Monday, August 31, 2009


My husband and I were super productive yesterday. We went to the hardware store and got so many of the items for my projects. We got handles for the cart in the kitchen and a new top. I will have to post pictures of that project soon. We got boards and hook and will be making coat racks for the entry way once I decide if I want them black or white... We got some child-proofing stuff (some I have to return). We got a Christmas gift for our son (yep, I start early). We looked at prices on blinds and are going to go with Costco.

We also made hot sauce with jalapenos from our garden. It has to sit for a week before we can try it but I am sure it is good.

Today I cleaned up some leftover mess from the projects yesterday but am going to take it easy (I think).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The best laid plans

I forever have plans floating in my head, probably 5 at any time. I have trouble getting started...well, and finishing. Part of my problem is never knowing the measurements, sizes, colors I need to know when I am out. Today I went around and recorded all of these things on one slip of paper. So far I have:
the measurements for the master window for next time we are at Costco
the measurements for my kitchen cabinet thingy (I will tell more when I finish this one)
the measurements for new handles for above and a chalkboard ledge (curious?)
the measurements for new hooks in the entryway
some kitchen childproofing items I need (since my hubby is wanting to open up our son's world)

Oh, yesterday I made some lavender chocolate chip scones that were not very yummy...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dark hole

Today I sorted out under my kitchen sink. I was afraid of this project but it went surprisingly well. There was much less down there than I expected and the project went quickly. I found 3 cabinet locks for childproofing and it made me think that maybe it is about time to open the kitchen to Carter, at least some of the time. I put the locks on and let him in. He made a beeline for the triangular shelf in the corner and the Roomba...maybe I will childproof tomorrow.

On another note, my dinner went nicely last night. The cake was well received. I have a crystal cake plate but no dome so I had to plastic wrap it to keep my cat away. To keep the plastic off the cake itself I used specialty food picks, you know the ones for serving appetizers? Mine have stars on top so I spaced them around and it looked quite nice. If I wasn't such a glutton for cake I would make it more often.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Small things

I have a VERY small entry way. A few months ago I purchsed the most amazing shoe cabinet from Ikea. It was a big help in the shoe department, but it gave us a new place to pile junk...
Today I cleared off the top of the shoe cabinet. I found a new place for the sunscreens in the top cabinet. I moved the things that were not supposed to be there to their rightful homes (mostly in the garage). It looks very nice. I figured after yesterday and the exhaust fans I deserved a break!
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Today I cleaned the bathroom exhaust fans...ewwww. At this point I can't think of anything worse to clean then a dusty, grimy cavity above my head with lots of build-up to scrub. I am guessing it had never been done - or not in a looooong time - so I shouldn't need to do it again for awhile. :)

To balance that out I am making a cake. It is a 3-layer cake but I am only going to frost two and freeze one. My Grammie told me when she was first married she would bake 1 layer, cut it in half and frost it like a two-layer cake. I thought it was ingenious. I am having some friends to dinner tomorrow so I will serve the proper two-layer cake then.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lost Art

Today I wrote 2 notes. While both were to thank my hostesses on my recent trip, so I consider them a necessity, it reminded me of how few thank you cards I receive anymore. Most of my friends do not write them for their young children or make their older children write them. In fact, many of my friends do not write them for gifts they receive. I think thank you notes are extremely important, but so are handwritten notes in general. It feels really good to go to your mailbox and get a piece of mail that is not a bill, a credit card offer or a flyer. It really doesn't take much effort to pick up a $.99 card at Hallmark and write a quick note to let someone know you are thinking of them. Even better, try throwing in a picture, a recipe, a comic, or a magazine article that made you think of the person. My mom used to mail e comics all the time; now she scans them and emails them...not the same.

Here are a few ideas:
Childhood teachers
New moms
Friend (send a postcard to try to get them to come visit)
Nieces and nephews or any children in your life

Monday, August 24, 2009

A weekend away

I am back and did a small task today, I wiped down inside the cupboard under the sink. We make at least 2 lattes a day and dumping the grounds causes quite the splatter! My husband also did a task for me while I was gone (without being asked). He rotated the mattress :).

