Monday, September 27, 2010

I'll Think About That Tomorrow!

I enjoy being a southern gal  . . . and definitely identify with Scarlett O'Hara's strategy for coping with life  -- "I'll think about that tomorrow."   :)

I've been that way with our pending move to the coast.  Our last move was pretty traumatic, to say the least, so every time I've been tempted to worry about the packing and moving process, I've just consoled myself with, "I'll think about that tomorrow . . . "

Our actual moving date was uncertain for weeks, so it was easy to avoid facing reality.  But suddenly our time left here in southwest Georgia is "gone with the wind."  The movers are coming today to start packing up our belongings and to squish and squeeze all of the contents of our house into a huge 3-dimensional, rectangular, jigsaw puzzle.  Then, on Friday, the first day of October, a blizzard of boxes will fly off that truck, and I will be "snowed under" for days and weeks unpacking, sorting, organizing, and finding places for all of the random stuff that a family of twelve collects. 

Suddenly, tomorrow is today . . . .

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tex Mex Layered Salad

I haven't done much cooking lately.  With traveling back and forth to the coast and spending long days there painting, I've eaten more than my share of fast food in the last few weeks.  Therefore, I found myself in the mood to putter about in the kitchen one night this week, and to create some tasty dish.  I remembered this recipe, which I had copied out of a book belonging to my friend, Lori, while we were at the beach.  Unfortunately, I cannot remember what book I copied this from, but I have simplified and rewritten the instructions quite a bit, so it is not word for word from the book!  Anyway, here is the recipe.  This would be excellent to make and take to a church covered dish dinner, as you can make it ahead!  The cornbread soaks up the dressing and keeps the lettuce from getting soggy.

Tex Mex Layered Salad

1 1/2 cups ranch dressing or sour cream (I used sour cream with ranch seasoning mix)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 cups chopped tomatoes
8 scallions, chopped
1 package (10 oz.) romaine lettuce
1 package (8 oz.) shredded Mexican-style 4 cheese
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can yellow corn, rinsed and drained
4 cups crumbled corn bread

1.  Place the Ranch dressing (or sour cream), cilantro, cumin and lime juice in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.

2.  Place the chopped tomatoes and scallions in a small bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Layer salad in a glass bowl or trifle dish in the following order:

1/3 lettuce
1/3 crumbled cornbread
1/3 Ranch dressing or sour cream mixture
1/3 black beans
1/3 corn kernels
1/3 shredded cheese
1/3 tomatoes and scallions

4.  Repeat layers two more times. 

5.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

6.  Serves 8.

Note:  Next time I make this, I will add a layer of diced avocado.

Finding Buried Treasure

In addition to a regular two-car garage, the house we are leasing has a small service garage which will be perfect for storing our bicycles and kayaks.  However, this service garage is currently unusable because it is totally full of the owner's stuff.   We asked the owners if we could remove the items in the service garage so that we could utilize that space, and were told that they did not want to keep anything in there -- to just throw it all away. 

So, last weekend Alan began to sift through the "junk" in there, so we could plan how to dispose of it.  He was amazed to discover a couple dozen large oil paintings among the miscellaneous items stored in there.  Some of the pictures are damaged from the heat and humidity, but many of them are redeemable and may even find their way onto my walls in the very near future . . . 

Do you see the magnolia picture in the photo above??  I definitely have my eye on that one!!  I have a magnolia print comforter on my bed.  I also like that Paris print . . . .

I also love both of the paintings below!  My photos don't do them jutice, but these are large, vividly beautiful oil paintings!!  I'm eager to see if I can find a way to incorporate these into my decor!! 

These are just a couple of the treasures we unearthed!  There are still many, many items to sort through . . . . but now I'm thinking it will be an exciting adventure, as we search for buried treasure!!!!

Do You Know What This Is??

When I transferred my before/after pictures of the house onto my laptop, I was quite surprised to discover this picture!  At one point, Bethany and Matt were taking pictures with my camera while I was painting, so I figured they took this interesting shot.  But what was it???  Hannah was the one who figured it out!  Anyone else want to take a guess at what this is??

