Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thrifty Finds Books & Puzzles

Lately I have had some good luck thrifting I haven't been hunting for anythimg in particular but came across these and couldn't pass them up.

I love puzzles but don't make the time for them and I hope to change that soon.  I've had on my wish list Christmas puzzles.  My intent is to start a holiday tradition of having Chrismas puzzles around.
Of course some children's, dictionaries.  I'm think of starting another collection children's dictionaries in foreign languages.  Love this Daring Book for Girls. My girls already have a copy this one is for my library for now...  never too old to collect childrens books.
These next finds I came across last night.

I had a couple of very happy kids playing with this dollhouse this morning.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yarn Along and more..

My favorite Wednesday ritual joining the yarn along on the Small Things.  Feeling pretty proud of my self with my crochetting the throw (not in the picture)  it's coming along.  I have been enjoying my knitting class and the hat is almost done.  Feeling pretty good about my knitting I graduated from knitting in the round to knitting and decreasing on 4 double pointed needles.  I have been watching other knitters for months and always wondering how they knit on all those needles and now I know.  Which gets me daydreaming about other knitting projects. 
As for reading since last week's yarn along I'm continuing to absorb The Write Start and put aside Julie & Julia. Last night I had an opportunity to listen to Lisa See and hear about her lastet book Dreams of Joy and see a clip of the movie Snow Flower and Secret Fan.  I got a sense from the crowd around me that Lisa See fans will go to see the movie even though they probably won't like it because they prefer the book.  Which got me wondering about the book.  Once the house was quiet and everyone settled I skimmed the whole book and I agree the book sounds better than the movie.  In Lisa See's own words
Books are their own art form.
Hope your are enjoying a good read.

Sea Glass Collecting

As I mentioned before I love collecting sea glass. Today I finally took all of it out again to give it a rinse.  While looking at all these treasures someone would stop to marvel at the colors and unique shapes.  Each of us pointing out our favorites.  Also spent a few minutes daydreaming of combing the beach for more unique treasures.
I'm learning more about myself and one being that I like collecting things:
tiny sea shells
white seashells
sea glass
white or special rocks
foreign money
scrabble pieces
children's books
table clothes
glass jars
I love seeing other people's collections it's just inspiring.  What do you find yourself collecting?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Welcome summer foods

 I don't have a banner to welcome summer solstice but my way of welcoming summer is saying hello to all those wonderful summer vegetables. The kids and I love visiting the farmer's market and picking up our csa because each time it's an exciting experience I love that our family is willing to try new things.
First up from the farmer's markets are white turnips that we tried uncooked.  They were washed peeled and sliced for dipping in ranch dressing.

 I overheard a couple of people talking about cooking thegreen tops.  Sauteed with a little garlic and oil it made great side.
 One of our short summer favorites are garlic scapes.  I try to collect a little extra to make into pesto.  This bowl of egg free mayonaise has about 1/2 teaspoon garlic scape pesto.
 The sliced turnips added a little crunch with lunch.
Lastly is the napa cabbage that I cooked like this.  
Hope you're enjoying your summer greens.

Pudding Plants

We had a weekend celebration and I came across these plants on Friday and thought they would make a fun dessert.  I made a variation to this the recipe instead of pudding and crushed oreos I did pudding and chocolate cake.   While the pudding sets and the chocolate cake is cooled down I just mixed it with a fork to crumble it then sprinkled it over the pudding and chilled it a while longer.  They were too cute with the mint sprigs.
For the pudding I used this recipe.  It was great because it makes a lot of chocolate powder I can keep on hand.   I was able to make it allergy friendly too.  When it was time to prepare add 2/3 cup of powder mixture, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon dairy free margarine, 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 cups of soy milk to the sauce pan stirring constantly till it boils then keep stirring for 1 more minute.  I find when substituting milk with soy milk a little extra cornstarch is needed.  As always enjoy.  Expect to see this pudding again later this week I'm thinking about pudding pops. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yarn Along Wednesday

