Friday, May 31, 2013

End of May and HB to me!

May 30th marks the end of 10 years in my house. My goal was to create the home I wanted by the ten year mark, get it?.... Home by Ten.

Did I succeed? In some ways yes, but does the house look the way I want it to? No. Problem is my first ten years came with having 2 kids, full time jobs, completing my education, adjusting to the amount of time and work that goes into creating and maintaining a house and yard, in addition to taking care of 2 little kids and running them to lots of activities. So life literally got in the way.

We have learned a lot in the past 10 years. You learn how to manage time and get a routine down, however it is not easy. We also learned that with little kids it is hard to get anything done and they destroy pretty much everything. So I am not upset that we didn't get everything finished in the past 10 years.

The last day of May marks several things: first it is my b-day. Yup another year older today. Also, its the day we moved into our house, so its the first day of year 11 or the start of the next ten years. It is also what I consider the last day of spring, and the benchmark that I set many of my to do list and goals by every year.

So my first ten years, I created a home but it now needs a lot of updates. So my goal is to get my house how I want it in the next 10 years.

Cheers,
Jenni







Thursday, May 30, 2013

Peanut Butter Reese Pieces Blondie Brownie Bar


Nope, your eyes do not deceive you, it is FINALLY a food post! WOOHOO!

I was driving to work last week listening to 94.9fm Cincinnati and the DJ Karen was talking about these brownies and the other DJs were raving about them too. Karen mentioned she got the recipe from a food blogger friend and would post the recipe on the stations website.  So I looked at their website for days and well, no recipe so I started searching for the food blogging friend.

All I could remember was the brownie and the blogger's name started with a C. Finally, I stumbled upon her site Chocolate Moosey, by Carla Cardello. I was so excited. Sunday we had a little Memorial Day cookout and I decided to make these myself to see what all the fuss was about.

Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondies
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

Author:
Serves: 16 blondies

Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup Reese’s Pieces candy
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease or line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually whisk in the flour mixture. Fold in 3/4 cup Reese’s Pieces.
  4. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Let cool completely.
  5. Once cooled completely, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Spread in a thin layer on top of the blondies. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup Reese’s Pieces. Let the chocolate cool and harden before cutting into squares.
You can find Carla's post here and see all her beautiful pictures there too.
These lived up to all the hype, very sweet and yummy. If I make again my only change may be adding a little peanut butter to the melted chocolate topping on the top of the brownies but they are great as written in the recipe above.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The horror under my bathroom sinks!


Okay we all have something we just cannot manage, my dirty little secret lurks within my closets and under my sinks. I just cannot get things straight! We have added closet systems in the kids rooms to help keep their closets organized and now I am tackling the linen closets and under the bathroom sinks in our upstairs.

They are not perfect but greatly improved. The kid's bathroom was not bad to begin with but here is the after:



Yes that is a caboodle you are seeing :)

And the first picture of the mess was from my bathroom, and here is my after:


I know you are thinking it is still a mess but it is better, I know what is under there now and I can grab anything out that I want without having to dig. The little cabinet I added is empty, I wasn't sure what I should store in it, but it will likely be the little travel bags I have on top of that cabinet. I have a lot of these bags.

Nothing too exciting but clearing out the mess made me feel better and a little more organized.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Re-Stuffed Pillows




Gosh I have been AWOL around here lately! Busy busy busy! We have hit end of school year, dance competition and recital time, and just better weather which means I have a lot of flower bed clean up to get done. My garden is another story, it's our rainy season here in Ohio so my vegetable garden is still under water and a giant mud pit so I cannot do a darned thing in that space except maybe mud wrestle.

But I did mention in an earlier pillow post that I had re-stuffed some old couch throw pillows I bought from Walmart. They are not what I would consider a perfect match to the couch I now have them on but anything is better than the old denim pillows that I had on there for years.



I don't like wasting things, but some things I do give away or donate and other things like pillows I try to find new homes for within my house. These pillows have life left in them but the stuffing had gone flat. I opened up the hole pulled out the fluff, ran the covers through the washing machine and re-stuffed these. Then I sewed the hole back up. I have to say that I have a hard time locating the hole that I went through. Glad I saved these instead of throwing them out.


Monday, May 27, 2013

My Cheap-O Mirror from Walmart

 

I was looking at leaners but they are just too expensive for me. I was in Walmart one day last summer and wandered down the aisle where mirrors and picture frames were sold. There was this Better Homes and Garden leaning wall mirror in black or bronze for less than $50. The mirror is a small leaner mirror not really what I think of as a leaning mirror because of the size but I thought it would be perfect over my livingroom couch.



I looked up the Walmart website and read the reviews, most said to look at the corner joints to get a good one, so I did just that and found the one that had the best frame. I chose the black frame. I like that this mirror had hanging hardware on each side of the mirror for those who want to hang the mirror instead of leaning it on the wall.



 I will likely get another one for my bedroom closet at some point. A great buy for $50.
Monday, May 6, 2013

Couch Pillows




Well I have been busy on my sewing machine! I found some cute aqua fabric from Dwell Studio and decided to make some new pillows for my new grey couch that is in my familyroom. These pics are of an unfinished pillow, you can see where it is pinned on the side but I have completed 2 of these pillows and 2 lumbar pillows made from my fabric scraps. I will post better pics later.


I have been in pillow mode lately!  I just reopened a couple pillows that I bought at Walmart a few years ago, threw out the stuffing washed the cases, re-fluffed them and stitched them up. For now those are on my livingroom couch but will eventually be used seasonally or given away. First I need to find pillows more suited to that couch or a couch more suited to those pillows, lol.
Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cute Pillows For My Window Bench

Ok, so I know I just posted about my new storage ottomans under my big window, but I wanted to show off my pillows I made to sit on either side of the bench to add a little interest.

Sorry, don't know what kind of fabric it is or who makes it but I found it at JoAnn fabrics on the cheap and with a 40% coupon.

The picture was taken at a weird angle so my pillow looks all lop-sided and deformed but it is a perfectly square 18 inch pillow, both of them :-) or maybe I am just a terrbile pillow chopper, LOL!

I like blue a lot and aqua is so pretty and perfect for spring and summer. The color makes me feel happy.







Thursday, May 2, 2013

Storage Ottomans

 

I recently posted about my big triple window in my upstairs hallway. The windows sit in from the hallway so I think there is some wasted space. We really struggle in our house because we really don't have great storage here.
I thought this space was a good candidate for either built in storage or removable storage. I decided I wanted to start out with a solution that was not permanent so I went with three 36inch black storage ottomans from Overstock.com. These are from Warehouse of Tiffany and run about $100 each. I bought them 1 at a time, initially I got one to see if I liked it. Then I started getting some good coupons so I ordered the second and the third, so I saved $50 and got free shipping.

The lids are removable versus lifting which is what I wanted. I like the look for my windows and I got the storage I was wanting for beach towels and extra blankets.