To Succeed in Life, You Need Two Things: Ignorance and Confidence

Friday, March 6, 2015

Today's words of wisdom comes from Mark Twain. 

To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence. Wait, what?

Written to be ironic, he is saying that if you are a combination of ignorant AND confident, then you will be convinced of your own success. :-)

Source

We regularly post Words of Wisdom to our Facebook Page. If you're not a follower, you can find us here https://www.facebook.com/theharrissisters. Give us a Like for your daily dose of Harris Sisters Wisdom and Inspiration.

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One Man's Trash: Child's Playhouse

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Folks, it doesn't get much "trashier" than this.  My husband has done it once again, and this time he scored BIG, and directly out of the trash, which means this find ended up costing us nothing at all. Without further ado, I give you Lexi's new playhouse, courtesy of our neighbor's street trash.  

Let's just consider this the before photo, because we have big plans for this sweet little house.  As you can see, one of the windows is in need of repair, and the door is missing its bottom panel.  Let's just say it was in well-loved condition when we found it.  But on the up-side, this house has great bones. It has a large bay window on the opposing side, a working doorbell, and a big open interior.  


I simply must tell you the story of how it came to pass that we acquired this little house because it's quite funny.  We were leaving our neighborhood a few weeks back, and my husband slammed on the brakes and said, "Did you see that little house back there?"  Of course, I hadn't seen it, so he backed up to take a look.  It was literally discarded to the side of the road in a pile of trash and yard rubbish. John asked me if we wanted it for Lexi to use in our back yard, and of course I said YES!!  

The only trouble was it was too big to fit in the back of our SUV, so we went on our way and decided if it was still there later, we would enlist the help of our next door neighbor and his truck. Apparently, it was meant to be because that's just what we did.  This isn't the first time my hubby has scored loot directly from the trash.  He's a junker from way back- he learned it from his dad.  They are the modern day Sanford and Son.  :)



Looks like the girls are gonna have a big time playing in this little house this summer.  Stay tuned to the blog for "After" pictures once we doll it up.  Until then, I will leave you with this little tidbit.  We did a quick Amazon search and found this exact house for sale - for over $1000.  I'd say this is most certainly a case of One Man's Trash....  Possibly our best score to date.  

National Grammar Day: Spell Check Poem

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Today is March 4, which marks National Grammar Day. So, I thought I'd bring you this funny poem to celebrate. It certainly emphasizes the importance of knowing how to spell (or use a good old fashioned dictionary) instead of ONLY relying on your spell check. ;-)


That being said, having been a professional Copy Editor and Proofreader for many years. Please do spell check. It's your last line of defense! I want you to do it, and so does Uncle Sam:


Always arm yourself with good grammar:


Happy Grammar Day, folks!

Lexi's Latest Jams: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

Monday, March 2, 2015

Our little Lexi sure does love a good beat; she's got the rhythm, let me tell you.  And she already has herself quite the playlist stacking up.  This particular jam is one we have recently settled on.  It's the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by none other than the famous Andrews Sisters.  

Here they are in their heyday back in the 1940s.  


So lovely, and such talent.  Take a listen.




And in case you find yourself wanting to sing right along, here are the lyrics.  But be warned, this one is likely to get stuck in your head for days, so proceed with caution.  :)





He was a famous trumpet man from out Chicago way
He had a boogie style that no one else could play
He was the top man at his craft
But then his number came up and he was gone with the draft
He's in the army now, a-blowin' reveille
He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B

They made him blow a bugle for his Uncle Sam
It really brought him down because he couldn't jam
The captain seemed to understand
Because the next day the cap' went out and drafted a band
And now the company jumps when he plays reveille
He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B

A-toot, a-toot, a-toot-diddelyada-toot
He blows it eight-to-the-bar, in boogie rhythm
He can't blow a note unless the bass and guitar is playin' with 'im
He makes the company jump when he plays reveille
He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B

He was some boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B
And when he plays the boogie woogie bugle he was busy as a "bzzz" bee
And when he plays he makes the company jump eight-to-the-bar
He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B

