Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Everything in its place

Hope you all enjoyed the long holiday weekend!  It was nice to get some extra down time.  While I was hoping I would get a lot more home projects done, I was glad I had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends and I was excited to see one project I'd been nagging asking Clint to help me with got accomplished this weekend.  
We haven't been using our bedroom closet since we moved into the house since it has the attic access that we needed to utilize to install ceiling fixtures and fans.  So Friday night Clint put the closet back together (minus putting the doors on) and I was able to organize all of our clothes, shoes and accessories in it! 
I promise it's not just my clothes in there! 

 I have to admit I am a bit of a nerd because I LOVE having a nicely organized clothes closet.  Even when I was younger I loved hanging up all of my pursues and lining up my clothes by colors to be able to enjoy picking out outfits.  I always dreamed that one day I would have an amazing (and massive) closet to display everything.  Here's some inspirations from closets that might be fun to have one day.  Until then I'm very happy to have my little closet functional at last! 



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Patriotic Parfaits

Aren't you so glad we have a 3 day weekend in celebration of Memorial day?!  I love when we get a rare long weekend and I decided I needed to start it by making these patriotic parfaits I've been dreaming about.   I thought I would wait and make these parfaits for the fourth of July, but I couldn't resist making sooner since after all this weekend inspires a bit of patriotism.  These treats are a perfect summer dessert since they should be chilled and they can be mixed with any color to make a party festive.  I was glad I decided to make them today since we ended up having a few dinner guests, so I already had a dessert whipped up! 
Graham cracker layers
4 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup sugar
14 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Stir together ingredients in a bowl until it resembles a sand-like texture.  Press the mixture into a thin layer on a large baking sheet for 7 to 8 minutes
When done, set aside to cool.

Parfait filling
(3)14 ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk chilled
(3) 8 ounce container whipped cream thawed
Blue raspberry koolaid packet
Strawberry koolaid packet
6 ounce lemonade concentrate frozen

In three separate bowls mix in 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 container of whipped cream in each bowl.  Mix in one the blue raspberry koolaid packet in one bowl, mix in the strawberry koolaid packet in the second bowl and the lemonade concentrate in the third bowl. 
In a small clear cup put in a scoop of the strawberry koolaid mix, add a layer of the graham cracker crust (use a circle cookie cutter to make the right shape and size) and a scoop of the lemonade mixture, add a layer of graham cracker crust and last add a scoop of the blue raspberry koolaid mixture.
Put in the freezer for at least an hour and then enjoy!  Yields about 12 parfait treats

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend wrapup

After a long few weeks, it was so refreshing to have a fun filled weekend!  This weekend Clint and I headed north as soon as he got home from work to go to his grandmother's (and her twin sister's) 80th birthday celebration!  It was an enjoyable trip being able to meet some of the uncles, aunts and cousins that weren't able to make it to our wedding last year and relax, laugh, eat, and even go garage selling with family!  Big props go to my mother and father in-law who made all of the meals for the weekend for the 45+ crowd of Willis family members!  This was definately a fun start to the summer! 
Clint, Grandma LaVerna and me
my mother-in-law asked me to make a banner for the party
And...just when the fun wrapped up and we headed home, we were able to have one of my best girlfriends over for dinner last night since she was in town for the weekend!  We had delicious pork chops, baked veggies with penne pasta and a green salad.  It was fabulous to see her before she headed back home! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finders Keepers: run by rummage sale items

This last Saturday started just the way I like, with a nice little run!  But, unlike most of my runs, I happened to "shop" during my run.  May sound weird, but I couldn't help myself!  I was only a block into my run when I noticed one of my neighbors having a yard sale and I spotted something I wanted, and it was at the right price!  Since I was in go mode I decided to go on my run and risk someone else snatching up what I had eyed.  Thankfully when I returned from my run I was pleasantly surprised to see my treasure still there!  I was able to get the nice neighbors/sellers to hold the item for me while I ran home and explained to Clint that we needed to get some cash and drive the truck around the corner.  Thankfully he is so sweet and didn't think twice, we jumped in the truck and picked up...
This lovely, bright, white outside table!  And, it was only $15! 

