Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chrysanthemums & bread machines

Hello everyone! I do believe Fall has arrived! The trees are losing their leaves, the chrysanthemums are blooming and the bread machine is back on the counter!

And to kick off this wonderfully cool weather, last night we had Beef & Barley stew and home made whole wheat bread!! Yup, the ice cream maker has been put away and the bread machine brought out. That is my way of saying, Fall is here and it's time for comforting warm foods for cold nights!

The beef & barley stew was just one of those made up things. You just sort of take stock of what you have and then chop, slice and use up. You really can't go wrong when you just wing it for stews and soups. And the thing I really like about making soups and stews is that you can let it simmer for hours and hours and it only makes it better at the end of the day!

But the best thing about Fall is the bread! I ADORE fresh baked bread! Straight out of the oven, sliced, buttered and oh my goodness! The bread crust is crunchy/chewy and the center of the bread is warm and buttery and slides down your throat! Oh my! Just thinking about it makes me want to go and cut another slice off and toast it and add a dab of jam on it!

Anyhowwwww. I have an old Sunbeam, 2lb. Expressbake bread machine. My honey got it for me way back in 1996 or maybe 97'. I didn't use it much back then. I wasn't a real big fan of bread machine bread. I didn't care for the way it looked when you took it out of the machine. And the texture always seemed to be off. But then I discovered the dough setting. That setting has totally changed my life! I now use that setting exclusively. Although I do have a Kitchen Aide mixer, I don't use it for making pizza crusts or bread doughs any longer. The bread machine kneads the bread and takes care of the first rise process with no hassles. And then I take out the dough and shape it and let it rise again and then bake it off. And it comes out perfect EVERY TIME!

Yesterday I made a whole wheat bread using a recipe that I had never tried before. I got it out of my "Bread Machine how to prepare and bake the perfect loaf" by Jennie Shapter, that Baby Girl gave me years ago! I followed the recipe, Light Whole-Wheat Bread, and then set it on the dough setting. When it was done, I took it out, shaped it and set it in the bread pan and let it raise again. Then I baked it at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

For those of you who would like to make this bread here is the recipe. I'm not sure how you would go about adjusting it, if at all, for those who will not be using a bread machine. But if you are interested in making this bread here is the recipe.

Light Whole-Wheat Bread

1 3/4 cups water
3 cups whole-wheat bread flour
1 1/3 cups white bread flour
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. rapid-rise active dry yeast

1 Pour the water into the bread machine pan. If the instructions for your bread machine specify that the yeast is to be placed in the pan first, rexerse the order in which you add the liquid and dry ingredients to the pan.

2 Sprinkle each type of flour over in turn, ensuring that the water is covered. Add the sal, sugar and butter in separate corners of the bread pan. Make a shallow indentation in the center of the flour and add the yeast.

3 Set the bread machine to the basic/normal setting, medium crust. Press Start.
*Set the machine to dough setting at this point if you'd like to shape your own bread.*

At the end of the dough cycle. Turn out the dough and shape as you like it. Then set it aside in a warm place until dough doubles in size. At which time you may then place your bread in a pre-heated oven set at 400 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.

For those of you who have a bread machine, do you use your bread machines for the whole bread or just the dough setting?

Hope everyone is planning on a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by! ;-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Babka and....

Hello everyone!

I have been a busy, busy girl! I'm in the middle of three major projects! (Major for me) I have been knitting baby girl things, I found a lovely and simple baby sweater that I only made three mistakes on! (sheesh) working on the baby bonnet made from silk hankies (not finished because I also worked on a baby quilt and quilt finger and silk hankies don't work well together.) I am currently working on the baby quilt for my granddaughter who will arrive in November (Yay!) AND.... I am working on a new vanity bench that I got off Craigslist a while ago! Phew!

So, I have no new pictures of the baby quilt I made for my niece. She did send me a picture of it but you can't really see anything of the quilt, just her adorable baby girl named Naomi! And I don't have pictures of my granddaughters quilt, sweater, bonnet or booties because I have absolutely NO natural light today. Just cloudiness and I didn't take any pictures of them when we did have nice, beautiful natural light all last week! ;-)

But, what I am going to do today is post the Babka recipe here instead. I had a couple of requests for said recipe and you know I'm all about being receptive to requests.... ;-)

So, here you go. And I hope that someday you will remember this recipe and make it because it is seriously delicious!

