Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Back Porch-Bones~

We recently sold our old patio furniture (white all weather wicker).  We'd had it for many years and were simply looking for a change.  We also wanted pieces that would be a bit more functional.

We picked up our dining table, chairs and bench at Ikea.  They are part of the Falster Series.  We purchased ours while it was an Ikea Family and Friends special, and got a great deal.

We hunted high and low for a sofa/loveseat/chair set.  Patio furniture is so expensive!  I refused to pay more for my outdoor sofa than my indoor one.  I adore my hometown girl Amanda, Dixie Delights, and if you have not seen her back porch I encourage you to click on over!!  She was kind enough to point me to Target to look for a sofa and chairs.  SCORE!  We found the perfect loveseat (fit the space better) and matching club chairs.  And we were able to get them for a great price during their Memorial Day sale.  They are part of the Belvedere Collection.

My hubby had his eye on a Mosaic Tile Topped table at West Elm (a bit pricey), but when we actually saw it and the quality of piece in person, we passed on it.  We opted for a $49 table from Ikea, the VITTSJO coffee table.

The bones are in place, and now on to the fun part...ACCESSORIZING.  We also have plans to build a console table/bar.  Hubby really wants to make it out of teak with a zinc top...we shall see.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Can you find the Cairn Terrier in this photo?

We (the baby and I) had a little fun with our Cairn Terrier.  To say the dog is a toy hoarder is well...pretty accurate.  Or, as her "grandpa" (hubby) likes to say...she has an enabler.  Me???  Nah.

She has a beloved red Kong ball that we decided to bury in a pile of her stuffed toys.  As you can see, she was willing to play along.

Hint...she is a bit salt and pepper!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

No More Teachers, no more rules, no more...

school buses in and out of our neighborhood, flooring it at 50 + MPH (full diesel) at 6:30 AM, EVERY MORNING (well, at least until August).

Seriously, and my neighbors and girlfriends wondered why I would NOT let my children ride the bus!  If you were to sit on my front porch in the morning with a radar gun, they would have certainly lost their license within the first two days of the school year!

We are looking forward to the peace and quiet in the mornings.  However, we are not guaranteed a peaceful night...now that the "group" has graduated, they will be racing in and out around 1 and 2 AM! UGH!!!!

So glad my girls are past that stage!

Anniversary Flowers & Something "Silver"

Thank you so much for all the sweet anniversary wishes.  We had kind of a low key day, which was fine by me.  I have had jury duty all week (however, have not had to report yet), so that kinda put a damper on making any firm plans.  We plan to celebrate in a couple weeks.

Hubby presented me with this beautiful bouquet of flowers.  If you know me, I much prefer mixed bouquets to say a dozen roses.  I love all the different colors and textures.  And, the lilies smell divine!

And then because it was in fact our "Silver" wedding anniversary, we picked up a little something Silver.  Meet the newest addition to our Koi pond.  So pretty when the light hits him (her?) just right.  Let me just say, photographing a moving target in water is hard! So excuse the somewhat blurry picture.

Hope everyone is having a good week.  Hard to believe we've had the "baby" home from college for a week already.  I have a feeling the summer is going to fly by.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

25 Years Ago Today~Happy Anniversary

Tops Songs for 1988 were:
Sweet Child O' Mine-Guns N'Roses
Never Gonna Give You Up-Rick Astley
Roll With It-Steve Winwood
One More Try-George Michael
Anything For You-Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
Every Rose Has Its Thorn-Poison
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car-Billy Ocean
Man In The Mirror-Michael Jackson
Look Away-Chicago
The Flame-Cheap Trick

The top 3 songs on the Top 40 Chart List were:
1. Faith-George Michael
2. Need You Tonight-INXS
3. Got My Mind Set On You-George Harrison

US President:  Ronald Reagan
Vice President:  George Bush

Academy Award Winners:
Best Picture-Rain Man
Best Actor-Duston Hoffman (Rain Man)
Best Actress-Jodie Foster (The Accused)

