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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My little world of brown & blue....

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I love parties!
Today I am joining the Blue & Brown Bonanza over at Cottage Instincts.

I love blue & brown together.
It's one my fav colour combinations ever.

The one room in my house that needs to be serene and calm is our bedroom.
I want it to be a chamber of peacefulness...not busy or loud....not bright or overstimulating.

Enter a cafe mocha brown on the walls with fabric accents in soft grey blue.
It works for us.
It feels restful.
A respite from busy days.
 You will probably find blue and brown in every room in my house.
My living room has brown leather sofas with more shades of blue & brown in pillows, picture frames and our cuddle quilt for watching tv.
I made 3 of the 4 pillows you see, along with the quilt on the back of the sofa.
All with Amy Bulter fabrics...her colour combos are so delicious!

Thanks for letting me share a little of my blue & brown world!

To enjoy more blue & brown inspiration, click the button below and head on over!






Are you getting ready for chilly weather?

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I am.
I have to.
The chilly mornings are here.
This is the shelf of the closet in our mudroom.
I picked up 4 baskets from Canadian Tire for $7.99 each.

I sorted & purged.
Then I labelled.
Shipping tags from Staples. Ribbon from my scrapbooking stash.
The labelling part is so important!
It keeps people from making a mess while looking for something in a hurry.
My 'Messy Marvin' likes to wear a tuque to school in the morning when it's chilly.
This helps us to find things in a jiffy.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

A Striking Contrast.....

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It's Monday morning and I just got home from walking the dogs.
I came upstairs to start to gather laundry.
I couldn't help but notice this striking contrast...

Here we have Exhibit A: My daughter's room.
Bed made.
Clothes put away.
Room looks neat & tidy.

Here we have Exhibit B: My son's room.

{Sigh}
Yeah.

A room only a mother could love.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Found: A dessert for Thanksgiving dinner....

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The Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake on the cover of the latest issue of Fine Cooking.
A delectable pumpkin spice cake with a topping of pecans, brown sugar and crystallized ginger.

Doesn't it look scrumptious?

I am having guests for Thanksgiving dinner...and I am so excited to make this cake!

I  started reading Fine Cooking a few years ago.
It is my very favourite cooking magazine.
Everything recipe I have tried from this mag has been outstanding.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Outdoor Decor...

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Yes. My dirty little secret.
While the inside of my house was plumped for Fall, my front door was barren.
{And while I am not fond of the white screen door, it came with the house.}
I had a bad case of the buy-something-new-itis this week.
I really, really, really wanted to buy something new for the front door.
I looked around at a few shops and found a wreath that I quite liked, but it was $70.
With all the monies that just flew out of our house for school fees and sports fees, I could not justify $70 that was basically a want...not a need.
So I went shopping in my basement.
I found this wreath that I bought in 2001 for our new house in Nova Scotia.
It came from Wicker Emporium.....a store in the Maritimes that I love.
I decided to add a little orange to freshen it up.
So I took this flower pick I already had from Michaels...

and cut some pieces to add to the wreath with floral tape.
Here is the finished project:
{Cost: $0.00}
There you have it-an upcycled wreath for Fall.
I also switched out this summer-ready lantern from this:
To this:
And added it to the little bistro table beside the front door.
Next I will be adding some fresh pumpkins.
Canadian Thanksgiving is just 2 weeks away!
How are you decorating for Thanksgiving?


*Edited to Add: This wreaths was featured here:



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Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Join us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday... Plus What Everybody Needs to Know About Menu Planning And Feature Family Fav Recipe: Shrimp Creole.

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I love Menu Plan Monday.
I just don't feel organized for the week unless my menu plan is done.
I love when dinner time comes around and I have a plan.
I know lots of people who don't do menu planning but wish they did.
The first comment I hear is that they don't know where to start.
Here are my top 3 tips for making a menu plan.

1. Ask family members what some of their favourite meals are. Make a list of meals to pick from for future menu planning.You might think you know what their favourites are, but I have learned that when I ask this question, sometimes I am surprised by the answer!

