The Snowball Effect

Have you ever read the story “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”? It is a cute tale about a mouse who wants a cookie and a child who tends to his every need. To me it sounds a bit like being a mother. Here is a sample of the story…

if you give a mouse a cookie

 

“If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk.  When you give him the milk, he’ll probably ask you for a straw.  When he’s finished, he’ll ask you for a napkin.”

Sound familiar? To me it totally sounds like a mom taking care of her kids. You do one thing and it just keeps snowballing until the end of the story when all that mouse wants is a cookie again.

I think I might write a book about a mom trying to do housework. It will be called “If You Give a Mom a Vacuum”. It will go something like this…

If you give a mom a vacuum she will try to clean your bedroom floor.

She will notice that your floor is covered in junk and needs to be cleaned before it can be vacuumed.

She will pick up all the toys and start to put them away.

She will then notice that half the stuff in your room you never play with anymore.

Mom will get the great idea that she needs to get rid of your toys by having a yard sale.

If she decides to have a yard sale she will have to go through the entire house getting rid of things that no one has touched for years.

While going through old books and blenders she will find a photo album and need to get distracted for a good half hour looking at pictures of herself in her youth.

When she snaps back to reality she will have noticed that she has made a bigger mess than she originally started out with.

She will become angry and may say a few choice words.

After much mumbling and cursing she will have amassed a large pile of things that she is ready to sell much to her families dismay.

By this time mom is exhausted and will probably need a glass of wine.

When mom sits down with her wine she will suddenly realise she never vacuumed your floor.

The cycle begins again.

The End.

I don’t know about you but I think it will be a best seller!

Any other moms feel that this is what happens to them, or is it just me? You try to complete one simple chore and the next thing you know you have done a zillion other things except the one thing you set out to accomplish?

Maybe that’s why moms are so tired all the time.

 

 

Nearing the finish line

The office is soooooo close to being finished! I can not begin to tell you how excited that makes me. I haven’t been able to post anything in the last week because Chris and I have been busy reorganizing the office (which of course leads into reorganizing the rest of the house), painting filing cabinets, and making this HUGE desk. Having such a large work space is so wonderful. Thank you to my amazing husband for creating this masterpiece.

Here are some pictures of the office turning from a nightmare into a dream work space

So close to being complete!

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The desk is 10 feet long so I had to take the picture from outside and I still couldn’t fit the whole thing in the frame!

Chris painted the filing cabinets white and bought new silver handles for them. The drawers looked like this before.

Pretty terrible! Chris will be building a small platform to raise them up a few inches. That way they can support the weight of the desk. I was thinking of putting some kind of fancy stencil on the front but I think I like how it is now.

The chairs were a steal! I got them for $11 marked down from $60! I would like to thank my mother in law Clare for introducing me to the wonderful world of Home Sense which is where I found this bargain.

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I wish I had picture of how Chris put this together but of course I forgot to take some. Basically Chris got three 10 foot pieces of walnut and glued them together. He then sent it through a planer to make it nice and smooth.  He oiled it up 3 or 4 times and then gave it a nice polish with some bees wax. All in all it took only a few days to complete it. I have said it about a zillion times in the last few days and I think it needs to be said again…I am thrilled with how this has turned out.

To finish the space off we will be heading to Ikea to get a cabinet to hold office supplies that will go above the desk and an area rug. I am also thinking of spray painting the chairs. Maybe silver or white or maybe I will just leave them black.

This is a desk that I can work at! No clutter (on my side anyway), lots of storage, and most importantly the hubby and I can work side by side now and not have to fight to have access to the desk.

More office updates coming soon.

My working conditions are subpar at best

I  started working from home a month ago and I must say that it is an adjustment. I now have to share a work space with my hubby and I don’t think he is enjoying it. Neither am I. The only reason I ever used our home office before was to surf the net or print off a few random things (mostly coupons). I am now taking over and neither of us can stand it. So we have decided it is time for an office make over. Chris is building a 10 foot desk that spans one wall so we can both have a work space and hopefully stay organized. Here is how the office looked before.

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The desk was cleaned off so we could sell it online.

Everything from the desk now resides on the floor. We sold the desk this morning (yeah) and we’re stuck without a desk for a few days to a week. So how are we making do? Well our current office situation looks like this…

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Nice and cozy. It is actually quite awful. The stool is too tall for the child sized table and it is causing major back pain. Stay tuned for the office clean up and desk reveal.

