Friday, August 29, 2008

Time Flies When Your Children are Growing Up

My daughter Chloe is turning nine today. For some reason I'm a little weepy. She is such a joy and is growing into a very creative person. I love this because it is something we are able to share together. She is also trying out photography, which is another love we share.

Here are two recent butterfly photographs that she took. Her hand must be sturdier than mine, because I have the hardest time photographing butterflies. I think we may have them printed and framed.

This is how she recently served strawberries. So much luciousness is a pretty glass.

She can also make a delicious loaf of wheat bread in the bread machine. The recipe she uses came from her piano teacher. If you are ever looking for a great whole wheat bread recipe, try this:

Jodie's Whole Wheat Bread

1 egg
1 cup of water (between 120-140 degrees)
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup honey (can use less)
3 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons yeast (one package rapid rise)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Put the dough paddle in the bread machine pan. Place ingredients in the order listed above. Crack egg into bowl, then pour into pan. Make a well in the center of the flour. Place yeast and salt in the well.

Place your bread machine on the whole wheat cycle or according to your bread machine's instructions.

Thanks for bearing with me as I celebrate my baby having a birthday. Hope you all have a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend. If we don't post more this weekend, see you all next week.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Crock pot recipes

My friend Sarah just started blogging and put out a request for crock pot recipes. Please stop by to see her and if you have a minute leave her your favorite recipe.

Oh and tell her we want to see more of her beautiful Craftsman style house! Her Dad did the trim work in the house and that, in and of itself, is worthy of a post!!!

Happy Thursday people...


Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I have a small house, a brick ranch built in the 70's, so that means a teeny weeny kitchen, small closets and one bathroom on the main floor!

In my kitchen I have a small wall between my basement door and refrigerator that can hold a skinny item, so for years I've just had a single boring metal cabinet that held my cookbooks, hubs "bowl" where he puts his wallet, keys and change and bills to be paid and hubs Little Debbie lunch snacks. See the coupons and mail spilling out of the mail holder in this picture and the stuff piled on top. That is real life in our household...

Recently at a yard sale I spied a piece of furniture that was really skinny and looked way better than my metal cabinet. In talking to the girl she informed me that it was a hutch that sat on top of a piece of furniture they had way on the other side of the yard sale (why wouldn't they have them together???). In the end I decided to buy them both, although for now I don't have room or the need for the bottom piece, but since it was only $30 for the two of them I couldn't pass it up.

I was planning to paint it black but for now have decided to leave it white with the original scratches. I did have to change out the was a futuristic stainless steel knob and I just happened to have the glass one that I picked up at a yard sale years ago.

I plan to take down the mail holder and put up some shelves (when I find what I'm looking for) and maybe even a cute key holder like this one shown on the The Shabby Nest (love her ideas and decor!) but for now, at least it looks better and a little homier.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boring Blog Day and some Brunswick Stew

It is gloomy and rainy here in GA, but that doesn't stop the house from needing to be cleaned and the clothes from needing to be washed. So, that's what I'm doing.

The laundry room fix-up is going slowly, partly because I don't know how to find the balance between doing the things I need to do with the things I want to do. I have a few things hung up and decided that my lamp isn't going to work with any of the shades I have around here. I know I have some other lamp in storage, or what everyone else calls "the garage."

So, how about a delicious recipe for today. Do you like Brunswick Stew? If so, this slow cooker Chicken Brunswick Stew is delicious. Add a cornbread muffin and it is such a delicious lunch or dinner. I found this in my Southern Living magazine years ago. I do know that "real" Brunswick stew has beef, chicken and pork, but for an at home and easy recipe, this hits the spot.

Chicken Brunswick Stew


2 large onions, chopped
6 skinned and boned chicken breast halves
2 (15-ounce) cans cream-style corn
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (12-ounce) bottle chili sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut up
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper sauce
Place onion in a 4-quart slow cooker; place chicken over onion. Add corn and remaining ingredients.

Cook, covered, at HIGH 4 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken; shred and return to stew.

My notes: I pre-cook the onions in a little olive oil or water, 'cause I'm always afraid of having crunchy onions.
We add our own pepper sauce at the table, some like it hotter than others
You can also add cooked and pre-shredded chicken to this instead of fishing it out to shred.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm late; I'm late for a very important date

How about a before and after of a kitchen table for the spray paint party over at Joys of Home. I primed the table with Kilz spray primer and then used a red satin finish spray paint. I think the color was "colonial red" by American Accents, but I am not sure. It is definitely not a fire engine red.

