Friday, June 27, 2008

Thrifting, dumpster diving and laughter

What could make for a better day? I had so much fun Saturday. I spent the day with my two older sisters (baby sis is away at college so she couldn't join us) and my sweet girl (who wasn't so sweet) thrifting, dumpster diving, laughing and enjoying ourselves.

I was so disappointed that I forgot my camera because there were some great pictures just asking to be taken! Our first stop was the Salvation Army in Avondale Estates (where the 3 of us sisters grew up). We found several delightful items including this darling creamer for $1.49

and these funky American Eagle shorts for our baby brother for $2.99.

Our next stop was Finders Keepers where I found an amazing sofa that I would love to have but am not ready for yet. It is such a neat store to browse if you are ever in the area.

Let's see, after that we went looking for a place to eat lunch. Somehow I took a wrong turn into a beautiful neighborhood and we came across some yard sales where I found this brand spanking new Home Interiors candle for 50 cents. Now I don't particularly care for Home Interiors decor but their candles are wonderful! At 50 cents this has to be one of the best finds of the day!

I also found this yellow trash can for $1 that will be perfect for my sweet girl's room once I paint it.

In our riding we came across 2 chairs on the side of the road. There was also a dumpster at this house so my oldest sis Chris and I got out and left our cowardly embarrassed sister Beth in the van with sweet girl. If she would have thought about it I have no doubt Beth would have jumped in the drivers seat and taken off without us! Anyhoo, Christina was interested in one of the chairs on the side of the road so while she was checking it out, I climbed up on the side of the dumpster to peer in. I immediately saw a beautiful oak chair that I started tugging on (see, if I had my camera Beth would have no doubt been snapping pictures in the hopes that I would end up in the dumpster) and finally managed to pull to safety. I then spotted the chair bottom so I managed to grab it, a brand new full/queen bed ensemble still in the bag and some beautiful robins egg blue silk curtains! Wow, what incredible finds for my first ever dumpster dive!

While trying to make our way back to civilization we came across this on the side of the road.

Laughing like maniacs, Chris and I jumped out again (much to the dismay of Beth) and managed to cram it in the back of my van (thank goodness the back seat was still out from our recent trip to the beach).

We finally ate lunch around 2pm at 5th Earl Market where we had paninis and sandwiches with names like Duke of Earl, The Abbey, Constable, etc. Everything was heavenly!

After that we made a trip to the Dekalb International Farmers Market which was so crowded but interesting as always. Christina and her family frequent the market and cook with so many of the neat ingredients that can be found there so she stocked up on some much needed items I had never heard of. Beth and I perused the items with interest but opted for things we know and love such as raspberries, chocolate cream-cheese croissants, pine nuts, dried cranberries, etc. My sweet girl loved seeing the HUGE catfish, blue crabs, lobsters, crawdads (ewww) and other seafood.

Finally we headed back home, a worn out, but happy group!

Monday, June 23, 2008

It doesn't have to be perfect... be beautiful! Inspired by the Nester I embarked on my own adventure in window mistreatments today.

First, I must tell you about myself and explain how big of a deal this is to me. Typically I wait for one of my sisters to come over and help me do any kind of home projects but this one I decided to do all by myself. I tend to be scared stiff that something won't turn out perfectly so I never even start. Even today, I have be honest and admit that if I thought I could have gotten one of my sisters to come help me do it I would have totally waited for them.

I must also admit that I bought this material at least 2+ years ago! At this point I am surprised I knew where the fabric was, but while moving items in our basement I came across it and decided to try my hand at it while sweet girl was napping today. So, armed with my trusty upholstery tacks from Lowes, my ring clips from Tarjay and my trusty tool bag my hubs gave me for Christmas I proceeded to hang the fabric in the playroom. Surprisingly it didn't take long and I am so glad I did it! Best part of all was my sweet girl when she got up from her nap. She walked into the playroom and said "look Mommy, these are beautiful". :)

Hopefully this will inspire me to try my hand at other projects and not be so stuck on it needing to be perfect.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Supper Ideas a.k.a. keeping the oven turned off

The heat and humidity of summer are here to stay. In the south most days well into September will find the thermometer hitting upwards of 90 degrees. Keeping the oven off but also putting delicious meals on the table is a priority for me.

