It’s All About the Herbs

Good Morning Everyone!  Ok so my  mom and I made some cute herb boxes out of old sewing machine drawers!  My mom had about six of them that she had collected at random locations for various prices.  We used Waverly chalk paint maize and then my mom created her own green shade using plaster and a shade of green craft paint for the boxes.  We used plaster for the words and handles!

We did very little to them prior except cleaning them off and maybe a little sanding on edges.  We applied two coats of paint letting dry for just a bit in between.  After final coat we let dry for about half an hour then we used our stencils to place “HERBS” on one side.   Using sandpaper with a grit of 220 we roughed them up a bit.  This is typically our go to grit level as a side note!  Put handles back in place and viola we have a great 3 large mason jar herb box for our kitchen!  With gardening season quickly approaching these are a great project to do today!

Until next time have a great Monday!  Cheers!

These great boxes are also for sale via etsy at https://www.etsy.com/listing/289008015/herb-container?ref=market

 

Let’s Get Festive!

Hey Friends!

So this month it works out for us to have two holidays to celebrate!  When you have toddlers these are the days that you get to do really fun little things for them to take to school.  As well as have them do adorable little crafts to decorate your home or families homes!  My kids love to send gifts to their grandparents, aunts and uncles!  This month we weren’t crazy but did have some fun!

For St. Patrick’s Day K was sick with the flu so S go to do all the celebrating as far as bringing goodies to her class.  There are so many ideas out there but I decided to go kind of simple yet fun!  I did chocolate covered pretzels which we did for Valentines and were a hit.  So if it’s not broke why fix it; right?!  I used to hate doing these things as I have a bit of OCD and hate when the chocolate isn’t up to the same point on each rod and isn’t melted the same on all sides.  I know I have issues!  Well I tried a new method at valentines that worked well so I did again for St. Patrick’s Day!  I sprayed parchment paper with cooking spray lightly and used my fingers to smear it around.  I then used a plastic cup and melt aways as this way I was able to gauge how far up on the pretzels the chocolate was.  Once I had them laid out on parchment on a cookie sheet I put them in the fridge to set up.  I repeated this for four cookie sheets then took the first one back out and then used melted green melt aways and a spoon to drizzle over the top of them.  Lastly, I sprinkled gold sprinkles on them as the “gold” and stuck them back in the fridge.  Super simple, huh?!  I will say my Valentine’s pretzels came out better than St. Patrick’s Day (don’t look to close at picture you will see the flaws).

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I then went and got rainbow twizzlers, a party size bag of rolo’s, bean shaped cellophane bags, and green ribbon.  I was actually really excited to create these little goodie bags.  Thankfully there are only ten kids in her class as I don’t know that I could have handled making thirty-two for K’s class.  These too were super simple and pretty self explanatory.  If questions please ask!

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For Easter we have had many changes as far as our family vacation plans.  As of today we will be going to my parents.  Which is completely ok…I mean a beach would have been great but when you own a business things don’t always go how you want.  We will spend the morning emptying the Koi pond and refilling it.  At a first glance yesterday I believe we have doubled our occupancy!  These Koi’s are serious when it comes to the reproduction process!  We did loose one of our big ones which we are super bummed about but that to is part of the cycle of life.

S did do a cute craft that involved an egg carton!  So free for that and paint colors I had on hand; another FREE, pipe cleaner which are a staple in the kids craft bin; FREE, buttons which are in endless supply; FREE, and a mini burlap canvas, which my mom bought a few of them at a garage sale last year at an amazing price of two for $1!  So yes, this project cost a total of .50!  I love FREE but when I can get it for under a $1 I’m pretty darn ecstatic too😀  I do have a second set of painted egg carton cups that I’m going to put together for our house as this particular one is for someone special.

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We hope you and your family have a great day and a Happy Easter!  Cheers!

 

Creative Spring Juices are Flowing!


Happy Sunday Friends!

This weekend was a beautiful one here weather wise!  Guess what it is the first weekend in who knows how long that we have had TWO healthy children!  WooHoo!  It was a weekend of goodbyes and a weekend of hellos!