Chocolate Babka

Makes 3 loaves

1 1/2 cups warm milk, 110 degrees
2 (1/4 ounce each) packages active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups plus a pinch of sugar
3 whole large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature plus more for bowl and loaf pans
2 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped*
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Streusel topping (see below)

Pour warm milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over milk; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and egg yolks. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture, and beat on low speed until almost all the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Change to the dough hook. Add 2 sticks butter, and beat until flour mixture and butter are completely incorporated, and a smooth, soft dough that’s slightly sticky when squeezed is formed, about 10 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few turns until smooth. Butter a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Place chocolate, remaining cup sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in remaining 1 1/2 sticks butter until well combined, set filling aside.

Generously butter three 9-by-5-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pans; line them with parchment paper.
Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon cream; set egg wash aside.

Punch back the dough, and transfer to a clean surface. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut into 3 equal pieces. Keep 2 pieces covered with plastic wrap while working with the remaining piece.

On a generously floured surface, roll dough out into a 16-inch square; it should be 1/8 inch thick.
Brush edges with reserved egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of the reserved chocolate filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Refresh egg wash if needed. Roll dough up tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch ends together to seal. Twist 5 or 6 turns. Brush top of roll with egg wash. Carefully crumble 2 tablespoons filling over the left half of the roll, being careful not to let mixture slide off. Fold right half of the roll over onto the coated left half. Fold ends under, and pinch to seal. Twist roll 2 turns, and fit into prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of dough and remaining filling. (When shaping the babka, twist dough evenly throughout the length of the roll a full 5 to 6 turns.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of streusel topping over each loaf. Loosely cover each pan with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place 20 to 30 minutes. (The babka can be prepared up to step 8 and frozen for up to a month before baking. When ready to bake, remove from freezer; let stand at room temperature for about 5 hours, and bake.)

Bake loaves, rotating halfway through, until golden, about 55 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until babkas are deep golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from oven, and transfer to wire racks until cool. Remove from pans; serve.

Babkas freeze well for up to 1 month.

* After chopping the chocolate into moderately sized chunks, I used the food processor to pulse the rest of the chocolate in two batches to small bits. It saved a lot of time!

Streusel Topping

Makes 3 3/4 cups

1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and butter. Using a fork, stir until fully combined with clumps ranging in size from crumbs to 1 inch.

And there you have it. This is a Martha Stewart recipe and it is absolutely, dangerously delicious! I do hope you all will find a time to make it!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blogger comments and food

Hello everyone! So, I only just realized that I had comments that had never gotten posted. So sorry about that. I am not sure what happened, but I finally got around to looking at my comment moderations page and wouldn't you know it, there were comments I hadn't seen before!

So, I believe all comments have been moderated to date. Phew!

Now, on to one of my favorite things..... FOOD!

I have not been very good about blogging the foods that I have been making. I generally try new recipes every week. And then there are those days when I just go with the tried and trues. Well last week I saw a recipe for Rice noodles with beef gravy (kwaytiow neua sahp). It's a Vietnamese dish and it was AWE-SOME! I found it at Sidewalk Shoes. I had the foresight to paste the recipe into Evernote so I was able to make the recipe. And I'm glad I did because this one is a keeper! It was super YUMMY!

I LOVE fish sauce! Seriously! It's not the best smelling thing you'll ever open a cap to. But, boy howdy it sure does something special to the taste of a dish! There was really only one bad thing about this recipe. And that was that it tasted so good that we, my honey and I, both had seconds! You know how it is, you're stuffed, full to the gills, but you just want more of that taste in your mouth so you grab a second helping. That was us with this dish. Seriously, yum-o!

Now, here is something I made last Friday! And it took ALL DAY FRIDAY to make this!

