Thursday, September 30, 2010

Work, Rain, and Baking

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Yeah that's what has happened to me.

First, work.  Or at least I would be attempting to work if it wasn't for the second.

Rain.  Rain, rain, go away, come back any time but harvest.

Since it has been raining, I've been baking. 

Blade noted the other morning that there was no cookies left (Gasp!).  Not even ginger snaps!  Yup, that's right, even those FINALLY all disappeared.  I figured I had time on Tuesday to make him some cookies at least before I had to go to work.  And then it started to rain.  Potato harvesting and rain just equals a LOT of mud.  So I had time to stay home and make all this instead.

Rice Krispie squares, shortbread cookies, peanut butter oatmeal cookies, 2 batches of M&M cookies and mini loaves of banana bread.

Jello Whips for the kids school lunches.  (jello with cool whip mixed in, instead of ice or cold water)  They look sorta gross but they taste good!

 Possibly the best batch of buns I've ever made.  They actually looked like the ones Grandma used to make for the holidays for us. 

Blade also requested cinnamon buns.  You know, in my spare time, I could just whip up a bunch for him....
Okay, so I did.  But only because they called and said "too much rain, no work".  I also made the best cream cheese icing for them.  Which I will post.  Someday. kolaches.  Yum. 

Best made with a helper (who will kindly also finish off any left over apple bits!)

Yes, I baked so long they came home from school!

And then I made supper. 

Now where did I lay that Mother of the Day award??! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why Settle?

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Sure you could have:

But personally I don't like the taste of them.  And why have just chocolate when you could have.....


Okay, maybe you have to be under 10 to get excited about sprinkles.

Blade wanted SplitStix.  I can't stand them, plus I don't like buying pre-made snack items.  I don't like not being able to read, let alone understand, all the weird ingredients in them.  So I make home-made rice krispies.  When he wanted the SplitStix, I figured I could dip mine into chocolate and he'd be just as happy. 
And really, why stop at chocolate, when you can have sprinkles too??!

It should be noted that I don't even eat the ones with chocolate on them, not even the ones with sprinkles.  I like 'em plain, and gooey, and sometimes out of the pot....

First picture from here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This and That

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But mostly it equals this:

I made them Tuesday.  There is only about 10 left.  You'd better hurry over if you want one!

Original Recipe from Pete Bakes , but I just use whatever chocolate I happen to buy at the store.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


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Fall is here, and quickly fading to Winter.

I swear I seen snow. 


These little guys took their time flowering this year. 

Thanks to this crappy weather, I've been having to go out at night and cover up the pumpkins in hopes of saving them from the frost (okay, Ryan has had to do it a few times too, I've been sick!).

We only have one of note, and really it's only 'big' because the other ones are small!!

Look Lauren, it's turning orange!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pull up yer pants, I can see yer crack!

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Remember this?

The sinking cement. 

Where it was going, I don't know.  Down.

My mom was having new cement sidewalks poured in the backyard of her house, so she sent the guy up to our sinkhole to assess and fix ours.

Okay, it's not really a sinkhole.  It's called settling.  And it happens a LOT in new subdivisions.  The contractors just want the house up and looking good.  They don't care that the ground hasn't settled.  After all, they won't live here.  It was just our bad luck that they didn't attach the sidewalk to the steps with appropriate rebar and cement it all in one big piece.  Maybe that's not the normal way to do it? I don't know.  Anyways.

The cement guy gave us a deal on fixing it since he would already be getting concrete delivered to our area anyways.  He busted out the existing rectangle pad, raised up the piece that was left and re-filled under it.  He also was able to drill into the footings of the step and connect the soon-to-be new piece of walkway to it, in the hopes that if the land dropped again it wouldn't create that big gap again and may possibly just crack at the relief point (like they are supposed to)

In progress:

And the finished sidewalk!

No more crack!

Next spring, we will just put some more dirt around the sides and let the grass grow up through, and you won't be able to see the 'fix'.

Before                                                       After

P.S.   assess looks a lot like asses.  Just saying.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Out of the fire, Into ..

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We had a faux Thanksgiving on Sunday for Ryan's sister who is home from Europe for a few short weeks. 

Although I officially had to bring 'nothing', there was one wee little side request from said pregnant sister-in-law for some "Grandma" buns.

Fresh out of the oven
They are tiny because Grandma says they are supposed to be?
and they always were when she made them, so who am I to argue!?

Only thing with baking in this household is, as you can see above...they may be fresh out of the oven, but already they have been stolen from and this is where they went....

What!! Caught mid-mouthful.

Auntie Krispie was lucky she got as many as she did.  Good thing we went out the door right after the last batch came out of the oven!

