Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Vacation Is About - Day 4

... building a base and stock piling snowballs for the impending battle.
snow fort

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009


santa came 2
stockings were hung by the chimney

Santa came...

lots of wrappings

... the kids conquered!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Morning

momma-made under the tree

Momma-made gifts under the tree... Santa doesn't bring those ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry & Bright

gingerbread house

Thanks for the feedback on yesterday's post. I am thinking and thinking and working out some things in my head to make life a little more merry and bright. No doubt, I will be sharing it all with you here!!

In the meantime though, it's time to get our holidays on! So things are going to be quiet here. Just photos until the new year... should be fun. We'll talk more then. :)


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I've Been Thinking...

... and thinking isn't always the best thing for me. LOL. The thing is, even though things right now feel a little hectic and full, with the mad dash to get all my last minute Christmas goodies done in time, I have too much time on my hands. I sit in my comfy living room chair, sometimes for what feels like hours, crafting (usually knitting the past week) and can't help but think and let my mind wonder/wander.

I think about lots of things... my family... especially the kids. I think about how lucky I am to be in the place that I am. I have a pretty cushy deal here, and I know it, and I am so so thankful for it. I have a great husband, three sometimes-awesome kids, an amazing career that supports itself and lets me be creative anytime I want, and yet... I feel like something is missing. Ugh. I wish I could articulate the feeling better, because it isn't just a something-is-missing feeling, there is more to it. There is an apprehension to it too... a to-good-to-be-trueness to it... an I-need-to-do-more to it... and a feeling of inadequacy. I have this feeling that I have more in me than I am really putting out and yet at the same time, I am bit scared to put more out there and am searching for the motivation too.

Maybe the word motivation should be replaced by the word intention in that last sentence. When I am sitting and thinking, one reoccurring sense I have is that there is a lack of "me" to me lately. I feel like I am all pomp, with no circumstance. All fluffy, without any real substance. Not quite that I am only going through the motions, but kinda like that. Just the over all feeling that there should be more thought and energy in what I make of my days. I could dig deeper, know what I mean? There isn't any sadness to this... I am not depressed or tearful... and there isn't mania in it either, no over flowing pent up energy. You know, I often wish I was a more insightful person. That I could put my finger on the point easier, alas, that is one skill I think I will always lack.

I think a lot on this space too... this blog... my little slice of the e-world. Is there more that I could do here? Is this place really what I want it to be? Maybe it is the fact that this is my 1097th post, but I feel like I am seriously struggling for content. Maybe I need to put the "Blogging Without Obligation" button on my sidebar over there, lol. Meaning I blog when I have something to say, not just for the sake of blogging, ya know. I have been doing that more and more. Have you noticed?

Anyway... I am babbling. Is there a word for babbling that you do to yourself in your mind? LOL... we should make one up. Any ideas?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mission Accomplished

sewing the facing4

EEEEKKKKKKKK!!! I did it!!! I finished Jacob's Christmas quilt and with time to spare. I am so so excited about this and I can't wait to give it to him Friday morning. I ended up making it much smaller then I thought I would. It is just a bit smaller then twin size. Perfect for keeping him warm while playing video games or reading a book. EEEEKKKKKKKK!!! Did I mention I am excited about it?!?

finished facing 1
quilt sandwich 1
finished quilt 1
finished quilt 2

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

You Shoulda Been Here

mini stuffed peppers

Last night, I hosted book club and boy, am I tired, lol. But I am the best kind of tired... the relieved kind... the having-so-many-blessings-you-can't-help-but-giggle kind... okay, and the one-too-many-glasses-of-wine kind too.

I don't get to do a lot of entertaining, so I don't often find myself in a kitchen baking for hours on end. But that is just what I did yesterday. I started about 9am and was still pulling things from the oven at 7:30pm.

