Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

This is our oldest son being goofy at our last visit to the Hobbit House. I used the Orton custom effect on PicMonkey to edit the photos.

Goofy Framed Pictures.

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Fun Baby Picture

Couldn’t help but capture and share this fun picture of our daughter. Quite Artsy “Fartsy.

Weekly Photo Challenge:Fun!

Who Farted marked

Tuesday Visit with Grandma and the Tall Ships

Hawaiian Chieftain 2

Tuesdays are designated our day for Grandma this summer. Life gets so busy for us so we try to keep Tuesdays afternoon/evening as the days we get together and do something with my mother-in-law. Whether it’s to hang out here at our house, visit her at her retirement home or to go somewhere fun, our children know to reserve that day to visit with Grandma.

Grandma’s request for yesterday was to go and see the visiting wooden tall ships, the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain. We just watched the movie “In the Heart of the Sea” with Chris Hemsworth during our last visit with her. Maybe that spurred her interest in seeing some wooden ships up close. We didn’t get to tour the ships because the dockside tours are held earlier during the day but we were able to see the Hawaiian Chieftain set sail for their evening cruise around the bay.

Set Sail watermarked

Both ships are quite beautiful. We didn’t get to view the Hawaiian Chieftain up close but we were able to catch a few pictures of him with his sails up. We were able to get quite a few close up shots of the Lady Washington and a few random pictures around the docks of the Port of Brownsville.

Port of Brownsville sign watermarked

Port of Brownsville boats watermarked

Lady Washington 1 watermarked

It’s so interesting to see how much rope is involved in the functionality of all the sails. In the pictures it just looks like a knotted mess but each rope has a purpose.

Ship Ropes watermarked

Barnacles are found in abundance on the marina’s pilings.

Barnacles watermarked

There are a lot of little fish and jellyfish hanging out in the marina.

Fish watermarked

Do you love the sea? Could you imagine living on one of these tall ships out on the open sea for weeks at a time?

Portraits

Portraits

I love the first picture below of our son. These are some great portraits of him and of an Elk. We were visiting the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, WA when these were taken.

David black and white watermarked

Elk watermarked

David and Elk watermarked

My Painted Rock

I love to paint! I have oodles and oodles of paints. It’s one of the many art supplies I love to hoard. I someday hope to take a painting course at our local college but in the meantime I use Pinterest and Bob Ross videos for ideas and tips. You have to love Bob Ross and his “happy little trees”.

Painted Rock

Here is my latest piece where I used very little of my oodles and oodles of collected paints. Yes, it’s a rock! It’s my first painted rock for a group in our community. The members of the group paint rocks and hide them for others in the community to find. Whoever finds the rocks can keep them or re-hide them for someone else to find. Such a great way to promote creativity and art within our community. Especially for the young children. A lot of people post pictures of the rocks they have been finding on the Facebook group page. It’s awesome to see all the great smiles and all the different artwork. I can’t wait to paint more rocks with my children and hide them.

I’ve created a Pinterest board just for painted rocks. So many ideas! I love it!

Pies in a Fire Pit

Since our son has become proficient, and confident, at making campfires, he has been bugging us to make pizza pies in our pie irons for dinner. We decided last night was the night. I ran to the store to purchase the ingredients and we had a great time making the pies.

Our son did a great job in building and starting the camp fire in our fire pit. He used scrap standard construction wood (from our college teen’s summer lumberyard job) but the coals didn’t last as long as we wanted it too. (I took too long taking pictures for my blog). We were able to cook 3 pizza pies but then the coals started to die off.

We had a bag of charcoal for back up just in case and it worked quite well. My husband added about a fourth of a small bag of charcoal to the already established wood coals and, with just a few well-placed breaths, he soon had the charcoal blazing.  We were able to finish cooking the rest of pizza and dessert pies after the coals were ready.

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It took about 20-30 minutes for the wood to burn down to coals. Charcoal burns down much more quickly.  The wood coals also may not last as long as charcoal depending on the type of wood that you use.  Hardwoods burn hotter and longer than soft woods.

Start cooking your pies as soon as the coals are ready. You do not want to put your pies in the fit pit while there are big flames. The flames will cause your pies to burn. You can add more wood to increase the coals as you go along, but you’ll need to wait for the big flames to die down before you can start cooking your pies again.

Here are some ingredients you will want ready for some fun pie making.

