Friday, March 8, 2013

Portabella-Basil Alfredo

I don't know if I've ever shared this with you, or not. But I'm one the biggest fans of mushrooms. Ever! I'm serious. It hasn't always been that way. My Mom is a HUGE mushroom fan. Always has been. But me. It took me a while to get "on board."

But once I did, there was no turning back. Not at all! I must buy 2 boxes of mushrooms, from COSTCO a week! I eat them raw. I add them to my favorite recipes. Heck, I just enjoy them every single day.

So when I got this yummy cookbook recently, there was no looking back! I was thumbing through, and noticed a certain little recipe. I wanted to make it immediately! But with all this traveling, it was pushed back.

Until this week. And I was at home. Looking at one of my favorite websites. Hello! Gooseberry Patch posted this recipe. It's this week's Recipe of the Week! A match made in Heaven!!!

Portabella-Basil Alfredo

16-oz. pkg. spinach fettuccine pasta, uncooked
1 T. olive oil
5 portabella mushrooms, chopped
3 c. milk
1-1/2 t. garlic salt
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, cubed
3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, cubed
1-1/2 t. dried basil
1-1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes; drain any extra liquid from pan. Add milk and garlic salt to skillet; heat just to boiling. Stir in both packages of cream cheese and basil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, until cream cheese is melted. Stir in Parmesan cheese; cook over low heat until melted, about 3 minutes. Serve over pasta. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

This was dinner Wednesday. Mostly because we've been so busy. And haven't been to the grocery store. I had everything on hand. And whipped this up in no time! I made a few changes. I added onions. In this house, we LOVE them! And I used a few cloves of garlic. You know, instead of garlic salt. The flavors just melted together. And made such a yummy meal!

We had some friends in town, and this was dinner. It was fast enough, for a weeknight meal. But tasty enough, for company. I also made some homemade bread, a salad, and some dessert. It was yummy! And you should try it too. And soon! Thanks again, to Brooke for the yummy cookbook!!! ♥

Peachy Keen Spring Afghan

I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed, as of late. There is so much going on. With life in general. Then you add in, all these new babies. Weeks away from making their "Grand Entrance." And I'm behind. Way behind!!!

So I've been crocheting. Every possible, free second that I have, I'm crocheting. In the car. During my breaks. While I watch TV. When I'm reading blogs. Heck, when I'm talking on the phone. And I'm feeling "burnt out."

Tired of all the "regular" patterns. And the pastel colors. Heck, with blue and pink. But I'm trying not to "lose faith" here. I'm looking for new things. Making up baby blanket patterns. Opting for brighter colors of yarn. And searching out a few new patterns. Like this one.

I don't remember how I first found this pattern. But immediately, I wanted to make it. And as crazy as it sounds, I'm thinking "outside the box." I have a few skeins of chocolate brown yarn. And I'm thinking that would be a nice little present. Something that a new dad, won't mind carrying around.

Maybe after a random project like this, I'll be back to the pretty pastels. Because this peach really is pretty. Or maybe that blue-ish green color. Something slightly different. But still fitting for a new baby, and Spring.   

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Searching For Pineapples...

Way back when, I was browsing the aisles of Wal-Mart. At 3AM. Where I live, that's the best time to shop. Almost no one, is in the store. And in a college town, that's rare. Where our local store is booming with college aged shoppers until 2AM. And the "family types," take over around 6AM.

Well, on this particular day, I found some pineapple candles. I can just imagine what you are thinking. But I have a soft place in my heart, for the pineapple. Since I was little, I've always preferred pineapple juice, over all other juices. Weird? I don't know. But it's the truth.

So at 3AM, I found myself buying 12 pineapple candles. It didn't hurt, that the sweet yellow color, matched my guest bathroom perfectly. The scent was light. And not overly sweet. But it scented the bathroom nicely. Just a light hint, of pineapple. Fresh pineapple. Not something artificial.

This went well with everything else in my life. At the time. The palm trees, that were in my backyard. My daily fresh pineapple snack. The soft glow of candles, when I'd get home, from a long day at work.

Fast forward. 2 or 3 years. And I was on my last 2 candles. During any other time in my life, I'd have gone through those candles, in less than a year. But I was no splitting my time, between 2 homes, and the open road. It was a good thing. It extended my little stash. But now, I'm missing those candles. And that time in my life...

I took to Wal-Mart, about 18 months ago. Searching for my beloved candles. With no luck! I searched and searched. Spent months. Asked friends. Looked for other candles. Searched on eBay. But I've had no luck!

So I figured, I'd take to my blog. And ask, has anyone seen a pineapple candle? Any brand. Any store. But I'm looking for just a pineapple candle. I've found candles, a variety of combinations. But the other scents, overwhelm the pineapple.

I hope someone can help me. Point me in the right direction. I know, years ago I found those candles in Spring. So maybe someone has seen something. Or maybe you know of a good Etsy shop. I want a realistic scent. Something that reminds me of fresh pineapple. Thank You ahead of time, for all your help!   

