Saturday, February 27, 2010

Canton Bound!

I'm about to head out the door with Mrs. Everything for a trip to Canton! There's no telling how many treasures we'll find.... I'm hoping to get inspiration for decor for the new house, as well as Big Sis and G-man's new rooms! I plan to go back this fall or next spring, but it never hurts to start thinking ahead! Mrs. Everything has a more immediate shopping list, and she means business! She's even measured walls and she's ready to go!

After a day of girl talk, Starbucks, and lots of laugh.... I'll be back to share any treasures I couldn't live without! :) Happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Day in TEXAS

Or what I was doing while management was in MY meeting. (I'm over it, I promise. Okay, I'm mostly over it. I'll BE over it after happy hour on Thurs. And again on Fri.)

Quiz: Is G-man crying because:
a) he was forced to wear his sister's coat when his mysteriously disappeared?
b) he hates the snow - that's why he lives in TX, damnit!?
c) he took 1 step in the snow and face planted? (okay, I can't help but giggle. sorry, g-man!)
d) all of the above

You know it's always, always d!!! Poor g....

Seriously, Big Sis was out to impress! mr. fix-it said, roll a snowball for a snowman... and she did it like it was part of her regular day. You go, Southern girl!

The finished product! Frosty with his new friends, the Semi-Homemades. And yes... Frosty is an Oklahoma State fan (go, pokes!) He's sporting his o-state cowboy hat and scarf! (And that's popcorn from Mom and Popcorn for his eyes and mouth, lol!)

Big Sis making snow angels. We got a FOOT of snow! A foot! Which means that Big Sis could do snow angels and not even sink to the ground - crazy!

She convinced daddy that HE needed to do snow angels, too... lol....

G-man was watching safely from his post on the porch. That boy did NOT like the snow. He must get that from his momma. And he's trying to pull off that manly hat to combat his pink & grey plaid peacoat.... I'm still laughing. ;)

The snow missed us today - woo hoo! And seriously, I have a call in to Spring and she better be on the way stat. But we'll always remember this snow day... in more ways than one! What a fun day with my kiddos!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Semi-Homemade Homework

Last week, Big Sis had her first homework assignment. (Geez! This momma doesn't have time for homework, lol!)

The assignment: make a collage of your family.

Sounded easy enough, right? Umm....

The lesson(?!): The lesson learned here probably wasn't for Big Sis. It was that mom hasn't printed pictures out since G-man was born. 18 months ago. We had to rely on random pictures that other people had taken and mailed us. And the front of our Christmas card. And the back of our Christmas card. Geez!

So, the boring (un-girly) piece of green paper we were given for this project just wasn't girly enough... it didn't say Big Sis.... So, in true semi-homemade style... I let Big Sis pick out a ribbon to hang it by. Let it be noted that we did not use tulle (mr. fix-it rolled his eyes when I even suggested it!)

The middle picture on the left side is Big Sis with her little brother... and Miss Priss, the oldest child of Mrs. and Mr. Everything. We consider them family, but Big Sis's teacher is such a stickler for rules... I told her it would be okay (if asked) to call her a cousin. ;)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

C25K update - and rap volume 3

I'm spending a couple minutes online (before kids get up!), looking for new music. And I found this - I blogged this LAST Feb:

Y'all. I just jogged for 25. straight. minutes. I'm still breathing hard. I love running!! When I'm done. And I still haven't decided if I'm totally impressed with myself or completely embarassed by how lame my Fri nights have become. Either way. And AGAIN, I had to remind myself that I am not, in fact, a rapper. I don't have on gold chains, don't go by the name Ice-mom or E-pain or any of that. But I do love some rap to make me forget how much I don't enjoy jogging.

Hee hee! I finished week 9 last week, and I'm adding 1/4 mile every week. I jogged this afternoon... 2 3/4 miles - next week it'll be 3 miles. Straight. No walking. ;) And I've decided maybe I DO enjoy jogging. When I get to do it during the day. ;)

Hopefully, I'll be able to share some new music that I love with you soon! But for now... an old fav....

If your taste is similar to mine, you prob know of Pitbull. Good energy, great for jogging! The BEST of his is the Bojangles remix... (This youtube version isn't the EXACT one I have... not sure the exact version, but I did quick searching and didn't see it!)

And love this one, too... Get No Better by Cassidy.

Kids are waking up but I think I got at least a few to add to my playlist before I jog tomorrow - woo hoo!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Year's Resolution.... in action!

