Sunday, August 31, 2014

August In The Rear View Mirror

What a month!  The cool July slid into a hot and muggy August.  Outdoor projects came to a screeching halt.  This girl does not like to sweat!  There is always plenty to do inside...right?

Since I loathe sitting still, I did a makeover on our guest bedroom along with decluttering the closet.  Plus I started a makeover of our master bathroom.  I’m really hoping I get it done tomorrow!  Darn wallpaper slowed me down hugely.  It’s coming off inch by inch.  Ugh!

Our only trip was up for Little Bird’s 5th birthday.  The Little Pony fiesta was a hit with everyone and she added to her wee herd nicely. 

It’s been a social month, with visits to and from old friends and new.  A friend of Himself’s came for dinner for the first time and was a wonderful visit.  So much fun to make a new friend! 

Lots of events and meeting this month.  We had our first meeting for Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection.  It’s only 77 days until collection starts!! the way, hope you have a fun Labor Day tomorrow!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Salud! at Whole Foods: Flavor Profiles (Recipe: Thai Red Curry Chicken)

On Wednesday Himself and I were back down to Whole Foods for a cooking class.  But this time we were students instead of volunteers.  It felt kinda of weird to be wearing a white apron (student) instead of a black apron (volunteer).

The class was a new one called 'Flavor Profiles'.  It used the classic seasonings of four locations (France, Morocco, India, and Thailand) on a basic chicken to contrast the differences.

It was a great class!

We did the Thai recipes.  (Yes... it was VERY hot in the kitchen.  I was roasting!)

A summery of Thai flavors.

Simmering our dish.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Music...

"The Shack Up Inn", Clarksdale, MS

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Time To Travel

With this hot muggy weather, I've been working around in the house instead of outside.  I have a big project going on right now, but I also am having some fun with some rearranging of shelves.  The instant gratification of getting a shelf done is so nice when you've been working on a project that drags on and on!

The shelves that need the most updating are in the living room.

A 'time to travel' theme kind of fell together for me.  (Imagine that!)

It's ironic tho that most of the pieces on this shelf are not from our travels!  LOL  In fact, most of it is from Home Goods.  The soap stone infinity knot on the far right is from Kenya and the old padlock is from a local yard sale.

This shelf has more personal stuff.  The photo to the left is Himself and I in Cartagena, Columbia.  The frame has the "A time to..." verses from Ecclesiastes.  The suit case was my Dad's... he used it on his senior trip!  The picture with the windmills is a mixed media piece I made.  The old globe is from a yard sale.

Fun stuff!

I am really pleased with how it turned out.  It is so us!

Two shelves down... about 15 more to go!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Keeping Clutter In Check: Kitchen Pantry

Week 2 of the declutter challenge at Mary Organizes has us in the kitchen.  When I took the doors off of those two cabinets a short time ago, I had decluttered all the cabinets as I was rearranging.  So that was all good.

However... the pantry was another story.

It was definitely cluttered and I knew there were a few things I'd be pushing to the back of the shelves for a while.

So EVERYTHING came out.  All my counters were covered with food stuffs.

I sorted thru them checking expiry dates and deciding on a few that we just would not be using them.  Those went into the trash.  A few were really close to the dates, and they are in a special place in the pantry so that I will use them soon.

Looks much better!  And so much easier to find what I'm looking for too.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Out of Season Flotsam

As we drive here and there, I tease Himself that I am scanning the roadside for 'flotsam'.  After all, I have made some fun roadside discoveries like my metal "oversize load" sign ( ) or my cute little ladder ( ).

Our trip home from MO was no exception!  We hadn't been on the road very long at all when I was telling Himself to turn around, I saw treasure!  (Right in front of the Harley place Dad.)  

I bounced out of our nice AC cooled truck into 99* plus heat to grab a SNOW SHOVEL!

Yes, a snow shovel.

