Thursday, August 13, 2015

School Supplies Season...

I don't know about you, but when I was a kid I looked forward to the closing of summer.  I didn't do it because I wanted to return to school (far from it), but I always knew that once August arrived - school supplies would be featured in the stores.

I love school supplies.  Some might call it an obsession, but I love stocking my office with different colored pens, 3-ring binders, and sticky notes.  Nothing makes me smile like fun sticky notes.  And, every year, I raid the school supplies aisle - loading up my shopping cart with all sorts of goodies.

I'm not greedy, though.  I do buy the occasional item for Mum and Dawn, but it is a pretty safe bet that 90% of the stuff is for me.  I cannot help myself.  But this year, I thought I would share some of the goodies I bought this year.

These sticky notes.  I have to admit, I am very proud of myself for not spending more money on sticky notes but I had to purchase these.  Purple, green, and orange are the colors of my studio, so these obviously had to find their way into my cart.

This moose folder.  It wasn't a purchase for me.  It was a purchase for Mum.  She loves moose, and I thought she could fill this with all of her magazine clippings.

These planners.  They're just simple monthly planners but they stretch to 2017.  I bought the purple for Mum, pink for Dawn, and mine is lime green.

These string envelops.  I love these! They're great for organizing all the projects I have going on.  And, I have a lot of projects this year (even more for next year).  These were a "must."

Washable markers.  I don't use these kinds of markers, but Dawn wanted them.  I bought them.  Instead of the basic colors, though, I decided to purchase the basic plus the tropical  colors.  More colors equal more fun, right?

Binder clips.  A must.  I have binder clips scattered all over my office, but I can never find them when I need them.  So, I purchase this box of 50.  Hopefully they'll last me a week or two.

I love, love, love these pens.  I love them so much that I ended up purchasing 3 packages of them.  They write smoothly, the colors are great, and I pens are my second greatest weakness... after sticky notes.

More pens.  Did I mean that I like pens?  Mum has already called "dibs!" on the purple pen, while Dawn wants the pink one.  As for me... the orange one has my name all over it.

I had to try these.  I've always hated colored pens.  They are never dark enough and they break easy.  However, these look to be promising.

Of course, more sticky notes.  I love the little flag notes.  I use them to stick in books and magazines.

This pencil case is a win-win.  I love it because it has owls and can house all my new pens, while Dawn loves it because it is pink.  I may have to go back and purchase another one, because she's been eyeballing it since I bought it.

A wireless mouse.  I love the orange one, and I have been looking for an orange one for a while.  I purchased the purple one for Mum (her favorite color) and Dawn is getting the pink mouse.  It fits perfectly with the color theme since Mum's office area is in purple, while Dawn's is in black and pink.

3-ring binders... I can never have enough of these.  I use them for all sorts of things, and I plan on doing some serious organizing this winter.

I love the colors, and they go well together.  I prefer the binders that have the plastic covers, so I can create my own binder labeling and binder covers.

What about you? Are you naturally attracted to the school supplies aisles? Did you purchase yourself some school supplies? Be sure to tell me in the comments below.  I'd love to hear.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Craft Store Haul

The other day I took the Fam to the craft store to pick up a few things.  We had such a good time, that I thought I would take this opportunity to share what we bought. 

One of the first things we bought were these fabulous little tablets.  We loved how colorful they were and the upbeat messages they carried.

I could not believe the stores are already displaying Halloween stuff.   Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween.  In fact, it is one of my favorite holidays but it continue to be amazed at how quickly the holidays are shoved down our throats so early.  That said, I had to purchase this plague to hanging in our living room.  I figured it would be fun for Dawn to chalk in the changing numbers every morning.

I went to the craft store to purchase this little item.  I have a cable remote for my camera, plus a wireless remote.  I don't like them loose in my camera bag, and this little zipper pouch is the perfect size to house those remotes - keeping them together and safe.  I already have one that is black and says "This & That" which houses my rechargeable camera batteries, so I decided to go back and get this one for my remotes.

This I bought for Mum.  Dawn's the one who collects Beanie Babies (and she has a lot of them), but Mum fell in love with this little Sven from Frozen.

I found this in the Christmas ornament crafting section and wanted it.  Don't ask me why... I just did.  I plan on painting it white.  I don't know why.  I just want to paint it white and hang it on our Christmas tree.

When the Halloween season approaches, we hang a little Halloween-themed ornament on my truck's rear-view mirror.  Usually it is a funky witch's hate, but I saw this skeletal hand with purple ribbon and black spider, and I knew it was perfect for this Halloween's decorate touch to my truck.

