Friday, February 12, 2016

5 thing Friday - Hubby, Nothing Bundt Cakes, hearts, stitchin', lampshade fix

Hubby is once again my age.  To celebrate his new membership in the Double Nickel Club, we had dinner and drinks here.  I have to say, it was not a frugal evening...we had wine, fresh oysters, Trout Almondine, Grilled Shark, fresh bread, and a brownie topped with ice cream and fudge sauce.  They printed a menu especially for him that said Happy Birthday on it.  The service and food were superb!  Afterwards, we headed over to Whole Foods to buy more wine (because of course), then home to have pecan pie and gifts. 

Hubby loves him a Manhattan.  We also made plans for Valentine's Day!
The Girl sent him a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting!  I would venture to say he had a great birthday.
I don't usually decorate for Hallmark holidays, but I found a sweet heart shaped grapevine wreath and thought "why not?".  I added in some greenery and those glittery heart picks from years ago.
I think I bought them at the Target Dollar Spot. 
They are a simple way to add a little love.
Something I stitched for Scout.  He used to say this a lot.
 Wonky lamp problem.  Ever since I switched out the shade, and it makes me batty.
 I wrapped a rubber band around the base, to act as a gasket.
Wah- La.  Lampshade in place.  Mischief managed.
Oh, I also bought some new pillows for the den's couch - a fun geo print in rust - perfect.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mat switcheroo

 I posted about these old prints that were hanging over the sofa last fall:
 I had grown to hate greatly dislike them with their 80's mats.  So, deciding to keep the frames, I spray painted the mats with orb paint, and frame some fabric that I had leftover from making pillows.
 And that was fine as a quick spiff, but I could see that the mat's surface was sticking to the glass inside the frame and it made me crazy.  I bought some new mats at Hob Lob that were only $5 each (plus I had a 40% off coup!), but I had to cut them down to fit the frame.  Then I realized that the mat opening was larger too, but it gets better...
 I had cut the pattern in the fabric very carefully so as to center it, but that left it about about 2 inches too short for one of the new mats.  ARGH.
I did my best to add some fabric to the bottom of the piece and match it exactly but if you look at it carefully, you can see where it is less than perfect.  So, a simple switch out of mats turned into an un-fun art project.  
 You can't really tell from a distance unless you know, but it brings out the OCD beast in me....
Both of them HAD to match or it would have looked very lopsided.
I love the fabric and think its very "global" and fits in this space, and the detail on the frames is lovely.  So.
They can stay. For now.

Monday, February 8, 2016

20 minutes to get off on the right foot

One of the saddest things to come home to, in my opinion is a stinky messy kitchen after 8 hours spent on your feet.  Maybe for everyone, but especially for me.  So here is a "before" that I frequently see on a Monday or Tuesday:
After all, Mom is no spring chicken.  And even at 3 p.m. I don't want to deal with it since I get up at 5 to be at work by 6.  But all of us need a good dinner, and we all appreciate a clean space.  And since everyone is away from home for most of the day, and I'm the one who gets home first...I think you can see where this is sense crying over it!
In 15 minutes I can unload and reload and wipe things down.  If I have 5 minutes more, I can mop.  And that 20 minutes is the best time I spend at the end of a workday to ensure that the evening starts off smoothly with a clean space to prepare dinner.  And I can have the boys take out trash, recycles, and unload that dishwasher again after dinner.  I wish we could be a tad bit more organized, but I guess it's a small thing in the overall scheme...

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dinner on the fly from what we already had!

{It's a good this is not a monetized blog, what with all of my terrible phone photos...I have the best of intentions, though!}
On a recent weeknight, I scrounged around for a frugal meal, instead of the Chinese take out I was craving.  I found a forgotten butternut squash which I peeled and cut up, to cook in some butter and olive oil...
...some grape tomatoes almost past their prime, and an onion - which I sauteed together.
And, some tilapia, which thawed out in a flash.  I seasoned it, then coated in panko and cooked in a little olive oil, served with the squash and onion/tomato mix on the side and it was SO GOOD.  Perhaps I should do "dinner on the fly" more often...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Getting him on track

