Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Questions, questions....

A friend sent this to me in an email and I thought it'd make a neat meme. It's a little long, but at least it helps you get to know a little more about me, my family, etc. Quirks and all. Because we definitely have quirks. Lots.

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing? yep - the chunky kind

2. Do you own a gun? yes, The Main Man has several & I've practiced shooting the pistol some.

3. What's your favorite drink at Starbucks or other specialty coffee shops?
Caramel Machiatto with whipped cream and extra caramel drizzle on top. That or a Chai Latte.

4. Have you ever been arrested?
Ummm...yeah. Underage drinking about 2 months before my 21st birthday. Woopdidoo. But that was the one & only time, thank goodness.

5. What do you think of hot dogs?
I try not to think too much about them. But I'll eat one. If it's Kosher and served in a steamed bun. Five Guys Burgers & Fries in Atlanta has the best dogs ever....yum! We overdose on their stuff every time we go see my, seriously - on our last trip we at there 3 days in a row & even the kids are crazy about it too. Three days in a freaking row!! It's really that good. Click their logo below & see if there's one in your neck of the woods. Hey - I just realized this is Question #5....and I mentioned FIVE GUYS...hmmmmmmmm, lol

6. Favorite Christmas song? Little Drummer Boy - barumpabumpum

7. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee. Then a tiny glass of chocolate milk with breakfast. And then more coffee. And probably a little more coffee after that.

8. Can you do push ups? Barely.

9. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
It's a tie between the round, modern style diamond necklace that The Main Man gave me on our 4th Christmas together or the pave' diamond butterfly that my Dad & his wife gave me on my first Mother's Day.

10. Favorite hobby? Designing & sewing, which are now turning into my business/occupation.

11. Do you have A.D.D.? Of course not. I'm just "creative".

12. What's one trait that you hate about yourself?
Personality: can procrastinate & quick to criticize sometimes
Physical: the good 'ole much bigger than it used to be.

13. Middle name? Renee'

14. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
I've got to get some sewing done this week.
I hope we get to homeschool this year.
I'm going to the beach at least twice in one week after we get back from Tennessee.

15. When was the last time you cried? About 3 weeks ago.

16. Current worry right now?
If I will be successful at homeschooling/teaching and if it's definitely what will be best for our kids and family.

17. Current hate (dislike) right now?
96 degree temps with 100% humidity. It makes us have $350.00 power bills which means less $$ to do fun things with the kids or less fabric, etc. for me. Not to mention that the second I step outside - and I mean just to walk to the van and get in it - I'm dripping with sweat. So whatever makeup I just put on before walking out the door is running off my face and then by the end of the day I have at least 2 new zits. Fabulous.

18. Favorite place to be?
At home sewing & looking out the window to see the kids playing in the backyard on the awesome fort their daddy built for them.

19. How did you bring in the New Year?
We had a big bash at our house with lots of friends, some family, a few neighbors, yummy food, lots of liquid happy for some of us and a ton of fireworks. (There are awesome advantages to living outside the city limits - we get to have giant firework shows! All done very safely by my ADD husband, of course. He even soaks down the ground and has 4 giant hoses ready to go at any moment. This is a time where ADD is a good thing. )

20. Do you like to travel?
Love it. But if it's more than an 8 hr drive or so I'd like to do it in an RV. My family tends to get a little deafening in your average minivan.

21. Name three people who will complete this?
Dawn (Because I Said So), Jenn (Fabric Bliss), Kristen (We Are THAT Family) - at least I'm gonna tag these girls and HOPE they'll do it. ;)

22. Do you own slippers? Oh, sure. But do I wear them? Not so much. It's either flip flops or barefeet for me, usually.

23. What color shirt are you wearing? coral-ly orange

24. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
Not really. I tend to sweat whenever I come in contact with them. Satin nightie...fine. But the sheets just don't work for me. I go for the most expensive/highest thread count sheet I can afford. Whenever I catch Egyptian cotton ones on sale I have to restrain myself.

25. Can you whistle? Not a lick. Or a hoot. Or tweet.

26. Favorite color?
I really love color in general....but I guess I'd have to say I gravitate toward apple green. Or aqua blue. Or maybe coral red. See, told ya.

27. Would you be a pirate? Heck yeah! As long as I could go back to being a regular wench when I tired of the all the arrrrr-ing.

28. What songs do you sing in the shower? Gwen Stefani - Rich Girl. Don't laugh. At least not too hard.

29. Favorite girl's names?
Audrey Ruth, my sweet almost 4 yr old's name; Naomi Jewel, if we had another girl.

30. Favorite boy's names?
Isaac Emmanuel, my oldest son; William, my almost 6 yr old; Oliver, if we had another boy.

31. What's in your pocket right now? No pockets....pajama bottoms.

32. Last thing that made you laugh?
Earlier tonight - William speaking in a very husky grown-up man kind of voice while he was pretending to be a magician and turn his sister into a princess and himself into a prince. Of course, I didn't let him hear me laughing but it just cracked me up. Too, too cute.

