Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Extra Holiday- Ham & Cheese Pasta"

Sorry for the small picture, I forgot to take one and there was barely any left to photograph. :)


1 lb shell pasta
1/2 block of cream cheese
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 cups milk
1/2 c cheddar cheese
1 -2 tsp dried basil
leftover ham (about 4 good size slices just eyeball it for the amount you want and chop it up the size of the pasta)

1) boil water for pasta
2) saute garlic in large pan for 1-2 minutes.
add milk about 2 pinches of salt, 8-10 grinds of pepper, basil,  and cream cheese.  Stir on medium-low heat until the  cream cheese seems melted in.
3) Cook pasta
4) add in ham and peas, let simmer on low for about 5 minutes.
5) drain pasta and add it to the sauce (if your pan isn't big enough transfer to a big serving bowl/dish
6) add cheddar and stir to melt in.

Serves 6 adults depending on portion size, goes a lot further if you have little kids eating. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Make Your Own: Laundry Detergent

I came across a method to make your own detergent.  There are probably hundreds of posts on how to do this  but I liked the method of dispensing this blog used and her picture directions.

I am not doing a full explanation here since you can click on the link and see it in full but I will give the general instructions and my opinion of the outcome.

Ingredients & Materials Needed.

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (find it in the laundry soap aisle)
1 bar of Fels-Naptha (or Zote)
1 large pot
1 large container (holds at least 2 gallons with room to stir)
A lot of water

1) grate 1/3 of the soap bar with a cheese grater
2) put that in a pot with 6 cups of water.  DO NOT BOIL but stir and check until the flakes are melted in.
3) Add the borax and Soda and stir to dissolve.  Keep stirring frequently until it is thicker (almost honey)
4) remove from heat.  (At this point the other post uses a big plastic bucket.  I just kept going in my pot.)
Add 4 cups hot tap water and stir. add a few drops of essential oil if you want (I don't).
5) add 1 gallon + 6 more cups of hot tap water and stir.  At this point I transferred the mix to my drink dispensing container that I use to dispense my detergent.
6) Let it sit overnight (or 8ish hours).  Then take an immersion blender and get it good and mixed.  This step is not needed if you use a plain bucket or a wide mouth container to pour it but it IS necessary if you use a drink dispenser like the one shown.
7) If the detergent separates while sitting, shake prior to use then use 1/2 cup per load of wash.

I've read that this is safe to use on HE machines as well.

What I like about this is that it costs under a dollar for 2 gallons of detergent, which is 64 loads worth.  Compared to store bought detergent you are saving anywhere from 5-$15 or more depending on the brand you buy.  I wish it had that "detergent smell" after you are done washing.  It smells great in the container, but leaves no scent on the clothes unless you add your own in the process, which is probably better being that there isn't a lot of fragrance added.  Also, the separation that occurs when the container sits can be frustrating especially when it is full.  I get a good arm workout shaking up 16 pounds of liquid before a load. :)  In general, it seems to work well and I still use pre-treaters or stains.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Costume 2011

Disney Tangled Featuring Rapunzel Grow and Style Doll
This is the doll she has so it was more modeled after this dress (short sleeved) than the  movie version.

Rapunzel... my version based on Tangled.

Patterns, Materials, Supplies.

Simplicity Pattern (for top only).  I bought this because it had the top style I wanted and it was really inexpensive.  I also think it is a good simple dress pattern that I could easily use again.

1 Thrifted adult skirt (Thanks to my mom's good eye at the thrift store.)
Notice the ribbon detail and soft tulle at the hemline...much more work than I would've put into it had I not had this skirt to work with.   

1/2 yard matching purple fabric.
Thread to match
1/4 inch elastic
1 remnant of pink fabric
Contrasting purple satin ribbon (1 inche)
1/4 inch pink ribbon (for bodice detail)
sewing machine
pins and safety pins
***good to have but not necessary: a bodkin, and a seam gauge

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Active Time Sewing: Not quite sure.  I worked on and off for 2 weeks during naps and after the kids had gone to sleep and any minutes they would let me.  The bodice took the longest and had the most detail.  I just measured a 6.5 x7" piece and hemmed the edges before centering it on the front of the bodice.  I also added  3 strips of  ribbon to the sleeves before making the casing for the neck elastic.