This before picture is *not* my table. My table just looked like this one before, except that mine is round. Should I have just left this picture out? : )

My table was this color before-it even had these same chairs:

The after--of my actual table:

We do have more than two chairs, they have just been dragged away to fufill other needs for the day.

And last, here is the medallion that I showed last week. There were several chips in the plaster that ruined the original finish.

Here is the after:

I wasn't happy that my spray paint was a glossy finish. I will probably redo it if I ever get the same color or similar in satin. This was paint that I bought several years ago for another project that needed a gloss finish and I was trying to use what I had.

Well, this spray paint party thing has been fun. I love seeing what others have done.


Friday, August 22, 2008

I Must Go Down to the Sea Again

As summer starts to fade away (at least for some of you)we interrupt the laundry room posting to bring you this fabulous post from Cindy at My Romantic Home. I just really love this wreath of shells. It seems all over blogland, we are all gearing up for back to school and fall. Even though I am all for all of this fall love, this wreath was just a breath of fresh air on this muggy 90 degree day here in GA. Can't you just smell the salt in the air and feel the sand under your feet and see the colors of the sea.

Oh, sorry. I drifted off for a minute. I only smell spray paint, and see all of the dust and dirt that just came out from under my washer and dryer, because of my spiff up the laundry room project. But it was a nice dream while it lasted.

Even if you are ready for the fall, go and gather your shells. At the very least you will have a beauty of a wreath to hang when summer comes around again.

Breathe deep girls, and dream of the sea.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Laundry rooms

creative commons picture

Well, Christina bravely showed her scary laundry room, which really didn't look that scary to me, so today I thought it'd be neat to show mine (NOT - mine would actually be scary!). Anyway, I thought it'd be fun to take a look at a few laundry rooms that are actually decorated and places you would want to do laundry. :)

I think of my sister in law who has to walk through her laundry every day on the way out to the garage so she decorated her laundry room right away after moving into her house. I will have to beg pictures from her to post as it is an adorable room!

This is one of Christina's inspirations for redoing her laundry room (especially the lamp picture). If you haven't checked out Tracey's site before you must do it now. She comes up with some of the most fabulous makeovers ever. She is also an inspiration if you read about any of her personal trials.

I came across Carrie's site this morning and thought her laundry room was so clean, calm and soothing (love the wall colors).

Rhoda at Southern Hospitality has a beautiful laundry room as well. I love the black accents against the green walls!

So maybe this will inspire you, and me, to make our laundry rooms a little more homey and somewhere we would actually want to do laundry. Oh ok, I doubt we'll ever WANT to do laundry but you know what I mean!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Collecting things for the Laundry room makeover

Trying to use what I have for this little makeover.

Will redo these this lamp and plaque. The lamp base is rusted brass and the plaque has a few chips, so I'll try to work some magic with spray paint.

It will probably take me a few days, because obviously the fun part is the decorating, not the cleaning of the floor, all the junk fallen and stored beside the dryer and all of the junk on the shelves. And for full disclosure, I'm not looking to do anything spectacular here. I don't have time to clean everything else in my house, so I don't want to do so much as to be overwhelmed. Actually doing some laundry and cleaning bathrooms would really benefit my family more, so this will done in between all of that.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Projects with words and something scary

Use Wordle:
Look at this great wordle idea over at Just A Girl. Actually, her whole post is full of great ideas!
Here is an idea that I had for wordle using your last name. I did make one of these for my family picture wall, but wasn't sure if I wanted to post my last name for all of the world to see, so below I'm using the word Sample. Hope you understand.
Type your last name into wordle. Use a combination of small and capital letters, like this:

You will end up with something like this:

You can play around with it, changing font, colors and the orientation of the words, until you like the results.

Chalk it up:

Write on black card stock (or in this case the black cardboard that came with the picture frame) with chalk. Add a picture and hang.

Here I took a stained fruit picture that was in a greenish antiqued picture frame and painted it all black. This was long before blogging, so I have no before picture. I then place it on the piano, with some loving words written in chalk.

I am working hard on motivating my son to practice piano. He has a talent, but he is also almost twelve. He really doesn't give me a hard time, but motivation is key.

