Date Night

My hubby is a wise man. 

A couple of years ago we instituted date nights. This was his idea. He had  noticed that a lot of couples we knew were separating, and ha ving issues after their little ones left the nest. The problem, a lot them told us, was that they had been parenting together, but had not been working at their marriage.  Marriages require maintenance, and it is hard to balance priorities in this crazy, hectic world.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Our goal is to have a date night each week. Do we always reach our goal?  No. just keeping it real. 😉. If we get off track with it, we readjust our priorities, and go again. 

So we have our date nights. These are not extravagant, over the top events. Sometimes it is a walk while the kids are at an evening activity, a quiet drive, or a coffee date.  Sometimes it is supper out. The point that we make a point of being a couple, not just two people co-parenting. 

A quiet walk together is lovely. Sometimes we just walk down to our sugar shack and enjoy the peace and quiet together.

I can only speak for us, but this has been a blessing to us. It Is worth the extra juggling that is sometimes required, because we are worth it. 

Chalk Talker

Fall festivities coming right up.

My window chalk board is one of the most versatile decor items I have in my kitchen.  It can instantly infuse my kitchen with seasonal touches, in a matter of 5 minutes. 

I repurposed this old window glass and all. This is not always the preferred method. I would suggest replacing the glass with thin plywood or even use the back of an old piece of panelling. It is lighter to hang and less fragile. 😉 

Chalk paint the surface according to package directions. Allow to dry and presto, chalk board. This particular board has been white, red, green, and now yellow. It is an easy to change up piece that I get tonnes of impact from. 


So grab the old windows you see at yard sales and flea markets and get sketching up with some colourful chalk. 
Tammy

Gourd-geous DIY

I love fall!

By now you’ve heard me say that several times, but I really do!  These crisp September mornings have me thinking  Fall and I love to decoarate for it.  I am sharing  a couple of my favourite little DIY projects, pretty gourd bowl fillers and gourd garland. 

I go to the local farm stands every fall and buy up gourds of every shape and description. I enjoy them au natural for the season and then I set them behind my wood stove to dry out over the winter months.  If they are not at all bruised, they will dry beautifully. I usually have about an 80% success rate.  I can then use the dried gourds the next year.  

Enamel ware, milk glass, and fall decor. Be still my beating heart. 🤗🌻🎃

In the bowl above, I have some dried gourds I painted with FAT chalk paint in pumpkin, sea glass, and buttermilk. You can achieve the same look with store bought faux gourds and paint them to match your decor. I find that many of the Dollarama gourds have a great shape, but the paint job leaves a lot to be desired. That is an easy and inexpensive fix. I just finish them off with clear wax, but a clear poly would also work, and they look lovely. 

A battery operated pillar and enamelware bowl are the perfect compliment to my newly painted gourds.
A little paint made this ugly Dollarama pumpkin look like a million bucks. I wish I had taken a before pic, as the transformation was foolishly simple.

You can use the same gourds for a second project, a garland. 


Gourd Garland:

  • Drill with small bit
  • Dried gourds 
  • Wire
  • Acorn caps
  • Fabric scraps if you want. 
  • Spray poly (non yellowing)

To make my gourd and acorn garland I did a little foraging in the yard to gather up acorn caps. Then I took out some of last year’s dried gourds and carefully drilled holes in them so I could fish the wire through then. This can be tricky, and I did ruin one by breaking it when I attempted to drill the second hole. They can be a little finicky. Thread gourds and acorn caps on to make an eye pleasing pattern. Loop ends of wire for easy hanging.  A quick spray of poly to seal it, and there you have it.  
I hope you like this simple, fun touch of autumn. 
Tammy

Meatballs

I have just finished making 5 pounds of ground beef into meatballs for a potluck we are going to on Friday night. I thought I would share the recipe as they are a hit at every potluck we go to. 

Five pounds of meatballs baking up.

Ingredients:

two pounds lean ground beef 

2 eggs

1 box Stove Top chicken dressing mix

1/2 c smokey BBQ sauce 

1 1/2 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice

Add these items to the ground beef for yummy and simple results.

Start with eggs. Add dressing mix and set aside for a moment. Add remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overwork meat. I use my Pampered Chef medium sized scoop to make the meatballs so they are all the same size. 

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

These freeze beautifully IF you hide enough to save some for leftovers.  (Remember I have 3 teens who are major carnivores.🐄🐖🐓🦃 are not safe! Lol)

They are nice to have in the freezer for quick spaghetti and meatballs or meat ball subs on busy nights. 

My family loves them heated  with Diana’s Maple BBQ sauce over rice. 

Enjoy. 

Tammy

It’s Kinda Like a Wedding

Showing horses is very much like getting ready for a wedding.  This week marks our first foray into showing our Twin Terrors, Asher and Tony, at the NBEx.  For those who are unfamiliar with our critters, they are my hubby’s Clydesdale twins. They are large toddlers,  aged three years. 

