Friday, April 14, 2017

When You Have Lemons...

I know that most of you think that when you have lemons, you make lemonade.  Not me!  If I have a few lemons and some pink hydrangeas laying around, they remind me to get out the lemon-flavored pudding, some yellow cake mix and make this wonderful recipe for Easter...Warm Winter Lemon Cake. 


I know the title of the cake indicates that it is only intended for winter, but the look of this wonderful-tasting cake reminds me of nothing but spring!  I found this recipe a few years ago at kraftrecipes.com.  I fell in love with it immediately because the photo looked appetizing and it seemed so easy to make.  And if you've been reading my blog, you know I'm all about easy!


Give this cake a try for your dessert on Easter, you won't be disappointed.

I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed Easter....and don't eat all of those boiled eggs at one time...you'll get worms! ;-)


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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Closing, Moving and Catastrophes, Section B...

They say war is hell...but so is moving!


You would think that I would be used to it by now since we've moved so many times.  While I do have some parts of it down pretty well, others still throw me....like how much stuff we have after we've down-sized 12 trillion times!!  I will admit that 40 boxes of books is a bit crazy; unfortunately, we love them all and can't seem to let go of them.  What is even more crazy is that I have about 7 boxes filled with books that don't have covers...I mean, really, who keeps that many books with no covers??!!


Me, that's who!  I love them!  They are a perfect neutral decorating tool and I try to use them in every room.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We have only been sleeping in the house about a week and a half.  My health is much better and I can do a few things without feeling immediately exhausted.  The hubster and I are afraid to mention the word w-a-t-e-r.  It has become taboo...at least for the time being.

Even though it is a new house, I have things I want to change and improve.  The half bath and laundry room need personality and a new paint color.  I really want to get started, but I've learned to pace myself.

The hall and stairwell "boob" lights are begging to be taken down and replaced with cute chandeliers.  I've found several that I like...a decision just needs to be made.  No rush though.

The house is a small two-story and seems to have two different personalities.  Downstairs, all of the spaces are light, bright and airy.  It stays much cooler downstairs because of the concrete floors.  That's a big plus here in Texas.


Upstairs has carpet and is not as light and airy.  It feels heavy to me because of the carpet.  There are 3 bedrooms and 2 baths upstairs.  All of the bedrooms have windows, but it still feels heavy.  I probably just need to get them decorated to give them a different vibe.  Each bedroom has one shiplap wall.  We don't have a bonus space but the landing is large enough for a TV and sofa.

One of the areas that will see little to no change is the kitchen.  I love it just the way it is, well, except for the blue painter's tape scattered all around (marking places that need touch-up).  We will definitely be removing the tape!


The white cabinets and gray/white counter tops are perfect.  During the day, light floods this space! We did add under-cabinet lighting for night-time and I'm glad we made that small change.


While we've had some difficulties and issues we do love this sweet little cottage of ours.  I will be sharing more photos as I get rooms pulled together and organized.  Purchasing new bedding for the master bedroom has been about to drive me nuts, but I was finally able to make a decision.  I hope to be able to share that before too long.  Baby steps...


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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Closing, Moving and Catastrophes, Part One...

I didn't plan on being away so long but life happens and flies right on by without even a nod in your direction.  Unfortunately, it did manage to stick it's foot out and kick me in the butt!

I'm going to give you the Reader's Digest diary version...believe me, it is best that way.


We were supposed to close on March 15th but rescheduled for March 13th.  That closing didn't make it, nor did the closing scheduled for March 15th.  Reset for March 16th...that one didn't take either.  Why all of the delays?  The builder couldn't get a Certificate of Occupancy due to the fact that no irrigation system had been installed.  Here in our city, it is mandatory with new construction.  UGH! Thankfully, the builder let us have access to the house to get a few things done.  Our appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator) were delivered on Friday, March 17th.  The dryer had to be returned and a new delivery date/time was set.


I woke up on Sunday, March 19th with a sore throat...figured it was a result of allergies and stress.  We finally closed on Monday, March 20th.  That afternoon the half bath toilet started leaking at the base.  We turned off the water in that bathroom, called the builder and waited for an appointment with the plumber.  By that evening, I'm really sick...with I don't know what.  Whatever it is gets progressively worse each day...but we still proceed with moving.  Moving was sssllllloooowwww and unpacking has been even slower...I hate being sick!

