April 29, 2011

Things I'm loving:

Wow! Counting my blessings for so many things this past week...

1. Loved being able to sit as a family for a church service on Resurrection Day! The hubs didn't have to play guitar until the following three services. Oldest didn't have to help in the First Grade & sat with us instead of his high school peeps. Mr-in-the-middle didn't have to work with the 3 year-olds. I had all my Special Needs volunteers show up. And H, well H... just was. (He has asked to be a special needs buddy, only he hasn't gone through the training yet...) First time in years all five of us worshipped in the same row!

2. Loved Easter dinner at friends' house. Here's what I took.

3. Love my younger sons' senses of humor! Last week we received a "Flat Stanley" project from our niece's kindergarten in NC. (We're supposed to take Stanley for photo ops & then return him & the pics to her teacher.) Well, my 4 guys went to help move the hubs' buddy's 55" TV (to a 3rd floor apt!) and this is the pic of what happened to Stanley in the process...
(Stanley spends most of his time tacked to the frig so he won't get lost. He loves to curl up for a nap. Stan can veg in front of the TV with the best of them. He also somehow ended up packed in a computer box...)

4. Love my new blazing speed internet via Cox Cable. Blogging & facebooking should only take me a quarter the time, right? (Although, blogger still sucks is not cooperative with photos & spacing issues...) 

5. Love my (for right now) clean office. (I wonder if the cable guy experiences this much dust at other locations? Embarrassing!)
6. Totally love my "oooops" at Costco Saturday when I picked up a half-gallon of cream instead of 1/2 & 1/2. (Guess it's gotta be scones with whipped cream for breakfast tomorrow!)

7. Love, love, love olive oil & cracked pepper for dipping bread!

What are you loving today? What are you thankful for this week? I know I am blessed!

April 28, 2011

My boys will do anything for this dish...

Seriously,! I asked the younger two to please wash the dishes or I would have to fix tuna salad for dinner. (hmmmm -- maybe they'd do anything to avoid tuna...)

Actually, it ranks up there with pizza for mr-in-the-middle. He requests it for all sorts of special occasions -- his birthday, Christmas, when the grands are here...

The ingredients are few, the pans are two -- & you can whip it up in very little time!

Serve with parmesan & fresh focaccia... (the hubs likes to use sriracha on his!)

Of course we do change the recipe up every once-in-a-while.  I usually add fresh garlic to brown slightly after the onions. At times when I don't have onions I will use the dried ones from the spice aisle. If there's not spinach in the garden I use the fresh-packaged from Costco.

Now I'm going to link this up to Shanty2Chic's Shanty Suppers...

April 26, 2011's THAT TIME of year again...

I'm pulling my hair out trying to come up with "Teacher Appreciation" gifts. Last year I did these tote bags, so how do I top that? (Actually, I have it a trifle easier since I am the teacher for 2 of my boys this year...) The most difficult will be something for two male high school instructors. (Somehow I don't believe a watermelon tote will make the cut!)

High on my list of possibilities are embroidered lace bookmarks (in school colors, of course!) My favorite is this one:

but it takes a ton of thread!

I made a couple like this for Easter gifts:

but they seem a little small. (Do love the little tassel, though, which looks "real" after the WSS is soaked out...)

Since it's next week, I've got a little time to design & stitch out. I think I'll start working on the "Thank You" cards. My mind is leaning towards hitting the Scrabble board again... (I loved doing these two... One for a teacher's b-day & one for a bridal shower.)

I'm almost a convert...

For over a year now I've been creeping stalking following blogs with recipes for homemade laundry detergent.  For over a year now I haven't made any because I've been too lazy too busy questioning procrastinating researching... Finally picked up some ingredimaments ( Rabbit from Winnie-the-Pooh!) from my local grocery.  

I've washed 4 loads with this so far. First load I used 1/4 cup. The last three I used 1/8 cup & still had good results. The ultimate cleanliness test will come when I launder my all-white bath towels.

I am a little concerned about static (which is why I adore fabric softener in our hard, hard water) so I'm withholding judgment on that issue for right now.

This is the recipe & method I used:

2 bars of this, shredded

1 cup

1 cup

1 cup
I whirled all 4 ingredients in food processor until the soap shreds were unrecognizable.  I put the powder in a jar & dispensed as mentioned above. 

I was waiting for suds to appear & they never showed up. Therefore, it came as a great surprise that the clothing exited the washer looking clean without any noticeable scent. YEA! 

April 25, 2011

Dinner Rolls

We spent a lovely Easter afternoon with friends. I brought rolls to the table. Mind you, these were not just any rolls. They were [♪♫ dun dun dunnn ♪♫] "The Spicery's Rolls."

At the beginning of our married life we were privileged to live in a hot dusty quaint old house in Historic Glendale.
Keith & Zach @ our circa 1919 bungalow (1994)
A couple blocks away was the most adorable tea room called The Spicery.
The Spicery
 Their wonderful lunch menu includes the divine Spicery roll.  Many years ago I came across their recipe in a local newspaper. This roll has been the star of many holiday feasts. Here is how I "roll"...

many thanks to Ms. Bosch for doing all the kneading...

after 1st punch-down
ready to form 3 dozen rolls?

yup! 36 rolls waiting to rise...

risen enough?

yup! time to pop 'em in the oven...

Now, you make some! Here is the recipe:

Going to link this up with Laurie, the Tip Junkie's Tip-Me Tuesday's goodness...

April 21, 2011

Things I'm Loving

(He's just doing this to show off his football ring!)

I'm loving the wonderful time my son had with his friends at Prom...


I'm loving how God turns my garbage into compost...

I'm loving the eggplants my daddy sprouted for me...

I'm not loving this snake... but am loving that he eats bugs!

I'm loving my friend's dog who's comfortable enough to sleep in the hubs arms...
(she growls at me!)

A bowl full of lemons.: Silhouette GIVEAWAY!!!!

A bowl full of lemons.: Silhouette GIVEAWAY!!!!
(So... I'm really hoping my mad linky skills kick in someday.)

The jonesing for a fab Silhouette machine continues. Here's a recent typography project that would have saved HOURS of labor:

taking its rightful place on the "game wall" in the family room...

Productive Computer Time

Because two of our sons attend an online school, my usable time at my PC comes when they are finished. (My sporadic blog posts often reflect that...) I "volunteered" to teach one night of VBS for our church, so now my time logged into the computer is taken up with my PowerPoint creation(s).

My first project is turning out slightly awesome. The lesson is to teach the "bad news" of Jesus' death & contrast it with the "good news" of the empty tomb. The week's theme is GOLD RUSH, so I've made the PowerPoint into an old western newspaper. Here are a couple slides:

I'm still working on the "good news" slides, so I don't have one of them to show you.

While I was waiting for the computer this week, I found some time to work a little with wood...

I painted my board with that delish teal-y Home Depot "oops" paint I scored for this project.

Next I gave it a wash of white. 

I transfered & painted my lettering to end up with a sign for my hallway. (And if I had a wonderful SILHOUETTE machine like the one used by A Bowl Full of Lemons, just think how much easier my life would be...)