Friday, December 19, 2014

This Moment

Linking up with Amanda & family over at SouleMama, which she describes as "A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember".  Every week I view her little moments & love the little peek into their world, today, I have one of my own from a few weeks ago, they were watching the snow plow going up & down our cul de sac...



Have a fabulous Weekend!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Baking

What's on your baking list?

I love to bake this time of year, I also think its the perfect time for sweets, so thinking, I might do some Swedish Pastries from this blog  post, and maybe some Snowballs  (but I use walnuts) & some buckeye fudge, which I have never done before but it looks good & easy. Since Tim is still pretty much boycotting my cooking & I don't need to eat all of each, I can stash some of each to send off to the school bus driver, mail carrier & garbage collectors. 

With the kids, I'd like to try these dark chocolate peppermint bars, and these cookie dough balls, and maybe some of these red velvet crinkle cookies.

What's on your list this month?





Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Daily update-talking myself off the ledge

Assembling my December Daily did NOT go as I had planned.  I kind of freaked out when I opened the package the week before & realized there wasn't going to be enough room in the pre-loaded pages to do 2 pages for each day in the month like I have in years past & there is no way to load more pages. I took it on our Thanksgiving weekend away anyway, with a few supplies hoping to figure something out.  I did. I was able to follow most of the instructions, the good thing about projects like this, nothing is right or wrong so I just did what I wanted to; decorated the cover, put the pre-cut squares in the coin pocket pages, & laid the rest out to look at. I didn't end up sticking anything else down at the time but at least I have checked it all out & have an idea of what to do as far as what pictures to take & sizes to print, what to collect, etc. Sometimes limited options are a good thing but this had kind of put me into a tailspin. Ali may have read my mind when she posted this,
  • "On the other hand, the limits might help you. You can definitely use the structure to MAKE CHOICES about what to include in your album. I always leave something out - I choose what to include - and I'm okay with that. As I work with my photos I do pick and choose, being mindful of the overall story of the week. Limits can be a positive thing as long as you don't spend too long agonizing over which photos to use to tell these stories. "
 I really needed to hear that from someone else!

Since I have felt so limited on space, I haven't taken a single picture yet & I am writing this on the 5th.  By the time it posts, I will have appropriately photographed the weekend.  I have to remember that there will be 12x12 pages scrapped for anything not included in this mini, I am just used to it being the other way around, in that the mini is the bulk of December scrapping & the 12x12s are just to 'cover' the holidays in the big book.

Looking ahead:

  •  I did get my poinsettia last night, so when I take the plastic off of it, I will do some shots of it w/the big camera 
  • getting my van back from the shop-normally that would go in, but not sure about it in the limited space
  • Having our girls' shopping day tomorrow, so I should get some phone pics there.
  • celebrating a birthday tomorrow evening 
  • in 2 weeks I want to get pics of the couple I volunteer with for food coop
  • my family is doing our gathering on the 20th
  • not sure when Tim's side is
  • there should be a couple or 3 school programs coming up
  • if the box from amazon is as big as I think it might be, maybe a shot & story about that
  • snow, if we get more
  • ornament making, redbox movie renting, crafting with the kids during Christmas break
  • if I go past 25th, document how I took the leap to took the Fridays following the holidays off this year
  • cards received & sent -I really need to get on the ball
  • new Christmas movie added to the collection
  • document the few decorations used this year
So, I have plenty to document & yet not too much for the pages available, it will all work out, I just may not go with one of these albums again next year ;) 

Next week, I plan to have something of my own to share with you. 

How are you documenting your holidays? 

Monday, December 8, 2014

different isn't wrong

I am going against the blogging norm today, almost every blog is posting affiliate links to aid in your shopping (& earn them a discount or a few dollars) for household products, hobby supplies, even groceries & clothes. (I am totally not against those blogs or bloggers! to each their own, this is just my little spin on it.)  I am going to talk about how differently I live than that & how differently it is from how I used to live.

