Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Oh The Views!

I can't believe it's November! I've been so busy working. In mid-October we took a trip to see "The Kids" in Ft Knox, Kentucky. Where Daniel is stationed right now. If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen some pictures of a walk we took on the last day we were there. I loved the Fall colors and the views were amazing!


Here are just two of my favorite pictures. Look at the leaves on this tree! As much as I love the Fall Season I am ready to decorate for Christmas. We are hosting John's family again this year for Thanksgiving dinner. I have been toying with the idea  of decorating for Chirstmas before Thanksgiving something I've never done before. It just seems that as soon as I finish decorating
the house for Christmas it's time to put it all away. But, maybe I have waited a bit too long to make up my mind. I have some Christmas decorating/food ideas I'll share with you later. I hope you have a good week and that you got out to vote.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Church Book Club

 If you follow me on Facebook you might have read that I found a job! Well, the truth is I found two! I'm working for a Speech Therapist (a friend and ex co-worker opened her own Speech and Language private practice) as a clerical assistant/interpreter and also at a store in the mall. I'm not too sure how long I'll be able to keep this up but, I'm sure going to give it my best. It's nice getting out of the house and having a little cash to myself ;) Both jobs are part-time which is fine with me. They are keeping me busy! My schedule still lets me go to my book club at church. Super happy about that! There are only a few of us and we are looking for ways to recruit new members to our book club. I'm the youngest in the bunch and would really like more my age group. Anyway, we still have some great conversations about the books we read. We read this book last month and still haven't met to discuss it. It is a novel but well written in my opinion. It is the story of a shoemaker named Joseph while Jesus is alive. He talks of listening to Jesus' along with his apostles and even traveling with Him on occasion. Many events are recounted even Jesus' crucifixion. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a quick read and another view at biblical stories we all know and love.        
A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik is another book we read in my church group. In this day of e-mail, texting and Facebook (I sound like an old lady don't I? LOL!) the art of writing a thank you note or a letter for that matter is almost a lost art. Have you ever read letters from soldiers and their loved ones during the Civil War? BEAUTIFUL!
 I still like to send them and receive them. I've kept several thank you cards that have meant a lot to me. This book tells of how the author at a very low point in his life challenges himself to send 365 thank you notes. He even sends a note to the young barista where he gets his morning coffee (for remembering his order) to his estranged sons. Sending these thank you notes change his life. The stories get a bit monotonous but, it does make you think of all the people in our lives we should give thanks to.        
The Red Tent is the first book we read this year. It is the story of Jacob and his sons taken from the book of Genesis. It is actually also a novel. This book gives us the women's view during that time. From what I've read about this book some facts are not accurate or can't be proven since not much is documented but, it does make for a very interesting and thought provoking read.   

So there you have a few selections to add to your reading list this Fall/Winter. Let me know if you read any of them and what you thought of them.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Decorations 2012

I didn't buy much to add to my Fall decorations. I just used what I had from past years. That's not to say I won't go out and look for a good bargain at the end of the season ;) This is the mantle this year. I kept it rather simple with a garland with some berries, faux leaves  and pine cones the only thing I bought were the votive candles. This is the second set of candles since I enjoy lighting them in the evening with a fire going while watching television. 

We found this wire basket in an antique store in Wisconsin. I love the patina it has on it =)
My brother and his wife gave me this bowl last year for my birthday. I like it just the way it is no need to add anything to it.
I was about to take this corbel ( I think that's what you call this) down. It's been in the same spot for a while but I couldn't decide where else to put it so I added some colorful Fall leaves and the brown pail and pumpkin. oops! I forgot to add a candle in the holder.  On a little side note the ivy you see there was filler in my wedding bouquet <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">
I love this container because it is so easy to change out for the different seasons or my mood.
I found these white foam pumpkins last year at GW. They have a witch and a cat carved on the other side. I'm not to crazy about that side of them so I just added some raffia and placed them in this bucket.
I found this soup touraine along with the spoon for $10 at an antique store on our way home from Tennessee this Summer.
This is the side table in the Dinning room. I'd really like to find a larger sideboard for this area something with drawers for extra storage. Painted of course!
I leave you with a picture of my little fur-baby Farrah. I got her this little bed today. She had gotten sick on her last bed and I had just thrown it out. It's getting colder so she needed something to keep her nice and toasty at night.   

