Is anyone else feeling a bit overwhelmed that the holidays are barreling toward you like a semi-truck?  In an attempt to slow things down & quell my "spinning out-of-control" emotional state, I have tried to stay away from Blogland for a bit.  My home is still decorated for Fall and Thanksgiving, so seeing all the Christmas-filled blogs has been making me feel anxious.  I will eventually get around to seeing your Christmas digs, but not until after Turkey Day!  I've been keeping myself busy with some small projects and getting things ready for company.  Our son and family are spending Thanksgiving with us!  I am so excited!  We haven't had company for Thanksgiving for a long time, so I am gratefully turning the "turkey duties" over to our son!  I am so excited to have some of our grandchildren here for this special day.

Okay, so what have I been doing while not being on Blogger?  Lots of this and that.  One day I was studying my formal living/dining room, trying to come up with ideas to make it feel more cozy & less stuffy.  Well, I decided this armoire needed a new purpose.  You have seen it many times (this pic was taken last Christmas), but I have never shown the inside....there is a very good reason why. 

Upper cabinet 

This is why!  Packed with dishes, some seasonal some not; but lots of things that didn't fit anywhere else.  It was just a jumbled up mess until "the lightbulb" moment happened

Lower cabinet

This is the lower part of my china cabinet....it was also involved in my lightbulb moment.

This is where I was keeping our wedding china & a few other odds & ends. 

Anytime I wanted to use these dishes, I would cringe at the thought of practically standing on my head to get to them and change my mind.  Well, not anymore!

Here is what I did!

I cannot tell you how much I love the new arrangement.  I'm also elated that I can now have the doors open, and my mind is already spinning with how I will decorate this new area for Christmas!

I also added some poster-board to the backside that looks like painted wood & adds a lot of light. 

The lower part still needs some work, but it is great storage for some of my larger vases & such.   

The lower part of the china cabinet is now home to some of my seasonal dishes & decor.  Thanksgiving resides on the right......

And Christmas on the left.  I only have to get to them once a year, so no big deal!

The Man loves this print, so I've been trying to embrace it by adding more of these colors to the room.  You will see more of what I'm talking about when you see the new centerpiece on my dining room table.

I'm loving these new furry pillows.  I bought them at HobLob....I know a thing or two about making pillows, but I seriously cannot make them for what I can buy them for at this store (on sale, of course)!  And they are made well.

Sorry about the quality of some of my photos....something is awry with my camera.  I got a bit carried away making cloth pumpkins in lots of the colors in that print above our sofa.  I will also be adding more of these colors in the place settings I'm planning for Thanksgiving dinner.  I'll try to remember to share.

E6000 glue and I have been busy.  I created this tiered piece and.....

This one, using some hand-painted china that The Man's aunt painted many, many years ago.  I have displayed a few of her plates, but I have a bunch; so I decided to make these display pieces with some of them.

I think this one is so sweet.  Oh, can you see how I used corks for the stems on my pumpkins.  I pretty much depleted my stash of corks....better drink more wine!

I shared this on IG yesterday.  It's Pumpkin Pound Cake with Brown Butter Icing, and you can find the recipe HERE.  Thank you, Carol, at The Red Painted Cottage!  I took this cake to a neighborhood block party last night, and it got rave reviews!

I also shared this on IG.  It's a most delicious Pumpkin Bread, and you can find the recipe HERE.  Thank you, Marty, at A Stroll Thru Life!

Whew, that was a lot of chitchat and photos wasn't it?  That's what happens when I stay away from blog buddies for awhile....so much to catch up on!  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post.  I probably won't be back to do a another post until after Thanksgiving, but I may be sharing on IG.  

In case I don't have the opportunity later this week, I just want to wish everyone a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Warm hugs to everyone,


What's Been Going On?

Happy start of a new week, everyone!  I'm scratching my head and wondering how we can possibly be starting the 3rd week of October already!  I mean, geez, let's slow it down a bit!  I was a bit absent from social media and the blog this past week and thought I'd share some of the things that occupied my time.

First off, I had shared a pic on IG of a new stew recipe I was trying and promised to share the recipe if it was good.  Well, it was delicious, so here's the pic I shared on IG.....

Everything is in the crockpot and ready to provide a wonderful aroma throughout the day. 

Here is the finished goodness.....and I do mean goodness!

Here's the recipe:

In a 6-quart slow cooker, add 1 1/2 lbs. chuck roast, cut into bite-size pieces (or do what I did and buy stew meat....saves a lot of cutting); 1 large potato, peeled and chopped; 8 oz. mushrooms, left whole or cut into quarters; 2 carrots, chopped; 1 medium onion, chopped; 3 cloves garlic, minced; 3 Tbsp. tomato paste; 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce; 1 tsp. salt; 3/4 tsp. dried thyme; 1/2 tsp. pepper; 1 (32-oz) carton beef broth (reduced sodium if that's an issue).  Cover and cook on High until it starts to just bubble, then reduce to Low for 6 to 8 hrs, or until meat is tender.  Place 1/4 cup flour in a small bowl.  Add a ladle of cooking liquid and whisk until smooth.  Pour back into slow cooker and stir well.  Cook on High for about 30 min. until slightly thickened.  Add 1/2 cup frozen peas and let sit until heated through, about 5 min.  Serves 6-8 depending on how hungry everyone is!  It's great with an artisan bread or cornbread.

