Diana Rambles: January 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

We didn't teach these values!

Yesterday on FB my teen posted one of those 'all about me' questionnaires. He did put a big disclaimer at the top warning us about the language and such. Yes...he talked/cursed like a teen, but that is is to be expected so I just overlooked it. What I did not overlook was some of the racist opinions he expressed. It does seem like they might have been done jokingly (he built himself up as superior), I didn't take them as so. I had a discussion with him about how I was disappointed because we did not raise him to be hateful to certain groups of people like that. He got defensive immediately about me not allowing him to have an opinion. I told him that having an opinion is fine but spewing hatred like that is not OK. He needs to keep his opinions to himself. After the tense discussion he went and hid his FB wall from us. I reminded him that we require him to be an open book with us on FB and that we need to see what he is posting. He has posted some crap on there that could get him in trouble before and I had him remove immediately. At that time he said it was all a joke and that his friends thought it was funny, but when I asked how he'd feel if the same thing was said about his sister...he got the point and removed it.

This all really got me thinking. Where did my son come up with these opinions if we didn't teach them to him? Are these really his opinions or is he just trying to get a rise out of people? Is it OK for me to ask him to remove things he posts? I have very little tolerance for hatred (I know that is like me hating hatred...) and I will not stand by and let it be OK. Sure, my son is still a minor but when he turns 18 soon is it going to be OK? Is he going to land himself in hot water over some tough guy talk online? While I cannot stop my son from saying things, I hope that he listens to my concerns and thinks before he speaks/posts. Maybe I am too concerned with what my kids are up to, but I feel it's my job to guide and protect them. I hope to keep the avenues of communication open and to be there when they need me. I'm going to stand tough and stand up against hatred and bullying!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

More SNOW?

Some may find this offensive, so I apologize in advance. This is how I am feeling about winter...especially in light of this week's blizzard forecast.

Courtesy of Creator_B

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Emotional Friday

OK...so my hubby completed his masters degree in December. We had a party for him 3 weeks ago and about 2 weeks ago his degree appeared on his transcripts. So he's been getting lots of calls from recruiters for positions similar to what he does now. Most are for other cities and many are contract positions. No thank you!

He did apply to this one position in management in the area he's been working in for the past several years. He was contacted for an interview last week and got confirmation this week that the interview was to be on Friday. He wanted to make sure he looked professional and thought he'd wear his blue blazer. I wasn't sure if guys wore them anymore so I did some searching online. We discovered that grey flannel or wool pants were the best bet to go with the blazer. He has Docker type pants, but not any dressy slacks so we went shopping last Saturday. I knew Bergner's was having a good sale and I knew the guy that worked in the men's department there was very knowledgeable on mens fashion. The guy was swamped with customers but we waited and he helped find the right fitting pants for DH. Since it's winter he decided to forgo a tie and wear a sweater instead. I think he looked very nice & professional (and sexy...can I put that on my blog???) A few months ago he wouldn't have worn argyle, but I am glad I talked him into it!!Anyway, right after I took this photo he told me that he posted about his interview on FB. WHAT? I totally freaked out. He had said that he wasn't going to tell anyone about the interview. He told me to go post the pic and tag him as he was talking out the door. OMG~ I was a bundle of NERVES!!! I ran to FB and read that he posted about the specific position he was interviewing for...that freaked me out even more! But there is something you need to know about my hubby and I...we really balance each other. When faced with something stressful only one of us will freak out at a time. One stresses and the other doesn't. That doesn't mean that one of us is always stressed out and the other is calm, but at challenging times that is the case. (Like when we travel...I'm usually the calm one!) I knew that my freaking out meant that DH was completely calm with his interview. I wasn't worried about how he'd do at the interview (I'd knew he'd do a great job and they'd like him...he's a super likable guy), I was just nervous about people knowing and just nervous for him. Any nervousness he might have had was transferred to me right before he walked out the door.

