Friday, July 29, 2011

Dreaming of Fall...

Ok, I admit that some people don't want to read this post but I'm not a summer person.  I don't like to swim and hate the hot weather. Despite this I will put my best effort into spending the last two weeks with my kids doing summer stuff. 

Here's some things I'm looking forward to:

Decorating for FaLL!!! 

My garden is really growing and I am hopeful my lil' baby boo pumpkins and giant orange ones will come in handy this year.

I love decorating the porch and front areas of my home.

I love these bumpy, grayish green and white gourds.

most photos from BHG

my FaLL mantle last year

Visits to the orchard

Dining room

burning yummy candles and shhh...I'm already trying out some new fall scents

Baked Granny Smith and McIntosh apples topped with vanilla crumble, cinnamon and nutmeg.  It's my new favorite!  The little ones are on sale right now too!

Checking out these amazing works of art by God, in my backyard!

and last but not least BaKiNG!


I will definately be making these again this year!

Enjoy the rest of your summer but remember FaLL is almost here!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspirations in Blogland

Do you ever find yourself going from one site to another?  I love blogging, blog hopping and any kind of boards, or visual interest.  In my college classes I teach my students to recognize their learning style.  Most people have a preferred way to obtain information and learn best.  I am a Visual learner.  I love to have a display that is appealing to the eye.   I will fiddle with things over and over to achieve balance.

I like this Cottage Kitchen.

While some prefer all white or white/black or turquoise/black combos I love color...especially red.  Red is a very strong color.  I once went into a house with an all red wall, not pretty.  Red needs friends to put it mildly.  Something that will tone down or complement.  I love red/yellow, red/blue, the classic red/blue and red/white.  What colors do you find most appealing and in what shades?  Do you prefer pastels, muted colors, bright colors?? I'm loving any color with fresh clean white lately. 

When it comes to decorating I prefer my floors and walls to take a backseat.  I don't want to compete with my accessories or furniture.  I know I can hear many of you out there saying ah..vanilla plain walls yuck! It's something that works for me.  To each his own I guess.  Also, I love to decorate for the seasons so when Fall arrives in another month or so I will be ready to usher in brilliant shades of yellow, reds, browns and orange.  No problem, with a neutral background.  Then again at Christmas I can usher in the greens and reds.  I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks about this.

I love the Sweet Cider sign.

I love the wood in this kitchen against the creamy backdrop of the cabinets.  Good blend of old and new!

What colors are you drawn too, what inspires you?

Here's some sites I visit on a regular basis:



Inspired Room

Better Homes and Gardens

Country Living

My favorite blogs

Between Naps on the Porch

Sugar Pie Farmhouse

Old Centennial Farmhouse

My Crazy Life as a Farmer's Wife (my new favorite)

Keep'n the Sunnyside

Sunnyside of the Porch

Huckleberry Prairie

Cozy Cottage Cute

Sunny Simple Life

I can't think of one of these blogs that don't take you on some kind of a visual journey.  Great photos, excellent color that immediately attracts me. I love the everyday beauty of their blogs and sometimes simple topics/subjects. I would love to know what you're favorite sites/blogs are too, so be sure to share.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Tweaking my Summer Mantle and New Candle love!

Here's what my mantle looks like now that I've had a little time to play around with it.  I really wanted it to be light and bright so I added my white cake stands and pitchers.  I will be bringing my sunflowers up soon now that most of my 4th stuff is down so it will probably change again.  :) Does anybody else like to switch things around like me?

I have been inspired by a lot of blue lately too so I thought after bringing down my Ball jars for the 4th of July for table settings I might try something on my sofa table.   I love how just small changes and putting things in different rooms can change the whole look.