Another Little Project

While Alan and I painted our bedroom, we put Joe to work on this special little project.  He painted the "wine cellar" (see door) and prepared it for its new life as a pantry.  It was just SO DARK painted the dark green that was formerly in the family room, with very little light that I'd never be able to find what I was looking for  . . . so, we reluctantly added that to our painting list.  Joe had to prime the room first and then paint it, so he ended up being stuck in the closet for quite awhile. 

But, he didn't seem to mind!  As long as he had his cell phone so he could stop and text every now and then . . . .

Hmmm, I wonder what he was thinking about while he painted . . . .     ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What We Did This Past Weekend

Guess what we did this past weekend??

Here is your first clue:

And here is another clue:

Yes, we packed up and headed to the coast and spent the weekend painting!!  Our goal was to complete three bedrooms over the course of the weekend -- did we make it??  Yes, we did!!  Then, because painting is so addictive, I decided to stay an extra day, and on Monday we painted the guest room, too.  So, we painted four bedrooms in three days!  Want to see??? 

Here is a "before" picture of the master bedroom:

And here are two "after" shots:

I will tell you that I agonized over whether to go out on a limb and paint our bedroom this color -- called "Green Earth" -- or whether to play it safe and paint it a neutral taupe like the family room.  With a wee bit of encouragement from a friend, I boldly went with the green, and I'm so glad I did!  I absolutely love this soothing shade of green!!  It really turned out lovely!!  I can't wait to see what it looks like with my furniture and comforter set!! 

After a successful master bedroom transformation, I enthusiastically tackled the younger boys' room.  I had not initially planned to paint their bedroom, but they felt they had the "ugliest room in the house" with the plain white walls and old, paint-splattered carpet.  So, I decided to attempt to make their room look special. 

We already have some nautical decorations, which we used in the boys' bathroom, so I decided to use a nautical theme for their new bedroom.  I looked for a paint color that would resemble the ocean -- and found this color, called "Rainwashed."  It is the perfect blend of blue, green and gray and looks more one hue than the other at different times of day . . . . just like the Atlantic Ocean. 


We were delighted with the results.  The color is perfect!  Now, the boys' room is ready for three young sailors to take the helm!!

The girls' room was next on the agenda.  Here is the "before" picture:

And here is the "after" picture:

Hannah picked out this beautiful color -- "Celestial" -- to coordinate with the new comforters that I found for the girls' bunk beds.  I was thrilled because I found their comforters on sale for 50% off at JC Penneys, plus I had a 15% off coupon, bringing the bottom line down to $70 for two comforter sets in the "Carolina" pattern!  Plus, I was able to pay for them with money I earned from selling clothing we no longer needed at the consignment shop.  :)

These bedrooms turned out so well, that I was motivated to go ahead and tackle the guest bedroom.  Here are a couple "before" pictures of this unusual room:

And here are a couple "after" pictures:  (Try to ignore the chandelier!  It may be awhile before we can switch that out!!)  I think the softer green looks a LOT better!

What do you think??  Which was your favorite bedroom makeover??

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our Rainbow House

When we left the house after a long day of painting, this is what we saw:

Unfortunately, this picture doesn't even begin to do it justice, but it was a beautiful, vivid rainbow!  It is rare to see one that is a full arc, so we stopped to admire it and take some pictures.

I like to call the house we are going to lease our "Rainbow House" for two reasons. 

First of all, it is painted every color of the rainbow!  RED kitchen, Green Family Room, Peach Living Room and Dining Room, RED foyer, Yellow master bedroom, blue laundry room and so on  . . .  and that is just on the Main Floor!! 

Secondly, just as rainbows are rumored to have a pot of gold at the end, I think this house holds hidden treasure for us . . . at the end of all the cleaning and painting!!

Going for a Coastal Look

"Outerbanks" is the name of the paint color I chose for the family room in our new house.  (Yes, we finally found a house to lease on the Georgia coast and have all the paperwork in place!  :)  We had a Paint-a-thon this weekend and got the family room all painted and the master bedroom primed and ready for me to attack next weekend! 

Here is a "before" picture of the family room:

And here is an "after" picture: 

I did the cutting in as far up as I could reach comfortably, and then Alan took it from there!  Joe did most of the rolling.  Many hands make light work!

