Monday, April 30, 2012

Drab to Fab: Painted Flower Pots

I saw the cutest painted flower pots on Pinterest that I just had to copy. I really love the fun polka dotted pots and the bright colors, so I decided to give my drab looking pots a much needed spruce up! Mom had some paint left from her front door project, so I decided to go with that color {Maple Leaf by Behr}. I already had one pot filled with vinca vine, so I just gave it a fresh coat of paint and added some pretty zinnias. Here is the before/after:



 Next, I painted a smaller pot the same color, but for this one, I added some big, white polka dots.
The tutorial suggested using the cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper to make the dots, but that was a bit flimsy, so I used a small biscuit cutter. I then took a small brush and filled in the circles with white paint.
I didn't quite finish my project today, because I had to stop to fix dinner and then prom decorating at 6 p.m. All I have left though is to fill the pot, and then I will post pictures! I'm going to put the polka dotted one on the front step, and I'm keeping the larger one on the walkway. They really turned out great!

update 5/01/12: I snapped a picture this morning through the window....turned out pretty good, huh?


NOTE: I remembered that you can buy sample sizes of paint at Lowes or Home Depot. The 8 oz. sample would probably cover several pots- a very inexpensive way to spruce up your old pots with some beautiful, new colors!
sample size - $2.94 each {Home Depot}

Sunday, April 29, 2012

well you can't say I didn't try....

You know how I've been rambling on and on about how busy my life is and how I've been hoping to catch a minute to walk down to the kayak dock for some quiet time, well, today was the day! After church, we got takeout from the restaurant that I work at {which was so, so good I might add}, and it was such a gorgeous day, I decided to grab my camera and head for the docks. Well, a certain young couple had the exact same idea! They were only a few steps ahead of me, and I think we actually ended up in a race to see who could claim the spot first...LOL. Needless to say, they won! Once I was there, I felt rather awkward, and didn't know whether to sit down on the other bench or turn around and go back home. Me, being the persistant one that I am, sat down on the bench. It was so funny because the young guy kept looking over his shoulder at me, like,umm, you are not seriously going to sit here with us are you? LOL :O) I was hoping I was going to cramp their style and they would leave, but nope, they stuck me out! I finally spoke up and said, do you know if the library is open? The young guy said quickly, yep, it's open all the time.....talk about getting rid of somebody. LOL
So, off to the library I go, where I searched and searched for a "good book". I haven't read anything in months, and nothing jumped out at me, so I randomly chose these two books.
I'll let you know if I made a good choice. Well, the library just so happens to be right in front of the kayak dock, and I almost pulled a chair out on the porch, but since the young couple thought they had gotten rid of me, I didn't want them to spot me. I took a few pictures through the french doors, but seriously it is a pitiful attempt at getting some beautiful pictures today.....you can't say I didn't try though..................


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grilling Season

I love, love anything and everything cooked on the grill and even though we keep our grill out year round {and do occasionally fire it up during the colder months}, it is now officially grilling season here at our house! I bought some nice steaks yesterday and checked online for a good marinade recipe. Here is the one I decided on......and it was sooooooo good!!!

MARINADE
3T. soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. garlic powder
1 T. dried basil
2 t. parsley flakes
1/2 t. pepper
2-3 dashes hot sauce
1 clove minced garlic {see note below}

Whisk together in a bowl, then pour over steaks {in gallon size ziploc bag}. Refrigerate for several hours.

Note: I have started buying minced garlic in a jar instead a cloves of garlic. I always seem to waste so much when I buy a whole clove, and the jarred garlic is ready to use!

I didn't get pictures of my finished meal, but trust me, the steaks were d-e-l-i-s-h!
I'm trying to branch out from the normal burgers and hot dogs, so last year I bought a grill pan, which I loved for grilling veggies, and we also plan on grilling fish, shrimp, and scallops this year. I didn't have a picture of the pan I bought, so I copied one from the web.
This one is Williams-Sonoma ($100), mine actually came from Walmart ($19) LOL but it basically does the same thing! If you are serious about grilling, you gotta have a grill pan.
I also really want to try my hand at grilled pizza, so I'm looking for a pizza grill pan. This one will probably do the trick....
GrillPro Pizza Grill Pan - $10.99
Here's a link on how to grill pizza. I've pinned a few pizza recipes on Pinterest I can't wait to try.
Don't they look yummy!? Speaking of yummy, I even found a dessert recipe for the grill....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Destination Disney: 5 Favorite Snacks

