Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In progress

The grasscloth that we ordered back HERE is in and today they are putting it up!

Hope to share more pictures tomorrow when it’s complete.

Headed to the fabric store to find something to recover a few outdoor pillows with for the holidays and maybe some new fabric for a chair cushion for the entryway.

Hope you’re having a great day!




Monday, November 29, 2010

Good start to the day


So you overindulged on Thanksgiving?

Then there are the left-overs…..well, not at my house, since we didn’t host this year.

Need a little redemption?

Need to get yourself back on track?

But still craving pumpkin pie?

Here’s the ticket…..

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (my own recipe)


1/2 cup old-fashion oatmeal (150 calories)

1 cup water (0 calories)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (42 calories)

1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (nil)

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (nil)

drizzle of pure maple syrup (52 calories in a Tbs)

teeny sprinkle of brown sugar (15 calories in 1 tsp)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional) (75 calories-Ironman Delicious Vanilla)

2 Tbs chopped walnuts (80 calories)


Total Calories with protein powder: 414

Total Calories without protein powder: 339

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl and stir together.

Microwave for 2 minutes….my bowl is on the large size, if yours is not watch it and make sure it doesn’t boil over.

If adding in the protein powder stir it in once your oatmeal is cooked.

Top with a teensy sprinkling of brown sugar, chopped walnuts and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

A great start to your day that tastes indulgent, but is actually quite healthy!


When it comes to their health benefits, walnuts definitely are not a hard nut to crack. This delicious nut is an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, a special type of protective fat the body cannot manufacture. Walnuts' concentration of omega-3s (a quarter-cup provides 90.8% of the daily value for these essential fats) has many potential health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection, to the promotion of better cognitive function, to anti-inflammatory benefits helpful in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition, walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.

Old fashion oatmeal-

Lower cholesterol level, stabilize blood sugar and more!


Antioxidant Rich

Beta carotene---The rich orange color is a dead give away to the nutrients present in pumpkin. Research shows that people who eat a diet rich in beta-carotene are less likely to develop certain cancers than those who fail to include beta-carotene-rich foods in their diet.

Loaded with Potassium---Studies show people who have a potassium rich diet lower the risk for hypertension. Potassium rich foods include bananas, broccoli, avocados, pomegranate and many others.

Zinc---Not only is zinc a major boost for your immune system, it also aids in bone density support for people at risk for osteoporosis.

High in Fiber---Diets rich in fiber may prevent cancer, heart disease and other serious ailments.



Anti-Clotting Actions

Anti-Microbial Activity

Blood Sugar Control


Pure Maple Syrup-

Maple syrup is sweet - and we're not just talking flavor. Maple syrup, as an excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, can also be sweet for your health.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Survival Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Here is the recipe for the Pecan Pie Cheesecake that made it to Thanksgiving.


Survival Pecan Pie Cheesecake

1 (2-lb) frozen pecan pie
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2(8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
2/3 cups sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 TBL all-purpose flour

Thaw pie at room temperature 30 minutes. Cut pie into 16 wedges, they will be small, and set aside. Pie will be still be partially frozen after thawing 30 minutes; this ensures cleaner slices.

Stir together 2 cups graham cracker crumbs and next 2 ingredients; press mixture onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 10-inch spring form pan.

Arrange pie wedges in a spoke design in prepared pan (I was able to fit all of the wedges in except 1….just as well because you might need a little snack by now), placing 1 cut side of each wedge on crust with narrow end towards center of pan.

Beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add sour cream, half-and-half, and vanilla; beat until blended. Stir in powdered sugar and flour, stirring until smooth. Carefully pour cream cheese mixture evenly over pie wedges in pan, making sure wedges remain in place.

Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Turn off oven, and let cake stand in oven 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.

I was just proud that I was able to get the cheesecake out of the spring form pan AND remove the bottom of it AND get it onto this cake pedestal without it breaking apart!

I didn’t get a picture of this once it was sliced into, but here is one that I found on the web (below from BakeorBreak on Flickr)


I also made the Old Fashion Fudge pie that I blogged about back HERE.


So, we (Kenny and I) were heading out to Fordland, MO for Thanksgiving and when we went outside to load up we were welcomed by this….yes, FREEZING RAIN!



Of course, Kenny had to make Lonnie and Cleopatra their special Thanksgiving treat platters before we left…..

……which they were anticipating…..


The roads didn’t seem all that bad……slushy…..but, I guess the temperature kept dropping and at one point, when we were on the highway we started hydroplaning and swerved back and forth across two lanes for probably 1/4 – 1/2 mile and ended up doing a 360 and then finally coming to a stop in the passing lane. 

(Nascar pic for the North Carolina cousins)

At this point, we just looked at each other like “what the heck!”…..we were soooooo lucky….we didn’t hit anyone….no one hit us….as we looked around there were several cars in the ditch and one car, who probably saw what happened to us, pulled off onto the shoulder and the woman got out of the driver’s seat and the man got it…..I totally would have done the same thing!

This is when I saw Kenny’s NASCAR skills come into play…..I’ve never seen anyone work a steering wheel like he did!

