Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More muted...

Whew! What a week this past week has been! I didn't mean to go this long without posting anything but I didn't have the mental energy to type anything. Our church presented a rendition (complements of Mark and Kara Hubbard) of "A Christmas Carol" (entitled "A Scrooge's Christmas") this weekend. I must say that it was wonderful. We had five performances between three days with an additional day for the dress rehearsal. Courtney Paris was able to come to the dress rehearsal and grace us with her photography skills. I hear that the pictures turned out really well and I can't wait to see them. I'll post some pictures of the play once I get them.

I find myself more and more inspired by things more muted (and by muted I'm talking about color). A recent sneak peak on design*sponge really hit home and I've looked at it many times since it was posted. I had to share these two bedrooms with you because (to me) they are simply gorgeous. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do. The title of the sneak peak is Dutch Canal Home by Uxus.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lynn's Paradise Cafe with the Rudolphs

We were fortunate to spend some time with our good friends (Davy, Tara & Clive Rudolph) this past Saturday. We met them at one of our favorite restaurants in Louisville, Lynn's Paradise Cafe. Tara and I split the BLT fries and I haven't stopped thinking about them! I should have taken a picture of them because they were ridiculously good. I think I sense a craving coming on...

Clive is one of the sweetest little boys! He was feeling really perky on Saturday and was so good! He really loved his biscuit too.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy day after Thanksgiving!

This year was definitely different. I didn't eat one bite of turkey or dressing. Not one bite the entire day! I've been blessed to not have any morning sickness so far in the pregnancy. One thing that does bother me though is the thought of eating any kind of poultry or roast. I can't even stand to think about it. However, I did enjoy (and possibly indulge) in all of the awesome sides. I had to share the recipe for one of my new holiday dinner staples. Recipe courtesy of Kara Hubbard.

Cranberry Salad
Two 3oz boxes of cherry Jello
1 lb. raw cranberries
½ orange with rind (Yep! That's right. Just wash an orange thoroughly and cut it in half. Pop out any seeds that you see.)
1 regular can crushed pineapple (drained)
2 cups sugar
½ cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
½ cup celery (optional)

Make Jello according to directions. Grind cranberries and orange in a food processor. Combine all ingredients together. Put in bowl and chill in fridge to set.

This recipe is so great. I do use the celery and it adds a nice touch as well as a little extra crunch. Hmm. I think I might have to eat some of the leftovers right now.

Here are some pictures from our dinners over at the Ledger house and Powers' Mountain.

Be careful shopping!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Radcliffs - Take 1

Our good friends, the Radcliffs, had asked if I would be willing to take a few pictures of the family for Christmas. We (thankfully) had some lovely weather yesterday afternoon and were able to get some cute shots of Kimberly and her adorable little boy Ethan. Dad (Phil) would have been there too but he had tweaked his knee playing basketball (again).

I love this one of Kim. Ethan was trying to squirm away but it's still cute. We'll get some more pictures once Phil's knee is feeling better. :o)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sweet little baby

After a series of not-so-serious events we found ourselves at the doctors office waiting for an ultrasound to see if everything was ok. It took the tech a second to get everything in place and then... the baby popped into view!!!

What an incredible feeling! We could see it's little heart just beating away. The baby is 6 weeks old and my due date is July 15th!

After we left my doctors office, Dan and I went straight to the after-hour care facility so he could get his throat examined. After about 2 hours there, we were finally able to get his prescription and go home. Needless to say, it was an interesting day that (thankfully) ended on a very good note. The baby was very hungry when we finally returned home so I treated it to a spinach salad with cream cheese and pear and a little extra comfort food since it behaved so well at it's first doctor's appointment. :o)

Sleep well everyone! I know that we will. Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Twenty Four

Yesterday was my twenty fourth birthday. Dan was scheduled to be in Connecticut over my birthday so we decided that I would travel with him! It has been an awesome trip. We flew into Hartford on Monday evening. While Dan was working on Tuesday, I had the opportunity to explore Hartford and find ways to occupy myself. Mom had been searching the area for some cool places to visit so I punched in the address to a shopping center into the GPS and headed to West Hartford. It was awesome! Great find, Mom! I was able to buy Great Expectations - Your all-in-one resource for pregnancy and childbirth. Not the Charles Dickens novel (like Dan thought I was talking about). I also had to buy a little something from the clearance rack at Janie and Jack's. I couldn't resist!

We went to downtown Boston for dinner. We didn't realize that we would be so close to the city! It was so awesome. I was really hoping for some seafood and the Barking Crab didn't disappoint. It was a little creepy at first but we soon got used to the lobster's antenna brushing against our arms and we cracked off it's claws. Eww! It tasted sooooo good!

You can see how excited I am. :o)

Us outside of the Barking Crab on the harbor in Boston. Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's true.

