Today I took Daisy and the girls to the dog park.
There was standing, muddy water.
Dogs jumped and rolled in the standing muddy water.
Muddy dogs jumped on me.
Daisy avoided me.
Halle got stuck in a tree.
It was lovely being outside.
So, on the first Fun Friday of the new year I thought I’d write about some fun bargains I’ve picked up fairly recently.
First up is this fabulous lamp-
I should back up for a bit of back story. The weekend of Trav’s birthday we (all of the Buttons including Daisy and Amanda’s boyfriend, Daniel) headed to Birmingham to have a late Christmas with my parents and also to make sure they were okay since my dad had been in the hospital and my mom was sick. It was kind of a lot to deal with. And putting a birthday party, Christmas and hospital stay in the same sentence is weird but we’d already planned the party. Anyway, after we’d established that everything was okay and were heading back home, I asked my mom if she had any end tables that she didn’t want anymore. Which she did and was kind enough to give to me. I’m not posting pictures of that yet because I haven’t decided how to refinish it. For now it holds this lovely lamp- which was quite the bargain.
A couple of weeks ago I decided that a shopping trip with my girls was exactly what we needed. We planned to go to Target (x2 since there are 2 in town), the mall, Pier One (for me since the girls hate that store), and TJ Maxx. I’m not sure at what point we ran out of steam but it was before we’d hit the mall. Chloe and I were tired but my little powder keg of energy (Halle) still wanted her mall trip. I appeased her by offering to go to American Signature Furniture instead- it’s one of her favorite places. As we looked all over the store, and I do mean *all over*, I noticed that there were quite a bit of items with 75% off tags. I didn’t pay much attention to any of it because I didn’t plan on buying anything. A little later the most gorgeous sunset I’ve seen in a while caught my eye. I gasped and pointed it out to the girls and we walked over to the window for a closer look- and I stood right next to a beautiful, mercury glass lamp that had a 75% off tag on it. I looked at the price tag and even though I hate math I knew that 75% off of $100 is $25- SOLD! I’m not sure if American Signature is still having that clearance sale but if your in the market for lamps or accessories you might want to check it out.
The moral of the story here is that one should always take time to appreciate a sunset.
Next up is a fabulous quilt-
I found this a while ago, maybe in autumn? I was shopping at Target and happened upon a clearance end cap where this lovely quilt was marked down from $79.99 to $23.98! It’s king size and we have a queen size bed but we’ve used a king size comforter for a few years and it’s been just what we needed for sleeping harmony- since Travis tends to hog the covers. It also solved the problem we have every winter where our room looks like we’re a couple of poor college students huddled under whatever old comforter we drag out of the closet. This keeps us nice and toasty since I put it under our current comforter and it keeps me cool when the weather is warmer since I can take the comforter off the bed and not be embarrassed about it.
As an added bonus the girls love it too.
January is bargain season, happy hunting!
Today I’m posting a few of my favorites from Pinterest. Like this lovely slipcovered headboard.
This turquoise would be fun in Chloe or Halle’s room.
I love the pattern on this headboard.
I don’t actually even remember pinning this one but apparently I was in a super fancy mood.
I’m mostly a jeans and t-shirt sort of gal but I think that every girl occasionally likes to slip into a little black dress, pumps, and red lipstick. This is the bedroom version of that.
So, out of the four do you have any favorites? Today my favorite is #4 but that could change tomorrow.
In one of Halle’s recent homeschool lessons they talked about discovering ancient civilizations and archaeology. The activity that accompanied the lesson suggested that I get some sand, dump it in the backyard and bury some household items for my young explorer to discover.
I quickly decided that was the most ridiculous activity ever.
I mean, kudos to the mom that doesn’t mind running to a garden store to pick up a 50 pound bag of sand, is thrilled at the prospect of having a sand pile in the backyard for all of the neighborhood cats to discover and is completely fine burying her can opener outside.
I’m not that girl.
I did like the idea though and came up with something that was more practical for us. I used a Costco sized (and super cheap) box of salt that I had on hand, a rubbermaid container with a lid, and small toys.
When I put everything together I explained to Halle what an archaeologist does. Then we came up with a story about the ancient city of Fritata that once was located in the jungle but got swallowed up by the desert leaving behind their treasures for us to discover. Then as we uncovered each item we imagined what they were made from and what they might have been used for.
It might have gotten a bit silly.
Then we took pictures and it got a bit hammy 🙂
We discovered treasures.
Then we took them back to our camp and dusted and cataloged them.
Then we rejoiced over our finds and decided that Halle’s picture should hang in a museum next to them.
We did this activity again today because Halle loves it and also because she’d rather do anything if it gets her out of doing math. And I realized that as she begged me to tell her a story about the ancient civilization of Bajunga that this is the most fun for her because we spend time together making up stories.
That’s what homeschool is about for us.
I love to read magazines and they’re so full of good ideas that I also hate to get rid of them- much to the dismay of Travis and Amanda. I subscribed to Martha Stewart Living a while back and found a recipe for a plum skillet cake that looked uh-mazing. So I saved it- for two years.
I’m partial to anything baked in a skillet- for a couple of reasons. When I was in high school I made a pineapple upside down cake in my mom’s cast iron skillet and I loved it. I don’t remember whether or not anyone else did but I was on quite a pineapple kick for a while. I also love skillet cakes because they aren’t fussy- the ingredients list is small and they’re really hard to mess up. Which is good because after I got all of the ingredients out I decided to measure my skillet and realized that it was 2 inches bigger in diameter than what was called for. Oops.
So I did what any good baker that hates math would do- I doubled the recipe. I mean, I could have (tried to) figure the volume and use the geometry skills that I don’t possess to figure it out but I just wanted to eat plum cake. And what could be better than plum cake times two?
So, I mixed up some yummy things in my Kitchen Aid. Which for this recipe isn’t remotely necessary but it’s already sitting on the counter and I’d have to dig for my hand mixer. I’m also a least resistance sort of gal.
Then I let Chloe and Halle arrange the plums on the batter. I think it looks like a flower.
Then we baked….for a bit longer than suggested because I’d doubled it. Then I had to cover it with aluminum foil because the cake needed a bit more time but the top was getting too brown. Ahem. If I’d been really smart I could have just used a cake pan with the right diameter- but I wanted to use a skillet, dangit!
All’s well that ends well…
Mmmmm. It was so.good. The cake is lightly sweet and the plums are beautifully tart. All of the Buttons loved it and have requested it again. I think I’ll make it the next time we have overnight guests because it goes great with coffee.
I’ll give you the recipe and you can follow Martha’s recipe instead of my shenanigans. It will probably work better that way.