Thursday, March 31, 2011

Messy Made

First things first - the promised before and after of my end table. Though, silly me, I didn't much take into consideration how IN THE WAY the couch actually is... *headwall* Geez.



Second thing, THIS GLORIOUS MESS!!!! I got the recipe from this brilliant blog and immediatly thought "Wow! How yummy!"

Well, it IS yummy, no doubt. But, it didn't come out all pretty so I could cut it up and take nice pictures. It did come out so addicting that I keep shoving a spoon into it, dipping up large gobs, and stuffing them in my face. Yaum, yaum, yaum, yaum, yaum!!!!

Third is tonight's dessert.

It was an accident, but an accident that turned out well. It all started when I wanted pie. It didn't matter what kind of pie, I just wanted pie. Yum, right? So I settled on pumpkin pie when that was pretty much the only pie I had all the ingredients on hand for. Or so I thought.

I was missing evaporated milk. Boo. But I had sweetened condensed milk. So...

Not-Quite-Libby's Pumpkin Pie Revisted:

1 - 15oz can Libby's Pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 C crushed walnuts
1 chopped apple
2 eggs

Mix it all up, throw it on top of a pie crust (I made mine for the first time every tonight!), and bake @ 425* for 15 minutes before dropping the temp to 350* for an additional 45 minutes!


& finally, we have dinner. :D

Bacon Chicken Pot Pie. Oh. Yeah.

I made the pie crust. (This one, too!) I baked the chicken, wrapped all snuggled up with bacon, then diced it. I chopped up carrots and boiled them for a while to soften them up. Then threw them over onto the chicken and added some chopped celery and a few green beans.

On the stove I melted some butter, tossed in a handful of diced onion and cooked up a quick roux with the addition of flour, salt, poultry seasoning, thyme, chicken broth, and milk. I tossed it with the chicken and veggies and poured it into my crust. A second crust to top it off, throw it into the over, and just under an hour later, dinner was hot, moist, flavorful, and GOOD!

*happy dance!!!*

So that's another goal off my list, dinner for the family, dough for tomorrow's cookies (hence no picture), and two desserts - which I hadn't exactly planned on, but sure don't mind! Overall, today goes into the success category.

I've no clue what I'll do with myself tomorrow. Make cookies. But other than that...

I'm sure I'll let you know ;)

Hold the Press!

What, what?! A day time posting?! Why, yes. I'm breaking out of my shell. *crack crack tap tap*

In fact, I'm hoping for two posts today. This one here to make up for noting posting last night (I know you lot were awash with tears, as was I, but the damnable Internet bested me once more), and one tonight to cover the few things I'm aiming to accomplish today.

First of all, another transformation from my Salvation Army treasures. This little ditty came to me in the form of a beat up, particly molded piece of vintage art. Unfortunately, the art part of the whole kit and kaboodle was also the molded part. So it went happily into the trash to continue to grow its fuzzy brown bits and pieces from now until... whenever.

The frame and backing, however, got the Special Treatment. A bit of sanding down, polishing up, a few layers of spray paint, another round of sanding and - most importantly - a bath in "Chalkboard Spray Paint". Yes, my friends, you read it right. Not only have they turned chalkboards into a convenient can of paint you can pick up from the local Wal Mart, but you can now get it in a SPRAY CAN for just under $4. Hot Diggory Damn! (Hello, Harry Potter reference!)

The end result (with the addition of some floral bobs) was this::

& I'm In. Love! :D I positively BEAM every time I look at this chalkboard and that little picture there below it. (Another Salvation Army rescue, 99 cents - wooty woot!!!)

Shifting gears a bit, I felt just like Sandra Lee last night when I made dinner. I saw her show for the first time yesterday morning and was inspired. She annoys me a bit, with her constant chipper and upbeat attitude (really, who's that happy at all times - even if "all times" is only long enough for a thirty minute television show), but her ideas are both reasonably for the common household and inspired by real life pantries - or so it seems.

Besides, she hit on my weakness and made 72 cupcakes of 3 different flavors all from one box of cake mix. *jaw drops* Indeed, I was left impressed, Polyanna attitude aside.

