Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Eat Like a Hobbit Day

I should have posted this a bit ago, but better late than never right?
The family and I love to geek out, as you can probably tell from everything I post. We decided to have an Eat Like a Hobbit Day on the Saturday that we would see the newest Hobbit movie. It was a lot of work, and a lot of dishes, and a lot of food, but it was sooo wonderful!

For those of you who may not know, Hobbits eat a lot!
7 meals to be precise.
First breakfast- Blueberry scones
Second breakfast- "Hobbit Holes" (jalapeno bagels fried with an egg in the hole) with sausages
Elevensies- Apple pastries with grapes
Luncheon- Assorted meats (chicken, salted pork, beef) cheeses, breads, pickles, carrots, tomatoes
Tea- Seed cake (caraway, pumpkin and sunflower), Honey cakes, and teas
Dinner- Mushroom, Kale and PoTaTo soup
Supper- Beef with a salad

I know there are a few things most people would add, like fish but I'm allergic, so it just isn't happening in my house. Lots of fun, but I may need a year to recover before we try it again!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Time, Money, & Need

Laundry Sorting
(This is real laundry, no "staging" was done on these pictures)

I like many others see these amazing blog pictures with gorgeous projects, lovely dream homes. I dream of implementing many of these ideas and having these picture perfect homes too.

I have been really wanting a lovely laundry room and have been wanting for about a year to make this:

but I just haven't had the time or money or ambition.

Then I was walking through Target with my husband and we saw these shelves on sale. I ran over to the laundry basket section grabbed 6 and went to see if they fit. They did and I had 2 shelves to spare. Now I know that this isn't "picture perfect" but it works way better than my system did before, and it didn't cost me as much money as the lovely dressers. I got the shelves for $35 and 6 baskets for $3.50 each. Total cost $56 and I have room for our paint, vinegar (cleaner), caulk, etc. on the bottom shelf and detergent, bleach, dryer sheets & balls on another shelf. Yes, I hope to make it a little nicer looking, but guess what it works and I love it!

Do you ever have these unattainable dreams from looking at different blogs? Do you find yourself putting things off so until you can make it "perfect?"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

No Soliciting Sign

No soliciting sign
I made this sign up after having already had visits. It's that time of year, and I hope this will encourage them to pass us by.
This isn't the original wording I wanted, but this is what we ended up doing. I don't have a vinyl cutter (yet) and so I had painted it.

The original wording I wanted was;

No Soliciting

(unless it's for cookies!)



(not even with cookies!)

But the boys didn't think most people would know what proselytizing is and the cookie parts would have had to be tiny and I just wasn't up for that.
Now I have to some how mount it by the front door. Thoughts?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hope Chests for Today?

My husband has been traveling a lot for work. I don't tend to sleep well when he travels. So I'll find myself up at 2 or 3 in the morning. I can't do much cleaning as I'm afraid I'll wake the boys. (Ok, that's not entirely true, there is plenty of cleaning I could do without worry that I'd wake them. I honestly think my body is exhausted, but my mind won't let me sleep.) So I tend to think. Anyone who knows me well, knows that this can be extremely dangerous!

My latest topic... Hope Chests.

I didn't have a hope chest, I didn't really know anyone who did. I don't know if it's just the area I grew up in or if it's my age (born in 1978.) I did of course know of them. They were something that women did way back when... and they were where young ladies and their families would place items for the lady's future home. Ok, there may be way more to it than that, but this was my knowledge of them.

I don't have girls, I have oodles of nieces, but in my home are boys. I remember what it was like when my husband and I first started off. We didn't have a big wedding with showers and gifts. We actually didn't get any wedding gifts. We already had our eldest son and my husband just graduated from college. It was hard! I still don't always think we've "caught up" with the people who were given many items as gifts. So when my children were born, I said that when they turned 13 I wanted to give them gifts for their future homes (or when the go off to college or whatever.) A little kick start so it wouldn't be quite so rough for them. Well, my eldest is now 14 and I can honestly say I didn't start that yet. It's not for the lack of wanting, it's I didn't have any idea what to get him. Sheets... what size will he have in the future? Dishes.... will he like the colors/pattern I pick out then? Basic utensils/cooking supplies.... maybe, but where to start? Small appliances.... they always come out with better and cheaper. I was too overwhelmed, so it was just given up on.

Now, I'm thinking again about it. Maybe I went about it wrong. I make things. I teach my boys to make things, at least basic skills. I teach my boys to cook and to sew and to clean (ok, not great by example, but I try.) I want my boys to be partners to their future spouse and to be able to care for themselves until they find the right person. I don't want them to jump into a relationship for a "mommy substitute" so someone can cook and clean for them (you all know what I'm talking about!) I want them to take pride in their home even if it's a dorm room. Maybe homey touches will help them.

