Friday, April 29, 2011

Home and Family Friday

Ahhh.  I love Friday. It's time for the Home and Family Friday linky party.  I'd love it if you'd link up your favorite projects from the week, become a follower, and grab my button for your post.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lovin' My Mandoline

Do you own a mandoline? Do you use it? Or is it one of those things it the back of the cupboard you can't reach. If you have one, and you don't use it, it's time to dig it out of the cupboard.

I use mine all the time to slice zuchinni and carrots. On Easter, I tried a new recipe for scalloped potatoes. I didn't love the recipe, but I did love the way my potatoes sliced. I'm not too good with knife chopping skills, so slicing this many potatoes would have take me an hour and they certainly wouldn't have been sliced this perfectly. With my mandoline, it took less than 3 minutes.

Happy slicing!
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Starting to Garden

The sun came out for 2 days. Then the rain came back. My kids and I jumped at the chance to start a little gardening. This box was once home to my strawberry plants. They never produced too many berries because I wasn't sunny enough. I was reading in Country Gardens magazine that lettuce is good to grow in areas like these. We dug up the berries and replanted them in another part of the yard. This became our lettuce box. We also planted peas at the back, just for fun. The potatoes are planted. The lettuce starts are in. Now all we need is a little warm weather and we can plant the rest of the garden. The snow level is supposed to be down to 500 feet tonight, so we'll just have to wait to plant the garden.

Happy gardening!
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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Before and (almost) After

I can almost say that my kitchen is done.  Almost.  I still have a few sewing projects to do, but most of the big jobs are done.  We have painted twice, first to yellow then to taupe.  The cupboards have been refinished to a less orange tone. We added knobs and pulls to the cabinets, painted the bar stools, and refinished the kitchen table.  The floors were refinished over spring break.  The granite tile and backsplash was one of our first projects.  I just couldn't live with the blue. 

I can finally say, "I LOVE MY KITCHEN!"
Here are some "before" shots.

What a difference!

Here's a picture with the new paint and valances too!

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Dumping Zone - Part 2

I've had some complaints about my blog.  After this post about prettying up my dumping ground, several of my co-workers told me they really wanted to see the "before" shot.  Debbie said she needed to see the before picture just to prove that I'm just as messy and cluttered as everyone else.  Kerry (whose children are grown) said this is what her desk area ALWAYS looks like!  She wanted to see my "before" mess anyway.
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Well, I didn't actually take a before picture, but one week after prettying it up... here it is again.

You'll notice that the plate stand is empty.  We managed to eat all of the cookies and Easter candy.  Now, let's see.  I spy field trip papers, hubby's Lowe's bag, the goodie bag from the bouncy house party, Costco coupons, a hair brush, the label maker my son thought he needed to use, and an empty vase where the flowers once lived.  I guess I'll need to get that cleaned up before the family comes over for Easter dinner tomorrow.

By the way, here is my new favorite product for the dumping ground.  My serge protector was just a jumbled mess.  I asked my hubby to keep his eye out for a good, mess free, solution for the kitchen desk area.  The other day he came home with this one from Lowe's.  The outlets even turn, so if you have an awkward or oversized plug, it will still work.  So smart.  Wish I had thought of that. 
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Home and Family Friday Linky Party

It's Friday... the best day of the week!

Time to link up the projects you've been working on! We love to see recipes, craft projects, or anything else you've been working on around your home or with your family. I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a follower. I'll be featuring a few of my favorite projects. If you are linking up, you are giving me permission to use your picture and link back to your blog.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sweet Peas and Sweet Memories

Sweet peas will always remind me of home and my mom.  Every summer my mom would grow sweet peas along the fence of our yard.  There were always fresh cut sweet peas on the dining room table.  The best surprise was when my mom would put a bouquet of sweet peas by our beds.  I think every little girl should wake up with sweet peas by her bed, at least a few times in her life.

Well, it's time to plant sweet peas.  We added new soil to the kids' garden box a few weeks ago.
I always soak the sweet peas in water overnight. It helps them germinate faster.  (My mom taught me that, and she's the sweet pea expert.) 

The kids planted their seeds under the trellis.

I absolutely cannot wait.

Happy planting!
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Dump Zone

Every house has one.  It's that spot where papers pile up, kids drop permission slips, and catch-all spot for missing game pieces, or special tressures the kids can't seem to part with and don't have a home for.

Last weekend I decided to clean and reorganize our dumping zone.  Much better!  I tried to pretty it up a bit, by adding my plate stand and a vase of flowers.  Don't look at the dirty stool.  I JUST recovered the stool and somehow it now has black marker on it.  Grrrrr.

Happy organizing!
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Monday, April 18, 2011

A Really Smart Product

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it annoying that measuring spoons don't fit into the bottles of spices?  Yes, I know, if I would use two half teaspoons it would be the same as one full teaspoon.  But, I just want my measuring spoons to fit!

