Tuesday, July 31, 2012

30 Days to Clean: Day 17

I only tackled half of the before, but I also
cleared the floor you couldn't see.
Today I worked a short day, but instead of working on this challenge. We went to a movie this morning. Tuesday's My Vet works late, so I was still able to spend a couple hours on my deep clean. I quickly dusted and washed the windows/mirrors in the living room, then headed to the basement. I haven't been back down there in a couple of weeks, and I still have a lot to do before I can paint.

Everything is now neatly put away. Camping cooking gear in one area, sleeping in another, a shelf devoted to leg braces, ice pumps, etc. My Vet has sustained his fair share of injuries over the years. He even limped down the isle to say "I Do".

This is from today, but VERY representative of how
much garbage each deep clean is generating.
I will get to the other half, before calling this 30 days over. I am stalled though, as I figure out the best way to dispose of lots of really old paint. Can I just toss dried out paint cans into the trash? I am not sure, so while I work on that, you will have to wait with baited breathe.



***Update***
My garbage removal company will take old paint cans, provided they are 100% dried out. Otherwise they are considered hazardous waste, and need to be disposed of differently.

Miracle Cleaner?

Left side is after miracle? cleaner. Right is only after
yesterday's regular cleaning. (Pre Miracle)
I found this post on Pinterest. I am in the midst of a 30 day cleaning challenge, now is a great time to see if it works.

It seems super simple. I only had to purchase some Ammonia. The dollar store was sold out, so I went to Shopko where it was $2.49. Ouch! No wonder the dollar store was sold out. It still was cheaper than driving to the closest big box though.

I grabbed one grate, a garbage bag, the ammonia, and headed outside. I placed the grate in the bag, poured in about 1/2 cup of ammonia, tied the bag, and went to bed. The instructions point out that it is the fumes that will do the work, not actually soaking it in the ammonia, so you don't need tons.

I work in the early morning, and today I took the kids to a movie. It was about 1:00 when I got back to it, soaking for a total of 17 hours. (Directions were to let it soak for 12) It was 'suppose' to just fall right off, so I started with a wet rag. The rag did nothing I still had to scrub with a green scrubby. I found that everything lighter than syrup, came off pretty easy. The caramel and darker colored spots, need some old fashioned elbow grease though.

All-in-all it was better than soap, water, and green scrubby. I don't think I would use the word miracle to describe it though.

Monday, July 30, 2012

30 Days to Clean: Day 16

See that white double measuring cup in the
after? Been looking for that for a year!
After working so hard over the weekend. I am still itchy, and feeling a bit lazy today. I didn't work up much of a sweat, and even had time for a visit from a friend, as our kids played in the sprinkler.

With only minor modifications, I've found the chore schedule that works for me. I've passed the fourteen day mark, and well on my way to good habits.

Monday means kitchen. Deep clean for today was to scrub down all the cabinet fronts, and back splash. I organized a corner cabinet, and scrubbed the stove top. I wasn't happy with the final results of the stove top grates, so check back later to see the results of my latest pinterest test.

Both my mom this weekend, and my friend who stopped over, noticed how much cleaner and less cluttered the house had become. That's right, no more hoarding for me!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

30 Days to clean: Day 14 and 15

I've been blogging for about a year. I have completed multiple challenges, and lots of DIY projects. All without injury, until now.

After spending time in the yard yesterday, I figured I should capitalize on this pleasant weather while I could, and keep working outside. When I killed the weeds a few weeks ago, I also sprayed along my tree line on the North.

My mom grabbed a lawn chair to visit with me, and keep me company. I grabbed a couple shovels and a pair of gloves. The brush/weeds were mostly small trees that took some effort to remove. As we visited I slowly pulled tree after tree and was making good progress. I even thought I might finish before the day was out.