On Saturday we said our final goodbyes to my grandmother.  As I mentioned in my previous post she requested NOTHING be done for her after she had passed.  My mom and her siblings felt something small needed to happen for closure for many of the family.  So our immediate family that was able to join met on Saturday at the cemetery where my brother-in-law said a few words.  It was a great opportunity for us if we wanted to say a few words of goodbye to her.  It was a hard time but felt good to be able to have the time.  I do feel a bit more closure today and am thankful we had it.  Now Joe will go to the stone quarry and pick out a stone and have it engraved for both my grandparents headstone. Once this is set I will feel at peace…or at least more so.

Ok now I am happy to share my hello for the weekend!  As today I had a list of things to do at my house but really wasn’t feeling it😁 Soooo I called mom and asked if she felt like whipping up some Spring wreaths!  She of course was in the same state as me and wasn’t really feeling any house work either!  I didn’t want to do our standard burlap wreath.  I had two straw wreaths laying around.  I’m sure I found them at a garage sale or goodwill years ago!  I am a firm believer in when garage sale or goodwill shopping if you see wreaths even if there is a terrible wreath done on it grab it!

Get the following items together:

-1 wreath; grapevine or straw

-1 package of sewing pins

-3 packages of colorful napkins

I noticed a napkin wreath that I had pinned via Pinterest last spring and never did.  I ran to the dollar tree and grabbed four packages of spring colored napkins.  Mom and I got to it! We weren’t using a grapevine wreath so we used sewing pins.  I did the same method of twisting the bottom and pinning them to the wreath as suggested.  A side note don’t make them too close.  Another note the site we used said you only need one package of napkins.  I used roughly two so maybe mine is even closer than suggested….WELL CLEARLY IT IS IF I HAD TO USE MORE THAN THEY DID! LOL  But, I was liking the way it was coming together.  This was a super simple project and I think it turned out pretty cute for roughly $2.50!

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While I was there I wandered into mom’s craft room and noticed three wine bottles I had painted about a month ago and kind of forgot about😢 They needed another coat of paint and for me to figure out what I was using them for.  I just loved the colors together; grey, yellow and white!  Felt fun and spring/sunny to me when I started.  So I decided to finish these while I was there!  I used Waverly chalk paints (Wal-Mart brand) grey, white, and yellow.  I forgot the stencil for the bunny I searched the internet for a bunny outline and came up with this one.  I may or may not add little tails to these cuties with pom-pons once I find the darn bag in S’s craft supplies!  Otherwise, I will just get some flowers to throw into them and voila another SUPER cheap Spring craft!  These cost me…well I did have to drink three bottles of wine!  But that doesn’t count I actually collect all glass jars beverages and food come in as you never know what or when you will need them for a craft.  I’ve designated a shelf in the garage for them.  The paint mom had and it wasn’t bought specifically for these so we will say this project cost me about $2!

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Ok well there is our super quick, super cheap, super fun Spring projects for this weekend!  Happy Crafting!  Cheers!

By the way while I share with you my fun day S and K are with Joe having a zip lining party with their Barbies & Lego Men! Yes my Yoga mat is water, the basket is where they can get shot by nerf guns and the blocks are the castle!

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Let’s Get Crafty

Hello Friends!

So today was a great day as my mom and older sister came over for a little crafting!  Well it was going to be a playdate for the kids but I have been on a pallet sign kick.  Researching methods to transfer words, different sayings, etc.  So I really wanted to put it all to the test.  I had originally found a great “Welcome” sign via Pinterest.  So, I suggested the kids play and we whip up a fun sign for our houses!

Prior to their arrival I printed “Welcome” in two different fonts.  I also got some colored chalk and grabbed three of the 32″ pallet boards that I had white washed a few days ago.  Again, I was determined to make a sign this week!  I pulled out the basket of acrylic paints and all my tiny brushes as well as Q-tips.  The original sign did a mason jar with fresh flowers on the side.  Well I only had two pipe fitting rings left from the project I finished yesterday (I will share in a minute).  So I thought we could do dandelions as our boards were a bit longer than that projects as well.  If you know my family you know we all have great minds but not one of them is alike.

