Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Maple Syrup Season

Did you know it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup?  For several years we have tapped 6 trees and boiled the syrup in our back yard. Last year we made nearly 2 gallons of syrup. This gives us enough syrup to give away to a few family members and last us all year. I have never been a big syrup fan, but there's nothing better than syrup that you made yourself. I even cook with it. One of our favorite meals is maple glazed pork chops and green beans with bacon and maple syrup. Yum!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Upside Down

Things have been  bit upside down here. From stomach bugs to crummy winter weather, school delays or early dismissals, to a side project we are working on for Girl Scouts.....I have totally lost any sense of routine and organization......Normal? I'm sure.....

Since we changed the clocks last night to *Spring Forward* I'm sure I will be out of whack for the next week too.....

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Belated Valentine

I planned on sharing this on Friday but the Friday the 13th Plague struck our 10-year-old and we are just getting back on our feet today.

We are not Valentine's Day haters but we don't go all out for Valentine's Day either. We know that it is tough to buy for each other and in our house spending money on each other really isn't a gift. If one of us truly needs something, we just buy it when we need it. It works for us....

We always do something special for our daughter because it is important to show love as a family an she is so easy to make happy.

This year I did try to throw together an *it's the thought that counts* gift. It was as much something for me as it was for anyone else because I have been slowly working on a gallery wall and I wanted something new to add to it. usual....I am seeing *penny art* on Pinterest.  I decided to just gather pennies with dates from our birth years and frame them. Easy peasy. One search through the pile of change my husband leaves on the dresser gave e exactly what I needed. The pennies were very tarnished and I read that putting them in vinegar and salt for a few HOURS would shine them right up. I didn't want them to be perfectly shiny but by the time I put them in salt and vinegar and came back with the camera to take pictures, they were well on their way to shiny. Oh well..

I had an unused 3-section frame in my frame collection already and some various leftover cardstock from my scrapbooking days. I liked the dark gray the best so I trimmed it to fit the frame and started thinking about how to center and fasten the pennies. Finally after getting a headache with the tape measure I just decided to eyeball it. I removed the glass and glued the pennies to the cardstock using the frame as a guide. The first attempt was a big FAIL! I used way to much glue and it all squished out leaving no way to reposition the penny without making a bigger mess. The second time I just used a dot of glue and I had more wiggle room. The pennies aren't perfect but they are good enough for me!


I will add this to my not so perfect gallery wall of photos that hang in our stairway. It is slowly growing into the vision that I have!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Love / Hate Jewelry Organization

When I was a little girl one of my favorite things to do was play in my grandmother's jewelry box. Although my memory has faded, I see it in my mind as one of those dresser top, black enameled boxes with a mirror in the back. For some reason it was just magical.

For years I dreamed of having my own jewelry box, but I wanted the big upright kind. Finally I made the leap and found one that I liked. I love it. I hate it.

It fits nicely in our master closet. I love our master closet! Our closet is more like a little room between our master bedroom and master bath and I don't feel like I'm walking through the closet to get to either space (floor plan below). I don't see clothes unless I go around the corner and go into the actually closet. (It would drive me crazy to look at clothes hanging there all the time.) I tucked the jewelry box in the lower left corner of the closet where it is sort of more like a little hall way between the bedroom and bath. It nicely compartmentalizes most of my jewelry and looks good closed.

Here's the part I hate. I'm not disciplined enough to keep it organized and the compartments are just not adequate. Although I do it out of necessity, I hate all of my jewelry being mixed in together and some pieces have gotten scratched and even broken. On a busy morning it's no fun trying to remember if my favorite silver earrings are in the top drawer or bottom drawer or laying on the dresser because I didn't bother putting them away because I hate the little jewelry compartments.

It also has these handy hidden doors in the side. The problem,....98% of my necklaces don't fit, even when doubled over. When I tried to make it work I ended up with a tangled mess.

I finally realized after covering my dresser and vanity with jewelry that I am more of a visual person and I need everything laid out in front of me. I love ledge shelves and I got the idea to put hooks in the bottom of one to hang my necklaces from.  I wanted to put some artwork in my closet too, so this solved both problems.

It's the simple things....but it is so nice to walk in my closet and see my necklaces hanging nicely. There is plenty of space and I can even put 2 or 3 necklaces on a hook without them getting tangled.