About the same time I was patting myself on the back, I felt a sharp pain on my foot. I looked down to move my sandaled foot away from the stick and saw it. A bee with a death wish, I was happy to help. I immediately headed for the house to get some ice, and saw another it. In my calmest demeanor, I swatted, screamed, and ran. Not being a runner, I tripped and fell. Maintaining that same level of calm, I rationally had visions of the swarm scene, in My Girl and jumped up to continue running into the house, with my now swelling left foot, scraped and bleeding right, and swelling right arm.

I iced them until I was calm enough to pull out the stingers, apply some benedryl, wash and bandage my wound, and stain treat the capris I was wearing. I then decided that would be a good time to call it a day, and fix dinner. While eating dinner I noticed that I had not one, but two stings on my right arm. My calm, calculated reaction of swatting the second bee while I screamed and ran, resulted in it stinging me twice.

I have heard of women getting stung on purpose as a beauty treatment. My Vet who witnessed the entire thing, would most likely not describe it as beautiful. I think the words crazed, dirty, lunatic probably came to mind. Graceful, or not, I am really glad that My Vet was home when I attempted this project. Heroically, he grabbed a can of spray from the garage and doused the remaining bees, and put away my tools. I was grateful to not have to go back outside for the night.

The next day, the weather was still nice. This time I was ready; thick jeans, tennis shoes, double gloves. I took a deep breath and a long stick to poke around the area My Vet sprayed. Nothing moved, so I poked again, still nothing. So I got back to work. About 2 hours later, everything was dug up and piled in the trailer for My Vet to dispose of. I did sustain a few scrapes from the scraggly trees, that are staying to provide wind protection. Not enough to disturb this evenings Olympics viewing though.

30 Days to clean: Day 13

I started treating last year so the little one
is my yard, and the the other is my neighbor's
Sorry I didn't post last night, but I was busy watching the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics. That part with the Queen parachuting out of the helicopter, was brilliant. I even laughed out loud when Mr. Bean tripped the runner. Did anyone else think that the petals creating the torch was cool?

I don't have a guest bathroom, so like last week, I went outside. I mowed the lawn, and raked out an area that I used round up on a few weeks ago. It is now ready for grass seed, probably this fall when it gets cooler.  I then sprayed for the creeping charlie. I started treating it last year and have made some significant strides, but noticed it popped up in a few spots while I was mowing. Creeping charlie is highly invasive, and hard to kill, So I tackle it ASAP.

I then sprayed for grubs, as that is what killed all the grass in the area I had to round up. Since, my mom was coming to visit for the weekend, I called it a day and got cleaned up.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

30 Days to clean: Day 12

Pretty typical view. In most of
my food photos, it is all pushed
to the side
14 days makes a habit. 12 days in, I am finding myself getting to lots of little cleaning things that have been nagging me. Instead of thinking "Oh I need to get to that...later", I am tackling it right away, since I have to do something every day, I have no excuse.

I really hope I can keep on top of it!
Even though I didn't get to the carpet cleaning on my internal deep clean list, I still kept pretty busy. I had another trip to the thrift store today, mailed a box of baby girl things, transplanted some flowers, delivered 2 large concrete rhubarb leaf casts that I made a while back, tackled a stack of paperwork that I brought up from the basement, and finally eliminated the largest, most nagging pile of "things to get to" on my kitchen peninsula.

** Special thanks to Renae and Becky your tips from yesterday, helped me with the hardwater stains in the kids bathroom! I went with the CLR spray, and it just melted off!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

30 Days to clean: Day 11

Not perfect, but WAY better!
11 days, my house is feeling cleaner, yet everywhere I look there are still piles of things to get to. I don't know about you, but I have a counter in my kitchen where stuff just piles up. (No I didn't get to it today, what kind of procrastinator would I be, if it only took until day 11?)

Instead I tackled the other bathroom. My cleaning list scheduled the master, bed and bathrooms for today. Since I vacuumed yesterday, It didn't take long to wipe down the surfaces and I was done. I spent a long time in the bathroom, specifically in the shower. I scrubbed until I couldn't anymore, and still didn't get it as clean as I would like. I hope with regular scrubbing I will be able to finish getting rid of the hard water marks.

