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😋 Yummy Lunch 😋

I missed a day with my 30 day blog/picture post, so sad. I was just so busy yesterday and by the time I got home around 11:00 at night - I forgot. Oh well, I tried.

Here is a pic of lunch! Homemade tomato soup and homemade bread! It was so yummy 😋 





🌸 Pretty Plates 🌸



This set is so pretty and they are plastic! I love them. I wonder where I can buy a set.






🤗 Corningware Percolator Thrift Find 🤗


My $10 thrift find! I’m sad it doesn’t have the inside stuff it’s only the pot but I have been searching for a non recalled vintage Corningware percolator 🤗

#corninware

I also have a recalled Vintage Corningware Percolator and have used it. The recall is because of the epoxy with the metal caller. It would detach. When I use mine I always hold the bottom with a pot holder. 

Now I am on the hunt for some innards for this coffee pot. It doesn't have to be from Corningware (Corning Ware) as long as it fits and works. I know I have some laying around somewhere (in a box packed away most likely) so I'll just have to wait to perk some coffee.

Maybe my next blog challenge will be 30 Days of Corningware. I think I might have at least 30 pieces.

🍫 Coffee & Chocolate 🍫

Life is good with coffee and chocolate!


😍 DateBox Club 😍

Hubby and I have been going out every or almost every Saturday for the past five or six years. You can read about one of our Date Nights from 2014! 

#dateboxclub

We really look forward to our dates. We usually go for dinner and a coffee. I usually get an Americano and Lupe gets a Mocha Frappe (both McDonalds and Starbucks has fraps and Americanos, wahoo!).

Hubby has been really stressed with work so I've been wanting to do something different on our dates but couldn't think of anything other than seeing a movie. Things like bowling is too expensive.

My sister MaryEllen introduced me to the Date Box Club. She found out about the Date Box Club through a YouTube Channel called Subscription Unbox! I thought this could be my answer.


#DateNight

I watched a few of their Date Box unboxing. What I loved was they are just fun dates - no romance type stuff. The DateBoxes are themed around a cooking activity, DIY projects or a game.



After a few months and me not coming up with anything new for our dates I decided to take the plunge and subscribe for my monthly DateBox Club. I was worried about not knowing because the boxes are a surprise. You don't know what's inside until you open it. But after watching Subscription Unbox and seeing what was in some of the past DateBoxes I thought that's what makes it fun.

When you first open the box there will be an envelope (shown in the photo above) this has instructions for the game/activity, if there is food to prep (like baking cookies as in one previous box), it just basically tells you all what to do -all the planning is done for you.


#DateBoxClub

At the time of me writing this blog post, my Hubby has no idea I even ordered us a DateBox. I'm going to surprise him.

I was excited to see that our first DateBox includes a game. Also in the box was a candle and some popcorn to snack on while we play the game.



There is even a playlist for you like I said, everything is planned for you. From the activity to the music. So, yeah, I'm super excited and can't wait for date night. 

The only con is for those who actually leave the house on date night like we do. This box thankfully can be taken with us and completed at a coffee shop but some you'd need to do at home. For example, one DateBox was face painting. I thought that it looked so fun and would love to paint my husband's face (it really looked fun) but not at a coffee shop and our house is so small that it would be hard to just sit, chat, and face paint. We have six kiddos from ages 14-21 in a one bathroom house which = no privacy. 

I'm not sure how we'd "complete" a DateBox like that but we'll figure it out.

Anyway, I'm excited and for me, the price of $39.95 is worth it. DateBox Club plans my date, figures out what we need for the date, gathers the items, packs it and ships it + plus we get a playlist and I didn't have to do a thing!

Have you tried DateBox Club before?

Try a DateBox Mini -I believe these are kinda like a sample DateBox.


☕️ Morning Cup of Coffee ☕️


  ☕️ Love my morning cup of java ☕️  My Brother-in-law bought me this Bell mug - love it!


I have been using my retro coffee/toaster oven. Every morning I make Brent and I a cup of coffee in this little coffee maker. It makes the perfect amount. 

Corelle Secret Garden Thrift Find

                     Day 16 of My 30 Day Picture/Blog Challenge!

