Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween



Are you ready for the kidlets to come knocking tonight?  The pic above is for all the daycare kidlets and a few extra for brothers and sisters.  Hannah was happy to put these together for me yesterday.

Now...I have this to contend with All. Day. Long.  I bought my candy Saturday, so I would not be tempted to eat so much of it.  165 pieces.  I think they'll be some leftover.  Oh, the horror!

Don't hate me!  I know you can see I got the good stuff.  See those Almond Joy bars?  They actually speak to me.  The hershey bars are for dipping in peanut butter, in case you didn't know!!  The Reese cups are a done deal.  Hannah's favorite.  The whoppers....Ryder has learned to love them!  The milk duds love me, but not my teeth.  Old age really sucks!  I can remember the days when Sugar Daddy suckers were da bomb for me!

Hannah was in silly Halloween mode yesterday.  She was on MY LAST NERVE.  I finally put her in the kitchen and let her make 24 cupcakes!

What's that?  It doesn't "look" like 24 cupcakes?  Silly people....we ate a dozen or so few..so, who cares if we're not great cupcake sharers?!    Hannah made these all by herself.  She learned several lessons with this process....always use paper baking cups...makes it easier to remove from the pan....don't think outside the box on cupcakes....Hershey bars make a huge mess in the center of the cupcake.  Plus...yeah...if you make the mess....you clean it up girlie!!

I'm a bit sad today because Ryder is sick.  We had planned a big night for him to trick or treat at our house tonight.  I'll have to suck it up and know that he needs to stay in tonight and get well.  I'm still cooking chili for the rest of the family.  I have a fabulous looking recipe to give you now.   I'll be making this later on today.  I hope it tastes as good as it sounds.

Pumpkin Pie Croissants


Start with 2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls.  Roll each crescent roll out and cut lengthwise in 2.  This recipe will make 32 mini croissants.  Each croissant will get a generous tablespoon of this luscious pumpkin pie filling:

1/2 block of cream cheese
1 cup of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 T sugar

Beat together until fluffy and creamy.

Mix together 4 T sugar and 1 T pumpkin pie spice and roll each pumpkin pie croissant in it!

Bake at 375* for 15-18 minutes.  Enjoy!

There's your treat from The Place today!!


I'm getting a bit ancy about decorating for Christmas.  I know...I know...shut my mouth.  Anyway...we have a new addition to the family this year, Sophia!  I had to get in gear to get her stocking ordered.  I always get my stockings from JC Penney.  They are just beautiful.  It started out with just 4....now we have 8! Nine with the dogs stocking!   The mantle is getting pretty full now!  The mantle looks just beautiful at Christmas.

I love the detail of these stockings.  If you're interested in ordering one...they are 50% off now!  $30 retail...so that makes it $15 and they charge $5 for monogramming.  I had a coupon code that got me 20% extra off my total!!  Great deal, huh?  They add extra stockings each year and as your family grows, you can have a nice selection of different scenes!

I hope your neighborhood still enjoys Halloween.  Our neighborhood always has a really good number of children come through.  I'll be dragging walking down the street again this year....Hannah and her witch costume.....this is it...NO MORE!  That's right....I said it...the end!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Scariest Witch Evah!

Don't you just love her?  No, she is not real.  She looks real doesn't she?  When we first got this witch, Hannah was about her size and everyone thought it was Hannah dressed up.  You can see by the pic date, this was used a while back.  This is the entrance into my daycare.  Not a good idea, right?  Scary witch, meant mortified children.  So...we moved it to the front door. 

She's long gone now, but I wish I had her.  Hub tossed her and did not ask permission.  He said it was just "too much"!  NEVAH!  Can you imagine being THAT dumpster diver?!

Every Halloween my parents come over to participate with the trick or treat celebration in our neighborhood.  We really have a great neighborhood, but I have noticed each year the numbers dwindling.  Hopefully, this year we will have a good turn out.  I told Hannah last year she would not be trick or treating this year and she was okay with it THEN....NOW she is not.  She actually "googled" age limit for trick or treaters and it was up to age 13.  Puhleeze. 

Here's a pic last year...

Her favorite movie...The Wizard of Oz.  Funny thing is she only wanted to watch the "witch" parts when she was younger.  Yeah, I know...I should be scared.  She's a horror flick girl now with no nightmares.  That's a good thing, right? RIGHT?!  Have you noticed my Fall Decor is a bit different this year?  More and More and More added!

Here's some random shots of her in the past on Halloween.....



Here's some of Ryder (my grandson) last year from his first Halloween...

He was just a tad bit excited! 

