Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Favorite Things

I can't believe it is the end of January! 
Here are a few of my favorites from this month:

1. Downton Abby Season 3 finally airing on PBS

2. new favorite weekend breakfast 

3. Ordering my Easter dress on sale
I know, it's early, but I was not waiting until the last minute like last year. 
Already found Wesley's coordinating tie too!

4. This photo of Penny.

I hope your January was fantastic!
Linking up with Ashley

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Skirt Bow {DIY}

I really wanted to spice up my black pencil skirt for a date night, and got inspired when I saw this.  
The best part...the bow is attached by safety pins, so you can take it on and off!

Here's how to make the bow:

Cut two pieces of fabric, pin them together wrong side out, sew a 1/2" seam around the edge, leaving a 2 inch opening at one of the corners. Use that opening to turn the piece right side out.  
You will have to hand stitch the 2 inch opening closed.  

For the center piece, cut a strip of fabric, fold and sew each side for finished edges.
Wrap it wrong side out around the large piece and pin where you want the center piece to be sewn shut.
Sew and turn it right side out.  

Then, pull the bow through the center piece:

You can attach with a safety pin on the center piece if the fabric is sturdy enough.  The fabric I used was thin, so I used 2 safety pins - one on each side of the bow.

Love it!
Linking up here and here

Monday, January 28, 2013

Secrets of Homemade Pizza

I will confess that I have not always been a fan of homemade pizza.  Growing up, I remember only wanting one kind: Papa John's.  My dad's love for it had corrupted any kind of appreciation for the homemade kind.

In college, things changed.  Poor starving college students know that eating out becomes a luxury that is few and far between.  I had discovered Trader Joe's and fell in love as soon as I walked inside.  (It is so painful that the closest one to me now is 45 minutes away!) They have ready made pizza dough for $1.  And it freezes beautifully.  I could get 2-3 personal sized pizzas from the dough. Thus, the college student began to fall in love with homemade pizza...

Over the years I have perfected it.  Here are a few tricks I have learned :

1. The Dough.  I am really picky about my dough.  I really despise the pre-cooked ones you can pick up at the super market, and don't even get me started on the insane notion of trying to use an english muffin as a crust.  Told you I was picky.  I use this recipe.  Once I found it and had it, I stopped looking for a new one. You can make it a night or two before, leave it in the fridge, and you don't have to roll it! The pre-made Trader's Joe dough is good too.  The trick for that one is to roll it out and cook it for 8 minutes or so before putting on the sauce and doesn't like to cook all the way through with everything on it. Another reason I love the above recipe...don't have to do that step anymore!

2. The Sauce.  This is your opportunity to use your favorite marinara.  So use it!

3. The Cheese. I love to layer in between my toppings.  Example: Sauce, cheese, mushrooms, cheese, peppers, cheese, etc.  Just don't try and cover the entire thing with each layer...I guess unless you love cheese that much.  I am ashamed to say I have yet to figure out how to use the fresh mozzarella   Maybe one day I'll get it down.  It always seems to be watery/runny when I use it so I've stopped for now.  Nothing wrong with some good old fashion pre-shredded goodness!

4. The Toppings.  Get the ones you love, and don't be afraid to try new ones!  One of the beauties of homemade pizza is that it is 100% custom!  For a while I was on a veggie kick, so they turned out more like flat breads with roasted vegetables with a sprinkling of pepper jack cheese (yum!).  Have you ever had roasted garlic and onions on your pizza?  Life changing.  Seriously.  

5. Consider Personal or Sharing Pies.  Personal pizza are the best.  They are smaller (portion control!) and just for you.  So if you hate olives but your friend loves big deal! (I am on team no-olives!) Of course, you can also split the pie right down the middle.  My sister and her boyfriend did that in the pic above.  Brilliant, no?!? 

6. Seasonings. You can pick up "pizza seasoning" in the spice isle.  It is an assortment of dried herbs...usually basil, oregano, and parsley.  I put some on every pizza.  Some.  Not a lot. A little goes a long way...