A brand new snow shovel.  Except for a little road rash it is in perfect shape.

Now Himself can move some snow this winter... if we get us some snow...

That reminds me of a joke on of Himself's cousins told us.  

A man from North Dakota had finally had enough of the windy frigid winters.  He never wanted to be in the cold again.  But where to go to meet that need?

He packed up his car and the last thing he loaded was his snow shovel on top of his car. 

Then he started driving straight south.

He drove and drove and drove, visiting with people along the way.

At a gas station in south Texas a young boy pointed to the roof of the car and asked "What's that?"

With a smile the man said to himself... "This is home!"

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lamp Shade Makeover

When I was working on my guest bedroom makeover I needed to do it on a shoestring budget.  And one of the things I needed to work on was the lamp shades.  

There was nothing wrong with them... except extreme blandness.  They blended into the wall way too much.

Mom told me that my aunt was always spray painting her lamp shades whenever she redid a room.  That sounded like a good option as I have a LOT of spray paint.

Himself vacuumed them thoroughly and I painted.

That's it... just sprayed them down with lots of light coats.

At first, while they were still wet, I thought it was an epic fail.  They looked really ratty.  I was sooooo mad.

But when they dried, they looked a lot better.  You could see the texture of the fabric and the color was just what I wanted.


So I tried them out in the bedroom and love them!  I'll definitely do this little makeover trick again.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Keeping Clutter In Check: The Living Room

There’s a whole new home challenge at the Mary Organizes blog.  This one is to declutter your house in 13 weeks.  Declutter only – no major organizing or cleaning.

My upstairs is pretty good, but to keep it that way I need to regularly go over areas that can collect clutter.  This challenge is good motivation to do that.
Week 1 was the living room.  There’s only three places clutter can hide in there; the entertainment center, the cedar chest, and my small desk.

I started with the entertainment center.  There were some new DVDs and CDs that needed attending to.  

I keep them in albums and had not yet transferred them in.  Also took a little extra time to Sharpie on the album spines what was inside them.  

Next was the cedar chest.  It had a bunch of VHS tapes stored in it; either family tapes I need to get transferred over to DVD or movies I haven’t yet bought the DVD version.  Pulled those out and went through them to make sure we hadn’t gotten one of those newer versions.  Sure enough... a couple movies went into the sell and donate piles.

Now all that is in the cedar chest is my candle and vase stashes. 

Finally was the little desk.  There were a few odd things that had been stuffed in the drawers, probably when company had dropped by.  Some went in the ‘put it away’ box and the rest into the trash.  Drawer 1 has the 2nd garage door opener and drink coasters, drawer 2 has a few light bulbs so we don’t have to go to the tub downstairs where we stash them, and drawer 3 has our phone with a cord (power goes out and the cordless phones are useless!).

It only took a bit over an hour and I removed a plastic grocery bag worth of clutter.  Good deal!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Thai Rama restaurant in Crystal City, MO

Just a little bit off the beaten path in Crystal City, MO is our favorite Thai restaurant: Thai Rama (  ).  We usually try to grab a lunch there whenever we are up visiting.

I always start with a bowl of Tom Kha Kai... a mildly spicy (for me) coconut milk soup with chicken, straw mushrooms, cilantro, lemon grass, and a bit of ginger.  I like it so much I'm considering next visit to order a couple bowls and have it as my main course.

My favorite entree is the ginger stir fry.  I chose beef for the meat and extra ginger.  The veggies are carrots, green peppers, zucchini, straw mushrooms, mini corn, and garlic.

And I always get one of their delicious Thai ice teas (and a glass of water so I don't hork it down!  LOL).  I really, really need to make a visit to the Thai food store in Nashville and get a bag of Thai tea mix (it is hands over better than just using regular tea bags).

For dessert Himself had 'purple rice pudding' which is made with "forbidden black rice".  It was interesting with its slightly earthy/nutty flavor.

My choice was sweet sticky rice with bananas.

