Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Condiment bottles in the shower

Since I have been on a pretty good cleaning and organizing roll I wanted to show a peek inside my shower. (Just a little background we moved from a 1 bathroom household to a 2 1/2 bath home so you can imagine I was a little apprehensive about having 2 bath tubs with shampoos, soaps and bubble bath.) Well a friend who is great at organizing recommended a spout like this:
Pretty cute and easy for the kids to pour out their shampoo or body wash. All I had to do is find the right bottles to fit the spout and put the bottle on my shower shelf. Problem was the bottle I liked the spout didn't fit and I didn't have enough bottles.
Hmm... what next? This all happend over the summer at a kitchen store I found those ketchup, mustard or oil bottles that you see at the restaurants and thought now that could work.
In the kids bathroom there is a bottle of shampoo, conditioner and bubble bath. In my bathroom there is my shampoo and conditioner and my hubby's favorite shampoo.
My friend recommended diluting the bubble bath and shampoo with water because that stuff is pretty concentrated. I thought great and it will last longer. So far there has been no bath tub clutter, easy to move on cleaning day, easy to handle for the younger kids and clear to see when something is running low.
So there it is condiments in the shower.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Monday C's

If I had to start off this Monday with a theme it would be The Four C's. What are The Four C's ? Crochetting, Cooking Lists, Closet Clean Out and Coffee (the most important one right now).
The Closet Clean Out finally happened last week into the weekend:

The ugly before.The ahhhh after :) Jimmy hung two rows of hooks on each side of the closet. The left is just for jackets and the right is for bags. I have a couple of canvas bags on the floor for when we have to bring to water and snacks because I'm not sure where they will go in the closet. We have 2 rows of hooks for all our keys. The shoe holder is not for shoes it's actually for all of the family accessories. In the summer there were hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and combs. As the weather gets cooler we have our hats, sunglasses, mittens, gloves scarves, combs and other accessories. Jimmy and I each have our own row to drop things in . The kids will each get 2 slots for their fall/winter belongings. This is a lot easier than stuffing things into jackets or layering the hooks with too many scarves and hats. This closet was the biggest eye sore for months now ahh just relief.

The next of The Four C's is crochetting. Fall brings on activities and lots of waiting time for me to try new ideas with my yarn and needles and hooks. I have been working on a hat a week and hope to have something to show you by the end of the week.

The Cooking List is on my clipboard of what I would like to make during the week. Sometimes they all get done sometimes things are left for the following week. Here is a peek into this week.

For dinner : Turkey Burgers , chicken burgers and salmon, stuffed Shells, pizza, ham with apple sauce

Lunches: Scrambled tofu with vegetables, bread with onions and hot peppers, onion soup, grilled portabella mushroom sandwiches, sushi.

Sides: Roasted potatoes, sauteed zucchini, spinach and broccoli.

Baking: Carrot muffins, more granola, apple cake and apple crisp

Looking at this list I know it's ambitous but it is spread out over 7 days or so and sometimes things change.

Last on The Four C's is coffee all I have to say is that I had to switch to decaff.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Soup in the air

Fall is in the air and it's getting cold outside which makes it the beginning of soup season. I'm thinking soups will be my new best friend for lunches. I love alphabet soup and minestrone. Recently I found an onion soup that is not salty but sweet.

This onion soup was on the back of the onion bag package and was a hit for the whole family.


8 cups sliced yellow onions (about 2 1/2 lbs.)