The Scary:
Ok ladies, please do not abandon our blog after you see this picture. I am working on having a better looking laundry room. The shelves are just catch-alls for all types of things with no rhyme or reason. My dryer is never cleaned off. Just a few days ago, I had a pile of laundry a mile high on top. Over the weekend, I whittled it down to this. There is also some dirty laundry on the floor, but I decided this picture was painful enough. Stay tuned. I want a prettier laundry room. There is a pretty chair and a piece of art or two that belong here, but I'll wait to show you those once the other part is brought out of the uglies.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Playroom window mistreatment

Long, long time ago my sis and I bought some fabric for my playroom windows. I kept meaning for my sewing sis Beth to make me curtains but with all the busyness of life (both mine and hers), playroom curtains weren't that important.

After seeing the Nester's mistreatment's and all her talk of tearing fabric, glue guns, upholstery tacks and rings I decided one afternoon to try my own mistreatment. Surprisingly it was all over in about 3o minutes and voila, I had playroom curtains!

Yep, they would look better with some trim but that will happen in another year or so. For now I'm just glad the fabric is no longer languishing in the basement. ;)


Saturday, August 16, 2008


As I mentioned at the end of my last post I loved Linda's line from her blog which reads "My red door is always open". It really started me thinking about my own door and if to other people my home is a place that is "always open" to them.

I was talking to someone the other day and she mentioned that she did not feel welcome at a particular home. I then wondered if she feels welcome in my home? Do other people feel welcome in my home? Honestly, I grew up in a home where chaos reigned (with 6 kids how could it be anything else) and our door was not always open because we had to clean up first! I find that this has continued into my own home to a certain degree. More than likely if you show up on my doorstep unannounced it will take me several min to make it to the door, mainly because I won't have a bra on, but also because I need to straighten rooms, shove things into the first available closet and close the doors on the messy rooms.

I want my home to be a place where the door is always open regardless of whether or not things are "perfect" or even clean. Recently we had Bible study at our house and I stressed big time over the house and whether or not it was clean enough. I almost passed on the opportunity to host it because I was so caught up in myself and how I wanted others to view my home. I am so glad I didn't let the opportunity slip by because it was a blessing and I really enjoyed myself.

More than others thinking I have a perfect house, I want them to think I have a hospitable home and to feel welcome in my home and life.


Fall give away

Head on over to see Linda at Behind My Red Door for a chance to win her fabulous fall give away! Fall is my favorite time of year (maybe it is due to the fact that I'm a Sept baby)! I love pretty much everything about the time period from Sept through Dec. Such a cozy time of year...

Anyway, Linda's give away will get your fall started off on the right track...


PS I love Linda's tag line..."My red door is always open"

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Ok, so my computer table crashed to the floor yesterday. Thankfully my flat screen monitor was ok. So, today my post will be random and probably make no sense, as I'm sitting on the floor, which makes it hard to type.

Here is a corner of my home. Well actually,my computer desk wall before the crash. I was computing one night late last week and the glow of the computer and lamp were so cozy that it made me get out my camera.

A little project from a couple of years ago using some corrugated cardboard from a packing box, cheap frames and some computer fonts.

Some vegetable barley soup bubbling on the stove. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice after the heat is turned off will finish it.

So, for the next random picture, here is a "green" smoothie. Not green you say? Well, that is because the blackberries, raspberries and blueberries hide the green color that the spinach gives it. Yikes, you say? Nope. You can't even tell.

Try it. My daughter made these for lunch today.

2 large handfuls of spinach leaves
2 frozen bananas
frozen mixed berries
stoneyfield vanilla yogurt(approx. 1 cup)
water to consistency you want

You can leave out the yogurt and just add more berries, bananas and water. Without the yogurt you may want to add add a squeeze of honey or agave nectar to taste. Really this is something you just play with until you find what you love. My favorite is just strawberries vs. the mixed berries. Try any frozen fruit or combo of frozen and non-frozen fruit that floats your boat.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sign of summer


cherry tomatoes straight from the garden.

this is one of the few things I like about summer.

Christina had a small computer crisis but she will be back to post tomorrow or Friday.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dumpster chair

Thought I'd share a picture of the chair that I pulled out of the dumpster on my excursion with my sisters.

My first thought when I saw the chair (without the bottom) was that I could use it outside as a flower chair. Then I spied the chair bottom in the dumpster and risked my life (JK) to get it out too. Don't you just love the detail of the legs?

