Monday, September 28, 2015

Sad State of the Master Bathroom

We have a pretty nice master bathroom if you don't count the ugly wallpaper and the oak.  But one thing I haven't figured out in our new house is where to put the dirty clothes.  Our laundry room, which basically is a laundry closet, doesn't have anywhere for them.  So my solution thus far has been this.

Throw the clothes on the floor.  And since it is already an eye-sore, why clean up anything else in the room?  You can sort of see Chris' sink to the right.  Clean and sparkly.  And then there's mine, sort of like a hoarders shrine.  There is a giant bag on it, because who doesn't need one in the bathroom?

Also, please be quick to notice the My Little Pony on the tub.  Inside the tub you will find about 15 more along with dirt from filling up the Rosemary plant.  We hardly ever use this tub.  Isn't that a shame?  It's been relegated to the duties of giving kids a bath and watering plants.

Not that you can tell at all from this picture, but I really am working on trying to put everything away in its spot.  Otherwise my whole house will end up like this room.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Reading the Encyclopedia from A to Z

Okay, I didn't actually do this.  I would if I could but I have 5 kids and homeschool and can't keep my house reading that many words, around 32,0000 of them, would mean my kids would be eating ketchup for supper.  But AJ Jacobs did it, so I can live vicariously through him

I read this book many years ago, and our new library has it so I am going in for round two.  I also read his Year of Living Biblically, which was him trying to follow all of the laws in the Old and New Testament.  Highly recommend.

I'm also reading Mindy Kalings book  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

I'm not super far into it, but so far it's funny.

And this isn't related to reading at all, but I had to go into the high school today in our district because the district offices are there and I had to turn in last minute homeschool paperwork (our state requires it).  The bell rang when I was walking through the hall, and cross my heart, everyone was like giants. I was easily among the shortest people there.  Some of the kids I could swear were adults.  I am going to blame it all on hormones in milk.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

4 Months In- What I Love & Don't

We've been at our new house for 4 months.  Or 1/3 of a year.  Yikes, when you put it like that it sounds like a long time.

I thought it would be fun to have a list of what I like and what I don't.

It is certainly no secret that I am partial to retail therapy, and that I am more than a little obsessed with buying a new house.

The Love List

1. No annoying neighbors.  And we had a super fun family before.  The kids came over all the time, even when we asked their parents to not let them.

2. All the land to roam.  Otherwise known as "Kids, outside and don't come back until lunch"

3. Multiple bathrooms

4. A walk in closet for the master

5. Large Kitchen

6. Huge windows

7. An actual for-real library

8. 5 stall garages- for all of Chris' stuff.

9. The fireplace

10. Actually, making a list is kind of silly because I love almost everything about the house.

The Don't Love It List

1. White carpet.  5 kids, white carpet, enough said

2. The tile.  What's not carpeted is tiled.  With white tiles.  Back breaking hard to clean if you want to get dirt out of all the natural divits in it.  Plus it's cold on the toes.

3. Heats with propane.  We've always been on natural gas, so this is new for us, and can be  a lot more expensive if the propane market flips out, which it has in the past.

4. Wallpaper everywhere.  The ugly kind.

5. Oak trim

6. The mortgage payment.  We effectively doubled it.  Although we tripled or house size and let's not even compare our previous 0.3 acre to the gorgeousness that is our land now.  Still, would have loved to pay what we paid before.  :)

Overall we really love our new place.  I might complain at times, but we are super blessed.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Salsa Canning and Cute Kids

I canned salsa over the weekend.

And this was the place where mama canned enormous amounts of her garden yield as well as bushels of fruit from the market - getting ready to store for winter eating.:

This was the only applicable picture when I pinterested "canning humor".

These came up too.  Which have nothing to do with canning at all but they are funny.

Laughed At This For Way Too Long // funny pictures - funny photos - funny images - funny pics - funny quotes - #lol #humor #funnypictures:    Josh is like: UGH! Gosh I hate Capitol citizens...:

Anyway, back to the real reason for this post.  All my tomatoes turned ripe at the same time and were in no way going to be eaten fast enough.  So I got brave and canned them.

I loosely followed this recipe.  Now, it says all sorts of scary things about how you shouldn't deviate from the recipe and blah, blah, blah.  The thing with tomatoes is that they are acidic enough to use with a water bath canner.  You should also add 1T of lemon juice to every can that you add salsa into. I used 20 pounds of tomatoes and then everything else was to taste.

I'll spare you the step by step pictures most people take because I take terrible pictures.  But I will give you a shot of some of the jars.

By the way, canning takes forever.  Like hours.  But at least my tomatoes didn't rot.  And it tasted pretty good too.  My one advice is add more salt than you like, because my salsa tasted perfect before canning, and then lost a lot of the salt flavor after.

And just for fun- cute kids.  because it has been awhile since I've posted them

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Yotam Ottolenghi's Burnt Eggplant with Tahini

I made this recipe this past week.  To die for.  It was so good we made it for guests the very next day who raved and raved about it.

