Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goals 2010

I cannot believe how much my life has changed in the past 10 years. Ten years ago tonight I was with a great group of friends making a time capsule (Which has yet to turn up! No one remembers what we did with it!) and cautiously mocking those preparing for Y2K. Remember that?! We are all married now, and many blessings have been given to each family. So I'm reflecting on the past year, and decade, and thinking about what is important to me to accomplish this year. So, here's my top 20 list of things I want to do this new year. Some are more eternally important than others, but I do adore checking things off a list, so I figure I'll be more motivated this way!

1) Become a Stay-at-Home mom, and do it well

2) Take a cake decorating class, or two

3) Take a sewing class, and sew more

4) Make a quilt for Sweetpea's big girl bed

5) Finish landscaping our yards

6) Read the Bible all the way through

7) Find a new home church, and get involved

8) Be a good friend and make connecting with friends more of a priority

9) Have a Girlfriends weekend with my college friends

10) Have a weekend away with Gary

11) Call out of town family at least once a month

12) Have a baby

13) Build L'alfabeto, my Etsy shop, and spend more time on it

14) Participate in two Christmas Boutiques

15) Find, and set aside time for, a couples Bible study with Gary

16) Spend time with God, everyday

17) Pray for the things in my life that are important, consistently

18) Expect, and pray for, a miracle of supernatural proportions for Kate

19) Grow out these pesky bangs (Why do I keep thinking bangs are a good idea?!)

20) Laugh more

I know I will add to this list, and I hope to revisit the list several times this year to stay on track. I know several of these things are beyond my control, but they still need my time and attention. Do you have a list?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Trip of a Lifetime

Way back before actually giving birth to our child, Gary and I made some bold statements about what we would and would not do as parents. The only declaration that actually stuck was we were NOT going to take our child to Disneyland before he or she was five years old so we wouldn't have to deal with naps or strollers there (I know, I know, meaningful stand to take eh?). Thus began our new family tradition of taking one child at a time to Disneyland for their 5th birthdays. Once Goofball was born, we got a big old water bottle and started saving our spare change to take him there for his fifth birthday. Even after Sweetpea was born, we continued saving vowing it would be just the three of us for his special birthday trip. The big 5 seemed monumental, as if it would never actually arrive. Well, it finally did. Last week Gary and I took our Goofball to Disneyland for three solid days of spoiling rotten. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Everything went so smoothly... great trip over, perfect weather, no long waits for rides, one very well behaved wild boy, and two trips to the Starbucks across the street. We were so giddy and could hardly wipe the big dopey grins off our faces all day. It was so special to give him the undivided attention for a little while and watch our sweet boy turn into a bigger little boy.
So, I have to digress... even though the trip itself was phenomenal, our hotel experience was less than ideal. Oh the hotel room was fine, we're not too hard to please. We were missing bath towels and I dabbed myself dry with a wash cloth, found another human's hair in the tub, and occasionally heard a small beeping sound coming from an unknown source... again, I can work past this. The fireworks from Disneyland started promptly at 9:30 and lasted until 9:42 all the while sounding as if someone was going postal outside our door with a missile launcher, hand grenades, and an assault riffle, again... minor inconvenience. However, just a little piece of advice... no amount of covers to the ears can muffle the throw caution and modesty to the wind couple next door. If you're going to get your hanky panky on, please keep it down lest a bewildered mother has to explain what that noise is to her sweet, not quite five year old. Just saying.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Project 320

Do you know about Project 320 yet?

Please head over and read all about it. The goal is to build a well, to provide clean water for those who desperately need it, to help save lives.

As a little "thank you" for donating, you can win LOADS of amazing goods from some very talented ladies.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


So if you're like 95% of America... you are in the process of switching over all of your household light bulbs to the new energy efficient CFL variety (if you're not... you should!). At our house, as the old energy guzzlers burn out, we replace with the new and improved. Well, this week the last of our bulbs finally kicked the bucket and that left me with supplies for this adorable little ornament, which will soon be sent off to live at Goofball's teachers' houses. Although, they are just so cute, I think I'll make an extra one for our tree, I just love snowmen!