It was nice to get away for a weekend. No dishes to wash, no meals to prepare, no one to clean up after but me... I had a nice relaxing time and came back refreshed. My baby was so happy to see me it made my heart soar!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nothing today

Today I pack; I am taking my first solo trip since we became a family of 3. I get back late Sunday night but I am sure I will have plenty to do on Monday...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


My counters are laminate made to look like stone. And they are green. For the most part I don't think about them and when I do I remember I don't like them; except for one thing. They hide crumbs. When you look at them they always look clean; but if you get down on eye level you can see the crumb collection. Today I cleared them off and gave them a good wipe down, including the lip at the back. I gathered the crumbs from behind the pasta jar and the fruit bowl and bid them good-bye. When I sat at the table to finish my morning latte I noticed a few missed spots in the middle and gave it another wipe down...sat back down and saw a crumb clinging to the edge so I nabbed him...while it may be nice that they hide crumbs, they sure make it hard to clean.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sore knees

I did it - I scrubber my kitchen floor. Actually, I did the kitchen and about 1/3 of the dining area before I had to get up. I don't know how Cinderella did it! I will have to finish the dining area and maybe get the entry way another day. I got the important part, under the high chair, and even tacked on the vent under the fridge for good measure. My knees are sore and wet, my feet cramped and my back aches. I am a cleaning wimp.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wonderful husband

You may think I took the day off yesterday, but I didn't. I cleaned (tidied and dusted our bedside tables. I started with my husband's side, a square wooden table passed from my grammie to my mom to me. After clearing it off and dusting it I used to rag on the antique secratary, the only other finished wood piece in the room. As I wiped it down I started to notice the first signs of a migraine. My husband walked in and I told him "medecine and water, now"; he knew what I meant. He went to fill my request but I was determined to finish what I had started. I cleared off my round metal bedside table and started to wipe it down. My husband came in and gave me my medecine then asked why I wasn't laying down. When I told him, he told me to lay dowwn and he finished the job. He took great care of me the rest of the day.

Today I have the dull reminder of yesterday's headache so I am taking it easy. I cleared off the top of the TV. It is the gathering place for dvds and Wii games as well as anything else we want out of the baby's reach. Now it has nothing :).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

So hard to clean

It seems that everywhere I want to clean needs to be tidied before it can be cleaned and once I tidy I have no energy for cleaning. Today I was going to tackle the kitchen/dining area floor; I mean hands and knees with a scrub brush! Instead, when Igot down on my hands and knees I found a mess. I gave my husband an "area", the bottom shelf on a corner shelf, to keep his computer and whatever else he feels needs to be kept accessible. Well, unless I move it, the computer is always on the table and the self is full of clutter. There are 3-4 things that need to be plugged in the one outlet there, including the Roomba that lives under the shelf and it is never the winner of the plug war. In a fit of anger yesterday I came up with an obvious solution and moved a surge protector that was unused in the boy's room (since the TV left with all of the other clutter that used to live in there pre-baby). I set it on the floor over there in hopes the hubby would do the plugging but that brings me back to getting on the floor today...
So, today I arranged the plugs, picked up the clutter, debris and stray toys and found everthing a home. Maybe tomorrow will find me with a scrub brush...

Friday, August 14, 2009


Today I cleaned out the medicine cabinet of all expired goods. I don't actually keep medicine in the cabinet, it is all beauty products...some of which expired before my wee one was born. Here are some guidelines. Lots of products have a symbol on the back of an opened container with an amount of time in it like "6m" so you know you can keep it for 6 months after opening.

I also cleaned out my medicine drawer which is on a high shelf in my linen closet out of the reach of little fingers. This has been cleaned out more recently. I was feeling awful and looking for cold meds when I discovered that almost everything was expired. When you go for about 18 months only taking Tylenol (due to pregnancy and breastfeeding) everything else goes to waste. This time the only thing expired was a left over prescription and a sunscreen. I also need to buy Tylenol and cold medicine since I still have none :).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ranch Crackers

Ok, so there are all of these new amazing goldfish flavors - totally addictive. While I can't make my favorite, graham cracker, I thought I might buy a big box at Costco and try to make a flavor that my baby likes - ranch. I thought it would be cheaper...

