Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Went Right #5

(Don't worry, this is just a 7 day experiment...for those getting worried ;)


  1. I cooked A LOT.  I made 3 meals' worth of spaghetti sauce with this super big pot and super big can of tomatoe sauce.  By the way this is like the best deal ever at Costco at just around $2.

  1. Okay, we are still on number one.  I cooked a lot!  Also made crockpot BBQ chicken, made the easiest veggie side dish ever in my smaller crockpot, made a little batch of brownies, and put together chicken enchiladas for the freezer out of some roast chicken leftovers in the fridge.  I felt quite accomplished by the end of what only was a few hours.  Not only am I hooked on grocery shopping less often, I am also learning to cook less often. I enjoy it way more that way.  And I think it's more time effective.
  2. We went on a family bike ride.  We rode the route to the school to get our other daughter a little more confident.  As a result they both rode to school together today.  It was nice.  I hope the ride went okay, and I look forward to hearing their thoughts on it when they return this afternoon.
  3. The weather is cool.  I LOVE the fall weather.  I love to enjoy the outdoors and not have to waste money on A/C.  Our utility bills have been so high the last few months and I really look forward to that changing.  
  4. It's only supposed to be 3 but I have to mention how much I am LOVING the library lately.  It's connected to my kids' school so anytime we head over there we can hit the library and we've been really enjoying all our free books and movies.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekend Warmth {3}

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What Went Right, #4

Okay here are today's 3 things:

  1. My kids played out in the backyard.  The just love the swings and fort with the slide.  I love that fall weather is here.  I'll admit as much as I love Omaha, it's tough having two long seasons of harsh weather.  With the bitter cold and gray of winter and the heat with super high humidity in the summer, we spend entirely too much time inside, or OUT of nature...which is tough on the spirit.  I love when fall hits and we can really enjoy this lovely piece of the world that is our yard now.
  2. I didn't go out and spend any money yesterday.  And I loved that.  It's been funny how having a home I love and am completely comfortable in has really lowered my need to spend time elsewhere.  Elsewhere usually was a restaurant or shop...which then involved spending $$$.  I've been pleased as punch with the money savings we've had since I've started implementing Blissful and Domestic's monthly shopping plan.  Also, we've completely given up eating out.  At all.  Not even a weekend run to Taco Bell.  It's been a few months now.  Two reasons: our money and our health.  Both good ones.  Oh, the other reason is a little OCD thing I'm getting about thinking about the backs of restaurants and seeing the people out back for their smoke breaks who are the people preparing our food....yeesh.  I think restaurant food is so popular in our culture partly because we can't see the back kitchens and the chefs after their hot sweaty shift, or in the midst of their smoke break.  Okay, I'm digressing.
  3. I found my DUCT TAPE!  Several months ago the girls and I bought four rolls of beautiful colors of duct tape to make more crafts with.  Then, they promptly disappeared.  Frowny face!  I've been so frustrated, wanting to find them.  It was a delight, pure delight, to see that bag yesterday. I've already started wrapping some shiny platinum tape around a big apple box. I can't help myself :).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jesus Superpowers

Son:  If I just had some paper I could make more money for us to use at the store.

Me:  We can't make money, it's against the law.

Son:  So how do we get money?  Does Jesus just drop it from the sky?

Discussion ensues about Daddy working, getting paid for it, us spending it at the grocery store for our food, etc.  We've had a lot of weird Jesus discussions lately.  It's so interesting how kids try to make sense of their world :).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Removing word verification from your Blog

Does this look familiar?

I've helped a handful of bloggers change this setting on their blog this week.  Most don't even know it is happening, simply that they don't get many comments.  If you've wondered about this, its worth just checking.  Here's how:

Go to Dashboard.

Then click Settings.

Then click Comments.

Three up from the bottom click NO next to "Show word 

verification for comments?"

Then click Save Settings at the very bottom.

Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

My ingenious daughter (who eats GF because of Celiac disease) played chef as she often does and put together some gluten free baked chicken nuggets.  They were awesome!  We all liked them.  She used a recipe that calls for bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and spices.  She cut small pieces of chicken breast, dipped them in butter and then rolled them in the crumb mixture and layed them out on pans and baked them.

