Friday, January 29, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

With my stomach bug under control,  my sweet tooth began to rear it's ugly head.

After searching my pantry for something sweet, I came accross a bag of chocolate chips.  All of a sudden visions of warm chocolate chip cookies popped into my head.

I quickly searched on my fave blogs 5 Dollar dinners and sure enough she had a recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies – Healthified.  "hee hee healthy chocolate chip cookies!  That's funny!"  Nonetheless I went my merry way in getting all the ingredients out to make the cookies.

Sure enough i didn't have any whole wheat flour on hand or enough butter.  So I set about improvising.  I don't know what her's tasted like, but mine were amazingly moist.

Here's my modified recipe due to lack of ingredients.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar

2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup of ground flax seed
2 cups of chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.
In large bowl, mix butter and applesauce together.  Add sugars.  Add egg one at a time, mixing well between each one.
In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and flax seed.  Add to butter mixture.  Add the chips.
Drop by tablespoonfuls on baking sheet, and bake for 9-10 minutes.  (time depends on oven and how crispy you want them).

From start to finish the recipe took me 20 minutes and I made 4 dozen cookies.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's for dinner? Mexican Rice & Beef

Yikes, I just realized that I haven't posted in awhile. 

After the happy news of my nephews arrival last week, I got a nasty stomach bug that zapped all my energy.  Funny thing, my brother-in-law caught the same bug the day after.  The funny part is that early Wednesday morning after spending a sleepless night at the hospital the two of us treated ourselves to a "healthy egg breakfast from McDonalds.  hmmm...  and then we got sick.  Everybody else was smart enough to eat home-cooked food.  Now, I'm not saying something was wrong with the food...  but... interesting that we were the only two that got sick.  Just saying...

Anyhoooo, now that I feel better, it's time for some home cooked yummy food.

This is my version of Mexican Rice & Beef.

1 pound ground beef
1 cup of Salsa (I use Mild or medium, 'cause of the kids)
1 can kidney beans, drained(or whatever beans are in pantry)
1 can of President's Choice Smokin' Stampede beans in BBQ sauce
1 cup Parboiled Rice
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste


Brown beef until no longer pink.  Add salsa, beans, rice and water.  Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve with side salad.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome... Baby Daniel

I need to brag...

Introducing my gorgeous nephew Baby Daniel.  He was born this morning at 4:52 a.m.  I was honoured to be in the delivery room and cut the umbilical cord.  A moment I will never forget. My little sis was a trooper... 7 hours of intense labour and no drugs.  Amazing girl!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Original Art... on a budget

Have you noticed how expensive Art is?

Well I have, and that's why I barely have anything up on the walls.

The other day the kids were playing some kind of silly game with their hands and feet and I got another "brilliant idea".

I quickly grabbed my camera!

I uploaded the pictures to and printed 11 x 14 size in Sepia tone  to go with the browns and greens in the room.  I picked up the frames at Michael's Boxing week for $9.99 each (down from $29.99 each).

I looove the colour and detail on the frames.

Here they are above our new leather chairs (that I spent waaay too much money on, even though it was Clearance Sale).  The lamp in the middle was a Thrift store purchase for $3.99 (bulb included).

These two works of art came to under $25.00 total.  AND... I love them and will treasure them forever!

I'd love to see your original art... Post a comment with link back to your post (not your blog).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Saving a Lamp... and money too.

We're pretty good here about recycling our "garbage".  We make sure that cans and tins are in the metals recycling box.  Paper is in the paper recycling box.  And...  and i think you get what I am saying.

What about things that you no longer love? 

A few years ago I would have bagged it up and dropped it off at the nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Now...  I save it, thanks to what I've learned from my new decor blogging heroes.

Let's look at this OLD lamp.  I bought this lamp about 10 years ago.  It was actually a set of 4 (2 buffett, a floor lamp, and an accent lamp).  I've lived with them  the way they were for 10 years.  They were in storage and then they were moved all over the house.  Never quite happy of where they ended up.  They are not bad, but I didn't looove them.

Then I got a brilliant idea.

I spray painted the base black and added trim to the shade ( I used a smaller shade that I had, so I didn't ruin my matching ones).  A little better, but still not great.

Then I tried this one.

I changed the shade for a new-to-me shade from Goodwill that I bought a few weeks ago for 2 for $3.99.

I love this new look.  What do you think?  Isn't it amazing what a little spray paint and "new" shades can do.  Two new lamps for the hefty price of $3.99 (and what ever the cost of pray paint was).

I have two of these and they will be used in my bedroom.  I'm not ready to reveal my bedroom yet... soon, I promise.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Uncle Richard's Minestrone Soup

Here's another one of Uncle Richard's recipes that he has shared with us and it has become a family favourite

Uncle Richard's Minestrone Soup

1 lb of ground beef
2 beef stock cubes
1 large leek (chopped)
1 onion (diced)
3-4 carrots (diced)
1 can chopped tomatoes (14 oz)
2-3 bay leafs
Spaghetti, broken into smaller pieces
Parmesan Cheese

In frying pan brown ground beef, add leek, onion, carrots and sweat off.

Put everything into Dutch oven, add enough water to cover, bring to a boil and then simmer for about one hour. For last 15 minutes of cooking add broken spaghetti.

Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Serve with crusty bread.

Monday, January 11, 2010

DYI - Fabric Covered Corkboard

My 9 year old daughter "H" wants a Corkboard for her room to put above her new desk.

ME -  "Sure, do YOU want to do it?"

H - "YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!" jumping up and down.

Child labour is ok as long as it's their idea... right?

So I went "shopping" in my house for things that she could use to put together her corkboard.  I got my inspiration from this post of Life at our House.

