TCU Game

Sometimes events can be so built up for kids that the actual event itself can be a let down.

I was worried this was going to happen with my six year old when he went to his first college football game.

But this was not the case.

My sister Kelly is a TCU alum and flew into town for the TCU vs SMU game.

For two weeks before the game, Andrew and I would talk about going to the game. He would express some interest towards it but nothing over the top.

One day I clarified for him that only the two of us would be going to the game. His brother would be with my husband on a camping trip while I had secured a babysitter for his sister.

This new information sent his excitement level on overdrive. He was thrilled to be the only kid attending the game and to have all the focus on him.

He excitedly planned out how he was going to paint his face purple and where we would place the white letters.

Andrew slept in his newly gifted t-shirt (thanks Aunt Kelly!) and was ready to cheer on the Horn Frogs on Saturday morning. Once we arrived at the stadium parking lot, Andrew caught on to the idea of tailgating quickly. After introductions were made, he filled a plate for himself and sat down. In fact, he returned for food three times.

Here we are tailgating:

During halftime, we were standing in the walkway when an elderly man fainted right in front of us. He landed on the concrete and didn’t move. It was actually extremely scary. Paramedics came and helped him sit up – eventually. But Andrew was convinced he was dead. I tried to explain that he was fine (even if he wasn’t I was going to tell him he was) but only a much later visual sighting appeased him.

My caring son told me that if he died they should just throw the body over the football railing. Apparently, we have a ways to go in the empathy department.

Andrew enjoyed the game but thought the food was the best part. In addition to the tailgating food, he consumed dip-n-dots, a hot dog, half of my pizza, nachos, and another serving of dip-n-dots.

As if the stadium food wasn’t good enough, Andrew was thrown a chicken sandwich from the Chick-Fil-A truck while we were standing at a corner about a mile away from the stadium. He danced around and sang, “I got a free chicken sandwich!” Hold onto your stomach…he ate about half of it.

The following Monday he wrote about his weekend and illustrated it. As a parent this is one of my favorite pieces of work to come home from school. I love to see his perspective and see what was important to him about his weekend.Andrew's Picture from the TCU Game
On the back side was his summary of the game.

Andrew's Write Up from the TCU Game.Here’s the translation in case you didn’t catch that:

I went to a TCU SMU game. TCU was down 7 to 14.  At the end of the game I got a free chicken sandwich from the Chick-fil-a truck and at half time a man fainted.

Andrew feel asleep on the way home but had wonderful stories to tell his brother the next day. His favorite of them all, “I got a free chicken sandwich….and it even had a pickle!”


Stair Organizing

Our stairs probably give the impression that we designed our house without closets.

Coats, book bags, toys, art supplies, you name it, it ends up on our stairs.

I had been contemplating for awhile how I could solve our stairs dilemma when I came across these “crap baskets” at Sew Many Ways.

I decided this was the solution to our cluttered stairs.

Now all I needed were baskets. But then I thought? How many baskets?

As I began counting all the baskets I would need, I envisioned baskets halfway up my stairs. Not quite what I had in mind.

Then I stumbled upon this beauty hidden on the bottom shelf at the resale store.

$1.99 – I’ll take it.

A little spray paint and we were in action.

Added a friendly little sign and the basket was open for business.

For some reason my husband and I seem to be the only ones who are enthusiastic about the basket.


A Star

Saw this decal on a car today while I was walking to Alex’s lacrosse game.

My Kids a StarA star in preschool?

Does their preschooler feel pity towards the other kids who are furiously scribbling on their paper and shamefully coloring outside the lines?

While eating does their preschooler watch in horror as the other children continue to carry on a conversation with a piece of peanut butter on their face?

Does their preschooler shoot scornful looks as their classmates dare to dress up in mismatched clothing?

Next week I’m going to park my car next to the “star car.”

I’ve designed a decal for my car I’d like them to see.

Might conflict with the “Be kind to others” and “Everyone is important” messages we’ve been trying to foster in our children but I’m ready to chance it.


I just got back yesterday from a week long trip to Canada and am quite tired.

However, I did manage to get myself to a store today.

Our pantry was bare, the freezer empty, and a lone carton of inedible blueberries sat in the fridge.

Naturally, my first stop was to the craft store.

Eight days without a single moment of crafting is unheard of around here.

After landing, I managed to wait sixteen whole hours before I stuck my foot into my heaven on earth.

The trip started out innocent enough.

I was just going to return a few items.

Somehow this happened.

I needed them.

I had to have them.

They were on SALE.

Now you understand.

My husband not so much.


In other news, Elizabeth is featuring my Halloween party food on her Act Fast Chef blog today.


Go on over and check out her blog for some great recipes.

Have a great weekend!

Halloween Party Food

Last year we held our first ever Halloween party and it was a ton of fun for everyone (a ton of work too but let’s focus on the fun for now).

My husband and I baked, dipped, frosted, stirred, cooled, and heated till we were on sugar overload.

Below this picture of our buffet are four of the treats and how we made them.

Witches Hats: Use Keebler Fudge Stripes cookies as the base, melted chocolate (orange colored), Hershey Kisses on top

Eyeball Cake: Boxed cake mix prepared and baked in a soccer ball cake pan, colored icing

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies: I don’t particularly love pumpkin flavor but I found these irresistible – every time I walked by the kitchen I would pick one up. I found the recipe at Relatively Reagan.