Her dad made mashed potatoes and gravy to go with it and dinner was fabulous!  She made plenty so that she had leftovers to snack on.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Went Right #3

So, here it is :)

  1. My neighbors needed into our backyard because their volleyball had gone over the fence.  I unlocked our padlock to let them in, and it reminded me of why we have them there and I told them the story.  We've had not one but TWO disappearances of our sweet baby Lane this year and the first one was right after moving to this house.  The kids were all out enjoying the backyard when I felt moved to go check on him.  He wasn't there.  He wasn't in the house.  As I came running out the backyard to the front a lady drove up, rolled down her window and asked if I knew a 2 year old in the area. Aaaaaahhhhh!  I just took off sprinting down the street where I saw two sheriff's cars.  I knew it had to be him.  Sure enough a group of people were gathered around one lady holding my sweet darling.  I grabbed him and then spent about 15 minutes answering questions for the Sheriff.  And then (heart RACING) the lady who was holding him walked me home.  She suggested padlocks on our gates.  Her suggestion was taken!  My hubby purchased and installed them that day.  Oh, I thank God that my baby was okay!  He had crossed a major street and this lady stopped because she was worried about him and stayed with him while others called the cops.  She happens to also be my across the street neighbor (we knew no one).  I share this as a good thing because sometimes its just nice to have someone know your story and part of why you are crazy :).
  2. I took the girls to the playground after school.  Dad was already home with the boys so we decided to take a bit to play (going to the playground with two older kids is SO relaxing, by the way :).  Then we were feeling fun so we went up to the library too (our school is a special multi-use building that houses a gym community center, as well as a city public library that gets used in the school as well.  I love my neighborhood, and I especially love fall days where we can enjoy the outside.
  3. Vitamin D!  I think I've discovered something that will help some of the health problems I've been experiencing lately.  I read more about Vitamin D and then realized some time back I had purchased some combo Fish Oil and Vitamin D3 2000iu's capsules.  I've noticed a big difference in taking them every day.

Monday, September 24, 2012


There is still time to help pick the winner of our Weekend Warmth party.  Go on over and pick your favorite (it will allow one per computer)...feel free to send your friends too.  It ends tonight!

Removing the Mantle

Piece by piece we took our family room apart.  Eventually it was the mantle's turn to go.  Why?  Casey has some gorgeous fireplace ideas in the works.  Will be fun to focus on when the weather gets blustery!  But until then, I've got some pictures to show you of his BRUTE STRENGTH making quick work of this thing:

And done!  A naked family room!  I really can't wait for the day that this post is simply a before to a stunning after.  It's getting closer every day!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The they change...

1.  Stinky stained carpet
2.  Stinky stained sub-floors
3.  Mmmm, soft clean new-smelling carpet

If you remember, though, it didn't go quite like that.  There were some helpful and shocking stages in between.

Thanks for following along with our remodel!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Went Well Today, Day 2

Okay, so here's my three things.  You know what's funny?  After writing yesterdays, I had ideas of like 10 more.  This could probably snowball into 100.  It's funny how counting your blessings can do that.

But here's today's 3:

  1. My oldest daughter is wowing me with her drive and initiative.  She is riding her bike to and from school most days, working on Safety Patrol (helping those cute little kids across the street on their way to school) and then going to soccer practice for an hour after school.  I am SO pleased that she is working this hard but also that her school is providing so many opportunities.  She is a little bundle of energy so I always appreciate (free) activities being available for her participation.  I love that she gets to learn to play the viola, and have soccer both for free through her school.
  2. I have 79 blog followers!  Every little one that adds themselves means a lot to me.  2 people decided to "unfollow" a few days ago.  It was the day I posted pictures for my little guy's birthday.  Could be too much "family stuff" shared or simply offended by the title about 9/11? Who knows.  What I do know is 3 people quickly filled their space and then more came and it just tickles my little heart that people are willing to read what I write and put forth.  I've worked hard to post every day this year, and I will continue to do so to reach the goal for myself, but knowing I have a community, ever so small, who is interested feels good too.  I am extremely isolated these days due to my mental issues, like random panic attacks, so having even behind-the-computer interactions with you all means more than you know.  I appreciate other bloggers who put themselves out there so I can connect with them too.
  3. ZUMBA baby!  I went to zumba again.  I had purchased a 20 class punch pass, and realized I haven't even used half.  Why have I not gone for so long?  Anyway, it was nice to sweat.  I get a little tired of the same songs and same dances, I'll admit...but there aren't many other dancy exercise classes around here, so I'm glad I can go to it, and it's already paid for!

Friday, September 21, 2012

3 Things

I'm going to list 3 things that went well today.  It's a project I plan on doing all week.

1.  My five year old took the snack for preschool today and he was so proud of how the other kids liked it and how generous he felt letting them take the basket of snacks outside.  Apparently the kids asked him and he was proud to say that it was OK :).  I love it when he is happy.

2.  We've had the windows open at night.  I love the cool breezes and the (less) need for A/C during the day.  It's running right's just Omaha weather!  As soon as it isn't needed we'll need heat :).

