September 29, 2014

A Little Pregnancy Update

In case you're new to my blog, I'm not pregnant...my daughter is! Gotta clear that up right away! As some of you may recall, my daughter has boy/girl twins that turned 10 on May 21st. A few days after that, they announced they were pregnant with baby #3.   To say I was shocked would be an understatement but once the shock wore off, I quickly got busy helping her plan and doing a lot little shopping for the new baby.    Right now my dining room is the holding area for all things baby....furniture, clothes, pictures, etc. until they get the room ready for the baby.

In August she had a gender reveal party where we found out we'll have another grandson! We are so excited to meet him!
 It's a Boy!

 I really wanted to document her pregnancy so she would have something to look back on but as usual, with all I've had going on this past summer with my mom's situation, it's been hard to do that. While I do see my daughter on a regular basis (going by her office a couple of times a week) I just haven't taken the time to take photos, etc.

Here she is at 10 weeks

And of course Taylor wanted in on the action (she's going to be such a good little helper)

(10 weeks)


So we had all our children and grandchildren here for lunch on Sunday and I took a couple of pictures of her now at 26 weeks.


 And, once again, Taylor wanted to strike the same pose as before.....


 Shannon and her family are leaving this week for Disney World and when they get back, we are going to start getting the nursery ready.    The nursery is the old play room and they have had a time getting it cleaned out.   There is some furniture in there that will have to go into storage and some toy donations but I can't wait to help her make this room come together.

I can't believe October is just around the corner....of course that means Thanksgiving and Christmas won't be far behind either!   

Have a great week!

September 25, 2014

My One and Only Fall Decor!

I have been amazed at some of the fall tours I've seen this week in some very talented blogger's homes. I wish I could say it inspired me to get my "fall on" but truth is, I don't have time this year.

I love those three tiered stands and was so happy to find one at Hobby Lobby back during the summer at 1/2 off! One of the reasons I like those stands is because you can decorate them so many ways for the seasons and they are easy to remove from the table when it's time to eat.


I bought a package of mini gourds and pumpkins and added them in the stand with some other things that I was already using.


 


 
 

And there you have it....guess that's why I don't get asked to be featured on a blog tour!   All kidding aside, I do have plans to do a little more decorating in the den and if I get that done, I'll share that too.

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

September 23, 2014

Having Your Cake and Eating It Too, II!

Strange title I know...I put the "II" since this is a repost 2nd time around. Since I seem to be totally consumed with caring for my mom and getting the paperwork & documents together in preparation for filing for Medicaid, and as stated many other times lately, I don't have time to decorate or finish projects. Instead of just totally ignoring my blog, I may have to do a little reposting from time to time.

This is one of the easiest and best cake recipes I've ever had. One of my friends gave this to me when I was on Weight Watchers and it is soooo good you'd never think it wasn't bad for you. I'm making this tonight...we may just have cake for supper!

Easy Pineapple-Orange Cream Cake

  • 1 (15 1/4 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
  • Cooking spray 
  • 1 (12 oz) container fate free whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (1 oz) package sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.   Drain pineapple, reserving juice, set pineapple aside
3.   Combine reserved pineapple juice, cake mix, mandarin oranges, egg substitute and mayo in a large bowl.   Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.   Pour batter into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray
4.   Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.   Cool in wire rack.
5.   Combine drained pineapple, whipped topping and vanilla pudding mix in a medium bowl, beat at low speed just until blended.    Spread pineapple mixture evenly over top of cake.   Cover and store cake in refrigerator.  

I think this came out to be about 4 points per serving.  

It feels like fall today!   When I was at mama's nursing home this morning we sat out on the covered porch and it was soooo nice.   Hope it's cooling down in your "neck of the woods"!

Oh, and remember that pillow project I share with ya'll?  Here's a little reminder....




Epic fail so far!   My sewing machine is not working properly so for now this project is on hold...hope I can get the problem with my machine fixed soon so I can finish this and share soon!
 

September 11, 2014

Early Signs of Fall - Posts From The Past

Looks like everyone is ready for fall but it's still so sticky hot here we'll be into October before it even begins to cool off. I'm starting to make preparations for putting out some fall things but until I do here's a few pictures from years past.

These are from different years (I believe 2009-2013) so it's kind of a mix of things I've done over the last few years.   Hope you enjoy them!

