Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mom to the RESCUE!! Denim Book Covers! Free Give Away!

My daughter, Summer, LOVES Scrap booking! She is going on a super cool retreat next week and needed a dozen or so items for the 'Goodie Bags.'
Since she has a full time JOB.......
and a one year old DAUGHTER.....
and in the middle of quite a bit of juggling said responsibilities.....
she has had NO time to whip up something.
That's when 'Mom Comes to the Rescue!'

I am visiting my YOUNGER daughter and just so happened to bring a tub of denim jeans to whack up for quilt squares.
Louis Dean and I did a little thrift store shopping for a stack of paper back books
and I cut out some denim book covers!
Easy Peasy!!
The friend who is hosting the scrap booking retreat actually gave me a stack of jeans to use for my crafting projects. Little did she know she would be getting PART of a jean back in the form of a book cover!

I have five sewn and five to go! Plus I am making a couple of extras for some special people! Like my youngest daughter and a few friends.
If you are reading this, Robin, YOU are one of those!

As a matter of fact.......if you read this post and leave a comment, you could be the winner of my Book Cover Giveaway! Only one comment per person, please, and the winner will be selected next Saturday (Aug. 6) using

That gives me time to make Summer's and then an extra for YOU!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Home Style Mexican Food!

Just about everyone who lives in Texas LOVES Mexican Food!
I know WE do!!
Thursday we treated ourselves to lunch at Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurant!

Louis Dean enjoyed a Mexican Beer.....

.....while Amber and I opted for the Skinny Margaritas!
Hers was on the rocks and mine was frozen....both with SALT!!!

This was a real VACATION type of day!!

I LOVE spending time with my daughter.....

....and I ALWAYS treasure every moment with my husband!

Live  Laugh  Love!

"LIVE your life at its fullest.....
LAUGH at all the things that don't matter......
LOVE with all that you have and more!"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Journey SOUTH!

Louis Dean and I have a little routine we follow when we troop down south to Houston Town! First, HE goes to bed really early the night before! I stay up and get the house all clean and pack. I enjoy coming home to a neat and tidy I leave it that way!

We pulled out of the driveway at 4:25 AM and as soon as we were on Interstate 45
I crawled into the back sleep and slept for the next 2 hours!
When I woke up we were at Sam's Restaurant in Fairfield.
That is exit 197 and I have been stopping there for YEARS!
This is the halfway point to least for ME!

We always have the breakfast buffet and Louis Dean had been looking forward to it!

I would say he did NOT stay with a heart healthy diet but he HAS been very good for
quite some time now. He was so happy to get to eat a real breakfast again!

And WHO could resist THIS face??
Not me!

After breakfast I went to the back seat again for another nice long nap.
I LOVE travelling in this manner. Eat and sleep and wake up THERE!

When I woke up we were at this pretty rest area with a nature walk.
Lucy was glad to get out and walk around a bit!

She did well in her kennel and we only made three stops for her.

By the time we arrived Louis Dean was ready for a nap and Amber and I were ready to
hit up the Hobby Lobby, Ross and HEB grocery store.
Publix and HEB are my FAVORITE grocery stores and there is not ONE near me!
However, they are building a new one in Granbury....
which is not far from where Mother lives.
 I AM over there nearly every Friday so I see some trips to Granbury coming up!

I purchased my first Bota Box of Pinot Grigio.
Amber has a wine aerator so I enjoyed an unusually good glass of wine!

Everyone knows what a good cook Amber is!
This was the fresh veggie platter she had ready to go on their super duper grill!

It even has these cool blue LED lights!
The patties were amazing! She bought them with Louis Dean in mind.
They are made fresh at the local HEB and had peppers, onions, cheese-
all already mixed in! We are stocking up at HEB before we head home next week!

It was DELICIOUS!!! She even threw some fresh spinach on the grill at the last minute!
Who KNEW it would be SO tasty?

Thus ended our first day of this trip down SOUTH to visit my daughter!
And it is GRAND to see Snowball.....Amber's beloved cat.
And July, Shiner and Jersey!
We have grand children, grand cats, and grand dogs!!
Life is, indeed, GRAND!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I am calling it DONE!

I have been working on this painting all year! A little at a time. I was beginning to think I would never get it finished! Every week I would dabble on it some more.......until today! I glazed it with Liquin and called it DONE!

I painted the canvas from a snapshot I took of my two oldest grandchildren.
They were 6 and 4 at the time.
My sister, Deanie, and I had taken our grandchildren to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
That is my favorite all time museum! We lived across the street from it for awhile when I was a little girl.
At that time it was free and I would spend hours and hours in there wandering from one exhibit to another.