In fact, she sent me to my own pantry to root about to find the center piece of my dinner meal. I already knew I was going to do Japanese-style zucchini (which I misspelled yesterday *le sigh* spelling tends to dominate me like a Mistress wearing skin tight leather from head to toe whilst wielding and constantly cracking a long and tethered whip), but I had no main course.

Wa-lah! and Hello, cans of condensed soup! The end results look a bit like goo, but I promise the taste is both worthy of the twenty minutes of prep-time required AND it allows room for personal taste preferences to shine through.

Chinese Chicken Casserole::

1 lb chicken, cooked & cubed
--- I tend to boil mine in a bit of chicken broth and seasoning to act as an addition flavor element
1 can each of:
-- cream of mushroom soup
-- cream of chicken soup
-- cream of celery soup
1/4 C sour cream
1 jar of mushrooms OR 1 lb of mushrooms, cooked down and/or sauteed
1 jar of water chestnuts
1/2 C chopped celery
1 C Chinese noodles (the hard ones that come in either a jar or bag)
seasonings!! (whatever stricks your fancy)

Mix 'em all together, stick them in the oven @ 325* for about 30-35 minutes and you have dinner!
I often use shrimp in place of the chicken, which I think really plays more to the "Chinese" flavoring within the title a lot more than the chicken does - in fact, when I use chicken, I tend to end up with a casserole that's a bit more 'Southern Comfort' than anything resembling Chinese. Still good, but totally wrong according to every map I've ever looked over.

Oh! & side note - that pretty tray there, all shining and looking gorgeous? 60 cents from the Salvation Army, same trip as my other treasures. I'm infatuated with that dinky collection of wooden pieces. As such, I can't decide where I want it or what I want to do with it, so for now, it's hanging out on my table, being used to showcase dinner whenever I remember to take pictures. :D

Tonight I'll have pictures of my end table, in place and being fully functional. (Turns out more than one day is best to let paint dry - who knew?! Thank, Google!) Also, I'm dreaming of bacon-chicken pot pie for dinner, with homemade crusts and everything. AND, just in case that wasn't enough, I'll be making my weekly chocolate chip cookies with... the s'mores bars on my goals list!

Now to get up and get busy... ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Ick Blahs

Have struck my house! Today allll of my many, many plans to go forth and create were smashed to smitherines at the early hour of seven... in the morning... before my eyelids should even have to contemplate cracking open.

Nevertheless, that was the time and my poor, darling daughter paid for the crime. "Mommy I'm cold all over, I have the sniffles, the sneezels, and coughels, and my head is hoooooot!"

Yay. Hello, illness, please, do come in and spread your evil ways about.

Suffice it to say, very little was accomplished today. I managed to finish up my chalkboard (pictures tomorrow, as the ick blahs are tickling my ribs today as well), which came out quite cute, if I do say so myself. I stained the small serving tray that I paid mere pennies for. (Erm, pennies, a few quarters, and perhaps a dime or two - but less than a dollar!!) However, I've yet to decide what I'm actually going to do with said tray.

Also, I started all the bits and pieces for a hanging mobil that I have high hopes for. Every time I look at it, I look back at my pile of bits and pieces and think "what the hell have I been doing to have so little when I need so much?!" and yet the answer never presents itself. I swear I'm not just twiddling my thumbs over here!

Oh! And I began my first attempt at toliet paper art. Or something like it. It's pretty straight forward, although I'm too impatient to take care with size and shape. Right now it's all hodgepodge so here's hoping glue and spray paint create miracles, yeah? Yeah.

Tomorrow's dinner is beginning to take shape in my mind. Some sort of chicken, japanese zuccini, rice, and salad. I suppose I should carry the oriental theme over to the chicken as well, but inspiration has yet to hit. There's still a large number of hours to go so I'm not yet worried.

And to keep things short and sweet, I shall cut my ramblings here. I do believe my darling dearest shared a bit of the cold she "catched" ("Well, why didn't you let it go?!) and it's making my head wonkier than usual - something that's considerably hard to do.

I bid thee farewell and protection for you and yours from the Ick Blahs!!! *waves magic wand*

Monday, March 28, 2011


Hells yeah, that's right. I'm now stealing tag lines from overly enthusiastic Kung Fu Panda Bears. Why, you might ask. Well, that would be because today I ROCKED IT!!!