Top Ten Grossing Movies 1988:
#1 Rain Man
#2 Who Framed Roger Rabbit
#3 Coming to America
#5 Twins
#6 Crocodile Dundee II
#7 Die Hard
#8 Cocktail
#9 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
#10 Oliver & Company

On TV:
The Golden Girls
Married...With Children
Murphy Brown
The Wonder Years
China Beach
Star Trek:  The Next Generation
L.A. Law
The Cosby Show

Hot New Toys:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Figurines
Micro Machines
Super Soaker
Power Drencher
Dino Riders

1988 Prices:
Bread:  $0.61/loaf
Milk:  $2.00/gal
Eggs:  $1.13/doz
Car:  $14,065
Gas:  $0.96/gal
House:  $138,300
Stamp:  $.025/ea
Avg Income:  $38,608yr
Min Wage:  $3.35/hr

DOW Avg:   2,169

May 21st, 1988  Two O'clock...we said I Do.

While a lot has changed since then, one thing remains the same... I do.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

We Survived the First Year!

These two couldn't be happier to be back home! LOL

and now, we get to tackle all of this!

There are a few other suitcases out of the cameras view, but the girl did good!  She had everything but some clothes (which we were bringing suitcases for) all packed neatly and ready to go. 

As we were fighting the other students and parents taking things to their cars (how many can fit in an elevator???), we got more comments about how organized and neat she was!!!  Most were juggling overflowing laundry bags, baskets, clothes on hangers.  One mom was even carrying a wind chime while trying to juggle other miscellaneous items.

We walked by many rooms that literally looked like a bomb had just gone off!!  Welcome to the life of a college freshman living in tight quarters.

My hubby just laughed..."the girls obviously got mom's organizing gene!"  Pretty much.

It will take us a couple days to unwind and unpack, and then I have jury duty next week, so I hope to be able to blog a little more frequently after that.

Hope everyone is enjoying the end of the school year!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Help Wanted: Mother

Job Description:

MOST Coveted
     MOST Demanding
   MOST Rewarding

Experience:  None

Hours:  Not Enough In the Day

Pay:  Hugs and Kisses

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: " Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Proverbs 31: 28-31

Praying you all have a Wonderful and Blessed
Mother's Day!

The peonies in my garden bloomed just in time!  Aren't they gorgeous?  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's for Dinner Wednesday~

Who's in the mood for pizza?

It is no secret...we love our pizza! But, fresh is always best...no frozen store bought boxes in this house.

Tonight-Loaded Baked Potato Pizza


1 can (13.8oz) Pillsbury refrigerated classic pizza crust (we purchased fresh pizza dough at Whole Foods, you can also find it at Trader Joes as well)
1 medium white potato
1 TBS Crisco Pure Olive Oil (any olive oil will do, we prefer Newman's Own Extra Virgin)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Box (10 oz) Green Giant frozen broccoli and cheese sauce (we purchased organic frozen broccoli florets at Whole Foods instead and steamed for about 4-5 minutes in the microwave)
2/3 C sour cream
1 TBS ranch dressing
1 C shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (4oz) ***we grated our own blend, we also found that you really need a bit more if you are not using the broccoli with the cheese sauce, so I would double.
5 slices cooked bacon, coarsely chopped
1 small tomato, seeded, chopped (1/2C)
2 medium green onions, chopped (2 TBS)


Heat oven to 375*.  Spray large cookie sheet with Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.  Unroll pizza crust dough on cookie sheet.  Press dough into 13X9-inch rectangular.  Bake 10-13 minutes or until crust is light golden brown.  Remove from oven and set aside.

(We used fresh dough from Whole Foods, roll out into a circular shape on cold counter top using corn meal-this prevents it from sticking.  We place ours on a preheated pizza stone to bake, until golden brown).

Meanwhile, pierce potato with fork; place on microwaveable paper towel in the microwave oven.  Microwave 4-5 minutes, turning once, until tender.  Cover; let stand 5 minutes.  When potato is cool enough to handle, peel potato and cut into 1/4 inch thick cubes (1 C).  In small bowl, mix potato, oil, salt and pepper; set aside.

