Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Care for a lift?

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Keep your kids off the sidewalks and your grannies from crossing the street.  Someone's legal.

First crack at it too. Only thirty points taken off for minor things.

Way to go kid!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Apple Muffins

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Storm had a craving for Apple Muffins.

I didn't have an actual recipe to turn to, but I did have an Apple Coffee Cake recipe I'd made a couple of times before (ripped out from a random magazine). I never did like the streusel they put on top so I made the crumb topping from my Grandma's Crumb Cake that I love.

One part coffee cake. One part Grandma's crumb cake. All yumminess.

Apple Muffins
Yields 12


1 1/4 cup flour      1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder   1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt  1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp oil (or melted butter)   1 egg, beaten
2 apples, peeled and diced
  • Mix the dry ingredients for the batter in a medium bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix milk, oil and egg.
  • Pour into dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in apples.
  • Pour into lined muffin tin. Put on a generous tablespoon of Grandma's crumb topping.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry.
1/4 cup butter, slightly softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
  • Mix together until crumbly.

You can come over for one of these though, if you hurry. I doubled the recipe thinking that original cake recipe wouldn't make twelve and I had enough to make 24!

Quick! Come save my arse from getting any wider!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

French Bread

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I can't take the credit for this recipe, but I can share it with you! I originally found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine, and then it sat on my recipe shelf for about .. oh, a year at least. But today I pulled it out and figured I'd give it a whirl.

Yum! Two amazing loaves of french bread in under 3 hours total.

French Bread

2 tbsp. active dry yeast       2 cups warm water
2 tsp. salt      1 tsp. sugar
4-1/2 to 5 cups bread flour*
1 tsp. cornmeal

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the salt, sugar and 2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  • Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hr.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into 12" long loaves.
  • Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 mins.
  • Sprinkle with cornmeal. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf.
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
* I used regular AP flour and they turned out great. I'm going to experiment with using actual bread flour and see what the difference is. They can only get better. I made the entire recipe in my large mixer bowl using my dough hooks. I took it out and kneaded it for maybe 2 minutes or so!

I'd invite you over for a slice or two, but in this family, homemade bread doesn't last long!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


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Today was MS Day at A&W and Clayton signed up to be in the dunk tank. And then forgot his swim trunks. But never fear, we went home and got them for him!

Here he is waiting...and you can just see Ryan's elbow waiting to throw a few balls at the target.

Wait for it.

Wait for it.


Poor kid. It was C O L D out by the time he got to go in! The kids paid to go up and push the target to make him go in and then Blade got told to go put his brother in the water.

Good thing it's for a good cause and he's a good sport!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stupid needy plants

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I couldn't stand my dead stick anymore. I was outside yesterday, cleaning up and helping Ryan with the yard work, when I decided to permanently fix my brown situation.

The one basket has decided to try life again.

Nothing like being eternally hopeful.

The other one was beyond hope. It just gets too hot in that spot and I'm just too forgetful about watering. A couple of quick trips to the store and I fixed the problem.

I even filled the other basket that I had unsuccessfully tried to use as a bird feeder last year.

Best part? No forking out $75 bucks next year just to have them die again. I'll just shove these ones in the shed over the winter and come spring I'll have pretty flowers all season long.

I feel a lot like this:

Well said Gandalf. Well said.

I'm garage saled out

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And now, my storage room is clean.

For a while.

Friday, August 19, 2011

We've created a junkie

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A concert junkie that is.

Storm went to her first concert last night. Taylor Swift in Edmonton. To say she had a good time would be a huge understatement. I may never get her out of the T-shirt Dad bought her.

Ryan took her as we only had two tickets and I so didn't want to try and find my way in Edmonton, in the dark.

It was an amazing experience for her. Taylor puts on a great show.  I also gave her our old digital camera that has been sitting up above my desk collecting dust since I bought our new fancy one. She took a bunch of videos and a few pictures as well.

She looked a lot like this last night when they finally got home at 1:30.  But glowing.

I'd say her first concert experience was a success. And not her last.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Storm's Love

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Storm has a love. A love of color. A love of paint chips colors. So much so she comes home with another handful every time someone takes her to the hardware store.

