Sunday, September 25, 2011

This weeks menu 9/25/11

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I haven't posted my menu lately but managed to get it together earlier today so here you go....
Beef Stroganoff
Chicken and Rice Soup
Turkey Roast
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Homemade Pizza
Several of these have been on my menu but for whatever reason get bumped so they are back on for this week. Hopefully that will save some on the groceries since I know I already have the stuff.
I am hoping to do some baking this week and try some more yummy fall recipes. Anyone have some suggestions of their favs? There are so many to choose from!!
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spicing up the bathtub

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Small touches with big impact....
A plan bathtub....
Made inviting. 
I found the center of my swag and tied it around the rod.
Then I let it drape just right and tied it around the ends. It took a couple of tries but I loved the way it hung down without hanging into the tub.
Add the vase and towel rack I had and
A place to enjoy and relax....
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Friday, September 23, 2011

A girls room decor....

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I finally managed to get some good pictures of my friends daughters room. From plain to fab!
Madi loves her room. It is bright, cheery and perfect for a young lady! We added the wall color, chair, nightstand, lamp, wall art, and curtains.
It turned out great!
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The "T" Wall

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I wanted to make a wall of T's from all sorts of materials. Anything that Mr. Tyler plays with became fair game. Rocks, legos, and sticks were some of the first things that came to mind.
Each time I went into a store that had monograms I grabbed one. I wanted all different fonts and sizes. When I had several I just started creating....
This was the first monogram I made. At the time I didn't plan on a T wall but now it just goes right along with the others.
  A black T with letter beads down the side.....
Rocks and little boys just go hand in hand. How many times have I found rocks in the laundry? Or, "look at this COOL rock mom?" (I'm thinking of putting a frame around this one, it just looks unfinished)
This was one of my favorite letters. It's a bunch of washers glued together.
Moss and rocks wrapped around a wooden letter....
Lego's are a staple around our house. It only made sense that they be part of the wall. I let the boys come up with the design. I picked out the blocks I thought would work and told them to build me a T. Mr Ty added his lego guy.
Blue glass rocks....
Different fonts just painted blue- his favorite color.
Tyler loves his "T" wall. I have a couple of other ideas. I need to make a trip up the canyon for some twigs.
And, I keep wondering about something from the Home Depot. Surely there is something in the pipe section that can be worked into a T.....
I will share any others I add but for now I wanted to share what we have to far. All hung up with Command hook stickies (can you tell I love these things? and no one paid me to say that!)

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fun Coat hooks...

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I found some small railroad nails in a box of junk at the DI. I was thrilled but my dear friend thought I had a few loose nuts. She just stood back and smiled while I dug through "junk".
I hoped to find a 4th and use them in my bathroom as towel hooks but could not find another. I checked a couple of army surplus stores and still came up short, so on to plan B.
I picked up some square blocks and stars from Michaels.
Painted them, sanded the edges, and added the stars. I used black paint to dry brush the sides for an aged look.
I couldn't decide where to put them so I put them up with Command hook stickies. They are strong enough to hold the coats and backpacks but they are great for giving me an idea if a spot will work before I pound holes in my walls.
I think this spot works well, just behind the front door....
What do you think?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Making progess in the basement...

