Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tiffy's Top Ten...January 2012

I REALLY enjoy making lists...of anything. To do lists, movies to see lists, books I've read lists, food I've made for entertaining lists, favorite quotes from books lists...I could go on. That is my style of journaling...lists. They make me happy. So, I thought I'd share some lists with you this year...one a month. This month is:

The Top Ten Things I Wear (Fall/Winter):

1. Gap Cami...every day!

2. Headband/Flower Pin as seen in my shop

3. Cardigans from Goodwill...$2.50 on 1/2 price day!

4. Little Skirts worn over jeans...also from Goodwill

5. Timex 1440 watch in white...(Target $15)

6. Black yoga pants

7. New Balance Minimus running shoes

8. Smart Wool Socks

9. Converse

10. Flared Jeans

I don't spend a lot on clothes (my running shoes and smart wools are my biggest splurge...but you need a quality running shoe, and I hate cold feet), I like to make my own or buy second-hand. I wear my top ten items 90% of the time. Putting this in writing has actually inspired me to get rid of at least 50% of my closet. Watch for that post down the road...

I always thought I was more of a "sunset" person as opposed to a "sunrise" person. This year has changed that...I am equally a fan of both! My kitchen is on the south-facing side of our house, so I get to enjoy both the sunrise and the sunset out of my kitchen windows. Many times it just stops me in my tracks with it's beauty. I gasp...then grab my camera...then just stare.

I have another recipe that I plan on sharing tomorrow morning...then, I'm hoping to find 3 hours of time so that I can finish up the last panel of my Ruffled Curtains. I'll show the finished product on Thursday!

Today I'm:


going to my 6 mos dental appt

taking Lulu to gymnastics

XOXO Tiffany

"The mist had cleared from the mountains and the sun was shining, and as a consequence the way seemed much more pleasant and easy than it had for a very long time." Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Monday, January 30, 2012

Beef Noodle Bake

Hi! Oh, this was one of those recipes that I ripped out of a magazine (years ago) and have always wanted to make. Finally, last week, I made it. Can I just say that 5/5 loved it?!? I forgot to take the photo as soon as it came out of the oven, so this poor photo is of the remaining back corner of the Beef Noodle Bake. I thought this recipe couldn't have been yummier and I plan to make it every month (or every other)! Here it is:

Beef Noodle Bake

5 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 lb ground beef
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic salt
2 tsp butter
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
4 green onions, chopped
½ cup minced fresh parsley
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Cook noodles. Brown beef in skillet over medium heat. When no longer pink, add in tomato sauce, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Drain noodles and toss with butter. Set aside. In a food processor, blend cottage cheese and sour cream until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add onions and parsley. Add noodles and toss to coat.
In a greased 9 x 13 pan, add 1/3 of the noodle mixture, followed by ½ of the meat mixture. Repeat this and top with the remaining noodles. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.


Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! We ordered Thai take-out on Friday night...which always makes me feel like a fancy schmancy city girl. Could 'a been...but, alas, I'm just a small town Minnesota girl. Then, on Saturday morning (I warmed in the oven) we had Costco's Cinnamon Rolls...oh my! Crazy good. Thank goodness for work-outs, b/c we kind of blew it this weekend! My high school sweetie played broomball after the cinnamon rolls and in the afternoon I met some old jr high/high school friends out at my favorite restaurant...Truffles and Tortes. (Bums! I was totally going to link their home page (I just learned how!) but their site must be down. I'll keep checking and maybe I'll link it up later). Sunday was filled with MJ's wrestling match (he took 2nd!), Daisy's sledding party at church, MJ attending a friends birthday party, and watching Daisy's two (back to back) soccer games in a freezing cold dome. Good times.



The kids have piano lessons (I have to go to the library)

The girls have swim team

Hoping to share Tiffy's Top Ten tomorrow!

XOXO Tiffany

"There's no point in trying to dictate what Gale thinks. Which, if I'm honest, is one reason I trust him." Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lucy's Room

This is Lucy's (aka Lulu) room. She is my completely awesome and amazing middle child. The only thing we needed to purchase was: paint, some chair rail, and a night stand...which we found at a garage sale for...10 cents! We made a little table skirt for it and it was good to go!
Here is the "before" picture...yuck. We gave her little dresser to Daisy's room. And, I gave Lucy my dresser. So, with a little shuffling, we got it done. This is reminding me that I am still in need of a little nightstand. I'd better add that to my list...

