Adventures in the Good Life

The Engineer and I just got home last night from another weekend down in Nebraska.  Mostly we went to see his family and so I could get some practice in shooting my broad head tipped arrows.  It’s easy to find places to practice shooting in town, but broad head practice is essential….however hard to do when you live in town.  Enter…..The Engineer’s Dad’s house and land outta town.  Plus, there were plenty of pumpkins for target practice.

Anyway, Saturday was cold and rainy, so we filled the day with shopping!!!!  It doesn’t do much for practicing “being comfortable being uncomfortable” while hunting, but when fun shopping is so close it’s hard to want to stand out in the blowing rain shooting pumpkins.   The Engineer had never been to Trader Joe’s before, so I decided he needed to experience it all, and I needed to refill on some snackies!

Remember that one time I went to Trader Joe’s and accidentally bought the unsalted peanut butter filled pretzels and they were sorta sad?!  Well, I fixed that, actually paid attention to what I was doing, and got 2 bags of the blue, salted pretzels!  We had to get 2 bags this time because The Engineer really likes peanut butter, and it was the only snack that he actually admitted that he wanted from the store.  It took him a couple minutes to warm up to the whole excitement that is Trader Joe’s…….he felt out of place amongst the hipsters and health mommas.

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SO, SO, GOOD!

I snagged a bag of trail mix, and I’m having severe regrets about not grabbing a couple more bags.  It must be their fall seasonal variety.  Actually, most of the store aisles were slightly over run with pumpkin spice-esk things.  Soups, sauces, pasta, spice mix, beer, pop tarts…..if you want it pumpkin spice flavored Trader Joe’s currently has it.  Don’t get me wrong, I like pumpkin spice just fine, but I don’t necessarily need it to overrun everything in my life.  I did make an exception for Harvest Spice.  If you don’t know what that is, it’s apparently just candied pecans and cashews…..so basically…..deliciousness.  The trail mix is rounded out with almonds, dried apples, and candied ginger chunks.  The bag is basically gone after we munched on it during our running around Omaha and on the drive home.  I probably won’t make it back to Trader Joe’s before fall is over, so fingers crossed Harvest Spice sticks around into early winter!

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The Engineer really perked up when we got to the frozen section.  I had actually never seriously shopped the frozen section because I had always just been to a Trader Joe’s on vacation, but this time we came prepared!  We hauled down a cooler, mostly so we could bring back another haul of elk meat.  Couple that with the fact that instead of a hotel, we stay with him parents, and it meant that I could shop the frozen section for the first time ever!

Our frozen food finds are the orange chicken and steak and ale pies.  Orange chicken is one of The Engineer’s favorite Chinese entrees, so we snagged two bags.  He decided he wants to pair the bags with fried rice from Hy-Vee…or so I thought.  When he texted earlier and said he’d pick up rice on the way home I assumed he’d arrive with takeout boxes of rice.  Instead, he brought home a bag of rice and we had to quick whip up some fried rice….which we apparently did wrong.  It tasted alright, but got a little overcooked because we didn’t fry cold rice…….Google tells me that makes it better.  I had only had Trader Joe’s orange chicken once before, and I wasn’t a huge fan.  We whipped some up tonight with our rice and it still wasn’t my favorite.  I liked it more than I remembered, but I wouldn’t rank it as my all time favorite Chinese food.  It will probably get some jazzing up, but I think it will become a staple purchase item whenever we wind up at Trader Joe’s.

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A decent meal in a pinch, and something worth having in the freezer for lazy nights.

The steak and ale pies I decided to try.  They just looked so warm and wintery, and the box weighs about a ton so I’m assuming each pie is very well stuffed.  Also, my mild to moderate obsession with The Great British Baking Show, Marry Berry, and Paul Hollywood has me convinced that savory pies are a thing I need in my life.  They are always making these great King Henry VIII sized meat pie towers of delicious….I need that in my life.  I don’t even bake and I feel suddenly compelled to turn my kitchen into a prep center for some sort of great hall feast al la history books and Harry Potter!

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If you don’t watch this show, you need to!  Ready……Set…..BAKE!!!!

