Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pink Saturday...Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound on her one year anniversary of Pink Saturday!! What an accomplishment and gathering of (mainly) women sharing their pink thoughts from all over the United States and even beyond. Congratulations Beverly!

I bet you think I just want to show you what beautiful pink hydrangeas I grow---WRONG! No, if I had my way I'd be posting this for Blue Monday. Of course, I'd still be here with you for Pink Saturday with something else :). Nope, this is my Nikko blue hydrangea--having trouble seeing the blue? Me too. Now I know all about changing the PH of the soil to encourage a blue hydrangea....but mine aren't having any part of that. They intend to be pink and pink they are. At least I have respect for this bush. Two others can't commit...they are pinkish, blueish, purpleish. I guess if I want blue flowers I will just depend on my balloon plants or azurateum.

Have a great weekend after you have visited everyone joining in the Pink Saturday birthday celebration with Beverly

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Foodie Friday .... Y'all ComeBack

This week there are wedding programs to be tied with ribbon, gift baskets to be assembled, drop-in overnight guests from six hundred miles away(yikes!), and the dishwasher died. And yet, we still have to eat. Beloved is always in a much better mood when his food doesn't come in a bag or Styrofoam! Because I am longing for the beach and seafood, I made one of our all-time favorites to dress up Costco shrimp and lump crab meat! Now I admit the seafood is not as good as picking it out from the seafood market in your swimsuit and flip flops, but with this dressing it's pretty darned good! The recipe is supposedly a salad dressing from the old Dennery's Restaurant in Jackson, MS, but my family has long used it as a dipping sauce for boiled shrimp. Once you taste it you'll understand the recipe's name.

When we make our annual family trip to the beach, I usually take a jar of this down in an ice chest. Our first stop is to buy shrimp on the way in. A couple of hours later when the unpacking is done , cold shrimp and ComeBack sauce are ready with some iced tea, a cold beer, or a glass of chardonnay. There's nothing like it to set the tone and get you in beach mode!

One of the nicest things about this recipe is that it is done completely in the blender and lasts well in the refrigerator (although it seldom gets the chance).

Last night I started out with Costco shrimp and lump crab meat, a bag of romaine, and some roadside tomatoes. We ladled on the Comeback and were immediately transported to the beach! Here's how you make it: In a blender puree three cloves of garlic (I used minced), and about 1/2-3/4 of an onion. Add one cup of mayonnaise, one cup of ketchup, 1/2 cup vegetable oil,and one teaspoon each of black pepper, paprika, and prepared mustard. Add salt to taste and a dash of hot sauce.Blend and refrigerate. Make sure you have all your kissing done before you start eating--it's potent! This is also great on a hoagie bun with fried shrimp, as dipping sauce for onion rings, or just as a salad dressing. We'll eat it on just about anything!

It looks like a lot more effort was involved and Beloved was happy. If you are lucky enough to be headed to the beach or just buying shrimp, don't forget this recipe! Click on the Foodie Friday button on the sidebar to see what our gracious hostess Michael at Designs by Gollum has cooked up. She and lots of friends are waiting!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Foodie Friday...Finger Food

It's already Friday, the days are going fast! Gollum is hosting a Foodie Friday Finger Food Party! If you've been looking for some appetizers, this is sure to be the place to find it!

Beloved has been feeling a little neglected lately with all the wedding planning going on. We've had more than a few nights of takeout. Now, Beloved is a Foodtv junkie and recently called my attention to two recipes on one of Rachel Ray's 30-minute meal episodes. I decided a little pampering in the form of a special meal might soothe his wounded feelings. I had also found a recipe in last month's Southern Living that I was dying to try. First, the finger food!

