Fall Decorating

Yesterday, at our house we had a spontaneous pumpkin painting party! Amy, Amanda, Kealee and Joy came over to paint pumpkins. We had all bought our pumpkins the previous week and I always have paint so it was a perfect day for the job.

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Amanda and Amy have great handwriting and they are both perfectionist. I used to be a perfectionist but now I have lighten up a little in that area. I did free hand.

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All you need to do this project is :

pumpkins

wire ribbon

paint

brushes

glue gun

You can write your words with a pencil and fill in the letters with paint or free hand you pumpkin. Next, take the wire ribbon and wrap it on your finger or around a pencil about 6 or so times. Remove it from your pencil and pull it apart. Glue the ribbon to the top of the pumpkin.

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Amy used ribbon without wire. It looks beautiful too! I like that she used orange and white pumpkins.

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Amy used tape and free handed a design on one of her pumpkins. Looks beautiful!

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This is Amy’s front porch:

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Amanda did a great job on her pumpkins too! This is Amanda’s style on her front porch:

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And here are mine:

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We all have our own style but it all works together! It was a fun morning having the girls here doing our projects together. We all have different styles but they all look great!

While they were here I did my inside decorating too. I used the same stuff that I had last year but it looks a little different. I try not to use too many “Halloween” type things on my tables and mantel so it lasts through Thanksgiving. Here are a few pictures.

Dining Room Table:

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Kitchen Table:

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When decorating tables and mantels, remember, it is all about layering. Keep adding layers until your happy. Always add height to your decorations. You can hid books, use wood pieces, cake plates etc. . Just add height.

Dill Potato Salad

I love potato salad but I hate all the fat and mayo in it. So, of course, I have made up my own recipe that is pretty yummy! Believe me when I say we are not the all organic health food nuts here but I would like to be more and more. We do eat pretty healthy and I try to change things to make them better for our diets. This is one recipe I changed and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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Dill Potato Salad:

10 red potatoes

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

¼ cup buttermilk

1 TBS  Dijon mustard

3 TBS of a whole grain mustard

4 stalks of chopped celery

½ of small chopped red onion

½ cup chopped dill

Kosher salt

Wash and cut potatoes in cubes. Try to cut potatoes the same size so they cook the same. Cover the potatoes in water with a little bit of kosher salt. Cook until potatoes are soft when poked with a fork.

While potatoes are cooking chop celery, onion and dill. Set aside.

Mix mayo, buttermilk and mustards. Set aside.

After potatoes are cooked, drain and let cool.

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl then add potatoes. Be careful not to mash the potatoes while mixing. Garnish with celery greens.

I serve this with hamburgers and hot dog, BBQ, BBQ chicken, and sandwiches.

Enjoy!

 

Our Annual Family Beach Trip

It is that time of year when the beach is full of people soaking up the sun and swimming in the sea. Well, we were fourteen of those people. Our family beach trip started out this year a little on the shaky side. One grandchild with a fever and one with Hand, Foot and Mouth. I was a bit worried that it was not going to happen as planned. I have learned to except things for what they are and PRAY! So that I did. We did all end up at the beach house on the same day. Some a little later than others but we all made it. The Brinkley’s came last and I didn’t get a picture of them arriving. 

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For the first three days it rained….yes rained! We did a lot of our William Mangum puzzle, games, talking and eating. I taught Joy how to play rummy. And let’s not forget our electronic devices.

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On the third day of rain some of us decided to head down to the beach anyway.

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And then to the pool. The babies stayed inside due to the amount of work it takes to get the babies there and then if it rained it would not be good!

On Tuesday Mr. Sunshine came out! What a blessing it was to all of us. We went to the beach daily after that. We hauled our big tent, chairs, paddle board and all our children with their toys to the beach. We loaded the ole Suburban and drove it down to be unloaded. We had so much stuff but it was great fun! This was our home on the beach. It provided shade, a place for the babies to nap or a place to play.

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Adyson, our youngest granddaughter, put her toes in the sand for the first time. And Elijah loved the water!

