Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy Anniversary, Doctor

Okay, I admit it. I am a Doctor Who fan. Not, mind you, as much as most of my kids, but still, the good Doctor does hold a place in my heart. Tonight marks the 50th anniversary of the show with an anniversary special sure to be amazing- not even counting the fact that the 10th, 11th and the new Doctor will be in it along with Rose and other characters we've come to know (and either love or 
despise depending on if they are good guys or bad).

One of my favorite characters is K-9, a lovable robot dog, originally airing with the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) and Sarah Jane Smith. The original episodes which "starred" K-9 were super fun to watch, but my favorite was "The School Reunion". This was with Sarah Jane, Rose, Mickey and Doctor #10 (David Tennant). It was the first Doctor Who episode where I cried~ there have been a few more, I admit. 

It's a whole lot easier to choose K-9 as a favorite character than choosing which Doctor I like the best. I have a fondness for #11 (Matt Smith) because a) he's the first Doctor I watched and b) he's just so adorably fun and alien-like. Then, of course, there's #10 (David Tennant). He's just gorgeous to watch in anything he appears (not just as the Doctor, but try watching him in the film, The Decoy Bride or Shakepeare's Much Ado About Nothing, and you'll see what I mean). If we talk about the earlier Doctors, then I have to add Tom Baker to the list. As you can see, it's not an easy choice!

Well, I am looking forward to seeing what the creators of this long-running British television show have come up with for this next season. As always, it should be quite a trip! Happy Anniversary and thanks for letting us be your companions, Doctor, for all of the places you take us to and all the adventures awaiting us there.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mangia Mamma's Five Favorites, vol. 6 The Upstairs Edition

The upstairs of our 1912 farmhouse has been, for me in the last 10 or so years, a "no-mom's land". This is because it has been the domain of our four children and their stuff. Don't get me wrong, I've always been welcomed to the vast wilderness of kid-dom, but unless someone was ill or I needed to talk to one of my four youngsters, I pretty much steered clear of the upper floor. 
With the departure of #1 son to his last year at Thomas More and #2 son to Christendom Collegethis has all changed. As Mary is the last one at home, attending Chemeketa while figuring out what she wants to do with the gifts God has given her, we have been able to start making a long wished for craft/sewing room a reality. We've moved the boys both into David's room, making it dorm-style (except without the mini fridge). I think they'll like the changes when they come home for the Christmas Holidays!
I hope you enjoy looking at my five favorites this week are as they are all from the "Land of Upstairs". 

1. Ombré Dresser


I've seen a lot of ombré stuff on Pinterest, from nails to wall hangings to furniture. I decided to put my own twist on it and redo a dresser that had previously lived in David's room. It was super easy. I started by painting the base of the dresser white. I then found a fairly dark green that we had and painted one set of drawers. I added a bit of white and painted the next set then added a bit more and did the third and so on. The result is what you see here. It's going to hold fabric and patterns and craft goodies. I can't wait to get stuff out of the Rubbermaid storage totes and into the pretty ombré dresser!

2. Cheerful Butter-Yellow Paint


When Cari lived at home, she had picked out some yellow paint for her room. She then moved out before we had the chance to paint. I've thought about painting the hallway for a long time but never did it since I wasn't sure what color to paint it (plus, remember this was "no-moms land" for quite a while). Since I am now going to be traversing the stairs to the craft/sewing room, I decided to use up the paint we had. I must admit, I love it! Not only is it bright and cheerful, it makes the whole area seem more put together. That may sound silly, but it's true- now I am enjoying going upstairs!

3. Inexpensive and Beautiful Art


Over the summer, the kids and I hit a few yard sales. One of them was at Willamette University. They had a bunch of different booths with a few interesting things, but the best booth was from their art department (or art archives, I don't remember exactly). Anyway, they were selling old prints and photos for hardly anything. Joshua ended up finding this and buying it for just a couple of dollars. I've been looking for a frame for it, and then it will end up hanging in the boys' room. Then when Joshua finishes seminary and gets placed in a parish, he'll have a beautiful piece of artwork ready to hang in his office.

4. The Kids' Artwork


My kids are all pretty artistic. They definitely do not get it from me. I admit I am creative, but artistic is not something I have ever seen myself as being. I have lots of family members as does Brian, who have been or are artists. The girls have enjoyed using their artistic abilities in decorating Mary's room. The top photo has two pieces Mary put together while the bottom is a painting by Cari with the G. K. Chesterton quote done by Mary. I'm really excited because the other day when Mary and I were shopping at Target, she got some ideas of artwork to do for the hallway! I'll be sure to share when it's all done.