I bought some tomatoes this week from a truck on the side of the road--actually it was a busy six lane city street, but the idea is the same. I know that these are probably still hot house tomatoes, but still much better than the grocery store variety. Our plants are still in the bloom stage, but I am planning on needing lots of tomato recipes. This Fresh Herb-Tomato Crostini sounded like something we would love! Sure enough--it was a hit. The feta cheese adds a different unexpected flavor to the mixture . To make this: Toast thinly sliced French bread slices brushed with olive oil and crushed garlic. Mix finely chopped tomato (I recommend draining them), chopped green onions, chopped parsley, chopped mint, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I think you can do this to taste in the amounts you like. Spoon the mixture on top of the toasted bread and top with feta cheese. I think this will be a favorite this summer!

So, since I had the tomatoes, I decided another night to try Rachel's Puttanesca Tomato Salad. This is yummy and so fresh and light! Her recipe does not include the salad greens, but I served it on romaine. Her recommendation was to serve Florentine Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with this.

I love spinach and pine nuts, especially together. We enjoyed it, but I have to admit that I filed this in the "Things I Don't Want Again Soon" file. The prosciutto was a little overpowering to me. Beloved liked it, but likes a recipe I do with regular ham just as well. I will definitely mix the pine nuts and spinach again though. Both of these recipes can be found at .They are part of her Thirty Minute Meal recipes---it did take us about 30minutes to eat it---to prepare it.....a little longer :) I even set the table with a little more flourish to make Beloved feel special! I posted the entire setting and his red, white, and blue pafait on yesterday's post for Susan's Tablescape Thursday. I think it was a success. We tried new recipes, had some really good tomatoes, and Beloved feels all warm and fuzzy from the special treatment! Click on the Foodie Friday button for more recipes with our friend Michael! Have a good weekend and Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tablescape Thursday.....Memorial Day

On Monday May 25th, our country will celebrate Memorial Day to honor the brave men and women who have given their lives while in military service. Schools will be out, government offices will be closed, and thousands will fire up grills to celebrate the day with friends and family. I started looking in the cabinets and this tablescape almost made itself!

It seems I have a lot of red, white, and blue without even knowing it. When I found these William-Sonoma lookalike placemats at T.J. Maxx, that closed the deal! I started playing and this is what I ended up with!

For me flowers are an important part of any great tablescape. What could be any more American than daisies in a Mason jar? I'll tell you what--daisies from the 1/2 price container! And look-- Savannah Grace and William are back from their honeymoon and already at work. They're very patriotic birds. I've even lit the red and white candles. After all, it is a celebration!

We've all seen these versatile white Gibson dishes from Big Lots. I don't know how I ever lived without them. Now is a good time to share a little secret. You may already know, but if not, you're going to love it! Hobby Lobby has a section with kerchiefs and bandanas in tons of colors and different prints. The best part--they are all under a dollar! I buy these when I need a particlar color napkin or basket liner and don't want to splurge on expensive napkins .

The napkin rings are a Pier One find. I like the way they echo the pattern in the placemat. And that white- handled flatware--? I bought that for my daughter's first apartment so I know it was cheap. I've reclaimed it now that the bride to be has considerabley better flatware coming :).

Red, white, and blue is one theme that is very easy to carry into dessert. Cool Whip, blueberries, and strawberries in a parfait glass makes a light and patriotic way to finish the meal.

I hope you and your family get to spend time together doing whatever makes you happy --whether you are visiting friends, taking a hike, or simply enjoying a day of rest. So fire up the grill, hang your flag, and don't forget to say thanks to a veteran!

Be sure to visit Susan at Susan always has something excitng and beautiful to offer and she'll be joined by a host of friends!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday...Playing Grownup Barbies

It seems impossible, but it's already Monday again which means our friend Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting Metamorphosis Monday again. I may have told you, after the guest bedroom makeover, I'm through "nesting" inside my house for a while. I can't look at another paint brush, curtain rod, or catalog for a while. It's been too wet here to do much "morphing" in my yard, so today I have a different kind of metamorphosis for you.

