23 December 2009

Out of Time? Let's Get Wrapping!

Are your packages wrapped?
Goodies packaged?
Nick-nacks assembled?
Don't stress. You still have A day!
Well today and tomorrow really.
You are running out of time. And quickly.

Here are a few quick packaging/wrapping ideas
to get you up and motivated to finish those
last minute gifts.

I heart the craftyness of these.

Good luck!


How cute are these?
All you do is get some jars - the $1 store
has a good selection - and chalk board paint. 
Mask off the area you want to paint.
Apply the chalk board paint.
Write the name and wa la!



I heart these takeout boxes -
available at most craft stores.
Grab some colored paper, or wrapping
paper and punch out festive shapes.
Apply double-sided tape and place them
on the box. Finish off with
holiday ribbon and your set.
Cuteness to go!
(Please remember to wrap your treats before putting them in)



Absolutely, positively one of my faves.
Why? It's simple and inexpensive.
Grab some paper lunch bags or a roll of butcher paper.
Go through your stash and pull out buttons. Lots of buttons.
If you don't have any run to the craft store and get some.
They are cheap.  Grab a variety.
Place button how ever you want.
Add some rafia (also cheap).
And there you go.
Who wouldn't smile when they see this?

Picture source: BHG.com



21 December 2009

To Read By Lantern Light

One of Kylee's gifts from our
Christmas on the coast
weekend was the
30th anniversary edition of
Where The Sidewalk Ends.
(from Aunt Staci & Uncle Tim)

She was so excited.
She started reading right at bed time.



I guess we weren't specific when
we said 'lights out'.

Nah...This is good stuff.
We always encourage reading.



Christmas on the coast

The Holiday festivities have begun.

This weekend we spent time with family
on the Northern Coast to celebrate
Christmas.

Even though it was foggy, then rainy,
it was so much fun!
So Relaxing.
So Cozy!

Hubby was already up there so
Kylee and I drove up Friday evening.

The fog was bad along the coast in the late afternoon
so my wonderful Hubby had his
stepdad drop him off in Jenner so
he could drive us back up to the house.

The roads get pretty crazy on Hwy 1 from Jenner
 and it lasts for about 20 miles.
I did not want to drive that road if I couldn't see it!

Well, guess what? By the time we picked up
hubby and resumed our drive
the fog had rolled back out over the coast
and the roads were clear.
YIPPEEE!

Kylee was so cute.
She wanted to open a gift Friday night
like it was Christmas Eve.
Well I guess it was kind of
Christmas Eve since we
were there to celebrate the holiday
on Saturday.

So that lucky little munchkin opened a gift.
She was so excited to see what she got!

Ta da!


It's a jewelry bead loom

She was very happy. And still is!
We made bracelets and key chains
all weekend.

She has been wanting one of these for a long time.
Toys R Us has one shaped like a guitar
that she has had her eye on for a while.

Hmmm...wonder if that is one of the packages
under our tree.

Saturday we spent the entire day
making jewelry and watching
Christmas movies that my
mother-in-law had recorded.

Once the evening came we had a nice dinner
& watched Kylee open the rest of her gifts.
Her American Girl inventory
has grown...again.
She is a very happy girl.

Then we topped the night off with a
game of Apples to Apples.
Very fun. If you haven't played
I suggest you do!







18 December 2009

Lovely Lucky Lady

The other night one of my
Realtor friends invited a few of us ladies
out to a local Restaurant here in Elk Grove ~
The Brickhouse.

We had a small (like 5 minute) meeting
then she handed us all these little packages.

She got us all these cute, sparkly key chains.
Of course her thought was
the L is for Liz.


I heart how it sparkles.

However, I say it means
Lovely Lucky Lady!

This little key chain is going to bring me
some real bling and a
prosperous New Year.

I can't wait!

16 December 2009

Handmade Stockings!

We are lucky enough to have great crafty people
in our lives. 
Well great people all around really.
And, a few of them are pretty darn crafty.

Our dear family friend, Kathy Palomar, made us
these stockings years ago. 
I love them!



We also have hand knit stockings from
Grandma Flossie.
They have our birth year on them
instead of our names.
They look like big knit socks and
are equally adorable.
They will make my blog next year.

We only have 1 fireplace
so we have to rotate
the stockings. 
Next year we will have 2 fireplaces
so all of the goodness will be hanging
waiting for Santa's treats!

Ahhh, definitely one of my favorite things
to do on Christmas morning is
to dive into my stocking!






