Monthly Archives: November 2013

Snapshot Saturday – Holiday Decorations

It’s officially Christmas Season!  Thanksgiving and Black Friday have come and gone!  Today we break out our Christmas decorations, send out our Christmas Cards, and figure out what we still need in the way of Christmas gifts!  I love this time of year!!!  These are some of the ornaments that Gwen made!

funky snowmen

funky snowmen


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Filed under bucket board, check-it-off-the-list, Christmas Gifts, family drama, self improvement, snapshot saturday

Quest to Read Them All – Christmas on 4th Street

As I continue along on my Quest to Read Them All, I have made another stop in Fool’s Gold, CA.  I love Susan Mallery’s writing.  This year’s final installment in her ongoing Fool’0s Gold series, Christmas on 4th Street, was as engaging and heartwarming as all of the previous stories.

Ms. Mallery once again invited her readers into the lives of the people of Fool’s Gold, and this was one of the best stories of the year.  I absolutely love how the characters from the previous books into each new installment.  I always look forward to hearing about the lives of the people of Fool’s Gold and growing to know the new leads.  Gabriel and Noelle were great addition to the population of characters in Ms. Mallery’s remarkable town.  If the town wasn’t  fictional, I’d be planning a trip to visit The Christmas Attic, Brew-ha-ha, and Morgan‘s Books.  It was great to get at hint as to the 2015 thread of stories as well.  I wonder if Norm and Webster will be making an appearance with the Search and Rescue theme?  Anyone else see a few hidden suggestions that Felicia might be expecting sooner, rather than later?  Who thinks Angel is going to find his HEA with someone connected to the new PR firm coming to town?  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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Filed under books-books-books, check-it-off-the-list, read them all, travel

Framing Memories…

I got the inspiration for this week’s project from Pinterest, and from updating the super creepy bathroom in our new house…

I found a pin for an old window turned into a picture frame for sale on Pinterest, but considering we are elbow deep in renovating our new-to-us house I couldn’t afford to just buy it on a whim.  Living on a strict budget is not so much fun…

Except, the universe must’ve been smiling on me, because I found a Shutterfly coupon for a free enlarged picture and we removed (relocated and replaced, too) an old window when we started redoing the bathroom.  So I had the perfect way to create my own version of the frame I wanted, on my budget.

First I ordered the enlarged print – it is a shot of the triple rainbow we saw on the day my dad passed.  While we were waiting for the print to arrive the contractor removed the window.  When I had those items in hand, I gathered the rest of my supplies.

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I removed the handle from the old window.

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Then cleaned both sides very well.

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Then I attached an eye hook in the center of each of the shorter sides of the window.

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Once they were both secured, I attached a metal wire to each hook.  (These came out of one of those neat “picture hanging kits.”)

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Now that I had the window set up as a picture frame, it was time to set the photo into the frame.  I laid it down and lined everything up.  Then I used double sided tape to secure the photo to the glass.

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When everything was all secured, I hung it up in my living room.

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I love how it turned out!  This is one of the last few touches that our living room needs to be finished!!

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Filed under check-it-off-the-list, family drama, hunting for a new home, projecty type stuff

Tasty Tuesday – Cranberry Lime Vodka

I know that everyone, and their brother (at least in the United States), is cooking up a storm this week.  So, I decided to steer clear of anything that might involve using a stove, but that would still qualify as seasonally appropriate and festive.  I found the idea on Pinterest (of course) and have had success with similar projects/recipes in the past.  The pin I found was for Cranberry Lime Vodka,  this is one of Gwen’s favorite drinks, so it seemed like a great plan!

First I gathered my supplies…

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Then I washed the 2 bags of cranberries.  After they were clean, I punctured the individual cranberries and put them in the carafe I chose for the final product.  I used the sharp end of a wine opener and the pointy side of a vegetable peeler.

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I chose to add the lime peel at even intervals throughout the bottle.  I used a peeler to remove the skin, but not too much of the pith, from one of the 3 limes and put it into the carafe.