Stove top meals can be filling and keep the kitchen cooler. We do enjoy refreshing summer salad and fruit meals, but often we need something with more substance. A slow cooker can keep the oven off and can even be placed in the garage to keep the heat out of the kitchen.

Give some of these ideas a try.

Here is a segment Rachael Ray did about lemons and how they can add great taste to many dishes. Near the end she talks about lemon-pepper chicken. We love this chicken. Add some steamed broccoli, some rice or barley (yummy w/carmelized onions) or some honey glazed carrots and you have a delicious stove-top dinner.

Cooking Light Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne
My notes: Use whatever cut of meat you have or even lean ground beef.
We always add three cans of beans so we have more leftovers.
Add four or five cans for vegetarian.
Use 2 cans diced tomatoes if you do not have fresh.
Recently I added 2 or 3 cups of shredded zucchini and you could not tell *at* all.
I should have just re-written the recipe : )
Serve alone or on top of rice. Add a fruit salad or pineapple and cottage cheese on the side.

Fried Egg and Cheese sandwiches and fruit and/or raw vegetables and dip.

Sesame Noodles
we add shredded chicken and usually broccoli or sugar snap peas instead of snow peas
We have severe peanut/nut allergies so we substitute Sun Butter for the peanut butter.

Southwest Chicken

Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish
my notes: I do not add the jalapeƱo. The Cajun seasoning can be very hot. Use sparingly or not at all depending on what your family can tolerate.

Pizza Quesadillas
Take flour tortillas, spread thin layer of pizza sauce, add cheese and pepperoni. Cook like you would regular quesadillas. A little messier, but yummy. Great for a cooler pizza night. Serve with a side salad.

If you are not receiving the Kraft Food and Family Magazine, you are missing something.
Sign up here or enjoy online here. One of my favorites from this issue is Zesty Grilled Vegetables.

My sister Beth mentioned that she made this 5-minute Southwest Layered Salad with the addition of grilled chicken for her meat and potato loving hubby and 3 growing boys. It was a winner, though with a house full of men, she will make more servings in the future.

Maybe Victoria will post about her black bean tacos and a delicious way that her friend Joanne takes grill cheese sandwiches to a whole new level.

Happy Cooking.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Drum roll please....

So now it's my turn to wow everyone. He he! I am married to my high school sweetheart and best friend. He makes me laugh on a daily basis, which is really why I married him! I am a SAH/WPT (work part-time) Mom to my sweet girl, who just happened to turn 3 today. I absolutely LOVE being a Mom and think by far it is the best thing I have ever done.

I am considered by most to be outgoing but have noticed that I am becoming more reticent as I grow older. I have ADD when it comes to cleaning my house or doing a project. I tend to get overwhelmed easily and have to call my sisters to help me pull it all together. Some days I feel like I am just trying to hold on and get through the day with my sweet girl and I in one piece. There are other days when I have it all together (whatever that means) but unfortunately those days are few and far between and typically it all falls apart the next day. I tend to roll with the punches and fly by the seat of my pants, which is horrifying to my plan everything husband.

I am a Christian and trying to learn more about what it actually means to be a follower of Christ instead of just attending church as I've done all my life.

I have a very interesting (or so my friends say) family that I love dearly. My sisters are my best friends, constant encouragement and support whenever I need it.

I am excited about blogging with my sis and seeing where the road takes us.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Traveling Down An Exciting Path

My sister and I have decided to wow everyone we know with our fun filled lives. We want to be real, which is very hard for both of us. We have each wanted to do a blog like this for awhile, but are both nervous about committing to a blog of our own, so we are teaming up to revive this blog. I'm so excited to see what she comes up with. She is such a light in my life and a true friend.

We are both southern girls, two of six siblings, two of four girls and both natives of Georgia. I have been married to a wonderful man for over 15 years, and am a SAHM to a talented lego maniac son 11 and a creative darling daughter 8. They are growing up way too fast.

I read lots of blogs, but often am too shy to comment. Seriously, too shy. So I start blogging. Makes no sense, huh?

Look forward to seeing where this goes. Welcome!