Remember my resolutions? (These.... that I made towards the end of January, which is typically my style. I guess you could say it takes me a month to settle into the first year and see where my opportunities are.) ;)

The picture above is from last Sunday, after Big Sis's first day of Sunday school. Which she loved. Because she "made new friends and learned about Jesus." And the fact that there was coloring probably helped seal the deal.

I wanted to get a good pic of both kiddos..... but - as many of you moms of more than one will relate to - THIS is what I managed to get:

Tomorrow is the 2nd week of Sunday School and you'd think it was Christmas, as excited as Big Sis is. Last week she asked me if we could go to Sunday school EVERY day. ;) I'm lovin that she's lovin it.... and that it helps make me more accountable to one of MY goals. (I was totally hoping to get to take her to mass on Ash Wednesday with me this wk.... but I didn't get to leave work on time and was 5 min late as it was. Next year!)

THAT was the kind of day I needed....

Today wasn't a day I was super excited about. Back-to-back birthday parties for 4-year-olds. (Translation: a 2 hr party, short break, another 2 hr party.... no nap.... then dinner with friends with MY cranky 4-year-old.)

I was focused on my always long to-do list..... a few projects that must be finished before the house goes on the market March 1.... and an under-the-weather G-man (mr. fix-it took him in this morning and the poor guy has an ear infection that spread into pink eye - yikes!)

But it turned out to be EXACTLY the kind of day I needed.... first party was fun, met a new mom (her son is new to Big Sis's class), had fun talking to the 'regular' moms.... then went to lunch with my 2 fav preschool moms and their kids at this fun place on our Downtown Square. We had salads... a couple glasses of wine.... lots of girl talk. I think I was long over due (for girl time... fun gossip... daytime drinking? ;)... for time to hang with Big Sis and focus only on her and her friends).

Second party was a girly girl dress up party and Big Sis adores those. She rocked some seriously great Hannah Montana karaoke.... impressed the other moms with her rendition of Party in the USA, then cracked me up with her request of Ice Cream Paint Job. (No idea where she got that. Okay, maybe a small idea. I blame mr. fix-it.)

Then dinner with some friends expecting their first child in May. I remember those days... when you know change is coming but you really have no idea how your normal is about to get turned upside down. She had the cutest belly... and I can't wait to meet her lil man!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If I had $100...

I'd totally buy this (AND get a pedi! Hmmm... actually, I'm considering leaving work a little early tomorrow and getting a pedi before I pick up the kids. It's been months!!)

It's Urban Decay's newest set, the Alice in Wonderland palette (get it from Sephora - but it's sold out online!) And the colors look perfect for me! Lots of warm browns and bronzes... a couple smokey greys/blacks... then a couple 'out there' colors for when you're having fun! (The colors have fun names, too, like White Rabbit, Jabberwocky, etc!) It also comes with a couple of liners and their primer, which

I have this set and totally wish I could justify another set. ;) There are great everyday colors in here... and I would have loved to have owned it last Halloween when I was trying to pull off some a glam witch look!

So, what's a girl to do when you're craving new makeup (BIG TIME!)? Go enter Sasha's giveaway and win a fab Too Faced Palette! You have until next Tues, but hurry!

Besides new makeup, what REALLY keeps me going is the awesome comments from y'all! I can't tell you how bright my day got when I read this on Monday (which was an especially craptastic day!):
Elaine- I have been following your blog for a while now and finally wanted to comment on this post. I dont have kids but am married and am trying to figure out how eventually I will balance everything. I read your blog and think you are an inspiration. Though sometimes it's tough, your kids seem really happy and your devotion to them is so clear. Even though you missed the meeting, your success in both work and family is an inspiration!
~ TheOwenOpus
Wow!!! Thanks for the love! I honestly read that 100 times... fwded it to my sister... and used it as a pick-me-up all day! Hugs to all my great readers - love y'all!

And for anyone who might be wanting an update on the meeting situation... it didn't go as it would have otherwise. The feedback I got ranged from "okay" to "bizarre." I feel awful for my buyer.... management focused on a few issues that were really non-issues and (had I been there) I could have squashed in 5 seconds. Not sure they learned anything by this.... but it's amazing what happened to the whole team's morale. And I hope that is the lesson to them.

Runners - I need your help! (c25k update)

Y'all! Just look at what mr. fix-it got me for Valentine's day!

Now, before you get ready to stone him, just know.... this is what I wanted!! And I got him new running shoes as well.

