Sunday, August 30, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday....It's all Their Fault

Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch and Laurie at Bargain Hunting (and chatting) with Laurie, I've been playing with my pictures! These two ladies were kind enough to share their expertise and knowledge to "play" around with our pictures on Photobucket and Photoscape. Now my "to do" list has nothing crossed off, my laundry needs to be put away, and we're having takeout for dinner...and it's all their fault! I still have a long way to go, but this editing pictures is fun! I'd like to show you some metamorphoses (that word in the plural is a pain!)....uh, changes with the magic of the edit button!


Becomes this

  1. I love the aged sepia tones!

  2. This

Now becomes

The fresco option makes my tablescape a painting.

Hannah the hound dog

Now speaks!

And finally, my favorite--Jessie

Goes Warhol!

Isn't this fun? Now, on to a Party Invitation!

Deck the Halls
On Tuesdays December 1-January 5

Starting on Tuesday, December 1, I am going to be hosting a Deck the Halls blog party. Each Tuesday you are invited to share your holiday decorations, those you have visited or those that inspire you. I don't need to give you bloggers examples--you are a creative bunch!! I will post Mr. Linky each Tuesday December 1-January 5. If you think you might be interested in joining in the party, I'd love to hear in your comments. I think it will be lots of fun. I'll keep reminding you so share the word!

Thanks always to our lovely hostess Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Click on her button and visit her and a long list of contributors as she begins another year !

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pink Saturday....Pink on Pink on Pink on Pink

Ordinarily I don't post family pictures. I've seen that glazed over look people get when a mother pulls out her "top 50" dance recital pictures or a grandmother whips "Grandma's Brag Book" out of her purse. But this one, just this one, is worth seeing. My sister in law sent me this picture earlier this spring. She doesn't blog, doesn't know I have one, and is young enough to think Pink Saturday is probably a band from the seventies.

Pink perfection! I couldn't have planned it better myself! Here is my sweet little niece wearing her favorite pink play clothes and her pink star sunglasses driving her pink Barbie jeep. Her passenger is CJ the bear wearing her pink Build A Bear outfit she and I purchased on our last aunt/niece outing! Even the pink azaleas were in bloom! The stars were all lined up in pink perfection for this photo op!

Please join Beverly at How Sweet the Sound to get your Saturday started with all things pink. Last week I visited Mermaids of the Lake. It's a beautiful and fun blog. Check it out if you haven't already. Lots of participants eagerly await your visit!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday...Do You Know This Man?

I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday with a departure from the usual. Do you know this man?

If you don't, take a good look at his picture to your husband....and if you see him, don't ignore him! This is Ahmed Hassan, the host of HGTV's Yard Crashers . Ahmed shows up in local home improvement stores and asks unknowing customers if they need help in their yards. Most people shrug and keep walking or simply ignore him...big mistake....BIG MISTAKE! For those who take the time to listen, Ahmed follows them home. He then addresses their needs and problems with a new design. Of course, after that one of those magic crews show up and presto yard, new patio, new deck, new flowers, new trees! Next time I go to Lowe's, I'm going to carry his picture in my wallet :) You've been warned. This man is on the loose and he's armed with a labor force and money. Be on the lookout.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Let There Be White...One Lump or Two?

I 'm so happy to be joining Kathleen At CuisineKathleen today for Let There Be White Part II! I missed all the fun last time, so I wanted to share a little of both my white tablescape and my white space. They both meet Kathleen's specifications--white plus one color! I am also linking to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Click on her button to visit!

Our family room is really Beloved's den--library paneling, old leather, and overstuffed chairs. I love it, but sometimes a girl just needs a place to call her own. Our living room/study provides that haven for me.

It's one place in the house I can always count on to be uncluttered and calm--a refuge from people and projects. It's the place where I keep my pretty keepsakes and knick- knacks so I can see them and linger over the memories that go with them. It's a place where I come for a quiet cup of tea and a few chapters of whatever book I'm reading at the moment.

Today I'm using simple china, just the Gibson cups and saucers, but it's a nice change from my usual clunky mug! The roses in a cut glass vase and candle on a crystal pillar holder bring out the red accents of the room.

Simple red linen napkins tied up with pearls just for today.....Burgundy by Reed and Barton to stir our tea....a tiny red and yellow teapot, a gift long treasured.