So when he got home 3 hours later...guess what? He was CALM! He said the interview went well and he wasn't nervous at all. He was not surprised that I was an emotional wreck. He told me all the details and how well it went. He ended up knowing/having a connection with everyone on the interview committee and his one-on-one one with the supervisor went well. They are interviewing 5 people total which means there is no hook up. (Sometimes these positions are posted even though they know who they are going to hire...in which case they will interview 2 or 3.) Hubby said that if they don't hire him then they are getting a super fantastic candidate. He also feels that he made a good impression so if there is a stronger candidate for this position then they might consider him for other positions in the future. I am proud of him!!

So it took me a while to calm down from my nerves. Once I talked to him I wasn't nervous anymore, but my tummy was still in knots. In fact, it really hurt after I had some lunch. I didn't end up eating any dinner until 8:30. I took a little cat nap (12 mins to be exact) around 3pm and then we walked the dog which really helped me out. But by the time we went to bed I was exhausted. I looked back at the day and realized that I did not accomplish much, but I was a very supportive wife! LOL! DH hopes to hear within a week about the position. They didn't talk about a start date, but it's another department within the company so he'd be able to transfer over soon. It would be awesome on a few levels. First all the benefits would be the same and we wouldn't have to change insurance or anything. He'd keep all the vacation & sick days (they get A LOT!! Even after taking 5 weeks off last summer for Alaska he has over 30 days on the books now!). We are assuming that pay would be higher as it's management and he now has a masters. AND~ how kewl would it be to get a 'promotion' so soon after completing his Masters? With the economy he figured he'd be stuck where he is for a while. The only way to get a bump in pay is to get promoted...no increase for just getting his masters due to the nature of the position.

Anyway, I am super proud of my hubby and I hope he gets the position!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday is the new Wednesday

Last school year Wednesday was my super busy day of the week. I was always stressed out and exhausted by Thursday so I changed things around this year. First off, I got into a carpool for Dori's preschool. The kids attend 4 days a week and her school is across town (out town isn't very big!) and I drive just one day a week. The school is a cooperative so the parents help out in the classroom. I told the scheduler that I don't want to work on Wednesday, but any other day is fine. It's worked out that my regular day is Thursday. So I drive carpool, work in the class, take kids home, go home for enough time to let the dog out and grab some lunch, take Dori to Little Gym, maybe run a quick errand, then then pick up the boy(s) from school. Thursdays also happen to be busy for me work wise because I have clients that want to get stuff done by the weekend, so I always have a lot on my plate. Throw in an evening activity (band concert or such) and I've spend most of the day gone. So Wednesday is fairly laid back for me now (DH works from home and I only volunteer a few times a month at Parker's school) and Thursday is the crazy day. The nice thing about it all is that Dori doesn't have school on Friday, so that is our very laid back morning. I am awake (on laptop in bed) a little earlier than I like for a Friday morning, but I went to sleep before 11...which is early for me.

Speaking of sleep and school, yesterday was hibernation day at Dori's school. We all got to wear our jammies and hide out in the cave all morning. The kids were super cute and excited to be in their jammies. They each brought a stuffed animal and a book. Here are a few cute shots from the day.
Yes...I wear a Devo tshirt to bed!!

I wish we could have stayed in PJs all day, but we couldn't. Today might be a PJ day!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stir Fry

I've posted a stir fry recipe before, but here is another version. We threw it together from things in our freezer and it turned out WELL!!

