Category Archives: hunting for a new home

The winds of change are blowing my way (yet again!)

Some of you may have noticed that over the course of the last few months the frequency of post and the content of this blog has been changing.  There’s a reason for those changes.  My whole world has been undergoing something of a metamorphosis.  Not a Kafka-esque one, cause eww who’d want to turn into a nasty cockroach, but a series of huge changes none the less.  As some of you may remember I recently lost my dad, moved to middle America, bought a house (that needed a lot of TLC and some serious renovations), found a few job, and made some fantastic friends!  That’s a lot of stuff, right?  but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s been going on in the last few months…  I’ve also ended a marriage, lost a bunch of weight, mostly finished renovating the house, found a job in my field, found even more great people, met a great guy, expanded my previously shrinking family, and decided to move (again)!  With all of that going on behind the scenes, I have to apologize for slipping with the frequency of my posts.  I am trying to keep up with as many of the topics as I can, but as my move to the southwest gets closer (and more of my stuff got packed – the craft supplies went 1st, then the books, and finally the kitchen equipment) it became increasingly hard to keep up.  I hope to be back up and running very soon, but just in case, please don’t forget about my out there in the blogosphere, I’ll be back with even more projects, adventures, reads, and recipes!

Now I wonder if you can make it from Ohio to Arizona by way of New York, Walt Disney World or Mount Rushmore…  We shall see!!!

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Filed under bucket board, check-it-off-the-list, family drama, hunting for a new home, mixed up crazy world, self improvement

Tasty Tuesday – Crock Pot Pulled Pork

I love Pulled Pork and I’ve been craving it for weeks, but I can’t find my recipe.  Yes, ridiculously organized me can’t find something.  It’s not that I don’t know where it is, it’s that I don’t feel like digging through the boxes to find my recipe folders.  I found my recipe in a cooking magazine (either Rachael Ray’s magazine or the Food Network magazine) a few years ago, and we really do like it.  I’ve looked all over Pinterest, trying to find a close approximation to my recipe, but I haven’t been able to locate the right one.  However, the craving got to be too much, and I resorted to using what promised to be a simple yet delicious crock pot version…

The recipe was as easy as the pin promised.  I gathered the ingredients and put it together in less than 10 minutes before I left for work.  It calls for 1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, 4 pounds of boneless pork riblets (I used boneless country style ribs), 3/4 brown sugar (this is optional, but my other recipe calls for it, so I used it), 1 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Ingredient

You dump half the bottle of BBQ sauce in the crock pot, then add the meat.

start with BBQ sauce   add boneless pork

Next, you add the rest of the BBQ sauce, the mustard, the garlic powder, and the brown sugar.

mustard   garlic powder   brown sugar

I stirred everything around to get the meat completely coated, and set it on low to cook for 8 hours.  (The recipe said to cook it on high for 4 hours, but I was going to be gone longer than that, so I adjusted my cooking time.)  When I got home from work, I used tongs to shred the pork and served the sandwiches on soft buns.

pull the pork   pulled pork sandwich

My dinner guests really enjoyed them, but I still like my original recipe better.  Guess I better get cracking with the renovations, so I can finally unpack the remaining boxes and find the stuff I’m still missing.

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Tasty Tuesday – Pizza Dough

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I miss New York food!  I have been craving salty Chinese food, a fresh bagel, and real New York pizza like nobody’s business!!!  Alas, I am currently ensconced in Middle America; which means I have to find an alternative solution.  I’m going to make my own version of pizza.  It  won’t be the same, because the water is very different, but I might be able to get close.  I found a recipe on Pinterest.

I was so excited to get started!  I gathered my ingredients: 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of milk, 1 package dry yeast, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt.

Pizza Dough Ingredients

Once I had everything together, I heated the water and milk as directed.  It took a bit longer than the 40 seconds the recipe suggested.  Then I moved the mixture to a big glass bowl and added the yeast packet and sugar.

Heat the Milk   Add milk and continue heating   Add yeast to warm milk mixture   Add Sugar to Yeasty Milk Mixture

Once the yeast was fully dissolved, I added the olive oil, flour and salt.  Then I mixed the dough and kneaded it on a lightly floured surface.

