Monday, April 30, 2012

The Blacksplash ...

The backsplash for the new kitchen was the hardest
thing to pick out
There are so many pretty colors, different patterns, different
materials....ceramic, stone, glass...the choices are endless

And I was just so confused on how to work with the
with the granite and it being so busy.

But I researched a lot on the internet, read a lot of designer
blogs and then consulted with the tile people.
And what I learned was that you can only have one "star" of
the can be the counter or the backsplash
but not both. And the granite was def the star of our
kitchen so I knew I had to be more subtle in the backsplash. I had
been thinking white all along but then my sister Kandi mentioned doing it in black to break up the white from the upper and lower cabinets.
And I def did not want the subway tile. I love it but it's everywhere you go and I was afraid over time I would grow tired of it. So I went with the basic 4 inch ceramic tile in black but turned it so we had the diamond pattern and then added the one inch tile with a pattern in the brushed nickel like the hardware on the cabinets. I think it turned out beautiful. I say it is the jewelry of the kitchen!!

so here ya go........BEFORE.......

and AFTER.......

the only thing left now is the new furniture and it
should be in this week!!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Yard cleanup ...

all of my family got together yesterday to do a good yard
clean up at our parents home.
Due to some recent health issues, they haven't been able to get
out and clean up winter debris. Plus some things had just begun
to really overgrow and take over some areas.
We all brought some breakfast items over....doughnuts, fruit, muffins and bagels and met over there at 8:30 to start work.

it was a lot to do but as always, it's fun just being together.
below are a bunch of pics. And as much as I love a sunny day, I was thankful that morning was overcase.......1st, it kept us cooled off and 2nd, pictures are just soooo much better on a cloudy day!!

Gabe enjoying sitting on Papa's riding mower

Maddox started out dusting in the house for Memaw but then moved to outside and was "dusting" off the driveway..haha

Jacob taking a break.......

I didn't have my camera out while we were working on the back yard...then remembered I had brought it so these shot were when we were just about done working. Mom had made everyone Tacos for lunch....yum!
It was a lot of work but we were all happy to do it for our parents and a big thanks to our brother for coming up with the idea and organizing it!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bunny update and a red door ...

The update on the bunnies is....they are gone.
I think the mommy moved them because I don't believe they were
at the age to leave the nest yet. And I read that if she thinks they are
in any danger, she will move them. Well, after the stare down she gave me
and Pippa Lou's antics, I'm sure she feared for them!

So I'm sure they are ok and probably living under the Pompas Grass
in the front yard.....which is where we would always see her.

Now, the red door .... I've always loved a red front door
on a white house with black trim. And I had the door painted a red
but it was more a barn red....very dark. I really wanted a bright
red color but it's the kind of job you just kind of put off.

So last weekend the weather was perfect for that kind of project.
I put a baby gate up in the doorway so the dogs couldn't escape
and I hung a heavy painters cloth in the doorway to keep
flys, birds, critters out of the house. I knew I would have
to put on a couple of coats and I wanted it to be really dry
before we shut the door. And it did......took 3 coats.
But it sure looks good......what do you think??

later ......

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bunny update ...

We have been good about going outside with the dogs
so that they wouldn't mess with the baby bunnies

then tonight I went to my exercise class
and folks at home forgot to watch the dogs.
Bella Boo was caught digging at the bunny nest and
Pippa Lou got ahold of one!!
they got it from her and put it back in the nest.
and covered it up good.

A little later in the evening Pippa was barking like
crazy at the back door.
I went over to look out and .... uh oh, there was the mommy
bunny. And she looked mad....seriously, if a bunny can look
mad, she did. And she was just staring at our door.
I got a couple of pics, felt bad so I threw a few
carrots out and she ran off.
I sure hope she will take care of the babies tonight


Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Bunnies ...

This morning when Johnny went to let the dogs in,
he saw Pippa Lou scratching around the bird house post
and she would not leave......would not listen but then
again, what else is new!

So Johnny goes down there and this is what he found.
and dang, I thought I had turned the
just turn your head!

 she had uncovered a nest of 5 baby bunnies!! And oh my, you
can't even believe how sweet and cute these babies are!!!

what she had scratched away was old grass that had fur all in it. You
can see the fur laying around.
that is what the mother uses to keep them warm
So we looked up baby bunnies on the internet and is says that
the mother stays gone all day and only returns in the middle of the night
to feed them. If you hear the babies crying, it usually means the mother
has not returned to feed them....that more than likely, something
has happened to her. Oh goodness, you know it will break my
heart if I hear baby bunnies crying!! We covered them back up to keep
them warm. And we will go outside with the dogs to make sure they
do not harm them.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Frozen coffee ...

I took Friday and Monday off.....I really needed it!
and one thing I enjoy when I don't have to go to work
is having coffee during the day.
I normally drink 2 cups a day early
If I drink during the day, it will keep me up at night

So when I'm off of work, I enjoy afternoon coffee
sometimes from Wawa and sometimes from Starbucks.

But my favorite is to make my own frozen coffee

I put lots of ice, leftover coffee, a little bit of coffeemate
and some Skinny Caramel Macchato made by International Delight

then I run it on the frozen drink speed

mmmm, good!!
and if you add a little Baileys, even better


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ready for summer ...

