Thursday, September 30, 2010

What I am Reading This Week...

This week there has been a bit of a difference in my reading.  I generally love a great fictional novel, particularly a great southern one, but this week I have changed speeds a bit. I am sure all the work around our new house has gotten me off on a tangent and I picked up  Paula Deen's Savannah Style (Paula Deen with Brandon Branch) at the bookstore a few days ago.  Since this book hit the shelves last Spring, I have picked it up, looked through it, walked around the bookstore with it, put it back more times than I can count!  Well, last week I bit the bullet, and bought it because I just kept coming back to it and the gorgeous design ideas inside!  I love the styles represented and I am finding tons of inspiration for my house between the covers. Of course, my resent obsession with Fall and the corresponding layout, helped to push me over the edge (and the book and I to the checkout ).

No endorsement paid, personal opinion only...thank you, very much!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Decorating Blog Party!






I love a good blog party!  Julia at Hooked on Houses  is hosting a Fall Open House: Show Us How You Decorate blog party today.  Hooked on Houses is one of my favorite blogs, and I will warn you...be prepared to stay a while, because there are so many wonderful things to look at!

So, join the party and drool over some fantastic fall decorations  and get inspired by all the talent in blogland!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day to Day...stress?

Recently I was talking with a friend and we were sharing about how things sometimes feel like they get out of control and it seems like it is impossible to get our families back on track.  We weren't talking about major things, but rather those little things that seem to add up and just make the household not run smoothly.  The kind of things that are like little pebbles in your shoe...the ones that you might not even notice at first but after a while you find you can't keep walking.  As wives and moms I think we all can relate and have all had a season (or two) that we felt overwhelmed and just at a loss as to how to live the life we know God desires for us and our families. 

A few years ago, I was deeply lost in one of these seasons and couldn't quite get it together. At some point I heard about this book, Desperate Households - How to Restore Order and Harmony to Your Life and Home by Kathy Peel so I went by the bookstore and picked it up.  It was the balm this family-manager-mom needed to get back on the train (really, it was one of those seasons that I was thinking of bailing on this whole ride!).   I took it with me on a weekend trip and spent an entire day reading it.   It was like a little push in the right direction to help me feel like "yes, I can get things back on track", whereas before I was feeling like there wasn't even a track left anymore! 

So, after this conversation with my friend, I shared this book with her and started glancing through it and realized I could probably benefit from a revisit myself.  It is nice to have a refresher from time to time to keep me loving my job and helping me create a home that truly is a haven for my family and friends from the rough winds of the world. 

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."
Proverbs 14:1

***no endorsement paid, just sharing!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy 3 Months until Christmas!

Yes!  It is only 3 months until Christmas!!!  How are you doing on your preparations?  I got started this week and one gift is taken care of.  It feels good to make some progress and know that is one less stress for closer to the big day! 

Also, I looked at Martha Stewart's Christmas Craft ideas and saw these adorable little pinecone guys.  Aren't they just the cutest?  Check out the link above, I am sure you will find something that wil get you exited about getting a jump on the season.  I do love to do holiday crafts but find if I wait until the seson arrives there is never time to do them, so I love seeing all thise ideas early.

So, y'all.....3 months!  3 MONTHS!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WanderLust

Do you ever catch it?  I think my DH and I have a tiny bit of it in our genes.  We often laugh and say we both must have a gypsy gene somewhere.  That might explain why we have moved so often...I don't know.  Anyway, today - as I sit, trapped in the Volvo dealership waiting room  as I patiently wait for DH's car repair - I find myself thinking about some of the places I would love to visit one day.  Here are where my thoughts often go when wanderlust hits...

 Scotland, anywhere, anytime...I am ready.

 Luxembourg, DH  has spent time here and he loved it. 
After hearing about it and seeing pictures I just want to see for myself.

Lyons, France...have always wanted to go. 
I imagine I fell in love with France during my very 1st French class in college.

Who wouldn't want to spend time in the Italian countryside after Under a Tuscan Sky?

Greece....though, I suppose the Greek festival this weekend will be about as close as I get for a while.

 For my "off the beaten path" wander lust I have been intrigued by Reunion Island for a few years:  Introducing Reunion Island

A bit closer to home and I find myself thinking about.... 
 Prince Edward Island to seek my own Anne of Green Gables experience.

How could I not want to see the Grand Canyon in all its glory?

I have a sweet friend who has visited Mackinac Island many times.
Her stories and photos have made this one of those dreaming places for me.

So, when wanderlust attacks, where does it take your mind/body?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Fall, Y'all!

I love Fall!  It is my favorite season.  I love the cooler weather (although this year we are still seeing temps above 90 degrees daily!), I love the reduced humidity, the turning leaves, the colors, the textures, the smells...I love it!  These are some of the touches of Fall around my house:
Welcome to our house!
The pumpkin in the urn used to be my pumpkin topiary but this year I had to change it up a bit because somehow it became dismantled during the move.
I love pumpkins!
I put this together after being inspired by my friend Heidi's Boo Bucket!
This is my wreath.  It is a bit old and I meant to get a new one for this Fall...but didn't.
Although garden/house flags aren't quite as popular as they were a few years ago, I still love mine!  I even have a mini flag on my mailbox.
I had to put a little something here.
This sweet pumpkin was one that I received several years ago from a blog swap.  That makes it extra special!
This is my youngest son's favorite Fall decoration.  He can't wait to arrange it every year.
Just a little touch.
I have several cornucopias that I need to find places for.
Nothing like a great apple candle to get me in the mood for Fall!
This pumpkin actually holds several candles inside and does double duty on the breakfast table.


OK....now that I have the decorations out...I am ready for some Fall weather!

For more fall inspiration check out:  Fall Open House: Show Us How You Decorate at Hooked on Houses

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baking....