  • Loaf of bread
  • Softened butter
  • Pizza sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Sliced olives
  • Cherry or Apple Pie filling
  • Cream Cheese Spread (for cherry pie)

Pie Iron

As soon as your coals are ready you’ll want to prep your pies.

1 – Add butter to the insides of your pie iron or to your bread. Place butter side of bread down on the bottom piece of your pie iron.  (Make sure the bread position matches)

2 – Place your preferred ingredients on the bread then cover with another buttered slice of bread. Ensure that the butter side is up

3 – Close up your pie iron with the provided clip and scrape away any bread sticking out of the pie iron. What is left out of the pie iron will burn and will not taste well.

4 – Place your pie iron onto the coals. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes then flip the pie iron. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes more.  It will take longer as the coals burn down.0

5 – Remove the pie iron very carefully (using the wooden handles) and place it on a non-flammable, heat resistance surface (ideally a wooden cutting board).

6 – Unclip the clasp and open up the pie iron. Very carefully remove your pie with utensils or by removing the top piece of the pie iron and flipping the food from the bottom iron onto a plate.

The pie and its contents will be very hot. My suggestion is to cut the pie in half and let cool before giving it to any small child. I even like cutting mine and letting it cool just to be on the safe side. I have to admit that my son and I were not fans of the pizza pies that we made but we did love the fruit pies. I’d love to try cooking tuna melts in the pie irons next. Here is a link to other recipes.

http://www.pieiron.com/recipes.htm

Have you tried cooking in pie irons? If so, what are your favorite pies to make?

Here is the link to purchase the pie irons we have.

https://www.amazon.com/Rome-Industries-1705-Sandwich-Cooker/dp/B000FNLXWG

10 Tips on Having a Succesful Yard/Garage Sale

10 Tips Yard Garage Sale

Despite the very short amount of time we spent preparing for our yard sale yesterday, it was actually pretty successful. The weather was perfect and we had a lot of traffic. Our main objective was to help our son raise money for his trip to London but in the meantime we were also able to offload some things that were cluttering our house.

Our son was also blessed with items to sell donated by family and friends. That also contributed to some of the money he raised. He is getting closer every day towards fully funding his trip.

Here are some tips I can offer anyone wanting to hold a garage sale in the near future.

1 – Advertise in your local newspaper, Craigslist, and local Facebook groups – In this digital age we often assume that not very many of us subscribe or read newspapers. Majority of the shoppers we had yesterday said they found our garage sale through our advertisement in the newspaper.

2 – Put up signs. – Aside from customers that live by the newspaper for yard/garage sale ads, we did have some customers that said they stumbled across our yard sale signs.

3 – Display some items so that they are visible from the street. We live up on a hill and we had our yard sale up on the top in our yard. We displayed a few bigger items in our driveway so that people could see that we were having a yard sale. It may have helped if we also placed some smaller more attractive items on our driveway.

4 – Have small bills on hand for change in a cash box (with someone watching it at all times) or wear an apron with pockets for your change.

5 – Have plastic bags and extra boxes to package up customer purchases.

6 – Price each item or place a price point for groups of items (for example: We had a box full of hot wheels and small toys that we sold for $.25 each.) Having prices on items will deter customers who are looking for a great bargain from giving you a really low-ball price.

7 – Put away your phones when customers are around. I walked out of the house to find my husband and son on their phones when there were customers walking around in our yard. Strike up a conversation with the customers. Some customers may find it a turn off to see you on your phone while they are shopping and just leave. You should be ready to assist anyone with questions, just like an employee in a store should be.

8 – Start preparing for your yard sale months in advance. Go through your garage, storage, shed, closets and shelves to find items that have not been any use to you or your family in the last year. We spent 2 weeks going through things and we definitely have more to go through and declutter.

9 – Have a plan on what you will be doing with the items that aren’t sold after your yard sale. Will they go to the thrift store or maybe consignment shop? Do you want to hang on to the leftover items for a future yard sale? Could you possibly sell some of the items through Craigslist or local yard/garage sale forums online?

If you are hanging on to items for a future sale, plan where you will be storing your items so that they can easily be retrieved when needed. Otherwise, plan to close up your yard sale early enough to take to your leftover items to a local thrift shop.

10 – Do not plan any strenuous activities after a yard sale. After the very long day, you will be tired. Shower, make some popcorn, pop in a movie and relax.

