Happy Homemaker Monday, Jan. 30, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather:::
Cold but sunny. It’s the end of January, so I don’t expect it to get warm anytime soon (nor should it!). But I am happy to see blue skies and bits of sun today.

On my reading pile:::

Same books as last week! I need to make time to read this week. I’ve been choosing TV over reading — not the best option.

On my TV:::
“Unsolved Mysteries” on Amazon Prime, “Seinfeld” on DVD, and rewatching the last season of “Criminal Minds” that’s on Netflix because I barely remember any of the episodes

On the menu for this week:::
Monday – Golumpkis, salad
Tuesday – Crock Pot pulled pork, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, potato or macaroni salad 
Wednesday – Fried chicken, smile fries, green beans 
Thursday – Chicken pesto paninis with mozzarella and roasted red peppers
Friday – Meatballs & hot Italian sausage over pasta, salad
Saturday – Chili, salad
Sunday – Leftovers

On my to do list:::
– Make dentist appointments
– Reorganize pantry
– Update my Home Management Binder

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Nothing new at the moment, I’m trying to find a new project. I’ve been keeping up with my memory planner and loving it!

Looking around the house:::
Sleepy kitties, flickering candles… a cozy sort of afternoon.

From the camera:::

Just a couple shots from last week. I loved the late afternoon sun shining through the oak trees. The photo doesn’t do it justice!

late afternoon sun

My little hyacinth bulb has bloomed into a stunning flower! I keep it on the windowsill to get the best light and it makes the whole kitchen sink area smell divine when I’m washing dishes. I still can’t believe forcing the bulb worked!

hyacinth week 3

Something fun to share:::
I’m coming up blank on this one this week. Sorry!

What I’m wearing today:::
White and grey striped long-sleeve tee, jeans, black and white fuzzy socks.

One of my simple pleasures:::
Taking a moment to look up at the sky every morning at sunrise. Sometimes the pinks, reds, and oranges are just unbelievable.

Linking up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday!

Happy Homemaker Monday, Jan. 23, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather:::
It was a cold and windy day today. The wind is whipping and a cold rain is currently falling. I’m sure it won’t be long until it starts freezing. We are due for a mix of various types of nasty precipitation overnight. We will see what happens.

On my reading pile:::

I am still reading this book I started last week. Honestly, I haven’t gotten too far. It was just the way things played out. Didn’t feel much like reading. I’m going to try to finish it, though because I have this one up next…


Ahhh! I’m so excited to ready this. I’ve heard really good things about it. I just hope it’s as thrilling as people say.

On my TV:::
I’m watching old episodes of “A Cook’s Tour” on Netflix and old episodes of “Unsolved Mysteries” on Amazon Prime. So good!

On the menu for this week:::
Monday – Sticky chicken, rice, steamed broccoli & carrots
Tuesday – Cheeseburgers, tater tots, green salad 
Wednesday – Maybe take-out? 
Thursday – Turkey meatballs stroganoff over egg noodles, mixed veggies
Friday – Homemade stromboli, green salad
Saturday – Chicken fajitas, chips & salsa
Sunday – Golumpki lasagna, green salad

On my to do list:::
Everything. Seriously, laundry up the wazoo, vacuuming, dishes… I’m way off schedule and don’t see myself getting it back together until next week. Just too much going on.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Well, I still haven’t started that shawl. I have yarn picked out to make an oval runner for our coffee table. Maybe I’ll start that tonight since after-school activities were cancelled and I’m free from driving around!

Looking around the house:::
Clean laundry to be put away, blankets on the living room floor, lunchboxes that need to be emptied and cleaned. It’s just how the afternoon is when you’re a working mom. Things get done when they get done and that’s OK.

From the camera:::
Did you know it’s  National Handwriting Day today? Here’s a photo of one of my favorite pangrams written out in cursive.


A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@planwithcarol) on

And here’s a couple pics of my Engrosser’s Script. Ugh, I miss having the time to practice, but it could be worse, LOL!


