Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Rush and the December Love with Food box

Maybe I'll use that as my excuse for not blogging lately. :)

My December Love with Food box arrived this week. I've been wanting to try a few of the things, but wanted to share a photo with you first since a couple of my friends have asked me recently about my box. So, I snapped these this morning, then promptly devoured the gingerbread cookie. :D
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I love that these items have GOOD ingredients. The only thing I questioned this month was the Nutter Butter cookie (no label) and the drink mix (PHO).
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Remember, if you're interested in joining Love With Food, follow my link and we'll both benefit! Gwen's Love With Food Personal Referral Link (click)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A big bill and a big heart

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We have never been one to "pay" our children for good grades. We congratulate them on a job well done, then sign the report card and send it back to school. In June, at the end of the school year, I started thinking about the $100 bills my sister and I received at Christmas and the end of the school year each year when we were younger. I shared that with G-Dub and he decided we'd do that for the boys at the end of school. Teen put his with some other funds and bought himself an iPhone. Roo put his away in a safe place and said he wasn't spending it.

Fast forward to one day last week. Roo went and pulled his one hundred dollar bill out of his hiding spot and brought it to me. He said, "When I got this, I was thinking if I hadn't spent it by Christmas that I'd use it to buy gifts for people for Christmas."

The lump that immediately appeared in my throat has finally gone away...

What a heart of gold (or green in this case) my little man has! Of course, I told him he didn't have to buy me a single thing! But, that will never do. That will break his giving spirit. So, we'll go shopping and let him buy whatever he wants for his family and whoever else he chooses.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Kitchen Store Love

I laugh at myself because I have always been one to say that I don't need a lot of kitchen gadgets. Why do I need a garlic peeler when I have two hands? Why do I need a fancy press when I have a rolling pin and pastry mat? I have given in to some things, but still do others the hard way.

That fascination with doing things the hard, old fashioned, by hand way doesn't stop me from drooling over the Sur la table catalog when it appears mistakenly in my mailbox. By mistakenly, I mean our street is #_______Run, My Township we get mail for #_______Lane, Their Township. Most of the time I put it back in the mailbox to be delivered to them. I even called them once to come pick up a rather large box the FedEx guy delivered here instead. The fact that our townships share the same zip code does nothing for the confusion of mail. The Sur la table catalogs say "Or Current Resident" so I've decided it's not a Federal Crime to keep those for myself. I am the current resident at MY address, street and township, the catalog could be mine.

I decided this week when I was out and about that I wanted to actually go in the store and see what they had to offer. I spent a great deal of time in there and walked out thinking I missed seeing something. I'll have to go back! I snapped some photos with my phone (explains their quality) during my visit to share with you.
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I have always wanted a flat whisk! In all those whisks, I only found one flat one and I didn't like it! LOL
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I was surprised to find these canning jar gaskets. They would be perfect for some vintage jars I bought recently if I ever decide to use those for anything other than decoration. Look at those beautiful jars though. Sigh... I had to walk away.
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I picked out a Christmas Wish List item in case you get the notion to buy me something for Christmas. ;)
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I did buy something, just not a kitchen gadget! I picked up a beautiful RED kitchen towel and a jug of Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup.
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Normally, I would baulk at the idea of spending more than $15 on syrup, but I really wanted this cool jug to re-purpose later, so I bit the bullet! If I bought a cool stoneware jug like that AND a bottle of syrup, I'd have spent the same. This was two for one! ;)
I made my own chocolate syrup recently and think that once the blueberry syrup is gone, the jug will hold chocolate syrup. ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chalkboard Christmas Banner

For the past couple of years, I've wanted to make a Christmas banner. I just didn't have it in me to make a large one. I wanted something simple and quick, but I wasn't sure where I'd put a simple and quick one. A few days ago as I walked past the chalkboard in the entry hallway, I decided it might be time to erase the turkey and thankful message. The revelation came to me that a small banner would be perfect for the chalkboard! I decided to use shipping tags and see where that led.