Yesterday my homeschool coop meeting went well...though I'm still un-decided and more confused than ever. There are just so many fabulous options out there!

the Lupus Foundation is stopping by to pick up a big 'ole pile of "stuff"
I'm going to try to get in a full day of homeschooling
my parents (Yaya and Poppy) are picking up the kids to play
I have to get to Costco (out of milk and spinach!)
Lulu is spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's

Have a fabulous weekend!

XOXO Tiffany

"There are, in fact, certain roads that one may follow. Simplification of life is one of them" Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sewing Wednesday...Ruffled Curtains

Ruffled Curtains...awhile back, I saw the cutest idea for ruffled curtains. I immediately knew that I wanted to make some for our family room. I am planning on having long white denim panels and then adding 7" deep ruffles up the bottom 1/3 or so of the drapes. I couldn't decide on a color pallette until yesterday morning, when it was time for me to dig in! I sorted through my fabric scraps and came up with this yellow/gold/brown color pallette. I am loving it! So...yesterday, I was able to sew for about 6 hours...I got the white panels lined and finished. Then I started the tedious process of pressing/cutting/connecting/measuring my ruffle pieces. I need two strips of each fabric to measure 110" x 7". For four of the fabrics, there was enough. However, for the other five fabrics, I'm going to need to get creative and do some more slicing and dicing. I'm thinking of adding a cream strip in the top half (3 1/2") of the ruffle and have the chosen fabric be the bottom half (3 1/2") of the ruffle. Sure, it would have been easier to just go out and purchase the correct amount of fabric...but I just LOVE using up what I have on hand. So, that is what I am going to do! I am really hoping to show my completed look by my next Sewing Wednesday!!!

Today I am:

attending an all day open house at a new homeschool coop!

(can't wait to check it out!)

taking the girls to swim team

Tomorrow I'm hoping to share photos of Lucy's room makeover!

XOXO Tiffany

"If I come along behind you and notice that you are finding the way especially difficult, and are suffering from slips and falls, it only makes Me think of what you will be like when you are with Me, leaping and skipping on the High Places" Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My New Green Drink!

Can I just say...Yum! I saw this recipe on a favorite blog of mine: The Girl Who Ate Everything...but she got it from another blog (that is also a new favorite) Mommy In Manhattan. Sorry! I still haven't figured out how to do links. I'm techno challenged.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was making a green drink in the morning...it had:

English cucumbers

frozen peas



cottage cheese


This was not good. I literally had to gag it down. When I was making this new green drink, my son got really scared...not because I would make him drink some...no, it was because he was worried that I would reek of onions the rest of the day! After that last green drink, I practically had to wear a surgical mask b/c of the onion stench. Well...not with this green drink~! Here's what I did:

In my fabulous Vita-Mix, I loaded in:

3 handfuls of baby spinach

1 cup of milk

1 banana

4 ice cubes

1 heaping tbsp of peanut butter (natural)

1 scoop of protein powder

I blended it up until all the spinach turned to liquid and made my drink a yummy green shade. The kids were scared as they watched me...I took my first sip, paused, and said "Yum!" The girls immediately wanted to try some (they had seen my puckered up/gagging reaction to previous green drinks), so I poured them each a little glass, because I know them, and knew that they would gobble it down. With MJ, I asked him to have a little sip of mine...he was cautious...but tried a little sip, he asked for more, and before I knew it, he was picking up my glass and drinking it on his own! I call that a huge success! He is my toughest critic. Now I have to see if I can get Matt to drink a glass...another tough critic.

The original recipe called for almond milk and almond butter...which I'm sure are two healthier options...I just used what we had on hand and will continue to do so. I'm going to play with it a bit and see how much spinach I can get in there without noticing a change in the taste.

So...last night, I made another new recipe (2 in one day!) for dinner...it was awesome!!! I got 5 thumbs up, and that's tough to do in my family. I will share that recipe soon!

Today I will be:

doing a 1/2 day of homeschooling

sewing curtains for my family room

bringing the girls to swim team

bringing Daisy to her soccer clinic in a dome

running 3 miles on the track in the dome!

Have a great one!

