Thursday, April 28, 2011

Memorable Meal

Me- Hold up....!WHAT are we looking at here?!  Is that SPINACH in the blender?  Wait..... a minute, if you think I'm going to have anything to do with that, I'm telling you NO, right now!, Uh uh... No, not having that...uh uh.                                                                           

 Logical Me- Well what if we put a frozen banana in there...?

Me- Is that going to make it BETTER! 

Logical Me- Ok, I know..., we'll add fresh blueberries from the garden? 

Me- Are you KIDDING?! 

Logical Me- We KNOW you like ice cold'll drink that right? 

SASSY Me- Oh... okay, I'm suppose to feel better about this because you put a few ice cubes in there, after all... that IS what you put in a smoothie...

This was the conversation that was going on in my head as I watched my amazing sister in law bring together what was the most memorable meal of my life.  Spinach smoothies and popcorn!  I think the thing that blew me away was how all of her children, a lot under 5, drank it right up no questions asked.  Then my brother in law popped pop corn in a pot the old fashion way with a little oil and served it up in a big bowl. 

Since then we have incorporated spinach smoothies into our families mid day pick me up.  And we hardly ever make microwave popcorn.

I feel like the never mentioned friend to 'Sam I Am' who is always trying to get Sam to eat green eggs and ham. What language can I possibly use to convince you how good this is. , sí, muy bueno! Oui, oui, très bonne! , sì, molto buono! Ja, ja veldig bra! Да, да, очень хорошо! はい、はい非常に良いThere! See that, I'd knew you'd undersand.

So many good things in life are like spinach smoothies...


photos 1 2 3 4 5 6

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mundane Meets EUREKA!!!

A couple of days ago, my mom asked me to go outside and rake. To a 16 year old girl you can only imagine how exciting and fun this sounded! NOT. But did that matter??? No. So alas I went outside and I saw our woodpile and something told me that I should go and stack wood. I thought, "Why not?". So I did. I was stacking for probably close to 45 minutes or an hour when all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I saw this orange fuzzy thing. Of course being the wanny I am, I screamed. Amber thought this was hilarious that I would scream at something so adorable but then she stopped laughing because she saw this little face:

Then, there were more! They were peeking out from in between the logs! Now usually I really, REALLY don't like cats. But how can you not love these little sweethearts!

How many kittens do you see???

Thanks for reading!

ps: anyone want a free kitten?

photos: Amber Stecher at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Feature MDF Boards

A sheet of 4'x8' mdf (medium density fiber) board runs about $25-$30.  The great thing about mdf is that you can mount murals, posters, wall paper, or specialty paper. And if you get the 3/8" thick "wow" you can paint the profile (the sides) and it looks so edgy. 

If you search the web for wallpaper you can buy all kinds of samples.  Here I made 'Feature MDF Boards' out of some samples and tried to keep the colors monochromatic.

I actually used this idea for a resturant that I decorated.  All the images came from Most posters run about 24"x36" so I was able to mounted anywhere between 3 to 4 posters on one sheet of mdf for a fraction of what it would cost to frame just one.  

I used the thinner 1/4 inch mdf for these two projects.  I really like the thicker 3/8" way better though. But, for this project I didn't want the weight of the thicker board.

Originally these smaller boards were going to be used to display necklaces and earrings, but I just couldn't bring myself to putting holes in the boards (even though I was going to use a sassy glass knob). So I displayed them in hurricane lanters in clusters of three and used them as a backdrop for a table top installation. 

Use heavy to medium wall paper paste when mounting on mdf.  It takes a little bit of practice to get the feel of how the paste works on the board with posters or paper so start with something small like these little boards if you've never worked with wallpaper paste.  The wallpaper paste works so evenly.  That's why I like it and use it.  Plus you'll get alot of milage out of a bucket of paste if your doing a big project.

You will need to make sure that your boards get cut straight.  If  you buy your boards at The Home Depot they will cut it for you very inexpensively.