Toot toot toot-diddelyada, Toot-diddelyada, toot-toot
He blows it eight-to-the-bar
He can't blow a note if the bass and guitar isn't with 'im
Ha-ha-hand the company jumps when he plays reveille
He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B

(Instrumental)

He puts the boys to sleep with boogie every night
And wakes 'em up the same way in the early bright
They clap their hands and stamp their feet
Because they know how he plays when someone gives him a beat
He really breaks it up when he plays reveille
He's boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B

Dat-da da-do-do da-dup
Dat-da da-do-do da-dup
Dat-da da-do-do da-dup
Dat-da da-do-do da-dup
Ha-ha-hand the company jumps when he plays reveille
He's the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B!

Yellow Cake with Nutella Frosting

Saturday, February 28, 2015

With the recent onslaught of inclement weather, I've taking to baking. It serves two purposes: it gives me something to do AND provides a yummy snack that everyone can enjoy once I've finished. Plus, it's always a fun challenge to see what I can make using only the ingredients I already have in the pantry.

This year, I opted for a homemade yellow cake with Nutella frosting and it was a hit. I'm sharing the details with you and let me tell you it wasn't any more difficult than making a cake from a boxed mix!


Yellow Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
2 eggs
frosting recipe for two layer cake (Nutella frosting recipe follows plus links to other options)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2, 9" cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add butter, milk, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. 
  4. Add eggs and beat for an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Divide batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then, loosen the sides of the cakes from the pans and turn out onto cooling racks for another 10 minutes.
  7. Frost with Nutella frosting or frosting of choice.

Nutella Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/3 cup Nutella
2 tsp vanilla flavoring
1/8 - 1/4 cup milk

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter with mixer.
  2. Add cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, vanilla flavoring, and 2 Tbsp of milk. Blend on low speed until the sugar is combined.
  3. Add more milk, 2 Tbsp at a time until mixture is smooth and spreadable.
  4. Add Nutella and blend mixture until smooth.
  5. Use frosting to generously frost two layer cake.
Notes:
I usually use this frosting with a fudge cake, but I only had enough cocoa powder on hand to make the frosting, so I paired it with a yellow cake this time and it was a winner! Moral of the story - don't be afraid to try something new.

This yellow cake makes a great "base cake" and might be equally good dolled up with some of the other frostings we've featured, so make sure give these recipes a looksee:

The Best Time to Plant a Tree Was Twenty Years Ago. The Second Best Time Is Now.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Today's words of wisdom is a Chinese proverb that encourages us, no matter what the endeavor, to start today.

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

Don't let the woulda, coulda, shouldas hold you back!

Source

We regularly post Words of Wisdom to our Facebook Page. If you're not a follower, you can find us here https://www.facebook.com/theharrissisters. Give us a Like for your daily dose of Harris Sisters Wisdom and Inspiration.

You can also find our Friday posts and many others on my Words to Live By Pinterest board so make sure to pop over there and start following for all the latest updates.

Crockpot Mexican Enchilada Orzo

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This was a really tasty recipe and super easy to make. Love sitting down to dinner at the end of the day when the crock pot has done all of the work!

And, a bonus with this recipe is that the leftovers make a really tasty burrito filling. Just pile it into a tortilla with all the fixin's and it was equally as delicious served that way!


Crockpot Mexican Enchilada Orzo

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can corn, drained
1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
12 oz enchilada sauce
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried cilantro
½ tsp cumin
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
salt and pepper, to taste
16 oz dried orzo pasta, uncooked


  1. Place black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, green chiles, enchilada sauce, vegetable broth, and spices into a crockpot. 
  2. Stir until well combined. Top with cubed cream cheese.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  4. Stir to combine cream cheese. Add orzo and stir to incorporate. 
  5. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 15-30 minutes. Add more vegetable broth as needed until the desired consistency is reached.
Hankering for other tried and true Mexican recipes? Give these Harris Sisters favorites a try: