November 25, 2014


This is the week our nation pauses to gather with family and friends to give thanks for our many blessings.

In all honesty, we should count our blessings every single day.  

Our community suffered an unimaginable loss this past weekend.    Three 16 year olds and a sheriff's deputy tragically loss their lives Sunday night in an automobile accident.    I can hardly wrap my mind around the pain the families are going through and will continue to go through for a long time. 

As you sit around your Thanksgiving table on Thursday, please remember these families and the grief they are enduring at this time. 

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Thanksgiving Day.

November 4, 2014

This and That and How Did It Get To Be November?!

I think November snuck up on a lot of us....seems like summer just ended! The older I get the faster time seems to go. It will be Christmas in just a little over two months!

I spend a lot of time with my mom at her nursing home. She has really settled in there and has her schedule of "events" she attends every day. She marks off the days on her calendar and knows what activities are planned and of course, what time to eat! It does my heart good to see her in such good spirits and happy again. Her health and physical abilities have greatly improved in the two months she's been confirms to me that I made the right decision to move her there. Last Friday the staff all dressed up in Halloween costumes and had a bake sale. Mama was right in the thick of everything! I love going to the activities room with her and have met some of the sweetest residents of the gentlemen there, who is 90 years old, loves me because I tell him he doesn't look a day over 83! He saves a place for me at bingo! There is another man there, the husband of a resident who has Alzheimers who visits with her every day. He is so precious to her, sits with her and holds her hand, brushes her hair and you can tell he just loves her so much. Yesterday he told me the end is near as she hasn't eaten or drank anything in 3 days and the doctor says it wouldn't do any good to put her in the sad for him, they've been married 44 years.

I've been patiently waiting all summer to have some things done around the house. Our hall bathroom and my daughter's old bedroom are getting a facelift. I've already got all the things for the bedroom makeover but just not quite sure what I'm going to do in the bathroom. I ordered a grey tufted headboard for the bedroom; the wall behind the headboard will be planked and the room painted out in a pretty white. I plan on doing an industrial look in there....similar to what Joanna Gaines does on Fixer Upper (which, by the way, I'm watching a marathon on HGTV right now)! The bathroom will be similar. My husband is not on board for planking any walls in the bathroom so I'm thinking of doing some beadboard wallpaper instead. Instead of getting big gifts for my birthday or Christmas, I always like to have things done around the house.

This past Sunday eight of my daughter's friends gave her a wonderful baby shower. If you don't already know, my daughter has 10 year old boy/girl twins. The week they turned 10 (May 21st) she found out she was expecting again!

 This was taken at 10 weeks

"Big sister" Taylor is thrilled!

 In August she had a gender reveal party and she's having another boy! 

The due date is January 3rd but the plan is to induce her the 30th or 31st of December...the doctor says that shouldn't be a problem but by the looks of her, I'm not sure she'll even make it that long!

Here is the group of friends that put together such a sweet baby shower....these ladies and their husbands are all friends of my daughter and her husband and all the kids are about the same ages...they go to school and church together....I love all these "ladies"! 

My granddaughters wanted to pose like "teenagers"....look at the height difference between Taylor and McKinley and they are only a year apart!   They didn't plan their outfits either...most of the girls had on some kind of chevron print and boots!

 Can you tell which team "most" of us are for?   My SIL is a huge Alabama fan and I think Taylor wrote this on the diaper....not sure how he'll react to the little Auburn onsie but Shannon said she's going to put it on the baby anyway!

I just had to take this one of these girls....daughter in the middle, cousin Christie on the floor and long time good friend Shana on the chair arm.   Of course, Christie and Shannon grew up together and Shana and Shannon have been friends since 4th grade!   It's so funny for me to see these "girls" all grown up with children of their own since I still think of them as little girls themselves.

Well, my washing machine just died!   Guess we'll be buying a new one tonight....hate it when that happens!

October 21, 2014

Fall In The Foyer

I quickly threw together a little vignette in the foyer Sunday afternoon when I was on a cleaning spree. A while back our handy man friend made me some log slices (I think that's what they're called) and when I was vacuuming in the sun room I found one under the loveseat!