In the past 24 hours, several people have commented that they wished, they had my energy. As I was forcing myself to scrub the shower doors, I remembered a saying "bravery is action in spite of fear". Energy works the same, it is action in spite of exhaustion. I don't want to do this anymore than you. I am praying daily for the energy to finish this goal. I also just keep hoping that at the end of this 30 days, I will be able to relax a bit and be able to maintain the clean, without working so hard. I also keep hoping and praying that 30 days is enough to tame this beast, I have a lot of cleaning yet to do.


On the hard water stain highway today.
Mini project during girls nap time.
Knowing that you are reading everyday, makes me have to do it, so I have a photo. Since you are holding me accountable, that is the least I could do for you. What challenge are you facing? What goal do you have your sights set on? Have you made a plan? Do you want me to help you make a plan? Finally, and most importantly do not answer those questions anonymously, I want to keep in touch with you, and help you the way you are helping me.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Three Weeks after Juicing

In order to better track my foods I have been using an app on my android phone. Lose it. It allows me to track my daily food intake and exercise. Is shows my weight goals, and progress, and has a feature to connect with friends.

I have continued to juice one meal a day most days. We as a family, are eating lots more veggies, and over all making healthier choices. My struggle continues to be water intake. I like water, I just have a heck of a time remembering to drink enough water in a day.


I also learned a new, healthier way to enjoy a family favorite.

I finally started losing again! I lost the pound I gained last week, plus one more. The 2 hours a day cleaning I've been doing for the past week, was just what I needed. (It also didn't hurt escorting a group of preschoolers through Como Zoo last week.)

DIY: Microwave Popcorn

Thanks to Pinterest I found another thing I had to try. It sounds so simple, and it is. I picked up 100 brown lunch bags on sale for $1.70, and I already had some popcorn on hand. I tried varying amounts of popcorn. I found that 1/4 cup in a bag folded 3 times at the top is too much, and popped a hole. (maybe if you only fold it 1 or 2 times?) 2 Tablespoons per bag is perfect for each of us while watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I tried just pushing the popcorn button, but found that was 20 seconds too long. You want to stop the microwave when you count 2 seconds between pops. Since on my microwave the popcorn button goes for 2:20, I just set for 2 minutes and I am golden.

DIY Microwave popcorn
1 brown lunch sack
2 Tablespoons unpopped popping corn
1 microwave
**Seasoning/salt/butter

Place the corn in the sack. Roll over the top 2 times. Place in microwave, and start. cook until popping slows to 2 seconds between pops.

**Optional and changes health benefits.

That is really all there is too it. Why do we spend so much money on all those empty calories?

30 Days to Clean: Day 10

Look close near the bottom and you can tell how dirty
they were. Even had to use a razor blade outside!
 I chose a new chore list for this week, and it is suiting me much better than last. Granted, the general cleaning is going faster only 1 week dirty. Being (becoming) a minimalist, dusting is easy, even with the blinds. I also took out the screens, washed them, took a couple down to be fixed, and washed the windows inside and out. I then ran the vaccum through the living room and the rest of the house. I didn't know the steps could go so fast. I should do them every week!

Monday, July 23, 2012

30 Days to Clean: Day 9

Look at all those meals ready to heat
in the after!
It's a new week, so I started with a new weekly chore list. Today I was in the kitchen. Most days I am spending a total of 2 hours on the regular and the deep cleaning combined. Today, I bit off, a lot more in my deep clean. Since I was already in the kitchen I decided to clean out the freezer. In order to do that, I needed to move some things to the big freezer. The big freezer being full, I had to move some things in to the small freezer. Can you see where this is going?

I started by emptying and washing the inside of the freezer out. While taking everything out, I noticed lots of opened packages that needed to get used up. I am terrible at using half packages, they usually only get used up when I have a freezer cooking day. Now you can probably see where this is going.

