Saturday, January 31, 2009

Top Droppers Day

Today is Entrecard's first official Top Dropper Day. It's a nice way to say thanks to some regular visitors to my blog, so I thought I'd play along. Here's a little linky love for my top ten droppers for the month of January. Thanks for stopping by!

5)Diana Rambles

6) The Frugal Angel-Guided Psychic

7) Fickle Minded

8) At Home in the Ozarks

9) NICO* Designs

10) Karlana's Blog

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cover Up!

Aprons are all the rage now, it seems. I have collected so many apron patterns because I love the look of vintage aprons, but somehow it seems I don't even own an apron! I remember as a child wearing an apron every time I did some cooking or baking in Mom's kitchen. My favorite had full sleeves and complete frontal coverage. I was a messy cook from the beginning! I loved putting that apron on--I wonder what happened to it...

So I wanted to direct your attention to a couple apron giveaways going on. I keep entering these hoping to finally acquire an apron. I must have at least 10 different apron patterns. Well, actually, I have at least 12 (upon a quick count), plus one very adorable pattern for mini-apron ornaments, plus one doll aprons pattern! So in about twenty years, when I can venture into my sewing room for a project that takes longer than 10.7 minutes, I will make myself one! Until that happens, I keep entering these giveaways. (And seriously, I would anyways because they are all so cute!)

First, The Apron Goddesses are giving away a Sweetheart of an apron from Carolyn's Kitchen. There are some smokin' aprons available at Carolyn's Kitchen. Carolyn West's vintage-inspired aprons and dish gloves are for the "Suzy Homefaker" in all of us! Check out the giveaway by clicking here.

If you loved what you saw at Carolyn's Kitchen, double your chances of winning an apron from there by also heading over to A Wrestling Addicted Mommy's giveaway. She's giving a black Sweetheart apron away from Carolyn's.

And supposing you just can't get enough of Carolyn's Kitchen, stop by A List Baby and enter to win a pink Sweetheart apron! (This one is closing really soon, though!) Sorry, this one is closed now, but I managed to round up a couple more giveaways at the bottom of this post!

And now for something completely different! Well, not completely... It's still an apron giveaway, but this time featuring Jessie Steele aprons. As part of "Mom Time in '09," Go Graham Go is giving away a vintage inspired apron from Jessie Steele. With matching oven mitts and tea towels, you can reign supreme as kitchen diva! Gosh, these are real beauties--hard to pick a favorite! Don't miss this giveaway!

I'm thinking I entered another Jessie Steele contest the other day, so I will try to see if I can find it around again and post it here later. Want to get these out here now because the A List Baby giveaway is only good until noon central today. Wish I could have given a heads-up sooner!

And yes, obviously, someone needs to keep me away from Joann's 99 cent pattern sales! I just keep buying patterns with the optimistic viewpoint that someday I will have time to sew. But honestly, I'm going to need multiple lifetimes to complete all the patterns and projects I have acquired and keep acquiring!

Edited to add:

Well, I didn't manage to find the other Jessie Steele giveaway I had in mind. (I'm thinking it was probably over anyhow.) But I managed to find a bunch of others. So enjoy!

Bella Casa News is hosting an apron giveaway. Be sure to take a look because this one comes with candy (and a few other goodies)!! Click here for the apron giveaway post.

Here's a chance to win a custom, made just for you apron from Shawnee's Tangled Tales. It's all part of her Golden Versary Giveaway! And because I can't help mysel, I'm also signing up for her apron pattern giveaway while I'm there. Like I need another...

Nicole from Precious Pink Designs is offering any apron from her Etsy shop, Desserts and Skirts, to the winner of her giveaway. I'm loving the pink and blue one myself. She promises they will stand up to plenty of machine washings that would be required by messy cooks like myself!

Family Traditions is giving away a cookbook and apron set. The cookbook looks like it would be a fun one with recipes from storytellers. Enter this giveaway here.

And finally, if one apron is good, then two must be better! So how about a mother and daughter apron set? Get your little cuties in the kitchen with you and make something yummy! is offering this darling set from

So, that's a lot of aprons! I'd just like to offer thanks to all the great bloggers giving away all these aprons. Hopefully I'll be able to tie one on soon!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #5

Monday, January 26, 2009

Make Something Monday #7

Make Something Monday

I was sorting some of Finn's drawers the other day and pulled out a whole pile of receiving blankets. I figured that I'm not using them anymore, but the fabric is still just fine on them. I've been meaning to make some un-paper towels for the kitchen, so I thought to myself, this would be perfect for making them. (I had planned to use some of my flannel stash for this, but now I can hoard that a bit longer!) Since they are already finished around the edges, I just pressed them and used the creases as a guide to serge along. I used three flannel blankets and wound up with a dozen cloths--making four cloths from each blanket. My family goes through paper towels at an alarming rate when we have them. I actually haven't bought any the last couple shopping trips, and nobody has even mentioned that the paper towel holder is empty. But if I put a roll of towels up, they'd be gone in no time! So I'm going to stick these in a basket in the kitchen, and introduce my family to our new un-paper towels!

