Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Falling up Fun....

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  Rene at Cottage and Vine is having a "Falling up" party and French Country Cottage is also having a fun fall party! I am so excited to join in.  You'll have to stop by Cottage and Vine and French Country Cottage to see all the wonderful ideas!!
Come on in...

K-mart is my place for Holiday wreath's this year.
Not too bad for $14.95!
(Aren't the feathers great)

Coming into the foyer/laundry room I added our mirror that use to
hang above the in black!

This year I keep the decorations simple.
The colors for fall are so warm and

We painted and glittered the skeleton last year.
The idea came from Just a Girl
and I think she got the idea from
Martha Stewart!
Gotta love Martha!

This photo of the kids is a few years old,
but I just can't change it.
It captures all the kids at
an age when they all loved trick or treating!!
(You know the teen thing is a difficult time...
to go trick or treating or not?)

Even the kitchen counter needs a little Halloween!
(Did you spy the fabric for the kitchen curtains?
Still sewing them! Not ready to reveal just yet!)

This white pumpkin is one of my favorites!
I love the color and the size.

What would fall be
without some sunflowers?

This guy was sitting outside tonight by the pond.
and pretty cool when he takes to flight!

Are you having fun decorating for the fall?
Next is picking out Halloween costumes!
Another fun fall event in our house!

Monday, September 27, 2010

It all started with a picture....

Do you remember this room from HGTV Candice Olson?
I loved this room when I watched this episode a few years ago
and still love it today.
Since moving in to the Pond House,
I have been drawn back to this picture.
See the kitchen table in the back?
I have been surfing the Internet
tonight trying to recreate the table and chairs.
Actually, we already have the table
just need the chairs.
Then in my search I found these other
to confuse me!

Does this happen to you?

Then we found a new inspirational picture
and we (Tony and I) were in agreement!
Guess what? Pottery Barn doesn't make the
bench any more!

I did find the chairs cheaper  
at Home Decorators, but no bench!
So my search will continue tomorrow...
because tonight I gave myself a headache!
Does this happen to you?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cookie Exchange Week 5....

Welcome to week 5 of the cookie exchange. Thank you to everyone who has participated, it has been lots of fun. This has a been one of those crazy weeks here! I had to attend 2 conferences and we had school open house. The days just go by too fast and there is never enough time to get everything done!

So for this weeks cookie exchange I am posting a recipe that I posted over a year ago. I also think that we might take a break from the cookie exchange for a while....bring it back again closer to Christmas...any thoughts?  I didn't break this news to Lil Tony yet!

Red Velvet cake is my absolute favorite cake in the world! Making red velvet cookies is like icing on the cake! They are delicious and just the right size! 

Red Velvet Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp red liquid food coloring
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
Sprinkles (I used red)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beat until well blended. Beat in red food coloring and vanilla.

Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to above mix, alternately with buttermilk. Beat at a low speed until blended.

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls 3" apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until tops are set. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely
After cookie is cool frost each cookie with cream cheese icing and add sprinkles. ( I know I cheated on the icing!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Batter Up...

Some of my readers already know Miss. Sarah first hand.  For those of you who don't let me paint a picture for you. She is full of life! Usually she is thinking of what she is going to do next before her body has realized that her brain has switched gears. Which means she is accident prone. Bets were that she would be first in the pond. Well, you all know that didn't happen, because I was the first to slip in! Maybe she is just like me? I think I posted on that once before.  She has a smile that fills your heart with so much joy and love that it is very hard to be upset at her!

This weekend a net was discoved in the weeds. Sarah was beyond thrilled to try to catch any thing possible in the net! Shall we catch some tad poles...Sarah style.

First wind up....

Go in deep...

Come back up...

The inspection...

Talk to the tad poles and tell them how happy you are
to see and meet them....
Put them back in their home....
(I am sure they are a little stunned by the whirl wind ride they just took)
Start all over again and again and again....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Outside tour....

This weekend with the help of my mom and dad we tackled some of the many flower beds. The flower beds have been left go for many years. We walked around the beds and tried to identify as many flowers as we could. There are weeds that have unbelievable root systems, stalks like tree trunks and some with beautiful flowers. When we finally got past the weeds, we were amazed at some of the findings. It felt very rewarding to bring a flower garden back to life.  The original farm house was built in 1900, wouldn't it be great to find photo's of the original flower beds? There are cone flowers that are taller than me. Amazing....