I bought these three ceramic Christmas ornaments for a Before and After blog post when it gets closer to Christmas.  Mum picked out the Christmas bell; Dawn picked out the Christmas tree; and, I picked out the snowman.

That's it for our craft store haul.  Just a few bits and bobs to meet a few needs and have a little holiday fun.  What about you? Have you done any shopping lately.  What's a recent purchase you've been prizing on?  Share down in the comments... I'd love to hear about it.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bucket Garden Harvest

This year the family planted a garden.  We did it a little differently, though.  We planted our little garden in buckets.  You know the kind... those 5 gallon buckets you can buy at any home improvement store.   We simply bought a bunch, I drilled holes in the bottom of them to allow for proper drainage, and we filled them with potting soil and planted little start plants.

We focused on two things:  tomatoes and peppers.  We bought 4 kinds of tomatoes (yellow grape tomatoes, red grape tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and beefsteak tomatoes) and 3 kinds of peppers (red sweet peppers, orange sweet peppers, and jalapeno peppers) and didn't bother with other potential crops simply because we wanted to see if it would work.  And it did!

Beefsteak on the vine...

Beefsteak after Mum took her garden sheers to clip it free from the vine.  It's huge and going to go great with the chicken burgers Mum plans on cooking.

Here are the Roma tomatoes.  We have at least 12-14 per plant, making our final haul (once their ready) at least 24-28 Roma tomatoes.  Mum will put them to good use.  She loves using Romas in her Pico de Gallo and in her pasta sauces.

And these are the red grape tomatoes.  From one harvest, Mum must have had at least 20 little tomatoes from the red tomato plants and at least as many from the yellow plants.

And here is one of the many sweet peppers we have hanging from the stems.  This little one will soon start to turn red, and it is the smallest of the bunch.  Our jalapeno plants have a good 12-14 peppers per plant (we have two plants), which means plenty of peppers to work with.  However, they're very small right now.  I'll probably wait to photograph those until they're bigger.

It is amazing what a little soil, water, and sun can create - even in a bucket.  There is this immense satisfaction knowing what went into the food you are consuming.  No pesticides and fertilizers, while we knew where the soil came from and what was in it.  Everything was natural, organic, and delicious.  And now that we know our bucket garden works, next year will mean more tomatoes, peppers, and a few other things.

How about you? Did you plant a garden this year? If so, what did you plant? Be sure to share in the comments.

Happy Tuesday!

Recipe: Southwest Greek Salad

One of the favorite dishes my family enjoys during those hot summer days is Mum's Southwest Greek Salad.  We had it the other night, so I thought I would share the recipe with all of you.

You'll need a can of black beans, a can of corn, sweet peppers, a Walla Walla onion, pine nuts, romaine lettuce, grape-sized yellow and red tomatoes.

For the dressing, you'll need 1 tablespoon of mayo, 1/4 cup of milk, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, fresh thyme, and chives. 

Cut the grape-sized yellow and red tomatoes into half.

Drain the black beans and corn and rinse them thoroughly with cold water.  Afterward, slice the sweet peppers and dice onions.  Dice the onions as finely as possible.  You'll want about 1 cup of sliced sweet peppers and about 2 tablespoons of diced onion.

Now put everything in a big bowl.

Top with about 1/4 cup pine nuts.

Finish off with a light layer of crumbled feta cheese.

For the salad dressing chop up the parsley, thyme, cilantro, and chives.  Mum puts it in a mini processor to get everything finely chopped.  Mix the 1 tablespoon of mayo and the 1/4 cup of milk until thorough blended.  Add the herbs and mix until everything is fully incorporated.  We prefer our salad dressing lighter and more runny, so if you prefer your salad dressing thicker - add mayo until you get the right consistency.

Enjoy! If you try this salad, please let me know what you think.  The salad is a great treat.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fontalicious Fun...

I don’t know about you, but I love a good font.  I love using that decorative typography to jazz up all sorts of things – from emails to little creative posters I make for myself.  I even used them when creating a day planner to keep me organized (at least that was the plan… to keep organized).  There are a few fonts that I have been using a lot lately, so I thought I would take this opportunity to share them.

All of these fonts are free for downloading for personal use.  If you use them to create something lovely, please let me know.  I’d love to see whatever you create!  And let me know how you like these fonts, and if you want more to come.

Happy Wednesday!