From somebody's trash to my treasure. I like to re-style & re-create what was once a cast off. Isn't that what Jesus does with us?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Come in outta the snow

I looked out my window this morning to the wonderful world of white! It's wonderful because I don't have to go anywhere in it. Don't you just love how the trees look when they are covered in snow?

So the snow gave me the perfect excuse to get another pot of soup started. Like I really need an excuse hee hee
I'm so into yummy soups when it's cold out, aren't you? The soup I made this time is Creamy Chicken and wild rice soup with tender bits of fresh mushrooms and just the right amount of sage. What a difference from the chicken noodle soup I made last week. They are both so good, yet so totally different. Just give me a shout if you want the recipes.

First I chopped up a couple tablespoons of fresh sage, onion and carrot and sauteed them in some olive oil in my big pot. Do you have a pampered chef chopper? I love mine. I use it for almost every soup or side dish we make. It makes such quick work of carrots and onions...anything! I just throw it in my dishwasher when I'm done. It's a snap to clean. You would think I work for pampered chef or something! hee hee I don't. Then I added the chicken stock, wild rice, chicken and mushrooms.

The recipe calls for buttermilk at the end. It makes it so creamy and hearty. It's really DELICIOUS!
Not only did I get this soup made after a full morning of homeschooling my girls, but I also baked a chocolate, pumpkin bundt cake. Oo La La!! Talk about moist! I have never tasted a cake as moist as this one! My husband agreed!

Once the cake cooled, I slathered on cream cheese icing and topped it all off with some miniature chocolate chips. My family was impressed when I served them this dessert after the soup.

I'll eat a piece for you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Soup's On!

It's been the coldest around here that it's been this winter! Yesterday we took a little drive to my nephew's 2nd birthday party and it was in the negative degrees!!! Brrrrr! That was three hours north of here. The weathermen are saying we may get 1-2 feet of snow in the next day or two if the weather tracts the right way!!! Another Brrrrrr!!! My husband is happy. At the end of winter last year, he bought a snowblower. Now he is eager for us to get a SERIOUS SNOW! My girls are excited too. Daddy has promised a snow tunnel in the back yard if we get the expected pummel of snow! Me? Well, I'll be sitting inside my cozy little house, sipping a warm cup of tea and video taping all the fun from a warm distance (smile!)
I must say though all this cold weather has got me thinking about warm, satisfying soup. The kind that melts even the bitterest of colds away. The kind of warm that hugs you like a warm, snugly blanket. I want it to warm my bones up. You know what I mean? Through and through kinda warm.

I just cooked my first whole, organic chicken. After we had the chicken and potatoes and gravy for dinner, I pulled off the dark meat and a couple leg bones and through them in my stock pot along with the savory broth it made. I cut up some carrots, added more broth and let it simmer for about an hour on the stove. At last I added some egg noodles and lots of good, black pepper. It was so hearty and yummy!

It lasted for several meals. (Oh, did I mention I did take out the leg bones? smile)

I went to the grocery store this morning with my sister and my girls. We picked up some wild rice and fresh, sliced mushrooms. I am looking forward to making a creamy wild rice-and mushroom soup this week while the snow is falling.

I'm looking forward to learning more about using spices in my cooking, other than just salt and pepper. There's so many yummy alternatives to the packaged, processed stuff you buy in grocery stores. You just have to know where to find it and how to use it. I'm not there yet, but I am learning little by little. I love the fact that I can make something fresh and natural for my family, and that it is good for them too.
My sister just gave me a little seed packet of dill to pot on my windowsill. I can't wait to get it started. I can imagine some recipes with some fresh herbs as well. I'll be using some fresh sage in my creamy mushroom soup.

I'll have to give you a taste when it's done!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Words to live by

Hello Everyone!
I was so inspired recently when I stopped by Lemonade Makin' Mama's site. ( Her ideas and pictures are so fabulous, you just have to see it for yourself. Anyway, I fell in love with a sign she made in her kitchen. It's from 1 Corinthians 12 and is the great love chapter in the Bible.

I just love the b/w graphic appeal that it has! Don't you? It got me thinking of a window a friend gave me. It's wonderfully curved and chippy and old. I have it hanging in my hallway. The only little issue with it is it has a small crack in the lower left corner. When I saw Sasha's beautiful sign it gave me the idea to come up with my own rendition to cover the crack in the window.
What do you think? I am in love with it! (Please don't mind the scribbling on the wall. My five year old wanted to display her own creativity! AHEM!)I think it looks so cool with this type of window. It kinda reminds me of a stained glass window for some reason. I just love passing by it and reading the verse. It's my husband's favorite chapter in Psalms; Psalm 91. I wanted him to know I was thinking of him.
I think he kinda likes it too! (smile) Of course the rest of the verse (just in case you don't have a Bible at hand) goes like this "....will rest in the shadow of the almighty." If you are anything like me, you just had to know that or it would have left you hanging! So, there you have it! Your verse for the day, in a clever way : )

Sunday, January 16, 2011

If the shoe fits....

I have been having so much fun crafting my little corner, but I just wasn't satisfied with the end results. Ever feel that way? Something was still missing.

