31 August 2014

Not So Sketchy

‎Yesterday, after I published my draw-rings post, I added 'watercolor paper' to the list of things to get. Just now, while I was down in the basement switching out loads of laundry, I spotted my drawing valise. When I went to check inside for more drawings, I came across an old (and unused by the looks of it) set of watercolor pencils and an unused pad of watercolor paper. (papier-d'aquarelle). Comment fortuite!

30 August 2014

Sketchier Days

Many years ago I took a drawing class at the Firehouse Art Center (first class I'd had there since the 6th grade!!!). I was looking for a creative outlet and thought Portrait Drawing might be cool. I loved watching our instructor draw his subject. At first the pencil marks on the page were scribble and then a few seconds later, the subject was perfectly captured on paper. These were a few of my drawings back then.

24 August 2014

Weekend Roundup

We went to a friend's birthday party at the skating rink wherein I played it safe remaining skates-less, and the hubs showed that he still had what it took (in the 7th grade).

Rylan's Skating Party
Yay Daddy!

20 August 2014

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We can exhale now. All of the children have been escorted back to their respective schools.

First Day of School
Kindergarten and First Grade

First Day of School
Too Cool for Outside Pic

No Wave Goodbye
So I Got One Anyway

Seems like just yesterday when they were so sweet and posing for their mama...

After Church Kids

We are so excited for them (and for us) starting this new chapter in their lives.

17 August 2014


* Do it my damn self.

I dream of being an Extreme Couponer but when I see the products that most of those folks purchase and stockpile, I can't even picture it. I mean, who needs 172 bags of croutons? But I TOTALLY covet the toilet paper stash so I continue to strive to make that happen. I just think I'd sleep better at night knowing I had a years' worth of loo rolls in the basement...

So anyway, the other night a friend of mine posted a thrifty DIY project to save money on dishwashing detergent. I had seen some of my hippie-ish friends making laundry soap last year and I did not partake, but the dishwasher detergent project piqued my interest because we are running low on Cascade and I had all but one ingredient listed for the project on hand. Plus, I haven't found a detergent that really does the job. That could be related to someone not rinsing the dishes well or loading the dishwasher wrong. (I'm not talking about the hubs!)

I tried to locate washing soda at Target and Sprouts to no avail, and I was not interested in hitting yet another store because I'd been at the mall with my 7th grader for way too long prior to going Target, the skating rink and then Sprouts. I was getting kinda hangry. I figured I could google how to turn baking soda into washing soda whilst eating my dinner.

Turns out I could, with the help of my oven. All I had to do was bake the soda for 45 minutes or so at around 400 degrees et voila! I did that and wondered if I should be wearing a respirator when I was stirring the partially baked baking soda around.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

DIY Dishwasher Detergent
Fizzy Reaction

DIY Dishwasher Detergent
Looks a bit like butter pats...

So far the jury is out on the effectiveness of the home made detergent. We were having an issue with spotty dishes because we ran out of rinse agent and I decided to try plain vinegar.  I'm thinking that maybe I needed to clean the dishwasher with white vinegar to resolve.

I didn't calculate the cost for me to make this detergent, but the fact that I know how to make dishwasher detergent is inspiring me to learn to do more. I am not only interested in savings but being more MacGyver-like in taking care of the family and home.

11 August 2014

Chi Town

Ten years ago when Emi was two, we road tripped to Chicago to visit my cousin and meet her new baby, Jovi and see my mom who was there visiting a friend. We drove straight through and even though we were tired when we got to our seedy hotel, we wasted no time in getting some deep dish pizza.

Deep Dish Pizza Pie in Chicago
Deep Dish YUM!

01 August 2014

We are Family

My brother was in town from Tampa recently and we all met up for dinner at Oliveto. Four of the five of us kids were there.  Too bad our big brother, Michael, wasn't here...

Oliveto with the Family
Inside after Dinner

Outside Oliveto with the Family
Outside having our waitress take a group shot. ("Did she take it?")