Thrift find! I found a 12 piece set of Corelle Secret Garden for $25.00!!! New this set would be around $70.00 (depending on where you purchase them)!

Corelle plates

I was super excited to find some Corelle plates and bowls. They are so pretty too. I have a set of the Winter White and hadn't planned on getting any with a pattern but the price was too good to pass up!

What have you found at the thrift store lately?

Made My Second Loaf of Bread!

        Day 14 of my 30 Day Picture/Blog Posting Challenge

It's pretty amazing what some basic ingredients can do. Water, yeast, oil, salt, sugar, and flour mix and knead it right and you have a beautiful loaf of bread. 

#homemadebread

I am still pretty excited about my sandwich worthy bread that I made Tuesday! I wrote about it Wednesday and shared some YouTube videos that really helped me out.

I made another loaf yesterday and it came out so yummy. This time I used half organic white flour and half sprouted wheat flour.


#homemadebread

Again, I'm still in shock that I -Linda made a decent loaf of bread. This is something that's been on my heart to do for my family for so long. I tried when the kids were little but my bread always came out flat, squished looking, underdone, and with an after taste. 



Look at that texture! If you are reading this and have been discouraged -please read my Homemade Bread post. There are three Youtube videos that I share that helped me. 


Learning about the Windowpane technique, the proof box (I'm going to try making bread without the proofing box to see if it really helps but for now I will continue to use it), and learning how the dough should look, that it's not how much flour but what your dough needs, those techniques REALLY helped.

#homemadebread

Homemade Bread

        🍞🍞🍞 Day 13!!! of my 30 Day Picture/Blog Posting Challenge 🍞🍞🍞



Yesterday I decided to get back to bread making 🍞 Well, to be honest, I was never a "bread maker", hehe, in the sense that I made bread daily or even weekly but I tried here and there. It has been ten years since I've attempted to make bread. Why you may ask? because my bread always came out dense and short and had a yeasty taste (kinda like an after taste).

It wasn't sandwich quality bread. We'd just butter it because that's all you could do with it (so sad). 

Bread making has been on my mind for a few years -I've always wanted to make bread instead of buying but kept pushing thoughts back because it seemed so hard - but seriously thinking about it as in I actually wanted to attempt to make it again.

Proofing the yeast

I bought some yeast a few months ago so I thought I'd proof it. I mixed a tablespoon of honey with two teaspoons yeast and waited 5 minutes (5-10 minutes is what most recipes say). While that was proofing I put a cup of organic white flour and two teaspoons of salt in a large bowl (sorry I didn't take pics, I wasn't planning on blogging this).

I mixed the salt and flour together. From my understanding, the salt can affect the yeast. Once the proofing was done I added it to the bowl with a tablespoon of avocado oil (you can use olive or whatever oil you have on hand).

I added more flour until my bread no longer stuck to the bowl. I started with a wooden spoon then used my hands. 

Below is a video that was very helpful. She shares how she uses a proof box -your oven can be your proof box if you don't have one (I don't have one). I watched her video now at least four times.



I also did the windowpane test which this young man shares, basically it's when you stretch your dough out thin and you can see light through it with it not tearing.



I then did my first rise in a greased bowl. To know if my first rise was ready to be "punched" down, I used the time tested technique that this gentleman uses (poking the dough and seeing if the holes don't "fill" back up)



My dough was ready for the second rise which was 30 minutes. 

shaped it and put it in my glass bread pan. My oven was not preheated because I used it as a proof box. The nice lady in the first video said if it wasn't a preheated oven to cook it for 40 minutes before checking (if heated then check after 30 minutes). 

I think it rose nicely so I turned on the oven at 350* and baked it for 40 minutes before checking it. I kept the water pan inside like the first video shared.


Second proofing

After 40 minutes I took the bread out of the oven and did the thump test which I had no idea if it sounded hollow or not.

You are supposed to thump the bottom, not the top. I thumped it so many times since I wasn't sure I put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes. (I now know that a second way to check if it's done is to insert a thermometer. If it reaches 190* it's done)

Homemade Bread

Here is what it looked like when done. I used white flour for my first "back-to-bread" making since I believe it's the easiest flour to work with. Next time I will use half white flour and half sprouted wheat flour and work my way to mostly or all sprouted wheat flour from there.
Homemade Bread

Now I know this is not low glycemic but I had to taste it and it was SO good.