What you are looking at is a Chocolate Babka! It is what is left of the three loaves I baked last Friday! I got this from Goop which is a site I subscribe to and I get weekly e-mails with all kinds of interesting things. Like one week it will be about fashion or another week about restaurants in various cities. Well, last week it was about Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Lunar Calendar Year. And to help with the celebrations you could serve something like, Rugelach, or Honey Apple cake or Chocolate Babka. Well, they had recipes for all three of these sweets that I mentioned. But the one that captured my attention was the Chocolate Babka because of the Jerry Seinfeld Show! We used to watch that every week. And now we enjoy watching the re-runs every evening. Anyhow there is an episode where Jerry and Elaine are invited to a friends house and they decide to go to the bakery on their way to the get-together to pick up a Chocolate Babka. They end up not getting the Chocolate Babka because the person before them had gotten the last one! So then Jerry and Elaine find out that there is another Babka! A Cinnamon Babka. Of course, it's not the Chocolate Babka that they had their heart set on. In their eyes the Cinnamon Babka was an inferior Babka. But, they couldn't go to the get-together empty handed! Of course there is more to the episode but you get the important part which was..... The Chocolate Babka!

So, anyhow, when I saw the recipe, well, I knew I had to make it. I've never seen a babka before, other than on the Sienfeld Show and even then they don't give you a very good shot of it. So I wasn't too sure about what I was doing. But the recipe was pretty easy to read and understand. It just took ALL DAY to make!

Let me tell you what! I now understand why Elaine and Jerry made such a big deal over that Babka. I made three loaves (that's what the recipe made) and when we took a bite, it was LOVE AT FIRST BITE! It is chocolate in bread that also had a nice little crunch from the streussel topping! OH MY GOSH! There were alarm's going off in my head! I knew this was going to kill any resolve I EVER had about eating less! If I didn't get these loaves out of my house.... Well, it would be the death of me! So, I gave a loaf to my neighbors across the street! I gave half a loaf to my next door neighbors! Then I gave a half a loaf to our friend and Choir Director! She has two small kids that are rod thin and can get away with eating this bread! We also gave half a loaf to Baby-Girl but she left our house and forgot it so we gave it to another friend of ours! We ate half a loaf. And if we hadn't given the others away when we did, we'd be eating them right this second!

And man let me just say, Chocolate Babka is wicked good!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Who's the daddy?

Can you tell which



Isn't life interesting? ;-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Garden Tuesday ~ Natures bling

This is the prettiest thing that has grown in my garden all season! Just look at the sparkling, gold collar on this delicately shaded jade green form. Amazing!

This will be my entry for Sidewalk Shoes Garden Tuesday.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I love my fil!

Hello all!

So, I must say, I absolutely adore my FIL! That's Father-in-law, in case you didn't know. He has been so, so kind in making me things. First as you may recall was my lovely, one of a kind, spice rack.

It has been so wonderful to be able to have ALL my spices in one location! It's certainly made my cooking time faster now that I don't have to go searching for any particular item!

And so now, he has taken pitty on me and made me a beautiful oak book shelf that looks like it's a built in! He moved a light switch to the other side of the wall which is so wonderful. I'm not sure why it is that it wasn't like that to begin with. But it's done now and it makes sense!

Anyhow, as usual. In my excitement over having this wonderful new item made for me, I forgot to take a bunch of before pictures. I took a few of the book shelf when it was already installed and I was beginning to stain it. So here is that photo.

In the picture you can see how dark it is. I ended up going over it with another color stain to add a bit more red to it. I was trying to match it up to the stain that was already on the window and door frames.

It's still a little more brown than I wanted. But I was nervous about making it too red. The shelf actually matches the color of the baseboard more than the window and door frames. And the T.V. is something that get's moved from one room to another. So the cords are all showing. But, I'm okay with that. Normally the T.V. is in the sun room which is kind of our small family room.

So, I've got most of my cookbooks on the shelf. I've downsized quite a bit! Now I need to figure out how to use the bottom of half of the shelves as a pantry too. I don't want to nail or screw any holes into the shelf so that limits how I can use it as a pantry. But I'm not thrilled with the plastic containers sitting out there in the open either. I like my cracker tin that is on the bottom. I would love to have some other tins to maybe store my pasta's in. Or, maybe some pretty glass jars? OH! Maybe some larger WECK jars..... Hmmm, I might have to see if I can get my hands on some of the large jars.