Step one was getting the “Welcome” ready.  So I used the technique of coloring the letters with chalk then placing it on the wood and tracing each letter with a pencil.  I know many tell you to print the word or letters mirrored but I’m not that handy on the computer and didn’t see any mirror options so I printed it as it normally does.  I actually when completed think this way is better.  I simply covered the entire area of the word on the side the letters were not printed on with blue chalk.  As our boards were white washed so white wouldn’t show up.  Then flipped it over and outlined the printed side of the word.  The reason I think this worked better was I felt confident in my tracing with it this way.  Pressing pretty firmly.  I took the paper off and voila the word was on the board!  Not to worry the excess chalk didn’t show up it only comes through were you press with the pencil.  If you like the font it is simply Georgia and at a size of 288 on my mac WordAir program.

Here is the link for where I discovered the chalk transferring method.

http://bywilma.com/diy/diy-inspirational-quote-sign/

Next we had to paint we all chose different colors my sister and I were going for spring colors.  My mom on the other hand well…she went for Americana red!  I was not surprised by this as it’s my mom she does her own thing and damn it every time it comes out fantastic! UGH!  So we painted our letters.  Mine and my sisters were a bit light and I know my hand IS NOT steady so I found a fun blue marker and outlined the letters so they would stand out.  Then we made a few dandelions not flowering but seeding dandelions.  You know the ones you make wishes on in the summer! We did these on either side of the word.  Mom keeping with her Americana red decided to do some blue stars!  I will tell you I love Americana anything and actually she has a lot of red going on in her house so this is perfect!  I will tell you for our dandelions we used Q-tips they make the perfect circles to represent these.

So here is the final product!  I think they turned out great and in the end I’m glad we went the no mason jar route as I’m hanging mine in a location I won’t be able to have fresh flowers!  One other thing I must share this project cost us ummm NOTHING!  Ok yes everything cost something but I had all items on hand so I was technically not required to go to the store for a darn thing!  LOVE these type of projects.

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(don’t mind the random caulk on my mantle; clearly I wasn’t paying close attention when photographing!)

A great one day project for anyone to do as you can make as simple or as detailed as you like!  Let me know any fun signs you have done or methods you have found work great in making signs as I said this is my first but I have a list of about 20 I want to make to use throughout the year and in the garden.  Cheers!

 

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Friends!

I hope you are all having a great week!  It’s like once the kids got healthy it’s been a game of catch up on EVERYTHING!  Guess what I am still not caught up!  My house for starters needs a permanent housekeeper.  Joe called Monday letting me know a client would be coming to see the house at 2pm…this gave me two hours to have the main floor spotless or show ready as he says!  My dishwasher always seems to be blinking saying please empty me!  My office is a war zone; if you know me this is a struggle.  I have a slight 😉 case of OCD.  So this is a struggle but sometimes you just have to close the door and say filing, bills, and all other paperwork we will talk VERY soon!  Then there is the “L” word no I’m not talking about the warm and cozy word LOVE!  I have no love for the chore of doing laundry!  The first of the year I committed myself to doing a load a day to avoid the Sunday 15 load day.  Well I make my own detergent and last Wednesday I ran out!!!! So it sat and sat some more than I was able to make more on Sunday so today I’m ALMOST caught up!  Did I mention I’m trying to squeeze working out in to my daily routine?  Yes, I have been sticking to it; I’m shocked too!  Oh yeah and there are two little crazy children running around demanding just about anything and everything from me!  You know feed me, let’s make valentines, help me in the bathroom, MOM, MOM, MOM!  Where did they come from!LOL Then there are the crafts that need to be finished so I can get them to the shop mom and I have stuff at to make some moola!  So guess what this is bumped to the top!  Don’t worry the kids were fed and bathed!  And here I am blabbing to you about this. You are probably laughing but thinking isn’t this every mothers life!  It is I just needed to share!!

So our adorable bunny projects have been brought to the shop in time for Spring/Easter sales!  I love the fact that the shop Simply Marvelous here in Wisconsin has allowed us to expand what we bring in as we started with our furniture and now the owner has our seasonal items.  These particular seasonal items are really the only ones she will have for guests to choose from!  Which is great for us plus if you ask me they turned out so cute they are all any home needs.  Ok maybe a great wreath on your door too!

