Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!
I am here to send good wishes to you and to share a picture or two of how my Easter basket with the real grass that I grew and eggs that I colored turned out.  I tried several ways to naturally dye my eggs.  A couple of them worked out, one of them almost ate clean through the egg.  I never said I was a chemist!  Although I kind of felt like one and my kitchen looked like a lab with all the concoctions sitting about.  The buttercup blooms and dandelion blooms did the best for yellow eggs.  The ginger, parsley and lemon verbena in vinegar did not do so well for yellow tinting.  I wound up water color painting them all, even over the buttercup and dandelion ones because the painted ones were so much prettier.  I also put little spots on them in blue, mauve and brown just for fun. 
My chicken turned out well, maybe a little large for my basket but she's cute.  And there she is watching over her flock of eggs.
I am totally thrilled about the grass.  I have babied it for the last week and a half at the DC.  I thought about giving it a trim but, like my own hair, I like it growing wild the best. 
If you missed my post about my inspiration for my centerpiece, you can see it HERE.
Happy Easter and I hope you and your family have a wonderful day.
Don't spend too much time blog hopping!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Sloppy Bar-B-Que

AKA pantry and fridge clean out!  But seriously, pork roast is a very good thing.  We raise our own pigs so I generally have one in the freezer but the price of pork is pretty low right now and you will find pork roasts on sale quite often lately.  So grab one up and bring 'er on home.  I made this one, which I have no picture of oddly enough, with simple pantry and refrigerator staples like beer, ketchup, tomato sauce, onion... you get it right?  And I kind of made up measurements in the recipe because as you can see I just emptied what I had basically.  So have fun and enjoy the results.
By the way, every one's crock pot is different.  I know because I own four... wait five.  I have an old one from my Grandmother, one decent size one, one iddy biddy one and one large one.  The large one, that I use most often, has a mind of it's own and cooks just as hot on low as it does high.  I have seriously over cooked things on low in that crock pot.  So when I say cook on low in the recipe please use your own judgement when using your crock pot.  My low could be your high, your low could be like my warm. Cornfused? 

Once again, I give you permission to right click and print the recipe and would be as honored as a Robertson County Fair winner if you made it.
Here are the only pictures I took.  They are of some importance since I just grabbed and squeezed ingredients into this recipe.  And if you don't have molasses just use brown sugar and hush.

TaaDaa!  Shaun likes his Sloppy BBQ open-face style on white bread.  I like mine on a bun with cheese.  Good N Sloppy!  This ain't no dry bar b que y'all!  You're gone love it!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Basket Dreams

If the Easter Bunny were to come to my house this Sunday
and leave an Easter Basket full of goodies for me....
here's what I dream they'd be.
1  2  3  4

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Checked Out

I know you probably like it better when I do reviews on the picture books that I rent from the library, but I do read as well.  I like to read before I go to sleep because it makes me... well sleepier and helps me to sort of decompress before I dream so I'm not lying there pondering over the day's events. 
This author is a well known one and I feel a tad honored to read his works because they are good.  And I mean good.  I have also read two other books from him since I finished this one and he just tells a story so well and within one paragraph you can picture exactly where you are even to whom is there and what the place smells like.  I love it.  Sucks me right in.  My book this week is:  
A Moveable Feast
By: Ernest Hemingway
Year Published: 1964
I really liked this book, although it pretty much just took you from place to place and I wasn't sure if there was some fiction to it or if it all was his real life.  I did adore it and wound up writing excerpts several times in my journal.  One of them being: 
"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.  The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits.  People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."
I liked the way he told a story about each person and the thought that they were probably people he really knew made it all the more fascinating to me. 
Checked Out Rating: 10

I love the cover of this book with no dust jacket.  I didn't take it off.. it didn't come with one.  It had such a vintage library book feel to it.  Although someone had marked all through the book with a pencil of which I completely despise, squaring off of paragraphs as if they were working on a book report who knows how long ago like some graffiti thug in the night.  Tacky. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dirty Dirty - Pantry Style