14 December 2009

The Dolphin Experience 2009

I was going through my photo folders on my laptop
and came across Spring Break.

Enjoy!

This year. Spring Break.

Jamie had a race in San Diego.

We thought it would be fun for Kylee to bring her friend Kaylei
along to spend a day with us at Sea World.

Their surprise - the Dolphin Interaction Program.

They had the best time.
They weren't even scared.

They learned some training moves.
They got splashed.
They got to pet the dolphins.

WOW! A great experience!










What a great day for the girls!
We hope to do it again in 2010.


10 December 2009

Holiday Decorating - Budget Style

Who doesn’t like to add the holiday cuteness to their home this time of year?

Who doesn’t like to spend a lot of money to do it? ME ME ME

Here are a few things you can do to add some holiday to your home without spending a stocking full of money.

***I am sure you have a vase or two lying around. Well get those out, dust them off and fill them with beads or ornaments. The Dollar Tree has a great selection of ornaments this year.

***Even glasses. Do you have an over abundance of glasses? If so, take a few of them, fill them with beads, rice, pine, etc…and top them off with a votive or tea light (in a holder). You can do votives and tea lights in the same arrangement for affect.

***You can also wrap your vases that aren’t clear or flower pots, with paper. Tie yarn or string around and add a few bells. Once done, add some water and a few flowers. Not only are they pretty but they will smell good too!

***Go to the park and collect twigs or small branches. Put them together in the shape of a wreath and add some berries. Michaels craft store is having a great sale on their holiday d├ęcor right now. You can find the berries there. The berries can also be universal – used year around. Change the ribbon color for the other seasons.



***Frame Christmas cards. Do you have any lying around from years past? If not go to Walmart or Target and get a few. These are good for bathrooms or as fillers on your counters.

***Framed family photos of the holidays are always my favorite thing to have out on the mantel along with garland and the stocking holders & a few candles. I have photos going back 9 years. This is my favorite Christmas decoration.

I hope you find these ideas useful. What do you do? Any other ideas you can share?

Happy decorating!

Your Realtor,
Liz

07 December 2009

Oh me oh my! It's freezing outside! Save your plants!

It is really cold, freezing in my opinion, here in the greater Sacramento, CA area.  It actually snowed in the weeee hours of this morning-YIPPEEE.  I am betting lots of kids were happy campers as they woke up to enough snow for a little snow ball fight.  The last time I remember seeing snow here was 1992 (I think).

Well as you know with this wonderfully fun time of year comes frost. Frost that likes to damage our outdoor plants. EEK! 

Depending on your climate, frost can form on your outdoor plants in fall, winter and spring. This frozen moisture can be devastating to not only young seedlings but well established plants, too. To protect plants from frost, you must take a proactive approach to keep the devastation from occurring. Definitely!

Here is some info on How to Protect Outdoor Plants from the yuck Frost:

Step 1
Spread two to three inches of shredded bark, leaves or straw around plants to help the soil maintain a warm temperature. Mulching plants is a great way to protect hardy plants and help control weeds at the same time.  (Keep in mind cats like bark so throw some moth balls in there too)

Step 2
Keep beds moist and free of weeds to head off frost damage in spring. The moisture helps heat rise from the soil on chilly nights and warms the plants.  This is interesting!

Step 3
Protect vines on walls with a removable shade. Measure a sheet of canvas or nylon netting large enough to cover the plants completely and attach it to a stake. Mount the stake on the wall with hooks and eyes and let the shade hang to the ground. Pull up the shade when it is warm and lower it in late afternoon to help conserve heat.  Sounds cost effective too!

Step 4
Drape an old shower curtain, tarp or unfolded newspapers over plants if an unexpected light frost catches you unprepared.  Now I know what to do with all of those papers! YES!

Step 5
Protect young spring sprouts in the vegetable garden with floating row covers. Simply lay lightweight fleece over the top of the plants before nightfall. Young leaves touching the fleece may sustain slight damage if the fabric freezes but row covers are effective against frost even if temperatures drop below the freezing mark.  Good idea. Home gardens are very popular these days.

Step 6
Run the sprinkler over tender plants all night when frost is predicted. Water gives off heat as it condenses to ice and will keep the plants warmer than the air.  Remember to first check your city guidelines on watering.


I hope you find these tips as helpful as I did.

Happy plant and garden protecting!

Your Realtor,
Liz
 

04 December 2009

Flashback!

We have been cleaning out and packing up our home office.