Rocked what? The master dream of my dream scheming, that's what. Well, okay, it's not quite THAT amazing, but it's pretty damn close.

Let's back up and start at the beginning of the day. Got up, got the kids up (how unusual is that), got them shipped off to school and picked up my Gramma. We headed to Wal Mart and Food Lion to stock up for the week. Yay, food!

Then I ran a few other errands and stopped by... the Salvation Army. Can you say jack pot? I can. I did. In fact, I straight up did a happy dance in the middle of the store, which half of the other people shopping there stopped to watch. Blushing furiously, I giggled nervously and launched into my ultimate social gaffee cover up: I babbled.

I'm not sure who was more relived when I ran out the store doors and into the snow (yes! snow!) with my many treasures. I didn't stop blushing for nearly a full hour so I reward myself with being the more relived, this visit anyway.

Kids were picked up, fed, and presented with a new movie (only cost a dollar!) and old coloring books, which kept them occupied long enough for me to pull a Golem as I reverently looked over my earlier findings. Sweet, sweet success.

Everything - everything - cost me only $17 flat and from today's digging I found enough odds and ends to add splashes of flavor around my house, create at least six different crafts, and, drum roll please, allow me the Great Re-do.

For only $6 I found this tiny, dilapidated, felt-like-it-was-going-to-fall-apart-when-you-so-much-as-touched it end table. Perfect.

For years now I've wanted to repurpose a piece of furniture. This little end table, with its wobbly legs and scratched up paint job, simply screamed "DO ME".

And so I did.

(Before on the left, After on the right!)

I picked out colors that matched my living room, since I wanted to use the end table at the end of the couch. Currently, I'm using a TV tray as an end table. It matches the rest of the furniture in the room and has a nice amount of space on its top. But... it's a TV tray. So, out with the old and in with the new!

And no more wobbles!!! I actually fixed the table, too! I cannot tell you how many happy dances I've done since this afternoon. My cheeks actually hurt from all the smiling. Tomorrow I'll switch the end tables out and I'm sure I'll take another picture to show off this table in its proper place. I can't wait, but I'm making myself do just that. Mostly because I don't want my lamp to be "glued" to the table with damp paint. It always looks dry... even when it isn't. Tricky, tricky.

Also, while waiting for paint to dry, I took a picture frame (99 cents!) and painted it white before sanding it down to give it a 'distressed' look which I adore. A quick printed picture and two pieces of folded tissue paper. Ta-da! Instant spring!

This birdhouse also spoke to me, thanks to a recent conversation with my dad about the work we're going to be doing to our backyard soon (more later - SO excited about it!) and it's price tag of 99 cents. Again, Woot freakin' Woot!!!

I've got a few other things going on which I'll photo tomorrow. Plus, if all goes well, I'll actually get out into the yard for a bit. I REALLY want to work on the landscaping (front yard, not back). My fingers are crossed!!

Backtracking now, I visited and browsed Bakerella's website and found these adorable Mini Maple Pancake Muffins, which I made for dinner Sunday night. They were so freakin' CUTE and everyone ate them up!!! I walked away to get my camera and came back to find only these few pancake muffins left... out of 24! Craaaazy!!! :D

Also this weekend I found the most perfect little "trick" to play on my family on Friday. It's more of a clever way to serve dinner than it is a trick, but I'm pretty excited about it nonetheless. I'll share, as always, once I've pulled it off - assuming I can. ;)

I can't pick out just one moment from today and say it was the best moment of the day. Today was pretty excellent nearly all the way around. This morning, while it was snowing, everyone that I ran into was nice and sweet and while it wasn't THAT unusual, to see so many happy people during a mostly crappy day -- it was very enjoyable. Even my Gramma noticed.

And then, you know the old saying, One man's trash is another man's treasure. Aye, matey!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two Days Down

I simultaneously loath and love the weekends. As much as I like to spend time with my family, we tend to get in each other's way quite often.

This weekend, however, was unlike most others. Saturday was rather brilliant. What began as a cloud covered, sleepy day became a quick paced shopping spree through a neighboring town. While nearly equally as old, the town I live in has very few "quaint" locations as its near-by counterparts. A twenty minute drive took my mom, my girls, and myself to a road lined with locally owned stores - most of which boast antiques or second hand shops aka HEAVEN!!!

