January 31, 2012

Monday, Monday

The painting marathon of 2012 continues today. Instead of running 26 miles, I think I'll be painting for 26 days. It feels like that anyway. The living room is done. The hallway is done. The dining room is coming along. I haven't started the office - yet.  The kitchen is almost done. I'm painting the beadboard today.

 I'm also painting letters. Much more fun than painting walls. Or ceilings. Especially ceilings.

I'm also filling Etsy orders. Another fun thing.

And making more things for my Etsy shop.

After all the grey and snowy days this weekend,

I'm enjoying the sunshine.

And so is Sneakers. Happy Monday!

What a Cutie!

This weekend, we got a chance to spend some time with this little cutie.
And his mom and dad, too.

January 27, 2012

He Doesn't Like Cereal

He doesn't like cereal. He says he does. But he never eats it. It could be because he eats his breakfast on his way to work in the morning. Juggling a bowl of cereal while you drive isn't a good thing. But that doesn't explain why he doesn't eat cereal on the weekends either. Anyway, because he doesn't like cereal, I make these. They are quick and easy to make.

Rise & Shine Cranberry Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup quick oats
2 eggs
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen cranberries

In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, juiuce, milk and oil. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the oats. Stir well. Add cranberries.
Pour the the liquid mixture into the large bowl. Stir the batter to combine. Do not overmix.
Scoop into greased muffin pan.
Bake for 20 minutes at 375 F.

Eat them while you can. They tend to disappear quickly.

You can find this recipe in this book.

I am partial to the guy that wrote the intros and I hear he's a good hand model too!

January 25, 2012

Oatmeal Crispies

It's Treat Tuesday once again. I would love to say that when the kids come home from school on Tuesdays, they are eager to bake, but they rarely are. They come to the counter dragging their feet, making excuses of other things to do. But as we begin, something magical happens. They begin to enjoy it. They begin to laugh and goof around. They begin to share their thoughts. This is the part I love most about Treat Tuesdays, the glimpse inside my childrens' hearts and minds.

As they measure and pour, scoop and dump, they talk. And talk. And talk. They say the funniest things. Like margarine is what grandmas use. It's like butter, but fake. (Sorry, Mom!) I don't know where that came from. There's no margarine or butter in this recipe. Just shortening.
Mr. Man was excited to report that oats will help reduce cholesterol and heart disease. "I'm going to eat lots of oatmeal cookies so that my heart is healthy. And I'm going to make these cookies once a week when I'm an adult." Um. I think the sugar and shortening might cancel out the oats, but I'll let him eat cookies anyway.

This is my great-grandmother's recipe. The recipe has been passed down for generations, so you know it's good!

Oatmeal Crispies
1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, throroughly cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients. Add oatmeal.

At this point in the recipe we stop.  Andrew loves raisins. The kids love chocolate chips and well, refuse to eat raisins. So before we go any further, I divide the batter in half. Then I add 1/2 cup of raisins to my bowl and the kids add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to their bowl. Then we continue on.
Drop off a spoon (or roll into balls) onto ungreased cookie sheet. (I use a silpat). Place cookies 1 inch or so apart as they spread. Bake in moderate oven at 350 F for 7 - 8 minutes.  Makes 65 cookies.

Um....I have never gotten 65 cookies out of this recipe. Grandma Davies must have  made them smaller than I do.

January 21, 2012

Look What You Can Do With Three Scarves!

Yesterday it snowed. A perfect day to make some new pillows from warm fuzzy scarves. And a great excuse to take a break from painting.

Now the pillows in our TV room are looking rather pathetic. So last time I was thrifting I picked up three winter scarves and a down pillow form. Now I usually don't tell Andrew about the pillow form. He gets grossed out. I only pick pillows that are good quality with a zippered cover that I promptly remove and toss out. I WASH the pillow form. So really, like new. And what Andrew doesn't know...
Besides, Sneakers is always on board.
My three little scarves became these three lovelies.

Pin It The black and grey wool scarf became my favourite pillow. It is so soft and warm. Perfect for snuggling on a winter's night. I loved the fringe so much, that I had to incoporate it into the pillow. I love how it turned out.

The wool and linen scarf became a two-sided pillow. Since the scarf had a ruffled line on one side, and a plain line on the other, I thought it would be fun to show both sides.

The third scarf, cream and polyester (yes, I know, polyester, but it is soft) got some love with a few stiches by hand.

All ready for a night of tv with the family. Storage Wars here we come!
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And now I'm off to do some painting.

I'm linking up here:
Visit thecsiproject.com

January 19, 2012

Because I Just Couldn't Take It Anymore

The cupboard under the bar portion of our counter is where we store the cookie sheets. It's awkward. The worst part is when you pull out one thing, everything else comes tumbling to the floor. If you're lucky, you leave with your toes intact.

And then it hit me. (The solution, not the cookie sheet). The file organizer. I mean, really, file organization is overrated. Besides, the office will soon be getting a shake up anyway.

So much better!
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Around the House

Hello, glorious sun! I missed you yesterday. The rain stopped. The temperature dropped. Now we have sun and a dusting of snow. Still not enough snow to make a snowball or go sledding, but it's a start and a welcome break from the rain.

This morning I went on a field trip with Mr. Man and his class. Wow. There's a lot of energy in that class. I am enjoying a few moments of quiet along with my sun, before it's time to pick up the kidlywinks again. As I clean up the house, I see all the things that the kidlywinks leave behind. Like the paint that happily sits in Little Miss' room, waiting to used once again.
And the monkey that sits looking out Mr. Man's window.

In between painting (pictures coming shortly), I've also been working on some new items for my Etsy shop. Just in time for Vanlentine's day.
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And some for year round.
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January 18, 2012

Who Could Resist This Face?

I took some time out from painting for Treat Tuesday.

Who could resist this face? On a quick trip to grocery store last week, we walked past the cake mixes. Mr. Man stopped. He oohed and ahhed. "Can we make a cake for no reason?", he asked. I knew saying yes, but that we had all the ingredients at home to make a cake, was not the same as saying yes to the cake mix. Saying yes to the cake mix was saying yes to something tangible, to a promise of good things to come. My word this year is sparkle. I want to sparkle and I want others around me to sparkle. Saying yes to a simple cake mix was keeping the sparkle in Mr. Man's eyes.

They are growing up too fast. They made the cake all by themselves. My only role was to put it in and take it out of the oven. They were so proud of themselves. They even iced the cake with no help. I think the best part about making a cake is sneaking a taste.

While they made the cake, I made these for supper. They are yummy. You can find the recipe here.

January 16, 2012


Let the painting begin! I don't think I have ever bought so much paint at one time.

January 13, 2012

It Used To Fit

So, the puppy grew. His fall coat no longer fits. Besides, it isn't quite warm enough for the winter.

Have you deen how much coats for puppies cost? Eeek! Besides, being a Dorkie (a Yorkie and Dachshund cross) he's small and long. Off to the thrift store it is. One bathrobe (the sleeves became his fall coat) and one toddler's winter coat later...

 A new coat for Sneakers. Velcro attaches at the front and underneath. Perfect if he grows a little more. And all for under $10.
 He's been enjoying his winter coat for a while now, it's just been hard to get a picture of him standing still. Little Miss took this picture. She loves her puppy.

January 12, 2012

Treat Tuesday

These are a family favourite. We made them yesterday after school. For Treat Tuesday.

Molasses Cookies
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
extra sugar for rolling

Melt the shortening. Add sugar, egg and molasses. Beat well. Sift in dry ingredients. Mix. Form into balls and roll in sugar. Place on greased sheet. Bake at 375 F for 8 minutes.

So yummy!

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