Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cowboys have to sleep under the stars

For Mason's 2nd birthday I have decided to move the boys from their room, which is the smallest room in the house, to the guest room. Currently the boys room is painted with an out door mural complete with pond, grass and blue sky. The previous owners of the home had the mural done for their twin boy and I just cannot bring myself to paint over it. In their new room the boys will have a vintage cowboy theme. Yesterday I started by painting the ceiling, and today I will paint the lower half of the walls a rusty red color.

Because cowboys have to sleep under the stars, and because I'm addicted to dark blue paint I am doing a night sky mural on the ceiling. It is a considerably simple mural to do. I buy 2 gallons of paint 1 midnight blue and the other a lighter navy blue. Next I carefully pour the dark blue into the left side of a paint tray then quickly I pour the lighter blue into the right side. this trick works best if you and someone else can pour the paint at the exact same time. then you have a filled paint tray that is half dark blue and half light blue. You can also buy a fancy divided roller and tray but I am thrifty and this works just fine. next you roll the 1/2 and 1/2 roller in a very random strokes on the ceiling. I usually do 2 coats to achieve a blue with great depth. I'll post some pics later of me painting the stars.

Peace despite the paint in my hair

Friday, August 13, 2010

My tips for perfect jam

Over the years I have made many many batches of jam and after all this time I have actually learned a few secrets for making pretty darn good jams and jellies. I enjoy making jam because I cannot stand to pay that kind of money at the store for high fructose corn jam that dosen't even taste that good. So here are a few of my tips for jamming. Give it a try it is super easy and makes a great gift!

ALWAYS follow the directions on the pectin package to the letter! you can also make jam with out pectin but I choose not to because it takes too long to cook it down and I get bored. Once you have made jam a few times you will realize why.

I always add about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, about a teaspoon of butter and a few pinches of salt to my jam recipes. Together they make for a richer jam with a more complex flavor and I have never had to skim any foam thanks to the butter.

Feel free to add spices to complement the fruit flavor. I like to add cinnamon and ginger to peach, apricot,apple and plum jams. A little goes a long way and really gives the jam a "pie" flavor.

Lay out all your tools, jars,rings, directions, a wet towel, pots and canner before you start to avoid having to look for something in a panic in the middle of the process.

The most important rules of preserving fruit spread are to be careful (that stuff gets HOT), take your time and enjoy the process. I like to do it when I am home all alone so I do not get distracted and I do not have any little people underfoot.

What are your best tips for making jams? I'd love to hear from you!

Spread peace generously and with love just like your best jam!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

National S'mores Day

Yesterday was National S'mores Day so I thought I'd share a few pictures of our family enjoying our favorite gooey, chocolatey treat. We mad ours on the bbq but I also enjoy the traditional method, or the microwave method, or...oh, who am I kidding I'd eat a S'more of the ground that had been heated by a toothless hobo's cigarette lighter. anyways enough of that creepy image here are some much much cuter ones.

Peace and sticky fingers


My son calls them egg-tarts, but I call them convenient, quick, cheap and DELICIOUS!
I make these up on big batches and then individually wrap and freeze them to be enjoyed by busier versions of ourselves on early mornings. The are a healthier and cheaper version of everyone's favorite breakfast sandwich. I prefer to make mine without meat but you could easily cook up some bacon, ham, or sausage and toss in in before cooking.

18 eggs
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1/3 red bell pepper chopped
3/4 c. Frozen chopped spinach
3/4 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheese
10-12 english muffins

sauté onions, pepper, and spinach until onions are translucent. remove from heat.
mix eggs, milk, cooled onions, peppers, and spinach and mix well. add salt, pepper, and garlic salt to preference and pour into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-25 minutes or until puffy and slightly browned.

Split muffins and toast lightly under broiler then place egg muffin between two halves, wrap in plastic and freeze. When you are ready to enjoy an eggtart just pop it in the microwave for about a minute or until heated through.

I usually make a double or triple batch of these and then put half in my freezer for Orion and I bag the other half and send them to work with my husband. I also make him swear not to eat all of them in the first few days. Enjoy!

Peace and eggie-biscuits!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Momma needs a good week

Okay so saying that last week was a bad week would be an understatement. My husband of over 4 years and I had our first fight EVER,I spent a day in the E.R., I went to my very young uncles funeral, I drove 3 1/2 hours with a headache so bad I could't see out of my right eye, and then I waited on very cranky tourists all weekend and got sent home early because I was too sick to stand. I know that everyone has a difficult life at times but it seems as though it was pouring bad news around here last week.

This week I refuse to let anything get me down. Plus I received very good news about my brother and his platelet count yesterday, YAY!

So tomorrow we are off to camp with all of our friends for the week.
Our car is packed, the German chocolate cupcakes are baked, and my purse is full of good books, about 10 pill bottles, and my sunglasses.

Peace, junk food and tubing on the river!
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