7. Olive Oil.  When my pizza turns out to be more like a flatbread with mostly toppings and little cheese, I like drizzling olive oil over the top.  Delicious.  Like 1 teaspoon or so. Have fun and fling it around! I skip this  if it's more like a traditional pizza.

8. Salt and Pepper.  On pizza?!? I know, I'm crazy right? Just a small sprinkling of salt and pepper over the top makes it oh so good.  But don't take my word for it.  Try it and find out for yourself.

9. Hot Oven.  I am totally guilty of throwing things in the oven while it is preheating.  You cannot do that with pizza.  Just trust me on this one.

10. The Broiler.  A lot of people are scared of the broiler.  But the broiler in small doses is a good thing.  It browns cheese in just the right places.  It makes the crust nice a crispy.  With pizza, the broiler is your friend.  I crank on the broiler the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Then I get perfection.

Linking up here

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Make me laugh

Sometimes you just need to laugh.  Sometimes you just need to take a moment, or two...or three, or four, and truly appreciate something so funny, you'll laugh about it later....

Like this...

And this...

And this...

who doesn't love a ridiculous dog?

and this video...

Do not even get me started on the Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our food

I have to confess that sometimes entire days get planned around the food I eat. Thanksgiving, of course, is one of those days. This weekend happened to also follow suit. I don't really know why, other than everything we ate just sounded so good this week that we had to have it all this weekend. 

So, here was our weekend, in food....

And then we ate leftovers...because we couldn't get enough the first time.
Hope you had a great weekend and ate some delicious things!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shiny and New

I was too excited to wait until Monday morning for the new design to go live! So, here it is...

A huge thanks to my wonderful husband for helping me pull this together.  I have been blog stalking researching great ideas for the past month and put the finishing touches on this last week.  

Now, I thinks its time to put my feet up and enjoy what's left of my weekend... looking forward to Once Upon a Time and Downton Abby tonight!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Divergent has become one of my new favorite books.  If you liked The Hunger Games, you will more than likely become hooked on Divergent.  It is a dystopia, set in post-apocalyptic Chicago where the society is divided into five factions that focus on a particular virtue: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).   

The story follows Beatrice Prior, who has just turned 16 and has to make a choice to either remain with her faction and family, or choose a new path and leave her family behind.  Her choice is surprising, even to herself....but most importantly she has a secret that if discovered, could mean her death.  But as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens the society, that secret may be the key to saving everyone she loves.

This book is so good!  It has action, suspense, plot twists, a love story... I also love the way Roth illustrates Prior's internal conflict between the loyalty to her family and being true to herself.  As soon as you finish it, you will immediately want to reach for the page-turning sequel Insurgent. Roth is working on the third installment of the trilogy...should be out this fall!

Have you read this book?  
What did you think?!?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lazy Weekend

We had a pretty lazy weekend.  We did a little of this and, dinner out, lounging around the house.  Sunday after church, we took Penny to Bass Lake.  The weather was gorgeous and we thought it would be a great way to spend the afternoon. 

Apparently, so did everyone else!  I have never seen it that crowded before.  So, we didn't stay long.  But Penny had fun.

 And took her first ride in the Highlander. 

Hope you had a great weekend!

 Aren't out takes fun?!?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

No-Sew Burlap Table Runner {DIY}

My dinning room table has been in need of some desperate attention. The finish is coming off in several spots.  Perfect time for a table runner. I didn't want to invest a lot of time in making one.  

This couldn't be any easier!

1. CUT
For my 4 seat table, I needed 80 inches in length - my table is 60 inches long and I wanted 10 inches of overhang on each side.
Here's a trick when cutting the burlap to keep the edges from fraying:

Cut in between the fibers down one row.  This also guides you straight down the fabric - no guide line required!

Next, I added ribbon on each side using super glue.  Use the gel super glue, NOT the liquid.  The liquid will seep through the ribbon.  Not attractive.

