Friday, February 25, 2011

Still Thinkin' Spring

Had every intention of getting some snapshots of the new bedroom color but, wouldn't you know it is too grey today! Ha ha - get it...too GREY! I'm just too funny.

But, it is rainy and bleak and a good day for ducks - but not for pictures. I did, however, come across this older picture of our bedding. Just to refresh your memory. You can see where the idea of purple came from...and you can barely see the highlights of grey. You can also see the ugly builder beige/whatever color that used to be on the walls.

Since I was not able to get the pictures - I decided to stick with my Friday's Favorite Five post...and talk some more about spring. Maybe I can just WISH it here. There are so many things to LOVE about spring: sun tea, pedicures and flip flops (or sandals...I am a sandals girl myself), putting away the winter gear and cleaning out the coat closet and just opening the house up! I love that. Here are five more of my favorite things to look forward to this spring:

ONE: Longer days and sunshine! Days that you might even need to break out the sunglasses - and look as sassy and cute as Miss Riley:)

I love the sun staying out longer than five o'clock. When the sun sets so early, I feel tired. All the time.

Just the other day, I was on my way home from work - and the sun was right in my eyes - which wasn't terribly comfortable but, at least, it was still up and it wasn't dark outside!

TWO: Long walks with the dogs! Ok - so this photo is from the fall - Thanksgiving, actually - but it pretty much depicts many of our walks. You never can be sure who is walking whom??

Our dog walks lately have been more like mad dashes - out and in as quickly as possible. I know the dogs will enjoy actual walks...and, who knows, I might even get some exercise and not notice it!

THREE: Easter! I love this holiday. I have SO many wonderful memories from Easter - from my own far back as I can remember....and through all the Easters with my own children. Easter also reminds me of my parents. We always spent the holiday with them. We had the best times.

Remember this photo I shared last year of the kiddos in their new Easter duds from their Mimi? What cutie-patooties!!

FOUR: Flowers - and working in the yard. Goodness, everything looks so bleak right now. I am just itching to get in the flower beds and work with the porch pots. I'm not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination but I love to get a color around the yard. I'll be happy just for the grass to turn green again.

Hard to believe these blooms were in our backyard last year. Let's hope they come back:)

And, FIVE: My Jordan's birthday! Usually right around Easter - but Easter is incredible late this year...did you notice? So, Jordan's birthday will be a couple weeks before Easter this year - and he turns 21!! How can that be??

I am so proud of this young man - he just has no idea!??! We will have to plan something really special in order to celebrate:)

Well, that's get me started - what about you? What are looking forward to this spring??

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yearning for Spring

Yes, there were several guesses about the color for the bedroom - and apparently there are quite a few green bedrooms out there:) - but no one guessed our color!! Let me say, first, it was not any shade of I had imagined it would be. We tested way too many purples before I finally figured out - purple was not working for me. We were really running out of time, and somewhat in desperation, I convinced Hubbie we needed to stick to our Plan A - our first color choice.....GREY!

Yup, its grey...and it is gorgeous, if I do say so myself. We really did not have a chance to test/sample many shades of grey but, instead, went with our gut instinct. Goodness, if we had only done that from the beginning because it was just the right shade. Might not sound like the perfect bedroom color but it is.

Having said that, I have not had the time to take pictures - oh, but I will. I like how everything looks during the day with all the sun streaming in - and, oh yeah, this working thing can really get in your way during the day:)

I did snap a few pictures yesterday morning. I am trying to keep up with Project: 52 Photos - a photo a week that captures my life/my world that week. And, even with all that is going on, I am really all about the weather these days. When, oh when, will spring ever arrive?? And to be fooled with several gorgeous days - only to have winter return, has been torture for this heat-lovin' girl!