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Of course the older four enjoyed the water. Caleb paddle boarded a lot! He was stung three times by jellyfish and would go right back into the water. Cohen was trying to surf and they all had a big water fight. Joy was not as fond of the water this year because she found out in school what lives in the water. Kealee is really a pool kind of kid but she is a good sport about it.

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Kealee loved playing with the babies and taking pictures. She was our family photographer.

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And, there was a Isle of Palm World Cup on the beach one day. I am not sure who won but Amy and Amanda were very hard on their husbands. I would have given yellow cards. At one point it looks like Mike, Jason and Amanda are dancing in one of the shots.

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Elijah loved to walk up and down the beach. He and Mike would walk and worship.

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The guys all used the paddle board. Some tried surfing with it. Jason said it was really scary when that giant paddle board came back on top of you but they did it anyway. And of course, Pops was out there.

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This year as every year I try to bring something new to the beach.  I bought beautiful white lanterns that we were all going to release on the beach but….there was a $1040 fine if you set them off. So needless to say we did not set them off.

There was a beach fairy at this house who left a present for each child every night. Adyson got her first purse, Elijah wasn’t really sure what to do and the older kids loved their bubbles. The kids woke up each morning with anticipation of what was left by the beach fairy. She left her gifts on the steps. From youngest to oldest.

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We had our Journal there for everyone to write stories in. I really love to read what the kids write. Their stories make me smile and always amaze me by their thinking process from the experiences. The stories are different with each child.

Our dinner out this year was a little difficult. It is very hard to seat 14 people in one place and the lines were very long. Being outside with a infant in 90 plus degrees is not easy. We had a progressive dinner out this year. Appetizers were at Pearls Oyster Bar where it was very hot. 

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Then off to Hyman’s Seafood for dinner. This was a very cool family owned seafood house in downtown Charleston, SC. Friendliest people I have ever met. They have southern hospitality down!

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We found a door with Cohen’s name on it which was pretty cool for him. He loved having his picture made by it. After dinner everyone was too full to eat dessert so we headed back to the beach house. 

As we were waiting to be seated at Hyman’s I noticed these feet. I cracked up! Her feet hurt after playing soccer on the beach. Guess who?

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A family vacation without a Super G drink tasting would not be a vacation! I bought several cans of drinks that I could not even read the ingredients label. Everyone gets their clear glass cups (so you can see what you are drinking) and I start pouring. There is a bowl in the middle of the table to dump your drink in if you hate it. We could win Funniest Video’s from the faces of this game. You really should try it with your family sometime. 

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Over all vacation was a blast and memories were made. One large family traveling and living together in the same house for a week is never perfect but is always fun! Our beach house was great and we could walk to everything! If you haven’t done this before I encourage you to try it. Especially you grandparents with grandchildren. It makes for the best memories ever.

Favorite quotes of the week:

Snake in the grass~ Michael …and there was. The dance Michael did was priceless.

Kealee has sand in her lunchbox~ Amy.  I am still laughing at that one as I type.

Thank you to my wonderful husband for working so hard to provide so we can do these types of things and thank you to my family for coming along for the journey. I love you all!

Random pictures:

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Southwestern Chicken and Bacon Wraps

 

 

 

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I can’t remember where I found this recipe but I knew I needed to share it. It is so tasty!! I also made a grilled corn and black bean salad with mango, cilantro and balsamic vinegar!

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Toppings:

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Cut up watermelon and you have a great light summer dinner!

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Southwestern Chicken and Bacon Wrap

