Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

We cannot officially trick or treat until Sunday because of the bad weather. But here is what I wore to work today. And our nifty blues clues pumpkin we carved :) Happy Halloween!

Hurricane Sandy

I think Monday was one of the worst nights I have ever had.
The power went on and off about 12 times, before finally cutting off at 3am completely,
Me my husband and my little guy were all cuddling unders tons of blankets in
 our bed trying to keep warm.
Hurricanes have never mattered much to me, I live in Cleveland, Ohio and I always thought we were safely nestled away from being too effected by storms like these.
But this storm was huge, and nasty and relentless.
I awoke at 3am and couldn't fall back to sleep with the howl of the wind, I stayed awake watching the
flashes from blown transformers as they exploded one by one.
I kept thinking "wow if it's this bad here, I can't imagine how bad it is on the east coast"
My heart just went out to those poor people.
We woke up to a cold, dark house, the little guy didn't really handle it well,
Neighbors tree down

apartment near us

We hopped in the car and decided to see if ANYONE had light, at least we would be warm.
We found that the city right near us did have sparse electricity in areas, and a Bob Evans was open.
We warmed up in there for about an hour and a half. Then headed back home,
we saw alot downed trees and flooding rivers on the way home, see roaring rushing waters like that just make you realize how powerful mother nature can get.
Eventually our lights returned as well as the heat, I obviously did not go to work because we had a downed tree in the yard, and I really didn't want to risk driving in the bad weather anyways.
Once the power went on, the little guy and I made cupcakes and spent the rest of the day laying around with my hubby :)
So ready to get back to normal.
Hope you are all safe

Monday, October 29, 2012

Among the living ( again)

Once again sickness took up by our pretty little ears and threw us across the room.
Just kidding....
But seriously, last week was brutal, beginning with a 2 am trip to the ER for My Little guy and ending the week with me being pretty sick with a flu/cold
Finally we are all feeling back to normal, ( hopefully for longer than like 2 days)
Since we all felt better this weekend, we decided to catch up on some much needed fall festivities.
We rounded up the little guy, picked up the mother in law in the car, and headed out to the country for farm market shopping, antique browsing and pumpkin picking :)
My two sweeties mugging for the camera outside of the Antique store

An Antique store
( that we are no doubt no longer welcome in thanks to the political fight my husband got into with the owner lol)
Oh well, their prices were too high anyhow!_

SO EXCITED to find himself a small pumpkin lol

.....still excited

I just love that smile!

Hope your weekend was grand!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Quick and Easy Chili

Fall means soup season and soup season means CHILI!!
Over the years I have tried making it several different ways, spicy, sour, sweet ect.
The recipe below is my own personal one that I have been partial to for awhile now.
I just love a house that smells like chili lol! It's oddly comforting to me, and reminds me of when I lived at home and my father would make it while the big football game was on.
Like most of my recipes, this one is adaptable, if your a vegetarian, just double the beans!
You can also slow cook it for hours.
(this batch was made in 1 hour including prep time)

Homemade Quick and Tasty Chili
1.25lb Ground Beef or Turkey
1 large bottle of V8 or (vegetable juice)
1 14oz can of tomato sauce
1 14oz can of black beans
1 14oz can of kidney beans
1 large onion
1 large green pepper
1/4 cup of Chili Powder
1 and 1/2 Tsp. of Cumin
1 tsp of Black Pepper
1/2 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (to taste)
1 Tbsp of white sugar

In a large pot, cook meat until no longer pink (drain if necessary)
Add onions and peppers, saute until soft.
Pour in V8, tomato sauce, beans, and BBQ sauce.
Add spices and sugar.
Let simmer for about an hour.
Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream.

I also cannot have Chili without cornbread, I CANNOT
(call it the southern girl in me)

Here is the recipe that I use for sweet cornbread

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
By the way, if you have trouble with corn bread sticking to cast iron
( if you are using cast iron, here is what you do):
Slip the pan into the 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes
when you take it out, melt butter in the bottom and around the sides,
then pour the batter in the pan, (It should sizzle)
this will give you cornbread with a crispy coating.

Garnish with LOTS'O'BUTTER!



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just us two

I had one vacation day left for the year ( small tear)
I decided to use yesterday to spend some quality time with my son.
We had breakfast, saw daddy off to work and headed down to French Creek Nature Preserve
for a beautiful fall hike.

After our walk, we decided that Ice Cream was in order
 ( Ice cream? Before lunch? at 11 am in the morning? Why not??!!")

