Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lemon Chili Rounds

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This is a quickie post.  These are so delicious.  I picked them up at The Fresh Market this afternoon.  They are sold in their bulk snack food area.  I am sure someone else somewhere is selling these fantastic little crackers. If you see them give them a try.  They have a slightly sour lemon taste, a bit of heat from the chili and little bit of salt.  I think the cracker itself is part corn meal.  So different and so tastee!  Perfect with a glass of wine.  And speaking of wine…I have a question for all of you wine drinkers out there.  I have always preferred to drink red wine over white.  Now with my new ceramic/clear braces, I am trying not to stain them and think I might have to make the switch.  Do you have any white wines to recommend???

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Subway Art

I have wanted to make one of these signs for the longest time. Today was a good day to do it. I spent most of the day today watching Final Four Basketball (Go Michigan State and Duke!) and working on my “Hello” Subway Art project.

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First thing I had to do was go to the Google Translator to get the proper spellings of the word “Hello” in several different languages.

Guten Tag – German

Ciao – Italian

Hola – Spanish

Ahoj – Czech

Bon Jour – French

Hej – Swedish

My husband was bummed that I didn’t include the Norwegian “Hallo” in my little art project since he is half Norwegian. Sorry but I ran out of room!

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First thing I did was to paint a canvas with black acrylic craft paint. It took 3 coats to get the solid black look I wanted.

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Then I took my stencils and started to stencil on my word “hello” in all of its various languages and spellings.

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I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. It would be fun to try this on a larger scale and have several more languages represented on it.

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And of course then I had to do the Home Tour to decide where to put it.

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I am sure that I will move it around to several more locations before it finds a more permanent location.

I am going to try this again with a larger canvas and I am going to make it using all of the addresses we have lived at over the years. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I am linking up with Susan's Between Naps on the Porch where she is hosting Metamorphisis Monday. Stop by....lot's to see!!

And I am linking up to The Twice Remembered Cottage for Make Your Monday.


Friday, March 26, 2010

My New Favorite Hang Out

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A quick update on my braces.  They are much better thank you very much!  Week One was painful and awkward.  Week Two was just….awkward.  I am still figuring out how to talk in them.  And right  now I only have them on my top teeth.  I get my them on my bottom teeth in early May.  Heaven help me!!

Chewing anything has been a challenge.  Well, one day last week on my way home from work, I was hungry and feeling sorry for myself when I saw it… “The Juice Shop” on Lawndale Avenue in Greensboro, NC! (  For all you locals, they also have shops at the Friendly Center in Greensboro, and at the Thruway Center in Winston-Salem, NC)   I have to admit that over the years I have seen this shop and have done a very good job avoiding it.  My kids have begged to stop in on more than one occasion and I have held strong and always said “NO….we don’t need the extra calories!”   I honestly had never ordered a smoothie before in my life.  I always thought of them like an ice cream shake and figured if I was going to indulge why not just stop at the drive thru at “Cook Out” and order a shake.  What do I need a smoothie for?  Oh, the years I have wasted!!

I ordered the “Arctic Orange” and it is so delicious that I can’t make myself order anything else and try something new.  It’s made with orange juice, bananas, strawberries, and non-fat frozen yogurt.  They swear the calorie count on all of their smoothies is between 375 and 425 calories, contains less than 2 grams of fat, and has 2-3 servings of fruit. I always order mine with protein and replace my lunch with it.  They are cold, smooth, thick and delicious and do a good job of taking away the “hungaries” and holding me till dinner time.  And of course the best part of all for me is that I don’t have to chew!!!

Are you a fan of smoothies?

What is your favorite kind?

Do you make them yourself?

Have any recipes to share????? 

I am going to need to dust off my blender!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just In Time For Easter

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I just couldn’t keep my hands off of the bird cage that I worked on earlier this week. I found it at Goodwill and painted it with a couple of coats of Rust-o-leum Heirloom White. (And to be honest with you….I think it needs one more coat . Some of my photos are telling me that I have a few thin spots.) I had originally placed a small pot of ivy in the bird cage which looked great. But then I had the bright idea that a nest with some “robin’s egg blue” speckled eggs would make a cute Easter decoration.

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I picked up a bag of Spanish Moss and a couple of wood eggs at the craft supply store along with a bottle of paint. I used Ceramcoat acrylic paint and the color I used is called “Paradise”. After a couple of coats of the blue paint, I then took some brown craft paint and smeared it on a toothbrush and “flicked” it so that my eggs had brown speckles.