Makes: 4-6 wraps

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Southwest Chicken Marinade (see recipe below)
Southwest Ranch Sauce (see recipe below)
8 pieces bacon, baked or fried, crumbled
½ c cheddar cheese (could sub Mexican cheese blend)
½ c mozzarella cheese (could sub Pepper Jack or Mexican cheese blend)
shredded lettuce
tomatoes, diced
4-6 whole wheat tortillas (use corn tortillas for GF option)
Southwest Chicken Marinade:
2/3 cup oil
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (I used parsley)
4 teaspoons chili powder (I used 1 T chili powder and 1 tsp ancho chili powder)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
Southwest Ranch Sauce:
About 1/2 cup ranch dressing (my all-natural favorites are Annie’s Organic Buttermilk Dressing and Brianna’s Classic Buttermilk Ranch)
About 1/2 cup salsa (used half mild and half medium heat)
Directions:
Marinate chicken for 1 hour or longer in fridge. Grill over medium-high heat 6 to 7 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through (no longer pink inside). Let meat rest and then slice into long, thin pieces.
To assemble wrap: Add grilled chicken pieces, bacon pieces, some of each kind of cheese, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes to each tortilla. Roll up like a burrito. Dip in Southwest Ranch Sauce or add inside the wrap.

 

 

Best Mojito’s Yet!

My summer drink this year is Mojito’s!! I have always really liked Mojito’s so I decided to master the recipe. I did a little research, tried  quite a few  of the recipes and then came up with my own.

I do grow mint in my raised garden so I have tons of it but if you have to buy it, buy a lot.

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Linda’s Mojito’s

12 mint leaves

1/2 lime to juice

2 teaspoons sugar

1 shot or 1/8 cup rum

club soda

ice

straws

First I put the mint in the cup and bruise it with a wooden spoon.

 

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Then, add lime juice, sugar and rum. Stir well.

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Add the ice and club soda. Stir and add a straw.

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I fill the glass with ice and then fill it up with club soda. I was taste testing this one and forgot to take the picture when the glass was full.

You can also add red seedless grapes with the mint and bruise. YUM!

If you want make these ahead of time for a lot of people do all the steps except adding ice and club soda. I think it makes the flavors marinate well.  You do have to make them one at a time.

You can also add more rum if you like.

YUMMMMMMY!!!!

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day upon us I had to write something about it because it is such an honored day. As a mother of three, I have always worked very hard and done most things myself. “Back in the day” when my kids were small, most husbands worked and more moms took care of the kids. Those days (at the time) seemed long and forever hard but now that I have grandchildren and those days seem too short and missed. I always say that when I get to heaven I am going to ask God why our children came with no instruction manual and why after we kinda figure it out …they are grown?

Our three children were all pretty good kids who made good grades, played sports and loved to help others. We never had to pay lawyers and no one ever served jail time. (Thank you Jesus). I did spend a lot of time with them being their mother and their friend. I tried as best as I could to respect them and teach them to respect others and things. They have grown up to be fine adults. Two teachers and a fireman.

At that time in life we did not have money and could not enjoy the things that most people could. But life was still good because I made life fun. You don’t have to have a lot of money to make your kids successful or to make them have fun. You just have to be willing to try some different creative ways to have fun and make them believe it is the greatest thing ever! Like, have dinner on the trampoline (that someone gave us). Crazy…yes! But memorable…just ask them. Make brownies for a neighbor just because, do something for someone else.  If you can’t afford a nice vacation, take your family camping. Our kids loved it!!! It is not about the money, it’s about the time. Be creative! Think like a kid. If your not creative “Google” it. Buy a book. Do something and start enjoying you family! They really do grow up too fast.

I am only a mother because of my children, so today and everyday I want to thank my children for making me a mother. Without them I would not be able to celebrate this holiday! They have taught me to love deeper than I ever knew possible and to give to the end.

I would not be the person I am today without them. Thank you for all the love, good times, late nights, lack of sleep, “shows”, handmade Mother’s Day cards, chats at dinner, soccer games, football games, baseball games and basketball games (I miss them all now). You three make me proud to say I am your mother! All of the days that seemed long and were forever hard are now missed and you all have grown into such wonderful, kind and giving adults. I love you Amy, Michael and Amanda! I thank God he let me be your mother!

This is a old picture of our family which needs to be updated because we have 2 new members.

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The newer members:

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Now that our children are grown and we have grandchildren, we still all take a vacation together once a year in the same beach house and I try and have family dinners at least once a month. It can be tough to get together with all the crazy schedules but we all work at it to make it happen. We want the next generation to know the love and “tightness” of family!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers. Remember your time with your family is short and live each day as it was your last. Teach your children to grow up and love people, be generous, and help others! 

