October 28, 2012

Hot Spiced Cider

Last year when we took the “kids” and grandkids to Calloway Gardens for the Fantasy In Lights show we stayed at The Lodge (gorgeous place!).   Every day they served the most delicious spiced cider in a huge silver urn.   Ever since then I’ve been on the hunt for a good recipe to make here at home.    I found one I liked on Pinterest that I basically followed.     The great thing about this is it’s made in a crock pot so you can leave it on and not have to watch it and it makes the house smell soooo good!


  • 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….like meOpen-mouthed smile!)
  • 1 tea spoon 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.   


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We’re having a “cold spell” here in Alabama this weekend so it’s a perfect time for a hot drink.    In fact, I’m going to have a cup right now!

October 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Sweet Daughter!

36 years ago today at 1:59 p.m. was one of the happiest days of my life!    My daughter was born and my life has never been the same.   She was 3 weeks overdue and she’s been running late ever since  (sorry Shannon) but I love you anyway!

shannon baby

Oh yeah, she was a butterball…as we say here in the south, fat and happy!

She was a beautiful baby (doesn’t every mother think that about their baby?) and she’s turned into a beautiful woman, both inside and out

shane and shannon easter at nannys

My two at Easter in front of my mama and daddy’s house


shannon sr pic

One of her wedding photos…yeah, look at all that hair, her hair is gorgeous!

shannon and don wedding pic

Her lakeside wedding…October 17, 1996 (they just celebrated their 15 year anniversary)


shannon and mardi gras

Shannon (in black w/feathers) with friends at Ball


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Shannon and her husband at another Mardi Gras ball

I’m so fortunate that she lives close by and we talk every day.    She calls me every morning on her way to work and tells me the latest on the twins…I try and go by her office a couple of times during the week.    Today I’m taking her to lunch. 

I’ve been very blessed with both of my children…they didn’t give me too much trouble growing up, they’ve both made wonderful choices in their spouses, and have given us a total of 4 grandchildren.     

You make me proud to be your mama Shannon…I love you!

October 19, 2012

Dining Room Sideboard Dressed For Fall

I’m really enjoying seeing all the talent you all have been sharing with your fall decorations this fall.      I especially look forward to seeing what Yvonne over Stone Gable shares….she is uber talented!     Recently she shared her harvest buffet  which inspired me to do something similar in my dining room.    


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I used one of my wicker trays, added some Dollar Tree pumpkins that I spray painted white, and a fall foliage bush from Hobby Lobby.     

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I removed the stems from the “baby boo” pumpkins and sprayed them a creamy white…leaving some of the green showing.


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I’ve looked everywhere for the real baby boo pumpkins locally but can’t find any.    I went to our local farmer’s market today and they were sold out


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Since I took these pics earlier this week, the tray has actually been swapped out for another one I bought today that I like better than the one I originally used…..do you do that too?

I’m loving our weather we have been having lately…cooler mornings and beautiful afternoons.    This weekend hubby and I are going to a new flea market “down the road a piece” (that’s southern speak!); eating at Bates House of Turkey and topping that off with a stop at Priesters Pecans!   Hope you all have a glorious weekend too!!

October 14, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Saturday afternoon I decided to make one of our favorite soups…chicken tortilla soup.    It’s quick & easy and soooo good!    Although there are many recipes you can find for making this soup, here’s the one I use:


  • 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.  



*DO NOT ADD THE CREAM CORN UNTIL JUST BEFORE SERVING*!  Cook 15-20 minutes on medium-low.     Just before serving, add the can of cream corn.      

You can serve this in bread bowls too.    We like ours with tortilla rounds.     You can also adapt this recipe to use ground beef instead of chicken…either way, it’s delish!   


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I forgot I had this little tureen…when I found it in my dining room sideboard, I brought it out to use for this soup.     It’s perfect for fall!