We couldn't be happier!
I found out on Thursday morning in a little town outside of Nashville, TN. Dan was finishing up a training session and I was just hanging out at the hotel. I had felt a little funny for about a week. I had taken a pregnancy test about five days before and it was negative so I didn't have much hope for the test that I took on Thursday morning. In less than a minute, the flashing hour glass changed to PREGNANT. I was so overcome that I sobbed for a half hour straight! I then had to wait 2.5 hours for Dan to get back to the hotel room before I could tell him that he was going to be a daddy. My goodness. We're still trying to get it in our heads that it's finally happening! From what we can guess, I will probably be due around mid-July. We certainly appreciate everyon's prayers for a safe and healthy pregnancy/delivery. I'll certainly keep you posted!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baer Fabrics - R.I.P.

So sad. Baer Fabrics in Louisville, KY is closing their doors for good. They have been open forever and it's hard to believe that they are going out of business. Although it is a sad time for Kentuckiana textile and notion lovers, there is a sunny spot in the darkness called bankruptcy. SALES!!!!! With every week that they stay open, they discount their remaining goods even more! I went when everything was 60% off and scored some awesome stuff. I have been searching for the right fabric with which to sew some new throw pillows out of for the past several months. I found it in a bin of remnants at Baer's and I'm really excited about it. I wanted something botanical/floral but not something that looked like it belonged in one particular season (fall colors, etc.). This one suits me just fine and it was only about eight bucks. I also found some pink floral chintz that will make a nice upholstered seat for a tiny antique white iron chair that the previous owners left in our house. I plan on putting it in my new-and-improved craft room when it's all finished. I couldn't go wrong for two dollars a yard! I also found some cute reddish fabric to make new curtains for our downstairs family room (the one with the fireplace). In addition to Baer's, I also spent a small amount of money at Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics & good ol' Wal-Mart. In honor of DIY Wednesday on one of most frequented blogs, design*sponge (thanks, Tara!), I plan on putting all of the stuff together tonight! I'll try to get some pictures posted very soon of the finished projects. Happy Wednesday everyone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Wow. Dinner was good and I am FULL. Black and blue salads. Potato pancakes and a special little sauce that I whipped up to put on top (sour cream - fresh garlic - thyme - salt - pepper). Butternut squash soup. Yeah. It was good. I know that my fellow foodies know how much I like blue cheese but I especially like some blue cheese along with some good beef. I stumbled across an awesome marinade that works well when preparing flank steak for beef and broccoli stir fry as well as preparing it for a black and blue salad.

3 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons apple juice
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar (or white if you don't have the cider version)
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 cloves of garlic, minced (I press the cloves with my handy-dandy garlic press)
black pepper to taste

I use about 3/4 of a pound of flank steak for a black and blue salad. Slice the meat into smallish pieces (approximately 1" pieces). Toss the meat and let marinate for about 15 minutes. Pour the meat and marinade into a non-stick skillet and cook on high heat for 5-10 minutes. The marinade caramelizes and give the meat and nice sticky coating. Very tasty.

I also had to share another beef recipe that I tried a few weeks ago. It too was very good and definitely a keeper! Thanks David and Edie!

Firehouse Roast
beef roast
meat tenderizer
4 cans of Campbell's golden mushroom soup
2 packages of Lipton onion soup mix

Tenderize meat according to directions. I poked it all around with a fork and generously sprinkled Adolph's tenderizer - original unseasoned. Coat the entire roast with flour and brown it in a large skillet. Line a glass 9 x 13 baking dish with aluminum foil (I double lined mine). Place the browned roast on the foil. Sprinkle both packages of the onion soup mix on top of the roast. Spread the four cans of soup over the roast. Pour in one cup of water. Cover the top tightly with foil and bake for four hours in a 325* oven on the center rake. Do not open the foil during the four hours.

The golden mushroom soup and the onion soup mix make an awesome gravy for mashed potatoes!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


As many of you know, Dan travels a lot with his job. If he is assigned to an easy job within driving distance then I get to tag along! One of these trips popped up this past week. Piqua, Ohio. Slightly north of Dayton AND slightly north of the new IKEA. I was able to catch up on my TLC, HGTV & Food Network on Friday morning while Dan was administering some training sessions. We grabbed some lunch and headed to the mecca of inexpensive Swedish furniture, appliances, home decor, etc. We were able to spend a couple of hours there and I could have easily spent more. We very nearly bought this brown leather couch. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80119463. We put it off for another trip after we thought about how we really need to replace our fridge. We DID buy the curtains for our upstairs living room (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80110274) as well as curtains for our big white room downstairs and coordinating ones for the door to my craft room. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30111964. I'm really happy that we found the red, mattress-ticking like stripped curtains for the downstairs. The ones for the upstairs are a very nice neutral colored fabric. The best thing about all of them is that they come with an iron-on hemming strip so you can hem them to your desired length. I've always loved the idea of floor to ceiling drapes so they're perfect as they are. If anyone decides to make a trip to Ikea in the future, please let me know. We just might decide that we need a new fridge AND a new leather couch. :o)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cookies, acorn squash and paint swatches