He'll be back this year to enjoy our neighborhood trick or treating as a Cow.  Oh boy!!  Hannah has chosen to be a witch AGAIN.  We'll have our usual chili to eat and I'm adding to it a wonderful recipe I saw in blog land recently.  I'll be sharing that with you later.  It's a night of fun and laughter with the family and I can't wait to share our fun with you.  I intend on taking lots of pictures this year!

Yummy cupcakes from Halloween's past!  Have an amazing weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Will Survive!!!

I part-time love my yard.  PART-TIME.  It used to be a full time thing for me, but the older I get and the hotter it is outside....frankly, I could care less.  Outside is hubs job.  He obviously doesn't care.  If it were not for my nagging, he would not care about it one bit.  I came from a home that was perfect inside and out.  My parents are 79 & 80 and both are still spotless.  I don't know how they do it.  If a pine cone starts to fall at my parents house, the joke is that my mom or dad is catching it.  They do have a beautiful yard.  Me...it's so-so.  I can see so many things that I could do....edging the yard for one....more flowers? I could actually clean out my 3 bird baths every now and then....and more of a lot of things.  But, I've been keeping it simple lately.  Spring is the time that I go nuts and buy flowers, ferns and have a patio that I enjoy.  Late Summer, you will see my flowers slowly dying....I won't even look out there.  It's so hot and humid no one can stand it.  Usually when it starts cooling off a bit, I will go and do a weed out and clean out the dead flowers.  That has been done.  Hub obviously doesn't think so.  I can now sit outside and not cringe.  A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a few things....flowers....blooming....showing up in places that I've never planted and WITHOUT any water from me.

Take a peek!


All of these are volunteering from what was in my containers.  It sorta perked things up around the patio.  No thanks to me!  I started an herb kitchen garden this Spring.  I still have rosemary and chives left.  The two hardest things to kill!  I lost my thyme right away and then the basil just took over and I guess I cut it back way to much. I'm really not sure what happened to the oregano, but all of those are goners.  Hannah loves banana peppers, so I decided to add that in the mix and trust me, you can't kill it. 

Here's a recent picture!

See the rosemary in the left hand corner....I use it all the time!!!  I'm a huge fan of spices.  See?

Remember this thrift store find.  I use it all the time.  It spins around and has as many spices on the other side!
If it's not on this rack....it's in the cabinet right above it!





Anyway....my gardening is closed down until the Spring.  Some things grow regardless!!!  How does your garden grow?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Goodwill Treasures

Savvy Southern StyleYesterday as I was reading my way through blogland, I came across a post about "The Thrill of the Hunt" posted by Embellishments by SLR.  She had found some really great treasures at none other than a Goodwill store in her community.  I enjoyed this post so much that I just had to make a trip by Goodwill yesterday.  I have to pass by the store to get to Walmart and well...ya know...there is some sort of magnet in that store.  We have a great Goodwill here for such a small town.  I have been to several of the surrounding Goodwills within an hour from our town and our Goodwill by far wins.

This is what I found...not a lot...but enough to give that little thrill of finding a bargain.  I know...seriously?  I'm so low maintenance!



These two little decorative pumpkins were $.99 each and I added them to my Fall mantle.  The more the merrier, right?

This little glass container was $1.99.  I added some Indian Corn and a bow and it made a really nice piece in our family room.  After Fall...I can use this throughout the Christmas holidays as well!


Can we say Gobble, Gobble?  How cute is this.  Made of wood...and other "earthy" thingy's!  I just love this little turkey.  He found a place in my dining room to bring in the eating of da turkey!  $1.99 Goodwill!!

and what to my wondering eyes did appear?  Ummm...oh right, it's Thanksgiving...BUT...I knew that SOMEONE out there would toss their little pumpkin salt and pepper shakers if I waited long enough!  $2...got them!  Love them.

There were so many other things that I loved, but clearly didn't need...*shivers a bit*.....and I just got the things that jumped off the shelves into my buggy.  If you've been reading any of my prior posts you can always find Goodwill finds throughout them.  I am totally hooked on "The Thrill of the Hunt" for sure!!

Go check out this blog about all the kitchen items I found at Goodwill!  Goodwilling for the Kitchen


Linking to these parties:
Coastal Charm

At Home with K

Savvy Southern Style

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Artisan Bread Anyone?