We had a dinner to go to yesterday and it took all of our energy to get ready and out the door. My husband and I tried to take a 30 minute nap. Our little one said, “No way” to nap time. We each even had a cup of coffee before heading out the door but it was of no avail. We lasted a short time at the dinner and said our goodbyes regretfully earlier than we really wanted to.

Teenagers are little more resilient. They were out the door as soon as things were put away and went gallivanting around town for 6 hours looking for Pokemon stops. Sigh. Oh, to be young again.

 

 

 

 

Yard Sale Craziness

Getting ready for a yard sale can be chaotic in itself. Getting ready for a yard sale in a week is ridiculously crazy. Our boys and I have been gathering things for a yard sale fundraiser for my son. He was selected along with other high school Drum Majors across the country to go on a trip to London to perform in their New Year’s Day Parade. We are quite excited for him but a little anxious on the amount he needs to raise to go on the trip.

He has been working odd jobs and has raised some money but he has a ways to go. We clearly stated from the beginning that we will help as much as we can but that the funds he needs to take the trip will need to be raised by him through work or by fundraisers driven by him. This weekend’s garage sale is his first fundraiser.

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Luckily, we have wonderful friends who have volunteered to bring by donations for his yard sale and we have boys to do the set up and tear down. It is the cleaning, gathering and pricing that will be very challenging for us. We have the next two days to prep. I’m doing my best to stay positive and productive.

I have found several blogs about yard sales that have been very helpful. I especially love the checklists provided. I’ll include some of the links below and hopefully they can be of some help to you if you’re planning a garage/yard sale in the near future. I’ll be sure to put something together after we’re done to let you all know what worked for us.

What are some of your favorite garage/yard sale tips?

http://www.nogettingoffthistrain.com/frugal/tips-successful-garage-sale/

http://blog.delightfulorder.com/2012/06/hosting-more-organized-garage-sale.html

http://pureandsimpleorganizing.com/blog/item/165-yard-sale-series-getting-started
http://pureandsimpleorganizing.com/blog/item/170-yard-sale-series-week-before-the-sale

Rummage Sale Gardening Bargains

Saturday was a day of treasure hunting and gardening. Our high school marching band, flag team and drill team members held a rummage sale to raise money for an upcoming trip and I was able to find some really great pieces for my gardening.

We purchased two beautiful planters for $10 each, some cute mini ceramic shoes (for succulent terrariums) for a $1 each, a teapot and ceramic mouse with flower (for my mini garden), another planter for my new indoor spider plant, a lavender and a succulent plant. What wonderful things you can find at rummage sales!

Here are our creations from yesterday after our trip to the greenhouse. We had lots of fun creating these. The first two pictures are of the succulent terrariums we created using the ceramic shoes. The last two pictures are of the container gardens we created using the planters.

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The following container gardens that we created were inspired by an article from southernliving.com.

http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/creative-container-gardens

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We first filled the bottom of the pots with pebbles and then filled it with the plants and Miracle-Grow Moisture Control Potting Mix. I’m hoping these plants will survive till Fall. I did ask an employee at the greenhouse about the spider plant and fern that we purchased for the pots. She mentioned that I should bring them in when it gets cold. I will do my best to not to let them die before bringing them in. Wish me luck!

 

 

Stop to Smell the Flowers

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“Some think love can be measured by the amount of butterflies in their tummy. Others think love can be measured in bunches of flowers, or by using the words ‘for ever.’ But love can only truly be measured by actions. It can be a small thing, such as peeling an orange for a person you love because you know they don’t like doing it.”
~Marian Keyes

Doing little things for each other can make a huge difference in the world we live in today. There is much chaos, so much more distractions and pressures around us that sometimes we all just need to bring ourselves back down to earth and show a little kindness in our daily lives.

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“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
~Walter Hagen

I’m often guilty of not taking the time to “smell the flowers.” My biggest fault is taking on so much more than I can handle. I’ve always had a hard time saying no when help is needed. I still do but I’m getting a little better about knowing what my limits are. This will give me much time to focus on those who are really important to me.

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Yesterday we happily took the time to run to the Brothers Greenhouses in Port Orchard again to see their cute little Hobbit House and beautiful flowers and plants. These pictures of the flowers were taken from their greenhouses. I was able to stop and “smell the flowers”.

Note: While we were at the Brothers Greenhouses we ran into some family friends that stopped in to check it out after seeing my blog. I’m very happy to see that I was able to positively share a spot. Thank you for reading!