Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring is in the air....

We started the weekend with 60 mph winds on Friday. This resulted in the loss of a tree in our front yard.  Of course the boys (and one Lily) found this to be a fun adventure! On our wish list is a bridge at the pond to cover one of the underground streams. When we get heavy rain or with spring approaching the area is very muddy and at times the underground stream water fills to the surface.  A bridge is needed and the tree offered the perfect solution. Love my boys (and one Lily)....
Moving forward, the weather on Saturday and Sunday was beautiful. We feel like spring is around the corner! Hurray, it is good for my soul. Everyday we try to walk around the house to see what new flower is coming up. Your help might be needed to identify some of the plants we are finding.  We know the original owner was a horticulturist, and were told at one time the pond house was a beautiful property, filled with beautiful flowers. We are hoping some of the flowers survived the years of weeds suffered here. You can view those weeds here and here; although we hope to never see their return.
Any ideas what this might be? They are everywhere along the stream and even into the woods? It looks like it might grow up to be beautiful.....

this is how we ended our weekend....
Hope you have a beautiful week...

Linking to Mosaic Monday

Friday, February 25, 2011

An Ecosystem (not),,,

Ecosystem is a system involving the interactions between a community of living organisms in a particular area and its nonliving environment (source) 

When we moved in September the pond was covered with algae and weeds. Countless hours were spent removing the algae and weeding around the pond. We read articles, books, and visited a local garden and farm specialist to find out as much as we could about how to save the pond.

We enjoyed fishing in the pond this fall and catching frogs. To our sadness this weekend as the ice began to melt and the edges free to splash on shore, we saw floating fish. Fish shouldn't float, belly up with white eyes.
Sarah was the lucky one to find our fish friends in their demise. If you know my Sarah, you know this lacked no drama....drama is her middle name. It's one of the reasons we love her, never a dull moment.

How could this be? What did we do wrong?

After removing at least 100 dead fish we were thrilled to find tad poles who survived the winter.....and one snapper turtle....(there is a story behind this little guy and we should have caught him in a bucket instead of in my camera lens)

After much research and council we learned we should not have allowed the pond to freeze over. A heater and aerator is needed for the winter months. Without it there is too much nitrogen and no where for the nitrogen to escape to. Trying to see the positive, we now have the opportunity to dredge the pond and remove algae and sludge. A fresh start....we hope.

Any pond experts out there with advice?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cookie Dough Pie

Lil T is bringing us the recipe this week. Cookie Dough Pie is one of his favorite to make and one of our favorite desserts to eat.  Makes for a win win situation!! Two chefs in the house....I am one lucky girl. Actually one day he is going make another girl very happy with his talents in the kitchen, it's a a good thing we've pre-arranged his marriage with a neighbor girl...or at least prom....(just kidding of course!)

1/2 cup butter room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1-12 oz package semi sweet chips
1 cup pecans (optional)

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Step 2:
Cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Slowly add flour and blend until smooth.

Step 3:
Stir in Chocolate chips and pecans.

Step 4:
Place pie dough into an ungreased pie shell. Pour mixture into Pie shell and bake for 50 minutes or until center is set and top is golden brown.

And while he was baking he shared his secret ingredient for his famous brownie's!

Lil Chef T from Wendy O on Vimeo.

Happy Baking and join me at You Made That!

P.S.(serve warm with two scoops of ice cream....yum...could be heaven!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Slept on it (part II)...

It is a good thing I like my sleep! If you missed the first time I "slept on it" before painting the red room, you can read about it here.

When we moved in Sept, I couldn't justify painting the house since the previous owners recently painted the first floor. I tried really hard to make their color scheme work, but it was just not us. So.... a few weeks ago I grabbed my paint brush and went to town.

 Hello...Gravity paint from Valspar!

Although, the red room was not the room I was painting.....

The foyer/ coat room/ laundry room actually received the first coat of Gravity paint. It gave the room a bright, fresh and clean feel.....that was when I started to think about the red room.  Tony's suggestion was, " you should sleep on it."  Yep, you guessed it.....

Good bye Red....Hello Gravity...

Here is where we started on Sept 9th...moving day...

Part I (see all before pictures here)

Part II
The only change to the room is paint ($34) and three new pictures ($45).....

It now feels like our home...our style and for less then $80!

Now, if you were peeking through the door you might notice some changes taking place in the family room....
Before photo from Dec 2010

Not ready to share the whole room, but here is how it is looking today....

And I finally decided on fabric for the family room curtains....

Don't you love when your loose ends start to tie into a neat bow?

Linking to:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Best Friends Forever....

Lil' T and Lily....Best Friends...

Lily fits every description of a Labrador....gentle, faithful, loving, fun, full of energy and wonderful with kids.
Lily loves playing with the kids and loves all sports. Lil T is getting ready to pass the ball to Lily and she'll pass it back to Lil T for the basket!

Blue happen to be close by watching the game and was thinking...."you've got to be kidding me...she plays basketball, too!"
All this basketball was too much....maybe I should take a nap.

Dreaming of making the big shot!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Queen of loose ends....

