November 29, 2010

My Christmas Mantle

I’m joining the party over at Layla’s showing off my Christmas mantle.    




While I love the look of all white for Christmas, it’s not feasible for me to change up all my reds, greens and golds for an all white look.    I do have that look in my dining room and will share that later.      Also, my den lends itself to the more traditional colors I’ve been using for years.    So with that being said, I’d love to share my 2010 Christmas mantle….


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I changed up the garland a little bit this year, swagging a large one in front of the mantle and then placing one along the top as well.


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I wish I knew how to make those big gorgeous bows but I confess, I buy mine pre-made!


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Two new additions this year…nutcrackers.    I liked these two little guys and might buy a few more and start a new collection (like I need something else to collect!)


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Put Santa Claus on the mantle for the grandkids


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Saw an urn done similar to this one in one of Mary Carol Garrity’s Christmas books a few years ago….it stays up year round and I just add the green ornaments at Christmas


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And finally a little glimpse of my tree.


Hope you enjoyed seeing my Christmas mantle.    I’ll be sharing a few vingettes over at Rhoda’s later this week….hope to see you then!

November 27, 2010


Wow!   If you know anything about SEC football, you know that the Iron Bowl is one of the most anticipated games of the year.      Friday was the Iron Bowl and man what a nail biter!     Alabama came out and dominated Auburn the first half but after the half, Auburn showed up and showed what they are made of!       Final score 28-27….WAR EAGLE!


SEC championship

Cam Newton, QB for Auburn, celebrating with the crowd.


Husband and I decided that if we got as far at the SEC championship game, he and son would go.      Then I decided I wanted a ticket and we couldn’t leave out daughter.      So we ended up buying 5 tickets (a friend of daughter’s is going too).      Some of us are going over Friday for fan day and son and DIL will come from Birmingham on Saturday before the game.

I am so excited about attending my first SEC game.       I plan on having a blast!


November 24, 2010






Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!  

Our family is gathering at Cracker Barrel like we did last year.        On Friday we’ll be keeping the twins while their mama and daddy go to the Auburn-Alabama game in Tuscaloosa.      I have all of my Christmas decorations down and flocked my tree today so I’m hoping to get most of my decorating done this weekend.    

If you are traveling, please be careful.

November 23, 2010

Pottery Barn Inspired Garland At Between Naps On The Porch

I can’t imagine that many of you have not seen Susan’s blog at Between Naps On The Porch.    I’ve been following her blog for a few years now and thoroughly enjoy each and every post.    Recently Susan was inspired by a Christmas porch in the Pottery Barn catalog and being the genius she is, felt she could recreate it for a whole lot less than the PB version.

Here’s the photo that was her inspiraton….




….and here’s Susan’s version






She shares everything she bought, where she bought it, and how much she paid for it.     



Susan has a great tutorial showing how you can create your own PB inspired porch if you are so inclined.      You can see Susan’s entire tutorial here.     I think you will agree this is simply genius!

November 21, 2010

Ham, Cheese & Poppyseed Biscuits

Who doesn’t love ham and cheese?     Here’s a great little mini-sandwich that’s great to make anytime, especially this time of year when we’re busy making LOTS and LOTS of food but still need something to munch on.    I got this recipe from my sister’s MIL many years ago.      Her MIL and FIL entertained extensively in their Mountain Brook home and you could always count on her for some great recipes.    

Here’s the cast of characters you will need:

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Sliced ham

Pepperjack cheese (I usually use swiss but decided to give mine a little “kick” this time)

Small dinner rolls

1 stick butter




Melt the butter in the microwave

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While the butter is melting, slice the rolls lengthwise like this…

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Put the bottom half back in the pan and leave the top off


After your butter melts, add a squirt of mustard and a couple shakes of poppyseed.    I never measure for this, just use your own judgment, but don’t overdo the mustard or poppyseeds.    Mix well.

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Then use a pastry brush to brush the bottom half of the rolls (the one in the pan).    I couldn’t find my pastry brush so I just spooned it on and smeared it around.   (You can tell I’m a real Paula Deen!)