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Then I added more cranberries, and lime peel until I reached the fill line on the bottle.  At which point I added the vodka.  Gwen is partial to Absolut, but you can use any brand of vodka.

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Once it was full, I put the lid on and labeled the bottle.

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Within 24 hour the vodka had turned a great cranberry color, and taken on a nice hint of lime.

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Filed under check-it-off-the-list, tasty tuesday, thirsty thursday

Snapshot Saturday – Over the River and Through the Woods

This week I was reminded that we will soon be traveling to visit family for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, and we can’t wait!

Let's go Mom!

Let’s go Mom!

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Filed under check-it-off-the-list, family drama, pug city, snapshot saturday, travel

Quest to Read Them All – Not Quite Enough

As I continue on my Quest to Read Them All, I have made my way to another book written by one of my current favorite authors, Catherine Bybee.  I have come to really enjoy her writing, since I first picked up one of her books.  She has several series that I am currently following – the Weekday Brides series, the MacCoinnich Time Travel Series, and the Not Quite series.  This week’s book is the 3rd installment in the Not Quite series

NQE Cover

This is the story of Monica Mann, RN.  We first met Monica in Not Quite Dating, the first book in the series, which centered around Monica’s older sister Jessie.  Monica traveled with us through the first two books and arrived as an aid worker after a huge earthquake and tsunami in Jamaica.  She overcame her fear of heights, survived great perils, and fell madly in love with a “Barefoot” helicopter pilot named Trent.  I am early awaiting Ms. Bybee’s next book!  They are great vacation and weekend reads – quick, romantic, and HEA!

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Filed under books-books-books, check-it-off-the-list, read them all

Counting on a House

I never spent much time thinking about house numbers before I became a homeowner.  Now, this is by no stretch my first place, but I’ve generally lived in an apartment or with someone.  That meant I wasn’t responsible for the proper labeling of the domicile according to the city/town and the Post Office.  Now I am… grrrr.

Which is what brought on this week’s Pinterest project.  When we bought our house it needed lots of work.  I mean lets face it, the only house we could really afford was a fixer-upper.  So we’ve been making slow and steady progress on the needed repairs, and making this house our home.  I wasn’t planning to tackle any of the exterior work until the Spring, when we had replenished our coffers and could afford to get some professional help.  However, the Post Office had other plans (or should I say demands).  I was informed that my mailbox was inaccessible and that our house needed to be numbered clearly.  Well, excuse me.  I have a PO Box, so I didn’t even think about the mail box, but I guess formal notice trumps my bank account and this became a minor priority.

Now, I don’t disagree with the notice, there were no clearly visible numbers on the house and the mailbox wasn’t easy to reach.  So I set off to my Projecty Type Stuff Board on Pinterest and found some inspiration for “Clearly Visible” house numbers.  (The inaccessibility of the mailbox was remedied by cutting down a bush in front of the porch.)

Our house is white, so we decided to go with a dark background, and lighter numbers.  There were no directions attached to the pin (I really hate when that happens), but it looked fairly self explanatory.  We headed off to the local home improvement superstore and the local craft store.  They have begun to recognize us at both of these stores, it’s getting scary how often we end up there…

We gathered our supplies – 4 small wooden plaques (they were $1 each), 4 medium metal house numbers, hanger brackets, wood stain, and screws to mount the numbers.  All in all, we managed to keep the expense minimal – not bad for an unexpected project.

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We gave the plaques a quick sanding, and then stained them a dark walnut (we already had the stain from the bench we made earlier this month).

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Once the stain was dry (we let it sit overnight), I attached the hangers.  They were standard picture frame claws, which we also already had on hand.

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Then I attached the house numbers.  One number centered on the front of each plaque.

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Then they were ready to be installed on the exterior of the house.  We are lucky that the front of our house has wood cladding, so we could attach the numbers with screws.  I have no idea how to do this if you have aluminum siding.

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Not too shabby for a quick fix…


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Filed under check-it-off-the-list, hunting for a new home, projecty type stuff