While doing so I came across a box of old photos.

Here are two.  Check them out!
Please note: they are pictures of pictures so please excuse the quality. :)


This is about 10 years ago.
Getting ready to go to a work dinner.
Shelby, the little one, is 19 now!

Heather & I have been friends for about 20 years.
WOW!

Heather is actually having Jamie and I and another set of
very good long time friends, Jen and Dave,
over tonight.
Can't wait!

This is Gabriel, Heather's son, holding Kylee.
She is now 9 and he is 14!
Seems like yesterday.
Boy how time passes so quickly.


Ahhh the old days.





01 December 2009

2 Cups of Thanksgiving & a Pinch of Black Friday


Well, well, well...Thanksgiving.  We had a great one...actually 2!

Round 1: Our holiday began Thanksgiving morning as we drove to Fresno. Not out of the ordinary except we also drove home that same night! Yes, we heart driving. All sarcasim intended.  :)  Hey Black Friday was calling!

We got to spend time with my family this year...yeah! Grandpa, Mom, Uncle, Aunt, Brother, Sister, Nieces, Cousins...oh my!

My Aunt and Uncle were amazing hosts.  The decor was fabulous and the family time...well, that was SUPERB as usual. In the past few years, as a family, we have been dealt some bad cards for sure.  But we have prevailed! I, being one who believes everything happens for a reason, believes that my (our) grandmother has successfully gotten the family-in her own way, to love and appreciate one another. Almost all of us anyway. :) Gosh I miss her.  We all do.  I am truly THANKFUL for my life. For my family.

Our Hosts - Uncle & Aunt

She was worried my brother wouldn't be there

There he is. He cooks!

Brother & Sister-in-law

Look at my cute little niece-Oh and her mom & dad :)

Me, Mom & Brother

Two cousins & their girlfriends (and my hubby)

Us

We had a great day!

Black Friday: We drove from Fresno to drop Kylee of at her friend's house then went to stand in line at Toys R Us with some friends-we were there at 11:30pm (Thursday).  Crazy, but fun!  We shopped and napped until about 2:00pm (Friday) then met some friends for dinner. Thanks Tammy & Hanh!  The food was great!

Thanksgiving...round 2: Sunday we met Jamie's brothers at my in-law's. We had a fabulous dinner - as usual. 

My in-laws read my blog and decided to be little pranksters. I had blogged about the leftovers we always get from them.  So....we get to their house and there is this round thing wrapped in foil.  I thought it was wierd that there was something already wrapped in foil but assumed it was something brother-in-law had brought over.

Hmmm...nope...Pops told me that was the turkey for me to take home. Since I was banking on leftovers they cooked me a whole turkey!

Yeah, well, little Mr. & Mrs. Funny had this under the foil

Yes, that is a hen. HA HA HA
It was so funny! 
That little thing was GOOD! 

By the way, we did have two turkeys and all of the fixings so YES, I had mucho leftovers.  I am bummed that I forgot my camera though.

We had great Thanksgivings & I hope you did too!






25 November 2009

Have a Thankful Thanksgiving!

HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!

May it be full of great company, awesome conversation
and wonderful food.
(we must not forget to mention the food)



This year we are lucky enough to get
two Thanksgiving feasts! YUM

One on Thanksgiving and one on Sunday.

The family is spreading out this year.

My littlest brother, who is getting married in April
is spending the holiday out of town with his
fiance's family.

We will be out of town spending the holiday with my family.

And my other little brother will be here from LA. Hmmm
go figure!

So, thankfully my in-laws
(who love to cook)
are doing Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday
so we can all be together.

I love when they cook.
They are good at it and they
always send us home with leftovers!

YEEEAAHH!

Have a wonderful day!






23 November 2009

It's All About Feeling GOOD!

Feeling good...
What does that mean to you?

To me it means a lot.

Let's get started with the body...

I love that I am eating better.  Eating less.  Eating light.
I love that I have so much energy.
I love moving around - getting things done.
(current event: packing up & cleaning our home office)

I love not being lazy.
I was not over weight, just out of shape for my size.
Just an 8. But not a toned 8.

I am now feeling like a small, toned 8.

This all makes sense to me.

I need a belt more often then I need to suck 'it' in!

Eat less. Move more.
It works!

No fancy, expensive stuff.
Just will power and motivation.

Yep, that's it.

Oh and some pilate stretches here and there.
Not a lot though.

Actually, I do most of my stretches
while getting ready in the morning.