More crafting......
I've seen these swags several times in home tours and decided to make one to go over the chalkboard that has my favorite saying.   I wish I had made it longer, but seriously, I got so bored putting little squares, circles & folded pieces of book pages together with a needle and yarn...just had to stop!

This took most of the book I was using....I do really like it, and now that it's finished, I can say I'm glad I did it!

I've been whining about not finding these bead garlands that I keep seeing in blog tours, so I decided to make one.  I found these in HobLob in their finished crafting bead section.  I really wanted the unfinished wood beads, but they didn't have what I was looking for, but they had the finished ones in lots of different sizes.  The ones I used are 3/4 inch, and came in packages of 12 for $1.99.  They only had three packages left, so my garland is about 32 inches long (not including the tassels).  It was super-easy to make (and fast), and now I want to make another one or two!

Just had to share this cute free printable from Kristi at I Should Be Mopping the Floor.  I think you have to sign up for her newsletter for this particular freebie, and you should do just that....she does the cutest things and has tons of FREE printables available on her blog!

Perfect combination for an afternoon break... Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin (you can get the recipe from Tracey HERE)....so delicious; Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (you can get the recipe from Jen HERE)....this is the best "copycat" I've tried; and my creative Bible journal. 

I'm always amazed at how much I can get done when I turn away from social media for a little while!  One biggie that was on my list to complete this month were my Christmas cards.  WHAT?  No, I'm not talking about addressing and all that; I make all my cards, not just Christmas!  
In the past, I've made them all alike, but I much prefer......

Making them all different.

I have to keep a postage scale handy so as not to add too much weight with embellishments.  It's such a great way to use of odds 'n ends in my scrapbook stash!

Some are very simple and some are a bit more detailed.

I've made about thirty-two & may make a few more.  Now I have to come up with something clever or profound for the inside....yes, this "lover of words" writes the inside verse.  The inside is the same for all the cards;  I just adjust the size if needed. 

Well, there you have it....my mind and hands have not been idle!  I am so grateful to have a dedicated room for my crafting; and fortunately, it's just a few steps away from the kitchen!  Otherwise, there might be little or no cooking going on!  I hope you've enjoyed catching up with me.  I hope you have a wonderful week!

Warm hugs,

I hope to be joining some of these lovely ladies this week:

Kristi at Making it in the Mountains for The Creative Gallery
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop
Carol at The Red Painted Cottage for Share Your Style Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home


WOW, It's October!

Happy first day of October!  I have a love-hate feeling for October.  It's definitely the signal for a cool-down here in the desert, but that does not mean "put on the sweaters & pretty scarves" just yet.  It is still in the 90's, but cooling down at night and cool enough to have windows and doors open in the early morning hours.  October is kind of the "get on your mark, get set, GO" for the race to the end of the year....wish it would not speed by quite so fast, don't you?  What I'm really trying to do this year, is slow down, stay out of that race, and savor every single day.  I do have all of my decorating finished and love walking through our home filled with all the rich colors of Fall.  Today I'd like to share some pics of our kitchen and family room.  I'll try not to be too chatty, but grab a beverage & snack just incase!

I adore the scene on the little plate from HobLob several years ago.  Almost makes me want to become a farmer...HA! HA!

Flowers from Trader Joe's.

Mums from Sprouts...it's so beautiful!  See the wood slice that the mum is sitting on?  The Man cut several of those for me from a piece of mesquite.  I'll share more about that in another post, but I've decided just about anything looks good sitting on a wood slice!

I wanted some fun new napkin rings, so I made them....empty tp roll, yarn, & some small pumpkins from a few years back that I had already painted!

Got these cute towels from HomeGoods a couple of years ago.

My pompom wreath is back for about the 3rd year in a row!

I don't change things on top of the cabinets anymore, but I haven't grown tired of the things I chose to fill the spaces.  I love how those upper lights create interesting shadows.

Awww....the rich colors of Fall!

This is my current coffee station, but it will be getting a bit bigger with a larger tray to accommodate more cool weather beverages....teas & cocoas!

On a whim I decided to combine this leafy-berry swag with these adorable balsa wood leaves
that are lighted.

It is so cute at night when only the kitchen task lights are on.

This always makes me smile.

Now, let's go into the family room.

This is how I had decorated the mantel the first time.  I liked it, but it started feeling 
too messy.

Then I decided to remove the lighted wreath, and I like it so much better now.

This was the combination of 3 very worn and tattered leaf swags that I cut and blended together.
I also cut some leaf shapes out of cardstock and book pages and then painted them with chalk paint.
I simply hot-glued them into the swag to make it much thicker.

I also added some of those painted leaves to the wreath that has now moved to a new
spot above the tv.

I took a bunch of odds and ends of berries, leaves, & small pumpkins and filled this lantern.  To make it more fun, I added in some tiny orange lights.

Well, I'm about to send you on your way, but not before thanking you so much for visiting.  I
cannot wait for your next visit!

I hope October is super-special for you, and I hope you get to slow down a bit 
and savor all those special moments and the everyday moments as well.


I'm hope to be joining these lovely ladies this week:

Kristi at Making it in the Mountains for The Creative Gallery
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop
Carol at The Red Painted Cottage for Share Your Style Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home

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