Monday, February 28, 2011

Earning Marbles

We have gone through many different "reward" systems in our house to encourage good behavior. We used to do the sticker chart (get a prize once you earn a certain number of stickers for behaving or for doing a chore etc.), but that didn't work for us because I couldn't take the sticker away once it was given. After several versions of the chart, I had a great idea!!


I got 2 containers - 1 for Mia and 1 for Olivia - and they earn marbles for behaving, making their bed, getting a great report card and so on. On the other hand, when they misbehave, it is really effective for them to see me take away marbles. That is what was missing with the sticker chart! 

When the jar is full, they get a surprise. A new toy or a movie; it works really great for us.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spring Wreath

I saw a super cute spring wreath over at The Lettered Cottage and decided to make one too! I've seen lots of them for every season and have always thought they looked super easy and cute, so off I went:

I needed a foam wreath form (5.99 at Michael's), yarn and some flowers for fun.

Then I just sat infront of the TV and started wrapping the yarn around the form.....

This part took forever!

Then I hot glued my flowers and looped a ribbon over it!

So super cute!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Quick Change Window Shades

When we moved into our house 6 years ago, we needed to cover all of the windows quickly and inexpensively. So, I ordered plain roman shades and put them up on every window.

I like that they are simple and kind of blend with anything..... I've replaced a few with bamboo but wanted something lighter in the kitchen. I hated to get rid of the shades because they still worked great, so I thought about covering them.
I bought a fabric shower curtain at WALMART and simply wrapped the fabric around and glued it to the back with fabric glue.

It gives it a totally different look for about $10!

Running With Glitter


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's a sad day....

Another example that my babies are growing up:

The girls haven't used the sippy cups in awhile, but yesterday they actually laughed at me when I tried to give them their drinks in one. I finally threw them out, but I must admit, I was really sad about it!!

Window Shopping Wednesday

I have the most fun buying stuff for the house. A new throw pillow, glass jar, rug or drapes make me giddy. But if I were to shop for myself, here's what i'd REALLY want!

Around this time every year, I start to want lighter hair. I'm thinking of highlights and this is what I want them to look like.....

Must schedule a trip to the salon pronto!

In the warm weather I live in flip-flops and wedges. These are CUTE!

A new bag; the bigger the better!
Brown Chocolate Color Handbag
(I found this one on ETSY and I love it)

Ugh, is it seriously bathing suit season soon? I guess if I HAVE to pick one, I like this one!:

Happy Window Shopping!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I am making a "special" dinner for my hubby.
Here is the recipe that I decided to try; it is by Giada and the website listed it under "easy" recipes..... we'll see about that!


• 1 pound penne pasta

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, and deveined

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning

• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

• 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped

• 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

• 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

• 1 cup white wine

• 1/3 cup clam juice

• 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink and is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parsley, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine, clam juice, and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the cooked shrimp, the cooked pasta, and the remaining herbs. Toss together until all ingredients are coated. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.

I really hope it turns out ok. But he will pretend to like it even if it doesn't.... Then he'll stop eatting half-way through and make a face that will make me laugh and let me know it wasn't very good!

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

My Backyard Eden

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Project Organization

One of the areas I wanted to organize this year was the closet in the girls "toy room"/"art room"/messiest room in the house so I keep the door closed

Here is the closet:

(Everything piled on the floor and unable to be reached or opened, without moving piles around)

So, I bought a shelf and organized it all! Here's the after:

Bins for cards, stamps, fabric markers, ribbon......

The girls' school work organized by year......

A file box with bills and important papers, a bin with fabric.....

buckets with fabric markers and ribbon.....

  SO much better!!  

Organize It Party

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Window Shopping Wednesday

I want to spruce up my living room and have grown tired of the red and brown color scheme..... I would LOVE to change it up. Here it is now:

This room is driving me crazy ~ Please help , Hi all! I have moved this furniture around more times than I care to think about. This is our living room (used to be living/dining but hubby convinced me it would be more practical to get rid of formal dining area). I want to:  1. change paisley pillows - but don't know what color to change to 2. Add drapes - maybe chocolate brown  What do you think?, Living Rooms Design

Here's what I want to add/change:
Bimini Indoor/ Outdoor Rug (7'10 x 11')

Jute Braid Pillow Cover 20", Blue Smoke

Textured Cotton Drape Panel, 50 x 63", White

Product Image Decorative Wall Mirror - Silver

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sweet Olivia

I opened my girls' homework folders today to review their work and I found the sweetest thing in Olivia's.....


So sweet.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Class Valentines

Next Monday is Valentine's Day and the girls are having a small class party. We made our valentines tonight!

I bought fun socks for the girls.....

.....and glow sticks for the boys.....


.....added some candy and a cute tag, and we were all set!


My Backyard Eden