Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Goals for 2013

The new year always has me thinking extra long about goals.   It ties into the tradition of everyone making New Year's Resolutions, except I don't like resolutions.  Resolutions sound like something to be broken. (maybe it's just me and everyone else has always made and KEPT their resolutions)  Instead, I like to look at them as goals and they are things that I would like to work towards accomplishing.  I've been thinking about these for the past few weeks and finally decided to just get them written down.  Of course, in some way that makes me a little more accountable and I guess that's good. The alternative is to just keep the goals floating in my head and then forgetting about them.   However, that would be breaking my first goal.   See, I do need to write these down!

1.  Be more focused on accomplishing goals 

2.  Be more intentional

3.  Less (that just says it all in so many areas!)

4.  Start a compost pile

5.  Enjoy (and learn more about) photography

6.  Read, read, read

7.  Get 30 years of photos organized!

8.  Explore

9.  Encourage

10.  Share

Some of these are very specific, but some seem very vague.  I'm not making them vague on purpose, but they happen to cover a lot of areas.  Trying to list those areas would just take up too much space and would ultimately put you (and me) to sleep.  So, these goals are getting printed and posted where I'll see them daily.   Don't worry, as time goes by I will take this list and make them SMART goals. I plan to highlight many of them here during the year which will help keep me on track, if nothing else. It will also help explain those "vague" goals.  Of course, I'll be sharing AND it might just encourage someone and that happens to be accomplishing numbers 9 and 10.  Way to go, Me!  Toot, Toot...yea, I toot my own horn all the time. (someone has to)

Another thing about me.  I don't make goals just once a year.  I'm constantly setting them and maybe I'll even share during the year as they come up.  I love goals! How do you know where you're going, if you've never had a goal to reach?   

How about you?  
Are you a goal setter or a just fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pinterest Project Post

So, who hasn't already been sucked into the Pinterest black hole?  You go on there to just spend a few minutes and next thing you know an hour has passed by and your head is swimming with all the things you can do, make, try, etc.   However, you can quickly clear your head and rest assured that all the wonderful stuff you just saw is safely pinned under proper headings on your very own board.


those projects, tips, decorating ideas, recipes, and destinations just sit.  You actually have to make time to do them!  Who knew?    This year one of my goals is to actually try more of the ideas that I have personally pinned and share the results right here.  I have seen blog posts of several "Pinterest Fails" and to me those are kind of funny.   I guess maybe not funny if a lot of money was invested, but I still get a chuckle out of most.   My plan isn't to post a lot of fail stories.  No, I'm hoping that ALL my pins are valuable tidbits of information.
For my first project I decided to try out homemade laundry powder.  I saw this "recipe" here and thought it was a wonderful solution for my laundry woes.  Woes = trying to find a good detergent that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

You can read the specifics on the original blog, but here are some of my pictures and thoughts.

I was able to find everything I needed in the cleaning aisle at Wegman's.  I am actually keeping track of just how many loads I get out of this and I will eventually report back with a cost analysis for you.  I see on the How Does She? blog that she reports it lasting a year based on six loads a week.  Well, in five days I've already done twelve loads.  Guess what. This stuff is not going to make a year, but just how long will it last?  

My detergent looks different than the original post because I used Fels-Naptha and a different scent of the fabric softener.   I will tell you that this stuff does smell good and clean. At the same time, though, your clothes don't come out overpowered with scent.  There is some scent, but I was concerned that it was going to be too strong.  I'm happy to report that is NOT the case.

I used the Oxi Clean tub as my container to hold detergent for daily use and the rest is store in my five gallon bucket.   I can tell you that there is hardly a dent in it after the twelve loads.   The best part is that it does really seem to be cleaning our clothes.  So far, I have no complaints on this one.  Stay tuned for the update with the cost per load.  I imagine that will be sometime late spring.

Eventually, I hope to get others together to post once a week on their Pinterest Projects and to link up together here, so we have a place for readers to get reviews.  If this is something that you are interested in, please let me know and I'll set it up. In the meantime, I'll just keep on with my goal of trying out my pins. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

For the Birds

Yes, it's been a while, but I'm here shaking the dusty blog off for the new year.  I've really missed it.  This year I do have lots of plans and hopefully I'll get to share them here.

I find it funny that my very last post here was about Kristin and birds.  Why is that funny?   Because today's post is about Kristin and birds! This was definitely not intentional, but it works for me.   She does love her birds.  So much, in fact, one of her Christmas gifts was a year subscription to Birds & Blooms.

The magazine sure came in handy when we discovered that a runaway loaf of bread had been spending a 10 day vacation in the back of my car.   Kristin knew just what to do with this less than fresh loaf of bread. (thankfully it wasn't moldy)

She remembered reading an idea about making bird treats.  That's right, little gifts for birds.

First, she got right to work cutting out shapes with cookie cutters.

You coat one side of the bread with egg whites and press them down into a pile of seeds.  Then you pop them into the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

This is what you get after they come out of the oven.  
A nice crispy treat!  I'm sure if I were a bird, I'd be all over this!!