The girls were wonderfully, amazingly, astoundingly well behaved. For their efforts they were rewarded throughout the day with small favors - a fifty cent trinket from a vending machine, a tiny plastic ring from a generous shop owner, and a shared milk shake from a local hangout. They were in heaven, I wasn't stressed out, and the understated use of bribes didn't disturb me in the least. As far as I'm concerned, it's give and take - a tried and true fashion of existence. :)

We headed home late in the day after walking wide sidewalks, one store to the next, whilst a nippy wind bit at our fingers and toes. Dear Spring, where hath thou gone? Do hurry back, I miss thee already.

Dinner was simple and straight from the cabinets. A quick ham and mushroom alfredo filled everyone's bellies and warmed us up from the inside out - always a good place to start when wanting to get warm!

The evening ended with only the girls and I at home - we snuggled up on the couch together with the puppy and watched How to Train Your Dragon before crashing into the land of sleep. It was a REALLY cute movie and a nice way to spend a Saturday night.

Today was nice enough to lend me a sore throat and laziness in my bones that left me feeling as gray as the world outside my windows. So I stayed pretty much in one place (gasp!) doing not much of anything... other than surfing the web!!

My to-do wish list now has almost 100 tasks to tackle and I'm thinking that my "cleaning" goals will have to give way to twice as many 'craft' or 'create' goals! Perhaps... yes, well, those ideas will surface all in good time.

Tomorrow awaits me with shopping lists, preschool for the kids, and a small army of "i hope to do's" concerning the yard and how it looks. We have this HUGE decorative section in the front yard that just isn't that decorated. I've gotten the green light from The Man to change that. So far I'm picturing a steel tub, seeds, flower pots, and spray paint. Here's hoping!

& just so I don't have another post with no pictures...
(though this picture is not my own...)

The splendor of the rose and the whitness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its lovliness.
-Therese of Lisieux

Friday, March 25, 2011

With a Bang!

Pictures! Yay!

This is the view from the tree outside my window. It makes me smile so I thought I would share. :)

Today I woke up, determined to be crafty so I pulled out the collection of ribbons I had bought, some string, and a few other odds and ends and got down to it. A few steps, fourty minutes, and a happy dance later... I had hair bows!!!

My girls are at least half as excited as I am - and that's only because, for a first try, I'm mighty damn proud. :D *does another happy dance for good measure*

Once I had my craftiness out, I headed for the kitchen to bake up the cookies from the dough I made yesterday. They came out GIANT, but tasted sooo yummy! I let the girls try a bit of each kind (chocolate chip & new old fashioned snickerdoodle) and kiddo #2 took a bite of the snickerdoodle proclaiming, "Mmmm! These are even better than the chocolate chip!"

Which, all things considered, is awesome. Those things considered would be that I half created the recipe. *Woot!*

Cookies baked, cooled, and wrapped, I started on dinner! This time I completely created a recipe! I made dessert first (start with the yummiest) and had a good time with it. :D

To make Cherry Apple Cobbler you...

1. Melt one stick of butter in the bottom of a 9x9 inch pan
2. Empty a bag of dried cherries into a bowl
--- Sprinkle cherries with 1/4 C sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg
3. Core and peel 4 Granny Smith apples
--- I used a veg. peeler, it was a ton of fun once I got the hang of it & a LOT faster than using a knife!
4. Chop apples and toss them with the cherries & sugar/spice mixture
5. In a seperate bowl mix 2/3 C milk, 2/3 C all purpose flour, & 2/3 C sugar - pour over melted butter in 9x9 pan
6. After tossing well, pour fruit into 9x9 pan
7. Bake @ 350* for 45 minutes to one hour
8. Eat and enjoy!!!

And it is GOOD! The cherries give it a tart bite, the apples a sweet snap, the cinnamon and nutmeg just enough of a taste without being overbearing... GAH! I'm going to eat more once I hit the Post button. Bad me, but gooood cobbler! :D

The rest of dinner held two other firsts as well, I just didn't have the presense of mind to photograph them. I made homemade biscuits from scratch and I made fried chicken! :D I cannot describe the happy dances I did once everything came out looking like food and tasting good!

