~Week 6~

I was on a real baking kick this week and I tried several brand new recipes! A couple of the money saving blogs I follow have what they call "Freezer Cooking Days" or they refer to it as "Once A Month Cooking." Basically, they spend one or two days in the kitchen making all of their meals for the next 30 days so that, in theory, they don't have to spend hardly any time in the kitchen for an entire month. They have yet to sell me on the benefits of this. They make a lot of casseroles (although they all claim that they don't). We're a meat and potatoes kind of family. We eat a lot of fresh veggies. I just don't feel like I spend too much time in the kitchen each evening and I rather enjoy the time I do spend so, OAMC just doesn't appeal to me all that much. Maybe if I had 10 kids....or an infant who fussed during the dinner hour as we know they tend to do. My kids play outside until I force them to come in for dinner....I have a lot of "free" time in the late afternoons.

However, having a freezer full of homemade baked goods? I can try that! Just don't think it's gonna last for 30 days. As of the writing of this post, we have eaten all of the cookie dough and blueberry muffins, a pan of cinnamon rolls and more than half of the pretzels that I made last week. :)

Here is what I made/baked &/or froze:

*The World's Best Cinnamon Rolls. I don't know if that's their real name, but it should be. Seriously, stop what you are doing and go make them. You will not be sorry. They were super easy and my husband declared that they were the best thing he had ever eaten....and he is a Cinnabon fanatic so I took that as quite the compliment! We have cinnamon rolls every Sunday for breakfast and one recipe made enough for 3 weeks.

*Make-Ahead Butterhorns. This recipe had me sorta freaked out at first because it calls for an enormous amount of flour and the only reason I tried them was because there were pictures so I could make sure mine were looking like they were supposed to as I went along. I never make something unless I can see a picture of the finished product. They were definitely worth the time and effort....and I have about 8 dinners worth in the freezer! Think Pillsbury Crescent rolls...only A LOT bigger and better! Yum!

*Supposedly Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzels. This made 12 (huge) pretzels and was a bit more labor intensive than I had figured on. The first 6 I made were just salted. They were ok. The next 6 I put garlic powder and shredded cheese on. Much better! Also, my husband suggested that next time I save myself some trouble and just make pretzel sticks instead of shaping them all like pretzels! Brilliant!

*Egg, bacon and veggie mini quiches. There are all sorts of recipes for all sorts of variations of these online. I think they are delicious straight out of the oven. I do not think they are great after they've been frozen and reheated. I probably won't do these (ahead of time) again. Oh well, you live and learn.

*Blueberry muffins. I just always use the recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook. Easy and really good....especially with fresh blueberries. These didn't even make it to the freezer.

*Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies. That really is the name of these....the recipe is in our church cookbook. My family loves them! That's why the dough didn't last 5 days.

After all is said and done and my freezer is full, I'm happy with what I made and think it was worth the time and effort. And it's made me a little bit more comfortable with my bread machine. It's also made me love my KitchenAid more than I already did. And I already really loved it!

Do you have any great recipes for home-baked things? I'm on the hunt for some more....


a bathroom remodel (grand finale)

I apologize. I'm sure my delay in posting this final chapter of the great bathroom remodel has been the source of many sleepless nights for all of you. So, without further ado.....

I'm especially fond of these two pictures hanging above the toilet. Mostly I like them because I made them. Ahem. Also, I like them because I already had all of the supplies with which to make them so they were basically, free!! The picture frames were in a drawer and the rest is scrapbook paper. You know, from when I used to scrapbook. Ten years ago. Ahem.

I ♥ my new non-vented cabinets.

And my new standard-sized light switch plate. Much better!

And here is a little example of my husband's perfectionist tendencies. I thought the previous cabinets were fine the way they were. I argued that it didn't matter that they had 60 years worth of paint on them....and their hinges.

I lost.

He took them down and sanded them down to the bare wood. We saw some mighty tacky colors from over the years. Including, but not limited to, a lovely shade of pink. The thought of all of that pink tile and pink cabinets made me throw up in my mouth a little. You're welcome.


Then we put new hinges, minus the paint, back on the cabinets. I think this is the second set of hinges we bought. The first set may or may not have disappeared. I may or may not have been accused of throwing them out because supposedly I throw everything out. A couple weeks ago, I found the first set in the basement where I had forgotten that I put them. So who's laughing now?

I don't know.

All of that to say, I'm glad my husband won. The cabinets look so much better now! And I promise to never, ever paint over another hinge so long as we both shall live.

And finally.....the shower!

I spend many an hour sitting right here on this bench, slowly draining the hot water heater.
Now, if you play your cards right, I might show you our yellow and blue bathroom. Someday.


~Week 5~

This week...

I continued to make (and find new recipes to try) all our bread. It may last much longer than one month as I am really enjoying baking more.

I started and finished a new book while the girls and I were at the beach! Nothing brilliant, just fun and easy!

I made 2 skirts, 2 new oven mitts (my old ones were disgusting and embarrassing!) and started a purse.....all from patterns in my new favorite sewing book.

And, I beat my personal best in grocery shopping.....

2 boxes of Poptarts

3 boxes of Kellogg's cereal

2 jars of Skippy peanut butter

3 cans of Rosarita beans

6 boxes of pasta

1 bottle of vegetable oil

1 Bounty 12 Big Rolls pack of paper towels (regular price = $16.99)

1 Charmin 24 Big Rolls pack of toilet paper (regular price = $15.99)

My grand total: $19.15!! I still dance a little jig every time I think of all that toilet paper in my cupboards....that I got for $2!!! It's the little things, right?

What did you do last week?

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