Monday, August 31, 2015

Infestation of fruit flies (otherwise known as making jam)

We've had peaches on our counter for days.  Too many in fact.  They were starting to mold and the flies were insane.  So I quick this morning went to the blog "Mom, What's 4 Dinner" and used this recipe for jam.

Kindle pic because Chris has the camera.  The recipe was for peach jam, but making jam uses up a ton of fruit, and so for the 4 purple jars I also added blueberries and a nectarine to get the amount of fruit I needed.  So good we fight over who gets to lick the spoon.

Now my kids are on fruit fly duty.

Friday, August 28, 2015

My Power Cord Caught Fire and Other Random Stuff

Chris and the kids came back from their crazy Canadian camping trip.  And just as we were going to look at the pics on the floor on my new IKEA rug, the power cord caught fire at the exposed wires. Oops.  It left a small burn mark, and we had to wait for 2 days for a new one to come in the mail.

Two days without the internet.  You try it.  (I am totally pathetic.)

LOL - how our lives have changed in the last decade. Some times we do need to switch off the internet and avoid distractions - my family included.

My fall allergies have kicked in and I want to claw my eyes out.  I am taking both Claritin and a second type at night because the one type just isn't working.  Ava has allergies, and I think Truitt as well.  Super fun.

We finally decided to do something with Chris' old 401K from his previous company, right as the stock market crashed 2000 points over the course of a week.  Timing is everything.

I bought this book from Amazon.  Because I love Greek food and this is like the holy bible of Greek cooking.  It weighs like 5 pounds and is several inches thick.

Super pretty too.  Which all cookbooks should be if they can help it.

And we decided to try and live without electricity this weekend like Laura Ingalls Wilder. Although we will still flush our toilets and keep our food in the fridge.  But it's raining right now, so all our wood is getting wet, and Chris is going fishing tomorrow for the entire day, which hardly seems fair if he doesn't get to live like it's the 19th century....We'll see.  Owen doesn't think we can cut it, but now I just want to prove him wrong.  Reading by candlelight sounds like so much fun.  Making a cup of coffee over a fire that is almost impossible to start because of the wet wood, not so much.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Read On

I love the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy.  I have definitely purchased more kindle books because of her recommendation, and because she posts deals every single day.  (I still prefer an actual book, though.)

Here is what I am reading right now.

1.  The Three Heavens by John Hagee
        It's an interesting look at the heavens.  Note the plural, the bible verses where multiple heavens come from, and the ongoing spiritual battle there is.

        I have a confession.  I've read several Arthur-themed books, but never the original.  I've even read the epic Mists of Avalon, which tells the story from Morgan le Fay's perspective, and from what I have gathered is not at all like the original.

And the reason for the reading of the actual Arthur book is this kindle book:

Pendragon's Heir.  In this story, Arthur and Guinivere have a daughter who is transported to modern times and then has to go back to Logres to save the kingdom.  The author also has a blog you can follow here- Vintage Novels

Not too many books right now, but my kindle is filled with about 6 or 7 I purchases for cheap off Amazon.  Plus I am trying to read anything that Ava is going to read for American Literature.  That is a big no to Catch 22 when she is only 12 years old!

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Pioneer Woman- My Newest Obsession

Everyone under the sun probably knows about The Pioneer Woman.  She has a blog, and has had for a while a cooking show on the Food Network.  Welcome to the present, Jess.

But my obsession is new.  I heard about her quite a few years ago, but her website is quite busy and overwhelmed me, so I never really hung around on it.

Then I found myself pinning all of these amazing looking food recipes.  And they were all Pioneer Woman recipes.  So I ventured back to her blog and found at the top a specific cooking link.  Upon which I fell down a rabbit hole of yumminess, and I might just die happy.

We just made Chicken Nachos.

Chicken Nachos
Pioneer Woman's photo because we just ate ours- ain't nobody got time for pics!

I can't even.  You would not think that chili powder, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce would combine and be anything all that spectacular.  But it was amazing.  Like, please make this once a week, amazing.