We went to Run On (love that store!) where I had purchased my last running shoes. An embarassingly long, long time ago. (With 2 kids and a recession, mom's shoes just hadn't made the priority list. Possibly for 3 years. Maybe. Yikes!) They watched me walk, we talked about my jogging, etc, etc. I've been wearing asics and loving them. But this saucony pair was feeling even better, so I thought I'd try them out this time.

Okay, here's the deal..... I've jogged in them twice now, and I'm getting a blister. It's on the inner middle part of my foot, if that makes sense - kinda the arch...? So, the question is - will I get past this? Or do I need to take them back and get the asics?

C25k update: I'm excited to announce that this is week 9 of the c25k - I am one run away from graduating the program! (For the 3rd time!) :) Starting next week, I'll add 1/4 mile each week. Woo hoo!! This has been the hardest c25k for me (it hasn't gotten easier as faster), but I'm proud of myself for hanging in there!

I'm on the lookout for new music, so leave me comments if you have any suggestions. Extra credit for rap or fun hip hop. ;) Extra, extra credit if you actually come to my house and put it on my ipod. Actually, if you did that, I'd take you to dinner. ;)

So, speaking of Valentine's day.....

Mr. Fix-it left for a gallon of milk Sun morning (before we headed to church and Big Sister's FIRST day of Sunday School!), and came back with...

Purple flowers for Big Sis, orange for G-man, and yellow for me! After church and nap, we did small valentines for the kiddos. A truck for G-man, mini MLP for Big Sis, some mnm's, and a couple tshirts (tied in tulle, of course!)

Big Sis loved this new tank! (Which was on sale at - I got it when ebates was doing 20% back!! WOW!)

Hope y'all had a sweet Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Right now...

I am trying to calm myself. Before I respond. And say something I shouldn't. Now, don't get me wrong.... I want to put forth the maximum amount of frustration & pressure. Without going overboard. Ahh, when you're a working mom, it's all about balance. (And here you always thought they meant the balance between work life and home life!)

Let me catch you up. We have a foot of snow in my north-of-dallas suburb. Today I had a can't-miss-meeting at work... a twice a year review with upper UPPER managment. Today Mr. Fix-It also had a can't-miss-meeting at work.... his annual review and meeting with his VP.

All night I worried about what we'd do with the kiddos today. Schools are closed. Mrs. Everything is at home with two feverish little girls, so that option is out. Our babysitter is snowed in, 45 min north of us. I was considering calling another preschool mom to see if she could take my 2 kids for a few hours - but hoping not to have to leave my kids with an adult they don't know well.

But this morning, the decision was made: no meeting. They'd push it back to next week because 2 key players (myself included) couldn't make it in. (Did I mention that all area schools are closed and most people aren't working today?!)

I was elated! But shocked. Picture my job... in an industry that most closely resembles...
Okay, my industry might actually BE The Devil Wears Prada. It's intense and usually stops for no one. Instead of leaving work early yesterday to get home before the roads got bad... we all worked like crazy and left at 6. But I have a new buyer and she's actually... well rounded. She made this happen.
I decided to take a day off from stressing about work. We played outside. Built an OSU snowman (go, pokes!) Made snow angels. Had a snowball fight. Mr. Fix-It left for his meeting and we settled in for a day at home.
The kids are napping, I just got off the treadmill... time to work. So imagine my FURY when I read my email to find out that the can't-miss-meeting is back on! And starts... in 10 min. Wow. The other missing player and I have spent the last 10 months putting everything we have into this business. Missing out on time with our families, their events - big and small - to put the business back on track. Then "they" retract the original decision and take away our only opportunity (until 6 months from now!) to tell the big guys the strategies we've put into place. The success we've started to see. Our plans for the future. That's wrong.
It's days like this that I struggle more than usual with the position I'm in. And now... the meeting has started. My kids are waking up. And I'm going to try to forget about this and go make cookies with them. (I didn't realize this rant would be so long. Thanks for listening and letting me scream! )

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Semi-Homemade Valentines: Apple for the Teacher

I love to use pretty much any holiday as a chance to appreciate my kiddos' teachers. Wow, the job they have! And the results they've gotten with my kids (and all the others) are just so impressive! I decided to surprise them with Apple for the Teacher gifts!
Above is the tag I tied to Big Sister's teacher's apples! But first, it all started like this...

