Saturday, January 28, 2012

Valentine's Decor

Well Valentine's day is fast approaching. So I decided to finally take down my Christmas decor and get with the times.
I had all of these things already lying around the house. I just had to put them together.
This is my new carafe I got for Christmas. I already had the mason jar. Love the conversation hearts inside. I used some ribbon from my sister's baby shower invitations. I've been working on getting that all together this week too.

I can't decide if I like the white garland around the two jars or not.

These are my Christmas ornaments but I will leave these out through Valentine's Day. Clark got me new bed sheets and I got him tickets to go to "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" It's coming to town in February. He loves that show.

I just noticed this is my 100th blog post. I've been blogging for just about a year now and I still love it. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Creamy Baked Potato Soup

I have a lot of cooking fails in the kitchen but this yummy Potato Soup turned out great on a snowy winter day. I don't know where it came from, all I know is my mom makes it all the time. Here is the recipe:

Baked Potato Soup


2 c. chicken stock
2 c. milk
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. flour
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. white pepper (I use black pepper)
1 large Idaho potato or 3 small ones, peeled & finely diced
1/2 tsp. salt


1 c. sour cream
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. green onions, finely sliced
1/2 c. bacon bits
(I have issues with texture so I only use the sour cream and Cheddar cheese)

Cut peeled potatoes into 4 chunks. Add them to boiling water and cook for 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and cut into bite size pieces. Set aside. Heat chicken stock and milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat to almost boiling. Remove from heat and set aside. Reduce heat to low. In a large soup pot, melt butter. Add flour, stirring constantly, 3 minutes to cook flour and make a roux. Gradually add milk mixture to roux, pouring in a slow steady stream, while stirring vigorously to blend and eliminate lumps. Add bay leaves and pepper. Add diced potato and salt; continue to simmer over low heat 15 to 20 minutes or until potato is tender and soup thickens. Lightly mash potato in soup and stir to blend well. Pour soup into an ovenproof casserole dish and top with sour cream, Cheddar cheese, green onions, and bacon bits. Stir it all in. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove the 3 bay leaves before serving.

Preparation Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4 cups, serving 2 to 4 people

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Planning a Baby Shower

My sister is having her first baby and my mom and I are in charge of the shower. This is a sneak peak. I will be making the invitations out of that cute pink and white polka dot paper. I found it on sale at Michael's for .20 a sheet. I also got the cute pink ribbon and vellum there too. The party decorations are from Zurchers. I haven't thrown a baby shower in a while. This should be fun.

J.C. Penney Jeans

I have been looking for an updated pair of jeans for a long time. The problem...I don't like the dark wash jeans trend. I have hunted and scoured store after store looking for a pair I could live with and what do ya know... J.C. Penney came through for me yet again. This pair of jeans was originally $48. But they were having a huge January sale and I found these for $22. But the savings of course did not stop there. I had another $10 J.C. Penney rewards coupon so I walked out of the store paying only $12 for a pair of jeans that I absolutely love more than any $100+ pair I could find. I was ecstatic about this find!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What I got for Christmas

Sorry for the leave of absence. Add the chaos of the holidays to being sick for three weeks and you get a lot of down time with no blogging going on. Even though it's a bit late, I wanted to share the fun things I got for Christmas. My friends and family know I only want home decor things and that is indeed what I got. The two glass vases came from Hobby Lobby from my sister-in-law. I am visualizing what I want to fill them with as a summer centerpiece. I have a MAJOR thing for glass.
I got a silver charger from Hobby Lobby to accent my ornament centerpiece. I found the candlestick at T.J. Maxx for $5. LOVE T.J. Maxx. Plus I got some SUPER soft sheets on sale from T.J. Maxx as well.
This little house is a candle. It was a gift from my Mom. I found the glass dish at Hobby Lobby to protect the wood from the heat.
I finally learned the correct pronunciation of "carafe" over the holidays (thanks Mom). I don't care how you say it I love all carafes.
On the way to church the other day. Thank heavens for later church. Yes, the tree is still up on January 9. I guess I didn't play it normal this year like I had planned. I'm going to leave it up until March this year. That's just how I roll.
This jacket is from my husband. It was a steal from J.C. Penney with the rewards I had saved up. I love the texture and the ruffled front. It's business attire with a feminine flare.

I absolutely ADORE birds. This little guy came from the bishop's wife. He is the cutest little thing I have ever seen. Thanks Barb!
Can't get enough of the jacket. It is so warm too.
My Mother-in-law got me some mixing bowls. I don't cook much so I turned them into home decor items too.
My favorite ornaments that were a pre-Christmas gift from my husband. He knows I love Pottery Barn.

I didn't get to do much holiday baking so this was my alternative for the mixing bowl. I wanted to make Fantasy Fudge as a New Year's gift to the neighbors but my plan was foiled when I went to pre-heat the oven the other night and the coil exploded and knocked the power to our whole home out. That led to a call to the Power company who quickly came out to help. Then two hours later the power to the whole town went out. I think the power company was getting tired of hearing from me. I guess I learned my lesson, and I will just stay out of the kitchen. Hope you are all enjoying the calm of the new year. :)