Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

What a fun party! (Too bad it was over before 10pm!!) Seriously, Mr. Fix-It and I were ready to part-ty tonight.... and we did. But it's hard... on a Friday.... with the kiddos....

Pics and details to come! So much fun, such creative costumes... Mr. Fix-It and I just danced a few dances with Big Sis and G-man after our guests left and now they're in bed..... Mr. Fix-It and I are listening to the 90s, ignoring the mess, and enjoying adult beverages and partying - we're not ready for the night to end!

Hope you and your lil goblins are having a great weekend! Love, The Semi-Homemades

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sneak peek of the Semi-Homemades

By now, you know of the magic Kristie does.... it all started with the maternity shots she did of me that are - seriously - THE best pictures I've ever taken in my life. And I was almost 9 months pregnant.... (I know that's sad, but it's a testimony to the amazing work of this photographer!)
I can't believe we've already done 6 sessions with her, and hadn't even thought of it until she pointed it out! But why mess with a good thing, right?

So.... here's just one...... but please visit her blog and leave a comment there for me! At her blog, you can see a pic of the entire Semi-Homemade clan, and another shot of Big Sis. Kristie said she got HUGE traffic from my awesome blog readers after G-man's rocker baby photo shoot. And I'd love to send the same love for Big Sis's very grown up, almost 4 year pics. :) Thanks!

My 5 favorite Semi-Homemade Halloween Trends!

It was hard to narrow it down to only my top 5 favorite halloween trends, when there are so many great ones out there! But here is my semi-homemade take on the ones that showed up at our house this year!

1. Black & white - go modern

It's hard to believe that I'd be willing to take orange out of the equation.... since I bleed orange and all (Go, Pokes! Great win over Baylor this weekend!) But there's an element of spooky sophistication when you limit yourself to black and white. And given more time and money (damn recession!), I'd have let black and white scary stuff take over my whole house!

Another spray paint project.... I attacked this craft pumpkin with white spray paint... There's actually now a real pumpkin, sitting next to this one.... I spray painted it black and added a black & white polka dot bow!

2. Purple & green - go fresh, go new, go Wicked!

For this semi-homemade idea, I had a tube of green, glittery skulls I found (cheap!) at Home Goods.... I tied one to a witch's broom from Michael's, knotted some purple & black tulle (y'all know how much I love, love tulle!) and done! Cheap, fast, semi-homemade!

I needed to switch out my dough bowl centerpiece.... so 5 more of the skulls + purple shredded paper. Even easier!

I still had a few more skulls.... and I'd found this hat in a closet, left over from when Big Sis was a witch for Halloween 2 years ago. I added it all to the copper bowl in my nook.... and I think the end result is a little Wicked inspired....

One weekend I was feeling crafty.... loving the purple & green for Halloween concept.... and totally procrastinating on some work I had brought home. The result? My guest bathroom got Boo'ed!

I bought those letters at Hobby Lobby (mecca for the semi-homemade!) - they're cardboard, or something... I painted the edges black (I knew the leftover paint from G-man's helmet would come in handy someday!)..... modgepodged some purple & green scrapbook paper onto the letters.... and then cut them out with an exacto knife!

The result is a cheerful green & purple Boo!

3. Personalize it- the semi-homemade way... with decals!
Okay.... hi, my name is Elaine and I'm addicted to spray paint. I seriously am... it's on our 'grocery' list more often than I'd like to admit. I spray painted this cute punkin to the left white....added a bow and a decal from Decal Monogram, an Etsy seller I adore and have worked with on numerous occasions (she did the monogram in Big Sis's room!) Please, please check out her blog and Etsy store - you'll love her, too!

Another great decal from Decal Monograms... after I spray painted the craft pumpkin, I added our family monogram! (Now I just need some great black leaves to glue to the top!)
I've got one more pumpkin, with fresh white (spray) paint drying... and I've got THE cutest decal to put on it - I'll try to finish it and add here during the wk!
We even customized our front porch! If you look really, really, really close.....

You can see the names of the kiddos on the pumpkins! (Okay, okay, they don't really have their blog names on them.... but trust me, their real names are there!)

4. Go spooky - for recession-proof decorating, do spoooooky!
A few bucks gets you severl spooky cobwebs.... then you can turn your normal living room... into a Semi-Homemade Haunted Mansion!

As much as I like to clean, it's amazing my house doesn't REALLY look like this! ;)

These candles sit on this pedestal by my sink all year. But I added a $1 tombstone, a couple spiders, and some black and purple tulle..... and now you're in my Semi-Homemade Scary Diner!