Last week I didn’t share details about our little princesses birthday!  Yes, the one of two above that is constantly needing things:) Ms. S turned 5 and as I shared we ended up having her birthday at an indoor amusement center.  We had 17 kids of varying ages so this location did seem to be very appropriate even though I was hesitant.  I will also say having no mess to clean up was FABULOUS!  The one thing I did do for her day was make her cake.  Since we were at a location we really did away with a theme except for this and her goodie bags.  She loves Littlest Pet Shop so she wanted that as her cake theme.  I ended up doing red velvet cake for one level, chocolate/white for the second and third with buttercream frosting and marshmallow frosting!  For goodies bags I struggled as I hate to just say here is a bag of sugar go drive your parents up the wall!  Again, not being able to do too much else as we were not at home I wanted to make them special.  So we for the girls we did puzzles, the surprise package with a pet shop pet, 3 pieces of candy.  For the boys we ended up doing teenage mutant ninja turtles as LPS doesn’t really offer a boy per-say surprise package.  We did TMNT puzzles, TMNT mini lego’s and 3 pieces of candy.  The older boys we gave them WWE playing cards and also gave them tickets to do bumper cars!  Overall, I think everyone had a great time!

Ok so as promised we need to discuss some good eats over this past week!  There have been a few but the best and HIGHLY recommended one is going to be a pulled pork recipe! I did get this via Pinterest and I am so glad I did because it was amazing.  A few little side notes!  This is a plan ahead dinner as it is a slow roasting one which means prepping dry rubs and brining for at least 24 hours.  It is so worth it!  Also, she recommends using a disposable roasting pan.  I used mine and if you remember from above my dishwasher issues and catching up…well yeah this soaked for two days after as it was caked!  So do yourself the favor and grab a roasting pan they sell them at the dollar tree!  Or foil line your roasting pan.  Lastly, this recipe does not need any sauce but I know that some people have to have a sauce for EVERYTHING!  This was good with a honey bbq but again no sauce is needed.  There is a little kick to it!  The kids did not enjoy this but I’m sure if less spice they would have.  With these I also made baked french fries which yes the kids ate and asked for seconds!  Again, not planning well I had to juggle cooking these at a high temp while the pork was at very low temp but it all worked out.  So next time I will start my pork first thing in the morning as it takes all day this way I can take it out to rest while I make the fries!  So here you are, enjoy!!  Thank you to those that posted for us to enjoy as well.

http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/perfect-pulled-pork-slow-roasted-seasoned-savory.html

http://www.layersofhappiness.com/extra-crispy-oven-baked-french-fries/

Well, I’m off to empty the dishwasher and fold my 368th load of laundry for the week! Lol!  Have a great rest of your evening.  Cheers!

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Everyone!
Holy Cannoli its been a week here at the Lisenby Residence!  A viral infection has taken over our house.  I know wasn’t I just saying that we had the flu and we were not going to be sick the rest of 2016!  Darn I spoke too soon! It started with K at the beginning of last week and Friday we were at the doctors with both as S woke up Friday morning with the same crazy cough/bark!  Only to be told it’s viral and our doctors cough lasted eight weeks!  YES, you read that right eight weeks!  WHAT THE!?!? Sunday K seemed over it with a cough here and there but Sunday night it hit S like a ton of bricks! She started with a temperature of 100 and all night fluctuated between that and 104.  Many rounds of cool clothes and cold bath but I was not able to get below 100.  We were back at the doctors as her cough was still bad at we were back to 102.  We discovered she needed a breathing treatment and if that didn’t work we would go do a chest x-ray for pneumonia.  This wasn’t what I expected I actually thought we might have escalated from viral to strep.  Well here we are three days later and she is still home from school.  We have been doing albuterol treatments every four hours.  She still has a terrible cough but doesn’t seem as much.  Tomorrow we will likely be back in just to confirm her chest is 100% clear.  As Saturday is her 5th birthday!  Sunday is her party!  So we need to get her back and running!  Amongst the zarbee’s cough syrup, Motrin and breathing treatments I have actually been doing other things!