Again, I wanted it to be very simple. I thought sheet music would be a neat backdrop for stamped letters. But, I don't have any sheet music. I remembered that a few years ago (eight to be exact), the girls at the scrapbook forum and I went in together on a Group Buy of pages from a 1897 Sear & Roebuck catalog. I thought back to the days when I was younger and would pour over the JCPenney Christmas Wish Catalog before the holiday, taking note of all the cool things inside. I decided the vintage catalog pages would be perfect for the Christmas banner. I loved those pages, but I had never done anything with them. Amazingly, they've survived three moves and double the number of purgings. I used those as backdrops on the tags then stamped a simple letter to spell out "Merry Christmas."
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I thought that just one string of jute wouldn't be as substantial, so I used three to string the tags. I had to knot each area so that the tags would lie flat.
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I then contemplated leaving the chalkboard blank behind the banner, but that didn't seem fitting. No quote was fitting either. I had to decide what to put on the chalkboard that I wouldn't mind covering with the banner! A snowy scene seemed to be the perfect answer.
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Monday, November 26, 2012

December Front Porch

Remember back in May when I posted about the Vintage Sled that I found at a yard sale for the whopping price of $1? Read about it here. I've been waiting patiently for the nearing of Christmas and winter to display my sled on the front porch! I decided this past week that we were close enough! So, I got to work. I never got lucky enough to pick up a pair of ice skates at a yard sale. (Well, I found some, but they were too new and too pretty and too costly!) So, a ribbon will have to do on my sled.
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I wasn't sure what else I wanted out on the porch. The spikes and Dusty Miller were still thriving in my pots from the summer, so I felt rather guilty pulling them up to toss them. I wanted something green. We are in the middle of the Pine Barrens, so I decided pine boughs would be the ticket! We had a branch fall during the recent snow/nor'easter so I went to work salvaging some greenery from it. Now, I have found myself watering pine straw to keep it green through the holidays. LOL (The things you do for decorating!) I picked up a couple of large ornaments at The Christmas Tree Shop and they were perfect for the center of the greenery.
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The Santa sign is something I've had for years. MIL gave it to me and I have always had a love hate relationship with it. I LOVE Santa things. But, this sign was pink. Yeah... When it came to mind in decorating the porch, I almost shunned the idea because it's pink. Then it hit me that I could easily just transform it with paint. So, that's just what I did!
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I snapped a photo of the back that I left pink just to show you! Eek! Can you imagine the front like that? You'll have to imagine it because I forgot a before photo.
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Why pink? I love it so much more after I revamped it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More goodies

I found this photo on my flash card as I was uploading some others recently. I snapped it of my "cranberry goodie bag" that I was given when I went out to the BOGS to visit my friend last month.
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I love Craisins. And I love cranberry juice. I've been making my own version of Sonic's Cranberry Limeade with a little sparkling water added to a tall glass of crushed ice and cranberry juice. YUM!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love with Food

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A while back when I started really thinking about the foods we eat and reading labels more, I realized that one area I would need to completely change was our snacks. I have two boys. No snacking isn't an option for growing boys, especially since one is a teenage boy and the other is a preteen. Um, no, not fighting that battle.

Completely overhauling our diets is hard when it comes the convenience of snacks. I haven't done it all for none. I've made sure to cut out certain things here and there. I'm taking baby steps and progressing a little at a time. It's hard enough convincing the boys that my "healthy food" isn't just a kick I'm on for me! I didn't want to just start buying new stuff because of labels and ingredients though. You can spend a lot of money on "good for you stuff" that tastes like a cardboard box. Boxed foods are what I'm trying to avoid anyway - whether it is in a box or tastes like one! LOL There are things out there that are more convenient and that do come prepackaged that are good for you! It's scary buying them though because of the unknown. I was sharing this new revelation with a friend of mine at church. She introduced me to Love With Food.

Here's how it works. I sign up for either monthly membership or I can sign up for more. With this being new, I am just doing month to month for now. Each month, I'll receive a Love with Food box in the mail with samples of yummy gourmet food. Food with REAL ingredients - none of the bad stuff. For each box I purchase, LWF will donate a meal to a needy family. Also, with giving reviews and such for items found in my box, I earn points toward purchases of items from the website.

