Friday, August 31, 2012

What a week!

It has been a rough week in our household.  Not only has the end of summer cold/sinus thing been going around (which is why there hasn't been a new post) but the hubby has been getting ready for his first college game of the season.  He is a college and high school football official with games on Friday nights and Saturdays.

The hubby doesn't look like this
but I can't post a pic of him
per the league restrictions

However, this week his first game was a Thursday night game.  He was so excited.  It is now Friday morning and the good news is he is on his way home - Yay!  The bad news is he is coming home with a dislocated shoulder and an orthopedic appointment this afternoon. I am so sad about this because he is very good at what he does and he absolutely loves it.  You wouldn't believe all the preparation during the summer for the season.  Needless to say, his season may be over before it ever gets started.....will see this afternoon.

He does have a sling and now has
a smile because I gave him one
of my pain pills from my last surgery!!

On another note, I am a fan of Robin Roberts and Good Morning America.  Yesterday was her last for awhile as she gets treatment for MDA.  With that being said, I want to leave you with this prayer that she and her family have grown with - I think I will adopt it for myself.

The LIGHT of God surrounds me,
The LOVE of God enfolds me,
The POWER of God protects me,
The PRESENCE of God watches over me,

I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2012

What's for Dinner??

I trust everyone had a very good weekend!  The weather here was absolutely beautiful and just a hint of Fall in the air.  So refreshing from the heat and humidity from the last several months.  Unfortunately, the humidity and the heat are back for the end of the week.

This is the beginning of an exciting week in our house as the hubby has his first college game of the season in Tennessee on Thursday night (he is a college/high school football official), a high school game on Friday night and our Clemson Tigers play Auburn this week for their first game.....GO TIGERS!!!  This means I only have to cook, at the most, 3 times.

My family generally eats out on the weekends (whenever there is someone home besides me) and then I cook during the week.  We did, however, grill some hamburgers last night that were so good......just good hamburger meat mixed with some Hidden Valley Ranch dressing.   So good!   This morning, I was trying to get myself out of bed and was thinking about what to fix for dinner tonight.  I decided to use the slow cooker because I wanted something really, really easy.  Also, we haven't had any pork lately so pork chops was the meat of choice.  This is the easiest recipe and so good.  Here are the ingredients for our dinner tonight:
Only the chops, soup, onion, and dressing go into the crock pot

.....and the pot to cook them in.....

I mixed my soups and ranch dressing together with about a cup of water and poured that into the bottom of the slow cooker, added some chopped onions on top of that:

gotta love the Clemson glass in the background

and then layer the chops on top of the onions....that's it!  How easy is that!!  I put this on about noon and will let it cook on high for the remainder of the afternoon.  It really is very good.  The asparagus will be roasted with some cheese on top and we may have some creamed potatoes as well.  An easy, easy dinner for a Monday night.

My husband has a bit of a sweet tooth and likes to have something sweet for after dinner.  My mother-in-law gave us some peaches over the weekend so I thought about a very easy cobbler.  Here are the ingredients:
Imagine there is an 8 oz. block of cream cheese here as well!

As luck would have it, I thought I had 8 oz. of cream cheese in the fridge but can't seem to find I guess I will be making a trip to the grocery store!  Here is the recipe for the cobbler:

Combine the Yellow cake mix, 1/3 cup butter and 1 egg and mix well.  Take half of this mixture and press into a baking pan (I use a glass Pyrex dish).  Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, slice peaches into small pieces.  Mix your softened cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla together until smooth.  

Spread your peaches over the crust when it comes out of the oven, pour the cream cheese mixture over your peaches, then sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top.  Bake for an additional 30 minutes and then cool for 30 minutes.  

We serve ours with ice cream but you can certainly use a whipped topping of your choice or simply eat it on its own.  A perfect ending to a great meal!  Enjoy!!

Now....what about Tuesday night....hmmmm.....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Finally!! A new kitchen floor!

We have lived in our house for almost 20 years.  A little background......we needed a house with a formal living room because I had acquired a sofa from my grandmother that I didn't want to store.

