Monday, May 30, 2011

Simple Summer Dessert

First of all Happy Memorial Day!  Thanks to all who have served or who are currently serving in our military.  What a blessing our freedom is and we are forever indebted to those who serve each day in order to protect our country. 

We spent the day at home playing in the pool and cooking out.  I love the tradition of cooking something on the grill for Memorial Day!  Today we grilled boneless pork chops, corn on the cob, and fresh asparagus.  I served the grilled asparagus with a yummy Balsamic Browned Butter.  Oh my goodness, can you say delicious??  We also had baked potatoes with all the yummy fattening toppings! 

I tried a new dessert that I thought I would share today.  I had something similar at a friend's house once, but had never made it myself.  Last night I told my dad that I was going to make homemade strawberry shortcakes for dessert today, and he suggested that I make the "delicious strawberry thing that Anita (my sister) makes".  LOL  Well, I called my sister right up and asked for the recipe.  If Daddy suggests something, I figure I have to give it a shot! 

Simple but Scrumptious Strawberry Delight 
(She didn't actually give me a name, but I thought this sounded about right!)

2 quarts strawberries - sliced and topped with 1/2 cup sugar - Do this an hour or so before making the dessert.
1 Angel Food cake
1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)
12 ounces Cool Whip
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Whip together the cream cheese, Cool Whip (I used Lite Cool Whip and it worked fine.), and powdered sugar until fluffy. 

Next, cut or tear the Angel Food cake into small pieces.  Place a layer of Angel Food cake in the bottom of the trifle bowl.  Top it with a layer of strawberries.  Top this with a layer of the cream cheese mixture.  Repeat this process until you reach the top :-)  Mine ended up with three layers.   Garnish the top with extra strawberries if desired.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.   

Updated:  I have just found a Paula Deen version of this recipe on line.... It calls for Eagle Brand Condensed Milk instead of the powdered sugar -  OMG!  It doesn't get any better than the taste of Condensed Milk.  I may have to try this version next! 


I think with practice the layers will be more defined (i.e. prettier)
but nonetheless, my family loved it! 
Seth, who is typically picky, ate two helpings!  My husband really enjoyed
it because it was not too heavy.
I guess that means this recipe is a keeper! 

I am linking to the following:

Whassup Wednesdays at

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Summertime Tablescape

We are out of school here in the deep south and that means it is officially summer! I realize that the calendar may say that summer officially begins around June 23, but its been warm here for quite a while.  I also think everyone agrees that summer truly begins on Memorial Day weekend.  I have been enjoying the holiday weekend by hanging out in the pool, but I did create a simple summer tablescape to share. 

Seth and I went to an antique store on Friday and I picked up a precious milk glass vase and a really old Ball canning jar with the wonderful zinc lid.  I had several of these beauties before Katrina.  I just love how simple and sweet they are when filled with fresh flowers.  I had not bought any since Katrina but I saw these the other day and just had to have one - okay, I really wanted to buy three, but I didn't want to get carried away.  Anyway, here is my simple summer tablescape! I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.   

I started with fresh flowers in a jar as the centerpiece.  It didn't look like
quite right to me (I mean there is simple and then there is ......not enough :-) 
I looked around the house to see what I could come up with to enhance the arrangement.

I added a few pieces from my collection of McCarty and ended up with a simple
 centerpiece of fresh "country" flowers
surrounded by McCarty bunnies and birds.  
Bunnies and birds just say "summer" to me :-)

I have Longaberger Pottery in blue, green, red, yellow, orange and purple. 
For today's tablescape I utilized yellow and blue and just a
bit of red to tie in with the quilted placemats. 
I love the simple basket weave design on the Longaberger plates.

This colorful dinnerware is so cheerful!  We use it every day!

Gerber daisies are my favorite flowers ~ they are so simple and pretty! 

As always, thanks for visiting!!

This week I am joining the following:

Whassup Wednesdays at

Good Life Wednesdays @

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vintage Pillowcases and an Apron!

I love the detail on these old pillowcases!

