Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cold Weather Goals - 2010

It's that time of year again. The air is turning crisper (well, not yesterday). The leaves are changing from a beautiful green to a beautiful array of reds, oranges and yellows. The birds are flying south.


I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days of what I’d like to accomplish this winter.  I liked how I had it broken down last year, even if I wasn’t as successful crossing stuff off the list as I would have liked.  It’s a new year, a new list, a new chance for success!

1) Personal

  • Lose weight.  I was at 155 at this time last year.  Thanks to the unusual heat we experienced this summer, I drank far too much beer (I like beer in hot weather!).  I’m at 160 now and “rocking a beer gut.” HA!  My ultimate goal is to get down to 135, which will bring me to a healthy BMI for my height.  Time to try again.
  • Do something for ME.  I spend every minute of my day (and much of the night sometimes) taking care of everyone and everything around me.  Girls night out.  Get a pedicure.  Go to a movie.  Anything.  (Hire a maid did briefly flit through my brain but I could never justify that with myself.)
  • Finish the blog revamp I started last spring.

2) Family

  • Bi-Weekly family outings…  again.  This is easier now that Little Man can participate.  We have actually been doing really well lately, too.  Some weeks we have multiple outings (pumpkin and apple picking all in one weekend) and others we have one great big outing (Common Ground Fair last week!) and others still, we stay home and do nothing (not very often).
  • Weekly craft projects.  I set my mental standards way too high for myself last year.  The projects don’t need to be nearly as “elaborate” as I was attempting last year.  For instance, last week we had a finger painting experience.  Let’s just say I’ll probably be finding finger paints in random places in my kitchen for months.  It was simple.  It was messy.  It was awesome. 
  • Play dates.  I am doing my children a disservice by not being out interacting with other kids their age more often.  Screw the house work.  It can wait.  Get those kids out there! 
  • I’m trying to have a mostly handmade Christmas this year.  I actually have a pretty manageable list.  The gifts feel more heartfelt to me.

3) Kitchen

  • Go through and try to insanely huge stack of recipes that have been pulled for sampling.  The baking stack is out of control.  (This is not going to help with goal #1.  At all.)

4) Turning house into home

  • Our bedroom still has not been finished, though it was on my list last year.  Throw pillows.  Bed skirt.  Accessorize.
  • Little Man's bedroom still has not finished (also on last year’s list!). Paint the bookshelf my dad built.  Make and hang pocket quilt.  Decide on accent color and attach said color to base of curtains I made him.  Continue my search for fabulous old dresser to redo for him.
  • Complete the stairwell (also from last year). T only just put up the drywall late this summer.  Accessorize.  (Monkey and I painted not long after the drywall went up.  It was….  interesting.)
  • Finish my kitchen remodel.  Paint walls.  Add end caps to base cabinets.  Coat rack project.  If I can find a cheap enough option, flooring.
  • Finish my living room remodel.  Lamp shade.  Lamp cabinet/table. More throw pillows.  Rearrange furniture (I’ve only just gotten this into my head in the past few weeks – it will require talking T into as his muscles will be necessary to move the entertainment center).
  • Finish cleaning out the basement.  Namely, get rid of anything we don’t need (like the 13 or so diaper boxes full of kids clothes).
  • If I have time when the rest of this is done, I’d like to paint the hallway. 

I will now print this out so I can literally scratch things off as I finish them. 

Do you have any goals you’d like to share?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We’ve been to pick apples a couple of times now.  Our favorite place to pick is Conant’s Apple Orchard in Etna.  You really can’t go wrong.  The apples are tasty and a really good price.  (We paid $13 for a large paper grocery bag full)

IMG_4225 What happens when Mommy is left in charge of carrying the bag

Of course, we then had to do something with all of these apples!  Of course, we could eat them, but with such a big bag of apples, we were running the risk of losing them to rot.


So I got to work and made some apple sauce. (I don’t know where this recipe came from).

Apple Sauce

1 quart (4 cups) peeled and sliced apples

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

cinnamon (optional)

Cook about 20 minutes.  Mash (I use my immersion blender).

A double batch of this recipe yielded me 1 quart plus 1 snack of apple sauce.  (I took to making 4 batches at once to get more at a time).


Of course, we also made Apple Bread like last year.   T keeps waiting and asking for Apple Dumplings, as well.  (I’ll get to them.  We still have about 1/4 of our bag left).


I also made an apple crisp.   This recipe is from my mom’s old Betty Crocker cookbook.

Apple Crisp

4 cups apples, sliced

2/3-3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup oats

1/3 cups margarine, softened

3/4 tsp cinnamon

Grease 8x8x2 pan (I used a Pampered' Chef stoneware pie plate).  Put apples in.

Mix together rest of ingredients and sprinkle on top.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Our other favorite place for apples is Treworgy Family Orchard in Levant.  Well, they are really our favorite place in general, but they have some really good apples there. 


They also have hay rides on weekends, a corn maze, pick your own pumpkins, a gift shop, a cafe, goats for petting and so much more.   I think T and I love the place just as much as the kids do.


What have you been doing with your apples?  Anything tasty to share?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trash to Treasure

Do you remember this loot?


I shared with you what I did with the big lamp.  I showed you what I did with the suitcase.  But you haven’t seen my favorite project of all from this haul. 

Monkey claimed the old window frame for herself.  As I was putting it in the trunk, she made sure to tell me it was going in her bedroom.

Here it is, along with the white shutters, hanging in a place of honor, above her bed:


I decided that the grandparents weren’t getting artwork after all because it looked perfect framed here with a few random photos of Monkey and Little Man.  The shutters were an after thought, but once I tested it out, Monkey insisted they go. 

The rustic look goes perfectly with the old barn board curtain “rods” I made for her bedroom last winter.


I’ve taught her well, no?

FYI – Grand total of $7 for the wall art.  I paid $5 for the window and $1 a piece for those fabulous little shutters.

I’ve linked up at get your CRAFT on with Today’s Creative Blog.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer Vacation is over

It’s been an interesting summer, to say the least. 

Monkey turned 3 (I ran out of black frosting – and she really was happy…  just very focused on the candles.  ha):


Little Man turned 1:


We spent 3 glorious weeks at camp (not all at once):


Great friends got married at one of the most awesome weddings we have ever been to.

Other great friends had an adorable baby girl.

Monkey started nursery school (and loves it):


And check out the great harvest!


With the good comes the bad.

We came very very close to moving back to the Fort Kent area, but things didn’t fall into place as they needed to.

My grandfather was moved into a nursing home as his Alzheimer’s has progressed. 

Life has mostly been good.  Here we are, nearing another winter.  It’s time to enjoy the wonderful fall weather and prepare for the snow. 

I’ll be back on a regular basis now.

Have a fabulous day!

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