Friday, February 28, 2014

33 years and counting

And we dated six years before we married.  

Now counting grands!  One, two, three....

 I brought Lynley's dollhouse down from the attic and dusted it of for the girls.  Yes, Hadley is wearing Christmas PJ's and a Halloween bib in February.  

Layton pretending to sneeze.

The twins were headed to a birthday party. Mom did put on shoes once they arrived.  Bevo will always be a part of the family too.  

My nephews and Dan and Terry were in town for a concert.  Hadley and Layton enjoyed having their second cousins help with lunch.  Lala enjoyed the break too. Thanks, Alex and Blake!

Did you know I have three teeth?  And I don't sit still so all my pictures are a blur!  Raylyn is such a cutie.  Crawling up next!  

Life is very busy these days!  AND I love it.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pralines and cream fudge

I have NEVER been able to make fudge.  But, I think I may have found "my" recipe.

Pralines and cream fudge!  Pralines are one of my favorite candies, so I thought I would give it a try and I am glad I did.  

 Four ingredients, that is it.  White chocolate, caramels, sweetened condensed milk and pecans.

Melt the chocolate and sweetened milk on a very low heat.  Stir constantly.  Pour half in the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan.  Top with a 1/2 cup of pecans.  Warm one cup of caramels and two tablespoons water in the microwave.  1 minute stir, 30 seconds stir until all caramels are melted and pour over pecans. 

I reheated the remaining white chocolate mixture a bit.  Then just top of your fudge.  I cooled on the counter for three hours, but still needed to pop it in the refrigerator to be able to cut nice squares.  I wish I had used parchment paper or wax paper instead of foil.  

Who knew, I can make fudge!  A whole plateful of fudge too!  

I found the recipe on Pinterest, here.
Next time I make it, I will put a little bit thicker layer of white chocolate on the bottom.  Some caramel seaped through to the bottom of my fudge.  Also, I didn't have a 9 x 9 pan. That would have made for thicker fudge pieces.  I used the smallest rectangular pan that I had available.  

  • 14.5 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups white chocolate
  • 1 cup caramel pieces
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  1. Line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper, wax paper, or foil. Set aside.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and white chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour half of the fudge mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl, heat the caramel pieces and water in a microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth and all pieces are melted. Pour the caramel over the fudge in the baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans.
  5. Pour the remaining fudge over the caramel pecan layer. Use a knife to gently swirl, but don't over mix-- allow for big pockets of caramel to remain.
  6. Let sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours or until firm. Or speed set in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes (but beware of condensation when serving). Cut into 1 inch squares to serve.

Monday, February 10, 2014

and then we were done!

We are in love with our ceilings.  Is that possible.  But, don't get me wrong.  The rest of the ceilings in the house will be scraped, taped, textured, painted.  I already have it scheduled for next month with a great guy named Joel.  

Now as promised the finished ceilings.



 We also had the flourescent box lighting taken down in the kitchen and canned lighting and two mercury glass pendants added.  They are on a dimmer switch so at night when we are in the den the kitchen area can have soft lighting. 

We just keep looking up and smiling!  It was so worth the wait!

For an even better tutorial, head over to Donna at Funky Junk Interiors. She planked a small bathroom ceiling the same way.  Or you can go back one post for my tutorial. Here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Tongue and Groove plank ceilings

Never again will we take on a project this huge.  Number 1 ~ we are not young enough.  Number 2 ~ we really didn't have the proper tools.  Number 3 ~ I have learned to save up and pay someone else.

Here is a brief tutorial of our three year project, yep, three years.  We both work full time and Lynn is the tallest so he was in charge of the hammer and nails.   So I had to rely on hubbie being home and beg him to "want to put up more boards honey?" Plus, within that time we had three grand-daughters enter our lives and kind of got us sidetracked.

My goal was to cover the popcorn ceilings in the main four living areas, instead of scraping, taping, texturing and painting them.

 First purchase (lots) of tongue and groove pine strips, primer and interior paint.

Prime and paint one coat on tons and tons of boards.

We marked the joists and used liquid nail goop on the back and nailed right onto the popcorn ceiling.

Yes, board by board, no nail gun, no scaffolding, either.   Pain in the neck literally.

 Starting to get the idea of what the finished ceilings would all look like.

 Everything received a second coat of paint by me with a roller brush.

 After a two year rest, playing and babysitting grands, we started on the kitchen and den.  No crown molding yet, but getting pretty close to done.

Then recruited begged my brother and two son-in-laws to almost finish the project.  My brother lives in Louisiana but came in for help with board installation and new improved lighting in the kitchen.

Now all that was left was the crown molding and another coat of paint.  Which at this stage of the project we were much wiser older and hired out the remainder of the work.

Next up the finished beautiful cottage ceilings.

Sharing with
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Party Favors

How could I forget.   As everyone left the shower on Saturday, we had a table set up with a sweet treat.

Super simple.  Two rectangles of graham crackers, a peppermint swirled marshmallow and a mini chocolate bar.  All tied up with some cute baking string. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Now my youngest daughter's friends are getting married

So that means another round of wedding showers.

 One of my favorite areas was outside by the front door.  I just used old empty frames and nestled blooming plants in the center.  I attached the party invitation to one of the frames.  

Inside there were lots of fresh flowers.

And the bride being honored let us use some of their engagement pictures around the house.

The desserts first!  Each hostess brought mini treats.  Banana pudding, mini-nothing Bundt cakes and oreo cake balls.

We also each provided brunch items.  

The yogurt bar was fun and placed in the kitchen.  Each guest could fill a martini glass with yogurt and toppings.  

To help with traffic flow, we placed the beverage bar outside.  It was cloudy and cool.  But, the rain stayed away.  It did help to keep the champagne chilled without a bucket!  

These bottles from IKEA worked great.  We filled them with water and some others with orange juice. Hint: slice your lemons very thin if you want to be able to easily remove them afterwards.  Melissa used a small fork to grab and remove the ones I had cut too large.

The three hostesses and the bride to be in blue.   Jill Marie was an added little treat to have around.  

One of the best parts of hosting a shower.  All the leftover flowers!   I am still enjoying them.

Friend of Lynley number 2 bride's shower is in three weeks.  Whew, I just get to be a guest this time.

Sneak Peek!
Three year ceiling project is DONE.  More to come on the long process.
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