Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shrimp and Grits

So far my famous dinner is "Shrimp and Grits".  It is fairly simple, so I will share how I do it.

I buy a bag of the small sized shrimp that is cooked and deveined at Target.  It is in the refrigerated meat section.

While the grits are cooking I saute on low heat the shrimp in a little minced garlic and lime juice. (Both store bought and prepared, you know the little jar of minced garlic, and the little lime juice thing).  I usually just let it sit and stir it every few minutes, just so that it heats up so that it isn't cold, and the garlic and lime give it a little flavor.

Cheese Grits

1 cup grits
1 tsp. salt
5 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cup sharp cheese, grated
1 stick butter
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Lea & Perrin

Mix the grits, salt, and water.  Cook over slow heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Add cheese and butter, stir in well beaten eggs.  Add seasonings and Lea & Perrin.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. (I sometimes cook it longer until it is firm) It may be prepared a day ahead and baked at the last minute.  Serves 6-8.

Serve with chopped up bacon, chopped tomatoes, and extra cheese.

This has been a crowd pleaser!  The grits recipe was my grandmothers.

Enjoy the weekend!!

Pretty Birthday Present

My friend Brittany and I found these cute little vases in an old time pharmacy in Crestline Village.  They had the neatest stuff.  I love old "original" pharmacies where they actually have giftie stuff too, besides the usual drugs, etc.

I have 2 birthday parties this week, so I bought 2 of these.

Put one of those pretty orange gerber daises (in the back ground) in one for Kerra last night.   
This one is for my other friend Brittany. (hopefully she won't see this before tomorrow night!)

Tie it with some coordinating tulle and you are ready to go!  I think it is a precious birthday gift if I must say so myself!  

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cross Collection

I love crosses. 2 reasons. The obvious one: Jesus.  The second: because they are so cool looking! So many options everywhere you go.  I think crosses are something you can collect your entire life and they make great gifts for friends too.

This is in the first landing of our stairs, you see it from downstairs and as you are coming DOWN the stairs from upstairs.

The majority of them are from Hobby Lobby that I bought when their home accents are 50% off.  My newest edition the orange and blue was from an antique store downtown.  The wooden, branch cross is from At Home.

A few of my favorites:

Very easy way to turn a blank wall into a very unique masterpiece, inexpensively!


Hope everyone had a glorious weekend!  Two of my very good friends came to stay with me on Friday night and they were both lovely enough to give me a little gift for hosting their stay.  Shout out to Sallianne and Meredith!

Sal gave me this cute tin candle holder with an unscented candle.  She said it is for outside and it WOULD look perfect on my front porch.  But, until this weather is warm consistently and I can sit outside every evening, I'll keep it inside.  Also because I think it is so pretty, I want to enjoy it!

With the candle.  I am sure it will look really pretty one spring night with the candle flickering... But until then...

Found a vase that is a little taller than the holder, so I can get it in and out.  Filled it with water and set the vase down in it.

Then filled it with my beautiful gerber daises that I bought from Whole Foods before my guests came.

So until it is warm, this is the centerpiece of the dinner table!  Love it! Thanks Sal.
(And thanks Mere for the yummy smelling candle, I'm burning it all the time!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yummy Home-Made Chocolate Chip and M&M cookies

(Just baked these this morning for my house guests coming this evening!)

1 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup of your favorite kind of m&m's (or 2 cups chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Stir in the vanilla.  Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water.  Add to the batter as well as the salt.  Stir in the flour, chocolate chips, and m&m's.  Place large spoonfuls onto un-greased pans.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are browned.

This makes 4 dozen

If they are too hard in a day or two after baking them, pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds and they will be soft like you just took them out of the oven!  They are so yummy.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things in Things

I just realized how many baskets or things I have holding things.
But I do think it is a good idea having a designated place for certain things so that the house doesn't get cluttered and you know where those things are if you have to look for them!
This is a basket I have on the credenza for mail and Drew's magazines or things we need to go through.

When Drew bid on this Gucci golf bag on ebay a long time ago, he knew there would be some use for it right?  The umbrella holder by the door!

I bought this basket for $12 at Old Time Pottery and I have it in the first landing of the stairs.  If I don't have time to run upstairs or I just don't want to, I put it in the basket and take it up and unload when I want.