The blind guy arrived on Thursday to install blinds, the plumber arrived on Friday the 24th to reset the toilet and replace a broken seal.  The new dryer, the cable guy, our new bed from Wayfair and our new IKEA furniture also arrived on the 24th.  The house had a revolving door that day!  The cable guy cut himself, ran down the stairs dripping blood and whining like a 4-year-old and I was still sounding like that "hello doll" chick on The Andy Griffith Show. Communication between me and the dryer delivery guy was comical...I couldn't speak Spanish and he couldn't speak "hello doll" English.


Monday, March 27th, I'm still sick...still can't eat and my weight has dropped to a very unhealthy number...gah!! As I was brushing my teeth that morning, I heard a gurgling sound from the sink.  I turned off the water and the noise stopped.  After brushing my teeth (don't you love these details?), I decided I would try to clean the tub in the master bath...it still contained some construction residue.  While scrubbing the tub, and yes, I knew I should be in bed, I hear the gurgling noise again.  I turn off the water, look over by the shower and see about 2 inches of water flooding the floor...coming out of the drain in the shower.  I grabbed every towel I could, threw them all on the floor and called the hubster.  He in turn called the builder.  Another visit from the plumber on Tuesday evening and they resolved the problem....2 1/2 hours later.  You know what else they had to come back to do??!!  Anyone? Anyone?  Yep, Wednesday morning they had to come back to finish re-setting the master toilet...another broken seal.  Pfft...lots of words were muttered under my breath!  And they were not "please" and "thank you".

I am, however, very thankful that we have concrete floors downstairs or there would be quite a bit of construction mess going on with the installation of new flooring.


This past weekend I finally started feeling better and have been able to get a few things in place.  I've also been eating everything that isn't nailed down...thankfully!  The hubster has been amazing!!  He moved us, took care of me, made sure I was getting meds and rest, installed the new chandelier in our master bedroom closet, installed the new light fixture in the laundry room, changed out door knobs, put all of the new furniture together,  programmed our remotes for the garage door....all the while working at work and tackling the "honey-do" list!

Sooooo (sorry, honey), I will share a few more updates and photos in the next post.  One big mess...that's how we roll!


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Thursday, March 9, 2017

In The Easter Parade...

Everyone is gearing up for spring and Easter and I am loving all of the beautiful decor I've been admiring on Instagram and Pinterest.

While I currently do not have a home to decorate, I am more than happy to share some photos of my Easter decorations.  Believe me, these decorations will be all over the place once we move!

I found this little pot at Kirkland's a few years ago...


I keep this little rabbit out all year long, but give him center stage in the Easter decor...


I've always thought of him as my little good luck charm.  Hmmm, now that I think about it, I don't think he really brings good luck...look at all of our house catastrophes...LOL

I really like the soft, pastel-colored eggs...


...but admit that I did pick up some blingy gold ones the other day.  I will have to figure out how to make them work.  Maybe I can find a ceramic goose and leave the trail of eggs behind it. ;-)

While I love this nesty-type stuff (not sure what it's called), it makes such a mess...


...I'll get over it, it looks too pretty not to use.


On a different note, am I the only one who forgets that my computer is a touch screen and I mess everything up when I go to wipe a piece of fuzz off the screen??!!  Frustrating! :-)


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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Cottage On the Hill...

We received word that it looks like we are actually going to close on this little cottage-style house.  We are waiting on another survey and our lender has told them to get on it and make it snappy!


When the hubster first found the listing, he said "here is a house that is just your style, not mine so much, but yours."  I was in love with it the minute I saw the photo.  The hubster has since grown to love it as much as I do.


I love cottage-style homes and have always dreamed of owning one.  The first house we wanted to have built was a cottage-style home in a community of other cottage-style homes.  Here in Texas, the majority of the homes are brick and Austin stone.  They are pretty but I really wanted something that was different and thankfully, we found it.

All of the floors downstairs are acid-washed concrete.  Very different, but they fit perfectly in this house.  It doesn't have a foyer or grand entry....the front door opens right into the living area...just like older homes.  Since most of the homes in this little area ARE older homes, the builder wanted to make sure the house fit in.

The house doesn't have a big kitchen, but the living/kitchen/dining area is all "open concept" so it seems much larger than what it is.


The light fixtures are awesome, especially the one in the dining area.


I can't wait to see our table and chairs in this space.  Our dining table and chairs are so versatile...they fit perfectly in our city loft, perfectly in our rental in Tennessee, perfectly in our purchased home in Tennessee and have been fitting perfectly in a closet while packed away....see, versatile.  Gotta have versatile furniture! :-)

The master bedroom is not overly large, but a really good size (I couldn't get a good photo of the entire room, so you only get to see a small portion)...


...as is the master bath.


