Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Guest Room Update...

Alright...I know it's been a while since I updated you all on my guest room project. It's been ongoing for quite a while now....I had a box of fabric that the manufacturer sent me when I ordered my comforter set...remember? Well my dear aunt from California used every bit of the fabric to make me lovely window coverings for our guest room. The only thing I have left to do is hang some artwork...then I'll be able to give you the full tour. For now, I just had to show you the BEAUTIFUL drapery my aunt made for me from scratch. It's very beautiful. If you've been following my blog, you'll know that my sister made the pieces for the window shutters. It all matches so pretty.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas....

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas! Hope you all had a joyous day with those you love. We are at home enjoying family and friends....and trying to stay warm and toasty.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Housekeeping...

I recently purchased a Shark floor steamer. I saw the ad on tv and really wanted to get one. I've now had it for a little over one month, and I'm happy to report that I am very pleased with it's performance. Yes, it cleans the floors really really well....and it leaves the floors disinfected. I got mine at Costco and it came with 5 cleaning pads. When I am done cleaning, I just toss the pads in the regular wash, and they are ready to be reused. Before, I would have to prepare a bucket with hardwood cleaner, then I would use Pine cleaner on the bathroom floors. Well....no more carting around buckets with water. I simply fill the compartment with water from the fridge that has been filtered, then I use one cloth to do all of the main floors, and a separate one that I keep for the bathrooms. So easy.
I also recently got this adorable Paula Deen percolator at Wal-Mart. There is something about the smell of fresh brewed coffee....it brings back such fond childhood memories of visiting my best friend's house who's mom always used a percolator. My aunt recently saw this in the Wal-Mart paper, and we went and got a couple. She got the red one and I got the olive green one. We've been enjoying some great cups of coffee together.

Well I'm off from work now until January 5th, so I've got some shopping to finish up, and then hours of gift wrapping....blah. Hope you are all staying nice and toasty. We've been getting some frigid temperatures here in Indiana, with ice covered trees. It's perfect for staying in and sitting by a roaring fire...which we've been doing a lot of these days..

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Decorating Update...

Ok, so I had to post specifically about these CUTE fuzzy snowball lights that I noticed last week when I was at the mall. They were strung on the display trees at Nordstrom, and I told my husband that I just had to have them. Of course they were not for sale at Nordstrom, so as soon as we got home I did some internet searching, and I found two boxes for sale on ebay and snatched them right up. I just added them to the tree, each snowball is fuzzy and has a small clip to attach to the branches. Are these cute or what? So, I thought I'd take some photos of my scaled-down Christmas decorating this year. Hope you like it.

Christmas Decorating...

Well, I must admit that I didn't go all out this year with my Christmas decor. I've been busy at work, and I have been fighting a nasty cold...not to mention my little guy has been fighting a cold and stomach virus too. So, I just haven't had the energy. The tree is up and we put out some of the Christmas decorations, but no where near what we usually display. I still have shopping to do, so I'll try to get that done at least by next weekend. I thought I'd cheat and show you some Christmas decorating pictures from last year.

My sweet aunt (mom's sister) is still here visiting from California. AND, she is now staying at our house. The woman is a complete workaholic. I left her home alone yesterday as we all left to work and and kids to school, and she spent the entire day cutting fabric to make drapery, pillows, and a new seat cushion for a love seat for our guest room. I will show you pictures once everything is put together.

Here are last year's Christmas decor pictures. I'll chat with you all later!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Girls Day Out...

Thanksgiving Day was a success! We had a house full of my side of the family, and my best friend and her family too. It turned out to be a wonderful time, and we had a lot of laughs...I mean belly aching laughs! None of us got up early for Black Friday shopping. I promised my sweet nieces that I would take them to the nail salon, so they were bursting with excitement. My girlfriend's daughter's came along too, and it was a fun time for the girls! I let them all pick out their own nail polish colors, and it sure was a treat...I mean a girl needs to be pampered right?! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with those you love. A few pics of the girls at the nail salon - too cute!

This is Miss L - she's my BFF's daughter - ain't she sweet?!

My two sweet nieces Miss L and Miss C! - They love girly stuff!

And here is Miss R! She is a doll!Enjoying every minute!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vegetable Casserole - Recipe Share

Phew, I'm off for the rest of this week.....and boy do I need it. I have a house to clean and grocery shopping to get done, and of course a Thanksgiving feast to prepare. I am having a house full for the holiday. Yes, all of my family will be together. All the people I love in my house, it can't get any better than that!!! As I was preparing my shopping list I realized that I should share a simple but delicious recipe with all of you...just in case you want to add it to your holiday menu. And I didn't have a photo to show you, so I did a quick search online, and found this picture...I thought to myself..."what in the world....."!