This was inevitably what happened about and hour later lol
Such a great way to spend my last vacation day of the year :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kid Kraft: DIY Blues Clues Game

Overall, I don't really know how popular Blues Clues is anymore,
but my son is currently obsessed with it.
Given that, it is extremely hard to find any Blues Clues Merchandise anywhere.
And what I do manage to find is really over priced.
So I decided to make a Blues Clues game for my little guy.
I should warn you I don't have a Cricket paper cutter and I am not a scrap booker so I don't have all the fancy stuff to make an elaborate one. But with a little free hand drawing and some supplies from the dollar store, I think I did pretty well, (see i just KNEW four years of Art School would pay off! :)
Here are the supplies that you will need ( I got mine at Dollar Tree)
- Red spiral bound small notebook ( I couldn't believe I actually found one with red binding!)
- Index Cards
- Pack of foam sheets
-Markers ( different colors)
-Sharpie marker
-Craft glue
- Scissors
(Photo note) You will notice a blue stamp pad and round floral foam.
I didn't name these two supplies because I tried to create a "paw print" stamp with them,
and it failed'll have that lol...Just disregard those two items lol
What I did:
For the notebook, I cut out a green foam square and glued it to the front of the notebook.
Then with a black sharpie I free hand drew the "Thinking Chair", cut that out,
and glued it to the green square.
For the "Clues" i had intentions of making a "paw stamp" out of foam and floral foam, but lets just say it didn't work out :(
So I ended up drawing like 10 paws on index cards myself lol
I then cut them into little squares with my paper cutter.

And your DONE!!

Here is the end result!

How To Play:
There are so many different variations on how you can play this, you really need to just base it on how old your little one is.
We decided that the main object of the game would be to find out "what blue wants to do?"
what he wants to do is up to you as the parent. For example, I wanted my son to settle down and get ready for bed last night, so I had him stand in another room, while I put three clues out, one on his pillow on his bed, one on his toothbrush and one on his favorite book next to the bed.
Then I handed him the notebook and had walked around with him singing "we are looking for blues clues" when he saw a clue he would yell out, "a clue! A clue!" then put it down in his handy dandy notebook. When we got all three clues, we went and sat on the couch (our version of the thinking chair) and put the clues together.
He was super excited and couldn't wait to play...again and again and again.
When we were done, he had the notebook in his hand and said "mommy this is really cool! Thankyou mommy!" My heart just melted!!!! At the end of the day I'd say my job was done :)
I mean just LOOK at this face lol
I'd say he is pretty excited.

The best part is, this only cost like 5 bucks to make!! No KIDDING!!!
5 bucks and like 30 minutes!
xoxoxo Heather

Monday, October 15, 2012

Over the weekend......

Fall means the beginning of our busy season here in the Homan household,
Weekends are filled with pumpkin picking, long fall walks, fall festivals, trips to Amish Country
and lighting every cinnamon and pumpkin scented candle known to man kind.
I really love all the family time opportunities that the fall season lends.
the little man and I donned our handmade fox hats
and headed out with daddy to the Berea Fall Harvest Festival.
The little man got his share of candy, and seeing his little girlfriend Olivia.

Later that evening we had a dinner for my husbands hot rod club,
it was an annual fall dinner type of thing, the little man got to spend a good part
of the evening canoodling with his lady friend :)

Sunday nights are reserved for is the little man in his professional
bowling approach :) Just like his daddy, bowling is SERIOUS business in these parts!

Of course you can't have bowling without, fries, and the chance to use a hot pink ball
(they gave him a green one but he loves the pink ones.,......oh jeese don't tell his father)

A weekend full of spending time with my two favorite peoples :)
How was yours?