Last week as I was reading my way through blogland, I came across a post about an EASY (keyword) Homemade Artisan Bread.  So...I checked out the recipe...looked pretty simple to me and I had most of the ingredients in my pantry.  We are bread LOVERS.  We will eat ALL OF YOUR BREAD in your house if you invite us over.  When we go out to dinner, we always tell the waiter....don't "go easy" on the bread...bring it on.  Hub thinks he is the bread expert.  He squeezes it....smells it....shakes it...you would think it had wine in it.  He knows his bread he says.

I have made bread before.  Not kneaded and rolled by hand, but I had a bread machine once.  It died years ago and I've never replaced it.  So...I was going to give this recipe a try.

First for my ingredients...check out my baking pantry!


I know...it's sweet, right?  I did this little organizing this summer!

Here's how the making of the dough went down.  It was easy....mix ingredients all together and stir.  Cover and let sit for a few hours.  EASY!


Pretty cool, huh?  My bread is rising.  In. My. Wooden. Salad. Bowl.  WHAT?!




I love the way it's all bubbly and junk.


At this point in my post, I should be showing you how I lifted this bubbly stuff out of the bowl....tossed flour around on my counter top like a pro.....all the while freaking out about FLOUR everywhere.....and then forming 2 balls and a loaf.  BUT....I was in a hurry.....didn't take pictures....so I hope you have an imagination.

Here's how they looked coming out of the oven.


Divine.  Lucious.  Hot. Bread.

Next....I got my funky plates out....plenty of butter on hand for the taste test.


Then....I slathered butter all over the HOT bread.....

There's never enough butter my sweets!

It was delicious.  I now have 3 two loaves to serve up the family this week.

Here's the recipe~

6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
3 cups lukewarm water

and cornmeal for your cookie sheet

In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast and salt.  Add the water, stir until combined, cover and leave it on the counter for a few hours.

Divide the dough into 3 loaves, cover each loaf with flour, and shape it into the form you want.  Place on a sprayed baking sheet that is sprinkled with cornmeal and let rise for about 30 minutes.  Slash the top of your loaves with a sharp knife.  While you wait for the dough to rise, preheat the over to 450 and prepare a shallow pan with 1 cup of water. Place the water on the bottom rack of your oven to create steam while your bread bakes.  Cook for 30-35 minutes.  (I think next time I will check the bread after 25 min in my oven)

ENJOY!

Linking up to these parties!

Handy Man Crafty Woman

Dittle Dattle

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thanksgiving? Christmas? Seriously?

I usually start my Christmas shopping in September.  Did not do it this year.  So. Did. Not.  Now it's November and I only have a few weeks to get it together!!  I started my Christmas 2011 list last week.  I always list everyone that I will be buying a gift for.  As I purchase the gifts, I add it under their name and I know I'm done with that person.  Last week I was able to get 3 gifts purchased for 3 of my nieces and a gift for Hannah.  I still have many more to go.  Hannah will be my nightmare this year.  She's already asked for a computer.  Ummmm...no.  Walmart has started back their layaway program and tomorrow night I will go and put the grandchildren's gifts on layaway.  That will give me a good 6-8 payment plan for those gifts.  In my budget, I'm trying to set aside $50 per week to knock off some gifts and the rest will have to come from a money tree, that I've yet to find!  It will be a constant worry until I get this done! Oh sleepless nights....sighs.   The stress of Christmas!!!  Have you started your Christmas shopping yet??



Before Christmas...well there is Thanksgiving.  Duh. I always have the Thanksgiving dinner with the family here.  That's another thing I have to start planning ahead for.  I usually break down my shopping each week before Thanksgiving and add the Thanksgiving menu to my shopping list.  First, I have to put together my menu.  I'll be taking care of that this afternoon.  Then I'll divide out my shopping list over the next few weeks.  Those meals can hit hard on the budget ya know!!  I'm hoping my mom will relax this year and let me plan and cook this meal.  She always starts off that she will...but never does.  I'm hoping to get a jump start on her this year and tell her it's already taken care of!  Boy oh boy, do I miss the days that my Granny would tell me to just bring the rolls!  Those were the days!  If you are now that person....EMBRACE IT!

Yummy!  doesn't that look amazing!  We never actually "stuff" the turkey here.  We have cornbread dressing down here in the South and we only stuff our faces with that!  But...this does look beautiful.  I'm noticing those carrots...and I've never prepared glazed carrots for anything, but I think this year I will.

After Thanksgiving....I have Christmas dinner to begin sorting out.  We either have a standing rib roast or cornish hens.  I've allowed the kids to chose their menu for Christmas lately...and they all continue to chose the cornish hens.  We'll see what they choose this year.

