Friday, April 29, 2016

5 thing Friday - memory stone, Keurig, lunch out, cross stitchin', heels

I used a 40% off coupon at Joann to buy one of those stepping store kits like you have kids do in the summer...only it's for me to do.  As a memory stone for Sugar's burial spot  underneath the crepe myrtle in the back yard.
I want to "edge" it with bricks so that it's a slightly larger square and more protected.  It will have Wandering Jew and grass all around it.  More pics when I get that done!*
I made one about 8 years ago and it's in the front landscaping.  Though you can barely see it here (sorry) it has held up well.  I need to get out here and clean out the landscaping if it ever stops raining...then I'll re-position this one so we can see it.
This is the third Keurig we've had in as many years.  It decided to die last week.  The company is sending me another to replace it, but for goodness sake - you spend so much money on them for it to be so short-lived.  Does it seem to you that things are shoddily-made to wear out and be replaced often?  Whatever happened to appliances that last for years?
I found a new place to take the boys for lunch next time the three of us have a day off together.  These are kimchi fries with soy-glazed chicken, monterrey jack and cheddar cheeses, sriracha sauce...very tasty!  And they are opening a location close to our neighborhood.
One last snide cross stitch before I start a more "family blog appropriate" design. 
Hubby and I are still enjoying us some Happy Hours with apps and drinks.  It's about the only time I get to wear heels and a skirt - it's nice to dress pretty now and again.  And I have a lot of stuff I either need to start wearing or clear out of my closet 
(like these pink shoes!)



*Missing my kitty a lot lately...sigh...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New monogram wreath for kitchen

It's been a good 5 years since I changed out the "art" above the kitchen cabinets.  Previous to that cork covered C there was an Anne Geddes print.  I mostly change out what's sitting just below what's hanging, usually silk plants or candles or such.  But more and more I want some simple decor.
 I liked it a lot - but it was time for a change.  I really like the look of a monogram...hmmm.
 
So while I was at Michael's I found that all of their monogram art was on sale and I picked up this rustic looking C. I may want to use it somewhere else at some point so I don't want to glue it to anything.
I pulled out one of the extra grapevine wreaths I had from the garage (for some reason I had two of them decorated for Fall) and some burlap ribbon I used a coupon for.  I don't have any photos of the rest of the process - I just added in some very inexpensive ivy and excelsior from my stash.
This spot is waaay up there over the vent hood so it was a trick getting it hung!  I wrapped some florist wire around the back of the burlap loop and called it done.
The kitchen spot lights aren't usually on since they are BRIGHT, but otherwise, it's hard to see it in a photo!  Whatcha think?  I think I like it simple up there - less to fuss over!



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Monday, April 25, 2016

What the week holds: getting Bubbie ready for his senior year

One of the items on my To Do list was to complete the registration for Bubbie's SAT test in June.  We plan on him taking it twice - he'll take the best score, and it will be good for him to see what it's like.  He's got until December to take it again.
 Registering required a mug shot:
 Come on, man!  Smile!
Better (:
It's hard to believe the baby is going to be a senior in high school.  I know everyone probably says that, but seriously!  We need to start looking at schools he may be interested in, getting our timeline and deadlines in order,visit some schools, apply for financial aid....so much to do it boggles the mind.  This summer he will go to Philmont Scout Ranch, get his license and a car, and start his last summer band camp.  Plus, he has just 8 short months in which to finish his Eagle badge.  Holy Moley!  This week we are turning in the formal band tux, getting me to the dentist for a cleaning, possibly meeting my friend Carol in Round Top, and enjoying the Silver Spurs wine partay at Driftwood - Firstborn is coming with us!  
What does your week look like?




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{because look - he smiles!}

Friday, April 22, 2016

More thrift fun in April!

I took advantage of being in the right area of town to visit a couple of thrift stores on Burnet Road.  {I called it my little sussie for donating blood that day.}  It's as good an excuse as any to bop around the thrift stores and eat lunch out.  I highly recommend the Kimchi Fries here.  I don't regret one bite.
Silk ties for $1 each at The Assistance League.  Wonder if Hubby realizes I am partial to buying him red ties?
 A crochet doily for $3, tiny frame for $1.50, Murano glass stopper for $2, and that strange cross stitch book mark - I have a mind to re-donate that.  I also found books for 50 cents each - until our neighborhood library re-opens I guess I will have to find paperbacks in the thrift stores.
At Savers I found a cute bunny couple, and a BRAND NEW pair of Keds for $10.  Never been worn!  These retail for $40 on Zappos - I know because I was on the wait list for these exact ones in black!
The little bunny couple cracked me up.  They will go into my Easter stash and come out to dance in my china cabinet next Spring.




Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Burritos with Chili

Last week I asked Bubbie to give me suggestions for what he wanted for dinner - it's tough to think of new things to make sometimes.  Turns out he wanted a tried and true recipe for a semi-homemade (OK, well none of it is homemade) dish of burritos smothered in chili with lots of cheese.  And since it's not yet too hot to use the oven I agreed!
This is not a diet meal.  So stop reading right now if you are counting calories....

Burritos with Chili
8 small freezer burritos
1 can chili no beans
1 small can tomato sauce
fresh chopped onions (mine are a mix of green and white)
2 c. grated cheese, your choice

 Mix up the chili and tomato sauce.  taste it to see if you want to add more garlic, cumin, salt, etc.
 Lay your frozen burritos out in a greased 9x13 dish and grate up about 2 cups of cheese.
 Pour the chili over the burritos, top with cheese and onions...
 ...then bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.  I have a dish of frozen corn in there, too.  I topped it with a couple tablespoons of butter, a little salt, and a smidge of water so the corn won't scorch.  It will be ready when the burritos are.  You could also do a salad if you feel industrious.
You could top them with a little sour cream or guacamole or cilantro.  I sometimes do that, but I was just feeling lazy that night and was lucky to remember the corn.  This one is a hit at my house - there are never any leftovers!




