Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not Our Time






Well guys...

Sadly, we did not get the house :(

I am trying not to let this get me down...

BUT...

IT SO IS!

There were multiple CASH offers.

Obviously we do not have enough cash on hand to buy a house outright.


So..

I am sad.

And I might be for a few days...

BUT

I will not lose faith.

The LORD is GOOD!!!

And when our time comes...

I will shout it from the rooftop of our perfect home;)




Jessie



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sneaky Peeky







I am gonna be a busy girl the next few weeks (or months...who am I kidding).

Here is a little sneak peek into some upcoming projects that I have planned!
(I recently realized that I am an annoying exclamation point overuser!!)







We started this over ten years ago...







Like those cute floral 90's knobs?








I had never heard of this stuff until I discovered blogland.








I was strangely drawn to this fabric...

So there are still several possibilities for this one.


AND





guess





who



stole



my



 camera


Again!



Happy Tuesday ☺



Jessie

Monday, March 28, 2011

Offer In!







I just got back from our Realtor's office...



Where we submitted an offer on this very charming little bungalow.













However...

I am trying to contain my joy.

This one is a dreaded short sale.

We went through one of these last summer, only to lose the house at the last minute.

AND

This house will probably have several offers, because it was being shown all weekend!

I am sooooo nervous!

This is the first house that I have walked into and actually felt like I was home♥

I am having decorating dreams already...

Don't tell my husband;)

He doesn't want me to get too attached to a "long shot".



Wish us luck!

And lots of prayers♥



Hope you are having a super Monday!


Jessie


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Awesome Dress Deal







I have been eyeing up this cute dress over at The Limited for quite a while.






My wonderful hubby is being baptized and receiving his Sacraments at the Easter Vigil Mass, on April 23.

So...

I was thinking that on such a special occasion, I should get a new Easter dress.
(I already ordered the kiddos and hubby their awesome attire!)

When I saw this sheath dress I fell in LOVE.

It is versatile enough that I can wear it anywhere I need to be a little dressy. I can add accessories, cardis, belts...

The possibilities are endless!

BUT...

I really couldn't afford the $80 price tag right now. Especially after buying the rest of the fam their outfits.

BUMMER!

Then, by some miracle...
(Actually I was stalking the site hoping for a sale.)

It went on SALE for 40% off!!!

It is now $47.94!

AND...

It gets better...

I found a coupon code here, that gave me another 25% off!

So I used it, and brought my total down to $35.95!

I should have just stopped there and ordered...

But...

I thought it needed a belt.





So...

I added it to my shopping cart.

Then I looked here again, to see if could get a better deal on both.

And wouldn't ya know...

I found a $20 off a $60 purchase, coupon code!
(which is marked on retailmenot.com as a $30 off a $90, but works as a $20 off $60 also)

Score!
(you can't use both codes together, but the $20 off was a slightly better deal)

I got both items for...


$47.84

Plus tax and shipping...


$60.20!!!

I know...

If I was a real thrifty gal I would have just stopped at the dress.

I'm trying ☺

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Little Sugar









I just realized that I haven't blogged about my business in quite a while!

It has been a tad slow since the first initial rush of orders...

But recently things have picked up ☺

Here are a few of my faves.

(and if you are new to my blog, or just stopping by, you can catch up here and here)
































I am having a blast with this!
(sometimes I get a little stressed when the kids are screaming and the dog is barking and my icing is melting...but other than that, a blast)

It just goes to show that everyone of us has some undiscovered skill.

Two years ago I didn't have a clue how to bake a cake from scratch...

And I was an awful cake decorator...

With a little determination the possibilities are endless.


Happy Monday!


Jessie

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Fever







Only one more day...

And it will be...

SPRING!

Unfortunately nobody gave mother nature the memo.

At least not here in the northern mitten.

It was a balmy 31 degrees today!

I was super bummed because it was supposed to be 37 degrees...

And sunny.

But it was cloudy, as was my mood.

I have been couped up in the house with a sick little girl for three whole days.

And that same little girl has been sleeping in our bed for THREE whole nights.

Which means that mommy hasn't slept for three nights.


Soooo...

I got a brilliant idea.

We were gonna go to the beach!

Well, sort of.

We live in an absolutely gorgeous area of the state, surrounded by Lake Michigan.

And even though it was cloudy and yucky and cold...

I dragged my family to the one place that always makes me feel better.




 

Lake Michigan is peeking out behind the trees.

I was taking pics out the window of my car.

