Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow Day

We woke up to 5 inches of snow yesterday and enjoyed - yet another - day off from school.  This time was worth it though.  We slept in, made waffles for breakfast, ordered Big Hero 6 from On Demand and then ventured out with the neighborhood kiddos.

True Southern Boys.  No ski clothes here.  
Baseball pants, under jeans under sweatpants - with rain boots.  That's how we roll.

Pretty courtyard....but I'm ready for spring.

Loving my new rain boots from Talbot's

A sledding we will go!

Mama's boys

All this fun warranted use of the hot chocolate bar

Christmas has gone but we are still enjoying our Polar Express mugs.

Thumbs up, Mommy!

Ended the day making a sweet potato vine.  Stay tuned for progress.

Here is what the yard looked like at the end of the day.
The weather is calling to be in the 60s on Monday.  Only in the south.....

We have school today so I am off to pack lunches.  It was fun while it lasted!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mad About Mottahedeh

I am linking up again with the Share Your Style party.  Last week, I opted for an entertaining entry with my Welcome Home Cheeseboard.  Today, I am sharing a sneak peak of how I style my home.

I was born an old soul and draw a lot of decorating inspiration from Colonial Williamsburg - think Baldwin Brass, mahogany, china, silver - you get the idea.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have been mad about Mottahedeh. I blame my mother.  She would drag me from one antique shop to another as a child but certainly had a huge influence on my own style.  While my friends would be playing Barbies, I would be pouring over her catalogs oogling at all the pretty things.

But back to Mottahedeh.  Mother loves the Tobacco Leaf pattern and has it all over her home.  When it came time to start building my collection, I chose the Duke of Gloucester pattern.  Here is how I prettied up a corner in my dining room.

As  you can see, this is a tricky space to decorate due to the vent.  
My wall shelf and plant stand fill the space perfectly.

I hope you enjoy!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Sunday Supper: BC Easy Tomato Soup with Jalapeno & Cheddar Cornbread

It has been downright cold this past week here in the south.  I have a lot of friends who live up north and realize that I have little room to complain about the weather.  BUT, the south just doesn't do well when the temp drops to single digits......and doesn't snow!  We had a dusting covered in ice - ick.  Dump some snow on me if you are going to freeze me out.  I had to laugh the other day when I actually said how happy I was that it was 20 degrees.  So clearly, all this cold weather had me hankering for a big bowl of warm soup.

I opted for an easy, ol' faithful recipe from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof - Easy Tomato Soup.  This is a super easy meal.  You saute onions in oil, add garlic, a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper and then some orzo and heavy cream.  It is so, so, so very comforting on a cold night and surprisingly filling.  You can search the recipe on Food Network or just google Barefoot Contessa Easy Tomato Soup.

What I was most excited about was trying my hand at homemade cornbread.  Up to this point in my life, I have been a Jiffy girl.  I had seen a recipe for Crawfish Cornbread while I was researching Mardi Gras meals that I was hoping to give a whirl.  Sadly, our seafood shop is changing crawfish carriers and won't have any for the next few weeks.  So, I simply omitted that part of the recipe and figured cheddar and jalapeño cornbread would still be yummy.  In truth, this might have been good if I halved the jalapeño portion.  So I'll keep trying.......I have a few other cornbread recipes to try.  Would love you to share if you have a good one.  Here is the recipe I followed.

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ash Wednesday

We've ushered in Lent in our house and I am so excited to share this season with the wee ones.  I grew up in the Episcopal Church and married into a Baptist family so Lent is a little different now.  But, the meaning is the same and I feel very strongly about making sure my children understand the Lenten journey.  Unfortunately,  our Ash Wednesday service at Church was cancelled due to ice and another pending storm, so I simply revealed our projects before dinner.  Of course, I want them to be excited about the Easter Bunny and egg hunts; but I also want them to understand the power and meaning behind the season.  So join us for a kid friendly Journey To The Cross.

I love this interactive 40 Day Lenten Walk found on Pinterest from Catholic Icing

Journey to the Cross Prayer Chain
Each day we will write a prayer on a piece of paper and create a dangling prayer chain

On another note entirely, I am excited to have linked up with the Share Your Style party.  Check it out here - mine is the Welcome Home Cheese Board (#50).


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mardi Gras

Why are we celebrating Fat Tuesday?  What exactly is Mardi Gras?  These were the questions my hubby asked as he sat down to my dinner last night.

