Friday, May 19, 2017

Fly on the Wall-May 2017

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.


Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                  
Menopausal Mother                     http://www.menopausalmom.com/
Searching for Sanity                 http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com
Spatulas on Parade                    http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/
A Little Piece of Peace                 http://little-piece-of-peace.blogspot.com
Never Ever Give Up Hope                   http://batteredhope.blogspot.com
Bookworm in the Kitchen                http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/  
Not That Sarah Michelle                  http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com


I officially closed my homeschool this month. I took Boo to the college and she is now going through their High School Equivalency Program. Let me tell you, it is such a relief to be finished with the stress. I don't have any regrets, but I was just burned out by it all. I don't know how people with more than two kids keep doing it year after year. They should be awarded a medal!

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I called our insurance company to find out how much our insurance will go up when we add Clone of Bob so that he can get his license. I was so angry that I called another company for a second quote and their number was even higher than our current company! The rate is going to more than triple!!!! It's not quite as much as my car payment, but it's not far from it either!

We were given the advice by two different agents to buy a cheap car and add it to the insurance with liability only. Supposedly, this would bring our rates down because Clone of Bob would be "attached" to the liability-only car. Now we're pulling our hair out scrimping and saving and trying to find a decent, cheap, used car. Clone of Bob is saving, too, which will help, but it's still a very frustrating process. 

One thing about it...I won't have to take him to work anymore. I've been doing it for months and it would be nice if I didn't have to do it anymore. 

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I've got a new project...I have not decided exactly what I am going to do with it yet. I'd seriously love to restore it, but everyone that I've shown it to thinks I should just clean it up and leave it be. 



I plan to gently clean it up and see what happens...I'll be sure to post an update once I'm done. A tutorial if I end up redoing it. 

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I learned not to read a book while also watching the TV show based on said book. I got kinda frustrated the other night when I saw an ad for "James Patterson's Zoo" on CBS. I started whining to DH that I hadn't even had a chance to read the book yet! He pointed out that the upcoming season wasn't even the first one. This was news to me. Honestly. 

So, the next morning I found the book on my library's electronic app and borrowed it. I got 135 pages into it and decided to see if the show was on the CBS All Access app since the book was turning out to be pretty interesting. When I found that it wasn't there, I was then on a quest to find the series. I found it on Netflix and I was so excited that I watched the first episode and I hadn't even finished the book!

Needless to say, the TV series starts way different from the book and decided that I needed to finish the darn book before I watched any more episodes and got thoroughly ticked off. 

Does it drive you bonkers when they make major changes to a book for the movie? I can't count the number of times I was ready to tear my hair out after watching a movie based on a book. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Fresh Start for the Kitchen- BWF April 2017


Welcome to Blog with Friends the "Fresh" edition!





I seem to tire of the color of my kitchen cabinets every five years.

When we bought the house (double-wide) new in 2007, this was the kitchen.


It wasn't bad, just a little bland. I ordered the walls that cream color on purpose. I intended to paint them eventually. Sadly, we've been here almost ten years and the only thing that has been painted was the cabinets.

I painted the cabinets in 2012:

While it looked pretty when it was first done, I quickly grew disgusted with the color. I started painting another section of the kitchen a cream color, but that was worse because of the cream-colored walls. Then, a while later, Bob and I stripped the top section of cabinets above the stove...to this day, I don't remember what the reasoning was on this.

In the end, I had 3 different colored cabinets in my kitchen! I wanted to paint them last year, but I was convinced not to because we planned to rip it all out anyway. To do that, and put in new is way more money than we have right now. I know it'll be at least two years before we can even think about doing new cabinets, so I decided to move forward with my plans.

I started by painting the cabinets, yet again, black. I used about two quarts, about $20 worth of paint. Here, I'll tell you to learn from my mistake. I bought Rustoleum paint from Walmart and the stuff bubbled as it dried! I've never seen paint do that! I now have "textured" cabinets and I'm not thrilled with it. If you look from a distance you can't see it, so I just need to stay out of the kitchen. Maybe I'll lose weight.

I kept my original hardware (knobs) because that stuff is expensive! I'll replace it when we put in new cabinets.

