Rummage Sale and Park Time

We are recovering this week from our rummage sale last weekend! Friday and Saturday we had our first ever rummage sale out front and did some pretty good sales.  We finished up selling a last few large items over the week and ended up with several hundred dollars and a lot less clutter in the house!

We went from this inside our mudroom (plus there was more stuff outside and in the basement that we also added to the sale):

20150611_160025

To this! A nice clear mudroom with a window again! I think the rabbit and bird were wondering why they were living in a dark dungeon all of a sudden. SO much better!

20150611_173447

We also sold several large items including a motorcycle, our large loom,and some giant Nutrena feed signs. There were some items left from the sale so we donated about 3 boxes of leftover clothing, shoes and toys to Good Will plus we have another box of items to drop off at the consignment store and another box that will either be donated to a different local group or end up in consignment… not sure which yet.  Plus we have one last large item, our treadmill, which is going to get hauled downstairs this weekend and I already have a tentative buyer who is going to come look at it!  Then we should be pretty well done and cleared out for awhile 🙂

Joe ended up having to go out of town Monday – Wednesday so the day after our rummage sale he was really busy trying to mow the lawn, pack, pick up his car and catch up on workouts and things around the house.  We decided to just have something easy for supper so James and I went to town and hit up a park and then picked up some food for us.  Mostly at the park James wanted to check out the construction equipment although we did do a little bit of playing too.  Unfortunately there were a bunch of teenagers at the top of the slides being rude and swearing etc. James is too small to go down the big slides yet but if he was a bit older and wanted to use them I would have told them to get the heck out. Totally inappropriate to be hogging playground equipment (and they weren’t playing on it, they were using it as a hangout/fort/little gang area) as a teenager and then using bad language to top it off!

20150614_161622

Above: James and I on our way to look at the truck but splashing through rain puddles on the way.  James selected to wear that hat himself, it was really warm out.  Below: The giant playground.  They did add a smaller kids area closer to the beach too which was pretty fun and James played on that and then went on the swings too.  He loves swinging!

20150614_163010

And here are a couple other pictures from this week.  James and Cora were ready for Dad to come home on Wednesday and they were keeping an eye out.  If you mention Dad around Cora, especially at the end of the day, she goes barking to the door searching for him and then James thinks he is home because Cora is barking so he runs to the door too and waits.

20150616_141856

This is from this morning.  James and I went out shopping early and he was tired and hungry when we got home so while I was getting him some food he crawled up to sit with Cora!

20150619_095808

Advertisements

Chalkboard Wall

Here is our finished chalkboard wall! Or as finished as it is going to get for now anyways.  We had this perfect little spot between the two doors to turn into a chalkboard and we had almost everything we needed so it was super cheap too.  We already had chalkboard paint (otherwise it is about $10 for a quart) and we already had the chalk, glass jars and white paint from painting the radiator.  The trim is a little scrap I stole from our pile that we took out of the living room and dining room when we took our walls down since it is doubtful that we will use it again. All we needed were a few nails, some hose clamps and an eraser which ended up being less than $15 total!

I did the painting part of it and James and I stopped by the building supply store one day and picked up the hose clamps and some special nails.  I had no idea what hose clamps were so I walked around until I saw what I wanted and only learned what they were later! 🙂 James and I alone together in the building supply store are a bit out of our element.  Sometimes I do know what I want, just not the name!  Then Joe drilled the holes into the hose clamps for me and installed them on the wall and cut the trim the right size for me too!

20150526_094216

We ended up only installing two jars for now but we do have two additional hose clamps so we could add more on the other side or change the layout a bit later if we wanted.  For now one cup of chalk and one eraser is perfect since James mostly likes to eat the chalk anyways… this way I only have a couple pieces to keep an eye on and make sure he isn’t chomping on them. My picture doesn’t look level but I swear its level when you look at it!