5. The Boys' Room


One would think moving two boys into one room- especially as one has been in college for 3 1/2 years- would not be that hard of a thing. Plus, the shared room is the bigger one. Well, this might work unless one of the boys has a massive library of books and the other is pretty much a pack rat. Hence, the creativity combining all of their stuff in a room that doesn't feel like a storage space with beds. One thing I did was to take a little bookshelf we had, paint it white and set it on top of the desk they will be sharing. I tried to place the books they will use the most along with a few special things on the desk and shelves to take away the "dorm room" feel and help them to enjoy their shared room!

Be sure to head over to Moxie Wife and check out everybody's five favs for this week!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A "French" Toast to Honey Boo-Boo

Honey Boo Boo as a little girl
A preview of
Honey Boo Boo at 18!

So Halloween was a few weeks ago, but since I am getting caught up as it were, I thought I'd share a couple of photos and a delicious family recipe standby. Ever since one of our fencers started telling me about Honey Boo Boo and her family, I have been fascinated with the whole thing. Not having cable- or television for that matter- helped me not to start a Honey Boo Boo addiction which was probably a good thing. This all changed when Mary and I were in our hotel in Baltimore during our taking David to school trip. We not only had cable television, but I ended up not feeling good one day and staying in our room for most of it. This gave me the opportunity to watch not one, but three episodes of "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo". I believe Mary watched a few minutes with me then turned to her book and spent the next few hours reading instead. What does this have to do with Halloween you may ask? Knowing we were attending a Halloween Open House, I wanted to have a costume that no one else would have (or, as the girls said, even think about having). This led me to the Honey Boo Boo costume. Of course, I looked like Honey Boo Booed-or-Honey Boo Boo the Later Years. Cari did snap a photo, but instead of sharing subjecting it upon you, I thought I'd share what Honey Boo Boo might look like as a teenager(courtesy of Mary, who decided to try on Mom's costume when we got back home). I've gotten over my Honey Boo Boo phase (pretty much), but I now have quite a likin' for pink!!

If you were havin' a hard time stomaching that, the second thing to share is easier to swallow! It's a recipe for our family favorite, French Toast Casserole. I used to make it when the kids were little then hadn't in a long time mostly due to not having many of them at home anymore. I ended up making it a few weeks ago after David shared with me about how much he is appreciating one of the cooks at school for her homemade-tasting desserts. He said one of them tasted like my French Toast Casserole which ended up being a basic bread pudding. I decided to try it and see how well the leftovers would reheat, if I made a whole pan. It was delicious both the morning I made it as well as the next couple of days. I am pretty sure it would freeze well too, if it lasts that long.

Here's the recipe, adapted from Taste of Home



    • 1 loaf bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I've used French, Wheat, even leftover hamburger buns- whatever you have on hand should work well)
    • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2 cups milk
    • 4 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • TOPPING:
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • Maple syrup, optional
    • Place bread cubes in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In a large
    • bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Pour over
    • bread.
    • Dot with butter.
    • Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
    • Cover and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a knife
    • inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes.
    • Serve with maple syrup if desired. Yield: 12 servings.
  • You can also cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gone in 60 Seconds or Something Like That

Wow. It's been way too long since I've posted anything. Now I am pretty sure no one cares very much since I probably have about 3 1/2 readers left (if I'm lucky). I'd like to say I've been really busy-which is true, but it's a lousy excuse since I'm not really any busier than I was 6 months ago when I took time to write. The horrible thing is that I'm still cooking, crafting and doing some pretty cool things with some pretty amazing people, and I have no good reason for not keeping up with this.
So, in order to remedy that, I've decided to try to write short blog posts every day for the next month. Even if nobody reads it, at least I know I've done more than just sit around pinning things on my gazillion- not really, more like {insert covering mouth}...72  Pinterest boards.
So here's whatcha get today: homemade Goo Gone plus a cheesy bacon fries recipe. Thankfully, they don't have anything to do with each other except that I made them. Here ya go-

Got home from work and threw together this yummy dinner-

Not only is it delicious, it was super easy. There's not an actual recipe, but here's how I made it.
Bake one bag frozen french fries according to the package directions. While they are baking, cut up six strips of bacon and fry in skillet over medium heat. When cooked to your liking, remove from pan and drain grease. Add a tablespoon of grapeseed oil to pan. Add one bag frozen peppers and onions; cook over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon granulated garlic and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes more. Mix bacon and peppers. Spoon over cooked fries. Sprinkle with 2 cups grated cheese (we used smoked Gouda), and put pan back in oven for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Mangia!

Mary and I had our fries with a little ketchup on the side, and Brian said they were great just the way they were made. Of course, he's always said I was "saucy" which explains the way we like our food!

Now that I'm back on my blog, hopefully I'll pay more attention to keeping up with it. For now, it's time for one more fry and the rest of my Gewürztraminer.