It's Oliver and Poogan's very place to rest!
The house was in dire need of updating, to my standards anyway.  I will have to dig out pics of all of that for a later post.  Anyway, with two teenage girls, we realized we needed more room and we didn't even use the living room.  What to do you say?  Well, here goes:  we changed the living room into the den, the den into a formal dining room, and the tiny dining room into a study, which is where the grandmother's sofa is now.  During that process, we also changed all the flooring from carpet to hardwoods.  All of this was done in a 5-6 year process.  (Lot's of other things were done as well....will show later.)  As for the poor kitchen, nothing had been done in there at all except for some painting over some horrific wallpaper with pink and purple hydrangeas (that refused to come off)....I can hear the ooohhh's now!!...and painting over very, very, very dark stained cabinets.  The floor in the kitchen, laundry room, and half bath had vinyl that must have been at least 25 years old. was pretty bad!  By the way, did you get the part about having two teenage girls earlier?  Do you know how expensive girls are?  That is why we didn't get to the kitchen floor until the last month or two.  That, and the fact I couldn't decide what I wanted.  I wanted hardwoods but I also wanted something lighter.  In the meantime, several years ago, I decided to take on a project of painting over my kitchen floor.  I loved it!

This is what the floor looked like after I painted.  Cute puppy!
Anyway, I had once found some hardwoods that had this very same pattern and color and decided that is what I wanted to use.  Once we decided to do the floor, I could no longer find that hardwood.  I was not happy.  (I didn't know about Pinterest and other methods to save the brand.)  After reading some blogs, I found a floor I could live with for awhile in case I changed my mind.  The Yellow Cape Cod had replaced her dining room floor with a floor from Sam's Club and it was perfect.  The next day, the hubs and I went to Sam's, looked at the Select Finish flooring and bought it.  It is not expensive, it has wide planks and it sounds like real hardwood when you walk on it.  We love it!

The hubs removing the shoe molding on the old floor
The first plank going down!

And here is the onto counter tops, appliances, hardware....does the list ever end???

I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoy this weather before the rains from Hurricane Isaac descend upon us!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Table Runner made to look like grain sack fabric

A month ago or so, we decided to put down a new kitchen floor and repaint the walls.  Well, you know what happens when you do need to change everything!  Well, almost everything....or at least add some things!

I was in HomeGoods looking around to see what they had and found a table runner that I fell in love with.  It resembled grain sack fabric - which, apparently, is all the rage right now.  I wanted it really badly, but decided to pick it up next time I was there.  Stupid me!  As most everyone knows, if you don't buy something when you see it at HomeGoods, it probably (won't!!) be there when you go back.  And guess what??  After going to two different stores....nowhere is the table runner to be found:-(  So, as I usually do, I decided to make one myself.  I found a blog that shows how to make your own grain sack table runner.  I knew how to make the runner, I just didn't know what kind of fabric.  Most everyone, was suggesting Muslin, but all the muslin I could find was too thin and really didn't look like grain sack.  As I was visiting my local Hancock Fabrics, I found some Osnaburg fabric that looks almost like the grain sack fabric that is so ridiculously expensive.  The Osnaburg was only $2.09/yard!!

With all of that being said, I will now pull out my Frog Tape, my red or black fabric paint (can't decide which color) and will make my own table runner.  I am very excited and will post pics once it is done!  Here is a pic of the fabric:
Osnaburg Fabric
And here is a pic of the inspiration I found at Pottery Barn:
(This one would cost $39 plus shipping and tax.  Mine will be around $6 since I only have to pay for the fabric.....I already have the Frog Tape and the paint.  I would say that is a good deal!)

Please visit the blog, Musings from a French Cottage to see pics of her table runner.  I hope everyone has a wonderful afternoon!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The making of the perfect place for a nap!

I had my family read my first blog yesterday and they were actually impressed.....except for the one mistake my hubby had to point out!   Such is life.

As I said earlier, the porch is my haven but the best part is the bed swing.  I love perusing the web and had seen many kinds of these bed swings but with very hefty price tags.  After seeing my husband build a very cute changing table for our new granddaughter and seeing how well he did building the porch, I thought to myself.......why not get him to build the bed swing!  That turned out be a great idea and this is what came of the idea:

The perfect place for a nap

Mind you, it didn't always look like this.  It was just a basic swing with nothing on it.  Hence, the next to make it look pretty.  I continued my perusing of the web and found several sites in which I could order mattresses with fabric for the outdoors as well as pillows, etc.  Did I use those sites.......NO!   They were super expensive and I wasn't willing, nor prepared, to spend that kind of money.  The perusing continued and I had a great idea.  What if I could find a mattress and put a waterproof cover on it?  This area of the porch doesn't have any rain or wind issues so that has worked like a charm.  I found a nice mattress at IKEA and a waterproof cover at good ol' Wally World.   I was making progress.  