I recovered the seat quickly with some toile fabric I had left from some pillows my sister made me. For the time being, a little pillow is sitting on the chair.

Eventually I might whitewash or paint the chair but for now it is happily residing in my living room just like it is.


Monday, August 11, 2008

From the sis-in-law

Hey everyone! I am so glad to introduce you to our sister-in-law Meg. Victoria and I were talking this weekend and decided to beg her to do a guest post for us. Meg is such a special addition to our family. She is beautiful inside and out and is very talented. Her home is always such a breath of fresh air. The rooms are full of warm whites, soft greens, sand colors and sepia tones. As you will see she has a way with creating beautiful vignettes and great little projects. I hope as time goes by we will see more of her home. Welcome Meg!


Meet Meg:

As a full time nursing student and wife I have to work hard at finding the time and funds for decorating my small home. "Simplicity" is the central thought behind anything I create or admire. 90% of everything I use for my decor was handed down to me from relatives who have passed on. I have inherited a lot of stuff that some people would either store away or sell. I pride myself on seeing beauty in old crap.

This old wooden saw came from my grandfather's shed, soon to be tossed out. It now hangs in my kitchen.

In my foyer I have a tall table that narrowly sits against the wall. On it I stacked some old children's books from a distant relative. I was allowed to go through all the stuff no one else wanted. Not very high on the totem pole it seems. I thought the red in these books was such a great shade. I love old books anyways. The frames were some old ones I bought a while back. They originally were a light wood. I decided to sand them a bit and spray paint them white. I then took some scissors and roughed them up a bit. This was my first antiquing project. Now for my favorite part. Deep in south Ga. while visiting family I made my husband pull over so I could pick this cotton off some family soil. I then made this bouquet.

I spend a lot of time at the hospital doing clinicals and such. Every nurse knows that one of their most valuable assets (other than their pen) is their clipboard. I spend a lot of time with my clipboard. I got tired of running around with a plain brown cardboardish one all the time. I decided to spice it up a bit. I did this completely using spraypaint since it is fast and easy. patience is not my stong point. I got some thick card-stock paper and using an exacto knife I cut out a stencil. I think spraypaint is the way to go if your going to do stencils. I did have some issues with the stencil not being flush with the surface. You can probably tell the spraypaint got a bit out of bounds. It made it look better though actually. I really had fun with it.

A few months ago I decided to take a plain light brown wooded box and paint it with a monogram. I was in one of those creative moods. Those moods can get expensive. I don't have any pics of the before. Hind sight is 20/20.

I've enjoyed making this guest appearance. I never knew blogging was so fun. I'm in the process of making a quilt. When I get done maybe I'll come back.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lamp makeover

Blogging has brought out the inner project girl in me! I have never completed so many projects in such a short time! Yay for blogging.

Years ago I bought a little wicker lamp base on clearance somewhere and at a joint yard sale with my sisters I snagged (for free) a lampshade that one of them had never used. Over the years I painted the shade white with craft paint and sprayed the base black but still the poor little lamp didn't have a home.

Recently when my baby sis stayed with me overnight while home from college she brought a painting project with her to work on. We took a radio to the kitchen and sat and talked while she was painting. I was bored (not for lack of interesting conversation...I just like to be doing something while talking) so I got my boring lamp out, glued a piece of ribbon on it...

then while we were shopping a couple of days later at Joanne Fabric I came across a little cameo in their "jewelry" department that was 40% off that I bought and stitched into place and voila!

I am happy to say that this little lamp finally has a home on top of my corner cabinet.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another thrifted picture makeover

Here we have another thrifted picture. It was filthy, with a hideous gold speckled fake wood frame and just overall ugly.

Ignore the $4.00 price tag. I only paid $ .50.


Took everything apart and painted the navy mat and gold frame black:

Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to cover the picture:

With the last addition of our initial, I put it all back together.
Makeover complete in just a couple of hours, most of which was drying time.



Monday, August 4, 2008

Corner cabinet make-over

I am in the midst of re-doing my kitchen/dining room. Those of you that know me well know that these sorts of "re-do's" take me quite a a year or so. I had my dining/kitchen area painted in Feb and have been doing little things here and there to make-over the space.

This corner cabinet has been with me since I was a teenager and I love it.

It was looking a little blah so inspired by the Nester and so many of you that have used scrapbook paper as an enhancement, I decided to give my cabinet some pizazz.

I am thrilled with the results and the way it adds to the room!