Here is the menu I made:
Mini Stuffed Sweet Peppers (pictured above)- I used a Thai Sweet Chili Pepper Sauce in with the rice and ground beef, and added some corn too. I freaking loved these. I had enough stuffing left over to fill a large pepper and that is going to be my lunch today.
Sausage Bread with Marinara Sauce - Made the bread dough from scratch and everything. I stuffed it with sweet Italian pork sausage and mozzarella cheese. Delish.
Artichoke Dip - a usually party standard right? Well, for mine, I grade in some spicy pepperjack cheese to give it a little kick.
Hubby's Stuffed Mushrooms - Ron's contribution to the night, and he was so excited that there was two left. He also took the kids to the library for two hours, lol. Thanks Ronboy.
Cinnamon Monkey Bread - (pictured below) For this, just buy yourself 2 cans of your supermarket jumbo cinnamon rolls, grease a bundt pan, and put cut slices of those uncooked rolls in the pan, bake for 30mins, and pour icing on. Then proceed to pick chunks off with your fingers and licking up the icing. Yeah, yum.
Homemade Peanut/Almond Brittle and Peppermint Bark - wouldn't be the holidays without something minty and covered in chocolate! I love how the brittle turned out. Ron tried to convince me that homemade brittle sucks, but I disagree.
Banana Rum No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes with Crushed Pretzel Crust - I think the name says it all.

cinnamon monkey bread
packed house2

After stuffing faces in the kitchen, we (the FOURTEEN!! of us) moved to the living room for our annual white elephant book exchange. Everyone brings a book, wrapped. We draw numbers, then open in order with the option to steal books of previous openers along the way. I now have a fresh copy of Dan Brown's Lost Symbol and can't wait to get started on it. I gave away a copy of Friday Night Knitting along with a cowl I whipped up while cooking all day. Jennifer instantly hid it after opening it so it wouldn't get stolen, lol.

Oh, and we did actually talk about a book. LOL, we had read Shanghai Girls for December. We all disliked the ending and thought it dragged in the middle. Oh well. I wish you all could have been here. There was a wonderful energy in the air. The noise of so many conversations, laughing, and singing... yes, singing. Max, my friend Renee's baby boy, was here and we sang him "You Are My Sunshine".

dirty wine glasses

We voted on selections for next month too. I had the girls choose from The Host, Her Fearful Symmetry, The Red Tent, Sam's Letters To Jennifer, and Blink. What would you have picked? We picked Sam's Letters To Jennifer with Her Fearful Symmetry a very close second.

The night wound down around 10pm. We always seem to vote on the book and then scoot out the door. It was a school night after all, lol, and I was ready for bed. Now... I gotta get that quilt finished!!

end of the night

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Seriously Spoiled

christmas visit
Back in August I gushed about what a treat it was to get to spend a weekend with my best friend. At the time, I thought it would be at least another year or so before I would get the chance to see her again. In a wonderful Christmasy turn of events, she came up for the week!! She is staying with her mother-in-law, so we aren't getting to spend every waking moment together. But, we got to have a girly night out on Saturday, sit and drink coffee while sewing on Monday, and yesterday we went shopping and had wonderful hubby-created dinner, sat at the kitchen table reminiscing with old photos of the kids and giggling while trying to get the perfect picture of the two of us.

Getting more time with her is the best Christmas present ever.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Than I Can Chew?

washed fabric
In yesterday's post I mentioned that I would talk more next week about Jacob's Momma-made Christmas gift. That was the plan anyway... I was going to start it next week and thus blog about it. However, last night, I started doing the math for his gift and had a mild panic attack. I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this one. Let me tell ya about what's going on...

cutting strips
If you have been reading for a while now, you might remember that Lauren and Andrew both received quilts for their birthdays this year. You might also have noticed that I didn't get around to making one for Jacob. I had way to much on my plate when his birthday rolled round, and although I had terrible guilt over it, I promised myself that he would get one for Christmas. Well, obviously, it's Christmas and the boy needs his quilt.

