Monday, July 28, 2014

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/28/2014 }

Good morning everyone, can you believe it's Monday again?  I know I always say that time flies but goodness this weekend really feels like I blinked and missed it.

Anyway, let's get going, I got my coffee and I'm ready to move on.

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
right now, my huge cup of coffee with my vanilla creamer.  I don't know if I am ready to eat anything yet, but if I do, it will probably be wholewheat toast with butter and maybe a slice of cheese.

On today's to do list::::
Laundry - iron one load and put it away.  Other than that, it's all done.
Wanted to give my yellow bench another coat but it's cloudy and rainy today
Take Jasmine to Tae Kwon Do tonight

Currently reading::::
Treacherous Trust by L.V. Delcid, for an upcoming review.

On the TV today::::
Portuguese Soaps - Beijo do Escorpiao, Mulheres, Agua de Mar.
Coal House  - Remember the 1940's house, Pioneer House etc?  This is just like it.
Coal House at War - After Coal house, came Coal House at War. 
Whatever is on the DVR that hubby wants to catch up on. 

The weather outside is::::
Cloudy.  You know I just realized that is exactly how it was last Monday too?  Maybe it's becoming a pattern hahaha.  I love rain so I'm quite chuffed with this, cooler temps, some rain, perfect.
On the menu this week::::
Monday - Chicken Tetrazzini, Salad
Tuesday - Oven Chili Dogs
Wednesday - Cheesy Spanish Rice Casserole, Veggies
Thursday - Homemade Quesaritos
Friday -  *Grocery Shopping *
Saturday -
Sunday -

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Pull out the sewing machine and work on the Quilt. 

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
This week I'll be making some Homemade Quesaritos which is our current favorite thing from Taco Bell.  Also trying out a Cheesy Spanish Rice Casserole.  Recipes will be posted on the days I make these meals.  

In the garden::::
Everything is still growing nicely.  I am also wanting to plant Lavender all around my deck, I think it would be amazing out there once it grows.  

Favorite photo from the camera::::
A few houses up the road, we have some horses, and sometimes the kids like walking over to go say hi and check them out.

Homemaking Tip::::
My kids each have a laundry basket in their bedroom.  In order for me to make them do a chore and also teach them something about keeping a home, I have each of them do their own laundry every Saturday.  I just oversee it, but for the most part they already know exactly what to do. 

Visiting with Blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::::
So many caught my eye this past week, oh my goodness I found amazing inspiration out there.  I can't wait for some down time today to maybe sit down and go read some older posts on some of these.  I can't even begin to pronounce this blog's name, but you have to go check it out and see what they did with two little caravans.  What a neat idea.

Praying for::::
Rain, we do need it here.
My gran, I love her and miss her so much.

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment::::

PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

{ On a quiet Sunday }

Let's sit down and have a little chat.  I want to tell you what I love doing on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Crochet, yes of course.  Reading, yes definitely.  Gardening, sewing etc., yes and yes and yes, but what I most like doing is sitting down with my laptop and visiting blog land.

First I need to tell you that I am so happy to be back to blogging full time.  I've got this renewed love for the blogging world, something which had been missing for a long time.  It's back, and back with a vigor, very reminiscent of when I made my first posts back in 2006.

I remember the joy I would feel each day thinking about the blog and what I would be posting about, and I would be equally excited at the prospect of going through my blog list and visiting everyone, seeing what they were up to and what they were sharing.

Fast forward to today and I feel the exact same way, and it's a feeling that I am more than happy to embrace.

Right, now that I got that out of the way, let me tell you what I like doing.

Finding new blogs, spending an hour or two reading the posts and going back through the archives, sometimes right to the beginning....especially if those said blogs are from England.  Shocking isn't it?

You know sometimes I wonder why I have such a strong pull to that beautiful country, what is it that makes me long for it, love it, love everything about it and feel so strongly connected.  I always tell my husband I was born in the wrong country.

Anyway, that is exactly what I am doing today, and I have found a ton of new blogs to follow and indulge in.  I feel like I live vicariously through my British friends, especially when they are going for drives on the weekend to the most stunning places on earth.

Truth be told, if I were to be living in England, I may not have a blog, I would be far too busy exploring and visiting, and taking in all the beauty that the country has to offer.

And I realize I just went completely off topic, yet again, I can't help it when I start thinking of England.

Right, I'm back on track and now I want to show you some of the great ones I've come across.  Maybe I'll start doing this every Sunday, sharing some great blogs for you to enjoy too.

Quietly Stitching - Lots and lots of beautiful crochet photos and some stitchery in there too.
Oyster and Pearl - Stunning photos, lots of color.
The Owl and the Accordion - So much to love in this blog, the photos, the inspiration, the bursts of color
Country Rabit - I'm a sucker for vintage looking photos, and for white shelves with tons of Cath Kidston inspired dishes.
Miss Pickering - Another blog that I spent about an hour on when I first came across it, just going back through the posts.

