Sunday, July 31, 2011

This weeks menu 7/31

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I am looking forward to fall baking and cooking. In the heat of the summer I don't want to stand in front of the stove, who does. Dear hubby gets tired of all the sandwiches he eats everyday at work and although I love a great salad the boys could be spared from eating leafy greens 7 days a week. The result is a total drain on my menu planning. I am longing for some yummy soups, casseroles and chili's. Not to mention they are some of the easiest menus to cook. Soups are great for using all the leftovers in the fridge, a little of this a little of that and voila! Fall is coming and I will soon get to enjoy yummy baking and what have you......
For this week you may join us at Casa de Johnsons for 
Olive Garden Night
Chicken Bacon Pizza
Cabbage Wraps
Teriyaki Chicken Noodles
from Real Mom Kitchen

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Succulent wall decor....

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Using succulents in wall hangings, even a globe, is one of the articles in this months Better Homes & Gardens magazine. I love it. I can't wait until we can build our deck so that I can do some of the fun projects I have planned. I want to plant lots around my deck to help keep it cool and inviting. Now mind you I live in the mountain desert. Our new house is even hotter and drier than our old one. With few trees around I am gonna be planting a lot. But until I get the shade I want, succulents are becoming increasingly inviting. An added bonus, they don't take much water!
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bar soap to liquid soap...

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I am going to have to try this. Plus my sis-in-law would love this as well. After cleaning up numerous soap shavings from cub scouts learning to carve I have tried in vain to not let those shavings go to waste. I confess they become more of a hassle than they are worth. Now I will be able to turn that pile of ivory soap shavings into a usable form.
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer table runner and chair....

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Remember back when I got this chair? I started painting it but got hung up, it just didn't look the way I pictured so I set it aside. Then we started redoing my friends daughters room and my interest in this chair peaked again. I had a different image pictured, something with a glaze finish but this is perfect for her room. Check out how we painted the walls here and the wall art. I hope she like the chair and it adds to her room. Dear hubby commented how good the chair turned out too......
My friend has been saying how she wanted to add some blue to her decor. Turguois is all the rage and adds some fun color to home decor. I made one of these runners for my sister in law but forgot to get a picture before giving it to her. I loved how it turned out. Hers was all soft, warm, vintage colors, Totally her! I decided  to do one for my friend too. No other color would do without some blue.
I love the colors together. I even have enough supplies to make one for myself. Yeah!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stumbling Projects: Mason jars, wall art, patio decor and more....

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I stumbled some great ideas tonight. Now if I can just find the time to do all these great projects....
Making my own colored jars....from Creative little daisy

This is so cool! Crayons melted down the canvas with a heat gun. LOVE IT!
This is amazing. It looks difficult but she promises it's not. 
Christmas is just 5 months away! It's my favorite time of the year!
A burlap table runner from Living with Lindsey. I'm thinking red for fall....
If I had girls I would be making lots of these...hmmm, maybe I will make some for myself.
More decor for my patio.
Hope these will inspire you as they have me!
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Growing my garden....

