Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Staging the Living Room

There once was a living room that was blah.

Well, blah until I had a little birthday cash.

So I did a little shopping, and for $100.00 plus a $15.00 Kohl's gift card I ended up with:

I LOVE this pillow, it adds the perfect pop of color.

This little bird makes me think of my Gramps.

Candle sticks from Target.

New curtains for $11.97, crazy good deal from Fred Meyer.

    I love how my living room turned out.  My decor leans toward the traditional look, dark leather furniture paired with classic dark wood.  This look is lovely but can become dark and a little stuffy, so I wanted to add  pops of color that enhanced the traditional look, yet add a modern edge. 

Blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pirates and other Adventures

I was a rotten blogger last week, only two mediocre posts.  I sincerely apologize, though I have a good excuse for my lack of blogging follow through.

I was kidnapped by crazy pirates and...

a scary clown.

Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit, though I did go on a Children's Ministry retreat with an amazing group of want-ta-be pirates.  We had a blast! 

Yo-ho-ho and bottle of...water.

We played a crazy game called Bigger or Better.  The basic premise of the game is to start with a small dollar item and trade it, with perfect strangers, for a "bigger or better" item.  Simple right?

Well, it is, unless you get punked by some college students.  They tricked us and traded us a visa gift card with potentially $10.00 on it for our punch cards (yes, I realize they had no value).  We were excited until we learned the gift card had zero dollars and zero cents.  Shame on you college boys, shame on you.

Oh well, live and learn, live and learn.

Fun was had by all, except one little Missy who was left at home.
I received at least 10 phone calls during the 24 hours I was away from home, and I came home
to a card with the following message:

"Dear Mom,
I love you.
I love you .
I love you.
I love you.
Please never leave me again.
Love, Gracie"

I'm guessing that she's not going to mind if Sandy and I sneak away for a 15th Anniversary trip in April.

Blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

There's Fat and It's Tuesday #6

   So, this post has to be super short and sweet.   It is already 7:05, and I still need to do a bit of homeschooling.  Yikes! 

   Two week weight loss update:

1.  There was food, and I ate it.

2.  I lost only .6 in two weeks, for shame, for shame! 

3.  It is possible, that I am a smack talker, and will not annihilate the other contestants in the Biggest Loser competition.  Shhh...don't tell Sandy.

   I plan to look at fat pictures of myself all week, hopefully this method will lead to less calories in my mouth and more pounds off the scale. 

Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gratitude Week 6

35.  My sweet little one on her pretend cell phone;  "Yeah, we are going to meet the inlaws' for lunch."  :)

36.  Valentine's dinner with my family.  I love them all so much!
37.  Friends who bless my socks off and humble me at the same time.

38.  That I did not have to sit on the saddle at the Texas Roadhouse.

39. Cold medicine for $.99.

40.  Blue skies and mild weather.

41.  Candle sticks in shades of cream.

42.  My mom and siblings calling me and singing Happy Birthday.

43.  Deodorant, it's just a happy thing.

44.  A sweet son who still comes and asks for a hug.

45.  A smiling teenager.

46.  A husband who cleans the bathroom and changes our sheets.  I love him more and more everyday.

47.  A husband who asks why he hasn't seen me reading my Bible as much lately.  A blessing I never thought I would have, a bit humbling too.

Blessings to you and yours!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February Randomness

February randomness:

1. This has been the week of birthday extravaganza's.  Craziness, I tell you, just craziness.  Friday was my friend Debbie's birthday and a few of us ladies went to the Texas Roadhouse.  I fully intended for my friend to be serenaded by the crew at the Texas Roadhouse while she was sitting on the infamous saddle.  But I was punked.   My other friend, Danielle, let the waitstaff know my birthday was the next day.  Grrreeeaaatttt.....I got to wear the cowboy hat.  Fantastic.  Not to mention Danielle took pictures...

(Note:  Danielle, I can't wait for your birthday.  It'll be fun trust me!)  Ha!

Or maybe, I'll just post pictures of you dressed as a pirate on my blog. Ha!

