Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gouda Mac and Cheese with Crab

My friend,  Diane, returned from Seaside and had much better luck crabbing than we did.  Fortunately, she shared. (That's a true friend.) Last week my kids and I made Gouda mac and cheese with freshly caught Seaside crab.  OH, YUM!

I started throwing things in the pot and had the kids start mixing it up.

This is the first time I have ever made homemade mac and cheese without a recipe.  I usually  find a good website and follow a recipe with lots of good reviews.  This time, I decided to trust my cooking skills and give it a try on my own.  Well, the combination of crab and Gouda is TO DIE FOR!

Thanks for sharing, Diane!  Happy cooking!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eight More Summers

Summer is winding down.  I go back to work tomorrow, although the kids don't start school until next week.  Yesterday we hit the new pool in town.  The new Lynnwood Rec Center pool is like a mini Great Wolf Lodge.  I have to say, it's pretty cool.  We had to get in line about 45 minutes before it opened, but we all had a blast.  This picture only shows about a third of the pool space.

As we were walking to the car, after playing hard in the water, my son asked what we were going to do next.  My response:  "Umm, let's see.  We just got out of the pool.  What do we do next?"

Duh!  I thought it was a rule that you always have to get ice cream after swimming.  Well, I didn't actually have to answer my son's question.  He knew the answer. 

 Driving home, with tired sticky handed kids, I started to think that one more summer was coming to an end.  My oldest is 10 this year.  That means we only have 8 summers left together.  In reality, we probably only have 3 summers because we all know teenagers don't want to race their mom down the waterslide. (sniff, sniff)  I like to think that I make the most of my time with my kids.  We didn't sign up for any summer camps, day camps, or special classes this summer.  We spent every waking moment together, having fun and making memories.  We were able to cross out most of the activities on our summer to-do list.


Eight more summers.  Eight.  Here's to making them count!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Home and Family Friday

Happy Friday, friends!  It's been a busy week for me.  I've been in professional development classes for the past three days.  Summer has finally arrived (now that it's almost September).  We've reached the low 80's for the past few days.  What's with that?  We finally get some nice weather and I have to go back to work!  Well, at least I have Friday to spend with my kids, outside, enjoying the weather.

We're ready for Home and Family Friday, but first I'd like to show you last week's most clicked on link. 

Ashley, from Simply Designing, shared this great sign she made.  Don't you just love it?  I think I need that.

I can't wait to see your projects this week.  I'd love it if you'd become and follower and grab my button.

My Mom's Garden

My mom has a beautiful garden.  Her house is on a very sunny lot.  EVERYTHING grows well there.  She's always telling me about her gardening problems.

 "Oh, my pumpkins are just so big.  I don't know what I'll do." 

"Poor me.  My corn stalks are practically stalking my neighbors.  They are just so tall!"

"Oh, whatever will I do with ALL of these raspberries?"

My shady little garden pales in comparison to my mother's.

She has tons of flowers for cutting.

Here are her garden boxes with flowers and veggies.  Don't you just love those little bird houses she has mingled in with her flowers?

I have to say, I'm a bit jealous.

Beautiful!  Happy gardening!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Needing a Little Pantry Motivation

I'm needing a little push right now.  My kids and I have been playing all summer.  I'm not getting my work done around the house.  A friend's mom was at my house over the weekend.  She was admiring my pantry and I was so embarrased that it was such a mess.

So, here's a repost of my cleaning and containerizing in the pantry.  Maybe I can motivate myself to get my act together.  Remember, this is not the way my pantry looks today.  I'm too ashamed to show you all of the school supplies, book bags, and emptry boxes in my pantry.

I've shared before about my love/hate relationship with my pantry. I LOVE the size. I LOVE the shelves we had installed. I LOVE my new floor. I LOVE the labeled bins. But, oh, how I hate cleaning it out every week or two. It's a beautiful space and I feel so lucky to have a walk-in pantry.

There is one spot in my pantry that is constantly a dumping ground. It's supposed to be the shelf for lunch making supplies. Since it's the first shelf you come to it seems to be a gathering place for extra popcorn, weird veggies for the juicer, and baggies full of half eaten snack.

Containerizing the rest of the pantry seemed to work, so I containerized the dumping ground too. Unfortunately, my label maker seems to be missing again. When I find it, I'll add labels. (Last time it went missing it was in my daughter's play house.)

Here are a few linky parties I like to participate in:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hydrangea Question

Last week I shared some of my garden photos. One reader/friend asked about the variety of hydrangea in one of my photos.