So……we shall start with frozen Trader Joe’s and move upward from there.  Frankly, I’m not even sure I like meat pies, and it’s much easier to find that out at this stage than halfway through feast prep!  Plus, they seem like they would go excellent with some mashed potatoes….and I’m currently rocking a slight surplus of potatoes.

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I didn’t even notice until now, but each pie is about half a pound!  Should make for a very nice, quick, winter dinner!

The last of my fall/winter snackies is a jug of apple cider.  Some nights it’s just nice to come home and mull up some cider, maybe throw in some rum, and curl up with a good book and a blanket.  I’m hopeful that this won’t be too sweet, I like my cider a bit on the tangy side, so we will try it out and see how it goes.  Worse comes to worse, just add more rum I guess!

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I rounded out the Trader Joe’s haul with a jar of my favorite salsa, the english toffee bars, and a few RX Bars.  All in all, a very successful shopping trip, and I think I converted The Engineer to the glories held within Trader Joe’s.

After Trader Joe’s, we scampered over to Cabela’s to scope out some turkey hunting supplies.  We did find a couple calls in the bargain cave, and I picked up a small multi-tool for my bow case.  I’m pretty sure I just annoyed him all the way back to Fremont trying to learn how to use my mouth call.  I’m not sure I sound very turkey-esk, but dying duck is a sound I’m pretty sure I have down.  There’s a couple weeks left of practice time, so maybe I’ll get my gobbling skills up to par.

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T minus 16 days till the season opens and 25 days until I hit the fields!!! 

 

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The Results are in and……

I DREW A TURKEY TAG!

I guess that means that The Engineer and I will be spending a weekend down in Bon Homme county hunting for a big fall tom!

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This is what I’m hoping to have not happen.  The Engineer and I spent a couple hours at one of the outdoor ranges yesterday working on making sure my bow is sighted in as accurately as possible for a few different distances and several different shooting positions.  Based on the poundage of my bow, I don’t feel comfortable making an ethic shot past 40 yards, but hopefully we can pull them in closer than that.  I’ll have a few more weeks of practice before the season opens, but I have some decisions to make until then…..namely choosing broad heads.

The Engineer is prepping for my big hunting adventure mostly by tent shopping.  We had discussed trying to camp out for the weekend we go hunting.  Momma’s house is in the adjacent county if things go really badly, but the running plan is to “rough it”.  To assist with that plan, he bought a tent!  To clarify, he bought a tent from Menards that was on sale for $20, because for $20 how could you not buy a 5 person tent?!  I’m cautiously supportive, however his new investment didn’t come with any rain protection.  Fall in SoDak can be a fickle bitch, so I guess we will just have to wait and see.  He assures me that tarps can be had if rain arrives….I’m maybe a bit less than convinced.

Speaking of hunting, The Engineer and I had a Halloween party to attend last night, and we channeled our inner hunters….

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Don’t mind my invisible upper lip….it’s there I promise, it’s just small. :/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bitch Faced Bestie and The Hubby in Law threw a themed diaper keg for their coming new little addition.  She loves Halloween, so of course the diaper keg was an early Halloween party!  The Engineer isn’t much for costumes and dressing up, so he got to wear some of his normal hunting clothes and I got to try out my makeup skills.  I feel like I did pretty well considering I never even did a practice run of this.  The antlers were a bit of a challenge, but luckily that’s why I have my engineer!

On a final note, a couple weeks ago I ordered myself some flowers!  My favorite place to get flowers, other than the farmer’s market downtown, is Bouqs.com!  They ship everything in bud form so your flowers will last and last.  The selection they offer changes seasonally, and they have quickly become the MisHappenings family standard place to order flowers from.  They were having a free upgrade sale and I have a couple gift cards on the website so I decided to treat myself to some fun fall flowers!

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Sunflowers!!!!!  And a baby MisHappenings with my Daddy! 

Like I said, the varieties of flowers available change all the time, and I’ve never been disappointed with the bouquets I’ve chosen.  If you are in the market for flowers, especially if like me you have an abundance of vases already squirreled in cabinets, you should definitely scope them out!

Paint and Pie

IT’S FINALLY FALL!

It seemed like cooler, sweater weather would never arrive, but I guess good things come to those who are patient!  With the changing of the seasons comes my deep burning desire to spend time cleaning, organizing, and crafting in my garage.  Things that have been laying around all summer I suddenly have a burning need to organize.

