So, I'm in San Francisco with The Big Guy for a conference and the wives have a shopping day on the itinerary for one day that the men have a meeting. They take us to an expensive, boutique-lined street and drop us off to shop and lunch the afternoon away. Many of the women scattered to hit the high-priced boutiques and 3 of us lagged behind and made a plan.
We escaped the high priced street and hoofed our way 20 minutes away to Presidio, a great place for consignment and discount decor shops. More our speed. We scampered along, giggling like three girls who had just skipped class when right in the middle of the sidewalk lay the coolest branch!
We looked at it for a bit, marveling at the pods and leaves and the graceful curve then set it back down and walked away. Soon, I turned back and snatched it up and carried it down the street. My friend laughed and shook her head and told me to stuff it in my purse so the ends stuck out like those ladies in Paris coming from the flower shop. So I did.
I can't tell you how many people stopped me to ask if my branch was real and where did I buy it! I stuck that baby right into my suitcase and brought it right back to Pa. I fumigated it, and deconstructed my whole mantle to work it into my decor:
So, this is my spare mantle for Autumn that highlights my favorite San Francisco souvenir. Want to show me your own Fall mantle? I have a link up below, just because you love to show off and I love to peek inside your homes!
So, you get to see what I came up with (better late than never!) I needed a lightweight wreath for the glass door leading down to my basement.
Ceiling medallion (you can find these at home improvement stores, but an old one from a salvage place would be cool!) Spray paint (I used a gloss) Stain Rag Ribbon or in my case an old scarf for hanging
I spray painted my medallion.
Brushed stain into all the nooks and crannies.
Wiped most of the stain away with a rag.
Then I pulled an old scarf through the hole and tied with a bow.
I hung it from a clear wreath holder and it's the perfect, lightweight wreath!
For years I've heard about the Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista - the Big Guy couldn't wait to taste another one after all these years. I was so intrigued by the bartender's method of making the coffee drinks I had to pull out my video camera to capture it! Watch the famous Buena Vista bartender concocting an Irish Coffee - the first of it's kind in the United States!
I'm home from my trip to San Francisco happy and with a head full of inspiration! I'll show you some stuff my trip inspired later this week. In the meantime, check out some of my favorite links from last week's party:
Blogger is being a bugger this morning and won't let me upload photos, so I'm going to mess with it a bit more. In the meantime, I'll rerun a great fall recipe from the past. Isn't there something so warm and cozy about pumpkin?!?
I love to pull out a handwritten recipe from my file and set to work cooking something that brings warm memories of a moment in time.
I was reading Heather's blog, Mindless Junque, (my "friend" who doesn't know I exist) last week and she mentioned making Pumpkin Crisp. It reminded me of something tucked away in my recipe file for Pumpkin Cobbler, a recipe handed down from my Step-Mom's Mom. I decided it was the perfect dessert with the Pan Seared Pork Chops with Apple Chutney I was planning for dinner.
So, without further ado, here is...
Dora's Pumpkin Cobbler
1 box yellow cake mix 1/2 cup melted butter 1 egg
Mix, and reserve 1 cup. Spread the remaining mixture in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan.
16 oz can pumpkin 5 oz can evaporated milk 2 eggs 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Mix ingredients together and pour over the "crust" already in pan.
Mix topping ingredients and dot over the top of the pumpkin filling (I like more coverage on top, so I take clumps of the dough and press in irregular, flattened shapes to place over the pumpkin mixture)
Bake 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. YUM!
I was sitting on the floor with my dog, deep in a discussion about how cute she was the other day while rubbing her tummy and realized I was babbling a string of words I use only with her "ohyourjustababylookatmycutelittlegirliloveyouyousillylittledoggiemybaaaabyyyy..." She wagged her tail and got worked into a frenzy of happiness. Her name is Pipa (named long before the princess' sister came onto the scene) and we love her.
Throughout the day I noticed we have our own little language and that most people have their own secret way of talking to their dogs. My friends can ask their dogs to do something and use totally different words (one of my friends talks to her dog like it's a human, totally normal conversation). Let me translate:
Look at the baby! Good morning!
Wanna go out? Let's go outside
Wanna treat? Snack time
Bye Bye! Time to get in the car
Wanna take a walk? Well, you know that one.
C'mon! Come back in the house
Do your business. Poo, please!
Where's your cheeseburger? Let's play
UH! Stop barking!
Night night. Time to get in your crate for bed
It's Feedback Friday...
So, what is your secret doggie (or kitty) language?