Once the top was done, I figured out the length I wanted for the skirt and basted the waste to gather it then attached it to the bodice.  I tacked on the criss-crossed ribbon in front after the dress was done and tied a bow at the top.  The ends of the ribbon were coated with some Fray-Check

The next issue I had was with the crotchet section of the skirt that hits about hip level on Isabella.  I didn't want her underwear to show.  After debating other options (wearing shorts/pants, or attaching a bias strip to that section,) I used the 2nd layer of the thrifted skirt and made a simple slip to go under the dress.

My main objective when making the dress was to make it comfortable and as easy as possible.  My daughter will not stand for itchiness (hence the lace left out of the neckline and arm holes.)  Also, I realize the dress is not a duplicate of the movie version.  There are a couple reasons for this.  First, it is still  pretty warm here on Halloween.  During the day it can even get up to 90 degrees some years, so long sleeves were not a good idea and would also be difficult to make and wear.  Second, the skirt had a lot of detail on its own so I didn't want to mess with that by trying to copy the movie version.

Now I'm hoping she will let me convince her to NOT wear the wig (which seems loony, I know) because she gets sweaty quickly and I can see her 3.5 year old brain INSISTING on wearing it only to INSIST on taking it off 10 minutes later. :)  Still I plan to brush the crazy thing and braid it just in case she has her heart set on the blasted thing.  At least I will try to get some good pictures of her in it before she gets uncomfortable.

Some Love for the Butternut Squash

Firstly, this squash is much closer to pumpkin than to zucchini.  If you don't like yellow summer squash or the regular green zucchini, don't be afraid because butternut squash is nothing like that.  Secondly, I have found that this is a great side dish, salad addition, or you could puree it for a baby's 1st food.

I was introduced to how  to make this at a cooking demonstration/class.  They used it in a honey vinegrette salad.   After making the salad myself, my husband and I were both wondering why we didn't just eat the squash because it was so good on its own.

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 Large butternut squash
1/4 cup ex. virg. olive oil
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp seasoning (Italian works well, or Poultry seasoning, or dried/ fresh sage) ***Optional

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash.  This is slightly difficult once you get the 1st half peeled.  My suggestion is to use a paper towel to hold the peeled side when finishing the other half.  The squash gets really slippery after you peel it and is almost impossible to grip securly.

2.) Cut the Top and bottom ends off.  Turn it up on one flat end and cut it in half.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Lay cut side down and cut in 1 inch strips, then into cubes.  This works best if you start at the bottom end so the hole is more stable.

3.) Place on a large baking sheet or in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish (something that has enough room to let it all lay in one layer.   Drizzle with the EVOO. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and seasoning.  Use your hands to toss it until all is coated.

4.) Place in oven for 15 minutes.  Toss and put it back in for 15 minutes.  Check it with a fork.  It should be VERY tender, without any hard parts.  If it isn't leave it in for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve as a side dish or add to a salad or a pasta dish.  If you wanted to use this as a baby food, eliminate the salt and pepper then put the finished cooled squash in a blender or food processor.

HERE is a recipe similar to what I made but with poultry seasoning instead of sage because I didn't have any. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Great Idea!

Image Source
I came across this website on a friend's Facebook page.  It is one of those "Why didn't someone think of that sooner?" type sites. 

Take Them A Meal, lets you create a meal schedule for someone in need.  This might be due to illness, a new baby, or some difficult times in their lives.  People can search and sign up for a meal slot so meals are organized.  I would love to use this next time someone I know needs it and will be suggesting it to friends.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Indian Veggie Rice

Recipe from Weelicious.

I basically increased the Weelicious recipe by using 2 potatoes, 2 carrots 1 large onion 2 garlic, 1.5 C of rice, 2.5 tsp of Curry 2 tsp salt and 1 C. peas.

