Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gardening: Planting Bulbs for the Spring


I was looking through my "Southern Living" Magazine the other day and it said that October is the time to start planting bulbs for the Spring. So, check out your area and see what bulbs need to be planted now for them to be ready and beautiful and blooming late February through April. The magazine mentioned daffodils, hyacinth, snow flakes.

Its also time to plant pansies for the Fall. Pansies are such a happy little flower!

I am ready for a little bit cooler temperatures so that we can get working in our garden and getting it ready for the Spring. The drought we suffered here in Texas pretty much ended all our lovely produce but I loved it while it lasted! The heat also impeded my husband from mowing as much so there were times when the grass was too tall for me to be out in the garden....because unfortunately, we live in snake country and Copperheads seem to really like our area because we have a wetlands area behind us.....lovely, I know.

However, for snake problems, I love to use "Snake Off". Its a powder product that you sprinkle around your house and yard and it smells like cinnamon. You can order it at and after I used it, we did not see any snakes around our house/yard for 3-4 months but its time to apply some again.

I also have been reading the book about "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholemew. It is REALLY interesting and you learn lots of ways to save space while gardening. I am excited to put his techniques to work for me this Spring.

I hope you are all doing well and loving the fall weather. I love the colors of fall, they are beautiful!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Food Storage

I went to a bread making class last night and learned some new methods for making bread. I would gladly share them with you here if I could....however I am going to have to work on this and figure this all out before I can share it! It was a 3 hour class and included chemistry lessons and such and I am still soaking it in....and kneading my bread....I swear I think we kneaded (kned?) our bread for hours! We just didn't quite have the technique down. So, let me work on that and see if I can put it together into cohesive thoughts and share it with you....but don't hold your may take a while. ( Forgive me if that is the wrong use of breathe or breath....I always get those confused!)

Anyway, at our class she also talked about food storage and being prepared in case of emergency, famine, loss of job, etc. and she gave some really good advice. I wanted to share her "How to get started" information of getting going with food storage because I thought it was really practical and easy to understand.

This is the link to her page on how to get started

Good luck! I will post more as I learn more!

Have a GREAT Friday!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Recipe: Curried Shrimp with Cilantro, Lime, and Garlic

I made this recipe the other day and my husband and I really enjoyed it. It is from Robin Miller's cook book. It was super easy and light and had great flavor. Not too much curry, just the right amount. I think you could do the same thing with chicken, just make sure you get the chicken good and done because shrimp cooks so much faster.


2 tsp olive oil

3 medium shallots, minced (I used a small onion)

2-3 cloves of garlic, to taste, minced

1 1/2 tsp of curry powder

1 cup of reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable

1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 T. fresh lime juice

1/2 cup of low fat sour cream

1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the shrimp and lime juice and simmer until the shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

This is great over rice or noodles. I even ate it the next day almost like a soup!

Happy Fall Y'all

Happy Autumn to everyone! The first day of Fall brought unusually mild temperatures to Texas for September and we are loving it. We had a scorcher and drought filled summer so we have welcomed some rain and temps in the 60s-70s. LOVELY!

I changed up the background a little to celebrate the season of football, pumpkins, and the lovely colors and smells of fall. When I was a student, we referred to the first colder days in the Fall as "bonfire weather" because that was the time of year we started to prepare to build our bonfire and burn it around Thanksgiving for the big football game. Our beloved bonfire came to a tragic end on November 18th, 1999 when it fell and 12 Aggies lost their lives while building our beloved tradition. We will always remember those 12.

So, appreciate every day you have with your loved ones and savor the colors, sights, and sounds of the Fall, they are near and dear to me. Its one of my favorite times of year.

Make your life beautiful!

Recipe:Blue Ribbon Biscuits

A friend of mine just had her son win a BLUE RIBBON at their local county fair for some biscuits he made. When she told me the recipe, I was floored at how simple it was....and how utterly fabulous they must be....hint hint** don't look at the calorie count!

So, You take a cup of flour, a stick of butter, and a half a cup of sour cream, mix it all together and roll out and you can make 12 mini biscuits or 6 regular sized ones. That is it, that is the whole recipe....and her son won a Blue Ribbon at the fair yesterday for his entry. Isn't that wonderful and amazing!?!?! I was so proud for all of them! Her family actually brought home 9 blue ribbons and a grand champion in the cooking and arts and crafts categories! Needless to say, they were all eating their cooking entries on the way home and loving every morsel after such a fabulous day of winning!

I will have to ask her the temperature and time for cooking, but its probably similar to any basic biscuit. I would guess 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Cleaning Product: Fabuloso

Have you seen this product?

I had never heard of Fabuloso until my friend Lori mentioned that she uses it and it leaves a wonderful clean smell to your house when you are done. And, once I started to ask others about it, I heard more rave reviews and it was even recommended by 2 professional cleaning ladies. So, I decided to try it! The bottle I bought is actually blue, not pink because it is a new kind with OXY in it and I have to say that it is pretty great. I also love the nice clean and non institutional smell that it leaves and I just plum love saying the name. It is Fabuloso!

So, if you are looking for a general cleaning product, I liked this one. You take 1/4 a cup of it and add it to a gallon of water and then start cleaning. The bottle I bought was $2.99 at Target so that seems pretty economical to me!

I have been gone!

Sorry that I have totally neglected this blog. Its no neglected its embarrassing!

Anyway, I have been out of town at a conference in Vail, Colorado for a week. It was a fun and educational conference plus I had to present during 2 sessions so the weeks before I was preparing and doing laundry and packing and trying to get everything ready so my son and husband could survive whilst I was gone. We all made it through and we are slam bam in the middle of football season so LIFE IS BUSY! (But I secretly love being busy so its really okay with me!.....and I am not sure that is really so secret anyway!)

Plus, since I am serving in the presidency of our women's group at church, I am surprised at how busy I am. It doesn't generally take up a huge amount of time but it does take up a lot of small bits of time that once you put it together, ends up being a lot. However, I love doing this and working with the sisters so its a labor of love for sure!

I also have my fun little sister and her kiddos here visiting this, like I said, life is busy!

I am actually off today because the laundry and housecleaning was getting the better of me and I needed to just take a day and get things done around the house. Of course, mid-stride and right about the time I thought I was really going to get a lot done, the washer decides to stop spinning....not sure why but that is a bummer! So, my dear hubbie will have to come home and take a look. I hope its just a belt or something that needs fixing.

So I am, busy and not providing much info to you but I am going to try to redeem myself and get a few things posted today!

Love ya,

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cool Tool: The Vidalia Chop Wizard

Howdy friends,

I must say, I am a sucker for the "As seen on TV" aisle in Target and I bought the Vidalia Chop Wizard on the recomendation of a friend of mine. I have to say that I love it!

I can chop an onion and a bell pepper in less than 40 seconds and it is neat and clean and so easy. You do have to use a little muscle to push down on the lever, but I just put my weight into it and VOILA! Its all chopped.

I love mine. Here is the link

In case you ever wondered if it reall does! I really love to make stir fry and this has made it go so much faster.

Beautiful Basics

Life is about a journey, and you are the only one who can make yours... So, embrace life: the good, the bad, and the is the only one you've got.

Here's to being Beautiful, inside and out!