Monday, April 21, 2014


I recently ordered a bunch of vegetable & herb seeds online.  A BUNCH!  They got here pretty quickly too.

Not sure where we're going to plant them all!  We have a decent size garden space, but all these veggies will need room to grow.

I'm thinking we'll have to try some container gardening this year.

As I was getting pots ready yesterday so I could start some of the seeds inside, we realized we're going to have to wait.  We're taking a road trip soon, so who will take care of our veggies!

I just hope it won't be too late.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Yesterday I had to leave poor Cookie at the vet all day.  She needed an ultrasound.
{November 2004 - Tucson, AZ}

Looks like she might have Cushing's Disease.  She'll need further testing to find out for sure.
{November 2005 - on the beach in Maryland}

We're still reading up on it as we aren't familiar with it.
{August 2006 - somewhere in the mountains of Italy}

If she does have it, this will require medication to treat it, but there is no cure.
{November 2010 - at home in Italy}

Poor Cookie.
{April 10, 2014 - sunning herself in New Hampshire}

Linking up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tortellini in Tomato Sauce

Special Tomato Sauce, that is!

I got this cookbook at a yard sale a couple years ago.

I've tried several recipes and have my eye on several more, but I'd never tried the Special Tomato Sauce.

Last night I couldn't figure out what to make for dinner.  Then I remembered we had a huge bag of tri color cheese tortellini in the freezer.  But what about a sauce?  I didn't feel like thawing any ground beef or sausage to make a meat sauce.  I pulled out my favorite Italian cookbook and turned to the pasta section.  Then I saw it.  The Special Tomato Sauce recipe.  Six ingredients, plus salt, pepper and herbs.  SIX!  I had five of the six (no celery), so decided to try it out.  It was so simple and it turned out amazing, if I do say so myself!

Special Tomato Sauce

1 2/3 lb tomatoes, fresh or canned, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
5 T olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a few leaves fresh basil or a small pinch dried oregano

1.  Place all the ingredients in a medium heavy saucepan and simmer together for 30 minutes.
2.  Puree the sauce in a food processor, or press through a sieve.
3.  Return the sauce to the pan, correct the seasoning and simmer again for about 15 minutes.

*Cook's Tip*
This sauce may be spooned into freezer bags and frozen until required.  Allow to thaw to room temperature before re-heating.

I put more carrot in than called for (I have to sneak those veggies to the kids somehow!) and used a large onion rather than medium.  I can't wait till our garden is going later this summer.  It would be so good with fresh ingredients.  Or different ingredients.  Zucchini?  Peppers?

Linking up to -

Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I'm still loving having a chalkboard wall.  I was having a hard time coming up with something to put on the kitchen wall though.  Then the other day my daughter said it needed to be something funny, so I searched the internets.  This is what I found.

{I did the fish, she did the "hola" and Sonic}

{We weren't having fish tacos - Just thought it was a fun sign}

Today I redid the chalkboard on the sun porch.

{Notice outside we STILL have snow.  We haven't seen the garden out back since December.}

Linking up with Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

Friday, March 21, 2014

the Red Hutch

I've been wanting a hutch in my craft area for a while now.  After looking around at thrift stores and Craigslist, I finally found one I liked on Craigslist.  It's a very heavy piece (two pieces) in great shape.

This is what it looked like before I painted it.

I'd decided I wanted to paint it red with a white background.  I went with a DIY chalk paint.  

I covered the red with about 3 coats of polycrylic for a nice shiny smooth finish.  It took me a while.  Partly because our basement is cold!  Partly because I just didn't always feel like painting!  :)  I also replaced all the knobs with some fun ones I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I got the drawer handles from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  

Here she is in her shiny new red paint.

There are a few disappointing drips (that you can't see unless you're really looking for them), but overall I'm happy with the way it turned out.  It sure looks nicer than what I had before!

Next up, a new light fixture for overhead!

For more of the letter R, be sure to visit Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

Also linking up to - 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Five

Here are some things I'm liking right now in no particular order.

1.  Trader Joe's Cookie Butter.  It's not Speculoos, but it's darn close.  I sure wish they sold it in a bigger jar.  It goes too fast.
{The crunchy version is also amazing!}

2.  Homemade Kettle Corn.  I could eat a whole batch!

3.  These knobs from Hobby Lobby.  I put them on my kitchen cupboards (Thanks for your help, Taylor!) and on a hutch in my craft area.  (They are 50% off this week!)
{I really need to clean my cabinets!}

4.  Snow.  I really do like snow and cold.  I'm getting a little tired of all the ice that's UNDER the snow though.

5.  This {British} ad.  I saw it on Michael's Inspired By Charm blog.  I loved this song in the 80's.  I lived in England for 4 years.  I remember my daughter riding her bike around our cul-de-sac.
{My girl riding in England.  Isn't she cute?}



I'd say my decorating style is a bit quirky.  I love to look at decorating magazines and websites, but tend not to follow "rules".  I have no idea what the Pantone Color of the year is and I don't care.  If I like the way something looks on my wall, I'll keep if for years.  Even if we move again and again.

Here's a corner of our kitchen.  The Bob's Big Boy sign is a recent find.  (Clearance at Hobby Lobby)

I grew up eating at Bob's Big Boy.  I wish there was one near me now.  I'd love some Hot Fudge Cake!

The sign above the window is in reference to Napoleon Dynamite.  (It's also something my husband yells to the kids when it's dinner time!)

I don't really care for the brass curtain rod on the window (it came with the house), but it works well to hang the bouncy ladybug!  He was a "you break it you buy it" kinda thing from a quirky shop in New Mexico.  Son broke it, we bought it, husband fixed it, now he hangs proudly in the kitchen.
{He reminds me of Francis the Ladybug from A Bug's Life.}

I loved my kitchen curtains so much I painted a desk in a similar pattern.  

I love having a chalkboard wall.  I usually change it with the seasons, but we seem to be stuck in winter (which I don't mind at all!), so I'm not sure what to put on the wall!

After a long absence, I'm linking up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.