Joining Ginny's yarn along this week.  Well the throw that I have been working on has going very well but not done yet.  The hat that I have been working on for knitting class is set aside for this week because I'm about to make a mistake and don't want to make it worse.  What's up for reading?  Well I'm actually just touching these books and carrying them around with me Julie & Julia and The Write Start.  After reading 2 intense books in a row I just need something a little lighter.
Can't wait to see what else is going in today's yarn along.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The last closet

Well we are finally getting things rolling for summer around here.  There is a lot of swimming bicycling, gardening, water and dirt play.  With all that goes on and finally consistent weather I figured it was safe to re do the hall closet.  These are the before pictures which was quite messy.

Now after the clean up...
I keep a canvas shoe holder not for shoes but for items needed for the season sunscreen, sunglasses, hair burshes combs etc.. I also keep anything we might need before run out the door. 
Up top on the left is one of those crunch laundry baskets from The Container Store.  Very handy for extra swimsuits, google and hats. The right basket is for extra bags for when we are on the go.
Down below I was inspired by a blog for this shoe holder.  I apologize I can't find the link so I don't know who to give credit to for this idea.  I absolutely love this shelf  from Lowe's it 's great to keep everyone's summer shoes handy.  I'm hoping this will still work for fall/winter when footwear is bulky.  If you notice I have hooks on both sides of the closet for easy access to jackets instead of up high on hangers which can be hard to reach for some of the kids. 
Well that's the last of the closet clean up.  Well actually except for mine.  I'll spare you the pictures and details but you can just picture sweatpants, summer skirts mixed with tank tops and sweaters.  Yes it's bad in there for me.  It's funny as moms we set up a home for the whole family piece by piece and we are always revamping and improving but who is usually at the bottom of the list?  Hmmm.. not too fair but it's a sacrifice I make to keep the rest of the household running.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yarn Along Wednesday

Well I made it back this week for Ginny's yarn along.  Lately it seems that's all I can make it back to in blogland.  Things have been quiet on the blogsphere lately because too much going on in the real world that needed tending to and family upkeeping and care that needs mama's attention.  As the year wraps up, activites are coming to an end and recitals and shows are done there seems to be paperwork and other appointments that pop up and throw off my day a bit.  Actually it throws me way off  that I don't remember what day it is.  If you're in New England you know what I mean.  This weather is making things confusing and some of us a little flakey.  So I may not know what day it is I am enjoying and figuring stuff out with the kids and making and cooking. But this weather there was no spring just straight to summer and now cool enough to feel like fall.  So I'm keeping my fingers crossed in the meantime while reflecting, remembering and learning as I go about these days slowly.  Hope to share some progress soon still didn't clean that closet but did finish my latest painting furniture fiasco and collected more books from the latest book sale.

 Just some fun finds for the kids.
 Fun finds for me ::
Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik
Blessings by Anna Quindlen
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Your Oasis on Flame Lake by Lorna Landvik
The Tall Pine Polka by Lorna Landvik
Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
What Looks Like Crazy by Pearl Cleage
The Last Girls by Lee Smith
Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah
The Dive from Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wrobleweski

What's on the needles lately?  Well I'm still working on my pink hat for knitting class (very theraputic and much needed) and still working on this throw crochetted with cotton yarn.
Have a great Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yarn Along Wednesday

