Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween


Happy Halloween everybody.  It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again, and now the holiday season is going to fly by.  20 years ago we had a large snowstorm on Halloween here in Minnesota, and it looks like a different part of the country is feeling that snow this year.  Wild October weather for those in New England.  Here, it’s going to be a very nice night for all those trick or treaters in terms of Minnesota weather.  We only had 11 kids stop by last year so we’re hoping to break that record by at least 2 or 3 this year.  Here’s how we got into the Halloween spirit over the weekend.

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A Halloween Treat


In anticipation for a family visit this weekend with my brother’s rugrats, Dain volunteered to bang out a Foodie Friday post.  His treat of choice: popcorn balls.  They were completely his brainchild, and he did an awesome job except for one minor error.  Which is why he usually cooks with me around to supervise the recipe.  I wondered why they “have a funny aftertaste” until I started looking at his pictures.  You live and you learn.

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Recycling Rookies


In plotting our storage and organization plans, we realized that we had a lot of extra stuff we’ve been hanging onto.  Most of which came with the house.  For obvious reasons, there are a lot of hazardous materials that you’re not supposed to just toss in your weekly trash, which complicates the effort quite a bit.  But lucky for us, we learned that our county has a few recycling and drop-off centers where you can recycle some materials and safely dispose of others.  We hit the jackpot when we learned that we could unload much of our junk for free.  Music to my ears.  Because nobody likes to pay to get rid of something.

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Insulation? We’ve got that covered.


Following the insulation party, the next step of our basement furnace room was to cover up all that bubble gum pinkness. We didn’t want to use drywall in this room because it’s heavy and messy, and it involves taping, sanding, priming, and painting. A lot of unnecessary steps for a room like this.  Since it is such a small room and is going to be used mainly for storage and a workbench, we decided to go with plywood instead. This method only required some cutting and hanging.  And now we’re in business.

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Weekend Insulation Party


Not exactly the best party that I’ve been to, but probably one of the most productive. I got a jump start on this project Friday afternoon after a supply run on Thursday night, and I was able to finish installing all of the insulation by Saturday evening.

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Pottery Barn Decorating Class


Looking for a great (and free) way to get a few extra design tips?  I always am as I’m still learning how to style our house to match our personalities and still trying become a wonderful hostess like my mother.  I’m not hosting the holidays this year, but that didn’t stop me from attending Pottery Barn’s How to Entertain with Style class with my mom yesterday.  It was a fun weekend activity, and it gave my mom (who does host large Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter gatherings) and myself some new ideas for entertaining on Thanksgiving.

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Game Day Guacamole


We’re a little early for game day, but we wanted to share our favorite snack: guacamole.  We are pretty sure both the Gophers and Vikings are going to get creamed this weekend, but even a defeat deserves a few good snacks.  And thanks to Trader Joe’s, it is has gotten a lot easier for us to whip up some amazing guacamole for the amazing price of $3.69…way cheaper than that table side guac we enjoy when we’re out.

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Prepping for a Weekend Project


On Tuesday we told you about our plans to insulate and organize our furnace room (which you can read here if you missed it). Today we took the first step towards insulation domination by cleaning everything out of the room, taking measurements, and heading to the Home Depot to purchase all of the supplies.  And by we, I totally just mean Dain.  This project is his brainchild, and $300 big ones later, he is ready to tackle this project over the weekend.  And I have my fingers crossed that it’ll be done by Sunday as promised by my handyman.

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Pretty in Paper


Ever wish you had some of those gorgeous coffee table books or that your books were beautiful enough to be on display?  We do too, but since we like some of our not-so-visually-stunning books, we decided to just make them prettier so they are finally display-worthy.  We have a small collection of bar books in our living room, and thanks to a sale on some incredible paper, they are now covered in oh-so-pretty maps and birds.

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Warming Up Some Storage


As we mentioned yesterday, the weather around here isn’t getting any warmer, and we finally broke down this morning and turned on our furnace when our thermostat read a cool 58 degrees. We love Minnesota. After flipping the switch, Dain went down to our furnace room to make sure everything was running properly. The furnace was humming along just fine, but the room where it is housed is a different story. It’s, well…a little bit cluttered. And by cluttered I mean piles of crap everywhere, reminiscent of our garage earlier this summer.

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