I adapted a family recipe that we use with oyster crackers:

12 - 16 oz. Plain oyster crackers (GOLDFISH)
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Recipe
1/4 t. lemon pepper
1/2 - 1 t. dill weed
1/4 t. garlic powder
3/4 - 1 cup salad oil
Combine Hidden Valley Ranch mix and oil; add dill weed, garlic powder and lemon pepper. Pour over crackers, stir to coat. Place in warm oven for 15-20 minutes.

They are in the oven now so we will see...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I take hundreds of pictures of my little one each month. Every few days I transfer them to my computer and at the end of the month I back them up and clear the camera memory card for the next month. On occasion I also send off for some of the pictures to be printed. Then I send them off to relatives but my stack stays just that, a stack. Today I put them in chronological order, best I can remember, in a storage box from Creative Memories.

During my baby's first year I made a little picture gift each month for the grandparents and great-grandparents: An egg for his birth, a star for the Fourth of July, a pumpkin for Halloween... each with a picture of my boy. In my sorting, I was hoping to find the missing Thanksgiving turkey but I didn't; I guess I will have to recreate it...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Today I tidied my bedroom. It is amazing to me how often this room gets neglected and how good I feel when it looks nice. Since the beginning of the year I have been making my bad, and while that is a big help, my bedroom seems to attract messes... a suitcase from out last trip, the price tag off a pair of socks, loose change...they are all drawn to my room. Well, for today they are banished and it looks good!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Busy weekend

So, I gave myself the weekend off. We had a rehearsal dinner and wedding and a company picnic then a concert to attend all while my baby was cutting teeth. Starting last night he was running a fever so today I am taking care of him. Also today, I took care of myself. I made a much needed appointment to see my doctor. Well, my patient calls...

Friday, August 7, 2009

A day in two parts

I am only allowing myself to post this now because I can't do the second half while my wee one is awake. I did a quick clean and organization of our stair landing; it was a gathering spot for clutter...extra diapers, streamers (from his first birthday - in May!!), a piece of the bassinet I need to return, extra outlet covers...

The second half of my project to day is to hem a pair of pants for a friend and switch out the buttons. I have had the pants for a while but just got the buttons yesterday. I want to have them done for Saturday night when she is watching my baby while the hubby and I go to the fancy pants wedding of a friend of his. I need to remember to pick up his suit at the cleaners today since we have the rehersal dinner tonight and a company picnic tomorrow morning. This will be our busiest weekend in quite a while.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

7 Layer Bars

Today my project was once again in the kitchen. We have a company picnic to attend on Saturday and my husband signed us up for dessert bars. I am making 7 Layer Bars which always receive rave reviews. I usually use the recipe on the can of sweetened condensed milk, though I have it memorized other than temperature and time. I measured out my ingredients but upon looking at the can, found that the recipe was different! I must have purchased a different brand. I will give you my recipe with theirs in ().

1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter (same)
1 cup crushed graham crackers (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup chopped nuts (same)
1 cup chocolate chips (2 cups)
1 cup butterscotch chips (none!)
1 cup coconut (1 1/3 cups)
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Place butter in 9x11 inch pan and pop it inthe oven while it preheats to 350 degreed. 325 for glass. I line the pan with parchament first for easy removal and cutting. Sprinkle the crumbs over the melted butter and squish into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle in nuts, chips and coconut; drizzle the can of sweetened condensed milk over the whole thing and pop in the oven for 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

If you used parchament you can just lift it out onto a cutting board and cut it on a board. I usually cut the uneven edges off (and eat them) and then you can make perfect squares, rectangles, triangles or whatever shape you wish. I like rectangles but I don't know why...

I decided to increase the graham crackers and coconut (you can't have too much of a good thing, right?) but couldn't imagine the bars without butterscotch chips. That got me thinking about the name 7 Layer Bars...I guess butter is a layer. I stuck with the order I remembered from the old recipe but theirs called for the sweetened condensed milk after the graham crackers, not on top.