I know a Hope Chest isn't traditional for boys. I don't care! Roles aren't the same as they were back in the 1800's or even the 1900's. So what now?

All this ranting and raving is fine, except, I'm not sure I'm any closer at deciding what to give/make my children for their futures.What about touches of the childhood memories for their future children, do those go in there too? Do I enlist my child's help or surprise them when they're older?

I really want to get a nice list together and get started on this. I am hoping to not only do this for my boys but for my sister's girls too. I know their fathers won't and I feel it is something I can do for them since their mom is no longer here to do it for them.

So what goes into a Hope Chest??

I did do a fair amount of Googling with very little results. 2 pages I found that had some inspiration are A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and Miss Abigail's Hope Chest, please if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Black Bean Soup 2 Ways

This is my world famous Black Bean Soup... ok, I don’t know how famous it is, but I have a friend from Australia who loves it, he requests it every time he’s around. And he’s on the other side of the world. I also have a friend who told me she didn’t want baby gifts from me, she just wanted Black Bean Soup. My hubby and my boys love it and request it. So to me that says it’s pretty darn good.
It can be vegetarian quite easily. I use homemade Chicken stock, that’s what I prefer and I always have some in my freezer. You could just as easily use vegetable stock.
I don’t measure at all, so these are guesstimates. Start less, you can always add to taste.
Oh, and this makes a ton of soup, because it freezes like a dream!

Quick Way
2-3 Large Cans of Black Beans Drained & rinsed a bit
1 can refried beans (Vegetarian if you’re going that route)
1-2 boxes of Stock (Chicken or Vegetable) This is a preference thing. I like mine thicker, my kids like it thinner.
¼ cup dried minced onion
2 Tbsp Diced jalapeno or more if you like (use fresh, jarred, canned, whatever)
¼ cup chopped up red pepper (you could use from frozen)
~2 cloves of garlic minced (you can use the jar stuff)
cumin (I start with a good palm full)
~ 1-2 Tsp cayenne powder (depending on how hot you like it, that would be medium)
½ tsp chili powder
salt ( not much, canned beans tend to be salty, you can always add more)
Fresh Cilantro (I’m sorry I think this is a must & I use a ton!)
1 Tbsp Lime juice (optional I like it)
¼ cup Prepared Salsa/Pico (fresher the better though)

Optional Toppings
Fresh Cilantro
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
More Salsa
Tortilla Strips/Chips

Dump all of the ingredients in a big pot and cook on medium heat until it starts to bubble a bit, stirring occasionally. It should take about 20-30 minutes. Put in bowl, top if desired. Eat. Makes a ton, freeze extras if you want.

Cheaper Way
1-2 bags of dried black beans
1 can refried beans
8 cups or so of homemade stock (more if you like it thinner, less if you like it thicker)
¼ cup diced onion
¼ cup diced red pepper
2 jalapenos diced
2 cloves garlic minced
A palm full of dried cumin
1-2 Tsp Cayenne powder depending on how hot you like it
½ tsp chili powder
salt (Usually about 2-3 Tablespoons worth, but I don’t salt my stock or beans, so it needs it)
Fresh Cilantro (LOTS!)
Juice of 1 lime (optional, I like it, hubby not so much)
¼ cup salsa/pico (I use my recipe)

Optional Toppings
Fresh Cilantro
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
More Salsa
Tortilla Strips/Chips

In a huge slow cooker, soak beans night before according to package directions. In the morning drain and rinse (helps prevent a lot of excess gas.) Return beans to slow cooker. Saute onion and red pepper in a bit of butter/olive oil until tender. Add to slow cooker. Add everything except the cilantro and toppings. Cook all day on low (4 hours or so)
10 minutes before serving add cilantro. Cook for 10 min. Put in bowl, top as desired. Enjoy. Freeze leftovers if desired.

It’s a “wing it” recipe. Everyone has slightly different tastes, so some things are less appealing. Go with what your family likes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Skeletons in my closet

I've been working really hard on my spring cleaning. What's that you say? It's not spring? Well, spring is crazy busy around here, and honestly any time I actually get the urge to clean, I really have to go for it. Plus, I really wish it were spring! I would love for a whole week above 5F.