To get started:
1) Gather these supplies: an old lightbulb, various shades of acrylic paint (white is a must, but the other colors are up to you), some iridescent glitter, modge podge (although this isn't mandatory as I discovered today), fabric scraps, tiny bit of orange felt, sponge brush
2) Paint a thin-ish coat of white paint on the bulb part only (leaving the top silver for now), and sprinkle on the glitter while the paint is still wet (this saves you a step and eliminates the need for modge podge). I found that sticking the silver end in the playdough freed up my hands while it dried.
3) Dab some dark paint for the coal eyes, mouth, buttons, add the tiny orange felt triangle (I used a hot glue gun)

4) Add a scrap of fabric for the scarf, add some detail by cutting some fringe in the ends, hot glue that baby on...
5) Paint the silvery top a color of your choice, wrap some ribbon around the the top, and you've got yourself one darling little snowman ornament... doesn't it feel great to be crafty AND green :)

Winner of the Christmas Giveaway!

Is it YOU?
(click on the link above)

Email me at lalfabeto (at) to claim your custom wire monogram ornament. Please include your letter choice and address.

On another note... I'm busying myself making some Christmas gifts for Goofball's teachers... I'll post pictures soon because they're cheap, easy, use recycled bits, and are super cute!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Giveaway!

Well, I'm into custom orders up to my eyeballs, and loving it! So if I'm going to make 30 custom ornaments, I might as well make 31 right?! Lucky for you :) To get this to you in time for Christmas, I'm going to draw a name on Friday evening.
Winner receives one custom wire monogram ornament of their choice... you choose the letter, color, and ribbon color!

To enter, leave a comment for each:
1. Become a follower of this blog, or let me know if you already are
2. Become a Fan on Facebook (follow the link on the right)
3. Blog about this giveaway, and leave the link so we can check out your blog!
4. Share your favorite Christmas tradition.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm Torn

When do we take Sweetpea in for her first trim? Her hair takes forever to comb and is a rat's nest by the end of the day. I'm not sure I can bear to cut off those little precious curls, not knowing if they'll ever come back. Help! What's a mom to do? When did you first cut your daughter's hair?

On a side note, this is one of my favorite pictures from our family photo session with Session Nine Photography, Check them out... they are fantastic!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cookies in a Pinch

Okay, this is seriously the most simple peanut butter cookie recipe ever. You probably have the ingredients in your kitchen right now. Goofball and Sweetpea helped me test this one out because I was skeptical too at first.

What you'll need:
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
1 cup sugar, plus a little more for rolling
1 egg

That's it, seriously.

Get to it:
1. Heat oven to 375, stir together peanut butter, sugar, and egg
2. Roll dough into little 1-inch balls, roll balls in sugar to coat, place onto cookie sheet
3. Press each ball down with a fork to make a good, old fashioned crisscross design
4. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies just begin to brown a bit on the edges.

I'm enjoying a warm one as we speak, happy baking :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

'Tis the Season

I adore receiving a handmade gift. I adore giving a handmade gift. Nothing is more personal and special. Last year I made The Crazies these little monster pillows. They love them and sleep with them every night. Sweetpea calls hers her baby, which is a little weird.A group of girlfriends and I got together bringing scraps of ribbon and buttons, corduroy and stuffing, and to assemble little monsters for our wee ones. It was such a fun Girls' Night, and we all left feeling rather productive. I paired the monsters I gifted with a monster book to add to the theme. One of my friends daughters used hers as a tooth fairy pillow. If you have ever sewed, this project would probably be rated "easy".
1) put your two pieces of fabric right sides together and cut the outline (no need to use a pattern, you really can't screw this up... any odd shape is a good monster shape)

2) On the front, sew on your eyes (the more mis-matchy the better, layer them even), nose, and pocket mouth
3) Pin the ribbon "hair" in place (remember to pin it towards the inside of the pillow, because you'll be flipping it inside out and want the ribbons on the outside eventually... I messed up the first time!)

4) Sew pieces right sides together around the outside to make the pillow, leaving a couple of inches open to flip inside out and to stuff it.
5) Stuff to your little heart's content, then hand stitch it closed.

