Friday, February 26, 2010

Fabulous Food Friday!

Good morning all! Well, we've made it to Friday ~ FINALLY!!!! In light of the tough week I've had, I've decided I need something chocolate this weekend. I have this wonderful recipe for a chocolate cake made with mayonnaise! I know, I know, doesn't really sound all that appetizing, does it? Well, let me just tell ya, this is one of the most moist, delicious cakes I've ever put into my mouth! Give it a try ~ you won't believe how good it is!

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking soda

Combine all ingredients and pour into 13 X 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

How simple is that?? For frosting, I just use whatever canned frosting I have on hand. Homemade frosting is good too! You can dress this up with sprinkles or other candies to match whatever theme you want. This is soooo good, but a word of warning, if you want your teenager to eat it, don't tell him or her that there is mayo in it! My son ate the heck out of this until I told him about the mayo. Then he wouldn't touch it! Oh well, that just meant more cake for me!! I'm linking this to Colleen's Recipe Swap over at And Baby Makes Five. Click here to check out all the wonderful recipes!

We are in the grip of another severe winter storm today. The wind is howling and snow is blowing everywhere! We are actually under blizzard conditions, or so the weatherman says. It looks like another weekend cooped up here at home. The kid is off this morning on a school trip to Richmond to compete in a scholastic bowl state competition. He is a math whiz and I am so proud of him! I worry for their travel safety in this weather but I just have to trust in God to keep him safe. They will be back late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. If you have any extra prayers, please throw them his way.

Well, that's about all I have for today. Gotta get off here and get ready for work. I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday!

Until next time. . .


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday's Tip of the Day & A New Attitude!

Good morning everyone! Thank you all so much for the kind and encouraging words you've left for me the past few days. I have decided to start today out with a brand new attitude! So here's hoping for the best!!

Today's tip of the day deals with planting. Hubby and I are discussing trying our hand at a very small garden this year so with that in mind, I thought a couple of tips regarding planting would be in order.

Recycle old mini blinds as garden markers. Cut the slats to the needed length with a point at one end. Write the plant name with a Sharpie marker and use them to mark seeds or garden rows.

Use cardboard or fiber egg cartons to grow seeds then plant the entire tray. It will disintegrate

Now, in light of my new attitude, I was thinking about what I could do to make myself feel better. And I have come to the conclusion that in order to make myself happy, I will try to be a blessing to someone else. So with that in mind, I have decided to have a small St. Patty's Day giveaway for my faithful followers who have helped me out so much these past few days. The rules for this one are simple:

~ You must ALREADY be a follower. I will not take entries from anyone who signs on to follow today or after today. This is open to my followers in any country.

~ Leave a comment on this post only to let me know you want to be entered.

~ Don't post about this on your blog or anywhere else. It's only for my faithful friends and besides, who needs the competition, right??!!

~ I will draw the winner on Monday, March 1st, so entries will be accepted thru Sunday, February 28th.

Here's what the winner will receive: a handstitched pillow that reads "blessings",
a set of clover bowl fillers handmade by me, a box of Candleberry tarts in Apple Brown Betty scent, a clover grow kit, and a cute magnetic note pad that reads "I'm not Irish but you can kiss me anyway!

Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures. My eyeballs aren't working so well this morning and they didn't look quite so blurry when I was taking them!! You can get a better look at the pillow and clover bowl fillers in my header.

Well, that's all I have today. We received quite a bit of snow overnight and it's still coming down this morning. Hubby is driving me to work today and he's ready to go so I guess I'd better run! I hope everyone has a great day!

Until next time. . .


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thank you all so much. . .

Yesterday was such a horrible day for me with the loss of my bestest buddy, Skylar. I cried so many tears and just when I thought I couldn't cry another one, I'd receive another wonderfully sweet comment from somebody on here and the waterworks would start up again! A simple "thank you" does not even seem remotely adequate enough to express what y'all mean to me. But I have no other words, so thank you will have to suffice. Your sweet words of comfort and your prayers are so greatly appreciated.

Today has not been much better, unfortunately. I have not been feeling well for a few weeks and after much cajoling from my hubby, I went to the doctor today to get checked out. Turns out that I am having some health issues that could potentially be serious enough to require surgery. I will know more tomorrow when the rest of my test results come back. Then there are some financial issues I am trying to deal with that are stressing me out badly right now. And to top it all off, another winter storm is headed our way. I honestly do not know how much more I can take. Seems like when it rains, it pours. Have you ever heard the old saying "Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield"? Well, this week I am definitely the bug! I am getting splattered no matter which direction I turn!