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Reading

I wish I had more time to read! I have a list of books that I keep adding titles to. I also have a stack of books by my desk that keeps growing. Although I love to have the actual book, I love the convenience of the Kindle.  My Hubby gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago. I think I've said this before but it's one of my favorite gifts from him =)  Anyway, I thougth I would share a couple of the books I've read this Summer. My Sister told me about this book. It's based on a true story of a WWII  prisoner of war. Louis Zamperini. The author also wrote Seabiscuit.

It has many old pictures of his life. I love looking at old photographs! I found a resent  interview of Mr Zamperini. I couldn't add it to this post so I added it below if you want to listen to this very inspirational man and what he learned about the power of forgiveness. I read this book on my Kindle.
Another book I just finished reading is My name is Memory by Ann Brashares I heard about this book from my blogger friend Chelsea of The Life We Love She said it was one of the best books she'd read in a while. John and I had gone out to dinner in downtown Naperville and went in to Barnes and Noble's. One of the few actual book stores still open close to us. I know, so sad. While looking around I saw the title and remembered hearing about it. It was actually in the bargain aisle so I got it for $7.00! Not bad for a hardcover book. 


This book is a love story and it reminded me a little bit of The Time Traveler's Wife. I won't tell you too much about it in case you decide to pick up a copy. It's about a falling in love and keeping it against all odds even time. I really enjoyed reading this book! I just started reading another book for my church book club. I can't remember the title right now but, I'll let you know what I thought of it and about our book club discussion. It's always nice to hear someone else opinion of a book. What have read so far this Summer? Do share would love to add to my list.       

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kitchen Magnet Board

I like organization just like the next blogger gal. I try but it's not always easy to stay on top of the clutter especially the everyday junk mail, recepts and what not. So here is an easy and inexpensive project that helped me organize some of it.
I put this in one of our kitchen cabinet doors a couple of years ago when we got our stainless steal refrigerator. I wanted to keep the new refrigerator doors clean of magnets and clutter. I still wanted a place to keep receipts, recipes and some pictures on hand but not visible.
I found the thin metal sheet at Home Depot. I glued it on using Gorilla Glue. It measures 12x24. I think it is very convenient and it keeps my 'fridge and kitchen looking clutter free.
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Family Vacation

My Family and I took a trip to South Haven, MI last weekend. It had been a very long since we had all had the opportunity to get away at the same time. It was beautifully HOT and we spent some very nice days at the beach ,window shopping, eating and of course just hangin' out and talking. We stayed at a pretty old hotel right by the docks. Here are some of the pictures I took.

Two of my sisters and my niece.
We buried my nephew in the sand. It doesn't look like he minded much. LOL!
Me, Mom, my sister and my sister in law.

My brother in law and my brother. Handsome guys!
La familia at dinner, oops! only got one side of the table. There were 14 of us! Six members of the family couldn't make it on this trip. John had BA that weekend so he couldn't join us :( I feel so blessed to have every one of them. I love having a big family. Okay, sometimes they can be a bit annoying but for the most part I love all of 'em =)

I'm a wanna be photographer. I'll share more of those pictures later. We got back Monday afternoon and I'm still on vacation mode! Can't seem to get back into the routine of things. I hope you're having a good week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Money Saving Tip

A big reason I love blogging is that people share there new finds whether it be fashion, decor or a new product. So I wanted to share with you my new find. I had seen a commercial for these new perfect portion freezer bags by Ziploc. It is just the two of us most of the time and even a small package of chicken breast would be too much for us even if I got creative and used leftovers for chicken salads, enchiladas and tacos. I don't know about you but I don't like to keep leftovers in the fridge for too long. Another problem we were having is that if we left meat in the freezer for too long it would get freezer burn and we would end up throwing it away. A big waste of $! Now I can defrost and cook only what we will be eating for that meal. (warning: pictures of raw meat to follow, not very pretty LOL!)

