Sisters with Flair

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We lost our grandmother this week, "Precious" as she was known to us. We're happy for her, but sad for ourselves and our mom. I will never again look at jello with grated carrots without thinking of her. My dad wrote this great obituary that perfectly describes Precious' life. We'll sure miss her.

There is another angelic star in the heavens tonight. There is a void and a sadness with the passing of our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, Marian Estelle Welch "Precious" Moeck. "Eye hath not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has entered into the mind of man the things the Lord has in store for them that love Him and serve Him." For this reason, we rejoice for Mom. In nearly a century of living, Mom has lived it all. Horses and washboards, lye soap, curing hams, killing chickens and pedal sewing machines and one-room school houses were the norm in her early life. She was born in October 1913, in Mule Creek, NM, to Wiley Hamilton Franklin Welch and Cordia Farmer. She died Monday, July 19, 2010, in Wenatchee, WA. She was 96 years old. Mom was the fifth of ten children. She outlived them all. The reunion on the far side of Jordan is going to be a bit raucous.

She leaves behind three children, Johnny McCoy of Seattle, Connie Estelle Fry of Wenatchee and Randall Vernon Moeck of Johnson City, TN. There are 16 grandchildren and dozens of great-grandchildren. Welcoming her through the veil were her mother and father; sisters, Esther, Berta and Angie; and her brothers, Howard, Truman, Walker, Jimmy, Foy and Robert. Also, her daughter, Maryann Coykendall; and her grandson, Jay Coykendall; along with numerous cousins, nephews, nieces and friends were there in the crowd. Her's is not a small family.

Mom never met a stranger. She always had a smile. You never left her home hungry and you always had food for your journey home. She had more energy at age 70, than most folks half her age. She never canned a "few" of anything. The rattle of canning jars was music to her ears. There was no food that could fit into a canning jar that she didn't can by the gross. Mom must have been related to Johnny Appleseed. She didn't plant the trees, but she sure did pick the trees. If you didn't receive a grocery bag of gleaned apples from Mom, you are one of the few. Thank you, all of you, Wenatchee Valley orchardists. One time in her late 80's, Mom had gleaned a box of apples to give away and was dragging the box up Grant Road to her home. Thank you to the stranger who stopped his pickup, loaded up the apples and an old lady and took her home. And you grocers, thank you, too. Mom never saw a banana that she couldn't dry and then give away. Oh yes, and thank you, all of you Quincy farmers for the potatoes, tomatoes, corn, onions and carrots that you so kindly loaded in the back of Mom's car. Mom was a one woman food bank on a mission. And to all of you law enforcement officers who should have given her a ticket or two, thank you for being so kind and understanding and we hope you enjoyed the apples. Well, she's gone now, but she will not be soon forgotten. The next time you eat an apple with a slight bruise or some small mark, think of "Precious."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peg Board Wall Art to the Rescue

Standard bulletin boards do a great job of organizing and displaying photos, artwork, calendars, you know, all that stuff that left alone turns into what my husband calls my “vertical pile.” The thought of putting a standard bulletin board in the little boys’ room had me paralyzed with fear. Have you ever stepped on a push pin with bare feet? Trust me, the curse words start flying (umm, don’t worry mom, it’s like the f word you taught us…frugal (yep, that’s it frugal…)).

To avoid the previously mentioned embarrassment and add a little visual coolness to the color pallet, I opted for a gray pegboard and regular elastic. This way, the boys’ can add and change their own artwork and I can still tuck them in at night without fear. An added bonus to this project was the minimal cost. Lowes Hardware sells the pegboard in this perfect shade of gray saving me the cost, time, and effort of painting it to match. Since I knew the size I needed I had it cut right in the store so it was ready to hang as soon as I got home.

The most difficult part was finding elastic in the right color. After exhausting every option I could think of, I finally wound up buying white and dying it myself. The elastic was then threaded through the holes and knotted in the back. David added a few washers between the pegboard and screws so it doesn’t sit directly on the wall. Now we can also add hooks and hangers at a later date.

pegboard cut to 3’x6’ $16.99
5 packages of white elastic $6
dye $4
misc screws and washers $1.97
hours of organized/pain free entertainment...priceless

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Road Trip Time!

