Recent Inspiration From Around the Web

I have been feeling quite lazy since the Christmas holidays ended.  Not motivated to do anything but the absolutely necessary to sustain our daily lives.  Finally, realizing I had to do something to jolt myself out of the mood, I turned to the web for inspiration and ideas.  I thought I would share a few of the things that made me want to get off the couch and make something, or at least take a picture.


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These images from Design Sponge really make me want to take out my camera and go for a walk.

I wasn’t thrilled with my breakfasts over Christmas.  I will be picking my favorites from this page for the next time I have house guests or company at breakfast.

This blog post motivated me to organize under my kitchen sink.

Ever thought of using pink (outside of a girl’s room) in your home?  These pictures might make you think twice.


Valentine’s Day is a nice time to make those we love feel special.  And who has better ideas than Martha Stewart?
I’m off to the craft store for supplies!



Vegetable Chowder with Cheese

Like most everyone I made a resolution to eat more healthfully in 2017.  This vegetable chowder really makes that easy to do.  It’s chock full of vegetables and it tastes great.
For some reason, because I do like vegetables and fruits, I find it hard to incorporate enough into my daily diet.  So when I find a recipe like this, I think of it as counteracting those days when I didn’t hit my daily requirement.
The recipe makes 6 hearty servings.  For the two of us we will have leftovers for lunches or to freeze.



3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
8 celery ribs, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. salt
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups of milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Bring the first six ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in corn.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat and add the flour, stirring until smooth.  Gradually stir in the milk and continue cooking until the mixture thickens and bubbles.  Add the grated cheese, stirring until melted and combined.
Stir the cheese mixture into the vegetable mixture until blended.  Cook a few more minutes until warm.

A few other soup suggestions:
Do you have a favorite soup recipe?  I would love to add some variety to my list.


Make Your Holiday Notebook Now


Since Tom and I are empty nesters, we love it when the family comes home for Christmas.  Our three children live near us, but they (and the spouses of the two that are married) come stay at the house for a few days over Christmas.  It’s so much fun to have everyone under one roof.

As we all know, there are logistics to having 5 extra people for meals over a 3 day period.  I am a sporadically organized person and events like this get me motivated. I don’t want to miss out on the games and conversation because I am stuck in the kitchen! So I did a lot of meal planning and shopping for snacks.  And it mostly worked out, but there is always room for improvement.  I know, you might think because my children are grown and I’ve done this for decades that I would have it down.  But, you forget what you did before, people change, new people come into the family and it’s a whole new ballgame.

After everyone had gone home, as I was cleaning up and putting away, I thought about how it all went.  For me, that led to thoughts of, “next year I will do this differently, or do that exactly the same”.  I have to keep a notebook for these thoughts, because if I don’t write it down, it’s gone forever.  I’m so proud of myself when I actually do these organized things.
My notebook is a 3 ring binder I bought at TJ Maxx.  I like binders since you can add to them in any order you like.  I add a couple of dividers with pockets so that I can add articles that are relevant to entertaining.


And I make dividers.


  
And then I type up a “report” which can have bullets, like “make gumbo on Christmas eve”.  It doesn’t have to be typed though.  It can be a sheet of paper torn out of a composition book.  Put the date at the top, then just jot down what went well and what needs improving.  Trust me, you will thank yourself next year.  

With a big notebook like mine, you can have so many sections besides holidays.  There’s room for dinner parties, birthday parties, houseguests checklists, practically anything event wise.  And it’s so easy to personalize to fit your life.
You’ll have everyone wondering how you stay on your game so consistently. 


  Hopefully, this gives you that little push to start your own entertaining notebook!