Now, I can buy in bulk and not have to worry that we will have to end up throwing it away if we don't eat it by a certain time.

I place 3 pieces in one portion size bag. It is suggested you use one per piece but, that doesn't seem cost effective for our needs. I then place them in Ziploc gallon sized freezer bags. The double bag keeps it safe from freezer burn.

I know we are truly carnivores! Ha!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Favorite New Blog

I wanted to show you my new favorite blog called http://Design Seeds This is one of the most creative blogs I have ever seen! They have taken beautiful pictures some from nature, seasons, the sea, vacation spots and more. They've created some amazing color palettes from these pictures. If you, like me, are in the process of decorating a room. Or if you are just wanting to add to your existing decor. Or simply love color. Here are a few of my favorites.

Friday, July 6, 2012

House Plants

Hello bloggie friends! I'm back! I don't know why I'm so bad at blogging consistently. Anyway, my friend Shannon from http://Bless Our Nest shared how she decorates with houseplants so, I thought I would show you some of mine. I have two like the one below. I have this one in the living room and another one in the guest bathroom upstairs.

The next one is in the family room and seems to like the spot next to the couch.

I've had this Golden Pathos for a very long time. I hadn't repotted it in a while and was doing beautifuly until my little dog Farrah ran into the plant stand and knocked it off. It broke the tile! That's how heavy it was. So I bought this new planter and it's just now starting to look healthy again. I have it by the French doors leading into the dinning room where it doesn't get a lot of direct sun.
I really like this plant. I don't rememeber how long I've had it but, it looks so nice by the staircase.
This Ficus tree is 10 years old believe it or not! We got it before our first house. We bought it one hot, Summer night at our grocery store. I remember we just threw it into the back seat of my little, red Mazda. This tree brings back many memorise.

I've been working on a few projects so I hope to show you soon =) Have a great week-end!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Diet and Exercise

I can't believe how long it's been since my last post. I just don't sit and take the time to write. One reason is I can't download pictures from my phone and it seems  like too much work to download from my camera and somehow, I feel like every post needs pictures. Some unwritten blog rule. Anyway, I hope to post more often.
I'm still on my gluten free diet. I've felt quiet a difference in how I feel and how my skin looks. I gained 4 1/2 pounds (much needed) at my last Dr's visit. I'm at 104 lbs! I was originally going to follow the diet for 3 weeks and then go back to a regular diet but, since I've felt a difference and am pretty much used to eating this way. I just don't know if I want to go back. One thing I've found is that gluten free food is more expensive. A loaf of bread is $5! I know! There are definitely more GF choices available these days. It seems that eating GF is pretty popular right now. I've read several articles from nutritionist that say it is not a low calorie diet. People seem to mistakenly think that because they are swapping out regular bread and pasta for GF foods they will lose weight. Not true as I said I've gained weight. I think my weight gain is due to the fact that my digestion is better and so I'm eating better and not that what I'm eating is high in calories. Another change I've made is limiting my soda to when we eat out which is not very often. We've been cooking at home a lot lately. I think we've eaten out twice since I started this diet. I've increased my water intake which has  always been a challenge for me. 
I have found several recipes on-line and recently found a blog thru Pinterest.  Here is the link elanaspantry.com  I went out and got ingredients for several recipes I haven't tried any yet. I'm excited to try them as they look delicious! 

                                                               These are some GF foods 

I'd love to add some exercise routine into my schedule. I just haven't made it back to the gym in a while. Our gym offers a Zumba class and I'd really like to try it. I'd like to get some tone and definition. Some strength training would be nice as well. Let's see how I do on the exercise.