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I took the Spanish Moss and shaped it into the shape of a bird’s nest and put it in the bird cage. I placed my speckled eggs in the nest.

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And I took it outside to the front porch to take a picture because the light is better out there.

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Not sure where it’s going to land. Here I have it on the small table I have in our foyer. It also might end up back in the sun room. Wherever it ends up, I think it makes a great Spring and Easter decoration. And I love the color of those eggs!

Stop by the Shabby Nest to see lots of other thrifty projects for Frugal Friday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ballard Envy

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Mostly, I just wanted to show you this photo of the GORGEOUS patio furniture.  It is just beautiful.  It’s in the latest copy of the Ballard Designs catalog.

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I love this simple bedroom.   It has a “vacation” feel to it.  Someday, when I have a beach house……….

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Look at how deep the drawers are on this kitchen island.  Not sure if I would pick it in white or black. 

That’s it.  Like I said, mostly I just wanted to show you that patio furniture set.  I need to win the lottery.  Oh the damage I could do with the winnings. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bird Cage

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Well, it was a good run. My days finding fabulous castaways at the Goodwill seems to have come to a screeching halt. I have stopped by at least once a week for the last several weeks and have walked back out the door empty handed. Nothing! The good stuff seems to have dried up. I don’t understand it! We have actually donated I can’t tell you how many bags of STUFF over the past few weeks to the Goodwill so why can’t I find any goodies any more??? I was spoiled and didn’t even realize it. So today I needed to dip in to my “inventory”. That is what I call my cardboard box of purchased castoffs that I keep out in the garage. I won’t tell you what my husband calls it. ;)

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Today’s project was actually purchased before the holidays. I found this great bird cage and only paid $4.99 for it. It was dirty but in good shape so after scrubbing it down, I proceeded to add a few coats of Rust-o-leum Heirloom White to it. I was fun for me to finally get outside with a can of spray paint. The weather has not been cooperating in the past few months. The temperature needs to be at least 50 degrees with no wind to be able to spray. Today was a good day for it.

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I tucked a small pot of ivy into it. Now I just need to get one of those watering cans with a long skinny spout. Otherwise it might die of thirst. It wasn’t easy getting that pot into that cage with out stripping all of the leaves off of the plant. That would have defeated the purpose don’t you think?

I am adding this post to Transformation Thursday over at The Shabby Chic Cottage. Come see all of the other transformed projects!

And I am posting this over at Leigh's Tales from Bloggeritaville! This spot is worth the visit!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring has Sprung

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I have daffodils out by my mailbox and they are blooming!

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Nothing says Spring like bright yellow daffodils.

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And I found these wild violets peeking out of the dried leaves walking in the woods today.

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And nothing says Spring like mushroom shingles on a dead log.  ;)   I am so happy that Winter is finally over…well, officially Spring starts on Sunday…it came a few days early this year.  Oh Happy Day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

I know, I know. It’s St. Patrick’s day and I’m giving you a recipe for Chicken Enchiladas! Sorry! I am not Irish but I did wear green today. This is just an off year for the Irish holiday in our house. I haven’t been blogging much the past couple of weeks. I am blaming the new braces on my teeth. Yes, they are awkward and yes they are painful. Oh the things we women go through! I have been thinking I was crazy for doing this for most of the past week when this morning I learned that two of my good friends from my college days both have braces on their teeth right now too!!!! (And I heard from another who told me she had them a mere 7 years ago.) I can’t tell you how happy that made me. I am not so strange after all. And I am in good company!

I also blame the lack of blogging on the fact that we are painting. It’s been a chain reaction. After finishing our daughter’s new bedroom and bathroom this past weekend, we were able to finish re-painting her old room. We have decide to make her old room the Guest Room/Man Cave and I used a Benjamin Moore color called “Silken Pine” which is a pale and neutral light green. We will probably use the same color in the attached bath. After that, it’s on to our son’s new bedroom. Still haven’t decided on a color there. Anyway, I actually had the day off of work today and was able to go and get my hair cut and make one of my son’s favorite dinners.

These are so basic and delicious and easy! I use rotisserie chicken from the market when I don’t have leftover chicken on hand. And we’ve tried a lot of different enchilada sauces and always come back to the can of Old El Paso. It tastes the best. And this is a BASIC recipe. My son does not allow me to add anything like sour cream or diced red pepper to these. But if your family allows go ahead, by all means! Give this one a try if you want to try something quick, easy, and cheesy.

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Chicken Enchiladas

2 rotisserie chicken breasts from the market or use leftover chicken.

