Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Love & Hate: Food Edition

LOVE:  White Chicken Chili

Yes, I realize we're on the edge of soup and chili season.  But with the recent snowfall and temps in the 30's, I figured it was still okay to whip up a batch.

This recipe hails all the way from Miami, Oklahoma and was shared by a coworker last year (hollaaaaa to Andrea Singer).  She graciously handed out the recipe, and I've been making it ever since.  It is soooo easy and even more tasty.

I did tweak the directions a bit to accommodate some issues I had, which I'll explain further in a moment.

And because I'm too lazy to type out the ingredients and such, you get a photo of the recipe instead:

Like I said, I did deviate from the directions a little because this recipe calls for two things I detest.......

*   *   *

HATE:  Onions and raw chicken

The only good kind of onion is a fried one.  In the shape of a ring.

All other onions can take a flying leap. 

I have hated onions since the beginning of time.  So much so, that as a child, I would try to separate them from whatever they were in.........hide them in a napkin........and try to flush the whole lot.

Onions are very good at floating.

I had to get more crafty after that incident.

Anyway, for this recipe, I omit the onion step, which leads me to raw chicken......

Raw chicken makes me gag.  I can barely touch it.  It's slimy.  There are yucky parts which need to be cut away.

Frozen chicken, which is cooked in a crockpot and not slimy, is how I roll.

But that adds a few hours to the process, so I thought I'd try canned chicken.  I was extremely unsure of this choice, until I actually opened a can.  It didn't look too suspicious.  It was all white meat.  I eat tuna from a can.  How was it that different?

Yes, this was better than sauteing chicken with onions.

So I took the leap with two cans of chicken and a few shakes of onion powder, and I've never looked back.  It tastes exactly the same as the original sample I'd gone crazy for.  Annnnnd it's quicker.  Easier too. 

Mom would tell me that onions add flavor.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

A New Adventure

For years, I've thought about peddling my hoarded vintage treasures.  And there are lots of avenues out there for doing that, but as a seller, I was reluctant to head down those paths.

I hated dealing with shipping, so eBay was not my first choice, although I had dabbled with it.  That sort of left Etsy out of the picture too, with the whole shipping thing.  

Also, Craigslist leaves something to be desired.  I didn't want to meet up in a parking lot to sell a lamp or some other smaller piece.  A washing machine?  Sure!  A vintage tablecloth?  Uh, no.

Lastly, garage sales never work for things that you want a certain price for.  And I get that.  I don't want to pay antique shop prices at a yard sale, so I can't expect someone else to want to either.

That left me with only one real option, other than continuing to hoard...........Rent a booth at a local antique mall????  

Which is exactly what happened today!!!

Thankfully, I'm not in it alone.  Ashley and her mom approached me about taking this leap together, and Andrea was on board immediately too.  So the four of us, are excited to be the proud renters of a space at Relics!!!

We found a perfect spot at the very back of the store, which is L shaped, and has a direct view of a future tea room.  We hope it has a Leola's type of feel even if it is just a 4' by 8' space in the middle of a huge antique mall.

We can dream big, right?

Can't wait to get set up and begin our new little adventure!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Love and Hate: Spring Break Edition

Spring Break Love:

1.  Being able to thrift!!!

Behold two similar belts.........

One thrifted from Salvation Army for $1.20.  
The other purchased for $30 at American Eagle.

Can you guess which is which?

*   *   *

2.  Springing forward!!!

I love that the sun is hanging around a little longer each evening.   And that I got a whole week off to adjust to the loss of an hour!

*   *   *

3.  Catching up with my sissy and her bebes!

They have been in Hawaii since December 25th.  They returned at the beginning of my break, so I got to see them whenever I pleased.

*   *   *

4.  Home improvement!!

Getting my kitchen shelves installed and decorated, along with hanging some other hoarded finds felt really good.  The house is feeling super cozy.

And while we're on the subject of home improvement, let's talk curtains.  My friend Andrea helped me whip up some for my bathroom! 

Not too bad for a Saturday afternoon......

The mister even approved and was excited that he no longer had to drape a towel across the window.  Thank you, Andrea!!!!

*   *   *   *

Now you might be wondering "What in the world is there to hate about spring break?"  

Let's get to that!

Spring Break Hate: 

1.  It's over.

2.  It gives you a taste of what summer feels like, and then it's snatched away from you in an instant.  You are thrust back into reality, and you have to (gasp) work.

It's pretty cruel, if you ask me.

But would I do it over again?  

You know it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Benefits of Hoarding

If my mantel isn't proof enough that good things come from hoarding, maybe this will convince you?

