Monday, April 30, 2012

UFO Link Party!

I hope everyone has had fun working on their unfinished projects!

Things got really nuts around here and are, well...pretty crazy still. I almost didn't get my project done. In fact, I was working until the wee hours. So, no pictures until I can get some natural light.

My project also isn't in its permanent spot yet. I'm hoping the little ones will behave enough so I can get that done soon, too.

Remember these basic rules of the link party:

1. In order to be featured, you MUST have a link on your post back to the party.
2. Do not link to your blog. Link directly to the project you are posting.
3. Please comment on others' projects. It makes everyone feel good!
4. To encourage posting comments, turn Word Verification OFF. Some of us really really hate it because the letters are all wonky and we're old and blind :P
5. This is for UFO participants. Do not link to your own link parties. Do not link to your etsy shops or giveaways.

Your link back to our party can be a text link, or you can use this lovely button...




UFO PARTY

Also when you link up, you will automatically join the parties also being hosted at

The Money Pit
One House One Couple
The Bean Sprout Notes
Double Wide In the Sky

The party will run through May 7, so if you haven't started/finished yet, there's still time.


Just another Antique Monday

That sounded way cooler in my head. I'm singing along to the Bangles 80s classic...Just another Antique Monday. Glad it's not Sunday. Cause it's my FunDay. dah dah duh

Yeah. Not working.

As I'm busy procrastinating working on my UFO project for the big link party tomorrow, I figured I'd show off the goodies Ms. Kat gave to my girls during our i'll take your junk if you take my junk yard sale two weeks ago.

Little Miss came tottling over with this gem


It's the perfect pint sized rocking chair made of wood. She thinks it's all kinds of awesome.

I don't have a spot for it yet, so it's sitting up against the living room fireplace.

The piece that left me boggled that someone would give this to a 5 year old as a play toy


It's a really old. The little girl who first lived in our house may have played with one just like this, as a hand me down from her mom or something.


That's steel, wrapped around the wooden wheel.

Definitely not the kind of construction you see today on toys.

Every time Punky Brewster races across the living room and rams it into the couch, I cringe. And Ms. Kat is a believer that toys, even ancient ones, are meant to be played with. I've put this beauty in a safe place for now. Punky Brewster is supposed to ask to play with it and if she rams it into anything, it is put away again.

Did you find any old treasures this weekend?


Linking up at these great parties:

Beautify It Monday  **Debbie Doos Newbie Party ** Serendipity & Spice ** Mop it Up Mondays
Here Comes the Sun  ** Meet Me Monday ** 
Trash to Treasure Tuesdays  ** Flaunt it Fridays 


Saturday, April 28, 2012

sponsored post: Whitney Farms Plant Food

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's no secret I consider myself a black thumb. In our last house it wasn't a big deal because our house was at the end of the block on a very quiet street. People didn't notice the house and it didn't matter if I had a garden or not.

In the new house, things are completely different. We live on a major cross street.  We have a house people know. Yes, the big grey and white house. Being close to a stop light, people are often stopped in front of our house...you know, looking at it. And noticing things.

So now, I have to do something about the garden. Like keeping it alive.

I'm lucky to have a great neighbor who is helping me learn the ins and outs of gardening and giving me clippings from her yard.

The hydrangeas are on their second summer with us now. So I guess I'm not as terrible at this gardening thing as I thought!

 

my hydrangeas!

 

Aside from keeping the front of the garden going, we're also planting a vegetable garden. And, I'd really like to keep it organic. If I'm going to take the time to grow my own food, I want it to be the best possible, with things like organic soil.

Whitney-Farms-Logo_Banner_New_C.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)

Whitney Farms has organic plant food. I didn't realize I needed to feed my food in order to make it grow. If I want organic produce, I need to feed it Whitney Farms organic plant food

109103_1.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)

Whitney Farms® has 25+ years of leading gardening experience and has improved their products to have:
-low to no dust
-no manure odor
-easy to apply
-Contains beneficial microbes
-Specially designed protein-based blends provide your plants with both macro and micronutrients they need to grow and thrive

 

The no stinky manure smell and easy to apply are reason why I plan to use this brand of plant food in my garden this year. It doesn't hurt Whitney Farms is offering a $3 coupon to try out their product line! You know me, if there's a coupon for it, I'm going to try it!

Whitney Farms®

 

My gardening goal this year, aside from keeping things alive, is not to have to buy produce this summer! Hopefully by actually using plant food, I'll increase my chances LOL

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Finals: saved $114

It's been a crazy week around here. End of the school year is quickly approaching and it seems like there are field trips every week for someone. Or meetings.

