Saturday, February 27, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow?

If only hours watching Victory Garden and Gardening with Cisco translated into a beautiful garden.
I love the idea of a beautiful lush garden. 
I think I have a semi green thumb.
Unfortunately I also have a lazy behind.

(Yay me for finally cleaning out the raised beds. Not too bad for 30 min)
Every year about this time, I get serious spring fever.
Bulbs busting through the ground  and primroses at the grocery store always suck me in.
(Yay for the bulbs I actually planted and mental note to plant more next year)

I start planning what kind of wonderful stuff I will plant. I look forward to the perennials that get better each year and thinking about which annuals I can tuck in between them. 

(always exciting to see the peonies start poking up through the ground)

I also am a fan of the idea of a veggie garden.  I'm not a big veggie fan, but every year I tell myself "it will taste better if I grow it myself."  The jury is still out on this. I grow lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and asparagus. I start out strong, but mid July when my garden really gets going and needs me the most I kind of peter out.  My veggie garden is on the side of our house so I think it is an "out of sight out of mind" kind of thing.  Who knows, but I'm going to try again this year.
The dream is a perennial garden.  Plant it once and enjoy it for year (in theory).  That was the hope
for the asparagus, but it just hasn't taken off like I had hoped. Maybe THIS will be the year.  On the other hand my rhubarb looks to be off to a strong start. 

With the PNW experiencing such a mild winter, Spring seems to be springing early.  Won't be long before the siren song of nurseries and plant displays out side of the local grocery stores start calling my name.
What are you planting this year??

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sink or Swim

I clearly have a problem when it comes to salvage stores.
Last week a dutch door.  Today it was a sink.
We are getting ready to redo our kitchen.  I definitely know what I like and what I want.  However, I'm starting to think the kitchen I've been seeing in my head (and Pinterest board) might not be the kitchen I actually need in the real world.
We went to a show room today to look at sinks.  Our mission a white porcelain, one bowl, under mount sink. Seems pretty basic right?  Found exactly that for the pretty price of $840. Um...yikes!!
Just a few blocks down the road is a Habitat for Humanity Restore.  Not as fun as Ballard Reuse since it has more "modern" salvage but it's still always fun to poke around. 
So making our way past the old closet doors and funky 80's light fixtures we end up in the sink section.  Next to the almond kitchen sinks and shell shaped bathroom sinks was this...

Hello Gorgeous.
What were the chances of finding this totally pristine farm sink??  Surely it was going to be priced pretty high, but nope, 60 bucks.  A quick google search and I knew the street value of this sink was $1100. Scooooooooooooooore. 
The next step was calling my contractor to get his take.  Well, he didn't seem to share my level of enthusiasm. Booo.  However, it is becoming clear that in addition to ripping apart my kitchen his job duties will include frequent reality checks.  Despite all the sound advice and reasons he offered I still bought the sink.  I just couldn't walk out of there without it.  Worse case I can throw it on Craigslist and double my money. 

So now the fun part begins. Surfing the web to try and find a picture of what my new sink could look like as part of my new kitchen.  To be honest, I go back and forth on it.  I think the deciding factor will be the amount of space I have between the counter and my window.  There is not a lot of room and it may turn to be a no go. 
I guess I could always go with plan B.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dutch Door Love

I have always loved dutch doors.
How could you not?
They are so cute and scream cottage cuteness.
I do not live in a cottage...yet, but I do love the feel of them and anything I can do to "cottagefy" my house seems like a step in the right direction.

I spent yesterday afternoon at a little salvage store in Ballard called Ballard Reuse.  It has all the cool stuff pulled out of old homes.  Funky door knobs, leaded windows, old mantles and doors. Lots and lots of doors.

I had originally gone up there to get a door for my panty, but I got sidetracked.  The last time I was there I found a blue dutch door.  I told Joj about it and he said I should have bought it. Ugh, did not expect that response at all so this time around I thought "if they have another one it's coming home with me".  I even made sure to measure my current front door... just in case.

Well, there was another door.  It was the size I needed. It came home with me.