I'm scared peeps. I'm packing for a two week, two family reunions, 20 hour road trip with 3 children. In my mind its gonna be brutal. A one year old who can't be bribed with movies. Two VERY dramatic little girls who complain. Alot! (I have no idea where they get it from because I obviously NEVER complain) My husband who is the most patient man you'll ever meet, will wear earplugs the whole time, just to avoid ripping his own ears off with all the noise. No, this just won't do. I want to go to my happy place instead. I have a dear friend who has a much more peaceful outlook on road trips. I am going to try to take on her approach. Instead of sheer boredom I will have wonderful conversations about interesting topics with my husband. The children will giggle and sing songs and try to get truckers to honk their horns. Meanwhile I'll pretend I'm at a spa, I'll paint my toe nails and put on lotion. All while enjoying 20 hours of NO housework, NO dishes, No laundry, No cooking meals & cleaning the kitchen. Ah yes, my extensive drive will actually be part of the vacation and not some kind of awful torture where I contemplate having my husband leave me on the side of the road and hitch hike my way to an airport. Yes, it's a mind game. I' m good at mind games, after all I'm a mother! (How else do I get them to make their beds, eat their veggies & share?) The children will be happy and content. We will play games and nap and eat dainty little cookies and exotic fruit while sipping fresh raspberry lemonade. Ok, that may be a little far stretched, it's more like oreo's and capri suns. Here are a few products I bought to hopefully pass the time and feel a little less like we're sitting in a 5ft by 10ft moving prison cell! (I don't understand why my girls are dramatic, it couldn't be from me?)

Match box cars to bribe my 20 month old. I figure if I leave them in their package he'll eat up 20 minutes of time just trying to open it. Nice huh, but brilliant!

Color Wonder paper with it's own flat drawing surface. Mess free too!

Neck pillows for everyone. The kids will feel like their carseats are more like beds. That's the hope anyway!

This turtle station is going to be used for the baby so he has something to drive his cars on. I wonder if this could entertain him for 17 hours?

Then of course, I will also have a backup plan, which will consist of dramamine, chocolate, earplugs and plenty of candy to bribe the kids with. Let me know if you have any brilliant ideas and wish me luck! I won't be blogging again til AUGUST!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ABC's of Sunday

Tired of me complaining about the pains of entertaining an almost two year old during church? Well quit reading now!! It's not surprising that I'm endlessly looking for quiet entertainment to fill 70 minutes every Sunday, so here I go again. I couldn't resist making this awesome little "ABC's of Sunday" book when I found this link. This blog Oopsey Daisy has created this AWESOME link for us all to enjoy and I made mine RIGHT after I found it! Let me fill you in on a little tip for you who decide to go ahead and make this. You have to convert PDF files to jpg and she suggests you use photoshop. Well, I'm way behind the times and don't have photoshop, so the hubby converted the files for me by using That was awesome to have that option. Then I just uploaded to and printed. Love it, and there are a couple pages where you use family pics and my little guy goes CRAZY over that. Papa, Papa, Papa. His favorite word. Anyway, hope you love this as much as I do. Here are a couple pics from my book!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blog Award and Mandy Cakes Birthday!!!

First of all. It's Mandy's birthday! Happy b-day mandy cakes- wish I could bring you a tasty treat. And maybe some chicken noodle soup! I'm sorry you're sick on your b-day. I'm even more sad that I can't see you, and play with you on your birthday. Only 14 days until we see eachother! Can't wait girly! But on a good note we received this award. Did you know there are blog awards? I learn something new everyday about blogs! And it's on your birthday....... a little b-day present award! So onto the acceptance speech.........

WOW! A blog award? For little ol' us? Thanks Blackberry Vine for giving us the award! So I guess the deal is that we say a little bit about ourselves and send the award on to 10 other blogs we really like. It gives you the chance to check out some blogs that we stalk and see what we're reading to inspire us. So if you end up on our blog list, you are nominated for versatile blogger award. The guidelines for accepting the award are.... thank the person/people who gave it to you(that's us!) Share 7 things about yourself. Pass the award on to 10 bloggers, whom you have recently discovered, and think are fantastic.

7 Things about me: Annie Lane. Just one of the 3 sisters (I typically describe myself as the fun one, but since it's Mandy's birthday today, she can be the fun one. I guess that just leaves me to describe myself as the pretty one, or the smart one. I don't know which to choose. They are both so accurate...... Ok- I guess you've got me figured out by now. I'm the sarcastic one.)
1. Photography- I love how happy I feel when I walk into a room and have beautiful pictures of my family blown up on display. I love catching their quirky personalities & displaying them like artwork.

2. Pet peeve of mine: People brushing their teeth and talking to me at the same time. I have a really strong gag reflex and you will see me dry heave. It's attractive, believe me.

3. Coke zero. It's amazing. The end.

4. Loud shoes. I love to wear flair on my feet. Shoes never make me feel fat. They never tell me to stop eating desserts. They just let me shove my feet into them and feel pretty. And yes, I definitely sacrifice cute for comfort!