1 19 oz. can of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce

Shredded Cheddar cheese

Flour tortillas (Burrito size

Spoon some of the sauce into the bottom of your baking dish and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Tear the chicken meat into small bite size pieces. Set 6 flour tortillas on your counter and divide all the chicken meat between all the tortillas and spread it out in a long line down the center of the tortilla. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of enchilada sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle a small handful of the cheddar cheese over top of the chicken with the enchilada sauce.

Fold over a small part of the tortilla over one end of the chicken meat, then take the tortilla side closest to you at the bottom and snugly pull it up just over the meat mixture and then tightly roll your enchiladas up. Set them in the baking dish. After you have all the enchiladas rolled up and in the baking dish, spoon the remaining sauce over them. Sprinkle a few handfuls of cheese over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then take the foil off and bake for 10 more minutes.

Muy Bueno!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Finally, Some Easter Decor

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It is starting to feel like Spring around here finally.  And Easter is not too far away. 

I even started to pick up some candy to help the Easter Bunny fill the baskets with this year. 

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I found these cute Easter eggs and this yellow bunny candy dish at T.J. Maxx a few weeks ago.  So cute!

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And the eggs in the Hurricane look cuter than I expected.  Now I just need to fill these other two candle holders with some candy!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Painting Fools

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We spent the entire weekend painting.  And it was totally not planned.  The First Year College Student was on Spring break this week.  Her original plans were to go to Panama City in Florida.  Yes, I know about the insane level of debauchery that takes place there.  Her father and I were getting ready to be the wet blanket and give her the “Big Fat NO”  but then lucky for us we didn’t have to.  A FREE room became available to one of her friends for 3 days in Wilmington, NC.  “Free” is always good and so she went there for part of the week with four of her friends.  Not very warm but they didn’t care and squeezed in some beach days and some shopping in Myrtle Beach.

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She also is moving off campus for the next school year and just signed a 12 month lease for an apartment.  That means she’ll be living there and going to school this summer.   We sadly realize her days living her at home with us are numbered.  So we decided to make some changes.  Her brother, “The 10th Grade Son” has had the smallest bedroom in our house.  It seemed silly to keep him in there when his sister’s room was so much bigger.  So we spent the entire weekend moving him out of his room, painting, and cleaning the carpet, and painting the bathroom. 

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I can’t believe that I did not take a “Before” photo but I blame it on the pain my new braces are causing me.  I have not been thinking straight.  Pair that with all the paint fumes and I am a mess!! :) But really, I do regret not taking a “Before” photo because it was more work than we expected.  Back about 8 years ago, I thought it would be really great to paint our son’s bathroom a deep midnight blue.  And I thought how cool would his bedroom look with khaki walls and a deep burgundy stripe around the ceiling and then a smaller stripe below that in the deep midnight blue.  At the time, I thought it looked very Pottery Barn.  It required a gallon plus of “Kilz” to cover it and then two coats of paint.  But in the end it looks beautiful and it is a bright and cheerful yellow.  (The color we used was Benjamin Moore “light yellow”. )  We painted the bathroom the same color.  Both rooms look so much brighter and fresh and clean.  We still need to change out some of the bedding and come up with a window treatment but it is almost there.

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Today, we finished the bedroom and bath and then we moved into the room “The First Year College Student” vacated and we put up the painter’s tape, put a coat of Kilz on the walls (to cover the lilac purple) and shampooed the carpet.  We are tired people!

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I will try to do better with the “Before” and “After” photos as we progress on the bedroom changes and painting that we have planned for the next few weeks….months…and years.  :)

Now I have to decide what color to paint “The 10th Grade Son’s” new room.  If you have any suggestions on colors I would love to hear them. 

Also, Thanks for all the kind comments and words of encouragement you have left me about my braces.  I have been questioning my sanity on the day I decided to do this.  Your encouragement means more than you know!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day One

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No, these are not my teeth…but I now have a set of braces just like them.  Yes, as of today, I am now an adult brace face.  I think I am my Orthodontist’s oldest patient. :)

They wanted to take my picture and hang it on the bulletin board along with all the other kids (and I do mean kids) photos next to the door when you walk in.  I politely declined. 

