Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This Is the Post Where I Cram A Whole Bunch of Stuff Into One Post

 Sorry I couldn't be more creative with a post title.  Really, I think it's the best description for what this post is going to be...a mish mash of a whole bunch of stuff.

I've been feeling really lazy about blogging lately.  I just can't seem to get my head in the game.  But, let's get started, shall we?  And, remember, it's pretty random.

1.  I'm STUCK in my weight loss.  Part of it is my own fault.  I've been using weekends as an excuse to indulge a bit more than usual.  It's just really hard to eat healthy all the time.  But, it's also true that I definitely feel the difference when I'm not eating as well.  Anyway, I've been going back and forth with the same 3-4 pounds and I just can't seem to get past the 165 lb. mark.

2.  I am still running.  Well, I should clarify that I've run about a total of 4 times since I started last week.  It would have been 5 times, but yesterday when I went out for my run I experienced the same problem that I experience when I...ahem...cough or laugh too hard - so much so that I turned around and came back.  Thanksgiving's not that far away & running a 5K is seeming more and more of a challenge I'm not sure I'm up for.

3.  Have I shown you what my kitchen/dining area is looking like since we got our new floors?  I'm slowly working on some improvements. 

My refinished chairs are in place.  I'm still working on my parent's old dining room table.  I'm almost done but keep running into set backs.  I had hoped to have pictures this week.  But, I'm afraid you'll have to wait a little longer.  (P.S. This picture doesn't show our radiator back in place.  My husband was kind enough to clean it and repaint it before plumbing it back in.)

I'm showing this picture because the lower cabinets that used to be beside the stove are now out beside the refrigerator.  We need to cut the counter-top to size to fit it's new location.  That project is still on hold.  I also wanted to show you this because my goal is to switch the locations of the fridge and stove.    Oh, and I still want to paint my cabinets...probably an off white or cream.

Woops.  This picture is blurry, but here you can see our new island.  I think I told you all about that here but I hadn't shown you a picture of how it looks in the house.

Also, I found these stools at a place called Burlington Coat Factory...actually they have a whole bunch of discount home goods items, clothes, etc.  These were the floor model, the last they had in black so I was able to get them for a discount.  You can also see that we are still living with an unfinished wall where the stove currently is.  It's been that way since we did the floors.

What you can't see in this picture is that there are overhead cabinets the stretch from the stove across the island.  Since the island is a true island now and you can go around all sides (as opposed to beforehand with our cabinets, they stretched all the way to the stove) I would like to take out the upper cabinets so we can actually walk around it.

4.  We made & canned applesauce this past weekend.  Actually to be completely accurate my husband did the majority of the work.  I helped out a bit, but this was really his project.  And, I'm so amazed because he can work so fast!  A project that would have taken me all day and into the night took him a total of about 5 hours.  And he had the boys involved!   

The following pictures from the day's event will show a bit more accurately what my kitchen looks like on a normal basis....well used!

Note those upper cabinets.  They really need to go.

Boys taking a break...sitting on the radiator I mentioned.  My children are constantly moving around our kitchen chairs.  Do yours do that?

I think we had a total of 24 quarts and 8 pints.  

The man responsible for the day's success!  Good looking AND good in the kitchen.  What else could I ask for?

5.  I hope you haven't gotten tired of my ramblings and all my pictures yet.  Because I've got more.  This week I made Pumpkin Yum Yum Cupcakes.  If you've never had Yum Yum Cupcakes before you must have them!  I will post the recipe I have for the original Yum Yum Cupcake in another post (Really, how much can I cram in one post?!)

But, this is a variation....

I'm sure that by now just about everyone has heard about the super simple recipe you can use to make pumpkin cupcakes.  Take any box cake mix in your choice of flavor (I used spice) and a can of pumpkin and mix them together.  And, that's it!  No additonal ingredients.

The batter will be a bit stiff.  Go ahead and put that into your lined cupcake pans.

Now for the Yum Yum part.  Take one 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese, 1 egg, and about 1/2 cup of sugar.  Beat that until smooth.

Then stir in about a cup of chocolate chips.

Dollop that mixture on top of your pumpkin mix.  This recipe is actually for 24 cupcakes.  But, I only had 16 liners & I really don't like cleaning muffin tins.  So, I just made mine extra big.  The boys appear to approve.

Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Yum!

6.  I talked in this post about the fact that I love raising my boys in the country.  Well, I suppose the same holds true for my animals.  What would my dog & cat do if they didn't have the ability to explore as they please?  I might get some people mad at me on this one....but I don't think animals are meant to be kept inside all the time.  They need some freedom.  It's harder and harder for folks to do though as our homes & lives push in closer and closer to each other.

Abbey was exploring the field behind our house.  Notice the black dot?  She started running toward me as soon as I came out side.

And, she's still running.

Good dog Abbey!

7.  My last thought for the day....My husband recently bought a tractor.  No.  We're not farmers and we don't live on a farm.  And, yes, his dad already has several tractors (my in-laws also do not live on a farm).  But, tractors are in their blood...as they seem to be for most of the men in this family.  And, John really wanted a tractor of his own to tinker with.  It's an old Deutz (the tractor of choice for our family).  I couldn't tell you the year....50's maybe?  But, my husband is just as proud as can be.

Thanks for sticking with me.  I know it was an uber-long post.  I hope you have a great day!


  1. What is it about (some) men and tractors? Jamey wants one, too, and WE don't have enough land to warrant one. I told him that if he buys a tractor, I'm going to buy one of those mammoth industrial-size mixers. Just to prove my point:-).

    I love seeing the inside of your house- your island is great!!

  2. I love your super long post. :)

  3. Thanks for the great pumpkin cupcake recipe ... I can NOT wait to make them!! Yum Yum!!

  4. I love getting projects done, the kitchen looks great. And I love the photo of the apples in the sink.

  5. Random posts with lots of goodies are the best!
    Love that island and those chairs from Burlington are awesome. Don't ya love good deals?
    Those apples look so delicious.:)
    have a happy day karen

  6. Well Karen, when does your mother get to taste some of your cupcakes and the apple sauce John and the boys made. Like your barstools, they look comfortable. Its good to see John and the boys working together making the applesauce.
    Good job John, Wyatt, Edison, Charlie and Joseph!

  7. Loving all the updates. I am so proud of you for running and making your own applesauce! Woo! I have similar problems when I run, oh my does it drive me crazy. I don't plan on running again until the baby is no longer nursing, the "girls" are just too big but I am going to talk to my doctor about some solutions, it just drives me batty. Love the island and new stools!

  8. I have to make those cupcakes now!


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