Tuesday, January 31, 2012

salesmanship


This scene from Moonstuck (an all time fav) always flashes through my head whenever Sweet Man and I are talking to our Realtor, insurance agents or other handy persons during this buying/selling process.
It cost so much because it's worth so much
Yep. That pretty much sums it up.
Only I am SO the husband in this scene.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Random Tuesday Smiles- My Maw


This is my Maw.  I adore her and she adores me.
On Saturday she and my Paw paid us a surprise visit. It was the best excuse ever to ignore my chores.  
.

There is nothing as magical in the whole world as a grandparent who thinks you are the bees knees.
Isn't she lovely? 


make do and make lovely monday-lightening it up


Getting the house ready to sell has been an ongoing project. There was the big push for the listing and then the Open House and now there is just a lot of little bits that we keep plugging away at. Trying to make a good impression on potential buyers, trying to put our happiest and most cheerful foot forward.


Our budget for improvements has been almost nill since we are scrimping our pennies for the move and improvements for the farmhouse, so we have been trying to rearrange and improve with what we have on hand. One of the first changes I made was to get rid of the big black tv armoire in the living room and replace it with this lower profile white dresser. I knew I would not be using the armoire at the farm so I figured I might as well make the change now and lighten up the living room while I was at it. The dresser came from my bedroom so there was no expense there. The TV we purchased with our garage sale funds and can now join the 21st century properly with our flat screen.



Replacing the armoire with the chest was one small change, but I love how much brighter the room is now. So much more open and airy. It's almost enough to make me change my mind about moving.
Almost, but not quite.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

sundays challenge- Love


 1-2Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Ephesians 5:1-2 (The Message)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fly Away Fridays- Swiss Miss


(click on images for location)


I had lots of things to say about how I want to run away to a Swiss Chalet and drink thick hot cocoa and eat crepes filled with warm ricotta and read nothing but period piece romances, full of angst and drama and pinning. 
But then my day happened. So no words. Just pictures.
Are you ready to fly away?
Here we go! 1....2...3!





Pinned Image




Click Here For more Fly Away Friday's




Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday's Confessions- my own way

Welcome to Thursday's Confessions. A weekly feature where I confess, before you my sisters and brothers, the silly, the ridiculous and even at times the shameful. Why? Because confession is good for the soul. Even in Blogland. 



Confession: Deciding what to cook for dinner STRESSES me out. Almost every day.  I try to plan ahead.  I try to make menu calendars and grocery list and think through my options. But in general I fail. Or I cry. Or I pull the easy card and we go out to our neighborhood Mexican restaurant.
But frankly I am tired of salsa and chips. And I am tired of wasting the money. And I miss my kitchen. Because really I love to cook. It's the getting started part that throws me off. 
See, I try to think. And then my mind goes blank. Completely blank. 

(image Jonny Valiant for Real Simple)

On Tuesday I caught a glimpse of this Frittata in the new issue of Real Simple.  
And I thought "I like Frittata's. They are easy to make. I should make this for dinner soon."



(image Sweet Man for Jolly Good Gal)

On Wednesday morning I looked at the recipe and realized that I had the majority of ingredients on hand (that NEVER happens.) So that night I went for it. I made dinner. I stuck to the plan. 
And I did it my way.  

My boys usually love raw spinach but run in terror from cooked spinach. However they BOTH had seconds of this dish (course Miles covered his with ketchup) and there was plenty leftover. By using two large potatoes instead of small (as the original recipe calls for) and an extra egg I was able to double the amount of servings. Today we may even use the leftovers (pictured above) and make breakfast burritos by adding salsa and sour cream.
Am I awesome or what?

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Chicken, Potato & Spinach Frittata 

(my version of Real Simple's Ham, Potato and Spinach Frittata. My changes are in blue type.)
  • About 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large russet potatoes (about 3/4 pound), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 large eggs
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • 1 cup grated Mexican mix cheese
  • 1 Can Chicken in Water (use 2 if your family loves meat.)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet or enamel cast-iron casserole dish over medium heat. Add the potatoes and onion and cook, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Salt potatoes lightly while cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix in the spinach, cheese and chicken.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the skillet, stir once, and transfer the skillet/pan to oven. Cook until the eggs are set, 12 to 14 minutes.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

wordy wednesday-enui & me




Enui is a favorite word. Especially in winter.

Most defiantly in January.

For certain if you are trying to sell an old house with almost no grass.
Absolutely when the whole world seems damp and gray. The weather neither cold or warm enough to freeze or dry all the rain that keeps dripping down. So much rain that everything is limp. Like a noodle. Like your hope.

