Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Swim Lessons

Hello blogging friends! My children and I spent the past 2 weeks at swim lessons. They aren't real good swimmers yet. Robert squeaked past and went right into level 2. My daughter was level 1. She did great. I couldn't believe how far she came in just 2 short weeks. My son went all the way up to level 3 he didn't pass but he was only in that level for 2 days. They both are a lot more comfortable in the water which was our goal. We are getting ready to go to Disney for the 1st time with our kids. I can't wait I'm so excited!!!! We leave Thursday to spend the weekend with our family then on to Disney on the 11th.

Here's a few pics of swim lessons:

my son blowing bubbles

my daughter floats on her back

Until next time, take care

Monday, June 29, 2009

Farmchicks Book Review

Ladies, I told you that I would be sharing my thoughts about this really cool Farmchicks Book. I've had it for about a week now and I'm just thrilled. I think this book is for anyone who loves the country. It tells the story about Serena and Terri. When you're done you feel like you know them. Then scattered throughout are little decorating tips. I think just about anyone can adopt their decorating mantra into their home unless you're totally modern. They are all about repurposing items. We prim gals have definately heard that before! I think this works for most styles Americana, Primitive, Farmhouse, French Country, Lodge, Eccletic, and so on.

Some of my favorites if you get the book:

1. Aprons... and more aprons. They love aprons and talk about how wonderful it makes you feel when you put one on. They use vintage sheets to make them out of. I used to wear one only when I was baking a big dinner or baking a few batches of cookies. Now, I find myself tying one on almost daily! Something about it really motivates me to get to work.

2. Great Recipes... these recipes have been passed on through people they have come into contact with during their many trips to find Junk. LOL! Also, their families favorites too. I was quite impressed with how much they've cooked for their families and farm hands! They actually live the life.

3. Chalkboard ideas...these are just too cute. Totally check them out. I've already shared a little about what I've been doing with mine.

4. Scone cozy, I love scones and I would love to make this idea from the book. Only problem is I don't crochet. Anybody out there do that?

A delicious recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie
I just love the stars!

If you're on the fence, just get this book. It's not like the others you have on your shelf. I love all the stories in it too. It's so much more than just a cookbook or decorating book. Plus, if you order from amazon you get a complimentary Country Living subscription for a year.

I also made a little side trip today in town and picked up these little babies at Gordman's for 1/2 off. Since I can't grow them I might as well fake it. LOL! I may add some stain to prim these up haven't decided yet. The primitives by Kathy weren't on sale but I wanted to put a few more on my patriotic tree. I promise I will share some more 4th of July pics soon, I've been tweaking and I'm not quite done. I have some outdoor ones that I want to share.

Have a great day!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Apple Pie Sign

Ladies, Good evening! I had a really cute sign made. It arrived a few days ago and I was thrilled about how it turned out. It's something I always wanted so I found someone to make it for me. I know many of you know her work. SawDustyNStitches I just love how it turned out. In light of my newly acquired pie baking skills I thought it was only appropriate. She has many signs to choose from. I really liked some of the military ones.

I've had a few requests for Alice's pie recipes I'll try to remember to post it or email it to those of you who asked!
Have a great weekend, I plan on relaxing and trying to stay cool!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pie, Pie...Oh My!

Homemade cherry pie

Hello ladies! I'm really tired tonight but I wanted to let you know about my pie baking adventure. It was a very hot day here but we survived the heat and kept cool in her kitchen. First of all we started with 4 crusts that she had already made up the night before. Then she rolled out two and I rolled out 2. I watched her very carefully. The first one she made probably took her about 1 minute...no kidding. Practice does make perfect. Then she showed me how to make her Rhubarb Custard pie. She cuts up her rhubarb very small and thin. Then we made a cherry pie and the cherries come from a local grocer. They come already to go with the pits taken out. It has the perfect crumb topping. She likes to roll out her dough and freeze it pan and all. Then you just take it out and you're all ready to fill it up. Another tip she shared was for a 2 crust pie you can go ahead and fill it then seal it up again in a large baggie. However, you shouldn't preheat your oven after taking it directly from the deep freeze. She said this is really nice when you don't have time to bake or company arrives unexpectantly.

Here's the tips I thought were very helpful:

1. Use a great crust, she was gracious enough to share her recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust with me. It makes 4 crusts in one batch. (the secret is in the egg and vinegar, I think!)