5. Judge Judy should be President. I guess Bert would be her VP! While I don't always agree with her.......... her wisdom is astounding! She gives great advice and is an amazing author. How can you not love someone who has written a book titled "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining!" Or my personal favorite quote is, "Beauty fades but dumb is forever!" Gotta love that chick- I'd love to give her some items of flair to wear though. Jazz up her dicky & robe.

6. Chocolate. How can I mention 7 things about myself and not mention my love of chocolate? I would've made this number one on my list but I was trying to sound less overweight-ish. Let's just say........we're involved! I owe this obsession to my mom, I'm pretty sure she had a chocolate IV drip at the hospital when I was born. Or maybe it was her way of sending us to bed with a cupcake wrapper filled with m&m's at night. We did go to bed quite easily after that. She's a genius. And an enabler!

7. I'm not a perfectionist by any means. I'm too lazy to be a perfectionist! I think this is why I get as much done as I do, because I really don't care about the details. I just want it done! When it comes to my photography and editing pictures- I have to throw this mentality out the window. Otherwise, my clients end up with big ol' zits in the middle of their forheads without me noticing (sorry shawn). This is also why I'm not a good seamstress. I once duct taped pajamas that I tried to make for a youth group fashion show. Duct tape was easier than trying to thread the dang sewing machine! Sewing straight lines are way overrated!

So now you know 7 (quite random) tidbits about me. Onto the blogs I stalk & heart! Check them out and you will see why I heart them. In no particular order......

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pillow love

Sigh- Don't you just love pretty pillows? They make such a bold statement to a couch or bed. I love how much they can change the feel of a room or add a pop of color. I have tons of pillows to recover and its been awhile since I've made some. These pillows were easy to make thanks to my sister Mandy's tutorial found here. Before I sewed the back flaps of the pillow to the front I decided to make some fun designs. I've been inspired lately by funky t-shirts from Anthropologie & J-Crew. I love the tone on tone look as well. Subtle but with a touch of flair! Here's the two pillows that I came up with today.

This is supposed to be random leaves falling. I pinned them where I wanted them and then sewed them using the sewing machine. Once I had the front of the pillow the way I wanted it, I sewed the back flaps of the pillow on.

This next pillow is a polka dot/ primitive flower look. I chose to hand sew these polka dots on instead of using the sewing machine.

My kitchen which is adjacent to this room is painted a faux dark orange. So I chose to bring some of the orange into this space as well.

The best thing about recovering these pillows was the cost. Free! I used fabric that was left over from my dining room drapes. If I decide to change the color scheme- it's only a matter of changing the fabric. Easy peezy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lampshade re-do!

For a few weeks now, I’ve been working on re-doing my two youngest boys’ room. The rooms in our house are teeny tiny, one of the only drawbacks to this house and one we decided we could live with. Of course my 7 yr old is counting the months and days until our oldest leaves for college and he’ll finally get his own room. Meanwhile, I’m left to try and arrange and decorate a bedroom that will grow with a soon to be 8 and 6 yr old.

Here's a hint of the colors and theme I decided to go with.

I’m finally nearing the end, the major work has been finished and I’ve started on the accessories. Nearly 2 years ago, I picked up a cute little lamp with a pretty lame looking lampshade. Everyone says recovering lampshades is easy so I figured I’d give it a go. Of course as soon as I got it home I started thinking that sounded like a pretty big project and what if I screw it up so there it sat behind the desk in my workroom (and out of David’s sight…).
Yesterday I decided it was do or die, and mess up or not, I had to give it a try. WOW, I have to admit, if I’d realized how easy it was to recover a lampshade I would have recovered every single one in my house long ago! With drying time, this literally took less than an hour. The majority of the time was spent watching the glue dry.

Here are the supplies I gathered:
Spray Tack
Newspaper (for pattern)
Paper used to cover (fabric would also work)

First I outlined a template of the lampshade on a piece of newspaper to make the pattern I would need to cut the polka-dot paper. I then used the template to trace and cut the piece of paper needed for my new lamp shade cover. Next I sprayed the back of my polka-dot paper with spray tack (this stuff was amazing!) and starting at one end I simply attached it to the old lampshade. This took a bit of adjusting; the angle can be a bit tricky to work with. With the magic of spray tack, you can adjust the paper multiple times because it’s repositionable. Once the paper was applied to my liking, I pressed and smoothed until all the air bubbles were removed. Lastly, I applied modge-podge to the top of the paper to seal it from dust, dirt, and handprints. To give it a finished look, I dug through my box of vintage trims and found a beautiful piece of gray satin binding tape that will fit the colors of the room perfectly.