And so this project continues. ;-)

Hope everyone had a great weekend! See you soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

OMG! That Yarn Harlot....

Is anyone else as annoyed as I am over the Yarn Harlot and her never ending bevy of adorable baby knits? Perhaps, *annoyed* is not the correct word I want to use. Envious is definitely more appropriate! She is the reason why my grandbaby has so little in the way of Nana-knitted items. (I hope the Yarn Harlot doesn't mind me using her as my new excuse!) The Yarn Harlot has churned out four baby items in just that many days. As for me.... I've managed to complete 16 rows of my baby bonnet that I started 10 days ago!

Every morning I go on line and see that she has yet another item up for show and tell. And I sit here wondering how the heck does she do it!?! Okay, I know that she's been knitting for a long time and all. And I've only started three years ago. And yes, I have gone on-line and I have seen her actually knitting! And it doesn't seem human to be able to knit THAT fast!) But still! I'm depressed. I'm bummed. I can't seem to *get over it*!

AND to top it off.... I'm also working on a baby quilt for my niece who is about to have a little girl this month. And quilting and trying to knit using silk hankies does not equal easy or smart!
I have this problem where when I quilt, the middle finger on my left hand becomes all prickled. (I think that's a word. I'm too frustrated right now to look it up to make sure.) So then when I go to knit with the silk hanky, my fingers get all tangled up with silk fibers. It was already difficult even before I started quilting. No matter how well moisturized you think your hands are, the silk will tell you how rough your skin really is!

So, this is the quilt which is still needing quite a bit of stitching done to it.

And here is the baby bonnet.

This is a whole new technique of knitting for me. And this idea was taken from reading the Yarn Harlots blog. She made the cutest, most adorable baby bonnet out of silk hankies and I wanted to make the same exact bonnet. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out what pattern she used, which probably wouldn't have made a bit of difference had she told me because I'm sure that pattern was WAY out of my league anyhow. But, the idea of using silk hankies was so overwhelmingly fascinating to me that I decided to see if there were some Youtube videos out there explaining how to knit straight from the hankies. And sure enough, there were! So, although I don't have the antique-y looking pattern that she used, I did find something that looks like a bonnet and I'm making it. We'll see how cute it turns out. As you can see, the fiber is all wonky. That is because I did not quaddrupple check my hankie strand before I began knitting with it. But, I believe I've gotten the hang of it and it's looking a bit more even now.

But, back to my title...

I think I'll just stop reading the Yarn Harlots blog until I can get a few more knitted baby items of my own completed. Or.... until Jen's baby is born! ;-)

Okay, back to the needles........

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Year of the non-garden

This year we haven't really had an *official* garden at our house. It started off being more of a forced garden if you ask me. One day early this spring I saw a bunch of little mounds of various color greens sprouting up. It was all the volunteer lettuces coming up. I sort of let the garden we had the previous year get away from me and plants went to seed like crazy. And so this year, even though I hadn't planned on having a garden, well, I was forced to have one anyhow. After the lettuces showed up, I began to notice that there were tomatoes coming up as well. That's when I gave in and bought a few more tomato plants, cucumber plants and herbs. But, it was still not the *official* garden.

Well, I have not tended my garden at all well. I've let it get crazy when the weather got so hot that I couldn't stand outside without breaking into a major sweat! I watched my garden (through the window) grow among the weeds. Watched the many severe weather storms drag and pull our plants about. Some of our tomato plants were cut in half from the winds that came up! Some lost their cages and are now growing sprawled along the ground.

But even though they went through sever heat and were buffeted by strong winds and even through times of drought. It still produced. We had wonderful salads from all the volunteer lettuces that came up. We had succulent strawberries. And tart red rhubarb. We even had our first small serving of asparagus this year! And our black berries have been super yummy!

Our tomatoes have not fared as well. We've had some. But they have been struggling.

