Showing posts from March, 2012

A New Look...

I have been living without knobs on this little dresser for quite a while.  I made the 2 green ones on there and hated them but didn't know what I wanted to do (no plan B).  I made these from wood knobs: painted them green and put the 'D' on there & then 'painted' them with resin.  It was miserable work and they didn't turn out at all like I had envisioned (those things happen, right?)  The knobs I did for a dresser in LM's room turned out so cute I figured I was on a roll. HA!

We ran to Michaels yesterday to get a birthday gift for LM's friend and while I was roaming the aisles I found some cute white knobs for 99 cents that I thought might work.

I like the cleaner look they offered.  All of the knobs have a 'B' on them for our last name.  For a kid's room A thru F would have been fun, too.

The price was right & I liked the white on white look.  Upon closer inspection, the 'B' on the knobs looked like it was a sticker or m…

Ultimate Recipe Swap: Easy Sticky Buns

A few years ago, I saw Ina Garten on GMA doing her Easy Sticky Bun recipe.  Easy & Sticky Bun in the same sentence?  I'm in.  So I made them that year for Christmas.  And New Year's Day.  Then I realized that due to the amount of butter and the yumminess of them I would need to make them on special occasions only.  I added Easter to the list and usually just make them for those three holidays.  With Easter coming up, I figured it was a good time to share the recipe again.  

Ingredients12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces1 package (17.3 ounces/ 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted (I use Pepperidge Farm)For the filling:2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed3 teaspoons ground cinnamon1/2 cup cranberries1/2 cup white raisinsDirectionsPreheat the oven to 400 degrees f. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet…

Flat Tax...

Every year about this time I think that 'flat tax' idea floating around out there would be a lovely idea.  This post is not meant to be a debate about our current tax system or any of the thousands of alternative ideas people have.  It's just a thought about how much easier it would be if we could send in a little note saying 'yes, we did make $XXXXX last year and yes, you did withhold $XXXX and yes, that is our portion.  thankyouverymuch.'
That way I could spend today decorating for Easter or making cards or reading 'Ali in Wonderland' instead of gathering everything I think I may need to take to the accountant in order for our taxes to be filed.
Now, I know what you're thinking 'you've had well over a month already to complete this task, why haven't you finished yet?'  I know you're thinking this because my husband asked me the same thing yesterday.  Just the nudge I needed to finish.
Hope your day is more exciting!

Back to Reality...

Spring break is just about over so it's back to reality.  We had a fun break and did a ton of things.  School starts up tomorrow.  I love the carefree days of no school.  Getting up when we want, doing what we want, not being on a schedule.  But LM does so much better with a schedule and she is ready to go back to school.  This afternoon she got her backpack out and 'organized' it so she'd be ready to go in the morning. 

Tomorrow for me will be full of errands, scheduling all kinds of appointments, working, banking.  Pretty much all of the things I didn't do last week while I was off enjoying myself.  Tuesday will be even more exciting busier since I need to deliver all of my tax things to the accountant.  Nothing like waiting until almost the last minute, right?

A break is fun but all of these other things are really what makes it all work.  They are the things that make it possible to take a few days off and really enjoy them.  The day-to-day reality is what mak…

Dream Home...

We went by the HGTV Dream Home 2012 the other day.  I realized that we had been by it a few times before but I never recognized it since it really doesn't look like this:

I think part of the reason it wasn't easy to put two and two together is because the grass isn't green this time of year.  Also, there were no lights on and no car in the driveway.  There was security in front of the house.  I guess to keep people like us away!

There is a great view of the mountains which I love.  Beautifully snow capped this time of the year.  The house is in a new development.  There is one other house built and several lots sold.  I think it will end up being a nice little neighborhood as the years go on.  

I am loving the kitchen in the dream home.  Can't you imagine cooking and entertaining in this space?  Oh, to be the lucky winner of this home.

Right now on the HGTV website you can vote for where the next dream home should be.  I always look forward to the dream home each year. …

The Alpine Coaster...

We headed over to the Alpine Coaster on Wednesday for a little fun.  Actually, it was a lot of fun.  I am not a huge roller coaster fan when we go to theme parks (truth be told, I am not a huge theme park fan but that's another post) but this was different and really fun.  First of all, the view is MUCH better.  Here I am going up the hill.

This is the view from one side.  Not too shabby, is it?  Once you get to the top of the mountain you start coming back down.  The really cool thing is that you can adjust your speed going down.  Perfect for someone like me who doesn't feel the need for speed.  I was in my own little world when I noticed the guy behind me catching up to me so I had to speed up a bit.  Quite a bit.  And it was really fun!

I mentioned I had taken a few photos on the way up and LM said, "Mom, you're not supposed to use your cameras while you're on the ride."  Oops!

Here we are, all done with our ride.  The fun thing about the Alpine Coaster is…

Spring Break...

LM is on Spring Break now.  So many people think of Spring Break like this:

Usually I would be in that camp but thinking of the 110 degree summers has me preferring a Spring Break like this:

We have arrived in Park City sans husband and dog (who apparently misses us a lot).  There's not a lot of snow on the ground but LM has made the best of what's out there, making forts, snowmen and snowballs.  We're headed to the resort today to take our first ride on the Alpine Coaster.  Full report on that later. It looks like lots of fun.

Eating from the Pantry...

We spent February basically eating from the pantry.  I explained how we did it here.  I mentioned the Twitter chat I hosted on this very subject in my last post.  During that chat we talked about what we always kept in our pantries & described some of our most creative meals we've made only using items from out pantry.

