September 30, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This past weekend has really felt like fall around here.    When I stuck my head out the door early yesterday morning it was actually chilly (at least what we call chilly here in the deep South!).     My husband worked a ball tournament this weekend so I had lots of free time… and lunch with my daughter and granddaughter on Saturday and cleaning most all day Sunday.     Also putting the finishing touches on my chalkboard wall which has turned out amazing!   Photos coming soon….just cloudy around here today so waiting on some sunshine.

I have yet to put out my fall decorations although many bins are down from the attic waiting on me to dig through them.    I don’t decorate for Halloween anymore….just fall touches which will last me until right after Thanksgiving.    Hope to get that done this week.

Now onto the chicken tortilla soup.   This is a staple around here… can make it on the stove or in the crockpot…either way it turns out fantastic.    These photos are from last year but I use the same tureen every year and of course, the same recipe.


chicken tortilla soup 001

I picked up this little tureen at a flea market a few years ago for like $7.00!   I just though it was so cute and just the right size for soup for 2.

chicken tortilla soup 002

Here it is all filled up


chicken tortilla soup 004

Here’s a quick shot at a place setting from last year….I forgot I had those cute turkey plates!    Oh, and the stamped napkins are a project I did a few years ago


PicMonkey Collage2


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.


September 25, 2013

Chalkboard Wall

I love chalkboard walls and today I finally took the plunge by having one wall in my kitchen painted with chalkboard paint.    At one time I was going to paint another larger wall with chalkboard paint and frame out my yearling calf head from Décor Steal with an old frame I have but after giving it a lot of thought went with my original plan to paint the smaller wall area going into my laundry room.    I did cheat and have my painter come and paint it for me because of my frozen shoulder situation but I’m going to have so much fun decorating it when he’s done!    Of course, the problem for me is I’m going to have to wait 3 days to do that as the directions say to not “cure” (rubbing it with chalk) it until for at least that long.    But I  will be putting my touch to that wall by this weekend….can’t wait!

Now here are a couple of photos I took this morning and as you can see there is nothing staged about it.    Everything is a mess but I’m loving that wall!

PicMonkey Collage

The walls are painted in Latte and it’s a good neutral color that looks great with the chalkboard paint.   You’ll have to be sure and come back and see it after I put up all my “pretties”!

I’m debating on having the french door painted white to match the trim.   I don’t mind that it's black like the wall and I do have white trim (wish I didn’t have that 80’s chair rail but that’s another story).   I’m going to see how I like the french door painted black for a while and if I just don’t like it my painter will come back and paint it out white for me.    I’m going to be adding lots of white accents (frames, plates, etc) so I’m hoping that will off set the black door….what do you think?

Thank you for dropping by today!

September 22, 2013

Happy 1st day of Fall Ya’ll!

Today it seems like fall is right around the corner.   We still have quite a bit of hot weather around here but something in the air feels fall-ish!    I haven’t done any fall decorating yet but hope to in the next week or so.   It seems like just when I think things are about to slow down for me and I can blog on a more regular basis, “life” gets in the way and before I know it, another week has gone by and I’ve not posted a thing!    I am truly amazed at folks that post weekly and/or daily…my hats off to you!

Last year (yikes!) I started a complete make over in my son’s old bedroom.   I wanted the room to resemble the one we’d seen in the Southern Living Idea House in Senoia, Georgia.

southern living house 2012 098


I have all the bedding and a headboard cut out…just waiting on me to put on me to complete the headboard. 


Here’s where I left off last year and I’ve added more pillows.   I really need to get that headboard finished because I think the room is turning out exactly like I envisioned.   

I want to make a little gallery wall in there on the wall you see as you enter the room looking straight ahead.    I have a lot of frames and a couple of photos printed out but also wanted to use something personal which would reflect the “little boy” that used to live in that room (now 39 years old)!    It’s the room he and his son stay in when they come to visit (daughter in law and granddaughter stay in another guest room).     I remembered he had made a sketch of a house plan our family had considered years ago….he drew it, put the cost of the home and the interest rate on the photo too!    I got one of the frames I planned on using and inserted that drawing into the frame.    It’s not “professional”  but its meaningful to me and hopefully will bring back that time to him when he sees it.    At one time he wanted to be an architect…thus the drawing.

shanes drawing


This week is shaping up to be just as busy as the past couple of weeks.    Tomorrow my mom and I are going to have a mani/pedi spa day, Tuesday I’m taking her to the doctor, Tuesday is also my husband’s big 50 birthday, and I have lunch/dinner plans with some friends for my birthday which was on the 12th.    Oh, how I love to drag out my birthday a whole month!

My painter is coming to paint a chalkboard wall for me in the kitchen (I can’t due to my frozen shoulder situation) and I have a little project I’m working on that includes the yearling calf head I finally got from Décor Steals on another wall.    Since we’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, I’m trying to get a lot of things done around the house for that….we’ll see how that goes!

How’s the weather in your part of the world?    I think fall is one of my favorite times of the year…..the smells, the colors and FOOTBALL!    

Hope everyone has a great week!