I highly recommend Thai Rama.  It's located at:

907 North Truman Blvd (aka Hwy 61/67)
Crystal City, MO

(coming off of I-55, use exit 175 and head east to Hwy 61/67.  Then go north about 1.5 miles.  It's on the west side of the road.)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Clear and .... Stormy???

We came home yesterday from Little Bird's birthday week.  We had with us Little Hoss' old dresser in the back of Little Red truck.  Sis put a new chest of drawers in his room as the dresser wasn't able to stand up to a rough and tumble boy.  (He used the drawers to climb on top of it to launch himself onto his bed!  Yep... he's all BOY!  LOL)

Having the option of bringing it home now or waiting until next visit (storing on my parent's property), I checked the weather forecast.

Sunny and clear.

So we loaded up and set out for home.

About a half hour down the road we see this...

Ohhhhh no...

And they get closer and bigger.

And darker.

There's little pips of water hitting the wind shield.

Oh no...

Behind us isn't looking very good either.

Yep... here it comes.

Don't you just love a good weather forecast job?

I'll be spending this afternoon cleaning up that dresser!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Little Bird!

Part of me feels like it is impossible that it could be Little Bird's 5th birthday.  It couldn't have been that long ago!  But indeed it is, and our girl requested a My Little Pony birthday party.

I made a swag banner for her with all her favorite ponys.  It was fun and pretty easy to make. 

A closer look.

The '5' is in a great sequined paper I found at Hobby Lobby.

Fresh out of the shower and still damp, Little Bird has her first look at the banner.  She loved it.

Sis had the dress custom made for her.  

Bird wanted Mexican for her party luncheon, so it was a Pony Fiesta.  There were fajitas, tacos, homemade salsa & chips, pico de gallo, guacamole, black bean & corn relish, "Mexican" pasta, plus some cheese and crackers.  Also a tasty jello salad made by Big J's grandmother and fresh fruit salad.

Big J had to grill the chicken for the fajitas out in the rain!  LOL

After everyone enjoyed their lunch it was time to open the presents!

From her great grandmother... a puzzle and some cash to go into her Build a Bear Pony fund.

From Grandma and Grandpa... a huge stash of Pony products.

The Pony blanket was a hit.

And from Auntie and Unca... a 'Matilda Jane' top and the made over Pinkie Pie from my last post.

Pinkie was a hit!

And after presents:  it's cupcake time!

Time to blow out the candle.

Happy Birthday Little Bird!

Friday, August 15, 2014

How To Groom Your Little Pony

Little Bird has an upcoming birthday and her party is going to be "My Little Pony".  I knew this back in June when Himself and I were at the Trenton town yard sale.  There was a little girl who was thinning her herd and had "Pinkie Pie" up for sale.

For .50c!

Needless to say, Pinkie came home with me.

But Pinkie had been living the wild life.  Her 'coat' was dull with dirt and a few stray markings.  And that mane and tail... oh my!!  What a ratted mess.

First thing I did was to wash her down with good old soap and water.  Better but not perfect.  So then I went over her with a Mr. Clean Eraser pad.  

Oh yes, that worked wonderfully.  She looked like a new pony!

Next step was to deal with that mane and tail.

I broke out my hair conditioner and started working in large dollops until all the 'hair' was saturated.

Then I gently worked it in.

Can't forget her tail!

Then the combing started...

This step took about 40 minutes.

As I finished each small section, I flipped it over to keep it out of the way.  The conditioner kept it where I put it.

Some areas were really ratted... pony split ends!  Those just had to be trimmed off as the damage could not be repaired.

Finish comb through.  No more rats!

Then it was time to rinse...

... and rinse some more.  I was very careful not to get it knotted again.

Pinkie Pie is squeaky clean!

A bit of inverted drying to give her mane some 'lift'.

Pinkie Pie is looking glamorous now!

A mane any girl would envy!