Friday, October 12, 2012

10 ways to have a great day

We have all been there, you either wake up in a funk or a few things over the course of the day send your day into a downward spiral of gloom and doom and before you know it, your sitting around wallowing in your own self pity. It happens,but fear not my dear, for I have ten ways to turn that frown upside down in no time! Try one, or if your day is REEEAALLY bad, try all of them and soon you'll be on your way to blissfulness in no time flat!
(photo courtesy of Tumblr)
1. Listen to good music:
I love music, it is a big big part of my life. Grab your Ipod and make a "pump it up" play list, fill it specifically with songs that put you in a great mood, if Im angry I like to put on some good girl angst like Neko Case or some of Tori Amos harder stuff, and scream it out at the top of my lungs.
or if I'm depressed I like inspiring music from Mary J Blige or Fiest. the options are endless!
2.  Force yourself to do things that need to be done:
I know this may sound counter intuitive, but hear me out. Say your at work and you have a bunch of papers to file or data to enter, or say your at home and the dishes need to be done or you need to start the laundry, clean the fridge ect. You obviously do not have the motivation to do things like this when your depressed. But that is exactly what you NEED to do. Get up and walk, Drag, FORCE yourself to get that stuff done asap. Why? because once it's done or once you at least start on it, the sooner you can do other things that would be more fun, an you will also feel LOADS better after getting tedious stuff off your to do list first, you'll feel like you at least accomplished SOMETHING, and that's bound to make anyone feel a little bit better.
3. Take a coffee break ( or two or three):
Coffee has this profound way of making me almost giddy, the worse my mood, the stronger stuff I drink. If you can't or don't drink coffee, I recommend any other hot beverage that you enjoy, I know some people REALLY love tea, I prefer hot cocoa as a good second option. Add all the fixings you love, Milk,Sugar,marshmallows, honey, whatever gives you that lift, this is NO TIME for boring plain old beverages, unless of course you like them that way.
4. Get up and move:
This is especially important if you work in an office environment. Sitting around sulking in your own self pity isn't going to get you very far on this journey my friend, get up go talk to a coworker, walk around the building, to the bathroom the candy machine ( HEY! Chocolate!) outside whatever just MOVE IT!!...Which brings me to number five....
5. Get Some Sun or Air:
OK I do realize that for some of us this is Darn near impossible
(Cleveland September through may anyone???)
But getting some outside air will also help, if the sun IS OUT where you are at, then all the better!

6. Eat Good Food: In the winter, when I feel less than awesome, I love a good hot bowl of soup. Especially Broccoli cheese soup, beer cheese soup, cheese melted down to form a soup....I'm not picky. In the summer I like a good frozen yogurt with some gummy bears. Point is to eat something that makes you feel good. try to keep it mostly notoriously sound though, eating a quarter pounder with cheese fries and a shake could just make your mood worse.
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7. Take a time out and read some inspiring blogs:
I know that some days when I am feeling down I love to read Kandee Johnson or Rockstar Diaries for a midday pick me up. They're outlook on life is so beautiful and their personalities so down to earth that they make you instantly feel like you've had a virtual hug. :) So seek out whatever sparks your interest, Family, make-up, nail polish, art ect, there are endless good blogs out there written by wonderful people, Dig in and feel inspired!
8. Clean:
Studies show mess and clutter can make you feel anxious, so clean it up baby! You don't have to go all out and dust scrubs floors, just tidy up and declutter.
9. Put on a little lipstick:
Personal fave right here! Lipstick brightens up your whole face and makes you FEEL and LOOK fantastic! if you're more of a gloss girl, then use gloss! You would be surprised at how much it lifts a bad frame of mind.
10. If all else fails, fake it!
Yup, just suck it up, slap a smile on your face and look happy, sometimes this can actually physcosematically work out. Your brain thinks "ok i'm smiling, must be for a good reason" and releases good feelings. Don;t belive me? Give it a try!
Here is hoping your bad day is a temporary one, remember tomorrow is a new day and that the sun will always shine again (unless you live in Cleveland)
See you Monday!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lip Love

Nothing can brighten up your face like a great lipstick in a poppy color,
During the colder months, when my skin tends to get a little duller,
I like to use a good highly pigmented color to really give my face some "pop"
The color below is one of my favorites by AVON,
I really love thier lipsticks,because they stay on your lips and don't end up all over your teeth.
They also happen to smell like fruit punch.....thats a bonus I think :)
Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick
This is a nice pinky red.

Pucker up!

See how it really "pops" up a complexion?
( for some reason it looks like my lips are lined in black, but rest assured they are not lined at all lo)l

Have a great day!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

....Most bloggers

When I started this blog, some years ago, I didn't really know what direction I wanted to take it in,
my cousin Ashley had started a blog and I  loved the idea of journal writing,and sharing happy moments of my existence has they happen.

Over the years, I have experimented with different things, different directions that I wanted to take this blog in, fashion, make-up,family ect.

But the fact is, as a busy mom,  I Just don't have the mental energy to devote to any one topic.
Heck, most of my thoughts are scattered anyhow, I can have an attention span of a fruit fly!

Sometimes I get down on myself, I see all these other blogs, all buttoned up and beautiful with gorgeous photos and perfectly posed bloggers.

Some of them are so stylish and trendy , frankly I wonder how some can even manage to breathe!

I love reading these blogs though, I consider them the "glossy magazines" of the blogging world.

But I don't have a fancy camera, I have an iPhone, an older one, that I usually have to clean some sort of unidentifiable kid smudge off of.

I don't have the latest and greatest clothes, I do alot of my shopping at Target.

I am crafty but don't have as much time as I would like to craft.