Mango Beef Stir Fry

minced mixture (garlic, onion, ginger)
beef strips
carrots
veggies (we used frozen asparagus & cauliflower)
mango
OJ
soy sauce
oyster sauce
corn starch (I mix in a seperate container with water)
oil

-heat oil in wok
-add in minced mixture (1-2 TBS?)
-add beef after the mixture has cooked a little
-just let the beef cook on one side at a time and turn to cook the other side, don't stir it around
-add carrots
-add a little OJ and let that cook a little with lid on
-add frozen veggies, let it steam/cook
-add some soy sauce and stir it in
-add mango
-after that's cooked up a little add the corn starch to thicken the liquid, turn the heat down right away to a simmer
-add in oyster sauce (2-3 teaspoons, I'd guess) and stir in

We serve it over white rice. We usually do broccoli and chicken, but I used a little creativity this time. I think it turned out well!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Valentines Dress for your American Girl Doll Giveaway CLOSED

It's time for another Doll Tested - Mother Approved review of clothing for American Girl or 18" Dolls. This review has a giveaway too!When I was looking through Etsy I noticed some beautiful dresses made by Cats Meow1. I contacted the shop owner about doing a review/giveaway and she agreed. Turns out our daughters have the same name and we really hit it off online. Yesterday when we got home there was a box on our doorstep. Inside was this BEAUTIFUL pink dress. We were most impressed that it came on a hanger with a plastic bag over it.My daughter couldn't wait to take it off the hanger and put it on her doll. This most gorgeous dress is made from embroidered organza and lined with polyester lining. The bodice is fully lined and closes in the back with snaps. The skirt has 3 layers-a crinoline, lining and then the organza. A flower petal and matching button accent the waistline and a hairbow completes the outfit. And the most amazing thing is this outfit is only $19! Mei Mei looks so beautiful in this! I will be searching for a pink Easter dress for my daughter to wear so they can match!
Mei Mei's hair looks awful!
Cats Meow1 is an amazing seamstress. She has years of practice from making custom wedding dresses. The quality is excellent! Not only does she have some beautiful dresses (including several for Valentine's Day!) she has GORGEOUS Communion dresses. You've got to check them out here! Due to her creativity, exceptional quality, and reasonable prices I give Cats Meow1 5 BIG stars!Cats Meow1 is offering a beautiful Valentine's Dress for an American Girl or 18" Doll to one of my lucky Diana Rambles readers. This sweet Valentine's Day dress is a winter white velvet bodice, fully lined, with snaps in back. The very full skirt is made from red shimmer satin and has an attached crinoline underneath. Red ribbon ties create a bow in back and decorative trim adorn the front waist. Also comes with a matching hairbow. The pics below don't do this outfit justice. It is simply magnificent! This giveaway will run through 11:59pm CST on Monday, January 31st. The winner will be chosen via random.org and notified on February 1st and will have 48 hours to contact me. This giveaway is for the dress & hairbow only! Doll & shoes not included!

Entry Rules
  • You must do the mandatory entry
  • Leave your email address with your mandatory entry if it's not available in your profile
  • Each entry needs to be a separate comment (remember to do multiple comments on those indicated as multiple entries!)
  • US addresses only
Mandatory Entry
  • Visit Cats Meow1 Etsy shop and check out her items. Come back here and leave a comment on what your favorite item for an 18" or American Girl doll is.
Additional Entries
  • 1 entry for adding Cats Meow1 to your list of shop favorites at Etsy.
  • 1 entry for adding my shop to your list of shop favorites at Etsy.
  • 1 entry for being a public follower of Diana Rambles via Google Friend Connect. Find this under My Followers near the top of my left sidebar. Click Follow and then confirm.
  • 2 entries for putting my Diana Rambles button on your sidebar. Leave your blog address!
  • 3 entries for subscribing to my Diana Rambles Feedburner. Make sure you verify the subscription. Find at the top of my left sidebar.
  • 2 entries for each blog/website you list this giveaway. Includes your blog, a blog that lists giveaways, or Facebook. Please leave the URL so I can verify entry.
  • 1 entry for following me via Twitter @FreeStyleMama.
  • 1 entry (up to 6 each day...must be at least 2 hours apart) for tweeting about this giveaway on Twitter. Feel free to copy the following~ Enter to #win a Valentines Dress for an 18" #AmericanGirl Doll #giveaway #contest ends Jan 31st @FreeStyleMama http://tinyurl.com/AGmeow1 Please leave the link to your tweet in the comment. (You get the tweet link by clicking on the '4 mins ago' time)
That is a bunch of entry possibilities. The more times you enter, the better chance you have of winning! I will publish each comment when the entry has been verified. **MAKE sure you follow the rules or the entry will be DQ'd!!**