Yesterday, I received my first box.
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Right after snapping the photo, I tore open the Mini Crunch Strawberry Almond Bite Sized Snacks. They are something I've wanted to try (not particularly this brand name) but haven't for fear I wouldn't like them. Report: They were so delish! I emptied the package! The only ingredient on the package that catches my eye as a bad one is "natural flavors". Sure there is sugar, but it's cane sugar so that is a little more helpful than white processed sugar or worse yet, HFCS. The Fruit-O mango pear sauce is also something I have been wanting to try because it would be a good thing for lunch boxes. But, I have been leary. Now, I get to see what this is all about. As with anything I do, I question the price. $10 for the box plus $2 shipping. But, what if I spent $4 on a package of the Strawberry Almond Bites and absolutely hated them? I did that recently with a Pumpkin Spice tea now I'm stuck with the whole box. I'm interested in trying this Stash brand to see if it's better. With the first box, I'm pleased. I'll look forward to my next box and seeing what it has to offer. Will I continue with the membership? Who knows, but for now, I'm happy with it!
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If you're interested in signing up for yourself, you can help me earn a couple of points by following this referral link and signing up to see what goodies appear in your mailbox. Gwen's Love With Food Personal Referral Link (click)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lessons learned the hard way

Oh sure, I already knew it, but was ignoring this all important fact.

Winter clothes including heavy shirts and jeans should probably NOT be hung on the same shelf/rack in your closet.

I walked out of the bathroom last night and heard a crash behind me. (My closet is accessed from the master bath.) I thought maybe something had fallen, but needed to get downstairs so I ignored it. A little while later when I went back upstairs, I noticed a sweater lying on the floor of the bathroom just outside the closet door. Hmmm...... I turned on the light and this is what met my eyes.
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Yikes! If only turning the light off and ignoring it would fix it! This moved right to the top of my to-do list today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Goodies

When G-Dub was flying helicopters for the Army, he went many places. Some cool. Some not so great. He's really loving flying airplanes for the Army and visiting even more places. The thing about airplanes as many of you know, they can't land just anywhere like a helicopter can. So, he's visited some more "uppity" airports and not just airfields. He's flown into International Airports such as Pittsburgh, Myrtle Beach, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Ashville, Nashville, Guantanamo Bay, Anchorage, Lexington and the list goes on and on. You don't land in those places in an Army Chinook. He is enjoying the experience and the fact that overnights involve sleeping in a hotel rather than how they often slept in the back of the helicopter. Yikes! He jokes and says he's roughing it at the Marriott with points.

One of OUR benefits for his no longer roughing it is that he often brings us goodies back from places he's visited. When he spent two weeks in Alaska earlier in the year, he brought the boys back Deadliest Catch t-shirts. They also received Guantanamo Bay t-shirts from the US military operations there. He brought me Almond biscotti from some bakery in an airport in the Carolinas.

This past week, he flew to Colorado as part of his check ride for PC - Pilot in Command. (That's a status he obtained a several years ago in the Chinook world, but he had to start all over as the new guy when he transitioned to fixed wing.) They arranged for him to do maneuvers at the highest airport in the US. He was a little stressed by it all, but I wasn't worried. He puts his heart and soul into flying and .... oh pardon the pun in advance..... being ALL that he can be! The good news from that trip is that he passed his evaluation and is the company's newest Pilot in Command. The better news from that trip is that he brought ME back a present this time.
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Almond Toffee. I'm seeing an almond trend here. ;)
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It was so yummy. It had no yucky additives as it was made by a local company in Colorado, so that was a bonus! I've tried to slowly enjoy every last morsel of it, a little bit at a time. I have been nice and shared a few bites. I'm almost to the end of it though. Egads! So, I put it away in my stash cabinet to make its sweetness last a little longer.

Link to Enstrom to view more of their delights: Enstrom Toffee

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday (Snow) Photos

(taken Thursday)

What a crazy couple of weeks New Jersey has had in the weather department. Thankfully, our section of the state fared well during the storm. It's so sad that so many areas are devastated.

