Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Friends!  Well where do I begin things have been completely crazy around here. Between Joe working 10-15 hour days and the kids starting tumbling, soccer and cooking class!  YES, cooking class!  I’m all over the board these days not sure if I’m coming or going and as they say this is just the beginning for my journey of chasing from sport to sport!  I actually enjoy seeing them at these activities the timing isn’t always convenient (right at dinner) but we are figuring out these minor details!

Let’s quick chat about Joe as I haven’t really seen him in a few weeks as he’s been jumping between jobs like a mad man!  If you remember he did a salon last year.  This year they asked him to do their new bathroom.  So this meant late nights which would be fine if that was all he was doing…LOL not my husband still up and out around 630am and off to a residence then heading to the salon in the evenings until between midnight and 2am!  Then back at it the next day, I’m not sure how he did this for a day let alone three.  Then it was on to getting a home up to speed and finishing up another home and another fireplace as well as completing a outdoor spa.  So the long days continued but not until 2am closer to 11pm.  His final big project he is working feverishly to finish up is a home’s fireplace.  Joe was asked to look at this fireplace as the homeowners thought the original mason’s may have as they put it “put too much sand in the mortar mix”.  Joe went to the residence having no idea what he was getting in to.  After sharing three videos of homes that ranged from theirs 8 years old, to a 30 plus year old home and a three month old homes mortar and seeing within seconds of gently scratching the joints with his chisel it was crumbling off Joe knew this was more than a too much sand in the mortar issue.  This was a safety issue the fireplace was not structurally sound.  As he showed the owners the other two homes which took much more time to even get a small amount of mortar to come off from the joints.  They were as expected disgusted but wanted to have it done right.  This was poor masonry at it’s finest.  Joe had to make a decision if this was a job he was willing to take on.  As there is risk setting up scaffolding and beginning to remove stone what if the wall crumbles taking down his scaffolding and those on it.  Joe also felt terrible for these homeowners that someone would provide such poor craftsmanship.  As you might have been able to tell by past post’s Joe is VERY passionate about stone and the craft of masonry.  He wanted to fix it for them.  A few things that also went along with it.  They had a three week window as they were hosting a party at their home.  But within that three weeks they have to also live at the residence first and foremost, next they have to still replace carpeting, deep clean and have the house ready for this event.  So really Joe had two weeks to tear the entire inside fireplace down which is 22 feet tall using care as they wanted to use the same stone to re-do it, fix any issues within the fireplace, then put all the stones back up the right way.  As the saying goes when it rains it pours!  Once they got into the it they discovered a few problems…the hearth was pretty much set on a pile of sand!  Yes, as to concrete placement the amount of sand used under the hearth was so much that the concrete literally crumbled at the touch.  The stones when tapped with the chisel had all mortar drop off them; which I will say made the cleaning of them much quicker than expected! Then for the final NO WAY when the gentleman came to check the gas line he revealed that the line wasn’t put in properly and had been leaking!  Joe said in his career he has never seen a fireplace like this.  He plans to have the inside done by Sunday leaving the homeowners two weeks to get the inside back in order.  Then next week he will move to the outside which is 40 feet tall.  Who knows what this will bring as it has faced the elements of the midwest.  So, Yes Joe has been busy as everyone has a deadline and these one’s all happen to be within a week of each other.  If anyone has discovered how to re-create a person so they can do their exact talent please let me know as I need three Joe’s right about now!