The master closet is perfect, with lots of built-ins!  I posted on Instagram that I envision 2 barn door sliders covering these spaces before too long.  It will be a nice DIY project for the hubster.  Y'all have seen how I destroyed a little footstool, so there is no way I'm going to tackle using power tools and good wood!  I give termites the heebie-jeebies!

As you can see from these few photos, there is a fair amount of shiplap in this home.  The bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs all have shiplap on at least one wall.  And the tile in the upstairs bathrooms....


...it looks like old bricks! I love it!  So different!

So there's the sneak peak of the little cottage we hope to be moving into in the next few weeks!  I've been so excited about this house....much like a dog chasing it's tail...drooling and laughing! :-)


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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

And Another One Gone...

Another one bites the dust seems to be the theme in our search for a home!


You probably thought my absence from the blog meant that we were closing on our house and moving...that's where you'd be wrong.  We were not able to meet the deadline set by the builder and didn't close.  We were disappointed but not crushed about not closing on that house.  Fortunately, this isn't our first rodeo.  We decided to be a bit ahead of the game and set out to find a "back-up" home in the event of not being able to meet the deadline.  We found one, made an offer and they accepted.  We are back in the saddle again.  Yes, I know...western "cliches".  :-)

This next house is much smaller, thankfully, and is not a "cookie cutter" house.  The builder is an individual, rather than a company, so the homes they build are different.  It is a bit more "farmhouse-style" than I really like but I think by choosing the right decor, I can make it the little cottage I've always dreamed of owning.  We are calling it "The House on the Hill".  It's actually more of a steep incline, but "The House on the Steep Incline" just didn't sound very appealing.

I have been very hesitant to share any news on the blog about us finding a different home because I feel like I'm just jinxing the entire house-hunting process by even talking about it...crazy, I know.  I have shared a few photos on Instagram and would love for to you to take a peek over there and let me know what you think.  Just follow the link to find me!

Now, on to other things...I've been away from the blog because we have so many things going on....trying to get closed on a house, looking for a house after each one falls through, tons of work, company and personal taxes and most importantly, my mother's and nephew's health.  I had to travel back to Alabama because they both had heart attacks a couple of weeks ago and since I've returned, my mother has had congestive heart failure which required yet another hospital stay.  She is going to need heart surgery in the next few weeks to repair a mitral valve and replace an aortic valve.  They will not be able to perform the surgery without opening up the chest completely.   Her health is not good right now so prayers for her and for our family would be much appreciated.  The doctors have still not been able to find out what is wrong with my nephew....we are terribly worried about him.  He is still experiencing unexplained fever and heart issues.

Since I will once again be traveling back and forth to Alabama (in addition to work travel), I'm not sure how often I will be able to sit down to write a post.  I will try to be posting pics of the new house (if we close and move) to my Instagram so that I can stay in touch with all of you.  And, I hope to be throwing some idea boards together for the new place!


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I Ain't Sayin' She A Gold Digger...

I'm going to go ahead and make a confession...I am such a freak!  Not in a bad way mind you, but in a bizarre sort of way.

For instance, I found these cute gold and white file folders a while back.  I've really been attracted to all things gold lately.  The hubster's sweating...he wants to make sure the gold attraction doesn't turn to the jewelry department.


Now, the normal person doesn't care if the binder clips and paper clips and push pins and pencils do not match the file folders.  But for me, the freak of the week, I need for these things to coordinate and/or match or my brain just has itself a little conniption fit.  If you are not from the south, I know you have no idea what a "conniption" fit is.  It is officially defined as a fit of rage or hysterics.  I don't get mad if these things don't match or coordinate, but I do indulge in a little bit of hysterics.  My brain just can't seem to function until there is order and coordination.  I can't remember if that is left brain or right brain...either way, I have that brain.  What I don't have is the craft brain, which is probably why my craft-projects are all failures!  But I digress...

Even though I don't have anything special to put in them, I just love these gold and white folders.  They make my work seem so much less tedious.  Unfortunately, in order for me to use the folders, I needed to find some coordinating supplies....see, freak of the week.

While out prowling shopping around one day, I came across these little beauties!


I was ecstatic!  I actually squealed a little when I found them.


Most of these items were found at HomeGoods in a packaged set.  The sweet little pencils, the frame and the @ sign were found at Hobby Lobby.


I cannot wait to get these things all set up in our home office.  I have a gold stapler and gold-handled pair of scissors....somewhere....in storage....packed away.


Please tell me I'm not the only one out there who's a gold digger!


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Monday, February 13, 2017

Cream Puffs for Valentine's...