Even the pansies are confused. Try as they might to rebloom and stretch toward the sun....the ground around them remains covered with snow (again!) and it is cold. Oh, the irony...and the longing for spring and I thought this shot captured that this week.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Psalm 19:14

It's Wednesday - and that means I'm off to work...and little time to blog. So, just a thought I read today in my morning devotions -
"If you could not speak a word, what would your life say to others?" - Dr. Stanley

Pretty deep for 6:30 in the morning....but one to think about throughout today. Have a great day, friends. And, I'll let you in on the paint color tomorrow:)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A New Chicken Recipe:)

It snowed. Oh, and iced. What in the world is up with the weather?? Just four days ago, we weren't just dreaming about spring...we were living it. The weather was gorgeous. And, today, right back to winter - it is COLD! - and right back to dreaming!!

The painter was here all day yesterday - can't wait to show off the color - but was unable to finish so he needs to come back this morning. I was fine with that but, have to admit, was disappointed that I would miss my Tuesday morning Bible study. Ah, the weather cancelled Bible study, which I know throws a monkey wrench into the schedule but - for me - I didn't miss anything:)

Just trying to stay positive, folks.

Not sure how we ended up with two house projects going on back to back. Both had been planned and/or in the works for weeks and then just came together at the same time. What fun, though. Choosing the right color for the bedroom was much more of a challenge than I imagined. They used to sell little bottles of samples, but, now, a sample is a pint and is $5.99! And, oh yeah, we ended up buying five of those things! Put two or three stripes on the wall only to figure out....that color just was not the one. And, then, what do you do with all those pints?? The best part - we ended up choosing a color that we never even sampled! That's just how we roll. But we love it! The color is perfect - any guesses?

What would be the perfect bedroom color for you?? I love all your comments:) and appreciate the suggestions - and all the kind words! - on the kitchen from yesterday's post! We really are enjoying the kitchen. In fact, I tried a new recipe last night...and it was super yummy. Totally the new kitchen:) Thought I would share it today. Its a keeper.

Parmesan Chicken Roll-ups

1 pound, skinless chicken breasts tenderloins
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Wash and drain chicken. In small bowl, combine garlic, lemon juice and melted margarine. In separate bowl, combine cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Dip chicken in margarine; then roll in crumb mixture to coat. Roll chicken up and secure with toothpick. Place in shallow dish that has been spritzed with oil. Sprinkle chicken with a little paprika to garnish. Cover with aluminum foil; bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-20 minutes longer...checking for doneness.

Monday, February 21, 2011

And In With the New

And, without further ado........our new kitchen!! My goodness, are we ever enjoying our new countertops!

I have to say the guys that were here did a fantastic job! Once the old counters were removed, all of the imperfections from the builders work could really be seen. Mike - from Holmes on Homes at HGTV - could have done an entire episode. There were holes in the walls behind the backsplash and the lower cabinets were so really was sad. They fixed it all and worked really hard - even before they actual installing began.

Hubbie has to paint the grout - but other than that, we were so pleased with the color. (You try your best to pick the perfect piece in the warehouse...but you never know for certain just how "perfect" will look once it is in the house. Goodness, you should see me trying to pick the perfect paint color for the bedroom - but that is another post!)

This kitchen could just possibly inspire me to cook more! and if it could only improve the end results, it really would be a miracle kitchen! If you are ever in my neck of the woods, please stop by...and rest awhile in my kitchen. I can make a mean grilled cheese:)

I picked up this for the center of the island while I was out antiquing on Friday. My girlfriend and I "discovered" a new shop and, oh my goodness, what fun we had!! It is a bit of a drive from home but so worth the trip. I LOVE looking for the new finishing touches! Scroll back up to the first photo - the one with the window that has no curtains. Any ideas?? I would LOVE any color and/or style suggestions.

Happy Monday, friends!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yes, Indeedy....Today is the Day

As I type, it is out with the old..................

and, hopefully, this afternoon - in with the new! More pictures to follow -

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You Gotta Love It

Another one of these quick posts before going to work (which apparently does not work too well for me if you notice all the errors in yesterday's posts - makes the editor in me completely shudder and panic)....but I saw this photo this morning on the internet - and just had to grab it!!

