Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What we've been up to!

the beach.....
the park....
the air show...
Basically we have just been enjoying the sunshine and family time!!

We have been quite the busy bees at the jackson house hold! It has been an adjustment to staying home full time, more than I thought it would be actually! I LOvE it, but there are days when I feel like I should be doing more...I miss working....but I know I only have a few short years with my babies and I am going to enjoy them! And just because I am not working it doesn't mean the house has to be PERFECT! That is also hard for me...while it is always picked up and clean there are moments when there is clutter and a few dishes in the sink!!! :)
We love Portsmouth and made such wonderful friendships here!! I love being able to walk to so many things, I love the local farmers market on the corner, I love the amAZing restaurants up the street, I love our neighborhood and LOVE love our neighbors! I love our local seafood delivery lady!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Living room! (future....future...project!)

Couch slip cover and throw pillows

window treatments...
coffee table and side table (color... distressed ...not fabric!!)

Side chair slip cover...cant you just see it!! So excited!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Window treatments!

possibly this material for the roman shades???

Option 1.. ticking stripes roll up..
option 2 roman shades..
So my monthly project is making custom window treatments for the house! We have huge beautiful windows, that no curtains fit! So I am going to attempt to make them (with the help of my mother!! ) but I need some input...on our kitchen bay what type?? I will post pictures of ideas and please vote on what you like best...or advise different styles!

Weekly menu

Monday-grilled pork chops, mashed potatoes, salad and veggie of some kind
Tuesday-grilled steaks, rice, salad (got a great deal on some yummy steaks at Sams this weekend)
Wednesday-Kung pao chicken with broccoli, rice and salad
Thursday-grilled panini with homemade french bread and apple walnut salad
Friday-french bread pizza & oatmeal pie (instead of popcorn!! )
Saturday-1st WVU football game and friends are coming over-brats and saurkraut buffalo chicken dip...umm
Sunday-grilled chicken sandwiches with grilled veggies
So far for my shopping Sams $106( meat, chicken, broccoli, blueberries, watermelon, and other such things)
Grocery store 67$ so I am pretty excited about that
Local produce stand $14

Pancakes and temper-tantrums

wow it is only 750am and I am ready for a nap!! So I did again get up with Chris, made the bed when I heard miss Mia...so I took a quick shower while the hubs watched Mia as she banged on the shower door, or threw herself onto the floor in absolute disgust that I didn't take her in with me...THEN Eli woke up, Mia pooped, made breakfast, cleaned up breakfast, Mia threw several more tantrums...and we are off to the grocery store!!
Mia is my challenging and dramatic child! I know that this will be an asset when she is an adult, but I worry about her teenage years!! Chris and I laugh that, thank GOD she is cute! :) I am trying to start thinking about Christmas and what we are doing for the kiddos! I am excited about it, although sad to think we will be so far from family at Christmas....I need some kind of craft project!
Eli is going to starting our preschool/homeschool curriculum in a few weeks and i still have a few things to complete, but am really excited about it. We have set up several play groups and he is in soccer and we are thinking about swimming soon.
I am loving the change in my life of just having to focus on my family and my house but at times it feels lonely or overwhelming. Being able to focus on tasks and projects helps me stay focused and feel like I am accomplishing tangible things! The Hubs was wonderful enough this weekend to take the kids to the park so I could have some alone time! It was bliss! It is amazing how much you can accomplish with a quiet house!
We are planing a trip to WV to visit family either this weekend or next. I am not sure we will be able to make it this weekend with all we have going on and that makes me sad since we will miss my bother's engagement dinner...but we will see them soon!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Well we had a busy and productive, but still fun weekend! I am super tired and want to just sit down have a glass of wine and relax!! Here are some pictures of our..dance party, bread making, backyard planning, shopping, mexican eating, house cleaning...weekend!! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend project

So for this weekend we are attempting to make our small outdoor side yard more usable! WE want to put in a small patio right off the kitchen, plant a few plants so when I look out the kitchen window I don't shutter! Well with Miss Mia I am not sure how much we will accomplish but I have positive thoughts! IT is going to be a beautiful weekend...
I also hope to get some bread baking done, I am attempting english muffins...of course house cleaning, laundry and Chris needs some new work clothes. We also like to try and take the kids somewhere fun...hmm I may have put too much on my weekend chore list!! Oh well...I project at a time!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Yummy granola