Please excuse any dog nose prints or drool marks that may make an appearance in these photos ☺







The white is ice, but the dark blue is open water!
(I know, I know, not that exciting, but it was all frozen not too long ago.)



We're getting closer...



Shhh...Don't tell anyone ;)





This is a scary, narrow road that drops off on the right side into a steep cliff. 
(Perhaps there is a reason for the DO NOT ENTER sign. But we are total rebels. Real lawbreakers.)






On the way to my favorite place, we pass this Native American cemetery, or burial ground.  I'm not sure what it is technically called.

I've been worried since I took this picture.

Isn't there some sort of superstition about taking pictures of burial grounds?

Or is that me being a paranoid freak?

Here is a pretty little church on the other side.





FINALLY...

We made it!

Time to unload.




 



Picture it...

Fire in the pit...

Wine glasses on the picnic table...

Hooded sweatshirts and bathing suits on kiddos roasting marshmallows...

Fiery sunset on the lake...

Paradise.
(Cristopher Cross' Sailing should be playing in your head right now. Just thought I'd let ya know ♫)



 


That, my friends, is ice.

I don't know what I was thinking.



 

This is a really cool pic.




The little girl thought that it was pretty cool to walk on all the rocks that would be covered by water in the summer.





Can you imagine it in the summer?





Me being cold, but a bit happier.


Headed back to the car.




It was cold, and icy...

But you can't stay down for too long when you're exposed to so much beauty.



Our son spotted this doe and her fawn on the ride home.



When we got home I decided to continue our warm weather themed day...





Nothin' says summer like brats and macaroni salad!



And for dessert...


 


Peanut butter pie!
(I've linked to the recipe I based mine on. If you want the specifics of my variation, let me know.)



This little boy's favorite ♥


Hope you are having a springalicious weekend!




Jessie


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Taco Lasagna





Ever have something super tasty to eat at potluck, or a friend's house,

and wish you had asked for the recipe?

A few years ago I had an awesome casserole type dish.

It had meat, tortillas, taco type seasonings, all layered with lots of ooey, gooey cheese.

Since that evening I have been on the hunt for a similar recipe.

After trying several that weren't quite right...

I decided to create my own!

(Complete recipe at the end of post, so don't worry about amounts and measurements. I wouldn't leave ya hangin')



I started with the seasonings.





Which I mixed together in preparation to be added to a ground beef mixture.




I added 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef to a large pan, and browned it over medium heat.

I drained most of the fat off, and returned the pan the stove.



I added a chopped, yellow onion to the pan, and cooked for a couple minutes.

I poured my spice mixture over the beef and onion and let it cook for an additional minute.

Then, I added one chopped green chili and a can of tomato sauce.

I let it simmer for twenty minutes or so.




Into a 13x9 inch casserole dish, I scooped roughly one cup of the meat sauce mixture, and spread it evenly over the bottom of the dish.

I layered half of a package (5) tortillas on top of the sauce.




I cut the last tortilla in half for more even coverage.





Spread half of a can of refried beans (don't mess with the fat free, get the real deal) on top of the tortillas.
(helpful hint: heat the beans first, it makes them way more spreadable)



Top with half of the remaining meat sauce mixture.

Layer with half sharp cheddar, half Monterrey jack cheeses
(another hint: I like to shred my own cheese to get a better melted consistency)




Repeat the layers, starting with the remaining tortillas and ending with the rest of the cheese.

Cover with foil, being careful not to let foil touch cheese.




Pop that baby into a 375 degree oven.




Uncover after thirty minutes.

Bake uncovered until cheese is golden and bubbly.



Viola!



This stuff is killer!






Taco Lasagna


1 ½ lbs. ground beef

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 whole green chili (from a can)

1 28oz can tomato sauce (I like Dei Fratelli)

1 heaping tablespoon chili powder

1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons cumin

½ teaspoon oregano (Mexican if you have it)

1 teaspoon sea salt

A pinch of cayenne pepper

1 pkg. of 10 tortillas (I like Mission taco size)

1 can refried beans

8 oz. Monterrey jack cheese (chunk), shredded

8 oz. sharp cheddar (chunk), shredded

1 bunch green onions (optional)

Sour cream (optional)

Black olives (optional)



Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain and return to skillet. Add the chopped onion to the ground beef and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes, or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Cook for 1 minute. Add  the chopped green chili and the can of tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Spread 1 cup of the meat mixture into the bottom of a 13x9 casserole dish. Top with 5 of the tortillas. You may have to cut the tortillas in half to make an even layer. Spread ½ of the can of refried beans on the tortillas (helpful hint: Heat the beans before you spread them into the pan. It makes them thinner and easier to spread). Top with half of the remaining meat mixture. Layer ½ the shredded Monterrey jack, and ½ the shredded sharp cheddar on top of the meat mixture. Top with the remaining 5 tortillas, cutting them as needed to make an even layer. Spread with the remaining beans, and layer with remaining meat mixture. Top with the rest of the shredded cheeses.