Also, if you paint the sheet of mdf and mount it straight on your wall it gives such a dynamic impact. Dark grey chalkboard paint on mdf then mounted on cinder block, brick, stucco, or even drywall, looks so stunning!  You get alot of bang for your buck with this product.

Are you looking for an idea for a teen room or your first home or apartment, game room,etc... and your on a budget?  This is a great way to display trendy posters, childrens art, a newspaper article, etc...   Remeber to think outside of the box.  Just because a poster is 24"x36" does not mean you have to cut your board that size.

Check out the "Rolls Royce" of all wood board. I LOVE iconic panels!


"Around the Block" episode 1

 We live in these microcosoms.  There is so much that goes on in our little patch of the world.  It makes me think of Horton Hears a Who.  The whole civilation that exists on that little speck.  Do you ever wonder about our existence as your driving down the highway having a very intimate encounter with the passengers in your car whether it's your children, spouse, or friends.  It's complex.  Then you look over at the car next to you and they are doing the same thing.  The same deep, complex, intimate thing going on.  Then you look around you and notice all the cars around you with people in them and ask yourself how does this all work?  How does Heavenly Father understand all this complexity, and individuality, and needs, and feelings.  Each car represents their own.  Their own family, their own everything.  It's really profound when you think of it.

So, I've been living in my neighborhood for about 8 years.  And for those 8 years we have passed this house with these 2 urns.  For the 8 years that I've lived here these urns have been like this.  The only thing that changes is the flowers.  For spring it's daffodils, in the fall it's pumpkins and at christmas it's poinsettias.  The thought has tempted me to replace the urn secretly in the middle of the night and let them wake up surprised.  But who knows maybe it represents something... and if I were to make the switch, they might put the broken one back.  Maybe it is to get my attention, maybe my pity, maybe there's a message the owner is trying to send.  He's a pastor.  Maybe he really can't afford a new one... 

Who is so amusing, don't you just love it!


Monday, April 25, 2011


Well I am obsessed with feathers currently. I have always actually liked feathers so really this is nothing new. I have quite a few pairs of feather earrings. Free People recently started selling a line of earrings from Serafina (a tiny company that makes handmade jewelry) my sisters and I picked up at a FAME show last August. I was excited to see Free People selling them! They really are marvelous!

I am a little in love with feather hair extension clips right now. I mean look at this... you can't tell me there isn't a little part of you that thinks this is kind of cool??

White Calla Lily

Anyway, I have discovered that there are many different kinds of feather hair clips.

There are actual hair extensions that get put in using a crimping bead. They stay in for 2-4 weeks and can be washed, dried, brushed, blow dried, and curled like your actual hair. This takes a certain level of commitment though that I am not sure I'm ready for.

Extension Clip
Then there are those that are just clipped in. This is definitely not very much commitment at all, which I like much better because I can choose to look like a hippie or not each day.

Single Earring
There are also however single feather earrings. They have a similar look to the feather clips except they are earrings, which is an interesting concept.

I have also discovered that there are different quality feathers as well as colors. Personally I like the natural colors (no brightly dyed feathers). As for quality, I'm partial to the thicker feathers which typically come with a higher price tag. If you're looking on Etsy, which is one of my favorite places to shop, I have found that generally the better quality pictures bring better quality items (just a little tip I've discovered!)

Well, I am definitely going to buy one but I haven't decided if I feel better about the hair clip or single earring. I do know though the extension is way too much commitment for me personally.


Friday, April 22, 2011

'If I Die Tomorrow'

How does a warm, sunny, palm lined beach sound, with a coastal breeze and your love at your side?  Can you hear the sound of the Reggae beat and smell the aroma of fresh pineapple, papaya and mango's?  People all around you are celebrating and driving by in open air automobiles.  No worries, just you the sun and your love.

