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Interior Motives

Decorating and DIYing our house to make it a home.

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Good Enough To Eat

Tried and true recipes my family loves.

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Life Lessons

Navigating motherhood through life's little lessons.

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I Heart Pinterest

When all else fails, go to Pinterest!

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Pretty As A Picture

Photography tips and tricks for the average person.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Quick "Hop" To Madison, Wisconsin

Although I am very much a planner, sometimes it's fun to be spontaneous. Husband is that kind of person who doesn't mind mixing it up a little. He pooh-poohed all my travel books and decided where we were going as we sat in our car. (If you are a Type A personality, this kind of thinking will kill you...and makes packing impossible.) As I wrestled with what direction, north, south, east or west, we ended up in Madison, Wisconsin where we did a lot of walking, a little shopping and of course some beer sampling.


Madison is as eclectic as any other big city, but since this is also a college town, it's filled with university students too. Makes us old people feel young, heh heh.


On State Street (the main drag) we cooled down with a pint of beer called "Hopalicious" from Ale Asylum and a vanilla cupcake from a local bakery. Yum. I don't know, I kind of like beer and cupcakes!


What's also nice about Madison is that it still has that midwest charm of a smaller city, but has enough in it to entertain the tourists, like art and music venues, a variety of eateries (from traditional bratwurst to Asian-fusion dishes,) state capitol tours, shopping and of course, some really great micro-breweries.


Which is why we had to stop at the new location of Ale Asylum, a craft brewery and "tasting room," which has a tremendous local following. What I like about this brewery is its "hoppy-edge." Everything from the taste of their beer, to the cool decor, this place definitely has it's own unique style. This isn't your typical brewery. You can eat there, lounge upstairs on their couches or sit outside in their beer garden and see how their hops are growing!


Most of our friends know that Husband and I are intent on creating beer and coming up with unique food pairings. It's our thing, in fact I'm in the process of designing the invitation for our beer tasting party that we're planning right now.

So if you're ever in Wisconsin, you won't regret your stop in Madison. Whether you explore the five lakes that surround the area or go just to taste the beer, you won't be disappointed.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fruit Pizza From Scratch

Every summer I usually make fruit pizza. Even though there are a lot of recipes out there, this one is completely from scratch (no pre-made sugar cookie mix here.) The crust is more like shortbread and is delicious!



FRUIT PIZZA

CRUST

3 sticks of butter
1 C powdered sugar
3 C flour

In an extra large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar. Slowly add flour. Pat onto a pizza pan, stone or baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees approximately 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

TOPPING

8 oz light cream cheese
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla


In a small bowl, beat all ingredients until creamy, spread on cooled crust, top with the following fruit suggestions:

Strawberries
Blueberries
Raspberries (any wild berry)
Grapes
Mandarin Oranges
Pineapple
Kiwi

No matter what combination of fruit you use, I'm sure you'll love this recipe! :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Planning A Surprise Getaway

I'm having an internal debate about whether to plan a surprise getaway with Husband. There's this fine line when it comes to saving money and living a fulfilled life. If I wait until we have the money, will we even be able to go? Will the money go to a new fridge, a child's needs or a possible emergency?

I talked to someone I work with and she said "I don't want to be 80, using a walker at the Grand Canyon! What kind of vacation is that?!"

Our last getaway was a wedding in Chicago. It was so wonderful.
I totally get it.

So I'm perusing the deals on the internet, giddy with excitement about this potential trip. Googling "Two night three day cheap getaways," (hoping we don't end up in Tijuana.)

Where? When? How? My first three choices were: Philadelphia, because Husband likes history; somewhere in Maine, because I love the east coast and Seattle, because it's far enough to fly to and I've never been there, even though I lived in Vancouver for a year.


Seattle, yes, birthplace of my beloved Starbucks, the Space Needle and Pike Place Market that looks amazing. I've also found a cool hotel, I'm kayak-ing, hot-wiring etc. all the airfares and dreaming of all the cool places to see and foods to eat (thanks to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!)


Husband knows I'm planning something, he just doesn't know what exactly... so do you have any ideas? Have you been to Seattle, can you recommend places to visit? I would love to hear your ideas!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tried And True Pinterest Recipes

A lot of people have asked me if the recipes I've tried on Pinterest are any good. I have to say, some were complete flops, but a good majority of recipes were worth making. Here are my favorite Pinterest recipes (and links to the recipes) I've tried so far:

Scooter's Spaghetti (Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti)


California Sandwich (I've made this on a bagel)









DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets (Kind of a recipe, works great during the school year)


What have you found on Pinterest that you (or your family) really liked?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fourth of July and Family Traditions

I'm not sure why it didn't matter as much when I was young, but the older I get (and the older our kids get) I find myself clinging to some traditions I've started. These 'traditions' on their own are so simplistic in themselves, but have grown in meaning every year.


Like the making of Fourth of July 'Sparklers,' pretzel rods, chocolate and sprinkles. Easy to make, not very costly, but something I only make once a year. Kind of like green bean casserole at Thanksgiving and putting streamers above the kitchen table for every child's birthday. Simple, but meaningful. Maybe there will be more traditions, those I don't actually have control over, like witnessing the baby ducks that were born in our front yard earlier this spring.


This year, we are also approaching a milestone of sorts, staying in the same place for almost six years. That's a record for us. Okay, we have lived in three different houses in the same zip code, but this house is the house. I like to think that we are the pioneers of "flipping" houses.


With that record, I've noticed the ups and downs of friendships, the excitement of anticipated events (like our little town's annual fireworks) and the desire for Husband and I to make our lakehouse a permanent home.

I hope you are making lasting memories and building traditions with your families as well. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!