6) Voila! Now monsters in the room at night will be a good thing!
I'm searching for a few good gifts to make this year, do you have any suggestions? :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Taco Soup

This recipe is from my self-proclaimed "most non-chef-like" friend Shiela. It's funny too, because some of my family's favorite recipes have come from her! This recipe is sooooo simple, it doesn't even require a picture. So as Shiela says, if you can open a can, you can make this soup!

1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 packet ranch dressing powder
1 packet taco seasoning
1 small can diced green chilies (although, the Crazies have complained that this makes it too spicy, so I omit this when I serve the kiddos)
2-3 cans chicken broth (depending on how soupy you want it to be)

Brown the meat, then toss in the onions to cook a bit with the meat. Open all the canned ingredients and seasoning packets and toss everything into the crock pot. It can be ready to eat in as little as 30 minutes, but tastes better if left to simmer for 2-3 hours. The leftovers are so tasty too! Garnish with sour cream, cheese, green onions, or whatever you love most!

What's nice about this recipe, is that it doesn't have to be in the crock pot all day long, so if you forget to get it going first thing in the morning, its okay! Depending on sales at your local market, this dinner for 4-6 people will cost as little as $8-$10. Delicious Fall recipe!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Welcome Autumn, it's Been Too Long

So after three, count them, THREE consecutive days below 90 degrees, I am officially welcoming Fall into our little desert oasis. How I've missed thee...

We've also been busy, so for your viewing pleasure, let me recount for you our week in pictures...

Sweetpea and I had a Starbucks breakfast date while Goofball was at pre-school. We feasted on pumpkin bread and pumpkin spice fraps (well, milk for SP). Autumnal treats were fabulous and the company was in a good mood (a.k.a. no appearance from her psycho terrible-twos alter-ego who isn't very pleasant).
I made a fall-ish wreath for our front door. I always said I would never be one of those people who decorated for every season, especially wreaths outside of Christmas time, but I caved. And I love it. There, I said it.
$4.00 worth of supplies and some trinkets from around the house, not too shabby.

Here is Goofball, quasi-modeling the robot shirt that I made him. He is faking a smile and draping the shirt over him was the best compromise I could get from him. He's really been on the couch all morning watching Nogin with a 102 temperature and cough. Poor guy, he really had higher hopes for Fall Break.
Here are The Crazies waiting for Grandma at the airport. Yes, they are sitting on the disease ridden airport floor, probably soaking up swine flu, don't judge.
When Grandma comes, we get ice cream. It's a good night for all!
We were there too. Here's a rare shot of me and the Mr.
And here's my Fifth Grade class. They are posing in front of the set they made for their short play "Tall Tales from the Wild West". They rocked it, and I am proud!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

And the Winner Is...

I had two lovely assistants this morning. Goofball placed each entry into the teacup from my Grandmother's china that hasn't seen the light of day in about seven years. It was her day of glory as she held all 21 entries.

Proof that it was legit ;)

Sweetpea was in charge of the draw...

And the winner is... Courtney Rae!

Who said:
"I Love the wire letters!!I am expecting and we're in the middle of deciding/designing the nursery ideas, and I keep imagining the wire letters on her shelves or dresser.:)But the magnets would be amazing in the kitchen with both our cabinet and back-splash being magnetic!Fabulous Stuff!!"
Congratulations! Please contact me at with your letter and color choice and shipping address.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Half Off!

I'm gearing up for Christmas, how about you? I'm offering 50% off any one item in the shop for Facebook Fans only. Join the fan page to get the discount code.

Also, due to technical difficulties (and by that, I mean sheer laziness), the giveaway announcement has been postponed until tomorrow. That means you can still enter!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Felt Applique

I just finished making this relatively easy felt applique for a little library bag for Sweetpea. I will start on the canvas bag that it will go on this weekend, but had so much fun putting this little guy together. I just used regular felt pieces from Joanns, sewable interfacing, and a little imagination. You could cheat and use any design as a pattern too to make it even easier. After I ironed it together, I machine stitched each piece. My lines aren't perfect, but that just adds to the handmade feel, right? That's what I'm going to tell myself anyway.

