Thursday, March 15, 2012

I am ALIVE!! I did really well with the blog posting until school started and life got insane.  :) 

I am sharing this awesome contest from TruShape because this is something I have considered.  Having four big babies and four C-sections has really changed by body shape.  :)  I'm sure all those late night snacks don't help much either.  Check it out!

Thanks and Good Luck!!

Crazed Momma

P.S.  More posts coming soon but I'm not making any promises this time. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy New Year...two weeks late!

So I have to say that the holiday season just about did me in.  I realized that my last post was in OCTOBER and wow can I just say life didn't get any less busy after that.  It seems like these days everyone is rushing around like little ants trying to accomplish who knows what.  Sometimes I wish for a simpler time.

But enough whining.  Let's get on with more important matters like the fact that it is a new year.  I've done a lot of thinking over the past few weeks as I'm sure everyone does around this time of the year about the past and my present and of course the future.  I think I tried to make "resolutions" several times over the years and maybe I have even accomplished a few but I'm more of a person who decides one day to change something and then works on it until it is accomplished or I decide to give myself a break.

So instead of goals or resolutions I'm going to use the term my "working on its."  We all know that there are things we need to be doing and maybe if we just break it down and try to take one day at a time we can relax a little bit.  My husband keeps trying to remind  me that it's more important to be going in the right direction a little bit at a time rather than trying to get there all at once.  I'm the type of girl that likes to get things done and off my "list".  This does not work in the long run because I get so overwhelmed that I quit.  So..I am trying to enjoy each day as it is and focus on making each day the best it can be.  If I don't exercise that day or eat too much chocolate or leave some things unmarked on my list, SO WHAT? Tomorrow is a new day and I'm blessed to have another opportunity.

So I guess you could say I do have a "goal" for this year and that's to not give myself too hard of a time and remind myself often that I'm working on it.

May you be successful on working on it too this year!

Crazed Momma

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Art of Pumpkin Carving

Hello readers,
So, it's been a very busy October.  I was going to get to this last week but it just flew by like the Wicked Witch of the West.  :)

The last post was about pumpkins.  Today, let's talk about carving these beauties.  Let's make something clear from the beginning though.  I have absolutely no talent when it comes to this hobby.  I stink at it.  For one thing, I do not have the patience.  By the time I am done cleaning out the pumpkin, I'm ready to throw it out into the garden for compost.

Luckily, my husband has a knack for this particular thing and does a beautiful job. The first years we were married he amazed me with his BYU cougar pumpkin, Garfield, Batman symbol and one of my personal favorites, The Trucker Flap Girl.  Unfortunately, most of these were carved before the digital age and I don't have readily available pictures of these.  That is one reason we have gone to carving artificial pumpkins so that I can enjoy these year after year AND the girls can take theirs when they have their own homes.   

So the first thing I would recommend when carving pumpkins is to have patience.  Of course, my husband is a very patient man.  (He is married to me after all.)  Next, it's important to pick the proper shape and size.  It really depends on your pattern.  I think all growing up the only pumpkins I ever saw were the usual smiley or angry face ones.  It wasn't until later that patterns became available and it became an art form for anybody willing to pick up a toothpick and a knife.  Over the years, it has become more complex and amazing and now there are whole sites devoted to the patterns etc.  If you want to have some fun, just check out these sites.  For a donation or small fee you can have the pattern of your choosing.

You can buy a kit which includes the scraper, toothpick and knife and also a book of patterns for less than $10.  Once you have picked a pattern and printed it, you just clean out the pumpkin and scrape whichever wall of the pumpkin you want to place your pattern as thin as possible.   I've heard this allows for a cleaner design.  You cut the sides of your pattern in order to bend it around and then tape it to the appropriate side.  You can brush some flour over the image to make it show up a little better.  Begin with the small pieces and work your way to the bigger ones.  A smooth action with more speed and less pressure while sawing up and down is best.  Holding the pumpkin in your lap is also a good idea in order to hold it steady.  Please supervise your young children and be careful if using real knives. 

You can pick up the artificial ones at your local craft store.  The same suggestions apply here except that you do not have to clean it out.  These pumpkins also tend to create more "dust".   