Food...it's a huge part of the Disney experience! Snacks at Disney are no exception. I mentioned that we always do the dining plan, and with the dining plan comes a snack for everyone everyday! I try to use the snack  credits for something other than a soda or chips, I like to get something really yummy, preferably something sweet!  Here are 5 of our favorites, all snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan!
{1} We just discovered Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom last year, and made sure we went back again this year for a DOLE WHIP FLOAT! What a delicious treat! {1 snack credit=$4.49}
{2 & 3} If you love caramel, a stop you must make is Karamell Kuche in Germany's pavilion in Epcot. I used up several snack credits here, two of them being a block of pecan caramel, and a chocolate covered strawberry. {1 snack credit =$3.95 each}

{4} Also in Epcot, you must stop by the little stand in the Japan pavilion, and try a KAKI-GORI. {1 snack credit=$3.50}

{5} A pastry lover's dream.......stop by MAIN STREET BAKERY at Magic Kingdom, to try one of their ginormous cinnamon buns! {1 snack credit= $3.99}Of course, you'll need something to wash it down with, like maybe a frozen latte {also 1 snack credit=$4.09}.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Overly Ambitious.....

So I'm following up on this morning's post. I was quite the ambitious one wasn't I? Well, I did manage to scratch off the majority of the list, so I'm pretty satisfied with all I got done, but I have already started tomorrow's to-do {with left-over items from today topping the list}. Can you see the never ending cycle?

It was a gorgeous day, so I headed outside first. I painted both the back and front lights, which were showing signs of neglect.
{before}

{after}

I also hosed down the house, planted the azalea, weeded in front and back of the house, put out my springy flag, and trimmed the hedges.
perfect place to store my banner flags


I took a break for lunch and to switch out laundry, then back out to finish the hedges. I got cleaned up and headed out to run some errands. Special prayer time at church {my time is 2:15}, then to the grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner {I had a breakfast dinner}, then to the post office.
I came home and got all of the messages off the machine, then I spent the next 45 minutes returning calls. Nathan had a yard to do after school, so Peter and I had dinner, then I spent the next 30 minutes answering emails. I packed the dishwasher, then got ready for church. I am so glad I found the extra energy to go out tonight. We had such a wonderful meeting! Ella bought a touching message. She spoke on Galations 5:16-23. Just what I needed!
Once I got back home, I folded the laundry I had washed earlier today {I didn't empty the hamper though....more laundry tomorrow!},  fixed Nathan something to eat, and ended up at the computer. I skipped PTA today, but I'm headed over to check on Nathan's grades online and send an email to his teachers. I don't love PTA anymore.....I've been going to PTA for 20 years, and I know I only have 2 years of it left, but I can accomplish the same thing by emailing the teachers to check on Nathan {I also run into most of them at the grocery store on occasion}. Nathan is a good student and doesn't get into any trouble, so when I go to PTA it's the same thing....wait your turn, go in, we chitchat for a few minutes, they tell me he's doing fine, I tell them to contact me if there is anything I need to know, and I do this x5, it takes forever.....I know, I'm not doing my duty.....but I don't have the patience, especially when I can sit at home and do the same thing via email....I just love technology sometimes.
Well, I didn't get to the bills/ checkbook/menu planning or the quiet time at the kayak dock, but I had a really good day....a busy day, but a good day, oh, and if you are wondering how the "eating lifestyle change" went today, I did great.......
Lunch: turkey sandwich, yogart, & Diet Coke
well, I did great until I found this little guy in the freezer. I only had one though....I promise! ;O)

