Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's Raining Mermaids!

Wow!  The rain sure has been coming down around here quite a bit lately.

Today looks to be no exception.  Just look how these puddles have started to form across my front yard.

My back deck looks like a shimmering sea,...of wood that is.

More puddles out back are creating mini ponds around the yard and are beckoning for a dip. I'd better keep my eye's closely on the girls lest they swim away even though they just arrived.

Even our big backyard pond is overflowing with rain water.  Well, not really but we are having to pump it down almost daily.  All this rain on a rare weekend off normally would have me swimming in misery.  However, it made for several great days of catching up on projects and shopping.

And look at what has arrived to swim around in our ponds!  This sweet little Mermaid was found at Ross on a lunch break last week.

One look at her and I knew she would be coming home with me.  This beautiful little thing has been longing to go outside.  I think she's settled down now though after meeting her new friend.

That's right!  I  actually caught another one!
Can you believe that I also found this gorgeous creature at Ross this weekend?  Since it was so cold and rainy I decided to pop in to the other store that is closer to my home.  Boy am I glad I did!

Isn't she just devine?  I sure think so!  There was also a third style that did not make it home...yet. LOL!  I'm pretty sure it's going to be a mermaid kind of summer around here.

Oh my she has stolen my heart this lovely siren!

I've also been collecting pretty new ceramic pots to use around the pool this summer. It seems a bit early to be thinking of summer time decor but I have a feeling if I wait it will not be around.  The way things are selling out I am sure I am not the only one who cannot wait for this winter to be over.  You know me, I am dreaming of summer and of swimming with Mermaids.  How about you? Are you ready for the a change in the seasons?  

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Be sure and check out many more goodies at;
Rain or shine, I hope you a great day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Chartreuse in the Bedroom?

Would you?  Could you?  Why yes I would and in fact I did! 

Warning: What I am about to share with you may be quite a shock to those of you who are in favor of the more muted tones in decorating.  However, it has been our experience at work that lot's and lot's of people are craving color these days.  So now you know it's not just me.  LOL!  They are not craving just any old colors either, but all those bright and bold colors!  Colors like bright orange, green, yellow, hot pink and turquoise are flying off our shelves.  Since I seem to have been ahead of the trend on these bright bold colors I have decided I will share my bedroom with you once again.  

Well, to be honest I also wanted to show off our new (to us) bedroom furniture and linens.   I am so excited that I feel like I have finally gotten the bedding right for this room. 

Some of you may remember a few years ago when we upgraded from a queen size mattress to a king.  We bought a really nice mattress and therefore did not have the money to spend on a new bed at the time.  I had found a headboard and painted it (read all about that here) and that was great for awhile but my heart longed for my previous four poster bed.

Recently, when I found a new bed and was ready to purchase the Mr. stopped me and said he had a coworker that wanted to sell his entire bedroom set for what I was prepared to pay for the new bed. 

After finding out it was a rice bed I had to take a look.  How could you not fall in love with the details?  It also didn't hurt that the set also included two nightstands in addition to the dresser with mirror, chest and bed.  We had been thinking we would just use the bed and nightstands since it matched our old dresser and chest but after getting it home I decided I'd rather just go all matchy matchy and use the whole set.

Little did I realize that this bed was going to be sooooo very TALL.  I keep a step up under the bed that I slide out to get in at night.  Seriously!  With the height of the bed combined with the height of our mattress, I had quite a delimma with the linens not being large enough to hang properly.

To solve this problem I ended up purchasing a King size bedspread that is 118 x 120.  Now that's BIG folks!   Most King comforters and quilts usually run somewhere between 102/104 to 86/90 at best.  There is quite a variance among manufacturers.  That size barely draped over the edge of my mattress.  In order to get the coverlet look, I had to go with a bedspread.  I debated on this for the longest time because it was so hard to find what I wanted for what I wanted to pay.

My decision was made after finding this beautiful quilted 100% cotton bedspread at Belks.  It's called Ariel by PHI.  As soon as it went on sale I decided it would be perfect.  Even on sale it was more then I wanted to spend but I know I will have this for a long, long time.

Why?  Because the white bedspread is the only thing that coordinates well with our cornice boards.  I inherited these from my in-laws and am so very attached to this fabric.