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kay's Chinese Chicken Salad

Let me start off with, I've never really been a big fan of Ramen Noodles. Not that they aren't a wonderful little staple. But in my family, we never really ate them. Don't get me wrong. Later, when I went to college, they were a staple in my life.

Who can beat a month's worth of meals, for under $5? They're not terrific tasting. But when you're living penny to penny, well it's what you eat. It's been years, since I last had them. And I'm not even talking about the Ramen Noodle packs. I'm taking about the "Cup of Noodles."

But over the last few years, I've noticed so many recipes popping up. The first one, that I can remember, was from Paula Deen. I remember trying it. And really liking it. What happened to that recipe? I have no clue, where I put it!

So when I noticed this week's Gooseberry Patch, Recipe of the Week, I knew I had to make it! It was something that sounded interesting. Something that My Bestie wanted to eat for dinner. And well, something that we could cook up in our hotel room. :)

Kay's Chinese Chicken Salad

3-oz. pkg. chicken-flavored ramen noodles, uncooked
1 head cabbage, shredded
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 T. onion, chopped
2 T. slivered almonds, toasted
2 T. sesame seed, toasted

1 c. oil
3 T. sugar
1/3 c. vinegar
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
reserved ramen noodle seasoning packet

Set aside ramen noodle seasoning packet for dressing; crush noodles. Combine all ingredients except seasoning packet in a large serving bowl; toss lightly to combine. Prepare Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients. Drizzle Salad with Dressing and toss again. Serves 8 to 10.

My Guy's grandma bought me this cookbook. Last week, I was cooking this up. When we all headed to Orlando. I know, how random is that? You see, on the way, My Bestie found the recipe. She was thumbing through the cookbook. And begged me, literally begged, for me to make this salad. Weird, right? I thought so! But then again, girl eats Ramen nearly every single day!

When I found the recipe this week, I knew I had to share with you. Who knows, there might be a "poor college student" out there. Like I was, just a few years ago. Needing to "doctor" up this staple. Like I said, we didn't really have a "full kitchen," or many kitchen staples or utensils to use. Much like a college student, in a dorm room. :)

We head to the local grocery store, and picked up a few ingredients. We bought a rotisserie chicken, and shredded her up. I shredded the cabbage. And we used the toaster oven, to toast the nuts and seeds. Honestly, it took a few minutes. And the dressing was super easy.

The salad had a lot of flavor. I'm thinking, the chicken added a lot to it. It was a little crunchy. But not horrible. It reminded me of Chow Mein Noodles. The dressing, was nicely absorbed into the noodles. And it honestly, made for a nice little lunch. Now I'm on the search, for more Ramen Noodle recipes. ♥

Fairy Princess Crown

I've been searching for some fun little projects. Something that I can sit and make, you know, in a few short minutes. Because let's be real, I like a fast project. I like to sit down, and have something to show for my 10-15 minutes of work.

Not to mention, I've got a ton of beautiful Goddaughters. A ton! That LOVE dressing up. And when I make them a little present. So I'm searching for the perfect little "just 'cause" present. :) That's when I found Walker Whimsy. Such a cute blog! And this Fairy Princess Crown.


It looks like a fairly simple project. Something that you can adjust for kids of all ages. Can you just imagine, sisters wearing these? Like these little ones. Or these ones. Babies and little girls. 

Now I'm off to search through my yarn stash. This would be one of those perfect patterns, to use up your "scrap yarn." And now that we're on the road again, I'm sure I can make a few of these. Well, a bunch of them! Are you with me?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Inspired By Spring

I don't know about you, but around here, the weather has been nuts! We were in sunny Florida, for about 2 weeks. And it wasn't very warm. It didn't feel like Florida at all! Then we come home to the South, and it's freezing!

It makes me want Spring and Summer, more than ever! My Bestie and I, we took to Pinterest over the weekend, for a little inspiration. And I have to say this, I was so inspired by the warm weather outfits! Like this one...

This outfit reminds me a lot of Easter. Can you believe, I'm already talking about Easter? I know! This year is flying by! I'm not complaining though. Spring is my favorite season. I adore everything about it! Spring cleaning, the plants blooming, birds chirping, the clothes, fresh food, holidays, and beautiful colors. Oh ya, my birthday is also in Spring! :)

I've actually been looking for something similar to this outfit. I've got a similar cardigan and jewelry. But I'm searching for a dress like this. Oh, and that bag! I'm a sucker for ruffles, bows, and pretty jewelry. Spring can't come fast enough for this gal!   

Friday, January 4, 2013

From My Heart to Theirs...

Sometimes, you see something as a crafter, and say to yourself, "I MUST make that!" I had that feeling yesterday. You see, it's that "Time of Year" again. You know, when everyone I know, is having a baby. I'm not lying! From family to to our favorite waitresses.