This is what I found myself feeling as I watched the new animated movie "RIO".  Then, Mark leans over and whispers 'Wanna go to RIO?'  I was screaming YES, YES in my mind!  I whispered back 'yes'. Please believe me when I tell you, I was absolutely the LAST person in my family that wanted to go to this movie.   And no way was I going to pay top dollar for it, so we HAD to go to the 10:30 matinee. So this morning I found myself saying "If I die tomorrow..." -  and there we were with 10 minutes to get ready.  A lot of time was spent contemplating how I could get something else done while everyone was in the movie. They all go in while Mark and I sit in the car talking, planning, and catching up in general.  It sounded like a good idea.  But then what kind of mother would I be if my children all go into the movie, while I sit in the car?  That would emblazon a lasting memory. And what 'if I die tomorrow...."!?  

I found myself faking excitement as I ran across the parking lot holding Hyrums' hand.  The place was packed with parents and children.  Why was it that everyone had the same idea this morning?  We groped our way to the very front on the left side.   No one seemed to notice how lousy our seats were except me.  And we didn't get snacks or popcorn.  I was just going to have to endure this. 

Fantastic music sold me right away, the story was interesting, not raunchy like some other animated films can be. "RIO" is definitely in my top three animated films now. I WOULD WATCH IT AGAIN!  From the moment it started and all the way through I found myself laughing, smiling, and in the end almost crying.  Go see it, then... plan your next vacation to RIO...ahhh...with your love of coarse!   


Thursday, April 21, 2011

FREE Graphics and Giveaway!

"One person's mess is merely another person's filing system"-Margo Kaufman

Ah...does not the truth ring in this expression? 

"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box." -Anonymous

We live by words, words motivate us to greater heights.

"There is no prosperity in idleness"-Vicki Stecher

Dawnelle and I put together this package of quotes that we used in our retail business.  We'd like to share them with you.  There's 5 wonderful pages that you can download and use in tons of different ways!

Here we ironed them onto muslin bags and filled them with Easter candy. We also glued them onto recycled egg carton packaging to make napkin rings. You could also simply attach the quote cards to little gift bags or print them on sticker paper. We might even use them for Hannah's wedding. 

We know you will come up with something GREAT!  Let us know how you used them!

To Download:
Click on the image to view full size then save to your computer by right-clicking on the image and selecting Save to Computer on a PC and Save Image As on a Mac. Print and enjoy!!

For our followers, we have a set of four muslim quote bags ready to be sent to you. Be sure you're following our blog and send your contact information to We will get your bags sent out right away. Thanks for following!

Dawnelle and Vicki

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

'Enough For Me'

Guess what...?  I've been saving these clementine boxes TOO!  Okay, don't judge me.  But I want to trrry.... to keep a promise to you, this is it... "I promise to use whatever I save or store".  This should make Mark sooo happy...or not.  And I promise to use it even if it is a bag of peach pits.  Yes, I saved those TOO!  Are you still with me?  But you'll be happy to know that I did throw them away after about 3 or 4 years cause I couldn't figure out what to do with them.  It was one of those secrets I really didn't want anyone knowing.  Then I saw Tord Boontjes' (boon tay) cherry pit necklace and thought 'WOW!' "I should have kept those".  Especially since Boonjes' necklace is gleaning $750.

We named this basket "Enough For Me" because of the egg carton.  Which by the way I've been saving those TOO!  And if we had another two weeks till Easter I'd be showing you all the things that have been leaking out of my brain that you can make and do out of these very well design containers. Relatively speaking these cartons might be right up there with the iphone packaging, ( I understand I might have hit a nerve) but the egg carton seems to have more versatility.  And by the way, I've been saving those iphone boxes TOO!

"Enough For Me" Easter basket ends all the woe's of "he got more than me"!  I remember going to school with Dawnelle one day and was impressed with the way the teacher handled the drinking fountain with a class of 20 or more children.  Her secret was this little jingle "one, two, three, that's enough for me" and on to the next child.  It was brilliant!  I thought how simple. Everyone was satisfied and no one felt cheated that someone got a longer drink than another.  'Enough For Me' can help solve the "he got more eggs than me"!  I cut a 2 1/2 dozen carton down to 20.  It fit so nicely into the clementine box.

Yes, I used a old pair of ear phones for the handle on one of our baskets.