Then I read blogs like and realize that it's ok that I don't have the latest and greatest things, that i cannot portray this wonderful domestic life that I have, as super uber trendy bowl of cherries, complete with perfect outfits and stellar craft ideas.

I don't set out to make money off of this blog, I 'm just a girl who enjoys writing, fashion, makeup ,art music, food and doting on my awesome family.

I may write about these from time to time, I may one day develop weekly themed posts, but the fact is, there is so much more to me than that. I want  people to read my blog and feel good , I want to be
that little source of inspiration. I want people to know that it's ok to have a little blog about family and the things that you love, in case you don't know, this blog name is (joy of life)

And these are the little joys in my life, that I would like to share with you.I hope you enjoy :)

Also please do check out the blogs in my "good reads". They are all terrific pages "some glossy some not" by terrific women, some who work very hard at it, all the blogs I put on that list, are ones that I find a daily source of inspiration.

My name is Heather
It's nice to meet you!
Welcome to my life!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fox hats and glitter!

So I didn't get enough sleep last night (not unusual)
and I spilled coffee on my shirt this morning, thus leaving me with a coffee smelling left boob.
But hey all is not lost on this cold dreary Monday!
Because I have a fox hat from Julian Bean.
WHO is Julian Bean you may ask?
Julian Bean is a crochet shop run by my friend Erin, she is super talented in her craft and can make practically any animal hat that you desire.
 I thought this fox hat was SO cute,
 I bought one for me and my little guy!
Check her out here!

I also am sporting this super cool glitter nail polish, and hey who DOESN'T love glitter!?
I used 2 coats of Wet'N'Wild Wild Shine glitter polish over
Wet'N'Wild Speed Dry Polish in Black
and topped it off with Sally Hansen "Dries Instantly Topcoat"
All in all this manicure took me 10 minutes from start to finish, no kidding!
Wich is perfect for this busy momma!
Hope your Monday is spectacular! XOXOXOXO

Saturday, October 6, 2012

5 Things I love, Fall edition

Fall is here time for warm apple cider and cool evening by the bonfire!
Below are a few things I get really excited about this time of year:
Pumpkin Anything:
We can start off with the starbucks pumpkin spice latte, but honestly, I love ANYTHING Pumpkin
Creamer, coffee,smoothies, little pumpkin pies ect. I even have pumpkin lipbalm
......I think I have a problem.
Warm Drinks:
Whether it is my mothers Hot Toddy recipe, or homemade hot cocoa and occasionally even hot tea, im all over it in the fall months, there is nothing quite as comforting int he morning as a hot cup of something tasty.
I wish I could say that I liked hot cider, but I can't drink it, hav eyou ever scene Dumb and Dumber? The part where Jeff Daniels is in the bathroom? you know too much.
Glittery Decorations:
It starts up this time of year and continues through christmas, I love sparkly things, including glitter.
A couple of years ago my mother and I glittered a bunch of plastic gourds, I have been throwing glitter on things ever since, I have HUGE plans Christmas Glittery Reindeers, i will show you shen I start that project.
Nature Walks with my family:
We are very lucky to live aorund a massive parks system, Cleveland has a wealth of gorgeous streams and trails, and the fall is ther perfect time to take a brisk walk, put all the phones and computers away and just enjoy life.
Since I am going on my third year of being a mom,halloween has become one of my favorite holidays, I just love seeing my son get so excited MONTHS IN ADVANCE. This year he cam eup with his own costume. he loves blues clues and this year he wants to be a "Clue" like as in the blue paw print! He said "momma, ok, paint a blue  clue on a blue shirt, and I wear blue pants and i knock on the door and say "Hi I am a clue , give me candy please"
LOL hey for three years old to have figured that out on his own astounds me, so i will definitley be making him a "clue" costume this year lol......and he better share his candy lol

I could literally go on for days on why I love fall so much, but I said five reasons, and I will keep it at that, what are your favorite things to do in the fall?

Friday, October 5, 2012


Hello again , here I am back from the land of sick.
It started with a stuffy nose....the little man then had a sore throat.
Then a full blown cold.....
Then I got the cold of course.....
Then we were on our way to getting better....
For like a half a week....
Then the little man got Re-SICK with a bigger badder cold.....
and then to top off all the fun....just as my son was getting better.....
I come down with.......a bladder infection...a bad one a REAL bad one that required two weeks
of strong antibiotics and a whole other host of side effects.
Phew.....I mean really????
So now, here we are, finally feeling among the living...and let me tell you, it's fabulous!!!
And look at that....It's Fall!
One of my favorite times of the year!
So hang in there, I have plenty to share and s few fun things lined up as well.:)