July 30, 2012

Afternoon Activity

(2) plastic containers from Target's dollar section
(2) bags of dry beans
mama's measuring cups and spoons
one great fine motor / texture activity
*bonus - 20 minutes of silence, they were totally into scooping and pouring

I heart Sunday.

I love my boys and wouldn't trade spending every day with them.
But I also know I have to take a break from being mom every now and then. 
It's healthy for me to spend time away from them by myself.
So, I do.
Sunday afternoons work best for our crazy schedules. 
This weekend I spent a few hours running around to different shops, getting coffee, and basically just walking around looking at whatever I wanted to.
It was bliss.

I started my trip out by getting a coffee (iced since it's stinkin' hot out).

Stopped at Michael's for some felt.
(sorry, no pics.)

I hit up Macy's for some foundation.
(honesty moment: I don't have a smart phone so, I still carry a small camera in my purse.)
Yeah, that crazy looking lady at the Clinque counter, whipping out her camera was me. lol

If I have time, I love to walk through World Market just to look around.
It's just lovely in there.
These were my favorite thing today. Aren't they adorable?!
I'm thinking I might NEED one! They are so cute! :o)

Looked for some new dish towels. Did not find what I wanted.
Left with a picture frame though.

Lastly, I stopped at Tuesday Morning. You just never know what you might find in there and it
 had been a while since I'd been to one.

So, that was my Sunday.
I loved it.
Also, I want to say that my husband is incredible and
never objects to me going out to do something by myself.
Talk about love.

What do you do when you have time for yourself?

Happy Monday!

July 24, 2012

Homemade Pickles

I like pickles.
They're good.
But homemade pickles.
Oh. My. Gosh.
They're the best.

The story starts like this...........
A friend of mine has a garden and this year she grew some cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers.
They are the most crunchy, sweet cucumbers I've ever had.
So, when she offered me a bag of them, I couldn't turn them down.
I thought I'd start down the canning food road and make a few jars of pickles.
Last night I drove to the store to pick up the necessary canning supplies.
But after standing there for a good 20 minutes looking at everything, reading the labels, etc.
I left empty handed. (not completely, I did buy some more bananas. my boys eat through them like crazy. and I picked up some dill seed and white distilled vinegar)
While looking through everything on the shelves of the canning section of the store, I realized I wasn't quite ready to make the leap to canning my own food.
One day but not today.

So, with my white vinegar and dill seed I created a mixed version of canning/refrigerator pickles.
They've only been in the refrigerator overnight and already they're amazing.
Crunchy, salty goodness.

I used this recipe as my starting point. But changed the process up a bit.

Here's what I did:

one 16 oz. cracker jar with lid (any jar with a lid will work)
4 or 5 medium size cucumbers
2 c. water
2 c. white distilled vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
half of a 1/4 c. salt
1 1/2 T. dill seed

In a saucepan bring the water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
I warmed my jar (minus the lid) in the microwave for less than a minute. This helps keep the temp even when you pour the hot vinegar into the jar.
Loosely pack 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices of cucumbers in warm jar. Sprinkle dill seed over top.
Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumbers and leave about 1/2 head space at the top. Cover and let cool to room temp on the counter. Once cooled place in refrigerator overnight.
Since I've just made these myself, I'm not sure how long they will keep in the refrigerator but I'm thinking at least a week or so. I'll update later with my thoughts on this.

So, that's it.
Pretty easy, right?
If you like pickles, give this recipe a try.
You won't be disappointed. :)

Another summer activity completed. Happy ending.

July 23, 2012

Oh, hello again.....

It's been quiet here on my blog lately. I've had lots going on and not feeling inspired to write. It's a problem. But the best way for me to get out my slump is to write a post about anything or nothing at all.

A bit of what's been going on around here.....................

Washing the car together as a family. Normally I just take it through the automatic car wash but last weekend I felt energetic. Okay, so the boys didn't wash the car but they had fun playing in the water.

My husband is the best. Enough said.

This train track has been out all week. The boys are still loving it.

Their "twin"ness still amazes me.

I ate this for lunch almost everyday last week. Lettuce, sliced strawberries, Mandarin oranges, and poppy seed dressing. It's my favorite summer salad. Next time I need to remember to get some walnuts to go with it. Makes it even better.

A little birthday celebrating for a friend.

"Daisies are the friendliest flower" - from "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
Best movie in my book. I've probably watched it 30 times, at least. Love it.

I made these pie bars but used raspberries instead of blackberries. Yeah, we ate these with vanilla ice cream at about 10 am on a weekday. Let's just say we like to live life on the edge. lol
p.s. these pie bars were so good, I'll definitely be making them again. Mouth watering good.

Plus, I've had orders coming for my shop. Love being busy.

I'm whipping up some "itty bitty" bags for Blog Fete. Yep, I'm one of their event sponsors.
Super stoked about being a part of that.

My in-laws came for a visit this weekend. I always love when they come see us. Being able to have a date night with my husband is especially nice. We picked Longhorn for dinner. I'm thinking I need to make a list of places we'd like to go because when the time comes, we can't remember and always end up someplace we go with the boys. lol Not that any of that really matters, we're just so happy to have time together by ourselves.

I have some pretty big news but will have to wait a little longer before sharing. (p.s. no, not a baby)

Thanks for hanging out with me and my ramblings. Hope your weekend was fantastic!

July 2, 2012

Photo Canvas Workshop

Saturday, I had a group of mamas over for a workshop on how to make DIY photo canvases.
So fun!
Everyone brought their photos in the canvas sizes they chose, 11"x14" or 8"x10".
I provided the canvases and varnish/adhesive.
Oh, and snacks. What would a night out be without something yummy to eat?!

Also, I wanted to include a little swag from my shop. Everyone received a "itty bitty" reusable gift bag filled with chocolate dipped shortbread cookies. These designs should be available soon. : )

Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of everyone working but did get some before photos.
lol Enjoy!

1. Veggies and Ranch 2. Fruit bowl 3. Dolce de Leche cheesecake bars. 4. Gorgeous Grapefruit cake

These photos make me a little teary eyed. The boys were so little. They still had the wispy baby hair, it was before regular haircuts. Oh, so sweet!

The only thing is, I can't decide if I like them hanging in the dining room, where they are or not. Hmmm.....
What would you do?

Looking forward to hosting another workshop in August. : )  

Happy Monday everyone!