Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth!


Just playing around with picmonkey a bit -
free, on-line!

Friday, July 3, 2015

surrender

All One Little Word images are from pinterest -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Okay. So today I wanted to share another Little Big Meal from Fresh Market

Can you tell I'm loving these?
- I think it is a REALLY good deal!
But first I have to show you some little treats I made for the holiday! 
I'll tell you more in a minute!
This week's LBM is hamburgers -- > 
It's an easy way to try some of the different burgers that Fresh Market has to offer. 
I picked up a couple of turkey burgers with green peppers, etc. and a couple of beef with bacon and cheddar... Also, for $20 we got some giant kaiser buns, chips, slaw, corn to grill, cheddar cheese slices, 
and a dozen cookies. 
A pretty sweet savings of $17. 
Yay.
 We did the burgers on the stove top [still loving my Bobby Flay grill pan] and added fresh tomatoes and onion from the Farmer's Market. It was a fairly quick and easy meal.  
And, DELISH.
 [With a heat index of 105* we / I decided to not grill outside ---]
 This week I also made a couple of family favorites for our Fourth of July gatherings... 
First I made some Krispie Rice Treats --
 I remember that my sister used to make these for Christmas each year and used food coloring to jazz them up a bit for The Holiday so I thought I'd give it a go for the Fourth of July 
[and who am I kidding? --- I saw it on pinterest as well - lol.] 
 Just melt 3 tablespoons of butter with a bag of marshmallows and stir in six cups of toasted rice cereal [ha.]
Note: I made two batches all at once to have enough for the three layers of color...
 I took a third of the mixture out into a bowl and Craig added red food coloring while I mixed it with my hands [with my little disposable gloves on - you know -- the ones I use when I take cooked chicken off the bone...]
 Then pressed it into a 9x13 pan. I added a layer of mixture with no food coloring, then used blue on the remaining mixture in the pan it was cooked in and pressed it on top of the red and white layers.
Here's a tip: for the 2nd and 3rd layers form little patties in the palm of your hand and press it down before adding it to the layers... they will all mold together nicely after it's all put together.
Let it cool a bit before cutting into little bars.
Another tip: dip your knife in water between each cut for easier slicing.
I packaged them two to a ziplock sandwich bag...
[Y'all remember that I made them a few weeks ago -- > they're one of my favorites too! Ha.] 
AND they're easy to make without heating up the oven [and kitchen!] on these 100* days!
A win-win.
Click on the link above to get the recipe.
Be mindful that they might not 'set-up' as well if you make them on a rainy day...
We had the leftover burgers for dinner tonight and Craig cooked the corn / cob in te microwave - 
I'm not of fan --
But Emma is always ready to eat my piece for me!
[And - NO --- she does not get to eat an entire piece of corn.]
Happy Fourth of July Y'all!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Let’s see… it's been a pretty regular week …


Had a training event here in town and then I worked in another county this week – 
 and have to say that I miss having a window in my office --- 
especially with storm clouds rolling in. 
LOVE IT.
Also got a gel / shellac manicure [depends on where I go what they call it…] and I love it. 
This should last me a good three weeks or so… and while I don’t like to have it on my nails ALL the time – I do try and put it on now and then…
[photo cred: random guy in the lobby]
I attended the Scrap It Southern Style Event in Birmingham this past weekend and it was 
BUSY. 
Lots and lots of games and activities [AND PRIZES!!] 
Still, I was able to accomplish most of what I had planned. 
And it was great to visit and catch-up with some scrapping buddies!
[Photo Cred: Cindy Scrapper]
I finished up the sorting of the youngest’s albums [had a STACK of pages that needed to be divided between high school – college --and all about Matt.] 
Now I need to make some decent looking labels for them!
[Photo Cred: Kim - Keller's Creations]
The class I took was great and the ‘chopped’ game was SO FUN – 
and I was happy to be a finalist! 
[I came in 2nd & won a ThirtyOne bag full of goodies!] 
I’ll share more of the pages / layouts I completed in a couple of weeks –
On another note – I always love seeing this iconic 'landmark' 
going south on 65 early in the a.m.
I've been known to pull off the road for a a photo - 
But this time I just held my phone out and snapped away -- 
lucky to get one I could crop down and shop up a bit!
I’ve also seen the white squirrel at least two other times this week – still adorable…
and I always think it's funny how I go in for a haircut and ask for about a half inch off and it always comes out at least a full inch or inch and a half shorter - lol...
Kind of like bargaining...
[I ALWAYS start with MUCH less - and am usually happy with the results...]
And now it’s back to the work week – glad this is a short one for us!
Enjoy!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Well, we’ve recently discovered the Fresh Market Thursday Little Big Meals

... something I’m sure many of you are well aware of… and since my sweetheart got a new grill recently we’ve been cooking outside a bit 
[even in this crazy heat wave!]
   