Last week a good friend of ours who owns a excavation company had his birthday!  I’m sure you can guess I challenged myself to a special cake for him!  Last time I did a construction cake was for K on his 2nd birthday.  That was also the first time I did a 3D cake so it was…to say the least STRESSFUL!  Well here we are two years later and I have done a couple cakes since but not a construction cake and let me tell you…it was just as STRESSFUL!  The bucket, arm and boom which I waited to do until the rest of the cake was done and I was quite pleased with it.  Now I had a small window of time to complete the cake and we had these main components to complete!  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  Let’s just say I did it three different times even bringing Joe in for assistance on the second go at it!  We started using Twix bars…WAY too heavy.  Next we tried bananas; better but still pulled!  Last I decided not all cakes can be 100% edible and this was going to have to be my first cake that was not.  So I went and watched videos and went to the CAT website to review details.  Then I grabbed a cardboard box and got cutting.  I covered it in fondant which I will say adhered great with just water.  Lastly I added a few details to show the screws/nuts that held each section together.  The cake itself was chocolate and one was white.  The fondant was marshmallow.  The frosting was buttercream; side note I am not a buttercream fan so I almost always do cream cheese frosting but this was the third cake in three months I had done for this family it was time to change it up!  I actually really like the buttercream recipe I used.  See below for the link!

My siblings and my mom made our way to a painting class on Friday night.  Yes after completing the first time the excavator cake!  Just what I needed to do is go from one stressful art project to another!! LOL!  We went in celebration of my little sisters birthday she is finally OLD!  She’s 31…She loves elephants so there happen to be event doing an elephant at The Studio by my parents so we all went and enjoyed drinks and paint!  It’s always fun to do even if you think your painting good be done better by a toddler:)  These events are great for just about any occasion and with one friend or twenty!  Check your local listing for a location near you!

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I have also been working on a few other projects with Mom of course as we are a team when it comes to products we are selling at a local shop!  Our holiday ornaments, snowmen out of birch and stuffed snowmen were a hit so we have decided besides having furniture pieces at the shop we are going to provide seasonal items for the home here too! As long of course as she will accept!  So for spring we are going to go with a bunny theme which I think is perfect for spring! If your yard is like mine those cute little ones are going to be all over our yards very soon!  I will mention they don’t step foot in to my back yard since Nala has arrived…we had a devastating experience last summer and word must have gotten out on the street.  But, they do love our property as I just saw one in the front yard a few days ago!  Anyway, back to it…We are doing some floppy eared bunnies out of two shades of burlap and garden flags!  One side note on the flags which I’m super excited to share is sealing the edges of the burlap.  I was super annoyed with how quickly mine started to fray after cutting.  So of course I started google searching for how to and of course it was like 9pm and I didn’t have fabric stiffener on the shelf of magic that they were suggesting but I did have modge podge!  Heck I have about 20 bottles of modge podge laying around as every time they are in the dollar section at Target or I see them at the Dollar Tree I grab a bottle or two!  So I simply used my small tip brush and painted it along the edge.  It dries quick as by the time I was back where I started that area was dry!  The more you use the stiffer it gets just an FYI!  A note on the floppy bunnies is to use beans over rice to weigh their bottoms down!  We used a bit of muslin fabric so our pinto beans didn’t show through on the lighter burlap.  So here are a few pictures of the cute stuff!  I think we may do a few other items but haven’t decided 100% yet!  Happy Spring decorating!

Well I have another cake to get finished up for a special little girls 5th birthday party tomorrow!  Look forward to sharing all the fun we have next week!  Until then enjoy your evening.  Cheers

 

A Little of This and a Little of That…

So the past few weeks have seem to fly by and the weather has been all over the board.  Which this has matched whats been going on in our house!  Kole has started to attend preschool/daycare two days a week, Sid has graduated from 3K, my fingers and feet are almost 100% green from the gardening going on, Joe is averaging less sleep time then I could imagine being able to do anything on let alone run a company and when he has a free window building the kids playhouse!

First things first…K started his two day a week preschool two weeks ago!  So far he is absolutely loving it and they are loving him! His teacher told me last week that he is “the sunshine to her days!”  She said “he is such a good kid and makes her smile often!”  As a mom who enrolled him in this program as I was concerned for how he would do among his peers in the fall at Montessori.  As we were having many days of battles and when we attending playgroup he was having a hard time; not always but often.  My sweet little boy was changing so drastically before my eyes I wasn’t sure what to do.  Our good friends immediately said he needs seperation and they weren’t meaning from me.  They said all he knows is S and she manages him and he’s moving to an age of showing his independence.  Which having a sister that is four wanting to provide direction for all you do all the time even know it’s usually out of love can get to be frustrating.  I of course immediately thought of when I was a kid and how to this day my little sister and mom remind me of how much I managed her in all we did!  Well as the saying goes the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!  As my grandma said when I shared with her what K’s teacher said she said “Well mom, this is your report card saying you are doing something right!”  It was sweet as my grandmother isn’t doing well and I have tried to have weekly brief chats with her as growing up all of us where at her house and now for various reasons she only sees my kids on holidays or special occasions so I think she enjoys hearing about them grow.  So it seems these few days for K to find himself and meet others his age without S there to assist him is just what he needed.  The tantrums and frustration still show up but not nearly as much as we were facing before.  A little breathing room is good for everyone, right?!