2. Never stretch it after putting it in the pan.

3. She uses a large blending fork to cut in the flour with the shortening. My kithen aide is nice but you have to be careful not to overprocess it. She said her mother did this step my hand.

4. Always look under your plate to check for doneness on the crust. She uses a lot of vintage pyrex plates. Her favorite ones are the deep dish ones with the little scalloped edge handles on either side. Mine too!
5. Chill your dough overnight or for several hours for best results.

She had about 25 plus pie pans of various sizes. Wow! She had the nicest kitchen too. You know where you immediately feel welcome and know that she has spent a lot of time preparing great meals for her family. I can only imagine about her other cooking skills! Everyone at our church always raves about things she has brought to potlucks. She truly is an amazing person. I was humbled to be in her kitchen.

My daughter took most of the photos and I think she really enjoyed that. She rolled out a little crust all her own that she was very proud of. My son was at scout camp with my husband so the timing was just perfect. We had a wonderful afternoon. I came home with 1/2 of each of the pies and 3 crusts ready to go in the pans and 4 disks of dough to roll out later.

She trims her edges and doesn't do anything fancy, which is something I have a lot of trouble with anyway.

We're chatting about techniques here.

The yummy cherries waiting to be baked!

my DD rolling out her crust

cutting in the shortening

the rhubarb custard from the oven

Alice and I show off the fresh baked pies.

I think everyone should give pie baking a chance. It really is becoming a lost art and something that I wanted to learn for myself and my family. My mother was not a baker and it's something I've always loved doing. I think it's like a lot of things practice makes perfect. Alice shared that she has had a lot of failures in the kitchen too. I think that just goes to show that it's important to not give up after one or a few mishaps. Just think of it as a learning experience.

Well, ladies I will be back soon with more eye candy to show you of my home and a new sign.

Take care and stay cool,


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

GW finds and some new pics

Yesterday I was remiss when I reported about Melissa from Farmhouse primitives won, it's actually Farm Field Primitives. Sorry Melissa!

So today I'm going to a dear lady's house from our church, Alice. I have shared with you all about my quest to conquer pie baking. I've always enjoyed baking. So despite our heat warnings she says that doesn't stop her, LOL! We're gonna bake today. She has her own recipe that she promises to share and I'm really hoping she shows me a trick to the crust. I have so much trouble getting that right. The filling is much easier for me. She has a large garden, bless her heart. When we chatted she let me know that she has fresh rhubarb and some cherries that are ready. Yum! I can't wait. I'll report back hopefully with pictures.

Also, I thought I would leave with you few pictures from this weekend of my DC that my husband took. I think they turned out pretty good. I picked up some things at a GW store this weekend and some vintage dresses yesterday and they are so darn cute. The pineapple and slaw cutter were only 50 cents each.
my DS and DD with our dog Boo

DD with our cat Smokey yep he's a big boy!

Christina with Boo
Hope you all stay cool today!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Winner is....

Good morning thanks to all 14 of you who entered my give away. Your chances were pretty good! I used random.org generator to select my winner.

and the winner is....

Melissa @ http://farmhouseprimitives.blogspot.com/

Yippee, email me with your addy and I'll get this right out to you!

Congrats, Carey

Monday, June 22, 2009

4th of July Give Away + 50th Post!

In honor of my 50th post and our upcoming holiday I would like to have a give away. I can't believe I have posted that many times but I have enjoyed this journey. Meeting new people through the blog has made me feel so blessed.
Here's what you get: one small sign or ornie that says July 1776 (Primitives by Kathy), a red white and blue checked homespun towel, a small aged flag, and an old insulator.

The rules are gonna be very easy.

1. Leave me a comment letting me know that you're interested in winning!

2. You must be a follower of my blog. Sorry newbies. As of this morning I have 49 of you!

3. I need some way to contact you so leave an email or contact info.

Ladies this give away is gonna close quick so I can get these in the mail to you by Tuesday so leave me a comment by midnight tonight and I'll select a winner.

