Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the Season...

for colorful gingerbread houses....

fun snowman's for the Sweet Girl...

all things glittery....

whites and greens...

and most importantly to celebrate the birth of our Lord...

Merry Christmas!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Gobbly Good Ideas

My Sweet Girl would do crafts every day, all day, if her Momma had nothing else to do. :) Cutting, pasting, sewing, painting, cooking, you name it, she would do it!

This afternoon we made Pilgrim Hats (as shown here) for snack time at the Academy she attends.

First, we took Fudge Stripe shortbread cookies and placed them fudge stripes down on wax paper. Then we melted chocolate chips and shortening and coated large marshmallows. She placed the coated marshmallows on the cookies, then we let them harden in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

After that we took some yellow icing and SHE piped buckles on the hats.

They are imperfectly perfect and the best part is it gave Sweet Girl something to do! ;)

Doing this while listening to rain fall and Christmas music. Seeing this view outside our back windows.

Since it's a rainy cool day, and we have Sweet Girl's Thanksgiving Program tonight, I have soup bubbling on the stove. Not sure if I've shared the recipe here before or not but here is the easy-peasy Taco Soup that I make. I'm not sure where the recipe ultimately came from but my Mother-in-law shared it with me.

Taco Soup
1 can tomato soup
1 can whole kernel corn (do not drain)
1 can chili beans (do not drain)
1 pack taco seasoning
1 lb ground beef
1 can/cup water

Mix all together and put in crockpot or on stove. We eat with sour cream, tortilla chips and cheese. My family loves it, so I always make extra for leftovers. Hello supper for Wed night. ;)

Hope you are enjoying your Fall as much as I am! The leaves here are gorgeous and every morning as I drive to work and school I think of this verse:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.
Ps 19:1


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall in the North Georgia Mountains

Fall is slowly creeping its way to us in GA. We were in the north Georgia mountains last week and all around us we saw the in-between of the fall beauty to come.

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My photo-lookout point Ft. Mountain

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My Photo-Warm colors of fall.

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My Photo-Golden Delight

My favorite picture may be this one below and I didn't even take it.

Photo credit: from my husband's Flickr photostream

My husband noticed this shelled nut laying on a rock. I can just see a little squirrel nibbling away and leaving the evidence of his visit behind.

We also picked up a variety of apples. Mostly Winesaps for Apple Butter and a few other goodies.

Photo credit: Karen Brugman's Flickr photostream

If you are looking for a wonderful and easy apple butter recipe, check out this one out on Manuela's blog. Victoria picked some apples in September and made this. It was delish and she shared the rest of her apples with me and I gave it a try. Yum! My family loved it, so we picked up another supply of apples.

And for another treat, try this old fashioned apple cake. So quick and easy. No sifting or adding the wet and then dry ingredients. Just add it all in and pop it into the oven.

Apple Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups self-rising flour
3 cups diced apple
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (The original recipe did not call for cinnamon, but I find that it is a perfect addition)

Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake 1 hour and 25 min.
325 degrees.

And last but not least, a joke. What is worse than finding a worm in your apple?................................
Finding half a worm.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Touch of Fall

A few bits and pieces of fall decor are making their way into the house.


Chloe and I made this banner a few days ago. This was suppose to be my "under $10 under an hour" project for Melissa's party last week, but it didn't happen. There are lots of great ideas over there, so make sure you stop by.

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We used bamboo from a bundle of ten bought a few years ago for $9.99 at Michael's. I don't want them for a vase arrangement anymore, so I'm finding uses for them individually. Burlap, which is actually buckram, bought at Hancock Fabrics. It has a plastic backing and is a little stiffer than just burlap would be. I believe it was $2.99 a yard, and this project only took a small amount. Muslin, from an unknown origin, was found in the craft bag and torn into strips. Stamp it, glue it, hang it. Done.

Mr. Crow has seen better days, but is still hanging around. His bill is about to fall off and he is missing some tail feathers, but hey, he can't resist a vase full of acorns.

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Alongside is a Kabocha squash, that was bought to eat, but acts as decor until it makes it to the oven.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Pizza Pie

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Who doesn't enjoy ordering a pizza from time to time? It's fun. It's good. It's convenient after a hard week. A local pizza joint with good pizza and a must have Greek salad or occasionally even Papa John's comes to call. You put your feet up, turn on a movie and not the oven.

But, for those other times we turn our kitchen into a pizzeria. I thought you all might enjoy the recipe.

Make. this. pizza. Three Cheese Garden Pizza. Really. Guys, my kiddos beg for this pizza. In fact Chloe thinks this might be her birthday dinner choice.

This is a Pampered Chef recipe. I love some of their things and some I can do without. Kitchen items that come into this house have to help me and not hinder or just make more clean up. We all have good knife skills, so I don't need every little gadget known to man to get the job done. Their stones are one thing that I adore and have invested in. Not all of them, but enough. They also stand behind their warranty. Wonder how I know that? More than once...

At the PC party we used the refrigerated pizza crust (that the recipe calls for) and the pizza was delicious, but Chloe and I love to work with yeast dough, so we make our own crust. It is like the smell of a gourmet pizza shop in your kitchen.. A quick pizza crust version can be found here. Make sure that you add the right amount of salt. I'm not a careful measurer, but with this dough it is crucial.

