Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cropping Weekend

Unbelievable that this is the last day of August.  We all keep talking about Fall and how quickly it is approaching...hope everyone is ready because we are almost there. 

I hosted a Scrapbook Crop on Saturday...I provided goodie baskets with items such as 7 Gypsies tags, cutouts, glue pens, Bath and Body personal lotions and hand sanitizers, cookies, and ribbon.  I had 11 giveaway items that we drew for about every hour - Cricut cartridge, page kits, adhesives and other tools, markers, gift cards, etc. 

Here is Tiffany winning the first giveaway drawing...a $10 gift card to Hobby Lobby. 

Tanesia showing off one of her completed page layouts of the day. 

We had a great time spending the afternoon together.  I served spaghetti and salad with garlic breadsticks for dinner...It was a simple but filling meal that I could put together prior to everyone arriving and keep warm in the crockpot. 

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Drink Plain Coffee....Nevermore!

Let me introduce you to my little pretties....

These little guys left a lasting impression on me when I was browsing here;

That's right....I saw these last year in the Celebrate Halloween edition...I rushed to Hobby Lobby but alas, they had long since flown the coop. 

I was in Hobby Lobby on Saturday and felt a dark, forboding fall over me and a definite chill in the air as I passed a display table.  What the heck...so I had to do an immediate stop and look over my shoulder.  And guess who was peering back at me with beady black eyes....It was meant to be and I'm never one to be fickle with fate, so these macarbe birdies jumped in the buggy to come live with me. 

Here are the Ravens gracing the table from last year's magazine. 

Wait a second....I seem to be missing something.  Let me take off my reading glasses and turn up the lighting (for you younger folks who can see just fine in low light and without glasses, your day is coming).  Yep.  Looks like we left a brother behind and that just won't do.  I'll have to wait to see if fate intervenes again as I make a point to visit the store again this weekend....is it meant to be?  Let's hope it won't be Nevermore......

I moved my small sideboard into my kitchen and did a little accessory mixing.  Don't worry, the ravens are just roosting here momentarily and will soon fly to the closet for another month.

Here I've added some fabric to lighten the vignette a bit against the dark wood and I've waved goodbye to the birdies. 

I like to use unexpected things for candleholders.  Here I have used a white sugar bowl.

A little green pitcher can become a candleholder with something placed inside to seat the candle.  I've used a bottle of vitamin supplements...talk about unexpected.  Hope I can remember where I put them. 

I'm joining Tabletop Tuesday with Marty At A Stroll Through Life.  Please be sure and click the link to stop by for a visit with sweet Marty.  You won't be sorry.

Speaking of coffee.  I know we weren't but I just didn't want you to nod off on me and not pay attention.  Have you tried this?

I love Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha, but the closest store is about 30 miles away, which is probably a good thing because I could spend a lot of money sucking these delicious concoctions down.  International Delights has come out with several varieties of flavored creamers and I spied the White Chocolate Mocha this weekend while grocery shopping.  What the heck, I thought I would try it, without really thinking it would taste anywhere close to those drinks that I crave.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that although not a perfect match, it's pretty darn close.  For the price, I'm not going to split a frogs hair over the differance.  I have not tried any of the other flavors, but there are several.  Have you tried the white chocolate mocha or any of the other flavors?  Let me know what you think.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Smile! You're Eating Chocolate Cake

Quick.  Easy.  Tasty.  Attractive.   These are just four words to describe this wonderful Butterfinger Cake.  I made this cake for an impromtu weeknight family dinner.  I work full-time so my evening time is at a premium, but sharing a good meal occassionally with my married children and their families is definetly worth the effort. My family loves having meals that Mama cooks, so I am always on the lookout for recipes that are easy to prepare and don't take a lot of time but they have to be up to my standards in taste and appeal.  If I am cooking during the week, I also like to provide a dessert, just to make sure the meal is special.  You know everything that we Mom's cook or bake has to be special.

Butterfinger Cake
1 German chocolate or other chocolate cake mix and ingredients as noted on the box
1 can Eagle Brand milk 
1  8 oz. jar Caramel
1 12 oz container Cool Whip
1 king size or 2 regular Butterfinger candy bars

Prepare cake as directed on box in a 9x13 sheet pan.  In a bowl, combine caramel and Eagle Brand milk and stir until well blended.  When cake is baked and while still hot, poke holes in the cake with the end of a wooden spoon.  Pour the caramel mixture over the top of the cake, allowing it to soak in.  Let cool completely.  When cool, top with Cool Whip and sprinkle with crushed candy bars.  Refrigerate before serving. 

I'm joining the Foodie Friday party at Designs By Gollum.  Please click the link to visit our hostess, Michael, and check out all the yummy recipes provided this week. 
All The Best,
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Of My Favorite Things To Do

One of my favorite things to do when I'm relaxing is to indulge in reading and viewing beautiful photos on home making, decorating and cooking.  I especially enjoy all of the special editions from my favorite magazines, for the fall season and holidays.  I am looking forward to snuggling up in a comfy chair and thumbing through these little goodies that I found this week. 

