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Friday, July 25, 2014

Quick and Yummy Tuna Cakes

copy right Lauren Clancy 2014
This afternoon on the way home from work, Sean (my husband) and I started our typical daily discussion of what's for dinner. I used to plan dinners a week at a time, but recently since Sean has started to cook too, we've been winging it a lot.

As he headed out the door to mow the lawn, I headed to our pantry to scope out what our options were. I was looking for a new way to combine what we always have around when crab cakes popped into my head.  Now crab is not usually in our repertoire but tuna and salmon are.

So I headed up stairs to see if I could find a recipe to make tuna cakes.  I found this one.

copy right Lauren Clancy 2014
I'm sure if you follow the recipe, the cakes turn out really well. However, I didn't have the Parmesan or the green onion, so that's where I started to make changes.  I added mixed blend shredded cheese and said forget it about the onions.

Also, once I added the tuna, I realized that the cans I had were 7 oz not the 6 oz called for in the recipe, so I added another egg and more about 1/8 cup of bread crumbs.

We ended up with 16 cakes instead of 8, just because of an extra 3 ozs of tuna.

They got rave reviews from both the husband and the toddler!

Monday, July 21, 2014

An Adventure in Refurbishing

Right before the 4th of July weekend, I started a project which for me was an adventure in furniture refurbishing.

We moved into our nearly 90 year old house a little over 2 years ago.  Our only goal before we moved in was to have our almost 1 year old's (at the time) room completely put together.  We picked paint colors, furniture, etc.  And from the first step, we failed.  We got three walls painted when the plaster on the fourth wall started to flake off.  Running out of time, we decided to just put the furniture together and move on. Crib, then dresser 1 got pieced together and we were out of time.  It took us almost another year to get the second dresser assembled. It was rickety and partially broken from the start.

Nearly another year passed when mom and dad started planning their move to the farm. In the shuffling of belongings, they found that they no longer had need or space for the dressers I had passed along nearly 5 years ago.

Et voila, two dressers for the munchkin with bookcases!
copy right Lauren Clancy 2014
However, they were cream with a floral pattern on the top drawers - not very boy-friendly.
copy right Lauren Clancy 2014
I decided to remedy this with a little paint.  Now, I am not the family member with the artistic eye, that would be Keva. So after much discussion, reviewing of color options on one of her pinterest boards, I was set on a color set.
copy right Lauren Clancy 2014
I was going for fun and bright, but soothing.  The orange is the accent color, small doses.

The project took four  half days. Day 1 was sanding and 1st coats for the orange on the shelves of the bookcases, the dresser drawers, and parts of the dressers.
copy right Lauren Clancy 2014

copy right Lauren Clancy 2014
Day 2 was coat #2 for the orange shelves and the dresser drawers. The dressers were fully painted - 2nd coat for part and 1st coat for the rest. And lastly 1st coats for the non-orange parts of the bookcases. Day 3 was 2nd coats for everything that needed them. Day 4 was polyurathane for the dresser tops and spraypainting the dresser pulls.

I replaced the top drawer dresser pulls with plain round ones, but reused the rest of the pulls.
copy right 2014
The final results came out with flying colors when Popi, my dad, came by to help get them upstairs and leveled. The hazards of a nearly 90 year old house is slanted floors.

copy right Lauren Clancy 2014

copy right Lauren Clancy 2014

copy right Lauren Clancy 2014
Next project is fixing the plaster wall and painting the wall a very light blue.  Here's to hoping the paint job lasts at least a little while with a rambunctious toddler.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Divine Hat

I'm a knitter, crocheter, a yarn crafter.  I take on long projects and short.  I currently have a lace project I'm working on (which I'll share when it's done). It's my first so I'm taking my time on it to make sure it's right. When I don't feel like thoughtful crafting, I want something quick and easy, something that will satisfy my urge for immediate gratification. This was the case at 9:45 pm last Saturday night.

I went pattern searching on Ravelry. If you are a yarn crafter and aren't taking advantage of the wonders of Ravelry, check it out.

In my search, I found a pattern for hat - something I've never made before - and it looked easy enough, so I was in. It's called the Divine Hat.
Photo by  CymraesCrochet on ravelry
I adjusted the hooks sizes one smaller (I and G, instead of J and H), which turned out for the best in the end. I could probably have used a H and F and it would have just come out a little tighter.

Here's the finished product!
copyright Lauren Clancy 2014
It wears well and fits not only my small head, but my husband's fairly large one.
copyright Lauren Clancy 2014
The only person who it hasn't fit well yet is our 3 year old, but he pulls it off well anyway.

If you are a crocheter and are looking for a quick easy project, this one is for you. I started it late on Saturday night and finished Sunday evening. I probably invested a 3 hours over the course of 20 hours.

Note: if you don't know how to do front or back post double crochets, you'll need to learn for this hat. I went to youtube for videos. They were fairly easy stitches to pick up.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pool time

Summer is the time for barbeque, lightning bugs, and swimming.  It is no different for our family.  We got the opportunity to swim with my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law over the weekend.  It was lovely to relax and play.  I even managed to get a dozen or so laps in.

Liam is still learning to be comfortable in the pool.  He's taken lessons, but he'd rather cling like a little monkey to mom, dad, or grandma than take off on his own.

He does love to play with water guns and throw balls around.

Hope everyone else gets at least once chance to enjoy a nice swim and play like a kid this summer!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fabulously Free - Missouri Botanical Gardens

Saint Louis is home to many free and cheap attractions and we're all about making sure the tourists aren't the only visitors by making sure to have discounts for are residents.  This is a series that will last as long as I can find cool free stuff to do in the STL area.  Recommendations are welcome!

Today's is the Missouri Botanical Garden. Typically not free and not ever fully free, but year-round they have free admission on Saturday morning from 9 am to noon for St. Louis City and County residents. Also, during the summer, they host the Whitaker Music Festival. Every Wednesday evening from June 4 to August 6 (2014, at least), after 5 pm the masses descend on the gardens with chairs, blankets, food, and drink to enjoy the gardens and some pretty awesome live music.

The garden is huge, in case you've never had the pleasure and full of all sorts of treats, like the remaining Chihuly glass pieces and the large hedge maze.  In case you, like live music but not to be deafened by it, like me, you can sit further away or just wander the garden and still hear the concert at a reasonable noise level.

Take a chance on having a blast at the Garden! I always do.