In the Book

Next up on the Christmas gift list involved a project with zero sewing.  Which was good in the while running out of time scheme of things.

I may have mentioned that we went to Italy this summer.  And that we took tons of pictures.  But at the sake of not covering every wall with vacation photos, I needed to find another way to easily display them without becoming overwhelming.  Enter Derek’s gift….the photo book.

D's christmas present

Just like Mrs. Limestone, I used for the book and I love how it all came out.  All professional looking (well in my humble opinion at least).

D's christmas present

Blurb has lots of options for how you want to put together the book and I decided to download their program because it gave me the most control.  I went with the upgraded paper which has a slight sheen to it….especially when you are trying to photograph it.  So in person the colors are so vivid.  Promise.

D's christmas present

Originally I thought about narrating the pictures and adding words all over the place.  But then I nixed the idea and let the pictures speak for themselves.  I could fit a whole lot more pictures that way. And it took a whole lot less time thinking of witty things to say about each picture.  Sorry honey.

D's christmas present

I tried to vary my layouts (which was super easy to do with the program).

D's christmas present

Derek loved it and now all of Italy memories are easily accessible on the side table in the living room.

So all I need to enjoy it is a glass of red wine.  But remember it was a gift for Derek of course….

Disclaimer: Blurb has no idea who I am (other than my order number) and had nothing to do with my post.  I just wanted to share how much I loved their product with all of you.  I think more photo books are in my future.

With a Cherry on Top

I thought this would remain my favorite canning book of the season.  I mean it has tons and tons of great recipes like the delicious salsa.  What could top that?


Well I also found this book at the library.IMG_2866

And while it does not nearly the amount of recipes the the Ball book, it has such a unique and delicious twist on canning recipes that it is still in the running for my favorite.

Like this….


That picture made me drool and who doesn’t like wine?

So after investing in a cherry pitter and some really cheap wine we know have five pints of this goodness


And it was heavenly with cream.   So heavenly it was gone before a picture was snapped.  Not to mention the way the kitchen smelled while it was simmering.

I was not a lazy canner this time and actually went through the whole process so that these lovelies can sit in the pantry for a long time.  And when we have last minute guests, we can just break open a jar and add some cool whip and voila….an easy elegant delicious dessert.  Or we could just keep it all to ourselves. 

But if cherries are not up your alley this book has tons of other unique recipes I can’t wait to try.





Mailbox Surprise

Neighborhoods in our area do not have mailboxes at each house. Each street has a big box and you have key for your box. It brings back memories of apartment living. There are also two big boxes that the mailman puts your packages in if you happen to have them and then puts that key in your mailbox. So when I opened the mailbox today and saw the key I was excited. I was even more excited when I opened that box and inside there was not just one, but two packages with my name on it.

Package 1 had some books I had ordered from Amazon.

Since I am trying to advance my sewing skills past curtains and pillows to skirts and dresses I decided I needed some help and these babies got great reviews on Amazon. I can't wait to really spend time with them and make some new summer clothes. I started to work on a pattern last night......still have a ways to go.

I went back and forth about admitting I am trying a pattern since my first attempt will probably suck. But this way at least I can provide you with some laughs.

OK back to package #2-

This baby I actually won. That's right, my first contest I have ever won (besides the Safe Driving Rodeo in high school....but that is another story). One of my favorite blogs, Decorno, had a contest to send in your biggest decorating dilemma. I sent in our master bathroom which is missing from the before and afters pics on this blog because it is still hideous. When I first got the email that I won at first I was honored. But then I thought, "Should I really be proud that our bathroom won for the biggest decorating dilemma....especially considering how many submissions she must have received....I mean it's ugly but geez I did not think it was that bad." Anyway this book was my prize for having the ugliest bath. I would post some pics for you to rate it's ugliness, but I will save them when they get featured on her blog and see what everyone suggests.

In the meantime I am loving this book. And not just because I won it, it is really giving me the itch to try some more daring colors.....and shhhhhh maybe even repaint rooms that have already been painted.

This bright color itch started at a young age when I grew up in a house of white. My mom will readily admit she is afraid of color and I was constantly begging to paint color on the walls. When Derek and I got our first house and I had free reign over color choice, I went all out. Red in the living room, burgundy in the kitchen, citron in the bathroom, mint in the guest room, and bright yellow in the master. All the colors of the rainbow.... I then evolved in my color choices and slowly repainted some rooms. I also learned that maybe neutrals had their place as well. So when it came time to pick paint colors for our new house, I grabbed my trusty paint deck but tried to keep my love for bold and deep colors under control. I think I did a pretty good job and really thought I had matured and moved past that phase until I started to flip through pages of this book this afternoon. I regressed.....

When I opened it I was expecting a lot of neutral colors...which there were but there were also a lot of bold ones. There are tons of paint swatches and pictures of painted rooms. At the end of the book, the colors are also divided by room and by color family. I would scan and post some of the awesome pictures but the copyright police might not like that.

I have a new inspiration manual for paint color....all thanks to our ugly bathroom (which now thanks to this book I am thinking black walls to compliment white tile...hmmmm).