Doing childcare at home has enabled me to not need to spend a small fortune on wardrobe items each season, in fact, my work clothes become work the clothes when they are handed down from the 'good clothes' category.  They aren't in style in the least- although, if I keep being nice to them, they just may last until they come back in, they aren't flattering at. all., but seriously, they are comfy & make me feel good.  Today, I have on a pair of jeans that may at one time have passed as stonewashed, now they are just faded w/a hole in the knee-a wear hole, not an intentional-store-bought- one, a white turtle neck under a multi-stripe fleece v-neck pullover that might pass as tunic length.  That is one of my few winter work outfits. Yesterday, it was a pair of too big, navy, swishy pants an orange t-shirt & a grey hoodie w/navy screen printing on it.  The other day, I wore my black 'fight like a girl' screen printed hoodie & coordinating sweat pants w/a pink t-shirt. Still in my drawer, the shirts way out number the single pair of black yoga pants, but I do laundry at least twice a week in the winter -the dryer doubles as an added heat source if I run it during work hours, so often I do, I wear one pair of those pants twice.  The second time, I pair them with a different top. Long or short sleeve t-shirts, various hoodies, a fleece 'jacket' that buttons, they are all good clothes cast offs, hand me downs or bought new with the intention of using as work clothes.  Since a typical work day consists of burping babies, changing diapers & cooking, among other things, so, I refuse to wear anything I would hate to stain, splatter with grease or tear a hole in.



 My good clothes for winter, are a few sweaters (multi-shade brown stripe, dull blue/grey boxy, black short sleeve with a big cowl neck, & a red mock turtleneck) that I layer over a t-shirt or long john top, or some more good ole hoodies over t-shirts for something casual, several scarves of different textures & colors, & 2 pairs of jeans. I did bring home a vintage red/white/blue plaid long wool skirt when we were cleaning out Great Grandma's basement, that I am hoping to put to use this winter.




Hmmmmmm now that I think about it, I have more pairs of flannel pants than I do good jeans :)  I live in them most weekends & evenings if I have worked in my jeans during the day.  I travel in them with out question, if we aren't stopping to eat or shop.  Another drawer I have, is my 'running clothes drawer'.  In it, I have 1 pair of long pants just for walking/running/working out, a long sleeve dri-fit race shirt, a long sleeve base layer & dri-fit short sleeve race shirt.  I don't run in the winter, we walk 2-3 miles 2-5 mornings/week in the high school halls. I could wear my work clothes & not change when I get home to save on laundry, but I feel better about doing it if I am dressed for it.  Just like putting something little on the calendar makes it a bigger deal, that's why I will continue to 'suit up' for our morning walks. If I am working in the sweats, swishy pants or yoga pants later that day, I will wear them to walk in that morning just wear a different top.  Since I am not getting stinky, sweaty, I will hang my walking clothes up & re-wear them a couple of times until the next laundry day.


This is all so much different than I was 10 years ago.  I lived a very commercial lifestyle back then, I was buying clothes every month, my dresser and closet overflowed for every season and it would be so very tempting to go back to a lighter version of that if the checkbook allowed. Alas, it doesn't, so I will stick to my own version of the capsule wardrobe & enjoy the change in seasons as each change means I get to open that tote & re-discover all  new outfits.  I even currently have a pile of short sleeve race shirts to send to a friend to make into a couch quilt for me; getting them out of my closet & dresser, yet, still put to good use.

So, tell me, how differently do you do your wardrobe?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Scrap Space

Over Thanksgiving weekend, we headed out of town. Traded the busy hub-bub of town for a quiet, star filled time at the cabin again.  I had packed more than enough -as always- supplies to keep me busy for the weekend.  I took my December Daily to put together but ended up doing very little of that, just couldn't imagine having it all decorated & then needing to try to move something to fit a page together... anyway, so I did a bit of that on Thursday evening when we settled in.  Friday evening, I scrapped on a party bus trip we took that I 'finished', on Saturday late afternoon. When I went to unpack on Sunday at home, I got back into it & decided to really finish those 6 pages, so they could go in the closet & that is exactly where they landed at 4pm on Sunday.  Now, on to one of the weddings for that summer. (we had 3)

Anyway... here's a shot of my weekend work space:

After this weekend it is confirmed I will never wish for a bench to sit on to scrap, but it was a perfectly acceptable space for the weekend.  We even got to experiment with me scrapping in the same room as he watches t.v. which is what I am envisioning for our next home. We didn't do too bad for being way closer together than I imagine in a house. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Freezing produce #4: bananas & applesauce

While I am doing childcare and on the USDA food program (monthly 'reimbursement' check for feeding balanced meals by their guidelines & turning in completed paperwork) I have to freeze to preserve anything I plan to feed the children later.  No Home Canned items --boo! as I have more cupboard space than freezer space but I do what I can. 

