Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spring Fever Book Reviews

Once again, I am linking up to Modern Mrs Darcy's Quick Lit.  This was a better reading month for me.

I was so excited to get the Floret Cut Flower Garden book.  Floret is actually not to far from where I live. I have been following Erin's blog for a bit. This is book is so good.

I am anxious to get out in my garden. I have been talking about how inspired I am to have a cut flower garden this year. Mine will be small. Erin makes a Cut Flower Garden so approachable.  The pictures in this book are amazing. I can't stop gushing about this book.

Loved this article - What happened to traditional floral bouquets?

Rise  by Cara Brookins is another book I tackled this past month.  I think many people may have heard of Cara's house building project using YouTube videos.  This book was brought to my attention through this article by CNN. This is really a remarkable story of a single Mom to 4 kids building a home.  Cara is a domestic abuse survivor and the remarkable behind the story of her journey of rebuilding her life after leaving her abusive husband and prior to that a husband that was a scary schizophrenic. You can't not read this and not admire Cara and her kids.  They are survivors. This book isn't eloquently written but it is raw and real. If you can build a house, you can do anything.

Lastly, I read A Tender Struggle by Krista Bremer.  This book I had the most mixed feelings about. The language in this book is beautiful.  I think the word pictures is what kept me reading.  This is a memoir about Krista's marriage to a Muslim from Libya.  Krista describes herself as a feminist.  This is a true story about a marriage of people from 2 very different cultures. Krista retells her visit to Libya when Muammar Gaddafi was in power. Sometimes it was a bit raw but it was definitely interesting.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sharing is Caring- Adventures in Thrifting

I don't know why I am sharing this but it made me laugh.  My local Value Village has started to do little furniture vignettes.  This one really caught my eye.

They actually make the very interesting floral couch work. Honestly,when I walked up on this display the couch wasn't the very first thing I noticed. It kinda all works together in an odd way. My friend thought without the throw pillows it would of been better.

So the lesson is even if you have a hideous couch, you too can minimize it impact in your room.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

What I Learned March

I haven't done one of these in a while so I decided to give it a go.


I have been listening to the podcast Missing Richard Simmons.  I learned how over the top Richard was.  I also have come to the conclusion based on podcast that Richard is not being held against his will.  He simply had something traumatic happen to him and he became a recluse.  Richard doesn't sound like the type of guy who does goodbyes well and it was just easier for him to hide away.  This is 6 episodes and I thought well done. Give it a listen.


That daffodils excrete a toxic ooze after being cut so don't put fresh cut daffodils directly in water or they won't last. Instead let them sit cut outside of water for a few hours before placing in a vase.
Photo of Nonna's Daffodils
Photo by Nonna


I have been making this braided sesame semolina bread and it is so good and makes two huge loaves. I have been using my stand mixer to mix up.  It was a bit much for my bread maker.  I thought I had a picture but I don't.  You will have to trust me on this one. I buy my semolina and sesame seeds in WINCO's bulk bins. I had an INCIDENT with the sesame seeds at WINCO and I made quite the mess in the bulk bins.  They pour out fast.  Learn from me people.


Ok, this is so genius.  I wish I had thought it up myself. I literally organized all my bobbin mess in 10 minutes 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Digital Project Life App

I have been using the Digital Project Life App on my Phone and I love it.  It is a scrapbooking app that allows you to scrap on the go with your phone.   I finally bit the bullet and ordered my pages for last year.  They came and I love them.  It was so easy. I  slipped them into my page protectors and essentially my book is complete for this year. Through app this year they came out with a photo book as well. Below is a sample of few of the pages.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Linky Love

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Race Team 430 miles - This is such a cool story.

Back to the Beginning - There are many things like this I need to restart from the beginning.  Being a beginner is not such a bad thing. Wise words from the Modern Mrs Darcy

My Favorite Podcast - Confessions of a Cookbook Queen - this is a great list - I just started listening to Missing Richard Simmons - love it!

Baking Can Actually Make People Happy I know it is my happy usually.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St Patrick's Day/ Gold Hunt

Rainbow/leprechaun/ Godzilla - my verision
Godzilla and a Rainbow - 1st grader
I hosted a little Leprechaun gold hunt for my babysitting kid on Thursday. The name of our Leprechaun is Roy G Biv and he has been leaving notes all week.

So, Roy G Biv left notes everywhere. We hunted for the gold by following the clues.

The Gold was finally found in the refrigerator.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rocks with a Message and a Throw Back Thursday

I saw this article about people in Ohio painting rocks with positive messages and it made me think of  a trip to Point Whitehorn with the Adventure Crew where we found rocks with messages on them.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What I Read March

I am linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy and her Quick Lit Linky. Please check out what everyone else is reading. I had a sad reading month clocking in with exactly one book. This is sadness, folks

I read Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea in one day.  I rarely have such a luxury but had a rare free afternoon and this was a compelling faster read.  As all readers know time to sit uninterrupted, that is a beautiful gift. Girls of Riyadh  follows 4 Saudi Woman and their relationships and love.  I think when we are from the western world the Saudi culture is foreign and hard to understand. I am fascinated by their culture and how relationships, love, and marriage work. In the thinking of Modern Mrs Darcy book flights, I think the books by Zoe Ferraris -  Finding Nouf, City of Veils, Kingdom of Strangers would make a great book flight with the Girls of Riyadh.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Daylight Savings Linky Love


The Writing Revolution - This is really interesting article about teaching writing to High School Students who were struggling with writing.  My friend who is a High School English Teacher posted this on Facebook.  I have one son who received really high quality instruction in 5th grade much like what was described. He is an amazing writer.  The other son struggles with writing and I can see how some of the fundamentals were missed.

