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My Quotable Kid

August 22, 2014 - Author: Amy

Junior is three and a half years old now, and I keep telling myself that I will get around to starting his baby book one of these days…


You know what else I don’t have? More than three or four pictures of him actually printed.

Isn’t that terrible?

So believe me when I say that when UncommonGoods contacted me about what they could offer by way of personalized gifts (and they have a LOT to choose from), I jumped all over it. Did I mention they have a lot to choose from?! I knew I wanted something specifically for my little guy, but you can literally find anything for anyone on this site.

I also want to mention what a cool company they are – Half of what you will find on their site is made by hand, most of their products are made here in the good ol US of A, and one-third of their collection incorporates recycled or upcycled materials. In addition to that, they donate $1 of every purchase you make to a non-profit of your choice! Since they began that program, called “Better to Give”, twelve years ago, they have donated over $700,000 to charities around the world.

I just love that you can get really cool items, and feel good about where your money is going at the same time.

I chose a personalized book called My Quotable Kid.


Aaaaand now you know Junior’s real name. ;)

I got to personalize it with his name, but also his birthday and first words.


I have had so much fun with this thing! While I don’t take the time to glue pictures or hair in baby books, I have just made a habit of keeping this one handy to write down all the things he says that I never want to forget.

The very first one was perfect, because it is so his personality.


And each bubble comes with an area to add his age, when, and where he said it.


Most of them are funny.


Many have been just downright sweet.



And a few have broken my heart right in half.



I just love the glimpses of how his little mind works, and am so glad to have such a fun way to make all these memories of him.

Because who would want to forget gems like this?


Great, big, giant thanks to Uncommongoods for such a unique gift that is literally memories in the making!

1 Comment - Categories: Uncategorized

Some Americana For Ya

July 28, 2014 - Author: Amy

For some reason, summertime always feels like the time to be extra patriotic. I suppose it’s the Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day trifecta that puts me in the mood for all things red, white, and blue.


What a spectacular fireworks show!

Anyway, I had a couple of things I wanted to share with you this summer. The first, is my extra patriotic Houzz Ideabook that is live. It’s full of summery Americana goodness and I hope you’ll find one or two things you love.

The second is a company I’d like to introduce you to called Gettysburg Flag Works.

We keep Ol Glory hung pretty much year round, but I was lucky enough to receive a Kansas flag from this wonderful company recently, and I was so impressed with their options, friendly and responsive staff, and quality flag that I wanted to tell you about them.

(This is not a sponsored post. I just really liked this guy.)

If you’d like to find a flag of your own, be it American or your own state, like I did, hit this link. I think you will find their website very easy to navigate and be just as surprised by all their inventory as I was!

Shipping was extremely fast and came professionally packed, so no chance of damage before it reaches you.


And really, I was so stoked about having a Kansas flag!


You know me, and you know I geek out about this kind of stuff. I recently acquired a bracelet made from the copper of our newly renovated capitol’s dome that is stamped with “ad astra per aspera” (To the stars through difficulty) and I just loved that I now have a matching flag.

Plus, I’m a sucker for sunflowers. ;)

Anyway – I hope you’ll check out some of these links and feel extra American with me this week!

6 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

A New Friend

July 7, 2014 - Author: Amy

After we lost sweet Bill, the plan was to do nothing for a while. Just let the dust settle, as it were.

Junior changed that plan when he began dragging his yo-yo around by its “leash” and calling it his puppy. He would also take his bike for walks and pet it and tell it it was a good boy.

And that was sad.

So we began to keep our eye out for what might be a good buddy for him. Someone smaller this time, who we could take everywhere. Someone young, so they could grow up together.

And we found this little guy.


He came from a farmhouse in Middle-Of-Nowhere-Kansas. When we pulled in, a whole herd of these little guys came running to greet us, and right behind them came a whole herd of little blond children. Having all those friends from day one ensured that this fella was used to being handled and very gentle.


Junior chose the one he wanted to take home, and he named him JoJo.

(After that creepy clown on that kid’s show, JoJo’s Circus. ~shiver~)


They were best buddies right from the start.


And I know they’ve got lots of fun times ahead. :)

18 Comments - Categories: Critters

A Memory Came Today

June 3, 2014 - Author: Amy

“There may be a package for you in the mail today.”

Pretty powerful words, right?  Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail – especially a surprise something.

Well, the package was in the mail today, and it was memories made tangible.

Sometimes bad things happen.  And sometimes bad things happen to dogs.

The worst part has been when Junior asks “Why?”

We don’t know why, buddy, and we don’t know how to make it better either.

We don’t know why bad things happen, but we never think to ask why good things happen, do we?

Good things, like friends.

Especially a pair of particular friends who so thoughtfully took the time to make us a memory book of our sweet soul, Bill.


They used my own words to memorialize our all-too-short time with our friend, and I am so touched.

Ann and Nikki, thank you.

It means so much.

It is so heartbreaking to say good-bye, but this book is a wonderful reminder of how much he will always mean to us.

19 Comments - Categories: Bill

You Want to Talk About Easy?

April 25, 2014 - Author: Amy

Not referring to myself.

You know what I am exceptionally good at?

Exceptionally easy crafts.

My front door has been bare ever since I took down the Christmas wreath last week.


So while we were at Hobby Lobby crying over the price of custom frames, I grabbed a grape vine wreath and can of white spray paint because I can afford those.


Oh my gosssshhhhhh, Amy, you are such a homemaking prodigy.

I am less adept at horticulture.  I didn’t feel like finding anything to spray paint this on top of, so I just did it in the grass in the front yard on a super windy day and now D is mad at me for the giant white spot and is pretty sure I poisoned and killed all the grass in the surrounding counties.


But really, I do like the white against the navy.  Should serve well enough throughout the seasons.

Who else has an easy project they’d like to let me rip off?  Does anyone need any front door wreath consultations?  I’m really good at them!

18 Comments - Categories: DIY

Hard Fails

April 14, 2014 - Author: Amy

Let’s get the first thing out of the way.

Do you guys read Rachel’s blog, Maybe Matilda?  If you don’t, I wish you would.  Great blog by a great writer with great style and a sense of humor to match all that greatness.

Sometimes she writes about beauty tips, and one in particular had caught my attention a couple of times.  She puts Monistat chafing relief powder on before her make-up.  Apparently it makes your face all smooth and the make-up goes on better.  I was curious, but hadn’t tried it yet.  Then Michelle at Décor and the Dog left a comment that she does the same thing and that it’s awesome.  And she’s a pharmacist, soooo.

I went to Target on, of all days, re-stocking day.  I tried to blend into the boxes as I lurked in the most embarrassing aisle of the store.  I found the space where the Monistat should have been, but it was empty.  Of course.

The little restocking fella noticed me then and asked if he could help me find anything.

Admit it, or run away quickly?

I admitted it.  And he had no idea what I was talking about.  Called his friend over.  Friend had no idea what I was talking about.  I walked away in shame and mortification.

Went to Walgreens.  Found it.  Success!  And no witnesses!

I was super excited to try it out, and for the first several days of use went around asking people if I looked especially beautiful that day so that I could share my new beauty secret with them and feel like I belonged in the upper echelons of style gurus.  (Even though I kind of didn’t think it made much of a difference, if I were being honest.)

A few days later, Rachel sent me a pic of her new box of anti-chafing Monistat and rubbed in my Target snafu some more.

Hardy har har.

But her box looked different than mine did… so I ran upstairs to investigate.

And sure enough.


You guys.  I’d been putting anti-itch cream on my face the entire time.

Hard fail.

If I ever get around to finding the actual anti-chafing stuff, I will be sure to give you a full report.  In the meantime, feel free to admire Rachel and Michelle’s smooth faces.

And now for another fail at buying things!

There is an art gallery going out of business with some wicked good prices on, specifically, some buffalo prints by Nancy Glazier.  (My fave.)

D and my MIL surprised me with a couple of really nice ones, then me and D went back in to scavenge some more.

We found these four:


For a really great price.  They’re a bit oddly shaped, so when he offered to frame them at 25% off, I said sure!

$600 later, I had total buyers remorse and called and cancelled the frame order.  (And made D go look the poor, retiring owner in the eye and retrieve the prints we practically stole from him.)


So now I need your help.  Is there somewhere to order slightly oddly shaped mats and frames?  Do I DIY it, and if so, how?  Any genius idea besides framing??


28 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday

March 26, 2014 - Author: Amy


You have your daddy’s eyes, your mommy’s smile;

And our whole hearts for your whole life.

Happy birthday, buddy.

13 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Junior’s Room

March 20, 2014 - Author: Amy

The other night I was in the kitchen, minding my own business when little Junior comes running in with a handful of those gross yogurt treat things and tells me, “You need to come wrestle me!”

Me: “Um, okie dokie” ~Goes into living room and tries to wrestle him

Jr.: “No!  Wike dis!” ~Log rolls across the living room

Me: “Of course.  Silly me.”  ~Also log rolls across the living room

Jr: “That’s good!  Good girl!” ~Throws yogurt treat across the room~  “Go get it!”

Me:  “Wait.  Did you just trick me into a game of fetch?”