I'm feeling completely "Behind the Ball." I NEED to make a bunch of gifts. But I'm getting a little tired of the same patterns. So yesterday, I did a little searching. And found a lot of fun and new patterns. But none, grabbed my attention like this one.

I don't know what it is. Love is in the air. Babies are on the way. Sweet baby girls, ALWAYS steal my heart away!!! But this blanket, it's screaming for me to make it. No lie.

I'm not completely convinced with this color combination. I'm thinking something that says more "Baby Girl," rather than "Happy Valentine's Day." Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to make one for myself. To add to the "Love" decorations we got going on. But for my first take on this blanket, I'm thinking pink, white, and lavender.

And if you're just not "feeling" this lovely blanket, how about some potholders? The pattern says you can make dishcloths, but I'm thinking about potholders. Make 2 squares, and single crochet them together. That would be fun!!! ♥

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day

Hello everyone! Today is the day. Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day. And I just couldn't resist. I wanted to offer you guys a little treat.

By now, you should all know about my love of crochet. And Ana Paula Rimoli's patterns. I have her 4 books. And I'm pretty sure, I've bought all her patterns on Etsy. They're my "go-to," for gifts. I've not met a kiddo yet, that doesn't like one of these toys.

Tell me, get on with the giveaway! I know. I want to offer you a little of this crochet fun. And I'll be giving away a crochet package. What's in it??? One of these guys...

This is Ana's newest book. I'll also be including a $50 gift card for JoAnn's. You know, you need some yarn to make these. :) Maybe even some other supplies.

What do you have to do? Just leave me a comment, with your favorite person, to follow on Pinterest. My "other" addiction. Just ask this man! 1 comment. Simple. You have until Friday, December 7th. At 5PM PST. And don't forget to check Sew, Mama, Sew! for a ton of giveaways!!! Good Luck everyone!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Colorful Fun :)

Back in September, my Mom got an ad from Old Navy. Being a cardholder, these are regular. And honestly, the best thing to get in your mailbox. Well, besides those ads from Jo-Ann. :)

Almost immediately, my Mom went to Old Navy. She couldn't find this shirt. And might have gotten a little distracted, with other purchases. But my Mom never forgot about this shirt Actually, every single time that we talked, she asked me if I'd found this shirt.

Well, I finally found her shirt. Online! It's taken forever. Mom, I've got you covered, I ordered this shirt for my Mom. She just LOVES the bright colors! And I might have gotten this one for myself. :) I adore the green and blue combo. Around these parts, they are "regular" colors in our wardrobe.

Honestly, I'm kinda wondering if I should go back, and order the orange one for me too! Yes, extra "spare" time, can be a little dangerous. Let's not talk, about the online Christmas shopping, that I also did! ♥

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Royal Purple Ruffles

I don't know, if I've ever shared these 3 important things with you. My favorite color is purple. All shades. Since I was an itty bitty. Ruffles make me smile. Oh yes, they do! And I adore jackets. Old Navy jackets to be exact. I try to buy a new one, every winter. :)

So when I saw that Old Navy was having their annual "Outwear Sale," I was all over it!!! But there are so many decisions. Secretly, I want one of each. And I'm not lying about that fact!!! But I restrained myself. Oh, and I remembered, that I still have some tuition payments coming up. So I picked just one...

This lovely purple number, is now all mine!!! I should have bought it a few weeks ago. The last two weeks, we've traveled to some chilly places. Instead, late last week I placed the order. And today, I got my precious jacket. :) We might just be in sunny Florida this week. But I did crank up the AC, just so I could wear my new jacket.

Between, if you are looking for a new jacket, run to Old Navy. I think the sale ends on Friday. But I did buy this beauty for $20. Regularly $55. Thanks to the sale, and an online coupon, I got a GREAT deal! I'm thinking "Girl Math." And I'm tempted, to buy this beautiful blue pal too! ♥

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dreaming Of...

There are certain things, about living in "The South." People talk with thick accents. When you talk about Sundays, you talk about NASCAR. Everyone has a porch. Sweet tea, is the "official" beverage of choice. And ferns are everywhere!!!

I personally, have been dying, to buy a bunch of ferns. Around here, you see these beauties inside and out! I personally, have been dreaming of ferns, hung around our "wrap around porch." The perfect "pop of color" against the white trim of our home.

I can't even explain what it is. But I'm just drawn to these plants. I've priced them out, at a few different nurseries. I've considered hanging them. Or buying plant stands. Even seeking out some gorgeous pots. But in the end, I've decided they NEED to be hung from our porch.

The weather may not be agreeing with me. But come this Spring, and we'll have at least, 2 dozen of these beauties. After all, nothing says "Southern Living," like a porch, bursting with ferns, and pitcher or 2, of "Sweet Tea." Yes, I adore "The South." And my "Southern Gentleman!" ♥

Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Owls

We're on the road this week. Which means, I've got to have a handy, little project to work on. "Little" is the keyword here. So I did a little search, and found this fun pattern!