Cable and Kids

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We made a quick trip to Costco on Saturday to check out prices for some new tires.  Of course, after we were done the 'official' part of the trip, we made a round or two through the good part of Costco!  We bought a few things we didn't need (Cheezies!) and a few things we knew we did need (new coat for Hunter) but were waiting for a sale to buy.  One of the things I love about Costco is the re-enforcement of impulse buying...because if you think you want it, you better buy it, because it won't be there next time and they won't ever stock it again!

On our way out the door, through the requisite yet completely useless checking of the receipt by people who get paid to stand around with a Sharpie in their hot little hands, we passed a couple people with three (3!!) of those flat carts stacked up with bags and bags of flour and meat and household items.  Now I realize that this is the point of Costco, but it still makes me think "wow". 

So I said to Hunter "Some people have a LOT of stuff don't they?"

And he says .... "Like Hoarders"

Ahaha.  Thanks cable for expanding my kid's minds.

Friday, September 17, 2010

She's such a me

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Auntie Rice Krispie was here last night for a visit from Europe with a not-so-baby-anymore nephew Maximus.  He was having a grand time playing with Blade's Hot Wheel cars especially the color changing ones.  When it came time to go home, he wasn't so sure he wanted to leave them behind.  So I promised I would bring them to Grandma's house on Sunday, when we have a fake-Thanksgiving-really-just-stuff-your-face-with-turkey Day before they leave to go back to Europe. 

I said "I'll bring them to Grandma's on Sunday" 

Then I looked down at Storm and said "You remind me"

She looks up and says     "I'll write a list"

Ahaha yup, she's mine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Google first, Glue second

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Why have I not figured that out yet?  I mean I google for everything. 

Don't know how to wire a three-way switch? Just Google it. 

Need a recipe for cream cheese icing?  Google it. 

Don't have a freaking clue how to Mod Podge and can't apparently make it work by reading the instructions?  Um, do it again! On another project and hope for different results! 

Ya..that's it...

At the same time I bought the paper for the bottom of the drawer organizer, I also bought 6 sheets of black and white paper for lining the back of my buffet.  Or at least that was their intended destination.   After looking at (and feeling) the back of the buffet, which is plagued by about at least 700 staples from the back side leaving a less than smooth surface, I decided that the paper probably wouldn't cut it.  Not to mention that my gluing technique left a little to be desired and was probably best used  for purposes that would never see the light of day!

Ryan did mention that I could pull the back piece off of the buffet and replace it if I really, really didn't want to spend the time hammering and pulling out the staples (which I conveniently just painted over!).  But I really don't want to.  I just don't want to.  No real reason besides that.

Anyways.  I decided to use the paper as liner for the drawers instead.  If it turned out wrinkly, it would be covered by tablecloths 99% of the time anyways.

Here's the empty drawer with its new bottom in, just waiting for me to screw up glue.

I laid out the pieces of paper, and dry fit and cut the end piece. 

Of course, the drawer was wider than the paper.  I have no idea why you would think it would be that easy?! 

Anyways, Storm and I glued to our little hearts content, sans googling to prevent any mishaps, and this is what we ended up with.

I think it looks alright. I mean I can see the wrinkles, but this was still wet too.  Most of them went down, plus this is what it looks like at any given time.

Oh, and I swear I do learn.  It may never seem like it, but eventually I'll get pissed off enough to google "why does my paper wrinkle when using Mod Podge?"

I did the top drawer too, after Googling, and although that flash is making even me squint, if you were here, in my sitting room (why aren't you here btw? I have coffee you know.  And I would bake for you, honest) you could see that this one turned out 99% flat and perfect....just to be covered up by a ton of shit that I probably don't need and yet won't get rid of....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hat Trick

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Miss Storm loves hats. Loves them.  And she looks extremely cute in them!  However, I would find them everywhere and nowhere where they should have been. 

So I had Ryan  (poor guy, always roped into my ideas!) make her a hat stand. 

Not the cheapest project we've ever done but it turned out so good!

We used a newel post, some weird foam-y crown moulding I found at Home Depot, some caulk, a piece of pine shelving for the bottom, some hooks from IKEA that we've had around for a few years and some high gloss white paint.

Love this crown moulding detail!

Ready to go, with a just a few of her hats in it already!

Thanks Dad!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kitty Paint

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Miss Storm loves to paint, draw, color, create anything and everything. 

She was watching me paint the Star Wars pictures and nagging incessantly asking me to let her paint something too.

She wanted to paint a Hello Kitty painting.  Instead of letting her free hand some sort of mutant kitty, I "borrowed" an image from online. (Hey, if you are going to put it on the web and make it so I can right click it, I might just borrow it, alright??) Anyways.  I printed out a small picture, put it on the projector, painted the small canvasses white and black and let her have at it. 

Okay, so I only let her do one of them.  But still, she was happy.  It satisfied her painting itch in any event.  Now we have some new art over her bed!