Two or three times a month I head to work for what my family jokingly calls "career day"! I work in the boutique section of a department store and one of my jobs is to dress the mannequins! This is a job right up my alley! I loved playing with Barbie as a child and this is the next best thing! I get to pick out clothes, shoes, and jewelery for the mannequins.

One of the things I learned when I first started doing this is not to necessarily dress "Bertha" ( My pet name for her) the way I personally would dress. Mannequins are supposed to be just a little over the top and my own personal style tends toward conservative and classic. Most people don't dress in four layers with three popped collars, but the goal is to show the customer what might be done and what is available. You'd be surprised how many men walk in and ask for everything on a mannequin in their wife or girlfriend's size---instant shopping! I really do enjoy this. It gives me a chance to dress dolls again and it's almost like spending someone else's money! I hope you enjoyed Bertha's makeover. Susan and a list of others have all kinds of things to share at Have a happy Metamorphosis Monday and a great week!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Foodie Friday.....Trainwrecks

Our dear friend and hostess Michael has invited us to share trainwreck food stories this Friday. While most of mine involve burned bread, forgotten ingredients, or temperamental yeast I would like to share one almost-tragedy with you. Several years ago I was making chocolate icing for a cake to take to Beloved's company picnic. The icing, according to the directions, was to be made in a double boiler. I could not find mine that day and resourceful girl that I am, I decided to use two pots stacked one on top of the other. Bad idea! Let me say that again---very bad idea! The two pots formed a seal very similar to a pressure cooker and quite literally BLEW UP! I happened to be "stirring constantly" when this happened. Chocolate and scalding water blew up in my face and onto the ceiling. I received third degree burns down my arm and upper face (really in my hairline, thank goodness!). My burns, though painful, eventually healed. The ceiling was sealed and repainted several times. We no longer live in that house, but had the occasion to visit it not long ago. And no, you might not see them, but I do....those brown spots on the ceiling. So my trainwreck story is really a cautionary tale. Do not improvise when it comes to double boilers! Okay, now I bet somebody else has something fun to share and not this old tale of woe. Join them by clicking on the Foodie Friday button...and buy yourself a double boiler!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

38th Tablescape Thursday....A Mother's Day Brunch

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch has invited us all over to her place for a fun day of sharing tablescapes. I'm not sure that what I am going to share with you is so much a tablescape as a table that just happened at my house this past weekend! I may have mentioned (LOL) that our daughter is getting married. This past Saturday night a lovely Mexican feast was held in the bride and groom's honor. So, Beloved's entire family descended (ummm, I mean came for a visit)! They all live several hours away as does the groom's family so I hosted a Mother's Day brunch for seventeen!

I decided to serve buffet-style from the dining room table with a mix of pewter, silver, and informal dinnerware. I love these glass plates I purchased several years ago from Old Time Pottery. They cost less than one dollar apiece so I have lots of them! The best thing about them is that they go right into the dishwasher! This picture is from the night before the brunch. I always set the buffet early with sticky notes labeling what is served where. The flowers are sunflowers and pink daisies from Costco and Kroger in three small candle containers from Dollar Tree. The silverware, just my everyday, is in a pewter vase lined with a pink bandana.

I am lucky to have gotten any of these pictures!! With 17 people things got a little wild. This is the menu for the day:
Fresh Fruit

Spiral-sliced Glazed ham

Miniature Buttermilk biscuits

Sausage and Egg Casserole

Paula Deen's French Toast Casserole

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll ups

Cheese Grits

Homemade Sugar Cookies

This adorable pink dessert stand is my new favorite serving piece!! It is made out of metal flower petals and complete with bugs on top.. It's perfect for spring cookies or cupcakes! I decided to try my hand at butterfly cookies!

These cute little cookies were pink, yellow, and green to match the color scheme of the flowers and napkins!

