Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Still busy!

May has been a super busy month! And it's not even half over yet! 

I picked up the paint on Thursday. For the four bedrooms, we'd used Valspar paint from Lowes. This time I decided on Sherwin Williams SuperPaint Interior Acrylic Latex paint in Satin finish. It's a paint and primer in one that dries fast and is supposed to hold up to scrubbing...which I thought would be good in this high-traffic area. I absolutely LOVE the colors: Accessible Beige and Green Onyx. The beige went on pretty well, but the green required a second coat. Since the stairs were such a pain in the butt anyway, I decided to go ahead and paint all the walls along the stairs beige instead of having to do two coats of the green on the tallest wall (from the bottom of the stairs to nearly the very top of the vaulted ceilings). We had to use the edger on the extension pole to paint the walls along the ceiling...and the edger was HORRIBLE. So since I couldn't really reach the ceiling to paint it by hand with the brush and the beige is less noticeable when it comes to the imperfections along the edge...I decided that three green walls were good enough. :P I thought about painting one of the walls in the kitchen green, but Johnny would rather have the beige. That kitchen wall is the last full wall I have left to finish. Originally we were going to move the fridge to paint behind it...but I think I'm just going to tape it off and paint back as far as I can and if/when we ever move the fridge...then we'll paint it. :P So tomorrow I plan to get everything along that wall in the kitchen taped off and painted. There are also a couple places where the beige coverage was a bit thin on one of the living room walls so I need to touch those up as well. And Johnny is going to get the corner edge above the stairs because I couldn't get it close enough with the roller and the HORRIBLE edger broke...so he's going to do that for me when he's feeling better. And when he does that, he's also going to change out the light above the stairs to match the other lights that we put up in the kitchen and dining room. :) 

Oh and the cheap baby gates that I got to keep the cats out of the way while I'm painting? Yeah that didn't work. :P I couldn't get the gate by the "window" opening over the stairs to fit tight enough and Leo just pushed his way through the bottom corner of it. And the second baby gate that I put above the gate we already had in the hallway...Leo jumped over both gates from the bookshelf and both Milo and Angel squeezed through the bars of the gate we already had on the bottom. :P But luckily the paint dried pretty quickly and the cats didn't get into anything. Johnny hasn't been feeling well, so Bozley mostly laid in bed with Johnny while I was painting. 

I am REALLY loving the way it's all coming together. Sometime I plan to get this wine rack to put on the shelf in the corner of the dining room. And I got this towel bar for in front of the kitchen sink (so the towels will stop falling off the cabinet door) and this rug with an Amazon gift card I had for a return. The rug is the same pattern that's in the living room and at our front door; it's just a different size. It matches our curtains and tablecloth much better than the old rug...which has seen a lot of traffic since we bought it 5 or 6 years ago. Oh and then sometime I also want to get this 3-tier fruit bowl for the kitchen counter, too. If you can't tell, I really love that black scroll look. ;) 

We still have to figure out what to do with all the stuff that was above the cabinets in the kitchen. I'd gone through it once before, but I didn't really know what all Johnny wanted to keep or what else to do with any of it...so there were only a few things I actually put in the garage sale box. :P So Johnny will have to decide what to do with all that stuff. But...other than that, we're pretty much done with the kitchen and dining room. :) I will take pictures when it's all finished and put back together again.

I had a really good mother's day! I woke up and told all the special mothers in my life, "Happy mother's day." My step-son wished me a happy mother's day and we chatted for a little while to catch up, so that was nice. Aubry came over in the afternoon and the four of us went to get our second dose of the Covid19 vaccination. We had an appointment at Dillons and it went smoothly again. Then afterwards Aubry bought us Hibachi for dinner. :) We picked up the food to eat at home and watched a comedy special on Netflix while we ate. I'd already received my gift (the multi-position ladder), but I got cards from everyone and it was really nice to spend the time together. :) 

Well...I better wind down so I can be productive tomorrow! I hope everyone is doing well! 

