Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pinterested in a New Addiction


Heard of Pinterest? Well if you haven't, don't worry I hadn't either until a couple months ago...thank you my lovely readers for introducing us.

Pinterest is just about the most fun, addicting way to waste time EVER.

It is similar to a digital compilation of all of your computer bookmarks found in one handy dandy place. Instead of bookmarking something you "pin" it. Your pins are categorized by you on "boards". They are put under headers you determine and all organized accordingly.  PLUS, you have access to all of the other things people "pin"...especially those you might follow. This sounds technical, trust me it is not. If I can do it, you can do it.

It is a sensory overload of marvelous ideas. I LOVE IT! I mean seriously. Love. At first I was timid and just used the boards they offered, then before long I got the hang of it and well now my boards are a perfect representation of all things I find lovely. 

You know the pages you pluck from your favorite magazine? Or how about the style cards from the Behr Paint catalog...anyone else do that? Then there is the outfit from this fashion mag, or the shirt from that store. What about the really good recipe you saw in the magazine at the dr's office...you know the one you tried to take a picture of with your cell phone? Well guess, what...this is like a digital online version of your magazine page plucking, cell phone picture taking, style card stealing way to gather ideas.

BUT it is SO much more fun.

I thought in introduction (to at least some of you) of Pinterest I would show you some of my latest pins.

From "For My Closet"

my moving to Idaho outfit 

perfect polka dress...pair it with a yellow cardigan

I want this skirt in the worst way...

From "Recipes I will Try"

 BBQ Chicken Burger w/ Sweet Potato Fries

the only coleslaw to EVER sound yummy

 I heart donuts

From "Projects to Do"
 homemade wooden blocks

utterly delightful picnic basket liner

love this retro duffle bag...how cute is that kid??

 Okay so now we move to THE board. The board that gets pins the most often...the one I drool over and wish and hope over the most...

From "For The Home"


TO.DIE.FOR. I would NOT complain if this was my house.Pretty sure there is no 
such house where we are moving...at least in my budget.

 did you just hear choirs sing? I did. LOVE.

Hello room. You will be mine.

Okay friends...pinterested yet?

Seriously. Ahhdicting.

So head over to Pinterest. Come on by and check out My Boards, see the rest of my addiction. You can follow me...you know you want to. If you have a Pinterest account let me know so we can be pPinterest friends. If you don't, get yourself an invite to the site. Then get yourself a'pinnin'.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

In a Nutshell: Poor Oldest Little Man

We don't mean too, but we seem to find so many fun things to do when Oldest Little Man is at school. Poor Little Man. The argument, "well you have fun at school while we just sit at home" isn't really working anymore. I am really going to have to make it up to him this Summer.

Hubby had to research parks on Friday for work...tough, right? Lucky us...okay again, lucky all of us but Oldest.

Little Men loved the park. The slides. The rides. The walk. The water. The tunnels. The climbing. You name it they loved it.







My favorite...


A day with daddy at the park is just about the absolute best...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Project: For Sale- Bribe 'Em with Cookies


FIRST off, let me just say "THANK YOU" to all of you for your sweet comments, happy thoughts, and reassuringness (totally a word) about selling our house. It sure helps me out in times of stress.

Research shows....okay so my friends say and I agree...the smell of baking cookies and then fresh cookies ta' boot help sell your house. Okay so who really knows if this is true, but hey cookies never made anything worse.

So my theme for Project: For Sale today is Bribe 'Em with Cookies.


I whipped up a couple of batches of cookie dough, ate some dough, and then put it in the fridge to later use when we have a showing. Before a showing I bake some up. Then I put them on my cute tiered platter and set out some bottles of water.

Since today is Recipe Thursday (if you are somewhat new, yes there is a recurring recipe Thursday), I am sharing with you the two recipes I used for this showing.

First is an awesome Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I had been looking for a new recipe, not because I don't love mine, but they tend to get crumbly if not eaten fairly quickly...not normally a prob for me. I came across this one last week and have already made it twice.