Just before Christmas I discovered this set of measuring spoons at Storables.  BRILLIANT!

They are rectangular shaped measuring spoons, just the right shape to fit into the bottles.

I'm a happy baker and cook again.
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Browsing Through Blogland

I was browsing through Blogland on this rainy afternoon, and stumbled upon this blog. On the right hand side of her blog, Heather (not my sister Heather, a different Heather) has listed my little old blog as her very favorite! Now, who knows, maybe she rotates and I just happen to be the favorite today. But, I can't tell you how much it makes my day! She has some really yummy recipes Inside Heather's House. Click over and take a look!

Thanks, Heather. You made my day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Home and Family Friday

It's time for the Home and Family Friday linky party. If you're new to the party, please link up your project. We love to see recipes, crafts, decorating projects, or anything else you've been working on around your home or with your family. I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a follower. Don't forget to check out the links! We've had some amazing spring projects over the past two weeks.

This week I will be choosing a few of my favorite projects to feature. If you are linking up, you are also giving me permission to highlight your work and link back to your blog.

Happy Friday!

Just Dreamin'

We haven't even really hit Spring here in the Pacific Northwest. It snowed a little north of us this morning. I've been dreaming of raspberry picking... literally. The past two nights I've had dreams of my mom and I picking berries at Berringer Farms. As I was browsing through pictures, I found some I had taken last summer. Ahhh. I absolutely can't wait for a little warmth. It's more like a hot cocoa day than a big bowl of fresh picked raspberries day. Well, Happy Spring!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Window Safety

One of my blog readers, Heather French, shared her story with me.  I read the article and thought her story was worth sharing.  Click Here to read about her son's fall, at the Oregon Live website.  Her son is Ryan French.

Window falls are one of my greatest fears.  I hope you'll take time to read Heather's story.  Here is another link with suggestions for window safety.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Refinished Hardwoods.

While we were in Disneyland, we had the hardwoods refinished.  It has been on the To Do list since we moved in, six years ago.  We knew they needed to be done, but had never made it a priority.  The ugliness finally got to use.  While we were at it, we had them upgrade the moulding from dinky little one inch moulding, to a nice three inch moulding.  In the corner of the picture above, you can see the new moulding meeting up with the old moulding, which is still in the family room. It is a really nice change!  I have fabric for the valances. The yellow doesn't look so great with the new wall and wood color.  Now I just need to time to sew the valances.

Above, you can see my fabric and paint choices. We went with the taupe color on the walls.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way my floors turned out.  We had talked about doing a darker color on the floor, but my hubby was afraid it would feel like we were living in a cave.  We ended up choosing a brown shade, but on the lighter side. The moulding was stained the same color as the cabinets.  I used my flash on these pictures, so the cabinets look a little brighter than they actually are. 

The picture below shows the very worn hardwoods BEFORE.

For my neighbors, if you're interested, we went with All About Hardwoods.  Ahhh, I can't tell you how happy I am with the finished look!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How to Surprise Your Kids

Is there any better surprise than a trip to Disneyland?

My husband and I had been planning our trip to Disneyland for 13 months.  There were a few slip ups, but the kids never caught on, and were totally in the dark.  To add to the surprise, we were set to depart on April 1st.  We couldn't resist the opportunity to play a few April Fool's Day tricks on the kids. 

The kids knew that we were getting our floors refinished over Spring Break.  We told them that we had to be out of the house, while they were being done and that we'd be staying with Grandma.  Of course that meant the dog had to be out of the house too.  Grandma doesn't like Cooper so much, so he would need to stay somewhere else. (Thanks, Carpooler Michelle!)  We packed up our clothes and there was no question as to why we needed to pack suitcases. 

On Friday, April 1st, we woke the kids up at 5:30am.  My youngest wouldn't open her eyes, so I just carried her into my room.  We told our oldest that we had something to show him.
I found this brochure on the Family Fun Website.  It's a brochure for a fake camp, called Chore Camp.  You can learn all about washing dishes without leaving water spots, make beds with hospital corners, and learn weed extraction techniques.  I had printed the brochure and showed it to my son.  He started reading it and looked at us like we were crazy.  We tried convincing him that it could be fun.  Hey, they had a car wash learning center too!  They totally bought it! Pretty soon, we asked the kids if they remembered what day it was... April Fools!  As soon as we told them we had a plane to catch for Disneyland, they hustled to get dressed.  We were out the door by 5:50, and on the plane by 8:30am.  Let me tell you, Disneyland was much more fun than Chore Camp.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Home and Family Friday

I'm so glad you're here!  We had a great Spring Break, playing with the kids.  I'll tell you all about it when I'm a little more rested.  It's time for Home and Family Friday.  We'd love it if you'd link up the projects you've done around your home or with your family.  If you haven't already, I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a Follower.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Time to Put My Feet Up

It's Spring Break and I'm taking a blog break!  We have some fun things planned with the kids.  I'll be back for Home and Family Friday.

Happy Spring Break!

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