This hydrangea is an Everlasting Summer. It is one of my favorites. I love that it blooms all season. Most hydrangeas bloom on wood from the previous year. This variety isn't picky. You can cut it all you want, and it keeps producing flowers. I love that!

Do you want to know my secret for getting them so blue? I bought a soil additive at the garden center called True Blue. It changes the PH level of the soil and makes them a deeper blue. My sister puts apple peels around her hydrangeas and it turns them almost navy blue. They are beautiful. I've never tried that trick, but it seems to work for her. You can also buy an additive to make your hydrangeas pink.  Pink isn't really my color, so I'll stick with my True Blue.  (Note to self: clean up the dog toys before taking photos.  Cooper's tennis ball is at the base of the plants.)

So, there you have it. True Blue Everlasting Summer hydrangeas.

Happy gardening!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Home and Family Friday

Welcome, Friends!  Come on in.

I hope you're here to link up to our Home and Family Friday linky party.  We love to see great recipes, fun projects, room makeovers, or pretty much anything you've done around your home or with your family.  I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a follower.

Happy Friday!

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The Outdoor Tour Do-Over

***Do-Overs! I went on vacation and had this post all scheduled. Well, it posted just as planned, but posted without the pictures. Grrrrr. Sometimes Blogger is so frustrating! Well, here it is again. Hope you'll take the time to read it and enjoy the pictures!***

We've had a rather mild summer in the Pacific Northwest. Mid 70's and partly sunny has been a good day around here. I haven't set up a single fan in my house. The air conditioner is still in the closet, and the blow up pool is still hiding up in the rafters. Summer has been pleasant, but certainly not a scorcher.

Although, most of us around here are complaining about the lack of heat, my yard and garden are loving this weather. I thought I'd take you on a little garden tour today.

This rocking chair has been in my classroom for the past several years. It needed a repair job and some paint touch ups. I brought it home, fixed it up, and now I don't think it's going back to school. I really like it out on the deck. It kind of reminds me of a rocker someone might have had on their porch in the 40's or 50's.
I brought the rooster pillow out to add a little warmth to the chair.

Our grass is still quite green and the sprinkler has only been on a handful of times.

My sweet peas are very happy out there on those window trellises.

Most of my flowers are ready to be divided.

This is the area of free plants from Carpooler Michelle. She gave me starts when I moved in. I think they've filled in pretty nicely.

This next little area is a work in progress. Someday I think it will be a patio. For now it's no-man's-land. I put my little picnic table out there last weekend, just so I wouldn't have to look at dead space. I finally got around to repairing my old wagon. Note to self - go to Flower World and buy a few plants to put in the wagon. Ooooh, or better yet, maybe I'll just wait for pumpkins!

My red Adirondack chairs are my favorite place in the yard. I love sitting here, in the sun, watching the kids play on the swingset or splashing in the blow up pool.
Yep, it's my happy place. My geraniums are doing the best they have ever done! I think they like the cooler temps.

Dahlias have to be my favorite flower for cutting. Without the heat and sunshine, I don't have many this year.

Not too bad for a yard that had zero plants when we moved in.
The veggie garden is on the left, perennials on the right. I'm thinking I may only get green tomatoes this year.

I'm hoping these plants will fill in. I bought the three perennials on the clearance table. They look pretty pathetic right now, but I'll give them a few years to prove themselves. The urn was a roadside freebie. The stump was one of those things I just couldn't figure out how to get rid of. What's that old saying about life giving you lemons? Well, now I love this little corner. I'm glad I couldn't get rid of the stump.

I was very patient and now my impatients are in full bloom. The pitch fork-plant hanger is a new addition this year.
Why, hello there, Annabelle. I'm so happy you're blooming this year! I planted two Annabelle hydrangeas last year by my grandpa's old plow. White hydrangeas make me happy.
I picked these hydrangeas two weeks ago and they still look beautiful in my kitchen. (Still loving my $1 milk bottles!)

Thanks for taking an outdoor tour with me! I'm off to pick a bouquet of flowers.

Happy gardening!

I'm linking up with Fertilizer Friday and these other parties.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Coming!

Those big yellow buses will be rolling around the neighborhoods soon! (Well, for those of you outside of the 1 mile radius, thanks to budget cuts.)  Time to start getting ready! 

I know where I'll be for the next few days!  My furniture is piled in the corner, bookshelves need painting, and I need to find the glitter.... so much glitter!

Happy back to school season!

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