Drying my hair while doing squats.

Curling my hair while stretching my sides. 

Arms flexed above my head and
shaking my booty as I walk through the house.

Seriously.

Every little bit helps, right!

Just takes a few minutes a day...
You'll get it.

Most importantly,
I FEEL GOOD!

Please share your secret. Now you know mine. 
Come on, feel good too!
You won't be dissappointed.

P.S. As much as I heart mashed potatoes I will be good on Thursday.
I promise.



20 November 2009

YES! Black Friday is a Comin'

Are you a Black Friday shopping nut?

Are you just a shopping nut?

Confession: I AM!!!

And, I love that I am!

This year my husband is coming out with me.

We are meeting two other couples

bright and early in the morning.

Can't wait!

I am posting this early so you can plan ahead

if you will be out shopping too.

Check out this web site:



It's cool!

Who knows, maybe I will see you!

HAPPY SHOPPING!


17 November 2009

Winter Flowers - There are some!

Your yards and gardens can be beautiful all year!
It's true!

I never used to take the time to research whether or not flowers and plants
could survive the winter.

I didn't know there are special types of flowers that
love the winter.
Really!

Check them out below!

Maybe you can learn a thing or two about winter flowers
just like I did!

Happy Planting!

Winter annual plants are plants that germinate in early winter and bloom by late winter or early spring. Winter annuals die after flowering and setting seeds. The seeds, in turn, wait again for the soil to cool for germination. Winter annuals grow low to the ground and use the snow cover for shelter from cold, then making use of warm temperatures to grow when the snow melts.

Calendula: Also known as pot marigolds, they come in different colors.

Pansy: This annual has a beautiful mild fragrance and is found in many varieties.

Sweet Pea: Available in bright colors of red, pink, blue, violet, white, coral and cream, Sweet Pea thrives in cold weather and blooms during the short days of winter.

Bachelor Button (Cornflower): Ideal winter plants, Cornflower comes in pink red, white and blue and requires little care.

Larkspur: This tall feathery flower needs plenty of water and regular fertilization.

Snapdragon: A tall vertical plant, Snapdragon comes in two heights: 10 inches and 3 to 5 feet.

Dianthus: Ideal winter plants in the South, Dianthis requires sun as a well-drained and fertilized area for growth.

Lavender: Thanks to its lovely scent Lavender is a popular choice for making potpourri. It should be trimmed each spring and kept well fertilized.

Ornamental Cabbage and Kale: Known as ornamentals, these plants are not edible. They produce beautiful colors of pink and purple and the color deepens as the temperatures drop.

Viola: These flowers have a slight fragrance and come in many colors. Keep them well watered and fertilized.

Winter annuals are also considered important to our ecological system. They prevent soil erosion during winter and early spring by providing a vegetative cover. With winter annuals you can enjoy the spring in winter.

Sounds good to me.
Enjoy!

16 November 2009

Next week!

I just realized that Thanksgiving is next week!
WOW!
Where has the time gone?

We have been so busy this year.
The time just ran right by.

Sheesh!

I am thankful that I am not hosting.
I am sure my family is too.
hee hee ha ha hee

I want to thank my Aunt and Uncle
for being our wonderful hosts this year.

I know the day isn't here yet
but I already know it will be a
FABULOUS time!

I hope all of you hosts are ready for the Holiday.

Cheers!

12 November 2009

I'm Thankful For....these 100 things!

Hello Peeps and Fellow Bloggers!

The holidays are rapidly approaching. This is a great time of year.  I feel happy. Probably because of all the decorations that are popping up in the stores.  The holiday flavors at Starbucks. The anticipation that Santa will be here soon. The stocking surprises.  Hmmm there is so much to think about!

Although Christmas is my all time favorite holiday I would like to take a moment to give a shout out to Thanksgiving.  Afterall there are lots of yummy dishes to be tasted on this day! 

I have listed below 100 things (no particular order) that I am thankfull for this year, and always for that matter.  Enjoy!