Without a shadow of a doubt if the words you keep hearing are Needs, Too, Much, &Work (okay maybe I have only heard them twice. So far. )

If this happens, Enui will keep you company while you eat too many cookies and watch too many crime shows, and drink cheap red wine that turns your teeth purple. So purple that your Sweet Man giggles when you smile at him.

We are a cozy pair. Enui and me.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Random Tuesday Smiles- What I Saw


Saturday Jeanetta and I went to an Antique show, which was more like being a big, clean flea market. There were some antiques there. And there was some stuff from Wal-Mart and then there was the stuff in-between. The stuff  I like. I didn't buy anything because frankly I do not want to buy anything else that I might have to pack. Instead I took pictures, They travel light after all.

My grandparents and subsequently my mother always made Brains -n-Eggs for Christmas morning breakfast. I never ate it. Well, maybe once. Brains scramble up gray. I'm sorry, it's just gross.
The past few years we have had to listen to my mother lamenting her beloved and belost (pork) brains.
See you can't get 'em anymore. Something to do with how they slaughter pigs nowadays.
Lovely thought each and every Christmas morning, don't you think? It kinda makes me giggle imagining all your faces as you think about eating pigs brains.



You may see pounds of useless granny doilies. I see pounds of embellishments. Bits and pieces I could turn into scarves, patches on sweatshirt elbows, flare from underneath short skirts. If you ever are cleaning out your grannys doily collection I give you permission to bring them to me. 


Everything in this picture came from a local shop in Conway.  A retired military couple hops amry flights to Belgium, Germany and France a couple of times a year and brings home suitcases filled with linens to sell.  Not a bad gig huh? And yes, I want it ALL. Especially that coverlet.


This made me drool.  Nuf said.


I rarely played with dolls or Barbies growing up. I was more into life-size pretending. But now that I am old I adore vintage doll treasures like these kitchen pieces. Actually, I think I just want life size versions of this stove and cabinet for my current kitchen.


I have never seen the movie The Red Shoes but that is what came to mind when I saw these.
What is it about red shoes that is so darn magical?





I have become one of those people who likes chicken stuff because I actually own chickens. "Oh look! Chicken Salt and Pepper Shakers!" "Oh look! Chicken underwear!" "Oh look! Chicken toothpaste!" "Oh look! Chicken shoes!"



I dream of having a ferris wheel someday. Not a mega one. Just a regular one. A small one. 10 baskets or so... Surely that's doable. 
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I hope some of my random finds made you smile today too.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

make do {and make lovely} mondays- this is why I blog



  A year ago we went and stayed with our friends Jeanetta and Ben and their kiddos.
Ben and Jeanetta live a little bit in the country. Enough so that Sweet Man and Ben could walk about the front door with guns and thermos' of coffee and get lost in the woods.
I have never seen Sweet Man so relaxed, engaged or happy.
I knew that weekend that we would move to the country someday.

My life is like this basket of alphabet blocks. Often it feels like a jumbled mess.
I can't make heads or tail of it. The options are limitless and overwhelming and yet most days I can't quite put together the story I want to write because of a missing letter.
There are days when it feels like my life is a bowl full of A's and all I really want is an E.
And then there are days when I turn the basket upside down and all the blocks land in perfect order, spelling out the happiest of surprises. Mostly I only get bits of the story at a time. One letter, one word, maybe a whole sentence. Rarely a complete paragraph.

A year ago the basket turned upside down and the story began. The country.
That was all. No time, no location, no "how." Just two words.

Since then that story has grown, the letters continue to build. The word Farm has been added to the tale and there are  lots of half-formed words waiting to be finished, scattered around. I think I know what they will be but I am still not sure.  I hope, I dream, I pray, I guess; I am curious. Are they what I think they are? Are there other words I cannot see yet? 

 I look back at that post I wrote on January 17 of last year and I am so grateful that I unknowingly marked the date. The date our story  to move to the country  began in earnest. This is one of the reason's I blog. To connect the dots. To look at my story every now and then and see how things have changed, progressed, altered. To see it all cumulatively. To give thanks for this wild and precious life I have been blessed with. 

I have no idea how this story that began a year ago will end or what the next chapter will hold. But if the archives of this blog are any indication, somehow it will all be as it should.
 Block-basket turnover and all.




Friday, January 20, 2012

The week in review- The Highlight reel




Last Friday was the Middle School dance. The theme was Phanom of the Opera and it was a "masquarade." Wylie originaly had an eye patch on as part of his get-up but it was too hard to moon walk and do the ChaCha Cha with it on, so it had to go. I love his outfit. I offered him two choices for the dance- one was traditional and one was this. When I showed him this one he said "That one is funny which is my style."    I can't believe he is in 6th grade.  But he is such a good kid. Kind, big hearted, smart and funny.  His own person. I am a proud momma.