I bought contact paper to use as a backsplash. I bought mine from the Dollar Tree. While I only spent $5 on it, it wasn't the greatest choice because you cannot match up the pattern from roll to roll. This is the obvious reason it was at the Dollar Tree. However, it's temporary for me, so I'll live with it.

To apply the contact paper, I used a razor, scissors, and a damp cloth (for smoothing).


Before applying the contact paper, make sure that the walls are clean and smooth. Remove outlet covers and other objects on the walls. I have seams like the one in the pic above due to the fact that I have a manufactured home. Not everyone will have to deal with those things. 

Carefully, and slowly apply the contact paper to the wall, keeping it even and bubble-free. Use your razor around the outlets to cut out the holes for the outlets and smooth in place.



I'm pleased with the results, and I might just leave this kitchen alone until we can completely gut it. I still have to paint the rest of the walls, but the bulk of the work is finished for very little money!


I probably spent less than $50, but I could have gone higher if I had bought the "diamond plate" self-sticking foil that I had originally intended to put in as a backsplash. However, Clone of Bob convinced me to put that on his furniture in his bedroom, so I decided it would be too much if I used it in the kitchen, as well.

Now take a look at all of these other great posts! There is a big group of us this month!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado made Springtime Waffles; Celebration waffles for a special occasion to celebrate Spring or just for fun.



Melissa at My Heartfelt Sentiments shows us how to make a Handmade Gift Bag.



Kia at Think in English gives us Seven Fresh Ideas Straight from the 2017 TESOL Convention in Seattle.



Tamara at Confessions of a part-time working Mom posted about Cutting Calories: losing pounds while keeping sane.



Kristin at Little Mama Jama writes about How to Start Fresh each day with your autistic child.



Minette at Southern Belle Charm made a Dollar Tree Wreath for Spring.



Dawn at Spatulas on Parade posted about Life Lessons-Starting Fresh and give us a recipe for Garlic Honey Rubbed Pork Tenderloin. 



Rabia at The Lieber Family gives us Starting Fresh: Tips and Thoughts on Moving.


Lydia at Cluttered Genius shows us an app for Daily Devotions to Start Your Day.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Fly on the Wall-March 2017



Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

March has been pretty quiet around here. Well, I wouldn't call it quiet. We've been busy with the daily, mundane things that families deal with. Busy work, I guess you'd call it. 

Bob and I did, however, finish one of the never-ending projects around here!


Well, one phase of it is finished. Bob still wants to make and put pretty trim all around the front of those shelves and TV stand. I still have some boxes to go through and see if I have anything else to put on those shelves. I'm sure Clone of Bob will take me up on my suggestion of filling up those top shelves with Pops, lol!

We still need to paint the rest of the room and we want to put down a better floor. That floor is down the road, though. 


I've been feeling so scattered lately. I AM perpetually busy but never doing the things that I've been putting off. I wonder if I need to make a list of all of the things that I need to do and tackle them one at a time. Set a goal of completion or something? I just don't know. I spend more time doing none of the things that I should be doing because I just don't know where to start and in what order to do the projects that I need to do. Anyone have any good suggestions? All of this stresses me out and interferes with my creativity!


Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:




Monday, March 13, 2017

Blog With Friends: March 2017 Green Graduation Cake

Welcome to Blog With Friends March 2017 "Green" Edition!!



Last month Clone of Bob passed his High School Equivalency Exam and we decided to have a small party for him. It's hard to do a graduation party this time of year because it just isn't the season for it. DH and I didn't even find a graduation card!

Clone of Bob isn't big on cake. He'll eat a cupcake every now and then, but not regular cake, so I decided to make him an ice cream cake in his favorite color shaped like a graduation cap. 


I found that making an ice cream cake isn't that difficult, but it can get expensive. The items I purchased to make this thing.


  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream
  • 5 Reese's cups
  • 1 Large Kit Kat bar
  • 1 Oreo Cookie crust, or crushed oreo cookies.
  • Ingredients for Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping 
    • 1/3 C water
    • 1/3 C sugar
    • 2/3 C peanut butter
  • Ingredient for Dream Whip Frosting
  • Hot fudge

I made the vanilla layer first:



  1. Scoop about 4 scoops of ice cream into a bowl and then using my mixer to blend it to the consistency of frosting.
  2. Line a round 8" cake pan with plastic wrap, leaving extra hanging over the edge. 
  3. Spread the ice cream into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add your choice of stuff: I layered 1/2 of the crushed cookies, broken Kit Kat Bars, and hot fudge over top. 
  5. Scoop more ice cream into the mixing bowl and blend as before. 
  6. Spread over top, cover with plastic wrap and get it into the freezer.
I made the chocolate layer the same as above, except:
  • I used a 9" square pan
  • I put a layer of Peanut butter Ice Cream Sauce, broken Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and the other half crushed cookies in the middle.