It is still really full, but stuff is no longer just thrown
in, there are designated shelves for veggies,
blueberries, fish, etc.
I took more than 2 hours today, and prepped meals for the freezer. Hamburger Casserole, Denver Omelet Egg Bake, Apple Crisp, Whole Wheat Crust Deep Dish Pizza, and Lake Superior Salmon Patties are all ready to be thrown in the oven for a quick and easy meal.

After starting the basement this weekend, I spent a little time down there and added to the donation pile, and got rid of another small shelf via craigslist.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

30 Days to Clean: Days 7 and 8


Organized, and ready for paint!
 I mentioned at the beginning, I would be tackling larger deep clean projects on the weekend. This weekend I started on the basement. It hasn't really been cleaned since we moved in 7 years ago. That, coupled with the fact this challenge is in addition to my regularly scheduled life, is why this weekend was only a start to the basement.

Part of my regularly scheduled life.,
The most common use of my basement, is laundry, so that is where I started. I spent most of Saturday morning, editing my supplies so that I could remove one of the shelving units. The unit was installed by previous owners, more functional than stylish. I carefully removed every screw, so that the smaller pieces could be used as fire starters this winter, and the larger pieces will be reused in a project for the girls room. Once the walls were exposed, I saw how bad they looked. So I donned a mask and protective eye wear and scraped the paint and prepped the walls for paint. (Painting won't happen until this fall when I can open up the house, stay tuned.)

Part of my regularly scheduled life.
My Vet moved the washer and dryer out, so that I could scrape the walls behind them, and clean the gross floors underneath. He also, capped off a secondary dryer outlet that sat on the floor about 10 feet from the current dryer placement. We had no use for it, and the idea of a live outlet sitting on the floor in a basement, just makes me nervous. All the other outlets in the basement are a good 3 feet off the ground. It would take some serious flooding for water to get them.

I also tackled some shelves that primarily hold things for the girls. A small area is dedicated to Christmas things, but the rest is filled with totes of clothes and toys. The totes are neatly marked with the size and season. I know the pictures don't look like much yet, but just wait until the pink is banished, the walls are white, and the floor is grey.

Mini project while thawing meat to grill.

Friday, July 20, 2012

30 Days to Clean: Day 6


Why I love my bagless vacuum!
If I had a bag, I wouldn't know to empty it so often.

Today I have one goal: vacuum everything. That means every carpet in the house, including the stairs, and moving everything, finally eradicating those dust bunnies under the beds and behind the couch.

Those 2 sentences are longer than you think. It took 2 hours just to finish them. I actually vacuum pretty often, yet I still emptied the vacuum basket in every room, and twice in each bedroom, thanks to the bunnies under the beds. (Thanks to the dogs I always empty it once per room. Sad considering I vacuum a couple times a week.) As a bonus I burned an estimated 400 calories!

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

30 Days to Clean: Day 5

It's less colorful and more serene now.
Day 5: I chose this weekly cleaning list for week one. Today's task is to deep clean something. I will stick with this chore list through tomorrow, but it doesn't suit me, so I will try a different one next week. Since that is the program I committed to this week,  I went outside and worked on the car.

My kids, often, leave a wave of destruction in their wake. My poor car. I have a lot of friends who have a hard time remembering life before kids. I remember a clean car. It's not just the back seat either. Before kids, I never left garbage or paperwork, in the car. I would grab it on my way out or toss it when I got to my destination. Now I grab the kids, and whatever I need to survive where we stop.

All that remains are my camp chairs, umbrella,
emergency kit, and a spare cold food grocery bag,
for impulse ice cream buying on super hot days.
I spent 2 hours cleaning the inside of the car. In the trunk I vacuumed. (No more dirt stuck to the bottom of my milk jugs!) Since My Vet the mechanic had removed the spare and not properly put it away, I even cleaned under the spare before placing it back in and screwing the jack back down. I went through my emergency kit, tossing old/broken stuff, replaced flashlight batteries, and restocked the first aid kit.