Hey y'all.  This is another Dirty Dirty confessional about a portion of our home that gets out of control.  Now I am not going all Martha on this one and buying a bunch of unnecessary bins and a label maker, I am simply confessing, undressing, assessing, and..... unmessing my pantry. 
Not only is (was) my pantry a mess, this is before I went to the grocery so I feel as if it is a tad on the bare side for what is normally in there.  I always feel better when the pantry is full.  But what the pantry is full of... needs to be on the better side of the expiration date.  For instance, I have had apple cider mix in there for three years thinking we would make some apple pie and have not.  Therefore, while it may not go bad, it is expired and I don't need it anymore.  See what's happening here?  I am cleaning out and it makes sense.  Get rid of the stuff you "might" finish and "may" use and you will find the room to organize.  And if you don't want to throw it away because it isn't expired I am pretty sure the Hope center will take it or a food bank... look into it if you have that much unwanted food. 
So, on the floor of the pantry, in between the shotguns and behind the trash can, there sat a basket of dish towels and other such cloth-like items.  Didn't need it, got rid of it, folded about ten towels and put them on the bottom shelf.  I put the small chips in a basket and crackers in another basket and grouped items that just made more sense to be together... together.  All in all this little clean out took about an hour.  Mainly because I was on a mission and because Mary Evelyn was on her way to pick me up so I had to hurry.  Here's all the evidence.

Yeah... we'll tackle that spice rack some other time... and maybe my baking cabinets.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Sunday Redo

Wow.. where do I even begin!  OK... I was bored.  So I called my sister, Mary Evelyn, with thoughts swirling around in my head about a bench that was in need of a make over because she is my go to gal.  Especially on redoing furniture.  I think she gets the nerve of it all from our Grandmother, Atlas, who was the queen of stripping and refinishing furniture long ago.  I, on the other hand, have a fear of it completely... until today.  OK I do still have a bit of fear of it because I have a corner shelf that I really want to paint but cannot bring myself to do it, so I am not completely cured. 

The bench redo I had in mind is actually a church pew that came out of the old sanctuary at the church in Goodlettsville that I grew up in.  A few years ago they were remodelling the old sanctuary and needed to get rid of ancient pews and needed money for the remodel so they had an auction in which my sister and I both obtained pews.  So they are sentimental to us as well as cool because we sat in them as children in church.  However, since I have owned my pew one would think there was absolutely no sentimental value to it whatsoever because it has occupied a piece of the wall in our basement, half molding, covered in boxes of canning jars and seed sacks with sweet potatoes on them from the garden and goodness knows what else.  So, my thoughts were to bring it back to life and find a spot on our porch instead of where it currently lived.  And in order to put it outside I was going to have to put a finished of some sort on it to protect it so why not overcome a slight fear in the process!  All that said, here is the evidence of Sunday's undertaking which turned out to be a lot of fun.  So much in fact I found another piece of furniture that needed help (from being on the porch and drying out badly). 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Seed Flags

Most of the time when starting seeds for the garden I will label the pots in which I plant teeny tiny seeds.  Then some of the time I will not.  At some point and time, after the seedlings begin to show their pretty little heads above the dirt line, I combine them all in the same trays and eventually forget what's what.  The seed cups get jostled all in there together and until they begin their first set of real leaves I can't tell who is who, especially when I have begun more than one type of tomatoes.  I really try hard not to let this happen.  When I use my newspaper pots I simply write the names on the outside and all is well.  But this time I didn't write the names on the outside of about a dozen Roma tomatoes and a dozen marigolds.  So I came up with a pretty little solution to my problem and thought I would share it will you also, just in case you can use it too.  And in case you use a different type of seed starting pots like the black plastic ones that you can't write on.
My idea is little flags.  I made a template, printed and cut them out.  Then, using a glue stick, glued the flag around a tooth pick and taa daa... I.D. flags for my lil cuties! 
Again, you totally have my permission to right click and save these as a picture or right click and print.  They can also be used as cupcake flags or you could even pull the Shoney's card at a picnic labelling which hamburger is well done and rare.  Easy Peasy!  Have fun!
Fill in the blank flags.
Tomato Flags

Little Herb Ones!