They are so yummy.  I have a great recipe that includes an orange marmalade sauce....I can't wait to share that with you next month!  These two main courses are the easiest things to prepare.  I usually do it the night before and Christmas morning I can relax and enjoy the family opening up gifts.   I like not having to stand in the kitchen all Christmas morning. 

Can you tell I have lots of things on my mind today?!  Christmas...Thanksgiving...gifts....food....OH MY!

Now...get your lists out...come join me in the holiday craziness!  I'm so gonna be a shopping cart crazy lady tomorrow night at Walmart.  If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em...right?!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Sunday!

We're driving to Atlanta today to pick up my parents.  My brother and his family live in Tennessee, so we're meeting them halfway.  My parents are no longer able to do this drive.  We're about 4 hours from Atlanta, so it's an all day trip.  I can remember last trip, we had my parents so confused? delirious? and ready to get home that I thought they would never allow us to drive them again.  That's a long story....but we come from good genes, right?!  Heh.

Anyhoo....here's a pic of my mom (79) and dad (80)....

There was some mention of almost side swiping a car...what?  oh yeah that time....going 80 up a ramp to get to Stucky's....Hannah's favorite place...and seriously, she noticed the sign at the EXIT...it had to be done....and driving way over the speed limit....we wanted to get home quickly.   So...I'm not sure what the problem was last time...but.....

OFF WE GO AGAIN!!

Happy Sunday!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Paula Deen Commercial

I love me some Paula Deen.  I love watching her cooking shows....she's my kind of gal.  Anyhoo....it's Saturday morning...I slept until 8:45....I'm usually up by 7:30 at the latest. 

Here's my first mini commercial....


Here's my Paula Deen scales. Red.  Love it!  I put some Indian corn in it..."Tis the Season", ya know.  This little counter cutie was found at Walmart in the clearance aisle for $5.  I had to "dig" to find it, but it was hidden on the back of the shelf so no one but moi would get it.  I first saw this little cutie at my BFF house in her newly remodeled kitchen.  Remember this?

I loved how this popped in this little setting.  She says she's a measuring fool and had promised if I got it I would use it all the time.  I've used it for my Indian corn so far.  Heh. 

A better pic in her kitchen at a distance.  See?  The red just brought out everything in that area.  I'm sorry BFF that I paid ONLY $5 for it and you had to pay the full price!!  She promises it was under $20, so if you're interested in having this piece in your kitchen...go check out Walmart.  I love that they carry her line of products!

Here's the next mini commercial...

This is the most DELICIOUS sauce evah.  I promise.  You have to go buy it.  Sweet Bourbon Glaze.  Write it down now!   I initially purchased this for some hot wings and OMG OMG OMG....it was so delicious and it was clearly the pick of the night over any other hot wing sauce I offered.  It's addicting.  I've also tried her other sauces and she has not failed me yet.  So...if you need a new twist on a recipe, I highly recommend that you seek out these sauces.   You can also find this line at Walmart.

We've had quite a week here at The Place homestead.  Hannah came down with a stomach virus on Thursday, hub got it on Friday and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  We have to drive to Atlanta tomorrow to pick up my parents.  They have been to Seymour, TN to visit my brother and his family and we'll meet them half way.  I'm praying I don't come down with this virus.  It will be a long day of driving, but I'm happy to be able to see my brother and his family for lunch.

I'm not sure what is going to happen with Hannah's antiquing blog.  As of now, she's fired.  If she decides to do this...I'll happily re-hire her.

I'm loving my www.cozi.com schedule.  It rocks.  It's keeping me straight on everything I need to do.   Hannah's school sends me a weekly update on what next weeks assignments will be, tests, you name it...stuff that is happening.  I've added that to my schedule and I'm now printing it off for her.  No excuses.  Here I sit with another Saturday of nothing much to do on my list.  However, since we will be driving all day tomorrow to Atlanta and back....I'm taking on Sundays schedule so I won't fall behind.  Some days I almost don't do what is on the list and I say to myself  I'll catch it up, but with it staring at me on my fridge...so far, I've done what it says and some days I'll do one extra chore that's on the next days schedule.  I've decided to include in each of my posts, what my cleaning schedule is for the day.  I hope I can remember to do this!    If you'd like to follow along, please do!  You may need to adjust  your schedule, but my house has never been more clean!!  It's keeping me on top of those BIGGIE things we all hate to do. It hasn't really been that big of a deal to follow.  It's not at all overwhelming broken down this way.


Here's a pic from my computer of my cozi schedule.  It's a little blurry, but I can read it.  I hope you can too!