This beauty -whether it be male or female, who knows?? - is a komondorak, I believe...and totally makes me smile! Laugh, really:)

I thought of several cute sayings I could add to this post with this picture (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) and even some more meaningful comments about enjoying - even "strutting" - our own special uniqueness...or remembering that we were each created perfectly by our Heavenly Father.

But, then I just enjoyed the picture!! Have a great Wednesday, friends! (and do overlook all the typos...grr!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Life is Sweet

Hope everyone had a fun day yesterday - you and your special valentine!! My day was a lot of fun..especially with my party during the day - and with all my planning, we never really had a plan for the two of us last night. After the kitchen was clean and all was quiet, we thought about going out for some dinner but I made a few phone calls and the shortest wait we found was 70 minutes. Uh, no. So, I very sweetly made some highly romantic grilled cheese......we went all out!!

HA - but there were no complaints! There never are - I really am blessed. We did open some presents later in the evening...but let me mention the party a bit first. I tried some new recipes which were all a hit! I had oriental chicken salad that I found at Kris' blog (Simplify on my sidebar)..for a light lunch. I did not want everyone filling up before the dessert bar - where we had sugar cookies, chocolate brownie bites, coconute cake bites, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate chunk cranberry cookies (from Martha Stewart) and Death by Chocolate! Do you see a theme there?? No - not calories...but chocolate! Everything was so yummy. I wish I could say I pulled it all off by myself but my girlfriend came into town a day early just to help...and help she did!! She is a great cook and really fills in all the places I'm lacking:) Spending the time in the kitchen with her was as much fun as the party itself!! Great friends are amazing!!

I did the table all in red and white - and candies! And then totally forgot to take a single picture...but Valentines was definitely in the air:) We finished the afternoon off with a Valentine's gift exchange and I came away with the CUTEST napkin rings for spring! It really was a fun day.

Later that evening, we exchanged some gifts at home. Our children spoiled us:) That huge red heart is for dad....from Jordan. Hubbie does LOVE his chocolate and everyone knows it - there is no such thing as too much chocolate for him. (Note to Jo....he LOVED it!!)

We also did some happy dancin'......the dogs get so excited over just about anything!!
Family...friends....funny dogs!! The only thing that could have my day any sweeter would have been able to see this little valentine - who really melts my heart!! Awww, Miss Riley:) We miss you!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Make It a Sweet Day

I hope everyone has a wonderful day....full of chocolate:) and sweet times with the special people that you love the most! Even if you don't have a "sweetheart", or perhaps can not be near your loved ones - embrace the day filled with the knowledge that Jesus loves us more than we can comprehend...and He fills every empty or hurting spot in our hearts with that love!
If you had special plans today - or maybe were treated with a sweet surprise....I would love to hear about it tomorrow!! And remember - all diets are off on Valentine's Day!!:)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Fun

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I would share five super simple ways to have fun with your kiddos - be they your children...or your grand!children:) It does not cost a lot of money or take tons of creativity (thank goodness!) to enjoy a "sweet" day with those little ones you love so much. All of these ideas, although not original, have been tried and tested at our house - and have made for great memories!

One - pink milk and sprinkles!! I mentioned this one in my daybook entry on Monday but I'll mention it here again. A little food coloring in your breakfast milk - and it is a special day already!! And then add sprinkles - whether red or pink...hearts or doesn't matter - and the day is over the top! My kiddos loved toaster strudels (read that LOVED toaster strudels) and adding the heart sprinkles was the best!!

This little bit of fun can be changed up a bit to help make St. Patrick's Day fun (green, of course) or Easter (think yellow) or even the first day of spring (maybe baby blue)!!

Two - cardboard hearts:) As a teacher of twos and threes at church, I used to decorate our classroom for the holidays and always had a supply of wall decorations..typically found at a teacher's store...the type of things used for bulletin boards. One year, I pulled out a pile of hearts, attached thread/ribbon to them, and hung them all from the kitchen ceiling. When the kids came down for breakfast the next morning, you would have thought they were in Disney. Who knew hearts hanging from the ceiling could make a day so much fun?!?!