A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@planwithcarol) on


A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@carolwrites) on

Something fun to share:::
If you use Chrome for your browser, you will want to install Library Extension. When you’re shopping for books on Amazon, Library Extension will find those same books at your local library! How does it work? Easy: you pick your favorite libraries and add them to a list. Then, when you’re book shopping the extension adds a box that will let you know if those books are available at your library. Then you can head over and pick them up! I love supporting libraries and being frugal!

What I’m wearing today:::
Jeans, burgundy boat-neck top, charcoal sweater.

One of my simple pleasures:::
Enjoying a soothing cup of tea in the evening after the kids are upstairs for the night. It’s part of my relaxation ritual.


Linking up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday!

Happy Homemaker Monday (Jan. 9, 2017)

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather:::
It’s freeeeezing today! Actually, not so bad right now. When I got home from running errands in was in the mid-20s, but this morning when the boys were getting on the school bus it was 2°F.

On my reading pile:::
I have How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS in transit and it should be at the library tomorrow.

Last week, I heard Joe Donahue’s NPR interview with David France, and as someone who grew up in the 80s when living with the threat of AIDS was becoming our reality… well, I knew just had to read this book.

On my TV:::
I’ve just been watching random shows on Netflix: Lockdown, Rescue Mediums, Border Patrol… nothing that’s really grabbing me, though. I am thinking of giving Longmire a shot. I heard that was really good.

On the menu for this week:::
Monday – Chicken Tikka Masala, rice, salad
Tuesday-Saturday- OK, go ahead and laugh but Drew and I are doing a 5-Day Nutrisystem. We have done this once or twice before and truthfully, I had really great results! I use it more as a “reset” because it helps me visualize my portions better. I have lots of leftovers and quick meals for the kids — they certainly won’t starve! Maybe I should write about my Nutrisystem experience. When Drew first wanted to try it a couple years ago, I scoffed at him, but went along and was really surprised.
Sunday – Chicken drumsticks, mashed potatoes, veggies

On my to do list:::
checkmarkChange the sheets on the kids’ beds

checkmarkClothing donations — Actually drop the bags off!

checkmarkWork on the craft portion of an upcoming blog post (so excited to work with ProFlowers!)

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Lately my knitting needles are calling me louder than my crochet hook. For now I’m just whipping up dishcloths to get my chops back, but later this week I think I just may finally cast on for my 40th Birthday Shawl (nevermind that I turned 41 last fall, LOL)! I purchased this kit at Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool back in 2015. I’d love to be able to wear it to the festival this year!

On the Forest Floor

Looking around the house:::
Not so bad, actually. We did a lot of tidying up yesterday. The kitchen table has a few piles of stuff to put away, as does the island. But overall things are under control for once!

From the camera:::
I put up this quick book display at the library on Saturday. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I found it on Pinterest. Nevertheless, it cracks me up!
Library Display

Something fun to share:::
Do you love the book, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats as much as I do? It is one of my favorites! I was so excited to learn that the illustrations will be adapted into a set of Forever stamps this year. I think I may have to buy a bunch to use on my Christmas cards. Love, love, love! 

15896131_1474920082519390_1605137407975527201_oImage source: USPS

What I’m wearing today:::
Jeans, long-sleeve tee, heavy Hershey’s hoodie, purple and black polka dot knee socks. Obviously I went for warmth & comfort over style!

One of my simple pleasures:::
Years ago I was an avid scrapbooker (some of you may even remember). Of course, it became really hard to find the time after I had more than one child, and then of course it was kids plus work and well… there just weren’t enough hours in the day. Over the last few years I’ve really enjoyed creative planning (stickers, washi tape, etc. in my weekly planner). Well, this year I’ve decided to mash up the two. For Christmas, Drew gave me a Big Happy Planner, and I’m using it as a memory planner. Yesterday I sat down at my craft desk for a while and it was so nice to relax and work on my scrapbook. I think this will be a manageable way to capture all those little moments and memories that happen over the year. I’m so excited about it!

Memory planning

Linking up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday!

Do April Snow Shower Bring May Flowers?