THE BEST.  My utensil crock.  I can't imagine life without it or how all this stuff would fit in a drawer! So easy to grab anything I need when I'm at the stove.

I just recently received this footed compote in my every day china. I think it is beautiful.  It is the perfect size to store fruit and veggies.

Besides my Juliska everyday we registered for, my grandmother gave me all of her everyday china a couple of years ago.  This is a serving piece from it.  I love that it is white so I can mix pieces with my new.  This is Drew's Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine candy.  I don't touch it!

This big bowl sits on top of the fridge with all the bread.

I really don't like clutter and I live to be organized.  So these pieces help make my life simple!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Flower Obsession...

I never really thought I was a big fan of flowers...  I received them at every performance since I was 3, maybe I just didn't take them all in for what they were worth.  I DO NOW!  I love them.  They brighten my day.  I end up changing the water, trim, and re-arrange the ones in our house, daily.  Like grooming a pet, I suppose.  I am just now looking through a lot of our wedding photo's and thought I would post some of my favorites of the flower arrangements.

Wreath on the gate in front of the church.  
Roses, spider mums, hydrangeas, and those little green berries I love!

Can't seem them very well.. I couldn't find a close up of the altar flowers.

Hydrangeas marking the family pews.

My bouquet
Gardenias (3rd generation for a gardenia wedding bouquet!), roses, stephanotis

Bridesmaids bouquet
Spider mums, roses, berries, artichokes


I am obsessed...

Reception centerpiece
For the wedding ceremony, we just had ivory and green flowers because the church is so colorful and beautiful, I didn't want to take away from that with flowers.  For the reception we had some pinks and peaches added to the green and ivory mix.

Used the bridesmaids bouquets for some of the centerpieces at the reception.

Those were my favorites.  We had the BEST florists, best in Huntsville.  They were wonderful to work with and SO helpful.  Not sure if they would want me to advertise them on my blog, so if you want their info, leave me a comment with your e-mail address!  Now if only I could plant them and have them survive.  For now, I just purchase.

A spot for now.

This is where I am trying out the sun burst clock.  At the top of the stairs in the landing across from my desk area.  I couldn't find an appropriate spot to hang it on the wall so, propping it for now will have to do!  I will also find a different spot for that chair once I have the "bedroom" chair recovered.  And once I find the fabric for it! ha

Still have to find the correct battery size so it will work!

Hope everyone had a magical Valentines day!  We had a good one.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Recipe Friday

Warm and EASY! 1 side 1 dessert.

Corn Casserole

1 stick butter
1 egg
1 can cream style corn
1 small box cornbread mix
1 small sour cream

Melt butter and mix all ingredients well.  Pour into small baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

(I made this for my family last night and it is a new favorite!)

Easy Fudge Pie

1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 regular frozen pie crust

Mix together first 3 ingredients.  Add in the 3 dry ingredients.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Cook until almost set, 30-33 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and allow pie to cool.  Top with whipped cream or ice cream.

(I make this pie ALL the time in a pinch, when I need a dessert, it is SO easy and SO yummy)

Happy weekend and Valentines Day!!  I'm going to Black Eyed Peas on Saturday night with some besties and to my favorite place for dinner on Valentines Day!


SO my parents came yesterday!  We had a quick lunch and only got to go to ONE store.. Then we went car looking for my mom.  So that took the rest of the day.  Luckily they will be here a little longer today and we are going to hit the old Ethan Allen store and Home Goods.  

Found these jewels at the Consignment/Antique store on Rocky Ridge behind the old Starbucks.  The name has completely left me for the moment.  It is 1960's Danish sofa and 2 chairs.  For $475 with %20 off.  If you are interested let me know and I can give you directions.  It is a steal of a deal for me.  Probably because I want it so badly... I have no where to put it.  I would OBVIOUSLY recover the cushions, but if you like the fabric... you are in luck!  Each piece is in PERFECT condition, even the straps under the cushions.  Some one took perfect care of these puppies.. As I would. =(

This is actually very similar to the Danish bedroom chair I bought recently that I have been meaning to re-do for a month or so...

Maybe we will find something else spectacular today!

