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Build a Hobbit House and clean up will all® POWERCORE™Pacs OXI

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Clean2TheCore #CollectiveBias
The grands are spending several days a week with me and we’re getting pretty creative with our play. This week the grands and I talked about recycling projects and how Hobbit houses are usually covered with dirt and sod making them cool in the summer and warmer in the winter  and earth friendly.  We also discussed how we could find things to recycle and build one for our garden. We decided to recycle an all® POWERCORE™ Pacs OXI container to build a little Hobbit House because the container makes a perfect house base and the lid on it makes a perfect Hobbit door! I’ve included a full tutorial with photos to show you how we made it. 
 Lets build a hobbit house

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Plum Scones and After You by JoJo Moyes

I really liked reading After You by JoJo Moyes.  Sometimes sequel books leave me feeling disappointed, but this one did not.  Although it is about recovering from loss and moving forward with life it was well written and pleasing and a great after story to Me Before You (made into a movie).   I can only complain about the food they had in this book!  HA!  I usually get inspired to cook something from the book I am currently reading, this one…

not so much.  I don’t see me buying beef cheeks much less cooking and eating it!  There were other exotic dishes I am not familiar with and will have to spend some time on Google to find out what the heck they are.  I did however enjoy some tea and Plum Scones while reading.  If you like scones, they are really simple and easy to make.  I had some fresh plums given to me this week so I substituted three chopped plumbs minus the pit and used a little less milk because the plumbs were juicy in my Apricot and Amaretto Scone recipe.  They were scrumptious, much better than I imagine the biscuits described several times at her meetings were. [smiling at the thought] The adapted recipe is at the bottom of this page.

I’ve thought about being a tourist in London but with my fear of traveling abroad I doubt I’ll be dealing with the rough neighborhoods exhausted in this book.  I would however enjoy touring the castle home of some wealthy locals.  I would especially like finding my way through mazes and gardens like those described in the book.

book cover-After You by Jojo Moyes

The main character in this book, Louisa, was a grief survivor from the first novel.  Her story really started in the first book and takes off full throttle in After You.  I like the way Moyes builds her character with the way she must deal with all the people in her life.   I felt satisfied the story was complete at the end though I’d like to read a follow up on several of the book characters, both hers and Lily.  No spoilers here, you’ll have to read the book to find out who Lily is.

I'd recommend this easy read to young adults +.  The language is jild ih American standards.  I'm not sure how vulgar some of the words might appear to Europeans.  There are references to sex that could make a conservative blush, but really it was pretty mild.  The story starts with energy and progresses well with all the side stories and characters being relevant to the whole setting.  I rate it a 4 out of 5 stars because a 5* book for me is a total surprise at the end.  It's not difficult to see where this story is headed.

Fresh Pum Scones

by Jeannie
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: brunch breakfast snack bread
Ingredients (8 wedges)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cold butter till it resembles coarse sand
  • 3-4 ripe plums
  • 1/3 cup milk
Stir together dry ingredients.
Use a pastry cutter to cut butter into dry ingredients until it resembles small peas.
Chop fresh ripe plums and discard the pits.
Make a well in the center of the flour/butter.
Add plums and milk.
Quickly mix together just until a dough ball forms.
Add a little more flour if it is too sticky.
Pat the dough into a 2" thick circle.
Cut into 8 pie shaped wedges.
Sprinkle granulated sugar over top.
Place wedges on cookie sheet or oven griddle.
Bake 370° F oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and allow to cool a little before sprinkling with powdered sugar or drizzle with a powder sugar glaze.
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10 Things You Should Do Before Hitting the Roads This Summer

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #SummerCarCare #CollectiveBias

The kids are out of school for summer break and there are a list of things to do and places to drive on our summer activity list.  That means a lot more driving than usual so I pulled out my vehicle maintenance manual and made a check list to get our car ready to deliver us in optimal condition. I'll show you how easy it is to change the FRAM air filter right in your own garage.  I have also put together some “not so messy” snack ideas that can easily be packed for day trips plus a DIY travel activity kit to minimize that question kids love to ask – “ARE WE THERE YET?” 
10 tips to get your car ready for road trips


Five steps I didn’t consider before removing my popcorn ceilings

Let me just start by saying, I should have thought more about it before starting.  This post is all about the things they don't tell you about removing popcorn ceilings in those made to look easy videos. This 1956 fixer upper had and still has in several rooms, popcorn ceilings.  It is one of the first things folks comment on when they come to see what we’ve accomplished.  Are you taking down the popcorn?  And of course my answer is always, “Sure”.  [enthusiastic DIY me  - oh yea!] Time has passed, we’ve taken care of the really big stuff and I began thinking about the ceilings.  First mistake, thinking about the ceilings…
 popcorn ceiling debree and scraper


A Nature Scavenge, Fairy House and Overcoming Arthritis Pain

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.     #WhatInconvenience #CollectiveBias
Most days I wake up a little stiff and find it difficult to keep a steady pace.  Because degenerative arthritis runs in my family I talked with my Doctor about the pain in my knees and hips.  X-rays revealed I have arthritis but he suggested I control the pain with Advil for now.  It is a relief to find a product that works so well for me.  Because my hands have also developed arthritis that make opening bottles and jars difficult I buy Advil EZ open lids.  I won’t let arthritis slow me down or keep me from enjoying activities with the grands.  As a matter of fact the grandkids helped me create a summer list of activities we can do together.  At the top of their wish list is park visits and hikes which is my favorite too!  I am happy to share our nature scavenge hunt that ends with how to build a fairy house.