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August 2009
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October 2009

September 2009

Vintage Storybook Woods-Autumn In A Box

Fall boxx

I have been busy cooking and baking for my father, as he will be here visiting for a week. My one gift to him is always the same. To stuff him full of yummy food. I tell him I only see him once a year, so do not worry about all that rich food   ;-)  

I will be taking the week off and going to Leavenworth, yeah !!!! I thought I would leave you with a vintage Storybook Woods post, autumn in a box. We had soo much fun making these and it is a great way to celebrate the season. Thank you Saucy's Sprinkels and Mrs. Staggs for the idea. We just pulled our box out the other day and already thought of some things, we need to add. I hope you are enjoying the beginning of fall. It is my favorite season and I know many of you feel the same way !!! So doing something you can only do in the fall, celebrate and come back and tell me what you did. Becuase I would love to hear, see you in a week (or so) xoxoxoxo

PS, see what happens when I let the girls out of the basement ;-p  (you can see my kitchen too) also check out the bloopers. Great job girls xoxox

Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn

Micro popcorn 2

I was at my uber foodie friend's house and somehow we got taking about popcorn (we always talk about food). I said I make my own microwave popcorn. She had not heard of it. Well I figured if she had not, maybe some of you have not. It is sooo easy and cheap !!!

Micro popcorn7

Here is what you need.

1/2 cup popcorn

1 paper bag

olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

a stapler

Microwave pop

In a paper-bag put the popcorn, a drizzle of oil and salt. Give the bag a shake to coat the popcorn. Fold over the top of the bag 1/2 inch and staple one staple in the center. About the staple, your microwave can handle one staple. At lest that is what I have read and I have never had a problem. BUT do learn from me, lay you bag on the side. If it touches the top, it can burn it.

Now timing takes a bit of playing with. It runs between 3 1/2 minutes- 4 minutes. Do not leave your popcorn it can burn. Listen to the popping and when it goes from constant popping to 3 second or so pause between popping, that is the time to pull it. It take a few times but then you will learn how you microwave works.

Be careful the popcorn is hot, tear open the bag and you might have to give the bag a squish to break up the popcorn. I like to drizzle a little butter with curry powder and dried granulated garlic. Then to gild the lily, I sprinkle sharp cheddar cheese over the top and set it under the broiler. Enjoy xoxoxo 

I Am Besotted


Okay I know I say I am besotted a lot, but this time it is true ;-)

I do know know where I heard about The No. 1 Ladies` Detective Agency series, but somehow I was lead to a youtube about it and was instantly besotted. Which surprised me, because I usually do not like books or movies set in hot places (yes, that is how much I hate the heat). But there was something in Jill Scott performance of Precious Ramotswe that just pulled me in. Well, I do not have HBO, so I had to wait. But last week at Costco I spotted the DVD and took a chance. I am soooo glad I did. I think I like No.1 because, in a way, Precious is the Miss Marple of Africa, well Botswana. It is set in modern times, but the is still a charm and a joy to it.


I was a bit leary being HBO, but there was nothing rude or objectionable (how refreshing). Although it deals with adult subjects, as most mysteries do. It is very funny. Grace Makutsi, had Auberne` and I rolling in laughter. The relationship between Precious and JLB is very touching. Also in the extras I learned a bit about the history of Botswana and found it very interseting. I rarely buy movies, especially site-unseen. But I am soo glad I did and encourage you to check out The No. 1 Ladies` Detective Agency.

PS, Netflix has the movie.

Cheap Chalkboard Trick

Fall shoeroom2

I am starting to decorate for fall. I decided to do a black and white in the shoe-room. I wanted it to feel a bit cleaner, not a lot of little stuff. Instead just a few larger pieces but still charming. I saw Jill's  amazing chalkboard and decided that would be perfect.

In trying to use "what I had", I use an old frame. I was planning on getting some cardboard or foam-board and paint it with chalkboard paint. I wanted it light, so it would not fall on anyone. Plus this is just something for this autumn. I am sure I will move onto some new idea by spring :-)

Fall shoeroom


BUT I was looking at Joannes and did you know they sell foam-core in black !!!!!!!!!!!!! Perfect, no painting. You all know how I hate painting !!!!! I was not sure if I could use chalk on it, but I ws able to. The only thing is you can not fully wipe off the chalk, like a chalkboard. But it is black on both sides, so you have two boards.

