Showing posts from 2012

Weekend Musings

My musings occur on the weekends because I have no idea where the time goes during the week.  What can I say?  I’m just so popular (with my one-year-old) I never have any free time.  To muse.  Or blog.  Or do my hair.  Speaking of one-year olds…I can’t believe how big my “baby” is getting.  Over the last few weeks, she seems like such a little girl rather than a baby. Have I mentioned she’s walking now???  She holds a finger or two when she can, but she walks by herself when she wants to.<sniff>Avery was a bee for Halloween.  We didn’t go trick-or-treating, but she wore her cutie little costume for her birthday party and for a Halloween party we attended.  I made a silk sunflower barrette for the costume, too, but it was SUPERFUN to pull it out, so it didn’t make it into any pictures.  Go figure.  And yes, I know the pink shirt doesn’t match.  Yes, yes yes.  I KNOW.  It was a chilly day and that was the best option, but everyone made sure to mention how it didn’t go with the cos…

Germ Momster Called and She Said to Wash Your Hands

So here’s a gross one for you.  I used to work with a lady who I’d occasionally run into in the ladies room.  (No, that’s not quite the end of that story.)I started noticing that she’d “wash” her hands by simply turning on the water for a split second, wetting her hands, then walking out.  Ok, and she dried them, too.  How totally gross is that?  I avoided using her computer keyboard at all costs.I don’t deal with workplace germs so much anymore, but now I get the kid germs.  In fact, today I’m pretty sure a spot on my right sleeve is dried snot – and funny how it doesn’t even bother me.  As a mom, I’m constantly on the lookout for signs of sickness to keep Avery away from other kids so she doesn’t either get them sick, or get sick herself.  The drool and snot that magically make their way onto my clothes, various toys, and who knows where else, are surprisingly mobile.My husband just told me this morning how Avery cutely offered him her blanket as he went to get her up this morning. …

Thankful October is Over!

I’m still heeeeeeere!  We had a busy month of October.  Miss Avery turned one, and we celebrated with a birthday party for her.  We were super-occupied with stuff around the house and various work commitments, and I’m suddenly in charge of the newsletter for the mom’s group I joined (someone asked me to take it over on the very first day I joined), so I’ve been figuring that one out too.  So….I owe y’all some of my best September AND October recipes from my meal planning efforts.  I’ll get there.  I even took some pictures!  Not that my food photography looks *all* that tasty, but it gives a better idea of the recipe at least.Bear with me – posts are on the way!

The Cleanhouse Challenge–Green your Clean!

I just learned of a cool new application designed by Real Simple,, and Seventh Generation that lets you “walk” through a virtual house and get tips in every room on ways to green your clean.  Yeah, that’s right – “Green Your Clean”!  I just made that up, but I think it fits with the goal of the app and with the priorities of a lot of families like mine.  Plus, for those of us always trying to save a few bucks, as you walk through this app, printable coupons pop up!  Boo-ya!The app is called the Cleanhouse Challenge.  It presents a virtual house with virtual rooms to “walk through” where tips are provided in each room.  Plus, by touring the house, you’re not just helping yourself: after viewing all the tips, Seventh Generation makes a $10 donation to example, one of the first things I learned (in the kitchen of this cute little virtual house) is that most dish soaps are made of 75% petroleum-based products.  Even if that doesn’t bother you from a green perspective, …

Fall Around Here

Temps here have finally dropped….like a rock.  We went from 80 one day, to 39 the next!  This morning we woke up to a tiny bit of snow, and we’re expecting more this weekend.  We usually get an October snowstorm, so it’s not entirely unexpected.  As long as we remember to shut off the sprinkler system and drain it this evening, we’ll be just fine Here’s a glimpse at fall in our house the last few days:Miss Avery turned 11 months!I finally got out some autumn décor and dressed up the new hutch.  I caught a squirrel raiding the sunflower seeds.  We hardly ever see squirrels in our backyard but I guess these sunflowers were enough of a draw for this guy to make the trek down the block!  See him surfing that left stalk down to the ground?  I hope your fall is off to a warm and cozy start too!

It’s Thursday Already?

