Friday Free For All

Heather says:

It’s been a long week of laundry talk. I don’t mind, from my perspective I like researching and I like trying to turn what I find into somewhat entertaining, but still informative material. Just remember, if we ever meet in the future, I really, I mean really hate playing stain solver jeopardy. There are almost always a lot of variables and I get nervous when I’m put the spot (ha!).

There are so many people hurting and displaced from this week’s storms. My good friend Amy evacuated after the fact, as it looks like they may not restore power in her area for over a week. I know she has a story and I’ll send you to her place after it’s written. I love that things like Facebook and Twitter help my long distance friends check-in and say they are ok. These are the things I want you to at least think about.

*Updated* Amy posted her story on her site Taste Like Crazy.

But today, the sun is shining and the humidity is low. I’ve already mowed the lawn and there are other outdoor chores begging for my attention. I want to spend some time out in the sun and enjoying the day.

Tonight I’m going to make these shrimp burgers. I had the opportunity to sample them at a beer tasting and recipe contest early this week. Next week I’m going to make the brisket. It feels good to be excited about cooking again.

What are you looking forward to making? Have you tried anything new? Are you tackling any big projects? I’m opening up the comments today. Share whatever you’d like -family friendly- or just say hey, I know a lot of you are new. Settle in get comfortable, make yourself at home. There’s plenty of tea in the fridge.



  1. Courtney on May 1, 2011 at 8:26 am

    We also did yard work on Saturday. It was the perfect day to be outside and it has been so nice to just get caught up around the house this weekend. Today we will go to church and then go see some friends at the beach. Honestly, does not get much better than that!

  2. Dena on May 1, 2011 at 5:06 am

    I finally got around to preping the garden.We had a full day without rain.If this keeps up I could have something in the ground before Mother's Day.Next,I'll attack the garden gate!

  3. HeatherSolos on April 30, 2011 at 7:51 am

    When it gets seriously hot I divide my lawn into 1/3rds and spread out the mowing over a few days. If my neighbors don't like it, too bad. It still gets mowed and looks decent most of the time and that's all that matters.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

  4. floweryhedgehog on April 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Hi there! I'm one of those newish readers. Hmmm, what I'm excited about this week: I've been using the weekly chore schedule off of this site for almost two weeks now and I'm starting to see an appreciable difference in my house. It's so encouraging! It's not what I'd consider company ready, but at least I wouldn't run and hide out of embarrassment if someone knocked on the door.

    Your remarks about storms, and Alison's follow-up comment, have reminded me that tomorrow's project should be to clean out my pantry. I don't live in a highly tornado prone area, but that closet is the room we'd be going to if one did come along, so no more putting that off.

    • HeatherSolos on April 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Good to see you and thanks for coming out of lurkdom.

      I'm glad you're starting to see an improvement. It's definitely not an overnight, magic fix, but it does work if you stick to it you'll find there's a big difference. Of course, sticking to it is ALWAYS the hard part. I'll keep working on a magic wand.

  5. Rosie Wayper on April 29, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I had a Family Ladies' Sleepover to watch the Royal Wedding last night and I'm sleepy. School goes back on Monday and I'm looking forward to that! And after a few months off I'm ordering a box-o'-veges again – I'm ready for the challenge of those turnips. (Diluting them into mashed potatoes works too!) What else? I've promised the girls that we will make some of those funny face guys that grow grass for hair…. that will be tomorrow's project. I have the old stockings, potting mix and grass seed all ready to go. But first – a Royal Recovery Nap.
    My recent post Get Excited and Make Things

    • HeatherSolos on April 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      A nap sounds wonderful.

      I think my kids would enjoy that project.

      • Rosie Wayper on April 30, 2011 at 6:32 pm

        My 6-year old calls them Grass Heads which cracks me up
        My recent post Get Excited and Make Things

  6. wendy on April 29, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Why I ever thought wallpaper borders were a good idea, I'll never know.

    Today was spent stripping said borders, washing walls and spackling holes in prep for pretty new kitchen paint!