See you in Spring!

No, I'm not going anywhere. That's just my message to anyone that knows me locally. I thought things were clearing up here on our hill, but we got some more snow last night, and we are under a storm warning for several more inches of snow. I did manage to get out last week on Friday with Paul's car, but today Paul managed to find an inconvenient parking spot for his car and we are now stuck on the hill. Even my dad's truck is stuck up here because he didn't want to risk trying to get around Paul's vehicle. So I'm staying here until the spring when things will hopefully be well thawed!!

Ready to see what happened today when he tried to go to town?

That's my dad and husband consulting to see how they are going to get it back up again. They decided to try putting it in 4 wheel drive and backing it out. No luck... there it stays. The plan is to put chains on it tomorrow and try to back it out with chains. We'll see...

It's not actually very much snow, but that snow is just the right consistency that it's packing right down to ice. I barely stayed on my feet when I went up to close up the chicken coop this evening. It could have been worse, though. He could have been hurt. Or he could have slide the other direction into the pond. The hood is banged up, and a headlight is busted out. One fender is much worse for the wear. Please let Spring hurry up!

I haven't posted my "Make Something Monday" yet, either. I do have a project in mind and if I could get into the sewing room for just a little while, I could whip it out quickly enough. I'm going to try my best to get it done this evening. So I may manage to post it a bit later!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seven Things About Me

Okay, I promised to try to get my seven random or weird things listed this weekend, so here goes!

  1. I named my daughters after non-flowering plants--Ivy and Holly.
  2. When I was younger, I used to be afraid of goats, but now I have two and am hoping for more!
  3. I collect fabric-especially flannel. I can't stop myself!
  4. One of my all time favorite books is Wuthering Heights.
  5. I have about half an education degree done, but stopped to have more kids of my own.
  6. I'm a minivan mom, and I love my minivan! (Don't even think of sticking me in a station wagon, though.)
  7. If I could be any animal, I'd pick an eagle because I want to know how it feels to spend hours soaring the thermals without even having to flap my wings.
That was easier than I thought once I got going! I think I went with random more than weird, but that could just be because I consider myself pretty normal!

I've also gotten two more awards this weekend! I received the Lemonade Award from Justine at Justine's Frugal Finds. This award is given to people who have shown a great attitude or gratitude this week. And I got tagged again with the seven things award from Karlana at Karlana's Blog. I wondered if I might be interesting enough to find 14 random things about myself, but decided seven was quite enough for me! So I'm combining my answers for both tags into one set of seven. Thanks to both Justine and Karlana for caring enough to brighten my dreary week

I know I'm supposed to pick out others to pass these awards forward to, but I'm being a bad (ie. lazy) recipient and not naming names! Actually, between the awards, I think I am supposed to pick out 17 (or would it be 24? eek!) to pass it along to! There are so many great blogs out there I like to follow and so many great bloggers who visit me that I don't know where to begin with offering these awards. So I'd like to invite all my visitors to join in the game of tag and post seven random or weird things about yourself. Be sure to leave a comment so I can see how weird unique you all really are!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Housebound, But Keeping Warm

Until our driveway melts, I'm stuck at home. I haven't had my car down off our hill in over a week because of snow and what not. I'm hoping things might melt enough today, because it's supposed to get up around 40F. But if not today, tomorrow is supposed to be around 50F. I could most probably get the car out of the driveway (by sliding down the icy part straight towards the road--a little harrowing) but I probably couldn't make it back up again. And the thought of carrying Holly and groceries back up is something I'm not tackling. My husband has been making it up and down the driveway in his vehicle which is 4WD, but after being laid off for several weeks, he has been back to work again this week. Figures it would coincide with the first time I've really been stuck in the house for the winter. He did bring home milk and toilet paper last night, so we're not without the necessities. And staying in does keep the budget in check!

Our furnace isn't quite keeping up with this cold snap we've been having. We normally don't spend this much time with really cold weather. Plus we've been fortunate enough to be able to add onto our house, but that means the furnace is trying to keep up with heating a larger area. We'll have to make adding another furnace a priority before next winter because we've got a living room addition framed onto the house right now that would really tax our heating system if nothing was done to it. So, I've been baking something every day just to give the house a little extra warmth. Yesterday I made some maple blond brownies and if I could remember where I found the recipe, I'd be happy to give credit here, but I can't remember! Sorry, but if anybody recognizes it, feel free to claim it and I'll give credit where credit is due. As I was saying, I made these brownies/blondies, and my husband couldn't get enough of them. He seriously wanted me to make another pan last night. The bad thing about them is how much maple syrup they use, but I do like that it uses maple instead of sugar. Unfortunately, they used up about half of my jar of maple syrup which is over $7.00 at the store. So they aren't the cheapest baked treat to make, but I got the feeling that if I told my hubby that I needed to budget half the grocery allowance for maple syrup to make these goodies on a daily basis, he would be fine with that!