I'm so excited about this pattern! Many people in my life, happen to adore owls! Oh, and I'm thinking, these could make some nice gifts. Or, a nice addition, to an upcoming Craft Fair. That my Mom and I will be selling at. Yes, I'm pretty excited about this pattern. By the way, a GREAT way to use up your scrap yarn. Happy Monday!

Country Fried Steak

We've been on the road, for roughly 2 weeks straight. It doesn't stress me out. Well, except on the weekends. And honestly, just this past weekend. Because we didn't have our "Home on Wheels." And that means, no cooking. Just eating out. I'm not a big fan. Chalk it up to, my childhood. And almost all our meals, eaten at a restaurant...

So I'm relieved, that we've decided on a "pit stop" at our home. In the Southwest. Which mean, a little cooking. And what's on the menu? How about Gooseberry Patch's Free Recipe of the Week. Country Fried Steak! Sounds yummy to me. :)

Country-Fried Steak
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. paprika
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 lbs. beef cube steak, cut into 8 pieces
1 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
2.6-oz. pkg. country gravy mix, prepared

Combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper; set aside. Dip steak into milk, then into flour mixture, pressing to coat thoroughly. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add steak and cook 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and tender. Top with prepared gravy. Makes 8 servings.

Yes, this sounds delicious! And oh so easy. So easy, I'm thinking that we need to have yummy mashed potatoes, some veggies, and maybe even fresh baked bread. And you know, with this man and me, a cobbler and ice cream, are also a "MUST!" I can't wait to get into the kitchen! ♥

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Icy Day Cowl

There have been 2 things, running through my head lately. It's getting cold. As in, I need a jacket, and scarf cold. And the Craft Fair, that my Mom and I are selling at, is less than a month away. Two things, that are putting me into "high gear."

I took a little time, yesterday, to search for some patterns. That would help in both of these areas. What did I come up with? A cute cowl.

I honestly adore this. Not necessarily in these colors. But I adore this cowl! I've started one for me. In grey. And I'm finding, that it's simple. As in, I can make a few of these, for the upcoming Craft Fair. Maybe in some more "Festive Colors." I might just spend my evening crocheting. And maybe watching a few movies, with My Love. ♥

Seafood Stew

It's been ridiculously cold around here. Lots of traveling. Lots of different temps. Lots of chaos. Makes me think of Christmas. I know. But it's the truth. And last week, I found myself in one of my favorite places. Barnes and Noble. With my friend, Vi.

We're foodies. Through, and through. We met years ago, in college. Studying nutrition. There is an unbreakable bond there. And well, have I mentioned our love of food? That means, we spent most of 2 hours, browsing through the cookbooks. And eventually, I made a purchase.

Like I said, it's been chilly. Makes you want to curl up, with a big 'ol bowl of soup. That is exactly what was on this man's mind. Especially after he read this week's Gooseberry Patch, Recipe of the Week. Yes, My Guy checks out these recipes too. And in fact, e-mailed this one to me. Let's just keep that between you and me! ;)

Seafood Stew

2-1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. long-cooking rice, uncooked
2 t. chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
14-1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
2-1/4 c. green, red and yellow peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 c. onion, thinly sliced
1/2-lb. fillet orange roughy, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 lb. frozen cooked medium shrimp, thawed
3/4 c. orange juice concentrate

In a saucepan over high heat, bring broth to a boil. Add rice, chili powder and garlic. Stir well; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until rice is tender. Add tomatoes, peppers and onion. Cover; cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Add fish, shrimp and orange juice. Cover; simmer over low heat for 2 to 4 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork and shrimp are heated through. Serves 4.

Funny how I bought this book. and I just skimmed over this recipe. Not paying too much attention. But this guy, he got me interested in this recipe. In fact, right this minute, I have a pot of this simmering away. I can't wait until dinner! Heck, I NEED to go through this cookbook some more. Everything sounds so yummy! ♥

Monday, November 5, 2012

Winter is in the Air

I don't know about you, but around here, the temps are starting to cool down. A lot! I'm starting to get into the Christmas spirit. As in, I want to start decorating, wrapping presents, and baking yummy Christmas goodness!!!

I know. It's barely, early November. I just can't help myself. I adore the cold weather. I live for "Holiday Decorating." Oh, and I just can't wait for all the yummy treats!

Yum! I was just thinking of my favorite hot chocolate. I've been making this, for close to 11 years now. I even remember the first time I made it. I burned my hand. Pretty bad. But boy, I didn't stop making this yummy goodness. It was almost too much, for me to bare. But darn, this is some good stuff!!!

How about a little fun treat. As in some "Baby Santa" gear! I have been wanting to make this, since it was posted. I even have the yarn. Darn, I need to just sit down, and get my "Crochet" on!!!

