Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A random post again...

I love this saying of Mother Theresa's...every Sunday I like to change the quote on my chalkboard (I guess the menu idea didn't last long, huh?) but this week I kept this one on it. It reminds me to be patient, to be gentle, during these long and hot summer days! :)

This past weekend, "the boys" went camping and we girls stayed home and had some girl time! We had fun, but I sure missed David! I think the hardest part of it is that they couldn't use their cell phone where they were staying. I got a little crazy and stayed up WAY too late~ uh, I mean EARLY~ both nights. I don't remember the last time I stayed up until almost four in the morning out of choice! The house was just so nice and quiet and the night just flew by me! I made scones, freezer jam, washed floors, blogged, watched a chick-flick~ you get the idea! :)

The girls and I went to a Farmer's Market on Friday afternoon and we saw all the beautiful flowers the vendors were selling. Can you believe this arrangement only cost five dollars? I just LOVE sunflowers, and these pink lilies smell heavenly! :)

We had fun at the craft store, especially in the dollar section.

All of these things
were just a dollar~ the weekly to do list and magnet on the fridge, the napkins, coupon holder booklet, adhesive gems and these cute clip things for holding papers together! If you have never checked out the dollar section at Michael's, you really should! :)
(The saying on the magnet really cracked me up: "A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." ~Eleanor Roosevelt )

I took the girls to their favorite toy store, where they spent ALL their allowance on Playmobil toys, and they came with me into one of my favorite little stores, The Weed Patch...

They have such yummy smelling soaps there...Of course I was compelled to bring one on home!

I also splurged on this sweet table runner~ I just love the bright reds and greens in it. Someday I would like to learn how to quilt, but for now, I will just buy them ready-made! :)

And because it's summer, I thought it would be fun to fill an apothecary jar I already had with white sand and shells...I probably should have used two bags of sand, but I only bought one, so oh well! :) Oh, they had packages of little seashells for a dollar at Michael's too, in case anyone needs them!

And before I forget this entirely, I want to show you the patriotic ragamuffin garland I made just in time for the 4th of July. (I know, I am pathetically behind here!)

I don't really have so much red and navy blue together inside the house, so I just put it on the front door with the welcome sign! If anyone wants to make one of these garlands, head on over to Darlene's Days~if you click on her archives, you will find the directions on her September blog post. :)

Well I suppose I should close for now~ it's FINALLY cooling down now and I have a little work to do in the kitchen while I can! David installs the apron sink on Saturday, so we have been prepping the kitchen for that, and trying to finish mudding the walls that need it before the counters arrive...oh, I need to tell you about what we decided about the counters! But this post is already ages long, so you all will just have to come around again to find out, hehe! :) (Aren't I terrible?) I hope you are staying cool! It's unusually hot here in western Washington this week! I'm wishing we had A/C!

Take care and have a wonderful night,

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A little chocolate goes a long way!

There is something about a little chocolate in the morning that never fails to start a day out right...right? I have had this great scone recipe since 1998, and haven't found one I like more yet...


These are SO good and yet so wonderfully SIMPLE to make they will knock your socks off! I had never made scones before when I tried this recipe and was so pleased at how they turned out! You can't mess this scone recipe up, trust me! :)


2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/4 to 1-1/3 cups whipping cream


2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl.
3. Add the chocolate chips.
4. Stir in the cream with a fork until the dough holds together in a sticky mass. (You may need to add a tablespoon or two more of cream until dough holds together.)
5. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board. Knead the dough several times.
6. Pat the dough into a 10" circle. Cut circle into 8 wedges. (You can also cut dough into rounds with a cookie cutter.)
7. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2" apart.
8. Brush scones with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
9. Bake for abut 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Eat and enjoy!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! It's supposed to be a hot weekend here! (I am not a hot weather person so I am just hoping maybe they will be wrong!)


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fresh flowers

I think there are few things so wonderful as a bouquet of flowers from your very own garden in your house. As one attempting to trade this "black thumb" of mine in for a green one, it makes me so so happy to have my flowers not only survive, but thrive! :)

I think I am going to try and dry these hydrangeas...you know, as proof that I am not a complete failure at gardening, hehe! :) No really, I just think they will look pretty on my fireplace mantel in the winter, what do you think?