What you need:
Box spice cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter
1 cup pumpkin pie filling or puree
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and pumpkin with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add all the remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
Using a small cookie schoop dop mounds of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart.
Bake about 10 minutes and cool completely before frosting
For the Filling:
Stick of butter
block (8 oz) cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla and couple of dashes of cinnamon
Put filling on one pie and cover with another

Oreo Mummies: Dip Oreos into melted white chocolate, place on wax paper, drag a fork sideways through the chocolate, place candy eyes on top, cool in fridgeHere are some sources for candy eyes (I have never bought anything from these companies so I’m not recommeding, just listing) : One Stop Candle and The Baker’s Kitchen. I am using some I found at Michael’s this year.

Do you have any favorite Halloween treats you make?

The 36th Avenue

On the Side

I recently won a contest at The Grant Life for a free month of ad space.

For a whole month the Big D & Me blog button will be in a prominent position on the right side of The Grant Life.


Kelly gave away the ad space in celebration of her 27th birthday.

Do me a favor and head over to The Grant Life and show Kelly some comment love as a huge thank you from me.

Thanks Kelly!

Days Away from Change

When I saw the “Reflections of Motherhood” video I knew I had to share it.

I loved it and knew you would too.

The premise is the following: We asked moms if they could go back right before they had their first child…what would you tell yourself?

I would say:

*You will be fine no matter what happens

*You will cry.

*You will laugh.

*It’s okay to want a break.

*It’s okay to work.

*It’s okay to stay home.

*You are strong.

*You will soon know a love which is incomparable.

*You are days away from pure love.

What would you tell a woman whose about to become a mom for the first time?

Spooky Tree…A New Tradition

Last year as I was toodling around Goodwill I came upon this crazy looking metal tree. I had seen this piece in a magazine at some point and remembered it was an Easter decoration with decorated eggs hanging from it.

While I didn’t want an egg holder, I did want a spooky tree for Halloween. I bought the tree for $2.99 and brought it home. To say my husband was skeptical is an understatement. But as usual he gave me an unsure nod and said nothing. Thanks Derek!

I sprayed the piece black and let the kids decorate it. They spent a fair amount of time one Saturday morning working on it.

The main decorations were foam Halloween stickers – pumpkins, bats, and ghosts. They also included a mummy they printed out along with some homemade tombstones. The tombstones are made of a foam board covered with felt with letter stickers to create the R.I.P. messages.

I cut out a witch silhouette from foam board to add to the very top.

This year we were able to take out our spooky tree and redecorate it – a fun new tradition. It now sits on its new home, our dining room table…at least until Nov 1.

How’s your Halloween decorating going?

Sunny Vanilla Guest Post

I recently discovered the blog Sunny Vanilla and am extremely glad I did. Jen’s blog is filled with original crafty projects using both fabric and paper. I love her fabric choices and only dream of bring able to sew like her. Some of my favorite projects on Sunny Vanilla are making a book with fingerprints how to sew a father’s day book, her summertime pursecocktail coasters, and how to make  a $7 skirt,  Make sure you check out Jen’s Etsy shop too.

Today Jen has been kind enough to share a craft with us using a material almost everyone has in their house. In fact, I buy four of these each week to quench the thirst of my three growing kids. Intrigued?

Take it away Jen…..

Hey everyone! I’m Jen from Sunny Vanilla and I’ll be hanging out with you all today. A tid bit about me…When I’m not sewing or crafting, I’m swatting mosquitos and sweating buckets over in the Sunshine State. I like to call this place home 😉 I married my HS sweetheart (I know, roll your eyes) and after a long, long, long time, we finally settled down and had a little girl we like to call our nugget. I’m a simple, beachy kind of girl who lives in shorts and flip flops. I think laughter is the best medicine of all, aside for maybe a really good bargain shopping spree. It’s nice “meeting” all of you!

I’ve got a little tutorial for you that I think you’re going to love. It’s simple, super inexpensive, and one that your kids may enjoy doing too! Enjoy!!!

I’m not sure about your family, but we go through milk around here like it’s going out of style.  So naturally we have tons of milk cartons {we really should just put a cow in our backyard}.  Well, I started saving the rings on the top of the carton thinking I could use them for something.  Enter the napkin ring!

To get started with your napkin rings, you will need the following {a glue gun will work too}: 

Glue two milk carton rings together like this.

Cut approximately 28 in. of ribbon.  
Once the glue has dried, add a small dab of glue to the inside of the ring and attach the end of the ribbon there. 

Begin to wrap the ribbon around the ring, making sure to keep it nice and tight.  Overlap as you go.

Once you’ve completed the ring, add another small dab of glue to the inside of the ring.  Cut your ribbon and press firmly into the glue.

Now you have a napkin ring!  You can leave it alone or embellish it however you’d like.

I took a scrap piece of fabric and made a little bow tie with it.  

Then I glued a couple of buttons to the top for a finished look.

You could also use tulle…

…or just the buttons themselves.

Now you have a set of four napkin rings ready for your next party!

Thanks Jen – Go check out Sunny Vanilla for a crafty read