We spent this past weekend buying new flowers, mulch
potting soil .... power washing the deck
and just cleaning out winter!!

Now we're all ready for sitting outside and enjoying the weather

and here's all the little pots of my herbs for cooking

and here's Johnny and Pippa Lou enjoying the clean deck!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Backyard mystery ...

I have a backyard mystery
unlike the mystery last year with the strange animal droppings
(turned out it was a deer jumping our fence)

So here it is.....last year a friend gave me some seeds for
a periennal vine. I planted them in a pot of dirt on the deck and they
sprouted within a week. So we dug a big hole by the fence, and
transplanted the seedlings into the ground. As the vine grew, we trained
it to go along the fence. It was beautiful all spring, summer and fall.
it has very dainty little purple flowers that almost look like orchids.
when the flowers die, they form into a seed pod and dry up
In February, I pulled most of the seed pods off of the vine
that was still entangled in the fence. Took the seeds to work to
share with my co-workers. 

So this past weekend, Johnny and I were looking around to make sure
everything in that area was coming back.....yep, there's the peonies, all 3 of them looking great peeking through the dirt. Butterfly bush...very nice and full. Then we go to check on the vine and it was gone! No longer were the dried out runners entwined on the fence and there was a big hole where we had planted it last year. What the heck...
at first we thought maybe the dogs dug it up but there would have been
traces of the vines....and there were no vines laying around.
and the hole is dug up too perfect to be the work of my
little doggies.

I still had a couple of the seed pods at work so I'm going to plant
those and try again....
and no, I haven't seen evidence of deer so it wasn't them!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Shrimp Creole ...

If you love shrimp creole, you'll love this recipe
it's easy peasy and it's mmmmm good!
I always have to tweak recipes a tad bit but I really didn't
have to on this one. I put my notes to the side....

here ya go....

1/3 cup shortening (I used my new health kick, coconut oil)
1/4 cup flour
1 lb med cleaned shrimp (no head, tail or vein, ewww)
1 clove garlic, minced (I used 2 because we love garlic)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tablespoon parsley
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 can tomato sauce (15 1/2 oz)
2 cups rice, cooked (I used our other new health kick, Quinoa)

Melt the shortening in sauce pan over high heat. Add flour, cook stirring until light brown. Reduce heat

Add shrimp, cook stirring for 3 minutes

Add garlic, onion, parsley and bell pepper. Cook stirring
for 2 minutes.

Increase heat, add water gradually. Add salt, pepper and tomato sauce.
bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer 20 to 30 minutes

serve over rice, noodles or Quinoa!
this makes 4 servings so for a crowd, just double.

make sure you have all ingredients ready and lined up
because you are constantly stirring

this shot is right out of the camera so it has an orange
tone to's the lighting in my kitchen.
the sauce is actually red!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter ...



Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring stuff ...

Def spring when you see the bags of mulch around

We have lots of yard work to do
and I can't wait to hit up Lowes for some new flowers
But I'm trying to hold off as we are still getting some
cold weather.
Here in Virginia we are not quite past the
last freeze. But soon....


Thursday, April 5, 2012


I just discovered Quinoa....

Quinoa ( /ˈkiːnwɑː/ or /kɨˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

so yes, sometimes I think I live under a log!!
haha....I knew nothing about Quinoa.
A friend gave me some so I cooked it up
and ate a bowl full with a little butter and some cheese
and yum! I loved it

will be eating a lot this now!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trouble with a capital T ....

Saturday I went out to lunch with a very good friend
we talk so much we hardly eat!
So I didn't finish my hamburger and brought half of
it home in a styrofoam container.
And I set it down on the table.....meant to put it up
but Johnny and I decided to head over to Costco.

When we came home, this is what we found....pieces
of the container on the dining room table

and then we saw a tomato laying on the floor

and then we found the empty container in the den
along with a pickle but I didn't get a pic of that
apparently, she doesn't like tomatoes or pickles

and here's the culprit!

yep ... her name is trouble.....with a capital T
and how do we know it's her...because she is the only one
that gets on the table. I do not like animals on the table but this one
she sneaks it in whenever she can!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Mason Jar Salads ...

I saw the Mason Jar Salads on Pinterest and I thought
it looked fun....and handy!

So first up was digging out my jars and
washing them up

then the store for all of the salad supplies
lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, water chestnuts, strawberries
cabbage, shredded broccoli salad, celery, cheese

I would have liked to have put avocada's in the jars but wasn't
sure how they would do

and then cut up everything.....

The first layer is the dressing.
I did a couple of jars without dressing....just want to see how they
turn out.

the next layer is cabbage and shredded broccoli
you want this layer to be the one that is ok to soak up dressing

then just start adding the layers

lettuce is the very last to add
and just mash it down.....I just kept pushing it down more
so that I could get enough in there

and here ya go......enough salads for the week
we can either grab these to take to work for lunch
or have them for dinner. All of the chopping is already done!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring is here ....

It's spring time in Virginia

Lots and lots of pollen every where
the cars so covered you can't even ride with the windows down!

oh look, I have to get my car inspected in May

but the good part is
we have beautiful green grass now....

and with the arrival of spring brings
lots of grass cutting
which equals "green socks" on the pups!!