Monday, October 23, 2017

Hello Fresh

A couple of weeks ago when we were in Lakeland, I talked about my daughter and son in love cooking us dinner and how good it was.  Well, it was from one of those mail food services, you know what I mean?  These services pack up everything you will need for three meals and ship everything to you all fresh and ready to cook - right down to the meat.  Well, we were really impressed and we decided we would give it a try.  My older daughter also uses this service and she had sent me an email with the first three meals free - so we decided to order and see how it was.

I went online and set up our account and the first shipment was set to arrive on Friday.  We decided that wasn't a good day for us and changed the arrival to Monday's, but because I didn't go in and change it in time,  the first box came on Friday.  

So, the first three meals were:


Figgy Balsamic Pork with Roasted Green Beans and Rosemary Potatoes




Beef Ragu Spaghetti with Zucchini, Parmesan, and Pepperolio

Dan told me that this was the best spaghetti he has ever eaten (he almost didn't tell me because he didn't want to hurt my feelings - ha ha!)





Southwestern Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef, Quinoa, and Monterey Jack Cheese


The second delivery (on Monday) was:

Chicken Pineapple Quesadillas with Pico de Gailo and Southwestern Spices
      (which I forgot to take a picture of)

Cherry Drizzled Pork Chops with Tomato Couscous Salad which Dan fixed because I had a horrible migraine headache that day - so again no picture.

and 


Winner Winner Chicken Orzo Dinner with Cheesy Roasted Zucchini and Tomato


(We had a visit from the fire department on this dinner because the fire alarm went off for NO reason - you can tell nothing is burnt - but it did make for a little excitement!)

Our third shipment (last Monday) consisted of:




Pineapple Poblano Beef Tacos with Lime Crema, Cilantro, ad Warm Spices





Carolina Barbecue Chicken with Quick Stovetop Mac 'n' Cheese and Green Beans




Adobo Loco Steak
with a Poblano Corn and Crispy Potato Hash

Now, all the pictures above were taken with my phone after I had plated the dinner's and put them on the table so the quality of the pictures are not that great, but the quality of the meals is excellent. 

Dan and I have really enjoyed these meals - they are quick to prepare (30 - 40 minutes), they provide everything you need (the only things I have had to use from our pantry is olive oil and a couple of pats of butter),  we don't have to worry about portion control, but as you can see there is plenty of food, and everything is FRESH!  I love that we are cooking with fresh ingredients instead of processed stuff - fresh vegetables, and fresh spices.  We are eating things that we probably wouldn't have eaten otherwise (couscous, orzo, quinoa), but everything has been delicious!  I'll be perfectly honest - the only meal that I probably wouldn't fix again is the stuffed peppers - not because they didn't taste good, they did, but I'm just not a stuffed pepper fan.  I did eat almost all of one pepper and then I took the stuffing out and ate it and left the other pepper.  Dan and I like that we don't have to worry about three meals during the week - and we usually eat out at least once a week - so I only have to figure out something else a couple of nights.  The price is reasonable at just under $10.00 per person, per meal - so $60.00 a week for us.  We have lots of meat in the freezer - so for the couple of days we don't have Hello Fresh I have meat here.  I just have to pick up a few fresh vegetables and we are set for the week.  We are actually saving money in our grocery budget - a definite win/win in my book.  Also, if you have been reading this blog for any length of time you know that cooking is NOT my favorite thing to do, but with this Dan and I are working together to cook dinner and it's actually been fun.  That in itself should be a reason to stay with this service!

We received our new shipment today and we'll be having salmon tonight, and chicken and beef later in the week.

I guess this post has turned into a post for Hello Fresh, but I really just wanted to let those of you that read this know how good this service is.  I am not being compensated by Hello Fresh at all (I wish),  just really impressed with them.  In fact, we had tried another service about a year ago and just didn't like the food choices and canceled after two weeks.  If any of you that read this would like to try Hello Fresh for free (one week) just let me know and I can send you a link for your first week - I would get a discount on my next order if you try, even if you decide it's not for you, but I don't know why it wouldn't be - ha!!  Anyway, if you are interested, just let me know.