Friday, May 7, 2021

RECIPE: Jell-O Poke Cake

This was the second dessert I ever made for Johnny (the first was Chocolate Chip Cookies) before we actually started officially dating again. I haven't made it in forever....but Johnny hasn't been feeling 100% and he requested it...so I made it last night. :) It's really super easy...it just takes awhile before you can actually eat it. :P 

Jell-O Poke Cake 
Ingredients:
1 box of Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Cake (you can use any brand white cake but I used this one)
    - 3 large eggs 
    - 1/2 cup Oil 
    - 1 cup water  
1 3oz pkg of Jell-O (any flavor, but I prefer to use Strawberry) 
1 cup boiling water 
1 cup cold water 
1 tub Cool Whip

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Prepare cake according to package and bake as directed. 
Remove cake from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. 
Using a fork, poke holes in cake every half inch or so all over the whole cake. 
Pour Jell-O packet into a large bowl. Pour in boiling water and stir until all of the powder has dissolved. Stir in cold water. 
Pour all of the Jell-O liquid over the entire cake, making sure that it's evenly distributed. 
Cover the cake and refrigerate for about 3 hours. 
Remove the cake and cover with a lawyer of Cool Whip as frosting. 
Enjoy! 

Make sure to store the cake in the refrigerator. 


In the photo, you'll see that there is some pink sprinkles on the Cool Whip frosting. I like to save just a little bit (less than a teaspoon) of the powdered Jell-O to sprinkle on top. :) 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Hello May!

Things have continued to be busy around here! 

Monday the 26th it ended up being too windy for the roofer to start, but I'd already planned to take Bozley out to my mom's house and had to help my dad with his computer problem, so we still spent the day out there. Then we woke up Tuesday morning to the roofer at the door ready to get started. Bozley and I were still in bed when the roofers came to the door and Bozley was already pretty anxious. I had to take him outside to go to the bathroom and he was SO freaked out by people walking around on our roof and making so much noise. And then he didn't really want to go out the front door...especially when he saw the ladder. But...once we got into the car he was fine. And he was a really good boy out at my mom's house. We spent the day out there and had lunch with my mom. Even at mom's he kept looking up at the ceiling...which was actually pretty funny because one time he did it right after I said something so it looked like he was rolling his eyes at me. LOL! The roof was completely finished around 7pm and so we headed back home. But even though the roofers were gone by then, Boz still hadn't forgotten that they'd been on the roof. He kept looking up at the roof checking to see if anyone was there. It didn't help that a few days later, there were some roofers working a couple houses down so he'd hear the noises and look up at our roof. :P But at least our roof is finished and hopefully we won't have to worry about it for another 20 years! 

We also got the lights put up in the kitchen and dining room! We went with oil-rubbed bronze lights (they basically look black) which really ties together everything else we have in here. It's definitely better than the brassy light fixtures the builders used 20 years ago! We also bought the matching large single light to hang above the stairs in the living room. Since the lights were on clearance, we wanted to get it just in case they were going to stop carrying it or something. I am absolutely LOVING the way they look: 

20210426_234001 20210426_233602

The curtains in the kitchen are also new and it's the same pattern as the tablecloth we bought, like, five years ago or something. I'm also going to replace the old rug in the kitchen with one like the rug we have in the living room which matches the colors of the curtains better. There's a 39" by 55" size for $28 on Amazon that I think will fit well right there. But other than a few little things I want to get here and there, we're basically done with the kitchen and dining room. 

Well...aside from painting. We finally decided on colors and ordered the paint! I even found a $10 coupon (LOVE coupons!). :) We're going with Sherwin Williams Green Onyx and Accessible Beige. Most of the walls in the kitchen and living room will be the beige color except for the dining room wall (the one with the wine pictures on it) and the three narrow walls next to it that wrap around the hallway and the end of the stairs. And I think we're going to paint the inside of the front door the green color as well. We'll probably end up needing another gallon of the beige, but I'll get that when I'm done with what I've got. I'd already started patching and sanding some of the imperfections/damage on the walls over the weekend to get it ready to be painted...just have the area behind the couch to finish after we move the couch away from the wall. And then I just have to wipe the walls down and I'll be ready to paint! 