Asher was always a cuddler it seems.
Asher (l) and Tony (r) pulling the sleigh last winter.

So showing horses is a lot like getting married. You work your butt off getting ready FOR MONTHS. Paint this, decorate that, practice, get your hair done, and then it is all over in 20 minutes. CRAZY amount of work prepping for a 20 minute show. 

Our display with the boys all cleaned up.

Tony getting his bath.

We shall see tomorrow how the boys place. Either way, it has been a blast so far.  I have also included a clip of the boys practising this morning. 

​​

Fall Bucket List

Fall is my favourite season. The smells, sights, flavours are all AMAZING!  I will start my fall decor soon, but tonight’s post is about a family activity that perked my interest. I asked my teens what they would put on a Fall Bucket List. 

I was expecting the usual, bonfires, apple picking, and the local exhibition. Instead, they mentioned going on an off road biking trip with their grandparents, taking a weekend trip to the Fryeburg Fair, hosting a corn boil and hayride for friends. It all sounds fun. 

We will see what adventures await us. 

This little piggy went to the market…

And what colour would Piggy be wearing?

There are so many choices. If I had to choose another career I think I would be the nail polish colour namer

This morning I treated myself to a pedicure to get ready to return to work.  It is such a treat. An hour of me time after running the kids all the time, it’s good for my foot and mental health. 

 I am hard on my feet. I spend a lot of time on my feet, in flip flops, in barn boots. I can honestly say that I basically abuse them. So to say that they were in need is a major understatement. 

The foot massage is to die for. Coconut oil for days.

And the finished product. Beautiful smooth feet, all red-dy for fall.

Garb to Glam

Trash to Treasure. My bliss. 

One of my favourite days of the year is large item garbage pick up day. People in my neighbourhood have two opportunities a year to get rid of their big unwanted items. There are lots of old mattresses, kids toys, and unwanted furniture.  Free furniture. 😊

“Stop the car!!!!!”

I found this little wash stand on the side of the road on garbage day as we went for a coffee after our morning chores. I yelled this at my hubby, and he grudgingly stopped. He was less impressed as I loaded my new treasure into the car. 

I unloaded it at home, admiring the great lines, and cute little castors. The door was broken, and I attempted to fix that.  Unfortunately, it was a futile attempt, and I ended up removing the door. After it was glued it was binding too much to be useable. (I do not do fussy at all!)


I gave it two coats of a custom color I mixed up using two parts Fusion Ash and one part Fusion Limestone. Love the transformation. 

In place of the defunct door, I found that one of my galvanized buckets I was using in my bathroom for towels would fit it perfectly.
 

And voila. The perfect piece for my entry to hold dog stuff in the top drawer, and mitts, hats, and scarves in the bottom for winter. 

S’more, please. 


My fire pit is my happy place. 

My hubby built me a sunken fire pit just off of our main deck area four years ago, and it is  our favourite place to entertain guests.  We have shared laughter, s’mores, spider dogs, tall tales, drinks and fun around our camp fire. 


I love this time of year when the sweater weather starts. It is cool enough that a fire is appealing, and there is the cozy factor of wrapping up in an old quilt or that  old hoodie. There is something so peaceful about the sounds and smells of a campfire. Everything about it appeals to your senses. 

The stairs off the main deck make excellent perches.

So as it starts on evening here, I am gathering my supplies to have a lovely burn tonight. It is good for the soul. Have a great night friends. 🔥🍡🍻

​​

​​

T-5

I return to my day job in 5 days. 


I work as an educational assistant in a middle school. I love this age group. My kids (any of the kids I work with are my kids😉) are often challenging, but they are such wonderful little humans once you get the chance to truly know them. They amuse me. They frustrate me. They challenge me. At times, they cause little cracks in my heart due to their stories and circumstances. 

To them I am Mrs. Tammy.  There are times they love me and times they would rather I just fell off the face of the Earth. Haha. I am the one who will joke with them, call them out when they are being a punk, or listen when they want to talk. After a little trust and relationship is achieved, I hope they all get that I truly care about them, more than I should sometimes. It takes a toll sometimes, and I strive to find balance between work and family. Work in progress here. 


The job has changed drastically in the past 10 years. Gone are they days when an EA helped with academics. Modern day expectations are that we will  work with the behaviorally challenged, the medically fragile, those with exceptionalities, and we will do it with more students and less resources.  It is the way the education system rocks now, do more with less. We all do our best, and that is all we can do. 

That being said, if your child is one of my kids I will do my best to see that their year gets off to a great start. We are all in this to help the little humans go out into the world and be productive members of society. 


Treasure the last wisps of summer. 

Tammy