October 10, 2012

Focus On Fashion

Before we get to some of my recent fashion finds, let me apologize for my absence on the blog….for the last 2-3 weeks we’ve been knee deep in renovating a half bath at my mom’s old house (which we recently rented out – yay!).   What started out as what we thought was a quick fix in the shower of her 50+ year old house resulted in completing gutting the entire bathroom and starting from scratch.     While the bathroom did need a complete overhaul, we didn’t need the $3,000+ price tag that went along with it.     So here’s a big shout out to my husband and our wonderful friend Scott for all their hard work and dedication on this project.

Now, onto the “fashion show”.   I don’t think I’ve ever shared my love of clothes & shoes on my blog but trust me….I LOVE CLOTHES & SHOES!    But since I’m no longer working I can’t justify my shopping addiction and have had to create a wardrobe that is suitable to wear around the house but with the addition of an accessory or two, looks good enough to go out.     Of course, Pinterest has played a large part in the revamp of my wardrobe.      I pin outfits I like and make notes of what I have and what I’d need to get a similar look.     I spent most of Tuesday shopping and think I did pretty good recreating some of my favorite looks.   

First I’m going to show you photos of some of the outfits I pinned:




Simple, simple…white button down shirt, jeans & leopard shoes





Black turtleneck, jeans, gray scarf & black boots




I’m on the hunt for a red vest and purse




I recently bought a cute white quilted vest for this look…and I love the yellow purse!




Love, love, love the gray and white and doesn’t that scarf pull it all together?




I’ve wanted this outfit since last year….I have a red stretch bracelet and still looking for a red infinity scarf



Love the gray knitted scarf



Too cute (I love the turquoise paired with gray…have to try this)!



Leopard scarf and yellow accents


I had a few basic items such as a white shirt, black tops and jeans.    My shopping list included finding a gray scarf, leopard scarf, gray & white zebra scarf and leopard shoes.   I also picked up a chunky silver bracelet…I wear a lot of silver jewelry.

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I think I hit the jackpot on all three!   I got the gray knit scarf at K-Mart ($7.99 on sale); gray & white zebra scarf at Ross ($9.99) and brown leopard scarf at Target ($14.99).    

I also found these cute leopard shoes at K-Mart.

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I haven’t cut off the elastic tying the shoes together until I made sure they were going to be comfortable.    The price of the shoes was $19.99 but they rang up for $7.99!   

I also found these adorable velvet pumpkins at Ross….

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Can you believe $2.99 each?!?!?!   The large ones were $4.99 but I only got 2 little ones…might go back and get a few more.    I’ve seen a couple of DIY velvet pumpkin tutorials so I might try my hand at making some but really, you can’t beat $2.99!

Our anniversary is this Friday…9 years!      See ya’ll later!!!

October 1, 2012

Fall Porch and Mantle

This weekend I was finally able to get up to daughter’s house to help her put out some fall/Halloween decorations.    She couldn’t wait for me to bring her the pumpkin topiary and add some fall touches to her mantle.  

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I made her the “Boo” banner last year.    She bought a fall garland and the white pumpkin this year and everything else we used she already had.    We did buy a strand of white lights to add to the garland but she couldn’t find it so I’ll pick up another strand and we can add the lights later.

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The banner was a fun and easy project.   


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The “T” pumpkin was on clearance last year at Kirkland’s and belongs to granddaughter Taylor


Moving outside on the front porch is the pumpkin topiary I made her this year

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I love how this project turned out!    I’ll share how I made the topiary later this week….it wasn’t hard to make at all


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She bought a witch’s broom at Hobby Lobby and I added a lime green ribbon


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And here’s her inspiration photo….I think we did a pretty good job of copying it.    I forgot to bring the other pumpkins which are scattered at the base of the kettle so we’ll add those later too.   

pumpkin topiary


We are still knee deep in the renovations at my mom’s house…it’s like opening Pandora’s box, you do one thing and it leads to 12 more things to be done!   I’m hoping and praying no more bathroom drama this week so I can finish up the headboard for my guest room!

Hope ya’ll have a great week!

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