Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Wreath

I've been looking at posts and Pinterest of beautiful Spring and Easter decorations and I figured it was about time that I did something to welcome the new season.

Now, it really does not feel like Spring here in South Florida - more like the middle of summer but the calendar says Spring - so let's pretend the temperatures are in the 70's and not pushing 90 - okay???

I put this wreath together one night a couple of weeks ago and did not take the first picture, but it really was not hard to do.  

I took a standard grapevine wreath from Walmart and a couple of sprigs of faux forsythia and about ten minutes later I had the wreath.  

I didn't use my glue gun at all - just cut the sprigs off the main stalk and stuck them in the wreath.


Last fall Mountain Man installed a hook on our metal front door to hang my fall wreath from - so, to get a wreath to hang in the correct place, I have to add ribbon and then the ribbon has to hang on the front of the door - thus the bow to cover the hook.

So, that is the extent of our Spring decorating.  

I apologize that this is not a very extensive post - actually I have been at the hospital with my mom all week - two days and one night in Lakeland and then I come home for one night - then back  for another two days and one night.  (For some of you that don't know  - that is a two hour drive one way.)  The doctors still have not determined what is wrong but they are running some more tests tomorrow.  Hopefully we will know more after they are completed. If not, I'll continue this crazy schedule next week.

Before I sign off for the weekend I did want to show you my new look.  Two weeks ago I went to the beautician and went from 

to this -


Can we say short?!?

So, what do you think????

Do you like the new "do" or do you think I really messed up?
I can say that, so far, it has been much easier to take care of and with my schedule this past week I'm really glad it's short!  

(Please forgive the quality of the photo - Mountain Man is a lot of things but  photographer is not one of them!)

Well, that's it for today - leave a comment and let me know what you think of the haircut.

In the meantime, I hope that you all have a fantastic weekend and I will "see" you Monday with the Monday Menu.

Hugs -


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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oh My - Another Award!

Wow !  I can't believe I've received another award in two days!  If this keeps up I'm going to get a big head - NOT!  I am honored that two lovely ladies have given me two different awards in the past couple of days.  It has been a tough week for me, so this has really made my day.

Now, on to the Liebster Blog Award -

I would like to thank 
Evelyn at My Turn (For Us)
for giving me this award.

If you haven't checked out her blog - please do so.  She and her husband are working on becoming full time RVer's.  I sure do wish them the best as they take that journey - Mountain Man and I sure did enjoy our time on the road.

Here are the rules for giving the Liebster Blog Award:

1.)  Choose 5 up and coming blogs that have less than 200 followers.
2.)  Show your appreciation to the blogger who nominates you by linking back to their blog.
3.) Post the award on your blog.
4.) Link back to the blogs you are awarding so everyone can visit them.

Okay, here are my nominations for the Liebster!

1. Kassi and Kayli of
are two sweet sister who share their blog.  Currently they are part of 10 weeks of giving thanks - you should check them out and maybe join the challenge.

2. Claire at Bless My Nest ( is a girl after my own heart - thrifty crafting!  Right now she is featuring beautiful wreaths that she has made as well as a beautiful one that is a guest post.

3.  If you love photography you really need to check out this next blog!
Madge at takes the most amazing photographs of the Northwest - I love her pictures of Pikes Market in Seattle - but all her pictures are beautiful!

4. Michelle of  has some great crafting and DIY entries as well as advice on homeschooling.

5. Finally, Christi at has some fabulous recipes and menu plans.  If you're looking for some great food check out Christi's blog.

Well, there you have it - these are my nominations for the Liebster Blog Award.  I really hope that you will pay them a visit and let them know that I sent you!  (That would be a hoot!)

Once again, Thanks to Evelyn at My Turn (for Us)
for thinking about me for this award.

Now, be sure to check back in later for a Spring project that I've done.

Hugs -


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh my - winning an award is HARD work!

Woot! Woot!  I was awarded this fabulous award today by Priscilla at Thrifty Crafty Girl today!  I'm so excited -- I have never received an award like this before and it couldn't come at a better time for me.  You need to check Priscilla out - she has some great projects and recipes!