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Monday, April 18, 2016

What the week holds: breakfast in my car...

Many times I reach Wednesday mornings in a state of overwhelm.  To Do lists, grocery lists, and general chores and errands seem to converge on Wednesday and leave me feeling frazzled.  There's only one cure...
After dropping Bubbie off at band sectionals, I head over to Taco Cabana and order two barbacoa tacos to eat while I sit and admire the view of the Best Buy parking lot.  (:  Barbacoa is not something I had discovered I was fond of until just the last year or so.  And now I am obsessed with it in a breakfast taco, along with some spicy pico de gallo.  Breakfast of champions!  I really, really need to learn how to make it myself!
 Calmly I listen to the news or talk radio.  Sometimes I will sit there and text while I eat.  And after a good breakfast, I can usually make it all the way through the morning, making major headway on everything I have to do!
******
This week I have to get Bubbie in for a well-visit and get those Philmont forms turned in.  Plus, I need to get started working on my Tech Ladder notebook for work, clean up the back patio after the deluge of rain, and make time for reading and some crafting. (Got to flex my creative muscle a little...)  What's your week looking like?






Friday, April 15, 2016

5 thing Friday - potted babies, herbs, dishes, beans, painting

I moved a couple of plants indoors since they are smallish and theres no kitty here to chew on them...
The aloe vera plant apparently enjoyed this pot so much it cloned itself.  
The two of them are loving life.
The smaller of the two holds an asparagus fern.  
I put some pretty stones in the pots just because.
 At Easter, we had a delish pork tenderloin rubbed in fresh herbs and garlic.  Since there were fresh herbs left I dried them out, crumbled them, and added to my spice jars.  I've done this many times before - always works great.  Why waste?  Fresh herbs are pricey.
 HEB Plus had these great plastic Talavera-style plates and bowls - perfect for Mabel.  It will be fun to discover them again when we get ready to travel this summer.
I bought a bag of black beans for $1.18 and cooked them in the crock for several hours with water and a dash of salt, then let them cool a bit.  So much cheaper than canned beans.  I will cool them completely in the zip loc bags and then freeze them for future meals.  Each bag holds the equivalent of a 15 oz can.
The paint I used in the boys' bathroom - so easy to clean up and looks really nice.  I am planning to give the front door a fresh coat since we are expecting sunshine today.
Happy Friday, all!



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Welcome to Not a Pinterest-Worthy Home!

One of the things I love most about being home during a weekday is how much I can get done.  Especially in the area of Cleaning All The Things.  When I get it all pretty I pause and admire it.  Ahh!  Nice.
I was telling a friend that helping Bubbie with his smelly laundry and room makes me wish my house was "Pinterest worthy" and would stay that way.  I guess what I really meant was I wish it would stay looking clean and smelling wonderful for more than one day!


 A lot of times I will look at Pinterest or a blog pic and think - Where's the REAl part of that person's house?  Where are the signs that a family lives there?  It's nice for my house to be neat, but I would go nuts trying to remove everything that didn't fit in with some artistic vision or wasn't matchy matchy enough.  And I don't have all day to "style" areas of my house to photograph.  Case in point:  the flip flops that Hubby insist live right there by the bookcase.  And the weather gadgets that crowd the third shelf.
On this blog you will see a reasonably clean kitchen with wallpaper from the early 90's and oak cabinets I don't want to paint.  As well as laminate!  And the kitchen chairs I may never get around to painting. You will also see a hopelessly outdated director's chair and doilies made by my mother.
Clean and calm in here during the day makes me pretty happy.  If our home was in a constant state of "improvement" I think I'd never get to actually relax and enjoy it.  There's only so much you can paint or recover or rearrange...might as well enjoy our house.  We will change what we can, make the rest work for us.
I don't follow trends like current paint color of the year, or ship lap on walls, or chalk board paint on everything, or big geometric rugs, or fiddle leaf fig trees, or mason jars everywhere.  I just try to do what makes it comfortable.
******
  Here is our home:  full of people we love and things we don't stress over.




Monday, April 11, 2016

What the week holds: Laundry for Firstborn

One of the few things I can do to help Firstborn out nowadays is to help him with his laundry.  Though he is a grown person, he has a sweaty, stinky job as a mechanic working long hours, six days a week.  So, a mama wants to help smooth out the sharp edges, you know?  Adulting is hard.  And laundry is something I can do very well...
P.U.
He brings it over in this plastic hamper and it is packed in there!  This is what it looks like with a load missing - he waits until he is OUT of clean stuff for work.  It's usually on a weekend that I see him, after I have worked a 12 hour shift.  But it can't be helped as Sunday is his only day off.  And sometimes he will get it started, but most times I would rather he just wait for me to start it - I'm less likely to overload the washer.
We normally use detergent pods, but his stuff requires a different type of laundry soap - I've been using Tide, but I will switch to Whisk as I have read it's better at getting rid of all the grease.  When we were using the Purex or Arm&Hammer pods, there would always be a grease ring in the drum.  To me that says the grease wasn't properly dealt with!  Sometimes I add a scent booster, and I usually use liquid softener in the wash, sheets in the dryer.  And yes, the hamper gets sprayed with Lysol!
******
It's nice to focus on helping one of my kiddoes out after helping everyone else's all weekend...I have healthy people who are pretty much grown.  Not for a moment do I forget to feel grateful.




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