Another Pinterest housekeeping "pin" that has been on my list is tackling my funky smelling dishwasher. I talked to my mom, read some blogs, and found this pin about using Kool Aid for cleaning the inside and I came up with this plan of attack.
Gather up some supplies, sister!
1 package of unsweetened lemonade drink mix Vinegar An old toothbrush Turkey baster Bucket of hot, soapy water and a rag
1. Pull out the racks and clean the wheels and tracks with hot soapy water with vinegar added.
2. Pull out the bottom contraptions, the screen, the trap, the water squirter thing...they all come out. Taking a photo like this ahead of time can come in handy in case you are unsure of how to get it all back together!
Here is how it looks with all the pieces removed:
3. Scrub all the pieces with hot, soapy vinegar water. You may need to use the toothbrush to get some of the scale off around openings and to clean the gunky screen. Use a toothpick to clear the holes of the screen are too gunked up.
The part that squirts the water actually opens up with side clips. I removed the top and bottom one, they just popped right off the fitting. I actually found food inside there, too, after I opened them!
4. Using the turkey baster, suck all the water from the trap/drain at the bottom and look for pieces of food, labels, toothpicks(?) blocking the drain in there. Scrub the whole thing with your toothbrush and hot, soapy water.
5. Pay close attention to the rubber gasket around the door, the soap compartment, and the bottom hinged area. Scrub both with hot, soapy water. Lots of stink came from there.
6. Replace all the parts then fill the soap dispenser with a package of unsweetened lemonade drink mix and run for a full cycle.
All clean and lemony fresh!
Do you have any other tips for cleaning a dishwasher?
I saw a pretty Toilet Paper Holder in Pinterest and decided it was something I needed! I mean, how ugly is a plain roll of toilet paper, people?!
I started with a piece of fabric measuring 22x10 inches and sewed a sleeve, right sides together long-ways, leaving one short end un-sewn (I forgot to take a photo).
Next, I turned the sleeve right side out and pressed, then sewed the opening closed.
This gives you a sleeve measuring 21x5 inches, as shown here. I top stitched to make it pretty, then added 10 inch ribbons to each corner (be sure to burn the edges so they don't unravel!) and threaded beads onto the end.
Tie the ribbons from each end together to form a loop for the paper roll to sit in.
Then tie the ribbons onto the side bars of your toilet paper holder.
I will be flying across the country today and I will be thinking of Flight 93 and all the victims of that day until I touch down. Remember 9/11 today. Talk about it. Share your stories with your children. We must never forget.
Okay, I think everyone's kids are back to school at this point. You have the house to yourself. How do you feel? I'm sad for a few weeks, to be honest. I guess it was a little easier for me this year to fall back into a routine and that made me even sadder! I don't want to get used to not having them around, but that's the job of a mother, right? I'm supposed to raise them to not need me.
Have you listened to the ABBA song that leaves me with a knot in my throat every year? No? Click here. (ABBA? Sentimental? Ridiculous, right?)
So, school has started and it's Feedback Friday...
How do you feel the first week of school - Relief? Sadness? Both?
I have been Pinning housekeeping tips over the past few weeks to get me motivated to catch up on all the stuff that fell to the wayside while I was busy playing with my boys all summer!
I loved this game plan for Speed Cleaning Your Car in Real Simple Magazine. I have to say, my car was used a LOT this summer and I only cleaned it once! Yikes!
Got 15 minutes? Go!
Minute 1: Toss items that shouldn’t be in the car into a small bin. Throw trash into a garbage bag. Spritz the cup holders with glass cleaner and let sit.
Minutes 2 and 3: Using the wipes, clean the dashboard, center console, inside door pockets, steering wheel, and gearshift. Spray air-conditioner treatment into the air vents below the windshield and let sit.
Minutes 4 and 5: Clean leather seats with a few wipes. (Seats that are upholstered will get vacuumed later.)
Minutes 6 and 7: Wrap a wipe around the end of a flat-head screwdriver, and run it along the buttons and switches on the dashboard. Wipe out the cup holders with paper towels.
Minutes 8 through 10: Spray glass cleaner on paper towels and wipe all the windows, including the windshield, sunroof, and rear window.
Minute 11: Remove the floor mats and whack them against each other to dislodge any dirt.
Minutes 12 through 14: On the driveway, vacuum the floor mats with the bare hose of a hand vac for maximum power (do not attach a tool). Vacuum the seat upholstery and foot wells, shifting the front seats fully forward, then back, to hit every spot.
Minute 15: Replace the mats and return the seats to their original positions. Open all the doors and let fresh air blow through.