Tuesday, December 14, 2010

There is a snowball in my freezer

  It has been very cold here the last several days and yesterday evening there was a snow squall. My 10 year old got so excited he ran outside and scooped up a handful of snow for a snow ball and put it in the freezer. That little snowball is a wonderful little reminder of the joys of childhood. I don't know how long the snowball will last in the freezer, but I will try my best to keep it there all winter.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

All Moved In

      Well all the boxes have been unpacked, and most things have found there places just in time for Christmas. It has been a very busy around here the last few weeks. Our things arrived the day before Thanksgiving, some of my husbands family was in so they went out and saw some of the sights while we sorted and unpacked boxes. We have this moving thing down to a science now. We can unpack all the boxes in about a day and get the large things set rather quickly. Then the fun part of slowly finding our new houses identity, how it would like to be gussied up.

     Most of my decorative items have certain rooms I always think of them in, but this house is different than our last few. It is our first 2 story house in several years, so I wanted to do something a little different with the small things. I found that things I had always had in the dining room now fit in the foyer or one of the bedrooms. To me it was finding new life in my old favorites. Having my Mother in law and Sister in law here to help was also very fun, as we all have similar tastes.  After our family headed home we got out our Christmas tree and began to make the house festive. I am keeping it very simple this year, Bringing a little bit of nature in and not buying new decorations. So far I am loving it. I will post some pictures in a day or two as things finish coming together.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

On The Road Again

      Well the movers have taken all our things and headed in the direction of Virginia. Now that the whirl off that part of the move is over I am tired, and ready for the drive to be over. This is an exciting move for us. We will be meeting some family along the way and they are going to travel the rest of the way to the new house with us.

   It will be wonderful first week in our new house. Not only will it be Thanksgiving week, but we will be surrounded by family. It may not be a grand Thanksgiving, but it will be a memorably sweet one. Hope that all has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Primitive and Rustic

       That is me, I am a primitive and rustic kinda girl. Don't get me wrong I love girlie and pretty things too, but primitives set my heart a flutter. Rustic things grab my attention, when other would usually just walk on by. I had an identity crisis a few months back, I was seeing beautiful shabby painted furniture and lovely white linens and thought that I wanted to re-decorate. Yet, when I would pull to far away from my primitive roots it didn't feel right. I was attempting to put a disguise on my true decorating style. I have found however that some of my shabby finds blend beautifully with my simple, primitive treasures. Lesson learned don't pretend to be someone you are not even when it comes to decor.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Making Friends in a new School

      We moved to Texas in June and we knew that it was going to be a short stay for us. The kids had a wonderful summer and made some buddies with the kids in the neighborhood. Then school started. My oldest started high school this year, I was a little worried. I soon realized that he was going to do great and he has. He is very out going and made some new friends the first day. My youngest started first grade this year and I  was a little unsure how she would do as she tends to be shy, but very big hearted. She also came home the first day and told me all about a little girl in her class that was sad and she made friends with. And as the first two weeks of school has come and gone she has made more friends. 
       Now my 10 year old has been a different story. He is very friendly and loves to be a little clown, but up until this year he has kind of fallen under is big brothers shadow. His older brothers friends would bring their little brother over to the house and they would all hang out together. The teachers and kids at their old school knew him by his big brother. Now he has to make friends all on his own. It broke my heart when he came home during the first week of school and I could see the worry in his eyes. He had made one friend with another little boy who was also new this year, but my son has been a very social little boy and he felt that no one wanted to get to know him. I told him that it would take some time, but that if he stayed true to who he is that the kids in his class would definitely want to know more about him.  Now that the end of the second week of school is coming he has brightened up some and has talked about playing football during recess. I know that he will be fine and make friends here, but as his mom those moments when he felt lost I felt lost with him.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Coupons and Meal planning

