Newest Project

I have not written in quite a while-with fairly good reason, I must say.  We bought a new home.  This new home is requiring much of my attention.  It is a sprawling 4700 square foot home that has not been updated in at least 30 years, some of the rooms even longer.  I am going to begin posting pictures of our progress on the house.  For now, I am going to post some before pictures so you can get an idea of what it looks like now and how busy we are going to be over the next few months.  These pictures were taken with the previous owner’s belongings still intact.  We are working on this house in increments.  The first room we worked on was the master.  We changed the wall color, ceiling color and the trim color.  We also hung chair rail and crown molding-over 100 linear feet.  We are currently working on the utility room.  John is building a mudroom type of furniture piece that will be on the wall opposite of the washer and dryer.  We painted a chalk board wall and he hung crown molding.  We are about to lay tile in there as well.  I will be posting updates to this project periodically.  And to answer the question, “No, we have not moved in and no, we do not know when we will be moving in.”  🙂

part of the backyard

Front room when you enter house. This will be our formal dining room.

Sunroom on the back of house. This room runs the length of the family room and kitchen. It will be able to accomodate a table and chairs on one end and a sitting area on the opposite end.

This will be our family room. We are going to take a wall down between this room and the kitchen.

Living room fireplace. This room is attached to the kitchen.

Bathroom in east wing of house

Longest hallway, ever-this leads to the east wing of the house.

Utility Room-you enter this room from the garage. I am going to love this room!

Kitchen-we intend on moving this bar out about 3 1/2 ft. to enlarge the kitchen.

Master Suite

Master Suite-over 700 square feet

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15 Years and Counting

Today marks our 15th wedding anniversary.  What does this mean to me?  It means that for 15 years I have been blessed with a man who

  • opens every door for me (and I do mean EVERY DOOR!!!)
  • brings me a cup of coffee in bed every morning
  • cleans the kitchen for me most nights
  • puts fuel in my vehicle
  • will come home from work to start the lawn mower because I want to mow the lawn for him
  • takes the baby to the sitter for me
  • loves to watch HGTV with me
  • loves my family as much as his own
  • diligent in his work and is blessed for that
  • loves the Lord with all of his heart, mind, soul, and strength
  • is not lazy
  • has not lost interest in his passion (Motorcycles, in case you were wondering)
  • is a handyman extraordinaire
  • has good taste in furniture (because he listens to me) 😉
  • went through ALOT in order for us to have our own children
  • does not compromise his faith
  • and is willing to make sacrifices for those whom he loves

Thank you, John, for a wonderful first 15!  I look forward to every day with you!

Another New One

We tried this recipe last night, Layered Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole.  It was wonderful.  Definitely one that I will keep and make again.  Ingredients are simple, which I like.  I have not used the spice, coriander very often.  I think I like coriander.  I definitely like cumin (or comino) and this recipe called for it.  Also, a new favorite of mine to cook with is cilantro.  I am just now learning tricks to making it last longer, thanks to Facebook.  Just typed in there on my status a question about how to keep it fresh, and WHAMO!  responses galore.  I must get that Tupperware spice keeper, I’m thinking! 

Back to the recipe at hand.  My kids are going to develop pepper bellies if I make recipes like this all the time.  I just seem to always have cheese and tortillas on hand and they lend themselves well to spicy dishes.  I tried to pick the green chiles out of the kid’s servings, though.  Both kids finished off their meals.  I made this dish along with a side of quinoa seasoned with Pampered Chef’s Southwest Seasoning.  You can get yours here.  By the way, quinoa is my new favorite.  Much easier to make and healthier than rice.  Even the hubby likes it.  And, he enjoyed the casserole also.  He went back for seconds and he is having the leftovers tonight (he might not know that yet).

Lovin’ me Some Salt!

Salted Chocolate Chip Pecan Bars

 Saw this recipe this morning on The Pioneer Woman.  www.thepioneerwoman.com

Decided it was one I was going to have to try soon.  Even e-mailed the link to some girl friends declaring this fact. 

Had Life Group tonight (our church small group).  Had 20 minutes and all the ingredients (I thought). 

Started making recipe and found out did not have pecans.  Made anyway. 

AWESOMENESS!!!  Even if salty and sweet isn’t a hit with everyone else, it is with me. 

I will definitely be filing this recipe in my “favorites” file.

Tip:  Click picture and it will take you to the recipe. 

Who is Coming for Dinner?

White Cheese Chicken Lasagna

I made this wonderfully fattening and delectable meal tonight-White Cheese Chicken Lasagna.  It was a very time-consuming meal to put together.  It didn’t help that my 23 month-old kept telling me that she needed to potty.  I would stop dinner and take her to the potty.  Then, she wouldn’t do anything.  By the third or fourth time of her telling me she needed to do number two, I just couldn’t stop anymore.  Of course, this time she actually did it.  In a pull-up, thank goodness.