Blue Ball jars, Daisy, Cloche', white stand and flag

Whatcha think?? Anybody else feeling the blues lately?  I'm yearning for Fall with this intense heat wave.  I am looking forward to spending some time with my kiddos before they go back to school.  I am going to try to find some inexpensive things to do with them.  No vacation for us this year.  I have about three weeks off after next week before I go back for Fall semester. Speaking of Fall, I picked up this candle at Jo Ann's last weekend.  It was 40% off (Home Collections), Star Lytes,New England Maple.  It smells really good almost Fall like. 

Hope you're keeping cool inside!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Peach Pie Time!

It's that time of year!  I know it's hot out there but this is worth cranking up the air for.  You can make it earlier in the morning too.  I must confess I've never made a peach pie...yep all sorts but never peach.  I really wanted to try it. I must admit it will never be my favorite, but it's not bad.  I think years ago I must have had a very bad congealed mess of a pie and wrote this pie off.  I have definately changed my mind.  Thanks Aunt Ruthie!  If you want more recipes you can download her Watermelon and Fireflies book for summer ideas, decorating and more.  She is such an inspiration to me.  I love that she loves the Lord and shares her gifts with others. 

Peach Pie

Use your favorite pie crust.  I like Pillsbury if I'm in a rush.

10 farm fresh peaches (I used 7 large ones)
2 Tbsp. Minute tapioca
1-1/2 cups of sugar (depending on the sweetness of your fruit)
2 Tbsp. of cornstarch
dash of nutmeg
2 additional Tbsp. of minute tapioca to sprinkle in bottom of crust
egg white or cream, decorative sugar  optional

Directions:  Using a knife make an X in bottom of peach. Place peaches in boiling water for about 30 seconds to loosen skin.  Peel and slice peaches.  Add sugar and other dry ingredients and allow to stand.  Mean while prepare the crust.  Add minute tapioca to bottom, add peaches and then put 2nd crust on top.  Crimp, scallop or lattice the top crust.  I used a cookie cutter to allow a vent. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in a 375 degree oven. Bake for 1 hour, loosely cover with foil if needed so crust doesn't over brown. The pie will be done when you see the juices bubbling up! Don't forget that essential ingredient, Love...;)  Serve with a big scoop of vanilla icecream.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pottery Barn Flag Copycat

Hello Bloggers!  I know it's past 4th of July but I couldn't resist doing this project.  Between work and technical difficulties it took my DH and I about a week.  I think it could be done over the period of a day allowing paint to dry etc. I was first inspired by Kindra,At Home with K . Then I saw that Susan, Between Naps on the Porch also did one for her porch.  I kept thinking I can do this!! From Pottery Barn this flag will set you back $129 not exactly what I want to spend. 

I'm still playing around with the mantle, maybe tweak it a little.  I can see a more summer display with watermelon or farm type things.  I may add in my sunflowers.  I usually bring those out in August. 

I used my Clean White for the stripes and other red, blue paint I had on hand.  I ended up using two different blues and the star was a stamp from a collection called God Bless America.  I love how my stars are not quite perfect.  I lightly stained the red, and blue field areas and sanded a little bit.  Other than the Lathe this project was around $8, gotta love that!  For exact directions check out the other blogs above.  I modified mine a bit, the field area was 15 inches.  My version is a little bit bigger than the other bloggers and smaller than PB version. My DH measured off all the stars for me and we made a pattern so I would know exactly where to put the center of each star.

So whatcha think?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hoosier Make-over

 Instead of coming home to collapse for my afternoon Sunday nap I felt industrious. Yikes, did I just admit that...oops!  Anyway, I have wanted to paint this since I purchased it a few years ago.  It used to be dingy and a creamy dirt color on the inside.  I wanted clean and white but I wanted to keep the great color of the wood. 


a close-up of the shelves inside
I used Clean White like I did in my Laundry Room

I picked up the runner during the big 40 garage sale.  I bought a sack full of vintage kitchen linens for $5. :)

I have to tell you a funny story about why my sign reads, Aunt Opal's Homemade Pies.  I did a week of VBS skits a few weeks ago and I played the part of a farm wife who ended up with a blue ribbon at the county fair.  I laughed so much that week and the kids seemed to really enjoy it.  We talked about the Fruits of the Spirit and how we have to use this daily in life (love, patience, kindness and joy)  I took a little piece of that away with me and this sign makes me smile and remember this time, fondly :) I guess we all have a little Aunt Opal in us!