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pecan Crusted Chicken

Last night we had this most excellent dinner~ Pecan Crusted Chicken. It was so D~lish and we would do the same recipe with any poultry, fish, pork, or even veggies! I'm going to start adding ground pecans to the Butternut Squash recipe that I love to make.Crunchy Pecan Chicken
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil, crumbled
  • lemon juice for dipping
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to make flat and even in thickness
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
In large shallow dish, combine pecans, cheese, garlic salt and basil.
Place lemon juice in another shallow dish. Dip chicken in juice, then coat with pecan mixture.
In large non-stick skillet, heat oil til moderately hot. Add chicken; cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Won!

Not only have I been hosting some great giveaways for doll clothes & accessories here at Diana Rambles, I've entered some giveaways too. I recently entered and won a giveaway from My Sunday Best which was hosted at Joyful Creations at Home. The package arrived yesterday and the matching outfits are sooo adorable! Dori immediately dressed her doll and then changed into her dress.She just loves them. I have to saw the quality of the outfits is outstanding. The boleros are fully lined with no exposed seams. All the details ~ zipper (on girl's), velcro (on doll), ribbons, & buttons were done well! It is a little cold to wear these outfits out right now, but I know Dori will gets lots of use out of these in the spring & summer. I'm giving My Sunday Best 5 stars for her beautiful creations!! Thanks for participating in a giveaway that I WON!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cabbage Beef Casserole

Last night I made this recipe that I got from Deliciously Thin. I used the food processor to chop the cabbage. The small pieces didn't fool the kids and they picked at their dinner. DH liked it. It reheats well. My breakfast!! It reminds me of this Pieces of Eight stuff that I snubbed my nose at as a kid. That was ground beef, spinach, and egg. I think egg would be a nice addition to this!

Cabbage Beef Casserole

Ingredients:


  • 2 lb hamburger (ground beef)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 2 tomato sauce cans of water
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes or equivalent of beef bouillon granules
  • 1 head cabbage, shredded

Directions:


Brown hamburger meat with chopped onion. Drain and season with salt and pepper to taste. Put tomato sauce in separate bowl. Dissolve bouillon cubes into cans of water and add to soup. Stir until smooth. Layer ground beef, shredded cabbage and tomato sauce bouillon mixture in 9 X 13 baking dish. Bake approximately 1 hour at 350.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quiet Weekend

It's been a lazy, quiet weekend around here. Dh & the tween went skiing with the youth group up. I was able to capture this shot of them on the snowcam. DH has skied several times but it was the tween's first time. He opted for snowboarding. DH got him a private lesson and he caught on quickly. He's one of those kids that can scurry up a pole or tree in a few seconds, so I figured he'd do well. DH ended up getting a snowboard yesterday and he said he did OK. I am wondering how sore he is today! They are heading home and the weather between there and here does not look good, so I am hoping for safe travels.

The teen has been in and out all weekend. Dori & I have just been hanging out. I started having wrist pain on Friday afternoon and thought that maybe it was carpal tunnel, but I am not sure. I've iced & rested it quite a bit this weekend and they feel better this morning. With it being so cold this winter I've been inside and online quite a bit which I think is adding stress to my wrists. I need to limit my time on the computer! That means I need to be more purposeful with what I do online. I don't want my business to suffer!

Hope you've had a nice weekend!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What if he were your kid?

A friend of mine posted a link to this CNN Opinion article today. I followed the link and read the commentary. I encourage you to do likewise. Click on article shot below~The author poses a good question~ what if that were your kid that committed such a heinous crime? What if you knew your child wasn't well or what if you were worried about your child's behavior? What if? What if?