Hope everyone has a great Thursday and I'll put up a yummy recipe tomorrow (or 2)!
Dinner food? Sides? or DESSERT?  Someone tell me what they would rather me put up!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cheapest Nightstand EVER!

Good morning!  After D and I got engaged of course I went CRAZY trying to do the house.  Well one of the last things I needed was my own nightstand.  I had redone Drew's to match his dresser and to match the one I bought for myself.  I looked EVERYwhere for a night stand.  Then my mom had a bright idea to buy one of these little round stick tables, skirt it, and have a piece of glass cut for the top.  Well one time I was at home with my parents and I ran to a garage sale (this was after I had given up on the nightstand for a while).  I found this table... for $1!!!!

This is the table skirted.  The green is the same fabric as the chair I recovered for our bedroom and the topper is the same fabric as our duvet.  Less than $30 of fabric.

Finished product.

Table: $1
Fabric: $30
Glass: $10

So a $41 custom made night stand!  I like it.  I just wish it had a drawer.. So I have to stick some things under the skirt!  Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fabulous Find

This was what I bought at  "On a Shoestring" on Sunday.  My sister-in-law told me that this was there a couple weeks ago.  So I went and looked for myself and couldn't find it.  I had Laura and the owner looking for it everywhere.  Then talked to Shelley and she told me exactly where it was.  I figured whenever I had time I would go back if it was still there it was meant to be!  And it was!

If anyone knows me they know my obsessiveness with sun-bursts.  This one is from the 1960's and if I could actually get the right size battery, Drew thinks it will work again.  Going to re-try tonight and hang it up!  I believe I am going to put it above the book shelf by my desk in the landing.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Powder Room

It's been a strange weekend.  But we have a good week coming up.  My sweet doggie of almost 16 years was put to rest on Friday morning.  My whole family is having a hard time coping with the loss, he was part of the family!  But tonight we are having Drew's cousin Mark and his wife Michelle over for dinner before they leave for Brazil for 4 years!  We will miss them dearly.  My parents are coming to be with me Wednesday and they are spending the night.  We are going antiquing so I can post if I find anything good! Speaking of finding something good, went to "On a Shoestring" again this afternoon with Drew and got something AWESOME!  I will post on it tomorrow.  Then Saturday one of my very best friends, Coral is coming to stay with us and she, Laura, and I are going to the BLACK EYED PEAS!  Can't wait.  Anyway, so start of a new, fresh, clean week.

Speaking of clean and fresh this is our powder room.  This is the only wall with the damask wall paper. The rest of the walls are painted a light, light creme, the color of the pattern.  I notice now more than ever how crooked and badly spaced my frames are... Must get on that soon.  The frames were %50 off at Hobby Lobby, that is THE ONLY time to buy picture frames, they have such good deals!  The frames came matted with the white mattes and the inside is just damask patterned craft paper that I cut to fit. Can you believe that the toilet is creme and the pedestal sink is white!? ugh.

This mirror is from Home Goods.  I think it was less than $30.  They have an awesome selection of mirrors.  You can see the miniature window (kind of) in the mirror.  I couldn't maneuver well enough to get a shot of the window (it is a powder room).  I have a long, geometric patterned, white window treatment that drags the ground.  I have a mate for it and I have thought about one day hanging them on the 4 tall windows in our stair well.  But for now, it stays.

I have had this shelf since I was a little girl.  The room needed a little something else in it and so I stuffed this in there.  Right now it is too cluttered for me, but I like everything that's on there!  Any suggestions on what to do with the shelves?

Hope everyone has a great Monday.  I will post my cool, antique item tomorrow!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Recipe Friday

I have 2 REALLY simple soup/chili recipes that take less than 45 minutes a piece from start to finish.  Before it starts to get warm I thought I would post these!  They both are really yummy and they both have become 2 of my staple recipes to go to for an easy dinner.

Taco Soup (from my mom)
serves 8-10

1 1/2 lbs ground chuck-browned
1 (16 oz) can whole kernal corn
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans (so not rinse)
1 (16 oz) kidney beans
1 (10 oz) can Ro-tel tomatoes
2 (16 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
2 cups water
2 beef bouillion cubes
1 (1.25 oz) taco seasoning mix
1 (1 oz) package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Mix all ingredients in large stock pot.  Heat to boil and simmer 30 minutes.  Serve with cheese, nachos, sour cream, and salsa.