Tomorrow I'll do a post letting you know what all has been happening, other than cooking.  Until then - 

Carol

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Lakeland

Hi everyone!  Hope you all have had a great week.  I thought I would let you know what Dan and I have been up the past week.

A couple of weeks ago Dan and I were sitting in the family room, probably watching TV or playing on our Kindles, when Dan looked over at me and said "I miss my girls".  I told him that I could have a suitcase packed in half an hour - but he had a more level head and said "How about the weekend?"  So, I texted my daughter to make sure they didn't have anything planned and told her we MIGHT be down on Friday.  I was suppose to call her the next day, but I didn't because Dan didn't feel well on Thursday and I wasn't sure we were going.  But Friday morning, while sitting on the back porch, we decided we would head down after lunch.  

I went over to Mom's and made sure she was good for the weekend - had food in the house and everything handled for the couple of days we would be gone.  Then I came home and packed for us while Dan got the stuff together for the dog.  We were on the road by noon and decided to go the more scenic route instead of the interstate.  We made it down to Melissa's by around 5, but the girls weren't home yet - and they didn't know we would be there.  Well, my son-in-love pulled into the driveway and they girls were like "Who's car is that?"  All of a sudden, Lorelai figured out it was my car and Justin said they were throwing their seat belts off and trying to get out of the car.  They came running in the house yelling "Nannnnnna" - sure did make this Nana feel GREAT!!!!  Then I told them to go look in the living room and then it was "P!"  It sure was great seeing those sweet faces!!!!

We ended up going to Beef's for dinner - they have a game room that the girls can play in until their meal gets there and the adults can actually talk. So, after dinner we went back to the house to get ready for Saturday.  Melissa had to take her car into the Ford dealership to have some work done and Dan decided it would be a good time to drive down and look at "new to us" cars.

Saturday morning we were up fairly early - and down to Bartow we went.  Everyone went in their separate vehicles and I guess it was a good thing.  Dan and I ended up spending the better part of the day at the dealership doing all the paperwork that is required when you buy a vehicle.  Dan has never been happy with the Escape - he tried to make it work - but it was just too small for him.  He always felt like he was in a sardine can.  Anyway, we bought a new to us 2016 Ford Explorer.  It probably has more bells and whistles on it than we really need  (heated back seats????), but it does have some of the things that we wanted - back up camera, navigation and leather seats.  I really like it and I think Dan is happier now.

Saturday afternoon we went to see Dan's girls and visited for awhile.  It was good to see them and that they didn't have any storm damage other than one magnolia tree that my dad planted came down at Dana's house.

Saturday night Melissa and Justin cooked dinner for us - it was really good, the girls ate a good meal and so did we.  The kids are getting a meal service called Hello Fresh and it was one of the meals from that they supplemented.  Actually it was so good that we signed up for the service ourselves once we got home.  We got our first shipment yesterday, but I'll tell you about it a little later.

We got up Sunday morning and had some coffee and donuts before loading up the car and heading home.  We came home via the scenic route again. After getting home an checking on mom, I got the car unloaded and the clothes in the laundry.  Spent the afternoon watching football and finishing up the laundry.

This week has been a little slow getting ready for an onslaught of doctor's visits next week. Monday I finished up the "books" and getting all the stuff together to take to mom on her checking account.  Since I now do all her bills I make sure to have a bank statement and check register that balance so she knows where she stands monetarily. Tuesday was spent cleaning house.  We had a information meeting Tuesday night for the Information Booth at church - Dan and I will work at the booth every Sunday during the month of June, 2018.  Wednesday was my usual shift at the gift shop.  Thursday I had an Executive Board meeting at 2.  On Friday we had a check out cruise on the new pontoon boat before our first trip with passengers Friday evening.