I couldn't find any "baby boo" pumpkins so I bought mine at Dollar Tree and spray painted them white!   I think I'll go over them with some brown-ish stain and/or watered down paint to take off some of the shine.







Here's a collage I made of things inside and outside the house.

Inspired by Nell Hill's, I made my own "DIY stamped linen napkins" (they reverse to a bird's nest)


I found this cute little tureen at a flea market years ago and think I paid something like $8.00 for it!   It's perfect for the two of us and I serve my chicken tortilla soup out of it...wonderful for a cool fall night.


Kitchen table vignette last year....I topped a chippy black urn with a candle ring and placed a spray painted faux pumpkin on top....this is easy to move off the table when it's time to eat


A few years ago I decided to spray paint a pumpkin turquoise and it has been one of my favorite things I ever did....kinda different but I love how it turned out





You can see some of the orange peeking thru the turquoise but I don't mind

Here are my DIY curtains I made with sheets and drop cloths....easy and oh-so pretty!


The same year I did the turquoise pumpkin, I also spray painted some white...I put some moss around the neck of the stem to make it look more realistic




I made this "Fall" burlap banner a couple of years ago


I added a faux garland from Hobby Lobby and some white Christmas lights....I love how this turned out and it can stay out from early fall until time to decorate for Christmas.

I don't plan to buy anything new this year (I have tons of things up in the attic too) but I am making some pillows for our front porch.     I've been wanting to make these for a while so I finally did this year.

Here's what I've done so far....just a little peek!   I'll be sharing these next week (hopefully)!




Hope you all have a great week!












August 25, 2014

Personalized Monogram Wreath

Seeing as how football is just around the corner (this coming Saturday is the SEC kickoff!) I felt it only right to honor the tradition by making a personalized monogram to add to a boxwood wreath.

I bought this oversized monogram in Birmingham last year. I wish I had picked up a couple more for my daughter and DIL so I'll do that next time.



It's been spray painted more colors than I can remember so when I got the idea for personalizing it for our favorite football team, I figured one more color couldn't hurt!

I wanted my monogram to reflect our love of our Auburn Tigers....blue and orange.   So I picked up a can of Oxford Blue by Krylon.



Here it is after 2 coats of paint.    When it came time to add the orange dots, I knew I wasn't artistic enough to free hand them so I put on my "thinking cap" to try and figure out what to do.....then it came to me......buy some round sticky dots and add them!    Genius, I know (LOL)!!!    


The only problem was I had a hard time getting all of them to adhere to the wood monogram....especially around the edges.   I finally ended up gluing some of them on but I was pretty happy with how it turned out.


 And that's my secret to "perfect dots"!

We (hubby) attached the monogram to my boxwood wreath with fishing wire.  


I don't know why the dots appear yellow or washed out here......I would blame the camera but more than likely it's my lack of photography skills!   You can see the reflection in the glass door of the orange on the flag....in person the dots are that orange too


I "hid" our address...never know when some crazy stalker might drop by!   (Good grief, I need to get rid of the cobwebs and clean my porch)!!!!

It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!

Here are the pillows on my bench...these are the covers I mentioned in my last post that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.

 


War Eagle!  

And that, my friends, is my early fall/football porch.   I will be adding some flowers later next month when this heat wave subsides and they stand a chance of surviving until November. 

Have a great week!

August 24, 2014

My "New Normal"

Over the last few months/years I've shared about being my mom's full time caregiver. Almost 5 years ago we had to move her into an assisted living residence from her home of 40 years....it got to the point that it was no longer safe for her to live by herself. She was falling quite a bit and after spending too many nights in the ER, she agreed it was best to move where she could live safely yet retain some independence.

We were lucky to find an assisted living home for her very close to our home. She settled in and eventually called it "home". It wasn't a bad way to live...her own room and bathroom with her own furniture, round the clock care and meals served in a dining room with tablecloths, china and silverware. She had 16 people in her cottage and some of them became like family to us. About two years ago she broke her arm in two places. She had to wear a cast for 10 weeks but finally the doctor operated and put in pins and screws to hold her 92 year old bones together. Then in March of 2013 she fell and fractured her hip. Another surgery followed that and she was wheelchair bound. All through these ordeals she bounced back better than people 20 years younger!