Peanut Butter Sauce Directions:
  • Mix together water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Stir until smooth.


I froze both pans overnight before moving on to frosting the cake.


  • I removed the round cake from the pan, using the plastic wrap, and flipped it onto a cake pan.
  • Then I put the square cake on top using the same method. 
  • I made the frosting linked above and added green food coloring. 
  • I learned that you have to work fast and keep putting it back into the freezer. The frosting actually smoothed out better when it was frozen.
  • I drew the tassel and lettering on with a gel frosting.
  • It will last for a week in the freezer, but would probably be better if eaten sooner.
It was so good that I forgot to take a pic of it after it was sliced into!


Now for our other projects!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado made Green, Egg, and HamA fun breakfast for St. Patrick’s Day or any day.


Lydia at Cluttered Genius gives us ideas on what to do with all those old crayons.


Melissa at My Heartfelt Sentiments made a DIY- A Nugget of Fun! Handmade gifts are best when filled with chocolate! This cute box and greeting card make for fun gifts during the holidays, for end-of-the-year teacher gifts, or any other special occasion.


Kia at Think in English tells us what Green really means in English.



Kristin Novotny at Little Mama Jama made Mint Mocha Cupcakes using a simple recipe.



Tamara at Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom made a Leprechaun Craft: Tutorial on how to make a bunch of cute little leprechauns using toilet paper rolls

Dawn at Spatulas on Parade made Green Bunny Poop?!?!


Rabia at the Lieber Family shows you 10 ways to add more Green to your Pot of Gold


Friday, February 17, 2017

Fly on the Wall February 2017



Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:


The past month has been interesting...

Clone of Bob finished high school!! I have been homeschooling him since fourth grade. It's been a long and tiring journey. We fought a lot; mainly because he's lazy. There were times when I wondered if I did him any favors by pulling him out of public school, then I see how well-behaved he is, for the most part, and remember why I did it. 

Anyway, I had always planned on having them both take their High School Equivalency Exams, mainly to give them a state-issued diploma. Back in December, I had had enough fighting with him to get him to do his work and called the college where they do the test prep locally. They took him on, and upon pre-testing declared that he was nearly ready to take his tests. Despite all the fighting with him, he still learned something, which was a relief! 

He took his last two exams last week and passed them both. We're just waiting for the diploma in the mail. Now he plans to start college in the fall, learning auto mechanics (he loves older muscle cars and would love to learn how to fix them up). 

One down, one to go!

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Bob built me an office!! I've been job searching again and found a work-from-home opportunity that required that I have a private space to work in along with some other requirements. My computer was set up in the kitchen, which doesn't allow any privacy. 

Our bathroom is huge, especially since we pulled the tub out of the room (it was never used). And, our walk-in closet was a pretty good size. Bob is building a nice, big closet in our bathroom and turned our walk-in closet into my office. I also use it for craft storage, but I can shut the door if I need privacy and no one will bother me in there. 

Yes, it's messy... I'm still trying to organize it all.


Did I get the job? Not yet. As a matter of fact, every time I look, they've changed the job requirements and I don't even qualify anymore. What kind of company keeps changing their job description? I don't think I even want to work for a company like that. 

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Until I find a regular, better paying job, I am working for Rev, which is a transcription company. I get paid by the audio minute, and most times don't even average minimum wage. However, it's experience and extra income until my dream job comes along.

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We broke down and bought new furniture. Our recliners weren't comfortable any more and the couch and love seat were a bad purchase right from the beginning. All our black lab had to do was look at the furniture and it was covered in fur. It was never fully clean and drove me absolutely crazy.

Do not buy furniture this light when you have dark colored animals, especially microfiber...