Throw in some corn and green beans and you have our complete meal. Southern food at its best! I half want to eat more of everything from dinner tonight... I'm not sure if I can talk myself out of it. But I'll start with the cobbler - maybe I'll stop there? *snicker*

The weekend will most likely be time off for me. I usually can't get anything accomplished when everyone is home and in the way. Then again, maybe inspiration will jump in and bite me on the butt again. The weather is supposed to take a turn for the worst so I'm forseeing movies and snuggling and all around being lazy. Maybe those s'mores bars will get their chance. Maybe not.

Only time can tell cause I never know what I'm doing from one moment to the next!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Springs Into Hiding

My beautiful weather is slipping away into chilly skies and a cloud filled, uninspiring existence. BOOOOOO.

Let me repeat: BOOOOOO.

Today was almost a let down. I do believe, study un-conducted thus far, that my mood and productivity can be directly related to either A. the day of the week or B. the weather outside. That or... I'm running out of things to do!

Yes, I know. I've barely touched my crafts (I'm missing bits and pieces, damn you tiny town to which I was born - you shit on the soul of creativity with your lack of shopping opportunities!) and I've yet to begin cooking what's actually on my list but... they're not active enough. (Excuses, excuses... bad Crazy, again, NO COOKIE!!!)

Anyway, I've no pictures to share. *sad face* By the time dinner came out of the oven I was too hungry to grab my camera and I did nothing else that could be captured on film.

However, I've got two batches of dough waiting for the sun to rise tomorrow when I'll bake them up for the local drive in and I got some Wal Mart shopping done. With both kids in tow, nonetheless. That deserves a gold star at least! :D

My other accomplishment for the day? Rocking out to Queen in my car. Yes, that's right. I cranked my volume up to the point where I feared for my stereos, I beat my hands against the steering wheel, I head banged whenever traffic slowed (so, pretty much for the entire duration of my travel), and I yelled the lyrics aloud in exaggerated and dramatical voices. Dramatical, indeed.

My momentary nirvana with Queen, I also swam through the sea of unknown music today. Well, obviously someone knows the music to put it out there, but nearly every song that I listened to for the better part of two solid hours was new to my ears. It all started with this soundtrack here that I literally Stumbled upon and adored; afterall, if featured my most favorite band (of the moment). From there it was an exploration into new worlds, one trip happily smushed against another.

And so, in place of my numerous pictures, I instead offer a challenge. Music surf. Treat your ears to the unheard, the unknown, undiscovered and see where the new sounds take you. It's the cheapest, most satisfying travel I've ever known.

Where will you go?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust!!!

The List (as it stands)::

1. Cooking
1. Brown Sugar Meatloaf
2. Maple Porkchops OR Maple Salmon
3. Drunken Coffee Jello Squares - You can argue that these are "bake", but i'll argue back ;)
4. Homemade Cinnamon Bread

2. Baking
1. Eclairs! Loooove them! Now I want to MAKE them!
2. Cherry Pound Cake. Yum.
3. Playdough Cookies. Fun for the kids, too!
4. S'mores Cookie Bars My sister's obsession is slowly becoming my own.

3. Crafts
1. Flower Faires
2. Hair Bows
3. Paper Flowers
4. Toliet Paper Roll Wall Art

4. Cleaning
1. Organizing the Laundry Room Cabinets
2. Decorating the Mantel
3. Reorganizing the Baking Supplies
4. Cleaning the Kitchen Counters (the dreaded moving of the microwave!)

What, What?!

What is that? Why, yes! Yes, I did another TWO goals in ONE day. Can I get a whoop whoop??

*happy dance*

I was lazy this morning. Yeah, I got up at 7:30 (and when the hell did I become any sort of morning person) but after feeding the kiddos and getting them settled in with PBS toons, new coloring books, and their edumacational 'computer's, I tucked myself back against my pillows and began surfing the web.

I've now bookmarked a hundred bazillion things I want to do and make. Holy bejebus.

So then I started getting antsy. I did the dishes and sat back down to read a bit. Twenty minutes later I was up again. Maybe... maybe I could just... put up the laundry! But putting up the laundry led to cleaning 'just one cabinet', which led to two cabinets, which led to crossing "organizing laundry room cabinets" off my list. Freakin' woot.

