Friday, March 27, 2015

Lovin Right Now

I have a few favorites that I am "Lovin Right Now."  I am sure they will change soon enough as most things do.  But currently this is what I'm into.

Downton Abby season 2.  I didn't start watching Downton until the televised season was on season five.  Much like other TV shows I get hooked on.  So I rented season one from the library and borrowed the rest from my Mom.  Shaun and I began watching season 2 on Sunday night and I already have plans in my head to watch an episode each night this week if I can.  I'm hooked... just like everybody said I would be!

I am absolutely hooked on the refreshing and clean scent of doTerra lemongrass.  I like to add a couple of drops to my nice hot baths.  Among many uses, lemongrass oil is used for toning skin and soothing muscles.  Perfect for bathing!

Most of the time I read before bed.  It has to be a really good book for me to read during the day.  And a REALLY good book for me to take it to the day care to read every chance I get.  The first novel of this series, that my sister Marty introduced me to as well as loaned me the books, proved to be a very easy and fast read and kept me interested enough to finish it in three days.  I am on the second book in the series now and am quite enjoying it so far too!

This one I'm not so proud of.  I really try to eat healthy and my sudden addiction to Doritos I am borderline ashamed of.  They simply can't be good for you.  So then why are they so hard to put down?  I've even ditched my jalapeno chips for them... momentarily.  I only bought a bag for the kids at the day care to have with their sandwiches sometimes and as a treat but guess who wanted a quick snack one day and spied the nacho cheese bag?  That's right... me.  I'm pretty sure it started with a 666 Park Avenue read, sunshine and kids playing outside, and me in my lawn chair working on my farmer's tan and eating these chips.  Bad... bad girl.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

On The Menu

This week, even though it's Thursday, I thought I would share what's On The Menu at our house for supper.

Monday: Chicken Lo Mein
Picture found on                                        

I am trying a new recipe on Monday for Lo Mein from the cookbook Cook Without a Book which I am in love with!  It is actually a meatless cookbook but it is easy enough to add meat to the recipes.  I am making my Chicken Lo Mein with broccoli and baby corn.  The cookbook I rented from the library and have tried one other recipe that turned out fabulous and was easy as can be.  I must have it on my shelf soon!

Tuesday: Talapia with lemon sauce, mixed rice and 
Steamed Zucchini and Squash

Sorry folks... no picture here.  I will be making a very easy supper.  
The fish recipe is one of my own and a favorite that you can find HERE.  

The steamed veggies are so simple it's silly.  You make them by chopping up vegetables in to bite sized pieces, placing in a small casserole dish with a non-fitting lid or saran wrap with a crack left open, placing a little water in the bottom and seasonings of your choice.  Then cooking in the microwave for about three to four minutes.

The rice medley is one I've found recently and really like.  It cooks in ten to twelve minutes.

Wednesday: supper at Granny's! a.k.a. my night off!

Thursday: PW's Sour Cream Noodle Bake with Salad

Picture and recipe both from The Pioneer Woman's website from 2011.  This recipe has been a favorite of ours for quite some time and is super easy to make.  It's a lot like lasagna but then different too.  I plan on throwing a simple salad together of mixed greens, tomatoes and crunchy croutons.

Friday: Sloppy BBQ & White Bean Fritters

Another one of our favorites and a leave it then eat it kind of thing!  
Also I have another really good cookbook on loan from the library right now called Meatless, from the kitchen of Martha Stewart Living.  I found a recipe there for White Bean Fritters that I am itching to try.  Mainly because I love white beans and the crunchiness of a good fried fritter!  Maybe I will throw on some turnip greens just to make my cheeks rosy!  Geeze... I don't sound southern at all!

As for the weekend... well... it sounds like we may have some leftovers!  

It inspires me to come up with our meals ahead of time.  Even better to do so before I go to the grocery so I can make sure I have everything on hand.  Planning ahead does take the pressure off and also eliminates unnecessary money spent on last minute eating out because you can't decide or can't agree on what's for supper.   Hopefully you have an agreeable eater like I do!

For meal planning ideas from Peppysis  Click Here

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

tiny seedlings

As you can probably guess, since I love to garden and it is spring, I have begun sprouting seeds indoors getting ready for summer.  My first planting was on March 17th and I began to see sprouts from some seeds on Thursday the 19th... yay!  Sometimes I feel like I pot seeds with my shoulders down having done my part and leaving it to nature now, wondering if any of them will come up.  I always feel such a relief to see little curls appear from the soil.