So what do you think?  I'd love to know what make over projects you are working on?


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Twix Cookies

My family can't get enough cookies...I don't know about yours.  When I saw this recipe I knew it would be a winner.  I think this works best with any small size candy bars too.  It's so easy just take your favorite cookie recipe and add the cut up twix to the dough.  Here's a link to Your Based Mom blog.  I've also seen quite a few  recipes for Rolo desserts in Blogland.  Have you tried the new Rolo McFlurry yet?? I haven't but it sure does look good.

I think I used two bars but up into small pieces and that worked well for me. Next time I may add a few more chips for a double delicious treat!

Have a Blessed Sunday,


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July Food!

Today we opted for a simple fried chicken dinner created by our very own original recipe, courtesy of Col. Sanders. LOL!  I did, however want a homemade dessert so I fixed this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.  Yummy!  My hubby does not like rhubarb so I made brownies for him. 

Even though we were having take out I still wanted to have our table set nicely for the holiday.  I used my blue ball jars and festive napkins. 

Here's the links for both recipes:  Strawberry Rhubarb Pie  I made a little different version this time.  It had two crusts I think I prefer the crumb topping it highlights the fruit more!  My rhubarb was pretty tart I think the added sugar would have been better.

Ree's version of Killer brownies, Knock you Naked Brownies from Pioneer Woman.  Gotta love her she cracks me up!  I omitted the nuts and I used the ready made carmel sauce.  I wouldn't recommend this though.  I made these before and I think the original recipe is better.  Mine were a little more dry than I'd like.  They were still moist but not ooey gooey!


Hope you had a great holiday and looked for the blessings in our american life!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hometown 4th of July!

Good afternoon, my it's that time of year again!  Have you ever heard knee high by the 4th of July?  Well, that's what we say in these parts.  Our corn is looking good too! I'm so happy the farmers were able to get their fields plowed.  It was a very wet spring.

I'm linking up with Melissa, here's a few glimpses of my hometown.  I also won her give away, such a great give away.  I won the Happy Homemaker give away and I got lots of goodies.

Centerville, IN was founded in 1814.  It has rich history and many stories are hidden among it's famous arches and antiques. Recently it has been named one of the best small towns in Indiana.  The current population is 2,426. That's one reason why we decided to move back here upon my husband's retirement.  It's a great place that kids can trick or treat!

Nestled in the heart of Wayne County, Centerville has the best schools and it's location to things makes it the best of both worlds.  Richmond is our neighboring town and has a rich history of it's own. We are one hour from Dayton, OH and one hour from Indianapolis.  Cincinatti is about one and a half hours way.  My kids look forward to the Wayne County Fair every year where 4-H students can display their talent and show livestock.

Here's my baby with her photography entry, she got a blue ribbon for her drawing and a Reserve Grand Champion for a school project. 

In our town we honor the Veteran's and our flags our flyin' high!

my daughter and my husband at school for Veteran's Day

Oliver P. Morton House

We preserve our rich history. 

The History Club

Our high school band does well every year.  I used to be in the color guard, I was a flag girl, all 4 years!

Farming is an important part of our community still.  I hope you enjoyed hearing about my little Hometown.  Growing up here made me proud and I'm happy to be raising my kids here now. 

Thanks, Melissa from Huckleberry Prairie for the best give away!  Here's Aunt Ruthies, link for her book perfect for summer.  I love the little clothes pins one says, Eat Pie!

Close-up of the Red, White and Blue Apron!

Have a great 4th of July!