Now, thing is, they don't really look all that organized. But they are, I swear it. *snicker* A lot of old stuff found new homes (*coughatticcough*) and my seasonal decorations finally had a place to hang out that wasn't a bottom drawer of a forgotten dresser.

ALSO, it cleaned up a HUGE chunk of space in my bathroom cabinet! Now I can chunk a bunch of other stuff into there! Yay!!!

After the laundry room victory I went back to sitting down.... and that didn't work out for me. I swear, I'm just twitchy right now. I like to stay busy, but this is durn near ridiculous with all the moving about I've been up to.

So... time to do a craft!!! This brilliant blog right here hooked me up with everything I needed. I gathered me up some supplies, sank into my favorite chair, turned Dora on for the youngsters (who were avidly watching me instead, sweet things) and got down to business.

Paper Roses... check

New Decorations... check, check, check!!!

Eventually, I'm going to collect some sticks from the yard, freeze them (to kill any bugs), spray paint them lightly with a touch of white paint, and then stick the little paper roses on them. They look sad just sitting there without a stem, but I didn't want to ruin their delicate nature with big ol' pipe cleaner stems. :P


After that my grandparents stopped by for a surprise visit (always a big yay) and we had dinner (I totally called for a Leftover Night). We made an attempt to beat the storm that was rolling in to get a bit of outside play time in, but JUST as we stepped out the door the rain began to fall down.

"I felt a splatter!!!"

So we agreed that a cup of ice cream would do as a nice substitute, coupled with a few computer games. Score. Bed time followed (no, they did NOT go quietly into this night) just as the storm began to peek.

Now I sit, enjoying the roll of thunder, the impending threat of tornados, and the sad realization that tomorrow shall not be an outdoor day. Sadness.

But I've got dinner plans in place (I've yet to do a single thing from my cooking list and tomorrow night will be no different, bad Crazy, no Cookie) and I'm looking forward to a nice sirloin tip roast with a herb rub, veggie companions, and fresh salad. Squee!

Perhaps if I can steal some Knox unflavored gelatin from my gramma I'll try some jello squares... you're supposed to make them "drunk" but there aren't many alcohols I like on a regular basis so perhaps I'll just try them with some creamer and see how it goes...? We'll see. Maybe I'll learn how to just sit down.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two For the Money

That's right. TWO. As in, I completed two more goals today. Yeah. Happy Dance. *wiggles*

---- Last night I dyed my hair. It came out pretty swell...

& then Today went as follows::

* Kids to Preschool

* Quick re-trip to Food Lion

* Make Playdough Cookie Dough, stored it in the fridge

---- The original recipe's reviews claimed blandness, so I deviated a little bit and used maple extract rather than vanilla and threw in a bit of coconut as well. In the end it helped a bit, but overall the taste is still wanting.

---- However, the dough itself entertained my kids for an HOUR. One full hour of happy, mostly QUIET playtime. It was a miracle. A divine intervention. An angel sitting upon my shoulder, sprinkling her magic dust over the lands.

...But that actually took place later in the day...

* Did a fast re-dusting on those ever-dusty spots

* Prepped green peppers & onions for dinner

* Picked up Kids from preschool, fed them lunch, and went outside to play

* Washed my car & my puppy - yay, clean!

* Packed up the hot & sweaty kids for a trip to Sonic's happy hour!

---- One blue slushy, two junior ice creams, and a giant Dr. Pepper later and my whining devils were sweet and smiling angels once again. I'm quite sad that I forgot my camera on that trip. Stoopid me.

* Back home was the time we actually played with and baked the cookies. They're supposed to be all swirly & pretty... and on a stick... so I did a few like that (minus the stick).

---- But then, that took up too much time and I got antsy so... I made them tie-dye instead. Fun!

* The girls wanted to play with their REAL play dough then and I handed it over, allowing them to continue to play and behave for ALMOST another hour. Really, it's by no exaggeration that I label this a miracle. My kids are sweet, but they like to throw elbows with one another as much as they like to play nice. ... I might just make them some [more] play dough this week ...

---- Their dough time allowed me a moment to *gasp* sit down so I indulged in some Harry Potter fanfiction. Yay! Then I got twitchy, so I decided I should do something else.