1. Family (My family is so fabulous!)
2. Good health
3. My home
4. Hairspray
5. makeup
6. headbands
7. My heater (my air conditioner during the summer)
8. brush – a must
9. Flowers – Orchids are my fave
10. shower gel
11. Great friends
12. Warm fuzzy scarves
13. Get-togethers
14. Sushi makers
15. The mall
16. Mexican food
17. Reality T.V. Amazing Race specifically
18. My GPS
19. Shoot, THE T.V. with satellite
20. business cards
21. Steak
22. Water
23. Mashed potatoes – husband makes the best
24. Oxygen
25. Michael’s craft store
26. The ocean
27. Target – of course
28. Overstock.com
29. Ma and Pa shops
30. My hair lady
31. Good red wine
32. My nail lady
33. Denim
34. The Beach
35. Long sweaters
36. Dolphins – They are relaxing to watch
37. Wedge boots
38. fountains
39. Snow
40. Snow skis
41. wishes
42. miracles
43. Airplanes
44. teachers
45. My car
46. high heeled shoes
47. My job
48. girls nights
49. Income
50. good movies
51. Big purses – oh yeah!
52. vacations
53. My camera
54. sunshine
55. My cell phone
56. microfiber – we have kitties
57. Facebook – ha ha
58. delivery people
59. Email
60. black Friday
61. Text messaging
62. Holidays
63. Lattes
64. Lattes with holiday flavors – heaven in a cup
65. Christmas Trees
66. Stockings with goodies
67. Soy milk
68. iron on patches – I can’t sew
69. Laptops
70. My real estate license
71. Blogging
72. Smiles
73. The internet
74. Laughter
75. Wrapping paper - I heart heart heart wrapping presents!
76. Ribbon
77. Happy hour
78. q-tips
79. Cardstock
80. toothpaste - everybody should have a tube.
81. My scrapbook tote
82. flannel sheets
83. Yarn
84. Knitting needles
85. Scented candles
86. firewood
87. My calendar
88. Patterns
89. pay at the pump gas stations
90. Mannatec
91. Flat iron
92. My swimming pool
93. My big backyard
94. BBQ dinners
95. Shooting stars
96. Tabloid magazines
97. True crime novels
98. Chapstick
99. SALES
100. My ability to speak my mind (I don't think everyone likes this :))

Now how can you possibly have a bad day once you realize how much you are thankful for?! 
Give it a try! I would love to read yours. 

Thanks Jen. Doing this made my day!

09 November 2009

A Quick (and much needed) Get Away with the Hubby

Hello Las Vegas!
I really heart Las Vegas
and I don't even gamble that much!
Anymore.
There is so much more to do, and see.

This trip was extra special.
Not only did we go to Las Vegas
BUT
my Dad, Mom2, Sister, Brother-in-law all came too!

We had a great time!
Fabulous conversation!
Wonderful meals!

The family was operating on East coast time so they turned in early on Satuday.  Jamie and I went to the piano bar in the NY NY hotel for a while.  This place is one of our favorite spots in Vegas.  I think the actual name is the Bar in Times Square.  So much energy here! This was our pit stop before heading to a 10:30 show at the Luxor.  (shout out to the Amazing Race) hee hee

The show got out just after midnight and we were hungry. Thank goodness PF Chang was open until 1AM. We just made it.  We sat outside and ate our snack...dinner...breakfast-what ever you call it at 1AM, that's what we had and boy was it DELISH!

Sunday was our day to head home.  We had a nice family breakfast at the Bellagio then walked through some of the shops in Ceasar's together before Jamie and I left.

My hubby. My best friend. My everything.

I heart him.


My sister & I

I heart her too.
Wish they lived closer.
Maybe some day.


The fountains at the Bellagio

Pretty!  Pretty Awesome!

We had a great time but wish it could have lasted a little longer.

Until next time!

06 November 2009

A Weekend Yummy!

Give this recipe a try and let me know how it ends up.
I would be asking my hubby to make it (I am not fond of cooking)
but we are heading to Las Vegas for the weekend.

Enjoy!

White Bean Chicken Chili in the crockpot
* 6 Servings ~ * Prep: 35 min. Cook: 3 hours

Ingredients

3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans (15 ounces each) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
3 cups chicken broth, divided
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
• Sour cream and minced fresh cilantro, optional

Directions

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in oil for 2 minutes.

• Stir in the onion, garlic and jalapeno; cook 2 minutes longer. Sprinkle with oregano and cumin; cook 1 minute longer or until chicken is browned and vegetables are tender. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.

• In a small bowl, mash 1 cup of beans. Add 1/2 cup broth; stir until blended. Add to the slow cooker with the remaining beans and broth.

• Cover and cook on low for 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro if desired. Yield: 6 servings.


Sounds pretty yummy to me!
Can't wait to try it. 
Hmmm.....
project for next weekend? 
Possibly.

White Bean Chicken Chili published in Taste of Home February/March 2008, p31