December 9, 2011

• HOUSE & HOME • O' Christmas Tree

As with the other decor in the house our tree follows suit with a rustic feel with a few not so rustic ornaments (like candy canes) thrown in. :0)

 The little red and green pillow was bought at Kirklands last year. It reads "Who needs Santa when you have Grandma".

 The red, white and blue heart above, was purchased for me by DH before one of his deployments. It reads "All hearts come home for Christmas". It has hung on every tree for the past 15 years.

Hope you enjoyed our tree!
Merry Christmas to you and yours,

December 7, 2011

• HOUSE & HOME • Christmas Outside

Here is the outside of my house this Christmas.  I didn't go all out this year but the family loves it.
Holly, burlap garland, pine cones, twigs, and feathers were used this year.

The front porch:

My ice skates are missing from this was supposed to rain so they were brought in.

OOOPS...forgot to move the cords. Sorry for the 'no soliciting' sign, but we have to keep it up so salespeople will stay away. OF course it doesn't seem to help with some. Needless to say I have gotten rather rude with a few!

and closer......

and finally a closer look at my wreath!

Over the garage:

You have to excuse the angle of this picture but it was the only way to get a full shot without the vehicles being in the picture.

A close-up view of the garage decor.

 The gate to our backyard.

my grandsons fiber optic snowman!!


If you look closely, you can see my Devyn (grandson) and Sarge playing.

Well, that is it. Hope you enjoyed.

December 2, 2011

• HOUSE & HOME • Christmas in the Dining Room

Here is the decor in our dining room.  Majority of the decorations I have had for several years and a few were bought at Kohls two Christmas's ago. This year my decor consist of, holly, feathers, pine cones, twigs, and burlap garland; with other things mixed in.

The little red and gold plate in the foreground was a gift to my mother from her best friend about 30 years ago. She has since past it on to me. Tried to get a close-up but the detain just wouldn't come out clear.

The ORB reindeer were once stocking holders. I picked them up on cheap two years ago from Walmart. DH cut the hooks off so I could use them in other areas.

Hope you enjoyed!

November 14, 2011

• HOUSE & HOME • Breakfast Nook to Home Office

Well, as some of you may have read on a earlier post; I have a big household, as a result I lost my office :0(! Not to worry though I found a place to set up shop!!! YEAH!

And this piece started the whole process: (For those of you who haven't read about this click HERE

OK, a little more background information, so bear with me!

Back about four months ago, I took the table out of my breakfast area. The reason? Well, no one ate at the table, everyone used to hold all their junk, and I was tired of looking at it! I thought about making it a reading area, I moved in some comfy chairs and it just didn't work. Then I remembered this piece and the ideas started flowing!

DH and I refurbished it. I took one of the chairs out and brought in this piece. I DIDN'T like it! The whole area didn't work, it was the color (although I love it) the whole kitchen/breakfast area was to dark. So, I solved that problem, I grabbed my paint from the garage and repainted the entire area! (wall color: Dutch Boy-Golden Crust & Kilz Casual Colors- Red Fox)

Ready to see the finished project?

This area was unusable bar space. I really don't know what the builders were thinking when they did this, but I decided to put shelves in this area (about 4 months after we moved in). It is a perfect place for some of my books.

So, what do you think?

October 26, 2011

• RECIPES • Mother-in-laws Shepherd Pie

First let me say......I honestly do not like to cook everyday, but it has to be done.  There is an exception to this, I LOVE TO COOK for holiday dinners. Don't ask me why, I guess it is from all those years of being a military spouse. Where ever we were stationed DH would invite the guys that couldn't get home or had no where to go over. I would cook up a storm. I LOVED IT! It made me feel all warm and fuzzy :o) Now on to the post......

Before my mother-in-law passed away in 2007; she would make her version of Shepherds Pie whenever we had the chance to visit.  What so ironic is none of my kids or DH liked it!! But they would eat it or they would starve.......  :o)

Anyways, she gave me the recipe and a few months after she passed I made it, the family loved it. Now they want me to make it once a week.......NOT!!  Anyways, the recipe isn't that different from hers I just add more spices and my secret mashed potato recipe!!!

