Saturday, February 28, 2009

Homemade Diffuser

Ok, I'm cheating. Just posting a link today. Our internet has been temperamental so I want to be quick and to the point while it is appeasing me at the present.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Bookshelf

I get good ideas from other blogs all the time and this one I really liked because I love to read. Our "bookcase" is a curio cabinet my grandfather made for me when I was a teenager. He made one for all of his granddaughters. There are only 2 of us out of 12 grandchildren, but it was no small task considering the craftsmanship that went into the curios.

You'll notice I started organizing our books by color until you get to the bottom shelf. Well, as new books came in, I wasn't about to shift all the books on every row downward to make room for a white book on top! Next time I'll remember to leave a little space on each shelf.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Secret Garden

What can I say? I'm a sucker for juvenile fiction. I remember watching the movie, The Secret Garden, when I was a lass, but I just have vague memories of a little girl dressed in black, a grumpy older figure and a boy in a wheel chair. And of course, the garden that was forbidden and locked up. This is by far the most delightful book I've read of late. It takes a talented author to have you cheering for the two most disagreeable, spoiled, obstinate children you've ever encountered as the main characters of a book. Maybe it's because I can identify with one of them, the little girl, Mary, that I'm so drawn to the book. If you love gardening, the outdoors, breathing fresh air... any of these, as you know they have the ability to lift your spirits, clear your mind, and set your mind into proper perspective. It certainly is "Magic" to witness this happen to the characters in this book as they discover the secret garden.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Exercise

I used to hate exercise. Then I hated feeling sluggish and tired even more. Now five minutes into any workout I'm always thankful I started. I love jogging, hiking in the woods, and going on walks in the neighborhood, but not so much in the winter time. For one, I find 6am to be a prime time to get an uninterrupted workout accomplished and around here it's pretty dark then and I live on a busy road. Another good option is to exercise during Zane's nap time, which means sticking close to home. I don't have a treadmill or any fancy workout equipment so I turn to the tried and true alternative: workout videos. Here's a list of some of my favorites (none of which I purchased, check out what your local library has).

  • New York City Ballet Workout I love this one because I tend to be more on the natuarally athletic side rather than the naturally graceful side and who doesn't feel graceful when practicing ballet?
  • Pick Your Spot Pilates This one has four 10 minute workouts- one for your belly, butt, thighs, and total body. I like it because you have a 40 minute workout or if you just want to sneak in a 10 minute quickie you can.
  • Basic Training Bootcamp I'm always sore the next day so I know it's working.
  • Walk Away the Pounds Express- Super Challenge I've done several of her workout dvds and most of them are nice for days when you want a really light workout. This one is one step up from that. I sweat, but it's still nice and light.
  • Pilates Weight Loss Workout for Dummies I like all the Dummies workouts I've done, but I particularly like this one because it has a 2o minute standing pilates routine in addition to the traditional Pilates floor work. I'm a big Pilates fan and I guess I'm an even bigger standing Pilates fan!
I hope you'll check out some of these dvds and learn to love exercise if you don't already. I'm always looking for new workout ideas to keep it fresh. Leave a comment to let me know what you do for exercise and/or what your favorite workout videos are.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Forgiving Friend

You wouldn't know by looking at this picture that underneath all that snow there are weeds waiting to be pulled... a hole ready to be filled... and a pile of bricks waiting to be laid out as a patio. So for that I am thankful for my faithful, forgiving friend, snow for covering up my misdeeds from a season that has past.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hot Wings In A Bowl

If you love Buffalo wings and all that go with it; the hot sauce, the celery sticks, the blue cheese sauce, you can have it all with this wonderful soup. I just love it and hope you will, too.

Buffalo Chicken Soup

2,1/4 to 2,1/2 lbs. deli- roasted chicken, skinned, boned and coarsely shredded (or 40 oz. can chicken)
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 14oz. cans reduced sodium chicken broth
1,1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. bottled hot pepper sauce
1,1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (6oz.)
1,1/4 cups crumbled bleu cheese (5oz.)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2oz.)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)

In 4-quart Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in broth, milk, and the 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce.
In bowl toss together mozzarella, 1 cup of the bleu cheese, Parmesan, and flour. Add gradually to soup, stirring after each addition just until melted. Stir in three-fourths of the shredded chicken; heat through. Top with remaining chicken, bleu cheese, and hot sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hand in Hand

Thrifting and craftiness go hand in hand. I purchased a skirt from the fifty cent room at one of these stores because it matched my office/guest room. I covered an old pillow with the outside fabric (you can see it goes nicely with the pair of pillows I bought here for a buck). And my next project is to cover another pillow with the lining of the skirt.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


During this slushy season we've been directing guests to enter our house through the garage. It's just a little easier to remove shoes and such avoiding sloppy wetness on our hardwood floors. It's not a big deal to get a paper towel and clean up such messes, but let's face it, as a guest you don't want to go sloshing mud and snow into someone's house upon your arrival and I don't want our guests' first emotion as they enter our home to be embarrassment. Enter...

This area used to be where I kept all my cleaning supplies. Not exactly welcoming. I've since added some rugs under the bench and chairs at the suggestion of my husband so that you don't have to step on the cold concrete after you've removed your shoes. Sigh. Much better.