Slate blue Snow shaded Sunday

I took a few moments this afternoon while running errands to take the scenic route and snap a few photos : )

Setting the buzzer...ready, set, go!

I know Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but I so often find that Sunday is the day that I have only so many hours to get done all of the things I have put off for the week.
I wake up feeling pressure!!  
One thing that I have found helpful in keeping me organized is to set the buzzer.
I know people have written about this, and I don't know if I read about it first, or used the buzzer and then read about it, but needless to say, it is a great tool if you find yourself getting caught up in one activity (like blogging : ) for too long and then finding there are not enough hours in the day to get accomplished what you had wished.
I set the buzzer for lets say, 30 minutes to get my laundry in the washer, dryer, folded and put away.  It kind of becomes a game, like beat the clock as I look at my buzzer with 3 minutes left and 6 piles of laundry that need to find a home!
But I find this is really helpful for me, otherwise seconds turn into minutes and minutes so quickly, it seems, turn into hours... daylight into darkness and suddenly, it's like, where did this day go?? : )
As I write, my blogging time this morning is up!  
The buzzer is going off!
I hope that you have what Sunday is supposed to be....
a day of rest full of reading your favorite book, 
working on a favorite craft, 
watching a favorite movie, 
spending time with family and friends 
or taking a cat nap.
For those of you like me....I hope you find this helpful and maybe it will make it possible to squeak out a bit of relaxation at the end of the day!  : )

A little piece of heaven : )

My first Country Living magazine from England delivered today.
A perfect snowy Friday night with my favorite cup of tea : )

Cheddar Biscuits

While making our beef stew, I heard a commercial on the TV for a meal with cheddar biscuits.  I thought, "That sounds delicious!"  I had a bit of cheddar cheese in the fridge, so I went to one of my favorite sites for recipes- allrecipes and there I found this great recipe for cheddar biscuits.
One thing I love about this site is you can put in the number of servings you would like to make and they will recalculate the ingredient measurements!  : )

I love Jiffy mix when making biscuits : )
It also makes good pancakes.

I found buying cheese in a block and shredding it yourself is less expensive.

Mix cheese, butter, and milk together.
The recipe calls for garlic powder and salt.  I only had garlic salt so I figured I could use it and it would kind of count for both.

I like that you can just spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet.
So easy!
When I make something special like strawberry shortcake, I like to sprinkle some of the biscuit mix on a cutting board and roll the dough out and then cut the biscuits with a heart cookie cutter : )

Enjoy : )

Sunday Dinner Beef Stew

I just discovered a few weeks ago (by accident) these great McCormick Bag 'N Season.  
I thought I was buying spices for my crock pot only to find that you make this beef stew in the oven.  
It only takes 1 1/2 hours so it is a bit quicker than a crock pot if you need dinner sooner than later.
I had a chance to visit the McCormick factory in Baltimore back in '80s.  
It was very interesting to see the place where all these creative ideas come from : )

I love meat from the butcher in white paper.
It's the little things : )

 I always forget to buy celery.  But, I have onions, carrots and potatoes.

Sometimes when I cook I use toooo many potatoes.   Dinner turns into potatoes with chicken or potatoes with meat : )  
So this time I only used 2 potatoes : )

 Place it all in the bag....

 Mix the spices with 1 1/2 cups water, 1/4 cup flour and provided spices.

Tie with provided tie.

Place bag on it's side and poke 4 small holes.


Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.
It puffs up like this.

Let is rest for 5 minutes.

Cheddar biscuits in next post!