Yes, I'm totally in the holiday mood. I might even pull out the Christmas music. Is anyone else like me? Or am I the only one, counting down the days, until I can decorate. Putting up my decorations in November. And leaving them up, until late January. Yes, this is really a magical time of year!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Loft Space

This guy's mom has a pretty amazing home. I'll admit it, I was lucky enough, to do the interior design. It's what, in my opinion, "bonded" the 2 of us. Really bonded us. We worked on the entire home, together. Start to finish. Over a year. It was one of my favorite projects!

These days, her grand babies, are spending much more time with grandma. So grandma decided it's time to make a few changes. To her lovely home. Changes that will allow the girls, to have a space of their own.

First we had to decide on a room. Well, Mrs. J has a beautiful loft space. And after much thought, we've decided to move her "reading room," to a lower level. Then make the loft area, a space for the girls. Great ideas.

I asked Mrs. J, to look for some inspiration. I had an idea. The girls had an idea. But this is Mrs. J's home. I want her to have a space that she can enjoy. Even when the girls aren't there. And what did Mrs. J fall in love with? The same picture that I'd saved to my computer. :)

People it was something, that just made me happy. With a few splashes of color, I knew this would be perfect for the girls. Heck, as they get older, we can change the accent colors. And Little W, can also enjoy this space.

We've slowly been tackling this. With all that's been going on, in this man's life, it's been slower than expected. But we picked out the wood flooring. And the wood for the one accent wall. We didn't want to feel like we were in a "tree." That's not with this remodel was all about. So we decided on one wood wall.

For the ceiling, we're going with something a bit different. A paper technique. So that will have to wait a bit. Until all the other "heavy work" is done. After taking a look last night, we're right on schedule!

The floors are installed. A window seat has been built. The trim is painted and installed. The walls are painted. Heck, in just 2 weeks, we've got a fully functioning bathroom!!! OK, I'm getting excited. :)

This week, we're focusing on the fun stuff. Like that ceiling. Oh, I can't wait! I'm also waiting to hear back, from the carpenter. Who is building us beds. That are so fun! And when they are not being used as beds, can easily be transformed, into comfy couches.

This is just one of those really fun projects. One that I'm happy to be a part of. The room has an "outdoor" feel to it. With tons of light. A very spacious feeling. To me, it feels a bit like, living in a glamorous tree house. With a bit of sparkle, that only girls can appreciate. Something I would have adored, when I was little. ♥

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mix and Match for Fall

One of my absolute, favorite things about Fall, are the colors. The rich colors. The mix of textures. Oh, I could just go on and on, for days. Instead, I was searching through Polyvore last night. Passing some time, before calling a friend.

What did I find? Well, lots of things. But there was one board, that completely stuck out to me. I don't know what it was. But I adored it. What do you think?

Mostly, I like the colors. The variety of colors. But more than anything, I like the idea of mixing textures. Of mixing, and matching pieces, from different seasons. For example, that dress might be from Spring or Summer. Those shoes, and that ring, are definitely Summer pieces. But that jacket, and the makeup, scream Fall and Winter to me.

That's the thing I love about Fall. You can mix and match so much. To get that perfect look. OK, I'm not in love with these shoes. But I like the color. Maybe I'd pair this outfit, with a similarly colored clutch. Perhaps find a pair of coral and pink earrings. And a turquoise blue ring. Taking these colors, but using them in a slightly, different way.

Quite in fact, this little picture, has inspired me. I'm sort of challenged by it. And now, I'm dying to dig through my closet. To see what I can pair together. What pieces would go well. As we transition from Summer, to Fall. ♥

Friday, October 26, 2012

Perfect For Twins

My dear friends, Dawn and Alejandro, have only been married a short time. Just a few months. But they are expanding their family! :)

Shortly after returning, from their Honeymoon, the happy couple found out, they were expecting. And were so excited!!! Then just a few short weeks ago, they found out, there are 2 beautiful babies growing.

We are all so excited!!! Not just for the happy couple. But for their family. You definitely need to read Dawn's blog. To learn more, about her story. :)

Something that I really admire about Dawn is, she is a surviver. And an amazing mother. She is also a big reader. And encourages her kids, to read too! So when I was visiting one of my favorite blogs, I came across these sweet little hats!!!

Dawn and Alejandro, have been told the sex of their babies. They also let me know. :) But the doctors will not guarantee the results. Tomorrow marks 18 weeks. At 20 weeks, we will know for sure. 100%. That means, I need some "gender neutral" projects.

Can you see why this project is so perfect??? Oh, and it is even more perfect, when you take Alejandro's 1st "baby purchase." A stack of Dr. Suess books!!! I know. It doesn't get much better. Now, I better get crocheting. I've got double the gifts to make. ♥

Aunt Ruby's Sweet Potatoes

Yes, I'm so excited for Fall!!! Not about the current weather we are having. Hurricane Sandy, please stay away. But I'm ready for the cooler temps. I'm ready for hearty Fall cooking, sweater wearing, and lots of holiday decorating!!!

