Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What I'm Reading

On vacation over the summer I came across this book in our vacation home. It sounded intriguing - so I started it - and then could not put it down! Tana French has written 6 or 7 books and her latest is due out in this month. This turns out to be the second in the series. I'm not sure that all of her books follow these same characters. But the first two do. The first one is called In The Woods - I'm reading that one now. Written in 2007 and 2008 respectively they both take place in Dulin - recounting different cases the Dulin Murder Squad are trying to crack. The writing is gorgeous and the stories and characters immediately draw you in. I highly recommend the first two at least! I would describe Tana French as a mix of Kate Atkinson and Gillian Flynn. Enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Unsightly Computer Cords

I am playing around with ways to hide or corral the computer cords behind my desk. They are a mess and collect dust. I thought of putting them inside something attractive - like a basket. So here is my first attempt. I like the idea - although the basket is too small and perhaps needs a lid. I will update idea when I have found a better basket. Anyone have a good idea about this problem?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Great Idea for Rotisserie Chicken

I have found that as much as I might like to make my own roast chicken - picking it up from the grocery store already roasted has many advantages. Everyone in the household likes some part of the roasted chicken - thank goodness! - so it's a super fast and easy weeknight dinner paired with a salad or other vegetable. I like to buy two and debone one of the chickens and freeze the meat for other dinners :: soup, salad, burritos, enchiladas, pasta etc. Again, fast and easy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

HomeGrown Art Projects

Looking for a new influx of art in your home? Not artistic? Don't want to pay premium prices for "real" art? Don't worry! Here are a few examples of how to have interesting and unique art in your home for minimal expense and work - and it's really fun! The first work of art is something my daughter and her friend did together. Basically you peel the paper off of crayons and then place them on a canvas. You can buy canvases at Michael's and other art supply stores. Then you use a hairdryer to melt the crayons  - once melted they are blown around the canvas by the force of air from the dryer. Pretty cool.

These are just close up photos of shells we found on a beach trip. Close shots like this make for great abstract art. Taken with a phone of course - no really fancy camera necessary.

This pieces were done by my children at the tender age of 4 in preschool! The teacher had them place marbles in bowls of paint. Then you place marbles in a plastic tub with paper in it. Then you tilt the container back and forth to move the marbles all around. Look what happens!! I loved this. I was in the school that day and was totally fascinated! And also - almost anything in a frame (inexpensive Ribba frames from IKEA) looks like a hundred bucks!

These last examples were also done by the kids using Spin Art. Remember that? The fun and creativity is endless! You can buy Spin Art kids at toy stores. GO CRAZY and decorate your house!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Are You Ready For the Paper Storm?

I am! Yesterday I spent several hours recycling all the unnecessary paper from my kitchen and command central. All the old school papers from last year that were no longer relevant, the mailings that had been accumulating for months :: 2, 3, and 4 month old Costco coupons, CVS coupons and anything else I had thought was important last spring, but was never used. I am pretty happy with those before and after shots!

 It was all recycled!

Here you can see the clip boards I have affixed to my bookshelf for each of the kids school work. They are "clear" and ready to receive more papers. I filed all the paper work that had been piling up on my desk and made a few folders for just the info I need to grab several times a week. I even decorated my tea tin with origami paper to make it a pretty receptacle for the gift cards my kids get for birthday presents.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fingerprints on Stainless Steel Appliances?

A first world problem, I know.  But now that we have the new appliances, I'm realizing that the fingerprints and smudges are a little annoying to see. 

I was visiting a friend last weekend, and she recommended this product.  You just wipe the surface with one of these wipes, then you buff with a clean cloth.  Takes a bit of time, but it really does work, and no streaks!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Newest Adventure

I am not an artistic person.  I can barely draw a stick figure.

However, I've signed up for a 6-week beginning watercolor class.  And I'm kind of excited, and kind of scared, at the same time.  Here's my haul from the art store today.  Luckily, the staff was really nice as I wandered around in a clueless state.

Maybe I'll post a picture of my progress?  Stay tuned.