Friday, August 18, 2017

Updated basket liners

I have these baskets sitting on the counter that hold all the vitamins and meds that Hubby and I  take on a regular basis - it looks like a lot, but it's not all that impressive, trust me. It's just that the bottles are big for those gummie vitamins.  And there might be a bottle or two in there almost empty.  Anyhoo...
The liners were starting to show their age.  When I did my recent kitchen spruce up and washed them, they pretty much fell apart.  I have less time nowadays to craft than I ever did, but I knew I could remedy this.
I really love this colorful stripe.  Its from IKEA many years ago, and I love the colors.  But sadly, I couldn't repair those torn seams.
So I bought some pretty red damask patterned fabric and whipped up another couple liners, using the old ones as a pattern.  Not hard.
I would love to have more cabinet space to put these in, but having them here is a reminder of sorts, so here they live, next to the coffee pot.  A quick little sewing project, for sure, and a cheerful update.
Now, on to the weekend!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Morning at Highlands

Last Saturday we spent the night at Highlands, after a whirlwind day in Hamilton , visiting a cute winery and eating great BBQ.  Hubby slept in, but I made a pot of coffee and settled myself in a chair to see what might wander past our hill.
This was my vantage point just outside of the barn.
Sure enough, after a few minutes something very quietly came into view.
And paused, looking around.  So I sat still.
Then a friend of his/hers appeared - maybe a mated pair?  Gray foxes!  And they couldn't care less that I was snapping phone pics.
Because they were nosing around the woodpile for small rodents or bugs, I guess.
I wish Scout had been here with his awesome camera and telephoto lens.  At one point they noticed me, but didn't run.  Just kept milling around the area, getting closer.
Until one of them sat over by the swing.  A pretty good size fox, I'd say.  Not one bit worried about me.
Hubby was annoyed he missed it.  But I think our foxes have a den on the fence line behind the barn, so I'm sure they'll make another appearance.  After he poured his coffee, we went on a morning walk.
Making our plans...
I spy the pergola, and a tiny bit of the barn.
Time to go cook a bit of breakfast..
...cause the day is well underway!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mealplan Monday #31

Monday - Make your own sammie
Tuesday - Cheater Lasagna, veggie
Wednesday - Buttermilk Fried Chicken Salads
Thursday - Heat and Eat Roast Beef Bowls (leftover roast beef in gravy, masheds, green beans)
Friday - (freezer) Chicken Tacos with pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, sour cream
Saturday and Sunday - One of these nights will feature Pork Loin Chops with Mushroom Au Gratin Potatoes

Friday, August 11, 2017

5 thing Friday - things I am loving

I have a sort of new-to-me co-worker who likes to create, and she does some beautiful painted canvases.  Here is the one she made for me when I told her I wanted one with a beachy sort of vibe:
For now, it hangs here in the boy bathroom.  But I may put it on the opposite wall so I can center it properly.  And I want to take those clings off the mirror and frame it out.  And maybe add a glass vase of shells and such.  Super simple.
She used beach sand from Port Aransas to give it texture.
I have a love/hate thing going with IKEA.  I love their breakfast - for $2 you cannot go wrong.  Seriously, $2.  Including coffee.
And I have serious designs on obtaining this rug. I think it would be perfect in the den!  But I think the ones they have left are IT so I have to decide pretty soon before they all get snapped up.
Mostly I go to IKEA for kitchen and simple household items - chief among them napkins.
Four months ago, one of fav wineries bottled their plum wine.  We loved it and acquired two bottles of it - one at a random visit, the other at a pick-up.  We were advised to let it age til late summer, so I stored them in a cool place on their side and waited.  When I opened them up, guess what I had?  Fizzy vinegar.  The winery credited us for the bottles and we will maybe pick up two more in a couple of weeks.  Customer service is everything.
We are stealing this idea from a coffee shop in downtown Austin.  A glass garage door for our Someday House at Highlands.  Maybe leading into a great room. (also I like the industrial vibe here)
Can I just say how I love going and doing with Hubby on the weekends?  It's like we are newly married young adults again with no kids and a full two days to do whatever we want.  I'm sure I will always treasure our time as parents of young children, but being parents of adults has its merits...

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rainy day kitchen cleaning

I got into a cleaning and purging mode on Monday since I had already done my grocery shopping on it was raining.  Which is always a good time to do some sprucing indoors.  It all started with me wanting to order a farmhouse mug holder, then remembering I have a small mug tree under a cabinet that I used during the holidays.  That made no sense to me.  Why not put it out and see if that's something I want to keep using?  Make space in the coffee cup cabinet for K-cups and other hot drink related items?
Its been since January that I went through the cabinets and drawers, and things were starting to get messy and disorganized.  Plus, I really wanted to clear off the countertops a bit more.  So starting with one thing, it morphed into a full-fledged kitchen clean up!
I made space in the pantry to store the crockpot I use twice a week.  Took the small wine rack off the cabinet by the cookbooks and set my owl cannisters and recipe box over there.  Got rid of a couple of gadget-y things we don't use, including paring down the dishtowels and a bunch of plastic cutlery. Washed all of my potholders and the linings to the small baskets that we have vitamin bottles in. (note to self: sew two new ones) 
I gave all of the tops a wipe down with bleach water and mopped the floors.  Then I set out my wax tart burner in a spot that would scent my kitchen and actually get used more often.  It felt good to spend some time focusing on my little kitchen that I spend so much time in!  And now it makes me want to tackle some other spaces in the house...