Bubbie has a lot going on starting NOW.  He is on track to get his Eagle Scout achieved if he remembers to stay on target with badge work.  He's on track to move up to (possible) Wind Ensemble for his senior year if he buckles down in Band.  He's got to start planning his SAT and ACT tests, get ready for his AP exams, and get some more driving practice in so he doesn't scare me half to death.  And he's got to get ready for Philmont this summer, as well as Band camp and college visits.  His 2016 is shaping up to be BUSY.
I want him to keep up without losing his mind, so I bought a datebook for him.  I purposely bought a small one he could tuck into the front pocket of his backpack.  It looked so blah, though, and it had glitter on it.  That will never do.
 I trimmed up one of the printed photos Scout gave me - I love using them in projects.  I glued it down, then"laminated" it onto the front of the planner with clear tape.
Then I wrote 2016 in the little window of the outside protector, cause I'm all fancy.  I plan on sitting with him to fill it out, then double check it with him each week.  I think if I don't  The Overwhelms will kick in.  It's so much easier to STAY on track than to get back ON track.  And yes, I realize he is 17, but I consider it still my job to help him out as best I can.  I want him to teach him how to stay on top of deadlines, before he's off to college...

Friday, January 29, 2016

5 thing Friday - books, easy meals, nightlight, Scouting, chili

It was a busy week at Camp Rustown.  You can tell the holidays are over by the amount of general catch up I do around the house with purging, cleaning, and desk work that I was putting off.  The filing alone kills me.
Bubbie and I took the books he was willing to part with to Half Price Books.  You don't get a lot of money for your books there, generally, but it's fun to get a little store credit to spend.  Plus, they usually have a cart or two full of books for cheap.
Laziness did set in, though...I managed to only get two items into the freezer for work nights.  It basically involved pouring a sauce over chicken in a big zip loc.  In my defense, though, there are several things in the freezer we need to eat up before I get to stocking it up.  Crock pot freezer meals are my friends, and the best solution when I get home at three, blink, then realize it's dinnertime.
 I bought a new plug in wax warmer.  It's so dang bright!  I love these wax burners for the double duty they pull - light plus scent.  And no candle flame is a win.
Hubby got a high honor at the Scout banquet on Sunday. 
 According to the BSA Armadillo District of Texas:

"The Norm Hummel Award of Excellence is a given by the Armadillo District to recognize an individual’s outstanding contribution to Scouting on the unit or district level. There are no specific requirements for this award. An individual’s contribution of time and energy should be regarded as highly valuable by the members of the unit or district and deserving special public recognition."

I know Hubby will cherish his time involved with the Scouting organization.  So far we are on year 19 of his involvement.  It will be a bittersweet transition when Bubbie ages out...
I found a quick Enchilada Chicken Chili recipe and made some tweaks to it to make it my own.  In honor of JL's birthday at work tomorrow, here it is:

Crock Pot Enchilada Chicken Chili
Cut 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs into chunks.  Season with taco seasoning and brown in the skillet.  Place in bottom of greased crock pot and add:
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
19 oz can red enchilada sauce (I used mild)
1 can chicken broth (not pictured)
2 c. total of chopped red bell pepper, and onion
1 T of chopped garlic
Cook on high for 4 hours.  Serve with chips, sour cream, and shredded cheese!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The gap in seasons - updated

You know how there's that space in between winter and spring? 
It's not Christmas, its not Easter.
Here in Central Texas we have had an unseasonably warm weather.  But since it's technically still winter, I busted out my pinecones to make a wreath for the front door.  I added in some fluffy white flowers and a scrap of burlap ribbon.
 I like how simple it is.  I might tweak it here or there - maybe add a few more pinecones.  Or configure it to hang differently*.  But then, maybe not.  On to the next project!  I would love to get some sewing done this week.
Happy Gap Season!
*So, I moved the flowers to the bottom of the wreath, and did a better job on the "bow".  Still hard to photograph...I kept looking at it thinking it was not quite right.  Here's what my inspiration was:
I wish I could get these longish spiky pinecones here, but apparently they are a northern thing!  And my wreath was definitely cheaper than this one which is sold on Etsy!
(I spent about $10 on mine, hers is $46!) 


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