The Green Pan

A couple of years ago we rented out our house to do a short stint in my folks home. It helped us lighten our load (our junk piles) as well as our income to debt ratio. When our renters had to break their lease we were ready to move back in, not having found another dwelling in our dream house realm! We returned to a fairly unchanged house, and I found a few jewels in the kitchen that told a stereotypical story of bachelors:  camping cookware.

So, believe it or not, for the last couple of years we’ve been using the little cheap-o pan more than any other piece of cookware! Mind you, I own a fantastic set of heavy Calphalon pots and pans that we received as wedding gifts. We hadn’t purchased a tiny pan because I didn’t know we would need one, let alone use one EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Back to the camping pan… I started to get a little put off by little specks of metal showing through the nonstick surface of the pan. Yes, this means that the nonstick substance had been flaking off into our food, or perhaps burning off into the air for us to breathe in. Eeeeeeuwwww.

One day as I perused the cookware aisles of The Big Red T, I found ONE option for a small pan that didn’t have teflon on its surface.
Enter: Green Pan.

Wow! Talk about non-stick! This baby is so slick you could almost fry without any grease. The instructions actually tell you to use cooking oil in order to brown the food. Perfect made-to-order eggs, slip-n-slide fried rice, and boy howdy…NO teflon!

image: Target.com

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Blog Favorite: Make Grow Gather by Kelly Wilkinson

There are a LOT of blogs out there to help inspire me as a new blogger, but there is one that somehow fits into a neat little gift that I can’t wait to open! When I see there is a new post I get a happy feeling and look forward to to the *click click* of my mouse. A bit nerdy for me to admit? Maybe. Maybe it’s what we have in common – the middle sister thing…or the Bay Area thing…or perhaps the “doing everything I want to be doing” thing? Whatever it is, I really recommend Make Grow Gather. Give it a whirl and you may discover what you love about Kelly’s world too.

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the fabulous giveaway this weekend! Leave a comment for Kelly and you’ll be in the running for a pair of beautiful napkins and a gorgeous tote from Flowie (Bay Area designer, Yaling, that used to live in my old ‘hood).

Cloth napkins are a staple in our kitchen and dining room. It’s so much easier to throw them in the wash after a few uses (yes, keep yours in your own place setting everyday) than to buy paper napkins every month. Well, Yaling’s napkins would be for the weekends with our guests! Beauty oozes all over her site, so please give it a browse.

Image via MakeGrowGather via Flowie

Peep No More

Since I was a child I’ve had a “thing” about making sure that the curtains, blinds and/or shades are drawn COMPLETELY at night. I realize that during the day it is more difficult to see inside a window without being really close, so the only place I have allowed to be uncovered in our house are the three panes by the front door. Well, truth be told, I had a custom cut paper blind hanging over it for several years. I couldn’t stand it so I took it down but have waited 3 more years to solve the problem! I was not comfortable napping in the front room alone, doing yoga, and definitely NOT nursing… Until now.

Challenges/Requirements:
   * the window panes are nestled in a door frame with an inch of room on either side
   * the frame is metal so I was unable to install a traditional curtain rod or blinds
   * we need some diffused light to come through the window in the morning, but cover it in the late afternoon sun
   * we must be able to pull back the curtain or blind enough to see who is at the door
   * view from outside needs to be obstructed
   * the perfect scraps of fabric I wanted to repurpose (leftover panels cut from my sister’s place) weren’t long enough to cover all 3 panes



Solution:
   * I found a mini Levolor magnetic curtain rod that fit in the space around the panes
   * create a “roll blind” that wraps the rod to have both the white semi-transparent fabric and the solid linen beige color!

Here is what I came up with. You’ll see there are different positions that you can “set” the Roll Blind to, depending on your needs, or mood. Sorry, folks. I still have one window left before I can quit the elite group “PBLUFO5YC” (that’s Paper Blinds Left Up For Over 5 Years Club).

Date Night!

We called in the babysitter last night (the fabulous Katie) and headed out to the bookstore. Yes, our date night was at the bookstore! We looked at the movies for a bit and marveled at how they didn’t have “This Is It” for sale on the anniversary of MJ’s demise… We browsed the books a bit, then sat and had coffee with a couple of magazines. Mike looked at how to build your own green home and I explored the world of Mary Jane Butters in her magazine, Mary Jane’s Farm. I left the store holding hands with my date, mocha’d up, and feeling very good about my new resource. Check her out, as well as her “farmgirl friends.”

image: craftingagreenworld.com

So, what have you done recently for a date night?

The Beginning

For those of you that know me, you understand that I am quite frugal. Oh yes, and I have a nagging desire to live a do-it-yourself type of life. What I’ve figured out along the way is that in order to do something yourself you have to either know how or learn how (duhhh). Trial and error always make for great stories, so sometimes I take on a project without any know-how – or learning for that matter. Did I mention that another favorite pastime is storytelling that may cause embarrassment to myself but bring MUCH laughter and guffawing?

NP Green Coffee Cup – acrylic on canvas

So, back to the main course here… My earnest endeavor to acquire good food for my family, a great environment at home and healthy habits brings me to this blog. Unfinished projects and certain food preferences fuel this particular endeavor – as a supplement to days that I’m engrossed in list-making, researching on the internet, visiting stores, browsing farmers markets and scouring magazines for resources! Here we go folks. Grab your coffee or beverage of choice… and let’s talk about how to “Do that.” One blog at a time!