      Through out my 15 years of marriage I have always used coupons to some extent. It wasn't until about 2 and 1/2 years ago that I began to seriously clip and use coupons, I also changed the way I made out my grocery lists. As a family of five (with 2 of those 5 being a teen and preteen boy that could out eat a bear), I know I had to do better with our grocery budget. I started by revamping the way I make out my grocery list. I will look at the grocery store sale fliers to see what meat and veggies are on special.  Then I start at the beginning of each month and make out a monthly menu, using recipes that will incorporate as many sale items as I can. Planning enough meals for the whole month with a few extras in case I need to substitute a meal. After I have my final monthly menu I go to the pantry and the freezer to see what I already have on hand for each recipe. Next I  sit down and write out my grocery list specific to each of the meals I have planned for the month. I break down my list in 2 for the first half of the month and then the second half of the month. This has worked out very well

        After I have my meals planned and my lists written I print out and clip coupons for things that I need for my recipes that are not on sale. I also try not to clip or print to many more coupons than I can use in 1 or 2 grocery trips, simply because the printable coupons tend to expire rather quickly. Once I take care of the main meal coupons, I look for coupons for snacks that my kids eat and that my husband takes to work. I bake most all of our sweets and breads so I usually skip these coupons. We, do however eat a lot of yogurt and I have found that most of the yogurt coupons do take a significant amount of depending on the brand.

       Another thing that I started doing was when my kids want to try something new I wait until it is either on special or I find a coupon for a good bit off. My kids can be very picky so I have found that if I wait and get it when it is cheap I am not out as much if they don't end up liking it.

    By doing these simple things I cut our grocery budget by half. We were paying between $500 and $600 a month, which for a family of five does not seem to bad. Now  I am paying between $250 and $300 a month, this is much better.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Homemade Granola

      I love having granola for breakfast, but when I looked at what is in most store bought granola I cringed. I went on a hunt for a good tasting and simple granola recipe. I found the following recipe base.

Honey Vanilla Granola
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Honey
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Vanilla
4 cups Old Fashioned Oats
This is the base for the granola, to this you can add 1/2 cup each of nuts of your choice, coconut, brown rice cereal, or any kind of dried fruit. I also like to add about 2 T of a wheat germ and flax seed mix.

The first step is to melt the butter and the Honey, as they are melting adding in the cinnamon. Once the butter is completely melted remove from heat and add the vanilla.

Next gather all your dry ingredients, mixing bowls, and 9x13 baking dish or a deep sided cookie sheet.

Mix all your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. If you are going to add any nuts or dried fruit this is when you would add them. I like to add pecans and cranberries.

Once you have mixed your dry ingredients, pour over your honey and butter mixture. Mix until everything is coated evenly. Then spread in your baking pan.

Now pop it in a 325 degree oven, bake for 10 minutes, stir through turning the granola so it will brown evenly. Bake for another 10 minutes, remove from the oven and let cool in the baking pan. Once cool store in an air tight zip lock bag or container. This is a wonderful alternative to traditional cereal, it also makes a wonderful snack.

Hope you enjoy.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Where does the time go?

  I have had a busy couple of weeks. My three are in morning swim lessons, which takes up the better part of our morning. But this is our last week, they are kind of bummed about that. School is just around the corner, I am excited and a little bummed at the same time. This was the first summer in a long time that I have had all three kids at home with me. The boys usually spend most of there summers in Ohio with all of our family, so this summer has been fun. A little trying at times when it is to hot to be outside, but otherwise wonderful.

  Today I feel old, my oldest son and I went and registered him for high school! I can not believe that my baby boy is a freshman in high school this year. Not only is he starting high school, but his younger brother is going into 5th grade and my baby girl is going to be a big first grader. They have all been in school for the last 2 years, but until this year it did not really hit me how fast they are growing up. The next thing I know my oldest will be driving, that is scary stuff right there.

  I will say it is wonderful to watch them grow into such wonderful children and now young adults. Now for the next few short weeks I will relish them being silly, sleeping late and having that last little bit of summer fun.

Summer vacation is ruff.

2boys sharing a room for the summer, means too many late nights.

