Tuesday, November 30

play food

My kids love playing grocery store. They hate going to the actual grocery store, but love to reenact it at home. So I was on the Amazon a few days ago looking for play food sets for them, and I found this:
Adorable, right? They're from Melissa & Doug and they're solid wood. I usually like Melissa & Doug products (their floor puzzles are awesome) but this product seemed a) a little pricey at about $20 for the set, and b) made in China, where their lead-based paint regulations are a little lax. Add to this the fact that the reviews criticized the set as easily chipped and dented, and I was not sold.

So I thought, why not just make some play food for the kids? I scavenged the cupboards for nearly empty containers and saved a few days' worth of boxes and cans and soon I had a set of my own. I hot-glued the flaps on the boxes down.
And glued around the inside of the lids on the plastic containers, after washing and drying them well. The cool thing is that as the boxes are crushed and the containers are chewed up by the dog, these can go right into the recycling and I can make replacements.
For free!

Monday, November 29

the best things in life are free...

My buddy loves me. He's always bringing me dandelions and picking other assorted pretty weeds when we take walks during the day. But my favorites are the geraniums he picks at his Grannie Annie's house. They stink, but they're so pretty in the kitchen window sill.

Monday, November 15

sicky monday

Had a wonderful weekend. Grama O and Aunt Cin came down from San Diego and spent a couple days. It's always so great to see them.

This Monday finds me sick as a dog. This morning I went to the store for some Sudafed, but had to spend thirty minutes wandering around until the pharmacy opened. These meth labs have made buying cold medicine terribly inconvenient.
I'm not feeling up to eating much, but I've nevertheless choked down a Special K bar. I have found that eating from paper doilies rather then plain old napkins is fun. My toast is so fancy nowadays!
I've also opened a small bag of dried fruit to leave on the counter, hoping it prompts me to snack. With luck, by the end of the day nothing will be left in the dish but the nuts, which I wouldn't even eat if I was feeling fantastic.

While I was waiting to buy my Sudafed, I found a little bikini that I think will fit Darby next summer. It was only $1, so I HAD to.

Speaking of great deals, the kids found a set of these hillbilly novelty teeth at the Dollar Tree, and I'm convinced they're the most fun that can be had for a dollar plus tax.

Friday, November 12

1 project, 0 dollars

This hardly seemed like a project, but I'm including it here anyway. I have a lot these jars. A LOT.

They're functional, and I love them, but they've always left me wanting... So since I have a ton of leftover chalkboard paint, I decided to get a little painty.

I guess it wasn't a strictly necessary way to spend my time, since the jars are clear and creating erasable labels for them is superfluous, but I like them better this way. And the girls love writing on them.

So the tally is as follows:

Chalkboard Jars:

jars: $0 (they were a gift)
chalkboard paint: $0 (on hand)

Total: $0

Thursday, November 11

jalapeno jelly

It's Veteran's Day, which means there's no school for the Sisters today. It's strange, I don't remember having a day off in the MIDDLE OF THE WEEK when I was in school... It's a bit inconvenient, particularly when Thursday is my grocery day. The kids have little patience for grocery shopping.

But I got them to behave with promises of a walk to the park:

I suppose, though, that having my shopping schedule interrupted is markedly less inconvenient than having been a war veteran. So I'll keep my complaints limited to this little corner which no one reads but me.

In (un)related news, Grama Hammons gave mom a jar of homemade jalapeno jelly, which I subsequently liberated from her posession. I have been been munching Ritz crackers, spread lightly with cream cheese and then spread more liberally with this delicious jelly. Fortunately for me, no one else in the house likes it.

I plan to gain three jalapeno jelly pounds.

Wednesday, November 10

choco chip cookies

These are the most bestest chocolate chip cookies known to man.

The recipe is as follows:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 c. turbinado sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 c. (two sticks) butter, softened

1 egg, room temperature

2 1/4 c. unbleached flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. sea salt

12 oz. organic, semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream sugars and butter together, add egg. Add flour, soda and salt and mix until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Use a cookie scoop and place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

This probably seems like a very basic recipe, but the turbinado sugar and the organic chips make all the difference. I also prefer to mix them by hand rather than with an electric mixer; the texture is much better. Also, invest in a good cookie scoop (not much of an investment at less than $15) and your cookies will be cooked perfectly.


i hate it

First of all, my dentist is a lovely man who tries very hard to make sure his patients are as comfortable as they can be. That said, is there anything as miserable as going to the dentist? At least the pain meds are nice...

Meanwhile, my face looks like it's sloughing off my skull.

Tuesday, November 9

centennial park, redux

Walked to the park again today, just Axel and Darby and I. It was a very clear, sunny day, but it was darn COLD. I'm hoping against hope that Summer has finally given up for the year.

Gorgeous day. I love Fall.

Monday, November 8

3 projects, 7 dollars

Bookpage wreath:
Floral foam wreath, $1
Glue, on hand
Book pages, on hand
Total: $1
Sheet Music Mirror:
Mirror, on hand
Mod Podge, homemade
Sheet music, printed from home computer and antiqued with tea
Total: $0

Menu Board:
Board, on hand (leftover Halloween decor)
Chalkboard paint, $3
Acrylic paint marker, $3
Chalk, $0.67
Total; $6.67

Altogether, the menu board was the most expensive project, but since I only used a very small amount of the chalkboard paint and the acrylic paint, those costs will be offset by their use on many other projects. And since Oriental Trading Company lost my original shipment and sent me a new one at no cost, and since the lost shipment eventually found its way to me, I kind of got twice the paint for half the price.
I've been really addicted to all the cool Fall projects on the boggerwebs lately. I'm sure these few projects are only the beginning of a long term illness for me.

Saturday, November 6

centennial park

Good gravy, do I ever love Autumn.
Got these leaves from the park on Saturday. We took Dexter and the kids to play and the leaves were so beautiful. Little jewels. The deep purple leaf was my favorite. It was so windy and mild. If only the soccer players weren't hogging the dog park, and if only we'd brought a kite, it would've been perfect.
As it was, it was very close to perfect.

Monday, November 1


Papaya spears from Lassen's, a whole foods store that I LOVE. Their jelly beans are also delish, and they sell Virgil's root beer. Soooo, all in all, a great place to buy junk food that you can feel good about.