Today was a big meeting.

Today, Little B graduated from speech therapy! He started when he was 4 years old. He had a major articulation delay. That means, while he was an awfully chatty tot, no one could understand a word coming out of his mouth, not even his parents.

For the past two school years, he's been working on the letter R. I know, one letter. But R is actually the hardest sound to master. It has more than 20 variations in English and has a major impact on everything from speech to even the tonal quality of the voice. For a long time, B sounded British LOL

And now, after nearly 7 years, he's finished with speech. We're very glad he's done before moving on to middle school in the fall.

So tonight, we're going to have a surprise graduation party for him...complete with a trip to DQ (with a coupon), or we may splurge for the fancy expensive ice cream without a coupon. I know, right? We live high on the hog LOL

We're three payments out from having D's car paid off and every last dime is going towards it. I will be so stinking happy once that car is paid off.

I get so excited thinking how close we are to being debt free except for our house...it  has been totally made possible by couponing. Like this week...where I saved $114 at one store alone! That's crazy savings. And, we're getting all snacked up for the summer...


2 boxes Cap'n crunch ($1/1 Store coupon X2, $1/2 manufacturer coupon)
6 taquitos ($3/2 X 2, $1/1 X2)
2 pasta (no coupon)
sour cream (no coupon)
2 Pudding ($1/2)
2 Flat bread (.55/1 X2)
4 kleenex (.50/2 X2)
5 breads (.40/1 X5)
10 fruit cups ($1/2 X5)
10 marinades ($1/1 X10)
bottled water 24 pk ($2.99 competitor coupon)

plus $10/$50 Winn Dixie coupon

I also made a small trip to Winn Dixie where I picked up 6 cans of chili and 2 boxes of Steak Ums (total splurge...I just love those things) for $10 (including tax!)

It wasn't that bad of a week. I just have to keep hiding the fruit cups to save them for summer snacks! They are perfect for hot days. I want to try putting them in the freezer to have a sort of fresh fruit freezer pop with very little effort.

Are any of you making plans for feeding the kids over the heat of summer?

PS...

Don't forget about the UFO party! Link up your FINISHED project...you know the one that's been lying around collecting dust, tripping you, staring at you...or just plain lost track of...get it wrapped up be ready to link up May 1-7!

Blog Lovin Blog Hop

Keep working on those projects and join up May 1 - 7 with our UFO party!

I'm pretty new to this blog reader game. I used to have just a long list of bookmarked sites and I'd click, read, on to the next. I didn't "get" the whole reader thing...until recently when I discovered linky followers. I like linky followers, but it's doing a few things I don't like...if I group blogs by, say foodies, and I want to scroll just the food blogs, I have to select foodies from the drop down each time or else it defaults back to general, favorites, etc. Not happy.

Now, word is out of another reader service called Blog Lovin that's supposed to be a more user friendly interface. It also has iphone and android apps. Huge plus. That means I can read on the go!

I found a blog hop party of blogs who are switching over to this new way to get followers. I figured I'd join in on the fun and see if I like this interface better.

So click away on the blog lovin icon to the side and follow me there. Let me know which blog reading format you like best.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Grandma Pat's Mountain Bars

Have you found that UFO you want to finish this weekend? Don't forget to join up at the First Ever UFO Challenge!

The little girls are being really naughty lately. To me, that's a sure sign of boredom.

So I decided to try some baking with them today.  Nothing like some fun in the kitchen to get them working together and not having fits having fun.

I started with this

Smile but not too much smile
She was relatively cooperative. Aside from sticking her fingers in everything. Good thing these will only be eaten by family.

And this:

 
NO!
Sadly, even after our "fun" in the kitchen, Punky Brewster is still acting desperately in need of a nap. Or a time out. I think I might take the time out.

The recipe we started with today comes from a church cookbook. I'm not going to call it old because I have recipes in it. It's just well used. At least these two pages


These start out like most No Bake Cookies:

milk, sugar, cocoa powder, butter
Once it bubbles up, I change the recipe just enough that neither my mom nor my mother in law would ever consider eating them. I add coconut. Yet, we still call them Grandma Pat's Mountain Bars. One day, maybe they'll consider them mine and not grandma's. Then, the usual rolled oats. And, drop them on to waxed paper to cool.


The funny thing about these cookies is most people make them in the summer when the cookie cravings hit and it's too hot to heat up the house. We don't make them in the summer at all! It's TOO HOT! The cookies just turn into a sticky mess. These are definitely spring time and fall cookies. You know, when it's only in the mid 80s.

