Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cute little table!

Last week I had to go run an errand in the next town over.  I don't get out there that much, but my FAVORITE Sally's is out there.  So you know I HAD to stop in and see what they had in there!

I found a bunch of clothes and adorable cream bust, forgot to take a picture of that!  But then I spotted this cute little table.  I needed a little table like this for a chair in the family room.  I walked over and was stunned to see it was only $7.99!  I snapped it up immediately!  It's solid wood, but I am going to give it an Chalk paint makeover!    Any hints on what color I should paint it?      

It's going to go next to this chair (I think, lol) I used this table in the basement for the tv area down there.  So the chair is lonesome and needs a table!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Easy Bolognese Sauce

Lately, I have been using my Crock pot A LOT.  Like 2-3 times a week sometimes!   I like recipes that do not require a bunch of prep.  Throw it in and let it cook is my style.  Now, I do  cook some recipes that do require a bit of prep.  But if I have to dirty 2 or 3 pans and THEN the crock on top of it, I usually don't make it.

I kind of made this one up as I went along.  I'm 100% Italian and believe me when I tell you, we make A LOT up as we go along!  This coming from someone who didn't know how to make anything but coffee and toast when I left home as a young adult!    Anyway, last week I was in the mood for meat sauce.  Lately I'm big on one dish dinners, of course with a little salad.    We are busy usually after dinner  and it's just easier.  

I didn't have any ground beef, but I knew I had about 3/4 lb of sausage to use with it.  Ground beef would be great and I know some like to mix both ground beef and sausage.  The sausage has a lot of flavor so I didn't need to season it too much.  I also cook with turkey sausage as well.

  So here is my made up as I went along Bolognese that I think you'll really like!

1/2-1 lbs of sweet Italian sausage browned bulk style (aka small pieces) 
2 tablespoons of Olive oil
1/2 small onion chopped fine
2 or 3 cloves of garlic through your press (minced is fine too)
 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
15 oz can of diced tomatoes
8 oz can of tomato sauce (you could also use paste if you like a thicker sauce, I didn't have any on hand)
Fresh basil (I keep fresh basil in my freezer, is it still really fresh? lol)  you can use dried of course
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups of water,  Now the water is up to you, I used a little more because I knew it was going to cook on high and didn't want to have to worry about it getting too thick.  I would use as much or as little as your comfortable with and adjust your cooking time accordingly.

I browned the sausage, put the Olive oil in the crock pot with the onions and garlic and added the rest of the ingredients.  Gave it a good stir and left  it on high for 4-5 hours.  You could also cook on low for longer.  

I cooked a lb of capatavi pasta and when it was done, drained it and dumped the contents of the crock pot into the pasta, mixed it up really good and served it with Romano cheese!  

YUM!   My family loved it!

buon appetito!


Monday, January 21, 2013

The "main" bathroom aka kids bath

I pretty much dropped off my home tour last year.  The fact was/is the upstairs isn't really finished.  Yes it's finished in the sense we live here and it's done.  But it's not really decorated.  Well, I shouldn't say that, M's room is done.  And J&K's room is done, although most of the time it looks like an episode of hoarders!

The upstairs was supposed to have three bathrooms, one master and two mains.  Cleaning bathrooms and toilets is my least favorite cleaning job, so I nixed one of the bathrooms and made it the laundry room.  I couldn't be happier that I made that decision.   So this main bath is shared by the kids.  M is only 4 so she uses our bathtub a lot still.   It's not big and actually on the small side.  But it has everything they need.  Two sinks helps a lot with multiple children, something we didn't have in the old house.

looking back to the upstairs hallway

We opted for just a tub so we could tile the walls to give this bath a little pizazz.   I wanted it to have an old/vintage feel.  So when I saw the floor tile I fell in love.  I was concerned with so much grout, but like I said before it's a small room.  I can deal.   I got the mirrors at TJ Maxx and all the towel bars, hooks, and toilet paper holder on for a fraction of what the bath store wanted.  And they are Moen which I figured was a good brand and hopefully the finish won't be chipping off!  

We still need a shower curtain in here and I was thinking this fabric might be good?   It's shared by boys and girls so I probably should keep that in mind.  I had a few other ideas but felt it might be too "girly".  Does that matter in a bathroom?  I over analyze everything .   Which keeps me from doing and finishing things, which keeps me from blogging.  Do you see the trend here?!

What kind of fabric could you see in this room?  This one or another? I love hearing your input, helps me in the decision making!! 

Hope you enjoyed the tour! :)

Gonna party over at

Come join the fun!  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Blogging Special tricks!

this one is fake up there, if you want the real button you gotta click on the one to the right!