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It usually takes a couple of years to learn the soil and water requirements in a new area before you really have a great crop. My garden is doing well but I can tell this is the first year here. We have much more sandy soil whereas before we had thick clay soil. My soil is also very 'wild'. Nothing was grown in it prior to our moving in. This fall I plan to add some great compost or manure. Just to enrich the soil for next year. 
My tomatoes are usually fuller by now. I gave them a bit of Miracle Grow. Hopefully it helps. I do have some blossoms already. The warm days and nights are great for tomatoes.
My mom and dad have several plants of rhubarb. They dug a few up that were needing to be moved and shared with me. Since rhubarb is harder to kill off than some weeds, you can bet those spots are already growing more rhubarb. My mom was only slightly surprised. Right now my plants are setting down deep roots. I may have gotten too many myself. Soon we will be enjoying some rhubarb crisp of our own.
My cucumbers had a really rough start! I think they are coming round. I plan to trelis them up the side of the steps.
My pepper plants are doing well. I am hoping to have enough to make salsa; Tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers....
I had to use some of my flower beds for vegis but I am planting some perrenials this year too. Dear hubby commented he loves the plants with bold color. When I saw these beauties I had to grab a couple. He was in Lowes grabbing some screws. I parked near the nursery entrance to 'wait' for him. He just laughed at me when he saw where I had parked. "I knew you couldn't resist" he said. Ahh, he knows me so well.
I do love the color starting to show in my flower bed. There are a couple that I don't remember the names of, a climatis, dianthus, some bulbs and these new flowers. Next year should be popping with color!
I made a couple of lady bugs from bowling balls. They are GREAT! So much fun. I wanna make a bumble bee to and maybe a couple for Christmas gifts.
I bought some flower bulbs the end of June. I planted them but didn't expect them to grow this year. To my pleasant surprise they are coming up wonderfully.
My watermelon plant is on slow motion. I don't know if we will get any fruit from it but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Way back when Mr. M's speech therapist suggested the book "The Sunflower House". I haven't gotten the book (I can't find it) but did plant the giant sunflowers to be a great 'house' for Mr. M. They are REALLY growing. It was sunset when I took this picture. Notice how much the leaves are turned to the west. "SUNflowers" always point to the sun.
My garden... lettuce, beans, carrots, beats, and peas. I think I will plant another crop of beans. I had more but boys and a puppy wiped out one of my rows and thinned the others. I can't decide if I should do square-foot gardening in my little 10x10 plot. I may try a few things this fall to help me decide. What do you think? Rows or square-foot?
My everbearing strawberries are exploding. I think they are doing better than anything else. The birds have gotten several of them but I have a few tricks up my sleeve. he he he!
They are sending out so many runners already. If they keep this up it won't take long to have my beds full of green plants and red berries. Ohh, yum!
I hope to plant some June bearing plants next year for jam. I also want some June bearing raspberries. My everbearing raspberries are doing well too. Not bad for a first years growth.....
I will need to build a trellis for my grapevine to grow up before next spring. It isn't real big now but the fruit grows on one year old vines. Hopefully next year we will have lots of berries and some grapes!
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Girls room...

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So we were visiting with friends when their daughter mentioned how picked on she was because her big sisters room was more decorated than hers. Hello Sibling Rivalry!
Well, to make peace we talked about what she wanted in her room. 
And started to make some plans for her room.
The walls were something like this...
uhmm yeah. The bad part- BORING. The good part- a perfect blank canvas!
She has a lovely bedspread that we pulled the colors from. She wanted green so...
We did lime green.
Then we took a rectangle canvas, added some pink fabric and painted wood letters. 
I love how it turned out. CUTE!! Pictures just don't do it justice!
I especially like the peaked wall. The name plate looks too high but we are making plans for some lovely pink curtains.
We also have plans for a shelf and some wall art. Keep watching to see how we do a bit of a swap on the sibling rivalry.
BTW: notice the nightstand? Yeah, still wish I had kept that beauty for myself. It's amazing!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Activity Days and Pioneers

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This past week was a busy one for me. For Activity Days we taught the girls how to quilt. I am always surprised at the homemaking skills that are being lost with each generation. The girls loved learning to quilt and commented how much fun they had. We made it a "Mom and Me quilting" activity. We managed to do one quilt then enjoyed strawberry shortcake. I finished up 3 more quilts at home with the help of my friend and her daughter (also one of my A.D. girls).....
3 lap quilts and one twin size.
I love, LOVE this twin quilt. The top fabric was on clearance and the backing is just a twin top sheet. It was so pretty. I was tempted to keep it myself, hehehe.
Then this weekend we had the Pioneer parade. It is a celebration of the summer of 1847 when the first pioneers entered Utah. There are lots of activities for the kids. During the parade every one gets to dress up as pioneers. We had all the primary kids on the float.We used the quilts to decorate the sides of the float. Then we will donate them to the local hospital.
Of course I forgot to get pictures before the parade. We had left the camera in the van, oops. I did managed to snap a picture before everyone started to take things off the trailer- just barely!
Two of the cutest young pioneers in years! A simple straw hat, bandana, and paid shirt. Not "authentic" but it worked!
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

This weeks menu 7/24

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Most weeks I don't mind which day we eat what. This week, however, we have lots going on and I wanted to coordinate my meals with the evenings activities. Hopefully this will make life easier for me. We are also trying to eat fewer carbs. This is a bit of a challenge considering most of our meals are a meat, vegi, and starch combo. Last week wasn't too bad but my grocery budget was a lot bigger than I am used to. It's been a while since I bought steak at the store. We usually get 1/2 a beef from my uncle in the spring. We weren't able to this year. Lets just say, OUCH! Meat is expensive! Perhaps thats why I lean more to the chicken meals........