Here's the recipe:
Maple Blond Brownies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Butter and lightly flour a 13"x9" pan.
  3. Beat butter and syrup in a large bowl.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.
  5. Spread batter in pan.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes.
  7. Let cool in pan before cutting.
I also added some walnuts into this because I thought it seemed like it needed nuts! My hubby agreed that the nuts were an important ingredient.

And here's something else that has made me feel warm and toasty! I've received two rewards in the last week or two! Thanks so much to Mary at Mother No's Best and Michelle at The Giving Tree Project 2009.

From Mary, I received the Sisterhood Award which was created by Diana of Diana Rambles (another daily read of mine.) It was inspired by the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I love both those movies and just recently watched the second with my own sister. Mary is a kind blogger with multiple talents, and I love peeking in over at her blog to look at her crochet projects and other things she has crafted. She also posts interesting tips and tidbits she digs up. She's looking for a job now, but I hope when she's back to work she is able to keep entertaining us with her blog!

And from Michelle, I received the "You've Been Tagged" award. I've been following Michelle's year of giving since I stumbled on her blog via another blogger who received a special gift from Michelle. Inspired by The Giving Tree book by Shel Silverstein, Michelle has decided to make an effort every day to find some way to give. I loved this book when I was a kid, and it's still a sentimental heart-breaker. I've been avidly following along with her giving journey and am so glad to have found it so close to it's inception so I can watch the whole thing unfold. I'm supposed to list seven weird or random things about myself, but I'm going to leave that for this weekend, hopefully.

So thanks to Mary and Michelle who both warmed my heart with these awards! Be sure to check both of their blogs out, you won't be sorry!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Make Something Monday #6

Make Something Monday

This week, I had my daughter, Ivy, make something for me that turned out so cute I decided to post it for "Make Something Monday". She loves using her polymer clay and I had seen some really cute pins with polymer clay decorations on the ends. So I showed her the pictures and she said she could do it. I think she did a great job. I just love the strawberries. She's working on some blueberry sets now.

First, she formed little strawberries from the clay and then topped them with the green leaves. Next, she stuck the pin through the strawberry, and to hide the head of the pin, she stuck a little bit of green on top for the stem. Then they go in the oven for a few minutes to harden up, and they get finished with a coat of gloss. I was so eager to get pictures taken that these actually haven't been baked yet. (I also realize the pictures aren't the greatest--I had a hard time getting closeup shots of something so little.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We have a visitor!

Meet Cowboy who has come over to play with our girls! We are borrowing him from some kind folks who live nearby. The plan is to have babies here early this summer because we are going to be milking our goats. It's been rather funny watching the goatie introductions. Male goats aren't the most suave creatures. His form of greeting involves curling his lip and blowing raspberries at the girls. He also likes to lick them in places that we won't mention. They spend their time dashing away from him and looking at me as if to say, What have you done to us? Now let me say, everything you hear about goats and smell is thanks to boy goaties! Whew...he has an aroma--to put it nicely! Our girls don't smell at all. That's one reason if you only have a couple goats, you don't bother getting a boy goat. They smell and you have to pen them up far away from the ladies or the smell can taint the milk when you are milking them. So Cowboy is "visiting" our girls for the next several weeks to give them plenty of time to make acquaintances.

So far, the girls have been less than impressed. If someone goes in the pen, they spend their time trying to position themselves with said person between them and Cowboy. I could hardly get pictures of them because they wanted to glue themselves to me. He, on the other hand, has been loving it. He chases them around and makes the funniest sounds-barking, growling, raspberries, you name it--all the typical sounds that would attract any reasonable female to a potential mate! I think maybe some flowers or chocolates might have gone a ways towards improving introductions...

Maybe the girls will forgive me... Look at their faces.

On the other hand, who could resist this? Notice the tongue hanging out?

"Wait! Where are you going? What do you mean he's staying?"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #4

Easier said than done...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Make Something Monday #5

Make Something Monday

I made this little wallet from a tutorial on Craftster. It's called the Easy Peasy Snap wallet, and it really is easy to make! It took me longer to find the interfacing in my sewing room, I think! Plus this uses such a little bit of fabric, it would be great for using up scraps. It measures about 3x5 inches. So it's small, but could be used to hold gift cards or little treasures.

About This Blogger

I am a thirty-something mother of two girls and a boy ranging from preschool to middle school. My husband and I keep working and reworking on our goal of raising our family healthier. Our house is a constant work under construction--adding on and remodeling. We're happy to have bought our property a few years ago, but as any homeowners know, owning a home just adds to your list of projects and chores because there's always improvements to be made and maintenance to be done. On our burgeoning homestead, we have chickens, guineas, a few goats, and our most recent additions-rabbits.
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About This Blog

I picked the name Petalz and Finz a couple years ago when I decided to try Etsy out. I wanted to custom make some baby related items and have things for girls and boys. I felt the name incorporated both my kids (at the time) into it--petalz for Ivy and finz for Finn.

I haven't had time to do much of anything with my Etsy for a while, but it's still my in my long term goals. In the mean time, I'm having fun with this blog thing. I've found some creative inspiration through my own posting, but also through many other wonderful blogs out there.
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