Friday, May 31, 2019

5 thing Friday: muffins, tote, nails, flowers, letter board

I had no less than seven brown bananas in the fruit bowl - suddenly no one wants a banana?  So, following a recipe from The Frugal Girl, I made muffins on Tuesday night for us to enjoy for breakfasts.  Mine have Ghirardelli mini chocolate chips!
They came out nicely - much like a recipe I used to follow when my peeps were small that called for mayo.  I have no idea what happened to that recipe card, though, so this was a good substitute.
The Girl bought me a cute tote bag for Mother's Day!  I think I will use it as a shopping tote for non-grocery items.  Or as a book bag.  Or for overnight trips to Highlands. Or...
Somewhat blurry pic of my nails in their on-going recovery from winter dehydration.  I bought some Barielle nail cream I rub into them daily, and I have a Barielle oil I paint on and rub into them in the evenings.  Every now and then I paint them.  But I feel like the nail polish remover does them no favors. 
The wildflowers at Highlands this year were insane.  ARE insane - its still going on.  We even still have some bluebonnets up there which is unheard of in late May.
All along the road on the way to the property there are flowers.  I want to use my plant app to identify them before they wane. 
I'm having fun with the letter board in the guest room.  I took down Scout's framed photography in black and white, then re-hung the color canvases in here.
It makes for a fun collage and I wonder if The Girl notices that the sign keeps changing its message?  Timely, considering the surrounding photos...
Happy last day of May!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Michief managed in the garage

The Girl returned home from Atlanta last Friday.  I hadn't meant to rope her into helping with this monstrosity on Saturday morning:
But to be fair...there were a lot of her things out there, too. The pool?  Teddy's.  And also a dog crate, some files of hers, all of her childhood memory boxes, Barbies, and Beanie Babies...and I needed as many volunteers as I could muster.  After making them a huge breakfast, we got started.  Amid much grumbling.  MUCH.
And I say the results are worth it.
Once Firstborn comes and gets his things we will have a space to park a car.  Think of it!  We hung some paintings we inherited from Hubby's late sister,  found some charcoal we didn't know we had, moved that Christmas tree and all the lights off to the side...
...made space for my crafts and tools (the white dresser), stored all of the coolers and scout camping equipment...even created a spot to place the stuff basket and such that goes up to Highlands with us each weekend.  
We also made the tools and lawnmower a little easier to access.  Hey, it won't win any design awards for garage storage or organization, but you can actually move around in here safely and FIND what you need!
The Girl and I laughed over the "super valuable scrap wood" that Hubby insists on keeping.  I mean wood doesn't grow on trees or anything...
You can actually get to these ladders and spare tires!
And yes, we got rid of a lot - either through donating or putting in the trash, but either way, we have a little more room to breathe in here. 
 I took my two helpers to Fairweather for a cold hard cider and some down time.  Another project down!  And not a moment too soon as the Texas heat is on its way...

Monday, May 27, 2019

Mealplan Monday #247

 Itty bitty Austin up ahead!

Monday - Italian Spiced Chicken Bites, Mediterranean Pilaf, kale
Tuesday - Reubans, veggie chips, apple slices
Wednesday - Pacific Cod with lemon and tarragon, zucchini
Thursday - Turkey Patties with onions and peppers, smashed reds
Friday - Pot Sticker Stir Fry with pork and broccoli
Saturday - YOYO
Sunday - One Pot Spaghetti, salad, garlic rolls

Friday, May 24, 2019

Put a cork in it

One of our favorite wineries is having a cork art contest - the winner gets wine club membership for a year!  Its worth entering, if just for that, but I also love a good reason to use up some of my collection of corks:
I made a memo/bulletin board and though its not perfect, I think its pretty sweet.  I even included a pic of some fun wine folk:
At that same winery of course!
I found a frame in the garage, gathered up the corks I wanted to use, and got a serrated knife and cutting board handy.  I also used a foam core board from Dollar Tree and my trusty hot glue gun.  Since I had everything but the board it cost me $1 total!
I started by boiling the corks for about 10 minutes, then keeping them hot as I cut them in half lengthwise, in batches.  The softer they are, the easier to cut without them crumbling.
The foam board was easy to cut and place into the frame.  But if I make another one someday, I would skip using the frame clips and just glue the board into the frame to make it sturdier.  As it was I had to place some duct tape on the back to reinforce it.
The contest rules say there has to be a minimum of 5 corks from that particular winery on your finished project.  I tried not to have more than that of any other winery we love - there were a TON of them from other Texas wineries, and a few from the grocery store.
The corks kept rising to the top of the pot of course, so I stirred them down every now and again to make sure they all stayed soaked.
After I cut them, I lay them out to make sure I liked the pattern  A couple of times I had to cut a cork to make it fit.  I figured it wouldn't be all that noticeable in the grand scheme of things.
 At this point I was making a giant mess of my kitchen!
 I love the stacked tile look of the corks.   Butting up against each other in a straight line was challenging.  If I do this craft again, I will lay every cork out before I glue any of them since they are all different lengths and widths.
I love the texture of the cork next to the black frame.  I added a little jute cord with tacks and more hot glue so the board could also be used without tacks.  Note: must get over to JoAnn Fabrics today and buy some pretty decorative tacks for it.  And maybe picture hangers for the back.
 Gratuitous thumbs up pic, as required by the winery!  (to prove you actually made it - ha!)  My homemade cork bulletin board will likely win no prize but will be fun to use.
 Silly photos notwithstanding.
Whatcha think?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Weekend re-cap: beer and snooty people