Grandma Pat's Mountain Bars

2 C sugar
3-4 T cocoa powder
1/2 C milk 
1/2 C margarine
1/2 C Peanut Butter
1/2 t vanilla
dash salt
1 C shredded coconut
4 C rolled oats

In a medium sauce pan, heat sugar, cocoa powder, milk and margarine to a boil. Let boil 2-3 minutes. Stir in Peanut Butter, vanilla and dash of salt. Add in Coconut. Turn off heat and quickly add in rolled oats. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

UFO partay!

I mentioned yesterday about having this ugly albatross sitting in my living room. It's a UFO. An Un Finished Object. I need to get it done. It's holding up several other projects around the house.

This will soon be an entertainment console thingy


Kind of like a clog in the plumbing that backs up your bathroom sink. Oh wait...I've got one of those, too. For real. That gnarly clog from the birthday party is back.

And since I really can't do anything about the blockage in the sink (that's D's area of expertise), I can spend time working on that UFO.

I know I'm not the only one with a project that you're avoiding. A project you'd really wish some little green men with tools would come in and finish for you...

That's why I've teamed up with

Kim from The Money Pit
Lisha from One House One Couple
Shelby from The Bean Sprout Notes
JoAnne from Double Wide in the Sky

To bring you all the very first UFO Challenge!







UFO PARTY

Aren't you excited?

Grab a button and let us know which UFO you're going to be proving is an actual project and not just a myth you want to believe will one day get finished.

Our link party will open on May 1 and run for a full week. I know, that's not a lot of time to get the project done...but that's the point. These are projects we've already started and for whatever reason, have put off. When you link up on one of our parties, it will show up on all of them :)

So now, it's time to just run with it. Get those projects DONE and then brag about it!

Be sure to check out my party sisters to see what UFOs they plan to tackle and show them some love and encouragement!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Caramelized Sweet Onion & Basil Pizza

It's no secret I love homemade pizza. And, I love caramelized onions. They turn so sweet when cooked slowly in butter over a low heat. All the bitterness melts away. The kids eat the cooked onions like candy. Whenever a recipe calls for onions, I have to cook double because I know little ones will be begging for "samples."

So, it made complete sense to combine the two, making one tasty pizza.

Punky Brewster is very excited about our herb garden, so she also suggested adding sweet basil...which was pure genius.

Where pure genius is lacking, is what to do with this particular project. It's gathering dust in my living room and preventing me from finishing up several other projects. I do have some plans for, this little UFO (UnFinished Object) of mine...tune in tomorrow for some details on that one! It's going to be AWESOME.


Right now it's perched behind my couch. It needs to be finished and moved UNDER the TV. Then, the dresser that's UNDER the TV, needs to move UPSTAIRS. There it will be filled with the contents of  my linen closet. The soon to be emptied linen closet will take the contents of our closet under the stairs. The closet under the stairs will remain empty because it's our only "safe spot" in case of tornado.

If you think about it, this one dresser is pretty much a danger to my family :P I better get it taken care of ASAP!

Meanwhile, I'm sure you'd rather be getting the pizza recipe :)

Caramelized Sweet Onion Pizza

1 pizza crust (store bought, homemade, your choice!)
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C Four Cheese Rosa sauce, I use Bertolli
1 1/2 C mozzarella cheese, divided (this is purely based on taste, feel free to add more cheese!)
3 T butter
handful of fresh basil, chiffonade cut

preheat oven to 425.

In a sautee pan, melt butter over low heat, careful not to burn. Add onions and let them cook until starting to turn brown. This could take up to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, to make sure the onions don't stick to the pan. If they start to stick, add a small bit of water to deglaze.

On your pizza crust, spread out the sauce, then top with 1 C cheese.

Spread onions on to the cheese, then top with remaining 1/2 C cheese. Sprinkle with basil.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.

LINKED UP AT:

Debbie-Doo's Newbie Party
Funky PolkaDot Giraffe
Vintage WannaBe: Talent Tuesday
Grateful Belly's What's New Wednesday
Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Mom Time Out 
Jillify It 
52 Mantles
Vintage FarmHouse
Michelle's Tasty Creations
House of Hepworths  
Delightful Order 
Fireflies & Jellybeans
Mrs. Hines Class  
Treasure Hunt Thursdays\
Tater Tots & Jello 
Cowgirl Up
Addicted to Recipes Button, Page button



a to zebra
UndertheTableandDreaming


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mop it up mondays































Saturday, April 21, 2012

An outdoor mantle

Our civic association held it's annual yard sale today. I was optimistic I'd be able to sell off some of the junk we've managed to accumulate since we moved in last summer.

