"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mop Philosophy Monday

 Happy Monday, how have you been?
 Baking any chocolate chip muffins?  Me too.  These ones have loads of butter in them but if you're looking for a light version you can always substitute apple sauce for the butter in muffin recipes.
Let's face it though, they don't taste as good and The Rascals would be able to detect a dreaded "healthy" version from ten feet away.
 I bought a potted plant for the bathroom and so far so good.

Speaking of bathrooms, part of my spring-cleaning is cleaning all of the drains in the house.  Pour in baking soda, add an equal amount of vinegar and gaze upon a natural little scrubbing volcano.  Then pour in a big kettle of boiling water and voila, clean fresh drains.
 If we're going to talk about mundane tasks I might as well admit I've been up to my eyeballs in numbers and tax forms.  Year-end is over now, thank the heavens.
 The Big Pink Calculator was key to my survival.
As were strategically placed note pads scattered throughout the house.
 I don't normally buy much in the way of decor but I saw this brass turtle thing at Target and I was completely captivated.
Brass turtle thing from Target $15
 I like it beyond all reasonableness.  I keep flipping it open every time I walk by it.  It's just the right size for a box of matches and a wine opener.

The weather seems to be breaking and I had forgotten how much I enjoy early spring.
 The trees are bare, but full of promise.

Somebody else is also enjoying early spring:


Scout wants you to have an excellent week.  Also she wants to know, do you have any liver treats?

I'll be around this week, I've got a Colour Story up my sleeve.
xoxDani

47 comments:

  1. I love the turtle! I think Cynthia might have that or something similar and I was enamoured by that one too. No baking here ever no, in fact I should clear that cupboard, even mum wouldn't eat much of it, no one even wanted any baking at Christmas/New Year!
    By the drains do you mean down the sinks? I'm intrigued by this, the drains outside sometimes get smelly, I think I might try this little volcano this week.

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    1. Tabs it doesn't sound like you have candidates for baking, I should send the rascals over.
      Yes down the sinks! It's a good trick and it keeps things clear without nasty chemicals. Also the volcano is quite fun, well as far as chores go...

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    2. Oh I am going to do it. Also, Scout has such beautiful eyes.

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  2. Darling Dani,

    Kitchen......baking.....oh no, not for us ........but how we wished we lived near to you to even sniff the delicious aromas of these chocky delights!

    It seems rather miserable to be talking of drains on a Monday but your instant drain blocker volcano sounds to be a winner. Sadly, it reminds us of far too many occasions spent peering down into a blocked cesspit in our country days and trying to clear the blockage......not a happy sight!

    Happy Monday!

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    1. Jane and Lance the volcano makes the job tolerable. Your country drains sound like they would be beyond me and no wonder drains are avoided now!

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  3. I do my drains constantly using this trick. Too much hair in this house...

    I have an antique turtle just like this, only in mahogany! Must take a pic! We had such an awful storm yesterday - one of the worst of the season. It is getting depressing!

    Barry is still looking for things to deduct!

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    1. Wendy I want to see that turtle. Oh poor Barry, that's a hellish chore!

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  4. Loads of butter ... oh if only I could have one or two, or three or four of them!

    Great tip on the drains, will have to try that. You should put all your helpful cleaning ideas together, like that homemade detergent post.

    Scout has such a sweet face, lovely to start the week with that. I would gladly get her liver treats if she comes to visit.

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    1. TR the drain thing is a good trick and avoids the calls to the plumber. I hope you are well and that your week is shaping up nicely.

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  5. Adore butter - can't substitute butter ever.

    I bought a turtle candle holder as well! I love them for some reason.

    Spring cleaning sounds so good - a spa for the house isn't it?

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    1. Naomi I thought of you when I bought the brass turtle!
      It is a spa for the house, I just wish I had a team to help me get it done.

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  6. Wishing and HopingMarch 31, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    Dear Dani.
    Can only be choc muffins in our house. An attempt to include fruit is just too healthy for my youngsters too. The batch done on the weekend is just about depleted.
    Chicken livers on the human menu for tomorrow night. Do you think that darling Scout is up for a trip across the Pacific to dine at our table?
    Had a chuckle over your calculator. I use a similar dinosaur in blue. Need the large finger pads and numbers to avoid the risk of punching the wrong key. Too hard with the kid's fiddly scientific calculators.
    Scrubbing walls, washing windows and window shutters is part of the "Autumn clean" here, though you wouldn't think it with the 31 degree C heat wave we're having. I'm sending some of our sunshine your way Dani.
    Seems like that glimmer of Spring has you back on track and ready to showcase some of your wonderful outfit ideas. Very much looking forward to your inspirations.
    Helen : )

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    1. Thank you Helen. Yes fruit in muffins is not optimal. Scout would travel anywhere for liver I'm pretty certain. Your sunshine has made it, it's a beautiful day and due to reach 10 degrees. That's a heat wave for us. If only it would melt the snow, well no matter I'll take it!