To me, the idea of a full pantry means that my family can make it through the lean times or a disaster for at least a week or so without worry.  I am sure it means different things to different people.  Like some many homemakers I stock up when staples are on sale which means at some point my pantry over flows.  That's when I try to spend a month using up what I have - or eating from the pantry.

My dad is LDS and as far back as I know my grandma had a food storage room.  I remember it was fascinating when I was younger.  I was amazed at how much she had in there.  I would love to play grocery store in her storage room.  We didn't have one at home and I r…

My hosting gig...

I watched Jamie Oliver's 'Food Revolution' series when it was on last year and was really intrigued by the work he was doing trying to bring healthy, real food to schools and to our homes.  As parents we have really dropped the ball on nutrition, leading to alarming rates of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.  We all have fabulous excuses for not paying attention to what we're feeding our children but the bottom line is it's our responsibility to make sure our children are taken care of and it doesn't look like we're cutting the mustard, nutrition wise.
When I joined Twitter almost a year ago I had no idea that I would stumble upon another group of parents who are passionate about healthy, real food.  It has opened up my eyes even more and I was recently given the opportunity to host a 'Food Revolution' (or #foodrevparty) Party on Twitter.  I was nervous because I felt like these other hosts had been doing this longer (I have no idea if that is t…

Taming the paper beast....

I spent most of today trying to clean my office.   I used to 'clean' it a lot.  You know, organize the desk, shred, file.  But with all the accumulation of scrapbook supplies and other seemingly necessary stuff it's not enough.  I wish it looked as good as this photo.  Sadly, this is not a one day project so I will plug on this week and see what I can accomplish.

I started with the closet which, thankfully, is very small.  We have shelving in there which helps but oh, the things I found.  Cell phone boxes from 2 cell phones ago (empty)?  Check. Cords to heaven knows what?  Check.  Steering wheel to old video game?  Check. Electric bill from 1987? Check.  You get the picture.  Like I said, the saving grace is that the closet is small.

I pulled everything out of the closet and am in the process of putting back only the things we need.  I hope it goes without saying that the electric bill was shredded.  There was a lot of shredding going on.  Cancelled checks from 1991, anyo…

Granola Recipe...

Amanda asked for me to post the granola recipe so here it is:
Lunch Box Granola
vegetable oil cooking spray 1 c. rolled oats 1/3 c. wheatgerm 1/4 c. shredded coconut 1/2 c. sunflower seeds 1/4 c. powdered milk 1/4 cup raisins 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg (we thought this made it a bit too nutmeg-y so next time I'll use less) 1/4 c. honey 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Spray the cookie sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray
In a large bowl, mix together the rolled oats, wheat germ, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, powdered milk, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg, using the wooden spoon.
Add the honey, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract to the mixture.  Stir well until the honey covers all of the dry ingredients.
Press the mixture flat on the sprayed cookie sheet.
Bake the granola for 8-10 minutes until it is toasted, or light brown in color.  Use oven mitts to remove the cookie sheet from the oven.
Let the granola cool on the cookie sheet for about 1 hour…

Lunch Box Granola...

LM's teacher gave her class an extra credit assignment for math last week.  It was a cooking assignment which helps the kids with fractions.  They had two recipe choices and she picked the lunch box granola.  I have been wanting to make granola for a while so I was happy she chose this one.  
She made a list of everything I would need to buy and I headed to the store while she was at school on Friday.  $16 later, I had the missing ingredients.  I was a bit shocked that some of these items cost so much.  I felt like we just bought a grade!

All the ingredients ready to go.


Fresh out of the oven.

The finished product.
LM did everything herself except put the cookie sheet in the oven and take it out. She emailed a picture of it to the teacher and turned in a paragraph about it on Monday.  It turned out delicious and I know I'll be making it again, using up the ingredients I bought.  I don't think I'll ever buy granola again as it was super easy and I know it's healthi…

February 2012

February flew by.  Maybe because it's a short month.  Maybe because I am getting old.  Who knows.  It just flew by.

For me it was a month of organizing, purging, not spending.  Super fun stuff, right?  I realized I hardly blogged at all.  Again, was it the short month or am I just getting old?  Let's go with the short month.

I started off talking about my No Spend month.  I ended the month talking about the success of the no spend month.  Yep, earth shattering.

I loved my light bulb moment with index cards. Something that's been around for so long has helped transform my really busy, run-around type of days.  You should try it!

I shared what I think is a fabulous gift idea. It's easy, quick, fun, inexpensive, creative & something the kids can help with.  I loved it for Valentine's Day but Easter and Mother's Day will be here before you can say FTD so it would be a lovely idea for those holidays as well.

Not only are we enjoying our winter visitors showing …

How I did it...

Image Williams-Sonoma
Jeff asked me how we spent only $140 on groceries during the month of February so I thought I would explain.  First of all, we are a family of three so we have less mouths to feed than a lot of other families and there are no growing boys here.  Some other ways I was able to cut the food bill down last month:
We planned to eat out of the pantry during the month, meaning I planned my meals around what I already had in the pantry and freezer.  I made a list of everything I had and worked my menus around the list.  I had meat in the freezer that we needed to eat, lots of pasta & rice, sauces mixes and marinades.  I stock up on those items when they are on sale (love the 10 for $10 deals!)  We do not eat a lot of meat.  All of our meals usually include meat (unless it's just LM & me eating if my husband is gone) but I make a lot of pasta dishes and tacos/quesadillas where I can stretch the meat really far. We eat dinner with my parents on Sundays and my dad…