I will admit it. When I heard about the Loughners in Tucson being horrified by their son's actions I thought~ How could they not have known that their child was a danger? How could they be so oblivious to his actions? Were they bad parents? What kind of dysfunctions are going on in that home? Is there mental illnesses in the family? But I also wondered if they were aware that he was out of control. What could they do about it?

Being a parent I know there comes a time when you don't have control over your child's actions. It may be that you never have control of your child's actions in the first place, but when they are younger they usually follow your rules and consequences. We can still get our younger two children to do things. They don't want to get in trouble and will usually pick up the toy, quiet down, or whatever we request. Our teen is on the other side of that bridge. Yes, we can request that he do things and take things away from him if he doesn't...but the stress of that kind of relating isn't worth it. Yes, we do have expectations of him that he understands and that he follows, but what if he refused? What if he refused to get out of bed for school or what if he skipped out of his classes? Could we lift him out of bed and make him go? Could we physically force him to stay in the school building? Fortunately we don't have these issues with our child, but I do remember an incident a few months ago that DH & I did not agree on. The teen called for a ride home and I went to pick him up. I showed up and he decided he wanted to stay longer and hang out with friends. He got a little mouthy with me and I said that if he wanted a ride that he needed to come home then. He was trying to show off in front of his friends and was rude to me and walked away from the vehicle. I left. When I got home DH said that I should have made him come home. REALLY? How do you make a kid that is bigger than you get in the car? I am not going to make idol threats and I am not going to carry him into the car. The teen arrived home before his curfew and we had a discussion that included my expectations of being treated respectfully. He has been more respectful since then. Things have been more peaceful overall in our home since we've stopped 'trying' to get our kid to do 'what we want'.

I am not comparing my child to others. I am just giving an example of how you can't make your child do something. And as this article points out, what if your child has some kind of mental illness that you can find or there isn't enough support/help for? What would you do?
What if you do know there is something seriously wrong? What if you fear for your life or the lives of others? Can you just call the authorities to take care of it? Who are the authorities?

There are no definitive answers to these questions. I am sure that anyone who reads this will have a different opinion of how you would handle it or what should happen to Jared. The Loughners could be fabulous parents. I think we are good parents but what if our child makes a decision to do something stupid? Does that mean we are bad parents? Are we bad parents because our kids do things that disappoint us? No, our kids disappoint us, therefore we are parents!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I ♥ My Stained Glass Panel

When we remodeled the kitchen in the fall I decided that I wanted a stained glass panel to hang in the window above the kitchen sink. We used to have some basic lacy curtains, but I didn't want a valance or any fabric in the window.

I spent a few months searching for the right panel and/or stained glass artist. Most of that searching was on Etsy. I fav'd several shops and items but I could not find something that would fit above the sink. I ended up contacting 2 shop owners at Etsy and explained what I was looking for. Both had suggestions for me, but I really like what Addy at Sandhill Shores Studio had to offer. I was able to find various bits of things I liked from several of her creations and she came up with a great design for me.I wanted a few colors from our Tiffany light fixture to be included, but I didn't want it to be completely mission/prairie style. I really liked the circles that I saw in many of Addy's creations and she incorporated them as well as a large bevel into my design.

Here are pictures of the panel that Addy took before she shipped my panel.Here are photos of it hanging in our window. I wish I was a better photographer! The sun is so far south right now, but it will be interesting to watch the different shadows and colors that are cast throughout the year. I realized today that we hung it backwards! Although I think it will look good either way.Here is a cool reflection that it cast on the wall the other morning.Here are pics we took yesterday.Yes~ my neighbor's house isn't the prettiest thing, but I look up at the sky through the window and don't really notice it!

Updated: Here is a photo I just took this morning! I am loving these COOL reflections from the bevel!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2 in a row!

I've got another recipe for you today. I just finished eating it and it was soooo yummy! I am not very good at making eggs at all, but I *LOVE* eggs. My hubby makes excellent eggs (and breakfast in general!) I found this Crustless Quiche recipe at Deliciously Thin.

