Thursday, September 29, 2011

Everything Fall

I love fall.  The colors are spectacular and I love to tuck them into as many spaces in my home a
s possible.  I have some projects I am working on but the weather is not cooperating.  I much rather the warm sunny days of fall and not so much rain.  Is it really that bad to spray paint indoors???

 This pumpkin will be getting another coat of paint once the weather cooperates.
 Dollar Tree gourd
 Love the cloches
 These pumpkins are also from the Dollar Tree.  They were the last ones and I snagged them.

 More Dollar Tree pumpkins.  I made the basket a couple of years ago.
 The pumpkins in the apothecary jar are also from the dollar store.  I painted some of them white because I am loving white pumpkins.

Everything is ready for fall~welcoming in the colors in nature, brisk cool air and sunny days.  
It still feels like summer here.  Hot, humid and a lot of rain.  Hopefully, it will change soon.

Linking to:


Monday, September 26, 2011

Soft Lace Cowl

We had a taste of fall here for a few days.  I used the inspiration of the cool fall weather and began working on a cowl.  The temps here are back to summer with 80 degrees and high humidity but this will be waiting for the next cool day.
 I crocheted this same pattern before but used a thinner yarn.  This yarn is bulkier and I love that.  It is an alpaca blend from Lion Brand.  This pattern is worked in two sections working on both sides of the foundation chain.
 My daughter is my model but I had to promise I would not include her face.  She is camera shy.
This pattern works so well with this yarn.  It is incredibly soft and warm.  Looking forward to wearing this.

I am working on this pattern next.  I am a little behind but trying to finish it all up today or tomorrow.  I am joining in:

Last week was a busy one and I didn't pick up the crochet needles once.  We celebrated hubby's 40th birthday, helped my mom moving some furniture, cut, split and stacked about 4 cords of wood, and cleaned out most of the basement.  There has been more spring cleaning now then I had a chance to get to in spring.

Hopefully, I will have this cowl all crocheted in time.

Linking to:


Friday, September 16, 2011

Portuguese Kale Soup

It has been in the eighties here this past week, humidity has been high and overall it's been uncomfortable.  Yesterday, some cool air from Canada blew in and we woke up this morning to temps in the 40's.  What a difference.  All the windows were open and it was quite cool in here.  It is the perfect weather for some soup.

A couple of weeks ago we went to dinner with my brother and his wife.  We chose a Portuguese restaurant that is not too far from us.  I am Portuguese and there are quite a few predominantly Portuguese communities not far from where we live.  One of my favorite things is the Portuguese Kale soup sometimes called Green soup. It is so yummy but also very simple.  I remember my mom making this many times but I have never made it myself.  After enjoying it at the restaurant I decided I needed to try this.  

I looked up some recipes on the internet, both in Portuguese and English.  Found the one that seemed most similar to what my mom does and gave it a try.
This simple soup starts with a potato base. 


6 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 medium onion minced

2 cloves garlic minced

3 tbsp. olive oil

6 cups of water

Chourico sausage-as much or as little as you want-sliced thin

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil

2. Add potatoes and water.  Bring to a boil and let cook until potatoes are soft.

3. While potatoes cook, wash and julienne your greens


4. Turn stove off and using an immersion blender, blend it.

5.  Turn stove back on, add sliced chourico sausage and greens.  Cover and cook about 10 minutes.  

Disclaimer:  we use only Portuguese chourico.  We are lucky to be able to find it locally.  It is not the same as Spanish chourico sausage.


Linking to:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What is this fridge saying?

Visiting the most fabulous Ms. Edie's blog this morning she challenged us to post some pictures of our refrigerators.  I loathe cleaning out the refrigerator.  I'm not sure why but it is definitely on the put off until you can't anymore list.  Well that day came when we lost power for seven days thanks to Hurricane Irene.  I had not choice but to go through everything and discard most of it and since they were empty I managed to give them a thorough cleaning.  We have two fridges~one is just not enough to store everything.  Maybe if it was one of the new side by side with freezer drawer but we don't have space for such a large unit.  One fridge is in the kitchen the other in the basement.  This makes for great cardio exercise because I am always forgetting something and having to run up and down the stairs repeatedly.

Welcome to fridge 1:
 We usually have quite a bit of leftovers which make for good lunches.  I love to have fruit cut up and ready to eat.  It's a nice, easy and healthy snack.  There are water bottles, half and half, organic chicken stock, and of course Starbucks coffee.  The orchard chicken salad is so yummy.  I saw the commercial for Subway and decided to make it myself.  So yummy!!!  The crispers are full of fruits and veggies.  We also have plenty of yogurts in many different varieties and flavors.  Peeking out behind the milk are two of my favorites Ed Hardy Sangria and a bottle of Coca Cola.