From research, I also read that waiting until your bread has cooled to slice it helps keep the shape and all unless you plan to eat the whole loaf while warm. The kids and I wanted to try a warm slice of bread with butter so we waited about five minutes before cutting into it.

There was still a fourth left. We went to the theatre -watched Captain Marvel had some ice cream and Braums (I had mixed nuts), and returned home. I sliced a few more pieces from the loaf and it was fine. 

**Bonus content, hehe. Look at my beautiful kefir. It's so pretty!

Second ferment kefir

Yesterday there was some rain and thunder. I love cold (not freezing) rainy days. I love a good thunderstorm (but not when hubby and Annette have to leave for work)


And that is what I did yesterday! I enjoyed making bread. I plan to make some more -praying my next loaf comes out pretty good too.

Have you baked bread recently? What are some of your tips and techniques?

A Day in My Life

Day 12 of My 30 Day Blog/Picture Post Challenge

My cupboard doesn’t always look like this 😁 but yesterday I organized it. It was getting out of control. I should have taken a before picture. I didn't plan on posting but then I thought, "Hey, 30 Days of Pictures Challenge", so here is my picture for the day (even though it was taken yesterday).



While I was at it I decided to clear the counter off and get it looking nice and clean too!


Since moving to this smaller house I downsized our "stuff" a lot. We do have a storage unit that is holding some furniture, my husband's tools, photos, and "stuff'" but I did get rid of over 100 boxes of stuff as well. I actually thought it was time to get rid of my many books, I never ever thought I'd say that but yup! Gave, sold, or took to Half Price Books (at least 40 boxes).

I got donated my bulky dishes and now use mostly Corelle. I love how little room they take up.




I use a little bottle rack to dry my reusable "ziplock" bags, like Stashers or as you can see here my electric tea kettle.



I got my Kefir going! Please excuse the "dirty" countertops, they are always looking like that. I clean them but they are just stained. The countertops are older than I am.


Later in the day Annette picked up Brent and I. We were off to buy some stuff for our little store. On the way, we stopped at McDonald's to pick up some coffee.

I love McDonald's coffee and never had an issue with an ugly coffee cup before. My goodness, look at that thing. If we weren't well on our way and running late I would have asked for another. Crazy, it looks like they picked it up off the ground. I'm sure it was the last one in the cup holder most likely.

After about three hours of shopping for merchandise, we were hungry. It was dinner time so we went to Which Wich. I love this sandwich shop because it's pretty good, not super food healthy but when on the go it fits the bill.


I believe the Spinach Wrap has 49 carbs. It was probably a little over though because I had tomatoes.

I was trying to find a place to eat that was good for us and not too expensive so Which Wich it was. I love that you can order a lettuce wrap. That's what I normally get but this time I ordered the Spinach Wrap. You can also get any sub as a salad ~win-win for a low glycemic eater! Wahoo!


By the time I got home, Lance had made himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Lupe was still at work, Josh, Caleb, and Ethan are house sitting.

So that's what a day in my life looks like or sort of looks like. I actually left a lot out. 

The question of the day: have you ever been to Which Wich?
(I am still trying to figure out if my comment box works. If you all will be so kind and leave a comment. If you can't can you let me know on Facebook? I'd much appreciate it, thanks!)

Cowboy & Lions Beanie Hats

🏈 Day 11 of my 30 Day Blog and Picture Post Challenge 🏈


I am not really a football fan 🏈 but had to tease my dad who is a Viking fan. I was in California and it was actually cold when I was there in January of this year (2019). So I pulled out my beanie or whatever you call these.

Mine happened to be the Cowboys one, my sister MaryEllen happened to have her team's the Lions. She's a big Lions fan. When we were little my dad picked teams for all of us and my sister is the only one who stuck with the team that was chosen for her. I don't even remember what team my dad chose for me.


I don't really like my Cowboys hat I must admit. I wear it though because it does keep my head and ears warm. The first time I wore it (in Texas) I was shocked by how warm it kept me. 

My black scarf is over 10 years old. It has a hole but is still very useable but I've been wanting a new one for a while - I recently purchased me a new beanie that comes with a mask and neck scarf! 

