery...I didn't really feel like throwing surgery into the mix. So I was handed a prescription of narcotics and told to call when I needed more. I had had most of my stones during pregnancies, so I was hoping that because I wasn't pregnant anymore {or going to be again}, maybe I'd be safe. And having the bottle of drugs would act like a good luck charm. Last month proved me wrong. I had movement. This time though, I had drugs and could stay home...basking in la-la land in my own bed. {Only problem is, the meds make me pukey. Very pukey. As do the stones, so I pretty much lose either way}.
The next line of reasoning I tried was that I was going to pass a stone once a year. So that was my once a year stone. Cut to this week. This is the worst stone experience yet. I've been struggling since Tuesday night. Today has been horrible. I'm going in for another CAT scan early next week to see what's going on. If I don't pass the stone on my own, I'll be going in for surgery. At this point, I'll take relief however I can get it. I feel like I'm pregnant again. Constant throwing up. Forcing myself to try to eat so that I can take meds without throwing them up. Not being able to get out of bed. And missing out on life.
My baby sister is home for the very last time before moving across the country. My brother came home. I'm worried I won't really get to see either of them. Lincoln's birthday party was supposed to be tomorrow - that got cancelled. I haven't even seen Fabs yet since she's been home from the hospital.
Pray that I pass this quickly. And that I "catch" it {I have to strain my pee in hopes of getting the stone}. If they have one, they can figure out exactly what kind of stones I have and figure out a better prevention plan.
Sorry for such a whiny post. I know I have way more to be grateful for than to complain about.

*Update: the writing did not do the trick. My toast and smoothie made an appearance. Blah.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

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Nautical Birthday Party

For Levi’s first birthday, we threw a nautical theme party. I was inspired to throw a nautical party by the cute vintage sailor outfit that I found to sell at Mooies that happened to fit Levi {and I knew Fabs had a cute sailor dress to wear}!
I actually was really stressing about getting this party together because two days before the party was one of my work conferences {which left me with no time to do anything but work; and only two days to get everything ready!}. Michael came through for me and found so many things to use for decorations {like the lobster trap we just happened to have sitting in our garage….um, okay}. He also made lots of paper boats for me {which I didn’t really get any good pictures of}. And of course provided lots of childcare so I could bake my heart out. Love that guy!

{It was a very rainy, dreary day – so I had to take things out to the porch to get decent pictures, so that’s why there is the fence-bench background in so many pictures. And again - loads of pictures in the post, so settle in!}

::Mini wooden blocks from Michaels….hooray – Levi is one! {We made it through the first year!}
::My little sailor {I actually took this picture a few days before the party and I’m so glad I did as it turned out to be such a rainy day}
::Paper boats my Michael made, paper is from Michaels - K&Company Julianne Designer Mat Pad
::Vintage fishing reel and lures | Décor Michael found around our house: vintage lobster trap, ship painting, chalkboard blocks he drew on
::Faux-nautical banner I made {see above for paper source} and Martha Stewart eyelet paper lanterns {from Michaels}
::The dessert table {my Grampa’s Navy hat is on the window sill. He wore it and didn’t even realize it was a nautical theme party!}
::Vanilla cake with flags | Levi’s mini cake
::Red velvet & vanilla cupcakes with sail and flag toppers. Liners are from HeyYoYo {one of my fav Etsy shops…I’ll take one of everything please!}.
::Had to have some seafood! {See the little paper boat sitting next to the shrimp?}
::Rye boat dip {one of my fav appetizers}
::My mom made melon boats
::Rice Krispies sailboats
::Pirates booty {really white trash mix, but pirates booty sounds better}, red & white bags from HeyYoYo | My dad made salami & cheese boats – how cute!
::Nautical snacks for the party were: swedish fish, goldfish, salt water taffy and life savers!
::Craig with the vintage picture viewer {nautical pictures were set out with the picture viewer}
::Lighting the sparkler – Levi looks so ready for this {and I love Grams peaking in the background!} | Levi handled the sparkler much better than Malacai did. {Tip for those that want to use a sparkler: I always use a cupcake that I can throw out – the sparkler leaves lots of black powder all over. So don’t put it on your cake that you want everyone to eat. Also, be careful what’s underneath the cupcake/cake - black powder can get on that too [plate/tablecloth] }
::Levi’s mini smash cake – that he didn’t want to smash. He was so timid with his cake; he would just gently stick his finger in the frosting…such a polite little man.
::Levi was excited to get home-made applesauce from great-grandma {Notice the anchor tattoo on Levi’s chest? What a manly sailor!} | Drinks were served in canning jars with paper straws from HeyYoYo.
::I ordered anchor temporary tattoos from I think the boys still have theirs on…they love them!
::Cute baby sailors in their vintage nautical outfits

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