We experienced another storm this week and again, we were spared from the severity of it. We received snow, but not as much as northern parts of the state. Our yard had about three and a half inches of yesterday morning. My snow photos were fancy. Not. I leaned out the back door and shot a couple of photos with the zoom lens. Daring winter photography, right? Well, it's because they are actually still fall photos. ;)

My favorite red maple tree was weighted down with snow.
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Still being fall, I wasn't quite ready for snow. You can see the waterhose still out from use in this photo.
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My neighbor's yard looked rather enchanting in the snow. This was my favorite of the three.
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Another favorite photo was one that Teen snapped with his phone on the way home from church Wednesday night. I love how the light from the street light was shining down on the snow covering the tree.
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Butternut Squash

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I was watching one of the daytime tv shows recently (can't remember which one). The host cut and roasted butternut squash after sprinkling them with olive oil and spices. I was instantly taken back to the Shabu Shabu restaurant in Korea and their broth which we used to cook our meat at the table. Along with the meats to cook, we also received greens and other veggies to add to our soup. Butternut squash slices was one of those veggies. Maybe I'll try that with the next butternut squash purchase! In the meantime, I forgot what spices Daytime TV Host put on her squash. So, I just sprinkled mine with olive oil, pepper and cinnamon. I thought of salt, but decided against it. The cinnamon was perfect for the squash and the pepper gave it a nice little kick! It turned out really good! Yummy in fact!

*Since getting my iPhone, I've finally joined Instagram. Not sharing a ton of photos, but having fun with the little photo app just the same. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spooks' Welcome

Reed wanted to go all out and decorate the yard for Halloween. I was stubborn and didn't want to spend the money. $30 for a fog machine? Um, no, not into it. So, we got creative and did a few things along the sidewalk to the front door. Turns out, Hurricane Sandy may do some of her own decorating that might end up being a little more scary than ours. So, I saved money foregoing that fog machine. ;)

With thoughts of the storm heading our way, I debated taking down the decorations. Instead of all that, I just went out and snapped some photos to share and remember.
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Matilda, the witch, is a tomato cage turned upside down and draped with black trash bags and netting. I drilled holes in the plastic pumpkin to insert the tops of the tomato cage wire into. We then topped her off with the witch's hat. The ghost is Reed's costume from last year draped over the taller metal sunflower (like the short one you see on the side).
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Tombstones and bones litter the flowerbed.
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And the porch is creepy webbed with spiders and mice.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall has made it's mark

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I was thinking last week I should get out and take some fall photos. Yesterday, as I was driving down to the cranberry bogs to visit a friend, I realized I might have waited too late for those fall photos. Many of the trees have started dropping their leaves. But, beauty is still there in all the wonderful colors of fall.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Photo Friday!

Last Friday night, temps dipped down LOW! The overnight temp was 32°F at some point. This brought frost. I told my dad a few weeks ago that the frost was going to get my tomatoes before I did because there were still so many green ones on my vines! Grrr.... I covered the plants to protect them from the frost Friday night. On Saturday when I uncovered them, I decided to go ahead and pull all the tomatoes off the vine and clean up the area in case we had more cold nights before they ripened. We haven't had any more cold nights. But I have a box full of green tomatoes!
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The southerner in my whispers thoughts of frying these. Then, that southerner remembers the mess that frying makes and that she doesn't really LIKE to fry stuff. I've decided to leave them. If tomatoes we buy in the store are picked green and delivered to us months later ripened over time, why can't I try it at home? I'll bring them in and put them a counter somewhere. Maybe by December I'll have ripe tomatoes!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm becoming my parents

If we visit my parents in the summer time, we usually get to enjoy the fruits of their labor in their garden. My dad loves to grow cantaloupe or watermelon. Usually, when we cut open a really good melon, he'll say, "Save those seeds!" Their window sills, outside tables and any susceptible horizontal surface is likely to be occupied by a paper towel drying seeds from something in his garden. There are little baggies in the freezer labeled with whatever seeds contained therein and often a date to depict the year.

Saving those seeds can produce GREAT things as seen in this post from last year. More of Dad's Garden Goodness

The older I get, the more I catch myself doing things my parents have done in the past. One case in point is rolling out dough for biscuits using the Tupperware pastry mat that belonged to my mother which I mentioned a few weeks ago.

