Friday, May 28, 2010

Strawberries Galore!

My little strawberry patch is just flourishing.  I can't believe how much we're getting out of it.  Here's the first few that we got about a week ago.  Two days ago my daughter picked a bucket full, enough to make a pie!  I didn't get a great picture of it but it was yummy.  That's what we ate for dinner last night.  I found a similiar recipe for the pie I made here.    I didn't use any gelatin in mine.  Speaking of recipes a friend of my Aunt's game me some Cook's Country magazine and I was impressed.  They contain zero adds.  It's all about testing recipes and the science of baking and cooking things. Check it out. I think I'm going to try the Diner Style Pie for this weekend. 

We had made plans for the weekend and they have changed to a more laid back weekend.  First thing is my boys game, then a cookout with my inlaws, a movie, a trip to the cemetary to put out flags.  What's your plans for the weekend, do you have any traditions?  Don't forget to honor our present and past veterans who have given up their life so we could have our freedoms.  I think it's so important. 

This picture was taken last year and I'm so grateful I'll be spending time with them this weekend.

Here's some more links to some recipes for strawberries that caught my eye:

These are some of the food blogs I visit on a regular basis and I hope you enjoy them too.  I love making things from their blogs. 

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Scrap Happy!

It seems that I'm forever doing something to my house.  We have moved our attention to my scrapbook room.  Originally, I told my husband to please start on my laundry room.   Then I changed my mind upon seeing my scrapbook paper and boxes everywhere.  It's almost summer and I hate to say it but I'm just not a lover of the heat.  I love to stay in where the AC is on and scrapbook, read or watch movies.  I haven't been able to scrapbook since we moved in September and I really missed it. So we put our laundry room needs aside and he has been busy working on this for the last week.   We're going to tackle that next though!  Keep in mind I am still decorating this and need to get some more baskets etc. It's not done yet.

Here is the before, it was the former owners workout room:



This is the same view into the room.  He built me a lower desk to put a computer and printer on later.   I have my ribbon laid on there now.  He has to build me a dowel rod holder for under my shelves. 

This is the other part of my U-shaped cabinet and counter area.  I'm a stand up scrapper and I wanted to have everything open as much as possible.  In my last space I found that some of my products didn't get used because I didn't see them.  I have decided this time to have a little bit of open and closed storage.  It's a learning process.  My counters needed something to support them so that's why each end has a drawer or lazy susan.  I may add upper cabinets later in the each corner with removed doors for easy storage.

This is my main scrapping area where I have a little plastic drawer filled with my scraps.  I try to use up all I can before going over to my new paper.  I have my most used tools in the tool box.  I'm looking to replace this with a little tiered white wire basket.  The little white shelves hold flowers and buttons, misc.  My husband is going to mount a little rod underneath for my ribbon. 

This is on the opposite side of my U shaped work space. These are the Expedit shelves from IKEA that I talked about in an earlier post.  All my albums, paper, magazines (both decorating and scrapbooking) fit on here.  My paper holders all had to be trimmed down to fit, the paper fits just fine but not with the cropper hopper holder.  So be aware if you're going to use this shelving for the same purpose. I also bought a desk for a sewing maching that I can put in the corner.  It just hooks right on.  We bought the wrong color so we have to make another trip to get that later. I also want to get some coordinating baskets and matching magazine holders. 

Here's my little window that I dressed with a lace valance and some of those hankies that I got the other day.  I decided in this room since it's just for me that I would decorate it more feminine.  I plan on adding splashes of pink and pastels, maybe a pretty lamp, stool cover etc.  I wanted it to keep the vintage feel because I don't think I will ever tire of loving old things but more fresh and clean.  That's why I chose white as my color for my shelving and cabinets.   If I decide to change my color palette down the road I can always keep the white it will go with anything.

Hope you're having a good day with plenty of sunshine!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Apple Dumplins'

Good morning friends!  It's been awhile since I shared a new recipe with ya so here it goes!  I got the new Trisha Yearwood Cookbook a few weeks ago and I've been working my way through it.  I like the simplicity of her recipes.  This one was pretty good.    Check out more yummy things with Colleen!

Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples
1 cup water
1 cup sugar *divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
8 canned biscuits (buttermilk)
4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Peel, core and slice apples vertically into 8 slices each.  Cover with water to keep them from getting brown.  * I had to chop mine a little more than this.

In a medium saucepan, mix the water, 3/4 cup sugar, butter and vanilla over heat and bring mixture to a boil.  *I added vanilla after the boil.

Separate each biscuit into 2 layer.  Wrap a biscuit layer around a slice of apple, stretching it to slightly overlap and seal the bottom.  *mine weren't perfect and it turned out ok.  Place the wrapped slices sealed side down in a 9 X 12 X 2 inch casserole dish.  Pour the hot sugar mixture over the apple slices.  Mix the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over the tops of the wrapped apples.  Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.   Serves 8

It was delicious and my family ate it right up!

Have a great weekend, I'll be back with some sneak peeks of my new craft room.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garden Tour part 2

Good morning, I'm so happy that my kitty is home and feeling better.  Thank you for your well wishes and prayer.  My daughter came up to me the day we took him to the vet and said mom I prayed 21 times at school today.  Gotta love her for that!

Here's more of my landscaping around the house:

View of the front sidewalk and porch on the side

The peonies are on the sides of the driveway.  This is the side view of the yard.  We took out some pines and my neighbor put them in their yard, so we have some plugs that need to settle in the background.  My husband doesn't like pine trees and he didn't like mowing around them.  My neighbor paid to have them transplanted and it all just worked out.

This is on the opposite side of the house.  The other little island is located here with more shrubs, bushes and trees.

This is the guest room window, then it meanders back with a little stone path. 
Irises, dianthus purple flowers here

I'll show you some pictures of the backyard when more of our vegetable garden starts to grow and we get our pool all cleaned.  We're still planting, no tomatoes yet.  We ordered them by mail.   They should be here today.

Enjoy the beautiful day, this is the day that the lord hath made!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A trip to IKEA and our Kitty

Today my husband and I went to IKEA to buy my shelves for my scrapbook room.  We've been doing a lot of discussion this weekend about what my needs are and what I should get.  I had seen these shelves on a lot of others scrapbook boards and blogs and thought they would be perfect.  After working for a few hours on putting everything together I started putting things away on my new shelves and couldn't get my paper on the shelf.  You see I keep most of my paper is in vertical storage containers like these and they are 13 1/2 " tall, the problem is my cubes are not that tall.  I thought I was buying 15 x 15 inch cubes.   Other people had the same holders I even went back to look again today.  I don't know what to do I bought these specifically to store my paper and albums.  My DH says maybe other people cut the tops off of there holders.  Any ideas?? Any other scrappers out there?? Just wondering? My albums and other things fit just fine.

Here's some pictures of our boy Smokey who is a bit under the weather now with a urinary tract infection, we 're hoping he makes a full recovery.  My daughter is really upset, she is very close to him and we're saying a lot of prayers at our house.  He is with the vet now and she is monitoring him and giving him antibiotics.   We sure do miss him ,especially my daughter, who sleeps with him every night.  As you can see she likes to dress him up, poor guy.

I'll be back soon with part 2 of my Garden tour.  We got some of our vegetables planted Sunday.  I'm really excited to see how things will grow.  It's been so rainy lately that it has been a bit of a challenge.

Have a great day!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Garden Tour part one

How has your week been?  We're trying to get our garden put in and it's been a challenge with our weather.  I had no idea how heavy sod was when I had to carry across the yard.  I substituted 2 days this week and today the kids participated in a Civil War day.  It was really neat.  I learned some things too.  I have the same group on Monday too.  I'll share more on that later.  Besides all the yardwork and baseball games for my son, we've been planning my new scrapbook/craft room.  I think we'll be getting some things from IKEA for it soon.  I am so excited to get scrapping again, I've neglected that hobby for awhile now.