We had a bit of good news/bad news on that front.

The good news was I sold some stuff. The bad news? My girls went to my neighbor, the amazing Miss Kat, and well...I ended with more stuff than I sold. I have a whole post planned later for the other things older than dirt that a 3 yo and 5 yo shouldn't be playing with goodies the girls snagged from her porch.

One of the items on my to sell list that didn't sell, was an extra fire place mantle. Because, you know, everyone just has one of those lying around. Along with the original bathroom sink to the house (didn't sell) and the cast iron fire place insert (didn't sell). And neither did my cocomotion. What is wrong with people?

Anyway, I propped the mantle up against the front of the house. Then the girls brought over some little rustic folk art furniture. And an antique mini watering can. Then, Miss Kat brought over this plant in a planter (along with two varieties of mint, tarragon and lemon balm) because my front porch wasn't looking cute, I guess. About 20 minutes later, Little Miss comes running back from the neighbors with a handmade broom pretending she's a witch. Great. One more thing.

I stuck the little things on the mantle and the planter under it, just to get them out of the way. And with the broom propped up next to it all...


I stepped off the porch and did a bit of a double take. Oh...my...gosh!

Isn't it ADORABLE??? (ignore the side walk chalk)

I'm sort of glad it didn't sell. Now, I can be the weird lady with the fireplace mantle on her large covered porch that's all cute and everything. I may even change it seasonally.


vintage watering can

 A bit of greenery


Rustic

We added this cute little bird house at the end after I took the earlier picture. Actually, my girls went berry picking next door and she sent them home with the bird house AND a bowl full of berries.


mop it up mondays













































Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Finals small week

Not much of sale items we needed this week. I picked up a few snack foods and replenished the cereal stash. I wish the sales were better, but we're pretty stocked right now.


I spent $15 before taxes and brought home:

2 boxes cereal
1 bag taquitos (lunch for the day)
1  dozen eggs
1 fig newton
2 chips ahoy
5 lb bag potatoes
cleaner
6 frozen garlic breads (total indulgence. I love these things and I know they aren't good for me!)
1 peanut butter
4 pepperidge farm cookies
4 smart balance lactose free milk

I did take a trip to Winn Dixie where I had terrible savings :P Well, not terrible terrible but nothing like the 82 percent savings I had at publix.

My Winn Dixie trip, I spent $24, but $14 of that was on 2 lbs of New York strip steaks they were cutting to order in the butcher department. Our anniversary is coming up and I figured $6.99/lb wasn't a terrible price to pay for a good steak. And 2 lbs of meat is enough for 2 meals. An anniversary dinner for under $10? yeah...totally in my budget :)

The problem this year for our anniversary is it falls on Mother's Day. That means I either have to cook for Mother's Day or celebrate the anniversary early. I'm opting for early. Who knows what the kids will make for my dinner, but I just hope Leelee comes up with something delicious. Last year, she made a quiche and a cheaters creme brulee.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pinspirational Link party with Adventures in Dinner!

I'm super excited to be joining Adventures in Dinner for this great party!


CELEBRATIONS...?!?!? YES.... It's a Great Pin'Inspirational Day Today.. It's our *30th* Party!! How did that happen?!  So very glad that you're here.

The ArtsyGirl Connection   
Welcome to another creative day of
celebrating YOU and your awesome creativity...
*Check Out Past Featured Top {5}'s HERE!* ...................................................................................... A SPECIAL GUEST HOST *The Lovely Micki Via Add Housewife*
Confessions of an ADD Housewife
Hi! I'm Micki from Confessions of an ADD HousewifeAnd the answer to the question that has already popped into your head is, Yes, I do have ADD! 
Oh look...a kitten! Yellow is my favorite color. Yellow reminds me 
of sunshine and happy days. Ice cream is tasty, too. .......................................................
Hi! I'm Micki. Ok, kidding aside, I started blogging several years ago..back when I had just four kids and lived in Oregon. I now have six children and live in Alabama! Four girls, two boys. My children range in age from 3 to 15. My 15 year old son has a form of high functioning autism called Aspergers Syndrome. My school aged children all go to different schools. I "stay home" and pretend to use my  college education write, edit, and create whatever comes to my fancy.
..............................................
It's a life like this that makes it helpful to have ADD! A variety of interests, a 
variety of talents...and loads to talk about from home organization projects,  
coupon. A lot. But I'm not a hoarder, so they don't want me on 
that TV show. But I am good enough for local TV.
........................................................... Isn't she just so darling..? Please stop in and visit Micki and be inspired by SO much, from her amazing story to all her creative and fun projects featured on her lovely blog. SO thankful to have her share today with us.. ...................& Speaking of thankful! Thank YOU for linking last week!* TOP FIVE {5} &More FEATURES* Via Moments With The Montanos ~ Soo Pin Worthy! I really wish I was this lucky lil lady who had the BEST enchanted under the sea party! Sooo creative and simply AWESOME!!
Yet ANOTHER party I simply adore! Pin'It! Do you spot the menu board? "Gasp!" How creative..? Via Desire Empire ~ How My Cleaner Saves Our Marriage! Did you also notice? My laundry room needs more than a little something.  Like maybe someone who actually puts laundry away? How cute were these bunny butts?
Creative Mrs. Smith
Hey are you already for next week's shibang?   And now onto the fun!
What have you been up to this week?
Link away!
Just remember a couple of social niceties:
It's pretty cool if you follow your hosts
Visit lots of other folks and show they some bloggy hearts
Please keep businesses for other rad parties.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Versatile blogger Award!