We also had our first shipment from Hello Fresh come on Friday (I tried to change the delivery date to Monday, but I didn't get it on the computer in time for this shipment but all future shipments will be on Monday's).  I had planned on cooking dinner after the boat ride, but by the time we got back, got everything put away on the boat it was almost 7 PM - so we decided to go to the Village Cafe for supper.  Well, after ordering three different things and being told they "were out" - I just looked at Dan and said "Let's go home and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich".  So disappointing!  Anyway, we came home and had a bowl of cereal instead.

Today was Autumn Fest at the Village Square.  There were some vendors, but I didn't find anything I couldn't live without.  Dan wanted to put the truck in the auto show, but was told he couldn't with a "for sale" sign on it.  Well, that's was the only reason he wanted to put it in the show - to maybe get some interested from people at the show.  Anyway, he just parked it close to the show, but we haven't gotten any phone calls on it.  I guess I'll probably put it back on Craigslist next week - and maybe even EBay.  We did buy some ribs which we had for lunch.  I'll do the first Hello Fresh meal today for dinner.

So, that's been our week.  Next week I have a doctor's appointment in Valdosta and mom has two - one in Gainesville and one here in the village.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Carol


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fall Home Tour

 Hi everyone!  Today is a new adventure for me - today I'm going to do my first ever Home Tour!  While I have shared some fall decorating on the blog before, I have never done an official home tour - so here we go.

Now, while the outside temperatures might still be in the mid 90's around here I can't help but hope that since October is showing up on the calendar that cooler temperatures can't be far behind.  So, with that hope in my heart I spent one day last week adding some fall décor to the house.  If you are looking for all the neutral fall décor that a lot of bloggers are using, you can just stop right here.  I don't do "neutral" - I do fall with all the colors that nature provides - orange, yellow, red. Of course I know that some people like all the white and pale colors, but not this girl.  If it's fall it's time for color!  I think you will find that all the décor this year is easy and simple.  Nothing fancy here. 

I moved the goose over to the entry way table and surrounded it with some fall foliage.






 Love putting in some fall scents in the warmer - just makes the house smell so, so good!



Added a lumbar pillow to the couch - we should always be Thankful, but now it's a great time to be reminded.  Changed out the candle on the coffee table and added some fall décor to the side tables.






I did some rearranging in the kitchen.  I have not been happy with the back wall in the kitchen for quite a while - it just seemed too cluttered for me.  So, all the cute little signs came down and a single picture was hung along with one sign.


Just seems so much calmer to me.


Used the wooden slice as a holder for a couple of fall candles - added a fun fall printable in a simple black frame and a faux pumpkin and the kitchen was done.




The breakfast nook area also received a little fall love.  



Not a lot - just a little ceramic pumpkin, some fall napkins, a nice candle, and a cute little squirrel on a pinecone.

Just a few little touches on the shelves - another ceramic pumpkin and a cute little scarecrow shelf sitter was all that was needed to add that little fall touch.





As we move into the family room the buffet got a little fall love also.  



Dan and I are loving our new plate rack that we hung over the buffet.  I ordered it online from IKEA and then Dan painted it this beautiful shade of green.  We were able to unpack the Wildlife dishes that had been packed away since we moved.



Add a pumpkin soup tureen, a "gourd" swan, a sweet smelling candle, and a candle topper to the top of the buffet.  Then a couple of wooded fall leaves along with the Burl wood bowl and the basket of pinecones and this little corner was done.



I kept the table really simple this year.  I ordered two of these table runners from Piper Classics thinking that they would go from side to side on the table, but they weren't long enough (guess I should do a better job of checking size next time), but the price was good and I was able to use the other one on the coffee table.  I just love the colors in the runner and even if it wasn't exactly what I had planned I am certainly happy that I purchased them.


The plates came from WalMart last year as part of the Better Homes and Gardens collection.  I paired them with my everyday white dishes, a napkin, and a woven design charger.



I love the colors.