6 tablespoons dairy free margarine

2 tablespoons sugar

2 quarts reduced sodium chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot melt margarine over medium heat. Add onions and sugar and sautee. Stirring often for about 10minutes then increase heat onions will turn golden brown (about 5 minutes). Return to medium heat add in broth, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Note: I didn't have enough broth only 4 cups so I added water to the broth so there would be enough. The original recipe suggests a slice of French baguette toasted and grated Romano cheese. Instead we added a scoop of rice to our bowl of soup with a slice of fresh bread. Yummy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Baking Away

Well I may have been behind in the blog world but in the real world I have been keeping up with the dishes, a new fall activity routine, homeschooling, crochetting, reading and baking. Last week's pictures from my kitchen were of the bread I have been making and chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. I apologize that the pictures are a little blurry.I got creative with the 2 loaves on the right they are Cinnamon Maple Bread. Using the Oat Flour Bread from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes I included a 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. It was a little crumbly but smelled great while baking and was great for breakfast.

A favorite fall treat around here is chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. It's a recipe that circulated in the family but no one knows the origin but is much enjoyed durning fall.

1 cup dairy free margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
Mix 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
2 cups flour
1 teaspoonbaking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/ teaspoon salt
1 cup of oats
1 cup of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl beat togeter margarine and sugar till creamy. Add in vanilla extract, baking powder mixture and pumpkin puree stir together. Add in dry ingredients flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Then add in oatmeal and chocolate chips. Drop by the teaspoonful on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Note: the baking powder mixture replaces 1 egg.
Enjoy with a cup of tea or for breakfast!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Behind on Blogging

I'll be back tomorrow with recipes. Right now just running behind andhave some organizing, food, recipes and yarn on my mind.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Uh oh one of those days...

Ever have one of those days? It usually involves lots of dishes, cleaning, many questions and looking at many piles. Every turn there is a pile. Go to a room, hallway or closet and there is another pile from the to do list. On the up side I'm making very slow progress. What is in the works right now?

Oh yes the sewing area. While I was working in the art studio across the way my sewing studio turned into this. This picture was taken a few days ago. Thank goodness since this picture there has been some cleaning up. I can actually see the floor and the desk is cleared :) I'm looking forward to more progress this weekend. I have 2 project baskets going and one big basket of fabric. Oh boy that's a lot of sewing.

A few items on the sewing table are these crochetted projects that need to be undone. I'm not feeling the love for these so they will be reincarnated. I'm thinking new scarves and hats and a big yelllow pom pom!

And the worst part about my day is accidently knocking over my new ceramic travel mug.

There is more but I'll spare you the other grisly details for now trying to remain optimistic while rolling many balls of yarn :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's going on...

Already Wednesday and not a single post this week till now. Ever walk around the home and look at those piles and then turn the corner and then there is another one hmm... I thought I would have sorted out the seasonal clothes and picked up piles this past weekend. Nope. Well now that goes on my to do list and hopefully will get sorted out in the next couple of days.

So far to get me through I have picked up another book (I couldn't get into the last book and had to put it down) and the latest Stitch magazine. If you're wondering does she really pay $14.99 for one issue for a magazine? Um sometimes yes. A friend and I were talking that maybe we should buy the magazine at AC Moore and use their 40% or 50% coupons. I usually browse through the issue first to make sure there are projects that inspire because I plan on keeping these magazines in my library for a long time.

So what else has been going on? I apologize that pictures are poor and shaky (too much coffee) it makes the food look undesirable. The picture up top is a portabella mushroom sandwich with a side of sauteed brocoli rabe. I know the picture is unappealing but it did taste good.

Pumpkin cookies

Bread making

Apple pie

Homemade chinese food. All this from the frozen section. Premade chicken terryaki I just added the vegetables and it tastes and looks better. Precooked shrimp sauteed with garlic and oil and then drizzled with soy sauce. To the right frozen dumplings. All to go with a bed a of rice. Sometimes I just need an easy night so I have stocked up on frozen foods to pull together an asian night. As I have mentioned many times food allergies make me uneasy when it comes to ordering out.

That's what has been going on in the kitchen along with many dishes.
I'm making slow progress right now in other areas :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rectangle Hat

This is the first hat of the season a few more are on the way like this. One of the girls was wearing a purse on her head and it actually looked cute when the handles weren't in the way so that led to this inspiration. I didn't use a pattern just crochetted a rectangle and stitched the top and side. It looks like a crochetted bandana style hat. Interesting but original.