In Texas, the coldest days have most likely passed but at least I'll be prepared for next year. It's cute and cost $17.99 so not too bad.


Vintage Jar & Chatting (Day 7 of 30 Day Picture Challenge)

I found this jar at a thrift store for $3.00. I thought it was so pretty. Please excuse the messy backyard. On the left of the jar is a fire pit and on the right side of the jar is a composting site! Do you compost?
Vintage Jar
I don't really have much to blog about today. It's Saturday, two of my boys (Ethan and Brent) are house sitting for their aunt. She has a dog and a bunny that need to be cared for while they go on vacation.

Lupe, Joshua, and my dad are working. My dad stayed the night so he could work with Lupe today.

Annette will go to work around noon. Brent and Lance are home with me. I'm not really sure what we will do today other than the normal tidying up. I do need to get some wash done.

Maybe we will listen to the Hobbit. I ordered the audiobook from Amazon. We started a study on the Lord of the Rings so I thought now would be a good time to listen to the Hobbit. I bought the book as well for me (my boys most likely have no interest in reading it but that's okay, at least they will be able to listen to all the word being pronounced correctly).

Later my hubby and I will go on a date! Not sure where yet. I need to start blogging about date nights again. It has been four years since I've blogged about our dates. We don't really do much but go out to eat, get a coffee, and maybe stop at a store or come straight home. My hubby works so much these days that he's tired.

What are you all up to this weekend? Please let me know in the comments. Speaking of comments, can one of you please try the comment box out, thanks!

Little Kitchen (Day 8 of 30 Day Picture Challenge)

We recently moved into a smaller house. It's a cute little house but if I could I'd love to redo the kitchen.

These are not the best photos and I must admit -I don't really want to share them because it's not a beautiful kitchen. The floors are linoleum that is at least 10 years old. There is no space for a dining room table. We went a few months without a table, it was so hard with the one countertop.

I finally just put this old card table up for now. I would like a rolling cart or another small table.


Don't you just love the dog crate right next to our beautiful card table (sigh) -it's literally is the only place we can fit Sadie's house. There is no space in the living room.


I'm so thankful we were able to fit a new stove in the budget. The other one was so ugly plus it did not work. I love the little coffee/toaster oven. We use it daily. The only thing I don't like is the little tray is made of aluminum so I just make sure the kids are using parchment paper. The little griddle on top we don't use much (only once) because it's easier to just use a pan to make some eggs and bacon. Especially for our family.

The kitchen is small but we make it work. Some days it's a real challenge. I bought the stovetop cover to give me more work space. Sometimes I put it completely on the stove and other times (like when the oven is on or I need to use the burners) I'll put it over the gap between the stove and counter.





The lighting sometimes gives the kitchen a darker -yellowish look. The cupboards are an off white so that may be why as well. I'll have to try and get a picture when it's brighter.

I would love a new sink but that won't be happening. The countertops are the original, and tile. We'd have to redo the countertops to get a new sink. It's a real bummer -the sink has been painted so many times. Joshua painted it again before we moved in but it's already peeling. I clean it but it never really looks clean.

So do you all have a small/tiny kitchen? Let me know in the comments.

Cute Frog Couple (Day 7 of 30 Day Picture Challenge)

Costco run 🐸 I thought this was cute. Two frogs sipping their java because of course in my book it's coffee! I said to my hubby, "Look, you and me having a cup of coffee", too funny.

Lord of the Rings Study (Day 6 of the 30 Day Picture Challenge)

The boys and I are working through The Lord of the Rings 🧝🏼‍♀️🧙🏻‍♂️ study.


I purchased the study from Home Scholar Books, it's something I've been wanting do with the kids for years but never made the leap. We are going slow, only on Day 6 (we started in January). Life keeps happening. In January I had to leave suddenly and fly out to California. I was there a whole month without the kiddos (my grandmother's passing). When I got back I was busy with getting the house back in order.

We are also taking it slow because I want to do the study with the boys. My boys are not readers, they don't love books like I do unfortunately so it's not like they will pick up the book (as great as it is) and start reading.

We are taking two days to read a chapter. Once we finish with a book we plan to watch the movie and have a Hobbit meal of sorts.