In the landscaping we've put out new mulch, pulled lots of weeds, and sprayed.  We bought two varieties of apple trees for our backyard and hopefully I will have an arbor that we're going to grow bittersweet on this Fall.  I know how some of you ladies love this stuff.  I've always wanted to grow my own and my DH will be so happy that he no longer has to climb trees to get it for me. It seems to be a never ending process.  I plan on adding a few things to the porch and back patio area.  Hopefully, we will have a celebration for my husband's retirement and I would love to get a new set of wicker to put out back. 

My little strawberry patch

Look they're growing!

These are so pretty, I have three different varieties, one is peach/ lilac combo, dark purple and purple/yellow combo.

This is on the side of my house in one of the little islands as I call them.  Boy, do they take a lot of mulch! I'm not sure what these little purple flowers are maybe phlox??  Anyone know?

These are the stepping stones my kiddo use when they get on the bus, this is our side view from the porch.

My chives are blooming and my herbs are doing well.

I have lemon thyme, lemon balm, basil, and parsley right out my kitchen door.

The view of our home from the road

I put out some silk geraniums from Jo Ann's to put in my hanging baskets across the front here but the latest storms that passed through forced me to take them down because of the wind.  I want to put some rocking chairs on the porch.  I can just see it now.'s gonna look so neat!  I'll share more pics later.

Have a great weekend,


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

Here's a little project I did a week ago that was super easy!  It's as easy as grating cheese.  You just boil some water and add the soap to it.  Then you add the other ingredients and whollah!! Laundry soap.  Don't think it's worth the effort or money read here to find out more!  I used Fels Naptha soap instead which you can find at Meijer or most grocery stores in the bath soap isle.  I ordered mine from Amazon which was slightly more due to shipping because I didn't think my store carried it and found it too late.  Here's my pictures of how it turned out.

Ingredients needed

1 cup Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer)
1/2 cup borax (Mule Team)
Fels Naptha Bar soap
approx, 3 gal. water

Here it is on my stove simmering away, you need to dissolve the soap completely.

Here's the end result, mine slighly yellow. 

All in all I was very impressed with how easy it was, if you can boil water and grate cheese it's easy.  I did all this while baking and cleaning in my kitchen.  When I first came across recipes for soap I thought it would be worth more trouble and not be worth it in the long run.   I have changed my mind about that.  It got my son's ball clothes clean so I think it works just as well as my other store brand soap.  My only complaint about it was the stuff seemed to gel up quite a bit to the point where it's hard to pour out of the bottle especially if you recycle your own laundry dispensers and try to use a pour spout.  I'm going to do some more research and see if I can't tweak the recipe or find a new one to alleviate this problem. 

$ bottom line
Homemade laundry soap $8.15 vs Tide for a year $73.23
savings $65.08 a year

Have a great day, you probably guessed what I'm doing- Laundry!


P.S.  Here's a few more links if you're interesed. Laundry Soap

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day all you mothers and daughters out there! 

This is my mother with me when I was about 2 or so, that was my favorite hat I guess I wore it all year long whether it was cold or not, LOL!

I miss her so much everyday, but especially during the month of May because she had a birthday in May too.  My heart is still with you Mom, love you forever!

The two reasons that I can call myself a Mom. 
They make my heart skip a beat everytime I see their smiling faces.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pies

Good evening, I hope you're enjoying the wonderful weather, sorry to all my northern friends though!  I hear it's snowing up there.  I've had a busy, busy week full of 2 spring concerts, ball games, shopping, more ball games and I'm glad it's over.  Here's a link to more recipes.

Here's a sweet treat if you're a rhubarb fan!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberries - 3 cups hulled, washed and sliced
Rhubarb - 3 cups, washed and cut into 1 inch chunks
3/4- 1 Cup sugar depending on sweetness of fruit
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves *I omitted this ingredient
store bought or favorite pie crust for a 2 crust pie
minute tapioca

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly until well combined.  Toss into cut fruit and gently stir mixture. Let stand for about 15 minutes.  Prepare pie crust or use store bought one.  I used the Never Fail Crust recipe similiar to this one. You need a deep dish 9 inch pan or if you have the little ones it makes about 4, 1 not quite so full.  Fill fruit mixture and roll out top crust and cut into 3/4 or 1 inch strips to make lattice if desired.  I like to use cookie cutters or criss cross the top.  I'm not fussy with the dough.  I sprinkled a little minute tapioca to the bottom of the crust too.  Brush with cream or egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. 

Bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until rhubarb is done.  Allow to cool on rack for several hours. Serve with a dollop of vanilla icecream or cream.  Recipe adapted from Sweety Pies

My son ate a piece and wanted more.  My aunt, the pie baker also said it was very good. Yeah!!!! These are just the perfect size for an individual pie or 2 servings.  I just love these new pie plates, I got them at Warm Glow on sale.  They cleaned very nice too.  The bottom says American Pottery. 

Have a super weekend!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Power of Prayer

I couldn't let this day pass before I wrote something about my belief in the power of prayer.  I have witnessed this myself many times.  My faith is strong.  I believe we get answers to our prayers.  Sometimes it's not what we expected but it's part of God's plan for us. 

I thought I would share my prayer list with you for today:

First, I pray for my family, their health and welfare

my church, missions, my friends

our armed forces, and their families

our government, let them make good decisions

I have been praying hard lately about finding the right job for my husband and myself.  We have been submitting applications but teaching in our area is just not looking very good.  I got some bad news about my license but I won't go into that because I'm trying to think positive.    I had some contact today with a prospective employer so I'm praying that this is the lord pointing me in the right direction.  I'll keep you posted.

This is the national day of prayer...we should be praying for our nation.  I don't like to discuss politics and I don't feel people should push their ideas onto others.  I wanted my blog to be about my family, decorating mainly and recipes.  I think it's fine for other people to do this if they wish, I just make the choice not to discuss things of that nature on my blog.  Anyway,  our nation needs prayer we aren't going in the direction we need to be...a lot of finger pointing and a lot of corruption.  I don't think this is how our founding fathers saw the future of their great nation.  I am praying for our troops to come home and be safe.  I pray for their families.  I pray that our congress and senate can put politics aside and we can move forward.   I pray for our President.  Our nation was founded on people who believed in god and believed in prayer and we have turned away.  I hope we don't lose sight of what's more important.

Here's more info. if you want to learn more for National Day of Prayer

I'm sayin' a little prayer tonight too for all of my followers!  I'll be back to share a recipe soon.



I'm reading "Your Best Life Now" and  I'm really enjoying it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Open House Goodies!

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a great weekend and is off to a good start this week.  I was able to go to two open houses and I'm hoping to go to some more prim stores later this week or next.  As many of you know from previous posts I live near Warm Glow candles.  They had their annual tent sale and I found a few things.  Most of their things were 20% off or more.   I got a yellow, pussy willow candle ring like the one I gave away too.

My husband made holder for me years ago when I saw one in a store.  It's been a long time since it's has a long loaf style candle in it but I found this in the clearance section. 

It's snickerdoodle, and it smells yummy!

I also bought some little pie dishes, I'll show you those later. 

I found these hankerchiefs at a garage sale.  They were just too beautiful to pass up. They belonged to the man's mother.  When I brought them home I could still smell her perfume on them.  It made me a little sad and miss my own mom.  Since it's almost mother's day those of you that are lucky enough should go call your mom or give her a great big hug.

I was thinking I might make a table runner out of them and stitch them together.  I might tuck them in here and there.  I might just give them away for presents....not sure yet.

I found these at a little store called G & G crafts.  It's the only little store I close by me that carries some primitive things.  She had a spring open house and I took advantage of clearance items and got the candle for 20 % off.  It smells like apple pie.  The State Fair one seems to be hard to find.  It's a McCall's candle. I love the way the little pillows had red, white and blue in them.

Hope you have a great day!


Monday, May 3, 2010

The Winner of my Anniversary Give Away is...

# 12 Karen from Barely There Primitive Bear

Email me with your info. please and I'll send out your goodies.

Have a great day ladies, thanks to all who entered.  Welcome new followers! I'll be back with more makeovers, gardening, recipes and decorating soon.