  For a couple of years now I have wanted to "customize" my header.   I have looked through the "skins" that you can "fit" on your blog.  I tried a few but really wanted just a nice header I could change the pictures in.   Maybe I'm just dumb technologically disadvantaged , but I could never figure it out.  And I had ALWAYS wanted my very own cool blog button like all the cool bloggers have.   And one by one, I would ask my cool blogger friends and they would say they had this one and that one design it for them.  Or they actually knew how to do it for themselves.  Some of them spent a little bit and some spent a lot.  I thought about having mine done by someone but I think I'm just cheap,.  And please do misread what I am saying, I completely understand people having their blogs designed.  I just couldn't see spending money on it when I had pretty much deserted it for months.  Most of my "cool" friend bloggers have big followings and lots and lots of content. I never have a problem spending money at the thrift store, or consignment or on my little furry friend Noah!    Anyway, I digress.....

Anyhoo, last week I googled "blog button" I was determined this time to do this!  I stumbled upon Pink on the Cheek, where Lauren blogs at.  And low and behold there was a SUPER easy tutorial she had written to do this with the help of  Pic Monkey.  She gives STEP BY STEP for slow people like me  instructions how to do it.  Well I tried and tried to get it to load, but it wouldn't.  And in the meantime I had made a really cool multi-picture header which I had always wanted as well.   So out of the blue I email Lauren, who by the way is a complete stranger.  Within minutes she emails me back asking if I had followed step A,B and C.  I tell her I think I have but one can never really be sure if I am doing this right.  I give her my blog address and the link to the picture.  Five more minutes go by and I now have the golden link that contains the blog button in it.  I enter it and VOILA I have a cool blog button like all my cool blog friends!   A few hours later it dawns on me that I need the little "box" for the linky to the blog button, so anyone (well after reading this, no one will, lol!) who wishes to grab my  blog button, actually can.    I email Lauren again,( thinking in my head this poor soul put a post out and now some blonder than blonde girl is bothering her for MORE info) about the linky.  She tells me she's working on it.   The next morning I have a link in my email box!!!

So this is a big THANK YOU LAUREN!   Stop by her blog and see how easy it is.  And look at how stinkin' cute she is too!    Lauren you ROCK!  


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My boys turn 12! And pumpkin cake...

My first born twin boys are 12!!!

How could twelve years go by so quickly?  How can they be 12 if I was just pregnant yesterday?  I want time to stop or at least slow down!    I have very caring, warm, loving boys, who are also BOYS!  Those of you who have boys know what I mean.  Which usually means beating each other with light sabers one minute, building legos the next, then jumping and doing flips on the trampoline that I repeatedly tell them NOT to do, to playing house and reading with their little sister.  Blessed we are to have them!

There is a mad dash in our house.  It begins at Thanksgiving and the Saturday after we decorate for Christmas. Ten days later is my birthday, then two days later is my niece's birthday, ten more days after that is my oldest sisters birthday and then 2 days later is Christmas Eve, which we host!!  Christmas day we go to my parents house.  NYE is pretty low key, we stay home or go to my parents house.  Then a week later is my boys' birthday party.   See?  I wasn't kidding when I said there is a mad dash! 

We had a great family party.  I could not think of what to cook until literally 2 days before the party.  I was making myself crazy.  Then I decided on baked ziti and oven roasted chicken with sausage, salad and Italian bread!  Two BIG baking pans basically, but not a lot of work to feed a crowd!   

My mother always helps me out and makes one of the cakes.  We always have two, since there are two birthday boys.   They requested chocolate this year.  But I needed a non-chocolate choice for our non-chocolate eating guests.   I remembered buying a Mary Engelbreit cookbook at a book fair a year or more ago and there was a delicious sounding  pumpkin cake recipe in there.  And I had a can of pumpkin left over from making Thanksgiving pies.   And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!    

Pumpkin Cake 
1 cup veg oil
1 (15 oz can) pumpkin  (I used half of a 28 oz can)
3 eggs
3 cups of sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cloves (I omitted the cloves, I didn't have any and I think they overpower some recipes but that is my opinion only!)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.  grease and flour a bundt pan.  In a large bowl add the veg oil, pumpkin puree, and eggs, blend well.  Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan  bake for 60- 75 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Mine took 75 mins, and I checked at 60 but wasn't done yet.
Remove from the oven and turn out onto plate.  Cover with plastic wrap until cook to hold in moisture.  I made mine the day before and then "frosted" it with Cool Whip!  Moist and yummy!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Featured at.....

