Sunday, May 29, 2011

1 ♥ 2 ♥ 3 ...lazy susan & open cabinet

The 1, 2, 3 craze is kinda first i kept wondering why everyone was numbering stuff...but then it kinda grew on me :)
here's a few cute inspiration pics...

(photo sources: 1st, 2nd, 3rd)

here's my twist on the 123's ...
(these trays were gifts for a special soon-to-be mom :)

stack of 3 trays were sold together from AC Moore painted white...all the paper is again from my new favorite...made by colorbok called flea market...mod podged into the bottoms

the other 1.2.3. project i did was in one of my kitchen cabinets...we've been working on some projects in the kitchen (painting walls/painting & staining cabinets) and i still have before & after pics to put up when were all done, but here is one of the sections of cabinets that I wanted to leave open...
this is the section BEFORE...

and this is the AFTER...

...some more pics of the 1.2.3 wire bins in the cabinet...
to make the number labels i cut the paper (again flea market) into circles to pop into mason jar lids that i spray painted white then hung them with twine...

the last thing I wanted to share was this lazy susan i found at Goodwill for $4...
i forgot to take a picture but this is sorta what it looked like before...

...and this after i was done! exciting to get something old and turn it into new...

Linking up ♥

Thirty Hand Made Days

All Things Heart and Home

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hickory Dickory Dock and Raisin Cookies

This is not what I intended to post about this week but when a funny story comes along I must share! If small, helpless rodents make you faint you may want to scroll along to the cookie recipe at the bottom...if not, get ready for the show...

It was Wednesday night, our two kids were upstairs getting ready for bed and the Mayor and I were catching up on some old episodes of House. We hear both children yelling for us...loudly and urgently. There was a mouse in Lulu's room, right in the middle of her bedroom floor! The mouse was being gently "played" with by our largest cat, Oreo, but it was still very much alive. So, in a moment of quick thinking, The Mayor grabs an empty laundry basket and flips it over the mouse, trapping it. Now, the mouse is running laps under the basket and Oreo is trying to watch through the holes in the sides of the basket...funny! We realize we need a plan, something flat to slide under the basket so we can somehow get the mouse into a box and get it outside. I grab a piece of poster board and we slide it under the basket but, as we try to tip the basket back over the mouse pops out of one of the side holes and runs! I was sitting on the floor for operation poster-board-insertion so I get up to look for Mr. Mouse and as soon as I do, I realize that Mr. Mouse had RUN UP MY PANT LEG AND WAS INSIDE MY PANTS AT THE BACK OF MY KNEE!!!! OH GOLLY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH! THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THE SENSATION OF SOMETHING RUNNING UP THE BACK OF YOUR LEG!!!

Now, let me say that mice do not bother me, I think they are adorable, I would keep one as a pet if we didn't have cats, I drew pictures of them and wrote stories about mice when I was young, basically I have always had a soft spot for them. But, I have never had a stinkin' mouse running up my leg inside my pants! So, I did what any normal girl would do, I started screaming at the top of my lungs!! So, then both kids started screaming too, good thing our next door neighbors are in Hawaii or they probably would have called the police. We were SCREAMING! And I was jumping up and down and trying to get my pants off...but they were dress pants with an inside button and two hooks and then the zipper so it wasn't happening fast enough for my liking. In the end, my jumping up and down like a mad woman dislodged the mouse and he scampered across the room and hid behind Lulu's bedside table. The Mayor got him in the box and took him outside. Both kids were on Lulu's bed hugging each other, sobbing, until they realize that I was crying but also cracking up laughing! Then we all started laughing. The Mayor said later (when my heart beat returned to a normal range) that it was one of the funniest things he has ever seen in his life...his wife jumping around, trying to get her pants off cause there's a mouse up her leg! Never a dull moment around here girls!!

Whew, did anyone pass out? If you made it through the story I have a yummy cookie recipe to share. I love trying a new recipe and having it turn out to be one that is bound to become a favorite. And this one is just that, if you like oatmeal raisin cookies, you will enjoy these. They are kinda crunchy and kinda chewy from the coconut, perfect for breakfast! They were the best thing we ate this week!

1&1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup old fashioned or quick cooking oats
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisin bran cereal
1&1/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and oats; set aside. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl, until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating after each addition. Add cereal, coconut and raisins; stir until well blended. Drop by heaping tablespoonful, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes or until slightly browned. Makes 3-4 dozen.

In case you were wondering...that bite was from me not the mouse!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Garden Time!

Our first full summer in the house and the Professor and I wanted to start a garden this year.  Remember all of that old wood in the second story of our garage?  Well, we are still using it!  This time to create a small raised bed vegetable garden.  We even found and re-used an old hinge for the gate!  There was even a bucket of outdoor white paint in the basement!  We are quite proud of our pen made out of recycled materials.

We purchased some plants and soil from the local garden shop and were able to obtain some fresh manure from S's and R's family farm!  We picked up some broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, cucumbers, eggplant, snow peas, lots of squash varieties, cucumbers and some heirloom tomato plants.  We picked these up at the local farmers market and picked out 2 unique kinds of heirloom plants that are supposed to produced a varied version of the standard tomato.  Oh!  We also picked up 1 pumpkin plant!

This raised bed was already here when we purchased the house.  We are going to fill it in with lots of strawberries and some red sunflowers (my favorite).

Our carraige house (now a garage) even has the horse hitch!

 Next week, the planting begins!  Until then, the plants are on a work-release program and if they are good, they gain outside sun-time to photosynthesize.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

operation: curb appeal

 For all of you who have already done your spring garden plantings and are soaking in the beauty of your lawns, prepare to feel good that you are one thousand steps ahead of me.