The first craft of the fall was trying out chalk paint on some metal decor.  A few months ago I purchased a metal candle holder from Hobby Lobby.  While I do like the original color of the candle holder, it wasn’t really the right shade of blue for my house.  What better to do than throw some chalk paint on it and see what happens?!

Overall, I would say the mini project went well.  The only thing I would change was maybe the amount of distressing I did before I waxed the piece.  The paint chips off rather easy, so in buffing in the dark wax, several extra chunks of paint went flying off.  I’m not sure that in this case the candle holder could be “over” distressed, and since I didn’t have a specific outcome in mind….all is good in the chalk painting hood!  If you were going for a lighter distressed look, I might actually skip the initial distressing step.  Apply your wax, and then if you feel like you need a little extra maybe distress with sandpaper as a final step.

Another glorious part of the shift in the weather is a change in nightly meal choices!  I’m not one of those people who can eat soup and casseroles with its 100 degrees outside, so as the temperatures have been cooling I’ve been ramping up the oven!  Last night I tried out a new recipe…..shepherd’s pie!  I had never had a shepherd’s pie before, but The Engineer has had them and was having a craving.  Coupled with the fact that we watched Gordon Ramsey make some on Kitchen Nightmare meant that I needed to try my hand.  All in all, I think it turned out pretty well!  Used up a bunch of leftover veggies, and anything with cheesy mashed potatoes is a good life decision!!

Shepherd’s Pie

  • 2 pounds ground meat
  • Onion, chopped
  • 3 large handfuls of baby carrots, chopped
  • 5-6 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1ish glass of red wine
  • 6 Tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-12oz can of tomato paste
  • 3 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6-12 oz of water
  • 3 Tbs thyme
  • 1/2 12oz bag of frozen corn
  • 1/2 12oz bag of frozen green beans
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 2 pounds of potatoes, peeled
  • 5 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup of milk

While I do understand that this isn’t a traditional shepherd’s pie as it doesn’t contain lamb, I’m pretty confident that this recipe would work with any red meat.  The most important quality of the meat, according to Gordon, is that it’s well drained and free of grease.  Elk, for all intensive purposes, is basically grease free and I have a freezer full of it now, so that’s what I used.  If using any wild game meat, remember that you will probably need to add some olive oil to your pan before adding in the meat.  Brown the meat and toss in all the fresh veggies, onion, and the garlic.  Continue cooking until you’re sure the meat is completely cooked, and the onions have gone slightly translucent.

Dump in the worcestershire, tomato paste, wine, bouillon and water.  You could also use any stock you have laying around the house, I just had the cubes to use.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and the thyme.  I used several fresh sprigs from my garden, but dried would also work just fine.

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When you use fresh herbs and your fancy starts showing!

Simmer your meat mixture until the carrots and celery become tender and the mixture thickens….about 45 mins.  Stir often so that the bottom of the mixture doesn’t scorch to the pan.  While that’s simmering, rough cube the potatoes and add them to a pan and boil until fork tender.  Drain and add to a mixing bowl with the butter, cheese, and milk. Basically, just make mashed potatoes the way you always would….only with the addition of cheese.  Maybe you make them with cheese all the time…..I don’t, so that was a little upgrade!

Add your frozen veggies and just let them warm up a couple minutes.  Pour the mixture into a 9×13 baking pan.  The entire mixture didn’t all fit in my pan, in hindsight it would have, but I made a small, additional baking dish and threw it into the freezer for later.  Top the mixture with the mashed potatoes and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  If the top isn’t as brown as you’d like, turn the broiler on and babysit your pie carefully until the desired level of golden brown is achieved.  Dish up and enjoy your meat, potatoes, and veggies!!

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I raked my potatoes with a fork before baking and topped them with extra black pepper because it’s The Engineer’s favorite!

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PIE!

Besties, Babies, and Hunting?!

It’s just a short on tonight, it’s been a busy weekend!  

Lil B came to visit so that we could help celebrate Bitch Face Bestie’s soon to arrive baby!!

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Me and Loki the cat looking annoyed while Lil B looks cute!

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Lil B and the momma to be….while I apparently talk with my hands!

