Monday, February 8, 2016

CLEANING AND SCRUBBING...

Saturday was one of those days when we didn't have much planned, it was too chilly to do outside things, and everyone had a project to work on...so I did something I haven't done in a very long time.  I cleaned and oiled the wood cabinets in my kitchen!  I also mopped the floor!  My Mother was always diligent about keeping her woodwork oiled and her kitchen cabinets are 41 years old and look fantastic!  I was pretty proud of myself as the cabinets and granite were shining.  We get quite a bit of traffic through here and with the Hubs and two adult children working out of our home five days a week, it's hard to keep clean.  

This isn't the whole kitchen but a portion of what I did.  I was reminded of one of my favorite poems.  I used to have this poem on a wooden heart in my bathroom way back in 1989, the year my first child was born.  I always loved it and still do.  And I still think it's true!  I tell myself even now that having people in our home, and using the kitchen, is more important than a spotless kitchen!



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

COLLEGE DINNER AND DESSERT RECIPES...

I don't think i've ever done  a soup menu for dinner with the college kids!  The Hubs suggested it, so we had:

White Chicken Chili
Vegetarian Taco Soup
Potato Soup
Assorted crackers
Assorted cheese bites
Veggie Tray
Tortilla Chips
Guacamole
Cornbread
Triple Berry Cobbler
Mounds Brownies
Vanilla Ice Cream

The two desserts were both a first time make for me - I had the brownies at my Bunko friend's house recently so I knew they were good!  The Triple Berry Cobbler is a take off of something I used to make with peaches, called Dump Cake.  I just wanted to try it since I had the 3 ingredients on hand.

Mounds Brownies 
from Linda:


1 9x13 size brownie mix (Linda used Duncan Hines dark chocolate)
1 ½ cups chopped pecans (optional)
2 ½ cups coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 container chocolate frosting

Mix and bake the brownie mix according to the directions (I add pecans to the mix). While brownie mix is baking, mix the coconut and condensed milk. As soon as brownies come out of the oven, spread the coconut/milk mixture on hot brownies. Melt chocolate frosting in microwave about 30 seconds.  Pour over the coconut.  Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Note:  These are so rich and delicious!  I put the pecans sprinkled on the top, on half of the brownies for the non-nut lovers.  Next time I think I will make my own ganache topping instead of using the frosting in the tub.


Triple Berry Cobbler or Three Ingredient Cobbler
from Pinterest:
1 White cake mix
12 oz. frozen berry mix
1 regular can Sprite

Dump frozen berries in a greased 13x9 cake pan.  Sprinkle the cake mix all over, then pour the Sprite carefully over the cake mix, making sure to get it all wet.  Stir slightly.  Bake @350 for 45-50 minutes.  Let set for 10 minutes or so before serving.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.  

Note:  I wanted to try this version of Dump cake since I had all the ingredients on hand.  I used to make a Dump cake with peaches and yellow cake mix dotted with butter.  This version was good - I love the berries - but obviously from my picture you can see I should have stirred it a little to get all the cake mix moistened.  Super easy and would be a good one to make if company is company is coming on short notice!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

WINTER RESPITE...

I love a warm sunny day in the middle of winter!  Helps me get me through the cold, dark, dreary days!  We had the most wonderful Saturday here in central Oklahoma - 72 degrees!  I'm told the lines were crazy at the car wash and the parks were full capacity.  We got outside and thoroughly enjoyed it!  Truth be told, these are some of my favorite things to do:

 A short bike ride around Fox Lake
 A little ride in a convertible my son and the Hubs are working on...
And a little wienie roast and s'mores for dinner!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

MY LITTLE VALENTINES...

I always enjoy displaying my old Valentine collection from the 1940's!  Most of them were my Dad's sister Myrna Rae's valentines.  She had a heart condition and died in surgery at age seven.  Consequently, my grandmother kept almost everything belonging to her little girl.  I always have fun figuring out how to display them!





I also enjoy the little kiddie valentines and making goody bags for all my college kid friends!

Do you have any special traditions for Valentine's Day?  I know one of my friends always makes strawberry shortcake for her family.  The shortcake is made in the shape of a heart.  We do different small gifts usually, but really, I do not need the chocolate this year!  Hopefully my family takes notice.  If not, there's another couple of workouts I'll need to do.  :)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

SPA DECOR...

While decluttering sometimes I get distracted...but it 's okay to take a little break now and then!  We have a surplus of hotel soaps from the Hubs' travel, and I have a surplus of jars too!  I decided to make a little spa decor out of all that!




P.S.  I think I convinced the Hubs to quit bring soaps home from the hotels!  We've got enough for the next five years!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

BIBLE JOURNALING NIGHT...

So when I was a kid coloring in your Bible was taboo.  Well, no more! 

Tonight we learned about Bible Journaling!  My friend McKenzie came to our church and gave us some helpful hints and tips on how to use paint, markers, colored pencils, etc. to accent our Bibles and meditate on parts of scripture.  


A slide from her powerpoint

I love to see what other people have been doing with this.  What a great way to share your faith!  One friend of mine who has gotten into Bible journaling this past year said one reason she is doing this is so when she is gone her children and grandchildren will be able to see some of her meditations with God and the scriptures that were important to her.  

Have you gotten into Bible Journaling or Adult Coloring Books?



Saturday, January 16, 2016

PAPER PROBLEM. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL...

I really want to get this messy scrapbooking room under control.  Hint:  there's more than scrapbooking stuff in this room!  But I really don't want to spend much of my time anymore organizing, sifting, and memorializing the stuff I have. What to do?  I certainly don't want to leave it and goodness knows when I'm gone have my children cursing me for leaving it!  So I'm tackling it.  A little at a time.  It gets too overwhelming otherwise.  My resolution for this year is to only spend money on food and experiences.  So hopefully that will help me not bring anything MORE into the house.  In the meantime, I'm cleaning, purging, decluttering, donating, however you can describe it.    I suppose I could just pitch it all without looking.  But I just can't.



Got this one area cleaned and looking good!
I decided this filing cabinet has got to go.  It is full of files.  90% of them I haven't looked at in years. College work, files from my teaching days, Bible lessons, files from trips we've taken, piano lesson books from three kids, home warranties and appliance instructions from things purchased back in the 20th century!  Crazy.


My advice to all you 20somethings:  Don't let it get out of hand.  Schedule one or two days a year to work on things like this.  Send the Hubs and the kids away and tackle it.  Then you won't find yourself in your 50's with less energy and more junk than ever to have to sift through! I suppose since you have grown up with computers you will probably have less physical papers and files anyway.  But you never know.Also, don't get a big house with extra rooms!  In our busyness, I tended to throw things in a box to "deal with later."  Well, later is here and it stinks.  I really wish I could do more things that matter or just more fun.  But this is necessary.  And January is the perfect month to tackle this mess!