Tell me, what is your favorite way of spending a quiet Sunday afternoon?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

{ When Summer starts wearing me down }

I love Summer.  There, I have said and I want to be sure that you all understand where I stand.

The problem is that Summer seems to always be a time where I find myself quite busy, it's like I'm trying to cram as much fun as possible into 3 months, before the new school year kicks off.

I don't know about you all, but there comes a point where I start getting a little overwhelmed, a little summered out and that is usually when I force myself to step back and do something that I find calming.

Enter sewing.....

Sewing Day

I've often talked about what sewing means to me..... a connection to my grandmother who I love dearly. She taught me everything I know about sewing machines, and sergers and invisible hems and alterations and dress making.

Sewing Day

Now, I haven't really applied all those things I've learned, as I don't always have my sewing machine at hand. It would be nice to one day have my own sewing/craft room where I can leave the machine up and ready to go.

Hurtling it back and forth from my closet upstairs to the kitchen downstairs, gets quite frustrating.

But when summer starts getting me down, and I feel like I need to ground myself and do something quiet and calm, I turn to things like gardening and sewing and book reading.

Sewing Day

The other day I came across my fabric stash, it was still in a box, and some of the fabric I had completely forgot I even had. I used to buy it when it was on sale, still back in Arizona, and just saved it for a future project.

These greens, browns and blues looked just right for what I had in mind.

A quilt.

So, after housework was done, the laundry washed and the floors swept, I pulled the sewing machine down, set it up on my kitchen table and got to work.

I spent 3 hours just sitting, the machine purring away, the fabric slowly being paired up and formed into panels while enjoying a cup of hot green tea.  That is my newest obsession and something I have at least 3 times a day.

While I sewed, I had my laptop nearby turned to a radio station in Portugal.  It is called M80 and all they play are oldies from the 80's, which I love.

I sang along to Billy Idol's "White Wedding", Poison's "You and I", Erasure "A Little Respect" and so many other hits from my childhood.  Oh the memories.

Isn't it funny how a certain song can take you right back to a moment in time, a certain age, something you were wearing, a place you were at, thoughts you were having?

After 3 hours, I got everything put away because dinner needed to be started.  I am making a simple Jambalaya with some smoked turkey sausage.  Simple and yummy!

I'm sure I'll sew more tomorrow.

Redeemed Picnic Basket

I just had to show you my new picnic basket.  I have never had one but it was something I always wanted.

There was a knock at the door yesterday while we were eating dinner, and hubby came in with a big box.  It was from my dear friend Heather.

This is my birthday present.  I can't even tell you how touched I was.  Heather is that kind of friend that you make and no matter what happens or how far apart you may be, she is always there when you need her.  I love her and I do miss her terribly.

Redeemed Picnic Basket

I am so in love with this basket, it is beautiful and I can't wait to use it. Of course my favorite part of the basket has to be the lid with the scripture.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. - John 1:16

Just beautiful!!!

I am  extremely blessed with the friends that I have, near or far, in which they love me for who I am and constantly and often remind me that I am loved, and appreciated and that I mean something to them. 

In this day and age where everyone seems to be about hurting others, being rude and insulting and means the world to me to know and feel that I'm surrounded by lovely Christian women who hold the same values that I do.  So blessed!!!

{ Five Senses Saturday }


I love my Five Senses Saturday, and although I don't post it every single Saturday, I still think it's a great way to review the past week. What I saw, what I touched, tasted, felt etc....


Tea and coffee station

- M80 Radio online.  A radio station in Portugal that plays all the oldies that I remember
- Lola barking at Bella outside
- The water kettle boiling for tea
- Nic's game on the Xbox
- The wind blowing so hard outside, making my canopy in the backyard whip back and forth


Bowling fun

- How happy all the kids were going bowling
- Dark clouds bringing beautiful rain
- A big box delivered for my birthday, something from a very dear friend
- Candles glowing
- The beautiful colors of my Hexagon Cushion



- Fabric, fabric and lots of fabric
- Dough for my Dinner Rolls
- The spiky stem of my cucumber plant
- The fur on Lola's back as I pet her
- The hot steering wheel in my car



- Yummy Meatballs
- Coconut Milk Chocolate
- Cup of Organic Green Tea
- Thin crispy vegetable pizza from Dominos
- Lemon water



- Rain
- Lavender candle
- Bluebonnet Body Lotion from Cath Kidston
- Fresh bread straight from the oven
- The sweetest home grown strawberries

Friday, July 25, 2014

{ Painting the Moon by Traci Borum }

*Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
*Release date: June 7, 2014

When Noelle Cooke inherits a quaint English cottage and an art gallery from her famous Aunt Joy, she welcomes a departure from her San Diego routine. But the lure of the Cotswolds, combined with a locked cottage room and a revealing journal, entice her to stay and discover more, including a way to save the gallery from financial ruin. And that means remaining in England.