In addition to vacuuming the entire car, I washed the carseats and covers, wiped down all of the hard surfaces, wiped out the cup holders, spot cleaned the back seat, cleaned the windows and mirrors, then went through the glovebox. I quit in order to get to a meeting. After, the girls and I drove through a carwash for the exterior.

A friend commented that since it took me 2 hours to only clean the inside, I might be OCD. What do you think? How long does it take you to clean out your car?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

30 Days to Clean: Day 4

Slow and steady progress
Weekly cleaning for Wednesday is wipe down all hard surfaces; banisters, floors, window sills, mantels, shelves, dressers, nightstands, headboards, and desk top. Again today, I continued with today's cleaning theme for my deep clean. I wiped walls, switch plates, corners, and where ceiling meets the walls. (Get those cobwebs!) I also spent extra time in the girls room wiping down toys, bed rails, and picture frames.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

30 Days to Clean: Schedule

After years of neglect, I finally got the chaos of my house under control. Do not underestimate how much work it was. It was a monumental task. 30 days is a short amount of time, that will feel like forever. I encourage you to do it though. The satisfaction and calmness you will achieve is worth every exhausting day.

I was asked if I had a schedule I followed. Yes and No. I followed a schedule for my daily/regular chores. I just did deep cleans that corresponded to that schedule. I wasn't overwhelmed because I could look at a mess and say, "that's in the kitchen so I will get to it on Monday". Or "that is the Master bedroom, so I can do it on Wednesday". Since you are not as crazy as me, and probably don't have a house that has conversations with you, I thought I would help you out.

These are the tasks I did. There is also space for you to write down the projects that are specific for your house. I like checking things off lists. I, sometimes, even write down things I've already done, just so I can check them off. I've already admitted I'm a bit crazy, so you shouldn't be all that surprised.


Download checklist
or copy and past the following url in your browser:
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B0iVEs-DFSEYbDFzY2padWppN0U

30 Days to Clean: Day 3

Washed shower liner with some towels.
 Tuesday means bathrooms and kitchen. I didn't do much more than surface clean the kitchen and one of the bathrooms. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and since starting this challenge I have been motivated to make small strides in the kitchen. Yesterday, I exploded something in the microwave. Instead of waiting, like the old me, I boiled a cup of water on high for a few minutes, then thoroughly wiped it out. Today's dishwashing load wasn't full, so I washed the dish dryer that stays in my left sink, and scrubbed out the left side.  In addition to general cleaning, of the second bathroom, I deep cleaned. I took down and washed the shower curtain and liner, I cleaned out and organized under the sink, and washed the window, window frame, and screen.
Look at that filth, no wonder my mom brings me
cleaning supplies!

I have high hopes for when my mom comes in 10 days. On a recent visit she brought me a large quantity of cleaning supplies she "thought I could use". (As a mom, I know she was being kind and just wanting to help me. Still kind of funny though.)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back on the Juice?

Just like you I am surrounded by people
who are seemingly trying to sabotage me!
If you read this post, you are not going to believe what I've done. I have started juicing again. Not 24/7 I am just replacing 1 meal a day. I found that I like the convenience, and it keeps me full so I can concentrate on other things. I found a recipe on Pinterest that is yummy, filling, and nutrient packed, the green monster spinach smoothie. My Vet is not a fan, but I am finding it to be a quick and easy breakfast.

I am unfortunately back to my old habit of snacking all the time. I am, mostly, snacking on lots of fresh vegetables. I did find a yummy pumpkin muffin recipe that is only 100 calories. All you do is mix 1 can of pumpkin filling with the dry mix from 1 cake mix (I like spice or carrot). It makes a really thick batter that you just spoon into the lined muffin pan. bake at 350 degrees until done (10-15 minutes) The quality of my snacks has improved at least.

For meals I am trying to cover at least half the plate with veggies. I have even been able to do an entire meal that covered 3/4 of the plate with veggies. I tossed together an egg roll salad with 1 lb of cooked shrimp, and then served it cold. It made a ton and was even better the next day for lunch.

