10/16/17

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,
Carol

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



10/1/17

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.

Hugs,
Carol


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




9/17/17

Found Treasures


Hello, friends!  Today I'm sharing some treasures that I found a few months back at my favorite antique mall, Merchant Square, and some treasures I already had.  Even The Man enjoys roaming around this antique mall, and it was the perfect way to spend some time on a VERY HOT Arizona afternoon...nicely air-conditioned space! 



The Man actually found this sweet teapot, which just so happens to be the only missing piece of the china set that had belonged to my dear mother-in-law that now belongs to us!  If you would like to see the story behind this china and a look at the entire collection, you can find it HERE.  I also found a booth with lots of vintage ribbons and this little stack of vintage bingo cards...love using these in my scrapbooking, junk journals, etc.

Cool down AZ so I can enjoy some tea!

I have been scouring Craig's List for an old typewriter that was in good working condition.   I was not expecting to find one in an antique mall that was affordable, but here she is!  It was in pristine condition....absolutely spotless inside!  It reminds me of the one my grandmother had that I used all through school.  I quickly ordered a new ribbon and have been happily using it for my Project Life stories in scrapbooking.

This is a scan of a very old photo of my grandmother sitting at her writing desk...love that you can see her old typewriter in the background.

Another old treasure that I've pulled out of hiding, is this very old Bible that belonged to my 
Great-Grandmother.  I've searched it from cover-to-cover looking for a date, but there is only a small
hand-written note from my grandmother & great-aunt that the Bible was a gift to their mother.  I'm guessing it is probably about ninety years old and very well loved.

Here's the best treasure in my life.  We celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary in June!

We had agreed not to exchange anniversary gifts....it just gets kind of silly, you know?  But I had one of those "light-bulb"moments as I was sorting through some things that I want to put in a heritage album.  

The Man's mom kept so many sweet little treasures from her 4 children's childhood (my mom kept nothing), but it was her Cub Scout Den Mother's cute little hat that was the catalyst for my idea of creating a shadow box for The Man for our anniversary.

I included our favorite photo of the grandparents with all 9 grandchildren,

and photos of he and I as babies...I'm the one who looks like a cupie doll, and he's
the precious one!

Don't you just love his Davy Crocket coonskin cap!

I also found a sweet little card that he had given his mom on Mother's Day!

He was very happy with the gift and helped me juggle the gallery wall so the shadow box could be hung just below a great photo of his mom and dad.  I've been trying to be very intentional in using some of our family treasures.  I don't have anything that is of any great monetary value, but they all touch my heart and make me smile when I see them.  If something gets broken in the course of using it, then so be it.  I want to see them, use them, and touch them knowing people I love have held these things in their hands.  How about you?  Do you display and use your family treasures?

I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead.  I do have more "Fall" to share later on.  We may be finished with triple digits, so I can decorate our front porch....I hope!

Warm hugs,
Carol

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



9/12/17

Worried? Stressed? What do you do?

With everything that has been going on in our country and around the world, I find "stress" and "worry" are almost constant companions.  Is it just me, or do any of you feel that way, too?  I have 4 things that I've done over the years and have been doing a lot lately:
1)  Pray  2)  Clean  3)  Organize  4)  Decorate
Seriously, I've put these four ideas to some pretty extreme tests over the years, but probably no more so than in recent times with nuclear weapons being tested, the ugliness in Charlottesville, fires in multiple states, Hurricane Harvey, earthquakes in Mexico, & Hurricane Irma!  For several days, it seemed way too trivial to do Fall decorating, but I found "calm" in the doing....the colors, the smells & the feelings that Fall exudes, filled me with gratitude, thanksgiving and compassion.  It has taken several more days to give myself permission to write this post and share with you some Fall decor around our home.  I hope you enjoy, because there will be more coming over the next few weeks.


My "eclectic" or "boho" style will simply not allow me to go all white & neutral.....


I need COLOR!



Don't get me wrong, I think little white and pastel pumpkins are adorable, and I do have my fair share; but those little pale rascals have plenty of color to keep them company!



My china cupboard is filled mostly with family treasures, but this guy perches here 
from time-to-time!



I love this big old wooden bowl....the pompom garland is my "cheap" take on those chunky
beads that I keep seeing on other blogs but haven't been able to find!



The metal art piece in the background is something we found on our travels last month and will be going on an outside wall in our backyard....just as soon as it cools down a bit!




                                      
The "Hello Autumn" print is a free printable from Carol at The Red Painted Cottage.


A sweet little dish that had been my great-grandmothers...I cherish it!


It's always fun to switch out pillow covers each season.


I am feeling so truly thankful and blessed.


This little spot always makes me smile!

I hope all of you have a wonderful week and continue to pray & do whatever you can for all the victims of nature's recent fury.

Warm hugs,
Carol

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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