Then slice the ham (and cheese) like so…

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Layer the ham on the bottom half of the rolls

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Then add the cheese

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Now brush your butter mixture on the TOP part of the rolls

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Then flip the top over on the bottom part

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I had a little extra butter mixture so I just poured it on top.    That’s it!    You’re done.     Bake in a 350 degree oven until the rolls are heated and the cheese melts.     


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Remove from oven and enjoy!

This would be great to serve Thanksgiving morning while the big turkey dinner is cooking.     Add some fruit and you’re all set.      We had ours Sunday night and they were finger lickin’ good!

You can also make these ahead of time and slip them back in the bag the rolls came in, twist tie them closed, and refrigerate overnight.     Then you simply pop them in the oven and heat.     Easy Peasy!

Just a little warning about poppyseeds…..they create a “false positive” for certain drugs so if you have to take a random drug test or fly an airplane (like my brother-in-law) don’t eat anything with poppyseeds.    My research shows that even a small bagel with poppyseeds can create the false positive for up to 2 days!    

Ya’ll have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving.

November 20, 2010

A Look Back In Time

Browsing through some old photos I came across these wedding pictures of my daughter and son’s weddings.     Daughter got married at a beautiful outdoor chapel at the lake in October 1997 and son married in a beautiful hotel atrium in February 1998.      I got really lucky with my kids’ spouses, they are truly like a son and daughter to me!     Both couples are still happily married and both are the parents of one boy and one girl….daughter has 6 year old twins (boy and girl) and son has a daughter (born the day of Hurricane Katrina) and new son born this past August.     We are so blessed!


shannon and don wedding pic 

Shannon and Don – October 1997


shannons family

Shannon and her family Christmas about 2 years ago



shane and jennifer wedding


Shane and Jennifer – February 1998


shane & jennifer


Here’s one from last summer of Shane & Jennifer (I hope that’s not a beer!)


shane jennifer mckinley cade


This is one taken at Shane & Jennifer’s house a few days after Cade came home (wonder what Shane is saying to the photographer!?!)

The other two kids (girl in front of Jennifer and little boy in orange shirt) belong to Jennifer’s sister.


And for old time’s sake, here is one of my babies one Easter in my parent’s yard.     They were probably around 11 and 9 respectively….seems like yesterday!


shane and shannon easter at nannys 


We’re having Thanksgiving lunch at Cracker Barrel this year, just like we did last year.     Last year we had just put mom in assisted living and it was so much easier for everyone to do that but it worked out so well we decided to do it again this year.      The day after Thanksgiving is the big Iron Bowl game - Auburn vs. Alabama.     Then on December 3rd we’re heading to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game and fan day.     WAR EAGLE!   

November 16, 2010

Heaven’s Newest Angel

I recently posted about my nephew’s baby being born extremely early.     He was due February 1, 2011 but was delivered on November 4th.    Unfortuately, too many things were against the little fella from the beginning.    After a valiant fight, he transitioned back to Heaven last Sunday.     I wanted to thank everyone for your prayers and compassion.    

November 10, 2010

Rug Is Here Along With Another Surprise

My rug arrived today from    Right now it’s rolled up in the dining room since we are packing tonight to leave in the morning for our little getaway.      When it was delivered, husband had the UPS man (who is a friend of ours) help lay it down to see if it would fit and it does!    Yay!!!    Now, I can’t wait to get back and get it laid out and get my dining room put back together.






It looks so good that I’m going to order another one for the den but get the border in “natural”.     Then I’ll put the one that’s currently in the den in my sun room.   


My other little surprise was this great “old” dough bowl I recently ordered.    I have a small dough bowl but have loved the size of the bigger ones I’ve seen around blogland and the internet but didn’t love the price.  




Here’s the photo from their catalog.    It’s a generous size…25 1/2” long x 8 1/4 “ wide x 4” high.     The catalog calls this a Windward Tray but it looks to me like an old dough bowl.


Not long ago I got this catalog from Through The Country Door and guess what I found inside?      This is good size dough bowl and I can’t tell you how pleased I am with it.     It truly resembles an old dough bowl…..I can just imagine all the ways I can use it all year long.



Can you believe its size?    And look at that texture!  