All that and I gained a pound this week!! I need to be more diligent writing down what I am eating. I have been starting good, but not so much at the end of the day. For me I know logging my food intake is the most effective weight loss trick. I also am going to have to stay out of the breakroom at work, the temptation foods in there is just too great.

30 Days to Clean: Day 2

Laundry stuff moved from the top of the dryer,
 moved to this newly heightened shelf.
Even cleared the area of spider webs!
Since it's Monday, laundry topped the list today. As I was folding laundry, I tackled cleaning out the closets as my deep clean objective. I removed 2 more boxes of clothes from the closet, and filled up the small garbage can in the room. I thought I would continue on the laundry kick, by doing some cleaning and organizing in the laundry room. My new jar of laundry soap was too tall for the old shelf. So I removed the one above it, then did some editing and cleaning. I also got a few texts about the patio set I listed yesterday, and I hope to have it picked up by the end of tomorrow!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

30 Days to Clean: Day 1

My mess has migrated outside, Yes that
is a Cheetos hand print on my back!
Where do I start? There are so many areas to clean, and this challenge is not about just throwing stuff in a drawer, running the vacuum and calling it good. Luckily, I have Pinterest for inspiration.

I've read that it takes 14 consecutive days to break a bad habit. By the end of this challenge, my house should be under control and I should be back on track. Because of the scale of this project I have decided to re implement a weekly cleaning regimen, and a deep cleaning one for the next 30 days. My intention is that when the 30 days is over, I will be able to maintain with the weekly schedule I have adopted.

My weekly schedule is actually, Monday through Friday. Since today is Sunday, I get to ease myself into it. In the future I plan to tackle larger projects on the weekends, but today I have other fun things already on the schedule.

$20 or a decent trade and it's yours!
Day One: I washed all the legs in my house (tables and chairs, inside and out) I also listed my patio set on craigslist, we haven't used it in 2 years, and the plastic chair arms are starting to crack, so it's time to go.

30 days to a clean house


My Vet and I married several years ago and have lived in 4 different houses. Initially I was proud of my homes. They weren't always the most fashionable, but they were always clean. I had a schedule I stuck to.

Monday: Laundry, Bathrooms
Tuesdays: Dusting
Wednesday: Floors
Thursday: Deep Clean. area changed form week to week
Friday: Errands, and Outside

Being just the two of us, it was easy to maintain, while working full time. Then 8 years and two homes ago. All that changed. We moved into a home 1/3 the size, and the majority of our things went into storage. The rest went into every nook and cranny we could find.

Why did we downsize? So that we could build this. Almost all of the work was completed by My Vet and his dad. (along with friends and family that pitched in throughout.) It was a huge undertaking. Even though the home was smaller, we still had 3 bedrooms so we were able to house and feed those who came to help. Since the menfolk worked so hard during the day, I made sure to have solid meals ready for them to eat. Since I was commuting 3 hours a day for work, this was harder than it seems. Apparently I like a challenge, so I started taking classes on the weekend to become a licensed Realtor. Those 6 months were the hardest months of our marriage. It was too much and something had to break. Me.

I grew up in an extremely clean home. I had 4 sisters and we had schedules for dishes and house cleaning. Every family holiday was at our home, and my mom expected perfection. (Did you know that mayonaise can be used to polish plant leaves? I remember the Christmas I learned.) So to now live in a home with cobwebs, dirty surfaces, and clutter embarasses me. Last year I posted about my procrastination problem. My Vet's demand, has helped steer me back to the right path there. Earlier this summer I participated in the Citywide Garage sale, and eliminated tons of stuff. I have since continued to purge my house, and am finally ready to get my home back under control. Starting today, I am spending the next 30 days deep cleaning my home. I will be writing about my experience and I might even cross the boundry into TMI to show you just how bad it got.