So my $2 garage sale lamp was recovered at a cost of less than $1 to make this one of the cheapest make-over I have ever performed.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dress dillema

I need help! I am so excited my little brother is getting married in August. He is marrying an amazing girl & I'm so excited for them. My family should be in the wedding business with all the talent that's oozing from everyone. (I however, am only good at offering unnecessary opinions) But just the same, I love love love dreaming about weddings! My oldest brother is catering the wedding, his food and presentation is amazing. I even had caviar at Mandy's wedding & liked it! (and that says alot) My parents home is an amazing historic colonial home where the reception will be. All of us three girls had receptions there. My mom is fabulous with center pieces, & table cloths & flower arrangements. My little brother sings and plays guitar & I love his song lyrics! My sis-in-law is a really creative photographer & I can't wait to see the photos from this day. It's going to be perfect........ if I can find the right dress! Help me! I hate dress shopping, it's beyond awful! Why can't someone design a dress that makes me look 10lbs lighter so I don't have to eat right and excercise? I mean honestly, is that too much to ask? Here are the dresses I've narrowed it down to. Please vote for your favorite & help me in my dress dilemma, I don't want to be the dud in the family!

#1- From Down East Outfitters
#2- Ann Taylor- with a shrug
#3-Ann Taylor, also with shrug

#4- Shabby Apple- this is their wedding color

#5- Also from Shabby Apple

So leave a comment, vote for your favorite and help me decide. Pretty please!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Creme Brulee French Toast

image found here

Ok, this is by far my very favorite breakfast recipe eva! We had some friends come over for a pre-Independence Day parade breakfast and as always, I wanted to entertain with as little work as possible. This is so easy because you just make it the night before and then cook it in the morning. And they turned out divine! You will NEVER go back to regular french toast again. I promise.
Here's the recipe:
Creme Brulee French Toast
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 T corn syrup
loaf of texas toast bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
In a saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Pour into a jelly roll pan, or a cookie sheet with taller sides. Arrange 12 pieces of texas toast on top of the sugar mixture. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, and salt. Use a smaller measuring cup to pour egg mixture on the bread. You want the bread to be pretty soaked. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, bake uncovered for 27-ish minutes at 350 degrees. You do NOT want the tops of the bread golden, that means you've cooked it too long. Just watch it closely. You won't even really need syrup, but if you want a real sugar-rush, go for it! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Watermelon woes..... no more!

Have you ever been really excited to bite into a juicy watermelon & it's flavorless? It's red, it's sticky- but it's blah! What a disappointment! This girl knows what I mean....

My quest for the perfect watermelon begins in June. I love cold watermelon. Here's a few tips to get the perfect one.

1. Look for a yellow belly. Watermelons do NOT ripen anymore after they are picked, so if they're picked too soon there will be no flavor! We can't let that happen!

2. Thump for hollowness. This is tricky, but a good watermelon will sound hollow.

3. Look for bee stings or sap at the end of the watermelon. These are hard to find, but if you do- it should be good!

4. If you end up with a tasteless watermelon, sprinkle crystal light on it. It gives it quite the kick and it takes a blah watermelon to finger lickin' good!

I hopes these tricks help you pick out your next juicy watermelon. Make sure you take pictures of your kids (and maybe yourself) enjoying this messy treat! Happy 4th of July friends! Hope yours is filled with family, friends, food & fun!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rainy Summer Day Ideas

So we got on our swimsuits the other night and just as we were walking outside to go swimming we had a major down pour! The girls were so upset (as if they never go swimming or something)! That's when I realized I need some major back-up plans ready to go when my great ideas are a bust. Here's a few easy last minute ideas I came up with. So, hopefully you'll be able to avoid a "this is the worst day of my life!" meltdown when your plans go awry!

#1- Puddle jumping. Taylor became masterful at this!

#2- Blowing bubbles. Believe it or not, we actually let the kids blow bubbles in the house when it's raining or just too hot. I have them do this on a towel or even in my master bath tub.

#3- Straw & cotton ball races- Grab some straws and some cotton balls or even tiny rolled up paper. Mark a starting line and finish line and have them blow thru the straws to push the cotton ball to the end. With all the blowing, you're kids will be passed out on the floor asleep by the end. Not that it's my goal or anything (wink, wink).

#4- Hula hoops. They are a great way to burn energy & there are so many uses for them. We turn on the music and dance with them or use them as part of an obstacle course. Tossing bean bags into it from different areas in the room or I sometimes find them using hula hoops as a form of jail. I don't understand why this is so funny to my kids but hopefully it's not a precursor to their teenage years!

Hopefully this gave you a few ideas for you to keep on the back burner when you show up for free bowling at Strikz and it's a 1.5 hour wait & there's no way you're sticking around for it & you leave with sobbing children. Not that it happens to me or anything (wink wink).