5. Recession means repurpose! - at least in this house!
So much of my decorating this year was from things I already had at home... but used in different ways!
My glass jar got some candy corns and a festive new bow!

I have this candelabra out 24/7..... But I wrapped a black boa (with tiny shots of metallic green!) around it and now it's spookified!

Everything on my mantel is from Halloweens past.... years and years ago.... except the tiny pumpkins, from my dad's garden in OK!

Okay, time to work on our Halloween party - it's this Friday and we can't wait! I'm sure we'll have several fun pictures to share of friends, costumes and fun!

6 days to Halloween!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Fall Y'all - Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

I love October! It's so full of fun! We've got the trip to the pumpkin patch , OSU Homecoming, Halloween... it's probably impossible to cram ANY more fun into October. (I think I tried... which is why I'm run down and super sick!)

But a few pics from the 2nd annual trip to the Pumpkin Patch with the Everythings! Remember that Big Sis was so excited about going that we had to create a special semi-homemade countdown, just so she'd stop getting up at 5am everyday, ready to go!

Here are G-man and Big Sis - we got there a little early and were waiting on The Everythings.
Then a blast from the past..... Big Sis and Miss Priss (Everything) at this same punkin patch last year! I couldn't help but throw in some pics from last year.... both because I can't believe how much the kiddos have grown up (not to mention there are 4 this year to last year's 3!), AND I wasn't blogging last yr, so these are new to you!

First up, it's time to feed the animals! They have longhorns (duh, we'r in Texas!), sheep, goats, baby cows... probably more, but my farm animal knowledge is limited, and I'm lucky to remember this much with all the sleep deprivation!
These goats were about to come thru the fence, they were so excited to see Big Sis (and her food!)

I love this one of Mrs. Everything and Miss Priss! You can really see how much fun the kids (and their mommas!) have at the pumpkin patch!

Look how much these girls have grown up! Miss Priss's hair is looooong! (And quite possibly, Big Sis's is shorter!) ;)

Then, on to ride the train. I rode it last year and my back didn't forgive me for a week! This year, we were able to put Big Sis and Miss Priss in a car together and just wave from the sidelines! (Well, poor Miss P didn't make it the whole way... but no parents had to ride, so I still consider it a win!)
G-man watched and cheered on his fav gals...

And I think it's safe to say the dads were discussing college football.

After hotdogs and snacks, the Everythings left and the Semi-Homemades headed off for a hayride! Here is me with G-man - it was a beautiful day!

Then time to see how tall this fall? Okay, so last year's pic wasn't the greatest... but she's grown ALOT! ;)
We had such a great time AGAIN! I love this photo opp, with the state flag of TX in the background....
Later at home, Big Sis hammed it up with some of her pumpkins (and some of MY heels)!
And these pics are from last year.... We were searching for a cinderella pumpkin like this one we got last year and they didn't have any - what a bummer!

She's still got (at least some!) of those great cheeks she had last year... ;)

Big Sis is already talking about next year's trip and by then I'm sure she'll have her brother up at 5am with her.....everyday for 6 wks before..... rearing to go to the punkin patch!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Houston, we have a problem....

....and that problem is that Mom is sick! Yep, I went in to work yesterday (late), thinking I'd feel better when I got there. But I felt horrible. Been feeling worse since.... This does NOT help me get my long to do list done! Back to bed..... before my head explodes...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Her Picture Perfect Day

My cousin's, that is! We're in a crazy run of weddings this year after going to NONE for.... oh, about 5 years! And I'm guessing that any of you who have been to a one in the past year or so has seen this idea -I think it's so fun! They have a photo booth set up, and you get to go in and take 4 pics - with your friends, the bride, your family, whoever... you can do it as much as you want (evident by the fact that I was in there 3 times!)

My sweet cousin is 5 months older than me - we grew up together, graduated HS together, attended the same college.... and now she's a Mrs. and I couldn't be happier! Here are the Semi-Homemades hamming it up in her wedding day photo booth. I think it says something about us that the best pic, by far, is the 'silly one.'

This one was supposed to be me and my 2 sisters.... but Mr. Fix-It had his hands full with a walking!! G-man, so.... Big Sis snuck in at the last minute! And I'd like to explain... yes, the top right is our 'silly' pic.... but the bottom left is something my siblings and I like to call our 'Will Farrell' look.... we do it often and we do it crazy.... it's just what we do. We love him. ;)

We are back....