Aww ain't they cute?? She did the one on the right and added
little hearts to Hello Kitty's shirt.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Messy Secret

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We all have one.

Even if we say we don't.

Junk drawers.

Seriously, I don't need half the stuff in my junk drawer but I can't seem to throw out that stereo connector that I have no idea where I got it from or when I would use it.  Not to mention the four spare bulbs for my outside lights and the roll of magnetic tape....

Look.  This is the stuff I'm talking about.

Ya, I don't really see anything worth keeping in there either!

I go through this drawer of mine, probably every two months and throw out stuff that seems to multiply in the dark when you close it.  It even has migrated to another drawer in the kitchen, but that's junk for another day!  Besides, that old dog collar and dog records have to hang out somewhere right? Might as well be with some batteries and old candles.

Anyways. I digress.

I was browsing online, looking through blogs one day, when I seen a picture for a really nice wooden drawer organizer.  I wish I could remember which blog I seen it on. 

Now sure, you can go to the store and buy one, but what fun would that be?  Plus, most of those organizers don't fit exactly to your drawers.  But I figured, after looking at that picture, that we could just make a customized one instead!  And when I say we, of course I mostly mean Ryan. 

Hey now, I drew out the plans!

Thing of beauty, ain't it?

I also did all the fun stuff. The shopping!  I went to Michael's and picked out some pretty paper for the bottom of the drawer organizer and bought some moulding at HD.

We had left over back board from the buffet drawer, and while it wasn't exactly big enough, Ryan cut another piece to go on the end. I duct taped the back of it to hold it all together and then prepared to Mod Podge the paper onto the front of it. 

Disclaimer: I have never used MP before, ever.  I'm pretty sure I did it wrong.  Only I could screw up glue.

Ahem.  Moving on.

Supplies out and ready.

Time to screw up glue. I mean, attach the paper to the board.  Apparently, you are supposed to glue the back, let it dry, then put more on top.  Let's just say, no one will ever see the bubbles I have in my liner, since they will be under JUNK anyways.  Whew.

You can also see that, obviously, my paper wasn't as big
as the bottom of the drawer.  I wasn't even worried about
matching up the flower pattern as I knew it would be mostly
covered by the wood organizer anyways.

While I was gluing, Ryan was outside cutting the moulding and cursing just a little I'm sure.  After a few false starts, in which he blamed my drawing I think, the wood was together, glued and nailed, and ready to be stained.

Drying, almost ready to be put together.

Here she is, all put together! Space for my cheques, pens, pencils, paper, scissors, cutter and other miscellaneous stuff.

A look before at the drawer  and with the organizer in spot.

I know, right?!  I told Ryan I need one for my silverware now...

Did I mention as he was building this one, he said, never again??!

The Buffet

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Okay.  So I don't have the buffet totally done to where I'm happy with it. 

BUT I do have it painted and in the house.  So I thought I'd update the pictures for it.

A before picture to remind you:

There she is, in all her glory.  Ugly plastic red handles, questionable paint on glass doors, honey varnish all over.  Not to mention:  wonky drawers with warped bottoms, weird middle door, and a missing glass door on the right, with only 3 out of 4 wood pieces to rebuild the door out of.

First off, get that varnish off of it!  Sure my FIL nearly had a heart attack when I said I planned on painting it, but my house is  mahogany..not honey oak from the 60s. 

Out to the backyard, armed with supplies!


I have to say, removing the varnish was a breeze.

After I had it all off, and scuffed clean, it was time for remodelling! 

I didn't like that it was two long shelves inside of it.  I hated that middle door.  Oh, Ryan! Fix please!


We bought some pine shelving from HD and Ryan cut them down to fit vertically into the buffet, making three separate areas instead of one big one.  He added new supports for the shelving, making the left side have two shelves and the right side have three.

Ready to paint.

Have you ever painted the inside of a cupboard black?  If you start in the middle of the piece and work out to the edges, I swear it's like painting all the happiness out of the world.  Wonder if JKR was painting a small space black when she was thinking of how to describe dementors...  Anyhow, it gets really, really hard to see where you haven't painted yet if you start in the middle first.  Do all the edges and corners first, then continue to paint away the happiness.  I also painted in spots no one will ever see unless they decide to stand on their heads and look way way up into the buffet.  Fun. 

I have to say, I love it black. I went to HD and bought some really nice handles for $13 each (ouch!).  We repurposed the two long shelves and cut them to make the three smaller shelves.  Bought a new skinny backboard piece for the bottom drawer.  Now we are awaiting the re-made door from the FIL and glass needs to be cut and bought for the doors as well.  But I thought I'd get it up and on here for you to see at least some progress on it!


Please ignore the messy stack of newspapers and flyers!! :)