Exhibit A: 

What you're supposed to be looking at is that precious little picture.  Let's look a little closer.....

This darling little lady was tucked away in the special room.  I unearthed her recently and decided she should be placed in the bathroom above the toilet.

Golly, she makes me smile.

I love the little aquarium she's hovering over.  I love how her little legs are crossed.  I love the frame.

She was $4.95 on ebay.  I remember being shocked that I was the only bidder on this beauty.

I did not warn the mister before I put the nail in the wall for her to hang from.

He's over it now.

*   *   *   *

Exhibit B:

Behold the two landscape pictures:  

Both Salvation Army finds, although not on the same day.  Both $3.00 including the frames.  Both found under the bed in the special room.

*   *   *   *

In conclusion, I'd like to review two very important points......

#1.  The special room is, in fact, special.  Look at the loveliness that was recovered from the depths!  Who doesn't need a room filled with random things you've purchased in the past that are waiting patiently for their moment?

#2.  Hoarding thrifted finds in said special room yields decorating extravaganzas.  I didn't have to purchase anything new for those empty spots.  I simply walked down the hallway and crawled under a bed.  Now two barren walls in my house are beautifully filled with hoarded vintage treasures.
You wish you had a special room too.  I can sense it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Diary of an Empty Spot in my Kitchen

Once upon a time, my kitchen did not have a dishwasher.

Sometime in it's former life, the previous homeowner added one to the end of the kitchen.  I was very thankful for this, even though it was a shady situation.  First of all, it was a vintage, rust colored dishwasher.  Second of all, the surround was made of thin particle board.  And finally, they'd slapped a butcher block on top of it for counter space, and there was no cabinetry above it.

It looked like the afterthought it was.  It hung off the end of the kitchen, practically in the living room, with nothing above it to tie it in.

This picture shows us in a dishwasher transition phase. I wish I'd taken a picture of the original dishwasher.  Can't find one anywhere......

My parents bought a new dishwasher for my first Christmas in the house, and Dad made that sweet little beadboard surround (I love beadboard). Obviously, we hadn't quite tackled the counters just yet.  Can you see how skanky that butcher block was?  I never put anything on it.  Then there was the vast expanse of wallpaper above it, which you can see a peek of. 

*   *   *   *

When the kitchen remodeling began, I had a plan for the empty space above the dishwasher.  I really wanted to make the dishwasher addition feel original to the house and tie it in to the kitchen.

I began collecting vintage ivory colored pottery in all shapes and sizes.......

Down came the wallpaper.......

Priming was next......

Followed by painting.......

Then I had my very talented daddy build some shelves, and I painted them.........

Next I purchased and spray painted some brackets from Hobby Lobby.......

And finally today, on my first day of spring break, dad came over to install them......

Then I got to arrange all my goodies up there.......

I was so happy I cried when dad got them installed.  I was giddy.  I was thankful. 

It's exactly what I envisioned for the space, and even though I need a few more pieces of pottery (and to actually plant that shamrock on the counter), this really is a dream come true.

So today, the Diary of a Kitchen comes to a close.  And I am thrilled with the outcome.

Friday, March 11, 2011

And the winner is.........

We will get to that in a minute.

First things first... 

I wanna thank all those that participated!  You guys are great guessers.  More than a few predictions were pretty darn close!  So thank you again for playing along.  I hope you keep coming back to this little blog of mine.  Even when I'm just talking about snow days, things I love and hate, or my domestic escapades.

Anyway, I should probably get down to business, which leads me to unveiling the grand total.

The final count was $48.81.  

My bank even does the break down of how much of each coin there is..........

$17.00 in quarters!  Over $8 in pennies!  Not too shabby!  It'll make a nice dent in whatever we decide to purchase.

But now, what you've all been waiting for.  The person with the closet guess without going over was.........drum roll please.........


She was within a dollar of the total, barely squeaking by Andrea's guess of $47.53 by using a Price is Right type of strategy.  Whit's guess was $48.00.

Congrats, Whit!  You can happily go into a coffee coma on me!  And just in time for Spring Break!

Oh, and, um, Whit?  Andrea said she'd meet you out back behind the swings on the playground.  She said she wanted to "congratulate" you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Feel Like..........

A chicken with my head cut off.

This week has been b.u.s.y.

And it's only Tuesday!

It started with poor Sir Chester having to go to the vet for some tummy problems yesterday.  Two rounds of mopping the waiting area and four bottles of medicine later, I think our little man is on the mend. 

Isn't he the most regal looking car rider ever?