This past Friday I went by myself to see my sister and my dad because my newphew, Spencer, graduated from high school.  I decided not to take Seth because he didn't want to miss his baseball game on Friday evening.  (He is now the catcher and I agreed to let him stay with Jon and go to his game.)  I am rarely without Seth so it felt a little wierd driving three hours without him.  I took a book on cd and hit the road!  About half way there, I thought, hmmm, I could actually stop and look at an antique shop that I have always wanted to vist.  I am usually in a hurry, but this time, I decided I had time and I was alone so it was the time to check it out.   I haven't been to an antique store in several months.  I had the best time all by myself!

When I go to flea markets or antique shopping I am drawn toward crystal and silver pieces.  I also love old pillowcases that people have embroidered on by hand.  My sister and I used to buy these at flea markets when we were just out of college.  I still think they are so sweet!  As soon as I started looking I found one that was beautiful and knew I would add it to my collection.  Then I stumbled upon the cutest vintage apron.  It is a half apron (is that the appropriate title for a short apron?).  It was just the cutest thing!  A few months ago I was at my friend Diane's house and she loaned me the most darling half apron I had ever seen - she told me she had found it at a garage sale.  I have been thinking about that apron since that time!  Now I have my own!  I already have several aprons that hang in my pantry, but this is the first short one that I have ever owned.  I am smitten!!

I also found, but didn't buy, the most adorable vintage porcelain dog.  I am still thinking about it!!  I knew I should have gotten it! I didn't get it because it was a terrier and I really want a spaniel.   I have seen the most beautiful dogs on some of my favorite blogs recently.  I REALLY want one of these little cuties.  I am now watching one or two on ebay.  I just know that one is going to be mine soon. 

I had so much fun on my short visit to the antique store.  What do you look for when you go antiquing?
This is my "prissy" guest bedroom.  I hope to show you the entire room soon. 
 I love the vintage feel of the space!

How precious!!!

I am linking to the following:

Today's Thrifty Treasures @

Debbie's Newbie Party @

Come join the fun!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

McCarty Pottery

McCarty Bunnies

I have been collecting McCarty Pottery for many years.  I wanted to share some of my favorite pieces with you.  My dear friend, Laurie, started my collection about 20 years ago when we were both young (really!) teachers.  I immediately fell in love with the simple style of this beautiful, earthy pottery.  I was even more smitten when I found out it was made in the Mississippi Delta.  If you have read my blog before, you may remember that my mother's family is from the Delta.  That made this pottery even more special. 

My camera is  not the greatest - in fact, I keep thinking that if I say that enough a wonderful, new camera with all the bells and whistles will make its way to my home.  I am so envious of the amazing pictures I see on some of my favorite blogs.  Nonetheless, I will share my McCarty pottery with you.  Believe me, once you see it, you will be in love.  In fact, I have known several brides who have had a "McCarty Shower".  Isn't that a hoot?

McCarty Pottery is made in Merigold, Mississippi.  You can see really great pics on their webite here.  Check it out!

It is such a treat to visit the McCarty store and restaurant (called The Gallery) in Merigold.  The food is fabulous!  All the food is served on McCarty pieces.  On a side note, this is where I first had Chocolate Cobbler.  It is unbelieveable!  I mean, really, chocolate and cobbler all in one?  Be still my heart!!

I think the hints of blue on the brown "nutmeg" bunny are just so pretty!

Some interesting "things" about McCarty:

All of the pieces are packaged in a brown paper bag signed by Lee McCarty.  You NEVER want to throw away a bag! 

The little brown line on the pieces signify the Mississippi River.

When you give a piece of McCarty as a gift, you always leave the price (written on masking tape) on the piece!  (GASP!)  Yes, you do!!!  It increases the value, significance - not sure really, I just know that you don't remove the price. 

Most of the pieces have names (mainly animals, I think).  I LOVE the bunnies.  Some of my favorite names are Lettuce, Tuppertime and Tupper's Mama.  I once bought a set of three small bunnies that were named Peter, Paul and Mary! 

I have lots of animals, but I do have serving and other "usable" pieces as well.  I am telling you, it is addictive!!

This fox just makes me happy!

The largest bunny in this picture was my last Christmas present from my mom.  I will treasure it always!
Please excuse the "blahness" of this picture, but I adore these birds that sit on the vanity in Seth's bathroom.