Next came the pretty stuff.  If you live in the Charlotte, NC area and you can sew (or know someone 
who loves you a lot and willing to sew for you), then this is a must go-to place, Mary Jo's.  I found outdoor fabric for $11.99/yard and made my own mattress cover with piping and Velcro closure for easy cleaning.  Viola! The beginning of the pretty stuff.  But, I still needed pillows.....lots of pillows.  Besides, I am female and we do love our pillows.  I ordered some bolsters the sizes I needed, found coordinating outdoor fabric at Mary Jo's and made the bolsters and two 26" pillows.  I pulled the smaller pillows from other parts of the house and ordered the beautiful "Bee" pillow from Ballard Designs (a favorite catalogue of mine ).  So, there you have the bed swing!  By the way, I'm not the only one who loves it......check these pics out:

This is the precious angel that calls me Lolly

Lucy with her favorite person in the world, Papa - AKA my hubby!

Our daughter using the swing for naptime!
This bed/swing is truly a place for rest and relaxation.  As soon as the awful heat and humidity goes away, you know where you will find me!

Have a blessed day everyone!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Southern Porch I have always wanted!

Welcome!!!  This is my very first blog and I am looking forward to starting my new venture into "blog land".  I feel I must explain my blog name.  I am a first time grandmother and I didn't want to be called "granny", "me maw", "mimi" (that's what my sisters are called and confusion would abound on holidays when we are all together), or "nana".  Not that there is anything wrong with these names but I felt as though I was a bit young for them - or at least I felt like I was young!!   Besides, ask my husband, I always want to be different.  Therefore, the term "Lolly" is what my little granddaughter calls me.  Enough about that!

I grew up in a very small town in the upstate of South Carolina.  My parents bought an old house, redid every room (must be where I got it from because I do the same), and added a screened in porch and a very nice carport.  I lived on that porch, dated on that porch, listened to condolences on that porch from my father's passing, held my sister's babies on that porch and just sat on the porch listening to the outside world.  I loved that porch.

Once I was married, I told my husband we had to have a house with a porch.  Needless to say, our first five years of marriage were spent leaving work at 5:00 on Friday afternoon to go to the beach or the mountains and returning on Sunday night only to get ready for work again on Monday morning.  There wasn't much thinking about porches during that time.

Then came children ( and we all know what happens when children are in the picture - NO EXTRA MONEY!!), me no longer working, etc, etc, etc!!

Move ahead to after children's college graduations and one child's wedding and guess what?  We started building a porch.  Here's the catch - my husband wanted to do it himself!!  Now, my husband is very particular and wants everything to be done right - as do I.  But, my husband is also a very, very busy man.  He is a college and high school football official as well as a statistician for a local college basketball team and a statistician for the Carolina Panthers and has a full time job at an energy company.  Needless to say, there would not be a porch built in a day - if you know what I mean!

With all of that being said, the old deck was eventually torn down and the process had begun - Yay!!

Mind you, it stayed just like this for quite a long time.  We could only enter from the front entrance and with two little dogs and hardwood floors, that was not something I enjoyed.  I had to carry groceries in from the front of the house, take the dogs out from the front of the house....I hated it but I wanted a porch so I endured it.

But, eventually, a roof was added and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel - so to speak!

My sweet husband putting the shingles on the roof - bless his heart!!

Oh yes, one thing I left out about what I wanted.....a BIG porch!  I wanted a porch big enough so dogs could run and kids could play.  This process took about a year so I won't bore you with all of the details.  The finished product is my haven and I absolutely love it! It was well worth the wait and I am still tweaking to this day.  Are we women ever satisfied??  My husband would definitely say "NO!".  But he likes it :-)

This is my husband's sitting area for smoking his occasional cigar.

The sittng/sleeping area - love, love, love the bed/swing!

(There is still some tweaking goin on here)

We eat out here, we sleep out here, we read out here....we never stay inside unless it is just really, really hot.  And it has been very hot this summer!  My second post will about the bed swing and a few other things so stay tuned!!