I really didn't mean to go on and on about my problems on here. I want my blog to be a happy place to come to, but right now, I'm just not feeling it. I know that these feelings will pass, I just hope it's soon! There are so many others out there who have much more severe problems than me and I feel ashamed for going on and on about my petty stuff. So I'll end this now with another heartfelt thank you to all you wonderful blog friends! You mean so much to me and I love you all!

Until next time. . .


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My heart is heavy with sadness. . .

This morning my beloved furbaby, Skyler, who loved me faithfully and relentlessly for over 11 years, passed on and is now waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. He was a Sheltie who was as close to being a human being as any dog I have ever known. In fact, I'm pretty sure he was a human being trapped in a dog's body! He would talk to me, shake hands or give me five (whichever one I chose to call it), and he was the best behaved, most protective dog I have ever owned. It was truly a privlege to be loved by this wonderful creature and my heart is just broken that he is no longer with me.

Run pain free, Big Guy and enjoy your new eternal life. I love you bunches and you will forever live in my heart. . .

Until we meet again. . .

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Makeover Monday

Good Monday morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I sure did. The hubby, the kid and I took off Saturday morning on a spur of the moment overnight getaway to the beautiful Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. We had a great time and the temps were in the upper 50's and lower 60's so NO SNOW!!!!

I love those big metal barn stars that are everywhere these days. I don't have a head board for my bed so I decided I would make one using these beautiful stars. We recently repainted the bedroom a mossy green and I wanted a cottagy country feel so I am using cream as an accent color and that's what I was looking for when I decided to use the barn stars as my headboard. Well, of course, I couldn't find any in the color I wanted that were reasonably affordable so I did the next best thing ~ I painted some!!! Here's a before picture:

And after I painted them:

I wanted them to look "rusty" around the edges, so I took some brown paint and used a dry brush technique around the edges. It must have worked because one morning hubby and I were laying in bed talking when he asked me where I got the rusty stars! I just started laughing! He couldn't believe it when I told him I painted it. He had to take one down off the wall and check it out!

Here's a pic of how I placed them on the wall. Please excuse the afghan spread out on the bed ~ that usually isn't there but hubby is still sleeping this morning so I couldn't get a better picture!

Well, that's it for now. I hope everyone has a great Monday! It's raining here so that surely doesn't help the Monday blues! But at least it's not snowing!! Yay!!

Until next time. . .


Friday, February 19, 2010

Fast and Fabulous Food Friday!!

It's Friday!! Woohoo!! Today we are heading south of the border for a wonderfully easy recipe that is a big hit whenever I fix it!

Taco Dip

1 package taco seasoning mix
1 16 oz. container sour cream
1 8 oz. cream cheese

With cream cheese at room temperature, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whip with mixer until smooth. Spread on bottom of serving dish.

1 can refried beans
1 jar salsa or picante sauce
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
chopped tomato
sliced black olives
chopped green onions

Spread refried beans over cream cheese mixture. Top with salsa and cover with remaining ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips.

This is soooo good!! If you've never tried it, you are in for a real treat! And if there are other toppings that you and your family prefer, throw them on there. That's what is so great about this recipe, it's very versatile!

I don't have much planned for this weekend. Just the usual household chores and maybe some crafting. The good news is, NO SNOW IN THE FORECAST FOR THIS WEEKEND!!! In fact, we may see the sun some tomorrow!! Now that's something to be excited about!

Well, that's it for now. Gotta get off here and go to work. I hope everybody has a great Friday!

Until next time. . .


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday's Tip of the Day!

Good morning everyone! Well, Friday is almost here ~ yippee!! It's been a long week for me even though I'm only working four days this week. I am proud of myself though ~ I have driven myself to work the last couple of days on snow covered roads since hubby has had to work and can't drive me. This is huge for me as I am terrified of driving in the snow. Yay me!!

Now on to today's tips. These are simple but clever tips that can help us recycle and reuse things we all have on hand and usually just throw away:

~ Keep your empty plastic grocery bags in an empty tissue box. Pop one out when you need one. That's recycling two things in one! How cool is that??

~ Don't throw away unused return envelopes that companies so nicely send along with the monthly bills. Cut them in half, write your grocery list on the back, and you even have a pocket for all your coupons!

I have to share this cute pic of Sophie. She is wide open all the time but when she finally crashes, she is out for the count! Isn't she so sweet and innocent looking here?