20150526_094238

Blue Apron

This past week we tried out some Blue Apron meals from a friend for free! They offer two-person and four-person plans and we just got the two-person and split it between the three of us.  Our box included a fish (Hake) meal, a turkey meal and a steak meal. I think the turkey meal was my favourite because it seemed like it made the most and I thought it was pretty tasty! It had ground turkey that was turned into little patties with barley, spices and vegetables and then served with a yogurt-mint sauce.  The fish was tasty but the pieces were pretty small compared to what we would normally make and the same with the steak.  Blue Apron is definitely portion controlled which is both good and bad!

I think if we were to get it regularly we would probably have to get the ‘Family of 4’ plan because then the meals would be slightly bigger and/or we would have a bit of extra. That comes out to almost $40/meal though for one supper for the three of us and maybe a bit leftover for Joe’s lunch and that is quite a bit so we probably won’t get it regularly but maybe once in awhile for something fun! It is nice that they offer a big variety of foods, especially things we just can’t get here so we wouldn’t get to eat otherwise. It was also nice to get all the ingredients right in the mail (and all of the packaging is recyclable – even up here!) and the recipes didn’t take too much time or too many dishes to make so supper prep and cleanup was also pretty quick.

I didn’t take too many photos of our meals because my plating still looks pretty ugly compared to theirs but I did take a couple pictures of some of the ingredients etc.  All of our ingredients were nice and fresh except for two items which were questionable!

IMG_1213This was one of the questionable items… I can’t even remember what this is called but it is some kind of green.  Some of the leaves were starting to fade and it had a giant flower in it. Not sure if it was supposed to have the giant flower or if it had grown a bit past its prime picking stage! The photo definitely did not include a flower.  This was part of the Hake recipe that we ate right away on Wednesday when the box arrived so it isn’t like the plant sat in our fridge for awhile. Everything else was tasty and we had mushrooms and some daikon radish in it, neither of which we eat very often.

20150523_182151

An example of what the recipe card looks like.  It is all split up by steps and easy to follow! I did have one problem with this little block I took a photo of… It should tell you to snap the woody ends of asparagus off because you start cutting them up! I did that myself anyways but if I was exactly following the directions I would have cut my asparagus into 2 inch pieces and then had to snap ends off some of the pieces!  Otherwise all the cards were really nice with good pictures and good instructions! And they are durable/nice so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to hang onto them and save them to make again.

20150523_182058

This was our second questionable produce.  We got our box on Wednesday and cooked this steak meal on Saturday.  So it was 4 days later and probably at least 6 days since the plant left the field.  The tops were getting all mushy and wilted so I couldn’t use them and the roots (which you cut off for the recipe anyways) were getting kind of rotten.  We also found a worm on it! I had cut it up it was in the bowl and Joe was looking at it and he found a little white worm crawling around. Ick.  He removed it and I still cooked it but that was kind of gross.  I do know that produce in the fields, and a lot of products we eat, are technically full of bugs and bug bits but it was weird to find a worm right in our food. We weren’t sure if that meant it was so fresh the worm was still alive, or if it was getting old so the worm had enough time to hatch from an egg!  Since the top and bottom of the plant was going bad I’m thinking maybe the worm hatched from an egg. We did cook the good parts though and we are still here!

  20150523_191315 Our finished steak meal! This meal didn’t make a bad amount, there were quite a few potatoes and enough asparagus salad but the steaks could have been maybe a bit bigger.  I just used smaller plates… the big ones are like salad/small lunch sort of plates and the small one for James is a dessert plate 🙂

I wish I had taken photos of the turkey recipe because like I said it was my favourite! Not sure how I missed taking at least one photo of some part of it.  I had absolutely no problems with that and everything was fresh and good looking for it and I think it made a pretty good amount of supper too for being split between three of us and for two of us it would have probably been perfect.

So all in all I guess our review of Blue Apron is mixed! It was nice, convenient, easy to prepare and cleanup from and you can’t go wrong with delivery right to the house with recyclable packaging as an added bonus. Plus the variety of foods you get to eat is better than what we can get locally most of the time. But then the portions seemed a little bit small, they could at least plump them up with more veggies or greens even if the protein stays the same size, and a couple of our produce items were questionable by the time we got/used them!