The couch got a few new pillows -  A couple from WalMart, one from Kohl's, and one from Hobby Lobby.  The "throw" in the corner is actually a scarf from Amazon.










The coffee table I left pretty simple too - the second table runner, my wicker tray, some faux leaves, a Yankee Candle, a small pinecone,  and a faux pumpkin.  Easy and simple.






Friday, September 29, 2017

New Guest Bedroom

Hello everyone!  Guess I have been a little AWOL lately.  It's not that we haven't been busy, but it just seems like things happen so I never take the time to sit down and do a post.  So, let's catch up a bit before I show you our new bedroom.

First, as most of you know, Florida was hit by Hurricane Irma.  While the hurricane was downgraded to Cat 1 by the time it reached us, we still had quite a bit of damage in the area.  We didn't have any structural damage - we did have 1/2 a tree come down in the front yard and a lot of debris that had to be cleaned up.  The biggest issue was we had was no electricity for three and a half days.  We did have a generator so we were able to run our refrigerator and our freezer (and the coffee pot in the mornings) - but that was it.  We cooked out on the grill and we had neighbors over for meals.  They might not have been gourmet or some might not have been completely healthy, but they filled the tummy and the fellowship was awesome.  Storms like this make us realize how truly blessed we are to live in the community we do, as everyone came together to help each other.

After the electricity was restored and Dan and I finished with yard clean up, with the help of a young man that we hired, we were ready to finish up projects that we had started before the storm.  On my last post I shared this picture and asked if anyone knew what we were up to now.









Well, we decided to turn my office/craft room into an office/bedroom.  We have much more need of another bedroom than a whole room for my crafts.  So, I had been wanting to add faux shiplap to some room in the house and this proved to be the perfect opportunity.



We are far from finished with this room, but it is useable.  Have to hang the wreath that I made over the bed.





The side table that Dan painted for me.



 We're borrowing the chair from our friends for the time being.  I would like to find a nice upholstered chair for this corner, but the budget just doesn't allow for that right now.  It will come.



Pictures of my sweet girls at the same age.



One of the projects still on the to do list in this room is to replace the closet doors with mirrored sliders.  They will make the room appear much larger than it actually is - but for the short term I will be painting these doors a much brighter white to match all the trim.




We ordered the bed and headboard from Wayfair.  The headboard was originally black, but a can of spray paint took care of that.  Then there was the bed - we had looked locally to buy a bed but everyone wanted an arm and two legs for a queen size bed.  So, I looked on line and found this bed at Wayfair.  It had five star reviews and while I was a little nervous about buying a bed online we decided, for the price, it was worth the risk.

It came with the foundation that had to be assembled.  Dan was very impressed with the quality of the foundation and it didn't take us long to put it together in the middle of the living room floor.

After we had the foundation assembled there was a full cover for it - everything was very well made.  We took it in and put on the frame and waited to "Unroll" the mattress the next day.

As I said, I have never bought a mattress on line before much less one that came rolled up in a box about four foot high and two foot wide. Well, we cut the plastic off that mattress and watch it inflate - within two minutes we had a perfectly firm queen size mattress.  We did wait 48 hours, as many of those reviews that I read suggested, before making the bed or sitting/lying down on it.  However, let me tell you folks, I am super impressed with this mattress.  It is very comfortable and is exactly what we were looking for.  I am very happy that we went out on a limb and purchased this one.






So, while we still have a lot of projects to do in this room, it is functional and Dan and I think it looks pretty good too.


Breakdown of where things came from:

Paint - Heart of Palm - Lowe's
Frame - Twice Nice Furniture and More
Headboard and Mattress - Wayfair
Bedding - Brylane Home
Sheets and Pillows - WalMart
Side Table - Hobby Lobby
Lamps - Lowe's
Tobacco Baskets - Hobby Lobby
Wreath - I made
Throw and Pillow - Have had a long time, I think the throw came from IKEA and                            the pillow from a little shop in High Springs, FL.
Desk - Have had for seven years
Picture Frames - IKEA
Accessories on side table - bird - shop here at the Village, candle holder - Hobby                                        Lobby, picture frame- given to me as gift when 
                                       Lorelai was born.  