square before
I bought the fabric a while back, so I am all set there. I am using an Anna Maria Horner Palette Pile with lots of yellows, greens, and blues, with some browns too. I hemmed and hawed for a while over the pattern I would use and finally settled on a String Quilt with help from a tutorial on Film In The Fridge. I started drawing a little diagram, and running the numbers... I need to make NINETY SIX squares to get the size I want!! OH MY STARS!! Those 96 squares become 24 larger squares that make up a really cool diamond pattern... but dang, it is going to be a ton of work.

square after
So I am scrapping the mental timeline I initially had set for this project and making it my top priority. I cut all the fabric this morning and started piecing the facing together. I am about 20% of the way done with that. I may decrease the number of total squares so that it is 20 total blocks instead of 24, but we'll see. I won't be able to work on it again until Monday, since Jacob will be home all weekend. I hope, hope, hope to be able to finish the facing by Monday... or lunch time on Tuesday at the latest. Then, I will make the quilt sandwich on Tuesday.

sewing the facing 2
Then... I gotta spend Wednesday and Thursday doing book club stuff. You know, the cleaning and the cooking. Eeekkk!! Friday, I can start the actually quilting and hope to have it done by next Monday (the Monday before Christmas). I am getting tired just thinking about it. Good thing I have most of my other handmade gifts finished already!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Crafting

knitting socks
With last week's book contribution deadline behind me and the dining room project squared away, I have jumped head first into my Christmas crafting. For the past few years now, I have made an effort to hand make something special for each member of my family. The is Ron, Jacob, Andrew, Lauren, Mom, Dad, and Sister. I never officially take "The Handmade Pledge" that everyone talks about in the crafty community because there will be plenty of trips to Target in my near future, but still everyone gets *something* made by me.

Since learning to knit two Christmases ago, the ideas for things to make have really expanded. I mean seriously, how many pairs of homemade pajama pants does one kid really need? It is wonderful to have other options! Like sweaters, and hats, and mittens, and cowls, and now... SOCKS!!

I attempted to knit a pair of socks once. It was about 2 months into my knitting career, lol, and I totally sucked at it. When I would knit on double pointed needles, I would get ladders in the spaces between the two needles. My alter ego, Carrie, that likes things to be perfect couldn't stand those tiny little gaps. So, my one sock was ripped out and the yarn given to my knitting guru, Lindsey, and she knit my socks for me.

Fast forward two years, picture me and Lindsey and some other ladies sitting in the Barnes and Noble cafe after yoga last week. Lindsey pulls out a ball of yarn and in about an hour she has whipped up about 4inches of an ankle of a sock to be knit for her Dad for Christmas. The yarn was a heavier weight, not sock yarn, so it was a quicker knit. And the pattern was simple and quick to memorize. Although my alter ego was telling me "no, Kerry, don't even think about it... you get ladders when you knit socks, and besides you'll never finish them in time, and you have too many other things to do..." I told her to shut it and I popped into the yarn store on Tuesday and grabbed what I needed to knit up a pair.

I started it Tuesday afternoon, turned the heel by that night, finished the foot and toe yesterday morning, started the second sock in the afternoon, and hot diggity dog is was done by bed time!! Seriously, I just knit two socks in about 36 hours, a good chunk of which I was sleeping during, lol. So more like 24 hours. The best part... NO LADDERS!! See, I learned to twirl my needles moving a few stitches each time so that the seem is never in the same place. *sigh* Now I want to make some for myself.

I won't say who these are for... just someone on my list stated earlier. LOL... I have too many snoopers in my family that are no doubt dropping into the blog to see what is going to be under the tree in a few weeks. I will tell you some of the other projects though and who they are for...

Ron - a hat and hmmm... maybe some quick socks
Jacob - a quilt! (more on this next week)
Andrew - yet to be determined, he is tough this year
Lauren - a sweater and maybe some leg warmers or a cowl
Mom - she snoops so I am not saying
Dad - a hat
Sister - she snoops too and I am not telling

So... what does your Christmas crafting list look like?

christmas socks

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dining Room Doll Up All Done

dining room complete 1
Well, almost done anyway.