After all the festivities and hanging out, I did manage to freeze three quarts of tomatoes from my garden and finally got around to taking my archery safety class.  Sadly, I was late applying for a turkey license, so I wasn’t able to apply for my preferred county.  Well, actually my preferred county would have been the one I currently reside in, however we apparently don’t have a fall turkey season.  My next preference would have been the county I grew up in, but I didn’t get a license there.  The deadline for round 1 applications was September 15…..I’m always running just slightly behind schedule….it’s less than helpful!  Now, I guess we just wait and see if my name is drawn for an adjacent county. It should be a couple weeks before I hear anything….keep your fingers crossed!!!

Also, I have a major bone to pick with the Game, Fish and Parks Department!!  It shouldn’t be a two hour process to find out which counties have permits available, and where public hunting lands might be in those counties.  They do have a map, but it’s about the least helpful thing mankind has ever created.

Also, apparently in other states……like Nebraska…..your license is good mostly everywhere.  I wasn’t aware of that, but The Engineer is from Nebraska, and apparently hunting is an easier activity down there….or at least getting the licenses is a much easier activity!  South Dakota doesn’t roll that way.

If I do draw a license, it will only be good for one chunk of land.  If that’s the case, wouldn’t it make sense that those counties might have their own pages in the public lands hunting atlas book/map thinger?!  Like a county by county map since I’m not allowed to hunt outside that county.  I feel like that would be the easiest and most useful, but apparently my state insists on making things difficult.  The county where my license would be issued…..TAKES UP 4 PAGES IN THE GUIDELINES BOOK!!!!!!!!!!  How is that helpful or easy for anyone?!  So you have to flip around like an idiot to scope out all your potential hunting areas.

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This is maybe the most confusing map I’ve ever tried to read!

I’m sure it’s done that way for a reason, but as a new user and someone who just wants to get started hunting, it’s difficult and confusing.  Between several map keys, keeping track of new acronyms, and attempting to pick something that seemed reasonably achievable……it was just a stressful evening as far as hunting was concerned.  Although….I did do bomb.com on my bowhunter ed online course!

The Engineer tried to help, and I wouldn’t have figured out the maps and land issue without him, but he doesn’t do any just random public land hunting here.  He goes hunting in specific places that he or his buddies have secured the right to hunt on.  I don’t have any connections in the available counties, so we just picked one that wasn’t too far away from home and I guess I’ll give it a shot.  If I loose $15 in the attempt to get my fall turkey, I guess that’s the way hunting goes.

Plumber’s Crack, See Through Butts, and Muffin Top

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No pants……no crack problems!

Now that I’ve snagged you in with that clever click-bait title, let’s get to the point!

Workout pants…….you put a ton of faith in them, and expect them to stay where they belong.  There’s nothing worse than going for a run and constantly having to hike up your capris, or feeling like your booty is slipping out of your leggings while you’re squatting.

I’ve got a pretty small waist in proportion to my booty, so finding good pants that stay put….workout or otherwise….has always been the bane of my existence.  Ideally, I need pants that are large butts but with a medium waist.  Medium butts make me a bit nervous about being that girl at the gym whose pants are always see through…..no one wants to be that girl.  I’ve tried several brands and styles and recently had a breakthrough!  I thought I’d review and rank them for you.  I can’t be the only one on this struggle bus.

