Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not just another Tuesday!

Happy Anniversary to my husband!

You are the most amazing, generous and loving father and husband! I love you more and more as the days go by...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tuckered out

Have a restful day!

Come on in!

Today, I'm linking up Nesting Place for the Christmas Tour of Homes. I don't do a lot of holiday decorating but what I do put out, I love. Come join us for the party!
Our newly remodeled fireplace and mantle. Finished just in time to be decorated for Christmas.

A homemade decoration inspired by Shanty2chic

Handmade stockings, everyone in my family has one with their name on it.

From the top of the tree down to the presents underneath, I may have went overboard with the burlap this year!

The Willow Tree Manger scene is one of my favorite decorations to get out every year! It was a wedding present from my sister.
Another manger scene, this is a miniature set that is made out of alabaster.

Signs of the season....cards to mailed out...

...the table set for guests...

...and goodies stacked up in the kitchen.

Thanks for stopping by for the tour!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Each year I make some goodies to share with friends and family during the holiday season. Some years it has been cookies and some years it has been small gifts. This year, my goal was to keep it simple and budget friendly.

What could be better than popcorn with chocolate and nuts? Oh my. This has got to be one of the easiest recipes:
5 cups popped kernels
8 oz. melted white chocolate chips
1 cup almonds
Melt chocolate, stir in almonds. Drizzle over popped popcorn, stir every 5 minutes for 30 minutes. Warning...if you nibble here and there on this yumminess you won't have any left to give as gifts.

Here's another:
12 ounces Baker's semi-sweet baking blocks (ends up being 1 1/2 packages)
1 cup of chopped pretzels
1 cup chopped nut, of your choice. I used pecans.
Melt chocolate, stir in a 1/4 cup nuts and 1/4 cup pretzels. Spread the mixture onto a wax paper covered baking sheet. Sprinkle remaining nuts and pretzels on top and gently, with a spatula, press them down in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm. Break into pieces. Grab one for yourself!

A few weeks ago I won a giveaway from Carrie at Buzzings of a Queen Bee. It the cutest hat from Marili Jean. The hats come with little flowers that are attached by Velcro so you can interchange them. They have different styles for different ages, for boys and girls. Check it out, any of them would make a great gift.

I'm teaching Anna Claire how to accessorize early!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I met P-Dub

When I moved to Nashville 10 years ago I thought for sure that at some point in time I would meet someone famous. You know like run into Faith Hill at the grocery store and strike up a conversation with her. Or maybe I would see Kenny Chesney at the gas station and ask him kindly if he would fill my gas tank up. Or, even better, stand behind Michael W. Smith at Starbucks so I could report back to family and friends what he likes in his coffee. Well, after all this time I have not had ANY close encounters. My husband will tell you that I get completely starstruck, even if we happen to see the local weather guy in the car beside us on the highway. To this day, all I can claim is seeing Reba McEntire at a restaurant, like across, the restaurant. Oh, and I did see George Jones picking out pillows with his wife at Steinmart. Not really anything to write home about.

So, when I found out that THE PIONEER WOMAN, (aka Ree Drummond, aka P-Dub, aka the author of that amazing blog that everyone follows) was coming to Nashville for a book signing, guess who was one of the first ones to pick up a line ticket so I could meet her? Me, of course.

Thank goodness I was "johnny-on-the-spot" with the line ticket (which ,by the way, means that I got the tickets 3 weeks ago) because by the time we got there, they were handing out tickets for group 18! My pretty purple ticket had a 3 on it. With 25 people in each group, can I just tell you how thankful I am that sometimes my pre-pre-pre-planning isn't so bad?

Mike indulged me and went with us. I think he was secretly hoping for some cattle and cowboy stories. When I asked him if he was having fun he said, and I quote, "of course, because a room full of woman bloggers is where I feel the most comfortable." I told him it was a HUGE deposit in my emotional bank account.

The place was packed out. These pictures don't really show how many people were there, but let me tell you there is nothing like trying to herd hundreds of woman around the basement of a bookstore.

Oh look! There she is. Her sister, Betsy, and her friend, Hyacinth were there as well. They all looked like they could be on the cover of a fashion magazine. At this point my heart started to beat faster and I got nervous. Then, I completely blanked.
By the time it was my turn, my mind turned to mush.
Do I tell her that her chicken scallopine is the best ever?
What about telling her that my sister has had a difficult time making the icing for her chocolate sheet cake?
And those horses...does she ever let anyone just borrow one?
Should I tell her that I had a dog once named Charlie?
Or better yet, can we come to the Lodge and will you make us your cinnamon rolls?
I could have only hoped it would have gone that well.
I think I told her that we were glad she came to Nashville and that it was so nice to meet her.
My mind then got further jumbled up when she opened up my cookbook and saw 2 post-it notes, one with my name and one with my sister's (while in line a bookseller came by and put your name on the post-it so that she would know who she was signing the book for). Since my sister lives in Ohio I had her just sign the post-it note for my sister so that she could stick it in her own copy. Anyway, I had to remember, am I Sarah or Christy? Sarah. Okay, next sentence.
Uh....uh....so um....yeah...I don't think it really went quite like that, but after it was all said and done, I ran the entire minute and a half through my mind and thought, really Sarah, you couldn't come up with anything better than that?

