Showing posts from September, 2012

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 …