Mom and I stared tackling this flower bed around 9:30 Saturday morning and finished around 2 in the afternoon.
It took us a while to come up with a plan of action.
Once we got in there and past the bugs,
we were good to go!
Oh...just wait until you see what we found!

Here we are half way done.
Do you see there are actually 4 beds inside?
When we pulled the first few weeds,
we discovered the stepping stones.
We might have even done a happy dance
at that point.

Isn't that awesome!
We didn't add anything.
The stones, pebbles and stepping stones were
all preserved under the weeds and mint tea.
The mint tea had run wild!
Next spring we plan to make this
a cutting garden!

We are not chancing anything here at the Pond House.
What looks like a patch of weeds is actually a
hidden well! Yep, you read that right...a Well.
And the home of one frog. I don't think he appreciated
us messing up his humble abode.

The pond needs lots of love!
Which we are ready to give!
Tony has been reading up on the algae
and I have been tackling the weeds.
There was no where to stand close to the water,
so gloves on and off to work.

1/4 of the pond edge is weed free!
The kids now have a place to stand
to feed the fish, catch tad poles and go fishing!

Lil Tony was the first to catch a fish...
A cat fish to be exact!

Of course P-pa was called to the rescue to
get the hook out and put him (the fish) back in his home
with his friends.

While we were weeding,
Dad was hard at work on the garage!
The garage is missing a door (and a lot more).
Hopefully the door will be in this week
and the new garage doors will be here by next month!

Do you remember how sad I was to leave my hydrangea?
Well, you can imagine how happy I was when I discovered this
beauty! Look at all those blooms!
Can't wait till next spring to see what color they are.
Any guesses?

The last bed that mom and I worked on turned out to
be another beauty!
After cleaning out years of weeds we discovered a
a bird bath right in the center of the bed!
We moved the bird bath to the edge of the bed
and Tony added our bird feeder to the center!

One week down and only a million more projects
to tackle!  Exactly what we dreamed of!

Porch and Garden party at First a Dream!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekend Plans...

Do you have any fun weekend plans?

My mom and I will be weeding and weeding and some more weeding. Believe it or not, there are some wonderful plants hidden in this iron fence. They are just waiting to be saved!

Tony and I were a little concerned that it might have
been a cemetery, but we were happy to find out
it was once a beautiful flower garden.
Wish us luck!

Hope you have a fun weekend!

P.S. (Cookie exchange will be open until Sunday Night)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cookie Exchange Week 4

This recipe comes from my very good friend Karen. She made these beauties last year for our X-mas cookie exchange. They just melt in your mouth! I think I ate those three right there all by myself, and felt great about it, too! They are that good!

Lemon Squares
(Kathy's Award Winning)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x15 pan with Pam.

3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. powdered sugar
* Melt butter and mix with flour and sugar; press into a pan using a fork.
Bake 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 c. Granulated sugar
5 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp Flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
* Mix remaining ingredients and pour over cooked crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Cool completely and cover with powdered sugar!

If you have a cookie or candy recipe you would like to share, we would love for you to join in the party! Can't wait to see what you baked this week! We are at 17 recipes and counting! Can't you just imagine all the cookies we will have for the Holiday's! You guys are the best!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An evening full of fun...

How do you spend your evening?
It seems like the kids get off the bus and
the evening is over before it began.
After homework is finished the kids grab the
fish food and head to the pond.

Do you see the blue tarp?
Sarah and I started weeding around the pond tonight.
This is going to take for ever,
and for the record and to even up any bets floating out there;
the first person to fall into the pond was.....

When we head out to feed the fish,
we stand still by the edge and wait for
them to come and line up.
We counted 4 large cat fish, lots of Sunny's and some
others that P-pa is going to have to identify for us.
This is currently the highlight of our evening.
After feeding the fish, we count the frogs....

Tony named this one, Johny. We counted 5 tonight, but
heard more jumping in when we walked by.

See this furry ball?
A better name is prickly ball.
Ouch...they hurt if you step on them.
What could be so precious inside that
it needs protected by such awful prickly things?

A chestnut!
This has been the second fun activity
of the evening.
They have collected over 200 hundred Chestnuts!

The tire swing has also been
a family favorite.

Remember being a kid
and thinking you could touch the

This next activity is going to lose its
fun very soon. I just know it!
We have no dishwasher.
We treat it just as my mom
did when I was growing up.
There is a washer, someone rinses and a drier.

At the moment they
argue over who has which job.
Hopefully the newness of this
doesn't wear off too fast.
There is not a dishwasher in our future
for quite awhile!

Hope your evening was full of fun and
great memories!

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