This Halloween tradition has been super fun and memorable for our family and I hope it will be for your family too.

Just a note,
I am donating $2 from each sale of my Breast Cancer Awareness magnets to the Susan G Komen Foundation. 

Until next time,

Crazed Momma aka Naquai

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's Pumpkin Time!

So right along with my post from last week come this week's post about something I really am crazy about too.  I really like to grow pumpkins.  They make me happy.  Of course, you have to start growing pumpkins in all its glorious forms in May or June, but now is the time that these wonderful plants come to fruition so to speak.

There are many reasons why I love to grow them.  They are easy for one thing.  It may be where I live, but growing pumpkins in Utah hasn't been that difficult.  You just place seeds in the ground and as long as you water it (and the squash bugs don't consume the plants) you should end up with some fun decorations for Halloween and maybe even Thanksgiving.  As usual, in honor of these awesome fruits (yes they are fruits) here are a few fun facts:

Pumpkin Facts

  • Pumpkins are grown primarily for processing with a small percentage grown for ornamental sales through you-pick farms, farmers' market and retail sales.
  • Around 90 to 95% of the processed pumpkins in the United States are grown in Illinois.
  • Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack.
  • Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.
  • Pumpkin flowers are edible.
  • Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies and breads.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.
  • Pumpkins are members of the vine crops family called cucurbits.
  • Pumpkins originated in Central America.
  • In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.
  • Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
  • Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds.
  • This year's largest pumpkin weighs a whopping 1810 pounds!!  (Picture at top)
  • The name pumpkin originated from "pepon" – the Greek word for "large melon."
  • The Connecticut field variety is the traditional American pumpkin.
  • Pumpkins are 90 percent water.
  • Pumpkins are fruit.  See I told you!  :)
  • Colonists sliced off pumpkin tops; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.
  • Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.
  • Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.

A couple of other reasons I personally love them is because they spread easily and cover a large area with beautiful green leaves.  I use them in my front flower bed for just this reason.  I also love pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving, pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, and the pumpkin spice smell.  It's a very essential part of Autumn for me.  Stay tuned for my next blog which covers one of our favorite things to do in October which is pumpkin carving.  My husband is a pro!

Until next time! 

Crazed Momma

Here's a new set of Fall magnets!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Autumn Time!

So, it's been a few weeks since I have posted.  I don't know about you, but it seems that as soon as school starts our lives get busy, busy, busy.  I'm sure this is true of anyone who is either going to school, works at a school or has children in school.  It's just a fact of life.

Now that it is almost October, I thought I would reflect on autumn.  Fall or autumn is actually my favorite time of year.  In Texas, it meant the weather would cool off finally and marching band was in full swing.  I was a bell set player in my marching band and those memories are still to this day some of my favorites.

It's also a time for football games.  The funny thing about football is I attended every game for four years because I was in the marching band.  Did I have a clue as to what was going on?  NO!  How silly is that?  I just knew that when we scored a touchdown we played the fight song.  :)

Homecoming was always a really big deal.  It is not a tradition here in Utah that I have seen,  but in Texas at Homecoming girls would receive mums and boys would receive garters.  The mums were usually gold because my school colors were black and gold and they were HUGE.  I mostly remember the smell.  It was something to receive a live mum with an awesome smell and glitter and ribbons.  You had to make sure you wore a tight enough shirt in order to keep from exposing yourself  :) I loved getting the live mums but you could also get fake ones and hang them up to enjoy all year long.  I actually had a boyfriend who took the time with his mother to make one for me.  So wonderful.  To this day,  I still love mums and the smell. 

This weekend is Homecoming and my 20 year high school reunion.  I will not be there, but I will definitely be thinking of all those that shared that special time in my life with me.  Facebook has been a wonderful tool in enabling me to connect again with those people and not feel so isolated from my past.  It helps me to remember who I am because of who I was and how I was raised.

I love autumn here in Utah because of the colors.  There is a true turning of the leaves and the mountain that I look out my window at every day is alive with oranges, yelllows and reds.  We always try as a family to go up the canyon and enjoy nature's show once during October.  I also love the crispness in the air in the morning, the smell of wood smoke and the winding down of the garden and harvesting of goodies such as pumpkins.  It seems that it comes faster and faster each year and I guess that's just part of getting older.