And initially the cucumbers did not do so well either. But, now that the weather has begun to cool off a bit... well, we've seen many more blooms on the plants. If I"m lucky I may be able to make a few jars of refrigerator pickles after all! Yum!

Here is an over all view of our sad & oh so neglected garden.....

Isn't it the saddest sight? I am embarrassed to show you how badly I've treated our little plot of ground. And I do feel badly because, as neglected as it's been, it still produced enough to feed myself and my honey! We've enjoyed this little non-garden this year. And I vow that I will show my appreciation by carefully over-wintering this little plot of ground and preparing it for a comfortable winter so that next year it will be well rested and truly loved and worked as it should be! Amen.

I will be linking this to Pams Garden Tuesday. And see how well others have minded their gardens!

Monday, August 22, 2011

More wedding....!

Hello all!

As usual it's been a busy week. Nothing spectacular to blog about. Just the regular stuff. Although, my in-laws and my favorite Aunt-in-law came over this weekend. And it was a very nice visit. Aunt Betty came over and saw our home for the first time! That was nice since we had stayed with her and Uncle Ernie MANY times over the years, it was nice to be able to share some loving hospitality in return!

But, I am not going to blog about this visit. Although, I may, the next time she comes for a visit!

This time it's going to be about Baby Girls wedding. We finally got the professional photo's done by, Matt Frye of One Tree Photography in Kansas City, and there were TONS of them! But I am just going to (try) and pick out a few of my favorites to share with you today. Enjoy!

Flowers from Manhattan, KS

(The ring bearer.)

Wedding party


Level surface...

First dance.....

Mr. & Mrs. Ising

This is just a few (seriously, there were SO many more that I wanted to share) of my favorites. It was such a wonderful day full of family and fun! Thanks for visiting and letting me share our wonderful day with you all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Where have I been?

Hello everyone!

The question is... Where have I been? The answer..... here all along.

It's been a blur of a summer. Not sure where IT went. Time seems to be moving at lightning speed these days and I feel as if I'm standing in place watching the blur of time pass me by.

I do remember cleaning. I did some intense house cleaning! Intense as in vacuuming from ceiling to floor (from picture mouldings to baseboards and everything in between!) and then wiping EVERYTHING down with a damp cloth from ceiling to floor. Cleaning air purifier filters. Changing out A/C filters. Basically trying to get rid of any cat hairs or dander so that my family members who have extreme allergies to cats won't step foot in my house and die! We have two of them. Not cats, although we do have two of them too. But, family members who are allergic to them! Happily, both of those family members were able to spend time in our house and not have too much of a reaction. But, I was exhausted! That is some intense cleaning! Well worth it, mind you! But, I would NOT do this for anyone I didn't absolutely love and adore!!!!

I've also purchased fabric to make baby quilts out of. I've gotten as far as washing the fabrics and ironing them. (Yup, I'm a pre-washer) but I haven't touched them since. I've purchased yarn as well for baby items, but... alas, haven't done anything with them either.

We've had the Sarpy County Fair already and that was a busy time. Our church has a food stand at the fairgrounds so every year we (from the church) work hard to prep chicken and other foods to sell at the fair stand. We're known for our broasted chickens and TONS of homemade pies! And we spend a week cleaning the fair stand to get it ready to open up, then man the fair stand into the evenings for four days. Then clean it again in preparation for resting until the next years fair.

Oh! I do remember actually doing something other than cleaning or working for the Fair! I made a little owl for my grandbaby! I haven't sent it yet though. It was supposed to be a birthday gift for him but it didn't get completed in time to send with his other gifts. But he will be going soon!

Isn't he cute?! I got the pattern out of the Knitsimple magazine, the Holiday 2010 edition. I had never made anything like this but the pattern is so well written that it was a breeze to make! And it went so quickly that I am considering making another one in a slightly different yarn color.

And, while I've got your attention.... notice the chair? This is another Craiglist item. Baby girl sent me the link to these chairs (there are two in two different but coordinating fabrics) to check out. And I got them! The price for them was WAAAAY too good to pass up! Thank goodness Baby girl has the same taste as I do! ;-) I LOVE them! And if you look at the chairs you'll notice.....