Cook broccoli in microwave as directed on box.  Empty from pouch into another small bowl to cool slightly; set aside (or steam frozen for 4-5 minutes).

In another small bowl, mix sour cream and ranch dressing.  Spread mixture over pizza crust to within 1/2 inch of edges of crust.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese (a little more if not using the broccoli with cheese) evenly over sour cream mixture.  Sprinkle with bacon.

Spread broccoli mixture and potato mixture evenly over the bacon.  Sprinkle tomato, onions, and remaining cheese (1/2 C or so) evenly over potato mixture.

Bake 15-22 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

It was so yummy!  The sour cream and ranch combined, and used as a base, are similar to a white pizza using ricotta.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Two Remarkable Women~

I have had the great pleasure of knowing these two remarkable women,  Karena of Art by Karena  and Linda of Life and Linda. No, we have yet to meet face to face, or even talk on the phone, but only through our blogs and emails.  Both of these women have been such an inspiration to me.  Each and everytime life has kicked them in the butt, and let them down, instead of whining, complaining, crawling in a hole, they have reached out, shared, and possessed a positive attitude.

I feel like this quote sums the two up perfectly.  One has had to endure numerous surgeries on her hip, endless hours of rehab, to only have to do it again, and again, and again.  The other, is now facing cancer for the second time.  But, each have once again reached out, shared, and conveyed a fighter's attitude!

Karena and Linda, thank you both for being such an inspiration.

And, to those of you reading.  Please lift these wonderful women up in prayer.  At some point in our lives we all face those challenges, some more trying than others, but with the love and support of those around us (known and unknown) we can beat what ever comes our way.

Love you girls!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spring Cleaning and a Hearty Meal~

Sorry I've been MIA, but we have been on a roll I tell ya!  Two weeks ago we ripped out the rest of our overgrown shrubs, and landscaped our entire front yard with new shrubs and flowers.  I will take some pics if this rain ever stops!!  I am thankful for all this rain...I have only had to water all the new plantings and our garden twice in the past couple of weeks.

Then I got on a spring cleaning kick...who knew expecting your baby home from college would do that???  I thought those emotions were only reserved for expectant moms!! LOL

The good news...our ENTIRE house has been cleaned top to bottom! Crown moulding, baseboards, windows, every single blind each freakin slat! carpets, counters, hardwood floors, you name it!

And while it feels REALLY good to have it all done, I have muscles that I did not know existed screaming for a massage ASAP!!!

As I mentioned, it has been raining.  Well, that just might be an understatement...it has been pouring, for hours, no days!  And, it is cool...I mean...we live in the south, 55 this time of year is COLD people!

So, hubby came up with a fantastic dish for an unseasonably cool spring evening.  Goulash.  Of course, he asked if I had ever had goulash before.  Surely, this girl, who comes from a family of 6 (3 ravenous boys mind you) would have surely had goulash before!  Ummm..."honey, do you mean Hamburger Helper?"  I wish I had had a camera to capture his expression.  Guess the two are not the same!

However, it was delicious!  And, according to him...super easy to make yes, I am extremely spoiled I know.

Bobby's Goulash (yes, Bobby would be Paula's son)

2 lbs lean ground beef
2 large yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups water
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbs Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 Tbs seasoned salt
2 C elbow macaroni, uncooked

In a Dutch oven (really is the key), saute the ground beef over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break up the meat while sauteing.  Spoon off any grease.  Add the onions and garlic to the pot and saute until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, House Seasoning, and seasoned salt.  Stir well. Place lide on the pot and allow this to cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn the heat off, remove the bay leaves, and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving.

Serve with garlic bread and a salad.

House Seasoning:
1 C salt
1/4 C pepper
1/4 C garlic powder

 Mix ingredients together and store in an air-tight container for up to 6 months.  Use as a seasoning on meat and when cooking vegetables.

Enjoy with a dollop of sour cream.  (on a side note-hubby and I think the leftovers would be realy good with a bit of bread crumbs and topped with some shredded cheese...bake until the cheese is golden brown).