Monday, September 28, 2015

Why I Don't Use Pinterest (too much)...

I'm sure I'm in the minority but I just don't use Pinterest much.  It's not that I don't like it or think it isn't useful or super cool.  It's just that it's a time suck.  Like it's cousin Facebook.  And how many time sucks do any of us really need? That's the main reason I just don't use it.

That and how many things that we pin do we actually ever go back to?  Those parenting articles & craft projects- wait 10 minutes and there will be more.  Don't forget to pin them!  I just logged on to my account (you can check it out here) for the first time in I don't know how long.  I totally forgot about all the fun things I pinned (Christmas ideas galore!)  But honestly, I don't think I've completed one craft project or prepared one recipe.

So, I spend valuable time pinning and never using any of the ideas making we wonder, why?

Are a Pinterest fanatic or not?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Corn Chowder...

Soup weather is right around the corner.  Or so they tell me.  It's still well over 100 degrees here and probably will be all week. But in anticipation for the cooler weather I wanted to share (again) my corn chowder recipe. I cannot wait to make it this fall.

Corn Chowder

2 c. chicken broth or water
2 c. chopped potatoes
1/2 c. carrots chopped
1/2 c. celery chopped
1/4 c onion chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Bacon (about 6-8 strips- or to taste)
1/4 c. margarine or butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
1 c. Parmesan cheese
17 oz can cream style corn
17 oz can corn (drained)
Tabasco (to taste)

Brown bacon and onion. Set aside. Add water/broth to veggies (minus corn). Add salt, pepper. Cover & simmer 10 min. Do not drain. Make white sauce w/ butter, flour & milk. Add Parmesancheese stirring until melted. Mix white sauce with veggies. Add corn and bacon/onion mixture to vegetables. Heat, do not boil.. Spice it up with the Tabasco. You can also add cooked chicken to the chowder at the end.


Friday, September 25, 2015

The Lost Art of Hospitality...


This is a re-post from 2011 but I think it's a timely topic as we go into the time of year when guests and visitors will come a-knocking. 

Is hospitality a lost art?  As I was perusing the Internet for information on hospitality I kept coming across the same sentiment: Hospitality is a lost art.

I see it everyday and I am sure most of you do also.  There are many reasons for the decline in hospitality, the most common being the busy lives we all lead.  Other reasons include things like "I don't cook", "My house is too small", "My kids are at home", "I am not comfortable having people over" & "My house is dirty".  All fabulous reasons, right?  Not really, in my opinion.

Our busy lives do get in the way of many things including spending time in our homes with our friends and family.  It sure takes effort and thought to stay at home for a day- sometimes it's not even possible - there are carpools and sports and girl scouts and groceries to take care of.  I am home alot but even I have to make an effort to spend one day at home without going anywhere.  And it's the rare day during the school year.

So how do we welcome friends into our home if we're not there?  Well, I don't think you can.  You need to be home to have friends come for coffee or have your playgroup over or invite your parents for dinner.  If entertaining your friends and family in your home is important to you (it is to me) you need to make time.  It doesn't have to be elaborate or back breaking.  Invite a friend over for coffee one morning after your kids leave for school - it doesn't need to be an all day event- just a cup (or 2) of coffee.  At home watching your college alma mater play football on a Saturday afternoon?  Invite your brother & his family over to watch the game with you -provide some popcorn and sodas and you're set.  I bet they'll even offer to bring something - take them up on it!

Once you make the time to be home keep the following in mind:
  • You don't need a big house.  Notice how everyone seems to congregate in the kitchen when there's a party?  Notice that it doesn't matter how big the kitchen is?  It doesn't matter how big your house is.
  • You don't need to hire a cleaning crew to have friends over.  Sure, you need to pick up and make sure your guest bath is clean but there are doors on bedrooms for a reason!  And try to have a simple routine for each evening that will ensure your home is ready for any spur of the moment invitations.  The Fly Lady can help with this.
  • You don't need to provide a huge meal.  Let's face it - this can get expensive.  Have friends for a potluck dinner.  Have a dessert get together one Saturday night after dinner.  Invite your gym buddies over for coffee. 
  • You don't need alcohol.  This can get even more expensive.  Hold your get togethers during the day.  If you're having a wine and cheese event have each guest bring their favorite bottle of wine.
The idea of hospitality in your home is sharing and friendship.  No one cares if your sofa is old or your dining table is small or there are fingerprints on your windows.  They care about you and spending time with you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It's Still Summer...

Photo Credit

Well, I think Fall is finally almost here.  According to my calendar, it begins tomorrow.  Although you would think it started a while back if you've been perusing blogs, Instagram and Pinterest at all.

My daughter turns 14 in January.  Fourteen.  1-4.  How in the name of heaven did this happen?  Especially since I just turned 29 (again).  The time as flown by and to be honest I've been guilty of trying to rush things every now and then - 'I can't wait for Kindergarten to start, I'll have so much free time' (that, my friends, is the biggest mommy myth ever).  'I can't wait for Christmas break so we can go to Park City'. 'I can't wait for summer vacation'. The list goes on and I'm pretty sure you all have a similar one to mine.

At the beginning of the year I decided that I was going to try my darndest to not rush any seasons any more. Figurative and literal seasons.  Hence, the so far pumpkin spice free September Acres abode.  There will be no month long Halloween decorations (who thought that one up?), no Christmas decorations that are up for 6 weeks (guilty!) No more.  Fall goes up tonight on 'Autumn Eve'.  Halloween will go up the week of Fall Break (October 12).  Christmas will go up in - wait for it- December.

I can't do anything about Hobby Lobby putting Christmas Trees up in August but I certainly can make sure I don't do it.

I hope you'll check back tomorrow to see my Fall decorations.  Make it fast though since they won't be up forever...