Sorry about the photos. It's a bad picture taking day. Dark and cloudy.

the chairs match the color of the wall. (I have not managed to get the walls repainted yet). I LOVE the bones of these chairs. Eventually, I hope to get them recovered. But they are in pretty good shape so (thankfully) there is no hurry to get them recovered yet.

And speaking of painting. I finally got the floors of our front porch re-painted. We had some of the floor boards replaced and the carpenter primed the new boards but I was supposed to paint them. Well, after nearly a year! I finally got them painted. Yay!

So, I guess I have done a few things since the last time I blogged. It just doesn't feel as if I've done enough because there are SO many more things I need to get done before the middle of next month! Like the baby quilts and baby knits! Not to mention the slipcovers! ACK! I need to get busy.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by. ;-)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm old and I'm HOT!

Hi everyone! So... today's topic is old age. As some of you may know, I just celebrated my 5oth birthday!!! Yay! I'm good with being 50 years old. But, what I'm not so "good" with is what comes with getting older. Those of you who are looking at the tail end of their 4o's may understand better what I'm talking about. I am not so fond of the wrinkles that I'm seeing more and more of. Or the graying hair. Or the fact that I've begun to grow sideways instead of upwards. Or the fact that the ground is getting closer to more parts of my body. And at the top of the my list of grievances with getting old is..... Hot flashes!

I am really not liking how my own internal thermostat is going all wacky on me. I dress in layers. Not because it's a fashion statement. But because at any given moment I may become super, stinkin' hot and removing various articles of clothing is an attempt at self survival! (Not that it helps all that much to tell you the truth.) But after the hot flash is over, I may end up being a bit chilly in a room that is air conditioned. So, back on goes the clothes, until the next time. All this is also making me a bit cranky as well. (That may be yet another perimenoposal symptom. The hormonal crankiness......) So, far though. I am not sweating enough to where I'm dripping with sweat. I don't look like mini-water falls are irrupting from my body (Thank goodness. I've seen women who do though, and I feel badly for them) And I pray that that will not be my lot.

I'm not planning on taking any Hormone Replacement's anytime soon. I'm currently trying out the herbal supplements and for the most part it does seem to help. And one of the good thing about having made it to 50 is that I've become wise and I've learned not to spew uglies when ever my temper flares (which seems to be far too often lately!) I am able (for the most part) to keep my yapper shut and just glare at the offending person (which more often than not happens to be my poor husband)!!

I just hope he appreciates my new found wisdom!! ;-)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Cat Blogging #3

Things around here are getting awfully hot and sticky! And our Ashie and Ethan are perfectly happy to be indoors.......


at the world......

through the glass.

This will be my entry for Weekend Cat Blogging In Honor of Sher - hosted by - Billy Sweetfeets Gingersnap.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday honey!

Love you MUCH!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Great deals, living room change up...

Hello everyone!

Today I am going to post a little living room re-do. I believe I told you about having found a Pottery Barn apartment size sofa on Craigslist. It is the Buchannon Apartment Sofa. Then I purchased a slipcover to go over it because the sofa was WHITE! With two cats and a dog AND a grandchild (and another on the way....) the white really wasn't very practical. So, the slipcover was definitely needed! Unfortunately, the slipcover was not on sale so the whole "great deal" thing doesn't apply to that.

But Everything else in the room is second hand. Either purchased at yard sales, thrift shops, antique shops, auctions or found on the road (except for the slipcover). There are a few things in the room that was made by me as well.

The little table with the stained glass lamp on it (on the left, in the above photo) was found while "junking" in Stuttgart Germany many years ago!

It was one of those cute pieces that didn't need a lot done to it. I put new knobs on it and put a sheet of thick glass in the last little pull out on the bottom (I think this was a tea cart) The top is a little warped and it had a few water marks on it, but I took a little steal wool and stain stripper and lightly went over the top and... voila! Good as new, well, almost. ;-) Still, I love it, and I have fond memories of when I got it. I was with my favorite "junking" partner when I got this. She was my "Ethel" (Aka, Corinnea) to my "Lucy" back in those days! And if I remember correctly, I believe our daughters were with us on this particular junking escapade.

