Usually, when I met someone new in the area - especially someone at church, they hear my last name and then say "I know _____!!! Are you related?!" And, the answer is always the same... "Well my dad's cousins are a family of 12, so yes, we are related!"
I'll be honest, I could not even name all of them, much less their husbands/wives and kids. But one small portion of the family that I DO have the pleasure of at least having some communication with is my dad's cousin David and his wife Jennifer. Since their kids go to school with Manda we run into each other sporadically a couple times a year, but my biggest way of "keeping in touch" is through none other than our blogs! Jennifer has a great blog that is constantly inspiring me to try out new recipes without 3 pounds of butter or oil - Slim-Shoppin.
Thanks to Jennifer's blog, I found out last week that the Great Harvest bread store in our area was closing. I also found this out, um, the day before they closed, so I obviously had to run out there bright and early Saturday morning. My mission? One last loaf of cinnamon swirl bread. Fail. I was also hoping to take home some cinnamon chips, which I decided I just had to have after reading about Jennifer scoring a big bag of them. Again - Fail.
Now here's where having a HUUUUUGE extended family - connected by the world wide web - comes in handy. Jennifer, being just about the sweetest person EVER, quickly offered up some of her cinnamon chips to me after I told her Great Harvest was totally cleaned out by the time I got there... and then drove over to my house to drop them off that evening!!! Needless to say, I am super excited to try out a couple of recipes with these little morsels that I honestly didn't even know existed until Jennifer wrote about them! Seeing as I can't eat chocolate and used to love plain old handfuls of chocolate chips, it was thrilling to me to have something I love as much as cinnamon in the same format. YUM.
In other news... our new windows were installed last week before Mother's Day (!!!!), but I'm going to wait to post pictures until the rest are finished. Originally, we ordered windows for the entire house minus the front porch... and as soon as we saw how big of a difference the new windows made everywhere else we quickly decided we HAD to do the front porch as well. So, they're ordered and should be installed within a week or 2 and then I can put up a posting with lots of new and improved pictures!
To add yet another project to my list, I would really like to finish up the dining room hutch before it's 100 degrees outside. It's nearly completely stripped and just needs another good sanding and some quick coats of varnish and it will be GORGEOUS. I decided a long time ago that I wanted to cover the back panels in the cabinet parts with some kind of fabric or paper to brighten them up and give the piece an overall different feel... but have found it difficult to find a simple pattern that doesn't completely clash with the fabric I recovered the dining room chairs in. Today, while in Milwaukee for work, we stumbled into Broadway Paper and I instantly spotted this flat sheet gift wrap that I think will be PERFECT -
Here's the chair fabric (from Ikea)... good match I think! -
Broadway Paper offers online shopping so I won't have to trek back to Milwaukee to buy the paper... but I'm hoping having found it will be my motivation to finish the whole thing up!