How is your week going? Hopefully it is going well and you are staying cool where you are! :)

Have a blessed night,

Monday, July 20, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words!

Have you ever seen a picture of a room in a decorating magazine or website and said, "Yes, that is what I am after!"? Maybe you would still change a few things, but it captured who you were in the picture? Usually when I look at pictures I pick them apart, taking away things I don't like and putting in things I do from another picture! Is anyone else this way?

I love this picture! Not because I would do everything the same, but because it's just beautiful! The yellow on the walls looks almost exactly like the yellow on our dining room/breakfast area walls, and I love the window and the fabric of the curtains! The color scheme is very similar to what we have in our kitchen~ green, yellow and red with white.

Many kitchens~ even cottage style kitchens~ have simpler color schemes, as in this modern twist on vintage style. I like many aspects of it~ the apron sink, subway tile, and linoleum flooring. It just seems to be lacking COLOR though!

Now this kitchen is very neutral, yet to me it seems to have more personality to it! Aren't those baskets so cute hanging up above the window like that? I love it!

And I really must repeat how much I love apron/farmhouse sinks! I can't get enough of pictures with them in kitchens! Isn't this blue and white kitchen amazing?

The bridge style faucet in the above picture is gorgeous! I love tall faucets like this one!

I have never seen anything like this sink before. The backsplash on it is wonderful, and it would be fun to have such a large sink, don't you think? The way our kitchen was designed, there is not room for a sink larger than the standard 24" utility sink. I had hoped to replace the stainless steel one we have now for a cast iron double sink, but it won't fit. We looked into buying a small double sink, but the two different sections of it are so small. I had seen a single bowl apron sink on Craigslist, and decided to get it if I could. If you have to have a single bowl, can you beat an apron sink? I was very excited today when I bought it and brought it home! The best part of it all is that I spent what it would have cost for the standard 33" cast iron double sink I would have bought at Lowe's! I am happy because our kitchen will have an apron sink, and my husband is happy because it fit our (very tight) budget! :)

It's still in the box, and I didn't take it out yet, but here is a picture of the same sink off of the web to give you an idea of how it looks. I will try to show you a "real" picture of it soon. I was so tired tonight I didn't want to mess with it! :)

Okay, how about just one more sink? This one is also really unusual, but I like it! It's kind of fun...

So what style of kitchen do you dream of?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meet Fiona

I know, I know~ this is sounding repetitious here! I didn't know we'd have one kitten by now, let alone two, because we weren't supposed to get the kitten until August 1st. But they said the mama cat was done with the litter of kittens, which kind of surprised me considering that she has always been such a good mama to her babies. I guess everyone has their limit, even cats. However, that is how I have come to be holding this tiny kitten in one hand, typing with my other hand...(You'd never believe how difficult it is to hunt and peck the letters!) :)

This is a picture that Gracie took...She is SO small! She is also still very much in the process of learning to use the litter box! There have been countless accidents, but today was a better day~ not one mishap...so far. (Cross your fingers for me!) I am overwhelmed right now with cats, but I am sure it will get easier, especially when I can let this new one out of my sight, meaning trust that she will use the litter box...I named her "Fiona", because that is her mama's name, and she looks so much like her! :)


I did do another little lampshade today, this time with some cherries fabric I found. It didn't turn out as good as I'd hoped, but I still like the shade! I painted this pewter like lamp base I found at the Goodwill white earlier, and put the shade on that. I'm not sure it is big enough for it, but it works for me. I have had a cherry theme in my kitchen for about four years now, and am definitely keeping the theme as we redo the room...

Can you see the two different yellows painted on the wall? That was my stopping point last winter, because we are putting beadboard underneath the cabinets...Here's a question for you, that I am going back and forth on again: would you put in a backsplash with the beadboard on top, or just the beadboard for a backsplash? I have seen it both ways, but not that we are talking about the more expensive solid surfacing, in particular concete, do you think it would bad to skip out on a backsplash, just using beadboard? I am NOT good at making decisions!