We bought pleather (fake leather) furniture. Is it a good idea in the South where the humidity levels alone will make book pages wavy? Maybe not, but I can wipe it off with a cloth! We bought the cats a really cool cat tree in hopes of keeping them from clawing at my new furniture. We also bought a Feliway diffuser...we'll see if it works. If it doesn't, the next step will be "Soft Paws" for the cats claws. No way would I ever de-claw them. 



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We also bought the cats a slow-feed dish. Two of them would eat so fast that they'd throw it back up, and the third one is overweight (we joke and call her a "cowlico" cat). 


I think, Tony, our big guy was going to lose his mind. He hates change, and really hated the idea that he'd have to go through a maze to eat his food. I think he'll be okay, though. 



Friday, January 20, 2017

Fly on the Wall-January 2017

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.




2016 ended in a good way for us, which takes the sting out of the bad. 

I graduated from college again. Maybe with two associate's degrees I can find my dream job. 

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Bob and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary with a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean aboard the Carnival Magic! This trip was wonderful! We went with another family (who have cruised before, so we weren't completely clueless) and plan to go again in 2020; that's how much we enjoyed ourselves!

This particular cruise left Port Canaveral and went to Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, USVI; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. 

The scenery was breathtaking!


Rough seas the first few days, but made for nice pictures (even if I was feeling very green).
  
From the aft (back) of the ship.

From the top of Paradise Point in St. Thomas, USVI. It was a scary gondola ride, but it was totally worth the view!
We all fell in love with Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos. Unfortunately, we didn't stay off the ship for very long because I had a terrible headache that day and wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed for a while. 


 The kids did NOT want to get out of the water in Grand Turk. We are keeping our eye on future cruises, hoping to book one that goes back to Grand Turk so that we can enjoy it more fully.

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Bob and I finished part of our latest project:


That wall was plain, and we had a lot of wood left over (still do, despite all we put on the wall), so Bob decided to cover a wall in the den (you can tell by the mess that this is the kids' hang out) with wood before we build the wall-to-wall shelving he has planned for it. I'm happy with it, but I would have preferred a reddish color and I got outvoted. So, guess what? That wall-to-wall shelving unit is going a reddish color! Take that Bob and kiddos!


Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:






Monday, January 9, 2017

Blog With Friends-January 2017-Easy Fleece Hat

Welcome to Blog with Friends, January Edition!! I don't like frost and don't have fun in it, but if I have to be outside when it is frosty, my head HAS to be warm. If my head is cold, my whole body is cold!




Boo has had this had for a long time; it's her favorite. I've borrowed it a time or two and can understand why it is her favorite: it's so warm!



Anyway, it's starting to show it's age and I have already had to fix it once, so I decided to make her a new one and one for myself while I was at it.

I bought one of those cheap fleece blanket throws from Walmart for around $4. I will get approximately 5 hats out of it. Not bad for $4!

Anyway, it's really simple if you have a sewing machine and some fleece:

Pieces to cut:
A: One 8-inch diameter circle.
B: One 4 1/2" by 24" rectangle
C: One 6 1/2" by 24" rectangle




Instructions:
1. With right sides together, sew piece B to piece A (circle).



2. Sew back seam of piece B; if necessary, close gap at seam of pieces A and B.



3. Fold piece C in half, long direction, and sew ends together.



4. With the hat still inside out, place piece C over edge of hat (B) with the end seam edge facing up (right side facing wrong side) and sew around.



5. If necessary, trim edges of seams and then turn right side out. Finished!! (Can add trim or decoration at this point if you choose to)



You can print a copy of this pattern here, along with an 8-inch circle you can use for a pattern. Make sure that you print the actual size; do NOT scale to size, otherwise, your circle will be too small.


Now for some other great blog posts!!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado made Angel Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream and Berries. YUM!



Melissa Robinson at My Heartfelt Sentiments made DIY Frosted Fun Cards so you can sprinkle fun greetings for those special occasions with these handmade cards.



Kia at Think in English will show you how to Listen, Speak, Read and Write in the Language of Winter with some language learning activities focused on winter and fun. 



Dawn at Spatulas on Parade made a Frosty Fun Double Chocolate Cherry cheesecake filled bundt cake



Lydia at Cluttered Genius give us ideas on what to do inside when you can't go outside