Then back in the spring of this year, she took several falls very close together. In mid-June she was admitted to a hospital for observation as her care level at the assisted living residence had increased dramatically and she was "acting out" and we were concerned she might be suffering from early stages of dementia or possibly was just depressed. At the hospital we found out she had low potassium levels and that was treated. She then entered into a 20 day stay at a rehab facility to see if physical therapy would help her. At the end of that time, the assisted living facility advised that she would not be able to return to her cottage as she had already maxed out at the care level they could give her....and the cost would have increased to the point that it was not feasible for her to stay there even on a temporary basis. So our only option was a nursing home.....something we had feared for a while. You hear all these horror stories about nursing homes.

My first choice was the nursing home affiliated with the rehab facility where she was but that door was slammed shut.....also I had a very harrowing experience with one of their office staff during her stay there and at the very end. I won't go into that because I'm trying to be a bigger person and move forward. What I will say is that once again, when one door closes the Lord always opens the one you should walk through. That's where we are now....she has been in a nursing home two weeks now. It was my second choice but now I am so happy that's where she's ended up. They did have to admit her as a rehab patient but will be living there permanently after that. Our entire family is extremely impressed at the level of care at this facility. It's so clean, bright and a happy place for her. We've met so many residents there. There have numerous activities and a wonderful activity director. In fact, I go by a lot of times to go to those activities with her!

The downside is now I've got to start the application process to get her approved for Medicaid. I've started gathering documents (i.e. 5 years worth of bank statements to start!!!!) and no telling what else. I met briefly with a the financial person there and next week I hope to get further along in the process.

So now you know why there have been so few decorating projects/posts around her for the last couple of years. I'm doing good to get a little bit of seasonal decorations out....I can't believe I'm telling ya'll this but part of my Easter centerpiece is still on the dining room table! I removed the bunnies and it doesn't really look Easter-like but still.....!

I did get started on decorating my porch for the upcoming football season...some pillows and my Auburn flag....I'll post pictures of that soon!   Here's a little project I did to get started on my fall football porch.....


I made the monogram for my boxwood wreath on the front door...next week I'll share the secret of the perfect "dots"!

I'm soooo ready for football and fall weather.   It's unbelievably hot here now....the temps have been close to 100 this past week and it will be a while before it cools off.

In anticipation of the fall, I lucked up and found this gorgeous wool throw the other day in grays, creams and yellows.   

I was wanting something with oranges but when I saw this one I immediately fell in love with it....the colors will work perfectly with some galvanized pails/pots and mums.   It's so soft too!



Have ya'll see these pillow covers at Hobby Lobby?   They have a big selection and are very reasonable.   I've been picking them up all summer in different colors...one time they were 50% off and I might have gone a little nuts buying more than I wanted needed.

Now a little good news to go along with all the "gloom and doom" I seem to always be posting about lately....my daughter is now 20 weeks along with her pregnancy and we found out it's a little boy! You can read about that here  and here   I've been picking up baby things whenever I'm out and about and several of her friends are planning a baby shower sometime in October. So we have a new little baby to welcome into our family in the New Year!

Thank you all for continuing to visit me here even when I don't have pretty pictures or projects....I know I've said a dozen times that if my life ever settles down, maybe I can get back to decorating and sharing all of that with you.

Have a great week!

August 17, 2014

Spinach, Ham and Cheese Quiche

I love quiche but hardly ever make it....when I found this recipe I couldn't wait to try it. There were few ingredients and not many steps.

NOTE:   The original recipe was for two quiche's but I reduced some of the ingredients to make one
 
Spinach, Ham and Cheese Quiche

Ingredients 
  • 1 frozen deep dish pie crust
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4-5 large eggs
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Bake empty pie crust according to package instructions (about 5-10 minutes on my oven)
  • Combine the ham, onions and spinach and place mixture in bottom of pie crust
  • Combine eggs, milk and cheese in a bowl and whisk to mix
  • Pour dairy mixture over chopped ingredients
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes
  • Reduce oven to 300 degrees and cook until done (not runny in middle) for approximately 30 minutes (time will be determined by your oven)....mine was around 45 minutes
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool
 (Original recipe found here)




 I served ours with cantalope and mixed berry muffins....it was so good!

I'll leave you with this cute cartoon....


Enjoy your quiche!

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