Two tiny birds and a small pitcher in the guest bedroom. 

As you can see, McCarty comes in brown, blue and a pale green.  I love them all!
My sweet Aunt Jane bought Anita and me McCarty angels shortly after my Mom passed away.  The "bunny bowl" was a baby shower gift to me! It went in Seth's nursery.

Bunnies on the mantle decorated for Easter. 

Square plate with sugar, creamer, and a tiny "cup" for Splenda!

I have shown you just a few of my favorite pieces.  I have them in every room of the house!  I hope to make a trip to Merigold soon.  I feel the need for a new item for my collection!  

This week I am linking to the following:

Debbie's Newbie Party @

Amaze Me Monday @

Wow Us Wednesdays @

Tuesday's Treasures @

Whassup Wednesdays @
Monday, May 9, 2011

Easy but Fabulous Key Lime Pie!

Yesterday I made Key Lime Pie for dessert when my  husband cooked me dinner for Mother's Day.  I learned to make it a few years ago.  It is so easy and delicious I thought I would share the recipe with you. 

I always thought Key Lime Pie was hard to make - actually I never ate Key Lime Pie until around 5 years ago.  Then I was hooked!  I thought it was so rich and delicious that it had to be hard to make.  One day about three years ago I mentioned to my friend Jill and her mom that I sure wished I knew how to make it because I wanted to serve it as the finishing touch to my Easter menu.  Jill's mom laughed and said it was just about the easiest pie ever!!  She wasn't kidding!  There are just three ingredients!!!  So, here it is - Enjoy!!!

Key Lime Pie

2 cans of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 egg yolks
1/2  to 2/3 cup Key lime juice 

(You can use the juice of fresh Key limes or you can do what I do.... I cheat and use this fabulous little item called Nellie and Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice.)

Mix these items together until nice and creamy in your mixer.  Pour into a graham cracker crust.  (Again, I am into things being simple, so I buy this pre-made.)

Bake at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes. 

(Jill's mom said this step wasn't necessary because the lime juice "cooked" the egg yolks.  Now I wasn't too sure about this so I searched around for other recipes and decided I would bake my pie.  I played around with it for a bit and discovered that 13 minutes is just perfect!)

Remove from the oven and refrigerate.  Serve chilled and topped with whipped cream.  If I am really in a cooking mood, I will make fresh whipped cream.  To be honest though, most of the time I simply use canned from the grocery store. 


I am linking to :
Wow Us Wednesdays @
Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Joys of Being a Mom

Seth with Granny, Papa and Nini - what a wonderful day!

Today is Mother's Day, a day that those of us who have lost our mother's do not particularly enjoy.  Truth be told, we hate to pass the Mother's Day cards in a store!  It just hurts a little too much.  I would give anything to hear my sweet mother's voice just one more time or to have one more hug from her or best of all, have her reassurance that I was just fine and everything was going to be ok! 

Yesterday at the ball field, however, I was talking to one of the other baseball moms and she mentioned that she had lost her mom to cancer also.  She understood exactly what I meant when I said that some days it hits me like a ton of bricks that my mother, my hero, is truly gone.  That some days you just need your mother.  She lost her mom when she was 27 and her oldest son was just three.  My sweet Seth was only two when his granny passed away.  As we continued talking I asked her how she handled Mother's Day and she very wisely told me that instead of focusing on missing her mom, instead they made a big deal of if being "Mommy's Day" and doing fun things with her two boys.  How precious! 

So this year I will certainly miss my mother and I will continue to avoid the card aisle at Target, but I will also celebrate my day as a mom with Seth and Jon.  Instead of focusing on the loss of my mom I will choose to dwell on the fact that God allowed me to BE a mom - this was my greatest desire in life. Being a mom has brought the greatest joy to me!  I thought I knew what love was before I had a child, but I never imagined the love I would feel from the moment I knew I was expecting!!  That feeling was only intensified the moment I saw his sweet face.    Being Seth's mom has changed me completely!  God blessed me with this precious child to raise and the joy that I find in this job is immeasurable.  I love his spirit, his wit, his talkative nature, his determination, his sweet, caring personality, his winsome smile and charming ways, his inquisitive mind, his ability to make friends with anyone, his optimism, and his singing ability - he is certainly taking after his daddy in that area.  Thank you God for the gift of motherhood. 