You can use fresh veggies or frozen. I've used both and they are both equally yum.

2 or 3 bags of california blend (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
1 stick margarine
1 lb. velveeta cheese
1 sleeve of butter crackers (I use Ritz brand)

Steam veggies, drain water, place in a buttered 9x13 casserole, dot with small squares of the velvetta cheese, crumble 1 sleeve (or less) of crackers and sprinkle all over the top of the veggies, melt one stick of butter and sprinkle over. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Gift of Light...

First of all, I'd like to say thank you to my dear friend and "mentor" - John-Michael, who I consider one of the most brilliant individiuals I've ever known. He helped me to work through something, and I am most appreciative! If you have not had the pleasure, I invite you to visit his blog. You won't be disappointed - I assure you!

One of my most favorite aunts has arrived to visit mom, and spend time with all of us. She is my mom's dear sister, who traveled from Southern California. She'll be staying with mom for about a month, and we are so happy she's here. Of course a selfish part of me if partly happy, because she also happens to be one of the most talented women I know. She can sew up a pair of drapery panels like the finest, and has a keen design sense, both fashion and interior. Aren't we lucky to have her?!

Of course sis and I have plans...but we'll let her rest for a few weeks - ha! She gave each of us a adorable tea cup. Sis got a brown toile, and I got the red. I can't reveal what else she has for our third sister, and sister-in-law...as they could be reading here. ;) I had the day off yesterday, so I picked her and mom up and took them out for a day of shopping and dinner. We had so much fun, but my feet were quite sore... While shopping at one of my favorite stores "Tuesday Morning" I found a great lamp for my family room. I took some pictures to share with you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ok, Break is Over...

Phew...that is the longest I've been away from blogging! I have missed each and every one of you. I needed the time away to get caught up with life and work... I can hardly believe we are in the midst of November with Thanksgiving just around the corner. In fact, I already picked up some ingredients for a few of the dishes I will prepare for the feast.

Some of you asked if I was going to test the granite again. No, I've decided not to dwell on it too much... I am such a worry wart, and it's not healthy. So, "inconclusive" it will remain. But I hope to hear from anyone who may have had theirs tested.

I don't have a lot to show you at the moment, as I am just getting back into the swing of things. But I promise as soon as I do, I will update all of you. In the meantime, I've missed you all, and I'm glad to be back. I'll be around to visit all of you really soon. Won't you stay for some coffee and pie. Meet you in the kitchen.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Well....after all of this....my granite counter report for Radon came back inconclusive. UGH! I could scream. Both of my packets came back with an inconclusive result. What does it mean? That I still don't know if and how bad it is. Very frustrating. Not sure where I go from here...but I wanted to give you all an update!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Momma Got New Bedding!

I know, I'm suppose to be taking a break....but I have breaking news on the front....yep, found the deal of the year on some great bedding for my room. You know I had to share it with all of you don't you!? Ok, so I took a break on my lunch hour last week....and I strolled into a local furniture store. I noticed a "clearance" room clear in the back of the store. A gal was putting the bedding down on the floor - "Wait, I said what is that?" She showed it to me, it was a complete bed ensemble that was on their showroom floor. Ahhh.....size queen, and chocolate - perfect for Fall I thought. Can I see it? WOW.....it was a complete set, beautiful coverlet with GET THIS - velvet scalloped edging (to die for), and not 2 Euro shams....oh no....THREE! And wait, it gets better - the decorative throw pillows to match - ha! Yep, I got it all for 85% off of $498! Am I good or am I good - BOO YA! Ok, back to relaxing. Hope everyone is doing fine. Miss you all!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Need a Break...

I've decided to take some time off from blogging. I've been so busy with a project at work and the fall baseball season has begun for my boys. I've been getting tension headaches, and I think it's time to slow down a bit. I'll be back soon...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Miss Her...

A picture of mom on her birthday this year in February - we were out at breakfast.