I decided to paint Sam and Faith (now 9 and 7 years old!)
walking along a beach instead of crossing a gravel parking lot!
I took 'artistic license.'

I have been painting for 35 years and early on one of my teachers said,
"Stop one stroke before you THINK you are finished."
Good advice.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good BUYS from the GOODWILL!!

I tend to call ALL thrift/resale shops 'Goodwill's.' The one we stopped in yesterday afternoon is actually MCart Thrift Store on McCart and I20 in Fort Worth. We pass right by there every time we visit family.
And more times than not....we wander in for a little look/see!
We usually find some treasure....and often MORE than one!

As soon as we walked in I spied this set of books by Jan Karon.
It contains the first three novels of The Mitford series.
I have read every book she has written but Louis Dean is new to her work.
Since we read aloud each morning and since he LOVED 'Home to Holly Springs'
(which we read earlier this year) we decided to start at the beginning.
A good buy for $6.51!

The next thing I spotted was an Indian soap dish......

with matching shower curtain hooks!
HIS bathroom is done up in Native American style since he IS a card carrying Cherokee Indian!
Perfect for under $5 for the set!

For $12.51 Louis Dean picked up this set of La Cuisine knives.
It isn't really safe for us to have such SHARP knives in the house but we promise to be careful!

Then there was this lovely silk table runner (I am GUESSING that is what it is!)---
exquisite silk and such fine stitching......for $3.96!
We HAD to bring it home!
Louis Dean has some Oriental art work and I can see using this in a future table scape.

The last item I found was as I walked to the check out line...
it was a LONG line and Louis Dean was holding my place.
I absolutely could NOT pass up this cream top from Coldwater Creek!

I love ANY piece of clothing with Spandex in it!!

So we were happy campers bringing home our treasures.
We have hung the shower hooks and put soap in the dish.
I used two of the knives preparing dinner tonight.
I did.not.know. you could actually slice a tomato without SAWING it with a serrated knife!
This one just cut right through like it was butter!!
The books are on the shelf and scheduled to be read this fall.
My top is hung and ready to wear when I visit Amber later this week.
I draped the silk runner over a basket in the living room.

I enjoy treasures MORE when I do not have to spend a lot of MONEY!!
Goodwill's are MY kind of place!!

"Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of character." ~S.W. Straus

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pears and Peaches! Peaches and Pears!!

My neighbor, Stephanie, and I picked these great looking pears from a neighbor's tree
a few days ago. WITH that neighbor's permission, of course!
They are not good for eating but make great pear preserves and --
my FAVORITE--- Spiced Pear Cake!
I will cook and freeze these for some really good fall baking.

This afternoon Louis Dean and I gathered with some of the family to celebrate my sister, Nita's,
grand children's visit!
I made a batch of Ultimate Turtle Brownies for Haley!
(She shared them with everyone since she has such good manners!)

A bonus from the visit! My brother and sister in law picked 18 pounds of peaches from their back yard tree.
They gave me a big sack FULL!!!
I washed them all.......

....ate ONE!!! They are freestone and SOOOOO good!

Sliced and lightly sugared the ones ready and ripe for eating.
These will be great for breakfast in the morning along with some yogurt.
Perhaps I will try my hand at a fresh peach cobbler tomorrow night!

The rest are simmering on the stove and the house smells like a peach orchard!
I will refrigerate them overnight and peel, slice and freeze them tomorrow.
Last year I made peach jam til I dropped!
This year I think we are going to try pies, cobblers and just plain EATING them!

"We snack all day long on berries from the field,
peaches from the orchard."
Matt Jones

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Old McDonald had a.......QUILT!

I just finished a quilt for a baby gift and am ready to pack it up and mail.
I used denim squares from recycled jeans and cotton from an old broom skirt.

I put right sides together using a sheet donated by my next door neighbor as the backing.
For several years Beth, Stephanie and I were all neighbors raising our sons and daughters together.
Beth moved out of state some years back but Stephanie and I continue to call the house on the corner and across the street from ours "Beth's House."
All of our children are grown now although Stephanie's youngest daughter is 17. We enjoy Emily!!
It is amazing to see 'kids' grow up and now one of Beth's daughters has a daughter of her own!
Time flies by so quickly! I MUST have blinked!!

My home is so 'highly occupied' the only place I could stretch the quilt out was on  the side deck!

I used a couple of pockets from a favorite denim shirt I used to wear.