Here it is, my new and improved dining room. I am smitten. I walk in there and I can't remember it ever being another way. I love the blue, which incidentally is NOT the color in my friend's bedroom. We got our aquas crossed. Her's is actually Aqua Bay, mine is Aqua Joy. Close enough. I think my color is a little brighter then her's, her's is a little richer.

I hung the prints frames for the prints next to the front door. There will be three prints from the same artist, Yellena on Etsy. I have adored her work for a while now and finally got myself a print. I loved it so much that I ordered two more. They should be here soon and I can fill in those blank frames. In case you are wondering, I purchase "Morning", "Season", and "Allusion". And if anyone ever wants to get me another one, hint hint wink wink, I am in love with "Spore" and "Amble".

dining room complete 2
There was much debate in the Bogert house over the height of the chair rail/plate rail. I knew from the beginning that I wanted it set high. Ron however, spoke to one of his buddies during a poker game who said it needed to be at 32inches. I am glad I won this one. I think a low rail would have made the room look squatty. The ceilings are low as it is and making the white area smaller would have made it feel even lower. Ron won out on a different area of debate, the fire place wall. I was thinking the rail should go all the way around the room, but that would have it behind out big mirror over the mantel. Ron said "Just paint that wall a solid color. It'll be stupid having the mirror hanging weird." LOL... only he thought I would paint it all white! HA, no way!! All aqua it is.

I hung my small collection of plates on the wall next to the mantel on the way into the kitchen. I plan to add to this meager grouping as I find special dishes at the estate sales I go to. I hope to fill the wall with them, like something I saw on Design Sponge a while back.

dining room complete 3
I think I am going to paint a special piece for that big blank area above the side board buffet. I can see a piece forming in my mind and I think it would be cool to have a LARGE piece of my own on display, no? For now though, Andrew's 2nd grade rendition of A Starry Night will do. It is one of my favorite kid art class projects I have ever had brought home to me.

dining room complete 4
When I set my camera on auto, it kept wanting to turn the flash on. I kept it off though so you could see what I mean about the lighting in this room. It was a overcast day yesterday afternoon and this is just how it was in there. It definitely feels warmer then when the walls where gray. *sigh* I love my new dining room.

SO, what's left? The curtain situation. If I am being totally honest, I don't like curtains. They just bug me for some reason. But, I think the room needs some. I am thinking something wispy and light, maybe in a yellowish off white. I don't know. We'll just have to sit and stew on that a little longer.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Best of 2009 - Challenge

I am not ready to reveal the big dining room update just yet. The paint is done but I am still waiting on some prints I ordered. I don't want to share until they are hanging on the walls. Until they arrive, I am feeling at a loss for words and blog topics, so I am taking a que from this fun blog and joining in on the Best of 2009 topics. I will do it here and there all month, when I am otherwise short on words. Reminicing is fun... you should do it too.

Today's Topic:
December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

I think my biggest challenge in 2009 has been my book. Writing it, finishing the projects, editing it, the photo shoot, the tv spot to promote it, and all the ups and downs that go with it. Jean Campbell, my editor, recently talked about much book writing is like giving birth. Everything from the book pregnancy to the birth with it's release into the world. And I would have to agree.

If you would like to take a stroll down blog memory lane, here are links to posts from 2009 about my journey through writing my first book.

Oh The Glamore Of It
Sent Away
Adventures In Loveland
In 3...2...1...
My Book!!!

There is so much more I am looking forward to telling you about in 2010 when the book is actually released. I hope you'll still be here with me then.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Decking Our Halls

The dining room doll up is well underway. The plate rail is up, there are two coats of "Aqua Joy" on the walls, and I plan on getting to work on the antique white this afternoon. I would have started the project on Saturday (and finished by Sunday), but we had to do some decking of the halls!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from this weekend's tree hunting...
mom, bonnie, jacob
andrew cutting
my mom
jacob cutting mom and dad's tree
dusty reflecting bulb
lauren tidying up

Now to finish that painting...