I am SO excited to be featured by Martina at Northern Nesting!!!   She asked me and I was so honored and flattered that she would do so.  If you haven't been over to her blog, go on over!  Your in for a treat!  She has a gorgeous home and so many wonderful projects to share!    Whenever I visit I'm ready to get my paint brush out!

Thanks again Martina!  And welcome new friends!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

To shade or not to shade

This past summer we changed the chandelier in the Dining room.  I don't think I ever posted a picture of it.  It's very similar to the one that was in there, but it has 12 lights.  I think the other one had 6 or 9?  I should just look at the old picture!     Anyway, while I LOVE the new chandelier, it's BRIGHT.  REALLY BRIGHT even though I only have 25 watt bulbs in it.    So I bought a couple of shades to play around with it.  I can't decide whether I should put shades on it, leave it without shades or just install a dimmer.  Then again I could put the dimmer and STILL put the shades on! Then I start to think when my beloved incandescent bulbs are no longer available I will want shades to cover those ugly light bulbs.   Even though I am hoarding the good ones in my basement!   See why I get nothing done?!  Sometimes I can't make a decision to save my life! 

      That is where YOU come in! I'd love to hear your thoughts.  What do you like better? With or without?  Which shape?  Take a look and let me know what you think!

Here are some pictures of the options...


Monday, January 7, 2013

Ginger Jar Lamp redo

This was an extremely fun project.   The problem is,  very often  I forget to take BEFORE pictures.  And this time is no exception.

Edited to add*   I completely forgot to mention that this lamp was one of my Sally's (aka Salvation army) finds, by now you know this is one of my favorite stores.  I paid $3.99 for the lamp.  

  I tried very hard to find a similar lamp online that looked like the one I had.  Then I remembered I already had a pic of the lamp in its original state. Good thing I'm a picture hoarder! Which I had in my keeping room for a year.   I have been adding some turquoise or robins egg blue in the Family room because the Bosporus toile has some blue in it.  And also I was ready to introduce a new color.  The more the merrier right?

Here is the original lamp

 After an extremely unsuccessful attempt at chalk paint on this lamp, I used a turquoise-y blue spray paint.  Once that was dry I went over it with black, brown and wicker white craft paint.  Just to give it a lil patina.  Since I looovveee all things patina'd! 

Had this lampshade from another lamp.  I got it from PB on sale last winter.

 Clearance finial from my FAVORITE new store, Hobby Lobby!  I have waited YEARS for one of these! :)

Finished lamp with the light off......

Finished lamp with the light on! 

Easy, fun lamp project!

Joining the party at

Wow us Wednesday's at Savvy Southern Style


Friday, January 4, 2013

*UPDATE* more blogger picture problems.....

I investigated a bit and found this, copy and paste to follow....

The photo upload icon is not appearing for some users on Internet Explorer. We're investigating the issue and will update this post as soon as we have more information.

I wondered if anyone else is having any picture problems?  I am trying to post new pictures and it says I can "upload" but none of the icons are there to do so.  Although it will let me upload from picasa or my blog, phone or url.........

This is sooooooooooooooooo frustrating!  Any ideas or input?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  It's so discouraging. :(

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Day

New Year's Day was very low key at our house.  It almost always is.  John took the boys skiing, which they fell in love with last year.  I stayed home and caught up on some laundry, then snuck off to the barn for a New Years ride on Noah.  Since it was his birthday and all, I thought it was only right I go see him. ;)    Well, it wasn't his REAL birthday, but according to The Jockey Club all Thoroughbreds birthdays are on January 1st.  So a big, happy 17th birthday to my Noah boy!

This was a picture from a show from last year, sorry to wake you up to compete, lol
Then I came home and we had leftovers from NYE at my parents house.  I decided to try a new Blueberry Muffin recipe from Gwyneth's cookbook.  And it did not disappoint! why does that look and feel like it's spelled wrong even though it's not? drives me crazy!   It was quick, easy and delicious!  I didn't have enough blueberries for the whole recipe so I cut it in half and it was perfect!


     Do you do resolutions?  Do you have any ideas or thoughts for your New Year?  I don't really do resolutions anymore, don't want to feel badly about things that I didn't stick to.   However, I do try to just make life better, enjoy things more, be present with my family and friends.  I look back and try to improve things (which there is ALWAYS room for improvement).   
      I feel there will be projects GALORE for 2013!  My paint brush is ready!  My mind is swirling with ideas, so many that I don't know where to start!   I would love to hear your New Year's thoughts.
Happy New Year to you ALL!




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