33. Best bed sheets as a child? Strawberry Shortcake

34. Worst injury you've ever had?
8 yrs old, riding my bike. Turned my head to look behind me and see if my step-brother was on my tail and ran into the mailbox. The corner of it dug into my arm pretty badly. Still have a scar on my arm.

35. Do you love where you live? yes

36. How many TVs do you have in your house? 2 - the den & our bedroom

37. Who is your loudest friend?
A tie between Amy & Michelle

38. How many pets do you have? 3, currently....10 at one point.

Dog - Taco Beaux Thompson, yellow lab that was a stray we picked up - and yes, my kids more often than not call him by his full name they bestowed upon him. Lucky, lucky dog, lol.

Peacocks - Peabody & Petunia, male & female - they're a cute little couple but poop more than what I think is peacockly possible.

We had some chickens and two guniea fowl. All our chicks turned out to be roosters - not one layer in the bunch. They've all met their demise over the past year or so in one way or another. RIP to roosters Pinguini, Linguini, Big Daddy, Mamma, Ginger & the Guineas Squirt & Spot.

39. What is your favorite book? The Bible, The Queen, Charlotte Mason Home Companion, A Hatful of Seuss - sorry - can't pick just one.

40. Do you brush your teeth with cold or warm water?
ewwww.....warm water? who does that?? Cold, of course.

41. What is your favorite candy?
Candy - Sprees....Candy BAR - Twix, original one.

42. Favorite Sports Team?
well, ummm....The Main Man is all about the Roll Tide. Me, not so much.

43. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Reading blogs, checking email, editing photos.

44. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
"How much can I get done before the kids wake up? Ohhhh....maybe I'll just go out on the deck with my coffee and read some more about the Charlotte Mason method and then I'll get started in the house."

45. Did you fully accomplish at least one thing you wanted to today?
Yes. But it was pointless. I really scrubbed down all my kitchen countertops and the stove, etc. And swept/mopped the entire kitchen/dining area all in one fell swoop. I was a non-stop cleaning machine for about 1 hr straight and man was it shiny. But then people did things like prepare food and eat and live in those rooms. It lasted all of maybe 30 minutes before something was spilled, pencil shavings were on the floor and PB & J was smeared on the bar because William decided to make himself a sandwich and Audrey found the cheesecake in the fridge, pulled it out and proceeded to sit on the freshly clean floor and eat it with her hands, dropping crumbs all around her - all while I was in the laundry room switching out a load and folding/putting up the towels in the bathroom & answering one phone call. Yeah - pointless.

Did someone ask if I had ADD? heh heh....Mommy-Brain, ADD,'s all the same to me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

On vacation we will go

For us, vacation is a way of life, to some extent. We live a short 20 minute drive from the beaches in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. My in-laws live on the river which empties out into Mobile Bay and they're only one road over from us. Needless to say, we're on the water a lot. My 8 yr old just did his first 360 on the wakeboard and we're seriously considering getting him into the kids competitive wakeboarding circuit...he's that good. Today The Main Man, Isaac, Grandpa and some others went deep sea fishing out in the Gulf. They returned with 16 fish...16!!! 10 Red Snapper & 5 King Mackerel & 1 Spanish Mackerel. Isaac, my wakeboarder boy, caught the biggest Snapper weighing in at about 11 pounds. Go Isaac!!

So, of course, we had a seafood feast for supper: shrimp boil (shrimp, new potatoes & corn), shrimp scampi, fried snapper & mackerel and we finished it off with peach & blackberry cobbler topped with homemade vanilla ice cream. ohhhhhhhhhh, yum! Are you drooling yet??

You know how when you go on vacation you don't really worry too awful much about what you want to enjoy yourself and maybe indulge a little and eat what you please. Well - let's just say I'm totally screwed, diet-wise, living here in the land of good & plenty...& fattening!! We eat on a frequent basis what most people only eat while they're on vacation.

Cades Cove, GSMNP

All of the above, and more, is why when we go on vacation we usually go anywhere but the beach. We love going to the mountains of Tennessee. My Grandmother is in Sevierville, TN and The Main Man has relatives just east of Knoxville. So we like to go to an area called Townsend, which is right in between Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg (which all run together) and Knoxville. It's right on the edge of the Smoky Mountain National Forest and an area called Cades Cove. The Little River runs through this area and is such a blast to play in - and free! Freezing cold water but crystal clear. You can tube down the river, too, which we haven't done before, but may try to this year. I swear, I could just take a picnic everyday and play at "The Y" (a little area where the river branches off) or go through the Smoky Mountain National Forest and tour the old cabins, churches, graveyards, etc. Not to mention getting to see all the wildlife - black bears, deer galore, etc. I'd love to have an entire day, sunrise to sunset, to just hang out there with my camera.
The Tipton HomesteadSaving Souls Since 1839great smokey mountain national park cades cove (9)Early Morning Fog on a dirt road in Cades Cove

We stayed with my Grandmother last year but aren't able to do that on this trip, since there's 7 of us going. It was cutting it close for just the 5 of us to stay at her tiny place last summer. After hunting around for a decent hotel room at an affordable price, I started realizing we'd be paying over $100/per night for 1 room. Stuffing a family of 5, plus my friend Amy and her son Luke into a hotel room with two beds and a tiny fridge just didn't seem like it'd be a very fun vacation, to me. I'd pined away at the adorable little cabins dotting the mountainsides on our drives through the area last year, so I thought surely we could find a cabin somewhere in the area for around the same rate as the hotels per night. So I searched the 'net, made some calls and BINGO! Welcome to "Honeybear Haven" . . .