So, here are the rules -

1. Add the award to your blog.
2.  Thank the blogger that gave it to you.
3. Mention seven random things about yourself. (see below)
4.  List the rules.
5.  Award to 15 bloggers.
6.  Notify the 15 of the award by leaving a comment on their blog.

Okay - so let's begin.

1.  Add the award to your blog  - did that (see above)

2.  Thanks the blogger that gave it to you - heh, Priscilla - thanks so much, I'm super excited!

3.  Mention seven random things about yourself.  Well, that is a little bit of a chore, but here we go -

 I'm cheap - I hate buying anything at full price - in fact, I won't buy clothes for myself if it isn't on sale!  (I will buy for Mountain Man - but then we don't find his size on sale very often - can we say BIG GUY!)

I don't like chocolate - I know, I'm really weird, but I have never been a sweet eater.  When I was a kid I didn't even want a birthday cake - made it rough when it came to parties. 

While I may not eat chocolate or even like sweets - that does NOT include doughnuts - I LOVE doughnuts - especially glazed from Publix.  I grew up on them and they are the "bestest" things in the whole wide world!

I'm a huge Trekie - I love me some Star Trek - I have every movie on DVD and even will watch reruns on TV.  Spock is just the best!  My favorite Star Trek movie is The Search for Spock. 

I have four daughters - two of my own and two step-daughters which are four years apart in age - Dana and Cara (step-daughters) and Crystal and Melissa (birth daughters). 

I love NCIS - the entire cast is GREAT!  I love Mark Harmon, and Abby - but the entire cast is wonderful!

I'm the sole caregiver for my mom - my dad passed away from colon cancer  about 20 years ago and my brother passed away almost 2 years ago.  So, I'm it.

Okay, that is seven random things - maybe that gives you a little more insight into "me" - but then again, maybe not.

4. List the rules.  Did that (see above).

5.  Award to 15 other bloggers.  Okay - here goes.

1.)  There is Ritajoy over at Harbour Breeze.  She does the most adorable signs.  You really need to check her out.

2.)  Kassi and Kayli at Truly Lovely are two sisters that are as "thrifty" as I am.  Really!

3.) Amanda at The Ivy Cottage did the most amazing craft room - I am so  jealous!

4.) Katie at  Little Things Brings Smiles just went on an amazing trip to Iceland with her husband.  I was blown away by the beautiful pictures, and you will be too!

5.)  Shelley at The House of Smiths does some amazing DIY projects with the help of her dad and hubby (look at the hall closet she transformed), but right now she is doing a little more personal DIY on herself.

6.) Whitney and her husband, over at The Rooster and Hen do awe inspiring work on their house.   Whitney is a wiz with paint and the peacock wall mural she did in the guest (kids) bathroom - well, you just won't believe it.

7.) Nicole at Thrify Decorating hooked me at the name of her blog - just gotta love someone who is "thrifty" while decorating!

8.)  Abbie at 5 Days 5 Ways has a very interesting blog - and the name says it all - check out her "thrifted or gifted" post today - can I just say I wish I had a Goodwill store in my town like she has!

9.)  Stephanie at Lovely Little Snippets makes the cutes little craft projects - just love her wreath that she posted - will bring spring to anyone's door!

10.)  Suzy at Joy is at Home is blogging about all the stages of her pregancy.  I guess I'm drawn to her blog because my youngest daughter is also pregnant.  You gotta check out her 4D ultra sound pictures she has posted.  Sweet baby!  Shhh - don't tell anyone, but I think she is having a sweet little girl (she hasn't announced the baby gender yet!).

11.) Anna at Ask Anna gives some great advice and comes up with things that I would never have thought of - Vinegar in the Garden,  really????

12.) Tonia at The Gunny Sack does some amazing Linky Parties.  I think this was the very first party I ever joined.  (She also does other amazing posts, but I really enjoy "linking" up at her parties!)

13.) Jen at At Home in the Northwest also had me hooked with her photography.  Mountain Man and I absolutely LOVE the Northwest and would love to live in that part of the country.  Please go over and check out her beautiful home and decorating touches.

14.)  Christie at Christie's Crazy Life does some great menu planning - if you are into saving money at the grocery store, you really need to check out Christie's blog.