No Excuses : )

My trip was successful thanks to my friend Sue who agreed to come along.  
(I sliced up some of the banana bread from the second loaf and brought it along for the ride.)
We realized when I went to pick her up that her car was much cleaner than mine and would fit more boxes.  
Good thing I listened to her  : )
My cozy home is now sprinkled with boxes so I must get them packed and stored ASAP!!  
This is a big project but I keep thinking of how good I will feel when I "tick" it off my list! 
: )

Barbara's Banana Bread : )

Busy Saturday planned...Credit Union, Catholic Charities, chores around the house...
A friend of mine who moved emailed me to say that she had boxes if I needed them.  Since it is fresh on my New Year's list to pack, I thought it best I make the trip today to pick them up. 
I wanted to bring something to along to wish her "Happy New Home"so I thought I would bake some banana bread.  (Also on my list is to budget, so I am trying to be a bit more creative instead of running to the store to buy things I can't afford.  I think it has more meaning too if it comes from the heart or the kitchen : )

These eggs are from Laurie the Librarian at my school.  She just got chickens this summer.  I love when she comes to my classroom with a fresh dozen.

 The batter looked so bright with these fresh eggs.

 I just happen to have sour cream on hand from our homemade chili this week : )

This recipe, as you can see has been used a lot.  I actually love to see a cookbook with well worn pages or better yet, spills on pages.
A sure bet it is a good recipe : )
This recipe is from the cookbook, A Taste of Fenn

This recipe makes one large loaf or two small ones.

I had to loosely wrap the ends because it was still warm!
I will make it look neater when I arrive!

Snow day!! : )

 What I want to do....
What I need to do....laundry, dishes, vacuum.....
Hopefully, I will do a little bit of both : )

Winter sunset at the beach

On my way home from the grocery store I noticed that the sky looked pink so I took a drive down to the beach.  I was going to blog tonight about homemade chili and cornbread but that can wait!
Enjoy!  : )

Doughnut Pincushions

I am a Family and Consumer Science Teacher at a WONDERFUL Middle School!  (Can you tell I love my job?!)  
One of the lessons in my curriculum is hand sewing.  My sister had made some doughnut pincushions  and I thought they would be a great project for my students!
I found directions here at Cut + Keep
I made these originally with my 6th graders, and not be very experienced sewers at this point, I was concerned with them sewing the doughnut holes because I found the angle in which you had to sew them was awkward, even to someone with experience.  When explaining this to my students one of the boys raised his hand and said, "What if we make Boston Cream instead?"  "Perfect!!" I replied with a smile.  This is one of the things I love about teaching, the creative input from my students!
 Also, you must put vanilla in the stuffing or soak the doughnut with vanilla bit before putting the frosting on : )
When my 8th graders got wind (of vanilla) of what my 6th graders were making, they too wanted to join in the fun.  My classroom was taken over by doughnuts and it really did smell like a bakeshop!
PS...We sewed the sprinkles on with embroidery floss with just straight stitches.
You could try french knots or even small beads.
I think the possibilities are endless!  : )
This one looked like it had a doughnut heart!  

Goodbye Christmas....until next year!

Although this may seem late for some of you, I feel that I am getting a pretty good grip on the holiday clean up.  I am embarrassed to admit that our Christmas things made it to the boxes last year, but only got as far as the upstairs hallway....It was really easy to find our things to decorate this year!!  
With some help from my son, these boxes made there way to the attic, which should be on my New Year's list to organize.  They are labeled and neatly tucked away!

Oh my gosh!! My list!! : )

When posting my New Year's list, I didn't really put anything small and easy to "tick" off as Cathy from "tinniegirl" says. (I love hearing people's expressions from other countries : )  I did leave number 11 open though, and I was thinking I should put something like, do the dishes or fold laundry for that one, so I could feel like I am at least getting something accomplished!!
But, today I decided to start purging, sorting and packing!  I read the other day something, (let's see if I can summerize this....) that if you start imagining that which you want to change, your mind will start to make the new connections as if you already did it.   So I imagined myself packing, and as I passed the man at the grocery store unloading bottles of orange juice, I couldn't help but notice all of the empty boxes before him.  I asked if I could have them and he loaded the folded empty boxes under my carriage.  Off I went, and it was not until I was outside in the dark snowy parking lot crossing in front of a lane of cars did they all decide to slide out in front of me!  Twice!!  Thankfully no one beeped and I got them loaded in my car and today I am going to put them to use!!  After I do the laundry and the dishes!  : )