Crustless Quiche

* 5 green onions, chopped, divided
* 1 tomato, chopped, divided
* 1 package bacon
* 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
* Dozen eggs
* 1/3 cup Sour Cream
* 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Set aside 2 Tbsp. each of chopped tomatoes and onions. Cook bacon until crisp and set aside. Keep about 1 Tbsp of bacon grease in your skillet and add mushrooms cooking for a few minutes, then remove from heat. Crumble bacon and add it along with onions and tomatoes to the skillet.

Beat eggs and sour cream until well blended. Pour into a greased 9X13 inch baking dish. Top with bacon mixture, then cheeses.

Bake for 30 minutes or until center is set. Top with the remaining green onions and tomatoes.

I altered the recipe a little. I didn't have sour cream, so I used skim milk. I used regular instead of green onions and ham instead of bacon. I also added spinach. I didn't use any mozzarella cheese at all, so I increased the amount of swiss I used. I also turned off the oven and left the pan in until the top started to brown. Prep was easy as I used my new food processor for the onion & cheese. I hope that it freezes and reheats. I plan on dividing it into individual servings and freezing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

It's been a while since I've posted any recipes so I thought I'd dig one out today. A few months back DH & I went out to eat at Ruby Tuesday. I ordered a petite sirloin and broccoli and decided to try out the blue cheese cole slaw as my other side. It was OUTSTANDING and it tasted so good with the steak. I kept thinking of how yummy it was so I decided that I should make it myself at home. I found this recipe for cole slaw at Deliciously Thin and tried it out with blue cheese crumbles thrown in. IT wasn't exactly Ruby Tuesday's version, but it was good. Think you might like it? Just find a cole slaw recipe you like and add in blue cheese! Here is a pic of a recent dinner with steak & slaw!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Do you HULU?

We like to watch TV, but for the most part we don't want a lot of TV. With working from home I have the opportunity to watch a lot of TV, but I don't. I watch most of my TV online. The only show that I watch as it airs is Amazing Race. We will record Survivor to watch, but nearly everything else I like is online. Most of the time I go to Hulu to watch. It's easy to find the show I want right away and I usually don't have issues with the streaming.

One thing I like to do (which helps turn my brain off before I go to sleep) is to watch a show online. Since many of my regular shows were reruns for the past month or so I went in search of some new stuff online. I recently found House Hunters listed at the front page on Hulu. I've enjoyed trying to guess which house the people were going to pick in their house hunt. I don't think it's a show I would be interested in if we hadn't recently remodeled our house and gotten it to where we love it. Otherwise I'd have house envy. I've scrolled through and watched all available episodes. I did get a recommendation of a similar show which I watched last night, My First Place, but that didn't grab me like House Hunters.

Do you ever watch Hulu/shows online? Or do you have cable channels with lots of options? How do you turn your brain off at night before you go to sleep?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Reflections of some Adoptive Parents

As many of you know I am an adoptive parent. We adopted our daughter from China 4 years ago. A friend of mine posted the following on FB this morning~

"Adoption loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful." - Rev. Keith C Griffith, MBE

Here is a response left by another adoptive parent~

"Non-adoption friends...please think about this and keep it in mind the next time you tell an adopted person how "lucky" they are, or adoptive parents how "good" they are for adopting... their "luck...y" child."

"We aren't so good...we are just parents. Just because we came to parenthood differently than you did, that doesn't make us any better or worse as parents or as people..."


I couldn't agree more! We do get comments about how lucky we are or how lucky our daughter is. People act like it was a noble gesture to adopt. There are many reason why people adopt, and for each person it's a very personal decision. We were driven by our desire to have another child. The details are really no one's business. People don't need to ask how much we paid to adopt, why didn't her mom want her, if we weren't able to get pregnant, etc. We have been asked this IN FRONT of our child. While I want to say, "It's none of your damned business!" or snark back with a, "How did you get pregnant and how much did your birth cost?" or similar, I won't. I don't want my child associating her beginnings/life to negativity or shame. Admit it, we've all been curious about people we see... Is that a child's parent or grandparent? I wonder if that child is adopted? Are they twins? Where are they from? Why is that child's last name different? YES~ it's natural to be curious. But check that curiosity at the door and don't ask.