I also wanted to say that I am going to be by to visit you all in the next few days! This past week was a blur of "busy-ness", and I am hoping for an easier one this week! :) Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and that your week gets off to a great start tomorrow! Have a good night and take care! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Meet Pixie

Okay you all, I promised the "scoop" on this sweet kitten! My good friend and next door neighbor's kids found her wandering up our street meowing. They took care of her, and when we got back a few days later, asked us if we would like to keep her. (They already have two cats, three bunnies, five hens, one rat, one hamster, and two fish.) I said we would at least take care of her while we waited to see if anyone responded to her "cat found" ads. She said we should wait at least a month before calling her "ours"...I just keep hoping no one calls. Then again, what does that say if no one does? One of my other friends said she could have been dropped off at the side of the road because someone didn't want to deal with her. I am not going to think about that too much because it just makes me really angry, and hopefully it's not the case.

She's such a sweetie! She's even completely litter-boxed trained, which is wonderful.

Can you see her sleeping here on Gracie's bed? Gracie introduced each of her kitten animals to our new guest, and she (the kitten) fell asleep with them!

We couldn't help ourselves and named her Pixie, because she really does look like one! :) I just hope we get to keep her, because we are all so attached! :)

Okay, and I just want to share one other thing, because I am SO EXCITED that I can hardly contain myself! As you know, we are redoing our kitchen and had planned on installing laminate countertops. I like the kind we chose to order~ we have that exact one in our hall bath and it looks really nice. It is also affordable, which is important when your budget for counters is in the hundreds, not thousands. The problem is that I found a certain undermount sink that I would like and it's in our budget, but you can't install those with laminate. You have to use solid surfacing, such as granite or quartz~ all very expensive options. Then I remembered reading an article about a woman who poured her own concrete countertops. I actually couldn't remember what they looked like, but as I was picturing a grey, rough, sidewalk like surface, I was very surprised at what I saw on Do It Yourself Network. I'm talking beautiful, colorful, smooth countertops with a wonderful sheen to them! And the amazing thing is, they don't have to look modern. They can easily fit into a vintage kitchen! It is not an easy do it yourself job, but it's the type that if you are meticulous and pay attention to detail, you can do it! The best part? It is affordable! We are now seriously considering this route, and I am so excited. This is my kind of project. I'm already thinking of who I can help to do this (who would like new counters) if I should be successful in our attempt! I mean, the more I researched concrete, the more I started to think about my bathroom, our front porch, our garden...the possibilities are endless. Of course, there is always the possibility that we'll decide it's too laborious...but I sure hope not! That cute undermount sink has my name on it! :)

So, the weekend's almost here! Do you have any fun plans? The best part of our weekend is that we don't have to go anywhere except church on Sunday! I sure do "love me" a lazy weekend! :)

Have a good night, and I will back tomorrow with some more pictures of our beach trip I wanted to show you! :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

There's no place like home!

Orcas Island~ Part one

And when we came back last week from our little beach trip, I really could have clicked my heels three times and said that! (Although it isn't as easy to click your heels as it looks!) We had a wonderful time on Orcas Island though, and I enjoyed myself more than I ever have there before. But when it's time to leave, I'm always ready for home! Actually this time I had the (not so) bright idea to leave on the last ferry out on Wednesday night versus the first ferry on Thursday morning. I thought it would be fun~ you know, a late night ferry trip...Uh, not so much! We were all so tired and cranky! Our ferry was running behind schedule, and it was after one in the morning before we were home! Looking back, it's all a little funny now, but we won't be doing that again! Did I tell you that sometimes I don't have the best ideas? :)

We had so much fun, and we were blessed with great weather for our stay! :)

(Poor geese!)

We took a four mile hike around this gorgeous lake...about a fourth of the way through the kids hoped it was over! (Uh no, just about three miles to go...)

And you guessed it~ ate WAY too many s'mores! :)

And of course, no trip to Orcas Island would be complete without breakfast out at The Sunflower Cafe! :) But nothing, and I repeat, nothing beats that feeling when you walk through your own front door and think to yourself. "I'm home!" Even if it is at the wee hours of the morning! :)

So are you all having a good week and enjoying summer? I sure hope so! We are taking swimming lessons each morning for a couple of weeks, which the kids love. Oh, and before I sign off, here's one last picture:

Guess who wandered into our neighborhood, alone and crying pitifully? Our neighbors rescued her and when we got back from our trip, asked us if we wanted her. Isn't she adorable? I'll share more about this you tomorrow because this post is already really long, but needless to say, I think we are going to have TWO kittens, because we love this sweetie so much! :)

Have a great night and a fantastic Thursday! :)