1.  Why are we celebrating Fat Tuesday?  Silly man, like I need an excuse to throw a party.  But in truth, I adore New Orleans.  I went for a weekend back in my 20s with a friend who was from NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana).  The antique shopping, the food, the music, the architecture, the homes -!!!!  It was divine - and not for the debauchery, which has made the city famous.  I also have ordered a King Cake from Gambino's Bakery in New Orleans every year since I worked in the U.S. Senate.  The Senators from Louisiana would send all the offices a King Cake and I was a goner after one bite.

2.  What exactly is Mardi Gras?  Well, it is a carnival that starts on Epiphany and runs through Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday), which is the day preceding Ash Wednesday.   A day to store up for 40 days of fasting and reflection (Lent) that brings us to a glorious Easter morning.  

Last year, Harrison came home from his TK class with some Mardi Gras beads and was asking questions about the holiday.  I was excited to share with him the history (he's gonna be a history buff like his Daddy) and decided we would celebrate the day going forward.  I left out the explanation of how one earns beads.......little man is going to have to learn that one on his own.........many, many, MANY years from now.

Sadly, my family doesn't share my love for King Cake.  So we started the day off with a variation of King Cake, cinnamon rolls with green decorative sugar crystals - they were out of yellow and purple at the store....I figured the wee ones wouldn't mind.

School was closed due to a little bit of snow covered with a lot of ice so hot chocolate was in order.  They accompanied our Girl Scout Cookies fabulously - yummo!

We enjoyed a cajun shrimp casserole for dinner.  The recipe came from Southern Living and was wonderful though I think I will add some sausage to the leftovers.  You can view the recipe here.

After dinner, we had our own parade.  I put on a little Harry Connick, Jr (Jambalaya) and we danced around and drove the puppy nuts.  Even the hubby joined in the fun.

Let The Good Times Roll!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Sunday Supper: Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom & Country Ham Grits

As a southerner, there are few things I love more than grits.  They are good ol' comfort food in their own right; but dress them up a bit and they can really make a meal.  Last night, they were certainly the star of our Sunday Supper.

The hubby has been traveling a lot lately so it was nice to gather around the table for one of our favorite traditions - Sunday Supper.  I simply cooked up a store bought peppercorn crusted pork tenderloin, steamed up some asparagus but then made it special by serving it all with creamy stone-ground grits with mushrooms and country ham.  This recipe came from Virginia Willis' cookbook, Bon Appetit, Y'all. 

Virginia Willis' Creamy Stone-Ground Grits with Mushrooms and Country Ham

2 cups water
2 cups whole milk
1 cup stone-ground grits
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 ounces country ham, thinly sliced into strips
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms of choice
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup grated parmigiana-reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

In a large saucepan, bring water and milk to a boil over medium-high heat.  Slowly add the grits, whisking constantly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Decrease the heat to low and simmer until grits are creamy and thick - about 45 to 60 minutes (stirring occasionally).

Line a plate with paper towels.  While the grits are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the ham and cook until lightly browned and some of the fat has rendered, about 3 minutes.  Remove the ham to the prepared plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil.

In the same skillet, cook the mushrooms.  Season with pepper (no need for salt as the country ham will have released plenty in the skillet).  Cook until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add wine and cook stirring until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender, about 5 more minutes.

Remove grits from the heat; whisk in the cheese, parsley and butter.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.  To serve, place a dollop of grits on each plate and top with the mushrooms and ham.  Garnish with the parsley.

I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful this is - make it today!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cupid's Luncheon

Happy Valentine's Day!  We have enjoyed a lazy day around the house but managed to whip up a fun lunch in honor of Cupid himself.

I love taking something as simple as peanut butter sandwiches and transforming it into a special meal.  I used a cupid and a heart cookie cutter to make the sandwiches, threw some apple sauce in a bowl and printed off this "Happy Valentine's Day, Cutie Pie" topper for some Oatmeal Cream Pies.  I wish I had thought of that earlier - I am definitely going to have to remember that for class valentines next year.  They washed everything down with a Pucker Up Kiddie Cocktail (which was really just 7 Up, Grenadine and cherries).  Lastly, I whipped up a sign with X's and O's that read "You are soooo loved".

When the wee ones sat down to the table, they had cards from Grandparents and other loved ones waiting for them.  It was a sweet time and the hubs and I exchanged our gifts as well.

Hope you are feeling loved - be it by family or friends today.  And speaking of friends, it is one of my best friends birthday today so happy, happy birthday, Naomi!!!

xoxo's - you are soooo loved!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

So We Got A Puppy.........