I took some book bundles I made and placed them on the "log" and topped the books with some faux pumpkins that I painted last year. It needed a little something else so I grabbed my large round cutting board from the kitchen and placed it behind everything....and called it a day!

 I love my oversized cutting board that I ordered from Decor Steals

Last year I spray painted a bunch of Dollar Tree pumpkins white since I couldn't find any baby boo pumpkins and this was the next best thing (and they last a lot longer too)!

 I'm also working on a little porch project that I'll share with ya'll soon.....

The weather here is simply gorgeous....not much humidity during the day and down in the 40's at night!   How's the weather in your "neck of the woods"?

October 10, 2014

Happy Anniversary To Us!

This Sunday, October 12th, will mark our 11th anniversary. If you had told me that I would be where I am today about 15 years ago, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Without going into a lot of detail, I had a very messy, ugly divorce in 1996. I worked for a very successful divorce attorney and while my divorce turned out financially to my benefit, emotionally I was a total wreck. But that was then, and this is now!

If you would like to read my "love story" and how we met and came to be, you can read about it  here.   Our marriage has sometimes been a wild ride but I know my husband was a God send and I thank God for him every single day of my life. We had beach pictures made just prior to our wedding in Fairhope, Alabama. My two children and their spouses were included as it was a very intimate affair.

Here is one of my favorite photos from that day:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Oh, and did I mention I am 12 years older than he is?!   That really bothered me at first, but no one thinks there is that much of an age difference between us....I tell him I married him so he can take care of me in my old age!

We have a big weekend planned (not really)!  Lots of football watching and maybe we'll sneak off for a special dinner.    We plan on taking a little get away in the near future as we always do around this time of year.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend....and War Eagle!

October 4, 2014

Spiced Apple Cider and Chicken Tortilla Soup

The weather here is perfect! Finally some fall temps here in the South. All my windows are raised up and I actually had to close a few since it got too cold for me! This morning my husband put together our new fire pit and I want to sit outside and enjoy it tonight while watching the Auburn-LSU game but I don't think my husband will go for it....he likes the comfort of his chair and the big TV in the den. As soon as we have our first "cold snap" (all your north of the Mason-Dixon line can stop laughing) I make my first batch of spiced cider. A few years ago we took the "big kids" and grandkids to Calloway Gardens for the Fantasy of Lights Show.

We stayed at The Lodge (can't recommend that place enough) and they served the most delicious spiced cider in a silver urn in the lobby all day and night. When I got home I tried my hand at copying that recipe and came up with one that is a winner! Few ingredients and easy to make in the crock pot. I'm sipping on my first cup right now! 

  • 1/2 gallon apple cider (the original recipe called for 1 gallon but I have a small crock pot and since it’s just the two of us, I didn’t need to make a huge amount)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, or more to taste (I used about 2 cups since I like my cider sweet!)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange slice
Pour apple cider in crock pot.    Add sugar and stir.    Put the cloves in a tea ball and add to pot.    Layer the cinnamon sticks and orange slices on top.    Cover and simmer on high, stirring occasionally.    Once hot, turn on low to keep warm.    

 One of my all time favorite things to have in the winter is Chicken Tortilla Soup.   I'm sure there are many ways to make it but I like this recipe as it is easy and soooo good!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • 6-8 chicken tenders
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can cream style corn* (undrained)
  • chicken stock
  • 1 block Velveeta Mexican cheese (cut into cubes)
Cook chicken until tender.     After cooking, cool and then chop in blender.      Put chopped chicken and Velveeta cheese in large pot, add chicken stock and cook until the cheese is completely melted.  (I used almost one box of chicken stock).    Then add in the can of corn and Rotel tomatoes.  
Use the same method if cooking in crockpot….just remember to add the cream style corn just prior to serving!    Of course, if you use the crockpot, you don’t have to pre-cook your chicken.


 I always serve my soup in this pretty little tureen I found a few years ago in a flea market...I think I paid around $12 for it!


Here's a tablescape from last year. 

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

October 1, 2014

September 29, 2014

A Little Pregnancy Update

In case you're new to my blog, I'm not 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, 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!

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