Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Well, Hello There!!

I have not forgotten this blog of mine - it is just that sometimes life gets challenging and some things have to go on the back burner for awhile.  Don't worry.  Nothing major is wrong and we are grateful for that.

In my last  post I mentioned that we were in the middle of purchasing a new home.  When the inspection on it came back, we found out that it had a lot of little problems and a couple of MAJOR problems.  We were still willing to buy the home, if the sellers were willing to fix just the most major problem, but after stringing us along for two weeks, they finally told us they would not fix it without us increasing the purchase price - so we got out of the contract.  It is still a nice home and I hope that someone can afford to buy it, do all the repairs, and then renovate it, but it all became a little too much for our budget.  I am sad that it didn't work out, and we have been unable to find anything else that is even close to what we want, so we are still in our little rental property.

Due to being in such a small space, all of my "creative stuff" is in storage, so, therefore, I haven't been posting.  I miss all of it, but it will just have to wait a little while longer until the right house comes along.  Rest assured, I will not be MIA forever.

We did manage to escape our living quarters for a trip to Disneyland a couple of weeks ago.


We visited the London Bridge on the drive down.  Did you know that the actual London Bridge, from London, England is now in Lake Havasu City, Arizona?  True story!!  The founder of Lake Havasu City, an American oilman, purchased it, had it dismantled and carefully labeled, and then reassembled here in Arizona.  It is an interesting story, and really fun to see if you are ever in the vicinity.  We are glad we took the time to see it.


We spent 3 days at  Disneyland park and California Adventure.


And we also took a day off to go to the beach.  It was a perfect day!!

Once again, I apologize for my absence, and it will probably be a little slow around here for a little while, but keep checking in.  As soon as I have a house again I will get back to regular posting.

 I can't wait!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday's Tip - Baby Briefcase

I have been ignoring this blog lately.  So sorry.  Moving has taken a lot of work and now we are in the process of buying a new (to us) home.  Even though I have been through the home buying process before, I am still shocked at how it disrupts my routine and takes so much time out of my day.  So, in order to get a little something up on the blog, I decided to revive "Tuesday's Tip" and share one of my favorite little organizational tricks.

 Many years ago, when my oldest boys were tiny, I ran onto this great idea.  A baby briefcase is a little expandable folder where you can keep all of your little one's important documents organized and safe.  However, the high price tag was not quite so attractive to me.  So, I decided to take the awesome concept and make my own little baby briefcases for just a couple of dollars.


I found small vinyl expandable file folders and added their names to them.


Then I labeled the tabs with the things I was planning on storing in each section, like, birth certificate, immunization record, etc.and put all those important documents in there.  All of these little files are kept in a safe place where I can easily access them when needed.

I kept mine pretty basic, after all, someday I am going to be handing these over to grown men to take care of for the rest of their lives, so I decided I didn't want them to look too juvenile.

These little homemade baby briefcases are a quick and easy project and help to keep all those important documents organized and easy to find.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Moving

I have been absent from this blog for too long again.  Partly because my kids are out of school.  Partly because we have been spending a lot of time travelling.  But, mostly because we sold our house and have been working feverishly to get moved out.

We decided about a month ago to put our house on the market.  We have simply outgrown it and need to get into something bigger, but were worried that our house would take a  long time to sell in the sluggish market in our area.  To our surprise, our house sold in just four days, causing us to scramble to make other arrangements.  Luckily, our house sold at almost the exact same time as our renters decided to move out of our rental property across town.  So, for now, we are all trying to cram our lives into an even smaller place until we can buy or build something bigger.

So, as I say goodbye to my little starter home, I want to post pictures of it on the blog, so I can always remember this special little home.  After all, it was the place where I brought four of my five babies home from the hospital.  It is where they all learned to crawl, walk, and talk.  It is the place where there were lots of tears, but also lots of hugs, laughter, love, and lots of learning.

These pictures were taken during various stages of our moving process, so, some rooms may look a bit more barren than others.


















Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chicken Cabbage Salad



I can't take credit for this recipe.  I got it years ago from a friend's mother, and I know that it is widely available.  I also know that there are several variations of this recipe - and I have tried many of them - but in my opinion, this one blows all the others out of the water.  Even my husband, who is not a fan of "chick food", loves this salad and will eat it as a meal.  To me, it is the perfect recipe to add to your summer rotation.

click here for a printable version of this recipe

Chicken Cabbage Salad

Ingredients:
1/2 head cabbage chopped
4 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup slivered or chopped almonds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
1 cup cooked shredded chicken (I always use a little more)
1 pkg. Ramen Noodles - broken up

Dressing:
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbsp. sugar
Seasoning packet from Ramen Noodles

Method:
Toast almonds and sesame seeds on cookie sheet at 350 for 8 minutes. Let cool.  Mix all ingredients together.  Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over salad.  Toss to coat well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Note:  Most people think that this salad is best if it has had several hours for the flavors to meld together before serving.  It is delicious that way, but personally, I love it best fresh when the noodles and almonds are still crunchy and you can still taste the freshness of the cabbage.  So, try it both ways and see what you think.

Friday, May 9, 2014

HST sampler blocks - the rest

My husband was out of town for a few days, and I kind of got on a roll with these HST sampler blocks. I used every last one of my leftovers.  I don't know quite what got into me, but maybe I just had fun putting these together and not worrying about them being perfect.  It was a perfect late-night activity for me.






I'm not sure when I will get these all put together into a quilt top with summer on its way, but it is nice to have them finished.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Simple Teacher Gifts with Free Printable

It suddenly occurred to me that this is Teacher Appreciation Week, and I needed to get some gifts together FAST!! I went looking online and found this adorable idea.  I was about to print out her cute tags and then remembered that I am running very low on colored ink in my printer and I knew that I would never have enough ink to print those colorful tags out for all of my boys' teachers.  So, I took a few minutes to make up my own simple tag, with the same sentiment.



I attached the tags to individual pens with cute baker's twine for my boys' teachers.


But they would also be cute tied into a bundle.


Or presented in a jar.

If you would like to download my gift tag, click here.

Such a simple, inexpensive, and fast teacher gift.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Homemade Waffles


I always, always, always make waffles from scratch, and when I do, I prefer this delicious whole wheat waffle recipe that I grew up on.  My boys love them too, but my husband grumbles about them a bit, so once in awhile I make him some good old fashioned white ones.  I developed this recipe to be crispy on the outside and chewy and fluffy on the inside.  We love them too.

**A couple of notes about how I prepare this recipe:

  • I have replaced all or part of the milk with buttermilk if I have it on hand and the waffles are even more delicious.  
  • I always separate the eggs and put the egg whites in my Kitchenaid and let them whip up while I am whisking together the other ingredients.  Then I fold them in to the batter.
  • Your final batter should look light and fluffy and may have a few lumps of egg white in it (see picture above).



Homemade Waffles
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup oil

Method:
Separate the eggs.  Whip up the egg whites until they are light and fluffy. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, milk, sugar and oil.  Add the flour, salt, soda, and baking powder and whisk until smooth.  Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter and bake in a hot waffle iron.
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