Healthy Food on a Budget - Specifically speaks about how to eat real food on a SNAP budget

X-Plan: Giving Your Kids a Way Out

Beware, China is Making Plastic Rice - really scary

Below is a video about the new book from my flower gardener crush - Erin from Floret. Floret Farm is somewhat local to me.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Godzilla in the Morning

I seem to be taking a lot of Godzilla pictures.  The kid I am watching in the morning is totally obsessed with Godzilla.

I am really learning a lot about the giant lizard.  It has been highly educational.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Snowman Graveyard

Last week, we had a late start for school due to snow.  Which left most elementary students arriving to school at lunch time and lunch recess. The large playing field was covered in snow. I loved looking out my kitchen window to see a whole field of snowmen.

The next day it looked like a snowman graveyard as the temperature had risen. Some of the snow balls were quite large.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Snakes OH MY - Mind of a !st Grader

The first grader I am watching in the mornings has really been into snakes.  We did a snake project. This is the classic paper plate snake. Of course, our snakes needed tongues. We also browsed some books about snakes.

There was a lot of interest in the Cobra.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dream Big

Visiting Peace Arch

I was lucky enough to receive a special promotional geocache trackable.  It was part of a big geocaching trackable promotion for Kat Kronenberg and the  release of her new book Dream Big.

Geocachers are invited to join the Dream Big movement. With a CATCH-M trackable, a magical character from the book, share your “big geocaching smiles” on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtags #GeocachersDreamBIG #contest. From February to October 2017, three photos that best capture smiley geocaching adventures will be selected each month to win an autographed 1st Edition of Dream Big. Those winners will also be entered to win the Grand Prize of $1,000 cash and three additional autographed 1st Editions of Dream Big. The Grand Prize winner will be announced on World Smile Day, October 6, 2017. - From

We have been showing our trackable a good time

hanging out in nature

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Wanderlust Linky

 This has been a really long winter so far.  I have a bit of cabin fever or wanderlust.  I am ready for spring.

Across the USA by train for $213

The Science Behind Why You Should Spend Your Money on Family Travel Instead of Toys

Yosemte's "Firefall" is Even Bigger - This would be so cool to see in person. I might need to add this to my travel bucket list

Geocaching Brings Enthusiastic to Roseberg - This one is for Nonna and Pappy.  Love  Geocaching

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What I Read February

Book Read Printable from Starts at Eight
I am once again linking up to Modern Mrs Darcy's Quick Lit.  Check out what everyone else is reading. I slowed down on my reading a bit but I had some interesting reads none the less.

I read Chip and JoAnna Gaines book, The Magnolia Story.

I really enjoyed it.  I keep bringing it up in conversations with my husband. Last month, I read Nicole Curtis's book, Better Than New (my review) You can't help but compare the two as both are passionate about old houses, risk taking, and flipping houses. I did enjoy The Magnolia Story more. I found myself discussing with my husband The Magnolia Story a lot.  I really admire Chip and Joanna Gaines. This is a good quick read.

The Sound of Gravel -This is a true story about Ruth who grew up in a Polygamous family.  Ruth was the 39th of 42 children by her father. Her biological father is murdered by another member of their church. Parts of this book are incredibly raw. There is sexual abuse by Ruth's step father.  The family moves between Mexico and the United States.  It is a childhood of hardship.  Eventually Ruth is able to essentially escape and begin a new life wtih her siblings. This is a fascinating and gripping story.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Gelli Plate Print Valentine's

Card made by Cody with Gelli Plate and Valentine Stamps
I decided to do Gelli Prints for my Valentine's this year.

This Year's Valentine

I used my gelli plate and valentine stamps.  I lost my brayer so I used my pampered chef pastry roller.  Probably not the best use of the pastry roller but worked in a pinch. I love how each and every card turned out unique.
Pamper Chef Pastry Roller as Brayer on Gelli Plate

Neat valentine idea from Gelli.  I am going to give these a try as well.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine Decorating on the Cheap

I saw these cute wax paper heart garland on I Should Be Mopping and I gave it a go.  It was a bit time consuming but I used my big shot sizzix (die cut machine) to cut the hearts so that sped up the process. I also put some heart dollies on my kitchen window. Heart dollies and wax paper from dollar store,

I like my valentine's decorating to be simple.  I also chalked up my sign. I used sidewalk chalk.

All of the decorations are ones I already owned. I even kept out some shiney brites.