Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkins, and Buttons, and Hot Glue - Oh, My!

I have really gotten into Halloween this year which is a little unusual for me.  It was the Halloween issue of BH&G that did it - it was filled with the cutest, easiest ideas!!! 
This weekend I decided to make the Button Pumpkin.  It was a simple and easy project that can be made fairly quickly. 

I didn't have a button collection (apparently lots of people keep spare buttons) so I had to purchase buttons or try to beg them from my friends.  I found a "bag -o-buttons" at Hobby Lobby for less than $5.00 and a nice customer in front of me had an extra coupon that she shared with me!  Yes!  I decided to use a plastic pumpkin because I wanted it to last for more than one year -  they were on sale at Michaels.  I already had ribbon and a hot glue gun so I was set.

I decided to make the large "BOO" pumpkin and then a smaller creamy white one with cream butons I "monogrammed" with our last initial - M.  I think they turned out great - so cute!  I will tell you though that I was not pleased with the first one that I made.... the word was too big or the pumpkin (medium sized) was too small.  Either way, I was not thrilled so I waited overnight and pulled all of the buttons off, purchased a larger pumpkin (thank goodness they were on sale) and tried again! 

This is the inspiration :-)

I used inexpensive plastic pumkins - I ended up using a larger orange one than this -
my first try was a flop! 

First step - sorting the buttons and laying out the word BOO.  Note - my first try was too big.

This is my second try - Much better!! I tried it here first  on the table in the foyer

I also made a small cream colored pumpkin with a button "M".

I thought the tone on tone was so sweet and simple. 

One more look - this cabinet is built in on either side of the fireplace.

Hmmm - I wasn't sure which spot was best -  in the foyer? or on the console table in front of the window? 

Which place is best?  Decisions, decisions.....

Ok - I moved it back to the black table in the foyer...I may move it around until Halloween!! :-)

This week I am linking to the following parties:

Wickedly Creative Halloween Ideas Party @

Home Sweet Home Party at

Inspiration Friday @

Freshman Fridays @

Tuesday's Treasures Fall Party @

Come and join the fun!! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Super Easy, Super Yummy Black Eyed Pea Salsa

It's that time of year - football season and that means tailgating or just watching the big game on tv with friends.   I know some people get really fancy with their tailgating food and some get just really "out there"...... I once saw a whole roasted pig at a game!!  I like appetizers and finger foods though - simple and easy to handle while visiting with friends.  One of my favorites is Black Eyed Pea Salsa.  It is so delicious and easy to make!!  I  made some last weekend and I wanted to share the recipe with you. 

Black Eyed Pea Salsa*

1 can black-eyed peas, washed and drained
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles
1 chopped Jalapeno or Serrano
I cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes peeled and chopped (I used 4 Roma tomatoes)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Seasoned salt
black pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste ( I like it spicy so I added quite a bit.)

Mix all ingredients and place in the refrigerator at least one hour prior to serving.  Stir occasionally.  Serve with Fritos Scoops. 

I always gather all of the ingredients before I begin cooking.

Rinse the black-eyed peas and drain in a collander.

Stir together and place in the refrigerator.

I have served this at many family gatherings and a few holiday parties.  It is always a hit!  It would also be  great addition to a New Year's Day party :-)


*  Original recipe found on-line several years ago. 

This week I am linking to the following:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our New Kitchen

I admitted in one of my very first blog posts that I am slightly obssessed with kitchens.  You can read that entry here.    It is my favorite room in our home... regardless of which house I happen to be living in at the time.  It must be true that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  I  am slowly sharing the rooms in our new home.  Today I thought I would show our new kitchen.  I know that when we made the decision to downsize we could certainly give up some things; however, I think our kitchen wasn't one of the areas in which we compromised.  Well, ok, I no longer have double ovens, but I gained a five burner gas range!!  I can live with that! 

The first picture above shows the kitchen when you are standing in the great room.  We eat most of our meals at the bar.  The cabinets are cypress, which I probably would never have chosen if I were choosing elements for a new kitchen, but I have to say I love them!!  I think they have a French Country feel that is casual and welcoming. 

This is what you see as you enter from our garage door.  
You can see my furry babies, Bentley and Clarabel, rambling around. 
The long cabinets at the end are the pantry.  Soon I will do a post on effectively organizing a small pantry. 
This is the view standing by the refrigerator looking back toward the back door entry.  It is definitely a galley kitchen, but the space is perfect for our small family.
I love the staggered cabinets because they allow me to display some of my treasures.  I love these little roosters. 