This week's Gooseberry Patch, Free Recipe of the Week, is right up my alley!!! Sweet Potatoes. One of my favorite things to eat. Period! I'm that woman, that buys sweet potatoes in July. :) Yes, I like them that much. Now, I have one more yummy recipe. Just in time for Fall!!!

Aunt Ruby's Sweet Potatoes

3 c. sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
1/3 c. milk Brown Sugar

Topping: 1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. butter, softened
1 c. chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon into a greased 13"x9" baking pan. For Brown Sugar Topping, combine ingredients; mix well. Then sprinkle with Brown Sugar Topping. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 8.

Yum! This was good. Really tasty to be exact. I actually made this, for breakfast. Just this morning. I'm such a "Lover of Fall." And of sweet potatoes. This hits all those "bells and whistles" for me. :) And you see that it says it serves 8? Yeah, I ate half of this...just a little while ago...

I'm thinking, this would make a nice side dish. Maybe with pork chops, or chicken breasts. With a nice little salad. Yum! I think I just figured out, what we're having for dinner. :) Hey Hills and Barracuda, want to join us? ♥

Thursday, October 25, 2012

60 Days...and a Little Wishing...

Just a little while ago, I got off the phone. With a good friend of mine. One that I hadn't talked to, in way too long!!! Say over a month...too long. If we're being honest here, it's almost been 2 years, since we've seen one another.

This is the same friend, that I used to meet for lunch...oh, 4 times a week. We'd literally spend 5 hours chatting. Meet up for lunch, that would take us well into dinner. That friend. One of my friends, that I'm desperately missing right now.

The funny thing that stuck in my brain...was Christmas. Don't panic or anything. But it's only 60 days until Christmas. I know!!! Where has the time gone? And my friend, she wants to know...just what I want. Um, even I was stumped by that question.

For the most part, I'm super easy to shop for! Buy me a scarf, and I'm your BFF. Get me some candles, I'm over the moon. A pair of chandelier earrings, I might just jump up and down.

But my friend was looking for something more specific. I thought, and thought. Then I remembered what I had told this guy, just the other day. Anything from Stella & Dot, makes me happy! Heck, I sold it for years. Cause you know, someone had to pay for medical school. :)

I thought I'd make it even easier for my friends. Pick out a few favorites. And you know, get them started. Because, Christmas is just 60 days away. I'm not panicking yet. Are you? So let's get started...

First up, Serenity Stone Drops. In jade please. :) $49 for the pair. And I'd just love them so! You know me and my earrings.

Keeping with earring theme, how about these Charlize Teardrop Earrings. Priced at $34. I just adore the various shades of blue. :)

Next, well there are 2 things in this picture. The Soar Necklace, for $59. Yes, this is my favorite of the bunch. But don't forget about the Tree of Life Necklace. For $69. Another darling!

I'd adore the Chelsea Necklace. In gold. For $59. Isn't it just lovely? You could layer it with other necklaces. Or wear it alone.

One of the mot gorgeous necklaces that I've seen, and amazing values, is the Glint Flower CZ Necklace. $39 for years of happiness! Don't you think???

Another simple necklace that I just adore, is the Aura Coin Drop Necklace. Come on, it's gorgeous! And just $49. Even I'm tempted to buy this one. Because I could see myself wearing it, every single single day!!!

Another favorite of mine, is this Serenity Small Stone Pendent. It reminds me of my birthstone. And is just $49. Honestly, this necklace would make a nice "every day" necklace too. :)

Something a little more understated, Odette Infinity Necklace. For $39. I just adore the mix "of colors."

Along those same lines, is the Together Forever Necklace. For $59. I adore the mix of metals. The different sizes, also makes this necklace interesting. Oh, I think I'm in love!!!

But really, we NEED to talk about the Infinity Charm Necklace. A little pricey at $79. But it is adorable!!!

The last necklace, that I'll be talking about is, the With Love Necklace. For $69. I like it's simplicity. But amazing meaning. This is high on my list!!!

How about a a few bracelets? Over the last few months, I've really fallen in love with bracelets. Any kind really. But here are a few of my favorites. :)

How about something for $19? This Courage Bracelet is one of my favorites. I just adore the style. And the little charm.

The Hope Bracelet is one of my favorites. Really it is! It's $32. But my favorite quality, is the rose gold! I've been a fan of rose gold, since I was a wee one!!!

The Elizabeth Bracelet is just plain fun!!! With a little bit of sass. For $29. Don't you just love it too? I do!

I can't help but be a fan of the Luna Wrap Bracelet. For $89. I think this would be a nice piece to own. Something that goes with a lot of other jewelry. But the real star here, is the Sole Bracelet. For $39. I don't know what it is, I just adore it!!!

Don't think I'm a spoiled brat. Or that I'm begging my friend for anything. She asked me a question. And it got me thinking. Of a few things, that I would welcome into my life.