Back to the kids and I!  S & K started playing soccer which S has always had a thing for the sport since I can remember we have been saying she will be a soccer player.  K well he’s getting there.  He’s enjoying running around and learning.  He was so nervous the first day saying “Mom it’s just practice not a game, right?” He was very concerned about this.  So each week I make sure to say we are heading to practice so we can get better and some day play a game!  Last week he said “I think I will stay in the car and watch a movie, I don’t want to play”.  I said “OK” we arrived and he got out sat down and ate an apple and drank water.  As soon as he heard the coaches whistle he jumped up and said “I have to go the whistle blew!”  It made me so happy as I don’t ever want to pressure my kids to do anything especially sports.  When I was a kid my parents didn’t and I tried stuff I stuck with what I felt I was good at and they supported me.  I think sometimes parents get wrapped up too much themselves and forget it’s not about them it’s about the kids.  Anyway, he’s getting the hang of it and last week one of his classmates was there which he thought was very cool!  So now he’s excited for this weeks practice.  S also started tumbling which we are on week two and I’m not just saying this because she’s my daughter but I can definitely see improvement.  She practiced everything she learned from week one to week two and I think that helped.  She so very excited as all she wants to be able to do is a cartwheel!  I’m thinking we will get there but the coach works a lot on form and being a disciplined gymnast.  Which I think is great as it’s a very easy sport to get hurt in.  I also think S loves the cute outfits!!  K will start cooking class tomorrow which he is sooo excited for!  He loves to bake and cook with me and when I saw that our local YMCA was offering this I had to sign him up.  He’s been talking about it for weeks so I will let you know what my little chef whip’s up!

Other than all this which after I read it I guess maybe it’s not that much.  It’s more the kinks of figuring out when to feed the kids dinner on sports nights as of course they are or when to keep the kids up late to visit with Joe.  As that is one thing we have gotten back on schedule with.  BEDTIME!  Joe almost always let’s them stay up later than I so since he has been working late bedtime is back to 7:30/7:45 and you know what they pass out in minutes and stay asleep until 7 the next morning unless of course S hears Joe then she sneaks down to have breakfast with him!  Or like last week we surprised them by getting up and all going out to breakfast together.  It’s the little things that matter and you really realize that when schedules in life get crazy.  I wish you and yours an amazing evening and we will talk soon!  Cheers


One Grandma, Two Grandma’s, Three Grandma’s OH MY!

Hello All!  I hope your week has been great!  It’s been busy over here as the weather changes we are so happy to be finding ourselves outside ALOT!  Plus the kids started some sports this past week so life of doing as we please is now turned to doing as the coaches schedule!!  We will talk on that soon!  Last week we had quite the busy couple days with visits from all grandma’s!  S & K are super lucky to have not just two grandma’s but three!  As I’ve mentioned in the past Joe is adopted and his adoptive parents always allowed a relationship with his birth mom.  His birth mom lives about 3 1/2 hours away so not too far but her and her husband are crazy busy at a youth camp that they are the caregivers at so we see them usually twice per year.  Joe’s other mom and husband have been snow birds until just a few weeks ago!  Now we get to have them here about 6 hours away from us full time!  We see them a bit more.  Then of course my parents are 30 minutes away and they probably see us more than they want and my  mom comes up a couple times a week!  Last week just happened to work out that we saw all three!!!  The kids were ecstatic first up was Grandma Gail and New Papa!

They sold their home in Sunny Florida to live full time in the North Woods!  Their home sold much quicker than they had anticipated…1 DAY!  So, moving up happened a bit sooner than they planned so on their way up we were able to see them.  We did dinner at one of the kids favorite restaurants as there is a game area.  Grandma and Papa always come with a roll of quarters to play!  Air hockey is one of the games they all play against each other.  Papa and Grandma get quite competitive when it is their turn to play one another!  I love the seriousness when they play.  We also decided to celebrate Mother’s Day with her as we won’t see her on the day!  I decided to do flowers and a picture we had taken of Joe and the kids!  You might be thinking flowers WOW Amanda how creative of you!  LOL!  But these weren’t your everyday die in a week flowers.  We made hand painted bottles and construction paper flowers!  So these can go on a dresser or shelf to enjoy all year!  No water needed!  Sid also wanted to give Grandma Gail the previous project I shared with the egg carton flowers and pipe cleaners.  The visit was great and we are so very excited to have Joe’s parents back in the same state all year!  We look forward to heading up this summer for a vacation!!

Next up was spending the day with my mom!  You might be thinking you spend many days with your mom!  You are absolutely correct and we will spend Mother’s Day with her and her gift isn’t yet complete so when it is I will share.  We just enjoyed a beautiful day at the forest preserve hiking just under four miles.  Again, we weren’t celebrating anything it was just enjoying the day with another Grandma and Papa that we love!