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Once upon a time there was a city boy and country girl who bought a house with plans to finish the basement.
There plans were grand.
But their knowledge was not.
Thankfully they had a great father who had taught the girl when she was young.
Now it came to teaching the city boy how to build wall after wall after wall.
Now we have 2 finished rooms and have 3 left to do; the bathroom, family room and guest/craft room.
We started framing the guest/craft room last weekend.
This weekend we finished framing the walls.
Josh was such a big help! 
Maybe through it all we will pass on to our boys how to frame a basement....
We have to move supplies from one side to another as we work our way around but it is sooo nice to see the progress being made. This will be a big room for a couple of reasons. We wanted to include the window for egress access. This way when we plan to sell we can claim this as a bedroom rather than just a storage room. It will also have a bunk bed and queen size bed in it for when family come to visit. Not to mention serving as my craft room all the other days of the year. Just call it your do it all room......
We put in a 5x5 closet. I plan to have most of my supplies stashed here. It will be great to close things up and keep them out of site of family and friends. No spying eyes! Christmas is on the way!
Looking back into what will eventually be the family/game room.
The view from the closet.....
We put plastic up to help control the dust. This is the door into the bedroom.
We are also hoping to get moving on the bathroom. Mr. K is waiting for the bathroom to move into his room. He sleep walks at night so the bathroom needs to be close. 
Can you believe it will cost $1500 just to have the rough plumbing done?! We have to move the drains a matter of inches! The toilet drain has to go back 5 inches! Why can't the builders just cement them in the right place to begin with?! Apparently this is a common problem. ARGH! 
In the meantime we are framing the bathroom ceiling around the ducting.
I guess Mr K couldn't get into his room right now anyway.....
We had to store the beds somewhere!!!!
See the stack of tile in the by the door? SCORE on that! We found a nice basic tile for $0.51 sq foot! Yeah, I haven't seen any that low. We bought enough for our floor and extra. We can return what we don't need but will have enough to cover any mistakes. The next week the same tile was $0.68. Still a good price but not as good! I put a piece down to see how it would look in the bathroom area, yep! It's gonna be nice! Now we just need to get tile for the shower. The boys just wanted a shower rather than a tub. Works for me. They always use my shower anyway.
All this means that for now my crafting stuff is piled up..... 
Left in the sacks with all my inspiration.....
Sewing projects, patterns, fabric, skirts, blouses....all on hold for now.
Paper crafts, vinyl, cricut, etc all in a pile.....hmmm, wonder if I can find a spot to do my "Spooky" sign?
Each weekend we are doing a little more.
Wiring, ductwork, insulation, sheetrock, mudding......
Hopefully by the end of October we will have this room finished!
Just in time for family to visit for a special 12 yr old birthday and the holidays!
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Harvest "Mantel"

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We don't really have a mantel but I use our bookshelf to decorate for each season. I love how a little change can go a long way.
I want to change the sign on the wall. I have a project in mind and hopefully will be able to get to it this week. Halloween is dear hubby's favorite holiday but I DON"T do scarey! I tend to beat spiders in my sleep and he wakes up with a couple of bruises. Really! I know it's crazy but I do. I used to sleep walk really bad too. My mom tells me I tried to walk out into a blizzard to find my dad. :-/
Needless to say around my house are the fun parts of fall and Halloween more than the spooky. 
I also have a couple of projects from last year that I need to finish. 
Keeping my fingers crossed I will get to some of them this week.
My list is growing longer. There are so many great ideas and just not enough time!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spiced Pear Dumplings and Fall cooking!

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Here are just some of the reasons I love fall....
Spiced Pear Dumplings..
 3 Tbs packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp grnd cardamom
1/4 tsp grnd cinnamon
1 Tbs butter or margarine softened
Dumpling pastry (see below)
2 large pears peeled and cut in half, cored
1 egg white
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup caramel sauce or topping.

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 Tbs water
Mix shortening and flour together until crumbly. Add salt, then add water 1 Tbs at a time until pastry almost cleans sides of bowl. Gather into a ball and roll out.

Mix br sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and butter together. Tuck a bit of mixture into center of pear. Wrap pear in pastry and seal edges slightly with cool water. Place seam side down in 9x13 greased pan.
Bake at 375 x 40-45 minutes.
Top with caramel sauce.
I didn't have caramel sauce so I mixed brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter together on low heat then poured over the dumplings. It was a hit at our house!

I had some small pears that needed to be used up. I offered several recipes and dear hubby choose this one. I haven't made it in a while. It calls for cardamon (kinda like cinnamon). I had boughten this spices way back when I first made this. I have not used it since so I had to chuckle when I came across the recipe to use some more of this spice.....
I haven't made bread for a while. I found the cost of heating my house and thus using my AC more was just not worth the savings. We are out of bread and I was so glad to have the cooler temps so I could make some more bread.
And chili with cornbread. Fall soups and chilis! Yum! It's a great way to use up all those vegis in the fridge from the garden. Just add whatever is left.
For my chili I usually add hamburger, tomatoes, corn and several cans of various beans. I add a bit of ketchup and brown sugar like when I make baked beans. You can also add a can of jalepenos but my boys don't like the heat so I have started leaving that out.
I have to make a double batch of cornbread and today still ended up making more.
 They devoured it! 
I enjoy the BBQ but I LOVE fall cooking!
The best part was how my house smelled of yummy spices when I was done. 
Home Sweet Home!
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Spider Plate....