3.  I read an Andrew Weil book today that gave me a lot of concrete ideas to improve my happiness.  Hint:  This project is one of them :).  I'm excited about that.  I'm all about real, actual things I can try.  He's a good writer.  I'm looking forward to looking up his other titles, as well.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekend Warmth is here again....

Boys Making Popcorn

My older son is quite accomplished in the kitchen.  He is teaching his toddler brother how to make air popped popcorn.

I thought it was so cute to watch the teaching moments.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

As Simple as a hem...

I have loved to sew almost all of my life, but this is the first time I've featured a Re-Fashion here on Western Warmth.  I've sewn, designed, spent time and money in fabric shops, hours of dreaming up designs, even more hours stitching and re-stitching them....but I am relatively new to the glorious recycling world of re-fashioning.

Basically, what it is is this:  you buy or get something free that is used or a castaway of some sort.  You imagine the possibilities and make it into a usable item!  Fantastic, no?  I've been relying on used clothing of all sorts (maternity, baby, kids re-sale, hand-me-downs, etc.) very heavily since we left "real" life for my husband to attend law school.  I'm a fan of used clothing for a number of reasons (enough for another post), but I am even more excited now that I think of things for what they can become now too.

This breezy white shirt is a light summery layer that I felt drawn to right when I saw it at Goodwill.  I was so excited about it I had my husband take a picture of me wearing it to church.  When I saw the pictures later all I could focus on was all that fluffy fabric at the bottom that was making ME look fluffier :).

I simply cut a few inches from the bottom, hemmed it up again....and here is the change.  Nothing really drastic or anything...but just a touch more flattering (which is helpful since I think I've gained 5-7 pounds in the 3 months between pictures :).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

So I made some pillows!

Do you remember me showing you all those "inspiration" photos of throw pillows I wanted to try making?  I totally made them like the next day.  Out of my gorgeous stash of fabric I almost gave to Goodwill right before our move.  I was so over sewing at the time.  Doh! 

They go in waves:  my hobbies, that is.  I'll get really excited, obsess for a few days, and do nothing else for 10 hours a day straight.  Then I might not do it again for a year or three.

But I'm back at it (for only a few hours a time, I promise!)  For further proof, check out my etsy shop :).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Make Popcorn!

One of my very favorite websites I found since beginning my love of blog reading, was this:  Tammy's Recipes.  There are a lot of reasons I liked it but the #1 is that her recipes are tried and true, and really good!  I use her site like a virtual cookbook, just searching for the category I need.

Anyway...every Tuesday she has a gathering called Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.  Most weeks I try to join in, and I wanted to share something simple that we love:

Popcorn!  Why?  For 15 dollars at Walmart we purchased this hot air popper a few years ago.  I love that it doesn't use anything besides hot air to cook the corn.  Even more I like that we have no cancer causing chemicals to inhale by way of microwave popcorn!  I'm becoming a little obsessive about using natural foods these days.

So here's what I love about popcorn:

  • Whole grain
  • can make tons of different flavors (try our Caramel Corn recipe!)
  • crunchy
  • fun kid snack
  • CHEAP, especially when made this way
When we were in Law school (by we I mean my husband :) whenever food money was scarce I loved the comfort of our Sunday treat of hot popcorn.  Our other favorite penny-pinching comfort food was homemade bread (will be posting more on that in the coming days).

Do you love home popped popcorn?  What makes it special?


One time, when we were meeting new people at Church my son blurted out, "My mom likes chandeliers."  It was totally random.  I think we were talking about our interests.  I don't even remember who we were talking to....but the conversation got awkward, as most of mine do ;).  Because they didn't get it, right?!  Um,yeah no....I'm weird.

But what's not to love?  I'm simply obsessed, so much so that even my kids know that I swoon when the right chandy comes into view.  Want to see some eye candy?

So, I'm you have a favorite?  How about a favorite place to have a chandelier?  Since we like to watch the utility bills we have ceiling fans everywhere...but you know a place I could squeeze a cute, decorative chandy?  The big walk-in closets!  Can you just picture it?  I think it might make them feel like fancy dressing rooms.  We'll see what Casey thinks :).

Sunday, September 16, 2012


So...let me ask you like trends?  I used to.  In elementary school I wanted nothing more than the $14 (yes, I remember!) white high-top shoes from K-mart that a whole group of girls my age had. My mother insisted that we only wear leather shoes for our foot health, like preventing athlete's foot.  So, instead of having the trendy shoes I was stuck with the good quality, supportive stuff....I was so mad ;).

Turns out I think a little of my mom (ok, probably a lot) rubbed off on me.  Quality is important.  But not only that, I find trends rather annoying.  Where did that start?  I don't know, but I'm blaming Twilight.  WHY, for the love of all that is holy, must we keep falling in love with poorly written books?  Seriously, people?