I just put some faux pears in it tonight…no time to decorate but I couldn’t leave it “bare” while I’m gone.      You can order your own bowl here or just go ahead and get yourself one of these catalogs….lots of great things at very reasonable prices.


We’ll be on the road bright and early in the morning, should have wonderful weather.     See ya’ll later!

November 8, 2010

My Loss is My Gain

Goofy title but let me explain.    While driving back from Birmingham last weekend, I got a call from husband who said our dog had had an “accident” on my seagrass rug in the dining room.      This rug had been a custom cut rug we ordered 2 years ago when I started the dining room re-do.     He said he had tried to get out the worst of it but I would need to call a carpet cleaning place to get them to come out to see what they could do.    Now I was really worried!     When I got home, the smell was the first thing I noticed, then I saw the numerous (huge) unmistakable brown poo and pee spots.     Now I’m not talking about a little poo or pee, I’m talking LOTS!     I first called my daughter’s brother-in-law who has a carpet cleaning business.     He quickly told me they won’t even touch a seagrass rug due to shrinkage from the water.      So I ran out to Wal Mart and bought some Spot Shot (the only rug cleaner I use), some brushes and gloves.     Got home, sprayed everything and decided to wait for it to dry some so I wouldn’t smear it worse than it already was.     On Monday morning, I worked up my nerve to start the cleaning process.      Word to the wise, seagrass is almost impossible to clean!      Water is it’s enemy and stuff gets all down in all those “cracks.”     I waited for husband to get home to see for himself and to inform him we’d need to order another rug…..he was not happy about that at all.      When I checked the rug site where we’d ordered from 2 years ago, the price had almost doubled!      At this point, “we” decided to go ahead and get a bigger rug for the room…..actually husband’s idea!      I remembered two of my blog friends who had ordered their seagrass rugs from so I got on line to check out their prices and sizes.     Fortunately,  I was able to find exactly what I was looking for at a very reasonable price and $1.00 shipping!!!     All the reviews of this rug were great and I double-checked with my blog friend (Rhoda) about hers.      I have seen her rug on several occasions and it looks great so based on what I know about her rug I feel pretty good about ordering my new rug from        According to the UPS tracking information, my rug should be here this week.     

basketweave rug


I ordered the 8 x 10 basketweave seagrass rug with black border which is what I had before.     The price of this rug was only $167.99 plus $1.00 shipping!!!!    I just checked on line and as of today, this rug has sold out but apparently they anticpate receiving more of them.    I hope so because if this one works out, I will order another one to replace the el-cheapo one in my den.    Then the el-cheapo will go in the sunroom where the dog also left a few “surprises”!.      

We are leaving Thursday for a little road trip to north Alabama to check out the fall colors.     This is the same trip we took about this time last year.      Sweet little backroads, quaint towns with wonderful shops and darling homes.     You can read about our trip from last year here.    I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures!

Have a great week everybody.

November 5, 2010

Taco Salad

One of our favorite things to eat is Mexican food.     Lots of times we just go out to our favorite restaurant but I still don’t think you can beat the homemade version of my favorite….. Taco Salad.    


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Of course, there are many different ingredients you can use, but here’s what I use:

Ground beef

Fresh tomatoes

Grated extra sharp cheese



Refried Beans

Nacho chips

Taco Sauce

1000 Island Dressing

Now that last ingredient (1000 Island Dressing) might surprise you….the first time I was introduced to it, I thought Yuck!    But to me, it just makes the salad.     

All I do is brown my ground beef (you could use ground  turkey), then drain off the grease.     Then just build your salad on your plate.    No matter how “small” you start out, this salad seems to grow on your plate.    I usually start with a bottom layer of lettace, then add the ground beef, then everything else, top it off with cheese,  salsa and chips.    I then drizzle the 1000 Island Dressing on top of everything, mix it up a little and dig in!    I promise you, this will become one of your favorite quick & easy recipes to fix when time is tight or you just want a little south-of-the-border meal.   

November 4, 2010

Prayers Needed

My nephew’s little baby boy was born 3 months premature today.   He was due February 1st but was born today weighing a little over a pound.    He was airlifted to Birmingham.     Right now we don’t have any further information.    Please pray for this precious baby.

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