Thursday, September 30, 2010

Canning part two!

This is our second attempt at canning stewed tomatoes..........

Looks more like a strange science experiment gone wrong to me-I expect to see fermented pigs feet floating by at any moment.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I am going to a jar swap this weekend.

Don't know what a jar swap is??   I didn't at first either.  Think of it like a cookie swap.  I have to make 15 jars of something. I am going to do pesto and by the end of the night I will have 15 different kinds of canned goods that I have traded with other people.  Rumor has it there will be jams, pickles, applesauce...........  I don't what I am more excited about getting all the goodies or a night out without the kids!!

Fresh basil from the farmers market.

Ready to go!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Busy weekend!

We had a time visiting family this past weekend.  We attended a small festival at a local garden center where there were hayrides, games, pony rides, bounce house etc.  The kids had a great time running around with their cousins, but it was so HOT!  We ended up leaving early and heading back to Nana's lake for a chilly swim.  None of the kids had their bathing suits (who would have thought we would need them?) so it was underwear and t-shirts for all!

*Note none of the adults were crazy enough to get in that chilly water!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Makeovers!

When we bought this house we knew it had a lot of potential.  We loved the neighborhood, the layout of the house etc. etc.  If I had my way (and money) I would have had the whole house remodeled within the first 3 months.  But with two small kids, work and not enough money- it goes without saying that it takes time and time and more time to get these projects done. 

I am happy to show you one of our latest makeovers.  I design, my husband does!  Such a great team- or at least I think so!!
 Note the ugly fan/light!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More fun with tomatoes!

My husband and I made our first attempt at canning on Sunday.   We had some success and also some failure, in the form of tomato soup.  How can tomato soup be a failure- well, when you are trying to can stewed tomatoes to be used to make spag sauce at a later date, tomato soup just doesn't cut the mustard!

We had 21 pounds of tomatoes!

Diet Coke essential for chopping tomatoes.

Anyone want to come over for a Bloody Mary?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Keeping it all straight!

The other day Abby came home from school and told me a horror story!  One of her friends forgot to wear their sneakers on Gym day and had to sit out. YIKES!  GULP!  To a five year old THAT is a big deal.

 So far I have been able to remember what day of the week she has music, art, gym, library, recess etc.  However, last week she was allowed to bring HOME the library books to be returned every Friday.  That put me over the edge.  I can't remember it all, plus risk not sending her to school with sneakers on gym day to only be tossed out of class.  How sad that would be AND I would not hear the end of it from her!  And you know it would be all MY fault if she forgot that library book!!

So to help keep my sanity I put together this little sign.  One posted in her room and one posted downstairs on the back of the door.  I thought it would keep me straight, plus help her learn days of the week, spelling and good practice at keeping a schedule!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Free means NO returns!

We have been doing a little clutter clean out lately and one of the the items in our house that needed to go was our old couch.  It smelled a bit, a few food/drink stains from the kids and the cat had clawed it a bit.  So we put it out on the curb with a free sign.  It would still make a decent dorm couch-better than what I had in college!   The ottoman was taken immediately and dragged down the street.   In the next hour the couch was taken by a bunch of teenage boys who carried it down the street and around the corner.   By lunch the couch was back, missing the throw pillows.  ARE YOU KIDDIN ME??  Nothing makes you feel like more of a loser when your free couch that you are giving away gets returned!!!!   I did not see the drop off, but my husband said it was quick dump and they sped off in order not to be identified.  WHO does that?  Returns a free couch?? 

Lucky for us the next day when we put it out again it appeared to go off to a good home somewhere in a college dorm judging by the age of the boys that picked it up!

Next time our sign will say.  FREE.  NO RETURNS!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Old baby pics

Isn't it fun to look back at old baby pics?   I found these two pictures of the girls (Livy in pink and Abby in purple) both around 7 months.   Gosh, I have chunky kids!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Garden Post #20. The first harvest.

I guess we are late bloomers in terms of our garden.  We had a decent sized harvest this past weekend.

Lots of green peppers, one cuke, and some really cute small white and orange pumpkins.

One lone sunflower survived the wrath of the ground hog ..........

Abby's flower garden.  Lovely pink cosmos.  They are over 6 feet tall now!

Small baby bear pumpkins and 1 lone gourd

HUGE tomaotes!

Little pumpkins are great for decorations!

These yellow toms were from our "compost garden"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Got extra tomatoes?


This was so easy (I always say that don't I) and super yummy. 

Recipe by Our Best Bites-see link here (lots more pictures!)

2 C diced tomatoes (squeeze out seeds before dicing)

1/3 C diced red onion

1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

a few cracks black pepper

1/4 C chopped fresh basil leaves

1 french baguette or bread of your choice

additional olive oil

1 large garlic clove

optional- fresh mozzarella cheese  (THIS WAS NOT OPTIONAL FOR ME-THIS WAS A MUST HAVE!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine tomatoes, onions, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp olive oil in a bowl and mix to combine. Add basil and gently toss to distribute. Give it a taste and add additional salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and chill.
Slice baguette into half inch slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle or brush some olive oil on top. Place in oven for 8-10 minutes until just lightly toasted. Remove pan from oven. Slice garlic clove in half and rub cut side down on each piece of bread. Top with about a tablespoon of the tomato mixture.

If desired, place one slice of mozzarella cheese on the bread before topping with tomato mixture.

If preparing ahead of time, wait to add basil until right before serving.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Would that be "Mother of the Year" or "Moron of the Year" for letting them play with this at the dining room table FULL of water?   It kept them busy for over a half hour while I made dinner one night!

Plumpy catching some rays pool side.

Lots of towels needed!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No little sisters allowed!

I found this sign taped to Abby's door the other day.   I laughed at first, I had a little sister and understand the need to lock them out of your room, but then I was sad when Livy was banging on the door to be let in.  After all, she can't read and if she could I am sure she would have marched herself down the hall, written up a similar note and posted it on her door!   When I discussed how a sign like this might make Olivia feel with Abby she figured she would solve the problem by dragging two large totes full of toys from her room into the hallway, in her mind thinking Livy could just play with those out there. 

Pretty good spelling for a 5 year old!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Garden Post # 19

A recent shot of the garden. 
We have picked a few summer squash, basil and tomatoes from the garden.

This crazy mess is the compost bin.  See it in black poking out of the wild bush.  That is one large cherry tomato plant!  In the lower right you see some type of squash or pumpkin plant growing with huge leaves.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Birthday desk!

Remember this ugly old desk............

with this ugly old hardware...............


Daddy (who gets all the credit for the remake-I only take credit for finding it)  and I (and Nana) snuck this into her room the night before her b-day and tied a balloon to the chair so when she woke up in the morning she would see it.    She loves it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Abby's first day of school 2010-2011

Kindergarten here we come!
(We won't get into my emotional side effects in this blog........  you can just imagine-I get hit with her turning 5 AND starting school all in one week.  Need I say more.........)

Waiting in the halls at school looking scared out of her mind!!  (Meanwhile I am saying over and over- keep it together mommy, keep it together......)

It was a hot day a school, but she had a great time!  And nobody cried, not even me.