Download my deep clean schedule and Follow my progress

**Update**
 I just got home from church, the sermon topic for today: How do you get up after you've fallen? I definitely picked the right day to get up!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jolly Lillipops


Kids laying out the sticks and candy

 On a recent visit to my mom's, I shared a Pinterest post with my sister. She and her kids, made some super easy lollipops for a birthday party. They were just as easy as they sound

You too can make these fun treats with
Parchment Paper (line your cookie sheet)
Jolly Ranchers (unwrapped)
Sticks (available in most craft stores/sections)
 
(The original recipe also had you place an aluminum foil layer under the parchment. That step seemed unnecessary, so she skipped it, and had no noticeable problems.)

After baking for 5 minutes at 200 degrees.
Artfully arrange your colors of Jolly Ranchers around a stick. Carefully place in preheated oven. (200 degrees) for 5 minutes. The candies should just barely be melted together, Do not fully melt in the oven or they will get to thin, and break when you try to remove them.


After cooling for 30 minutes you may remove them from the parchment paper. Eat them, or wrap in clear cellophane bags for a great party favor.

Easy Tomato Basil Soup

Hmmm look at those chunks of tomato!
I love tomato soup. It has long been one of my favorites. As a kid, I liked it with grilled cheese. (I still do) I am not a fan of Tomato Bisque soup, I hate when it gets mixed with milk/cream. My absolute favorite way is with these easy to find ingredients.

1 can of Condensed Tomato Soup
1 can of Stewed Tomatoes (Preferably from my garden, but when they run out, I will use store bought.)
2 Tbsp of Basil (Fresh tastes better, but when that isn't ready from the garden I just use dried.)

Just 3 ingredients.
I put all of it in a medium heavy bottomed pan and slowly simmer until boiling. If the tomatoes are to big, just use cooking shears or a knife to cut them into smaller pieces. By cooking it slowly you give the flavors some time to merge. I like the texture that the stewed tomatoes give. It makes it more filling and ads a freshness to the final product.



 

Water Painting with Dried-out Markers

As I was wasting more time looking through Pinterest, I ran across this posting on making dried-out markers useful again. So I just had to try it.

It was supper easy, I just went through the box of markers, sorting out the dried-out ones into color coordinated piles. I then put a small amount of water into painting cups and added markers. Do not mix marker colors or this won't work. I did it during nap so that the markers would have time to sit and soak up the water. Once the kids woke, we covered the table in paper and started water coloring.

The kids thought it was really neat, and they doodled for a long time. By the time we were finished, the markers had been completely drained of color and needed to be thrown away. They were destined for the trash anyway, so I was happy to get one more use out of them.

 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Annual Pork Chop Dinner

Every year since moving here, we have attended the Annual Pork Chop Dinner, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. I am always amazed by how many people drive by community events and don't stop. While on our bikes, I did talk to one person who was driving by, and I am pretty sure I convinced her to stop. We have some excellent businesses, who often sponsor events by providing entertainment, and fun child friendly activities. Usually that means bouncy houses, face painting, balloon animals, kid crafts, etc. this time I was pleasantly surprised to see a photo booth.

The girls and I biked down, and for $15 we got dinner, music, and a souvenir. We also, got to visit with lots of people we haven't seen in a while. Even though this is a small town, it is amazing how long you can go, between running into someone. I even got to talk to a few blog followers! When the girls were finished, (tired of listening to me gab) we loaded up our left overs, and headed home.

My Vet wasn't able to come with us this year. Since the girls really only wanted chips, cookie, and soda, he still got to eat 2 pork chops when he stopped home between work and the council meeting.


Just because I missed my nap, doesn't mean
I am crabby and ready for bed!
This week alone, We've had music in the park, where the Dairy Princesses brought a calf to pet. The pre-show story tellers, passed out bubbles to all the kids. Santa visited with kids in the Splash Park on Wednesday, and Princeton Insurance is sponsoring a day at the Splash Park on Saturday. If you don't want to miss any more, all of this is listed on the Community Event Calendar. Go there bookmark it, and use it. If you know of an event add it, so others can find it too. (As a business owner, My Vet is a member of the Chamber, but this is not a paid advertisement. We are proud of our community and want you to have pride as well. It Starts Here!)