Jr: “Daddy!  Wrestle!”


Next week marks our first anniversary in this house.

Last week marks the day we finished poor little Junior’s room.

What can I say?  We’re beasts when it comes to DIY.

Mostly, the big hold up had been the fact that we didn’t want to do or hang much until we patched and repainted all the walls.  We bought a paint sprayer, but then D started working a zillion hours a week and going to school full-time and painting just wasn’t our idea of fun in our down time.

Finally, over the holidays when he had a break from school, we taped everything off and he sprayed paint in Junior’s room, our room, and the office.

And finally, finally, little man has a finished room.


With a bit of a cabiny feel.  See the silhouettes?

I reupholstered that chair two houses ago with him in mind, and we bought that mini bear skin rug before he was even born.


The quilt was a shower gift, and my grandma gave us the tub that holds his books.


My MIL refinished that desk for us, and the top is covered in old newspaper clippings.  I sanded and painted the blue chair for the dining room in our last house.


My MIL also stitched the artwork in the middle of the origin and meaning of Junior’s name.  My mom had given me the other two as gifts, and I think the trio work perfectly together.


For all the waiting, I’m happy with the final result.  It’s a cozy little boy’s room.

The other night before bedtime, he toddled in there to pick out a book and with a sweep of his little hand told me, “Mommy, I wike this room.”

Totally worth it.

13 Comments - Categories: DIY, Home, Junior

Master Bathroom Cabinets: A Saga

March 19, 2014 - Author: Amy

We bought a house with honey oak woodwork.  It is not very beautiful.  We’ve spent many a conversation discussing the honeyness of our oak.

“Do we just replace them?”

“Nah, that’s expensive.”

“Ugh, but sanding is so awful.”

“Maybe a new paint color and some pulls would camouflage them?”

Then, we found this.


And at roughly $75, we decided it was worth a shot.

We picked this color.


Then we sent Junior off to my parents house so I could start on the cabinets and D could spray paint all over our top floor.  More on that another day, because this is where the saga begins.

I started this process over the holidays.  No friends, not the green holiday we just had… the big holidays… three months ago!

The sales associate at Home Depot warned me this would be labor intensive – not difficult – just time consuming, but that the final results would be worth it.

She was right, for the most part.




photo 2

Raise your hand if you noticed how I artfully took the shot without showing all our crap on the countertops.

The verdict:  Meh.

Maybe a Meh + because anything is better than the honey oak that was in there…

I took pictures of the entire process, but decided not to post all of them because nobody needs to see that many pictures of that many layers of things going on cabinets.  No, the process was not difficult, but it involves four different substances, each of which have to be put on one side at a time, then allowed to dry for several hours before flipping and repeating the process.  And the third step, the glaze, I did twice because we weren’t loving the color.  It was much more reddish/orange than anticipated.


And the finished product actually turned out a lot more red than we’d anticipated or that the box had led us to believe.

Oh, hey buddy!


Nice oak cabinets you got back there…

Sooo the moral of this story is, if you’re willing to spend a LOT of hours in your basement coating your cabinets in layers of things with pretty good results for a fraction of the cost of new cabinets, do what we did!

If you’re impatient and prone to walk away before making 100% sure you didn’t leave any drips anywhere (points to self), and you have a certain, specific color you’re after, this may not be the answer for you.

Too bad I’m cheap and have a ton of this stuff leftover and a couple more bathrooms to worry about… The saga continues!

24 Comments - Categories: DIY, Home

D’s Pork Ribs

March 14, 2014 - Author: Amy

My dad has this really mean habit of sending us pictures of all the delicious noms my mom makes for him.


  This one time, he sent me a picture of a cookie going in his mouth.  Even though he knew I did not have any cookies.  Especially because he knew that.


If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ve probably even seen him tag me in a picture of something delicious that was at his house but not my house.

Mean, right?

So we’ve started doing it back to him, because insubordination of that caliber simply cannot be tolerated, and because he isn’t the only one in the family that married a good cook!

Today, I’m sharing with you D’s (grilled) pork ribs.



To make this mouthwatering deliciousness, you’ll need a rack of pork ribs, some mixed fruit wood chips, and all this:


Rub all those seasonings (heavy on the garlic and paprika) all over the ribs, then wrap in saran wrap and forget about them for a couple of days.

Remember them, then put them on the top rack of your grill with the wood chips on the lower rack, at between 200 – 300 degrees for an hour and a halfish.


So good, you guys.  I’m not a big gnaw-my-meat-straight-off-a-bone kind of a girl, but I licked those suckers clean.

And sent the pictures to my dad.


20 Comments - Categories: Eats, Family