I also added a pinch of ginger.

I wanted to use it as a meatless meal not  just a side dish and while her suggestion that her recipe serves 4 is probably accurate for a side dish, I doubt it would feed my husband's appetite. 

Mainly I thought that all of the ingredients are super kid friendly (and easy for my 1 year old to feed himself) so I was all for trying it.  My 3 year old liked it a lot.  My 1 year old liked it but it was messy with the yellow curry coloring.  I think next time it would be better with some chicken breast mixed in and maybe a little cinnamon.  Overall though it was filling and tasted good. :)  It did take about 1 hour to cook all the way with the brown rice (not basmati brown as Weelicious suggests)  but I started it early and just stirred it every 20 minutes so it wasn't very time consuming.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Veggie Dumplings

Veggie Dumplings Image Source

Original Recipe from
  • 3  Tbs.  reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  Tbs.  rice vinegar
  • 1  Tbs.  sugar
  • 1/2  to 1 tsp.  grated fresh ginger
  • 16    wonton wrappers
  • 1/2  cup  frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • 3  Tbs.  finely shredded carrot
  • 3  Tbs.  fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
Directions 1. Whip the Dip: In a small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and ginger. Set aside.
2. Fill the Wrappers: Place a wonton wrapper on a work surface. Spoon about 1 teaspoon spinach and 1/2 teaspoon each carrot and corn in the center of the wrapper for triangles or on one side of the wrapper for rectangles. Drizzle vegetables with about 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining soy sauce.
3. Seal Them Up: Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Brush the edges of the wrapper with water. Fold the corners together for triangles or fold the edges together for rectangles. Pinch the edges to seal well. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling ingredients. Gradually add the dumplings to the water using a slotted spoon. Boil the dumplings gently for 3 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon to a serving platter, draining the water off well. Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Changes I made:
I used a bag of stir fry veggies and cut them smaller than they already were (they were shredded and small pieces already but not frozen type.)  I didn't add soy sauce inside because I forgot to while working on them with my 3 year old.  I made about 25 dumplings, and served it with brown rice.

After you cook them it would be best to serve IMMEDIATELY because they get sticky even if you put them on wax paper (as I found out).  These taste really good and were not too hard.  They also were a great time killer for my almost 3 year old (though my almost 11 month old didn't have much patience for us.)  It might have been easier to make them during his morning nap then cook them later right before eating.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


  • 1  tube (13.8 ounces)  refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1/2  cup  pizza sauce
  • 1/2  cup  shredded Italian-mix cheese, divided ( used more like 1 cup)
  • 1  cup  fresh baby spinach leaves (I used 3/4 box frozen WELL thawed and squeezed out)
Directions 1. Heat over to 400°F. Unroll dough from tube. Spread pizza sauce on top.
2. Sprinkle with half of cheese and top with spinach leaves. Roll up, starting with short end.
3. Cut into 8 pieces, then lay pieces flat in a greased pie tin. (They will not be all touching but will touch when its done.) Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Both kids enjoyed this and I liked the pre-portioned feature.  It was much easier for my almost 3 year old to hold than a slice of pizza would be.  I could see changing this and adding other ingredients as well.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Banana Cake

Got a couple brown bananas sitting around?  Make a Banana Cake.

Original Recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn, I modified it slightly by making a bundt cake instead of 2 - 9 inch rounds.

Serves 16

1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 C lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp  cinnamon
2 medium sized ripe bananas (peeled and mashed)
1 C water
1/2 C vegetable oil
3 large eggs

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pre-oil the pan. (I used cooking spray.)  You could probably do this recipe with cupcakes too just use the recommended times on the package.

2.) Place cake mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Add the bananas, water, oil and eggs.  Blend together.

3.) Bake the bundt cake for 40-45 minutes (mine went closer to 45)

4.) Allow to cool for 15 minutes before overturning on a serving plate.

(Sorry, no pictures I am sick and its a miracle I actually made anything today. My only motivation was that the bananas were not going to last another day.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Products I Love For My Kids Pt. 4

1.) Juice Box Holder

I've been wanting one of these for some time now.  I bought 2 Dwink holders but there are various other brands out there that probably work just as well.