But in reality, I'd adore a scarf from Wal-Mart, or a pair of earrings from Target. Heck, a nice lunch would be nice too! Although, if this Mr. is reading...these earrings, this necklace, or this one, or this one, or even this bracelet...they'd love living with us too!!! ♥

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Movie Date Night

Since we got the good news yesterday, we've been going 100 MPH!!! Lots of things, that had been previously, "Put on the Back Burner," well have to get done. ASAP!!! So we're are busy again. I know. Life really never does stop.

My Guy, worked for a few hours today. Getting back "Into the Groove of Things." You know, until we start traveling tomorrow. I've been running around. Picking up things that we need, heading to the store, just making sure we'll have everything that we could possibly need.

But tonight, we decided to take it easy. Head to the "Lake House." Order in some food, from our favorite Japanese resturant. And watch a few good movies. Starting with The Help. One of my favorites. And surprisingly, one of My Guy's favorites too! Just don't tell anyone. ;)

We also watched The Secret Life of Bees. I'd never seen it. Neither had he. But we'd had it, in our collection, for a few years now. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but it was still sealed! I know...

Honestly, it was such a good movie. Super cute. Dakota Fanning, and Queen Latifah make the entire movie! How come I don't remember this movie? Like I never remember hearing about it. But somehow, we had it. :) Now I want to read the book. The books are always better, than the movies. Don't you think?

I don't know if this man shared my same love. Of this movie. He did fall asleep. But I'm thinking, that had more to do with him going back to work. It's been over 2 weeks, since he'd worked. So I'm OK with his napping. In fact, I finished 2 presents I was making. :) A crochet blanket. And a baby set. I even got about halfway, with a scarf and hat set.

We ended our movie watching with Cast Away. And I even got some packing down. As this guy, and our fur babies are now, fast asleep. We really enjoyed this quiet night at home. Very unusual for us. But something that we both, enjoyed so much! I think we need to do this more. You know, without one of us being hurt or sick. Just make a new "Movie Date Night."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Truth...

The last few weeks have been challenging. Who am I kidding??? The last few months have. I've kept it pretty quiet. But in June, I suffered 2 concussions, in just a few days. It really did a number on me. By the end of July, I was still in a lot of pain. Having constant migraines. Being forced to take a temporary leave, from the hospital. Honestly, I really couldn't function.

A lot of this, has to do with my past. I was a cheerleader for 5 years. Competitive cheerleader. With a coach, that we nicknamed "Hitler." If you knew her, you'd know why. In my senior year, I was hurt. I suffered 10 concussions, in just 1 week. Everyone around me, could see that I was barely functioning. I'm almost positive, during that week, I spent more time in the nurse's office...than I did in my classes. :( But I tried to stay positive. Tried to hide my pain. My constant dizziness. And my constant nausea.

I'd convinced my parents, that I was OK. But also, begged my Dad to drive me to school. That entire week. And when it was time to head home, go to a game, or whatever other school activity I had...I'd ask a friend. Which was completely, out of the ordinary for me. By that Friday, I really was barely going.

I remember there being a school assembly. And just praying, that I'd make it through that hour. That included a dance performance, a cheer performance, and the other craziness that we were supposed to be doing. Sometime during our cheer performance, "That Girl," landed square on my head. And somehow, in that instance, I knew something was different.

I barely made it through that hour. In so much pain. Struggling to stand. The minute the gym cleared, my Dad was trying to figure out if I was OK. Other parents were arguing with my coach. By that night, I was on doctor's orders. No more cheering. Until I had healed. At least a 6 week period.

I remember the doctor, scolding my Dad. Who happened to be the one, that took me to the doctor. He explained how serious this was. How many concussions I'd had in just 1 week. And what my future would hold, if I didn't stop all of this. I was out for 6 weeks. No "ifs," "ands," or "buts" about it!

BUT, we were heading to Nationals. In just a few weeks. What was a girl to do? Oh, my coach was not pleased!!! Not at all. I couldn't dance, in her dance class. I couldn't workout, practice, or do anything at games. Pretty much, if it was something that challenged me physically, I couldn't do it. If it was too loud, I was to remove myself. If it was too chaotic, I was to be no part of it.

But it was Nationals. My coach was beyond angry. The trip was paid for. And it was my senior year. After about 10 days, I talked to my parents. If I continued to be benched, not be involved in anyway, in stunts, and just took it easy...they'd let me go.

This is the point, that most people would think, we're all crazy!!! We were. But I was determined. I became the official "Sign and Banner" girl, during our performance. Which included me doing 2 jumps, dancing, and a lot of "Crowd Involvement."

That trip was a bit miserable. We left in the wee hours of December 26. My uncle, had past away, the night before. But we were headed to Dallas. On a plane with a "broken wing." We didn't get far. Not just because of our plane, but because of the "unusual blizzard." Eventually, we made it to Dallas.