Another rooster :-)

These four pictures were in the breakfast room in our prior home.  We don't  have a separate breakfast room in this house, but I think they look perfect here!! I love hanging things veritically or in groups of four.... drives Jon nuts because he is usually the one trying to make them perfect.  :-)

One of my favorite cookbooks by Mississippi chef Robert St. John and illustrated by Mississippi artist Wyatt Waters. It is called A Southern Palate.  Did I mention that I love the gas cooktop?  Something about a gas range just makes me feel like a chef. 

Of course, a "coffee station" is a must!

This little oil painting of a rooster is one of my favorite items in the room.  It hangs on a tiny wall by the refrigerator just before you leave the kitchen.  It was painted for me by my very talented friend, Diane. 

Another view looking into the great room - This is how Clarabel
sits and watches me when I cook. 
 She is quite the Queen Bee!!

This cabinet was in our breakfast room in our last home.  Here, it fits perfectly in a space right beside the French doors that lead to the back porch. 

I usually try to keep fresh flowers on the counter by the sink.  It just seems "homey" to me!  If you look closely you can see a picture of Seth on his first Halloween - he was a Hershey's Kiss!!  Too cute!

Thank you so much for visiting my kitchen - the heart of our home!!!

This week I am linking to the following:

Roomspiration Kitchen Edition @

Room by Room - Kitchens @
Saturday, September 17, 2011

Refreshing Grape Salad

Just a quick hello today!  Seth and I are off to run our Saturday errands..... Target, CVS and, of course, our weekly trip to Hobby Lobby!  I wanted to share a yummy recipe with you that I made recently.  It is a simple grape salad that is so delicious and refreshing.  I first had it at Seth's end of the season baseball party.  Cheri, one of the other Diamond Jaxx mom's made it for the pool party.  Let me tell you, one bite and I was hooked!!!!  Cheri told me how to make it at the party, but, of course, I didn't have a pencil and paper handy to write it down exactly.  I had a general idea of the ingredients though. When I decided to make it I googled "grape salad" and came up with a lot of hits; however, they all sounded like they made way too much for my small family (two of which are very picky and would never eat grape salad.... picky boys :-).  I played around with it and came up with the following which will make a smaller portion suitable for a smaller group - I didn't want it to go to waste.  Feel free to double if needed. 

Grape Salad

Approximately 1 pound of seedless grapes (I used white grapes, but a mixture would be fine.)
1/2 block of cream cheese , softened
4 ounces of sour cream
1/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
chopped pecans

Wash and dry grapes completely - it is important the grapes be completely dry or the consistency of the sour cream/cream cheese mixture will be compromised completely messed up. 

Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, and the sugar (white only).  Pour this mixture over the grapes and stir well.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of the coated grapes.  Sprinkle with the chopped pecans.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

You can serve it just like this; however, I like the taste of the brown sugar througout the entire salad so I like to stir the brown sugar and the pecans into the salad prior to serving. 

Enjoy!!! I hope everyone has a super weekend!!  We are certainly loving this cooler weather in south Alabama! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Too Cute to Wait til October!

I know, I know, it is only mid September and probably too early to decorate for Halloween, BUT, I saw this idea in the BH & G Halloween issue and I just had to go ahead and try to recreate it now.  It was simply too cute to wait!!!

This was such an easy project!  Here is the inspiration picture:

It was shown as part of a Halloween party dessert table.  I decided to turn it into my early fall centerpiece.

In the original, I couldn't quite determine what was adorning the apothocary jar.  I trimmed mine with a double layer of grosgrain ribbon that I hot -glued together.  What can I say?  I am indecisive and couldn't choose between black or orange.  When in doubt - go for both!  Then I added pumpkins and black cats that I already had on hand in my scrapbook supplies.

I thought it needed a little "something" to finish the project so I added a black "berry" wreath.  I picked this up at Rite-Aid for $5.00.  It was originally yellow and orange, but that was quickly fixed with a little can of black spray paint.

I think it is just too cute! 

Hmmm... I know there is a lot of pictures - I just couldn't stop!

