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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Lazy Meme

The instructions with this are to bold the ones you've done, leave the others in normal type. So here goes. I'm in a meme mood tonight, I guess.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain. (not a full-on mountain, but I've been hiking quite a bit, especially in college)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped (I would totally do it; Doug thinks I need to wait until the kids are older, so I'm waiting...)
12. Visited Paris (No, but I flew through there once.)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon (want to... need to build up to be in better shape for this; maybe in the next 5 years?)

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29 Seen a total eclipse (can't remember; I think so?)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33 Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41 Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (Egypt is in Africa)
45 Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (no, but I've been drawn)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie (only the home movie variety-- birthday parties, children being born, etc.)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class (only a self-protection class)
59. Visited Russia
60 Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (would love to do this too... but I'm waiting...)
66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67 Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (no, but I watched it in Moscow)
77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79 Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book (no, just a photo book, not the same thing at all!)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a be

Several of these I had to ask Doug about, because I couldn't remember! What about you? If you do this "Lazy Meme", sign up & link back here:

Hope you're enjoying a great summer; we sure are!

Notes from the Garden

I grow lots of my seasonal herbs and veggies from seed, which means I always have too many seedlings for the area I've reserved for them. I give some away, but there always seem to be more -- and more -- and more than I plan for.

Instead of throwing the extras on the compost pile like any reasonable person, I try to squeeze them in here and there, putting them in pots, arranging them in

How to Make Fried Zucchini Cakes with Herbs

One of my success stories in the garden is definitely squash. When I manage to save my crop from the ravages of squash bugs, vine borers, and powdery mildew, I'm ready to celebrate. I fry the blossoms for an incredibly tasty appetizer and grate young, tender zucchini into cakes, cupcakes and wonderful fried patties that are a little like a crab cakes -- without the crab. That may sound bland,

Here are a few of my favourite things...

One of the best things about taking Halfpenny Home out and about to a craft fair is the packing up of all our most favourite things...this Aspalls bag has been used an awful lot and not always just for the lovely Aspalls Cyder bottles it was originally designed to carry - it's also perfect for transporting the handpainted knitting needles that we love using!

It was my turn to choose which of our favourite goodies from HH HQ I wanted to take along to the Saint's Fair in Ipswich, a BRILLIANT craft fair organised by the rather wonderful Jess and Chris combo imakefunstuff - it's always a lot of fun!

As you can see I decided to show off just some of the ribbons, ric rac and trimmings that we have along with some rather wonderful Knit Collage and Gedgrave Flock yarns!
It was lovely to meet people that had read about Jacqui and I in the EADT piece by Steven Russell 'The Tweeter and the Tax Investigator' BUT the highlight (for me!) was meeting up with a fellow Tweeter @katiewardwriter ! Katy has just had her first novel Girl Reading published and as we are all local writers Ipswich Waterstones have been so very supportive and organised events for us!
Twitter brings the most unlikely people together - crafty girl meets a proper author! Katie is as lovely in real life as she is on Twitter! (as this bit of the blog is all about my obsession with twitter I should add a :-) right about now...) as I also met up with @katyark who I have met a lot in real life but didn't realise she was her...and she dodged the camera, tsk!

Look at those scrumptious yarns...irresistable!

The other great bit of Sunday was that on arrival I found that the HH stall was right next to a great friend of both Jacqui and I! Anita is a glass blower and she runs amazing workshops where you can transform old glass into beautiful pieces of art for your home!

Some of the fantastic cheeseboards that Anita makes from old wine bottles.

All this socialising and chatting about craft can build up quite an appetite but I never bother with taking along a picnic (unusual for me!) for the Saint's Fair as the food on sale there is always fab!
The lovely stallholders even delivered...

What a lovely day, Nic x

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

image here

It’s not just a hop, skip, and a jump away to the nearest neighbor out here in the country.  That’s why we never expected to get to know anybody… not in a real personal way.  So imagine our surprise when in the first week of moving in, we got not one, but TWO full-out dinner invitations (which we accepted).  For our family of eight, it’s no small feat having us over. 

When a neighbor saw our moving truck hurtling down the road, he and his son sped over on their bikes to help us unload. Another neighbor brought us a plate of home baked cookies, and another brought us a box of chocolates.  That sweet couple even brought a pen and paper to write down all the children’s names and ages so they wouldn’t forget.  

