Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh the joys...

...of homemade play dough on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

We cooked dumpling-like things,

we practiced our cutting skills,

and we made flower cookies. It was great fun!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meal Planning

We have been eating out too often again. Yes, we have been busy, and tired, and then this last week we were sick and our kitchen was out of commission for 2 days while we were painting it. HOWEVER, if we had planned our meals ahead of time, it would not have been such a problem. We could have at least frozen something that could then be popped in the oven on the days that we were painting. On the sick days, only one of us was sick at a time, so the other one could have cooked if we had planned ahead and had the supplies on hand. And, to tell you the truth, we have been eating out often for several weeks now, way before we were alternately sick and painting.

So, I am going to make a real effort to plan out meals for the week again. Now, Jon is actually the one that does most of the cooking around here. He enjoys it, and it helps him decompress from work. I'm not real in to cooking, especially after chasing after a toddler all day. I'm more of a baker than a cook. However, Jon's hours have changed so that he's getting home a lot closer to dinner time than he used to, and is often in need of a chance to sit and relax for a few minutes before getting started in the kitchen. I should really make an effort to cook more. So I'm also going to try and cook dinner for part of the week as well, if Jon doesn't mind, that is. ;)

Today, when I had finished my lunch and Owen was still munching on his, I grabbed a pad of paper and a pen, and planned out the meals for the week. Earlier I took a quick glance in the freezer to see what was waiting for us in there and found, among other things, hamburger patties and chicken thighs. So here is what I have planned out for the week:

hamburgers, salad, and fruit

chicken curry with rice and peas, and maybe naan if I'm up to making it

leftover chicken curry et. al.

the Moroccan meal that I've been wanting to try from Melissa D'Arabia's new show, "10 Dollar Dinners." - This will be my cooking night.

leftover Moroccan

eat out

TBD, depending on whether or not we have leftovers from Saturday.

Notice I still allowed one day for going out. Or carrying out, depending on what we feel like that day. I have no problem with taking a break once a week and indulging in a restaurant craving. We might also switch it up - maybe we'll eat out as a Friday treat, and eat Thursday's leftovers on Saturday. The point is, we will be making most of our own meals, and that will be a vast improvement. I think that once we get through our frozen meat stash, it will be nice to incorporate 1 or 2 vegetarian meals into the week as well. But, one step at a time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Painting and Other Things

It has been way too long since my last post, and I have done so many things that I think the easiest way to share them all would be to just post some pictures. But before I do that, let me first share the one thing that Jon and I were able to get done on his week off, despite everyone in the house taking turns getting sick with various colds and flus (it's my turn right now - yucky sore throat).

We wanted to gather items for a future garage sale, install a garage door opener, and paint the kitchen and the rest of the family room. We did manage to paint the kitchen and breakfast nook:

I wasn't sure about it at first, but now that all the tape is off I love it! That blue especially gives me warm fuzzies every time I look at it - and it looks different as the light changes all throughout the day. My blog background color throws it off a bit - you will need to click on the picture to get it by itself and get a more accurate representation.

We used a technique that was new to us since the last time we painted. When taping up the mouldings (and the ceiling), we left a very small gap between the edge of the tape and the wall, about 1/16". Then, we applied paintable caulk and wiped the excess off with our pinky fingers, leaving just a tissue-paper thin layer behind. This seals up the tape and keeps the paint from leaking underneath. When you peel the tape back off, you have a perfect edge. It was amazing. I wish I had known about it before. In case you are interested, I read about it here. I've always been so frustrated when I've peeled up the painters tape that is supposed to prevent paint from getting onto my molding, only to find that it has still seeped under in spots - many spots. Now I just wish I could turn back time and do that with the one painted wall in our family room. Boy, is it sloppy looking in comparison.

Okay, sorry for going on and on about that. Here are pictures of some of the other things I've been doing in the last month or so:

I finished the pin cushion caddy from Anna Maria Horner's "Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing."

I've been making jam. Lots of jam. Strawberry and Rasberry, and I have blackberries and plums in the freezer waiting to become jam as well.

This is a "nursing apron." I've actually finished it, but I don't have a picture of the completed project yet. No, I'm not pregnant, but I do plan to have a second, and I thought I should make an experimental one before making any for friends.

I have also been knitting a lot, but I can't put any pictures up because they are gifts and the recipients might visit the blog. I'll try and remember to show you once the gifts have been received.

Okay, that's it. I'll try not to let so much time go by between blogs next time!