2. Take a look around your fridge and freezer. What's in your fridge already that needs to be used before it goes bad? What's in your freezer that can be made into a meal? Incorporate these into your meal plan for the week. This saves you money by using things you already have before spending more money on duplicate items. This week, I have broccoli in my veggie crisper that needs to be eaten....so that's the green vegetable for today's meal.

3. Read the grocery flyers to see what's on sale this week. Take advantage of sales in your menu planning. This saves you money, especially in the fruits and vegetables department!

Now, write down 5-6 meals for the week using the information you have collected!  Now you can create your grocery list! Save cooking with new recipes for the weekend when more time is available.

Would you like more menu planning examples and ideas? Visit the blog I'm An Organizing Junkie. She hosts Menu Plan Monday every Monday and over 300 women link up with their menu plans for the week. It's fabulous! Click on the link below to visit!



My menu plan for this week:
Monday-Basa fish, jasmine rice, broccoli & carrots.
Dinner Time: 3:00 pm
{The basa fish was bought on sale and in my freezer already. Broccoli and carrots already in the crisper and need to be used.} Due to sports activities, we are eating at 3pm when the kids arrive home from school starving and hungry. We all need to be out the door by 4:30 pm. Each child will also have snack before bed such as: fruit, toast & yogurt.
Tuesday- Greek chicken with Greek salad, pita bread and tzatsiki.
Dinner Time: 5 pm.
{The chicken is already in our freezer from Costco. The tzatsitki needs to be eaten before it expires soon, as does the romaine lettuce.}
Wednesday-Pulled Pork Sandwiches & coleslaw.
Dinner Time: 3:00 pm
{We are eating dinner early today because of sports activities.Pork already in the freezer from Costco.}
Thursday-Italian wedding soup and crusty bread.
Dinner Time: 5:00 pm
{Ground turkey from Costco already in the freezer.}
Friday- Order out night.
Saturday- Make your own Pizzas.

And now for one of our family favourites:
Shrimp Creole
This is a classic Louisiana dish which tastes great on a cold night.

1 tbsp.  vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 staulks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp. drimed thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 to 1 serrano chili, finely chopped
1 can 28 oz. diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup clam juice, fish stock, or white wine
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lb. shrimp, cooked, peeled with tails off.

Directions: In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and green pepper and cook, stirring, until softened. Add garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, & chili pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, stock or wine and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Turn heat to a simmer and add shrimp, parsley and lemon zest. Stir thoroughly and heat until shrimp is hot. Serve immediately. {Don't allow to simmer once you have added shrimp because the shrimp will turn tough and chewy.}
Serve with hot rice, a green salad and hot crusty bread.

Our entire family loves this meal. It tastes great when heated up the next day too!






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Friday, September 17, 2010

A Special Place for Vintage & Sentimental Jewellery...

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I have been looking for a way to display some of my vintage & sentimental jewellery for some time.
Anyone who visits  my house knows how I love to display things that I love.
I finally found something which I think works perfectly.

While trolling through Home Sense {the Canadian name for Home Goods} one day last spring, I found this 'shadow box' type display box.
It differs from a shadow because it has a door with an adorable little crystal knob, so you can change things out quickly and easily.
The price was only $16.99...which I thought was super reasonable.
The 'A' monogram on the door completely sold me.
The inside featured this floral but neutral fabric pin board.
My imagination started perculoating with ideas.
I came home and picked out some special-to-me jewellery pieces to start playing & arranging.
I settled on this mix of pretty pieces.
The small amethyst brooch belonged to a great, great aunt and is circa early 1900's, as is the larger amethyst brooch.
{I can just imagine them pinned at the throat of a lovely muslin dress in days gone by.}
The pearl drop earrings I wore on my wedding day. {costume jewellery}.
The sterling silver flower & leaf necklace in the middle belonged to my grandmother.
The little charm bracelet on the top right was an Easter gift when I was 7 or 8 yrs. old.
And the little gold bracelet was mine as a child as.
I cannot remember where it come from. Maybe my Mom can remember?

I am still debating about where I am going to hang this.
I am thinking in the master bedroom for now.
I love how the door with it's magical crystal knob allows me to change out the jewellery pieces when I want.
I could even change the fabric on the pin board if I grow tired of the pattern.
Don't you love Home Sense?



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