This one we used an old lanyard from a 'Fame' show. 
If you use an old lanyard cut it in half.  Then string it diagonally from corner to corner and twist it once, that way your strap will meet in the middle and stay together.

The wire works so well.  The beads were made by my children years ago out of 'Sculpty' clay. 

If your children LOVE painting and art, let them decorate the box.  This took me about 10-30 minutes depending how elaborate you get.

Drill the holes in the corner ends of the box.  Cut wire or whatever your going to use for handles and thread through the holes. We used paper with telestial images to cover our boxes. 

It looks and feels so Urban, I really love the way it turned out.  Let me know what you think.

click here to see more Tord Boontje

Happy Easter!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

time to start saving my cans

I found this on a new website I am currently a little obsessed with... ReadyMade. They recently had a competition for do-it-yourself projects that reuse items. They have the top 100 posted on their website and there are some absolutely wonderful ideas! This one happens to be one of my favorite.

Shelves made out of cans! How brilliant! You can take the cans and cover them with wall paper or spray paint them.

Can Decor

I also saw a similar idea on Instead of using cans though they recommend using cardboard tubes from the hardware store. You know, the tubes that are used to pour concrete forms? They come in larger sizes than cans and they can be covered in paint, wallpaper, AstroTurf, fabric, stencils (like the lacy rocks), or even vinyl!

Don't worry... we'll post some pictures when we've created one of these wonderful pieces of artwork!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Radical $50 Date

 Our modern vernacular does not include words like "radical" and "foxy".  Remember these?  I was talking to my girls the other day when we were doing something and I used "radical" in our conversation, Ali laughed.  I thought I knew why, I thought it was because she had never heard that kind of expression. But really it was that she was so shocked that I would say that.  For her the expression was so "old" and right up there with "gnarly". I think she was embarrassed for me even though jit was just us.  I was with Carina a yound friend of the families one day, and she used the word "foxy".  My jaw dropped...there's only one place she could have learned that...(her dad!).  Don't get me wrong proper language skills are a priority too...but it's always funny when our kids throw one of these old school slang words out.  It's kind of like hearing a one year old say "WOW".  Our good brother Tom was over last night and defined  "radical" as...anything that deviates from the norm in a significant way.  Spot on!

So... if you are looking for a out of the norm- in a significant way- "radical $50 date", start by visiting the Philadelphia's Magic Gardens on South Street across from Whole Foods.  Parking will cost $3 for two hours.  We were there for an hour and a half. Entrance is $5 per person.

detail interior wall

inside the basement

outside courtyard

detail exterior wall
click here for more info

We had to feed the meter for another 2 hours.  You'll see a lot of INTERESTING shops on South Street in Philadelphia.  And you'll be tempted by all the cheese steak and pizza places.  But you MUST hold out for "La Fuente"!  They cook their pizza's in stone ovens.  You might be saying "yeah, yeah, yeah, I've had stone cooked pizza before...It's good".  "La Fuente" uses fresh tomatoes in their sauce and it comes out bubbling with imported cheeses and meats along with the "just right" thin crust.  Four out of four of us rated this the BEST pizza we have ever eaten.  Seriously, look at that fresh basil, this pizza is off the charts!

If your reading this from Norway, Idaho or any of our other beloved places, we KNOW you'll be in Philly one day, so we just had to give you this "radical $50 date" tip.


music while posting John Legend "Each Day Gets Better"

Friday, April 15, 2011

scrap skirt

This past Christmas my mom gave me an issue of "Belle Armoire" and I fell in LOVE with the dress on the front! So I right then I thought, "I am going to make that."

I started by going into the sewing room in our basement and pulling out any and every fabric that I thought would look fantastic in this skirt. Then I started cutting. I didn't measure, I thought it would look way cooler if all the pieces were different lengths, and I just cut, cut, cut. Then I took a big piece of fabric and I sewed the little strips to the fabric in rows. Next, I just finished it by cutting out a thick band of denim and sewing it to the top with a zipper. And there you have it. My very own "Stylish and Chic Scrap Skirt".

ALi =]

photos: homevestures.blogspot