Sorry for the awkward picture. It's my most recent and I guess I feeling especially good =)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The GI and the Yellow Rose

I had an endoscopy this morning. That is where a Doctor takes a small camera to look down at your esophagus and stomach. I've had this test done before, it doesn't stop me from getting nervous and anxious about it. I usually go in to the city to see my GI specialist at the University but, when I called this time my Doctor said  she was comfortablel with me seeing someone close to home. So, I called my General physician and got the name of a local GI. John took me to see him on Tuesday afternoon, Yes, Valentines Day. What a way to celebrate right?! We did manage to go out for an early dinner after the appointment. Oh! I forgot to mention that my sweet Hubby didn't forget what day it was, I was in the shower getting ready for my appointment when he said he was going out for a cup of coffee. When I was ready I came downstairs to find him standing in the kitchen with this,

And all of the kitchen cabinet doors open. He said he couldn't find a vase! I swear he looked like a school boy standing there holding out that single rose. I loved it! Dinner and a single yellow rose from my Valentine made my day wonderful!  Even if included a Doctor's visit.

Well, the test I had done this morning went well. It was done in the clinic next to the Doctor's office. That was one of my concerns since, like I said , I've always had them done in a hospital. They put me slightly under, which I was greatful for, in order to do procedure. The doctor said everyhting looked pretty good but, he did take a sample in order to biopsy. I should get results in a couple of days. I came and had a light lunch and since I was still feeling a little groggy I slept for a few hours. I'm feeling pretty good right now except for a slight soar throat which they said was to be expected.  

The reason I went to see the Doctor was because I've been having some new stomach problems. I've had some issues for a few years now. I've always been careful with not eating anything too spicey or greasy. I don't eat fast food. I've taken Nexium and for a long time it helped relieve my reflux symptoms. But, for about a month I've had burning and some pain. I've changed my diet on my own trying to find some relief from these symptoms. I put myself on a gluten-free diet. I've also cut back on my carbonated drinks and dairy. I have been tested for any food allergies in the past with all results being negative, Thank God, but I would still like to see if this diet works for me. It sounds kind of drastic but let's see if it works. I've been to Whole Foods and found many gluten free choices. I'm also looking on-line for some new recepies. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thrifty Finds and an Easy Dessert Recipe

I hope you are having a nice Monday! The weather has been so nice and rather mild here considering it is February and comparing it to last year. We went out on Friday night to celebrate my Sister-in-laws birthday. I took some pictures on my cell phone but, my phone is STILL not letting me transfer pictures. We also did a little shopping. I hadn't gone in to my local GW until the other day. These are a my favorite finds. I'm lovin' this vintage, ironstone bowl ! I've seen them at antique stores and flea markets for a lot more than what I paid. It was only $3.99! How pretty will it look full of beautiful, green Granny Smith apples!

I found this tall container for $2.00 I want to add some Tulips for Spring decor. I so enjoy going out and finding these little "treasures".

I kept hearing about Pioneer Woman from other bloggers but, I hadn't seen her cooking show on The Food Network or read her blog. Well, this week-end I watched a few of her shows On-Demand. I especially liked the show on Stocking up and staples she likes to keep in her pantry and in her freezer. I made a list of her suggestions and plan to start stocking up on these staples :) As you might know she lives out in the country and doesn't grocery shop often. On this particular show a trip to the grocery store is due and she has to put together several meals for her family on what she has on hand. I had all the ingredients for this easy Apple Brown Betty Dessert. I was excited to make it.

3 Granny Smith apples

1- 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

3/4 cup regular salted butter

7 slices of bread (she used wheat)

3 to 4 Tablespoons of water

Peel, core and cube the apples, Cut bread slices into small pieces. Butter a baking dish, sprinkle a 1/3 of brown sugar, then layer 1/3 of apples and 1/3 layer of bread and a few slices of butter on top of bread. Repeat these layers twice more ending with bread crumbs. Pre- heat oven to 375. Sprinkle a spoon full of water and cover with foil and heat for about 45 minutes uncover and brown for another few minutes. Serve with ice-cream or whipped cream. I didn't have either and served it alone. It was still pretty tasty. I skimped on the sugar and butter trying to save on calories so it came out a bit drier than PW's. I think if you are going to make this recipe go all out and add ALL the butter and sugar it calls for. Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Picture Frames I Made

I've been making these frames for a few months now. If you are interested in purchasing them please let me know. The small square frames are $12.00