Thursday, June 30, 2011

The state of things

We've been pretty busy at Camp Rustown enjoying the summer and trying to stay cool.  So, housework is even harder to get accomplished and forget about making everything look neat and pretty.
Every year around this time I think my beautiful front room will never be the same.  It gets turned into packing central by the resident Boy Scouts:

I just have to look away from it as I walk past.  It's a necessary evil as it is just too dang hot to ask them to pack it all up in the garage.  And besides, I have my own mess going on the dining table...
Those stacks of paper represent work I need to do to get The Girl off to college, among other week will be quiet around here, if they actually get to go.  Right now the wildfires in New Mexico threaten to cancel the camping trip.  Either way, I vow to tackle the table today so I can at least admire a spot of calm in the storm.  So, my agenda today is to tie up a few loose ends.  Organize some paperwork, file some things, get a handle on my master To Do list...then maybe I can go to the library, take a nap, and cook something good for's the state of summer at your house?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday budget shopping

I usually do pretty good with coupons and sales and I am fairly frugal with budgeting all around, but I know I can do better.  So,  armed with the weekly ad and some manufacturer coupons, I went shopping at Walgreen's this morning before hitting the grocery store for my weekly food shopping.  And this is what I got:
Now, not all of the items were on sale - but most.  And I had a couple of pricey things in there, too, but I wound up saving a little over $37 and earning $8 in register rewards. Score!  Then I headed over to HEB where I had $14 in coupons and spent $114 for groceries for 6 people for a week AND I got a few other clearance and sale items I could tuck into the freezer which will be applied to next month's groceries.  All total my  receipt says I saved $23.  I am absolutely serious about not setting foot into HEB again this week.  I might go to Walgreen's again, tho, to pick up stuff the boys will need for camping, but I can use my register rewards for that.  So, a savings of $68 this week!  Not too bad of a start towards tightening the belt.
So, how bout you?  Done any great couponing lately?

Friday, June 24, 2011

College campus visit

We went to Waco yesterday to visit Baylor University.
We visited the financial aid office, and the transfer counselor's office, walked the campus, and located housing.  Then we went home and got busy with med forms, housing preferences, loan counseling, job applications, meal plans...
 What a beautiful campus!  
At some point I'm sure we will stress and obsess about it.
But not today.  Today we move forward...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dutch Oven S'mores

What we had for dessert on Daddy Day:
 S'mores made in the dutch oven and cooked on the grill

 It was pretty good, but I may tweak the recipe a bit.  Basically you melt butter in the pan (we lined with foil), crush grahams into it, pour a can of condensed milk over that, then layer on the chips and marshmallows...
The marshmallows melt, but don't get toasty - which is great because some people at my house don't appreciate that burnt marshmallow flavor.  We used semi-sweet chocolate and butterscotch chips, but next time, I think we'll use milk chocolate chips, and maybe add salted peanuts or mini Reese's cups...yuuuum
Ooey gooey and delish!
The boys congregated on the sofa with Dad to watch Dr. Who and eat their bowls of s'mores.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange - finished!

I had a couple of projects lined up for the handmade gift exchange, then realized that talent-wise, I was probably over-reaching...besides, the official rules say just one!  So I stuck with the tried and true, every mom's best friend...the tote bag:
Which, as it turns out, should come in handy since my partner, Chrystal is a busy mom of two with another on the way.  I'm sure she'll be toting lotsa stuff!
I really liked putting together this summery combo of colors - usually I favor bright colors, 
but this looks really beachy to me.   Like Summer!
I had a little extra of this lovely aqua fabric so I made a pocket with sections 
for inside of the tote and inside I placed...
A sweet little emergency clutch, idea courtesy of the girls at eighteen25 , a super cute blog full of lots of fun and crafty ideas.  Mine has a tie instead of a button - 
I was trying to be thrifty and not make another trip to JoAnn..
 What's that in the pocket you ask?
Ideas of what she might want to include in her emergency clutch.  I loved making this and might have to do a few more come Christmastime.  You'll never guess what it started out as - a potholder! 
A sweet Austin postcard and I'm off to get my giftie in the mail.
That was fun!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Museum of the Weird

I took the kids to a quirky Austin place on 6th street to see what it was alla bout...
Blink and you might miss it...
 "Oh, Museum of the Weird?...I have a delivery to make"...JK, I guess I will keep these kids... 
 Chock full of the creepy and unusual...
 The two headed that's a load of bull...ha ha
 Oooohhh....colored light displays make the fake seem real to me, somehow...
It goes without saying that since this is on 6th street, their main clientele are unsuspecting drunk tourist types...
a gorilla arm that sneaks from behind a wall to "grab" you scared  the life out of a visitor just behind us...
 Fur. On a trout. Rare. And weird, I guess.
But not fur real...I crack myself up!
 Look! Real live lizards!
 Which the kids got to pet.  And the very friendly guy (aka gorilla arm man) gave us a mini lesson on where and how he acquired these.  Hint: big lizards do not make good household pets...
 6th street is mostly known for it's restaurant and bar scene.  And for being expensive.  Which is why it cost us $5 each to view the displays in MOW...all of 15 minutes worth...
 But is was a nice day and fun to hang out and summer is all about exploration, right?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Burlap query

So, I've been seeing burlap all over the place lately and as luck would have it, I found a 1 yd. piece of it in the 50% off remnants bin at the natural color...
 I like the rustic quality of burlap and how it can go well with elegant things, as crochet and scroll-y candles...but it would be nice to have another idea.
here I cut a strip to go around a candle jar that sits on the dining room table.
I was going to make a burlap runner...but I really like this simple crochet one - it's like the others in the china cabinet...maybe cover a small lamp shade?  
Or a mat for a framed pic in this room? 
Or trim on some simple curtains? 
A yard isn't much...but I'm on a frugal economy decorating, please...

Monday, June 13, 2011

A quick trip to the lake

We went to Cedar Creek lake for a surprise anniversary party for Hubby's sister and brother-in-law....the day was hot and sunny and perfect for hanging at the lake with family.
My sis-in-law was so excited to see us she screamed, then cried!
We relaxed outside by the lake while watching the boys goof off.
They were highly entertaining!
The theme for the party was Pink Flamingoes, which were everywhere, including the cake.  
Yum, butter rum flavored and so good!
40 years of marriage rates some kind of congressional medal in my view - 
and maybe a family surprise party at a lake with friends and family...


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