(Mis)Happenings proud presents—–

Yoga Pants: A Review in 7 Parts

  1. Beyond Yoga  These are my absolute new favorite!  I love a good pair of high waisted pants.  They are just so smoothing and keep everything in place.  Plus, because the waist is so high you don’t have to worry about your booty hanging out.  What makes these highest on my list is the lining in the waist.  They have an inner cotton lining which I think helps keep them tight and snug.  It also seems to help the waist from rolling down at all.  Nothing is worse than having your high waisted pants roll down and giving you the muffin top to end all muffin tops.  I purchased a large, but the waist definitely feels snug on me like a medium typically would fit.  Plus side…..the print I own is currently on sale, so snap them up in a hurry!
  2. K-Deer  The first pair of “high end” yoga pants I purchased was a pair of K-Deer capris.  They were actually a “desperate times calls for desperate measures” spur of the moment purchase when I realized the pair of capris I had on had a hole when I arrived at class.  I love that they are high waisted and very stretchy, however sometimes the waist band does roll on me.  I wear a large, and don’t have many issues with the pants moving around on me.  I will say, if you’re tall and want a mid-calf level capri, you should order the sneaker length.  I have a pair and they hit sort mid to low calf on me, but I do have extra gangly, long legs.  If you’re into bright, festive colors and patterns in your workout gear you really don’t need to search anymore.
  3. Teeki   I love Teeki prints….like seriously all the prints!!!!  Some people….cough cough The Engineer cough cough…..might tell you they are ugly, but you just namaste and walk away!  Teeki leggings are made from recycled materials so you can help the environment while you find your center.  They are very thin, which I love for all of my hot classes, however until I get sweaty enough to sort of stick the waist to me, it does fall and sag.  There is no elastic in the waist band, which is good for the muffin top, not so good for cardio.  I own two pairs, both in a large.  I did try on a medium, however because the prints are only on the outside of the leggings, squats in the medium made the white lining really show through.  I’m smart enough to know it isn’t my white girl butt showing through, but I don’t need to be causing that level of scandal during my classes.
  4. Alo Yoga  I have a pair of the Goddess style leggings.  I love them because they are extra long in the leg and ruched up the outsides.  Like the rest of my favorite leggings….they are of course high waisted!!  They have a good amount of stretch, but don’t just feel like spandex.  I have a size medium.  They are a little squeezey in the waist….mostly at the top of the waist band on the seam.  However, they feel alright through the leg and booty on me.  I’ve never tried on a large, but I would image they would feel too big on me.
    The photos are me in a pair of Goddess leggings from a photoshoot at my gym.  Pictures by Aime Hansen Photography, and styling by Form Fitness Boutique!
  5. Athleta  When I was looking for a pair of nice, black leggings to wear both to classes and just out and about it my life, I found a nice pair at Athleta.  They have side pockets for my cell phone when I’m out and about, zippers at the ankles that make them easy to wear with shoes or ankle booties, and the fabric feels the most cotton-y of all my yoga pants, if that’s something you like in your workout wear.  I own two different pairs of Athleta leggings, both high waisted size large.  The only thing I don’t like about them is the sizing.  The waists on both feel a size too big, however the booty on both feels like it fits well.  It isn’t a huge deal, I rarely wear them to work out…..mostly I wear them with over sized sweaters or hoodies lounging around or at work.
  6. Jiva  I have one pair….and I want to like them I just can’t really!  They run so small!  Also, they don’t feel like they have much stretch.  My gym carries them and I’m always tempted to try another pair, but there are just so many others I like better.  Realistically, they aren’t horrible, they are just tight.  I mostly wear them to barre class because that rarely involves deep squats.  Deep squats aren’t something that ever seems like a good idea in super tight pants.  The one plus side is that even though they are tight, they aren’t see through.  But, when I say they are tight I mean that they are even hard to pull on over your feet because the ankle holes are so small.  I have a large and they feel a bit small all over…..but they don’t look like they are squeezing me so it’s not all bad.
  7. Fabletics  When I first started getting really serious about working out, Fabletics was the company I turned to for my pants.  They are very affordable, the styles update every month, and there are cuts and colors for everyone.  I don’t own any high waisted styles from them, all of my pairs are older than their new lines.  I have maybe half a dozen pairs of varying styles and prints, and they aren’t they most consistent company.  Some fabrics feel like they make the pants run small, some fabrics aren’t as stretchy as others…..overall the pairs I like I really like, and the pairs I didn’t like I really didn’t like.  The pants that don’t stretch are constantly sliding down.  I only wear them for rowing or biking, anything else is just annoying because I’m constantly having to fidget with them.  It’s obviously hard to know what you’re getting online, so it always felt like a bit of a crap shoot…..or a box of chocolates….either way you never really know what you’re gonna get.

Small Town Shopping

A couple weeks ago I was home to go to the dentist.  Yes, I know….I should probably just find a new dentist instead of using vacation days to go home just to see the dentist.  However, I have more vacation time then I ever know what to do with and change makes me nervous sooooo I think I’ll just keep going home.  I tried a new dentist once……worst decision ever!