Seth's first portrait - two months old.

Seth at four months - such a happy baby!
Seth and me :-) 
Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wall of Pics

One of my favorite blogs, Buzzings of a Queen Bee (, inspired me recently to "reinvent" an arrangement of old family photographs that I had in a small hallway in our home.  I had about five pictures casually arranged, but I felt it lacked something.  Then one day I saw this lay out. Isn't it amazing?   Now, my chosen spot was not nearly as big and dramatic as this, but I liked that it incorporated different items, rather than just pictures.  I bought a small framed mirror but ultimately didn't like it with the frames of the pictures so I placed it in another spot in our home.  I purchased an M (the initial of our last name) at Hobby Lobby.  I was bright gold so I quickly fixed it by spray painting it black.  I still felt like that wasn't quite enough, even though the wall is fairly really small, so I "shopped" in my house and found a silhouette of me from when I was a little girl.  My sister found these after my mom passed away and had them framed for each of us.  That was just the final touch that I needed!   I put it in the middle to anchor the arrangement. The M looked great above the silhouette.  I placed the other pictures on either side to balance out the arrangement.  I love for things to be symetrical!  I am so happy with the way it turned out.  I love having these wonderful old pictures in my home! Thanks to Buzzings of a Queen Bee!!

A closer look :-)

I love this picture of my grandparents with my mom and her siblings. 
My mom is the tiny girl on the far left.  So sweet!

My big sister, Nini, and me - when I was eleven days old. 
One more view..... This is looking into the great room.  To the right is the tiny half bath.  Opposite the "wall-o-pics" is the guest bedroom. 

This week I am linking to the following:

Wow us Wednesdays @

Debbie's Newbie party @

Whassup Wednesdays @

Home Sweet Home Party @

Vintage Inspiration Fridays @

Inspiration Fridays @
Monday, May 2, 2011

Count Your Blessing – Not Your Burdens

I was passing by a little church on my drive to work a few weeks ago when I noticed that the sign out front said “Count your blessings, not your burdens”.  As my former boss used to say, “That’ll preach!”  Actually an entire sermon was preached on that church sign!! 
Remember the words to that old hymn:  Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings see what God hath done.  I hope that we all take the time each day to count our many blessings and not focus on our burdens.  I want to focus on the many, many blessings that God has bestowed upon me and not dwell on earthly worries and hurts.   I hope to never take the blessings God has given me for granted. 
Here are just a few of my many blessings:
·    I am a Christian saved by grace through Jesus!
·    My wonderful parents who showed me early in life what it means to be truly loved.   
·    My husband, Jon
·    Seth, my angel, who is such a smart, happy, well-adjusted little boy.  Being a mom has been the most incredible blessing of my life!
·    Anita, my sister and best friend
·    Our family is healthy – My dad is getting better every day!
·    Our home, a haven from everyday stresses.  I am always thankful for my home, but I am even more so when I see the tragedies that occurred throughout the southeast last week.  My heart breaks for those whose homes were lost in the terrible storms. 
·    Cherished friendships - Where would I be without the gift of friendship?  I am so thankful to my dear friends who are like sisters to me.   
·    Jon and I both have great jobs – that is such a wonderful blessing in this economy!  I feel like I have the best job in the world!  Even on stressful days, it is a joy to work with such wonderful people!
·    My boss is a good, kind, Christian man who truly cares for the students, parents, and employees of our school district.
·    Living in the USA - watching the news each day from around the world reinforces how blessed I am to live in this wonderful country. 
·    God has seen our family through some really tough times and he continues to watch over us every day! 
I recently heard an individual speak about what it would be like if God took away from us blessings for which we did not give thanks – what would our lives be like?  What if we could no longer walk, speak, or hear because we did not give thanks for those abilities?  What if God removed food, clothing and shelter, something that we oftentimes take for granted, if we didn’t thank him for these blessings daily?  Help me, oh Lord, to give thanks for all blessings, big and small, each day!