September 4, 2013

I Bought Myself A Birthday Present

It’s a week away from my birthday but I bought myself something I’ve been wanting for a while now….a new upholstered headboard!    A little backstory first….about 4-5 years ago I ordered a custom headboard from Ballard’s in Atlanta.   It was described as “creamy pin tuck” and it I thought it would be just what I’d been looking for.    I eagerly awaited it’s arrived (about 6 weeks) and when it finally came I couldn’t wait to see how it would look.     When I put my white coverlet and pillows on the bed…I was horrified!    The headboard looked yellow…not the look I was going for.    I tried and tried to make it work but it never did.    Finally, I took two taupe linen curtain panels and sewed them together to make a slipcover of sorts….that looked much better and later I added a German grain sack in the middle….which looked pretty good actually…something like this:


headboard sweet something designs



My Ballard's headboard was shaped like the one in the photo above

But I never got around to making the ties for the slipcover and probably never will….so yesterday I was in our local Kirkland's and they had “the” headboard on sale!    I couldn’t get it out of my mind and called the store this morning to see if it was a king size and it was!    I called my husband and told him I’d found “my” birthday present…I would sell the old one on Craig's List or the Bulletin Board (a local free advertisement)….and would he pick it up this evening.    He said he would when he got off work.    I called the store manager back and told her I was on my way to pay for it since she couldn’t take my credit card over the phone.     Here’s a photo from the Kirkland’s website:


kirklands headboard

And a description of the headboard reads as follows:

  • Upholstered in a beige linen fabric
  • Double row nailhead accents in a brass finish
  • High-density foam filling with a dacron wrap
  • Contoured headboard with knob feet in dark brown
  • The linen is a little darker than what the photo shows but I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!    Our wall color is very similar to the one in the Kirkland’s photo and my accent color is the pretty aqua as shown in the nightstand….so I think this headboard will really “make” our bedroom.

    Happy Birthday To Me!

    September 3, 2013

    Happy Belated Labor Day and A Couple of Recipes

    As the old saying goes “better late than never” right?   Now that Labor Day is behind us most of us are looking forward to cooler temps and fall decorating!    I know I am…I’m just trying to decide how soon I can put out some fall décor without my neighbors (and husband) thinking I’m off my rocker.   This is also a big birthday month around here…mine and my husbands.    He’s celebrating a big one and I can’t believe I haven’t planned anything for him….he’s not much for surprises and is a low key kind of guy (I almost said low life but that’s not what I mean)….we’ll probably just go out to eat or maybe make a quick trip out of town and that’s about it.   Any ideas ya’ll can give me for the Big 50 for a guy will be greatly appreciated!    And no, I’m not telling my age!

    This past weekend we headed up to the lake for what will probably be the last time for us until our family Christmas get together there.    Although the weather man predicted 40% chance for rain, we didn’t get a drop, just some gorgeous sunshine.    And can you believe I didn’t take my camera?!     We cooked ribs, pork chops and steaks.    Everyone brings their own meat and my sister and I provide the rest of the food.   My contribution was marinated vegetable salad and Pineapple Orange Crème Cake…both of which I’ve shared in the past but are worth reposting again.   The cake is a Weight Watchers recipe and is only 4 points per slice…which makes it all the better!

    Marinated Vegetable Salad

    • 1=11 oz. can white shoe peg corn
    • 1=16 oz.  can French green beans
    • 1=16 oz. can green peas
    • 1 med. onion – finely chopped
    • 1/2 c. celery – finely chopped
    • 1/4 c. bell pepper – finely chopped
    • 1/4 c. pimento – diced

    Drain vegetables, mix all ingredients

    • 3/4 c. sugar (or a little more)
    • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
    • 1/2 c. white vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper

    Mix all together and heat until sugar dissolves.   Pour over vegetable mixture and keep in refrigerator overnight.


    Pineapple Orange Crème Cake

    • 1 (15 1/4 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
    • 1 (18.25 oz.) package yellow cake mix
    • 1/2 c. egg substitute
    • 1/2 c. fat free mayo
    • 1 can mandarin oranges, sliced
    • cooking spray


    • 1 (12 oz.) container fat free Cool Whip
    • 1 (10 oz.) package sugar free vanilla pudding mix

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Drain pineapple, reserve juices, set pineapple aside

    Combine reserved pineapple juice, cake mix, mandarin oranges, egg substitute and mayo in large bowl.   Beat w/mixer until well blended.  

    Pour into 13x9 baking dish coated w/cooking spray

    Bake @350 degrees for 35 minutes or until done---cool on wire rack

    Combine drained pineapple, cool whip and vanilla pudding mix in medium bowl on low speed until just blended.   Spread pineapple mixture evening over top of cake.


    On a totally unrelated matter, we’re hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year.   For the last 4-5 years we’ve all met at Cracker Barrel or last year we went to my daughter’s house.    This year my sister and her clan are going out of town and it’s my daughter’s year to go to her in-laws so it will be a very small group of people (son and his family and my mom) around here.     I’m already planning the menu and hope to get a couple of projects done before then.     I got in my yearling cow head from Décor Steals  a week or so ago and have the perfect frame for it….I want to paint a chalkboard wall in my kitchen and use the yearling head and frame and some white plates…but I just can’t decide if I want to paint the whole wall or just the portion inside the frame….also with my “frozen” shoulder situation it’s a little hard to paint right now.     I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to make up my mind on this but for some reason it is.    I also need to finish up the upholstered headboard project we started last spring (yes, I said last spring!)……maybe I’ll get ‘er done before the end of this year!

    Hope everyone has a great week!

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