I also used cording around the edges for a nice finished look!

It is a crafted quilt! The squares are not exactly matching......

However I love the way it turned out! I think it is one of my favorite crib quilts!
This will work nicely for picnics or as a nap quilt and later a cover for TV watching.
I like the fact that it does not have a dated 'Baby' look to it, too.
Hopefully  little Adaleigh Elizabeth will get many years of use out of it.
Packing it up and putting it in the mail!

Old McDonald had a QUILT!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Making Progress.....on our Projects!

We keep plodding along and making progress on our projects. Everyone has projects! RIGHT?
I don't know what I would do if I HAD nothing to DO!!
Louis Dean is the exact same way!

We spent a good part of the afternoon and most of the evening hanging the mirrors!
These came from an old dresser. I dumped the dresser and painted the mirrors.
Louis Dean had to use molly bolts to hang them. In the process there were a couple of scratches in the wallpaper......I can hide them behind the light.
 Also - for some unknown reason - unknown even to Louis Dean -
he managed to put an extra molly bolt about 6 inches UNDER the left mirror!
I have a lacy thing hanging over it in the picture and have since changed it to a frame.
Nothing is ever perfect! Good thing my motto is: "It it's CLOSE - it COUNTS!!"

He decided to go for broke and hang ALL the mirrors last night!
He gets such a kick out of using his stethoscope to locate the studs!

One hung - one to go!

SUCCESS!! Mirrors hung! I did a little cleaning and nesting....

I love moving things around from one room to another.
Summer and I found this little rack at a local Goodwill last year.
This and some distressed white frames I bought that day is what
started my whole love affair with Shabby Chic!

We spent the rest of the LATE evening first in the gazebo then out front on the driveway
trying to catch a breeze! Over 20 days of triple digits with no end in sight!
Mornings and evenings are the only time when it is bearable enough to go outside.

Today we treated ourselves to a 'Day Date.'
We saw 'The Zookepper' at The Movie Tavern and since LD has been SO good in his eating lately he ordered himself a big fat hamburger!
He enjoyed every single bite!
Plus he always brings his refillable beer mug.
He loves Shiner Bock on tap and the mug is SO big and SO heavy
he says his arm is still sore from lifting it!!

I took a nap this afternoon.......HE continued to work on PROJECTS!
Next up.....installing the new window A/C-Heater unit.
We have enough projects lined up for the next 20 years!
LD used to START a million things but seldom FINISHED one.....
( this was in his life before we married.)
I asked him one time, "Doesn't it FEEL GOOD when you FINISH something??"
He replied, "I don't know!! I have never finished anything yet!!"

That was nearly a deal breaker!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Soup and SALADS!

On these hot summer days the most I want to eat is a cold sandwich, fruit or a salad.
Yesterday I had a few friends over for lunch. Guess what we had?
NO sandwiches! YES to the fruits and salads!

The only HOT dish I served was Amber's Tuscan Soup.
She made this a couple of weeks ago when she was up here on a visit.
I popped what we didn't eat in the freezer. PERFECT!
The recipe is from Sur La Table. She took a cooking class there for her birthday.
Date Night: Goumet Tuscan  is where you can find a recap of her experience PLUS the recipes at the bottom of the post!

One of my favorite summer salads......or ANY time of year for that
Roasted chicken with penne pasta. Super easy and super GOOD!
My friend, Sabrina, made this for us once and it became a faithful fav!
A roasted chicken from Sam's, some penne pasta, a bottle of Caesar dressing and a bag of shredded lettuce.
I topped it with crumbled feta cheese. This afternoon when Louis Dean and I ate it for a late lunch I also added a can of drained peas and a can of water chestnuts! Even better!

Mango, shrimp and avocado salad came from a favorite sister blogger!
Gypsy Heart  has some wonderful recipes as well as delightful posts in general.

Broccoli slaw with avocado and grapes......just toss together with a bottle of Poppy seed dressing!

The last salad on my menu - Watermelon with feta cheese and chopped mint.
A surprising combination that tastes so GOOD!!
Another recipe from Amber!  I served it in the ceramic watermelon bowl I made back in 1983.
Easier than making one out of the REAL watermelon!

In TEXAS no meal is complete without Iced TEA!!!
I make a pitcher every single day and usually drink the entire thing by myself!
Yesterday I made TWO pitchers!

We have been busy today working on our bedroom.
I cannot believe the time and trouble it has been to hang ONE mirror!! We still have two to go.
So what's for supper?
Leftover SALADS!!!!
And lots of iced tea!!