XOXO Tiffany

"Some walks you have to take alone" Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Daisy's Room

We've lived in our house for 10 years now. After 10 years, you start to really get the feeling that things need to be re-done. My girls shared a room for 7 years. They were 2 and 3 when they moved in together. I used the other room for my sewing/scrapbooking room. Well, once they hit 9 and 10, they were really ready to have their own space. They love each other to pieces...but have very different interests. So, we did a whole house shuffle and managed to move them into their own spaces.
When they wanted to do the switch, they of course wanted to do it like, yesterday! So, Daisy moved into this poor excuse for a room. Ripped shade, patched walls (from all the shelves that I had in here), a horrible shade of yellow (yellow can be tough to get right!) and she was also still using her pink sheets from her other room. I mean, there are worse rooms out there, but we were sick of it! So in August 2011, I decided to dig in! All I needed to purchase was:
curtains (though I should have made them...rats!)
yellow sheets
green blanket
chandelier (every room in my house has one)
That's it...not bad!
I was so ready for a break in "home projects", but once Lucy saw her sisters room...we knew we would need to tackle her room shortly after. I'll share photos of Lucy's "before and after" room another day. For the record...I have 4 striped rooms in my house. I really LOVE stripes!!!

OK...I have a super fun idea (well, I think it is!) for my blog. I'm thinking of calling it "Tiffy's Top Ten"! Each month I will pick a different theme and share my top ten favorites. I'm thinking January's (I better hustle!) is going to be Things I Wear...and for February...of course, it will be about LOVE. Hoping to get January's up this week!

Today, I'll be:
meeting up with the neighbor's for a morning tea
taking Lulu (Lucy) to gymnastics and running 4 errands


PS...I just finished my book club book "Little Bee" last night...while Chris Cleave had some beautifully written moments...I would not recommend it...nope, not a favorite. Here is my final quote from his book...

"Early each morning the garden boy brought me a scented yellow rose for my hair, trembling on its fine green stem with the dew of the night still on it". Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Monday, January 23, 2012

Girls Book Club...Frozen Hot Chocolate!

My girls have a little book club...just like mine! It's them and 3 of their friends...they meet once a month at each others houses. Whoever hosts, picks the book and the menu. This month was Lucy's turn to host. She loves EB White, so she picked Trumpet of the Swan for her book. For the menu...we had to go simple b/c we were out all day before book club! So, we picked up Subway sandwiches and a couple of bags of chips. I cut up apples and oranges for a fruit salad. But, then for dessert...we made Frozen Hot Chocolates! When my girls and I went out to New York, we ate at one of my favorite restaurants "Serendipity". They serve these huge goblets of frozen hot chocolate. I got the recipe from my friend who was also there and who happened to be smart enough to buy their cookbook. We love these!

Serendipity’s Frozen Hot Chocolate
3 oz chocolate chips
2 tsp hot chocolate mix
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1 ½ cups milk
3 cups ice
Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings

Melt the chocolate chips (slowly) in the microwave. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until blended and sugar is dissolved. Add ½ cup of the milk and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a blender, place the remaining cup of milk, the room temperature chocolate mixture, and the ice. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into glass and serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

My girls...Daisy (10, on left) and Lucy (9, on right). I wish I had gotten a picture of the table! Lucy set the table all cute-sy and she wanted to cut up the subs in quarters and place them on a cake pedestal. It was really cute!

Last week we had the most beautiful evening snow fall! It only lasted for about 2 hours, but we sure loved it. I wish it had gone on all night!

I have been working on re-modeling my family room...I'm almost there! I will show pictures shortly, but I think I may backtrack a bit and show some re-modeling that I did this fall. I'll post some pictures this week.

XOXO Tiffany

"Her lipgloss was iredescent plum. She was wearing an aubergine shirt dress with a smooth black fish-skin belt and glossy black knee high boots". Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The BEST Chicken Enchiladas!

Yum! This is (one of) my absolute favorite dinners!!! 4 out of 5 of us gobble these right down. One of my children seems to have issues with melted cheese...seriously? I usually make two 8 x 8 pans of these. You could freeze one pan, but I usually just make it the next night so that we have fresh enchiladas...which are better than the re-heated enchiladas. Here's what to do!