The white teapot holds just enough for two. I'm splurging today. No little yellow packets; real sugar cubes in my mother's sugar bowl with hobnail handles just seems a little more elegant.

I'd love it if you'd join me for lump or two? Kathleen is waiting here with lots of others to share their visions of white loveliness!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tablescape Thursday and Foodie Friday

Back in February my third post ever was a Foodie Friday contribution titled, "Meet the Fockers". We were entertaining the future in laws for the first time to discuss wedding plans. I mulled over the menu for days. Well, last weekend Firstborn Son asked us to entertain his girlfriend's parents from out of town. It was her birthday and he wanted us all to "meet and greet". This time I just went with the flow and it turned out to be a fun and relaxed evening for all!

A simple red and yellow themed buffet style table worked like a charm. After feeding sixteen last weekend on china, I wised up--dinnerware by Chinet! Yep, I used red plastic over sized plates for the nine of us! I pulled out the tailgating tablecloth, bought my Kroger sale bin flowers, and hit the picnic aisle in the grocery store. Those leftover galvanized buckets seem to show up in almost every tablescape. The Target birds have friends--the Target fish!

The menu was a simple one--Fried dill pickles and spinach dip for appetizers, catfish, hushpuppies, french fries, homemade tartar sauce, slaw, and fresh cucumbers with sweet onion in a red wine vinaigrette. I served a batch of peach tea and a few chilled long necks on the deck.

The bucket was a great condiment container--of course ketchup, the required Louisiana hot sauce, and commercial tartar sauce. Firstborn Son doesn't like my homemade variety (ungrateful thing :) A condiment dish held onions, lemons, and the homemade tartar sauce. The birthday girl's favorite dessert is creme brulee'. Although I might not have chosen it to go with this particular meal, it's my favorite too so I made it! Now, the tablescape is not awe inspiring, but it was fun and easy--my goals for the evening. The food, on the other hand, was down home gourmet! My husband is an expert with the deep fat fryer he got for Christmas. I've included a couple of recipes from the evening. And in case you're wondering, I was listening, but I didn't hear any wedding bells yet --but maybe soon :)

Homemade Tartar Sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons grated carrot, 1/2 mayonnaise, 1 1/2 tablespoons grated onion, 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish or grated dill pickle. Mix all ingredients. This gets better as the ingredients have time to meld.

Mama's Hushpuppies

This is a recipe that was not really a "recipe" until I watched and measured my mother's ingredients one day. Lots of good cooks use "about this much" as a guideline. That is why you will see the words "heaping" and "level". It's as close as I could get to measurements, but it has worked like a charm for many years. l full cup of white corn meal, 2 heaping tablespoons of flour, l level tablespoon baking powder, l teaspoon salt, 3/4 of a medium onion chopped finely, about 1/2-3/4 cup buttermilk, and 1 egg. Mix dry ingredients. Add buttermilk and egg; mix until the batter will drop by spoon (a little thicker than pancake batter). You may need to add a little more buttermilk. Drop by the spoonful into hot oil at 325 degrees. If you get it just right, these will turn on their own! Cook until golden brown.

I hope you'll join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, our Tablescape Thursday hostess (and the bogoversary girl) and Michael at Designs by Gollum, our Foodie Friday hostess. Thanks for having us over! You can get there in a wink by clicking on their buttons on the sidebar!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blue Monday...You Don't Want To Miss This

I ran across this exciting news this weekend and didn't want you to miss it! I thought Smiling Sally was the perfect hostess to let the cat out of the bag....or the dog out of the Snuggie :) Now, I know if you have a television in your home, you have to be familiar with this.

It's Snuggie--the blanket with sleeves in a fashionable shade of blue! You know the one: Blankets are okay, but they can slip and slide--plus your hands are trapped inside!

It's the latest craze--all the really fashionable people are doing it! But did you know that now Fido has options?

Yep, now Snuggies for dogs are available for just those times when "Your dog needs to go out, but it's a cold chilly night. A sweater could help, but they pull and they're tight". It's made in the same fashionable blue fleece!

Don't let this dog's expression fool you! He loves his Snuggie--he just happens to be on a serious covert assignment at the moment. Of course, if you insist, the Snuggie does come in pink.