Shaun and I are doing a repeat of last year and not planting our big garden until the first week of June when the ground is good and hot and seeds sprout up overnight it seemed.  Plus there was less tilling to do because the plants grew so fast.  Needless to say, I have not started any seeds that will go in our garden yet because the first week of June is much more than six weeks away and plants would be too leggy and hard to take care of.  And I am practicing patience.  So, the seeds that I have already begun are for flowers and herbs that will live through the summer in pots and such.  I did actually start some tomato seeds on Monday for Mom, Mary Evelyn and my friend Melia who all want them to grow in pots.

When planting seeds it can be very hard to keep up with what's what until there are leaves to identify.  Some of the seedlings I know from their first leaves but most have to be their second set or real leaves before I can tell good.  In the past I have labeled pots and made little markers to go on tooth picks to stick in the soil.  This year I gave in and simply drew a diagram of my starting tray and that will do until I start moving things around... then I will lose track of what they are!

My greenhouse is simple and portable.  I have a heater with a thermostat that cuts on and off by itself so as to keep a certain temperature for the seedlings and create a humid environment.  I also have a thermometer hanging inside the greenhouse to make sure it doesn't get too hot or too cold for them.  Later on, when plants are bigger and ready to harden off I can move the entire greenhouse outside, most of the time with the front flap zipped open.  Although I do have to seriously tie the little greenhouse down tight or a swift wind will knock it over.

So back to the seeds, so far I have planted basil, oregano, caraway, rosemary, petunia, snapdragon, dichondra, craspedia, lettuce mixes and tomatoes (for friends).  And here is my diagram in my journal.


snapdragon... so fragile looking aren't they?

I may have over done it a bit with the oregano!  Look at all those seedlings!  I haven't had much success starting oregano in the past so I over compensated.  I hate having to pluck out the weak when it comes time to separate.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Little People Land

Monday was my Mom and sister Tracy's birthdays so Sunday we celebrated with lunch, cake and presents at Mom and Dad's.  I asked Mom while we were there if she minded if I had a look through our toys that we grew up with and maybe take some of them to the day care.  I wound up coming home with a load of good stuff!  I brought the Fisher Price Little People school house, barn and village along with people, furniture, animals and vehicles.  So awesome!  I also came away with a big tub of Lego's and a set of Lincoln Logs.

Monday morning I cleaned everything when I got to work and set it all up on the kitchen table.  When the kids got there they thought Miss Laurie's new toys were terrific and I quite agreed!  I'm saving the Lego's and logs for later in the week when the weather won't be as good to be outside.

It's amazes me at the things that my mother has kept from when we were little.  I'm almost afraid that I don't know the half of what she's still got.  I did see my old Fonze sweatshirt in the attic yesterday!

As you can see, some of the stickers aren't stuck so swell anymore and have bubbled up due to storage and heat and such... not to mention they're forty years old!  I found a dealer on ebay and bought and entire new set of decals for the village!  I'm so excited about that too.  Not all of them need to be replaced right away but when they do I will have extras ready to go!
HERE's a link to the listing.

My sister Marty's initials on the school house.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Around Here

Finally!!!! Spring is in the air and all around.  We had two back-to-back beautiful days this week with temps in the sixties and low seventies.  The kids and I played outside most of the day and even had lunch outside on the porch.  The second nice day was pretty windy... perfect kite flying weather!  And I just so happened to have a kite that was in a box that someone donated to us a while back and truthfully I had forgotten about it until this day.  Everyone got a turn at flying it but I was the one who retained interest in it.  I bet it's been sixteen years or more since I had flown a kite and I found myself quite good at it and enjoying the heck out of it.  I also started some seeds this week that are in their incubator as I type.  I always have the downed thought of doing it wrong and none of them coming up.  Especially plants that are new to me.  I think it helps to feel that way because when they do pop their heads up I am most proud of my efforts.  And if they don't I can always try again.  

You just can't keep these chives down!  This is their third year. 

The tips of my lavender are greening up.  I think this is a good sign.

Our little maple tree at the day care is doing it's thing!

I have regulars at the pond next door, this pair and a set of three.  I have been seeing V's flying over head on the way to work all week.

Day Care play ground.


Happy Birthday to Mom and sister Tracy!!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Things

A tiny list of things on the first day of Spring that would make my Spring a whole lot springier!

1 new mirrored shades from Walmart $5.00 so it does hurt too much to get them scratched

2 new Converse because my old ones are wearing mighty thin from the soles to the holes!