Welcome to fridge 2:
I know what you're thinking~That's a lot of beer but it is left over from our 4th of July cookout and we've given quite a few away.  There is butter, butter and more butter, more yogurts, bagels, puddings, applesauce, and eggs.  Along with some celery, english muffins, more milk (can never have enough).  Yes it is whole milk, we don't do lowfat milk.  It's just not the same.  There is also some kale hidden in here to make a Portuguese green soup which tastes much better than it's name.  My brother and I love this and I will have to share it with him when I make it tomorrow.  On the opposite are the Pepsis.  Now I am a total Coke girl but my brother is a Pepsi guy and he says he works for Pepsi.  So I always have to have some on hand in case I need is help with a project, which is all the time.

Well, there it is.  They should look better but I am not good at fridge organizing.  It's not my thing.  But they are clean~scrubbed from top to bottom just two weeks ago, thanks to Hurricane Irene.

Share what's in your fridge with us.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Magnetic Wall with Rustoleum

The project's in my son's room are well under way but they are not completed yet.  One of the new things I wanted to try was:
 We have old plaster walls in our home.  Every time we try to hang anything up, no matter how small or simple we end up with a large hole in the wall.  Our son is artistic.  He loves to draw and we can't keep enough paper or markers in this house.  He also loves to display his work in his room.  He creates theme walls.  This can be rather a pain when everything is marred with old tape or full of holes from previous thumbtacks.  When I heard of this wonderful magnetic primer on HGTV I knew I wanted to use it in his room.

My first tip for using this primer is to MIX IT AT THE STORE!!!!  I did not do this and regretted it!!  It took a good half hour of mixing this before I could use it on the wall.  By this point my hand was ready to fall off and there was no painting done.

Next, this primer can be hard to clean so if you are not priming the whole wall cover the part you are not priming.  I also had to scrape this off our baseboards and it was quite a project.  Thankfully the hardwoods were covered.  This primer does spray when you are rolling it.  I was using a foam roller and do not usually have to worry about spraying.  The primer does have a texture to it which could have caused the spraying.

The box recommends three coats of primer followed by no more than two coats of the wall color.  I followed these directions, I did three coats, each a half hour apart, as recommended on the box.  Waited the full four hours and painted the top color, waited about three hours for it to dry and added the magnets.  It did not work.  The magnets slid down the wall and did not stick.  I headed to the internet for help and found that many who had tried this recommended as many as six coats of the primer.  Back to the drawing board, added three more coats of primer and topped it with one coat of the wall color.  IT WORKED!!

Some spots on the wall are more magnetic than others.  I am on the look out for slightly stronger magnets so he can add more artwork.  Overall I am happy with the primer.  Would have been happier if I had these tips ahead of time.  The process would have been much smoother.
Sorry for the blurry pictures.
Last tip~do not use this primer the day before a big event, say like your sister's wedding, because you will be covered in black flecks and your nails will be black and you may need to douse yourself with large quantities of paint thinner so you can be presentable for the big day.

This is his completed desk that I had shown in a previous post.
It looks amazing. Loving all the storage and he has plenty of space to sit and create his masterpieces.

Would love to know if anyone else tries/tried this product and what your thoughts are.

Linking to:


Monday, September 5, 2011

Earthquake, Tropical Storm & What's Next

New England is not accustomed to wild weather.  Within the span of one week we felt the earth shake as an earthquake started in Virginia and traveled up the East Coast and were battered by Tropical Storm Irene.  The winds were the damaging factor in our area.  The rains did not last long, for which we are thankful.  There were hundreds of trees that lost large limbs and many that were uprooted in our town alone.  We lost power at 6:45 am on Sunday morning.

This was the sight we saw all through town.  We were blessed to not have suffered any structural damage to our home.  We did not lose any large limbs from our trees.  

The most frustrating part was being without power for a whole week.  Our power was not restored until Saturday at 10 am.  Our utility company was not properly prepared for a storm of this magnitude.  Trees have not been trimmed off of power lines.  There were no answers when you called for an update on the power restoration.  It seemed that there was not a proper plan for restoration.  Crews were in our neighborhood on six separate occasions and our power was not restored.  Instead of repairing all the lines in one neighborhood and moving onto the next they were hopping all over town.  This seemed to be mismanagement of both time and resources.  Our neighbors power was restored two days before ours.

The last couple of days have been clean up days here.  Once power was restored, I had the Mt. Everest laundry pile to tackle.  Cleaning and restocking both of our refrigerators and freezers, and vacuuming.  Dry mopping and sweeping just don't work as well when you have two dogs-one very furry husky.  

Thankfully, the days without power were not too hot and humid.  Wednesday was the only day with higher humidity and it was tough without even a fan.  The house held in the heat for a long time but thankfully it cooled down on the next day.  

I am glad that things are back to normal here.