Not a log cabin in the woods, but it'll definitely do. For the same rate as a regular hotel room with two double beds we'll have :
Main Level
Bedroom-Queen Bed & Cable TV
Bathroom (Shower Stall Only)
Kitchen (Fully Equipped w/Dishwasher, Microwave, Toaster & Automatic Drip Coffee Pot)(Note: Kitchen is Stocked with Dish Liquid & Dishwasher Detergent)
Dining Area with Dining Table with Benches
Living Room with Cable TV/VCR/DVD
Access to Deck Areas & Hot Tub **(aaawwww, yeeaaaahhhh!)
Gas Grill on Deck Area
(Note: Bathroom is Stocked with Toilet Tissue & Bar Soap)
Upper Level
Bedroom-Full Bed & Cable TV
Open Loft Area-2 Twin Beds
(Note: Open Loft Area looks down into Main Level Living Area and Foyer)
High Speed Wireless Internet **(yea! I'll get my fix!)
I am so excited!! All those beds and all that room, a full kitchen and all the extras for the same price as a puny hotel room. Woooohooooo!! Now, I'm sure it's probably outdated as far as decor. And let's face it - A-frame houses just scream 70's-80's batchelor pad...but who really cares? It's close to the Little River, Cades Cove, The Y and the National Forest. We're gonna be exploring, in the water or visiting family all day long every day, anyway. We only need a place to feed and bathe the kids/ourselves and sleep. Oh, and kick back in the hot tub while we sip a glass of wine or two after the babes are snoozing, teehee. I just couldn't fathom paying X amount of money for a tiny room when we could at least have some space for the same price. After all, we'll be driving in the van a good bit and could use some breathing room, I'm sure.
So, I'm looking forward to our trip so much that I wish we were leaving tomorrow. We're going the week of July 21st. The only thing I'm worried about is The Main Man and his driving. It tends to drive me a bit batty. But then again, I'm not sure I want to drive all the way there and back myself, soooooooo......better practice holding my tongue. That or I'll just pack the Valium.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Speaking of Aprons . . .

I seem to have a penchant not just for wearing them, but creating them, too. Since I'm a notoriously messy cook, I started making them for myself a few years ago. Then my MIL hinted that she needed a new apron. I agreed. Her apron was stuck in the era of little ducks and country blue with some mauve thrown in for a kick...yuck!

So I went all out and made her fancy-schmancy one with a pocket, loop to hold a dishtowel, rick-rack and more. I used some fantastic Michael Miller fabric featuring a seafood feast. Fitting for her since we live on the coast and eat shrimp and crab like a cattle farmer eats beef. I gave it to her on Christmas Day - she put it on immediately and didn't take it off until after we left that night - might even have slept in it if she was sure no one would know. She loved it and raved about it to all her friends, showing everyone who walked through her door. So, so sweet.....

As a result of her gushing, many orders followed over the next few months. Word got around to a few local shops and some of them wanted to carry my aprons and other things. Problem was, I just couldn't figure out how to price my goods so they were still at a sell-able price once the shop added their mark-up & still be making a nice, worth-my-while profit myself. (*If anyone out there can give me a few pointers, please feel free!!*)

Anyway - I've decided to give selling online a try. So, without further ado - I'm happy to introduce:
I've set up my shop on Etsy and now am just working on getting everything photographed and stocking the store up. Cocina Couture will carry fancy-schmancy aprons, table linens, To-Market Bags, purses, pillows, dishtowels, lunch bags and anything else that I can think of to make that goes along with the "home lifestyle". I have mounds and mounds of fabric to sew through, still, so I'm sure by September or so the shop will be overflowing with lots of Home-Life goodies!

I'll be having a Grand Opening Sale at the shop on August 15th. There will also be a GIVEAWAY here at the blog, so check back soon for the details on that. You don't want to miss your chance to

Tomorrow I'll give y'all a little teaser of where we're headed for our Summer Vacation. I wish we were there already. Except for the driving part - that's always a bit of a test when you're hauling 3 kids and all the gear they require. And this year we're taking a dear, dear friend and her own little dreamer with us - I'm SO excited!!! I get to take my best girlfriend on vacation with me...yippeee!!!
Ok...obviously it's my bed time. 'Till tomorrow, then...