Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Mantel….Finished.

It's done.  The mantel is finished.

I just love the mantel blanket.  It adds just a little warmth to the whole look.

I had to get some new fake greenery this year as I can't find the two branches I use each year.  They are two long branches on metal rod, so it's not like they can be folded up and packed away.  Cannot find them anywhere and we tried our best to go through whole garage nightmare.  (Moving!?  Pain in the arse.)

The NOEL on the left side is my latest little project.  I think I found the idea on Pinterest.  Not sure I love the letter style mix, but it's working for now.  May redo for next year.  Not sure.

Off to put up a little tree in Stinky's bedroom.  He's home from college.  I only know that from the stack of stuff (including his flat screen) that he deposited in the back hall.  It's not like I've actually had a siting.

Wishing you all good luck getting ready for the holiday's

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Mantel…First Look

I've been an absent blogger for about a month now.  I can only blame getting ready for 40 people at Thanksgiving for so long, before I have to own up to my own lack of focus or laziness.  Not sure which, maybe a little of both.

I just finished up with a little project for my mantel.  I saw it in a magazine somewhere and just fell in love with it, so I made my own version.

It's basically an blanket or shawl for your mantel.  In the magazine, they actually used an plaid blanket with fringe, that they cut up to fit.  I wasn't going to waste a whole blanket.  I went to Joann's and found this plaid flannel, bought two yards and cut my own 3 inch fringe.

It just makes me so happy.

When I get it all done, I'll post the finished version.  Still making the final decoration which should be ready tomorrow.

As for the tree…the new house has lower ceilings so I'm learning to adjust to a much smaller tree, but I clearly have too many ornaments and I just can't resist hanging all my favorites.

I'm not sure if it's a Charlie Brown tree or not.  I'll have to take another photo in the daytime, so I don't have to adjust the saturation as much….but it does look like one of those old timey photos from my childhood.

More cheer to come.  Promise.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Card of the Week

Time for some carding for the week.  Also trying to get back in the habit of making two cards at the same time.  I need to build up my inventory!

Here is my inspiration from CAS(E) this Sketch:

And here are the two cards I made:

The top card will be used immediately and the bottom has been tucked away for future use.

Happy carding to my fellow carders.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Flurry of Food

Did a lot of cooking this week-end, which means it was a great week-end for me.  Best of all, got to spend Sunday making the all of these goodies while watching the Lions pull it out in the last minutes of the game.  It was a good day.

First there was some Chicken Noodle Soup with Kale:

Then I made the Clarkston Union's version of Mac & Cheese.  If you are from the area, you know about the Clarkston Union and Union Woodshop's Mac & Cheese.  If not from the area, you may have seen it featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dive (of which neither of these restaurants belong).

Turned out awesome if I do say so myself.

And finished off with BW's favorite cookie. Good old Oatmeal and Raisin.

After two recent batches of Chocolate Chip, it was his turn.

I'm going to tweak the Mac & Cheese recipe and I'll hopefully get it posted in a few days.

Hope your week-ends was fun.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Traverse City Visit

We just got back from a short trip up north.  To really appreciate Michigan, you have to go up north in the fall.  Hopefully, you can get a small sense of the beauty from my photos.

I love the spooky covered grape vines.  Perfect for this time of year.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Card of the Week

Here is my card for this week:

And here was my inspiration from CAS(E) this Sketch:

Not sure that I'm loving my interpretation, but it's where my supplies took me.

Happy Carding.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hard Wood Floors

Don't you just love hard wood floors?  They look so beautiful.


Now that I have them through the main section of the house I realize they are the ultimate dust collector and when the sun is setting and shining through the dining room window....whew boy.  It can be very scary.  I'm sure living on a dirt road doesn't help either.

Here is the a view from the side door.  The floors go from the back hall, through to the kitchen and dining room.  I don't know if this photo really shows the amount of hard wood properly.  Just know, it's a lot.

After a few weeks of sweeping, vaccuming with the hand vac and washing...I found the new way to clean my floors.

This is the Dyson Hard Floor cleaner.  It sweeps, vacuums and washes in one movement.  It's brilliant and as you can see from the above photo of my floors, it does a great job.  It is basically a Swifter on steroids.  Awesome.

Not that it doesn't have a few drawbacks.  Like any Dyson product, it's not cheap (order from Bed Bath & Beyond in the store and you can use a 20% coupon).

It also does collect dust bunnies in the corners of the vacuum sections.  Not a huge problem as you can easily pull them out and throw them away.