Happy Homemaker Monday

LOL, for two days in a row in April, we have woken up to snow! I guess we will find out if snow showers have the same effect as the traditional April rain showers. All the schools around here cancelled today, which is actually fine by me! The kids have been tasked with doing some organization in their rooms. Since it’s a “free” day, we might as well make good use of it, right? 

April (snow) Showers

I also realized it has been forever since I linked up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday. No time like the present, right?

The weather outside is::::
Snow!!! Yes, seriously. Welcome to spring in the Northeast. I can’t say I am too surprised. I will always remember the April Fool’s Day Blizzard of 1997 — snow this time of year is not really that uncommon, and it is short-lived so I get to enjoy the beautiful view knowing it will melt quickly. We had a couple inches yesterday morning and it was all gone by the afternoon.

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
I has some blueberry granola and vanilla Kefir with a cup of coffee, of course.

As I look outside my window:::
The snow is still falling and it looks very peaceful. No complaints here.

Right now I am::::
Sipping a cup of chocolate-covered cherry flavored coffee (it is so delicious) and hanging out with Jake while he eats breakfast.

As I look around the house::::
It’s the usual Monday chaos after the weekend. Actually, it’s not as bad as usual since I did a lot of cleaning on Saturday morning. Shouldn’t take too long to get in order.

On today’s to do list::::
checkmark laundry – fold and put away
checkmark vacuum/steam mop
checkmark general tidying up.

Happening this week::::
Monday… Snow day!
Tuesday… D. has some doctor appointments so he is taking a personal day. Maybe we’ll get lunch out.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday… Just the usual for the rest of the week

Currently reading::::
“Abandon” by Blake Crouch. I actually wanted to start the “Pines” series, but the day I went to get it from the library, it had just been picked up for a hold (grr…), so I decided to give this one a try. I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. It goes in between modern day and the late 1800s. I’m not typically a huge fan of historical fiction, and definitely not Western-type stuff but I have to say this has me really intrigued!

On the TV today::::
Netflix added the 5th season of Bob’s Burgers, so I will probably watch and episode or two of that.

On the menu this week::::
Monday – Baked drumsticks and potatoes, zucchini
Tuesday – Meatballs & spaghetti, salad
Wednesday – Kielbasa grinders, chips, salad
Thursday – Chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Friday – Pizza night
Saturday – ?
Sunday – ?

What I am creating at the moment::::
I’m working on crocheting a bunch of drawstring bags for a Kickstarter game my husband is currently working on.

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
I’ve been in a bit of a recipe rut lately and haven’t tried anything new in a while. Maybe this afternoon I’ll get my cooksbooks out and find a couple things to try over the weekend.

Favorite photo from past few days::::
I took this photo this morning. My forcythia are just starting to bloom, and here they are covered with snow!

April (snow) Showers

Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Christmas Week

Happy Homemaker Monday

Can you believe that Christmas is Friday? I can’t either. Seems like it was just Thanksgiving. Since then I’ve been pretty busy and I have also been curbing my time online, but I am certainly ready for the holidays and blogging again. Since it’s Monday, I decided to link up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

The weather outside is::::
Can I just sum it up in one word… strange? Seriously, this month has been so odd in terms of weather. Currently it is about 46 degrees out and cloudy, but on Christmas Eve it is going to be in the 60s. Ugh! I really want some brisk winter weather and a dusting of snow. But it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting it.

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
I skipped breakfast this morning, which is very unlike me. Just had a couple cups of coffee before I ran out to get my thyroid bloodwork done and finish up some Christmas shopping.

As I look outside my window:::
It’s gray and cloudy. 

Right now I am::::
Thinking about getting the fire going again. With this not-quite-cold, but not-quite-warm weather, I just can’t get the temperature of the house right.

As I look around the house::::
Oh, I have so much tidying up to do. The kids had an Advent Celebration day at church on Saturday and the kitchen is covered with glitter and feathers from all of their crafts, plus little bits of paper from crafts they did yesterday. I think this afternoon I am just going to focus on sweeping, vacuuming, and a quick 15-minute pick up in the kitchen and living room. 