Here is our wonderful partially baked pizza crust brushed with olive oil and fresh garlic.

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Start layering.

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Ready for the oven.

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My son is not a super picky eater, but sliced onions and tomatoes would not be on his list of favorites. Mine either, and we both love this pizza. I don't love mushrooms on pizza, but this is another exception. They are not slimy if cut fresh.

A few tweak notes: We usually add spinach and/or bell peppers between the veggies layers. We also use olive oil to brush on the pizza crust instead of vegetable oil.

Oops, I almost didn't get a picture. Only one piece left when I thought of the camera.

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When I went to run my dishwasher tonight it even smelled like a pizzeria.

p.s. I am in no way affiliated with Pampered Chef, nor was I paid to mention their baking stones.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A touch of my home

I found these pictures today that Christina took one day earlier this year when she ran by my house to visit. It was in the midst of us having just moved, selling our old house, end of school, sick little girl, etc and I was feeling very overwhelmed! Christina spent a few minutes making a couple areas pretty for me while I did the mundane tasks of moving boxes from one room to another and making dinner.

I am so excited to finally have a fireplace and mantle! Of course in this horrid Georgia heat and humidity, it being cool enough to light a fire sounds like light years away...

I love how she mixed the rustic with the glass and mirrors. One of these days I am going to be as talented as my sisters. ;) Until then, well I just have her over to do these things for me!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tomatoes and a Lamp

What do tomatoes and a lamp have in common? Nothing at all. I just couldn't think of a better title for this post.

I haven't been around blogland much lately visiting or posting so I told myself to get over here and post something so Victoria won't find a new blogging partner.

Recently we picked up this lamp for $5.00 at a garage sale. I need another lamp like I need a hole in my head but somehow that didn't stop me.



I decided to add a drum shade for a fresher look.



We have been enjoying tomatoes from Chloe's garden. She has done all of the work for these tomatoes and we and she are very happy.


Add cucumber, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. We can't get enough.


Hope you are enjoying you summer.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sweet Girl's 5th Birthday Party

Sweet Girl had so much fun planning and decorating for her party this year. I think she enjoyed the planning and decorating just as much as the actual party! She wanted a Hello Kitty Party but it became a Hello Kitty-Dress-Up-Tea-Party instead. :)

First we made invitations with paper, stamps and ribbon we had on hand. She had the idea of having every girl bring their favorite stuffed animal or doll.
She LOVED every minute of making these!

All of our decorating was made from things we had on hand and I think that made it even more fun! I used the Pink Ironstone dishes, a platter bought from GW in the center with two tea cups and a creamer filled with flowers left over from her Ballet Recital.
(she set the table all by herself!)

I cut the paper flowers and she glued the centers on and then we hung them from the chandelier. We swagged a little tulle from my fabric stash around the bottom of the chandy as well.

I cut out Hello Kitty faces for the place cards and she drew the whiskers, eyes, nose, etc and then she wrote each girl's name on it.
Every year she tells us what she wants on her cake. I bake and ice the cake then her Daddy decorates it.
It has been so much fun to see Daddy get into the decorating (I can't draw stick figures) and then to see her face light up when she sees what Daddy has done for her.
The only money I spent on this party was for the food! We had "butterfly" sandwiches, carrots and dip, fruit and cheese shaped like flowers and cake. At this age, most little ones are going to pick at their food anyway and this menu worked out really well!
The Mommies had spinach and bacon pinwheels, cucumbers sandwiches, cheese cubes, veggies, and fruit.

I think about the money end of things like this a lot of's not that we do not have the money to spend on things like a party but somehow I think Sweet Girl will remember making decorations versus me running to Party City and buying every Hello Kitty item they sell. I want to instill in her the value of money and also creativity. Who's to say that next year we won't be at a bouncy place living it up but this year, at this time in my life, it was easy to have her party in my home and to spend time making decorations with her.


Monday, June 21, 2010

My delightful finds!

I love to shop yard sales. Give me an old neighborhood any day over a new one and it's even better if the people have a barn or outbuilding that they are dragging stuff out of. :)
Friday I stopped by a yard sale and over in the spider webbed corner of their outbuilding were dishes covered in dust! Ironstone and all manner of old dishes. :) I was in hog heaven.
I picked up all the Ironstone and a few other things and asked how much the dishes were. " about 10 cents each" was the reply! I nonchalantly replied "okay, I think I might get a couple other pieces". Boy did I have fun!

This heavy white pitcher set me back a whole 50 cents!

Love the stack of 7 dessert plates ...

Most everything has markings on the back of it and they are old pieces. I don't really look for any particular dishes ... just ones that I like!

If you aren't into white dishes, I also picked up this piece for the director of my daughter's school since she collects green glassware.

and this bowl with a poppy painted on it...

For now most of my finds are stacked in my corner cabinet.

I am looking for a small china cabinet that I can paint and distress and then load with my random dishes!
I do use the platters and plates. In fact, for my Sweet Girl's birthday party I put all of the food on various sized and colored platters and plates.