Such a good little man!

*   *   *   *

Next came today's festivities........a shower for Ashley!!!  

My coworkers and I got our craftiness on for this shindig.  Behold the bunting......

And I got to use some of my vintage tablecloths........

And Ash got to open some lovely pressies........

I do believe it went off without a hitch!

*   *   *   *
And because I've been sooooo busy, I haven't had a chance to run by the bank to see how much is in my piggy bank.  But really, that's okay.  Because the contest doesn't end til Friday at noon.  So if you're just finding this out, you've still got time to enter!  Check it out, if you're curious.  

Lauren did have a great question about the contest.......would the $10 be taken out of the piggy bank, thus affecting the total?  

The answer is, NO.  

I will not steal from the piggy bank to purchase the prize.  The change amount will not be tampered with.  

Girl Scout's Honor.

*   *   *   *

Now onto a more serious matter:  The mister's sock drawer.  

Or the lack thereof, I mean.

I feel compelled to defend the sock bag.  And maybe myself.

The mister didn't like his dresser either.  He planned on getting rid of it anyway.  As for not replacing it with something else yet, we haven't found anything we like.  We have shopped and shopped.  We know Furniture Row like the back of our hand.

I swear.  

Pinky promise!


Please like me even though the mister has a sock bag.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

A contest you should probably participate in......

Our piggy bank is full, so it's time to cash it all in. 

The mister and I have some plans for this money.  We just aren't sure which idea to go with......

Possibility #1:  We have carriage style garage doors that have their own controllers, so they open separately.  And the mister's side is broken.

Awwwww, too bad for the mister, huh?  

I suppose he deserves to park in the garage too.
So we could buy a new opener with the money.

*   *   *   *

Possibility #2:  We could also make a dent in a new dresser for our bedroom.

The mister's bedroom furniture was banned from moving in with him.  It was, after all, a water bed from the 80's with a sort of matching wardrobey dressery thing.  So due to the furniture prohibition, he doesn't really have a sock drawer.

He has a sock bag.....

He needs a sock drawer.

*   *   *   *  

You probably feel sorry for the mister right about now, don't you?  

You shouldn't.

He's fine.  


*   *   *   *

Possibility #3:  Finally, we may have to start a new fund altogether and put this chunk of change toward it.  It's called the "Sir Chester has just started jumping the fence, so we need a privacy fence" fund.

Yes, this is a new development in the life of Sir Chester.  He's discovered he can scale our fence in a single bound.

It's quite remarkable.

And frustrating.

I swear he escaped from the circus
prior to becoming our little man.

*   *   *   *

So the time has come, with a full-to-the-brim piggy bank, to cash in all that change.  Then we'll have to decide how it's gonna be spent.

I love predicting how much is in the piggy bank before I cash it in.  Soooooo let's play a game...... 

Directions:  Make a "how much change is that" prediction in the comments area.  

Prize:  The winner gets to choose between a $10 Starbucks or Sonic gift card.  So when you comment, tell me your preference!

Rules:  Your guess has to be closest to the amount without going over.  I'll take guesses all week.  Guessing time will come to a close on Friday, March 11th at noon.  I'll post the amount sometime after that, along with the lucky winner!  I'll even prove the amount with the receipt from my bank!  Then depending on who wins, I'll either hand deliver it or mail it! 

To further assist you, I'll even provide the piggy bank dimensions......

Calling all readers, whoever you are, whether I know you or not (I do like making new friends), whether you've never commented or you comment regularly, be wild and crazy, and give it your best guess!  How much will all those quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies add up to?

Just think, it could be YOU sipping that vanilla latte or eating some tots if your guess is the best.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Terrific Hole in the Ground

Maybe you've heard of it?

It's also known as Fantastic Caverns, and it was our destination point today!

That means Field. Trip. Time.   


I was super excited about this trip.  Because I'd only been one time when I was a little girl.

And because I like caves.

I probably should have been a spelunker.

Um, anyways....

Days such as this require some preparation.  Packing a tasty lunch is first on the list.....

A well prepared teacher also packs a bag o' randomness.  Anything you think you might need.  Even toilet paper.

You never know.

You also wear school colors on field trip days.....

You just do.

And make sure you're armed with a camera for all the great sights you'll see........

Stalagmites and stalactites are the neatest.

Cave formations, in general, are spectacular.

Caves are just plain old cool.
And field trips to caves are excellent.

Perfect weather for a picnic on their grounds.  Perfect presentation and tour!  

On behalf of myself and my fourth graders, way to go Fantastic Caverns!