Anna Claire thought she was wonderful and turns out to be a much better conversationalist than I am.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The house is decorated!

The wreath is hanging on the front door. My Christmas dishes are stacked in the cupboards. The nativity scene is set up and I CAN'T WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS TO GET HERE!

First and foremost, I must show you a picture of our completed fireplace. In the previous posts there are pictures of what it used to look like. I am so proud of my handyman husband who worked on this....laid the tile himself and built the hearth and mantle with his own two hands.
Because I have to be just like my sister, Christy, I worked on a project too, only a bit different than hers. She posted about her "PEACE" today.

Anna Claire received her first Christmas ornament in the mail from Didi and Papa. I absolutely love it! It is a Lenox 2009 "Baby's First Christmas."
This picture is for Mom and Christy so they can see the tree skirt. It looks perfect doesn't it? Christmas came a bit early for me...My "oh so crafty" Mom made it as a gift! (Mom...the "3" is on the candlestick).

And of course, I can't leave you without a couple shots of our girl. We visited family in Alabama for Thanksgiving and my husband's cousin took some pictures for us. This will be the last time Anna Claire wears this jumper for pictures--she chewed on the buckle the entire time! Here is a little peek!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

20 minute project

The December issue of Country Living arrived yesterday and I think I dog-eared every other page. It is full of ideas and recipes for the Christmas season. This is a take off of one of the crafts they have featured. It originally called for holiday ribbon, but I don't have any yet. What I do have is burlap...and tons of it.

I'm telling you, this was so easy to make. I had it done and hanging before Anna Claire even woke up. I have it hanging right inside our front door so when we come in, we are greeted by all of the Christmas cards and pictures of the season.

What you need:
2 dowel rods (shortest rod should be 8 inches and increase each one by 2 inches until you have 5 rods)
2 yards of ribbon, fabric, or whatever you want to use. I was originally going to use toile fabric but didn't have enough.
Enough coordinating ribbon to tie in bow for the top

I cut 2 yards of burlap and then used fabric tape to fold over the edges to give it a cleaner look. Fold the 2 yards in half lengthwise.

Starting at the top, hot glue the first rod about 6 inches down, each following rod should be approx. 5 inches apart.

I used a piece of twine to hang it with and then attached the ribbon. Use clips to hang Christmas cards and pictures.

See....I told you it was easy!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A NEW post!

For those of you who keep checking in to see if I have posted, thank you--I know my posts have been few and far between. So to make up for not posting in the past couple (okay, several) weeks, I am going to catch you up on what we have been doing. Note: lots of pictures to follow.

I found a fun, fun, fun new blog www.shanty2chic.blogspot.com that has given me lots of inspiration and ideas for around the house, plus lots great ideas for Christmas. I've seen lots of "numbers" around blogland and in magazines so I added a few to our entryway.

This past summer, Mike worked tirelessly on the outside of the house, working in the yard, pulling up trees, tearing down the chain link fence and planting grasseed. He also rebuilt the railing on our front porch. When all was said and done, we wanted someplace to sit. So he built us a bench. I'm noticing that in the pictures, the paint color looks a little orange. Let me reassure you, it's not. It's a true barn red color that matches our front door.

In the middle of all of this, Christy, my sister came to visit for her birthday. I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday and with no hesitation, she said, "Chocolate." Of course I turned to my trusty friend Ina Garten for help! Seriously, it's the best cake I have ever had. I won't tell you that I made it on Thursday night and it was gone by Sunday.

When we moved into our (fixer-upper) house, one of the MAJOR things we wanted to do was gut the fireplace and start over. Well, we are in the throws of doing that. I guess our thought was to start the project as close to the time when it would be getting colder so that we would have the motivation to get it finished. In the first picture, if you put your nose up to your monitor, you will be able to see what the original fireplace looked like. There was a gray marble surround that was cracked in several places, the mantle had about 4 coats of paint on it, one of which was a cherry red and there were smoke stains ALL around it. Gross.

The above picture is where we are now. We decided to build a raised hearth and we will be adding tile and a new mantle. Oh I can't wait to decorate it for Christmas!

Now for the funnest project (I wish I could take credit for it!) After my grandparents passed away I was given a green velvet wing back chair. This chair has TONS of sentimental value to it. I can still remember my grandmother sitting in it on Christmas day. When it was given to me, I had new fabric put on it to match my living room. After moving into our new house and changing some colors up, I knew I didn't want it to have such a bold fabric on it anymore so I waited until I could find the perfect thing. Along came drop cloths from Home Depot. Who would have thought? Certainly not me! Have you seen what you can do with these?

I asked my friend, Addie, if she knew of anyone who could make a slipcover for the chair. She said she didn't but that she would be willing to give it a try. This is the only picture I have of her working on the chair. I was planning on getting action shots of her at the sewing machine and putting the pieces together but when I went to her house yesterday afternoon to work on it, she had it DONE! My thanks and love to you dear friend!

I just love the skirt detail she added!

It has TOTALLY changed the look of our living room and I can't stop looking at it!

Okay, so as you can see, it's been busy around here. And of course, I couldn't leave you without sharing a little piece of WHO keeps me the most busy.

Thanks for sticking around through all the pictures! Have a wonderful weekend!