She added them to the platform out back, along with some yummy (yuck) worms, cracked corn and peanut balls. 

Some went in little hiding spaces to surprise her feathered friends.

And some were hung in branches and looked pretty.  Now, we're just waiting to see what they think.    

Don't forget your feathered friends during the cold winter.
Later on I'll share another treat Kristin is planning for the birds.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chicken Heaven

K has a dream of living on a farm, so she jumped at the chance to help with our friends' chickens while they were away. I didn't hear one complaint as she did chicken coop duty which, of course, involved chicken POOP. She took the job seriously and even studied their photos the night before so she knew them all by name.

Today was a super hot day, so we took an apple and a bowl of ice with cranberries frozen on top. When we arrived the chickens were all in the coop sitting in front of their fan. They were so excited for the treats that they all came running down the ramp clucking up a storm. Nothing like a little chicken stampede to brighten the day.

I made sure to bring my camera when we went to lock them in for the night so that I could snap a few shots for K.
(and for the chicken owners who are missing their girls!)

I kindly asked them all to turn around and face me and say cheese, but they had other ideas.

They were wondering if the tall dude had any treats on him.

Chicken hug shot number 1

Chicken hug shot number 2

Chicken hug shot number 3 (yea, it's a little blurry...I'll stop here)

Note to the chicken owners:
Rest assured....all your girls are closed up in their coop with food, fresh water, a frozen ice bottle and some scratch for snack. They survived the hottest day of the year and looked as happy as chickens when we left them.
8 eggs today and it looks like Maya used the regular nesting box
(instead of her special corner)

Enjoy yourselves!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sharing on your birthday...

This morning K woke up and was officially a TEENAGER!  Woohoo!!  To celebrate we had lots of shopping planned, a lunch at Chipotle and a big family dinner to cap off the day.

However, there was one other stop planned for today.   K has had her hair cut only a few times and each time she has donated to Locks of Love.   Today was the day for another donation.   I think she was more than ready to shed the locks....and to be able to help others was the icing on the cake.

          Here's a shot of Kristin this morning before we headed out for the day.   

Quite a difference, isn't it?

Back view

New outfit, too!

Happy Birthday, Kristin!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Constructing a special birthday cake....

So, K will be turning 13 on Tuesday!  I am not even going to get into my thoughts on that one.  No, I'll save that for another post.   Today's focus will be on the all important birthday cake.  

Every year K likes to design her cake and I do my best to make it happen.  This year has the added element of being her 13th birthday, which begs for an extra special cake.   A few months ago K started thinking about cake.  One thing you should know is that we are very different in this area.   K likes to think months ahead and I like to take it one week at a time.  Sometimes it bites me in the rear, but it's how I handle life.  Anyway, K brings it up in February and I did my best to just shut it down.   I told her I would make a yummy cake for her and she would like it! 

Fast forward to this last Monday.  Yikes, it's time to start planning that cake!   
Hmmm, what to make?

I know K saw a picture of a cake months ago that had many layers and was tall.  She definitely thought that was drool worthy, so I stored that in my file cabinet that I keep tucked in the corner of my brain. (your brain has corners, right?)  However, that wasn't enough information to construct an extra special cake!  I needed more.  Thankfully, inspiration was soon to smack me upside the head.  We were at the grocery store and once again she was drooling over Reese's Peanut Butter cups.  She even went as far as to say that I could buy them as a birthday gift to her.  BINGO!!

This year's cake idea was born!

I made three layers of chocolate fudge cake. (I actually made 4 layers, but I froze one for another dessert for another day)  I sliced each layer in half and put fluffy peanut butter frosting between each layer.

                                   I covered all the layers with homemade chocolate frosting.                                                                            

Then I made bittersweet chocolate ganache to pour over the top.  Chopped peanut butter cups finished off the design.  It was declared a winner by the birthday girl! (and really that's what counts!!)

I still have 24 hours with a 12 year old in the house, even though she already blew out the number 13! 
I'm going to hang on to that thought!! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A New Friend for the Wee One

We had Olivia today and she loves being outside. Fortunately, this morning was beautiful and we took the opportunity to get some fresh air. Our backyard is a pretty good size yard and watching her trek all the way to the back using those little legs is entertaining. Toddler energy never ceases to amaze me. Olivia seemed to have a destination in mind and she made a beeline right to her new little friend.

And here he is. Just the right size to be a little friend to an 18 month old.

"Oh, aren't you a cute little fellow?"

She likes to kiss her friends....

and again....

Stepping back to see what he thinks of her little kisses....

and going in for another one for good measure.

He's a good little friend and doesn't mind wet baby kisses, AKA drool. It seems he doesn't even mind
when she decides that his honker would make a great little handle.

She held on to his nose for quite some time while she picked up sticks and various other debris.
He was so very patient and stood perfectly still.

She even switches hands...she's ambidextrous like that.

Yes, being a friend to a wee one is rough stuff.