May 26, 2011

{ Herman }

Okay...you may think I'm crazy.
And maybe I am, but I want to show you my recent purchase.
And it comes with a story, so hang in there with me.

You see, I got a gift certificate to Home Goods for my birthday & was very excited to go use it!
I decided I would spend it on something that I normally wouldn't purchase...just something fun.
As I perused the aisles searching for the perfect thing, I came across Herman.
I don't know what happened, but it was love at first sight.
We looked into each other's eyes & I knew he needed to come home with me.
I took him off the shelf & gave him to a HomeGoods lady to put up front for me.
I could overhear her & her associate talking about Herman behind his back saying unkind things such as,
"I wonder why she would want him."
and "Maybe it reminds her of someone she knows" and shaking their heads.
Of course, this only made me more determined to get him out of a place that didn't appreciate his beauty & make a home for him at my place.

So, I found a cozy spot between my beloved hydrangea bushes.
Doesn't he look comfortable?
He is bigger than he looks & heavy.
I think Herman adds a bit of whimsy & fun to our yard.

We are happy he is here & I think he's happy too.
The kids like him as much as I do.
They even show him off to all of their friends.
They'll say, "Come out & meet Herman."
It makes me laugh every time.
But, there is one person around here who doesn't approve.
My poor hubby H.A.T.E.S him.
He says Herman's creepy & looks like one of the singing busts from The Haunted Mansion at D-land.
I think he's just a bit jealous. :)

**p.s. I'm really not nuts, am I?
**p.p.s. I'm going to kick my dog's rear if she doesn't stop digging & killing the grass.

May 23, 2011

{ Another GW Recipe }

I got my Matthew Mead "Summer" magazine last week.
I have thoroughly enjoyed looking through it.
So many beautiful pictures!

Go here if you'd like to order one for yourself.
I am so looking forward to summer!

So, how about another recipe from GW!

Taco Casserole

1 lb. Ground Beef
1 small onion diced
½ can corn
1 can tomato soup
1 cup salsa
½ pkg. Taco seasoning
1 cup cheese
Corn chips
Lettuce
Sour cream or ranch dressing

In a pan cook meat and onion. Drain. Add corn, soup, salsa, & taco seasoning. Oil casserole dish and put approximately 1 inch of broken chips in the bottom. Pour meat mixture over the top and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake 350 for 35 min. Serve over shredded lettuce with ranch dressing or sour cream.

This was a huge hit with my family & it was so easy!
I did substitute the corn chips for Fritos, cuz, hey, who doesn't love anything with Fritos!?!
And I wanted my kids to like it, at least the first time I made it. :)

May 20, 2011

{ Friday Fun }

Happy Friday!
I have another blog to share with you today.




Have a wonderful weekend!

May 19, 2011

{ Girl's Weekend Recipe #2 }

She has such great style.
And, since I'm going to share another recipe today, I thought I'd show you her pretty kitchen.
Beautiful, right?
I wouldn't mind cooking in here.
Now, for the recipe...

Whole Wheat Waffles

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/3 cups melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat waffle iron. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt & sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk & butter. Mix together the wet & dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy...that's okay.

Makes 3 1/2 round Belgian-style (deep pocket) 7" waffles

My family loved this one too!
They don't get crispy, but they have a good flavor.

May 18, 2011

{ Bird Watching }

I have discovered that we can bird watch using straw instead of bird seed.
I have two hanging planters with straw liners that I haven't planted anything in yet & the birds love them!
I can't tell you how many times these two come & collect straw for their nests every day.
We looked these guys up in our Local Birds of Orange County Guide & discovered they are Western Scrub-Jay.
And they're right outside of our kitchen/family room windows so we get to see them up close!
And the straw is much less of a mess than bird seed.

My kids love it & so do I.
I think I will just refill these with new straw each year. :)

{ Girl's Weekend Recipe #1 }

Laurel was our GW hostess this year & she made some yummy meals & treats that I wanted to share.
This first recipe was one of my favorites...soooo good!
I tried it for my family last night & they all loved it!








Mexican Chicken Soup
by Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients:

4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas

Directions:

For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

May 17, 2011

{ Sweet Savannah's Shop }

I was reading My Sweet Savannah yesterday & she thought it would be fun to see some of the things she's sold from her shop in our homes & so I'm linking up.
This is the top of my Grandpa's hutch.
The framed print in the back is from My Sweet Savannah's etsy shop.
I love it!

It is such a gloomy day here so the pictures are a little dark.
And, I just noticed there's a book missing from the stack on top...The Hiding Place...one of my favorites.
I think one of the kids grabbed it to read last night.