2.  Saturday was my birthday, it was a simple and relaxing day.   Sandy and the kids took me out to breakfast and bought me an ice cream cake.  Did I mention I am counting calories? 

3.  I am afraid for this week's weigh in....seriously, food everywhere I go.  It's difficult to refuse your own birthday cake.  I think Sandy is trying to sabotage me.  You see, if I lose 15 more pounds Sandy owes me $500.00.  My guess is he doesn't want to pay up.  (Note:  Sandy, I WILL have your money, I'm coming for it).

4.  Twenty-four Valentine's Day cupcakes have been baked, decorated, and packaged.  I believe the first grade will be pleased.

5.  I received a bit of cash for my birthday, so I took my girls shopping.  Poor things.  I have a difficult time spending birthday money.  Here's my strategy:  Load up cart with miscellaneous items I "might" want.  Decide I need to look at other stores.  Put the items away and go check out other stores.  Fill up cart with various items I "might" want.  Decide I better keep looking.  Put all the items away and go to a different store.  Vacillate between purchasing new clothes or purchasing home decor'.  Sigh deeply.  Watch my fourteen year old roll her eyes.  Go home.  Try it again the next day.  It's fun I tell you.

6.  I started reading:

So far this book is excellent, though I have only read the introduction and part of chapter one.  Here's an excerpt from page 19:

"While waiting in line at the grocery store, I read the cover of a leading woman's magazine and just had to write down the title of one of it's articles:  "Why so many smart, good women put up with snarly, dreadful men."
You know what made me laugh?  I can't even imagine a leading men's magazine- say, GQ or Esquire- with an article titled "Why so many honorable, decent men put with conniving, manipulative women."  It would never happen. Nor will you ever see book titled Men Who Love Too Much or  The Men-Haters and the Men Who Love Them."


7.  I read this post to Sandy, he snickered, said I love you and went to bed.  I'm thinking, that he doesn't appreciate the randomness.  Oh well. 

Blessings to you and yours!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tasty Friday

     I love to cook, and nothing makes me feel like a better wife and mom than when I have a piping hot, yummy dinner on the table for my family.  Cooking delicious food makes me feel, just for a moment, a little like Donna Reed.

   With delicious dinner on the mind, I will share, with you, my all time favorite recipe.

Baked Chicken and Zucchini

Chicken Zucchini Bake

1 egg plus, 1 tablespoon water
1 cup dry Italian seasoned bread crumbs
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 12 pieces of chicken tenderloin
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 medium zucchini, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 teaspoon basil

      Beat egg plus one tablespoon of water.  Dip chicken in egg mixture and then Italian bread crumbs.  Brown chicken, in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, over medium heat.  Cut zucchini in rounds.  After chicken is browned remove from stove.  Heat two tablespoons of olive oil and saute zucchini until tender crisp.

Layer zucchini in 9 x13.  Top with fresh sliced tomatoes and 1 tsp. of basil.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella over zucchini and tomatoes.  Top with brown chicken and sprinkle on remaining mozzarella.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Note:  You do not have to brown the chicken or saute the zucchini, but this dish presents best when you do.

     This recipe is delicious!  I originally found this recipe at, as with everything, I modified this recipe to suit my families taste.  Happy eating!

Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Fix-It Master

    I have a problem.  My husband is a stud and can basically build, repair and create anything.  The refrigerator starts freezing all the fruits and vegetables.  Whats he do?  Googles possible issues, decides the motherboard must be going out, and orders a new motherboard.  Replaces the motherboard, and wham bam, my dreams of a new refrigerator go down the drain.

Stainless Steel

     We buy a fixer upper, and he he finishes the basement, rebuilds walls, lays flooring, adds recessed cans, replaces most of the light fixtures, adds a few wall sconces, and builds me a deck.  Do you need anymore proof?  He's simply a stud.

     Now in his defense, his skills and abilities can cause me to over estimate what he is actually capable of.  For example, our car breaks down and, of course, I am sure Sandy can repair it ,for a fraction of the price a dealership would charge.  Sandy does his usual research, tinkers a bit, comes in and says, "Babe, I can't fix the car."  I pat him on the shoulder, offer him a cool glass of water with a slice of lemon, and tell him; "sure you can, try harder".

