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She’s crafty!

I have always had trouble finding the perfect tool to clean the counters with. I always loved sponges, but those commercials with all the bacteria dwelling within them terrified me! I then moved to paper towels, but I am easily influenced by advertisements and I felt I was creating my own garbage dump (exaggeration was necessary).

I knew that I loved using cloth hand towels, but hated spending the money on something to clean counters with and also the towels never washed or dried well.  SO instead of buying hand towels or just not cleaning the counters (which I had contemplated) I found an old white towel and cut it up. That’s right folks. I cut up the towel. I cut it in squares – literally big enough for my hand to fit on and started wiping the counters off.  They worked. It was true love – well as much as I can love the idea of a utensil created to clean. When I was finished I just threw them in the washer and moved on to my next towel; also, because it came from a towel and I made them so small I had a ridiculous amount of hand towels.

The love faded. After washing the cloths they began leaving little white fillament all over the counters and everywhere else. Sad. My wonderful invention was fraying apart. LIGHT BULB! I got out my handy dandy sewing machine that I can literally only sew a straight line with and hemmed up the edges. Now they are cute, inexpensive, and totally efficient!

Check it out! SO cute!

Cute

Picture 201

Sorry that one is a little stained, but they were so cheap I can either ignore the stains or throw it away.

I love this Do It Yourself project because with DIY, if I can do it ANYONE can!

Supplies:

An old towel

Scissors

Sewing Machine

String

Instructions:

1. Cut towel into desired shape and size

2. Hem up the ends of the towel  (if you are feeling really pokey you can add some fun stiches)

3.  ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is about as crafty as I get!

We have curtains!

Much movement going on in our little gray house! We have finally put up curtains.  We have rented for so long so I was never able…eh hem…motivated enough to put up curtains.

A few weeks ago we ventured to IKEA and bought some Ofelia Rund curtains. At such a great price we fought the college IKEA traffic to get them. WOO that place was packed. We have found a way to weave through the entire store so we can literally run in and out – with a cinnamon roll in hand!

Check out the before and after. I LOVE them. Please let me know what you think. These curtains will be going up in EVERY room.

BEFORE:

Before

Before

After:

After

After

YAY! I’ll keep you updated with the rooms that more curtains move into.

Saving Money Left and Right

I am not actually sure if this saved money, but we didn’t have to buy wasp killer we used what we had one hand…firecrackers.

That’s right folks in order to save some cash and get some entertainment we blew up a wasp nest with a firecracker.

The family of wasps:

Mr. and Mrs. Wasp

Mr. and Mrs. Wasp

Contemplating what a Black Cat (the name of the firecracker) would do to this home:

Thinking hard

Thinking hard

Fashioning a way to attach the Black Cat to the nest:

Picture 187

The Black Cat in the wasp nest:

Sorry guys

Sorry guys

And the result:

Picture 196

I feel a little bad -I gave them a name. I have got to quit doing that!

The Kayaks Have a Home!

Not only do the Sykes have a home, but the kayaks have a new little nook in the garage. The kayaks have used many random things as a stand.  They had spent much time outside and endured much damage, but now they are cozy in their home.  AND it will be super easy to put them on the truck – too bad the summer is coming to an end, BUT I do sense a kayaking trip in the near future.

While I was sick on Saturday boy spent all morning creating his own dolly/ pully system in the garage. We had looked around for a system that would work for the kayaks in the garage, but could only find mega expensive prices for the yaks. We looked a little closer at the systems and they all consisted of the same thing: pullys and rope.  We could buy that at Home Depot. So we did. We bought a bunch of pullys and Greg made his own system to hang the kayaks in the garage.  The grand total….$30. Awesome! BLOW IT OUT YOUR HOLE AQUASLINGS (this was the company that was charging $60 for just one kayak)!

Check it out:

Welcome home! Picture 180

Picture 181

Not only do the kayaks have a home, but the cars can now park in the garage. YAY! I really feel like this house is ours now – we have a place to park our cars.

Lavender Woes!

After perusing Design Sponge I am mourning the lack of Lavender growth in my life! WHY WON’T IT GROW!!! I have tried planting directly in the ground. I have tried in a tiny greenhouse – in a boat and in soap…OK not really the last few places, but you get the idea.

Please read this wonderful blog post and mourn with me that I cannot have lavender lemonade or a beautiful smelling plant as I walk in my front door.

Lavender Lemonade

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas

Soup and some gingerale

Soup and some gingerale

This has been titled with a “We Might Be Giants” song to celebrate summer. In an effort to allow the summer to live on I made summer minestrone soup last night. It is chocked full of summer veggies that will no longer be fresh in a few weeks.

Summer brings many wonderful things including slower work hours. For some reason, may it be kids on vacation or adults desire to still have a summer vacation, the summer hours are a bit more relaxed. And as fall is approaching I see less and less of these relaxed hours. Not only do we have a slower work day, but summer also brings amazing veggies.

The recipe is a Rachel Ray recipe. Rachel Ray and my husband actually taught me how to cook, so I am very fond of RR (as well as my husband). This soup is easy and it will look very odd while you are a brewin’, but I promise nothing but fresh deliciousness.

I will attach a link to the recipe and also show the recipe below and show how I altered the recipe a little.

Summer Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 small or 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 pound green beans, cut into thirds (a generous handful)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth (32 ounces)
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup tarragon leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 2 teaspoons grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • Crusty bread, for passing around the table
Preparation

In a deep skillet or soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and toast for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and green beans; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are softened, 8-10 minutes. Add the wine and boil for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the scallions and cook until the orzo is al dente, about 3 minutes.

While the soup is working, in a food processor, puree the basil, cheese, parsley, tarragon, pine nuts, garlic, lemon peel and lemon juice. Scrape down the sides and then, with the motor running, pour in the remaining 1/3 cup EVOO. Also in the food process add 1 cup of the broth from your cooking soup. Season with salt and pepper. Add pesto mix to the soup (this is where my recipe alters a bit).

Divide the soup among four bowls. Serve with the bread.

Either way you make the soup it is delicious and full of wonderful summer veggies.

Summer Minestrone Soup

Summer Minestrone Soup

Lastly, a little science lesson.