On today’s to do list::::
checkmark thyroid bloodwork (done!)
checkmark teacher and bus driver gift cards (done!)
checkmark groceries (done!)
checkmark sweep/vacuum/steam mop
checkmark clear kitchen table and island
checkmark wrap gifts

Happening this week::::
Monday… errands
Tuesday… Christmas baking
Wednesday… Kids’ winter break starts
Thursday…..Christmas Eve with Drew’s family
Friday….Christmas Day with my family

Currently reading::::
Nothing at the moment. I’m going to start making my list of books I want to read in 2016, though!

On the TV today::::
I just started watching “Making A Murderer” on Netflix and wow, it is incredibly interesting so far. I think we need to watch some more holiday movies this week, too.

On the menu this week::::
Monday – Homemade pepperoni deluxe pizza, tossed salad
Tuesday – Brats, potato wedges, sauteed zucchini, split pea soup (I’m trying out a new recipe)
Wednesday – Baked chicken breasts, lemon cous-cous with spinach, broccoli
Thursday – Christmas Eve (Dinner at my MIL’s)
Friday – Christmas (Appetizers and Chinese food)
Saturday – ?
Sunday – ?

What I am creating at the moment::::
Thinking about crocheting some coffee cup sleeves to go along with the teachers’ and bus driver’s gift cards.

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
Over the weekend I bought a couple new cookbooks at Ollie’s, and I have so many recipes flagged. The only one I’m trying out this week, though, is a split pea soup recipe from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook.

Favorite photo from past few days::::
This is actually from a couple weeks ago. My sons’s chorus had the opportunity to sing in a performance at Bard College. This was my first time visiting the Fisher Center, and it is such an amazing space. The kids were fantastic!

Bard Rehearsal

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::
I know that Christmas can be a hard time for so many people, and for a variety of reasons. I’m trying to keep all of those people in my thoughts. 

Monday, Monday…

I’m laughing at myself as I read over the last blog post. Oh yes — I was going to attempt to blog every day in October, wasn’t I? LOL! Oh well. I thought about it a lot, and wrote down ideas for a few posts, but… yeah, it just didn’t happen.

Anyway, onward! Let’s jump into the week with Happy Homemaker Monday.

 photo HHMbutton_zps12f5a014.jpg

The Weather:::

It’s a pretty glorious autumn day out there today! The high should be in the low 70s, and the sun is shining bright. The kids are off from school today, so they’ve been playing outside. I’ve got the windows open, and I’m just enjoying the fresh air.

Things That Make Me Happy:::

Cinnamon scented candles, brilliant foliage, fuzzy blankets, quiet time, salted caramel tea…

Book I’m Reading:::

I was chosen to be on the launch team for Crystal Paine’s new book — Money Making Mom. I’ve been reading Crystal’s blog Money Saving Mom since the beginning, so I was really excited to take part! The book is wonderful, too. (Of course, if you know Crystal at all, you’d expect nothing less). It’s encouraging, positive, and full of great insight. I’ll have a full review a little closer to its publication date in November.

What’s On My TV Today:::

Today, there probably won’t be too much on, but some shows on Netflix I’ve been enjoying lately are Season 4 of American Horror Story (I know – Season 5 is out!), and I’m eager to start the last season of The Walking Dead (even though I found myself rolling my eyes throughout last season).

On The Menu For Dinner:::

Drew is picking up dinner on the way home from work tonight, so no cooking for me!

On My To-Do List:::

— pick up supplies for Cub Scouts on Friday
— print out some forms for Daisy Scouts (Laura is dying to join, so she will start this week)
— clothing donations
— the usual housework and running around 

New Recipe I Tried (Or Want To Try Soon):::

I actually don’t have anything new at the moment! Maybe I need to take a look on Pinterest.

In The Craft Basket:::

I finished up a cute coffee cup cozy last week. Nothing fancy, but it felt good to actually complete a project! I need to get back to spending a little time every day crocheting. Honestly, I’ve been devoting my free craft time to calligraphy practice lately. 


A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@carolwrites) on


A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@carolwrites) on


A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@carolwrites) on

Looking Forward To This Week:::

Hopefully finally getting our central air fixed. Yes, this saga has been going on since August. I’m so disgusted, I don’t event want to think about it. I just want it done.