I played around on photoshop and creative a few designs. Then I just printed, cut, and tied on with some tulle! I wanted to go for a pink & green boutique feel, something girly and fun!

Then it was time to move on to the kids! I had several fun ideas that all incorporated candy. Fast forward to last Fri when a note went up on Big Sister's door, stating they could bring NO candy (because of food allergies!) So, at the last minute, it was back to square one....
But thank goodness for The Celebration Shoppe! They had a fun appreciation gift for their friends and customers - these adorable cello bag toppers! I customized with Big Sis's name on te front and photo on the back. They have a little owl on them and say You're a hoot!

I filled with fun non-edible treats - a glow stick bracelet, note pad, stickers, pencil and heart slinky! Most of these items were from the $ section of Michaels or equally cheap from CVS!
The cello bag toppers really got me thinking.... so I designed my own topper so that I could give some of the assistants and administrators some love, too! These treats are filled with hershey kisses and the topper says
Hugs & Kisses from Big Sis & G-man

I flat out ran out of time and resources for G-man's valentines (and figured the babies wouldn't notice!) So he just did a card....

Hope these ideas help inspire you (although at this point, maybe for Easter or St. Patrick's day, lol!) Here are a couple pics from yesterday's festivities...
Only in Texas, do they combine Valentine's day with a Square Dance! There's Big Sis stompin' and clappin' - she's the TALL one!

She was taking that 'swing your pardner' to heart!

The toddlers were all about the food! Anything covered in frosting was fair game!

These kiddos were on such a sugar high when they got home.... but it was cute! Lots of ticklin' and laughin'!

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!
Part of:

And the winner is.....

Thanks so much to everyone who played along - I wish I could have shipped yummy apples to all of you! And as close as I am to 100 followers.... I'm thinking I should try to put another giveaway together to celebrate that! (Just saw pics of their newest creation - gourmet strawberries! Stay tuned!)

It's funny, but only seems fitting that the winner of the First Ever Semi-Homemade giveaway is the very person who encouraged me to start blogging a year ago. She even "announced" me to the blogging world and directed my very first followers to me.

Sasha's winning entry:

Sasha said...
Heath is my favorite candy bar and I'd love to have an apple with Heath!
February 8, 2010 1:25 PM
And because Mr. Fix-It worried someone might call shenanigans on the outcome (men!), here's the print out from the random number generator! (Okay, so seriously, how does one get a screen shot of this to post? Instead of printing.scanning.blogging?)

Sasha, I'll see if a Heath apple can be done for you - if not, you'll need to let me know which flavor you'd like! And I'll get your goodies mailed out as soon as it stops SNOWING! (Seriously?! 6+ inches in my lil town already and it's still going. Need I remind you that I live in TEXAS?!)

Congrats to Sasha & thanks to everyone for playing. Be watching for more giveaways, and in the meantime, stay tuned for more semi-homemade fun!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Looking back: Last year's Semi-Homemade Valentines

I'm excited to have some new readers - hi, y'all! And since I'll be frantically finishing this year's Valentines tonight.... before tomorrow's school party... I thought I'd show you last year's project, in case you're looking for last minute inspiration!

You can read all about it here. I ran thru Michaels last night (literally. and in heels.) and they still have all the makings of this type of project. So, if you're like me and you're feeling some last minute pressure... that's where you should head. :)

Stay tuned for this year's project!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The FIRST EVER Semi-Homemade Giveaway

Because it's winter and I hate winter. Because we're celebrating my birthday (which was this wk!) Because my dear friend shared with me her hubby's new business venture and I couldn't wait to share it with y'all. Because I've always wanted to do a giveaway. Because I've officially been blogging for a year (as of Jan 30th). And because y'all brighten my day.

Those are all the reasons why I'm so excited to about my first ever Semi-Homemade Giveaway! I decided to throw together a few of my absolute fav items that are totally imperative in leading the Semi-Homemade life!

First.... just feast your eyes on this.....

I'm telling you right now, words do not exist to explain how yummy these treats are! My friend's husband, a former chef, has created THE perfect gourmet apples. The winner will have their pick of these flavors (with choice of white or milk chocolate):


I've had the butterfinger one.... okay, and the oreo one..... and by tomorrow, I'll possibly have had the sprinkles one (doesn't it look cute below? for a bday?).... and they're to die for! And totally a size to share. You know what they say.... everything's bigger in Texas! And these are Texas-sized gourmet apples!