I just love it!  I have thought many times about recovering these but just cannot do it!  I just love the pattern of this fabric.  These cornice boards are the very reason I painted this room the color it is.  Have you ever had something influence your decorating so much?

I also added a pale yellow quilt to layer on my bed that coordinates with the paler yellow in my cornice boards.  I bought this quilt from work, Stein Mart.  It is also 100% cotton and the pattern is Venice Squares.  It's just the right shade too!

I just recently added these small mirrors behind my lamps.  I am not sure if I am liking these here or not.  I thought they kinda had a tropical look to the frame.  I think I'll live with it for awhile and see.  What do you think, too much?

And to show you that my room is really not as bright as it shows in the first pictures here it is with the lights off.  At one time I had a lighter more sagey green that was just too drab during the day and made the room feel too cold to me.

I like this color because it always feels so warm and inviting even with the lights off.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  It was great to finally have a little time off to catch up with y'all.  So the question is, how about you?  Could you do bright colors in your bedroom?  If so, what colors makes your heart sing?  I'd love to know!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In the Conservatory at Biltmore

Recently, I blogged about our trip to the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, N.C. just a few weeks ago.  As I promised I am back to share a little more of that trip with you now.  Here we were outside of the beautiful Biltmore Mansion about to make our way inside.

I like to wonder about what kinds of gatherings they may have had here in the main courtyard.  I would have liked to be able to share more photos of the home with you but unfortunately they have a thing about taking photos inside the home.  So, as you have guessed there are none from inside that I can share with you.

I snapped this photo as we were leaving the house after having a wonderful leisure afternoon of touring the home.  It was cold and icy outside that day but, OH, so worth it!  In January, not only are the rates lower for admittance but the crowds are significantly lower too.  The shuttle bus driver from the parking lot said they went from 10,000 people a day in December to 400 a day in January.  Wow!  I have been to Biltmore before with one of my sons on a school trip and it was extremely busy, rushed, and quite a different experience.  This was sooooo much nicer!

Here's a wall on the opposite end of the courtyard filled with sculptures.  Do you see the turtles in the arches on the bottom?  While touring the house I learned that the Lady of the house loved and owned several different types of animals, including turtles.   I also learned that the Vanderbilt legacy is one of a family filled with love that were quite fun and entertaining. I was amazed to read that they were scheduled to be on the Titanic's disastrous voyage but changed plans at the last minute to take her sister ship home to New York instead.  Sadly, some of their acquaintances did not change and were lost to them.  Can you imagine?  I just enjoyed hearing everything about their lives!  How very grand!  

Our next stop after the house was the conservatory where many rare exotic plants and orchids are grown.  I was too cold and worried about slipping on the ice to get outside pictures so you will just have to enjoy the view form inside, okay?

If you are a garden lover like me you would adore this place.

There were three maybe four greenhouses, I can't remember.  I do remember there was one listed as cold and one as hot though.  LOL!  

The orchids were blooming and I was over joyed to see them!

I wonder how much time the Vanderbuilts spent wandering around here.  I would have to visit this part of the estate daily for sure.  Wouldn't you?

The leaves on this plant were humongous!  

I loved seeing the gorgeous plants spilling out of birdcages.

It was truly a wonder land of comfort in the midst of a cold and dreary day!  There is also a store below to shop for all sorts of garden goodies.  After leaving the conservatory we went to the winery  for another tour and then the village for lunch.  It was such a fantastic day stepping back in time. 

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the tour.  If you get the chance ever you really should visit the Biltmore in Asheville.  It's quite magical!

Have a great week friends!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentines in the Foyer

Well, I just couldn't stop myself!  Even after I said I wasn't going to do it this year, I just had to break out the Valentines decor.  Blame it all on the mirror okay, my NEW mirror that is! 

I just recently added this new larger mirror to my foyer and moved this old cabinet back into the foyer again.  After seeing how dark it all looked I decided I needed a pop of color.  

And what better color to pop then RED right?

So, I pulled out all of my old Valentine tricks and decided what I wanted to use.

I knew I just had to use my sweet lil cherubs!

I love how dreamy they look!

There's also something about a bouquet of roses and carnations that just speaks Valentines to me.