A couple of years ago, I did a fancy little meal for the hubster for Valentine's Day.  You can check it out here. Via this blog post, I'm informing him that the fancy little meal will not be happening this year.  We just have too many irons in the fire...my mom had another heart attack Thursday night, my nephew (27 years-old) had a heart attack Friday night, I made a quick trip to Birmingham (flying back and forth), we did not close on the new house on Friday, we've had to reschedule several deliveries and utility services, we have lots of meetings going on with the hubster's business and have got to get some business travel scheduled.  He will be lucky if he gets a PB&J with the crusts cut off!

Since I couldn't prepare a special meal for us, I decided to make a quick and easy dessert for Valentine's.  Much like Sandra Lee, I'm all about shortcuts and foods being "semi-homemade".  Sometimes, it's just the way it is.

I chose these little cream puffs to make because they are easy...and right now, I need easy.  I rolled out some store-bought puff pastry...


....cut the sheets into small squares, baked them for the required time and let them cool on a wire rack.  I then sprinkled the puffs with powdered sugar...


...and topped them with whipped cream and grated chocolate.


See, easy peasy.  They taste very light...you can eat 1, 2 or 10 and not feel guilty! :-)

I made up a few for the blog and saved the rest of the pastries in a baggie to decorate tomorrow evening.  I also plan to add some chocolate syrup and just to make it healthy, add a few sliced strawberries.


There is one very important thing I do need to share.  When you are grating the chocolate, hold on to the chocolate tightly so that it does not slip...you might accidentally grate your knuckles if your grip slips a little!  Now, I'm not saying that's what happened, I'm just saying it COULD happen! ;-)

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!


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Friday, February 10, 2017

It Was the Best of Times; It Was the Worst of Times...

I know that at the end of every year (or right at the beginning of the New Year), bloggers write about their top posts for that year.  I thought about doing that but given that I only had 33 posts for 2016 (the ol' blog was a little neglected)...I think they would all fall into the "worst" category!

Sooooo, I decided to do a "The Best and The Worst" of my blog posts.  I've only been blogging for 2 years, so I don't have a lot of "street cred".  The post that was "best" for me, might fall into your "lame crap" category, but that's okay.  I'm good with it! :-)

Now, on to the winners...

Through the Looking Glass...



This has been my top post of all time.  This project was easy and I didn't screw it up.  If you read my blog, you know I am not a craft-project guru and things normally do not turn out very well.  You know, like trying that new recipe and setting the kitchen on fire...that's how craft projects work for me!

In the Bedroom...


I wrote this post to tell about some of the fun things we do in bed, however, I'm not going to elaborate here...you can go back and read the post or use your imagination! :-)

Coffee-Cured Filet Mignon....


Great recipe and absolutely delicious (per the hubster)!  'Nuff said.

The biggest loser of my blogging career was this post...It's All About the Cheese....


No, don't bother to go back and read it...it was a yawner to write and even more of one to read...much too technical for me and it was an early post...long before I found the style I wanted to use for this blog.

On to the honorable mention....The Stool Pigeon...


This was one of my most epic failures in the crafting department...and no one will let me forget...especially when I keep bringing it up! :-)  It. Was. Horrible.  But, I bounced back and worked on another stool project or two that turned out okay.  Don't you just hate that word "stool"?!

I've always heard that if you can't be a good example, then try to be a horrible warning....


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Because Why Not Start There...

I've been away from the blog again....for a very good reason.  We have been trying to get things completed for our upcoming closing and for our move this weekend!  YAY!!

We are excited about the house and I am definitely looking forward to adding personal touches to this house.  I've already picked out new pendant lighting, chandeliers, rugs, wall colors, etc.  I know the hubster is super excited about all the work I've got lined up for him over the next year! :-)  It will take a while to make all the changes....it's a long list!!   But it is all part of moving into a new home...and all part of living in a home you've been in for a while.  We are women....we like decorating changes in our home as trends come and go and even if we are not trendy in our decorating choices, we just like to shake things up sometimes.

Over the next few posts I will be sharing "before" pics of the house.  Let's start with the kitchen...because....why not start there?


The photos I'm sharing are the realtor photos so the lighting isn't the best.

I love the cabinets.  We will be adding hardware and soft-close hinges to the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.  We had soft-close hinges at our house in Tennessee...what a difference they make!

For the pendant lights...they will eventually be replaced with one of these....


I haven't quite decided which one, but the fact that the light at World Market is out-of-stock indefinitely, may cause me to choose the Wayfair light.  I will show the chandy choices I like for the breakfast area another time!  I know I should show you now, but there has to be some mystery in our relationship, right?? ;-)

One more view of the kitchen before I scoot out...


....because right now, I'm running Henny Penny and Willy Nilly trying to get ready to move! :-)


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