I did that every year after that - just to maintain my awesome mommy status:)

Three - a heart cake! These are super easy but, just in case you aren't sure.....mix up your favorite cake (if you use yellow...think about that food coloring!) and bake in one round and one square pan. When cooled, cut the round one in half. Turn the square one so it looks like a diamond and place a round half on each side at the top of the diamond - viola! it is a heart. Ice the entire thing and go crazy with those sprinkles!

Four - Eat a meal somewhere other than the kitchen table (or wherever your typical spot may be!) Around here, it is too cold in February to eat outside but dinner served picnic style in the family room could turn the most ordinary meal into a huge treat! And when the kiddos were older, eating in the dining room always signaled a special meal - that said I love you!

Our meals in the dining room are some of my fondest memories. I am glad we did not do them too often in order to keep those meals special - but I sure wish I had more of those great memories! Tyler especially loved planning and preparing for these meals - totally his thing!!

Five - fondue! This is another idea I stumbled upon quite by accident (somewhat like the kitchen heart streamers) but earned me just the same great mom status:) I came across a small pink fondue pot on a clearance rack on year and tucked it away "for a rainy day." I actually remembered it on Valentine's Day and served chocolate fondue that night after dinner. The kids thought we were eating like royalty! We had soo much fun that night!! and looked forward to our fondue every year after that - and I only use it on the 14th:)

I hope you have so fun ideas up your sleeve for Monday - and I would love to hear about them. I am working on my party - a bit more grown-up this year.....but I just might need to break out that fondue pot!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Little Bit of Americana

Already Thursday and I have not been able to blog since Thursday. I guess becoming high-maintenance really does interfere with your computer time....oh, and your cleaning time, making dinner time, and - well, you get the picture. Definitely time to rethink my daily/weekly schedule.

But, onto better topics:) We had some snow this morning - a pitiful little amount - but they cancelled school and that cancelled Bible study this morning. Our friends in the mid-west would be either laughing hysterically or completely disgusted to think we could not make it to school this morning...but it is officially a snow day! With my change of plans this morning, I really have no excuse not to get caught up a bit at home today - but it isn't happening!

There are too many project going on - the kitchen granite goes in next week - hooray! And somehow I got sidetracked and started the master bedroom. We are having that painted on Monday and who KNEW how difficult finding just the right shade could be!! I have been busy painting test squares of different colors on the walls - and immediately eliminating all of them!

I thought for my photo of the week, I would share the craziness I have created in my bedroom - but quickly thought again. So, instead a couple shots from our guest room - referred to as Tyler's room:) When we moved in here, I decided I did not want to use my Americana things and stored them in the basement. They were there for a year. Recently, I decided the guest room looked "undone" but did not want to invest in new things right now - with all the other projects going on - so I pulled out what I had and used them again. Actually, they make me quite happy:)

The main thing I notice when I see these pictures is just how desperately we need to paint in there....ha! But when I look past that, I see Tyler's things, his pictures and I see memories...even in the red, white and blue that was always a part of our house for so many years!

Try as I might, I just cannot get away from "all the bears"! They aren't quite as everywhere as they once were, but some of them as just so stinkin' cute and I can't put them away. This little girl sits on top of Ty's chest of drawers.

Did I not tell you the walls were stark?? But I love love the wardrobe full of Tyler's treasures - so many memories packed on those shelves:) On the wall above is a favorite photo of Tyler and his bestest buddy, Morgan. I will share that picture at the end....

Well, I see some cords that need to be hidden:) The book on the table is Letters to God - from the movie. Absolutely precious.....