I have used ground chuck and ground turkey for this.  Both are good!

White Chili (from Drew's mom)
serves 4-6

1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 (4 oz) chopped green chilis
3 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 (16 oz) can great northern beans (drain & rinse)
1 (14.5) oz can chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chopped chicken breast

Cook onion in oil until soft.  Add chilis, flour, and cumin, cook and stir about 3 minutes.  Add this mixture, chicken broth, and beans to pot.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.  Add chicken, cook until hot.

These recipes are SO EASY!  I try and get all Publix or Target brand cans and I really do save some money.  Also I didn't know what great northern beans were, but I used Navy beans in the white chili.  I do NOT like to cook chicken, I always over cook it so it isn't raw and then it turns out to be tough and chewy like bubble gum.  So I use a rotisserie chicken for the white chili, it is SO easy to use and you have left over for another meal!  Enjoy! Happy Weekend!

(I didn't put pictures up because soups and chilis don't look all that appetizing on film..)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Stools!

Our stools came yesterday!  From  They are the perfect height and the silver helps make all the dark in the "dining" and kitchen area not seem so dark..

This isn't where they sit, but the light was better to take the picture here.  They are finally the right height for the table and the counter!  I kept the saddle stools for future houses.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Antique Finds/All in the family.

Yesterday, Laura and I went to "On a shoestring" in Bluff Park and my favorite "Antiques & Consignments" in the old Ethan Allen building on 31.  Here is what I bought! I spent less than $20.

I found this at the first stop.  My mom has a vase similar to this and I just really think colored glass is different and fun.  I have cleaned it up a little (found a lovely dead wasp in it) now it is ready to go through the dishwasher.  I found it in the caboose at "On a shoestring," where everything is 50% off, so this was $2.50.

I'm keeping it all in the family I suppose!  This is an old trivet, my grandmother has a painting with this little prayer and I always loved it.  Laura bought one similar but it has bright umbrellas on it, it is super cute.

This was my favorite find of the day.  It an original rendering of a glass company here in Birmingham.  It doesn't have the date on it, but it is in the original frame.  My sister-in-law reminded me yesterday that Drew's grandparents on his mothers side owned and ran a glass company in Georgia.  So each piece I got yesterday has a significance with a family member!  

I love the muted colors and the old cars.

Got to LOVE the architectural handwriting, no CAD back then!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In door green thumb

In the last couple of weeks I have collected some plants and flowers.  My mother has so many plants around their house and I want to be like that!  Some how I can't keep them alive very long, so I am crossing my fingers this time.  They are good for you too!

These are two types of cacti.  They probably are not to be planted together.. But I thought it would be really cute in one of my grandmothers antique cups by the sink.  They are to have medium-high light and not much water.  They are the not prickily kind of cacti.

Sorry for the bluriness. I need to work on spending time taking my pictures.  This is a bromeliad.  I got it from Collier's Nursery on Old Rocky Ridge.  They were SO helpful.  I told them I wanted a plant, easy maintenance, and that didn't need much light (because we don't get much light downstairs).  I also already had the pot, from Old Time Pottery, so they helped me get a plant that made all these requirements!  This is it! I love the orange bloom.  They said to let it fully dry out before watering it again.  So I am patiently waiting... I don't want this one to die.  The lady who helped me said that in about 6 months the bloom would die, but that another would sprout shortly after, in a different place.

For the last few weeks when I make my weekly Publix trip, I grab a bouquet of flowers.  One of the $3.99 or $4.99 ones.  I have had these daiseys almost 2 weeks.  They came in a larger bouquet and these are the ones that have continued to last.  I change the water out every few days and trim them.

Drew came home last night with a beautiful pink and green bouquet for me last night.  He had to go to Target to pick up a prescription and we had been there the day before and he remembered that I had commented on this bouquet.  I had a few of the flowers from my bouquet at Publix.  I kept the green ones from that bouquet and added the ones he brought me last night.  I LOVE greenery too, all the extra makes for a beautiful centerpiece!

Here are a few left over in a little bud vase in the powder room.  All I do is spend max $4.99 a week and they spruce up my week and home!