Chicken Enchiladas

1 cup chopped onion
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 ½ cups hot water
1 tbsp instant chicken bouillon
8 oz sour cream
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz can chopped chiles, drained
1 tsp ground cumin
10 8 inch tortillas

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In saucepan, cook onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour, hot water and bouillon. Cook and stir until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream. In medium bowl, combine 2 cups of the sauce mixture with chix, 1 cup cheese, chiles and cumin. Place chix mixture on each tortilla. Roll up, folding in sides. Arrange in greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake about 25 minutes.

Mouth is watering...
Today...the kids spent the evening at a friends house and won't be back until after 12pm today! I get to spend the morning getting the house and food ready for Rook Club tonight! Have you ever heard of that card game? So fun! I'm making New England Clam Chowder with some Garlic Cheddar Biscuits and my Mandarin Orange Salad...though I think I am going to substitute the oranges with craisens. My fabulous friend, Melinda, made the soup and biscuits at our last Book Club...oh my goodness, so good!
I'm off to do an ab work-out.
XOXO Tiffany
"...the secret to joy is to keep seeing God where we doubt He is" One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Friday, January 20, 2012

GG Pages...Scrapbooking

Many years ago (like 7?), I was chatting with a good friend. I was wondering what I should get the GG's (Great Grandma's) for Christmas. She had the best idea ever! Scrapbook pages! So, that was the year that I gave each of the Great Grandma's (my kids are blessed with 3!) an 8 x 8" scrapbook with some pages of photos from our year. Their books are filled to the max, so this was the year that I needed to buy another book. Well, I decided to just do little mini books this year instead of having them have to fuss with those posts in their other scrapbooks. Kind of a pain to figure out how to open, add, and close each time. I'm not always there to help...they usually get mailed. So, here are the little 8 x 8" mini books!
I just did little pages of our year. Very simple. Tied the books off with some ribbon, and they are good to go!

Here is an example of how simple my pages are! I've gotten very simple even in my own scrapbooks as well. I've realized that I can't do it all. I had to pick and choose what I can spend my time on. Our family scrapbook collection is important to me, but it's the photos that I care about, not so much the other embellishments. So, now I just use pretty paper and some journaling, and I get those pages done! The kids LOVE to look at the scrapbooks...fun for them to remember all the little things about growing up together. Currently I am working on July 2010...only 18 months behind! I am hoping to be caught up by December 2012. What a great feeling that will be!

My little morning project today is to process the little pile of stuff by my computer. I always have a pile of little ideas that I want to look up, a website to check out, home videos to download, things to document in one of my many excel spreadsheets...

It's also laundry and bill paying day! Have a good one!!!

XOXO Tiffany

"Tea is the taste of my land: it is bitter and warm, strong, and sharp with memory. It tastes of longing. It tastes of the distance between where you are and where you come from." Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My (Organizing) Sewing (Room) Wednesday

Yesterday was my Sewing Wednesday. We had some friends over for dinner last weekend and the husband asked if I could patch/repair two pairs of jeans and also hem a pair of jeans. I can say "no" in almost every area of my life EXCEPT when it comes to my business. This is something I need to add to my "Things to work on list for 2012". So, I spent some time in the morning getting those jeans ready to go. After that, I was going to cut out some linings for my little Pillowcase Skirts. I went into the garage to pull out my "lining" storage tub...I was slapped in the face with cold temps and decided I would wait on that. I went back into my sewing room and saw this photo (below).

Yikes. How am I supposed to be productive when I am looking at this! So, I put on some good music (Paul Wright and Ingrid Michaelson and Gungor are some of my favorites right now) and got to work. Clearing, sorting, donating, throwing. After a little time, I could look at my "Simplify" sign with a smile. Now, I'm hoping to keep up with it and get those skirts done!

My 4:30am wake up time is going pretty good. Strangest thing though...turns out that getting up and immediately starting my exercise program, isn't all that great of a plan. I've shifted a couple of things around...now I get up and make my chai tea (yep, that's motivating) and start my day with my Bible time (what could be better)...then I look over my day/week...then I exercise. So much better!!!!

Today...we're going to homeschool this morning and then head out to our homeschool co-op. The kids are all presenting their research reports today. Then, we were going to play outside...something tells me that the -12 temps are going to put a kabosh on that. We shall see! Have a great day!!!