Hope all you moms are enjoying this last little stretch of summer.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baking Bread

         I love baking bread, I started baking all of my families breads about a year and a half ago. I took a serious look what we where eating as a family, not just bread but everything that was a convenience food and decided we could do better. I could do better. Growing up my mom, and when I got old enough I helped as well,  made everything we ate from scratch. I wanted to go back to that simplicity. I jumped right in with both feet and  I haven't looked back. When I first started I mixed the bread by hand, I loved how the dough felt in my hands, but I won't lie it was difficult. Christmas of that year my wonderful husband bought me this...

wonderful Kitchen Aid mixer, it has made my bread making much easier. I can safely say that next to my crock pot this is my favorite kitchen gadget. It makes getting to this step..

so simple, no more wrist pain! I can mix a 2 loaf batch and let the dough hook do most of the kneading for me. Then I cover, let it rise shape the loaves and bake.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cleaning Out

     Well I had a fairly busy weekend, and got a lot of closets cleaned out, even my husband threw a few things in the give away pile. So far I have on the pile 3 garbage bags of clothes, a small bag of shoes, a bicycle my daughter has out grown, and a box of house hold items. I still need to hit up the kitchen today, and get our coffee and tea mugs down to a manageable level.

        Now that it is out of the closest and in a pile it is time to give it away. Time to do some posting on my local freecycle and maybe craigslist as well. I am interested to know what do you do when you clean out closets and need to donate the purged items?


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Urge to Purge

   I don't know if it is the move that I know is coming in November, but I feel the need to Purge. I try keep things pretty simple already, I don't keep totes of decor items stored away (mainly because I don't have any storage). Yet I have been looking through closets and cupboards lately wondering why I have the need for 35 coffee mugs and tea cups, (my husband and I are the only ones who use them).
   Before our move in May, I was a consigning, freecycling gal. Things felt so clean and refreshed, it was wonderful to see someone else finding enjoyment in the things we no longer needed. Don't get me wrong I love to go thrifting and hitting up the yard sales on the weekends.  So with that in mind I think it is time to sort through, and have a purging weekend.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beautiful, Soothing and at times Destructive

Well the I went to bed last night to the sound of rain. The sound of rain on the roof while I sleep brings back fond memories of growing up on our family farm. There is nothing more soothing than the sound of rain on a tin roof. I went to bed peaceful and woke up feeling good, until I walked the dog this morning. I walked out the back door and found this

Little pieces of wood next to the house in our side yard. I did not like the look of that, but some else had more pressing issues. After walking and feed my little buddy I went back outside to discover where the small pieces of wood had come from. That is when I saw this..

And this..

It rained so hard during the night that the boards over the stone wall at the side of the house separated completely, and rain blew inside the wall. This is the exterior wall for the dining room, upon first inspection it did not appear that water had come into the house. When I started looking closer I noticed that the carpet all along that wall is wet, very very wet. So now with more rain pending for today I wait to hear back from the landlord.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Been Busy

I have been so busy in the last few months that I have terribly neglected my blog. We are officially moved in to our little house here in Texas, but we will be moving again in the Very near future! I actually don't mind the moving twice in 1 year for my self but I hate that our move in November will interfere with the kids school. Hopefully if everything is timed just right we can be on the road headed back east during the fall break.

Right now our little piece of Texas is having very mild weather. We were in Texas for a brief time 6 years ago and in July it was HOT! I am liking the lower temperatures, but my hair does not appreciate the humidity that I thought we left behind in Georgia! As I type I can hear the rain tapping on my window, it is a very soothing sound.

Now that I am home full time while we are here, I hope to catch up on some of my projects. I hope to be showing them off here very soon.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Layering Stars

I have these cute metal star, I wanted to use them both in my front entry way, but my entry way wall space is limited. After trying what seemed like a hundred different hanging combinations, I laid them both on the floor and walked away. I came back after a nice glass of iced tea and it hit me, I could layer them! Off to the craft closet I ran to find my jute twine. I tied it through the hanger on the smaller star and then around the larger star and through it's hanger. I must say I am in love! As soon as I had them hung, it was like they were made for each other.