That's it!!
The finished product:

Love how it turned out!!

Linking up here,  here, and here!

It's Overflowing

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bojnice Castle {Watercolor}

Bojnice Castle. Watercolor. 2013

My first completed painting in almost 7 years.  

I'm wincing as I type that number.  Far too long. Did you know that if you stop using certain skills, the neural pathways that perform those skills weaken and can even break and form new pathways for the current skills you are using?  They do.  It's called brain grafting.  

It's not my best work, but I think it's time to start again. 
Hopefully there will be many more to come.

Monday, January 7, 2013

White Chili

Who doesn't love a good bowl of chili on a frosty winter's night?
My new favorite kind of chili, is white chili.  So delicious.

Speaking of chili, did you know that to Texans, chili isn't really chili if there are beans in it.  So true. Therefore, I suppose I am denouncing my roots by loving this. 

White Chili

1/2 onion, chopped
 2 cloves garlic, chopped  
jalapeƱo, chopped 
Pablano, chopped
1/4 c green or red pepper, chopped

1T olive oil  
1lb ground turkey or chicken 
4cups chicken broth
2 cans canollini beans, drained
1cup shoepeg corn
1T cumin
iT chili powder
1T dried parsley
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 bay leaf

Tortilla Chips
Sliced avacado
Shredded cheese
Sour Cream

Saute the first 6 ingredients in a large pot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the ground meat and cook till brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf before serving.  Top with desired toppings.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Letters

Dear Wesley, I wish we could go here for dinner tonight. If only, right? Maybe next Friday night.  Dear OR first case, it's an early start today, but I think you are going to be worth it.  I am really hoping that my first aortic aneurysm repair will repair the damage that oral surgery scarred me with in nursing school.  Dear Degas, I have always loved your ballerina paintings. Even though the history books don't say, I'm convinced you were in love with a dancer at some point.  At least the romantic in me would like to think so.  Dear Christmas tree, I never thought I would ever say this, but I am so glad you are out of the house!  Since when does it take an hour to get you from the living room to the outdoors?!? Dear new Highlander, oh how I love driving you around.  And the Bluetooth is pretty phenomenal.  Hands free phone is definitely the way to go, especially in rush hour traffic.   Dear Downton Abby, could you have taken any longer to air in the US?  Don't answer that.  Can't wait for season 3!  Wesley thinks there should be a Biltmore edition.  Any seconds to that?

Linking up here

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Calender Frame {DIY}

One of my favorite presents this year was a calender my sister-in-law put together of Maddi.  The pictures are adorable!!  Ironically, I haven't had a real calender in 3 years, so I needed a great place for it.  

I made this messenger board a few years ago from a yard sale find ($3) and decided I could pop it out and recover it again because, well, I just don't use it!

So simple to recover. 
 Just pull off the old, cut out the new fabric piece, pull tight, and staple. If you don't have a staple gun, you should get one.  
It is fantastic!
The board I have is too flimsy for nails or push pins, so I chose to hang the calender by ribbon. You'll need to secure the ribbon in the back with a few staples so that it can take the weight.
And the bow is cute and useful.  It allows me to untie it and change the page each month!
I love how this turned out!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Honeycutt Family Christmas Party

Sunday night we went to the annual Honeycutt Christmas party. It was our last holiday bash for the year!

My little niece, Maddi, was the star of the party!

So many Honeycutts! 

We had a great time and look forward to next year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I have always been in love with this Irish Blessing:

"May joy and peace surround you,
contentment latch your door, 
and happiness be with you now,
and bless you evermore."

I have thought about it a lot lately and can vouch that we, ourselves, are in control of our own happiness.  It is through our choices, actions, and state of mind that this blessing can be ours.  It can start in our homes and radiate through the rest of our life.  It can start with those who we hold most dear, and expand to even those we like least or perhaps not even at all.  My one wish and goal for this year is to try to live this blessing each and every day, for there is nothing more grand, nothing more inspiring than joy, peace, contentment, and happiness.
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