XOXO Tiffany

"England was made of dawn mists that rose to the horses shoulder, of cakes cooled on wire trays for the cutting, of soft awakenings." Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Favorite Meal

My baby, MJ, just turned 8 this month. When I asked him what he wanted to eat for his birthday meal, he said grilled cheese and tomato soup. We really do love grilled cheese and tomato soup. I make a loaf of white bread in my bread machine and slice it up thick, texas toast style. I slice up some cheese and butter up that bread, and grill them on my grill pan. I prefer to use Trader Joe's carton of tomato soup...but, I couldn't get out to Trader Joe's so I got some natural tomato soup from my market in town, not as good, but was still a good dipper. Our new/old favorite salad lately is the Mandarin Orange Salad. Oh my goodness...this is so good! I've been making it for many years, but hadn't made it in awhile...it's so much fun to re-discover a recipe! Here's how to make it if you haven't made it before!

Mandarin Salad
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar

romaine lettuce
2 med stalks celery, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges

Sweet and Sour Dressing:

¼ cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp snipped parsley
½ tsp salt
Dash of pepper

Shake above ingredients in tightly covered jar; refrigerate. Cook almonds and sugar over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and almonds are coated. Cool and break apart. Store at room temperature. Place Romaine (chopped), celery and onions in salad bowl. Pour Sweet and Sour Dressing over salad and toss; add orange segments and almonds. 4-6 servings.

There's my little hunk. Mmmm Mmmm Good!

Today is my Sewing Wednesday...doing hems and repairing jeans for a client...and hoping to get some linings cut out for my little pillowcase skirts that I have been working on!

Shower time...

XOXO Tiffany

"I realized that I was carrying two cargos. Yes, one of them was horror, but the other one was hope" Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finger Knitting and a Scrapbook Project

One of my favorite blogs, Button Bird Designs, did a post on finger knitting. Mmmm, how fun! I am obsessed. The kids and I learned to do this over Christmas break. I have found myself looking for good movies to watch so I could sit and finger knit. Check out YouTube for some tutorials!

My 6:00-6:30am "project" this morning was to sort through my on-line photos. I scrapbook once a month with my neighbor ladies, and recently, I've been noticing that some photos are just gone. What? I have our ticket stubs to the State Fair from Sept '09, but no photos...I have a menu from Bar la Grassa in Nov '09, but, again, no photos. Hmmmm. This has been frustrating. So, after scrapping last Saturday night, I said, "my goal before I come back next month is to solve these photo mysteries". So, I thought, what a great project to plug into my mornings. This morning, I was able to solve the mysteries of 2009...tomorrow I'm hoping to tackle 2010. Maybe I was more organized by then and everything will match up just fine. One can dream!

Until next time!
XOXO Tiffany

"Storms are very frequent up here on these slopes, but keep pressing forward, for remember that nothing can do you any real harm while you are following the path of My will". Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Monday, January 16, 2012

4:30am...you're MINE!!!

For the past 2 (or is it 3?) years, I have been getting up at the crack of dawn. 4:30am. I had reached the point where I was so tired of saying how busy I was and how I never had enough time to get things done. Hence, getting up at 4:30am. This gives me 3 hours of peace and quite to get my day started off on the right foot. Well, lately, since the holidays really, I have gotten a little slack on my 4:30am start time. I'll hit snooze a couple of times (or for an hour), or I won't set me alarm at all b/c of a late night. Also, I've been spending too much time on the computer in the mornings and don't have enough time to get a project completed. Well, today I am reclaiming my mornings!!! Here is my gameplan:

4:30 alarm goes off...feet hit the floor...just move!
4:30-4:45 put contacts in, running shoes on, grab ipod
4:45-5:15 exercise (running, dvd...)
5:15-5:45 bible/devotional time/chai tea
5:45-6:00 go over my schedule for the day/week, check my menu plan
6:00-6:30 computer time (I have 2 minutes to finish this post!)
6:30-7:00 complete a project (today I have to finalize a gift and get it ready to mail)
7:00-7:30 shower

Have a wonderful Monday!!!
XOXO Tiffany
"We must see all scars as beauty...because, take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Elvis Presley

Last Sunday, January 8th, would have been Elvis Presley's 77th birthday. Daisy, my 10 year old, is a huge Elvis fan. Did you see my halloween photos? So, this year, I thought we would make an Elvis Presley Sandwich to celebrate his birthday. Look at all that loveliness! Here's what you do should you ever be in the mood for an Elvis:

The Elvis Presley Sandwich:
Toast some white bread and butter it. Spread on some peanut butter. Add some sliced bananas. And, then, the kicker...add bacon! Yep, we all did it with bacon, and can I just tell you how good it was! Mmmmmm.