I miss her....though she is here and alive...I miss her....MOM that is. Why is it so hard to see our parents age? I spent time with mom today - she came over so that I could fill her medicine case for the week. I know every pill by name...and I'll bet I can identify them with my eyes closed. She's doing well - - well as well as could be expected for someone who is 73 and in renal failure and on dialysis. She is frail...and growing older each time I see her. She looks tired...and she says "I'm tired" -- tired of getting up three days a week to get all dolled up to go and lay in a sterile bed with the smell of blood in the air, and strapped to a machine for 3 hours without being able to get up. I don't blame her...I feel her aches just by the sound of her voice when I call to check on her after each and every treatment....because I can't enjoy my day until I have heard her voice and know she is home and safe....you see my mom is no ordinary mom....no she is not! This is a woman with a excitable personality and flair for fashion like no other. She styled some of the most beautiful clothes and high heels that the first lady herself would envy. But her illness has taken its toll...and her dress shoes are now slip on leather Clarke's...because she may lose her balance. And her fistula that sticks out of her chest is no match for silk. So you see, I'm sad....I miss the woman she used to be, her loud laugh, and contagious spirit. Yet still, through it all, she has the spunk to demand her manicures and pedicures...because without them she feels naked. I cried all the way home today when I dropped her off at home, she's no longer the strong, vivacious, full of life woman I once knew just a couple of years ago....and the simple stroll to her front door, is now a slow feat as she grasps my arm so she stays balanced....and she is now quiet and reserved...and I wish I could take her and lock her in a room in my house so that time can't find her...and I just want to scream "WHEEEEEEERE IS MY MOM DAMN IT!??????"

Summer's Over.....

Could it be that summer unofficially ends after labor day? Ugh....though I love the fall season, I'm also sad to see the end of summer come to a near end. I was just hanging out in my kitchen, and snapped this picture of my boys and their friends enjoying the pool. Sad to think those days are almost over.....and having to cover the pool job is just around the corner - ugh! Guess it's time to start digging out all of the fall decor items. The only good thing about the start of September is that I got to turn my calendar page to a fresh picture and clean slate....ha! I enjoy the weirdest things don't I?!

Well, I hope everyone has a safe Labor Day Weekend! I'm off to throw some burgers on the grill!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

False Alarm...

Goodness I feel like a complete toad. Yep, wondering why I'm posting at 5am? Because my hubby is working the night shift and I could have sworn I heard the basement door close at around 4:23am. We have a two story house, and my boys and I were sound asleep when I heard the basement door close. I got up and called out for my hubby and no answer. I got scared and I called the police. Ugh, they checked the entire house and probably think I'm a nutcase now.....boy I feel stupid. Yes I had our town's finest come and see me in my pink pj's with red hearts all over.....goodness.......has anyone ever done this before? Please tell me you have!

Phew.....I think I'll go back to bed now, I'm getting really sleepy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Today was the first day of school - yeah! Back to some order and routine for my boys. We had a wonderful summer, but they were sooooo excited to start school today, that they could hardly fall asleep last night. After dinner we packed the backpacks, then we went upstairs and picked out what they would wear this morning. I'm glad to see that they are finally taking some pride in their appearance ha! We had the clothes ready at the foot of their bed with shoes, socks, undies, belt and all. They got up early, dressed, ate, and put on cologne - can you believe they want to wear cologne already? I took the day off to be home as they only have 1/2 day of school today.

THEN....we all went outside and got them all posed and ready for pictures and my camera batteries were DEAD! UGH, I was so upset. I ran to the neighbors who let me borrow her camera so I wasn't able to get a snapshot of my younger boy with my camera. I managed to find some new batteries, and so I took pictures of my older son with his best friend who lives across the street, and who takes the later bus as he has moved on to middle school. I told our bus driver Donna to keep them in line on the bus, and she gave me the "thumbs up". She's been our bus driver since our boys started school, so it's comforting to know they are safe with her.

OK to change the subject - does anybody know what kind of tree I have in my front yard? Is this a crab apple tree? It gives of beautiful pink flowers in the spring, and look at all of the red berries that are on it right now.

Mr. M in the green chatting with his best friend and our neighbor whose family is from Jordan. This is an especially happy day for Mr. M - as his best friend attended a Muslim school all last year, and has come back to join my son this year, so they are so happy to be back together!

Mr. M wrapping a roll of gum - he's so proud he's allowed to chew gum in class now because they are mature and know that they are to throw it in the trash when done - umm RIGHT...

Bye sweetie, have a good first day!

And this is the tree - is this a crab apple tree? It's sooooo pretty!

Alright, I better take advantage of this free time alone at home. I'll have my cup of coffee and watch Oprah. Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Weekend!