Work BBQ at the park


Chicken Fried Steak


Oven Fried Chicken 
Baked Beans
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thrifty gift bags....

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Love these gift bags. Do them up with comics and they are perfect for boys! 
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Little Girls room decor....

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I know what you're thinking...WHY in the world would a mom of 4 boys need ideas for a little girls room? Well, I have to do girly things vicariously. My sisters have girls and my best friend has girls. At the moment one of those little girls is feeling a little put out because of the lack of decor in her room. So we are on a mission to personalize her room. Hopefully we can make it a retreat she will love. Then she will stop looking with envy at big sis's room!
Right now her walls are a soft cream color...bare canvas to work with. She loves lime green with pink. So I am thinking of painting one of the walls green and making some pink curtains.....

Something like this would be fun along the wall by her closet....
hmmm, I may have even seen a circle board at DI a time or two....
And what about these to embellish her curtains?
What do you think Kaylyn?
Gonna have to keep looking. Anyone got some great ideas?
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Garden decor....

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I love these. I will have to check out the DI for a couple of bowling balls.....

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fun projects for summer decor....

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I stumbled upon these this morning. They are definitely projects I wanna try.
I'm thinking a large Monogram would look good in dear sons room, next to our travel map.....
 I love this! Growing up near the river bed we had OODLES of river rock. We had to haul all the dirt in to landscape. Too bad mom didn't know of the decor treasures she had. I know right where to get my supplies. LOL
This would be lovely on my sink, even more lovely on my dear sis-in-law's sink. Mason jar decor is right up her ally. Hmm, maybe Christmas? What do you think sis? Or a late birthday gift?
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

This weeks menu 7/11/11

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I was able to get my Bountiful Basket this weekend so I will be able to fill in our main dish with great fresh vegi's. We will be out of town again over the weekend but I am hoping to take some food with us so we don't spend so much eating out. Not to mention the havick it causes our bodies. I feel so sluggish when we eat out several times while out of town. Maybe some sandwiches, chips, & fresh produce..... Perhaps I will even take some rice and chicken to zap in the microwave while we work at our old house.....
Grilled Turkey & Swiss Sanwiches
Sesame Noodles
Sweet and Sour Chicken with fried rice
French Toast
 I am also going to have to do more planning for lunches. I usually just use leftovers for lunch but of course summer time changes all the rules. Not to mention dear hubby having Friday's off too. (he works 10 hour shifts) It's nice to have 3 day weekends but lunches are becoming a bit of a challenge. Call me crazy but I just don't feel like cooking a big meal twice a day. That is not usually a problem but the quick meal/food items are disappearing around snack time. Hmm, I'll have to scavenge my cookbooks and have my shopping list ready for next week.
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Boys Room Decor.....

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I finished this map a while ago for dear son #2's room but ran into kept falling down. I hadn't wanted to nail it to the wall but ended up doing it anyway. I figured I would take it down when it was time to repaint which would allow me to fix the holes.....
 I made the frame from leftover trim. The map is just a road map I mounted on foamboard.
 Then I used map pins to show all the places my son has been. We try to do something each summer. Sometimes it's local other times we are able to save and travel further.
Where ever we go we try to "Find Joy in the Journey". 
I used map penents to show places family members have served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Several family members, including dad, have served over seas. Those will be added with smaller maps of that country framed along the wall. 
I love how the blue of sets the green. It worked just how I wanted in his room.
(Sorry I don't have a picture of the whole room, the sheetrock for our bathroom is in there at the moment. Dear hubby had to hold it back for these pictures. That's the next room on the docket, we just have to save our pennies.)
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

A day of Projects....

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I love being able to finish odds and ends. Days when I don't have to go anyway and can just spend time finishing whatever comes to mind...those are the kinds of days I enjoy. 
From recovering my mom's swing.....

 to adding a bit of color in my garden....
 these beauties will grow about 18 inches tall plus nice and round in shape.
 Dear hubby especially likes the bold colors.....
 After our morning walk my friend and I even added a bit of color to her garden. She is admittedly a bad gardener. She would say her thumb is more brown than green. We'll work on that. Gardening doesn't have to be hard if you know a few tricks.
 We added a couple of day lillies to the ground then filled her planter with impatients and ivy. I think she was thrilled.
 Adding just a few plants can make a big difference. Just wait until they really start to fill out.
They are just beautiful.
It's a good day!
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