Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hey Up There!

This is our new, custom built, workbench.  My 6 foot 3 husband and his 6 foot 3 father built it.

Now notice that step stool in the picture?  That is for those of us in the family that are not 6' 3''.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Beautiful Sight

Do you know what this is?

This is a pool all covered up for the winter.  A pool that doesn't need to have its skimmer cleaned of leaves, frogs, dead mice, or dead snakes, five times a day.  A pool that will be much more appreciated after the long winter ahead (ick), but had just lost its luster once Labor day weekend passed.  (Speaking of Labor Day, I had a dream last night that I was wearing white pants after Labor Day and wondered if that was okay.  Funny thing, I don't even own white pants)

This, my friends, is a beautiful sight.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I'm not going to lie, Mondays are not my favorite day of the week.  I won't go so far as to say I hate them, but I sure don't love them.  For some reason my Monday to do list is 5 miles long and full of must dos.  I also find myself missing the relaxing pace of the weekend and having my better half home to have fun with us.

But, when I look at the week ahead I realize I have a lot to look forward to, making Monday much more bearable.  This week alone our family has 3 birthdays to celebrate (Big Uncle Jack, Little Uncle Jack, and UnclePaul), we'll see my whole family tonight for dinner, I get to take Willa to music class and I'm determined to try 2 new classes at the Y.

Plus, I get to play with this little peanut every day.

Ah, I guess Monday's aren't so bad after all!

Friday, September 24, 2010


The neighbor across the cul-de-sac has his mailbox flag up today. Now I won't have to go out to our mailbox 15 times before noon to see if my PEOPLE has arrived yet.  Huge time saver.
Image here

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dinner for One

As I've mentioned before, I find great value in spending a little time each day doing something creative.  Yesterday that was starting to sand a thrift store picture frame.  The day before it was starting to experiment with some felt flowers for a pillow.  The day before that it was starting the pillow covers.  Hmmm...I'm noticing a pattern here.  I guess Mr. T was right when he made his "no offense but you have a craft room full of unfinished projects" comment.  Don't worry honey, none taken.  Its true.

Anyway, many days my creative endeavors involve cooking, and I always finish those projects.  A girl has got to eat, especially THIS girl!  Some times cooking can feel like a chore, but as I've learned from my mom and Uncle Jack, whipping up a delicious meal is a lot more fun when you put your own little twist on a recipe.  And the best kind of cooking is when you pull something amazing together with what you've got on hand.  UJ is really good at that.  I, on the other hand, seem to only be able to do this with pasta, for now.

Here is a little something I whipped up last night when I was flying solo for dinner.

I used:
2 apple walnut chicken sausages
1/2 leftover white onion
1/2 leftover red onion
1 apple
some spaghettti
a little veggie stock
a chunk of gouda, cubed

It turned out to be way more than enough for one, so guess what I'm having for breakfast today?  I love leftovers for breakfast!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hey Mr. Postman

I love getting the mail.  Watching the neighbors little red flags to see if they've gone down, finding the nearest pair of shoes to slip on so I can shuffle down the driveway,  (The nearest pair is often men's size 12 so there is a lot of shuffling) holding my breath while opening that little door, and BAM, a little present just for me...or the Mr...or the people that used to live here...or 'our neighbor at,' but you get the idea.  Sure, sometimes its just junk, but the thrill of not knowing what I'm going to find each day keeps me going back for more.

Fridays are the best because that is when my PEOPLE magazine arrives.  I can always count on that.  Except when I can't, because sometimes it mysteriously doesn't show up until Saturday or (gasp!) MONDAY.  That really throws my weekend off.

Yep, the mail is one of those little things that may not seem like a big deal, but brings just a little joy every Monday thru Saturday.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Finds

The junk sale was hoppin' Saturday with lots of vendors selling lots of junk, but I made a beeline for the Shabby Mamas, where I knew I would find some great goodies.  And I wasn't feeling so hot, so the thrill of the hunt was just not in me. 

Here are few of my treasures from Carrie's pre-sale on Thursday and the junk sale on Saturday.  Some of them have already found their home in our home.  Yipee!
The piano bench is now a night stand in the guest room and the sled is hanging out in the garage until it is time to put out the Christmas decorations (73 days, but who's counting?).  The frames and bowl (?) have lots of potential.  Right now they're in the dining room with the pumpkins.