The hubs has been wanting a puppy - an English Springer Spaniel puppy to be exact.  I finally caved in over the summer.  He convinced me that since he was working from home and I was currently not working that this would be the perfect time to train a puppy.   Well, he must have convinced me on a day that I forgot how much he travels.  Anyhoo -

Meet Grady.  I have to say, he is a super sweet dog.  He is good with the boys - most especially when they are chasing him with light sabers, pulling his tail and yanking on his ears.  He doesn't bark that much.  BUT (you knew it was coming), he's a puppy.  He's a bird dog.  He has A LOT OF ENERGY!!!!  So somebody cue Elvis because.........

You're The Devil In Disguise

what you don't see in this picture is that the trash can is on top of the toilet and the toilet paper is hidden. Grady's favorite game is grabbing toilet paper and taking off and unraveling the whole.dang.roll!

Oh! Yes, You Are

The Devil In Disguise

Like the polka dot carpet - augh! gross......

And as if on cue, I am off to rescue my couch pillow from the dog.  

Have a great, puppy-free day!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Hunk At My House

It seems like my Facebook feed is blowing up with folks talking about the upcoming release of the movie 50 Shades of Grey.  Some good/some bad - that is fine.  I haven't read the books and have no intention of seeing the movie.  I'm not a prude and I have no problem with my friends who are excited to see the film.  But I will tell you this - a hunk lives at my house.

As I was cleaning today, I went to take something into my husband's office.  He is out of town on business but look what I found on his desk.

I know he takes time for devotional each day but just seeing The Word opened on his desk, next to his daily devotion book does something to me that I can't explain.  Sometimes I take our plain, everyday, ordinary life for granted.  So perhaps it is good medicine to walk into a room in the midst of chores only to be confronted with a simple reminder of the wonderful man you get to call your husband. I hope you've experienced this feeling.

I'll admit, I was attracted to my sweetie long before we started dating.  And when I scratched the surface I found a charming, witty and caring man.  But when I got close enough to know his heart, I fell madly in love.  There I found the man who would stand by my side in good times and bad.  A man who would handle the midnight feedings and diaper changes so I could rest.  A man who insists on cleaning the dishes after I make dinner.  A man who after a long, hard day at work, finds time to throw a baseball with his son and pick up dog poop in the front yard so I won't gag (like it is any less disgusting for him).  A man who bathes the boys each night because he knows squatting hurts my arthritis.  A man who does a million things without thinking or having to be asked simply because he wants to be helpful.  A man who loves The Lord, his family and his mama. This to me is a true hunk. Books won't be written about men like my husband and Hollywood certainly won't make movies about them - so you all can enjoy 50 Shades of Grey.  I'm going to enjoy the hunk at my house.


Monday, February 9, 2015

100th Day of School

If you follow my blog, you know I draw a lot of inspiration from fellow Georgia Peach, Dixie Delights.  Well, today she flat out saved me!

Today is the 100th Day of School and I have heard nothing about this other than an email from Harrison's teacher asking for supplies for a class activity.  So I sent in a big box of Goldfish and called it a day.  But, I always admired the fun activities on the DD blog.  So I downloaded her  100th Day Printable and organized a fun breakfast.

I used the printable to make a picture frame for his teacher.  The picture is of Harrison on his first day.

As the day has progressed, I have seen all these adorable pictures of kids dressed up for school.  I am SO glad I fussed over the day at breakfast.  I'm curious about the history of this day - anyone know?  This was not a big deal when I was growing up.  But you know me - always looking for a fun activity.  Can't wait to hear about the 100th Day adventures today!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Valentines Sneak Peak

I have been having fun with the wee ones this weekend planning our Valentines Day goodies.  Here is a sneak peak of the treats we are giving out this year.  It was especially fun this go-around as Spencer single handedly picked out the treats.

First off, I give my Wednesday night Mission Friends class at Church the same gift each year.  I just think it is so fun and sweet for 4-5 year olds.  I mean - who doesn't love bubbles?  The printable came from Not Consumed.  I absolutely adore this blog.

God's Love Bubbles Over For You

For Spencer's class, I was thrilled when he chose the classic Sweethearts candy and was doubly excited when he liked another printable from Not Consumed.  I think he just like the design but the message made me happy and is perfect for his 3 year old preschool class.