When her childhood sweetheart, Adam Spencer, begins work on a restoration project in Noelle’s village, their friendship blossoms. But as her feelings for Adam deepen, she struggles with memories of what might have been and yearns for a future once thought lost. Faced with a life-altering revelation Aunt Joy took to her grave and a wrenching choice regarding the man she loves, Noelle could lose far more than her heart.

About the author:
Traci Borum is a writing teacher and native Texan. She’s also an avid reader of women’s fiction, most especially Elin Hilderbrand and Rosamunde Pilcher novels. Since the age of 12, she’s written poetry, short stories, magazine articles, and novels.

Traci also adores all things British. She even owns a British dog (Corgi) and is completely addicted to Masterpiece Theater-must be all those dreamy accents! Aside from having big dreams of getting a book published, it’s the little things that make her the happiest: deep talks with friends, a strong cup of hot chocolate, a hearty game of fetch with her Corgi, and puffy white Texas clouds always reminding her to “look up, slow down, enjoy your life.”

Oh how much did I love this book?????  Let's just say that I started reading it on my Kindle, carried it with me everywhere I went and snuck reads here and there, every chance I had.

I'm such a sucker for a good romance, cutesy story, and if you throw in England, specifically the Cotswolds, then oh my word, you have me from the get go.

I think one of the things I most loved about the story, is the way the author Traci Borum, writes it.  It just flows.

Have you ever read a book where you find it so hard to get through a paragraph?  All these huge words and dry boring run on descriptions of things without ever really getting to the point?  Yeah, I don't do well with those, but this one was completely the opposite.

Beautifully written, the words flow, it makes sense and it captivates you from the get go.

Right, now to the most important thing, the story itself.

Noelle is a San Diego girl, but is needing a break, so when she gets a call stating that she inherited a quaint little cottage and an art studio from her famous Aunt Joy, she jumps on it.

At first her only thought is to get the cottage and the studio both set up for selling.  She wants to get this done and get back to San Diego, mainly because her boss isn't too thrilled with her being away to begin with.

As she starts getting the cottage cleaned up, she stumbles onto a secret locked room that holds dozens of paintings secretly done by her famous Aunt, but which never made it to light.  She quickly realizes the treasure she came upon and what this means for the failing art gallery.  Millions will be paid for these paintings.

As she is dealing with all of this, she is also reading her Aunt's journal which make some pretty poignant discoveries.

And if that isn't enough, her childhood sweetheart is hanging around.  He is engaged to be married, but both Noelle and Adam fall right into old habits, phone calls, and texting and emails back and forth.

When his fiancee finds out, things quickly go downhill, but the way it all gets resolved in the end is the perfect ending to a perfect book.

The only thing I didn't like about it????????  That it ended.  Truthfully, I was so sad when the story came to an end, I would have easily kept reading it forever, that is how much I was enjoying this book.

Give it a try, I think you will really enjoy it.

Thank you to Red Adept Publishing for providing me with a review copy.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

{ Today }


Hexagon Cushion

Couldn't find a pillow I wanted to use as an insert, so I just bought more Poly-Fil.  Not exactly my favorite way of doing these, but it will be fine.


Spending some time with my husband this morning.  It doesn't happen all the time, he is always so busy with work and school, so the days we do get some time to just sit and chat, are very much appreciated.


My husband had started a project making a simple wooden box.  The project never came to fruition and he just doesn't have the time to do anything with it, so I took it, lined it, filled it with soil and planted Spinach and Lettuce.  I just started painting it red today, can't wait to see it finished.


Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine, The Strain, Dominion and Aliens on the Moon.  We've been trying to get rid of all the shows on the DVR.



The Bunting for my Kitchen.  Again, inspired by Cath Kidston and this fabric ties is my white kitchen table and colorful chairs.


Lots and lots of fabric I had packed away.  Quite a few fabric rolls and fat quarters.  Guess what I'm starting tomorrow???  A quilt.


To stop saying tomorrow I'll do it......and to start saying "why not today". To live simply and fully and to enjoy every single moment of my day.

{ Cooking Thursday }

 Yummy, easy dinner rolls.  I love using my bread machine and especially if I'm wanting some fresh bread for dinner but don't have time to be in the kitchen making the dough.

Give this recipe a try, I think you'll enjoy it :)

Bread Machine Yeast Rolls

Bread Machine Yeast Rolls
Source: Betty Crocker

1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ Better for Bread™ flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine or active dry yeast
Butter or margarine, melted, if desired

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except melted butter in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use delay cycle.

Remove dough from pan, using lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface.
Grease large cookie sheet with shortening. Divide dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until double. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)

Heat oven to 375°F. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter. Serve warm, or cool on wire rack.