Anyway, back to my spring cleaning. My project of the week is our pantry closet. Our house really has no storage at all, including cupboards and closets. But we do have a pantry "room." Well, since we moved in while it was raining with no help from anyone (it was a busy weekend for everyone.) We ended up throwing a lot of miscellaneous stuff and boxes in that room, and never really got it cleaned out.
It has our extra freezer for all of my bulk cooking. It houses the less used/big cooking items (Nesco roaster, Griddle pan, Canning Jars, Baking Pans, etc..) and also our bulk buy items (toilet paper, Kleenex that we stock up on at before school sales, etc..) The shelving has much to be desired, but if it isn't cleaned out where will I add more shelves? So anyway, I have worked on that for the last 2 days. But I don't know where to put a few things.
Yep, you thought that title wasn't literal. Well it is. We have 2 adult (model) skeletons that we take out for Halloween and when people come over just to mess with them. Their names are Livy & Lars. They are about 5 1/2 feet tall. My husband set them in our pantry last year after Halloween. Which isn't working for me. But where do you put them? They can't take extreme heat or cold so it has to be somewhere inside. There is a hook on their heads, but that doesn't really help me. We don't have a heated/insulated garage so that's out. We don't have a basement really, so that's out. No attic. I'm afraid their ribs could break if I try shoving them under the bed. Not to mention what if God forbid something happens and people are cleaning out our house and stumble upon two skeletons. Boy, I'd love to see that. So if anyone has any thoughts I'd love to hear them.
We made pizzas last night. Are my kids the only ones who have to make everything a face?
Alright. DI again after school. Busy busy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy National Pie Day!!!

Now I was going to go a little crazy, I know completely unlike me =)

I was going to make a quiche for breakfast, pot pies for lunch (the kids are home and we got Jo a day early!) and a Shepherd's Pie or Pizza Pies for Supper with pie for dessert.

First off, I think that is way too much crust for anyone in one day! So instead I think I will simply make one pie today. It's been so cold and it's supposed to get really cold again, I am wishing for spring. I have some leftover rhubarb in the freezer, so I think a delicious rhubarb pie sounds about right for today. The kids can help me bake it. And Tim hates rhubarb, so we may eat it after lunch! I'll probably make him an apple pie or something, he will be hard at work today, he should get some pie too!

How will you celebrate this joyous Pie Day?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fave Children's Book

I signed up for a mini quilt swap on flickr. The theme for this swap is favorite children's book. I'm supposed to create a little quilt based off of my favorite children's book. I love so many, I'm not sure which is my favorite. Usually I think, then I pick one, then I realize I should have picked a different one. I'm trying to think now, so when it comes time, I won't have to worry about picking one that is less than my fav.
Some that I remember growing up with;

Some of the books that my children have loved/I loved reading to them;

I know there are tons more, but I'm drawing a blank. There are so many great ones out there. What were/are your favorite children's books?

Cold outside but warm inside

We have a day off of school today. Not because of snow or slippery roads, but because it is crazy cold out there. About -40 with the windchill. Brrrrr! Luckily we knew last night that school was cancelled, so we were able to sleep in today. My eldest son decided to make us all omelets for breakfast
(What you don't see is the Mario Bros. fleece sleep pants he's wearing!)
Here is a picture of him with the omelet that he made for his youngest brother (the one who doesn't really want anything in his omelet, and he likes them slightly over cooked.) For the rest of us he makes them "garbage" style. Whatever is in the fridge. So this morning mine had polish sausage, red pepper, green onion, spinach & muenster cheese. Polish sausage in the morning was a bit of a surprise, but it was really quite good.
Right now he is upstairs practicing his French horn by playing the Mario Bros. theme song (which he is winging without sheet music.)
Some days having a preteen can be pretty darn awesome!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I've been admiring little yoyo quilts for some time now. I have really enjoyed working on them in my free time. So here's a few red ones I made while my youngest was reading me his homework, (he has told me he doesn't want me watching him read, so I have to do something while he reads to me.)
I'm thinking possibly an upcoming giveaway soon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Catch Up

Ok, I know I went MIA for quite awhile, so I may post a few things I did while I was gone. Here is my son's 8th Birthday Cake from November. Ignore the goofy expression, he had friends there and really didn't want to take this picture. I told him we were taking pictures until he "gave me happy" and I guess this is what I get for it.
It's a funfetti style cake with marshmallow fondant. It wasn't hard to make, just took a long time.
Most importantly, he loved it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Christmas Craft List

Ok, I did this last year and it helped keep me on track to getting all the holiday gifts finished. I'd love to hear what you are all planning or have started crafting for the holidays that are coming quickly upon us.

"Baby" Cousin's Baby Girl

"Toddler" 1 niece, 1 nephew, 1 little cousins (1, 2, 1, )-
*will be making a fabric name book. or felt houses

"Little Girls" 2 nieces (4&5)-
*Tutus (Birthdays are right before Christmas)
*PJ Pants/Felt Houses
*I'd like to make them each their own personalized doll quilt
*Cranium Activity Books (Purchased)

"Bigger Girls" 2 nieces (11 & 8 )- Again not quite sure yet.
*Cranium Activity Book (Purchased)
*a personalized doll quilt?