15.) Liz at Here's to Handy Andy is one "Handy Andy".  If you like DIY you need to check  her out!

WOW!!!  That was really hard to do!  These are really all great blogs and I hope you check all of them out!

6.  Notify all 15 bloggers of their award!  Well, I'm off to do that!  I hope that they will be as excited about this award as I was!

Hugs -


My New Kitchen - Part 1

The next space in our house remodel that I would like to show you is our kitchen; however, there are so many pictures that I decided that I would divide it up into two posts - This post will show what the kitchen looked like before and the process we went through.

Now, before I go any further, these first pictures are pictures of pictures - so the quality is pretty bad.  However, I wanted you to see what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house.

Isn't the wallpaper just bea-U-ti-ful???  Not!  Then put that awful wallpaper with "peachy - pink" cabinets!  Well, let's just say that something HAD to be done!

This is a side of the kitchen that had 'some' of the angled walls - remember I have said that none of the walls in this house were straight - this included the kitchen. (BTW, isn't my son-in-law cute?) In the background was the space that was suppose to be the dining room.

Now you can see where Mountain Man took the cabinets out and placed them in the middle of the room to see if where we wanted to put the island would work.  Please check out the lights and the fan.

We have finally moved into the demo phase of the project.  That awful wallpaper was still on the wall, but Mountain Man and I worked on removing that awful stuff at night when I got off work.  (Last year I worked at the local middle school teaching World History, Science, and Intensive Math.)  It only took about two days to get the wall paper down.  While we didn't have to worry about some walls since they were being replaced but these are outside walls.  We did not replace the drywall on these walls.

Here you can also see that the ceiling is down.  We tore out all those old lights and raised the ceiling as much as we could.

Walls are starting to go back up on Day 4.  The half wall shown above will be the side of the island.  To the left will be the new pantry. 

Now, to cut costs we kept the footprint of the kitchen the same.  It had a good flow between the appliances (you know - that triangle thing they always talk about) and even with the placement of the island it does not interfere.

Drywall going up.

Wood floors installed.
New can lights and chandelier over island installed.

Kitchen cabinets are being installed.
New washer and dryer are being stored in the living room -
 we used places wherever as storage while the work was being done.

Work still in progress

We decided to use an IKEA kitchen.  We went to a local cabinet maker and to one of the home improvement box stores and got estimates. 
All the prices were at least three times as much as the kitchen from IKEA (in fact, one was over four times as much!).  We decided to go with the IKEA kitchen, not only because of the price, but also because it had a 25 year warranty.  We had seen this kitchen in the store and it looked great.  We figured, that with as much traffic that this kitchen got in the store and it still looked great - Mountain Man and I couldn't faze it.

This is where I am going to leave you for this week - next week I'll show you the finished kitchen.
Have a great week and be sure to come back next Wednesday for "My New Kitchen - Part Two"!

Hugs -


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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Southwest Taco Pie

Good Tuesday morning to you!  I know that it a little rare for me to be doing a post on Tuesday - but maybe this is something that I can start.  Posting a recipe on Tuesday might be something you would like?  I'll look at the response of today posting and see if you like this idea.

Now, let's get down to the nitty gritty.  Southwest Taco Pie - it really is a simple recipe to fix - and if your family likes Mexican/Southwestern food this should become a staple in your recipe file.  I found this recipe on the Food Network site back in 2005, so I'm not sure if it is available now.  They have the prep time as 20 minutes and the difficulty as "Easy" and I would agree with both statements.

This is all the ingredients except the ground beef and salt and pepper.  So, you can see - there aren't a whole lot of ingredients you need.  (As I look at his picture I think that I could be a good advertisement for WalMart - but, I have found that they make a good product for a less expensive price, but that is just my opinion.) 

Okay, here is a list of ingredients:

Southwestern Taco Pie

1 lb. ground beef
1 package Taco Seasoning Mix
1/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
1 pkg. frozen green, red, and yellow peppers and onions*
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup salsa
1 package refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on package
2 cups shredded cheese (recommended Mexican blend)

Sour cream
Taco Sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.  Drain.  (I use my precooked ground beef, so all I have to do is warm the meat up - shorten the cooking time.)  Add taco seasoning mix and water; mix until ground beef is well coated.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add peppers and onions; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and drain excess liquid.  Add garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper, corn and salsa, stir well and set aside.