Lastly, Joe’s other mom (birth mom) Anne and her husband Brian were able to get away from the camp they are at for a few days.  Our house was the first stop on their trip down!  This was great as last time they visited was last 4th of July and that day is always crazy so I didn’t get to talk to them too much.  The day was beautiful so we had the sprinkler set up and the kids played in that with Grandma doing quick runs through with them!  They also enjoyed ALOT of time on the trampoline with both of them!  I made those fantastic skinny lasagna roll ups with salad and garlic bread.  It was great to sit and talk with Brian as I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to talk to just him.  Getting to know each other a bit better while Granny Annie enjoyed her time with the kids!  S had her doing everything from playing dolls, to watching her moves on the rings on play-set to flying with her down the slide.  They also discovered we have the start of a birds nest in the play-set!  The evening ended with Joe making it home to spend a little bit with them before they headed to their next stop on their trip!  We also gave Granny Annie her flowers and picture which she loved!

Overall, it was a busy couple of days but those are the best as a lot of new memories were made and as the kids get bigger they are remembering these moments.  I’m trying to be sure to get pictures as they are happening as they are so very important to all of us!

I hope you have a great Monday and we will meet back here again soon!  Cheers!

It’s All About the Herbs

Good Morning Everyone!  Ok so my  mom and I made some cute herb boxes out of old sewing machine drawers!  My mom had about six of them that she had collected at random locations for various prices.  We used Waverly chalk paint maize and then my mom created her own green shade using plaster and a shade of green craft paint for the boxes.  We used plaster for the words and handles!

We did very little to them prior except cleaning them off and maybe a little sanding on edges.  We applied two coats of paint letting dry for just a bit in between.  After final coat we let dry for about half an hour then we used our stencils to place “HERBS” on one side.   Using sandpaper with a grit of 220 we roughed them up a bit.  This is typically our go to grit level as a side note!  Put handles back in place and viola we have a great 3 large mason jar herb box for our kitchen!  With gardening season quickly approaching these are a great project to do today!

Until next time have a great Monday!  Cheers!

These great boxes are also for sale via etsy at


It’s all about the Sign!

Hello Friends!  So I’ve been back at getting creative over the past few weeks from birthday cakes to wood signs!  I know that’s quite the spectrum!  But that’s me, I have a hard time sticking to just one creative link so working with creating a special cake for a celebration to roughing up some new letters to team them up with my old pallet piece let’s me cover all ground!  Heck now that I’m thinking of it this is quite honestly besides the kids being out of school what has had me away from you all for the past week.  Not a great excuse but its the truth!  Let’s start with my kitchen creations!

It’s been a frenzy of cakes over here.  Ok maybe not to a bakery but to just little old me it has been!  As I’m still learning and challenging myself at dimensional cakes.  I had a request for an owl cake as well as a butterflies and flower cake.  The Owl cake I was particularly excited about as I LOVE owls.  And pigs specifically flying and miniature but I’m not sure I will get a cake request for this.  So I was really excited to do an owl cake.  I wasn’t given much direction except the girl it was for loves owls of all colors so do as I wanted.  This for me is good and bad as I am a perfectionist as well as a bit indecisive.  So when told to do as I want it becomes a struggle within.  I ran with it and decided to go bright as Spring was in the air and she was a teenager.  I again made this one with half chocolate cake as well as white cake.  Vanilla frosting was what I crumbed and layered the cake with.  I made homemade marshmallow fondant for all parts covering the cake.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!


I then had a friend’s little one turning 2 this past weekend!  I asked if I could do her little cuties cake.  She was thrilled with the offer and has provided many thanks.  For me it was a pleasure as it again gave me an opportunity to perfect my craft and do a different cake.  I don’t know what I will do when someone asks me to do a second of one I’ve already done!! Anyway, her party was butterflies and flowers.  We shared a few ideas via pinterest but ultimately her and her husband said to use my creativeness and do as I wanted.  I decided to go with softer colors due to her age and the vibe of their family!  Don’t get me wrong bright colors totally suit them but I was feeling soft, cool colors for this particular event.  Cake and fondant the same which now that I’m saying it next cake I’m going to do a change up if it’s my choice!  I think I do a combo as then there’s something for everyone.  This one for me came out simply and pretty and felt just right for Ms. Elle’s 2nd birthday celebration!