     Poor guy.  But really, it's his fault, he set the bar high early on in our relationship.  For our second date he changed my oil and gave my car a tuneup.  Weird.  In the land I lived, you took your car to the mechanic shop to get your oil changed.  Sandy was simply disgusted by my wasteful spending.  Weird. 

     Moral of the story, if you are a guy and I assume you should be able to do practically anything, I want to apologize ahead of time.  If you have a bone to pick, take it up with Sandy, he can probably help.  Ha!

Blessing to you and yours!


Gratitude Week 5

24.  Little sweetheart putting makeup on her mommy and then painting my nails.

25.  Giggling sisters.

26.  A handsome husband who does not complain about leftovers for dinner.

27.  A hand drawn picture by my son, coupled with the question; "do you think this looks like your hair?"

28.  Making Valentine's candy with friends.

29.  Friends who listen when I talk too long.

30.  Mommy dates and free mini-golf.

31.  Good memories.

32.  Puffy clouds and blue skies.

33.  Cleaning up with friends who are like family.

Blessings to you and yours!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Decorating Above Kitchen Cupboards

    The quandary of my life:  I'm in a decorating mood and Sandy is in a penny pinching mood.  Typical, so typical.  He just doesn't understand my dilemma.  How am I supposed to become a world famous Decor Blogger when he won't loosen the purse strings.  Seriously.  Has he no mercy?

   If he loosens the purse strings I just might try my hand at masonry and build my own rock fireplace.

    Okay, I might be exaggerating, a bit, I realize I am the lady who puts fruit in a vase and calls it fantastic.  You never know, I could become a world famous shopper.  I have potential.  I might not become a mason, but I could redecorate above our kitchen cupboards.

 The space above my cupboards has been driving me crazy, it is dusty, cluttered and some of the plants aren't even real. 


   Sandy is not bending, so I will just have to be clever and use what I have.  The good news is I have a small box of things I have been saving since I was 18.  I received some platters from my Great Grandmas' that I was afraid to use, for fear I would break them, so I left them in bubble wrap and packed them away in box for "later".

This platter is from around 1900, and was used by a Great, Great, Great Grandma.
I love thinking of the history behind antiques.  I bet this platter was pulled out to serve Sunday dinner
after church. 

Sorry about the horrible photography.  It is REALLY difficult to take pictures of white plates
the reflection is horrible.  This platter was used in the 1940's.  Imagine the history
that took place when this platter was used- possibly a martial spat about will never know. 

   I decided to use my platters and redecorate for free.  Okay, I'm lying I needed to purchase a platter stand for $5.99 from Ross, but that's almost free.  It's basically a latte at Starbucks plus a tip.   

     I love it. The fake plants are in the garbage and the clutter is gone.  Simple, elegant and full of   nostalgia.

I'm linking up to Frugal Friday.
Blessings to you and yours!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ode to the Awkward Canister

   The Christmas of 2009, I received a large, somewhat awkward canister/jar/container/thing-a-ma-bob from my mom. 

    I personally think she choose this particular container because it had a small sticker that said "Shannon".   My mom is sweet like that, and would buy something for me just because it had my name on it.  Anyways, I liked the container, but I could not decide  (for the life of me) what to do with it, so I stored dog food in it.  Don't judge me.
   This Christmas season I decided to breakout the container, with my name on it, and try to use it.

Decorating failure!

    I tried to decorate my "container" with Valentines themed decor.  Decorating failure, but  this time I just didn't take a picture. So being the good daughter I am, I left the empty container on my living room cocktail table for the last month.

I did remove the sticker with my name (sorry, mom).

  Today I went to my favorite store, Costco, and did my usual grocery shopping.  I got home with my load of groceries (Note: couponing is not going as well as I hoped),  and a fantastic, simple idea popped in my head.

   I love it!  Simple and fun, and I did not spend any extra money finding away to fill it.  Win!  Sandy, however, is certain I bought the oranges and apples for purely decorating reasons.  :)

   I'm linking to Just a Girl. and A Vision to Remember.

Blessing to you and yours!