Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Beef Stew Recipe

I hate this weather, it is not what you think, it is actually beautiful.  I really don't hate it, but it is so deceptive.  Although it looks and feels like it is time to get out and do spring planting and projects, it is not.  We will get cold, okay cold for Houston, again and it is much too early to do those spring chores.  And food is also a struggle, this time of year I want chili, soup and all of the comfort foods and yet we are eating salads and grilling out.

Well today I decided poo on the weather and how it feels we are having beef stew.  I found this recipe a couple of years ago and just like the name Simple Beef Stew, it is indeed simple.  Today I used a deer roast our neighbor blessed us with and cut it up in stew chunks.  Changes that I generally make include using red potatoes to replace both the white and sweet potatoes in the recipe, hubby isn't fond of sweet potatoes and I just like to use the red potatoes with skin on.  I also use one bag of baby carrots, not cutting them at all.  I generally cut everything in large chunks, stew is a hearty meal to me and needs a rough chop as opposed to a dainty cut.  Because the stew cooks slowly in the oven, it is spoon tender for cutting in the bowl.  The last change is including some large pieces of celery right on top before placing in oven, removing it right before serving when I remove the bay leaves.

A skillet of corn bread and it is comfort food at its best!  Can you tell I like the carrots?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Rainy Days

This is the first day in over a week that I haven't had outside the house responsibilities and appointments.  It is a rainy day in the Houston area and the perfect day to hang out in the craft room all day!  After I finish my bible study, I hope to do some organizing in here.  My fabric for appliqué, my vinyl for craft projects and my biggest nemesis,  paper clutter.  I can not figure out an organizational plan for paperwork that works for me!!!!!!  It is an age old problem.  I hope to knock two of those off my list today!  The challenge will be real because I would rather curl up on the couch and read a book in this weather.

And with that I will leave you a picture of one of my happy places.  Have a great day!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reading and a Book Review

I have always enjoyed reading, but the last couple of years I haven't read nearly as much.  So one of my goals for the new year is to read more, at least one to two books a month.  But this goal has brought about a personal revelation,  I don't enjoy reading on my tablet nearly as much as I enjoy having a book in my hand.  I realize it is a bit old fashioned, but the smell and feel of the book is part of the experience for me.

Our public library has a small store in the front where folks donate books in good shape and they are sold for a few dollars each.  All of the proceeds go to support projects of the library, so it is a win, win. The week between Christmas and New Year's Day, Wonderful and I made a trip to the library and I was able to come away with five hard back books for $12.  I have already enjoyed two of them!

Although not one of the books from the library, I also picked up"Grace Not Perfection"by Emily Ley.  This is a beautiful book!  It has lovely pictures, a ribbon bookmark and is just pure joy to read.  I wish I had had a copy of this book twenty years ago when I had three littles under the age of seven!  Emily really stresses the beauty of not only extending grace to others but allowing yourself grace as well.  She speaks of enjoying those precious babies in front of you and not worrying about the pressure of perfection or having it all, I know many of the moms I talk with on a regular basis realize how real this pressure can be daily.  In the midst of encouraging you to enjoy your season of life, she also inspires you to find out your passion and serve God through it.  As a result of discovering her passion, Emily developed the popular Simplified Planner and now has a product line that is nationally known.  She shares her failures and insecurities of developing this business while taking on motherhood and enjoying her people.  I recommend "Grace Not Perfection" for any mom, but especially the mom who might feel overwhelmed with her life.  Emily will encourage you to enjoy the mess of life,  extend yourself some grace while also giving you permission to go for it!

Speaking of grace not perfection, I decided to just make my after Christmas chalkboard one for Valentine's.  I don't do a lot of decorating for Valentine's but I think this will take me into March!

Sharing with:  The Homemaking Party

Monday, January 9, 2017

Magnolia Wreath

Like everyone else I love a good magnolia wreath.  I have shopped around for a quite a while, the ones I liked were a little over my budget and let's just say the cheaper ones, well looked cheap.

When at Hobby Lobby, I gave their wreath a second look and because it was fifty percent off, I decided to go ahead and pick it up.  I also purchased a bunch of additional silk magnolia leaves, they were $17.99 and I used the good old faithful 40% off.

Friday, January 6, 2017

DIY Sconses

On my birthday trip to Waco, we came home with lots of treasures.  My friends and I had the car loaded, it was tons of fun and lots of great places to find hidden treasures.  One of the places we stopped was downtown, I don't remember the name now, but it was the traditional antique shop in a huge old building where there were numerous booths.  I love those places, it is almost sensory overload for me, but yet I know there is something unique and beautiful waiting to be discovered, and this place didn't disappoint!

My treasure was under a table on the floor, what first caught my eye was pieces of old bead board with chippy paint in several colors.  As I look through and was thinking of the many things I could do with them, I discovered old porch pickets underneath.  They were the flat pickets with a plain design and I immediately thought they would make perfect wall sconces.  At $6 each they were a little more than I might normally pay but because I knew exactly what I would do I bought them.