As someone who likes everything just so before inviting people in, it’s been a humbling experience for me.  Everyone wants to see the fixer upper in its “before” state.  Oh my!

I never expected how much this house would stretch me… physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.  I also never expected the blessings we would receive through the kindness of strangers we now call friends. 

Coat Closet Turned into a Functional Organized Closet

2011 06 26_5816
Welcome to Week 17 of our Organize your Life series!
Organize your LIFE
  I am excited to show you my finished coat closet transformation!
First,  I will show you our awful before picture!!  (We all like seeing the befores, right?)
2011 05 29_5262
Oh yes, that was really what it looked like!  Embarrassing, I know!!!
It has looked like that for almost 4 years too!  It was just one of those places that I never tried to organize and would just close the door, ha!  Please tell me you have a place like that too!  Ok, maybe I am the only one but at least I finally organized it! 
Well, my hubby helped.  Oh, and the kids did too! Smile
2011 05 29_5263
Here they are installing my new shelves.  By the way,  I picked up all my shelves at a garage sale for only $30!!!  YES!  All we had to do was buy the backs and the things that hold up the shelves.
2011 05 29_5264
We just shoved everything on the table and I started going through it!
2011 05 29_5265
I like the shelves!
2011 05 29_5266
But,  I am obsessed with bins so I had to get some!
I love the ones at Walmart!  I bought the bigger version of the ones that I used to organize my crafts.
photo (6)
Here are some after shots!
2011 06 26_5814
Now everything has a place!  BooYah!
2011 06 26_5815
I also made labels for every bin!
2011 06 26_5816
There is little to no room for shoving now!  I just love that,  I am forced to stay organized now!
2011 06 26_5817
I show you a little of the afters in a previous post but I will show you more today!
We keep our keyboard at the top!
2011 06 26_5818
Then our toolbox.  By the looks of it, I will be needing to find a bigger one!
2011 06 26_5819
It was easy to fill all the bins!
2011 06 26_58202011 06 26_5821
I love this bin, “Give to People” because I always have so much stuff to give away or people keep leaving their stuff here so now I have a good place to keep the stuff.
2011 06 26_58222011 06 26_58232011 06 26_58242011 06 26_58252011 06 26_58262011 06 26_58272011 06 26_58282011 06 26_58292011 06 26_58302011 06 26_58312011 06 26_58322011 06 26_58332011 06 26_58342011 06 26_58352011 06 26_58362011 06 26_5837
So there ya go!  My coat closet was turned onto a functional closet!
2011 06 26_5817
What do you think?
Do you have a closet like this?
What are you organizing now?  Anything?  Or do you take the summer off?
I am still using  Organize Now! by Jennifer Ford Berry but I have been posting a little of schedule.  I will get back on track when the kids go back to school!
What have you been organizing lately?
Show us by linking up!!!
(You can link up any organizing project that you have been working on!)
Organize your life
Have a great day! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cleaning Flower Pots - and Decorating Them Too

I'm a big advocate of variety in plant pots. I've used ceramic mixing bowls (that I drilled holes in with a special drill bit -- a big thumbs up for Ms. Fixit), watering cans, bulk kitty litter containers, buckets, window boxes, bulk plastic plant pots tinted to look like terra cotta, actual terra cotta pots, wooden barrels, glass bottles.

Once, I even used a roasting pan. It might sound as

Easy Nacho Platter

2011 06 19_5660
Hello!  The time has come where we are party house hoppin’ every weekend so thought that I would share one of my favorite appetizers to make!
2011 06 19_5661
Everyone likes a good nacho platter, right?
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I make mine simple, easy and healthy!
2011 06 19_5663
Nacho Platter
Bottom Layer
I just mix (in a food processor)a good salsa with a package or 2 of cream cheese
(you can also use refried beans and sour cream)
Then I add…
lettuce (cut small)
shredded cheese
green onions 
Enjoy with your favorite bag on chips!  I like the multi-colored flax chips from Trader Joes.
That is it!  EASY… and it goes down fast! Just don’t forget to bring the chips!
It always seems to be a big hit at parties!
What is your favorite appetizer to make?

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