First we gave the sausage meal a go –
For $20 we got 4 sausages, a pre-cut veggie pack, hoagie buns, and seltzer water [raspberry!] Plus – some good ole raisins and peanuts!
We bought two meals and actually had the butcher package up a variety of sausages [chicken and apple sausage, anyone? Oh my!] We also had andouille – hot [!!], and mild…
Yum.
I tossed the veggies with just a bit of olive oil and Craig tossed them on the grill with the sausages. [LOVING this little grill that has plates that prevent flare-ups 
AND keeps the veggies from falling through!] 
 [LOVE my sweetheart... And , well, yes -- > that is a chamber pot setting outside my back door --- used for compost, I assure you!]
Meanwhile, I put some [jasmine] rice in the rice cooker with a chicken bouillon cube… and about twenty minutes later we were ready to sit down and eat… [He grilled some yellow squash from the Farmer’s Market too.]
The seltzer water has a delicious flavor that sweet daughter-in-law said reminded her of some she had while in Europe… But just a little note: 
DO NOT put sweetener in it! 
It’d be fun to have a photo – but suffice it to say that I was covered in seltzer water about five seconds after I put the truvia in the bottle – lol. 
Lesson learned. 
 
I almost forgot! Before we started on the meal I peeled and chopped a few Chilton County peaches [from Peach Park!] and put this quick little cobbler in the oven… 
seriously easy 
– and one I’ve eaten my entire life ---
Melt a stick of butter [I actually only used ¾ stick in this one] 
in a casserole dish [350* oven.]
 In a mixing bowl whisk together: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour [I use self-rising] and 1 cup milk [I use 2% - but I’m sure it’d be even better with whole – lol] 
Once butter is melted, pour in batter [it will seem thin] and toss fruit on top. 
DO NOT STIR
Bake, uncovered for about 30 minutes. 
 Oops! I forgot to take a photo of the finished product – but it looked much like this blueberry one my sweetheart made last week – just feel free to use a cup or so of any fresh fruit you have on hand.
I always love blueberry cobbler – but have to say that 
this peach one was DELICIOUS.
 I'll share the next Thursday Little Big Meal soon! 
They are a DEAL - seriously!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I was a little slow

 getting out the summer / patriotic decor...
But I wanted to share with you 
what I did this year - 
 I used the banner on our mirror in the entry
and tucked a few sunflowers in a milk glass vase...
I put my giant jar of flags on the side board
and added the sparkly wreath to the empty frames...
And in the hallway, next to our stairs I hung the big star
I picked up at Hobby Lobby a few years ago when it was 80% off...
 
The frames hold vintage Fourth of July photos.
[One is actually my dad and one of his brothers sitting in front of a big flag
when he was 6 or 7 years old.]
It's mostly things recycled from previous years.. 
but somehow it ends up in different places each time I bring it out ---
And of course, you remember the little wreath 
I made for our porch this year --
We've got BIG plans for the Fourth this year and we're looking forward to a fun time --
Hope you have a great time planning a celebration too!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Well.... hell-o Summer!

It's hot as heck out there!
 I'm not complaining --- yet.
But I am thankful that I don't have a job 
that requires me to be out in it all day long...
 
Sooooo - I traveled a bit this week -
Back to The Capital City...
 