This compliation of Halloween goodies from Taste of Home looked pretty good, although a quick flip when I picked it up, revealed some things that I've seen before.  I guess it is hard to come up with a whole book of original Halloween themed food every year.  Love these Ghastly Pear Ghosts.

I've already read through the Celebrate Fall edition and although I usually love these editions by Phyllis Hoffman, this one seemed a bit repetetive and I didn't really see any new ideas.   I must admit that the candle in the articoke never gets old. 

I'm always on the lookout for a good mystery...throw in a random murder or two and combine it with a Halloween theme and I'm hoping for a great read.  I saw this paperback while browsing the mystery aisles and thought it sounded interesting.  Has anyone read this series by Leslie Meier? 

On tap for tonight.  Fixing Chicken and Pasta for the family and finishing off with a Butterfinger cake. Yum.  Getting closer to fall always turns my nesting instincts on high.  After dinner, I'll be finding that comfy chair and an ottoman to prop my feet on. 

All The Best,
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let's Go Virtual Shopping

Come along with me today as we go on a virtual shopping trip.  If you have followed my blog, you know that I absolutely love the Fall season and one of my favorite holidays is Halloween.  In shopping this weekend, I found lots of Halloween and Fall goodies at Home Goods. 

When I entered the store, I immediately saw the shelves of orange and black and knew that I was in trouble.  I squared my shoulders and stuck my willpower out in front...and did not grab a shopping cart.  I reasonsed that without a cart, I could only buy what I could comfortably carry.  It actually worked, although I did buy a set of Halloween plates...there are four differant patterns.  An owl, a cat, a bat and a pumpkin.  Love these.

Here is all the wonderfulness that matches the plates I bought....I'm sure I'll be 'adopting' more into the family.

I love this punch bowl but I didn't buy it.  When I drop by this weekend, if the punch bowl is still available, I'll have to consider that fate is at work and purchase it as a 'meant to be' item.  Doesn't that make some kind of weird sense?

Be still my heart.

Love these canisters...look at the bat on top of the one in the back.  Cute!

More dreadful goodness...

Hope you enjoyed your shopping trip....now, let's go have lunch.

All The Best,
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Monday, August 16, 2010

A Weekend of Organizing

I spent almost the entire weekend getting some of my things organized.  This is something that was long overdue and as a result, took a long time to put back in order.  I'm joining Susan's fun party for Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. 

I don't have any before pictures to share, and that was intentional.  Who wants to see someone else's mess...and let's be honest...if you feel the need to organize, it means you have a mess.  Hope some of these tips you find handy. 

I use a dresser in an empty bedroom to organize my gift wrap supplies.  I had tossed things into a drawer where ever there was empty space available as I bought new items or returned the remainder of ones I had used, ie. tissue and ribbon.  I now have the drawers reorganized with tissue, ribbon, gift bags and tools organized in seperate drawers.  I opened all of my tissue packages and folded the tissue in half within the first drawer to make it easily accessible and I can do a quick flip to see each color and pattern for a quick match to my giftbag or wrapping paper.  Opening the packages and unfolding the tissue so that it only has one fold left is a great way to easily retrieve the tissue when needed...it is even possible to reach in with one hand to pull out the appropriate bundle. 


Gift Bags:


Tools and Supplies: cutters, tape, labels, gift tags and bow making supplies

I also cleaned the clutter our of my china cabinet and it looks clean and sparkly now. 

I'm currently working on consolidating my dishware and decorative jars, plate stands and cloches.  I have things stuck all over the house and want to get them in more order and more centralized.  I have an inventory system that I'll be sharing in a future post that tracks what items I have with photos of the dish, where I bought the item and how much I paid.   The photos will help with mixing and matching to plan for tablescapes without actually physically pulling the pieces from storage and the information on the acquistion will help when preparing a blog post. 

All in all, a very productive weekend and I'm very pleased with the progress.  I'm on a mission to get everything back in order before Fall.  Of course, all this cleaning and organizing means that I did not spend any time reading blogs this weekend, so I am seriously behind.  Look for comments from me over the next couple of days as I catch up with your last posts.....If I drop by, I always comment so that you know I was there.  Hope you all had a great weekend as well. 

All The Best,
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Is It Luck or Just Plain Tenacity?

Ever have a lucky coincidence that you never expected?  Ever half-heartedly do something with the thought that you are totally wasting your time?  This happened to me this week.  What fickle fools we mortals are sometimes. 