This evening as I was preparing dinner, I was scooping out the seeds from the middle of a butternut squash when a little voice in my head said, "I wonder if I saved these seeds and planted them next year, would they produce?" And thus, it hit me again. I'm becoming my parents! I put the tray with the squash in the oven, then proceeded to separate the seeds from the pulp and put them in a strainer to dry a bit. They'll later take a place of honor on a paper towel to dry more.
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On becoming my parents, it's not such a bad thing. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful, supportive, loving Christian parents!

Do you do things that make you stop and think, am I becoming my parents?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Granola

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Cinnamon, almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, maple syrup, and old fashioned oats are the keys to this homemade granola recipe I found in
The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making by Alana Chernila.


I've made other granola before that I found and pinned on Pinterest. I had just read Alana's recipe last night. This morning, I had an argument with Teen about breakfast.

With Alana's recipe fresh on my brain, I decided it was time to make something for another option. I added a few more spices of nutmeg and ground cloves and replaced the canola oil with coconut oil. My house smelled so good while this was in the oven! Breakfast in the morning will be granola with craisins covered with milk.
Yum, I can imagine it now. Wait, maybe I should just taste test it for an afternoon snack.

Here's my method of madness for putting the granola together using Alana's recipe while making a few substitutes and additions of my own.

Granola
10 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups raw sliced or roughly chopped almonds
1 cup shredded unsweetene coconut (I used sweetened)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I used sea salt)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil (I used coconut oil)
1 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons Vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract ( I didn't have this so left it out)
Optional: 1/4 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup, dried fruit (I didn't have this syrup so left it out as well.)
Fruit - fresh or dried to add later.
My additions to the recipe:
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


1. Preheat oven to 250. Position both racks in the upper two thirds of oven.
2. Combine the oats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut, salt and cinnamon in your largest bowl. Stir until contents are uniformly mixed. In a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together oil, maple syrup, vanilla, almond extract and golden syrup, if using, to make a uniform syrup. Pour this mixture int the bowl. Stir until everything is coated and there are no hidden pockets of syrup or dry ingredients in your bowl.
3. Line 2 18x13 inch jelly roll pans with parchment paper. Spread granola in an even layer on each pan. Put them in the oven and set your time to thirty minutes. Shuffle granola around and switch pans on racks. Set timer for another thirty minutes. Same routine. Set timer on another thirty minutes.
4. At the end of the full 90 minutes of baking, turn off over and leave the granola for up to 6 hours. (I didn't do this as I was using my oven for something else after this.)

Add your raisins, fruits just before eating.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade Pumpkin Donuts

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With my resolve of eating more wholesome and less processed foods, I have run into quite a few road blocks when it comes to snacks or extras for the boys' lunches. This has led me to being creative which is actually a nice way of saying cooking more.

On 100 Days of Real Food's Facebook page, she often shares photos of the lunches she packs for her girls. A few times, I've spotted homemade donuts.

Hmm.... lightbulb.

I didn't act on this lightbulb moment right away because I was caught up making muffins or finding good pretzels and cutting up different fruits, etc. But, a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a mini donut tin at Joann's that was on sale. I debated the larger donut pan, but I went with the mini thinking minis would be great for lunchboxes. I didn't even realize it was on sale until I was at the checkout. Yay!

Over the weekend when I was making breakfast and my kitchen was already a mess, I decided to try out a pumpkin recipe. I compared Lisa's recipe on her site Ways to Switch Up You Kid's Lunch with the recipe included in the paperwork for the pan. I ended up making adjustments and making my own Pumpkin donuts.
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They were moist and delicious...

Pumpkin Donuts
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons oil (I used coconut oil)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (canned)
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend
3 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ginger

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a bowl, blend flour with the baking powder and other dry ingredients.
3. In another bowl, mix egg, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, oil and pumpkin puree.
4. Stir flour mixture into the milk mixture and blend until lumps are no longer present.
5. Grease donut pan. I used my new Misto sprayer filled with oil olive.
6. Fill wells half full with batter.
7. Bake at 425 for 6-7 until the tops reach a beautiful golden brown.
8. Cool in pan for five minutes, then on a baking rack while you finish cooking the remaining batter!
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Boo!