Saturday I went to the grocery store. And I stood in line for 22 minutes behind a couponer. There were so many problems they had to send her to another register. I was so tired I almost sat down on the floor. Miles did.   We are doing good on the cooking at home for dinner - and healthy too. Last night was baked potato night- always a fav with everyone. But I feel like I always miss something at the grocery store. If I ever become a billionaire I am hiring a grocery shopper/meal planner person. Who sweeps. And does laundry. 


I can't remember when or why I took this. But look at those cheeks. He still has his baby cheeks. Sweet, sweet boy. 


Saturday night my gracious and compassionate in-laws took the boys for a sleepover so that Sweet Man and I could finish all the work we needed to do before the Open House. We also took advantage of the situation to go grab some dinner and a drink. Somewhere along the way, after we had kids, we started going to uber-generic chain restaurants and sitting at the bar on our date nights. Probably because we never plan ahead and so the really great restaurants are filled up and because I generally want a steak. Also when we sit at the bar it feels more  like a date. We aren't old, tired, responsible adults trapping our children by sitting in a booth, playing man-to-man defense, insisting on waters all around, and breaking up feuds over the last fry. When we sit at the bar we are close enough to touch. To flirt, to swivel and look each other eye to eye. We can people watch and laugh and make friends with the often overworked bar-tender.  It's always a great time and I highly recommend it if your married-dating life needs a little pick-me up.


Sunday was the Open House and the Inspection at the farm.
Jeanetta and Ben met us out there. Thank God for best friends. Seriously. 
I mean how could I be anything other than happy and optimistic looking into that face?


The farm was lovely and perfect and magical as always. Keep those prayers going! We got some good news today on the financial front and will know more Monday... I will keep you all posted.



Monday I stayed in bed almost the whole day.
Except for when I fixed my space bar on the lap top. I am notoriously hard on electronics and recently, trying to fix my wonky space bar I broke it completely. I made due for a while with just the little nubby rubber bit that was left, but then that fell off too. So I had to get creative. A Lego, a hot glue gun and a cut up pencil eraser later I had a new space bar. Voila! It has worked pretty good so far. Course I would have loved it if the Lego was pink...


Tuesday we had dinner with my in-laws and my MIL made her amazing banana pudding. So so yummy. I have had a tiny bowl every night since. And that pretty much sums up the rest of the week since I have been dog tired. 
Work. Banana Pudding. Bed. 


I've had better weeks but I have also had much worse weeks so I can't complain.
How was your week?





Thursday, January 19, 2012

confession thursdays-I got nothing



Welcome to Thursday's Confessions. A weekly feature where I confess, before you my sisters and brothers, the silly, the ridiculous and even at times the shameful. Why? Because confession is good for the soul. Even in Blogland.




Confession: I got nothing. Nothing new. Nothing exciting.
Ain't I a hoot?  Crankiness is running rampant at my house.
We need some hardcore snow days. We need a time out.
Or maybe I just need a time out. A long winters nap. (Sidenote: I am pretty sure that if you go through my archives you will find this same post at some point every January. )


 Confession: I am filled with germs. Don't get too close. My first winter cold has arrived. Not awful enough to put me in bed, but icky enough to make my feet drag. After three nights of appointments and outings my big plans for tonight are: A glass of Mad Housewife, putting laundry away, watching Project Runway All-Stars in bed on my laptop and eating tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches off a tray.

It's a glamorous life people. Truly.


PS- Obviously these pictures had nothing to do with my post. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

Random Tuesday Smiles- rainbow brights


The weather is weird around here. Balmy almost. The days start off warm and then the temp drops 10 degrees by lunch, but then it is back up in the morning. Rain showers off and on. Are we in Florida? Did I miss a memo?  Where is winter?\  I know it will show up eventually. Probably about the time Spring is typically scheduled to arrive huh? So is the weather in Arkansas.
But enough about the weather.  Today for some random smiles in  I thought I would brighten things up a bit and show you a few of my favorite winter rainbows via  Pinterest.


Felted soaps from the Twisted Purl





Crochet necklace/scarf from ing-things 


Ok so this cake has nothing to do with Winter other than I ADORE it.
It is so happy and yummy looking. And I think I have figured out a simple way to make it...fingers crossed. If it works I will let you know...
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Hope your Tuesday has many other random smiles!


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