Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Will our house ever be completed?

Our house is about 10 years old. We built it in a hurry. So we took the word of the architect and kitchen designer and didn't think much of it.

This was my first house, we rented 2 places, for a short time. After an exhausting house hunt, to find something in our price range, we decided building was the best option for us.
But this was our first home. And I didn't have a clue.
Thîngs were missing in our plans (not nearly enough closets).

We were able to build on an affordable budget, because my husband built it.
We moved in before the kitchen and bedrooms were usable. and we slowly completed things as we needed them, and as we could afford to.
We slept in the living room at first; my husband, myself and our 2yo Daughter.
This is what it looked like shortly after we had moved in.

(Summer 2005?)

Since then, things have changed A LOT. And it is still changing.
For one, we added 3 more kids to the house, for a total of 4!

A porch was added. Later a portion was framed in for a mudroom (The far left of the porch in the photo below). This is just the outside. I can't even begin to list what has changed on the inside.

(Summer 2014)

We have plans to wrap the porch along the right side of the house, and have started an addition on the back for a larger kitchen including a walk in pantry! This will include a relocation of the laundry room, adding a half bath, and replacing the stand up shower with a tub/shower.
One bathtub is just not getting the job done.

But right now, we have a major interior re-construction/changes in the works, within the existing structure..
We had a cathedral Ceiling with an open loft over the living room portion of the house when you first walked into the front door.
The loft was closed up to a make a nursery last winter, for our newest family addition. Now we have taken the cathedral ceiling and framed a floor and walls for our daughters bedroom. This will give each child their own room. 
The 2 older kids bedrooms will remain downstairs and the 2 younger kids will be upstairs with Mom and Dad.

Now most of you must think, this must cost a fortune. 
Generally, yes it would. But it is pretty affordable for us. All we need to come up with is the materials. and some we reuse leftovers from my husbands past jobs, so we save a little out of pocket money there.
Our biggest savings, my husband does it all... Plumbing, electrical, framing, sheetrock, trim.... all of it. On occasion, he will call in a friend (or wife, or son, or daughter) to give him a hand. But most of it, he does himself. Pretty amazing!

I honestly think he enjoys it. And I enjoy throwing ideas out at him, some he thinks are crazy. Like a playhouse built into our daughters bedroom. I will be posting more on this another time.

We live in a never ending construction zone. If ever we run out of things to do... I am sure we will go crazy with the lack of air compressors, nail guns, construction debris, dust (Okay, I could definitely live without the dust)...

Under Cooked Hard Boiled Eggs- Quick Fix!

So has this ever happened to you?

You think you made hard boiled eggs. You peel them in hopes to make egg salad or deviled eggs, and the yoke is almost completely cooked, but not quite hard enough. It still has that rich dark yellow color, instead of a light soft yellow color of a perfectly hard boiled egg.
It just won't do.

This happened today. I boiled 13 eggs,p. Thinking I would get a headstart for coloring eggs later this week. A few were cracked, so I figured no biggy, I'll make egg salad for my lunch. Go to separate the yolk from the white, and was like "Hey now! That's not completely cooked! ... Dang!"

Now what? 
Well, I figured I didn't have a lot to loose, so I decided to experiment.

Trial 1:
Put it back in boiling water. Thought it over, and decided not to try this. If the white was intact, trying to reboil may work, but I had already broke the whites right off.

Trial 2:
Put the egg in the microwave.
I tried this with one, I hadn't yet removed the yolk from, but the white was broke open to view the undercooked yolk. I started in short bursts, 15 seconds, and then pop! The white exploded everywhere. 
But viola the yolk cooked! I discarded the white from that egg, since it was slightly browned and rubbery.

Trial 3:
Put the yolk in the microwave, wrapped up in a paper towel. (Next time I will put in a microwave safe bowl and cover with a paper towel.)
I decided short bursts were best so I started with 10 seconds. The yolk popped. But everything seemed ok, so I tried another 10 seconds. And another pop. Yolk looked good to me! Just enough to mash it up into the right consistency.
You. May have to adjust the amount of time you burst your yolks, depending on how undercooked the yolk is, and your the strength of your microwave.
If you are able to mash a little them you can try reheating in bursts to bring them to the perfect texture. 
But this worked for me.

(Forgive my lighting, I should have turned on the bright ones)

My egg salad consists of;

Hard boiled egg yolks mashed
Hard boiled egg whites mashed
Mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo)
Green sweet relish
Sweet and spicy mustard (I am currently in love with Inglehoffer sweet hot mustard)
Salt (I don't use salt, but for those who do)

With mashed yolks add, mayonnaise, green relish, sweet n spicy mustard, salt and pepper to taste.
Add mashed egg whites to the mixture.
Plop on bread and eat.

So, my lunch was not a loss! Yay! 
Boy I am hungry!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter can be a disaster.

Every year, I dread the holidays more and more! 
My husband is usually excited and anxious for the holidays at first, but as the day looms closer, he usually gets agitated and short wishing it to be over.. And in turn I wish the same, just to get life back to normal.
Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas are by far the most stressful. The tug a war between our families...where to have our holiday dinner? Who do we celebrate with? Who will have their feelings hurt? I tried to implement an alternating dinner, one year easter with the inlaws, then next year with my mom. Christmas is a mess all around, we are running from house to house from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. A whirl wind of cranky kids and turning me into cranky mom. 
I love the holidays, I just don't love the tug a war. 

Now to focus on the holiday at hand! 
Easter Sunday is coming!
I have less than week to get it figured out. And I have a plan!
(Now, Last Easter was a tough one for me. I was returning home from the hospital with my 2 day old number 4. I was an emotional mess I was not home to prepare the Easter fun for my older kids. I do believe I cried most of the day. I want to redeem myself!)

Lately, my 2 middles have been fighting non stop. Everything is a competition, and argument, and a fight. (Which included biting, punching, and kicking).
That being said, with 4 kids (aged  almost 1 though 12 years old) I am rethinking the egg hunt this year. 
I want to make it as fair as possible, to minimize the possibility of a fight. 
With only a week to get my butt ready, I decided maybe a color coded egg hunt, was in order. 
That is if I can get to the store to buy new eggs. (I have been reusing eggs for 12 years. We must have 300, but they are crazy and unmatching...some printed and designs and animal, monsters). I don't have a lot plain/matching in 4 colors, unless we make it a very small egg hunt.

The plan: 
Place an instruction card in each basket with their assigned hunt color. This way I can level up the 12 year olds hiding spots, to make it more difficult for her, and leave the babies eggs at ground level, so he can find them easy enough. Also hope to use a larger "golden egg" with a super prize in it. One for each.
Sounds simple enough!

Why did I put this planning off until now? Well, we have been doing some renovating and our house is in a state of (a post for another time, when it is completed)

Let me know: 
What do you do to keep easter stress free for your siblings? 
Any ideas to share?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Striped Bulky Slouch Hat Crochet Pattern by Yarn Me Silly

Bulky Slouch Hat
This hat will be available for PDF download from my Ravelry Shop!


Feel free to use this pattern for selling your hats! But please credit my ravelry shop if you are planning to sell the finished product.
Yarn me Silly on Ravelry.