What’s for dinner tonight?

image source http://www.cbc.ca

What’s for dinner? A question I am asked many times a day. Sometimes many times in a single hour. There are days that I know in advance what I will be making, other days I just wing it and see what happens. Today I decided to wing it. I had chicken in the freezer and decided it seems like a fried chicken kind of night. My family goes crazy for this chicken. It does take a little bit of time and gets messy but it is so worth it!

You will need:

4 bone in skin on chicken breasts

4  drumsticks

4 chicken thighs

I have used boneless skinless chicken before and it tastes great but doesn’t have the same crispy crunchy texture as skin on chicken.

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp parika

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic salt

2 cups buttermilk ( no buttermilk no problem. Use one cup of milk and add 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes and you have yourself home made buttermilk.)

4 cups canola or vegetable oil

1. Marinate chicken in buttermilk, paprika, and salt for 1 hour or up to two days. Cover and refrigerate

2. Heat your oil to 350 F. If you do not have a thermometer use a pinch of flour to test. If the flour sizzles when dropped in the oil then you are good to go.

3. Combine the flour and garlic salt. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. I like to use tupperware to toss the chicken to contain some of the  mess.  Shake off the excess.

4. Add chicken to hot oil. Cook 10 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

5. Drain chicken on a cooling rack over a paper towel to catch grease.

This chicken is delicious! Juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. We like to cover ours in honey for a bit of extra sweetness.  Enjoy!!!

A cloudy day calls for soft pretzels

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Cloudy days make me crave comfort food. Yummy, full of gluten (which I generally steer clear of), soft and chewy comfort food.  While the kids are at my mom’s house I figured I would make us all a treat. Soft pretzels. They are so tasty and easy to make.  This recipe makes 16 large pretzels or 32 mini pretzels. Perfect for watching the big game, slumber parties or relaxing on the couch reading gossip magazines .

Ingredients:

2 cups warm water (warm enough to the touch that you can tolerate it, not so hot that it burns)

1 tablespoon, plus 2 tablespoons white sugar

1 package (1/4 oz)  active dry yeast

5 to 6 cups of all purpose flour

1 tablespoon salt

1/3 cup baking soda

1 large egg

coarse or kosher salt

1. In a large measuring cup or bowl mix 2 cups of warm water with yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix in to dissolve and let stand for 10 minutes.  If your water is too cold you yeast won’t do anything. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast. Your yeast should look like this after 10 minutes.

2. Combine 5 cups of flour with the salt. Use the dough hook on your mixer to combine. Add in your water/yeast mixture and mix until dough starts to pull away from the sides. If your dough is really sticky add in more flour a 1/2 cup at a time.

3. Turn out your down onto a well floured surface. Continue to hand knead until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Makes sure to flour your hands before touching the dough otherwise you will be a sticky mess.

4. Put dough into an oiled bowl and roll it around so the dough is covered in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.

5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Punch down the dough and divide into 16 pieces for large pretzels or 32 for mini pretzels. If your dough is shrinking back when you roll it out just let it rest for 5 minutes.

7. Roll each piece into a 12 – 15 inch long rope. Shape the rope into a U. Bring the right end of the rope over the left about 3 to 4 inches from the top. Repeat, bringing the right end over the left to create a double twist at the top of the U. Fold the twist over so the ends touch the bottom of the U. Transfer to baking sheet. Don’t put them to close together or they will stick together when they are resting.

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8. Let pretzels rest for 15 minutes or until they are slightly puffed up.

9. Preheat oven to 450F. While pretzels are resting, fill a large pot with 3-4 inches of water and bring to a bowl. Add baking soda. This can get messy! Add the baking soda slowly so it doesn’t boil over. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Reduce heat to a simmer.

10. Add 3 or 4 pretzels at a time (depends on pot size) to simmering water. Poach for 1 minute on each side. Use a slotted spoon to drain off as much water as possible and put back onto baking sheets.

11. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, or if you are like me start eating the second you can handle them without getting burned.

The pretzels will keep for up to 2 days in an uncovered container. They get soggy if they are covered.

It seems like a lot of steps but they are actually really simple and well worth the time. They can also be made with Spelt flour. Spelt flour still has gluten but not as much as regular all purpose flour. Start with 5 cups of spelt and see how your dough looks. Add 1/2 cup more at a time if needed until you get the proper consistency.