This little display is a work in progress.  It feels like something is missing. hmmm.

This fun little window doesn't have a home yet.  Shall I put it in Willa's bathroom or the guest room?  What to do, what to do?  

I'm going to save my very favorite find for another day because I want to have it in its home first and showcase it in all its glory.  Please don't hold your breath though because I haven't quite figured out how to make the best use of it, so it may be a little while. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You Made My Day

I was in the double drive thru line at Mc Donald's yesterday, (what?  I have a cold and when you have a cold you need Dr. Pepper.) which is an every-other-car situation.  The car that ordered in front of me was cut off by the car next to her, not nice if you ask me, so I ended up behind her.  I'm not going to lie, at this point I was getting just a little cranky or maybe even a little hangry.  Could this line be any slower?  

Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to the window to pay, one dollar and seven pennies ready to hand to the cashier, and she handed me my receipt and a note telling me that the car in front of me paid for my pop!  How cool is that?!  The note explained that a local radio station is encouraging their listeners to brighten a strangers day with their 'drive thru difference' campaign.  Well I'll tell you what, it worked!  My day had been made!  Now I plan to put the note back in my car and pay it forward next time I head through the drive thru.

And just think, if that guy who cut off the woman in front of me had just waited his turn he would have had his order paid for!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pumpkins on a Platter

It was a chilly fall morning and the Bean and I we running errands, as usual, when we (I) decided to walk between Target and the quilt shop, rather than drive, and boy am I glad I did.  We passed the dollar store and I noticed all of their fall decor in the window, so we made an extra stop.  I found these three pumpkins for, you guessed it, three dollars!

I decided they needed a little sprucing up and just happened to have a can of off-white spray paint lying around.  All these puppies required were two coats, and voila, cute pumpkins for a little fall decorating.

I decided to display them on a cake plate with some acorns I collected for another project.  Actually, I mostly collected acorn caps because that is all the squirrels left behind for me.  

Now after waking up to a chilly fall morning and thinking about pumpkins for the last 15 minutes I would like some pumpkin bars, or muffins, or a pie.  Hmmm...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shabby Mamas Junk Market

My neighbor, Carrie, and her fellow Shabby Mamas will be selling their wares at a Junk Market this Saturday from 8 am-6pm.  The market is in the parking lot at the corner of Country Road 13 and Cliff Road in Burnsville.  Now don't be fooled by the word 'junk.'  Sure, some of the vendors are selling just that, but check out just a few of the great things the Shabby Mamas will have for sale!

And the best part, their prices are extremely reasonable!  You can also check them out on facebook.  Just search for 'Shabby Mamas.'

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Life...

...for a cold.

The Bean has a cold, which is apparently just a right of passage for babies and young kids.  Did you know the average toddler will have 8 to 10 colds before their second birthday?  That is what Dr. Greene says anyway.  Seems like a lot, especially when you're up for the day at 5:15 am with your soon-to-be 8 month old.  Dr. Greene also says a typical cold lasts about 7 days, which seems like a long time when the previously mentioned soon-to-be 8 month old has a constant stream of snot running out of her nose, spends most of her day fussing, and sounds like her snoring grandpa when she's trying to drink a bottle.  Poor girl.

They say every cloud has a silver lining and I have to agree with 'them' in this case.  Even though my little patient is not her spunky self, she still managed to smile when I pulled out the camera this morning. What can I say, she loves the camera.  (Check out those cheeks!) The hours we usually spend playing on the floor have turned into hours of snuggling on the couch, wrapped in her favorite quilt.  Who wouldn't love endless cuddles with this little pumpkin, even if it means ending up covered in snot?

So for now the dishes and laundry will have to wait until this cold passes.  Then we'll get back to our regularly scheduled life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bathroom Wall Art

The Bean's bathroom, that she so graciously shares with guests, was painted a nice light blue when we moved in.  I had green rugs from our old kitchen and found inexpensive matching hand towels.  All I needed was some wall art.  

I chose to decorate the nursery in gender neutral colors so I wanted to go girly in the bathroom. Enter Pottery Barn Kids inspired collages.  All it took to make these puppies were two square canvases, acrylic paint, paper scraps, and Mod Podge.  I had everything on hand, other than the canvases.  This project was a great way to use up some paper scraps. 

