Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hannah is 7 !!!!

My baby girl turned 7 last week, and I can hardly believe it! She has been a thorn in my flesh since the day she was born... maybe a few days after. (don't judge me. She really is a pain besides its my blog, and I am just telling it like it is) BUT.. I love her so much and can't imagine our life without her.
I decided that it has been way too long since I have done, or had done, a birthday picture of her. I used to get the kids pictures done at Sears every year. That didn't last long. Its way too expensive for me. I decided about 5 years ago that I could do it myself cheaper, although much less professional. Even then I have been lazy at the annual picturing, From now on I have decided that we will go shopping to get a new outfit on their birthday, and then take a whole bunch of shots.
I have a fabulous camera, and I have even gone digital since my boycott of retail store photography. I am getting much better at my own photography, but have a long way to go before I am great.

Here is a picture of Hannah the first year I decided to save money on birthday pictures.

Hannah at 2 years old.

Sadly on the day I planned to take this years pictures it drizzled all day long. These were taken in our little town of Grantville, at a cool old building by the railroad tracks. Thankfully it had an overhang and the "deck" was all dry. I am pretty pleased with the results.

She is not so smiley any more. Her daddy made her smile in all these pictures. Here is the usual look I get .....

Just a collage of the day

The drizzly rain was much more fun with a bubble umbrella. Wish I had some rainboots too.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My new laptop,bag and other things

So I told my husband I wanted my own computer, preferably a laptop, since I was the only one in the house who didn't have their own computer. Being the wonderful, sweet, amazing man that he is he bought me one for an early Christmas/Birthday present. I LOVE it! He got me a cherry red , Dell Inspirion 17 (that's a 17 " monitor... huge), with a full number pad and well .... its just fabulous. So of course I had to get myself a case/bag for it. Me, being the crafty girl that I am, decided it would be great to make one with cool fabric etc. So I found a pattern that actually will fit a 17" laptop, and got my supplies. Yea... it would have most likely been cheaper to buy one, but it would have been so boring, and probably a basic black. It took me 3 days to make, but 2 broken needles and several "oh crap's" later here is my bag, laptop sleeve, and my new "toy".

While I was feeling crafty, I decided to use the extra fabric to make a cover for my camera strap. I got kinda crazy... I mean what am I gonna do with 4 camera strap covers? Look snazzy, I suppose, while I am out shooting pictures!

Here are some pics of the covers I made.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Keeping busy

I have been keeping myself extra busy lately doing things that I don't really want to do. For instance, I decided that I don't like my green kitchen... never really have. I have wanted to go for a nice yellow with a Tuscan feel to it. Well I got the paint and talked myself into painting. I really hate painting. I used to love it until I decided to save some money and do all the painting, priming,trim, caulking, ceilings and doors in our newly built house about 4 years ago. I wish now that I had just left my green kitchen/ dining room alone. I like the results... well .. the kitchen anyways, but its still a pain to paint.
Here are the before and after pictures of what I did this weekend when I should have just taken some naps or read a book.

Here is the Dining Room before:
And after:

Just another view. The before of this view didn't turn out so well. I don't really like the dining room so much, but its ok. It is a bit too bright in the morning/midday light. Looks like a tacky restaurant, but I don't have the energy to repaint. I may add a darker color wash on top one day. Not anytime soon though. I also want to get a round, antique black color table. This one is a bit too fancy for a tiny dining room.
(02/11/11 I still hate this paint. Hope to redo it soon!)

Heres my little kitchen before I painted. Excuse the nasty mess. I despise a dirty kitchen, and this picture makes me cringe.
After... ahhh. Much better.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nummy Nummy Dinner!

I haven't been very good at posting. Actually it looks like its been almost 4 months. Woe!!
So I just wanted to post something and thought I would add this yummy recipe. I had a version of this at an expensive local Italian restaurant a few months back, and I thought I would like to try it at home. My first attempt was only sub-par. It was made with butter ha-ha (fake crap). I decided to try one that uses real butter, and this time the results were quite close to the restaurants. Here it is.

Lemon Caper Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons REAL butter
  • ½ teaspoon (1 clove) minced or pressed garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon dry white wine (can substitute lemon juice or broth. I chose the broth)
  • 3 Tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained


In a cup, dissolve cornstarch in broth and set aside. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion; cook, stirring constantly, until they are limp and slightly golden. Add additional ¼ cup butter; allow butter to melt. Whisk broth mixture, lemon juice, and wine into melted butter. Continue to cook until sauce thickens. Add capers. Serve sauce over grilled or broiled chicken breasts.
Source: Recipe developed by Challenge Home Ec

I put mine over some whole grain thin spaghetti. It was so nummy-nummy!