 

Cleaning Tricks and Tips

I was on Pinterest today and came across this most helpful website about cleaning. I thought you might enjoy it as much as I did. It caught my eye with the Pour and Restore oil spot remover for driveways. I have an old Suburban that leaks oil bad so I will try anything. There were also other cleaning tricks and tips. 

Check it out!

 http://www.listotic.com/55-must-read-cleaning-tips-tricks/ 

Happy Cleaning!!!

 

More Shower Ideas

Here are a few more shower pictures for you. If you have any questions on how things are made leave a comment. This was the other serving table. One table had savory food items and this table had sweet food items and the drinks. Love the tutu clothes lines on the window.

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This wreath was made with strips of tulle on a cross stitch frame. 

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The party favors were coffee. The said “A Baby Is Brewing”

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Our “thank you” notes…..please address your own envelope. 

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The corsage was made by Amy, our oldest daughter. Great job!

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We displayed gifts that came in the mail on the mantel.

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Wrapped scrap book paper around Starbucks bottles and added fun straws.

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Baby Shower Idea’s

Last Saturday we had a baby shower for our youngest daughter who is expecting her first baby. It was a lot of planning and work but it was all worth the out come! 

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There were so many things that were made for this shower that I will have to divide it up into a few post but if you see anything you want info on before I post it leave a comment or shoot me an email.

It took me a bit to figure out what to do but once I had that idea it was on! Busy, busy, busy! Every spare minute was spent on shower stuff.

Let’s start with the table cloths:

1 King size pink sheet (size depends on your table)

20 yards of pink tulle

2 rolls of ribbon

strips of fabric 

handmade flowers

sewing machine (optional)

glue gun

Wash and iron the sheet.

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Get your sewing machine out or glue gun. I choose to sew the tulle together. I just pleated it and sewed away:

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Place the sheet on the table and pin the tulle to the sheet:

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Then the ribbon:

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I went right over the pins that held the tulle with the ribbon.

Next the handmade flowers and strips of fabric. Cut skinny and wide strips for this and make them uneven. I bought 2 yards of 3 different fabrics from the colors from the baby’s nursery and used them over and over.

After you are sure that you like the placement get your glue gun warmed up and glue away. Don’t forget to remove your pins after the glue dries.

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I placed my strips under the ribbon but it really doesn’t matter because it doesn’t show.

Next the flowers:

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These are made with twisted fabric, ribbon and button covers. I did leave a few pins in on the corners to help hold the flowers but I also glued them on.

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Lastly, I made a table runner with gray chevron fabric. It took 2 yards per table but you would have to measure your table to decide how much fabric you would need.

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Tutu’s

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Items needed:

1 yard tulle

ribbon

pins

sewing machine

Fold the tulle to be the length you want and pin

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Next, sew and remove pins.

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Add ribbon.

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Cut tulle open at the bottom and you have a tutu.

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We used clothes pins and twine to hang and added fabric strips and flowers to the ends.

More to come later.

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Baby Girl Headbands

This is another little tidbit of a baby shower idea. We can’t do this at our shower due to having so many people but for a smaller shower, this would be awesome! I have made a few baby headbands lately and they are extremely easy!

Items Needed:

Stretchy Ribbon

Fabric

Glue Gun

Sewing Machine

Scissors

This is the stretchy ribbon:

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I measured 12 inches for newborns and then used the sewing machine to connect it. You can also buy the headband already made at Wal-Mart or Target.

I then made flowers from fabric that I twisted and glued and button covers that you can get at fabric stores:

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Then added to the headband with glue:

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For a girl baby shower you could have a station with all the items above. Make all the flowers and sew together the headband ribbon ahead of time. Place the glue gun, scissors, buttons and what ever else you choose in a area for whoever wants to can make a headband. Check this out for a cute set up that I found on Pinterest:

http://blog.lb-boutique.com/2012/09/12/tired-of-the-typical-baby-shower-game-2/

Tired of the typical baby shower game? » Lb Boutique Blog

It is a cute and easy project and will last past the baby shower. 

More to come later………..

 

 

 

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