For sure this will be on regular fall rotation.  If you haven't been familiar with her recipes, you will definitely want to hop on and take a peek.  She loves bacon and butter.  My kind of woman.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Paper of the Walls

I don't mind wallpaper.  If it's fun.

10 Times Wallpaper in the Bathroom Actually Looked Really Great | Apartment Therapy  Make an Entrance. Swoon-worthy Chinoiserie Wallpaper in this modern stair hall.

Small Spaces with Wonderful Wallpaper   loving the mix of brass + malachite with spotted wallpaper + black marble flooring

We have lots of wallpaper.  And it is not fun.  Feast your eyes on these.

We have good reason to believe that anything below a chair rail is on unfinished sheetrock.  Boo.  As well as the last picture, which happens to be our bathroom.  Every single wall is papered like that and we are pretty positive it has been done on completely unfinished sheetrock.  Sucks beyond belief.  It means either redoing all the walls, or ripping them out and putting up new sheetrock.  Either option is not fun, and it will be a long time before we do our bathroom.

And let us not forget the fruit border and kitchen wallpaper, half of which still remains, just in painted format.

The good news is that the wallpaper besides the kitchen, and the scarecrows which are in the mudroom,the rest is exclusively in the bathrooms.  Why, I have no idea.  But it does make dealing with it better.  I can just shut the door.

Thank God.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

One Second After

I recently reread the book One Second After.

I read it the first time about a year after it came out.  And I recently decided to give it a go again, just for fun.

If you've never heard of it, it's about what happens immediately after an EMP (electromagnetic pulse).  Basically, an EMP would wipe out anything that runs with computers in them.  No more electricity, no more cars (a few exceptions for older cars), no more phones, all planes would crash land, anyone in surgery would die, you get the idea.

This book was actually used in Congress to try and persuade our govt. to be making sure that we have things that are protected against this in the event a rogue nation would set a nuke off high in the atmosphere.  Turns out our electrical grid is way unsafe and behind the times.

It's quite interesting, and more than a little sad.  I cried a few times, especially when a little girl with type 1 diabetes died after her medicine ran out, because of course, there would be no medicine after something like this.

Now, I am not saying build a bunker, but if this book doesn't have you at least thinking about having some emergency food on hand for whatever occasion may arise, I don't know what will.

Give it a go.  Maybe not for fun, because it isn't fun material, but it sure is educational.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Last week we had a cool day.  I sent the kids outside and told them not to come back for a long time. They decided to go into the woods and play the politically correct game "Peter Pan and fighting Indians".

This is what Kembia decided to wear.

We may have to have a conversation about appropriate outdoor clothes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

We Added a Rug and Broke the Rules

True story.  Our living room is so awkward I couldn't find a rug that would work at least not in my price range,  So I buckled and did what anyone on a budget would do.  I did the IKEA rug.

I know, I know I broke the rules.  This rug isn't big enough, it doesn't go under any of the furniture.  It kind of makes it look like you are looking down a tunnel to the window.  But I don't care.  I have an all white carpet that is quickly turning brown and I had to do something about it. And I love it.

The view from the kitchen.  I think the black and white graphics contribute a lot to our living room and make it feel a little bit more cohesive.

Here's a quick before and after:

What do you think?  I do like the simplicity of the first one a lot.  It looks rather restful.  But my kids will destroy it.  And then we'll have bigger issues!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Love It.

Things I'm loving right now.

1. Eclectic Homes.  From the blog Eclectically Vintage.

Eclectic Home Tour Circa 1934 Shades of Blue Interiors home tour Bliss at Home Eclectic Home Tour

She literally has a page full of eclectic home tours.  I can't even.

2. This book

So fun.  And so true about using your best, dressing your best, being your best all the time.  Why save the gorgeous china and clothes for a special event when everyday should be that way?  The kids and I have been using some beautiful china cups I got at Goodwill to have morning tea together.  They love it.

3. Taylor Swift Bad Blood

Okay, I feel a little guilty about this one, but the song is catchy, and I love the video.  Totally embarassing.