While I type this post the comments on the top quote (which I posted on FB) are building. Many of my FB friends are adoptive parents and they understand! One friend mentioned at an adult friend of hers who was adopted as a toddler is very bitter about this expectation of society. I can understand!

Do you like it when people tell you how you should feel?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy Day!

It's the beginning of the second semester around here. Boys are already at school and my daughter is getting picked up for carpool in about 35 mins. Oh happy day!!! It's even SUNNY out. YES~ it's cold...but we are in a nice weather pattern with SUN everyday. The sun is streaming in the kitchen window and spilling out across the room in front of me. I am expecting a package any day now with the custom stained glass panel I ordered for that window. I can't wait!!

Speaking of house, I haven't talked much about it in a while. We are slowly but surely getting everything done. DH stained the new stairs and installed them over break. Not a great photo (from my phone), but you get the idea~
We still need to remove the wallpaper, paint, and put the railings up. After that we just have decorating left. I will work that in when I can. I stop by a local home consignment shop each week (while Parker is at piano lessons) and have come up with a few neat things for the house. I just *LOVE* this mirror we have hanging between the kitchen and living room. It was in an area that was a little dark. I love the Fleur de Lis look of it and how the silver looks with the stainless appliances.
I also got some great pillows for the sofa. They look good with the wall color and will help bridge the brown in the sofas and floor with the black accents that I plan on decorating with. I've already purchased a damask fabric for another pillow covering and for some wall panels. I need to come up with some fabric art to help absorb sound.
The new year has started with a bang work wise. I had a few inquiries in the last 2 weeks of December, but people were busy with the holidays and not ready to move forward. Now all of a sudden lots of people are contacting me for a blog design or other custom work. I guess with the new year that people want a new look. I hope this is a reflection on how 2011 will be. I had an earning goal in mind for 2010 but I was unable to reach that with taking so much time off to go to Alaska in the summer. I am going to be more purposeful with taking time for the family in 2011, but I probably won't take much time off vacation wise. No specific summer vacation plans at this point, but maybe we will come up with something. My guess would be 10 days in San Francisco, but who knows? That is an inexpensive trip as we have someone to stay with there. We do have TONS of airline miles too so we might be able to get a free flight. I do know that our next vacation will only be with 2 kids. The teen is just not interested in vacation...which is fine by me. I'd rather take willing participants. OK...I need to get back and focus on the NOW. Lots on tap before the summer...especially for the teen who just started his last semester of high school a few minutes ago!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Random...

Today was my hubby's graduation party. It was a fun party filled with food, family, friends, and fun! His only requests for the party was a bounce house, pork, and chocolate cake. Requests were granted!!
Lots of people showed up at the party and I think everyone had a great time. I served a few things I had posted recipes for on my blog which my in-laws commented on. My MIL (mother in law) asked my BIL (brother in law) if he saw these recipes on my blog. He said he's tried to follow my blog but it's so RANDOM. I totally cracked up because he nailed it. This blog is COMPLETELY random! I do some regular things like Wordless Wednesday, but for the most part this blog is a little of this and a little of that. So if you look at my header you will now see Diana's Random Rambles. I have a few friends who don't blog because they don't feel like they have anything interesting to say OR their lives are boring. I am not sure WHY people read my boring randomness but apparently a few do. THANK YOU readers!

As usual I was busy with the party and socializing so I didn't get many photos. I wish we had gotten a family photo. I did have my son take a photo of Eric & I when we got home. Yup...the tree is still up. I am too tired to take it down today...maybe we will get it down one night this week. I think this is a good photo!
Anyway, Congratulations to my hubby for completing his Masters! Thank you to everyone who attended the party. It was lots of fun!!!!