Tag Archives: home

Clutter Free Zone…

What did you do on this drizzly Saturday afternoon? I finished all of the laundry, cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer and I made a list of organizational projects I want to tackle in January…

SA donation bags

Well they really aren’t organizational projects as much as it’s reducing the clutter that has taken over every closet in our house.

It is so easy for clutter to creep into our daily lives. We get busy and we put things in places that are convenient but are not necessarily the right place.

It’s like the kitchen pantry…I have a small pantry by design, each shelf is dedicated to  like items. There is one shelf for can goods and savory items, one shelf for items used for baking, one shelf for spices, one for breads and chips and one for pasta, cereal and crackers.  However, it seems as though the center shelf is the catch all for every item that gets returned to the pantry.  It takes a whole afternoon to reorganize the shelves, checking all of the expiration dates and putting everything back where it belongs.

Of course everyone is thinking the same thing…strike while the iron is hot…the Holidays are behind us, the weather outside is less than inviting so what else is there to do with our time, besides watching college football and putting off taking down the Christmas decorations.Time to think about reducing the clutter around the house.


After reading a few Facebook and Blog posts about organization projects I was sucked in and decided to join the declutter craze...

Last week I purged my closet and dresser. I reorganized my vanity in the bathroom where I keep my jewelry and I straightened up my desk. Earlier today I attacked the junk drawer in the kitchen and my husband organized the drawer where we keep the bills and important papers.


Next up on the list…
1. Purge Linen Closet; I will only keep two sets of sheets for each bed.
2. Purge extra closet of craft items I haven’t used in more than a year.
3. Purge kitchen of plastic storage containers that do not have a lid or vice versa, lid no container…out of here!
4. Purge kitchen of duplicates; potato mashers, wooden spoons, cheese graters, whisks, measuring cups etc…
5. Donate extra blankets to a shelter.
6. Donate old towels to the animal shelter.
7. Take old books to used book store
8. Toss out old make up and hair products.
9. Reorganize the sideboard
10. Make-over the media room

Posting them here for accountability…I hope to post before and after pics as I go.


Filed under 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge, 2016, Home Sweet Home, Life

25 days of Christmas…Home Tour (day 4)

Welcome to our 25 days of Christmas…Home Tour…Day 4.

The entrance to our home always conveys the message, Welcome to Our Home…A welcome sign, a wreath on the door and sometimes a little more. Of course the colors always reflect the seasons or the holiday.


Considering this is day 4 of our 25 days of Christmas Home Tour…I probably should have started here on Day 1. However, I don’t start decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving and it took me until yesterday to finally decide what I wanted on the front porch.


I quickly snapped these photos this morning while waiting on my sweet geriatric shitzus to take care of there morning ritual…

wp-1449239051263.jpgI love the contrast of the vintage olive bucket filled with the colors of the season…red, white and green topped off with a few branches that sparkle.

wp-1449239065965.jpgWishing you a very welcoming holiday season…Merry Christmas!




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Filed under 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge, 2015, Christmas Home Tour

25 days of Christmas…Home Tour (day 3)

Welcome to our Texas county home…I have a weakness for all things Americana. As you can see from this display my interests are varied. My obsessions range from books about the great state of Texas to vintage cameras and barn pulleys…


I also have a fondness for bottle brush trees…so here I have just accented one collection with another…


A few years back I stumbled on a pair of vintage dice while checking out at an estate sale…this chance meeting has led to a strange love affair with the colorful die.


Wishing you a season of collecting memories.

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Filed under 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge, 2015, Christmas Home Tour

25 days of Christmas…Home Tour (day 2)

Welcome Back to my 25 days of Christmas home tour.  I am playing catch-up with my daily postings.  This is what happens when I woke up on December 3rd and decide it would be fun to post a photo a day of our home all decked out for the Christmas Holidays…and then decide to call it 25 days of Christmaswp-1449156391280.jpg

Hoping you have a season filled with JOY…


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Filed under 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge

Recipe: Southern Black Eyed Peas…

Southern Black Eyed Peas…

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I have read numerous cookbooks and food blogs looking for a suitable recipe for our family’s New Years Day dinner.  There are dozens if not hundreds of recipes available.  I searched until I found a couple that had the ingredients that sounded good to me and created my own recipe.

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Don’t let the number of ingredients listed deter you from trying this recipe…It’s easier than it looks and delicious!