My next plan is to find the perfect way to organize my earrings. (Pinterest...Pinterest....Pinterest!!)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Wear Red Day!

Our Wear Red selfie!

From the *Go Red For Women* website:

Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women. Each year, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke. But we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. 

National Wear Red Day® — the first Friday each February — is our special day to bring attention to this staggering fact. We encourage everyone to wear red, raise their voices, know their cardiovascular risk and take action to live longer, healthier lives.

Since the first National Wear Red Day in 2003, we've made tremendous strides in the fight against heart disease and stroke in women. Through research and education to healthy lifestyle changes, we’re proud that:
• Nearly 90% have made at least one healthy behavior change.
• More than one-third has lost weight.
• More than 50% have increased their exercise.
• 6 out of 10 have changed their diets.
• More than 40% have checked their cholesterol levels.
• One third has talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
• Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day
• Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.

Get involved. Go Red by telling other women that 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke, yet it is 80% preventable. Make a change.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Over the past week we have gotten about 18 inches of snow and there is more to come over the next few days. We are going to have to find another place to pile our snow!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Rosie's Room

Rosie's room is the first room in the house to be totally finished in regards to built-ins and trim work! We thought we'd better get to it soon because before we know it she'll be in college. I joke that I'm already planning on making the room my office, but she still has 9 years to go before college so I have to wait awhile!

I happened to snap these photos on a day where Rose was making a fort with her loft bed. She has since decided she is too big for the slide and that is gone now. (Supporting my thought that before we know it she will be in college!) She also wants new bedding....something a little more grown up and less flowery. I'm wondering when she'll want to update the wall colors that she picked out when she was only 6.....

I love this wall of built-ins. We plan to make a cushion for the window seat ourselves as soon as we decide on fabric. It could be anything from Minecraft to well...probably Minecraft...
 She has a nice little desk in the corner.

 Minecraft headquarters!

The wall of doors!  Even though there is great closet space that I'm sure she will outgrow it!

It's all in the details. We love Craftsman houses and this is our special touch.

We are lucky enough to have a playroom in our basement so we are able to keep Rosie's room basically clutter free.  I actually think it needs finishing touches to fill some of those blank spots, but I like it to happen as we go rather than putting a bunch of stuff in there to sort of stage the room. I also see changes and updates as she gets older. I can't wait to paint over that glitter paint.....

Monday, February 2, 2015

Holiday Tree

Before the holidays I was trying to figure out what to do with the Christmas cards that I was receiving in the mail. I have displayed them all sorts of ways over the years -- on a shelf, on a ribbon, on a card wreath, in a basket. I think I was browsing through Pinterest when all sorts of ideas suddenly came together. With a $9.00 vase, some hemp string, lights and beads that I already had, and tree branches from our woods....this is what I came up with.

Then, feeling creative after the holidays were over I already started thinking about how I could keep this little tree around a little longer. It actually provided some nice ambient lighting to warm up a dark space in our house. 

I gathered up some paint chips in various shapes and shades of red and pink and dug out a heart-shaped hole punch from my scrapbooking days. I just made random punches and hung the cards up with the same hemp string left over from Christmas.

Another Pinterest success!! The possibilities are endless. I could do paint chips again in greens for St. Patrick's Day. or pastels for Easter, but I'm going to try to switch it up and I don't want to be too greedy at the paint store. I've seen so many paint chip crafts that I wonder if they see a spike in paint chip samples disappearing? I don't think it will make headlines....but....

The VERY Neglected Blog

I am at a crossroads. I have always loved blogs and the idea of blogging. I am one of those horrible people with 8 million photos in my facebook albums because it is my way of oversharing.  I have tried to blog twice, but like music lessons or workout plans they have gone by the wayside. I have also had a few very intense years of work that finally came to an end in December of 2014.

Then there is my big question....What should my blog be? What do I want to blog about? Some days it is DIY, some days it is something I copied from Pinterest, and others I see myself being motivational -- posting the perfect inspirational quote.

Speaking of perfect....a quote I use A LOT....when talking to others:

"The perfect is the enemy of the good." Voltaire 

(forgive me if it is is quoted every way possible on the internet)

This blog is far from perfect. It won't be slick and cool like some of those professional blogs I love. But it will be mine even if I am the only person that reads it. But the thought that *this could be on a blog* keeps playing in my head. So today it is time to do something about it!