Don't want to spend the money on jelly beans?  Try Candy Corn.  I may use them next year because three pounds of jelly beans is not cheap :-)

This week I am linking to the following parties:

Debbie's Magazine Copy Cat Party @

Wow Us Wednesdays at

Show and Tell Wednesdays at

Open House Party Thursdays at

Tuesday's Treasures @

Keep it Simple Party @

Seasonal Sundays @

Wickedly Creative Halloween Ideas Party @

Ultimate Halloween Linky Party @

Falling for Crafts Challenge @

(Debbie, I got so excited about your party I made two entries.  Hope that is ok.  You had me inspired!!!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Magazine Copy Cat Project!

One of my favorite bloggers, Debbie, of Debbie-Doos Blogging and Blabbing, is having a Magazine Copy Cat Party.  When she first mentioned this  party I was so excited.  My mind started thinking of all the clippings that I have saved from year's past..... What would I do??? Well, right off, I had to tell myself "Lisa, we are talking a small project - not a total room redo"!  Anyway, I finally settled on a hanging basket door decoration that I saw in a spring issue of Southern Living a year or two ago.  Obviously, because it is now fall, this will not be a literal interpretation - more of a variation of the project.  I am really pleased with the finished product.  I hope you like it! 

The overall cost was minimal  - the basket and ribbon were both bargains at Michael's.  The floral stems were on sale half-price at Hobby Lobby.  I had to purchase floral foam because this was the first time I had ever actually arranged silk flowers.  I didn't have a game plan - I just started "poking" and rearranging until I got the look I wanted. 

This is my inspiration :-)  I loved the simple design of the flowers hanging from the satin ribbon. 

OK - I am not good at remembering to take pictures while I am actually doing the project.  Just picture floral stems everywhere and me working with wire cutters. 

The finished project - It is hanging on the French doors leading to our screened porch. 
I think the fall colors look so pretty with the stained wood doors.


One final look at my Magazine Copy Cat Project.  This was a lot of fun.  I look forward to adding more pictures to my idea file and completing more "copy cat" projects in the future! 

As always, thanks for visiting!  

This week I am linking to the following: 

Debbie's Magazine Copy Cat Party @

Wow Us Wednesdays at

Open House Party Thursdays at

Inspiration Friday @

Frugal Friday @

Amaze Me Mondays @

 Door Decor Fall Linky Party @

Come join in the fun!!!
Monday, September 5, 2011

Patriotic Tablescape!

Welcome to our the dining room in our new home.  Come on in!  In our new house we don't have a breakfast area and a formal dining room.  We have a great eat-in kitchen with a bar where our family of three eats most of our meals.  This house has a much more casual feel which we love; therefore, we decided to keep the distressed table that was in the breakfast room in our former home.  It just seems to FIT in this house! 

I purchased all of these items on sale in preparation for the 4th of July; however, we ended up moving during the long holiday weekend.  This weekend I decided to set our patriotic tablescape.  After all, ANY time is the perfect time to show our American pride!! 

The bandana placemats and napkins were on sale at Dillards.  The polka dot plates were on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  The white plates are the salad plates that go with my "everyday" dishes I got when Jon and I married.  The pattern is Wedgewood Strawberry and Vine.  The glassware is by Denby - also part of the wonderful items Jon and I received as newlyweds.  The center tray was a bargain at Target (same for the little tins - they were only $1 each!) The flowers for the centerpiece are simple daisies accented with sparkly stars.  The "vase" is four Classic Coke bottles wrapped in grosgrain ribbon.  You will notice that the napkin rings are grosgrain ribbon as well.  Why spend a fortune when ribbon is so cute and inexpensive!!!  I love mixing old and new - formal and casual. 
Red, white and blue.... Happy and Patriotic!!

Simple grosgrain ribbon serves as an inexpensive napkin ring.

Daisies - perfectly All American!

These little Coke bottles remind me of my childhood.  They were always a special icy cold treat!

Don't have a vase?  Use what you have on hand! 

Little sparkly stars - a total bargain that can be used again!

 Plastic utinsils - perfect for an informal gathering. 

Finally, a cheerful red tin tub filled with beverages.  I made the monogram out of a sheet of duct tape!  I sketched the letters and cut them out by hand.  The entire project cost less than a dollar. I can easily take them off and redo it at anytime.  I could easily remove the monogram and replace it with "Hotty Toddy" for my beloved Ole Miss Rebels.... perfect for tailgating!!!
Thanks for visiting!!! 

This week I am linking to the following parties:

Tuesday's Treasures @

Tabletop Tuesday @

Wow Us Wednesdays at

Tablescape Thursday@

Feathered Nest Friday @