Looking Around The House:::

The kitchen table is covered in Laura’s craft supplies: crayons, paper, glue, etc. We were making collages with fall leaves this morning, and I have to finish picking everything up. The floors could use a good sweep and vacuum, too. But hey — three kids and two cats, so that’s to be expected!

My Favorite Blog Post This Week:::

Sad to say I didn’t really do much blog reading over the last week.

New Blog To Share:::

If you have ever wanted to learn Copperplate Calligraphy, definitely check out Nina Tran’s blog, The Copperplate Companion. Not only is she incredibly talented, but she is such a nice person! She is one of my calligraphy inspirations for sure, and always happy to offer some words of encouragment on Instagram (as well as sharing her talent so the rest of can learn).

No Words Needed (Photo To Share):::


A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@carolwrites) on

Lesson Learned The Past Few Days:::

Sometimes you just have to be who you are, and if other people don’t “get it” — that’s OK.

Devotional, Scripture, Key Verses, Quote, Etc.:::


Happy Homemaker Monday

coffee & a croissant

I have to admit — it feels really good to get back into a blogging rhythm! One of my favorite memes was always Sandra’s Happy Homemaker Monday. And even though I’m not a SAHM anymore, I still consider myself a homemaker. I’m still cooking, cleaning, decorating, creating, and caring for my family. So let’s get to it!

The weather outside is:::
It’s cold, rainy, and windy today, and the week ahead is supposed to be on the cool side as well. I won’t complain, though. It’s not snow!

On the breakfast plate this morning:::
I had tea and a slice of my homemade banana bread, slathered with cream cheese when I first woke up. (I’ll post the recipe soon.) I felt like a Hobbit today having “second breakfast” after running a few errands. The grocery store had a box of croissants on the discount bakery rack and I could not resist them. I also treated myself to a latte.

As I look outside my window:::
The still-bare trees are swaying with the wind and the rain is pooling up. Yes, it’s quite messy out there.

Right now I am:::
I’m celebrating my husband’s birthday today! We actually don’t have much planned, but it’s still fun to make a big deal about it.

As I look around the house:::
Ugh, I have two baskets of laundry to fold and put away (it just never ends), a few breakfast dishes left to wash, toys that need to be put away… the usual remnants from the weekend.

On today’s to do list:::
routine thyroid bloodwork
quick stop at the grocery store
– laundry
– RSVP to a party

Currently reading:::
Nothing at the moment. I need to start a new book! Last week I finished listening to Girl in a Band, by Kim Gordon. Seriously, I love audio books so much! I was never a fan of them, but it’s probably because I wasn’t driving around every day. Since I got into them this year, I’ve “read” so much more than I have in years past. As for Girl in a Band, I have to say that I am surprised how much I love this book! I was never a big Sonic Youth fan, and I didn’t know much about Kim Gordon aside from the fact that she was their bassist. But because I am interested in a lot of peripheral music of the time I decided to give it a shot (oh, the benefit to working in a library!). Kim is a fascinating person. I love all the different stories she tells — from her youth, to her difficult relationship with her brother, to the NYC art world in the 80s, to the indie rock scene. It’s just so, so, so good. If you have even the vaguest interest, I receommend it. My only caveat with the audiobook: Kim Gordon is not exactly a dynamic reader. It was agonizing at first listening to her read in what I’d describe as monotone, but I got used to it.

On the TV today:::
I need to find a new show to get into — nothing on Netflix is really calling to me lately. If you have any suggestions for crime dramas (Criminal Minds, Law & Order type shows), I am all ears!

On the menu this week:::
Monday – Lobster pie (D.’s birthday)
Tuesday – Burgers
Wednesday – Cheesy chicken pasta with broccoli
Thursday – Teriyaki chicken, pineapple rice, veggies
Friday – ???
Saturday – ???
Sunday – ???

Favorite photo from the camera:::
L. picked one of my daffodils yesterday. She plucked it too close to the bloom to put in a vase, but a teacup worked just fine!
daffodil in a teacup

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals:::
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” — Anthony Robbins