Easy Homemade Granola
2 cups rolled oats..1/2 cup flax seed meal..1/4 wheat germ..1 teaspoon cinnamon...1 teaspoon salt..
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Canola oil..1/4 cup honey..
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar..1 tsp vanilla extract..1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds..1/3 cup dried cranberries.. .1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the oats with cinnamon and salt (
I added nuts and wheat germ and flax seed here, next time I would omit the salt)

In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until completely combined.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them. Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the nuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Return the baking sheet to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool completely.

Sprinkle the dried cranberries and chocolate chips over the granola and use your hands to transfer it to an airtight container. The granola will keep for 1 week.

PURE Enjoyment!! :)

Daily task

Today's goal is to have more compassion in my life. According to several studies the more compassion you show the higher gamma brain waves your brain makes, causing more inner peace and calmness...I know I could sure use some more calmness! I tend to be quick to judge and become annoyed and my GOAL is to try and step back and possibly view the world and people differently, possibly something else is going on with the rude check out lady at the grocery store and so one.
So I have now gotten up for the past week with Chris, but unfortunately not been able to have my 'mommy time'...since Miss Mia is also waking up with me.....but I am TRYING to appreciate the time with her since she is growing up so super fast...
TASKS for today
1. make homemade granola and perhaps some bars
2. make homemade pizza crust for our Friday night pizza and movie(pick out movie!!!)
3. buy new pot for popcorn making!
4. buy candy thermometer
5. buy big bowl for bread making popcorn
6. pick up new plants/hanging pots from lady on craigslist
7. play date at park
8. make Eli some "choco-chip" whole wheat pancakes....
wow just writing this list is making me tired...
well off to start the day...will post pictures of how the granola turns out!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baby bottles...

Mia is deeply in love with her bottles! Being a breast-fed baby I was worried how she would do with them at all...but once I stopped at she succumbed to the idea she LOVED them...now we need to get rid of them!! We are down to one at night, but she isn't too keen with taking milk out of a cup..in fact she will do everything BUT drink from the cup! She drinks water and juice without a problem..so this may lead to some very unhappy night times! But aren't they cute!!

Farmer's Market & Spaghetti sauce

We found a wonderful local farmer's market yesterday and loaded up on fresh veggies and herbs! I love to make homemade spaghetti sauce so I decided to make some today.

we used zucchini, yellow squash, onions, bell peppers, spinach (I had cut and frozen some from a previous dinner) fresh basil, and parsley. Then I used hunts natural tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes I would love to have home grown tomatoes and make my own sause, but this works ok..

first heat some oil, I use my dutch oven it adds such yummy flavors
Then I saute the onions and garlic, I will be blending the sauce so I don't worry about size
next I chop up the veggies and throw them in..again I don't worry about size of veggies
ohh such yummy smells!
Then I add the sauce and herbs, bring to a boil and then simmer sometimes for about an hour
now it's ready for blending
I love my emersion blender, it makes this step so easy! I used to mix 1/2 at a time in a blender!
The sauce seems to thick so I added 4 more cans of tomato sauce
I usually love to use mason jars, but since we have just moved I don't have any except one...

So I used plastic bags ( and will re-use for next time) and made 7 bags+dinner tonight of 4-6cups....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Frugal girl blog

I am trying to put myself and the kids on a more productive schedule, I would like to add a baking day and keep the house clean while working on school work with Eli and playing more! So today I found a wonderful blog...and spent WAY too much time there thefrugalgirl.com! LOVE it! I love that she gets up and has her own quiet time that includes her blog. I am going to TRY and get up with Chris and start my day dressed with some quiet reflection.
Today we are going to pick some blueberries for our blueberry oatmeal muffins, and some apples for applesause. We are excited!Here are some of my "frugal" baskets, I purchased all of my plants for $1 or less on Lowes discont rack and they are all doing great!