It's the perfect thing for those cold winter nights. Poor Fifi--her phone didn't ring this week for a Saturday night date. But with her Snuggie, a bowl of popcorn, and Lifetime tv she will survive! If you hurry, you and your pet can have matching Snuggies before Old Man Winter arrives. Crazy?--You bet! Here I sit smugly making fun of it. Somebody is going to make a bunch of money.....I bet they laugh all the way to the bank...why didn't I think of this? :)

Please click here to join Sally for more Blue Monday!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pink Saturday in the Garden

I had something else in mind when I signed up to join Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday. But, I was out watering pots , beds,and window boxes and thought I might share these blooms with you before the summer slips away and takes all this glorious pink with it.

Pink hydrangea

Pink impatiens planted with sweet potato vine, asparagus fern, varigated ivy, and pink and green polka dots. Something is munching on the sweet potato vine! It must be tasty--our son's dog like to eat the part trailing on the deck!

Charlie-the culprit, but with a face like this he escapes retribution!

One perfect deep pink rose bud

A concrete basket- shaped pot filled with two shades of impatiens, pink geranium, trailing petunias, green and white polka dots, and lantana

Crape myrtles surrounding the deck and pool area

Window boxes filled to capacity with impatiens, verbena, and geraniums

A pink hisbiscus tree loaded with buds

Not bad for a girl who thinks her favorite color is blue! Please join Beverly here for more Pink Saturday fun!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tablescape Thursday and Foodie Friday..Spinach Salad

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting her 51st Tablescape and Michael at Designs by Gollum is hosting Foodie Friday. I'm so glad these two lovely ladies invite us on consecutive days. They work so well together--especially for us at our house. When I set the table, we usually eat :) This past weekend we had 16 gathered at our house for dinner on Friday night--not a big fancy dinner party--just family and several friends. Tablescaping was in short supply, but food was plentiful! By Tuesday, I was ready for something more intimate. A table for two on the deck seemed just the answer.

The little bistro table in the corner is the perfect size for two. I found these turquoise and yellow flower plates in my cabinet last week---I'd forgotten them! I bought them on sale at Steinmart months ago and put them away just a little too well :).

But it was meant to be! Without a definite plan in mind, I seemed to have been drawn to turquoise this summer! I had bought the place mats earlier because I love the stripes and polka dots together. I think it's just happy, and I like happy!

I even had this adorable firefly just waiting to light on our birdcage (as if we needed more bugs!) . See this little nest inside? I won this as part of a lovely giveaway from Tam at The Gypsy's Corner in the first month I started blogging! (note to Susan at BNOTP: I have not won anything since--hint, hint :) The little eggs in the nest are pale yellow and pull out the accent colors on the table. The Target birds came by to visit the nest.

I found these little containers for the daisies in the glassware section at a locally owned dollar store. They look like small milkshake glasses, but I have lots of ideas for them. Today I used them at each place setting as vases. Later I think they will be perfect for little amuse-bouches before dinner. I've even spray painted a couple for a future tablescape--very versatile little glasses indeed!

We'll be eating a fresh spinach salad tonight. Even the eggs are cooperating with the color scheme!

Dessert is being served in crystal sherbet glasses. These belonged to my grandmother and I have no information on them. They are delicate with beautiful flower etchings in the crystal. Beloved and I ate homemade blackberry cobbler with homemade ice cream this weekend, so we are both cutting back on dessert calories, at least momentarily! I found this frozen lemonade by Nestle in the ice cream section. It tastes like gelato and is a perfect light dessert! But just because Beloved and I are feeling a little "fluffy" (Beloved thinks this sounds much more positive than "fat"), doesn't mean you can't have dessert --Have a big piece of birthday cake to wish Susan a Happy Blog Birthday on the 18th !

The spinach salad is truly one of the best I have ever had. I get requests for the dressing recipe every time I serve it, but let me warn you: I don't think the recipe sounds good. You'll just have to take my word for it until you try it.

Fresh Spinach Salad Dressing

Mix 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, 1 tablespoon onion juice, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup canola oil, and 3/4 cup small curd cottage cheese. Serve over fresh spinach topped with crumbled bacon, sliced mushrooms, and sliced boiled eggs.