After we got going again, I looked at Kenny and said, “well, the cheesecake made it” ….. it was still intact on it’s pedestal which I was holding between my knees in the truck….he just looked at me and laughed, “thank goodness for that”.

Thanksgiving was great….turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, the best macaroni and cheese ever!….apple salad, pumpkin pie, cousins in from North Carolina….it was all so good!

As we were leaving, Kenny hollered at the sheep up on the hill and they came barreling down to greet us…..

Thankfully, the ride home was drama free! Now that’s what I call THANKSgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


A lot here!

Kenny has finished decorating the pink tree with pink lights and pink ornaments!


I must say I love, Love, LOVE the tree!


And, I love, Love, LOVE my decorator!


Not only is Kenny a great decorator, he’s also got a tremendous green thumb….here is his Christmas cactus…..it should be called a Thanksgiving cactus, because that is always when it’s in bloom!


While Kenny has been decorating tonight, I’ve been making sure we have something to snack on….cream cheese with jalapeno pepper jelly…


Also have a Pecan Pie Cheesecake cooling in the oven to take to Thanksgiving tomorrow….

….pecan pie on the bottom, cheesecake on the top….I’ll make sure and post the recipe tomorrow after seeing what kinds of reviews it gets!


I have so much to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

While you’re reading

at Borders Bookstore in good ole Springfield, Missouri be sure and try one of these! The gingerbread latte….and yes, it comes with this cute little gingerbread cookie……I saw them making them when we were having coffee and reading magazines the other night.  I didn’t get one because I thought they probably had WAY too many calories…but I checked into it and a medium is 310 calories…..okay, that is about 45 minutes on the treadmill, but I think I’m somehow going to fit that in this week!  Absolutely too cute!

Kenny was at Borders earlier this week and bought me a HOT PINK Christmas tree


…..I’ll wait to post pictures until we get it decorated….right now we’re thinking pink  on pink…….SO EXCITED!!! Yes, jumping up and down excited!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pump it up!

I ran across these little jewels on Taste Spotting and had to try them out. What’s not to love about these…..they are bite-size and I can’t believe that Reese’s doesn’t make something like this in the fall….it would be marketing genius if you ask me!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cups!


Here’s the recipe I used:


12 oz. white baking chips….if you’re feeling rich use REAL white chocolate

1 Tbs non-trans fat shortening

1/4 cup low fat cream cheese

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp nutmeg

a shake of pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (7 sheets)

I think the filling will fill about 10-15 cups, so I doubled my filling recipe so I could make 24 and had a little left over that I spread on oatmeal cookies….I think it would also be good to dip apples in!

12 silicone or foil lined mini muffin cups or other small silicone cups or just the paper mini muffin cups set into a mini muffin pan

Melt white chocolate and shortening in the top of a double boiler over medium heat on the stove, stirring constantly until completely melted.  Remove from heat.

Using a small spoon, place about 3/4 of a teaspoon of the melted chocolate in a reusable silicone mini cup or into a foil lined mini muffin cup, tilt the cups to swirl the chocolate to cover as much as possible.  If necessary, use a paint brush to paint up the sides of the cups with extra chocolate.  The chocolate should be thick enough that you can not see through it.  You should have left over chocolate when all the cups are done.

Place the cups onto a tray and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until completely hardened.  Remove from freezer and peel the silicone or papers off of the hardened shells.  (This step may be completed days before filling!)

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, spices and the vanilla, whisk or beat until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and whisk until combined.  Stir in the graham cracker crumbs.

Using a small spoon, gently divide the mixture among the chocolate cups filling to just below the ridge.  Smooth the tops to create an even surface.
Re-heat the remaining melted white chocolate if necessary.  Spoon a small amount of melted chocolate over the smoothed filling surfaces, making sure the chocolate reaches all the way to the edges to seal the cups. 
Chill, to harden the tops.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Remove from refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving. 

I made these on Tuesday night and took them to work with me on Wednesday….they were a hit and I’ll definitely be making them again.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A much better weekend!

After my rough start on Friday morning, the weekend got considerably better quite quickly.

We were slow at work, so I got to leave at 10:30 or 11, went home and changed out of scrubs and into real clothes and then met Kenny at our favorite shopping spots……TJMaxx and Marshalls.  Stocked up on some coffee…..


…seems like we’ve been drinking more of it now that there is that nice chill in the air and it’s so dark when we get up in the morning. I love  the flavored coffees and picked up “Chocolate Hazelnut”, “Coconut Cream” and “Spiced Eggnog” while I was at Marshalls, ahhh life is good!

Of course, nothing works up a girls appetite like shopping, so we stopped in at T.G.I. Friday’s for lunch.  Since it really WAS a T.G.I. Friday we celebrated with cocktails.  I had this delicious “Berri Acai Sour”


Kenny went for the Patron Cosmo Rita


We both sampled each others drinks and they were both really good….especially on a Friday!

I went for broke and ended up eating nachos…..I tell ya, I’m a sucker for nachos….I could totally eat my weight in nachos and I’m not kidding!

See, even in the picture one of them is already gone before Kenny could get a shot with his phone!