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I bought a purple charger a couple of weeks ago at Micheals. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it but I loved it. It was perfect for Halloween.
I have had a couple of ideas come to mind but nothing really popped...
until I saw this at Crap I've Made....

I new right away what I wanted to do.
I didn't have the right puff paint so I just went with the elementary route..
Elmers glue and glitter.
 At 11:00 you will see Mr. Spider....waiting to catch his prey.
 I love it! 
I have fabric to make a runner to go on my piano for Halloween. I hope to finish it but my craft supplies are a shambles at the moment......Keep watching to see why.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Birds of a Feather Family Tree

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My lovely mom-in-law sent this too me.
I really like this idea. 
I may do this in my family room down stairs.  Although drawing it on the wall might be tricky I think I could figure something out. It's a great idea to strengthen family ties.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thanking our Heros!

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 The news is filled with rememberings of 9/11. 
I realized 3 of my 4 boys were not even born. Do they understand what all the fuss is about?
I had been to the Towers just after the first bombing in 1994. 
I remember visiting DC and driving past the Pentegon.
I remember sprawling fields of Pennsylvania all on a history tour in high school. 
How different that tour would be now.
I remember being in my living room in our first house. I was just barely pregnant with our second.
Dear hubby was at school and I was off work cleaning house.
I don't remember why I turned the tv on, if my mom called or I already had it on but I remember sitting in stunned amazement as the first tower burned. Then watching the next planes crash as well. Like so many others that day remains vivid in my mind. Someone was quoted as stating "this is our Pearl Harbor". I can relate to that. Few events in the history of America have etched their way permanently into our minds as these have. What a tragic day. My heart goes out to all those touched personally by these events. 
May God watch over you and yours. 
America is STILL great! 
We have heroes everyday touching lives and never asking for anything in return. 
It is this type of behavior upon which this Land of Liberty has been built.
You are not forgotten. 
I will remember.
My children will remember.
My family will remember.
Generations will remember 
the sacrifice of so many to secure the freedom that defines 
America- the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
Thank you! We love you!
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Menu and new cooking blogs!

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With the addition of 2 new blogs I am excited to try some new main dishes. Not to mention cooler weather means we and enjoy our favorite soups and chilis!
This week at our house....
Homemade Pizza
Roast, potatoes and garden carrots
Chicken Rice Soup
Taco Casserole

For Desert I plan on trying a new Lemonade Pie from my dear friend. hmmm, maybe I will make that tonight! She promises it is refreshingly delightful! We will see and I will post pictures and the recipe.

Now I have to put a shout out for The Country Cook. I found her blog through Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck link party. I love cooks that stick with basic ingredients in my pantry. They are even better when they remind me of growing up on the farm and in the country. It all comes down to comfort food for me but these are the biggest hits with my boys too. They haven't lived on a farm but they love to visit my uncles farm. Something about the dirt in your toes and the thrill of riding a tractor....
but I digress....
The Country Cook has lots of fun recipes that look great.
Shhh, please don't tell dear hubby she even has a recipe for "Magic Shell" ice cream topping.
He loves the stuff that will freeze on your ice cream. All my boys devour it (I know this is a common occurance) and I haven't boughten it in a while which means they could go through some withdrawls when I buy it again!
Then for desert try her Shorcut Cheese Danish, I plan on trying it!
Ooh, Yummy!
These will be great recipes for my boys to learn to cook with too. At 11 and 9 they are wanting to learn to cook more. Love that! It helps that they have been watching food networks "Chopped" show with dad. It becomes a joke if your dish is chopped or not. Makes me smile and welcome them into the kitchen. I will have to have them pick a night to help cook and let them go at it while I supervise. Before long I will have them searching blogs for more great recipes to try! Who said having all boys was tough?!
Check out The Country Cook for your cook!

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