This is made in a 9 x 13 pan and will feed an Army, ok, my family with no leftovers!!



  • *3 lbs of lean ground beef
  • *1 - 26oz can of condensed tomato soup
  • *2 - 28oz cans or 6 - 14.5oz cans of french style green beans (my MIL she used corn and/or cut green beans, my family prefers green beans)
  • *10 medium size potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed (MIL used instant potatoes, I use my own secret recipe for the mashed potatoes)
  • *seasoning for ground beef: salt, pepper, dry minced onion, garlic powder
  • *Shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • *couple tablespoons of butter (optional if not using cheese)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Season ground beef , ( Sorry I don't measure this), brown and drain any remaining fat.
  3. Pour into baking dish
  4. Add the tomato soup next and combine with ground beef, spread evenly in baking dish
  5. Drain the liquid from green beans; pour green beans over mixture and spread evenly.
  6. Next make your mashed potatoes, layer on top of green beans, add a few dollops of butter to top, cover with tin foil
  7.  place in 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 min. *hint when it boils over in the is ready to serve.
Created using The Recipes Generator

If you try it, hope you enjoy it!

Linking to

July 13, 2011

• PROJECTS • DIY Message Center

These are busy times and I know many of us find it hard to keep up with the comings and goings of everyday life. We have papers, calendars, etc, on our refrigerators or on a desk, or we have a cork board on the wall that is over flowing, or sometimes just thrown in a draw. Well, here is a solution, a D.I.Y project that really doesn't cost that much and you can make it fit your needs.

First let me say, "sorry for not having more detail but I did this two years ago." I am going to use the same outline on the homework station for my grandson, so there will be more details when that is complete.

OK......the first thing you need to do is decide where you are going to put this and how big you want it (finished size of mine 5ft X 26in). After that decide how many sections you want, size of each section, and purpose. *NOTE: I have four sections, top is for the month (finished size 2 inches), next is the calendar (finished size 21in X 23in), then the chalkboard (finished size 12in X 23in) and finally the magnet board (finished size 19in X 23in).*

Now that you are finished with that, it is time to buy the supplies:

*Decorative Trim-enough to mount around perimeter and between sections.

*11/2 inch wood letters (I bought 2 packages so I had enough letters for all the months) you can find these at any craft store

*Paint for trim and letters for the months of the year

*Chalkboard paint

*Paint pen-this is used to make the boxes for the calendar, color is up to you, mine are white

*Sheet Metal - size depends on how big you want the magnet area OR you can try the magnetic paint that is out

*Small magnets for the back of the letters

*Paint brushes, tin snips for the metal sheet, saw to cut trim, hammer, finishing nails, ruler and tape measure, pencil , painters tape, level, drill with drill bit no bigger than the diameter of the finishing nails and DO NOT forget the plans you drew.


Once you have all this you are ready to begin.

1. Measure out the outside perimeter and mark with pencil, next measure and mark out your sections.

2. Now tape off the area for the chalkboard paint, and paint. We applied 2 coats.

*While you are waiting for the paint to dry you can paint your letters or the trim*

3. Once paint is good and dry, make small tic marks for the boxes on the calendar. Then use ruler and paint pen to draw in the lines. Let dry


Now that the paint is dry you can add the trim.

1.Measure and cut your top piece of trim, pre-drill nail holes so the wood doesn't split, and attach using finishing nails, make sure it is level.

2. Now repeat step one for the very bottom piece.

*NOTE: DO NOT attach all trim at one time or you won't get the sheet metal in place*

3. Now place the piece of sheet metal in its designated area, you can use a finishing nail tapped in at an angle to hold it in place until the trim is up.

4. Now back to the trim, use step 1 for the left and right sides.

*NOTE: I have a piece of sheet metal at the very top so we kept the finishing nail in place until we attached the trim for this section.

Now you can add the trim (following step 1) inside the box for each section, make sure to start with the first section and work your way down.

Once finished go through and do any touch-ups needed.

AGAIN I would like to apologize for the lack of illustrations but it was made 2 years ago.