I was then chastised by my four year old that I was making "too many girly things" and that I needed to make him some boy stuff. So I asked him what he wanted on a t-shirt. He told me a robot, and I envisioned a cool retro looking model. He quickly added, "a Transformer robot"... uh... not that talented! So he humored me and settled for this one. I cut out the pieces and machine stitched the them onto the bright green felt. Then I took embroidery thread and handstitched the details. I cut around the robot leaving some room to machine stitch the whole thing onto a white t-shirt (which, by the way, I got on clearance at Target). The whole thing cost just under $4.00.
We're actually going to give this one to our special friend Will who will be turning three next week. Goofball was thrilled when I told him I would make him a matching one. To avoid the "too girly" trap again, they will actually be "coordinating", not matching. That's more boyish right?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Giveaway Time! Come and Get It!!!

This week's giveaway is from me! I'm making one lucky winner a custom wire monogram in their letter and color of choice. Think of the possibilities! :) These letters are a conversation piece and are a unique addition to your decor. They look great on a bookshelf of picture ledge, hanging on a wall or door, or in your funky cool baby's room!

To Enter:

1. Become a follower of this blog (click on the right).

2. Become a Facebook Fan (click on link on the right).

3. Blog about it, and leave me a link.

4. Visit my shop and let me know what you think!

Please leave a separate comment for each one. A winner will be drawn on Friday, September 25th. Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Custom Coloring Pages

I discovered (via Parents magazine) that at you can download pictures and create customized black and white coloring pages for your little artists from the pictures! How fun would that be? I know The Crazies would love to color pictures of themselves. Follow this link to the page and get started! Use this code: PR23QCHT to make as many printouts as you'd like for 24 hours, after that you'll need a code from specially marked boxes of crayons.

I'm thinking of using this little gem first. That was his choice of pose, by the way...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Mammaw

Roberta Mae Covington, 1937
My Grandma, "Mammaw", passed away recently and we had her memorial service today. We had a wonderful day reminiscing and spending quality time with our family. My Dad asked me to speak on my immediate family's behalf and I wanted to share what I said and to record it here for posterity's sake.

"This is a true story... I had a dream last week that it was today and we were sitting just as we are right now, the only difference was that Mammaw's ghost was sitting right here in the front row, and she was heckling me! She cut me off during the middle of stories she didn't want told, and put in her two cents about what stories she did want me to tell. In my dream, she insisted that I tell the story about the time she climbed out the window after getting a look at her blind date waiting below at the front door, apparently she wasn't impressed by what she saw. This is, by the way, also a true story.

This dream wasn't like Mammaw for several reasons. She wasn't bossy, she never ever heckled me, and I know for certain that she did eventually grow out of judging people based on their appearances. The Mammaw I remember was full of grace, kind and generous, proper, and elegant. She was a life long learner, had a love for music and fine art, and an appreciation for creativity. She also smiled so easily, and wore one most of the time.

My favorite memories of Mammaw are going to listen to the Phoenix Symphony, Yo Yo Ma in concert, art museums, and teaching me how to sew. I remember finding a small snake in her dining room when I was about eight, and running frantically to tell her. She calmly picked it up and took it outside. I was impressed! I thought, 'wow, my Mammaw is one tough broad!' She made the flower girl dresses for my wedding and I remember the skill and care she took in creating them. I loved listening to her stories about attending the World's Fair in New York City with a sorority sister. And how many granddaughters can boast that their Grandma was once Miss Portales, New Mexico?

We all have things that we remember most about my Mammaw, and we simply cannot sum up her life in one short conversation. We can however, choose to live and carry ourselves with the same faith, grace, and kindness that she shared with us.

After Mammaw passed away, my son asked if Pappy was driving Mammaw to Heaven. I told him no, that Pappy wasn't driving her there, but I had peace assuring him that Mammaw loved Jesus, and was indeed with Him in Heaven."

Roberta Mae Covington

April 21, 1920-August 19, 2009

We Have a Winner!

After using the trusty random number generator over at, we have a winner!

Click HERE to see if it's you!

Please contact Mulry Jewels via Etsy to claim your prize!