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mealplan Monday #30

Monday - Deli sammie and chips
Tuesday - Southwest Flank Steak in crockpot, rice, veggie
Wednesday - Chicken Avocado Salad on romaine, croutons or such
Thursday - Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti, veggie
Friday - Carnitas Tacos with cheese, sour cream, pico
Saturday and Sunday - TBD, but I have cooked big meals the last two Sundays, so...

Friday, August 4, 2017

Jewelry box clean out

I've been meaning to clean out my jewelry box for some time now, and recently read this article about how to go about it.  My gosh look at it - so much stuff!!  The bracelets alone are ridiculous.  You would think I wear bling all the time, but in truth, I wear a small amount.  And never more than one bracelet at time.
I had so much bling I didn't even see the pieces I really love and want to wear often.  So more and more, I was just leaving the same earrings on all week.  Which is really not my style.  Also, I rarely wear yellow gold anymore - it's just not flattering to me.  And costume jewelry is really not my thing.
I pulled out everything, then only put back what I loved.  And the above photo is everything I can live without.  Truth be told, there is probably more in the jewelry box that can go.  Some of it just needed a different place to live, like those vintage earrings that can go elsewhere - I will never wear them.  And there is a fair amount of stuff I could sell for scrap.
There will come a day that dangle-y earrings are not my thing.  Neither will be that second piercing in each ear.  Or the third in the other ear.  Live and learn and change.  Jewelry should be for you whatever you want it to be.  I find that my tastes are very simple now.  And I want life to be less complicated, too.  Might as well start here.
There's still so much stuff here.  Interspersed are pieces I inherited from my late MIL.  Will I likely wear it? No.  But I can't get rid of it just yet.  Someday I will pass it on to The Girl.  And maybe there will be daughters-in-law to pass some of it on to, too. 
Maybe I should vacuum the lint and dust out of the box.  And I can go back to using it for the day-to-day storage, not the long term forget-I-own-it storage.
Something I learned from years of buying at James Avery - keep the plastic baggies they return your cleaned pieces to you in.  If you aren't wearing it today, don't leave it in the bathroom to tarnish!  One thing I am pretty good about is keeping my jewelry clean.  Dirty stuff just doesn't feel good to wear.  And now that my stuff is pared down, I may wear it more often...we'll see.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A quiet finale...

Court of Honor went off rather hitch-less on Monday night.
It was a simple yet meaningful ceremony.  The men and boys of the troop did a fine job and Bubbie was reserved and dignified, but he smiled at everyone and thanked them with hugs and handshakes.   He didn't have much to say up on stage - probably glad to be done with this milestone and more than a little nervous in front of a church full of people.  We saw lots of folks we hadn't seen in a long time - neighbors, scouting family, and real family, too.  All of us arrived home rather tired and most of us went straight to bed.
Yeah, we're a lively group...
I'm sure as the days pass, Hubby will feel bittersweet about it - our last boy to go through scouts made it all the way to the top (!), but after all, he is the last one...  And so with that, we are somewhat closing a door - even though, with scouting, you can always stay engaged, if you choose to do so. And he was encouraged by many of them to do so.  
I'm so glad he had all of these positive peers and role models in his life.  Makes me worry a little less about the baby.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mealplan Monday #29

Monday - Roast Beef party Sammies with chips and horsey sauce, then
Court of Honor at 7 p.m.!!
Tuesday - Crockpot Stuffed Peppers, skillet potatoes
Wednesday - Taco Salads with fritos and catalina dressing
Thursday - Pasta with Homemade meatballs and marinara, freezer veggie
Friday - Honey Soy Chicken Thighs, veggie fried rice, broccoli
Saturday - TBD
Sunday - Roast Pork, squash casserole, honey carrots

Friday, July 28, 2017

5 thing Friday - fridge, lunch, A/C, pergola, Garrison's

Last week was an expensive booger and ended with a day of A/C replacement, stress at work, and an empty fridge:
(Oh look -  we won't starve.  We have condiments)
Once the A/C guys were here I really couldn't leave the house.  So I got some cleaning done around the house, including the fridge - cleaned and wiped all of the shelves, tossed old expired stuff, and thawed some stuff to make this gourmet lunch:
That would be ground chicken breast and bacon burgers with BBQ sauce and cheddar on freezer hot dog buns with sauteed onions.  It was delightful and frugal!  Then I made a monster grocery list for the next morning.
 Unlike getting the A/C replaced, which was not frugal, but necessary.
(those are coils, coated with 24 years of grime)
This unit was original to the house.  Never been serviced.  Ran for hours.  And made the most God-awful noise starting up.
 Pretty much on its deathbed.  (look at the rust!)  Hopefully we will also say goodbye to out of control electric bills in the summer.  It already feels so good in this house with much lower humidity.  We promise to treat the new one better...
The pergola, it is finished.  Hubby and I went up to Highlands on Saturday, spent the night, then got up at the crack of dawn to finish it up.
Along the way, we visited a bourbon distillery in Hye, Texas and admired their firepit, washers pits, rustic rocking chairs, and picnic tables.  The people there were super friendly and knew lots about bourbon.  And the wine on the patio was honor system.  A fun place to visit - I'm sure we will head back in the Fall to go on their "hay-less" hayride tour of the distillery.


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