* Clean up and organize my baking supplies! Thing number Two from my goals!!!

---- I actually have two locations for all my baking crap. One is a spare bedroom that's used as a make shift storage/supply room. Canned goods, extra table chairs, a fifty pound sack of all purpose flour... it's all there.

---- However, it's the cabinets in the kitchen that had gone to hell. In my many mad dashes about my kitchen my supplies have sadly been abused and misused, pulled out and shoved back.

---- Surprisingly, it took a short amount of time to get my affairs in order. Only a few things needed to be thrown away. (Those sugars that aren't sugars but say they are right before they claim to be good for you?? yeah... my mom's a sucker for those. i no longer let her food shop. *maniacal grin*) Everything else fell into new containers, nice line ups and groups of similarities.

---- I'm making up excuses to bake again now, just so i can open my cabinets and grin without looking life I've completely lost my mind for it! Not that anyone would be surprised if I did the open-and-stare bit anyway... Oh well.

* Next it was dinnertime. I started Mexican rice on the back burner and cranked the heat up. A pound of fresh mushrooms went in a small frying pan with some olive oil and a light coating of spices. I tossed them a few times and then ignored them.

---- Several tortilla shells found themselves snuggled up into foil wrapping and tossed to warm in the oven while a pound of sage sausage, a diced green pepper, and a chopped white onion jumped into a large frying pan. They rolled around together, getting friendly, sharing flavors back and forth for the better part of twenty minutes. By that time the side dishes were ready and the sausage mix got it's final touch: an egg bath.

---- Once the eggs were scrambled and fully cooked through out, it was time to serve up! Cream cheese coupled with monetary jack and cheddar cheese got smeared across the hot tortilla shell before the sausage topping was added. Everything got rolled up, the cheese melted and oozed through the meat and veggie combo and every bite was delicious. Damn! I mean, good!!!

* Back outside, as I promised the girls, we watched the sun begin its nightly decent before putting away the outdoor toys and heading in for quick showers. I believe they've actually gone to sleep straight away... Tonight was one of the first nights that they haven't sat in there screaming and yelling for the better part of an hour. I find myself impressed.

---- The dishes, bless Teflon, were quick, easy, and painless, thus allowing me to now be parked in front of the television and computer (wonderful combo). Today leaves me feeling satisfied and content, an even better combination than television and computer. I'm unsure of what tomorrow brings but any accomplishment is a big one if you view it as so. One thing is all it takes.

It's the simple things in life - too many people forget that. I hope I never do. :)

The List (as it stands)::

1. Cooking
1. Brown Sugar Meatloaf
2. Maple Porkchops OR Maple Salmon
3. Drunken Coffee Jello Squares - You can argue that these are "bake", but i'll argue back ;)
4. Homemade Cinnamon Bread

2. Baking
1. Eclairs! Loooove them! Now I want to MAKE them!
2. Cherry Pound Cake. Yum.
3. Playdough Cookies. Fun for the kids, too!
4. S'mores Cookie Bars My sister's obsession is slowly becoming my own.

3. Crafts
1. Flower Faires
2. Hair Bows
3. Paper Flowers
4. Toliet Paper Roll Wall Art

4. Cleaning
1. Organizing the Laundry Room Cabinets
2. Decorating the Mantel
3. Reorganizing the Baking Supplies
4. Cleaning the Kitchen Counters (the dreaded moving of the microwave!)

... Suppose I should get to cooking something, or maybe doing a craft? Oops? :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reins In Hand

Continuing with my metaphorical wagon here.... I'm back in the driver's seat, living large and in charge! *Cracks a whip*

Today was BALLS! (Yes, balls. Apparently, they're more fun than nuts.)

We got up with the sun, our feet hitting the floor and not stopping till, well, now. The girls got breakfast while I rushed about gathering the recycling and dumping it in the car. Afterwards was putting on our "good morning" clothes where the girls got to rock their second Spring Outfit of the season. They're very excited about wearing clothes where they can see their legs.

I've got some hams on my hands here. *Proud grin*

Next we shuttled to school where the girls got to spend threes hours running about playing, learning, and laughing while I busted tail to Make Things Happen. Children are easily one of the, if not THE, most precious creations ever. Especially if they're your own. Yes, yes, mark it down, I've made a sappy comment about my miniature monsters.