It is seemingly impossible for little ones to hold a drink box without squeezing it.  My old method was making my daughter keep her hands off until I got the straw in her mouth, thus catching that first squeeze.  In the car, this was not an easy task.  So this will save me some laundry issues and some frustrations.

Dwink Box Universal Drink Box Holder - Purple

 2.) Ziploc Divided Rectangle Container

There are a lot of fancy lunch containers with divided sections.  Often labeled or marketed toward Mom's sending their kids to school with lunch, they are trendy for the "green" movement.  Unfortunately they are also pretty pricey ranging from $15-$40 for one box.  My kids don't need fancy at this point or even something of their own choosing.  Instead, I need easy options with few pieces and dishwasher safe.
Ziploc - Divided Container, Rectangle - 2 ea
I was picking up some plastic freezer bags and saw these in that aisle.  They come in a 2 pack so it can work for more than one lunch or for one in the wash one in the diaper bag.  The large section is big enough for 2 sandwiches (not huge loaded ones, but like PB & J for the kids.) The 2 small side compartments are good for fruit or veggies and a treat or crackers.  I've also used the main compartment for miscellaneous foods like string cheese and fruit snacks and a small ice pack for a morning at the park when hand held food is needed. These are easy to clean and don't leak (so far) and best of all if they break or I need more its not a big investment. Find these in the plastic bag aisle of your local supermarket or Target/Walmart type store for about $3 for 2.

3.) Annie's Food/Snack Products

This line of crackers, snacks, and meals like macaroni and cheese is great.   I'm not super strict about organic stuff in general.  I cook most of the food my kids eat rather than buy pre-made stuff.  But there are times when snacks and easy foods are great options.  The problem is most of these foods are just loaded with weird stuff and with salt and sugar.  Annie's has Natural & Organic options that are made with real food ingredients and they taste good too.  My daughter loves the mac and cheese or shells and cheese mixed with frozen peas that are cooked in the noodles the last minute or two.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Non-Working out Update

My work out habit was derailed greatly around Christmas.  After getting sick as well as having less and less time, I just haven't started up again.  However, I have found a great way to keep the weight off AND lose more!

Step 1: Find an accountability partner.  Someone you don't live with who you will be able to communicate with daily.  It is helpful if they want to lose weight too.

Step 2: Find out your BMR, then find out your caloric needs for your activity level. 

Go to these sites:

These sites are really helpful in figuring out how many calories you need to maintain, lose, or gain weight.   Figure out your calorie's for the day and share that goal with your partner.

Step 3: Write down (in text, email, Facebook message, etc.) EVERYTHING you eat along with the calories in all of it.  At the end of the day get the total.

This only works if you are honest.  You have to pat attention to every snack, drink, nibble etc.  It is also my suggestion that you always round up in the calories estimated.  If something was 375 calories, just go to 400 instead.  The reason is because you will likely underestimate if you let yourself and this leaves a little room for those extra crackers you ate from your kids snack pile but forgot about while at the park ;o).

I also am still nursing quite a bit so I added that in by upping the activity level I had when figuring out my caloric needs.  My goal is around 1600 calories a day but I range from 1500-1700 most days.  I have found that cutting out sugary drinks (soda, juices, etc) helps a lot and keeping the portions close to the suggested amount is important.  If I know the serving size is ridiculously small I try to figure out how much I actually eat.  For example, pasta has a serving size of 1/8 of a package which is 200 calories.  1/8 is not enough food for me so I eat about 3/8 or so.  That with sauce will be about 700-750 calories.  It sounds like a lot but not if I've eaten a normal breakfast and lunch and avoided my downfall which is eating when I'm bored or avoiding housework. ;o)

Anyway, since starting this around January, I've lost another inch on my waist and hips (without exercise) and I've lost about 3 lbs.  SO if you don't have time to workout, find a friend that will be your food accountability buddy and be brutally honest about your eating habits (the embarrassment will make you put down that 2nd or 3rd brownie.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I subscribe to Weelicious and get her emails daily.  Her recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup came up and it sounded fairly easy and tasty.
Picture from