Random ::
In last week's post I mentioned I had a lot of freezer thoughts one of them freezing just the apple pie filling. When I was online I didn't find any pictures of what it looks like so here's mine.
Planning on freezing a few more just apple and a couple apple and cherry filling. Frozen desserts for later in the season.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Slowly going eco friendly

One of my 2010 goals for my family was to slowly filter out disposable items and replace them with reusable items. To be honest it's a long and slow process and lots of habit changing but even if it's only a few small changes I hope make a difference and that it spreads. So far...

Minimizing the use of paper napkins for cloth napkins. Store bought on sale, thrift stores or homemade it's just a nice touch when the table is set. So far it hasn't been a problem even with food allergies. We take one out at lunch and then drape it over the chair to be used again at dinner. Everyone just sits in the same chair. Now does this add to my laundry? Yes. It's a toss up a little more laundry or buying and throwing away disposable napkins.

Stainless steel straws in 3 different sizes. My favorite is when we have visitors and they notice these things and ask "Those metal straws?" Yes another opportunity to explain these and spread the word.

This is my most recent find. A ceramic travel mug with a silicon sleeve and cover. (There are similiar ones on amazon.) When the weather gets cold I love to bring my own hot beverage. Sometimes I buy a coffee and wish I had my own beverage container so I could bring it home and wash it. I know nuts but those stainless steel beverage holders for coffee with the plastic top was well not the same as drinking from my mug at home. I think this solved the issue. I'm also thinking good Christmas gift idea.

Hoping to make small difference even if nothing else gets replaced for this year.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Late Monday Lists

I know Monday lists on a very, very late Tuesday night almost Wednesday. But there were house chores and lots of laundry to catch up on yesterday and a very happy 8 year old celebration. There has been a lot of baking lately as well.
But so far here's what I have been collecting lately from the internet and blog world.

I'm always on the look out for kids crafts, activities or learning ideas that are neat and creative. The best part about finding new ideas is they come from moms or educators from all over the world.
  • I love what this mom did with these fish.
  • Here is how those little photo albums come in handy for a toddler learning the alphabet.
  • So many fun possibilities of using chalkboard paint on thick paper like cardboard or paint chips. I was also thinking they would be great for a birthday gift or party favors.
  • These alphabet cards are clever and can be customized to your needs. I was thinking of using scrabble tiles for the letters. (I collect Scrabble games just for the letter tiles)
  • Watercolor for a rainy day.

Daydreaming that someday I will get to do these.

Latley I have been researching homemande shampoos. My hair has gotten a lot more unmanagable after having kids and has never been the same. (Oh those hormones. I refuse to blame it on age.) Well I have tried the baking soda and the shampoo bars and both together but it's still not it. I'm not up for more shampoo trial and errors. So what's next? How about homemade liquid shampoo using castille soap.

Can you blame me for throwing in a few recipes. My recipe binder is getting really thick lol.

Ok that was definitely a big Monday List.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vegetable Saturday

I normally don't post on Saturdays because we are usually off to the Farmer's Market but I wanted to show you what happens to some of the vegetables when we get home.

The tomatoes, scallions and radishes are chopped and refridgerated ready for a salad.
The squash is sliced along with 1 onion and 1 garlic clove and put in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper seasoned to taste. Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes tossing once. Vegetables should be tender
The zucchini is sliced along with 1 onion and 1 garlic clove in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper seasoned to taste. Cook 3-4 minutes on medium heat then add in 1 diced tomato and a few leaves of fresh basil. Toss together and cook for about 2 more minutes till zucchini is tender and tomatoes are soft. There will a lot of juice which tastes great over pasta or with bread.
The yellow beans are cooked, drained and cooled then seasoned with olive oil, salt and a few basil leaves. This bean salad keeps well in the fridge for 1-2 days. Makes yummy side dish.
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