While I wanted to do a homemade card for Harrison, once he saw these Star Wars Lego cards at the store, the search was over.  He begged and pleaded for the 30 minute shopping experience that I couldn't refuse him.

Here's a look back to last year's fun.  2014 VDay Gifts and 2014 Be Mine Breakfast.

Hope you enjoy and don't forget to read Not Consumed!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Donuts for Dad

Tuesday was Donuts for Dads at the wee one's preschool.  Sadly, Daddy was away on business.  I am not exactly sure when he got in last night but this is what awaited him when he finally woke up.  He has a day full of conference calls and will be back on a flight out of town on Sunday.  My hope is that this offered a sweet start to his day.

He works so hard to take good care of us.  We  are so grateful but sure miss him when he is gone.

Well, I am off to prep Valentine card for the kiddos.  Sneak peak to come tomorrow.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Oscar de la Renta Exhibit Opens Today In Savannah

I adore Andre Leon Talley.  He is wild, charming and pretty darn spot on when it comes to one would expect since his employer is Vogue magazine.  It all conjures up the imagery of Stanley Tucci's character in The Devil Wears Prada.  Granted, I don't read Vogue anymore and my attention to fashion has dwindled now that my days seem to revolve around what time I need to be in the carpool line and less about looking impressive as I navigate the halls of Congress.  But I do still love the glamour - especially when it focuses on days gone by.....when women were down right stunning and not looking like.......well, how I did today; like I just rolled out of bed - because I did.

I had the pleasure of being in the presence of Mr. Talley back in 2006.  He was speaking to a crowd at the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, DC.  His topic was on the upcoming spring line fresh from the fashion shows in New York.  It was amazing.  And, of course, I was thrilled when he announced his love for Target.  He entertained a few questions from the crowd when he finished his presentation.  After a lady posed her question, he said, "I'll answer your question when you tell me where you got your belt."  She replied by explaining where her entire high-end label outfit was from and then blushed to say the belt came from Target.  His response?  "Rock it girl, I love TAR-JAY!!!!"

I fell in love.  HE'S REAL!!!  I remember thinking.  A year later, I traded in my nice suits and an impressive job for my own "real life" in North Carolina......I've never regretted that choice but that night still lingers strong in my memories.  I had the privilege  of participating in some fantastic events during my time in D.C. and this was certainly a fun highlight.

SO - you can just imagine my delight to know Mr. Talley has opened an Oscar de la Renta exhibit today at the Savannah Collage of Art and Design.  Two words:  ROAD TRIP!  Get all the info here:

Meet me at midnight in the garden of good and evil!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Home Office Nook

I am so excited to be blogging today from my very own home office nook.  It makes me so giddy to finally have a work space of my own.

For the past 8 months I have been paying bills, organizing school projects, jotting down grocery lists and all sorts of things from our dining room table.  All this did was create an unorganized mess as I moved piles from the table to the corner of my bedroom dresser and back again to the table.  But now, due to my "Operation Wasted Space", everything has a home and I can sit here and tend to all my Mommy Items.

You can read about my two part "Operation Wasted Space" here and here.

The upstairs landing is just enough space for me and I love that I have been able to use pieces that I have had laying around the house.  I didn't have to buy one thing to whip this spot together.  That almost gets me excited to pay bills.

Upstairs Landing

Desk and Office Closet

The left closet is now the Fly Fishing storage area and the door to the right leads to the guest bathroom.   That is the next project I plan to tackle....

Few things make me happier than being organized. Thank you 11 Magnolia Lane for inspiring the project.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Impromptu Super Bowl Party

Y'all know I love to plan a party but rarely do I come downstairs from doing chores to find out a party has been planned without my knowledge.  Granted, it is Super Bowl Sunday, and I should have known the hubs would want to watch football; but this just takes the cake.

We lived in Washington, DC for 8 years in which the hubby became a huge Redskins fan.  Evidently, at some point during the afternoon, he ran out and got some wings, celery/carrots/ranch dip and some BBQ and then proceeded to make an indoor tailgate complete with Redskin paraphernalia.

Harrison kept asking why Daddy was pulling for the Redskins when we live in North Carolina.  He then wanted to know when the Panthers would take the field.  Finally, he was totally confused with the fact that neither team would be playing.  So there has been a lot of explaining going on and I have to say, it has been sweet watching the hubs take in his first Super Bowl with his two boys.  AND THEY ARE EXCITED ABOUT IT!!!!  Harrison has already made Daddy promise to take him to a Carolina Panthers game this fall.  Too, too cute.