I'm giving these gourmet apples to Big Sis and G-man's teachers for Valentine's day.... kinda An Apple for the Teacher kinda thing... don't worry, I'll share when I'm done customizing them! (Oh, and if you don't win? They're available for $8/each or 3/$21. They're working on getting an ordering system up, but if you're in a hurry, contact me at oursemihomemadelife at yahoo dot com and I can put you in touch with them asap! They can ship them anywhere!)

You'll also win a new nail polish - color TBD! If you're like me... and can't even find time for a pedi these days, at least a new color will help you start looking towards sprig (at least that's what I'm telling myself!) Isn't OPI genuius with their marketing? Love the Alice in Wonderland theme out late this summer!

Y'all know that I love the BBW foaming soap.... you'll have one of my fav scents comin' to ya!

You'll also get this cute desk calendar with modern floral designs (okay, you can discard January, but the other 11 months are good to go!), a cute heart decal - perfect for your v-day craft (from Decal Monograms), a roll of tulle in a fun spring color (you'll have the cutest presents!!), AND you'll get a fun spa set from BBW and some assorted stationary that I've been loving!!
How do you enter?
  • Become a follower of Our Semi-Homemade Life - I'd love to get to know you!
  • For an extra entry, suggest what flavors you'd like to see in a gourmet apple!
  • For another extra entry, blog about this giveaway and provide the link in your comments
Contest is over on Wednesday, Feb 10th at 10pm CST. Winner will be announced on Thurs!

And while you're in a winning mode.....
~visit Bridal Gown blog for a chance to win those fun Message-in-a-Cookie cutters from Williams-Sonoma, among other fab things!
~visit Design Dazzle, she's having a great giveaway from Charm Factory!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Year, New.... Wishful Wednesdays!

Okay, in typical Elaine new year's resolutions have gone awry style... I never got to last wk's Wishful Wednesday, so this week you get a 2-for-1 deal!

If you're unfamiliar with Wishful Wednesday, go check out Kelsey at The Seattle Smiths - she's such a sweetheart!
So... this week's version...
'I wish' .... I could have stolen ______'s spotlight last night at the Grammy's!
And my answer? Rihanna!
She's a full 10 years! younger than me... but she's just so beautiful and exotic... and I'm always wondering what's really going on in that head of hers!
And now last week's....
'I wish' .... I could spend three
minutes in _____'s shoes!
Where to start? I'd love to experience a few minutes of soooo many people's lives. Like my grandmother.... a stay-at-home-mom..... a small business owner.... a famous rockstar ;)..... you name it! But to pick one... I picked:
Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade Cooking
How could I not? :) We obviously agree on lifestyle.... what she does for cooking, I try to do in EVERY aspect of life, especially home decorating (I'm talking about my semi-homemade approach to decorating, not her my sweater coordinates with my curtains, which coordinates with my standing mixer, which coordinates with my dishes decorating!) and entertaining!
Thanks for visiting! And check back soon for my yummmmmy giveaway!

New Year, New.... GIVEAWAY

Y'all, I am so excited to introduce you to a yummy new business started by a dear friend! Pics & details to come (I need to be home during DAYLIGHT, so I can take a couple good pics in some natural light!).... but until then, here's a tease!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Year, New.... SHOES!

Mr. Fix-It and I actually had a sitter Sat evening... and wanted to do a little shopping at the mall (without kids, it's so enjoyable!) before my birthday dinner!

But I didn't get THESE shoes.... (this isn't the greatest pic, but these are seriously cute shoes!)

Nope, instead, why did I end up spending way too much time at Stride Rite, trying to make an exchange for some shoes that would actually fit G-man? (Apparently, size 7 extra wide are elusive.) The store had one pair of shoes in his size, in the whole store. And they were ugly. ;)

So.... and ebates to the rescue! I was able to score these shoes:

for $30, by the time it was all said and done! I had a $10 off coupon... AND they have free shipping (I seriously hate paying for shipping... and usually won't!).... AND I got 10% back thru ebates. Haven't heard of ebates, the site that PAYS YOU TO SHOP??? Email me and let me give you my personal email addy... and when you sign up and make a purchase, they'll give us both an extra $5! It's so easy!

G-man could literally wake up any day and his current shoes won't fit, so it's a good thing these new kicks are on the way. And hopefully he'll outgrow this EXTRA wide thing.... before he needs his 3rd pair of shoes! (I'm positive that, by this age, Big Sis had worn at least 20 pairs of shoes!)
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