In all my cleaning and organizing in the house this weekend I found a bunch of frames that I no longer want/need in the house. I added them to my garage sale pile but then I remembered a conversation I had this summer with a daycare mom about having a frame exchange. We had discussed gettin a few people together and exhanging frames that we no longer wanted and we’d have some new fun frames to add to our homes. I think it would be a great solution to no have to buy new frames as often. What do you do with your old frames?


Cast Iron?

>In October 2009 we lost Mike’s uncle, Mark, to a sudden heart attack. Since he had no children and his mom (grandma Mary) is too old to be doing heavy lifting, the job of cleaning out his house fell on Mike, myself, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. There were MANY things that we threw directly into the dumpster but some were useful so we each took what we could use. We found a cast iron fry pan and it nearly went into the trash but my mother-in-law swears by it so I thought I would try it out.

Well, it has been sitting in a box with multiple strings of Christmas lights since I brought it home. So while putting away the Christmas items I decided to pull the pan out and wash it up. However since i’ve never used cast iron before I don’t know what to do with it or if I’ll even like it. So I thought I’d see if anyone else uses it and if it is worth the weight of it? I need to decide soon as I am in ‘get rid of it’ mode!


Moon Sand

>I have found my new arch nemesis! I used to think Play Doh was the worst mess the kids could make but thanks to my brother, Sonny, I have found something even worse. He gave the boys Moon Sand for Christmas and of course they wanted to play with it this mroning. I have been trying to get all the Christmas decorations put away and reorganize the house to put away all the new stuff. I tried to hold them off as long as I could but they persisted…OMG the stuff is AWFUL! It breaks apart into a million pieces. It was all over the floor, the chairs (which are upholstered), and their clothes. It seems to be a pretty easy cleanup but it won’t be something they get to play with on a regular basis! HOLY COW!

Merry Christmas

>We have had a very Merry Christmas so far! We celebrated Christmas Eve with Mike’s side of the family at our house this year. It was a good time had by all filled with too much food, a few drinks and many laughs. The kids got to bed late but fell asleep right away so the Santa duties could convene. The kids were happy with everything they got, so many that they will have new things to play with for a while. The tree looks quite empty right now but we still have one last Christmas to celebrate tomorrow with my side of the family. Today we are headed to Aunt Pat and Uncle Orlo’s house to eat more and spend some wonderful family time. We hope that everyone else has a fantastic Christmas!



Blake got his chance to help Mike snow blow the driveway yesterday. I’m not sure if this is some sort of punishment from Mother Nature for something that Minnesota did but we have definitely had more than our fair share of snow this winter…and winter just began on Tuesday! I hear talk of another blizzard on New Years Eve which is stressing out my mother-in-law because she may miss Donny & Marie at Mystic Lake. I would really like to avoid some snow for a while…at least until January 4th when i have to go back to work;)


>When it comes to Christmas I am a wrapper. I would much rather use wrapping paper than throw the gifts in a gift bag and call it good. So since I like to wrap things I save boxes for months in preparation for Christmas gift wrapping. If the item is in its own box then I just wrap it in that but some things like clothes need a box so I save them. For months I tell everyone in the house to not throw the boxes away so that I have enough to wrap gifts. Well ineveitably we end up with a pile of boxes that looks like the picture below. Am I the only one?

Repurposing – Great Gift Idea

I was talking with someone recently about repurposing items and thought I’d share this really fun idea I came across a while back. It is a jewelry holder made from a picture frame. Here’s what I did:

Scoured the thrift stores/garage sales for old frames that would look pretty. I actually found two that were the same and had a pretty design. I didn’t like the color of it so I spray painted it black. Then I picked out a pretty scrapbook paper and put it in the frame. So now I have a pretty jewelry plate to put on my dresser and store my rings, earrings, etc.

Drawing Names

>This year my side of the family was planning on drawing names again however we weren’t all going to be together so I was on a mission to find a website that would do the drawing for us and email us all. My family thought I was crazy and laughed at me when I mentioned it. Apparently I am the only one who would think of this…however my thought is if it is something I’m looking for then someone else has surely created it.

So after a simple Google search I found The site can be easily set up by entering all the participants names and email addresses. They are then sent an email to join the group (you are able to also remove a person if they choose not to participate). Once everyone has ‘joined’ the group, each person is sent an email with their drawn name. Everyone is then able to make a wish list to make it easier for their ‘secret santa’ to easily find them a gift.

This is such a great way to draw names!

Christmas Caramels

>My holiday baking is in full swing and I baked this weekend with a good friend. We made these caramels and they turned out so yummy that I wanted them to have a pretty wrapping too. I had already wrapped them in freezer paper but they looked to plain. So I took a stamp that I had and put a little red Christmas bulb on them. It spruced them up just a touch!

>Once was lost…now is found!

>The worst part of losing your mind is you never quite know when it may turn up. But I do feel like I found mine again (partially anyway)! After days of searching I finally took Saturday night and searched through EVERY Christmas box I have, looked in the attic of the garage for more boxes (to find none), and then finally looked in the one place that I had Christmas stuff I hadn’t checked. Sure enough i had put the labels with the wrapping/tissue paper so I could easily find them (yeah right!).

As for the rug I thought I had purchased last year it has yet to turn up and I’m starting to think that I created it in my mind since I wanted one so bad. So I took my $20 of Kohl’s cash and bought one last night. I wasn’t about to let this free money go to waste this time!

So all is back in order in my house and I can begin working on my Christmas letter. The envelopes are all set minus the address labels I need to print yet! Can’t wait to get that checked off the list.