I have been searching for a beautiful armoire that I can bring into my home for extra storage and just because I think they are beautiful pieces of furniture.  I have read many blog posts where someone found a great item on Craig's List and so I searched Craig's list consistently for a long time, looking for some of those great items that everyone else was finding.  That's right, no luck.  Sound familiar?  So, of course, I stopped checking and focused my time and energy elsewere.  Here is where the coincidence comes into the story.  This week, I thought I would check under the Collectibles section to see if anyone had listed any Dept 56 Halloween Village pieces...again, of course,no luck.  While I was online, I thought I'd go ahead and check the Furniture section.  Why not, right?  I rationalized the time by expecting that maybe someone would have something interesting listed that they did not sell at the 100 mile long yard sale.  There were lots of entries...I sailed through the first 100 postings and nothing captured my attention.  Typical, I thought and I almost closed out of the site but then I thought that I would go ahead and look at the next 100 postings.  I almost stopped at the first 20 or so, as I was seeing nothing and there were other things that I could do with my time but then I thought well, I'll look at 10 more and then I'm definetly logging off.  Soon, I found myself at the bottom of the page and ......there it was, almost the last entry.  "Beautiful Ornate Armoire purchased at Antique store 5 years earlier for $750 and selling for $100"....OK, let me take a look at this dog, I figured it was probably kind of plain and not quite what it was being represented to be as had happened to me so often in the past.   I clicked on the link, to see the picture attached and there it was....MY Armoire.  But, the ad was from the previous day.  No was was this prize still available, but I emailed the seller anyway with the thought that I would never hear back because someone would already have snapped this beauty up.  Imagine my surprise when the seller responded back...within 5 minutes of my inquiry.  HELLO.....what?  Not only was the Armoire still available, but she also had a curio cabinet that she would give away for free, if I wanted it.  Well let me take some time to think about this for a moment....do I want it....of course I WANT it.  I grabbed the husband and the next evening, after work we headed to Chickamauga, Ga with a trailer behind the Burber.  One hour later, I am staring at my Soulmate, well not really, but I was definetly in love.  This sucker was heavy....my poor husband, hung in there with me and we finally wrestled the beast onto the trailer.  Granted, there were some battle wounds that I will have to heal on the poor baby but we did the best we could to keep her safe.  She is definetly old and I have a couple lose parts that need to be strengthened, so she is currently laying here in the hospital bed awaiting minor surgery.  Isn't she a beaut??

We did this....but I can fix it.  Just one more battle scar to build character.

I'm perched on a ladder in the garage just for you....here is another view of this gorgeous new member of the household.  Just lean your head as far to the right as you can and you will have the right view plus you'll get in a little neck exercise.  She is scheduled for cosmetic surgery this weekend.  Once she is back on her feet, I'll post more news.

Here is my freebie.

She has really good genes, don't you think.  I need to have some glass shelves cut and then she will be perfect...for some reason, the shelves were lost or broken at sometime in her past. 

Look at the beautiful detail.

One more look:

Moral of the story....never give up and always stay in the hunt.....or......do you believe in fate?

All The Best,
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Roosters In The House

When I was growing up, I actually hated roosters.  Growing up in the country, meant that roosters were not decorative but they were definetly functional.  My unlove affair with roosters began at a young age when I was chased across the yard by a huge rooster.  He was just protecting his territory but at about 5 years old, I just saw this rooster running at me with his wings spread wide and his neck outstretched...he was ready to do some damage.  My Daddy saved me from what would surely have been a painful experience.  Since that time, I steered clear of roosters.  Now that I have been around the block a time or two, and know that don't have to run from roosters, I find that I love them....but only in decor with the kind that I can hang on my walls or sit on a table or shelf. 

I picked these two decorative plates up in my favorite vacation spot, The Smokey Mountains, earlier this year.  I love the woodgrain finish around the edges. 

My husband bought these Egg boxes for me for Christmas.  What a guy.  He is great to listen for hints during the right time of year and for these, I was hinting big time. 

Here is my chicken coop....loaded with chickens and roosters. 

Don't you just love these little beauties.   These are actually pictures from ......

'''Boyd's Bears...this huge barn in Pigeon Forge Tennessee was open back in 2005-2006 and was a great place to visit and view the beautiful displays and architecture of the building.  Unfortunately, they closed this 4 level complex sometime in late 2006.  Wish I'd had the foresight to purchase some of these cuties.

This little sweetie is a bit stuck up...notice that nose raised high in the air.  Might he be a bit vain with his beautiful white color and cutwork designs?

Love the colors on this cream and sugar set. 

I bought this little beauty at the 100 mile yardsale last year.....It's that time again and I'll be spending my day tomorrow hitting as many of the sales as possible.  I'm hoping for lots of great finds. 

Thanks so much to Barb at Bella Vista for hosting this fun party again.  I love visiting with all the participants and seeing their wonderful rooster collections...hope you take the time to visit Barb and take a Rooster stroll.

All The Best,
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