3 This maxi skirt from Forever21 is they'd ever get it back in stock.

4 would someone please make a miracle cellulite cream?  I'm not eat up with it but I'm self conscious of it at the same time.  Avon used to make a good cream that I tried years ago.  Walgreens should have the Nivea pretty decently priced.

5 new garden gloves!  a gotta have for me!  I've got holes in the fingers of mine which goes against the point of wearing them!  I get these at Tractor Supply and they are about ten dollars.  I like the durability and the vel-cro wrists.

Looks like I need to put in some overtime at the dc!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Image Inspiration

Lately, my crafting inspiration comes in the form of Spring.  After all the snow it seems our April rains have come early.  Unless they will continue long into April.  But everywhere there are signs and even smells of Spring with buttercup and tulip pedals popping above ground for some air and light and certain trees anxious to bud putting a springy scent into the air.  But with the rains we are still stuck inside so what more to do than craft our tributes to the coming months!

Cascading Paper Flower Garland
This wonderful project from also comes with a tutorial and downloadable pdf of the flowers.  How wonderful!  I have made some in yellow and strung them from the ceiling.  I plan to find a branch once the weather allows.

A click on the title of this project takes you to  The image that actually inspired was found on a blog that I like called  I was browsing her blog when I spotted the beautiful green egg in the above picture.  I also like the band of glitter around the pink egg.  An email from my sister Marty about a different post from twosisterscrafting led me to their tutorial of making the eggs.  Yesterday, before the tutorial, I tried my hand at making the eggs myself by mixing fine glitter in with mod podge then painting the eggs.  The plastic didn't want to allow for good coverage with one swipe and two barely did the trick.  I may try their version with the second round but am hesitant that some glitter will fall off which I don't want.  We'll see! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

literally on the library hold shelf

Fortunately and unfortunately I have a couple of kids headed to kindergarten in the fall of this year.  It makes me both sad and proud but it also makes me feel as if I have some sort of responsibility to do my part in helping prepare them as much as I can.  This should be a fun book to help with that and I love that Miss Bindergarten is a border collie like Katie Bug whom they know very well.

Spring is upon us and if the weather will ever clear up enough for us to take a good walk when they are all here we will have a discovery stroll looking around us to finds signs of spring right around us.  

We are still stuck on Mo Willems.  I try to include one at least one book of his every week.  They are easy to find a good coloring page online and the books makes the kids laugh which I adore both.

We have been eating healthier and cutting out sweets whenever we can here at the day care.  Shaun couldn't believe, when he was here during snack time the other day, that the kids were asking for more cut carrots.  It's funny that the foods they at one time turned their noses up to are now their favorites.  I hope even if they choose a junk food path for themselves that they always remember the healthy stuff too.  I am excited to read The Food Parade and plan to maybe have coloring pages of different foods to have our own food parade.

Lego DC on dvd.  This is for the older boys.  As much as I try to keep their minds off of weapons and violence... they are still boys (as Shaun pointed out to me).  I have one day a week where I only have the older boys and I reckon this will be the day next week that I allow them to watch a movie like this.  They have all seen it before but will love seeing it again.  I like to make the day with the bigger kids special and still let them be who they are. 

Looks like it's going to be an exciting week here next week! 
Especially when Mrs Laurie comes up with activities to go along with these books!
I'd better get to work!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Around Here

Around here... winter has been showing up quite frequently.  Hopefully this will be the last of the snow pictures to share until next winter!  I am ready for spring although I haven't started any seeds yet, which I cannot believe.  I am usually tipsy with crazy right now sprouting plants left and right.  It will come.  Last Thursday I had no kids at the day care because of snow and on Saturday it was fifty seven degrees.  Crazy Tennessee weather.  Shaun took me for a ride Thursday through the woods to check out the snow down there and it was beautiful.  Today I thought I heard thunder under a clear sky when it was only four inches of snow sliding off the back roof.  Please enjoy my shots.


 I CANNOT keep these floors clean with weather like this!  UGH

 Tommy could care less either way.

 Granola bars for my sweets for the week.

We got around five inches over night with this snow.  Most we've seen in some time.

The fire pit at the camp in the fork of the creek.

And then, Friday morning as I was looking out the back door, I spied a doe laying down right inside the tree line behind our house and back yard.  At first I didn't see the others until Shaun pointed them out.  Even on a bed of white the deer can be hard to see.  They were spread out through the back hollar only one of them standing and stretching off the night.