Love. It.

Next I will share the Brownie Chunk Cookies. I had been craving a brownie cookie something fierce. I came across this recipe and changed it up slightly. Making sure to under cook just slightly ensured that I had that oh-so-delightful fudginess of a brownie in cookie form.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our Best Bites



2 C plus 2 T flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
12 T butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 C semi-sweet or milk chocolate (my preference)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in mediumbowl; set aside.
Mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients;mix until just combined. Stir in chips.
Portion out cookie dough, a heaping tablespoon, or a cookie scoop and place on cookie sheet. Bake until cookies are set around outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 10-13 minutes.  Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store inairtight container.
Brownie Chunk Cookies


1 pkg chunky brownie mix (mine was Pillsbury)
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted, cooled
2-3 Tablespoons cold water
2-3 dark milky way candy bars, chopped up into chunks

Stir together the flour, brownie mix and brown sugar.

Mix in eggs one at a time. The add butter and 2 T of water. If the batter appears  to dry add the other T of water. Batter will be THICK. Fold in candy bar pieces.

Cover and refrigerate the dough for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough on the cookie sheet. The thicker the cookie the more it will be like a brownie, so press down lightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes...slightly undercooked is better than overcooked.  Remove from oven, cool for a couple of minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to a rack.

There ya have it...cookies that would make anyone happy. Hopefully it will make someone happy enough to buy our house.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Project: For Sale- Oragnize, Clean, Purge, Store


Onto day 2 of Project: For Sale. Today our theme is Organize, Clean, Purge, Store

This aspect of selling a house is not a surprise. I think everyone who sells a house knows that they have to do these things. It is not fun, it is hard work, but it is totally worth it.

My main items for organizing are baskets, bins, crates, totes, pretty much anything that can hold items stylishly. I also put them just about anywhere. Laundry room. Living room. Closets. Shelves. Even on top of my fridge. I like to do this even when I am not selling a house. However, the amount of organizing defintely increased with trying to sell.

 spray painted baskets, laundry rag tote

Even when selling a house, there are some things I just can't completely pack away. For instance, my Little Mens' cars. While I can clean, purge and store quite a few of their toys, they still need something to play with. My solution is just to organize them in more attractive storage.


I also make sure that they are not completely in plain sight. These toy bins are sitting low on shelves.



I also can't pack away my cleaning/laundry supplies. I kind of need to clean...you know don't want people walking through filth. I also kind of need to do laundry...I mean I have three very active, filthy, mess makers.

In my laundry room, I use crates, that I spray painted,  to hold some of the basic cleaning supplies.


Upstairs I gutted our hall closet. I kept minimal cleaning supplies, toilet paper, cleaning rags, and only a few towels. In this closet I also have all of our medicine and first aid stuff in shoe size rubbermaid containers.
Basically I cleaned out and stored anything we absolutely did not need, leaving a sparse, yet clean, hall closet.


I also attacked the boys' closets. I made piles of "giveaway", "trash", "pack", and "keep out". Man did they have a lot of stuff. The only things I kept out, besides clothes, were some of their favorite games, some books, and a few choice stuffed animals.

Most of the storage in this room came from Ikea...moment of quiet adoration for this lovely store...

...okay moment over. Here is roughly what we have, but in red.




Cleaning, purging, and storing was done in every other room of the house too. We got rid of tons of stuff. Stored even more. You should see our basement's wall lined rubbermaid bin parade. Our home is pretty clutter free, ready at moments notice to pack up and have it ready to show. I think my boys' may be afraid to sneeze.




My opinion is that I would rather live gingerly and obsessively clean on a day to day basis then to have to stress and do a major clean every time we have to show it.

Hopefully this will continue to work. Hopefully I haven't given my Little Men any reason to go to therapy in the future. Off I go to vacuum...somehow chip crumbs got out in the family room...