Click on the TT or FF buttons in the sidebar to visit Susan and Michael for more tables and food! I am also linking to

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blogs I Follow List

I think there used to be more technical difficulty with television transmission than there is now. The screen hardly ever goes blank anymore. But when I was a child, it happened sometimes. I remember a screen that showed this message with a smiling face: It ain't you; It ain't us; It must be THEM! So today my profile shows that I am currently following no blogs. So no blog updates for me. Now I don't think you kicked me out (did you ?:), and I know I didn't delete it (on purpose), so it must be THEM!! Anyone else with this problem?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tempt My Tummy and Tasty Tuesday...Red Beans and Rice

Today I am joining Lisa and Lana at Blessed with Grace and Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for a double post. It's my first time to join either of these two and I am glad to join the party!

First, let me say that it is hotter than blue blazes here in my neck of the woods. I tend to categorize food into summer food and winter food. And in my opinion, red beans and rice definitely falls into the latter category. I don't know what made Beloved think of this dish. Maybe he was thinking about a trip to the French Quarter; Alton could have talked about it on the food network. Heck, maybe he just saw a Popeye's commercial. But Beloved requested red beans and rice this week, and I was so happy for a meal suggestion that I immediately pulled out the recipe.

You can absolutely tell this is not a "borrowed" photograph! No one would post a pot that looks like this. I haven't figured out a way to doll up real pots that are being used for photos! The point is--it's what's IN the pot that is good. I grew up about ten miles from the Louisiana state line and these people consider themselves to be the experts in this field. Cajuns know how to do this! This is how I was taught to do it:

Chop 1 large onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Boil about 3 cups of water with 1/2 pound of salt pork. If you're watching your salt or you aren't sure what is is :) you can leave the salt pork out, but it won't be the same...good, but not the same. Add the onion and and garlic and 3-4 tablespoons of chili powder. Simmer until the onions are soft. Add 1 (28 0z.) can of stewed tomatoes, 2 cans of pinto beans, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Simmer about an hour. Add 1 pound of smoked sausage cut into 1/2 inch slices. Simmer on low about an hour. Serve over rice.

I served it with a fresh spinach salad and cornbread. I still think of this as winter comfort food, but it was so good we just turned down the air conditioning! Beloved was happy! Thanks for letting me join you! Please visit and
Thank you for the Award
Fajdich Times

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tablescape Thursday and Foodie Friday To Go

Can you feel it? The rhythms of summer are already changing. The "what-shall-we-do-today?" days are almost over. Even if you aren't involved in the back to school rush, your life is probably evolving back into a routine. Garden clubs, play dates, and Bible studies, put on hold for the summer, will resume. Fridays and Saturdays will be reserved for high school or college football. But before the rush begins, let's have one last picnic.

In the spirit of "going green" I'm pulling out the china. No, not the good china--the melamine plates made in China! These plates and cups are at least ten years old and previously matched the deck furniture and cushions until we changed it this year. They are from Target and Costco and are both plenty big enough to hold lots of fried chicken, sandwiches, and lemonade or tea. Don't forget the versatile beach towel. It can be used as a tablecloth or cushion. I bet you have them in lots of colors!

I've tucked the Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby napkins down into the glasses so they will be easy to find when we reach our destination.

A small galvanized bucket makes the perfect container for our centerpiece of hydrangeas. Like summer, these will soon be gone too. We'll be using the flatware with white handles instead of the throwaway kind. Don't worry. I've packed a plastic bag for the dirty dishes.

The picnic won't be complete without dessert! I prepared banana pudding in a Mason jar tied up with a scrap of pretty fabric and a ribbon. This will pack nicely in the cooler! Banana pudding is a favorite of ours. I am truly shocked at the number of people who make and eat it with instant pudding. They don't know what they are missing! I use the recipe right on the bag of Jackson vanilla wafers. Lots of banana pudding connoisseurs, including us, think they are the best vanilla wafers. Here's the recipe. It's not that much more trouble and worth every minute!

Homemade Banana Pudding

In a medium saucepan or double boiler stir together 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour. Gradually stir in 3 cups of milk. Cook and stir until the mixture thickens and boils. In a small bowl beat 3 egg yolks. Gradually stir in about a cup of the hot thickened mixture. When mixed, pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan. Cook and stir gently until the mixture boils for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Alternate layers of vanilla wafers, bananas, and pudding ending with pudding. Top with meringue if desired and bake at 350 until the meringue is slightly browned. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Baking is not necessary if meringue is not used.

Thank you to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Tablescape Thursday and to Michael at Designs by Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday. You can click on their button in the sidebar for the fast track to beautiful tables and tempting food!