A day in the life of.......ME

I know we all have busy lives....that's just the way it is! But I wake up sometimes wondering how on earth I made it through yesterday, and how the to-do list for today can already be full by 8 a.m.! In all honesty, I love staying busy, I really love having a schedule, but I'm also not getting any younger and I see a difference every year in the amount of energy I have. I've noticed a trend too that I've recently started. I go full swing all day, then as soon as dinner is over, I just need to find the sofa to grab a few minutes of down time {aka...a cat-nap}. LOL I have never been a napper, except maybe on a rainy Sunday after church, but these days, by 6 p.m., I crash! And I don't even feel guilty anymore,{yes, I know, I'm one of those people}, a little rest after dinner definitely does the trick. This is something I'm learning to do for....ME!
There is something though that I  already make time for - a bubble bath, every night!
It's my few minutes of serenity in an otherwise chaotic world {my life sounds so stressful-really, it's not that bad}. Nap and a bubble bath.....hmmm...my life is sounding more peaceful already!
Now if I can just do better in the eating area. I really, really need a lifestyle change, I mean, I cannot eat what I want when I want for the rest of my life! Another thing I've noticed about getting older, the weight seems to creep up on you, and it goes to parts of your body it never went before, hence the term, middle age spread. Not good at all. I love food....it is so hard for me to say the word diet. I prefer to say changing my eating lifestyle...LOL....so that's what I'm doing, especially after this past week of ordering lunch out every day while cleaning the b&b, going through 2 dozen cream puffs/twists, and cooking a huge dinner every evening! This morning I picked out something healthy to start my day....I'll let you know how long that lasts...LOL.
While I was waiting for Nathan to get out of the shower this morning, I pulled out my little notebook and started jotting down things I'd like to get done today. We finished with the b&b yesterday, so I'm officially home for another week before my other busy life begins...tourist season! Instead of typing my list up to share, I just snapped a picture of the actual list.
I have a feeling I might not accomplish it all today {especially cleaning the shed-I'm hoping Nathan will help with that}, but I will probably scratch most of it off. Maybe I'll post again tonight to let you know how my day goes. It might make it a bit more challenging if I report back to you guys! I think I'll head outside first, I really need to get this azalea in the ground...asap!
What I'd really like to do today is take a walk, sit on a bench at the kayak dock with my camera, and maybe even stop by the library to pick up a book......oh well, a person can dream!
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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Simple Woman's Day Book - April Edtion


A Simple Woman's Day Book

April Day Book - Monday 4/23/12
Outside my window- it has been soooo chilly today!! Peter even turned the heat back on {which I do admit feels good tonight}.
I am thinking-  I should go to bed earlier.
I am thankful- for a wonderful family that loves me!!! :O)
In the kitchen- I need to light a candle. We had {fresh} fried fish for dinner...yum! I also made a broccoli casserole, which is one of our favorite sides.
I am wearing- jeans, a tee, and an Eyeore hoodie.
I am creating- well, after my last post, I am excited to create a menu plan!
I am hoping- that the weather warms back up...soon!!
I am looking forward to- PROM....it's next Friday May 4th!!!
I am learning- that the older I get, the less I can deal with drama.
I am going- to hopefully finish cleaning the b&b tomorrow {Weds at the latest}.
I am wondering- where April went.....
A favorite quote for the day-
I am reading- nothing, and I really miss reading....I'm planning on stopping by the library to pick something up {it's on my to-do list}. :O)
Around the house- there is laundry that has not been put away. It has been washed, dried, and folded though....
One of my favorite things- Our most recent fundraiser was on Friday. We sold about 130 dozen cream puffs & cinnamon twists that we ordered from a local bakery. They were absolutely sinful! YUM!
A few plans for the rest of the week- a couple mores days of cleaning at the b&b, decorate for prom Thursday night, and pizza bake fundraiser on Friday.
A peek into my day-
one of the rooms at the b&b...all ready for guests!!! :O)

5Q Friday...on Monday!

I'm not even going to begin to make excuses as to why I've neglected my blog since last Weds! Let's just blame it on.......oh well, LIFE! :O) My life is just crazy, busy right now, but in a good kind of way..LOL! Hopefully, I'll get my act together, and keep on blogging! I love doing 5Q Friday, but I'm just now getting around to it, and I did notice that the linky was closed, but I'm posting it anyway. :O)

1. Groceries are high right now what is easiest way you have found to cut back?
I am paying way too much for groceries these day. It's my own fault though....not planning menus for the week, not being organized enough to know what I have on hand in the pantry and freezers, going to the grocery store numerous times a week, these are all reasons why I'm not saving the money I should in the grocery area. I have done the meal planning, and the coupons/sales, so I know how much I can save on groceries, yet I let my busy life get me in a rut. This is an area I have been trying to do better in, because I know it is doable, so I am seriously going to try to do these few things to cut back on the grocery budget:
  1. Plan a menu for the week
  2. Do inventory of my pantry and freezers and use up some of the things I have on hand.
  3. Make less trips to the store/stick to note when I do go.
  4. Try buying only what I need for the week, instead of trying to "stock up".
2. What are the top 3 things on your "bucket list"? The same 3 things that were on the bucket list last year:
  1. Zip-Line
  2. Take a cooking class.
  3. Go horseback riding on the beach.

3. Would you rather give up AC or heat? I'm convinced I'm about to change life{yippeee..said in my most sarcastic voice} LOL.....so NO heat please...crank up that a/c!!! :O)
STAY COOL!
4. What's your favorite cocktail?? I don't have one...
5. What was your first job & how old were you? I was probably about 10. I delivered newspapers. :O)