We have another showing tomorrow...happy thoughts people, happy thoughts!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Project: For Sale, Curb Appeal


Here is another installation of my Project Series. Remember my first one, Project: Leaving on a Jet Plane, found HERE and HERE? This time it is all about getting this house sold. For the last month it seems the majority of my thoughts and efforts have gone to getting our house ready to be sold.

Obviously I am not the expert. This is our first house after all. BUT I have had a lot of great advice, and DUH I watch HGTV...so I am basically a pro. Hahaha.

Today's theme of Project: For Sale is

Curb Appeal


We all know that first impressions are a big deal. We wish we didn't make snap judgements but, let's be honest a lot of times we do. Selling a house is no different. You know what I am talking about. How often do you see an absolutely breathtaking house from the outside and immediately wish it was yours?

So one of our projects was to get the outside ready. NOW, we don't have tons of money so this had to be done on a budget. So today I am sharing some easy and affordable fixes to the outside of your home.

FIRST- give your front door a face lift. Clean it. Paint it if you need to (we did not). Hang a cute wreath. Our latest addition to the door was putting the numeric address onto the front of the door with vinyl. It was super easy and gives it a crisp, traditional, Martha-Stewarty look.


Next, we gave a face lift to our mailbox. We would have loved to replace it, but again...that darn money thing. SO instead we took the generic numbers off the post. Painted the post in a glossy black and then put similar vinyl numbers on the mailbox.

Immediate update. Hubby came home the day I did it and declared, "Look at that fancy mailbox! Why didn't we do this forever ago?"


The last thing I have to share with you is simple. WEED. If you have any flower beds or landscaping, weed even though it is annoying. Just do it. We also put down a fresh layer of mulch. Basically freshen things up and then maintain.

With the outside of your house all beautiful, hopefully people will be knocking down your door to see the beauty within. Then of course they will be fighting to be the one who buys your house...fingers crossed anyway!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In a Nutshell: Popsicles and Confessions




We had an amazingly glorious day at the end of the week. After a week full of rain, we got sun, and that means swim trunks, sprinklers, and popsicles. I even got a little sun on my arms.

We are jumping for joy over here to have playing outside weather.


Now, CONFESSION time. WARNING, if you are eating, have a queasy stomach, or don't love me enough not to judge...then stop reading NOW. Just pretend this blog ended on a happy note of my Little Men eating popsicles.

That being said, here is my confession. I had not cleaned my oven in....well....a really long time. Recently the oven was put on my to do list but kept getting bumped. Then we got a showing on Saturday (YIPPEE) and so Friday I knew I just needed to bust it out.

I knew my oven was a little dirty(p.s. this is after the spray had already been applied and all the filth was breaking down)...

I just didn't know that a little dirty was actually horrifyingly, completely, 100% DIS-gusting. Please still be my friend...

VOMIT.

Needless to say I threw this rag away.

Thank you for letting me take this time to confess my housekeeping shame. I feel better. Now at least my oven is totally clean.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Big Announcement

image via this etsy shop

Most of you already guessed our big news.

Yup, we are moving. In just a few short months we will be Idahoans. 

We are SUPER excited to get back out West. Most of our family lives out there and it will be nice to be closer to them.

OF COURSE we are sad to leave all of our family and super friends here in the great Ohio. We are sad to leave many things....but I can't think about that now, it is too soon to blubber. Instead I will focus on spending time with my friends, keeping my house clean so that it sells, and finding a new house in Idaho.

Idaho is completely new to me. Never really been there. I like their potatoes. I've driven through Boise once when I was 14. So of course I will take any advice from those of you who are seasoned Idahoans.

Now we just need to sell this house. I will take any happy thoughts and/or prayers. Feel free to find a fuzzy dandelion and blow us a wish or two. If you find yourself not knowing what to wish for when blowing out your birthday candles...you know besides world peace, you can shoot those our ways too. If you so desire to put in effect every single good luck charm you own in our behalf I will forever count you as a friend.

Can you tell I am stressed about selling our home?


It has been a lovely home. I just really want someone to find it, love it as we have, and fill it with new sweet memories.
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