    • HeatherSolos on April 30, 2011 at 7:57 am

      What color are you painting?

      The people who built our house put wallpaper in all 3 bathrooms. It's just about time to pull it down and paint, but decorating is sooo not my forte. I'm dreading having to make a choice. The lady who decorated the house before me did a lovely job and we've pretty much just left it as is for. . . 7 years. I suppose it's time to change things a bit.

  7. Eugene Mah on April 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I'm suddenly fascinated by turnips lately. Turnips have been plentiful at my CSA and after discovering scalloped turnips at Tomato Shed Cafe, I've been hunting around for different recipes and experimenting.
    My recent post Cliq- Month 16

    • HeatherSolos on April 30, 2011 at 8:01 am

      That sounds good. I've got some turnips in the refrigerator from Pinckney's CSA. I'll see what I can dig up, too.

  8. Alison Aikins on April 29, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    My chores: digging out my classroom, and finding kids. My school was destroyed in Tuscaloosa, AL.

    And to be frank, when we heard about the tornado warnings, what did I go to? My emergency stash that I got ready because I read this site on a daily basis. Thank you for making me think about the unexpected and to be prepared. I don't mean to be doom-n-gloom, but I just wanted to say thank you for making me think and get an emergency stash ready (weeks ago, I might add); if it wasn't for that, I don't know what we would have eaten the past 2 days (we weren't hit directly, but my school was).

    • HeatherSolos on April 30, 2011 at 7:49 am

      Alison, I hope all of your students are ok and that they get you into a new classroom quickly.

      I can't begin to tell you how good it feels to hear that you took the time to build your emergency pantry. I know that over time, you'll be passing the idea to others and that's how change happens. I'm glad you and your family made it through the storms safely. AL, TN, and GA are heavy on my heart right now.

      I do want to note that the closest I've ever felt to my community was after Hurricane Hugo. Sure I was 11, but even as a self-absorbed kid, I saw how the adults in my neighborhood pulled together.

  9. Jen@Dear Mommy Brain on April 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    I'm hoping the rain stops long enough for me to get some seeds planted in the garden. It's been raining everyday for over a week and there's more coming tomorrow. Ugh.

  10. Amy Charest on April 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I'm making my typical Friday pizza and hoping to tweak this recipe for glazed carrots The carrots are AMAZING, but caused billowing black smoke out of my oven. They even smoked when reheated in the microwave. I'm thinking less honey. Anyhoo, happy Friday!

    • HeatherSolos on April 30, 2011 at 7:18 am

      Amy, I think it might be the coconut oil + 425F cooking temperature. If any oil gets on your baking sheet, it's going to quickly pass the 350F smoke point. You may want to switch oils for this recipe.

      I agree that oil to oil, coconut oil is a great choice for cooking, except at higher temperatures. Once an oil meets its smoke point it significantly reduces any health benefit you would have gained by choosing that oil over another because of the structure changes that occur. Basically, it's healthier to choose a less healthy oil with a higher smoke point than to consume an oil that has been pushed past its smoke point.
      I hope that is helpful 🙂

      And yes, burning the honey won't help, either 😉

  11. Janel on April 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    FInally getting around to planting my lily plant outside. It's been too cold to do so in the last week and my poor plant is so impatient it started to blossom in the bay window!

  12. Deanna on April 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Trying to establish a new chore routine for my kids as they have aged since the last one and I have also learned that they need to get outside and play pretty quickly after school. Sooo, trying to figure out when it's best to fit in chores, consequences/rewards, and what they ought to be doing for their age. They have seriously been doing the same chores for 2 years. They are 9, 7, & 3…and it's time for my 3 y.o. to have a chore as well (like filling the dog dish maybe?). That's my big project! 🙂

  13. asyhre on April 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Craft day here. I have three birthday presents I am working on and then packing for a quick trip.

    • HeatherSolos on April 30, 2011 at 6:47 am

      You do know I'm inspired by your craftiness. Part of me wants to learn and part of me is just exhausted by the idea. 🙂 Have a safe trip!

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