....from a weekend of Orange greatness! We did it all - the Walkaround, the parade, the tailgating, the game! And we saw it all - old friends, Garth Brooks, family, a big win!

Now, back to the real world with work deadlines, projects due, etc... but I promise to get thru the 184 pics we took this weekend (and only show you the best ones!), and finish up those last Halloween projects (and get them up before the holiday passes us by!)
So, we're back... we're exhausted (Big Sis slept for 12 hrs!! last night and even I went to bed at 8pm!), we're all a little under the weather (hence the early bedtime!), but we're happy, we're proud of our Pokes, and we're ready to NOT travel for the first weekend in a month!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Orange! Power!

Okay, so I realize I've been less than great about blogging lately... and it's not that I don't have things to say (and you have lots to say, too! Just check out all the great convo on the Coffee Creamer issues, right below this post!) ;)

Anyway, we're off to Stillwater, OK, this weekend for one of our absolute fav weekends of the year - it's a holiday in the Semi-Homemade household... Oklahoma State University Homecoming! Tonight we'll have chili at my parents' house, before we head out to the Walkaround. (What's a Walkaround? All the sororities pair with a fraternity house and they build these elaborate house decorations that are HUGE! Everyone walks around - duh! - and it's a carnival atmosphere, with food vendors, etc.... SO FUN!)
Tomorrow is the parade with famous alumni Garth Brooks, Barry Sanders, and Robin Ventura!! Then the game, of course! I'll be back with stories and pictures - y'all have a good weekend! Until then, a few pics from last year's homecoming:
The Semi-Homemades before the Walkaround:

Look how much they've changed!

Big Sis and me at the parade:

Go Pokes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dear Coffee Mate,

Why do you torture me? I have seen ads for your 'seasonal flavors' for over a month now.... yummy flavors like Pumpkin Spice
and Caramel Apple. Both of which are seasonal RIGHT NOW. So, once you showed them off to me in the Sun paper... oh, about 5 wks ago.... I started looking for them in the stores. (Yes, stores plural... I've searched any store I've breezed thru!) But, as it turns out, you don't plan to have them in stores until Nov. Are you not aware that we have not only been to the pumpkin patch, purchased pumpkins and decorated our entire house with them, but that we have also already made caramel apples? What are you waiting for? Starbucks has been on the Pumpkin Spice bandwagon for weeks! (But with this damn recession, I was really hoping Coffee Mate would come thru for me while I limit my $4 coffee intake!)
Then there's my fav seasonal flavor... Peppermint Mocha. I would expect this one a little later than the other 2 flavors, but it comes out at the same time. Again, this doesn't calculate for me....
Please consider a change to the madness in 2010! And in the meantime, I'll continue to subject myself to the boringness that is sugar free vanilla. While I wait. And while Starbucks continues to call my name....
Thankssomuch, Elaine

Thursday, October 8, 2009

From the Semi-Homemade Cookbook: Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos & French Onion Soup

This is my view from the kitchen. Looking down. On G-man. As he gets more.....

.....and more upset......
....while I'm working on.....

French Onion Soup... I think ended up trying this one... or a combination of this one and a couple other ones from IF you use this one (I modified it a bit but it was yummy... or what we could taste of it before we burned our mouths on jalapenos, anyway...) but please note that one cup of wine is NOT usually half the bottle, as stated in the recipe. Unless you already drank half the bottle, while sauteeing the onions. Which I say is a good practice.

....And while Mr. Fix-It is working on semi-homemade jalapeno goodness.

Seriously, do you need the recipe? Split open jalapenos (these are fresh from Mr. Fix-It's dad's garden and some of them were SPI-CEEEY!)
Clean out all the seeds. Or you'll be sorry.

Put a chunk of cream cheese (more, if they're super spicy peppers like ours were!) inside the jalapeno and wrap in bacon. Use cheap bacon here... yes, cheap bacon. Or in the least, THINLY sliced bacon. It grills better... Hold it all together with a toothpick and throw it on the grill. These are THE BEST for tailgating!

And a newly discovered Semi-Homemade dessert you must try..... okay, anyone who knows me knows that my absolute fav dessert is brownies. And now Pillsbury has totally read my mind. Brownie Minis! See, if there's a pan of brownies, I'll eat...... say, for example...... the whole pan. But with these, you can make a tray of just 6 mini-brownies. And 3 of them is only 150 cal! (So, even if you screw up, the worst you can do is 300 calories!) Finally, someone gets me!

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