Prepare pie crusts and directed on package for 2-crust pie using 9-inch glass or metal pie pan.

Combine salsa and corn mixture and with ground beef; mix well. 

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese evenly in bottom of crust-lined pan.

Spread 1/2 beef mixture evenly in pan over cheese, pat down.  Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese in pan and spread evenly with remaining beef mixture, pat down,

top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.

 Top with second crust and flute; slit in several places.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  (Cover edge of crust with strips of foil or a pie crust shield after fifteen minutes of baking IF the edges are getting too brown.)

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

If desired, garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of taco sauce, or salsa.  (Mountain Man doesn't like sour cream, so I garnish my slice individually.)

Easy Peasy!

Store leftovers (if you have any) in the refrigerator.

* If you are using fresh peppers and onions, use 1-1/2 cup chopped onions and 2-1/2 cups chopped peppers and increase prep time and stove top cooking time.

I hope you enjoy this as much as Mountain Man and I do!

See you tomorrow for more of our house renovation!

Hugs -


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Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Menu

Happy Monday everyone - hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  It has been interesting around here!  I spent most of Saturday working on projects for "the" baby shower - and I plan on sharing some of the decor this week (I just can't wait!) - but that will be on Friday, so be sure to check back in to see some of the pretty stuff!

Okay, now about the menu.  Last week we did a pretty good job.  I told you last week that we were having company on Thursday so I switched some things around, but we stayed with what was going on during the week.  As a review - this is what was planned:
                   Monday  - Country Ribs, Potato Salad, Baked Beans
Tuesday - Baked Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread
Wednesday - Tangy Chicken, Mashed Potatoes Broccoli
Thursday - Southwest Taco Pie
Friday - Movie Night, Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Chef's Choice
Sunday - Ham w/Great Northern Beans, Cornbread

This is what we actually ate on each night:

Monday - Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread
Tuesday - Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli
Wednesday - Southwest Taco Pie
Thursday - Country Ribs, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans, Strawberry Shortcake
Friday - Dinner at my Mom's (Pizza)
Saturday - Leftovers

As you can see - we did change up some things (no baked spaghetti - just regular spaghetti and baked chicken instead of Tangy Chicken).  So, while I stayed with the theme of the week - I did stray a little.  That's okay.  At least I had everything I needed and this just shows you that you don't have to be rigid when you do menu planning.

Now, as you see above, I did fix Southwest Taco Pie and I have pictures to prove it!

As you can see I do not 'stage' my pictures - this is just how it looked on the counter after Mountain Man cut our servings (yep, between the two of us we ate half the pie!).  Maybe I need to working on the staging - what do you think?

I did take pictures of each step while I prepared the recipe - and instead of posting all the pictures today I will do a separate post on the pie tomorrow.  Please be sure to come back to get the recipe - you will be surprised at how very simple this is to fix and it is YUMMY!!!!

Okay, let's look and see what is on the menu for this week:

Monday, March 26 - Steak, Baked Potato, Green Beans
Tuesday, March 27 - Chicken Italiano, Pasta, Salad
Wednesday, March 28 - Oven Baked Pork Chops, Sweet Potatoes, Honey Carrots
Thursday, March 29 - Chicken Burritos, Spanish Rice, Refried Beans
Friday, March 30 - Movie Night, HOMEMADE PIZZA
Saturday, March 31 - Chef's Choice
Sunday, April 1st - Chicken and Yellow Rice, Green Peas

So, how did you do this week - did you do like I did and switch things up a little or did you go completely "off the wagon"?  What is on your menu plan for this week - leave me a comment and a link to your blog (or just list you menu in the comments).  I would really like to see what you have planned for the week!

Well, gotta run - the dryer is "calling".  Remember to come back tomorrow for that recipe - you'll be glad you did!

See ya tomorrow!

Hugs -


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Rainy, Dreary Days

Well, I don't know what the weather has been like where you live but here it has been warm, overcast, and rainy.  We are having temperat...