As you can see the frame was wider then the foam-core, but I think it still works. I am over the moon. It was easy, cheap and I can use the other side for another use. I am really happy with the whole room. I have one more fun, cheap, easy trick to show you on my next post !!!! 

Fall shoeroom3

Things I Love


Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm, this is a new blog to me. Very inspiring !!!! above image from Rose Cottage.

Smartwool socks, now these are not the cheapest socks, BUT they are really wonderful, thick, guaranteed not to itch and are worth the money. I decided it was more frugal to invest in better socks, that if I take care of, they will last a long time and will really keep my feet warm. We have all wood floors and heat with wood. Our floors are very cold. Last years I could barely keep my feet warm. These socks I think will really help.

The Fox and The Child movie, I really loved this movie, it is just stunning. It is now out on DVD. If you get a chance, please watch it. Both adults and children will love it. Chloe and I want our hair just like hers !!!

Make Bulk Food Bags, talk about a charming way to spruce up your pantry !!!

Grown-up Pop-Tarts I could live on these. I make bittersweet chocolate and marmalade ones xoxoxox

Ginger Syrup, it is yummy but also good for upset tummies.  Really ginger has a lot of healthy properties.

On-line Handbook Of Nature Study By Anna Botsford Comstock. This is a very popular Charlotte Mason book, but I have to say I go to it a lot. It is a wealth of info and very interesting. I wish they still made educational books like this. You know we are all so blessed to be able to have these old, rare books on-line to enjoy. How did I live without the internet ????

I am off to start decorating for fall. Are you decorating yet  ????

Killer Deals

Blue bowl

I went to Oregon to drop off my daughter. She is spending 10 days with her grandparents. I am sure she is having oodles of fun, but I miss her xoxox.

I was only in OR a day but I had to run to Mr. Fosters in Dallas. I always find something amazing and CHEAP !!! Look at these sweet little glass bowls. Only a $1.00 each, the color is just beautiful. Some fun vintage fabric $2.00. But the killer deal, was thanks to my MIL. I was hoping to pick up a comfortable chair for our living room. I saw this strawberry pink velvet chair and they wanted $49.00, but it has a little stain and a tear. My MIL (who loves to barter, I do NOT) got them down to $10.00. Well how could I say no to that. It is very comfy, incredibly soft velvet, swivels and the scale is not too big for the room, I am over the moon. The little pillow is from Paula, thank you sweetie xoxoxo

Pink chairr

Vintage fabric

Preserving, Smartly

Plum jam2

    It is the season of bounty and in trying to make the most our money, I want to preserve it. Oh I have dreams of shelves filled with glistening jars in jewel colors, a full freezer and my pantry stuffed to the seams. I have been dreaming since spring all I want to do but then reality has hit. My garden is not putting out the bounty I was hoping. We have had no guests all summer but the next two months will be busy. Plus, quite frankly I just can not do it all. So I realize I need to be smart about all of this and how I use my time.

    I decided to make a list of all I wanted to do. Then went back over it and crossed off either what we will not really eat or what I can already buy cheap. For example I can get inexpensive frozen green beans and corn, also fresh carrots, organic at Costco. Also I have found in the past my family did not eat canned fruit and veggies. So I have let this go. Even jam, we eat it but not large quantities. We are not big peanut butter and jelly fans. So I am making a few small batches, like my favorite red-wine plum jam. I decided to freeze most of my fruit and if I need more jam, I can take that frozen fruit and make more in the winter.

    One food we eat a lot of is red sauce, so I canned that. I have also dried a lot of fruit and veggies for future cakes, muffins, dried soup mixes, etc. I plan on making Roasted Pear Sauce and pumpkin pie filling for the freezer.

    So what I am trying to say with this long post, is think about what your family likes? What you use, what is easily available to you and what is not? That way you can plan wisely how to fill your pantry. Also I encourage you to try at least one new thing. For me drying certain veggies this year is new for me. I may decide it is not worth it but I will not know unless I try. It is just as important to know what does not work, as what does!.