I am 4 Motrin IB’s in to my day.  So far the suffering is under control.  It is the strangest sensation.  I only have them on my top teeth for the next 8 weeks to help move them enough to make room for the brackets on the bottom and then I will get the rest put on my bottom teeth.  My vanity kicked in and had me opt for the clear ceramic brackets.  I have a white wire too. The metal brackets are only on the far back teeth.  Now if I can only figure out how to wrap my lips around them and I am so looking forward to the inside of my cheeks turning into hamburger.  (How’s that for a mental picture?!) :)

So today is day 1.  Only 730 more to go.  :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More QVC Love

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It arrived today.  It’s my PreZerve Anti-Tarnish Embellished Jewelry Organizer.  I chose the “Giraffe”.  It promises to keep my silver jewelry from tarnishing for 50 years!!  I have long wanted and needed a place to keep my silver jewelry.  Not that I have a lot of it but what I do have always seems to be tarnished when I pull it out to put it on.  And usually I discover that about 5 minutes before I want to walk out the door.  That won’t be a problem any longer!

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It’s no secret that I like to check in every now and then with QVC to see what they might be selling.  I was very happy the other day when I turned on the TV and saw the PreZerve Anti-Tarnish Jewelry Organizer.  Great price:  $19.80 plus $5.47 Shipping and Handling.  My little fingers were flying over the telephone keys and there were several colors to choose from and I decided to live large and get the “Giraffe”.    

I have wasted no time moving my jewelry into all the various pouches and compartments.  Several of the pieces are tarnished.  So I plan to keep it with me and use my polishing cloth on each piece while I watch TV over the next few weeks until I get them all cleaned up and then I can keep them in the organizer and hopefully never have to clean my silver jewelry again!  This thought makes me very happy!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Guilty TV Viewing Pleasure of the Week

Now that the Olympics are over I have had to find some other shows to fill in my TV viewing time as I start to wean myself off of the winter TV viewing schedule I have been keeping. 

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Housewives of NY:  The new season of The Housewives of New Your City kicked off their new season on Thursday night.  And I missed it!  But I was able to catch it the next day because that is what BRAVO does….they beat their shows with a stick.  I mean they air them over and over and over…… and I am guilty of watching them over and over...  And I spend most of that time disgusted by what I see.  And yet, I can’t look away!  I think these women  think their lives are envied and admirable.  I think they are pathetic. The “girls” on NY  are sarcastic and shallow and not too bright which in the proper setting I can appreciate.  But these “ladies” make me glad I don’t have oodles of money. The Hamptons?  Blah, blah, blah….I can think of a hundred other places I’d rather spend time.  Nobody is happy.  Nobody is truly kind.  Their money is more of a curse than blessing.   Makes me appreciate my calm and boring life.  I have always believed that calm and boring is good!  Maybe that is why I watch.  It’s life affirming to me.  It’s “my life affirming” if that makes any sense. 

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Celebrity Rehab:   It was the season finale this week for Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.  And who doesn’t love Dr. Drew?  It’s so heart breaking to see what a mess these people have made of their lives.  The show is so good at scrapping away the crust on the outside of these pitiful people and shows how heartbreakingly fragile they all are.  You can’t help but care for these sad and broken people and you can’t help but admire how Dr. Drew tries to help them.  Fame and fortune is not all that it’s cracked up to be. 

Hurry Spring.  I need to spend more time out of doors doing more constructive things with my time.   But mostly, I just need to step away from the remote.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Camellias and Robins

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There are signs of Spring despite the snow we’ve had the past few days.  Yesterday, school was cancelled but today the snow is all melted and the sky is blue and the sun is shining.  On the side of our house are 4 Camellia bushes.  The blooms are a bright red.  Lot’s of the buds were nipped by all the cold temperatures we have had but there are lots more that are starting to bloom.  Spring really is almost here!  The daffodils are coming up out of the ground.  Soon I’ll see my tulips.

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I never really knew what Camellias were until I moved to the South.  The leaves are a bright glossy green.  They give me hope!

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Growing up in Michigan, we were taught that it was truly Spring time when you saw a Robin.  It also happens to be the state bird of Michigan.  I remember getting excited when I would spot my first Robin knowing that the days of winter were numbered.  Well, to all my friends in Michigan who are wondering where all the Robins are…..they are here in North Carolina on a layover.  I  saw about thirty of them a couple of days ago congregating in my front yard.  I think the snow here freaked them out on their trek back to the great North.  I think they decided that if there is as much snow and cold temperatures in NC that they would delay their trip back to the Great Lake State until the weather improves.  So I am here to say, Keep the faith!  The Robins are on their way. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It’s snowing…Again!

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I can’t take it anymore.  It is snowing yet again.  Big fat juicy flakes.

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Oakley LOVES the snow.  She likes to eat it and roll in it.

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And now here are some more photos of the world’s cutest dog.  I apologize in advance.

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But who can resist such cuteness?

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And she likes to pose for the camera.   

I think these photos beat the rat in the car photos from yesterday don’t you?