Well, that's all I have for today. Hope everyone has a great day! Stay safe and warm.

Until next time. . .


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Makeover Monday

Hello everyone! Hope everyone has had a good President's Day! I was off work today for a scheduled vacation day so hubby and I spent the day primitive shopping and just being together! It was very nice! I only came home with two things, a framed stitchery and a stuffed goose. They were my Valentine's Day presents along with a cute little bracelet hubby got me. He usually lets me pick out what I want because he says I'm too picky! That's not really true, but hey, it works for me! I get what I really want and he pays ~ can't beat that!

Here is today's makeover. I bought this cutesy plate with stand a while back. I liked the sheep on it, but the bright blue color just doesn't go with anything in my house.

So I decided to paint over it with a sage green color and I used a stencil to put the stars on it. I liked it but it was kind of plain, so I decided to take a paint marker and just freehand the words on it. I like the way it turned out and it matches my kitchen much better this way! I am thinking I will probably put it on top of my refrigerator along with a display of my cookbooks after hubby builds me a little crate to put them in. It's always a work in progress, ya know??

On a sadder note, my heart is heavy today. A woman I went to high school with died of breast cancer yesterday after a long, four year battle. She leaves behind a husband and four little boys, all under the age of twelve. It really puts things in perspective when you hear of something like this happening. She was a prominent member of our small town, and even though I didn't know her on a personal level, I am very saddened by her passing. I am glad that she is not suffering any longer, but the thought of those little boys being without their mother is heart wrenching. It makes you want to tell all the important people in your life just how much they mean to you. Because you just never know.

Well, it's back to work for me tomorrow so I'm off here to get things ready for that. I hope everyone has a great week ahead!

Until next time. . .


Friday, February 12, 2010

Fast and Fabulous Food Friday!

Good morning/evening everyone! It's finally Friday! This has been a hectic week with all the snow and bad weather we have been having here. Unfortunately, it's not over yet. There is another round of snow and yucky stuff coming our way this weekend. Oh well, what's a girl to do? I'm itching to get out of here and do some shopping but not sure that's gonna happen. If not, guess I'll just buckle down and get some crafting projects finished and give this house a good cleaning this weekend!

For today's recipe, I am sharing something that we use a LOT around here. Jiffy muffin mixes. These little boxes are so wonderful and cheap too! If you haven't tried them before, I highly recommend them. I made some banana muffins this morning and just added a ripe mashed banana to the mix. Yummo! I also found this great sounding recipe on their website that I am going to make for my hubby for a Valentine's Day treat this weekend. He's not a huge chocolate lover (gasp!) so I think these will be right up his alley!

Banana Cream Squares

Crumb mixture
1 pkg. Jiffy Banana Muffin Mix
5 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup quick oats

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 inch square pan. Combine ingredients for crumb mixture and mix well. Reserve 1/2 cup. Press remaining mixture in bottom of pan. For filling, beat cream cheese with sugar. Add egg and beat until smooth. Pour filling over crumb mixture. Top with reserved crumb mixure and bake 25-29 minutes. Cool and cut.

Doesn't that sound wonderful and so simple?? Click here to check out their website. They have a ton of wonderful recipes for all their boxed mixes.

Well, I just heard the washer finish up so I guess I need to go dump some clothes in the dryer. I hope everyone has a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.

Until next time. . .


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday's Tip of the Day!

Good Thursday morning everyone! Well, we are snowed under (AGAIN!) here in Virginia. I tell ya, this is getting very old and I am fighting hard to not let the winter blues get to me! I keep telling myself we only have about a month of bad weather left and then it will be all over, but I'm beginning to wonder if I am going to be able to maintain what little sanity I have left before spring gets here! Anybody else feeling this way or is it just me??

I didn't post on Whatcha' Working on Wednesday yesterday because what I am working on right now is a surprise for my faithful followers! I am now at 150 followers and in honor and celebration of that, I will be doing a small giveaway for Saint Patrick's Day. Now, I know a lot of you don't decorate for St. Patty's Day but just humor me here, o.k.? LOL!! I will be posting more details about this giveaway in the next week or two, so be sure to be watching! Also, be sure to pop over and visit Leslie at My Country Home to see what wonderful things everybody else is working on.

