Friday, January 28, 2011

Boring to Better Dining Room Chairs

Some of my favorite blogs that I follow regularly feature posts periodically that are entitled "Boring to Better."  I thought I would share with you something in my home that I recently changed from boring to better - my dining room chairs.  To be truthful, in the case of these chairs, BLAH to Better would be an even more accurate description.  They were the epitome of  "straight from the furniture store" boring with a capital B!  Actually it was a triple B - beige, blah, and boring! 

When we bought the dining room furniture after Katrina we knew eventually we would recover the chairs, but at that point, we just wanted to get furniture and get back in a home. I bought some fabric and put it in the closet.   I didn't think it would take us four years to complete this simple chore. Oh well, they are now finished and so pretty!

I had originally planned to cover all the chairs in the same pattern, however, when Jon and I started the project I decided to use some fabric that I had bought to make pillows with to cover the "end" chairs and the original fabric to cover the side chairs.  I thought it would add interest to the room if the chairs were covered in different material. Jon did most of the work, which is a blessing because he is such a perfectionist - the stripes on the chenille fabric were not a problem for him at all!   I am so happy with the way the chairs turned out! 
Here is a "before" picture.  Blah and boring!

This is "after" of the end chair.  I love the design on the fabric. 

I wish the colors would show better in this close-up. 
I definitely need a better camera! 

This is an "after" of the side chairs.  The fabric is a
nubby chenille that is red and gold/khaki.  The texture is fabulous. 
The dining room as it looks right now.  I am ready to transform it from
 somewhat "blah" to beautiful with a spring tablescape! 

I am linking to Kim's Boring to Better Party at Come on over and join the fun!
Monday, January 24, 2011

Mom 's Chess Pie

My mother, Janell, on her wedding day.   

Today I am sharing my mom's Chess Pie recipe.  I mentioned Chess Pie in one of my very first posts and since that time I have had several friends ask for her recipe.  Several friends mentioned that they had never heard of Chess Pie, while other friends said it was a family tradition in their family as well. 

First and foremost I should tell you that my mom was an incredible cook!  I am telling you she was amazing!  She was not a trained chef, but I don't think I ever tasted anything that she made that wasn't mouth-watering! I remember once while I was in college, several of my sorority sisters stayed at our house during the weekend of the Ole Miss/State game.  I was so proud when one of the girls remarked that she had NEVER had food as good as my mom's!! I remember later that she made a really funny comment about Mom making the best mashed potatoes she had ever had - EVER! 

Sometime I will share with you more about my sweet mother!  In addition to being a wonderful cook, she was an accomplished seammstress, quilter, "cross-stitcher", cake decorator and more.  But for now, I will just share her yummy recipe for Chess Pie.  Be prepared - it is rich and decadent! 

Chess Pie

3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 TBSP corn meal
1  TBSP flour
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and pour in an unbaked deep dish pie shell.  Sprinkle top with nutmeg. (This is crucial.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins to one hour.  Check at 50 minutes to determine if pie is "firm". 
Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy 2011!

Whew!  It has been a long time since I posted.  I got completely caught up in enjoying Christmas and the rest of the holiday season.  We all had a wonderful Christmas!  Seth turned eight on January 8 and he had his first “real” birthday party.  We always have family parties, but this year Seth wanted to invite his three best buddies to an afternoon at Pete’s Party Castle.  It was so much fun!  He is obsessed with cars right now and his cake was super cute…. Complete with couple of classic cars on top! 
The biggest and best present was his brand new puppy!  We have two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Bentley and Clarabel, but Seth has always wanted his OWN dog.  So, two days after Christmas, we gave in and got the cutest little six week old Miniature Dachshund puppy.  We named him Presley because  Seth shares his birthday with Elvis Presley! I Iove having a “baby” in the house! 
Seth and I went back to school last week after being off for two weeks.  I had fun pretending I was a stay at home mom for a while.  I am so blessed to have such a wonderful job though so going back to work wasn’t really that hard. 
I was talking with a friend at work about the new year and she mentioned that she does not make New Year’s resolutions.  I don’t either – I gave up on those years ago!  I still weigh twenty pounds more than I would like to and I don’t think making a new year’s resolution is going to make me shed that pesky weight.  I had seen several friends on Facebook state that they were going to choose one word to live by for the entire year.  I mentioned this to my friend.  I told her I had been thinking of letting my word be JOY.  Then Joann mentioned that for the past several years she has chosen a hymn to live by to guide her through the year.  That is it, I thought!  I can do that…. It would be similar to having a favorite verse that you turn to when you need encouragement, help staying the course, etc.  I love Psalm 46:10 which states “Be still and know that I am God.”  JoAnn said that this year she has chosen the hymn “I Surrender All” as her guiding principle.  That is one of my all time favorite hymns and what a wonderful personal goal for the new year….. surrendering our ALL to God.  I thought about several favorite hymns ranging from “Have Thine Own Way Lord”, Only  Trust Him, “ It Is Well With My Soul” and  “Great is Thy Faithfulness” before finally deciding on “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” as my song for the year.  I struggle at times with worrying about things of the world without fully placing my trust in God.  I get caught up in worldly cares and trials and focus more on trying to work things out MY way without turning my eyes to Jesus. This beautiful hymn, written in 1922, begins with “Oh soul are you weary and troubled, no light in the darkness you see?”  I don’t know about you, but I have felt that way at times.  Overwhelmed and discouraged, not seeing how truly wonderful, this life is EVERY day if we simply turn our eyes to Him.  This is my commitment to myself for 2011 – to turn my eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of Earth shall grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.
May each of you have a blessed 2011. 

This is sweet Presley having his first bath!