And was bitten by a spider in my hotel room
[a first for me.] 
- I'd just bragged about how this particular location had been refurbished 
and looked pretty nice....I hadn't stayed in this spot for several years, but it was near our training site, so I gave it go...
But won't be back - lol.
[We stay in a particular chain of hotels and they really are pretty nice for mid-priced hotels... I've rarely had a problem and feel safe there - even when traveling alone...
PLUS we get mega points that we use for vacay days...]
While there, I did a little test run on some 4th of July fun...
- Hotel Room Art -
In other news - 
we're loving our little patio area and view into the yard...
 I'm still doing the #expressyourselfy challenge...
[It ends on the 30th -]
And I FINALLY saw the elusive white squirrel!!!
[Craig's seen him off and on for YEARS.]
He's adorable.
We also attended the cute couple across the street's renewal of vows to 
celebrate their SIXTIETH wedding anniversary. 
How cool is that?
They're a hoot and have been good neighbors to us -
 Lastly, our little natural screen is beginning to grow 
-- and bloom even!
[I'll share more on this project in a few weeks.]
We had such a wonderful time with our boys and sweet daughter-in-law on Friday evening with Fresh Market's $20 meal [-- more on that in a week or so too!] We just enjoyed visiting out on the patio and being together with no real agenda.
Good times.
 We also had a good time being with my family for a quick meal together 

and a little splash pad time.
[We're a cRaZy bunch - ha.]
Happy Summertime to You! 
Stay cool!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Today would have been

our Mama’s 81st birthday…
Wow.
 I'm re-posting this post from last year --- 
Just to share and reminisce a bit....
Maybe some things you know, or didn’t know – or have forgotten…
Just for us - you can skip, if you want...
 Mama was #9 of ten girls
[bless her mama's and daddy’s hearts…]
She has a niece that is the same age as her…
thus, I have second cousins my age...
She was a junior high cheerleader, 
in the homecoming court,
and salutatorian of her Senior Class
[She was the only one of the girls to graduate from high school…]
She grew up in the country and picked cotton to earn spending money…
They would ride in the back of a truck to go the North Alabama Fair each year…
Mama worked as a telephone operator before meeting and marrying our father…
She was blessed to be home with us…
 She enjoyed creating beautifully wrapped gifts,
and loved setting a pretty table...

She also loved to talk on the phone...
[but I'm sure we ALL knew that - ]
 She canned everything from jelly, to tomatoes, to beans, 
apples, peaches, and peas
-- for us to eat all winter long… 
And she made the best biscuits and blackberry jam I’ve ever eaten.
She enjoyed gardening and cooking fresh veggies, 
Southern Style – fried or with lots of bacon. Yum.
She loved having flowers in her yard and in her home.

Mama miscarried a couple of years after I was born and
her life was complete when she finally had her baby boy 10 years later…
[This photo is not 'shopped' - it's soc 
with slide film from one of our dad's old cameras -]
 She was terrified of storms and we somehow [ha] always ended up
out at my gr-mother’s house [and in her storm cellar]
whenever a storm was brewing- lol.
She played softball at Robbins’ Field when we were kids –

And apparently wasn’t afraid to swing from the rafters on occasion – ha.
She loved to read and could easily devour a few 400 page books a week –
Some of my earliest memories are of our weekly trips to the library in Sheffield…
Tough Enough was one of my favorite series...
She also loved studying her Bible
and reading commentaries for theological insights
[I think she owned at least two different sets – of the BIG ONES – ha.]
She had the [spiritual] gift of teaching
and taught Sunday School most of her life –
She so enjoyed seeing her Sunday School members grow in the Lord…
She wasn’t perfect – but was perfectly forgiven, and
taught us that this forgiveness was available to all of us as well.
She loved butter pecan ice cream, or was it peach? 
Or strawberry? Ha.
She also loved visiting and taking little gifties to ‘her shut-ins’ [as she called them]
and I really believe that’s where my love for the elderly and disabled first started…
I can remember weekly visits to Ms. Gas’ house
and also to people in nursing homes when I was a kid…
She loved her grandsons --  
 Oh how she loved them -  
and was generous to the point of Lorna and I having to
tell them that they couldn’t give them money 
every time they walked in the door – lol.
She was an excellent seamstress too - 
and made us many, many beautiful outfits - 
and fun things like ET, bugs bunny, clowns,
and ninja turtle outfits for Halloween costumes...
But she was overcome with joy when little MK was born!
There hadn’t been a baby girl in our family since I was born…
So she was beyond thrilled -- 
And oh how she loved her sisters and many nieces and nephews
and she had the ability to make everyone who knew her feel special and loved.
[Is that Ruby or Lorna peeping out of the back bedroom?]
Each one of us believed that we were her ‘favorite’ –
And truly, we were –
because she could see something special and wonderful in each of us
and would encourage us in just the way we needed it.
Saudade…