{ Dining Hutch Update }

I got my new-to-me hutch stained a few weeks ago & thought I would share it with you.
This is how it looks now...

This was before...

It doesn't look a like a huge difference, but it goes with the other furniture in the room much better. 
I'm loving how the dining room is turning out.
I have a few more fun ideas that I'm working on, mostly for the walls.
I'm thinking about curtains, too.

There's so much I want to do, but for now I will enjoy my new hutch. :)

May 16, 2011

{ Shower Curtain Pillow }

We had our Girls Weekend this last weekend and we got so many projects done. It was awesome!
The project that I wanted to work on was covering the big pillow on our leather sofa.
It's needed to get done for about a year.
It wasn't that it is difficult to make a pillow cover, it's finding the right fabric that takes time.
Last week, I went to Target with a birthday gift certificate in hand & decided to just look in the shower curtain section to see if there was something that might work.
I was so excited when I saw the Home Bird Shower Curtain!
It was perfect!
I, also, made the little blue & brown striped pillow to go with it.

I love how it turned out!

There were so many projects completed during Girls Weekend that I'm hoping my sister's will post...

Laurel {with help from April} painted & stained a new island that her hubby built for her kitchen
Mamacita & April both made cute little ruffled pillows
Sheri finished her picnic quilt
Bob finished a quilted pillow for her couch & 2 tablecloths
Katie made rice packs for her little boys
I {with help from Traci} finished my pillows & a quilt top

Of course we did a little shopping & ate yummy food!
I will post the recipes soon.

May 9, 2011

{ Mother's Day & Randomness }

I love Mother's Day!
I get treated extra special on this day which must be why I love it.
I got to eat my favorite breakfast, wheat pancakes & bacon made by my two oldest...by themselves.
And, the best part was, I didn't have to do the dishes!
And bacon is one of my favorite things to eat...
...that & garlic bread.
I love the way my house smells when bacon is cooked in it.
Anyhoo...
I grabbed my kids to take a picture with them this year...
This is as good as we could get.
They are funny & I love them to pieces!
I hope all of you mothers out there had a wonderful Mother's Day!

{Please excuse the random thoughts in this post even though I have no excuse...just feeling silly.}

May 6, 2011

{ Friday Fun }

Feathers in my Nest is a blog that I love to look at for inspiration.
I especially love how Leslie accessorizes.
Check out these beautiful pictures of her home...

 

Aren't they amazing!?!
Go now & check out her blog to see the rest of her home.

Have a happy weekend!

May 5, 2011

{Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes}

Let me just start by saying we have moved a lot over the years. I think we are currently in house #5 (not including any rentals we've lived in). My Sweet Hubby and I have talked about moving a few times over the years, but it never quite seemed like the right time. Then about 6 months ago, Sweet Hubby was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis. Having two sets of stairs in the house is just not good when you have this condition. Soooo....

We listed our house about two weeks ago. Our thought process went something like this... 

I know the market is REALLY soft, but it doesn't hurt to try, right?...

We'll just list it for what we want, and see what happens.... (Even with the price we listed it at, we are taking a major BATH, but 'tis the market...)

Hubby thought:

Hey worst case scenario, the house will be clean...

I thought:

Dang! Now the house has to be clean ALL THE TIME!!!!...

Anywho, we found a fabulous realtor who didn't laugh when we told them what we wanted to get for our house, (Yes, we actually had two other realtors tell us they wouldn't list our house because of the price we wanted. Have you ever heard of that???)

Then a funny thing happened... we got an offer on our house... We are now in escrow... We didn't get quite what we wanted, but we're okay with what we settled on. Knock on wood, everything will go smoothly.

Huh... now we need another house...

On the bright side, our wonderful realtor, Ron Bentley, who is quickly becoming my best friend, paid for a professional photographer/videographer to come take pictures of our house. Talk about having faith! Since most of my photos are taken with my phone, and since I'm really bad about updating the blog with my projects, I figured I would put his finished project here so you can see most of my home in her present state, (there are lots of projects I never got around to, you know how it is).

Unfortunately, she will never be that clean again as long as I live here! (Sorry Hubby!)

Enjoy!

video

Sorry the quality isn't great when you enlarge it, you can also go the the link here.

P.S. I will try to post about a couple of the projects you can see in the video, including my "new" headboard in the master bedroom, soon...

P.P.S. This isn't the only big change coming in my life, but I'll talk about that later... (No, I'm not pregnant!)

Later!