We found ourselves in an Empty Nest situation for dinner on Friday night - Bubbie was at a friend's house - so we put dinner in the oven then left the house for Austin Beerworks.
In addition to some tasty Harry Potter-looking beer we enjoyed chicken tacos and a brat on a bun, with some chips and queso on the side.  When we got home, I set the dinner out to cool and stashed it for the next night!  Mischief managed!  The next day we endured a soggy pick-up brunch at a winery with unfriendly tablemates...we picked up our wine and split, intending to enjoy a bottle at Highlands.
 We were there about 5 minutes when I heard Hubby yelling from the front of the barn.
We had left a mouse trap set up inside and I noticed the bait was gone but the trap was unsprung.  Looks like the snake found the mouse...  Unfortunately, we can't have rattlenakes hanging out around the barn looking for mice.  So he was dispatched same as the one before.  But I tell you, its nerve-wracking.
We bopped over to Georgetown soon after to enjoy some lunch at 600 Degrees Pizza.  Sadly, I did not get a pic of the pizza - it was gone in a flash.  It featured sliced meatballs, pepperoni, marinated tomatoes, red onions, and garlic and was fantastic.  Even if we were very hungry - snake slaying is hard work - it was a ridiculously good pizza.
They had a friendly bartender and some nice beer.  But it was a little on the pricey side, so it won't be a regular stop for us.  We went by a winery on the square and decided that wouldn't be a regular stop either - snooty tasting lady pushing the wine club hard and expensive marginal wine.  Pass.  We did stop by Georgetown Winery again, but the experience this time around was pretty lackluster.  I don't know if it was the rain, the snake, or just interactions with multiple unfriendly folks.  We were done for the day.
The Girl arrived home Saturday night and we enjoyed the aforementioned dinner which involved Chicken Mole (my favorite thing!), Spanish rice, and steamed carrots.  She will be in Atlanta for a week so we are Ted-sitting.  Since were going to be close to home the next day, we explored a new-to-us draught house that is not new to Austin.  There was a friendly guy out front grilling "for tips only" so we split a fresh grilled brat with sauerkraut.  He says he is out there most Sundays and you can bring something from home for him to throw on the grill.  Delightful!
After that, we headed over to Central Market for more snooty people interactions and some salmon patties to grill for dinner.  We hit the hay early - jury duty for me the next day and work for Hubby.  Hopefully, this coming weekend will be more productive - and friendly.  There's the garage clean-out to do and a new release at Save the World.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Mealplan Monday #246

Monday - Lemon Garlic chicken breast cubes, roasted red pepper quinoa, shredded and sauteed brussel sprouts
Tuesday - White beans with ham and no complaints*, corn muffins
Wednesday - Salmon with scampi splash seasoning, red bell peppers and corn
Thursday - Tacos al Pastor with all of the fixins', maybe some leftover beans
Friday - Heat and Eat Green Chile Chicken Rice Bowls (using up leftover veggies, too)
*Hubby wasn't on board with having beans as a main dish once a week, so we are compromising.  Every other week we will have sammies of some sort - tuna, chicken salad, grilled cheese and turkey...just something I don't have to slave over.

PS - Hubby has lost 7 pounds!

Friday, May 17, 2019

5 thing Friday - firepit, Mother's Day, Perisso's, green smoothie, necklace

A 3 day Mother's Day weekend was fun, but as usual, I was worn out on Monday.
We left our volunteer gig at the winery and headed to Burnet, intending to stop at the same place we had the Highlands sign made and purchase one of their firepits.  But after mulling the price for about 30 minutes, we decided to check the local hardware store.  Found an almost identical pit for over $300 less.  SOLD.
The bowl is a little less deep, and the foot rail and swing out top were reinforced.  And the lady at the hardware store said she thought it was made by the same people at the welding shop.  We got it offloaded and fired it right up!  Friday evening was misting and 50 degrees - perfect firepit weather.
 We used it all weekend and even woke up to it on Sunday.  Delightful.
On Sunday we had a wine club pick-up at Perisso's.
   We enjoyed pulled pork sammies, live music, and  Dolcetto.
 You could not have asked for a more lovely day.  
Texas weather - cold one day, warm the next.
The place was packed with all sorts of mamas enjoying the beautiful day.  We stayed a couple of hours, picked up our wine, then headed home to grill burgers.
Scout and Dutch came!  They are back from a week on the coast enjoying a much-needed vacay.  Both of them looked relaxed and happy.  {Pififully, I got only one or two pics}  We ate our burgers al fresco and enjoyed them with some baked beans and sangria.  Firstborn and Bubbie even played a game with me while Hubby grilled!  It was a relaxing evening.
On Wednesday I got my teeth cleaned and is usually the case, I hadn't had time for breakfast.  Since I schedule early appointments,  I've been running through this nearby shop and grabbing a protein smoothie afterwards.  It makes my mouth and my tummy feel much better.  I should get one of those Ninja blenders - we would use it often.
I cannot get a decent pic of the Mother's Day necklace Hubby got me, but I love it.  the main pendant is a charm holder that you can switch out charms on whenever you like.  It came with a bluebonnet charm and calcedony bead - this pic does it no justice.  The bluebonnet charm is so detailed and the bead is an amazing shade of blue.  I know I will wear it and love it for years to come.


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