Thursday, March 31, 2011
--- I tend to boil mine in a bit of chicken broth and seasoning to act as an addition flavor element
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
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
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
Thursday, March 24, 2011
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
The List (as it stands)::
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
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)::
... Suppose I should get to cooking something, or maybe doing a craft? Oops? :)
Monday, March 21, 2011
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.