Now, on to Thursday's Tip of the Day! I'm sitting here enjoying my cup of coffee flavored with yummy vanilla latte creamer and thought about the humble coffee filter. Such a simple invention that doesn't often get the credit it deserves! I have seen a lot of crafters use these paper filters to create some awesome crafts, but did you know that they are also great for warming individual cookies, doughnuts, and rolls in the microwave? Eat right out of the filter ~ no dishes to wash! Now that's right up my alley as I don't have a dishwasher (yet!) besides my two hands and I hate to wash dishes!! I guess that stems from the fact that since I was big enough to stand on a kitchen chair to reach the sink, washing dishes was one of my daily chores as a child. I hated it then and I hate it now!

Here's another great use for these wonderful filters: when you repot a house plant, place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot. This keeps the soil from falling thru the drainage holes! Clever, huh?

Well, that's all I have for today. I will probably not be venturing out of the house today due to all the snow and I'm off work tomorrow (yay!) so I see lots of crafting in my immediate future! I hope everyone has a great Thursday! Stay safe and warm!

Until next time. . .


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thankful Tuesday!

Hello everyone! I hope everyone has had a great Tuesday. I just wanted to take a minute to express my appreciation and thanks for all the wonderful friends and followers who take the time to read and comment on my posts. When I started this blog, I really wasn't sure how it was going to work out. I wondered if anyone would bother to read it, much less take the time to post such sweet, supportive comments. I get so overwhelmed sometimes just reading the comments you guys leave for me.

I have never had much self confidence. When I was in school (many moons ago!), I was the wallflower. I was very shy and insecure. I preferred to stand by and watch life instead of jumping in and living it. Although I had plenty of friends and made good grades, I always felt like a failure. I guess I've carried some of that feeling with me throughout my life.

I have made some improvement in this area but there is still a lot of work to be done! As Joyce Meyer would say, "I'm not where I want to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be!"

So, I just felt the need to let everyone know that a simple, kind word left on a blog post can really make someone's day. I know y'all have made me smile on days that I felt more like crying. Thank you for your friendships. I treasure each one of you!

Until next time. . .


Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday makeovers & I won another giveaway!

Hi everyone. It has been one heck of a Monday and I am glad it's almost over! The weekend flew by, as usual, but I was able to get a couple of small projects done. Jenn over at LarsenLoves posted a few days ago about her laundry room redo and I got a lot of good inspiration from her. I went to Wal Mart and puchased a plain gallon glass jar to put my washing powders in. I tied a piece of homespun around it. Here's what it looks like:

It looked o.k. but I thought it needed a little something else. So I pulled out my favorite wall paper border, cut out a star and Mod Podged it on. I like this so much better now:

I purchased several of these plain little picture frames from the Dollar Tree before Christmas:

I decided to prim them up a little bit and put this pic of hubby's Dad with all his children in them and gave them to hubby's brothers and sisters as gifts:

They were a big hit and hubby has been after me ever since to make him one too. I finally got it done. My brothers and sisters-in-law all loved them! Funny how something so simple can sometimes be the best gift you can give.

I was the lucky winner of Tammy ~ A Primitive Place's giveaway! I received my wonderful goodies on Friday but didn't have a spare minute this weekend to post about them and show them off. I received a beautiful cat hooked rug in a frame to hang, a wooden bowl with rag balls, and a cute sconce with a salt box house painted on it along with a nubby candle. Thank you so much Tammy ~ I love everything! I have already marked a spot on one of my living room walls to place everything. Now I just have to find a minute to get it done!

On a final note, please keep my father-in-law in your prayers. He had to be taken to the hospital yesterday because he was short of breath, talking jibberish, and just not acting like his normal self. Once there, they admitted him and they believe he may have pneumonia and has probably suffered a slight stroke, although at last check, all the test results weren't back so not sure really what is going on. The hospital he is in is about a two hour drive away from us and hubby is really concerned since we are expecting more bad weather. He is worried that we won't be able to get to him if we need to. His Dad has not been in the best health this past year and has been in and out of the hospital a lot during this time. So all prayers and good thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Well, I am exhausted, mentally and physcially today, so I am going to sign off for now. Thank goodness this Monday is over!!

Until next time. . .


Friday, February 5, 2010

Fast Food Friday ~ It's Football Time!!!!

Hi everyone! Well, it's that time again ~ Super Bowl Football!!! I am a huge football fan as is the kid. The hubby ~ not so much!! He just watches for the commercials! I was reading online the other day that pizza is the most popular snack food people eat during the Super Bowl. So in honor of that, I am sharing a recipe today for Pizza Dip.