Kenny had the Captain Morgan™ Caribbean Conga-Line Chicken Sandwich  and sweet potato fries….I used to be addicted to fries as well, but they don’t have the power over me that they once had.


They were having “nerd day”, so the bar staff was dressed accordingly…..

Does the guy on the right have about 5 or 6 pens in his pocket…..OH NO! I might be a nerd too when I’m at work!!!! I either have 5-6 pens or none at all.

We then ended up at a new store (new to me) called Artsy Crafty…..Kenny had spotted some pillows there that he thought would work in the “drawing room”….that’s what I’ve dubbed the “re-done, used to be called the Fancy Room”….I loved the pillows AND the store and will have to take pictures of the pillows later this week.

Next we ended up at my new favorite store…..I drive by this store absolutely-every-single-day-of-my-life and have never gone in.  Probably a good thing, because now that I’ve been in you’ll have a hard time keeping me out! It’s the “Review Resale Boutique” across from the mall. Name brand clothes at a fraction of the cost and the staff is SO SUPER NICE! I ended up with a pair of Parasuco jeans $35, a J.Crew cabled sweater halter top $15, and a cute Charlotte Tarantola ribbed black sweater that has crystals on the zipper $15.  I saw SO MANY other things I wanted needed, but first I knew I HAD to clean out my closet (nothing to get me motivated like the thought of more new boots…..Gianni Bini in my size for $15……and yes…..I spent my entire Sunday cleaning out my closet and making room for more new stuff!)

We spent Saturday night making the worlds most fluffy pancakes that Kenny saw them make on Martha the other day from the Clinton St. Baking Company. (CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE and make sure and watch the video if you think you might make them)…..Oh My Gosh….the recipe makes A LOT! We’ll be eating pancakes for a week or so….after we made ours to eat, we then went back and made the rest of them and they are in the freezer, so we can just pop them in the microwave for breakfast whenever we need something quick.  We had some plain, some with blueberries and some with bananas and walnuts….the banana walnut were my favorite!  Since we won’t be getting to New York anytime soon, we decided to make them ourselves!


Yes, my weekend is definitely going to have me crying on the treadmill for the rest of the week, but it was so totally worth it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

That kind of day

It has started out to be “that kind of day”……slapping on nail polish to cover the chips on the way out the door and holding them up to the heater in your car as you drive to work….(my current obsession…Jitterbug nail polish from China Glaze  a grey chrome with silver micro glitter polish)

trying to drink your coffee out of a mug with no lid and praying that you won’t smudge your nail polish before it has a chance to dry OR slosh your coffee down the front of you  as you brake for the stoplight!

It really makes for an unsettling start to your day…..and worse than that, it’s self induced!

Oh well, now I’m at work, we’re not all that busy and hopefully things will be looking up!

By the way,

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Kenny’s treasures from an afternoon of “junking”!

Yes, we have a “thing” for light up Christmas stuff…..what was your first guess?!

I really love this little Santa… he has a light up ornament in his hand….I think that will be replaced with a “bubble light”


Another light up Santa…..that makes a total of 3….


A Sandra Lee cookbook….already flipped through it and there is a recipe

for chili omelet…..I think that sounds delish!


A McCoy dish for a friend…..love the colors on it!


Oh yeah, did you notice the white spaghetti lamp and the orange spaghetti lamp….

those will probably end up in the sunroom with the rest of them


….however, they have started to migrate to other areas of our home…


I’m psyched!

I put down some vacation time on the calendar at work……it’s what I call a double-play……

we are off work on Thursday for Thanksgiving and we also get Friday off as well…..

so I’ll have those days off PLUS the whole next week for my vacation….can’t wait!


Tonight Kenny is cooking out and we’re walking the dogs…..he went “junking” today…..

…he asked me to please let him in the house when he gets home……

I can only imagine what all he’s “drug in”.  I keep trying to liquidate and he keeps accumulating…

It’s the yin and yang of our relationship I suppose.

Monday, November 8, 2010

$198 at Anthropologie

Why pay for this when you could probably make one out of sweaters from your closet or thrift store?

I must say I like how they have left the buttons and pockets and necks on a lot of these sweaters.

Would you make one this fall to use this winter?!  I might!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dark so early

Here it is 7:30pm and I’m already in my pjs! 

I detest daylight savings…..losing so much daylight just makes me want to go to bed early and watch tv or read a book

……I’m starting a new one tonight

….actually, I started it a week ago and then started reading “Water for Elephants”

….so now back to “The American Painter Emma Dial”


"Others may steal your ideas, but they can't steal your Creativity.
Those who steal ideas will always be chasing behind those who are original and ahead of the game."
~ Think Simple Now


My latest creation is this little bag…..I had one similar in shape and color, but it was sewn of cotton cloth and I’d had it for years and one of the zippers broke….perfect excuse to make a new one and since I have a kazillion “wool worms” from rug hooking, I just tied a gob of them together and then knitted them into this little bag.

Just a nice little bag to sling across your body and hold your camera, cash and lipstick….


I found a pretty little batik fabric for the lining….


…..works perfectly!