This is Saturday and Sunday's to do list.  I always have listed on Saturdays to clean my master bedroom linens.  I did this last night since Hannah took my bed over with her sickness for 2 days.  I also cleaned one of my refrigerators  yesterday during the kids nap time.  I try to have as little as possible to do on the weekends, but some of the biggie jobs fall on those days.  I have no time during the week to really get those type of jobs done.  I also keep up with Hannah's hair washing!  HA!  She always tries to confuse me of when she actually washed her hair last.  I have that little deal under control with my schedule!!   The biggie for tomorrow was baseboard cleaning.  I have all the rooms to my house on a rotating quarterly schedule.  The bathrooms and dusting can be done on Monday.  I print a weekly schedule and have it posted for everyone to see on the fridge in the kitchen.   I never have more than 2-3 things per day to do.  Laundry goes without saying...it's a daily duty and I keep it done daily.

Last night I added next weeks menu along with a shopping list.  I usually shop on the weekend, but I'll wait until Monday to do my grocery shopping for the week.  I love having everything on one schedule in one place.

So...today's cleaning schedule combined with Sundays is as follows:

~Clean laundry room fridge out
~Clean baseboards in the L/room, D/room & hallway
~Laundry (usually 1 load a day keeps me ahead) except on linen days!

I also had dusting the furniture and cleaning both bathrooms on my Sunday list.  I may put this off until Monday.  I clean the bathrooms and dust every other day, so things are pretty well kept right now.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Lonely Squirrel

Is this not the cutest little squirrel nut bowl you ever did see?  It caught my eye immediately in Goodwill.  $2.  End of story...in the cart it went.  I love the color and the detailing of the "nut"...the squirrel perched up there is just perfect.  I knew exactly where this was going to go!

Perfect for the kitchen table setting!!  No worries...the white spray paint is in a safe place.  I would never touch this piece!  I love it just the way it is!

Linking to these parties!

House of Grace

Thursday, October 20, 2011

White Paint! Oh My or Oh No!

So...if you have followed by blog at all lately, you know I purchased a can of white spray paint.  It was purchased to spray paint my turkeys for the dining room table...THEN....I said to myself...surely there is SOMETHING else that could use some white paint on it and so the adventure began.  3 days later....I'm not sure about the two things I painted. 

The first thing I painted was this...
Oh yes I did.  I spray painted the gold container white.  I first tried to carefully lift the flower arrangement out of the container without messing it up....ummm no can do.  The green spongy hold your flowers together thingy started coming apart.  So, I crammed it all back in.  I was sweating it a bit.  Yeah...I know.  *sighs*  Then I had a "moment" and realized that all I needed was a plastic bag to wrap around the arrangement itself.  See?


I took it outside and began crazily gently spray painting it.  Now...I'm disturbed by it.  Not happy.  Why white?  Black might have done well....but it's white for now until I think of something else.  Hub says to please leave it alone.  What does he know?  Here's a pic...
Do you need sunglasses?  Okay...so I'm passing around a piece of paper that says...Do you like this?  Circle yes or no.  What can I say?  What can I do?  It's the spray paints fault!!

I'm not going to show you the 2nd thing I did.  I'm sort of okay with it, but I have one more thing to do to it before it's reveal.

Yes....I've put the spray paint away now. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dining Table Fall Decor Setting

Again.  I know, seriously?  I keep adding to this table for some reason.  I can't help myself.  The other day as I was looking around in my pantry, I saw 2 boxes.  I had totally forgotten about them.  They were wooden boxes that stored turkey dessert plates that I had found a very long time ago from Goodwill.  I usually try to use them at Thanksgiving.  They had never been used and if I'm remembering correctly I paid less than $10 for both sets.  The print on the outside of each box said, Pottery Barn.

See?


Gobble plates...you can imagine when I slid the top off the box,  how I felt seeing these awesome plates.  Just having the wooden boxes to store them in was great.
I snatched up both boxes.  I've decided to add them to the place setting on my formal dining room table.  Here's what I did...I moved the cup and saucer off to the side and added the plate to each place setting.
Gobble...Gobble I say!

Before pic:

After pic:

All better now.  Dollar Tree has these really beautiful fall leave glasses.  I passed them by.  I don't why I do things like that.  They were ONE DOLLAR EACH.  They're probably all gone now.  If you're out and about and have a Dollar Tree...check them out.  I've seen these glasses on several table settings throughout blog world!  They are truly beautiful.

I can't wait to show you what one can of white paint can do around the house.  I didn't go crazy....but I did paint a couple of things.  I can't wait to share with you on the next post!

Linking up with these parties!


A Stroll Thru Life

Home Savvy at Oz

2805 Potpourri Party

Inspiration for Celebration