Where does the time go?This week has just *flown* by, and it’s already Friday tomorrow. We’ve had a couple days of fall-appropriate temperatures, and it’s been SO nice.  80 degree days past about mid-September make me cranky.  Once fall officially hits, I’m ready for overcast skies and cool breezes cartwheeling the colorful leaves past the window while we watch football. Watching football inside while it’s hot outside really takes away from the fun!Miss Avery is almost ELEVEN MONTHS OLD – holey buckets.  Today she figured out how to climb into her “toy drawer” (and preferred to sit in it while she played for the rest of the morning), she realized she could climb all the way into the “Rubbermaid cupboard” I let her play in while I’m in the kitchen, and she figured out how to get up on the first stair….the second stair….and all the way up the entire flight of stairs.  All in one day!  Little monkey!We also joined a moms’ group, and we’re really enjoying it.  It’s so nice to see Avery ge…

Fall Pinterest Picks 2012

Hey! Welcome to FALL already!!  Okay, so it’s not technically “fall” yet, but we’re darn close, and it’s definitely in the air out here in the ‘burb, so I’m going with it.We’ve had a couple days here of much cooler temps, and it’s SO getting me in the mood for fuzzy socks, jeans, boots, scarves, and all the other warm clothes in my closet that I’m ready to pile on.  If I’m not careful, I could go overboard and end up a sweater Michelin man on the first really cold day of the season…Oh yeah, and I can’t wait to rake leaves – the first day of raking is fun before it gets old – turn on the fireplace (I love that …. “turn on” rather than “clean out and chop wood for…”!) and make some super yummy fall recipes.  The geeky gardener in me is even excited to trim back all the plants and see a garden that’s ready for winter and snow.OH….oh yeah….again….this is Avery’s first fall!  She was born *almost* on Halloween last year, so even though she was around for some fall days, we were pretty much…

Cutting Food Costs: The Price Book

Here I am again, into a new month with a new meal plan!  I’m dedicated to cutting our food bill while also avoiding the “what should we do for dinner” dance each evening.  Here’s a quick update.  This month, I planned for 16 meals.  I’ve been to the grocery store once, Wal-Mart once, and Walgreens once.  I’ve spent a total of $242 and there’s nothing (as of today?) I know I’ll need by the end of the month. I also borrowed a book from the library on cutting our grocery bill even further, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half by Steve and Annette Economides.  I’ve seen this family on TV, and they’re truly experts at frugality.  There are a ton of tips in their book, but so far, the biggest one I’ve taken away so far is the need to have a price book.The importance of a price book isn’t new to me, but I’ve really procrastinated doing it.   I’ve just been too lazy to do the work myself and record prices.  Instead, I’ve taken shortcuts:  followed blogs that list and rate the week’s grocery deals, I…

A Refinished Hutch!!!

Holey moley, I’m practically bouncing in my chair to finally show you all the newly refinished hutch to go with the buffet I refinished oh…like two years ago.

The back story is that I wanted a china cabinet of certain dimensions to fit on a narrow wall in our dining room.  I found a buffet plus hutch on Craigslist that was just the right size.  It was an undesirable color, but that was no problem.

We brought them home for $100, and I got to work refinishing the buffet.  It was a learning curve, but it turned out beautifully and we’ve been enjoying it ever since.

BUT…the hutch sat in the basement, totally neglected, until I finally decided I had to just get’er done.  So up into the garage it came, and I got to work.

Here are some high quality cell phone shots (snort!) of the hutch, with its stemware and plate racks.

The wood was a sort of honey-orange color, and the “white” portions were a yellowish cream that seem to have been very sloppily glazed.  (as in… it looked kind of dirty.)

August Recipe Round Up: 9 Dinner Ideas

Hey all, here’s the lowdown on the best recipes I made for my August meal plan, with my own spins.  These came from a bunch of places: Pinterest, Martha Stewart Cooking booklets, Taste of Home, and my recipe box (aka “No Idea”!)    If it wasn’t a “keeper”, I’m not including it here.  Also, these turned out great at high altitude, so if you’re at sea level and they don’t work quite as well….that’s probably why.First up – the “love child between a birthday cake and a brownie” (according to my husband):Cake Batter BarsThese were a little tricky to find the perfect baking time.  32 min was the sweet spot for me.  They were underdone and very doughy at 30 minutes, but perfect at 32.  You might have to try a couple batches to get it right (luckily there’s enough cake mix in a box for 2-3 batches of these!).  Also, the original recipe called for 3/4 C of butter.  For me, this made them SUPER greasy, so I cut back a little with no adverse effects.  These are so good, they probably won’t last …