gag-gle noun \ˈga-gəl\ : a group, aggregation, or cluster lacking organization, which is exactly how I feel about my family every day.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


We had a blue theme going on for Easter this year. Liam and Will got matching paisley ties and Reese and I did the blue floral thing.  Fun stuff!  We didn't get through church without chocolate faces, though.  We haven't even gone to visit family yet and the sugary part of the holiday has already begun.

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patty's Day

I don't know how St. Patrick's day became a holiday for family tradition, but each year we wear green and try to have an Irish themed dinner.  Last year is was corned beef and cabbage.  The cabbage and potatoes were delish, but the beef was below expectations.
 This year I decided to make a hash of the same ingredients, but it turns out if you wait until the day before St. Patty's and go to the grocery store with the best deal on corned beef, they will be sold out.  The guy at the store told me people were making off with cart-fulls of beef.

So, next choice was a meatball hash.  All the same ingredients except replace corned beef with meatballs.  I made the meatballs and prepped the potatoes, onions, cabbage and carrots, so all Will had to do at dinner time was saute it all together.  

Big hit with the grown-ups.  Liam usually loves meatballs, so we thought it would be a hit with him, too.  But they only ate a moderate amount.  I'm sure they'll grow to love it, though, because this dish is a keeper!

I don't know a whole lot about Irish cuisine, but I plan on doing some research and mixing it up a little each year.  Next year I plan to add an authentic Irish dessert, which preliminary research reveals will probably contain potatoes, apples or whiskey.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kitchen Wall

New home project!  We have a wall in our kitchen that's right by the door we use to go in and out all the time.  It always had our shoes stacked on the floor in front of it, ugly, dirty switches and outlets, it had dents and uneven paint and a huge eyesore of an out of service intercom.

I needed to fix this space for my own personal sanity. (It's not the only place in my house like that, either)

Here are the pictures!

Before.  Blah.

Close up of the awesome intercom

I tried to rip that thing out numerous times but in the end the hubby had to be called in.  I don't know how he did it, but I'm glad it's gone!

Patching the wall

Mudding the patch

Spackle all over and sand and spackle and sand and repeat.

Texture and Primer.  It looks like a whole new wall!  I would walk into the kitchen during the days of priming (I let dry almost 24 hours between coats) and just say, "Good morning, beautiful wall." Oh, and smile.

The first (and, surprisingly, only major)  mistake was this color.  Ick.  What was I thinking?  You look at those swatches of color at the paint store and you don't realize how dark and small it will make your room feel when you paint a whole wall that color.  Maybe it would be fine if we had 12 foot ceilings instead of 8.

Ahhh.  Much better!

And now, so that the shoes don't go back to piles on the floor, we got these beautiful cabinets that fit perfectly in the space and my kids love putting their shoes away!  We'll see how long that lasts. But until the novelty wears off: Hello, beautiful wall!  (Link will take you to a similar product from ikea.  They don't have ours listed online.)

Monday, March 4, 2013


So, as mentioned in my last post, we recently got a new car.  A minivan to be exact. In case you were wondering, when we had the minivan vs. SUV debate while we were deciding what kind of car to get, it was the sliding doors that sold us on the lowly, much less cool minivan.  Sliding doors are WAY underrated.  Put sliding doors on an SUV and I'm sold.

So here's the car.
(sorry about my lack of photography skills)

It's an average generic-looking black van.  We love it, but you can't deny it's kind of boring.  So we've been racking our brains to come up with something to distinguish our van from others.  Nothing crazy, we wanted a small decal in the back window.  But of what?

Well, long story short, the answer was Gossie.  Gossie is the name of a gosling in the children's book of the same name by Olivier Dunrea.  And I can't say enough good stuff about it.

I remember the first time I read it, we had checked it out from the library (caution spoiler alert!)  Gossie is a small, yellow gosling who likes to wear bright red boots.

(Every day)

But one day, when Gossie can't find her boots, and looks everywhere for them she finally discovers them on someone else's feet!
Now, I must have been dealing with some two year old (or teenage sister) antics at the time, or maybe children's books are getting more realistic these days, because I fully expected Gossie to see someone had borrowed her FAVORITE boots WITHOUT ASKING causing her to FRETFULLY LOOK EVERYWHERE and then get horribly upset and cry and perhaps help Gertie (the boot thief) to get her own boots and then this would be a book about the hard lesson of not taking things that don't belong to you.

But that's not what happened.  The ending was cute and (for me) unexpected:

"Gossie is... a small, yellow gosling who likes to wear bright red boots."
(Almost every day)

Okay, so a pair of goslings admittedly does not make the minivan "cooler"  But I couldn't think of an image I liked more for our car than one that has meaning to everyone in the family, and that to me personally represents keeping calm in potentially frustrating situations.  Will even approved.  He likes Gossie, too.

So we put up this image of Gossie and Gertie
and Reese and Liam danced in front of the sticker while I took photos:

And then we each took closer photos and I am posting them even thought they make my face look chubby:

Now, if you have children or children that you buy gifts for or you like cute things, go buy this book or any others in the series.