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S finished her first year of school and as she says now it’s time for her to go to “BIG kid school”!  She is super excited for this change.  Many of the kids she bonded with at Montessori will not attend  the same school for 4K as S but that is ok this year has been great!  She learned so much from her teachers and peers.  Sharing, spelling, counting, alphabet, writing, organization, cleaning…just a few and yes you may say well she’s now four she better be able to do these things.  Yes, she went in knowing her ABC’s and could count to ten but as most kids at three they don’t always do perfect skipping numbers or letters or mixing them up.  Now, she is confident in them and the biggest is how she loves to be organized and neat in what she does.  We have her chore chart which we have altered from time to time but currently she is working towards a new Elsa doll!  So daily we get ourselves dressed in the morning and night, brush our teeth, clean our room if played in that day, clean the playroom, and feed the dogs!  She has been so great at this as the days she says she would really rather not do I remind her of the goal she is trying to reach and she doesn’t miss a beat on starting them!  Which has been really refreshing!  She too has said some things to us lately that crack us up but of course we hold a straight face at the time.  She was putting her dolls to sleep the other night and Joe brought up her favorite doll.  She says “You can just set her on the bed, I’ll take care of her when I’m done!”  Like really ok!  Then she tells me “Mom, I have a red bowl with no strawberries left in it, can you come remove it from my hand?”  I was like umm no you can go put it in the sink! I’m not your maid and your dad is not your servant!  K and her lost two of their favorite toys as they were hitting each other so S stands at the garage door and says “Santa do you hear me?,  please give us back our toys!”  She thinks he is god and speaks to him often.  Usually on shopping trips when she is told we are not buying today she says she is going to have a talk with him so he makes sure it’s on her list for Christmas this year!  We are very excited to see what “BIG kid school” brings in the fall for Ms. S!

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I have realized this spring that our yard is ALOT of work and it must have been due to the fact that last year was when we really got in to gardening and getting the property looking how we wanted so we didn’t experience the maintenance of all the planting we had done.  Let me tell you I am daily in the yard tackling some section!  I did do my vegetable gardens again this year.  But I scaled back a bit.  But I decided to try things I have not tried!  We have the usual variety of tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapenos, but I have also planted romaine, snap peas, broccoli, basil, brussel sprouts, science fiction blend of carrots as well as one blueberry plant!  We will see how it all does I see it as if I get enough to enjoy for the summer it was all worth it!  If I can can some and freeze some then I did it right!  Keep you posted as it’s all starting to flourish!  I also had the treat of re-doing three of our beds.  As we had planned to start renovations on the backside of the house and complete them before our 4th of July party but due to Joe’s work schedule we have decided to put this off until after.  Which I am completely fine with except when I was given a date that this was all to begin I went through my back gardens and transplanted everything!  Well, having three mud spots now for the dogs and kids wasn’t going to work for me!  I have simply put in some marigold and cone seed that was given to me as well as the cheap spring wildflower mix.  S picked out a few bulb plants too!  So fingers crossed these areas will flourish into great little gardens at a very low price before our party!

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Joe has been crazy busy lately between his companies accounts he handles during the day and those he has taken on as side jobs. Currently his side job is doing the stone work for a restaurant opening next month!  This is a different job for Joe as he usually does residential work.  The owner is someone I’ve know for ten years and he really wanted Joe to do the stone as he appreciates his work and passion.  Joe was excited to be a part of this as our friends current location due to his rapid increase in demand in his few short years of being open it was necessary for him to build a bigger place!  A farm to table restaurant in Illinois and for those in the area should definitely look his location up but I will say go earlier as there is typically a hour minimum wait by 6pm!  The name is Ad-lib Geocafe in Lindenhurst, Illinois!  Anyway, back to Joe!  This and other business has meant very long days for him.  But we committed to getting the kids a playset but after we researched and looked at them for the price we were looking to spend Joe decided it was best to build his own.  So here we are a few weeks in and man this project has been challenging but as of yesterday we are at the point that the kids can play on it safely.  We still have to change out railings, do the interior both siding and decorating, paint the outside and hang the swings but funny enough the slide and excitement alone has been a blast for these two!  I’m so looking forward to a summer with something for not only our kids to enjoy but their friends and cousins too!