The first time I used it, I did not realize that I had the power boost setting on.  This caused the unit to  last for about 6 minutes only.  Not enough time to even finish the main floors.  But once I figured out the error of my ways, I now use the normal power setting which lasts for about 15 minutes.  Plenty of   time for me to do the floors in the kitchen, dining room, back hall, 3 baths and the front hallway.  (On advice from Caity...make sure you fully de-charge each time before plugging it back in.  Batteries can learn to charge less if you continually recharge before it is fully emptied.  This is easy to do with this unit.  If I have charge left when I'm done, I just put it on power boost and it empties very quickly.)

Hard wood floor owners...I really think you are going to love this.  It's a great gift as well (thank you Mom).

(I was just labeling this post and had to make a new label called "cleaning".  I wonder the likelihood of me ever writing a cleaning post ever again.)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Card of the Week and World Card Day

I just finished making a card today and I also found out that today is World Card Making Day.  Who would have thought!  Also very convenient that I actually made a card today since this only the second card I've made since being moved out to the farm.

Here is my inspiration from CAS(E) this Sketch:

And here is my version:

Glad I got this made and just in time to take part in World Card Day.  Happy carding.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Obstacle Course

This is Logan....aka "Evil Kidnevel".  What might look like a row of counter stools to most folks, looks like a natural obstacle course to him.

He can spend a whole 5 minutes going through the chairs.

Then he's off to terrorize some other part of the house.  (If you look closely, you can still see the remnants of his last encounter with the corner of my TV stand.)  Nothing and I mean nothing, stops this kid.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Final Garden to Table for the Season

I haven't had the chance to take part in Wendy's Garden to Table Challenges this year, but I did finally get a chance to use my little harvest.

I made a version of Caprese salad with my cherry tomatoes and basil.  Added some mozzarella, olive oil and S&P and voila!  Very yummy side dish.

Adios summer.  It was fun while it lasted.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Card of the Week

I finally got my boxes and boxes of craft supplies unpacked and set up my craft area.  This gave me the chance to make a quick card.  I did use a sketch from CAS(E) this sketch as my inspiration, but now I can't find it cause I'm way behind on posting. is the card:

It's just a simple birthday card for a dear friend.  Hope to make some more soon.

Happy carding.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kitchen Highlights

I wanted to share some of my favorite parts of my new kitchen.

First Wolf cooktop.

This thing is amazing.  After years of cooking on an uneven electric range, I can't tell you the joy of "on is on and off is off".  It cleans so easily and it just makes me smile.

Next up is my Fisher & Paykel double drawer dishwasher.

I find each drawer the perfect size for dinner.  I just do a drawer load each day or as needed and I find I'm not having moments when all my plates are dirty or the silverware is low.

It's easy to load and even easier to unload.  Hope it works as well when we are entertaining.

Finally, I'm loving my huge island.  As I'm a messy cook, it's just so nice to finally have enough counter space.

And if you are wondering what's for dinner...It's quiche with bacon, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots and shallots. (Everything I could find in the fridge).


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Beginning

I officially live out on the farm.  We have talking about this for so long, that it hardly feels real.  I keep asking my Sweetie if he ever thought this day would finally come.  He was pretty confident that it would.

So....out with the old,

Joey saying his good-bye to the old house
And in with the new,

View from the front porch
And just to let you know...I'm getting into cooking in my new kitchen.  Today, I'm making soup on my wonderful Wolf cooktop.

Once I get my kitchen organized I promise to share photos.

Have a great week.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Good Bye House

I officially send good-bye to my house yesterday.  This house provided me safe harbor when I needed it most.  It provided security, peace and happiness to my son and to me.  It was perfect for that time in my life.  I had great neighbors and enjoyed living in a great town.

I was surprised I didn't feel more sentimental about leaving it, but once we removed all the furniture, dishes, just became what it was; a house.  I realize that my home is where my family is and now that all my "stuff" is out at the farm, that now feels like home.

Time for me to start my fourth phase of my life.  "Oh life on the farm is kind of layback..."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Up North 2013

We all just got back from our Up North vacation for 2013.  I wonder if there are any other states where the words "Up North" mean as much.

With our wonderful, majestic Great Lakes, I find it hard to believe.  For all Michigan's pros and cons, the Great Lakes are it's greatest attribute.

This year we rented a place on Lake Michigan in Pierport.  For the Michiganders, that's half way between Manastee and Frankfurt.

This was the main house:

And this was the "Cottage House":

Most of us stayed in the main house, but Gigi (Great Grandma), Aunt Deb the Great and KiKi (our Texas cousin) were in the Carriage House.  Benefits...quiet in the morning.

Following are just some of the moment of frivolity and joy that followed:

Safe to say that I...

this vacation.