I also asked for an early mother's day present and Johnny bought me a multi-position ladder with a leg leveler that I can use on the stairs. :) We have vaulted ceilings (which includes above the stairs!) so any time we have to change lightbulbs in the ceiling fan, change the time in the clock above our hallway (it's currently an hour behind because I can't get up there easily to change it lol), change the batteries in the smoke detector...it's a huge pain in the butt. And there's no way I'd be able to paint the top of those walls very well without a tall ladder that I can also use on the stairs. Even with the ladder, I'll still need an extension pole for painting above the stairs. We'll also use it to change the light above the stairs AND finally put the painting over the couch on the stairway wall and hang up the metal wall art that my sister bought for us a few years ago. Originally I was going to put them in the stairway but I think I'll like them better above the couch. So...I'm super excited about my present! I love practical presents just as much as anything else...more if it's something I need to be able to do something I want. :) I'll be SO happy to have the walls painted. They haven't been painted or touched up in these rooms since Johnny bought the house in 2006 so they're definitely showing the years of wear and tear. Plus it'll be nice to have a bit of color instead of all the white walls. And...after we're done painting, we'll finally get around to putting the baseboards back up! They've just been in the garage since we replaced the flooring. :P

I had a $25 Amazon gift card that I got for redeeming 25,000 of my Fetch reward points. I used it to get a few new rollers, an extension pole, and an edger that I can also put on the extension pole. I am also going to pick up some cheap baby gates from Walmart to put above the gate we already have in the hallway and then the cut-out area at the end of the stairs so I can keep the cats out. And I'll probably have to paint in the evenings after Johnny gets off work because I don't want Bozley in here while I'm painting, either. Hopefully it won't take too long, though. 

We've also continued to work outside too. Well, I say we but it's mostly Johnny. I help a little bit, but my main contribution was just finding someone to haul off a bunch of crap that we'd accumulated in the backyard. Johnny's truck broke down several years ago so we just haven't had a convenient way of hauling anything off. I contacted 3D Field Services on Facebook and they were able to come out the following day to give us a free estimate. They arrived right on time Saturday, gave us the price, and said they could get started right then and there. They took EVERYTHING and even made two trips...one for the junk on the regular trailer and then they came back with a trailer that has taller sides to get all the branches and yard debris. They did a FANTASTIC job! And I'm so glad to finally have everything gone! The before/after picture speaks for itself! 

Other than that, Johnny has still been working on getting some grass growing in the bare spots in the yard. We do have some grass coming in now! He's going to check the sprinkler system sometime this week to see if it's still working and figure out which zones are where so he can hopefully water the new grass more easily. It'll be nice once there's more grass and less mud for the dogs to get into! 

I've also been getting a little it of writing done. I've had a novel in the works for years...just need to finish it. So I work on it a little bit here and there in between work and stuff around the house. 

So...that's what we've been up to! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2021

PUPPY RECIPE: Pumpkin Peanut Butter Treats

Bozley has some crunchy treats that he likes...but he also likes soft treats. So I made him some Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookies because he's spoiled like that. :P While I made these a chewy treat...they could just be cooked longer to make a crunchy cookie as well. :) Also, I used these bone-shaped silicone molds, but you could also roll out the dough and use cookie cutters instead. 

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Cookies

Ingredients: 
1 cup Pumpkin puree (just 100% pure pumpkin)  
1/2 cup peanut butter (make sure it has no xylitol!)
1 3/4 cup oat flour (although any flour would be okay) 

Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. Combine the pumpkin and peanut butter together and mix until smooth. 
3. Add oat flour and mix well.  
4. Either fill silicone baking mold with the dough or roll out on a floured surface and use cookie cutters. 
5. Place in oven for 10 minutes for a chewy treat...longer for a crunch treat. 
6. Store in an airtight container or freeze to have some on hand for later. 

Bozley loved them! :) 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

RECIPE: Chili Cheese Soup

Every time I make Mexican Cheese Soup Johnny calls it cheese dip...because it's so much like the dip that has Velveeta, Ro-Tel, and ground beef. So even though the dip is thicker...he still makes the joke every time. But last time I made it, Johnny thought a chili variation might be tasty...so I told him I'd come up with something. :) So tonight...I made Chili Cheese Soup. :) It was really yummy! 

Chili Cheese Soup

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 lbs ground beef 
16 oz Velveeta
1 can chili ready diced tomatoes
1 can chili beans (pinto)
1 can chili beans (dark red kidney) 
1 can peas (I would've chosen corn, but Johnny wanted peas) 

Directions: 
1. Brown hamburger and drain. Add to slow cooker. 
2. Cut Velveeta into cubes. Add to slow cooker. 
3. Combine the remaining ingredients in the slower cooker. Do not drain any of the cans! This is what makes it a soup. 
4. Heat on low, stirring occasionally until all the Velveeta has melted. 
5. Serve with your choice of topping: Fritos, cornbread, crackers, etc.