Well, I think that's all.  If you have any questions, please let me know!

Come back soon for my first ever Fall Home Tour!







Saturday, August 26, 2017

Projects

We continue to work on different projects around here.

Can any one guess what we are working on now????


More later!



Till next time.........

Friday, August 25, 2017

Jacksonville

I have lived almost my entire life in the state of Florida - ALMOST is the key word here as I have lived in the states of Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, California, Arizona, and North Carolina not to mention all the states we "lived" in when we were full timing, but I had never been to Jacksonville.  Driven through it on the way to Savannah yes, but had never stopped in the city.  Well, that all changed on Friday, August 18th.  

Why???  Well, we had to return all the shirts that I bought Dan for his birthday.  You see, he had told me that he wanted a certain type shirt - by a certain manufacturer.  So, while I was down in Lakeland I went to the local store that carried said brand and bought him three shirts in the size he told me he wore.  I get home and give him his shirts and they didn't fit - not even close.  Sooooo, that meant they had to go back and their was a store was in Jacksonville.  There was a store in Tallahassee, which was closer but we decided to go to Jacksonville because there was an At Home store.  I had been to the one in Nashville a couple of times and really liked the store - it's a big warehouse type store, but all home decor items.  Dan had never been, so we loaded Jessie up in the car and headed the two hours to Jacksonville.

We returned the shirts with no problems and then headed to At Home.  (Thank goodness for navigation.)  I was so disappointed!!!!!  This store was a mess!  No organization at all - merchandise all over the floor - just really a huge disappointment.  We did not buy anything at all!  So, basically, we traveled 2 hours for nothing.  Oh well, at least I can say I've been to Jacksonville now.

Saturday we went into town for a trip to Lowe's.  Dan is working on a few different projects and needed wood.  One of the things he is working on is his workshop in the garage.  We are changing some things around and he is working on finishing the walls and building some shelves in the offset in his workroom.  He has wanted to do this since we did the remodel, but just haven't done it.  So, right now my car is regulated to outside while the garage is full of stuff out of the workshop and lumber.  He also bought wood for a couple of projects in the house, but that will happen AFTER he finishes the workshop.

While in Lowe's we picked up some new cushions for the back patio area - they were having a huge sale/clearance and we bought the cushions for about 70% off their original price. 



After we got home we took a couple of the new cushions and tried them in the chairs out front and liked the look - so went back into town on Sunday to find they had sold them all.  Oh well, wasn't meant to be.  We also picked up a few big pots for plants at really, really good prices.  Now, just to figure out what to plant in them.  Right now, I'm not doing anything outside as it is just toooooo hot!!!

Monday was the eclipse.  We were in a 90% area and it did get a little dark- sorta like late afternoon - we were not able to see it (I didn't buy eclipse glasses).  However, my daughter who lives in Nashville had 100% totality and the video she sent me was awesome!  She said it was the "coolest thing she had ever seen".  We did watch it on television and I imagine that if you were able to experience it first hand it would have been pretty awesome.

Tuesday was a busy, busy day.  I had a doctor's appointment in Valdosta at 10:20 - ended up being a consultation and I am waiting for them to call for all the tests I have to have done.  After leaving the doctor's office we ran to Sam's and renewed our membership, picked up some meat and things and headed home.  I had a Strategic Planning Meeting at 2:00 and then at 6 we had a group scheduled for a pontoon boat ride.  We had 9 people on the boat and it was a nice trip upriver.  We missed the rain showers that were all around us - but there was no lightening - so we were okay being on the river.

Wednesday I had my shift at the shop - first time I had worked my entire shift since June I think.  It was slow, slow, slow with only selling one card.  I did have a few people in the shop and I did get the dusting done before I was relieved.  Dan picked me up as we had to have Jessie in to the Vet for her recheck at 2:00.  She is doing much better, but we are to keep her on the meds and if she has any sign of trouble with her back we are to call them immediately - even if on the weekend.  If we are able to catch it early enough we have a very good chance of not having paralysis.