First, I sketched the design, cut out the pieces and traced them on the different papers.  Next I placed them where I wanted them on the canvas and stuck them down with Mod Podge.  Lastly, I used a dry brush to add some darker blue around the flower canvas and my finger to paint clouds on the birdie canvas.  Tah dah!  

My original plan was to hang them next to each other, but I'm not a fan.  So, eventually  I will make another birdie collage and hang the flower collage above the toilet with a photo frame that I'm working on. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nap Time

I love nap time.  Its usually a mad dash to get as much done as I possibly can while the Bean sleeps.  Crossing things off my to-do list is quite thrilling and nap time is when my list really gets a workout.  So satisfying.  But do you know what the very best part of nap time is?  When its over.  Because opening the door and seeing this smiling face through the crib slats makes my heart melt, every single time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sausage and Bean Soup

I love the changing of seasons, especially summer to fall.  With the cooling temperatures come the return of sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and snuggling up with a warm blanket.  Yes, fall is the season of comfort.  What is more comforting at the end of a fall day than a nice warm bowl of soup?  Not much.
The Bean sporting her jacket for the first time

The thermometer read 47 degrees when we woke up one morning last week, perfect soup weather!  I decided to go with my mom's sausage and bean soup for dinner and boy was it yummy.

Here is the recipe.  If you're a soup kinda guy or gal give it a try.  Keep in mind that this is one of my mom's creations.  She often just uses what she has on hand and some amounts are approximate.  Also, the directions aren't as 'formal' as a recipe from a just have to roll with it. :)

Sausage and Bean Soup
recipe by Kathy Lewis

3 Smoked brats, chopped (chicken or andouille sausages work well too)
2 onions, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tomato whirled in the blender
fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried +/-
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can great northern beans
3 cans chicken broth
1/2 C chardonnay
1 C leftover rice or 1 can kidney beans or 1 potato diced  (optional)
salt and pepper

First, cook the sausage in a hot pan with a little oil.  (I used canola because the pan is SO hot)
Add the onions and brown with a little salt and pepper.
Add carrots and celery.  Cook until veggies are tender.
Add tomato, broth, thyme, beans, rice if using any, and wine.
Simmer a little while. (10 min?)
Serve hot

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How About a Helmet?

The Bean started crawling about a month ago and it didn't take her too long to figure out how to pull herself up on furniture and in her crib.  Now she is cruising around furniture with great confidence.

Well today, shortly after this picture was taken, she decided to go hands-free, which as you can imagine resulted in a near face plant on the hardwood floor.  Luckily, Mommy was there to save the day.

That little incident got me thinking.  What about when I'm not in arms reach?  What then?  A big bonk of the head or face and one sad little baby.

Ah, if only I could make my fearless girl wear a bike helmet during her waking hours.  You think I'm joking?  Ha, ha. I'm not.  Oh don't worry, I won't do that to her.  I really want to, but I know this is just one of a long list of things in life she'll have to figure out on her own.  For now I'll admire her determination and be there to comfort her when she needs it.  I'll hold on to the bike helmet and we can trade it in for a motorcycle helmet when she starts to drive.    

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And so it begins...

I started to read and enjoy blogs, mostly about cooking and crafting, shortly after The Bean was born.  This was also the time I left my teaching career behind and began my 'career' as a stay-at-home mom.  I went from spending my days with 22 curious and chatty students to spending them with one curious, but not so chatty, baby.  Needless to say, there were a lot of one sided conversations going on around here.  (Now that she is a little older, we go back and forth and her responses consist mostly of 'da, da, da, ma, naaaaa.' Its pretty cute.)

The thought of writing my own blog popped into my little head a few weeks ago, so I hopped online and set one up.  And then that little head of mine went blank.  Where does one start when writing a blog? Lucky for me, a few days later Cheri, from my favorite blog I am Momma Hear Me Roar, wrote a post about starting a blog and making it grow.  This was just the push I needed to get going.

So, here it little piece of the world wide web where I'll share about what is important to me: my marriage, my family and friends, finding a little time to be creative each day, and all of those little things that make life so worth while.