Anyway, I was there for the weekend spending time with Momma MisHappenings and we did a little bored shopping to pass the weekend.  I’m a big online shopper, mostly because I hate having to leave my house, and most of the premium shopping opportunities are on the other side of town.  Also, sales people who bug me while I’m just shopping annoy me.  How is it when you don’t need them they are swarming around you, but if you actually have a valid question they scatter…..like bees…..they can just sense the struggle I guess.

I don’t mind going to small town stores though.  I know that you sometimes pay more, but my theory is that if you don’t support the small town options you won’t have any left.  I grew up in a smaller town that saw multiple businesses come and go over the years.  For some reason, coffee shops and bakeries seemed to have an especially hard time in my town…..which is a shame because adult MisHappenings loves coffee shops and bakeries.  Don’t get me wrong, I still do plenty of shopping at Walmart, but I believe life is all about balance….budgets, shopping, ya know…..things.

There’s a cute little store in my hometown called The Lemonade Stand.  It’s sorta shabby chic style with custom distressed furniture and cute decor and furnishing items.  They were open and then closed due to a family death, but I’m glad that the owner reopened the store.  It actually just recently reopened so I suggested to Momma that we swing through and see what had changed.  I ended up finding a couple cute things.

I’m trying  to make my upstairs loft/office into a sort of a Merlin’s laboratory or like Hogwart’s potions class style room.  To a point…..I’m not going to hang permanent cobwebs on my bookshelves or anything, but just the general vibe.  I’ve slowly been collecting stylized bottles and other small pieces that might work in the space.  The Lemonade Stand had a couple cute little things that I snatched up, and a cute little cement M for my Engineer since he was at home puppy sitting the Pupperoni girl.

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Ahhh…cute lil cement “M” for The Engineer

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Hopefully, I can get in an get this turned into mercury glass, like a fancy little test tube stand!

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The upstairs desk needed a garbage can, and this little rusty, distressed bucket seemed like he’d work great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Momma had seen advertisements of a little consignment store down in Nebraska on Facebook, so we decided to take a little road trip down to check it out…..if Runza was going to be involved.  The store ended up being very cute.  It was much larger than I would have guessed, but they had a good mix of consignment items and new purchased items.  Momma and I wandered for awhile and scoped out the scene.  I could have spent way more money than I did, but I feel like I made some good purchases!

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This centerpiece came in three lengths, this was the mid length.  It’s all hinged so you can set it out in basically any shape you want.

I found a cute little reclaimed wood cabinet.  It has what appears to be an old cabinet door as a back panel, and then the rest is just pieced together.  It matches the upstairs bathroom which is blue with bird accents.  So, for $18 I got a cute new cabinet for the bathroom.  Besides, he had a pretty thick coat of dust, so it’s obvious he had been at the shop for awhile.  A new home was definitely in order.

Throwback and New School

The Engineer is at a work sponsored golf event for the night, so the lil Scout-a-Roo and I are blogging together on the couch old school style.  Throwing it back to our single girl days!  Not that we both don’t love having The Engineer around, but sometimes it’s nice to throw on some Sex and the City, pour some wine, and have yourself a nice girl’s night.  I have no idea what The Engineer is eating, but I had sushi and Roo had her regular crunchies with the added bonus of some leftover elk steak chunks and leftover elk burger.  Everyone was eating really good tonight at Casa (Mis)Happenings

Alrighty….down to business!  Technical errors from last week mean that I owe you a double blog of sorts.  It’s been a busy few weekends around here.  House projects, gardening, trips home and shopping with Momma…..so many things to do, so little time!

Slowly but surely I’ve been working on improving my backyard and patio situation.  It isn’t that my yard is bad, it’s well maintained, but I’m on a fairly busy corner and my yard is lacking in privacy and shade.  I want to extend my little patio pad, probably with some sample slabs from The Engineer’s company, but that seems like a lot of work…..especially when it’s still so hot out!  I don’t really need the shade, but on days when I want to be out reading, tanning, and enjoying a beer it would be nice for Scout to have a place out of the sun. Cue…..