And just as I was about to load up the table into the truck, I had to peak at the other items they had and spotted a few more things I had to have!  These extra items ended up only being an additional $6!  I was so excited to snag some great objects for the inside and outside of our home!
I love this vintage wash basin & pitcher!  It was a great addition to the table on Mother's day filled with some flowers from the yard
I had to have these metal letters!  I actually also bought a "S" but I gave it to my mom since I knew she would put it to good use
Last, but not least I scored this cute apothecary jar.  I already have several jars around the house, but I didn't have one like was too cute to pass up!
Looking at all these items together kind of makes me feel a "cottage" theme, which could be perfect in the den...whenever I get to that project! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Eyes on avocados

Yummy.  Fresh.  California grown.  Avocados!   In the last week or so I think I have bought more avocados and made more meals with them than ever before.  It comes with good reason of course, since we just had Cinco de Mayo and grilling season is here, avocados seem like the perfect fruit (yes fruit!) to add to any meal.  It certainly doesn't hurt that I have a husband who is hooked on them!  Here are some of my favorite ways (old and new) to incorporate avocados into a meal. 

I found the recipe to this fresh new salad in last month's issue of Cooking Light.  The creaminess of the avocado is a great pairing with the bite that the lime juice and onions provide. 
Homemade guacamole with chips makes a great no-cook appetizer or even side dish that is not just for Cinco de Mayo fiestas.  Mix together any combination of fresh avocados, jalapeno pepper, tomato, diced onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt & pepper, and a little bit of cayenne pepper to make guac that rocks!

 A regular turkey or beef burger gets a California twist with some avocado slices added to it.
Scrumptious!  Give these avocado dishes a try to kick off your next barbecue!  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More MOMspiration!

Okay, I should have included this with the first MOMspiration post, but we are not going to get into my less than stellar technical skills here. 
With that said, here is a little mother's day gift that I put together for my mom and mother-in-law.  I wanted to give them some sort of flower or plant and was able to use one of the ideas I got from the antique show I went to last month. My MOM clothespins are less than perfect, but that is all good by adds a little more "character" to the gift! 


This Sunday is mother's day, the one day a year it gets to be all about moms.  I'm not a mom yet, but I'm lucky enough to have a fabulous mother-in-law and a wonderful mom that I also call one of my best girls.  So, with mother's day on the brain I couldn't help but think about all of the inspiration that my mom gives me in home decorating and entertaining.   Despite all of the DIY blogs, home design shows and decorating/eterntaining magazines I skim; my mom remains the one decorating diva that I draw the most inspiration from.  I thought it would be fun to show somethings from my mom's house and then similar things I have in my home, because of course I am my mother's daughter!

Mom's kitchen chalkboard door
my dining room window chalkboard

Mom's truck coffee table
my trunk side table


Mom's shells in glass

my shells in an apothecary glass

Mom's dresser top book display
my book display (crazy similar!)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fiesta de Mayo!

Hola mi amigos!  With today being Cinco de Mayo, we decided to host a little fiesta with some friends.  It was a great excuse to share our new home with some friends and enjoy lots of food and games.  Of course I had to make a few decorations to make our home a little more fiesta ready

Remember those fun orange sodas I mentioned the other day?  They made a perfect pair with all of the Mexican food!
The appetizers and dinner menu included fresh homemade pico de gallo, guacamole, spanish rice, chimichangas, chicken enchiladas and veggies with ranch dip. 
It was so much fun to have a homemade pinata, thanks to my girlfriend Kim, that we were able to take out back after dinner and smash up!
Despite our backyard being not quite party ready, we were able to utilize the great big tree to hang our pinata.
After a competitive game of Catch Phrase (boys verses girls!), we enjoyed the chocolate chipotle brownies I made...sweet with a little spicy kick (of course paired with ice cream)!
So glad we threw this little fiesta with our friends!  Laughing, eating and whacking a pinata...what a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Orange Crush

Looking around the house at recent purchases and things that are catching my eye as of late, I realized...I have a little bit of an orange crush right now!  Of course, who wouldn't with cute summery things out there in this bright hue?! 

 Here's the pillow I bought last weekend at Cost Plus for the guest bedroom. Deep orange with great texture  and details.
I bought a few of these orange sodas this week for an upcoming fiesta (more to come on that later!)
And just as I was thinking about my "orange crush" I realized I've had this orange bag sitting on my counter for a couple weeks because I love it and figured I could do something with it.  (I got this bag at the antique show I went a couple weekends ago. It was the only bag the gal I bought some little treasure from could find to put the goods in)
Go figure, I'm not the only one that is feeling a little bit of a Spring Orange Crush !

orange tray
orange apron
orange vase