Check back on Friday for another giveaway!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


The other day I was craving a portabello mushroom sandwich from one of my favorite places, but alas, we were without date night money or a sitter. What's a gal to do? Recreate! It was so good!!! Although it didn't win any praise from Goofball or Sweetpea, Gary and I loved it. So much in fact, we had them again for lunch today. Paired with baked sweet potato fries, so good and fairly guilt free.
So ignore the poorly lit, and slightly blurry photo. Super simple: lightly sear/sautee portabello mushroom slices (or the whole head), use the rolls of your choice, top with fresh spinach leaves and Green Goddess dressing (found with the salad dressings at the grocery store). Shake slices of sweet potato with olive oil to coat lightly, dust with about 1 teaspoon salt/pepper, bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then broil for 2-4 minutes to crisp up. So tasty!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fan Page!

Follow this link to my brand spankin' new fan page on Facebook! I will post giveaway links and discount codes there!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Giveaway Time!

Well hello! The beginning of the school year has kept me so busy that I seem to have been neglecting quite a few things, including this blog! So I'm back with a gift! Meet Stephanie, the designer behind Mulry Jewels. She is a young opera singer from New York, two facts that I find completely fascinating! She designs her jewelry to support her growing career, and just look at her talent!

This beauty reminds me of fall... wishful thinking as I prepare to do battle with another 115 degree day!
This is my favorite for it's simplicity and color.

Simple and cute!

Stephanie has generously offered one lucky recipient this adorable heart pendant in their choice of colors! Hip Hip Hooray!

To Enter:

Leave one comment per entry (up to 4 entries per person)

1. Visit her shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

2. Follow her blog and leave her some comment love.

3. Purchase something from her shop.

4. Follow this blog, or if you already do, just let me know :)

Good luck! The winner will be randomly drawn on Sunday, September 14th!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Family Fun On the Cheap

Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is our family's newest hobby. Although it takes an initial investment of a GPS unit, after that, it is FREE! We picked up a little hand-held Garmin GPS at Target on clearance for $75.00.
So what the heck is geocaching? Well, it's like an urban (or rugged, depending on your location and mood)treasure hunt. You go to the geocaching website and pick a "cache" to find. You are given coordinates to put into your GPS and sometimes are given a few hints, then you go to that location and either find a "treasure" box or some sort of container holding a log that you can sign proving that you found the cache. Below are pictures of one of the caches we found. It was in a neighborhood about 1/2 mile from our house, hidden in a box that looked like a small electrical box with a magnet on the back. It was stuck to the backside of a big electrical unit next to an alley.
The kids each took a small trinket (Goofball picked an little robot toy, and Sweetpea chose an eraser), and they left a marble and plastic ring as a trade. It is so much fun! We will go out for an hour or two after dinner before it gets dark. It is really family friendly, and we all have so much fun. Has anyone ever tried this, or even heard of it?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Haute Tot Giveaways!

My friend Kari over at Adam's Blankie is hosting a MONTH of giveaways on her blog. Not only is she my friend, but really talented as well. Go visit and score some awesome freebies!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Here is my sweet Goofball on his first day of Pre-K. For some reason, this picture shocked me because he just looks so much older than he did... yesterday! Maybe it's the backpack, maybe it's the spiky hair that he has been working so hard to perfect these last few weeks, I can't quite put my finger on it. I love how this boy thinks, and the logic that he comes up with. I said to him, "I can't believe you're starting Pre-K!" To which he replied, "I can't believe it and I can believe it. I'm in the middle."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

World's Easiest Breakfast

Our family's most favorite breakfast is called Pancake French Toast. A few years ago my sister-in-law shared the recipe and it has become a tradition ever since. It's also the world's easiest recipe, so there just really isn't a good excuse anymore not to make a pretty breakfast on days other than a special occasion. It will take you about 15 minutes from start to finish, really.
Only three main ingredients too!
First, pre-heat oven to 475. Put a half a stick of butter in a glass baking dish (9x13) and put in oven to melt as the oven pre-heats, check on it after a few minutes so the butter doesn't burn. By the time the other ingredients are mixed, the oven should be almost done pre-heating. Mix or whisk together 3 eggs, 3/4 cup milk, and 3/4 cup flour. Tilt the dish so that the melted butter coats the bottom and a little bit of the sides of the dish. Pour the egg mixture in the dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake for 12-13 minutes! That's it! It comes out of the oven looking different every time. Sometimes it rises over the sides a little bit, other times it bubbles and folds like it did for us this morning.

Enjoy! We did! Goofball even ate all of the crumbs out of the dish. Quite the crowdpleaser!