As always, I have some cute autumn magnets in my Etsy store.  Do you have a favorite thing about autumn?  Please share!

Until next time,

Crazed Momma

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chihuahua Chum

Hello readers!  You may wonder why it looked like I titled this post chihuahua "fish bait".  Well, I'm not talking about that definition of the word today.  I am referring to this one.

chum n. An intimate friend or companion

This Sunday marked a sad day for my mom, dad, and little sister.  They had to say goodbye to Robbie, their little chihuahua. He was more than a dog, more than just a pet.  He was a part of the family.  For anyone who has grown close to an animal, this is a hard thing.  There are so many reasons why. 

Dogs especially are wonderful.  As Josh Billings an American humorist said, "A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."  I am sure most parents would disagree with this statement but you get the point.  Besides, you can't snuggle with a fish.

In honor of Robbie, who by the way was a character and lots of fun to have around, here are some fun facts about these little canines.
  • Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world.
  • Aztec and Toltec tribes of Mexico considered the Chihuahua to be a sacred animal.
  • Chihuahuas make up the oldest dog breed on the American continent. They were brought to Europe at the end of the nineteenth century only.
  • In comparison to the size of its body, a Chihuahua has the largest brains amongst all the breeds of dogs.
  • Most of Chihuahuas are born with floppy ears. However, they stand up as the dog gets older.
  • The dog Chihuahua is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
  • Chihuahuas were used as hot packs in ancient times for aches and pains  (it's true, they do love to burrow down in the covers near your back etc.)
  • They have a life span of 15+ years (this was a major surprise to my husband.)  Cheeto is my chihuahua and he is still getting around even though he is an old man at 15.
One fact that is neither fact nor fiction is that chihuahuas help people with asthma.  I mention this fact because it is the reason that we acquired chihuahuas in the first place when my baby sister was small. 

I have had the pleasure of being around six chihuahuas in my lifetime so far and these puppies can be fierce and protective and very loyal.  They may not be for everyone, but they have been a part of my life and I wouldn't trade those memories for anything.  Thanks for the love DJ, Picante, Charlie, Cheeto, Chiquita, and of course Robbie.  

I even made some magnets with these little guys!

Until next time, 

Crazed Momma

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Hello class!  Today were are going to discuss something that drives me crazy.  I know what you are thinking.  She is so calm and happy all the time how can something possibly drive her nuts.  For those of you who don't know me I am most of the time in a snit about something.  I just hide it well.  Maybe it's because of my Texan upbringing.  :)

I have noticed a trend over the last several years where the retail markets and stores in general are putting items out for a certain time or holiday earlier and earlier.  I HATE this.  Part of the reason that I enjoy living in this area is because we have true seasons.  There are only two seasons in Texas where I grew up.  Extremely hot or extremely cold with freezing winds.  This part of Utah has genuine seasons.  We have warm summers, snow in winter, rain in spring, and beautiful autumn leaves in fall.  I love to decorate my house each month with a certain theme or for the appropriate holiday.  It's something I inherited from my mother.

So anyway, back to my point.  I am tired of having the kids get out of school and the next week seeing lunch boxes and notebooks in Wal-Mart.  I am sad about the fact that my local craft store has it's Christmas stuff out.  When I was looking for things for my Christmas tree I actually found ornaments that were perfect for my tree that were meant for Easter.  Ok, maybe that was a good thing, but still. 

Having opened an Etsy store I am understanding more and more why this is important.  There is competition to get your things out there in the market first.  It is hard for me because most of the time I don't have money for the items I might like until the holiday actually rolls around and by that time everything is gone or mangled.  You can get some great deals that way if you are willing to store things.  Wait...I am trying to say this is a bad thing. 

Having thought about this a lot I made a firm decision to wait until September 1st to place Halloween things in my store.  It was difficult in the first part of August when other Etsians were lovingly  posting orange and black all over the place but I resisted and it's finally here.

Thank you dear readers for listening to my rant and if you see me out in a swimsuit and boots shoveling my walk you will know that I got the swimsuit for a great deal! 

Have a great fall! 

Crazed Momma

Here are some apples and back to school magnet sets and only one Halloween set.  I contained myself.