(this picture kinda makes it look nasty, but it was soooo good)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow in Georgia

We got a little snow "storm" today- March 1, 2009

Snow is a rarity around here, especially this much. People start freaking out, and
the news stations scare the crap out of every one.
The kids and I had a great time playing in it though. I made a snowman, and the kids
ate the snow off of the bushes. It was lots of fun. I got a great idea
to put on disposable latex gloves under our regular gloves to "water proof" them,
and to keep our hands warmer. Hannah and I had them on but Curtis didn't. We had toasty warm and dry hands, and Curtis' were freezing! Sometimes I get good ideas and surprise myself.

My snowman... bum kids wouldn't help!

Curtis eating snow!...yummy

Hannah making snow pizzas, and playing some made up game with them.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Home made laundry soap

I have been making my own laundry soap lately, and really like it. It works well in my High Efficiency Front Load Washing machine, is really cheap , and super easy to make. I only used 3 ingredients and my food processor. Here is the Duggar family recipe... you know the family that has 18 children and counting! They estimate the cost at about $2 for a batch that does about 40 loads. I guessed about that much for mine, or maybe a little cheaper.

Powdered Laundry Detergent

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar ( use one half a bar for Zote)
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

I used Zote soap this time, which is why it is a pretty pink. I found Zote at Big Lots, but the Fels-Naptha can be found in the laundry aisle with all the rest of the ingredients. I have used both of these soaps, but I understand you can also use Ivory, Sunlight and Kirk's Hardwater Castile, and maybe Octagon if you can find it.

There is a liquid version, but it takes more time, and the one time I made it , I didnt care for it as much. Powder is easier for me. Here is the Duggar version for liquid if you wanna try it.
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value
4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

UPDATE 4/15/11: I still make my own powder and love it, but I now use this recipe which works just as well.

1 bar Fels Naptha
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies and giveaway

Here are a few things I have been up to lately. Oh I got that pesky gallbladder taken out 2 weeks ago today. I feel so much better. I still have Gastroparesis, but I am dealing with it quite well.

There is a tea shop here that not only sells loose tea, but also makes some amazing Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies!
I stopped in there the other day and inhaled one. Wishing I had more I decided to try to make them myself. These turned out pretty good, but not quite as good as the tea shop.

Makes about 3 dozen
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels
1 (6-ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries ( I used Craisins)

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; set aside.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries.
Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

I also thought I would make my very first apron. I didn't keep it, but gave it away as a birthday gift. She almost didn't get it, because I loved it so much. I found the pattern in a book called "A is for Apron". Every time I bake or cook I wish I had an apron, but haven't gotten around to making one for myself. I bought some fun fabric when I got the fabric for this one. Now all I have to do is motivate myself enough to make it.

I got my excitement for aprons from this website
She is doing a giveaway right now, and I know it includes an apron. Visit her site and check it out.
Lots of fun stuff there.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

I have been super busy trying to get my house all organized. I love organization. It keeps me happy and as sane as can be. I have been trying to work on bits and pieces of the house, but then I get side tracked and all of a sudden I have more projects than I want all fighting for my attention. This first set of pictures is my garage. I got all my Christmas stuff out on Thanksgiving day and there it sat all messy in my garage. I couldn't even park in there. I know some of you are like... so what! I have never parked in my garage.. aren't they for storage anyways?

Ya but we had ours
built bigger than normal so that both our cars and our junk could fit. Plus once you go from
parking in a nice dry and warm garage to a wet, cold, windy... well you get it. Anyways I am so glad to be back in my parking spot. Looks much better huh? I was able to weed out some junk that I didn't use, throw away those darn Christmas lights that only half work, and sweep up some serious dirt from the floor. This half of the garage is done. Now my husbands half is quite nasty, but I refuse to do that side.

My sewing room was another one of those rooms you don't really want to go into. I would feel all crafty, then take one look at my room and all of a sudden not want to craft anymore. I finally got bold enough to face this room. I also did some purging in here too. Cant believe all the little piddly things I had, that didn't get used! Now everything has a nice place and a label, and its clean! Oh.... that's where I put my treadmill!

(inside the closet with some organization)

This is my laundry room all nice and neat. I wish I had a before picture of it...... ewwwwwwwww. It was bad. One solution I have started using to make laundry day easier is this. Everyone now gets a zippered laundry bad that they put their own socks into. I zip, toss in the washer and drier, and then no having to waste time on separating socks. This has helped out alot.

Here are some future projects to do. My closet... ya.. embarrassing I know. Its a poorly lit, poor design. I don't care for it, and I tend to let it get all messy. I step into it every day and say... boy I sure need to clean this up. Then I quickly forget and well... do the same thing again next time I go in there.

Then there is my door from the garage into the house. Yes, its been partly painted for about 2 years now. My sister Katie was suppose to paint it while she was here, but that didnt happen either. I need to do this before summer, so I can leave the door open while it dries. And I cant do it in the winter.... too cold. See my dilemma?

Guess that's about it. Now go out there and clean your garages and organize your house. I promise once its all done you will feel so much better!