Now let’s chat about some wood things!  Ya that was a jump so stay with me as mentioned earlier I can’t stay focused on one activity too long I get bored!!!  So mom came over last week with a great sign for my kitchen.  Having a husband in the stone business we have access to many pallets.  Like I have two still needing to be taken apart on my back deck and 9 boards drying out on my back deck table and I’m looking at my burn pit where he just unloaded oh six more pallets!  He tells me he is getting some heavy duty wide pallets next week which he will save for mom and I!  Can’t wait!! Anyway, I had dad cut some of the boards down as they were splitting in sections but majority of them were still totally useable.  Mom white washed them and picked up some wood letters.   She created these GROCERY signs for her and I!  I during my closet clean out found SIDNEE in wood letters which I bought before she was born but never did anything with so I painted them and created a sign for her room!  Now we are on a sign spree we have created a few different ones.  ENJOY, EAT, LAUNDRY and we are planning to sell them on our Etsy store (SidsShoppe)!  We will offer custom colors and words/names as well!  Let us know what you think and please if interested place an order via our Etsy shop.  We should have all signs added in the next day!


Now wood blocks are up for discussion!  Before sharing I have to briefly mention how much I adore patriotic decorations.  First because they are a way to thank our current and past soldiers for all they do and also how proud I am to live in America.  But on a decorators love level its purely because I can show my love from May until September!  I mean how many decorations do you have that go up for a month and then you are rushing to put them back in storage and pull out another tote for the next month!  So Americana decorations are all around a win-win in my book!  OK on to the project!  Mom and I wanted to create something we, her, me, you, I could put out and wouldn’t take over any space but was a pop of Americana that fit any room.  So mom found a similar project as we did and had dad running to the hardware store for 2×4’s!  Dad cut them to our desired size and mom got to painting.  I can’t take any credit for these except for the mere fact that I agreed they were perfect for the occasion and was there working on another project when she was painting the blocks!  So kuddos to mom on these they turned out fantastic!  We are selling these via our Etsy Shop as well (SidsShoppe)!


Last is a sweet little wood rocking chair I did for a friend’s daughter.  The little one I did her birthday cake was over a few weeks back and loved the kids rocking chair.  It happened to be mine when I was little!  Her mom mentioned I will need to keep a look out for one as she sat in it quite a bit during their visit.  Well I was out resale shopping and found this chair and new I had to get it and rehab it for a birthday gift.  I ended up sanding it not a ton and had to remove a thin wood piece that was in bad shape off the seat.  With weather all over the board lately I had a couple nice days so decided I would use my spray chalk paint on it.  I sealed it with clear chalk paint spray sealer as well.  For the flowers and name I did the same method I did on a previous wood sign using chalk and a pencil to trace and then painted.  Her bedroom is violet and with the birthday theme butterflies and flowers I thought the flower touch would be cute!  Mom helped me whip up a pocket pillow as we know things can get messy and wanted her mom to be able to wash it.  So here you have my completed rocker.


Well I am off to do another project with mom…herb containers for our kitchens!  Look forward to sharing the project in the next few days!  Cheers

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello All!  I hope you are doing great!  Last week flew past me and here I am realizing I haven’t checked in.  My apologies the kids had spring break last week.  Needless to say it was an eventful week!  Since we weren’t able head on our trip to Florida I decided we needed to do some day trips throughout the week.  The weather was not Florida and it rained most of the week but we did see some sunshine.  The Easter bunny stopped by too since we last talked.  Let’s start there…

