Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Garage Sale Redo: The Bookshelf

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my garage sale toy box transformation. I am on a quest to turn my son's room into a firetruck theme room eventually, so I have been finding random furniture and painting them red and white to match the theme.

At the same garage sale that I bought the toy box, I found this awesome, homemade bookshelf. This thing is HEAVY and sturdy and it was only $3!! The only problem was the previous owner obviously was some teenage girl with angst and she decided to take it out on this bookshelf.
Don't get me wrong, I love a teenage girl with angst...who doesn't? I would rather she take it out on this bookshelf rather then her parents. It reminds me of myself at her age, a little, as I destroyed several pieces of furniture with paint in my day. (Ask Luci, she was horrified about me painting all over an antique phone bench.) However I used acrylic paint, which is easy to remove, not spray paint like this girl. I thought you had to be 18 to buy spray paint?
I do have to admire her use of keys glued to the bookshelf, as I think if she covered the whole thing in keys it would turn out pretty cool looking.
The one thing I can't figure out is when this girl was a teenager. Below you see lyrics from the song Right Round by Flo Rida (2009).
But then on this side she has lyrics from Sir Mix-a-lot's Baby Got Back (1988). Also, there are lyrics to Absolutely (Story of a Girl) by Nine Days (2000). I am just super confused when this girl was a teenager. Her music selection spans 20 years!
And lastly, I wonder if she still loves Jake. I am not sure if Jake is a boy from high school or she just jumped on Team Jacob... (The date on this side points to the clue the girl went to high school in 2009, but obsessed with old music like Live and Sir Mix-a-lot.)
Anyways, whatever this girl's story, I had some left over paint from the toy box and decided to use it to redo this bookshelf for Aiden's room. It took about 8 coats of white paint to cover up all the black spray paint. As you can tell from above, it took soooo long to paint over the scribbles that I spent a lot of the time thinking about the girl who did caused me all this trouble. Though it was time consuming, the results were great!
I really like the red shelves.
The bookshelf is at a perfect height for my son to get to all of his books.
And promptly remove them from the shelf as fast as he can so Mommy has to pick them up. He does this often!
I am really happy with the results of the bookshelf and it's really amazing what you can do with just a little bit of paint.



Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Curry

First of all, I must say this recipe was inspired by Bridget Jones's Diary. She attends an annual Turkey Curry buffet and I loved the idea! I made up this recipe a few years ago when I bought WAY too big of Turkey for Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy! It's a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers!
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2 cups cooked turkey, leftovers
1 large onions
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 teaspoon beef bouillon
4 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
1 -2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups water
7 ounces coconut milk

1. Cook onion and garlic in large skillet over medium heat until browned.
2. Cut turkey into 1 inch pieces or stripes and stir into garlic and onions.
3. Mix together beef bouillon, curry power in a small bowl. Rub over turkey, onions, and garlic. Mix till coated well.
4. Add ginger, peanut butter, cilantro, cayenne pepper, white wine, and water. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes.
5. Add more cayenne pepper for spiciness.
6. Stir in coconut milk and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to bottom of pan.

Serve over hot rice and with some Naan (click here for a recipe!)


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Let Us Give Thanks

The 3 Sisters would like to wish all of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
For most of us out there, Thanksgiving is a time to eat lots and lots of food and enjoy time with our family.

But we wanted to reflect on the importance of this thankful Holiday.
Without God, we wouldn't have all the things we have.

Without friends and family, this holiday would just be another day to overeat food with little significance. It's the friends and family that truly make this day very special.

However, at the end of the day, this holiday is meant for us to give Thanks for all that we have. So if you haven't done it yet, take a few moments and reflect on all the wondrous things in your life that you are thankful for. And don't let this Holiday of thanks end today. Make it a goal, each and every day, to focus on your blessings and be kind, generous, & reach out to others.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Butternut Banana Bread with Currants

The other day I was going through my freezer and I decided I needed to use up some freezer items. I have so many frozen ripe bananas and my husband is not a fan of banana bread. I also had a package of frozen butternut squash (left over from baby food days) so I decided to do a twist on the plain, old, normal banana bread. This bread adds in the sweetness of butternut squash and currants. You don't have to use butternut squash, I think any sort of squash would work. To be perfectly honest with you, I have not tried this bread. My husband took it to work for a Potluck and it went fast, so I guess people must have liked it!
4-5 ripe bananas, mashed
4 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 (12-oz) package frozen butternut squash purée (sometimes called winter squash; 1 1/2 cups), thawed
1 cup honey
1 cup white sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup dried currants or raisins(optional)
1 cup walnut pieces (optional)
powdered sugar (optional)