Image result for burnt eggplant with tahini plenty   

From Yotam's cookbook Plenty.  I own it.  Super yummy.  All about veggies which in theory doesn't sound amazing, but in practice totally rocks.

We actually had everything on hand for one giant surprise of my life with the exception of the pomegranate molasses.  Don't need it, I promise you.  Add lots of lemon juice, more than what it calls for.  Eat with chips.  Simple and delicious.

Here's the recipe where the conversions are in the system we use,

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

From Granny Bathroom to So Much Better

Here is what the kids/guest bathroom looked like upstairs when we bought the house.

That is a lot of Grandma going on.

When Chris and the oldest two went to Canada on a canoe trip I got itchy and ripped all the wallpaper off.  And this is what it looks like now.

I already owned all the artwork, so the only thing I bought was the drawer handles.  Eventually I will change out the faucet to the oil-rubbed bronze, as well as the door handles.  But this was a cheap and much better option for right now.

Side by side comparison.


I still have issues with oak, but this is way better than all the floral before.  And isn't it amazing what a professional camera can do?  (That would not be mine in case you were wondering!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Do You Capsule?

Wardrobe that is.  The idea that you have a very limited number of pieces per season and you wear them in many ways.

I did it for this summer.  Mostly with 3 long flowing skirts, a ripped pair of jeans and a ripped pair of shorts and about 6 shirts.  At first I thought I couldn't do it- not enough options.  But I loved it.  So easy to get dressed in the mornings, and if you pick your clothes right, everything should be flattering.

My only issue is I always gain weight over the summer because I wear loose clothes.  Oops.  (Okay, maybe the move may have something to do with it!)

I've been getting my fall items ready now that things are popping up into stores.  Here's a capsule from pinterest to get you going.  I'd wear everything on it except the leather pants and the white dress shirt. Most of the rest I own in some form, except I prefer my pants to be less of the skinny version.  This wardrobe right here will get you a long ways.  Although in my neck of the woods I need a couple more warm sweaters to make it through the next 7 months or so.  I'll post my capsule wardrobe sometime in the next couple weeks.

Hi everyone, this is Sandra from Blasfemmes. Since this is my first post of 2015 I want to wish...:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lemongrass Chicken Soup (sounds questionable, tastes awesome)

I planted two lemongrass plants in our garden.  Mostly because they were on super clearance at the time.  They've gotten big and I haven't done a thing with them.  Enter Lemongrass Chicken Soup.

Lemongrass Noodle Soup with Cucumber & Chicken
From the Flavor Bender.

I found this blog while trying to figure out how to harvest the lemongrass. I modified the recipe a lot, but the original is at the link above.

I added zucchini, because hello, it's early September and I have zucchini coming out my ears.  I also added more onion and mushrooms, and left all that stuff in to eat.  The original recipe has you take out all the veggies.  That's like a sin in my house.

Lemongrass Chicken Soup

  • 2 qts. chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp chopped lemongrass (2 white stalks of lemongrass, bruised)
  • dried red pepper sprinkle to taste
  • 1½ inches of ginger sliced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini chopped
  • 2-3 large mushrooms chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 pounds chicken

* 1 package of some type of thin rice noodles.

Cut chicken into small pieces, add salt and pepper to taste and cook.  Meanwhile, in large pot add everything else except the rice noodles and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the chicken is done, add chicken to broth and simmer about 10 minutes longer.  After you've added the chicken to the broth, cook the rice noodles according to directions.  When they are done rinse them completely- don't forget this or you will have a starchy, congealed mess.  I like to put noodles in the bowl first and then add the broth.  Serve.

This would taste awesome with cilantro and sriracha sauce, both of which I didn't have.  Insert sad emoji here.  

My kids ate this up like crazy and asked for me to make it again.  And I totally will.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ken Fulk- Pottery Barn

I love getting the magazines from places like Pottery Barn and Anthropologie.  Order from them once, get catalogs for life.

Enter Ken Fulk.  He's a designer who I have never heard of before, but like what he's done with Pottery Barn.  Here is a pic from which the September Pottery Barn catalog cover is taken from.

Image result for pottery barn Ken Fulk

One day I am going to own a sofa like that, I swear it.  The cover was cut down a lot so you don't see all that white wall space to the left.  I think two gold and black lamps are a little overdoing it, but I love the combo of the black, gold and leather.

Originally, I thought this house was going to be blue and oak.  But then I started decorating it and it is ending up black, white and oak, so this type of style definitely fits what I have going on.

Ava is so excited to decorate seasonally in this house.  Something we never did before in our previous house.  It was just too small and there weren't great places to put things that were just for prettiness.  She's particularly excited about those pillars that flank our living room.  She envisions all sorts of garland wrapped around them.  And the 5 of them have been talking about Christmas and Christmas trees since July.  It is so bizarre.

PS- It's September.  I consider it fall, so we've lived in our new house through an entire season.  So strange.  I still have moments where I can't believe we're here.