I found this...  It's an old message center board that we haven't used in 5 years but I never got rid of.  Good thing I kept it.

And then I found some fabric from my "I wanna make a quilt" days.  The colours matched her room perfectly.

I went to my stash of paints and brushes and found "Grape" colour.  Perfect!

I set her up on the kitchen island with some newspaper and let her do her "Arts and Crafts". Notice the crayon marks that someone drew on the board. Probably why I've had it in storage for so long

When she was done painting, we let it dry and she ended up having to do two more coats, to make sure it was "nice and purple".

Next we got the fabric and cut it to measure the size we wanted to cover plus an extra little bit to tuck into the frame.  I hot glued the fabric to the corkboard and we hung it up in her room above her "new" desk.

A close-up...  Notice, the hot glue tracks left behind.  (I ain't no Martha with the glue gun.)

And here it is above her "new desk".

She promptly put up a Hannah Montana calendar that she had.  I think she did a great job.  Don't you?

(P.S.- I know I need to do something about that black chair.  Soon!)
(P.S.S.- We're also looking for a shelf to sit on the wall between the corkboard and desk, that's why there is so much space there. Soon!)

From Table to child's desk

My daughter  "H" has requested a desk for her room; not necessarily to do homework but somewhere she can call her own.  I prefer that they do their homework at the kitchen island so that I can keep an eye on things.  While she worked on her own DYI project I tore apart this table

About 8 years ago I bought this table at a garage sale in the last city we lived in.  It cost me $12.00.  Up until now it was being used as a side table in the family room.  But after a second glance I think it would make a perfect desk for a little girl, with some modifications of course.

I wanted to take off the sides, but the screws were painted over, so I yanked them off with my hammer. 

Ooops I broke a piece off....

Nothing a little glue can't fix.

Here is the desk in her room  along with "H's" DYI - Corkboard project.

Pretty good If I do say so myself.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

DYI - Princess Canopy

My 9 year old daughter "H" is quite the princess. Always has been.  I thought it would cute if she had a princess canopy above her bed.  On a trip to the thrift store a while ago I found a  corbel ($1.99) with a whole in the middle and a pretty curtain panel ($2.99).  This is what I came up with to fill the space above her bed.

I just tied the curtain together through the whole in the corel and hid them.

This is what it looks like above her bed.  In the middle is a green ladybug night light that we got at IKEA last year.  I'll show you the whole bedroom once we are done.

P.S.- on the bed is Paddington Bear that she has had since she was 6 months old.  The other guys (Monkey, Silvery and Tiggery) came along sometime about 6-7 years ago.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Purging, Organizing and Cleaning!

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days but I've been a little busy.  At the end of 2009 I made a plan for my first week of freedom after the Christmas break.

So here's what I have been up...


I went into my 9 year old daughter's room and found this on her dresser.  We have a rule around here that the grown ups do the laundry, but you have to put it away. hmmm... doesn't look put away to me.

Something I quickly figured out is that the poor kids drawers were full!  So she had no where to put them.  Since she gets alot of handing me downs from her older sister and alot of clothes for Christmas (she's the fashionista in the family), they quickly get out of hand.

I went through her drawers and closet and streamlined all of her clothes.  Does she really need 5 black long sleeved shirts (considering two are exactly the same?).

This is the pile of clothes that ended up getting packed up for donation.

This is the pile of hangers that were hanging up in her closet.  I ended up with 6 dozen that I added to the donation pile.

I put back only the stuff that she loooves and wears and because of all the "extra" hangers I had I was able to be selective and only use the ones that matched and were sturdy.

I ended doing the same for the pants and skirts... and left a few extra for the clothes in laundry transition.

Then I moved unto organizing the kitchen.  I went into the cupboards and removed  any expired foods and put into trash.  There weren't too many of things since we're pretty good about keeping up with our inventory.

However, I need some new containers to corral certain items that I use often (teas, past, crackers, etc.) 

I found these containers at the Dollorama and these mini Slate labels. 

I ended up buying four and added pasta and tea bags to each one.

Notice the "Calm" tea.  I drink that at about  3 p.m. when kids start getting in from school.

So next I moved unto the en-suite Bathroom.  Here's underneath my cabinet.  Yech

I removed items that I don't use... like... emmm.. 4 bottles of hair mouse and 2 of hairspray!!  I don't use hair mouse or hair spray. Don't ask.  Then I ran to the basement to get this...

And this is what it looks like now!!

So Clean!

Well, so that I don't bore you any further I'm off to do a drop off before these end up back in the rooms they came from!!

Happy Organizing!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

DYI - Quick Bedroom Window Update

My oldest daughter's window has been looking like this for about 4 years. 

I saw this on somebody's blog, but I now I can't remember where. If anyone knows let me know... I think she calls it "window Mistreatments".

(Edit: It's The Nesting Place.  Thanks Molly!)

So I used some of these push pins...

And this is how it looks like now!!  Isn't it pretty??

Her blind is hiding behind the curtain.  The curtain is actually a shower curtain that I picked up at Goodwill awhile ago and cost me $2.99.  I used push pins along the top to tack it up and along the side to "swoop" it up.  She loves it!  I love it too!

I'm joining Funky Junk's Saturday Night Special!!  Won't you join me too?

Funky Junk Interiors

And also to Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party.


More Thrift Store finds...

I took a quick looksy to see what they had today.

Purple Watering can for "H", my 9 year old's room - 0 .99 cents

A pail with a garden and buterfly theme for H's room again.

These picture frames were .99 cents each.

A pretty mirror for $4.99.

Desk Accessories - $1.99

A pretty clock- just needed new battery - $1.99

I've been going to the thrift store alot lately, but in my defence I only buy things that I know exactly where I will put them.


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