Yields: 2 loaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pan.
3. In a large bowl, combine mashed banana, eggs, oil, butternut squash, honey and sugar. Mix with mixer until ingredients are somewhat smooth.
4. In a sifter, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Sift into bowl with banana mixture and stir until combined.
5. Stir in currants and walnuts, if wanted.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
8. Cool loaf in the pan for 30 minutes, then you can remove it and let it cool the rest of the way on a wire rack to cool completely.
9. To make it pretty for serving, dust the top with some powdered sugar. (Which I did, but forgot to take a pic of it.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Between 3 Sisters Picture Day

Hello everyone! Hope you are all having a great weekend. I'm sure many of you are busy shopping and prepping before the Thanksgiving holiday that will be here before we know it!!

Today I wanted to write about our little photo session we had for the blog/my parents. We hadn't taken "sister pictures" since I was in 3rd grade (1995).

Yeah...

Is that cringe-worthy or what? Luckily we've all gotten a little older and I've gone through puberty since then. Seeing as that happened and we found a Groupon for a great photographer in town we thought, why not update our sister picture??

Our photographer, Adara, was so professional and did such a fantastic job making us feel comfortable. The hardest part of the whole day was deciding what we were going to wear and coordinating. You know how easy that is with women ;) I'm pretty sure my dad may have shook his head 30 different times while watching us go through different outfits, shirts, accessories and possibilities :)

So for future reference I would recommend reading up on tips about how to coordinate in family photos. Here is a great site with recommendations:


So without further ado, here are the final pictures from our Sister photoshoot:







We love the way the pictures turned out and feel like Adara did a great job capturing our smiles and our sisterly bond. Our parents also loved the pictures and after the first of the year we will work on incorporating them into the layout of the blog.

Since we had the pictures taken in a downtown area we decided to stick around afterwards and make an afternoon of it. We had a great time wandering around the shops and introducing Luci to the deliciousness of sushi.


Our fun day culminated in a red wine tasting/sleepover at
Beth's house that you can read all about here.

Our picture day turned out to be a reminder of how important it is to make time to simply enjoy each other's company. It's often difficult to make time for this and seeing the opportunity we seized it.

Sisters Wooden Box Sign


~Christi

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cookies With Carmel Frosting

I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin pie, bread, soup, but most of all cookies! This is a twist on your typical pumpkin cookies. I added in lots of spices to them and topped them off with some caramelized sugar frosting! Hope you enjoy!!

Ingredients:
For the cookies you will need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can of pumpkin puree
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves

For the frosting you will need:
1 can of Frosting (or make your own)
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
Powdered Sugar

To start, heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl cream together 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cups dark brown sugar, and 3/4 cups white sugar.
Add in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix together.
Mix in 1 can of pumpkin puree.
Add in 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon ground cloves.In a sifter, combine 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sift into bowl with pumpkin mixture and stir. Once batter is combined with flour mixture, drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Let them bake in an oven at 350 degree for 15-20 minutes.

Take cookies out of oven and let cool completely.

While cookies are cooling, start your frosting. In a pan, melt 1/2 cup butter.
Once melted, add in 3/4 cup dark brown sugar and cook until combined, reduced, and caramelized. Make sure you keep stirring this as it will scorch very fast!
In a bowl, add your canned frosting. (Yes, I am lazy.)
Once your sugar and butter mixture looks thick and combined, remove it from the heat.
Add the brown sugar and butter mixture to your canned frosting.
Combine together. Now, the frosting at this point will be sort of a glaze. This tastes great on the cookies! I, however, wanted a thicker frosting so I added in some powered sugar to thicken up the frosting. It's up to you.
Frost your cookies (sorry for the blurry pic!)
Once you have all your cookies frosted, dust with a little cinnamon.
And serve! Hope you enjoy! They were a hit at the party I attended!