But really, they're these tiny, perfectly non-perfect beings that I get to watch learn and grow. They amazing at the best of times and make me want to put my head through a wall at the worst of times, but if you're a mom like me you know the bottom line stands at while they're cute and amazing and wonderful.... SO much more gets done when they're not tagging along!!!! :D

So I hightailed it to Wal Mart and rushed in with a walk that, I'm sure, made it look as though I had lost the treadmill I was working out on (you know the walk: long steps, pumping arms, eyes on the target... I totally busted it out in the big ol' WM). Within minutes I had a small armful of spring/summer shorts for the midgets, I had a case of Dr. Pepper in a death hold, and was wielding a large bottle of Bar B Que sauce as a warning to anyone foolish enough to get in my way.

Yes, bad me, buying the BBQ sauce, but I knew I was going to be pressed for time and if shortcuts weren't meant to be taken every now and then, they wouldn't exist at all.

So, BBQ weapon tucked away and paid for, I was out the door lickity split and across the road to the Good Will.

Good Will is under rated. Which is TOTALLY okay with me. It leaves more of the good stuff for my perusing eyes. But really, when Lady Luck is smiling your way, the Good Will can bless you with all kinds of amazing treats for super, duper cheap.

Today I lucked out with several goodies for the house as well as the few spring/summer shirts I was hoping to get for the girls.... at $1.25 a piece. Take that Wal Mart! *sucker punch* I was thrilled about the shirts more than I was about the items to decorate with, which is a statement within itself. I stopped caring about fashion about three months into my pregnancy ohhh.... five years ago.

But when I walked out of that store (using my Save the Planet Paris shopping bag, yay!me) with Hannah Montana and Hello Kitty in my ownership for the mere price of a 16oz soda... I suddenly cared about fashion again. And I walked with my head held high.

Technically, I made a rather mad looking dash for my car (startling an incoming customer no less), but my head was high nonetheless.

From there I was off to the dollar store where I vowed to spend no more than five dollars. Practically unheard of, but I managed. A handful of brightly colored, over sized flowers and a bag of rocks later (I know... I paid for a bag of rocks... I'm a sucker...) I was back on my way!

This time it was to the recycling port where I did my bit to save Mother Earth before jetting to Food Lion where I grabbed up the last essentials for dinner. Another record for least amount of time spent in a store. Today was all about the fast lane. (Life in the fast lane...doot doot doot doot...)

Once home I did a bit of prep work for dinner and finally Tackled The Mantle!!!

I totally won, too. See?



I LOVE it. A few more pictures... just because I'm THAT excited. (It doesn't take much!)

I was almost late picking up the kiddos, but I had gotten them two new movies at Good Will (for a buck each!) as well, and the line of parents for pick up was tremendous so they weren't even aware of my delay. Double yay!

With them fed I began dinner prep in earnest, pausing to do the dishes and a quick load of towels. My Nanny and Poppy stopped by for a few minutes as the day began to wind down and we all enjoyed the nice weather from the back porch as the girls ran around the yard and made use of their swing set.

When they left the rest of us sat down to supper. Grilled BBQ chicken with grilled, fresh pineapple rings, macaroni salad, cheesy baked ranch potatoes, garden salad and jumbo chocolate chips. Yum! It was the first time I actually got to eat today (oops) so I was VERY excited to sit down and enjoy... and yum! I mean, yay! Hahahah... I always surprise myself when something I create comes out well. Makes life more pleasurable, though, so I can't complain.

Now I'm sitting down, sharing my haphazard day with you lot (hi! *waves*) while the washing machine runs another load of clothes and the dishwasher sits filled, patiently waiting its turn to run.

Mentally, I'm mapping out my tomorrow, trying to figure out what all I have to do. I do believe that I'll attempt to dye my hair... it's getting scary up there... and perhaps cook something fun for dinner. My mom won't be around so I'll get to actually use onions and peppers - her allergies don't allow me to do that when she's eating with us, but she has a dinner meeting so my dad and I can chow down.

I'm thinking some version of jambalaya?? Tomorrow will tell.

Otherwise, I'm thinking of doing nothing much... Perhaps, perhaps, I'll try my hand at those paper flowers.... or not. We'll see.