As I planned for Easter I had S daily sharing items that were on her “list” and then I had K who has just taken to “the list” but still rarely shares anything he would like.  S’s list is enough for four of them so I think he just thinks she has him covered!  Reminding her Easter isn’t Christmas and many times you get a basket with a few eggs filled with candy. She ignored these warnings!  She IS my daughter!  Anyway, I decided I would do my best to work my magic and have a fun, budget friendly holiday.  So off to Goodwill I went…yes that’s right Goodwill!  I have found our Goodwill has a plethora of toys, furniture, and clothing many times with tags on them!  I have went to others and have yet to find one so great!  Anyway, I ended up getting S two Littlest Pet Shop houses with four new pets in brand new condition.  I mention clothing with tags as I didn’t get any new clothes for Easter but I did however get almost her entire wardrobe for our vacation there and all had tags on them.  I bought K Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle van with two guys there as well.  For K’s birthday I had over bought by a few items so I had these that I used for Easter.  I also bought them each a few ugly puppies and shopkins to go in their actual basket.  As far as candy goes they each got an Easter gum and cute container of smarties.  So to the reason I’m telling you all this!  I am ecstatic to report that in total I spent $18 on S and $20 on K.  You heard that correct $20 and under on a holiday!  I thought this was pretty darn good!  S and K were very satisfied with what the bunny hopped in with and that’s what matters.  “The List” seemed to go out the window as I didn’t hear anything about what they didn’t get only how happy they were with what they did.  I hope you and yours had a great day as well!

On to Spring Break it is!  When we decided going on vacation wasn’t going to happen I called my mom and asked if she wanted to go on some day trips with the kids and I.  She was in as dad is patching and painting the entire upstairs of their house.  Always best to find something out of the house when dad is painting!  First on the agenda was going to a zoo!  We are fortunate that an hour away we have a free zoo.  It’s a smaller zoo but it is absolutely perfect when you have younger kids.  We went two years ago and knew they had added an arctic exhibit so we knew there would something we hadn’t seen.  We arrived and the kids didn’t even remember going there before so it was perfect!  I will say when we arrived everyone else had the same idea as we had to park three blocks away.  But the day was truly the most beautiful day of the week so a little walk was just fine.  Again, it’s FREE!  I had our packed cooler as they have areas you can eat your own or buy theirs.  Again, another win in my book!  After the zoo we have made it tradition to go to a very cool, eclectic ice cream shoppe!  They have a carousel ride that the kids love!


We also made our way to a museum in Milwaukee called the Betty Brinn Museum.  It’s a great place for kids.  We took the kids there a few years ago but again they had no memory. It was crummy outside so it was the perfect day to do something indoors.  You here too can bring your own lunch!  Admission was nothing too crazy either at $8 each.  The place was crazy busy but there are so many areas including a grocery store (Lisenby Favorite), post office, pizza parlor, auto body shop, & construction site to name a few.  My only recommendation is if you bring your stroller plan to park it by the coat racks.  I had mine as it had our cooler and coats in it.  If you can get away without I recommend doing so.  As initially I started to go in with it and thought I was going to have an anxiety attack with the swarm of people I was going to try and push through.  Other than this which is no fault of the museum heck to me it means they are doing something right.  As it was just as busy when we went a few years ago not during spring break!  They have really thought of everything here and I could tell they had added a few things for the older kids to do like a news station where you can go in front of the green screen and broadcast and someone video’s as well as some cool coaster style game where the kids have to get the coaster from point A to B.  I thought this was great as so many families have older siblings!  If you have an opportunity I definitely recommend taking the kiddos here!

Lastly we went to our local gymnastics center for open gym.  Again, not a crazy expensive event at $5 per child.  S is so excited as she starts tumbling in two weeks so this was perfect for her.  K on the other hand quietly asked me “mom do boys do this?”  I said “yes!” he was then all about it!  What kid doesn’t love springing into a pit of foam blocks or swinging by a rope?!  Or bouncing on an in ground trampoline and balancing on a beam?!  We had a lot of fun…I had to sneak in a few bounces I must admit!!

So there you have it the Lisenby Spring Break at home!  We had a great week together!  I hope you and my family followers had a great break wherever you were and whatever you did!  We will talk soon as I have recipes and cakes I created to share!!! Until then Cheers!