~Beth


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Keeping A Dirty Home: 6 Things I Don't Clean

I love browsing on Pinterest and one of the big pins I see quite often is Martha Stewart's Cleaning Check List
It's a really nice checklist for cleaning the house, but when I read through the list, a little part of be becomes exhausted...and I begin to make up excuses not to clean. Her checklist is very thorough, and if I had time I would love to complete it all, but when actually going through the checklist I wonder who has the time to do all of this?

I am a stay at home mom, but I also work part time from home, so my time is limited. (Not to mention my 100s of hobbies I have accumulated over the years.) The last thing I want to do is spend my extra time cleaning. I think when it comes down to "wiping down the baseboards in my closet" it just seems like I have better things I could be doing with my time.

Saying this, my house is not a mess. It's really not. I will never be the person who's idea of clean is something like this:

I have developed a system over the years where after I get ready in the morning I put everything away. After dinner, we do the dishes every night. I try to vacuum my floors 1-2 times a week. I use hooks and baskets (in almost every room) to hide, organize, and hang up extra items. It's not the cleanest house, but if someone walked in they definitely wouldn't say it's the dirtiest.

With that in mind, I decided to create a list of things I honestly don't mind seeing dirty.
Here's my list and I hope you enjoy!

1. My Windows-
I love seeing the little finger prints and nose smears (the dog) on my windows. It's very fun to watch my son and my dog stand side by side looking out the window. I often wonder what they are looking at, what they are thinking, and if they can some how read each other's thoughts. I do clean my windows when I know company is coming, but on a weekly basis I don't. When I do clean them, they stay clean for an hour, at the most!

2. My Hair
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Yep, I don't mind my messy hair in the morning or afternoon. In the morning, I work in my pajamas until it's time for me to workout, so on a typical morning my hair is quite the mess! I have never been one of those women who wake up and brush their hair. I just don't seem to care that much that my hair is messy. After I fix my hair, there will no doubt be a point (usually a few hours) in which I find myself wrestling on the floor with my little guy. Ultimately, I end up having him crawl all over my head, which results in messy hair. It's not big deal, I think it's a small price to pay for some fun time together.

3. My Plants

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My plants are covered in dust, who knows how thick. Ok, I shouldn't say that, but I seriously dust my plants only when I move houses...which seems to be about once every 2 years. It's one of those things I am sure some people notice, but most don't. I have so many plants (15 in total) that I just don't have time to dust them all. They are HUGE too! My dining room looks like a jungle somewhat. So to me, if you have time to dust your plants, you are wasting precious time that could be used on something more productive in life.

4. My Garage-
I know I just wrote a blog about cleaning out my garage, and it's still somewhat organized but it's officially a mess again! Thanks in part to my sanding of the wine rack I am building. We have a working garage. We are in it all the time, making a mess, changing oil, or building something. If you have a clean garage, it's most likely you are not DIY'ers like we are, or you are just totally a clean freak!

5. My Son's Bookshelf-
This is a pic of the way my son's bookshelf looks most of the time:
He LOVES to pull out almost every single book and look through them. I love that he has a fondness of books already at such a young age. I try to pick them up at night when he goes to bed, but one the first things the does the next morning is pull them right back out. I can't help but laugh when he does this!

6. The Living Room-
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Our living room is covered in toys and I don't pick them up on a daily basis. I think it's so fun to watch my son move from toy to toy, pretending with each. He isn't old enough yet to start practicing picking up the toys (though it is something we should start soon) and once he is old enough, I am sure the room will look a little more tidy then it does now. I vacuum the room twice a week, so I will pick up they toys when I do this, but on the days I don't vacuum I just let them stay where they are. Most of the time the toys don't bother me and they stay scattered about.

That's my list of messy things you will find in my house. I think in this modern day society we have started focusing on how much we can make our house look like one of those houses in a magazine and maybe lost focus on the importance of living life the the fullest now.

So even though I would love to say this is what I dream about:
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In reality, I don't dream about having a super clean house! I would rather take extra time I have and use it to make memories with my family.
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So look around you...your house may not be perfectly clean, but you are adding extra hours to your life by not cleaning it! Those extra hours can add up to wonderful memories that will forever mark your life. And in the end, all you really have is your memories...I would rather remember mine as good times with my family then bad times cleaning.

~Beth

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