Here were the responses at the dinner table:

  • Five year-old:  what is this green stuff?  Did you put broccoli in this?  I’ll eat all this and then you can throw all the green stuff away.  (I eventually had to feed him in order to get the meal over with; however, he did not complain one bit.  I guess he was just wanting some extra attention tonight.)
  • Almost two year-old:  made her take the first bite and then she ate two servings.
  • Daddy:  you can make this any time!
  • Me:  this is a make-for-company meal.  Almost hate that I went to so much trouble for such little appreciation!  Glad my man enjoyed it, though.  Then I thought, “holy moly, this is so rich and cheesy.  I can just feel my hips expanding with every bite.  It sure is yummy!”

Love Her!

This is just a short clip of the darling daughter being her adorable self.  I am loving this stage in her life.  The new words she acquires daily (it seems), the personality coming to life, and watching her discover new things.  Enjoy!

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

This recipe came from www.allrecipes.com.  This meal was delicious!  The combinations of spices was wonderful.  Created a heavenly aroma in the house that made we want to scarf it down!  I made a side of guacamole to go with this using the salsa that I made earlier this week.  My kiddos ate their tacos on flour tortillas.  My sweetie and I used corn.  We are about to make some major lifestyle changes in our diet around here.  One of those changes being a limited amount of bleached, white, enriched flour.  This means no more flour tortillas in our home unless we buy the whole grain kind.  Anyway, back to the review.  This meal was yummy! 

Since we are trying to make some changes, I decided to assemble the children’s tacos for them without consulting them.  I spread guacamole on their tortillas, added the chicken, tomatoes and shredded cheddar.  Then I rolled them up and put it in front of them to eat.  Both children complained-at first!  We made them both take bites and eat.  The little one did not spit it out when she figured out that we were not going to back down.  She ate about half of hers and then had yogurt for dessert.  The little dude decided that those little red things, aka tomatoes, are not so bad and neither was the green “stuff”, aka guacamole.  He ate 3/4 of his taco and then wasted the yogurt that he asked for simply because the darling daughter was eating one.  The End.

Oh, yeah.  Just so you know, we will make this one again.  Click on one of the pictures and it will take you to the recipe. 

Restaurant Style Salsa

I made some salsa tonight.

It was good.

Here’s the link to the recipe.

Another hand clap for the PW.

Oh, So Precious!

 
D.D. modeling the one I made last night.

I have found the most adorable line of little girl’s and women’s clothing.  It is Matilda Jane Clothing.  Check out their web page www.matildajaneclothing.com.  Precious looks!  I am considering becoming a trunk keeper.  Still thinking and praying about it.  I have never been to one of their trunk shows actually.  I found the company through a friend’s Facebook.  Imagine that!  I have purchased my little darling a couple of items off of E-bay.  The first two items were a peasant top and a pair of pants.  Here is a picture. 

I love the mismatched prints.

 These two articles really don’t even do the company justice.  These are not the cutest Matilda Jane pieces that I have seen and wanted.  These are the two that I won the bids on within my price range.  I think sellers of M.J. on Ebay make a good profit because these items cannot be found in stores.  This next one that I am going to show you is my favorite.  The darling daughter might wear it for Easter.  For the amount of money I spent on it, we need to wear it often.  Sometimes it’s o.k. to make these types of splurges-in my opinion, anyway!  Take a look.
I’m in love with this dress!

 I also found these cute tank tops that will be perfect for the summer.  However, I do not intend on spending $25 plus for one.  So, I guess I can admit it.  I’m a copy cat.  Since I have been exploring my creative side through sewing, I decided that I should try to make one of these tank tops.  I love shopping for fabrics.  There are so many beautiful and whimsical choices.  Here are the fabrics that I chose from B& B Quilting and Gifts in Buda, TX.  These ladies were so helpful and they didn’t even mind the two small children who accompanied us on our hunt for the perfect “look”.

I purchased all of these fun textiles in order to create my version of the M.J. tank.  I made my first one last night using pre-fabricated ruffle trim.  Today I taught myself via the internet (what a wonderful creature it is) how to make ruffles.  I will use my homemade ruffle on the next top.  Here are a series of pictures which will include the Matilda Jane tank, the one I made last night at midnight, and the ruffle that I fabricated today.  Enjoy the photos and by the way, I love reading your feedback.  If anyone is interested, I might be willing to sell you one for $15. 

Yummmmmy

This one is a keeper for sure.  Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole from the Tasty Kitchen at www.thepioneerwoman.com.  Here is the verdict from my family.

Mommy:  Loved it!  I always make slight moderations to recipes in order to make them a little quicker.  For this one I used shredded carrots and frozen chopped onions.  We do not care for celery in our family, so I skipped this ingredient.  You could also use a rotisserie chicken if you do not have time to cook the chicken. 

Daddy:  Loved it!  Went back for seconds and thirds.

Five-year old boy:  Once again forced to eat dinner, but this time there was no murmuring or gnashing of teeth.  This must be a good sign. 

22-month old:  Crammed at least three bites into her mouth.  She did not spit it out.  Another good sign.  At least she did not eat hot dogs for dinner, again!

This recipe will be revisited.  I might not use as much butter next time and I am thinking of adding a bag of frozen peas.

Proverbs 22:1

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

All Cleaned Up

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