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can pizza sauce
1/4 pound pepperoni sausage, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 (6 ounce) can black olives, chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray a 9-inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2.Spread cream cheese on the bottom of the pie pan. Pour pizza sauce over the cream cheese, and spread it so that there is an even layer of sauce. Sprinkle with pepperoni, onion, and olives. Top with mozzarella cheese.
3.Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

I haven't tried this one yet, but it sounds yummy and I will probably give it a try this weekend. Serve with pita bread chips, crackers, or even a thin sliced baguette, it all sounds good to me!!

I am rooting for the Saints to take the win. I don't really care that much for either team, but the Colts have already won a Super Bowl so I'm hoping the underdog can emerge victorious! Either way, I think it will be a good game and I know the snacks will be great, especially with recipes like this one!

We are dealing with a lot of ice this morning. I am worried that we will lose power before this one is said and done. The tree right outside my living room window is just one big icicle!! Hubby left for work at 4 a.m. but ended up turning around and coming back home after only going about 5 miles. He said he was sliding everywhere! I work in the opposite direction from him, so we are hoping it's not as bad down my way. I guess we will see!

I hope everyone has a great Friday! Until next time. . .


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday's Tip of the Day!

Good morning/evening everyone! Well, the weatherman is cutting his snowfall predictions back to a mere 8-12 inches instead of 8-30 something inches for us for this weekend! How sweet of him, don't you think??

Italian food is one of my favorites and we eat quite a bit of spaghetti and lasagna type meals, usually with a tomato based sauce, here at our house. I usually end up taking leftovers to work the next day when we have any! I use plastic bowls to tote my leftovers and I hate trying to wash the sauce stains off those bowls ~ it's virtually impossible to get them off! So I found a neat little tip regarding this that I would like to share with you:

Spray a bit of cooking spray in your bowl before adding any tomato based sauce. No stains left!!

Well, I woke up with a migraine wanna be headache this morning. I have already taken something so I am hoping to head it off before it becomes full blown. The kid is being difficult this morning as he didn't want to get up. So that is certainly not helping my headache!

Until next time. . .


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Whatcha Working on Wednesday

Hello everyone! I can't believe it's the middle of the week already! This one is really flying by. Well, we are supposed to get more bad weather on Friday. This one may be a real doozy as I've heard snowfall predictions that range from 8 inches all the way up to 36 inches!!! Can you believe that??? I'm praying hard for the 8 inches ~ Lord knows I'll really be insane if we get snowed under with 36 inches of the yucky white stuff!! I'm tellin' ya, if summer ever decides to come around these parts again, I ain't never gonna complain about it being too hot ever again!! LOL!

Yesterday was a bad day for us which is why I didn't post anything. It actually started late Monday night with Sophie. She was whining a lot and her little right eye was swollen. By the time we went to bed, she couldn't even hardly open it at all. She did o.k. thru the night but when we got up yesterday morning, it was the same so hubby took her to the vet. Turns out she has somehow scratched it really bad! So some pain meds, some antibiotics, one shot, and $52 later, she is almost as good as new and back to her wild little self. Then, when I got the kid up to go to school, he claimed his stomach was hurting and he felt kind of weak and dizzy. So I told him I would take him to his Grandma's for the day and he was o.k. with that. Luckily, they ended up cancelling school for the day since we had some ice and very cold temps overnight Monday night. So that worked out good for his attendance record. Then yesterday evening, hubby went to put gas in his truck, slipped on a patch of ice at the gas station, and down onto his knee he went! He's sporting a lovely bruise today along with a small cut but thankfully, he's o.k. Whew, my family is trying to drive me all the way into insanity, I believe!! I was worn out by yesterday evening, so we all just sat around relaxing and watching some mindless t.v.!! Sometimes ya gotta do whatcha gotta do, right??!!

Now, finally, I'll get to what I'm working on this Wednesday. We've been working on our bathroom makeover and are almost finished! Yay!! Just need the finishing touches now. Here's a few before and after pics:

Sorry about the quality of these pics. It's a tiny little bathroom and very hard to photograph, but you get the general idea! We put up a new shower curtain:

And added a matching border:

Then I added a few odds and ends:

Now I just need to add a couple of things to the walls and I'll be finished! I am pleased with how it is turning out so far.

Another thing I worked on this week is:

Yep, the dreaded taxes!! The good news is we are getting back a small refund this year and I'm pretty excited about that!

Well, that's about all I have for today. I'd like to thank Leslie at My Country Home for hosting the Whatcha Working on Wednesday party. Click here to check out all the talented ladies who post on this.

Until next time. . .