Have a great Monday!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

My father passed away when I was a young girl to cancer. I have come to appreciate my husband so much and my father in law. This post is for them. I marvel at all the things my husband teaches my children. He is so good at explaining things to them. He is also the best tickling, wrestling, all around jokester that I know. I feel like I have three kids most days. We want him to know how much we all love him and how wonderful he is to have in our life. I feel blessed to have him as a life partner.

my husband, son and father in law

My father in law Robert is a wonderful Grandpa. He always plays with my son when we're visiting. Even when I know he is tired and worn out he makes time with both of my kids. He and my son have formed a special bond that started right after my son was born and I was taking care of my mom. He had to jump right in and take care of diapers and feeding etc. that he probably would not have done with his own sons nearly as much. My son is named after my father in law and my Dad. He is Robert Louis and that's something that we're really proud of in our family. Jeff's Dad is like a father to me and has always been supportive of me. He is a very quiet person but strong too. We love him very much! Happy Father's Day Grandpa!

Take time to tell the men in your life how much they mean to you today! I'll be back tomorrow with a give away.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Prim Shopping at its best!

Hello blogger buddies, yesterday was a good day despite the heat. I took my kids to their swim lessons and we attended my DH squadron picnic. It was about 95 in the shade and the humidity was terrible... ugh. Anyway, getting to the happy part I decided to head up to Lebanon afterwards to one of my favorite little shops and lo and behold a shopper's dream, everything 50% off!!!!!

I was so excited after seeing the sign. I was hoping for a sale so I could justify why I was out shopping in all this heat. LOL! Anyway, I ended up with a few goodies. I used a little restraint. I bought the goose I've been eyeing for a while, some more braided goodies to match my rug, the lovely Liberty picture, and a crow runner. The nice lady watching the store remembered you Janae. She told me to tell you hello. Also, let me know how to pronounce your name properly. LOL! Then after telling me this promptly told me that the store was low on merchandise as I wasn't the only one to take advantage of this sale. I told her that I had a blog and would love to take some pictures anyway. She graciously agreed.

This display is above a big doorway.

My goose in the middle

An old swing at the front to greet ya!

an olde cabinet

this is an old hoosier cabinet

A big display in the middle of the store and an old trundle bed on the bottom that was sold.

an olde cupboard and some treenware, I almost picked up the rolling pins too!

Here's what I bought

Just when I thought this day couldn't get any better when I pulled in the driveway my new Mercantile Gatherings and Farmchicks book was in my door. Yeah!!! In honor of my 50th post and the 4th of July I will be doing a give away. So stay tuned I will be back soon.

Have a wonderful Saturday!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Farmchicks and decorating question

Today I found myself totally inspired by these ladies The Farmchicks. I just ordered their book from amazon and can't wait to get it.

I think I'll order some of these cute recipe cards, how cute!

I'm totally stealing this idea for a backyard barbecue or entertaining.

This is my mom's cookie jar. I inherited it along with a few other things. I have never liked it because it doesn't go with my kitchen. All that said my mom would keep cookies in it for my DH and it has a lot of sentimental value. It's made of ceramic and the fruit pictures don't appear to lift off. Any ideas for how I could give this a make-over or repaint it? I really don't want to get rid of it for sentimental reasons plus it does a great job with the cookies. Leave me a comment and let me know if you have any ideas.

Also, I am doing a 4th of July give away later so stay tuned and I will be posting about it soon!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Flowers and friendship

Yesterday after a day of grocery shopping and canceled swim classes again, ugh... I had to hurry home to get to my first aide class and CPR. I got the kids a baby sitter for the afternoon and was feeling that exhausted Mommy syndrome coming on especially since we had spent the morning grumpy due to our 2nd day or rains/storms here in the midwest. I think it's been a record year for rain so far here, it's unbelieveable. Well, to make a long story short sitting in my little wagon was package that said Pro Flowers on it. My first thought was Yipee!!! the DH got me flowers. How thoughtful! I had hinted the other day about a nice bouquet of flowers. Then much to my surprise they were from my best friend Sam. I was so happy! They are beautiful. I just love them and if was just what I needed to get me through the rest of the day.

I met Samantha in North Dakota when we were stationed at Minot AFB together. I think it was one of those friendships that started pretty much from the get go... we have kids the exact same age, we are about the same age and we were both SAHM who had a career prior to motherhood. However she does teach classes online so I guess you could consider her more of a WAHM. Anyway, we had a lot in common. She even likes to bake! We just hit it off. I couldn't be more thankful for her friendship. So this post is dedicated to her. She knows just what I need even though we're long distance friends now. Thanks Sam!

It even came with a box of chocolates. Friends know when you need chocolate!

Have a great day and don't forget to do something special for you friend.