By the way, if this print and click thing isn't working for you please shoot me a comment or email and I will be delighted to send it to you by email. 
XO Laurie

Friday, March 22, 2013

Venison Stroganoff

Today I have a fantastic recipe for you.  This is a supper for those gals who love their deer meat and love to pat the man (or woman) on the back that got up early during deer season and brought it on home to you.  Unless you shot it yourself... in that case.. You do it girl!  Even if you don't eat deer meat you can use beef or turkey and I promise you will still love how easy it is and how much you will love to hear the other eaters at your table say "oh... oh... thank you!"  Just please don't pour the boiling water from the noodles on your hand like I did this evening!  That web part in the middle of your fingers is tender I tell ya! 

I typed up this recipe and loaded it like a picture so you should be able to right click and print it with ease.  I like it like that... easy.  This recipe feeds my man and I with a serving left over for lunch the next day.  I also slap up some green beans and bread to go with.  Make it easy on yourself now!

Now a note on deer meat.  There are a lot of sceptics on venison out there.  That it has too much of a gamey taste, and that can happen.  For instance if you shoot a buck in rut or a deer in mid run when all the blood is flowing into the muscles and all, that can give it a stronger taste.  But a good doe with a little fat on her, you can't beat that one bit!  And I always say, if you don't like deer meat, then it ain't been cooked right!  Do not be afraid of deer meat.  I will admit, when I first began cooking with venison I over seasoned thinking it wouldn't taste right.  But some years later now I want the taste up front and center of a good deer.  And deer meat is good for you!  I promise, unless some little woodland elf has been shooting steroids into deer while they sleep, there are no man made hormones or anything like that AND they have less fat than beef or turkey.  Just try it or get over it already!  You will fall in love and become very sad when the freezer is empty and deer season seems so far away.

P.S. Happy Birthday Mama and Tracy!
Yes... one of my sisters was born on my Mom's birthday!  She got the boobie prize that year!
Love you both! XOXO
******Recipe Correction******
I noticed this morning that I put 3/4 Chardonnay!  That's funny. 
I meant 3/4 cup not 3/4 of the bottle of wine!  I am sure it would still turn out well... a little runny unless you really let it cook down.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Checked Out

I have done it again.  I have been to the library, gotten home with my books only to realize that I have rented this one before.  Which could mean I am very forgetful, or it might mean that the book was just that good.  In this case, I am forgetful.  But the book is good and I probably would have gotten it again anyway even if I realized at the time I had seen it already. 
This week's book is called:
JUNK Beautiful
Outdoor Edition
By: Sue Whitney, with Kimberly Melamed
Published Date: 2009
I like these gals and have checked out more than one of their decorating junk books and they are all good.  They even offer items that you can make throughout the book and instructional "how-to's" in the back.  The outdoor edition, however, seems to have a lot of set-up shots.  Which isn't necessarily a bad quality because these gals know what they are doing.  But some of the ideas aren't real practical for every day use, not in my world anyway.  It seems the wind and weather might run away with things.  But if you are having an outdoor party or gathering a lot of these ideas are perfect.  They do have a greenhouse shot that I love and that I feel inspired my dream greenhouse the last time I checked the book out.  I did find myself taking pictures of pictures in this book to print out for my inspiration journal.  Plus these seem like fun gals with a good sense of humor which leads to good and humorous reading.
Checked Out Rating: 8


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Plans

I would like to announce that I am going "All Martha" for my Easter centerpieces this year!  I am the hostess of our Easter gathering for our family, this is my fourth year to do so and I love it!  Even Shaun likes it... mainly because it gives him a good excuse for not mowing the grass until after the Easter egg hunt.  But... this morning, after looking at my daily craft email that I get from Martha Stewart dot com ( which really makes me feel like we are friends.. Martha and I... because she sends me stuff like everyday) I got inspired to decorate a tad bit for our get together.  The inspiration comes in the form of centerpieces and it is derived from several of Martha (and company's) Easter ideas and involves only using items that I already have and I literally have the stuff to make each one of these.  Except maybe the turmeric... I'll have to check the pantry for that and probably won't do it unless I have it.  No special trips to the store here. 