Cover with foil, being careful that cheese does not touch the foil, and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly.






Hope you are having a splendid week!


Jessie

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Desperation?







Here we are again.

On the hunt for our perfectly imperfect house.

I got my hopes up this time...just a tad.

We knew that this house was "updated" and "clean".

Which already put it ahead of the last two.

Right...?


We walked inside, into a little back entrance. It smelled old. But I can deal with old. There were stairs leading to a dungeonous Michigan basement (definition: tiny, dank storage area. Sometimes houses the washer and dryer. You know...the kind that you run up the stairs each time you have to go "down there", like the hounds of hell are on your heels.), which I passed on seeing.  My brave husband went down there.  Then informed me that the washer and dryer were indeed located down there. (Cringe)


But, once we got passed the back entry...




The kitchen.

Not so bad! It looks like people actually live here! They may even prepare food here. In fact I'm sure they do, because there are new stainless steel appliances throughout!




Yahoo!!!

The rest of the lower level was pretty darn good. (I'm sorry. I was so stoked that I forgot to take pictures!) There was only one bathroom, but we can deal with that for now. It had been updated in the past few years, so it was clean and spacious enough.

The lower level was making the grade!


Then we went upstairs...







This was the first room we came to.  Pretty tiny...

Might be able to squeeze the mini might (little girl) into it...

BUT...







THIS is how you enter the teeny tiny room!

Notice something?

Like the fact that that you could walk out the "door" (there was no actual door) and break your NECK!!!

I so wanted to cry.

I was crying.

I was doing that look up, blinky thing.  You know?  Where you try to keep the flood of tears back...

The one where your throat starts to get tight and hurt.

Yeah.


The other two rooms were fine, by the way.




So, here is the list of problems with this house:

One bathroom (can deal with that)
Old windows that need to replaced.
Small, probably scary basement (which I was too chicken to go down and see)
No garage (again, can be remedied later)
Only one heat run to the upper level.

Oh yeah... and you could possibly kill yourself if you were to accidentally walk out of the bedroom in the middle of the night.

The seriously sad part of this...

I am considering this as a possibility! I am surely desperate. Tell me I am DESPERATE!

At first we told out Realtor "No way!"

Then...

I e-mailed him...

And might have said it wasn't entirely out of the question.

My super duper handy hubby said that we could eventually build a garage and add a room above it. Wall off the entrance to the room of doom. Rework the top level. Add another bathroom...


What do you think?

Am I desperate?

Have I lost my house hunting mojo?


Jessie

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Need Your Opinion




A few posts ago I mentioned this worn, sad vanity/desk.  It belonged to my great-grandmother, and was passed down to me by my grandmother.

And

It is in desperate need of a makeover!





Here is where you come in...

I need opinions.

I am, at the very least, indecisive.

I can NEVER make my mind up about anything.

I mean, it takes me fifteen minutes to decide which color nail polish to buy.

This is a whole piece of furniture.

I can't just wipe it off and start again (at least not without a huge amount of effort).



Here are a few of my ideas...

(feel free to add your own)





I was thinking that I could stencil a quatrefoil design on the top like this talented lady did.

Maybe paint it gray with white quatrefoil

and this...





Amy Butler Midwest Modern II Fresh Poppies Linen

lovely fabric upholstered to the seat?





Or...


Paint the entire thing a distressed white...




Swavelle/Mill Creek Indoor/Outdoor Faylinn Teal


With something like this beachy coral print on the seat?



But wait...


Another option, and a tad off the wall for me...

Paint the desk a pretty light blue...

Alana Matelasse Kiwi

With this floral on the upholstered seat

and

a light GREEN paint on the bench!



And the last option...


Plain ol' gray desk...

With a little white bird stenciling in the corner of one, or both bottom drawers...



Dwell Studio Vintage Blossom Dove

with this pretty print on the seat?



Decisions, decisions!

HELP!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Jessie

P.S. All fabric is available at fabric.com!