I am trying to achieve a lighter feeling, not so heavy, more appropriate to coastal living.  What do you think??

I love lots of light, so I don't plan to put those heavy curtains back up.  What I would really like to see on the windows is plantation shutters --  maybe if we are able to purchase the house down the road. . .

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Good-byes and Goals

Lori and her family left on Thursday to visit her daughter in Charleston.  So, we all gathered outside to say good-bye and take our annual good-bye pictures.

Matt took this picture!  :)  He did a surprisingly good job!

Mary took this shot.

Lori and I are so much alike -- idealistic with high expectations for ourselves and our families.  In the spirit of realism, we set a low goal for next year -- to buy ourselves new bathing suits just one size smaller, or at the very minimum, in the same size and NOT a size bigger!!   :)  

Saying good-bye is hard, when we know we may not see each other for a full year . . . so we have another goal -- to sneak in a visit either at Lori's house in the mountains . . . or at my new house on the coast. 

Bethany hated to tell Mary good-bye! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Crazy Crab

On Saturday evening, right after arriving in Hilton Head, our family went out to eat at The Crazy Crab.  The neat thing about this is that our family has been going to this seafood restaurant for twenty years!!  Back when Alan worked in South Carolina, he used to have an annual conference in Hilton Head and sometimes the children and I would accompany him.   The first time we went, I had three little children and my Mom went along to help me.  I actually have a picture of her holding Taylor in a baby sling at The Crazy Crab in Harbour Town!!!!!  (I sure wish I had that picture on my computer so I could post it!!)  Now, with my mom in a wheelchair and Taylor being a Ginormous Man, it just seems impossible to even imagine that!!! 

I posted this picture of my dinner -- fried shrimp and scallops -- especially for my friend, Donna, because she is really into food, and I know she will enjoy seeing what I ate!  :)  I only ate a couple of the fries, but I did add in a couple hushpuppies. 

We have many pictures taken through the years in front of this tree.   We used to just take the "say cheese" or "say I love Daddeeeeee" kind of pictures.  But, now my family is into looking crazy or "awkward" so . . . . I have one sweet picture and then I just let them do their thing!!!!   :)

Twelve for Luke!

Once again, Luke's birthday fell during our week at Hilton Head Island, giving us an excuse to celebrate with cake and ice cream!  Luke opened some water guns and a cool T-shirt from his sister, Ashlyn, and a token gift from us -- a set of army men!  He enjoyed digging trenches on the beach and strategically placing all of his army men and acting out a battle.  We will try to celebrate his birthday again when we get "home" with his Daddy and his brothers by having his favorite meal and a more substantial gift.  (Plus maybe a trip to the barber's chair?!!?)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Island Hopping!

Saturday, I left my hubby and sons on the Georgia coast and "hopped over" to the South Carolina coast, where I have been enjoying a wonderful week at Hilton Head Island with my best friend, Lori, and three of her eight children.  If you've been reading here for awhile, you may remember the series of posts I wrote last September about our time in Hilton Head.  This has become a delightful yearly tradition for us and a way to nurture our twenty year old (!!) friendship, now that we no longer live in the same state!

Here are a few pictures of our fun times together on the beach.


These pictures tell the predictable story of our Fun in the Sun.  What they don't tell is our Inane Day in the Rain!  :)  One day, about ten minutes after we got set up on the beach with all of our sand toys, boogie boards, beach chairs and big sun umbrella, it started to rain, softly at first, and then more steadily.  There was just this one little black rain cloud hovering over our heads, so we tried to ride it out.  Suddenly, that cloud burst open and dumped its contents upon our heads!  The beach was transformed into a river and we were drenched as we attempted to hastily pack everything up and slosh through the puddles and the torrential downpour to the van!!  Then, would you believe that about fifteen minutes after we returned to the cottage that the sun came back out and shone brightly for the rest of the day????  Unfortunately, we didn't have the energy at that point to brave the beach again until late that afternoon!

So, what did we do when cottage bound?  The children played games, watched movies, played legos, got on their Facebooks, etc.  The Moms chatted, worked on our blogs, checked our email and facebook accounts, and talked to our hubbys and older kids back home. 

Still to come . . . details about a birthday celebrated at the beach!
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