I used to call myself a scrapbooker and paper-crafter. I've not done much of either craft in the past five years. A card here. A scrapbook layout there. Nothing to shout from the rooftops about! Same for buying supplies to do such things with.... I swore off buying anything new long ago. But, that doesn't stop me from picking up something every once in a while. I was in ACMoore a few weeks ago and spotted these Halloween stamps for a buck a piece. I decided why not.

Over the weekend, I found myself in the basement at my desk playing with paper, scissors and glue. This is one result of my play time.
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He sort of puts me in the spirit to make a few more cards. Photobucket

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Yard Sale Saturday

G-Dub decided today that he wants to be a picker when he grows up! At age almost 43, it's about time, right? LOL

We dropped Teen off to catch the bus with his Cross Country team this morning, then did a little driving around to see if we could find any good yard sales. We were spoiled by the neat and cool things we found at yard sales in Kansas. We haven't really hit a jackpot since being here. But today, we pretty much hit a couple of jackpots! I think the cooler weather and hint of fall had people out faring their goods because we found more sales today than we ever have.

I used to feel a little weird about yard sales. There's just something eh about walking around looking through other people's stuff. But, that's how treasures are often found!

I'll share a couple of things we picked snagged today.

I almost walked by this beauty of a lantern but the turquoise color drew me back to it. I inquired about the price and the lady said, $6. Um, where did G-Dub go with his wallet? Yikes.... down to the neighbor's sale. Hmmm... so I walked down to get him hoping that no one else would pick up the lantern while I was away from it. He met me with another lantern asking if I liked it. "I like the other one at that house better!" was my response. He had noticed it, but didn't ask the price so kept going. We went back and paid for it! We won't use it here at the rental house though we could. But, we are planning to save it and hopefully use it at our next house. I just love it.
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Apparently we were on a roll with light fixtures today because we also bought a ceiling fan with a heater. I'd never seen one before or even thought to look for one. When we saw it, we immediately thought about our bedroom here. We could barely get it above 63 degrees in that room last winter! And it was a mild winter! Geesh... We are hoping that we can replace the ceiling fan that is there with this one and have good luck. I couldn't find the exact one online, but in looking at others, they range in price from $250-$400. We bought the one today, still in the box and never used or removed for $20. Um, yeah. Bargain! And that baby will be going back in that box and with us when we move!

Third is a vanity light fixture. We bought this with the downstairs bath in mind. The one that was in there had light bulbs that were $10 a piece and had to be special ordered. Ugh... G-Dub found a past its prime and not so pretty fixture at another yard sale and replaced it, but I don't like it. When we found this one for $5 again, we snagged it. Again, this will go with us when we move just because I like it.
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Another yard sale prompted me to buy this basket. I don't need this basket, but I really liked it! It's so unique. The lady worked somewhere and said they were originally $50, but she had $5 on it. She also commented that no one had taken her up on it for $5 so she'd let me have it for $3. Ok... the balls inside were $1, so not a bad deal. I have wanted a few more decorative balls, but haven't wanted to pay the price for them. Problem solved. Now, just what am I going to do with this basket? Hmmm.... If I ever moved forward with photography, it would be a good prop.
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Speaking of photography props, I bought a half pack of wood look vinyl floor slats that I will store away for some future use. (Would make a great hardwood floor look for a photo prop....combined with that basket.... hmmm)
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G-Dub asked about a Craftsman leaf blower. The man said he wasn't sure if it worked or not and told G-Dub he could just have it because it was a little difficult to crank the last time he'd started it. G-Dub equals Mr. Fix-It. He has the thing in pieces adding a new fuel line and other little pieces in the garage as I write this. He started it earlier and it runs great, but needed a few new parts. So... awesome bargain!

We picked up some other odds and ends. LilMan bought a backpack that is bigger than his travel bag. G-Dub bought a digital camera which I told him not to, but he wanted anyway. LOL We picked up a Starbucks thermos for $2. I was on the hunt for some small Mason jars, but only came home with four half pints for $1. More than I had this morning, but not as many as I wished for! LilMan was so ready to come home! He usually loves treasure hunting garage sale picking, but this morning, he was done! (not my fault we didn't find any sales with Legos... ;)