This year, I have frozen produce such as; pumpkin, green beans, zucchini, stewed tomatoes, bananas, pear butter, & applesauce.

Bananas are probably the absolute easiest thing I freeze but if you don't know how, you just don't know how.  I know I had to be told that those brown bananas on the counter did NOT have to be used today, they could be peeled, & frozen for later baking. That pretty much rocked my banana bread loving mind. I never ever turn down a discounted bag of bananas at the store! even if they are so far gone they must be peeled & frozen immediately, as long as they aren't split at the store, I will take them.  I used to freeze them in baggies for space saving, but you know, now its 3 bananas to a pint jar, a piece of tape on the outside & into the freezer they go!

Applesauce. oh yummm! this one makes the house smell good the whole day before they reach the freezer.  I do the uber easy (lazy) way & just cut the apples off the core, then pile it all into a crock pot, add a cup of water & a couple of cinnamon sticks & let 'er rip. I cook it on low until the scent of cinnamon has taken over the house & then I test the apples w/a fork, when they are good & soft, I run them a cup at a time through a food processor or blender or use my stick blender right in the crockpot. Be careful to remember that those apples are HOT!  I then jar them up in various sized & shaped containers, label & chill in the fridge overnight. They find their way into the freezer on the following day.  So very good! & healthy, no sugar added.  

There you have it... the produce I have frozen for 2014. 


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014


  1. What is the highlight of your Thanksgiving weekend? Family, for me. I love that both of our moms work it to get the dinners on Thursday. so we work it so that we can do both & see everyone in one day. a peek at 2009
  2.  Do you get the whole 4 days off or do you have to work through it? A few years ago, I started taking Friday off instead of detoxing everyone for one day just to do it again on Monday. Plus, by this time, I am in need of a good long relaxing weekend.  Last year, we upped the ante so to speak & started getting away for the long weekend. We rented a cabin about an hour away & loved being away from the chaos of the 'big shopping weekend'. (part 1 & 2)
  3. Do you have any long standing traditions? I love to listen to & watch the parade on tv while I am getting ready to go to dinner.  This year, I may have to take over the tv after or during brunch to continue this tradition. 
  4. Do you have any favorite dishes that with out them, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving? I don't. I just love it all. Turkey, ham balls, ham, scalloped corn, (the top layer of) stuffing, PIE, coffee, rolls, mashed or scalloped potatoes, veggie tray, fluffy salad, I am good with it all.  This year we are having a Thanksgiving day brunch at Tim's Mom's & I am so curious to see what everyone brings & how they work traditional dishes into a brunch.  I am taking a creamy fruit salad.
  5. Do you shop or avoid the crowds?  I tried black Friday shopping ONCE. Never again. it was so incredibly not worth it! Cyber Saturday, shop small Saturday, those are way more my speed! Although, this year, I think almost everyone is getting Iowa Food Coop & Farmer's Market products. 2008
  6. Do you do your Christmas decorating? I used to only to my Christmas decorating on this weekend, it usually took me all weekend but my Monday morning start of business, the totes were back in the cubby. Now, I have gotten so super relaxed about decorating, we haven't even done the big tree in the past few years... when I did do it, I sparingly hung ornaments dreading the work of un-decorating it in a short few weeks.  So, to answer my own question, decorating will be done next week. 
  7. What do you do with the leftovers? Can you tell I am excited about the food this year? ;) Do you do anything special with the leftovers? We usually only bring home what we took plus single servings of specific dishes then just have them as meals later in the weekend.  Some people go to great lengths to make the leftovers into new exciting dishes, not us. 
  8. What do you change from year to year?   This weekend has also been the time I took to address & stuff Christmas cards, start baking, & deep clean before decorating.  This year, since we will be away, I plan to do none of those. I will be assembling my December Daily book and other scrapping pages, I also plan to re-read Love Always, Kate as well as possibly start a new Debbie Macomber book a friend picked up for me. Yes, lots of good rejuvenating things for my soul but very little for the home. 
I wish all of you a joy-filled Thanksgiving weekend however you celebrate.