"My Boys" 3 boys (8, 9, & 12)-
*pj pants w/matching shirts

husband (35)-
*Dr who underpants (I already started these, so he may get them for b-day instead, cuz they're cute)
*Dr. Who quilt?
*Checkbook Cover

"Old Ladies" Mother IN Law, Step MIL, Mother, Step Mother, 3 Grandmas, Aunt
*Basket With a crocheted dishtowel, embroidered tea towel, and homemade vanilla
*Pic of the kids

Dad, DIL, Grandpas-
*Not sure yet

teachers and crossing guards-
*Not sure yet

That's everyone I can think of. I'll update this as I think of or start other things.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Well, I have been trying to get some Holiday gifts started, or worked on, so I don't go crazy at the end of November. I joined a dishcloth swap to help get me motivated on making dishcloths for my family. My husband wanted to make homemade Vanilla, and he thought that would make a great gift. Since he was actually involved in gift decisions I figured I should go with it! So we have Vanilla steeping, and we are planning on pairing that with a dishcloth and a teatowel and/or pot holder for each major family. I think tomorrow I will try to post my list of gifts (it helped last year keep me on track) So anyway, here are the three dishcloths I've made so far in the last 2 days at soccer.

The two above are a modified version of an afghan square I got the pattern from here. I made it smaller and used a smaller hook. I had to take out a few rounds and such too.
And here is my tried and true favorite dishcloth pattern. The pattern comes from Cocoa Cream's Craft Closet I made it a bit smaller. Mine is about 8"X8" and I think the first chain was 27.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend Fun

Well, I'm very happy to report that all we did was blow our power supply, so my husband found and installed a new one and we are back in business!

The weather in Wisconsin has been weird, just like a lot of the Midwest right now. We were smack in the middle of everything that hit Wisconsin. We were unable to get to our house Thursday night because all of the cities between where we were and where we lived were completely flooded and you couldn't get south. (We were less than 30 minutes away.) Our boys were safe, but stuck at Grandma's, so we ended up bunking at friends' house on Thursday night. Friday we spent assessing damages and trying to find a route home that wasn't flooded out. We did and found, it wasn't too bad where we were, even though we received the second highest rain total of the area. All of the neighboring cities were flooded though, so we decided, this was the perfect time to go visit my brother and his family 4 hours away from the flooding.

We had a beautiful weekend, and I got to spend some wonderful relaxing time with my nieces, brother and sister-in-law. I actually miss them already. We'll see them again in 2 weeks though, and until then I can look at the pictures we took.

Ambrosia picking flowers

Clover sitting with a very furry uncle Tim

While I was unable to use my computer, I was invited to take part in Bella Dia's Thoughtful Friday. I thought that would be fun, so even though this isn't Friday, I took this picture on Friday, so I thought I could do a belated one.

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

No more papertowels!

Ok, maybe not quite yet, but much closer. I had seen in stores microfiber towels, but never thought much about them. I then read on a blog (somewhere I can't think of right now, sorry) about using them and not needing paper towels any more. I thought... really? I guess these little buggers are worth a try. We go through more paper towel than I care to even know.
So I searched and searched and couldn't find any, ok I didn't search that hard, but I try really hard not to go shopping, and when I do I try to make it just the grocery store (not to mention I don't have anything but a gas station and a meat market in my little village, so shopping isn't a daily part of my life.)
Then I had to enter the most evil of evils, WalMart, and I checked there. All I could find was a 4 pack with different purposes for each towel, (one polishes furniture and shoes, one cleans mirrors and screens, etc...) I bought it for $4-5. It sat in it's box for about a week, then I went to grab a paper towel to clean off the counter and I went... "Wait... I have new towels" I then had to find where my husband stashed the box.... read the directions, and gave it a whirl!

OH, MY, I'm in LOVE! I wiped off my bathroom counter with out even needing water! No cleaners at all. It was spotless. I cleaned my mirrors with no water, and there were zero streaks. And I have to be honest, there was major toothpaste, and hairspray gunk on my mirror and counter. I still worry about the germs and stuff, so I went over the counter with some vinegar anyway, but WOW!

I was going to clean off my stove top (my kids have been cooking, and they NEVER clean it off.) So there was really gross burnt on stuff. I didn't even think it was going to work at all, so I didn't take a picture of the before. I am so upset that I didn't. Because I cleaned the whole thing with out water!!!!! My kitchen is now paper towel free!!! I will buy some more towels when I go to Target (I've heard I don't have to buy a multi type pack there.) I would be completely free of paper towel if only I could handle cleaning the toilet with them. I really need disposable for that. It grosses me out pretty bad, (4 boys need I say more.)

Maybe you all know about these, and I am truly behind the times (it's been known to happen.) But I thought just in case, I would share my little nugget with you all. It has certainly changed my life. (Plus I clean more trying to prove it isn't better!)