I have been in the mood to bake and cook lately.  I don't know if it is because of my "new" kitchen or just the approaching fall that has brought me this new enthusiasm for the kitchen arts.  On Saturday, we had planned to have some friends over for dinner, but one of our children was sick so we had to reschedule, but I still managed to create the meal that was planned for our own little private dinner party.  I used several recipes from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine (the September/October issue).  Yes, I do like Sandra Lee!

My favorite was the Spiced Walnut Cake with Maple Cream!  IT was the perfect fall cake and made the house smell just fabulous, and I think it was even better on day 2!
My photo of the cake slices don't do this cake justice...it was yummy and beautiful!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Boys of Fall

Even without the pads, flag football is making him one of the Boys of Fall.  He feels it in his bones and dreams of the game. After the Friday nights lights, Saturday morning finds the battle still raging on fields across America and boys and girls learning what the gridiron is all about.  I love being a Mom of The Boys of Fall.





Saturday, September 18, 2010

Peach Enchiladas and cooking with Mountain Dew...

Last week when I was at the Farmer's Market, a lady at the booth where I buy peaches gave me this recipe. She swore it was the best.  I was skeptical, mostly because it required 12 ounces of Mountain Dew.  Although, I am from the South, cooking with carbonated drinks hasn't ever been my thing, not to mention I don't even drink Mountain Dew.  But, I threw caution to wind because she was really adamant that this was "good stuff".  So, for dessert last night I made...



Peach Enchiladas

 Ingredients:
2 - 8 oz. tubes of crescent rolls
2 sticks of butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
4 -6 peaches, quartered
1 - 12 oz Mountain Dew

Preparation:
Melt butter; add sugar and cinnamon and stir together well, remove from heat. Unroll crescent dough and place one quarter of a peach on each crescent.  Roll dough around peach from large end to small.  Place on large baking pan with 1-2 inch sides (to catch the syrup).  Pour butter mixture over the rolls then pour Mountain Dew on top (yep...Mountain Dew). 

Bake at 350 from 45 minutes
Yield: 16 amazing servings!

*This recipe could easily be cut in half if you don't need 16 servings!
My family did think this was "good stuff".  It was great by itself ,but we decided it would be pretty spectacular with vanilla ice cream on top as well.  It was good enough that I believe I saw a serving or two eaten for breakfast this morning.  Go figure...Mountain Dew????

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A can of paint...

CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE! 

Our new-to-us house had a kitchen redo somewhere in the mid 1990s and we knew before we moved in  that we would need to give it a bit of TLC. 

Fortunately, I actually like the cabinets and they are great quality,  and plentiful, so we decided there was no need to consider changing them.  Eventually, (translated to mean when the $$$ is available)  we would like to have new counter tops. The current ones are solid surface, neutral and in great shape, so we kept those as well, which fit with our budget!  At the point we change counter tops we will also change out the cook top but since it has 6 burners and a grill I am happy with it for now.

This project was a first for us, in that we didn't remove the wallpaper before painting.  After hearing several friends say they had painted over wallpaper successfully we decided to give it a shot.  It worked and you would never know...and it saved us many hours of stripping wallpaper!
 
Before
After:
 

Before
 
After
 

Before
 
After

Before
After
 

Before
 
After

Before
 
After
We decided to have a little fun and painted a chalkboard on the wall so we could include all the silly "rules" that have evolved in our family over the years.  This was a super easy project with just some chalkboard paint and  molding to frame it out. 

I am still waiting on 1 window treatment (for over the sink) and plan to get a new rug for the breakfast area as the one above is one that I put there just for functionality. We used as many accessories from our old kitchen as possible. Of course, there are decorative items that need to be tweaked but I am just thrilled with the results and couldn't wait to post pictures.


Budget for Redo = $0 (well, you know what I mean!)
Results = Priceless!!!




I am participating in the 88th Metamorphosis Monday!!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Fall Inspiration from Friends!

Yesterday we finally received a hint that Fall is, indeed, on its way.  It was wonderful to walk outside and feel a bit of cool, crisp air!  Last night DH began pulling my Fall decor out of the attic so I can start deciding how and where I want things to go in this house. 

But, while I am still working on my fall decor, I want to share some fun Fall inspiration from my friend Heidi.  She lives in our "old" town and they got a taste of Fall just a week or so sooner than we did. Heidi is one of those sweet souls who is beautiful inside and out and also has a great dose of good taste!  She always works hard to make her home inviting and a haven for friends and family.  So, enjoy a tiny peek at some of her Fall decor and I hope you find some inspiration to get you in the mood for the season. 

Isn't her entryway just adorable?  I love her Pumpkin Door Hanger!!!  She had this made by Dondee Hicks and it so unique.  Heidi also has others for for different seasons/holidays which are equally fantastic!
I love her Welcome Mum (a Sams Club find!).
This Boo Bucket is one of my favorite decorations.  It just gets me in the mood for Fall fun!
Of course, no tour would be complete without a few of inspirations from inside...
I was surprised by the runner under her kitchen arrangement, but it works so perfectly! Don't you love it when you have friends with such good taste to gather inspiration from?
 Heidi picked up this little sign at one of her favorite stores, Paper Affair (also one of my favorite and most tempting stores. I could never work there because I would spend more than I made). She changes the sign with the seasons. For Easter it says "He has Risen" with a pretty pastel bow... for summer it says "dog days of summer...." It is also great for menus at a dinner party!
There are so many precious little touches that make me feel like a child again, anticipating fall festivals, trips to the apple orchard, hay rides and long walks in crunchy leaves...
Thanks, Heidi, for letting me share your fantastic Fall decor!  I love it!!!

For more fall inspiration please check out:
 Fall Open House: Show Us How You Decorate at Hooked on Houses