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I know there is more to share but time to get to cooking as these two crazy kids are starting to get hungry!  I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

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I look forward to sharing with you the final of our current projects very soon!  Happy Tuesday to you all and thanks for checking in!

SPRING BREAK!

Hello Everyone! Not sure if this is your kids, neighbors kids, nieces or nephews spring break week but it is for us! So far its been a beautiful week whether wise! It’s been in the 50’s/60’s all week. The only negative was earlier in the week MUD! Of course today we woke up to having been dumped on again by rain early this morning. But that’s ok we are going to get out and do something fun!
So far this week we have done ALOT of yard work. That little dozer K got for his birthday has come in pretty handy for having him haul the remnants of my cleaned up gardens! He loves to help or rather he loves to do work! S does as well helping me pull “weeds” which as we know aren’t out now but as long as she isn’t pulling my flowers out she can pull her heart away!

Joe has begun his changes to the yard this week as well.  We removed the previous owners swing set two years ago and we managed without last summer but this year with the kids getting a bit older it would be nice to have something here to keep us busy!   So we have ordered a new swing set.  With this being said we decided to remove our two apple tree’s along the fence line.  Normally I would be super bummed but these two were not producing apples that I could use to bake and the for a snack the production was far and few between.  I think the location of these two was just not good.  So we took both of these down and we put in some shrubs.  Our neighbors came over and said “Wow, how long will we get to have you guys as neighbors?”  As people think we have our own little compound over here.  As Joe says he just doesn’t like neighbors in his business.  If he wants you over he will invite you! LOL!  Plus, I agree when the pool goes in I don’t want neighbors able to see into my yard.  So call it what you want at the end of the day we like privacy.  The kids enjoyed helping dad out too!

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We also cut down a dead tree on the opposite side of the yard…well Joe did I enjoyed watching from inside!  After we had a fire with the kids.  They thought we were camping out!  We let them have dinner out sitting on a log while they watched the fire and then they were off on adventures around Joe’s shop as there are so many places to climb and look for bugs, etc.

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We went to lunch one afternoon with their great-uncle and my cousin (who is two) to Culver’s then after went over to the Tractor Supply shop as it’s baby chick, duck season!  The best free entertainment and they are so sweet to the kids there telling them about the babies!  I almost got myself sucked in to taking a few home!  I would love to have a few for egg purposes but we have a friend who has five hundred and he has been very generous in sharing with us; so I think I should maybe leave this to him!

Our last task for the week was getting the pond back in order.  This is really a process but it went rather smoothly.  Joe’s friend stopped over and helped which was great as then I could simply watch!!  Removing the fish was fun as our original Koi spawned last season which we thought was surprising as we had just got them last July.  I knew for sure we had a total of ten including babies.  So we started to empty the water and prepare the kiddie pool for them to live in while we got the pond cleaned for them. They will stay in the kiddie pool for roughly four days during this process.  As we transported them S counted and named each new one Joe took out!  We were at eight and the water was getting light when we then found two more.  Joe continued to skim and Joe found three more…THEN two more!  I had no idea we had this many and clearly Joe didn’t either!  Our Koi must have had many long weekends last year during season!  I’m so happy they all made it through the winter.  If you read my post from last year when Joe built the pond it was a self-taught project.  So all we have done with our pond has been learned from talking to the Koi pond we got our Koi from, online research, as well as talking to our local landscape yards!  The amount of algae and leaves in the pond was incredible!  Lesson learned we will purchase a net for this upcoming fall.  For now we have it cleaned and the falls are back up and running great!  The Koi will return to their sanctuary on Monday!

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Last, I have realized I have failed to mention our newest addition to our home!  We have brought home a new puppy!  His name is DUKE!  He is a blue German Shepherd he is now seventeen weeks old and so far been a great addition to our home.  Nala our just two-year old shepherd cares for him like her child and argues with him like an annoying little brother so it’s working out great!  wpid-img953671.jpgwpid-img_20150326_160803.jpg

 

Today looks like it is going to be another beautiful day!  I wish you all a wonderful Easter and look forward to connecting soon!