For the main table (which may or may not be the only one I make) I will be using a round Easter basket that my junk from the estate sale on Saturday was packed in.  In that I will rig up something to grow grass in, probably a bowl, of which I already have seed for because I grow it for Captain Kicks-A-Lot (Tom the cat) during the winter.  Then I will use my onion peelings to dye my eggs and maybe the turmeric too.  I have already downloaded the chicken and bunny template from MSdotC and printed them on card stock and will cut them out today getting them ready for spray glue and fabric scrap this evening.  The little bowls will be a sort of after thought and will happen if I have time over the weekend or possibly not. 

Easter is just next Sunday, March 31st, so I feel the grass will grow between now and then if I get to it when I get home this evening.  Wheat grass grows pretty fast in good conditions.  I promise to share a picture of the end result since I can't put it together today because the grass has yet to grow and the eggs have yet to be dyed.  Never-the-less I have faith that it will come together in the end and be a nice addition to all the pretty Easter dresses or in my case Easter Levis at my house. 

Here is the link on Martha Stewart where all this inspiration came from.  She is wonderful and I adore that the ideas and inspiration comes with printable templates, instructions and videos!  I have learned a ton and a half from her website for sure. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Local Spotlight: Hollis and Green Antiques

Another local shop!  Hollis and Green Antiques on Dickerson Road, right past Hunters Lane High School.  I have eyed this building for several years because it used to house a thrift shop and there was always junk sitting outside.  The ownership has changed and so has the junk, although I did not ask exactly how long they have been there.  The gal who owns the shop is super sweet and apparently does shows on the road also.  She said that she had a shop in Florida for fifteen years and it really shows well in her decorating and set up of the furniture and items in her shop. 
Keep in mind when you visit that this is an antique shop not a thrift store.  They have beautiful pieces and vintage to antique decor everywhere you look.  The owner obviously has very good taste as we walked around looking trying to take everything in. 

 Sure is a big shell you found Shell Lady!

Hollis and Green Antiques
3990 Dickerson Road
Nashville, TN 37207 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekend Finds

Yesterday, my sister Mary Evelyn and I, hit the klondike of estate sales.  Now, you've got estate sales where random people are just selling their stuff and it should be called a yard sale and you've got estate sales from a person or older person's home that has either passed on or moved to where they don't need their stuff anymore.  Then there are estate sales that are run by companies that get a cut of what is selling and are usually priced too high and you can't bargain with them or there are the ones that are run by family members who know the history of some of the items and need to get rid of the stuff and will come down off the prices.  The family run estate sale is exactly what we happened upon yesterday. 

I always walk away from a good sale wondering just how long we had been there.  In this case I would wager to guess it was the better part of an hour and a half.  And these gals have been working hard.  Everything was priced, which is nice, and there was so much stuff, from furniture to kitchen to knick knacks, you  name it.  I wound up with a new pressure canner, a chair, some embroidered pictures, plates, cookie cutters, canisters, and all of it is old and you know I got a piece of enamelware!  I took the stitching apart and they are soaking in cleaner right now.  I also wound up talking to the home owner's daughter about canning and we went out to the small barn and there was a box full of old canning jars that she gave me.  They were the first thing I cleaned when I got home and found a mouse nest in the bottom of the box that I guess was also free.  I did jump a little and promptly moved the box outside. 

This was the third weekend for this sale and we were still satisfied with what we got.  They said they still have more to bring out and will have the sale more nice-weather weekends until they are satisfied and done.  It is out on Highway 25 going towards Gallatin, right before you get to the old Highway 25 market but the address is still considered Cottontown.  There are only signs on the mail box, none pointing the way so you really won't know they are there until you just go.  I don't have the exact address.  We didn't have any trouble finding it and if you go next Saturday you'll probably see us back!

Here are a few of my goodies I found.


Our pile.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What I Saw

From shame to pride I came to a different level of dealing last weekend and I have struggled with sharing this post all week because I really get afraid to let people in.  One of my favorite hobbies is this blog and I want it to be a positive outlet for me, not somewhere that I sit and complain about anything, but I also feel it is important to let the people who love me and read my hobby to know me because if you think everything is good then I am fooling you.  On one hand everything is good because I have a positive outlook and a wonderful blessed life on the other I am a human who has issues like everybody else and the tug to share this is too strong, silly or not, complaining or not, moving this hobby where I don't want it to go because i am afraid or not.  Here it is.