Hope you're having a splendid weekend!!! I'm off in a bit for a trip to Joanns, Home Depot and Home Goods...I'll fill in the details of my trip at another time! But, let me just say it involves curtains, slip covering, and paint!

XOXO Tiffany

""Hurry" always empties a soul" One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Friday, January 6, 2012

Organization 2012

The pile. I'm always looking for ways to manage "the pile". I actually used to have "piles". Years back, I decided that one pile was enough, so I combined all my piles into one...that way when I was looking for something, I only had to dig through the one pile. On a good day, I would find the item I was looking for. A recipe, directions, a bill, a receipt etc... I have a fabulous file cabinet that I keep long term things in, but the day to day stuff needed a new system. So, here it is. My counter top filing system. I bought a 12 pack of file folders at Target for $4.99. I used my label maker to make my top 12 daily items. Mine are:

Menu Planning
Soccer (I'm the team manager of Daisy's traveling team)
Coupons (mostly dry cleaning, gas, and restaurants)
Gift Cards
Swim Team
Tiffany Layne Fashion
Organization (I keep random check lists and tips in here)
Flex (I keep receipts from things I put on our Flex Spending card...co-pays, yada yada)

So far so good! Now I try to file things in my Top 12 immediately...that way when I need it, I know where to find it.
My 2012 Notebook. I started this trend two years ago with the black notebook below. It was a 3-subject notebook that I wanted to keep track of everything in. I was sick of random lists everywhere and never knowing where I wrote something down. Or, not knowing which notebook it was in. I used to have several going. Now, I keep one master notebook, and try to put everything in there! (I'm still a post-it junkie but I try to put my post-its in my notebook) My last notebook lasted 2 years. My new notebook is a 5-subject...here are my sections:

Lists/Gift Ideas/Entertaining
Notes from Books and Bible time (I always take notes when I read!)
Tiffany Layne Fashion

I love Notebooking!

Last years "notebook".

Garden planning...

Whooops! I put that one in twice...I just deleted it...the other photo that I was going to show was a sketch page for my sewing (Tiffany Layne Fashion)...but I don't know how to load the photo into the middle of the page....

My list making pages.

So...I plan on keeping these notebooks as a way of looking back...like into a journal. I'm more of a list maker, so this kind of journaling works better for me. I am loving my new notebook!

Have fun getting organized in 2012...if that's your thing.

XOXO Tiffany

"Simplification of outward life is not enough". Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Around Here...

Another gorgeous sunrise out my kitchen window. I could very easily turn into the "Sunrise Blogger" if I'm not careful. But, oh, what a gift! Warms my heart.

In my dimly lit, cozy kitchen, I tried a new recipe. Vanilla Lemon Pound Cake. Yes, sometimes we eat cake for breakfast! One of life's many joys. It was crazy yummy...though the recipe said to bake it for 50-55 minutes, so of course I set the timer for 50 minutes and then thought I would check on it...well, we were getting impatient, so I checked on it at 47 minutes and it was dark done! Not burnt, but a few shades darker than I would have liked to have gone. Maybe it's my black bundt pan. I wrote 40 minutes on the recipe...for next time. While we waited for the Pound Cake (I LOVE pound cakes...all dense and yummy) I made our protein strawberry smoothie. Mmmmm. 1 cup of greek yogurt (that's why I call it a protein smoothie), 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 cup pineapple juice (I buy Langer's Natural Pineapple Coconut juice), and 2 frozen bananas. Super easy...blend and enjoy! Makes me not feel so guilty for eating cake for breakfast.

The weather warmed to about 36 degrees and the kids were able to get out and make some snowmen! It's a little tricky to make snowmen when the temps don't make it above 14 degrees...the snow is a touch crunchy. So this was a gift!