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1# dry black-eyed peas, washed and picked
1/4 # of bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
3 qts of chicken stock (sodium free), heated and set aside
2 pinches of kosher salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning, Tony Chachere’s salt free
3 Bay Leaves
2 jalapeno, sliced
1 # pork sausage, hot and spicy

photo 4 (1)


In a medium sauce pan heat the chicken stock and reserve for later.

Now, In a dutch oven or similar pot cook the diced bacon until browned but not crisp.  Next add the holy trinity; diced onion, bell pepper and celery to the bacon and cook until wilted.  Add diced garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add rinsed black-eyed peas to veggie mixture and stir thoroughly for 3-4 minutes.  Begin adding the hot chicken stock to the peas and veggies (reserve 2 cups of liquid, you will probably need it later)..next add the salt, pepper, jalapeno, bay leaves and seasoning. Bring the pot to a roiling boil, reduce the heat and simmer partially covered.  Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. In a separate pan, crumble and brown the pork sausage.  Drain the fat and set the sausage aside until needed.

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After the peas have cooking for an hour you may need to add more chicken stock if the mixture has gotten too thick.  Also add the cooked pork sausage stir and  continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.  Now it’s time to make your cornbread or rice whichever you prefer to serve with your black-eyed peas.

Due to my Southern heritage, I would normally choose rice over anything else …growing up in the south rice is as common on the dinner table as salt and pepper…however, you may want to forgo the rice with this dish so that you can enjoy more of the peas. Yes they are that good…and filling!

Now it’s time to Enjoy!

photo 1 (2)


Filed under All Things Foodie

Layers and Layers

My obsession with creating a beautifully inviting bed began when I stayed at a little boutique hotel, it was quite by accident that we checked into this particular hotel. You know they say that the difference between something good and something great is the attention to detail. The attention to the linens and bedding choices changed the way I thought about my own bed.

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Not long after that I discovered Nate Berkus‘ blog.  I loved so many of the images he posted of incredibly inviting bedding ensembles fueled my desire for that kind of bed.

I also admire the way the department stores make up the bedding displays…layers and layers of luxurious fabrics and inviting colors and contrasting yet complimentary textures and pillows…oh so many pillows.  I began taking note of all of the elements that made up the beds that I found most inviting…


However, all those elements that make up a luxuriously inviting bed can be very expensive.  And it’s not just the look that matters, the texture of the fabrics should have the feel of luxury…Bedding can be expensive. and I have made a few regrettable spur of the moment purchases that ended up costing me more than just money…I recommend that you take your time and only buy it if you love it.

This time around I took my time and made my selections carefully…and now I have the bed of my dreams…well almost.  I would like to add one or two more elements   but half the fun is the search and I am enjoying this project so much I am not ready for it to be finished…

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My bedding ensemble is made up of 100% Egyptian cotton sheets; one deep pocket fitted sheet and two flat sheets.  The next layer is a beautiful quilt with my favorite color pallet.  The next layer is a warm and cozy chocolate faux fur king size blanket. The final layer is a beautifully textured duvet in a soft cream and latte color palette. Last but not least are the pillows; there are thirteen pillows on my bed.  It sounds a little over the top but it is a king size bed…there are 3 king size and 4 queen size pillows and 6 decorative pillows piled up…

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The side effect of this little project is now I make my bed, layer by layer…almost everyday!

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Filed under Home Sweet Home

One Beautiful Blog…

There are so many talented individuals sharing their passion for life through photography and writing.  My interests are varied therefore I am all over the place on the blogs I follow;  photography, travel, books, humor, diy, culture and food.  I have been inspired and encouraged by many in the blogging community by simply reading their posts.

There is one blog in particular that gives me a warm cozy feeling every time I visit.  Stopping by JustaSmidgen is like walking into my favorite cafe.  I can smell the coffee brewing and the bread baking.  There is the smell of fresh cake in the air.  I sink into the overstuffed chair at the corner table and all is well with the world.

The visual layout is inviting.  The writing is comfortable.  The photographs are warm. The recipes leave my mouth-watering.  This is one beautiful blog…I would love to curl up at the kitchen counter and watch this blogger in action.  But, calling Barbara a blogger doesn’t quite do her efforts justice…she really is an artist!

Here is a chance for you to experience this beautiful blog.  Barbara has compiled her top 10 recipes of 2012 in one post.  I hope you enjoy the beauty and creativity of Barbara at justasmidgen as much as I do.  Here is a photo from one of the featured recipes…just a sample to whet your appetite.  Enjoy!

man cake just a smidge blog

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Filed under All Things Foodie, Blog Re-Posts