I made it back to the Ginny's yarn along today because I was too exhausted and engrossed in this book last week.
 I started Dreams of Joy and couldn't put it down for a couple of days.  It was incredible and horrific. A book that will definitley stay with me.  It's the sequel to Shanghai Girls which was also another good read.  Both are good but brace yourself for some powerful moments.
On the knitting needles I'm starting a hat.  I don't have a pattern because I started a knitting class on Saturday and she did not give us the pattern.  It's been therapeutic and I already finished my homework for next week.
 Untill my next knitting class I'm crochetting a summer throw.  I haven't brought up that grey throw I started in the fall because it's not complete and too hot to work on so I stored it away for this fall to pick up.  In the meantime I bought 3 skeins of cotton yarn 170 yards each in white, blue and a multicolored yarn.  I knitted a 5 inch square and then cast off and began crochetting a border and just changed the colors every few rows.  No pattern just hoping for the best for something different. 
These are new books added to my library last passed along from a friend.  I'm thinking maybe some good summer reads.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sorry for the long absence but last week was an exhausting week. My energy was just zapped from Memorial Day Weekend.  Not from barbecues, the beach, gardening or anything. I was clothes sorting and closet organizing.  That can be quite an undertaking with 5 kids.  Worst of all I didn't have a great system to begin with when we moved in so I basically reinvented the wheel. 
Since the weather finally stabilized and it no longer feels like winter I figured it was safe to change the clothes.  My first plan of action was to go to The Container Store and see what baskets they had to help me organize and that would fit on those Ikea Billy Bookcases.  I found these baskets in 3 different sizes that worked for the shelves.  It did take some figuring out because of the different need and sizes.
First up I have the two older girl rooms Stefania & Valentina.  I tried to start with what I thought was the hardest because they have things to be passed down to the next sister.

 Since there are no bureaus or typical bedroom furniture the kids have bookcases with baskets which makes  it easier to grab socks, tights, leggings, leotard, tops and coordinated outfits.  Each girl has two baskets of clothes.  One is for the coordianted outfits and the other is the random t-shirts and shorts. All socks go in 1 basket, in another basket all leggings and in another basket leotards and tights.  I did not separate by size because after laundry is done it's easier to put away.
 Up top is where I do my storage.  I don't keep bins of clothes in the basement and attic and sort by size or age to be honest it's too much work lugging them up and down.  I prefer to keep clothes they will grow into or that they will use in the next season in their room up high.  I found these laundry baskets at The Container Store that fit above the book shelf for spring/summer clothes.  The left one is for short sleeve tops and the right for shorts, skirts and capris.  Again they are sorted by category not size because it's easier grab and store.
 The girls closet was also organized.  Left hand is the younger girl and right side older girl.  Each side is broken down by category first section are clothes they would wear right now, second catgory are spring/summer clothes and the third category are fall/winter clothes.  This make movinging clothes around easier when I have to switch the seasons or when someone outgrows something it gets hung to another side of the closet in the right category.
 On the door I came with this idea for a shoe holder.  The past couple of special occasions/holidays I didn't have the right size tights/nylons or undershirts and that was very frustrating.  With so many girls it would have been nice to see what I had or didn't have before running out to buy whatever.  So now with the a clear holder there are compartments for tights nylons and undershirts.  The shoe holder is pretty long so I folded it in half and held it together with binder clips.
 Almost forgot in the closet 2 more of those laundry basket 1 for long sleeves and the other for long pants/jeans. 
I don't have a picture of under the bed but I did need extra storage for fleeces and 1 for pajamas all sizes for the next season.   So that is how I got the girls room all in order with all their clothes in the room and also makes it easier when family and friends pass things along that won't get used for a long time.

Next the Sophia and Melania's room.
 I actually made this mess not them.  But then I cleaned it all.

 Same idea for the younger girls for the closet sorted left side younger girl and right side older girls.  Up top clothes for next spring/summer.  Everyone has hooks on the closet door to hang their towels instead of in the bathroom.
 The younger girls didn't get new baskets I just took all the ones from the older kids rooms and brought them here so it's coordinated now and organized.  On the irht side the three lower shelves are for clothes they wear now and pajamas.  The higher up you go is more for storage next season pajamas, fleeces, fall/winter clothes etc. 
Finally a little nook to read and snuggle.
Thanks for reading this lengthy post but now you can see why I was tuckered out last week.  To be honest with all that hard work it doesn't  always stay that way.  I just wanted pictures of the proof of all that work and that it can be picked up and put away. 
What's next ?  How about a hall closet cleaned up today.  Hope to have pictures of that for Thursday can't wait to share in the yarn along tomorrow.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...