Morgan had this picture of him and Tyler drawn by a friend at church. It is a pencil drawing from a photo of the two of them on the first day of first grade! I tried to use some "fancy" effect on the photo when I uploaded it - but it looks a bit fuzzy. I think you get the idea, though. Two cuties excited about school and the best of friends!!
Have a great Thursday. Here's hoping to getting something accomplished. Hubbie asked if I wanted to meet him for lunch. Well...that will cut into my day before having to go to work. But who passes up lunch with their hunky husband?? Not me:)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Week Before Valentine's Day:)

My Simple Woman's Daybook: Feb. 7, 2011

Outside my is a gorgeous day! Sunny - and almost all the snow is melted. I was out earlier this morning - taking Mr. Rascal to the groomer:) - and the morning felt wonderful!

I am thinking...that Valentine's Day is almost here. I heard it again yesterday....the naysayer's comments about how Valentine's Day is just a commercialized excuse to spend money...blah, blah, blah. I feel sorry for those party-poopers! I think its cute and fun and just another way to tell my family that I love them. I especially enjoyed the day when the kiddos were little - but even now, we try to have a good time with the day!

I am thankful....for my family - and for so many fun memories I have from the years of raising our children. It always is interesting to me that the simpliest things - like pink milk for breakfast on Valentine's Day - are the things my children seem to remember best!

I am!! Settin' the mood, already:)

I am rather long to-do list for today - and for the week - and hoping I can get it all done. For the most part, is all fun I'm looking forward to it!

I am a ladies' meeting tonight. It is Mexican night - yum - and I just made a crock pot of taco soup. But I'm really looking forward to the enchiladas and the tres leche cake!! Oh yeah.

I am reading....cook books. Don't know why exactly but I have had the best time this week reading through some of my cook books that I have not pulled off the shelf in quite awhile.

I am hoping...several new ladies can make it to our fellowship tonight. It is so nice to have a chance to meet some of the newer ladies at church in a smaller setting - a get to know them better.

On my mind....Valentine's Day, of course. Did I mention that I am having a party on Monday?? A Valentine's party for big girls:) I am excited about it - but, first there is the getting ready for it. And that explains the to-do list.

From the kitchen...taco soup. It is a new recipe from one of those aforementioned cookbooks - so I will wait to share the recipe if it is a keeper:)

Around the house....I am tired of boots and winter weather gear! I so would love to put these things away but I don't think it will be too soon.

Plans for the appointment, hair appointment and hopefully a nail appointment - oh my - I hope I am not becoming high maintenance! There are also two Bible studies and some baking to be done:)

One of my favorite things....dark chocolate!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Check These Out

Some days I simply have nothing to blog about. Shocking, if you know me, because rarely do I have nothing to say...but all my rambling does not always translate to blogging too well:)

And some days, I have much I want to post...if only to make mental notes to myself. Today is such a day and I have much I want to remember and get posted but I just can't seem to get my thoughts organized. My brain is just too scattered - something that seems to be happening more and more lately. (You see the irony, right...the blog is supposed to help me organize my brain but I'm too scattered to get the thoughts in a post!)

And, besides, all the cute Valentine posts and ideas, etc. etc.....I really just enjoy reading your blogs. So, for now, I will tell you there is a give away here...and one here....and the cutest Valentine table idea here. And today there was a great "love dare" idea here!!

Maybe tomorrow, I will actually have a post of my own ideas:) and maybe not.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It is a Bit of an Obsession

PROJECT: 52 PHOTOs - and how appropriate that I work CraigsList into my blog! I will admit I have a bit of a CraigsList habit. Seriously. I love to browse! and, occassionally, I actually buy:) I have yet to sell anything...but, oh, buying is so much more fun!

This week I came across the sweetest crib set for our little grandson on the way!! It was brand new - some of the pieces with the tags still on. It was from Pottery Barn (another favorite) and even included the curtain rod. I'm tellin' you, it was my "treasure find" for the week...maybe, the month.
So - this is not only a sneak preview for baby's mama:)....but also a glimpse into my life this week!!

I LOVE that middle frame - it says "Bonne Nuit"....which I used to say so often to my own little ones at bedtime. At least I learned something from five years of high school French!!