Ahhhh I had one of those mornings....you know the ones when you wake up refreshed and all is right with the world. Let me tell ya, I don't have those very often. The sun was shining, I had the windows down, wind blowing in my hair, and the radio blasting with this song, yep I was singing at the top of my lungs, didn't care who heard me or saw me, uh huh sure was. Have you ever really heard the lyrics to this song? Wouldn't it be amazing if this really happened to you...to me???? Ok, so I'm a bit of a sucker for romance, and now I can't get this song off my mind. Haaaa....Enjoy!

CLICK ON THE ARROW TO LISTEN, but you have to listen til the end.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

OPERATION Tropic Brown...

First of all, thank you all for leaving your kind messages for my sister-in-law. They are doing as well as could be expected. They have had several contractors come out and they are all in consensus that their home is not stable, and will probably need to be rebuilt. So, that means they will not be able to live at their home for MONTHS. Pray that all will go smoothly for them.
And following up on my previous post about cancer causing countertops.....
I'll begin the radon testing on my granite countertops today. The name of my granite is Tropic Brown, and it's from Saudi Arabia. I received the radon testing kits in the mail, so my testing begins TODAY. You have to leave the envelope at breathing level for 2 full days, making sure that you seal the envelope no earlier than 2 complete days, then you mail the envelope with this hard sponge in it to the testing lab, and wait for results. I am also testing the basement where my boys spend a lot of time playing. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that this goes well. I'm almost scared to think about it.
Have a Good Week All!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tragic Storm Damage...updated

A picture from the front page of today's newspaper.
That's my dear SIL in the peach
(and she is a PEACH)

Last night at around 9pm my niece called me on the phone, I could barely understand what she was saying....my SIL's house was struck by a tornado. My nephew was still in the house in the basement, so it was a very nerve wracking evening. The storms came in so fast, we hardly had time to prepare, but thankfully everyone is safe and sound. My nephew got out with just a few cuts and bruises, but safe. My SIL and their family lost their house in the storm, and it will be a long journey until they can be back to "normal" - so I ask that you keep them in your prayers as they recover from the storm. And thank you Lord that everyone is safe this morning.
UPDATED - 8/5/08 - 10:41pm

I went over to see the house today to get a first-hand look at the storm damage. It is so much worse than I expected. The entire subdivision looks like a war zone. People are busy working, cleaning up debris and sawing pieces of tree down to manageable sizes. It is a very sad sight, I was pretty stunned walking down the street toward SIL's house, but when they actually took me to see the inside, I got emotional. I kept thinking how lucky they are that everyone is safe, and couldn't help but wonder if the man upstairs knew exactly where they should be. They were at church helping out for their summer festival when the storm hit. Coincidence? Hmmmm....

My SIL is really heart broken, and I can understand, it was hard to see her home destroyed, so many memories, it's hard not to let it get to you....and if you knew my SIL you know that she was spared for a reason - she is truly an angel....and my niece is a doll.

We will continue to keep them in our prayers as they try to return to somewhat of a normal life.

Notice the large trees behind the house are now just a few branches bare and broken...

This is a view of their backyard standing on the deck. I was sad to see that the huge tree that was the one they used to hang the pinata during family gatherings, and all of the kids would gather in anticipation to see how much candy they could fill in their saks, was pulled out roots and all.....

I took a picture of her living room, the wall was already boarded up when I got to see the it but that wall was wide open - the tornado tore that entire wall out. We couldn't actually stand in the room because the ceiling is cracked and looked like it could cave in at any moment.

Look how the tornado ripped this huge tree
right out of the ground.... root, curb, and all!

This is part of the front of the house boarded up - I'm told there were huge pieces of wood boards that went right through those windows and into the bedrooms.

Keep them in your prayers....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Grilled Chicken Pita...

One day last week my girlfriend and I went out to lunch at a local eatery. When we walked in, the specials were written on a small board. I immediately knew what I was getting. Never had it before, but it sounded good. "Grilled Chicken Pita" -- OK that was the BEST! So, I just knew I had to make it to share with my family. And everyone agreed, this was a winner! Here is the recipe. Try it, I'm sure you will not be disappointed!

First season your chicken breast and cook on the grill. When the chicken is close to being done, brush olive oil on the pita and toast a little while on the grill.

Next put a strip of lowfat mayo across the pita

Cut up the chicken breast in strips (I used one whole boneless breast per pita)

Garnish with lettuce and tomato

Roll it up and enjoy!