Versatile. That means one who is useful in many ways. Perfect description of an ADD blogger like me! You can find a little bit of everything on this blog!

I was recently award the Versatile Blog Award by Lisha at OneHouseOneCouple. Pretty darn cool blog.  I love seeing all the projects and transformations. And, she has a giveaway right now!

Part of the award is I get to nominate 15 other bloggers for awards ;) I've been having a blast finding so many new blogs lately. It's hard to pick just 15 I think you should check out. But here they are in no particular order.

1. Kim - The Money Pit.
2. Carrie - Saving 4 Six
3. Stephanie- Gilded Junque
4. Cyndi- The Decorating Chica
5. Stacey- Flickerwhips
6. Kim- The REAL adventures of a SoCal Mom
7. Ms. Benjamins - Ms. Building Up Da Benjamins
8.  Jenny - Days of Chalk and Chocolate
9. Kammy - Kammy's Korner
10. Back for Seconds
11. Laura- Cookie Crumbs and Sawdust
12. Carole- Blue Chateau Interiors
13.  http://mamazukecooks.blogspot.com/
14.Karen- The Barganista
15.  Bungalo 960



7 FACTS about moi :)

 

1. I have a degree. (yeah, I know) in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism, Advertising and PR.

2. I justify blogging by telling people I am using my degree. (ha ha)

3. I tried out for a game show once (and didn't make it)

4. I am a contributing editor for New Beginnings, the La Leche League publication.   It's a fancy way of saying I beg people to write something, then edit it, then send it on to someone else to put in the magazine.

5. I'm one of those "crunchy hippy moms"

6.  My house is haunted (or so we're told). Not a huge deal since our last house was built on land that used to be a graveyard.

7. I am deathly afraid of heights.

Here are the rules of award acceptance once you’re nominated:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • Finally, share 7 things about yourself.
  • In the same post include this set of rules.
  • Inform each nominee with a comment on their blog.

Featured!

I'm really excited to share with you all that my projects are featured on two different link parties this week!

My edible tea cups are being featured on both The Project Queen  and The Shady Porch.

Please go check out these blogs and see the other great projects featured.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nothing like homemade applesauce!

I've been hitting the farmer's market fairly often for the culled fruit. And the apples on the last run were a bit more damaged than I knew. The girls weren't all that interested in eating them.

So what to do with  all of those apples?

Applesauce of course!

I searched for several recipes and most of them involved a sieve or straining the applesauce. Way more effort than I wanted to expend. I also didn't want to spend the time peeling enough apples to make applesauce for my family. That's a lot of apples!

Normally, I'd use my pampered chef apple guillotine, but the apples were too soft for that. There's a story behind referring to it as a guillotine. And yes, it involves a trip to the emergency room. I don't bring it out too often because of that!

In the end, I used my dollar store apple corer to core through about a dozen apples and tossed them in my crockpot. Added water, sugar, cinnamon and flipped that baby on for a few hours.

And just like that...homemade applesauce!

This recipe will make a monster amount of applesauce. Please feel free to half (or third) the recipe to suit your needs. Apologies for not having photos. As Punky Brewster said, "Mama, this is so good I just want you to pour it right into my mouth!" Needless to say, no leftovers.



Nice n Easy Crockpot Applesauce

12 apples, cored and slice (peeling optional)
1 C water
3/4 C white sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon 
3 T lemon juice

Place all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. Mash with a potato masher.

Linked up at:
 
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