She was fooling around gluing some of them together the other day. She had plans of putting them on the wall in her room. I figured I better re-direct some of that creative energy before I ended up with glue all over my walls. I showed her a post I had just seen over at YoungHouseLove where Sherry had made some art out of paint chips. Storm thought it looked pretty cool and I succeeded in persuading her into doing that with her chips instead. We started out with an old picture frame that held some of our wedding photos in the laundry room.

Oh, hello Hunter!

We also made a trip to the hardware store, where I pretended to shop, and she helped herself to a whole bunch of chips. She decided she definitely needed orange. And blue. And green. And purple. And yellow. I told her I liked the way the shades looked on display at the store and we decided to replicate the same order in our frame.

I had Ryan cut down the mat from the frame from four 4x6's to one big rectangle. Then I wanted him to figure out where I should start so that I would have the same size of blocks on each side. He, of course, took it a big step further and drew out lines for me to follow while gluing.

We ended up having to go back to the store to grab one more of each color, as Storm decided she didn't want the paint chip number showing so that moved them all up just enough that we came up short. Well, actually Grandma was going to the store anyways, so she picked up a few more chips, and then we went back down again to grab one more, and a milkshake. Hard work pedalling all the way downtown you know!

She loves it. As you can see, we ditched the mat and just put up the colors solo. I hung it in her room, but no word if the placement is final. I'll have to wait for the boss to come home from Grandma's and approve.

And as for the mat, never fear, it didn't end up in the garbage.  Blade claimed it and made his own art out of it!

I love the creativity of kids.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What I haven't done

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  1. Haven't finished my project involving Christmas decorations and fabric transfer paper that I started in April (!!!)
  2. Haven't painted Storm any t-shirts, even though I bought the shirts, paint and freezer paper 3 months ago...
  3. Haven't made a necklace holder, but I have knocked them all down to the floor more than once
  4. Haven't sold the car (damn it)
  5. Haven't paid off the vacation (was worth it though)
  6. Haven't replaced the carpet (although I did finally make a decision on which color to get)
  7. Haven't taken Clayton out driving enough, especially to practice his parking and get familiar with all the playground zones in town
  8. Haven't even booked Clayton his driving test yet either!
  9. Haven't painted (or sanded) the basement walls, even though the mud has been on the walls for over a month now...
  10. Haven't scrubbed the shower tiles down, even though every time I go in there I think about it (too bad thinking wasn't doing...)
  11. Haven't call the cable company to deal with our contract, even though it ends in less than two weeks!
  12. Haven't booked eye or dental appointments for the kids, even though I was supposed to do it while they were out of school for the summer
  13. Haven't gone insane from them being out for the whole summer ... yet .. there's still time!
There now. Feel better about how much you've got done this summer????

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Update

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Summer's more than half over here, and as usual, I feel like I haven't got much done. I haven't been camping. I haven't even been to the beach! I've got more than a few projects brewing in my head and zero time to get them done it seems. We've spent quite a few weekends working on my brother's rental trailer, fixing it up, just to come home to our own basement waiting to be repainted and the lawn to be mowed.  In between work and other jobs, summer is passing me by yet again!

My prediction was true about my pretty flowers though. It's August and they've went from green to brown!

in June....
a few minutes ago...

I can't say as I'm surprised! I think I'll follow my mom's lead and put some fake flowers in there next year. No need to remember to water them then!

The rest of the flowers look pretty good though, considering they just got tossed in there and forgotten about!

(try to ignore the overgrown grass, that's what I'm doing!)
(Oh, and the other dead planter too!)

We even have a few pumpkin plants on the side of the house as well as sunflowers which are starting to flower. Good thing they don't require my attention!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Making do

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What do you do when you can't find a kid's bike basket to save your soul?  Make one of your own.

We started with this old Easter basket that Storm found at Uncle Michael's rental place.

I cut off the handle. Storm decided on paint colors and painted it inside and out. A quick spray of clear protective coating and it was ready to install.

I punched a few holes into with a nail and used four zip ties to attach it to her bike.

It may only last the season, but it was free!

She's happy she can be my little delivery girl down to Grandma's now!