It's official! I've picked a color for my craft room. I've been debating for a good while on what color to go with. The winning color is Antique Cameo (Behr paint from Home Depot). Hallelujah! It's a lovely pinky-peach and I'm very happy with it. I'll probably spend a good part of the evening stripping wall paper so we can get the new color on the walls.

I finished my Martha Stewart magazine today. At the end of each magazine is a "cookie of the month" recipe. I flipped to the end and discovered a recipe for Cowboy cookies. I read the ingredients and HAD to make them. They did not disappoint. Here's the recipe...

Here are the results! A sea of very tasty cookies. Dan approves. :o)

I'm also pleased to announce that my first acorn squash of the season is in the oven. I'm pretty stoked about it. It's the perfect fall side dish. Just cut one in half and place the two halves face down in a 9x13 glass baking dish with about a 1/2 inch of water. Bake at 350* for about 40-45 minutes. Flip over the halves and put a 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each half and some brown sugar to taste. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Scoop out of the rind and enjoy! If you're in the mood for something more savory than sweet, use salt and pepper instead of brown sugar. For those of you who have never tried acorn squash it's similar in taste to a sweet potato except more squashy (if that makes any sense). I hope you like it!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


We made it home safely from Big Fork, Montana! We were in desperate need of a vacation and visiting the McCauleys in their new home town really cured what ailed us. We arrived LATE on Thursday the 18th. Matt, Kindra and Lana were all waiting at the airport to greet us. We could just barely see the blue silhouettes of the mountains as we drove to their house. The "McCauley B&B" was perfectly clean (how could we expect anything less :o). We spent our first full day hanging out in the little town of Polebridge. The whole town is run off of a generator. Dan and Matt took a swim in Bowman Lake and about froze to death. The second day we went to Many Glacier in Glacier National Park and saw a full grown moose! It was awesome! We were probably a little too close... Got some great pictures though! All of us took some much-needed naps on Sunday. Dan and I headed to White Fish on Monday to do some souvenir shopping and found an awesome restaurant called Loulo's. If you're ever in White Fish, Montana you have to check it out! Their huckleberry-blackberry pie was some of the best pie we had ever eaten. We looked out the front door on Tuesday morning to see some fresh white powder on the mountains! Needless to say, Dan and I were a bit chilly when we started our hiking that day. Jim, Melanie and their little girl Hanna (good friends of the McCauleys) came over for dinner on Tuesday. The beef stroganoff was wiped out (my deepest thanks to Betty Crocker for the recipe). Dan and I spent our last full day exploring Flat Head Lake. We passed orchard after orchard. Cherries, peaches, apples, pears. Pies anyone? Or how about some canning? Thursday's flights home were cake. Flying over the mountains was absolutely incredible. Coming home to electricity was quite satisfying as well. What a great vacation! We can't wait to visit Big Fork again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Power please!

Could we have some electricity? I must say that I have never been without power for this long. Dan said that he once went a week without it... Hmmm. I'm already done being without it and it's only been about a day and 1/2! I'm still getting used to being a home owner. After church, some people kept talking about their trees and it suddenly hit me. We have our own trees! Ahhh! Needless to say, I prayed the whole way home. I'm so grateful that we didn't have any damage to our home. Thank you, God!

This summer has been quite eventful. I promise to get some pics uploaded soon!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

To the ends of the Earth

I just got back this morning from Pittsburgh; which was approximately my 10th straight week of being on the road. I have been all over the country so far this year, traveling to Texas, Massachusetts, Alabama, New Mexico, Michigan, Virginia, etc, etc. I have gotten to eat some some great regional food, including some crab pita pizza that I had this past week...phenomenal. The picture above happens to be a trip to an aluminum recycling plant in Chicago. I took Claire along and we turned it into a mini-vacation. I didn't realize she was taking my picture as I walked into the guard shack.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Deep dish pizza and birthing barns

Dan and I just got back from a trip to Chicago just a few hours ago. Dan had a business trip in the area and I got to tag along! We had a great time. We especially enjoyed having cable tv in our hotel room. Haha. It was nice to take a break from the new house and just have fun together. We took an impromptu detour to a dairy farm on the way home and witnessed a baby calf being born. Pretty awesome! At least that's what I thought. Dan said that he is scarred for life... Spaghetti and "Be Kind Rewind" ended the relaxing weekend for us.