The new mirror even got a Valentine topper of it's own.

And on the other side of the foyer by the front door I added a few welcoming hearts.

Truth be known, I had to move this welcome sign inside because the wind keeps blowing it over on the porch outside.   Oh, look!  Do you see one of my sweeties down there in the corner looking in?  I think she wants a little lov'in too!

Well I am off today and getting out and about to look for some other bright colors to brighten up this spot after the Valentine's decor comes down.  I'm thinking a new lamp, maybe more greenery in larger deco jars, and a statement piece of some sort.  Oh, what fun!

Thanks for joining me today for

It's always so nice to hear from you!
I hope you also have a great day! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Delicious SL Texas-Style Enchilada Casserole

Hey Yall!  Just like a lot of ladies out there, I wanted to cook up something fun and appetizing for Super Bowl Sunday.  I spent a little time this afternoon on Pinterest pinning all sorts of appetizers and dreaming of how delicious they would taste.

In the end, when I rationalized that it was just going to be me and the Mr. sitting around watching the TV tonight I decided to go with one of our all time favorite "go to" meals.  I've made this one so many times I can do it w/out the recipe.  It's a Southern Living recipe, called Texas-style Enchilada casserole.

This is how it looks fresh from the oven, without any toppers yet.  Soooo Yummy right?  Well we sure do think so!  I do apologize if this post is redundant and I've shared this meal with you before.  This is one of those meals that I've made on several occasions for just my husband and myself, my whole family and guests and for taking to potluck style dinners as well.  It's always a win-win!  In any case, I'm sure it's been awhile since I shared this and I don't think I've ever actually walked you through making it.  So, tonight's the night!  Are ready for some football.... food????

Here's a peek at most of what you'll need.

Now I tend to follow a little different direction of my own when it comes to cooking.  Like here for example you will want to cut up one half of a red onion while your ground beef is browning.

Then you want to add the onion and a small can of green chilies to simmer and sautee as well.

While this is simmering I pull out a big bowl and break up my package of 12 taco shells.  They don't need to be crushed just broken apart.  Don't worry about getting them small because when you mix this up later they will break even more.  I then begin to add the rest of my ingredients like cream of mushroom soup as shown here.

Next you add the black olives which are supposed to be sliced but the Mr. bought chopped today.  LOL!  Oh well, it's still the same taste.  Then add your enchilada sauce and sour cream.

Right about now your hamburger mixture will most likely be ready to add to the mix as well.  The recipe actually calls for adding everything to the meat mixture after it is done but I kinda like to do this in reverse order to speed things up.

After mixing in part of your shredded cheese your stir it all up and spread it out into a slightly in a greased baking dish.

Cover the top with the remaining cup of cheese and you are ready to bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for only about 20 to 25 minutes.  How easy is that?

While your casserole is in the oven you'll want to prepare your toppings of shredded lettuce and fresh diced tomatoes.

After letting it cool for just a bit it's ready to serve.

Warm and delicious with just the right amount of freshness from the toppers.  YUMMO!

Well, I gotta run now ladies and get these trays out there.  Do you see that man sitting there in the den.  He's very patient, but this IS one of his favorites!

Can't wait to see those commercials!  Oooops!  Did I just say that outloud?

 Here's the actual recipe from Southern Living for your convenience and just so you can see how I like to switch things around in reverse order.  LOL!  

Texas-Style Enchilada Casserole

Southern Living NOVEMBER 2005
  • Yield: Makes 6 servings
  • Cook time:6 Minutes
  • Prep time:10 Minutes
  • Bake:25 Minutes


  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1/2 medium-size red onion, chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe black olives
  • 1 cup mild enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • Toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomato, finely chopped red onion


Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain well.
Place beef mixture in a large bowl. Stir in tortilla pieces, next 4 ingredients, and 1 cup cheese; spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup cheese.
Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve casserole with desired toppings.
"Lightened Texas-Style Enchilada Casserole:" Substitute 1 pound ground sirloin, 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup light sour cream, and 1 (8-ounce) block 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese. Proceed as directed.
Ann Scates, Bethalto, Illinois

I hope your having a wonderful Sunday!
Thanks so much for stopping by!