When will Spring Finally Arrive?

Living in the midwest for pretty much my entire life except for when I spent two and a half years in San Francisco/Bay area for culinary school and enjoying life for a bit after you would think I would be completely used to the weather game we play here…I’M NOT! Every year I struggle with this little season we call winter! I can truly say I can’t wait until I’m old enough to be a snow bird. It seems like the older I get the longer winter seems to last…I guess that’s why people become snow birds! DUH! This year has been a little different as our December had no to very little snow. January came and we started to get dumped on which continued in February and March has been so up and down I don’t know what to think. One week we have temperatures in the sixties and now this past week it went back down to eighteen and had more snow!

The kids are totally over it, they are ready to be able to go outside in their t-shirts and play. I am right there with them. We have tried to take advantage of any nice day we get. Skipping the gym and taking the kids on a bike ride for nap, getting the yard ready for blooming, running, learning to ride bikes, chalking, playing in the mud!

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I feel like on the colder days I have went back to doing fun stuff indoors. Baking with the kids, they made play-doh, Easter card making, bowling, coloring, and then just good old playing and using their imaginations!  Which thankfully they enjoy creating scenes and playing them out often!

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They set up the living room with about 30 of their trucks, dolls, and stuffed animals to have a birthday party for S’s favorite doll.  K was in charge of gathering the gifts which included anything random from the playroom he could get his hands on; dishes, fake food, cars, tape measures, tools!  After the birthday they had a performance.  Using the toilet paper holder as the mic S did the singing and then Joe had to act out being chased by a monster, I had to fall down and get hurt, K was a Prince who saved me.  It was quite a riot I wish I knew this was all going to take place as I would have set up the video camera.  S is quite the director!  It truly was a fun family experience.

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I ran my first 5k of 2015 which ended up being more of a jog as my girlfriend that I did it with is newly pregnant but she definitely held her own!  My uncle who I normally do my runs with couldn’t just jog so he did his normal sprint to the finish line!!  Looking forward to doing another 5K in April and we are signed up for two 10K’s in May!  Excited to get back into running just wish the weather would understand I HATE to wait two miles to have un-numb hands!

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My picture doesn’t do our Easter cards justice!  They turned out so stinkin’ cute.  I cute up strips of scrapbook paper; only because I couldn’t find my child safe scissors.  Then the kids pasted the strips on to cardstock paper.  Then I cut out the egg!  So simple yet so cute!  Love that these two especially S loves doing crafts as much as I do!

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The play-doh was a fun experience!  We have done different dough and foams before and K was in need of some messy play!  So out came one of our plastic drop cloths, the box of cookie cutters, rolling pins, and pizza cutters.  The recipe I used I did end up adding more water to but that could have been that the measuring and dumping was being done by S and K so we could have mis-calculated somewhere along the way!  Towers were built, flowers, feet, and letters were cut out.  Then K in his standard obsessed with water fashion thought he needed to bring a cup of that into the mix.  So then it was water dough!

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We purchased a Groupon to go to the Amazing Mirror Maze with my sister and her two boys!  Another experience that was well two moms that are claustrophobic and clearly directionally challenged should not be with four kids seven and under in a 1800 square foot mirror maze!  When we finally made it out the kids were laughing and wanted to go again…once was enough for my sister and I!

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That same sister turned the BIG 40 so for the day I and S and K made her a little birthday cake for the celebration!

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I love bike riding but let me tell you pulling seventy pounds behind you can be rough!  But it was so nice getting out for a nice ride!  Both kids fell asleep about two miles in to the ride so it was a great little nap time for them and workout for me!  Just over six miles!  Outside exercise is always better than indoor!

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We wanted to do something with the kids that wasn’t part of our normal routine.  We decided going bowling at our bowling alley was the perfect thing!  We went on New Year’s Day with my entire family and they enjoyed it.  Who doesn’t love pushing a ball down a ramp in the dark with neon lights everywhere?

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http://www.roundlakeareaparkdistrict.org/programs-childrens-museum.cfm 

http://www.walworthlanes.com

http://www.mirrormazes.com

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/335377503472177387/