I also got this little handbag completed and listed on Etsy as part of my Sewing Wednesday. Also on my Sewing Wednesday...I cut out about 15 of my Upcycled Pillowcase Skirts that I am going to be making for spring. I'm so excited about these! Now, I need to cut out the linings and get sewing!

I'm thinking in my next post I will share some of my old and new organization tips for the new year! They're working out great!

XOXO Tiffany

"Distraction is, always has been, and probably always will be, inherent in a woman's life". Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Books I read in 2011

I love me some books! I read every morning (Bible, devotionals, inspirational books) and every evening (book club books, books that have been on my shelf forever, books that friends recommend, books from the library). During the day (especially on my Sewing Wednesday) I try to sneak in an audio book. The kids and I also listen to these during our school day. I also get to read while the kids do their sports. Here is the list of books read last year (the ones that I remembered....I'm going to keep track this year!):

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (2nd time through)

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (love!)

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (and movie!)

Can you Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kincella

Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicolas Sparks (2nd time through)

Bossy Pants by Tina Fey (laugh out loud funny!)

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (and movie!)

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (wow!)

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (favorite book of 2011)

A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse (don't waste your time)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (want to see the movie!)

The Pact by Jodi Piccoult (not my favorite of hers)

Black by Ted Dekker

Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

When Children Love to Learn by Cooper

Total Mom's Makeover by Hannah Keeley

A Life of Style by Rebecca Moses (a goodwill find...loved it!)

Tale of Two Cities by Dickens (still couldn't finish this one...but I loved the movie!)

It's Raining Cupcakes (girls book club)

Several Audio Books:

Narnia by CS Lewis

Secret Garden

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (girls book club)

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (girls book club...so good!)

The Magicians Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (girls book club)

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech (wow!...girls book club)

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson (girls book club)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Lovey

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath (girls)

Countless other books with the kids...

Books to read/finish in 2012:

Hinds Feet on High Places by Hurnard (a morning book)

Love and Respect by Eggerichs (Matt and I are working through this one)

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (another morning book)

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg (2nd time through)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The Twilight Series (I want to get through it before the last movie!)

The Harry Potter Series (Daisy is loving this series and is collecting all the Lego sets)

There it is! I'll probably be updating it as I think of books that I read that did not make it on the list. Looking forward to another year of great reads!!!

XOXO Tiffany

"I mean to lead a simple life, to choose a simple shell I can carry easily-like a hermit crab. But I do not. The life I have chosen as wife and mother entrains a whole caravan of complications" Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg

Happy New Years!!!

I am crazy excited to tackle 2012 (is it just me or does Two Thousand Twelve sound really futuristic???). Here are some things on my list:

~~Read some books on How to Blog (sometimes I just jump into things and then figure out the
details later...like when we bought a puppy)
~~Add more ruffles to my designs and home
~~Plan out my spring/summer line (going up-cycled!)
~~Get a pool and trampoline for the kids (and me!)
~~Dust more...or as Amelia Bedelia says "un-dust"
~~Remove plastic from my kitchen (the kids and I watched Plastic Planet and have been forever changed!)
~~Cook/eat healthier
~~Remove candy/pop from our life
~~Be "thankful"
~~More date nights/weekends with Matt
~~Entertain our friends more...even if my house isn't perfect or we have to order pizza
~~Spend more time with God...studying His word
~~Figure out my business plan
~~Do zero craft shows this year (last year my goal was to do 2, I ended up doing 3...takes so much time to prep for these things and just took too much away from my family and our
~~Sew for my family and home first...then friends and Etsy
~~Drink lots of H2O
~~Exercise everyday
~~Find a healthy green drink to drink daily
~~Make homeschooling fun
~~Research more homeschooling options
~~Finish our basement (and a whole other list of HH projects!)
~~Say "yes" to spending quality time with the kids
~~Get my scrapbooks caught up
~~Buy more items second-hand
~~Bring those re-usable bags with to the store!
~~Buy a butcher block cutting board
~~Read through the New Testament
~~Simplify my kitchen so I can be more efficient

1. Faith
2. Family
3. Homeschool
4. Friends
5. Tiffany Layne Fashion

Things I did in 2011 that I would like to continue:

~De-cluttering...getting rid of the "stuff"
~Early to bed, early to rise
~Simplify our homeschooling
~Have an "everything notebook"

May Faith, Health, and Happiness be yours in 2012!!!!
XOXO Tiffany