It got worse. There was lots of fighting. Freezing temps, blizzard conditions, our coach was so sick. It was just miserable. Our performance went OK. Nothing to write home about. And then, we were expected to spend 2 days at Six Flags. In the snow!!! Um, I couldn't even ride the rides. I was miserable.

As you can tell, I didn't take good care of myself. For that, I suffer today. I've had a handful of concussions in the last 10 years. Each one, is much more debilitating to me. I find myself suffering from migraines. Unable to do much. Out for much longer periods of time.

So when My Guy suffered a concussion in late August, I knew immediately. Partly due to my "Day Job." Partly due to my past. I was surprised, when the doctor "cleared" him. And just told him to take it easy.

Then, just a few weeks ago, he suffered another. The impact, was much harder. In all, he had 3 concussions, in just 6 weeks. And suddenly, our world came "Screeching to a Halt." This man wasn't going to be able to work. At least for 2 weeks. Maybe longer. We weren't sure.

This time, he was to not watch TV, play video games, or get on the computer. He had to stay away from too much action, noise, and busy-ness in general. Essentially, we were to make him rest. Monitor his headaches, and other symptoms.

Normally, it wouldn't be too bad. OK, yes it would. He's still a man, after all. One that doesn't like to appear weak. But after making him go to the doctor, being diagnosed, and realizing the seriousness of the situation...he knew he had to stop. Just as I had done, a few months ago.

Oh, but this time around, we had nearly 100 people in town. Just for 2 events. Besides the people that had paid to attend these events. 100 personal guests. Our friends understood. As did family. And this guy's co-workers. Did it make it any easier? Not really...

The two of us, found other ways to entertain ourselves. Lots of talking. Tons of napping. And just enjoying life in the "Slow Lane." Something we don't do. Not ever!!! Days would pass. He'd feel better. Insisting, that he could go back to work. But really, he couldn't. He couldn't even drive a car. Hello!?!?!?

Until today. Just now. After 2 days of doctors' appointments, tests, and "real life" situations. He's been officially cleared. And life, is apparently, back to normal. :) My Love, is healed!!!

The first week, was tough. But we learned so much about one another. The second week, was a bit more relaxing. We slept a lot. A LOT!!! The beginning of this week, we were just flat out anxious. Again, some of our best friends, were in town. To finally get some of those postponed events done.

It's been a challenge. Especially, if you knew the second part of this. My Dad hasn't been doing well either. Just before this round of concussions, I'd been home. To help my parents. My Dad is just struggling right now. I really do wish, that I could have spent more time with them. Just being there to help out. But I'm just glad, that I got to be there, for the short time, that I was. Helping were I could.

As you can tell, it's been a very chaotic, and hectic time. I've turned to God, more times, than I can possibly count. I'm grateful to God, that he is with us, when we need him most. Comforting us. Giving us strength.

With our news, just a little while ago, the chaos starts again. At least, until Thanksgiving. :) I need to run to the store, get packing, and wrap my head around all of this. It's just been such a tough time. And I pray, that the remainder of our year, has a little less "action." ♥

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Call the Midwife

It's unusual, and honestly weird, that we haven't traveled for a few weeks. Well, for work anyway. But it's given us a little more time to connect with the TV. I haven't decided if that's a good thing, or a bad thing. :)

One of my new favorite shows, has to be Call the Midwife. Have you seen it? It's on PBS. And honestly, I'm hooked! Partly because of their accents, partly because of the "time period," but mostly for the storylines!!!

I've got to give it to PBS, they've been coming up with some great shows lately! I'm also digging, Upstairs Downstairs. And of course Downton Abbey. ♥

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

A few days ago, My Guy and I headed to my parents' cabin. My Mom had asked me to go and "winterize" the place. Because, they just couldn't get out there. Being that this guy is taking a little break from work right now, totally played into this plan.

We headed to Albertson's for a few necessities. And then across the street, to Walgreen's. You know, before heading to the mountains. Where the nearest store, is over an hour away. We needed to stock up, on a few things. Nothing too nuts. As we were only going to be there, for 2 days.

But that didn't seem to bother, little 'ol me. :) First of all, I'm pretty sure, I bought out these little guys. My favorite candy. That I can't find anywhere else...

Why are they my favorite? I don't know. Probably because these are my favorite flavors. And I don't have to eat lemon candies. That I just don't like.

Oh, and I couldn't resist the "Beauty Section." Where I bought my new favorite nail polish. L'Oreal's "Eiffel For You." It looks pretty purple, or lavender, in this picture. But in reality, it's more of a grey color. A great neutral for Fall.

Oh, and of course my favorite purchase!!! Gooseberry Patch's Halloween magazine. It's loaded with tons of fun ideas for Halloween. Not just food people! Decorating ideas. And little gifts too! The price was a little high. But with a nice coupon, I only paid $4!!!

Yes, I've spent the last few days trying new recipes. Dreaming of all the things, I'm going to make this month. Writing out lists of supplies, I'll need. Oh, and enjoying my candy. Seriously people, why can't I find it at other stores? ♥