Yesterday we worked around the house before our scheduled trip on the river.  Well, as we were eating at 5 before our 6 o'clock ride the sky's starting getting dark and we could hear thunder in the distance.  We looked at the radar and knew that a huge storm was headed our way.  So, we went down to the dock and told everyone who had already arrived that we would not be taking the boat out.  I think some people where not happy with us - saying that it was going to pass us by - but Dan and I were insistent.  Well, we weren't home 5 minutes when the sky opened up and the storm hit.  High wind, rain, and major lightening.  I looked at Dan and said "I sure am glad we are not on the river right now!"  Anyway, we have rescheduled everyone for Tuesday night - hopefully, the weather will cooperate.

Today, I have a Executive Council meeting that had to be rescheduled from the 7th of September to today.  Something about a conflict - anyway, it will be back to the grind of two meeting a month now.  It was nice having the summer off and I'm not sure if I want to be on the council next year or not.  Of course, I haven't been asked to serve again, but if I am I'm not sure what I will tell them. Guess that is something I will need to think about.

Well, that pretty much catches you up on everything.  







Friday, August 18, 2017

Where does time go???


That title could mean a lot of different things - the length between my blog posts for one.


However, that is not what I am talking about today.

I'm talking about my grand babies.....

It was just the day before yesterday that Lorelai was born....


And wasn't it just yesterday when Adalyn was born???


So, how did time fly by so quickly that Lorelai started Kindergarten last week???


She was so excited - can you tell????



Sitting at her table.

Let's back up a little and start with my trip down to Lakeland.

I left to go down to my daughter's on Monday afternoon.  Since it is only a four hour trip I didn't want to get there too early since everyone would be at work.  Even leaving around 1 o'clock, I was there before anyone got home.  But it wasn't long before my girls came in to give me some hugs and kisses.

Tuesday was Orientation at Lorelai's school - and we finally met her teacher.
While my daughter filled out some of the paperwork, Lorelai had a color
sheet that her teacher wanted her to complete.






Concentration.





All finished and ready to turn in.

After orientation, Melissa, Lorelai and I went back to the house before I left to do a little birthday shopping (for Dan).

Wednesday was Lorelai, Adalyn, and Nana day.


The first thing we did, after eating breakfast, was go to the movies.

We went to see Despicable Me 3. 


While I thought it was pretty, well, stupid
the girls seemed to enjoy it.

They both did really well sitting in their seat, eating their popcorn, drinking their ICEE, and watching the movie.
Adalyn did sit in my lap a couple of times because she said she was cold, and in her defense, it was a little chilly in the theater.
But, all in all, I was very proud of how they sat and enjoyed the movie.

After the movie it was time for some adventure at Family Fun Center....
They both had cards with $5 on them that they could use anyway they wanted to play whichever games they wanted.  Points accumulate on their card depending on the game and then they get to choose prizes they want.


Choices, choices, choices!

I don't know if you can see, but Lorelai got a "rainbow" ball that she had been wanting.  Ada didn't have as many points, but she got a lot of little things - including candy.  Well, that caused the only melt down of the day.
Lorelai didn't understand why Ada got more things than she did, but all turned out okay - just a typical 5 year old melt down.

If it hadn't been so darn hot I would have taken the girls out and play miniature golf - but at 98 degrees It was just too much.

Anyway, I think we all had a good day and it will be a day that I will remember.

Thursday was Lorelai's first day of school.

My babies........





Nana with her girls.......




Which takes me back to the beginning sentiment.....

Where does time go??????




Oh my goodness!!!!!


That's about all I can handle today!

Till next time.......

Carol

Hello Fresh

A couple of weeks ago when we were in Lakeland, I talked about my daughter and son in love cooking us dinner and how good it was.  Well, it ...