Did I mention the importance of color coordinating your pet's wardrobe to the color scheme of the festivities? No, Jessie was just all dressed up for Mother's Day and wanted to meet you! Hope you all had a Mother's Day filled with the people you love. Thanks for letting me share mine. Now join Susan and LOTS of others at

Monday, May 11, 2009

Three or More Tuesday...And Then There Were Three

I have to admit it wholeheartedly and unabashedly. I am hooked on American Idol. From the silly, outrageous tryouts in cities across America to the twice weekly performance and elimination nights of the top ten, I am glued to the television. It's the only show my husband and I both can't miss. I really think this season has had exceptional talent, but from the very beginning I suspected that the 2009 contest might belong to one of the guys. Sure enough, I'm right. We are now down to the bottom three and they are all great!

First, there is twenty three year old Kris Allen from Conway, Arkansas. He just has such an adorable baby face and a voice that I think has improved weekly.

Then, there is Danny Gokey. Danny, at twenty eight, is the oldest of the three and has the most life experience under his belt. Danny recently lost his wife and said that he entered AI because he wanted new hope in his life. I think he can belt out a song and has been a strong contender from the very beginning.

Finally, the resident "bad boy" Adam Lambert rounds out the top three. Adam is clearly Simon's favorite and is as much a surprise each week with his wardrobe as he is with his song arrangement and interpretation. Adam has already had a role in the Broadway musical "Wicked". I honestly can't say who I think will win. They are all talented young men with bright musical careers ahead of them. One thing I do know. Tomorrow night at eight o' clock I will be sitting right in front of my tv watching my favorite three or more on Tuesday! Tam is our hostess for this event each week. Join her and see what everybody else is sharing at And don't forget to vote for your favorite American Idol!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Three or More Tuesday....Keepsake Aprons

Each Tuesday Tam over at the Gypsy's corner hosts Three or More Tuesday. I don't think you'd consider this a collection, but I'd like to share three very special aprons. I think it's very fitting since this Sunday is Mother's Day.

I had these aprons made many years ago for me, my mother, and my mother in law for Mother's Day. I traced my children's hands and the prints are appliqued on in a cute yellow and red fabric. This would be an easy no-brainer project for almost anyone. But I may have told you; I was born without a craft "gene". I think the handprints could be done just as easily in paint. You crafty people know what kind will work. I have even seen white muslin aprons at the dollar store. See that little hand on the left? That is the handprint of our daughter who is getting married soon! Sadly, I am the owner of all three aprons now. Both grandmothers have passed away. But I know how much these aprons meant to them and wanted to share them with you. I know most of you have some special little hands in your lives! Thanks for letting me share these with you and Happy Mother's Day!

Head over to Tam's at! Tam has "three or more steps" to help you repair your own keepsakes and a list of participants just waiting to share with you!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Metamorphosis and Blue Monday

I'm so excited to be joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. I've been working on this project for a while and have shared just a tiny bit with you, but today I am ready for the unveiling of the guest bedroom I have been working on!

I am also going to post this over at Smiling Sally's for her Blue Monday event. This is my first time to join her. Blue is my favorite color so I'm excited to show you the blue in this guest bedroom. If you read my posts, you may know we have a wedding coming up...soon. I don't know what it is about weddings and babies, but I think they both put women in nesting mode! I didn't invite a soul to stay at our house, but suddenly felt the urgent need to redo a bedroom. I don't know. Maybe that's my way of letting off a little steam. Anyway, this is what I started with below--a perfectly decent, but decidedly masculine bedroom. The khacki walls and Ralph Lauren plaid and demin bedding were fine. But that inner nesting voice started talking :).

Good thing I'm changing things...that picture is way too high. I decided I would use two antique twin beds from another bedroom. They seem to be a better fit in this bedroom and probably more convenient for more than one guest. I had an idea of what I wanted, but wasn't sure about a color for the room.

