Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When It Comes to Decor, I'm No Switzerland

As you may (or may not) know, we've been in the throes of redecorating our new house since we moved in a year ago. (To see posts on this, click the New House label on the right.) To that end, I've been perusing magazines, blogs, and Pinterest, as well as pinning like mad to my Gorgeous Home board --

(Aside: You've never seen my Gorgeous Home board on Pinterest? Well, get thee over there! I've got 1,375 pins and counting, people!)

-- and I've discovered one thing: I have definite preferences.
  • I do not care for neutrals, neutrals, everywhere. That look is too sterile for me. I prefer color.
  • The industrial look. Yuck. And I'm sorry, but to my way of thinking, "industrial farmhouse" is a totally made-up thing.
  • Gray, grey, and greige? Maybe in small doses. But everywhere? No, thank you.
  • "Carefully edited"? Again, no, thank you. I like lots of interesting and beautiful things. More is better. Always. (Unless it's clutter. Which tends to happen around here. But that's another matter entirely.)
  • Modern is not moi.
  • If it's trendy, I'm suspicious. Like the antler craze of late. (Another aside: I grew up gazing at taxidermied deer heads on the walls of my grandparents' house. I'd rather not see animal parts on my own walls.)
  • I don't need a big sign in the kitchen imploring me to EAT. I do enough of that already.
So here's the thing: I can pin all I want and tear out magazine pages and all that, but I still have problems making it happen in my own home. Part of that is my pocketbook. I can't run out and buy what I want. Perhaps that's good because I'm forced to take my time and think about things. But it's also frustrating. I'm still working in the kitchen with ONE overhead light because Himself and I can't agree on lighting.

I mean, come ON.

Any advice would be appreciated. In other words, HELP!

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Peaches in September

Ever since I fell in love with Mary Chapin Carpenter's song, "I Am a Town," the month of September means peaches to me. Have you heard this song? Take a couple of minutes to click below, close your eyes, and soak it up. It's my gift to you today.


Isn't that pure perfection?

Last night, I made a quick peach crisp with South Carolina peaches. Yes, I know I live in the "Peach State," but South Carolina actually produces more peaches than Georgia does. Instead of following a recipe, I did this:

I peeled three peaches and sliced them up. I placed them in a small Corningware casserole dish. I sprinkled a bit of sugar over the peaches. Then I mixed rolled oats and flour together at a 3:1 ratio, diced up some butter and "forked" it into the oat/flour, added some brown sugar and a bit of cinnamon, and mixed with my fingers until it was crumbly and yummy. (I tested it to make sure.) I sprinkled this over the peaches. I like lots of topping. Then I baked everything at 350 til the topping was light brown and crunchy.


This was wonderful both warm and cold. No cornstarch, no lemon juice, little sugar, pure flavor.

And if this is your first introduction to Mary Chapin Carpenter, you're welcome.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Travels: Washington, DC

Our Girl Scout troop of five Cadettes, one leader, and one co-leader (that's me) are hitting the road  in my old Mazda MPV van this morning for a trip to our nation's capital. Two days are slated for traveling and four days for visiting. On the itinerary:

  • Smithsonian Natural History Museum
  • White House Tour
  • National Gallery of Art
  • Old Town Alexandria
  • Arlington National Cemetery (some of the girls are participating in the wreath laying ceremony)
  • U.S. Capitol Tour
  • National Archives Tour
  • Crime Museum
  • The Washington Mall and its memorials
  • Mt. Vernon

It's going to be fantastic! The only time I've ever been to Washington, DC was on the fifth grade trip many years ago. So I'm really looking forward to it.

And let's not forget the 11+-hour car trip with five young teen girls. Can you say awesome? Wonder how many stops we'll make. . . .

I'll post about our adventures as soon as I can! And I'll also be posting about my family's trip to Miami and Key West in mid-May. Look for both of those soon!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Salads in Mason Jars

After seeing these babies on Pinterest, I've been wanting to try them. And try them I did, a few weeks back. I was impressed by how fresh the salads kept in the jars. So I made some more today. Here's a Waterlogue of the four I made.

Aren't they pretty?

The beauty of the premise is that you use what you have, like any other salad. There is, of course, a method.

1. Dressing goes in first. The amount is up to you. I often eat my salads sans dressing. Just one of my (many) eccentricities.
2. Protein, such as meat or tofu or beans, is next. I omitted protein from this batch, mainly because I didn't have any on hand.
3. Next come the veggies.This time, I used diced zucchini and cucumber, grated carrot, and halved grape tomatoes.
4. Lastly, pack as much greens in as you can. I used a spring mix as well as a kale and veggie mix, which included chopped broccoli and brussels sprouts.
5. Twist on the lids and refrigerate.

Ta da!

I've found that one jar provided enough side salad for Himself and me at suppertime. One jar alone was more than enough as a lunch entree for me; in fact, I had leftovers.

And since they're salads, there are all sorts of variations on this theme. I thought of using a poppyseed dressing and then packing in fruits, like blueberries and strawberries, chopped apple and pear, and some chopped nuts before packing in the greens. Another idea: a southwestern salad, with a zippy dressing, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onion, and maybe pico de gallo. . .
My pin came from Cassie at Back to Her Roots. On her original post, she has several recipes for salads-in-a-jar. She's fancier than I am, but you probably are, too. So I bet you'll like her recipes!

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