That should be my title this month....Queen of Loose Ends. When we moved, Tony asked me to "please finish one project before moving to the next."  I tried, but to tell you the truth, I think I like having 20 projects going on at one time....the problem....Loose Ends!  Let me show you....

Red Room.....
Happy to report that the red is gone....Good Bye Red....Hello Valspar Gravity....

Down Stairs Bathroom....
Good Bye Baby Blue walls..... Hello Sherwin Williams Relaxed Khaki....

Slowly adding white plates to wall...need 2 small plates.

Family Room....
Good Bye Floral Sofa and Chair....Hello Craig's List...

Good Bye Coffee Table...Hello Craig's List...

$3.00 need help!

Fabric ideas for new curtains in family room....

Sweet Ginger....
Sarah has become allergic to her favorite and dear sweet Ginger....Ginger has found a new loving family....sniff sniff

So, there you have finished project to report, but a bunch of loose ends! Hopefully I can tie them all into a nice neat bow this weekend! Do you have any loose ends dangling out there? Please share, it will help me feel better!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Skillet Lasagna

How are you doing today? We have been on a marathon painting spree here. For our friends who were wondering how long it would take us to change the paint color on the first floor, it was 149 days. With my track record, I'm feeling pretty good about waiting 149 days! Wait until you see what we painted! I'll give you a two hints...slept on it and two rooms to go! Hope to pull the finishing touches together this weekend!

A big thank you to Lindsey at Better After for featuring our bedroom! Haven't found the perfect dresser lamp yet, but still working on it. We also decided that we are going to sell the chairs (ketchup and mustard) on Craig's list and hopefully have enough to buy new ones. At least that's the plan. I am trying really hard to stay on track and complete a project (room).  One of my many down falls....staying on track.

We also want to welcome our newest followers. I am trying to make my rounds and say hi! We are happy to have you....Welcome!

Another goal of ours is to get back on track with recipes. Tony brought home some fresh berries and tells me he has a surprise for us! Can't wait to see! For today I am pinch hitting with a recipe....hope you don't mind. This is super easy and perfect for a busy night when you are short on time, but don't want to skimp on quality.

Skillet Lasagna

2 cups spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup water
1 package frozen ravioli
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 15oz carton ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach

Step 1:
Combine spaghetti sauce and water in a large skillet. Bring to boiling. Stir in ravioli. Cook, uncovered over medium heat about 5 minutes or until ravioli are almost tender, stir to prevent sticking.

Step 2:
In a medium bowl, combine egg, ricotta cheese, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Dot ravioli mixture with spinach and then spoon ricotta mixture on top of spinach. Cook, covered over low heat about 10 minutes more or until ricotta layer is set and pasta is just tender. Sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan.

Served with some garlic bread.....

My kind of cooking...took about 20 minutes!

Linking to The Southern Institute making meals kids love!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend, we are looking forward to some warmer temps here in Pa!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lead Me....

Heard this on the radio today and it touched my heart...

The Story Behind "Lead Me" - Sanctus Real from BrightBulb Entertainment on Vimeo.

After 18years of marriage Tony and I have had our share of peaks and valleys and I am thankful that God has always lead us home and has made us the husband and wife we are today. Thankful for God's grace and guidance through the good and the bad.  Every year we learn a little more and learn to love a little deeper!  Looking forward to many more years!
Join me at 5 Minutes just for me for a special Valentine's Day Sunday Song

Happy Valentines Day friends.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bedroom decisions...

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! We read each and every comment and when I say we, I do mean Tony and I. Tony has a good eye for decorating and he does like to have a say in how things look in the house, which is good since we both live here.  I really do value his opinion, because there were times he thought of something which I didn't. So, we read each comment and discussed all the options before deciding on the solution which we both love!

In case you missed the post, you can read the question here and this was the  photo in question...

Ta...Da...The Decision....

(accessory shopping will be on going... I have a new lamp on my wish list)

We like to think outside of the box and we are loving not having the mirror directly over the dresser. Do you know what is even better? In this mirror I can even see my shoes when I stand in front of it. I no longer have to drive Tony crazy with the "which shoe looks better" question.

Do you remember my To Do list for this room? Here is a reminder just in case you missed it.

We've tackled a few things on the list and here we are today....

Here are some before and afters....

Crown molding is next on the to do list...which is why I didn't paint to the ceiling, as you can see in the mirror...just in case you noticed!

Showing you this picture for the view of the cabinet....the chairs still need slip covered (ugh)!

Slowly but surely it is coming together!

Here are the paint colors we used...

Sherwin William Versatile Grey

Dresser and End tables:
Sherwin William Pure White
Valspar Mocha Glaze

Sherwin William Chat Room
Valspar Mocha Glaze

Thank you for visiting and for your help!
Hope you join us at Savvy Southern Style for her Boring to Better Party!

And a special thank you to my friend Leslie for helping me pull this one together!
You rock girl!

Going to leave you with one more sweet Sarah curled up on the bed as I was taking the pictures and captured her in the mirror....

Sweet Dreams....
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