So I started buying paint samples and just painting with it and looking at it in different lights and at different times of day. Once I got to this stage I knew I was committed. There was no way to explain those blue and yellow patches. After much trial, tribulation, and error, I decided on Whisper Yellow by Behr. I also decided to repaint all the wood work a ceiling white. It took me two and a half weeks to finish. I just never could find one day to devote to painting. I'd start and then have to clean up to go to a wedding appointment almost daily. I even showed up to have my hairlighted with renegade bits of Whisper Yellow. My hairdresser was not amused! I looked everywhere for fabric and online for bedding, and curtains.

This pillow sham was my starting point. I had used it in my master bedroom before I changed bedding. I bought the sham and euro shams on sale from Pottery Barn and then had them monogrammed in royal blue. They were just too pretty to waste!

You may remember the chair from an earlier Met Monday post. I found a blue stripe I loved and had it reupholstered. This chair, I have learned, is an early recliner and mission style.

I had given "the baby" the furniture in this room when he moved into his first apartment with his first job after college. Beloved did point out that now his apartment looked better than our empty guest room! After several antique and thrift store ventures, I found this dresser--not quite antique, just old. I paid $125.00 for it already refurbished. Some of you may not think this was a deal. Let me tell you, I do!! I happen to know that a good therapist costs over $100 an hour and that is straight where refinishing this would have sent me! I like that the top is still the original wood. It matches the beds. Those are very old marbles I've used in the vase. They were from my grandparents' house and I liked the color they added!

Finally, it's beginning to come together. The blue toile curtains are from Country Curtains. If you haven't checked out their catalog lately, I think you'll be surprised. They are not just country! The bedding is a white matilesse coverlet from J.C. Penneys.

I'm still tweaking. I have a couple more plates I may add...AW--that's after wedding.

Finally, this is the picture between the windows. I bought this by a local artist at a silent auction for a local charity. Now I know art "says" different things to different people, but it's not even speaking the same language to Beloved and me! He thinks it is lonely and depressing; I think it's serene and peaceful. :).

I'm so glad to share this with you and even happier to be through for now. I think I have "nesting" out of my system for a while--at least until AW (after wedding). Please join Susan at for the 16th Metamorphosis Monday and Sally at for Blue Monday!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pink Saturday and an Award

Our friend Beverly at How Sweet the Sound is once again hosting Pink Saturday. I could hardly wait to show you this. I don't often post something for Pink Saturday. Although I'm a girly girl and love pink, my favorite color is blue. However, I got the most perfect pink gift this week!

It's a two-tiered dessert server made of pink metal. I think you have to know someone quite well to pick out something like this. They got me down pat!!! I love it and have never seen anything quite like it. It came from a local specialty garden and gift shop. I drool every time I go in there!

Can you see the delicate metal work? Even the bugs are metal--a spring! I've got big plans for this! I bought a butterfly cookie cutter today. I can just see pastel butterflies sitting on this for Mother's Day brunch at my house. I also think it could be used as a centerpiece with pots of flowers stacked on the tiers. The possibilities are endless and have me giddy!

And now...(drum roll). Miss Lauralu over at Hidden Promise awarded me with the Lemonade Award given to a fellow blogger who exhibits an "attitude of gratitude". I can think of no higher compliment. I am truly grateful for the many blessings and people in my life (including you!) and hope that you can see it in my posts! I am working daily in wanting what I have rather than having what I want. So, a big thank you to Laura. Visit her at Even her music is inspiring and she's got some great pictures of the Biltmore to show you! I would like to pass this on to some fellow bloggers for whom I am grateful and exhibit the spirit of the award:
  1. Kammy at
  2. Melissa at 320 Sycamore
  3. Sheila at
  4. Laura at
  5. Kelly at She has some great blogging tips!
  6. Barb at
  7. Marty 39 at

Now Ladies feel free to pass this along. Now run, don't walk and see what else Beverly and lots of others have been dreaming of in pink at Happy Pink Saturday!