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It provides plenty of shade, but is out of the way when it needs to be.  I got the umbrella stick part and the canopy from Cost Plus World Market, and the stand came from Menards.  I really only got the umbrella because it was on super sale one weekend, but I’m glad that I finally pulled the trigger on buying one!  I saved like $70 on the whole thing!!!  If you’ve never been to the World Market, you really need to find your nearest one and scope the scene!  I’ve bought a ton of stuff there…..jewelry, furniture, pillows, rugs, and food.  Everything is a bit in the style of Anthropologie or Restoration Hardware……but WAY CHEAPER!

Another major house update I accomplished recently was finally settling on a rug!  Momma has thought that my living room as always needed a rug.  Partly I’m sure to break the space up a little since I have a fairly open concept living room, kitchen, and dining room.  Secondly, to lighten up the super dark wood flooring the previous owners picked.

I’ve had a couple problems picking a rug.  First, most rugs in the size I need for my living room, at least 8×10, fall no where near the price point I’m willing to spend on a chunk of carpet.  Secondly, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed…..but there are way more ugly rugs than good looking rugs!

The colors I chose for the living room also didn’t help the rug hunt.  I have very dark floors, a metallic pearl couch, turquoise accent chairs and secretary, and a dark plum reading chair.  I wanted a traditional feel, but in modern colors.  Sort of like if Marie Antionette owned a townhome, simplified her need to gold, and embraced a modern color pallet.  Finding a traditional rug in those colors was a bit of a struggle.  Most were the wrong shade of blue, had weird pops of orange…….which why though……., or they were too dark to contrast with my floor.  Enter the Anastasia Collection by Loloi Rugs…..

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Stock photo from loloi.com because I’m bad at taking decent pictures.

The only name  can find for this rug is AF-05 Silver and Plum.  The base of the rug is a very light, slightly metallic silver, but against my floor it takes on a warmer shade of taupe-y silver.  I’m not sure that taupe-y silver is an actual color, but it is what it is I guess.  The turquoise in the rug perfectly matches my accent chairs, and the various shades of plum and eggplant coordinate nicely with my reading chair.  The only thing I don’t love with it is my little ottoman puff thing, but I could easily recover that.  It’s a pale cream floral print, and I’ve never been a huge fan of layering prints.  I know it’s a thing, but it just always seems weird to me.

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Laying out the monster rug, and someone wanted to help press out the wrinkles…….

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Wrinkle squishing was a serious job….but someone had to do it!

As you maybe can tell from the pictures, the rug looks darker in any light other than direct sunlight.  It also depends a little bit on which direction you brush the rug.  All in all, I really like it.  It keeps my couch from sliding backwards into the wall shelf, and it’s thin enough that it doesn’t feel like a chunk of shag carpet laying on my floor.  Momma keeps asking if I need a rug pad…..I’m not sure what that would accomplish, but the rug isn’t sliding around or moving so I’m leaning towards the not needing one side.

I’m not quite sure that we threw the rug down in the right location.  I mean, it’s underneath all the living room furniture which I know is important, but I’m still not super sure.  I’m sure that the next time Momma MisHappenings comes to the house we will fidget it around some.  I feel like that’s the sort of information Mommas are suppose to know…..how to connect a room with an area rug and how long to boil corn for.  Yes, I had to text and ask how long to boil corn for…..I cook a lot but every once in awhile you come upon something you took from granted and never had to make.  Apparently corn on the cob was that thing for me.

Besides moving furniture and laying out rugs, The Engineer and I also canned last weekend.  Well……mostly I canned and he watched.  He did help prep ingredients and wash green beans, but he decided he couldn’t stuff jars because his hands didn’t fit.  Dilly bean jar stuffing is a bit of an acquired art, so I guess I can’t really blame him.  He did take plenty of pictures, but please ignore the mess in my kitchen.  Between biking, breakfast smoothie making, canning, and just my regular messiness……my kitchen and I were disasters by the end of the day.  All in all we made 9 quart jars of dilly beans, and 7 jars of banana pepper rings.  Most of the banana peppers are in pints, but I had some random jelly jars laying around so I filled those up too.  Some of the jars even contain beans and peppers from my little garden plot.  It’s been nice to get veggies in quantities you can actually do something with, although I did still buy 8 pounds of green beans and a bucket of banana peppers from my favorite supplier at the farmer’s market.