Archive for the ‘home’ Category

Making Progress on the Craft Office

The smallest room in our home – the room with the most windows per square feet, with the best lighting – has totally not been used to its potential. Disappointing, isn’t it? It’s the dumping ground. In the last month I’ve alluded on the Facebook page to redoing one of our rooms into an actual, usable craft space. (Yeah, we’ve only lived here for 8-1/2 years?) The room was originally earmarked for a shared home office between my husband and myself. I think I had visions of the kids working at the table. That didn’t happen.

I’m happy to report that in the last few weeks I moved a lot of things around, got rid of a lot, too. I lost some momentum last week because I needed to focus on a workshop my husband and I were presenting at our church, not to mention family stuff. BUT, I’m still encouraged that I’ve made a few more papercrafty things in the last couple of weeks just by having this space available to me! It’s actually a room I’m starting to want to spend time in.

I don’t think I’ve ever shared pictures of this room because I’ve been too embarrassed about the state of it… and, you know what? Who cares?! It’s coming around, and it’ll be awesome.

The mess that is becoming my craft office.

The mess that is becoming my craft office.

This will all come together, I know...

This will all come together, I know…

Have a great Monday, and a great week everyone!

Working on: Prepping for Spring Break, Easter cards, my planner pages, more house clean up.

Developing: A lesson plan for a Zen drawing workshop I’m giving this week at a local art center, and hopefully an Easter article for GeekMom.

Contributing: At Monday Mugshots.

Planning: My son’s First Holy Communion reception for family and friends.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

The weather is cooler, fall colors are everywhere, and pumpkin has invaded every corner of the food world. Personally, I love it, though I know a lot of people are over it. (Especially with the hashtags #psl, #pumpkinlatte, #pumpkinstakeovertheworld…) It’s only one season, friends. Enjoy it. Embrace the pumpkin.

Every year I make my fair share of pumpkin bread and bars. Here I am offering a new recipe (in our house). Pancakes are a perpetual fave here, so I tried adding pumpkin and spices. Delicious.

We like to make a bunch and then freeze the leftovers. I space the leftover pancakes in a single layer on cookie sheets and freeze for a couple of hours. When frozen, I take the pancakes off the cookie sheets and store in a plastic bag for easy handling. They reheat easily in the microwave or the toaster oven.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Yield: 2-1/2 dozen 5-inch pancakes

Dry ingredients:
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
Hefty pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:
2-2/3 c. whole milk
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
4 lg. eggs
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp. dark rum
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cup canned pumpkin

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Whisk until mixed well. In another large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients, except the pumpkin. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Gently fold in the pumpkin.

Heat your griddle (pan or skillet) over medium heat – lightly oil or butter your griddle. Using a ¼ cup scoop, pour batter onto the hot griddle. Leave space for batter to spread. Flip the pancakes over when the bottom side is golden and the topside has popping bubbles. Cook until underside is light brown. Serve immediately, or hold in a 200 degree oven.

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Happy first weekend of #autumn. Pumpkin spice pancakes on the table this morning. #nofilter

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So, hello, October. We’ve been on the go over the last month. Not a bad thing, right? Be active, make memories, enjoy the outdoors… it probably helped that our laptop (what I work on the most) was acting all goofy, and I didn’t really make time to fix it. Until now.

Catch me at Instagram and Facebook!

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Recipe: Chicken stir-fry with Red Pepper and Broccoli

Chicken stir-fry with vegetables

Good eats with rice!

I love cooking with chicken thighs mainly because they are so forgiving. You gotta do a lot to overcook them, and while I can bake and roast, sometimes my pan-frying or stir-frying doesn’t always turn out. So, after a lot of trying, I think I have it down now. I made this for dinner, and my kids loved that there was plenty of gravy to spoon over their rice. Keep reading for the recipe!

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In the Garden: Propagating Christmas Cactus

Continuing with some garden talk from earlier this week

A few weeks ago, I relocated my mother-in-law’s plants to my house.  She has some low maintenance plants, so with her traveling, you’d think they’d be okay. They still need care, and it only makes sense that the plants live with us since I look after them anyway. I know, I look wary…

Cacti and succulents

A rare pic of myself. (The car is parked.) Good thing I have a station wagon.

And, I gotta say, I’ve never dealt with cacti before, but don’t they look sad? Poor plants…

Propagating Cacti

These guys need some care

After some reading and searches for cactus care, I thought I’d start with the Christmas Cactus (far left in pic above) and Jade (not pictured) since they were already shedding leaf segments. (Probably stunned from the move.) By the way, Christmas Cacti don’t live in the desert… they come from the rainforest. Who knew?

First I learned that the leaflets have to callous over, and they end up shooting out roots looking for water. I left them on a paper towel in some indirect light. With the Jade, an empty stem stuck in the soil started to bud.

Caring for succulents

Jade (above) and Christmas Cactus (below)


Keep reading to see how they turned out!

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Mugshot Monday: April in Review

I felt like Spring was finally in the air…

Mugshot Monday: April 7, 2014

… until it snowed like this on April 14. I was so stunned that I forgot my mug in the shot.

Mugshot Monday: April 14, 2014

Tax Day came and went. Then I got down (literally, on the floor) to work on some projects, like One Little Word.

Mugshot Monday: 4/21/2014

Here’s the finished Vision Board.

Mugshot Monday: Vision Board

And, I found an old artist trading card series I made in 2008 for an “Encouragement” swap… It finally has a home in my One Little Word binder.

Mugshot Monday: 4/28/2014

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12 Earth Day projects to make

Since it’s Earth Day, I’m rounding up some past projects that highlight recycling or reusing. The projects range from very easy to more involved. I hope you try some out!

An Accordion Spine Journal with reused envelopes for pages

Completed journal

Tutorial: Accordion Spine Journal

Reusing a Gift Bag

Gift bag redecorated

Reusing a gift bag by embellishing over a logo

Recycled Cereal Box Notebooks

Recycled Cereal and Product Cardboard Boxes

Any cardboard box can become a fun notebook cover.

Newspaper Seedling Pots and a Cardboard Tray

recycled cardboard garden tray - handle placement

Make a tray to hold all your seedlings.

DIY Barrel Composter

Rotating Barrel Composter

Food grade plastic barrel becomes a composter.

Mini-Envelopes from magazines

Mini envelopes from magazines free printable template

Use pages from a favorite catalog to make mini envelopes

Upcycled Paper Bag envelopes

Paper Bag Envelopes

Make envelopes from a paper bag

Magnetic Pin Holder from a mint container

Magnetic Pin Holder from candy tin

Mint tins can be handy containers

Bottle Cap Art

Bottle Cap Art: Finished pieces

Bottle caps can be fun little frames

Upcycled Sweatshirt Throw Pillow

Upcycled Sweatshirt Pillow

Upcycled Sweatshirt Pillow

Reusing Wine Bottles as water carafes

Glass Etching Wine Bottle

Reuse wine bottles as water carafes

and, I reused a grocery bag as gift wrap in this gift wrapping post.

Grocery Bag reused for gift wrapping

A simple brown paper bag can be a nice gift wrap.

Enjoy your time creating and making!

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