I'm sooo excited.  It's in really great shape (not always the case with the salvaged doors) and now the fun part is picking out what color to paint it.  I have a red door now, which is okay, but I'm ready for a change.  I kept thinking how fun a chambray colored door would be.  A quick instagram search and low and behold I found the perfect inspiration. 

Now I just need the rain to stop (rainiest January on record which is saying something for Seattle) so I can paint and get this baby hung. 
Happy Saturday

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Sam is 10.
Hard to believe and sometimes she seems a lot older.
I wasn't sure I would be a good "girl mom", but so far she has been pretty fun.
I sure do love my Samalamadingdong.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Easy Peasy Pasta

I like to have "pantry dinners" in my bag of tricks for when I need something easy for dinner.
My friend "pinned" this chicken recipe and I thought I would give it a try.
A quick note on Pinterest ~ I don't get it.  I mean I understand the concept, but whenever I try and find something I just get 500 "pins" of the same thing.  When I click on a "pin" to get more info I'm inevitably sent to another board with nothing more than the same pic and link to another board.  Ugh
Anyhoo... my friend's pin showed up facebook, I clicked and found this easy and surprisingly tasty recipe. If you need an easy meal that is made with stuff you probably you hand give this bad boy a try
Chicken Ala Tiffani (aka Italian Chicken)
4 Chicken Breasts
8 oz lite Cream Cheese
1 can Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1 packet of Italian Dressing Mix
12 oz Whole Grain Pasta
Now the original "pin" had this as a crockpot recipe and while it worked okay, I think if you sauteed the chicken in some garlic and EVOO it would add some nice additional flavor (if veggies are your thing, throw in a couple of those as well)
For the crockpot ~ combine the first 4 ingreds in the crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours and then serve over cooked pasta.
Now while this isn't going to win you Top Chef, it was tasty enough to get the thumbs up from the kiddos so that is "winner" in my book.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


As a teacher who is now on the parent side, I see things from quite a different perspective. 
It can be tough to have been "brought up" to believe certain things are "best practice" and when I don't see them happening it makes me go hmmmmm.
A while back I posted about my Jerry McGuire moment
I truly believe that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution and I'm choosing to be part of the solution. 
One of the perks of being a former teacher is that I know how the game is played.  Parents have a lot more power than they realize, but the trick to say things in a way in which you will be heard.
Tonight a group of parents will start this ball rolling in hopes of raising the level of possibilities for our children. 
We joke we are at war with the status quo, so who better than to be our unofficial mascot than William Wallace himself.  (think what you may about Mr Gibson... Braveheart is one of the best movies of all time and William Wallace could not be any more swoonworthy)  So embracing "What would William Wallace do?" We will stand up for our kids and fight the good fight so that they receive the kind of education they deserve taught by inspired educators.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mountains into Molehills

Here in the PNW we have a little candy company called Brown and Haley.
(Maybe you are familiar with Almond Roca ~ no Christmas is complete without it, just fyi)
Well they also make something called a Mountain Bar. 
I loved these when I was little and hadn't seen them in the store in years.  Yesterday my mom and I were in a little local gift shop and they had them.  I plunked down my 69 cents and chose the Peanut Butter one.
As I was about to rip into it, I decided I would just check to see what the calorie count on this baby was. 
It stopped dead in my tracks.  I was so excited for my peanut buttery goodness, but I just couldn't justify that many "empty" calories (especially with something the size of a half dollar) so I put it in my purse.  Later in the day, I decided that if I just ate half of it that would be better than all of it.  I ate half of it and it just wasn't as good as I remembered and certainly not worth the calories I just gave up. 
I was bummed yet proud of myself at the same time. 
The old me would have just popped it in my mouth and not given it a second thought (I might have even gotten a second one for the road, tsk tsk) but my newly more aware self took a second to think, evaluate and then decide. 
Even though I still ate half of it, I realized that I won't be temped in the future and a Butterfinger mini packs the same punch (maybe even slightly better) and is on 80 calories. 
It all comes down to choices and every calorie saved gets me that much closer to my goal.