4.  This branch and feather necklace from Forever 21


Pretty and cheap, so when I break it I won't cry.

5.  Morocan Mint Tea

We drink a lot of tea.  And I recently learned that almost all tea is not washed before it is packaged. Which means if you aren't buying organic, then you are ingesting pesticides and all that yuckiness.  I love this mint tea.  It tastes great and is good for digestion if you ate too much or are feeling crappy.
6 boxes for $20 at amazon.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Big 4

Truitt turned 4.

I asked him to stay little but he told me no.

He said to stay little he would have to not eat and then he would die.

So practical that kid.  Don't you love the Ninja Turtles Owen drew on his present?

He also got those awesome car house slippers.  Always on the quest to save the white carpet!

He takes after his father.  Clearly.  Although he is my only bio baby that has hazel eyes.  That was all me.

I plan to never cut that hair......

Thursday, August 6, 2015

New House- Dining Room

Normally, I hate formal dining rooms and think they are a waste of space.  Usually because they are so far from the kitchen it doesn't make sense.  But in this house, it is close and I like it a lot.

Here is the before.  More dreaded green wallpaper on unfinished sheetrock.  I cannot figure it out!

They certainly did ride the oak train as far and fast as it could go.  I learned that a ceiling like this is called a trey ceiling.  So there you go.  Learn something new everyday.

Don't you love the framed Victorian print with fake flowers on top?

Here is a view from the kitchen before we painted the green wallpaper.  The blue booster chairs are such an eye-sore and drive me crazy.  But since Kembia and Truitt are on the short side of their ages, they stay.  The IKEA baskets on the right contain all of our homeschool stuff.  

The table was given to us from my aunt.  Which was awesome because we were using an office table at our old house which was severely bowing in the middle, was much too small for this space, and much too small for our family.  

Here is the room from the other side.  These IKEA desks hold pens and coloring books and all things little kids.  It took forever and a day to hang those frames evenly, and after it was all said and done they are a couple of inches too high.  Drives me nuts, but not enough to change it yet.  One is hung by screws and the other by a wire, so to do it again will take some time.  

Things to do in this room.  Paint the chandelier until we can afford a new one.  Recover those ugly maroon seats.  Someday take the wallpaper off and then remove the chair rail.  

Here is a good view from the dining room showing the layout of the living room and kitchen as well.  Two bedrooms, bathroom and stairs to the walkout basement are down the hallway to the left, and the mudroom/laundry room are to the right.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New House Living Room- Before and After

The living room is a little awkward.  It is one giant box.  Here is what the previous homeowners did with it.

They tilted a loveseat right right as you walk in.  It was super awkward, and cut the room off if you are looking at it from the dining room.

This is from the view of where my large plant is now.  That would be a Christmas village on permanent display on that weird shelf in the sky.

I can appreciate that they didn't want to block off the gorgeous window.  But it led to problems in their furniture arrangement feeling off somehow.

Here's how it is for us.

 This is from standing by the table so you can see the columns.  I guess they are there for the arched ceiling portion?

 Left side of the living room.

Right side of the living room.
View from the kitchen.  What we have on the shelf in the sky is a couple of monkeys that you shoot with your fingers and a sock.  Because of course there is.

Another shot to put it into perspective.

We don't really have any other plans for this room other than painting, and also perhaps putting some type of rug in front of the two black chairs.  I tried all sorts of sizes of jute rugs, but the room is just too large.  We tried a 8 X 10, but it was too small and made the room feel funny, we tried a 10 X 14 but it took up way too much area and looked odd, plus was out of our price range. a 9 X 12 didn't work with the distance of the furniture from each other. Funny enough, a random 5 X 7 rug we have in Kembia and Truitt's room looks great, and will help preserve the white carpet a little bit anyway. But we need one that matches.

We definitely are marking up the white carpet, even though we are pretty good about wearing socks or not being on it.  I may have to look into a carpet cleaner and then become obsessive about it!