Anyhow... I digress.

This trunk (above photo) has been with us for nearly 30 years! It was one of the very first "antique" purchases my honey and I ever made together. Keep in mind, we were super, stinkin' poor! I saw it at a yard sale and convinced him we "needed" it! I don't remember how much it was, I want to say it was like $20 dollars, but what I do remember was how happy I was when he liked it too! (Or at least he said he did) Anyhow, we still have it!

Another Junking find... this little sled. This one was picked up in Wiesbaden, Germany. Junking wasn't as easy in Wiesbaden as it had been in Stuttgart. Or maybe I just needed someone to go out with. Either way, I didn't get as many things through Junking in Wiesbaden as I had in Stuttgart.

Sorry about the picture above. I'm not sure why it's so bad but... the little chair off to the left is an Auction purchase. $5.00! Eventually, we'll have it upholstered in leather. And then, there is the ottoman that I purchased from my favorite Thrift Shop and then slipcovered in painters drop cloth, which I made! (I'm rather proud of that!) Eventually, I hope to slip cover the plaid chair in the right side of the room. That too is a thrift shop find from my favorite shop! You can see it in the photo directly above this one.

And you can't see it, but the table under the photo's and flowers and such is actually a big, wooden box that is also a Stuttgart, junking find! The crystal candle holders and crystals were purchased with "Ethel". She took me crystal shopping the last time I was in Germany. That was fun! And the flowers are from my honey for our anniversary earlier this week. (Yup, 31 years and nope, I didn't blog about it).

I believe I'll be re-painting the room again soon. As much as I liked the green when I first painted it. I'm ready now for a change. I was so excited to be able to paint any color I wanted in "our" house at the time. Now, I'm ready to do something a little more classic.

So, there you are. My living room for now. I'm thinking about a new color for this room and I'm also going to be working on my "computer" room next. Paint color AND re-arranging the furnishings. I'm a little ADD in that I can't seem to complete a single room to the finished end. I seem to be hopping from one room to another. But part of it is that my tastes are changing a bit and I'm trying to find my new tastes and fit them in to my old house. ;-)

Have you found your decorating tastes changing lately? Or am I the only one? ;-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

NOW, I'm allowed to announce.........

Hello everyone! Hope everybody had a great weekend. Did yours go by as quickly as ours did? I mean seriously! And it's not as if we did anything spectacular or especially fun. In fact, I can't really recall in any clear detail on what we did. I just remember thinking "yay! It' Friday!" and then suddenly it's was "oh my! It's Sunday already?" And NO, there was no drinking involved! Well, a little wine with our dinner on Sunday. Which by the way... the wine? Super yummy! If you enjoy a good bottle of dry red, then you really need to try ANY and ALL bottles of Concannon Vineyard wines! (Pam!) About the only memorable thing about our weekend is the dinner we made on Sunday. We bought a 16x16 inch stepping stone that we bought specifically for our gas grill. Then we made pizza! We had the Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon with it and it paired beautifully with our pizza! We are still playing around with the pizza on a stone concept, but our first try turned out really well! And no, I didn't take any pictures. Sorry. We were too hungry! The desert was home made strawberry/rhubarb sorbet (both of which were picked from our garden!) which turned out super yummy! And no, I didn't take pictures of that either. Sorry! I know, I'm a slug!

Speaking of which... (pictures, not slugs. Ha-ha) I do have one picture I want to share with you all!


One of the first pictures of our newest grandbaby! :-)

At the time of the picture, we didn't know what gender it was. Now we know! And it's a girl!

This will be Oldest Son & Dilly-girls second baby! And I'm sure they are even more excited now that Grandbaby #1 is turning into a walking/running little boy already! If I could figure out how to upload videos I'd show you all how well grandbaby #1 is walking at 10 months!

So, there you go. My announcement! What an exciting year it's been so far! Grandbaby walking, Baby-girls wedding and a new grandbaby on the way! :-)