I followed the recipe with a few modifications.  I used 2 garlic cloves, 1.5 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, and instead of corn I used a package of frozen "southwest" veggies (corn, broccoli, bell peppers etc), I added 2 tbsp of quinoa, and a can of roasted garlic tomatoes.  Having no chips on hand, I fried up some corn tortilla strips to use.  To finish it off I added avocado slices and some cheddar/jack shredded cheese.  It was all really good.  Everyone liked it (10 month old and Toddler included.)

  I would say that this is really satisfying and simple to make, its also easily adjustable to your likes and needs.  I will definitely make this again.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My "Boy" Room

 To be honest, a lot of this I would do for a boy or a girl.  However, we are generally not into sports themes and I am not a huge fan of going all the way with some Character themed room (superhero, or movie etc.) I LOVE this bedding and would have put it in the kids room now if I could afford it (or had the time to make it myself.)  There is so much you could do with this theme and in these colors that could easily be adapted as kids grow older.
Land of Nod Bedding$sharelarge$

Add caption
LED artwork

Monday, February 21, 2011

If I could do a girly room...

My kids are destined, at this point in time, to share a room.  That requires me to consider every purchase as gender neutral and pleasant to both. 

However, if I had the room and resources to do a full out "girl" room for Isabella.  I might go in this direction.
I had an internal *squeal* moment when I saw this duvet cover from Urban Outfitters.
Seriously...a rhinestone bow tie back...yes please!
What little girl (or big girl) wouldn't love a crystal chandelier in her room?
These eyelet curtains reminded me of one of her dresses that I love her to wear.
A velvet "fainting couch".  I could just picture her reading Little Women on that couch.

I for Isabella
All products and photos are from Urban Outfitters.

Pasta with Ricotta and Peas

From Parents Magazine

12 oz whole-wheat pasta (I used a 13.5 oz box of rotini)
1/2 cup part skim ricotta
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic chopped (I used 2...I would consider using 3 next time)
1 cup fresh peas (I used about 1 1/4 cup of frozen)
1 tsp. salt (plus salt for pasta water)

1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup halved yellow grape tomatoes (I used red grape tomatoes)
1 lemon, zested
1 c pasta water.

1.) Boil large pot of salted water and cook pasta as directed on package.  Drain and save 1 cup cooking liquid. In a bowl, toss pasta and ricotta until combined.

2.) In a large skillet, warm olive oil over med-high heat add  garlic saute for about 4 min.  Add the pasta water and cook until the peas are bright green and tender about 4 more min.

3.) Add the ricotta pasta and toss of low heat.  Add tomatoes.  Put in serving dish and sprinkle with Lemon.  Makes 4-6 servings.

I think this is a good mild, kid friendly pasta recipe.  For adults is not bad but not hugely flavorful either.  I might add more lemon or even other ingredients next time and set aside some for the baby of the family.

323 calories /serving (for 6), 11 g protein, 10 g fat, 5 g fiber, 68 mg calcium.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rice and Bean Salad

Adapted from THIS  recipe

1 can kidney beans (rinse and drain)
1 can Black beans (rinse and drain)
1 can Garbanzo Beans (rinse and drain)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 lime (juice)
1 avocado chopped
1/4 red onion (a big one) finely chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1/2 c mexican blend cheese
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt.

Mix beans, lime, onion, bell pepper, avocado, salt and cumin.  Follow by the rice and the cheese.  Toss and put in the fridge to chill before serving (not really needed but it is good if its a warm day and will keep awhile before serving if needed)

This was really good with tortilla chips on the side.  I used it as a main dish and my toddler loved it and my 9 month old did too (I eliminated the onion and bell pepper because of size and texture from his bowl.)  I think this would work in a lot of different combinations of veggies and beans.  It could be a base for a burrito or served as a side with tacos or quesadillas.  Its a quick and easy meal that can be made ahead of time.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What to Give a Mom

There are ample amounts of holidays and reasons to give a gift to the moms in your life.  Christmas, Valentines Day, Birthdays, Mothers Day, Anniversaries, or just because.  With all of those opportunities, many people wrack their brains trying to think of the next thing to get for their mother, wife, grandma etc.