Today has been a lucky day.  After many months of in and out of slight depression and beating myself up as an aftershock at thirty nine years old being told I would never be a mother, I saw myself differently.  I was at home this Saturday by myself and in the midst of redecorating our mantel, which has looked the same since the Christmas decorations were taken down the year before last, and listening to an old country radio station out of Springfield I had found on the AM stations when I heard someone coming up the front steps of our house.  I was in the living room already and I turned and flung open the door thinking it was Shaun and that maybe I had been too preoccupied to hear his truck drive up.  I had a true and large refreshing smile on my face as I had been surprised that he was home early.  When the door opened I saw a boy about twelve years old, and his mother was walking up the yard, turning out to be our neighbors from across the street and down a couple of houses.  They came wanting to buy some top soil from our pile behind the trailer at the front of our property.  I was still happy to see them and by this point slightly laughing at myself for suspecting it was Shaun and hadn’t looked first nor had I let the guest even knock therefore surprising him as well.  She wanted to leave her number for the dirt and I turned in the door way to grab a pen and paper.  As I did I imagined what I looked like at that point to my guests.  My scarf wisping around behind me as I turned, and music playing in the background and I apologized for the mess on the floor, as if following the artist interrupted from a sculpture and I thought… this is who I am.  I am this woman, this thirty nine year old woman.  I am proud of her.  She is interesting, not a cliché.  She is artistic.  She can be whoever she wants to be and not what she ever expected she would be.  Nothing like I ever imagined my life would become but better.  She reminds me, at this moment, of the character Ariel in the movie Grumpy Old Men.  She talks to her plants, is artistic, crafty, classy and has a taste of her own and never disappointed in the hand that has been dealt her.  I have grieved for the life I know I will not have but for once I am excited about the woman I have the opportunity to be.  I don’t have to hold back or dream or prepare to “be” anymore.  I am her.  It is all here I just have to grow in to it.  Fuck being sad and disappointed. 

Do you really know who you are?  Not just who you are married to or whose mother or sister you are.  Do you know you?  Do you know who you are to others and what kind of person they think you are?  It is beautiful and for once a wonderful thing to realize and how quickly it came in when I opened the door in my long jeans, green boots, black long-sleeved tee and black and white wispy scarf draped down my back with my hair straightened and pulled back out of my face.  I saw what I looked like to myself through their eyes and I saw me, in my world.  Today I was lucky, I saw who I am and through my disappointments to who I will be, an Ariel, and I like her.  I am the one who needs to understand this, to know who I am, to inspire myself who needs to be happy and comfortable in this spotted skin that I live in.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Four Fanciful Things

Four Fanciful Things.  That would just tickle my fancy to have. 
Some I will, some I won't but they are still fanciful!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Checked Out

As you well know, if you are a regular reader of my blog or know me personally, I am a library book nerd.  I like to be able to put my hands on what I am reading.  I enjoy requesting certain books and the wait involved while some sweet library soul delivers the books to the Goodlettsville location and my trip there each week to return books and pick up new ones.  I always have a book bag stuffed to the gills with children's books for the DC and inspirational books for me along with one to read before bed.  I wish to share some of them with you on a weekly basis.  You may be a library person yourself, or maybe one who downloads books to your iPad or whatever you have.  Either way I come across some good ones that really tickle my fancy and just might tickle yours too! 
Today I am sharing a home decorating inspiration publication.  One that kept me glued to it for over an hour last night.  This week's book is called:
Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces
By: Rachel Ashwell
Published Date: 2011
I love this book.  One thing I especially like is that the author has picked existing spaces to feature of people that she already knows, and has gone into their worlds.  Some very talented people might I add with beautiful, inspiring homes.  The pictures are gorgeous and she talks about each one with good detail.  They each show the owner's personality very well and offer wonderful ideas for decorating your own space.
Checked Out Rating: 10


Books like this are fun to look at and make me want to put up a cabbage rose shower curtain in the horse bathroom.  Sometimes I flip through a decorating book very fast and other times I get completely sucked in by the detail in pictures and ideas that they plant.