Okay.......moving on.

If you haven't already noticed I am obsessed with houses.  Obsessed with how they are built, how they are decorated, and how people live in them.  So I spend much of my waking hours thinking about them.  Lately, TRENDS have been on my mind.  And, like always, they bug me.  Sorry, but they do.  I'll show you pictures of what I mean:

First of all, can we just agree to leave the animal heads to the hunters?  This is the weirdest trend, in my opinion.

And featured below is the craziest mish-mash of styles in what could otherwise be a beautiful kitchen.  Stone fireplace with drapey floral curtains, and then two tone cabinets.  Eclectic is...well, you need to be careful :).

And........another inappropriate animal head, that's not a real animal at all.

Okay, you know I love white cabinet kitchens...but this one?  This is just way too cold and bland for me.  What do you think?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fun little FREE toy/book storage

I think I've gone Mod Podge crazy!  This was a free Costco box, but it is so thick and heavy duty.  Since it is decorated with a Nursery Rhyme motif now, I think it will hold the baby and board books in our toy room.  I love to re-use something that would be otherwise garbage and I love that feeling of being creative :).

Friday, September 14, 2012

I've got the Fevah!

It's addicting, I tell you!  It's a madness!

Check back tomorrow to see what I stuck to what in the name of creativity :).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Weekend Warmth!

Party Rules:  There are no rules!  Here's to the Weekend :)  

If you'd care to Follow me, just let me know you did and give me a link to your blog so I can Follow you too!

Shabby Frills Christmas Shoppe

~Click here to go to my Shoppe~

I have been hand-stitching my little frilly heart out the last few months.  I LOVE rustic and shabby decorating if ya haven't noticed yet ;).  I also love sewing and have made a Christmas collection of tree skirts and ornaments.  Feel free to take a look and recommend the shop to your friends.  My family appreciates your support!

P.S.  If you order, type Western Warmth in the notes and I'll refund your shipping!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

If there was Pinterest...

So I saw this on Pinterest today....

....and it got me thinking.  Ya know, maybe that's a good thing (just like I feel super lucky Facebook wasn't around when I was a teenager :)

I got married in the 90's.  If there had  been Pinterest back then, what might my board look like?


So, it's all about the hair, right?  Any of these numbers would have inspired me...

No wait, The Dress, The Dress!  Puffy sleeves or go home.

If we're gettin' a band they better be ready to rock (the keyboard tie says that like nothin' else)

Don't let me forget the HEADPIECE!  A wedding couldn't happen without one, right?

And, this gives me a gander at hairdo ideas for my future hubby.  Ahem.  Glad we didn't forget that part.

Technology is all fun and games now, but anyone else glad it hasn't always been in their life?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rustic Chicken Wire Jewelry Holder

Thanks to re-building our deck we had some "re-claimed" wood of our very own to use for this project.  I've wanted a rustic way to display and keep my jewelry out of little hands for a very long time.  Casey couldn't understand why chicken wire needed to be involved, but with enough poking, prodding, and viewing of my Pinterest page...he hopped on board and made this!

I love it!

Why I Love 9/11

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Food Jar Crafts

So, I was looking at the baby food jars I have and thinking,"Throw them out?"  Surely there's got to be a craft somewhere....

Oh my goodness, is there ever!

If you aren't addicted to Pinterest yet, you should be ;).  Check them out for more beautiful recycling ideas!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Blog is your Worst Nightmare

I was reading a post where people were sharing their blog pet peeves.  I read the comments and found them extremely insightful.  Insights such as:

My blog sucks.

Things that bug people include:  Not having one distinct topic, skipping around (check!).  Having lots of personal post about family stuff (check!) and showing remodeling projects with all the steps, not just a clear before and after (check! check!)

Sounds like I'm covering the blog suckiness spectrum from all angles.  But the good news is I still love it and I still plan to do it my way.  I haven't made a dime from it yet, so I'm not gonna spend my time trying to make it please a few people just for that reason.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to show yet another thing apparently blog readers don't want to see.  Sorry about that :).

I'm gonna show you what it really looks like in the home of DIY re-modelers.  These pictures are just little snippets of how we managed to get the whole house re-carpeted without going to Jamaica for a month.  That's our kitchen the family room furniture is hanging out in, and our unfinished basement where we had a family "slumber party" for a few nights.  Just keepin' it real :).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cute Western Stuff on etsy :)

Every once in awhile I'm going to stop in and give you a gander at some cute handmade Western Decor goodies out there on Pinterest.  Since I am a sewist/crafter myself I just really appreciate supporting those who try to make a living with their own hands.  Please click on a picture to take you to the artist's etsy shop!