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  7. If you're going to do it, do it right. No butter substitute, no frozen yogurt instead of real ice cream, and nothing but real fatty mayo. I am up and ready with my little flakey face to tackle my chores today. I prefer to do all my errands in one shot so I will be out the door soon. We have an accountant and both kids are actually getting money back...Tyler most likely already had his spent.

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    1. BB money back at tax time is not a concept we understand. But I have to remember, it is a privilege to pay taxes... even though it doesn't feel that way. These days my chores seem like one step forward two steps back, I think the mud and the puppy have something to do with this!

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  8. Scout is looking very serious, almost statesman-like. Wonder what she makes of the little volcanoes.

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    1. Fred if it's not food or a walk Scout is pretty unimpressed.

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  9. I need a calculator like that. I keep losing mine, my desk is such a mess. I much prefer the click of the keys over the silent glass screen of the cellphone app. Something about an actual calculator that makes me feel like I'm getting something done.

    We are eating apple muffins lately but no substitutions there either. Same goes here for taxes, getting money back is totally foreign. I heard someone mention a "GST cheque" once and had to ask what that was. I put the absence of GST cheques into my gratitude journal. It is a privilege indeed.

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    1. xoxo the calculator click is satisfying and I recommend a giant pink one. Every time I go to buy office supplies I hesitate before the calculating machines that produce the little tapes but they are not as charming as that hunk of pink plastic somehow.
      That was a good entry for the gratitude journal for certain!

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  10. Scout is always a cheerer-upper, especially on a Monday morning. Adorable!!

    Wasn't it great when, a few years ago, the health people told us that butter was actually healthier than margarine (healthier being a relative term!)?? A family friend told me years ago that she keeps her butter for toast out (her house is always a steady cool-ish temperature, around 68-70) and so it stays spreadable, and I've done that since. Don't know if that is a proper way to deal with dairy, but mine has never gone bad and no one has ever gotten sick...

    Have a wonderful week! Maybe we'll finally see some signs of spring! (It SNOWED here in DC yesterday!)

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    1. AudreyS you must keep butter out of the fridge for spreading on toast and baguettes! I don't eat it as I cannot eat bread but we do have a ramekin of it on the counter. I find it spoils after a couple of days if left but it's usually gone by then. If we don't have to use so much central heating up here in dang cold Canada I bet it would last longer.
      We've had sun! But still so much snow though it is melting, the gardens underneath look like terrible brown muck.

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  11. Liver treats galore at my house! Drop in anytime!

    Have a good week, Dani!

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    1. Rose Scout says she loves you and wants you to be her guardian should anything happen to me?

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    2. I am guardian to another dog already, but one more would be fun. I also had a co-worker who said wants to come as a dog in my house in his next life.

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  12. Love all these photos - thanks for a cheering start to the week! I totally dread tax season. The filing software makes it a little easier but not by much. I've been baking like crazy these past few weeks in an effort to control our family's sugar and gluten intake. The kids have been loving the flourless chocolate chip cookies (recipe on Sue's View from Great Island blog). Hope your week is off to a great start!

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    1. Louise I find tax season so hideous. Every year I get a little better at it but somehow it's always terrible.
      That is a great recipe!

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  13. I made chocolate chip muffins yesterday....honestly but they are a gift !
    All looks right at your house, flowers, clean drains and an adorable Scout.
    Saying yes to your colour story....enjoy your week.

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    1. Hostess I took the pictures today for my story and then realized my memory card wasn't in the camera... is this how the week is going to go? ;) I'll try again tomorrow!

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  14. No baking for me this weekeend but I did make orange marmalade with Scotch whiskey and it is delicious (yes, I know I am supposed to wait a week for the peels to soften in the jelly but I couldn't help myself!). Thank you for the inspiration!

    I have been using mostly vinegar for cleaning lately, diluted half-strength and then with whatever essential oils added that strike my fancy (except on the granite countertops, for them I use a similar concoction but based on cheap vodka). I just spray it on the kitchen and bathroom sinks etc. I've realized that the faint smell of vinegar has come to signify "clean" to me, probably others think my house smells like a pickle jar but if they do I hope they don't tell me so!

    Looking forward to your color story later this week. I'm struggling with how to dress in a way that feels "springy" when I live in a climate (Pacific Northwest) that will remain cool and rainy until late June. Hopefully I can glean some wisdom from your upcoming post!

