Thursday, September 29, 2011

Country Beauty

My youngest son and I have a fun thing we do every year in the fall. We go to visit our local farm that sells pumpkins. He is in middle school and he loves to visit the animals that are in the petting area. This year they had little kittens to hold. While I was busy picking out the most photogenic looking pumpkins and gourds, he was sitting holding a kitten on his lap. When I came back to tell him it was time to leave, I couldn't believe what I saw! This little kitty was so lazy and sleepy that he stretched out in my son's lap and my son was petting his little tummy and the purring kitty just fell fast asleep! My son is a Cat Whisperer!He has two cats of his own at home. He is just like my Dad. My father has always loved cats!

At the pumpkin farm, I spied this sweet little storage shed that I just had to photograph! I have a soft spot in my heart for very old little farm sheds like this. It looks like "home" to me. The layers of shabby white paint, the fading hollyhocks, and the overgrown step that is a huge piece of rock.

These photos capture a piece of what I remember from my childhood! When I was a little girl I used to imagine living in a little shed like this one. I thought it would be so fun to have my own little house. I still have thoughts like this. I would love a little place like this one for my art studio! How fun would that be?!

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Giveaway on Dreamy Whites

If  you love to enter blog giveaways like I do, here is a sweet one! Hop on over to Dreamy Whites, and enter to win beautiful Cabbage and Roses pillows and banners! Secretly, I hope no one else enters because I would love to win, but it's too late....word is out! If you win, let me know, so I can jump up and down and celebrate with you....and then you can share your prize with me! LOL

Thursday, September 22, 2011

These are the Days

Sometimes I get into a rut. I either think about the sweetness of "days gone by" or I think about, "As soon as I get through this...then my life will be happier..."
I get so caught up, looking down at my "to-do" list and feeling stressed by "what's ahead", that I forget to notice what is taking place right now! Each day is another filled-up page in my family memory book. What will we write in it today? Did I tell the kids that I love them before they went out the door? Have I told my husband how thankful I am for him lately? Was I crabby today? Did I smile enough? Did I show the love of God in my life today to those around me? Did I encourage someone who needed it? Was I thankful just to be alive? Did I really LISTEN when others were talking? Did I talk with God?
When was the last time that I called my parents and said "thanks" for everything? "Thanks for taking care of me when I was a little girl? Thanks for all of the memories we made together."  I don't live near my parents, so I can't visit with them as much as I would love to. For 46 years, they have loved me. How blessed am I?! I have lots of pages in my memory books filled with precious days.
 I need to stop wishing for yesterday or dreaming of tomorrow or grumbling that today isn't what I wish it was! These are the days that we dream about....tomorrow. Today, the time we spend with those we love, will perhaps, become our fondest, treasured memories tomorrow. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thoughtful Wedding Gift

My husband and I went to a wedding this weekend. My sweet husband was the officiant. He gets to perform quite a few marriages and it is one of the best parts of his "job". His favorite part of the wedding ceremony is,  "I now pronounce you, Husband and Wife."

I found this tutorial and knew I had to try this idea. I added some sparkling white glass glitter in the ornament first and then tossed in a couple small vintage pearls. I cut the wedding invitation into thin strips and wrapped each one around a pencil to curl. I popped the curls into the glass ball and put the silver top back on and added the lime green ribbon that came with the invitation, to the top with a sophisticated knot! It looked beautiful. I should have taken a photo before I gave it to the happy couple. Next time I will! I think this will be so fun for their first Christmas together. As you turn the ornament and peer inside, you can see their names and other significant details about their wedding from their invitation.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pumpkins fit for Cinderella

I found this adorable idea for decorating pumpkins this year! I will definitely do this as I have paper doilies and all the necessary supplies. I think I will add a beautiful bow on top. I hope this inspires you to try something new for your fall vignettes! This would be pretty with white pumpkins too! If you go here, you will see the directions for these lacy beauties!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Are You Ready?

Today in Iowa we woke up to 32 degrees and thick frost on the ground! I had known it might happen but I think I was in denial. Maybe I brought this on myself....I made two loaves of moist, yummy Pumpkin Bread. (A dear friend shared her recipe handed down from her mother) So my family has been gobbling it up! It makes me think of maybe I brought this on myself by making Pumpkin Bread so early in the season. But then again, it's really Starbucks fault, since they began serving Pumpkin Lattes about a week ago!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe:
2 1/4 cups sugar                        1 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup canola oil                         1 tsp cinnamon
1 15 ounce can pumpkin           1 tsp. ground cloves
4 eggs, beaten                         ½ - ¾  tsp. salt

Mix these ingredients together, then add:

½ tsp. baking powder             2 tsp. baking soda
3 1/3 cups flour

Mix thoroughly and pour into 2 greased loaf pans.  Bake
1 to 1½ hours @ 350°  I like to use 4 half loaf size pans
and bake for 45 minutes instead.

 So, at the moment, I am dressing in layers, sipping a very hot beverage, and catching up on some reading..

 ... and just trying to STAY my nose isn't running!

Take a peek at what's new in my etsy shop. An Autumn Teacup Bird Nest filled with Vintage Sweetness!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Little Trip

Ever since I saw the move, "The Holiday," I have been in love with the little stone cottages of the Cotswolds.

 I just love the thought of a tiny little home like this. If you watch HGTV Design Star the last three left in the competition had to design TINY HOUSES. It was really a cute idea and fun to see the completed little houses that had to fully function. I found this flicker link, with all of these adorable little cobblestone homes in the Cotswolds. Which one is your favorite? Wouldn't it be fun to spend a month living in one?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Just For You

I just love taking a mental vacation and spending a few minutes a day looking at all the beauty on Pinterest! So, I found these three images that I just loved.....just because....and wanted to share them just with you! Thank you for all of you who take the time to look at my blog. I hope these images will make you smile and maybe even sigh.....

Faded Garden

It's starting to feel like summer is fading. I think there is something very beautiful about garden flowers that are a bit past their prime. I was in Anthropologie one time, and I picked up a vase of flowers that looked so beautiful, but fading and drying. I had to laugh because they weren't for sale! They were a display that was a bit close to being thrown out. Truth be told, I think an employee forgot them. Leave it to me, to be attracted to the one item, that wasn't for sale, but had a faded charm! The other day, I picked a little bouquet of Black-Eyed Susans from my backyard and arranged them in an antique blue Mason jar. They looked sweet for about a week and then I noticed that they were nearly due to be discarded. I looked down at my hand as I was about to toss them, and I realized that I loved them. They were a bit wilted and tattered and withered. I knew I had to try and capture their Faded Charm before it was gone. The result looked so perfect that I had to share it with you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What's in your Crockpot?

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
4 lbs peeled, cubed potatoes
5 Tablespoons real butter
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic (directions are below)
1- 1 1/2 Cups warm skim milk (any milk will do, I used skim)
1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste
Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.
Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stove top over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Season to taste if needed. For thinner mashed potatoes add more milk, slowly until your desired consistency.
Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot. I put a little parsley on top to serve.
Roasted Garlic
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bulb of garlic with skins on, wrap lightly in tin foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from foil and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove garlic from skins, place in a bowl and mash with a fork until completely mashed. Set aside. One garlic bulb will have around 12 cloves.
From Real Mom Kitchen
I saw this recipe and started getting hunger pangs in my tummy! This recipe looks like something my family will love for Sunday Dinner. Comfort it! I cannot wait to go to the store and grab these ingredients. I absolutely love that it's a crock pot recipe too! I have always felt like having a crock pot dinner waiting for me....almost feels like someone else made it instead of me. That is a treasure!!