Well, my bars are about to come out of the oven and I have yet to do the breakfast dishes...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I gave myself two small tasks today:
Decorate the small display board I mentioned here
Do 5 exercises from a magazine article I tore out some time ago

While they are both completed here is how it went:
Go through pictures I printed recently to sort out the "beach" pics as that is my theme
Decide it is time to send off a round of pics to the relatives
Sort, envelope, address, stamp... for 6 different groups
Work on board
Get distracted by clutter on my work space and do some cleaning there
Finish board (which now looks great with pictures from the Washington coast and Cape Cod)
Peruse magazine article
Sit on couch and "practice" counting with son
Get on floor to do plank exercise
Get toes tickled by son - feign laughter
Get raspberried by son - feign laughter
Do plank exercise until son thinks I am a bridge and tries to crawl under, so I have to go higher, then I collapse the bridge on his toes.
Continue until son is sleepy and ready for a nap
Finish other 4 exercises half-heartedly

At least I finished :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I did not clean today

Unless you count dishes after baking. After a long hot streak, we finally have a cool morning here in the northwest. I decided to turn my oven on and use some of the zucchini from my garden. I found a recipe for pineapple zucchini bread at Instead of 2 loves of bread I made one loaf and some muffins...mmmm

The muffin liners are silicone from my mom...this was their first time out of the package and I think they worked quite well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Color Scheme

Eventhough redoing my family room falls pretty low on my project list I have been searching for a site to help me pick colors. My search was in vain, but here is what I came up with:
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One week down

Well, I started my journey one week ago and I am still going strong. Today I finished cleaning my appliances in the kitchen. I cleand the microwave inside and out and wiped down the oven and stove top. The inside of the oven will have to wait for a cool day and the inside of the fridge until it is not so jammed full of food that would spoil in the 80+ degree room.

This month my project will be blinds for the master bedroom. Thinking about this made me decide that I should do a personal project as well. Each month I will do something for me. This month I bought some eye product I have been wanting to try but passing up on since it is about $25. Some other ideas:
Trading my makeup for Bare Minerals (which I love)
I can't wait!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Today I took on a small clutter project. We had the ribbon board on the side of one of our kitchen cabinets and, in theory, it was a nice place to stick things. The problem was the things I stuck there:
business cards (then I forgot I had a business card and looked up the info online)
gift cards (then we would forget we had them - though finding $8 on a Starbucks card is nice)
postcards from my grandparents
cash (my husband asked me how much cash I thought was there and I guessed $20, I was off by $60! of and 50 in Filipino money)
bottle openers

The only thing that ever got touched again once it made it up there was the Broncos bottle opener (the Cape Cod one was worn out). So I took it down and disbursed the item to other "stash" places in the kitchen and am getting rid of the board.

On that note, I have another board for display and I like the idea of it, I just never know what to put up. I did the months of the year while I had a dye-cut membership and I have put together one or two displays but I am out of ideas. When my baby is older I have grand plans on making it a learning board where we choose something to study, say another country, then put up pictures and facts and one night cook a traditional food... But what to do with it now...

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I have been coming up with a list of projects I want to do around the house, some big, some small, some energy improvements, some cosmetic... I have 3 tiers of importance and I plan to take on one project a month:
Tier 1
New coat hooks in the entry- two rows (one for adults and one for kids)
Programmable thermostats
A fireplace mantle
Blinds in the master
Tier 2
Organization components for under the sinks
Stain the TV cabinet to match the bookshelves
Organization for the snack cupboard
Tier 3
New bed pillows for the master (may move up to tier 2)
New curtains, throw pillows and fabric in the family room (I have come to loathe the current scheme)
New couch!?!

As you can see Tier 3 items all say "New" since what I have is perfectly serviceable. The Tier 1 "New" coat hooks made the cut since the one I have is falling apart.

Window sills

Today I didn't finish the appliances; I cleaned the window sills. I got out my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and it was a piece of cake. Only the smallest amount of elbow grease and the dirt came right up. I keep forgetting how amazing those are for getting grime off paint. I am "lucky and only have 3 to do so this task took about 4 minutes (the family room window was disgusting).