Well here is a list that I think would help a lot of people who end up saying "I just don't know what to get her."

1.) Time with you:  If you are a child older than 10, you most likely have a "life" of your own.  I am also referring to all adult children no matter how old you are.  Your mothers want to see you and spend time with you.  Unless you are a serious pain in the neck who has shamed the family with atrocities, your mom misses you and wishes she could spend more quality time with you (and even with your spouse and children.)  Give her a "date" with the family.  It can be as simple as picking up dinner and hanging out, or going to a park and having a picnic with her.  Just think about being able to talk to her and give her time to relax with the family.

If you are a husband, a date with you doing something SHE likes or has always wanted to do with you.  If its inexpensive its okay, but it should be focused on her (including letting her know how much you enjoy being with her and spending time with her.)   Its is especially important that you plan it, prepare for it, and deal with all the details (babysitting, place, time)

2.) Time for herself:  This is especially true for mothers with kids at home.  Most moms have to be forced to spend time on themselves.  Pedicures, haircuts, shopping trips (for her not the kids), a nice lunch with friends, time for her hobbies are all things that get put on the end of the list when you have a family.  Think about the moms in your life and what they used to do pre-motherhood or what they have mentioned such as "when I ever have the time I'd love to...".   Sometimes an hour or two to concentrate on anything other than the house, kids, groceries etc. can be refreshing.  Again, it is important that this is done in addition to planning the details (babysitting, timing, dinner afterward so she isn't worried about it etc.)

3.) That thing she asked for: Seriously, the item or things she has been asking for, pointing at, emailing you about over and over.   She has said it, I promise you, and she has said it as bluntly as you can imagine "I REALLY WANT...".  If you haven't heard her or forgot, start sending yourself emails, texts, or saving a "Gift Idea" file for her and every time she mentions that thing/things write it down, set an alarm and save it somewhere for the next time you need to get her a gift.  Don't think it will seem like you weren't thoughtful for getting her what she wanted.  She will be so happy you listened and remembered and that you didn't just run out and grab some random gift to wrap, but got her something she actually wanted.  I'm really, really serious about this one. (AND I'M MOSTLY TALKING TO THE HUSBANDS HERE!)

4.) Something thoughtful:  This is not an easy category but it is a good one.  There are not a lot of specifics here but things to think about (AHEAD OF TIME) that will be super awesome when you have to give a gift.
FOR HUSBANDS: Think back to when you were dating like the first year or so of courtship.  Think about how you would notice things about her.: What her favorites were, things she needed but didn't know she needed, just little things you paid attention to because you actually wanted her to like you.  Try doing that for about a month and you will get some idea(s) that you might never have thought of or that she hasn't even asked for yet. 
FOR YOUNG CHILDREN:  Something sincere telling your mom how thankful you are for her for specific things she does and how she takes care of you (a letter, story, a handmade card, or artwork.)  Also, something from all the children that will capture a memory from that age like a photo book, hand prints, etc (most likely this will require grown up help which will also get a lot of appreciation for Husbands who assist.)
FOR ADULT CHILDREN:  Do something that creates a memory or brings back an old one.  Collect favorite clothes of yours and your siblings and make a quilt, or shadow boxes.  Something that shows a special connection for the two of you in particular.  Something involving the grandchildren is always fun too.
FOR ANYONE:  Think of something she HATES doing (filling up her car with gas, lawn work, cleaning out the fridge, cleaning out her car) and give her coupons or set dates that you will do that for her.  In the same vein, think of something she's always wanted done to the house, but never been able to do (paint, landscape, organize etc.) and get enough people together to get it done.  It isn't fancy or wrapped pretty, but I assure you every time she sees the work you've done, it will matter more than the sweater, CD or other gift you got her.


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