Add olive oil to the yeast milk   Add flour   Add salt  knead the dough

When the dough was fully combined (smooth and elastic), I brushed a glass bowl with olive oil and put the bowl in the fridge overnight for the dough to rise.

olive oil brushed bowl for dough to rise

24 hours later and I can make my pizza!  But now I have to decide what kind to make – Barbeque Chicken or Chicken Alfredo Pizza…  Any suggestions?

Pizza Dough

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Climbing the Ladder Toward the Finishing Touches

I was looking through Pinterest earlier this year, and found this idea I loved that worked with my decor and even fit into my budget.  I just had to get the renovations to a place where we were ready to start adding the finishing touches.  Well, we’ve finally made it to that point in the living room, so I decided that this week would be the perfect time to try and recreate the Blanket Ladder I found…

I have several crocheted blankets that I’d love to display in my living room, but I don’t want the dogs to destroy them.  This project seems like the perfect solution to that problem.  I started by gathering the materials I needed: 2 5 foot pieces of 2×4, 4 17 inch pieces of 2×6, 16 2 1/2 inch wood screws, a drill (with a working battery), a rag and stain.  Once I had everything together, I stained all of the wood pieces and let them dry over night.

stain the wood

When the pieces were dry, I grabbed the tape measure and my drill.  I laid out the rungs of the ladder along the rails based on the measurements provided in the pin.  She wanted 4 rungs spaced 12 inches apart starting 3 inches from the to of the rails.  I decided to remove the final rung, because I liked the visual spacing better.  I also didn’t use pocket holes, because I’m too cheap to purchase a $100 Kreg Jig.  The design of the piece is rustic/industrial so face nailing the rails worked within the design.  After I had everything measured out, I used 2 screws for each side of each rung to secure the 2×6 pieces between the 2×4 rails.

laying out the rungs securing the rungs between the rails

After all 3 rungs were secured, I stood the ladder up and placed some of my blankets.  I’m not sure if I like the ladder.  I think that it’s not level, but it stands and the rails show level.  Maybe it’s just my crooked old house…

waiting for balnkets   $10 Blanket Ladder

 

 

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The Incredible Shrinking… Wardrobe!

On Wednesday I usually write about whatever craft project I have completed this week, but not today.  Today I am going to talk about something a bit different.  Why, you ask?  Well, because I haven’t actually finished this week’s project yet.  I was so overwhelmed and distracted by the Spring Cleaning task I took on this week, that between it and work there just wasn’t enough time for much else.  What kind of Spring Cleaning project could possibly be that overwhelming?  Going through, pairing down, and reorganizing my entire wardrobe!

What on Earth would make me want to tackle that monumental of a task?  We recently moved from Long Island, NY to Akron, OH.  We also went from living in extremely tight quarters (we’re talking less than a studio apartment small) to a 3 bedroom house.  I’ve changed jobs and lost 2 full sizes worth of weight; however, the biggest factor in this project was the design of the master closet.  The master is the last room we need to tackle, in order to get our house to place we want it to be.  The room became closetless when we remodeled the bathroom, so I get to design my closet from scratch.  In order to do that I needed to know exactly what I’m going to have to stuff into the new and improved closet space.  That’s what brought me to taking on this project now…  An influx of universal indicators that screamed at me to get off my ass and go through all of the boxes, tubs and suitcases.

I literally touched every piece of clothing, every single shoe, every boot, and every purse, hat or glove I own in the last 48 hours.  I started the project with great enthusiasm and optimism, but as I continued the process, it became harder and harder.  I evaluated whether each piece was something I liked, if it fit, and if it was something I couldn’t’ live without replacing if it didn’t meet the 2 previous criteria. I literally touched it all.  It was an amazing amount of stuff.

I’ve come to several conclusions during this process…

  1. I had approximately a metric ton of clothing
  2. I have officially left the “Plus Size” category of Women’s Clothing (and NEVER intend to return)
  3. I probably kept more than I should’ve
  4. I still need to replace some items with better fitting substitutions
  5. A woman can NEVER have too many shoes!
  6. I’m going to get a minor windfall of cash when I bring the “NO Pile” to Clothes Mentor!

