Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Removing Mundane

I wanted to share with you a few new decorative items I have added to my house in recent days.  Thought it might prompt a new idea for your house!

The first one is with apothecary jars.  I have always had an attraction to jars.  I love how there are so many shapes, sizes and colors.  And apothecary jars are even more wonderful.  They just shimmer and make the house feel so clean.  I know that might be weird but that is what they do for me.  Now mind you, if they aren't sparkling clean, they won't give me that feeling.  The nice thing is the large variety of things you can put into the jars to make them work in your home.  Most of you know my home is not a girlie home.  Every man that walks into my home says how much they love my house.  I know.  My husband is blessed to have a wife like me.  (Smile)  I have always had some tomboy in me and that comes out in my decorating style.  So apothecary jars didn't quite fit in.....until now.  I finally found something that would make them work in my home!
Old games!  I found this old bingo set at a garage sale for 10 cents!  I bet the lady would want it back if she could see it now.  As a child, I played hours of bingo with my family and friends.  This brings back warm and fuzzy feelings for me every time I look at those jars sitting right above my office desk.  Another thing I found was this -
Old wooden dominoes.  A piece or two was missing but that didn't matter to me at all.  I found these at the Canton, TX Flea Market and because of their large size, there were enough pieces to fill this jar and a jar for Whitney too.  If you have never been to this flea market, and you love looking at junk and even new things, it is touted to be the largest flea market in the world.  Honestly, if you stay close by (which is hard to do due to the size of this event) and shopped the entire weekend, I dare say you could not walk the entire event.  To find the really neat things, you have to shop the outside vendors.  These dominoes came from a little elderly black couple that had set up shop.  He was so sweet about telling me there was a missing piece.  I am thinking I don't care cause I am decorating with them, but I acted disappointed.  Then when I got ready to pay, he sent me to his wife.  That was one smart little old man! ha  Still looking for old Scrabble games.  Those little wooden letters would look so cute displayed in another apothecary jar.  Never think they are only for lemons, plums and apples.  Think outside the box.  That is what makes a home unique.

The next item I got was from Pottery Barn and was a lot more than 10 cents for sure and my husband posted on Facebook that it looks like the old time dryers women used to dry their hair.  It is my touch of contemporary added to my relaxed home.  See what you think.

Sorry the second picture is dark.  I am not a professional photographer and don't really care as much about the quality as the affect on the look of my room.  That lamp is so heavy that I could barely carry it from my office, where I assembled it, to my living room - maybe 20'.  It is real quality.  I think it has to weigh that much due to the boom arm that sticks so far out.  If you like this lamp and want to order it, make sure you read the size and know for sure it really is 52" wide!  It takes a rather large space to display this lamp but I think it updated the living room just a bit.  I think every house needs a mixture of styles.  Nothing bores me more than a truly traditional house that is matchy, matchy.  I look for the unusual and figure out how to make it work in the house.  Speaking of unusual, take a look at this.

It is an old, stained window frame that my LOVING husband so GRACIOUSLY hung for me.  Another heavy piece, hung in a difficult place, but I knew he could handle it. I put some hooks into the frame before he hung it and have plans to change the things hanging on it from time to time.  Of course, it would look good with nothing hanging, but it gives me an outlet to change things around.  That piece may stay with the house should we ever sell.  It took quite a bit to get it into place. 

Hope this inspires you to look for something besides a painting to add to your walls.  I love paintings, but a house full of one type of thing gets mundane and boring.  Kind of like people with only one interest in their lives!  Broaden your horizons whether it is in the home or in your self.  The more things you try, the more chances you have of getting it right.  We all fail sometimes but it is those who learn from failure that go further in life.

Have a Blessed day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cooking, Making Memories, Etc.

My daughter reminded me that it has been 5 weeks since I have posted.  I know you are all having withdrawals.  NOT.  What have I been doing?  Well, there have been two baby showers to give, one family birthday to celebrate, Dallas market to attend, 4 weeks of no voice, super bowl party for a few friends, re-purposing a room in our house, etc. This has to have been the busiest January and February in my life.  I thought winter was suppose to be slow.  And in between all of that we had three large snows.  Texas never has three snows in three years, let alone in one year. 
Living in the country when it snows is absolutely the best.  It is the ultimate in peaceful and I am at a time in my life that peaceful is just heavenly.  Since I office from my home, I really can't claim to have a snow day.  My computer still works, but for a couple of those days, I did take a break to sit by the fire and enjoy a bowl of chili.  Did you ever wonder what people up north that get snow after snow do for food?  In Texas, if it snows, we eat chili.  After three snows, I am tired of chili.  What if I lived where it snowed all the time?  Would we get to where we could eat other things with snow on the ground?  I even noticed on Facebook how everyone here was making chili.  It got rather comical.  There won't be anymore chili in this house until next winter I can assure you. 
Tonight I made a new salad dressing recipe a friend gave me.  She said she really didn't enjoy eating lettuce until a friend gave her this recipe.  Now she takes romaine, cuts it up, applies this dressing and eats it daily and it sure can't be as fattening as that favorite white creamy stuff we all love to eat. The other wonderful thing about this dressing is that you do NOT refrigerate it.  Leave it in the cabinet, pantry, on the counter or wherever you decide to store it.  Here is the recipe:

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons garlic salt
Shake and store in cabinet.  Do not refrigerate.

Very simple, light and makes eating lettuce a whole lot easier.  Of course, it would be good on a whole salad with all the fixin's too.  I just didn't happen to have any of that stuff tonight.  I served it with frozen P.F. Chang dinner that took 11 minutes to heat.  If you have never tried the P.F. Chang meals in the bag, they are great.  I cooked a little rice to go with it.  What an easy meal!

Aren't we blessed that we live in a society where there are easy meals?  I love telling the story about making lasagne that took two days.  One day to make the sauce so it could blend the flavors and then the next day to put the lasagne together.  When Sam's Club opened and I bought a Stouffer's Lasagne and served it to the family one night, Gary made the comment that he liked that one better than the other ones I normally made.  He had no clue it was a frozen store bought one.  Well, needless to say, that recipe has never been used by me since then.  I love to cook and I don't feel guilty taking short cuts on a good meal, but I refuse to take a store bought anything to a party.  The whole fun of a party is sharing a good recipe!  I can remember my mother taking so much pride in her cooking when we would have "dinner on the grounds" at church.  All the women would try to out do the other ones.  The one that sticks out in my mind the most was when we were taking two coconut meringue pies to one of these gatherings along with the rest of a meal.  That is when everyone had a car with a back seat and floor board.  Remember those days?  None of the SUV's for transporting everything - and no seat belts or car seats!  Mother always drove to church because Dad was the pastor and would go earlier than we would.  That meant my older sister got the front seat and my younger sister and I always had to sit in the back seat.  We pulled up to the little country church and I hopped down out of the seat to get out of the car.  Dear me.  Not a good feeling.  The pies were under my feet.  My shoe went down into one of the pies.  Thank heavens it had Saran Wrap on it!  I think I might have squenched my mother's Spirit that day at church.  It was truly a day for making memories! I hardly ever make a coconut pie without thinking about that day so many, many years ago. 

Have a Blessed Day!