When my girls hang their coats on the hooks above the baskets, the coats all but cover the empty space in between. Still, I wasn't happy. I decided I needed a quote for this space. Hmmm...what could it be? I GOT IT!!!

Cute, huh? I was giggling about this one. I thought it was so clever with the shoes in their baskets right below the quote. My girls liked it too. In fact my four year old laid right beside me the whole time I painted.
Oh and look what else I accomplished this weekend ......

I found this chippy little pot just calling my name at TJ Maxx.

I have visions of a cute little herb topiary filling it up. For now though, my Norfolk Island Pine will take up residence there.
I hope your day is Sunny!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Little Project

I thought it was only fair that I shared with you a little project I completed with my new Christmas tool set.

I have always wanted a foyer in my house. Right now my front door opens right into my living room. I can just imagine a small landing that greets you warmly as you come in from the cold (which it is right now in PA!) Just big enough for a white table or hutch ... a place to organize your keys and coats, but yet hold a few pretty things.

It's kinda like when you meet someone for the first time, you want to give them the best impression. Well, that's how I think of a foyer. That first sunny welcome into the heart of your home.

I took a before picture of the landing just inside my front door.

One step in, and there you are. I can fit a small desk-size table or chair here, however there are two problems. The front door and closet door open right into the space. So, I devised a plan with my new pink tool kit. I painted and hung three hooks to hold my daughter's coats. Then I hung their pictures above. Below the hooks I put a basket for their shoes and one in between theirs for my outgoing magazines.

Now when they come in, instead of throwing their coats across the couch, they can hang up their coats on the hooks and place their shoes in their baskets. Well....that's how it's supposed to work anyway! (smile)

pics courtesy of: Pic#2 House and Garden Magazine. Pics#3 and #4 Pottery Barn.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Ladies, I don't know about you, but I got something this Christmas that I was a little giddy about. It was a gift from my husband that was totally unexpected. Totally thoughtful. And totally meaningful.

I have to be honest and say I am not very good with household projects. I can paint. I like to paint. I like to do crafts and make things. But I'm never precise. I don't measure things with a ruler. I just eyeball it. If it looks good, centered, even; then it's good enough for me.

That scares some of you, I know. It REALLY SCARES MY HUSBAND. That's why this gift was so meaningful and surprising.

He is really the most humble person I know. That's one of the traits that drew me to him when I met him. I think that has a lot to do with why he gave me this gift. He isn't too proud to let others know that I do "little projects" around the house. Painting the walls, changing the furniture around (many, many times!) and re-arranging things.
I'm the kinda girl who would see a vanity re-do on HGTV, and attempt it myself. In a hurry, that is, before my sweet husband would get home to tell me
it's not a wise idea. I need the proper tools.
I'm the impulsive one. He's the more thoughtful, analytical one. It kinda works well that way.

It's all fun though, and keeps things interesting! LOL

Do you see what his special gift was to me? I thought it was so thoughtful that he chose pink!! He didn't have to do that! But it so makes it so much more glam and hip, don't you think?

My very own pink tool kit!!!
I wonder if he was just getting tired of me borrowing from his tool box? hee hee

Credits: All the cottage pics were from the internet at various locals throughout the world. The old door was found online (although I wish it were mine!) and the bathroom pic was from Pottery Barn.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Bedroom Makeover

I have been so longing for a change in my bedroom for so long. You know what I mean? You see fabulous duvets and bedding online and in stores and you just can't wait to make it happen in your space. Ever feel that way?
Well I had to wait. I needed to save up a bit before going for the fabulous comforter I saw at Target that was calling my name.
It's from Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic line and oh so comfy and lovely. I wish I had before and after pictures to show ya.
I "visited" my bedding many times ... UNTIL FINALLY...
It went on sale to my wonderful amazement and I bought it right up!!
I love a good sale, what can I say. And it was something I had really been waiting on and wanting.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sweet Sister

I was a little late this year getting to my sweet sister's place to take Christmas pictures. She has quite the cute set-up, and I promised you a few pics.
She uses brown and aquamarine throughout her cottage, and I just love how these colors show up in the details she chooses!
It's all in the details!
Thank you Tina for keeping your decorations up a little longer than usual for me to see!! Your place is special...just like you!

I have one more thing for you before I turn in for the night. Remember I said I ordered a scrumptious pillow right at Christmas? Well it came the Monday after. It is darling and now has a front-and-center place on my bed
Soon I will reveal how my bedroom turned out after a long-awaited change in bed linens. I really love how much more romantic and subdued it feels now.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Inspiration for 2011

Ruffles, Ruffles and more Ruffles! Love them!!

Welcome to 2011 everyone!
Last night was the first year in about four that my husband and I actually stayed up to welcome in the new year. It was a lot of fun. We had some neighbors over and their parents and we played dominoes into the new year. It was my first time playing, so I had a lot to learn. I had some great teachers. I'm not sure what was more fun. Watching my friends competitively tease and taunt each other, or learning a new game.
Maybe that will be my  inspiration for 2011. Making quality time for friends and family; really getting to know them. And learning new and exciting things. I think that sums it up pretty well!
I hope you like the pictures that are inspiring me. Bye Bye 2010. Welcome 2011!
Love these wire baskets!