Can you say consignment??   My Shoes!!!   The Keepers

I’ll keep you posted about the continued progress on the closet, but now that this is mostly finished (I still need to put away the clean clothes, wash some more laundry, bring the toss pile to the consignment shop, … oh it really is a never ending project!), I should be able to get back to my regularly scheduled craft projects.

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

Necessity is the Mother of All Invention

Like last week, I was looking to solve a problem with this week’s craft project; however, I foolishly assumed I created the idea all by myself.  I was wrong…  I was looking for recipes on Pinterest when I came upon a pin that looks remarkably like the project I just completed.  My job has recently changed.  I’m still working at the same place, but I’ve moved into a more public position and my appearance is now more of a concern.  That’s not to say that I didn’t always make sure I washed my face, brushed my teeth and used deodorant.  It’s just that now I choose to use make up (which requires remover, too), hair styling products (I even unearthed my freaking blow dryer), and all sorts of other lotions and potions.  This meant that my formerly clear and clutter free bathroom counter was being overrun with clips, cotton balls and a bunch of other random stuff.  My OCD jumped into overdrive, so I had to find a solution to the problem.  I decided to make cute jars to stick all the stuff in, so it would still be accessible, but also out of my way.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only person who encountered this type of problem and solved it by repurposing jars from the recycle bin.

I grabbed a few jars from my stash.  (I save them for possible reuse.  It drives Gwen crazy, but I’d rater pay 99 cents for a drawer pull than $15 for a q-tip holder at the store.)  I originally chose three, but had to scrap the 3rd one, because I couldn’t seem to get rid of the garlic smell (anyone have a suggestion on how to solve that problem?).  I cleaned the jars with goo gone to get rid of the left over sticker goop.  Then I let them dry completely.

left over jars   clean with goo gone

Next I grabbed my cordless drill with a metal bit and drilled a hole in the center of the lid for each jar, so I could attach an inexpensive drawer pull to the tops.  I used shorter wood screws, that I had hanging around from another project, instead of the long ones that came with the knobs.  A jar lid is much thinner than a cabinet door, and I wanted the knobs to sit flush with the tops of the jars.

Drill a hole to attach the knobs   see the hole?   attach the knob  Ready for Paint

Now that the knobs were secure, the jars were ready for paint.  We have a bit of a grey color scheme running throughout our 2nd floor, so I grabbed the left over spray paint I had from painting a thrift store computer desk last weekend, and went to town on the jar lids.  I sprayed each lid thoroughly, making sure to coat the underside of the knobs.

Paint the tops   Let them Dry Completely

Once the tops were totally dry, I filled the jars and cleaned up some of the mess on my bathroom counter.

Bathroom Storage Jars

What do you think?

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

Unwelcome Visitors…

As many of you know, I grew up in New York, where people mind their own business and generally don’t go where they weren’t invited.  There are the occasional door to door salesmen, but not a ridiculous number.  Since I’ve moved to Ohio, I’ve had more unwelcome visitors than I had in the entire time I lived in NY.  Now, keep in mind that we only moved into our house in mid-October and that the winter was ridiculously cold.  That means that over the course of the last few weeks I’ve had well over a dozen strangers coming to my door trying to help me find the Lord, convince me to vote for a backward thinking moron, and provide me services for the hard of hearing.  I had to figure out what I could do to keep the idiots at bay.  I’d seen a couple of cute “No Soliciting Signs” in my travels on Pinterest and decided to make one of my own.

First I found a wooden plaque that I had picked up at my local craft store, and stained it to match the house numbers we had made earlier.

Stain or Paint the Sign   Drying

I liked the sentiment, but I wanted to personalize it a bit, so I changed a few things to make it more my own.

Customize the Wording

I transferred the words using the chalk and tracing method I’ve used in the past.  Then I used a Sharpie Paint Pen to fill in the lettering.

Chalk over the back of the page   Then trace the image you want to transfer Fill in the outline with a Paint Pen   1/4 done  Finished

When I was done with the lettering, I sprayed the plaque with varnish to give it a protective covering, because it’s going to stay outside in the elements.  Then I attached a frame hanger to the back and hung it up.

Attach a frame hanger

It’s to the right of our front door…  I really hope it works!  I’m not very good at dealing with unwelcome visitors.

No Soliciting Sign   Good PLacement?

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