For all of you who have not done anything, as I have not yet, prepare to feel good that you are not alone!

I think by now I've established that I love to make lists. So be prepared for a post full of horrendous photos of my front lawn, a list of things to do that I hope to accomplish in ONE WEEK, followed by a small glimmer of hope for beautification.

Ok, so these are our front planners (there are 2) in front of our garage.  WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU DURING WINTER??! Seriously, we should have just brought them inside. What were we thinking?  They need to be completely cleaned out and I need my geraniums back!

Here's a pretty picture. It's our front garden. We like to have stuff like grass, clover, and weeds pretty much taking over it.  NOT! (Yes, i just brought "not" back).  It's been a work in progress since we moved in.   It needs to be completely and utterly weeded. Also, a cute toad house might be in order, because one scared the living daylights out of me as I was snapping photos as it nearly hopped onto my foot.

Just for reference, the whole grass area in this photo- used to be the garden. It was a little much, so we scaled it back.  That was a huge job in itself, and we are still paying the price because the violets are still taking over our grass!!!

Here's my welcoming bench.  This would be a "nice to have" but I imagine giving the bench a fresh coat of white paint (or should I go blue, or yellow?), and adding a small "container garden" in this area with fresh herbs, tomatoes, and some flowers.  I'd have the pots behind the bench and to the side of the bench.  The door with the yellow curtain is my kitchen; can you imagine me skipping out in the summer months with my apron on to pick my fresh herbs while I perhaps sit on the bench and admire the hood? I can.

Ok- question for all you gardeny folks out there. WHAT IS THIS?  There are several of them, and I don't know if they're weeds or flowers. The look like they might be lilies? Can lilies create other lilies in spots of the garden that are in no close proximity to each other? I am baffled.  Also, you get a close up of weeds, clover, and grass. What a great welcoming garden!

Ahh, and the glimmer of hope.  I GOT MY WINDOW BOX!! This will go on the window in the photo above next to my kitchen door. I love daisies! Thanks mom and dad! (btw, all my birthday wishes came true from this post, yay!!)

So now for a complete list of things to do in 7 days or less:
  1. Get driveway sealed and cracks filled
  2. Clean out planters in front of garage and plant geraniums in them 
  3. weed front garden
  4. plant ACTUAL FLOWER PLANTS in front garden so it looks pretty.
  5. paint window box white
  6. hang window box*
  7. get input from gardeny bloggers on what the mystery plant is
  8. Add more mulch if needed
And a list of my "nice to haves"
  1. Freshen up paint on bench
  2. start container garden
  3. Add bricks/stones in front of front garden so it's easier to trim/mow*
Think I can get it done in one week? We'll see! Perhaps if I hear some cheering in the comment section?  Anyone else feel like they're going to war against their garden?

*Hubby will you help me with these???

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Means Salsa...

Hello, Sisters!!

One of my favorite parts of summer is the fresh salsa that we get to make with the veggies from our garden.  My taste buds are watering already!  I thought I'd share my two favorite recipes.

SHOO PEG SALSA: (This recipe uses some store bought ingredients and some from the garden...)
1 can black-eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
1 can shoo peg corn (white corn.. drained and rinsed)
fresh diced green pepper
fresh diced onion
fresh diced red pepper
1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil... but the recipe calls for canola oil)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp tiger sauce

Mix all ingredients together and you are DONE-O.

chopped beefsteak tomatoes (if you  are making the night before use Italian Plum tomatoes-- they hold up a bit better)
chopped onions
chopped green peppers
one clove of minced garlic
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
splash of white balsamic vinegar
splash of hot sauce (add more if you like it spicy)
chopped parsley

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy! :)

*I like my salsa super spicy.. so I add chopped JalapeƱos to both of these recipes-- seeds and all!  The heat is in the seeds.. so if you don't want it SUPER hot, leave them out!

**During the winter, or before the veggies in our garden are ready, I have made both of these recipes with bags of chopped veggies right from the produce section of my grocery store... and they are still delish! :)

I just LOVE salsa... if you have any favorite recipes, feel free to leave them in the comment section.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Gluten Free Birthday

I was asked by my sister S to make a Gluten free cake with strawberry frosting and topped with strawberries and whip cream for her birthday. What an order! HA HA Love you S... and anything for your birthday. Needless to say.. I eat Gluten!!! and I love it! So how in the world was I going to make a cake without it! Well, after much research.. (thanks S) I come to find out that good old Betty Crocker makes a gluten free cake mix! Phew!! I'm saved! So with a little bit of tinkering this cake became the most delicious gluten free cake to date! It was fantastic..and very very moist! I have to didn't even taste gluten free. So for anyone else out there who can't eat've gotta try this.

First I used the Betty Crocker Gluten free cake mix and made it according to the directions. (Except I added 2 tablespoons of cinnamon applesauce..very important step). I cooked it in a 9 in dark non stick spring form pan for 41 minutes at 325 degrees. It came out perfect

Next I made the frosting. I took 2 and 1/2 cups of confectionery sugar and about 1/2 cup pure strawberry puree (Meaning just puree strawberries in a blender until you get about 1/3-1/2 a cup). I'm not sure exactly on the measurements of the strawberry puree I just added how much puree I needed to the confectionery sugar to reach the desired glaze consistency. After the cake cooled I poured it over the cake (just be careful not to make the frosting too runny). After a little while the glaze will set, putting it in the fridge helps.

Finally slice up some strawberries and arrange on top of cake. Serve with whip cream.



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