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    1. Sarah I might have a good idea for you, and it's about basing your spring colour story on very basic colours like khaki, brown and white with shots of pink. And shiny textures.
      I've been thinking about how brilliant brown and white really look together, and so doable, also pairs well with denim and soft pastels, well stay tuned!
      Thanks for the cleaning tip, I need to rely on vinegar more, it is a natural antiseptic after all, and how brilliant is Scotch Marmalade? It's the only reason I ever eat gluten-free toast (which otherwise tastes exactly like sand).

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  15. Dani,
    Glad to read you are back at the blog and I do appreciate the time it takes. We all missed you! Wow Scout has grown so much. You two must be best pals now! Was wondering if you have time could you post the receipt for the chocolate chip muffins,my son would love them.He love anything chocolate. Still Rainy ,raw and cold here in the northeast. I have taken out the spring / summer clothes and boy do I have a mess because I still need my warm winter clothes and don't have room for both. So I look forward to your latest color story and what you are wearing these days. Thanks Dani! Happy Monday!

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    1. Thanks Anon very much. Scout is more than my best pal as I love her dearly, this bonding with a puppy really is the charm. My recipe is done by guessing but I will find something similar and post it here... My clothes have been in a bit of a fight for space for the same reason, today I had time to sort it so it all looks much better. These days what I am wearing is not inspiring but I have big plans which I will be happy to share. Thank you for your lovely comment!

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  16. Yes, I do think. Cynthia has that turtle. I went to look for it and my Target was sold out. I do love it. There is no substitute for butter in my eyes. It's one of my major food groups. Perhaps that's why I'm struggling with my weight these days. Scout is a darling. Sweet, sweet face. Must try to make these volcanos. So much simpler than removing the trap :)) happy Monday to you!

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    1. Jennifer who Is Cynthia? Is this a blog I need to know about? Yes make the volcano, very satisfying!

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  17. Hi Dani, it definitely looks more spring-like now, here at least - I feel so sorry for Wendy whenever I see the weather forecast for the Maritimes!

    Like Sarah I use vinegar and essential oils for cleaning. I also use rubbing alcohol - it's especially good for wiping grease from the top of the range hood. The best thing I ever did for the shower drain was to buy one of those plastic hair traps - makes a big difference.

    Scout's looking lovely - she has such a dignified face!

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    1. Patricia well you won't be surprised to learn that Scout starts law school in September. She'll be on the Supreme Court by 2018.
      Oh my gosh how is Wendy surviving this? Let's begin the campaign to move her to Ontario!

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  18. All this has me perking right up along with the sunshine and 60+ degrees outside. Dani, excellent job on the TKAM book club and I only wished I would have heeded your advice prior and will revisit again in the future.

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    1. Thank you GSL and may this be a lesson to you to always heed my advice, perhaps WWDBP do would be an appropriate reminder? Just kidding, sort of. Listen the next book club selection is going to be great and has your name written all over it. I'll be announcing the selection this week so stay tuned please.

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  19. If you don't want to use butter, have you already tried coconut oil? It is much healthier as butter, but the taste and ending texture will be different from the one with the applesauce... Scout is so cute!
    I was supposed to do some gardening over the weekend, but I did some extensive baking instead... Have a fantastic week.

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    1. Steph gardening and baking are both equally good, I bet your family prefers baking. ;) I hope you are well and that your week is excellent.

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  20. oh dani i need to clean m drians. thank you for the reminder! i've seen that cute turtle box all over the internet - it's so darling!

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    1. Janet and here I thought I discovered something at Target... waidda second it's Target there were probably thousands or millions made!

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  21. Scout is adorable. And getting used to the camera!

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  22. Lovely muffins! Ss I am getting a toppe au mauffine, am keeping a check on morning pastries (well for the next two weeks anyway before we go away for hols). The old Tedster says hi to your beautiful Scout. In training Teddy has had way too many liver treats and has put on 6ibs!! (doubled his weight)

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  23. hi Dani,
    I wish you could bring Scout out West to meet Finn. How's puppy school going? Don't you just love having a puppy around when everyone's gone. I couldn't imagine not the company of my little buddy.

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  24. I will not mention the chocolate chip muffins to the offspring-they already adopt an attitude of bitter victimization over my cooking. When they were little I had them thinking that vegetables and whole grains were everything, but when they went out into the world they discovered a wide variety of junk food. They are fed like kings of course, but anything short of pizza and chocolate fountains is Dickensian.

    Are we supposed to be cleaning our drains?

    Scout is growing fast. Please give her a good scratch behind the ears from Sugar, Dustin, and me

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  25. I picked up that same turtle. I could not believe they had something so sweet in stock when the shelves are usually picked bare of all sorts of plastic monstrosities! Scout is looking positively lovely and I adore that bit of animal crockery you show. So cheerful!

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